The Fresh Loaf

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BrianOD's picture

10:100:100 feed timing

I've been trying to activate a starter I purchased and have gotten conflicting results with the process.

I'm currently using the 10:100:100 method to try to increase the activity of the starter, which seems rather sluggish. I've kept the starter at 80 deg and am feeding it AP from a reputable source. The water is well water (no chlorine) and is kept also at 80 deg.

I've been monitoring the starter, measuring increase in volume on an hourly basis. At about the 3 hour mark there was a total increase of about 1/4 inch total. (this is the measurement on the tape on the side of the mason jar)

For the next 2 hours the increase was the same, about an additional 1/4 inch in each hour. At the 6 hour mark the increase per hour went to 1/2 inch. It has continued that rate of increase for the next two hours, 1/2 per hour. Assuming it repeats past activity, it will not increase volume any further from here on out, regardless of how long I leave it.

My question is, in order to increase the speed of activity commencement, do I feed it at the point where it no longer increases in volume (now) or should I have fed it back at hour 6 when the rate of increase jumped from 1/4 to 1/2?

thanks for any help

trinalb's picture

Is this older Magic Mill a good buy? Are the slicer and blender attachments good?

Hi, I am new to this forum. After being unsatisfied with a KA Pro model mixer I bought used, I have been looking at alternatives and have settled on either a Bosch or one of the Electrolux Assistent mixers or its predecessors, leaning toward the Electrolux. I am on a very limited budget so buying new is not an option and I have to scour for a better than average used deal. I would like your opinion on what I have found, please.

Magic Mill DLX Assistent, older model, I was told approx. 20 years old or so. Described as "runs as new" with a new belt installed last month. Includes machine, steel bowl, dough hook, roller and scraper but no other attachments. The price is $220, which includes shipping. (photo below)

The blender attachment $50

Slicer/shredder $100


Will this older model machine likely work as well as a newer Electrolux or Ankarsrum model? I am wondering if I will be as happy with it or if I should hold out for a newer model. Besides cosmetics, what differences does it have? Is the older model similarly quiet to what I've heard of the new one? Are all the attachments interchangeable? Is that a good price or should it be lower considering its age?

Do the slicer/shredder and blender attachments work well or would I be better off to save my money for dedicated machines at some point? I currently have a blender which is junk and a Magic Bullet which is okay for the small cups but doesn't work as well with the full size blender jar. I'm guessing this one doesn't work as well as a Vitamix but does it work as well or better than a typical store bought blender? How about the slicer/shredder? I think I would really like it if it was easy to use and clean and actually works well for what it's supposed to.

And where is the best place in Canada to look for new or used parts and accessories for these mixers?

Thanks so much in advance for the help!

isand66's picture

Italian Multi-Grain Sourdough

My wife requested an Italian style bread to go with her lasagna for this weekends belated holiday dinner with my family.  I couldn't just make a simple Italian bread of course, so I made a new version of an older formula I posted about early last year.  This is loosely based on Peter Reinhart's Italian bread from BBA where he uses a biga which I replaced with a durum based starter.  I also used some freshly milled white hard wheat, freshly milled spelt and rye flours along with KAF French style and Durum.

I used part buttermilk and water similar to my original formula and some olive oil and honey to round it out.

The end result was a nice tasty loaf with a fairly open crumb and nice crisp crust, perfect for mopping up some home made tomato sauce.





Levain Directions

Mix all the Levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I usually do this the night before.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours, buttermilk and water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), olive oil, and honey and mix on low for 6 minutes.  Next remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.  I made 1 large boule shape.   Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.


Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 210 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.



CAphyl's picture

Crusty Sourdough Rolls

I had a request to make crusty sourdough rolls when my husband and I were visiting family in England for the holidays.  I brought along my sourdough starter in checked luggage (TSA searched it), but the "baby" white and rye sourdough starters came through very well.  In fact, they performed better than the "mother" sourdough starters back in the U.S. performed recently.  I used the recipe below, but divided the loaf into rolls (and I didn't have my LaCloche, so.just used parchment paper and plenty of water in the bottom of the oven tray to create the steam to make the rolls crusty).  English friends and family gave the rolls the thumbs up.  I will definitely make them again now that I am back stateside.

