The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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WishfulSpirit777's picture

Sticking with "Wrong" method when you get the right results?

Hi everyone.

I have a bread machine that I use only on the "dough" setting, since I don't like the shape of loaves baked in the machine (or the hole at the end...I use an old bread machine I got at a thrift store).

I just reread the instructions looking for info on when to add raisins for raisin bread, and I found out I was supposed to be letting my dough get a second rise. The first rise is in the bread machine, the second is suppossed to occur once I have shaped the loaves and put the bread in the bread pan. 

My issue is this: I usually just put the shaped loaves right in the oven, and they come out perfect. Soft, fluffy, perfectly shaped. I make primarily plain breads with a blend of 2:1 bread flour to white whole wheat flour. Also, I live in high altitude, so that probably has something to do with it. 

Should I change my method just because the instructions say I should? Are there other types of bread I should let rise outside the oven? Or should I just stay with what's working? 

dabrownman's picture

Stale Bread

I baked this 75% extration multigran SD bread on July 26th and left a slice on the counter wrapped in plastic since then.  Today it showed the first signs of mold.  That is 17 days no mold.  Yep, SD does make bread last longer.

coyote's picture

Hi from Wales

Hello everyone,


I have joined this forum in order to get some advice on my sourdough baking. I have been baking and cooking bread for several years now, but this is the first time I have tried making sourdough. I am still relatively a newbie when it comes to bread, so I hope this forum will be a lot of use to me.


cfiiman's picture

Finally got to try out my new starter!

The bread is wonderful, the flavor is great and the crumb has nice big holes.  I'm still not sure how I got the crumb that way but I'm thinking that since I just added the liquid starter I created a very wet dough which may have helped.  It was so wet even with a good amount of folding and shaping it still spread way out instead of up, but I was less concerned about the flatness and more just the taste.  I was going to wait until my starter was 2 weeks old but it was doubling so fast and smelled so great I decided to just test it.  It is strange, I always thought I had to go to Panera or a good bakery to get bread that taste like this, who knew I could do it in my own kitchen, is it weird to be proud of a starter lol :)  Here is the loaf:

clazar123's picture

GF Whole grain English muffins

This is my 2nd attempt at a GF product and it wasn't too bad. I would enjoy eating this if I didn't know it was GF but I wouldn't call it an English Muffin since this would set me up for a different expectation.

The muffin was dense but pleasingly so. It was not a brick and the crumb was moist and not at all gummy. The taste was nutty and flavorful, thanks to the teff flour in the mix . It toasted well and was quite delicious with a bit of homemade jam.

I am learning a lot in a short period of time. There is a lot of info out there and knowing how gluten bread works and being familiar with how different flours react gives me a good basis to extend to the GF flours and gums (natural and refined).

I like the flavor of this flour mix-teff flour adds a nice flavor just by its presence. It is quite brown, though. Is there such a thing as a white teff? Is it available anywhere (I haven't looked), and does it taste as good as the brown?

So many more questions. An interesting quest.

dabrownman's picture

It's always nice to see a

master baker at work even if you have seen it before.  The picture is a take on David Snyder's Pugliesi Caprioccio (sp?)and the video is Chad Robertson not baking with a DO :-)

Happy baking

SharonZ's picture

Ugly bread


Hopefully someone can tell me what I'm doing wrong to make such ugly bread.This happens whether I use a light coating of oil on the counter or flour. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks Sharon

This is the recipe I use:

3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)         

1 tablespoon active dry yeast                                          

1 tablespoon salt

4 cups all-purpose flour

3 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon white sugar

bsandusky's picture

Sourdough starter hydration question

Hi all,

A few years ago, I had a starter from KA that I kept at 100% hydration, used in baking, then let fizzle out. I recently (about a month of so) built up a starter on my own and have gotten it to the point where it is vigorous and raises breads nicely. This starter, too, is at 100% hydration (I feed it 1:2:2). 

My question is about the hydration level. I am curious to know the advantages and disadvantages of keeping starter at various hydration levels. It seems many on here, and a lot of the masters, tend to keep stiff starters, rather than liquid.

I bake often, but usually keep the starter in the fridge with feedings 1x/week, if that makes a difference in deciding what hydration is optimal. I feed it white flour, though I did give it a couple WW boosts during the build, and would consider a mix of WW, Spelt, Rye, and AP for feedings. 

Just curious from others about what the optimal hydration level(s) is/are and why.



Vicious Babushka's picture
Vicious Babushka

Horrible! Assistent mixer knocked over

My brand-new Assistent mixer got knocked off the counter and the opening with the connecting pins where you plug in the power cord needs to be reset.

There is a KitchenAid/Viking service center quite close to where I work that refurbished my Hobart, would it be OK if I took it there to have the power outlet reset, or should I call Assistent 800 number and get their recommendation first?

Because this was a freak accident I don't think it is covered under warranty.

Jeddi's picture

Newb from Australia

Hi everyone. 

I've been lurking around for a while, and finally decided to join. 

I'm a first year apprentice baker, with an arts degree and a fascination for birds. 

Hoping to pick up some interesting tips and what not from you all.


Cheers :)