Do-It-Yourself Experiment: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Hundreds of you have raved about Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I bought the book months ago, read it in Spring, and have since been trying out making the bread recipes.

The concept is simple: you take a few minutes to mix up some ingredients. You don’t knead the bread and instead let it rest for at least a few hours and then you can refrigerate it for up to two weeks to have fresh Artisan Bread with less than five minutes’ worth of work at any given time.

Truthfully, I was confused over the directions when I read the book the first time. I read and re-read the first chapter to figure out exactly what I was supposed to do with the dough once I made it.

I finally came across Mandy’s video (above) on how to make artisan bread and it all became much more clear. {Yes, I’m a visual learner if there ever was one!}

The bread was extremely easy to make, just like you all have been telling me. However, the first batch was way, way too salty. I followed the directions carefully and was quite disappointed in how it turned out. {Edit: I did use table salt instead of kosher salt the first time around and I’m guessing that could have been much of the issue.}

It looked beautiful, but it tasted gross. So gross, in fact, that I threw out the baked bread and the rest of the dough. And I was rather discouraged about the whole thing. This bread was supposed to revolutionize my baking. Instead, I threw it out. Um, that’s not exactly what I was envisioning with this recipe.

But then I read online where someone suggested cutting the salt in half. I did that and it was a lot better.

(Note: I didn’t use a baking stone (I don’t have one) or the steam method on these loaves. I think that’s why they look undercooked, even though I baked them the full amount of time. I’m going to keep experimenting and am hoping I can land on the perfect amazing bread you all keep talking about!)

I have yet to dub Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day as the next best thing to sliced bread and I won’t be making it exclusively as I have a number of other bread recipes I really love, but I think the concept is fascinating, the bread is undeniably easy to make, and it’s definitely a recipe I’ll be adding to our regular bread recipes line-up.

Have you tried the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Recipe? If so, I’d love to hear what you thought of it! (And feel feel to chime in on suggestions for me on what I’m doing wrong and how I can improve! I really want to make the beautiful loaves that the book pictures!)

Coming up tomorrow: My Homemade Detangler experiment.

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Comments

  1. paula says

    I just bought this book also and haven’t tried it yet. I am going to try the recipe for Brioche dough, though because I have a recipe for artisan bread that is great. It is called No-Knead Bread by Jim Lahey. I don’t know how to set up a link to this site, but you can google it. It is not exactly a 5 minute recipe, but with some preplanning it is super easy and delicious.

  2. Tara says

    We LOVE this bread. We use freshly ground grains in place of the white too. We use the dough for just about everything. Including pizza crust! Here’s the crazy part: I have never been good at making yeast bread. It just never turned out. But, for some reason, this bread works wonderfully!

    Although, I do want to add that all bread stones are not the same. If you get an unseasoned/ inexpensive one, it may cause much frustration in the beginning until it is well seasoned. In our house, once it is well seasoned, NO ONE is to touch my stone, lol! Its like a “precious” stone to me at that point and I don’t want anyone to break it! :D

    Hope you figure it out Crystal, because it is SOO convenient to be able to grab dough from the fridge and have fresh bread so quickly.

  3. Rebekah says

    I have been making the bread for over a year. I love it! I found there website and started making the bread from there recipe and video on youtube and never had a problem with it. You might want to follow the instructions to the tee. Kosher salt is a must it might seem like alot but the bread is delicious and I for one hate salt. Using a stone is a must too :) I recently bought the cookbook and have been making donuts, sandwich bread, cinnamon rolls etc. Here is there website, http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com you can look up recipes and also they have a page that lists mistakes that were printed in the cookbook. here is there youtube video. http://youtu.be/JFJZPm-_2-M maybe it will help your next try better.

  4. Kelly Welch says

    Okay, after reading your comments, I’ll try it again. My bread turned out like yours, Crystal, wayyyyyyyyy too salty. I’ve tried it a few more times with less salt, but I haven’t been thrilled. Time to try again!

  5. Gabi says

    Hi,

    you could try another method, it worked great for me. All you need is a 5 qt. cast iron dutch oven (I use Lodge).

    The book is: My Bread by Jim Lahey.

    The bread is nice and crusty and tastes just like Italian rustic bread. There are also other recipes in the book if you want to experiment. It truly only takes 5 minutes to mix it up, then let it stand for about 12 hours and bake. No kneading necessary.

  6. says

    Crystal, I understand your disappointment after the first try. But, seriously if doing the recipe as suggested, this bread is the bomb! I even had a “class” where I had my friends over and taught them the method from the book. Everyone loves this bread and when I bring it to someone’s house, they all think I bought it at a bakery and absolutely rave about it!!! If you have a food mill, grind your own wheat and make the whole wheat recipe and it is also fabulous! And have you tried the caramel pecan rolls? yummy
    Please, use the kosher salt, get a stone : ), and bake with STEAM! Your bread will look & taste so much better!

  7. Katie says

    It took me a bit of getting used to, but now I use this method to bake the majority of our family’s bread (sandwich bread, pizza crust, etc.). I use regular table salt and cut the amount in half. I also found that I had superior results when I used King Arthur Flour instead of a cheaper brand.

  8. ksldr says

    I am an experienced bread maker and loved the idea of ease and convenience. I was really dissappointed in this bread. I thought it was bland and tasteless and a bit dry. The instructions say not to have it in an air tight container but after a few days the dough became a grey mess in the refrigerator. I’ve beaked with the steam and stone method with my own sourdough so that wasn’t a problem. I did manage to crack my Pampered Chef stone (rep said don’t preheat the stone in the oven with nothing on it). On a positive note, I did like the olive oil bread made into thin crust pizza dough but I’d half the recipe and make it within a day or two.