Corrections for Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Early editions of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day had some errors sneak through; all were corrected in later printings:

Page 65 (Step 5 in “Whole Grain Garlic Knots with Parsley and Olive Oil”):  Add the words “Sprinkle grated cheese over the knots.”

Page 79 (Ingredients list for “100% Whole Wheat Bread, Plain and Simple”): The list says you can swap whole grain spelt flour for whole wheat in this recipe, but unfortunately, spelt flour isn’t yet standardized across the market, and some readers find that their brand doesn’t absorb as much water as typical whole wheat flour, resulting in a dough that’s too wet. If you’re finding that, add in additional flour until you have a dough that’s about the usual consistency for what you’re getting in the book, or in this video.

Page 174 (Ingredients list for “Four-Leaf Clover Broccoli and Cheddar Buns”): Quantity for vital wheat gluten should read “1/4 cup” (not “1/4 tablespoon”)

Page 177 (Ingredients list for “Sweet Potato Spelt Bread”): Quantity for water should read “3 cups” (not “3 1/2 cups”)

Page 271 (Step 4 of “Milk and Honey Raisin Bread”): “… use over the next 5 days (not 10).  Or store the dough for up to 2 weeks in the freezer in loaf-sized portions.”

Page 275 (Ingredients list for “Whole Wheat Brioche”): Quantity for vital wheat gluten should read “1/4 cup” (not “2 1/4 cups”), and quantity for lukewarm water should read 2 1/4 cups (not “2 cups”)

Also note, sometime after the publication of the book, the Williams-Sonoma company stopped offering a lifetime replacement guarantee against cracking of its baking stones, so we can’t recommend their product anymore (see page 29).

Panettone for the Holiday!


Panettone was traditionally a Christmas bread sold all over Italy during the holidays. It finds its origins in Milan around the 15th century, and has been the subject of much romantic lore.  The most often told story of how this bejeweled bread came to be goes something like this.  A young nobleman by the name of Ughetto Atellani fell in love with the daughter of a poor baker named Toni.  In order to impress her, Ughetto disguised himself as a pastry chef’s apprentice in her father’s bakery. He creates a tall fruit studded bread to present to her father, calling it “Pan de Toni.”  The bread, rich with eggs and butter, sweet with honey, scented with vanilla and lemon zest, with the finishing touch of dried and candied fruits was a success in the bakery and wins the admiration of the lady and the father’s respect. The baker blesses the marriage and Ughetto marries the daughter.
The story is rich and fanciful, just like the bread.  Today this sweet loaf is no longer saved just for Christmas, it is eaten at other holidays throughout the year and served sliced and toasted for brunch and as a dessert with a selection of cheeses and sweet wines. The bread, despite its rather lighthearted lore is quite sophisticated. The traditional method for making panettone is done over the course of several days. It included long sessions of kneading and allowed for up to 20 hours of rise time in order to create a flavor that is both sweet, but also has a complexity caused by the fermentation of the dough. Today, we want the same balance of flavor, without having to labor over the process or wait several days to enjoy our bread. Although you can bake the bread after only a couple of hours of refrigeration we recommend letting it sit for about 24 hours to develop its full flavor.
There are traditional Panettone molds that are very high sided which come either straight or fluted, they give the bread its characteristic cupola shape.  These molds can be found in either metal Panettone-Charlotte or Paper Moulds varieties at cooking stores or on the web.  We have also used a Brioche Molds, and many people bake them in large, empty, parchment lined coffee cans to achieve the high domed loaf. Continue reading

Authors on KCPQ-TV Seattle (Fox) Monday Morning

Hey, Seattle friends, check us out on KCPQ-TV (Fox) on Monday morning (November 2, 2009).  We’ll be appearing with anchor Mark Wright in a last-minute TV segment.  Gets more and more interesting every day of this tour.

Then on to FoodPortunity and the UW bookstore for events Monday night, hope to see people there.  Portland November 3, and then San Francisco November 4-November 7

Sweet Provençal Flatbread with Anise Seeds


In our first book, we covered the classic European baking tradition, and that meant lots and lots of bread from France, a country where I love to eat anything, but especially bread.  Sweet Provencal Flatbread with Anise Seeds is a marvelous example of a bread that is  so versatile that it can be split to make great sandwiches today, and then dunked, stale, into strong cafe au lait tomorrow morning.  You can mix a whole batch with the sugar, orange zest, and anise seeds, or roll a little of those three into a plain dough to make just a pound’s worth (see end of post). Continue reading

Winner Announced! Kaiser Roll book giveaway

Well, we had over 90 responses, and they fell into four categories:

1.  Buy yourself a “Kaiser Stamp,” which imprints the tops of round rolls with the Kaiser pattern.

2.  “Klopping,” the traditional method of folding and pressing (“klopping” refers to the karate-chop like action to make the seal).  Very difficult to achieve with our wet dough; I still haven’t managed a credible one.

3.  Grouping small balls of dough together.  Not really a Kaiser effect, but a great result. 

4.  Knotting a rope of dough.  Really more of a “garlic knot” idea (see

So it was tough to pick a winner (I have to admit, I haven’t even bought a “Kaiser Stamp” yet).  The winner is a random selection… it’s Kris, who submitted a link to a post with the “knotting” method.  She’ll be getting a signed copy of the book.  Thanks Kris!

The Easiest and Tastiest Homemade English Muffins!

english muffins

In case some of you have missed the memo, it is BYOB year! Bake Your Own Bread!! There are several food bloggers whose New Year’s Resolution is to bake all the bread they need and never buy a single loaf (see below for info!). This includes artisan boules, sandwich breads, sticky buns and even English muffins! These most popular breakfast muffins are a favorite in my house and yet I never make them. There are some things I perceive to be too much trouble to bake at home and shamefully never tried. The English muffin was among them. Oooops, I discovered today that they are so simple and really fast! I owe my family a big apology for not having tried this earlier. I have several of you to thank for this lovely discovery. The English muffin has been a most requested item lately and so here it is in all its simple glory: Continue reading