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Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Healthy Bread in Five Minutes" Master Dough Recipe

Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoë François have written a couple of books and have a website and videos describing their no knead healthy and artisan breads.  I’m a big fan of whole wheat homemade bread and use my bread machine faithfully for our sandwich bread.

I was intrigued by this claim of 5 minutes a day to make great bread.  Of course, it takes longer than five minutes but it is great bread.  You can watch the authors make this basic recipe here:

I didn’t make the boule shape, opting instead for a baguette.  I followed the recipe outlined in the video except I used ¼ cup more water than they suggest as my dough was not wet like theirs was. 

This turned out really yummy, has only 5 ingredients-flour, water, yeast, salt and vital wheat gluten (a godsend when baking with whole wheat), and is a snap to make, even if it takes a bit longer than 5 minutes.    There is no sugar or sugar substitute in the recipe.

The master recipe mixes up a large amount, enough for 4 small loaves or baguettes and can be stored for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

For ¼ of recipe sliced into 10 slices, approximately 85 calories,  0.4 grams fat, 17 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber, 4 grams protein per slice

5 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 cups AP flour
1 TBSP kosher salt
1 ½ TBSP yeast (I used active dry yeast because that is what I had; the authors say you can use any yeast)
¼ cup vital wheat gluten
4 ¼  cups luke warm water, about 100 degrees (the video says 4 cups)

In a large tub with a lid, whisk the dry ingredients together.
Add water, stir with wooden spoon (this looks easy in the video but it’s a work out!).  The dough is wet.

Cover loosely; leave 2 hours on counter then into fridge overnight.
Before two hour rise

After two hour rise

When you are ready to bake, take ¼ of dough out of container with floured hands, stretch and shape; don’t overwork, just a minute or less to shape.
Let rest at room temperature for 45-90 minutes.
Brush loaf with water.
Optional: Sprinkle with seeds (I sprinkled mine with ground flax seed).
Slash with serrated knife ¼ inch deep 4 times.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place a pizza stone on the middle rack and metal broiler pan on bottom rack during preheat. 
Place loaf on parchment paper and onto pizza stone. 
Place 1 cup water in broiler pan on lower rack of oven-close door quickly. 
Bake 30-35 minutes until deep brown.
Peel parchment off and cool on cooling rack.
The only negative and I don’t know if it is a coincidence or if the steam effect had anything to do with it, was my pizza stone cracked in half during the baking.  I’ve had it about a year and have used it to make tons of pizza baked at 500 degrees.  I also read about ovens having problems caused by the steam, and the glass window or light bulb on some ovens cracking if the water splashed on it when adding it to the pan in the bottom of the oven.  I covered mine with a towel to protect it just in case.

I’m hoping to find one or both of their books at the library as I’d love to see more of their recipes.  They have quite a following and primarily positive reviews of their recipes everywhere I looked.

I did try the master dough baked in a loaf pan to make sandwiches and wasn’t nearly as pleased with the outcome as with the baguette.  The taste remained great, but it was much denser than the baguette and my favorite bread from the bread machine.  It was fine toasted but otherwise, nothing to write home about.

Have you made any artisan breads?  Made any in "five minutes"?

Submitted to Yeast Spotting