Artisan bread in five minutes is a beautiful thing

Artisan brea
So, I have a new cookbook that I’d like to buy (surprise, surprise)…

It’s called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
, and here’s why I’m interested: I stumbled upon this video last week and was instantly curious as to whether I could incorporate this into my practice of making healthy, digestible (ie. soaked, sprouted or sourdough), whole grain breads for my family. This bread dough whips up in about 5 minutes, requires no kneading, and is enough to make several small loaves by storing it in the fridge and simply taking out the dough you want, letting it rise and baking it. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

It looks amazing, but I had three main concerns. One, they’re using unbleached, wheat flour and I use whole grain, alternative flours (spelt, kamut, etc.). Two, although this bread is being sort-of soaked (not so much the first day’s batch, but all the days after that, when the souring dough is taken from the bucket in the fridge), but not sufficiently. Three, it’s a yeast bread and I want to move towards mostly sourdough breads.

Undaunted, I decided to go ahead and try it anyways. Here’s how I did it:

1) I used freshly-ground kamut flour, at a 1:1 ratio, in place of the unbleached flour.

2) I used the suggested amounts of yeast and sea salt and warm water.

3) I also added about a Tbsp of whey, to help with the soaking/souring process.

4) I did it in a large, stoneware bowl.

5) Two hours, schmoo hours. I let mine sit for 8 hours. Gosh, I’m such a rebel. :)

6) I didn’t bake it the first day, due to lack of time. Instead, I stuck it in the fridge with a plate over the bowl. The next day I baked it exactly as they showed in the video (the temperature isn’t mentioned, but it should be 450 F for 30 minutes). Note- put your broiler dish in the oven very shortly before you start baking, or it will start to burn and smoke with nothing in it. Ask me how many times I smoked out my oven (the answer- more than 2. I’ll let you do the math considering I made 3 loaves).

The verdict?

It’s soooo incredibly easy! I can’t believe how fast and simple it is to make a delicious loaf of bread! The loaves are small, and I found that the recipe made 3 round loaves, each a little smaller and denser than the rounded loaves in the store. Since it’s so easy to make a new loaf, though, it was nice to have them small (each one lasted us around 1-2 days).

My bread turned out a bit too salty, which was probably because I added in the whey and possibly I just need to slightly lower the amount of salt called for in the recipe. But otherwise, the taste and texture were really nice, for a non-wheat bread. The whole family enjoyed it.

I’m going to try it again, altering the salt a little and I’ll let you know how it goes. If I like it on that attempt, I’m going to go ahead and buy the book, which has tons of other recipes, including rye breads, breads that substitute sourdough starter for the yeast, and even pizza doughs and dessert type breads. Sounds like fun to me, if it’s all this easy to make!

Think I’m on a bread kick, now that I’m back to baking again?

Has anyone else tried this method or bought the book? What do you think of it? Am I the only one trying to find the most simple, least time-consuming method of healthy bread baking possible?


About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. you can sub the yeast with 150-180 gr of sourdough starter

  2. There is a new Healthy Artisan Bread in Five Minutes book. This one might have more variations ift5 you’re still trying…

  3. “However, the soaking will at least counteract the phytates in the grains, which is why I think this method is at least a big step up and has lots of potential.”
    Are you sure that this is true?

  4. I have the book and have made a couple of the recipes so far. I tone down the salt a bit (its just a suggestion to use the amount in the book and I have just used table salt) to 1 T instead of 1.5.

    The bread is crusty, but wonderful inside. I haven’t had any issues w/ the recipes at all. LOVE THEM!

    I just found your blog today from a link on another site. :)

    http://www.xanga.com/crafttealady
    http://www.crafttealady.etsy.com

  5. Mrs. Emily Perea says:

    Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread is good, but for anyone interested in altering bread recipes, I highly recommend finding the recipe you want through Cook’s Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen (http://www.cooksillustrated.com/). Their No-Knead Bread recipes comes with an article that explains why their recipe is what it is and does what it does. By reading their articles, I can successfully alter recipes, even for baked goods. I often change their recipes to suit my family’s nutrient-dense, locavore diet. They also have an incredible sourdough bread recipe, and many other fabulous recipes.

  6. My husband and I have been using this method for a few weeks. We double the batch using their 6, 3, 3, 13 method. Its so easy! We are also using King Arthur whole wheat and Gold Medal all purpose white (half and half). It has turned out perfect each time.

    I too would like to get started using more whole grains, thankfully the authors have heard our request and are soon publishing a Artisan Whole Grain Breads in Five Minutes a Day book.

    You should visit their website and link to this post. They are always very quick to answer questions and give suggestions. http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/

  7. Shannon, thanks for the recommendation on the No Knead book. It sounds great and I was wondering if there were other books out on this topic!

    Roxanne, I still don’t think it’s ideal to use yeast. However, the soaking will at least counteract the phytates in the grains, which is why I think this method is at least a big step up and has lots of potential.

    Ideally, I want to learn to use sourdough starter in place of the yeast, and I will let you all know when I get my new starter going (I just purchased a dried starter from Cultures for Health) and try it out with the bread.

    And as for making starter, I would definitely give it another try, but I know that there are the odd places where the wild yeasts are just too few in the air to get a good starter going. You could look into purchasing one, instead. Here’s a post with a places I linked to for buying sourdough starter:
    http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2009/01/my-nourishing-new-years-resolutions.html

  8. LOVE your blog.

    Do you think that the soaking counteracts the fact that you use the commercial yeast?

