Crusty Artisan Bread & Blendtec Blender Winner

You know that obsession I have with Cookbooks . . . it’s ongoing.

I can curl up with a Cookbook and a stack of sticky notes and get lost for hours.

The other day,

my better half informed me that he was going on a looooong road trip to pick up farm equipment, and I was welcome to tag along. I’ve been married long enough to know, that he will want to leave way before the sun wakes up! I pulled myself out of bed at 2:30 a.m. . . . crawled to the shower . . . spiffed up a bit . . . walked out the door  . . . two books and sticky notes in hand.

Did you know it’s impossible to read a cookbook or a camera manual in the dark?

When the sun finally woke up, my new Cookbook jumped from the floor to my hands!

Barnes & Noble is NOT far enough away from my home.

I don’t go for Starbucks or donuts.

I don’t go for the social link ups or the chit chat at the corner table.

I sit my butt down in the Cookbooks or Camera/Photography aisle and drift into “happy hour -s.”

(I don’t really sit . . . I stand)

I’m wondering,

Is there such a thing as Cookbooks anonymous?

In my house, we do a slightly odd and crazy thing.

We take very soft store-bought sandwich type bread . . . squish it tightly in the palm of our hand . . . then eat it.

I love soft squishy sandwich bread,


Chewy, dense, crusty Artisan Bread is my weakness, dipped lightly in Olive Oil & garlic.

When I spotted the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Cookbook,

I muttered . . . “yeah right.”

Five minutes . . . yeah right.

It isn’t possible to take just five minutes a day and end up with hot crusty Artisan Bread.

Yeah right.

I was wrong!

Well, let me explain.

Once you take 10 minutes to make the dough . . . and let it proof for 4 to 6 hours . . .  you sure can.

The recipe I’ll share below, makes four glorious loaves of Artisan Bread. Whenever you feel like fresh baked bread, you simply take the dough out of the fridge . . . cut a chunk of dough  . . . about the size of a grape fruit. Shape it quickly and score it with a sharp knife.  It takes a mere five minutes from the fridge to the shaping. You really only need to let it sit for about 40 minutes before baking.  I got a bit carried away with my scoring and the proof is in the pictures. You see, the dough has very little yeast and is much wetter than your typical bread dough. The first day, I baked a round loaf and made a glorious pizza for dinner.  The cookbook has a myriad of Artisan style bread recipes.  After the initial making of the dough and rising period . . . it simply takes five minutes a day, to shape your loaf of bread.  You can store the dough in the fridge for up to two weeks.  Fresh Baked Bread is just five minutes away!  Wonderful. The cookbook has pretzel, brioche, french and dozens of other bread recipes.

Now . . .  you remember that fabulous Blendtec Blender giveaway?  We have a lucky winner.  

First, let me tell you that this Blender is quite incredible.  I’ve really put it through heck and back this week. It has faithfully blended a countless number of red tomatoes, onions and peppers for Salsa and perfectly pureed thousands of purple plums for fruit leather.  It should be tired, but it has not showed any signs of slowing down!

I want those of you who liked, followed and pinned that I’m grateful to all of you!  Even though many of you left multiple comments . . . only one entry was counted before using the random # generator.  That was my fault, since my instructions were lacking in “clarity!”

Ta, Ta, Ta, Da . . .

The lucky winner is:   Kim B.

Kim I will be sending you an email!

I will need your full name and mailing address, so that Blentec can send you a fabulous new blender!


THE MASTER RECIPE: BOULE (Artisan Free-Form Loaf)

Recipe from the Artisan Bread in Five minutes a Day Cookbook by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. & Zoe Francois

Makes four 1-pound loaves. The recipe is easily doubled or halved.

3 cups lukewarm water

1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt

6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached all purpose white flour, measured with the scoop and sweep method

Cornmeal for pizza peel


1.  Warm the water slightly:  It should feel just a little warmer than body temperature, about 100 degrees F.  Warm water will rise the dough to the right point for storage in about 2 hours.

2.  Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5 quart bowl or, preferably, in a resealable, lidded (not airtight) plastic food container or food grade bucket.

3.  Mix in the four – kneading is not necessary:  Add all of the flour at once, measuring it in with dry-ingredient measuring cups, by gently scooping up flour, then sweeping the top level with a knife.  Mix with a wooden spoon, a high capacity food processor (14 cups or larger) fitted with the dough attachment, or a heavy duty stand mixer fitted with the dough hook until the mixture is uniform.  Don’t knead! You’re finished when everything is uniformly moist, without dry patches.  It just takes minutes.  This will yield a dough that is wet and loose enough to conform to the shape of its container.

4.  Allow to rise:  Cover with a lid (not airtight) that fits well to the container you’re using.  Do not use screw topped bottles or Mason jars!  Allow the mixture to rise at room temp until it begins to collapse and flattens on the top, approximately 2 hours, depending on the rooms temp.  Longer rising times, up to about 5 hours, will not harm the result.

You can use a portion of the dough anytime after this period.  If you don’t want to use it, just refrigerate the dough over night before shaping a loaf.


5.  Don’t knead, just shape a loaf in 30 to 60 seconds.  First, prepare a pizza peel by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal to prevent your loaf from sticking to it when you slide it into the oven.

