The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


sustainthebaker's picture

Crunchy Bits in my Challah

December 20, 2010 - 12:34pm -- sustainthebaker

I recently made a loaf of Challah for my family. It was my first Challah and it came out with great flavor. It was a six-braided loaf which I did not let proof long enough, which lead to a bit more oven spring than you'd want from a Challah. The texture was light and fluffy, with a bit of creaminess to it. However, at the end of most bites there would be a gritty crunch to the bread. Any ideas?

I have two thoughts:

1.  I used honey, which had crsyallized. I did however, warm the honey back up to a liquid state before adding to the dough.

utahcpalady's picture

So I have been messing with my non acidic starter to see if I could correct that and get some sour to my sourdough.  I added 1 tsp of cider vinegar to one starter and fed it after 12 hours, then 1/2 tsp to another starter and fed it 3xs (every 8 hrs), and then made a control loaf that was with the original starter.  Now I don't have proofing baskets so when I put them in the fridge they were in greased glass bowls, so I think I can correct the shape.  The one loaf that had the best shape I just plopped out of the bowl onto the stone and didn't try to gather up the bottom before placing it on the stone, like the others.  Live and learn, and hope for baskets for Valentines day.

zoniguana's picture

want to improve the texture of my sourdough.

January 17, 2010 - 8:28am -- zoniguana

So, I've made several loaves of sourdough from my starter, and the flavor is all there.  Sometimes a little less sour than I would like, but usually all there.  So far, I have just been making a very basic bread (KAF White Wheat, starter, water, salt), and have sometimes branched out to adding some rye flour into the final loaf, but nothing more exciting than that.

leafmuncher's picture

Failing miserably at big holes/open crumb

December 16, 2009 - 3:00pm -- leafmuncher

I have been baking bread for about six months now, so I'm still a complete noobie, but really enjoying myself. I've been making Reinhart's San Francisco sourdough a lot, and I've recently tried his Ciabatta (in the Apprentice book) a few times.

I cook in an electric oven, weigh all my ingredients, have used KAF and most recently the high gluten Giusto's.

mariacuellar's picture

Hi baker friends,

I have a question for you. How do you feel about burnt loaves? I read a quote in Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf said by Johan Sorbergs, a baker in Stockholm, saying that "Today burnt crusts are viewed as deadly at worst... But without the penetrating effect of the browning and charring, the crumb flavor is thin." Is it true that to get a better crumb flavor the crust has to be nearly burnt? Or does the burnt crust ruin the whole bread?

I asked this question in my blog when I tried out one of Jim Lahey's recipes:

Thanks for your sharing your knowledge!


blackhorse16a's picture

Undone Crumb

October 25, 2009 - 3:17pm -- blackhorse16a

I’m having a problem with undone inside with very done crust. I’ve been baking PR’s basic sourdough formula and using dmsnyder’s steaming method. For my last and best effort, I pre-heated for and hour up to 515º (by thermometer), pre steamed, then inserted dough and lowered temp to 450º. I used convection bake. The crust was quite brown at about 30 minutes, but the internal temp was only 165º. I went another 3 min., as more would have totally ruined the crust. Got it up to about 185. My sense is to use an even lower temp. What do you think?



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