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Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day

January 16th, 2010

Do you love the smell of fresh bread? And the tenderness and flavor of bread just out of the oven?

Unfortunately, I am not much of a bread baker.

Fortunately, the book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day answered just about every question I have about making bread. And yes, you really can bake bread in five minutes a day!

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day gives a Master Recipe for bread that can be stored up to 14 days. When you are ready to bake bread for the day, all it takes is five minutes to make some variation to the Master Recipe. You can make flat bread, gluten-free bread, roasted garlic bread, healthy flaxseed bread. You can literally have fresh bread from your oven everyday with minimal time and effort.

The Master Recipe is very easy to make, watch how easy it is:

Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., coauthor of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients, is a physician with twenty years of experience in health care as a practitioner, consultant, and faculty member at the University of Minnesota Medical School. His interest in baking and preventive health sparked a quest to adapt the techniques of his first book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day for healthier ingredients.

Zoë François, the other coauthor of the book, is passionate about food that is real, healthy, and always delicious. She is a pastry chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America. In addition to teaching baking and pastry courses nationally, she consults to the food industry and is the creator of the recipe blog

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day starts off explaining the ingredients and the equipment you need. Don’t worry, you don’t need specialized or expensive equipment. For example, you need a food-grade water sprayer for misting the bread, cookie sheets and silicone mats, baguette pan, and loaf pans. It doesn’t get much more complicated than that. The most expensive item is probably a baking stone.

The section of the book I like best is Tips and Techniques with answers to common problems and questions. If the bread does not come out right, you can bet you’re not the only who had the problem.

Whether you are a novice like me or an experienced bread maker, this book has wonderful recipes for baking homemade bread that surpasses any store bought bread you can buy, because it comes out of YOUR oven! Check out the Healthy Bread in Five website for tips and recipes. The appetizing pictures on the site will make you drool, and motivate you to get baking!

With over 300 pages and 100 recipes, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day is a book I recommend as a resource book that you will use often. Here is a recipe to start you off.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Brioche
by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoë François,
Authors of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients

“In the autumn I bake pies using freshly roasted sugar pumpkins. My kids love the flavors and I love that pumpkin is full of vitamins. It struck me that the same amazing flavors could be used in a sweet and spiced brioche. The pumpkin makes wonderfully moist dough and the bread is so fragrant and tender. It is great with butter and cinnamon-sugar or cream cheese icing.”–Zoë

Makes enough dough for at least two 2-pound loaves. The recipe is easily doubled or halved. Use any leftover dough to make muffins, crescent rolls, or pinwheels.

3 cups white whole wheat flour
4½ cups unbleached all- purpose flour
1½ tablespoons granulated yeast, or 2 packets
1 tablespoon kosher salt (increase or decrease to taste)
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1¼ cups lukewarm water
4 large eggs
½ cup honey
¾ cup neutral-flavored oil, or unsalted butter, melted, or zero trans fat, zero hydrogenated oil margarine, melted
One large pie (or “sugar”) pumpkin to yield 1¾ cups pumpkin puree, or use one 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water) for brushing on the top crust
Raw sugar for sprinkling on top

1. If making your own fresh pumpkin puree:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Split the pumpkin in half, starting at the stem, and place it cut side down on a lightly greased cookie sheet or one lined with a silicone mat. Bake for about 45 minutes. The pumpkin should be very soft all the way through when poked with a knife. Cool slightly before scooping out the seeds.

2. Scoop out the roasted flesh of the pumpkin and puree it in the food processor. Set aside 1¾ cups for the dough and use any leftover in your favorite pumpkin pie recipe.

3. Mixing and storing the dough: Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt, vital wheat gluten, and spices in a 5- quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.

4. Combine the liquid ingredients with the pumpkin puree and mix them with the dry ingredients without kneading, using a spoon, a 14-cup food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). You might need to use wet hands to get the last bit of flour to incorporate if you’re not using a machine.

5. The dough will be loose, but it will firm up when chilled. Don’t try to use it without chilling for at least 2 hours. You may notice lumps in the dough, but they will disappear in your finished products.

6. Cover (not airtight), and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

7. Refrigerate the dough in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days. Beyond that, the dough stores well in the freezer for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. Freeze it in 2-pound portions. When using frozen dough, thaw it in the refrigerator for 24 hours before use, then allow the usual rest/rise times.

8. On baking day, grease a brioche pan or an 8½× 4½-inch nonstick loaf pan. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 2-pound (cantaloupe-size) piece of dough. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball. Place the ball in the prepared pan and allow to rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for 1 hour 45 minutes.

9. Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350°F, with a rack placed in the center of the oven. If you’re not using a stone in the oven, a 5-minute preheat is adequate.

10. Just before baking, use a pastry brush to paint the loaf’s top with egg wash, and then sprinkle with raw sugar.

11. Bake near the center of the oven for approximately 45 to 50 minutes. Brioche will not form a hard, crackling crust. The loaf is done when it is medium brown and firm. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in resting and baking time.

12. Remove the brioche from the pan (see page 50) and allow it to cool on a rack before slicing or eating.

The above is an excerpt from the book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoë François. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2009 Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoë François, authors of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients

Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way except for the complimentary book for review. Receiving a free product does not influence my opinions about the product.

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