The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Artisan Bread in Five................??

sybram's picture

Artisan Bread in Five................??

I'm making the basic boule today (mixed last night).  I weighed my dough this time, and it's exactly 1½ pounds.  The book says bake 30 minutes at 450º and 30% more time if larger loaf.  So, 40 minutes still at 450%?  Should I turn down the oven to be sure it doesn't get too brown?  Use a sheet of foil over it when it looks brown enough?  I have a meat thermometer that I've been checking my bread with, so I'll do that, too.  This is my third bout using the "5 Min" recipes.  Whole wheat, part whole wheat and rye were great--a little flat, but good.  The basic white was flat, wet and not so good.  My dough is not nearly as wet this time, and it's holding it's shape nicely, so it's probably too dry. LOL  I'm  letting it rise longer, too, since it's bigger.  Any suggestions?

xaipete's picture

I think you ought to reduce the temperature to 425º after putting the loaf in and trying using a makeshift cloche--the cloche ought to give you a better shape.


LindyD's picture

I'm trusting that you have a more recent printing of the book and that it doesn't contain the errors in the initial publication (i.e. should be two packets of yeast, baking on middle rack instead of lowest rack..).  The list of errors and corrections can be found on A-in-Five website.

Some thoughts:  Be careful about overproofing the dough or the boule will deflate when you load it in the oven.  Don't be afraid of a darker crust.  The caramelization of the crust adds wonderful flavor to the bread.

If you have a large stainless steel bowl (and are baking on a stone), use the "magic bowl" technique which is a hot topic here (introduced by Susan of San Diego).  Essentially, you would mist the dough with water, rinse the bowl with hot water so that the interior of the bowl is wet, load the boule to your stone, then place the bowl over your boule.  Bake covered for 15 minutes, then remove the bowl and continue baking. You want an internal temp of about 200F.

I think you'll like the results.

SulaBlue's picture

 I tried this the one time that I cooked my bread outside my dutch oven and it was very nearly a health hazard for me. Trying to lift an inverted, smooth bowl with nothing to grip ... yikes. The only thing that saved me was having one of those textured Ove-Gloves. If I'd had two I'd have been in real business.

LindyD's picture

An easier method is to lift the edge of the bowl with a metal spatula, then grasp the bowl with that terrific invention, the Ove-Glove.   Or a silicone mitt, or whatever you have on hand that will protect from getting burned.

bassopotamus's picture

I  bought a little 15 buck instant thermometer and am getting much better results now. Time is more or less irrelevant. done is done.

sybram's picture

Thank you Pamela and Lindy.  I'm baking again this afternoon, and I will try your suggestions.  It was too late for this loaf, as I just took it out of the oven.  I must say it looks perfect, and it registered 200º.  We'll see.  I know, I know, I should snap a pic.  I haven't gotten into that yet, but soon.  I do have a large ss mixing bowl which I think would work well as you describe.  I'll also try turning down the oven.  Well, I don't know about that one, though, since the loaf I just took out looks perfectly browned.  I guess the test is in the taste.  If it's done through and through, I'll leave it as is.  If doughy, I'll turn down at beginning for the next loaf and cook maybe 10 minutes more.  Sound right? 

Also, I'm embarassed to say it, but I must find a list of bread baking words or terms with definitions and pronounciation.  Sometimes I'm at a total loss reading these posts.  The words like cloche and even boule (and many others) are so common here, and I've never heard them said.  So, more reading for me.......

LindyD's picture

Be sure to wait until the bread as fully cooled, Sybram, before you taste it - as hard as that may be!  That will give it time to fully develop its flavor.  Warm bread is going to taste gummy because the crumb hasn't had a chance to stabilize.  If the center internal temperature was 200-205F, it's done.

I don't think you should turn down the oven since your first boule (which means a round loaf of bread) turned out well.  If your oven thermometer read 450F when you loaded the bread, keep it at that temp.  If you think you need to turn it down, do so halfway through the bake - never at the start because the heat and steam are needed for oven spring.

