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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now with Weight and Volume Measurements for All Ingredients, 2 Jan 2014
This review is from: The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking (Hardcover)
While I admit that the authors have omitted the rise and bake times in their statement that these artisans loaves can be routinely enjoyed at home with only 5 minutes per day, their explanation for their reasoning is quite valid. Their, "5 minutes," includes active time, time that must be solely devoted to the process. During the rising, resting, chilling, and baking, the artisan can be doing other things and therefore the time is not really devoted to the bread.

The bottom line is that you cannot decide to have this bread and eat it, let alone just have it, in a mere five minutes. That said, five minutes now can, indeed, give you great bread later on in the same day. And I simply cannot imagine a lifestyle that is truly busy enough to preclude carving out the requisite daily five minutes for this delicious, inexpensive, and nutritional bread. Believe me, if I can do it, then so can you, but it does require just a bit of planning.

I must admit here that I did cheat a bit. Having heard about this wondrous technique, I went directly to the authors' website to learn more about it. I then proceeded to make the Basic Recipe, without ever purchasing the book. Then I graduated to Brioche, Pannetone, and Hot Cross Buns, all courtesy of the instructions on the website. My family and I have been enjoying the fruits of these authors' labors for several weeks now. I began to feel guilty for having exploited the authors, and decided that I really ought to buy at least one copy of the book. That was a few weeks ago, when the revised edition was available only for pre-order. I decided to go ahead with the revised edition, despite concerns that some of the original recipes may have been sacrificed to allow room for the newly added ones.

As explained by the authors in this new edition, a major difference is the addition of weight measurements for all of the ingredients. It was as if they'd read my mind. Many times, while diligently measuring out 7 cups or more of flour, I had lost count and had to remeasure. Each of those times, and many in between, I longed for weight measurements so that I could use my digital scale, Ozeri Touch Professional Digital Kitchen Scale (8 kg / 17.6 lb Edition), Tempered Glass in Elegant Black (which I adore), and never worry about losing count again. Apparently, others had voiced this request through the website, and the authors actually heeded the advice of their readers!

The authors also explain that the number of pictures in their original edition was severely limited by their publishing budget, and that the new edition includes 150 How-To-Black&White photos and 40 color images of their loaves. Having never seen the original edition, I don't know first hand how this measures up, but the authors mention that the other edition had only 8 color photos and, "a smattering," of Black&Whites.

As for recipes, the only recipe I've sought that wasn't available on the website (or in the other edition, apparently) was the Pretzel Bun Recipe, which is proudly displayed on page 207 of this edition.

That brings me to another point regarding the Index. The index in this edition, at least, is a delight to peruse. Within the first ten minutes of opening the book, I'd already found many old favorites and new loaves to try in the coming weeks. There's even a Soft White American Loaf for all those kids (and young at heart) who lamented the loss of Wonder Bread from the shelves when Hostess met its demise. Also, it's notable that the book includes recipes and ideas that go beyond the breads, such as spreads, sandwiches, and even a Moroccan-Style Gazpacho. This is more than just a collection of no-knead bread recipes; it's an entire cookbook with a well-planned and easy to use index.

Oh, and for those of you who felt duped because you cannot actually eat the bread 5 minutes after deciding to prepare it, try the Naan Bread on page 260. There's no required rest and no oven to preheat for this one, making it the fastest bread in the book.

Just one final point. I have many times been enticed by cookbook authors' claims of fast and easy recipes only to find that indeed they would be fast and easy if only I could find the rare (and/or expensive) ingredients in my local grocery store. The Master Recipe in this book was created, tested, and perfected using Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour, precisely because that's what most people have in their pantries or can easily find at the local chain grocer.

Thank you, Chef Francois and Dr. Hertzberger for my new favorite cookbook!

UPDATE: I just realized that I neglected to mention that each recipe has BOTH weight and volumetric measurements for its ingredients in table form. So, if you'd rather use measuring cups than a scale, you're free to do so. Yesterday, I used the scale for the flour but measured the other ingredients by volume.
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