A while back I tried to bake a loaf of bread or rolls each week. I love having fresh, homemade breads in the house. Even though I tend to eat way more than I need to it is still something I cherish having.
The breads I like to bake are whole grain and filled with good for me ingredients. Homemade breads can be a lot of work when made from scratch. There is tons of kneading and waiting involved. Sometimes I just don’t have the time or want to make the effort.
What’s the solution?
I was so ecstatic when I received this book in the mail (thanks Monica!).
You’re probably thinking – how do I make bread in 5 minutes a day? Well I thought the same thing, hello it has to bake longer than that. The 5 minutes are of active work, not including rise and bake time.
I wanted to dive in and make bread right away, but I thought to myself… if I want to bake their bread properly I need to read through it first. So I did.
The book starts out with great information about ingredients. There is a lot of detail about different flours, grains, wheat extracts and gluten free options, liquids, yeast, salt, oils, nuts/seeds, sweeteners, dairy products. This section really gets into the heart of bread baking – what goes into it.
Next the authors talk about equipment. To get the nice crust on the breads you need steam in your oven. They gave a few different options for how to achieve this – a nice feature for those in a standard home kitchen. They also list out different pieces of equipment that can make baking easier and yield better results (like a baking stone that I wish I had!).
Before getting into the Master dough recipes they dish out tips and techniques. The section includes a SUPER handy measurement table. It lists the ingredient, for example whole wheat flour, the volume (1 cup), weight in ounces (4.5) and weight in grams (130).
About 99% of the time I use measuring cups when baking, but this time I thought I would use my scale to get exact measurements (not required though).
Now for the fun stuff – baking time!
This book has SO many recipes in it. They are broken down into categories: the master recipe, whole grain breads, breads with hidden fruits and vegetables (can’t wait to make one of these!), flatbreads and pizzas, gluten-free breads and pastries and lastly enriched breads and pastries from healthy ingredients.
See – a ton of sections filled with even more recipes.
I decided to make the 100% whole wheat bread with olive oil for my first attempt. I followed their recipe and instructions and made a batch large enough for 4 different loaves. The dough doesn’t require any kneading (bonus), and can easily be mixed with a sturdy spatula because the dough it very wet. I was able to keep the dough in the fridge for up to 14 days, but it only lasted about 12 I believe.
I made 2 oblong loaves, a corn-chili pepper flat bread we had with steamy chili and the super yummy pesto pizza with grilled chicken from the book.
Having the dough ready for me in the fridge made bread making simple. For those of you out there that are afraid that your bread won’t turn out right, you should give this a try.
I would very much recommend this book to anyone looking to explore baking bread from home. This book in particular because there is a huge focus on whole grains, which are very important to get in the diet.
The authors, Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoë François, put together a video demonstrating their Master Recipe to show you really how simple it is.
Let me know what you think!
*I was sent this book free of charge for reviewing purposes.