The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

  • Pin It
jj1109's picture

The mother of all loaf tins... (well, for me)

Firstly, thanks to those who welcomed me to TFL!

Recently, I inherited some rather large loaf tins - 12" x 5". At the time, the person that passed them on said "I wouldn't even bother using them, I just can't get a loaf baked in the middle!" to which I scoffed a little. Hah! I am quite the baker now! I won't have those problems!

Now, these tins look big. You could drop the Grand Canyon in one of them. Well, compared to the cute little 9x5, that is. And I now have four. What to bake first?

Ah, my old favourite, Multigrain Extraorinaire, from BBA. with some minor tweaks - formula below. I cut the sugar in the recipe in half, as for my taste the original amount makes almost a sweet dessert bread. I also increased the flour - this is probably more due to my flour compared to someone elses, however I did increase it by almost 10% which seems quite a lot just to account to regional differences.

I've made this recipe a number of times - it's my standard loaf, I make one or two every weekend. So it was no big deal making the dough, shape it, dump into the new tin. Pause. I've done something wrong here, the loaf looks like a little sausage in the bottom of this tin. It must just be perspective, this being a big tin and all... leave to rise - not as much rising as I'd expect. What's wrong? Ah, I split the dough (as always) into two one pounders. This is a huge tin! I won't post the photo of the final result - it was a relatively flat loaf, and extremely embarassing!

Here's the formula I used for to make two one pound loaves (as posted in another thread, based on Multigrain Extraordinaire in BBA):

Final dough (amount ingredient / bakers %)

449g Bread Flour / 100%
105g multigrain soaker / 23.5% (below)
26g brown rice / 5.9%
18g brown sugar / 4.1%
10g salt / 2.2%
9g yeast / 1.9%
105g buttermilk / 23.5%
26g honey / 5.9%
158g water / 35.3%

Multigrain soaker: (amount ingredient / bakers %)

25g polenta / 50%
19g rolled oats / 37.5%
12g wheat bran / 25%
50g water / 100%

which works really nicely.

However, every time I scaled it up to make one three pound loaf, I would get big holes in the middle. Insufficient mixing, not enough gluten development? Not enough cooking time? I'm not sure. Anyhow, I thought this weekend, "I will make this big loaf one more time and if it doesn't work, it's back to nice easy small loaves." To be sure of the gluten part, after I used my dough hook for 6 minutes, I then did 3 stretch'n'folds in the course of an hour, then left it to rise to double. Shaped, left to rise again and baked at 190C (~375F) for around 30-40 minutes.



sdionnemoore's picture

Stretch and fold . . .in a bowl?

I've heard of the stretch and fold method, but never of doing it "in the bowl." Does this mean just kneading using the mixer? I discovered this as part of the process in the recipe for baguettes listed below. I want to give it a whirl, but am unsure what this particular instruction means.

This is the portion of the recipe that mentions the folding-in-a-bowl method:

1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until the flour is hydrated.

2. Let rest, covered, for 20 minutes.

3. Stretch and fold in the bowl for 30 strokes. Repeat 2 more times at 20 minute intervals.

4. Transfer dough to an 8 cup glass measuring cup, cover tightly.

5. Stretch and fold once at 45 minute

qahtan's picture

microwave lemon curd

Off topic, but goes nice with home made baked goodies


Microwave Lemon Curd

2 Lemons (juice & rind finely grated)
3 Eggs Whisked
2 oz Butter (or up to 4 oz)
8 oz Sugar (scant)

Melt butter, add rest of ingredients 5 mins in Microwave(whisk every minute)


maja z's picture
maja z

sourdough starter impairs gluten development perhaps?

