HBin5: Baking Day Recap & A Chance to Win

I admit that I was T-I-R-E-D when I finally arrived home from work yesterday, but I was determined to finish what I started and let you know how my bread from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day turned out. I pulled out the whole wheat dough from our fridge and started reading through the directions for “Baking Day.” I was disappointed to see that the dough had to rest for 90 minutes before baking; I definitely wasn’t serving this along with dinner. With my husband craving fresh baked bread, no matter what time it came out of the oven, I went to work and formed my basic loaf according to the directions. This is what it looked like:

My loaf is formed and ready to rest for 90 minutes.

My loaf is formed and ready to rest for 90 minutes.

I let it be for 90 minutes at room temperature and it didn’t really rise at all. I wasn’t overly discouraged, as the book indicates that this might happen and did not direct me to put my bread in a warm area to rise.

I followed the directions (to the best of my ability) and this is what my loaf looked like when it came out of the oven. It’s a bit on the small side, but not bad looking. If I had been a bit more vigilant, instead of getting sucked into a movie, it wouldn’t have been quite so dark on top.

Fresh from the oven perfection!

Fresh from the oven perfection!

After letting it cool, we sliced into it and were impressed by the texture and crumb of the loaf. So far, so good, but the true test was how it tastes. It was fantastic! We loved the crispy crust and soft insides. Slathered with some butter and jam, it was delicious. Even though the loaf seemed smaller than anything I’ve ever baked- it was the perfect size for two of us.

The fresh loaf had a beautiful texture and flavor. Crunchy crust, chewy insides!

The fresh loaf had a beautiful texture and flavor. Crunchy crust, chewy insides!

What did I think? I think this book is a great companion to a busy life. Yes, you can have dough for four loaves ready in about five minutes and, more or less, throw it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Yes, I can go home tonight and bake fresh bread, but it won’t be ready for two hours. If I got home earlier, it would be a non-issue. Truth be told, that’s really not too different from starting from scratch after work. I like the idea of this book and I’ll probably keep using it, but if you’re a really busy person and you want fresh bread STAT, hit the bakery on your way home to save time. The bread IS delicious and certainly less labor-intensive than other baking methods.

Bottom line: If you want freshly baked bread to be a part of your life, this book can save you time and produce great results… as long as you plan ahead.

The giveaway!

I have a signed copy of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day to give away to one lucky reader! I’m also going to sweeten the deal with some Hard White Whole Wheat Flour and Vital Wheat Gluten (or gluten free flour and xanthan gum) to go along with the book. If you are gluten free, you’re not left out! Zoë has recipes for applying this technique to gluten free breads; if the results are anything like what I created, you’ll be a happy camper.

How to Enter: Leave me a comment here and tell me a little bit about your bread baking experiences/frustrations/tips and tricks/whatever. If you’re just getting started on bread baking, tell me why you want to bake fresh bread (as if the smell isn’t reason enough). I’ll select a winner randomly from all comments submitted to my by 8 am on Monday, February 1st.

Bonus: More info and recipes for HB in 5 can be found here.


Anne says:

I have made bread a couple of times. I have used recipes from Winco and Vegetarian Times.

I have made pizza dough from scratch too.

I have gotten ok at making cornbread. I have tried it wit Bob’s corn flour, corn meal, and masa flour.

My next projects are likely naan on the bbq and using the chickpea flour (from Bob’s) in recipes suggested by Mark Bittman in his Bitten blog on the NY Times website.

Lisa says:

I started making fresh bread for the simple reason of knowing what ingredients are in it. So many of the store brand breads are filled with high fructose corn syrup and processed grains, and I wanted whole grains and real ingredients that I could trust. I love making homemade breads more than ever, and I’ve found myself buying grains I’ve never heard of to experiment. It’s been great and I feel healthier and happier with my eating. Thanks!

Joey White says:

I like the idea of making my own bread. I remember when I was a child and my Grandma made bread once a week and shared some with extended fam and we ate the rest with meals until until the next week and we would start anew. I want my kids to have those kind of memories!

Judith says:

I quit eating bread because I don’t trust the makers who use things like HFCS, whey and “dough conditioners”. I don’t even want to think about what “dough conditioners” are made of!

My first yeast dough experience was making pizza dough. I use the recipe on the side of Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White flour. It’s foolproof! Not counting the water, only 5 ingredients, how much easier can it be? We now have fresh, home made pizza once a month or so.

