The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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tn gabe's picture
tn gabe

cantilevered oven door?

a door that opens down and into the oven when you hit it with the peel and closes when you remove the peel.

i saw one in a video on youtube and can't seem to find it again. if you've got one in your oven or even put some thought into making one, i'd love to hear it. 

the one in the video was cast, but.i'm thinking insulating castable poured into a welded frame, that folds into the oven, with a recessed area in the 'foyer' (if you will) so the door is flush with the deck when open. if i could figure out how to do anything with google sketchup i'd have a picture. sorry if this is hard to visualize.

Szanter5339's picture

Finest bread. Leavened white bread.

I Can Not Get Enough of her beauty!

I watch with wonder this beauty! Simply unbelievable that I baked. As I have already written most of the occupation of the bread baking. I always look forward to baking bread in the days and completely turned off by molding. They are not pre-plan model, and then point at the moment is the idea.


 Csodálkozva nézem ezt a szépséget! Egyszerűen hihetetlen,hogy én sütöttem.  Mint ahogyan már írtam a legszebb elfoglaltságom a kenyérsütés. Mindig nagyon várom a sütési napokat és teljesen kikapcsolódok a kenyér mintázásával. Előre nem tervezek mintát, pont akkor és abban a pillanatban jön az ötlet.

Chausiubao's picture

Hamburger Buns, Finally; Again

Hamburger buns, finally; again

My last journey into the recesses of my memories of pride and egotism brought out many a story of my declarations with respect to hamburger buns. “White bread is easy,” I declared to the world, but my heart having been shattered into a million pieces I return here to accomplish now what I could not then! That subsequent attempt resulting in a consecutive shattering of my heart, I return again undaunted in my quest for a good hamburger bun!

What I will say about my last attempt at hamburger buns via pain de mie was that the buns were both improperly proofed and slightly overbaked. The final product was both dense and tough. It is also possible that skinning over of the dough during the oven pre-heat cycle also hindered oven spring, contributing even more to the problem. That in mind, I've made a few changes to both my formula and my approach.

Here is my hypothesis: enriched white bread doesn't rely on fermentation for flavor, therefore focusing on flavor in the production of aforementioned enriched white bread is wasteful. Rather, these breads rely on the ingredients they contain, namely sugar, dairy, and other additions, so these ingredients should play first fiddle in the formula and the method of preparation. I have doubled the yeast in this particular incarnation of pain de mie to this end, no doubt I will need to refine this change over time.

In my previous attempt I was cold proofing the final shapes. I was hoping the sealed space of my oven was enough to facilitate the proofing of the buns. I believe I was wrong! So I'll throw in a boiling pot of water and see how that helps things along. Additionally, I baked the hamburger buns for 18 minutes at 400 F. This might have been excessive, considering the dough has much higher surface area compared to before, the dough will bake much faster. Perhaps, 400 F for 12 minutes, or 350 F for 20 minutes. Then again, I would imagine, a lower temperature would dry out the dough, so a fast, hot bake seems like the better option. I'll try 400 F for 10 minutes and see where that takes me. A secondary note to add to that is that a full bake doesn't mean the dough should be fully colored, as you could see in the last batch of hamburger buns. Ultimately what I am saying is, more yeast, warmer proof, and a shorter bake should give me better results compared to last time!

After an hour of bulk fermentation, division, rounding, and a rest, the shapes are flattened, maintaining the round shape.

This is about 30 minutes of final proofing in my oven with a steaming pot of water to provide heat. In the end, the dough was proofed about 45 minutes before they went into the oven.

A little less then 10 minutes in a 375 F oven, baked with steam, and double panned to prevent overbrowning on the bottoms.

And the final product, once out of the oven, brushed with heavy whipping cream and allowed to cool. Much better then last time, the first picture posted.

I admit, 3% yeast might have been overkill, and it was. But the results were quite attractive. Somewhere between 2% and 3% will get me where I want to be. Additionally the proof temperature definitely helped a lot, as did avoiding the skin from forming on the dough while it was exposed to the dry air outside the oven. This time, it took a mere 10 minutes to bake at a temperature of 375 F. I had to double pan the buns in order to prevent excessive browning on the bottoms, but it was well worth it. I declare this a success! I'll have to make burgers tomorrow.


dhyoung's picture

Non-diastatic versus Diastatic Matled Barley Syrup?

Hello -

I have taken an interest in bread making and I've been doing a lot of research prior to getting started.  I recently obtained a book called "Artisan Breads" written by Eric W. Kastel from a series called, "At Home with The Culinary Institute of America."  It is very informative from beginner to experienced baker.  The issue I'm running into is an inconsistency with the book and some research I've been doing online (including this site.)

Under Malted Barley, the book is quoted as follows:  "Non-diastatic malted barley contains an enzyme that helps break down the flour's carbohydrates into sugars, making them more available to the yeast.  This allows the yeast to do a better job fermenting, generally making for a lighter and tastier loaf of bread.  It also helps the bread's color.  Diastatic malted barley does not contain enzymes and won't work the same way."

