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

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Sorry, Zoe, I didn't realize you had weighed the water.

So there *is* an extra ounce of water that's unaccounted for ... :hmmm:

I've been meaning to get a scale from this century. I'll pick one up and report back!

Thanks Tino, your help and insight are wonderful!

Zoë


Edited by Zoe Francois (log)

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Hi Sygyzy,

In this note you said you measured out the 6 cups of flour, and it is supposed to be 6 1/2 cups. It will be challenging to get that extra flour in at this point so you may want to put it in a stand mixer as Tino suggested. It is fine to add the extra flour at any point, but you'll need to let it rise again so that the gas will develop in the dough. If you use it without this second rise it will be very dense.

Good luck and let us know how it goes. Zoë

Hi Zoe,

You caught the error. I did in fact put in 6 cups, so I am missing 1/2 a cup. Argh!

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I baked off the remainder of my first batch for dinner tonight. Buttered it up and spread some June Taylor organic strawberry preserves on top. Simply delicious.

I made a second batch of the dough but this time I used the full recipe. Hopefully it'll last us the rest of the week.

Here's today's question - Has anyone found any good solutions for the rising/storage buckets? Zoe says that she has a dedicated dorm fridge in the basement (garage?). Unfortunately for me, and most others, this is not an option.  I want to get the King Arthur bucket but it's too tall for my fridge. The biggest size I can accommodate is 7 inches. The Kitchen Aid stand mixer bowl fits exactly under it. I want something that can hold enough for the master recipe, which Zoe says is 6 quarts.

The other thing that confuses me is it's impossible to tell if a lid is airtight or not. All the pictures on the book's website/blog seem like they are airtight to me. I can't be the only one with this problem.

Any help would be appreciated.

Answer to your Q --- I purchased a Rubbermaid 21 cup container at the supermarket for about $4 it works perfertly.

Jmahl

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More pizza tonight — the best yet.  The local pizza place (an excellent one) just lost a good customer.  :sad: I love being able to control the size and the ability to make one for my husband and one for me.  I'm eager to get my granddaughter involved in making her own leetle one.

-Bubbles

And I do hope you'll be posting pictures of that when it happens! In the name of Alex, we need more bread pictures! :wink:

I hope you make your way over to the preserving topic when that time of the year comes around.

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*WAVING THE WHITE FLAG*

No, I guess that's surrender, and I'm not ready to do that yet. So what flag do you wave for HELLLLLPPPPPP !!!!!!!!!

I am a very very (did I mention VERY) novice baker. Noob doesn't even begin to describe it. One of my culinary resolutions for 2008 was to teach myself to bake, specifically bread and biscuit-y type things. I do OK with cookies, and don't have much call for cakes. But breads have always totally flummoxed me.

So, I thought the 5 Minute Artisan Bread was right up my alley. I made one batch and it was OK, baked one loaf immediately, meh, and ended up (due to life) having to ditch the rest of the dough. BTW, I'm just me, no family so I cut the recipe in half. As I said, not overwhelmed with the first attempt. Strike 1.

Then I found this thread and was sooooooooooo happy. Figured I'd been underwhelmed with the first attempt because it was new dough, and not hydrated enough. So I tried again, uping the amount of water. Well, I tried to mouse it (as in Mickey.....) because I didn't use a scale, and so ended up with way too wet a dough. Strike 2.

In the interim, I've made 3 loaves of "normal" bread (one from an Alton Brown recipe, one from a recipe that was in my local paper and one from the recipe booklet I got with my KA mixer) and they turned out really well. Good taste, decent crumb, good crust, I was happy. So maybe I'm getting the hang of this, I'm thinkin'. But the down side is they're all a huge investment of time, and I love the idea of this whole 5 minute concept. Keep the dough going, bake it when you can, yeah baby.

So last week I got serious, bought a scale, went to Zoe's website and watched the video, did the calculations on the proper hydration and gave it another go. Made the dough on Thursday, intending to bake one loaf on Sunday, and one loaf this weekend. The inital rise was AWESOME, the quantity probably quadrupled. HUGE bubbles, I was jazzed. Stuck the stuff in the fridge, not sealed air tight, and life intervened again. Didn't get the loaf made last weekend.

Now, I look at it, and it's, well....sad. The volume is down to probably close to what it was initially. Itty-bitty-teeee-tiny bubbles. A good number of them, but small. Really small. Its as though the dough (and at this point its only 7 days old) has lost all of the initial rise and gas, and sunk back down on itself. It seems to be shrinking daily.

