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"Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" Zoe Francois (2008–2009)

Bread Cookbook

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#481 Jmahl

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 04:05 PM

Ciabatta buns....do you think I could make them with this recipe? I have the book now and she got the method for Ciabatta. At a good artisan bakery in my area they have Ciabatta buns that look like they've flattened the dough as usual and then just cut it into random squares. How can I duplicate this. The problem with their method is that their sizes are very random (differing by up to 2 inches). One of the caterers I do desserts for finds this frustrating so I was hoping I could find a way to do them in house.
I was thinking I could just pour the whole batter onto a half size sheet pan and flatten it to 3/4". Could I just flour really well and cut them on the pan or would it grow together? Do I need to cut them on the counter and then space them out to rise and bake? I guess I could use a spatula to transfer them. I'd love to know if anyone has already tried this and any tips they might have?

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Try laying down a good amount of semolina or corn flour dusting the top with flour and cutting with a large pizza wheel. You will have to separate the pieces I would guess.

I would like know what method works for you.

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#482 Blake G

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 08:34 PM

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Here is my first attempt at no knead artisan bread. The one in the back has poppy seeds on it, which turned out nicely.

I let the dough sit in the fridge for 24 hours before making these. The dough was still pretty cold even after sitting out for an hour and forty minutes, so it didn't rise much. It probably should have sat another half hour or more, but I got impatient. Does anyone else have to let your loaf rise more than 2 hours after refrigeration? That seems excessive.

Anyway, the crumb is dense, but it makes good sandwiches. The crust is perfect though: thick and crunchy.

#483 OliverB

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 10:01 AM

Well, this is very all very interesting and my first batch is in the fridge. Luckily I read (after I thought I was done) that KA flour will need more water, my dough was not really wet at all (not that I'd really know the difference, I've only made bread once before) but I was able to add some more water and it rose very nicely. I'm gonna let it sit for a couple more days to develop some more flavor.

The first bread I ever baked was the no knead one from CI and I was very disappointed. It looked great but tasted just about as bland as a slice of toast from the store, never made it again. Now I'll give this one a try but I'll also make some regular bread soon, I love kneading dough!

I shall report how things turn out once I bake the first one!

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#484 Chris Hennes

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 05:27 PM

Has anyone tried omitting the yeast in a second batch? The way I typically make this bread these days is to mix up a new batch when I am down to one loaf's worth of dough left. I was thinking that there is really probably no reason to add any yeast with the subsequent batches because the yeast leftover in the original batch should just start multiplying one it gets fed with the fresh flour, right? Like doing a sourdough, but with a commercial yeast? Does this seem reasonable?

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#485 P1800Girl

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 06:02 PM

Chris,

It does sound reasonable to me, but I'm not a professional baker. At the very least, it would be an experiement with not a lot of sunk costs (flour is still relatively cheap).

I've had a continuous batch going now for 7 months strictly using sourdough, which IIRC, is never addressed in the book. I've made pitas, tortillas, pizzas, baguettes, cinnamon raisin bread, along with the classic boule all with sourdough.

Let us know what you discover.

-sabine

#486 Kerry Beal

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 06:14 PM

I think it should work. I've done similar with sourdough.

I've been rereading this thread tonight - if you go back to post 147 Zoe talks about using a natural levain.

Edited by Kerry Beal, 16 March 2009 - 06:41 PM.


#487 OliverB

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 10:14 AM

Well, I baked my first one last night and am mostly impressed, though the taste was very mild, I'll definitely have to add some seeds or things like that next time. It was not as bland as the CI no knead bread though. I've had the dough in the fridge for not quite 3 days. It had shrunk a bit and I got hardly any rise out of it in the 40-50 min it was on the counter. I also did not slash deep enough I think, but it turned out beautiful, very crunchy crust and soft and moist interior. Denser than I expected, but certainly not heavy. I'll also add some whole wheat next time, plus some anise/coriander seed or maybe rosemary, something like that. Over all I'd call it a success, especially for being only my 2nd ever baked bread. We ate it all, here are some pictures:

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sliced, dusted and ready to go

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fresh from the oven

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sliced in half

All in all I'm very happy and this was really super easy to make, a winner! I do love kneading dough, could do that for hours, but it's certainly more practical this way. I also love the small size of the loaf, we ate it all fresh and have no bread going stale to worry about. We don't eat bread every day, having this smaller loaf size is certainly nice. Question though, would a twice as large loaf bake just as well, or would it be better to bake two small ones? The kids are growing...