Baker Frank's picture
Baker Frank

Tartine No 3 question

I found a recipe for Oat Porridge Bread online from Tartine No 3. It mentions as an ingredient "oat porridge" and this is where I need advice. There are so many ways of making porridge: steel oats, rolled oats, water +/- milk, salt, sugar, etc.

So does anyone specifically know what Chad Robertson means by "oat porridge"?

Thank you, Frank

pmccool's picture

Another Horst Bandel Black Pumpernickel

Although this bread is the topic of a number of posts here at TFL, I wanted to make it as presented in Hamelman's Bread (as nearly as possible) so that I would have a baseline for future bakes.  Since making it, I have re-read most of those posts and recognize some things that I will employ for the next attempt.

On my part, there were three departures from the formula as presented in the book.  The first was that I did not have pumpernickel, or coarse rye, meal on hand but I did have plenty of a finely milled whole rye flour, which I used in place of the pumpernickel.  The second was that I substituted cracked rye that I made by processing whole rye kernels with the grain mill attachment for my KitchenAide mixer in place of the rye chops that the formula specifies.  I also used barley malt syrup in place of the blackstrap molasses, which Hamelman notes is an acceptable substitution. While these changes have some effect on the outcome, my assessment is that their influence is relatively minor.

The two factors that I perceive to have a major effect on the finished bread are both inherent in the formula.  

The first is the degree of hydration.  Hamelman's directions for this bread are unusually vague, compared to other breads in the book.  He directs the reader to use the water left from soaking the altus for hydrating the dough but not to put any in unless it is needed.  He mentions that the dough should have a "medium" consistency and that it will be "slightly sticky".  This is a mostly-rye bread, loaded with whole rye kernels (soaked) and rye chops (dry).  Not surprisingly, it is a heavy dough and supremely sticky.

The second factor is the suggested baking profile for home ovens; and it is only a suggestion.  Not knowing exactly how my oven compares to his experience and knowing that my kitchen is rather cool at this time of year, I chose to depart from his notes in detail but tried to stay within the general intent.  To that end, I baked the bread for an hour at 350F, 90 minutes at 300F, 90 minutes at 250F, and 2 hours at 225F.  At that point, the oven was switched off and the bread remained in the oven for another 2 hours.  The bread was baked in lidded pullman pans that measure 9x4x4 inches.  I'll discuss the outcome a little further along in this post.

On a Friday evening, I mixed the rye levain and set it to ripen overnight.  Not having any old rye bread on hand, I used some Vermont Sourdough (another Hamelman bread) for the altus.  I also prepped the whole rye soaker, leaving the kernels to soak overnight in cool water.  I was a bit surprised to see that the kernels had begun to chit by morning, so it's a good thing that the rye soaker has to be boiled before use.  That prevented an enzymatic nightmare.

On Saturday morning, I boiled the rye soaker as directed, then drained and cooled it.  While that was going on, I cracked the rye kernels as described earlier.  The altus was also wrung out while the whole rye soaker was cooling.  Then I weighed out the rest of the ingredients.  When the rye soaker reached a usable temperature, all of the ingredients were mixed by hand.  My impression was that the dough was somewhat stiff, so I mixed in a few grams of the water from the altus soaker.  That loosened things up somewhat, although I would still not have described the dough as being wet.  Having some prior experiences with too-wet rye pastes, I decided to call it good enough.  The dough was covered and allowed to ferment in my B&T proofer at the recommended temperature.

During the bulk fermentation, the pans were greased and floured in preparation for loading with the shaped loaves.

At the completion of the bulk ferment, the dough was divided and shaped.  I had to wet my hands a few times to keep the stickiness in check and used a plastic scraper to help lift the loaves from the countertop without deforming them.  They were placed in the prepared pans and the lids were closed.  The loaded pans went back into the proofer for the final fermentation at the prescribed temperature.  When I checked the dough at the 50-minute mark, I found it to be within 3/4 of an inch of the pan lids, as Hamelman directs.  The oven was preheated and the bread went in for its marathon bake, as described above.

The fragrance of this bread while it bakes is amazing!  Lots of rye / caramel / malty / hazelnut notes that get "darker" as the bake proceeds and the Maillard reactions progress.  Marvelous stuff!  

