The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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sfp1's picture

Whole Grain Baking at KAF


I recenlty took a class at King Arthur Flour in Norwich VT (USA) on baking with whole grains. I've been baking since I was a teenager and thought I was doing well enough, so was surprised at how much fun the class was, as well as the many things that I learned.

We made a whole grain braided loaf, a seeded multi-grain cracker, and pumpkin whole wheat muffins.

It was great to see the recipes made and be able to ask questions as we went through each recipe.

i.e. How long does whole wheat flour stay fresh? (read the label on the package. if the flour smells bitter/sour, the oil in the germ has turned and the flour should not be used. You can extend the life of the flour by storing it in the refrigerator, or even better, the freezer)

What is the best kind of yeast to use? (Instant yeast is the preferred yeast for most KAF breads. If you can't find instant yeast the yeast made for bread machines is the same or similar. Also, instant yeast is best to use for whole grain baking) (I've always used the rapid rise yeast--anything to speed things up, but now I understand the many dimensions of flavor we can achieve by not rushing the rise and giving the dough time for the flavors to develop).

Happy baking!

jafwiz's picture

Question on sour dough recipie

I followed the crust and crumb recipe for San Francisco sourdough from Peter Reinhart and i have a few questions about the process . The bread surprised me with the flavor and oven spring but why so many steps? First i have starter on my counter that i feed daily. It says to take that starter and make a firm starter.9 oz bread flour,16 oz starter and water as needed? Then it says to allow to rise at room temp for 6-8 hrs then refrigerate overnight  that's one day. Then i take that firm starter mix the dough and let sit for 4 hr at room temp then shape and refrigerate over night another day. On the third day i can bake? It just seams like a lot of steps and days  Is that needed? Second question was the flour. I made my starter with brad flour and that's what i feed with the bread was good but to chewy could i use AP flour instead or do i need to make a new starter?

gwadi's picture

not enough rise and going sideways

Hello everyone,

I baked these 2 loaves following Tartine's country loaf recipe. This is the end result. Not enough rise and one of them went sideways. Please help what went wrong. Thank you.


mattprince's picture

Hi from the UK

Hi All,


Glad i found this site. I'm 36, married with 3 young children (8,6 and 4) and decided to start cooking fresh bread and pizza dough. Im battling through but finding it hard to be consistent. 

Nice to meet you all



HappyHighwayman's picture

What kind of water do you use?

My friend who owns a baking supply company tells me he is obsessed with using pure water for his breads. He says he'd leave water out overnight if necessary to let the chlorine evaporate. I'm using warm water straight from the tap in San Francisco, and I've never noticed any off flavors.


Should I be using bottled water or water from my fridge's filter dispenser or even boiling it before using?

kensbread01's picture

Baked two Ken Forkish breads last night

I decided to experiment... again....  I had recently purchased the Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast book even though I have been satisfied with my Tartine Bread book and its recipes.  Just wanted to try something new and his book is excellent for his clinical type writing and description of the bread making process.   I used my Tartine bread starter that has been growing fine and working fine for me since I had that laying around and didn't need to go another week trying to grow a starter.

His baking times are different for Levain type breads or breads that rely solely on wild yeast starter.  Also using a dutch oven, the covered baking time is 30 minutes instead of 20 for Tartine and the oven temp. is 475, not 450.  This will get you a much thicker crust I believe.  Then the uncovered time is about 25 minutes, again at 475.  The results are a much darker loaf in terms of color and crunchier, crustier crust.  I guess on could bake the Tartine bread at higher temps and for longer times... but it really boils down to personal preference.  Everyone who tasted the finished product liked the taste, just feel that with such a hard crust, we will have teeth problems eventually.

BTW:  Happy New Year to TFL folks from Illinois

pizza fool's picture
pizza fool

First try at Tartine Bread - a learning experience

So I ordered the book but was impatient for its arrival, so I thought I'd try it with his recipe as published on Martha Stewart's site. I also decided to try it before having my coffee (because my starter was floating so what better time than now?) so I was zombie-ish. I microwaved my water to heat it up to room temperature but forgot to check the temperature when done. Oops.

Autolyse went fine, although when I added the extra 50ml water plus 20g salt the dough got very squishy.  I folded it about 8 times (8 quarter-turns) every 30 minutes at 0:30, 1:00, 1:30, 2:00. Dough was only around 70F at 1:30, then I tried putting the fermentation bowl on the radiator and got it up to 75F by 2:30. It looked like it had expanded significantly, and it definitely was tighter and more structured, so at 2:30 I divided and shaped. I proofed Loaf 1 in a banneton without cloth (Oops! Pretty wet. And it stuck.) in the oven with the light on for nearly 3 hours. Loaf 2 I proofed on the counter in a cloth lined bowl (upper 60's F) for 4 hours. I used the parchment paper sling method for transferring it to DO. Loaf 1 was definitely overpoofed (saggy and baggy and draggy with lame and didn't spring), and the crust didn't brown enough (temperature registered 210F). I forgot to reset oven temp to 500 before 2nd loaf, which seemed perfectly proofed, so the DO was definitely not hot enough, as you can tell from the light tanning on Loaf 2. Crumb is a bit spongy on both (I waited 2 or 3 hours before slicing) and there's no crust worth mentioning.  Makes an acceptable platform for a slathering of Nutella.

So aside from the obvious mistakes, I'm wondering if it really just needed more S&Fs.

Thanks and Happy New Year!

buckeyebaker's picture

tartine 3 bakers?

hi, happy new year. has anybody been baking from the new TARTINE THREE book? i have finally finished reading it, and was planning to dive in. was thinking to use 50/50 for the high extraction flour, and start with one of the ryes, before moving to 'ancient grains'. some of the techniques remind me of what pr did in his whole grains book (pre-soaking grains overnight, etc) so there's not much terribly new here, but i like the assortment of grains he's using. 

question though -- when he uses whole wheat in addition to 'high extraction', would that include white-whole wheat in addition to stone-ground? he doesnt really specify

Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

Killed the yeast?

I opened a bag of SAF Red instant yeast two weeks ago. Divided it into two vacuum-sealed bags, and stashed it into the freezer. 

Then I read Maggie Glezer's book. She said that freezing damages the yeast, while refrigerating will preserve it for only 3 to 4 months. Still, many of you have frozen yeast successfully.

My yeast may not have survived. Last night I started a poolish that was mixed and immediately refrigerated overnight. Unlike the other times I made this recipe, the poolish was not ready in the morning. Sank like a stone when I tried the float test. 

 Was it the vacuum that hurt the yeast?  Janet
dickeytt's picture

Rubbery and Chewy White Sourdough Loaf

Hello Bakers, I wonder if you can help, I am making progress with my sourdough bread making and have made a number of lovely brown loafs, but when I make a white loaf, the centre of the bread is rubbery and chewy.  It also has the taste of crumpets. 

I used the Dan Lepard recipe and quantities for white bread.  The dough proved ok and  I did the 2nd prove in the fridge over night.  I cook it on my new baking stone at 210 C for 50 ish min and it had a lovely crust, but as I said very rubbery inside.

Could anyone provide me with some help on what I am doing wrong?