« Baltimore literary quiz answers | Main | Write a book, win a prize »

November 26, 2008

Bread made fast, easy and fun

artisan%20bread%20in%205.jpg "It only costs 25 cents to make a loaf of bread!" Jeff Hertzberg, co-author of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, tells me during our conference call. "Mention that right at the top! I think people are sick of paying $7 for their bread."

And when you can make something that looks as good as this Thanksgiving Cranberry Corn Bread, who am I to argue?

Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, the professional half of this baking duo, have done something remarkable: They've convinced me that I can make onion rye, Vermont cheddar bread, even something called almond brioche.

Even better, they've convinced me that I can have fun with it. Just mix up the ingrediants, and then refrigerate the dough until I'm ready to use it. That's right, I can wait weeks before I decide I'm in the mood for a soft pretzel. And even what I want to mix in with it.

"Our recipes provide enough for multiple loaves," Francois explains. "When you're making enough for four loaves of bread, you're willing to play with it, and experiment. I just hope that people feel that freedom."

Hertzberg and Francois' 238-page book is filled with almost 100 recipes, including pictures and diagrams for those of you nervous types (i.e., me) who are never quite sure what the recipe means when it says "stir gently" or "fold into."

And even if you still have questions, you have nothing to worry about; you can visit the book's blog, and ask the authors as many bread-related queries as you'd like.

"We really do respond," says Hertzberg, who will be in Baltimore next Friday for an interview on WMAR. "In fact, our second book is happening because of the feedback we've gotten, the conversations we've had with readers."

This second book, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, is currently in the manuscript stage, but Hertzberg and Francois let me know a bit of what we should expect, including roasted garlic rosemary spelt bread ("I fell in love with spelt flour," Francois says.) and Turkish coffee pear bread.

Are you hungry yet? Well, you're in luck! We're giving away a copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. So let us know what your own favorite Thanksgiving dishes are this year, and you could be enjoying some of these tasty recipes during your Christmas feast.

(Photo from

Posted by Nancy Knight at 5:30 PM | | Comments (38)
Categories: Meet the Author


I love to eat and make sweet potato casserole during the holidays. Also a red chili challah use tummy too

Hard to say - Gram's turkey stuffing although it will never be as good as hers.... Personally, I make a mean cranberry salad, a mean spinach salad and a pretty decent pecan pie.

Happy Turkey Day All!

I love pumpkin pies. And baked sweet potatoes... mmmm... happy thanksgiving!

I love baking bread! Only, lately my apartment has been too cold and it doesn't rise enough!

This year I went out on a limb and made a turkey b'stilla instead of the traditional meal, and I have to say, it was the tastiest Thanksgiving I've ever had. I followed the recipe on Epicurious except I used a roasted turkey breast (and homemade turkey stock) instead of ground turkey. Amazing. And fewer dishes than the traditional meal!

our favorite is a southern recipe that is bourbon sweet potatoes. yummy

I love sweet potato casserole and homemade rolls!

We're doing Thanksgiving non-traditional this year; we're having brunch. My favorite this year will be the maple french toast topped with strawberries!

My favorite Thanksgiving food is the turkey sandwiches on yummy homemade bread the next day. :)

Sweet Potato Casserole with pecan streusel topping...and Cornbread Dressing.

Though we celebrate thanksgiving sooner than you, my favorite dish for thanksgiving is... *blushing* the turkey NECK. At least I never seem to have to fight anyone for it. I also like leftover turkey sandwhiches with lay's chips instead of lettuce for the crunch.

I've been making the Artisan Bread for a few months now and will never make bread any other way!

My favorite Thanksgiving food is hands down,...candied sweet potatoes. My mother in law makes the best candied sweet potatoes. She slowly simmers them and they are sweet and glazed and just melt in your mouth.

I made a lemony green bean and tomato salad this year from a Julia Child recipe. It was a refreshing variation on the usual Thanksgiving green beans.

Being a vegetarian makes for issues in a meat eating family. So I tend to make desserts and appetizers. I made a mushroom and cashew pate and some fudge. if alone, I treat myself to rutabagas, tofurkey and apple walnut dressing with red skinned smashed. I don't serve animal flesh in my house but I do love to play with food.

Green bean casserole is a must in my family. Made with fresh green beans and mushrooms and of course french fried onions. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.

I love stuffing. It's wonderful to have the slightly crisp top and then the moist middle. Mmmmmm.....

