The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is Launched! Back to Basics updated, and a Great TV segment on KSTP…

Artisan Bread | Breadin5

Since Zoe first published these photos a few years back, it’s become one of our most popular posts. Why? It answers many of the questions that you asked us here on the site, and we’ve incorporated that into our new book, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which was released today. Thank you all for making this new edition possible–our readers are where the new ideas come from. We were on TV this afternoon talking about all this, on Twin Cities Live (KTSP-ABC Minneapolis):

Return to TV/Video/Radio page

The winners of our book giveaway drawing from October 17 were picked and have been notified…

If the embedded video frame isn’t working, click here for a link to the video. And for more about this wonderful basic recipe–the cornerstone of all our books…If you’re new to our site, we’d like to say welcome, and thank you for trying the bread. Our new edition has lots of material that wasn’t in the original Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day:

—More color pictures, there are 40 now (compared with 8), and 100 B+W instructionals

—A gluten-free chapter

—An expanded Tips and Techniques section

—Weight equivalents for every dough–for those of you with digital scales at home (optional!)

—Instructions for adjusting yeast and salt to your taste. And we decreased our standard yeast amount to 1 tablespoon (used to use 1.5 tablespoons for four pounds of dough).

—And 30 new recipes, including crock pot bread, a whole wheat variation that lets you increase the whole grain, rolls, panini, and more. About 130 more pages than our first edition.

As we bake through the basic Master recipe from NewABin5 we’ll try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions. The goal is to create a large batch of dough that stores in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. That’s why our method saves  you so much time– all the mixing and prep is divided over four one-pound loaves.

Master Recipe from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking

3 cups (1 1/2 pounds) lukewarm water (you can use cold water, but it will take the dough longer to rise. Just don’t use hot water or you may kill the yeast)

1 tablespoon granulated yeast ( you can use any kind of yeast including: instant, “quick,” rapid rise, bread machine, active dry, or fresh cake yeast*. We’ve always tested with Red Star Yeast and they have a new premium product called PLATINUM, which has worked beautifully in our recipes. You can also decrease the amount of yeast in the recipe by following the directions here. Or you can bake with a sour dough starter, see instructions here.)

*If you use cake yeast you will need 1.3 ounces.

1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons Morton Kosher Sal(adjust to suit your taste or eliminate it all together. Find more information here)

6 1/2 cups (2-pounds) all-purpose flour (we’ve always tested our recipes with Gold Medal flour. If you use a higher protein flour check here)

Mixing the dough:

Platinum Yeast | Breadin5

In a 5 or 6 quart bowl or lidded Food Storage Container, dump in the water and add the yeast and salt.

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Because we are mixing in the flour so quickly it doesn’t matter that the salt and yeast are thrown in together.

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Dump in the flour all at once and stir with a long handled wooden spoon or a Danish Dough Whisk, which is one of the tools that makes the job so much easier!

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Stir it until all of the flour is incorporated into the dough, as you can see it will be a wet rough dough.

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Put the lid on the container, but do not snap it shut. You want the gases from the yeast to escape. (I had my husband put a little hole in the top of the lids so that I could close the lids and still allow the gases to get out. As you can see it doesn’t take much of a hole to accomplish this.)

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Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for about 2 hours to rise. When you first mix the dough it will not occupy much of the container.

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But, after the initial 2 hour rise it will pretty much fill it. (If you have decreased the yeast you will have to let it go longer than 2 hours.)  DO NOT PUNCH DOWN THE DOUGH! Just let it settle by itself.

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The dough will be flat on the top and some of the bubbles may even appear to be popping. (If you intend to refrigerate the dough after this stage it can be placed in the refrigerator even if the dough is not perfectly flat. The yeast will continue to work even in the refrigerator.) The dough can be used right after the initial 2 hour rise, but it is much easier to handle when it is chilled.  It is intended for refrigeration and use over the next two weeks, ready for you anytime.  The flavor will deepen over that time, developing sourdough characteristics.

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The next day when you pull the dough out of the refrigerator you will notice that it has collapsed and this is totally normal for our dough. It will never rise up again in the container.

