The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.
justkeepswimming's picture

Not sure why my paragraph breaks aren't working today.... Might be something related to creating this post on my laptop instead of my phone? Apologies in advance....  This bake was inspired by idaveindy. I had read in one of his past threads about Steve Gamelin's no knead bread approach. I had never heard of him and on a whim decided to look into it. In part, because my 92 y.o. mother in law loves fresh bread, but can't handle all the kneading, etc. I ended up watching a bunch of what he has on you tube. By far, Mr. Gamelin has the easiest approach ever. He bakes with IDY, and shows how you can get all sorts of bread baked in whatever container you have available. His approach is about as minimalist as you can get, and it's worth watching the video just to see him work. Besides, what's not to love about watching a white haired man wearing a Carhart t-shirt baking, lol. Dave gave me a few tips on how things might go if I wanted to do a whole wheat version using fresh milled flour. AZ monsoon has cooled things off enough to make baking more do-able, so I decided to go for it. I mostly followed Steve Gamelin's recipe, but adjusted hydration slightly (my whole wheat flour was way too dry otherwise). He does use 16 oz. of water in some recipes, so I went with that.  Also, Steve measures by volume and not weight. Dave suggested something between 3.5-4 cups of flour, so I split the difference there. And the general principle was to only mess with the dough if I was going to be in the kitchen for another reason anyway. Ingredients:3.75 cups whole wheat flour (a mix of 75% hard white spring and 25% hard red winter wheat, but I suspect anything would work).16 oz room temperature water1.5 tsp of salt0.25 tsp instant yeast (Edit - while measuring flour for another bake, I weighed 3.5 cups of my fresh milled. It came in at 450 gm of flour.) Day 107:40 a.m. During breakfast cleanup, I mixed the flour, water and salt, covered the bowl and stuck it in the fridge. (I love his mixing technique, he uses the handle - it works remarkably well!).  5 p.m. Starting to prep dinner, pulled dough out of fridge. Mixed yeast in by hand. Performed 4 S&F over the course of the next 2.5 hours, whenever I thought of it.  (I couldn't help myself, and wanted to be sure the yeast was well incorporated.) 7:30 p.m. Covered dough back into the fridge. No signs of yeast activity at all, not surprised. Day 25:30 a.m. Dough out of fridge while hubby is pouring coffee (yes, I am spoiled). The dough looks like it did right before going into the fridge - no bubbles, no change in size or texture when gently poked, nada. I stuck it into the microwave with the surface light on to warm things up a tad. After 2 hours, turned the light off as I headed to the pool to do laps, and ignored the dough. Dough fresh out of the fridge this morning:  12:30 p.m. Checked the dough at lunch and voila - lots of bubbles, and about a 70% volume increase. I followed Steve's video example, using the spoon handle to degas and stretch the dough, then basically poured the dough into a 9X5 in loaf pan. I could see some reasonably good gluten development while I was stirring, which was nice to see. I'm not much on binder clips, the ones we have are way to hard for me to squeeze.... So I used some of these stainless steel clothes pins we have instead. They worked fine, though I did have to make sure the top pan was squared up correctly.  1:00 p.m. Preheated the oven to 400F. In his videos, he used to proof for longer, but now he recommends a 30-60 min proof. I split the difference. 1:25 p.m. After a 50 min proof, the bread was baked at 400F for 40 min as recommended. Cooling - I would normally have baked this just a tad darker, but wanted to do things as close to the recipe as possible. In hindsight, I think he bakes to a lighter color than I might for a lot of his breads. And next time I will use my 8 x 4 in pan. I used the 9x5 he recommends, but I prefer taller rather than wider bread.)   Thanks, Dave, for giving me the nudge. It was nice to learn something I incredibly easy I can do pretty much anywhere, and I'm pretty sure my MIL will tackle this once cooler temps make it to her area. Edit to add crumb shot, and refine ingredient details.  A bit more dense looking than some of the recent sandwich bread I have made lately, but you wouldn't know it from the chew. It came out tender and moist, and you can taste the flavor of the wheat more than my SD bakes. Hubby liked it a LOT, with more compliments than he normally does with SD. I could see where this would be handy for any sort of travel that includes a place with a kitchen.... Put the flour, salt, and IDY in a Ziploc, add water when ready to mix, proof at your leisure whilst vacationing, and bake in whatever container they happen to have available. I had better be careful, this is going to wake the travel bug within.... 😁🚙    

CalBeachBaker's picture

Pane di Chiavari - from The Italian Baker, my latest from my world tour of bread. Excellent olive taste, soft crust and crumb.


Kooky's picture

Any solid vegan books?

July 22, 2021 - 4:33pm -- Kooky

I'm sure I could adapt Flour Water Salt Yeast, but still... There are some modern nuances, like flax eggs, use of silken tofu, avocado which I have used to keep cakes moist... Now that I will be milling my own flour I'd love to own a vegan baking book.

Experimentation is great but I'm not rich enough to waste food and I don't do this for a living to where my few successes could earn me money.

