Baking / Recipes

Five Minute Artisan Bread Follow-up

I was chatting over IM with a friend about my exciting new artisan bread in five minutes I’d just made with virtually no effort, and the following thought occurred to me: why isn’t everyone who bakes bread using this technique? Why NOT remove all that tedious kneading from the process and why NOT get the job done in a few minutes versus hours of hard labor. The only answer thing I can think is that there is some sort of conspiracy between all the people who make bread to convince us non-bakers that bread is super tough to bake and we should just buy their bread, or, there are huge taste advantages to doing it the long and hard way. It’s possible that since I am prothetizing about quick bread, the League of Master Bakers already has me under surviellance and is going to start bugging my phones. I’m going to wear a tin foil hat from now on just to be safe.

Seriously though, the bread that I have made over the last couple of days has been tasty and amazing and you will hear no complaints from me about how little effort I had to exhert to make it. For crying out loud, look at the loaves I made this morning. Isn’t that the cutest scalloped boule you’ve ever seen?

Artisan Bread by St. Louis Food Photographer Jonathan Gayman

Logic says that a thousand years of bread making tradition must have some merit and all of those labor intensive activities result in more complex flavors and textures that you won’t get in the “five minutes” method. Using a simple recipe that everyone uses (despite the faux sourdough tastes that you gain from keeping the dough in the fridge for long periods of time) will result in bread that tastes like everyone else’s bread. I’d be willing to bet that in order to get truly unique and memorable bread you’ll need to go back to the more traditional methods.

I think what is going on here is that I am having one of those “I don’t want to belong to a club that would have me as a member” moments, which is just silly. I have made some lovely bread, and as a beginner I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. My earlier attempts at bread-making using the more traditional methods have had mixed results (and by “mixed” I mean “disastrous”), so I’m going to stick with this quick method for the time being. Once I feel I’ve mastered it and am getting consistent results, I’ll try to delve a little deeper and figure out what is what. Plus, who doesn’t love the smell of fresh bread in the house?

For reals though, I swear, I’m going to write some non-bread-related content soon.


So … I finished writing this post and was looking around for some traditional recipes and techniques to get noodling around in my head for the future when I came across the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day Blog. Not exactly sure why I didn’t assume there was a blog in the first place. Here’s the thing: you can’t fail notice that at the top of the blog there is a banner that says “Join the revolution!” Crap, now in addition to being one of those damn liberals I’m also one of those damn bread revolutionaries too. Now I definitely have to keep an eye out for the black helicopters while I’m baking my Holiday Wreath Bread!


  • Jessie
    November 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    After a week in the fridge, I baked the last of dough I mixed up. It was more dense than my first loaf and didn’t look as pretty. Maybe I had the oven too hot, because this little loaf did not rise as well and the outside was dark. The texture remained chewy and moist. The yeasty flavor was much more pronounced and rich. Delicious.

    • ShootToCook
      November 21, 2010 at 1:46 am

      I made my first loaves from the second batch of dough that I mixed up this afternoon (I made the dough two days ago). My second batch rose much more than the first batch in the initial rise stage, and the loaves were much lighter than the first batch. The thing is, at the rate that I’m making and eating the bread it only lasts a few days, so I dunno if I’ll get to benefit from the time in the fridge. Maybe I need a bigger vat to make larger batches of dough? Still enjoying the fresh bread very much. I was actually able to bring fresh bread to a dinner party tonight, which was super cool and made me feel like I knew what I was doing …

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