The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

Mebake's picture

The last of 2013 - Andy’s Borodinsky – Take #1

Last week, I went to a health food store in Dubai to pick up some Rye berries, and black strap molasses. To my dismay, I could not find any malt syrup in the store, and left to a shopping mall for lunch. Located next to the food court was yet another health store that quickly caught my sight. I went in, and asked for barley malt syrup, and the salesperson said that they do not sell it anymore. I was just on my way out  when I  heard him calling upon me and saying: Wait, I have some barley extract! It was slightly expensive for what it was, a syrup, but I gladly bought it anyway.

Having had two ingredients that would likely make my planned borodinsky as close to authentic as possible,  I decided to refresh my dormant rye starter. Andy’s recipe : here, was followed to the letter, with no deviations at all, except the fact that I replaced Rye malt with Barley extract syrup as I had no rye malt. I milled the rye berries, and mixed the fresh flour with the non organic rye flour I had in store. Everything came together as expected, and I was quite content with the process. The Sponge was mixed and immediately refrigerated for 6 hours and when I returned home, I removed it from the fridge to warm up.


I mixed the final dough, and left it to ferment for 1 hour. It was then divided into 1.3 Kg for the Pullman pan (with lid on), and 5.5 Kg for a smaller Pan. Final fermentation was a scant less than an hour, and the pans went into a 260 C oven for 10 minutes, and at 100C for 4 hours. The aroma of coriander and the slowly caramelizing rye and molasses were very  sweet and satisfying. The tiny loaf in the pan did not grow much in the oven, but I was in anticipation of a good height to the Pullman loaf. After 2 hours I had a peek to register the temperature of the crumb, and slid off the Pullman lid to see a sunken top… Ugh! Ok, what have I done wrong?

It didn’t take me much time to find the culprit behind my sunken loaf. Hydration! Andrew whitely talked about it in his book: Bread matters but I underestimated the importance of it in rye breads, especially those with high % of prefermented flour. I had added more boiling water to the soaker while making up for the loss in evaporation. I have also failed to notice that Andy’s recipe uses thirsty rye flour, while mine is not as absorbent.

Unfortunately, The Pullman pan’s blue steel coating was corroded due to the molasses, and the long moist baking. You may notice the iron oxide patches on the bottom and the sides of the loaf. If I ever bake such breads in this pan again, I’ll have to line it with parchment.

When cooled,  I wrapped the loaves in linen, and waited 24 hours to cut the small loaf, and a 36 hours to cut the Pullman one. The crumb was soft and very moist, but not gummy. The crust was neither hard nor soft. The bread was super delicious, with hints of molasses/ malt. Coriander’s flavor, of course was prevalent.  Perhaps I added too much crushed coriander as garnish.



gwadi's picture

not enough rise and going sideways

Hello everyone,

I baked these 2 loaves following Tartine's country loaf recipe. This is the end result. Not enough rise and one of them went sideways. Please help what went wrong. Thank you.


mattprince's picture

Hi from the UK

Hi All,


Glad i found this site. I'm 36, married with 3 young children (8,6 and 4) and decided to start cooking fresh bread and pizza dough. Im battling through but finding it hard to be consistent. 

Nice to meet you all



dabrownman's picture

New Year’s Panettone - 2014

After last year’s total and complete fiasco using origami panettone moulds made out of parchment paper where the panettone fell out of the mould onto the floor while cooling upside down, we decided to bake it in a large soufflé pan this year.


We used Susan’s Wild Yeast formula found here: 


Lucy cut the recipe in half, dropped the commercial yeast and used the same amount of YW levain in its place.  So this is another SD /YW combo levain panettone attempts.  We also added 40 more grams of snockered fruits to the mix that included, candied pineapple, lemon and orange peel, green and red cherries, raisins, cranberries, prunes apricot and citron.  She also chucked in 100g of mini chocolate chips. 


Because the fruits were so wet with bourbon, amaretto, limoncello, arancello, dark rum and brandy the final 5 sets of stretch and folds were done 15 minutes apart and extra bench flour was used, around 50g, to get the dough to not be a sticky mess and actually begin to hold together even though still very wet.


We let it final proof on the counter for 10 hours before moving it to the heating pad and 80 F for another 3 hours.  We used Susan’s glaze for the topping and chucked it in the 350 F oven with a stone above and below the rack where the panettone landed.


Because the panettone was so big at 1,100 g, we baked it to 190 F instead of 185 F,   It took and hour to bake to the handsome brown color.  The spring was very good and the panettone doubled in height in the oven from 2 below the rim of the pan to 2 “  above the rim of the pan.


It smells terrific as it cools on the counter.  Lucy will post the crumb shots after it cools – with no hanging upside down this year.  The crumb is the most moist, shreddable and soft one that Lucy had ever managed to chomp down on.  This is just delicious through and through.  No more store bought panettone that is half a s good ever again.  It is such a relief to make a comeback from last year's 2 panettone disasters that fell out on to the floor while cooling upside down.

