The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Crusty44's picture

Tartine Approach Worth It??

I have Tartine Book No. 3 & kicked off the Master Method a few weeks back & lost my discipline somewhere along the way.

By the time one has worked through the Starter, Leaven, Dough/Premix, Autolyse, Final Mix, Bulk Rise, Final Shaping, Final Rising & Baking phases, a fair amount of flour has gone into the waste bin & a block of ones life has passed.

My query is, is the taste & quality of the final product worth the effort compared to other simpler Dutch Oven baking methods?




MBaadsgaard's picture

Setup for maximum oven spring

Hello again, I am just breaking my questions up into different threads, hope that is ok...

As a seeker of the magnificent open crumb, I have been trying to figure out what gives the best oven spring setup, and I have a few options right now, but I get myself lost in variables to really figure out what works better. so I still have not figured out what really makes sence and what doesn't.

As far as I am aware, the more heat, the more evaporation/expansion, but also, the quicker the bread (especially the crust) sets.

Steam prevents crust from setting, but it also transfers more heat to the crust, right? that might give more expansion, but does this not set the crust faster?

Heat from below should contribute more to the rise, I imagine, is this true?

Is faster heat transfer a must for good spring? Since some recipes call for putting the bread in a cold oven.


Untill now I have the impression that the best result would be for me to put my steel plate of 8,5kg (19lb) into the oven, second lowest rack, along with a metal bowl on the floor of the oven. Preheat for an hour on highest temp of 275C (525F) and convection, and then turn down to baking temp and put in bread, along with boiling water in the bowl. Any thoughts on that?

Mebake's picture


I've had a busy couple of weeks, and hadn't had the time to blog about my latest activities. 

Here it goes: I've completed my Pastry class in Shortcrust and pies some weeks back, and attended my Asessment in baked goods. I had to bake a fruit tart, and soft dinner rolls. Everything went alright, and the Chef approved my products. I have Chocolate classes left (next month), and i'll be done. 

On another note, i've been pretty occupied with upcoming crafts market which is due on Friday, February 14th. I've increased my capacity and expanded my list to include 3, instead of two bread types: 80% Rye with rye flour soaker, Whole Wheat multigrain, and Pain au levain. A total of 14 loaves of different sizes will be offered for sale on the Market.  This is a glimpse on how my products look like. Wish me luck :)

P.s: I've found a great way to use my new toaster oven for uncovered Pan loaves. I've encased the whole pan with two oven proof plastic  (the type used for roasting chicken) to create steam for the first 15 minutes- one from each side, as one isn't enough . Temperature should not exceed 200C , however. It worked!





MBaadsgaard's picture

Oven spring difference between open crumb bread and others?

Hello people, long time reader here who has been pursuing nice big crumb breads for some time now.

After experimenting with flour type (both origin, and protein content from 9,5 to 12), baking temperature, baking setup, proof times, leavening methods, hydration amounts etc. I still do not really feel I am getting closer.

So my current focus is the oven spring, where I'd say I get about 15-20% right now.

I have a nagging feeling though, that these big bubbled breads do not really rise more than, say, lean sandwich breads, even though the crumb structure is that different. I could imagine it is way more about how the gluten is formed in the bread, really.

Can anyone tell me their experience with this?

nofe's picture

Hello from Birmingham

Hello all

I'm newish to bread baking and have stumbled across this site. For a couple of years I've been trying to learn to produce a decent loaf of bread but with minimal success, for every decent loaf there's at least more then one brick. I have an earth oven I built for pizza and bread, the pizzas are excellent but I'm yet to get a successful loaf out of it.

While looking about for a good book for beginners i found this forum, so I'm looking for a beginners guide to bread. Any advice about good recipes to start with and techniques to learn would be much appreciated. I'm going to hopefully master a decent loaf by the time the weather gets better so I can get baking in my earth oven.

pamneuharth's picture

sourdough starter waste

Hi All,  I am making sourdough starter for the first time, using Nancy Silverton's Breads from La Brea Bakery Cookbook recipe.  I'm at the end of day 10 (when you really start feeding it) and I am shocked at the upcoming waste.  I'm supposed to add about 8 cups of flour in the course of a day, then pour off most of it each morning, keeping only 2 cups, for the next 4 days!?!?!?!

Someone please tell me why I need to do it this way?  What's the point of adding so much flour only to throw it out the next day?  Is there some chemical reaction that requires volume? 



little lemon loaf's picture
little lemon loaf

Leaven/ Levain Weight Discrepancy

Hey Friends, help me out here.

What the hell is the deal with the weight discrepancy between when you mix the leaven and when you add it to the dough.

for example:

20 g starter

100 g water

100 g flour

weighs 220 g

then suddenly the recipe only calls for 150 g of leaven.


why is there so much waste?

little lemon loaf's picture
little lemon loaf

What are we using to cut these loaves?

What do you use?

an electric knife?
a bread knife?
bread knife + a guide? 

TJTJTJ's picture

Yeast Help

I am having real issues with yeast. For some reason, more often than not, it refuses to activate.  When I first get some and use it right away it works but if its left in the house more than a couple of weeks it never works.  This is fresh yeast, easy yeast and fast action yeast.  I have no idea what could be killing it but I have boxes of yeast that has no use whatsoever.  Any ideas what could be causing this?

dabrownman's picture

Subway's New Hit - Yoga Mat Bread