The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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sadkitchenkid's picture

Fried up these donuts for a brunch and filled them with a citrus curd made using blood oranges and rose water!



110g bread flour

35g starter 

15g honey

60g water



500g bread flour

2 eggs

70g sugar

15g salt

130g milk

15g diastatic malt (optional)

all of the levain

130g butter 

1 tbsp vanilla extract



1 cup sugar

8 egg yolks

20g corn starch

2/3 cup blood orange juice + 2 tbsp rose water

pinch of salt

2 tbsp blood orange or lemon zest

10 tbsp butter


Mix the levain ingredients together and let proof till active/doubled. Mix in the remaining ingredients and knead for 10-15 minutes. After the dough has come together leave at room temperature for 2-4 hours, or until doubled in volume)  (*in the meantime, make the filling) refrigerate overnight. The next morning take out the dough and divide into 16 circles of 1inch thickness (or divide into squares to save time). Let rise at room temperature till doubled in volume. For me this took 3 hours. Fry in 350F oil for about two minutes per side. Place each cooked donut on rack and once all of the donuts are done, toss them with granulated sugar. Let them cool for about 30 minutes before piping in the filling. 

*For the filling: 

Place all of the ingredients in a pot and cook on medium heat, mixing constantly until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate overnight. 



happy baking!

trailrunner's picture


This is a further experiment with the rye banana SD I posted a week or so ago. I wanted to see what would happen if I got more  and quicker rise out of it and less sticky to work with . I used my AYW and made two levains. I also roasted the bananas as I had read that if they are cooked instead of raw they seem to not inhibit the action of the SD yeasts. I doubled the formula and made 3 approx 700 g boules this time. I also used my really big granite roaster circa 1940. all I can say. Two boules fit perfectly. No time at all in the oven to get to 500 degrees. I did two first and then remembered someone on here posted they threw in some icecubes into their roaster. I did it for number 3 and look at the ears !! Will do that from now on as well. Cast iron shall continue to reside in the basement....granite roaster is the way to go , at least for me. 

500 g mixed levain= 400g of 50% unbleached KA and 50% fresh milled rye at 100% hydration with banana yeast water ( made it from my AYW by adding fresh sliced bananas and waited a couple hours for lots of bubbles to appear then fed over a couple hours 2 x to get the 400g. Started with 10 g NMNF ) 

                                 100g AYW levain fed only KA 

440 g AP KA flour

90g freshly milled rye

110 g spring hard wheat flour

500g roasted bananas ( roast in peels at 300 degrees till black. let cool and squeeze out pulp and water ) 

70g date syrup

70g yogurt

18g salt 

mix everything but salt. I place salt on top of resting dough and spray well with water.  Let rest for an hour or so till puffy.  Do 30 turns in the bowl a few times every 30 min. incorporating salt and watching for texture of dough to become pliable. Remove from bowl and begin gentle stretch and folds a few times. Add in the chopped dates and pecans. I don't weigh these I go by how it looks and feels. Place dough in oiled container and let rest in warm place till about 50 % . Yeast water moves fast so don't leave it too long. shape as desired and cover and retard in fridge. I took these out of cold about 30 min before baking to get the YW started again. As dab noted YW loves warmth. Preheat granite ware pot to 500. Place loaves inside and throw in a few ice cubes. Cover and bake 500 for 10 min reduce to 475 for 10 min. Remove cover and cont to bake 475 for 20 min -----if making larger loaves adjust final uncovered time till 205 or so degrees. Amazing bread. Crumb pics added. This bread was impossible to resist. Still a little warm but we had it with " breakfast for dinner" . Those are strawberries with my homemade Meyer Lemon curd....oh yum !!  The bread has a delicious tender crumb. Banana flavor really comes through. Not as heavy as the other loaf as there is less rye. Could have put even more dates...can't have too many dates LOL !   Will not forget the ice cubes ever again. Will cut that loaf on Sunday at our pot luck at our Buddhist center and will see if there is any difference. Definitely a keeper loaf. I will be subbing other fruit for the banana and see what I get. Stay tuned. 



leslieruf's picture

This week's bake was Trevor Wilson's Tartine Style Country Bread, along with a basic white to use up levain.