It was so easy to do I decided to try and bake the pizza dough in a bread loaf pan and guess what? I had a delicious loaf of fresh bread, crusty on the outside and tender inside. Perfect for toast or French toast or sandwiches. I save all the crumbs when I slice it. I keep them in the freezer in a zipper baggie and when I am making a recipe that calls for bread crumbs I’m ready.

Every so often I make a batch of the dough, split it into four pieces and freeze them in zipper baggies. Whenever I want fresh bread or a personal pizza for lunch, I defrost one and bake it up.

I use the vital wheat gluten to make seitan (a meat substitute) and also put a tbs in pancakes or quick breads to make them fluffier. I’ve been working on a “corned beef” tasting seitan and I bought some of your dark rye flour the other day and I will be experimenting making a rye bread soon so we can have some reuben sandwiches with homemade sauerkraut. I’m pretty excited about it, lol!

Thanks for your wonderful products and for having this contest!

Cheers, Judith

Julia says:

I’ve been baking simple nut breads since I was in junior high school but yeast breads have me baffled. I am now 46 years old and should be able to manage yeast bread but they scare me. I tried once last year and ended up with something so incredibly dense and yeasty, only the cat liked it, as a scratching post.

I desperately want to make my own bread because I can’t seem to find any brands that I trust in stores. The ingredient lists of bread “should” be very simple; not filled with 20-syllable, unpronounceable scientific terms.

Wish I had some tips to share but I don’t. Maybe after I can conquer yeast breads ;-] I’ll have some snazzy tricks to share.

Reiner says:

Until this last year I hadn’t really made much in the way of bread. I’d developed a killer pizza dough recipe, but never bread.

When I stumbled on the 5-minute technique in Mother Earth News, I almost fell in love. Now we always have a batch in the fridge and have used it for:

* Bread (the obvious)
* Flatbread cooked in a frying pan with a touch of ghee (great w/curry)
* Dinner rolls
* Burger rolls
* Pizza dough
* Breadsticks

The different form factors need a bit of tweaking in terms of time, but everything has turned out really well…

Thanks for the contest!


Lynette says:

I love fresh bread and bake when the inspiration hits–not nearly as often as I’d like. Holidays and family celebrations require home made dinner rolls. I love the idea of HBin5. I am still on the hunt for a truly fluffy whole grain home made bread.


Bridget says:

I used to cook a lot of bread … in the bread machine (does that count?) … but then we moved from 200 feet above sea level to 7200 feet above sea level and poof – there went the yummy bread. I couldn’t get it to rise! Darn it!

So now I don’t make bread. I would really, really like to get back into it! But I think yeast scares me … what if it doesn’t rise (sound familiar?) …

I think my family would eat more healthy breads if they were homemade … yipee!

Bridget in New Mexico

Mary says:

I’ve been baking my own bread for over 10 years. Originally, it was important to me because I cannot have milk, and so many store-bought breads are made with it.

However, in the past year, both my husband and I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (still able to regulate with diet, if we’re careful). It has now become more important than ever for me to bake ALL our bread!

This was brought home to me when my bread machine died a month ago. Although I used to knead all my bread by hand, rheumatoid arthritis has made that difficult to do on a regular basis, so I switched over to a bread machine about 10 years ago.

Well, once we were diagnose, it was easy to make our bread with more whole grain flour and to vary the types of flour we use. The “mildest” flour I use is King Arthur’s White Whole Wheat.

When the bread machine died, I couldn’t immediately replace it, and we went back to buying bread. I was able to find one whole grain, non-dairy bread, but it just isn’t the same! And my glucose levels show it!

Luckily, I’ll be able to purchase a new machine shortly, and I’ll be back to baking.

Johanna says:

Always a hippy at heart, I have been using BRM products since college and love the organic and GlutenFree options now available… I’ve had some success converting old favorite breads to GF [muffins being my specialty] but having a 20month old, working full time and having inlaws that pop pills for everything, I’m too tired to bake homemade anymore and I get no support. Being GF is so inconvenient, yet so necessary for my son’s sake [we are still breasfeeding, so there’s even more pressure on me!]. I have 1 hour after work to exercise [yeah right], shower and prepare a hot dinner. HB-5 sounds like an awesome resource that will fit into our busy GF lifestyle and allow me to be creative again. I want to share with my son the joy of baking and to teach not everything comes from a box at the store, despite our gluten intolerance! Thanks for sharing the site with us!

Is there anything better than fresh bread? I’ve yet to come across a more comforting and amazing smell of freshly baked bread.

I began baking bread a few years ago. It was trial and error, for sure! I started out using a bread maker but found I missed the interaction of kneading the dough and working with the dough myself. It is absolute therapy to bake your own bread but let’s be honest, the simple task of bread-making can be intimidating when you are pressed for time!

