The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Bread_Slavery's picture

Retarding = less flavor?

I've never really used the retarding technique but after reading how it can make breads more sour I wanted to try it.

I generally bake 2 2lb 100% wheat sourdough loaves once per week; ripen the seed saturday, pre-ferment the levain overnight, then bulk-ferment and bake Sunday->Sunday night. Lately i've been breaking up the routine by seeding Friday, preparing to bake Saturday, then retarding the loaves until I bake them on Sunday.


While I get amazing oven spring, taut surface tension while shaping, amazing scoring, I think the loaves lack flavor. They seem to get "creamier", less-sour, and less salty. Has anyone else noticed this? I even added more salt last time and they just still seem a little 'dull' to me.

They sure do look nice, though.




Noodlelady's picture

Blog Update

In March I demonstrated 19th century Pennsylvania German Open Hearth Cooking at a historic site near me. I mixed up a batch of my favorite sourdough the night before and brought it along to rise near the fire in my rye straw baskets. My sourdough is now over a year old and very reliable. It's always amazing to me how well the loaves come out. (Sorry no photos this time.) The site does not have oven, so I baked a loaf at a time in a pie dish inside my cast iron dutch oven. I also baked a batch of sticky buns with a sweet dough. Visitors were amazed that the baked goods came out of the dutch oven. While I was waiting for things to proof and bake, I boiled up some chicken bot boi (pot pie), fried up scrapple, and boiled eggs in water and onion skins to color them (it was an Easter event). Being able to bring history alive by baking and cooking as historically accurate as I know, gives me great satisfaction. More events to come this spring and summer. Fun!

At home I've been hungry for cinnamon raisin bread, rye bread, and oatmeal bread. So those were baked in the last few weeks. I also baked a fennel seed bread. Wow, you really have to like the anise flavor! Interesting though!

Laura1's picture

Need Bread recipe of any kind for sandwich making. No dairy, no yeast

The reason my subject says without yeast is because we have to use rice flour mixtures which won't rise well with yeast.

I was thinking maybe one of you knows of a good recipe that doesn't need yeast or dairy to work? Even if it is with wheat flour I may be able to substitute my flour for it.

I was thinking maybe if I can't find a loaf recipe that works, maybe a tortilla recipe that we can make a burrito out of?

Just anything that already works without the yeast and dairy might work with his flour for me.





P.S. I printed the Pita bread recipe and am going to try it with the yeast but I already know from experience that I am setting myself up for failure. I am still holding out a bit of hope though. The yeast will actually make the rice flour rise but it just doesn't have the chemical make up of the gluten flours to make and hold the bubbles that trap the yeast and hold the rise.




dmsnyder's picture

Reinhart's Sunflower Seed Rye

Sunflower Seed Rye

Sunflower Seed Rye

Sunflower Seed Rye Crumb

Sunflower Seed Rye Crumb

The Sunflower Seed Rye from Peter Reinhart's "Bread Baker's Apprentice" is made with a pumpernickle rye soaker, bread flour and toasted sunflower seeds plus yeast, salt and water. It is shaped in a couronne and marked with a square around the hole with a dowel.

 Reinhart's instructions are to make a boule from the divided dough and, after resting, punch a hole in the middle and enlarge it. I shaped these couronnes by rolling them into a 24" "rope" and joining the ends. My technique in marking the loaves apparently didn't work. I did dust the grooves with rye flour, which was supposed to keep them from closing, but they sure disappeared! I don't know if I didn't make the grooves deep or wide enough or I just got too much oven spring. Whatever.

 Visual aesthetics aside, this is a very tasty bread. My wife ate a slice with apricot preserves as soon as it was cooled and declared her approval. We had some with a crab louie for dinner.

 Gotta work on that groove, because I sure like the couronne shape. It makes for a great crust to crumb ratio for crust guys like me.

Michaelds1989's picture

Melon Bread Recipes?

Hi. My name is Mike and I was just watching an anime called Yakitate Japan. Even before watching that anime I wanted to get into the culinary business, but now I'd like to focus on making different types of bread. While watching an episode on this anime they made Melon Bread (I've seen it's called by many names, I'm just sticking to this one). Anyway, being inspired by this I went to google and searched for recipes to make the sweet Melon Bread. Being a fan of asian culture I'm very determnied to get it right. However, when I found the recipes on this site (as directed by google), no recipe said anything about how to add melon flavoring, and if one did, the person reported the dough did not rise properly or the flavor left. In the anime however the main character used two ovens to bake the top and the bottom on this bread, and added a melon paste in between to give it the melon flavoring. Is this possible and if not, are there any recipes out there that can help me make it?


Please note I've had no previous culinary experience or anything close to baking bread from scratch before, I've just recently become inspired by this anime. So if it wouldn't be too much trouble being able to explain it in a way a total newbie like myself could understand?

SubsNSuds's picture

Fresh Baked Sub Rolls

Hello everyone,


Subs-N-Suds is an American Style sandwich shop in Pattaya Thailand serving subs and sandwiches. We currently purchase our sub rolls from a local bakery. We would like to make fresh baked rolls daily simular to Subway and other sandwich shops but we don't know how to do this. Can you tell us what equipment is needed and a step by step instruction as to what to do ?


Thanks for your time from the Subs-N-Suds Team

bmuir1616's picture

The proper use of starter from frig to oven

Hi. I am new to the site and love what I see so far. I have a sourdough starter going and it is in the frig. I am confused on how to treat it in order to make sourdough bread on a Saturday. Here is what the current plan is gleaned from reviwing past posts (comments welcome):

  1. It is now Thursday night about 11:00PM here in Michigan.
  2. The started was refreshed last Sunday and put in the frig.
  3. I plan on taking it out of the frig, taking a cup out adding in two cups of flour (10 oz) and adding 11 oz of water and letting it sit at room temperature over night.
  4. Tomorrow morning (Friday), I will use 1 cup starter with 10 oz flour and 11 oz water and let it stand at room temperature all day while I am at work.
  5. Friday evening I will make the pre-ferment using a cup of the starter (or whatever the recipe calls for) and whatever flour and water are needed and letting that set at room temperature overnight. I will use some of the leftover starter to rebuild the starter, leave it out overnight and put it back in the fig on Saturday for next week.
  6. Saturday morning I will make the dough; let it rise; shape; let it rise; and bake.

Will this work?

Thanks for the help.


Eli's picture

Sourdough Loaf

this is my first sourdough. I created a starter sometime ago. Didn't get the crumb I wanted but it taste great. Will keep practicing.



Bart's picture

Europain 2008 Pics!

I just uploaded some pics I took from Europain in Paris.

I ate some delicious bread over there and hope you'll all enjoy!



Europain 2008

hokietoner's picture

Firm starter acetic or lactic? Conflicting sources.

I've seen several places on this forum say that a stiffer starter encourages the creation of acetic acid which causes a more sour sourdough. (particularly here:

However, in Reinhart's "Crust and Crumb" he says several times the opposite:

"[The starter] uses a firm mother rather than a sponge, which promotes the growth of the less sour lactic bacteria rather than the acetic bacteria that trive in the wetter medium..." (p79)

"What makes this a San Francisco-style bread is a sour rather than mild starter, a wet rather than firm mother sponge,..." (p76)

"The thicker sponge encourages more of the sweeter lactic acids, while still promoting sourness. As a rule, lactic acid-producing organisms prefer drier sponges and acetic acid (sour) producers like wetter, looser, more oxygen-rich sponges." (p73)

So you can see this isn't a typo as he says it many times. What do you all think?