It is coming up on baking season and we want to get you all ready and in the mood. As you may have heard, we did a Craftsy video series that shows all the tips and techniques for creating our favorite breads. The class is based on our Master recipe from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, but the course is helpful for baking any breads and pizzas from all of our books.
As a big THANK YOU to our Breadin5 community, we’re giving away our Craftsy Artisan Bread in Minutes class to a random winner. All you have to do is click on the link below to enter. Good luck and enjoy the class.
Here are some of the lovely reviews of the Craftsy class…
“I’m so glad this class was available! I have the book but I’m a very visual learner & this has helped me so much.”
“I watched the lessons twice and had bright shiny light bulbs suddenly turn on both times. I’m sure if I watched it again I would learn another bright new tip. Your books have been read cover to cover but I found the text comes to life now that I have watched the video thanks to you and Craftsy.”
“You really brought your books to life. I thought the dough might actually be in the fridge for 2 weeks, but it is barely lasting the weekend….. So good! Cinnamon buns for breakfast this morning clinched it, best I’ve ever had.”
“Wow…I had no idea Artisan breads were so simple! I will never buy one again in a store.”
“I love baking bread. Before watching her class I could only bake bread on the weekends because of the long ferment and proofing times. Now from learning Zoe’s method I can bake bread everyday.”
“This is my second bread making class, and this is my favorite. One dough recipe that you can store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, baking parts of it as needed makes for the easiest, freshest bread your family will make. Zoe Francois also shows you some neat tricks to braid and shape your dough so that you look like a professional baker.”
“This technique and recipe is so awesome and easy. You will never need to buy bread again. You will also never knead bread again.”
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1) Take thawed dough and roll it out into a large rectangle. (you can thaw the dough in the microwave for 30 seconds.) 2) Sprinkle brown sugar all over the dough. 3) Spread sliced apples over the brown sugar. 4) Sprinkle apples with cinnamon and sliced ...
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Slashing your dough properly creates a beautiful loaf of bread, but can also help it rise in the oven. If your slashes are not deep enough, the dough may tear open on the top or bottom of the loaf. Leaving you with bread that tastes delicious, but doesn’t live up to its artistic potential. The loaf can also end up being a touch dense if you don’t slash deep enough, because it won’t open up and make way for a dramatic oven spring. So, for the most beautiful crust and best interior crumb, you’ll want to follow these few tricks for slashing.
As you will see in the video below there are a few quick tips to cutting through the wet, soft dough more easily:
1. Use a very sharp Serrated Bread Knife. If your knife is dull or is caked with dough, it will pull at the dough instead of cutting through it. I have also successfully used a straight-edged Chef’s Knife, but it is crucial that these style knives be even sharper to get the job done. I have also used a Lame (pronounced lamb) with great results. The key to success with a lame is to make sure the blade is spotlessly clean or the dough will stick.
2. Dust the dough with flour for the easiest cut. The flour helps the knife slide through the dough without sticking. If you use a water or egg wash on the dough it may be a bit stickier, which will make it more difficult to cut.
3. Hold the dough steady with your free hand. In order to keep the dough from moving too much, you will need to support it with your non-cutting hand. This will give you some tension on the surface of the dough to cut against. If your dough is able to move around too much you will just end up dragging it with the knife strokes and it won’t cut easily.
4. Cut quickly. If you cut through the dough too slowly the knife will pull at the dough and not cut through. Use a swift, firm motion to cut the 1/2-inch slash in the dough. (However, if your recipe calls for water or egg wash on the dough, you’ll want to use shallow, but swift knife strokes and just repeat over the same spot until they are deep enough.)
5. Slash depth. Refer to the recipe for the proper depth of the slash for the loaf you are making. If the slash is too shallow you may have a blow out or a tear in the dough. If you don’t get the proper depth on the first pass with the knife, just repeat until it is right. The dough is more resilient than you may think, so you can go over the cut a few times.
Practice makes perfect, so don’t worry if your first slash isn’t perfect. The bread will still taste great and you can just call it “rustic.”
I’d like to thank my son, Henri, for helping me shoot and edit the video. It takes a village to make this website happen.
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