The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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ehanner's picture

DLX Question

Hey all you DLX users, I just took delivery of a new DLX Assistant mixer which looks like it will be fun. I have read where the first thing to know is that the water goes in first and the flour as it becomes incorporated. I'm wondering about the roller position is a little confusing. The manual says fix the roller 1 inch away for a 2 loaf batch and 1.5 inches for 3 loaves and so on. Others seem to say leave it loose and let it ride the edge.

I searched the forum for nuggets and ran a test batch to experiment with 1100 grams of dough at 65% hydration. It was dry enough to put up a fight as the roller followed the dough. Just wondering what the best advice is for the roller position.
Thanks in advance.


pod3's picture

Sourdough bread will not rise

Can anyone help - my bread will not rise enough?
I regularly bake bread to a recipe originating from the island of Malta. It is a type of sourdough bread.

It tastes delicious but week by week my loaves are getting flatter, as after the 2nd rise the dough just will not rise to from a proper loaf shape. Soon i'll be eating bread the shape of a large thick pizza!
The Maltese bread recepe is published elsewhere on this board. After the dough is made (using some fresh yeast and a portion of sourdough from the previous day's loaf), and kneaded, the recipe says leave the bread to rise in a bowl in warm place for 2-5 hours. This it does OK.
Then when transferring the loaf to a baking tray (and the receipe says "at this stage do NOT knead or knock back") it collapses . I then leave it , again as per the recipe, for 45 mins to double in size (which it does, but sideways not upwards!) before baking.
So any ideas why on the 2nd rise it does not form into a proper loaf shape?
1. Is it the yeast? (Have tried fresh yeast, dried yeast and dried active yeast - all same result)
2. Is it the flour ?(have tried various varietes of strong white flour, from the cheapest Sainsbury's to the premium Allison and Hovis types and even Italian Tipo 00 flour)
3. Should i support the sides of the loaf on the 2nd rise?
4. Is it the temperature of the British winter (I am in UK) i.e. because the ambient kitchen temperature is lower at this time of year, the bread tends to rise less ( but i do put it in the airing cupboard to rise, temp around 25degC)
5. Is it the sourdough - should i start again with a fresh batch, as the one i am using is now around 4 months old i.e. every time i bake, for the last 4 months, i have kept a bit to make the next loaf. I have been freezing it for 3-4 days at a time when i do not bake.

Any suggestions gratefully accepted.



mcs's picture

kneading and folding re edit - video

Hey there everyone,

This is the *new and improved* version of the kneading and folding video I posted a couple of days ago. As per some of your suggestions, I addressed the volume levels, intro commentary and video angles. I like it a lot better, and I hope you do to. In addition, I used Hamelman's multigrain dough this time, instead of whole wheat. (Floyd, could you put this video on the first thread also instead of the first video? I removed the first one already from YouTube- thanks in advance). Next video will be on shaping.


Noodlelady's picture

Fresh Herb Twist — Local Breads

This weekend I made the Fresh Herb Twist from Daniel Leader's Local Breads. It uses 3 fresh herbs — thyme and rosemary (from my garden) and basil. It was delicious with my beef vegetable stew!

Fresh Herb Twist

Fresh Herb Twist

Fresh Herb Twist crumb

Fresh Herb Twist crumb

dmsnyder's picture

Hamelman's Multi-Grain Levain - The third time's the charm.

I made the Multi-grain levain from Hamelman's "Bread" for the first time about 6 weeks ago on Fleur-d-Liz's strong recommendation. I found it very good, but it didn't blow my socks off. Strangely, it developed a more delicious flavor after having been frozen and thawed. I thought the many flavors of the grains and seeds melded.

 Well, I made this bread for the third time this morning. I did two things differently: The first was that I gave it an overnight cold retardation. The second was that I tried a new oven trick. I steamed the oven (using Peter Reinhart's method), as usual, except, this time, I removed the cast iron skillet with water after 5 minutes and switched the oven to convection baking with the temperature lowered 20 degrees.

 The bread had a really carmelized, crunchy crust and the flavor was ... well, I can't think of a better word than the one Hamelman used ... delectable.

 Liz, now I get it. This is a fabulous bread! It has definitely made my favorites list.


Hamelman's Multi-grain levain

Hamelman's Multi-grain levain

BTW, the really dark loaf up front is the one we ate with dinner. That very dark crust had a marvelous taste.

