Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bread Bread and more Bread

Ahh....fresh bread
Be forewarned; this post has no recipes but, since I have been rather obsessed of late with the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day , I felt I needed to write something up to justify my slow output! At the end of the summer, a good friend of mine, whose cooking and baking skills I greatly admire, introduced me to the concept of Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day. So I promptly checked the first book out of the library and had a go. I was hooked! Their basic white rustic loaf is amazing! My kids and their friends just could not get enough.

But, I do regard this bread as a treat; it's ingredient list boasts not even a hint of my other obsession; wholegrains. Hence, next on my list was their 2nd book; Healthy Bread in 5 minutes a day; if I was going to continue the bread habit, better make it healthy. So I tried their Wholegrain Master Recipe . Again delicious and very popular with my kids too.

These breads are truly are very easy and quick to rustle up, but there are a number of detailed steps that should not be rehashed by me, for fear of missing an important point. Example below; I forgot to cross the top with my knife before putting the bread in the oven and this is what happened:

a rather bizarre shaped loaf (still tasted good though!)
Instead I would strongly encourage you to get a hold of one of the books and give the concept a try. I recommend reading the first section in the book thoroughly and do follow each detailed step meticulously for each recipe. It won't take you long to do so, but the authors' attention to detail in their recipes, really pays off with a beautiful rustic loaf.

If you're hungry for a little more information now though, in a nutshell, here's how it works. Mix together a batch of the bread dough in 5 minutes flat (yes, really). No kneading is required, very few ingredients and only 1 bowl or tupperware. The dough rises in a large tupperware on the counter for about 2 hours. Then you place the tupperware containing the dough in the fridge until you feel like some fresh bread. When you get the urge, take the dough out of the fridge and using scissors, snip off a grapefruit sized piece. Shape it into a round (again no kneading) , leave it to rest again then, bake in a super hot oven. What could be easier??? Honestly, not a lot.

I probably should add that this is my first time using yeast as a rising agent; I'm Irish for goodness sake! We use baking soda and buttermilk! Anyway, for whatever reason, I was somewhat intimidated by yeast, but I'm so glad I gave it a go. It's very satisfying to have this dough in your fridge knowing fresh bread is just a notion away. They have amazing ideas for add ins, shapes and sizes to make all manner of bready baked good.

This one even has my beloved butternut squash baked in

And if the bread gets a chance to go stale...whip up a little panzanella or crostini

Have a go!


  1. Thanks for sharing the squash recipes. I have baskets full of our squash all over the house so I am always in need of new ways to cook it - never would have thought to put some in bread.

  2. Hope you have success with the recipes Heather. Thanks for your comment!

  3. My sister and I spent a marvelous 10 days roaming Ireland a few years ago and she and I both fell in love with bread served every morning at the B & B's. Could you please email me your best Irish Soda Bread recipe? (

    I so enjoy your recipes and running commentary.

    Thank you! Toni Pastor, Green Valley, AZ

  4. Toni, I use a recipe of Rachel Allen; Darina Allens's daughter. I will be posting it in a day or two, when I get a moment. So glad your enjoy the recipes.