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


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made a second loaf this morning. No pictures (we ate it too fast!), but the crumb was nicer (larger air pockets, not quite as chewy) and the crust was really nice.

The dough is now 4 days old. Noticeably more taste than the first loaf.

I heated a large stainless bowl and used it as a cover over the stone for the first 20min. No water in the oven. Crust came out perfect, this is the way I'll keep on baking the bread.

Pizza night in 2 nights :smile:, that will use up the rest of the first batch. Guess I should mix up some more dough tonight

Hi Henri,

Good to hear the bowl was successful! This is the way I'm going these days too.

Thanks, enjoy the pizza!

Zoë

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My book came today! I'm so excited! I live in an area where the only available bread is large chain grocery store bread or small chain "bakery" bread. None of it good.

I mixed half a batch of deli rye and half a batch of master recipe this afternoon. I just put it in the fridge. The plan is to shape a loaf of rye tonight to bake tomorrow and to let the master recipe rest until Friday. I'll post some pics of the rye after baking it up tomorrow.

Can't wait to see the pictures, I'll check in to see them tomorrow!

Did you go to my website and print out the errata sheet? You might want to before you get to deep into the book!

www.zoebakes.com

Thansk, Zoë

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Any thoughts on how to make a 'frozen pizza' with this dough?

We have someone in my wife's Mom's club expecting soon and I thought a 'ready to bake' pizza would be a nice meal to drop off.

thoughts:

- 1/2 bake the whole pizza then freeze it

- 1/2 bake just the dough, assemble the pizza, then freeze

- this is a bad idea and I should find something else to make

thanks

henri

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Any thoughts on how to make a 'frozen pizza' with this dough?

We have someone in my wife's Mom's club expecting soon and I thought a 'ready to bake' pizza would be a nice meal to drop off.

thoughts:

- 1/2 bake the whole pizza then freeze it

- 1/2 bake just the dough, assemble the pizza, then freeze

- this is a bad idea and I should find something else to make

thanks

henri

Hi. Great idea!

If you parbake the crust with no toppings, make sure to dock the dough or it will puff up like a giant pita! I think this is the way I would go. Then the toppings aren't all wilted when she wants to eat. Let us know how it comes out.

Zoë

Edited by Zoe Francois (log)
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OK! Here are some pics of the rye bread. I used Bob's Mill organic dark rye and needed to increase the water by about 1/3 cup to get what seemed to me a wet enough dough I mixed the dough, left it on the counter for about 3 hours then put it in the fridge overnight.

http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/12023154...5563_563315.jpg

Early this morning I formed a loaf of rye (turned out to be about 13 oz) and covered it with plastic and left it in the fridge for 5 hours then pulled it out and left it on the counter for an hour.

http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/12023154...5563_108294.jpg

and baked it directly on a stone o the middle rack with water in a broiler pan on the bottom. I baked it for about 24 minutes but I now realize it could have baked at least 5 more minutes.

http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/12023154...5563_250899.jpg

It looked gorgeous and the crust was hard and golden brown but as it cooled the crust softened and when I sliced it and ate it the crust was chewy as opposed to crisp. But the crumb is fantastic and the flavor is delicious!

http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/12023154...5563_543768.jpg

I imagine the next loaf will be even better! I can't wait to try the plain boule this weekend! Thanks so much for starting this thread which turned me onto the book! Our waste bands are expanding as we speak!

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It looked gorgeous and the crust was hard and golden brown but as it cooled the crust softened and when I sliced it and ate it the crust was chewy as opposed to crisp. But the crumb is fantastic and the flavor is delicious!

I imagine the next loaf will be even better! I can't wait to try the plain boule this weekend! Thanks so much for starting this thread which turned me onto the book! Our waste bands are expanding as we speak!

Hi, The bread looks fantastic! I wonder if you baked it just a little bit longer if you would get a crisper crust?

When you cut into the bread was it still warm at all? The crust will come out of the oven crispy and perfect, then as it is cooling steam escapies from the loaf and it softens the crust, finally all the steam escapes and the crisp crust should come back. If you cut into it in that middle stage you will have a softer crust.

