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Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes

I was recently sent the new book, The New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking by Dr. Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François and it was LIFE CHANGING.  I believe every REAL foodie should own it – beginner and advanced, working outside of the home, or stay at home mom. Anyone can bake REAL bread with this method and I am thrilled with how it has streamlined my own bread making.

Artisan Bread in 5 minutes review by WholesomeMommy.com

I’ve been baking my own bread for several years now.  But over the years my ingredients and processes have changed. For one, about a year ago we purchased a grain mill. After reading about all the health benefits of wheat when it is freshly milled and how harmful {or how lacking in nutrition} wheat flour can be when used after being processed by modern milling, I was sold that I needed to bite the bullet and learn to mill my own.  With the encouragement of a good friend, I knew I could do it. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy milling my own wheat actually was. With my Wonder Mill, milling my own wheat only added an extra 2 minutes onto my bread baking routine.

However, the difficulty came with converting some of my recipes from all purpose flour to freshly milled wheat flour.  The taste of the freshly ground wheat was actually lighter than I expected. It didn’t compare the wheat flour I had purchased and didn’t like {so banished it to the back of the pantry, you know “just in case” I wanted to use it again}.  It was milder and delicious in all sorts of things like waffles, pancakes, and even biscuits. But bread, bread was a different story. The new wheat bread turned out dense and cake like. I tried recipe after recipe, adding in pineapple juice, orange juice, or milk, in place of some of the water.   I tried the addition of eggs, extra gluten and lecithin made of rice {not soy}. But to no avail. Don’t get me wrong, the bread tasted great, but I wasn’t ready to give up my store bought sandwich loaf for making sandwiches anytime soon.

And, let’s not forget that the bread making was a labor of love.  I mean, I didn’t mind the work. I would usually add it to my list of to do’s on Sunday as I got ready for the busy week.  I’d set a timer to remind me when it was time to knead and shape, and again when it was time to bake – a process that while the hands on time wasn’t too terribly long – took all day.

5 minute artisan bread whole wheat from wholesomemommy.com

You see that is why this book has been life changing.  It no longer takes all day.  At the beginning of the week, now I mix up a batch in a plastic tub and throw it in the fridge.  Then, on Monday or Wednesday, or any day I want during the week, I just take out a handful and plop it onto a piece of parchment. Then, after an hour, I slide my parchment paper onto my hot pizza stone. {I preheat the stone while the bread rises}. There are a couple of methods the authors describe for achieving a crisp exterior. The method you choose depends on the oven you own, but the method I tried with success was placing a metal bowl over the bread while it bakes {like a dome}. The bread turns out crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside – not cake like at all. This is JUST what I’ve been striving for!

You can access the MASTER recipe on the author’s blog here and I encourage you to do so. And honestly, you’d be just fine to follow that recipe forever. But if you want to do MORE with this recipe, like make cheesy breadsticks, ciabatta, batard, baguette, onion bread, or pretzels, you are going to want to invest in this book. {At  its a small investment}.  There are also wheat variations in the book {which is what I use with my fresh milled bread}, and gluten free variations if that is what you need.

*Note: With my fresh milled wheat I use the MASTER recipe but sub 6 1/2 cups of fresh milled flour for the AP flour and add 1/4 cup of honey and 1/4 cup of olive oil.

Disclosure: This is an honest review {as always}.  These are my opinions.  The author of this blog did receive a book to keep as part of the review.

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  1. I’ve been using the master recipe for a little over a year and it is so easy and delish! I get compliments whenever I am asked to bring “my bread” at Christmas or Thanksgiving. I really need to get a copy of the whole book because I would love to venture out. I have used the master recipe to make English muffins and baguettes and they are so so so delicious. I have never been a huge baker, but this recipe really has changed that in the past year.

    I just want to say that I am a new “follower” and reading your posts has made me realize that clean eating isn’t as difficult as I originally thought. And some things that I’m already are fixing for my family are considered “clean” when I had no idea they were. So, thanks for all your info!

    • Denisesawyer says:

      That is great news Leann. I think you are right and that is why I started this blog – people over think what clean eating/real food is. It doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming {I’m not saying that there aren’t recipes that fit that description, just that they don’t have to be}. I’m glad to hear you are having success and have been encouraged by my blog. :)
      Wholesome Mommy

  2. Aimee French says:

    I have some dough rising right now. This is the first time I’ve mace the Master Recipe in a LONG time. I go through phases of making my own bread. I bought a Wonder Mill a few years ago. I really enjoy making my own bread but I keep having problems with big holes in the middle of the loaf. I googled “why does my bread have a big hole in the middle?” and followed what to do and not to do but, it kept happening. So, now that it’s been about a year since I’ve ground my own wheat and made bread maybe I’ll give it another try. I am looking forward to having a piece of the Master Recipe bread tonight with some soup.

  3. Rebecca kameya says:

    Why do you add olive oil to the bread? Does it help with the rise at all? I checked out the original book from my library and have tried a few versions of the master recipe (white, whole wheat, and whole wheat sandwich bread) and don’t have much luck getting it to rise well. I LOVE the white bread but really struggle with not giving my family whole wheat.

    • Denisesawyer says:

      I make mine with fresh milled whole wheat. I use the whole wheat sandwich bread recipe {except it calls for rye and AP along with whole wheat – I use wheat for ALL the types of flour, equaling 6 cups of whole wheat flour – so you can swap it up} I have been very happy with the rise. One reason you might not be getting a rise is your yeast might not be fresh. If you just bought it and you are sure that isn’t it, the water might either be not warm enough or TOO warm. I actually had a batch not rise once early on because I got the water too hot.
      Wholesome Mommy

  4. I learned about a similar recipe a year or so ago. I tried it a few times but got busy and stopped. I think I might have to take it up again. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I have been making this artisan bread for more than 2 years now. We love it. If I want to make the switch to whole wheat, if I understood you correctly, all I do is use whole wheat instead of regular flour, am I correct? I’m not ready to mill my own flour (yet) so which flour do you recommend?

  6. I’m so glad to see your post! We just got our own milled flour and we tried making bread and it flopped big time. Thanks for posting your substitutions. Do you use 6.5 c milled flour, 1/4c honey, 1/4c olive oil — with the master recipe of water and salt? In other words, do you change the water at all or leave it as directed in the master recipe? Thanks again!

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