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

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tsquare   

I switched to the cast iron dutch oven method for the last two loaves - wow! Great crust and rise. I can't believe how easy bread baking has become.


Edited by tsquare (log)

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jayt90   

I have put off learning this method until yesterday, and now I'm sorry I waited so long.

I had to use what was in the house, Five Rose whole wheat. It had been sitting in a cool dry area, unopened, for at least a year, and I read somewhere that flour can develop a better flavour over time. This one sure did.

I baked off half the recipe in a Dutch oven, at 500F until the bread reached 200F. I didn't know about having the lid on, so I got only a moderate rise, not too many bubbles, and a fine whole wheat taste. The crumb and crust are much like a good rye loaf.

I'll do the other loaf tomorrow, and it should be better, now that I've read through this string, and know about parchment and Dutch oven. I have a tile somewhere, so I'll get it out. I think I should let it rise at room temp. for at least an hour, because it is whole wheat, and only moderately sticky.

How much water for 2lb. WW, Zoe? What kind of knife for a slash? (My serrated knife is old and dull.)

Spelt has a very high protein content, and some gluten. What do you think of this in a future loaf?

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saucée   

What kind of knife for a slash? (My serrated knife is old and dull.)

I use single edge razor blades. Slicing about 1/4 inch in at a 45 degree angle yields best results for most cases.

josh

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tsquare   

I think I should let it rise at room temp. for at least an hour, because it is whole wheat, and only moderately sticky.

I would say more than two hours. When the basic dough comes out of the fridge, you add an hour to the rise time.

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I think I should let it rise at room temp. for at least an hour, because it is whole wheat, and only moderately sticky.

How much water for 2lb. WW, Zoe? What kind of knife for a slash? (My serrated knife is old and dull.)

Spelt has a very high protein content, and some gluten. What do you think of this in a future loaf?

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

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ElsieD   

Hi:

I have now baked two loaves from my fist batch of dough. The first batch was only so-so (very doughy) so I went back through all the comments (and copied and pasted all comments of specific interest into a word document for future reference) to see what I might have done wrong. The second loaf I baked using Chris's method - covered for 20 minutes and uncovered for 15. The result was amazing - just a beautiful loaf, with nice holes on the inside and a crispy crust. I can't wait to bake another although my waistline can. I covered the dough with my kitchenaid stainless steel bowl which worked very well as it has a handle which made removing it after the first 20 minutes very easy. And oh, yes, it was baked on parchment on a pizza stone that I had preheated. When I removed the bowl I also removed the parchment. I am anxiously waiting for the mail to arrive as I am hoping the book will come today. Meantime, I am off to a restaurant supply store to buy a proper 5 quart container and maybe see if they have a stainless steel bowl with a handle that is not as tall as the kitchenaid as the kitchenaid only clears the broiler element by about an inch which makes removing the bowl from the oven rather awkward.

Thanks to all who responded to my pleas for help both on this board and by way of personal messages. It was (is) much appreciated.

Elsie

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The result was amazing - just a beautiful loaf, with nice holes on the inside and a crispy crust.

Great news, Elsie: congratulations! It sounds like you got pretty creative with the method, using a bowl to cover the bread. Very nice. I'm thinking of having a go at a pizza tonight, but we'll see what I'm in the mood for when I get home...

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Meantime, I am off to a restaurant supply store to buy a proper 5 quart container and maybe see if they have a stainless steel bowl with a handle that is not as tall as the kitchenaid as the kitchenaid only clears the broiler element by about an inch which makes removing the bowl from the oven rather awkward.

Thanks to all who responded to my pleas for help both on this board and by way of personal messages.  It was (is) much appreciated.

Elsie

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

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I made the pizza for dinner tonight and the crust turned out great! I just used the standard boule recipe, and I really liked it a lot in this application. Next time I will bake it longer and try not to set anything on fire! Here is my foodblog post on the matter.

