I’m Jeff Hertzberg…

(photo by Stephen Scott Gross)

… and I figured out how to make great bread with only five minutes a day of active time investment. My BreadIn5 books, with over one million copies in print, will show you how. The Secret? Homemade stored dough, refrigerated for up to two weeks. You’ll mix enough dough for many loaves, so you can take a piece from the fridge whenever you need it. Mix once, bake many. I’ve been thinking about this for many, many years (from the first edition)…

Like most kids, my brother and I loved sweets, so dessert was our favorite time of day. We’d sit in the kitchen, devouring frosted supermarket doughnuts.

“Those are too sweet,” my grandmother would say. “Me, I’d rather have a piece of good rye bread, with cheese on it.”

Munch, munch, munch. Our mouths ­were full; we could not respond.

“It’s better than cake,” she’d say.

There’s a certain solidarity among kids gorging on sweets, but secretly, I knew she was right. I could finish half a loaf of very fresh, very crisp rye bread by myself, with or without butter (unlike my grandmother, I considered cheese to be a distraction from perfect rye bread). The right stuff came from a little bakery on Horace Harding Boulevard in Queens, New York. The shop itself was nondescript, but the breads ­were Eastern Eu­ro­pe­an masterpieces. The crust of the rye bread was crisp, thin, and caramelized brown. The interior crumb was moist and dense, chewy but never gummy, and bursting with tangy yeast, rye, and wheat flavors. It made great toast, ­too—and yes, it was better than cake.

The handmade bread was available all over New York City, and it ­wasn’t a rarefied delicacy. Everyone knew what it was and took it for granted. It was not a stylish addition to affluent lifestyles; it was a simple comfort food brought ­here by modest immigrants.

I left New York in the late 1980s, and assumed that the corner bread shops would always be there, waiting for me, whenever I came back to visit. But I was wrong. As people lost interest in making a second stop after the supermarket just for bread, the shops gradually faded away. By 1990, the ubiquitous corner shops turning out great eastern, central, and southern Eu­ro­pe­an breads with crackling crusts ­were no longer so ubiquitous.

Great European breads, handmade by artisans, were still available, but they’d become part of the serious (and seriously expensive) food phenomenon that had swept the country. The bread bakery was no longer on every ­corner—now it was a destination. And nobody’s grandmother would ever have paid six dollars for a loaf of bread (more now!).

I’d fly back to New York and wander the streets, bereft (well, not really). “My shop” on Horace Harding Boulevard had changed hands several times by 1990, and the bread, being made only once a day, was dry and didn’t really have a lot of flavor. I even became convinced that we could get better bagels in Minneapolis—and from a chain store. Things were that grim.

So I decided to do something about it. The Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book series has been my attempt to help people recreate the great ethnic breads of years past, in their own homes, without investing serious time in the process. Using my straightforward, fast, and easy recipes, anyone will be able to create artisan bread and at home with minimal equipment. Our first problem was: Who has time to make bread every day?

After years of experimentation, it turned out that I did, and with a method as fast as this, you can, too. I solved the time problem and produced top-quality artisan loaves without a bread machine. I worked out the master recipes during busy years of career transition and starting a family. My lightning­-fast method helps you find the time to bake great bread every day. I developed this method to recapture the daily artisan bread experience without further crunching everyone’s limited time—and it works! As I say, mix once, bake many. To turn it into a book was another adventure:

In 2000, I called in on to a radio show (Lynne Rosetto Kasper’s The Splendid Table on NPR) to describe a super-fast bread recipe that I’d developed as an escape from my punishing schedule as a medical resident. The recipe produces artisan loaves with active preparation time of only five minutes a day. An editor from a major US publisher was listening to the radio show & asked for a book proposal. After many other adventures, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day was released in 2007. Within a month of release, Artisan Bread became the number one bread cookbook on Amazon.com.  The books have been covered by the New York Times, The Associated Press, and the Today Show, among others. With over one million copies in print worldwide, there are translations in China, Germany, Taiwan, Japan, and a version in Britain.

I grew up eating great bread and pizza in New York City, where I went to medical school. I think moderation and variety are the keys to a healthy diet, and I continue to work as a medical director and consultant focusing on health-improvement programs.  I was lucky enough to turn an obsession with bread and pizza into a second career as an author.

