You may be wondering about the title of today's article. You may also be wondering if I'm nuts but just hear me out. I've always loved bread and when I was a kid I'd visit my grandmother who made bread every other day. I can remember the amount of work involved but loved putting real butter on a slice as soon as it came out of the oven. I make most of my flat bread at home because I just can't get myself to choke down the store bought stuff. I also make all of my sweet breads for the same reason. Over the years I've dabbled with baking artisan breads and have had decent luck with them.

In case nobody has noticed the States (and maybe the world) is currently in a bit of a recession so for a lot of folks money is a bit tight. We're also having a food epidemic in that we keep eating more and more crap and the country as a whole has become unhealthy and obese. This is a more complex problem then what I'm going to discuss right now but you can watch Jamie Oliver's TED speech if you doubt how bad this problem has become. So whenever I run across a solution to more than one problem with little to no drawbacks I get excited about it. In my tiny corner of the universe I'd like to save a bit of money and eat better. This isn't so hard to do but you usually have to sacrifice a great deal of time to do so until now. On good advice I've been playing around with Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François' book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. The idea is if you make a bunch of dough, keep it in the fridge and just cut off a chunk every day to bake then you're only spending 5 minutes per day making homemade bread. The reality is you're spending 5 minutes of your time but start to finish it takes about 90 minutes to 2 hrs a day to have bread but you're not doing anything during that time. You could be watching a movie. Not any dough can be used in this manner so they came up with a super saturated dough that will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

The process goes something like this. Throw a bunch of stuff in a mixer, turn it on for a couple of minutes just until it's mixed (but don't knead it) and cover it to let it rise for about an hour. Then take the dough, put it in the fridge and then the next day you can start baking. Because there's so much water in the dough it's much nicer to work with when it's cold. Whenever you want bread you just cut off a grapefruit sized portion, fold the corners under so it makes a nice ball and drop it on a cornmeal covered pizza peel. Forty minutes later after it's warmed up you pop it in the oven and cook it for half an hour and you have fresh bread in 5 minutes a day.

So far I've been very impressed because all of the work involved in traditional bread is just not there. You don't knead the bread ever, you don't have to start 4 hrs before dinner making the dough, you don't have to watch it's rise and punch it down half way through or anything. The only real issue is that since it's so wet it can be quite sticky. I'm trying various things to combat that. Cornmeal on the peel helps but doesn't solve the problem. Tonight I put down flour and then cornmeal and it still stuck but an oiled spatula was able to break it free and onto the clay tiles in my oven.

To summarize you can make good bread in 5 minutes a day for about 35 cents a loaf and you don't need any special equipment outside of a baking stone. Poor lazy people eat better.