The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


bakingassociation's picture


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Event Features:

Trade Show
Open both days April 23rd  & 24th  from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm with 160 + booths.


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Companies that manufacture, market, distribute & broker, baking ingredients, baked products (fresh, proof & bake, par-baked, freezer-to oven, thaw & serve), baking equipment, supplies, packaging, technology and services.



Professionals from wholesale & commercial bakeries (intermediate and large volume), retail bakeries (independent & franchise), patisseries, grocery chains/mass market/supermarket in-store bakeries, c-stores, food service establishments (restaurants, cafes, hotels, caterers), specialty & artisanal bakers, brokers, baking industry educational institutions, consultants, government buyers and more….


Bakery Congress 2017 Conference Program

Registration required for Sunday and Monday conference sessions.

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Your conference program registration will include free access to the trade show exhibits both days!


Demo Feature Area on the Trade Show Floor

Visitors will have the chance to see hourly presentations on the trade show floor. The baking programs from both Vancouver Island University and Vancouver Community College, along with special guests, will be providing hands on demonstrations of a wide variety of bakery creations.


BAC BC Chapter Networking & Fundraising Dinner

SUNDAY APRIL 23rd, 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM AT THE Terminal City Club


The BAC BC Chapter is delighted to once again present the premiere social and networking

event of Bakery Congress 2017 Trade Show & Conference.


Just steps away from the Vancouver Convention Centre is the historic Terminal City Club. Join us for an evening of food, music and industry friends. The Terminal City Club is known for its excellent food and view of beautiful Burrard Inlet and North Shore mountains. It is a perfect venue to wrap up the first day of Bakery Congress 2017.


Join us for a 3 course dinner accompanied by live piano music to catch up and meet new people.

The profit from this event will support our local baking programs at Vancouver Community College and Vancouver Island University. Dinner ticket is $155 each (includes GST).


Event is limited to 150 Guests!  Book Early to Avoid Disappointment!

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dabrownman's picture

We are in morning.  Crayola is discontinuing the dandelion color in their box of 24.  No color has been discontinued in over 100 years.  We think they hate weeds and shades of yellow.  As a Libertarian who has long fought for the legalization of weed, this comes as an especially heavy blow….. almost as bad as when Arizona did not pass recreational weed use last November.   Life is not fair but we will never give up!

Last week it was all about 3 and 13 and now that Lucy is back to normal, if there is such a thing, she was not to be outdone by a doofus like me so she upped everything 1 to 4’s and 14.  But, she was late in getting back to normal and started on this week’s bake so no sprouted grain this week.

She also upped the 5 grains from last week to 10 this week though and they were the usual ones; barley, buckwheat, oat, spelt, rye, red and white wheat, Kamut and emmer.  The seeds were all toasted but some of them were ground too, the brown poppy, flax and sesame seeds were ground coarse but the sunflower and pepitas were left whole.

The ground seeds were 4% each and the non-ground ones came in at twice that or 8 % each   So that makes 4 seeds and one of them is a grain, flax, so it technically really is an 11 grain bread but counting is not my strong suit and how many different whole grains in the mix only really matters if you need a label on it to sell it.  Don’t ever use seeds in bread unless they are nicely toasted to bring out the very best flavor they have.

The whole grains work put to 44.4% and the pre-fermented flour in the 3 stage, 10o% hydration bran levain was 14% with the sifted bran from the 11 home milled grains in the first stage and high extraction 11 grain flour was used for the other 2 stages.

The 2 starters were 4 g each of MNMF rye and NMNF wheat that have been retarded longer than Lucy can remember which could be anywhere from 15 seconds to 24 weeks but I’m guessing about 12 weeks based on what was left in both containers.

The levain was not retarded this week just like last week and the autolyse was short at 1 hour with the pink Himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top.  Once the levain hit the mix, the overall hydration was 80%.  We did a quick 40 slap and folds to incorporate the wee beasties and then did 2 more sets of 8 slaps each and finished up the gluten development with 3 sets of 4 stretch and folds.


