Bread made fast, easy and fun
"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 artisanbreadinfive.com)