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I made the pizza for dinner tonight and the crust turned out great! I just used the standard boule recipe, and I really liked it a lot in this application. Next time I will bake it longer and try not to set anything on fire! Here is my foodblog post on the matter.

Chris, your pizza is gorgeous! Well worth all the fire drama.

Zoë

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Pat W   

There's a "Recipes That Rock" thread in the Cooking Forum that I've been enjoying. It occurred to me today that the one recipe I tried this year that completely changed the way we eat was Zoe's 5 Minute Artisan Bread. I confessed this on the Recipe Rock thread, but I wanted to mention it here as well.

Ever since the first time I tried this, we have always had a batch of dough in the refrigerator. The other night, after a long day at work, I was dead tired and made a small boule out of the last bit of dough in the bucket. With all my heart I wanted to just abandon the empty bucket and not mix up another batch, but I couldn't. For one thing, I didn't want to lose the lovely flavor that has built up, but mostly I couldn't bear the thought of not having the dough on hand.

Zoe, you did indeed rock our world.

pat w.

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sygyzy   

Does anyone know the gluten/protein level of Bob's Red Mill standard (not bread) white flour? What hydration should I use?

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DCP   
Does anyone know the gluten/protein level of Bob's Red Mill standard (not bread) white flour?

According to the nutritional information listed at the product page, the Unbleached White Flour has 4.00 g protein per 34 g serving. Therefore, it's 11.8% protein. Gluten being about 80% of the protein in flour, that's 9.4% gluten.

These are only estimates, of course; the company should be contacted for specifics.

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ElsieD   

I did not see much mention of the Brioche recipe. I made it and have been making the pecan rolls. I pinch off 3 oz. of dough, roll it into a thin narrow rectangle, cover it with softened butter and spread with a mixture of cinnamon and brown sugar. I don't bother measuring any of this. I then roll it up and put it in one of those glass flan cups although I think you could use just about anything. Before I put it in the cup, I melt some butter in it and add some maple syrup, swirl it together and there's the topping. I follow the rest of the instructions with regard to resting the dough, etc. but bake them for a little less time. I invert them immediately when I take them out of the oven and remove the cup. They have a wonderful sticky texture on the bottoms and they are positively addictive. Tonight I made 3 oz. rolls out of the rest of the dough and they are now freezing. I'll be curious to see how they turn out after the dough has been frozen. I will probably thaw the dough overnight in the fridge and go from there.

It sure is nice to be able to make just a couple of these rolls rather than a whole batch. Better for the waistline too!

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Elsie,

I've just been sitting here wondering whether to toss my old neglected batch or what, when I saw your post on sweet rolls.

We dont eat much bread except for sandwiches, and I dont have time to bake much during the week, so even tho I love the bread, it was hard to use up a batch before the dough got tired. But... we love sweetrolls, and one can always share with the neighbors. Thank you for the idea.

I shall reincarnate that bowl of goo when I get home tonight. :smile:

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sygyzy   
According to the nutritional information listed at the product page, the Unbleached White Flour has 4.00 g protein per 34 g serving.  Therefore, it's 11.8% protein.  Gluten being about 80% of the protein in flour, that's 9.4% gluten.

These are only estimates, of course; the company should be contacted for specifics.

Thank you so much. I had no idea how to do gluten math!

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Whew! I just made it through the whole thread...but I didn't wait to finish it before trying out the method. I've been baking bread for years with mixed success and for well over a year I've been making the Jim Lahey "No-Knead" bread with great success. But it always put me in the position of having to plan to bake bread. This method surely takes that necessity away, but I wasn't able to get the crust I liked with adding steam rather than cooking in a hot container. So, I now combine the two! :smile:

I make up the recipe as it is in the book (just got the book today), but I add about two ounces of sour dough starter (that I've been keeping going for years) as well and this is really yummy stuff.

Since I live alone :sad: I make small loaves (in an oval casserole) about every other day. This is great! I want to thank Zoe for being a part of this forum and helping and inspiring us all!