Monday 3 pm refresh starter 5 g + 10 g water + 15 g flour. mix and leave on bench. room temperature 26 deg Celcius

Monday 8:30 pm added 30 g water and 30 g flour. room temperature now 23 deg C. Leave overnight on bench

Tuesday 8:45 am add 45 g water + 45 g flour.  Room temperature back to 23 deg C,  Not a standard build, just wanted to keep it going till after lunch

Formula Tartine Style Country Bread

340 g bread flour (incl 12 g gluten flour) (63.4%)

131 g freshly milled spelt (24.4%)

65 g freshly milled rye (12.2%)

449 g Water (83.8%!!)

12 g salt (2.28%)

102 g Starter (19%)

This is way over my comfort level, but bread looked awesome on Breadwerx site!! I just used the levain I had built even though it wasn't 100% hydration, more like 95% perhaps.

11:45 am Mix flours and water for Tartine style Country Bread and leave.

2:25 pm add salt and levain, dimple it in, then stretch and folds and mix by hand until all incorporated.  This was one wet dough!!  Then did 15 minutes of what Trevor calls Rubaud method of scooping (to mimic diving arm mixer).  I let it rest for 10 minutes then did another 10 minutes.

This was followed by sets of stretch and folds every 30 minutes, the last one just before we went out for dinner.  Left the dough to bulk ferment.  On returning home at 7:45 pm I did another set of stretch and folds. 20 minutes later gave a few more folds before tipping onto bench.  Oh boy! I think it went a little too far.  Divided into 2 lots and  managed to preshape.  30 minutes later struggled to do final shape with any degree of tension.  Placed in banneton and retarded over night.

Baked this morning at 250 deg C for 15 minutes lid on, 15 minutes lid off my DO (preheated).  Result: 2 pancakes. Disappointing, obviously I didn't build enough strength  so next time will work on that.  Crumb is nice but not what I was aiming for.   A slice from each loaf.  It will taste good for sure, but I wish it had more volume!  Next time, I will be sure to shape a little earlier.  

To use up the levain I had over (can't waste this stuff!!) I just mixed up a basic 1:2:3 sourdough.  


67 g levain

325 g flour 

200 g water

6.5 g salt


12:30 pm mix flours and water

2:10 pm add levain and salt and incorporate with stretch and folds.  Left to rest then added another 25 g water and slowly incorporated it over next couple of hours as it felt pretty low hydration (not as much levain left as I anticipated) but it was still a firm dough. I did 4 sets of stretch and folds.

5:30 preshape  5:45 final shape, into banneton then the fridge overnight.  Baked at 250 reducing to 230 deg C.  DO already hot so 15 minutes lid on 15 minutes lid off.

Crumb is ok but would have liked it a bit more open.

I think it needed a bit longer bulk ferment and this morning when I baked, I realised I had meant to make 2 x 300 g boules, not 1 larger one.  Never mind, it will taste fine.

Happy baking



dabrownman's picture

Lucy saw some Hokkaido Milk Bread yeast rolls posted last week that were based on Floyd’s great recipe.  I said at the time we would see if we could make this bread the traditional Japanese way with yeast water and a Lucy twist with her turn.

First off, we had to find and refresh two different yeast waters, one fig and one apple that have been totally neglected for at least 6 months in the fridge.  We lucked out for sure.  Both revives very easily after refreshing with new fruit some sugar new water and 36 hours on the heating pad.

Yeast water loves to be warm more than it likes to be refreshed it seems.  I think we have two NMNF yeast waters.  Nice to know that they are so hardy and so hard to kill off – just like a NMNF sourdough starter.  I was pretty amazed at how fast it got back to normal since YW is notoriously pretty slow even when at its peak – even slower than SD.

It hits the pan filling it about 40% full.  Then into the froidge it goes.

To get the base recipe I searched for Hokkaido Milk Bread and sure enough Floyd’s recipe was the first one to show up on the list.  I like Floyd’s recipes because they are straight forward, pretty easy, fairly traditional and work without fail.  Lucy wasn’t as impressed with it as I was thouigh and had to change some thongs and even some things around.

The next morning it had proofed quite a bit in the cold.

First off, she went with a 200 g YW levain using 100 g of LaFama AP and 50 g each of both YW’s.  The fig one gave the levain a distinct brown purplish kind of hue.  Oddly in just 4 hours it had doubled – so much for being slow.  This 200 g ended up being an addition to the rest of Floyd’s recipe.

Yum ........Flatbread!  I was reminded of my mom, probably less than 20 years ago, making leftover short crust with sugar on it when she made pies fs a special treat for her 3 boys....when I was a kid:-) 

We subbed half and half for all of the milk products in Floyd’s mix too.   We cut the recipe in half tomake one bigger loaf and dumped everything, except the salt and butter into the Kitchen Aid mixer bowl.  After 5 minutes on speed 2 we added the butter and sugar and did 5 more minutes on speed 4.

