Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day~Whole Grain Master Recipe

by formerchef on March 9, 2010

Post image for Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day~Whole Grain Master Recipe

One of the things I really missed when eating gluten-free for 3 weeks was freshly baked bread. I’m used to baking my own bread a few times a week using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (ABin5) method so of course one of the first things I did when done with the cleanse diet was make a batch of dough. For those of you unfamiliar with the ABin5 method, it is a “no-knead” bread dough, made in a batch large enough for 4 loaves, and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Since discovering this method last year, I have not bought one loaf of french bread because I always have dough ready to go in my refrigerator. Now, I’m starting to make my own wheat sandwich bread too.

I was fortunate to receive a review copy of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (HBin5) a day, but unfortunate in that it arrived on the first day of my diet. I looked though it longingly and was thrilled when I got the chapter on Gluten Free Breads. However, those recipes contained eggs and sugar, two things which I could not have. I did try to make them with egg-replacer and a bit of agave syrup, and while they were the best of the GF breads I tried, they just weren’t as good as they would be using the right ingredients. I do intend to try some of the gluten-free recipes (now that I have all the special flours) as they were written, especially when I have family who are gluten-free visiting.

I thought it fitting that the first bread I baked once I was eating gluten again would be a healthy bread. So of course I turned to HBin5 and started with recipe #1. If you are familiar with the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day method, this one will be no surprise. There are some distinct differences however. The first is the use of Vital Wheat Gluten as an ingredient. The Vital Wheat Gluten allows the whole grain dough to rise after being stored in the refrigerator. Whole grain flour has less gluten than white flour. The second is the use of whole wheat flour and the proportions in this recipe are different from the ones in the Whole Wheat recipe in ABin5. The also book offers weight measurements instead of just cups which is a much more exact way to measure when it comes to baking. I love my Salter Kitchen Scale for this.

The method takes a bit longer too, 90 minutes from refrigerator to oven instead of 45. This means you really need to plan it bit more in advance when you want to have freshly baked bread for dinner, at least 2.5 hours in advance which means it’s not really feasible (for me) to come home from work and throw a loaf in the oven in time for dinner. Fortunately, there is a recommendation for forming the dough in the morning, letting it rest in the refrigerator throughout the day, and then baking it after only being out of the refrigerator for the time it takes to preheat the oven.

I baked the loaf in these photos in a 8.5″ loaf pan because I wanted to use it for sandwich bread, but the dough works well as a free form oval loaf or round boule. It’s heavier and denser than the white ABin5, but it just feels so healthy when I eat it. As a big bonus, the  bread seems to stay fresher longer and is still nice and soft inside, even after a few days.


Whole Grain Bread Master Recipe
adapted from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Printable Recipe for Whole Grain Bread in PDF

1 lb, 9 oz whole wheat flour (5 1/2 cups)(720 grams)
10 oz. unbleached all-purpose flour (2 cups)(270 grams)
1.5 Tbsp granulated yeast (.55 oz)(15 grams)
1 Tbsp. Kosher salt (.55 oz)(15 grams)
1 3/8 oz  vital wheat gluten (4 Tbsp)* (35 grams)
4 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees F) (2 lbs)(900 grams)

*I used Bob’s Red Mill Brand Vital Wheat Gluten purchased at Whole Foods

I use my scale now as much as possible when baking so below I’m giving weights on ingredients first, but also cup measurements used in the book. If you have a scale which will tare (reset to zero with the bowl on the scale) you can use this method; Put the bowl or bread dough container on the scale and tare to zero. Add the whole wheat flour to 1lb, 9 oz and hit tare. Add the AP flour to 10 oz and tare, etc. I never even got a measuring cup dirty. I just poured it into the container directly from the bag.


Cover loosely with the lid to the container or with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for two hours at room temperature.  The dough will rise (a little more than double) and then will collapse to be flat on top.  Refrigerate and use over the next 14 days. Do not seal in an airtight container. The lid should be loose to allow gas build up to escape.

On baking day, pull off a grapefruit sized (about 1 lb) piece of dough. You can tear it off or cut it with a serrated knife. Note; I like my loaves bigger so I tend you get three per batch instead of four.

Shape the loaf; DO NOT knead it. Just pull the sides down and around to the bottom of the loaf to form a ball. If baking it in a loaf pan, you will want to elongate it to fit into the pan. Otherwise, make a round loaf called a boule.

