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Healthy (homemade) Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Is it possible to enjoy fresh-baked, healthy, whole grain bread with just five minutes prep time each day?
Yes. YES! Five minutes--or less--is all you need to spend each day to get fresh, hot, healthy bread popping out of your oven. Who doesn't love that aroma?
That's the main reason Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., is one of my favorite cookbooks.
Now, that's five minutes or less prep time, of course. It takes a little more time than that for the yeast and the oven to do their work--operable words here, "do their work"--while you do something else.
Then there's that other word in the title, "healthy." Can fast bread be healthy? Oh yes. Absolutely. Healthy grains high in fiber, not too much fat or too much sugar, tasty, crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, delicious all over, and good for you too--that's what you will find in every recipe.
Since buying this book, I've made hundreds of loaves of sweet and savory breads, as well as homemade croissants, pizzas, bread sticks, all involving no more than a few minutes prep time.
Bonus reason to love it: If you, like me, are working to cut down on the plastic in your life, this little book will help you eliminate all those plastic bread bags.
Tested and re-tested, with plenty of tips for success
The authors tested their recipes over and over and over, in their own small kitchens, so you know they will work in yours. Plus, they provide loads of tips to help us understand the science of bread making, not too technical, but just enough to make artisan bread makers of us all.
Imagine coming home from work and popping a vibrant, homemade pizza in the oven minutes later. You can do that because the dough is all ready to go.All you need are the toppings. (A jar of organic spaghetti sauce, a bag of shredded cheese, and some pre-cut veggies make for a super-quick homemade pizza.)
Maybe you need a quick gift to take to a shut-in on the weekend, or to the young parents who just brought their first baby home from the hospital. In two hours, start to finish, and with only one or two minutes of your time, you can carry a fresh-baked loaf of bread to your friend.
Need some gluten-free options? They're here.
Interested in experimenting with other grains, such as spelt or rye, or with nut flowers? You'll find recipes with those too, tested ones.
Look inside the book right now
To preview some of the recipes and tips in the book, follow the link above. You can flip through pages much as you would in the bookstore.
With these recipes, I've made homemade rye with caraway seeds--a personal favorite--and lots of other whole grain breads, every last one of them mouthwatering good. You can too.
Take them to work for a staff treat, or to a potluck. Always a hit. For the holidays, I made a gorgeous braided fruit bread, which is a lovely hostess gift.
Below are a few examples, in pictures. I wish I'd taken more, but this will give you an idea.
Paper is so passé
Save trees. Save shipping fuel and costs. Save the environment.Get the e-book version and read it on your tablet.
With a handy stand or mount for your slim iPad or e-reader, you'll never need to wrestle with a bulky cookbook in the kitchen again, so go ahead. Get the e-book version.
It comes with all the photographs and sketches, plus you can make notes!
Illustrations and examplesClick thumbnail to view full-size
How it works
In this video, filmed in co-author Zoe Francois's tiny apartment kitchen, she and fellow author Jeff Hertzberg show us how they make beautiful breads from measuring the ingredients to eating a chunk of fresh-baked loaf--and we get a peek at some of the gorgeous results of their recipes.
To use this book, you will need at least one essential tool
When I bought the book, I did not have the one item I needed most for these recipes--a 5-quart container with a lid, and I did not want plastic!
After a good deal of searching, I found a set of high-grade stainless steel mixing bowls with air-tight lids that included a 5-quart bowl.
What a difference they make! You know how it is. You pre-mix a sauce or measure all the dry ingredients for a cake you plan to bake when you get home from work. Then you transfer the mixture to a container with an air-tight lid so it will keep nicely.
In these bowls, I can whip up almost anything ahead of time, pop the lid on, and no muss no fuss till I'm ready to pull it out of the fridge or pantry and take the next step.
I don't care to store my food in plastic; this food-grade stainless steel set had the highest stainless rating I could find; I love how deep the bowls are and that they have non-slip silicone on the bottom so I can whisk and beat without the bowl slipping.
A pizza stone makes bread baking so much more rewarding
Another essential tool is the pizza stone, which helps make your breads crispy on the outside, tender and moist on the inside. This is the one I have used for years.
We do, indeed, use the stone to make pizza. What wonderful crusts we get! I've had some pizza filling spill over onto the stone. One mess was so bad that we couldn't use the stone until we cleaned it, and that goo was baked on hard.
Thankfully, the oven needed cleaning, and we are fortunate to have a self-cleaning oven. I laid the stone on the bottom rack, set the cycle, locked the oven door, and four hours later, I brushed some ash off the stone, and it was good as new.
Thank you for visiting this page. I hope it has been useful to you. Please sign my guestbook and share some of your bread making stories, or tell me what you think of the book.
© 2013 Kathryn Grace