When I slid the lid off it looked like this and I kind of destroyed the beginning end of the top as a result

The dough was still wet and not actually pulling away from the sides of the bowl so Lucy made a decision to add 25 g of potato flakes to the mix and sure enough after another 2 minutes on speed 4 it seemed plenty beaten to death and ready to bulk ferment.

We let it sit in the bowl for 3 hours waiting for it to at least look like it was trying rise up and be dough.  It rose about 30% by then so we decided we had had enough of sitting on the sidelines waiting on YW that was back to its old slow self.

We put it in the counter and did some slap and folds to teach it a lesson and try to wake it up.  We covered it with a stainless steel mixing bowl on an oiled flexible cutting board on ….the heating pad!  YW loves the heat and sure enough it perked up and went to work.  In a couple of hours we did a quick set of 4 stretch and folds and into the pan release sprayed Oriental Pullman that this dough was sized. 

Then, to make the process as complicated as possible and even more bizarre, we chucked it into the fridge for an overnight retard since it was already 9 PM and past Lucy’s bed time ….which is anytime from my near 14 year recollection of her sleeping habits.

After a 10 hour retard we took it out of the fridge and put it on the counter to warm up for 2 hours and then onto the heating pad it went for 2 hours more before we took a peek under the lid, found it ready to go and turned on the oven to 400 F.  When it hot we put the Pullman in and baked it lid on for 20 minutes at 350 F


Smoked chicken thighs make for great cheese crisps with home made beans, grilled onions and a variety of peppers, poblano, yellow banana, green chilies and sweet peppers

When we went to take the lid off we found that the dough had oozed though the open end of the top and down the side if the pan onto the bottom stone.  YW is known for its explosive spring and it was showing its stuff by making something new; Hokkaido Milk Flat Bread, for us to turn over on the stone and finish up to eat warm as the rest of the bread finished up.

Lucy reminds us to not forget the salad!

We baked it for another 50 minutes at 350 F convection before it read 200 on the inside. We did take it out of the pan 20 minutes into the dry baking to finish on the rack.  This pan is very tall so it takes about 20 – 25 minutes longer than a regular Pyrex loaf pan like Floyd used.  After we took off the lid the bread continued to expand upwards another inch in the middle!

If I had just baked it with the lid off, it would have been the perfect size for this pan and I could have egg washed the top before baking instead of putting half and half on it when it came out.  If I bake it lid on I will bake it 30 minutes lid on and then 20 minutes lid off before removing it from the pan.  You could also bake it 375 F all the way to cut down the time.

It helps to have a nice breakfast on bake day especially with a SD blueberry pancake, hot sausage, pepper bacon and white cheddar Omelette 


Since we already ate the bonus flatbread we know what it tastes like.  It is a sweet bread and being a diabetic I would cut the sugar by 25% next time since the YW also lends a certain sweetness to the bread too.  Otherwise it is delicious.  Can’t wait for it to cool so we can see the crumb.  I expect it to be a bit compressed to being confined under the lid and not allowed to expand like it wanted to.

Then there are always those beautiful Arizona sunsets to enjoy with your favorite libation.

This bread slices easily into 1/4 inch slices like a well rested pumpernickel and the thin slices bend without breaking.  The crumb is tinged a beautiful light beige due to the Fig water which makes look like it has saffron in it.  It has a very soft and shredable crumb.  The smell is intoxicating. Toasted it quit bending and stiffened up and was delicious with butter.  It will make great French Toast!  We know why this bread is so famous.

A lily is as pretty as an AZ sunset!

PalwithnoovenP's picture

Due to long class hours, my lunch of rice and a viand cannot sustain me until dinner or until I get home. Halfway through the class after lunch, I am already starting to feel drained and lethargic and starting lose focus. Since bagels are a recent favorite and I know how satisfying and filling they are, I baked some to serve as an afternoon snack to fuel me and give some badly needed energy. :)

I used the same bagel dough as my New Year's Eve bagels (bread flour, water, starter, salt, sugar, honey) with only one change: I increased the sugar to more than double because I like the taste better and for more fuel.