When researching online, I am finding the complete opposite information.  It appears that Diastatic Malted Barley is the better choice. 

Can someone confirm either way?  I would like to use this in my recipe, but want to make sure I'm using the proper ingredients.



sitkabaker's picture

Scoring Baguettes-can't get it right!!

I have been trying to score baguettes but I continue to have a problem with sticky scoring. My blade is sharp and I am at the right angle. I have been proofing on a simulated couche made with parchment paper. I am wondering if using a linen couche would draw just enough moisutre out to make it easier....any suggestions??

Eyes_green's picture

HELP! I am really missing somthing about the feeding and keeping sourdough

Glad I found this forum and would appreciate if you guys can helo me out.  I am VERY new to baking, only made 5 loaves so far.  but I wanted to make one specific bread for my Dad (Soviet Borodinsky Rye bread) and it calls for 100% Rye Sourdough starter.  So I am now growing one and currenly on Day 4.  I understand the whole process of growing, but something I miss about the feeding and keeping - let's say my starter just finished growin (Day 7-8, whatever).  So please let me know if I understand it correctly:

I have about 200 grams of starter.  I take 20 grams and discard the rest.

 - First question - where can I use 180 grams that I am about to discard?  I kind of feel bad to through it away... Any recipes?

20 grams of starter put into loosely closed container, add 80 g rye flour and 80 grams water; Mix well, let it double in size and then refrigirate. Will it kill my very brand new starter?  I read that its better to keep it on the counter for a week or two and feed every 3 days, before it is ready to be refrigirated.  But this means I have to throw out a lot fo starter before each feeding and after each feeding?  This is what I am missing... It is confusing....  I bake once a week, sometimes once in two weeks. 

Please help me understand what I need to do.. It will be Day 5 tomorrow and I am hoping it will grow.



flournwater's picture

Just Another "One Day" White Loaf - Great Sandwiches

I just finished this white loaf and we liked it well enough that I figured it was worth sharing.  This makes a one pound loaf (give or take an ounce) and it is delicious.  Can be prepared in a loaf pan so it's a nice sandwich bread too.

(click on thumbnails for larger image)

Process is so easy some might even consider it a "quick" bread. 

I assembled a polish consisting of 15 g flour and 16 g water along with 2 g instant yeast; fermented in fridge for a little over 24 hours.

Combined that with 295 g flour, 162 g water, 6 g instant yeast, 5 g sugar,  6 g salt and 19 g solid vegetable shortening in the bowl of my mixer and mixed until pulled away from sides of the bowl.  Changed to dough hook and kneaded for about 8 minutes, until it all came together in a nice smooth dough ball. 

Rolled it into a ball, flattened it and rolled it on the counter top into a cylinder and shaped into nice loaf.  Oiled the top, covered with plastic wrap; allowed it to rise until doubled.

Preheated the oven to 425F, cut an angular slash along the full length of the risen dough (about 1/2 inch deep) and popped it into the oven on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.  Reduced heat to 400 and baked 15 minutes, the rotated and baked another ten minutes (until internal temp. reached 200 degrees).

It's a "one day" bread (except for the poolish which can be fermented for a shorter amount of time  -  e.g. 3 - 4 hours if you don't want to wait 24 hours as I did) that's both easy and delicious.

Gonna try it next time with bacon fat ....


Szanter5339's picture

Pumpkin cake.

1 cup warm milk 2 dl
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp salt
50 g of soft butter
1 egg
100 g of yogurt
600 gram flour
20 ram yeast
+ 1 egg for lubrication
The dough for the lubrication of:
150 g Mascarpone cheese
150 g pumpkin
few sweetener
A cs. of vanilla sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

baby Sponge
Some black coffee

The yeast should megfuttatni little milk.
Moderately soft dough kalácstésztát
Half an hour keleszteni be covered with a board and can be sampled.

I made half of the croissant. Rectangular and I gave the anointing and the cheese pumpkin mixture. Anointed the dough thinly and dipped in coffee cake ráfektettem baby and rolled up.

The remaining dough in different samples was developed.

lumos's picture

XXV – A Tale of the Unfaithful : My Take on Tartine’s Basic Country Bread……4 months ago!

Been clearing up old files on my PC and found photos of breads I baked ages ago and had comletely forgotten about….. One of them was Tartine’s Basic Country Bread.

Ever since I read Shiao-Ping’s blog about her ‘imitation of Chad Robertson’s Country Sourdough’ and all the buzz following the publication of ‘Tartine Bread’ last year, I’d been so intrigued to find out how wonderful its famous bread.  Thought of buying a book, but didn’t in the end after reading many reviews and contemplating for a long time. It was very interesting to read Eric’s view on the book he posted a while ago, because that was exactly what I’d thought the book might be like and the reason why I decided not to buy. 

