The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Ohio! Amateur sourdough enthusiast here!

AdrianeS's picture

Hello from Ohio! Amateur sourdough enthusiast here!

Just wanted to say a quick hello. I'm grateful to have found this site full of recipes and, more importantly, fellow bakers to talk to and get advice from. I started baking a few months ago using mostly whole wheat and sometimes spelt while always using my sourdough starter. After learning about the health benefits, I can't see baking any other way. Prior to this any baking I did was from boxed mixes. I have recently (finally!) been able to turn out a decent sandwich loaf. While I was developing my hand kneading skills I had better luck with pancakes and muffins. Anyhow, hello to all and I'll see you in the forums!

BXMurphy's picture

Reminds me of my misspent youth listening to the group, Devo.

What's round on the end and hi in the middle? Ohio! :) (from "Jocko Homo")

Back to your regularly scheduled bread....


valentine1932's picture

Hello, I am an 84 year old who loves good healthy food, lots of veggies and great bread.  Believe it or not, I eat at least 3-4 slices a day of my breads, and contrary to belief, still weigh 104 lbs.  I do believe the answer is in the fiber and eating every 2 hours, plus maintaining control over fat and sugars.  Bread is NOT the culprit.  

Now to the reason for my log in speech - many of the bread recipes and comments on this site mention levains, sour dough raisers, etc. etc. etc.  What about a good loaf of l00 whole grain bread, some with added vital gluten due to less gluten in whole grains, other have different reasons.  I won't go into my recipes and problems, but this site seems to be over laden with those who speak in a tongue I can't interpret.  Percentages, levains, starters, etc.  Is there anywhere on here to just get a loaf of l00% whole grains, flour or mixed, without all the fancy talk?

Arjon's picture

Do you have a scale or do you need a recipe that uses volume measurements?

Would it be correct to assume you use commercial yeast?

Are you looking for a breadmaker recipe or one to bake in your oven? And if the latter, do you want a recipe that is intended to bake in a loaf pan, a dutch oven or free-standing?

And how crusty a loaf are you looking for? 

AdrianeS's picture

Valentine, I don't have a digital kitchen scale and have difficulty using baker's percentages as well. I have a great book that uses standard measurements and all whole grains. If you're interested  it's called "The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast" by Caleb Warnock and Kristen Richardson. It's very easy to understand and has a variety of different recipes that I found very helpful in getting started with bread baking. Congratulations to you for your good health!

Arjon, I am committed to using only wild yeast and not the commercially packaged stuff. I started with a bread oven (after making adjustments to allow for a longer rise) until I understood better how to knead and what the dough should look like. I now prefer to use my oven. I have not baked any breads outside of a loaf pan yet. I want to master my sandwich loaves before moving on to anything else. I have a 3 year-old and a very picky husband and am looking to make softer, moist breads that aren't too crusty. While I've been able to produce a few decent loaves, I haven't been able to come close to anything my husband will eat. I fear I'm going to have to try white flour and commercial yeast to be able to make what he's looking for!

Arjon's picture

You can do various things to make your loaves softer and less crusty, but I suspect that the closer to fluffy white bread they have to be, the more you'll have to do, possibly including the use of white flour and commercial yeast.

Before going there. a couple of things you can try to help soften the crumb are using some milk, oil or other fat; and using tang zhong. Autolysing may help too.

As for getting a softer crust, you can try brushing the top with milk, melted butter or egg wash before baking, and after too. Baking at a lower temp might help as well. 

I'm sure there are other things you can try. Unfortunately, I can't be more specific since I have no experience to speak of trying to make soft SD bread. 

novels's picture

Hooray! A decent sandwich loaf is one of my short term bread goals. Congrats!

dabrownman's picture

the made is made for sandwiches - no matter what the shape:-) Toast comes is a distant 2nd even though bread tastes better toasted with butter most always.  A good good, sandwich, pan bread, especially a white one is the perfect one to master first.  Making a Wonder Bread knock off is the hardest bread to make in my book and why not start with the hardest first? A whole grain one is pretty tough too.

Welcome and happy baking 

lepainSamidien's picture

A great TFL blogger, sadly before my time, offers up some great advice on making soft sandwich bread, even managing to do it while not upsetting the glycemic index gods. Good luck !