A Good Cooker Will Rise Again

This bad baker has a brand new book. It was recommended to me by my cousin. I listened to her talk time after time about how easy it was to bake bread using the simple directions and drooled as she detailed delicious meals featuring loaf after loaf. I had to have a copy. I just had to!

I ordered my copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking (Francois, Hertzberg) and waited. I had my bread flour and yeast and was ready to go the minute it arrived.

The dogs alerted me to the UPS man and tried to break through the windows to tear out his throat while I was outside picking up my precious. Hands shaking, I opened the box and lifted out what I hoped to be the end of my bad bread baking.

I started reading, excited to get baking…then stopped. Unbleached flour. Not bread flour? Rats! I was determined to make the bread TODAY, so I ran to the store and bought a single five pound bag. Back home, I started over again. I added the right kind of flour, salt, water, and yeast to my KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook attached, gave it a whirl, and put the whole unkneaded mess into my largest container to wait the requisite 2 hours. Yes, it really had only taken five minutes to make the dough. Simple enough!

The timer beeped, and I went out to the kitchen only to discover my largest container was not large enough. The yeast beast had popped its top and was making its way over to my AeroGarden. Since I was learning The Master Recipe and not the herb bread (in a later chapter), I scooped him back into the bowl and carried my creation to the fridge.

The next day, I formed a one-pound boule (French for ball) and got ready for baking. The book insists a pizza peel is best to transfer the dough to the hot pizza stone in the oven, but I had none and wasn’t making another emergency trip to the store. Resourceful Cooker that I am, I decided my lipless wooden cutting board would do the trick – and it did. My perfectly formed loaf slid off my makeshift peel and into the blistering hot 450 degree oven.

Then, I waited and worried and prayed. Alas, my fears were pointless. Much to my surprise, my first loaf looked exactly like the one on the cover of the book.

Three different recipes later, I am still as enamored and amazed with my five minute bread as I was on day one. The only thing that has changed is the size of my storage container. I now have a 2.5 gallon Rubbermaid tub to keep the beast at bay.

PS – Artisan Bread has a website! http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/


  1. I saw your post about this book and *almost* bought it but then I realized I'd never reach my weight loss goals if I did :) I'm such a bread-aholic :P Love to make and eat it with a passion.

    1. The nice thing is one batch will last for two weeks in the fridge, so you don't have to eat it all at once! lol...still, you might consider giving it a try. I made KILLER pizza tonight with a pound chunk of the olive oil dough. Thank you for reading and commenting!