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. Oh, your methods have changed my life! I want to tell everyone about it. I would love to get a copy of your book to share with my family. Thank you for not only teaching me with one magazine article that I can have fresh bread all the time, but for giving me the confidence to work with dough. I make the basic boule recipe and I love that I can do whatever I want with it because I don’t see dough as some big scary super squishy monster waiting to turn into a brick because I didn’t hold my tongue on the proper side of my mouth when I looked at it. I love that I can tear off a hunk and pan fry it just for me, or make a loaf when there are others around. Basically anything I want to do. I can’t WAIT for the new book to come out. These pics are making my mouth water! How excited you must be to change the way people think about, make, and eat bread. Good job.

  2. Just heard about your book from a friend. I’m just learning about baking bread and am excited to try your recipes.

  3. Do I really have to choose a favorite? I don’t think I can. Each one is so wonderful, both as it’s being prepared, as it comes out of the oven, and as it gets eaten.

  4. I love ’em all too! But I think I finally won over my father-in-law’s heart with the pumpernickel. THANK YOU for that!!

  5. I have thought about baking bread for quite some time but always thought you had to have an expensive bread maker machine. That was until Mary Hunt featured your book in a recent newsletter.
    I would love to have a copy of the book to see if it would fit into a busy schedule like everyone says. I’ve heard the recipes are WONDERFUL!

  6. I loved the glimpse into the testing process and can’t wait for the new book to come out.

    I haven’t tried a recipe from the book yet that I haven’t loved. I always have a batch of master going–a constant since first read of the book many moons ago. The blog is great, though, because it always entices me to be a little more adventurous and try other recipes and variations.

  7. I lost the recipe for this bread more than twenty years ago and have searched everywhere for it since. It was plain homemade bread seasoned with herbs mixed in, particularly marjoram and rosemary. It was absolutely incredible with my homemade chili. The original recipe came from the Ladies’ Home Journal of about 1974.

  8. I used to bake only baquettes in old fashioned way and now I just know that there is another way to making bread, it’s amazing

  9. My favorite bread is Challah. It’s so yummy and one of my favorites to make.

    What is that beautiful purple colored bread with the greenish insides? I guess I’ll have to get the new book to find out.

  10. I’m so glad to see the news about the new book. I can’t wait to get a copy. I’ll be giving some as Christmas gifts. Any plans for a trip down to Atlanta?
    My favorite bread is the deli rye. I use that with roast beef. It’s the perfect match of carraway seed and rye. I also use your master recipe to make calzones. They were delicious.

    1. We may get to Atlanta in November, but it’s up in the air. Check out our Events tab to follow where we’ll be for book promotion in the upcoming months. Jeff

  11. Oh, it is too hard to choose a favorite. I guess that if I had to choose, it would be European Peasant Bread. I love your current cookbook and can’t wait to get a look at the new one!

  12. My fave… the basic boule. I fortify it with ground flax seed meal…I braid it, roll it, shape it… you name it!!!
    I haven’t purchased a loaf of bread in one solid year!!!

  13. I haven’t gotten beyond the European Peasant bread–but my husband is gluten intolerant and we can’t wait for the new book with some gluten free bread for him! Your book has truly changed my life, and I am nearly evangelical about it.

  14. I have never had success with making bread and have been disappointed with all the junk in commercial versions. I am excited to check this out and give it a try! I hope I win!

  15. I’ve only just started delving into making my own bread. I made the basic white loaf but I think my yeast was bad or something since it didn’t rise very much. I need to buy more yeast and try it again. I plan to try whole wheat bread too. I’d LOVE a copy of those book!!

  16. I got the book three weeks ago and so far I’ve made the master recipe, deli style rye, and olive oil dough. I think my favorite is a toss up between the rye and the olive oil. I made pizza for dinner the last three nights and everybody said it was the best they ever had. Next I want to try making pretzels out of the rye dough.

  17. ABin5 is the only cookbook I have that I gave it’s own dedicated bookmark. I have been buying flour in 50lb bags and going through them in less than three months….fantastic bread! Amazing concept! My favorite (at the moment) is the 100% whole wheat sandwich bread, although I sub 2 cups of white for two of the wheat (or my daughter won’t eat it) and add a cup of cooked wheat berries. Yum!
    Many thanks!

  18. So after a day of my master recipe mix being in the fridge I finally cooked it, however I think I mishandelled it too much and came out rather dense but delicious and a great crust. I’ve already troubleshooted the causes from this website, and am about to bake my second loaf soon!

    As soon as this dough is finished I have plans on baking the blueberry lemon curd ring – unknowingly I made some microwaveable lemon curd last week after being inspired from an episode of Australian Masterchef, now just need to get some blueberries!

  19. I love the master recipe. It is so simple and works for so many things. I have spent the last year experimenting with LOTS of different breads, and yours are so simple and successful!