Is it usable or is it all over? It literally has lost 3/4s of the volume from that first rise. Its cold & rainy here, and I'm planning on making split-pea soup over the weekend, and I'd love fresh bread with it. Should I attempt to bake this dough off, or should I seek an alternative? Is this Strike 3 and I'm out.....?

Thanks so much in advance from a baking wimp.

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*WAVING THE WHITE FLAG*

. . .

You should be fine! It will sink back in the 'fridge, that is perfectly normal.

Now try to deflate it as little as possible as you shape it, let it rest at room temp then bake it off.

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has anyone worried about spoilage with the dough?

I just took out the last third of a batch--it's been in the fridge for two weeks--it's the basic dough with a half cup of rye flour-- it smells very yeasty--and the top layer was slightly darkened.

I mixed it all up and put it out to rise--I'm assuming it's ok but input would be welcome.

Zoe

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*WAVING THE WHITE FLAG*

Is it usable or is it all over?  It literally has lost 3/4s of the volume from that first rise.  Its cold & rainy here, and I'm planning on making split-pea soup over the weekend, and I'd love fresh bread with it.  Should I attempt to bake this dough off, or should I seek an alternative?  Is this Strike 3 and I'm out.....?

Thanks so much in advance from a baking wimp.

Hi Pierogi,

Your dough sounds like it is going through the normal course. It will have an initial rise that is very exciting and then as it ages and some of the yeast dies off it will start to deflate in the bucket. But it will still have good oven spring so don't worry!

Try to handle the dough as little as possible as to not knock out the air bubbles that have formed. This is very different than the other recipes that are out there that want you to knead. As you saw in the video it should take no more than 30 seconds to form the loaf.

I'd let the dough rest for about an hour+ (because the dough is more than a week old and may have lost some of the initial power of the yeast) and then bake it on a preheated stone with a water bath below.

Thanks for your persistence! I'm so glad you are determined to bake bread. It is a worthy goal and fun!

Zoë F


Edited by Zoe Francois (log)

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has anyone worried about spoilage  with the dough?

I just took out the last third of a batch--it's been in the fridge for two weeks--it's the basic dough with a half cup of rye flour-- it smells very yeasty--and the top layer was slightly darkened.

I mixed it all up and put it out to rise--I'm assuming it's ok but input would be welcome.

Zoe

Hi Zoe,

Your dough is just fine. It may have a very strong sour flavor that you will either love or not. We are divided about that in my household!

Next time if it smells like the sour is too intense you can add the end of one batch to your next batch. This will mellow out the old and jump start the fresh batch.

BTW unless there is mold on the dough it is fine to use, unless you don't care for the intensity of the flavor, at which point toss or add to the next batch. We've let dough go for up to 3 weeks with no ill effect other than it losing rising power.

Thanks, Zoë F

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Thanks to all of you, and Zoe, I'm the proud owner of the book, a stone, a paddle, a 5 qt. plastic tub and a growing ability to bake good bread any time I want. Two weeks ago, I made half the master recipe (no scale) with KA AP flour. After a couple of test loaves, I turned the last bit into a perfect dinner roll. (Sorry, no camera).

It had large holes next to the crust, smaller holes in the center. The texture was light and chewy, which contrasted so nicely with that crispy crust. The look of it made me happy. But the flavor made me ecstatic. It had flavor, it tasted like...bread, good bread, bread I would get excited about in a restaurant. I broke it apart, piece by piece, buttered each one and savored every crumb. Of the crumb!

I mixed a batch of the peasant recipe in the same container, it's in the fridge, and I'm feeling kind of powerful, in that way I know you know all about. Thanks again to all for the encouragement and tips.

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Thanks to all of you, and Zoe, I'm the proud owner of the book, a stone, a paddle, a 5 qt. plastic tub and a growing ability to bake good bread any time I want. Two weeks ago, I made half the master recipe (no scale) with KA AP flour. After a couple of test loaves, I turned the last bit into a perfect dinner roll. (Sorry, no camera).

It had large holes next to the crust, smaller holes in the center. The texture was light and chewy, which contrasted so nicely with that crispy crust. The look of it made me happy. But the flavor made me ecstatic. It had flavor, it tasted like...bread, good bread, bread I would get excited about in a restaurant. I broke it apart, piece by piece, buttered each one and savored every crumb. Of the crumb!

