The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

85% Hydration 50% Home Milled Red and 50% Bread Flour

texasbakerdad's picture

85% Hydration 50% Home Milled Red and 50% Bread Flour

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.



alfanso's picture

with quite the hexagonal shape.  Curious as to where the dough might have gone had it not been for the constraints of the cookware.

85% hydration is potentially dangerous terrain, but you handled it beautifully.  

texasbakerdad's picture

"Curious as to where the dough might have gone had it not been for the constraints of the cookware."
Me too. I will bake the same recipe again, but reduce the loaf size by about 15 to 20% next time.

I am also interested in baking the loaf without the romertopf. The loaf was pretty elastic, so, I think it would end up being a much wider batard outside of a vessel. I think I prefer the slimmer profile from a utility perspective. More slices of bread that way and the slices are a size that is more versatile. Also, the romertopf does an excellent job of trapping the steam during the oven bloom portion of the bake.

Hotbake's picture

Fantastic looking bread!

I agreed with Alfonso. WOW! Now I want to invest on a Romertopf, this is exactly what I always wanted, a loaf shape bread with a traditional batard top so I get the best of both worlds! You're so creative!