    I’ve been dabbling with Nourishing Traditions and tried to make the sourdough starter. It never, ever came alive!

    Obviously using the commercial yeast would probably work, but will it’s negative properties be cancelled out by the soaking?

  9. I made a batch and so far have baked two loaves. I used 4 cups whole wheat flour and 2.5 cups white all-purpose, plus I added a little extra water (maybe 1/4 cup) as the wheat soaked up more and left it a bit drier than the video showed. So far, we love it. My husband likes it better than the bread I would spend all day making! Next time I will try with all whole wheat and see how it goes.

  10. I love this book. Once I realized that our sandwich bread contained high fructose corn syrup, I bought this book immediately. I make about 3 loaves of the soft white sandwich bread for my family of 4 every week. It takes no effort, no time, and the bread is delicious.

    Lori

  11. I love the idea of this method and I purchased the book…but I only use Shiloh Farms SPROUTED 100% whole grain spelt and wheat flours for my baking as the flour digests as a vegetable. Has anyone used these flour with this method?

  12. I was about to buy this book when I heard about Mark Bittman’s No Knead Bread recipe. He featured it in his NY Times food column. I am in love with his bread! Very easy, no kneading, and very versatile. I’ve had luck with half whole wheat (but I’ve heard you can go all whole wheat flour) and with adding kalamata olives and walnuts & dried fruit. It takes much less yeast than this (1/4 teaspoon) and can sit out for as long as you want, go in the fridge, whatever. I’ve literally left it on the counter for two days and then baked it and it was delicious. Just google Mark Bittman No Knead Bread.

  13. Love this concept! I have been making my own bread for a few years now. I don’t have their book, but I’ve been looking online for recipes and different things incorporating their method. I’ve had TWO buckets of dough going in my fridge over the past while, one whole wheat and one white. I, too, prefer everything whole grain, so I am trying to find something that works w/o using all-purpose flours. So nice to pull out dough and bake it off :)

  14. hmm very interesting..my library isnt carrying it…so i’ll have to try that recipe….but wow that seemed like a lot of salt…katie let us know how it turned out..

  15. Hi there! I’ve been reading your blog for quite a long time, but I don’t think I have ever commented! I’m a big bread baker (just at home for my family) and have been intrigued by the idea of this book, and was excited to see the video posted here, bc I didn’t want to have to buy the book before trying out a recipe! I’ve got a batch sitting on the counter right now for later. I’m new with alternative grains, although most people would say the fact that I use whole wheat and flax seed in my bread makes me pretty alternative! =) Anyway, my dough currently rising is half ww and half unbleached regular flour, and has some flax seed in it. I dramatically decreased the amounts of salt and yeast, bc in my own experience, 2 tsp yeast and 2 tsp salt are all that I need for any recipe using just 6 cups of flour. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  16. Stephanie, my daughter has been making this bread. We mill our own wheat and so far she has used 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white with great results. We plan to bump it up to all whole wheat to see how it goes. It is very crusty; even more so if you don’t put a pan of water in the oven while you cook it. I love the method too!

    My daughter doubles the recipe and we’ve found that sometimes the dough in the fridge develops a “crust” across the top. We’re still trouble shooting on that–did anyone else have this happen?

  17. I bought this book recently and I’ve tried to make the basic loaf several times. So far, I have not had success. I am brand-new to baking, so I’m not sure what it is that I’m doing wrong. Each loaf tastes great, but they are dense and the crust is VERY hard.

    I just found your site and I am having a great time trying out some of your ideas. Thank you for sharing them!

  18. I had this book from the library and didn’t get a chance to try it before I had to take it back. I need to request it again! I am just beginning to learn to soak my flours for breads and wasn’t sure how that would work. I am so glad to see that you’ve tried it!

  19. I have been making the bread (mostly as they say, but substituting more whole wheat than normal). I’d love to figure out how to make it with my sourdough starter – it’s been on my list of things to figure out. So can’t wait to hear your results!

  20. I have heard so much about this from many different blogs. I hope that once we get settled into our new house and my morning sickness/all day sickness goes away that I can actually try this!

  21. I got the book too and a pizza stone but have been trying to find a container for the dough [thanks for sharing your alterations] and we’re moving into our new house with the lovely countertop to spread my dough out so soon I hope to start on my journey!

  22. Wow this sounds interesting! Please let us know how your further experimenting goes. I am especially interested since I also don’t often bake with wheat. I love how you posted this since it is one of the things that I have wanted to figure out for…well a long time.

  23. I have the book and have made it according to the instructions. I have made about a dozen loaves and love how simple it is! I am so glad that you mentioned the broiler pan smoking—I thought that I needed to clean my oven (which may still be true)!

  24. Did yours turn out as beautiful as theirs? I love it when bread turns out good and looks pretty. I’ve been making cuts in the top of my bread lately and I really like who it looks!

  25. I tried their method using Whole Wheat flour and true Course Sea Salt rather than Kosher Salt (which has a finer grain). I also found it to be a bit salty, but only in patches, like the salt didnt mix through the loaf. So next time, I am going to mix the salt in with the water first to make sure it has dissolved completely. Also, the next loaf is going to be Spelt. Wish me luck!