The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Would appreciate your feedback

Fieldsofgold's picture

Would appreciate your feedback


This is the first time I'm posting a bread here and I'm not sure if this is the right place or format so apologies in advance if it is not! It's my go to recipe for olive bread. It goes like this: 

Salt 10 grams

Water 350 grams

100% hydration starter 100 grams

Bread flour 500 grams

Mix all the above, stretch and fold every 30 minutes x6. Leave at room temperature for 3 hours. Shape (add 100 grams of sliced black olives here). Leave in the fridge for 5 hours. Bake. Here's the crumb. I'd appreciate your feedback very much. 



qazwart's picture

And how does it taste? That’s  my main criteria. Bread is for eating. I make six pounds of sourdough, and it’s gone in four days. Crust is a bit light. The loaf isn’t 100% symerical. The crumb is tighter than average, but when I bake three or four loaves on Sunday and it’s  gone by Thursday, I call it a success. 

I tend to knead the dough a biit more for a tighter crumb and eliminate the big air pockets because much of the bread I bake is for sandwiches and spreads. However, a light airy crumb can be a nice texture and goes good with soups and dinners. A bread that can stand on its own usually has a lighter crumb. 

It looks pretty good I me. If your family and friends agree and the loaf quickly disappeared after you took this picture, you did great. 

Fieldsofgold's picture

Thank you qazwart for your response! It tastes very good. I like airy crumbs mostly because it took me so long to make them happen! Sometimes, if I feel extra fancy, I add sun-dried tomatoes or feta to it, like the one down here. The reason I asked for feedback is that I have seen people talk about overproofing based on the crumb and I really can't tell (YouTube taught bread maker here) and I was hoping to get some feedback on my technique.

I agree it's not a sandwich bread and my main consumer (the boyfriend) loves denser sandwich breads with lots of seeds so the bottom is my answer to that request. It has 100 grams of flax/chia/poppy seeds for 400 grams of bread flour +100 grams of rye. 

See, you showed me some attention and here I am showing you all the photos from all the breads past! Novice Baker with lots of enthusiasm here. 


qazwart's picture

We’re all novices on this bus.  A real bread baker would look at all the fuss and say “What the heck is going on here?” I’ve got to make 400 loaves today or I might as well close up shop. You can’t take six hours to make a loaf!”

But we have fun. And we do something we love and are proud of. And when we bring a loaf to a dinner party, no one cares about the expensive bottle of wine or even the main course. All eyes are on us. That’s what I love about this.

I was once a “professional baker”. At least I was a member of the confectioners and bakers union (before the tobacconist joined). We baked standard loaves by the dozens. Speed was absolute.  Challahs had to be braided in seconds. No one talked of crumb or texture. 

I use to bake bread when I first got married out of necessity. There was no kosher bread. I stopped about 25 years after moving to. A bigger Jewish community. I started up again again about a year ago. I bought a Kitchenaid mixer back in July. I made my first sourdough starter back in September. My diastatic barley malt came last month. I am the rankest of amateurs, yet I still enjoy what I do.  

Fieldsofgold's picture

... for making me feel comfortable! I love hearing stories about how people got into baking. Furthemore, I totally agree... taking bread to dinner parties steals the spotlight. My attention seeking self LOVES that. 

chouette22's picture

...does come through, haha! Great results through and through! Wonderful oven spring. The only thing that I would have done differently is folding in the olives during the 2nd S&F and not only during the shaping of the loaf. The somewhat uneven crumb could be a result of that? 

Fieldsofgold's picture

... and now I have questions: 

1- Would floding the olive in introduce oil into my dough and delay the proofing?
2- Would olives get stuck between the gluten network and make the bubbles smaller?
3- Someone once said an uneven crumb is better because it tells you you haven't over-proofed your dough so I have been timing myself to avoid an even crumb! Was that person right or all I know is a lie? haha 

Thank you 


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Watch that front edge when shaping, rolling up the dough.  That seems to be where that big bubble came from.

 I might have popped a few of those larger edge bubbles while squishing in the olives.  Where the big bubbles exist, they tend to throw off guesstimates when watching the loaf expand during proofing.  Dough crumb surrounding occasional big bubbles (esp. under them) tends to be more dense and less airy as gas pools into the larger space. So popping them and proofing just a few minutes longer will still get you the airy crumb, just more of it. 

Other than that, the loaf looks great! Nice even crust browning, good shape and a beautiful score split.  You're temping me to bake a loaf myself,  just love black olives! 

Fieldsofgold's picture

... for the tip. I will try it and report back! 

Black olives are THE best!

alfanso's picture

in terms of critique, the bread looks beautiful, although for me, a little under baked.  But I like a dark crust.  Congrats.


Fieldsofgold's picture

.... Alan. Means a lot coming from you. How do you stop the bottom burning before you get a dark crust or you don't mind a slight "caramelized" bottom?

ps: when I have a minute, I am going to do some serious stalking in your posts and find your plain baguette recipe to start making them. I am still thinking about them!

alfanso's picture

slab for my oven.  Before that, it was 1/4 inch thick "Mexican saltillo" tiles, until they eventually cracked in too many places.  There is nothing special that I do as far as keeping the bottoms from burning, except use a piece of parchment paper between the oven peel and the dough.  This gets removed when I release the steam in the oven.  I only use the paper at all because it facilitates the simplicity of moving the dough off the peel and onto the baking deck without the need for some other flour or cornmeal, etc under the dough.

Here's "proof" from a while back when someone else stated that I must have burned bottoms...

As far as "coming from me" - I'm just another goofball here with a opinion of what I see, no better nor worse than the scores of others who decide to pitch in here.  But thanks anyway.

I have no plain baguette formula of my own.  I'm a copycat supreme here and I'l find what someone else has posted then make it with my own small mods.  

However, you CANNOT go wrong starting off with either our own David Snyder (dmsnyder) and his SJSD baguette formula, or the Vermont SD formula from Mr. Jeffrey Hamelman.  There are a dozen others that are equally dandy to execute, but these two are certainly simple "proving grounds".  Further afield look at the SFBI Pain au Levain, as well as Mr. Hamelman's own Pain au Levain.  Both are quite tasty and equally easy to do with exceptional handling and feel to the dough.  That's plenty of a starter kit to get you going and keep you out of trouble!

dabrownman's picture

Since you are doing 6 sets of S&F's I too would fold the olives in at the start of the 3rd set to get them better distributed and it should not affect the holes at all.  I [refer a mix of black and green olives but the wife and daughter hate all olives so I don't get make it often enough.  I used to only make challah but now I hardly ever make it?  Not the heathiest of breads for sure and there are only 10,000 other breads to make:-)

Welcome and happy baking

MonkeyDaddy's picture

His baguettes are awesome.

Hopefully this video will speed up your stalking.  Alan's not only a great baker but quite the videographer, and this is a great look at his technique.  The rectangular container he uses for the dough is genius - I never would have thought of that - but it really facilitates the folding process.  I use it now too.