The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question about Rustic Bread recipe

Jim Burgin's picture
Jim Burgin

Question about Rustic Bread recipe

5/14/14.  I am a novice bread baker.  Made "Rustic Bread" (recipe on this site) today.  Tastes good.  Beautiful holes in crumb.  But need advice on two issues:

1.  Following the formula, the dough was VERY wet, sticky.  I could not shape it well.  .  Would not hold boule shape before baking.  Flattened out before baking.  Did not flatten out more once in the oven.  If I addressed this problem by adding more flour doesn't that make it more difficult for the crumb to form large holes?  

2.  Never achieved the beautiful dark crust in picture.  Only reached golden brown when done. 




Floydm's picture

The dough should be quite wet and sticky, probably more so than what you are used to.  If you fold it a few times as it is rising it likely will tighten up some, though things like the strength of the flour you are using can make a difference too.  

I wouldn't be afraid to adjust the recipe and add a bit of extra flour if you aren't comfortable working with that dough, but I'd also encourage you try working with doughs a bit wetter than what you are familiar with too, since that is key to getting that beautiful uneven crumb you expect in artisan breads.

As far as colouring: longer fermentation, hotter temperature in the oven, or longer bake time can all help you achieve what you are looking for.

Good luck!

Jim Burgin's picture
Jim Burgin


Thanks much.  This helps.