It may just be a matter of slightly underbaking it? Let me know how the next one comes out.

Zoë

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Hi, The bread looks fantastic! I wonder if you baked it just a little bit longer if you would get a crisper crust?

When you cut into the bread was it still warm at all? The crust will come out of the oven crispy and perfect, then as it is cooling steam escapies from the loaf and it softens the crust, finally all the steam escapes and the crisp crust should come back. If you cut into it in that middle stage you will have a softer crust.

It may just be a matter of slightly underbaking it? Let me know how the next one comes out.

Zoë

No, it wasn't warn when I cut it and it did crisp back up a tiny bit. I think it definitely could have baked another 5 minutes.

Here's one last attempt to get the picture to post right in my message.gallery_57376_5563_543768.jpg

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I made bread using this technique for the first time last weekend. I used a combination of AP, bread, and white whole wheat flours and adjusted for the water content. I have to admit that I have made many recipes of the No Knead Bread that Mark Bittman showcased in the NYT and sort of made the dough to the consistency I was used to in that recipe. The dough handled well out of the fridge after about a day and a half. I had watched the video that Zoe did and that was helpful in getting the size right and the cutting technique. Here are the loaves resting prior to the baking......

gallery_44782_5678_387887.jpg

I found the bread very flavorful but the loaves smaller than I would have expected. The crumb had less holes than with the other recipe that I had been using, as well. Could have been due to the combo of flours that I used, hydration, I don't know. Good enough to keep on experimenting!!!!!

gallery_44782_5678_441220.jpg

Pretty, huh? :biggrin:

Donna

Donna

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I made bread using this technique for the first time last weekend.  I used a combination of AP, bread, and white whole wheat flours and adjusted for the water content.  I have to admit that I have made many recipes of the No Knead Bread that Mark Bittman showcased in the NYT and sort of made the dough to the consistency I was used to in that recipe.  The dough handled well out of the fridge after about a day and a half.  I had watched the video that Zoe did and that was helpful in getting the size right and the cutting technique.  Here are the loaves resting prior to the baking......

gallery_44782_5678_387887.jpg

I found the bread very flavorful but the loaves smaller than I would have expected.  The crumb had less holes than with the other recipe that I had been using, as well.  Could have been due to the combo of flours that I used, hydration, I don't know.  Good enough to keep on experimenting!!!!!

gallery_44782_5678_441220.jpg

Pretty, huh?  :biggrin:

Donna

Hi Donna,

Your loaves look incredible. I think you will be even happier with it as the dough ages. Just handle it gently as to not knock the air out of it. You can also try the cold rise that we've been talking about. That seems to work so beautifully to get nice hole structure.

Thanks for trying the bread!!!

Zoë

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Thanks, Zoe. I think I'll make another 2 loaves this weekend and leave what remains to add to the next batch. I'll be more careful not to handle the dough too much preparing it for the bake.

Just so you know, I am currently trying to follow a low carb diet myself but not so for some of my household. I always take a little taste of the bread I make, though. After starting to make the other no knead bread, I have found that I like making the bread, just hate spending 3 dollars or more on a loaf, so want to keep doing it. But it always has to taste good!!!! It's such a satisfying experience.

Finding room in my fridge for the container that holds the dough was challenging but I did it!!!!!

Donna

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Finding room in my fridge for the container that holds the dough was challenging but I did it!!!!!

I've only made one batch... been trying to get another one done, but life has interfered...

Maybe I did a stupid thing. But, after I whacked off the dough for the first loaf, I dumped the rest of the dough into a smaller container. After the second "whack", I dumped the rest into an even smaller container. The dough didn't seem to mind! :rolleyes:

I'm so NOT exacting about all of this... That's why I really like this bread

method. It is forgiving of all my sins!

Somebody else posted a photo of using a cake-saver for the "bucket". I used the exact same cake saver for mine and figured out it was WAY bigger than I needed. Next time, I'll use a smaller container to start.

I'm hoping to make two more batches this weekend... one "original" and one rye.

Pam

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Thanks, Zoe.  I think I'll make another 2 loaves this weekend and leave what remains to add to the next batch.  I'll be more careful not to handle the dough too much preparing it for the bake.