The seeds were added in during the first set of stretch and folds.  All this slapping and stretching is quite cathartic when done on 30 minute intervals so it isn’t at all difficult unlike being strip searched and questioned at the airport for 2 hours straight by TSA which was Lucy’s fault too but that is another matter.

At any rate, the dough was pretty puffy when we degassed it for pre-shaping and final shaping so it went straight into a rice floured basket, seam side down, bagged and put immediately into the fridge.  No since giving Lucy a razor to do any slashing on anything until she really settles down and doesn’t bite the twits at the airport……… even if commanded to do so by her master.

She was really a nasty girl when she found out I sort of hinted she was acting strange, even for her, and might be high on something or maybe smuggling heroin up her butt.  Well doggies, as Jed Clampett used to say, she will probably be pretty sore for a while but at least she didn’t pee, poop of puke on them and came away clean as a whistle without a criminal record, at least with the Feds.

After 19 hours in the cold we took it out of the fridge and it looks well proofed to the point of it really being over-proofed.  But since we weren’t going to slash anyway we just un-molded it onto parchment on a peel and plunked it into the hot combo cooker as fast as we could and into the 500 F oven it immediately went for two minutes before 16 more at 450 F.   Our normal steaming time turned out way too short.

When the lid came off we turned the oven down to 425 F for another 30 minutes of dry baking.   It bloomed and sprang underwhelmingly but browned up well.  We took it out of the heat at 208 F to cool on the rack.

The brie and pickled cherry tomato sandwich with melon and berries was so simple but tasty 

When you bake out of the fridge cold you have to remember that the dough is very cold. and will be slow to spring and you need to add 35% more time to your lid on baking for it to spring properly and the overall time to bake the inside will be much longer too -  in this case 35% longer.   The plus is that you will get a much bolder bake when you bake right out of the fridge.

 Have to wait on the crumb shot but we don’t expect much with the loaf not springing properly.  The crumb wasn't as open as it should be but wasnl't dense either.  The bread was very tasty and full of flavor.  All in all it was worth the effort.


Levain – 3 stage, 100|t% hydration, 14% pre-fermented bran levain using 11 grain high extraction for the last 2 stages


30% High extraction, 11 grain flour

28% LaFama AP

28% Albertson’s bread flour

80% overall hydration using RO water

12% toasted, ground; brown poppy, sesame and flax seeds

14% each pepitas and sunflower seeds

2% PH sea salt


Danni3ll3's picture

Like the title says, the weekend loaf was so good, we were out of bread by Tuesday. And since I had some levain left over that I had kept (I was thinking of making sourdough cinnamon rolls with it), it was conscripted to become a loaf to fill in the gap. 

This is not my normal routine for making bread but it still worked. No idea what the crumb looks like yet. It could be pretty interesting.

So here goes:

1. Toast 50 g of bulgur and 25 g of amaranth. Soak in 150 g boiling water and let cool until just warm. 

2. Autolyse the above with 300 g unbleached flour, 150 g multigrain flour, 100 g white whole wheat flour, 250 g water and 30 g kefir. Let sit just over an hour. 

3. Mix in 135 g levain and 11 g sea salt. The dough felt a bit stiff so I added a bit of water as I was mixing. 

4. I folded the dough every half hour for 2 hours and then put it in the fridge in a covered container. I left it there for about 19 hours. 

5. There was not a lot of rise so I let it continue to bulk ferment on the counter for another couple of hours. 

6. I did a preshape, a rest and then a final shape into a batard. Into a banneton it went and into the microwave with a cup of hot water.  I let it proof about an hour and three quarters. 

7. I flipped it out onto parchment paper, scored it and baked on a preheated pizza stone covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for another 15 minutes. The first 20 minutes were at 500 F and the rest were at 450F. 

So now we should have bread till I bake again on the weekend!

alfanso's picture

No, not the Crosby, Stills and Nash song.  Rather my "full sized" baguettes.  Geremy (kendalm) has been bugging' me ;-) on and off for a while to try my hand at a full sized baguette.  And so here is my first attempt using the same Pain au Levain w/ 125% hydration rye levain as I ran last week.

