The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
txfarmer's picture

This was the bread that confused me last week. The original formula in "Advanced Bread and Pastry" just seemed to have too much yeast (in addition to a whole lot of rye levain), and too long of a bulk rise and proof. Having faith in the book, stuck to the formula for the first try, massive failure. Overrisen and overproofed even after I cut the proof time in half, and drop the temperature by 10 degrees. Not one to give up easily, tried again with much less yeast (1/10 of original amount), nice results, even though I am not entirely sure ths is how the original formula intends to be.


There isn't a picture of the final product in the book, took a bit of google skills to find someone's flicker account, in which there are some photos of him taking the SFBI whole grain workshop. In two pictures, there's a glimp of this bread, they are covered by seeds and oatmeal flakes, which the book didn't mention, so here's my version of this bread.

- levain

medium rye, 85g

water, 68g

rye starter (100% hydration, no idea what hydration the original formula asks for), 10.5g


1. mix and fermentate at room temp for 12 hours.


- soaker

coarse whole wheat flour, 25g

oat flakes, 25g

sunflower seeds, 25g

pumpkin seeds, 50g

water, 121g


2. mix and soak at room temp for at least 2 hours


- main dough


bread flour, 127g

high extraction flour, 127g (I used Golden Buffalo)

medium rye, 64g

water, 165g (this is more than what's in the origainl formula, I find the dough way too dry otherwise)

salt, 11g

instant yeast, 1/8tsp (the formula calls for 1/8oz ==3.5g, 1/8tsp is about 0.38g)

honey, 7g

all soaker

all levain


3. mix everything togethe except for salt, yeast, and soaker, autolyse for 20 minutes. Add salt and yeast, mix until medium development, knead in soaker. At this point, the dough became MUCH looser and wetter. S&F came to the rescue!

4. bulk rise for 1.5 hours at about 73F, S&F at 20, 40, 60 minute.

5. divide, round, rest for 20 minutes.

6. shape into boules or batards, and place close to each other so they can proof into each other. Proof for 50 minutes. spray water, and put seeds and oat flakes on top. No need to slash.

7. bake at 450F for 35 minutes, the first 10 with steam. I covered the top for the last 15 minutes so the seeds and flakes don't get burnt.



The surface is crunch and frgrant with seeds; crumb is soft and moist from the soaker; seeds add great crunch; rye(~37%), ww, high extraction flour mingle together and create a very nice earthy flavor. A delicious and hearty bread, worth all the trial and error.





ramat123's picture

Looking at the dough during mixing

June 14, 2010 - 4:39am -- ramat123

Hi there,

I'm using Jeffrey Hamelman's book for quite sometime and went through most of the leaven breads.

I am interested mosly in leaven breads that has at least 20% rye better if the mix is high in whole wheat and rye.

The question I am trying to figure out it what does Hamelman means what asking the baker to looking at the dough and see if he needs to hydrate the dough or add some flour.

What is that you see? How do you see a well developed dough? How do you see a moderetly developed dough?

Thanks a lot,


SulaBlue's picture

Wasa-style cracker

June 14, 2010 - 3:48am -- SulaBlue

I'm guessing this is the best place to put this.


I'd like to make a whole-grain, high-fiber Wasa-style cracker. For those of you who haven't had Wasa, they're flatbread/crackers about the size of a graham cracker. They have been docked with large holes as one would do to a thin pizza crust. They are VERY dry, but very crisp. Some varieties (Multigrain and the 'hearty' varieties in particular) are about 1/4" inch thick and very airy.


jennyloh's picture

Liquid Levain - How do I know its ready?

June 14, 2010 - 3:44am -- jennyloh

I'm wondering if anyone can proivde me insight as to how do I know if my levain is ready?  I'm trying to make Vermont Soudough by Jeffrey Hamelman.  My kitchen is measuring 28 degree celsius.  Much higher than the recommended temperature.  The levain looks healthy and bubbly. It's been in my closed cool oven (not on) for the past 6 hours.

hansjoakim's picture

Now that virtually everyone in Europe is obsessing about the ongoing soccer world cup, I get the chance to hide away in the wonderfully soccer-free corners of my kitchen and indulge in my favourite hobby! Great thing that world cup, isn't it? ;)

Well, this weekend I put together a bread with toasted pumpkin seeds, toasted hazelnuts, raisins and some rolled oats. I just bought some delicious local washed rind cheese, and this loaf was the perfect pairing! You'll find the recipe by clicking here, and a photo below:

Raisin and nut sourdough


For this week's sugar-and-egg yolk section of my blog, I offer a fresh fruit charlotte. This is the charlotte from "Advanced Bread and Pastry", one that I also made last summer, and now I wanted to revisit it using some of this year's fresh berries. The charlotte is made of a ladyfinger bottom and ladyfinger band, it's filled with diplomat cream (a combination of pastry cream and whipped cream, set with gelatin), and frozen inserts of berry compote (I used fresh blackberry puree for this insert) and a tart lemon cremeux insert. Since the diplomat cream starts to set up really quickly after gelatin is added, unfortunately I didn't have opportunity to photograph the charlotte while placing the frozen inserts into it. Anyway, here's one from just before filling goes in:

Fresh fruit Charlotte

... and below is the finished charlotte. It has a wonderful combination of tart and sweet flavours, and, once you've prepared the frozen inserts, is very quick to put together. Would make a terrific, refreshing dessert on any sunny, summer afternoon:

Fresh fruit Charlotte

Rick D's picture

Gluten gone bad

June 13, 2010 - 8:56pm -- Rick D

I have a gluten question:

What could have possibly happened to the gluten structure during the first rise of my bread today?

This was a cinnamon/raisin bread which I've done many, many times with dry commercial yeast (recipe from RL Beranbaum's "The Bread Bible"), but this time, tried with a starter. My first attempt at this was more successful, but something strange happened today.

GBiAoS's picture

another lurker coming into the light

June 13, 2010 - 1:59pm -- GBiAoS

I was searching for information on the science of bread baking and the search led me here a few months ago.  I've been lurking here often since then and have learned much from the knowledgable folks on this site. 

Now that I've registered I just wanted to say hello and thank you for all I've already learned.



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