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 2007 Reed Business Information
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Bakingby Jeff Hertzberg, Zoë François
For 30+ brand-new recipes and expanded ‘Tips and Techniques', check out The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, on sale now.
This is the classic that started it all – Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day has now sold hundreds of thousands of copies. With more than half a million copies of their books in print, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë Fran/p>… See more details below
For 30+ brand-new recipes and expanded ‘Tips and Techniques', check out The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, on sale now.
This is the classic that started it all – Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day has now sold hundreds of thousands of copies. With more than half a million copies of their books in print, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François have proven that people want to bake their own bread, so long as they can do it easily and quickly.
Crusty baguettes, mouth-watering pizzas, hearty sandwich loaves, and even buttery pastries can easily become part of your own personal menu, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day will teach you everything you need to know, opening the eyes of any potential baker.
Hertzberg, a health-care consultant, was determined to develop an easy way to make artisan-style bread at home. By chance, he met Francois, a pastry chef and cooking teacher, and together they developed "the secret" of this book-high-moisture doughs that can easily be mixed in large batches (most of the master recipes make enough for four loaves), then stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, ready for shaping and baking a loaf at a time. Kneading and allowing for a long rising time before baking aren't required. The authors include recipes for classic French breads, peasant loaves such as Portuguese Corn Bread, and a range of flatbreads, as well as some enriched breads and sweet pastries. There are also savory recipes made from bread, such as Panzanella, and accompaniments like Tuscan White Bean Dip. The authors' style is straightforward and unintimidating, and their book is sure to make many new bread-baking converts. For all baking collections.
- St. Martin's Press
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- NOOK Book
- Sales rank:
- File size:
- 1 MB
Read an Excerpt
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
By Jeff Hertzberg, Zoë François, Mark Luinenburg
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2007 Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François
All rights reserved.
* * *
The Secret to Making Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: Refrigerating Pre-Mixed Homemade Dough
Like most kids, my brother and I loved sweets, so dessert was our favorite time of day. We'd sit in the kitchen, devouring frosted supermarket doughnuts.
"Those are too sweet," my grandmother would say. "Me, I'd rather have a piece of good rye bread, with cheese on it."
Munch, munch, munch. Our mouths were full; we could not respond.
"It's better than cake," she'd say.
There's a certain solidarity among kids gorging on sweets, but secretly, I knew she was right. I could finish half a loaf of very fresh, very crisp rye bread by myself, with or without butter (unlike my grandmother, I considered cheese to be a distraction from perfect rye bread). The right stuff came from a little bakery on Horace Harding Boulevard in Queens. The shop itself was nondescript, but the breads were Eastern European masterpieces. The crust of the rye bread was crisp, thin, and caramelized brown. The interior crumb was moist and dense, chewy but never gummy, and bursting with tangy yeast, rye, and wheat flavors. It made great toast, too — and yes, it was better than cake.
The handmade bread was available all over New York City, and it wasn't a rarefied delicacy. Everyone knew what it was and took it for granted. It was not a stylish addition to affluent lifestyles; it was a simple comfort food brought here by modest immigrants.
I left New York in the late 1980s, and assumed that the corner bread shops would always be there, waiting for me, whenever I came back to visit. But I was wrong. As people lost interest in making a second stop after the supermarket just for bread, the shops gradually faded away. By 1990, the ubiquitous corner shops turning out great eastern, central, and southern European breads with crackling crusts were no longer so ubiquitous.
Great European breads, handmade by artisans, were still available, but they'd become part of the serious (and seriously expensive) food phenomenon that had swept the country. The bread bakery was no longer on every corner — now it was a destination. And nobody's grandmother would ever have paid six dollars for a loaf of bread.
I'd fly back to New York and wander the streets, bereft (well, not really). "My shop" on Horace Harding Boulevard had changed hands several times by 1990, and the bread, being made only once a day, was dry and didn't really have a lot of flavor. I even became convinced that we could get better bagels in Minneapolis — and from a chain store. Things were that grim.
