The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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rgt10's picture

Machine Kneading vs Hand Kneading

Hi all,

Ive been doing tons of reading here but have not run across the appropriate thread.  I have a Kitchenaid Artisan mixer and would love to use it to its full potential.  I am also not a big fan of hand kneading as I either get to tired, or what usually happens is, while kneading by hand, I inevitably use to much flour on the bench and the dough does not come out properly.

So if I am reading a recipe, and it says to turn out and knead by hand 10 minutes, can I do this instead with my machine, and how do I adjust the speed and times.


Thanks so much for your help, I am trying to learn as quickly as I can.



JOHN01473's picture

3kg Monster

when I first read "Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast" by Ken Forkish I was amazed to read of a Boule weighing three kilos.

the mighty loaf is mentioned on Page 162 in the Chapter 9 - Hybrid Leavening Doughs.
I began to dream of baking such a monster. I started with scaling up my usual recipe to produce a 2 kilo boule.
this proved very successful, but the 3 kilo version had some production problems for me.

I decided to step away from a levain and would go for a basic recipe using Flour, Water, Salt and Yeast.
I decide to use Marriages Strong White Bread Flour, Marriages Wholemeal Flour and Light Rye Flour.

I magnitude of the volume persuaded me to construct the dough as three pieces of dough.


I split the formula in three and mixed them in sequence. The danger of this is that the first ball of dough was more developed than the last. To combat this I took half of each ball of dough and kneaded them together to make two balls of dough.

three S&Fs at ten minute intervals were followed by 30 minutes to complete the bulk development.

I kneaded the two balls together after the bulk proving and produced one large ball of dough that I placed in a banneton until it doubled in size - this took about 30 minutes.
the oven was pre-heated to 230°C with the baking stone and steaming tray of pebbles.

after slashing the top of the loaf and with a tumbler of boiling water was on hand the monster loaf was slid into the oven on the baking stone.
I poured the boiling water onto the stones in the steamer tray and shut the oven.

after minutes I rotated the stone 180 degrees and baked it for a further 30 minutes.
after the total baking time of 60 minutes the internal temperature was 96°C


3kg 1



after cooling on a rack the loaf was weighed and slide in half to reveal the crumb and crust.
the loaf ended up 14 inches / 35 cm across and 6 inches / 15 cm tall.
the final weight of the loaf is 2.7kg - some loaf.
I cut the loaf into quarters for ease of storage and distribution.

3kg 4

the crust and crumb are superb.

this was well worth the effort.
it would be great to see others bake a 3kg monster loaf.

The Baking Bear

Skibum's picture

Overnight country blonde ciabatta

I used 1/3 of the Forkish recipe and made a couple of change ups. First, I left the WW flour out of the levain, but kept everything the same. Second, the first 2 KF loaves I proofed in plastic mixing bowls lined with linen. When proofed, the linen was wet and stuck to the loaf. Ken proofs in wicker bannetons and I am going to have to get off of my wallet and order one.

The other change I made was mixing in a larger bowl 12" diameter rather than my usual 9 inch bowl.  I did 4 S&F's in bowl with 20 minutes rest and found it much easier to do the S&F in bowl in the larger container.  It did seem strange having this small lump of dough in the big bowl, but I did seem to get better dough development and KF uses a 12 quart container for his mix.

As has been suggested on this site, I handled the dough as little as possible.  I did 1 gentle letter fold and proofed on bakers parchment on a linen couche.  After an hour, I rolled the loaf over onto another piece of parchment as per PR in ABED and found the dough stuck to the parchment! The nothing sticks to parchment myth just got busted!

Baked it in my Lodge DO covered for 10 minutes and uncovered for another 10 @ 500F convection.

Happy baking! Brian

varda's picture

Bake to Order

In addition to my recent foray into selling at the farmers market, I have also been doing a small bake to order business out of my house.   I post a few choices for one day a week, and people order a couple days in advance.   Then stop by and pick up.   This is very constrained as zoning regs say that only 6 people per day can come to the house to purchase.   It would take a neighbor complaint to make enforcement kick in, but obviously it could only grow so much.  

I started with a few friends, and then a few people who became friends, plus a few friends of friends.   A couple people order almost every week and have done so for months, and then several more people order regularly but less frequently.  

A woman I know who gets things done decided to hold a bread tasting for me - in other words she hosts and invites her friends, and I bake.    That's next week, so we'll see what comes of that.  

Picture above was taken just after the last bagel came out of the oven, but unfortunately after the first customer came and walked off with a few bagels and a baguette. 

Delbadry's picture

Bubbly crust

I was wondering if anybody knew what causes bread to have a bubbly crust. Is it high hydration? Too much yeast?

Thanks :)

jofl's picture

My starter isnt sour

I have a 12 month starter from rye and wholemeal originally, but for past 6 months wholley fed with rye.

I keep in in the fridge and feed it once a week. It has a lovely smell and has excellent results in my bread, BUT the flavour is not markedly sour??

Any advice please

TaniRDev's picture

Starter: Raisin water does not ferment - it moulds - help

During the winter I made a fantastic starter with fermented raisin water. Water & Raisins 10 days later it was foaming and boozy. The result giving us a starter with really great bakes.

My daughter (9) is making a starter as a project. It has changed the water colour as expected but is not foaming, it is not boozy it has grown mould on top.