To the "newbies" who are just beginning to bake bread, don't let a failure or two discourage you :smile: Well, its on to reading the book, I'm looking forward to trying some of the enriched breads soon.

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kbjesq   
I shall reincarnate that bowl of goo when I get home tonight.  :smile:

I'm sure that you won't be disappointed! I found a piece of the dough in the back of a fridge that I keep out in the garage. I had forgotten about it since at least late January when I was last playing around with this technique (see this post). It was pretty nasty looking, as you would expect. But I figured what the heck and added some water (it had dried out at that point) and low and behold a few hours later it was happy and bubbling. I then proceeded to add some bread flour, let it rise again and baked it off. It was surprisingly delicious!

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I'm on my third loaf now--the dough is about three or four days old. It's gotten progressively better but this loaf has bulged on the bottom as it was baking. I'm not sure why, and in other respects it looks just right. Any explanation for this phenomenon?

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tamiam   

I've made artisan style loaves from Lahey, CI, and the published 5 Minutes book, but now that I actually have the book itself in my hot little hands, the first thing I made is the Oatmeal Bread. The truth is that I altered the recipe to match what I had in my pantry, but in any case, it is delish.

Zoe, if you are out there, thank you for giving us all these wonderful no-knead alternatives. Everyone else, dont miss the oatmeal bread!

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momcook   

I've had this happen when I did not slash the top well enough. The bread finds an "escape" at the bottom as it rises.

I'm on my third loaf now--the dough is about three or four days old.  It's gotten progressively better but this loaf has bulged on the bottom as it was baking.  I'm not sure why, and in other respects it looks just right.  Any explanation for this phenomenon?

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MelissaH   
Has anyone tried baking these breads on an oiled pizza screen, placed on the stone? I'm wondering if that would make the crust color more consistent, but at the same time reduce the amount of cornmeal rolling around my oven.

I finally tried my own experiment.

It didn't work. The dough oozed through the holes in the screen, and then expanded in the heat of the oven. I wound up with a loaf fused to the screen, and the only way to get it off was to rip the bottom crust off.

I let the dough proof directly on the screen. I wonder if I'd have better success if the dough spends less time on the screen. But I'm not sure where I could let the dough rise such that I could easily transfer it to the screen and gain any advantage over not using the screen at all.

MelissaH

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Anyone have this book?  I read about it over on the Cook's Illustrated Boards.  I started a batch of the dough this afternoon based on information I gleaned from the boards and some articles I googled.

Here is a link to the author's website.

On Sunday for Mother's Day, I used the Challah dough and made this recipe with it - http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2008/01/13/challah/

I didn't have roasted hazelnuts so brushed on the beaten egg on top then sprinkled with coarse sugar before baking. Also when shaping it to make the indentations in each of the three pieces to add the nutella i used the handle of a long wooden spoon to make the indentation and that worked well.

This turned out incredible, everyone loved it. I love this book and I don't even have it yet, just have a few recipes, supposed to be getting it for my birthday in a few weeks! :biggrin:

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Josho   

Dear All,

I've been making this bread for several weeks now with, overall, great success. Love the crust. Love the crumb (after the first loaf, that is; I read through the thread here and took some advice; now the crumb is great).

But I have a consistent problem that I'd love some input on: the loaves tend to rise VERY high in the center. I end up with a loaf that's almost pyramid-shaped.

Initially, I shaped the dough into a ball. Then I tried shaping it like a much flatter round. I even tried having the round slightly thinner in the center. Still, it ends up looking like a volcano by the time it comes out.

Is this a function of poor slashing technique? Do I need to slash deeper -- or thinner?

Many thanks for any help.

--Josh

P.S. Also, has anyone come up with the correct WEIGHT for the flour for the master recipe? I usually prefer to measure by weight (and I was surprised that the book didn't include it). Are we talking the standard 5-oz cup of flour here, or a lighter cup?


Edited by Josho (log)

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