The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


A forum for bread baking challenges.

bytebreader's picture

Scoring troubleshooting

May 14, 2018 - 6:45pm -- bytebreader

Hi all,

I'm wondering if anybody help me troubleshoot my scoring.

My scores consistently stick to whatever blade I'm using.  Sometimes I can manage a halfway decent score.  Sometimes it drags the dough around in a bad way.  Sometimes I just give up and let the darn thing crack where it wants.

Here are the variables that I've ID'ed, some more likely to be the issue than others.  But they will probably answer most of your questions:

giyad's picture

How to deal with excessively Soft water in baking?

May 2, 2018 - 2:40pm -- giyad


I'm in NYC and the water from the tap here is very soft, cold water is at 25ppm and hot water at 55ppm.  As I understand it, the optimal hardness of water is between 120 and 180ppm.  I notice that my dough is very wet at only 50% hydration, and this is likely due to the lack of minerals in my water.

So the questions are two fold 1) In your experiences, does soft water produce a poorer product? 2) What options do I have to make my water "harder"?  Is there something I can attach to my piping that will strengthen the water, or should I be looking at additives?

Aimeempeterson's picture

Loaf bursting

May 2, 2018 - 11:46am -- Aimeempeterson

I’ve been making this country loaf (with a sourdough starter) for almost a year now. In the past 6 months The loaves have been bursting in the oven and burst just as I turned it out into the pan. I can’t figure out what causes this for the life of me!! Thoughts??

Felila's picture

No, the flatbread did not overproof

April 28, 2018 - 1:39am -- Felila

My friend Matthew likes to throw beach bbq parties (possible year round here in Honolulu). He has a gas grill and a hospitable spirit. For yesterday's gathering, I promised to bring flatbread to grill. Made yogurt flatbread dough, rolled out the breads, piled them into a container (separated by sheets of wax paper). Headed out for the bbq, which was to be held at a distant beach. After a half-hour drive to an unfamiliar place, I got there and saw no one else. I checked my phone and found a text message I had missed: the venue had been moved to a beach MUCH closer to my house. 

Gstharris's picture

Help My Ciabatta! - Shelf Life, Less Chewy Crust, Par Bake?

April 24, 2018 - 11:01am -- Gstharris

Fresh Loaf-ers :),

Thank you all so much. Over the last year or so my baking quality has gone through the roof, in large part due to all of your suggestions, experiences, comments, etc... You are all a big part of why I have the confidence to now open my first restaurant (after 20 years of putting it off).

Itachi124578963's picture

Trouble with %

April 18, 2018 - 2:26pm -- Itachi124578963

We're trying to make a pizza dough that is a 50lb bag of flour, has an end hydration of 61% that uses a poolish that is 25% of the end weight of the dough. The end weight of the original dough: 50lb flour, 61% hydration, no poolish is 81.65lbs. When I've tried to change to incorporate the poolish, the numbers I get are:

  • Flour: 39.8
  • Yeast: .3%
  • Salt: 2%
  • Water 48%


cocomoomoo's picture

oven max temp is low... what should I do?

April 13, 2018 - 8:15am -- cocomoomoo

my oven only heats up to 482f (250c) and loses lots of heat when I open the door.

Some recipes I'd like to try requires 500f. What should I do to bring it up to 500f?

I have a baking steel and thinking about placing it either under or over the combo cooker.

Which side would be better? or do you have any other ideas please?

BTW this is my first post on tfl! I'm so glad to be a member.


Thank you in advance.

cmfreeman's picture

Is "yeast endurance" a thing?

April 10, 2018 - 1:20pm -- cmfreeman

I have begun my path towards artisan bread nirvana through the purchase and adoption of techniques detailed in the Ken Forkish book "Flour Water Salt Yeast."  I have been able to produce a couple of beautiful loaves with his method and tools.  However, my last three attempts have yielded an issue that I am seeking some advice to correct.


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