OMG, it worked! I know the book and website and all the reviews said it would work, but I was seriously skeptical. Not because I didn't think it could be done, I just didn't think I could do it. I have always wanted to try making my own bread. Fresh baked, crusty bread is just about the best thing you'll ever eat. Grocery store options, while better now than ever before, are still really lacking and tend to turn into a hard brick on my counter that could do serious injury to your toes if dropped!
Having broken my hand this past winter, I had pretty much given up any hope of every baking my own bread. It has healed, for the most part, but I'm pretty sure it's just never going to be the same, grasping anything is pretty much impossible now so kneading dough was certainly not in my future. So thank you God for directing me to Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day! My only complaint about the book is it's high cost and lack of photos. I was pretty disappointed to find very, very few photos, most of which are not in color. I'm a visual baker, but thankfully it didn't compromise my end result :) I seriously recommend you run out immediately and buy this book, it's well worth the high price tag. If you have a little patients (which I don't), you can order it much cheaper on Amazon.
Did you see my pictures above, isn't it absolutely beautiful!?! I followed the directions to the letter, something I just about always do on a first run of any recipe. In the end, the bread was not only pretty, but it actually tasted amazing. The top crust needed to be a little crustier/crunchier, the inside was a tad too chewy and the bottom was a bit soft. After reading the book notes, next time I will decrease my water by 1/4 cup, increase my baking time by about 5-7 minutes, and not place it directly on a wood cutting board after pulling out of the oven, which is what softened my bread bottom. Originally it was nice and crunchy, next time it says to place on a non-porous surface to cool, such as a cooling rack.
And the families review: AWESOME, dad just wanted to know why there wasn't more! I have three, 1 pound loaves to go in this batch, I can't wait to change it up next time and try something new.
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