Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Olive Oil and Herb Master Boule Bread

Okay, so in my continuing travails on the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day thing, I actually mixed up some bread today and it really only took about five minutes, but it did, surprisingly result in a delicious, crusty loaf.

I mixed up some dough, added dried herbs for flavor, sat it on the counter for three hours while I went to Tenefly to tutor a restaurant manager to pass the ServSafe exam, then came home, shaped it and baked it. You still need to remember that with this artisan bread baking business, you still have to preheat the oven for 25 minutes, without forgetting the breadstone, and organize your brain enough to have a sprinkling of cornmeal on your pizza peel, but generally, it has gotten easier, and I am able to say, I got closer to the five minutes of artisan bread baking as opposed to what was closer to the seven hours that it took me the first time I tried it.

Here's what I did:

3 cups warm water mixed with 1 and a half packages dry yeast, mixed with 1 and a half tbsp kosher salt.

Add to that 6 and a half cups of flour, 2 tsp dried thyme, and 2 tsp dried rosemary. Mix until incorporated.

Place mixed, unkneaded contents in a container with a cover, and affix the cover but not tightly.

Leave home and do something with your life. Then come home ready to prepare dinner. (I understand this can be left out for 5+ hours).

Then, I took approximately half the mixture and shaped it into a round loaf. No kneading. I placed flour on the top of the loaf, and slashed it horizontally with a knife. I then brushed it with olive oil, sprinkled with kosher salt, some granulated garlic and additional herbs, and placed it in a hot 450 degree oven on my breadstone, and baked for approximately 30 minutes until brown and crusty!

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