I was inspired to purchase a baking stone due to a renewed interest in pizza baking. What’s more, the weird, damp, cool spring temperatures we’ve been having make me want to run the oven each evening just to get a little extra blast of heat into the house. Hence, the bread baking.
While I might enjoy kneading dough and letting it spend the afternoon rising, I don’t enjoy waiting all afternoon to bake it. I’m more of an instant gratification kind of baker, and have found my match made in bread heaven: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (affiliate). The recipe for the base dough, or boule, is simple and easy to follow and bakes up into the most delicious crispy-outside-and-soft-inside bread that I almost don’t have to buy bread anymore.
I’ve played with the ingredients a bit and found that using white wheat flour results in nearly the same bread as using the white flour—and is more healthy. If you don’t have a baking stone, a cookie sheet placed upside-down in the oven on the lowest rack can work nearly as well, but if you’re really serious about good bread, a baking stone is worth the (ahem) dough.