This one never though about deflating so I see no need for hanging them upside down and no need for expensive forms either.  This was a 7 1/2 "x 4" souffle pan but they could just as easily be baked in small cocktail or larger full loaf tins too.  I love panettone,,,,, especially spread with marmalade and whipped cream on top....or made into French toast.  Thanks to Susan at the Wild Yeatst for the formula and methods.

Happy New Year to all.








HappyHighwayman's picture

What kind of water do you use?

My friend who owns a baking supply company tells me he is obsessed with using pure water for his breads. He says he'd leave water out overnight if necessary to let the chlorine evaporate. I'm using warm water straight from the tap in San Francisco, and I've never noticed any off flavors.


Should I be using bottled water or water from my fridge's filter dispenser or even boiling it before using?

kensbread01's picture

Baked two Ken Forkish breads last night

I decided to experiment... again....  I had recently purchased the Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast book even though I have been satisfied with my Tartine Bread book and its recipes.  Just wanted to try something new and his book is excellent for his clinical type writing and description of the bread making process.   I used my Tartine bread starter that has been growing fine and working fine for me since I had that laying around and didn't need to go another week trying to grow a starter.

His baking times are different for Levain type breads or breads that rely solely on wild yeast starter.  Also using a dutch oven, the covered baking time is 30 minutes instead of 20 for Tartine and the oven temp. is 475, not 450.  This will get you a much thicker crust I believe.  Then the uncovered time is about 25 minutes, again at 475.  The results are a much darker loaf in terms of color and crunchier, crustier crust.  I guess on could bake the Tartine bread at higher temps and for longer times... but it really boils down to personal preference.  Everyone who tasted the finished product liked the taste, just feel that with such a hard crust, we will have teeth problems eventually.

BTW:  Happy New Year to TFL folks from Illinois

pizza fool's picture
pizza fool

First try at Tartine Bread - a learning experience

So I ordered the book but was impatient for its arrival, so I thought I'd try it with his recipe as published on Martha Stewart's site. I also decided to try it before having my coffee (because my starter was floating so what better time than now?) so I was zombie-ish. I microwaved my water to heat it up to room temperature but forgot to check the temperature when done. Oops.

Autolyse went fine, although when I added the extra 50ml water plus 20g salt the dough got very squishy.  I folded it about 8 times (8 quarter-turns) every 30 minutes at 0:30, 1:00, 1:30, 2:00. Dough was only around 70F at 1:30, then I tried putting the fermentation bowl on the radiator and got it up to 75F by 2:30. It looked like it had expanded significantly, and it definitely was tighter and more structured, so at 2:30 I divided and shaped. I proofed Loaf 1 in a banneton without cloth (Oops! Pretty wet. And it stuck.) in the oven with the light on for nearly 3 hours. Loaf 2 I proofed on the counter in a cloth lined bowl (upper 60's F) for 4 hours. I used the parchment paper sling method for transferring it to DO. Loaf 1 was definitely overpoofed (saggy and baggy and draggy with lame and didn't spring), and the crust didn't brown enough (temperature registered 210F). I forgot to reset oven temp to 500 before 2nd loaf, which seemed perfectly proofed, so the DO was definitely not hot enough, as you can tell from the light tanning on Loaf 2. Crumb is a bit spongy on both (I waited 2 or 3 hours before slicing) and there's no crust worth mentioning.  Makes an acceptable platform for a slathering of Nutella.

So aside from the obvious mistakes, I'm wondering if it really just needed more S&Fs.

Thanks and Happy New Year!

buckeyebaker's picture

tartine 3 bakers?

hi, happy new year. has anybody been baking from the new TARTINE THREE book? i have finally finished reading it, and was planning to dive in. was thinking to use 50/50 for the high extraction flour, and start with one of the ryes, before moving to 'ancient grains'. some of the techniques remind me of what pr did in his whole grains book (pre-soaking grains overnight, etc) so there's not much terribly new here, but i like the assortment of grains he's using. 

question though -- when he uses whole wheat in addition to 'high extraction', would that include white-whole wheat in addition to stone-ground? he doesnt really specify

Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

Killed the yeast?

I opened a bag of SAF Red instant yeast two weeks ago. Divided it into two vacuum-sealed bags, and stashed it into the freezer. 

Then I read Maggie Glezer's book. She said that freezing damages the yeast, while refrigerating will preserve it for only 3 to 4 months. Still, many of you have frozen yeast successfully.

My yeast may not have survived. Last night I started a poolish that was mixed and immediately refrigerated overnight. Unlike the other times I made this recipe, the poolish was not ready in the morning. Sank like a stone when I tried the float test. 

 Was it the vacuum that hurt the yeast?  Janet
dickeytt's picture

Rubbery and Chewy White Sourdough Loaf

Hello Bakers, I wonder if you can help, I am making progress with my sourdough bread making and have made a number of lovely brown loafs, but when I make a white loaf, the centre of the bread is rubbery and chewy.  It also has the taste of crumpets. 

I used the Dan Lepard recipe and quantities for white bread.  The dough proved ok and  I did the 2nd prove in the fridge over night.  I cook it on my new baking stone at 210 C for 50 ish min and it had a lovely crust, but as I said very rubbery inside.

Could anyone provide me with some help on what I am doing wrong?