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Master Recipe from “New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” using Vital Wheat Gluten!

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

When we first wrote Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day in 2007 we were immediately asked how to convert the recipes to whole grains. We knew then that we’d be writing another book to satisfy the appetite for healthier breads. We also discovered gluten-free flours and developed our first breads made with them. The book answered a lot of questions and concerns about eating whole grains, but since 2009, when it first came out, we’ve learned even more. Our readers have become curious about ancient grains, baking with sourdough starter and they wanted even more 100% whole wheat. Well, we got the opportunity to create a new edition of the book and we’re thrilled to introduce you to the The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: Revised and Updated with New Recipes.

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

With whole grain baking you need more water, and one extra ingredient called Vital Wheat Gluten (sometimes labeled “vital wheat gluten flour”), which is available in most supermarkets, or on-line from anywhere… We found that boosting the gluten content with vital wheat gluten increased the amount of time we can store the dough. Storing the dough is why our recipes are different from all others and makes baking so fast. We also offer a version without vital wheat gluten in the book for those who prefer not to use it or can’t find it.

What is vital wheat gluten?  It’s the protein-rich part of wheat that creates the strands that trap gas bubbles and allow yeasted bread to rise (and stay risen).

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

Master recipe from The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day:

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

First, measure the dry ingredients into a 6-quart round container or bowl, and whisk them together (you can also use a fork, or if it’s lidded, just shake them well).  Mixing the dry ingredients first prevents the vital wheat gluten from forming clumps once liquids are added.

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

Add the water to form a wet dough and mix with a Danish dough whisk or wooden spoon.

Don’t add additional flour to dry this out. It should be wet and shaggy.

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

Cover loosely (leave lid open a crack) or you can pierce a small hole in the lid, as you see above. Allow to rise for two hours at room temperature (if you decreased the yeast, you’ll need more time).  NEVER PUNCH DOWN.  The dough will rise and then begin to collapse.  Refrigerate and use over the next 14 days, tearing off one-pound loaves as you need them.

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

On baking day, cut off a grapefruit-sized piece of dough (about a pound), using a serrated knife or a kitchen shears.

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

Quickly shape a loaf as you’ve seen in our videos here.

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

It should take less than a minute— you pull the top around to the bottom, rotating quarter-turns as you go.  DON’T KNEAD or otherwise knock all the gas out of the loaf.

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

Cover the loaf loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest on a pizza peel covered with cornmeal or parchment paper for 90 minutes (40 minutes if you’re using fresh, unrefrigerated dough.)

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C), with a baking stone placed on a middle rack.  Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on any other rack that won’t interfere with rising bread.

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

Just before baking, use a pastry brushto paint the top with water and sprinkle with seed mixture.

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

Slash the loaf with 1/2-inch deep parallel cuts across the top. Slide onto the hot stone…

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

…and carefully pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray.

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe
The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

After a 30-minute bake, remove from oven and take the bread off the parchment.

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

cool on a cooling rack.

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Master Recipe

Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François met in their children’s music class in 2003 and have written bread cookbooks with more than 715,000 copies in print. Jeff, a doctor by training, is a self-taught baker who grew up eating great bread and pizza in New York City, and longed to recreate it himself.  Zoë is a pastry chef and baker trained at the Culinary Institute of America. Her work appears in blogs all over the United States, and her dessert menus grace fine restaurants in the authors’ hometown, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jeff and Zoë were among the very first cookbook authors to support their readers with personal responses on their website, BreadIn5.com, beginning in 2007, where they blog about their super-fast yeast breads.

Review & Comments

Harris Bruch | Reply

Love the bread, but seeds don’t like me!

Susie | Reply

Hi, there! Loving your books so much! I have a question about the Betsy’s seeded loaf directions from your book. I let my formed loaf rest for 90 minutes but I think maybe this is too long for my kitchen. It flattens out a lot – I don’t get the loft that you do. What am I doing wrong? Maybe my kitchen is very warm so I don’t really need to let it rest for that long? Can I do maybe only 45 minutes rest? Also, the book says to bake at 400, but here you have us baking at 450. Does it matter? Thank you for any help! Love, love, love your books! 🙂

Susie

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Susie:

Most of the time, when there’s spreading, the problem is that the dough is a little too wet. If you’re already measuring by weight, you’re probably OK. If using cup-measures, make sure you’re using the scoop-and-sweep method that we describe in the books. If you’re using a lower-protein flour, that might be the explanation–they take just a little less water, maybe a quarter cup less. I wouldn’t decrease the resting time on this one or it’ll come out dense. I have a feeling this’ll take a bit of back and forth to solve, so come visit us on our website and post followup questions there (BreadIn5.com).

Thanks,
Jeff Hertzberg

Bea | Reply

I am really having a problem. I need to have a thinner not quite so thick and chewy crust. I have tried using AP flour instead of all bread flour. I have tried turning the temperature down also. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My sister cannot eat it period as it is to tough. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Bea

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Bea,
In addition to using the AP flour and lowering the temperature to 425 or 450 degrees F, you should eliminate pouring the cup of water in the pan in the bottom of the oven at the onset of baking. The steam helps to create the thick/chewy crust. Note that your baking time will be increased due to the lower temperature of the oven.
I hope you will find this information helpful.

Happy baking!
Carol

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