I started my own sourdough starter a couple of months ago - simple organic white bread flour and water - and moved it into the fridge a couple of weeks later. It is lovely, lively and just the right level of sourness.
But I have recently started to notice something odd.
My method is to perpare a semi-stiff preferment, before mixing the final dough, i usually don't knead it much, but rather let it rise for 8-12 hours with random folding in between. The folds usualy quite clearly make the dough stronger and smoother, but recently it feels like the opposite is happening. The folds or short kneads seem to make the dough "break up" - instead of the surface becoming smooth it starts to break up, and the dough becomes more sticky each time. It feels like perhaps somehow the gluten isn't strong enough - and i'm not handling it too roughly.
I am perplexed as the first month or so, even after moving the starter to the fridge, it was working so perfectly, but now it's getting more and more frustrating.
The final bread still turns out fine - if only after a bit more effort: i've had to reduce hidration, retard it, increase proofing time, because it somehow doens't have the upmf anymore. But the final bread still tastes lovely i.e. I haven't noticed any increase in sourness or anything like that.
Any ideas? Will be greatly appreciated!

bassopotamus's picture

DLX Learning Curve- HELP

I'm having tons of trouble with my new DLX and am looking for some help. Problems

1. Does not seeem to agitate top to bottom very well.

2. Does not seem to produce a smooth dough regardless of how much mixing

3. Inadequate gluten development. Everything seems soupy, regardless of how much I mix. things are sticking in bannetons, spreading more than rising, etc. I put an extra 20% flour in my baguettes and they still seem wet.


What I have been doing

1. Using known good recipes that used to work.

2. Weighing all ingredients

3. Trying various mixer techniques including mix by hand first, 20 minute autolyze, dough hook, roller.

4. Varied sizes of batches


This is driving me nuts. I like the capacity of the mixer, but so far, nothing else. My kitchen aid was producing much better results, but for the fact that it has, in practice, about 1/5 the capacity.

kilter's picture

Fun Bread Shapes

Hi, I've been lurking on this site for the past couple months, and have found it really helpful!  My friends have dubbed me "the bread person" in our group, and asked me to make a variety of bread for a banquet we're having, something like bread sticks or rolls.  I have a couple different kinds of bread I can make, but I was wondering if anyone knew some fun shapes I could try it.  I figured I could shape each type of bread into a different shape so people knew what each kind was.  Any ideas?  Thanks!

Bob B's picture
Bob B

Wanting More sour in my bread

Hi Out there I hope that all is well with everyone. I have a question. I have been makeing a SF sour dough I think it is out of the bread bible. I want to get more of a sour tast. will adding more starter to it help? It calls for one cup of starter now. for one loaf but it is not as sour as I would like. any Ideas?? Thanks for the help.

Have a great day


SallyBR's picture

Anybody here participating on the BBA Challenge?

I am not sure this was brought up here, but there is a big "net-challenge" going on, about 200 folks all over the world are baking Reihart's Bread Baker's Apprentice book, one recipe at a time


even though I am not a blogger, I decided to join.


Anybody here doing it too?


you can read all about it here

LindyD's picture

Shaping bagels - and bagel boards

Last Saturday night I decided to try baking bagels.  I had just received my order of KAF Sir Lancelot flour, so I turned to Hamelman's "Bread" and used his straight dough bagel recipe (which I later discovered is the same recipe used by our good friend, baker Norm).  Happily, my Artisan mixer survived, but due to my own lack of planning, at 11:45 p.m. I was staring at three pounds of very stiff dough, ready to be shaped into bagels.  

I cut the dough into four-ounce chunks, rolled each piece into a 10-inch long log, then shaped it by wrapping it around my hand and sealing the ends. By then it was well after midnight, I was half asleep, and did something really stupid: I moved the bagels to parchment covered baking pans.  No oil spray, cornmeal, or semolina flour on the parchment.  Into the refrigerator they went for the night.  Didn't discover the consequences until the next day - but that's a topic for a thread on "stupid bread tricks."

Miraculously I managed to bake 13 wonderful bagels, thanks to the restorative powers of good Sir Lancelot and lots of boiling water laced with malt syrup.  

I've seen comments here about just rolling the dough into a ball, then poking your finger through the center.  Is this as effective as the technique noted above?   

Have any of you used canvas or linen covered bagel boards?  Do these make any major difference in the end product?

The KAF high-gluten flour produced a wonderfully chewy texture.  It was so impressive, I ordered six more bags.

janij's picture

Flavored Tortillas/Wraps

I hate buying tortillas.  And I have found a recipe that I really like for flour tortillas.  I got it on here.  Someone posted it from I think Epicurious.  Anyway, I really like wrap sandwiches on the flavored wraps.  Has anyone made tortillas with flavoring?  I take it you would do the same thing you do to flavor pasta.  But how much herbs, or spinach, or tomato paste or whatever would you add?  Any ideas?