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

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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

Hi Bubbles,

It actually sounds like a rising issue and not a baking issue. You can either try to let the dough sit longer on the peel before baking. Depending on the size of the boule, you may want to let it go as long as 1 1/2 hours.

You can also try the overnight refrigerated rise, which seems to work just as well for achieving a really nice open crumb.

Some ovens seem to bake the bread better on the bottom shelf.

Let me know if any of this helps!

Zoë

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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?

Hi Saluki,

Many bakers will tell you to paint the cornstarch wash on the loaf as it is coming out of the oven. It seems counterintuitive and yet many swear by it to get the best crust.

The only other thing I can think of is that the bread may be slightly under baked and therefore as it cools you will loose your crust. Make sure that you are getting a nice deep brown crust and then you will know that the bread is complete.

I'll have to investigate the nutritional value of the clear flour. I doubt there is much of a difference. Marc is the only person I know of who has tried it. Perhaps he will weigh in?

Thanks, Zoe

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Thanks Zoe,

I'll try painting it as it comes out instead.

The temp of the instant read thermometer was quite high and it was a deep brown color so I know the bread was done, so maybe painting at the end will do the trick.

Susie

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Thanks Zoe,

I'll try painting it as it comes out instead.

The temp of the instant read thermometer was quite high and it was a deep brown color so I know the bread was done, so maybe painting at the end will do the trick.

Susie

Hi Saluki,

They actually recommend painting before baking and after.

Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Zoë

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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.

MINE TOO !!!!!!!!!!!! :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::wub::laugh::laugh: :laugh: :laugh::laugh::wink::wub:

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My first loaf of no knead bread. CI recipe, sat on counter 20 hours, kneaded just a tad (what a difference), shaped, rested on parchment, then into really hot, really big anodized aluminum soup pot.

Crackling crust when hot, nice crumb, lovely flavor.

Next loaf resting in fridge for the weekend.

gallery_52991_5758_436725.jpg

gallery_52991_5758_195416.jpg

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Great Thread.

Does the book have Metric measurements?

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Great Thread.

Does the book have Metric measurements?

Hi adey,

No the book doesn't use metric but we have been slowly but surely converting everything.

Off to Atlanta to bake. If any of you live in that area I'd love to meet you. You can go to the website and see where we will be! www.zoebakes.com or www.artisanbreadinfive.com

Zoë

Jtravel, gorgeous bread. Let us know how it stores over the weekend!

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Is that for a 2nd edition for the UK or on your site?

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I DID IT !!!! I DID IT !!!! I DID IT !!!!!!! (really need that jumping up & down icon.........)

So, the boule I made today from the 2/3 new:1/3 old dough was AWESOME. Um, pictures, well, it got eaten too quickly for that.

But the crust rocked, the crumb rocked, the taste rocked !!!! And I'm a happy camper. It was still a little "damper" that I would have liked right in the dead center of the loaf, but I'm way willing to live with that, especially since it seemed to dry out rather quickly after it was sliced.

I will bake off another boule this weekend, and remember to post pictures then. But I think I may have it knocked.........

Wow.

Thanks for all your help, everyone, especially Zoe. Yay me !

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I DID IT !!!!  I DID IT !!!!  I DID IT !!!!!!! (really need that jumping up & down icon.........)

So, the boule I made today from the 2/3 new:1/3 old dough was AWESOME.  Um, pictures, well, it got eaten too quickly for that.

But the crust rocked, the crumb rocked, the taste rocked !!!!  And I'm a happy camper.  It was still a little "damper" that I would have liked right in the dead center of the loaf, but I'm way willing to live with that, especially since it seemed to dry out rather quickly after it was sliced.

I will bake off another boule this weekend, and remember to post pictures then.  But I think I may have it knocked.........

Wow.

Thanks for all your help, everyone, especially Zoe.  Yay me !