Oliver
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#488 OliverB

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 11:01 AM

Well, made the 2nd loaf last night, the dough was now a bit over a week old. I had stored it in a large bowl in the fridge, some liquid had separated out on the side where I took the dough out last time. I formed it a bit different this time and sprinkled some anise and fennel seeds on. Baked per instructions after a bit over an hour of rest (where it barely rose).

The crust turned out great, very crunchy:
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The crumb was about the same density, but there were a couple moist areas that could have baked a bit longer I guess?
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It tasted good, a bit more tangy than the first one I guess, though it's hard to compare w/o having that one still around. The seeds definitely added to the taste, next time I'll throw some into the dough. All in all I like this approach, it's nice to be able to more or less decide on a whim to bake some fresh bread! We had a nice thick steak last night, some salad with fried quail eggs and the bread, all very good. Next I'm gonna try one of the variations in recipe from the book.

Anybody else create some of those? Or the different formed loafs? I can't wait to make the Pain d'Epi, though I'd make that with about 2lb of dough to get a larger loaf.

Fun stuff and stepping back into the kitchen from the bbq was just wonderful, the smell of fresh baking bread should be sold in bottles ;-)

Oliver

PS: I have a Jenn Air range and the oven has a vent in the top that goes into the downward sucking vent, is that an issue? Do all ovens have a vent? A lot of steam came out there. All turned out nice, but I'm wondering if I should increase the water a bit? If all ovens vent it's a non-issue I guess, but I have no idea if they do.
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#489 highchef

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 07:20 PM

I bought the 5 minutes a day book along with Reinhart's (sp?) whole wheat bread book. I read through both and of course tried the easiest one first. I should have paid attention to the Reinhart's book warning of covering the glass in the door with a towel when adding the water (I saw it, read it, forgot it) and it cracked about half way through the 2nd batch of bread.
I really, really, really hope none of you make the same mistake, cause it's no myth. That glass cracked instantly when a drop fell on it, and it was one of those nano seconds you wish you could just redo.
Otherwise I've had great success with this, but did have to add a mile a day on the treadmill.

#490 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 07:34 PM

I bought the 5 minutes a day book along with Reinhart's (sp?) whole wheat bread book. I read through both and of course tried the easiest one first. I should have paid attention to the Reinhart's book warning of covering the glass in the door with a towel when adding the water (I saw it, read it, forgot it) and it cracked about half way through the 2nd batch of bread.
I really, really, really hope none of you make the same mistake, cause it's no myth. That glass cracked instantly when a drop fell on it, and it was one of those nano seconds you wish you could just redo.
Otherwise I've had great success with this, but did have to add a mile a day on the treadmill.

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You're not the only one :). Mine's been broken now for a long time and it still seems to bake everything just fine. Apparently it's about $80 to fix but I just have never gotten around to doing it.
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#491 highchef

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 07:40 PM

I bought the 5 minutes a day book along with Reinhart's (sp?) whole wheat bread book. I read through both and of course tried the easiest one first. I should have paid attention to the Reinhart's book warning of covering the glass in the door with a towel when adding the water (I saw it, read it, forgot it) and it cracked about half way through the 2nd batch of bread.
I really, really, really hope none of you make the same mistake, cause it's no myth. That glass cracked instantly when a drop fell on it, and it was one of those nano seconds you wish you could just redo.
Otherwise I've had great success with this, but did have to add a mile a day on the treadmill.

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You're not the only one :). Mine's been broken now for a long time and it still seems to bake everything just fine. Apparently it's about $80 to fix but I just have never gotten around to doing it.

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I got it fixed friday, but it took weeks (special order glass). I noticed that the oven didn't seem impaired, but I'm sure it had to work overtime because I noticed the kitchen would warm up considerably when I used that one oven. When it was cool, it offset the heat coming on, but I live in Louisiana and seriously can't have a lot of added heat most of the year. Don't know the cost, they send a bill, but it's worth 80 bucks not to be reminded of my stupidity every time I turn it on!

#492 Jmahl

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 03:42 PM

I bought the 5 minutes a day book along with Reinhart's (sp?) whole wheat bread book. I read through both and of course tried the easiest one first. I should have paid attention to the Reinhart's book warning of covering the glass in the door with a towel when adding the water (I saw it, read it, forgot it) and it cracked about half way through the 2nd batch of bread.
I really, really, really hope none of you make the same mistake, cause it's no myth. That glass cracked instantly when a drop fell on it, and it was one of those nano seconds you wish you could just redo.
Otherwise I've had great success with this, but did have to add a mile a day on the treadmill.

