The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

New toys

justkeepswimming's picture

New toys

We're (finally) getting settled in our new home, and I have mostly figured out what needs doing for a successful bake at 6,000 ft. My starter had been on (to borrow a medical term) "comfort measures only" for about 4-5 months. It was fed just often enough to prevent death by neglect, but it wasn't exactly thriving. After series of feedings a few weeks ago, it was back to it's robust self. 

Lately I have been wanting to bake something other than loaf pan breads, so I invested in some new toys: an oblong banneton and oblong clay baker from Breadtopia. 

After baking mostly pan loaves for about a year, my shaping needs work.... I have a hard time getting dough to have the same thickness at the ends. One end is usually fatter than the other.  

Dough specs: 

Dough flour 460 gm. (50% bread flour, 50 % home milled flour {half hard red spring wheat, half spelt}). 

Water 330 gm

Starter 75 gm (1:1:1)

Salt 9 gm salt


Mixed everything together and kneaded it in a Bosch compact mixer for 10 min. I was busy and knew I wouldn't have an opportunity to do anything else for developing/organizing gluten. Bulk at 70F for 6 hours, about a 50-60% rise.

Preshaped/rest/shape and into banneton. The dough was pretty stretchy and on the verge of slack, I was glad I didn't push hydration any further. On a whim, I did that flour on a paper towel decoration thing that was popular for a while.... flip the dough out of the banneton onto a well floured paper towel. I used it as a sling to put it in the banneton. Rested on counter for about 15 min then into the fridge for 12 hours. Flipped onto parchment (seam down), scored, and placed into preheated clay baker. Baked at 490F for 20 min with the lid on, then at 450F lid off to internal temp 199F. That's the highest I can get at this altitude. It's cooling now, no crumb shot since it's a gift. 

This is only my second loaf using the baker, the first one came out just like this. The shape is more helpful for our usual bread uses (toast, sandwiches) than a boule. And the clay baker is much easier than a dutch oven for my arthritic joints to deal with. It's nice to have something different! This bread a gift for a brother visiting from out of town so no crumb shot. 


Benito's picture

Good to hear that you’re settled in and getting back to baking more.  Your first loaves look amazing Mary, I love the decoration using the papertowel and flour, it looks really attractive.  I look forward to seeing more of your bakes.


justkeepswimming's picture

It has been nice to get to bake more. Time to introduce myself to some of the neighbors now. 😉

qrkid's picture

Good looking bread.

I also have a clay oblong baker. I love how I get a consistent shape because all my bread is used for sandwiches. I have considered getting the clay hearth baker from Breadtopia so I can also do more free form boules and batards.

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

Congrats on the new home. It looks like you've conquered altitude baking, these are very nice loaves. I love the dotted patterns – you've piqued my curiosity about the flour on the paper towel.