Sunday, November 23, 2008

My first Artisan Bread Making Demo

my mobile demo kit

I just hosted my very first Artisan Bread Making demonstration. Before you ask, there is no "official" demonstration. I am not part of any company or hired by anyone. I have decided to do this on my own for the simple reason that since I found out about Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day, my life has changed. Yes, this is a pretty strong statement, but its absolutely true.

How did I find out about this bread?

I have been listening to a podcast called The Splendid Table with Lynne Rossetto Kasper from American Public Broadcasting. This is a show that we don't receive on radio here, I found it on the internet. On one episode, Lynne interviewed Jeff Hertzberg, co-author of a book called Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day. What I heard was very impressive - so impressive that immediately after hearing the podcast I went back to the Splendid Table website and printed out the master bread recipe. Thats where this all began for me.

I've been baking this bread for a few months now and its changed the way I forever bake bread - and I come from a line of traditional baking in my heritage! This method of baking bread is simply revolutionary. It requires no kneading at any point, you mix it in one fell swoop and it stores in the fridge, just waiting till you decide you want to bake it. This ensures fresh bread, on demand.

Why am I taking this out to my part of the country?

I'm doing this because I love a good idea and I love to share a good idea. I like to mentor, as well, and this is a wonderful opportunity to do this. I also love to show people how to save money - which in our current economy is very appealing to many folks. I'm not being compensated in any way for doing this - the joy I see when people find out about this, the thanks they give me, is a huge reward in itself.

I also want to encourage you to visit the OFFICIAL Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day website where you can find out all you want to know about these incredible recipes. The authors Jeff and Zoe are fabulous at responding if you should have ANY questions. They also keep the site updated with new recipes (oh YUM!) And, you can order their cookbook right from the site as well.

Jeff and Zoe have been generous enough to share their basic bread recipe with everyone, but there are MANY more in the cookbook. Its worth every cent you spend, and trust me, if you are looking for a great Christmas present - this is it!

So, the first photo, the one above, is a 'mobile kit' I put together to show the wonders of this bread.

the 'basic' end of the bread basket

I decided the best way to show off the bread was to bake some. In Jeff and Zoe's YouTube Video they have an array of baked goods demonstrating the different goods which can be created, so I thought I would see how far I could stretch a batch as well. I mixed up a batch of the Peasant Bread and it made


the 'brioche' end of the basket

I chose to make the other side of the basket the 'sweet' side. This was my first time trying the brioche recipe from the cookbook, but I was confident it would turn out, as the other recipes I've tried have been fabulous.

can you say buttery?

The brioche recipe is soooooo good and rich. Its a very rich (very ... rich) recipe. Decadent, I'd even venture to say. It was easy to make and still has Mr. Miles slathering for me to make each day. Out of this recipe (and I only used 1/2 of the dough) I made

4 small tea-loaves
1 turban stuffed with cranberries and nuts
1 large turban stuffed with dried cherries
1 fancy pastry filled with apricot preserves and walnuts

can you imagine, ME, the instructor? LOL!

Where was I demonstrating? I was asked to demonstrate at the Learning Center where Mr. Miles works. The Learning Center is an adult education center. People attend to complete their Grade 12 schooling (I graduated here at the age of 43, but am still taking some graphics courses) Students here range from teens all the way up to 80's! Its a very inspiring place to be. Some folks are here just upgrading their computer skills etc.

Elaine asked me to do this demo. She's head of the student council and they are hosting demonstrations on Eathing Healthy/Saving Money. When I heard this, she pounced on me right away. How could I say no?

I have their rapt attention!

Ohhh - I didn't have to worry about getting anyone's attention because everyone loves a great idea. I explained how I found out about the bread and then began.

fridge ready!

I wanted to be sure to show the three stages of the bread dough, so I made sure to have a batch already prepared and refridgerated. I brought along the ingredients for a batch to be mixed up, and of course, the basket for folks to sample!

honing my speaking skills

so much to remember!

We even watched the YouTube video together, because I did not want to forget anything. I'm not nearly as smooth as Jeff and Zoe, for sure. Plus, I wanted the students to know how to navigate to the video and website if they needed it in the future. Some students are learning internet and computers for the first time in their lives, so its important to not assume they know.

