For my birthday the awesome Christopher and Robert got me a new cookbook AND all the ingredients I would need to make the recipes. For the record, that is the perfect way to give a cookbook! The cookbook is part of the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day series but made for those of us who cannot have wheat or gluten. The book includes two flour recipes (all purpose and whole “wheat” style), a Master Recipe, and variations for many kinds of breads. The selling point of the book is that you do not have kneed the dough and you can let a batch sit in the fridge for up to 10 days before baking. Meaning you can make homemade bread in less time and with less effort.
To make the recipes, you do have to actually read the introduction chapter as it lays out the whole process and the logic behind it. I found it to be a fairly quick read and they included illustrative photos. What impressed me the most about the actual text of the book is how they referenced between sections/chapters to help you troubleshoot any issues you are having with the recipes. Very helpful in my mind as it keeps you from having to search through the entire chapter to find the answer you are looking for!
Now I have only made the all purpose flour mix and the Master Recipe. Though never fear, I will be experimenting with the second flour mix and the rest of the book as time allows. My first batch was just OK. It tasted like real bread but it was so so so dense. I have to admit, that was operator error and not the recipe. I tried to cut the recipe in half so I wouldn’t have so much dough and don’t think I did the math on the water right. I made a second full batch, with the correct amount of water, and increased the water temperature by a degree in case my thermometer was not accurate. Verdict? Second batch was addicting. Still dense but more along the lines of a good hearty bread, prefect for pairing with soups or along side a main course. The bread was not at all dry, the inside was soft and fluffy, and the outside was nice and chewy.
My main annoyance with the book, while you may only have 5 minutes of active time a day the name is misleading. There is an hour long rest before you can bake the break, 30-45 minutes of baking, and then up to two hours of cooling before you can enjoy your finished product. Not exactly something that is practical after work or in the mornings (as the book claims in the introduction). However, it is a lot faster than a traditional bread recipe and you can be occupied with other things like family movie time as it cooks!
Verdict – the book (and bread) is worth the investment. The results are far superior to anything I have gotten in stores and if you can use a mixer you can make this bread.
Love and carbs,