The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

David Brown's blog

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David Brown

My wife and I are beginning to learn the techniques involved in baking bread. So many new terms to learn, so many steps to master. We appreciate this forum as the readers here have already helped us tremendously.


Our question now is the difference between starter and preferment. We were advised to use a preferment to create more flavor and possibly larger holes in our foccacia loaves. While reading about preferments we came across the term "starter" which we had heard before. We thought starter was only used in sourdough bread.


Can someone describe these two aspects, and point us to literature or websites that would be helpful in our journey to the percfect loaf?

David Brown's picture
David Brown

My wife and I recently aquirred an interest in baking Foccacia. We have made some screamin' loaves but when we compare them to a certain loaf we purchase at Trader Joe's.... we are lacking. Trader Joe's loaf is filled with large holes. That is a characteristic we love but we are not able to reproduce the holes. The recipe we use for the dough is 3 cups of bread flour, combo of .75 cup water and .25 cup of white wine at 120 degrees poured over 2.25 teaspoons of active dry yeast, to the liquid we add.....one T of olive oil.....one T of honey....and a teaspoon of Kosher salt. We let it rise once, punch it down, then let it rise again, then shape it into foccacia loaf and bake at 450 for 13 minutes.


Does anyone out there know what we are doing wrong? We only produce bread with tiny holes. It tastes awesome, but we want to know the difference. How do we make big holes?


Help......

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