Cathy Drabkin, who operates a home bakery in Hays, Kansas, adapted this low-key dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Minnesotans Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François. The recipe is for an all-white dough shaped into round boules but you can create specialty loaves by adding whole-grain flours, seeds or fruit and shaping the loaves differently.
HONEY-WHEAT: Prepare dough as directed, but in Step 1, swap out 2 cups (245g) all-purpose flour for whole-wheat flour. Add 2 tablespoons (35g) honey with the water. If dough seems dry or stiff after stirring, add 1 to 2 tablespoons (14 to 28g) water.LIGHT RYE: Prepare dough as directed, but in Step 1, swap out 1 cup (120g) of all-purpose flour for rye flour, and add 2 tablespoons (14g) toasted caraway seeds and 2 teaspoons (7g) sugar with the dry ingredients.
Change the Shape
BAGUETTES: Prepare dough (white, Honey-Wheat or Light Rye) through Step 2. After the overnight rest, turn dough out onto a floured surface and divide into three portions, each roughly 350g. Pat each portion into a 6x4-inch rectangle. With the long edge facing you, fold the bottom third of the dough up on itself, then bring the top third down, as if folding a letter. Using the side of your hand, press a trench down the length of the folded dough. Press the ridges you've created together with the heel of your hand, creating a tube. Working from the center, roll the tube into a 16- to 18-inch log, with tapered or blunt ends. (Do not exceed the length of your baking stone.) Lightly flour an 18-inch-long sheet of parchment paper; place logs, evenly spaced, on paper. Lift and crease paper between logs to form pleats, so that the logs nestle closely with parchment ridges separating them; place tightly rolled kitchen towels under the long edges of the paper to support the outside loaves. Let rise, loosely covered, until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. With a baker's lame or sharp knife, make 5 to 7 diagonal cuts on tops of loaves. Remove towels and pull paper to separate loaves. Transfer loaves (on paper) to a preheated baking stone. Bake at 450°, with steam, until crisp and golden, about 18 minutes. ROLLS: Prepare dough (white, Honey-Wheat or Light Rye) through Step 2. After the overnight rest, turn dough out onto a floured surface and divide a full batch of dough into 12 rolls, each about 100g. (If you've added seeds, fruit or nuts, a full batch of dough may yield one or two more rolls.) Bring sticky edges of each roll up towards the center, pinching in the middle. Remove excess flour from work area. Flip each roll over, and tighten by rotating a few times clockwise on the surface between your hands, taking advantage of the stickiness of the bottom to pull the edges underneath, so it draws up into a perky ball. Arrange rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Slash the tops of each roll with a baker's lame or sharp knife. Transfer rolls (on pan) to a preheated baking stone (if you have one). Bake at 375°, with steam, 20 minutes.PAN LOAF: Prepare dough (white, Honey-Wheat or Light Rye) through Step 2. After the overnight rest, portion out 877g dough. (This is about two-thirds of a full batch of dough. Save the rest for a baguette, a pizza crust, or a few rolls or pitas.) Roll into a roughly 16x8-inch rectangle. Bring the short sides into the center and pinch the seam, then roll into a log. (Do not exceed 9 inches long.) Place in a greased 9x5-inch loaf pan, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If desired, brush top with egg wash for shine. Bake at 400°, without steam, 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Continue baking until golden and the internal temperature is 200°, about 30 minutes more. Gently tip loaf from pan and let cool on a wire rack.PITA BREAD: Prepare dough (white or Honey-Wheat) through Step 2. After the overnight rest, divide dough into 85 to 100g portions, each a roughly 2-inch ball. Roll or stretch into 5- to 7-inch circles. Place on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat. If you like, brush with olive oil and top with sesame seeds and sea salt. Bake at 500°, without steam, 5 minutes. (Pitas brushed with oil won't inflate to form pockets, but they're great for cutting into wedges to eat with hummus.)
Bake a Specialty Loaf
FRUIT AND NUT BREAD: Prepare dough (white or Honey-Wheat) through Step 1. Toast and coarsely chop 1 1/3 cups (140g) nuts, such as walnuts or pecans. Soak 1 cup (140g) dried fruit--such as black or golden raisins, dried cranberries and/or chopped apricots--in warm water 20 minutes; drain well. In Step 2, sprinkle nuts and fruit over dough before the first stretch-and-fold. Proceed with recipe, shaping into boules, pan loaves or rolls.SEEDED BREAD: Prepare dough (white, Honey-Wheat or Light Rye) through Step 1. Toast 3/4 cup (100g) mixed seeds (such as sunflower kernels, pepitas, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and flaxseeds). In Step 2, sprinkle seeds over dough before the first stretch-and-fold. Proceed with recipe, shaping into boules, baguettes or rolls. Before baking, brush loaves with water and sprinkle generously with one or more of the seeds (untoasted).CHEDDAR-JALAPEÑO PINWHEELS: Prepare dough with all-purpose flour through Step 2. After the overnight rest, divide dough into two portions, each a bit more than 600g. On a lightly floured surface, press or roll one portion of dough into a 15x10-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup sliced jalapeño peppers (fresh or canned, drained and patted dry). From a long end, roll up like a jelly roll; pinch to seal. Slice into six to eight rounds. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dough or use remaining dough for another project. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Bake at 375°, without steam, 20 minutes.FOCACCIA: Prepare dough with all-purpose flour, but when adding water in Step 1, add 2 tablespoons (28g) additional water and 1 tablespoon (15g) olive oil. Generously coat lidded container with 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45g) olive oil instead of cooking spray. (This oil will be incorporated into dough during stretch-and-fold.) After the overnight rest, turn dough out onto a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Or divide dough in half and bake smaller focaccias in 13x9-inch pans.) Press into a large oval or rectangle and let rise until very soft and puffy, about 2 hours. Top with chopped fresh rosemary, thinly sliced red onion and flaky sea salt. (Olives and dried tomatoes are also good toppings.) Drizzle with olive oil, then dimple the surface all over with your fingertips. (Don't be shy: Really get your fingers into the dough.) Bake at 450°, without steam, 15 to 20 minutes.PIZZA: Prepare dough (white or Honey-Wheat) through Step 2. About 90 minutes before baking, divide a full batch of dough into four or five portions, each 250 to 300g. Loosely cover. While dough rests, prepare toppings. Dust a peel or rimless baking sheet with cornmeal or flour. Working with one portion at a time, place dough on peel and gently stretch into a roughly 10-inch circle. Top and bake at 500°, without steam, on a preheated baking stone and/or overturned sheet pan 8 to 10 minutes.
57 calories; carbohydrates 12g; protein 2g; vitamin a 0.3IU; thiamin 0.1mg; riboflavin 0.1mg; niacin equivalents 1mg; folate 30.9mcg; sodium 57mg; potassium 18mg; calcium 3mg; iron 1mg.