OMG! This bread was the best bread I have ever made. The flavor was fantastic. The bread was crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I could have eaten the entire loaf by myself!
This is the first recipe that I have tried from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. The roasted garlic gave the bread a wonderful flavor – a nice mellow hint of garlic, not overpowering at all. I made the dough and only let it chill for about an hour – it was a sticky mess and I was skeptical, but it turned out to be the best I’ve ever made. I am still not convinced my dough was firm enough, but it turned out OK. I am definitely going to try this again. You must try it! It is so simple and SO good!
1 cup mashed potatoes (I cheated and bought some at the Publix deli)
6 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Roast a whole head of garlic by wrapping it in aluminum foil and baking for 30 minutes at 400. Allow to cool and cut off the top of the head. Squeeze out the roasted garlic, measure 2 Tbsp and set aside.
Mixing the dough: Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, mashed potato and roasted garlic with the water in a 5-quart bowl. Mix in the flour without kneading, using a spoon or stand mixer with dough hook. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), about 2 hours. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, although it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded container (not airtight) and use over the next 7 days.
On baking day: dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Allow to rest and rise for 1 hour (or just 40 minutes is you’re using fresh, unrefrigerated dough).
Twenty minutes before baking time, preheated oven to 450, with a baking stone places on the middle rack of the oven. Place a broiler tray for water on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bread. (**I skipped the baking stone preheating in the oven; I just made the dough into a ball on the stone and let it rise on the stone**)
Sprinkle the loaf liberally with flour and slash a cross into the top, using a serrated bread knife. Leave flour in place for baking, tap some of it off before eating. Slide the loaf onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the boiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until brown and firm. Allow to cool before eating.