The Books:


The first book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (2007) showed that baking homemade bread could be easy enough to become a daily ritual for everyone. That includes people struggling to balance work, family, friends, & social life (pretty much all of us). The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day–2013’s update on the original–was written in response to reader requests for more recipes and techniques.


The second book, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (2009), takes that same super-fast approach but applies it to healthier ingredients like whole grains, fruits, & vegetables.  A dozen of the recipes are 100% whole grain, and for the first time, they included a chapter on gluten-free breads. They published the The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (2016) with even more whole grain recipes, a super-fast sourdough starter, weight measurements, plus more pictures and tips to create great hearty loaves with many types of flour.


Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day (2011) features pizza and flatbreads from all over the world


Requests for a gluten-free version flooded this website , so Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day followed, in 2014. It recreates all the breads from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day without the gluten.

Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day (2018) is a whole book devoted to traditional breads for holidays from all over the world.


BreadIn5, and the orange “5” design are registered trademarks of BreadIn5®, LLC.

387 thoughts to “I’m Jeff Hertzberg…”

  1. My Crock Pot has a panel for the controls that is about 4 x 4 inches. Does this affect the cooking process as the heat is not as intense there as around the rest of the pot and I would suspect it might give me half-cooked bread on one side. Also, my lid has two steam holes in it. Should they be plugged?

    1. Hi Mary,

      I would think the pot has heat elements even behind that panel, so I bet it will be okay, but you can rotate the bread in the last 10 minutes if that spot is pale compared to the rest of the loaf. You do want to prevent the steam and heat from escaping while the bread is “baking” so maybe put some foil plugs in those vents.

      Enjoy, Zoë

      1. Thanks for the info! You just saved me having to buy a new Crock Pot! I’m making the dough tomorrow, after I pick up my groceries and I’m not sure if I’ll last to Wednesday morning to bake a loaf. Can’t wait!

    2. Help. Long story short. I live in my car, but have a place I can plug “oven” in to. The recipe says 450, my mini oven goes to 400. What to do? Eating out is not healthy or affordable on social security.

      1. You can bake on a lower temp, but it’s going to take longer, and the crust may not crisp up. But it’ll work… 20% longer? All depends on the oven though, so you’ll have to experiment.

  2. Hi Karen,

    The dough will rise and collapse in the bucket, so that is normal. How did the bread come out, was it overly dense? If so, you may want to let it rest even longer next time, so it isn’t quite as cold when it goes into the oven. It should wobble a bit, like set jello when it is ready to be baked. The whole wheat loaves do tend to be a bit denser than those made with white flour.

    Thanks, Zoe

  3. I love your gluten free book. I have made so many sweet rolls I am now on a diet. Do you have a suggestion on what recipe will made scones. I love scones but all the gluten free recipes I have tried don’t taste right. Any suggestions?

    1. I would agree that most people can eat wheat and gluten. But your numbers, which are correct for frank celiac disease, suggested over 3 million Americans cannot eat wheat or gluten. That’s not trivial. I’d further agree with you that limiting energy intake is of crucial importance in preventing diabetes. Eating large quantities of white-flour products, or binging on whole grain versions of the same– is risky for diabetes and obesity.

  4. Hi Jeff and Zoe

    I’ve been using your 2007 bread book and I recently bought The New Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day for the whole wheat recipes and techniques (really excellent explanation of flours, thank you!)

    I would like to make a loaf with less than 70% whole wheat flour
    Could you tell me how to tweak the Master Recipe for ~50% whole wheat/50% AP flour please

    1. It’s just a matter of decreasing the water a bit. Part of that depends on the brand of whole grain flour that you’re using, but I’m guessing it’s going to be approximately a quarter cup. Could be as little as two tablespoons though

  5. I have loved your books since they came out. I make 8oz. Mini loves that are a favorite with my family and friends. But I made a huge mistake with the batch before last!
    I’m 76 great grandma and must of had my brain on too much. Only put 3 cups of flour in the master mix instead of 6 1/2 cups. Any way to salvage this batch please help with this

    1. Hi Sandy,

      You are in good company, the same thing has happened to me many times! You can always add more flour to the mix and let it rest for about an hour to allow the flour to be absorbed into the mixture. You can also try pouring it into a sheet pan with a generous amount of olive oil to bake as a flatbread.

