How can a nation be great if their bread tastes like kleenex? ~Julia Childs
Today's Saturday Skill is how to have fresh baked bread whenever you like - even every day if you want and it does not require hours a day in the kitchen. In fact, it can take about five minutes of active work and the results are wonderful. There is nothing more comforting than freshly baked bread - the aroma, the crust, the taste and the beautiful way a pat of butter melts just so into lovely little golden rivers filling up the tiny holes in the slice. It is a memory like no other - and one you will not get from store-bought slices in a plastic bag.
Over the past couple of Saturdays, we have talked about baking bread with baking powder, yeast and sourdough and I hope you have tried your hand at a loaf of two. This week, I'm outlining how I always have bread dough in the refrigerator ready to bake. I use the method described in the book The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. The book has many recipes but the peasant and the pizza dough are the ones I use most often.
So how can you have fresh bread everyday? You mix up the dough and you can store it for up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator. When you are ready to bake, slice of a portion of the dough, shape it, let it rise and bake. Ta-da! Fresh bread and you didn't even get flour on your apron...well, except for that day when you mixed up the dough.
If you get in the habit of making a batch or two of the dough on the weekends, you can have fresh bread with every weekday dinner if you like. Even if dinner is a rotisserie chicken from the take-out stand, a loaf of warm bread makes it seem like dinner is the gift that it is - to share a meal with those you love in a nurturing, life-giving way.
Rather than posting the recipes here, I am posting some links on making bread the 5-minute-a-day-way because I want you to get out there a discover how great this method is.
Grab your apron, gather together your yeast, salt, sugar, water and flour and mix up a batch of dough to make a loaf of bread today AND next week!
I hope you have enjoyed the Saturday Skills series on bread baking and I'm so happy you joined today. Tomorrow is Sunday Cooking and I'll post some dessert BakeOver recipes. I hope to see you then :)
Peace be with you,
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