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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Artisan-style breads have shortcuts, too

 •  Daily bread

By Wanda A. Adams


"Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" (2009) and "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day" (2010) by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoe Francois; Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, both $27.99. www.artisanbreadinfive.com

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The breads of Kathy Summers are homey, tender-textured everyday loaves slightly on the sweet side the kind all ages appreciate.

But if you're looking for a shortcut to chewy-crusted, savory, often grainy-textured artisan-style breads, check out the two books by the medical doctor/pastry chef team of Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. The two employ precise but simple techniques for providing the household with a steady supply of fresh European bakery-style breads.

A wet dough is mixed in a food processor or with an electric mixer without kneading; this takes mere minutes. The dough is then allowed to rise (covered, at room temperature) for a couple of hours, then refrigerated, where it rises and develops sourdough-type character. Grapefruit-size knobs of dough are pinched off and baked, as needed, over a two-week period. The dough can also be frozen.

Their master recipes produce at least four loaves of bread and may be doubled or halved. The master recipes are often combined with other ingredients before baking to make flavored breads and may be shaped in a variety of ways, from freeform boules to knotted rolls and even pita.