Obstacles; not enough oven depth so I had to load them in sideways, my couche isn't large enough, no retarding tray for the couche, and no oven peel long enough.  Other than that, things were mostly honky-dory!  For the couche I used a stiff kitchen towel brought back from Paris by my brother a while back (the lead photo), a cut up cardboard box for the retarding tray, and two cookie sheets taped together for the oven peel.  Oh, and three pieces of parchment remnants to cover the oven peel.  Certainly not ideal, but just creative enough to get me there.

The baguettes weighted in at 365g each, a little over the dictated 350g, and fell ~9-10cm short of the 55cm standard - mostly from being a bit gun-shy on meeting the length vs. the width of the baking deck.  A bit sticky due to the 16% rye, they could have been shaped a little better too.  One unappreciated result was the four of them being lined up across the baking deck.  This created insufficient space between them and therefore the sides of each one insulated and under colored the other.  Not an issue when they are loaded head first across the length of the stone.

I baked these less boldly than I ordinarily would have, trying to be a bit more "traditional" in baguette shading.  I think that I'll be keeping the cardboard "tray" around for a while as I'll probably want to run these again while attempting to be truer to weight and length the next time.

Baked at 460dF, 10 minutes under steam, 12 minutes more and then vented for 3 minutes.

365g baguettes x 4.

bakingbadly's picture

Since my last post on TFL (see here), I've been steadily working on my shop with my partner Jana. Roof repaired and renovated, parking repaved, custom fixtures and furniture in progress (photos to be posted on a later date). Additionally, sooner than expected, I restarted my sourdough starter last month, February, and conducted countless experiments. 

  • Type 65 bread flour & Type 80 high extraction flour 

What prompted the resuscitation of my starter? Well, understandably, the flours above! After waiting for several weeks, I finally received 25 kg each of Type 65 bread flour and Type 80 high extraction flour from France.


  • 2.2 kg / 4.8 lbs Sourdough Multigrain Miche

  • Crumb of Sourdough Multigrain Miche; contains unbleached wheat & rye flour, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, rolled oats, red rice & polenta 

What resulted after a month of experimenting was the "Sourdough Multigrain Miche". Previously called "7 Grain", my sourdough multigrain originated in early 2014, an adaptation and combination of Jeffrey Hamelman's "5 Grain Levain" and Chad Robertson's "Oat Porridge Bread'. Since that time, I have gradually refined the formula. However, the latest and greatest change is the final weight (from 800 g to 2.2 kg), the addition of flaxseeds and red jasmine rice, and the "incubation" temperature of the sourdough. The Sourdough Multigrain Miche now has an improved balance of acidity, namely increased acetic acid by developing a stiffer starter at approx 21C for 13 hours. 

Besides better flavour, the sheer size and inclusion of (cooked) rice improved the softness, custard-like texture of the bread, as well as extended shelf life. An important factor when, hopefully sometime this year, I sell and deliver my sourdough breads to other cities in Cambodia. 

  • Hybrid baguettes using poolish & sourdough starter

In tandem with the Sourdough Multigrain Miche, I've been experimenting with "hybrid" baguettes incorporating a poolish and sourdough starter. Similar to Tartine Baguettes by Chad Robertson, but still not satisfied with results. Admittedly, I'm also having difficulties shaping the baguettes beyond its standard hydration but will continue practicing. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, possibly with keen interest. I promise, I shall post further updates on my bakery and shop.

Cheers and happy baking,

Mr. Zita
Head Bread Baker
Bang Bang


Yogi's picture

Baking lots. 


Regular SD WW loaves, seeded loaves and blackberry pecan loaves. Also did my fourth batch of yeasted Pain au Chocolat, which need some serious help. I can't get them to ferment and flake. 


Rye Ciabatta with ground flax. These were superb tasting. 


Blackberry Pecan WW SD loaves. Blackberry isn't all that great tasting. Sure looks nice though. 




