The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Difficulties with Forkish

eddiej's picture

Difficulties with Forkish

I have made several loaves in the past two months by following the instructions (timing and recipes) in Ken Forkish’s excellent book FWYS.  I have used yeast and hybrid doughs – not yet tried only levain.  I have had a few problems that I hope someone may be able to help me overcome.

I have varied feeding the levain to ensure a homogeneous blend: I add the 200g of water first, dilute the 50g of yesterday’s levain, then I add the 250g of pre-mixed flour and mix using an implement.  I put the fed levain into a cupboard at a temperature of about 25C (summer in Australia).  It doubles in volume in 24 hours.  I’ve also used about 10g of salt, rather than ~20g for the dough.  From my reading, these changes should not make much difference.

  • ·         The height of the loaf is always less than half its diameter
  • ·         My levain does not float when I want to use it at the specified time, so I wait until it does – which upsets the schedule but still I do not get enough rise
  • ·         The loaves look good but the crumb seems too moist.

Suggestions to get it right would be appreciated, thanks.


dabrownman's picture

environment then the times that Forkish uses are way off and maybe off of even if yo do:-)  Depends on the flour you use,  Cutting the sat in half ill definitely speed things up quite a but since it is the salt that moderates the fermentation rate.  Watch the dough and not the clock.  If the crumb seem wet then make sure to bake it 208 F on the onside and then no worries.  Everyone has problems with Forkish recipes especially if they try to do his insanely wasteful levin builds.

Spreading rather than rising is due to too much hydration for eh flour used or over fermenting and over proofing or both.  Since the times he uses are way too long it is usually both.over fermenting and over proofing.

Happy baking