Along with regular cooking chores, farming chores and housework the pioneer woman and her daughters were in charge of making bread for the family. Baking took place in an iron kettle with an iron lid and hot coals were placed under the pot and on the lid to bake bread. With few stores and wheat crop uncertain from each harvest, white flour was not easy to obtain. But the pioneer woman who was lucky enough to have white flour could bake bread for her family.
These baking doings of our ancestors are made easier for us modern pioneer women as we have more access to white and wheat flour and may choose to cook indoors or outdoors. But still, baking fresh bread on a daily basis is still quite a bit of work. We have to mix the ingredients, knead the dough, let it rise, punch it down, shape the dough, let it rise again, and finally bake it. When you include the rising time it takes several hours from start to finish to make fresh bread for our families.
I was at the library a few weeks ago and came across the book, “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The discovery that Revolutionizes Home Baking” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë Francois. Basically they developed a method to mix enough dough to make several batches of fresh bread that is stored in the refrigerator. After making this large batch of dough whenever you want to make fresh bread take the dough out of the refrigerator select the amount you need, shape it, let it rise for 20 minutes and bake it. Voilᾲ! Now you have fresh homemade bread that smells wonderful, taste delicious and is nutritious for your family.
I have made several batches of the boule master recipe and have made many loaves of bread. My shaping of the loaf does not look as expert as theirs but I am sure I will get better with time. With this same boule master recipe I have also made several batches of the sticky walnut and pecan caramel rolls. It really cuts down on the time it takes to bake fresh homemade breads.
|The book called for a baking stone. I just used a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.|
I am selecting the amount of dough I need for my recipe.
|A Cross Section of the Bread|
The book has several recipes to make different types of breads, desserts, pretzels, bagels and more. The concept of using made ahead dough stored in your refrigerator is brilliant. This concept saves time, money and provides a self reliant skill of making fresh bread for your family. Click on the link below to see a video of the book’s authors, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë Francois, demonstrating how to make fresh bread. Give it a try. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I have.