Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Semi-Dried Tomato and Parmesan Bread in 5

Is it just me or is time flying by much too quickly these days? When did the days (and the months and the years) start whizzing past me at hyper-speed? When was it that life suddenly seemed pressed for time, bolting forward alarmingly while I struggle to keep pace?

Work, family, friends, hobbies, passions, dinner, breakfast, life...I scurry and scramble to make sure I clock in as much time needed for each one. Sometimes, I find myself gasping to catch up. Does this happen to you? Or am I just a slow life-runner?

When life moves too fast, I find it more effective to do the exact opposite of what my gut tells me. My instinct tells me, “hurry up!” but I hold my palm up firmly and say with conviction, “life, I am taking 5!

We all need a breather once in a while and there’s no shame, and you’re not hurting anyone, to go ahead and take it. I get to catch my breath, regroup, and then get back into the game with renewed vigour and inspiration. It can be anything from a whole day dedicated only to yourself, to a weekend away with your wingman – the important thing is to get off that ever-speeding treadmill and relaaaaax. We deserve it!

Now, not all of us have a whole weekend, or even a whole day, that we can spare. I know the feeling. But if you’ve got five minutes, have I got a lovely, soul-satisfying activity for you! Why don’t you make bread?

Bread??? Yes, you read right!

Most everyone has already discovered Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg’s fantastic book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. If you haven’t, go check it out now! Or check out their blog, or Zoe’s blog, if you need more prodding. In their book, they so graciously share with us their method of making (wonderful, boulangerie-looking) bread using only 5 minutes prep time (the rest being either proofing time, or daydreaming-about-what-you-are-going–to-do-with-the-dough time).

Not to say I don’t enjoy the long process of bread making, because I love the kneading and the waiting. Making bread helps me clear my head, not to mention the benefits of kneading for anger management! But, in these fast-forward times, it’s not always possible to go about bread making the long way (although I do recommend it when you can manage...it’s like a gym and a shrink rolled into one!). This artisan-in-5 dough, which (yes!) you put together in five minutes, will stay snugly in your fridge, ready at a moment’s notice, for when you want to use it.

The bread pictured here is a loaf of Sun-Dried Tomato and Parmesan Bread (from the book), which I put together in no time at all for a couple of friends who came over for drinks. I took some of the Master Boule Recipe dough out of the fridge, flattened it, sprinkled with my oven-roasted tomatoes and grated parmesan cheese, and that was that! A short wait while the oven pre-heated and the bread did a final proofing, and I was on my way to fresh bread that looked like it took hours to prepare! With the same dough (you just tear parts of it off the waiting blob in your fridge) we also made pizza and a regular boule.

There is nothing like pulling a crackly-crusted, miracle-smelling, gorgeous-looking loaf from your oven to make you feel like you have all the time in the world! When in reality, all you did was take 5 ;)


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That loaf must taste wonderful! Scrumptious!



Jeff Hertzberg said...

Thanks for the kind words ChichaJo (as in Andean corn beer?). I'm Jeff Hertzberg, one of the co-authors of Artisan Bread in Five Min a Day. Glad the recipes are working for you. Come visit with questions anytime at www.artisanbreadinfive.com


Manggy said...

Ah, I see gamit na gamit na ang pizza stone! Hee hee. Looks beautiful-- love the smooth, golden crust! Roasted tomatoes and parmesan sounds perfect!

Suzana said...

Oh Joey! You just described the story of my life. Perhaps I'm also a slow runner or maybe life can be overwhelming everyday... Love the bread! I have an eye on that book for quite a while.. maybe for Christmas.

katrina said...

That looks just beautiful, Joey! It's still unbelievable to me that you can make bread in five minutes...there must be a catch! ;-)

And again, I have to say how much I enjoy your writing. Never fails to make me smile. :-)

Patricia Scarpin said...

I'm in love with that book, too, Joey - and that is a gorgeous loaf of bread, sweetie! So crusty and golden, yum!

Erin said...

That looks fabulous! I think I need that book.

Zoe Francois said...

Hi Joey,

Your bread is gorgeous! I too have no idea where time has gone??? This is such a good reminder to slow down and take at least 5 minutes to stop and enjoy. I'm so pleased you spent the five minutes baking from our book! ;)

Thanks, Zoƫ

Marvin said...

Great looking loaf, joey! I've made no knead bread before (from the NYT recipe) though I've never thought of putting anything into the bread, or even using it as pizza dough. Great idea.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Rosa! It did :) Especially with freshly roasted tomatoes!

Hi Jeff! Andean corn beer? I had no idea :) Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I love your book and will surely be using it more...and going over to your site and badgering you with questions! :)

Hi Manggy! Yes! It is really the best for bread...and pizza of course :) Their recipes really produce this sort of crust...I love it! The roasted tomato and parmesan combination is also from the book :)

Hi Suzana! I feel for you! We should just meet up somewhere for some r&r time then :) Today was another such day! The book is lovely...lots of recipes using the same premise! Even for sweet bread like challah!

Hi Katrina! Thank you!!! And again, I have to say how blissfully flattered I am with a compliment coming from you :) The prep time (mixing the dough) really only takes five minutes...the proofing time is long but it’s time you leave the dough alone and do other stuff :)

Hi Patricia! Thanks! We love the same books...great minds think alike :)

Hi Erin! It’s a great book for busy people who still want nice homemade bread!

Hi Zoe! Thanks for stopping by and for your nice comment! Yup, when time is going too fast, slow down and take 5 ;) I am loving the book!

