The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


ron45's picture

My dough had too much memory

April 5, 2010 - 3:40pm -- ron45

I've baked two versions of the blueberry cream cheese braid bread. The first was very slack and came out great. The second was about perfect as far as dough handling and consisency. It both were all white enriched bread flour, King Arthur or one of those varieties. 

The second batch. I wanted less dough to filling ratio but trying to roll out the dough thin was a joke. I'd roll it out and it would bunch up or shrink back about 25% of what I'd gained. I could not get the dough to roll out thin in the time I had to do it. 

welling's picture

Bourke Street Bakery Book

March 28, 2010 - 4:03am -- welling

I'm not a professional baker but i have been successfully baking as an amateur for a couple of years now. In this time I have learned a few basics, such as that strong white flour can absorb water of 60% of the flour weight (approximately). That is, 3/8 water to 5/8 flour. I know that this is flour dependent, but only within a couple of percent.

jennyloh's picture

I have a question on the use of old dough.  I read somewhere that we can freeze old dough,  which I did to mine, probably about 14 days old. Now I'm taking out to use to try out on my Polaine de Champagne again. 

I took out from my freezer and refridgerator to defrost, not counter top. It looks like the yeast is still active.  Am I doing this right? should I have just defrost it within a short period and use it?  The colour and smell still stays good.

I saw a discussion on refreshing the old dough.  Can I just use it as it is,  throw and mix into my dough or I should at least refresh it first?

abrogard's picture

Doughs Suddenly Won't Rise - Could Flour Be Bad?

December 30, 2009 - 4:09pm -- abrogard

I've been baking successfully for a few months now, french bread with packaged dried yeast, one loaf every weekday.

Thought I was turning into an expert.

Suddenly my doughs won't rise. No matter how long I leave them.

And they don't suddenly explosively rise and fall down again while I'm not watching. They don't rise. At least as best I can judge.

I've proved my yeast and it is excellent, works no problem.

The ambient temperature around here recently has been usually better than 32C - 89F.

tc's picture

problems getting dough out of bowl

December 4, 2009 - 1:26am -- tc

Hi everyone. I'm having trouble getting my dough out of the bowl/container without it sticking a great deal, despite spraying with Pam or greasing with butter. I think it's degassing my precious dough (I make pain a l'ancienne) and leading to less full baguettes. I usually let the dough rise in plastic tuperware containers. Any tips for how to solve this? Thanks!

JoPi's picture

Here is a short Pizza Baker video titled "Naturally Risen".  I received it from  Enjoy!

PeterPiper's picture

Retarding Dough How-To

June 29, 2009 - 8:26am -- PeterPiper

I had great success with overnight retarding of my ciabatta dough.  The flavor was sweet and nutty, the crust turned to a beautiful golden brown, and I got great big holes.  I thought that trying an overnight stay in the fridge for my rustic bread would yield similar results.  But I tried it this Saturday and my dough ended up with small uniform air pockets, and lacked in the rich develoepd taste of the ciabatta.

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

Baked Potato Bread Photo

There'll be a better write-up on my blog,, but I wanted to thank Floyd for a good starter recipe. I'm still working on modifying this one. I think that I have the general consistency of the bread down that I want, but I want a bit more tang. I think that there may have to be a sourdough component to really get it where I want it to be. But that's a completely new bread.

This is Floyd's recipe with a few modifications. The first is adding a bit more sour cream. The second was adding cheddar cheese instead of chives. The third is the addition of half & half in the dough and the mashed potatoes.

I think that getting a stand mixer will help me with this type of bread the most. I mixed for 8 or so minutes on speed 2 and then folded twice during the bulk fermentation, giving it an hour at the end to come to full bulk. The crumb is light, fluffy, and very tender.

I'm writing the recipe on the blog now. I wanted to share the photo because I'm so proud of how this one turned out. :)


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