(written a few days ago; waiting on picture processing)

Tonight, Jeff is out with a new friend having dinner at Neomonde, so I’m fending for myself for dinner. I was tempted to have another bowl of Jeff’s Awesome White Bean and Potato Soup (entry forthcoming, that one’s for him to write), but I’d already had that for lunch… So, off to the fridge for inspiration.

I saw a bowl of Sourdough dough from Artisanal Bread in 5 minutes a day, remembered we had leftover Indian from the other day, and Aha! Inspiration. Time to make naan.

Per the book, I cut out of the herd (er, bowl) a peach-sized piece of dough and rolled it out.

Raw Dough with some flour sprinkled over, missing a chunk!

Raw Dough with some flour sprinkled over, missing a chunk!

Heated up the trusty iron skillet, and 5 minutes later (plus some butter, because it’s not naan without butter, don’t speak to me of calories or fat), it was dinner!

Dinner!  Saag paneer with homemade naan

Dinner! Saag paneer with homemade naan

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I bought Artisinal Bread in Five Minutes a Day the other day on the recommendation of my Mom. Where cooking’s concerned, if she recommends it, I know it’ll be pretty good. So far, I’ve had pizza dough from it, and I’ve made a big batch of the buttermilk bread dough on page 207. When I saw it say “mix the [active dry] yeast and the salt and the sugar together in the water” for proofing, I was dubious, but I didn’t divert from the recipe. I’ve made two loaves of bread and Tracey made a batch of naan in our cast iron skillet. This is fabulous bread dough.

I’m not sure what the secret of their method really is, but it works. I’m using Fleischmann’s Yeast, White Lilly flour, and some Celtic sea salt I found at Southern Season the other day, and it rose, fell, and rose again perfectly. The crumb was light and airy, with a strong hint of that ripe sourness of well-risen bread, even on the first day. The second loaf I made after going on a weekend trip, with leftover dough that I kept in the fridge (the recipe advises that it can be kept for up to 12 days without a refresher). That bread was absolutely magnificent.

I’ve done a lot of things to make better bread over the years. I’ve made sourdough starters that lasted for a couple of years, and I had a batch of champagne yeast I grew from organic grapes that turned out beautiful, consistent bread. I have to say that my best bread with those was better than the bread I made from this recipe, at least from the batch I made on the same day as I made the dough. But for the amount of work i had to put in, it was excellent bread.

I can’t speak yet for the other recipes in the book, but if they’re anything like the pizza dough and the buttermilk dough, this is going to be my go-to book for bread when I’m short on time from now on.