HB-5 seems like it would allow a rewarding satisfaction for the homemade bread maker in our home…which is me, I would LOVE to learn from this book!

Thanks for the opportunity to win!

Kate says:

I started making my own bread a few years ago. It’s not only relaxing, but my home smells delicious and I know what is going into it. This is important to me. Now that my son is old enough he helps make the bread which is an even more wonderful part of the activity. Plus there is nothing better than eating fresh baked bread!

Sue says:

My husband and I had a reception for a colleague over the weekend. I made all sorts of things for the party, like Middle Eastern beureks, baba ganoush, even pitas from scratch. I also decided to make a huge challah bread, a double braid, a small one on top of a large one (I use a Mollie Katzen recipe for my challah). The challah turned out so big and shiny and beautiful. Our friend came into our house and when he saw the bread, he leaned in toward it and said longingly, “Oh, is that challah??” “Yes, I baked it this morning.” He sighed and was so happy. We cut into it and it was its usual delicious self. He ate many pieces. Needless to say, we had a great visit.

mara says:

I haven’t had much experience making bread, but one of my goals is to branch out into new recipes this year, so I can’t wait to learn. I’m excited to be able to control my own ingredients.

Marika says:

I have been wanting to learn how to make my own bread for AGES. I’ve always shied away because I didn’t think I had adequate time, or I imagined it would be too complicated to learn for a novice like me. This book sounds like a great way to get it done – I’m so excited at the prospect of making some bread!

Linda says:

My bread machine came with a huge 3lb pan and I normally halve the recipes since my family consists of two. I would like to start making smaller loaves from scratch and put the dough in size appropriate pans. My loaves are now limited to the huge size and shape of the bread machine. Thank you for the fun giveaway.

Jarrett says:

I baked from their first book all the time, and now love the new one. I’ve discovered a few tricks, though, that have helped me through that you might appreciate.

1) I actually don’t do the secondary rise for nearly that long. Sometimes, I go for as little as 30 minutes (the time it takes to preheat the oven). As much of the secondary rise comes from pan-spring, this typically works just fine. My bread is a little denser than the loaves that rise for the full 90, but I like denser breads.

2) One tip I encountered on their blog was to shape loaves the night before and stick them in the fridge covered in plastic. Let them go through the slooooow second rise overnight. Then you can bake them the next morning. This is perfect as often I’ll wake up in the morning, stumble downstairs, take the parchment paper with the bread out while I turn on the oven, do my morning workout, pop the bread in the oven, and by the time I’m out of the shower, I have fresh bread. Or, I’ll shape a loaf in the morning and pop it into the fridge. When I come home, I take it out as I preheat the oven, and by the time dinner is ready, so is the bread.

These are great tips, Jarrett!! I really appreciate it.

Daphne says:

I love making bread from their first book–especially after my first attempt (following voice instructions from my mother) ended up badly. EXPLOSIVELY BAD.


Teresa says:

It’s winter so I am making a lot of soup. There’s nothing better with a hot bowl of soup than a nice, fresh, hot-from-the-oven slice of bread (or two)! HBin5 would be a great way to try my hand at bread baking.

Martha says:

My job for a year was developing recipes for and baking bread. Tweaking and more tweaking and finally great satisfaction when it was a perfect loaf. Greatest frustration, trying to get a perfect loaf every time. Consistency is the most difficult part of bread baking.

Stacey says:

I have been gluten free and dairy free for 16 years! Last time I made bread in a bread maker or anything else was 15 years ago. How awful! It was a rock! Plus it seemed to take up a lot of time.

I do enjoy making cornbread and love making rolls with fresh herbs in them. Yummy! Not to mention cakes and cookies-but thats a different topic.

Can you change my mind and make me like making bread again??

Anna says:

I love making homemade bread. It has taken me years and years of many “bricks” to be able to get a decent loaf. Now, for convenience, I’ve been using my bread machine a lot.

Doreen says:

I love love love baking bread using the recipes from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day and now with recipes from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. I’d love to win a signed copy of Healthy Bread in 5 and your extras would be the icing on top.

It took me awhile to find a store in my area that stocks vital wheat gluten. I’m really looking forward to trying more of the recipes in Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day!!

Nicole says:

It was a beautiful day when I realized that working with dough was not unattainable. I like that making your own bread means that you know exactly what is in it and making your own is less expensive than purchasing, too. I’ve tried my hand at homemade hamburger buns, calzones and pita and I’m looking forward to finding some great recipes for bread.