So Zoë and I decided to do something about it. Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is our attempt to help people re-create the great ethnic breads of years past, in their own homes, without investing serious time in the process. Using our straightforward, fast, and easy recipes, anyone will be able to create artisan bread and pastry at home with minimal equipment. Our first problem was: Who has time to make bread every day?
After years of experimentation, it turns out that we do, and with a method as fast as ours, you can, too. We solved the time problem and produced top-quality artisan loaves without a bread machine. We worked out the master recipes during busy years of career transition and starting families (our kids now delight in the pleasures of home-baked bread). Our lightning-fast method lets us find the time to bake great bread every day. We developed this method to recapture the daily artisan bread experience without further crunching our limited time — and it works!
Traditional breads need a lot of attention, especially if you want to use a "starter" for that natural, tangy taste. Starters need to be cared for, with water and flour replenished from time to time. Dough needs to be kneaded until resilient, set to rise, punched down, allowed to rise again. There are boards and pans and utensils galore to be washed, some of which can't go into the dishwasher. Very few busy people can go through this every day, if ever. Even if your friends are all food fanatics, when was the last time you had homemade bread at a dinner party?
What about bread machines? The machines solve the time problem and turn out uniformly decent loaves, but unfortunately, the crust is soft and dull-flavored, and without tangy flavor in the crumb (unless you use and maintain time-consuming sourdough starter).
So we went to work. Over years, we found how to subtract the various steps that make the classic technique so time-consuming, and identified a few that couldn't be omitted.
And then, Zoë worked some pastry-chef magic: She figured out that we could use stored dough for desserts as well as for bread, applying the same ideas to sweet breads, rolls, and morning breads. It all came down to one fortuitous discovery:
Pre-mixed, pre-risen, high-moisture dough keeps well in the refrigerator.
This is the linchpin of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. By pre-mixing high-moisture dough (without kneading) and then storing it, daily bread baking becomes an easy activity; the only steps you do every day are shaping and baking. Other books have considered refrigerating dough, but only for a few days. Still others have omitted the kneading step, but none has tested the capacity of wet dough to be long-lived in your refrigerator. As our high-moisture dough ages, it takes on sourdough notes, reminiscent of the great European natural starters. When dough is mixed with adequate water (this dough is wetter than most you may have worked with), it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks (enriched or heavy doughs can't go that long but can be frozen instead). And kneading this kind of dough adds little to the overall product; you just don't have to do it. In fact, overhandling stored dough can limit the volume and rise that you get with our method. That, in a nutshell, is how you make artisan breads with the investment of only five minutes a day of active effort.
A one- or two-week supply of dough is made in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Measuring and mixing the dough takes less than 15 minutes. Kneading, as we've said, is not necessary. Every day, cut off a hunk of dough from the storage container and briefly shape it without kneading. Allow it to rest briefly on the counter and then toss it in the oven. We don't count the rest time (20 minutes or more depending on the recipe) or baking time (usually about 30 minutes) in our five-minute-a-day calculation since you can be doing something else while that's happening. If you bake after dinner, the bread will stay fresh for use the next day (higher-moisture breads stay fresh longer), but the method is so convenient that you probably will find you can cut off some dough and bake a loaf every morning, before your day starts. If you want to have one thing you do every day that is simply perfect, this is it!
* * *
Wetter is better: The wetter dough, as you'll see, is fairly slack, and offers less resistance to yeast's expanding carbon dioxide bubbles. So, despite not being replenished with fresh flour and water like a proper sourdough starter, there is still adequate rise on the counter and in the oven.
Using high-moisture, pre-mixed, pre-risen dough makes most of the difficult, time-consuming, and demanding steps in traditional bread baking completely superfluous:
1. You don't need to make fresh dough every day to have fresh bread every day: Stored dough makes wonderful fresh loaves. Only the shaping and baking steps are done daily, the rest has been done in advance.
