The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss


The famous "proof until double in size" is present in almost every recipe.

I remember seeing some photos somewhere, but I can't remember.

So, here is my experiment.

I made a white dough according to RB "Crumb" (100% Flour, 70% water, 2% salt, 2% yeast), divided it after gluten development and proofed one half in a cylindrical measuring cup, the other half in a transparent pudding bowl.

This way you can see what a doubling in size looks like in a non-cylindrical bowl.

Ambient temperature was between 22C and 24C, it took about 90 minutes to get the doubling in size.

Here are the pictures.

doubling 1

doubling 2


In this picture I simply combined the previous two, for comparison.




earth3rd's picture

I found this recipe for Ciabatta No Knead Bread on the internet at this site:

Watch the video... I followed every step as seen in the video.

I converted the recipe to weight measurment... here it is...

 Ciabatta -no knead bread 1 loaf

455 gr. - APF (all purpose flour)

64 gr. - WF (whole wheat flour)

0.9 gr. - yeast (active dry yeast)

9.5 gr. - salt (table salt)

473 gr. - warm water 105 - 110F  


The bread smelled and tasted fantastic, I would definatly make it again. Very easy to make. Here are a couple of pictures of the finished product.

By the way... it went very nicely with the Moroccan Lentil Soup I made as well!!!!

The soup recipe can be found at this site:




Floydm's picture

I went down to the Red Mill to wish Bob a happy 82nd birthday today.

Bob and Charlee Moore

Most folks on the West Coast, particularly bakers, are very familiar with Bob Moore and his Red Mill.  For the rest of you folks: Bob's story is well worth reading in full.  In short, over the last forty years Bob built a hugely successful business promoting whole grains and healthy eating.  Bob's Red Mill's products are widely distributed in grocery and health food stores all over the US and Canada.

 A year ago, Bob celebrated his 81st birthday century by handing ownership of his company over to the employees.  This year, Bob celebrated by giving away $5 million to Oregon State University and another 1.3 million to Portland's National College of Natural Medicine to fight childhood obesity.

After a toast from a few friends and associates, Bob gave a brief thank you speech and got a laugh with his suggestion that starting the day with hot cereal was the key to his longevity and good health.  

(You can find more photos of the Red Mill and of Dave's Killer Bread Bakery, which is right across the street, in this Flickr slideshow).

I spoke to Bob briefly but long enough to give him my thanks and express my appreciation for all he has done for the community, both the baking community and Oregon.   

Happy Birthday, Bob!  May you have many more and continue to be a role model to us all.

Sylviambt's picture

Thanks to all for advise. Next time round will

  • Fold twice instead just once
  • Will substitute one cup of bread flour with AP
Again, the recipe I used is from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread book.
cranbo's picture

So I've been poring over some older TFL posts on autolyse, as well as other web sites. 

The traditional definition of autolyse means that only flour and water are combined to enhance flour hydration and gluten formation, with a host of other benefits. 

One post I found said that yeast should not be included in an autolyse because it can potentially form too acidic of an environment, which may not be conducive to flavor (or possibly to gluten development). I can imagine that the addition of lots of leaven (yeast, preferement, etc) could cause problems with autolyse, but I have never experienced this myself.  

My question is:

In your own experience, have you tried autolyse with yeast, as well as without? If so, what difference did it make in the final product for the same recipe? Note I'm not looking for theoretical answers here, i want to know if you were able to perceive a significant difference in the resulting bread. 

For me, I guess my next step will be to run some experiments, and compare the results of autolysed doughs which contain levain vs. those which don't. Considering doughs are autolysed 20 min to 1 hour, those are the intervals that I will be working with. 



geraintbakesbread's picture

I’d been wondering lately what to do with a small amount of chestnut flour that was languishing in a bowl in the cupboard when I saw this thread started by dorothydean (Thank you Dorothy!) after she’d read about Casola Marocca on the Slow Food Foundation website.

