The Fresh Loaf

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

Well, it’s a been a bit of time since posting.  Last night I had itchy fingers to go back to a favorite but with a pair of twists.  My most-favored sesame semolina based on Mr. Hamelman’s 125% hydration AP flour version.  However this time I subbed out the levain for my old favorite 75% mixed flour levain.  

As long as I maintain the same percent of preferment flour, switching things around like overall as well as levain hydrations is a breeze.  I also had the urge to make a Brobdignagian baguette/long batard to go along with one normal sized.  What could be normal than that?

1 x 1150g long batard/baguette, 1 x 375g long batard/baguette.

itch scratched!

And on to other recent things

I had a desire to start to learn croissants and laminated dough.  So…many iterations later, I have somewhat cured the itch and figured out many angles to greater success.

Starting with the still edible but quite problematic: poorly laminated with a lot of tearing and leakage, shaping issues, determination of "correct" size to make into the triangles, under-baked bottoms, etc.  And one by one, I started to incorporate a few different methods. With the help of watching a few videos over ad nauseam particularly Bien Manger.

I won't go into too many details here, but settled on T45 pastry flour to cure minor elasticity problems and the T45 dough is also a tad smoother.  Went from 2% milk to powdered milk to whole milk.  Bought an appropriate large maple wood rolling pin 18 inches long.  Misunderstood that the 27 layers were not for the entire dough, but for the butter along, and so I needed to perform one more lamination step to get there.  Baby steps.  Much helped by my wife leaving town for a week so that I could spend a lot of time trying things out and searching for better methods and results.

At this point, if there are two remaining items to check off, the more important would be that I’m still seeing only the initial image of a honeycomb crumb.  The second is that without a sheeter, it is near impossible for me to roll the dough out so that it is consistently smooth and even along the entire length of the dough.  A sheeter would make life all the more easy, but I have neither the space nor desire to get one.  That would be lunacy for an apartment-based home baker.


Here you can see the start of something good.  However the number of laminations are incorrect.


Starting to get the hang of shaping but still have some consistency issues.


Much improvement on the layers of butter, now counting at 27.


These are now full sized and looking pretty good.  Still more work to do!


A  partial run of pain au chocolat.  Shy on the chocolate, I doubled up on the next run.


 I also decided to use the same dough the next time to make pain aux raisins for the first time.  Also a first time for making pastry cream.  Pleased at both for a virgin bake.



Dean_morgan1's picture

Fools crumb?

December 15, 2019 - 5:13am -- Dean_morgan1


I started baking sourdough in the summer using Patrick Ryan's recipe and technique:

The recipe calls for kneading rather than autolyse and stretch and fold. 

My first few bakes produced very decent results- lively, vibrant dough with great oven spring and a nice open(ish) crumb. My starter lived in th fridge and was fed roughly X1 per week when I was baking. 

arydberg's picture


December 15, 2019 - 1:26am -- arydberg

I have a Nutramill and have been baking for the last 3 years or so.    2 People now hve comitted that there is no gluton in my bread.    They seem to be able to tell.    One other source says gluton is developed by ageing the flour.    Any commints?

For my bread i mix Hard Red and Einkorn,  and use the flour as soon as it is ground.  I   proof the yeast and add an half an egg to help the lack of gluton.   My dough is sticky but this seems  to make the best bread easer to slice.    The lack of gluton makes it weak and cakey but it is acceptable.      


idaveindy's picture

Retiring Carl's 1847 Oregon Trail starter, for CFH.

December 14, 2019 - 6:28pm -- idaveindy

I'm switching from the 1847 Oregon Trail Starter made famous by Carl Griffith.  I had obtained a free ($1 donation plus S.A.S.E) dehydrated sample from

This is one powerful starter, especially when fed with whole wheat.  It blooms quickly when fed, and you can use much less than you think you need. I kept over-proofing my dough, even with only 10% prefermented flour. (That's 20% wet starter weight to total flour, when the starter is hydrated at 100%.)

idaveindy's picture

Dec. 14, 2019.

Mostly the same as #11, 75% home-milled whole grain (mostly Prairie Gold), 25% King Arthur All Purpose. But this time reduced levain to 7% prefermented flour.  3 hour bulk ferment, overnight in fridge.   Dusted in a combo of whole brown rice flour and ground chia seed.  Baked at same oven temps, but an extra 10 minutes, to an internal temp of 210.4 F.

Did not get much oven spring, but crumb was still excellent.  


ilaycan's picture

What is the purpose of deflating the dough?

December 14, 2019 - 3:23pm -- ilaycan


I know that deflating the gas brings oxygen into the dough and CO2 out, which is good for yeast development.

I have a calculator app for the amount of yeast in pizza dough. If I for example set that I want the dough to ferment 10 hours at 20 °C, then it calculates the right amount of yeast. After 10 hours the dough is ready to be baked. The calculator works really well. 

Wouldnt it make more sense to adjust the amount of yeast with the calculator instead of putting too much yeast in the dough and deflate it from time to time to prevent overproofing?


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