When I was finally able to depan the loaves, I was surprised to find that they had shrunk by almost 1/2 inch in length.  The side-to-side dimension stayed about the same.  The crust was rock hard.  My first impression was that if the bread wasn't edible, I'd at least have a couple of foundation blocks for that WFO that I may or may not get around to building someday.  

When you look at the photo, below, a couple of things are noticeable.  One is that the top of the loaf is slightly rounded, indicating that it never expanded all of the way to the pan lid.  I attribute that to the dough being somewhat under-hydrated, since I was very careful to scale the quantities for the size pans I have.  The other is that a lot of the flour from dusting the pan is quite stubbornly clinging to the loaf.  That isn't the most esthetically pleasing thing but it does show just how much color change there was from the raw flour to the finished bread.  

The bread was wrapped in cotton towels and allowed to sit 24 hours.  I then bagged it in plastic in the hope that the moisture from the interior might soften the crust somewhat.  That hasn't happened to any great degree.  Cutting the bread, even with a good bread knife, is a struggle.  I have an acquaintance who does a lot of woodworking.  Maybe I could use his band saw to slice off the crusts...  After trying to use the bread with the crust still on the slices, I've taken to cutting off the crusts before eating.  No point in cracking that new dental implant on one of those rye berries.

The crumb, as shown in the headline photo, is very much what one expects with this bread; dense, dark, and chunky with whole rye and cracked rye.  The flavor is fabulous by itself and in sandwiches.  This is filling stuff, too.  It can keep you going for several hours without any sense of hunger.

For the next bake, I'll follow Andy's excellent advice to weigh everything before and after soaking so that I can be more scrupulous about hydration.  I'll also tinker with introducing steam for part, if not all, of the bake.  That will be a significant departure from the formula but I can't help but think that an oven full of bread probably has a higher humidity than mine did with just two loaves.  The lids on the pullman pans are obviously not able to retain enough moisture to prevent excessive hardening of the crusts during the long bake.

This won't be one of my go-to breads, simply because of the length of the bake.  It is, however, one that I will make from time to time because it is so good.




Capn Dub's picture
Capn Dub

Sourdough Muffins

Made my first batch of English Muffins this morning.  Turned out better than anticipated.

fynbos fan's picture
fynbos fan

Crust separating from rest of loaf

Hi all My top crust breaks away from the rest of my loaf. I suspect it may be from using cold tins, or could it be from over proving? I am new at this and do take some shortcuts! Thanks

rainey's picture

Hello, folks


I have just discovered this site and I'm looking forward to learning how to get around and becoming a better baker.

I'm 65 and I live in Southern California.  I baked my first loaf of bread about 45 years ago.  It was probably 10-15 years ago that I used my first preferment and got really excited about making my own bread.

It's amazing to me to see how much the technology and methods of bread making have changed.  On the other hand, I have a lot of stuff to un-learn before I can move forward.  I mean I came from the use-a-whole-packet-of-yeast and rise-punch down-shape-rise-bake traditions and I've only just begun to appreciate their short comings and how much there is that I don't even know I don't know.  

I look forward to "meeting" you, learning from you and the adventure ahead!  Let the fun begin!

rainey's picture

Hello and first problem

Hello, Fresh Loafers.  This is my first post and I need to learn the ropes but I'm happy to have found this site.

I am also in need of some problem solving help.  Short version:  my sourdough doesn't develop a skin and goes flounder instead of springing up.

Longer version:  I'm more familiar with conventional commercial yeast breads.  I could make sourdough but I was making it like more conventional bread and the crumb was coming out pretty tight.  I set a goal to achieve an open irregular crumb and a tight boule shape.  In the process of working my way through this I discovered the stretch & fold technique.  It immediately gave me the crumb I was looking for but I'm not getting a skin that could contain the oven spring.  At least I think that's the current problem.  

In my first attempt, the skin ruptured and I got a sort of doughnut shape beneath the skin where all the folds converged on the center.  I put that back on the bench, did another stretch & fold, tucked it into a ball and it baked into a yummy thing more like a ciabatta than a boule.  

Any tips on how to get a tight boule with an adequate skin?  

Thanks so much!