Chestnut Flour

I brought back around a kilo of chestnut flour from a holiday in Tuscany last October. The holiday had been organised by The Handmade Bakery, the UK’s first Community Supported Bakery (CSB), and included three mornings of baking classes (which turned into more like 3 full days!). We were staying in a villa in Ponte a Moriano, near Lucca, in the foothills of the Alpi Apuane in the north west of Tuscany (Garfagnana region).

October sees the start of the chestnut harvest in the mountains (the chestnut trees only grow above a certain altitude, above the level of the olive groves & vineyards) and on the first day of our holiday we visited the mountain village of Colognora where a chestnut festival was being held. The weather was atrocious, and by the time we arrived (after getting a little lost) the torrential rain had caused the smattering of small food & craft stalls that had been erected amidst the narrow, steep & stony streets, to start packing up. A few hardy souls continued to roast chestnuts, distributing them gratis in soggy paper bags. We were treated to a tour of the Chestnut Museum by the museum’s director, who unfortunately spoke no English. With long fluid sentences & elaborate hand gestures (translated into curt one-liners by our Australian guide!), he explained the innumerable applications of the sweet chestnut; we’d run out of time before we even got to the culinary uses, but there’s a useful summary here.

In order to make flour, chestnuts are dried over smouldering chestnut wood & old husks, in specially built smokehouses, before being shelled & stone-ground.

There seems to be some dispute over it’s keeping qualities, with some sources saying it keeps well year round, whilst others say it needs to be kept in the freezer. This might be affected by production methods which I believe also vary. Mine has kept perfectly well in the cupboard since October.

In the UK, Shipton Mill produce a flour from ‘chestnuts [that] are sourced directly from a small hill farmer, Patrice Duplan, who gathers them from the hills in the Ardeche region of Southern France', according to the blurb. In Tuscany we were told that the French use a different method of drying the chestnuts (I forget how - I've got a vague memory it involved paraffin?! – although I'd be surprised if this was the case with the Shipton.

Other UK sources (thanks zeb) include &

I have also seen it stocked in wholefood shops.

In the US, Dorothy found this online supplier: & breadsong found it here.

The flour seems very expensive in relation to bread flours, but when compared with other nuts, ground or otherwise, it is very reasonable.


The recipe that mrfrost dug up was a hybrid whilst Daisy_A found a pure sourdough version.

(Thank you both!)

Both recipes were in Italian but had been google translated. I started the mrfrost recipe before seeing Daisy_A’s post but had decided to leave out the commercial yeast anyway.

I didn't have as much chestnut flour as the mrfrost recipe called for, so made up the amount with extra white bread flour. After all the additions, the dough was still dry & crumbly, so I added the potato I had left over & extra milk to make a stiff, sticky but workable dough.

So my modified recipe was as follows:

290g  chestnut flour

210g  strong white flour (Doves Farm)

10g    salt

150gr  sourdough

100g   milk

80g   water

20g   oil

110g   mashed potato


I only kneaded it briefly after mixing as I figured there wasn’t much gluten to develop. I gave it a ‘fold’ after the first hour - a bit of an exaggeration: the dough had lost a little of its stickiness but was still stiff, so all I did really was to form a slightly smoother, taughter ball than before.

After another hour, the dough had some spring & had lost it’s stickiness. I just tightened up the ball, being careful not to tear the surface, and put it into a floured banneton. I’m not sure what my reasoning was for doing this, it was more an instinctive act! I guess I felt that the dough wouldn’t benefit structurally from any more folds. If I do this again, I might knead just a little longer after mixing until the stickiness is gone & then put it straight in a banneton.

Another 2.5 hours later, the dough had risen only slightly, almost imperceptibly. I was faced with a choice (since I had to go out an hour later): I could either bake it, leave it on the counter for another 4 or so hours, or refrigerate it (if I could find the space, which was doubtful). I decided to bake. I turned out the loaf and scored it with a deep cross, as mentioned in Daisy_A’s post.

