Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes: Part 2
Rise and shine!
Time to finish up this yummy bread. Okay, so it's actually 4 o'clock in the afternoon, but Elijah is just now taking a good nap and I had to decide between bread and laundry. Decisions decisions.
Pull the bread dough out that's been anxiously awaiting your oven.
Pull up a chunk of dough that is about the size of a grapefruit and either cut with a serrated knife or tear it off.
Dust the surface of your dough chunk with a little flour and pull the sides under while giving it 1/4 turns until it is ball-esque in shape. The top of your dough should be fairly uniform while the underside will look like a bunch of balled up ends. (This whole process should take 30-60 seconds. I would have a picture, but my hands were covered in dough.)
Toss the formed dough onto a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal and let rise for 40 minutes. (Longer won't hurt at all...this is a VERY forgiving recipe.) Toward the end of your rise, slash the top of your bread in an "X" or another creative manner to achieve your artisan effect!
Set your baking stone on the middle rack of the oven and place a broiler pan underneath it on a lower rack. Pre-heat the oven for 20 minutes (20 minutes into your 40 minute rise) at 450 degrees.
Once the oven is ready, slide the dough off your pizza peel and onto the baking stone with a quick jerk. Pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler pan and quickly close the oven door so that the steam is trapped.
30 minutes later - perfection! (See how the X made these gorgeous gorges?)
Enjoy and let me know how it turns out!
Baking Day Instructions:
Prepare a pizza peel by sprinkling generously with cornmeal to prevent the loaf from sticking when you slide it into the oven.
Sprinkle the surface of your refrigerated dough with flour. Pull up and cut off (with a serrated knife) a piece of dough about the size of a grapefruit. Hold the dough in your turns and gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the dough as you go. The bottom of the loaf should be a collection of bunched ends, but it will flatten out during resting and baking. This whole process should take 30-60 seconds.
Rest the loaf and let rise for 40 minutes.
20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven with pizza stone inside to 450 degrees F. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on any shelf that won't interfere with baking.
Dust the top of the loaf liberally with flour, and slash a cross, a tic-tac-toe pattern or other mark on the top of the loaf with serrated knife.
Slide the loaf quickly into the oven and quickly but carefully pour 1 cup of cold water into the broiler tray, close the oven door to trap steam.
Bake about 30 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch.
Allow to cool completely for best flavor, texture and slicing.