The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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GYG's picture

My first post on The Fresh Loaf

Saludos from México, here a Ciabatta...

Abelbreadgallery's picture

100% Semolina sandwich bread


- 125 gr semolina sourdough (100% hydration)

- 400 gr semolina flour

- 230 ml water

- 40 gr sugar

- 40 gr butter

- 9 gr salt

Mix sourdough, water, flour and sugar. Let it rest 20 minutes. Knead 5 minutes. Add butter, and then salt. Knead until dough is smooth. Let it rest 2 hours and then put it into the fridge (10-12 hours).

Take the dought out of the fridge. Let it rest 1 hour. Divide in 3 pieces. Preshape 3 balls. Let it rest 15 minutes. Shape 3 balls, and put them into a greased and floured tin. Let it rest between 6 and 10 hours, depending on the room temperature.

Bake about 40 minutes at 180C (356F), without steam. If you want to have a shiny bread, paint the crust with melted butter when you take the bread out from the oven.

More info:

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

Weekly Baking Challenge - For 13th August

Hi all. This week's challenge theme is:

Lands Unexplored

I thought it might be fun for us to try making breads from countries/places we perhaps hadn't thought to try before. It could be something obvious you just never got round to or something more obscure.

This challenge will run until Tuesday. No prizes, just good fun!

Happy baking :)

bimfi's picture

Question about final proofing

I do a lot of baking at home for friends and aquaintences. Mostly I produce dinner roll type breads called "Pandesal". Each batch yields around 12 dozen rolls. In the past I would make up the rolls on sheet pans and place them on my kitchen table (around 8 or 9 half-sheet pans) and cover them with a thin plastic sheet during the final proof.  Recently I purchased a half height bun pan rack to save space in my kitchen. What I have noticed is that the rolls are taking a bit longer to rise and did not rise as much in the oven as before. I think it might have something to do with moisture loss or "drying out" of the rolls during the final proof. Is it possible to modify this bun rack to act as a proof box? I thought of using a bun pan rack cover (either disposable or permanent) and then placing a pan of hot water on the bottom.

I guess my question is this: does the drying out of the outer skin of the unbaked dough prevent even rising or cause reduced rising when in the oven? I had no issues before I started using the rack. I usually bake them in a 410 degree F oven for 5 minutes on the bottom rack, then for about 4 minutes on the middle rack.

Roost 12's picture
Roost 12

Sourdough Starter - Yeast overgrowth problem


about two months ago I decided to convert my liquid starter to a dough starter following these instructions. I have waited for 2 weeks - waiting the starter to "transform itself into a pasty, gelatenous substance" - before I refed it. That pasty, gelatenous state never happened. The surface of the starter dried out and made a crust with a soft core. Of course I had it in a covered container in the fridge at 5.5°C.

The third week, it started to smell like the way commercial yeast tastes (since commercial yeast has no smell that I know of), but it was that yeast smell which you immediately recognize. The smell rang a few bells for me so I decided to take some of the dough from the bread-dough I was proofing in the fridge (made with the original healthy liquid starter) and start a liquid starter again. It turned out to have yeast overgrowth as well (the starter, not the proofing dough)

So it has passed roughly a month since the problem has started and so far nothing seem to work. There is always a layer of yeast waiting for me which looks sort of like wrinkled curtain on my liquid starter and like white patches/dots on the dough starter. I tried:

  • (I did this 3 times and stopped because it had no effect) carefully scooping off the top layer, saving about a tablespoon of starter, washing the utensil with burning-hot water (but not boiling), and then putting the saved amount back into the cleansed utensil. Then I followed instructions on this webpage for "polluted starter" which work extremely well to get a vibrant starter but does nothing for the yeast problem. Here is the quote of instructions for your convenience:
    "1. Using 1 of the 2 tablespoons you rescued from the polluted
    starter, add 1 cup of 75[°F] degrees water, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose white
    flour, and proof for exactly 24 hours at 72-77 degrees.

