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

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Pizza you say. This is our first attempt with the basic recipe.

gallery_38003_5626_1259652.jpg

The results were wonderful - some sticking to the pan but all in all the best ever.

I see the book is back ordered - no wonder.

keep baking,

Jmahl

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I used rapid rise on my first batch. I let it rise for 2hrs on the counter and then refridgerated it for a day until I pulled off a chunk to make my first mini boule. I let that rise for 40 min and I had no problem.

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I used rapid rise on my first batch.  I let it rise for 2hrs on the counter and then refridgerated it for a day until I pulled off a chunk to make my first mini boule.  I let that rise for 40 min and I had no problem.

Did the same, used rapid rise, also had good results - additionally substituted a cup of whole wheat for white flour. instead of measuring flour just weighed out two pounds flour total. Results were fine.

Jmahl

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Will it affect the dough if I add herbs, sundried tomatoes, olives etc? Can it still be stored for the same length of time?

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I've left a comment on the Author's blog asking her if she can come over here and answer some questions. I heard back that she is waiting on her membership approval.

Stay Tuned.........

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Will instant yeast work? You got me with the pizza pic.

Any kind of yeast will work. The only thing you'll have to do is adjust the amount of yeast.

10 grams of fresh cake yeast

equals 4 grams of active dry yeast

equals 3.3 grams of instant yeast

Others may be able to advise you on Rapid Rise yeast, as I don't use it.

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Will it affect the dough if I add herbs, sundried tomatoes, olives etc? Can it still be stored for the same length of time?

Herbs? No.

Sundried tomatoes? No.

Olives / Olive Oil? Possibly. The oil will coat the strands of gluten. This will tenderize and extend the shelf life of the dough (as well as adding flavor), but it will weaken the gluten structure slightly. Depending on how much dough you are making, adding a couple of tablespoons or 1/4 cup of oil may give you the desired effect without altering the final product. You can always start with a small amount and work up to the point where the final product starts to become affected in a negative way.

Traditionally, you would work the dough (kneading) for a period of several minutes to help develop the gluten and THEN add the oil/fat to the dough. Olives would have less of a negative effect than straight oil, but some fat will leach ouch.

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Just a short note about rising times.... Rising times are guidelines. It's not like baking a cake which if someone says it takes 30 minutes you can safely assume, all things being equal, it will take 30 minutes, give or take 5 minutes, maybe.

But with bread, so many factors are at work, including the temp of your water, the type of yeast, the type of flour, the percentage of water, the temperature of your kitchen, etc. There really is no way somebody will be able to tell you absolutely how long it will take to rise or proof your own breads. And even when you get it down for yourself, it may change depending on whether something in your environment changes, like weather or what have you. A ten minute variance is nothing to sweat over. Just watch your bread.

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Hi Randi. Thank you for starting this discussion and inviting me to join in. I read through the emials and have tried to address many of the questions that I saw. If I've missed anything please let me know!

I think most of you are using a recipe that was printed in a newspaper article and I'm not sure how well they stressed to handle the dough as little as possible. The trick to getting a really nice crumb with this method is three fold. Well there is probably more but this is a good start:

One, let the dough store for at least 2 days to really let it ferment. It improves the taste considerably and the crumb. If you bake it on the first day you will have a mild flavor and a tight crumb.

Two, handle the dough as little as possible. We say to shape it for 30-60 seconds but that is even too long. It should be about 20 seconds. Experienced bakers have a tendency to want to knead. This knocks out all of the gas that has built up during the storing and will make the dough dense. So less is more in this case.

Three, the hydration level of our dough, although we avoid terms like that in the book, is about 75% if you are using average unbleached all-purpose flour. If you switch to KA all-purpose the protein level is much higher and you will want to increase the hydration to 81%. This means you will be adding about 1/4 more water to the dough. It should be wet and sticky, unlike traditional doughs. If it is too dry the crumb will be dense and it won't store for as long.

This is also true of WW flours that you add to the dough. If you replace some of the AP for WW then increase the hydration. WW absorbs way more water and will make for a dry dough.

The crust:

We say to bake the bread in the middle of the oven on a baking stone preheated to 450 degrees (flat heat). Throw a cup of hot water on a broiler tray that is on the bottom rack and shut the door. I read your debate about water vs ice cubes and I have to say that as long as you are doing it in the beginning of the baking process we haven't found much of a difference. I personally prefer the results of the water over the ice, but do what you like best!

Someone mentioned using less yeast. You can do this but just remember that you have to increase all of the resting times significantly.

The resting times in the book are based on a 1 pound loaf which is really pretty small. If your loaf is any bigger than that then you need to allow more resting time on the peel before it goes in the oven. This is also true if your kitchen is particularly cool and the dough isn't warming up quickly enough.

