The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Trials and triumps

Thegreenbaker's picture

Trials and triumps

Since I found this site and joined up, I have been baking ever 2 or 3 days. FOcusing mainly on the "basic loaf" recipe from lesson 1. My bread making has improved with each loaf. My kneading skills have improved immensely and with it my bread quality.

I have had trouble making rustic loaves and had resorted to baking in a tin. Which is fine, it tastes grerat, but I love rustic loaves. I was dishearted. But a few days ago, I had my first success quite by accident. I'd left my bread to rise and noticed that it rose UP not OUT like all my previous attemps at rustic loaves. (they became tasty flat breads, with tooo much crust and not enough centre :S)

So I punched it down and crossed my fingers.  After the second rise (which is all I have been doing) it was high and round. I heated the oven, steamed it and gently placed the loaf inside. There wasnt much (if any actually) oven spring, but it baked beautifully. The crust was hard and crackly, the crumb nice, little small bubbly holes through out, and best of all, it was a lovely looking rustic loaf!  YAY!!! I was so happy. All I could talk aout for the next half hour was my triumph. lol.

I then moved on to lesson two. I made that loaf rustic also, but it didnt rise as high as the previous loaf. I am becoming confident in my baking skills and look forward to the day I can post a pic of my home made sourdough bread made with home made sourdouch starter! I've a long way to go yet!


 The-not-so-green-baker *wink*




breadnerd's picture

Keep up the practice, sounds like you're doing great.


For free form loaves, it sometimes helps to give them some support during their final rise, which helps them rise "up" and not spread as much. This can be as simple as a fold of fabric between baguettes, or you can use a basket or bowl lined with a flour-dusted towel or linen (it's best if the towel is smooth fabric, like a tea-towel). Even if the loaf deflates slightly when you transfer it into the oven, it sort of "remembers" the shape it had and will pop up nicely in the oven.


Keep up the good work, repetition is the best way to learn!