Sunday, November 15, 2009

new findings

been baking bread for over a year. tried various stuffs, various recipes, various methods...

current favourite method is the "stretch and fold" technique on very wet doughs, learned from richard bertinent's book "crust".

one thing that i could never quite get right is that the holes on the bread tend to be a lot smaller on the bottom side compared to the top side of the bread. this is directly related to my baking bread with a cold, as in room temp, baking sheet.

ideally, would like to place the very wet dough on a very hot baking sheet and let it bake but could never get this right as how do you handle very wet dough? what kind of peel can do the job?

seems like we need to flour it a lot, but flouring too much destroys the delicate (and delicious crust) while flouring too little... might as well don't flour it.

this bothered for quite a while until i read on some italian pizza baker's forum, this suggestion to use rice flour!


nevertheless, you only know it works if you try it.

see made myself a wooden peel (just a piece of 2mm thin plywood), oiled it with food grade mineral oil, then let it dry. to use it, flour it generously with rice flour.

place the wet dough on it and...

works like magic! the very wet dough has no problem sliding in any direction i want it to!

so finally baked bread - for just the second time - on a very hot baking sheet and the dough responds magnificently!

the sides of the bread "curl up". it doesn't even stick to the baking sheet as the heat bakes and seals the base. inside, the holes are more evenly spaced and the whole bread seems a lot more tender. even better half commented it's much softer to slice.

above is rosemary raisin 80% whole wheat bread. goes very well with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

found this great bread spread too - black sesame spread. simply delicious! goes well with the multi seed, multi grain bread.

there you have it!

ps :  i like my wooden peel so much, if you tell me you need one, i may make one for you!


  1. Is there a picture of the wooden peel? BTW, great blog on bread making from M'sia pov.

  2. i'll snap a pic one of these days. it's just a piece of 2mm plywood but works so well!

  3. Where can I get it? BTW, how do I email you.

  4. one of my hobby is building my own home audio, including loudspeaker enclosures, so i do some woodworking too.

    sometimes i come across 2mm plywood. i use this loh.

    you could email me at