Five Minutes a Day for Fresh-Baked Bread

Discover this ridiculously easy — and cheap! — five minutes a day for fresh-baked bread technique that revolutionizes home baking.


| December 2008/January 2009


Baking bread at home saves hundreds of dollars on groceries every year. With this easy five minutes a day for fresh-baked bread technique, each deliciously crusty-on-the-outside, moist-and-chewy-on-the-inside loaf will only cost you about 50 cents and 5 minutes a day. We’re not kidding!

Homemade Bread Recipes

Master Boule Bread Recipe
Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe
100 Percent Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread Recipe
Sticky Pecan Caramel Rolls Recipe
Easy Naan Bread Recipe
Caramalized Onion and Herb Dinner Rolls Recipe

Five Minutes a Day for Fresh-Baked Bread

The Secret: Keep Dough Refrigerated. It is easy to have fresh bread whenever you want it with only five minutes a day of active effort. Just mix the dough and let it sit for two hours. No kneading needed! Then shape and bake a loaf, and refrigerate the rest to use over the next couple weeks. Yes, weeks! The Master Recipe (below) makes enough dough for many loaves. When you want fresh-baked crusty bread, take some dough, shape it into a loaf, let it rise for about 20 minutes, then bake. Your house will smell like a bakery, and your family and friends will love you for it.

I was trained as a scientist, not as a chef. That helped in developing a new process for homemade bread, but I never could have brought the recipes to this level without the rigorous standards of a professional — my co-author Zoë is a Culinary Institute of America-trained pastry chef. Over several years, we found how to subtract the various steps that make the classic technique so time-consuming, and identified a few that couldn’t be omitted. Then Zoë worked some pastry chef magic. She figured out that we could use stored dough for desserts, too. It all came down to one fortuitous discovery: Pre-mixed, pre-risen, high-moisture dough keeps well in the refrigerator.

How the 5 Minute Bread Idea All Began

Like most kids, my brother and I loved sweets, so dessert was our favorite time of day. We’d sit in the kitchen, devouring frosted supermarket doughnuts. “Those are too sweet,” my grandmother would say. “Me, I’d rather have a piece of good rye bread, with cheese on it. It’s better than cake.”

Secretly, I knew she was right. I could finish half a loaf of very fresh, very crisp rye bread by myself, with or without butter. The right stuff came from a little bakery in Queens. The crust was crisp, thin and caramelized brown. The crumb was moist and dense, chewy but never gummy, and bursting with tangy yeast, rye and wheat flavors. It made great toast, too — and yes, it was better than cake.

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Snowyegret
3/2/2016 2:31:53 PM

This is a really cool idea but your directions confuse the heck out of me. Is there any way to put this on youtube? I don't understand any of the directions on page 3 or 4. Some of us just have to be shown. :)


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9/19/2015 4:50:37 PM

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