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Dust the surface of the dough with a little flour, just enough to prevent it from sticking to your hands when you reach in to pull a piece out.

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You should notice that the dough has a lot of stretch once it has rested. (If your dough breaks off instead of stretching like this your dough is probably too dry and you can just add a few tablespoons of water and let it sit again until the dough absorbs the additional water.)

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Cut off a 1-pound piece of dough using kitchen shears* and form it into a ball. For instructions on how to form the ball watch one of our videos.  Place the ball on a sheet of parchment paper… (or rest it on a generous layer of corn meal on top of a pizza peel.)

*I actually use a pair of Sewing Shears because I like the long blade. I just dedicated a pair to the kitchen.

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Let the dough rest for at least 40 minutes, (although letting it go 60 or even 90 minutes will give you a more open hole structure in the interior of the loaf. This may also improve the look of your loaf and prevent it from splitting on the bottom.) You will notice that the loaf does not rise much during this rest, in fact it may just spread sideways, this is normal for our dough.

You can also try our “refrigerator rise trick,” shaping the loaves and then immediately refrigerating them overnight.  By morning, they’ll have risen and are ready for the oven after a brief room-temp rest while the oven preheats (click for instructions).

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a Baking Stone* on the center rack, with a metal broiler tray on the bottom (never use a glass vessel for this or it will shatter), which will be used to produce steam. (The tray needs to be at least 4 or 5 inches away from your stone to prevent it from cracking.)

*(or Cast Iron Pizza Panwhich will never crack and conducts heat really well. Be careful to dry it after rinsing with water or it will rust)

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Cut the loaf with 1/4-inch slashes using a serrated knife. (If your slashes are too shallow you will end up with an oddly shaped loaf and also prevent it from splitting on the bottom.)

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Slide the loaf into the oven onto the preheated stone (the one I’m using is the cast iron) and add a cup of hot water to the broiler tray. Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes or until a deep brown color. As the bread bakes you should notice a nice oven spring in the dough. This is where the dough rises. To insure that you get the best results it is crucial to have an Oven Thermometer to make sure your oven is accurate.

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If you used parchment paper you will want to remove it after about 20-25 minutes to crisp up the bottom crust. Continue baking the loaf directly on the stone for the last 5-10 minutes.

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Allow the loaf to cool on a rack until it is room temperature. If you cut into a loaf before it is cooled you will have a tough crust and a gummy interior. It is hard to wait, but you will be happy you did! Make sure you have a nice sharp Bread Knife that will not crush the bread as you cut. Or you can tear it apart as they do in most of Europe.

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If you have any leftover bread just let it sit, uncovered on the cutting board or counter with the cut side down. If you cover a bread that has a crust it will get soggy.

Enjoy and have fun baking. Bread that is made with love and joy tastes better!

Note: Gold Medal and Red Star Yeast are sponsors of BreadIn5 LLC’s promotional activities.

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182 thoughts on “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is Launched! Back to Basics updated, and a Great TV segment on KSTP…

  1. I tried my first master recipe from Healthy Bread in 5 minutes. I baked the Hearty Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf from p. 62. It looked beautiful when baked but after cooled, when cut into it, it has a yeasty fermented smell to it and seems too moist. After going over the process, I realize that my dough was not stretchy when I pulled it out of the container – it just broke off off. I’ve seen comments on the site to add water to the dough, but that seems like that would have made this loaf worse. Also, I’m wondering do I need more flour, but wouldn’t that have made the dough too dry? Can the rest of my dough be salvaged or do I need to start over?

    • Definitely don’t add more water if you’re finding it too moist– possibly do the opposite– work in more flour, or use a little more in the next batch. Our results are moister than typical, so you need to bake fully– are you sure your oven’s the right temp? Check with something like http://ow.ly/8CVPU Also, assume you used vital wheat gluten, otherwise these recipes will be too wet (VWG absorbs water).

      About the yeasty fermented smell– that’s sourdough, which is part of our appeal, and most people enjoy that (though not all). To minimize that, consider the low-yeast version of the recipes (page 49). Or don’t store as long before freezing the dough.

