The Fresh Loaf

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

Problems with splitting when baking

May 25, 2016 - 2:16am -- You'syourloaf

I'm just heading out into the world of bread baking and getting better, mainly thanks to TFL members! My latest effort had some good and bad features!

On the good side, I've achieved the best, softest and lightest crumb so far and also retained a lovely thin, yet crunchy crust.  The taste of the crumb is very good throughout most of the loaf but see below.

On the bad side, the loaf split whilst baking and I hope the picture that I've used shows this. There was a slight underbaked, more doughy  part at the bottom, centre of the loaf.

jennaleighlegge's picture

Baguettes still not turning out right...

May 24, 2016 - 10:56pm -- jennaleighlegge

I've been using this recipe:

which is based off of Anis Bouabsa's recipe. I follow it to a T! The flavor is great, as well as the crumb, yet once they get into the oven a few things happen: there is no oven spring. no matter how high I turn the oven, and no matter how much steam I try to make in the oven it doesn't seem to hold it in. I am buying a baking stone to see if this helps.

kendalm's picture

King Arthur French Style Flour ... weird or what

May 24, 2016 - 10:49pm -- kendalm


I'm pretty new to this forum but have been baking for years. I started out a pizza fanatic in my teens and have made literally thousands of pizzas from scratch. Then got into savory pies and recently in the last few years bread. The bread fascination comes from the first bite of an authentic baguette in antibes when I was 16 years old and its a lasting memory.

TomK's picture

I've been trying minor variations every week in hydration and flour blend. This one should have had at least another 2%of water but otherwise I'm pretty happy with it. 

20%type 70 malted

30% whole wheat




16%starter @100%hydration

total hydration 76%

Overnight autolyse, mix and stretch&folds then about 4hours room temp and overnight bulk in the fridge. Warm up, shape, proof, bake next day.

I'm starting to feel reasonably confident that I can come up with something presentable and avoid the many pitfalls!



-DM-'s picture

croissant with dense center honeycomb structure?!?

May 24, 2016 - 4:46pm -- -DM-

Hello, first post on this site...

I'm trying to find out what are the main/different reasons for a thicker center in a croissant, I get thin wall honeycomb structure on the outer layers but my core is always denser as the layers didn't separate...

I don't have problem laminating (my layers are even) or with the appearance of my croissant (I go for a more visible like stairs steps look)....but I can't figure out that center problem when cooked

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

For some time now I've been baking an Ale & Yeast Poolish bread, originally from Richard Bertinet's "Crust". I make it with my husband's home-brewed light hoppy ale, and it is a customer favourite (and family & friends too). It's a delightful all-purpose bread, good for sandwiches, toast, with soup or cheese or whatever. And it is probably the best-behaved dough I've ever worked with. It seems infallible!

The only thing I wanted to improve was the fact that it's almost all unbleached bread flour with only about 6% whole wheat flour (just enough to put some little flecks in it). So yesterday I set out to tweak it a bit. I hate messing with a good thing but I'll still bake the Ale & Yeast, I just wanted to add a 'Dark' to the menu!

First thing I did was rejig the poolish pre-ferment. Instead of half 'n' half bread flour and light ale, I used a combination of bread flour and the bits sifted out of whole wheat flour, mixed with an equal amount of dark mild ale and about a scant 1/8 tsp active dry yeast for each loaf.

The dough flour was 69% bread flour, 25% sifted whole wheat flour and 6% barley flour. Water, the poolish, and a tiny bit more yeast, and into the mixer. Autolyse for 30 minutes, add the salt and mix until smooth and stretchy. I let it proof at room temperature for a couple of hours, stretching and folding halfway through. The dough was beautiful and formed a nice smooth ball.

The next morning it had risen nicely, so I scaled and pre-shaped it while I prepared the 'wireframe' couche (lined with floured napkins).

It's bubbling nicely! This dough is a joy to shape, really. So much easier than a high-hydration dough (it's about 67% hydration).

Into the couch to rise for a couple of hours:

After 2 hours, onto the peels, slashed and ready to go in the oven. It will be baked on granite stones preheated to 475F with steam. Five minutes at 475F, then down to 425F for 20 minutes, rearrange the loaves and bake for another 10 minutes. This bread bakes fairly quickly and is actually better if not overbaked. The interior is still over 205F after this 25 minute bake.

And here are the lovely loaves, fresh out of the oven.

This has a more delicate crust than a sourdough but still crispy. The crumb is wonderful - creamy, chewy, soft and with shiny holes. And the taste - well, this loaf will be gone really quickly! It's just good, honest bread, the way bread is supposed to taste.

I'm off to a pot luck dinner shortly. Guess what I'm taking! :)

cristina.w's picture

As a student, baking has become a wonderful way to work and create in a different way as well as relieve stress! These past few months have been full of final papers and exams, but with some nice baking breaks. I thought I would post the photos from a few loaves lately!

Two of the sourdough miches I bake most often!

Almost forgot a crumb photo before I slathered it in cheese...

This loaf was made with leftover cooked pot barley, which added a wonderful flavour but a BIG crunch in the crust. 

I have also been inspired by TFL users like WoodenSpoon, adding wine-soaked fig and toasted walnuts to a bake. Thank you for your inspiration! 


jeremyr's picture

New here

May 24, 2016 - 11:17am -- jeremyr

Hello to everyone!

I'm not exactly new here, but it's been so long since I've logged in, I forgot my info and decided to sign up again. So I'm in east Tennessee and I love all kinds of bread. My favorite is artisan bread. I'm currently using my home oven with a baking stone, but hope to build a wood fired brick oven in the back yard. I'm hoping that will grow into a micro bakery biz.


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