Our friends Brookes and Drew, a married couple with no kids, come over about once a week, hang out with our family and make us a delicious meal. Amazing right? They are pretty much the only reason we aren’t hermits. Get some of these kind of friends… right now… seriously. Ok, so now I just feel like I’m bragging but with these gorgeous meals, they often bring dough, which they bake into fresh bread before our very eyes, right there in our oven! Then they serve it up with a bowl of pot roast or a smear of fresh brie… but I digress.
Brookes swears by Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking for great results in bread baking. It’s been around for a few years, have you heard of it? The authors, Jeff Hertzberg MD and Zoe Francois, also maintain a robust website that picks up where the book leaves off with more tips, information and recipes.
The description states:
While the phrase artisan bread typically evokes images of labor-intensive sessions and top-notch ingredients, for authors Hertzberg and François it means five minutes. An intriguing concept—high-quality, fresh bread in less time than it takes to boil water. The authors’ promises of no kneading, no starter, no proofing yeast and no need for a bread machine is based on the concept of mixed and risen high-moisture dough stored in the fridge for up to two weeks (dough is cut into pieces and popped in the oven for fresh loaves as desired). Note: for those tracking minutes, the five-minutes doesn’t include the 20-minute resting time for dough or 30 minutes for baking. After concise, introductory chapters on ingredients, equipment, and tips and techniques, readers are presented with the master recipe, a free-form loaf of French boule that is the model for all breads in the book. Three main chapters—Peasant Loaves, Flatbreads and Pizzas and Enriched Breads and Pastries—are filled with tempting selections and focus on ethnic breads and pastries including Couronne from France; Limpa from Scandinavia; Ksara from Morocco; Broa from Portugal; and Chocolate-Raisin Babka from the Ukraine, but the basics (Oatmeal Bread, Bagels, White Bread) are all here, too. A smattering of companion recipes such as Tuscan White Bean Dip and Portuguese Fish Stew are peppered throughout. While experienced bakers and true gourmands will skip this one, those looking for an innovative approach to making bread just might find it in these recipes.