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

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

  1. WOW!!! It is hard to choose just one bread recipe. I think I would choose the light whole wheat. My 2yr old daughter LOVES to help make bread with me (especially “tasting” the dough)!! I can’t wait until your new book comes out so my daughter and I can start making more new bread recipes together. Thank you!!!


  2. My only excuse for not having found your book earlier is that we’ve been homeschooling for the last year and up to our ears in educational theories. My bread baking has been limited to the tried and true (although we do grind our own grain).

    I’ve been trying for years to bake the perfect brotchen, whole wheat loaf and daily bread. For Mother’s Day I received an Emeril bread baking machine (because it will make baguettes). It’s easy and quick, but not the same thing as ABin5.

    I’ve used the Master Recipe, using parchment paper on the stone as well as my covered clay baguette mold and my Romertope covered clay cooker, all with the same success (even when I forget the pan of water for steam). After making two loaves in the clay cookers, a 10 year old guest couldn’t stop eating the bread! She declared it to be the most delicious thing she had ever put in her mouth.

    I’ve ordered the first book, since I have so far only used the Master Recipe, and am anxious to try all of the other recipes. All I can say is “Thank you, Jeff and Zoë, for a marvelous method.

  3. I have pre-ordered your second book and am anxiously waiting. It is so hard to choose 1 favorite bread from your first book. I have loved every recipe that I have made so far. I use your master bread recipe all the time for just about everything, but I also make the ‘Vermont Cheddar Cheese Bread’ quite often. It makes the absolute best grilled cheese sandwiches – so, I guess I’ll call that one my favorite. That will work, until I whip up a batch of the ‘European Peasant Bread’ and then that will have to move up on the list!

  4. We are never too old to learn. 73 and still learning and loving the recipes and your site. Would love to have your book! Please what is the purple bread with green center???? I want to make this one! My favorite is the one I am baking and eating at the time!…….Just too many to narrow down. Thanks!

  5. Ya’ll rock! My fave is the European Peasant Bread but the basic boule is great too. Also the light whole wheat-how to choose? I have turned at least 8 people on to this method & I know 4 or maybe 5 have bought your book. I will be purchasing the new one as well & possibly extras for gifts. Thanks for the method-pure genius!

  6. I lovelovelove your current book and am squealing with delight about the new! October seems SO far away! I have recommended your strategies (and books, naturally) to at least a dozen people so far, and I will definitely be giving them as gifts to people. My family and I have been trying to cut out high fructose corn syrup for so long, but bread has been a lone holdout because natural breads are so expensive and only seem to last a few days. This is absolutely wonderful! We love the wholesomeness of the breads as well as the fact that we can control (and know!) exactly what goes into each bite. I had tried bread-making before, and it’s just too time-consuming for parents of a new infant, but we all want to eat healthy, natural, and still tasty food. I simply cannot wait until your new book, and I look forward to any new pre-release recipes you post to this website. Thanks a million times!

  7. I have four sisters and after one of the recipes made the telephone advice rounds we all just had to get the book. Holding off on naming a favorite since I’m still trying them all out and I’ve yet to get to the sweet breads that look so tasty! Thanks for following your dreams and well-trained taste buds!

  8. I truly love a well-aged sourdough… the tangier the better! And the deli rye is amazing as well! Granted, I haven’t had the opportunity to try very many recipes past those… I borrowed the book from a friend for a couple days and only made a few breads.

  9. I’ve just barely started with your delicious breads, only one master batch so far. I’ve been traveling and have read the ABin5 almost cover to cover. Can’t wait to get home and try the whole wheat versions. I will put the new book on my wish list right away!

  10. My favorite bread is the Peasant Bread, and I love your your book. I have tried several recipes in it and they are all wonderful! My mother is gluten intolerant so your new book is eagerly awaited!

  11. Love making your basic Boule and adding whatever herbs I have in the garden at the time. Such an easy recipe- and the bread always looks like I slaved over it!

  12. I love making your bread@ You truely have change the way I look at artisen bread. I thank you and so do my friends and family!!

  13. OK, that’s it. I’ve been procrastinating buying your first book, and now you’ve come up with a second! I’m ordering ABin5 as soon as I finish this note. And I’ll be cleaning out my refrigerator this weekend to make room for a bucket.

