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


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i can fit a dozen mini-boules directly on my pizza stone.

i transfer them one at a time to the stone using a spatula.

3 rows of four, maybe 1 inch between the boules.

i let the boules rise 2 hours on a siplat heavily dusted covered with cornmeal

initially, i tried letting the buns rise directly on a pizza peel, and then

slid them onto the stone. the problem was that the cornmeal or flour, or what ever i dusted the peel with, would get soggy, and the bun would stick to the peel. once you get even the slightest adherence to the peel, your screwed because nothing will slide.

That's why i went to the silpat (even if the corn meal gets soggy, less likely to stick to the silpat), and i gave up on sliding the buns onto the peel, instead i barely lift one edge of the bun up with a spatula, and cradle the other side with a finger, and deposit the bun on the pizza stone directly.

i'm going to try an post a pictoral guide to bun making...

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We let the dough rise on parchment paper with flour and cornmeal as the base. We then transfer the risen loaves with the paper to the stone. After about 15 minutes in the oven we slide out the parchment leaving the loaves directly on the stone. It is very neat - no struggle with wet dough. If you get the parchment out early you can use it again.

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is the pictorial presentation of how i make bread using this technique. Obviously. plenty of ways to do it, this is just what my bread making has evolve into. To Wit:

gallery_57604_6658_17697.jpg

The hardware I use to make the dough. A big spoon for mixing, some small spoons, a digital scale, and a big tub to store the dough in.

gallery_57604_6658_4590.jpg

The software includes King Arthur All Purpose Flour, salt, granulated bulk yeast, and malt powder.

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I mix 20 gms of salt, 12 gms of yeast, 20 grams of malt, and 750 gms of water.

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Then I add 1000 gms of flour.

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mix with the spoon until four is well incorporated.

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This is what the dough looks like immediately after mixing. At this point, i just stick it in the fridge straight away.

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Here's what the dough looks like after 24 hours in the fridge...

next....making the mini-boules...

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Just mixed up my first batch in awhile thanks to this inspiration. I don't have a scale but each time you post, it makes me want one. I haven't had too many problems without one. I feel like I can judge based on looks at this point, but still have the occasional clunker.

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get a scale, you will never regret it.

the scale gives you consistency. it allows you to scale your recipe's up and down effortlessly.

i got mine when i started a series of experiments to determine what level of hydration i wanted to use.

In Keller's latest cookbook (Under Pressure), all the recipes are in grams...

the three most important tools in the kitchen (in my opinion) for consistency are

1) a digital temp probe

2) a digital scale

3) a digital timer

but that's just me! i love gadgets.

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well its time for bread! I didnt get the book yet but I am planning on order it tomorrow!

I have not baked bread in a while and I am starting my sour dough as well ( I like complicate my life :-P ) but this thread got me and I followed the basic recipe posted earlier and made a batch tonight, I will be waiting for at least 2 days, and then try the refigeration method to form the loaf then refigerated and bake it right out of the fridge.

This is going to be fun!! :smile:

Vanessa

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I waited two days before baking my first loaf, I used the recipe form the thread, I really liked the bread was nice, crumb open enough, even not big holes, crust nice and crunchy, much better than what I expected. The only thing, I didn't get to much rise or oven spring, I am wondering because of the heat, I didn't let the stone for a full hour, and I used the hot water in the bottom of the oven, usually when I bake sourdough I use either spray couple of time or ice cubes, I had the feeling it gave me a bigger oven spring, but that might be just a coincidence, reading the discussion on steam. Anyway very nice and amazing results, I did ordered the book, I made another batch with the formula Heartsurgeon posted, thank you. I will keep working on that rise.

Vanessa

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I typically make a batch of dough (see pictorial above) every other weekend, and keep it in the fridge. I use the dough over the following two weeks. The dough gets progressively wetter/runnier in consistency as time goes on, but the flavor is consistently excellent.

Here we are 1 week after making a batch of dough. Time to bake some mini-boules!

Everything I've done is designed to minimize mess and clean up of the kitchen. Obviously, you don't need to do it this way to have great results.

Hardware and software used to make the buns:

Dough, coarse ground corn meal, all purpose flour

Digital time (set to 2 hour rise time), spoon, serrated knife

Silpat lined baking sheet

gallery_57604_6658_21558.jpg

I lay down cornmeal for 12 mini-boules on the silpat, and line up the tray, flour and dough containers, so when i make the buns, I'm not shedding any flour on the prep surfaces.

