My first batch of 5 minute bread

May 8, 2008 at 5:38 am 10 comments

This was the dough after 7 hours in the fridge. This is a 4qt bowl and I also had another 1.5qt bowl of dough.

I finally bought a copy of ‘Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day’ by Jeff Hertzberg, Zoe Francois. For the past year and a half I’ve been working with the ‘No-Knead Bread’ recipe but with more yeast and less than half the incubating time. And the pot baking method really insures great crust every time. With the ‘five minute’ method, the dough is drier than I’m used to, but it’s still considered a wet dough. The refrigeration makes it easier to handle, and the idea of always having readied dough on hand is great. Of course it’s not literally five minutes but it’s less labor intensive than making a batch of cookies or a cake. Hardest part might have been trying to make room in the fridge for the dough.

After resting. The chunk may have been a bit larger than the recommended grapefruit sized 1lb ball.

The book suggests a baking stone and a broiler tray for hot water to create steam (to form a crisp crust). So I went out and bought a cheap round pizza stone. The top of the bread looked perfect but the bottom was not crusty at all. Maybe it’s the stone or my placement of the steam tray (right under it), but the bottom of the loaf was very light and did not form a proper crust. I tried a second smaller loaf and baked it longer, but the bottom still wasn’t browning.

The first loaf.


On the second day, I tried baking a loaf in my enameled cast iron pot. I couldn’t slide the dough in perfectly but it proofed up beautifully. It was sort of football shaped while the other loafs came out more disk shaped. The pot once again made the perfect crust all around and a lighter crumb inside (much larger holes). Also, the dough has gained a little more flavor on the second day. There’s enough dough left for one large loaf or two small ones. Maybe I can mix new dough into the old and build on the flavor?



Entry filed under: cookbooks, cooking, food, recipes, vegan. Tags: , , , , , .

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mark  |  May 31, 2008 at 9:59 am

    ive been playing with various ways to make bread,at the moment ime using jammie olivers basic bread,( 1 kg flour 2 tbl sugar 1 tbl salt 680ml water and 20gms instant yeast) Problem is that i never get big air-holes.Any suggestions?

  • 2. eatyet  |  May 31, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    try increasing the amount of water, think like about 60% water or even higher. the dough should be loose (sticky but fully incorporated) in the beginning.
    the 5min bread method (the book said it’s ok to share) is 13-6-3-3; 13 cups flour, 6 cups water, 3 tbsp of salt, 3 tbsp of yeast. I usually make only half or quarter of that.
    the wet dough will not need kneading (let sit till it’s been fully risen), then it’s a matter of shaping (the book will have a better explaination with pics) and resting before baking.

  • 3. Martin  |  July 15, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    I’ve had the same problem with the baking the basic recipe from ‘Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day’. Using the method you mention, this is what I’ve come up with. It’s a combination from the book and from N.Y. Times, Mark Bittman, a.k.a. The Minimalist, “shares a recipe on how to make no-knead bread where the secret is letting the time do the work.”

    I live in Los Angeles and I think the weather is an important factor when making bread. It’s July (’08 ) and it’s warm, about 75-85 degrees outside. Humidity is about 56%.

    I have some photos of this recipe and the finished product but I’m not sure how to include them in the post. Anyway, here’s what I did:

    The original batch of dough was made 7/8/08.

    The portion I used for this recipe has been in the fridge for seven days. The portion I have left – the one I’m working with – is 1 lbs-8 oz. I find the 1 lbs loaves to be way too small. I let this portion rest at room temp for about an hour.

    I placed a cast iron Dutch oven in the oven and pre-heated both at 500 ° (the highest setting on my oven) for at least an hour. You want the pot and oven to be smoking hot, really, really hot.

    I dusted the wet dough (now at room temp) with wheat bran (ala Bittman’s video) and all-purpose flour.

    I took the pot from the oven, dusted the pot with more wheat bran and all-purpose flour and dumped the dough into the pot. I dusted the dough again with flour and wheat bran, made two slits in the top of the dough, covered the pot and baked for 40 mins at a very high temp (500° plus).

    After 40 mins, I uncovered the pot and baked for another 20 mins.

    When finished baking, I let the bread cool on a wire rack for about 30 mins. before cutting. The crust is crisp and firm and the crumb structure is firm yet with many air pockets; great for both sandwiches and Bruschetta (you want between 60-70% Hydration). For an explanation of Hydration and bread crumb, go to:


  • 4. eatyet  |  July 16, 2008 at 12:35 am

    for my oven or pot, 500 degrees is too hot and leads to a burned bottom crust.

  • 5. Martin  |  July 16, 2008 at 2:39 am

    Personally, I’ve gotten a better bottom crust (without the burn) by, believe it or not, placing the pot on a very hot pizza stone. Another approach I’ve tried is a layer of wheat germ on the bottom of the pot. However, that has presented another problem: the wheat germ burns. It really comes down to a very simple question: Where to place the oven rack? I’ve tried so many variations; it’s mind boggling. I still haven’t figured this one out. Yet, I don’t get the bottom burn. Have you tried, once you have it at 500, cranking it down to 450 for the first 30-40 mins? Also, are you still using the enameled cast iron pot? You might want to try a Lodge or some other cast iron pot; it’s very different than an enameled pot.

  • 6. eatyet  |  July 16, 2008 at 4:57 am

    450 works just fine for me with the enameled cast iron, the bottom gets nice and crusty, i don’t like cornmeal or other grains on the bottom of my breads.
    and i thought the no knead bread method recommends enameled cast iron or pyrex and other types of non-porous pots.

  • 7. Martin  |  July 16, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks. I’ll give enameled cast iron pot a try at 450.

  • 8. Scallion bread « Eatyet’s Weblog  |  July 21, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    […] Knead half (or more) of the scallion mixture into a large ‘grapefruit sized’ piece of dough, place on a floured surface and top the dough with the rest of the scallion. Let dough rest for […]

  • 9. heart shaped bread mishap « Eatyet’s Weblog  |  September 11, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    […] shaped some dough into a batard (a shorter wider baguette, inspired by an episode of ‘Baking with […]

  • 10. Midnight breakfast sandwich « Eatyet’s Weblog  |  January 12, 2009 at 8:58 am

    […] with garlic (salt & pepper) with two sunny side up eggs in a freshly fried bun (using my stored dough) topped with some shaved Parmesan. All done in roughly 15 minutes. […]


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