Flax Sesame Pumpkin Oat WW SD AKA FSPO Sourdough. Pink salt addition on the right. I forgot to add everything in my normal autolyse step so I did it on the first fold. Worked fine. I really like this combination. 


Putting the oats on the crust is a pain, not going to do that again. 




Normal WW SD loaves as usual. Gave these away to friends. Going to move my score closer to the middle to open up that mid bloom look next time. 


OK, here is what I don't get. My chocolate bread rolls don't do much rising or layer separation even though I laminate well and never get butter problems. They taste good of course, but they are more bready than flakie.

Recipe using

1100g ww pastry flour

60% hydration, half water/ half milk straight from the fridge. This is real milk, from jersey cows milked that morning. So I think it was 335g of each liquid.

18g salt I think, it was a 2% addition

20g dried yeast, comes out to 1.8% of the recipe

2 teaspoons stevia since we don't use sugar

227g Kerry Gold's Irish Butter

I messed around with extra dough and tried some Pate feuilletee, those are so cool. 



Dough is mixed, only a little gluten development. Then immediately off to rest in walk-in fridge. 

Work butter and prep for lamination

laminate and first fold

cold rest

second fold and final pressing for shaping

boom done and in walk-in fridge overnight to bake next morning

bake at 350F in convection oven

I have not tried to do these all in one morning, I'm trying to avoid that. The overnight rest and morning bake is great for my work schedule. 

I have been pretty vague about the folding, so if anyone is up for getting this rolls improved I can go into better detail, but I see a fermentation issue here. Is 1.8% yeast too little? Too much? Maybe I should laminate before the first cold break to get fermentation going first? These can't be THAT hard to do. Each of the attempts look about the same, 1.8% yeast is the highest I have gone in the recipe. 




isand66's picture

  I have made several breads with this long autolyse technique in the past and I'm always happy with the well developed flavor and open crumb it produces.  By adding the porridge element and upping the hydration it really created a wonderfully moist and open crumb.  The toasted grains really came through in the flavor department as well.  This is definitely one worth baking again.

Note, you don't need to use the new Jumbo Size Kitchen Aid mixer to get the same results I did :).  (This was actually on display at the Housewares Show in Chicago last weekend).

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.

Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.  You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

Porridge Directions

Toast the grains in your pot for about 3-5 minutes until they are nice and "toasty".  Be careful not to burn them though.

Add about 3/4's of the heavy cream called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the cream is absorbed.  Add the remainder of the cream and keep stirring until you have a nice creamy and soft porridge.  Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature before adding to the dough.  I made mine the night before mixing the final dough.

 Main Dough Procedure

Using ice water, mix the flours  and the water for about 1 minute just until they are combined into a rough dough.  No need to over-mix at this point. Cover the dough and put in your refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

The next day add the levain cut up into pieces, porridge and salt and mix for around 4-5 minutes until incorporated.  Place the dough into a well oiled bowl or rising bucket and do stretch and folds every 30 minutes until you reach 2 hours.  Place the dough into the refrigerator in your covered bowl and let it sit for 24 hours.

The next day when you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put the loaf in the oven, and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 5 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.

dmsnyder's picture

I had made sourdough pita breads a few months ago with 50% whole wheat flour. They were much better than "store bought," as everything I had read led me to expect. I had experimented with two methods of shaping - rolling out versus stretching (like a pizza) - and thought rolling out had better results (a surprise). I also didn't allow any proofing time. I divided, shaped and baked. This time, I shaped all the pitas by rolling and allowed a rather brief proof period - about 10-15 minutes. I think this improved the puffing out of the pitas. I had some, still warm out of the oven, with hummus and olives as appetizers for my dinner tonight (chicken cacciatore and broccolini).

I've been meaning to make sourdough bagels for a long time. "Long time," in this case, means I found I had asked TFL member rossnroller to share his recipe back in 2010. I finally got around to doing it. Although I didn't use Ross's recipe but converted Hamelman's bagel recipe in "Bread," which has worked well for me in the past, to a sourdough version. I think they turned out pretty well.

