The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

An impulsive blog, SFBI and feeding schedules

Chausiubao's picture

An impulsive blog, SFBI and feeding schedules

Last month was SFBI's Artisan 2 class, and I was there! I have no idea if there were any other TFL people in attendance, but there was one group who decided to name themselves, "the loafers" so I did wonder. Then again, nobody mentioned anything about an internet forum, so who knows.

At any rate, I came out of the class and made this,


 72% hydration, 25% pre-fermented flour, and 0.08% yeast, with a retarded final proof.

I was motivated to make it partly because I wanted to put my starter back to good use after spending so many days away from it as well as to try some different feeding schedules and feeding percentages for said starter. I'd always stuck to a 10% seed for feedings with a once daily feeding schedule, but armed with a few new perspectives I played around a little. 


100% Flour

100% Water

40% Seed


100% Flour

72% Water

2% Salt

50% Starter 

The starter was ready, at 8 hours compared to my previous feedings, so it got a 6 hour retardation until I was ready for it; as far as I can tell, that worked out fine. I must say though, it smelled amazing during the mixing and folds, it had plenty of aroma. Even at 72% hydration, the dough was a bit dry, this is perceptible in the crumb as well.


While nice, the crumb is just ever so slightly dry and crumbly, though that might be due in part to a lack of strength in the mix 

 While not a particularly dramatically beautiful bread, the crust, flavor, and aroma are all pleasant and appealing. Yet the texture of the crumb is somewhat lacking, and that is one of the things to love about bread.


hansjoakim's picture

Nice loaf, Chausiubao! Lovely bloom and excellent shaping!

Did you mix it as a short or improved mix (in SFBI terms), and did you notice any differences in the final loaf due to the new feeding routine? In e.g. SFBI's AB&P that there is a tendency towards larger seed percentage and shorter time between feeds.

Chausiubao's picture

This was an improved mix.

As for feeding cycles, it's difficult to say without a side by side comparison. There are so many differences in this bread compared to other bakes that I've done. But taking into account that I've switched from a 16-24 hour feeding cycle to a 8-12 hour feeding cycle (with an increase from 10% seed to 40% seed), the dough did move faster, but most notably the aroma was quite a bit stronger both in the dough and in the final loaf, out of the oven.

As I was kneading the dough I could smell the sour aroma coming out (though with a 30 minute autolyse there was a bit of time for the bacteria to start fermenting). This strong aroma really shocked me, and in addition to the speed of the dough, its the thing that I noticed most.

Chausiubao's picture



ml's picture

Hi Chausiubao,

Your bread is beautiful! 

I am so curious about ALL the different "best" levains & ways to care for them. Seeds vary from small to large amounts, flours % & types are endless, final % in dough vary from almost nothing to 100%, feeding schedules & amounts, etc. Did you get to talk about these differences in your course?

I think I have read that it isn't the levain that affects the flavor as much as the fermentation time. You haven't said if your bread tasted as sour as it smelled?