The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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WheatCheeks's picture
WheatCheeks

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

 

Muskie's picture
Muskie

100% WW+Rolled Oats+Flax SD results

Levain:

  1. 100% WW starter at 100% hydration, total 30g
  2. Fed 15g WW, 15g Water, put in smoker @ 92F for 4 hours
  3. Fed 30g WW, 30g Water, put in smoker @ 92F for 2 hours
  4. Fed 75g WW, 75g Water, put in smoker @ 92F for 2 hours
  5. Reserved 30g of starter as mother

Dough Ball:

  1. Combined 94g rolled oats, 300g WW, 10g milled flax, 285g boiling water and put in smoker @ 92F for 4 hours
  2. add 12g salt
  3. KA'd @ Speed 2 with cookie hook for 2 minutes (or until the mass isn't being beaten any more)
  4. KA'd @ Speed 2 with dough hook for 5-10 minutes (or until sides and bottom of the bowl are cleared)
  5. Put back into the smoker @ 92F for another 4 hours (take out at the same time the levain is ready)

Loaf:

  1. Combine dough ball and levain
  2. KA'd @ Speed 2 with cookie hook for 2 minutes (or until the mass isn't being beaten any more)
  3. KA'd @ Speed 2 with dough hook for 5-10 minutes (or until sides and bottom of the bowl are cleared)
  4. S&F, then retard @ 36F for 60 minutes
  5. S&F, then retard @ 36F for 60 minutes
  6. S&F, then I retarded it overnight @ 36F
  7. In the morning, I S&F and then put it in the smoker at 80F for 45 minutes (some rise)
  8. S&F and put it back in the smoker at 80F for 45 minutes (some rise)
  9. S&F, put rolled oats into floured banneton, then the loaf, let it proof at RT (75F) for 75 minutes (no noticeable rise)
  10. I then put it in the smoker at 80F for 45 minutes (no additional rise)
  11. Scored and baked @ 375 for 50 minutes (no stone, no steam)

Loaf ready to bake

In the oven, ready to bake.

No oven spring, I'm pretty sure I have over-proofed.

So the crumb isn't what I had hoped for. I would've liked it to be a little more open. It is not heavy, however. It is very tasty, but I made a loaf yesterday without the rolled oats and there is surprisingly little taste difference between them.

My estimate on nutritional info (42.5g)

  • Cal: 159.14
  • Fat: 1.39
  • Carb: 29.20
  • Fiber: 4.42
  • Protein: 5.79

All in all, not a bad bread. The recipe I derived this from included 1/2 cup of honey and 1/2 cup of oil, which I choose to omit. That author claimed the loaf should rise well, perhaps that's why mine didn't do as well?

jl-lb.ms's picture
jl-lb.ms

"Modern" wheat?

i just started baking recently, and coincidentally, my spouse has come across articles online that propose that wheat has been so modified in the last 40 years that it is (my words) virtually poisonous.  Here's one such example 

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/09/your-addiction-to-wheat-products-is-making-you-fat-and-unhealthy/245526/

What is your collective understanding, is this the scientific consensus, or is this yet another niche of pseudo-science?

 

Many thanks,

 

John

CeciC's picture
CeciC

ciabatta - problem with dough sticking to oiled container and flipping the fully proofed dough

This has been my third attempt at baking this ciabatta. but I kinda made mistake every single time. Its really freaky when it comes to a wet dough like this. I have 2 issues that keep coming for the last three bakes, they are:

1) After overnight Bulk Fermentation, the dough sticks to the side of an oiled lock n lock plastic container. When I invert it out, it RIPPED in half. I suppose most of the big bubble disappear with this accident. Any suggestions on over coming this problem?

2) I divided the dough on a well oiled wooden board and putting it on a floured parchment paper for second proof. When its ready for the oven, I flipped the dough its sort of sweaty, not sure if its the oil or sweat from the dough. Any suggestion on flipping the dough and prevent it from sweating? 

