Star Tribune Article and Video

About a month ago Rick Nelson from the Star Tribune came over to talk bread and sample some of the recipes in the book. We baked up a storm, ate lunch and he left full (and we hoped convinced). His article came out this week and he had some wonderful things to say. “…If holiday gift-givers are aiming to buy one new cookbook title for the bakers in their lives, they should look no further than the remarkable Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day… Hertzberg and Francois should have called their burst of genius “Breadmaking for Dummies” — that’s how user-friendly it is… their master recipe is wildly flexible, generously adapting to a wide range of breads, pizzas, flatbreads and pastries.” Rick Nelson’s article. Read More

Babka Alert!!!

chocolate-raisin babkaWe tested and then tested again and in some cases many times more. The Chocolate-Raisin Babka (p. 221) was one such recipe. Because the traditional method was so labor intensive I wanted to come up with a recipe that had the same divine taste without all the fuss. Well I think we came very close indeed. BUT there is a big mistake in the list of ingredients. Read More

‘Tis the season for Panettone

raisins, dried apricots, dried cherries, candies ginger and prunes

Panettone is the classic Christmas bread that is made fresh in bakeries all over Italy. You can also find it boxed up and looking quite beautiful in most American shops this time of year. The problem is that when you open the gorgeous foil wrapping you are presented with a stale, dried out version of this wonderful tradition. The solution is to make your own from ABin5 (p.201). It is as easy as all the other recipes in the book and your house will smell of sweet honey and lemon zest. I like to load my Panettone up with several different dried fruits to give it wonderful flavor and that bejeweled look. I also sprinkle it with sugar right before I put it in the oven to make a sweet crust on the outside of the moist cake like bread.

Freezing Bread Dough

People have asked if the dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (AB in 5) can be frozen. YES!!! In fact we highly recommend freezing bread dough, especially any of the enriched doughs (those containing eggs, butter or milk) after about 5 days in the refrigerator. You can store them in the freezer for about 6 weeks. Dough wants to absorb the odors and aromas around them so wrap them really well and they won’t take on the personality of the fish sticks sitting next to them. Read More

Making Brioche for the Inn

“I read the NYT article, made my first batch, and immediately got the book. What a really great concept – that works so very well. I am the breakfast chef at an inn in Vermont and the brioche dough is really simple, versatile and delicious (to say nothing of being a time saver).

I have a lot (too many) bread books, have been a recipe tester for a food writer and can honestly say that with all the experience I have, yours is going to be my go to book.

Thank you both for writing it.” Gale

Gale, this note is like music to my ears. I hear what you are saying and wish I had this recipe when I was working in restaurants and making brioche. Read More