Cover the loaf loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest on a pizza peel covered with cornmeal or parchment paper for 90 minutes. According to the book, whole grain dough takes longer to rest than white dough. You also won’t see much rise during this time, but it will rise once it’s in the oven.

After an hour, (30 min before baking), preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you have one, put a baking stone on the a middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray on the floor of the oven (this will need to hold about a cup of water).

Just before baking, brush the top with water. Slash the loaf with a 1/4-inch deep cut down the middle, if baking in a loaf pan. If baking a free-form loaf or boule, make diagonal slashes across the top or do a cross pattern.

Put the loaf pan into the oven, slide the loaf onto the hot baking stone, or put the loaf into the oven on a sheet pan. Before closing the oven door, pour 1 cup of water into the broiler tray on the bottom of the oven. Be careful, this will create a lot of steam. The steam helps give the loaf a great crust.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the loaf. My loaves, which are 1/3 of the batch of dough instead of 1/4, take about 40 min. Bake until the crust is evenly brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. For the loaves cooked in a loaf pan, I remove them from the pan for the last 10 minutes of baking and put the loaf directly on the rack in the oven.

If you can wait, allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing. The bread’s texture will be better this way.


1 Mom March 9, 2010 at 7:26 am

This looks good—are u sure u didn’t leave a few things out of the orginal recipe post? 🙂

Thanks for not commenting on my second attempt last night. Forgot the slashes–and although lopsided–tasted good!

2 formerchef March 9, 2010 at 7:36 am

Didn’t see your second attempt, but I’m sure it was fine.

3 kseverny March 9, 2010 at 8:41 am

that looks like good bread to me

4 Vivian March 14, 2010 at 4:24 am

I still have yet to bake from this book. Your loaves look wonderful 🙂 I love the new look as well. So crisp and I love the colors.

5 Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen March 14, 2010 at 4:38 am

I really adore ABin5!!! Such great stuff!

6 wickednoodle March 14, 2010 at 4:39 am

You can never, ever go wrong with fresh bread. Yours looks especially delicious!!

7 nina March 14, 2010 at 4:40 am

I will have to look out for this book, I can just imagine having fresh bread in the house everyday!!!

8 Zoë François March 14, 2010 at 4:41 am

Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous! Nothing better than fresh bread in the morning sunshine! I’m interested which egg replacer you tried in the g-f breads?

Happy baking! Zoë

9 Robert March 14, 2010 at 4:42 am

Or you can try the SouthavenFarm mixes–they don’t use oil or eggs, and are whole grain.

10 Jay S March 14, 2010 at 4:43 am

It looks like you omitted the mixing step from your web version. It’s covered in the PDF but not in this post.

11 formerchef March 14, 2010 at 4:46 am

Thanks Jay! Yes, it was one line and I think it got deleted when I was moving photos around. Thanks for letting me know. It’s fixed now.

12 Karen B. March 14, 2010 at 4:55 am

Beautiful loaf, makes my mouth water for bread warm from the oven!

13 Shepherd Jim March 15, 2010 at 8:56 am

You didn’t say so explicitly but, reading between the lines, I’m thinking that if I’ll be baking in a loaf pan that I should put the dough in the pan after the “Shape the loaf;…” paragraph ….?

Also. do you have any preference re greasing the loaf pan: butter, shortening, PAM spray??

P.S. I **REALLY** enjoy kneading dough. In today’s hectic world it’s exciting to have bread recipes available that permit just about anyone who wants it to have fresh bread on a daily basis. But, I really hope that a small percentage of folks who try “no knead” will be bitten by the bug and decide to invest a wee bit more of their “free time” into exploring the baking of bread.

14 formerchef March 15, 2010 at 8:59 am

Jim, yes, put the dough into the pan if you want to bake it in a pan, LOL. Otherwise you can bake it free-form on a pizza stone or baking sheet. My loaf pan is non-stick but I always spray it first too. The bread just pops out no problem.
I like kneading bread too, but this method is just so easy that I’m more likely to use it.

15 Kate @ Savour Fare March 15, 2010 at 9:43 am

The new site looks great!

