The Fresh Loaf

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Another day, another loaf. Same concept here, use the "My Daily Bread" recipe as a basis for modification. In this case it is also a basis for education.

CONCLUSION(S): I think that I have been chronically underproofing my loaves and I think the "retarding" in the fridge is really exacerbating this problem ... so in the next loaf I'll wait longer for the final rise. I also have been very loosey-goosey with my measuring, I don't like this approach (mostly because I am not sure of the final hydration) and therefore I'll 1) formulate a recipe and 2) follow it.

The bread looks OK (well, OK, it looks bad), smells nice, and I lopped a slice off an the taste is good. Crumb is a bit on the dense side but once it cools off a bit more and dries a little it should be pretty good.


1 cup fed starter, at peak of rise

1 cup filtered water

1 cup unbleached AP flour

1 teaspoon of Greek yogurt (for the LAB bacteria)

Mix and let sit 8 hours (or overnight) in a warm room to ferment. (I left the sponge out overnight and then didn’t use it until after I got back from work … total fermentation time = 16 hours). (The sponge rose significantly … easily 2x in volume)


1 pound unbleached AP flour

12 ounces filtered water

Place ingredients in a mixer and mix at low speed until the flour and water are just combined. Leave in the mixing bowl, cover, and let sit at room temperature for 8 hours (or overnight) in a warm room to autolyse. (I left the dough out with the sponge, as noted previously I left the sponge out for 16 hours, so the autolyse was also 16 hours).

Final Dough:

Autolysed dough


Pour/scrape the sponge into the dough. Attach the dough hook to the mixing machine and knead until the dough and sponge are combined (the dough was like batter). At this point I add flour until a high hydration dough is achieved, then once the flour is incorporated I let the machine knead at lowest speed for 5 minutes. (I did this before going to bed)(this is where I made my first mistake … I had not planned on a recipe or a target hydration, so I did not measure the amount of flour used … I have no idea what the hydration was).

Leave the final dough out for bulk fermentation. (The final dough was left in a warm room overnight (about 7 hours)). (the next morning the dough had risen TREMENDOUSLY … it had easily doubled in volume).

Add salt and knead for 5 minutes at lowest mixer speed using dough hook. (I realized that morning that I had forgotten to add the salt, however I had planned on kneading anyways so no problem ... I think).

Leave the dough in the mixing bowl, and cover. Let rest for 3 hours in a warm room.

Knead using mixer for 5 minutes at lowest speed using dough hook.

Leave the dough in the mixing bowl and cover.

Place dough in a cold room for 8 hours (or overnight). Remove dough from bowl and shape. (this is where I made another mistake … the dough was very loose and I tried folding it … it stayed very loose. I was thinking of shaping it into batards but I decided against it because I was worried the loaves would over proof, so I decided to place the entire dough ball into a bundt pan (I’ve used the pan previously for Portuguese sweet bread with great success). I left the dough in the warm room for about an hour and it rose very slowly. I then warmed my oven to ~90 F and put the dough in there for about an hour. The dough rose a fair amount (not doubled, though) and after the final bake I’m convinced that it should have stayed out in the warm room all day for proofing).

Bake at 530F for 15 minutes, then 480F for 15 minutes; use a baking stone and a small metal bowl with water for steam. Cook until an internal temperature of 200F is achieved (I cooked until following this protocol but the internal temp wasn’t 200F at the end of the 480F bake so it stayed in the oven for another 15 minutes at 480F until 206F was attained).

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I didn't know I couldn't post more than 1 pic for a blog entry. D'oh.

Here is a pic of the crumb of Loaf #1 (there were 2 loaves from the batch of dough).



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As I mentioned previously I decided to try "My Daily Bread"  with SD starter instead of packaged yeast. So I added 1 cup of fed starter to 1 cup unbleached AP flour and 1 cup of filtered water to make a "poolish" (I used quotes because I'm not sure what to call it when using SD starter). I let it ferment at room temperature overnight, and then proceeded to use 8 ounces of filtered water and enough flour to make a slightly sticky dough (I did not record the amount of flour used so I don't know the hydration, but it definitely is less than the 70% used in many SD recipes posted on TFL). I kneaded the mixture with my Kitchen Aid for 5 minutes at "1" with the dough hook, let it rest for 15 minutes, then kneaded again for 5 minutes with the KA at "1." I let it ferment at room temperature for about 6 or 7 hours, then put it in the refrigerator overnight. Yesterday evening I split the dough ball in half and formed 2 boules, put each boule on a piece of baking parchment, and let them rise overnight at room temperature. I baked them both this morning by preheating the oven (with a stone and a metal pan of water) to 550 F, slashing the loaf with a "+" and then baking the loaf for 15 minutes at 550 F then 10 minutes at 475 F. Final bread temperature was 212 F for loaf #1 and 208 F for loaf #2.

Oven spring was OK, shape of each loaf was a little wonky ... each dough ball formed a thin dry skin on the surface and it looked like the dough was rising unevenly as a result. Crumb development was OK but not great (not a big surprise considering the hydration was low (at least lower than 70%)). I took off a thin slice and tasted it, tastes pretty good but we'll see how the flavor develops over the next day or two. I think the pics are a bit deceiving as the crumb seems slightly dense to me.

I can see how the higher hydration leads to such a spectacular crumb ... I am thinking that in addition to poor gluten development in my SD loaves, the higher hydration doughs are a bit more fragile and prone to "deflation" while being handled after the final rise. I think I can handle that, now that I've learned a bit.



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Here is a pic I took this past Sunday.

On the left are failed attempts at Dave Snyder's SFSD and SJSD. I suspect it has to do with inadequate gluten development. Starter could be off but I've been able to work it up to the point where it will double in 3 to 4 hours ... we'll see.

Loaf on the right is "My Daily Bread" baked in a gas-fired oven, with a pizza stone, with a metal bowl of water, at 550deg F, until an internal temperature of 205 deg F was attained. Appears to have come out well, which I suspect has to do with 1) sufficient kneading (I used my Kitchen Aid), and 2) a tad lower hydration. SWMBO decided we'd save it for Thanksgiving, so any crumb pictures will have to wait.

As you can see it had quite a bit of oven spring, so I'm fairly certain that it was a bit underproofed when it went into the oven.

I've decided to try a version of MDB using starter (instead of packaged yeast) for the poolish...

More later.



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