baking bread

Posted by on May 16, 2010 in cook | 5 comments

I mentioned this book a little while ago, and this past week I just went to town with the bread baking. I think I've figured out this yeast thing, and I'm so happy about it! After a little research I decided to try reducing the amount of yeast I used just a little bit because we are at a higher altitude (4000 feet above sea level, to be exact). I made the basic boule recipe from the book, and used half all-purpose flour and half white whole wheat flour. It was just a little denser than I had hoped, but really delicious. I think the denseness was probably because of the wheat flour, and I can live with that. I made it seem very artisanal and peasant-y. So, with one recipe, you can basically make four loaves of bread. Here's what I ended up with: first was just your basic boule. We sliced and ate half of it just with butter and honey.


The rest of the loaf was sliced and torn into pieces which I added to simple green salads for our lunches one day (red leaf lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, sun dried tomatoes and a little asiago cheese) tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette (grainy dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic, herbes de Provence and balsamic vinegar). It was so good, I need to remember to make it again soon.

Then I baked some little baguettes and made sandwiches with grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, feta and arugula. Dressed with just olive oil and vinegar, they were also really delicious. I didn't get pictures, but they were also very pretty sandwiches. The sturdiness of the bread held up well with the juiciness of the filling ingredients. Mr. HeyLucy said it was one of the best sandwiches he's had, which is pretty high praise, coming from a carnivore like him.

Next up was pita bread. I should have probably done several smaller pitas, but I made one big one. It just took a few minutes to bake, and it was amazing the way it just puffed up.

Isn't it pretty? It was so big I sliced it into quarters. I made myself a breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs, cheese, salsa, and sour cream. Mr. Heylucy made himself a sandwich of cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese. 

Breakfast pita 

Last night I used the last of that batch to make a pizza. Topped with bleu cheese, Canadian bacon, sliced apples and caramelized shallots, it was perfect (I was inspired by this tart from the Artisan Bread website). I also served it with arugula dressed simply with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and freshly ground pepper, and just piled it on top of the pizza. It was so delicious. I want to make it again very soon. 


I can't recommend Artisan Bread in Five Minutes enough. I've already got another batch in the refrigerator, just waiting to be baked. I may never buy bread again. 
 I also wanted to add: there are a few things you will want to invest in, if you start baking bread regularly. I was lucky enough to get a pizza baking stone as a wedding present all those years ago, and a stone is really probably the most essential tool to have. I also did get a pizza peel, which is great for sliding breads (especially flatbreads) into the oven. I found it at World Market for about $15. I also have a dough scraper, which was just a few dollars at Target. Other then those items (and a container for storing your dough, of course), you can get started pretty quickly. I just mix up the dough with a wooden spoon, right in the big plastic lidded bowl I use to store it in. 


  1. Oh, this look great! I can’t wait to try it out.

  2. Thanks so much for your inspiration. This bread totally turns me around. I, too, will never buy bread again. I have a bread maker but just couldn’t get that great crust.

  3. Wow, Yum.

  4. I bought the book but never got around to making it, so your success is giving me the strength to try it out!
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    – Dottie

  5. Oh my goodness… I haven’t stopped by your blog in a while and here I am catching up and realizing you’ve just turned into Martha Stewart! What beautiful photos of your delicious looking recipes. I have been wanting to try to make bread! Your post made me feel like it might be possible! Bread has always been that holy grail of baking; I’ve steered clear! –Robin

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