The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Weekend Bake

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Weekend Bake

This weekend, I again went with a Tartine Basic Country Loaf, using 100% whole grain flour milled at home for my leaven, and 700 grams whole grain flour milled at home with 300 grams of AP flour for the dough.

The breads stuck a little to the baskets -- still haven't been successful in getting these loaves to release as easily as the traditional white bread version of the formula.  The consequence is that he crust pulls away from the crumb, making it a little more difficult to cut.  I adjust for this by bisecting the loaf again and cutting from the other side.

I just received my rye berries and think that I shall soon try my hand at a bread with some rye in it.  The whole wheat bread pictured above is delicious.  Oh, and this is the first time I baked with two Lodge combo cookers, having decided that it is worth saving the 40 minutes by baking both loaves at once, not to mention the consistency of having both loaves ready to bake at the same time.

For those who have only one set of combo cookers but who still bake two loaves, another option is to remove the loaf once you uncover, so that you use both pieces to bake the second loaf after the first 20 minutes of bake time.

cerevisiae's picture

Interesting that you have more trouble with the whole wheat sticking, especially since it sounds like you're doing Country Loaf with mostly whole wheat instead of Tartine's whole wheat loaf. I would think that doing Country Loaf's hydration with a whole grain flour would be a little on the dry side, and thus less likely to stick.

How does the texture of the dough compare to Country Loaf for you? Does it feel sticker, or more slack? Or is the slight sticking the only discernable difference?

Looks like you've got a nice crumb anyway. They must taste fantastic.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

But how much whole wheat does Chad suggest starting with for his whole wheat version of the basic country loaf? I only recall from memory that he suggests using 800 grams of water in total vs. 750 for the basic country white loaf.

I will double check when I go home tonight.

When I use the 700 grams of whole wheat (plus 100 grams for the leaven) the difference in how the dough feels is hard for me to gauge.  I know it is stickier (and I add a lot of flour to the surface to allow me to shape it, and I add a rice/AP mixture to the dough before inverting it into the basket, and then add more flour and even do a little "rolling" of the basket to detach it as the proofing continues.

The whole wheat dough might be slightly more slack but not overly so. It is definitely less elastic as it is harder to stretch. (If I have the wrong terminology, forgive me. What I mean to say is that the dough does not stretch as easily when I do the shaping, but before the shaping (after the bench rest) it still forms a rounded pancake though perhaps slightly flatter than with the white dough).

The loaves do taste great.

golgi70's picture

What are you flouring your bowls with?  For high hydration doughs like the Tartine loaf i suggest the use of a liner for your bowls to avoid sticking.  All those nooks are just perfect places for the soft dough to find a place to grab hold.  If that's not something you want to do there is a way to sort of prep those unlined bowls by spritzing with h20 then dousing with flour and lettting it sit for a bit then knocking it out and letting it dry.  That usually gets a coating in all the nooks then you flour before the dough goes in for your extra layer.  I've seen a video for this but never have done it myself so maybe look into it if interests you.  I usually use unlined baskets for firmer doughs and don't have trouble with sticking as the dough doesn't settle in the rivets so much as a wet dough would.  I'm assuming your already using rice flour but if not that would also work wonders.  

None the less the loaves look delicious and awesome that you got a second cooker so you can get it all done in one fell swoop.  And eventually that'll mean you can do 4 loaves in two waves with short reheat between. Looks like your loving the grain mill.  Your in for a treat with the rye as I find fresh milled rye's aroma intoxicating.  Sweet sweet sweet. 

Happy Baking


David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Prior to buying the baskets, I used a kitchen towel to line the bowl and had great results 90% of the time and a disaster 10% of the time.  I am 100% certain that if I used the same towels with this dough, the disaster factor would be 100%.  But that is because the towels had lots loops, like a terry cloth.

I am considering getting a proper cloth to line my baskets ... however, the whole reason I bought the baskets was to get the flour pattern. :)

PetraR's picture

They look GREAT David!

Love the dark crust, I want to bite in to it!!!

