The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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timmytwo's picture

beginner question why cover the rising dough, volume baffles me, and whats up with my temp?


The Minnesota winter has me trapped and I can only bake so many pies. I also miss the old NY Italian delis of my childhood

I am now waiting my my fourth ever batch of dough to rise.  i have it in nice mixing bowl and covered in plastic wrap.  i want to keep lifting up the wrap in silly eagerness but i am afraid i might mess something up. Why do i need to cover it? does it need to be airtight?


Any tips on knowing how much volume has increased. Apart from a clear graduated bowl...


leaving dough to rise at room temp seems to be slow for me. What really is room temp?  In my old house our kitchen tends to top out at about 67degrees unless i have the oven on.  We have stone counters, which i suspect also run cool.  Should i be setting my dough elsewhere.













CeciC's picture

Double Fermented Oat Porridge Bread

Inspired by Tartine no.3, I used his double ferment method in preparing this bread. Using Kefir Whey to soak quick cooking oats overnight in 3:1 ratio (375:125). As it has significantly soften so I didnt boil it down, rather I only added the drained oats into the dough. Oatie flavor is apparent and complement well with almonds, however the crumb was a bit disappointing. It taste like a sandwich bread more than a boldly baked bread, it has moist n soft crumb, but its not open enough. 

Oat Porridge Bread       
Total Weight2225      
Weight per Serving741.66667      
Total Flour 1100     
Total Water 850     
Total Hydration 77.27%     
Multi-grain % 40.91%     
 Build 1Build 2Build 3SoakerFinal DoughAdd-InTotal
White Starter (100%)100     100
Wholewheat Starter100     100
Rye Starter      0
Yeast Water Levain (100%)      0
Extra-High Protein Flour (>14%)      0
Bread Flour    600 600
AP Flour      0
Wholemeal Flour       
Wholewheat Flour    250 250
Rye Flour    100 100
Corn Flour    50 50
Water    750 750
Milk      0
Raisin Soaker Water      0
Yeast Water      0
Others      0
Yeast      0
Salt    25 25
Oat Porridge     300300
ADD-IN      0
Almond     150150
Autolyse all ingridient (except Salt & Yeast)40 Min      
Add Salt, Mixed with Pincer Method       
S&F 6 Times @ 30min interval3 Hours      
Total Bulk Fermentation (21C)6 Hours      
Retard 6 Hours      
Bake - Steam15      
Bake -Uncover25      
 Internal Temp 210F      

I am not sure if this is due to not enough first fermentation or im not gentle enough with the dough. One thing can be certain is that surface tension wasnt enough for the batard, which is why it spread a bit. 

Heres the crumb shot


sandys1's picture

artisan bread with 200 degrees centigrade oven ?

hi guys,

caveat: I'm a first time baker

I'm based out of India (to give you an idea of weather), predominantly use all purpose flour or atta/wholegrain wheat flour and dry yeast.

My oven (which is a Samsung microwave + convection oven ) goes upto 200 degrees centigrade measured by a cheap oven thermometer.

My question is - do I have a hope of baking golden, thick, crusty breads ? I tried my hand at the no-knead bread - but I seem to be ending up with flat, white, hard dough. I dont seem to be getting too much baking going on.

Maybe I'm not preheating enough or not using a terracotta tile or something, but I cant seem to get bread baking going on. Should I get a different oven (which is kind of hard right now given finances) or is there a way to achieve that using things like a Dutch Oven (I just bought a stainless steel one) or a baking stone ?


</very frustrated>



HappyHighwayman's picture

Long bulk rise vs. short proof ?

If I want to do a long overnight rise of my sourdough, I have to do it in the initial container because if I bulk rise it for 4 hours and then move to the proofing baskets they will continue to rise outside of the size of the proofing basket.

Is this ok? Do I need to do a long basket proof after an overnight bulk rise?

I'd put them in the fridge but it's too cold.



eddieb's picture

My bread isn't White?

Hi,  I have been baking bread for several years, started with a bread maker and progressed to hand making. I use strong white bread flour and get good results, however because of an indigestion problem I cannot eat my own bread, ( the family love the bread ) and I have to buy a shop made loaf.

