The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Artisan Bread in five minutes - no oven spring - help

Sylviambt's picture
Sylviambt

Artisan Bread in five minutes - no oven spring - help

Hi all,

I finally decided to try out recipes from ArtisanBread in 5 Minutes and have been tremendously disappointed. (I routinely make 2-4 loaves/wk from either Hamelman's Techniques or Reinhart's BBA.) Although I follow the directions, I must be doing something wrong because I get no oven spring. How long is everyone else letting loaves rise before baking? Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Sylvia

Ps2001's picture
Ps2001

Online there are corrections for the first edition. They include longer rising times before baking. I find sometimes no matter what I do I get much oven spring. Would also like some suggestions. Thanks, Peggy

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

I recommend checking out their website also. I believe the first editon said 40 minutes to proof and then corrected to 90. It has been a long time so those figures could be way off. I enjoyed baking with both the Artisan Bread in Five and the later Healthy Artisan Bread books. However when I found TFL, that was the end of making  anything from either book.

I think the secret to getting oven spring is quickly and carefully stretching that skin of dough as you shape it. I put it on parchment paper and then when it was fully proofed, very soft but not quite wobbly, I just slid it onto the baking stone. (It took me a while to understand that the oven may register as hot but the baking stone needed more time to be ready) After frying the electronic controls in my oven the second time, I quit using the pan of water for steam.  I found that dividing the dough into three breads rather than four made a nicer size for our family. With these smaller breads I put a casserole size aluminum foil pan over them for the first ten minutes. Found that worked better for me than baking in a dutch oven. Wish you both good luck and at the same time, may I encourage you to venture into the world of sourdough, long and cool ferments, overnight retardation.....

Red5's picture
Red5

I'd recommend throwing that book in the trash and starting over with something written by real bakers mentioned frequently on this site. 

That book dumbs down the process to an insult, and nothing they do qualifies as artisan, all they have you do is bake up old dough. 

 

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

Zoe Francois is a Real Baker (capitals intended) by anyone's definition. Although they did not invent the no knead method (that was some 4000 years ago in Turkey or Armenia if I'm not mistaken), they did popularize it. To a great extent, the book has led people to demand better breads which has led to an increase in bakery business all around.

Is the book dumbed down? Sure! It would have to be to reach the mass apeal it has. Is it garbage? Heck no, and to suggest it is smacks of snobism or ignorance. Since, based on your previous posts, I seriously consider you to be a "real baker," I assume it is the former.

I rather enjoy the book and have suggested it to several friends and family members. In fact, although I own three bakeries now, I always have a batch or two of Italian Semolina dough sitting in my fridge at home. I guess I'm not a "real baker" either.

Let's lay off attacking a super-successful book series that has launched many a baker's passion into our field. Both high-level and mainstream books have a place in our world.

Cheers

ssor's picture
ssor

and I have never found a book that was completely without merit. Some novels come very close. Generally if you read with knowledge and care you can reject the parts that are overly simplified and make note of the ideas and methods that are novel or just plain useful. I am a sailer and the advise given is to never rely solely on one source of information for navigation. Cooks and bakers will be disappointed if they rely solely on one auther and book. That is why we have so many, because each one adds a little to our knowledge but it also explains why we all have a favorite.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

The original poster mentioned Hamelman and Reinhart, against which Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day is no comparison.

I guess it's a little harsh, but harsh can be good sometimes, especially if it prevents someone from going down a blind alley.

What I find insulting about it is that it was written by (an) accomplished baker(s) who just had to know it was a how-fast-can-we-publish-damn-the-errors-ambulance-chaser book that co-opted (robbed?) Jim Lahey's No-Knead Bread, which went viral shortly after it was published in the NY Times in 2006. Alas, those are the breaks: Early bird gets the worm! (even if the second mouse gets the cheese).

If this wasn't the case, then I apologize–I'm not a fan of Lahey's bread either, so there! ;)

The authors probably made a bundle. Some would say that, in itself, is validation enough, but I ask this: What if those who purchased this book would have purchased Dan DiMuzio instead? Or Hamelman? Or Reinhart? Wouldn't artisan bread have taken two steps forward instead of one step back?

zoebakes's picture
zoebakes

Apology accepted. When Mark Bittman's article about Jim Lahey's technique was published in the NYT, our manuscript was already at the publisher. It typically takes 2 years to publish; one to write it and one for production and printing. 

