The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes-with Dad

ehanner's picture

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes-with Dad

A few weeks ago I bought two copies of Jeff and Zoe's new book "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" and had one shipped to my 83 year old father. Since my Mother passed on, he has been trying to be creative in the kitchen and has ventured into some rather tasty foods. I thought it might be fun for him to learn to bake small loaves of bread for himself and to take with him when he visits friends.

After looking at the book for a few days he decided he would like to take a stab at the Peasant Bread formula. He's a health food fan and has been drinking a Tablespoon of Vinegar in a glass of water every day for as long as I can remember. My sister happened to show up on his doorstep that day so she helped gather all the items called for and some parchment paper I suggested would make things easier and negate the need for a stone.

I don't have any pictures since Dad isn't a digital guy but the reports are that the bread turned out great and my sister took the recipe and method home to try herself. I suggested that they skip the stone and simply bake on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. It's much easier to manage that way and there isn't any need to learn how to manage a peel and slide dough off onto the stone. They baked half the master formula for peasant bread in two small loaves. He told me the crust was hard at first but softened later in the day more to his liking.

The end result was a success I think. Time will tell if he will mix another batch on his own but the concept is easy enough to encourage him to try other formulas and keep it up. This project has had other benefits that relate to bonding with my father who lives a state away and gives us another reason to call each other. Despite his age he is active and agile. I think the pride of creating a good looking loaf of bread that tastes wonderful is fun for him.

I must admit I am not a devotee of the 5 minutes a day method. Yes it works but I can make better bread using the more traditional methods I have learned here. The Jeff and Zoe method is important because more people will become bakers because of their book. However you bake, you are helping to continue a 6000 year tradition and that's a good thing. So, look around your family and find someone who would appreciate fresh bread. From college students to retired parents, helping them learn to make a fresh loaf will be appreciated on many levels.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You're a great son, Eric. 

Mini O

audra36274's picture

My Dad thinks making home made bread is pure magic. When he comes to visit, I make sure I have either bread or yeast rolls for him to check on their progress. He watches with the enthusiasm of a child. My Mom (they are divorced) on the other hand just sorta rolls her eyes when I talk of the days bread! Why bother she says, she can buy  GASP white bread in the store. I don't really wonder why they aren't married now, but I'm glad that I have my Dad's wonderment over things. I just wish he lived closer and could visit more often. The two of you sharing bread baking is a great thing. Anything that brings you closer and gives the two of you something fun to talk about is a blessing. What could be better than sharing your hobby/passion with your dad/best friend!


ehanner's picture

Thanks Audra, I have been enjoying getting to know my Dad better lately. When I first mentioned bread a while back he seemed interested in what I was doing so I invited him to join me. It's been fun exchanging ideas and techniques. I would love to get one of our children interested but so far, no luck with the older two. Maybe in time.


mrpeabody's picture

I've been using this method quite a bit since December and I really like it.  Before, I just did not have time to fit in a more traditional method for bread baking.  The flexibility of the ABin5 method is a real selling point.  I have been very pleased with the results and the diversity of bread types.  I have even managed to adapt some older bread recipes that I used to bake (back when I had more time) to fit this technique.  With respect to more traditional breadmaking methods, I may eventually end up with a superior product.  But for now, I just can't fit that in (perhaps, someday when I retire and I have much more free time).

Hopefully, the ABin5 book will get more people to try breadmaking and, ultimately, to become accustomed to better tasting bread.

Mr. Peabody