Recently, I heard about a couple of books that were supposed to help a person learn to make bread in just five minutes a day; it was supposed to not only help the budget, but the bread would be made from my own hands, which meant that I would know every ingredient that was going into that bread. So, I decided to reserve the books at my library....I waited, and I waited, but still no books; there were actually 16 holds on one of them. Was I ever happy when I received both books in the mail from St. Martin's Press. My goal with the book was to be able to make my own bread, without having to buy it in the store, which can get quite expensive.
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoe Francois, seeks to help the reader make their own bread in, literally, five minutes every day. It is a no-knead concept....so, that long and messy step is completely eliminated in the bread making process. By pre-mixing high-moisture dough (without kneading) and then storing it, daily bread baking becomes an easy activity. Most of the recipes in the book call for only a small portion of the dough that you are mixing up, and the rest is stored in the refrigerator for other days through the week. That dough can usually be refrigerated for up to 12-14 days, which gives you time to use it without the hassle of mixing.
I actually tried The Master Recipe in the book yesterday; it's a recipe for a French boule. It was the absolute quickest I have ever made bread. With only 5 ingredients, it was super easy to mix up (no sifting involved either), and then I actually shaped a loaf and baked it, storing the rest of the dough in the refrigerator. This batch of dough will actually make four 1-pound loaves. After I mixed the dough, I just had to let that dough rise for about 2 hours. Then I took my portion of dough out (about a grapefruit-sized piece), and shaped it, leaving that to rise for just a little bit (the book says to let rise for 40 minutes, but I let it go longer because I got busy with other things). Then all that was left was baking. Once it was baked, I forgot to take a picture of the finished loaf (I could kick myself), but it was delicious. It was also really pretty....there's a small decorative step in the recipe to make it look even more professional. My husband and I always have a hard time making bread that isn't completely dense all the way through, but this was actually really light and good. It had a great texture to it; he even commented on that last night. I don't know about you, but there's nothing quite like having the smell of fresh baked bread waft through the house on a cold winter's day, so I'm pretty excited about this book. It can actually help me to make bread in very little time, which is important to us, as we are so super busy....
With recipes for all kinds of professional looking breads, this book is a great find. There are a few pictures throughout the book, with a section of colored pictures in the very middle. Here are just a few of the recipes included in this book:
- Crusty White Sandwich Loaf
- Onion Rye
- Pumpernickel Bread
- 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
- Vermont Cheddar Bread
- Pita Bread
- Pecan Caramel Rolls
- Chocolate Bread
- Braided Raspberry Almond Cream Pastry
Another book I received, with the same concept, was Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoe Francois. This book takes the focus and places it on more healthy breads for a healthy lifestyle....but still recipes that you can make in just a short time every day. It has a section on breads with hidden fruits and vegetables, as well a section for gluten-free recipes. In front of each book are chapters on ingredients and equipment you will need, as well as a chapter on some of the different techniques that are used throughout the book. This gives you time to see how it all works before you even start to make a recipe. It also allows you to see if you need anything before you dive headfirst into a new recipe. I found, though, that I could use what I had in my kitchen, with just a little improvisation.
You will find more healthy recipes in this book, including the following:
- Wreath Bread
- Cinnamon-Raisin Whole Wheat Bagels
- Red Beet Buns
- Zucchini Flatbread
- Grissini (Olive Oil Bread Sticks)
- Indian Spiced Whole Grain Doughnuts
- 100% Whole Wheat Christmas Stollen
- Pear Tarte Tatin
- Cinnamon Crescent Rolls
- Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes
- 100% Whole Wheat Bread
....and many more. You can read more about these books on the Artisan Bread website.
You can actually win this copy of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day! Believe me, I had a hard time choosing which book to give away because both of them are wonderful! To enter, you can do one or more of the following, below. Just be sure to enter a separate comment for each thing that you do. I will choose the winner on Thursday, November 12, using Random.org. Check out the following ways to enter:
1) Leave me a comment letting me know what you think about this book and which recipe from above you might try first if you were to win.
2) Blog about this giveaway on your blog, being sure to link back to Real Heart Prints.
3) Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter.
4) Follow my blog, or subscribe to my posts (only if you like it).
5) Be sure to check out the Artisan Bread website, find a post that is very interesting to you, and leave them a comment.
7) Place my blog button on your site (only if you really want to); it's located in my sidebar.
Most of all, have a wonderful day, and be ready for wonderful, fresh-baked bread, easily made, if you're our winner!
(Disclosure: These books were provided to me, free of charge, by St. Martin's Press.)