Hope you all had a good holiday. Ours was nice and quiet. We spent Christmas Eve with my brother, sister-in-law and their family. Good company and good food. I did spend time reading news and blogs yesterday but spent my energy baking some bread instead of commenting.
About a month ago I found a book I put on my nook titled Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. Over the last three weeks I have tried the process several times. The five minutes a day is an average including the about 15 minutes it takes to mix the ingredients and form the loaves. The authors' process eliminates the kneading involved the traditional yeast bread making operation because the gluten sets up during the slow rising time in the refrigerator. It is nicely convenient because you can take part of the dough ball as you need it for a single loaf or pan of rolls. However, I find it doesn't really save that much time and, although the bread tasted good, I didn't really like the "feel" of the finished loaf. It didn't rise as well in the oven as I expected from the authors' descriptions. So yesterday I went back to one of my old recipes and did up a loaf of oatmeal/walnut/cranberry bread. I spent a whole half an hour mixing and kneading the dough and about five more minutes forming the loaf and greasing the pan. The nearly two hours rising time I spend doing other things and in the end pulled a nice high, light loaf that tasted better than anything we have had lately, including both what I have made and the commercially produced breads we bought. I stopped baking bread when my schedule was so hectic about 12 years ago I barely had time to sleep, bathe and eat much less cook. Well I am not retired and time isn't a factor any more.