I also apologized for not bringing for not bringing my copy of the cookbook book along, because I didn't want to encourage anyone to plagiarize the recipes. I spent time showing the students where they can order the book if they would like to.

Darlene wins the door-prize!

I thought it would be a neat idea to put everyone's name in a hat and draw for a door-prize... which was, of course, a batch of dough. This made my heart smile, for Darlene was chosen and she has NEVER made bread in her life. She was quite excited to try this.

I had so many people thank me after. Everyone enjoyed the baked goods. Several people are going to order the book.

I took a plate of goodies to our local Home Hardware for the owner to sample. She's won top awards in Canada for her store. It features an in-store kitchen where she has chefs come in to do live demos which are a huge success. She'd LOVE me to come in and do one on a Saturday in the future. I'm considering it and Mr. Miles says he'd be game to help.

I'm also doing another one in a small local community as a part of an inter-church exchange and I'm really looking forward to this too.

So, I'm hoping to start an Artisan Bread WAVE across Canada - I can see it happening now. Thank you Jeff and Zoe for being so generous as to share your master recipe. I'm sure your book will be flying onto Canadian bookshelves! I just wanted you to know, I'm not an Artisan Bread website stalker, I just am excited for your idea and am EAGERLY awaiting your next book. Your book is the very first book I've ever purchased online and it will be one I treasure... and muck up!

You can visit the official Artisan Bread in 5 website by clicking HERE.


PhotoJoy Desktop

Ohhh - if you have a fast computer (good graphics card and all that) and you love to display your photo collections on your desktop and screensaver - then you will LOVE this new desktop application called PhotoJoy. It comes with all sorts of cool widgets and backgrounds etc, which allow you to showcase all your favorite photos. Your desktop will garner gasps of envy from all who gaze upon it! Just click HERE to find out more.


Last but not least, I've created a lil sumpfing for you! I made this with my sister Nina in mind because she knows me. She knows I just can't wait to open a present. She sends mine to Mr. Miles with specific instructions like "she no touch" and such things on them. So.... I thought I would make an element which would be with her in mind. I hope you can find some good uses for it!

Measures aprox 3" and is a png file with transparent background.

personal use


  1. Hey, thanks again Mrs. Miles! I'm so glad our recipes are working for you, and for others!

    Jeff Hertzberg

  2. Hi Barb,

    I am still well, and hoping to post today like a good little blogger. Did you get my message about the bread I baked recently? I was able to freeze the dough in single containers. It thawed nicely, rose well, and baked beautifully!

    Love the "do not open" When my boy was young, he used to get caught peeking at his gifts. The best being the time he rewrapped the gift to perfection... but used double sided tape. LOL! I finally got tricky, and put other people's names on his gifts. I hope he always gets that excited about the fun things in life - as you do...

    Have a great day


  3. what a fun blogpost. i am totally faving this so I can ponder over the bread. U look so cute demonstrating it. Your desktop rocks too!

  4. Wow what a great thing to do. I am going back to read up more on the bread making. The idea of making my own bread sounds great.

  5. My sister the master bread maker :) I can't wait to visit so you can spoil me with bread. Thank you for the cute little tinket, you might just see this come back at you. Love and Hugs Sis.

  6. i am sooooooo happy that you are teaching this method, it sounds sooo easy!! i haven't yet tried it but think i may have to for the holidays that are fast approaching! LOVE the pictures too!! :D oh and thank you, too, for the goodie!! HUGS!! Have a WONDERFUL day, Barb!!

  7. Ok, this is going to have to be on my list of things to do during our Christmas break. Surely I can figure it out.

    I am so glad you are doing this. It is exciting to find something you are passionate about.

    I noticed Jeff came and left you a comment. Too cool!

    Take care my friend!
    Have a great week!

  8. I love the Splendid Table and I love baking bread. I will have to get that cook book. I have the cookbook on cooking supper on hold at the library. I like to check out cookbooks and preview before buying.
    It looks like you did great.

  9. I just put the book on hold. I will have to post some photos of my handy work when I get a chance to play with it. I hope I get it before Christmas.

