Baking in a Cloche

Emile Henry Cloche 09

There are many ways to get a crusty loaf of bread, but one of our favorites is to use the tried and true method of baking in a clay cloche, here, the Emile Henry brand cloche. It is very similar to using a Dutch Oven, but the cloche was designed to bake bread, so it is an even more intuitive method. In other words, you aren’t lowering the bread into the piping hot vessel, you just lift the lid and slide the loaf onto what is essentially a baking stone. The cloche traps the steam from the dough to create a perfectly crisp and beautifully shiny crust, without having to add steam to the oven.

This loaf was made with our Master Recipe from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, using Gold Medal All-purpose flour, Platinum Yeast from Red Star, water and salt, that’s it! If you’ve never made our bread, or just want a refresher, please watch our new video that we put together in the Gold Medal baking studio. In no time at all you’ll have a gorgeous, homemade, crusty loaf of bread.

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Pumpkin Swirl Bread

Pumpkin Swirl Bread | Breadin5

Pumpkin pie and brioche are two of my all time favorites, so why not combine the two. The result is a bread rich with butter, eggs and spiced pumpkin puree. Spreading the pumpkin onto the brioche dough and rolling it into a log creates the swirl pattern when you cut it. The bread is gorgeous and tasty, perfect for Thanksgiving or just a fall morning with a cup of coffee.

Next week is the official release of our book The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Woot! To celebrate we are doing a giveaway, before the book even hits the stands. It is a small token of our appreciation for all your help in creating this new edition. We’ve incorporated what we’ve learned from your comments, your questions and your suggestions. Please leave us a comment below about your favorite experience baking bread or what you are most eager to try. We will give away 5 copies of the new book to randomly picked winners next week.* Thank you! Our usual contest rules apply (click here for rules); you need to respond within 24 hours of notification or we have to pick someone else. CONTEST CLOSED, WINNERS CHOSEN AND NOTIFIED 10/22/13.

To make the Pumpkin Swirl Bread:

Pumpkin Swirl Bread | Breadin5 Continue reading

Chocolate Coffee Cardamom Bread, And a Three-Book Set Giveaway! CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Thanksgiving has come and gone too quickly yet again. We have finished eating our Thanksgiving Leftovers Torta, but we’ll continue to hold on to our reasons to stop and give thanks, especially as the holiday madness begins in earnest. We’ve come up with two great ways to celebrate the season with you–and they don’t involve turkey or long lines of shoppers.  First, there is this decadent chocolate bread, laced with coffee, cardamom, and more chocolate, and second, we have a book package giveaway!

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Your Pizza Idea in our Next Book (CONTEST NOW CLOSED, WINNING PIZZA CHOSEN)

photo by Mark Luinenburg

We can’t stop thinking of pizza even though we made deadline for our upcoming pizza and flatbread book (Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, Macmillan/Th Dunne Bks Oct 2011).  Even though we’re technically done, there’s still time to put a new recipe or two into the book, and you can see that there are a world of ingredients that could end up on pizza other than mozzarella and tomato (though we love that too).

We’d love some help with new recipes.  All we’d need is your concept, as in “how about yak sausage, lemon rind, and Slim Jim on a pizza?”  We’re not looking for full recipes here, but something imaginative, like Zoe’s pizza with a fresh cracked egg and an assortment of Tuscan goodies:


The winning concept entry will be selected by a jury (Zoe, me, and our editor at Thomas Dunne Books), will win a copy of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and have their concept published in our pizza book this October (see “Betsy’s Seeded Oat Bread” in Healthy Bread -first names only in the book).  See rules for our contests, the most important being US entries only.  In addition, for this contest, the Authors reserve the right to decline to publish any recipe in the upcoming book if none meets with the jury’s approval.  Also, the winning entrant agrees to grant all copyright for the winning entry to Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.  Five random entrants will also receive a free copy of Healthy Bread in Five. Contest CLOSED!

Be imaginative– it doesn’t have to be a main course, so even desserts are fair game.  And remember that many of the ingredients and ideas you might think of are already in our almost-finished manuscript, so being creative increases your chance of selection.  Entries are due anytime before January 19, 2011. Contest CLOSED!

Pumpkin Pie Brioche just in time for Thanksgiving!

