Pondering the premise of “Make Ahead Bread” – breaking down bread recipes to a prep day and a separate baking day – I seriously questioned if stretching out any cooking process to two days was the way to make cooking for my bustling family life any simpler.

Even the full name of the cookbook seemed to take forever to say: “Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day.” (Wait, not done yet.) “Plus Butters & Spreads.”

But author Donna Currie is on to something. I’ll confess, I’ve always hesitated to take on a major baking project during a precious weekend, and too exhausted to do it during the week. But guided by easy-to-follow recipes, I was delighted by how easy it was to quickly pull together several of the recipes, freed of the pressure to bake all day.

With this cookbook, more time is less hassle. The detailed but simple recipes also give a good idea of which recipes will take longer on the prep day (Blueberry and Cream Cheese Buns with Lemon Zest) or on baking day (Stuffing Bread with Dried Cranberries). And be warned: Currie makes you work for your sweet tooth. All the pastry recipes have two- or three-day prep times before the baking.

The range of recipes from simple loaf breads to elegant par-baked herb-and-cheese buns will delight dabblers to dough masters, and there’s a bonus section on recipes using leftover bread, including stratas, bread puddings and crouton recipes.




½ cup Greek-style plain yogurt

¾ cup room-temperature water

2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

3 cups (13½ ounces) bread flour, plus more as needed


1½ teaspoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon salted butter, melted

On prep day:

1. Combine all the ingredients except the oil and the butter in a stand mixer and knead with the dough hook until smooth. You can also mix the ingredients in a large bowl, then knead by hand.

2. Drizzle the olive oil into a gallon-size zip-top plastic bag and place the dough in the bag. Refrigerate overnight or up to two days.


On baking day:

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F and place a baking sheet in the oven. Flour your work surface and turn out the dough. Divide it into 4 equal pieces and shape each piece into a ball.

2. Flatten the pieces and shape them into a teardrop shape. You can stretch and press them by hand or use a rolling pin. You’re looking for a shape that’s about 4 inches wide at the widest part and about 8 inches long.

3. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully place the dough on the sheet. Be careful – the pan will be quite hot. Return the pan to the oven and bake the naan until browned on the bottom, puffy and with a few brown spots on top, about 12 minutes. Transfer the naan to a rack and brush with melted butter. Serve warm or at room temp- erature.

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