  10. Oh, I so wish I could have been there at that course you gave. You are making my mouth water and every time you write about this bread I am a little closer to trying it... :)

  11. Good afternoon Barb:)
    I didn't make it yesterday but made sure I came today.
    Thank you so much for your comforting thoughts about my being sick.Some of your homemade chicken soup and a slice of that delicious looking bread would make me feel so much better.:)
    How fun for you!! Teaching what you love to do.I bet everyone loved it!! I too wish I could have been there listening in and seeing you in your cute apron.Thank you so much for the photos.It's so much more fun to SEE what was going on.:)I haven't tried the bread yet..but I am beginning to feel the pull.LOL You make it sound so easy...and I like easy.LOL
    Thank you sooo much for the cool element.Miles needs you to print that out several times so he can put it on all of your presents.LOL
    Have a wonderful day!


  12. Sounds like you had a lot of fun doing the demo! Your bread looks so yummy! I will definitely check it out. Thanks for sharing and love the desktop too!

    And thanks for stopping by my blog!

  13. wow sounds great to make your own bread goodies...these are magic words to my ears to brush up on my baking skills :)happy holidays

  14. just poppin by to say hi before I jump offline to do laundry....


    Man I wish I was closer, so I could've attended! Your bread looks SCRUMPTIOUS!

    Guess I need to stick that book on my "wishlist". Though, I cant make bread to save my life. I even have one of those expensive bread machines, but all I can make in it is bricks. LOL....

    *hugs Mrs. Miles!*

  15. wow sis know I love this bread spoiled me when I was there...yummie hot from the oven.It was awesome talking to you and hugs to you and Miles

  16. Great to see you and your apron "in action"!

    And wonderful you are sharing your bread making too.


  17. HI Barb,

    Yes, you are welcome to use the layout. I will post a couple of others from the book after I sort out all the credits. I was a little brain overloaded... so did not write down what I was using as I was using it. OOPS! Have a lovely evening!

  18. Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today (look for timestamp: 24 Nov [LA 09:00pm] - 25 Nov [NY 12:00am, UK 05:00am, OZ 04:00pm] ).

  19. YOU DOING IT AGAIN- hahahaha
    Eventually got here my friend and have had a ball catching up-
    First that painting is just AMAZING- awesome stunning BEAUTIFULLY DONE! WOW!

    Second- the apron- WOOOHOO- how cool is that?- What a great idea for old jeans! Now if only I sewed- LOL

    And this bread is going to be the death of me- lol
    I can't find the original recipe on the page link?- but I'm blonde- so help me out here and send me the link to the recipe page- PWEASE_ lol
    I found all the others but not the basic recipe- Mr Broeds is going to give it a GO- YAY!!!!
    See what you started now- I'm going to be smelling is as much as seeing it on your blog- LOL.

    You look tooo cute giving that Demo and what a super idea!
    LOVE the new blog look my friend- and the ornaments are stunning-
    don't laugh now when you get my new kit in a few- HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    *you'll see why*- I had to giggle this morning!

    It's HOT again today and am LOVING the bright early mornings and evenings! makes for great *outdoor* eating! SUMMER is here baby- hahahaha

    Hugs to you my talented friend!

  20. The bread looks delicious! I wonder if they have artisan bread dough where I live :o)

  21. Now, WHO has been the BUSY lady??? WOO HOO and LOOK at YOU! Barb, you just make the whole Artisan bread thing appear WAY to tempting ya know!!!

    Love your apron, clever YOU, and the photos of your class ROCK and how special to be able to enlighten others! An ARTISAN WAVE in Canada? OUTSTANDING and what a wave it shall be with YOU showing others the way!

    Wanted to stop off and leave you some lovin' before tackling my computer! He, he ... Take care dear friend and thank you for the DARLING gift box and your NEW blog attire is LOVELY!!!

    Linda :)

    P.S. Pretty cool that Jeff was the FIRST to stop in and say "thanks"!!! *wink*

  22. Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today (look for timestamp: 10 Jan [LA 09:00pm] - 11 Jan [NY 12:00am, UK 05:00am, OZ 04:00pm] ).


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