Dough Business

March 20, 2010 @ 12:50 pm | Filed under:

I know, I know, another bread post! They’ll taper off soon, I’m sure, or morph into notes on the other blog. But since breadmaking was the dominant theme of our week, I want to wrap up the week with my notes.

I can see the 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread recipe being our go-to bread for daily use: it has been delicious as toast and sammiches—when we managed to save some instead of devouring it hot from the oven. I’ve been cutting the salt way down and the flavor is perfect. Our whole wheat comes out moist and dense, almost cakelike. Which is to say: perfect. I like an airier crumb for things like rye and sourdough, but for whole wheat I prefer it quite dense.

I am consistently getting one less loaf out of a batch than the recipe says I should. I don’t think that’s because I’m making my loaves bigger than I ought—I’m baking the whole wheat in a standard size loaf pan and using the amount of dough the recipe suggests. Weird.

I mixed up a batch of the brioche dough this morning to try as cinnamon rolls tomorrow. I will probably freeze the rest in one-pound batches, as suggested.

If you’re itching to give the method a try, the authors have generously shared some recipes on the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day website. Here’s the Basic Master Recipe (with a photo walk-through).

Here’s a whole wheat brioche from their second book.

I really liked this older post from the blog of Zoë François, one of the two authors of ABin5. She answers loads of questions in the comments about specific problems people are having with their baking—kind of like “Car Talk” for bread. Actually, many of the posts on her blog and the main ABin5 blog are like that—excellent advice in the comments.

Our week in bread:

Monday—Scott gave me the book.

Tuesday—We tried the “light wheat bread” recipe.

Wednesday—Mixed up the 100% whole wheat recipe for the next day’s baking.

Thursday—It was to die for.

Friday—too busy eating bread to post. Dinner was bread and cheese and fruit. Heaven.

Today—turkey and Swiss on whole wheat for lunch; brioche dough in fridge.

Next batch of dough: I gotta try that olive oil bread for pizza crust. My friend Joann was tantalizing me with her posts yesterday; her family is “roadschooling,” traveling the country in an RV. They bought the ABin5 book for their Kindle this week and have made focaccia, bagels, and cinnamon rolls so far. In the RV. How cool is that?

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9 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Jamie says:

    Lissa, I hope this isn’t too obvious, but are you using 5×9 loaf pans instead of 4×8? They’re both standard sizes, but one has almost a third more volume. If your recipe says to fill the loaf pan half full, that might explain the discrepancy.

  2. Jennifer says:

    The flatbread is really good with caramelized onions, olive oil, and coarse salt or a bit of feta sprinkled over it. I think I just used the basic dough for that.

  3. Melissa Wiley says:

    Jamie, you know, I thought my pan was 4×8 but that’s measuring the bottom. The sides taper outward, so it’s more like 5×9 at the top, if you see what I mean. So maybe the volume is somewhat higher than the standard? That could be it. I was thinking it was the same size they’re recommending, but I hadn’t really noticed the way the pan tapers out. I’ve had this loaf pan forever and don’t have anything else to compare it to. What’s normal for a loaf pan? Tapered or not?

  4. Jordana says:

    And don’t forget to try the basic recipe as naan. Mmm. And pita.

    I think I like the basic boule better for pizza dough than the olive oil though, by the way.

  5. Elizabeth M says:

    Check out the ABin5 Web site too for a recipe from last Spring for hot cross buns!

    I made then with Challah dough (would be even better with brioche) grated orange and lemon zests and raisins. Wonderful stuff!

  6. Joann says:

    Lissa, we haven’t gotten to bagels yet. Too busy with ciabatta. LOL Deli rye for tomorrow.

  7. Gina says:

    I am hoping to start baking my own bread soon. Love your website.

    You are cordially invited to enter this month’s Simply Heart & Home Drawing.



  8. Karen Edmisten says:

    I think I know what I’m getting for Easter ….

  9. Jamie says:

    My loaf pans are straight-sided. Maybe that’s it.