That said, our intention was never to replace Reinhart or Hamelman. Our initial purpose was to write a book for people who were too intimidated by the traditional approach to ever bake a loaf of bread. We make no apologies for making it simple and fast enough that most novices feel successful at baking. If they go on to other methods, all the better. Not everyone has my devotion to this art, they just want to bake good bread and if we can help them do that, then I feel very good about the job I am doing.

We are as sorry as anyone about the errors in our first book. I was a pastry chef writing my first book. I have learned a lot since then and we've been lucky enough to have several printings, so most copies are error free. We've also evolved our method over time.

We support our readers on our website, so if anyone is having any difficulties with our method we are more than happy to work with them. 

I generally ignore conversations of this type, but I am a long time follower of Floyd and The Fresh Loaf. I would hope this forum is about aiding each other in baking great bread and not slinging mud at methods you don't use.

Thanks, Zoë François (co-author Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day)

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

It isn't. That's my objection. That's what Red5 was saying as well. If you want to learn how to bake artisan bread, don't buy your book. It's not mudslinging. It's a perfectly valid objection.

What PastryPaul said is also valid, that there's every possibility that the success of your book has contributed to greater demand for real artisanal bread.

I said something similar in another thread about faux-artisanal bagels (re:Dunkin' Donuts). If Dunkin' Donuts faux-artisanal leads to greater demand for real artisanal, then we all win, even if the artisanal aspect is shrouded in fantasy.

zoebakes's picture
zoebakes

Hi Sylvia,

Jeff and I are always happy to help figure out what is going on with your loaves. You can leave questions on any post and we'll direct you to the information you need on breadin5.com. The oven spring can often be an issue of resting time or the protiein content in the flour you are using. Our dough is meant to be quite wet, so some flours (KAF) make for a dough that is too dry, unless some adjustments are made. 

Thanks for trying the method! Zoë

Sylviambt's picture
Sylviambt

Zoe, I used organic AP flour and a bit of bread flour in my mix. The dough is very wet and slack. Should I eliminate the bread flour?

 

zoebakes's picture
zoebakes

Sylvia, 

Using bread flour in the dough can produce a great loaf, but you just need to make sure the hydration is adjusted. As you know, the protein in bread flour is higher, so it will require more water. It sounds like your dough is wet, but if you are not familiar with our method it may be helpful to watch one of our videos, to see if your dough resembles ours. Once you have made the dough and know the consistency, it is easier to play with other flour combinations. 

Thanks, Zoë

 

Sylviambt's picture
Sylviambt

I posted my request for help for that purpose, and that alone. Although I've been baking bread for over 30 years, and artisan bread for nearly 7, I'm always looking for ways to achieve a great crust and crumb.I enjoy the challenges of sourdoughs, milder levains, whole grain soakers, and more. I've had the pleasure of personal conversation with Reinhart (tho I've not yet met him face-to-face), and I do love my breads that take 2 days or more to prepare. One of the things I've come to realize is that the world  of bread includes many varieties for many reasons: culture, religion, geography, climate, financial conditions, and more.  For example, I have a long work-day, so one of my objectives is to explore different ways to bake good bread during my busy work week. And so my trials with Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes.  Zoe, thank you for taking the time to respond to my question, and I will visit your site to learn more.        

isand66's picture
isand66

Sylvia,

I would also suggest you buy Peter Reinhart's "Artisan Breads Every Day".  I find this to be one of my favorite books and his technique for giving the dough a long 1-3 day or longer retardation in the refrigerator speaks to your main goal.  He gives you the option of using yeast or levain only in many recipes depending on your time frame.

I have used his basic formulas to create many of my own and not that I'm ready to quit my day job and open a bakery, I think most of my results have been pretty good.

Feel free to check out some of my posts here on TFL or visit my blog at www.mookielovesbread.wordpress.com to read about some of my adaptations using his simple techniques.  I started out using the yeast with the levain, but I have found that the omission of the yeast more to my liking although it does add a few hours to the overall bake.

Good luck.

Ian

Sylviambt's picture
Sylviambt

Isand66,

Thanks very much for the suggestion. Much appreciated. Will take a look at your blog posts and at the book itself. Wishing you successful baking.

Sylvia

isand66's picture
isand66

You are most welcome.

Let me know how you make out.

Regards,

Ian

Red5's picture
Red5

" For example, I have a long work-day, so one of my objectives is to explore different ways to bake good bread during my busy work week"

 

This is a great example of my problem with this book.

