The Fresh Loaf

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

dull looking baguette

May 21, 2014 - 7:49pm -- angiechia

Hi all

I am not new to this forum but have mostly been a silent reader, and learning a lot from all of you here. Have started making my culture couple of weeks back, and tried my hands at sourdough baking. Tried this recipe from KAF website. Though the taste is good, I am wondering what I did wrong because

1. the crust is of a very dull colour

2. there seems to be absence of the trade mark big holes

Not sure whether I attached correctly, but the pix should be right on top?

Anywhere, here is the recipe I used

120g levain (50% water, 50% flour)

CatPoet's picture


May 21, 2014 - 11:47am -- CatPoet

I'm new to this forum and I do have dyslexia and english is my second language so please be kind to me.

Well  who am I?

I'm a married woman, living in Sweden and has done so for all my life.  I love baking and  I do make 2-3 loafs a week and  sometimes rolls, baps or what ever you want to call them.

I perfer tradition bread with a nice sponge and no big  holes,  I allways been taught you cant eat or spread butter on the holes and as a baker is a failure  to get big  holes in loafs.  So no knead breads  for me.

pstros's picture

Recipe is from the book Brilliant Bread by James Morton. Really nice country bread with crusty crust and beautiful soft crumb. I have used rye starter and a pinch of fresh yeast, overnight bulk fermentation and baked in the cassrole. Satisfying result with funny pattern on the top.

Have a nice day!

dosal's picture

Help! what to do with 800g of very active starter

May 21, 2014 - 6:29am -- dosal

Hi all, I haven't posted in a while because I hadn't baked in a while. Can you make pancakes with just starter????

Here is what happened  --  My starter had been put in the freezer for the interim. I actually found two starters both quite firm. I used to make 60% starter. Needing about 125g for my next baking I used the 45g that I had put up for the first starter and added 50g water and 100g flour. Nothing. I repeated this with more water and got bubbles.

Mebake's picture

Hi, fellow and dear TFL'ers

The thoughts and plans of starting a bakery in Dubai have been broiling in my mind for over a year now. As many of you already know, I began taking pastry classes some few months back as I believe that knowing how to make bread alone just won’t cut it. So, I took the classes and collected my certificate and now I think that the natural choice here is to seek an internship / apprenticeship in some bakery.

There are of course many hurdles in the way of doing so. Laws in the United Arab Emirates, specifically those pertaining to labor and food safety, are quite strict and will not allow for internships at food producing factories / outlets, unless you seek a job placement. Due to financial commitments, I can’t quit my current job to work for a bakery / patisserie / hotel / café.. and expect to be paid even remotely similar to what I earn now. Additionally, there isn’t cottage food law here, so if you plan to bake and sell commercially, you’ll have to obtain a commercial trade license like other food businesses. I’m seeking a partner to share part of the expenses, and the passion; I’ve found one so far.

I talked to a bakery owner who declined to offer an internship, but pointed me in the direction of another bakery owned by his niece in another city where the regulations are not as stringent. I paid a visit to the bakery, and noticed that although they produce some pastries (oriental and French), in addition to pita breads, their business model isn't what I’d aspire to.

The question is, am I right in thinking that an internship /apprenticeship at a bakery is a prerequisite to starting a bakery business?  I’m passionate enough about baking, especially Artisan bread, and I’m willing to do what it takes to make it happen.

I’d be happy to know what you guys think, based on your experiences. Any ideas are welcome.

Many thanks,




emkay's picture

My husband and his friends were having a peach sour beer tasting party and he asked me to bake something that could pair well with those beers. I considered baking something peachy, but peach season is not quite in full swing yet, so the ones available at the farmers' markets are still a bit too pricey and not quite at their best.

I decided to bake him a chocolate sourdough bread. I used the formula found on the SFBI website, but I think there's a similar formula in "Advanced Bread and Pastry". It's a hybrid bread using both a levain and instant dry yeast which worked out well for me since my starter is acting lazy and won't raise bread sufficiently right now. (See this thread about it:

The recipe called for chocolate chips, but I used chopped chocolate instead. Chopped chocolate had the added benefit of staying soft even after the bread cooled off. It's easier to slice when a hard chocolate chip isn't tearing through the crumb. I added 27% dried sour cherries which along with the chocolate gave me an add-in percentage of 20%. The dough is low hydration (64%) so it's easy to handle.


Others (elsewhere on the 'net, not on TFL) that have made this bread mentioned that it was not sweet at all. So I was taken by surprise that it was sweeter than I expected. Maybe other people expected something like a chocolate cake? Well, in that case I can understand the bread was not sweet when compared to cake. I expected less sweet and felt it was more sweet. It's all about expections.

Perceived levels of sweetness aside, I would not call the bread overly sweet. The honey played very nicely with the Dutch-processed cocoa. I didn't detect any tang from the levain. Overall, the flavor of the bread was very well-rounded. The smokey bitterness of the cocoa and the bright tartness of the cherries paired perfectly with all those sour beers.



LT72884's picture

Im back for more proofing help

May 20, 2014 - 4:43pm -- LT72884

ok, so i was able to make a fresh new batch of dough following this recipe:


3 cups lukewarm water

1.5 tbls kosher salt

1.5 tbls yeast

6.5 cups all purpose unbleached flour

mix and let rise 3 hours. shape in free form loafs and let proof for 40 minutes. back at 450 with steam


I am having trouble getting them to oven spring. they taste great and have awesome texture but they sometimes are flat even though i slash them.

I have tried a basket but i think i may be doing it wrong. haha.


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