The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


jennyloh's picture

I made these today with a chef.  This recipe was meant to go into a bread machine,  which of course,  the machine is me.  I made this all by hand. I tried 2 things today.  1 was to cover the loaf with a claypot to bake,  and another stay in the claypot to bake.  Of course it turned out that the one that stayed in the claypot got a nicer crust - golden brown.

But somehow with this formula,  the bread didn't rise too much,  I might have overproof it - 1 1/2 hours.  Went out for supper during that time,  by the time I got back, the dough looks more than ready.  The one with the claypot covered had a little more rise,  as I baked it immediately after I return.  Here it is:


The one that goes into the claypot,  didn't rise much. Just a little jutting up from the top that I score.  


Both were not as crispy as I like....I still do not have baking stone....sigh....I can't find it in China yet....can someone send me one?!....  But the inside is chewy, soft,  and the taste is a little more salty - I don't know if this is because of the salt I added or the chef that was quite well was good over here in Shanghai...warming up...



The crumbs are well spread out,  not a lot of holes. And the 2 loaves have slightly different taste,  somehow the boule turns out to be less salty,  why?  perhaps I left it overnight in the fridge,  it had absorb what ever is in the dough.


I guess I can say this is a pass?...





kimes's picture

Can a whole wheat starter be used in French Bread?

March 19, 2010 - 8:27pm -- kimes

I have recently been looking through books on whole grain breads.  I have yet to see any information on a whole wheat french bread and am wondering if it is because of the unique qualities of this type of bread.

I really have two questions:

1) Is there a whole wheat French Bread recipe available, that still maintains the slight sourness, airy texture, and large holes?

2)  Would using a whole wheat sourdough(ish) starter effect the flavoring?  Would any adjustments need to be made?


Thanks for your imput!

liseling's picture

Is my starter ready for baking?

March 17, 2010 - 1:24pm -- liseling


So I've built my starter using the pineapple juice method that is posted in various places around the fresh loaf (100% flour/water). I've been feeding it twice a day most days for the past two weeks or so. The picture below is of my starter about an hour and a half after I fed it (the rubber band marks the level that it started from right after I fed it). It doubles in about 2 hours. I have seen it get to about 3 times the level of the rubber band at most. 

Is it ready to bake with?

Any words of wisdom for me before trying my first sourdough loaf?

MsL's picture

Sourdough Starter question

February 24, 2010 - 7:29pm -- MsL

I started my first starter a week ago.  It has been bubbling so I've 'fed' it regularly but it has not doubled in size in 12 hours yet.  Today I moved it to a glass jar and I can now see through the side a growing layer of yellow-ish liquid in between the frothy top and the thicker layer below.  Is this a bad sign or a good sign?  Thanks.

Doc Tracy's picture

Starter ready and you're not?

February 24, 2010 - 9:47am -- Doc Tracy

This has happened to me more than once so I'd like to get some advice. What should I do if I've done my levain builds and the starter is ready before I'm able to use it? Perhaps something came up, or like today, I decided to make something requiring a soaker and the starter is peaked/ready to use now.

Today I sprinkled a little salt on the starter, put it in the fridge. I figure I'll bring it back out 2 hours before using. But, what should I really do? Feed and build again?

RachelJ's picture


February 24, 2010 - 12:04am -- RachelJ

Hello again! Its me with another question. :) I'm always asking questions and never answering anyones, though I really do appreciate the answers I got. Thanks to all who commented.

What I would like to know is what exactly does sponging do? And I read in a bread recipe that sponging makes whole wheat bread lighter, and a little more airy. I've never sponged anything. I'd love to make sourdough bread, but alas I've no sourdough starter so it will have to wait. :) I will sometime though.


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