The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First Foray into Forkish

Gersky's picture

First Foray into Forkish

I have now made seven loaves of bread! The learning curve is steep but I'm excited to keep improving. 

Over the last few days I made an "experimental" bread (which was really just an adjusted version of the suggested TFL first loaf) and my first recipe out of Ken Forkish's FWSY, the Saturday White.

First came my "experimental" white:

As with the other bread I attempted to autolyse, I found within my limited timeframe there was not much growth/increase in volume during either BF or proofing process. I found it was a little harder to shape and maneuver in and out of the bowl due to increased hydration %. Scoring was unsuccessful, probably not deep enough. Also, because I stretched and folded during the BF process and baked the bread "seam" side down, there were natural rips/seams on the bottom of the bread versus where I tried to create the weak spots on top. Pros: good oven spring I think, better color on the crust by wetting it before baking.

I found the bottom of the crumb to be a little doughy, as seen above and below. Could have used a little more time in the oven I think.


Next was my longest bread bake yet, the Saturday White!

The OG recipe calls for placing the divided dough into bannetons which I do not have, so instead I placed them in oiled bowls and re-shaped them before putting in the oven. Put one loaf in the DO and one on a cookie tray, each "seam" side up. I had some difficulty with the poke test due to the moisture content of the dough, it stuck to my finger and I was unable to tell if it was properly proofed. 

One on the left was cooked on the tray, the one on the right was cooked in a dutch oven. What a difference! Was fun to run a little side by side experiment and see the difference in color.

My first baby ear!!!

The bottom of the loaf that I cooked on the cookie sheet burned. The bottom of the loaf I cooked in the dutch oven did not visibly burn, but was noticeably difficult to cut and bite through. Again, I encountered a bit of the bread that was still fairly "doughy"? Not sure if I just need to cook longer or what my issue may be there.

Goal for next time:

  • Get a poolish going and finally do a multi-day bread!


WatertownNewbie's picture

"I had some difficulty with the poke test due to the moisture content of the dough, it stuck to my finger and I was unable to tell if it was properly proofed."

Moisten a finger tip, touch some flour (thereby putting a thin coating of flour on your moistened finger tip), and then poke the dough.  Your finger tip will not stick to the dough.

As for the bottom of your loaves, where did you position the cookie sheet and Dutch oven relative to the bottom of the oven?  Too near the bottom of the oven can sometimes result in burning the bottom, whereas being too far up can sometimes produce bottoms that are not heated as much as the rest of the dough.

Gersky's picture

Thanks for the tip on the poke test, I'll do that next time.

The loaves were positioned on the middle rack in my oven. I think next time I may move them up one rung and see what happens? Maybe the the bottom of my oven is hotter than the top, who knows haha.