      About “… just broke off,” what flour brand are you using? And vital wheat gluten (which improves stretch).

  2. You’re book is on it’s way but I couldn’t wait to try a loaf or two. I made the dough yesterday but couldn’t get to my mom’s to borrow her baking stone so after it rose for 2 hours I popped it in the fridge. I pulled it out today and when I went to make a loaf the dough didn’t stretch as nice as yours. It stretched a little then broke, I could pull chunks off. Was I supposed to let the dough warm up before grabbing a chunk?

      • I have this problem as well. I’ve done the HBin5 master recipe using King Arthur brand flours, Bob’s Red Mill vital wheat gluten, and red star yeast. I had to cook everything much longer and still felt like the bread came out sort of gummy with a very hard crust. I’m trying a brioche dough now with a brand new bag of wheat gluten and hoping for better results. Very frustrated. :(

      • Hi Jenny,

        If your dough is breaking and doesn’t have a nice stretch, it is often one of two things. It can either mean the dough is too dry or the dough is very cold. I have 3 refrigerators in my house and they all run slightly differently. When I store dough in the basement refrigerator it is so cold that the dough breaks off instead of having a nice stretch. I compensate for this by letting the bread rest for an additional 15 to 20 minutes when it is shaped. The longer rest will also result in better baking because the dough is not so dense.

        If you don’t think it is the temperature, then try adding a bit more water.

        Are you using a baking stone?

        Thanks, Zoë

  3. Tried the gluten free recipe. It looked to wet so added a bit more of the flours. It tasted good, even my husband liked it but I made the loaf way to small. Mine did not stretch at all but it tasted really good. And I haven’t cell across any commercial breads that I would eat. Thank you

  4. Love the recipe!
    When I baked it on grease proof paper, the paper stuck to bottom of bread. The bread was great, but had to cut the bottom crust off! So I tried without paper and baked it on a floured non-stick baking sheet but the loaf baked on to the sheet and had to be scraped off.
    Am I doing something wrong with the recipe or is it just the wrong baking equipment? Thank you!

    • Hi Kelli,

      I think that grease proof paper may be coated with something that makes it repel grease. This is different than plain parchment paper, which is not coated. What brand are you using?

      Thanks, Zoë

  5. I made my first bath today. I loved the texture and taste of my bread, but I think I would prefer the crust to not so as crunchy. How do I do that? Mine also stretched but broke off, and the bread was a little gummy, but I like it that way. I may have just overlooked it too, it was pretty small. I already ate it!!

  6. Why is it that whenever i attempt with a mix of seeds & grains (chia, flax, sunflower, millet, buckwheat) that my bread gets soooo very dense and wouldn’t rise no matter how long I let it sit? Is there a specific ratio (wt or cups)to flour that I must follow? I’ve tried adding gluten powder but it is still so very dense. I don’t like plain white bread, and prefer adding a bit of rye and more wholemeal than plain white flour, to get texture and chewiness in my bread. Please please do advise. It is very frustrating to have heavy dense breads! Thank you!

    • Hi Delia,

      Do you have our Healthy Bread Book? If so, you should try making the Betsy’s Seeded Loaf on page 147. You can add the kind of seeds you like, but keep the total amount the same that you find in the recipe.

      Thanks, Zoë

  7. Jeff: If I want to bake and send someone a loaf of one of your breads, any suggestions for packing. It would be shipped from the West Coast to the East Coast of the US.

    Thank you in advance…
    PS: Made my first bread this weekend – the rye bread.. it was an outstanding success. I can’t believe how easy it was!!

    • Hi Sylvia,

      Breads make with white flour tend to stale the fastest. If you pick a loaf that has whole grains or is enriched with fat, sugars, and/or eggs will last a bit longer. Our breads don’t have any additives, so they will not last more than a couple of days. You will want to bake a loaf that doesn’t have a crisp crust, since you will need to wrap it in plastic, which will ruin a crisp crust.