      Thank you! Zoë

  6. Hi! I am confused about resting timings. On pg. 4 (“New …” 2013), for a 1lb. loaf coming out of the refrigerator, rest time is 20 mins. plus. On pg. 36, average rest time is 40-90 minutes. These times seem wildly different. Please advise.

    1. Hi Margo,

      The minimum resting time for a 1-pound boule is 20 minutes, but we’ve found the results are better if you let it rest for 40-60 minutes. It will depend on your preference (denser vs more open interior crumb) and it may depend on the temperature of your kitchen. So, you can try letting the first loaf rest for one time and a second loaf at another and see which you prefer.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  7. I just made your Rustic Garlic Potato Bread and it is incredibly delicious! Also made the English Granary-Style Bread. Wasn’t sure how this would be received but all my neighbors loved. Glad I bought this book. Quick and easy recipes!


  8. I own all your books and adapt the basic dough to old family recipes. The whole concept is a blessing to modern families loving good bread in an age when daily bread making is so difficult. Thank you for this contribution to our quality of life.
    I always seem to have a soft and tasty interior. However, my crust is often to hard to be enjoyed. I enjoy the crisp and crunch when things go well. Friends tell me I may be baking iy to long while others tell me I steam it to much. Can you give me a clue how to have consistant ressuts?

  9. Do we achieve a health benefit by letting the dough “soak” overnight? Seems like this would be the case, in light of the things I’ve read in the past concerning anti-nutrients/phytates breaking down with soaking, fermentation benefits, and information put out by Sally Fallon (Nourishing Traditions), Weston A. Price Foundation, et al. How might soaking/fermenting grains before baking affect the way the body processes the carbs? Are these topics that have been addressed in the new book or might you have another book in the works at some point? I’m loving your ABin5 methods and hope my new hobby can peacefully coexist with my improving insulin sensitivity–admittedly, this would be a happy surprise.

    1. I’m hesitant to make health claims about long fermentation of dough, such as what we do in our method. I think the evidence is scanty…

  10. I was wanting to make the pumpernickel and had the same question as everyone else….where to get the caramel color. I did find that Amoretti has a salted caramel powder that is highly concentrated and intense in color. I am about to try it, but I am no expert on this baking bread stuff….so I’d like to know if you tried it or would like to try it and tell me why it works or doesn’t work….. Kind of a goofy question but if it doesn’t work for me doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t work.
    I grew up in a polish neighborhood and pumpernickel was a staple, I miss it.

  11. We create our own artisan breads from Jeff and Zoe’s book weekly. Only purchase store bought breads occasionally. I was wondering what the nutritional breakdown was for the master-recipe? Wondering mostly about the sodium. Any information is appreciated.

    1. It all depends on whether you used the full 1.5 tablespoons, or the lower level of salt… 1.0 tablespoons, how many slices you make for the full batch (3.6 pounds), and the portion size you eat. We made the strategic decision back in 2007 not to go through the nutritional calculations for these loaves. Our sodium content is comparable to that of commercial bread.

  12. On your garlic herb knots which looks great, I was wondering if you could put the garlic and herbs into the flour mixtures before you bake?
    I also want to know if you have used kamut flour, white all purpose kamut or the whole wheat kamut? what do you think of this flour?

    1. You can definitely put the herbs n garlic into the dough mixture at the beginning of the recipe. My best guess is that it will behave about like whole wheat flour does in our other recipes. That means there’ll be a water adjustment, usually upwards, but depending on the flour, not always.

  13. Good Morning,
    I love your GF bread book. I’m still reading, studying, learning. This is my first attempt at bread making. On page 69, the footnote suggests to visit the website, GFBreadIn5.com. Is the website still there? I cannot find it. I want to view a video on shaping the bread. And of course, learn as much as I can to supplement the book.

    Thank you for your inspiring book!
    Janice D.

    1. All my books’ websites go to the same place on the internet, artisanbreadinfive.com. The various books have different URL letters, but they all go to the same place, and I support all the books in the same place. When you get there, click on “Questions,” then “Gluten-Free FAQs.” The most useful video is in there.