  20. My favourite bread is multicereal bread, i also like bread with grated carrots inside and yogurte. I guess i love all sorts of bread and the magic of baking bread. I would love to have your book, because since i learnt your basic recipe i make my own bread every two days.
    Regards from Lisbon Portugal

  21. I would love to win a copy of this book. All the women in my family (almost) own a copy and most of my friends are buying it as well. I have not yet had the opportunity of making any, but I have had it at several wedding/baby showers and it is amazing. THanks!

  22. Wish I could put a picture here- have tried the recipe from a video I stumbled across!! Liked it so much that this method will literally be a part of my life for the REST of my life. Before this yeast and I did NOT get along. I don’t know what it was, but I simply could NOT make anything with yeast. Overnight, the bread is good enough to be sold at a pricey gourmet bread shop- or would that be shoppe? lol THANK YOU for this – we now eat the master dough several times a week- AND I’ve also gone ahead and used your tip to keep the bucket uncleaned for a more sour taste in the subsequent batches.

  23. hehe i dont know how you manage to have such a lovely figure with so much bread, cakes and ice cream around.
    soo jealous. 🙂

  24. Baking multiples? Can I bake more than 1 dough on the stone at the same time if spaced? Are time and temp altered? Got the book on my Kindle..Love it! Made my first beautiful, delicious, crusty yesterday in my convection oven. Fab!!!

    1. Ginger: Absolutely, more than one on the stone is fine. Temp is same but in smaller ovens may bake a little longer.

  25. Hi! Congrats on the new book. I am really looking forward to getting it. Oct 27th is the same week my wife and I are expecting our first baby. Quick and easy breads will be very important those first few months..err..years!

    So far the whole wheat and basic recipe are all I have tried and my neighborhood loves them. Ive even inspired several to start making it themselves.

    I will be making the naan tonight and im sure it will be great.


  26. Love your book. Making focaccia again tonight. Have a little trouble with the peasant bread. I’m getting a very dense moist crumb.

    But, the rest of the recipes turn out quite well. Thanks and look forward to your new book!

    Hope I win the give-away. I’m unemployed and waited 5 weeks to get the book from the library. Well worth the wait.

    1. Kate: Give that peasant bread a longer rest (maybe 60 to 90 minutes) and you’ll probably appreciate the crumb a little more– see what you think. Jeff

  27. I’m slowly working my way through the first book, playing with the recipes and having fun. The pita breads with the semolina dough were great. I made the pumpernickel dough last night with the Zoe’s recipe for caramel color. My first loaf today will be stuffed with dates and then I want to try it as a pita bread.

    I’m preordering the new book and excited about the new recipes. My poor bread machine is getting dusty.

  28. I worked in Belgium almost twenty years ago, and really enjoyed the bread — so much so that I plan to build a brick hearth someday! Your book has been a hot number at our library, and I finally have it. Your methods can truly make home made breads the “staff of life”! We will soon make up batch of your American Delicatessen rye bread and enjoy Rubens at Ravinia while listening to our wonderful Chicago Symphony Orchestra!

  29. Way to go Jeff & Zoe! Tell your spouses the new look is amazing. 🙂
    I just circled October 27th and as soon as August hits I’ll be driving my family nuts with the countdown. (Now would be a bit early . . . though I would dearly love to.) I have friends who I’d love to pass the book on to, but because there are food allergies it didn’t seem wise – which is one of the reasons I’m so excited about the new book. 🙂 In some ways I can’t imagine it being better that the first (love the master recipe!), but the previews you’ve posted in the past couple months have been tantalizing. (Hard German rolls and lemon brioche – need I say more?)
    Can’t wait!

  30. My family loves the basic boule. I substitute a little bit of whole wheat flour instead of using all unbleached flour. We use it for pizza dough and calzones, too.

  31. I haven’t had the chance to try anything from the book because I don’t have a copy yet! However, I really like ciabatta bread. The new books looks great…love the different colors/textures!

  32. I can’t wait to see your new book! My absolute FAVE from the current book is being able to make Montreal bagels. They’re fabulous!

  33. Our favorite bread is the Master Recipe. In fact, my son has four loaves rising on the counter as I write this. He is taking two loaves to a work lunch tomorrow and the other two on a weekend camping trip. I am so looking forward to your next book. The breads with multi-grains, fruits and nuts sound like what we are looking for in a good bread. Thanks so much!

  34. Hi
    I haven’t tried any of your recipes yet, but am really hoping to start this weekend. I am a mom of 5 and run a daycare at my home. I’m hoping to use your method to introduce a quick and healthy alternative to pre-packaged bread into the lives of the children I care for as well as my own.

  35. I would have to say that right now my favorite is the basic recipe. I haven’t really tried a lot of the others and I love to be able to use this one for everything. Thanks for the best bread making technique ever!!!!

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