I’m about a week away from the beginning attempts of a wheat free month. So before I go there I want you to know I love baking and eating bread. A few years ago we found ourselves living out on a ranch an hour from the grocery store. We couldn’t always predict when we would have company coming and so baking my own bread and other household basics like making my own tortillas became the normal for me and I’m so glad that it did.
Baking bread is intimidating and the perfect loaf is something even an experienced baker has to work for. But it helps me to remember that there was once a day when all families baked their own bread (in a wood burning stove at that), this is something anyone can do if they set out to do it and this book makes getting started super easy.
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a day is a great introduction for the new baker. Using it you will quickly get comfortable with the textures and smells of mixing dough and baking bread. After using this book for a while I am now comfortable taking on almost any recipe and even inventing my own.
I figured rather than go through the whole process here I would just give you a link to their website and book. This book is unique in that all the recipes are “no knead” making them faster, easier to clean up and less work . The book starts with a basic recipe, just water, salt, yeast and flour. You mix the ingredients and let it rise. Then you can use the dough immediately or keep stored in the fridge for a week or two (depending on the recipe) and bake a small loaf every day if you want. The recipes in this book make enough for 4 small loaves and are easily doubled or halved making them super flexible.
When you are ready to bake you form the dough into a ball, let it rise again and then bake (often with steam to make a thick chewy crust). Once you get the hang of the basic recipe the rest of the book is simply variations (the challah fresh from the oven is to die for and the buttermilk has become my go-to especially when made into cinnamon bread).
This method makes bringing a loaf of bread over for a dinner party beyond simple. People will ooh and ahh over your bread that you spent a total of about 10 minutes on (there is a lot more time involved, but it is just waiting for things to happen).
Good luck and let me know how it turns out!