The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Make Good Bread an Easy Way

Jeff M's picture
Jeff M

Make Good Bread an Easy Way

I have been making bread from a Barm I started Nov 2001 and refresh on a regular basis.

May 2nd my 96y.o. mother in law gave me the book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.  "I" having made this Barm and over the years might have used 500 pounds of flour to keep it alive all but turned my nose up at the concept of mixing all the flour, water, salt, and yeast together at one time letting it rise THEN put it in the refrigerator over night. Now when you want to BAKE some bread you take out a pound or two depending on how muche you want to make.  You stretch the dough fold it under rotate stretch it again fold it under form a ball and set it on your peel.  THATS IT! You don't knead it pray for it or beg it to turn into bread.  After it comes to room temp in about 40 min you bake it AND EAT IT!.

CAUTION!  Here I have to give some caution.  Starting with "The Master Recipe" make sure the container that you put it in is 8qts or more in size.  Thinking that "I" knew the volume for flour, water and yeast expansion put "my" first batch in a 4qt container.  Well let me just say that it was NOT big enough.

The bread came out great each time I baked a loaf.  To get the crust that "I" wanted I increased the oven temp to 500*.

I still have and feed my Barm but along side that in a much larger container I have the makings of some very good bread.

LindyD's picture

Welcome to TFL, Jeff.

FloydM arranged for an interview with Zoe and Jeff in January. You can find it here

ilovetodig's picture

I have been making bread for years so am not new to the art, but I have not had that kind of rise with the 5 minutes a day recipe. My loaves are small and there has been very little rising after the first rise. I have tried different things such as letting the bread rise longer after taking it out of the refrigerator, etc., but still achieve very little rise or oven spring. We live in an area of high humidity so I don't think that is the problem, but have not been able to figure out what I need to do differently. Any suggestions?