The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

a history of weekly boules

copynumbervariant's picture

a history of weekly boules

I've been making a loaf a week of sourdough at home, in spite of work in two senses: What I've learned at home gives the lie to how things are done at work (instant yeast mixed with sourdough starter for flavor, overproofed as fast as possible), and I can't believe I make bread for a living and go home to make more bread.

I've learned a lot from this forum! The more specific my questions typed into google became, the more somewhere on here was the top hit.

Maybe showing all the mistakes I've made could be helpful for someone, or maybe I'm just really thrilled by the prospect of someone going through my baggage.

So that's what scoring is for.

No-knead turned out tasty but flat. This was probably because I had a hard time shaping 85% hydration dough. 

A make shift dutch oven of two skillets (one shallow, one deep) wasn't deep enough for the oven spring.

The top stuck to the floured cloth (I used a cloth in a bowl).

This was my first time baking bread on a gas grill (the weather was too hot to turn on the oven). I left the grill burners directly under the dutch oven on, and it burnt.

Leaving on the burners on the sides and turning off the middle burners of the grill once the dutch oven has been preheated makes it into an oven of sorts.

The bottom wasn't floured enough, stuck to the cast iron, and wrinkled when I tried to move it around.

The top stuck to the cloth badly. I had to lop off a chunk of the dough to get the cloth off. Also I used a fair amount of flour for the final shape, and there are dry, dense layers in the crumb.

Strangely, the loaf I'm happiest with I kneaded in a food processor. Up until this point I had been using a stand mixer at work. I'm guessing the stand mixer wasn't doing that great of a job kneading because it's too big for the amount of dough. This was 70% hydration, 25% whole wheat.

Danni3ll3's picture

It reminds me of my journey with learning how to bake bread. I have done most of what you show above at one time or another. Your post really put a smile on my face. 

I have one tip for you. Parchment paper is your friend. Use it to line the bottom of your pots just before placing your loaf in your pot. No more stuck loaves!

Vishnut's picture

This is an awesome documentation of a rising bread star! I'm just starting bread on my own and I love to see that there is light at the end of this flour filled tunnel! Going along with Danni, parchment paper is a godsend and should be used in EVERY possible scenario! I've used countless sheets just for just lining my peel.

Happy Baking!