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CaliPoutine

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

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

It does sound like you aren't slashing deep enough (or not enough slashes). If cross-hatches are not working for you, try diagonal slashes, which will result in a slightly elongated shape.

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It does sound like you aren't slashing deep enough (or not enough slashes). If cross-hatches are not working for you, try diagonal slashes, which will result in a slightly elongated shape.

Thanks, Sanrensho! I've got a loaf going in the oven in about a half-hour. I'll try being a bit more bloodthirsty in my slashes. :-)

--Josh

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I've got a loaf going in the oven in about a half-hour. I'll try being a bit more bloodthirsty in my slashes. :-)

Let us know how it works out. I sometimes have trouble with the bread not rising enough resulting in a denser crumb. Any ideas as to why that should be?

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

Letting it proof for a bit longer might help. How long is the final proof for your boule?

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?

The weight for a cup of flour in this book is about 4.9 ounces.

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Came out really beautiful...my best so far (at least appearance-wise; I haven't cut it open yet).

gallery_56180_5142_235275.jpg

I did two things differently:

1. My slashes were a lot more definitive (I did the cross-hatch pattern, which I'd tried before).

2. I gave it a much longer rise on the peel than usual (1.5 hours instead of 40-50 minutes).

Elsie, that longer rise may help the crumb. My first loaf was really way too dense (almost like a white sandwich bread, with very small bubbles). I think I did two things wrong that, once I changed them, helped the crumb: first, I allowed a longer rise on the peel (50 or 55 minutes instead of 40). Also, as Zoe mentioned, the less you handle the dough before putting it on the peel, the better -- 20 seconds is better than 30 or 40 seconds. I think I overworked the dough the first time I baked (and had a dense crumb).

--Josh


Edited by Josho (log)

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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?

I weight out two lbs. of flour total for the master recipe.

Give it a try.

Jmahl

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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?

I weight out two lbs. of flour total for the master recipe.

Give it a try.

Jmahl

That does work out to a fraction over 4.9 ounces per cup, which seems to go along with what Judec says. Excellent, thank you!

--Josh

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Zoe..greeting from a displaced Gopher (now in N. Carolina).

a couple of questions.

1) convection bake? you thoughts about "convection" versus "regular" bake.

2)flavoring elements..adding malt or substituting beer (Guiness or Anchor Steam beer) for some of the water.

thanks!

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Zoe..greeting from a displaced Gopher (now in N. Carolina).

a couple of questions.

1) convection bake? you thoughts about "convection" versus "regular" bake.

2)flavoring elements..adding malt or substituting beer (Guiness or Anchor Steam beer) for some of the water. 

thanks!

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

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Just discovered this thread after two weeks of driving my friends and family crazy talking about this bread method (and feeding them also). So far I've only used the boule recipe and made, well, boules and a few little sandwich rolls. I want to make the challah this week. Any words of wisdom? It would seem to me that the braiding process would be too much handling for the dough - is it not? How do you keep the dough from becoming overworked?

Nyleve

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Zoe..greeting from a displaced Gopher (now in N. Carolina).

a couple of questions.

1) convection bake? you thoughts about "convection" versus "regular" bake.

2)flavoring elements..adding malt or substituting beer (Guiness or Anchor Steam beer) for some of the water. 

thanks!

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

Zoe,

I was wondering if you have tried using Lambic beer in the bread. I remember reading that Metropolitan bakery in Philly uses starters made from grapes and such. I was wondering if the addition of this kind of beer would work along those lines. I was considering investing in a bottle of Lindemans Framboise. Any thoughts on how this could work out in your recipe?

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[\quote]

If you find the recipe for the ricotta cheese, please share it with us.

Thanks, Zoe


Edited by RobertCollins (log)

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well, i bought some non-diastatic barley malt from King Arthur Flour, added 20 grams to 1000 grams of flour (80% hydration)

extended rise time (i like 2 hours or more)

excellent crumb

flavor improved nicely..more "bready"

just started to experiment with it..

not sure how it effects the crust..in the current batch of bread, the crust seems thinner..don't know if its the malt, or the cooking time

i will report back as the experiments proceed.


Edited by Heartsurgeon (log)

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I have tried several malt additives and have the following observations:

1)substituted a bottle of "malta" drink for an equal volume of liquid..added plenty of malt flavor, didn't really think it was perfect..

2)added non-diastatic malt and diastatic maltto the mix..love it

my current formula is

1000 gms flour

750 gms water

20 gms salt

20 gms malt (a 50:50 mix of diastatic and non-diastatic malt powder)

12 gms of yeast

I form "mini-boules" - individual size servings (about 24 per batch of dough), let them rise for 2 hours.

about 15-20 minutes at 450-500/degrees on a baking stone, with the requisite cup 'o water in the broiler pan underneath.

fab crumb, excellent "bready" flavor, nice crust.

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I have tried several malt additives and have  the following observations:

1)substituted a bottle of "malta" drink for an equal volume of liquid..added plenty of malt flavor, didn't really think it was perfect..

2)added non-diastatic malt and diastatic maltto the mix..love it

my current formula is

1000 gms flour

750 gms water

20 gms salt

20 gms malt (a 50:50 mix of diastatic and non-diastatic malt powder)

12 gms of yeast

I form "mini-boules" - individual size servings (about 24 per batch of dough), let them rise for 2 hours.

about 15-20 minutes at 450-500/degrees on a baking stone, with the requisite cup 'o water in the broiler pan underneath.

fab crumb, excellent "bready" flavor, nice crust.