16 formerchef March 15, 2010 at 10:00 am


17 Clark March 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Should I assume that ‘granulated yeast’ is calling for instant yeast in this recipe rather than active dry? Ready to try it. Thanks.

18 formerchef March 15, 2010 at 4:49 pm

I think the granulated yeast is the same as instant or active dry. As opposed to cake yeast where you would have to double the quantity (according to the book).

19 Wynelle Ulrich June 6, 2011 at 9:22 am

I’ve accidently used instant yeast on the regular 5 minutes a day recipe and had very poor results. Active Dry yeast works great!

20 Jessy March 25, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Beautiful loaf. I’m afraid I’m a bit on the lazy side though…I use the expressbake setting on my breadmaker all of the time!

21 liv muir May 10, 2010 at 9:32 am

Is it 1lb 9 oz (which is 1.56 lbs) or 1.9 lbs ( which is 1 lb 14 0z)? There are 16 oz in a lb so you can just use it as a decimal place… which is why lbs and oz suck… we should all use metric. Sorry, I digress, I would like to make this delicious bread and am curious which amount of flour you used. Thanks..

22 formerchef May 10, 2010 at 9:42 am

Liv-Sorry if this was confusing. Both the recipe in the book, and my digital kitchen scale read 1 lb, 9 oz-meaning, 1 pound plus 9 ounces. My scale doesn’t register weights as 1.56 lbs either (which I think I would find more confusing!). Yes, metrics may be easier. I’m slowly trying to include both in my recipes but sometimes I forget. Hope this clears things up!

23 jahocswim August 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm

You have totally confused me. I measured out 51/2 cups of flour and it weighed 1.11 lbs I removed a little of the flour and left it at 1.9 lbs. My scale does not do pounds and ounces.

24 formerchef August 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Sorry if that’s confusing! I just realized that I wrote it wrong in the body of the recipe.
So, the recipe is not 1.9 lbs, it’s 1 lb plus 9 oz. If this helps, 1.5 lbs = 1lb, 8oz, so 1 lb, 9 oz is just a little more than one and a half lbs.

25 John January 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Actually, I just calculated this off of the back of the flour container, and both the King Arthur wheat flour and King Arthur white flour say that 1/4c is 30g of flour (at least for their flour). So 1 c is 120g, 5c is 600g, add another half cup gets you to 660g of wheat flour. 660g is 23.28 ounces, not 25 ounces (which is 1 pound (16oz) plus 9 ounces), 1.72 oz short. That matters, as you’ll see below.

Then 2c of white King Arthur is 240g. Which is 8.466 ounces. That’s 1.534 oz short of 10oz listed above.

That means that the recipe in weight above adds 3.254 oz more flour than recipe in cups above. 3.254 oz is 92g, which is 3/4 of flour extra. That’s not insignificant. My mix is looking rather dry for a wet dough (I’ve made bread before). I measured out the weights, per what you have above, and only now decided to look at the flour container to see what is says the actual weights should be.


26 Ed July 11, 2010 at 10:37 am

I just made the HBin5 last night, my first time making ever bread, and it turned out fairly well (thanks for the recipe!!!!). The taste, color, texture all seemed pretty good, but i was unable to make those cuts on top with the boule form as it was too sticky, the bread also seemed to pull away from the bottom as it was baking, would the cuts in the top fix that along with some sort of greasing of the baking sheet (I do not have a baking stone). I also tried to dry out some slices over night and make French toast today, it turned out very chewy with a slightly off-putting flavor (I’ve made good French toast in the past). Please help, I love DIY and would like to continue with this healthy bread stuff for me and my family.

27 formerchef July 11, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Ed, you may need to add a bit more flour to your next recipe. If the measurements get off by as little as half a cup the bread can be too sticky. And yes, that’s why the bread pulled away from the bottom; because it could not easily expand without the cuts on the top. Try the recipe with a bit more flour next time.

28 Susan August 15, 2010 at 5:22 am

I have tried making a batch of this bread 2 times. The second time I added more flour and it still does not have the elasticity at all when I pull it up to cut off a batch. I just get a handful that separates when I reach in to get some dough. It also rises very little before I bake it. Thanks for any help.

