The Wood-Fired Blog

Bread Photos. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I’ve been baking bread for years and years. It was my baking and building hobbies that led me to start Forno Bravo in the first place (those many years ago). So I am happy to say that my baking has continued to improve of the past months, and that my bread is a lot better than it was 10 years ago.

Which doesn’t mean that I still don’t make a lot of mistakes, though I think it does mean that I at least understand what the mistake is when I see. Which is a big step in the right direction. Going ahead, I am going to start posting bread photos, along with a brief description of what went wrong, and how I think I can fix the mistake in the future.

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Here goes. This one came out pretty good. This is a 100% whole wheat sourdough loaf with 80% hydration, three builds and overnight, refrigerated fermentation. I brought the dough of oven refrigerator first thing in the morning, let is warm up, shaped my boule an let is proof at room temperature for about three hours. Timing sourdough is one of my biggest sources of mistakes, but retarded fermentation in the refrigerator (along with folding, yeah!) is the most important thing I have incorporated into my baking recently. It makes it a little bit easier to get the timing right, for not under-proofing or over-proofing by loaves, and when you get it right, the results a much better. The crumb is more mature, with better texture and better flavor, and the crust has better color, and a thick, chewy feel.

I still have a really long way to go — there are some incredible bread photos out there (which, of course, require really incredible bread to photograph in the first place), but for now I am happy that my bread is still improving. And that I haven’t hit a plateau yet.

Next up. Some mistakes, what went wrong, and how I have tried to avoid that problem in the future.