The Fresh Loaf

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

Crusty bread turns soft

June 26, 2010 - 1:55pm -- ash_bread
  • 110ml warm water
  • 200g strong white flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon quick yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of sugar


I've been following a recipe as above but having problems with the crust. The behaviour's pretty consistent. The crust is ok in the oven but once it's out of the oven the crust on top softens. Underneath the bread tends to be cruncy.

saumhain's picture

I am living at my aunt's these days and it has been a real pain in the arse getting used to baking in here. The kitchen is like twice smaller than mine, the oven is electric which is good, but feels just... weird.

However, I managed to make three loaves already, all Hamelman's: with olives, 50% whole-wheat sourdough

and whole rye and wheat sourdough.

They all turned out really good and delicious, but the one with olives was obviously the best. That's exactly why no picture of it - it was all gone before I could grab my camera.

RobertS's picture

First of all, kudos to everyone who has worked to make this such a wonderful, educational site. I am looking forward to participating in the fun here on Fresh Loaf.

I have been baking from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and the BBA, for several months now, but have had no other experience of bread-making during my 69 years of life. I thought that Artisan Bread stripped things to their esentials until I came across Lahey/Bittman bread on You Tube. Made a pot yesterday, and must say the first time was a charm.  The crumb and crust are obviously excellent looking (though the crumb may well be too thick for some people), but I found the taste a little disappointing, after the long --- 19-hour ---- ferment. It was good, but not nearly so good as some Ancienne baguettes I made recently following BBA religiously. With those loaves, I died and went to heaven.

I have two questions: (1) does maxiumum taste seem to be an issue with this manner of baking? (2) if the fault was mine, does anyone have any suggestions re getting superior taste when using this method?

Kingudaroad's picture

After getting my first bread book for Fathers Day and after reading it cover to cover, I was inspired to try this recipe. The book is very insightful and really is a great book for basic fundamentals.

   I used high gluten flour, bought in bulk from Sun Harvest for the final dough and the firm starter. My mother starter behaved admirably, especially since it was used right out of the fridge and several days since its last feeding. I toasted the walnuts for 10 minutes at 350. I used 25% of the flour weight in walnuts and 15% blue cheese. If you don't like blue cheese do not make this bread. The entire house was overcome with the smell of baking blue cheese. I got a bit of purple tint from the walnuts.


   This is an amazing tasting combo for you blue cheese fans.



nicolesue's picture

Even Distribution of Ingredients

June 26, 2010 - 5:41am -- nicolesue

I recently added some sundried tomatoes into my dough. Unfortunately, the distribution was uneven, and I ended up with lots of sundried tomatoes right at the bottom of my boule, must have been pushed down when i close the seam side.

So, any ideas on how to evenly distribute any ingredients, including chopped nuts, dried fruits evenly into the dough?

dmsnyder's picture

Osmotolerant yeast question

June 25, 2010 - 9:55pm -- dmsnyder

I made a highly enriched dough today, and I thought about opening my new package of osmotolerant yeast (SAF Gold) but used regular instant yeast, as prescribed in the recipe. Even though the kitchen was quite warm, the dough rose very slowly. I know osmotolerant yeast is supposed to speed up fermentation in doughs with high sugar content and low water (hydration from eggs, milk, butter, etc.) 

My question is: Do you adjust the yeast quantity in a recipe that calls for instant yeast when you use osmotolerant yeast?


Aivaras's picture

There are couple miches I have baked.

2.9Kg JT's 85x3 Miche.


One of the largest breads I have made. Pretty much the same as MC interpretation, only I didn't retard and hydration was lower, about 65%.

1.5Kg Gerard Rubaud Miche.

35% starter (55% hydration, GR flour mixture 70% T55, 18% sifted T150, 9% T80 spelt and 3% sifted T150 rye), overall hydration 65-68%. First fermentation 4 hours, proof about 2 hours.

2.2Kg T80 Miche.

T80 flour, 30% starter (~60% hydration), overall hydration 65%, first fermentation about 3 hours, proof 2 hours.

2.2Kg Poilane Miche.

70% T80, 30% T80 spelt, 35% starter (55% hydration), overall hydration 65%. First fermentation 3 hours, proof about 2 hours.

2.2Kg Organic WW and Spelt Miche.

70% very finely sifted Organic Stone Ground T150 flour and 30% Organic T80 spelt flour. 25% starter (55% hydration), overall hydration 65%. First fermentation 4.5 hours, proof 2 hours.

1.8Kg Pain a l'Ancienne.

50% T55 flour, 45% sifted T150 flour, 4.5% spelt, 0.5% malted barley flour, everything else as described by Shiao-Ping.


josswinn's picture

First 100% Rye Sourdough, OK on the outside, hollow on the inside.

June 25, 2010 - 1:06pm -- josswinn


My first post here and my first 100% Rye Sourdough. It's a failure and I'm wondering why. I followed Andrew Whitley's directions in Bread Matters (p. 165). Everything seemed to go according to plan from making the starter to the 12hr proof. But on taking it (actually, I made two - both came out the same) out of the oven, the inside of the loaf was as you see below. Where did I go wrong? Thanks for any suggestions.

100% Rye Sourdough - Rubbish!


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