I baked in the same way as I usually bake my sourdough wheat breads: on a preheated kiln shelf, starting high (250-60c) with steam (boiling water in tray below) for 15mins, then down to 200c. I checked internal temp after 30 mins (c.60c) & 40 mins (c.75c). After 55 mins, the internal temp was 92c but the bread still felt very heavy & moist. I needed to leave, so I turned the oven off but left the loaf in.


The dough was obviously underproofed & the bake a bit high, but the result was very visually appealing. I don't think the picture gets the colour very accurately: the crumb was quite purple when first sliced (think darker & more purple than walnut bread), with a purple-red-brown crust, which darkened & mellowed overnight to a chestnut brown (go figure!); the crumb colour too was less pronounced a day later.

When I sliced the loaf in half, I was worried that it wasn't quite done & would be gummy like rye can be, but not at all. Although visually, the crumb texture resembles a rye bread, it feels very different to the touch & in the mouth: it's much drier for a start; this might be due in part to the manner of baking, but I also think that the chestnut flour retains less water than rye. I imagine that one reason for adding the potato is to preserve moisture.

The high bake led to a crunchy crust, like a sweet nutty biscuit (I think the milk contributed to this), which is a great contrast to the close textured, almost meaty, crumb. The sweet smoky flavour is terrific & I’ve had some rapturous responses from some friends who tried it.

I had it first with some Manchego, & the following day with a very similar, but more authentic(!), Pecorino Toscano, both hard ewe’s milk cheeses: a wonderful combination. I also made a mushroom soup, using fresh mushrooms & dried porcini, which was also a good accompaniment.

Other suggestions are soft goat’s cheese & (chestnut) honey, and lardo di Colonnata, or any other salty Tuscan (or other) cured meat.

Why not give it a go!

proth5's picture


Here's where the long slog starts.

In the world of the internet six weeks is a long time and six blog installments on the same old bread is reaching interminable.  Yet I haven't even started to get down to work on this formula.

I have such admiration for those bakers who can bake a bread, make a variation, and then pronounce it "perfect."   "Perfect?" the little voice in my head asks, "You mean nothing could be better?  Nothing? Think again."  And 'though my faithful limo driver and bread tester has pronounced that what is now known as my "Bear - guettes" is "The bread I will eat in heaven" I'm still not happy with the results (I'm tweaking around my baking temperatures and times and getting some interesting, but to be held private for now, results.) I only stopped on my original levain baguette formula because it seemed like two years was a long time to dwell on a thing and I had to let go. (Yes, the doctors at "The Place" are busy working with me on this problem.)

Not that any of the result of my past 5 variations on this bread has been inedible or really even anything but pleasant eating.  But "perfect?"  No.

Success however, sometimes lies not in "trying harder", but in trying "softer."  I was beginning to get snarled up in my own attempts and I felt it.  So I decided to take a deep breath and follow some simple rules:

  • 1. Look back to where you started
  • 2. Do some research (Or what I like to call "steal from the best"), and
  • 3. Keep your eye on the goal

I should have added "Check your math" or rather "Double check your math" because I was convinced that I'd done checked it.

Which is why I've been writing up these little adventures - it serves to force me, even if a few days too late to make sure I've got things right. And at no point in the scaling and baking did I see the mistake.  In fact I discovered it as I was writing this.

I looked at my original formula and realized that I had been drifting a bit on hydration, so I rejiggered the formula so that I was adding the same amount of boiling water to my oats  as the original (It would have been easier if that whole mess was "hydration neutral" but as good as that standard is, I'm leaving the practice for another day) with my beloved triticale preferment staying at a 60% hydration which is just a bit on the dry side for a panned bread - so I figured the hydration of the whole would be close to the original.