 But still, my interest in the bread itself never faltered, so I searched through the internet for the formula and found this wonderfully generous site with detailed formula. It was a God sent! (Thank you, Martha! :))

 Didn’t follow its method of ‘how to start the levain’ but I just fed my starter with 50:50 = WW : Strong with hydration of 75%, as my regular starter, and increased the ratio of pre-ferment to a bit over 30%.  Here’s my formula for my take.


My Take on the famous Tartine’s Basic Country Bread



Levain.....WW 35g

                  Strong flour 35g

                   Water 50g


Main Dough ..... Strong 220g *

                                Plain  50g *

                                        * (or 270g AP flour)

                                 WW  30g

                                 Water  210g

                                  Salt 6g



  1. Mix WW and strong flour for the levain ingredient. Feed the starter with it twice during 10-12 hr period before use.  (1st feed = 20g flour + 15g water, 2nd feed = 50g flour + 35g water)
  2. Mix all of the levain with main dough flours and water until shaggy mess. Autolyse for 30 – 40 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and S & F in the bowl until the salt is evenly distribute. Rest for 40- 45 minutes.
  4. Repeat S & F in the bowl every 35 – 40 minutes over next 3 hrs until the dough increases the volume by 30% or so.
  5. Pre-shape and rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Shape and cold retard overnight.
  7. Take out of the fridge and leave until the dough returns to room temperature and fully proofed. (finger-poking test!)
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 240C with a Pyrex with lid or a cast iron/Dutch oven in it.
  9. Bake at 240C for 20 minutes in a covered Pyrex (or similar).
  10. After 20 minutes, remove the cover, lower the temperature to 200C, and bake for another 20 minutes.


Verdict :  Not too sure……:p  It was pleasant tasting bread with quite well balanced, gentle flavour, for sure.  I can see why a lot of people like this as the daily basic bread, but tbh it was too gentle and lacked complexity of flavour I’m used to from other breads I bake regularly, I thought.  It was good bread, but to be entirely honest, I didn’t find it was that sensational.  Which is actually very similar thing I’d found from Hamelman’s Pain au Levain (::gasps:: BLASPHEMY!!!!) ; another bread which is very popular,  but the one I only baked a few times.

I did not follow CR’s formula to a tee, so it’s quite possible I’m missing something here, I must admit.  

 OK….I’m open to anyone telling me off!!!

 ::braces herself::   :p

(Must admit it makes good sandwich bread, though, thanks to its mild flavour profile, probably....)


OldWoodenSpoon's picture

ITJB Vienna Bread - 3rd Time Not the Charm

I baked this recipe for the third time tonight, and I am still scratching my head.   For this iteration I made the following adjustments:

1)  Reduced the malt to 10 grams, based on Eric Hanner's parallel bake comments and results here.
2)  Reduced my mixing time to 10 minutes to reduce the level of dough development.
3)  Added a wire rack to the middle of my oven to avoid baking directly on my quarry tiles.

The results are strange, to say the least, and certainly not "right" yet.  Here is a pictorial tour:

After 10 minutes the dough still seems fairly well developed, but it is certainly much less so than the previous iterations.

This blurry shot shows the dough at the very beginning of bulk fermentation.

Here is the dough 45 minutes later at the end of bulk fermentation.  I may have let it go just a bit too long.

Divided into 2 loaves of 521 grams each, shaped and panned,  and ready to proof.

After 45 minutes they were proofed to show above the top of the pan.

Here are the panned, slashed and egg-washed loaves in the 350 F oven (that really needs a good cleaning so please ignore that if you would).  Note that the loaves are even, there is good clearance all around, and the slashes are down the center.  I am using conventional heat, not convection, so the fan at the back is not in use.  From here it gets really strange.

These loaves baked for 35 minutes.  I tested the internal temperature of the one on the left at 25 minutes, and stuck my big thumb into it getting it out of the oven.  That is why it has the big dent in the end.  It was not up to temperature yet so I put it back in the oven for 10 more minutes.  After a total of 35 minutes the internal temperature was 207F. 

The loaves rose unevenly in the oven, or so it appears to me.  The slashes now appear to be off center, and the outer edges of the loaves are taller than the inner edges.  This could be from weak shaping, or from uneven temperature, or from something I have not thought of.  They also have the same caved in side profile (see the next photo) that the previous bakes have shown.

I have not yet cut a loaf, so I do not know what the crumb looks like, or if there is a compressed doughy line up the inner or outer sidewall of these loaves.  I do expect to find one, but I will do that in the morning and post it back here then.

Edit on Tuesday, 11/8/2011:  Crumb shot added below.  This is the less distorted of the two loaves posted above.  There is an only-barely-visible compressed doughy line up one side of this loaf, and the crumb is a little less airy and insubstantial than previous bakes.  The largest holes seem to be smaller than in previous bakes.

My next steps are going to be to buy some true All Purpose flour, remove my baking tiles entirely for the next bake, and recheck the temperature of my oven in several locations to make sure I am still getting even and accurate heating.  It was accurate and consistent (as much as can be expected from a home oven) just six months or so ago, but this project requires re-verifying everything.  I will also consider modifying the shaping from that commended by the authors.

Thanks for stopping by.