The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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alfanso's picture

I had an inkling that I hadn't baked these in a while but never thought that it was as long as 8 months ago.  SJSD variations?  Yes, but the base product?  No.  

Most of my formula sheets have notes on what the dough feels like at stages: extensible, slack, tight, fluffy...  Do I need to dust the couche more or dust it less post-shaping?  But on this sheet I didn't have any guide, and as it had been a while, I didn't remember what to expect.  

This mix saw a few more grams of water added than before, and the dough remained surprising slack, and at shaping time it was a bit tacky.  Gotta record that.

This is the type of bake where I feel a little doubt - until 5 minutes into the action when I can clearly see the scores making their move to bloom.  And then the doubt is once more quelled.

3x350g baguettes, 1x590 batard.


crumb shot added...

dabrownman's picture

For the 123 challenge bake we chose to do a polish for the 1, NF milk for the 2 and bread flour for the 3.  We also used 10% butter since these are supposed to soft tolls and enriching them is the way to go.  We did not put any sugar in the mix as some would do to make the rolls sweeter.  A pinch of insant yeast was all it took to get things rolling.

We autolysed the dough flour with the milk and salt sprinkled on top for 1 hour.  This is an easy recipe to deal with once the poolish is ready to hit the mix.  We did 30 slap and folds to get everything, mixed followed by 2 sets of 8 slap and folds and 3 sets of 34 stretch and folds all on 15 minute intervals.


This isn’t a SD, so things move very fast with commercial instant yeast and why we cut the rest periods down to 15 minutes each.  We did the stretch and folds in the air and placed the dough back into an oiled SS bowl covered with plastic wrap between the S & F’s.   We left the dough rest and rise 50% from the end if stretch and folds

 We then divided the dough into (9) 56 g balls and placed them into a small Pyrex baking dish for final proof.  Once they had risen 100%, we brushed on the egg wash and sprinkles some sesame seeds on top to gussy them up some since they were looking pretty plain.

We baked them in the Mini Oven, with water underneath in the broiler pan for steam, for 10 minutes at 350 F.  We then took out the broiler pan and continued baking at 350 F convection for another 12 minutes until the rolls read 202 F in the middle.

We removed the pan from the oven and took the rolls out of the pan to cool on the rack sans glass.  Once they cooled we wrapped them in the plastic wrap to keep fresh fir dinner.  These were not SD so they staled very, very quickly and by day 3 were totally worthless for rolls but there was only 1 left anyway.  The brisket is still killer though.

With that salad you can indulge in a Kahlua Espresso Cheesecake with a coffee chocolate sauce and a strawberry.

These ended up soft and moist when fresh for 12 hours and the perfect little rolls to hold a fantastic brisket that was smoked for 13 hours in honor of our daughter taking the PA test and finishing up her 2 year ordeal.  We know she will pass the test since no graduate from UTMB’s PA program has failed the test in over 3 years.

She is now interviewing for positions in CO. AZ and TX and has even had a couple of offers – one in AZ and one in TX – yeah for her.  She is hoping that she gets an offer, also from TX, for her favorite clinical experience ………. transplant surgery.  It is some very long hours every week in this kind if work, but she loves it and they pay very well to compensate for all the hard hours.  She should know in a couple of weeks where she will end up for her first PA job right out of school.  

yozzause's picture

Caught up with Zita  TFL (Bakingbadly) in Fremantle today on the first day of spring which delivered us a super day which we were able to enjoy with a couple of new experiences for Zita. No doubt he will post soon on our half day adventure as he did take quite a few pictures  and seemed to have had a good time doing it.

kind regards Derek

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

As I said when I issued the 123 challenge, I needed an easy dough that I could use to test out new ingredients and compare techniques, etc. So to that end, I decided the other day to make dough for two 123 loaves. I was going to mix them together, then divide them and bulk ferment one in the fridge overnight, then shape and bake the next day, while the other was to be bulk fermented for a few hours, then shaped and proofed in the fridge overnight. I wanted to see if there was a significant difference between retarding the bulk ferment and retarding the shaped proof stage. The formula was:

