Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cookbook Review - Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

I'll admit it now-- I am a cookbook junkie! I love browsing through new cookbooks and refreshing myself on old 'tried and true' recipes as well. My standard rule before buying a cookbook is that if I randomly do a quick flip through the pages, I have to find at least a five dishes that I can see myself preparing for my family. While this does typically give me a good indication of how much a book will be used, I sometimes wish that I could find real people using a book to determine its worth. With this in mind, I have decided to start a regular cookbook review section to at least share my experiences with different books. I'd love it if people would share some of their favorite cookbooks as well! Please feel free to leave comments on which books you find yourself going back to again and again.
For the first cookbook review, I decided to look at the book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Dr. Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. In my opinion, there are few smells better than that of a freshly baked bread. If I were able to, I would be baking bread on a daily basis (though my figure would surely be hurting!). My main reason for not baking bread more often is that it is hard to find the time to do so. Most recipes involve a series of kneading, rising, waiting, etc. My friend, Christy, bought this book and when she told me about it-- I was so excited to start playing! The concept of the book is that you create different starters which can be stored in your fridge for a period of time. Each day, when you want to bake bread, you break off a chunk of the starter and are able to quickly prepare fresh baked breads in a matter of minutes (depending on the recipe you choose to make).
Christy and I decided that since we were just starting out, we would split one of the starters and would each make a few different recipes using it. We chose to start with the brioche starter. I can't begin to explain how much fun, and how easy, this was to use! For my recipes, I chose to make a brioche filled with chocolate ganache, French beignets (donuts), and jam filled beignets. Even with the same starter, they all had such unique flavors. I can't wait to start playing with some of the other starters-- I think I might be making the traditional sandwich bread next! I'll be sure to post results!

Be sure to check out Christy's blog, Christy's Kitchen Creations, to find what she made with her brioche starter as well! I'd highly recommend this cookbook and think that it will be one incorporated into our regular routine.


(Please remember to let me know what cookbooks you've used time and time again! I'd love to hear any recommendations!)



49 comments:

  1. The bread Christy posted yesterday looked wonderful and so do all of these! I really need that cook book. I also love cook books. I have some Gooseberry Patch ones I use a lot and I like a lot of the Taste of Home ones too. I enjoy reading the vintage cook books too, although I usually don't make a lot out of them. When my husband and I were dating he worked at a cookbook printing place as a printer. I could have had all the cookbooks I wanted, but at the time I was only about 16 and didn't cook. If I only would have known!

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  2. I've been hearing about this cook book a lot lately... I'll be on the lookout for it. I would love to bake fresh bread often but I am afraid I would eat it all!

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  3. I belong to a baking forum and this book received good reviews by those who have purchased and used it.

    After seeing YOUR pictures though, I think I am sold! I love baking breads, and if there's an easier, faster way to do it, then I want in. Grins.

    I won't tell you how many cookbooks I have.

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  4. These are picture perfect! Thank you so much for trying the book and all of the breads. I'm so glad you made the beignets and the ganache filled brioche, they are some of my favorites!

    If you have any questions please visit us at www.artisanbreadin5.com

    Happy baking! Zoë François

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  5. These look awesome my friend!! I'm so glad we we able to start the process together.

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  6. Mmm, really, really good! Just wanted to let you know that the link you left on your SITS post to this post doesn't work which is probably why there are no recent comments. I searched for it which is how I found it as it sounded too good to miss! xx

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  7. Bread in just 5 minutes. Sounds like a dream. My hubby bakes our bread but if I were to start I would definitely want to try this out. All the kneading, waiting and rising is not my cup of tea, though if I had to do it I would. :)

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  8. Awesome, I will totally look for this book! My secret is that I check cookbooks out from the library. If I don't see what I want at my branch, I do a search of their online catalog and request it from another branch. That way, I can avoid buying a dud cookbook that just sits on my shelf and I don't use (like the Fannie Farmer cookbook I felt I needed to have just because my mom had it when I was growing up). I've wanted to make beignets for a while now, so I am so going to go check at my library for this book right now!

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  9. Oh my-you have just hit the cooking heart space within me! You are going on my blog list, so I can come back. These recipes are right up my let-me-cook-up-a-lot-of-love for my sons recipes!

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  10. That bread looks so yummy. One of my favorite cookbooks is "Return to Sunday Dinner." It is great for special occasion dinners and it tells you how to do food prep in advance.

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  11. Anything in 5 minutes catches my eye:) The brioche filled with chocolate ganache...oh my.

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  12. I LOVE this book! I discovered it at the library about 3 months ago and ended up buying it. I haven't gotten to the brioche starter yet BUT I've made KILLER bagels, pizza, focacia, semolina bread, baguettes, boulles and MORE! It's REALLY going to get used and abused this holiday season!

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  13. OMG! Your pictures are so great. They are making me hungry and if I can do anything in 5 minutes its worth a try.

