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Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking Hardcover – November 13, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
While the phrase artisan bread typically evokes images of labor-intensive sessions and top-notch ingredients, for authors Hertzberg and François it means five minutes. An intriguing concept—high-quality, fresh bread in less time than it takes to boil water. The authors' promises of no kneading, no starter, no proofing yeast and no need for a bread machine is based on the concept of mixed and risen high-moisture dough stored in the fridge for up to two weeks (dough is cut into pieces and popped in the oven for fresh loaves as desired). Note: for those tracking minutes, the five-minutes doesn't include the 20-minute resting time for dough or 30 minutes for baking. After concise, introductory chapters on ingredients, equipment, and tips and techniques, readers are presented with the master recipe, a free-form loaf of French boule that is the model for all breads in the book. Three main chapters—Peasant Loaves, Flatbreads and Pizzas and Enriched Breads and Pastries—are filled with tempting selections and focus on ethnic breads and pastries including Couronne from France; Limpa from Scandinavia; Ksara from Morocco; Broa from Portugal; and Chocolate-Raisin Babka from the Ukraine, but the basics (Oatmeal Bread, Bagels, White Bread) are all here, too. A smattering of companion recipes such as Tuscan White Bean Dip and Portuguese Fish Stew are peppered throughout. While experienced bakers and true gourmands will skip this one, those looking for an innovative approach to making bread just might find it in these recipes. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Jeff Hertzberg is a physician with 20 years of experience in health care as a practitioner, consultant, & faculty member at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is also an ardent amateur baker. Hertzberg developed a love of great bread while growing up in New York City's ethnic patchwork of the 1960s and 70s, and he refined this love with extensive travel throughout France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Britain, and Morocco. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife and two daughters.
Zoë François is a pastry chef and baker trained at the Culinary Institute of America. With Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., she is the author of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Passionate about food that is real, healthy and always delicious, François teaches baking and pastry courses nationally, is a consultant to the food industry, and creates artful desserts and custom wedding cakes. She also writes the recipe blog Zoë Bakes. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband and two sons.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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1. Wet doughs can be difficult to handle, especially ones supplemented with whole wheat or rye flour. Many users may have problems manipulating the wet dough into shapes beyond the boule. The authors' pain epi only approximates the authentic shape and style of the prototypical loaf.
2. Even the pictures in the book show that the products have poor dough strength. Use good flours. Carefuly follow the directions to get good "oven spring." The more you manipulate this dough - the tougher the crust and crumb will be.
3. Corn meal burns. The wet dough resting on a peel prepared with corn meal or flour may stick to a wooden peel. Need quite a bit to keep the dough from sticking. I saw this in a TV interview with one of the authors - he had to use handfuls of corn meal see YouTube). I got better results and less mess with parchment paper. If you still want the corn meal look on the bottom of your loaf - spread a sparing amount on the parchment paper.
4. The recipes use a fair amount of yeast and salt. As such - poorly imitate traditional sourdoughs, poolish, levains or pre-ferments.
5. Because of the high percentage of water - you can imitate the ciabatta or italian breads pretty well - but don't expect the texture of other european breads.
6. The book title is misleading - no breads described in the book can be made in less than 60 minutes - and most need the 12-18 hour pre-fermentation stage.
The book presented interesting concepts for "no kneed" breads that seem to be the fad now. For real bread - you need to use your hands.
The authors claim the bread dough can stay good in the fridge for 2 wks, but I baked some dough after a week or so, and the bread came out gummy, overyeasted and unpalatable. There was no ovenspring whatsoever.
The authors also try to time how long it takes for the refrigerated dough to warm and rise while waiting to bake. These times can vary widely depending on house temperatures. Even with a maximum time period of 1 1/2 hrs (given on the book's website, not in the book), the dough may not be ready when it is popped into the oven. It then bakes up very dense--and this happened with one of my batches.
The book's website has posted a long errata sheet, with some major whoppers and adjustments. The amount of yeast in the recipes is wrong throughout the entire book (it should be 2 pkgs, not 1 1/2 pkgs). When the dough comes out of the refrigerator, it should rest for 40 mins to 1 1/2 hrs, not 40 mins. The amount of flour is wrong for one recipe. The oven temperature is wrong for another recipe. And so on.
Many people here have expressed happiness with their baking, and I'm glad for them. However, people interested in nontraditional methods for yeast bread should check out the NY Times No Knead Bread recipe, or Suzanne Dunaway's No Need To Knead cookbook, which, IMO, produce a better, more reliable loaf.
1) WEIGH YOUR INGREDIENTS! This is a cardinal rule of baking and one not to be flaunted. Buy a good scale -- it's as important as your baking stone.
2) Cut the salt and yeast called for by half: I use 10gm salt and 8gm yeast.
3) Preheat your oven for at least an hour at 500 degrees. A 20 minute preheat does NOTHING for your stone and bottom crust. Drop the temp to 450 when the bread goes in the oven.
4) I use Light Whole Wheat Bread on page 74 as my base recipe. The 140 grams of whole wheat flour kicks the flavor level up substantially.
5) Skip the cornmeal and go with parchment paper. SO much easier and no smoke in the kitchen.
6) Get a good instant-read thermometer. The bread is done when it reads 200 degrees. Another pricey tool but you'll soon find it indispensable.
Follow my recommendations and you'll get great bread with excellent top and bottom crust every time.
Here is the secret: make a multi-loaf batch of dough (google the no knead recipe), put it in the fridge, and when you want a loaf, cut off a 1 pound hunk, shape it, and bake. When the dough gets ugly, start over.
Most bakers know how to use refrigeration to build flavor. The Sullivan no knead recipe is brilliant in simplicity if you want to enjoy an crusty loaf. Cook's Illustrated tweaked the recipe a bit with the addition of beer and a few changes in technique, so there are plenty of ways to create great bread without spending a day baking or paying $20 for a vapid book that can be reduced to a few pages of insight (if that).
There are a number of truly great bread books: Hamelman, Silverton, Leader, Reinhart, etc. Don't waste your money on faddish fluff.
Based on the other reviews, the recipe must work sometimes, but after three times, I give up, and will not be purchasing this book (or the authors' other bread book).
The NYT/Jim Lahey no-knead bread recipe is easier and more fool-proof than this one.