We say that the dough can rest for as little as 40 minutes for a 1 pound boule of the master recipe. It certainly won't hurt it to rest for up to an hour, longer for a cool kitchen.

I'm sure I missed some things you have been discussing. I'd love to hear from you and answer any questions I can.

Thanks again for trying the bread! The pictures you have posted are fantastic. It is so much fun to see how people are using the recipes.

Thanks, Zoe Francois

For those of you who are using the book please check out the errata sheet at our websites: www.zoebakes.com and www.artisanbreadinfive.com

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Here is a picture of the loaf that I baked from the "regular" yeast batch. As had been suggested, I let this loaf rise longer - a total of 60 minutes. There was a slight improvement in the texture, and the flavor was noticeably stronger. Oddly (for a person who loves salt), I found the salt flavor to be too strong. I didn't notice that in the earlier loaf.

I still have 3/4 batch of the "rapid rise" yeast batch and 3/4 batch of the "regular" batch in the fridge, so I will be playing around with the dough this week. Hopefully, I will hit upon the correct formula to achieve the results that others have reported!

gallery_51874_4337_934422.jpg

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Hi Zoe and Welcome to Egullet! Thanks for joining and jumping in here on this discussion.

I found the following comments especially helpful:

One, let the dough store for at least 2 days to really let it ferment. It improves the taste considerably and the crumb. If you bake it on the first day you will have a mild flavor and a tight crumb.

This explains why the loaf that I baked on day one (post #44) has less taste and crumb than the one that I baked today.

Two, handle the dough as little as possible. We say to shape it for 30-60 seconds but that is even too long. It should be about 20 seconds. Experienced bakers have a tendency to want to knead. This knocks out all of the gas that has built up during the storing and will make the dough dense. So less is more in this case.

Good tip - it is hard to give up dough handling! Even the NYT NKB recipe was hard to follow in this regard - it feels "wrong" not to knead.

Three, the hydration level of our dough, although we avoid terms like that in the book, is about 75% if you are using average unbleached all-purpose flour. If you switch to KA all-purpose the protein level is much higher and you will want to increase the hydration to 81%. This means you will be adding about 1/4 more water to the dough. It should be wet and sticky, unlike traditional doughs. If it is too dry the crumb will be dense and it won't store for as long.

You have diagnosed my loaf problem! I automatically reached for my bread flour, which I suspect has a higher protein level. The dough was not as wet as you describe, so I will try again and add 25% more water as you suggest.

Thanks again for joining Egullet and thanks also to Calipoutine for inviting you!

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Hi Randi. Thank you for starting this discussion and inviting me to join in. I read through the emials and have tried to address many of the questions that I saw. If I've missed anything please let me know!

Welcome Zoe!

I know you have attempted to answer this question but it remains unclear to me, at least.

When you have taken cold dough from the refrigerator do you still consider 40 minutes sufficient rest time? I am assuming a refrigerator temp of about 35F and a room temp between 68 and 70F?

And one more question:

If one wanted to sub bread flour for all-purpose (sorry my package does not give a gluten/protein measure) would a 25% increase in water be sufficient or will it be a case of judging the wetness of the dough?

I have made your bread a number of times with varying degrees of success. Always I have used A/P flour, granulated yeast (not fast rise) and kosher salt. I love the idea of having dough on hand to produce a 1 lb loaf for us in a very short time. Now I would like to improve the consistency of my efforts!

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Well, my first loaf is in the oven and I just read Zoe's post... I think I'll probably need to try again. I used KA AP flour and when I shaped the loaf (probably 20 seconds) I thought, "WOW! This isn't as wet as I expected! It's VERY easy to handle/shape!" Uh-oh... methinks the dough wasn't hydrated enough.

It was so easy to mix up and looked wonderful after about 4 hours at room temp, before I put it in the fridge 2 days ago. So, we'll see... I'm certainly willing to try again with more water or different flour!

Pam

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Well, it certainly looks pretty and has nice crust and flavor. The crumb is a bit dense, no doubt due to under-hydration. I'm betting this batch will make great pizza and know what's on the menu for one night this week.

I'll try again next weekend with different flour or more water. It's certainly a recipe worth fiddling with to get it right. I'm off to order the book...

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Here is a picture of the loaf that I baked from the "regular" yeast batch.  As had been suggested, I let this loaf rise longer - a total of 60 minutes.  There was a slight improvement in the texture, and the flavor was noticeably stronger.  Oddly (for a person who loves salt), I found the salt flavor to be too strong.  I didn't notice that in the earlier loaf.