Bulk rise took 4 hours at 27°C. I shortened it to 4 hours as opposed 6 hours because the dough became too extensible and very sticky to handle the last time. I know now that my starter is not a real fan of raising high-sugar doughs. The rise was slow and the dough barely doubled, it only grew to about 1.5x its size.

I cut the dough into 3 ropes instead of 6 for bigger more satisfying bagels and for the convenience of only having to bake a single batch of delicious bagels. I prefer to shape them by looping the ropes around my hand and rolling hard on the work surface rather than poking a hole into a ball of dough then widening it; I like the rustic look it gives the bagels and is also faster to execute. They underwent a 1 hour proof then into the fridge overnight.

I boiled them the next day for 1 minute on each side but they took an extra minute to come to the surface so a total of 3 minutes of boiling time. They are almost the same size as the pot in which I'm boiling them.

Onto a kitchen towel they went to remove excess moisture and here is how they look.

They were baked in my clay pot over heated pebbles for 15 minutes, then flipped and baked for another 15 minutes. Because of their size, 30 minutes total baking time with live fire all the time. I love the pebbles, they provide even high heat to minimize burning. A single burnt spot is almost inevitable but it's a humongous leap of improvement from my previous bakes if you have seen them before. In case you wanna see, here is how they look before flipping.

I cooled them for an hour before slicing and freezing. I take one before I go to my class and toast it and slather it with anything for my snack.

Ready for school. I put some cheese in it this time. You can see my lunch of rice and siu mai that day too. Honestly I still felt a little hungry that day but not as hungry as I used to be, thanks to the bagel!

The crust was very crispy and crumb was very chewy but soft. The aroma was very sweet and fragrant and very appetizing. Sweet and wheaty with almost no tang. Delicious on its own or with spreads.

They were really big, this was the smallest of the three. Look how massive it is!

Bart Tichelman's picture
Bart Tichelman

My first blog entry!


I have been wanting to bake my version of dmsnyder's excellent bread.  I prepared and baked as below, and I am delighted with the result.


I started with my usual 2 loaf sourdough recipe, adjusted the flours and add-in to match dmsnyder's recipe.:


Day 1: 10:00 pm

Prepare levain:

  • 40 grams of active starter
  • 120 gr. water
  • 120 gr. of my starter flour mix (80% King Arthur AP, 20% King Arthur Whole Wheat)
  • Leave on counter loosely covered

Soak raisins:

  • 240 gr. raisins
  • 480 gr. hot tap water

Day 2: Prepare dough

8:30 Mix and autolyse

  • All of the levain from above
  • 628 gr. King Arthur All Purpose flour
  • 224 gr. King Arthur Whole Wheat flour
  • 108 gr. Organic Whole Rye flour
  • Water - drain raisins and use reserved water; add warm tap water to get 660 gr. total (temp. ~95F)

Walnuts: toast 192 gr. in a skillet on medium heat.  Stir frequently as they will quickly go from nicely fragrant to burnt!  Chop coarsely after they cool.

9:15: Add final ingredients:

  • 100 gr. water at 95F
  • 27 gr. salt (I use Kirklands sea salt)
  • Walnuts and raisins
  • Mix by hand (I prefer the Forkish "hand-pincer" method)

10:00: 1st stretch and fold

10:45 2nd stretch and fold

11:30 3rd stretch and fold

12:15 4th stretch and fold (optional, based upon the strength of your dough, etc.)

2:00: Preshape

  • Ease out of the container onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into two portions (you can eye-ball it, but as a chemistry grad I weigh the container and dough, then scale the divided dough into very equal portions...I drive my wife crazy).
  • Shape into a boule and cover (I use two large metal bowls, but you can use oiled plastic wrap or a bakers cloth).

2:30 Final shaping

  • Tighten up the boules
  • Place into bannetons. I used lightly floured kitchen linens to ensure the dough does not stick to the basket
  • Put baskets into plastic bags and put into the fridge

