The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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ndechenne's picture

Retarding in the fridge

Ok, a question.


I've tried but hesitated refrigerator retarding, as I hear that it may be too cold? I keep a cold fridge (boy likes his milk nearly freezing). That said, it would be my belief that you could still "fridge retard" but that it may take a long time to develop the flavors (like a couple/few days, up to a week even?)

Second question (ok, I lied). Second, what's this business about going from fridge to oven directly? I tried it ... spring was ok but nothing too dramatic. What's the philosophy in fp in the fridge? Again... too cold to rise much? 

End of the day I seem to be looking for rise in a cold retard, yet maybe what I should be thinking about is flavor and let the fp do the rising for me? Problem I'm having though is that I'm overproofing as (in my mind) the loaves should be bigger than perhaps they want to be when coming out of the cold.

Can't get out of my own way on this one... thoughts?

clazar123's picture

Time to finalize holiday recipes?

I usually get to November and THEN realize I wanted to perfect this or that recipe so I could make it confidently for the Christmas holidays. MWilson's beautiful pannetone post reminded me of this.

So is it time to work on that biscotti? Butter cookie? Pannetone? Brioche? Stollen? or whatever? I also am reminded to order special supplies ( such as pannetone papers) and bake in boxes.

So what do you need to work on?

bread basket's picture
bread basket

How could we obtain flour (whole sale) as a group?

We are a small group of bakers which struggle to find flour (whole sale, as a group) at a decent price. we are selling at a farmers market in Brevard NC.

I realize, as a very small business one is really disadvantaged because of not being able to buy large amounts of ingredients. Buying wholesale from a online dealer always has high shipping costs which sets off the savings. Sharing does not seem possible because of tax issues or at least not recommended (according to my accountant). Are there any ideas of people who are in the same position as we are? As always thank you for your input.


poma's picture

History of US retail flour types?

This is more geeky than advanced, precisely...

I saw mention somewhere of "bread flour" becoming a category when bread machines showed up, and I think I've read that bread machines exploded onto the scene in the 1980s... So I was wondering what the categories were like before then -- and further back.

It's easy to imagine pastry flour being decidedly more difficult to find than it is today, and supermarkets just having plain flour and cake flour and boxed mixes and bisquick in the depths of the 1950s.

PS Pressed Preview, and got "EntityMalformedException" :(

clazar123's picture

Is millet flour supposed to have an afterflavor bitterness?

I have bought millet flour from Bob's Red Mill and Arrowhead Organic Flours and both times the millet flour had a very bitter afterflavor. The "Use By" dates were in the future (2014 and 2015) so they should not have been "old". I contacted both companies -who have EXCELLENT customer service and am awaiting replacements. I had the same experience with sorghum flour.

While I am awaiting the replacements, I tasted the same flours in the bulk bins at a local food coop. Same thing. Very bitter afterflavor. 

So is millet flour typically initially sweet tasting with a bitter afterflavor?

rsturgis's picture

Greetings from Alabama.........

I'm not from Alabama, but since I migrated here from south Indiana 30 yrs ago, I guess I've acclimated and settled. I've been reading and learning everything I can about bread, and the methods used from the Fresh Loaf. When I started reading a year or so back I couldn't make bread if I had to, now............I have a starter that's 9 mths old, I make a pretty good sourdough, a great wheat, and on occasion a really good rye. I love Ciabatta, and make at least 2 a week. I have to give credit to the forum here for all the great tips, techniques, do's and dont's. Anyone can mix flour, water, salt, and yeast, but not everyone can make bread with it.........Best............... Rick



Mebake's picture

Tartine Country, and 80% rye with soaker

So, Tartine Country bread it is. I chose to try the much revered country recipe before venturing into more complex breads in Tartine book. Generally, I followed Chad’s instructions to the letter, including the shaping method depicted in his book.  The recipe yielded good sourdough bread, with moist interior, crackled crust, and smooth eating qualities with no acidic notes whatsoever. It is a really good bread, especially for those who have just ventured into making their own sourdough breads at home. I loved it, and loved the subtle creaminess of its crumb, and the lovely carmalized tones of the crust.


