The Fresh Loaf

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

My second loaf on TFL. This time, with an increased bulk ferment, slightly decreased inoculation, and, taking the advice of Alison Kay, increased salt.

Final Ingredients
   1.6 oz    Starter: 100%H Sourdough, Fed separately
   8.0 oz    Flour: Hard Red Wheat K.A.F.
   6.8 oz    Water: Cold, Filtered
   1-2 tsp  Salt: Fresh Cracked Sea Salt

Thurs.    ~21:00   Levain: Take Starter (Abuelito) out of the fridge
Friday      ~7:00     Feed Starter 0.2 oz Water and Flour each
Friday    ~19:30     Feed Starter 0.3 oz Water and Flour each.
                           Autolyse: Mix 8.0 oz Flour and 6.8 oz Water in covered bowl
Sat.         ~8:00   Mix: Put 1.8 oz Starter, then salt, in portions, on dough, folding in between. Fold to incorporate
                           Bulk Ferment: Cover, leaving a little bit of room to breath.
                              Feed Starter with 0.3 oz each and put in fridge for next week
Sat.       ~20:00    Degas, stretch and fold
Sunday     6:45      Stretch and fold dough 4 times, once each direction, in bowl
                 6:55   Preshape: Move dough to counter, fold 4 times and place seam side down
                 7:05   Shape: Gently tighten, tucking dough underneath
                 7:10       Place same side up in proofing basket. I line a loaf pan with damp paper towels. Cover
                 9:25       Preheat oven, with whole Dutch Oven inside, to 450F. Uncover Loaf
                 9:40   Transfer bread, seam side down into D.O.. Score, put ice cube in with it, cover, place in oven.
                               +30 minutes: Uncover. Reduce heat to 425 F.
                               +15 minutes: Remove from oven

Inoculation: ~9.6% final dough weight.        Salt: This time bumped up to 0.2 oz, 0.23 b%. very high
Ferment: 23 hours at room temp. 68 F.       Proof: 2.5 hours at room temp. Baked for 45 minutes

 -----After Slicing

This came out much nicer than the last. Sour aroma was very present from uncovering the dough to baking to baked loaf.
That came through as flavor too, and will likely strengthen. The crust was hard and crisp, crumb fairly open, but a bit gummy.
May need more proofing and shaping.
To all of you unsure how long dough can be left at room temp., 2 consecutive 12 hour cycles and 3 hours being worked did not hurt the bread.

David R's picture

Embarrassing photos

February 17, 2019 - 7:30am -- David R

The most interesting (and most valuable/helpful) bread-making photos might be the ones least often posted.

The ones taken of the inedible loaf on its way to the compost bin, the starter that grew tentacles (or legs! 😮), the "lightly toasted" seeds that ended up as extra charcoal for the grill (and a little extra exercise for the person who had to turn off the smoke detector 🙂). All, of course, with some kind of explanation of how they got that way.

Danni3ll3's picture

Inspired by the Bourke Street Bakery’s Spiced Fruit recipe posted on this page: I have baked this before but course, I have to change things up a bit by subbing out some of the raisins for cranberries and soaking the dried fruit in tea. I am also using a mixer now rather than slap and folds. 


Makes 3 loaves


770 g unbleached flour

110 g high extraction Durum flour (Mill 125 g Durum berries and sift. Save the bran for the levain.)

50 g freshly ground flax

620 g filtered water

180 golden raisins (sultanas)

180 dried cranberries

40 g plain yogurt

1 heaping tbsp David’s Tea Forever Nuts Herbal Tea + boiling water

50 g brewed tea 

2 tsp ground cinnamon

3.5 tsp of mixed spices (4 tsp ground cinnamon, .5 tsp each of ground ginger and ground cloves, 1 tsp each of ground nutmeg and ground coriander - Note this makes more than you need.)

22 g salt 

465 g of 4 stage levain (100% hydration)(Procedure in recipe)

Extra flour to feed the levain.


Two nights before:

  1. Take 16 g of your refrigerated starter and feed it 16 g  each of left over bran and filtered water. Let rise overnight.

