Did you know that there is a recipe for magic bread dough that allows you to store the dough in the fridge for up to two weeks, giving you the opportunity to bake fresh bread at a moment’s notice?
Did you also know that you don’t have to knead this bread dough?
And did you know that this morning I decided to stay home from work because I woke up with the the urge to eat sticky pecan caramel rolls as soon as possible?
And did you know that I spontaneously whipped up that pan of sticky pecan caramel rolls in twenty minutes (not counting rising time), because I already had some magic dough stored in my fridge?
If you already know all of the above facts, I imagine you must be magic yourself. And then you probably already know about the huge tummyache that I got from eating half of the pan.
But having a tummyache on a sunny Sunday morning at home is still better than being at work.
I should stop complaining about about my tummyache and start telling you about this magic recipe. It comes from the book ‘Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day’ by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François. The title is ALMOST true; it’s not really 5 minutes a day, because they are only counting the handling time, not the rising and baking time, but it’s close enough for me.
The premise of the book is that you can mix up a huge batch of bread dough with a spoon or a stand mixer (easy), put it in a container without kneading (easy), put it in your fridge (easy, as long as your fridge has room), and anytime during the next 14 days that you need a loaf of bread, you just saw off a hunk, shape it into a loaf (no kneading = easy), and bake it in the oven (easy). The authors demonstrate their technique in a short video, here.
The bread isn’t just easy. It’s good. Really good. Not as good as the bread at Medici, our neighborhood bakery, but better than the bread at our local hoity-toity grocery store, which claims to be ‘America’s Most European Grocery Supermarket.’ That’s a fine middle ground for me, considering I don’t really have room in my little Ikea kitchen for a huge brick oven that can reach 20,000 degrees.
There is a master bread recipe from which you can make several different shapes of loaves. Ahem, or sticky pecan caramel rolls. Yes. Please. But there are almost 100 other doughs to choose from as well. A few that I hope to bake soon are Roasted Garlic Potato Bread, Spinach Feta Bread, Vermont Cheddar Bread, Oatmeal Pumpkin Bread, and a traditional Challah. Oh man I can’t WAIT. I’m so excited that I have already started emptying my closet of all the clothes that won’t fit me anymore after I make a habit of eating this bread on a regular basis. But I won’t care because I’ll be shopping for a new wardrobe with one hand and shoving bread (or pecan rolls) in my mouth with the other hand. And if you follow my trail of crumbs and find me, I’ll tear off a chunk for you, too.
Get the book and start baking!