Hello Everyone, This week with much skepticism I decided to try the master boule recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day. I mixed the dough 3 days ago in a 6qt. plastic food bucket, and set it out to rise on the counter. Boy, what a high riser! Before the dough started to collapse it had practicly risen to the top of the bucket. I did not punch the dough down and immediatly put it into the fridge. Over the next couple of days the dough did not rise at all in the fridge. In fact, it actually condensed down back to about the 2qt line that it was at when I origanally mixed the dough. So last night I figured here we go, time to make some bread. I followed the directions exactly. I cut off a 1lbs. piece, shaped it, let it rise for 40 minutes, baked with steam at 450 f for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes I checked the bread. It had some decent oven spring, but not a ton. I checked the temp of the loaf and it was only at 202f so i let it go for another 15 minutes, and it was stiil at the same temp! I baked it for another 10 minutes, still no change. I figured my thermometer had to be broken. I let the bread cool completely then grabbed my knife and dove in. I was quite surprised. The loaf had a great flavor and good crumb on the end pieces. The center however was a more tight crumb and a little dense and not quite cooked enough. So today I am baking a second loaf. I am going to let it rise alot longer and bake it at 500f until I get to 205f, know matter how long it takes. I hope I will get a more open crumb throughout. I think this bread has alot of potential for busy people like me who only have the time to make "proper" artisan bread on the weekends, but would still like to have some fresh bread on a weeknight. Any comments or suggestons? Does anyone else make this and could share there techniques or tips? =)
After many months of making french bread, I have finally achieved the results I have been striving for! Delicious open crumb,and crunchy crust. All my practice has finally paid off. For me, shaping has been one of my biggest weaknesses. Now hopeully I can achieve this again.