The morning before:

  1. Feed the levain 32 g of bran/extra flour and 32 g of filtered water. I had some locally milled flour hanging around that needed to be used up so I utilized that. 

The night before:

  1. Mix the unbleached flour, the high extraction flour, and the ground flax well in a tub, cover and reserve.
  2. Make a strong cup of tea using the herbal tea and some water.
  3. Measure out the cranberries and the golden raisins and place in a bowl. To the bowl, add the yogurt, 50 g of tea, and mix well. On top of this mix, add the cinnamon, and the mixed spice. Do not mix in! Cover and place in the fridge till the next morning.
  4. Before going to bed, feed the levain 64 g of water and 64 g of unbleached flour.

Dough day:

  1. Feed the levain 128 g each of flour and water. Let rise in a warm spot till double. This should take about 4 hours.
  2. Take the cranberry/raisin mixture out of the fridge to bring to room temp. 
  3. Two hours before the levain is ready, mix the flours and the water in a stand mixer to a shaggy dough with no dry spots. Autolyse for 2 hours.
  4. Once the Levain is ready, add the levain and the salt to the mixing bowl. Mix on speed 1 for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the fruit mixture and mix on speed 2 for 5 minutes. Let rest for a half hour in a warm spot. 
  6. On 30 minute intervals, do 4 sets of stretches and folds in the tub.
  7. Let rest an hour and a half, and then retard the bulk for two and a half hours. The dough rose about 25%. 
  8. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~830 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest one hour on the counter. 
  9. Do a final shape by flouring the rounds and flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and fold over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make a nice tight boule.
  10. Sprinkle rice flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons, cover, let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge for 9-10 hours. 

Baking Day

  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 30 minutes, remove the lids, drop the temperature to 425F, and bake for another 17 minutes. Internal temperature should be 205F or more.


I am pleased with the oven spring considering the amount of fruit in these. Hopefully the crumb isn’t too closed. 

jenato's picture

So my baguette are looking nice and tasty. Crisp, blown and nicely colored top and with a nice brown bottom... however, the side of the baguettes is slighlty undercooked, the crust is really soft and does not get brown.

I leave a good 5cm between each 250gr baguettes.

Am I placing them too close to each other?

Heikjo's picture

Multiple starters and rubber/plastic tools

February 16, 2019 - 2:33pm -- Heikjo

I sometimes got multiple starters around the kitchen. The various jars I've gathered and use are plastic or glass and I usually favor my small rubber spatulas, which are fantastic for working with the starters in the jars. 

I've read a few places about people recommending metal tools, but never found solid evidence for why. I usually clean the equipment (jars and tools) in hot tap water with dishwasher soap.

Yuve's picture

High hydration loaf... ears please?

February 16, 2019 - 12:21pm -- Yuve

I recently started moving towards high hydration doughs (around 80% to 85%), 

the texture of the crumb is super airy and tender and i love everything about those high hydration SDs, 

but for some reason I won't get the ears and oven spring compare to dough with 70 to 75% hydration. 

i tried to bake with both cold and room tempurature doughs but it didnt make much difference, 

Maybe i was supposed to score it differently to achieve the ear? 

Wild Ewok's picture

Bosch help- dough always wraps around center pole, never forms ball. Gluten development rough

February 16, 2019 - 12:10pm -- Wild Ewok

Hi all,

I've always had problems with my bosch kneading. Can you help me out? The only time I ever got the perfect dough ball was when I borrowed a bottom drive bowl, but surely that can't be the only way to get a decent loaf to form?

I'm just using AP flour with a pretty high protein content (11%). I attempted to make 4 loaves of bread with the following recipe:

chocobo_ff's picture

Bread measures 95°C in centre but seems underbaked?

February 16, 2019 - 11:43am -- chocobo_ff


Having some issues with the centre of my sourdough being underbaked. I use the 1-2-3 ingredient method so dough is just over 70% hydration, stretched and folded over 4 hours, then goes in the fridge over night. It gets another ~3 hours at room temp in the morning before baking on a pizza stone, preheated for ~45 mins at 250°C. After 35 mins the centre measures about 95°C, I then waited for about an hour before slicing into it. Two possible problems/solutions I can see:


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