The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Heavy loafs

ggmauro's picture

Heavy loafs

Anyone have expertise in production baking? I am a chef with little natural leavening baking experience. I can make a mean loaf with commercial yeast, but alas, cannot seem to get the the "old fashioned" thing down. I am determined to do what ever it takes to make the absolute most natural and best loaf in las vegas and in my restaurant. My main complaint is that the loafs are too heavy. If I try proofing them for longer they are lighter but become "over-proofed". i.e. extra heavy crust that is extremely hard and crunchy. Please let me know if any of you can lend me a hand in troubleshooting my production.

Thank you,


ericb's picture


You've come to the right place. There are a number of professional bakers on these forums who should be able to help you out. I'm not one of them, but I do have two questions: how frequently do you refresh your starter, and how long does it take for  your starter to double after feeding it?



ggmauro's picture

We feed our starter everyday for we make bread every day.  It takes 1-2 hours for the starter to double. It's very healthy.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Make sure that your 1st fermentation goes well, and long enough...  If it doesn't, no amount of proofing will make the loaf any lighter...  Your 1st fermentation needs to almost double...  Your 1st fermentation is done if you press into it with a floured finger, the indentation should amost go away.  The dough should feel like a ballon.  Be careful not to over-ferment.  Once your 1st fermentation is done then you can proceed with dividing/shaping and proofing...  Usually naturally fermented doughs are unpredictable, and if it's cooler than usual, they take a long time to ferment...  About 4-6 hours...  Depending on the strength and quantity of your starter...  My advise is to experiment with small batches and work your way up to larger batches, so you don't waste too much flour and dough...