We are moving house at the end of August and my new Ofen is a Range one, I can bake 2-3 loafs at once. YEAHHHH

dabrownman's picture

has to be a healthy and tasty loaf.  They must have not stuck too bad because i can'l see any real damage.  One way to stop this is to dust a little rice flour on the top of the boule before putting the top down in the basket.  They look fine as they are though.  Well Done and

Happy baking

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

So, when I "rolled" the basket, I was able to see the dough coming undone for a couple of "flour lines" and that led me to conclude the rest would come out easily enough. It did, for the most part, but it still stuck and stretched a little.  And the second loaf stuck a little more and pulled a little more.  But the crust did not fully separate, and the loaf was not too misshapen when it went into the combo cooker.

I've taken to adding quite a bit of rice flour (and AP flour for good measure) to the boule before putting it in the basket. I use enough so that it does not stick to my hands when lifting, but it always sticks a little because when I lift, I wind up with unfloured dough in contact with my hands, at least for a little bit of the dough...that is why I add more flour once it gets in the basket.

Ultimately, though the dough does grow into the crevices and more often than not, some portion of it seems to stick, some times more than others.  But now I am at least getting them to release and not leave dough behind.

dmsnyder's picture

Try dusting the brotformen, rather than the loaves, with a 50/50 mix of AP and rice flour. I used to rub the flour mix into the cane, but I now use a canister shaker to dust them. I only get occasional sticking and only with borderline over-proofed high percentage rye breads.


David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I've been throwing the flower on (sprinkling) using my hands, and doing both the dough and the cane. I will try doing so using a canister/sifter in the future. I expect that will result in considerably more flour being used which is probably just what the doctor ordered.

Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

Those are beautiful loaves. I'm sure they taste as good as they are wholesome.  

Brotforms make such lovely markings too.

ghazi's picture

Perfect hydration in my opinion, and of course anything with wholegrain just tastes better.

They look so moist and delicious


David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Interestingly enough although both loaves were from the same bulk ferment and were baked side by side in similar combo cookers, I just cut into the second loaf and it has quite a different crumb. I don't know whether this is attributable to the different scoring -- you can see that the one loaf opened up a bit on four score lines, but the other loaf (the one I cut today) opened up on only one line.  The former was scored like a tic tac toe board, and the latter was scored with a poor Z.

The second loaf is a lot more dense. Either this is the result of how the loaf was cut, or it was a result of how it was shaped, or how it bloomed due to the scoring.  I don't know which.  It is also a bit drier but I can't draw any conclusions from that since the first loaf was cut while it was warm, and this one was cut five days later and had been sitting in a paper bag all of that time.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I added my flour/rice flour mixture to a sifter and powdered my baskets with the sifted flour.  It gave a nice coating, better than throwing it on with my fingers.

And I dusted the loaf with AP flour as well, making the dough significantly less sticky , so i was confident that it would come out of the basket without sticking.

Worked like a charm.  Now I can get back to focusing on proper proofing, perhaps going back to the overnight proofing without worrying about getting a sticky mess in the morning.

 Independence Bread!

These are the results of my heavier than normal flouring using the whole wheat version of the Tartine Basic Country Loaf (i.e., mostly whole wheat - fresh milled, with some AP flour as well).

Kiseger's picture


I mixed corn starch and water to a liquidy paste, then painted it on to my banettons with a pastry brush (quite a thick coat) and let it dry.  Then use rice flour or rice flour and polenta (if I want a coarse coating) and it works.  The chef baker at Secco (used to be Poujauran) in Paris recommended this trick and it seems to help!  But the ket is, I think, the rice flour. 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Or do you keep coating the banetton? So far, more liberal use of the flour/rice flour seems to be doing the trick.  Using the sifter to get it spread out nice and even seems to be a big help.

Kiseger's picture

I coated it only once to "cure" the banetton, let it dry for a day.  I then flour with rice flour, shaking it around or hand rubbing throughout if really wet dough.  I tend to shake out old rice flour when I've baked, so that it doesn't keep humid or staled flour, but the coating stays put.