The Fresh Loaf

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

Miscellaneous questions

March 18, 2010 - 5:57pm -- Tarrosion



It's hard for me to believe, but it's been a year now that I've been lurking around TFL. I never much post - it never seems like I've much to contribute in the way of advice, and my compliments are always rendered less elegantly than those of others. Anyhow, I've learned an awful lot, but I do have a few questions. Since they vary in topic, I figured the general forum was the place to be.


JohnMich's picture

Introduction and French rolls

March 18, 2010 - 2:37pm -- JohnMich

Hi all! I'm a 72 year old retired accountant/finance manager who lives on The Gold Coast, Queensland ( beautiful one day, perfect the next!) I found this web site while looking for a recipe for French bread rolls and somehow got embroiled in a discussion about Cornish pasties and meat pies. What an active forum! For a few days there my inbox was stuffed with mail about these things - brilliant.

ehanner's picture

Larry (Wally) posted his version of Sam Fromartz's award winning Baguette's last week and after reading the post, I thought I would try it again. First I copied Larry's recipe and method and then I went to look at the original write up by the author/baker. There were a few small things that separate the two methods but the formula I think was right on. When you look at Sam's images of his breads, well they are stunning. The crust has just the right amount of color and spring. They look crisp and well, just perfect.

I'm not new to baguettes but I am always willing to bow to a master when it comes to improving the art form. Baguettes are 90% technique and 10% formula, I'm certain. So my intention here is to read closely the instructions Sam has left for us to understand. No detail is too small.

I made 2 batches yesterday, a 500g and a 1000 g mix. I thought I would bake the first 2 pairs of 250g baguettes, followed by the next 4, 2 at a time. This gives me a chance to evaluate the process and make some changes along the way. I was taken at how hard it was for me to keep from what I normally do and make a change no matter how small. Proofing in the couche cloth seam side down for example was a challenge for me. I had to re think my handling process and make a change.

In the end I only have one item that I didn't remember to change over to Sam's method and I think it will make a big difference in a positive way. That would be moving my stone up from the second shelf to the middle shelf. A seemingly small thing but the breads will get a more intense heat and brown up there I'm certain.

We taste tested this afternoon and the verdict is the bread is exceptionally tasty and has a nice mouth feel and after taste. The aroma is very original to me from my long ago memory of a wonderful baguette in Paris.

What I have learned from this exercise so far is that with a baguette, everything matters. There are many ways to make a good loaf, but, far fewer ways to make a really great loaf. I need to raise the bar and focus on the smallest details to make them as good as I possably can. Soon enough.


Barbara Krauss's picture

Calculating a pre-ferment

March 18, 2010 - 1:31pm -- Barbara Krauss

I have a question about baker's math and pre-fermented flour.  When a recipe calls for "25% fermented flour," what does this mean in terms of baker's math?  In other words, how do you compute a formula using that information? 

I think I know, but I'm not really sure.  I would assume that if you're starting with, say 1000g of flour, then 250 grams of that is fermented using the water from the total water content of the recipe, according to what percentage of hydration you want the pre-ferment to be (125g for a stiff starter, etc.)  Is this correct?

bshuval's picture

Tartine Bread

March 18, 2010 - 12:32pm -- bshuval

Hi all, 

I just saw that there's a new upcoming bread book: "Tartine Bread" (ISBN: 0811870413). According to, it is due to be published in September. 

I don't know much about the, but if it's anything like the Tartine bakery book, it should be a must-have book. 

Does anyone here know anything about it? (Perhaps TFLers located in San Francisco can visit the bakery and ask?)


jennyloh's picture

Keeping Chef after 2nd refreshment in the fridge?

March 18, 2010 - 3:58am -- jennyloh

Need some advice here.  I've got my chef for my Pain de Seigle ready for 2nd refresher today.  The recipe states to feed it and put it aside for 8hours only. But I'm not available to work on the dough after 8 hours,  can I put it the chef into the fridge and take it out when I'm ready to add in the dough ingredients?

If I do that,  do I need to set it aside to bring it to room temperature first?

Looking forward to your suggestions.


saraugie's picture

How do you keep/store your bread after its made ?

March 18, 2010 - 1:14am -- saraugie

Once the bread comes out where and how do you keep it ?  My loafs last 3-4 days, right now I keep them on a wood cutting board with a microwave dome with holes on top of it.  No refrigeration, no sealed plastic enclosures.

What is the best way to keep the bread fresh, crunchy and critter free ?

ehanner's picture

I cooked a 10 pound corned beef today and we had a New England boiled dinner. It's my start of the St. Patrick's holiday meals. Tomorrow will be the corned beef sandwiches on the Rye below. I have made this Deli style Rye a hundred times and just about every time I swear I ruined it and don't expect it to spring in the oven. When I open the door and see that nice puffy brown loaf I can smell the caraway and I just know I beat the odds one more time. That's the thing about rye, especially really sour rye that sat on the counter for 24 hours and the fridge for 2 days. It's been hectic around here and I didn't get to it when I had planned.This is evidence that even ugly bread can be delicious. I don't know WHAT I was thinking when I slashed  these two. It certainly wasn't baking. These have a poppy seed and large crystal salt topping.

One loaf will go to my son along with a care package of a couple pounds of meat and potatoes/carrots. I think  I need to go down to his apartment and bang some pans today to check for survivors from last night.



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