    2. Refrigerate for no less than 12 hours, then repeat step 1.

    3. The proof-refrigerate cycle should be repeated at least once. Use
    your own judgement. If the starter was unusually dark or contained
    mold, I'd suggest doing it at least 4 or 5 times to be sure the
    offending organisms are eradicated. If the starter merely contained
    other baking ingredients, then a single 24-hour proof is probably
    enough. Each cycle is started by using 1 tablespoon from the last

  • then I tried starving it, thinking the yeast might die off since it wouldn't have any food to feed on. I should mention that when I said "starve" I meant waiting a day or two after a collapse.  It didn't change anything. Maybe I wasn't persistent enough but I just didn't dare to starve it longer. Somehow I thought neglecting it would make its health worse. Neglecting would be just waiting for sour smell (which I bet would never come).

So that's basically what I have been doing up to this point. It's better than what I started on but that's only because the original strain has been diluted so much (notice the above 1tbs method....1tbs in 2.5 cups of dough is diluting). When I say better I mean "the layer isn't as thick" and "the patches aren't as large/thick". The yeast layer, smell etc is still there. Help?


Cristi101070's picture

my bread tearing before baking during the second rise

Hi, sorry if my english is bad, I live in Caracas Venezuela and I speak and write a little english.

Well, I had made a Peter Reinhart´s Ezekiel bread many times and it did go well, by now I´m having problems during the second rise, my bread tearing befor I´m baking and I don´t know wy. I use the same formula that I used in the past but I´m not have the same result. Please help me. 

cfiiman's picture

Finally got oven spring, question about crust...

Hey everyone, brand new for the most part, only made half a dozen loaves or so, concentrating on just an artisan round bread, I think they call boule?  Anyway so tonight was the first one I'm really proud of I guess, i'm only using APF as my starters are no where near ready, so I'm just practicing.  I'm concentrating on crum texture and a nice crust and this is what brings me to my issue.  The recipe I'm using is the master recipe in "artisan bread in 5 minutes a day", however I feel like their recipe is sooooo wet that most of my boules are just flat, only a few inches high at best b/c they spread out instead of up.  I figured this was due to being unable to "tighten" the gluten enough to get it to fight the spread and b/c my stone was not getting hot enough due to a large water pan I use for steam.  Even though my crumb has gotten really nice and the texture and feel of the bread when eating is great as well, I just haven't been able to get that elusive "oven spring" they talk about.  

So I made 3 changes today after measuring my stone with an IR thermo and seeing that the steam was killing the heat so that the bottom was still white and the top would burn.  I decided to nix the steam pan completely after several "different" tries with it, and my stone came right up to temp.  The second thing I did was put a roasting pan over the bread for the first 15 minutes to create a makeshift "dutch oven steamer" using just the moisture in the dough.  The last change was I added a bunch more flour to the mixture after taking it out of the fridge to mix it up for the proofing.  I made it much dryer and kept stretching the dough around until it was tighter than I had ever gotten it and held more of a "ball" shape.  The result was the picture below, almost exactly what I was aiming for!

This is the crumb from my last one that was much flatter:

The crust didn't have that "shine" that when I use the steamer pan and spritzer has.  Should I have maybe spritzed the dough a good amount right before putting the pan over it?  I'm guessing maybe there wasn't enough steam inside the pan from the dough, maybe b/c I made the mixture much drier than ever before.  I'm looking for that perfect crust and thought maybe some of you all could tell me what would get me there.  Also how "crusty" should the bread be, I mean when it cools down should make a bunch of "crackly" noise when you tear or cut it?  Mine does right after it comes out of the oven, but when it cools down the "hardness" of the crust is substantially reduced, is this normal?  Thanks for any insight!  

david earls's picture
david earls

Pain polonais

OK, my first total failure in the artisan area, but I'll probably try this again anyway.

Dough consisted of poolish with 100% hydration (that's 100% of total hydration), a little bit of flour added at the dough stage with a tiny bit of yeast and "regulation" salt.

Target was 150g of flour at 80% hydration. Think, "baked poolish" - almost. Tried doing it in a cloche - first time there as well. Too many variable changed to succeed.

But I think that if I reduce total hydration to about 70%, make my poolish based on all the water, this could work. Have to stiffen the dough enough to be able to let it final proof outside a proofing container. Pouring slack dough from the container directly into the cloche is guaranteed not to work.

Q for the pros: what if I do final proof in the cloche base (room temp) and just preheat the lid? This one strikes me as as much about the bake as about the dough. You dig?

qahtan's picture


scones every ones favourite,, g

qahtan's picture

pullman loaf