The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bad Baking Day

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Bad Baking Day

WARNING - This post contains some disturbing bread images!


First of all - I trust my liquid rye starter. He hasn't got a name yet, but I trust him.


Last Sunday we were having some friends over, some with wheat intolerance, and I decided to make the 100% russian rye (from Bread Matters), that always works, I thought.

And I had made a few nice batches of Hamelman's levain with wholewheat, and somehow the Polish Rye we made on the baking course I recently visited felt not so far from that, and I could make it with my rye starter.


I took the starter out of the fridge the day before where it had been for some weeks, taste and smell OK, and made my pre-ferments.


The stiff pre-ferment for the levain was coming along a bit sluggishly, but the liquid one for the russian rye had some bubbles soon (although not enough bubbles, in retrospect).

I expected to make some levain loaves like these from an earlier batch:

good levain

Good oven spring, nice open crumb, delicious ...


Well, now come the images... You have been warned, I am not responsible for your bad dreams.




They all tasted delicious.

But ...

bad levain

This is the levain. The top loaf proved for 3.5 hours at 26C. Seriously underproofed.

I didn't trust my finger test!

I will use this one for experiments with old bread.

The bottom loaf prooved for 9 hours. Great taste, crumb not ideal.

With the Russian Rye I expected no problems, but it rose very slowly.


The photo speaks for itself ...

After 11 hours the dough had risen to a level I expected (usually it takes half that time) and I baked it.

bad russian rye


My starter was simply starved, and I didn't pay attention to the warning signs.

As I said, I trust my starter, still.

Currently he is being pampered with some fresh flour ...


Happy baking,




LindyD's picture

Heck, you could have filled that cavity with a mixture of cheese, meats, and whatevers, and called it "Juergen's Delight."

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Thank you, LindyD, for reminding me that:

Great inventions come from great failures ;-)



Somehow the big hole reminded me of a mouth ...


tasty chap


Now he smiles!

AnnaInMD's picture


Noor13's picture

I like what you made out of it hihihi

I guess we all have bad baking days-at least I know I do


RuthieG's picture

I guess like in  life, you still get the occasional bad baking day to keep you from getting to big for your britches..........

teketeke's picture

I have my sandwich loaf picture like yours exactly! :P  That was a shocking!! Thank you for the funny face on the loaf. I will use it next time when I have a bad one, Then I feel like I did a great job!! :)


hanseata's picture

Yes, Jürgen, I had those gaping mouths staring at me, too.

As psychoanalyst I would say that loaf was suffering from an early oral deficit. 

Happy baking und tschüß,


SallyBR's picture

I saw the two first photos, and said to myself, well, they are not so bad, he's got too high expectations.... then I saw the third, and bursted laughing... sorry, how rude of me, but it was pretty funny.


It did happen to me once, and of course, it's NOT funny when it happens, but....  I hope you will only have great bread baking days ahead!

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Thank you for all your kind comments, If my my breads could make you smile, wonderful.

I certainly learnt something along the way.

Karin, Psychoanalysis did not help, unfortunately.

The patient refused all food and died.

But, on the positive side, it's a good point to think about my starter strategy. (how wet, how many ...)

I didn't bake much recently (except matzah), but I have a very long list of things I want to try (including some of Karin's creations).


Happy Baking,