The Fresh Loaf

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

Regarding diagnostics

February 14, 2019 - 9:37am -- SoulDreamer

Hi all, this is my first post after my introduction. Apologies in advance if this has been asked elsewhere, I’ve looked but not found. 

This question is in fact the reason I decided to join this forum. 

Ive read topics from people requesting that their loaves are diagnosed, and I have seen some amazing replies. To me it is baffling that so much detail can be analyzed simply by looking at the crumb. 


I wish to be able to carry out such diagnostics on my own, so I therefore ask for some guidance. 

What does one look for to see whether, for example,:

SoulDreamer's picture

About time I stepped in...

February 14, 2019 - 8:59am -- SoulDreamer

...after lurking for a few months.

Hi All, 

I’m a Swede in his early forties, now living in Jakarta, Indonesia.  I’ve always been obsesssd with bread. The ‘eating it’ part at least. Since about a year I’ve been getting more and more into the making of it.

I’m fairly at home home in the kitchen. Even worked a few years as a chef in the UK in my youth. 

Valdus's picture

"You succeed you learn something, you fail you learn something."

I followed Dabrownman's advice to the letter. 

  • I mixed 60g starter, 120 ml water, 180g AP/Bread Flour, let it autolyse for 30
  • I added salt, mixed and slapped and folded 150 times. 
    • I would have enjoyed if there would have been more dough.
    • I was surprised at how much the dough stuck to my fingers. 
  • Stretch and folded exactly four times at 30 minute intervals. 
  • Let it rest for 30, preshaped this tiny bun. 
    • So small I could put it in a 2 cup pyrex glass. 
      • Went up to only cup. 
  • Waited for it to rise 90 minutes. 
    • Only went up to 1.5 cups (50% proof?)
  • My schedule demanded I put it in the fridge for a retard. 
  • This is where I am the next day. I think I will start the oven and bake it. 
    • I would dare to say it has gone down!

A very small batch

OMB's picture

Difficulty creating consistent ears

February 14, 2019 - 2:20am -- OMB

This is a white sourdough, 70% hydration with Shipton Mill white flour. 

All these loaves went in my Rofco B40 at the same time (270c dropped to 200c for 35mins), with steam. 


As you can see, only one of the loaves seems to have developed half decent ears, whereas the rest have either barely done it or failed miserably. One of them is flat. 


Where am I going wrong?? 


Bart Tichelman's picture

Chocolate and Cherry Sourdough from Moderniste Cuisine

February 13, 2019 - 6:27pm -- Bart Tichelman

I have been eyeing this recipe for a long time. I finally screwed up the courage to bake it this weekend...and wow, what a spectacular result.  I followed the original recipe with one exception; I omitted the commercial yeast, and added 90 minutes to the bulk fermentation time.

FZBED's picture

Italian bread recipe on this site

February 13, 2019 - 3:01pm -- FZBED

love this recipe but.. seems like it comes out with a lower profile, maybe 2 inches tall at center.  When it says ‘shape into final shape’ I did not reshape, just moved loaves to tray since they had a great shape. Do I need to resape again to get them to rise again?  Also, at which rise do you use a lame to score? I also only have a sheet pan to cook on, any suggestions to get a taller loaf would be appreciated. thanks for sharing this recipe, it is making me a better bread baker and confident to try more bread recipes.  

Skibum's picture

Well friends, my second Forkish effort in as many weeks from "Flour, Water, Salt and Yeast." This is a robust bread. Baking in the Dutch oven really gives a snap to the crust, while the crumb is open soft and shred able. Boy did the loaf ever snap, crackle and pop when I removed from the hot DO to the cooling rack!

As I don't really like the taste of whole wheat, I reduced the WW in the starter by half and made up the difference with white rye flour. The result is much more to my taste. With about 3 Tbs of WW flour in this loaf, my 2 kilos of Organic whole wheat flour will last some time. It lives in the fridge.

Well this is another recipe that will go into my baking rotation. I have firmly baked myself out of my rut with this one!

Happy baking! Ski


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