To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
The bread recipes in this book look great but every one of them relies on the addition of vital wheat gluten. I went to Holland & Barrat, Julian Graves as well as a number of other health food shops in the city where I live, and the wheat gluten was not sold anywhere. I investigated on the internet and it is available but is not very cheap, and with postage makes a rather expensive item. Am thinking of returning the book as I am weary of making any of the breads without the wheat gluten.
While I do like the resulting bread products I have tried from this book, none of them are truly '5 minute' recipes so I find myself making less and less of them as time goes on, and reverting back to my tried and true traditional yeast recipes. This is also partly due to the fact that, in Canada, you can't get the 'white whole wheat' flour (at least where I am you can't) that a great number of the recipes call for, which means I'm limited and getting bored. *As regards the reviewer who (kindly, thank you!) pointed out "Nutriflour", it is not white whole wheat, it is all purpose unbleached flour with wheat bran added. White whole wheat flour is milled from white wheat as opposed to red. I have not seen it available anywhere here.
This is a good book for the neophyte. Really basic technique almost impossible to miss! I found that in the majority of bread, they add a tiny bit to much water... The little hic of this method is that they use the same dough for many recipe. Example; they use the same dough for the baguette, pizza and rustic bread. But still, it is a good book for an introduction to bread making.
I am an avid baker and someone who doesn't mind spending 2-3 hours on a baking recipe -- and have -- with cookbooks like Baking with Julia (my go-to book) and Rose's Amazing Cakes(time consuming but worth the effort if you love to bake). I was looking forward to making homemade bread for more healthful bread minus the high fructose corn syrup and to save money over the $3-4 loaf commercial garbage at the supermarket.
The first recipe I tried was the Graham Bread using graham flour and honey. That must've been beginner's luck because it turned out fine and the kids really enjoyed it. I felt the flavors weren't quite right (needs salt/honey adjustment), but that's OK for the first time out.
I made the plain whole wheat bread recipe as a second try. It didn't rise well and tasted somewhat bland when baked. So I tried again last week to make the same dough for Pizza. I made the pizza dough the same day (it came out pretty thick and puffy) and refrigerated the remaining dough according to instructions with the lid cracked to release gases. The dough should've been good for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. I went to make whole wheat bread and took the dough out, but it had a definite fermented smell and crusty top. Ugh... I wasn't sure what to do, so I threw it out.
I have heard such great reviews and comment -- but maybe this technique works better for white flour based bread recipes like in the first book. I can say for sure that the breads I've made from Baking with Julia have been consistently good and excellent tasting (but more effort). Hoping for a fluke and will try again with Healthy Bread in 5 minutes soon just in case...
Just got the book and browsed through it. It seems like a good book for a beginner like me. It’s fine that I get a used book, but make it a little presentable when you send a used book. It had writings in it and pieces of food. Not sure if this book had a used price but should.
I usually enjoy making bread. I do use a machine, so I'm not that militant, but I like getting the dough silky smooth, and shaping it. But with two little kids it isn't always easy to make, shape and bake consecutively, especially since it's time-sensitive, but I was having trouble storing my dough overnight in the fridge without it developing an beer-like flavor (I hate beer).
So I got this book after my sister-in-law raved about the first book. But the consistency and smell of the dough turned me off. I made sure the container wasn't air-tight for the first 24 hours, but there was still this alcohol-y smell that got stronger with time. And I found that the flavor of the dough didn't develop, but just turned more beer-like. My husband loved the breads that I made, but my three year old would never take a second bite. And he usually loves my sandwich bread, pita, hallah...If I made the bread within twelve hours, they generally came out good, but not so much after that (to my taste.) Maybe it was just working with (i use that phrase loosely since it's about 20 sec of touching it) the wet, gloppy dough that affected my opinion of the bread. The favorite though, was the olive-spelt.
This book has its usefulness, but I did find it to be limited. I can mix up a batch in about five minutes, and bake it anytime over the next week or two. However, I still needed about two hours between shaping and baking. The authors don't consider it part of the process, because it's not active time. But when you have kids who need you to take them to the bathroom "now" and stay with them for 1/2 hour while they poop and/or need to nurse twenty minutes before you expected them too for 15 minutes, active or not, it's not easy to shape a loaf and be able to brush it, transfer it from a pizza board to a stone, throw in a cup of water, etc...an hour and a half later. Who knows where I'll be then! And if you leave it resting too long, the loaf will not slide off neatly and you end up with a sloppy mess mixed in with corn meal.
But I was able to make an assortment of rolls very easily to give out as a "gift basket." I just wasn't so thrilled with the quality.
I bought this book because I love baking bread. The recipes I have do not involve a lot of kneading but these recipes involve none and it seemed convenient from the descriptions. I made the basic bread; the first one came out ok but it definitely needed more salt (they tell you you may adjust to your taste), no problem. The texture is very spongy and I'm assuming because of the vital wheat gluten used. I followed the instructions for the remainder of that batch and let it sit in the refrig for 3 days. Then I made 2 more loaves. Neither of them rose just about at all. I was making the loaf in the pan like a regular loaf. I was very disappointed. According to the directions after you mix the ingredients (which is very easy), it needs to sit for 2 hours at room temp then refrig for 3 hrs for best result. I make bread just about as easy and it rises for 45 min's then form it & rise for another 45 min's. It's a lot easier than this. I would not say that I would not recommend this book but I'm assuming it takes a few times to get it right unlike it says. Definitely cut the recipe in half to practice. I am returning the book and getting another whole grain bread book. If you like making bread it may be worth it to buy a stand mixer (I love mine). It only takes me a few minutes of kneading with the machine to get a great whole grain bread. Happy baking!
Got this after about ten days after ordering it. Cozied up in a nice seat and decided to suck up the pages. It is written like a High School report. Page after page rambles on and overlaps with countless recipes. Would be nice to have more focus on how to do something, being highlighted. Lacks pictures and examples. I guess the authors friends love it. Ina Garten should give them tips on how to make a cook book LOOK inviting and wonderful. But the recipes themselves are great, as I'm sure the authors are!
I have always been impressed with the little videos done by the authors of this book, explaining HOW to bake, step by step... It is just very BASIC, that there are things, techniques we do, that MAKE a recipe work, and somehow, we often do not realize we are doing them, so don't think to WRITE that down in a recipe.. The video's really helped sell me on their book. And though they ONLY had one chapter dedicated to gluten free, it is a good chapter.. We are very pleased... I was a little shocked to see HOW little there was in the gluten free section... a bit disappointed. BUT the few recipes there, made that disappointment dwindle... In the end, I am glad we got it Our breads made from this book, have ALL turned out lovely, and I am glad to have this book on my shelf. IF you are purchasing this book JUST for the gluten free recipes (which IS what I did)... you will be pleased, WITH the recipes. unless you are on a serious budget, and only HAVE so much cash to spend.. IN that case part of you will be disappointed.. seeing SO much of the book is GLUTEN filled..