The Fresh Loaf

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

Round 3 of the same recipe with mostly hydration changes.


  • 346g HEB brand bread flour
  • 346g Home milled hard red wheat
  • 585g water
  • 48g sourdough starter (50% home milled hard red, 50% water)
  • 1 heaping TBS of salt

Original Recipe:

Problem 1: Just like the previous bake. Baked this loaf in 1 day. Had a major hiccup though, had to take the kids to swim team at right after I shaped my loaf. So, to play it safe, I popped the loaf in the refrigerator. I think? this had a negative impact on my crumb, because it seems like the faster warming outside of the loaf had bigger holes in crumb, than the inner parts of the crust which would have taken longer to warm.

Problem 2: My loaf was slightly too big for my romertopf, when I tried to close the lid, I couldn't avoid pinching some of the dough with the lid.

Compared to the 55% and 75% hydration loaves, this loaf rose a lot more. Also, the dough was finally supple and extensible. Now... I am debating in my head whether or not the 55% and 75% loaves were underproofed. Even this loaf might have been underproofed, but the emergency trip to the refrigerator is complicating the analysis.


  • 30 min autolyse
  • fold in the bowl every 30 minutes or so for about 6 hours
  • preshape, wait 20 minutes, shape and drop in to long banneton
  • 30 minutes on counter, then into fridge while we were at swim team for 2 hours.
  • Out of fridge and back on counter for 2 hours
  • Preheated oven with romertopf to 550df
  • dropped dough into romertopf with aid of parchment paper
  • reduced oven to 450df stuck in oven and topped, cooked for 45 min
  • Took top off and cooked for another 10 min.
  • Cooled on wire rack for 8 hours before slicing.

isaacis's picture

Looking for Oval Proofing Baskets

July 8, 2020 - 6:55am -- isaacis

Does anyone have any leads on where to buy oval-shaped proofing baskets/banneton/brotform online that will ship in a reasonable amount of time? Although Amazon and a number of other retailers list these baskets on their websites, all of them have shipping times of 4-6 weeks, while round baskets are more readily available.

Sourdough_Hobby's picture

Hi All, the local coffee shop has requested that I take over production of their rye. They currently get it frozen so decided to keep a record of my experimenting here. 

Initially though I would do a 100% rye with seeds, but that's closer to the health bread they currently use. 

Below is the first test result, happy with the loaf overall just going to tweak it slightly and play around with the starter  build,  I like the flavour I get from the three stage Detmolder build more.  I pushed the bulk on this one, left it for around 7 hours in a cool kitchen until the dough doubled. "pre-shaped" as much as I could, left it for another hour and shaped and proofed at RT for 30mins, fridge at 5C for 12H.  

Stats on the loaf was around 38% Rye and 77% hydration, with 20% Rye starter @ 70% ish hydration. Hand mixed, shallow score and baked seam side up, I wanted the natural tear along the seam, don't think I needed to score would have open up fine without the help. 

trancer's picture

Diagnosis please - Wonky Ovenspring II

July 8, 2020 - 2:24am -- trancer

Hi Again,

It's the next day and a new loaf.

The details for this one was almost the same as yesterday except that i changed the white flour to some unbleached white flour (previously it was bleached; i ran out of that stuff).  It's still at 13% protein though.

  • White Flour (13%) 235g
  • Wholemeal Spelt: 55g
  • Fine Semolina:  35g
  • H2O:  253g
  • Salt: 7.5g
  • Levain:  65g ratio of 9:1 White to Rye

Method (note aside from Autolyse the timings I provide are based on when fermentation started, so Inoculation is T:0

taterbaker's picture

Giant Hole Under Sourdough Crust

July 7, 2020 - 12:59pm -- taterbaker

Hihi! Just started baking sourdough recently and I was trying the oval/batard shape but got this huge hole at right under the crust. The rest of the crumb is what I was going for - not too dense and not too open, so I'm curious what could be the cause of the huge hole. Is it likely a giant air bubble from shaping my dough?


  • 70% hydration
  • 20% whole wheat flour; 80% high gluten flour
  • 20% levain
  • 2% salt

My process:

texasbakerdad's picture

My last bake went so well that I thought I would do it again and try to tweak 2 things about the bake. Here is the link to my blog entry for the last bake:

My 3 complaints about that bake:

  1. The dough was too dry, I wanted a supple and extensible dough.
  2. The crumb wasn't the super open. It was a great crumb, but not that super open tartine crumb and I want to try and get there.
  3. The top might have gotten a bit too dark. Honestly though, it looked and smelt a bit 'singed' when it came out of the oven, but after letting it rest overnight, I think it was perfect.

#1 and #2 are related. I need to raise the hydration, the dough was just too stiff. So, I bumped my hydration to 75%. The bread came out almost exactly the same as the 55% hydration. It was a great loaf, but the dough still felt a bit dry. The crumb was great too, just not open tartine style crumb.

The only major difference in this loaf compared to the previous other than the bump in hydration, was that I did the loaf in 1 day, instead of an overnight bulk ferment. Also, I used even less starter.


  • 338g Home milled hard red wheat
  • 338g HEB brand bread flour
  • 80g 50:50 sourdough starter
  • 1 TBS Salt


  • 30 minute autolyse (recipe minus salt and starter)
  • folded the dough every 30 minutes until the dough had some bulk to it (about 8 hours)
  • preshaped, then waited 30 minutes, and shaped and dropped into long banneton
  • preheat oven to 550dF with long romertopf in oven
  • let rise for about 2 hours
  • transferred into hot romertopf bottom from banneton using parchment paper and cut off the excess parchment. Scored with razor blade. Covered with top of romertopf and stuck in oven.
  • Reduced oven to 450dF, baked for 45 min with top on. Then, 15 min with top off.
  • Let cool on wire rack overnight.
  • The whole bake minus the cooling started at 9am and finished at 11pm.  

Problems with this bake:

  • Still seemed a bit dark coming out of the oven, but then was perfect after it cooled overnight.
  • Crumb wasn't as open as I am striving for.
  • I think, maybe, I could have let the dough rise for another 30 min to an hour... I am thinking I will keep tweaking the recipe until I get the hydration right, and then, I will bake the same loaf over and over again, trying to get the proofing just right.

As I type this, I am working on a 3rd loaf, this time with 85% hydration. The dough, this time, finally feels wet enough. I think it will turn out great.

Rajan Shankara's picture

San Jose Bakers

July 7, 2020 - 11:01am -- Rajan Shankara

Hey everyone, I used to be Yogi on here—the monk baker. 

I'm now in San Jose and having levain issues. I'm continuing to iron those out, but wondering if any local to San Jose can help out and share some active starter? I'm ready to bake and getting impatient with my lazy levain. 


Edit: My 3 levain trial actually worked out fairly well, and I settled on the Musashi–what I'm calling my winning and vibrant AP starter. 



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