The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


AnnaInMD's picture

Rise your dough in the microwave

October 7, 2010 - 4:26am -- AnnaInMD

A quick proof hint for the microwave as seen in a magazine:

Yeast doughs that normally take an hour or more to rise at room temperature can be proofed in the microwave in about 15 minutes. Place the dough in a very large bowl and cover with plastic. Place an 8-ounce cup of water in the back of the microwave with the bowl of dough in the center, and set the power as low as possible (10 percent power). Heat for 3 minutes, then let the dough rest in the microwave for 3 minutes. Heat for 3 minutes longer, then let rest for 6 minutes. The dough will double in bulk.

Peggy Bjarno's picture

Bread Flour vs All-Purpose Flour

April 4, 2010 - 10:08pm -- Peggy Bjarno

I’ve been working since September to produce my own “perfect” sourdough bread. Three weeks ago I was pretty much there, but you know, I keep tweaking, trying to make it more sour, and the recipe more reliable. Well, my tweak this time was changing flour. I’d been using KA Bread flour, but kept reading about people using KA All-Purpose flour and it was “just the same,” “worked just as well,” etc., etc. They never said it was just as good but different. . .

John Ambrose's picture

Optimum Proof Temperature

November 15, 2009 - 3:12pm -- John Ambrose

My starter will celebrate his first birthday next month. It seems to be very robust, however two issues have plagued the process since starting. These issues are flavor and proofing, which may be related.

Process overview:

Flour (KA Bread) 100%

Water 65%

Starter 20% (have varied the hydration levels from 50% to 150%)

Salt 2%

Autolyse 20 min, add salt, first rise 2hrs, strech and fold, another 2hr rise, strech and fold, preshape, overnight in refrigerator, warm up then shape with final proof up to 3hrs.

rowejd's picture

Quick Help Needed to Save My Sourdough Loaves!

July 9, 2009 - 11:26am -- rowejd

I'm making the regular sourdough from the Bread Baker's Apprentice book.  I've made it several times, but this time I forgot to let the dough rise after the final mixing.  You're supposed to mix, let it ferment for 3-4 hrs, then shape & proof for 2-3 hrs.  I skipped that first firmentation and my bread is now proofing.  Any advice on how to save these loaves...IF they can be saved?  SHould I just bake them after 3-4 hours?  Should I try to let them ferment, degas them by gentle handling, then let them proof again?

DrPr's picture

How can I achieve a less dense crumb?

April 20, 2009 - 6:27pm -- DrPr

I made a rustic white bread using Nancy Silverton's recipe from her Breads from La Brea Bakery book. This is my first time baking in cold weather and I'm thinking low fermenation temperatures might be the problem, since I've used this formula before with no problems.  I know my starter is healthy and performing well, so I am confident we can remove that from the equation. Here is what happened:


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