I live in an outer area of Belfast and the loaf I buy/eat is a Belfast Bap long. This loaf is white with a burnt topping ( Japanese Rice flour ) the loaf is very light and soft and without a doubt the best bread I have ever eaten. If I could reproduce it I would be a very happy chappy! ( I have tried with a couple of recipes but alas both failed).

To my question, I cannot bake a White loaf, I always have a light brown inner, what am I doing wrong.

My ingredients: Flour ( as above ) water, salt  and yeast. baked for 20/25 minutes at 220 deg.

I would appreciate any tips.




DulceBHbc's picture

What to Bake Right Now?

It's 5:30 p.m. on a Saturday. I want to start a bread project that will finish at around 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. I'm thinking along the lines of a boule or something similar. Any ideas?

eliabel's picture

looking for a rågkusar recipe

I am looking for a Swedish rye flat bread's recipe, called rågkusar. I would appreciate any help.

MBaadsgaard's picture

ANOTHER attempt at an open crumb

Maybe I should write a diary instead of all these posts!

So I have tried so many different things, and I am getting closer!

Turns out not to do much how I knead (or Autolyse), Underkneading did give irregular holes, but not very big.

What preferment also did very little for me, but I still like the taste I get with a poolish.

Amount and direction of heat was also of less concern, as long as I remembered to score the bread (which I forgot this time around)

What really seemed to do a difference was that I developed the gluten really well, had 75% hydration, and then did stretch and fold trying to catch bubbles. Not LARGE bubbles, just a little bit. I got this idea from and Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking.

The gas from the yeast usually enlarges already existing bubbles, so if there are a few larger pockets, they will naturally stay relatively larger.

So whenever I did stretch and fold in the beginning, I made sure to stretch the dough well, and really fold it unto itself.

The dough was 600g AP flour, 15g oil, 2tsp kosher salt, 450g water, 2 pea-size bits of yeast. One in the poolish of 200g/200g flour/water, and one in before bulk fermentation.

Here is the result, baked at 275C for 30 min with baking stone for upper heat, baking steel for lower heat, and 2 bowls with lavarocks for steam.

I cut it a little early I admit..

I don't know if I can take it further, but I am happy that my experiments are finally paying off, now I can start trying to refine it.

Antilope's picture

Kneading Dough with an Old Hand Cranked Food Chopper

I was looking in the back of one of our kitchen cabinets when I came across my mother-in-laws hand cranked Universal No.2 food chopper/grinder. It was in a brown paper bag and all the parts are there. The thing is in perfect condition, although it must be over 50 years old, it's as shiny as the day it was made.
Here are some pictures on Google images of the same model:
It got me to thinking, I wonder if it could be used to knead bread dough by running the dough through it?
Here are some old newspaper articles I found, about using a food chopper to make southern beaten biscuits by putting the biscuit dough through it:
"Put Dough Through Food Grinder For Beaten Biscuits Made At Home" - The Tuscaloosa News - Nov 10, 1955
"Biscuit Dough Took A Beating But The Results Were Worth It" - Lakeland Ledger - Jul 21, 1976
I wonder if you could take it a step further and knead yeast bread dough? Something to try in the future.

bakerkevin's picture

First Bread Loaves

Hi All,

This is my first post in the fourms. I've tried baking pies, bagels and croissants over the past few years but have only started with bread. In fact, I've attached a few pics of my first loaves baked last week. The are the Italian loaves out of The Bread Baker's Apprentice p. 172.

I would love to get some feedback from all of you much more experienced bakers, esp about the appearance of the crumb and crust. Unfortunately, there were no pics of these loaves in the book so not sure if I was on the right track.

Also, I had a question about the biga. I had it in the refrigerator in a covered bowl for about 36 hours (the books says up to 72 hours is fine). When I pulled it out of the bowl, it had a slight smell of fermented beer. Is this normal? (It was a pleasant smell.)

Regarding the taste of the baked loaves, the family loved them. But, when I really concentrated, I could taste a bit of a pungent taste--it was very slight but I could taste it. Is that normal for this type of bread?

Thanks for any feedback!