Thursday, January 14, 2010

HBin5: Whole Grain Artisan Bread

Hello everyone! We're having a heat wave here in Iowa -- temps reached over 30 degrees today! The snow if finally starting to melt a little, and my spirits are high!

Over the past few months, I've had so much fun writing this blog and taking part in the Martha Mondays and Martha Stewart Cupcakes Club. I've truly enjoyed connecting with people from all other the country (and the world) with the same interests as myself. Sometimes, I feel a little odd that instead of going out to eat all the time, I'd rather stay at home and do some kitchen experimenting. The blog clubs have really inspired me to try something new.

So with this newfound courage, I decided to join a new blog group. More than 100 bloggers are embarking on a two-year journey to try recipes from the "Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" cookbook. Long story short, the book is a whole-grain version of "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes Day."

I've had my eye on the "Artisan Bread" book for a while. I checked it out from the library to figure out how the book's no-knead recipes work. It sounded too good to be true. Just mix the dough, let it rise in the fridge, then bake. No need to knead or rise.

So I finally broke down and bought a pizza stone and the two books. Soon after, I learned of the HBin5 blog group. I immediately signed up. It's a great incentive to actually try these recipes and make my investment in the pizza stone worth it.

I mixed up my first batch of dough last week. I followed the recipe exactly, and miraculously, it turned out great, even for a beginner!



I can't believe something so beautiful came out of my oven! I topped it with butter and my homemade apricot jam. It's a great breakfast bread!

The texture was also terrific. I expected the bread to turn out tough and dense, but it's a nice combination of chewy and soft. I have to admit, I still prefer the white flour verision of this bread, but I'm sure I'll be making this again if I feel like something a little healthier.

Another great thing about the book is you can make multiple recipes from one batch of dough. I had the dough in the fridge for more than a week, and it was still fresh enough to make these chili crackers.




Admittedly, I was in a hurry when I made the crackers. I didn't roll them out as thin as directed in the recipe. But they still looked like crackers when they came out of the oven. However, I probably won't be making these crackers again. They were a little too much work for me, and I didn't like the chili powder. Maybe another spice would work?

Also on our HBin5 schedule was a wreath-shaped bread, but I didn't have the kitchen shears to make the design. So I skipped it for now.

I had so much fun with this project. I'm looking forward to trying more HBin5 recipes.

If you'd like to learn more about the group, visit Big Black Dog for a list of other participating bloggers.

15 comments:

  1. Hi Teresa! I think your bread looks great! Good for you for trying something different. I look forward to seeing more of your delicious breads!

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  2. Oh my, that homemade apricot jam just looks so wonderful on your bread! Great job on your loaf, can't believe you just began baking. Amazing.

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  3. That is one great loaf of bread! I had trouble with the crackers too, but I would love to be able to master that skill. There has to be some kind of trick to it all.

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  4. Did anyone else have problems transfering the crackers to the cookie sheet with a spatula? The cracker dough just bunched up when I tried to slide a spatula under it. Is there a trick to make that easier? I'd appreciate any advice.

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  5. I love that about the books too - that a novice like myself can actually make bread and it tastes great too!

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  6. What beautiful bread for your first attempt!

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  7. Wow Teresa it looks great! I want to join! Where did you buy the book?

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  8. I laughed when I read how you would rather be home in the kitchen...same here Teresa! Don't worry about buying a pair of kitchen shears...go to the dollar store and buy a cheap pair, or just sterilize a pair you have at home. The dough is so soft it's no problem! Great job on that bread!

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  9. Good tip! I'll have to stop by the dollar store on my way home from work. I bought the book from Amazon.com, but I first saw a copy at my local Barnes & Noble. I highly recommend these books. I can't believe how easy these no-knead recipes are. The hardest part is making room in my fridge for my dough bucket.

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  10. OH MY..your bread turned out so well! I am so excited for you! It is fun baking and cooking with other bloggers, I sure enjoy it!

    The Apricot Jam looks so good!

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  11. Dont you just love this process for baking bread. Looks like a lot of great recipes coming up too. Your bread and jam look excellent!

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  12. it's so fun making this bread...and it smells so good! Your bread looks wonderful!

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  13. from one teresa to another, great job! everything looks beautiful!

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  14. Beautiful! I'll have to try my whole wheat bread with butter and apricot jam!

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  15. Looks great. Kitchen shears are a great investment. I use mine all the time!

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