Hamelman's Multi-grain levain - Crumb

Hamelman's Multi-grain levain - Crumb


dmsnyder's picture

Greenstein's Pumpernickel

Jewish pumpernickel is one of my favorite breads. I have made it only a couple times before, once from Greenstein's recipe in "Sectets of a Jewish Baker" and once from Reinhart's recipe in BBA. But I've never really followed Greenstein's recipe to the letter, because I've never had any stale rye bread with which to make altus.  Well, a few weeks ago, I put what was left of a loaf of Greenstein's Sour Rye bread in the freezer with which to make altus, and this weekend I made "real" Jewish Pumpernickel using altus, pumpernickel flour and first clear flour.

For those not in the know, altus is stale rye bread with the crust cut off, cut into cubes and soaked in water, then wrung out and incorporated into the dough of a new loaf of rye or pumpernickel. It is said to have a beneficial effect on the texture of the bread, and my experience certainly corroborates this.

 Greenstein uses cold water and lets the altus soak overnight. My schedule did not permit this so I used hot water, and it saturated the rye bread cubes in 10 minutes. Wringing it out only resulted in first degree burns.

 Greenstein's Pumpernickel

Greenstein's Pumpernickel

I'm not uploading a "crumb shot." The crumb was very handsome, but it was the texture that was remarkable. It was a bit chewy but with a "creamy" mouth feel. It was simply the best pumpernickel of this type I have every had the pleasure of eating.

My idea of a good time is a slice of this bread, smeared with cream cheese and eaten with eggs scrambled in slightly browned butter. It's pretty darn good with a slice of lox, too.

 Anyone into baking Jewish rye breads who hasn't made Greenstein's Pumpernickel using the ingredients he specifies is missing a real treat!


mcs's picture

a kneading and folding video

This is another video that my wife and I put together on kneading and folding. Just a little more detail than the PSB video with some commentary. Hope you guys like it.

KipperCat's picture

A Questionable 5 Minute Loaf

This isn't a question about the book, more about an experiment I conducted. The 2nd time I baked from the master formula, I disregarded the instructions. I didn't expect great bread, but was very surprised at the near total loss of flavor. I was doing this shape for fun, and simply used this dough because it was there. I'm not asking how to make this and have it turn out right, I'm just perplexed at why the flavor was so impacted.

I took an 18 oz chunk of dough cold from the fridge. I don't remember if I did any folding, but rolled it under my hands to make a very long piece, then shaped it as shown. I did let it rest a few times when rolling it longer. When it was fully risen (and jiggly) I slashed it deeply right down the center. I probably should have given it several diagonal slashes instead, more like a baguette.

The resulting crumb had mostly small, even holes, but the bread had no flavor. This is the same batch of dough that had produced wonderful rolls the day before. I'm very curious why the taste was destroyed. Is the rough handling enough to do that? Is the gas in the nice large dough bubbles necessary to flavor the bread while baking?


bwraith's picture

Accidental Sourdough Starter

As I conducted my home ash content tests during the latest home milling and sifting session, a sourdough starter was accidentally started. The home ash content test involves mixing 5 grams of flour with 100 grams of distilled water, stirring it periodically, and measuring the conductivity of the water until it stabilizes, about 24 hours later. All of that time was spent at about 69F, the temperature of my kitchen in the winter. I noticed a familiar smell, something like yogurt, that was reminiscent of the early stages of some of the starter staring experiments I have conducted in the past. The pH was measured and, sure enough it was around 3.4 for all the jars I was testing, even though the jars had various flours including Heartland Mill AP, Golden Buffalo, and whole wheat, as well as various flours from my milling and sifting experiment.

Since the jars appeared to have fermentation activity in them, I decided to give a try at starting one up. After stirring up the slurry in the Golden Buffalo jar, 20 grams of it was mixed with 30 grams of flour to form a fairly firm dough, which was then placed on a shelf above my coffee machine with a temperature of about 79F. It was left there for 24 hours at the end of which it had risen slightly in volume and still had a bit of a sour milk or yogurt smell.

The culture at the end of 24 hours (48 hours from when the first 5 grams was mixed with water) was fed again by taking 5 grams of the culture and mixing it with 22g or Poland Springs water and 28g of KA AP flour. It was placed at 79F above the coffee machine for another 24 hours, and the result was that it had doubled in volume and was beginning to smell more tangy and vinegary like a typical mature sourdough starter. The consistency was a little runny with small bubbles, but it clearly seemed a little closer to a ripe, healthy sourdough starter than it was the day before.

