Saturday, March 24, 2012

Artisan Bread Series

A few weeks ago, I posted a recipe for a quick and easy whole-wheat french bread.  We really liked it, but, to be honest, it left me wanting more. 
We love bread.  My mom used to buy those big baguettes from Walmart when we were in high school and my sister and I would eat half of the loaf before we got home.  When we lived overseas, we had the luxury of buying artisan breads just about every day.
Last year, my IRT (Instructional Resource Teacher, aka mentor buddy for first year teachers) recommended the book Artisan Breads in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.  I didn't have the time (nor the desire) at that time to bake our own bread, so I passed the information along to my mom and she bought the book.  Never having used it in the last year, my mom passed the book on to me over Spring break.  Good thing, because it changed my way of thinking as it pertains to baking bread.  I no longer buy preservative-filled, commercial breads.

Over the next 6 weeks, I'll be writing a series with some tips and recipes from the book.  That's about 2 recipes per week (with the exception of week 1- we'll have 3 posts!)  For the sake of my waistline (and pocketbook), I will not be baking my way through the cookbook.  I'll share my favorites and the things I like to eat and can use in lunch and dinner recipes.  Here are the topics we'll be covering:
  • Equipment and Ingredient needs
  • Terms and Techniques
  • Recipe:  European Peasant Bread (our favorite!)
  • Recipe:  Pumpernickel Bread
  • Recipe:  Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
  • Recipe: Spicy Pork Buns
  • Recipe: Prosciutto and Olive Oil Flatbread
  • Recipe: Pita
  • Recipe: Brioche Filled with Chocolate Ganache
  • Recipe:  Judy's Board of Directors' Cinnamon-Raisin Bread
  • Recipe:  Apple and Pear Coffee Cake
  • Recipe:  Blueberry Lemon Curd Ring
The purpose of this book is to show you that you can bake several different types of bread without slaving in the kitchen for hours.  Most recipes (if not all!) require that you not knead the dough.  To make it even better, the doughs can be kept in the refrigerator for a week or two, depending on which recipes you make, and baking within an hour.  They are easy, fun, and delicious.  You will not regret this series!  If you like these recipes, I highly recommend you invest in the cookbook!

Come back tomorrow for our first post- Equipment and Ingredient Needs.  Don't worry, you won't need much and might already have it.  There is a minimal initial investment, but it will pay for itself after just one recipe for two.


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