Whole Cranberry sauce with fresh orange peel and chunks of orange,
leftover turkey, and yes maybe even some stuffing, all piled onto homemade cranberry walnut yeast bread. For me there is no better treat.
Thanks for letting me share my imaginings which will become reality later on today!

Pumpkin pie is my absolute favorite Thanksgiving food. Well, pumpkin anything, really.

I've enjoyed rutabaga this year, in an oven baked, masjed version... Fab!

this year is all about the squash:
butternut and carrots cooked and pureed together with a touch of cumin and lemon, among other things, and served over black lentils - visually appealing and deliciously different.

I love pumpkin pie--the Betty Crocker recipe (not too sweet) with real home-whipped heavy sweetened cream with a touch of vanilla.

My favorite dish is always the sweet potato casserole. Yum!

My favorite holiday dishes are garlic cheese grits, sweet potato casserole (with pecans not marshmallows), and cornbread (salty not sweet).

My favorite is always the stuffing. We make ours with sausage and lots of Parmesan cheese for flavor.

Although I love all of the dishes at Thanksgiving, I particularly love the dark meat of the turkey and cranberry sauce.

I liked the dressing and sweet potatoes most, but some of the best eating is after the holiday such as some of the sweet potatoes sliced 1/4" and fried in a little butter with a little brown sugar until almost burnt ( crusty),

I like sweet potato muffins & pumpkin pie! I love homemade bread but usually don't have the time to make it with all the other foods I prepare for the holiday meals. I would love to have this book so that I could add fresh made bread to the menu!

My husband was sick with the flu this year so we have yet to have our "real" T-day dinner. But I couldn't wait another day for my fav veggie: turnip (to me growing up but seems to be called rutabaga around here). I ate a whole one mashed with butter, salt & pepper for dinner last night! Why do I not eat it all year?!

My favorite dish (the kids hate it) is my Aunt Sally's green Jell-O with cottage cheese and pineapple and whipped cream. Yum. More like a dessert. Actually, there's hardly a food I don't love.

Our family dish is Kale simmered with potatoes and bacon and leeks...yummy and healthy!!

Our Thanksgiving this year starred a nearly-raw, vegan pumpkin cheesecake -- a first for my sister and me, and a whole lot of fun. My favorite course, though, was the Cream of the Harvest soup from the "Voluptuous Vegan" cookbook: a warming, chunky-brothy treat of butternut squash, sweet potatoes and parsnips, seasoned with cumin, ginger and garlic and spiced with a chili puree. Complex and delicious! Oh, and I was thrilled to serve my first really successful ciabatta loaf, made by hand.

Besides the quintessential turkey, Thanksgiving to me means one thing: good ol' fashioned homemade pie. Be it apple, pumpkin, blueberry, cherry, or pecan pie, I love them all. Very, very much.

I love the cranberry sauce, as well as the sweet potatoes with marshmallow and nut topping.

Where to start... homemade rolls, cranberry sauce, sweetpotato casserole and stuffing. My friends roll their eyes at the thought that we make it all from scratch, but why bother otherwise. Then there is the homemade cherry pie. It has its own gravitational pull, something like that of the Death Star. Maybe that's what we'll call it. Mom's Death Star Cherry Pie.

My favorite recipe is "pavochon", it's a latino style turkey with the flavors of a roasted sucking pig made with latino flavors and can find the recipe at the Daisy Martinez "Boricua Blog"!

Although I am not native-born American, I like to celebrate Thanksgiving, which is also a day of my own personal thanksgiving to my adopted country, with all the traditional touches: big herb-roasted turkey with mushroom-based stuffings, buttermilk mashed potatoes and mushroom-based gravy (a ton of mushrooms--can you tell what I am a fan of?), pineapple & cranberry rum sauce, acorn squash, asparagus/mushroom/garlic. We would eat until we almost burst. A day to enjoy, until next year....

My favorite dish is sage & mushroom stuffing. I love it and only get to eat it once a year.

Here in Oregon Oysters and Dungeness crab are Thanksgiving to me, and of course bread. Cranberries are also huge here and we grow our share of them.
Then more bread.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):


Map: Bookstores

View Favorite Bookstores in a larger map
About the blogger
Dave Rosenthal came to The Baltimore Sun as a business reporter in 1987 and now is the Maryland Editor. He reads a wide range of books (but never as many as he'd like), usually alternating between non-fiction and fiction. Some all-time favorites: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery; and anything by Calvin Trillin or John McPhee. He belongs to a book club with a Jewish theme.
Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Edgar Allan Poe is 200!
All you need to know about the macabre master including Poe-themed events, photos, video and a trivia quiz.

Stay connected