2. You don't need a "sponge" or "starter": Traditional sourdough recipes require that you keep flour-water mixtures bubbling along in your refrigerator, with careful attention and replenishment. By storing the dough over two weeks, a subtle sourdough character gradually develops in our breads without needing to maintain sponges or starters in the refrigerator. With our dough-storage approach, your first loaf is not exactly the same as the last. It will become more complex in flavor as the dough ages.
3. It doesn't matter how you mix the dry and wet ingredients together: So long as the mixture is uniform, without any dry lumps of flour, it makes no difference whether you use a spoon, a high-capacity food processor, or a heavy-duty stand mixer. Choose based on your own convenience.
* * *
What We [Don't] Have to Do: Steps from Traditional Artisan Baking That We Omitted
1. Mix a new batch of dough every time we want to make bread
2. "Proof" yeast
3. Knead dough
4. Cover formed loaves
5. Rest and rise the loaves in a draft-free location — it doesn't matter!
6. Fuss over doubling or tripling of dough volume
7. Punch down and re-rise
8. Poke rising loaves to be sure they've "proofed" by leaving indentations
Now you know why it only takes 5 minutes a day, not including resting and baking time.
4. You don't need to "proof" yeast: Traditional recipes specify that yeast be dissolved in water (often with a little sugar) and allowed to sit for five minutes to prove that bubbles can form and the yeast is alive. But modern yeast simply doesn't fail if used before its expiration date and the baker remembers to use lukewarm, not hot water. The high-water content in our doughs further ensures that the yeast will fully hydrate and activate without a proofing step. Further storage gives it plenty of time to fully ferment the dough — our approach doesn't need the head start.
5. It isn't kneaded: The dough can be mixed and stored in the same resealable plastic container. No wooden board is required. There should be only one vessel to wash, plus a spoon (or a mixer). You'll never tell the difference between breads made with kneaded and unkneaded high-moisture dough, so long as you mix to a basically uniform consistency. In our method, a very quick "cloaking and shaping" step substitutes for kneading (see Chapter 5, Step 5).
6. High-moisture stored dough can't over-rise accidentally: Remember that you're storing it long-term anyway. You'll see a brisk initial rise at room temperature over two hours; then the risen dough is refrigerated for use over the next week or two. But rising longer won't be harmful; there's lots of leeway in the initial rise time.
* * *
Start a morning batch before work, bake the first loaf before dinner: Here's a convenient way to get fresh bread on the table for dinner. Mix up a full batch of dough before breakfast and store it in the refrigerator. The lukewarm water you used to mix the dough will provide enough heat to allow the yeast to do its thing over the eight hours till you're home. When you walk in the door, cloak and shape the loaf and give it a quick rest, then bake as usual. Small loaves, and especially flatbreads, can be on the table in 40 minutes or less.
Given these simple principles, anyone can make artisan bread at home. We'll talk about what you'll need in Chapters 2 (Ingredients) and 3 (Equipment). You don't need a professional baker's kitchen. In Chapter 4, you'll learn the tips and techniques that we've taken years to accumulate. Then, in Chapter 5, we'll lay out the basics of our method, applying them to ordinary white dough and several delicious bread variations. Chapter 5's master recipe is the model for the rest of our recipes. We suggest you read it first and bake some of its breads before trying anything else. You won't regret it.CHAPTER 2
* * *
Here's a very practical guide to the ingredients we use to produce artisan loaves. Great breads really only require four basic ingredients: flour, water, yeast, and salt. The rest is detail.
Flours and Grains
Unbleached, white, all-purpose flour: This is the staple ingredient for most of the recipes in this book. We can't detect much taste difference among the national brands or the specialty products. In general, use what you like.
Unbleached all-purpose flour is our number-one choice because of its medium- (rather than high) protein content, which in wheat is almost all gluten. Gluten is the elastic protein that sets up a network of invisible microscopic strands, allowing bread dough to trap the carbon dioxide gas produced by bread yeast. Without gluten, bread won't rise. That's why flours that contain only minimal gluten (like rye) need to be mixed with wheat flour to make a successful loaf. Traditional bread recipes stress the need to "develop" gluten through kneading, which turns out not to be an important factor.
