Pain d’Epi {Wheat Stalk Bread}: The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

A recipe for making pain d’epi or what stalk bread loaves, as well as a photo tutorial on how to cut the loaf. (Recipe from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.)
How to Make Pain d'Epi {Wheat Stalk Bread} #recipe via #breadin5

It is my life’s goal to do as little as possible.

Let me rephrase. It’s my life’s goal to spend as little time as I can doing anything categorized under “things that must get done” like making dinner, doing laundry, scrubbing floors. The reason is so that I have time to do all the other things: learning 3rd and 4th languages, taking classes that force me to read classic and arcane literature, baking chocolate chip cookies, reading for pleasure, bike riding, making 12 flavors of sorbet just because I can, teaching my kids how to snowboard at the same time I teach myself, listening to music, playing music, teaching my children how to play music, berry picking, staring off into the distance.

Basically, I just want to find a way to stretch seconds out into full hours so that I can fit more into my day. I don’t really want to do nothing, but I do want to have more control over what I’m spending my precious minutes doing. While I enjoy baking bread and think it can be cathartic, while I enjoy cooking and find it can feed my need for creativity, and while I am endlessly amazed at how fulfilling it can be to feed other people, there are times when the very things I love become tedious.

There are six of us. We eat three times a day. Some of those meals just need to be easy and not take up all the minutes I have for life enrichment because my soul will die if I don’t get to _______ (fill in the blank with any number of activities I enjoy). You do not want to see me soulless. It is rather disturbing.
How to Make Pain d'Epi {Wheat Stalk Bread} #recipe via #breadin5
To aid in accomplishing this life’s goal I had a bunch of kids to do things for me.

That’s not true at all. Children have a way of filling space and time, not the other way around. They also produce endless amounts of joy and unending love, as well as bread. My kids have opened a bakery in my kitchen that produces epi loaves in mass quantities.

While we’ve been using “Bread in 5” books for several years now, the epi obsession started after my eldest saw an Instagram photo from Zoë of one such loaf, and then there was no hearing the end of it until we looked up how to cut the baguette dough just right, and it turned out to be surprisingly simple.

Step 1: Mix large quantities of dough and let rise.
How to Make Pain d'Epi {Wheat Stalk Bread} #recipe via #breadin5

How to Make Pain d'Epi {Wheat Stalk Bread} #recipe via #breadin5

Step 2: Cut off a 1/2-pound (or so) ball of dough.
How to Make Pain d'Epi {Wheat Stalk Bread} #recipe via #breadin5

Step 3: Shape the dough into an oval, and then fold that oval.
How to Make Pain d'Epi {Wheat Stalk Bread} #recipe via #breadin5

Step 4: Pull log of dough to your desired size and let it rest.
How to Make Pain d'Epi {Wheat Stalk Bread} #recipe via #breadin5

Step 5: Flour the dough, and then cut into it at a 45º angle, alternating sides as you pull your little slices outward.
How to Make Pain d'Epi {Wheat Stalk Bread} #recipe via #breadin5

Step 6: Bake it.
How to Make Pain d'Epi {Wheat Stalk Bread} #recipe via #breadin5
Whether you have kids to do this for you or not, the idea that making your own bread could be so straightforward and take just minutes is not a new one. In fact, this specific method and idea has been widely available since 2007 when the first Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day came out, changing bread baking as we knew it (no kneading), and now there’s a revised and updated edition with new photos, new recipes, and – ::copious grinning:: – weighted measures. We should all convert to metric weighted measures, don’t you agree?

Giving it all away.

I’m giving away a copy of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, MD and Zoë François. Just comment below for a chance to be entered to win so you can stop buying bakery bread and start making it at home.

This giveaway runs until Friday, November 1st at 11:59 p.m. CT, at which point I will randomly select a comment and then email a lucky person to receive the book. It is provided by the lovely authors and their publisher, St. Martin’s Press. I asked Zoe for this book so that I could review it because I already knew I wanted it (I have the original, as well as the other two in the series), and she was more than happy to comply. Also, I was planning on writing about the epi and realized my timing coincided with the new book release. Kismet.
How to Make Pain d'Epi {Wheat Stalk Bread} #recipe via #breadin5

  • We actually use the “Master Recipe” to make our pain d’epi most of the time. These photos? Master recipe. The only difference is that the master uses all-purpose flour instead of bread flour, which causes it to lose a bit of its definition. I don’t see this as a problem, really, and neither do the kids doing the baking. Below you’ll see I include measurements for both.
  • Using the master recipe means I can use the same dough to make baguettes, boules, ciabatta, and more as the mood strikes. Totally worth it.
  • Our epi loaves are perfection, not for their obvious flaws (a bit bulbous, not cut quite deep enough, pulled out of the oven a bit too soon), but because they were created and crafted by my 7-year-old. The other day during a parent-teacher conference I caught her shaping play-dough into baguette pieces and using the little plastic scissors to practice the cuts. My heart is full, as is my table.
3 cups lukewarm water (680 grams)
1 tablespoon granulated yeast (10 grams)
1-1.5 tablespoons kosher salt (17-25 grams)
6 1/2 cups bread flour (920 grams) *see below for substituting all-purpose flour

To a 6-quart bowl or bucket with a loose fitting lid (not airtight), add the water, yeast, and the salt. Mix in the flour using a large spoon until it is incorporated.

Place a loose cover on the bowl/bucket and allow to rise for about 2 hours until the dough rises and then the top flattens. Move the bucket to the refrigerator with the loose lid still in place.

When you are ready to bake, place a baking stone in the middle of the oven with a broiler pan underneath. Preheat the oven to 450ºF for 20-30 minutes to be certain the stone is heated through.

While the oven preheats, remove the bucket from the refrigerator and dust the top with flour. Cut off a 1/2-pound chunk of dough and form into a ball, stretching the top of the dough around the sides to create a clean surface.

Place the dough on a floured surface and shape by stretching into a small oval. Pull the two long sides up to the middle and seal. Then place the seam side down and stretch the oblong piece of dough into a baguette shape, about 14″ long. Place the dough on a piece of parchment on top of a pizza peel or a baking sheet with no sides (for sliding onto the stone) and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

When the oven and stone are preheated and the dough has rested, dust the surface with flour. Take a kitchen shears and cut into one end of the dough at about a 45º angle towards the bottom of the dough, leaving 1/4″ of dough connected. Be careful not to snip through the entire width of the dough. Continue cutting leaving 3″ between cuts and pulling the sliced dough ends to the opposite side as the one before it until you read the end of the dough.

Prepare one cup of warm water to add to the broiler pan. Slide the sliced dough and parchment directly onto the hot stone, pouring the water into the broiler pan and then quickly closing the oven door.

Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is brown and firm. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Unused dough can be covered with a loose lid and placed back in the refrigerator. One recipe makes 7 1/2-pound loaves.

*You can substitute all-purpose flour for the bread flour (910 grams of ap flour) with similar results, but not as well-defined and pointed pieces.

Makes 7 loaves.

Adapted from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, reprinted with permission.
Copyright © Food for My Family.

How to Make Pain d'Epi {Wheat Stalk Bread} #recipe via #breadin5


  1. That is stunning!

  2. Just the name of this alone is pretty (Pain d’Epi), never mind how gorgeous the finished product is! Totally have to try this.

  3. Looks delish! I’ll have to make this with my brood and see how it turns out. 🙂

  4. Your photos have me drooling!!1 I can almost smell the bread!!!!!

    Thanks for the chance to win the book!!!

  5. truly beautiful. almost too pretty to eat. NOT.

  6. What a cute tutorial! Thanx for the giveaway opportunity, I would love to win…

  7. I’ve been reading about this book and how easy it is to make great bread. Your photos were great!

  8. That bread looks amazing. I’ll have to try the recipe and make some for Thanksgiving dinner.

  9. I started baking bread this week and would love this book. That bread look amazing.

  10. Natalya H says:

    I love this! I have been baking awhile, but have not yet tried Pain d’ Epi. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  11. Okay- I’m sitting here with my jaw hanging open. I SO LOVE making bread- all kinds. It makes me happy. This loaf is beautiful. Artisan bread is so incredibly good & one of my favorites. Sigh……can you tell I have a serious love for bread. 🙂 Oh my- if I didn’t have to leave the house in a little while I would start on this right away. Buuuuut I know what I will be doing this weekend. Oh my house is going to smell so good. 🙂

  12. Christina N says:

    I have been thinking about buying this book, thank you for the chance to win.

  13. This post, and your fabulous children make me so, so happy! There is nothing I love more than seeing kids in the kitchen and I LOVE that this is the loaf they chose to make. Glorious!!!

  14. I love that your kids spend time in the kitchen with you…I think it’s one of the most important things parents can teach their children. Beautiful loaf!

  15. Beautiful bread!! Your kids did an Amazing job!!
    Would love to have my boys baking like yours.

  16. My two-year-old loves to help me mix up my buckets of bread dough. I’m looking forward to him shaping it himself someday! (After he’s past the SMASH!-stage.)

  17. I love it! What you do with all 7 loafs? Do you bake them all at once and then freeze some of it?

  18. I love baking bread, been doing it from my teenage years until present, this bread looks amazing, there are no longer any kids at home so hopefully I can do as good a job as your kids did.

  19. Elizabeth says:

    This is awesome! My kiddo loves to help out in the kitchen and would have a blast making bread. It’s something I’m not quite comfortable with doing myself, but am working on!

