The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
Uther522's picture

Help with croissants

January 28, 2018 - 10:24pm -- Uther522

Hey friends!

My girlfriend and I have just started making pastry and we wanted to try our hand at croissants (she did all the work on these, I’m just here to cheer her on).

We’re a little bummed that because the dough was sprinting back into its original shape before shaping, we couldn’t get multiple spirals in the croissants, nor did we get a crescent shape.

we also, for the life of us, could not get hem to keep their shape in the oven. They would unravel and fan out every time. 

Carb Addict's picture

Pizza Crust

January 28, 2018 - 8:08pm -- Carb Addict

I bought a stone and made pizza using my sourdough recipe. The dough is terrific. The pizzas turned out really good BUT, the bottom of the crust did not brown at all (I realize this is not a brick oven, just our kitchen oven). The funny thing is the top was great; bubbly well cooked and browned nicely. No broiler time at all. Nice airy puffy outer ring of crust too.

Does anyone know how to get a bit of char on the bottom of the crust? Any advise?


sallam's picture

No-muss-no-fuss Wheat flour disaster

January 28, 2018 - 6:53pm -- sallam

I converted my 100% wheat flour starter into 66% NMNF starter 2 weeks ago. The result was a disaster. In just 2 weeks in the fridge, it lost almost all its yeast power. The second week when I used it to build a levain, it failed to rise 4 hours after the second feed. Even after discarding and replacing the last feed it failed again to rise after 4 hours. I almost lost hope and started to mix a new starter from zero. I even had to use IDY to save my family's weekly pizza night.

DanAyo's picture

What 5 Grains are in Hamelman’s Five-Grain Levain?

January 28, 2018 - 6:16pm -- DanAyo

What 5 Grains are in Hamelman’s Five-Grain Levain? I’ve baked this too many times to count. Today I was mixing the soaker and realized that I didn’t see 5 grains in the formula. Since I work from a spreadsheet I thought for sure that it was my error. After checking the book it appears not.

The bread in question is in Jeffrey Hamelman’s book, “Bread”.

Am I missing something?



alfanso's picture

Abel Sierra posted another in his series of fascinating outside-of-the-box things that one can do with just Flour Water and Salt two weeks ago.  And I am indeed fascinated at the breadth of what one can do creatively with just these three ingredients.   And that also meant another that I would warehouse until the time came.  Which was now!

The character of the baked bread is really wonderful.  It has a thin and crisp snap to the crust while the crumb is tender and sweet.  A really nice bread in every measure.

This is a 100% hydration liquid levain, 75% overall hydration mix that uses a full 50% of the flour in the levain pre-ferment.  Which is somewhat off the charts considering the "normal" range is in the 5%-20% vicinity.  But that is what caught my eye.  Although this is an all white flour affair, a very small number of grams of WW and rye snuck in due to my base starter having these two rogue elements.

The dough is incredibly slack and stayed that way throughout the entire process.  Because of this I had a fair amount of trouble wrangling the dough to form baguettes, with them becoming somewhat inconsistent and misshapen, but managed to get a decent enough shape and subsequent bake.  The batard was a cinch to shape.  

Where I differed from Abel in the process was to shorten the bulk rise with two S&Fs to his one, and to retard until the next day rather than execute the entire process in a single calendar day as Abel stated he did.

My follow-up attempt will be to change two things and see whether that will yield some improvements in the shaping as well as to provide a more robust flavor - without sacrificing any of the clean AP taste.  The plan is to do an 85% AP / 15% Rye flour mix with all of the rye incorporated into the levain.  As for shaping, instead of my standard pre-shape logs, the next time will have me pre-shape as small boules, and I think that this will facilitate with the rolling of the baguettes.

Thanks Abel.


500g x 1 batard

350g x 2 baguettes/long batards


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