A couple days ago I came across an awesome recipe while working on a new bagel recipe. It purported that you could make tasty artisan breads in only five minutes per day. I was a bit skeptical at first, but after reading the article I was convinced. Essentially you treat the bread like a sourdough, and keep a big lump in your fridge until you want some bread. All you need to do in preparation is shape the dough, heat up the oven, and then bake. Thats not an exaggeration either.

Using their system, if you have about an hour and a half of time around the house, you can have a delicious loaf of bread. It only takes about 5 minutes of work, but it breaks down to something like:

  • 40 minutes to rise
  • 30 minutes to bake
  • 20 minutes to cool

But really, you only have to do about a minute’s worth of work between each phase. I liked the recipe so much, I bought their book. The full recipe is listed after the jump.

This recipe is essentially the same as can be found in the linked article and in Jeff and Zoe’s book, though without all of their helpful tips. It makes 4 1-pound loaves:

  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp coarse salt
    • for tablesalt reduce by 25%
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached flour

In a 5 quart bowl mix the yeast and salt into the water. Don’t worry too much if everything doesn’t dissolve.

Mix in the flour all at once. Don’t worry about kneading the dough as it is not necessary. Just mix it until all the dry patches of flour are gone.

Cover with a lid (not air tight!) and leave out for 2-5 hours to rise.

Refrigerate for up to two weeks, but a minimum of 2 hours (so its easier to work with).

Dust the dough with a bit of flour, grab about a grapefruit sized ball and cut it away from the rest of the dough.

Cover and refrigerate the remaining dough.

Grab the corners of the dough and stretch them around to the bottom so that it has a smooth finish (do not kneed the dough, it is not necessary).

Dust a pizza peel with corn meal and place the dough on it.

Allow the dough to rise for about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a baking stone in the oven, and a broiler pan on another level.

Preheat oven to 425 for 20 minutes (to prep the baking stone).

Place dough on baking stone.

Pour 1 cup hot water into broiler pan to create steam.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Remove and let cool for about 20 minutes or until completely cooled.

Enjoy delicious bread!