The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
littlelisa's picture

Is this fool's crumb...?

September 19, 2018 - 10:17pm -- littlelisa

Hello bakers

This is my first loaf with my new (about 10 days old) starter). I have a ton of questions about it. 

1. The crumb was super open, and it all tasted good, but it had a slightly wet, tacky feel. Not dense at all though. Is this fool's crumb? Underproofed? 

2. Am I correct in my understanding that this was an 80% hydration dough, if made as follows:


900g flour + 700 g warm water. 20 minute autolyse. 

Mixed in 200g starter and worked in 20 g salt

dabrownman's picture

After not baking bread for weeks – The Houston Miche

This one is a big boy.  It went into the oven at 1,871 g and came out at 1,675 g losing 10.5% of its water weight as it baked.  It turned out with the 3 B’s but we won’t cut into it till Thursday or Friday to see if it is OSM.  We baked it to 208 F, 20 minutes under Mega Lava Steam at 450 F and 36 minutes at 425 F convection.

It smelled terrific as it baked.  This was one of our typical SFSD style breads with a 100% hydration levain made up of 8% pre-fermented flour, all of it whole grains, made up of 2% each rye, white and red Wheat plus oat – all home milled.  We got the levain going with 1% NMNF rye starter and 1% NMNF Wild and Forbidden Black Rice starter. It tripled in 8 hours after a single stage and had started to collapse.

We autolysed the dough flour, half Lafma AP and half KA bread flour at 66 % hydration for 1 hour with the 2% PH Sea Salt sprinkled on top with 2% water sprinkled over the salt.  The overall hydration ended up at 75% - wet but not crazy wet.

Once the salt was mixed in with a spoon and the levain added in and also mixed in with a spoon, we did 150 slap and folds to get everythong, (everything spelled in a sexier way), mixed and gluten development started in earnest.  After 20 minutes we did another 100 slap and folds. By then the dough was really starting to come together nicely.

Something we hardly ever make - Poblano Chili Rellenos

Then, on 30 minute intervals, we did 3 sets of Sleeping Ferret Folds and then put it into a plastic covered and oiled SS mixing bowl for a 13 hour bulk retard.  It really puffed itself up during its cold time out but since the gluten was strong it went up over the rim by and inch but didn’t spill over the side.  We thought this might happen so we oiled the plastic wrap so it didn’t stick – that’s one shout out to Lucy.

We eat grilled chicken of some kind twice week.  This was Baja spiced with lots of peppers and hot sauces

After sitting on the counter the next morning for an hour to warm up slightly, we did a pre-shape and final shape 10 minutes later before plopping it into our favorite rice floured basket that we never get to use because it so huge – but this one fit perfectly.  It went in seam side up.  I thought about doing a Chacon for a special occasion and it was a give to my brother and SIL in Houston but changed my mind at the last minute.

Turf and Surf Kabobs

We let it proof for 1 hour and 45 minutes, probably 15 minutes too long, before upending it onto parchment on a peel to slash it hopscotch style and get it slid onto the bottom stone.  It sort of stuck to the little used basket so it was somewhat mangled coming out.  It immediately deflated and flattened out, spreading before we could score it.


Smoked ribs, chicken and hot chicken Italian sausage

But it puffed itself right up in the oven again under steam so no harm no foul.  If the oven would have been at 500 F 15 minutes earlier it would have worked out to a 92.5% proof instead of a 97.5% one😊 The levain combo and dough was very fast at every step along the way.  Tomorrow, it’s off to Houston we go – yea!

Lots of Lucy Salads of course  the kitchen sink with Honeydew, carrot, cucumber, grape tomato, red pepper and Romaine

Parmesan, Kale and Romaine with the rest of fixin's

Kale, pepitas, grape tomato, cucumber, mushroom and panella 

TopBun's picture

Dry matter vs. as-sampled protein: which is more relevant?

September 19, 2018 - 3:03pm -- TopBun

I have the good fortune of buying organic unmilled wheat sourced from farmers in my state, which I mill at home for bread. Sometimes I can get the lab analysis report for the crop I'm buying from, and it lists two measures of protein: As-is (or as-sampled) and Dry Matter.

The technical key to one of the reports says that As-is protein is "Based on the % flour moisture." I have no idea what that phrase means, but perhaps it refers to the protein level in the grain as submitted, water content and all?

seanranney's picture

Gas fired backyard brick oven?

September 19, 2018 - 2:53pm -- seanranney

I'm tossing around the idea of building a backyard brick oven, looking to be able to increase production of bread (and maybe the occasional pizza, but mainly for bread baking).  For a handful of reasons, I'd prefer to stay away from a wood fired oven, has anybody built one fired by gas?  I'm thinking of a barrel shape with a deck 2-3" up, with gas piping under the deck as well as along the sides to heat the barrel.  Couple of specific questions:

forgeblast's picture

Looking for an ancient grain flatbread

September 19, 2018 - 8:50am -- forgeblast

Hi everyone I love to bake, have an outdoor pizza oven, and even carve spoons :)

I am looking for a flatbread pizza recipe similar to Brooklyn breads ancient grain flatbread that they sell.  

I found it at weigmans grocery store in a two pack and its great.  

Just wondering if someone had a clone or even an ancient grain recipe for a pizza flat bread. 

Thank you for your time, 

appreciate any help!


TheBrickLayer's picture

Bread too difficult to cut

September 19, 2018 - 4:50am -- TheBrickLayer

I'm coming to realize that bread doesn't have to be as difficult to cut as mine is. The crust is just really hard for my knife to bite into. My bread knife is quite sharp, and in any event I've tried other bread knives and it's no different. 

My baking routine is: Preheat oven with combo cooker to 500º; drop temp down to 425º and bake in combo cooker for 23 mins; bake uncovered for another 21 minutes. 

I've tried to adjust times a few minutes on either side, but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference. Any advice?

TheBrickLayer's picture

Bread rising too much in fridge

September 19, 2018 - 4:47am -- TheBrickLayer

I retard my bread overnight in the fridge and it's just going nuts in there. See photo. 

I actually tend to go on the longer side of retardation---probably fourteen to sixteen hours on average, sometimes a little less. But it's not the length of the final proof that's doing this; the bread is over the rim of the basket after like four or five hours in the fridge. 

How to stop this? My recipe is as follows:

Overnight leaven: 119g water, 96g flour, 20g mature starter

Dough: Leaven + 447g APF, 142g whole wheat, 390g water, 2tsp salt

isand66's picture

A new breakfast place just opened up in town and my wife took her Dad who is visiting with us to eat some brunch the other day.  They went without me, so that will need to be remedied in the future :).  They came home with some leftover cheesy grits which were screaming to be added to a some dough.

I had made a version of this bread a while ago and decided to change it up a bit using some fresh milled whole wheat and spelt.  I used some roasted fingerling potatoes which added to the super soft and moist crumb.

I love the way this one turned out.  The bread is full of flavor and makes some killer toast or grilled bread.  Give it a try if you get a chance.


Download the BreadStorm File Here


Levain Directions

Mix all the Levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours in your mixer or by hand along with 385 grams of the water, until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 30 minutes or longer.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), potatoes, grits and the balance of the water and mix on low for 4 minutes.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours (If you use a proofer set to 78 degrees you can finish in about 1.5 hours).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1  hour.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.   Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 535 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 2 minutes lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 25-35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.


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