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


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:


On any given day I have about 5-8 buckets of dough in my refrigerators. (Yes, I have two and at the moment there is little room for anything but dough!) I generally wake up in the morning,  shape and let rest several loaves of bread and then once I get my boys off to school I bake them. I have a double wall oven, nothing fancy, but having two ovens makes testing a dream. I can bake about six loaves at a time. Jeff is simultaneously doing all of this across town at his house as well. Between the two of us we could qualify as a chain of bakeries.


Once the loaves are baked and cooled, Jeff and I meet and have a tasting. We sample each others breads and do a critique on taste, texture, the look of the loaf and even the sound of the crust. If one of us isn’t absolutely in love with the bread, we discuss how to improve it and go back to the bucket!  Sometimes we hit it on the first try and others take several variations. After a tasting we usually walk around the lake, to work off all the sampling and then head back to our kitchens.


As we test and talk and retest and change things and have others test for us, we write everything down. The stack of notes and versions of the recipes that you see here is only my stuff. Jeff has a similar pile in his kitchen, along with a testing schedule and excel spread sheets of all our progress. (It is a blessing to work with someone who loves excel!) This process is a lot of work, but we absolutely love it. I wake up in the morning totally excited to see what my buckets of dough have brought me for the day. As Jeff always says, “if your not having fun the bread won’t taste good!” You are so right Jeff!


Oh and let me not forget the photo shoots with Mark Luinenburg. He did all of the gorgeous photos in ABin5 and this time for HBin5 we have twice as many. He does wonderful work and is so much fun. And Nan the make-up artist who did her very best to make me look like Audrey Hepburn and told Jeff he looks like a young Paul Newman. She will forever be in our good favor!

Leave us a comment about your favorite bread and you will be eligible to win one of the 5 signed copies of our current book: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day! We will announce the winners next week.

While we were loading the new front page of the website we ran into a little snag and ended up losing the last 2 days of  our comments. So, if you wrote to us in the past 2 days and haven’t heard from us that is why. Please, write to us again and we will get back to you. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thanks, Zoë and Jeff

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

  1. Thank you—I’m anxiously awaiting your new book based on all the wonderful reviews and the amazing mouth watering photos. We have to keep hanging on because we Desperately NEED a decent GLUTEN FREE Bread-roll-pizza dough recipes for our family. I’m hanging our high hopes on this book and will pre-order it asap. I hope your GF recipe is not like others I’ve seen (experiment with variety of flours on your own until you hit right mixture/consistency)…..IF I was already a master baker then I might be able to do so….however, IF that WAS the case then I wouldn’t actually need a recipe or cookbook to tell me so. Thank you in advance……we can’t wait!

    1. Tiffany: We’ve been doing quite a lot of testing lately, and yes, the recipes are designed to be used without a lot of experimentation on your part once you get the book. Jeff

  2. It is very hard to make a choice because they are all great. Some are a bit more difficult than others. I would love to make a SanFrancisco soup bowl bread.

  3. We have tried your basic recipe twice. The first time, our 7 year old did all the mixing, and he was so proud that the rest of the family loved (and devoured!) the rolls we made with the dough. The second time, our ten year daughter made the dough, and we had fresh artisan bread with supper. With a family of ten kids, we haven’t actually managed to get any dough into the fridge yet…I think we may need to double or triple the recipe so we can see how it tastes when it develops a sourdough flavor.
    We usually made 100% whole wheat sandwich bread, so this is a nice contrast to our usual bread. I can’t wait for your new book to see what recipes you have come up with using whole grains!

  4. I’ve been looking forward to the new book since you first mentioned it! Please please make it available on Kindle (so convenient…that way I always have some of my favorite cookbooks with me when I hit the grocery).

    1. Hi Leslie,

      I too hope that the publisher will make the new book available on Kindle. I think they probably will, since they did so with our first book. I will ask them to see and pass on your request.

      Thanks, Zoë

  5. Zoe:
    Can you bake 2 one lb loaves at the same time?
    Can 2 loaves be made out of one batch – how much longer would you need to cook it. . . .thanks

    1. Hi Sue,

      You can bake as many loaves as your baking stone will comfortably fit, allowing room for the oven spring. As long as your stone is properly preheated you may not need any additional time. This may also depend on your oven. Just go by the color of the crust, when they are deeply brown (like the loaf on the cover of the book) then they are done.

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. I dont know where to post this question since i cant seem to find my older posts. Please forgive. My favorite recipe in the first book is on pg 76, 100% whole wheat sandwhich bread. I love breads made with honey and 100% whole wheat. Nothing agianst the 75% whole wheat and 25% all purpose flour breads. I just like whole wheat. Well, every time i make it, it hardly rises due to low gluten content. But you all ready know that. Since i am new to bread making, i am curious if adding 3-4 tablespoons of bobs red mill vital wheat gluten and a lil extra water will help this bread out so it is not so flat. I usually turn the oven on for 45 seconds to a minute and then turn it off. I then put the loaf pan with the dough in it to help it rise a lil faster.

    If you can please let me know if adding the wheat gluten and extra water will help me.

    Thank you so much for teaching me how to make bread. All my neighbors want me to teach them now.. I tell them that i had private lessons from Zoe and Jeff!

    1. Hi Matt,

      It sounds like you need our new book. 😉 There are lots of 100% whole grain breads with just the combo you are looking for. You can try adding vital wheat gluten and water to your dough and it will just take a bit of play to find just the right ratio. That will certainly help with the rise and denseness of the loaf. We start with about 1/4 cup of VWG per batch, but it will be the amount of water that you will want to experiment with.

      Happy baking! Zoë

  7. I want the new book. Just gotta wait till school is out before i can buy it. Honey wheat bread is my most favorite bread ever. I made the whole wheat brioche last night. I found your post on this site and it had the basic recipe. However, since i am at 4600 feet or so, the crumb is way soft and if i cut slices less than half an inch, they fall apart. Gotta find a way to make a tight firmer crumb so i can make berry pudding with the honey wheat bread.

    Thanx for your help. Ill see if my local library has the book. I know they have the first one. I enjoy making bread. especially since i dont have a bread mixer. Hard to justify 300$ for a mixer while i have to pay for school.

    Well i am out of here for the night. Thank you so much and happy baking to you to! Matt

  8. Help! Bradley Benn’s Beer bread was tough and didn’t rise. I used dry cider instead of beer, could this be the problem? All ingredients are fresh and new. I let it rise for almost 3 hours on counter top and then overnight in refrigerator. I didn’t do the fried onions mix and free formed the loaves. What can I do next?

    1. Joni: Did you do any flour subsitutions? Like using bleached flour? How long did you let the dough sit after forming loaves? Did you cover with platic wrap? Jeff

  9. The other day I made my first batch of the master recipe from Healthy bread in five minutes a day. I let it rise for two hours and put it in the fridge. I weighed all the ingredients to be accurate. Now as I’m trying to make a loaf it seems much too wet. I put it in a greased bread pan and it is rising. I expect it will be fine but wonder how to make any real shapes with this wet a dough? My intuition says I should have added more flour at the beginning. Can you add any insights?

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