Okay, first thing I will say is go buy this book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. It is worth it. I’m going to put the base recipe below, but not all the tips. If you have a basic amount of cooking knowledge then you should have no problem with this recipe. There are a zillion recipes in the book and they all look great. These guys did a great job! You can find it at Amazon.
Before I get to the bread, let’s catch up. First off I haven’t exercised other than a few days in the past six weeks or so. It’s so funny, or maybe sad, that I can repeat the same darn process over and over again. I lose a bunch of weight over a period of five to six months then I slowly put it all back on over the next year and then I start all over again.
I was determined not to put it back on this time, but I’m doing it. What can I say, except maybe tomorrow will be the day I get my motivation back and start exercising again.
Let’s see…what about all those other lofty goals I set for myself a few posts back. Well I can’t recall what they all were so that might give you a clue as to how things are going.
How about the kick ass catering we did this weekend. It was for a large union that was bringing people from California up to Reno to work on “get-out-the-vote” activities. On Saturday we put together almost 200 box lunches and on Sunday we did another 200 plus dinners for the bus ride home.
We had a blast. Here’s a quick peek at some of the details. We used over 70 loaves of fresh bread from Truckee Sourdough (awesome artisan bread), over 100 pounds of turkey, roast beef and ham, over 100 pounds of various types of cheese. Sliced multiple onions and over 100 tomatoes. All of the cheese and the meat was sliced on a slicer and then individually portioned. 400 assorted small bananas, oranges and the coolest mini red delicious apples were put into the boxes. We went through over 400 eco/green containers, forks, napkins, spoons, etc. Countless bags of chips, drinks and cookies, made at Dish, not purchased in bulk as some companies might do to make an extra buck.
We had every table covered with boxes by the end of the night on Friday, all filled with a bag of chips, cookies, fresh fruit, forks, napkins, mayo and mustard and then we converged on Saturday morning, three of us making sandwiches and the other two boxing, tagging and packing. When we finished we made a family breakfast and all sat around and enjoyed the thrill that comes from working your ass off with a bunch of people that really care about the result and succeeding. There is nothing better than this in my mind!
We then all took off in three different cars to deliver the food to Fernley, Carson City and Gardnerville and then headed back to set up for the next day.
To my employees who read my blog I would like to give one big “THANK YOU”. Everyone had a hand in getting the job done. The one thing about owning your own business is without good employees who really care about you and the product, you are doomed. Right now we have the best group of employees at Dish, ever!
Okay on to the recipe. I really liked this bread. I’ve made ciabatta before and it was a pain in the butt. This was easy. You spend a few moments putting together the dough, let it rise for a few hours, store it in the refrigerator and then pull a piece off when you need it. Form into a ball, let it rest for 40 minutes, bake it for 25 and bam, you have fresh bread. I’m made it four times and other than once when I overbaked it, everyone has loved it.
Do it, buy the book and have fun.
No Knead Dough (makes 4 rounds)
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 6 1/2 cups unsifted, all-purpose flour
- Cornmeal for pizza peel
Warm the water to about 100 degrees. Add the yeast and the salt to the water in a 5 or 6 quart, resealable, lidded plastic food container. You can pick these up at Resco or Smart and Final or other restaurant type food service places.
Now add all of the flour at once. Mix with a wooden spoon, stand mixer with a dough hook, or a food processor fitted with a dough hook attachment. You are done when everything is uniformly moist with no dry areas. Should take no longer than a few minutes.
Cover with a lid, not airtight and allow to rise until it starts to flatten on the top or begins to collapse. Should be about two hours. Do not use mason jars with a lid or anything airtight…it could explode. Put the dough in the refrigerator overnight or for at least three hours.
On baking day, prepare a pizza peel by spinkling it liberally with cornmeal or prevent it from sticking when you slide it into the oven.
Sprinkle the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour. Pull up and cut off a grapefruit size piece of dough. Hold the dough, flour your hands if you need to. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go. You are forming a round ball of dough. The bottom side will be a collection of bunched ends, but it will flatten out during baking. The top will be mostly smooth and cohesive.
Rest the loaf on the pizza peel for 40 minutes. Twenty minutes before you are ready to bake the loaf, preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone place on the middle rack and a empty metal roasting pan or broiler tray for holding water on the shelf below.
Dust the bread with flour and then slice about 1/8 of an inch slashes into the bread. You can do them in any pattern you see fit.
After the 20-minute preheat, open the oven. Slide the bread onto the stone. Quickly pour 1 cup of hot water into the roasting pan or broiler tray, shut the door and bake for about 30 minutes until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch. Dot not open the oven or the steam will escape. The steam helps make the crust.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack and then eat it!
Store the rest of the dough in your lidded, not airtight, container in the refigerator up to 14 days!