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Interesting. we have been baking this recipe regularly for over a year and never had a problem. Still, interesting.

Jmahl
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#493 Chris Hennes

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 02:32 PM

This last batch I made I went ahead and omitted the yeast in the subsequent batch: it worked exactly as expected. That is, it took quite a while to rise, but otherwise worked just great. The rise time isn't a problem, at least for me. When I took the dough for loaf number three (of four) out to proof, that's when I mixed up the next batch, so I just left it on the counter the rest of the day and then popped it back in the fridge before bed. I haven't tried baking with it yet, but I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work just fine.

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#494 Chris Hennes

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 06:22 PM

And finally, the last confirmation: I baked up a loaf of the yeast-addition-omitted dough and it was effectively indiscernible from the other loaves. This is great: now I can stop going through yeast at such an astronomical rate (the problem with baking bread almost every day...).

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#495 Jmahl

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 04:36 PM

And finally, the last confirmation: I baked up a loaf of the yeast-addition-omitted dough and it was effectively indiscernible from the other loaves. This is great: now I can stop going through yeast at such an astronomical rate (the problem with baking bread almost every day...).

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Outstanding Chris - I will have to give it a try.

Jmahl
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#496 Heartsurgeon

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:23 PM

as far as yeast goes...you can get
two one pound vacumn sealed foil bags of yeast for $4.24 at Sam's Club...

i open one at a time and keep the yeast in a vacumn sealed jar (Foodsaver) in the fridge....enough yeast to last at least a year!! works just fine.

#497 tangaloor

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 11:54 AM

Shouldn't this procedure work with a sourdough starter instead of the commercial yeast? Of course there may be certain adjustments for the particular characteristics of your sourdough... Has anyone tried this?

#498 CKatCook

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 03:56 AM

I know the answer to my question is in here somewhere..I just don't find it... I baked my first loaf from this book yesterday and it was so wet it stuck to the cookie sheet without sides that I was using as a peel. I used alot of cornmeal on the sheet but it would not slide off I got one good misshapen loaf. :) The loaf was real small too, did everyone else notice that?
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#499 Heartsurgeon

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 04:11 PM

you have to figure out what level of hydration works for the flour your using, and the size/shape of boule your trying to make.

you should switch to measuring your ingredients by weight (not volume) for
consistency.

i ended up liking 75% hydration (750 gms water per 1000 gms flour).
when i form my boules, i use liberal amounts of bench flour
when i let my dough rest before baking, i do it on a silpat, with a heavy layer of cornmeal.

when i move the boules to the oven, just tip them up slightly and slide a teflon spatula under one edge, then hoist them into the oven with minimal handling (the dough can be very sticky). forget about "sliding" the dough around.

i only make individual serving size boules (about the size of a plum before rising).

bigger boules get sloppy, and working with sticky runny dough can be problematic as you've learned.

non-stick, lots of bench flour, lots of cornmeal, minimal handling, modest sized boules...that's the evolution of my bread making.

i stopped making big boules because it would all get eaten before i got some.
now i make about 24 mini-boules out of each 1000 gm of flour, and i can
specify how many buns each family member gets to eat!

Edited by Heartsurgeon, 21 May 2009 - 04:12 PM.


#500 saluki

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 08:22 PM

you have to figure out what level of hydration works for the flour your using, and the size/shape of boule your trying to make.

you should switch to measuring your ingredients by weight (not volume) for
consistency.

i ended up liking 75% hydration (750 gms water per 1000 gms flour).
when i form my boules, i use liberal amounts of bench flour
when i let my dough rest before baking, i do it on a silpat, with a heavy layer of cornmeal.

when i move the boules to the oven, just tip them up slightly and slide a teflon spatula under one edge, then hoist them into the oven with minimal handling (the dough can be very sticky). forget about "sliding" the dough around.

i only make individual serving size boules (about the size of a plum before rising).

bigger boules get sloppy, and working with sticky runny dough can be problematic as you've learned.

non-stick, lots of bench flour, lots of cornmeal, minimal handling, modest sized boules...that's the evolution of my bread making.

i stopped making big boules because it would all get eaten before i got some.
now i make about 24 mini-boules out of each 1000 gm of flour, and i can
specify how many buns each family member gets to eat!

