There’s nothing like the aroma and taste of freshly baked bread. Before we discovered the book “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” (Hertzberg and François), artisan bread baking was a labour of love. Now you can literally put dough together for healthy artisan style bread in just FIVE MINUTES! Even better, you can make a big batch and after two hours rising at room temperature, you are ready to shape and bake a loaf. Better still, you can save the dough for up to a week in your refrigerator to bake another loaf, a batch of rolls or a pizza on a different day. The flavour improves as the dough ages. We strongly recommend you try the following recipe, and check out this wonderful book for many other healthy and delicious recipes.

Whole Wheat Bread with Olive Oil
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  1. 7 cups whole wheat flour
  2. 1½ tablespoons instant yeast, or 2 packets
  3. 1 tablespoon salt (decrease to taste)
  4. ¼ cup vital wheat gluten (Bob’s Red Mill or in bulk from health food store)
  5. 3½ cups lukewarm water
  6. ½ cup olive oil
  1. Mixing and storing the dough: Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten in a 5 quart bowl or in a lidded (not airtight) food container.
  2. Add the liquid ingredients and mix without kneading, using a spoon, a 14 cup food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer with paddle. You might need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour if you are not using a machine (we used stand mixer with dough hook and then wet hands to incorporate last bit of flour)
  3. Cover (not airtight), and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately two hours.The dough can be used immediately after initial rise, although it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded, not airtight container and use it over the next seven days.
  4. On baking day, dust the surface of refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter of a turn as you go (we prefer to knead very lightly to produce smoother surface before stretching surface to the bottom).
  5. Elongate ball into narrow oval (or round if you prefer). Allow the loaf to rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap on a pizza peel prepared with cornmeal or lined with parchment paper for 90 minutes (or 40 minutes if using fresh, unrefrigerated dough). Alternatively, you can rest the loaf on a silicone mat or greased cookie sheet without using a pizza peel.
  6. Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450°F, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty metal broiler tray on any other rack that won’t interfere with the rising bread.
  7. Just before baking, use a pastry brush to paint the top of the loaf with water. Slash the loaf with quarter inch deep parallel cuts using a serrated bread knife.
  8. Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone, (or place the silicone mat or cookie sheet on the stone if you used one). Pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 30 minutes, until richly browned and firm. If you use parchment paper, silicone mat or cookie sheet under the loaf, carefully remove it and bake the loaf directly on the stone. Smaller of larger loaves will require adjustments to rising and baking time.
  9. Allow the bread to cool on a rack before slicing and eating.
Adapted from Recipe from “Healthy Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” © 2009 Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe François.
Adapted from Recipe from “Healthy Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” © 2009 Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe François.
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