Happy bread-day everyone! Notes on one of my fave baking books (by da-AL)


Here’s a book review I wrote for my sweet and smart friend Jeyran Main’s wonderful book reviewing blog. Along with reviewing books, she’s available for hire to edit books, publish them, as well as to translate them from Persian to English.

Bread in 5 Minutes book coverHappy bread day to me! Happy bread day to meeee! Today I baked a fabulous loaf for my family and me that was as easy as it was delicious!

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

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

The authors didn’t inventor no-knead yeast breads. Nevertheless, they provide gourmet quality easy recipes illustrated with much glossy high color food porn. This panettone became a family favorite with my first loaf.

In my Iran-born husband’s family, one is either ‘noon-ee,’ bread loving, or ‘polo-ee.’ rice loving.’ Bread lover that I am, I’ve tried repeatedly to bake yeast breads, always failing at producing anything better than hard bricks.

Not so with these recipes!

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

For the panettone, instead of the fancy paper employed by the authors here, I use parchment paper to line the ceramic pot from my electric crock pot, fill it with dough, and then bake just the pot in my conventional oven. For the first half of the baking, I leave it covered. For the remainder, I take the lid off.

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

The yeasty fragrance of baking perfumes clear to the outdoor perimeter of my house. What a marvel it is to hear a loaf hum, whistle, and crackle a steamy tune as it cools! And what textures! Crunchy, chewy goodness!

Voila! Jacques Pepín puts it best when he states that nothing can compete with fine artisan bread slathered with pure butter.

Here’s Jacques, making his own no-knead bread.

Caveat: “…Bread in Five Minutes…” might mislead some, albeit forgivably, given how easy and delicious the recipes are. The dough takes five to ten minutes to mix. Then it must rise for a couple of hours. Baking time varies, i.e., breadsticks are understandably bake quicker than whole loaves. Dough can be frozen or it can be refrigerated for up to a week. In either case, let it warm to room temperature before baking.

Here’s the book’s website.

33 thoughts on “Happy bread-day everyone! Notes on one of my fave baking books (by da-AL)

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