Saturday, February 14, 2009

My forray into 5-minute bread

I'm sure you've heard about the book 'Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day' by Zöe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg. There methods have some similarity to the no-knead bread method - like no kneading - but there are some significant difference. A high hydration dough is made simply by mixing the ingredients and storing the dough in the fridge for up to two weeks. Actually waiting a few days before baking improves the flavor immensely and it makes for quick work to make all kinds of bread creations. I've been playing around with the basic recipe (1.5 T yeast, 1.5 T salt, 3 C water, 6.5 C all purpose flour) and having some fun making breads and more.

The dough you see on the peel below was made with the basic recipe but I used 1.5 C whole wheat flour and only 5 C of all purpose flour. I cut off a pound or so of the dough and pulled it into a ball forming a skin on top by stretching the dough underneath.

After raising for a couple of hours, the boule was dusted with flour and scored in a scallop shape.

Here's the result after about 25 minutes in a 500 °F oven on my pizza stone.

I was very pleased with the texture. The crust was chewy and not too hard and the inside was moist and tender. There was a distinct flavor of the whole wheat flour but it was not tough at all when used in this small proportion.

Here's another one in a batard shape. This dough had 2.5 C of whole wheat flour and 4 C of all purpose flour.

It baked up nice. It still maintained a pretty tender texture inside but it was more wheaty than the prior batch of dough.

You can do all kinds of things with this dough. Here is a flatbread I made with the whole wheat dough. I just stretched it out, brushed it with extra virgin olive oil and topped it with some good Bulgarian feta cheese and kalamata olives.

It didn't last long!

Please stay tuned for more bread escapades.


Suzy said...

I'm glad you're enjoying the book Greg. I love mine. I have tried a new WW recipe from it this week (its on my blog.) I really am enjoying it and I am not the hugest whole wheat fan. What amazes me so much is the texture. I know you are pretty accomplished with your bread baking, but I really have never been able to get such a nice texture as I can with these.

Kim said...

I have a quick one rise bread recipe on my blog but I'm going to have to try this one. It looks great! Love the special shapes you make the loaves into.