Finally, I also baked a couple loaves of what has been my favorite "daily bread" for the past several months. It is roughly based on Forkish's "Field Blend #2.j

Happy baking!


IceDemeter's picture

...although not necessarily with the BEST response!

If anyone ever tells you that weather patterns, especially pressure changes, don't impact baking, then please laugh in their face, or, at the very least, snort derisively... 

I am one of the poor sots who gets migraines with sudden pressure changes, and (of course) live in one of the worst areas of the world for frequent and immense pressure changes.  This week we had some spring weather finally rolling in, along with some storm action, and the barometer was all over the place.  I was having a hard time with it, but tried to soldier on and follow my plan for getting a levain built on Tuesday, then doing all of the mixing and bulk ferment on Wednesday, and then proofing in the fridge for a Thursday bake.  My intention was to do a couple of loaves --- a 100% whole grain inspired by Yogi's blog (I went with 78% hydration, but mixed the grains to be 55% fresh milled hard red wheat, 20% whole spelt, and 25% fresh milled rye but done in a loaf pan instead of free-standing), and more of a "daily" loaf at 50% whole grain based on Danni3ll3's basic formula (no porridge / soaker - but did add in some toasted wheat germ).

So, there I was, meandering around the kitchen in a pain-filled haze on Tuesday, intent on building the necessary levain for the two loaves.  I started out okay with the first feed (planning on a 3-feed build), but got a bit distracted by watching the starter respond in tune with my headache to the pressure changes: instead of slowly warming and gradually growing in volume with the first feed (but not necessarily doubling in 4 hours), it was quite obviously puffing itself up as the pressure dropped, and almost tripled in volume within 4 hours.  I apparently panicked at this sign of excess life, and threw fresh-milled rye flour at it in vast volumes with what I can only suspect was the intent on satisfying the nutrient needs that such ferocious growth must generate...

After feeding the "beast", I had a nap, and awoke an hour later to see that it had responded to the fuel and the still dropping pressure by expanding even more --- but fortunately the nap brought me back enough to reality to throw it in to the fridge to try and slow it down (instead of randomly feeding it even more).  It still kept growing in the fridge (prompting my  husband to ask me if I had a containment plan for the strange alien life-form I was harbouring, since it obviously was intending on escaping the current housing).  All was well for the night, however, and nobody escaped during the dark hours (except, perhaps, any working brain cells that I might have left).

Wednesday morning I rose to confront the now rather over-sized beast in the fridge.  Instead of using actual sense to determine that anything left-over could be kept for a future bake, I went in to frenzied calculations of what I would have to bake in order to use it all up that day, without impacting the timing of the bake by massively increasing the percentage of levain to total flour.  I ended up increasing the size of the 50% wheat loaf to 750g total flour weight instead of 600g, stayed with 600g for the 100% whole grain pan loaf, and decided that I needed to make another complete 750g loaf and chose to go with a version of txfarmer's Banana Light Rye ( but calculated up to 750g flour weight, increasing the rye percentage, and including some toasted almonds. Perfectly reasonable, no?!  Two people should be expected to go through bread using 2100g of flour in a week, right?!

I got all of the mixing done, was happily doing my scheduled stretch-and-folds, when it gradually dawned on me that I didn't have any proofing basket or container that would work for these 750g loaves (I'd proofed on the counter using random boxes for side-support for previous loaves, but my counter just doesn't fit in the fridge...)  My still pain-hazed little brain cell figured that this would be no problem - that I could just pick up a couple of bannetons while doing a grocery run while the three sets of dough were doing their nice, gradual room temperature bulk ferment.

Stretch-and-folds finished, my husband (who knows enough to humour me when in pain-haze) took me to pick up the bannetons and then out grocery shopping and all seemed well... until we got home and I realized that the pressure was still impacting the dough, and I just got lucky and got home just before all 3 over-fermented and exploded out of their containers!  Quick beat down and pre-shape done on all of them, a rest (for the dough - I was fretting to much to rest), a final shaping, then in to the new baskets (with parchment paper since I didn't have time to prep them properly), and in to the fridge.  Phew!  Disaster averted!