Jodi says:

I started baking bread when I was diagnosed with celiac about 7 years ago. While there are some much better g-free breads on the market now than back then, they still don’t come even close to what I can bake at home. The problem though is the amount of time it takes. And I hate that I can’t just indulge when I have a bread craving – it takes a lot of planning. Anything that can help make good bread faster sounds great to me!! If we can make up a g-free bread dough and leave it in the fridge for a week and just bake it up whenever we want – well I’m in for that!! Thanks so much for the review!

Margaret says:

Been making bread by machine for ages, but just started making it by hand completely just this past year. Naan. Challah. Fococcia. Italian. And just started using, again, their first book which I love.

Now hate commercial bread, says I as I scrape it of the roof of my mouth UGH!!!!

Thanks for the chance to win this one.

Jolleen Washburn says:

I’ve been baking bread ever since I can remember. It has always been a huge delight to me to bake a batch of bread either by hand or in my bread machine. I love to bake all kinds of bread, plain white, whole wheat, challah and sweet dark rye. There is something comforting about a loaf of homemade bread and it’s always a lot of fun to share a loaf with someone you love!

Kathie says:

Love HBi5!!! Tried 5 recipes so far, everyone a winner!!!!!

Leigh says:

I have been wanting to try HBi5, I love the first book but am using whole wheat for most baking and am looking for where to take it.

I would love a copy to try!

ivoryhut says:

I discovered Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day some weeks ago, and have never bought a loaf at the store since. It was worth the ugly scar I have on my left hand that I got when I slid out the rack to pour the water in and the hot oven door rose up just enough to press against my fingers. OUCH. My tip: use those oven mitts that cover your entire hand, front and back.

P.S. Just got home from the store with a 5-lb. bag of Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat flour. It’ll be my first whole wheat bread attempt. I’ll try to remember not to watch a movie until the bread is done. 🙂

Libby says:

Made 5 min. no knead bread, it tried to take over my fridge…. and also managed to blow up my pizza stone, but it was wonderful! I tried some rye rolls with some BRM rye flour and they turned out great 🙂

Ooohh I want this book so badly! I only started baking fresh bread last year, and I was pleasantly surprised that it was no where near as hard as I had imagined! Especially with this no-knead bread movement, bread is easy as ever to make at home!

Cindy P says:

I have not purchased this book yet. But I have made several recipes from the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes, including the peasant bread and the vermont cheddar. I love these recipes. I never made bread at home before these books because I was intimidated. Now I can made great tasting fresh loaves of bread for any occasion. I am looking forward to trying out the beer bread recipe in the Healthy Bread in 5 book.

paula says:

I have been making bread for years. I used to make it by hand, but now have a Zojirushi bread machine that I use mostly for dough. I have used a no-knead baguette recipe with good results. Homemade bread is so good!

Cyclist Kate says:

I’ve been making yeast bread since I was 7. I got out my grandma’s faded, pencil written 3×5 card for “white bread” and got to work. That loaf (well, actually, those 6 loaves…this recipe was from the 1800’s and intended to feed a family of 5 farmers) is still among my most memorable, and best enjoyed toasted and slathered with butter and honey.

I’ve ventured out quite a bit to make enriched breads, sweet breads, cinnamon rolls (oh, how many recipes I’ve tried!), and all manner of other breads. Sometimes I knead by hand, others I get out the trusty Cuisinart to knead the dough for my while I do other things. With a busy life now as a graduate student with a million other interests and commitments, I was grateful to receive Artisan Bread in 5 this past holiday season, and I’ve been completely thrilled with the results of these recipes. Healthy Bread in 5 is on my wishlist…I can’t wait to try some of these new recipes!

Lisa S says:

Bread baking is my number one favorite hobby in the kitchen! Lately I’ve been successful at making airy-soft bread by barely kneading it, and letting it rise for 1-2 hours. Then I put the oven at 400 degrees F, add a pan of water in the oven, then bake the bread until baked and crust is light golden but inside is soft and fresh. Yum! I love to put Bob’s Red Mill grain cereals like Kamut cereal, 10 grain cereal, etc as a replacement to, for instance, cornmeal.

Bob C. says:

I’ve gone from bread machine to ABin5. Both have their place! The real fun is making your own recipes. If I want bread in a hurry I mix it the night before and leave it out to rise – not in the fridge. I shape it the next am and then it only needs 20 min to rise instead of 90.

Liz McC says:

Enjoyed reading your article on making your bread when you got home from work. Congrats on your success!