The culture was again fed the same way and returned for another 24 hours to the 79F shelf above the coffee machine. It had risen by about 4x, smelled like a normal sourdough starter, and had the usual consistency of a somewhat ripe firm sourdough starter.

I'm sure it is ready to be used to make some bread. After starting so many of these starters in the last few years in various experiments, I know what a healthy one is like. It went so smoothly, it seemed worth mentioning, as it is a little different from the usual recipes.

To summarize this accidental process:

Day 1:

Mix 5 grams of very fresh whole wheat flour (or maybe white flour, as the Heartland Mill AP smelled much the same, though less intense) with 100 grams of distilled water (saves any trouble with chlorine, alkalinity or other problems with water), stir, and let sit, covered, at room temperature (I imagine at 79F would work, too) for 24 hours, stirring or swirling periodically.

Day 2:

Stir up the water and flour mixture and take 20 grams of it and place in a clean jar. Add 30 grams of white flour, stir into a thick paste or a firm dough, and let sit at around 79F (probably room temperature would also work, though it might take several more days, depending on how cold it is) for 24 hours.

Day 3 and beyond:

Feed the culture by taking 5 grams of the culture, mix with 20 grams of water and 28 grams of white flour. Let sit for 24 hours at 79F.

Probably you don't need distilled water anymore, in fact it may not be needed at all at the beginning either. It may be good to avoid chlorinated water. I use bottled water without any problems, but my well water is surprisingly alkaline and it seems to have been the cause of some problems with starting starters I've experienced in the past.

The culture should be ready when it no longer turns runny after rising by more than about 3x and has large bubbles in it if you cut into it with a spoon. With the feeding above, it should rise by more than 2x in about 4.5 hours at 79F, about 5.5 hours at 74F, or about 7.5 hours at 69F.

It might take several days longer, but this worked for me faster than any method I've tried in the past.

I suppose it's just a lucky but rare event, but it seemed like every single jar in all these home ash content measurements I've been doing have a very similar smell after 24 hours. I wouldn't be surprised if any of them would have started up by just feeding them.

It's also possible that some sort of cross contamination with my active starter occured, except I did these by mixing distilled water poured from a container that I believe couldn't possibly have had any contamination from my active starters. Also, I only stirred by swirling the jars and didn't use any stirrer or whisk. I did use a fork on subsequent days, but that fork had been through the dishwasher and never used to stir my active sourdough starter. I suppose the jar I used may have somehow had some residue of an active starter in it, but I had recently thoroughly cleaned the jars used in these experiments with soap and hot water.

Anyway, I'd be curious if anyone else gives this a try and it works for them, if you're curious to try it. The things that's a little different about this method from what I've read about or tried in the past is the very high initial hydration (2000%) at room temperature followed by immediate conversion to a firm white starter at a fairly warm 79F. I wonder if there is some unexpected advantage to this method.


qahtan's picture

my "recipes

my way for variety breads

When I make bread I do not go rigidly by amounts in a recipe.
I use a DLX, and I use bottled water, some times I use 2 bottles
some times 1 and what ever is left in another one.
I add part of the flour enough to mix in a tablespoon of sugar
and about 1 inch cube of fresh yeast that I crumple into the
water /flour,
I then add almost enough more flour to give me a nice dough, adding
a good 1/4 cup soft butter, mix that in, then 1 1/2 teaspoons salt,
and enough flour to give me the right feel of dough.
I then remove from the bowl, hand knead on floured counter to a
nice smooth round ball, place in oiled bowl, spray with water, cover
and let rise.
Then I knock it back, and bake as however I want it, maybe loaf
pans with 20 ounces in, or Pullman with 30 ounces, or bread rolls or
maybe free form. sweet buns, hot cross buns etc
I have been making bread for many many years, also a wide variety
of it.
To me bread is not an exact science, I enjoy bread baking, well any
baking from scratch. Also I have shown many friends how to make
bread, oh and also pastry. ;-))
I believe that bread takes it own sweet time to rise.
As I said I use a DLX, before that I used a Cuisinart Pro 7 food
processor, before that a Kenwood mixer, I have a K A mixer but it
really is not for breads etc.
I do mill my whole wheat flour. I some times add grated cheese to my dough, swap flours IE whole wheat,

 multi grain, add raisins etc and more sugar, or walnuts and walnut oil, the list is endless

all kinds of ways to give me a difference in flavour, and ofcourse different shapes. ;-)))) qahtan