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Pumpkins are associated with the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert, a decadent pie filled with spices and sweetness. The pumpkin adds a smooth and luxurious texture that amounts to pure comfort food. Pumpkin is not only wonderful for its flavors but is also chock full of healthy vitamins. This was the inspiration for making a pumpkin pie brioche to include in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I wanted to take some of the butter out of this healthy version of brioche, but I didn’t want to lose the rich texture. Pumpkin is the answer! I added the spices and a touch of sweetness to create what I love about pumpkin pie in this fantastic and versatile bread. It can be baked as a loaf, in a brioche pan or even made into our Indian Spiced Doughnuts (page 287) or as the bottom crust for the Pear Tarte Tatin (page 290). It is fabulous as dessert or breakfast.

Check out this video that Lenny and Denise from ChezUs made for us at Omnivore Books while we were on book tour in San Francisco. Thank you both for taking the time to make the video, it was so wonderful to see you.

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Our New Book, a New Look and a Giveaway! [WINNERS WERE ANNOUNCED 6/15/09, CONTEST CLOSED]

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As many of you know Jeff and I have spent the past year working on a new book, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients
(HBin5). It is a project that started with you! Because of your questions, comments and requests for breads made with whole grains, seeds, nuts, fruits, veggies and even gluten-free ingredients, we set to work to create new recipes. We liked them so well, we decided to do another book. We’ve been playing with ways to make breads that are not only nutritious, but incredibly tasty and still fit into our busy lives. The methods will still be fast, easy and only take 5 minutes, but the results are wonderful breads made with ingredients that will keep us happy and healthy, no matter our dietary needs. Who better than a pastry chef and a doctor to write such a book?

Writing a cookbook takes a long time, not only to test and retest and then test again the recipes, but the editing and designing of the book after we write it.  Although it is nearly done we still have more work to do before it comes out this fall. HBin5 will be available in the book stores on October 27th of this year. In the mean time Amazon has posted it for pre-orders for those of you who want to avoid the mad rush at the book stores! ;)

In honor of HBin5 we’ve launched this new home page on our website. My husband Graham designed and built the site for us and Jeff’s wife Laura, who is also our copy editor, wrote much of it. We are so fortunate to have such a creative and talented team to help us. We want to thank them for all of their work!And THANK YOU for inspiring us to write our second book. As a thank you we are giving away 5 signed copies of our CURRENT book: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

Here is a little glimpse into our life of writing HBin5: Continue reading

Free Book Giveaway: Who Can Fix My Kaiser Rolls? (WINNER ANNOUNCED, SEE 3/11 POST ABOVE)

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OK, I’m pretty happy with this photo, but… well, they aren’t really Kaiser Rolls.  I was on a “roll” from last week (sorry), when I thought my Brotchen were more than passable.  So I wanted to re-create another German roll style– the famous 5-petal Kaiser roll.  I have to say that even though the picture is pretty, the rolls didn’t retain the 5-petal shape that defines the Kaiser roll– it ended up as just a round, though beautiful and tasty roll. 

And so fellow bakers, I turn to you for help!  What did I do wrong?  Please make suggestions that help me perfect this beast, and I’ll send you a signed copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day to the winning suggestion (as judged, I’m afraid, by me).  If no one can help me, I’ll draw a random winner from all the responses.  OK, here’s what I did… Continue reading

Contest and Giveaway Rules (don’t post your entry here!)

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From time to time we run giveaways here on the website.  Sometimes it’s one of our books or baking equipment, other times, it’s been ingredients.  We randomly select from entrants who respond to the post using the Comments field in the post where the contest announcement appeared (don’t post your entry anywhere else or we won’t see it).  Here are contest rules:

  1. We will only ship to U.S. addresses in the 50 states.  If you’re a winner, you must respond to our e-mail within 24 hours to win (winners will not be notified by surface mail).
  2. You must type  your “Comment” entry under the post announcing the contest.
  3. Only one entry in any single contest is allowed. If you post a Comment more than once, you will be disqualified.  But you can enter in any or all of our contests over time.
  4. If selected, you will be notified by e-mail and you must respond with a U.S. mailing address within 24 hours to claim your prize, otherwise we’ll repeat the drawing for an alternative winner.

Good luck!

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