  14. Hi have been baking your bread recipe for a number of years now! We do like the taste, however, we find that in day or so the crust becomes exceedingly hard! Please advise how we can avoid this! Thanks

    1. Sure, some options:
      ? add whole grains, which yield a softer crust, though the water requirement changes (increases)
      ? paint the crust with butter or oil before and after baking
      ? store cut bread in airtight plastic or container
      … but the bottom line–fresh bread made without preservatives or dough conditioners gets stale and hard quickly.

    1. I didn’t test with those, but my guess is that they behave about the same as whole grain flours, which do appear in the books. You’d have to do some experimentation…

    1. Yes, the Kindle electronic versions are available on Amazon. There are no PDF versions, but I think Barnes& Noble has an electronic version on its website as well.

  15. Might I make a suggestion? Would love to have your other cookbooks in gluten free versions as well!! Artisan Pizza and Flatbred Gluten Free! and Holiday and Celebration Bread Gluten free!!! What do you say?! PLEASE!!!

    1. Well, here’s how the book business works… if a book sells great, the author is offered the opportunity to do a follow-up book. So that was the case with the original ABin5, and the original HBin5. The pizza and celebration books didn’t do well enough for the publisher to justify it–they’re niche products. What I can tell you is that the basic doughs for un-enriched, and enriched loaves work great in GF pizzas and celebration breads. Takes a bit of experimentation and digging around here on the website (type gluten free, with and without the hyphen, into my Search Bar above).

    1. Coating the peel either with flour, or cornmeal. Alternative would be to use parchment paper, but I usually remove it after a few minutes because it tends to make for scorching

  16. A friend 10 + years ago introduced me to your 5-minute artisan bread recipe, and I have been baking in several times a week ever since. We loved the recipe, and everyone who tried it, loved it as well.
    We have been aware of the issues with starches, breads, weight issues, so on, so when we learned about the amazing miracle of home ground flour, we were super excited. I purchased grain (red hard wheat, white hard wheat, soft wheat, etc.) from the Bread Beckers in Georgia, and I have been baking for two weeks now with home ground flour using an electric mill. I can report that the difference in taste is superior to anything I have had in my life. That is a lot to say, because being a Hungarian from overseas, I have had a lot of good quality bread in my life time.
    My question is if you guys are familiar with this whole grain flour an have any tips as to how modify your recipe to achieve a great result. Until I get a response, I will definitely try your whole wheat recipe and see how that works. I didn’t like the results with store bought whole wheat, but i am hoping the home ground flour won’t disappoint.
    Thank you for your great work and the 5-minute artisan bread recipe. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words! Have you seen my post on this topic? Type the words “fresh ground” into my search bar above, let me know if you don’t find it.

  17. Hi. I have been a bread in 5 minutes a day baker for many years. I recently….. yesterday, tried your 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread as a half recipe weighing the ingredients and using King Arthur’s white whole wheat flour. The finished mix immediately after mixing, after the initial rise, after overnight refrigeration and when taking it out to bake a loaf was very dry. The directions say to use wet hands because the “dough is pretty sticky.” Mine was anything but sticky. What did I do wrong? I have three of your books!

    1. Hmmm… It’s either a measurement error, or the King Arthur product is significantly higher in protein and what I typically tested with in that book. Your current batch can be salvaged by working in extra water, maybe a quarter cup or so. After adding the water, add back a little flour to restart fermentation. Let it sit on the counter for a couple of hours to re-ferment

      1. Thank you Jeff. I will try that and get the flour you used in the book. I baked a loaf and the taste is great. Maybe I’ll use what is left on the bucket as a sour dough starter?

  18. Thank you, thank you, I can’t thank you enough. My daughter bought me your book “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” in 2020, and it has been a fulfilling bread making adventure. I feel healthier and happier to be eating homemade bread.

  19. If I don’t have a lidded bucket what do I use to cover the dough in a bowl? Plastic wrap? Also can you use a Dutch oven to bake the loaf?

    1. Plastic wrap works fine, but it’s sometimes sticks to wet dough. That’s no big deal though. You can definitely use a Dutch oven to bake this recipe. Just type the words Dutch oven into the search bar on the website here, and it will take you to several posts I’ve done over the years about using a Dutch oven. Much more in my books

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