The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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vman's picture

Spiral Mixer

Hi there

I have a spiral mixer (10kg dough capacity) - one speed.

A general question ; Can a spiral (with one speed) develop gluten adequately for dough that has a high % of water (say 80% hydration).

Is there a general technique that I should be adopting when developing gluten in the spiral - i.e. say hold back some of the water and slowly incorporate?

Is there a 'general indication of how long I should mix in he spiral for high hydration or any dough?

Can good quality dough of an open crumb quality be solely prepared in a spiral mixer (one speed)?

I recently;y bough a spiral (one speed) soley for bread making but wondering whether I should have bought a planetary ?

Any advise or links would be appreciated.



Colin_Sutton's picture

High hydration dough shaping (video)

You know when you see a video which gives you techniques that you didn't pick-up from books?

"High hydration dough shaping" from the San Francisco Baking Institute was one of those for me:

Using the dough scraper in the pre-shape and final shape of high hydration doughs isn't that obvious when your previous experience is with much firmer dough made with commercial yeasts… or at least it wasn't to me.

I put this learning into use this weekend and had a much easier time with my dough!

It'd be interesting to know whether others are using these techniques regularly, or find them useful.

Happy baking!  Colin.

vman's picture

stretch and fold" or few minutes in spiral

Hi there

i have a number of recipes that call for. 'Stretch and folds'. Can I achieve the same effect by switching on the spiral mixer for a few minutes in say 45 minute intervals.

So the question is: can I use a spiral mixer on low speed for a few minutes( every say 45 min) instead of ' the stretch and fold' Every 45min?




fredman's picture

Just need to share this...

I found this fascinating. Must be the best video I've seen on bread kneading. The second half where he separates the starch and gluten blew me away.... Please watch this.



greiggy's picture

Tin loaf for light'n'healthy sandwich bread

I've been experimenting with tin loaves -- my family like a tall loaf with a light texture and this one is 10% wholemeal (100%), 10% white stoneground and 80% strong Canadian white.

I'm in the UK and my white stoneground comes from either Stoate's in Shaftesbury or Bacheldre Mill in... Bacheldre, Powys, Wales. The 100% wholemeal for this load was a Waitrose Duchy Originals Organic. The 80% was Strong Canadian White bread flour (from Waitrose, Sainburys also do one which I think is identical).

Flour 600g Canadian, 75 g wholemeal, 75 g stoneground white

Hydration water 65%

Yeast SAF gold (see method)

Salt just under 2% it was 13 g

A pinch of diax malt and a pinch of vit C powder

Method: Basically following Peter Reinhart's wholegrain method with a Biga-style sponge and autolysed dough. Half and half. Same hydration for each. 1/4 tsp inst. yeast in the pre-ferment. Salt added to the autolysed dough. Kept overnight or 8 hours approx at room temp.

Preferment and dough combined by hand, stretch and fold mainly, with about 15 g of slivers of cold butter worked in. (I like a little oil or butter to help the bread keep a few days.)

Two rises in the bowl, then a final proving in the tin which was a Farmhouse style deep tin, 19.5 x 11 x 11 cm (8" x 4.5"). This amount of dough more than half filled it. Topped out when ready for the oven:


Here's the tin coming out of the oven – a satisfactory oven spring.

And the loaf out of the tin. A hot oven? Stones? To get that spring? Now, here's the thing. I put the tin in a cool oven and heated it up to 200 deg C. That took 30 mins. Then I reduced it to 180 deg C for the final 15 mins or so. Aluminium foil hat to keep the moisture in -- removed it for the final 5 mins.

And here's the slice. I omitted to mention that I kneaded in 100g of Sainsburys mixed seed mixture before the second rise.


Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss


What really gets me excited about breadmaking these  days is consistency:

I have those much-loved recipes that I keep making over and over again, and with the same ingredients, kit and techniques the results get better and better.

Do you have a similar experience?

The negative side of this: there is not much to post about. 

Toast Bread and Pullman Bread from Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread" have become a firm family favourite - here some toasted slices:

Pullman Toasted

Apart from that, I keep making Vermont Sourdough and variations (Hamelman),

Bakery Challah (Inside The Jewish Bakery),

my Rice Sourdough,

Detmolder Rye Sourdough variations


For a wedding last week I supplied 4 Apricot Couronnes (Paul Hollywood, like here:


3 Kg of Chocolate Brownies (Bo Friberg's recipe)

and about 100 gluten free Financiers (choco and natural). I used a standard recipe and substituted the wheat flour with ground Azuki beans. The batter tastes awful but the result is really great.

You see (those who remember me), I am keeping myself busy.

Finally, on Sunday we went out to Cuckmere Heaven to forage wild Damson plums and make some delicious jam to go with all my baking

Happy Baking,





What about the croissants, you might wonder?