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I flour the top of the dough in the container, and cut off a piece of dough about the size of a plum.

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The piece is the rolled in flour (inside the flour container) to make it easy to handle.

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I shape the boule by drawing opposite sides of the dough together, and pinching the dough to the center. By rotating the dough ball and repeatedly drawing the dough to the center, the mini-boule gradually takes on a spherical shape.

gallery_57604_6658_3480.jpg

Once formed, the bottom of the boule (visible under my thumb) appears pleated, while the top of the boule is smooth and spherical.

gallery_57604_6658_12335.jpg

The boule is then dropped back into the flour, and rolled around, and the excessed shaked off.

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Here is the final appearance of a typical mini-boule, after shaping, and flouring. It goes onto it's cornmeal dusted spot in the baking tray. When all the buns have been made, I leave the tray out at room temp for 2 hours for the second rise.

gallery_57604_6658_651.jpg

Here we are after two hours of rise time. Above the tray, is the hardware for baking the buns: a cup to hold water, a teflon lined knife for slashing the buns, a spoon to place flour on the tops of the buns, and a spatula to move the buns to the oven (pizza stone).gallery_57604_6658_15497.jpg

With 30 minutes left in the second rise, i setup the oven: I leave a metal roasting/drip pan on the bottom rack, and a pizza stone on the rack just above. The oven is preheated to 450 degrees, convection bake. If I'm covering the buns with sesame seeds, i general lower the temp to 400 degrees to prevent the seeds from burning.

gallery_57604_6658_17821.jpg

JUST prior to baking, I slash the buns. If you do this prematurely, your buns will tend to spread out, and become flatter. I start by laying down a line of flour on top of all the buns.gallery_57604_6658_6493.jpg

I make a 1/4 inch slash through the line of flour, and push the flour into the slash to keep it from resealing. Notice the teflon coated knife picks up very little dough when slashing. The slash can dramatically change the shape of the bake bun, and i highly recommend trying different styles of slashes, and different depths of slashing to see which result you like the best!

gallery_57604_6658_13782.jpg

Here's a tray of criss-crossed slashed buns ready to go into the oven.

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The buns can be sticky at this point, and rather floppy in consistency, making them hard to handle. My approach is to lift one edge of a bun up slightly, and slide a spatula under one edge of the bun, and lift the other side of the bun up with the finger tips (minimal handling), and transfer the bun onto the baking stone.

gallery_57604_6658_6862.jpg

Here's a dozen of my guys ready to be baked. Now I push the top rack in, toss the water into the broiler pan below, shove that in, and close the oven

gallery_57604_6658_3441.jpg

The bake time varies with bread, and the audience. I like a bun with a crunchy crust that puts up a fight, the rest of the family likes a softer crust. My comprise is 25 minutes at 450. Bake it 30 minutes, you've got a harder crust.

If i'm coating the bun with an protein or carbohydrate wash, and covering with seeds, i generally bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes to avoid having the seeds or the coating end up burning, and if excessive browning is occurring, i'll drop the temp to 350 and extend the bake time 5-10 minutes to finsh the bun. Adding a wash and seeds complicates matters because the coating will tend to darken before the bun is fully baked...oh well, here's a batch of my boys ready for the cooling rack.

gallery_57604_6658_19216.jpg

And here is the final product..

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Since starting the post, I tweaked the recipe by adding 20 gms of semolina flour..

Final Answer:

1000 gms flour, 750 gms water, 20 gms semolina flour, 20 gms malt powder, 20 gms salt, 12 gms granulated yeast

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Beautiful demo! Thank you so much for taking the time to do it. It is so much better to see than just read!

I excited to bake more today, I got an inexpensive nice Dutch oven and I am ready to try it. I am going to use a week old dough and the other few days with the formula you posted, next ill yet your new formula. Thank you again this is fun, I also started to make some cheeses, with good bread you need good cheese and I can't get neither here!!

Vanessa

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Beautiful demo Doc. It is obvious that your training has come in very useful.

Since we stated making our own bread over two years ago we now make our own marmalade and mustard. Can't tell were this is going to lead.

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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What a wonderful pictoral. I'm going to have to try both the recipe and then follow the baking directions. First, though, I have to find malt powder. Where can I find this? Note than I am in Canada.

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What a wonderful pictoral. I'm going to have to try both the recipe and then follow the baking directions. First, though, I have to find malt powder. Where can I find this? Note than I am in Canada.

