A few weeks back I was in the middle of going from bookstore to bookstore searching for a different cookbook and I kept stumbling upon this little gem:
Call me crazy, but I didn't think it was possible. Good bread. Quick. Easy. Sounds too good to be true. I've tried my hand at baking my own bread a few times in the past without much success. Don't even ask me about the weeks we spent trying to start our own starter. It was not pretty. But, I figured it was worth a shot. One request from the library and 6 days later and I was staring down the bread-making barrel.
The first recipe in the book is a free-form loaf called a Boule. It's so simple that after only two batches of my own I can recite the recipe from memory. I'm still working on my "cloaking" technique and batch number one was a bit too dense, but this recipe really was crazy easy. It takes about 4 hours to get your batch going (only about 10 minutes of active work, the rest just waiting) and then you've got dough for four loaves ready to toss is the oven anytime over the next 14 days.