Second time around.

farinam's picture

After my first blog, I have been thinking about what to write about next. Then it came to me - why not write about my second loaf with my new starter.

Ever the believer in the old adages 'practice makes perfect' and 'one swallow does not a summer make', I decided to do a repeat on the first. One small change was to  put the baking dish back in the oven so that I could easily add water for steam in the first pahse of baking.

Every thing appeared pretty much a duplicate of the first run though I was a bit more confident about using the stretch and fold technique during the pre-ferment.  The following is a snap of the dough after shaping and rising in the rye flour dredged tea-towel lined colander.

As before, turned out onto baking paper and given a checkerboard slashing.  I was also a bit more generous with the depth of cut although there was some less than perfectly clean cuts.

After a little rest to let the dough recover from the trauma of the surgical incisions, it was into the oven with water added to the baking tray to provide some steam.

After the appropriate baking times it was out for all the world to see - a sight to behold.  I didn't get to cut or taste this one since my daughter took it to Queensland to provide sustenance to a friend of hers that had his flat with at least three metres of water through it in the Brisbane floods.  Ah well, a feast for the eyes if nothing else.

My only other comment is that the base was not as 'crisped' as the previous one and I wonder whether it was due to using the steam or whether it was the changed heat distribution in the oven due to the presence of the baking tray and rack though I would have thought that the baking stone would have compensated for that.



Midnite Baker's picture
Midnite Baker 2011 January 25

Hi,  You mentioned not getting a crisp bottom.  I think you are supposed to take the paper out after the first 20 minutes of bake time.  This gives the bread direct contact with the hot stone for crispness.  Now, I know, you will make a third loaf, so try it on this one.   Also, love your idea for a lame.  Have needed to buy one, but am too cheap to spend the 5 or 6 bucks for one.  Looks like you just weaved the bamboo skewers thru the center holes of the double sided razor blade. Did you tape these together or anything?  Thanks for replying. Hope everyone your way is able to stay high & dry from the floods.


farinam's picture
farinam 2011 January 25

Appreciate the comments.  I did take the baking paper out at the 15/20 minute mark - don't remember exactly when.

I am planning another, probably tomorrow, and I will use the 'cloche' approach and take out the baking tray.

The lame is just as you say, a bamboo skewer threaded through the slots in a trusty old Wilkinson Sword.  Took a bit of a search to find them these days what with all the disposables that crowd the supermarket shelves - and more expensive than I remember.  Don't need to tape it or anything just as long as the skewer is thick enough.  The other thing I have used for a handle is a length of electricians cable-tie of an appropriate width - that gives a slightly more substantial something to hang on to but can be a bit bendy as I recall.  I just have an envelope (appropriately labelled) in the utensil drawer to put it in when not in use to save unintended surgery on unsuspecting fingers and hands.

No problems with rising waters where I am but some of my family in Queensland had a few anxious moments a couple of weeks back.



Sharona 2011 October 26

WOW!!! Congratulations on a BEAUTIFUL loaf. No problems there as far as I can see. I confer that taking the paper out about 10 minutes into the bake does make for a more crispy crust. I am using a circular pizza stone at present, and this works well for me. WELL DONE....

Montreal 2013 May 4
Crank you oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes and your bottom will be equally baked. The reason why it looks like the bottom is less baked is that the stone takes a while to get to 500 degrees. Usually the termocouple( the heat sensor) in the oven are in the middle of the oven... Sooo your oven is at 500 but not the stone. With a 30 minutes wait once your oven is at 500 you will be very happy with the results. Very nice looking bread. Also another little trick is after your full fermentation is done and ready to go in the oven, put your bread in the fridge for 4 or 5 hours to firm up the dough. When you will flip it to score it, it will hold it's shape much better and your score will look like a million buck. However your baking time will be increase by maybe 10 minutes on a 500 gre loaf and 15 minutes on a 1kg loaf( you have to experiment with this). You have to make sure that your internal temp is at 209-211 range and you will be very happy with it. Keep up the good work Dan

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