The only two things that I can think of is the difference in temperature during winter and early summer and the type of produce. My starter was made with off the shelf raisins, flower and tap water while hers is made with Organic ingredients and spring water.

As you can see on the photo all was honky doory on day 3 – 4 and then it just went down hill until it went mouldy on day 8 – 9.

Please help.

1. Please confirm the root of the problem.

2. Please give me suggestions/pointers on how to fix this dilemma in future.

Thank you

Foodzeit's picture

artisan barley seeds rye sourdough bread

This month, Karen from the “brot and bread” blog was asking bakers on “the fresh loaf” to come together and try to recreate a special kind of multi grain artisanal bread that she has fallen in love with during her holidays in Germany. The sourdough bread was a very moist type of whole wheat bread with plenty of goodies inside. I immediately thought about participating, but being in lack of many of the required grains for this bread, I thought about another bread that was on my list of “homemade rye breads to bake” for a very long time, a wonderful grain based bread that is healthy and full of good stuff is this bread that I baked, following Marla's recipe from over here.

I liked to bake this bread today because I like barley, which is used in the bread as a main ingredient, which is a wonderful and healthy grain that has a lot of fibers as well as iron contents. Also being one of the main ingredients of beer, what could go wrong if put it in my bread as well? So here with go with this great tasting whole grain bread.


  • 100 g rye flour
  • 100 g water
  • 10 g rye sourdough starter

Mix everything together to smooth dough without any clumps inside and let it rest in a covered bowl at 24-28°C for 14 – 20 hours. After your sourdough is ready, don't forget to take some starter away and keep it in the fridge for your next bread.


  • 100 g wheat flour
  • 80 g water
  • 1 g fresh yeast

Mix everything and let it rest for about 12 hours at room temperature


  • 110 g cracked barley seeds
  • 50 g roasted sunflower seeds
  • 40 g linseeds
  • 10 g black sesame seeds
  • 12 g salt
  • 300 g hot water

Mix everything and pour the hot water over it and let it rest for 12 hours at least

Saaten mix - grain mix
Saaten mix - grain mix

Main dough:

  • Sourdough
  • Scald
  • Sponge
  • 140 g wheat flour
  • 50 g rye flour
  • 10 g sesame oil 
  • 50 g grated apple
  • 6 g fresh yeast
Ingredients - Zutaten
Ingredients - Zutaten

Mix everything well together and knead for about 10 minutes, cover the bowl up, put it in a warm place and let it rest for 30 - 40 minutes. After that, fold the dough 3 times in the bowl. I am making 2 loafs out of the dough. So I split the dough in two equal portions and I shape the dough into the shape of the inside of the bread baking forms so it looks a bit like a big sausage. In the meantime butter the bread baking forms with butter and pop the dough in the forms. Cover it up and let the form rest in a warm place for another 60 minutes. At the end of those 60 minutes the yeast of the sourdough was working and increasing the volume of the bread but maximum two times.

Dough in the bread baking form - Teig in der Brotbackform
Dough in the bread baking form - Teig in der Brotbackform

Before popping it in the oven, I am using the finger probing technique to see if the breads are ready to be baked now. Then I am taking a water sprayer to spray some water on top of the breads. Then I add oatflakes on the loafs and I cut both breads once in the middle.
In the meantime preheat the oven to 250 degrees Celsius. Then pop the bread form in the oven and pour a cup of water in the bottom of the oven. Actually, you can put a baking tray in the oven when you preheat it. This way you can pour the water in the tray instead of the bottom of the oven, it’s less messy. Anyhow the effect is the same, what you want is the hot steam. Now you bake the bread in the hot steam for 10 minutes. Then you open the oven, let the steam out (eventually take the baking tray out) and reduce the heat of the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Continue baking the bread for another 35 – 40 minutes. Then pop the breads out of the form and spray some water on the bottom and the side of the bread. It the bottom and the top of the bread are still too pale, you can put the bread back in the oven and bake for another 5 minutes.

bobku's picture

San Francisco starter

I received my San Francisco starter a few days ago and it's looking great I have my own starter that I use for most of my breads that is not sour and I purposely maintain it that way.
I keep 300 grams of starter, feed every 12 hours when kept on counter. If its kept in the refrigerator I'll take out a couple of days before hand and start feeding every 12 hours. Whenever I feed it I dump all but 100 grams of the starter out and feed 100 grams bottled water and 100 grams of flour made up of 85% high guten flour ( all trumps), 10% whole wheat (KA), 5% rye (KA). I'll make my levain from that starter. If I recipe calls for 600 grams of starter (levain) I'll only take a couple of spoonfull's my starter and add 300 grams of flour and 300 grams of water let sit on on counter for a couple of hours, then take a scoop see if it floats in water when it does I'm set to go. I don't always want a sour bread I found this method makes a flavorful but not a sour loaf.

I know most sour flavor is gotten from a using long cold fermented dough but In addition to that what is the best way to maintain and use this San Francisco starter. I'm looking to bake a very sour loaf about once a week. Just need information concerning the starter maintenance to optimize its sour capabilities.

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Casey_Powers's picture

My first boule!

This is the Ken Forkish recipe for Saturday bread.  I was very intimidated by a boule, but I went for it.  They are so gorgeous.  I halved the recipe since I do not yet have the 12 qt Cambro.  The recipe came out fine And the family loved it!