I mixed a batch of the peasant recipe in the same container, it's in the fridge, and I'm feeling kind of powerful, in that way I know you know all about. Thanks again to all for the encouragement and tips.

Hi hsm,

Congratulations on the success of your bread, it is a powerful feeling isn't it! Nothing better than fresh bread and really great butter!

Enjoy! Zoë

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Finally get around to posting my results of this adventure

Pizza

gallery_29514_5740_34860.jpg

Bread

gallery_29514_5740_49517.jpg

We love it, especially that the dough is at hand. It makes it a lot less involved to just pull the needed dough out, top up the remainder and away you go.

Having been away for a couple of weeks means that the dough in the fridge has turned into some kind of sourdough monster, but the loaf I baked form it (not this one) has a very good flavour, if a bit flat.


Edited by Mette (log)

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Having been away for a couple of weeks means that the dough in the fridge has turned into some kind of sourdough monster, but the loaf I baked form it (not this one) has a very good flavour, if a bit flat.

Hi Mette,

Thanks for the wonderful pictures!

Once the dough is quite old we recommend sticking to the flatbread chapter or adding it to the next batch!

Enjoy! Zoë

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Wellllllllll, it may not have been Strike 3, but it certainly was Strike 2.5, and I keep hitting fouls...........

I gently (or so I think......) pulled out 1/2 of the dough, and immediately knew I wasn't going to have a good experience. There was a decided puddle of wet, runny..."sludge"...under the dough and the top of it had an almost crusty skin on it. But I preservered, or something.

I flopped the 1/2 I was going to work with on top of some flour to try to tighten up the bottom, and formed it. Let it sit for an hour and then baked it. Virtually no oven spring, but after it came out, I saw I may not have slashed it deep enough since the skin was so tough. Aside from no rise, the taste was decent, the crust was TO DIE FOR, but the interior was sort of gummy, even though it had some decent gas/air bubbles. And that was my complaint with the first loaf I made. I took the interior temp after 40 minutes, and it was over 220°F, so I'm pretty sure (?) it was done.

I saw from reading some earlier posts that the interior of a properly made loaf is chewier than commercial breads, so I'm willing to live with that. What concerned me was the runny sludge under and the thick skin on the top.

BUT I'M NOT GOING TO GIVE UP. I'm going to make another 1/2 batch next Thursday (my next day off work) and want to mix it with the remainder of the stuff in the fridge (at that point it'll be 2 weeks old). It would give me a 2 parts new to 1 part old mix.

Next round of questions: Do I pull the old dough out of my fridge container and to mix it into the new dough, or do I just plop the new dough on top of the old? If I mix, how long and when? Should I mix more flour into the runny stuff I've got now, or just use as is?

Thanks all, so much in advance. I'm so smitten by the idea of having dough on hand to bake at will that I am determined, single-mindedly determined, to conquer this !

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Wellllllllll, it may not have been Strike 3, but it certainly was Strike 2.5, and I keep hitting fouls...........

I gently (or so I think......) pulled out 1/2 of the dough, and immediately knew I wasn't going to have a good experience.  There was a decided puddle of wet, runny..."sludge"...under the dough and the top of it had an almost crusty skin on it.  But I preservered, or something.

I flopped the 1/2 I was going to work with on top of some flour to try to tighten up the bottom, and formed it.  Let it sit for an hour and then baked it.  Virtually no oven spring, but after it came out, I saw I may not have slashed it deep enough since the skin was so tough.  Aside from no rise, the taste was decent, the crust was TO DIE FOR, but the interior was sort of gummy, even though it had some decent gas/air bubbles.  And that was my complaint with the first loaf I made.  I took the interior temp after 40 minutes, and it was over 220°F, so I'm pretty sure (?) it was done.

I saw from reading some earlier posts that the interior of a properly made loaf is chewier than commercial breads, so I'm willing to live with that.  What concerned me was the runny sludge under and the thick skin on the top.

BUT I'M NOT GOING TO GIVE UP.  I'm going to make another 1/2 batch next Thursday (my next day off work) and want to mix it with the remainder of the stuff in the fridge (at that point it'll be 2 weeks old).  It would give me a 2 parts new to 1 part old mix.

