The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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VonildaBakesBread's picture

Wheat Berries' life

How long can wheat berries be stored? I was given a bagful that has been stored for 2+ years. Thanks!



VonildaBakesBread's picture

Reinhart Sandwich Loaf

Why are my attempts at Reinhart WW Sandwich Loaf turning out a loaf that is soft, bordering on gummy in the middle? Am I just not  cooking it enough, or am I not adding enough flour, since I'm using Dry Active Yeast instead of Instant?



Allenph's picture

Hydration issue with artisan bread!

All right, well, long story short I did some research on hydration percentages because my bread was turning out a little dense. After some research, my understanding was that you add the weight of the dry ingredients up and then sum up the weight of the wet ingredients, and finally divided the weight of the wet ingredients by the dry ingredients. I'm trying to make some baguettes,  but my dough is REALLY dry, I think I've done something wrong. I do not have a scale, so I researched the average weight of a cup of water, and a cup of flour. YES, I do know how to measure flour directly, I did not dig. 

Assumed 125g per cup of flour, and 237g per cup of water.

1 1/4 Cups Water (296g)

3 1/2  Cups Flour (437)

1 Tablespoon Yeast

1 Tablespoon Salt

I'm trying to make French bread, which (I think.) has a 65-70% hydration percentage. I came up with 69% which is the high end of French bread.

My dough is so dry, I'm having trouble incorporating all of the flour. Hopefully I get a response in time to save this loaf, but if not I'll start over. Help!

Gramma Berries's picture
Gramma Berries

Sourdough starter floated!

I mixed up my bread in my kitchen aid, it looked like the videos- I until I went to remove it. It was very wet and sticky.  I put oil on it and got it into a bowl it is now raising. I hope. My question is -  how long into the knead could I have added flour. I imagine it is going to be too late now. I will see if it rises, and go from there. 

patman23's picture

Feedback On My Recipe Please....

Hello everyone,

Ive worked out the bugs of my Whole Wheat bread recipe.  This is just a simple sandwich loaf bread.  Nothing too fancy...

I have included my recipe for your review.  If you see anything that needs to be changed or any have any suggestion please feel free to let me know.  Blessings,,,,


Bread Recipe



4-6 cups of WW flour

1 tsp of yeast

Enough water to make a loose dough



Combine all ingredients and cover in a glass or SS bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to sit on counter for at least 16 hours up to 24.  If it’s going to be longer then place the soaker in your fridge until you are ready to make the bread.



6-8 cups of WW flour

3-4 cups of King Author White Bread four

1 tbsp yeast

Enough whole milk to make a stiff dough



Mix for 10 min on a low speed

Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge until you are ready to make the bread.  At least 16 hours but it can go as long as a week in your fridge and still be great.



The Dough:

Place both bowl on your counter until they both come up to room temp.  About 8 hours.

Cut the Bigga into small cubes and places back into your mixing bowl.  

3 tsp salt

2/3 cup honey

1 ½ stick of real butter softened (do not use margarine)

Add the Soaker and mix on low for about 10 min.  Add white flour if needed to make a very tacky but not a sticky dough.  You may need to add more water to get the consistency you are looking for.

Prep a bowl with cooking spray and let rise until doubled. Covered by plastic wrap.

Punch down and weigh out 800g loaves, should make 4 or 5 dough balls.

Prep your loaf pans with cooking spray.

Allow your dough balls to rest for 20 min on the counter, covered with a damp towel.

Shape your loaves and place in prepped loaf pans.

Spray the top of each loaf with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise until doubled. 

Meanwhile preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  Once the dough has doubled brush the tops with milk and place in the oven.  Immediately lower the oven to 350. 

Bake for about 45 min or until the internal temp reaches 200.

Cool on a rack

Brush tops with melted butter.

Once they are cool, place them in bread bags.  Should last about 5 days on your counter.



katiecooks815's picture

Bread dough rising?


I have a question regarding dough rising ... 


I am making a bread dough recipe. After the initial 1 1/2 hour rise after mixing, the recipe has me shaping the dough into balls and letting the balls rise for 15-30 minutes. After that, I shape the dough balls into loaves. 

It works just fine but I am curious about the science behind it - why do you need to shape the dough into balls first? Couldn't you shape them right away into loaves, pretzels etc.?

crystally's picture

Advice please? Refrigerating shaped dough

Im an amateur baker and made a batch of sweet dough last night. Left it to proof from 7pm - 1am (too tired to deal with the dough). I punched it down and left it in the fridge overnight.

Took it out to shape at 6am this morning. I baked the first batch of shaped dough in the oven and it turned out good :) but i left the other SHAPED dough (covered with a damp paper towel in a container) in the fridge till i get back tonight to bake them. 

just wondering if it will turn too sour or deflate by the time i get home to bake. Any thoughts?

deschnell's picture

First post, not first Sourdough

Hi, and thanks to all posters I've been spying on in the last year as I practice making my sourdough!

I'm a home hobbyist... playing for fun and flavor. I haven't followed a recipe for over 6 months - I find more creative adventure by guessing, learning how the dough feels, watching it rise properly (or not), watching it burn (in the BBQ), etc. etc.

Here are some photos of my last batch... The dough was fairly dry compared to most of my experiments in the last 6 months - I couldn't give you a percentage... I didn't really measure anything :) - I know there was just over 500ml of water, and that my starter is roughly 100%.

I used roughly a cup of cold starter (from fridge), 520ish mls of warm/almost hot tap water, and enough white flour to make my dough. *edit - oh yeah, there is also a big glob of honey, maybe 2-3 tbsp, and a dollop of soft butter (which melted in easy due to hot water). I let it rest for ~30 min, then added 20g of salt which I had moistened and added to some flour to make a paste, then spread and kneaded it in. All mixing was done in a plastic bowl with a metal spoon, then with hands.

I let it proof in the covered bowl for about 3 hours, then worked it down, divided, and placed into pans where they rose another ~4hours inside my oven (off) with a bowl of hot water under the light, with light on for first hour. I had them too close together, and they decided to join together... I had to gently cut them apart, pull them out, let oven heat to 460F, insert pans, throw in about a cup of water for steam, and set the crust for 10 min. Then turned down to 350 for another 25 mins, turned oven off, let some heat out, and let them sit in the oven for another ~6-10 minutes.

How's that for a recipe?? it was fun, bread tastes great, perfect crumb for sandwiches and toast. Love it! Only thing missing, which I was hoping for, was a little more oven spring.


sourdough rising


latanante's picture


I have a question and this forum is the perfect place to ask !!!

Sometimes when i make sourdough i put some fresh basil and garlic in my dough... and it is just fantastic... what would people think if i put roasted garlic instead of fresh... Would it ruin the bread.. I am afraid to try it and taste not so good.....

I would love some input :)


Thank you !!