Slashing your dough properly creates a beautiful loaf of bread, but can also help it rise in the oven. If your slashes are not deep enough, the dough may tear open on the top or bottom of the loaf. Leaving you with bread that tastes delicious, but doesn’t live up to its artistic potential. The loaf can also end up being a touch dense if you don’t slash deep enough, because it won’t open up and make way for a dramatic oven spring. So, for the most beautiful crust and best interior crumb, you’ll want to follow these few tricks for slashing. (more…)
(photo by Stephen Scott Gross)
(video by Sarah Kieffer)
Many of the folks who are baking from Gluten-Free Bread in Five Minutes a Day have asked:
- What’s the dough supposed to look like?
- How do you handle such unstructured dough?
- What’s it look like when baked?
Click on the “play” button in the video image above to see Zoe showing all that, using the Master Recipe from the book (the egg-white version, though you can make a version without egg). About stand mixers: We’ve had best results with our gluten-free recipes when we’ve used a stand mixer. Hand-mixing works too, but you really have to go a long time to make it nice and smooth. We have lots of experience with the 5-quart KitchenAid stand mixer. You can use the 6-quart or larger capacity, but we’ve found that those large models have a harder time mixing gluten-free dough.
You’ll notice that Zoe used Red Star Quick-Rise yeast, which is gluten-free (so is their Active Dry Yeast product). Gluten-free bakers can’t use the Red Star Platinum product, which has dough conditioners derived indirectly from a wheat protein–so it has a trace of gluten.
We are super excited to announce our new Craftsy bread baking video class. We’ve made a video of our most popular breads with lots of tips and techniques for getting a professional loaf every time you bake with very little time or effort! It is the perfect companion to all of our books. In the video we’ll use a single dough to create all the breads, but the techniques are useful for all the doughs from any of our books.
Here’s some pictures from our video shoot in Denver. Our readers get 50% off the video by clicking the link below. This offer only lasts for two weeks, so join us soon!
Getting a perfect result with homemade pizza on the gas grill in the summertime is easy–you just need to mix up some lean dough from any of our books–we’ve been testing with Red Star Platinum Yeast–with fantastic results (today’s dough was the light whole wheat, but you can use any of our lean doughs)…
… and follow a few simple rules from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day…
1. Clean the grill’s grates
2. Get your dough thin, to 1/8 of an inch thick
3. Bake the first side of the crust “blind” (without toppings) for about three minutes, then flip and top. Prep all your toppings in advance.
4. Cut the cheese into small cubes, or grate it so it melts fast, before the bottom crust burns. That way, after flipping and topping, the pizza will be finished in five to ten minutes, depending on burner heat and position under the pizza.
5. Don’t overload with toppings
Here’s a video on how to do it: (includes demo of pizza dough-throwing technique):
Zoe did a great post last month on a traditional braided loaf (made with peasant dough). I thought now might be a nice time to do a new video (it’s way at the bottom of this post), showing one of my favorite techniques, the flatbread braid. Flat or traditional tall, these techniques also work great with challah or brioche dough (but you need to bake those lower temp (350F) because of the egg and sweetener in the challah or brioche). As in the photo, you can turn around a straight braid to make a very festive ring, and I topped it with egg wash and poppy seeds. This dough is about 50/50 whole wheat and white flour, which is a wheatier version of the Light Whole Wheat (you don’t have to use the “old” dough). The 50/50 recipe appears in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. (more…)
When we wrote our first book we were testing dozens of loaves a week, and despite our healthy appetites, we just couldn’t consume all that we baked. Our neighbors were happy to take some of the bread, but there was more than a city block could consume, so we started making all kinds of recipes using up the leftovers. There are beautiful salads and puddings that are perfect for leftover (even stale) bread. In the New ABin5 we added this Savory Bread Pudding, which can be made with just about any loaf you bake. Well, I may have found the exception…I tried this recipe with some leftover Panettone and my very opinionated and vocal family requested that I not use that particular bread again for this. My husband described it as Thanksgiving stuffing, but richer. I liked it, but I was alone. The panettone does make exquisite sweet bread pudding however. They all agreed that peasant bread and/or challah is the way to go. The peasant and challah breads alllow the flavors of the caramalized onions, spinach, spices and cheese to shine through. It is perfect for breakfast (a little bacon in the mix would be fabulous) or as a side dish with dinner.
This week I got a chance to bake with Elizabeth Ries and Chris Egert on KSTP-TV’s show Twin Cities Live. They are great sports and we had fun tossing pizzas together, one of them is a bit more skilled at the toss, but I won’t mention names. Here’s the clip:
There are many ways to get a crusty loaf of bread, but one of our favorites is to use the tried and true method of baking in a clay cloche, here, the Emile Henry brand cloche. It is very similar to using a Dutch Oven, but the cloche was designed to bake bread, so it is an even more intuitive method. In other words, you aren’t lowering the bread into the piping hot vessel, you just lift the lid and slide the loaf onto what is essentially a baking stone. The cloche traps the steam from the dough to create a perfectly crisp and beautifully shiny crust, without having to add steam to the oven.
This loaf was made with our Master Recipe from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, using Gold Medal All-purpose flour, Platinum Yeast from Red Star, water and salt, that’s it! If you’ve never made our bread, or just want a refresher, please watch our new video that we put together in the Gold Medal baking studio. In no time at all you’ll have a gorgeous, homemade, crusty loaf of bread.