Happy bread-day! Notes on a fave baking book

Happy bread day! Today I baked a fabulous loaf for my family that was as simple to make as it was delicious!

Bread in 5 Minutes book cover

Tango gatherings are social in the best way, including food-wise. When a dance mate brought a yeast-raised loaf still warm from her home oven and described how easily she’d baked it, I ran to get the book she’d gotten the recipe from.

“The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery that Revolutionizes Home Baking,” by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoë François, lives up to its subtitle.

The authors provide gourmet recipes and lots of glossy food porn. Their panettone is now a family favorite!

In my Iran-born husband’s family, one is either “noon-ee” or “polo-ee,” meaning either bread loving or rice loving. Bread lover that I am, before this book, I tried yeast breads and always failed to produce anything better than bricks.

Not so with these recipes!

Jeff and Zoë's panettone
Jeff and Zoë’s panettone

For the panettone, instead of the fancy wrapper on this photo here, I line the ceramic pot from my electric crock pot with parchment paper, add the dough, and bake (without the electronic mechanism) in a conventional oven. For the first half of the baking, I leave it covered, and for the remainder, I remove the lid.

Crock Pots I use for bread and panettone
Crock Pots I use for bread and for panettone

The yeasty fragrance of baking perfumes the entire house. What a marvel to hear a loaf hum, whistle, and crackle a steamy tune as it cools, and then to bite into crunchy, chewy goodness!

Jacques Pepín put it best when, on one of his cooking shows, he said nothing can compete with fine artisan bread slathered with pure butter.

Here Jacques bakes his own no-knead bread…

Caveat: “…Bread in Five Minutes…” might mislead — actually, the dough takes five to ten minutes to mix. Then it must rise for a couple of hours. Baking times varies according to recipes.

Note: This is from a book review I wrote for Jeyran Main’s book reviewing blog.

What’s your fave cookbook?

37 thoughts on “Happy bread-day! Notes on a fave baking book

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