The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Double fed sweet levain bread

Skibum's picture

Double fed sweet levain bread

My first bake from Ken Forkish's Flower, Water, Salt, Yeast.  Ken says to bake it down dark.  Okay!

This was baked at 475F n a hot covered DO for 20 minutes then uncovered and baked at 475 convection.  After 10 minutes turning at the half, this was the result and though Ken says bake for 20 uncovered, I thought things were dark enough using a convection bake.  This loaf really crackled and hissed once removed from the oven.

I had planned to follow Ken's instructions to the letter, but sometimes life gets in the way.  Uncle skibum had too much medicine the night before starting this project, so instead of starting the levain at 7:00 am as planned it didn't get done until 9:30.  Oops!  The result was that I was too tired to shape at the end of the day, so the dough went into the fridge in bulk to be shaped, proofed and baked the next day.

Forkish has a most interesting take on adjusting your flavouring by adjusting the levain -- neat concept!

I halved this recipe and the loaf still had so much volume, my bread knife was nearly not long enough!

Now I'm sure my overnight bulk in the fridge changed the flavour profile, this is a tasty bread with an almost creamy crumb.

Next up is Ken's Walnut Levain Bread and the starter was mixed by 8:00 am, so I should be able to exactly follow the schedule today.

Happy baking !  Brian


Janetcook's picture


What a beautiful loaf!!!  Did the crust taste burned at all?  I love the contrast between the light and the dark.  Really quite stunning. 

Like you, the breads I bake have to be flexible :)  One of the main things I have learned here (TFL) is how to use the refrigerator to do that.  Works like a charm and I find that loaves that are refrigerated a bit prior to baking spring really nicely when baked right out of the refrig.

Thanks for the post.


Skibum's picture

crust didn't taste burnt at all but it surely did have a nice crunch.  After 10 minutes uncovered on convection I was scared I would turn this loaf into a cinder.  Even half of Forkish's recipes produce an enormous loaf of bread for a single skibum, so I may have to scale to 1/3 next bake and I have a feeling my neighbours will be happy later today . . .

Regards, Brian

dabrownman's picture

'Boldy Baked' where few dare to tread!  Your bread shoild be baked dark as Forkish says be dark because it is a sweeter bread that will naturally be darker without tasting burnt.  Your example is spectacular inside and out.  I'm guessing the falavor wasn;lt miuch dfferent in your bulk retarted bread than the original.  Well done.

 make a sweet multigrain Challah in a tin - not braided that bakes up very dark and doesn't taste burnt at all either.  Best tasting crust we have ever managed.  This was done in a the Magnaware Magnalite Turkey Roaster.

Great baking Brian - your CI combo cooker is a great piece of baking equipment.  Are you gloing to join in Karin's Challenge?

Different bake same bread sane color

Skibum's picture

really does have a nice flavour.  That Lodge CI combo cooker was certainly money well spent based on the nice bake results I am getting.

I would be interested in joining Karin's challenge, but seem to have missed that post and wil have a look for it.

Regards, Brian

hanseata's picture

I'm in the crusty, boldly baked camp, too. Very nice looking loaf! I am quite fascinated by Forkish's breads, too, so far the Overnight Blondie is my favorite.

My challenge is to recreate a fascinating bread I had at Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam, rye sourdough with a lot of grains. I would be happy if you would join, Brian.


isand66's picture

Beautiful looking bake Brian.  I too love a boldly baked crust and this one certainly has it. 

Another reason Thor me to start reading this book already :)