What type of yeast are you using?

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fleischman's instant yeast

2 pounds for less than $5.00 at Sam's Club.

i've tried all sorts of different yeasts and i can't tell any difference between them. this stuff is cheap and plentiful.

i keep this stuff in a vacuum sealed container in the fridge

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After taking months to finally try the master recipe, I regret not trying it sooner. We made it tonight, and it was delicious. I did not read the entire thread until today, and it scared me. I made the dough on Saturday afternoon, and did not use my scale. I halved the recipe and used KA's AP flour. My slashes were not very deep, but I don't think it compromised the end result. I can't wait to make more bread, but I hope it wasn't just beginners' luck.

IMG_0523.JPG

P.S. When you reuse the bucket w/o washing it, do you make the next batch of dough right away or can you wait a couple of days and just leave the empty bucket in the fridge until you're ready to make the next batch?


Edited by Pucca (log)

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After taking months to finally try the master recipe, I regret not trying it sooner.  We made it tonight, and it was delicious.  I did not read the entire thread until today, and it scared me.  I made the dough on Saturday afternoon, and did not use my scale.  I halved the recipe and used KA's AP flour.  My slashes were not very deep, but I don't think it compromised the end result.  I can't wait to make more bread, but I hope it wasn't just beginners' luck. 

IMG_0523.JPG

P.S. When you reuse the bucket w/o washing it, do you make the next batch of dough right away or can you wait a couple of days and just leave the empty bucket in the fridge until you're ready to make the next batch?

As far as using the bucket either way works for us. As far as slashing, we use a scissor and slash really deeply - almost to the sheet pan. Three or four slashes work fine and give you a long loaf. Slash tic-tac-do and you get a round loaf. Hope this helps.

Jmahl

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you should get a scale if your serious about making bread.

i started out with a wet bread formula

1000 gms flour

820 gms water

25 gms salt

12 gms yeats

the bread was hard to control (floppy) and tasted salty

i reduced the salt, and did a series of experiments adjusting hydration down to see how it would effect the crumb and crust.

ended up with a nice crust, nice salt level, and wet enough to have great crumb, but managable to handle (no runny/floppy).

ended up at

1000 flour

750 water

20 salt

12 yeast.

still craved a real "bready" flavor...noted that my favorite store bought breads had "malt" added....

got some malt from K.A.

ended up with adding 20 gms of malt...

increased the second rise to 2 hours to maximize the crumb...

voila! my personal best bread recipe..

if you don't have a scale, the variablity of your ingredients (as measured) will kill your ability to fine tune and reproducibly make your bread.

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Heartsurgeon:

I am going to try your formula tonight.

Jmahl

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Heartsurgeon:

I am going to try your formula tonight.

Jmahl

Me too!

edited to add: Just noticed the time, I guess it will have to be tomorrow :).


Edited by CanadianBakin' (log)

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i should add..i use a pizza stone in the oven

i run my oven on convection bake

i for the bread to make "mini-boules" - i get about 24 out of 1 batch of dough

i form then in hand (about the size of a plum), place them on a silpat sprinkled with corn meal.

i dust them with flour at the end of the rise period, and slash them with an X using a really sharp teflon coated knife.

i transfer them from the silpat to the baking stone using a non-stick spatula.

i went to the mini-boules, because the big boule was just to runny and loose, and was not managable (couldn't easily get it into the oven without having it ooze all over the place.

i use the silpat + corn meal because i had problems with the boules sticking to what ever surface i let themn rise on.

finally, the non stick knife and the non-stick spatula complete my tools use to transfer the little mini-boules to the oven. they are still fairly soft and sticky. how anyone works with 80%+ hydrate dough..i have no idea.

the mini-boules also let me apportion the bread amongst the family members...a single big loaf just gets eaten up and i don't see any of it. with the mini-boules, each family member is allotted a fix number of boules they can consume....just don't touch mine!!

you need to find a system that works for you..the technical problems i had was in physically handling the wet dough..

my answer was to reduce hydration (which reduced the crumb). to counter that, i increased rise time to 2 hours.

i also reduced the size of the boule..

to counter stickiness, i got the teflon coated paring knife to slash the bread (then run about $10.00), and a non-stick spatula to transfer the boules to the pizza stone.

to increase yuminess, i tried different kinds of malt..found the mix that i liked.

good luck..you may find what works for your circumstances may be different, or you prefer a different bread than i do.

lemme know how it turns out.

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Just made a batch tonight using Heartsurgeon's formula. I noted that the amount of flour was slightly more then I had used - 3 oz. more, water the same, salt and yeast slightly less. Ill report back how the batch turned out.

Jmahl

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i should add..i use a pizza stone in the oven

i run my oven on convection bake

i for the bread to make "mini-boules" - i get about 24 out of 1 batch of dough

i form then in hand (about the size of a plum), place them on a silpat sprinkled with corn meal.

My dough is ready in the fridge but I probably won't bake them till Monday. I'm wondering how you make 24 "mini-boules" without handling too much? Do you just cut off a small chunk at a time? I normally would weigh them out so they were all the same but this would make for a lot of handling.

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