Mellow Bakers – Rustic Bread

This is my first contribution to Mellow Bakers. I like this forum where people can share their bread baking results by following recipes from the book “Bread” by Jeffrey Hamelman.

In this rustic bread, there is 10% rye, 10% wholemeal and 80% bread flour (I used King Arthur All Purpose). Hydration is 69% and the dough was pretty slack. I stopped kneading when it had medium gluten development and gave it 2 folds during the first fermentation instead.

However the dough was still too slack to make a shape except making it into a ciabatta. It spreaded out as well when removing from the couch to the baking tray. As a result the bread was resulted quite flat. I think I should use stronger flour next time!

The bread was baked at 450F for 38mins. Its taste was good with a complex flavor in the crumb and crust. Love it, except my skills in managing the dough strength is yet to be improved!

Update on Dec 11, 2010

I’ve always thought King Arthur’s All Purpose Flour can be used for bread as there was a baguette recipe on the back of its flour bag. Until a month ago I received an email reply from King Arthur as I asked them about the flour, I realized I should really use bread flour suggested in Jeffrey Hamelman’s book instead of AP, as AP is a soft flour. Now I know why my rustic bread turned flat!!

Leave a comment


  1. This looks great. Very nice open crumb! I also had the problem that it spread out, but I even used a brotform. It spread out once I transferred it from the brotform to the peel…

    • Thanks! I will try using a brotform next time, if not successful, I think I’ll need to cut back the water!

  2. That looks like a seriously good bread! Lovely open crumb. Sometimes the other thing to reduce is the time of the first prove, so shape the dough when the dough is maybe 50 percent bigger and showing good aeration, don’t wait for it to double at this stage. It’s always worth experimenting with these things. 🙂 Joanna

    • You’ve reminded me that maybe I’ve let the dough proved too long. It’s hotter in hong kong so I should reduce the first fermentation time. I’ll have better control on the experiement next time. 🙂

  3. Looks beautiful. I loved reading about your experiences. I sometimes give mine an extra stretch & fold if the dough feels too slack, but I’m pretty new to this! =) I’ve been contemplating a brotform, too . . . tell me how it goes if you get one! =)

  1. Mellow Bakers April 2010: (3) Rustic Bread + GIVEAWAY! « Family & Food

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