King Arthur Flour Diastatic Malt powder

King Arthur FLour Non-Diastatic powder

When i went looking for malt powder, i ended up buying both the diastatic and the non-diastatic, partially because they were cheap, relative to the shipping cost, and partially because i had no clue which one i should use. I tried both (in the dough), and eventually just mixed the two together, and use 20 gms per 1000 gms of flour...adds some very nice "breadiness" to the bread.

My latest addition is 20 gms of semolina flour, which i believe makes the bread a tad more tasty. Of course, this could be my imagination. The malt however, makes a clear difference.

King Arthur ships to Canada (heck, they probably make their flour from canadian winter wheat). One sack of malt powder will last you forever....

A super aged sharp cheddar with this bread, and a cup of hot tea is my breakfast of choice...it doesn't get any better...

I did try adding small amounts of whole wheat as well, without the desired effect, in fact i thought it ruined the taste i was looking for.

All that said, i do have a recipe for my bread machine that makes an excellent whole wheat bread loaf that i slice into sandwich bread. Sliced and toasted it's great, but entirely different from the bread i was trying for in this recipe.

Edited by Heartsurgeon (log)
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What a wonderful pictoral. I'm going to have to try both the recipe and then follow the baking directions. First, though, I have to find malt powder. Where can I find this? Note than I am in Canada.

King Arthur Flour Diastatic Malt powder

King Arthur FLour Non-Diastatic powder

When i went looking for malt powder, i ended up buying both the diastatic and the non-diastatic, partially because they were cheap, relative to the shipping cost, and partially because i had no clue which one i should use. I tried both (in the dough), and eventually just mixed the two together, and use 20 gms per 1000 gms of flour...adds some very nice "breadiness" to the bread.

My latest addition is 20 gms of semolina flour, which i believe makes the bread a tad more tasty. Of course, this could be my imagination. The malt however, makes a clear difference.

King Arthur ships to Canada (heck, they probably make their flour from canadian winter wheat). One sack of malt powder will last you forever....

A super aged sharp cheddar with this bread, and a cup of hot tea is my breakfast of choice...it doesn't get any better...

I did try adding small amounts of whole wheat as well, without the desired effect, in fact i thought it ruined the taste i was looking for.

All that said, i do have a recipe for my bread machine that makes an excellent whole wheat bread loaf that i slice into sandwich bread. Sliced and toasted it's great, but entirely different from the bread i was trying for in this recipe.

KIng Arthur does indeed ship to Canada - but you'll have to mortgage your house to get it here!

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Beautiful demo Doc.  It is obvious that your training has come in very useful. 

Since we stated making our own bread over two years ago we now make our own marmalade and mustard.  Can't tell were this is going to lead.

You know I think once you start making your own food one thing leads to another and you become very demanding with the quality and I have to say here where I live there is a huge lack of good food, plus I love to be able to make my own whenever I want, and its fun, I only wish I didnt have to work, I find that work gets in my way sometimes :laugh::laugh:

Vanessa

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Ok I still need some practice for this bread the results arent quite what I want but it definately had lots of potential, I cant wait to get the book.

I made another dough yesterday made with a sourdough I just started a while back, I didnt use any yeast only sour dough, I let it rise for a long time ( actually I forgot it out all night) when I woke up in the morning was just fine and filled up the tub, I then put it back in the fridge, I might try to bake with it tomorrow ( got lots of bread around). I really want to achieve a nice crumb, the crust is very nice but the crumb is still too tight, I think I am not letting the dough get warm enough before I bake. The dutch oven does a very good job I am impressed and its soo easy!!

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gallery_44494_2801_17935.jpg

gallery_44494_2801_29573.jpg

Edited by Desiderio (log)

Vanessa

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in general terms, to improve the crumb, increase your hydration. If your refrigerating your dough prior to baking, increase your rise time after you form your boule.

i increased my rise time of 2 hours, and saw significant improvement in crumb.

i was limited in the amount of hydration i could deal with, as my dough became to runny for me to handle easily.

with the dutch oven technique, a wetter dough should be more managable.

that's a killer crust. it's making me hungry.

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in general terms, to improve the crumb, increase your hydration. If your refrigerating your dough prior to baking, increase your rise time after you form your boule.

i increased my rise time of 2 hours, and saw significant improvement in crumb.

i was limited in the amount of hydration i could deal with, as my dough became to runny for me to handle easily.

with the dutch oven technique, a wetter dough should be more managable.

that's a killer crust. it's making me hungry.

