The Fresh Loaf

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

Lucy found this blog post by Jarkko listing the best bread in the Internet

March 13, 2016 - 2:24pm -- dabrownman

and wouldn't you know that TFL landing first up!  I do love all the other ones list and in the comments too.  Very inspiring!  So many great bread bakers out there today.

Happy Baking 

STUinlouisa's picture

It was strongly suggested that I start making pan loaf style bread to keep constantly in the bread box and that the loaves made a couple weeks ago with the sprouted flour and eggs would be desirable. At least the bread has some complexity to it and is 50% whole grain. I decided to bake a base line loaf because there was a couple of changes that were to be made, pumping up the starter percentage and altering the baking method slightly.

The ingredients: 144g WWW fresh ground, 96g five grain (millet, barley, Red Fife, Eincorn and rye) sprouted flour fresh ground, 240g AP, 135g egg from the chickens in the back yard, 88g milk, 88g water, 42g butter melted, 24g sorghum syrup, 150g 100% hydration starter recently fed and allowed to double in size (about four hours), .25 tsp ADY, 8g salt.

The procedure: Place the liquid ingredients in a mixing bowl add the starter and yeast mixing with a dough wisk to break up  the starter and hydrate the yeast. Mix in the flours until no dry spots remain. Make a well in the dough, place the salt and a little water in it to start dissolving, let sit 20 min. Mix in the salt using pincers and folds then knead briefly, let sit 20 min. Do two S&F 20 min apart. Cover and retard 12 hours after which the dough has expanded noticeably. Flatten the dough on the counter without deflating it completely and allow to warm up for 2 hours. Shape it by doing a double roll and place it in a bread pan covered with oiled plasticrap to proof until it is about 1.5 inches above the pan. Preheat the oven with an oval DO that the bread pan will just fit in to 375F. The reason for this is that we have a gas oven and it is very difficult to get any steaming because of the necessary vents. I wanted steam because the last loaf burst at the side when the crust set too soon. Let the oven preheat for 30 min at this time the dough will be about 2 in above the pan. Spray the top of the loaf with water, sprinkle on some rolled oats and slit the middle with a lame. Take the DO out of the oven and pour about half a cup hot water into it, place the bread pan in the DO, put on the top, put back in the oven which is immediately turned down to 350F and bake for 20 min. Remove the lid and bake for 10 min. Place the lid back on and bake another 14 min until the internal temp is 205F, place on rack to cool.

The bread had good oven spring, a very good taste and a nice crumb. It will make a good standard loaf. I still intend to keep experimenting with grains and procedures but will have to make smaller loaves since we can't eat that much and it's a shame to feed the chickens with moldy bread.


JennyBakesBread's picture

Last week I was considering baking a bread with corn porridge to use up some polenta lurking around in the back of the cupboard. As a northern European, cooking with corn is unfamiliar to me and associated with Italian and/or American cuisine. As a child in the 80's, I thought maize = corn = tinned sweetcorn. Tinned sweetcorn was either an unwelcome addition to tuna mayonnaise or one of the 10,000 things crammed into salads along with boiled eggs and cubes of cheese. I was convinced that one of the key benefits of adulthood, would be not finding sweetcorn hiding in my food (and getting to mix lemonade and cordial whenever I wanted). When I first got my hands on Tartine #3, I flicked straight past the corn porridge bread drawn in by less humble more exotic grains. This year, I've baked two types of bread with maize flour and/or polenta from The Handmade Loaf. Both loaves tasted fascinating and smelt so enticing that I decided to make a naturally leavened bread with corn porridge. I picked this recipe from the inspiringly beautiful blog Girl meets Rye.


I've incorporate some of the suggested changes mentioned at the end of the original blog post. The night before the bake, I prepared the polenta by mixing together 150g coarse cornmeal with 385g of boiling water in a bowl and covering the mixture with clingfilm. This mixture was left at room temperature to cool and when mixed into the bread was set into a rubbery mass.


For the final mix, I did not add the 50g of water used to dispense the salt as the white bread flour I use tends need less water than average. Before adding in the polenta, I broke it down a little with a fork. However some clumps of about 1-2cm diameter remained, I tried to pinch these out while folding but a few remained. As the temperature is still cool here, the dough seemed a little sluggish so I stretched the bulk fermentation to 4.5hours at room temperature (68C)


These changes made the dough soft, light and easy to handle. Unlike previous attempts the dough was better behaved and not quite as wobbly or worrying as the maize bread which I accidentally over-hydrated a few weeks ago. The smell and taste of this bread is truly outstanding. There is something special about the combination of maize, rosemary and seeds which just doesn't often feature in traditional English cooking. It's a great combination of add-ins, with a clear procedure which is fully explained here and straightforward to reproduce. I'll definitely be trying more of the recipes from Girl meets Rye in future.


Happy baking!

newfiepete's picture

ARGHHHHH I just keep flopping loaf after loaf! Help me people!

March 13, 2016 - 10:38am -- newfiepete

THAT IS IT!  I am jumping off the ledge!!!  Thank goodness I only live on the first floor so sprained ankle at best.

I just flop loaf after loaf.  I just mix honey and yeast in water and put it in the mixer and just add flour till it pulls from the sides, bit of enhancer maybe, salt and gluten just for kicks.  The loafs proof BEAUTIFULLY!  I do a first rise, punch it down, put it in the bread molds and then put it in to proof again.  they rise beautifully, big rounded over the top of the bread pans, you want to take a picture.

MontBaybaker's picture

Forkish method - OK to use mixer instead of hands?

March 12, 2016 - 9:33pm -- MontBaybaker

Just got Ken Forkish's Flour, Water... am an advanced beginner.  Currently I can't do all the mixing by hand due to a new  neck problem causing arm/hand weakness & pain.  To prevent withdrawal, am tying to bake & cook to some degree while I do rehab (hoping to avoid surgery).  

If I frequently check dough consistency and temperature, will using my sturdy Hobart Kitchen-Aid instead of my hands produce similar results with his recipes?  I'll do what I can manage by hand.      

Robalo Bill's picture

exploding sour dough rye loaf

March 12, 2016 - 8:50pm -- Robalo Bill

My loaves are coming out tastier, nice crust. I have been scoring the tops. I even use a proofing basket to control the shape. My problem is that out of the oven the loaf splits and separates along a seam were the loaf starts at the bottom, right across one end to the other. I can send you pictures. Don't know what's wrong. It looks like the loaf exploded and the top is trying to leave the base. Bill

icantbakeatall's picture

No knead bread turned out sour this time--any ideas why?

March 12, 2016 - 7:44pm -- icantbakeatall

I've made probably 10 loafs of no knead bread and for some reason this one turned out sour. The dough smelt sour as it was rising and the bread tasted kind of sour when I made it. Its not necessarily bad, just not what I was going for. Any ideas why this time was different? Thanks!

Ellingham91's picture

Using starter vs building a leaven

March 12, 2016 - 2:26pm -- Ellingham91

What impact does building a leaven from your starter have when making a loaf as opposed to building your loaf using an active starter? i guess all I can think of is it changes the flavour profile if you use a small portion of your starter to seed a leaven and use it quite early but you can do the same thing with your starter so why the process of building a leaven unless you want to build a specific one for a specific bread? 

icantbakeatall's picture

How does folding over the no knead bread during first rise effect second rise?

March 12, 2016 - 11:51am -- icantbakeatall

Let's say I am making a no knead bread. It calls for a long period of rising, then you fold it over a couple times and let it second rise for a couple hours and bake. Then there's another no knead recipe that calls for folding over the dough during the initial long rise a couple times.


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