The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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A forum for bread baking challenges.

Yeasty Beasty's picture

Can you over work bread dough?

January 31, 2015 - 11:24am -- Yeasty Beasty

Yesterday, I made a batch of simple bread dough which I split in half to make two country style loaves. The first I fussed with because the score didn't look perfect and kept working it to make perfect marks ( I know I know anal much?). That loaf ended up with a poor crumb and gummy middle while the other loaf (which I was satisfied with) turned out to be the best loaf of my life. My question is can you distroy bread dough by fussing with it too much or over kneading? 

drogon's picture

The Anthracite Special at platform 9¾ ....

January 29, 2015 - 7:43am -- drogon

So with recent chat of steam moving to steam engines and so on, I decided to have a go at cooking some bread inside my multi-fuel fire that I have in my office...

I got it going, starting with the usual waxed milk cartons and kindling, and when it was hot enough to ignite the beach pebbles that masquerade as anthracite, on they went. I let it get hot for an hour or so and topped it up.

Philip Gregory's picture

Autolysis: Incorporating the salt after an autolysis period

January 29, 2015 - 12:17am -- Philip Gregory

Quick question about the Autolyse stage and salt.

After a flour + water + starter autolyse, what are some effective ways to incorporate the salt into the dough?

My dough development involves vary little kneading/mixing.

Hydration is anywhere from 65-75%. Usually about 50% whole wheat.

All by hand, mix in large ceramic bowl just until there are no dry spots. 

Autolyse for 45 minutes. Flip in bowl and continue autolyse for another 45 mins.

At which point I've done a few things.


DulceBHbc's picture

For Best Oven Spring: Problem (Starter | Leaven | Bulk Rise | Final Proof?)

January 25, 2015 - 9:51am -- DulceBHbc

I've encountered some discouraging-looking sourdough boules as of late. They were flat: no oven spring and no ears where I scored them.

I'm trying to diagnose the problem. At first, I thought it had to do with my bulk and final rises, but now I'm thinking it has to do with when I use my starter, then when I use the leaven created from my starter.

Culprit #1: First, the starter I was using was probably not the most active. It was sitting in the fridge for two weeks while I was away, and I had trouble waking it up when I got back.

Distaff's picture

Scaling up a recipe

January 23, 2015 - 11:42am -- Distaff

Background: I have been baking good bread off a recipe from a Jacob Burton video I found on YouTube a few weeks ago.  It is a 70% hydration loaf with a sourdough starter.  The oven temp is for 500F for twenty minutes, and 425-450F for the final thirty minutes.  I actually split this into two loaves, and bake them together at 425F.  I also use tiles in the preheated oven, and preheated DO's.  The lids come off the DO's after the first twenty minutes.

alschmelz's picture

Help with sourdough

January 23, 2015 - 6:18am -- alschmelz

I am having trouble getting my sourdough bread to rise.  I have had my starter now for about 2 months and feed it regularly (about once a week).  When I use it I always make sure that I feed it several hours or beforehand so that it is very active when I use it.  I get good oven spring and a great flavor but the proofing of the dough takes forever!  

I have made sourdoughs before but never have I kept a starter for this long.  Usually I just make one and then use it all right then and there.  So maybe I am doing something wrong without realizing it.  Any suggestions?

Kaipea's picture

Gummy Bread...

January 22, 2015 - 12:55am -- Kaipea

Hi there, I've been trying to figure out why I always end up with a gummy crumb? I'm trying out the recipe from Della Fattoria's bread but this happens to any loaf I try to make.

I've been looking around and found out it might have been from underproofing or irregular oven temperature, just wanna be sure so I posted here.

I've tried the recipe three times, tried to adjust the fermentation and the baking time, waited for the loaf to cool for 2 hours. the last two tries are better but still ended up with a gummy crumb.


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