  20. Wow that looks so easy to make I will have to try it with my kids they would love it.

  21. Beautiful wish I had done this with my children.

  22. Yummy just baked bread is one of the great pleasures of life! I would love to win this book!

  23. somebody was watching the jellybean video 🙂 lol

    I love to see your kids in the kitchen Shaina! next time I’m in MI I want to meet them!!

    oh and the bread……i want too!

  24. Perfection. If your description of yourself (hehe) and the beauty of the bread your children baked. Love.

  25. Your bread is beautiful and looks delicious! Thanks for the chance to win the book!

  26. That bread is beautiful!

  27. This is so beautiful!

  28. Simply stunning! I love the step-by-step shot with you kids! So fun to see them in the kitchen! And wow, this bread is incredible! What a great book!

  29. Thanks for reminding me that my 11 year old would love to do this!! Have you tried part whole wheat in this recipe?
    For dinner tonight we made their part whole wheat pizza crust for the first time. Topping were Pizza #1 red pepper, ham, mozzarella, pizza # 2 red pepper, ham and mushroom with mozzarella and a little almost freshly grated parmesan left from last night, Pizza # 3 (the pizzas were small!!) mozzarella, good quality feta and sliced from the farm roma tomatoes (last of the season – sigh). Yum!!! But to do this my library had to order the book from another library . . . And they will not order a book until it has been out for six months. So I would love to win their new book. My husband would like some gluten free recipes that I understand are in this updated one (he was not home for dinner tonight – and yes we froze the leftover pizza!!)
    I am looking forward to reading more of your blog.

    • We use their whole grain master from book #2 for wheat breads. It has vital wheat gluten to add extra protein for a binder in the dough. I was considering trying whole wheat einkorn flour with this recipe to see if it would work since that isn’t as heavy of a whole wheat and has a very white-flour-like reaction in other recipes, but it may still need some vital wheat gluten. I haven’t tested it, so I’m not sure yet.

      All of the new books have wonderful gluten free recipes in them, so they should work great for your husband!

  30. We have been using Jeff and Zoe’s recipe/method for years now. My kids love helping make loaves and pizza is a favorite. Can’t say enough about this bread – we love it!

  31. I’ve been so anxious to get this book, but haven’t gotten around to it yet! Thanks for the chance!

  32. Can’t wait to try it!

  33. Oh, my kids would LOVE to make this (and me too). I think we’ll try it on Sunday or Monday afternoon with some broccoli bacon soup.

  34. Beautiful! Can’t wait to try it.

    That cookbook sounds wonderful, too! 🙂

  35. Great job. Looks yummy. I’ll be trying this one out very soon. I had the whole grain book but it seems to have disappeared. Thanks for giving us a chance to get this new book.

  36. Thank you so much for posting this. We were given HBin5 awhile back and I had not been able to get my daughter to make bread with me because she was always worried it wouldn’t look good. Seeing pictures of your kids working together and your daughter form the loaf seemed to do the trick because today she made the bread from start to finish…and it turned out wonderful! Isn’t it amazing how something as simple as baking a loaf of bread can give kids so much confidence! She really enjoyed it and was excited to tell relatives how she made the bread we were all eating at dinner tonight.

    • Thank you so much for coming to tell me. I’m thrilled your daughter gave it a go and is excited to share what she’s made with your family. I love watching the change in attitude my kids have when they are able to accomplish something in the kitchen, and knowing that we’ve been able to inspire other kids to do the same has made my day. Have a wonderful weekend!

  37. LOVING this, I can almost smell the yumminess…I LOVE bread!

  38. Ling Yuen Chin says:

    Good job!

  39. That looks wonderful! I think my son would love to make this.

  40. SusanH4700 says:

    This looks SO good! I’d love to win this book.

  41. Beautiful and wholesome!!

  42. So looking forward to the new book, my old book has been through the baking war!!!! Every page has been tatered, torn,floured doughed or oiled….a well loved copy it is….So a brand new copy with, I am sure brand new recipes, would be exciting…Keeping my fingers crossed!! Enjoy bread baking everyone!!!!!!

  43. Brenda Stevens says:

    I make bread from these books with my kiddos all the time! Making bread and memories! Giving kids a love for healthy food they can make themselves is such a great gift!

  44. Love it! I’ve been working more with dough and bread lately and would love to try and make this!

  45. Cheryl Burns says:

    great tutorial, would really love to win

  46. My 13 yr old expressed a desire to learn how to make bread. This is a good start. Hope to win book so we can try other recipes.

  47. Stephanie says:

    I am curious how the bread tastes.

