The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Artisan Bread in Five...

swtgran's picture

Artisan Bread in Five...

I have used the master recipe and the peasant recipe, so far, from this book. I was wondering if anyone else has been using these recipes and doubled the amount of dough for a loaf? If so, what adjustment did you need to make in time and was there a problem getting the inside done without burning the outside?

I find the bread has good flavor, the crust and crumb are good for a bread so easy. The bread doesn't rise much before putting it in the oven but has great oven spring. I just find the loaves to be a bit small and think they might be just right doubled. I just don't want a charred, under done loaf.

Floydm's picture

Yes, I've been scaling up the recipes in that book too, as I prefer to bake a 1.5-2 pound loaf than a 1 pound loaf.

Exact baking time is going to depend on how you shape it, how your oven heats, your elevation, etc. I find somewhere around 40 minutes at 450 typically right in my oven for a round loaf that size. My advice to you is to pick up an instant-read thermometer. Probe it and pull the bread out of the oven when the center is getting up around 200 degrees. Once you've done that for a while you'll get a better sense of when to expect it to be done.

Also, let me repeat my plug: I'm going to be posting a Q&A with Zoë François and Jeffrey Hertzberg, the co-authors of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day in a couple of days. I believe they'll be taking community member questions for a few days after that as well. So you should be able to ask them directly any questions you have about their recipes.

colinwhipple's picture

I have been having difficulty getting these loaves fully baked.  I use an instant-read thermometer and leave them in the oven until I get a reading above 200F, but the center of the loaves are moister than I think they should be, even though I am waiting at least two hours before cutting into them.

I don't know if something might be wrong with the thermometer, or I am not pushing it in to the right depth, or what?

I am leaving them in the oven at least as long as the instructions call for. 



Floydm's picture

I underbaked my first one too. It actually came out doughy and we had to cut around it. The second came out better, but I think I did leave it in considerably longer than I expected to. I assumed that was because I made the loaves larger than what they suggested, but perhaps there is something more going on there. We'll have to ask them.

Trishinomaha's picture

I baked a loaf for dinner last night when I got home from work (the semolina formula). It baked for a full five minutes longer than called for and did register 200 on the instant read thermometer. It was still too moist in the center. I love the idea of coming home from work and being able to make a small loaf of fresh bread (there are only the two of us so the size is just rigt). I'm thinking higher oven temp in the beginning then dropping 50 degrees or so after 15 minutes. By the way, the semolina formula is great!

Trish in Omaha

colinwhipple's picture

The instruction for the master recipe are to wait only 40 minutes after removing it from the refrigerator and shaping the loaf before baking.

That and the high hydration may be making it more difficult for the heat to penetrate fully and bake the center of the loaf.



bshuval's picture

That is why when I made a loaf of bread from the book, I let it rest at room temperature for much longer, as I would a regular yeasted bread. This way, the bread was fully baked on the inside. 

I do find the salt amounts in the book excessive. My first loaf was far too salty and made its way to the bin shortly after tasting the first slice.  


 My bread blog:

swtgran's picture

Floydm, thank you for your suggestions. 

Colin, is this a problem you are having with the regular size loaves or with ones you are doubling?  I have not had a problem with any of the smaller loaves I have done.  I just prefer them to be larger.

colinwhipple's picture

These may not be exactly the one-pound size the book talks about, but I don't think they are double-sized.  I like to make 3 boules out of the master recipe, whatever weight that is.



manuela's picture

from the book: The master recipe, the deli-style rye, the Montreal bagels, and the

pine nut-studded polenta flat bread.

Except for the bagels, I baked all of these breads in a pre-heated cast iron Dutch oven.

The results were always really very good, although using Kosher salt actually made my first loaves not salty enough--apparently kosher salt is less "salty" than sea salt so I had to adjust the quantities. I did not have the problem of underbaked interior for instance. But I have used KA AP-flour, which might have absorbed the water differently than other AP flours with a lower protein.

I also tried to use less yeast than indicated, and even if the initial dough took a little bit longer than 2 hours, in my kitchen which is rather warm it took barely 2-1/2 hours using only a scant 1/2 packet of active dry yeast.

I think that using the Dutch oven method gave better results than using the baking stone and boling water in a pan---which is what I did the first time I tried the master's recipe, following the directions given.

My Dutch oven is a sturdy cast iron pot and is not enameled.

I am no expert--so I could be wrong--but anyway I prefer not to heat an empty enameled pot at such high temperatures;

and, of course, the enameled pots are so much more expensive than the ones that are not enameled...

latida's picture

I agree the formulas contain a lot of salt.

My first attempt with the master recipe ... I used volume to put it together (cups) as published and the dough was way too dry and the final result way too dense.

After that I converted the volumes in the formulas to weights using published conversions and the result was a pretty slack dough, the crumb was much better, but the baking time was "forever." Most recently I have experimented with different hydration levels and have worked with it up to 85%. It's only the fact that you work with it right out of the refrigerator that makes the dough workable. I find that longer proofing times seem to be better in my hands. I also changed ovens, which has shortened the baking time some.

I do much of my bread baking in a Sharp countertop steam oven with a baking stone cut down to fit. 450 is the maximum temperature and when you go from steam to thermal baking a couple of minutes into the process it goes through the start-up, warming cycle over again. For the "5-minute" bread I went back to the kitchen stove and dumping water into the pan under the stone ... starting at 500 and reducing the temp to 450 after putting the proofed dough in. The results with the "5 minute" bread are much better, but today, ONE DROP of water from the measuring cup I was using to add water to steam the oven hit the oven door glass and caused a crack all the way across the inner glass. We'll have to eat a lot of bread to make these loaves more economical than Wonder Bread;-)


LindyD's picture

After reading your comment about the cracked oven glass, I realized that Peter Reinhart's BBA has paid for itself at least ten times over simply because he wrote about that possibility and advised to place a towel over the glass when adding water. Which I have done.

Strange what a bit of knowledge can do: I never had any water spillage before I read BBA, but did after reading that tidbit! The towel has done its job well.

JohnnyX's picture

I  tried the master recipe over the last week or so also. I was inadvertatly making larger loaves as well. I made 3 loaves out of all the dough. First loaf followed the directions exactly. It came out a little dense and underbaked.  Second and third ones I let proof ALOT longer, like 1 to 1 1/2 hours, and had to bake them for an hour and ten minutes before they were done. The longer proofing times resulted in a much better bread.  Don't lean hearth breads like this needed to be baked until 205 f to be cooked enough?  I really like this bread and this whole concept.   Also, I beleive the authors are from the Twin Cities, Mn like me,  GO MINNESOTA!!!!!  lol   =)

swtgran's picture

Manuela, great idea!  Today my loaf of peasant bread is going into my covered cast iron chicken fryer, just like my NYT no knead bread. 

JohnnyX, I am also going to incorportate a longer proof time.  I just know there has to be a way to tweak these recipes into perfection.