The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
Gersky's picture

I have now made seven loaves of bread! The learning curve is steep but I'm excited to keep improving. 

Over the last few days I made an "experimental" bread (which was really just an adjusted version of the suggested TFL first loaf) and my first recipe out of Ken Forkish's FWSY, the Saturday White.

First came my "experimental" white:

As with the other bread I attempted to autolyse, I found within my limited timeframe there was not much growth/increase in volume during either BF or proofing process. I found it was a little harder to shape and maneuver in and out of the bowl due to increased hydration %. Scoring was unsuccessful, probably not deep enough. Also, because I stretched and folded during the BF process and baked the bread "seam" side down, there were natural rips/seams on the bottom of the bread versus where I tried to create the weak spots on top. Pros: good oven spring I think, better color on the crust by wetting it before baking.

I found the bottom of the crumb to be a little doughy, as seen above and below. Could have used a little more time in the oven I think.


Next was my longest bread bake yet, the Saturday White!

The OG recipe calls for placing the divided dough into bannetons which I do not have, so instead I placed them in oiled bowls and re-shaped them before putting in the oven. Put one loaf in the DO and one on a cookie tray, each "seam" side up. I had some difficulty with the poke test due to the moisture content of the dough, it stuck to my finger and I was unable to tell if it was properly proofed. 

One on the left was cooked on the tray, the one on the right was cooked in a dutch oven. What a difference! Was fun to run a little side by side experiment and see the difference in color.

My first baby ear!!!

The bottom of the loaf that I cooked on the cookie sheet burned. The bottom of the loaf I cooked in the dutch oven did not visibly burn, but was noticeably difficult to cut and bite through. Again, I encountered a bit of the bread that was still fairly "doughy"? Not sure if I just need to cook longer or what my issue may be there.

Goal for next time:

  • Get a poolish going and finally do a multi-day bread!
Adam4SD's picture
  • BF 43%
  • APF 28%
  • White whole wheat  15%
  • Spelt 15%
  • 90% hydration
  • 20% levain
  • 2% salt


inventordrew's picture

Acetone smell of dough after bulk fermentation

June 23, 2018 - 2:08pm -- inventordrew


I may have been a little too eager to try my new starter (which I have been pretty inconsistent with to be honest... And has been smelling mildly like acetone).

But I thought I'd give it a shot anyway in a loaf...

So now I have a dough that seems to be doing all the right things... But after the bulk fermentation has a strong odor of acetone.

So my question is: Is this safe to persist with? Or should I dump it and try again when the starter is healthier?

Got-to-Baguette-Up's picture

Supercharging Starter

June 23, 2018 - 1:15pm -- Got-to-Baguette-Up


Recently, I've been paying a lot more attention to my starter health, as nice, fresh starter is making much more airy breads for me.  

Yet, I can't help thinking my starter could be even MORE active.  

Anyone know how to really supercharge the yeast?  

At the moment, my guys double or 2.5X themselves within 6 hours at a 1/3/3 refreshment, but I'd like to get a truly world class starter, if possible.  

Thanks in advance, master bakers :)

Bread1965's picture

Someone somewhere on the site posted the suggestion of a summer solstice bread challenge. This is my answer to that call. It's a sourdough summer solstice sun twirl with Ontario Maple Syrup, Quebec wild blueberry jam, sugared almond slivers and topped with cinnamon sugar. Happy summer to all..


BethJ's picture

1-2-3 Dourdough V. 6.4

June 23, 2018 - 10:38am -- BethJ

Further to my chronicles regarding 1-2-3 sourdough.

I've completed 10 successful bakes of the original 1-2-3 recipe.  I've happily been getting consistent, good results and now feel I've mastered it.  I can make and bake it on a time-line I've created, which makes for minimal effort and fresh bread when I want it.

So, at the prompting of fellow bakers, I have moved on to add-ins.

isand66's picture

 This is a version of my go to hamburger/hot dog bun/rolls formula.  Last time I made this with fresh milled rye so this time I used fresh milled whole wheat instead.

As usual they didn't disappoint.  I made these around 160 grams so these will fit the biggest burger you dare to use.  They are nice and soft and flavorful and perfect for burgers, sandwiches or just with some eggs and cheese for breakfast.


Download the BreadStorm formula here.


Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I usually do this the night before.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours,  and water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for at least one hour.  Next, add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), cream cheese, softened butter and mix on low for 5 minutes.    Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1 hour.  Remove the dough and shape into rolls around 160 grams each.  Cover the rolls with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap Sprayed with cooking spray and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  If you want seeds, brush with an egg wash and sprinkle on your toppings.  I used poppy seeds and smoked sesame seeds.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

After you place the rolls in the oven and add your steam lower the temperature to 445 F.   Bake for 25 minutes or until the rolls are nice and brown.

Take the rolls out of the oven when done and let them cool on a bakers rack for as long as you can resist.





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