The Bread Thread

No cloth is very good. I think Gjusta used to sell a nice cloth bread bag

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Poilâne sourdough (not sour variety) loaf + Animal Farm butter is a good combo


Interesting substack from a former Cook’s Illustrated baker:

I’ve only skimmed (except for the linked Armenian Easter Bread entry) but the writer seems typically thorough like others that come out of the America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated ranks.

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He has a two-part post on ethical (and if the idea of ethical is elitist) flour sourcing - intriguing reads. Thank you, @WireMonkey.

I read Part 1 and the comments have a ton of fantastic resources for flour!

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Have been reading about the various flours that posters use in their thread in another thread (Anywhere to buy sourdough starter in South OC?) and was wondering…

When people use a diff flour, how do they modify their pre-existing bread recipe to accommodate? I typically use long proving recipe (like the Forkish recipe for overnight country blonde) and am wondering how flexible that is, if I use something to substitute for the white flour. That recipe also uses whole wheat and rye, which I think make the final product taste much better.

most of the time if you swap out less than 20% of white flour for whole wheat you really don’t need to change much about the recipe. Any more than that then yes, you may have to modify it. whole wheat is more thirsty and can take more water. it has more nutrients so your proofing times may be shorter. But honestly unless you’re doing over 50% its not going to change the proofing times much.


One of the great joys of sourdough bread baking is that you can improvise a lot - free yourself up and try different methods, different flours, different mixtures of flour, even add cheese or spices or nuts or olives. I fool around with bench proving time and levain times, water and flour grams, even.

One major tip, though: write down what you’re doing after you do it, in case you want to replicate when it comes out so fantastic that you want it again. I made the most perfect parmesan mini boule a few months ago that I didn’t write down, and have been trying to make it again, ever since:


Given the instruction that you feed a starter with half or more of it’s volume… it seems like the nature of it is constantly changing if you try different flours when you feed. My question is to what degree the starter affects the flavor, rise, and texture as compared to the affect of the flour/mixture you use in the dough.

I keep my main starter totally pure, feeding it with King Arthur All Purpose flour, only. I have created offshoot starters from that one, one with wheat (also King Arthur), one with rye (Bob’s Red Mill). The rye makes for a completely different bread, the foundation is less hydrated, but has a larger flavor - I find I have to add more water throughout the coil folds to keep it buoyant.

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@paranoidgarliclover Maybe others here feel different? but I really don’t change my recipes much because while whole wheat might be ‘thirstier’ the fancy flours like Roan Mills ect are likely to be more fresh and have more natural moisture. (like fresh dried beans vs supermarket beans). At most I’ll adjust 5/10% but it’s usually not necessary ime.


I def do that! My starter, for example, seems to “poop out” if I use temps suggested in the recipe (85 deg). It seems to like 75 deg for the longer proves.

Yeah, that’s only happened once or twice in all of my attempts. :frowning:

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Made a Dutch oven loaf today using the whole wheat flour from Grist and Toll. It smells great and looks good but didn’t rise very much. Would appreciate any tips from more experienced bakers.

Next time would you suggest

  1. Using 50% AP and 50% whole wheat
  2. Add more water
  3. Cook at higher temp than 460? We cook sourdough at 500
  4. Anything other suggestions?

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What hydration did you use and how long did you proof?

Crumb very dense. Proofed for 2 hours

400g flour
360g water
8g salt
7g yeast

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I would try and incorporate longer bulk fermentation personally. look at this recipe for example

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Your hydration is fine, but that is a very short proof for a lean dough.
Here is Ken Forkish’s recipe for overnight whole wheat:
600g white flour
400g whole wheat flour
800g water at 90 to 95 degrees
22g salt
3g instant yeast
Mix flour and water together and autolyse (let rest) for 30 minutes
Mix in salt and yeast then stretch and fold
Start rise, but stretch and fold three or four times in the first two hour
When dough is triple original size, about five hours later, divide into two and proof overnight in your refrigerator
Preheat your Dutch ovens at 475 for at least 45 minutes
Bake loaves for 30 minutes then remove lids and bake for another 20 to 25.
This makes a great loaf. After you do it the first time you can experiment with increasing the whole wheat percentage.
I highly recommend Ken’s book “Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast”

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That recipe looks very similar to how we make sourdough but we aren’t using starter. My kids don’t love sourdough.

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Thanks we are making another loaf as we speak and cut the Grist & Toll whole wheat flour with regular AP flour. We will let this one proof for longer. I think it was a combination of the flour and short proof.

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My wife isn’t fond of sourdough either.
Good luck with this loaf!