We are back, with bread

May 25, 2010

I’m sorry. I ran out of steam and ideas. And I had a crisis of conscience about not actually being poor*, or indeed consistently frugal. On the other hand there’s a lot of people posting cat pictures who aren’t themselves cats. Anyway, I have decided to get back on this frugal-blogging horse, and I have taken the precaution of preparing a few posts in advance to tide me over the dry patches.

Just to get the ball rolling again, right now this very second, I have bread on. Yeah, I know, bread, we’ve done that to death, who has time apart from childless yuppies and the unemployed? However…

… this is different, honest, in that it involves five minutes a day. Many things are achievable in five minutes a day, supposedly, but this is for real. Unlike the difficult path of dynamic tension, the results are immediate and gratifying.

The basic idea is that you mix a BIG batch of dough. You don’t bother kneading it. You keep it in the fridge, and once it’s had a day to get going, you just take a portion for a small loaf, shape it, and bake it. It’s the NYT no-knead bread approach taken to an extreme. And it works.

You can read about the rest here. (Update: this link went to the wrong place before, but I’ve fixed it now.)

The authors don’t make any claims about the properties of the bread, other than it being delicious, but I’m hearing a lot recently about long fermentation improving digestibility and making bread tolerable for people who can’t cope with bread made by the dreadful Chorleywood process.

But anyway, it tastes great, and the time taken brings this out of the hobby category and firmly into the money-saving.

Do excuse me. I have something in the oven.

* I live in fear of turning into Muriel Newman.



  1. Yum – I definitely need to find a large vessel that fits in the fridge and try this out. That Chorleywood page is fairly horrible, huh.

  2. I live in fear of turning into Muriel Newman.

    You should hear what she says about you 🙂

    • i stopped following her tweets because of what she said about stephen.

      and i’n not blogging because i’ve also run out of ideas.

      • What? Muriel Newman didn’t really say something about me, did she? I would have assumed my humble efforts were beneath her notice.

      • face it stephen, your work is like an oily rag to a bull.

  3. The link to read about the rest goes back to tomheroes.com.

    How many days could a batch last? 5?

    Chorleywood sounds like the industrial bread equivalent of continious fermentation.

    • I fixed the link. Can’t believe you’re the first person to point that out!

      I think a batch of dough could easily last a week, although I think that would have to be so big that I wouldn’t have room for it. Certainly I have gone as far as five days and it still tastes good and has good texture. What I notice is a distinctly “bready” flavour which I associate with classy bakeries.

      • The dough can also be frozen in 1-pound portions in an airtight container and defrosted overnight in the refrigerator prior to baking day.

        Wow, thats a game-changer.

  4. Glad you folks are back and will try the bread but as for the crisis of conscience, didn’t you notice that the wealthy are notoriously tight?

    • i’m thinking of blogging exactly that. some are frugal because they have to. others are frugal because they just don’t like spending.

      • As long as you don’t forget us “have tos” 🙂

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