The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Conjuay's picture

Anti-bread sentiments

I'm coming across more and more negativity about bread recently that I'm really starting to get annoyed by it.

Why has bread become another dietary whipping boy?


ExperimentalBaker's picture

Raisin Yeast Water with SD Hybrid White Sandwich Loaf

Baked this in the morning before going to work.

Process is similar to the one from the original post here.

Some changes on my side:

1) My yeast water is not that active. Maybe I have not been feeding it enough and left it in the fridge. So it took more than 10 hours to get it to double after making the levain. So, in my main dough, I added in 60g of my active sourdough (100% hydration) and more sugar (60g). I adjusted the remaining flour (-30g) and water (-30g) accordingly.

2) For the main dough, instead of using water, I used more yeast water.

3) I knead the butter into the dough after the salt is mixed. All kneading is done by my bosch mixer.

4) I added 20g of white sesame seeds and 20 g of black sesame seeds. They are toasted in the oven slightly beforehand. I added them after gluten formation is moderate.

5) I did a bulk fermentation of 2 hours because my room temperature is 30C.

6) The proofing time is much longer than 2 hours. Like I mentioned previously, the yeast water is not very active. So, after proofing at room temperature for 4 hours, it has not reached the top of the tin. And because it is my bedtime and I don't want it to over-proof while I am sleeping, I put it in my wine cooler at 15C.

This morning when I woke up, the dough is about 1cm above the top of the tin. I baked the dough using the cold start method mentioned in the original post. 20 mins of 210C was enough to nearly charred the top of the loaf. Internal temperature is 90C when I pulled out the loaf.

Next bake, I will have to reduce the temperature to 200C.

I made another different loaf last night, now it is slowly proofing in the fridge, it is the chocolate sourdough recipe from shiao-ping's post. I won't get to bake it till tomorrow night, ie. close to 48 hours of fridge time.

Felila's picture

How to use up ten pounds of brown rice flour

They cleaned out a freezer at my Zen center today, and sent me home with some unwanted flour.

Someone, at some point, was fond of brown rice flour. I am wondering how best to use it up. I searched for rice flour discussions here and they all seemed to involve rice flour to dust bannetons, or rice flour as a substitute for wheat flour in gluten-free bread.

I do not have any bannetons, not that dusting them would use up ten approximately ten pounds of flour. I am not interested in baking gluten-free bread. I buy white bread flour, higher gluten than AP, for my sourdough bread. 

Probably I should just substitute brown rice flour for some percentage of the wheat flour in a recipe. Perhaps substitute for whole wheat in struan bread. What would be a percentage that would still give me a good rise, crumb, and crust?

P.S, Got small bags of other odd flours. Garbanzo-fava flour? Tapioca flour? Millet flour? Suggestions?


trangha2201's picture

Pineapple juice starter being... a bit too active?

Hi everyone,

Recently I've been up to the challenge of making my own wild yeast starter by mixing pineapple juice with rye flour. I followed a simple recipe that calls for 2Tbs of juice and flour everyday for 4 days and feed normally thereupon. Its been day 3 now and the yeast is extremely bubbly after only 8 hours from the last feed while the recipe suggested 12 hrs or so. I've read that the yeast being active is a good sign but  I'm also worried that i might be doing sth wrong because this is my first time catching yeast therefore i should be following the recipe exactly. Should i feed it twice? Should i double the flour? Should i start feeding it white flour and water? any suggestion is welcomed. Thanks guys.


PS the room temp is about 30C or so. 

dosal's picture


Could you, please, tell me how you store malt. I had mine in a snap top plastic container and it formed a solid mass.

Our humidity is high during the summer. I had no problems during the winter months.

Since it was a plastic container I could rap it against the counter top and break the whole into smaller chunks which I put into a glass container with screw on lid. This went into the fridge.

Any ideas how to break up the chunks further? Everything I use on it gets sticky quite fast.

jamesjr54's picture

Sourdough with whey


We've started making Greek yogurt at home, which leaves us with lots of eft-over whey. We've made ricotta, and I've started experimenting with using whey for some portion of the water.   

Here's the formula I used:


100 g 100% starter

100 g KAF AP

70 g Water

30g Whey (yogurt-making byproduct)

16 hours


All of the starter

700g KAF AP

300 g Sprouted whole wheat

722 g Water

20g Kosher salt

Mix all but salt - autolyse 20 min

Add the salt and knead 10 mins

Bulk proof in fridge 8 hours

Next morning, out of fridge, stretch and fold every 30 mins for 2.5 hours (this dough was slow to develop)

Shape and proof 1.5 hours

Bake in cast iron 40 minutes at 485F. Covered for 20, then uncovered.

