The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hi from Williamsburg, NYC

gizzy's picture

Hi from Williamsburg, NYC


I live in Williamsburg, brooklyn. I've been baking bread for over a year, but I've never really liked what I baked. The taste was always fine, but the texture just didnt suit me. Thankfully, my boyfriends father will eat any type of bread, stale and dunked in his coffee which saves me from having to eat it.

I love baking bread; which is probably the only reason I never gave up on it when my recipes didnt turn out right. Back in March I received the Bread Bakers Apprentice book as a gift and proceeded to ignore my boyfriend for the next day as I read the first half of the book which consisted of how to make bread and the types of terminology and the differences between the flours and such. Since then I've been making bread a lot more and my bread has improved dramatically. I enjoy the taste more, the crust texture is more reliable with what I want and my pizza dough and bread rolls have become steller! The rolls dont develop the holes that I want, but its nice and moist and chewy and everything good that a roll should be.

However, if I try to make a large loaf the crumb is still dense, (even if I use the remainder dough from the bread rolls) there seems to be something about the size. or maybe I just dont mind dense rolls. It tastes good. Its nice and soft, almost fluffy (but not quite)... but not those nice big holes. Its almost like it gets 90% of the way to being normal sandwich bread, but doesnt reach sandwich bread quality.

I asked a question earlier today about how to make a nice crumb and crust, and the person who responded said that I should invest in a bread baking class and that I could use this forum to see if there was a local baker who would be willing to show me the "bread baking moves." I would love it if someone would be willing to help me and show me some "moves" to help me with my bread baking. Anyone willing?

Ford's picture

Your problem may be that you add too much flour.  It takes experience to work with slack dough, but that is what you have to learn to do.  When you turn our your dough to do the hand kneading, use as little flour as you possibly can to work and shape the dough.  A light sprinkle of flour over the dough will suffice.  Then as the dough gets sticky, give it another light sprinkle.  Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl for the first rise.  When you turn it out the next time give it another light sprinkle of flour and shape it to the shape you wish.  Practice and patience is the way to go.