Day 3: Baking

  • Place Dutch ovens on oven.  I have one stainless steel, and one cast iron combo-cooker on the middle rack. On the bottom rack I place two cookie sheets to reduce the radiant heating on the bottom of the Dutch ovens.
  • Pre-heat oven to 475F.  .  It takes about an hour for my oven to reach operating temp.  If I have advanced the schedule, I'll delay start the oven so it is heated when I awake. This way I can pop the dough in the oven and take the bread to work!
  • Take the dough from the fridge and remove from bags. I have round pieces of parchment that I place on top of the dough (still in the basket).
  • Take the Dutch ovens out of the oven, and place over the baskets.Slide the Dutch oven to the edge of the counter (mine are marble), and hold the basket; lift the basket fully into the Dutch oven and invert.
  • Grab the corners of the cloth, and gently lift out the cloth and basket from the Dutch oven.
  • Score the loaves.
  • Cover and place into the oven.
  • Reduce heat to 450F.
  • Uncover after 20 minutes.
  • You can leave the loaves in the Dutch oven for the rest of the bake, but I prefer to remove the loaves after 10 minutes and place directly on the rack to expose the entire loaf.
  • 20 minutes after taking the lid off, test the loaves.  I test with an instant read thermometer inserted though the bottom of the loaf, and I target a minimum temperature of 205F.
  • Once done, place on cooling rack for at least 2 hours before slicing.




rudirednose's picture

I found pul's bread and was hooked! but persimmon??? ok, I got no persimmon but my wife got fresh kaki and I dryed them cut into wedges. so I have pieces of wedges in the bread and no cubes! never mind! ;-)

this bread is absolut gorgeous!

the loaf shaped as boule

crust detail

crust detail



detail crumb

crumb detail, walnuts, cranberries, persimmon

detail crumb crust

detail crumb-crust

detail crust blisters

blisters on the crust


my formula

  • bread flour 340 g 68 %
  • whole wheat home milled 80 g 16 %
  • white spelt 80 g 16 %
  • starter @ 100 % 8 g 1.6 %
  • water 370 g 74 %
  • fresh yeast 5 g 1 %
  • seasalt 10 g 2 %
  • persimmon homme dryed 50 g 10 %
  • cranberries 50 g 10 %
  • walnuts broken 50 g 10 %


  • sourdoug: 80 g wwf , 8 g starter, 75 % hydration, 16 h 24-25°C
  • biga: 80 g spelt, 0.8 g fresh yeast, 62.5 % hydration, 16 h 12-14°C  (greetings to Abel!) ;-)
  • autolyse: 340 g bf, 59 % hydration, 1 h roomtemp
  • final dough: sd + biga + al + leftover ingredients
  • bulk: 1 h
  • shape: boule
  • proof: in the fridge 6 h at 4-5°C
  • bake: 1 h 5 m falling from 230°C to 180°C, steam for the first 10 m

absolutely delicious! thx pul!


happy baking


alfanso's picture

Abel Sierra posted another in his series of fascinating outside-of-the-box things that one can do with just Flour Water and Salt two weeks ago.  And I am indeed fascinated at the breadth of what one can do creatively with just these three ingredients.   And that also meant another that I would warehouse until the time came.  Which was now!

The character of the baked bread is really wonderful.  It has a thin and crisp snap to the crust while the crumb is tender and sweet.  A really nice bread in every measure.

This is a 100% hydration liquid levain, 75% overall hydration mix that uses a full 50% of the flour in the levain pre-ferment.  Which is somewhat off the charts considering the "normal" range is in the 5%-20% vicinity.  But that is what caught my eye.  Although this is an all white flour affair, a very small number of grams of WW and rye snuck in due to my base starter having these two rogue elements.

The dough is incredibly slack and stayed that way throughout the entire process.  Because of this I had a fair amount of trouble wrangling the dough to form baguettes, with them becoming somewhat inconsistent and misshapen, but managed to get a decent enough shape and subsequent bake.  The batard was a cinch to shape.  

Where I differed from Abel in the process was to shorten the bulk rise with two S&Fs to his one, and to retard until the next day rather than execute the entire process in a single calendar day as Abel stated he did.

My follow-up attempt will be to change two things and see whether that will yield some improvements in the shaping as well as to provide a more robust flavor - without sacrificing any of the clean AP taste.  The plan is to do an 85% AP / 15% Rye flour mix with all of the rye incorporated into the levain.  As for shaping, instead of my standard pre-shape logs, the next time will have me pre-shape as small boules, and I think that this will facilitate with the rolling of the baguettes.

Thanks Abel.


500g x 1 batard

350g x 2 baguettes/long batards

Danni3ll3's picture

I had bit and pieces of dried fruit leftover from the holidays and I also had some local made grain free spiced granola that I had bought at the farmer’s market. The granola was rather expensive and there wasn’t a lot of it so I added the dried fruit and toasted groats to boost the volume of the add-ins.



I am also continuing to sift the bran out of the whole grain flour that I mill and use that for the levain. The bran gets used for the first couple stages of levain building and I take some of the unbleached flour from the recipe to make up the rest of the amount needed. I suppose I could take some from the whole grain flour I just milled and sifted but using unbleached flour seems to make my starter very happy.