Sprinkle the surface of your refrigerated dough with flour, Pull up and cut off a 1 pound (grapefruit-size) piece of dough, using a serrated knife.  Hold the mass of dough in your hands and add a little more four as needed so it won’t stick to you hands.  Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go.  Most of the dusting flour will fall off; it’s not intended to be incorporated into the dough.  The bottom of the loaf may appear to be a collection of bunched ends, but it will flatten out and adhere during resting and baking.  The correctly shaped final product will be smooth.  The entire process should take no more than 30 to 60 seconds!

6.  Rest the loaf and let it rise on a pizza peel:  Place the shaped ball on the cornmeal covered peel.  Allow the loaf to rest on the peel for about 40 minutes. (It doesn’t need to be covered during the rest period). Depending on the age of the dough, you may not see much rise during this period; more rising will occur during baking.

7.  Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bread.  (I place mine on the bottom rack of the oven)

8.  Dust and slash:  Dust the top of the loaf liberally with flour, which will allow the slashing knife to pass without sticking.  Slash a 1/4″ deep cross, scallop or tic tac toe pattern into the top, using a serrated bread knife.  Don’t slash too deeply!

9.  Baking with steam:  After a 20 minute preheat, you’re ready to bake.  With a quick forward jerking motion of the wrist, slide the loaf off the pizza peel and onto the preheated baking stone.  Quickly but carefully pour about 1 cup of hot water from the tap into the broiler tray and close the oven door to trap the steam.  Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch. When you remove the loaf from the oven, place it on a wire cooling rack.

10.  Store the remaining dough in the refrigerator in your lidded container and use it over the next 14 days. Remember don’t use an airtight container!


  • Kim B. - 09/24/2012 - 10:58 am

    How EXCITING Jonna!! CAN NOT wait to use it 🙂 I have been eying that blender & am so HAPPY I won. Thanks for making my day! LOVE your blog & all the inspiration you give me to get off my butt & bake!! (or in my case now, blend!) Ha!ReplyCancel

  • Heather M - 09/24/2012 - 11:51 am

    Boo hoo, I didn’t win… but, I am glad to see you featuring this cookbook. I have been making this artisan bread for a few years now. I also highly recommend it for making homemade “brick-oven” pizza. Follow the instructions in the cookbook–you will have the most amazing pizza ever!!! I think I might go whip up some artisan dough right now!ReplyCancel

  • Rene'e Bokovitz - 09/24/2012 - 6:43 pm


    I have written before questioning you about the camera you use and you did answer. Now, I’m asking about your coobooks. I, like you, am the armchair cookbook reader. I scour everything recipes…you name it and I save it. I have books, magazines large and small, articles, recipes from friends, family and co-workers. How to store all of this is the question. I am curious as to how you handle your cookbooks. I have bookshelves filled to the brim (hubby is a carpenter)and am not sure how to file them; subject, author? What’s your method and do you have a lot of books also? Thanks, Rene’eReplyCancel

    • Get Off Your Butt and BAKE! - 09/25/2012 - 10:24 am

      Hi Rene’e,

      Oh I sure wish I could tell you I have the perfect system, but mine is called messy!
      I have a large cupboard full of cookbooks, and just seem to keep adding and stuffing more and more
      into an already tight squeeze!

      I just need to find the “time” to organize things neatly….from books I use constantly, to books rarely used.
      Let me know if you find a great way to arrange your books. I really shouldn’t buy any more of them at all!
      My daughters will enjoy inheriting them all though!


  • Claire @ Claire K Creations - 09/25/2012 - 12:54 am

    I’ve had my eye on this book for soo long! I think I might have to buy myself a Christmas present. Isn’t it amazing what wonderful bread you can make at home? I think we all assume it must be hard and that’s why it tastes so good.

    I too should belong to cookbooks anon!ReplyCancel

  • Mihaela - 09/25/2012 - 6:07 am

    It looks gorgeous ! But first of all, i like your baking stone ! In my country ( Romania – Europe ) is hard to find one like this.
    As usual, i bake on a ceramic plate and is not the same thing.

    I like your blog and i visit you offen !



  • Rene'e Bokovitz - 09/25/2012 - 11:42 am

    Jonna, I found it; the way to know if I already own that book, any book! After writing to you, and BTW, I love your site, I searched and read everything pertaining to others’ ideas of cataloging cookbooks. And one gal suggested using Librarythingdotcom. She was even thoughtful enough to let you look at her books on the site. I checked it out and joined. Read the info, as it is free up to 200 books. My books are on shelves and sectioned according to subject, but I have so many, sometimes a book is moved, loaned or just misfiled and I’m not sure if I own the book. The book for this recipe is in my library and I had to search to find it. Not any more….all my books are going to be listed on Librarything. I love it! My daughter’s call me “library lady” and have no shame putting their colored dot on the books they want. It’s well worth the time to check the site out.ReplyCancel

  • Charity - 09/29/2012 - 11:01 pm

    We LOVE artisan bread. I almost always have some in the fridge (except for summer-lol). I even make it for Thanksgiving last year. yum.ReplyCancel

  • Charity - 09/29/2012 - 11:04 pm

    I forgot to mention – I don’t have a pizza peel. I use a piece of parchment paper and put in on an upside-down cookie sheet. That way you can still slide the bread (and the parchment paper) right onto your baking stone. 🙂ReplyCancel