The Fresh Loaf

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

The key word being the 'same' - yeah this is getting easier each time - funny to think a while back I was happy with one or slashes bursting - as I watch them now the first 5 minutes of the bake reveals a lot - within a few minutes these already had nice grignes forming the about 7-8 minutes in they usually start to curl (meaning the whole loaf) as yu often see baguettes a sort of curved - the tips raise and a they form an arch - about the only thing left to really think about now is just getting a straighter loaf but not complaining today ;)

Lazy Loafer's picture

Got yeast water - now what?

August 20, 2017 - 10:41am -- Lazy Loafer

I made a couple of yeast waters from plums and apples from my garden. Yesterday when I shook / stirred them they nearly exploded out of the jar, so they are nice and 'sparkling'! Now I need to figure out what to do with them. I've read the primer on here about yeast water, but I'm still not quite clear on how to maintain them (in the fridge? Add fruit and or sugar? How often?).

abhattachar23's picture

Advice needed regarding gluten development for Sourdough

August 20, 2017 - 10:01am -- abhattachar23

Hello all,

I've been having some problems lately when it comes to getting my desired level of crumb openness with my sourdough loaves.

After having tried everything from rebuilding my starter to get a more active one (I was having problems getting expansion during bulk fermentation, but no more), varying the length my target bulk volume increase, varying the length of my proof, bench rest, and everything in between, I've come to the conclusion that I'm not getting the level of gluten development that I seek.

isand66's picture

I haven't made a rye bread in a while and I wanted to a nice moist one that would be good for sandwiches.  The addition of the ricotta cheese and mashed potatoes made for a super moist crumb and the corn flour added a very interesting flavor profile.

I was very happy with the flavor on this one and love the moist crumb.  The onions always go well with rye of course.

I did two siftings of the freshly ground rye which was ground using my MockMill attachment for the KitchenAid mixer which really made for a light crumb coming in at over 52% rye.  All in all this one is a keeper and worth trying.


Download the BreadStorm File 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.

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

 Main Dough Procedure

If you are using dehydrated onions, let them hydrate in the water before proceeding to the next step. If you are using cooked or fresh onions, you can add them during the last minute of mixing.

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 1 hour.  Next add the salt, honey, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), ricotta cheese and potatoes 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.  (If you have a proofer you can set it to 80 degrees and follow above steps but you should be finished in 1 hour to 1.5 hours).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.   Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 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.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 25-35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.

I've included some late summer garden photos for those of you who are interested.

kendalm's picture

Something clicked for me te other week - I thought it might be interesting to describe the event. This particular quest to perfect the all mighty baguette began around March of last year, prior to that I had been spinning lots of pizzas for my kids and meat pies (a heritage food) cheese cakes etc with particular experience tossing pizzas since in high school I worked at a pizza joint pumping out a ridiculous number of pies several nights a week for years - after a while, if you've made a certain shape about a thousand or more times you eventually get to the point that you can do it with your eyes shut (literally). It always cracked me up watching someone else make the oddest of shapes when they try making pizza the first time. So pizza spinning is reference point for any dough related recipe for me...

So now comes the famous baguette, over the last year plus it had driving me bonkers trying to get a good cylinder - I watched videos religiously and just couldn't quite get the hang of the technique especially the use of the heel of you hand (I'm referring to the final fold whereby the loaf is sealed and folded just before rolling ). With failure after failure decided on a hybrid method of using fingers to create the seal. It brought an immediate improvement but still resulted in defects. So finally after using this new technique, I decided to give the heel method another shot. To my surprise I noticed that I was able to wack out a really nice cylinder without any effort - I could gauge the amount of pressure needed progressing along the loaf with little thought or concentration. This was the point that all of a sudden the muscle memory just kind of kicked in and the improvements in the bake were leaps and bounds above any other bake. This was quite a cool experience and really goes to show that it just comes down to a lot of practice. It also goes to show that the correct technique contributes to the loaf as a whole. I am sure that the recent great burst that I am seeing has more to do with more uniform taught surface - of course timing and reading the dough and having a better guage on rise times and final proofing is a big factor but all in all, ever step demands practice, understanding and muscle memory to not only


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