The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread rookie from Sydney, Australia!

jc212's picture

Bread rookie from Sydney, Australia!

Hi guys,

2 weeks ago I stumbled upon this site looking for information/opinions on a new stand mixer purchase (Bosch MUM86) and am now hopelessly addicted to the forums! I've always been passionate about food (previously a chef now a food science undergrad) and now it seems I've caught the bread bug!

I'm ashamed to say that I've never baked bread in my life previous to last week. I have since baked 3 batches of bread using richard bertinet's (that guy is awesome) white dough recipe and twinkering with kneading and fermentation times. Behold, my abominations!

white dough #2 (#1 was a complete flop.. dense, flat, doughy.. not pic-worthy!)

I used bertinet's kneading method and left it in the fridge for 2 nights to ferment. The 'boomerang' shape came from the dough sticking onto my peel while I was trying to slide it on to my stone! The flavour of the bread was really good despite some pretty crazy fermentation odours it was giving off when I took it out of the fridge. I totally failed on the scoring division; I used an old stanley knife and it kind of just dragged the surface of the dough around. The crust was really crusty and chewy and the crumb was shiny and chewy. Perhaps a tad too chewy overall..


white dough #2

I used my stand mixer (speed 2 for 6-8 minutes) for these and the same recipe. To solve the sticking to peel issue I let the dough complete its final rise on some baking paper before sliding it onto my peel. I also solved the slashing issue with my serrated bread knife. The crust was nice and almost shattered to the bite, not nearly as chewy as my previous creation. The crumb was very soft and delicate, but I want bigger holes! One issue I had was the bottom of the right loaf just didn't want to harden up to a hollow knocking sound. I proved the left loaf for about an hour longer since i could only fit one loaf on my stone at a time. Perhaps this is why?



Anyway, I'm really looking forward to future baking and it has been really fun immersing myself into the bread culture. I love it how there is always room for improvement! Thanks so much guys for creating such a nice community!








tabasco's picture

Beautiful pics of your latest bread baking.  Sounds like you are loving your new mixer and getting some good use from it.

I haven't tried Bertinet's recipes but he certainly seems popular on TFL.  Most recently I looked at someone's posts who tried out his Brioche dough with lots of success.  Brioche dough would give your new mixer a work out--but I wouldn't do too much food science nutrition study on brioche ingredients or it might give you a heart attack.  (just kidding).

Good luck with your new bread endeavors.  J.

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi Jason,

Welcome to another Australian.

I'm just up the road from Sydney in Cessnock enjoying Cheese, shiraz, semillion & chardonnays from Pokolbin.  No doubt you would know of Pokolbin. I love my attempts at baguettes with the these food items.

If you are new to bread baking may I suggest "Wallaby Bakers Flour" from Lucke. Laucke  is Australias largest private family flour company based in South Australia. They do many premix flours for  bread machines but for those who love going beyond a sandwich loaf their Wallaby brand I have found to be the best on the shelves at present. Available in a five kilo bag keep it stored in a large plastic food container with a good seal. Also it is abundently available in most flour sections of our major supermarkets. They have a web site, just google Laucke.

Another good guide book that you will find very interesting as it gets a bit scientific in detail as well as great recipes is the "Bread Bakers Apprentice". I downloaded it on my ebook which was a mistake as finding recipes in a traditional book is so much easier.

Good luck.............Peter

jc212's picture

Tabasco, i've actually made Bertinet's brioche already! Nutritionally it is up there in calorie-density but moderation is key! Here's some pics..

(the ball of fur is my cat)

I didn't have the confidence to make those 'tetes' so i made balls and popped them in a muffin pan and a few in some steel molds i had lying around. They were nice and crusty with lots of flavour but I think they were slightly overcooked because the crumb was quite dry. Still, they were quite nice slathered in good butter and homemade orange jam!


Pete, I haven't heard of Pokolbin but a quick google search revealed that it is near/lies within the Hunter Valley. I've been up there once and the wine and cheese is amazing so you are real lucky if you get to enjoy the good stuff on a regular basis! You'll be pleased to know in all of my attempts at bread so far (bar the first) I have used the Wallaby's bakers flour. I am currently searching for a cheaper flour since the 5kg bag that I purchased from coles cost $10. From what i've read it seems that there are much more reasonable prices (<$1/kg) out there for the same or similar quality flour.

Coincidently I have already purchased Reinhart's 'The Bread Baker's Apprentice' and am waiting on the delivery. I also bought Julia Child's 'Baking with Julia' and am hoping to expand my baking into pastries and cakes. I am going to be baking my @#$ off this year!


tabasco's picture

Beautiful Brioches,  Jason!  They look scrumptious (and I am sure you are being overcritical with your comments about dryness.)

I am trying the Lazy Man's Brioche recipe from here on TFL this morning.  Last week I tried Nancy Silverton's recipe from her 'Desserts' cookbook.  It was OK but not a very 'tasty' flavor so (to me) so I think it definitely needs to be the base of a more complicated creation like schnecken or a torte/tart of some kind.  In her 'Desserts' book she uses it for a pecan roll and a prune tart which I made and both were very good.  And I also used it for a base for a sort of pizza nicoise (and I made up that idea).  I thought it was interesting that Silverton mentions using the feuilleté technique of rolling out and layering the brioche dough with butter for even more richness. 

Good luck with your new hobby.  Sounds like you have some helpful compatriots that will be fun to share sources and ideas with.