Fantastic!! Congrats. I look forward to the pictures. Zoë

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Thank you for providing this info. Our next book will include weights and a primer on baking percentages! We have been pleasantly surprised at the number of people who do scale their recipes. Now we can go to the publisher and tell them people are asking for it. As you said, it is the only true way to get a consistent product.

Thanks! Zoë

Can I assume from this that you typically use weight measurements? Would you mind posting the exact measurements you use for the master recipe (incl. the salt and yeast)? It's too late for my first batch (already in the fridge, and I just got the book yesterday!), but it would be handy for future reference.

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Woohoo! I finally get to play along! I made the dough yesterday and baked off a small boule today:

gallery_56799_5508_7903.jpggallery_56799_5508_5451.jpg

gallery_56799_5508_3391.jpggallery_56799_5508_17176.jpg

gallery_56799_5508_3532.jpg

The crumb was a little tight, I think due to not mixing the yeast into the water well enough, and despite baking for far longer than the recipe called for I think the crust was still too pale, but the flavor was pretty good and should only get better as the week wears on.

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Woohoo! I finally get to play along! I made the dough yesterday and baked off a small boule today:

gallery_56799_5508_7903.jpggallery_56799_5508_5451.jpg

gallery_56799_5508_3391.jpggallery_56799_5508_17176.jpg

gallery_56799_5508_3532.jpg

The crumb was a little tight, I think due to not mixing the yeast into the water well enough, and despite baking for far longer than the recipe called for I think the crust was still too pale, but the flavor was pretty good and should only get better as the week wears on.

Wow, that is some tremendous oven spring you've got there!

How did you bake it?

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Wow, that is some tremendous oven spring you've got there!

How did you bake it?

I used the Dutch oven technique, at 450F. No additional moisture (I don't generally think it is necessary for this method, but I could be convinced otherwise...).

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I used the Dutch oven technique, at 450F. No additional moisture (I don't generally think it is necessary for this method, but I could be convinced otherwise...).

Introducing steam would be helpful for oven spring, but since that doesn't seem to be a problem, I don't see the need for it!

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Thank you for providing this info. Our next book will include weights and a primer on baking percentages! We have been pleasantly surprised at the number of people who do scale their recipes. Now we can go to the publisher and tell them people are asking for it. As you said, it is the only true way to get a consistent product.

Thanks! Zoë

Can I assume from this that you typically use weight measurements? Would you mind posting the exact measurements you use for the master recipe (incl. the salt and yeast)? It's too late for my first batch (already in the fridge, and I just got the book yesterday!), but it would be handy for future reference.

Hi Chris,

Your bread looks great. If your dough is very fresh then that might be why your crumb is a bit dense. Just remember to handle it as little as possible when shaping. It should take no more than 30 seconds to form the boule.

Here is the information about the weight of the flour:

http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=140

I just weighed the yeast and the salt separately and this is what I came up with:

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast = .5 ounces (15 grams)

1 1/2 tablespoons mortons kosher salt = .7 ounces (22 grams)

you can play with either of those weights to suit your needs. If you decrease the yeast then make sure you let the dough rise longer.

Thanks for trying the recipe and sending the pictures! You are getting a great crust on the bread in the DO. I don't think that additional steam will do much of anything since your DO is covered during the crucial moments of baking.

Enjoy! Zoë

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Hi Zoe,

I am LOVING your book and the bread. I am a long time bread baker, and this feels like cheating, but my family is in heaven. We made our first basic batch last week, doubled, and just baked off the last loaf tonight. In the fridge are the next two batches, the rye and the peasant doughs. The only "modifications" I've made are that I'm baking in the Cuisinart Stone lined oven, so I cannot put in a broiler pan for the water. However, a small stoneware ramekin with water sitting on the baking stone seems to be taking care of this. The crust is a nice dark color, and the oven spring remained excellent all week, with larger holes as the days went on.

Thank you! This is such fun. The next challenge will be to try some of the home ground whole wheat we usually use, and see how much we can get the dough to take.

