The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Dave12's picture

Whole Grain Spelt Cinnamon Raisin Braed Won't Rise

October 28, 2012 - 2:41pm -- Dave12

I love this site, such passion and energy!


I put together P. Reinhart's Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread recipe using 100% Whole-grain home-milled Spelt.  I also opted for using yogurt in the soaker and the biga.  Otyherwise all ingredients were weighed.


The end result was a fantastic tasting bread (maybe a tad salty), the flavour was unprecendented in my world.  The only downside was the density.  It was heavy and had the texture of dry banana bread.  I'm not sure the dough rose to any extent.

walker8476's picture

Dense Baguettes With Large Holes

March 4, 2012 - 12:33am -- walker8476

When I make a baguette, I seem to get a few really large holes at the top and then the rest of the bread is rather dense.  How do I get a more even distribution of medium sized holes?




                     Middle of Baguette                                                      End of Baguette


patnx2's picture

sd potato bread

February 8, 2011 - 8:56pm -- patnx2

Tonight I baked a double batch of sd potato bread using recipe posted by prairie19. I underproofed by a bit as the cuts didn't even show when dough was done. The bread was heavy with a fairly open crumb. The taste is unique,tasting a bit sour and a nice taste of the ww flour. Actually the bread tastes great , My question is what should this bread   feel like ie. heavy? I did a serch but saw little to answer this. I made a double batch and made 4 one pound loafs

Craig Stevens's picture

My Sourdough Is Too Dense

February 7, 2011 - 11:54pm -- Craig Stevens

Hello, my fellow bread bakers,


I have a question. Why is my sourdough bread always so DENSE? From what I can tell, my sourdough starter is highly active, because I feed it 2 to 3 times a day and it bubbles right up each time. I also measure my ingredients by weight in order to make sure the percentages are accurate. No matter what I do, the bread always turns out DENSE and HEAVY. The flavour is always subtle and complex, but the texture is just too thick and chewy.

Seeking Chewy Loaves's picture
Seeking Chewy Loaves

I have some bread recipes that I am trying to "fix".  Whole wheat, multigrain and white sandwich loaf recipes specifically.  They currently yield very airy, light loaves.  This may please some but I am interested in chewy, relatively dense loaves with buttery crusts.  The current recipies produce crusts that are light and tear easily.. I am looking for more "chew" than "tear".  Any suggestions?  Do I need to type the recipe or does something jump to mind that I need to adjust, ie more sugar, more oil, more proofing time?

Many thanks!


zhi.ann's picture

This is from before I actually joined this site - actually this is the reason I joined this site.


In the States, I baked yeast bread. I had one recipe - from a craft, not a cookbook, so it used terms I was familiar with rather than the terms I more often find in baking recipes now that I'm looking around. It was a honey-whole wheat bread. I found all the ingredients in my local grocery store, used that recipe with no alterations except substituting applesauce for half the butter, and I baked it every Saturday, never with a problem.

Now, I live in rural China. I didn't bring the recipe with me. I don't have access to whole wheat. When I look at recipes, they confuse me. And yet my husband really misses bread. I am at a high altitude, but right now it's not dry at all, rather, close to 95% humidity most days. And, without air conditioning, heating, or well-sealed/insulated windows and walls, what it's like outside is a whole lot what it's like inside.

I found this recipe (I can't now for the life of me seem to find it anywhere!! I have it on a notecard) last week and tried it.

Oat-Nut Bread

830 ml flour
830 ml oats, ground to a flou
180 ml finely chopped walnuts
180 ml raisins
60 ml brown sugar
14 ml yeast (1/2 oz.; 14 grams)
10 ml salt
460 ml water
160 ml yogurt (I used vanilla unintentionally)
60 ml oil

1. Combine half the flour, all the oats, nuts, fruit, brown sugar, yeast, and salt.
2. In a saucepan heat water, yogurt, and oil over low heat, just until warm.
3. Add wet to dry ingredients, beating until smooth.
4. Add enough remaining flour for a soft dough.
5. Knead about 4 minutes, or until soft and elastic. Form to a ball.
6. Place on greased baking sheet, cover and let rest for 20 minutes or refrigerate overnight to bake in the morning (I did it overnight.)
7. Bake at 200C for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Cool on a wire rack.

Unfortunently, this didn't work out for me so well. I did step 1, step 2, step 3. In step 4, I kep adding flour until I'd added way, way more than the recipe called for, and it still was a dough I could barely handle, it was so wet and sticky. I ran out of flour, and began adding oats, hoping to save it - I ground most of them but out of desperation began throwing them in there as whole rolled oats until I could finally knead the bread. Even then, it stuck to my hands, the cutting board, etc. In step 5, I formed it to more of a blob than a ball, since it was runny, and stuck it in a covered bowl in the fridge. In the morning, it was conformed to the shape of the bowl, so I dumped it on a baking sheet, stuck it in the oven, and let it bake.

The result was a very dense bread, tasty enough to eat mostly because of the raisins, but so dense I had to eat the whole thing (my husband didn't like it at all).

dough as I took it out from the freezer 

I tried the other loaf (this was supposed to make two) leaving it out all night after having frozen the dough (based on something I'd read online, somewhere). It came out just as dense, though it rose a bit in the oven whereas the first never did.

 piece of the bread

I'm munching on the second loaf now, hoping to get rid of it so I can bake something decent.

The only other note is that I won't be doing the walnuts again, even if I do come back to this recipe, because I couldn't taste nor feel them, and they cost the equivalent of $1.50 for so little!!

Any ideas, anyone, on what I can do better? 


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