Kafir and Kafir Whey


Kafir and Kafir Whey

Submitted by Aileen Reid on August 26, 2016 - 4:42am.

First of all, I do not use a 'starter'.  I make fermented bread but add 1/4 teaspoon of yeast to my dough before letting it ferment on the counter for 24 hours.  Recently, I've started adding some of my kafir whey to my water quantity.  It adds a little something to the bread.  When I use the actual Kafir, I get a baguette that would mirror a sourdough loaf in taste, but the kafir makes the crumb softer than an artisan bread.  so, here's my question......


has anyone used Kafir as their starter.  I'm going to experiment and see if the Kafir will actually act as a wild yeast, and just wondered if anyone has given this a whirl.     

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Emile Henry Baguette Baker/Questions


Emile Henry Baguette Baker/Questions

Submitted by nillo on August 26, 2016 - 5:15am.


I was given the Emile Henry Baguette Baker, and I have a couple of questions: The instructions say to proof the baguettes in the baker, and place the baker in the preheated oven. Whenenver I am baking in a ducth oven or other pot, I preheat the pot and place the bread in there once it's time to bake - would this not be better for the baguettes as well?

Also, the lid has holes. Would you recommend to close these? What is the point of the holes since you want the steam to stay in the baker for the first minutes....

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Stone baked bread bottom has no appeal


Stone baked bread bottom has no appeal

Submitted by McTavish on August 26, 2016 - 3:35am.


I'm having problems with bread not baking underneath when using my baking stone. The rest of the surface looks fine, tastes great but lacks depth of colours and harder crust to the bottom. I initially suspected the stone wasn't getting hot enough, so I tried going from a 30 minute oven preheat at 230C (max temp) to a full 1 hour preheat and still having same issue.

I experimented and did 2 sourdough loaves, a Boule and a sort of Batard shape from the same batch. After shaping both, the Boule retarded in the fridge for 15 hours, and the Batard was left to prove at room temperature for about 4 hours.

Both baked at 230C for an initial 10mins and then reduced to 210C for a further 40mins. Both (and most breads I've made) have had great oven spring using the stone, yet after the 50mins baking time the bottom surface looks nothing like the rest of the bread.

Also, noticed from earlier bakes in the past, that when I retard the prove it always cracks and blows out on the underside of the bread. (see Boule, it kinda did the same thing again)

I've posted some pics to show end results. At this stage I'm only guessing it's likely something to do with the baking environment but would love to hear you guys valued opinions and advice as how to avoid this.

Thanks! ;)


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Sourdough Bread With Sprouted Organic Einkhorn, Sprouted Organic Brown and Golden Flax Seeds


Sourdough Bread With Sprouted Organic Einkhorn, Sprouted Organic Brown and Golden Flax Seeds

Submitted by Cedar Mountain on August 25, 2016 - 6:24pm.

Well, my sprouts really took off with the heat of these last few days - it's been unseasonably hot here on the West Coast. And how can you tell when bread baking has become more than just a pastime? When it's 30+ C and you're first thought is to get the oven preheated to bake bread! However, I suspect most of the folks frequenting TFL are hardcore bakers too and not likely to see anything unusual about that so here's today's bake....

I used 20% fresh milled whole grains (rye, einkhorn, red fife) with 80% organic, unbleached white flour; autolysed for 2 hours before adding a very young levain (225 g, 2 hours old). After an hour I added 22 g sea salt and started the bulk fermentation at a very warm room temperature 25 C.  I added 125 g sprouted organic einkhorn berries and 125 g sprouted organic gold/brown flax seeds after the second series of folds; did 5 folds total over 2 1/2 hours. The initial hydration was 75% with another 50 g water added with the salt and another 50 g added with the sprouted grains/seeds; final hydration was 85%.  After a 4 hour bulk fermentation, with a few trips back and forth to the fridge to control the temperature, the dough was billowy and bubbly.  Pre-shaped, bench rested 30 minutes, then did the final shaping, into baskets and overnight cold proofed in the fridge for 12 hours.  The bake was done before the day got really hot - covered at 500 F for 20 minutes, 450 F for 10 minutes; uncovered 450 F for 18 minutes.  

I was pleasantly surprised by the flavour of this bread - the sprouted flax seeds have a really grassy taste that reminded me of olive oil and the sprouted einkhorn with the fresh milled grain flour (forgot to mention I also added 25 g of toasted crushed sesame seeds for a background flavour) was really earthy, nutty like I imagine real wheat is supposed to taste like!  I like this bread....my favourites list is getting so full there's really no point having a favourites list - so many breads to bake, so little time!

Sprouted Organic Einkhorn Berries


Sprouted Organic Gold and Brown Flax Seeds


And the reward at the end of a very hot day in the kitchen...fresh bread and fermented butter









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Starter Help


Starter Help

Submitted by Baking Dad on August 25, 2016 - 6:12pm.

   I've been lurking and reading, and trying to learn.  Today, I stumbled across a little Mennonite bakery/diner, and the ladies were kind enough to give me some sourdough starter to take home.  I was all excited, but didn't really pay attention to it as the woman tucked the jar in a paper bag and gave it to me.  When I got home, what I have is something I have no idea what to do with, and would love some advice.


   I have a small, pint jar, about half full of starter.  When I first saw it, it was sort of milky and very liquidy.  After sitting on the counter for a bit, it has sort of settled, and the bottom quarter is a white precipitate, and the rest is a clearish liquid, that reminds me of whey when making cheese.


   I didn't realize that it would be so thin and liquidy.  Is this normal?  I mean, I understand it works for the Mennonite lady who gave it to me, but I didn't think to ask how to prepare it, and I won't be in that part of the state again anytime soon.  I was picturing something more solid, like very wet dough that would bubble and froth, but that's not this at all.


