Return to the Cooking Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Artisan Bread in 5 - What Did I Do Wrong??

Posted by MichelleDT (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 11, 12 at 21:09

This cookbook has rave reviews....lots of good reviews. I followed the recipe exactly as well as the hot water added while wrist flinging the dough into the baking stone. I ended up with two hockey puck hard discs of bread.

Have you used this book? Did you make adjustments? We are at 6400 ft altitude. What did I do wrong? I don't eat bread but Mister loves it and he did eat it but it wasn't good.

Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Artisan Bread in 5 - What Did I Do Wrong??

I have made it at 5600ft successfully. I used the basic recipe from the book and have also added some steel cut oats to it. I have been the most successful baking large roll sized balls on parchment on a stone or baking a regular sized loaf the way Jim Lehey does. This is a quote from the recipe:

"At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack."

I am by no means a bread expert, in fact I struggle with bread too, but at least I'm close to your altitude. I think because there is so little yeast in the Art. in 5 recipe, you don't have to make adjustments for altitude.

I've made at least 4 batches of this bread and have always been happy with the cast iron pot method or the individual sized loaves. There are also some high altitude tips here from the author of ABI5 as well as reader comments: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2008/02/10/qa-high-altitude-baking

Lee

Here is a link that might be useful: New York Times Almost no Knead Bread - Jim Lehey


 o
RE: Artisan Bread in 5 - What Did I Do Wrong??

Most likely your yeast was dead or killed. I would try it again with different yeast and be careful with the "hot" water. Cold water actually works fine (just takes a little longer)and won't kill the yeast but anything over 120 degrees (I think) will.


 o
RE: Artisan Bread in 5 - What Did I Do Wrong??

Hi Michelle,

I've made this bread quite a bit and have had good success. I'm assuming that when you did your initial mix of flour, yeast and water, that you achieved a successful rise before putting it into the fridge? If so, the yeast isn't the problem. When you talk about the hot water, I'm guessing you are talking about adding it to the tray in the oven? I'm not sure that I understand what you mean by flinging the dough onto the stone, but if you are too rough with the dough, it's possible that you deflated the loaves. That would certainly result in hockey pucks.

Don't despair! More information and we can help you figure it out.


 o
RE: Artisan Bread in 5 - What Did I Do Wrong??

Since I don't have this cook book, I can only assume that it is following the no kneed method. If so I would like to second and emphasize fridaychild's comments. Flinging sounds completely out of bounds. In fact, I have done everything possible to decrease droping distance or completely prevent it with parchment or metal supports that hold the bread. I certainly add (flinging could sometimes apply here) hot water to the oven just before I close the oven door.


 o
RE: Artisan Bread in 5 - What Did I Do Wrong??

I forgot to say that I let the dough do its final rise on parchment and lift it by the corners and put it into the preheated cast iron pot. I also use a smaller cast iron piece - either my 2 1/2 quart oval or my 4 quart oval. I've also successfully baked it in a covered clay Rommertopf baker.

Individual loave/rolls baked on a stone.

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

In a clay baker.

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

Cinnamon Rolls

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

Grilled Pizza

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

Basic White

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

Except for the loaf with some whole wheat flour, all were made with the basic recipe.

Now if you have a way to keep popovers from turning out like hockey pucks at this altitude, please tell me - I'm totally unsuccessful with them.

Lee


 o
RE: Artisan Bread in 5 - What Did I Do Wrong??

Thanks everyone....for tomorrow, I am going to try this:

Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack."

Sounds better than the wrist flinging from the book.

More to follow.


 o
RE: Artisan Bread in 5 - What Did I Do Wrong??

I think that was definitely your problem Michelle.
I use my Kitchen Aid enamelled cast iron pot. Put it in gently. Using a lid, you don't need to add additional water to the oven, the lid creates the necessary steam.

Photobucket


 o
RE: Artisan Bread in 5 - What Did I Do Wrong??

I'm not at high altitude, but I've found it helpful to leave the dough in the fridge 2-5 days before baking. The yeast multiplies during that time, and the gluten develops, so the bread rises a lot in the oven.


 o
RE: Artisan Bread in 5 - What Did I Do Wrong??

I do agree with jessicaV that the dough has better flavor and seems to rise higher after a few days in the fridge.

Also, and you may already be doing this, be sure you preheat your oven at least 20 minutes after it indicated that it's reached the temperature you set it at. I leave my baking stone on the lowest shelf and put the cast iron pot on a shelf above.

Good luck, let us know how your next loaf comes out - I'll bet it will be delicious.

Lee


 o
RE: Artisan Bread in 5 - What Did I Do Wrong??

Thanks again....I want my bread to look like all the loaves above. The dough has been in the fridge since Friday evening. Have the oven preheating now and will let it go an extra 20 minutes.

Fingers crossed!


 o
RE: Artisan Bread in 5 - What Did I Do Wrong??

Much better this time and the dough was easier to work with. Carefully put it into a le creuset round pot....

Photobucket


 o
RE: Artisan Bread in 5 - What Did I Do Wrong??

Very nice Michelle!

I didn't get into the discussion because I know nothing about baking at higher altitudes. I have made the bread many times and have the book.

Since I love asiago cheese, I came up with using the basic recipe for that.

Nancy


 o
RE: Artisan Bread in 5 - What Did I Do Wrong??

It looks great! And I'll bet it tastes good too.


 o
RE: Artisan Bread in 5 - What Did I Do Wrong??

Thanks! Mister said it was great. For the cheese bread, do u just add some cheese to the dough?

Cheers!


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Cooking Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here