Next round of questions:  Do I pull the old dough out of my fridge container and to mix it into the new dough, or do I just plop the new dough on top of the old?  If I mix, how long and when?  Should I mix more flour into the runny stuff I've got now, or just use as is?

Thanks all, so much in advance.  I'm so smitten by the idea of having dough on hand to bake at will that I am determined, single-mindedly determined, to conquer this !

Definitely mix the old into the new. If it turns out well you will have a great sourdough bread

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The other day I took the dough out of the refrigerator. Part of the top was really hard and old-looking. I removed the dough I was going to bake off from the side that wasn't old-looking.

I'm going to finish this batch tonight. My instict is to throw away the hard and old-looking part, but I'm wondering if it can/should be reintegrated into the dough.

Any experience with this?

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Next round of questions:  Do I pull the old dough out of my fridge container and to mix it into the new dough, or do I just plop the new dough on top of the old?  If I mix, how long and when?  Should I mix more flour into the runny stuff I've got now, or just use as is?

Thanks all, so much in advance.  I'm so smitten by the idea of having dough on hand to bake at will that I am determined, single-mindedly determined, to conquer this !

Hi Pierogi,

Any chance you live in the mountains? I've been talking to some people who have to deal with high altitude baking and their concerns are similar to yours. Just a thought!

I usually just dump the new ingredients onto the old dough and mix it all in together. This saves your from having to wash a new container. If you have a difficult time mixing it with a spoon, you may want to get your hands in there.

If you are getting a skin on your dough you will want to cover the container a little bit tighter. It means there is too much air getting in the bucket. The dough does sometimes weep a bit. I'm not sure why it does this sometimes but not others. I usually pour it off and add more flour so the dough doesn't stick to my hands.

Thanks for not giving up!

Zoë

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The other day I took the dough out of the refrigerator.  Part of the top was really hard and old-looking.  I removed the dough I was going to bake off from the side that wasn't old-looking. 

I'm going to finish this batch tonight.  My instict is to throw away the hard and old-looking part, but I'm wondering if it can/should be reintegrated into the dough.

Any experience with this?

Hi. If it is just a tough skin I usually mix it into the new batch. By the time it has sat in the refrigerator for 24 hours the old dough has softened up again.

Good luck! Zoë

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Hi Pierogi,

Any chance you live in the mountains?

Thanks for not giving up!

Zoë

Zoe, thank YOU for the advice.

Mountains, no, Long Beach is about as close to near sea level as you can get ! *I* am over 6 feet tall, though, does that make a difference??? LOL LOL LOL :wink::laugh:

The near successes I have had, and the successes people here have had are keeping me going. Well, that and the idea of good bread....... :wub:

I'll keep you posted. This weekend is up for another go. Thanks again,

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Hi Pierogi,

Any chance you live in the mountains?

Thanks for not giving up!

Zoë

Zoe, thank YOU for the advice.

*I* am over 6 feet tall, though, does that make a difference??? LOL LOL LOL :wink::laugh:

You may want to remain seated while mixing up the next batch!

Good luck!

Zoë

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Thanks for not giving up!

Zoë

Good morning, Zoë,

I've been baking like a fiend for three weeks – seven or eight full batches of dough!

I find that if I put my oven rack in the middle of the oven, my loaves get black on top (or very dark at the slashes. I've moved my rack down a level and the loaves color as I like them. I'm pleased with the baguettes I make but my boules seem to be just a touch underdone in the middle near the bottom crust. I've adjusted my oven temp to compensate for its being slightly off (checked with an oven thermometer); does the fact that I'm baking below the center affect that appearance of underdone.

I've yet to bake a boule with the interior like the one I sampled at the book signing. That doesn't especially bother me because we like our loaves on the dense side but I am curious to know if I should be baking longer or if what I've attempted to describe is normal. May I have your comments, please.

Thanks,

Bubbles

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You may want to remain seated while mixing up the next batch!

Good luck!

Zoë

Well that started my day with a smile.

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Has anyone compared the results of this method to Peter Reinhart's pain a l'ancienne method?

They have a lot in common, though the 5-minute method (ironically) ages the dough even longer. I'm curious to know if this leads to any noticeable improvements in flavor or texture.

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Question- I've been making the rye bread recipe and its turning out very nice but the crust is not like I get at a Jewish Deli.

I used the cornstarch wash.--What am I doing wrong?

Also, does anyone know if Clear flour is any healthier than AP?

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