Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Whole Wheat Bread – only 5 minutes away! Boule and Baguette

Baking – the idea and process, has always held me in thrall. I don’t know when I actually had my first cake, but the first home baked and the first ever baked at my home coincided with Asian games at Seoul, (N.Korea) 1986. It was my mother’s first baking venture and I remember watching with fascination as she separated the eggs, created white foam out of egg whites (total magic, I say) and incorporated it ever so carefully into the other batter. I remember tasting the batter and doubting, but politely kept the doubts to myself….batter was sweet, but nothing ‘cakey’ about it. And then the heady aroma the permeated our home………Ooooh! I get transported in time - every time, I use vanilla in my baking. ‘Twas a good thing, I kept those doubts to myself….the cake was heavenly, and even had a smattering of butter-cream frosting! Also, the stand mixer, egg separator and weighing scales, having served my mother faithfully are, I’m happy to say, serving me just as well!!

But I digress; this post isn’t about cake at all, but about bread. got carried away with reminiscences. I went book hopping – virtually. And started looking at books on baking, and I saw a book titled ‘Artisan Bread in Five Minutes’ by Zoe Francois and Jeff Herzberg.……Now, I know that impossible so looked round for reviews of the book and finally found one with a ‘spoiler’! The spoiler sent me here for the recipe. The idea is to make a large batch of dough and refrigerate after the initial rise. And use required amount of dough at each installment to bake bread. Apparently no kneading is needed. Just shape, rest the dough and pop into the oven. The five minutes is the shaping part, does not include the baking time…..

I used ‘atta’ flour (whole wheat flour). I mixed a batch the previous night and used some to bake a boule the next day. I also used the dough to make a small baguette. The recipe calls for 1.5 Tbsp for salt, I reduced it to 1.5 tsp based on the reviews I’d read.

The yeasty aroma of baking bread is incomparable. It’s cheerful and heartening and an appetizer in itself.

I made a boule (French for ball) and a mini baguette. The crust was thick and chewy and the crumb was moist and a bit dense – as expected in whole wheat breads, but not gummy. The dough was a bit wet and I was worried that I was going to land up with a gummy crumb.

We had the boule with a bit of honey (me) and peanut butter (the Mr.) for a late breakfast and have hidden away the baguette for later. It was very filling and a little seemed to go a long way!

The process was simple. The initial mixing of a large batch of dough, store in refrigerator and use as needed. The dough apparently takes on sourdough characteristics as it ages in the fridge. I’ll repost once I’ve verified this.

Sending this to Wholesome Wholegrain Cooking (WWC) event initiated and hosted by Sanjeeta of Lite Bite.

Source: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery that Revolutionizes Home Baking by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.

I think, I’ll get this book!! 


  1. We have been toying with making bread for such a long time. You are my inspiration! :)

  2. Oh Nin!
    Thank you :)
    Its comments that make my day xtra special!!!

  3. Thanks for the wonderful entry for the event WWC-wholewheat in breakfast on Lite Bite. Looks perfect for a great breakfast.