I have to admit I am a newbie at making bread at home. I recently became interested in gluten-free bread, as well as gluten-free flour do try baking other bread products. I’m not sure if I’m gluten intolerant, but do suffer from depression and anxiety.

Thought it would be worth a shot to try going gluten free!


Stephanie says:

I still feel like a bread-baking noob, even though I’ve been making it for years. I would love to learn how to make artisan breads, but the process intimidates me. Not sure why.

Anne M. says:

I started baking bread 25 years ago…have run 3 bakeries…and have never stopped. The best advice is that it’s a skill, same as anything else: practice, practice, practice!

Penny says:

I’ve tried making bread by hand in the past but it always came out like a rock. Over kneading most likely. So I used a bread machine until I picked up a copy of their first book…Artisan bread in 5 minutes. It’s great and sooo easy. I’d love to have a copy of their new book.

Karen says:

I bought a KitchenAid (could never make a decent loaf of bread until this machine) a few years ago and living just a mile from Bob’s, was always stopping in after work to get a little of this or that to make bread. I rarely buy store bought anymore. Now I live in the south Puget Sound and only get to stop by once a month or less. I miss you guys!

CEB says:

I love making fresh bread, but often get frustrated how quickly it goes stale – I have taken to baking smaller loaves, but I don’t always the on weekdays to bake.

Wendee LeFebvre says:

The smell is enough of a reason!! =o) I want to have a better alternative to the store bought bread!

Sara says:

Well, I am a beginner.

To say the least.

A few summers ago I found myself interning on a beautiful CSA farm in-between the hills & valleys of Wisconsin, and it was there that I grew a fondness for freshly baked bread. See, my farm was special and had its very own hand-built, deeply-loved brick bread-baking oven on site. I spent many lazy afternoons watching Farmer Dan knead dough and throw it into the beautiful oven.

There is really nothing like a hot slice of bread, with a slab of Hope Creamery butter, next to a fresh fall spinach salad with spicy red onions on top and a light vinegar dressing. I’m in heaven just thinking about it.

Though I am yet to build a brick oven at my small home in the city (the days on the farm are sadly behind me), I’d love to get this book to learn some of the tricks of the trade. And also, quite honestly, it might inspire me to build the brick oven at my small home in the city…which happens to have a very large backyard perfect for a community bread oven!

And maybe one day, after practicing with your book, I can bring my skills back to the farm and impress Farmer Dan. After all, he is the one who taught me to love the art of bread-making.

Thanks for giving me a chance to tell my story 🙂

Kim Philpot says:

Ah – the smell is wonderful.
My mom used to bake bread when I was a kid and I remember how good the house smelled. I think the realtor even encouraged us to bake the day of an open house. As for myself, I bake when I can, but have only tried yeast breads a couple of times. Mostly, it’s quick breads and desserts (baklava, lemon tarts, scones, etc). I work full time and don’t always have time to bake as much as I would like. I found the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day book or article online maybe 6 months ago and tried the no-knead bread. It was delicious! Recently a friend was officially diagnosed as gluten-intolerant, so I’m curious to experiment with bread products that are gluten-free. I suspect there are many ‘undiagnosed’ people out there that may benefit from the easier digestion of gluten-free products and other benefits. Peace, Kim

I just discovered Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and I think it’s the best thing that’s ever happened. I love baking and bread, but it was always so time-consuming! This technique is amazing. I’m in love!

Jill H. says:

Leave me a comment here and tell me a little bit about your bread baking experiences/frustrations/tips and tricks/whatever.

I’ve done some baking on and off over the years, lately more off than on, since one of my frustrations is the need to work, and having less and less time to do things like bake. (I’m a mom with 2 young kids) So lately, it’s been store bought, or my bread machine doing the work. I’m facinated by this book, and if I’m not lucky enough to win, I’ll be trying to get it from my library, while 2 hours resting time is too long for dinner, I’m wondering if you could slightly underbake a loaf, and do a second bake at dinnertime?

Ben says:

I’m just beginning to get confidence with yeast dough, and I can’t wait to try out more. My tip is to not be afraid. Try anything. I made a great breakfast this morning by adapting a recipe from the book.

zuzupetals says:

I baked a loaf of the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Bread in my new breadmaker on the gluten-free cycle and I’m not sure it baked long enough. Is this mix formulated for a 1.5lbs or a 2lbs loaf? Curious…

The mix is formulated for a 1.5 lb loaf and is really designed to be baked on the white bread setting (contrary to logic). What does the loaf look like now and is it gooey inside?

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