The Fresh Loaf


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The Fresh Loaf
Tartine Method in a Cold House

Tartine Method in a Cold House

Ever since winter came I've been having trouble getting my Tartine style (70 - 85% hydration) to firm up the way it did in the summer.  The Temps in my house are about 19-22 C and 66-72 F.  I've tried:

1. Allowing for extra time in the Autolyse:  I've tried giving anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours.

2. Allow time for bulk rise: I've tried providing 5-6 hours for bulk rise doing a fold every 30 minutes.

3. Once on the bench, because the dough hasn't firmed up at all it is very difficult to work with since it just sticks to my work surface (unlike when the weather was warmer).

I know the easy answer is to have a proofing box of some sort (like using the oven) but my oven is extremely small and I honestly don't think I can fit two containers in it; one with hot water and another with the dough.  I live in China and built in ovens are hard to come by.

Is there anything else I can do to try and alleviate this?  What do others do with their high hydration breads in the winter months?

Up with people

Up with people

Old Hobart A200

Old Hobart A200


I have a Hobart A200 which i bought recently and it was probably made in the 50's.

The agitator shaft on my machine is very loose, so i have a new shaft & bearings ordered, Im also going to change the grease in the machine too.
My question is the dough hook and mixing paddel have a little play when attached to the agutator shaft, should i replace them or are they ok.


Think I over proofed again!

Think I over proofed again!

1-2-3 method. 3/4 white flour and 1/4 whole spelt.

Trying out my new 1kg banneton. Way to big for my mini oven. Salvaged a dough that was hanging off the sides. And again I think I over proofed. My doughs are always quicker than times advised. 

Still tastes great though.

I'm ready to try my hand at a sourdough baguette. Please suggest a forumula

I'm ready to try my hand at a sourdough baguette. Please suggest a forumula

Which formula would all you experienced baguette makers suggest for someone who has yet to try her hand?

Many thanks

Roasted Potato-Sweet Potato Onion SD Bread

Roasted Potato-Sweet Potato Onion SD Bread

 I needed to take a break from baking and eating rye bread .  I was in the mood for a nice lighter loaf and since I had some leftover sweet potatoes and roasted fingerling potatoes along with some caramelzied onions the rest fell into place very easily.

I used a combination of European style flour from KAF (you can substitutes bread flour or AP along with about 5% white whole wheat), Durum flour and a little First Clear.

If you love onions you will be very happy with this one for sure.  There is nothing that smells better when baking than a bread with onions and the taste was fantastic.

This formula would also make great rolls for the holidays.  I would probably add some crannberries or cherries and maybe some walnuts if desired.

Hope you get a chance to try these for yourself.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.


Sweet Potato-Potato Onion Bread (%)

Sweet Potato-Potato Onion Bread (weights)

Download BreadStorm .BUN file here.


Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours with the main dough water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, potatoes, (make sure you mash up the potatoes), butter and salt and mix on low for 5 minutes and then add in the onions and mix for one additional minute.   You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but  manageable.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 5 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.   Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.




Rye Test Week 3--Wroclaw Trencher Bread (Poland) and Weinheim Carrot Bread (Germany)

Rye Test Week 3--Wroclaw Trencher Bread (Poland) and Weinheim Carrot Bread (Germany)

Who knew there were so many different styles of rye bread?  This is just the third week of testing and I am continued to be amazed and impressed by the recipes in the new yet to be published book on international rye breads.

This week's breads included one from Poland called Wroclaw Trencher bread which is meant to used as a plate to hold your meal.  This was by far the most sour tasting of any of the breads to date and would go great with a nice beef stew.



The second bread for this week was the Weinheim Carrot bread.  Main

I have to admit I wasn't sure how I would feel about a bread with carrots in it since I'm not a big fan of carrot cake, but you really don't taste them very much.  This bread includes a whole bunch of seeds and other goodies and is a real nice and hearty loaf.  Definitely something I can see being very popular in Germany.




So far all of the breads I have made have been well received by my own gang of taste testers and I look forward to baking the next batch this week.


Bakers Percentage

Bakers Percentage

Hi! This is my first post after monitoring and learning for months. I am fairly new to baking having started the sourdough culture (Bubba) used most weekends shortly after Christmas last year. The question I have is about bakers percentage. When figuring out a final dough weight of 700gm and a hydration of 75% how do you come up with the beginning flour weight?  Thanks so much for the knowledge acquired from all you already.


Sourdough/Instant Yeast Holy Ciabatta Basil,Cheese,Sesame,Tomato,Purple Rice

Sourdough/Instant Yeast Holy Ciabatta Basil,Cheese,Sesame,Tomato,Purple Rice



***  A lot more pictures at my blog if interested :


Kansui Pretzels

Kansui Pretzels

Couldn't find lye to make laugenbrotchen that I so missed from Austrian. Nope didn't work out as you can see! Anyone tried using kansui and had succeeded?


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