Title: Healthy Bread in Five Minutes
Author: Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. & Zo Francois,
324 pages; Hardcover $27.99 US/$35.99 CDN
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, New York, NY
Reviewed by, Chef John Vyhnanek, December, 2009
Do you like to bake bread? Are you interested in trying new
recipes and experiencing new textures and flavors too? A new bread baking book
has just been released by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zo Francois.
in Five Minutes a Day has, as the subtitle says, over 100 recipes featuring
whole grains, fruits, vegetables and gluten-free ingredients. Five chapters are
dedicated to the Philosophy, ingredients, Equipment, Tips and Techniques and The
Master Recipe. The Master Recipe is just that, basic dough and pictures and
descriptions on shaping and forming the dough into various shapes including
basic French forms. The book contains many black and white pictures so you can
see the results and get some tips for making your loaves. There are even a dozen color photographs
in the center of the book that will give you a good idea of what your final
product should be like.
I tried three breads: The Master Recipe Boule, Grissini and the Cinnamon
Crescent Rolls.The master recipe is different from most dough you might be used
to making. ingredients are mixed, proofed and refrigerated for as long as 14
days. When you want to bake some bread, take it from the refrigeration, dust
with flour and form it into a Boule, or other shape. Place it on a peel dusted
with cornmeal and then let it rest for 90 minutes. Slide it onto a baking stone
in an oven above a pan in which to pour hot water to create steam and bake. Beware that the cornmeal
could scatter in the oven and floor so be careful when sliding it onto the
baking stone. Also be warned that using the hot water in a pan method of
creating steam can damage the electronic igniter in your oven over a period of
time. The result was a good loaf of bread, it was tasty but the recipe should have called for more
salt in the dough instead of saying add more or less to your taste, certainly not less! There was 1 tablespoon
of Kosher salt used for 7 1/2 cups of flour.
The Grissini couldn't have been easier to make. Roll out the dough, cut into
strips with a pizza cutter, lay the strips on a lined cookie sheet, brush with
olive oil and sprinkle with salt and rosemary. They were tasty, crisp and nicely
chewy. I like to eat bread sticks like this wrapped with prosciutto di Parmayum!
Cinnamon Crescent Rolls were another easy preparation! Simply tear off a piece
of the same refrigerated dough, roll it out, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Let it
rest and bake it. The Crescents were glazed with cream cheese icing. They were
tasty but not what most would think of when thinking of Crescents. I'd like them
to be a bit flakier and less like cinnamon bread.
This is an interesting method for making doughs and it does have merit. Make the
dough, store it away and then used it whenever but before 14 days. I guess it is
possible to make bread in 5 minutes, less the proofing and baking time! Good
Cooking recommends that you buy this book for yourself, if you like baking, or
for a friend who does. You will find the recipes tasty and you will learn about
this refrigerated wet dough technique. You will also get some insight into
gluten free baking and many ideas for baking healthy breads.
One of the Recipes tested---
Grissini (Olive 0il Bread Sticks)
Grissini are Italian bread sticks infused with olive oil. Since the oil infuses
just as nicely when drizzled over the unbaked sticks as when mixed into the
dough, you have a variety of choices of which premixed dough to use you don't
have to use
an olive oil dough (even our olive oil dough benefits from additional oil).
Immediately after being photographed (see photo, color insert), the grissini
consented to being wrapped with strips of prosciutto and consumed with Italian
Makes twenty-four 12-inch grissini
Use any of these pre-mixed doughs: Master Recipe (page 53), 100% Whole Wheat
Bread (page 79), 100% Whole Wheat Bread with Olive Oil (page 81), any other
non-enriched dough, or any gluten-free dough.
1/2 pound (orange-size portion) of any pre-mixed dough listed above.
Olive oil for brushing on top, preferably extra virgin.
Kosher salt for sprinkling.
Rosemary for sprinkling (fresh or dried
some chopped, some whole leaves).
Prosciutto, cut into 1-inch strips (optional for serving).
1.Preheat the oven to 400 F, with a rack placed in the middle of the oven. A
baking stone is optional, but if you
re using one, allow for a 30-minute
pre-heat, otherwise 5 minutes is adequate.
2.Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat, or simply grease
it well with olive oil.
3.Roll the dough into an 8 by 12-inch rectangle, 1/8 inch thick. Then cut-inch-wide strips with a pizza cutter or sharp knife.
4.Lay the strips out on the prepared cookie sheet with 1/2 inch or so between
each strip. Generously daub olive oil over each strip with a pastry brush.
Sprinkle with salt and rosemary.
5. Bake near the center of the oven for approximately 10 to 16 minutes,
depending on thickness and width. The grissini are done when they are nicely
browned and beginning to crisp (they will firm up when they cool). Serve plain
as an hors d'oeuvre or with one half wrapped in a prosciutto strip.
Copyright 2009 Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zo Francois, authors
of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole
Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free
A note from Good Cooking. You'll have to buy the book to get
the master dough recipes. Yet you can make the bread sticks about with any
commercial wheat or whole whet pizza dough you find in most markets!