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Zoe Francois

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  1. Hi Melissa and FrogPrincesse, Other than the addition of weights, which I am very excited about, we have added lots of other details to the new version of the book. Here are a few other things I'm excited about: 1. We broadened the discussion about how much yeast to use in the recipes, giving bakers a range. Some people like the bread with the original amount, but many wanted a lower dose. We have a similar discussion about salt. I personally like saltier bread, but for some it was too strong, or in a rare case, not salty enough. 2. We added a discussion about using a sour starter in our method. 3. Many more pictures (40 color and 100 black & white) 4. 30 new recipes (including a discussion about how to increase the whole wheat in a recipe, without having to add vital wheat gluten. 5. We took the FAQ from our website and broadened the tips and techniques section of the book, so that people will have all the information in one location about how to bake a great loaf. 6. In that section we talk about how to improve the interior crumb, if you are finding the loaf denser than you like. 7. We've added G-F breads for those who have gluten sensitivities or are baking for someone who does. 8. And a fantastic new index (I know its a geeky detail, but I love a good index and this one is finally great. Our first one was not!) Hope that helps. Cheers, Zoë
  2. Hi Lesliec, The salt technically will retard or slow down the yeast if left in a wet solution, but the recipe is going together so quickly it really won't make an appreciable difference in the dough. In all of the buckets of dough (and there have been 100s) I have made, I have never noticed a difference in the performance between batches mixed with the salt and yeast together or separated. I have added the ingredients to the bucket in every possible order and the outcome of the bread is always the same. The only exception is when I am adding VWG to a batch of whole grain dough. Like Heartsurgeon I use a bulk yeast that I buy from my local costco, but in my case it is RED STAR. It is a 2 pound vacuum packed bag for about $3.50. I love the results and it is a huge savings. Thanks! Zoë
  3. Hi Leslie, Thank you! I am always curious what the differences in the flour is around the world. Some day I will get to NZ to bake. Here is a post I did about Hot Cross Buns: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=571 Enjoy, Zoe
  4. Hi Lesliec, What a stunning loaf and I love the tutorial! I use this technique for the baguette and epi, but may just add the extra steps for all of my loaves. So glad you are enjoying the method and all the bread you bake. What is the protein of the flour you are using? Thanks, Zoë François
  5. Ooops! Sorry Heartsurgeon for the much overdue response. I hope you've been having success with your breads, despite the lack of support on my end! 1) Convection is a wonderful way to go with the bread. Just be careful to adjust the temp, down by about 20 degrees. If your oven is too hot the crust may turn a gorgeous deep brown before the crumb is fully baked. 2) Yes, you can certainly use malt or beer in the breads. It is a wonderful flavor and the beer will even jump start the "sour" or "fermented" character. The amount you use will somewhat depend on your personal preference for the flavor you are going for. In my experience the dough made with high levels of beer does not store for the full two weeks. I found myself adding a new batch of ingredients to some of the old dough after only 7 days. I'll be curious to see what you think. We are busy writing another book and we will talk more about these options in the next one. Thanks Zoë
  6. Chris, your pizza is gorgeous! Well worth all the fire drama. Zoë
  7. Hi Elsie, Congratulations! You might check out the selection of hotel pans at the restaurant supply store. I just baked with a friend in his wood fired oven and he used a deep hotel pan to cover the bread. The lid to a chafing dish would be great too! He went as far as to put a hole in it so he can inject steam into the pan. It doesn't have a handle, but I had no problem just lifting it up with a spatula to get it off. Enjoy the bread! Zoë
  8. Hi jayt90, I agree with tsquare, when using the whole wheat flour you are going to want to let it rest for closer to 2 hours, to get a nice crumb. When using 100% whole wheat you will find that the crumb is tighter and the crust not as crisp. It is nothing you are doing wrong, just the nature of the beast. When mixing this dough with 2# of whole wheat you will want to add 3 1/2 cups of water. I would even try adding a couple of tablespoons of vital wheat gluten to improve the structure, which will help you lighten up the crumb. I use a really old serrated knife (not at all pretty!) or scissors to do my slashing. I find the razor difficult to use in wet dough, but try them all and see what works best for you. I'm just now playing with spelt, but can't comment on it yet. Perhaps there is someone else that has tried it? If not, I'll let you know what I find. Thanks! Enjoy the bread. Zoë
  9. Hi Momcook, We are working on #2 right now! Thanks for the encouragement. Zoë
  10. Hi Elsie, As you've probably noticed by now the dough will rise quite a bit, often touching the lid on a 5 quart container during its initial rise. After that it will collapse and will never reach those heights in the bucket again, but will have great oven spring. So, you do need a 5 quarts for the initial rise and then you can transfer to a smaller container. If you have the room in your refrigerator then just leave it, less to clean up! I look forward to hearing about your first loaf! Zoë
  11. Hi Ron, I would follow Tino's advice for shaping with either the Soft American-Style White Bread (page 204) or the Buttermilk Bread (page 207), both have a crumb closer to a traditional hot dog/hamburger bun. I seem to remember seeing hot dog baking pans somewhere??? Good luck and tell us how it goes! Zoë
  12. I've just returned from Phoenix and talked to many people there who travel to the mountains and need to know more about high altitude bread baking. Considering that I live in the flattest part of this country I have no experience with high altitude baking and was wondering if any of you have baked the bread above 4000 feet? Thanks, Zoë
  13. Hi mpshort, Your babka looks great! You mentioned liking the brioche dough better and I just wanted to make sure that you have the errata sheet from the website. There were some crazy typos in the babka recipe that would make it quite difficult to work with if you didn't know about them. www.zoebakes.com or www.artisanbreadinfive.com both have error/errata pages at the top. Thanks! Zoë
  14. Hi Chris, Is this still the first batch? If you have any dough left in the bucket, you may want to leave a small amount and mix the fresh batch right on top of it. This will jump start the flavor in your next batch. I never wash out my buckets, unless it was an enriched dough. So glad you are enjoying it! Zoë
  15. Chris, it looks great! Near perfection I might say. Not only the bread is gorgeous, but your photographs are lovely. Thanks, Zoë
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