Thursday morning dawned with no storms in sight, and the pressure just starting to settle in to a more steady reading.  I rather gingerly planned on doing the 100% whole grain pan loaf first at a straight 375 degrees and no steaming (based on some recommendations that I'd seen on here to bake whole grains and pan loaves at lower temps for longer), and to do the other loaves afterwards.  As the oven was heating, I hesitantly checked the dough in the fridge to see how it had fared (I was terrified of seeing 3 over-proofed puddles), and was pleasantly shocked to see that they had all expanded more than usual, but would all be fine with an hour or so at room temperature to proof a little bit more.  I still wasn't thinking well, so totally forgot to score the pan loaf (oops!), but did get them all baked off and safely out to cool.

The 100% whole grain doesn't look all that pretty, especially with the blow-out from oven spring, but turned out with a fairly tight, but creamy and delicious crumb.  I used 5g each of white and red rye malts, along with 30g toasted wheat germ, and think that I'll try the higher temp with steam next time.  This is my favourite from this week (but I love the sourness and tang of whole grains and sour starter), and got a solid "pretty good" from my husband (who doesn't have the same preferences).

The 50% whole grain, turned out as a "THIS needs to be our standard loaf" from the husband, with a great light tang and a sturdy but tender crumb:

The extra, panic-fueled addition to the crew was the banana loaf.  I had already used the formula a couple of times (at the smaller size, but with slightly more rye than the original) and felt pretty comfortable with it.  The oven spring this time was much larger than previous times, but it has gone to visit the in-laws so I don't have a crumb shot:

All in all, it seems like the wild reactions of both the baker and the dough turned out okay in the end. At least one of these massive loaves has left the building, so I really was left with just a bit more than was originally planned, and won't  need to be looking at buying a bigger freezer... yet.

Cheers, and hope you all have as much fun with the journey as I'm  having!

PS - although my lousy photography shows the top crusts as very black (Burnt Crunchy Bits!), it really is just a really deeply caramelized brown and not really burnt.  Really tasty, though!

Danni3ll3's picture

This weekend's bread is all about including whole grains. The levain is a combo of the 3 starters I have. I coddled it all week and it rewarded me with tripling in just a few hours when I made the final levain. 

Here is the recipe!

1. Sprout 50 g each of Kamut, Spelt and Selkirk wheat berries. 

2. Autolyse sprouts with 700 g water, 550 g no-additives unbleached flour, 102 g multigrain flour, 100 g fresh milled Kamut, 100 g fresh milled Spelt and 100 g fresh milled Selkirk wheat. Let sit for a couple of hours. 

3. Mix in 22 g sea salt, 30 g Kefir, and 275 g levain (80%). The kefir was supposed to go into the autolyse but I forgot it so I added it at this stage. 

4. Do four sets of folds 30 minutes apart and let bulk ferment for a total of 4-5 hours or until doubled. I do this in my oven with the light on. The batch that I put into the oven doubled in 4 hours, the one that I left out on the counter for 2 hours before putting into the oven took 5 hours. I delayed the second batch as I have only so much room on my island to shape them. 

5. Divide into 3 750-gram loaves, preshape, rest and do a final shape. Place in bannetons and into fridge for a 12-14 hour proof. I did get a new fridge and set the temperature at 36 F. When I took the loaves out to bake, they were perfectly proofed. A very cold fridge is my friend!

6. Set the oven on convection bake, Preheat oven and Dutch ovens to 475F, load dough in pots, and immediately drop temp to 450F for 25 minutes. Remove lids, switch the Dutch ovens from lower to upper rack and vice-versa, drop temp to 425 F and bake for another 20 minutes. I was worried about burnt bottoms so that is why the loaves aren't as dark as usual. Now that I know baking on convection and avoiding the hot spot works, then I can go back to nice and dark. 

Crumb shot coming later!


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