250 g freshly milled red fife flour

50 g freshly milled buckwheat flour

650 g unbleached flour

150 g multigrain flour

50 g freshly ground flax seed

66 g grain free spiced granola

75 g dried currants

44 g dried cherries

33 g dried chopped apricots

20 g pink himalayan salt

700 g water

100 g buckwheat groats

boiling water to soak groats

50 g kefir

240 g of 80% levain (see instructions below)


  1. A couple of days before making the dough, sift the bran out of the freshly milled red fife flour. Place the sifted flour in a bowl and reserve. Weight the bran and add enough flour from the unbleached flour amount to equal 132 g. Use this mixture and 112 g of water in total to feed 19 g of starter in 3 stages. This will make about 240g of a 80% hydration levain. My levain was ready the night before making the dough, so I put it in the fridge overnight. 
  2. Place the rest of the unbleached flour in the bowl with the red fife flour. Add the buckwheat flour, the multigrain flour, the freshly ground flax seed, the granola, the currants, cherries and apricots. Cover and set aside.
  3. Toast the buckwheat groats in a dry frying pan. Reserve in a separate heatproof bowl. 
  4. The morning of making the dough, add 700 g of water to the bowl with the flours and granola mixture, and mix well. Place the dough in a warm spot (82F) and let autolyse for 3 hours. Take the levain out of the fridge and let it warm up along side of the autolysing dough.
  5. Boil some water and pour over the toasted buckwheat groats. Let sit for one hour and then drain well. Mix in the kefir and cover.
  6. Once the 3 hours is up, add the buckwheat mixture, the salt and 240 g 80% hydration levain. Mix well and do 60 stretches and folds to integrate everything really well. Place the dough back in the warm spot.
  7. Ferment by doing 3 sets of stretches and folds 30-45 minutes apart and then one set an hour later for a total of 4 sets. Each set is only 5 or 6 folds going around the dough. 
  8. Once the dough is billowy, has lots of irregular bubbles seen through the sides of the bowl or bucket and has bubbles around the edge, the dough is ready to be divided. The dough rose about 50%. This particular dough was ready in 4 hours. I am finding that if I do the autolyse in a warm spot, I can shave an hour or so off the time it usually takes for fermentation. 
  9. Divide into 3 equal portions and preshape into a boule. Let rest 15 minutes and then do a tight final boule. Be careful not to degas the dough too much while dividing or shaping.
  10. Place seam side down in rice/ap floured bannetons and cover. Put to bed in the fridge for the night.
  11. The next morning, preheat the dutch ovens and the oven to 475 F for at least 45 minutes. Before loading the dough, place parchment rounds in the bottom of the pots to prevent sticking. Place the dough seam side up in the screaming hot pots and cover. Bake at 450F for 25 minutes. Remove the lids and continue baking for another 22 minutes at 425F. 
  12. Let cool before slicing.



Not the best oven spring but they still look good. They were in the fridge for 17 hours so I wonder if that affected the oven spring. 

kendalm's picture

So last week I jumped for joy at getting some great spring and 'honeycomb' on my croissants and of course imparted as much of the experience as possible (since that's what TFL is all about ... ie sharing experiences).  The last thought of that post was 'can it be reproduced?' - so far not entirely.  This week seemed on track but in retrospect the lack of same degree of spring I think can be attributed to hydration.  I pushed hydration an extra 5% and noticed great extensibility, which btw, is a bit challenging with this kind of dough.  This week I pulled back a bit and immediately noticed the dough was a bit tougher, not necessarily resistant but sort of well, dry and lethargic.  The other thing I noticed last week was very slow bulk rise which usually with bread I see as a positive characteristic for acheiving open crumb (I'm a firm believer that less gas helps the bubbles expand with less competition from other gas pockets).  All steps this time were suggesting that we were not heading in the same direction as last week and the results corroborate this observation.  That is, not as exaggerated spring and impressive crumb. That's not to say that this is necessarily a bad batch, it's ok, the crumb is just doesn't have that wow factor (all y'all know what I mean by, the anticipation of cutting your creation open).  So lesson learned, go with the gut, I should have returned the dough and re-hydrated...I friggen knew it after mixing, it didn't have the same stickyness as last week.  Well, there it is - failure leads to learning.  One good thing they always taste pretty good ;)


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