Last Christmas I got a book that changed the way I cook: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I think I "might" have mentioned it on this blog a "few" times.
I was not a bread baker until this book came into my life. (I know, "came into my life" sounds like I'm describing a love affair. And...I am.) From pizza to bagels to cinnamon rolls to braided challah to crusty white bread to breadsticks to...well, you get the picture...I've become a baker of really great bread, thanks to the techniques of Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoe Francois.
So of course I was a bit giddy with excitement when book #2 arrived in the mail last week.
Now, I admit I was a little nervous about Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I've had good luck with most of the recipes I've tried from the original book...but really never loved loved the 100% whole wheat recipe; it was just too dense for my taste. I was hoping that the second book would feature healthy recipes that also had a fantastic texture and flavor.
And so far...wow. This book has really come through for me! Jeff and Zoe have come up with recipes that are healthy but also incredibly tasty.
Here's the idea behind both books: You make up a large, wet batch of dough. Stir it up, no kneading required. Let it rise, and then store it in the fridge. The wet dough is designed to be used over the course of up to two weeks (depending on the recipe.) On baking day, preparing a loaf takes less than five minutes (not including resting/rising time and baking time.) Please note many of these loaves are baked with steam, and you should not use an "oven-safe" glass dish for your water/steam. You can read about my explosive experience here.
The first HBin5 recipe I tried was Apples and Honey Whole Grain Challah (p. 262.) I love the challah recipe in the original book, so I thought this would be a good one to try. It's made with 5 cups whole wheat flour and 3 cups unbleached white flour, and has the added goodness of wheat germ and apple chunks. Instead of butter, I used canola oil (one of the options provided in the recipe.)
I made four of these turban-shaped loaves and later used the rest of the dough to make a good-sized loaf in a normal loaf pan. This bread was a hit. I brought it to a church function, and we all loved it. The apple chunks and eggs in the dough gave it a fantastic texture and flavor; it tastes decadent, even though it's healthy.
Next I tried the Master Recipe (p. 54, and also on the Artisan Bread in Five blog.) This is a very simple, very healthy recipe, with almost three times as much whole wheat flour as white flour. I made a seed mixture with poppy, white sesame, black sesame, and sunflower seeds to use as the topping (optional but awesome.)
Once again, it did not disappoint--it was great! The bread was not too dense, and the seed topping really gave it an incredible flavor. This would make a delicious sandwich loaf too. The book gives plenty of other uses for the master recipe dough, and I have a lot of it waiting for me in the fridge, so I'll be doing more experimenting this week.
I highly recommend both of these books. Each stands alone; you don't have to buy the first book to get great use out of the second. I'd suggest you buy both, but I'm, of course, a fanatic! Thanks to the authors' blog, you can try the Master Recipe and the Whole Grain Brioche recipe for free, as well as various recipes from the first book. But really, the blog doesn't replace the books; it supplements them. Nothing beats having over 200 recipes at your fingertips, along with the extra information and instructions in the books.
And now to the really exciting part...
St. Martin's Press has provided one copy of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day for a lucky reader of C. Beth Blog!
Here's how you enter:
Leave a comment here telling why you'd like to have 100 healthy bread recipes. Please only leave ONE comment.
To get extra comments, spread the word about the giveaway (via Twitter, Facebook, your blog, word of mouth, billboards, etc.!) Make sure anyone who hears about it from you gives you credit in your comment! You'll get an extra entry for each person who mentions you in their entry.
I will randomly choose a winner on Friday, November 6. I'll close the comments before choosing a winner.
Open to anyone with a U.S. or Canadian mailing address. If you are from a different country, feel free to enter, and if it costs over US$10 to mail the book, I'll ask you to kindly cover the excess.
And remember, if you are entering because you heard about the contest from someone, be sure to mention them in your comment!
*Disclosure:While the publisher provided me with a free copy of this book for the giveaway, I was not compensated in any other way. I purchased my personal copies of both books.