The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Bakingby Jeff Hertzberg, Zoe Francois, Stephen Scott Gross (Photographer)
A fully revised and updated edition of the bestselling, ground-breaking Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Daythe revolutionary approach to bread-making
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.
A fully revised and updated edition of the bestselling, ground-breaking Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Daythe revolutionary approach to bread-making
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. Based on fan feedback, Jeff and Zoë have completely revamped their first, most popular, and now-classic book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.
Responding to their thousands of ardent fans, Jeff and Zoë returned to their test kitchens to whip up more delicious baking recipes. They've also included a gluten-free chapter, forty all-new gorgeous color photos, and one hundred informative black-and-white how-to photos. They've made the "Tips and Techniques" and "Ingredients" chapters bigger and better than ever before, and included readers' Frequently Asked Questions.
This revised edition also includes more than thirty brand-new recipes for Beer-Cheese Bread, Crock-Pot Bread, Panini, Pretzel Buns, Apple-Stuffed French Toast, and many more. There's nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread to fill a kitchen with warmth, eager appetites, and endless praise. Now, using Jeff and Zoë's innovative technique, you can create bread that rivals those of the finest bakers in the world in just five minutes of active preparation time.
“A fun, easy-to-follow collection for those who aren't afraid to shun baking traditions.” Publishers Weekly
“With this revised edition, Herzberg and François continue to perfect their already easy and immensely popular bread-baking method. Essential.” Library Journal
Every step of Zoë and Jeff's adventures in bread has been fascinating and delicious for us, the home bread bakers who follow them, but this book might be their most exciting yet because they've incorporated years of readers' questions, problems, and discoveries into every chapter. This is truly the all-you've-ever-wanted-to-know edition. And there are plenty of photographs … at last!
First published in 2007, this work has become one of the best-selling bread cookbooks of all time. Responding to years of feedback from readers, fans, and the online community, the authors have updated the original to include new recipes and photos, weight measurements, a better index, and a gluten-free chapter. They've also improved introductory chapters ("Ingredients," "Equipment," "Tips and Techniques") to address seemingly every question readers may have. VERDICT With this revised edition, Hertzberg and François continue to perfect their already easy and immensely popular bread-baking method. Essential for public libraries.
- St. Martin's Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Second Edition, Revised
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.72(w) x 9.42(h) x 1.56(d)
Read an Excerpt
Making Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: Refrigerating Pre-Mixed Homemade Dough
Like most kids, Jeff and his brother loved sweets, so dessert was their favorite time of day. They’d sit in the kitchen, devouring frosted supermarket doughnuts.
“Those are too sweet,” Grandmother would say. “Me, I’d rather have a piece of good rye bread, with cheese on it.”
Munch, munch, munch. Their mouths were full; the boys could not respond.
“It’s better than cake,” she’d say.
There’s a certain solidarity among kids gorging on sweets, but secretly, Jeff knew she was right. He could finish half a loaf of very fresh, very crisp rye bread by himself, with or without butter (unlike Grandma, Jeff 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 crusts were crisp, thin, and caramelized brown. The interior crumb was moist and 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.
But over the years people lost interest in making a second stop just for bread, and the shops mostly faded away. Great 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.
So we decided to do something about it. Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is our attempt to help people re-create the great ethnic and American 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 pastries at home with minimal equipment. But 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 made the old-fashioned way 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 on a schedule. Dough must 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 solved 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 (the bread’s soft interior), unless you use and maintain time-consuming sourdough starter.
So we went to work. Over the years, we figured out how to subtract the various steps that make the classic technique so time-consuming, and identified a few that couldn’t be omitted. 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 and American 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, over-handling 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 only five minutes a day of active effort.
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, especially in the oven.
A one- or two-week supply of dough is made in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Measuring and mixing the large batch of dough takes less than fifteen 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 (twenty minutes or more depending on the recipe) or baking time (usually about thirty 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 (especially if you make flatbreads like pita). If you want to have one thing you do every day that is simply perfect, this is it.
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 the need to maintain sponges or starters in the refrigerator. With our dough-storage approach, your first loaf is not exactly the same as the last. Its flavor will become more complex as the dough ages. Some of our readers like to stagger their batches so they are always baking with dough that has aged at least a few days—we love that strategy.