On LindyD's prompting I looked at Mr. Hamelman's formula for oatmeal bread - which differs significantly from mine, particularly in his choice of flour, his treatment of the oats, the type of oats he uses, and lack of the tribble friendly pre ferment.  "Why not just bake his formula?" the alert reader might ask.  Well, somewhat out of mule headed stubbornness, but mostly out of a belief that his formula is as frozen in time as my original starting point and in the infinite alternate universes which have been born and died since he wrote the formula, we in this one might have learned a thing or two. Besides, this whole exercise is formula development - not formula duplication.  I was inspired by his use of whole wheat flour, though.  So I decided to add in a portion of home milled to the mix.

Since the molasses had been such a vital part of the original formula, I was determined to re introduce it - but gradually.

Then I screwed up on the math.  I failed to check a couple of formulas in my trusty spreadsheet that ... Well, I can make up a good excuse why it was easy to make the error, but I did it, okay, I made a mistake. 

So I'm not publishing the formula for this bake - because it is not what I intended to bake, nor should it be what anyone tries to bake (if you were baking along).

But you gotta love this bread because even with my serious math error the stuff came out OK.  Tasted fine.  A little bland perhaps, but looking back on the nature of my mistake - to be expected. Nice crumb.  I did take a picture and have posted it below.  Tan loaf.  Fine crumb. Sometimes mistakes are the eureka moment that we need.  Not this time.  It was just a mistake.

So next bake, as my penance for making a formula mistake I'm baking the same (well, not really the same) formula again with the math corrected.  Ah, the mill grinds slowly, but it grinds exceeding small.  I'll post the real formula next week.

Hopefully I can continue to tweak the molasses and deal with the troubling issue of "inclusions" in the not so distant future.

MadAboutB8's picture

I just want to share my experience at the Red Beard Bakery, an artisan bakery in a small town called Trentham in country Victoria, Australia.

Trentham is about 70-minute drive from central Melbourne. It's a small gold-rush era town in central victoria. We made a day trip to visit the Bakery. I only knew about Red Beard Bakery recently from the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival program, which offers a bread-making class at the Red Beard Bakery.

The Bakery's story is quite fascinating. It was set up by two brothers at the site used to be a commercial bakery over 140 years ago. They refurbished the 19th-century Scotch oven (woodfried oven) and put it back into operation again.

The story is not only fascinating, it is also refreshing to see an artisan baker baking traditional bread using traditional methods. It is such a great story and I was very keen to visit the bakery and taste the bread.

Customers can also ask to see the Scoth oven. We took the chance. The oven is huge. Its size is about a small bedroom. The peel for loading breads is a massive 4-metre long! They can bake 300 sourdough loaves at the same time.

We also had lunch there, BLT sandwich and vegie focaccia. Great sandwich starts with great bread and their breads are excellent.

More photos and story are here.


OldWoodenSpoon's picture

I love beer breads, so when I saw the Team USA formula featured in Crust and Crumb (Reinhart) I had to try it. 

Reinhart points out that this formula is a bit unusal because it utilizes two distinct preferments (three, actually, as Reinhart says in the notes, when you include the beer).  It uses a firm starter made up from a barm as well as a pate fermente (old dough).  I used Beck's beer, which I had on hand instead of an amber ale.  I made the barm/firm starter and pate ferment from scratch using the formulas in the book. I also roasted my own diastatic malt powder to deactivate the diastase enzymes since I do not have non-diastatic malt on hand and don't have much call for it.  Toasting worked out just fine, but I was not prepared for all the smoke.  (Maybe I over-toasted it just a bit.)

I baked this bread with Pendleton Mills Power, home-milled hard white winter wheat, and Wingold Dark Rye flour.  I substituted 1 ounce of coarse rye meal for an equal amount of rye flour.  I found the formula produced too dry a dough on just the water called for (1/2 Cup) and had to increase that to roughly 1 1/4 Cup total.  Some of this is probably due to the home-milled whole wheat flour, which I find to be pretty thirsty in all cases.  More of it is probably due to the coarse rye meal.  The dough balanced out at a very nice texture with the additional moisture and my old Bosch mixer never broke a sweat on the four-loaf load, even with the several extra minutes of heavy work it had to put in while I adjusted the hydration.  Total mixing time came out close to 13 minutes.

