Five Minute (Almost) Almond Brioche For Your Valentine

Valentines Day is right around the corner. A heart pierced by Cupid’s arrow is a traditional symbol of this special holiday honoring love and lovers, and giving someone a heart signifies the bestowing of your love to that person.

Each year at this time, the stores are brimming with red and pink heart-shaped boxes filled with all manner and form of chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. I admit, I'm not above enjoying one, two or ten of these edible tokens of affection. After all, chocolate is even said to be an aphrodisiac. However, I’m married to a man who doesn’t like chocolate. Can you imagine anyone not liking chocolate!?!? Not only that, he doesn’t really care for sweets at all. (Someone tell me again why I married this man?) So, coming up with an sweet treat on Valentine's Day that he might actually eat is a challenge all on its own.

Lucky for me, I have lots of friends. Some of these friends actually write bestselling cookbooks, like Zoë François, who along with Jeff Hertzberg authored the groundbreaking bread baking bible, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. This book completely breaks down the mystique of baking bread, teaching the yeast-challenged how to make great loaves at home, with only five minutes of active preparation time. Coming on the heels of the "No Knead Bread" craze of a few years ago started by the New York Times' article about Jim Lahey's minimalist, yet revolutionary process of producing rustic, crusty loaves, Artisan Bread in Five expounds on the "no knead" concept, providing simple master recipes for high-quality, fresh bread in less time than it typically takes to boil water. Using François' and Hertzberg's innovative technique, crusty baguettes, mouth-watering pizzas, buttery pastries and even jelly doughnuts can easily become part of anyone's baking repertoire.