Heres the Latest Bake 

From the Second Bake First Bake

As we can see from the pictures All of them are lack of Super big holes that gives this bread the super high crust to crumb ratio. 

squarehead's picture
squarehead

Eat more chocolate! (bread pudding that is)

 

 

Hi everybody. So I decided to make a chocolate bread pudding this weekend using some stale chocolate SD/YW bread i had laying around. The pudding was dense, rich, and over the top delicious. While I'm still working on the chocolate SD/YW bread recipe itself, the pudding batter recipe is pretty straightforward and adapted from an old Alton Brown recipe:

2 eggs

3 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup Dutch Cocoa powder (this is a chocolate bread pudding after all)

1 cup whole milk

3 1/2 cup half n half

1/4 cup espresso

2 tsp vanilla extract

handful of chocolate chips or disks for topping the pudding

1 stale loaf chocolate bread, skin removed (mine was just shy of 20 oz)

METHOD

---whisk egg yolks and eggs in bowl until pale

---add sugar, cocoa powder, milk, half n half, espresso, and vanilla. Whisk to combine.

---remove skin from bread loaf and tear remaining loaf into pieces. Add to bowl. Soak At least 8 hours. 

---butter walls and bottom of 13x4 loaf pan

---add mixture to loaf pan, top with chocolate chips

---bake 325 for about 1 1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out (relatively) clean. 

---cool completely or refrigerate before serving

Tim Farver's picture
Tim Farver

Amateur to sourdough: Is my starter strong enough?

OK so I'm new to sourdough starters and have been trying to get mine started since last week. I started out by mixing some filtered warm water, a little bit of commercial yeast and some unbleached all purpose flour. I put it in a stoneware crock with a lid and put it in my closet with a space heater to keep in warm. The by the 2ad and 3rd day I was surprised it had already began to smell nice and sour and was full of bubbles! it was really amazing.   

 

My sourdough yesterday before feeding. ^ 

 

5 minutes after feeding.^ 


One day I accidentally used unfiltered water from my kitchen tap instead of bottled water. I panicked at first but it didn't affect it to much, or so it seemed. By day 3 I tasted it and it was sour and had a sour smell still. I have been feeding it twice a day and have been trying to keep it warm (sometimes I don't turn on the space heater.)   

 

My starter today after I put it in the fridge yesterday. ^ 

 After I stirred and fed my starter with warm water ^

I'm still getting bubbles but it doesn't rise very much and it seems that the bubbles are getting smaller and less frequent.  

Also I live at 7,200 so there is a big altitude factor involved.My starter smells different and is actually tangy(it actually leaves a taste in your mouth) 

Did I mess my sourdough starter up? Is my sourdough ready to use? 

I do apologize for the large images and long post. Thank you.

 

 

 

HarryR's picture
HarryR

Overnight Country Gloop

Hi all,

I've only been baking bread a short while but am hooked already after my first good loaf, a nice crusty white baked in a dutch oven. But my spirits have slumped these past few days after trying and failing twice at an overnight country blonde, from Ken's book Flour Water Salt Yeast.

My first batch was made to spec. Bulk fermentation was done at 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) for 12 hours. Seemed fine, but when I went to unload it onto the bench I discovered a gloopy mess that oozed out into a pool and attached itself to the unfloured parts of the bench. I could do nothing other than scrape it off and swish it down the drain.

Second batch was made at 70% hydration instead of 78%. After my stretch and folds I had a nice elastic dough that easily held its shape. Fearing I'd over-fermented the previous lot, I put the dough into a measured container and kept it with me in the air-conditioned bedroom for the night. The air temperature was 20C (68F). After 8 hours there was no appreciable rise in the dough so I put it on the kitchen bench figuring the cool air has somehow retarded the dough. After a few hours it started to rise and though the recipe states the dough should triple in volume I became worried and decided to turn it out and shape it after it had doubled in volume. Well, I was utterly dismayed to find the dough in much the same state as the first lot. It was again unusable and so went down the drain. 

