Artisan Bread in Minutes...Really!

Artisan bread in minutes is an exciting new way of making bread.

I am a veteran bread maker and I make bread each week, but I was absolutely blown away after reading about "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" on Mother Earth News.

Mother Earth says "There's nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread...Now you can fill your kitchen with the irresistible aromas of a French bakery every day with just five minutes of active preparation time and Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day will show you how."

This is a book by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. The method they use is quick and simple. You merely mix all the ingredients together by hand, (no kneading) and let them sit until they have risen and fallen. Then you put the container into the refrigerator overnight.

To make a loaf of bread, cut off a chunk of dough,form it into a loaf,let it rise 40 minutes and then bake..using a baking stone and a pan of hot water for steam.

The result truly is crusty delicious bread!.

A recipe from the book is listed on Mother Earth News.

I was so excited with this prospect of making artisan bread in minutes, that I immediately tried it.

My trial was so successful that I bought the book!

And since having the book, I have made 100% whole wheat bread,deli rye bread(pictured above),limpa,spinach and ricotta calzones and oatmeal bread.

Since the book has 100 recipes, I have many more kinds to try.

It is very exciting.

Here is one of the recipes.

Try won't be without homemade bread ever again.

The Master Recipe:Boule (Artisan Free Form Loaf)
for Artisan Bread in Minutes

Makes four 1 pound loaves. This recipe can be doubled or halved.

The only thing I have altered,is to make most of my bread in loaf pans, not free form. I just use double the amount of dough for a loaf and let it rise in a loaf pan.Works just fine.

  • 3 Cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 T granulated yeast (1 1/2 packets)
  • 1 1/2 T. coarse salt
  • 6 1/2 C. unsifted,unbleached,all purpose white flour measured with the swoop-and-sweep method
  • Cornmeal for pizza peel.

  • Mixing
    Use a 5 quart bowl or plastic food container with a lid.

    Warm the water slightly and place into bowl. Add salt and yeast to water. Mix in flour all at once with a wooden spoon.

    Cover with lid (not airtight) and allow to rise at room temperature until mixture begins to collapse....around 2 hours.

    Store in refrigerator at least 3 hours or overnight.

    On Baking Day

    Sprinkle pizza peel with cornmeal. Sprinkle surface of dough with flour.Cut off a grapefruit size piece of dough using a serrated knife. Put more flour on your hands and gently stretch the surface of the dough to the bottom, forming a ball. Rotate one quarter turn as you go.

    Let it rest and rise on the pizza peel about 40 minutes.

    If you want to use a loaf pan grease it very well. Cut off twice as much dough, stretch into a ball and then gently stretch into an oblong and let rise in pan.


    Twenty minutes before baking preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. with a baking stone on the middle rack and an empty broiler tray on the bottom.

    If using a loaf pizza stone is required

    Dust the top of the loaf with flour and slash a 1/4 inch deep cross pattern on the top of the free form loaf, or 3 slashes on the loaf pan one.

    Pour 1 cup of hot water into a glass measuring cup.

    Slide the dough from the pizza peel to the baking stone.Immediately pour the hot water into the broiler tray and shut the oven door.

    Bake for approximately 30 minutes for free form.....40 minutes for a loaf pan.

    Allow to cool on wire rack.

    The remaining dough can stay in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

    That's it...artisan bread in minutes!

    Return to Country Kitchen from Artisan Bread in Minutes

    Return to Country Home.