The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Jonno34's picture

My first starter

Ok I am on day three of my starter.  Not sure what I am looking for but this is what I have:-


In the morning I have a few bubbles

I seem to have a batter and an oily looking liquid which folds back in.

Smell slightly bland bit like just a wet batter really.


I am splitting it in the mornings and adding 100gr fresh flour keeping it covered and room temperature.


Should I be expecting anything else?


Thanks in advance :-)

tea berries's picture
tea berries

Natural gluten in starter - good or bad?

Is it ok to stir your starter and develop the natural gluten? Is there any point, benefits or faults to this? Thanks!

hamletcat's picture

Using flours other than wheat.

I'm new to baking bread, I do have a bread machine but I can't really use it because I am trying to make breads with flours other than wheat.  I add gluten flour but have had limited success.  The flours I am trying to use are barley, oat and lowfat soy, and sometimes I add potato starch.  I can't really seem to get the right combination of gluten flour to the other flour.  And my breads turn out dense and don't rise.  Lately I have been trying the no knead method to give the gluten time to form.  But I am not getting the open crumb and oven spring that I should be getting.  Has anyone experimented with other flours and had any success.  I can't eat wheat but would really like to be able to make bread with other flours.  

andychrist's picture

Rometopf Bagel Baker

Recently scored one of these discontinued Romertopf Bagel Bakers. Think it dates back to 1996, or at least that's the copyright date on the box that mine doesn't come with; made in Mexico rather than Germany so possibly not the best quality but I didn't pay much for it Used. Delivery wont be for another couple days or so but in the meantime am wondering if anyone here knows anything more about this unit and can offer helpful hints about its usage. Other than the few listings on eBay and craigslist, can't find any references to it online, even at Romertopf, so am guessing this baker was hugely unpopular (which is right up my alley.) Am hoping to find success with SD rye and raisin pumpernickel, there are a bunch of tempting recipes here I'd like to try out on unsuspecting family members  while it is still good baking weather, whew. Thanks in advance for any pointers.










CJRoman's picture

Stretch & Fold when producing for volume

I haven't decided if I'm going to add my pretzels to my farmer's market of my concerns being taking my home kitchen recipe and scaling it up to volume.

I can knead dough that thick for 6 minutes...but not huge blobs of it!

I talked to a Philadelphia pretzel baker who said he uses the stretch and fold technique. Mind you, pretzel dough is not an easy STRETCH! But I'm curious to know how you can develop a stretch and fold schedule for this kind of dough?

Do different types of doughs and hydrations require different rest periods, number of stretches, etc?

I know from kneading when my pretzel dough is "ready" but how do you know with "stretch and fold?" Will the feel be the same with both techniques?

jimpsr's picture

Bread pans

Hi, I'm brand new here so I hope that I'm in the right place. I haven't baked my first loaf yet and I have a question about pans.I have seen several recipes  that call for 1 or 2 lb. bread pans. However, when looking at pans online, I haven't seen any product descriptions that mention pound. Can someone educate me?  Thank you.

sewitt12's picture

Long ferment recipe?

I am new to sourdough bread making and want to make a sourdough bread that has a long ferment - at least 24 hrs. I'm gluten intolerant (not celiac) and have heard that some of us gf people can tolerate sourdough made with wheat flours if it has had a LONG time to ferment and break up the gluten in the flour.

Basically, I'm looking for a recipe that has a 24hr+ ferment time (the longer the better), wheat flour(s), and something a novice bread maker can try. (I have plenty of experience baking... just not so much on the bread side).

Any recipes and/or suggestions would be lovely!

Mamalam's picture

Starter smells strange

I am new to bread baking.  My step mom gave me a book on bread, the La Brea Bakery cookbook, that had a starter recipe.  The starter went great thru all 14 days.  Somewhere about 16 days in, the starter smells less like beer and more like paint, pasty smell.  The first bread I baked, a rustic, came out great.  But my second batch of the same bread is not as great.  Kinda flat and not the great beer like taste to it.  I am not sure what went wrong and how I need to fix it.  Any help would be great!


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Ancient vs Modern wheat

Just an update, a study feeding those with irritable bowel syndrome ancient vs modern wheat.

and this right next to it using Kamut vs whole wheat

WheatCheeks's picture

Greetings from Texas

The first loaf of bread I ever baked was 10 years ago in an old bread machine.  I put the ingredients, fresh from the store, into the machine and it came out wonderful. 

The following week, excited to repeat my success, I put the same ingredients, fresh from the frig, into the machine and baked an impressive brick. Lol I tried again the following day, using my straight from the frig ingredients into the bread machine and created another brick.

Quite confused with my results, it was 8 years before I attempted to bake another loaf of bread.  I had found a bread baking book at the thrift store with a no knead ww bread recipe, and because I was certain that kneading was too time consuming and the because the machine was long gone I decided to try this recipe.

It called for warming the flour in the oven, along with proofing the yeast in warm water.  Aha! Lol  No wonder those last two loaves were bricks!  

For the last two years I have progressed from no knead, to knead and since finding The Fresh Loaf site have been searching, reading, experimenting and learning, AND more importantly, baking wonderful bread, not bricks. Lol


Much gratitude to TFL community for leavening my bread baking interests and skills.  I've been reading and learning here for a few months now, so figured I'd go ahead and register and participate with questions and comments.  Maybe even start a personal progress blog...  maybe