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Heartsurgeon-
How much room are you leaving between the mini-boules? Also, are you baking them on sheet pans? ( if so half, full?)

#501 Heartsurgeon

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 09:32 PM

i can fit a dozen mini-boules directly on my pizza stone.
i transfer them one at a time to the stone using a spatula.
3 rows of four, maybe 1 inch between the boules.
i let the boules rise 2 hours on a siplat heavily dusted covered with cornmeal
initially, i tried letting the buns rise directly on a pizza peel, and then
slid them onto the stone. the problem was that the cornmeal or flour, or what ever i dusted the peel with, would get soggy, and the bun would stick to the peel. once you get even the slightest adherence to the peel, your screwed because nothing will slide.
That's why i went to the silpat (even if the corn meal gets soggy, less likely to stick to the silpat), and i gave up on sliding the buns onto the peel, instead i barely lift one edge of the bun up with a spatula, and cradle the other side with a finger, and deposit the bun on the pizza stone directly.

i'm going to try an post a pictoral guide to bun making...

#502 Jmahl

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 09:13 AM

We let the dough rise on parchment paper with flour and cornmeal as the base. We then transfer the risen loaves with the paper to the stone. After about 15 minutes in the oven we slide out the parchment leaving the loaves directly on the stone. It is very neat - no struggle with wet dough. If you get the parchment out early you can use it again.
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#503 Heartsurgeon

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 09:51 PM

Here is the pictorial presentation of how i make bread using this technique. Obviously. plenty of ways to do it, this is just what my bread making has evolve into. To Wit:

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The hardware I use to make the dough. A big spoon for mixing, some small spoons, a digital scale, and a big tub to store the dough in.

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The software includes King Arthur All Purpose Flour, salt, granulated bulk yeast, and malt powder.

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I mix 20 gms of salt, 12 gms of yeast, 20 grams of malt, and 750 gms of water.

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Then I add 1000 gms of flour.

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mix with the spoon until four is well incorporated.

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This is what the dough looks like immediately after mixing. At this point, i just stick it in the fridge straight away.

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Here's what the dough looks like after 24 hours in the fridge...

next....making the mini-boules...

#504 llc45

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 06:37 AM

Just mixed up my first batch in awhile thanks to this inspiration. I don't have a scale but each time you post, it makes me want one. I haven't had too many problems without one. I feel like I can judge based on looks at this point, but still have the occasional clunker.

#505 Heartsurgeon

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 08:49 AM

get a scale, you will never regret it.

the scale gives you consistency. it allows you to scale your recipe's up and down effortlessly.

i got mine when i started a series of experiments to determine what level of hydration i wanted to use.

In Keller's latest cookbook (Under Pressure), all the recipes are in grams...

the three most important tools in the kitchen (in my opinion) for consistency are

1) a digital temp probe
2) a digital scale
3) a digital timer

but that's just me! i love gadgets.

#506 Desiderio

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 09:46 PM

well its time for bread! I didnt get the book yet but I am planning on order it tomorrow!
I have not baked bread in a while and I am starting my sour dough as well ( I like complicate my life :-P ) but this thread got me and I followed the basic recipe posted earlier and made a batch tonight, I will be waiting for at least 2 days, and then try the refigeration method to form the loaf then refigerated and bake it right out of the fridge.
This is going to be fun!! :smile:
Vanessa

#507 Desiderio

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 07:57 AM

I waited two days before baking my first loaf, I used the recipe form the thread, I really liked the bread was nice, crumb open enough, even not big holes, crust nice and crunchy, much better than what I expected. The only thing, I didn't get to much rise or oven spring, I am wondering because of the heat, I didn't let the stone for a full hour, and I used the hot water in the bottom of the oven, usually when I bake sourdough I use either spray couple of time or ice cubes, I had the feeling it gave me a bigger oven spring, but that might be just a coincidence, reading the discussion on steam. Anyway very nice and amazing results, I did ordered the book, I made another batch with the formula Heartsurgeon posted, thank you. I will keep working on that rise.
Vanessa

#508 Heartsurgeon

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 07:03 AM

I typically make a batch of dough (see pictorial above) every other weekend, and keep it in the fridge. I use the dough over the following two weeks. The dough gets progressively wetter/runnier in consistency as time goes on, but the flavor is consistently excellent.