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, Danish dough whisk (here), a heavy-duty stand mixer, or a high-capacity food processor. 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. Rest and rise the loaves in a draft-free location—it doesn’t matter
5. Fuss over doubling or tripling of dough volume
6. Punch down and re-rise: Never punch down stored dough
7. Poke rising loaves to be sure they’ve “proofed” by leaving indentations
Now you know why it only takes five minutes a day, not including resting and baking time.
4. You don’t need to “proof” yeast: Traditional recipes require that yeast be dissolved in water 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 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 lidded 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).
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 until 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 twenty minutes or less. You can do the same thing with an after-dinner start on the dough—it’s ready the next morning.
6. It’s hard to over-rise high-moisture stored dough: Remember that you’re storing it anyway. Assuming you start with lukewarm (not cold) water, you’ll see a brisk initial rise at room temperature over two hours (don’t punch down); then the risen dough is refrigerated for use over the next week or two. But rising longer (even as long as eight hours) won’t be harmful; there’s lots of leeway in the initial rise time. The exception is dough made with eggs or dairy, which should complete its rising in the refrigerator if it goes beyond two hours.
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 have taken us years to accumulate. Then, in Chapter 5 (The Master Recipe), we’ll lay out the basics of our method, applying them to a simple white dough and several delicious variations. Chapter 5’s master recipe is the model for the rest of our recipes. We suggest you read it carefully and bake it first before trying anything else. You won’t regret it. And if you want more information, we’re on the Web at BreadIn5.com, where you’ll find instructional text, photographs, videos, and a community of other five-minute bakers. Other easy ways to keep in touch: follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/ArtisanBreadIn5, on Facebook at Facebook.com/BreadIn5, on Pinterest at Pinterest.com/BreadIn5, or on our YouTube channel, YouTube.com/BreadIn5.
Visit BreadIn5.com, where you’ll find recipes, photos, videos, and instructional material.
Copyright © 2013 by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François
Meet the Author
Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. has been a physician, university professor, information technology consultant, and ardent amateur baker. He developed a love of great bread growing up in New York City in the 1960s and '70s and began traveling to bread-loving countries like France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Britain, and Morocco, to sample and learn. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two daughters.
Zoë François is a pastry chef and baker trained at the Culinary Institute of America. In addition to writing best-selling cookbooks, she creates tasty desserts on her pastry blog ZoeBakes.com, as well as for the Cooking Channel, General Mills, and many national magazines. Zoë lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two sons.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I bought the original Artisan Bread in 5 minutes and loved the bread recipes. On TV I happened to see a live demonstration from the authors regarding the new bread book and I couldn't wait to get it on my Nook. I was very disappointed to say the least very, very few new recipes and again the same filler recipes for soup, dip, marmalade, sandwiches. Good recipes but I have other cookbooks for that. An advertised Bread book should be predominately about bread recipes. This is more like a Bread making & Entertaining book. Like the title, I thought this would be completely about making different breads. If you haven't bought the original than this "new" book might just be to your liking.
Fun book and fun recipes, beautiful bread photos. Even a novice baker can make great homemade bread. It really is possible to have freshly made bread any time of the day. I have two different bread doughs in my refrigerator and plan to start baking now. Gotta go.
This book has started a new tradition in our household. Fresh bread almost every day. The bit about five minutes? That would be correct. A few minutes of prep time each day, then a half hour in the oven and we get a great loaf of fresh bread. The bread is better than almost every recipe one I've tried. Only Julia Child's French bread is better, but that takes a couple of hours of hard work. Five minutes for near perfection is good fore me. On those rare days when there is a left over slice ... strawberry jelly on toast. Heaven.
I'm having great fun with baking the recipes from this book. I particularly enjoy peasant bread style artisan loaves. The hurdles on the path to a good, reliable loaf are easy to clear with the approach the authors have taken. The only downside is that the Nook version of the book has been very clumsily constructed. The content navigation takes you only to the first of each of the very long chapters. The individual recipes within each chapter then have to be traversed sequentially.
This book caught my eye with the easiness and away to have fresh bread every few days. I was not disappointed.n it is well written and easy to follow. It seemed to easy. Baked my first loaf yesterday and my husband the bread expert just loved it. I will work my way to other breads. I plan on dipping a loaf off for my grandaughters to bake so the can make mommy a surprise with dinner. At 4 and 2 they love bread and love to bake, wven they can join in.
Amazon has it for $15.95!