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Fresh Baked: The trials & tribulations of baking bread in a cold stone farmhouse

 Inspired by the book and video by Tartine Bakery, Jason's love for bread baking has been re-ignited! He lovingly feeds his mother/starter every morning created by natural yeast in the air and flour from the fields surrounding our farmhouse. He takes notes on everything, the bubbles in the starter, the smell, the airy pockets in the dough, the time each step is started/completed. The Tartine Bread Book is not just about simply baking bread but becoming a bread baker. Join us as we chronicle the steps of baking bread in a cold stone farmhouse in Italy!

Crust and color looks good but still pancake like and heavy in hand, not light. There's no rise in the oven.

Again here, notice the right side droops down.  The dough rises near the kitchen fireplace, the warmest place in the house - but you can see the final product is still a bit flat.

Some air pockets have formed around the crust but the middle still looks too dense and compact. There are three possible causes for the dense crumb: 1. Keeping a constant temperature in my cold kitchen during the bulk fermentation or the first rise. 2. The starter isn't ripe enough when I mix it for the leaven. (Again - cold temps) or 3. I'm not shaping it right which is why I'm not getting it to spring up when it bakes.

Any bread bakers out there with experience in high hydration doughs let me know! I'll keep trying in the meantime....


  1. What temperature water are you using when you feed your starter and when you mix your final dough?
    How long are you bulk fermenting first and then how long after it's shaped? Are you pre shaping and then reshaping the dough? Also, are you turning/folding the dough? How many times?
    I think maybe I should just call you...

  2. Here are a few strange but useful hot places to warm up your dough (or cheese starter) in a cold kitchen:
    -on top of your fridge (that's why the cats like to sleep there)
    -next to your water heater tank
    -next to a radiator
    -next to your laptop that is running some sort of program
    -near your flat screen tv (that is turned on)..those give off a ton of heat

    Hope that helps!


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