Here we are 1 week after making a batch of dough. Time to bake some mini-boules!

Everything I've done is designed to minimize mess and clean up of the kitchen. Obviously, you don't need to do it this way to have great results.

Hardware and software used to make the buns:
Dough, coarse ground corn meal, all purpose flour
Digital time (set to 2 hour rise time), spoon, serrated knife
Silpat lined baking sheet
Posted Image

I lay down cornmeal for 12 mini-boules on the silpat, and line up the tray, flour and dough containers, so when i make the buns, I'm not shedding any flour on the prep surfaces.
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I flour the top of the dough in the container, and cut off a piece of dough about the size of a plum.
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The piece is the rolled in flour (inside the flour container) to make it easy to handle.
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I shape the boule by drawing opposite sides of the dough together, and pinching the dough to the center. By rotating the dough ball and repeatedly drawing the dough to the center, the mini-boule gradually takes on a spherical shape.
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Once formed, the bottom of the boule (visible under my thumb) appears pleated, while the top of the boule is smooth and spherical.
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The boule is then dropped back into the flour, and rolled around, and the excessed shaked off.
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Here is the final appearance of a typical mini-boule, after shaping, and flouring. It goes onto it's cornmeal dusted spot in the baking tray. When all the buns have been made, I leave the tray out at room temp for 2 hours for the second rise.
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Here we are after two hours of rise time. Above the tray, is the hardware for baking the buns: a cup to hold water, a teflon lined knife for slashing the buns, a spoon to place flour on the tops of the buns, and a spatula to move the buns to the oven (pizza stone).Posted Image


With 30 minutes left in the second rise, i setup the oven: I leave a metal roasting/drip pan on the bottom rack, and a pizza stone on the rack just above. The oven is preheated to 450 degrees, convection bake. If I'm covering the buns with sesame seeds, i general lower the temp to 400 degrees to prevent the seeds from burning.
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JUST prior to baking, I slash the buns. If you do this prematurely, your buns will tend to spread out, and become flatter. I start by laying down a line of flour on top of all the buns.Posted Image


I make a 1/4 inch slash through the line of flour, and push the flour into the slash to keep it from resealing. Notice the teflon coated knife picks up very little dough when slashing. The slash can dramatically change the shape of the bake bun, and i highly recommend trying different styles of slashes, and different depths of slashing to see which result you like the best!
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Here's a tray of criss-crossed slashed buns ready to go into the oven.
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The buns can be sticky at this point, and rather floppy in consistency, making them hard to handle. My approach is to lift one edge of a bun up slightly, and slide a spatula under one edge of the bun, and lift the other side of the bun up with the finger tips (minimal handling), and transfer the bun onto the baking stone.
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Here's a dozen of my guys ready to be baked. Now I push the top rack in, toss the water into the broiler pan below, shove that in, and close the oven
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The bake time varies with bread, and the audience. I like a bun with a crunchy crust that puts up a fight, the rest of the family likes a softer crust. My comprise is 25 minutes at 450. Bake it 30 minutes, you've got a harder crust.

If i'm coating the bun with an protein or carbohydrate wash, and covering with seeds, i generally bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes to avoid having the seeds or the coating end up burning, and if excessive browning is occurring, i'll drop the temp to 350 and extend the bake time 5-10 minutes to finsh the bun. Adding a wash and seeds complicates matters because the coating will tend to darken before the bun is fully baked...oh well, here's a batch of my boys ready for the cooling rack.
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And here is the final product..
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Since starting the post, I tweaked the recipe by adding 20 gms of semolina flour..

Final Answer:
1000 gms flour, 750 gms water, 20 gms semolina flour, 20 gms malt powder, 20 gms salt, 12 gms granulated yeast

#509 Desiderio

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 09:38 AM

Beautiful demo! Thank you so much for taking the time to do it. It is so much better to see than just read!
I excited to bake more today, I got an inexpensive nice Dutch oven and I am ready to try it. I am going to use a week old dough and the other few days with the formula you posted, next ill yet your new formula. Thank you again this is fun, I also started to make some cheeses, with good bread you need good cheese and I can't get neither here!!
Vanessa

#510 Jmahl

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 12:46 PM

Beautiful demo Doc. It is obvious that your training has come in very useful.

Since we stated making our own bread over two years ago we now make our own marmalade and mustard. Can't tell were this is going to lead.
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