The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


A forum for bread baking challenges.

KristinaMarie831's picture

Sourdough starter

July 18, 2017 - 11:17am -- KristinaMarie831

So I have been making my own sourdough for about 2 years now. I use rye flour for my mother starter and then bread flour for building when I want to make a loaf. My mother starter is super healthy, active and doubles great but for some reason I can't get my starter to double when I want to make bread. It bubbles nicely and has a good source smell. The room temperature is perfect and I've never had this issue before. Now I can't get it ready for baking to save my life. Any tips are so welcome thank you.

TheBrickLayer's picture

Dense crumb

July 13, 2017 - 5:09pm -- TheBrickLayer

Did a bake today, two loaves' worth. Both came out tasting quite good, and the rise was among the best I've had yet. But the crumb was quite dense, enough so that it almost felt undercooked to eat (with a little butter on it, the taste was excellent). 

See photos. 


Leaven: 33g starter, 205g water, 165g flour; fermented overnight, around 11 hours. 

Dough: leaven + 1020g flour, 415g water*, 2 tsp salt 

dandipiero's picture

Summer Problems

July 2, 2017 - 1:39pm -- dandipiero

Hello everyone, 

I have been baking sourdough for four years, and this past year had finally hit a kind of stride where my bread was turning out consistently how I liked. I was even having some success pushing the envelope at 80-85% hydration, doing weird recipes with sticky grains, etc...

This summer, however, is my first in an apartment without air conditioning. As soon as the weather turned, the same dough that I had been making all year long suddenly behaved quite differently. It's a sticky, unmanageable mess--even at 75% hydration--that melts all over my bench. 

SouthernAmberBaking's picture

New Deck oven power alternatives?

June 29, 2017 - 9:17am -- SouthernAmberBaking

Hello, everyone. 

We are looking to add a deck oven to our new bakery location, HOWEVER...

We are purchasing an existing bakery /cafe that has LOW bread and pastry production [in a double-deck electric convection oven!]. There is no natural gas available to this location, and Propane is EXTREMELY high priced [our current use would be $1600/mo].  There is no three-phase electric, either, although it IS available for a cost.

At our current location we have a natural-gas 20 pan rotary oven. Very cheap to run [about $12.00/day]. So we've been spoiled with this. 

Wallet's picture

Baking in the desert

June 22, 2017 - 10:43am -- Wallet

Our climate (Arizona) is almost always very dry, and sometimes it is much drier than normal.  I always try to compensate for the dryness by having a pan of water in the oven while the bread is rising and baking, but sometimes even that doesn't work (even when the dough seems perfect as I shape the loaf).  I have also tried using more water in the dough, but that is iffy at best.  

On days which are drier than normal, which of these changes should I make to compensate?
--  lower the oven temperature?
--  shorten the baking time?

Denis silva's picture

Loaf cake

June 19, 2017 - 7:55am -- Denis silva

I just started to work at Hometown Foods in Miami as a VP of Operations, they have no clue on how to make a cake, neither I do. I need some help with oven temperature, can someone help me?

the company is having a lot of trouble and if I don't fix the problem the company will close soon

please help

TheBrickLayer's picture

Bread Not Rising - Fermentation Too Short?

June 14, 2017 - 3:02pm -- TheBrickLayer

I'm using this recipe:


...and it makes a nice, tasty loaf, but it's hardly rising at all. 


My question is this: do you think the bulk fermentation time (2.5 hrs) and proofing time (2.5 hr) are too short? Lots of other recipes seem to have substantially longer fermentation times. 

If I lengthen the fermentation time, do I have to change anything else about the recipe? 


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