Hi Marvin! This recipe is a bit different and you keep the dough in the fridge and can use it within 14 days (you can make 4 loaves out of one batch of dough)...so it gives you a lot of leeway :) In the book, they give you a TON of variations and recipes...everything from pizza, to pita, to breakfast pastries!

Irene said...

Oh, why, why do I have to see this while I'm at work and can't rush home and make bread?! It looks wonderful, just wonderful.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

So well written Joey! And incredibly healthy advice!
Tomato & Parmesan Bread fresh from the oven . . . now you have to slow down and enjoy that!

Elra said...

Oh my, I love making my own bread too, I really have to try this one. Looks so delicious!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

You remind me that I haven't done any bread-baking since all the moving started. *sigh* Have to get back into it I suppose. My favourite from the book is the Deli-style Rye.

This bread looks fabulous, so I'll have to give it a try. Thanks!

Peabody said...

Time is flying by these days! Great looking loaf of bread!

Jen Tan said...

wow!!! BREAD IN 5 MINUTES! amazing...I have to check that out!

Yeah time does seem to fly! It felt great reading that I am not alone with the feeling...thought it's because of age!!! hahahaha

Well, i guess it's way better that we feel time whizzing by than waiting for it steady and slow...makes our lives more up beat and exciting? though stressful at times noh? hahaha =)

Maricel said...

Wow that bread looks fantastic! I already bought the book but still have to find me a pizza stone. Where did you get yours? Thanks

Midge said...

That bread looks lovely. And I agree with you that baking bread is both a workout and a therapy session rolled into one!

LyB said...

I so have to get that book! I find time is flying by too, but I still want to bake things from scratch and smell fresh bread baking. Especially now, with the weather getting cooler. We need more hours in a day! :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Irene! Thanks! And it is so easy to make :)

Hi Tanna! Thank you :) Definitely, good bread, and good food, should be savoured :)

Hi Elra! It’s really good...and really simple!

Hi JS! Well, moving is quite a chore...hope it’s going well! Have yet to try the Deli Rye!

Hi Peabody! You said it...so little time! Sigh...have to carve my own spot of time to enjoy these simple pleasures :)

Hi Jen! It’s true...check out the book! I got my copy at Fully Booked :) You are right...we should just learn to see the exciting side of things ;)

Hi Maricel! The pizza stone was a gift but I think they got it at Gourdo’s :)

Hi Midge! A nice session of bread making can truly cure many ills :)

Hi Lyb! Yes!!! What I wouldn’t do for more hours in a day! I was just having that very same though!

Lori said...

Oh, I definitely have to check out that book and the blog. I baked at a bread store in high school and college and we had the most awesome sundried tomato and swiss bread. So spicy. I haven't seen a recipe for it since. I bet this is great!

Maryann said...

Oh my! I have to bake this right away! It looks so good :)

veron said...

Oh Yum, Joey! This looks delicious. Now I need another book!

Jesse said...

This looks fantastic! I agree, making bread is the most relaxing thing. I love that it forces me to stay around then house for the day and just relax! It's not always that easy to find the time though, is it??

canDIshhh said...

Looks goodie!! :)

I've been wanting to try to bake bread but have always chickened out! Hahaha..

Shalum said...

Looks yummy. I love bread. And if it takes just 5, I am inspired. /Thanks for sharing!

Lovely site :)

Jude said...

The crust looks perfect. Love the reddish hue.

siddhartha said...

i may not know anything about baking but i know that you've got very lucky friends! =) ingat

Bordeaux said...

Oh time... I have not been taking a breather since coming back to Bangkok, seems like there is not going to much breathing time for me till December. But maybe then, back in a proper kitchen, I'd be able to give bread a chance.

Helen said...

What a fabulous looking loaf - really, five minutes?! That's too good to miss out on and I totally agree about taking time out to relax, it's essential - otherwise we will burn out!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Lori! I’m really enjoying this book...lets of great recipes and ideas! The bread you baked at the store sounds great...what a fantastic experience!

Hi Maryann! It really is such a lovely mix of flavours :)

Hi Veron! I know what you mean...I’m always wanting another book when I visit other blogs!

Hi Jesse! Sigh...it isn’t easy to find the time nowadays...but so worth it when you do :)

Hi Candishhh! This book makes it very easy to bake bread :)

Hi Shalum! Thank you! Yes, this method cuts most of the time out of baking bread!

Hi Jude! Their recipes really produce great crusts!

Hi Siddharta! Heehee :) Thanks!

Hi Bordeaux! You are quite a busy bee I know! Hang in there and do try this when you have the time! :)

Hi Helen! Yes! Minus the proofing time which takes about 2 hours from first proof (which you only do once) and depending on the bread you are making 40 minutes to nothing for the second proof...but that is all time that you can be doing something else...the actual work really does take only 5 minutes!

Sophie said...

I have to admit, 5 minutes of prep time is very impressive! As is this loaf!

Katelyn said...

The bread looks lovely! I am planning on spending 5 minutes to bake some later!

Tartelette said...

That bread looks beyond delicious Joey! Love it!!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Sophie! It’s really that easy...and what’s great is you have a supply of the dough to whip into many variations of bread just waiting in your fridge :)

Hi Katelyn! Thank you! Hope you enjoy it! :)

Hi Helene! Thanks!! :)

Rico said...

is always a pleasure to see really nice breads...I almost can smell it of the photo.


Ling said...

"miracle-smelling" is a great adjective! :D That's one good-looking (and in my head, great-tasting) loaf there... !

ChichaJo said...

Hi Rico! Thanks :)

Hi Ling! That is sure what baking bread smells like to me :) Thank you!

Ruth said...

That bread looks so good!

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Ruth! It was :) All thanks to Zoe and Jeff :)