Thank you so much, I will try with more water inthe dough, like you said I think in the dutch oven wouldnt be as much of a trouble to handle it, will report bak.

Thank you :smile:

Vanessa

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I picked up malt powder at the bulk store.  I'm in Canada too.  I can send you some if you want.

Thanks for your kind offer. I'm in Ottawa so I should be able to find it here. Which bulk food store did you get yours at? We have lots of Bulk Barns around here but there are also health food stores that carry bulk products so I'd have to be terribly unlucky not to find it. If that happens, I'll take you up on your offer. Oh, and is it the diastatic or non-diastatic one or does it make a difference? I just had a look at Harold McGhee's book "On Food and Cooking" to see what he had to say about this. He refers to "malt extract" and says that "it is used frequently in baking to provide maltose and glucose for yeast growth and moisture retention". He does not refer to either diastatic or non-diastatic, just "malt extract".

Elsie

Edited by ElsieD (log)
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I picked up malt powder at the bulk store.  I'm in Canada too.  I can send you some if you want.

Thanks for your kind offer. I'm in Ottawa so I should be able to find it here. Which bulk food store did you get yours at? We have lots of Bulk Barns around here but there are also health food stores that carry bulk products so I'd have to be terribly unlucky not to find it. If that happens, I'll take you up on your offer. Oh, and is it the diastatic or non-diastatic one or does it make a difference? I just had a look at Harold McGhee's book "On Food and Cooking" to see what he had to say about this. He refers to "malt extract" and says that "it is used frequently in baking to provide maltose and glucose for yeast growth and moisture retention". He does not refer to either diastatic or non-diastatic, just "malt extract".

Elsie

Mine is the non-diastatic. I looked it up at the time and decided that's what I needed.

Got mine at Bulk Food Warehouse which is an independant.

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i have tried several different sources of "malt",including various beers (used in place of water), and even Malta (a malt beverage). while they all imparted that malty flavor, they also made the bread muddy in color (unappealing), and were more expensive than the malt powder.

in the end, i suppose any malt source is going to impart the desired taste. it then becomes a question of cost, stability of the product, and ease of use. In my experience, the powder wins.

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i have tried several different sources of "malt",including various beers (used in place of water), and even Malta (a malt beverage). while they all imparted that malty flavor, they also made the bread muddy in color (unappealing), and were more expensive than the malt powder.

in the end, i suppose any malt source is going to impart the desired taste. it then becomes a question of cost, stability of the product, and ease of use. In my experience, the powder wins.

Love your pics--They are really helpful. Wish I could be 1/10th as organized.....

From your pics, am I to understand that you are leaving the mini boules completely uncovered during the rising?

Regarding the diastatic malt, If you are so inclined you can make it.

link

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I don't think this has been mentioned yet but I've been grilling the basic boule recipe as flatbread on the barbeque. It's so nice to have fresh bread for supper without heating the house. I'll try to remember to take pictures next time I make it.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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I don't think this has been mentioned yet but I've been grilling the basic boule recipe as flatbread on the barbeque. It's so nice to have fresh bread for supper without heating the house. I'll try to remember to take pictures next time I make it.

I think Zoey's website also mentions the basic boule can also be used to make Naan in a cast iron pan with ghee--in fact they mention it is one of their quickest breads since no resting is required. ---Just gave away my cast iron but someone mentioned it also works well in Calphalons everyday pan so I may try that.

I want to try the Zaatar bread as well which also can use the basic boule dough. I have tons of Zaatar......Used to travel down to Bitar's bakery in Philly to get the bread and hoped they would not be sold out. Good eats.....That with some labneh and olives, nice breakfast.

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am I to understand that you are leaving the mini boules completely uncovered during the rising?

yes. i leave them uncovered on the tray for 2 hours.

interestingly, just prior to the mini-buns going onto the tray, they are rolled in flour (see pics)

after the 2 hour rise, a majority, if not all of the surface flour has been hydrated by the water content of the mini-buns (absorbed into the bun). The surface of the buns after two hours are not dried out in the least..in fact, the buns are fairly sticky, hence the technique of transfering them to the baking stone, minimal handling, just by the edges.

if you try to get a spatula beneath the entire bun, it's not going to slide off, it going to stick to the spatula. this stickiness is even a greater problem as the dough ages. at two weeks, the buns can stick to your fingers or the spatula like glue if your not careful. then you end up with funky shaped buns!

Edited by Heartsurgeon (log)
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