My starter was fed as directed and achieved double volume in 7 hours and was used after 8 hours. Ingredients were measured very accurately. I don't see how I could have over-fermented the dough as it only reached double its volume. I gave it the correct number of stretch and folds and achieved a nice elastic dough that held its shape with ease.

In this video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPdedk9gJLQ

Ken's dough is far firmer than mine is. He is able to pick it up and plop it back down. If I tried that the dough would run through my fingers and stick to the bench.

Can anyone help me? I want to try again but I do not have an endless bucket of flour to scoop from and I don't have time to keep getting it wrong. I am baking bread for my family and want to learn levain breads as my daughter has a certain intolerance to gluten. I read the long fermentation times can render the gluten into a more easily digestible state.

Thanks,

Harry

overnight baker's picture
overnight baker

A nice loaf

After last weeks Rye Soda bread the starter is ready! It didn't take long and was so easy, just a couple of days of refreshments (RYe flour mixed with tap water to a paste) and it was doubling in size within hours. I don't know if the conditions in South England are ideal or whether using fresh organic Rye flour is a sure fire technique but it amazes me how easy it seems to be to get a working starter.

I decided for my first proper bread I'd go for a Wheaten Rye, from the Recipe in Dan Lepard's Exceptional Bread Book. I'd made it before and it's a good compromise loaf being mainly white flour producing a nicely risen crumb but with some flavour from the rye and extended proove times.

The loaf was great, a hit with me and the OH although maybe a little under risen. One thing that did make me wonder was the use of sourdough culture and dried yeast. The book itself is great with a wide variety of interesting recipes and instructions for the home baker (such as hand kneading etc.) The only thing is that it often appears over complicated. This recipe for instance calls for making sponge with dried yeast  then later on adding a rye culture. It is not clear what the benefit of using two yeasts is, does the bakers yeast contribute to the flavour at all? does the Rye culture contribute to the leaven? I feel an experiment is needed. Does anyone use both Bakers yeast and a sourdough culture in the same bake? If so why?

 

 

tea berries's picture
tea berries

Acidify Rye Starter?

Hi, I am new to sourdough and started my first starter about a week ago. It's a real mess of craziness, as I began with AP + water (non-chlorinated) then it began to smell funny so I added pineapple juice, whole wheat flour and a dash of dark rye flour. After reading all the stories of success I think I just got impatient. 

Today, I decided to take a deep breath, and start anew (but haven't thrown out the "kitchen sink mixture"). Now I simply have some dark rye flour, water at 100% (non-chlor) and a pinch of salt. I've been reading this is really the way to go, but I've also been reading all about rye and it seems like people make a hearty starter with pure rye flour and then after the culture has taken hold try to end up with an ended starter of around 15% rye and 85% wheat. I guess rye has great starter yeast cultures and fantastic sugars but inferior gluten. I've also read that acidifying the rye starter is necessary. How do I acidify it? Will that naturally happen as the starter ferments, or do I need to add something special? Thanks and God Bless!

NanooseGuy's picture
NanooseGuy

My first sourdough! Suggestions?

 

 

I just finished baking my first sourdough bread - using the Vermont sourdough formula in 'Bread'. My starter is about 2 weeks old and triples in volume between feedings (once per day). The flavour is good but I think the loaf could be somewhat larger and the crumb, while uniform, seems a little 'dense'. I used a 9 inch banneton and made 700 grams of dough. I did one s/f at 50 minutes. I did a bulk fermentation for 2 1/2 hours and a final proof at about 85F for 2 hours.I ran into a problem early - 128 grams of liquid levain instead of what I needed, which was 142. So I added 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast.

It seems I got not enough rise during proofing and no oven spring.  

I did get some nice singing when I removed the bread from the oven. 

Any suggestions for improvements would be appreciated

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