The Fresh Loaf

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

This is my first blog post on TFL, although I've been lurking around for nearly a year now. I started getting in to sourdough baking in Spring (southern hemisphere) last year but my poor little starter went on hiatus when we took a couple of months overseas holiday at the beginning of this year. Now it's June and I'm only just reawakening Owen, my starter. Luckily, our housesitter indulged my detailed instructions on feeding Owen while we were away. (Although she said something along the lines of "if I had a baby whose nappy smelled as bad as that bread thingy, I wouldn't change it"...)

I decided I wanted to make some bread with a cold retardation -- this tends to fit with my schedule a bit better than trying to go through the whole process in one day. Because my baking results have been inconsistent, I am also hedging my bets by making a yeasted bread that fits almost the same schedule as the sourdough.

For my yeasted bread, I'm using the Baguettes a l'Ancienne posted by DonD a few weeks ago:

For my sourdough, I'm using the Pierre Nury Rustic Light Rye posted by zolablue:’s-rustic-light-rye-leader 

So I mixed up my flour mixture and levain last night. Hiccup one: when I got up this morning, my sourdough levain looked virtually unchanged. I'm not used to using a stiff starter, so maybe it's meant to look like a floury lump, but I wasn't convinced there was enough life in the levain to rise the bread. So I have divided that recipe in half, using half the stiff levain and half my usual wet starter, which I fed last night. 

Here's hoping that I get some success out of one of the three doughs currently fermenting on my counter!



EDIT: the next day

Gahhh! My sourdough has COMPLETELY flopped -- didn't rise at all except for a little half-hearted attempt during baking. I should have known the starter and levain weren't going to do the job, but gosh I wanted them to! Plus I think I got the gluten development thing right this time. 

I haven't baked the yeasted bread yet but I'm reallyreallyreally hoping I get at least one good loaf out of this three-day effort!

Thor Simon's picture

GE/Hotpoint/others oven glass yours for the cost of shipping

June 9, 2010 - 1:59pm -- Thor Simon

I know many of us have at one point or another broken the inner glass of our oven doors with spilled or splashed water while steaming.

GE sells the inner glass for most of their ovens only as a "glass pack" with the two inner pieces held together by a stamped metal frame.  It's seldom the case that both sheets of glass break at the same time (in fact, I've never heard of the second sheet breaking at all).  The metal frame comes apart quite easily, it's just crimped together at one corner, and can clearly be reassembled a few times before it's "used up".

YeastyBob's picture

Sour Rye Bread

June 9, 2010 - 12:15pm -- YeastyBob

I made my first batch of sour rye with Greinstein's recipe & it was very good. However, not a sour as I had hoped & a bit dry. Thinking of using more sour & less flour in next batch and adding a little oil. Looking for suggestions.

EvaGal's picture

Parchment Paper

June 9, 2010 - 10:51am -- EvaGal

I've been using parchment paper for proofing and baking SD loaves on a cookie sheet with rolled dishtowels for lateral support (removed for baking).  

Question one: is the paper reusable? If not, is there a reusable alternative?

Question two: In order to separate the dough from the fabric, I sized the parchment to be as tall as I imagined the loaves could become.  It curled upward and seemed to be blowing in the wind from my convection oven fan. Is this  detrimental to the loaves?  

charisma's picture

Cant believ what just happened!!!!!!


I just typed a whole blog on howi mad the worst pretzels...and even that got lost!!!!hell ...Iam definitely jinxed with pretzels i think!!!!

I baked two..absolutely horrendous , unedible pretzel so upset..I think ill just go to the technicalities and leave out the emotions( or at least try)

i used dry active yeast

1) my 1st batch....the dough did not double even after one hour,....should i have left it longer

2) 2nd batch, left it overnight to ferment(had to leave for work) and it was so soggy that i could not roll it

3)how does boiling a pretzel help it

4)the wannabes(Even I cant  call them pretzels) were stone hard...the 1st batch was rubbery and uncooked and the 2nd were hard as bread sticks!!!!

5) How do the pictures show these well browned pretzels...mine were white, the colour of the flour even after they were hard!!!!

6) are there some basic baking rules in making the dough which can be learnt only by watching...because i read it online and did the kneading, proofing relaxing bit

7)Pl advice:)

taking a break form pretzels, i found them were ego damaging!!!!

wassisname's picture

Whole Wheat Sourdough Focaccia

June 8, 2010 - 8:32pm -- wassisname


That fits into my after-work-weeknight schedule?  And is almost impossible to mess-up?  Sure, why not?

My daughter of nine calls this, "The best bread in the whole world... mmmm!"  That's compared, I should note, to the crusty whole grain hearth loaves I usually try to force on her.  She is not a fan of the crusty bread.  Maybe someday. 

 Until then, this is the opposite of that... but still in keeping with my fascination with whole grains and sourdough. 

 Anyway, here's a pic:


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