I make them about once a year, really not enough to get consistent results ...

I flooded my oven with butter, and during the second batch the oven fan died ....

Never mind, they are delicious.


Twozzie's picture

Outside done, inside dough??

Regardless to the type of bread I make, the outside is always baked and the inside underbaked. I have tried with the convection oven on and temp down, convection oven off and normal temp.  I've mixed and kneaded by hand and mixer, same result.

So what do you think?

Colin_Sutton's picture

On the way to getting "ears" with 1-2-3 Sourdough

It looks like I've taken to documenting my progress with a variation on a 1-2-3 Sourdough most weekends.

I'm sticking with the same formula, not be cause I lack imagination, but I want to see what small changes to my method make to consistent ratios of ingredients. My previous attempts are here, here, here and here.

This week I made a boule and a bâtard, and it's the latter that I'm picturing today. Here's the total formula for each loaf, including the build for the final pre-ferment:

  • Allinson strong bread flour: 479g (96%)
  • Stoneground wholemeal flour: 21g (4%)
  • Water: 327g (65%)
  • Salt: 11g (2%)
  • Diastatic malt: 4g (1%)
  • Seed starter: 35g (7%)

A abbreviated summery of the method, up to the shaping:

  1. Make a pre-ferment at 58% hydration 12 hours before use;
  2. Autolyse flour and water for 30 minutes;
  3. Add preferment, diastatic malt and salt;
  4. Mix in a Kitchenaid for 8 minutes to achieve a reasonable 'window-pane';
  5. Prove at 23°C (73°F) for 3.5 hours, with stretch & folds at 20, 40, 60 and 80 min;
  6. Bench-rest for 15 minutes;
  7. Shape, place in linen-lined bannetons, sprinkled with ground rice.

The tension achieved while shaping of this bâtard could have been a bit better.

I had a good result last weekend with retarding the dough overnight. This weekend I went for a much longer retard, and a slightly lower oven temperature:

  1. Retard the bâtard at 4°C (39°F) for 35 hours, wrapped in a plastic bag;
  2. Preheat a heavy baking stone to 260°C (500°F) for 45 minutes;
  3. Change to bottom-heat only, once oven had reached temperature;
  4. Sprinkle the base with cornmeal and transfer to baking stone;
  5. Bake with steam at 230°C (450°F) for 15 minutes;
  6. Bake without steam at 220°C (425°F) convection for 30 minutes;
  7. Switched off the oven, leave door ajar with the loaf on the stone for 10 minutes (because it didn't sound hollow enough).

I guess you could say that this is the first time I've achieved something approaching an ear! I also go some blisters in the surface of the dough, but I still want more oven spring.

Crumb shot of this week's 1-2-3 Sourdough batard

Next time, my plans are:

  • Omit the diastatic malt, to see if this reduces the darkness of the bake at all;
  • Reduce the bulk fermentation time to, say, 2.5 hours;
  • Prove at 22°C (72°F), rather than 23°C;
  • Repeat the extended retard after shaping.

NB: I retarded the boule I made at the same time at 4°C (39°F) for just 16 hours and baked in a La Cloche, this came out ok, but not as much oven spring as I achieved last week.

Crumb shot of this week's 1-2-3 Sourdough boule

I really appreciate the comments and advice received on previous bakes - they are really helpful. Please keep them coming :-)

By the way, for those using social media, I also Tweet my bakes (and other stuff) from @ctwangel and I'll follow-back other bakers who are kind enough to follow.

kevinmacg's picture

Hello From Brooklyn!

Hello everyone,

My name is Kevin and I'd like to introduce myself to the fresh loaf world. I am completely new to the forum/blog using side of this site but have been stalking for over a year now. I am a sous chef at a restaurant in Manhattan. Food consumes me and quite conveniently I consume it! But my love for bread baking has over taken me and I do hope to make a transition to full on professional baking, but in the mean-time, cooking in restaurants has been my bread and butter.. probably could have picked a better metaphor there. Anyways I intend to post updates on my baking along with recipes and new ideas and questions that I'll inevitably have for all you gurus. This site has been an invaluable resource for me. Can't wait to get things moving!!! Thanks! -Kevin

ugolini's picture

regolate sourness

Hallo everyone!

I would like to be able to regulate the sourness of my bread and make it less sour.

I have a sourdough which I maintain twice a day at 100% hydration and 22 degrees Celsius.

I bake every morning and have a set routine which I would like to maintain: I feed the sourdough at 0800 and 2000. at 2000 mix the dough (200g sourdough, 600g flour, 350g water) and let it rest at 22 degrees Celsius until 0700 when I bake.

I will try reducing the hydration of the sourdough. Other than that what can I do in order to get a less sour bread? I would like to maintain the 12 hours rising time and the feeding schedule I have today.