  • 200 grams of fresh young 100% hydration starter
  • 400 grams of water
  • 400 grams of bread flour
  • 150 grams of whole wheat flour
  • 50 grams of coarse whole rye flour
  • 12 grams of sea salt

So far so good. However, I was stuck in a meeting that went an hour overtime, then had to make the dough for the following days' regular bake, so by the time I got to make the 123 dough, I didn't have enough hours to let it rise enough in bulk. I was falling asleep before it had risen much, so I gave up and put the dough for both loaves downstairs where it is quite cool right now.

This morning, the dough had definitely risen! It was very, very soft and pillowy, obviously over-proofed. It collapsed in a puddle when I dumped it out onto the counter.

So I decided to do something interesting with it, while at the same time finally responding to Murph's Honey Challenge. I had some leftover soaked 10-grain cereal (Bob's Red Mill; maybe about half a cup). I mixed this with a tablespoon or so of honey, the last currants remaining in the bottom of a bag and a bit of my new-favourite bread spice, cardamom.

I figured the cereal would soak up the honey so I wouldn't have the same problems Murph had, and the currants just seemed like a good idea. The dough was so soft and stretchy that I had no problem stretching it out into a rectangle. I spread the filling across two thirds of it, then letter folded and spread the rest of the filling, letter folding the other way and leaving it to rest (beside the other loaf, which had no filling).

Note the new bread rising frame, ready to be used!

The poor dough was so fragile by this point that when I rolled it carefully off the proofing mat onto the peel it nearly collapsed into another puddle. In fact, the un-stuffed loaf stuck to the peel even though it was floured and sprinkled generously with farina. I had to scrape it off onto another peel so I could get it into the oven. Sheesh!

However, then the magic of bread happened. Oven spring wasn't as great as it would have been if the dough hadn't been over-proofed. However, it was still good and the loaf burst dramatically along the single score I managed to put in it.

It smelled so good, I had to restrain myself and wait until it was at least mostly cool before slicing. I should have left it longer, as it was a teeny bit gummy, but it was so incredibly, wonderfully good that I didn't care. I could have eaten the entire loaf right then and there. It's moist, sweet and chewy, and I must make it again! The honey is very much there and everything else contributes to the overall goodness. Overall, a lovely mistake!

Maxbob002's picture

I made a French bread size loaf from a sourdough baguette recipe. It's a recipe I got in a sourdough class that I make regularly but usually in typical baguette form. It has about 50grams of starter and 2 gram sof commercial yeast for a 900 gram total dough. We are having roast beef melt sandwiches for dinner so I made some larger loaves than normal. I did everything I thought would decrease oven spring. I used a lower oven temperature, bulk and proofed longer than normal and held my lame completely vertical. Between Charlotte and the commerical yest, the end result was among the best oven spring I have had in a loaf. Not sure how it happened but will have to keep experimenting and learning. Bread baking is so complex.

Thanks for reading.

Cedar Mountain's picture
Cedar Mountain

I had some leftover buckwheat, spelt, rye, oats cereal porridge from a previous bake along with some sprouted gold and brown flax seeds...amazing what you can do with some fresh milled flour, water, salt and yeast! 

30% fresh milled organic grain (rye, red fife); 70% organic, unbleached white flour; 22% young (2 hours) levain; 23 g  sea salt; initial hydration 75%, final hydration 88% after addition of organic grains porridge, sprouted flax seeds, toasted buckwheat.  Bulk fermented for approximately 4 1/2 hours, dough temperature 78 F throughout; pre-shaped, bench rested for 1/2 hour and then final shaping, into proofing basket and cold proofed overnight in the fridge for 18 hours. Baked in combo cooker and Schlemmertopf clay baker directly out of the fridge, 500 F covered for 20 minutes, 450 F for 10 minutes; 450 F uncovered for 18 minutes.  The aroma is definitely buckwheat but the crumb taste/texture is soft, custardy, chewy because of the porridge and slightly grassy like olive oil because of the sprouted flax seeds.  I like this one...and yes, it too is going on my list of favourites!