I still have 3/4 batch of the "rapid rise" yeast batch and 3/4 batch of the "regular" batch in the fridge, so I will be playing around with the dough this week.  Hopefully, I will hit upon the correct formula to achieve the results that others have reported!

gallery_51874_4337_934422.jpg

Hi. The crumb of your bread looks a little tight, this is probably no news to you! A couple of things I think may be at play. It may be fresh dough? But, I don't think that is it. I think your dough is too dry. If you are one to weigh your ingredients this is how we break it down:

Our 1 cup measure is equal to 5 oz of unbleached all-purpose flour or 2# for the master recipe. If you are used to weighing, which I would imagine most of you are, I'd try this and see if the dough seems wetter.

The dough should be so wet that it conforms to the container it is in. Use plenty of flour when forming it into a boule. The flour is only to keep your hands from sticking, it is not to incorporate into the dough. Be gentle with the dough, do not work it much other than to form the boule. It is better to have a misshapen boule than to have the perfect shape with an overly tight crumb. If you are used to traditional bread baking this will take a few tries in order to feel comfortable with it. Less is better! Keep that gas in tact so you will get the nice holes in your dough. This will be more pronounced as the dough ages.

The type of yeast that you use should not have a large enough effect to notice a difference. In other words we used instant and regular yeast and because of the long storage the result was the same.

Salt is another story all together. Go with your palate on this one. We tested all the recipes with Morton's kosher salt. I've had as many people complain about it being too salty as I have of them saying it isn't salty enough. This is an individual taste issue. Although salt is often added to denature or relax the dough we find that after the dough has retarded for a few days the salt doesn't play a significant role. So just add what tastes good!

Also let the crust really get a deep brown. Ignore the times we give for baking. This will depend on your oven and it is safer to go by color!

Keep me posted!

Thanks, Zoe

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Welcome Zoe! 

I know you have attempted to answer this question but it remains unclear to me, at least.

When you have taken cold dough from the refrigerator do you still consider 40 minutes sufficient rest time?  I am assuming a refrigerator temp of about 35F and a room temp between 68 and 70F? 

And one more question:

If one wanted to sub bread flour for all-purpose (sorry my package does not give a gluten/protein measure) would a 25% increase in water be sufficient or will it be a case of judging the wetness of the dough?

I have made your bread a number of times with varying degrees of success.  Always I have used A/P flour, granulated yeast (not fast rise) and kosher salt.  I love the idea of having dough on hand to produce a 1 lb loaf for us in a very short time.  Now I would like to improve the consistency of my efforts!

Hi Anna,

Thanks for the welcome! I'm so happy to get a chance to talk bread with people that are passionate about food!

If your loaves are 1 pound and your room is 68-70 degrees than 40 minutes should be enough time to get a decent loaf. Having said that, it certainly won't hurt to let it rest for an hour. We came up with 40 minutes as the minimum rest time in order to stress to people that they didn't have to wait all day to bake a loaf of bread. One thing to think about is the actual size of a 1 pound loaf, it is really pretty small! So, if your loaf is any larger than that than you need to increase the rest time.

One other tip is to replace 1 cup of the all-purpose with rye flour. For some reason we find that this not only makes a more interesting taste but it really seems to improve the crumb of the bread. And it makes the bread last longer once it is baked.

You can replace the all-purpose flour with bread flour but your hydration will go up to as much as 83% depending on the flour. From what I have been hearing from bakers in Canada the flour tends to be harder and contain more protein? I need to research this a bit more. If it is true than you may need to add more water still???

Let me know if this helps!

Zoe


Edited by Zoe Francois (log)

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Well, it certainly looks pretty and has nice crust and flavor.  The crumb is a bit dense, no doubt due to under-hydration.  I'm betting this batch will make great pizza and know what's on the menu for one night this week.

I'll try again next weekend with different flour or more water.  It's certainly a recipe worth fiddling with to get it right.  I'm off to order the book...

Hi Pam, When you go to make the pizza try to get it nice and thin and bake it at 550 degrees, putting your pizza stone on the bottom rack. If the stone is on the bottom the crust will get nice and crisp and the toppings will not burn!

Enjoy! Zoe

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. . .

Hi Anna,

. . .

One other tip is to replace 1/2 cup of the all-purpose with rye flour. For some reason we find that this not only makes a more interesting taste but it really seems to improve the crumb of the bread. And it makes the bread last longer once it is baked.

You can replace the all-purpose flour with bread flour but your hydration will go up to as much as 83% depending on the flour. From what I have been hearing from bakers in Canada the flour tends to be harder and contain more protein? I need to research this a bit more. If it is true than you may need to add more water still???

Let me know if this helps!

Zoe

Thanks Zoe.

