Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Jeff Hertzberg, Author, Zoe Francois, Author, Mark Luinenburg, Photographer . St. Martin’s $25.95 (242p) ISBN 978-0-312-36291-1

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. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/15/2007
Release date: 11/01/2007
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