DanAyo's picture

Tip - Cleaning Pasta Machine

July 22, 2021 - 3:57pm -- DanAyo

I was making pasta for Lasagna today and thought this post might interest others. If you remove all of the cover guards from the machine, cleaning will become a breeze.

In the past I have had a miserable time rolling out and cutting pasta in my hand operated machine. The pasta was sticky and made cleanup a chore.

3 suggestions

trailrunner's picture



I flaked 335 grams of premoistened whole Emmer. and then toasted in my 100 yr old iron skillet with 5 T butter. Made porridge with 670g H2O. Cooled. The main dough was 968g Bread Flour, 416g Whole Wheat ground in Mock Mill, 219g  mixed grain levain , 400g AYW and 400g H2O .  add ins 80g honey, 80 g yogurt and 36 g salt were  Added to cooled  porridge  then into KA mixer with the fermentolysed  dough. Very very wet dough but heavy floured counter and after a couple S &F ‘s  q 30 min x 3 it was gorgeous. Let grow 30%  bulk ferment then shaped gently into 4 loaves let rise 30 min then retarded 24 h. Baked covered 15 min in my antique Granite Roaster at 475 for 15 min and uncovered for 30 min. Beautiful oven spring. Couldn’t wait to cut! Incredible flavor and crumb. No sour at all due to YW. 

JonJ's picture

Oat porridge breads are a bit of an enigma for me really. Sometimes, I get glimmers of that fabled custard consistency and the promise of an extra special bread. And the smell of that oat topping while baking is unsurpassed. Other times, the addition of the oats just exceeds the hydration capacity of my flours. And, even worse there is that dreaded gummy layer you get at the base of the bread if you don't bake it extra long.

"Sourlotti by Abby"  has quite a clever recipe and YouTube video with an oat and flax soaker. The nice thing about the soaker is that it uses a fair amount of butter (more than I would use if I was making oat porridge for myself!) and doesn't contain a lot of water. Plus it has flax/linseed in it!

I did tweak the recipe to make it my own, reduced the hydration to 74% and gave it a longer bake than I normally do. And I used a blend of white bread flours - the ridiculously high gluten sifted hard white mixed with a lower protein supermaket flour (to give the crust and reduce that springy gluten mouth feel). Made a lovely loaf, and this is an interesting new way to make an oat bread! I think I could have given it a little longer to ferment, but I'm so nervous with oat porridge breads having experienced what can go wrong.

Cooked soaker

Method: 1 hour autolyse. Then mixed in stand mixer for 8 minutes with liquid and pourable levain (fed the night before 1:10:10 with bread flour and 11 hours old at the time). Then left uncovered in the mixer for 15 minutes. Added the salt with a 3 minute mix, removed dough from mixer, placed on counter and gave a strong counter fold. Then left covered with the upside down mixer bowl for 15 minutes. Laminated in all of the soaker. Not sure what magic I got write with the mixer, or maybe it is just that I found the appropriate hydration for the flour mix but the gluten was just incredible and I could stretch the dough super thin - see the pic! Dough then placed in the proofer set to 26°C and two sets of coil folds were given. Final shaping was performed 6 hours after adding the levain. The banneton was then placed back in the proofer for an extra hour. At the end of that time there was a volume increase of 40%. 7 hours to achieve 40% increase is long for my starter at this temp - think perhaps that my levain was a little too past the peak, or I added the salt to soon. Banneton was then placed in coldest fridge shelf for a 19 hour retard. Whilst the oven was warming the banneton was placed in the freezer for 1 hour. Bread was baked at 240°C for 25 minutes in dutch oven covered, followed by 23 minutes at 210°C for a total bake time of 48 minutes - which is longer than my normal 40 minutes.

Lamination stretch

Never managed to stretch this thin before in lamination!

Bread loaf

hongboy's picture

My sourdough starter is rising faster than instant yeast, normal?

July 22, 2021 - 1:57am -- hongboy

Yesterday i have taken a very small amount of instant yeast (less than 0.5g) mixed with 50g water and 50g bread flour. I want to see how the rise could be. The mixture had risen for almost 5 times in volume. 


This afternoo, after i have done the feeding for sourdough starter, I as well (for fun) feed the instant yeast mixture by scrapped of half of it and added 50g water and.50g flour. 2 hours later, i have found that the starter is rising faster than the instant yeast mixture. I am feeling very strange about it.


ned55's picture

Baking steel workflow and enhancements

July 21, 2021 - 6:29pm -- ned55

Hi folks, 


Recently made custom baking steel sheets, 8mm ~12kg each sheet. Was trying to find a sweet spot in my older Bosch Series 4 (or even older) Built-in Oven. No matter how I position it - can't get similar baking results from both shelfs, the top one has more heat and bakes faster/nicer. Tried top and bottom heating, fan forced (bosch calls it "4d hot air"), no luck to make both sheets work at the same time. 

Wondering if anyone achieved similar baking characteristics in home oven from both shelfs. 


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