The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Brown Dog Artisan Breads's picture
Brown Dog Artis...


I've been reading these forums for a while now and have learned so much from them. So thank you! I've decided to join in on the action since I'm getting a bit more serious with my bread creating. I'm in the process of researching the possibility of selling at local farmers markets here in central Massachusetts. Looking forward to communicating with y'all and sharing ideas!

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Tartine - Overnight Bulk Fermentation

I have been baking nothing but the basic country loaf now for several months, and my breads have always come out pretty good, though varying considerably in flavor.

I am a weekend baker and have wanted to get my bakes done early Saturday instead of late Saturday night or early Sunday.  So I decided to take another stab at doing things backwards.

Friday morning, I took my starter out of the fridge (last fed, a week earlier), and created the leaven.

Friday night, I mixed the dough and 90 minutes later, I added the salt and did one turn 30 minutes later, before placing it in the fridge.

Saturday morning I took out the dough, and did another turn. About an hour later I shaped and let it proof at 69 degrees, for 4 hours before baking.

The breads had a decent amount of oven spring.  The crumb was a bit dense.  The flavor was okay.

I would not say it was my favorite bread.  I reheated it on Sunday afternoon and it went over very well. I thought it was a little chewy and maybe a little gummy, like it was under baked slightly.  The second loaf I cut this morning and made a sandwich out of it. I do prefer less holes because it is easier to make PB&J without big holes running through my bread.  Again, the bread was a bit chewy but not too hard to eat. Gave my mouth a workout.  It did not taste gummy.  The flavor was okay.  I had a piece with butter and that was delicious.

So, it is not a ringing endorsement for baking bread for early Saturday afternoon, but I know that if I really need bread for Saturday, I can get it done in a pinch.  I might try it again with the proofing done at a warmer temperature, since the dough stayed pretty cool throughout the proofing.


jeffbellamy's picture

Tartine pics


Almost to the end of my first 100 pounds of flour and I bought a Taylor and Brod proof box.


Things are starting to turn out the way I want them to. This loaf 1lb 14oz, baked in combo cooker.

billgraney's picture


When I first started baking bread and pizza I was all over the map in regards to baking different types of breads. As a result I tended to have mediocre results because I never got dialed in on particular styles. Realizing that things weren't getting better I decided to only make French bread baguettes, rye boules, and dough for pizza napoletana.   These are the only doughs that I've made for several years and there is always room for improvement but I'm pretty happy with the current line up.

Thinking it was time to expand a bit I opened up The Bread Baker's Apprentice and decided to make a New England Anadama bread.  It came out pretty good and I've included a photo.  When I was adding the molasses it seemed like an excessive amount but the molasses taste ended up being rather subtle and I think I will try adding more next time.   

I'm curious if people have experience with this type of bread. I grew up in New England (Western Mass.) but I don't recall every hearing of this bread before, but I've been on the west coast for a long time so maybe it slipped my mind.  Are there locations where it's a popular bread?  

annam's picture

SF Dough, ferments doesn't sour

I went through the process at the suggested site "abreadeducation" ,   waited and checked daily after a week.  It did ferment   lots of small bubbles  but no sense of sourness at least in the odor.   Before I try baking with it,  should I detect some odor of "sour" or will this only show up in the bread?  I want it to be truly SF bread  nice and tangy.

lekarls21's picture

Bread didn't rise till this morning?? So confused!

Hello there! I attempted to make a Hawaiian Roll yesterday. Followed the instructions to a T and listened to the advice from people who had already made it. The recipe said to sprinkle the rapid rise yeast into the dough bowl after adding my wet ingredients and half my flour then to add more flour after adding the yeast. Then it was supposed to sit for an hour to rise. I marked where it was so I could make sure it rose and it didn't move. Not once. Because I was making dinner I set it aside and honestly kinda forgot about it because I was tired and this time change has messed up my sleeping pattern lol but when I woke up this morning I immediately remembered about it and went to clean out the bowl but saw that it had risen in size by this morning. Would it still be ok to use even though it took all night or should I throw it out? I was very cold in the house yesterday and that's why I thought it wasn't rising but it was cold last night too. I don't  know what to do and I don't want to waste all the ingredients it took to make it lol. Thank you in advance for any advice!  

