Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Experimental

After reading Poshyarns' post of February 24th, recounting her success with 5-minute bread, I had to disagree with her view that she was the last person on earth to have heard of this method. No, she wasn't - I was.

I became somewhat exercised at the prospect of bread baking without the preciousness intensity skill and craftsmanship of the master bakers whose books have had the unintentional effect of aversion therapy. I've never been brilliant at bread making, or found prolonged kneading to be soothing to the nerves. But no-kneading 5-minute bread? I could do this! I thought, and immediately ordered the UK version of the book. Impulsive, yes, and looking at my collection of barely-used baking books, I should know better, but I yielded.

The book arrived, I read it carefully, I bought a large container - big enough to mix and store the dough but not so big that I couldn't shut the door of the fridge - and collected my ingredients together. I made my first batch of dough. Mix mix mix, in the container, with a wooden spoon, no kneading. Lid on, leave at room temperature for a couple of hours.




We waited while it did its thing.


Which it did, with enthusiasm.

Then we popped it in the fridge till we were ready to pull off a large lump of dough, briefly shape it, leave it to rest for a little while - no knocking down, kneading, proving - and slide it into a hot oven.



Emails were exchanged with Poshyarns, who dispensed helpful advice for next time, and useful links.

The next day, more bread was baked. Roger and Tim are my crash test dummies with one of today's loaves.



I'll need to experiment with shapes and sizes, resting and baking times, and tweak the salt levels, but so far, it's all been very edible, and very encouraging. Different flours, seeds and grains will follow in due course; applications for the position of crash test dummy can be made here.


Note: My first three loaves were made deliberately small, mainly so that I don't become the Pillsbury Dough Lady, living on a diet of white crusty bread with added calories in the form of jams, sausages, cold roast beef, and of course lovely French butter. Attention to shapes and sizes applies to bread bakers as well as to loaves.

I will just walk faster and further on the daily dog walks....

16 comments:

jabblog said...

Looks delicious - but there's still too much work and possible disaster involved for me, so I'll stick to my breadmaker;-) It might not be smart but it's tasty and edible:-)

the veg artist said...

Wow! I'm impressed. Just as well I don't like and can't eat bread, but having read the label on bread rolls hubby bought for himself a while ago, making it yourself has got to be better for you.

Bee said...

I read that post, too, and I hadn't heard of the 5 minute bread either! I must say that it DOES make a lovely loaf. Warm bread slathered with butter is one of the finest things in life (in my book); but as you point out, that is a good AND a bad thing.

Shelagh said...

PLEASE make this one when I visit!!??

A Heron's View said...

Suggest you try making soda bread, because from start to finish it takes only an hour & very little kneading is required.

mountainear said...

Fresh bread and thickly spread butter - add an egg and you have simple feast.

must look out for the 5 minute bread book. I don't get much pleasure from kneading either.

Isabelle said...

Yes, well, you've put your finger on the reason that I don't make bread. It might be nice and then I would eat it. Bad idea.

Lesley said...

Mmmmmmmmmm breeeeaaaadd.......droooool!

(with apologies to Homer Simpson for theft...)

The Wanderer said...

You aren't the last person. I am. I never knew of this method until I read your post.

Planet Penny said...

No! I'M the last! That bread looks absolutely GORGEOUS, and you choice of added calories is making me drool so I will step away from the computer, and Amazon, and I won't buy that book. No, no, no!

frayedattheedge said...

I used to make bread from scratch, then I got busy (or lazy?) and bought a machine! I can also cut out the hard part, and use the dough hook on my mixer ...... although maybe some hard work kneading would use up some of the calories!

Preseli Mags said...

It looks fabulous. I adore bread making although these days I do the kneading bit in the mixer. I hadn't heard of five minute bread either. Must check out that book!

Marcheline said...

Wicked cool! Hope it's as tasty as it is gorgeous!

rogern said...

Our loaf was delicious! we ate it mainly as the outside of fishcake sandwiches and the moist dense texture was perfect as it didn't fall apart half way through eating. the rest was eaten peicemeal on passing through the kitchen with noting more than a scraping of butter.

Really tasty, I (we) like being your culinary guinea pigs :)

elizabethm said...

Looks absolutely delicious.

Jeff Hertzberg said...

Hey, thanks so much for trying our stuff, come visit at fiveminutebread.com anytime you have questions-- we answer the questions ourselves.

Jeff Hertzberg
co-author

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