The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Devoyniche's picture

Any tips for making a high hydration focaccia recipe?

I am trying to recreate this focaccia I had a year or so ago at an Italian restaurant in my town. I want to say it was fairly tall but with a super cavernous open crumb, you would tear a piece in half and it would have these "peaks and valleys" in the crumb and when you dipped it in oil, the peaks would soak up the oil so it wouldn't get too oily and it was great. It may have been like a soft ciabatta or something, but it had a yellow cast hue, and was decently chewy and didn't have a tough crust. The crumb structure makes me think it was a sourdough or had a really long, undisturbed rising period.

All that said, couldn't I just take a formula that already has a high hydration, maybe up the hydration a bit more to like 80%, stretch and fold it 1 or 2 times over a couple hours bulk ferment, then throw it in a pan, stretch it out to the size of the pan and then just let it rise in the fridge over night? I was looking at maybe tweaking the Tartine English muffin formula, which is itself a baguette dough that you do just knead a few times, stretch out and let rise before cutting the muffins and cooking them.

CeciC's picture

Problem with YW SD 100% wholewheat sandwich bread

The Recipe I used is below

Liquid levain 210G (100%)
Kefir Milk 180G
Olive Oil 30G
Honey 30G
Wholewheat Bread Flour 320G

Yield 8 X 4" Pullman Loaf Pan 680G Dough

I mixed the Levain with Milk then Autolyse everything for 30minutes

knead the dough, it was so tight that it was more like a stone. I added a few splash of water, it started to have some extensbility.

I gave it 2 stretch n fold in an hour mark. total fermentation time 6 hours @ around 18C which is judged by finger poke test. 

A second proof of 2hours at around 24C 

I am not sure which causes that problem, whether the dough is too dry or the bulk fermentation timing isnt right?

Is there anyway that I can bake with sourdough and achieve a shorter bulk fermentation like 2 hours at 24C and have it second proof in the fridge for 8 hours and bake it first thing in the morning? 

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

How do you know when the Levain is ready?

I am confused of when is the optimal time to mix the levain in the dough.

I have been waiting till it doubles and starts to collapse, is that too long?

In the Tartine bread book the instructions say in the morning it will have increased by 20%, then use it, but to me that seems like its not ready and the optimum yeast numbers are not their yet?  Am I wrong?

Please share your thoughts and knowledge.........


kmellecker's picture

New to baking bread and to The Fresh Loaf

Hello everyone,

I have been tinkering with bread making for the past few months and have only gotten serious in this endeavor the past couple of weeks. How fortunate for me to find this fantastic site so quickly. I was lucky enough to find a very simple white bread recipe that the family thinks is delicious but I had no idea how or why it all worked. After reading the Lessons and Handbook sections, I have a much better grasp on what I am doing and not doing and why some of the bread turned out perfect and some not so perfect. (Ran out of Gold Metal Flour and went to my old stand by White Lily, that I have used for years to make the kids pancakes and waffles. Now I know why I liked White Lily so much) Needless to say, I have switched to King Arthur and am anxiously awaiting the results of the three loaves of bread currently in the oven.

To say I have questions, is an understatement. Which tread would be the proper topic location?

Thanks in advance for your assistance and I look forward to all this site has to offer. Hopefully, someday I will reach the skill level where I might be able to contribute.

The Best to Everyone

Kirk,  From the Banks of the Savannah



aptk's picture

Flauta Follow Up

This is a follow up to the flauta blog from yesterday. This shows a little bit more about how they go together.

Fillings can be made of whatever you like, I generally use whatever leftover meat I have on hand be it chicken, pork, beef, or even moose. Next I add a spicy type sauce or chile that I also usually have on hand, but even sriacha sauce will work. The third component is always some kind of shredded cheese.

In this picture I'm using chicken and a red chili salsa, Mix it all up together and spread a row of the filling mix on a rolled out tortilla. I have been making tortillas for over 50 years and still cannot roll out a perfectly round one, but it doesn't really matter in this case.

Then you roll them up. What keeps them closed? Some flour and water paste! Let it dry a little bit before you fry them.

I roll all mine up and then let them dry while the oil for frying is warming up. Drain on paper towels.

mightypizzaoven's picture

My first sourdough bread

This is my first attempt to sour dough bread in my pizza oven insert on my outdoor gas grill.


Dough 70% Hydation and 10 % starter. oven temperature was around 450 Deg f uisng two burners on grill (on low), Bake time was 25 to 30 minutes. I used my misto to spray each loaf with couple of time during bake.


The crust was too hard, not sure if it is suppose to be that way... I like it to be softer. 


I like to learn how to bake artisian bread in my pizza oven insert.




aptk's picture

Flautas - Fried Stuffed Flour Tortillas

I'm still working on the pictures and instructions for a collage I posted earlier.

It had never occurred to me to try and capture the crumb of a flour tortilla! Ever!! So mostly what I have is a picture of the gooey, melted cheese that's on the inside.

And this particular batch is pork and green chile. Next time I make them, I'll do up a much better set of instructions!

Basically, its a stuffed generic flour tortilla that is deep fried. Any flour tortilla recipe will work, you have to use raw tortillas though, not the already cooked ones from the store. The fillings can be what ever you want, but my family likes meat, cheese and some kind of chile.


aptk's picture

Basic Sourdough White Bread

Before I go any further I want to talk for a minute about my sourdough starter. This is a very "wet" starter, and I measure by cup rather than by weight. It resembles the flour paste we used to make as kids.

Here's the basic recipe: 1 cup flour, 1 cup water, 1 packet yeast. Mix together and let it sit out on the cupboard until it develops a sour smell. Feed it half a cup of flour, and just short of a half a cup of water every day while it's sitting on the cupboard. When you get too much, dump about half of it out and feed it again. Once it's got an odor you like and it's nice and bubbly it's ready to use. When I'm not baking every day I keep it in the fridge and feed it every 4-5 days. Then when I'm ready to bake again I take it out, feed it and give it a day to come back to life. Next night I set the sponge for as much starter as I'm going to need and go from there.

This makes a good sandwich bread, although the loaf shown has a couple of big bubbles which will make a mess if you're having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!

aptk's picture

Dinner Rolls

I have been called out!! I posted a collage of some of my recent favorite breads, and was challenged to show my results. So I'm going to try it! I am also including the recipe I used. And if it's not one of my original throw things in bowl efforts, I will post a link.

The recipe included with these dinner rolls, is my most dependable basic white bread recipe. This will make one regular loaf of bread, or a dozen good size rolls. It shapes well too.

CoreyB's picture

How can I make my muffin recipe better?

I have this recipe I have tried and they are good texture but a little dry, they have some moisture but just dont taste like a dunken donuts or store bought muffin. Too bland dry. They have a little sweet taste to them but its not enough. Here is the recipe. They also have spots on the top that are nice and brown and there are the rising spaces in between that it seems its hardening on the top in places too fast. So its not equal.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 mediun Egg
3/4 cup milk (I use 1/4 cup full cream)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips


I preheat to 400 degrees and then drop to 350 after 3 minutes.

thanks for the help!