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. I’ve been researching and researching for reasons why my loaf is not rising. When the loaf did more spreading than rising during proofing I started weighing the flour. That helped and I wasn’t too concerned when it rose very little because you mention that’s ok, but I have never seen any real oven spring. I feel like I’ve tried so many things, but with very little success. I’ve tried weighing my ingredients, using 1 T yeast instead of 1 1/2, allowed for 90 minute rising time and even longer since I live in a humid South Carolina, tested my yeast…I know it’s supposed to be a wet dough, but even after refrigeration and thoroughly sprinkling the dough and covering my hands I still have a very difficult time forming the ball quickly because it’s still so sticky. I may be forgetting other things I tried, but would be grateful for additional input or if you could point me to a place to read about that maybe I’ve missed. I have wondered if it makes a difference if the flour is bleached or unbleached. I have intentionally tried the Gold Medal flour you’ve used and it seemed a little better, but still not the rise it should have. Thanks for all you do! My bread always tastes good even if it’s “short”. :-)

  9. In the video you did on TCL you showed that bread can be done in Crockpot. I just took mine out after one hr on high setting and while it is starting to form a crust on top it is nowhere nearly done. Has not even started to brown. What have I done wrong.

  10. I’ve tried many different flours – Gold Medal, Pillsbury, Virinias Best, etc, an it can’t get my breads to brown. Biscuits included. I followed this to the T, ended up baking for 40 min, and still have a creamy colored crust. Usually everything comes out – just never the right color. Any advice, or is my oven to blame?

    • Could be. Have you checked the oven temp at the time you put the bread in, using something like http://ow.ly/8CVPU ?

      Longer preheat needed? Are you using a stone? Are you capturing steam? Which recipe/which book/page number are you using?

  11. the cast iron pizza stone by Lodge on Amazon states oven safe up to 400 degrees. The recipe says to preheat to 450.
    Can you please clarify/correct if needed. I love cast iron, but would hate to buy this item only for it to break.

    • Boy, so would I.

      The manufacturers err on the safer side, so… I guess you should do whatever the manufacturer says, or face the reality that it might break. They’re conservative about this. Before you make a decision, I’d contact the company and ask them specifically about maximum temp. Sometimes the information you get from a third party like Amazon is filtered through too many sources and there can be errors and misstatements.

  12. Lodge cast iron pizza stone on Amazon states safe up to 400 degrees. Your recipe calls for 450 degrees.

    which way is right? please explain/clarify. Thanks

  13. I own your first 2 books and have started measuring by weight, which works great. Unfortunately, I have the original abin5, which does not have the weight table. I’m usually fine with the one in hbin5, but not for all ingredients. Do I really have to buy the first book again just for a table? Could I buy a PDF table from you??
    Thanks!

    • Hi Laura– so sorry, we don’t have a .pdf table for sale, and our publisher will kill us if we put too much material here on the website. One clarification though– The New ABin5 doesn’t have a conversion table like HBin5, it just has weights included for the total amount of each ingredient in each dough recipe. So it’s all through the book.

  14. Hi, I will be using bread flour for my loafs. Do I still need vital wheat gluten? for the above recipe which asks for 6 1/2 flour and 3 cup water, how much vital wheat gluten I need to add? Also, would it matter if I use 2/3 spoon sugar just for the taste to my dough?
    Thanks

    • Hi Sara,

      The only recipes that call for vital wheat gluten are in our Healthy Bread book. The whole grains tend to be heavier and don’t store well without the additional vital wheat gluten. There is no need to add it to any of our other recipes.

      Thanks and enjoy, Zoë

  15. Hi there!! Thank you so much for all of your help! I cannot get my dough to double in size during the 2 hour rise.. I am using all purpose non bleached flour and red star yeast out of the jar. Do you have any tips to get my dough to rise? Thank you!

      • Zoe, thank you for getting back to me so quickly! I have a 6 qt container and the doughy mixture sits below the 2 quart mark. It rises about 1/3rd of the way between the 2 and the 4 marks. I appreciate any tips you may have! Thank you so much.

      • Hi Whitney,

        The yeast is working, just slowly. Your water may be a bit cooler, which means the dough may just need a bit more time to fully rise. Some of our readers actually prefer the taste of the bread made with cool water, but they just have to wait a little longer.

        Thanks, Zoë

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