I bet you’re probably beginning to think I love all cookbooks. Rest assured, that’s not the case. If I don’t think it has some merit, we’re definitely not wasting our time talking about it here. I’ve been excited about a lot of gluten free cookbooks this year because so many of them are making waves with gluten free ingredients by using techniques and ingredient combinations that are new and innovative.
Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day from Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François is a game-changer for a few noteworthy reasons.
1. It is built on the principal of the famous no-knead bread recipe. It works well with gluten and it works superbly for gluten free bread. After all, gluten free bread does not really need to be kneaded at all. It really just needs to be mixed. Kneading activates gluten. When you don’t have gluten, you don’t need to knead. (Yep, ridiculously pleased with myself for that little gem.)
2. The book features two basic flour blends– all purpose and whole grain- and uses them for everything under the sun- from crusty baguettes to gooey monkey bread to ciabatta to chocolate ganache filled brioche. All that from one flour blend!
3. The trickiest ingredient is ground pysllium husk and that is becoming increasingly easy to find and it’s optional!
4. This is a mix it and leave it method. You mix up your ingredients (no kneading!), let it rise and stick it in the fridge. On baking day, you take out a chunk, form a loaf and let it rise for an hour. Then, you bake. You have to admit, it’s much faster than traditional bread baking.
On top of this, I’ve been using one of their previous books, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, for years and it works. It’s reliable and always turns out wonderful breads. As due diligence to write this review (and an excuse to enjoy fresh baked bread), I had the test kitchen bake up a loaf of the classic boule. It was the best gluten free bread I have ever tried and I’ve tried a lot of less-than-stellar gluten free bread. I don’t need to be gluten free, but I figured I should taste this bread if I was going to try to sell you on the book. The loaf was crusty, had a lovely crumb and, above all, had a wonderfully wheat-like flavor.
Our friends Jeff and Zoë, and the folks at St Martin’s Press, have generously offered a copy of this book for three lucky winners. We will pair it with the winner’s choice of the ingredients to make the all purpose flour blend or the whole grain flour blend. To enter, simply comment on this post and tell us what type of artisan bread you miss the most since going gluten free. We’ll select three winner at random from all who enter by 11:59 pm on 11/24/14. If you can’t wait or want to give this as a gift (this would be an awesome gift for a gluten free loved one) you can buy it here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, iBooks and Walmart. I’d bet that your favorite local book seller will also have a copy.
Recipe adapted from Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and used with permission
©2014, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François
Makes eight ½-pound loaves. The recipe is easily doubled or halved.
This beautiful and crispy loaf is the symbol of France. Our gluten-free version is just as gorgeous and delicious. We brush the top of the loaf with egg white wash to create a glossy crust, but in a pinch, water will do.
- 6½ cups of Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour (see GFBreadIn5.com/GFmix)
- 1 tablespoon Granulated Yeast
- 1-1½ tablespoons Kosher Salt
- 2 tablespoons Sugar or Honey
- 3¾ cups lukewarm Water (100°F or below)
- Cornmeal or parchment paper, for the pizza peel
- Egg White Wash (1 Egg White plus 1 tablespoon Water), for top of loaf
- Mixing and storing the dough: Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and sweetener in a 5- to 6-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
- Add the water and mix with a spoon or a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle.
- Cover (not airtight), and rest at room temperature until the dough rises, about 2 hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after rising, though it’s easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 10 days. Or freeze for up to 4 weeks in 1-pound portions and thaw in the refrigerator overnight before use.
- On baking day: Dust the surface of the dough with rice flour, pull off a ½ -pound (orange-size) piece, and place it on a pizza peel prepared with cornmeal (use plenty) or parchment paper. Gently press and pat it into a log-shape with tapered ends, using wet fingers to smooth the surface. Allow to rest for about 40 minutes, loosely covered with plastic wrap or a roomy overturned bowl. During this time, the dough may not seem to rise much, which is normal.
- Preheat a baking stone near the middle of the oven to 450°F (20 to 30 minutes), with an empty metal broiler tray on any shelf that won’t interfere with rising bread.
- Brush the top with egg white wash, and then slash, about ½-inch deep, with a wet serrated bread knife.
- Slide the loaf onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until richly browned and firm.
- Allow to cool completely on a rack before eating.
The authors answer questions at GFBreadin5.com, where you’ll also find recipes, photos, videos and instructional material.