The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
Lolakey's picture

Throwing away unsuccessful bread?

August 18, 2019 - 4:40am -- Lolakey

I am a novice bread baker, and while I am generally very pleased with my bakes, I do mess up sometimes and end up with rather unsuccessful bread. I always try to figure out where I went wrong, and always end up learning from the experience and feel like I improve each time. I guess that's how it goes!

Dina K.'s picture

rye sourdough fails to rise after a few days in the fridge

August 17, 2019 - 2:36pm -- Dina K.


A newcomer to  this forum, but I've looked around for a bit to see if there is a solution to my problem and have  not found a "fix".

I've been making a rye sourdough bread reasonably successfully for a month. I have some homemade 100% rye flour sourdough starter. My steps have been as follows:

Italianoloafer's picture

New Thick Loaf Pan: Reduce Temperature or Cooking Time?

August 17, 2019 - 11:45am -- Italianoloafer

Hello everyone!

As an avid baker, I'm excited to be on this site and forum!

I just purchased a thick USA 1/2lb loaf pan and made my favorite banana bread recipe.  As I did with my older pan, I baked at 350 and for 55 minutes.  It always came out perfect.

But now the sides and bottom are a little overdone, but the top is perfect.

Should I reduce the oven temperature and bake it at 55 minutes, or reduce the cooking time (say 5 minutes?).

I appreciate comments and thoughts.



jcfrankly's picture

Hello and Wooden Dough Buckets

August 17, 2019 - 11:42am -- jcfrankly

My wife accumulated 4 White Mountain Bread Dough Buckets.

My Mother-in-Law used to make a delicious light German Rye bread with her dough bucket, which is one of the buckets/makers my wife inherited.

My wife died and I am trying to locate a set of instructions for the White Mountain Dough Maker - Model 910.

The Young lady with whom I spoke at White Mountain had never heard of the Dough Bucket/Maker and said they had no archives or a copy of the owner's manual.

isand66's picture

This is a 45% rye bread made with fresh milled rye sifted so it's close to a medium grind rye flour.  The ricotta cheese resulted in a nice moist crumb and the onions just go perfect with rye of course.  I added a little balsamic vinegar which added a little sweetness.

The flavor was perfect in this one with a nice sour tang perfect for a pastrami or corned beef sandwich.


Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.


This bread came out fantastic.  The crumb was nice and moist and open just enough to make a perfect pastrami sandwich with some melted cheese and Thousand Island dressing.

Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.   You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours  and the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, grits, potatoes, olive oil, and salt and mix on low for 4 minutes.  You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but very manageable.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 540 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

Lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.

Leafsfan9's picture

Sourdough Starter Issues

August 16, 2019 - 6:17pm -- Leafsfan9

Hi all

I’m relatively new to baking but seems like there’s lots of knowledgeable folks on here so I thought I’d ask some advice.

I’ve been nurturing a starter for about 4 weeks now. The starter shows a good amount of activity (bubbles throughout, smells yeasty) but not a ton of rise throughout the day. I’ve attached a photo to show what I mean. This was fed 1:1:1 this morning and this photo is from about 10 hrs later so you can see it’s only risen about 25 percent or so. 



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