   Do I just start like the normal directions say, and start feeding it with rye flour, and then graduate to regular flour?


  Any advice and/or tips would be greatly appreciated.  I don't want to waste this opportunity!



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Really tough crust


Really tough crust

Submitted by tom scott on August 25, 2016 - 12:32pm.

I just finished a boule with and unusually tough crust.  Any pointers are welcome

I started with a 600 Gr loaf of AP flour & 450 gr of room temp water (70 deg +/-).  I let it set at room temp for 24 hours.  At the beginning I did some stretch and folds in the bowl.  When I turned it out after 24 hours I had a very wet dough but not unmanageable.  I did 2 back to back S&F with the bench scraper and then put it in a bowl for 1 hour while preheating the oven and 4 quart DO.  I came out looking real nice.  Crumb looks good with no huge holes but plenty of holes.  The taste & texture of the crumb is good.  I like a tough, chewy crust but this one is extremely tough.  

Any thoughts, pointers, etc.  No photos.

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Sourdough Bread


Sourdough Bread

Submitted by Sniffit on August 25, 2016 - 12:54pm.

(1)-Give 1/4 cup of your `Starter` a good feeding-(Make sure to make it a little thicker than usual...(2)-While the `Starter` is slowly activating---get a mixing bowl-(I use one where the inside rim of a glass lid to a 10-inch skillet fits perfectly on top making a tight seal---loosen the screw that holds the lid handle just a little bit---this let's just a little air out during all procedures)...(3)...`Autolyse`(add 1-and-1/2 cups of flour-(I use 1-1/4 bread flour+1/4 wheat)-Plus-3/4 cup of filtered water to bowl---Mix well---Put on lid---let rest for 30 min...(4)...Remove lid---wet fingers---fold dough from sides into the center while slowly turning bowl and messaging center between folds---put lid back on and wait another 30 to 40 minutes and repeat---do this 4 or 5 times...(5)...Add 2-teaspoons of sugar+1-teaspoon of salt---mix well---then add-3/4 cup of activated `Starter`---incorporate and add additional flour to form a stiff dough...(6)...Put lid back on---let rest for 2 to 3 hours--or until double in size...(7)...wet fingers---fold in sides to center---knead a little---put lid on and refrigerate for 18 hours...(8)....Preheat oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes---while oven is preheating---place a sheet of parchment paper on medium size baking sheet. (Do not remove dough from fridge until the 30 minutes are up....(9)....Scoop out dough slowly onto the parchment and put immediately into oven...(10)...After 12 or 13 minutes---turn loaf around---turn down oven heat to 350 degrees....continue baking and turning loaf again after another 15 or 20 minutes---Check with temperature gauge periodically until reading reaches 205 degrees. (Option)...brush top and sides with extra virgin olive oil---turn oven off---let loaf rest in oven a few more minutes----remove to cooling rack.....


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Starter too active?


Starter too active?

Submitted by DKrause on August 25, 2016 - 11:04am.

Hi all, 

Newb here. I've been trying, and failing for some time to create a decent loaf of sourdough bread. But I have managed, for the past 9 months, to keep and feed my starter.

It has been living in the icebox for about 3 weeks, but I want to try baking again this Saturday, so Wednesday morning, I took 4oz of my starter (always a 50/50 mix, flour and water) out, and feed it 4oz/4oz. Wednesday evening, it had a considerable amount of hootch on it, and was very thin. This is my normal reaction I get, so I figured it needed more food.

Now we're at Thursday morning, and I feed the whole mess, (the original 4oz, plus yesterdays 4oz/4oz feeding) another 6oz/6oz.

About 2 hours later, I noticed it has doubled already! (I wish I'd taken a picture of it earlier.)

This is 2 hours after Thursday mornings feeding.

Notice, it's below the curve, or "shoulder" of the bottle. Less than an hour later:

It's well over the curve.

Another hour:


But it's already collapsed:

This all happened in less than 4 hours in a 74f kitchen.

I suppose this is good, but are there things I should be watching for, like greatly reduced dough development time? I believe my last few tries came out way over proofed, because I was waiting, folding, etc about 8 hours after initially creating the dough. If my starter is this fast, should it be going from dough to over in more like 4 hours?

Or, have I done something horribly wrong, and my starter is something other than sourdough? It smells yeasty, nice and pleasant, not off-putting, or sour. (I'd prefer the breads on the sour side..)


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Dinner rolls and othere summer bakes


Dinner rolls and othere summer bakes

Submitted by Skibum on August 25, 2016 - 10:18am.

Well I haven't posted in more than a month, but have been busy baking different things. The dinner rolls are a take of P. Reinharts soft pull apart dinner rolls from ABED.  This batch of 325 grams total flour yielded 6 rolls at 104 grams each, so I thought why not bake them off in a muffin tin?

All of the my bakes are leavened with a refreshed liquid levain. Here is the formula for the rolls:

50 g levain

325 g bread flour

175 g milk, scalded

30 g honey, added to the hot milk

32 g butter

20 g egg

Mixed and developed using 4 sets of stretch and folds with 10 minutes rest. Bulk rise was 2:15, then I divided and shaped, baked at 400F convection with steam for 7 minutes, turned removed steam and baked a further 7 minutes.

Here are some lemon ricotta cookies courtesy of Giada:


These are the BOMB!

Hoagie/ cheese steak buns. Again adapted from Reinhart's ABED.

Pita, pita pita! Boy did these turn out great. It makes me want to bake another batch.

Last, but not least is an exploding loaf of pulla. I thought I had the braid ends together.

Finished braid

Proofed braid

Final loaf with one end blown apart

Happy baking TFL friends!  Ski

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