The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

FIRST LOAF

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J-Jo's picture
J-Jo

FIRST LOAF

Hi everyone. I have found your site and love it. Of course I do have a couple of questions though. I made the loaf that is shown in lesson 2 and the dough was way to wet from the get go and didn't rise at all. I discovered that you have to activate the yeast first and i didnt. So I made the loaf in lesson 1 and it did rise but the crust was hard as a rock. Thats not really a lie either. lol The inside bread ras soft and everything though. So any ideas what I did wrong?

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

I spray/mist my loaf with a spray bottle of water when I first pull it out and then cover it with a tea towel.  This will make the crust softer.  You can also use a spray bottle of olive oil, or rub butter, oil, or shortening on the crust when you pull it out of the oven.  If the recipe you used was simply water, flour, yeast, salt then if you add things like potato flakes, oil, shortening, butter, milk, egg it will also help the crust be a little more soft or crumb more tender.  Then there are the chewy/shiny type crusts that you baste with egg white, egg yolk, or a whole egg before baking.  Oh, you can also use milk before you put it in or after you take it out. 


I find with a basic french bread or sourdough type bread that water or egg white works the best, but I am sure others have preferences too.

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

Oh, almost forgot!  I also put a pan of water in the oven, and use a spray bottle of water on the loaves when they are first put into the oven and then again about five minutes later.