JenMayer's picture


Pros: Looks fancy. Shape of loaf is pristine

Cons: Bread typically needed to cook longer as it seemed to trap more moisture especially on the bottom of the loaf. Harder to remove bread from pan after baking. Can not see progress while the dough rises (except for top of loaf). 


Pros: Can visualize the dough as it rises giving you a good idea of how well the crumb will end up. Easier to clean.

Cons: Difficult to remove bread from pan after baking at times.

Metal (Steel):

Pros: Excellent shape. Bread seems to cook through faster and more "even". Easy to remove bread from pan after baking. In my opinion, this pan produced the best product;)

Cons: Can not see the "underbelly" of bread as it rises like you can with glass pan. 

Pans used in this experiment:

Ceramic- Wilton® Indulgence® Professional Stoneware 9-Inch x 5-Inch Loaf Pan from Bed Bath and Beyond

Glass- Pyrex Corning NY (Not sure where I bought this from)

Metal- Wilton® Advance® Loaf Pan from Bed Bath and Beyond

joc1954's picture

I started to experiment with yeast water made from raisin or pears and wanted to test if it is possible to make 100% buckwheat flour bread that is actually gluten free. Buckwheat is quite popular here in Slovenia. "Ajdovi Žganci", the Slovene word for buckwheat maize porridge, is a typical Slovene food prepared by farmers. 

The recipe is simple: in my case I used 900g of freshly milled buckwheat flour (milled on my own mill at home), added 1000g of water, 20g of salt and 3 tablespoons of psyllium and 30g of olive oil. A day before I have used 30g of raisin yeast water and 30g of buckwheat flour to prepare the levain. After doubling I added another 100g of water and 100g of buckwheat flour and waited about one hour that the levain started to raise rapidly. Then I have mixed everything with handand put in a model covered with parchment paper. The dough was proofing in my oven at 35 dC until it doubled. Then I just turned on my steam oven with max amount of steam and baked at 230 dC (the maximum available temp) for 45 minutes (the oven had to warm up within this time) and then without steam for next 15 minutes at 210 dC.

The bread turned out great and was quite soft although still quite dense, but much better what I was actually expecting. The raisin YW performed a great work.

I am eagerly waiting for any comments and suggestions for improvement.

Happy baking, Joze

Danni3ll3's picture

We have a local restaurant called the Prospector. They are known for their soft airy rolls or buns. I was fortunate to find a copy of their recipe online. My daughter was having a bunch of friends over for a pizza party and she wanted to make some prospector buns to go with some marinara dipping sauce. She had the idea of brushing them with butter and sprinkling them with Italian herb mix and some parmesan before baking. They turned out delicious and just as tasty as the ones from the restaurant.

Prospector Buns

  • Put 2 cups of very warm water in mixing bowl.
  • Add 1⁄2 tsp. salt.
  • Add 1 egg (beaten).
  • Add 1⁄2 cup sugar.
  • Add 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil.
  • Stir in 2 tbsp. instant yeast.
  • Add 6 cups (starting with 5 cups and add more flour until the right texture).
1.Mix, then knead into a round ball (no air bubbles). (I used slap and fold to knead for about 5 minutes)
2.Grease the ball and bowl with oil so it won’t stick to the sides. 
3.Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. 
4.Shape into buns and let rise in pan for another hour. 
5.Bake at 350oF for 15 minutes (depending on size of the buns)

As noted above, we brushed them with butter, put italian herbs and parmesan on top before baking. The size of the rolls before baking were around 50 g so they needed just a bit longer to brown nicely. I baked them in convection mode.


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