The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Continuing my breaducation

Teukros's picture

Continuing my breaducation

Latest loaf - 50% whole wheat, 77% hydration, only 8.3% fermented flour - had a 29 hour  bulk ferment, 24 hours of that was in the refrigerator. Flavor is best yet.

075 g 67% hydration AP starter (45 g fermented AP flour + 30 g spring water) 

270 g Whole Foods whole wheat flour

225 g KA AP flour

386 g Poland Spring spring water (416 g water total)

011 g Whole Foods non-iodized Sea Salt Fine Crystals

967 g total



2330  Final feeding of Darcy Jr. 67% hydration AP starter, approximately 5/4/6 (s/w/f).


0935  75 g 67% hydration AP starter whisked into 386 g water.

0945  270 g WW flour and 225 g AP flour stirred (using right index finger) into combined water and starter, in stages: first half of the dry flour, then a quarter, than an eighth, finally the remaining eighth. Initial dough temperature after mixing: 78.9 F.

1000-1030 Autolyze.

1020  11 g non-iodized salt scattered across top of dough to hydrate.

1030  Stretch and fold in the bowl (double set to incorporate salt). Like porridge at first, the dough firms up nicely 3/4 of the way through the first set. Brief rest in between sets.

1045  Into the refrigerator.


1045  Removed from refrigerator to room-temperature (about 77 F.) counter.

1345  Stretch and fold in the bowl. Rather loose and pliable at first, it firmed up after only one (single) stretch and fold.

1415  Pre-shaping. Envelope folds x1 set. I used too much flour!

1415-1430 Bench rest. Loosely covered with a towel.

1430  Final shaping. Envelope folds x1 set.

1435  Into the large banneton to proof and loosely covered with a towel.

1655  Begin preheating of oven, stone and inverted stainless steel mixing bowl to 505 F.

1818  Loaf slashed and placed on preheated stone under preheated stainless steel mixing bowl.

1836  Stainless steel mixing bowl removed. Oven temperature lowered to 465 F.

1844  Rotated 180 degrees.

1854  Loaf removed and placed into bamboo steamer basket to cool.


I've come a long way in the past eight months. Looking at pictures I posted back then, it's embarrassing. Almost every week since then, I've been thinking of something new to try. Now I have a typical loaf I feel quite good about.

But just today I was wondering if I've plateaued. What am I going to do differently next week? And then I came to The Fresh Loaf, and I felt inspired all over again. :-)

DanAyo's picture

Your bread looks great an I bet it taste good also.

When it comes to bread, It seems there is always higher ground to be reached. Ain’t it great?


Filomatic's picture

Amazing result.  That bread is gorgeous.  Thanks for sharing your method.

dabrownman's picture

Breaducation was the handle of a fine baker here in 2012 or so but have not them post for a while.  This bread could be one of theirs!

Happy baking 

Teukros's picture

Well it sure wasn't me. Back in 2012 I was still mucking about with kneading low hydration doughs. And I can't knead. I just can't. That was around the time that I gave up on bread-making for a while (I kept my starter going, though). Just last October I was inspired to try again with a 70% hydration loaf recipe I tried to follow exactly.Twice. And I had two sticky overproofed disasters and loaves that were more like thick biscuits (tasty though). Then (with TFL being one of my main sources) I learned about the stretch and fold technique for gluten alignment, and later about envelope folds for shaping. And I have never looked back (but if we are attempting a low hydration recipe e.g. sourdough hot cross buns, I have to call my wife into the kitchen to do the kneading).