The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First bake of 2018 revisited

leslieruf's picture

First bake of 2018 revisited

I have attempted to repeat my first bake for 2018 and do it better.  

Starter refresh Friday morning

mixed 10 g starter 20 g water 30 g flour and left on bench. Room temp was 23°c

8 pm took 7 g from this added 28 g water & 28 g flour mixed and left on bench overnight.

Saturday 9:30 am mixed up levain for

bake #1 1:2:3 with 20% freshly milled rye 10% freshly milled spelt

27 g starter 118 g water and 118 g flour. leave to mature 

 bake #2 1:2:3 with 20% new season yeast water (raspberry)

levain: 9 g starter 41 g water 41 g flour mixed and left to mature

Poolish: 65 g yeast water 65 g flour  mixed and left to mature. this was a pretty pink!

Final doughs

Bake #1 1:2:3 with yeast water

2 pm autolyse - 208 g flour and 116 g flour. This was a low hydration dough

2:50 pm add yeast water poolish and levain. Dimple in and incorporate into dough with lots of folds.leave 20 minutes.

3:20 pm 50 turns - very challenging as not very extensible

4 pm 50 turns and still a challenge

4:30 pm 50 turns incorporating 6.3 g salt

5:30 preshape leave to rest.

5:50 pm final shape into batard, retard overnight in banneton

Bake #2  Final dough 1:2:3 with spelt and rye

5:45 pm mix flours (518 g bread flour, 91 g spelt, 182 g rye), add 527 g water and autolyse. Went out for dinner so this was a little longer than planned

7:30 pm add levain and 18 g salt. I incorporated this with lots of stretch and folds. rested 30 minutes and did 30 s&f, repeated another 2 times.  rested 15 minutes, divided dough into 2 and preshaped (now 9:30 pm) rested another 30 minutes.

10 pm final shaping into 2 batards, into bannetons and into fridge for overnight retard.

Sunday morning

Oven set to preheat to 250°c by 7 am.  

Bake #2 is first up as I was trying to stick to dabrownmans suggested schedule. The 1:2:3 spelt and rye loaves were unmoulded, slashed and baked in DO s 15minutes lid on 15 minutes lid off with temperature dropped to 230 after 10 minutes. Happier this time as better oven spring

Bake #1 - oven and one DO reheated, yeast water loaf unmoulded, slashed and baked 15 minutes lid on 15 minutes lid off. lovely surprise when i took lid off half way through bake. Love the blisters, never had such big obvious blisters before.  Crust is thin and crisp!   Interesting colour to this loaf, it is a white loaf but dough was pink. after baking it is a light brown with a very slight tinge of pink, nice flavour.  The yeast water is only about 10 days old so was really just checking what impact it had on a simple white loaf.  


I found the stretch and folds for the YW loaf quite difficult and worried about getting a dense crumb.  Still not confident with less than 50% increase during bulk ferment but it seems ok.  I did less stretch and folds with spelt and rye because of this.  I am a a bit undecided on my approach - gentle gentle as per Trevor or lots of stretch and folds which ate difficult because dough is pretty firm.  would it be better to increase hydration a little?

Still lots to think about.  try different flours, add gluten flour to make flour stronger? 10 stretch and folds vs 100? 

2018 offers many challenges



trailrunner's picture

Lovely loaves and wonderful holes! Did you have your DO preheating as well in the 7 am oven? I use my apple yeast water pretty often in my bakes too. It is about 5 yrs old or more. Have you ever saved one and kept it going or do you just start new with different fruits? Look forward to more of your bakes and great reports. c

leslieruf's picture

I might try the cold DO soon even though I will probably stick with the hot version, need to try it.

How do you store and maintain your yeast water. I threw mine out mid winter and so this is a fresh one.  I use raspberries because I have plenty in the garden and because it always smells and looks great...  must admit to being intrigued by the colour this time, must be first time I used it with only white flour.

thanks trailrunner happy baking too


trailrunner's picture

i just remove apples every 10 days or 2 weeks and add new. I use a glass quart jar. I shake before using as I have a layer of mother yeast in the bottom. I make a poolish also. It rises really fast with YW! 

I wanted to ask do you do a bulk ferment till dough doubles? I noticed you seemed to just do folds then preshape , shape and retard. Can you share more info?

i am not sure I will cont with cold pots for all bakes. High hydration seems to need the very high heat. 

leslieruf's picture

for me at the moment. Up until now I always waited until dough had doubled, was full of bubbles. normally s&f close together at the start then I would leave dough to double before preshaping.  then short rest and final shaping followed by overnight retard. bake from fridge.  After reading Trevor’s book I am feeling my way again and am no longer so confident and Mariana s info added yet another layer.  Much to figure out yet but will get there. i plan to reread Trevors book and see how I go with building dough strength, looking at different flours, adding gluten etc etc - The list keeps growing....

thanks for info on yeast water, do you store in the fridge or does it stay on the counter?



PalwithnoovenP's picture

That spring and hole structure looks wonderful.

alfanso's picture

And a wonderful crumb to boot!


leslieruf's picture

it was better than the previous bake :) so happy with that


dabrownman's picture

one fig.  They have been there forever so it is time to save them from their slow death and make a loaf with them!  .The crumb on the YW loaf is just perfect! and the SD one is way better too.  You are getting there and will be a pro before you know it.  

I don't know where the pink came from but it is there for sure?

Happy baking!

leslieruf's picture

so the poolish was strongly pink and the final dough still pink.  i was surprised that the hint of pink came through the bake, but it tastes great.  will try to keep the YW going this year!

thanks dabrownman