MBaadsgaard's picture

Mixing water and flour, and not getting lumps

This seems like almost a silly question, but how do you mix flour and water?

Starting a bread with taking water, and then mixing in flour for autolyse, I always end up with lumps of flour that I can't get rid of.

I usually use my hands, but I also tried a whisk, which is really a mess. Also tried the dough machine, but that kneads the dough too much.

So how do you mix the flour in to avoid lumps?

sirrith's picture

Poor oven spring diagnosis?

Hi all, first post here, and I'm looking for help :(

I've been baking for a short while now, and my breads always have the same problem: not much oven spring and no open crumb. 

This is my usual recipe:

375g flour (100g rye, 150g whole wheat/strong whole wheat - 14% protein, 125g French white - 9% protein)

280ml water

1 tsp yeast (instant)

10-12g salt

I mix it in my stand mixer for around 10 minutes on lowest speed, then let it rest 30 mins before turning it out, shaping and proofing until it doubles-ish, then either bake it straightaway or knock it down by folding and re-shaping again. 

Last night I tried a cold-proof in the fridge for ~20 hours straight after kneading, the dough approximately doubled when I took it out, then I knocked it down and shaped it, and let it proof outside the fridge for another 1h30 mins or so.  It was not overproofed, and it didn't rise much during that hour (since I always hear underproofing is better for oven spring, I didn't let it rise any more). 

I always bake in my preheated dutch oven for 20-30 mins covered on maximum heat, then uncover and bake at 230C until done. 

This was the result:

Spiral Rye Boule by noobographer, on Flickr

Not much spring (I often see loaves with double the oven spring, seemingly), and inside the crumb is perfect for a sandwich loaf: no large holes.  But that is not what I want, I'd love to have open crumb, and I can't for the life of me figure out why it is doing this!

The only time I've managed to get proper open crumb in a loaf was when I did a very high hydration ciabatta which involved letting the dough quadruple in size before shaping.  Am I not letting it rise enough?  Is there something wrong with my recipe?  I see plenty of people with similar hydration doughs getting far better crumb than I, not to mention far better oven spring. 

Last night's loaf did have a bit of a problem in the mixer: the dough hook just pushed all the dough to the sides of the bowl and didn't really knead it.  But I figured that the 20-hour proofing would build up enough gluten to overcome that issue (and when I did the finger poke test it was perfect as far as I'm aware, the dent filled back in quickly, but not completely). 

Thanks for helping a novice baker!

Breadbabe's picture

Fresh milled grains - how long are they fresh?

I'm looking for a new discussion on a very old topic here - and maybe I haven't covered all the threads to find the answer, apologies if the answer is floating in the site somewhere. I even asked a similar question a while back, but for a different purpose.

Currently I use all fresh milled grain, mostly wheat. I use it commercially and don't always have the opportunity to mill for immediate use. Its not always possible to freeze or refrigerate the flour. I've read the posts that suggest I need to age the flour if I don't use it in **this** amount of time. But **this** seems to be a relative number. Everything from 90 minutes to a few days. I must admit to accidently aging some milled flour - and didn't experience the grand difference that was promised if I had done it on purpose.

Soooo ..... what data are we drawing from for these conclusions of fresh? Is it experience? Written studies? My experience using milled flour kept at room temp for up to a week is so different than the suggestions of flat, dense, tasteless, etc. I have had NO difference at all. None. My bakery runs through 400lbs of wheat per month so I would have ample opportunity to notice differences.

Then there's the issue of lack of enzymes and nutrients after a few hours/days/whatever- are there studies for this that I can read? I am aware of those sites that promote this idea while it feeds their business model, but even those sites don't produce the kind of proof that I would expect for the claims of nutrient loss.

ok, I'm all ears.


Photogirl's picture

Newbie Help


I received 1/4 cup of sourdough starter.  I was told to feed 4 oz. of water, 4 oz. of white flour on the first and second day.  The starter really doesn't smell like sourdough...not sour at all.  It sort of smells like paint!  What did I do wrong?