I admit that I was T-I-R-E-D when I finally arrived home from work yesterday, but I was determined to finish what I started and let you know how my bread from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day turned out. I pulled out the whole wheat dough from our fridge and started reading through the directions for “Baking Day.” I was disappointed to see that the dough had to rest for 90 minutes before baking; I definitely wasn’t serving this along with dinner. With my husband craving fresh baked bread, no matter what time it came out of the oven, I went to work and formed my basic loaf according to the directions. This is what it looked like:
I let it be for 90 minutes at room temperature and it didn’t really rise at all. I wasn’t overly discouraged, as the book indicates that this might happen and did not direct me to put my bread in a warm area to rise.
I followed the directions (to the best of my ability) and this is what my loaf looked like when it came out of the oven. It’s a bit on the small side, but not bad looking. If I had been a bit more vigilant, instead of getting sucked into a movie, it wouldn’t have been quite so dark on top.
After letting it cool, we sliced into it and were impressed by the texture and crumb of the loaf. So far, so good, but the true test was how it tastes. It was fantastic! We loved the crispy crust and soft insides. Slathered with some butter and jam, it was delicious. Even though the loaf seemed smaller than anything I’ve ever baked- it was the perfect size for two of us.
What did I think? I think this book is a great companion to a busy life. Yes, you can have dough for four loaves ready in about five minutes and, more or less, throw it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Yes, I can go home tonight and bake fresh bread, but it won’t be ready for two hours. If I got home earlier, it would be a non-issue. Truth be told, that’s really not too different from starting from scratch after work. I like the idea of this book and I’ll probably keep using it, but if you’re a really busy person and you want fresh bread STAT, hit the bakery on your way home to save time. The bread IS delicious and certainly less labor-intensive than other baking methods.
Bottom line: If you want freshly baked bread to be a part of your life, this book can save you time and produce great results… as long as you plan ahead.
I have a signed copy of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day to give away to one lucky reader! I’m also going to sweeten the deal with some Hard White Whole Wheat Flour and Vital Wheat Gluten (or gluten free flour and xanthan gum) to go along with the book. If you are gluten free, you’re not left out! Zoë has recipes for applying this technique to gluten free breads; if the results are anything like what I created, you’ll be a happy camper.
How to Enter: Leave me a comment here and tell me a little bit about your bread baking experiences/frustrations/tips and tricks/whatever. If you’re just getting started on bread baking, tell me why you want to bake fresh bread (as if the smell isn’t reason enough). I’ll select a winner randomly from all comments submitted to my by 8 am on Monday, February 1st.
Bonus: More info and recipes for HB in 5 can be found here.