    I’ve been a big fan of a particular author’s bread machine books because of the variety and the fact that she is meticulous about recipe testing, but the crumb produced by bread machines is just too consistent and “Wonder-like.” Nothing interesting ever happens underneath that ubiquitous crust.

    I can’t wait to try the 5 Minutes a Day method (I know I don’t have to wait for the book to arrive to get started, but I DO have to clean out my fridge first, LOL). So, without having tried it yet, I will proclaim my favorite bread to be the ABin5 Master Recipe! (If it’s got crusty crust and chewy crumb I’m bound to love it!) …although the European Peasant Bread sounds really yummy, too…. Oh no! How am I going to be able to choose just one?

  14. My favorite bread is Rosemary bread with sea salt made by my favorite bakery in Washington state…..Anjou. I am looking forward to you new book.

  15. I love the basic Light Whole Wheat recipe. I just used it as pizza dough for the first time and it was heavenly! In an area of the country that only has chain pizza places, I am so glad I found your book. It has saved me from Papa John’s! 😀

  16. Love the semolina recipe. Had just a tad left, and so made 5 little sticky buns when my grandkids were here. The youngest girl is a VERY suspicious eater, and was sure she wouldn’t like to even taste one. But since she saw a Craisin in it, she took a bite. Then another. Then she grabbed onto the whole bun and wouldn’t let go til she ate the whole thing.

    My adult son was so impressed with the bread, that he came over for a lesson in how to make it. He was going on a week long raft trip with 14 people and wanted to make the Naan bread for his meal duty. Everyone LOVED the hot, fresh bread with their jambalaya, and having to roll it out with a cold beer can wasn’t the worst thing.

    Wonderful book…it was a great piece of luck for me that I chose it instead of several others when I was browsing through the bookstore. I didn’t need ANY cookbook, I thought. But yours has really changed our mealtimes!

    And a quick P.S. about those who mention waistlines and calories. For us it’s been a very good thing, because we can make a half-recipe, then bake just a few mini brötchen for a meal, and not be tempted to eat extra slices. Works GREAT!

  17. I am so enamored by the master recipe for a boule, which I have modified (with your help) to use my sourdough starter, that I have to admit that I have not actually made any of the other recipes in the book, I’ve only read about them, and I think about them. Yet I can’t wait for the new book, HB in 5, to expand my repertory of bread fantasies along the lines of whole grains, etc.

  18. I am new to bread making and I can’t wait to try this technique! I love making whole grain breads, but often don’t have the time… this sounds like a perfect solution. Thanks for adding me to the giveaway contest…. my favorite bread is anything with garlic! yum!

  19. So far I have made the master recipe for pizza dough and I absolutely love it. Pizza is not same anymore which is definetly a good thing!

  20. I had pretty much given up on ever finding fresh, great tasting bread with a crunchy crust until I heard you on NPR’s Splendid Table. Every recipe I’ve tried in you ABin5 is more than splendid. My current favorite is the Pumpernickle. I never knew pumpernickle could taste so wonderful. Keep up the great work and I’m eagerly awaiting HBin5.

    Tad Siembida

  21. Gina: Breads can be put back for additional baking if you decide it’s too pale. Fully pre-heat the oven first though. Jeff

  22. Claudine: We will have a table for weight equivalencies in the new book, but we won’t have weights listed out for any of the recipes except for the Whole Grain Master Recipe. Jeff

  23. My favorite bread from your first book is the Deli-Style Rye! It is delicious on its own and makes a dynamite corned beef and swiss sandwich! I look forward to your new book with breads chock full of healthy ingredients!

  24. Just learned about your book last week (roaming the blogosphere), checked it out of the library yesterday. The blueberry lemon curd ring looks delicious. I’ve baked refrigerated dough before, but I don’t have a stone so I will most likely first try recipes that can be cooked in muffin cups, loaf pans, or cookie sheets.

  25. I LOVE your bread baking process. I make it every week for the Farmer’s Market and it is the bread that always sells out first! My favorite is the European Peasant Bread. I make it with more whole wheat and rye flour than your recipe calls for. I have found that I am able to work with it easier if I work with wet hands rather than floured hands. Maybe it’s the addition of extra whole grain flours that makes the difference, but it is incredibly easy to work with if I use wet hands.
    I am SO looking forward to your new book as I bake almost exclusively with whole grains and it’s taken lots of experimenting to change your recipes in ABin5 to my specs. Looking forward to benefitting from YOUR experiments!!!

