Thursday, February 4, 2010

Review: Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients
Authors: Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoë François
Published by: Thomas Dunne Books
ISBN: 9780312545529
Audience: Everyone
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

From the authors of the groundbreaking Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day comes a new cookbook filled with quick and easy recipes for healthy bread

Their first book was called "stupendous," "genius," and "the holy grail of bread making." Now, in their much-anticipated second book, Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoë François have taken their super-fast method and adapted it for the health-conscious baker, focusing on whole grains and other healthier ingredients.

The method is still quick and simple, producing professional-quality results with each warm, fragrant, hearty loaf. In just five minutes a day of active preparation time, you can create delectable, healthy treats such as 100% Whole Wheat Bread, Whole Grain Garlic Knots with Parsley and Olive Oil, Black-and-White Braided Pumpernickel and Rye Loaf, Cherry Black Pepper Focaccia, Pumpkin Pie Brioche, Chocolate Tangerine Bars, and a variety of gluten-free breads. And many of the recipes are 100% whole grain.

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day will show you that there is time enough for home-baked bread, and that it can be part of a healthy diet. Calling all bread lovers: Whether you are looking for more whole grains, watching your weight, trying to reduce your cholesterol, or just care about what goes into your body, this book is a must-have.

My Comments:

I was very excited to be able to have the chance to review this book. I've heard so much about it, but have been skeptical with the idea of no kneading and no work. I mean, everyone knows bread is a time suck and it requires work - at least good bread does, right? Well, that is until now. This book is everything that one could want. It's fast, easy and just plain fun!

I took my time with getting a review done, as I wanted to test the recipes, as well as read the book. The writing style and explanation of the methods used are well written and easy to understand. The sections on ingredients and equipment are well covered, and the tips and techniques section is a big help. There are so many photos in the master recipe section demonstrating how to mix the dough, shape it, and bake it, as well as other techniques that show you how to make other types of breads, bagels, pitas, etc.

I put the book to the test and started out with the master recipe. I used King Arthur for the whole wheat flour and Hodgson Mill vital wheat gluten. According to the book, the vital wheat gluten would be easy to find at the grocery store or places like Walmart, however, in my area (we are quite remote and rural), I didn't find any, so I ordered it online. I also didn't have a pizza/baking stone, so I used a cookie sheet with good results. I will be investing in the baking stone, though.

The dough mixed easily in my bucket (I used a 5-qt ice cream pail), however, I had to make sure to get the flour to mix in on the bottom. Then the dough sat and rested and boy, did it rise! It came out of the bucket, and I needed to lightly pat it down a little. It did the same in the fridge, but settled and didn't raise any more. After 48 hours, the dough was ready to use. I followed the step-by-step instructions and photos, and ended up with a nice loaf of bread that I was certainly proud of. Yes, this bread looked about like the one on the cover of the book!!

The recipes are easy and delicious, and certainly will make you excited with the results. I did find that I liked more salt in some of the recipes, so I did make a note and added more the next time around. I've made quite a few of the recipes, and haven't been disappointed yet. My family is enjoying the artisan-type bread, and we aren't paying a fortune for it. Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day is a MUST for everyone's kitchen library!!!

Make sure you stop by the authors' website and have a look around. They have a lot of great recipes and ideas that will definitely make you want to get in the kitchen and bake! You can find their website here:

This book was supplied by Anna from FSB Associates for review. Thank you, Anna, for allowing me the pleasure of reviewing this book!

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