29 formerchef August 15, 2010 at 7:38 am

Hi Susan-
Are you using unbleached flour for the portion of white flour? I know that can make a difference. If it’s bleached white flour the consistency will change.
It could also be in the way you are measuring the flour. Are you using cups or weighing it?
I recommend you check out the website of the authors of the book. I know they have answered a lot of questions there.
This is their post on this specific recipe and given that there are tons of comments, many of them questions and answers:

30 Jen September 3, 2010 at 7:17 am

This is great, thanks. I added extra seeds and nuts to make it lower in glycemic index value. I was wondering how it would be with a bit of honey as well, it probably won’t hurt.

31 Maggie February 16, 2011 at 9:42 am

What size loaf pan did you use? 9×5, 8.5×4.5, etc? Would be super helpful to know! Thanks.

32 formerchef February 16, 2011 at 11:07 am

Hi-My loaf pan is 8.5 x 4.5.

33 Janene February 17, 2011 at 1:17 pm

This may be a strange question, but I like the container you have your bread dough in. I’ve been using ABin5 for years, but am not thrilled about the plastic container I use. How well does that one work for you? What’s it called/what’s the size/where’d you get it?

34 formerchef February 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm

It’s called a “Third Pan” because 3 of them fit in a typical restaurant steam table. They come in different depths and this one is 6″ and fits a batch of ABin5 dough perfectly. I bought it at Smart and Final but you can find them in any restaurant supply store or even on Amazon. I like it because it fits well in my refrigerator. I have a couple and I also keep one on my counter for compost scraps. 🙂 For dough, it works very well but you will need to take care to get the flour out of the corners when mixing up a batch.

35 Leslie May 4, 2011 at 6:55 am

Do you happen to have any nutritional information on this bread? I have baked it and love it as well, but would like to know the values for my diet.

36 formerchef May 4, 2011 at 6:58 am

Leslie- I don’t, but there are several calculators online into which you can put the recipe to get the values.

37 christinechen June 16, 2011 at 5:35 am

May i ask:- any difference between These two recipe book?? Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day AND Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day ???recipe in the books is totally difference???

38 formerchef June 16, 2011 at 6:08 am

Yes, the recipes are different, but the methods are the same. “Healthy” Bread’s recipes uses whole wheat flour with the addition of wheat gluten. They also have an entire chapter on Gluten Free breads.

39 Simone August 23, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Interesting to read! I saw that the amount of water is indeed higher in the whole wheat version so that is where my mistake with the firmer dough comes from. Also your explanation on the longer rising times make sense… 🙂 I’m also very interested in the glutenfree recipes that are mentioned as a friend of mine has just been diagnosed with gluten intolerance and she is desperate to find an alternative for her normal bread… I think I might have to get this book too! Thanks for suggesting it!

40 formerchef August 23, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Yes, the GF recipes are good to have too. The most important thing though is the inclusion of vital wheat gluten in the whole wheat recipe.

41 xiaobao12 December 16, 2011 at 11:56 am

Formerchef, looks great. Do you remove the bread from the loaf pan for the last 10 minutes of baking like the instructions state?

42 formerchef December 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Yes, I usually do, depending on how brown the crust is.

43 Tina January 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I have been baking from the ABin5 for quite some time and loved the bread. I just recently got the Healthy Bread in 5 and I feel that my bread gets too dark before it is done. Do you have any suggestions?

44 formerchef January 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Tina, have you checked your oven’s temperature? It could be too hot. Otherwise, I don’t know. You might try asking on the HBin5 website. Or if you use Twitter, ask @zoebakes.

45 Mary August 8, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Awesome! The batch is ready and is raising.
Hope will be as good as my white bread.
I was wondering – in case I want to add sunflower seeds or herbs – how can this be done if
we are not supposed to knead the dough?

46 formerchef August 8, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Mary-I think you would add in the herbs or seeds when mixing the dough at the beginning.

47 nicole April 13, 2014 at 12:49 pm

this recipe makes four loaves?? How many servings per loaf would you say? just trying to figure out nutritional values per loaf.

48 formerchef April 13, 2014 at 3:40 pm

The recipe is supposed to make 4 one pound loaves. The number of servings depends on how you cut it of course.

49 formerchef January 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm

John- Sorry if it’s at all confusing. The weights listed are exactly the ones as listed in the recipe in the book. I just checked to verify. I’ve also edited the recipe online to now include the weights in grams if that helps at all.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 6 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: