Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Five Minute Bread in a Bread Pan--Does it Work?

After reading Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day I came to the conclusion that it’s just bread dough and should be able to rise in a regular bread pan just like the old fashion kneaded bread does. So I did an experiment with one of my mini bread pans to see if it does indeed work like regular kneaded bread. And what do you know? It works!

I took out a smaller amount of dough than for a normal loaf of Artisan Bread and pulled it under and shaped it into a longer loaf than normal. It fit right into the pan (I oiled the sides) and I set it on top of the oven for the rising time but let it go a little long than normal. At 40 minutes it didn’t raise up in the pan very much so I let it sit a while longer.

That while longer was almost an hour and a half too long. I got side tracked doing something else and forgot about it (always the reason to set a timer) and when I came back in the house I remembered the bread.

Looking at it the dough, it was way over the top of the bread pan and starting to fall. So it was left a little too long. In all it was left to rise for about 2 hours and that seems to be a bit too much. But I put it in the oven anyway and that was an extra 20 minutes waiting for the oven to preheat. So it was left to rise 2 hours and 20 minutes. But this time it was starting to fall having reached it peak.

I slide it into the oven very carefully so as not to cause it to fall any more. Baked it for 22 minutes and low and behold it came out looking like a mini loaf of bread. I was amazed it didn’t fall flat as does most of my bread when I forget about it.

As you can see from the picture, it came out looking and smelling great. I also forgot to put the water in so the crust was extra crunchy but a little butter on the top helped with that. So what did I learn...

Not to forget I have bread rising, for one. For another Artisan Bread in Five Minutes can be baked in a bread pan like kneaded bread and, I think the most important, the dough has a lot of latitude without ruining it or having it fall flat. It has the same great taste and other than the little hanging over the side of the pan, it’s like a mini loaf of bread.

So there you have it, you can bake Artisan Bread in Five Minutes in a bread pan, you can forget about it, although it’s not recommended, and it still tastes the same. Give it a try!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Homemade Bread Is Healthier than Store Bought Bread and That’s A Fact!

One of the first things you smell when you enter a grocery store is the mouth-watering smell of fresh baked bread and cookies. That’s why they always put the bakery right next to the front door. They’re very clever, grocery stores, because that smell makes you hungry and hungry people buy more food. See, clever! But what they can’t give you is that fresh baked bread smell in your own kitchen.

Bread is one of the oldest known recipes to man. It’s been around for several hundred millennia ...

Do you know the roll bread plays in the “good health and better body” scenario? Well, let me tell you a few secrets about making bread.

Bread and Nutrition

Many commercial types of bread are highly refined. Enriched breads have the original nutrients stripped out and replaced with inferior, often lesser quantities of standard vitamins and minerals. Some companies will try to produce wholesome-looking bread by adding grains to the outside, even when the main ingredient is enriched bread. High fructose corn syrup is often added as a sweetener.

The first thing to look at when purchasing breads is the ingredients list. Look for breads where the very first ingredient is whole grain or stone ground rather than enriched (even if whole grains follow the enriched flour ingredient). Look for natural sweeteners like molasses or honey over high fructose corn syrup. Preferably, the sweetener and salt should be last on the ingredients list.

Just think about it for a minute...If you buy high quantities of bread it will last longer because it contains additives or preservatives. The most basic ingredients list will look like this: whole-wheat flour, water, salt. There should be a few grams of protein and fiber per slice low protein and/or fiber is a sign of excessive processing that has stripped these nutrients, and implies that the other nutrients will be missing as well.

The sweetener (corn syrup fructose) will put pounds on you and you won’t even know it’s coming from the bread. Who puts sugar in bread? Making bread has been getting easier through the years until we come to today where you can make bread in less than five minutes and have fresh baked bread for the rest of the week. How’s that?

Homemade Bread Is Healthier

It is much healthier to bake your own bread instead of buying bread that contains chemical additives, hydrogenated oils, unhealthy preservatives, and fattening sweeteners. If you buy white bread you're also getting bread that is nutritionless. I don’t know if that’s a word or not but there is no and I mean no nutrition in store bought bread. So, don't be fooled, store bought whole wheat bread is just as bad for you.

A lot of times the whole wheat bread sold in stores isn't really made out of "whole meal" but is just white bread that is colored (using caramel) to make it appear like it's whole grain and healthy. Store bought whole wheat bread also contains the same emulsifiers and chemical by-products that are in store bought white bread.

Baking your own bread never has any of these "hidden dangers" or chemicals in bread, which have been proven by medical studies to cause cancer.

Instead you can control every ingredient that goes into your bread, and you'll know exactly how it is processed and created and in five minutes.

Don’t spend hours making bread the old fashion way--use Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois new way of making bread at home in five minutes flat. Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day shows you how to make a batch and have fresh, homemade, home baked bread every day but without the hassle. No need for a bread maker you can make the basic batch with a bowl and a wooden spoon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Once You Know How, Making Bread In Five Minutes Is Easy!

Making bread used to be time consuming but with Artisan 5 minute bread you just need...well, 5 minutes. The book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is a master stroke of genuineness. The authors, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, really have made it easy for the working baker to have fresh bread all week long.

Jeff and Zoe do say you can keep the bread dough in the frig for up to two weeks if, and that’s a big if, you can keep it that long. If don’t have a brood to feed, just the three of us and I have a hard time keeping the bread for a week let alone two weeks.

It makes wonderful bread, rolls, cinnamon bread, mmmmmm....very good. Try some cheese and garlic added to the bread dough just before you bake it. The very best!

Anyway, about the has all the recipes you could possible want but you can add any ingredients you want. I make bread the old fashion way, you know, by kneading, and I use various ingredients. Such as our rosemary, basil, and butter bread, or the cheese and garlic bread, and of course, you must try the pepperoni bread.

That’s the next five minute bread I’m going to make with the 5 minute bread recipe. You take the bread dough and as you’re shaping it for baking roll it in pepperoni and parmesan cheese and continue to shape by pulling the bread dough towards the bottom of the loaf. It mixes into the dough so there’s pepperoni and parmesan cheese throughout the bread. Very, very good! As soon as I get some pepperoni, this is my next bread.

I did find that I can use any ingredient in the basic recipe of the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Some of the nut mixtures and raisins aren’t as mixed as with kneaded bread but the taste just as good.

I love the consistency of the bread dough even though it is a little sticky but if you use enough flour there isn’t too much of a problem. And I solved my moisture problem in the oven. The book says to add a pan with a cup of water in it but I found if I use a tile, that’s right, a tile and sprits’ it with water after putting the bread loaf in the oven it provides enough moisture for the bread while cooking.

The tile I am referring to is a left over from when I remodeled the kitchen and put in tile. So if you don’t have a pizza stone, a tile works great. I think the best is the kind of tile that doesn’t have a top coating on it but is like a natural finish. It works for me although I do have a pizza stone. The tile is also good for baking pita bread. Just use the pita bread recipe out of the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book and spray the title and then put the pita dough on the tile and bake for 5 minutes. There a good...more next time.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I Tried Artisan 5 Minute Bread And I Loved It And You Will Too!

I know if you try Artisan 5 Minute Bread you will never buy store bread baked again! Just look at the picture of the loaf I made this morning. The basic recipe plus cheese. Man, is it good! I let it rise for 30 minutes instead of 40 but it was hot and dry today so I felt 30 minutes was enough.

I have been making bread since forever and this Artisan 5 Minute Bread thing just didn’t take my fancy. But I was reading an article in the New York Times and reading all the comments and just had to try it. So I ordered the book and got it this morning and tried it right away.

I mix the ingredients just like they stated in the book and since I am used to kneading bread I was still very wary about this bread. It looked very moist, almost wet as apposed to real bread. Real bread, by the way, is homemade bread, kneaded and left to rise bread. Never store bought.

I can tell you right now that you will love this bread. The taste is different than kneaded bread but then it is different than kneaded bread. I liked his (the author)story about being lazy (how he made this recipe) because sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to make bread, let it rise then bake it and throw it in the freezer. But this Artisan 5 Minute Bread is really different.

It took me 10 minutes to mix up, not because it takes 10 minutes, but because I had to read it several times to make sure it would only take 5 minutes. When I made the second batch it did take me 5 minutes. Just put everything in a bowl, mix it up and let it sit for 2 hours and bake a loaf or put it in the refrigerator.

When you get your book read the whole thing then make the basic recipe. This will not only show you that bread is easy to make and tastes wonderful but will also set you on course for all the other bread recipes in the book. So far I have made 5 of them and I haven’t made my real bread in several weeks. That’s almost unheard of for me. The few minutes you invest in making the basic recipe will start you on a path to make the greatest bread you’ve ever tasted!

There’s not a lot history or “filler” to read in this book but the authors do explain how they came about creating the recipes for the book. They give you lots of recipes to make from the basic bread recipe. What can I say---I really like this bread!

Here’s a list of things you won’t have to do with Artisan 5 Minute Bread:

You don’t have to:

Mix up a new batch
Use a starter
Proof the yeast
Knead bread
Form loaves
Let the bread rise
Punch down and let rise again

So, if you know what all this means then you know why it takes so long to make bread. Even if you’ve never made bread before and never wanted to make bread before, you will like making this bread. It really does just take 5 minutes to make to have fresh bread all week long.

Although, I won’t ever give up making my real bread, making Artisan 5 Minute Bread is much easier to have fresh bread everyday. And if freezes well too!

Monday, February 9, 2009

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