The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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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 :)

tug99's picture

Hobart N50 speed selector very hard to move.

Help!   I just bought an older N50 on e-bay in very nice condition, but the speed selector is really hard to move.  Any idea what could be the problem? When it's running the mixer sounds fine in all three speeds.



CeciC's picture

First Ever Focaccia

I am new to bread baking, came across Peter Reinhart BBA book and followed his instruction on cold retardation method for baking focaccia. It has a crispy top and soft centre. But I am not so sure how to judge a focaccia if it is a good one or average one. 

Can you please point me to the right direction?

HSVBreadBaker's picture

Steaming and Soft Bottom Crust

Hey guys and gals, long time reader, first time poster. I searched the forums as much as I could, but couldn't find a solution.

So I am working on steaming my bread to start off, and I've had mixed results. I have a plan heating coil oven with 4 racks and a .4 inch baking stone.

1. Pan with rocks and chain (rack 1) under baking stone (rack 2 or 3) = great top crust, but very soft bottom crust

2. Pan with rocks and chain (rack 3) above baking stone (rack 1) = okay crust, but doesn't brown before internal loaf temp reaches 210 F - crust becomes light golden brown, but very crispy - bottom is same with spotty browning.

Any suggestions on my soft bottom crust and steam options? 

Has anyone ever tried blocking the oven vent to build up steam? I did and the steam escapes out the bottom, but at a slower pace. I'm not sure if this is useful, harmful, or helpful.

Thank you for the help

Edit: I also have a 1/4" carbon steel plate in my arsenal - i use it for pizza, it burns my bread bottom crust.


qahtan's picture

Hot X buns

variation on the same dough.. no special recipe, I just didn't put the crosses on them as it wasn't Easter...


scraper_1077's picture

raising bread

Is it okay to raise my bread outside in the sun under a moist clean towel?