To help you out on the terms, there's a good glossary listed in TFL's Handbook (see tab at top of page).

Am glad you're happy with your results!



sybram's picture

Thanks to all for your helpful comments.  The glossary was indeed helpful with definitions, but not pronounciation.  Guess I'll try "dictionary."  Anyway, sorry I didn't get back to this yesterday--outside all day with spreading mulch, etc..  I did make the second loaf.  It was 28 oz of dough, also, but I did the stretch and fold after 45 minutes, and then again in anothr 45 minutes.  Then, I shaped and let it rise about two hours, slashed and baked.  It held it's shape well, as the first loaf, but was noticably bigger, even though both loaves came out of the oven weighing exactly 24 oz.

Observations:  Both were tight crumb, but the second loaf crumb was divided--top half more airy.  First loaf had better taste 6-8 hours later than when it had just cooled.  I've learned that longer ferment or rise developes more flavor, but what could possibly happen to improve flavor after it's cooked?  I've read here that some people don't eat their bread until the next day.  ??

Second loaf had much harder crust, I guess from sitting there so long.  Both crusts were harder than I like, but I like the bread staying fresh longer because of it.  I've read spray with water before baking, and flour before slashing.  Do you just have to pick one, or do both?  I do use ice cubes in the iron skillet.  Also, cooked both for 4o minutes at 450º to 200º internal temp. 

I did take pics (pretty bad, but it's my first time), so I'll see if I can get them on here.  Making this bread is great fun, and I did all the steps when I came in to get a drink or lunch, etc.  Easy, easy.  Yes, I'm hooked on it already, but I must say I don't find this bread very tasty.  Is it something I'm doing or not, or just because it's a basic recipe?  Can I do anything to add flavor to this basic recipe?  Again, I really liked the whole wheat and rye. 

I don't really feel like a bread baker yet since I haven't gotten into sourdough yet.  That's my next project, to get my starter going.  I think I'll use the pineapple juice one and two others, to see which one works best for me. 

All your comments, suggestions and observations are appreciated.

First loaf.  I couldn't find the pics of the whole loaf (remember, I said it was my first time).

Well, my pics were suppose to start here, but I couldn't figure out how to do it.  Sorry.  I'll study up on it.  Do they have to be transferred from a website, as my DH said?  A blog?  Mine are just in my Windows Documents.

A very happy Easter to you all!!!


Janknitz's picture

I had to ask.  I was thinking it rhymed with Robert Goulet's last name.  The person on Northwest Sourdough (great shaping videos) pronounces it like "bully".  So I asked Jeff and Zoe on the ABin5 site and he said it rhymes with pool.  That's what I get for taking Spanish instead of French!

As for crust, the best ones (crisp and crackly but not so chewy) I've achieved have been with a cloche (rhymes with "roach" ;o)--the foil pan crust was good, the clay cloche crust was perfect.

sybram's picture

Very interessting.  Is it just bool, or boolEE?  A video I watched on the no knead method pronounced it "bolee," like a bowl with ee.

Is the clouche just to let it rise in, or do you bake it in it, too?

I must get a couple of non-stick pans for the sticky dough.  Mine are all just plain aluminum, but they're fine for regular bread. Cooking them in pans would surely help the crust.  

Do you post pics?

LindyD's picture

Boool, per this translator.  It was also pronounced that way in a recent class on artisan reads.

A couche is cloth, used to support the bread while it proofs.  You do not want to bake in it unless you want a visit from your local fire dept!

Parchment is better than nonstick pans if you are baking a free form loaf.  You would load the bread on the parchment to the hot stone.

If you are only using ice cubes, that's part of the hard crust problem.  Ice cubes are okay to moisten the oven while it is heating up, but you should also lightly mist the bread after you have scored it, load it to the hot stone, and then pour about a cup of boiling hot water into a hot cast iron or other thick pan that sits at the bottom of your oven.  

Try Susan's "magic bowl" technique mentioned above if you think your crust is too hard.