The Fresh Loaf

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kendalm's picture

The picture perfect loaf. After a couple of disappointments ie, full on overproof last week and slightly entering the overproof zone yesterday, I figure it's time to cpncentrate again. This time shavint 5 minutes off the final and remembering my own tips on scoring. Its so easy to forget. Pretty nice loaves today !

kendalm's picture

Posting just for the record. Went ever so slightly into the over proof zone again. Not quite the pop I like but still pretty decent stuff. This formula calls for 0.8% fresh yeast which for 600g flour mean 4-5g of yeast. This is a real pain to measure and thinking back of both the noticable high rise in the morning and thinking about measuring I may have added 7-8g which is easy to do if your scale doesnt do 10ths of a gram. I often notice that I can weigh the same small amount twice and have two readings differing by up to 2g. I usually look for about 1.5 times the rise after cold retard and had almost double this morning. I shaved time from final but still have a few hints of collapse starting ... Hence the very selective photo. Another testament to process !

kendalm's picture

Objective today was to improve on some former efforts to achieve a more open crumb with croissants etc. Unfortunately as i began dough prep last night I was almost out of the flour I have been using and, have discovered works nicely for the lamination process (francine bio t55). This makes a really great dough that glutenizes beaitifully just not a great bread flour as its missing some af the additives (malts etc) - this is straight flour at about 9.4% protein. So only having about 250g left for a 500g batch I, added the other 250 as gold medal AP. Once time came to start the rolling process I was met with much more resistance than accustomed and ended up (as is fairly visible in the photos) with only two single folds. I am sure with more resting time resistence would diminish bit at the same time I had been curious to see how things migh develop with only 9 layers as opposed to 12 which is sort of standard (one book and one single fold). The results were indeed some very heavy layers but thats ok for this experiment. The objective was to work on crumb structure and after careful thought and observation of yeast activity I decided that in order to avoid overproofing, I would allow about twice the time on final that I would with a regular loaf - this based on observation of activity etc. It appears to me that this particular recipe (despite having 7-8 times the yeast) develops about half as fast as straight bread. I am also fairly confident that the crumb development is similar to that of bread whereby layers expand because gas trapped in the dough is creating bubbles that push the layers apart and, in some areas together. Despite popular opinion that suggests the butter is vaporizing and blowing the layers apart this makes no sense to me. This seems impossible as even if the butter vaporized the gas would immediately evacuate to the atmosphere by way of the dough edges. So it must be that croissants form an open crumb exactly as bread does - via co2 bubbles expanding. And, since I have long been able to get bread to pop, i decided to follow suit with laminates. About all I know is that if I develop decent gluten, perform a long cold retard, control keep yeast activity to a minimum for a long period and then blast the final shapes after a short proof, then usually an open crumb develops. It definitely seems the case here. Despite some dense middle sections these are showing signs of opening decently. Yes they are very heavy croissants with few layers but overall I am pleased to see improvement. The other thing to note is that anytime trying to master a product, it helps to use the same ingredients each time. So far I really like president unsalted butter - this seems a good plasticity. For dough I avoid milk and go with all h20, no eggs and instead extra butter. Other egg and milk-based doughs as too gummy for my liking. So as of now it looks like more flour needs to go on order but in case any other croissant enthusiasts are struggling with structure, I thought I would post this as an interesting experiment and hopefully it can help with understanding how this particular product works :)

pattyswildbread's picture

Patty’s Wild Bread - Classic Sourdough
This is my “tried and true” recipe - makes 2 loaves


490 g  – Water
244 g  – Starter at 100% - AP starter
17 g  – Sea Salt   
17 g – honey (optional)
60 g – Whole Wheat flour
411 g – All Purpose flour
310 g – Bread flour    (700 g Bread flour and 71 g of Whole Wheat or Rye if desired)


When the starter is bubbly --- I add the ingredients in this order:
Water (in the winter I add warm water – not hot!)
Then starter, give a stir
Then 60g of whole wheat flour and 211g All Purpose flour , stir well
Add sea salt (and optional honey or barley malt) and stir well
Now add (remaining) 200 g All Purpose flour and vigorously stir until all ingredients are blended well
Then add remaining 310g bread flour.
I mix the final flour in by hand (in the bowl) and stay at it about 4 or 5 minutes until it’s all mixed well
and is the right dough feel. Sometimes that takes a bit more flour.


Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and mark the time on the plastic with a sharpie.

After one hour stretch and fold the dough in the bowl. Then stretch and fold every
30 minutes for 2 more hours. Now you’re ready to divide the dough and put it in your bannetons.

I dump the dough on the counter, cut it in half and weigh it to get even amounts. I shape them
both into rough oblong or round boules (depends on the shape banneton I’m using) and let sit
a few minutes. While they are sitting there I get my bannetons dusted.

[If you want flour rings to show, dust with AP flour. If you don’t, dust with white rice flour and
brush off before baking.]

Shape each boule gently one more time and put seam side up in bannetons.

Bulk fermentation: - Put the bannetons in plastic bags and close with a clip. Let the dough
ferment in the fridge overnight or between 8 – 18 hours.


Heat oven to 450°.

[I let my gas oven heat for at least 30 minutes to get the stone very hot.]

I take the banneton out of the frig and turn it over to drop the bread onto a sheet of
parchment with my pizza peel underneath. I brush off excess flour and then score the dough.

I slide the parchment with bread onto the hot baking stone, spray around it with water
(trying not to get the flour wet.) I immediately place a roasting pan lid over the bread (this will
create steam.)

Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on then remove and bake for remaining 10 minutes
(I rotate the loaf after 5 minutes to bake evenly around) Place on baking rack to cool
for several hours. Wait until completely cool to slice.


Skibum's picture

Since I moved to my new home 31/2 months ago, I have eaten little bread. Now that the cold weather is setting in, I have had cravings for grilled cheese sandwiches. I actually bought a store loaf of sliced white bread and it made a pretty good grilled cheese. I figured I could do better.

I did a sweet levain version of Peter Reinhart's soft sandwich bread and rolls from Artisan Breads Every Day. I used his recipe, but used 150 grams sweet levain, adjusting the milk and flour to compensate. I also added 1/2 Tbs active dry yeast. It was nice to be working with an active dough once again. this is also the first loaf I have done in a loaf pan for some time. Very please with the results! Nice crust and crumb and great flavour! A nice slicing bread for the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich.


And here is the sandwich, made better by adding bacon!

Happy cooking, baking and eating folks! Ski

kendalm's picture

Three mini croissants made with some extra dough from the weekend that I had sitting frozen in the freezer. Some positive signs of open crumb ! Too bad the picture is a bit blurry. Originally I was getting ready to toss the dough as i got off to a false start over the weekend and mixed some ADY with chilled water finding only after mixing that the yeast had not dissolved (dough ball spotted with freckles of undissolved yeast). Instead I started another batch and let the first warm to RT and then hand kneaded until the freckles disappeared, split into halves and froze the tosser.

Well turned out to be a great mid-week quickie. So in the morning i defrosted and let the dough retard all day and then did a super quick lamination (as in 5 minutes all layers and folds), shape and proof in the evening. Results - best croissants so far but to be honest I decided to treat this stuff like bread. I know I am going against advice and should think of this as pastry but the more I think about it, this is just bread with layers and fat. As a result, yeast acts slower but in the end the goal is to get oven spring - I think I am onto something (fingers crossed)

Gill63's picture

....but at least the photo seems the right way up!

The clocks have gone back, the weather is definitely cooler, and I’m not sure if I should adjust my schedule. I usually start between 1 and 2pm with a short autolyse, develop dough with slap and fold and then do 2 or 3 lots of stretch and folds depending on how the dough feels. I’ve been shaping about 6pm before putting bannetons in the fridge at some point before bed and baking straight from there in the morning

Starter (50%) not used for 2.5 weeks due to baking before I went away for a few days, so that there was bead in the freezer when I came home (from my croissant course with Richard Bertinet).

So, 250g starter/200g strong white/300g 3 malts and sunflower brown bread flour/390g water (62.4%)

Soft sticky dough initially, but after a fairly long working felt slack but very nice. 3 sets of stretch and folds before shaping

Cool in the kitchen (61-66 F) and no real rise after 4 hours so one fridged and one left out over night. The one on the worktop may have been sl. over proofed and was more difficult to score. Dragged (blunt) blade off my lame handle. Fridged loaf still looked under proofed, so came out whilst first one was baking and the cloche reheating (75mins at room temp). Easy to score, new blade!