With a protein/gluten content at around 10 percent in most national brands, unbleached, all-purpose flour will have adequate protein to create a satisfying "chew" (a certain resistance to the teeth), but will have a low enough protein content to prevent heaviness, which can be a problem in high-moisture artisan baking.
Don't use bleached flour. We prefer unbleached flours for their natural creamy color, not to mention our preference for avoiding unnecessary chemicals. Even more important, bleaching removes some of the protein, and that throws off our recipes. If you use bleached flour, your dough will be too wet. And cake or pastry flours are far too low in protein (around 8 percent) to make successful high-moisture dough.
Bread flour: Bread flour has about 12 percent protein. If you prefer extra-chewy bread, you can substitute bread flour for all-purpose by decreasing the amount slightly (by about a quarter cup for every six cups of white all-purpose flour in the recipe). For some loaves that really need to hold their shape well (like pain d'epí), bread flour is preferred and we call for it in the recipe. Be aware that King Arthur All-Purpose Flour has a protein content of 11.7 percent, solidly in the range of high-protein bread flour rather than all-purpose.
Whole wheat flour: Whole wheat flour contains both the germ and bran of wheat; both of which are healthful and tasty. Together they add a slightly bitter, nutty flavor to bread that most people enjoy. The naturally occurring oils in wheat germ prevent formation of a crackling crust, so you're going for a different type of loaf when you start increasing the proportion of whole wheat flour. In general, you can use any kind of whole wheat flour that's available to you. Stone-ground whole wheat flour will be a bit coarser and more rustic. Most whole wheat flour labels will not specify whether it's for bread (high protein), as opposed to all-purpose (usually lower in protein). Both will work well in our recipes. Most readily available whole wheat flour is all-purpose. Whole wheat pastry flour (also sometimes known as graham flour) is very low in protein but works fine when mixed with white flour. It's too low in protein to be used in 100 percent whole wheat, however.
Rye flour: Specialty catalogs offer a bewildering variety of rye flours. By our survey, it appears that one can get medium or dark rye flours, plus the very coarsely ground rye meal (sometimes labeled as pumpernickel or whole grain rye flour, depending on how coarsely it is ground). The flours have varying percentages of rye bran, but the labeling generally doesn't make this clear. Be aware, though, that the very coarse-ground, high-bran products will produce a coarser, denser loaf. Luckily, you will not be able to get overly persnickety about this ingredient, because in U.S. supermarkets, choices are usually limited to the high-bran, high-protein varieties. Typical choices include Hodgson Mill Stone-ground Whole Grain Rye and Bob's Red Mill Organic Stone-ground Dark Rye Flour. True "medium" rye, with reduced bran and protein, is available from King Arthur Flour (www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/) and it produces a rye loaf that's closer to commercial rye bread.
Semolina flour: Semolina is a major component of some Italian breads, where it lends a beautiful yellow color and spectacular flavor. The best semolina for bread is the finely ground "durum flour." It is available from Bob's Red Mill (often in groceries), or online or from mail-order sources such as King Arthur Flour (www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/).
Oats: We use rolled oats or oat flour in several recipes. It adds a wonderful hearty flavor and contributes to a toothsome texture, but it doesn't have any gluten content. So, like rye flour, it needs to be paired with all-purpose flour to produce a loaf that rises. Oat varieties sold as "old-fashioned" (indicating that they are not pre-cooked) are best.
Organic flours: We have to admit, we can't tell the difference from the standpoint of flavor or texture. If you like organic products, by all means use them (we often do). But they're not required, and they certainly cost more. One reason some people take up the bread-baking hobby is to be able to eat organic bread every day, as it is usually unavailable commercially or is prohibitively expensive. There are now a number of organic flour brands available in the supermarket, but the best selection remains at your local organic food co-op.
Excerpted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, Zoë François, Mark Luinenburg. Copyright © 2007 Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet 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.
Jeff Hertzberg, co-author of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, 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 Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and Pizza and Flatbread 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.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >