The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
GabrielLeung1's picture

November 10, 2009 was an auspicious day. It was the second baguette day, and a day I thought would be as interesting and full of questions as I could be hoping for as early in the program as we were. I had my concerns of course, as the product we were finishing and baking was the direct baguette.

A stiff dough with no prefermentation or autolyse mixed in to make it more interesting, all the direct baguette had going for it was a long, cool, overnight proof, and all the hope I could knead into it. Since becoming a bread baker I had always used pre-fermentation and retarded yeast fermentation. More recently my whimsical bread baking techniques have wandered into such techniques as autolyse, flour scalding, and wild yeast fermentation, but today I was returning to my bread baking childhood and would be making an artisan bread without any tricks or mind bending biochemistry.

The crust was a golden yellow color! To say nothing of the crumb, a tight, cottony consistency. Nothing like what I was used to seeing in my own formulas, baguette or otherwise. Which is not to say that they weren't beautiful, there is no higher category of judgement then the grigne of the scores, yet upon seeing the crumb, I just had to shake my head.

But I think this was the definition of the intensive mix method, the dough was at 57% hydration, we used stand mixers to mix up the dough to a perfect window pane, fermented it, punched it down, shaped the baguettes, then let them proof overnight. Retarding the dough had promise, but I think in order to get that nice crumb structure the retarding must occur in the bulk fermentation, rather then afterwards. What the retarding did do was produce a mild, subtle flavor to the baguettes, which I appreciated. 

I look at my loaves, and I see potential. 

Cincinnati's picture

Is a Kitchenaid Pro 600 Adequate for Kneading Whole Grain Doughs

November 10, 2009 - 10:05am -- Cincinnati

The question of which stand mixer has been debated well. If the question of a KA Pro 600 was addressed, apologies for posting again.

The only bread making I have done is Ezekiel Bread from freshly milled flours. It is a batter dough that my wife's Kitchenaid Pro 600 mixer handles well. Now I want to branch out to whole grain yeast breads.

I have been warned about burning up a KA with whole grain flours and advised to get an Electrolux DLX. The KA manual says it will handle 8 cups of whole grain flours. 

Drake's picture

electrolux dlx vs viking

November 10, 2009 - 8:27am -- Drake

i'm about to by myself a mixer after years of only hand kneeding, and have narrowed my decision down to choosing between the electrolux dlx assistant (formerly magic mill) and the Viking Professional. I'm able to get the Viking mixer in my local shop, but I've heard such great things about the electrolux. I will bake a fair deal of heavy rye bread, which mixer is best suited for this? also does anyone living in vancouver know if there's a place to get hold of the electrolux dlx in town? if not, how about seattle?



LittleTee's picture

Proofing problems

November 10, 2009 - 8:21am -- LittleTee

I'm trying to proof my very first attempt at sourdough. I've shaped it into boules but it keeps deflating and spreading -- it seems like I have enough tension but then it spreads.Everything to this point seems to have been going fine (although my starter took a little longer to double in size).

I did the primary fermentation in the fridge overnight, since I mixed it last night, but was unable to do the folding (since I was asleep). Would that have affected it?

sewcial's picture

Adding Sweetener to Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

November 10, 2009 - 3:53am -- sewcial

Now that I have made a white naturally yeasted bread, I want to try one with mostly whole wheat flour. I have been searching the forums because I thought I had read something about sweeteners and whether they affected the whole grain breads adversely. I usually prefer a touch of sweetness to my whole grain breads so I am thinking of adding a bit of sugar to a basic whole wheat sourdough recipe (not sour tasting, but leavened with a starter). 

alabubba's picture

I have had several people ask about this recipe so here it is. Sorry for taking so long.


Nicho Bread (Named for my grandson)

19.25 oz Good quality AP flour    
10.65 oz Milk
3 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Tablespoons Butter
1.5 tsp Salt
1.5 tsp Instant Yeast

This makes up about 2 pounds of dough, I bake it as a single loaf and it makes a TALL loaf. That's the way we like it around here but you could easily make 2 smaller loaves with this recipe.

Place the Flour, Salt, Sugar, and Yeast in a Large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
In a small sauce pan heat milk until very warm. (I do this in the microwave, about 90 seconds) add the butter to the warm milk. Stir until the butter melts. This gives the milk time to cool if you got it too hot.
Dump the milk/butter on the flour mix and stir with a big wooden spoon until it has absorbed all the liquid. Dump onto your counter top and begin kneading by hand for about 1 minute, Just trying to incorporate all the flour at this point. Cover and let the dough rest/hydrate for 5 minutes.
Continue to knead by hand for another 5 minutes. It should not be sticky. If it is, use a little flour to help make it workable. It should form a smooth, soft dough that is not sticky.
Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic. Let rise until doubled, usually takes about 60 to 90 minutes but let the dough dictate the time.
After doubled, deflate and form into a 5 x 9 loaf pan. Cover and let rise until doubled. Again, let the dough set the time.
Bake on the lower rack of a 325° oven until done. I use a thermometer at between 195° and 200°
You may need to place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the loaf to keep the crown from burning.

(I often have to cover with aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes to prevent burning the top crust)
(You can use bread flour if you want, Also, I sometimes use 30% WW flour)
(I use 2% but have used whole, skim and even buttermilk, I have also made this with water in a pinch)
(I have used Honey, brown sugar, Lyle's Golden syrup and molasses)
(I have used margarine, Vegetable oil and olive oil, and lard)


Lets make some bread, No fancy Kitchen Aid required

First the dry.

Now the wet

10.65 Ounces is about 1 and 1/4 cups

Nuke it to get it warm. But be careful not to get it too hot.

3Tbsp butter

Melt it in your warm milk, Should look something like this.

Now, Everybody into the pool. and mix with a spoon until the liquid is absorbed.

Dump onto the board and work just enough to get it incorporated.

Then let it rest 5 minutes and then knead for 5 minutes

You should end up with a lovely smooth, soft, not sticky ball of dough.

Proof it

Deflate and pan.

Can you see where I poked it with my finger. It's ready.


Surface tension causes the dough to open at the cut. Can you see the crumb structure even in the raw dough?

Nothing left but to put in a 325° oven. It bakes for about 25 minutes but I don't watch the clock, When it looks done I check it with a thermometer.

This loaf is so tall that I have to cover it with foil for the first 10 minutes to keep it from burning on top. Maybe if I had a bigger oven, but even with the rack on the lowest setting it still will burn if I am not careful.

Wow, Talk about oven spring!

and the requisite crumb shot...

dmsnyder's picture

Rx for the uptight, perfectionist baker

November 9, 2009 - 10:38pm -- dmsnyder

I just viewed a video of Julia Child making Tarte Tatin. This was a 1971 broadcast of The French Chef TV program.

Now, Tarte Tatin is a favorite of mine, but my reason for pointing you all to this video is Julia's performance. I won't say more. Just see for yourself.




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