Just so you know, I am currently trying to follow a low carb diet myself but not so for some of my household.  I always take a little taste of the bread I make, though.  After starting to make the other no knead bread, I have found that I like making the bread, just hate spending 3 dollars or more on a loaf, so want to keep doing it.  But it always has to taste good!!!!  It's such a satisfying experience. 

Finding room in my fridge for the container that holds the dough was challenging but I did it!!!!!

Hi. I too find the making as satisfying as the eating!

Good luck with the fridge!

Zoë

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Finding room in my fridge for the container that holds the dough was challenging but I did it!!!!!

I've only made one batch... been trying to get another one done, but life has interfered...

Maybe I did a stupid thing. But, after I whacked off the dough for the first loaf, I dumped the rest of the dough into a smaller container. After the second "whack", I dumped the rest into an even smaller container. The dough didn't seem to mind! :rolleyes:

I'm so NOT exacting about all of this... That's why I really like this bread

method. It is forgiving of all my sins!

Pam

Hi Pam, I transfer my dough all the time to smaller containers. Otherwise I would have to move my children out of the house and refrigerate their rooms for the dough. It is all about precious fridge space.

Zoë

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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

While I'm waiting for my clear flour to arrive I mixed up a batch of the master recipe using KA bread flour. I decreased the amount of flour by a quarter cup as suggested in the book.

I am noticing compared to your video my mixture is not as moist.

It rose beautifully and is sitting in the fridge with many holes.

Can you tell me approximately how much water for KA bread flour or KA AP flour assuming I'm using 6 1/4 cups flour. I'm mathematically challenged and 81% hydration just doesn't compute.

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Can you tell me approximately how much water for KA bread flour or KA AP flour assuming I'm using 6 1/4 cups flour.  I'm mathematically challenged and 81% hydration just doesn't compute.

Measure out your 6 1/4 cups of flour on a scale in grams. Multiply this number by 0.81 (81%) ... that is the weight of the water required.

In general, 1/4 cup KA bread flour is 30 g. 6 1/4 cups would be roughly 750 g. 750 x 0.81 = 608 g water = 1 1/3 pounds of water.

I understand that most people (at least in America) are used to measuring by cups, but it is grossly inaccurate. When you start playing around with formulas and adjusting hydration levels by 1 or 2%, you really need to start doing things in ounces and/or grams to keep your results consistent. Not to mention, once you start measuring in grams, it's dirt simple to change hydration levels.

Happy baking! :biggrin:

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Measure out your 6 1/4 cups of flour on a scale in grams. Multiply this number by 0.81 (81%) ... that is the weight of the water required.

In general, 1/4 cup KA bread flour is 30 g. 6 1/4 cups would be roughly 750 g. 750 x 0.81 = 608 g water = 1 1/3 pounds of water.

I understand that most people (at least in America) are used to measuring by cups, but it is grossly inaccurate. When you start playing around with formulas and adjusting hydration levels by 1 or 2%, you really need to start doing things in ounces and/or grams to keep your results consistent. Not to mention, once you start measuring in grams, it's dirt simple to change hydration levels.

Happy baking!  :biggrin:

Wow! That is really helpful. Thank you.

pat

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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Measure out your 6 1/4 cups of flour on a scale in grams. Multiply this number by 0.81 (81%) ... that is the weight of the water required.

In general, 1/4 cup KA bread flour is 30 g. 6 1/4 cups would be roughly 750 g. 750 x 0.81 = 608 g water = 1 1/3 pounds of water.

I understand that most people (at least in America) are used to measuring by cups, but it is grossly inaccurate. When you start playing around with formulas and adjusting hydration levels by 1 or 2%, you really need to start doing things in ounces and/or grams to keep your results consistent. Not to mention, once you start measuring in grams, it's dirt simple to change hydration levels.

Happy baking!  :biggrin:

That truly is useful information. Thanks. I just purchased a new digital kitchen scale. Now I have a real reason to justify my purchase!!! I plan to print out the formula and place it with the scale! :biggrin:

Donna

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That truly is useful information.  Thanks.  I just purchased a new digital kitchen scale.  Now I have a real reason to justify my purchase!!!  I plan to print out the formula and place it with the scale! :biggrin:

You're very welcome!

