The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First Struan and some questions (ABE recipe)

vink's picture

First Struan and some questions (ABE recipe)

I have been baking for the last few weeks, lately mostly from Artisan Bread Everyday. Recently, I made Struan. It tasted very good, but I still have some issues. But first, here is a picture of the loaf:


Here is the crumb:

By the way, the little specs are Quinoa .. we usually make brown rice mixed with Quinoa, and I used that for the bread as well.

The bread tastes pretty good, but now to the issues:

- It tasted a bit too salty. Could it be the saltiness of the buttermilk? The amount of salt in the recipe (around 19gms for about 1.5Kg of final dough) seems a little high, but I am not sure if it is. Did anyone else have issues with saltiness? Without any suggestions, I will have to do several trial and error loaves before I can figure out the right amount..

- The crumb is a little too dense towards the bottom.  I  was using a convection setting, maybe I will use a mix of convection for the first part and convetional oven towards the end. Not to worried about this, I think I can solve this one.

- Although Peter says to divide into two if you will bake two loaves, it seems like the recipe is really short for two loaves of even 8.5x4.5 pans. How much total dough should I aim for if I want to make two large loaves (9x5 inch pans)?  I was thinking about 1000gms per loaf, which would mean multiplying the recipe roughly by 1.5. Does that sound about right?

Thanks in advance!

tn gabe's picture
tn gabe

...for what it's worth, certainly not an expert.

In the smaller loaf pans, I scale to 700g. How long did you have the dough in the fridge?

If I'm doing the math right, i think the salt is 2.4% of total grain, which is a little high, but maybe the sugar and honey balances that out for most people. If you don't eat much salt, you might be taste more of it than most folks.

I'd say underproofed and underbaked a little. But much better than what I was baking 'in a few weeks'! 

vink's picture


I had this in the fridge for a day, the next one was couple of days later and the crumb came out little better. Also, I used flax meal instead of corn meal, since I did not find polenta mix in the grocery store the first time I looked. I now have cornmeal for the next batch.  I used about 750g for this loaf, so the second loaf came out really small -- I think the total recipe is only about 1300g. Maybe the small size helped the second loaf be better done. 

We usually don't eat too much salt, I will try reducing it .. both my wife and mother-in-law also thought it was too salty, so I know it's not just me. 

Thanks for your feedback. I will bake it a little longer/hotter next time.  Glad to hear it looks decent! 

hanseata's picture

that is the bread I bake for myself for toasting. I do not find it too salty - Reinhart's formulas are often a bit too sweet for my taste, therefore I usually reduce the sweetener, but if you like less salt - reduce it until it suits your taste.

Convection mode should not be the cause for the denseness of the crumb near the bottom. I bake all my breads with convection, since I usually bake several loaves on two tiers.

Do you use the finger probe when judging whether the bread has proofed sufficiently? Eyeballing or watching the kitchen timer may not be good enough. Also, do you use an instant thermometer to test the internal temperature at the end of the bake to see whether the bread is done? It should reach an internal temperature of at least 190 F - better 195 F.


vink's picture

Karin, I have not been doing the finger probe test. Just going with the approximate size doubling. Also, I don't have an instant read thermometer, just a regular meat thermometer, I have not used it that well. Between watching for my hands getting burned and inserting the thermometer too deep etc, I've just been not taking the internal temp. Thanks for the suggestion, will do both, and will work on reducing salt (and sweet too..)