Books like Artisan in 5 minutes are an insult to your intelligence and ability and a lie about what you are producing. You can make and have actual fresh bread, not over-fermented 4 or 10 day old dough and claim that it's artisan bread. The home bakers who read this stuff could do so much if they just didn't let themselves be convinced by people who want to manipulate them into believing they cannot do something they absolutely can. There is no need to settle for cheap shortcuts that are taught in that book. 

And hey, good for the authors success and all, but the book is a better example of great marketing than great baking.  

 

And for the record, after a several days or up to two weeks, like this book suggests, of keeping dough in the refrigerator a few things have happened: the yeast is exhausted, the dough is over-fermented, and has been kept at too low a temperature for too long to offer any decent rise or texture. Bakeries would throw it away knowing the resulting product would be embarrassing and un-sellable. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

with the methods and recipes in the book?  

Kay Erland's picture
Kay Erland

I've been following both the ABi5 / HBi5 and  TFL websites for several years now, but haven't posted before.  I must say that the support offered on both of these websites is really phenomenal.  I don't have a lot of time to bake and hardly any to post, but I haven't bought bread in a store for at least 3 years, and I've spent many a late night at the computer following these threads. 

I started with the Artisan Bread & Healthy Bread books and had some success with both including their gluten free breads that my neighbor can eat.  Not every loaf was successful, but I've just completed my second really good week of baking the Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread, and it's super good - handles well, rises well, and bakes beautifully.  I've found this enriched dough fits my lifestyle really well, even if it isn't strictly speaking an "artisan" bread.  I make half recipes - 1 loaf plus 2 english muffins worth.

I recently started experimenting with Reinhart's Whole Grain Bread, which I also love.  For me, there are some similarities between the HBi5 and Reinhart's methods, but I know I never would have discovered Reinhart if I hadn't started with the Artisan Bread in 5 books.  I completely agree with the thought that any path that leads people to try baking their own bread is worthwhile - the harsh critique seems a bit much in a forum that is usually so open and supportive.

So - from Los Angeles, thanks very much to all of you who take the time to share and support all the varieties of bakers and procedures that get discussed here!

Kay

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

You write just like Zoe.

You're intimately familiar with all of her books and marketing verbiage re: ABi5 / HBi5 (Aluminum Bismuth? Hydrogen Bismuth? I'm guessing these are marketing acronyms?)

You only come to TFL to defend her books, as she does.

You even end your post with an exclamation point (!), just like Zoe.

Thanks for trying the method! Zoë

So - from Los Angeles, thanks very much to all of you who take the time to share and support all the varieties of bakers and procedures that get discussed here!

Kay

I'm curious:

Are you Zoe?

Kay Erland's picture
Kay Erland

No, I'm not Zoe - have never met either of the authors, but do enjoy their books and their responsiveness on their website.  I'm a 66 year old long-time resident of the Highland Park neighborhood in newly trendy NE Los Angeles.  I've always enjoyed cooking and baking at what I think is a home cook "competent" level. 

I've baked bread on & off for a long time.  Then, about 10 years ago, after an "off" time, a friend gave me the Zojirushi machine she didn't like which started my current interest.  After getting tired of the "funny" loaves from the bread machine, I found ABI5 soon after it was published and tried the recipes with only medium success.  (The thing that I found the most frustrating was the lack of ingredient weights, which I think the authors have addressed much better recently.)  I then started exploring other recipes/methods here. Based on someone's link, I recently watched Peter Reinhart's TED talk and was totally intrigued by his story & journey with bread.  That got me to read Peter's book (WGB) and to try his basic recipe, which I made for several weekends running, getting better each time.  At that point, we got really busy and I went back to HBI5 and lucked out with the sandwich bread.  I've just gotten "Artisan Bread Every Day" so will be moving on to some of those formulas soon.  I've also delighted in "52 Loaves" - especially for the writing (haven't tried his recipe) and in the posts from many, many of you here on TFL. 

Perhaps I shouldn't have made my first post entering into a controversy, but I do feel like I know many of you from your wonderful posts & photos even though, obviously, you don't know me.  Nonetheless, I'm greatful to you all for these lively discussions and to Floyd for keeping it all afloat.  Here are photos of a recent ABI5 loaf and the English Muffins made with the part of the dough that doesn't fit in the bread pan.

 I seem to have no problem with oven spring using this recipe, but I've had much trouble with the leaner ones, too, Sylvia.  Looking forward to more participation on TFL. 

Kay