When I saw the title of this book, Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, I simply had to see how the authors could possibly promise any kind of bread in five minutes a day, let alone gluten-free artisan bread. I am very impressed looking at this book. If you love your bread, and are missing true, tasty, crusty artisan loaves, this book is for you. The idea is that you make up a batch of dough (would take a little more than five minutes, but I’m quibbling), let it rise (they don’t include the passive rising time), then refrigerate it. Then, when you want bread, you grab a hunk, shape it, let it sit for an hour, and throw it in the oven. Pretty smart. Judging by the photos, it looks pretty incredible. Anyone who follows a gluten-free diet knows that it’s crusty artisan bread you miss the most.
Layout and design:
The hardcover book is very attractive, with easy-to-read larger serif typeface. It begins with “The Secret,” explaining that their process involves making a large batch of dough, letting it rise, and then refrigerating it. Chapters include Introduction, Ingredients, Equipment, Tips and Techniques, The Flour Mixtures, The Master Recipe, Peasant Loaves, Flatbreads and Pizzas, and Enriched Gluten-Free Breads and Pastries. It ends with two sources sections, one for products and one for their footnotes.
There are three sections of gorgeous full-color photographs by Stephen Scott Gross set within the book, plus additional black-and-white instructional photographs throughout, which are exceedingly helpful. The photos are what sold me on the quality of this bread; it looks incredible.
The book includes 90 recipes, which include various shapes of the bread (all the same ingredients). Ciabatta, whole grain loaf, deli-style “rye,” spicy pork buns, Vermont cheddar bread, Neopolitan-style pizza margherita, foccaccia with onion and rosemary, and almond brioche are just some of the tempting recipes. Most include xanthan gum or psyllium husk fiber.
What I liked about the book:
Great layout, highly instructional, warm tone, and seems to fulfill its promise.
I wasn’t so keen on:
Recipes are not coded for special diets like vegan, dairy-free, or low-sodium. If you are sensitive to xanthan gum, be sure to use psyllium husk powder instead.
celiacs and gluten-free eaters, gluten-free vegans (about half the recipes look to be vegan or have vegan options. Some recipes use eggs, honey, cheese, or suggest butter.)
Not recommended for:
Migraine, strict vegan, or low-sodium diets
A note about my cookbook reviews: In the past, I tested at least three recipes from each book, took photos, and described my experience. Due to my dietary limitations (extremely-low-sodium for my Meniere’s Disease and trigger-free foods for migraine relief), it is no longer possible for me to test the recipes and do them justice.