That formula also works with other ingredients in your bread, too, such as salt and yeast. Most breads contain between 1.5 - 2% salt on average. In the above example that would be 750 g x 0.02 (2%) = 15 g salt. If you measure out the salt in the recipe that Zoe provides you can then compare it with the average of 2% (some breads require more salt, some less). Using this formula trick (also called Baker's Percentages), you can tweak your final dough to behave and taste exactly as you'd like it. If you're a true computer nerd (like me), you can put your formulas into a computer spreadsheet that calculates all these numbers for you and you can play with the percentages to your heart's content.

Whenever I get a new recipe in cups and tablespoons, the first time I make it, it takes a little longer because I measure everything out and then weigh it. But once you've done it the first time and recorded the gram measurements, from that point forward you never have to go looking for cups or tablespoons again because you can just add the ingredient to the bowl on the scale until you read the right amount and then "Tare" the scale to return it to 0.

And as I mentioned earlier, weighing out your ingredients leads to much more consistent results.

I can't imagine living without my scale. Enjoy yours!

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You're very welcome!

That formula also works with other ingredients in your bread, too, such as salt and yeast. Most breads contain between 1.5 - 2% salt on average. In the above example that would be 750 g x 0.02 (2%) = 15 g salt. If you measure out the salt in the recipe that Zoe provides you can then compare it with the average of 2% (some breads require more salt, some less). Using this formula trick (also called Baker's Percentages), you can tweak your final dough to behave and taste exactly as you'd like it. If you're a true computer nerd (like me), you can put your formulas into a computer spreadsheet that calculates all these numbers for you and you can play with the percentages to your heart's content.

Whenever I get a new recipe in cups and tablespoons, the first time I make it, it takes a little longer because I measure everything out and then weigh it.  But once you've done it the first time and recorded the gram measurements, from that point forward you never have to go looking for cups or tablespoons again because you can just add the ingredient to the bowl on the scale until you read the right amount and then "Tare" the scale to return it to 0.

And as I mentioned earlier, weighing out your ingredients leads to much more consistent results.

I can't imagine living without my scale. Enjoy yours!

Hi Tino,

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

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Tino---Thank you so much. I've been using the Bittman/Lahey recipe for the past year and was using a My Weigh KD7000 to measure in grams, but all the conversions were already done by one of the posters on the No Knead thread for that recipe. I had not a clue how they were how they were figuring it out. :huh:

I'm now good to go with the formula :smile:

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Zoe -- Everybody deserves good bread! I'm just happy that your book(s) and presence here on eGullet are helping them achieve that goal. I'm happy to help out where I can. And that's great news that the next book may have baker's percentages in them. Most of the serious bread books I've seen over the last couple of years are now including both cup measurements as well as percentages (and like you mentioned, a primer to help out those who've never used them).

saluki -- Isn't it great when this stuff just starts making sense all of the sudden? :biggrin:

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Our 1 cup measure is equal to 5 oz of unbleached all-purpose flour or 2# for the master recipe.

Tino, you explained baker's percentages very clearly, but I think you should base them on the 2# figure Zoe gave (907 grams?). Then we'd all be starting with the same amount of flour.

Zoe, I love your book and your enthusiasm... and of course the bread! Thank you so much for answering questions. I can't remember when I was so excited about a book!

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Ah, but that's the beauty of baker's percentages ... regardless of the amount of flour you start with, the individual percentages of water, salt, and yeast remains the same. If you are doing an 81% hydrated dough, it doesn't matter if you start with 1#, 2#, or 10# of flour. Multiplying by the 0.81 gives you exactly the amount of water you will need.

In our case, 2# of flour = 908 g x 0.81 = 735g water.

Always remember though, the amount of water is variable, given the age of the flour, the humidity of the day, etc. There will always have to be a human judgment involved in determining if the dough looks and feels "right".

(As an aside, I based the original post about using 750g of flour on saluki's question earlier in the thread -- 6 1/4 cups of flour was specified. That's why I used that number.)

Edited by tino27 (log)

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