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  14. Oh how I love bread, the pictures look delicious! Congrats on your SITS day!
    Cheers,
    C

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  15. These photos all look so yummy! I've never baked bread, but should probably give it a try. :-)
    pk @ Room Remix

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  16. Congrats on your day, SITSta! I would have to say my "go-to" book, would be the one I created. No I'm not an author, but it's my "notebook" I've put all the TNT (Tried N True) recipes in.

    sweetjeanette.blogspot.com

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  17. This is a good idea! I look for pics, too, in cookbooks--and I really like yours. Last year I went on a Stollen baking binge with my girls, yes the old fashioned rise and wait method. We were homeschooling, so it was fun. P.S. We preferred the almond paste filling to the marzipan.

    @cheapchichome.blogspot.com

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  18. OK - I think I've gained five pounds just reading your blog!

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  19. What a cool concept. It actually makes it seem very doable! I think I'm going to see if my library has this one.

    Thanks a bunch for sharing!

    Happy SITS day!

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  20. What a great idea!! I love that you guys split it up!! Your breads looked so yummy!!

    Happy SITS DAy!!

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  21. Everything you made looks heavenly and the cookbook sounds great. I love the premise. I'm going to check to see if my local library has it. My favorite cookbook is the Cooks Illustrated Best Recipe. I've tried dozens of recipes and every one has been a winner.

    Happy SITS Day!
    Jenn @ rookno17.blogspot.com

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  22. Oh wow... I was already hungry, but now I'm definitely craving something sweet and carb-y. Yum!

    Hope you're enjoying your SITS day!

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  23. My sister swears by this book. I have to borrow her copy.

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  24. The Barefoot Contessa's books have killer recipes!

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  25. I love bread! Your baking is beautiful!

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  26. wow your photos look wonderful. It does sound like a great cookbook.

    My mom gave me "Cooking without mom" cookbook when I moved out. I have been using it for years, good basic recipes you can twist. She also gave me a Cook's Handbook which has no recipes but is full of tips re different cooking terms and techniques. I have used this countless times over the years.

    Otherwise, I always come back to AllRecipes. I like that each recipe is rated. :)

    Happy SITS day!

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  27. As a German, I absolutely LOVE bread and bake my own as there is only white bread available where I live... These rolls really look delicious.

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  28. I think I need this book. I bake and cook a lot, and have actually gotten pretty good at it, but I've never attempted artisan breads. I think I might need to now.

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  29. Those look so good! I wish I still had the energy necessary for baking!

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  30. This sounds odd, but my tried and true cookbook is Martha's in Jail Forget the Quail. Quick easy affordable recipes for everyday eating - and the oatmeal cookies are the best I've ever found!

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  31. What a great idea. Can't wait to make some space in the fridge for my new starters...thanks for the tip.

    Alex aka Ma What's for Dinner

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  32. I find myself purchasing books that never get used so I like your rule for buying a cookbook. And based on your review I'm getting a copy of this one. :)

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  33. I didn't even know this was possible! I want this cookbook NOW so I can eat some bread NOW! Wow, your photos are amazing, too. So, so good. Thanks for the hot tip, especially since breads seem to be one of the hardest things for me to master. Congrats on you SITS day!

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  34. Umm wow! Those look delicious. I love the rule about picking out 5 recipes from a cookbook. I normally get them as gifts and never look back at them again. I tend to get a little put off by cookbooks, due to the long lists of ingredients I typically don't have. Will check back for your reviews!

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  35. You look like an amazing cook. Maybe you'll inspire me to make something besides turkey meatloaf and baked salmon!

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  36. We LOVE the 5min a day recipe! We first found it here: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/Artisan-Bread-In-Five-Minutes-A-Day.aspx

    We use it for homemade pizza dough. :D Yum!

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  37. Oh my goodness, the breads you both made look soooo wonderful! I'm going to have to check that book out, I love baking bread. By the way, the lighting in your pictures is great!

    www.americantribal.blogspot.com

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  38. I've found a new blog for my daily reading and recipe searching. These look so amazing! Again, can't wait to try some or all of these.

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  39. Oh my gosh. I love bread. This seems like a really great idea. I'm gonna have to check out the book.

    Thanks for sharing and Happy SITS day!

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  40. All of your pictures look yummy!!

    I'm a cookbook junkie - last count was somewhere around 360 something I think? I've since quite trying to count! I rarely cook straight out of any cookbook though. I use them mostly for inspiration to develop my own recipes.

    I've heard lots of good things about this cookbook, though it hasn't made it's way to my shelf ... yet. :)

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  41. You are very talented. Your husband must be in heaven!!!

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  42. OMG!!! I love bread! I am gonna have to go to the library and find this book.

    My go to book is The Newlywed Cookbook and also the cookbook that our elementary school published with all the family recipes of the students families.

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  43. Wowza! Makes me want to take a bite out of my screen.

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  44. The cookbook I have used the most and go back to time and time again is one that I found browsing in a used book store shortly after we got married. It is the Pillsbury cookbook. It is thick, but small and stuffed full of such easy to use recipes.


    Stopping in from SITS.

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  45. Mmm,mmm,mmm. I can imagine that is exactly what I'd be saying eating one of those goodies! I know I already said it....but I'm a hugemongous fan of simple and easy and quick and fast recipes! I will definitely be on the look-out for this baby!
    Thanks for the tip!

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