To balance things out, and to further try the performance of my newly sourced French whole non organic Rye flour, I baked a recipe from Hamelman’s book Bread: 80% Rye sourdough with a rye flour soaker. This time, I skipped the yeast altogether and added 1 hour to the bulk ferment which added up to 2 hour total bulk fermentation.  This was the first time I used a recipe that calls for a scald, I was surprised by the moistness it lends to the crumb even after 48 hours of cooling. The flavor after 36 hours was mildly acidic, and the crumb was still moist. The bread was good, period. I’ll wait for a total of 72 hours to judge the bread flavor as it evolves, but I’m not anticipating a surprise.

What I’ll be doing from now on, I think, is to mill my organic rye flour or purchase dove farm’s whole rye flour and use it in the sour. The rest of the dough’s rye would be from the non-organic rye flour.




VonildaBakesBread's picture

Reinhart's WW Sand. Bread First Try--desperate for yeast help

Help! I made my soaker and am ready to make the biga. Of course, all I have is dry activated yeast. Reinhart clearly states that if you use dry activated yeast, you should decrease the water by 2 ounces and use that 2 ounces to activate the yeast. No problem with the biga. But tomorrow when I add yeast to the final dough, there is no water from which to decrease 2 ounces.

Help, please???

Blessings, Voni

Vicious Babushka's picture
Vicious Babushka

Bulk ferment 8 hrs. in fridge?

I work full time, and bake when I get home from work.

I make the pre-ferment at night, let it sit out all night, then put it in the fridge before going to work.

I make the main dough when I get home from work, but I'm impatient and hungry and I might cut corners on the bulk ferment, stretch & fold, 2nd ferment, & proofing.

What if I made the main dough in the morning before work, left it in the fridge for the bulk ferment, and then continued with the proofing after work?

I have done this with pizza dough with success.

My baguettes & ciabatta have not turned out well because I think I am too impatient with the proofings.

bPiobairi-baker's picture

Greetings from Ireland

Hello all.

I am a cook of many years, both professional and home.  I love all kinds of food form all around the world ( not quite as much variety here in Ireland than in my native town of Seattle, but after 16years I am learning to cope with that!) I am also a glass artist ( mostly beads and christmas baubles) , a felt maker,a spinner and more recently a weaver.  I seem to have a green thumb for growing weeds but only a light green thumb for growing food ( as my dandelion infested poly tunnel will attest) My love of bread started when I was about 4 and I started baking my own biscuits, from scratch, at 7. I grew up rather remotely on Whidbey Island and would spend my free time out in the woods. So it was vital to have something to eat and "pigs in blankets" ( these are sausages wrapped in biscuit dough)are great bush food.    

However it has only been in the last few years that I have been baking, what I consider to be "Good" bread. It is mazing how maturity teaches patience.  About a month ago I got a copy of " The bread bakers apprentice" and was introduced to the wonders of refrigerated fermentation ( after years of trying desperately to find warm places in cold houses this is a REVELATION!!) It was about this time that my sister suggested cultivating some of our local wild yeast from the massive amounts of black currants growing in our yard. I used a "recipe" for making wild yeast from grapes and it worked out great! I had tried sour dough starters in the past but they never seemed to get very vigorous. Our own wild yeast is beautiful and amazing it ferments like mad and we are living on sour dough at the moment! She ( are ferments masculine or feminine?) is 100% hydration and fed once every 2-3 days, with a light and sweet sour. ( I also like a very sour dough but this is nice for everyone) I have also saved a bit of dough out of my last batch too try this method of introduction. It was this success that prompted me to join the forum. My family is really tired of hearing about how wonderful this yeast is and I thought it might be nice to talk to a few like mind folks about the subject.

That is about it... Thanks for letting me prattle on. Oh yes, I should mention the bPiobairi ( pronounced pea-bu-re) means piper ( player of the Irish bag pipes)in Irish. It is part of the name of our house and my husband is a maker and player of this instrument.