    ~Diane Potter

  26. We love everything about your breads….from the basic recipe which I probably make at least twice a week, to the challah, the brioche…..my friends at work swoon over the gooey cinnamon rolls…..to olive bread, the roasted red pepper fougasse, the naan….there isn’t anything I have made from your first book that isn’t wonderful. My family loves you both with a blinding passion. I am so looking forward to your new book.

  27. I’m new to Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, but have heard nothing but great things about it. I would love to win a copy of your new book!

  28. I absolutely love the European Peasant dough. I’ve even used it for English Muffins! Also if you have leftover roasted garlic hanging around, definitely make a batch of the Roasted Garlic Potato Bread. Yum! As a matter of fact, go roast some garlic so you can make the dough. It’s that good!

  29. I just love to bake bread but with commitments and a busy life style I find it too taxing to bake every weekend. I love to make artisan breads, as well, but I find the normal 2 day process is frustrating when baking only on weekends. And, to top it all off, I prefer to use a slack dough because it produces such a wonderful crumb. Guess what, your book fits every need I have. Thanks so much for all your efforts! I am very excited to get the new book in October.

  30. Jeff, thanks for a quick response. It is so wonderful to be able to ask a question and get an answer. Best of luck. Ginger

  31. I LOVE your ABin 5 and can’t wait for the new book. Since the new book will be healthy recipes, have you considered listing nutritional information for each recipe?

    1. Cynthia: Publisher isn’t willing to spring for that, so we won’t have nutritional info for each recipe. But there’ll be lots of discussion around nutritional content. Jeff

  32. I love the first book and can’t wait for the second. I just ate a piece of rye toast from ABin5 and recommended it to 2 friends on Facebook who were looking for home made bread recipes. I just started a fan group for you guys there.

    Anyway, thanks for the Giveaway and the new book on the way.

  33. I just started using the recipes in your book and love the Olive Oil Dough. I can’t wait to try out more of the recipes from the book. Great book-can’t wait to see what is in the new book, too!

  34. Cannot wait to get your latest tome. Sourdough is my enduring fave, but whole grains/rye is right up there.

    Kudos for a job WELL DONE!

    Hope I can win the newest addition to your primo cookbooks!

  35. My favourite is the master recipe. So versatile. Our current batch has turned multigrain. The brioche would have to be a close second. I would love a copy of the next book so much!

  36. I discovered your basic boule recipe when a friend linked to it at http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/Artisan-Bread-In-Five-Minutes-A-Day.aspx. I’ve been baking my own bread every day since! It’s so simple and so much better than any bread I could buy – besides taking less time.

    Like Claudine I found it too much faff to measure everything out in cups, but I’ve found 1kg flour, 750ml water and 4tsp yeast and salt works a treat (the quantities are about 10% smaller than in the original recipe).

  37. Congratulations on your new book! I’ve enjoyed ABin5 and look forward to HBin5! The two of you really do look like movie stars. The breads are gorgeous too!

  38. I love to cook and am constantly accumulating more cookbooks. I will say however that bread has never been my thing. I have a bread machine and have always been disappointed with the results. I heard about this in a daily blog I subscribe to and was skeptical. I went to the bookstore but they wanted $27 for this book which I wasn’t willing to pay since I didn’t think it would be any different from my other breadmaking attempts. In my websurfing I found another site that had your master recipe posted. (Zoe had even posted some helpful tips so thank you by the way for allowing that recipe to stay posted) I gave it a try yesterday and all I can say is that I will never by bread like that from the store again! It came out wonderful! This morning I woke up and started a try on the whole wheat sandwich bread although I messed it up a little so not sure how it will turn out. I forgot to add the water until after I added the flour so it was pretty lumpy. Anyway, I am buying the book today and pre-ordering the new one! I know what I am getting everyone for Christmas gifts!

  39. I have had your book for a while but just started making the master recipe and I love it and am looking forward to trying the other recipes. I can’t wait for your new book!

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