Better rise on 2nd loaf + ears (left hand loaf in photo), but crumb on first doesn’t really look over-proofed to me (crumb shot)

Good flavour - will certainly get more of the Shipton Mill 3 malt flour.

Would be keen to have feedback to help me decide on whether to still slow retard in the fridge during the winter, as not sure if the difference was more due to poor scoring rather than over proofing.  Or maybe the answer is just to turn the heating up a bit, so the kitchen is warmer and there is some rise in the dough before bed time!




isand66's picture


I finally had a chance to sprout some grains and mill them with my new Mockmill II.  I bought some Einkorn a while ago and was saving it to sprout.  I love the nutty flavor that the einkorn flour imparts and the sprouted and sifted flour is amazing.

I decided I needed to stock up on some rolls and wanted to add some creamy grits to the mix along with some fresh high extraction rye and whole wheat.  Just to take it over the top some Greek yogurt was added to give it an even softer crumb.

Someone on one of the Facebook groups I follow had suggested coating rolls with polenta so I tried using the grits the same way by coating with an egg wash and then sprinkling on the grits.  I also used some smoked black sesame seeds and toasted onions as toppings.

As you can see the color is perfect on these.


Download the BreadStorm File Here

These came out as good as I could have hoped for.  The crumb is nice and open and soft and the combination of flours and fat made a great tasting roll.

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.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

Grits Directions

In a medium sauce pan turned on medium high, mix the grits with the butter to coat and then add the water and stir until the water is almost evaporated and the grits start getting thick.  Take off heat and add the cheese and mix thoroughly  Let the grits cool down to at least room temperature or put in the refrigerator covered and use when ready.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours , Greek Yogurt and water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 1 hour.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and cooled grits and mix on low for 5 minutes.  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.  (If you have a proofer you can set it to 80 degrees and follow above steps but you should be finished in 1 hour to 1.5 hours).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and shape dough into rolls around 135 grams each.  Place the rolls on cookie sheets and cover with either a slightly misted tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with oil to prevent sticking.  Let the rolls rest and rise for around 1.5 to 2 hours until they pass the poke test.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 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, using an egg wash paint the rolls and apply your toppings as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 435 degrees.  Bake for 25-35 minutes until the rolls are nice and brown.  I used two sheet pans and rotated them half way through the bake.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before eating if you can resist :).



man_who_eats_bread's picture

This recipe was from The Rye Baker by Stanley Ginsberg.

I made this Monday, but haven't taken the time to post. Ultimately, it was pretty unexciting. But these are the dues I've got to pay if I'm going to get a great loaf out of this massive tub of Rye flour before it goes bad...

The rise sucked and the crumb is super dense. But it does smell nice and rye-y. Actually, now that I'm trying it again (I've been eating walnut wheat all week), I sort of like its chewiness. I think it'll be good with a smear of cream cheese and some pickled herring.

Anyways, here's how I did it:


170g med. rye
170g H2O
17g mature rye starter

Mixed Monday morning and left for about 12 hours.


Add in:

50g bread flour
285g warm H2O

Mix into a slurry then add:

250g bread flour
65g med. rye flour

Mixed in the Kitchen Aid and left to rest before adding:

9g salt
1g instant yeast

Then 30 minutes with the dough hook! Followed by about 3 hours of fermentation. After shaping on a well floured surface and proofing for only 10 minutes (recipe's orders) it went into a 430F oven for 15 minutes with steam, followed by 390F without steam for an amount of time I didn't write down. I think it was something like 40 minutes.

Because my loaf wasn't holding a nice shape, I ended up baking it in a steel bowl. I tried to get a pseudo-dutch oven effect by topping the bowl with a sheet pan to try to hold in the bread's own steam. The boiling water I poured in the steam pan has hardly noticeable when I pulled it out, so I don't think I missed out on anything.

dabrownman's picture

2 Chacons the square one is a 6 stand braid and the other is a knot and ball and then a large batard with oats on top.  The 3rd batch is one huge miche that has 6 sprouted grains on the inside


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