The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


goren's picture

Fermentation has little effect? (beginner seeks advice)

January 21, 2010 - 8:39am -- goren

I've recently started trying to bake bread. I've tried a few plain breads from "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" and I feel like I'm getting bland bread. I find the bread even lacking in that nice yeasty flavour. I've done overnight fermentations in the fridge as well as out. 


Can anyone advise on what I might be doing wrong?


Thanks so much!

Fence's picture

Advice needed on recipe.

August 17, 2009 - 7:56am -- Fence

Hello everyone!

I'm rather a novice at baking and I love experimenting, but I would like other people's opinions before I try out the following recipe. Truth be told, I made it up myself. I'm going for a white bread loaf with a relatively moist inside and a crispy outside. So please give me some advice and any critique is welcome!

jj1109's picture

So, as would be appropriate for a first post, a first for me: sourdough!


JJ's first ever sourdough

Now, to be honest, that tasted great. I've not baked (or even eaten) sourdough before, and the odour that came off whilst it was baking reminded me of *cough* baby vomit *cough* So I was apprehensive, before that first bite!

Not to worry though, it tasted great! I followed dmsnyder's post as the recipe (which in turn was creating Susan from SanDiego's original sourdough), except i had 500g of 100% hydration starter that was ready to go, so I used that. Also, my time constraints meant that it's easiest for me to make the dough last thing at night, and leave it for the first fermentation overnight (about eight hours) in my laundry, which, now it's Autumn (or Fall, take your pick) is around 15C overnight. Then shape it in the morning, dump it in the fridge and get my wife to take it out late afternoon for baking that evening.

I'll post up my following adventures in sourdough - this was 100% white starter, with the 50g of WW mentioned in the recipe. I've now baked two more sourdough efforts (over four days, I'm seeing how the flavour develops after sitting in the fridge for 24 hours after shaping), one with 25% WW starter and another tomorrow with 50% WW. 25% tasted amazing!

So, what prompted me to try this? I had a sourdough starter that I created from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads, and with some advice from Wild Yeast. I mainly made it because I'm fascinated by the microbial side of it, and had an idea of getting some students to track the microbial population of the starter as it progressed... but no project students wanted to take it up :( (I work at a Uni)

My wife just purchased me a couple of pizza stones, and I'd just read about the magic bowl method. So I was eager to combine those two, and having the starter there convinced me to do this instead of a ciabatta or pain a'l'ancienne, which are on my list to do now!

Seems to have turned out well... as always it seems, too much baking and too little time :(



flour-girl's picture

best advice for the new baker?

April 3, 2009 - 7:57am -- flour-girl

Hi --

So, what do you tell those people who are so amazed that you bake bread, who say they could never do that, who claim to be terrified of yeast, petrified of kneading?

I want to tell everyone how easy and wonderful it is to make homemade bread but people are so freaked out about it!

So, I'm doing bread 101 on my blog today at Flour Girl.

plnelson's picture

Sticky Newbie

February 13, 2009 - 6:54pm -- plnelson

I'm a beginner at breadmaking and I like to eat hearty whole grain and multigrain breads.   When I try to make my own they come out hard and dense.  

Today I tried a new recipe -  the "Loaf for Learning" from the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book.   It actually came out better than any other attempt I've made so far!  So that's the good news.   

SiMignonne's picture

So I love blogging and I've recently discovered break baking.  Today I have discovered this website, and it's everything I could want :)  Blogging and bread!  I wanted to be more self sufficent with my food and I would love nothing more than to not pay $3.00 for bread each week when I can make it myself for half that. 

I started my first loaf after an article that I read about how to make artisan bread in five minutes a day.  It was on the website. Well, me being the beinning baker and all didn't understand that yeast has to foam up before you can use it.  So, needless to say, it didn't pan out so well.  (Can you check out all the inuendos in that sentance?!)  I started another batch and let the yeast do it's magic before hand and it worked much better.  I also found that I like kneading the bread, I really like to get my hands dirty and feel what I'm working with.  Today I have free time (no gym for me tonight it's my off night this week) so I'm going to try lesson number two on this website and add some sugar and milk to my loaf to see how it works out.  I'm also going to put wheat flour on my grocery list so I will have some healthier options to work with.  Can't wait to update with how well it turns out!




Subscribe to RSS - beginner