The Fresh Loaf

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

Sourdough Technique Experiment: No Knead vs. The Works

January 21, 2018 - 11:58am -- Bröterich

This is an interesting topic.

The writer tried to do side-by-side comparisons of the 2 techniques using identical ingredients. 

It would almost suggest that we may overthink and possibly overwork our bread making. Read the comments. I remember that Ken Forkish raises this subject somewhat when he compares his bread making methods to Jim Lahey's no knead method.

doctordough92's picture

What happened to my loaf??

January 21, 2018 - 11:17am -- doctordough92

The picture below is of my Pain de Campagne from FWSY I baked this morning. I baked the same recipe yesterday, under the same conditions, with no problems. You'll see the first loaf on the left. The second loaf was baked immediately afterward. The *only* thing I did differently was scored the second loaf by hand (whereas the loaf on the left was allowed to naturally open). Oven at 475F and used a 5q dutch oven that I've used many times before. Same baking times (30 min covered). 

Any insight would be awesome! Looking to avoid this mishap again. 


osoposo's picture

Question re: overnight fridge ferment

January 21, 2018 - 9:09am -- osoposo

I'm new to the stretch and fold method of bread baking and have been working from the Forkish book. I recently took a sourdough bread making class at a local bakery and have tried to adapt their method to one of Forkish's recipes - Overnight Brown. The main difference from the Forkish procedure is that I did 4 folds, 30 minutes apart and shaped the loaves before putting them in the fridge overnight to ferment. Forkish doesn't form the balls until after the ferment. I guess I have two questions:

Danni3ll3's picture

Just before Xmas, a friend’s husband had a heart attack and needed a bypass. I remembered Lazy Loafer’s Heart Bread and decided to base my weekend bake on her recipe. Of course, my friend ended up with a couple of loaves.






250 g Spelt flour

200 g Selkirk Wheat (circa 1950 variety of wheat)

75 g oat bran

550 g unbleached flour

100 g multigrain flour

50 g ground flax

700 g water

21 g  pink Himalayan salt

40 g kefir

90 g rolled oats

180 g water for oats

330 g bran levain (100% hydration) - See how to make this below.

  1. A few days before, sift the Spelt and Selkirk wheat flours and reserve the bran to feed the starter. Save the remainder of the sifted flour for the main dough. 
  2. Weigh the sifted bran, the oat bran and add enough unbleached flour from the 550 g of unbleached flour to measure 142 g in total. Use this mixture to feed to 40 g of your starter in successive builds of your own choosing. I did a 4 stage build. Time your builds so that the levain is ready to be used mid day on the day you are making the dough. The bran really soaked up the water and was more on the dry side than anything. The levain also did not show much activity because of this. Mine only rose 50% once I used the flour portion which was during the last build. Just keep it warm and give it time, and it will do its thing. 
  3. Add the remaining unbleached flour, the multigrain flour and the ground flax to the sifted flour.
  4. The night before making your dough, prepare the soaker. Add 180 g boiling water to the rolled oats and let sit overnight.
  5. The next morning, add the soaker and the 700 g of water to the combined flour. Mix well and autolyse for 3-4 hours in a warm spot.
  6. Sprinkle the salt on top of the dough and add the kefir and all of the levain. Mix well and add a few grams of water if needed. 
  7. Once well mixed, I did 50 stretches and folds. The first few go well but the remainder end up looking more like kneading in the bucket than an actual stretch and fold. Place in a warm place for bulk fermentation.
  8. After 40 minutes, do a set of 8-9 stretches and folds. That is all the folds I could do without tearing the dough. Repeat after 45 minutes and again 45 minutes later. Do one more set of folds, an hour later. I was very gentle in order to not degas the dough. I let rise about 50% which took another 45 minutes. The dough was full of gas and bubbles were evident around the edges. 
  9. Divide into 3 portions of about 820 g and preshape. Let rest 15 minutes and do a final shape. 
  10. Sprinkle the bannetons with rice/ap flour. Place the dough seam side down into bannetons and cover the dough. Place in the fridge overnight or for about 13 hours.
  11.  Heat oven to 475 F with pots inside for 45 minutes. Bake seam side up in preheated covered dutch ovens (lined with parchment rounds) for 25 minutes at 450 F and then uncovered for 22 minutes at 425F. Interior temp should read at least 205F.  

I few things to remember for next time: Bran really soaks up water so need to stick to 100% hydration or higher for the bran portion. Keep the dough warm during the autolyse as the bulk fermentation will go much faster. This time, the bulk was done in 4 hours as opposed to the usual 5-6 hours. 


The loaves got great oven spring. Probably the best I have had for quite a while. I was a bit surprised that the crust didn’t come out darker but this is probably due to the lack of sugar from honey or fruit in the recipe. 

FrankP's picture

My first loaf

January 21, 2018 - 2:19am -- FrankP

Hi all.


Had a go at the NYT no knead recipe.


Plus and minus:


+ A loaf was produced

+Very edible

+ Delighted to get a result


- I made a couple of little errors of method (even thought it' so simple).

- 2nd rise wasn't as good as I'd hoped it would be.

- A little too salty.

- Not 100% sure that it was cooked through as it should be. My wife thought it was, so that's probably got to be good enough for me, too.


I'll pop an image up, if I can manage it.


kendalm's picture

After many agonizing croissant batches here's a bake I can say I'm pretty happy with. I'm finding that sourdough croissants are a little more fun than their commercial cousins. These like the last batch I did were inspired by txfarmer farmer using a blend of her techniques and Louis lamour (youtube baking artist extraordinaire). I mixed mixed in about 10-20% rye starter into my levain and let that sit for about 4 hours - this time the dough was considerably more sticky and took much longer to bulk up than usual and entire experience was much different - lamination for example required addition freezer chills. There's something about a wild yeast starter that just gooifies dough bit in this case seems to have really helped with the 'honeycomb' style crumb most croissanteurs strive for. The very first batch of croissant ... 6+ months ago was like looking at white bread and slowly (with some steps forward and some steps back) these suckers just like bread begin to do what you want. Now the question is can it be repeated ?


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