The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


bobkay1022's picture


Hello from Arizona  weather is starting to get below 90degrees in the daytime.

My question. Even with a loaf that has fair consistancy but not as good as I would like. My bread does not seem to have any real good taste.  I have tried 2-3 types of bread flour from the local stores.  I have tried unbleached whit flour. I just did 2 different Italian loaves and each had fair consistancy but a blah taste. Both were baked with Gold Medal better for bread flour.  I have tried more expensive brands also.  The bread has a consistancy like a bread you would buy off the shelf. Soft and light . Certainly not of a Italian bread consistancy or taste.   Any ideas.


Mr Bob

Loaf I did yesterday.


rainwater's picture

Interesting....your bread certainly "looks" tasty.  If you read over the techniques in some of the Artisanal bread books, they attribute "taste" to "technique".  Retarded fermentation, using overnight poolish or some other pre-ferment to coax flavor from flour.....

some popular books on this subject that are mentioned on "The Fresh Loaf" are "The Bread Baker's Apprentice", Peter Reinhart, and "Bread", Jeff Hammelman.  They describe extensively the different procedures for coaxing flavor from flour.

SourFlour's picture

If you are lacking flavor, the reason must be you are not fermenting long enough. I could see why this might be happening, considering your temperature is huge.  You must be seeing your dough double in size so quickly, and assume it is done.

What formula are you using? Using a starter rather than instant yeast is a good way to start to develop your flavor.  A few things you can do to slow down your fermentation time: use your fridge for a good portion of it; use less yeast; use ice water (or very cold water) for your dough.

If you are not using any starter, I'd recommend fermenting for at least 6 hours, if not somewhere closer to 18.

Hope this helps.

Danny - Sour Flour

LindyD's picture

Do you use a preferment?

Have you tried using ten percent rye in your mix?

Perhaps if you'll post your recipe, some troubleshooting can take place.

bobkay1022's picture


 This is the  recipe from My recipe web page .

 Looked simple enough to try for me.  The only thing I did was to fold and let  sit till almost double  again punched down and formed a loaf.  It rose almost double while I was pre heating the convection oven about 35-40 minutes on a pizza shovel.  

  I baked on a stone.  Before putting in the oven I brushed with egg white and added some sesame seeds.  I should have sliced 3 times instead of one.  I should comment that none of my bread has the taste I used to get years ago and I do not remember doing any thing different than I am now except I was in a home and had a regular oven.

Makes 1 loaf


  • 1  (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast

  • 1  teaspoon  sugar

  • 1  cup  warm water (100° to 110°)

  • 2  to 3 cups bread flour

  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil

  • 1  teaspoon  salt


Combine yeast, sugar, and 1 cup warm water in bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer; let stand 5 minutes. Add 2 cups flour, oil, and salt to bowl, and beat at low speed, using dough hook attachment, 1 minute. Gradually add additional flour until dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl and pull together. (Note: The dough will take on a "shaggy" appearance as the flour is being added. When enough flour has been added, the dough will look soft and smooth, not wet and sticky or overly dry with a rough surface.)

Increase speed to medium, and beat 5 minutes. Cover bowl of dough with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down, and let stand 10 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; shape dough into a 12-inch loaf, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cut 3 (1/4-inch deep) slits across top of dough with a sharp paring knife. (The slits release interior steam and prevent the loaf from blowing apart at the side.)

Bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

LindyD's picture

The softness you complain about is caused by the oil and sugar, which reduce the dough strength and makes the crumb softer.

The receipe you are using gives me the impression the main goal is to get the dough to rise as fast as possible and into the oven, and the heck with what it tastes like (nothing).   I don't blame you for complaining about the end result.  I wouldn't like it either and would toss that recipe in the trash.

The flour you are using, Better for Bread, is a good flour.  You always want to use an unbleached, unbromated flour.

I think you will be happier if you visit TFL's Lesson Three, read through it, and give that recipe a whirl. It offers a nice introduction to using a peferment.

You can substitute half a cup of rye flour for the whole wheat flour, or just juse bread or AP flour as noted in the recipe.  The half cup of rye or whole wheat will add to the quality of the bread.

There are tons of great recipes here - especially on the blogs - that all use preferments, which are crucial to achieving good taste.  Many of them include the recipes and also call for retarding the dough overnight in the refrigerator, which results in even a better taste.

If you do try the preferment route, do let us know if you find it an improvement.

bobkay1022's picture

Thank you for all the info. I can see where I have or might be making a few mistakes and will learn from that.

Lesson 3 has so much to learn from and I am sure after trying my bread will get better. I certainly will start tomorrow and will not stop till it tastes good.

 My bread did look like the loaves in the post but taste had a lot to be desired as in my post and I think I can ??? see my mistakes.

Have a nice week end to all,

Mr. Bob

LindyD's picture

Mr. Bob, I don't see how you made any mistakes - you were just working with an inferior recipe.

Your loaves looked wonderful, but as we know, in the long run appearance is irrelevant.  It's character that counts!

Am betting you'll soon be pulling a loaf from your oven that will make your taste buds smile!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

What did you mean by:

"I do not remember doing anything different than I am now except I was in a home and had a regular oven."



bobkay1022's picture

My Home now is in a Motor Home . We travel 6 months  and  spend  the cold months in Surprise  Arizona.  in a small resort called happy trails.   Retired 1987 Lived in a house on 2 acres . Do not miss the lawn or the snow.

Garden yes but again lots of work. I always had a nice loaf and tasty in a conventional oven.  Sourdough and a good tasting yeast bread.  Been experimenting again with SD . My mentor or friend on line Mike from Baking with Mike says folks would die for my loaf of sour dough and it is sour but not to my taste.

Hope that answers your question with a little more

This is my home but I rarely do any more electronics for travel.