I have a batch of dough in the 'fridge which I made this morning using Robin Hood Best for Bread Flour (for Canadian members!). I weighed out 2lbs of this flour, used 1.5 T of active dry yeast (not instant) and 2 T of Diamond Crystal salt and 3 3/4 cups of 100F water. My suspicion is that it could easily have tolerated another ounce or two or water but I will go with this for the time being. I want to give it at least a 24 hour rest in the 'fridge before baking so in the next couple of days I will post photos of the dough and the finished bread and see how it works out.

I think the rye flour addition could be most interesting but will wait and do one "experiment" at a time.

Your interest in our efforts is very much appreciated.

Anna

P.S. I have used previous batches of dough to make the Mark Bittman "pan-fried" pizza and it has produced a lovely, thin, crispy crust.

Anna

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Hi Anna,

Keep me posted on the bread. I have pictures of my bucket of dough on my website if you think that will be helpful to compare. The visual is a good way to go, too bad you can't smell the bucket as well! I had meant to document the dough for the full 14 days but then I ended up with 7 boys at my house last night and had to feed them, so I made pizza with that dough. I'll have to start over.

Do try the rye next time, but don't replace much more than a 1/2 cup. Rye has no gluten to speak of and it will become paste if the ratio of white flour isn't high enough.

Thanks, Zoe

ps I have to figure out how to get your quotes in the box?? It seems not to work every other time! :wacko:


Edited by Zoe Francois (log)

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Hi Zoe - I am so happy you are participating in this forum. I've had the book since before x-mas and also bought it for several people on my shopping list. I made lots of brioche over the holidays both with and without the chocolate ganache - it was delicious.

I am hoping that you can provide suggestions about how to increase the amount of wheat flour in the basic bread. I see that the recipe with more whole wheat calls for honey and milk. While I haven't tried it yet, I am assuming that it will have some sweetness. Can I add 25% more water, would this be enough if I want to try to achieve something like a seven grain bread? Thank you for your advice.

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Hi Zoe - I am so happy you are participating in this forum.  I've had the book since before x-mas and also bought it for several people on my shopping list.  I made lots of brioche over the holidays both with and without the chocolate ganache - it was delicious.

I am hoping that you can provide suggestions about how to increase the amount of wheat flour in the basic bread.  I see that the recipe with more whole wheat calls for honey and milk.  While I haven't tried it yet, I am assuming that it will have some sweetness.  Can I add 25% more water, would this be enough if I want to try to achieve something like a seven grain bread?  Thank you for your advice.

Hi. Thanks for trying the bread and sharing it with so many people!

The reason we put the honey and oil in the whole wheat recipes is to tenderize the bread. We were finding that a bread with straight whole wheat was a bit dry and if we added an amount of fat and/or sweetener it helped the texture.

Having said that I have made the bread with White Whole Wheat Flour from KA with great results. It is both lighter in flavor and color and seems to not dry out quite as much. I increase the hydration to about 83% when I do this bread.

The other thing to play with are soaked grains that will add some moisture to the bread. I'm testing some doughs right now.

Let me know how it goes. Hope this answered your question?

Zoe

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Hi Zoe - I am so happy you are participating in this forum.  I've had the book since before x-mas and also bought it for several people on my shopping list.  I made lots of brioche over the holidays both with and without the chocolate ganache - it was delicious.

I am hoping that you can provide suggestions about how to increase the amount of wheat flour in the basic bread.  I see that the recipe with more whole wheat calls for honey and milk.  While I haven't tried it yet, I am assuming that it will have some sweetness.  Can I add 25% more water, would this be enough if I want to try to achieve something like a seven grain bread?  Thank you for your advice.

Hi. Thanks for trying the bread and sharing it with so many people!

The reason we put the honey and oil in the whole wheat recipes is to tenderize the bread. We were finding that a bread with straight whole wheat was a bit dry and if we added an amount of fat and/or sweetener it helped the texture.

Having said that I have made the bread with White Whole Wheat Flour from KA with great results. It is both lighter in flavor and color and seems to not dry out quite as much. I increase the hydration to about 83% when I do this bread.

The other thing to play with are soaked grains that will add some moisture to the bread. I'm testing some doughs right now.

Let me know how it goes. Hope this answered your question?

Zoe

Thank you so much. If I understand you correctly, I will start to leave the whole wheat at one cup and then add some soaked grains. I already learned the hard way before I got the book that adding too much whole wheat really didn't work.

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Hi Zoe,

I have a question. My usual method in baking artisan type breads is to retard the shaped loafs overnight and bake them cold out of the fridge first thing in the morning (in a preheated oven of course). I have no problem and get great oven spring.

This fits my schedule very nicely and I would like to adapt this method because it works for me. If I shape the loaves the night before and either put them in the refrigerator or leave out at room temp, which is about 65F this time of year, do you think I'll have a problem?

Thanks,

Marc

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