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Hi Zoe,

I am LOVING your book and the bread.  I am a long time bread baker, and this feels like cheating, but my family is in heaven.  We made our first basic batch last week, doubled, and just baked off the last loaf tonight.  In the fridge are the next two batches, the rye and the peasant doughs.  The only "modifications" I've made are that I'm baking in the Cuisinart Stone lined oven, so I cannot put in a broiler pan for the water. However, a small stoneware ramekin with water sitting on the baking stone seems to be taking care of this.  The crust is a nice dark color, and the oven spring remained excellent all week, with larger holes as the days went on. 

Thank you!  This is such fun.  The next challenge will be to try some of the home ground whole wheat we usually use, and see how much we can get the dough to take.

Hi momcook,

I'm so glad you are enjoying the book and the bread. No need to feel guilty about cheating. I figure if your bread comes out of an oven and not a plastic bag you are in excellent standing.

Please let me know what your results are with the home ground wheat. How finely do you grind it?

Thanks, Zoë

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Hi Zoe,

I grind the wheat as finely as purchased flour. I make an AP blend of about 80 percent soft white wheat, and 20 percent hard red wheat. I use it for my baking, usually adding a little extra water.

Thanks for this thread - it has been a lot of fun to follow, and now to be able to participate in!

-----------------

Hi momcook,

I'm so glad you are enjoying the book and the bread. No need to feel guilty about cheating. I figure if your bread comes out of an oven and not a plastic bag you are in excellent standing.

Please let me know what your results are with the home ground wheat. How finely do you grind it?

Thanks, Zoë

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Hi Zoe,

I grind the wheat as finely as purchased flour.  I make an AP blend of about 80 percent soft white wheat, and 20 percent hard red wheat.  I use it for my baking, usually adding a little extra water. 

Thanks for this thread - it has been a lot of fun to follow, and now to be able to participate in!

Very cool, I look forward to hearing about the results. I've had many people ask about using flour that they grind themselves. I'm not sure how to address the amount of flour since I've not played with it. My kids have gone to a Waldorf school where they grind their own flour to make snacks. I should ask the teacher to grind some for me to experiment with.

Thanks for reminding me! Zoë

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Your bread looks great. If your dough is very fresh then that might be why your crumb is a bit dense. Just remember to handle it as little as possible when shaping. It should take no more than 30 seconds to form the boule.

Zoë, thanks for the advice, and the measurements. I only took 10-15 seconds to shape the boule, but I feel like I lost most of the volume when trying to pull a piece of the dough out of the container. I tried to do it like the photo in the book, and maybe it was OK, but it felt like I lost a lost of volume when I was pulling it out to get the knife in there.

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Your bread looks great. If your dough is very fresh then that might be why your crumb is a bit dense. Just remember to handle it as little as possible when shaping. It should take no more than 30 seconds to form the boule.

Zoë, thanks for the advice, and the measurements. I only took 10-15 seconds to shape the boule, but I feel like I lost most of the volume when trying to pull a piece of the dough out of the container. I tried to do it like the photo in the book, and maybe it was OK, but it felt like I lost a lost of volume when I was pulling it out to get the knife in there.

Hi Chris, Let me know how the next loaf comes out, it may just need to age for a day or two to establish a good hole structure.

Try using kitchen shears to get the dough out of the bin. I've been finding that more efficient, which means less time to deflate the dough.

Thanks, Zoë

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Take two: the dough is now 48 hours old, I used scissors to cut it out (works great!!), the oven was set to 500F, and it was baked without steam addition in a Dutch oven:

gallery_56799_5508_11616.jpg

gallery_56799_5508_81693.jpg

gallery_56799_5508_52450.jpg

This was a clear improvement over my first attempt: the flavor was better due to the increased age, the crust was better due to the higher heat, and the crumb was better due to some combination of that and the gentler handling. Thanks for the advice!

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