  48. That is a stunning loaf! And just incredible that your 7-year-old made it. I’ve been baking bread for years and years but have yet to try the 5 minutes a day method. I just received a copy of this book as well and can’t wait to get started on some of the recipes!

  49. What a lovely post and what a gorgeous loaf of bread. You’ve inspired me to give a go this weekend! Can’t wait!!

  50. Gorgeous bread, there’s nothing better than fresh baked!

  51. Wonderful blog post. Baking with one’s children is a favorite joy of mine, too. And I agree with you about the preciousness of minutes. So many people today spend their days frantically dashing from one task to another, and miss the *moments*. That’s not living. Thanks for sharing this! (And I love that book. I’ve checked it out from the library, but haven’t been able to make the purchase…)

  52. Would love to give this a try!

  53. I would love this book 🙂 getting ready to move into a new house and have been wanting to start making bread for a while now so it’s a perfect time to start!

  54. This looks like such a great method for making bread, I’d love to try it.

  55. Lindsey D says:

    I’ve never made bread but have really been wanting to. I’m assuming slash hoping that you could make it whole wheat somehow….

  56. Great method! Make me very inspired to bake my own bread.

  57. Wonderful! My son, a future engineer, loves the idea of a bread book with weights. He also loves bread so this seems like a great idea for getting he and I in the kitchen together.

  58. There’s nothing better than crusty artisan bread. Love the pictures!

  59. It’s been a while since I’ve made bread at home. Need to get on that. This looks so lovely. Bet your house smelled amazing too.

  60. Beautiful looking loaf, and so simple. I have in the past baked a lot of sourdough at home and it is a three day procedure, I love the idea of 5 minutes…more time for the fun stuff, quilting my case. Love artisanal loaves. I really like how this pulls apart like a roll/bun. Definitely going to give this a try. MMMMM more bread!

  61. I love homemade bread. I’ve tried several recipes that are quite easy but none as easy as Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day!!

  62. Connie Sahn says:

    What delicious looking food! Thanks for the chance to win a cookbook.

  63. Anne Gutierrez says:

    I love what you did with all the how to do pictures. You are so right about getting children involved in the kitchen. This would be great for my granddaughter. Thank you for the great ideas.


  64. Love this post. Thanks for sharing this great lesson!

  65. Love homemade bread this would be a wonderful book to win

  66. I made bread years ago and would very much like to start to make homemade bread with my grandchildren. This book looks like just the thing to help bring back the inspiration I need.

  67. I love making bread. Have the original ABin5. Now that the cold is returning, it’s time to bake again.

  68. I have the original and would love to have an updated version. The za’atar bread is a family favorite.

  69. Gretchen D says:

    My family loves homemade bread and I love making it, but I never seem to think far enough ahead to get a loaf in for dinner or after school snack. This book seems like it would help me get fresh bread on the table more often. I love reading the stories and recipes you create.

  70. What a beautiful loaf of bread – love how your kids cook – those photos are precious!

  71. Cindy Meeker says:

    I have made this and love it. I would love to win so I could make more of their recipes.

  72. I was all set to come here and leave my usual snarky remarks about laziness, tedium, soulnessness, blah blah blah I feel you, but the truth is that love your bread-baking family. I think my heart grew three sizes reading this today.

  73. I have one of the older editions of this book and love it. The idea of weight measurements is brilliant. The bread is so easy to make that the day I came home from the hospital I was able to make the master recipe and put it in the fridge before anyone realized what I was doing!

  74. How long can you keep bread dough in the fridge?

    This cookbook looks right up my alley!

  75. What a gorgeous loaf of bread! Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  76. I can’t wait to try this with my kids. They are going to love it! Thank you for the post.

  77. I used to eat that back home and it would make us really happy to make it here in CA. 🙂

  78. Such a gorgeous loaf and what a great way to get your kids cooking.

  79. I live by the original ABin5… but I’ve always chickened out on this loaf. Thanks for making it look so easy.

  80. Looks great! So glad they included the measurements! That’s the easiest way to bake… right? 🙂

  81. Nothing beats fresh baked bread!!! Yummy!

  82. Yum! Homemade bread! This is one of my favorite things in the world. I would love to have my own copy of this book, instead of borrowing the library copy.

  83. I am impressed with their bread making skills, that is one gorgeous end result!

  84. I can’t wait to try this bread with my kids. It seems so simple. The book would be a great addition to our cookbook collection.

  85. Beautiful pictures.. and of homemade bread!

  86. What an absolutely gorgeous loaf. Love all your kids in the action. I would LOVE to win this book!!

  87. Delicious! I could eat an entire loaf.

  88. I make white bread and would like to try the 5 minute method. I would love to win the new Artisan Bread Book.


  1. […] I cut the dough with scissors at a 45 degree angle. For more on how to do this, please visit this amazing site that has the original recipe as […]

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