Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day…

14 Mar

This post could also be titled, “The Easiest and Best Bread Ever.” I’ve been making bread from this cookbook a few times a week for about three months now… and I can safely say the results are: 1) foolproof, as yes, I am not so very great at regular bread-making; 2) easy, as it really only takes minutes a day; and 3) delicious, as I haven’t actually *wanted* to buy any other bread, as this fulfills all cravings! I could go on, but really, you should just try it for yourself! The NY Times reviewed the book, and even provided the “master recipe” for you to try. So you can even test-drive the book, without having to buy anything. Which, actually, is how I stumbled across it. Afterwards, of course, I ran out to buy the book, and even bought a copy for my Mother. Who has also started baking a loaf or so every other day. What’s so fantastic about this book, besides how easy it makes it to bake bread at home every day, is that the authors, Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg are actively involved in promoting their book. They are on Twitter and Facebook, frequently answering any and all questions, and their website is the same, but it also has periodic articles on improvements, fixes, and new techniques. If something doesn’t work right for you, they are right there to help. They really back their method, and want it to work for you! I haven’t had an ounce of trouble, myself, but I have found a few of their articles super-helpful on helping me to perfect my technique!

Bran Enriched White Bread Dough

Bran Enriched White Bread Dough

Above is a picture of a batch of the Bran Enriched White Bread, during its initial rise. With Francois and Hertzberg’s method, you make a batch of this dough, let it rise initially for 2 or so hours, and then place it in the refrigerator. From the refrigerated dough, you can make 2-4 loaves of bread anytime over two weeks. Just remove the amount of dough you want, and let it rise for about 20 minutes while you preheat the oven, placing a pizza stone and broiler pan inside while pre-heating. Once risen, and the oven is preheated, place the dough on the stone and pour about a cup of water over the broiler pan, quickly closing the oven door to trap the steam inside. The steam is what makes the true, crispy, artisan crust on your bread. After about 30-40 minutes of baking, depending on the size of the loaf, your bread should look something like this!

The Finished Loaf

The Finished Loaf


15 Responses to “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day…”

  1. Joy March 16, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    Wow, your bread looks awesome!!! I’ll have to try that recipe next. 🙂

    • K March 16, 2009 at 11:14 am #


  2. Sara March 16, 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    I love the idea of being able to have fresh bread in less than an hour. I have seen this recipe making the rounds lately and will definitely be trying it out. Thanks!

    • K March 16, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

      Do! Can’t recommend it enough… :o)

  3. Steph March 16, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    I wish I could bake bread like that! It looks delicious. Everytime I see homemade bread, I think about bad supermarket bread I eat. Thanks for visiting!! I don’t subscribe to Cook’s Country, I just got the recipe from their website. They offer free recipes for their current season. Honestly, I don’t know if the magazine is good, but I hear on the bulletin board that they sometimes recycle recipes in newer issues of their mag. (not sure if its CI, CC or both). FOr me, I think buying their Best New Recipe book is good enough/.

    • K March 17, 2009 at 6:43 am #

      Steph – That’s completely what started me on this kick! The bad supermarket bread! Give it a shot, it honestly is super-easy.
      As for Cook’s Country, that’s good news on their free recipes…. especially as the way the magazine is presented didn’t really appeal to me, but a few recipes did seem intriguing… Thanks!

  4. Mrs Ergül March 17, 2009 at 1:12 am #

    I have just borrowed this book from the library for a second time. It is very informative. I love it.

    I am currently trying out the Master Recipe cuz I think that’s a proper start to mastering this bread-baking technique! My dough has been sitting in the fridge for 2 days now and I will start using it in a couple of days!

  5. Mrs Ergül March 17, 2009 at 1:13 am #

    And I forgot to say your loaf looks very good!

    • K March 17, 2009 at 6:41 am #

      Thanks! And glad you’re also enjoying the book so much! I also started with just the master recipe, and have been slowly branching out… so much fun to try them all, though!

  6. Helen (grabyourfork) March 18, 2009 at 12:12 am #

    I’ve never about the steam method before, but I’ll certainly try it to get that gorgeous crust. Looks yum. Will definitely give this one a whirl.

    • K March 18, 2009 at 6:35 am #

      There’s nothing better than that delicious crackly crust on bread… I’m still surprised that you can produce it at home! You’ll just love it!

  7. lisaiscooking March 18, 2009 at 9:10 am #

    Gorgeous loaf! Must have been delicious. I’m baking bread today but from a different book.

  8. Sylvia March 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm #

    This bred looks beautiful and delicious for sure. I´ll must try this recipe
    Thanks for share

  9. vincent March 26, 2009 at 5:03 pm #


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  10. RaiulBaztepo March 29, 2009 at 2:40 am #

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

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