Taste is amazing. Not at all sour, but full-flavor. Browned up more with whey - because of the sugars? 


BKSinAZ's picture

Some general beginner questions that I have been saving up..

I have been baking for about 1.5 years now. Just baguettes and sandwich breads. During this time, I have had made many successes and mistakes. It has been a wonderful and rewarding journey. I have some questions that I have saved up and hope I can get some answers. I hope they are not stupid questions.

  • What is the difference in "function/purpose" between the first rise and second rise?
  • Is the second rise called "proofing"?
  • What are the symptoms of under (1st) rise? and over (1st) rise considering the second rise is timed correctly?
  • As far as simple sandwich bread is concerned, are there any advantages or disadvantages with increasing the hydration? (sometimes when I go by the recipe, the dough seems stiff to me, and yes I use a scale)
  • When preparing the dough for the second rise/shaping, how gentle must I be? I mean do I perform a second knead or just gently flatten out the air bubbles and then shape?
  • Symptoms of a slightly under 2nd rise?
dabrownman's picture

I'm not making any of Ian's avocado bagels!

aly-hassabelnaby's picture

Success with new steaming method

Since I use a gas oven, which keeps a temperature but doesn't keep steam, I didn't really have the best oven-spring and crust formation. Recently, Khalid (mebake) recommended a different steaming method that's good with gas ovens and I gave it a couple of attempts and it yielded some nice results.

The first attempt was with one batard using the Ciril Hitz baguette recipe (I just followed the whole thing until the shaping step) and as you can see, I got a very nice crust and the oven spring was delightful.



and the crust shot:



The second attempt was with a formula that I've been trying to work on using barley flour. Since I can't really find rye flour in Egypt, I've looked to the next glutinous thing: barley. This one uses 200 grams of barley and 800 grams of wheat flour. I had 700 ml of water for a 70% hydration, 15 grams of salt and 7 grams of yeast. I used a preferment consisting of 200 grams barley + 200 grams wheat + 400 ml water + 1 gram yeast. This was left to proof overnight and then the rest was added in the morning. After bulk fermentation, I divided the dough into two and shaped them into batards (one of them came out better as you can see =) ).

The crust shot was taken from the loaf on the left (the other one was eaten too quickly)

Any comments are welcome of course :D

ExperimentalBaker's picture

Basic Sourdough Bread using 1, 2, 3 formula

Very excited to be part of the community.

Even more excited to bake my first successful pure sourdough bread using the 1, 2, 3 formula with some changes.

I'll post more pictures later.


100g of sourdough starter (100% hydration)

177.5g of water

300g flour

6g salt


Instead of 200g water which will give a hydration of 71.4%, I lowered the hydration to 65% (confidence issue).

I started by mixing the flour and water, then kept it in the fridge overnight. (8 hours of autolyse)

Fed the white sourdough starter as well.

The next morning, I took 100g of the starter, mixed it with 180g of the flour/water mix and kept the rest in the fridge.

Brought the mix to work and observed its growth. 4 hours later, it had doubled. I was surprised by this "young" starter's rising power. (Just got it from eBay 10 days ago)

I popped it in the fridge at work to slow down the fermentation. I don't want it to be too sour, so I hoped that chilling it will slow it down.

When I got home, I mixed in the rest of the flour/water mixture and salt.

Knead 15 mins using the Bosch mixer.

The next 45 mins, I did (or tried to do) some s&f every 15 mins.

Room temperature here is 30C, so I have a shorter bulk fermentation.

Then I pre-shaped the dough, rested it for 15 mins, reshaped again into a boule and placed into my rice-floured plastic banetton.

I put it into my not-so-working wine cooler at 19C, hoping to bake the following day.

4 hours later (11pm), it almost doubled and I panicked because I planned to bake it the following day afternoon. So I placed it in the fridge (5C).

The next morning (today), I saw that the dough rose further in the fridge overnight. But I had to go to work so couldn't bake it.

I think it didn't over-proof and there was even a oven spring of about 20%. This is the best rise I got using sourdough. My previous home-grown sourdough starters have always produced bricks. So much so, my wife thinks this new sourdough starter is abnormal. :)

Baked the dough after transferring it to a cold cast iron pot and scoring.

Pre-heated oven of 240C with lid for 25 mins, 230C without lid for 15 mins. 



1) The reason why the flour and water was added in 2 separate additions is because previous tries always resulted in a dough not rising even though the starter (home grown) looked active. And after reading about increasing the strength of the starter by incremental feeds, I tried it on the main dough.

2) The bottom of the loaf is more charred than the top. Will put some cornmeal to buffer the heat next time.

 3) The starter (from eBay) is too active for me. Will need to reduce it to maybe 15%.