After fermenting, degassing and fermenting again I shaped the dough into free-form oval loaves and proofed them in pairs on parchment.  They were scored and baked in pairs on parchment on my baking tiles under a roasting pan lid preheated with the oven to 475F.  I misted the loaves liberally before loading them into the oven, and again just as I lowered the roasting pan over them.  I found baking times somewhat shorter than called for in the book, but that is expected given the shape I used.  Boulles would probably have taken the prescribed amount of time.

This formula produces four loaves of bread.  I could not find a pleasing way to fit all four into my basket, so here are three of the four.

The crumb looks like this:



Calling this "beer" bread has a point, in that the addition of a nice fully hopped brew should add an additional flavor dimension of hoppy bitterness that is subtle and enhancing rather than strong and overpowering.  Perhaps I should have gone and bought the amber ale called for and drank the Beck's with lunch.  In any event that flavor dimension was not very prevalent in these loaves.  They are good, but I think these would be more accurately called whole wheat and rye.  I accept responsibility for that, for both the beer selection, which weakened that flavor component, and for the inclusion of the rye meal, which gave the bread a stonger rye flavor.  I'm certain this combination of divergences does not do justice to the original flavor.  The beer does add a softness to the crumb however, that is an excellent offset to the chewiness (IMHO) of bread flour.  The crust is not a crispy french bread crust that shatters when you cut into it, but has a very agreeable chewy bite that is also very flavorful.  Overall this is better than average bread, and I will make it again.  Next time I will get the proper amber ale and leave out the rye meal to see what difference it makes.

Thanks for stopping by

britneychelle's picture

I didn't post pictures of my first loaf yet, so here it is! It was a simple white loaf that was quite delicious with honey and butter. I made the mistake of adding the flour too fast, but it turned out all right anyway.

After the relative success of my first loaf, I found I was unsure of my second one. We all want to succeed in our endeavors, and I felt like my second loaf would determine whether I can actually do this or not.

My second guy was a little bit of a step up. I'm still not trying to get ahead of myself and I'm still trying to understand how everything works individually and when combined with other ingredients. So my second bread was a simple whole wheat and honey bread.

To my surprise (I didn't really know what to expect) it very much resembled the bread that you buy at the store!! This was quite a bit different from my first loaf. The white bread calls for shortening and it didn't really seem to be kneaded much. The whole wheat loaf called for eggs and needed a bit more care. I think this time I may have added the flour a bit too slowly. I used my stand mixer and at a certain point it just wasn't really mixing anymore. So I layed it out on my floured counter and started kneading. After about ten minutes the dough was still sticking to my hands but the temp had reached 77 degrees (my cook book says that you should gage knead doneness by either an elastic smooth texture or temp) I would love love love some kneading tips. Should I look for temperature? Or is it more important to pay attention to texture? Also, whilst kneading, i needed to add quite a bit of extra flour for my hands and the surface. Is it possible to add too much flour? My loaf came out just fine either way!!

Tomorrow I'm going to a friend's for dinner. I think I shall try my hand at foccacia bread! I don't have a baking stone or a baking pan to use for water. But I do have a very nice Sur La Table baking sheet and a broiler pan that I think will suffice. Any homemade suggestions on what else can be done for humidifying the oven?

All in all, I'm still super excited to be baking bread. My coworkers laughed when I told them I had joined a bread site and had started a bread blog. But as a fellow manager pointed out, there are worse things to be this excited about. :) And with two successes under my belt, I'm feeling pretty optimistic on future loaves. Not to mention that I won't have to buy store made bread again!!!




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