The Fresh Loaf

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

Soft Red Winter (Pastry) Wheat for sale

July 24, 2014 - 9:29am -- Dautobi Acres

This is our first year of selling our wheat retail. Just harvested this month is soft red winter wheat.  It is being double cleaned now.  It is certified organic and is currently in 50 pound bags for about $60.00 plus shipping/delivery. We are breaking it into smaller size bags in the coming weeks.  If anyone is interested, please get in touch with us.    Thanks !

SweetMK's picture

Is There a Way To Obtain Local Yeast??

July 24, 2014 - 8:32am -- SweetMK

From what I have read, fungi is everywhere. I just read a thread about beginning a wild yeast sourdough with the fungi that is on the purchased wheat berries.

I have heard that even though you can start with an obtained source for sourdough starter, eventually, local fungi will take over the starter, that makes sense, to me. The local fungi are best suited to the local conditions.Therefore the local fungi should be able to "take over" the wild yeast sourdough starter that you nurture.

If your starter is gonna end up there, why not start with that?? 

Catomi's picture

In my last couple of blog posts, I had some questions and difficulties. People were very helpful with suggestions, and this week's baking was much more successful. Thank you!

First, the bread. This is the white-wheat blend (Ode to Bourdin) from Tartine 3; I've decided to stick with baking this until I've got it down. Last time I had some unexpected large holes in the middle of my loaves. Based on suggestions, I allowed them to proof a while longer in their final loaf forms, and I used almost no flour for shaping (I was absolutely convinced this would cause a sticky mess, and was so surprised that it didn't; actually, it worked quite well!). 

I did have some issues with getting one of the loaves in the dutch oven. I only had enough parchment paper for one loaf, so I had to scoop and dump the other by hand into the dutchie. This, combined with using a larger bowl for that loaf for the final proof (I swear I have another small one around somewhere, and am convinced my husband has hidden it on me), resulted in a much flatter loaf. No big central holes so far, though! I am amused by the difference in shape between my two loaves (the perkier one was gently inverted onto a parchment paper-lined peel and slid into the combo cooker):


Here is a pic showing crumb:


I also made a fresh batch of grilled pIzza. My last batch was based on the Cook's Illustrated recipe, and on the advice of isand66 I tried Peter Reinhart's recipe instead. Holy schlamoley, what a difference. The CI recipe was gluteny and gloppy and I had difficulty transferring it from the cookie sheet to the grill without massive changes in shape. The Reinhart recipe was more like a firm flatbread. It maintained form, I could lift it easily, and it held up well to the large quantities of toppings I used. The Reinhart crust was a little less bubbly, but it had a nice wheaty taste, and I think I could get it thinner than I did. I was erroring on the side of caution due to my previous experiences. I did use white whole wheat flour, as I keep that around and rarely have all purpose. It worked just fine. Bonus, I have dough for three more pizzas in my freezer. 

Here are the three pizzas I made. Clockwise from top, a pesto tomato mozzarella pizza, a chicken and peppers with mozzarella and fontina pizza, and a spinach, onions and mozzarella pizza. All were brushed with garlic/red pepper flake olive oil before toppings were added. They were really good. 


I also made another batch of sourdough English muffins (no picture this time). I rolled these thinner, since the first batch did rise quite a bit during baking. I like them better this way (and I discovered that if I roll them on a cookie sheet, the edge of the sheet limits my rolling them out to just about 1/2" - perfect! I love when I find a lazy solution). 

So overall this week has felt very successful, in large part to the suggestions I've received here. I hope everyone else is having a good week, too!

(edited for clarity)

chimig's picture

Not sure if this is where to post but help please.

July 24, 2014 - 2:35am -- chimig

First post. I'm just a student trying to get better at bread making. I understand the concept and process, but cant seem to execute. I have yet to master basic yeast flour water salt bread.

I do a 65% hydration dough. Throw it all together and knead til windowpane. I've done it in the mixer and by hand with the same result. I let it rise til doubled, shape, then let it double again. I think my fault is in the shaping. My crust comes out shaggy, uneven and ugly. 

AbeNW11's picture

No Knead Sourdough Rye Recipe

July 24, 2014 - 2:14am -- AbeNW11

Hi All,

Need some advice. The last time I tried my first sourdough 100% Rye it was a huge flop. Could've sold it to a builder for bricks. I don't know what I did wrong. My 100% Rye Starter is very healthy! I have a standard recipe that I convert for all flours and works really well, till I tried it with Rye.

450g flour

66% Hydration

45g Starter @ 100% hydration

11g Salt

I have had big success with Spelt, Khorasan, Einkorn (even) using this formula but my Rye didn't get off the ground.

Thanks guys

BagelGuy's picture

Scaling Up A Bagel Shop

July 23, 2014 - 12:23pm -- BagelGuy

Hi everyone,

I launched an artisanal bagel shop a year and a half ago. The results have been very positive. We've got a loyal customer base and business has been steady since the start.

We mix our doughs in a small spiral mixer (12 dozen dough max), retard over night in a fridge, boil in honey water and bake in an ancient but reliable Middleby Marshall gas conveyor oven.

We do 30 dozen a day during the week and 40 dozen on weekends. However, I'd like to be able to do 100-200 dozen a day to shore up our wholesale side.

isand66's picture

   This past weekend my wife and I visited one of our favorite supermarkets, Fairway Market which has a great selection of cheeses, fresh sour pickles, grains, meats etc.  I picked up some pearled barley and this great tasting cheddar like cheese called Double Gloucester which they were doing a free samplingI had some left-over mashed potatoes and caramelized onions, so naturally these needed to be incorporated into a bread.  Who doesn't like potatoes, cheese and onions?

I wanted to incorporate some stiff egg whites to try and make the overall bread a little lighter with the onions and cheese but it didn't really seem to make that much of a difference.

Since I've been experimenting a lot with the porridge method per Tartine 3 I figured why not use the barley as a porridge.  It didn't quite get as creamy as the oats or the multi-grain mix I used last time but it still added a nice texture to the final bread.

The final dough did not expand quite as much as I would have liked in the oven but the results were tasty none the less.  The onions really come through with the cheese and this made some great grilled bread with my steak dinner last night.

Please note: The formula below includes the water content from the potatoes and egg whites. The actual water added to the main dough when mixing should be 85 grams.



Potato-Caramelized Onions-Cheese-Barley Porridge  (%)

Potato-Caramelized Onions-Cheese-Barley Porridge  (weights)

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.


Levain Directions Build 1 (Using AP Starter at 66% Hydration for Seed)

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my Proofer set at 81 degrees and it took about 4 hours.

Oat Porridge Directions

Add about 3/4's of the water called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the water is absorbed.  Add the remainder of the water and keep stirring until you have a nice creamy and soft porridge.  Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature before adding to the dough.  I put mine in the refrigerator and let it cool quicker.

 For Egg Whites:
Separate eggs and beat until peaks are formed.


 Main Dough Procedure

Mix flours and water for 1 minute.  Let sit for 20 - 60 minutes.

Fold in egg whites then add levain, cooled porridge, potatoes and salt and mix on low for 4 minutes.  Add onions and mix for 1 minute until incorporated and then add the cheese and mix for 1 additional minute.

In lightly oiled bowl or work surface S&F several times. Let rest for 10-15 minutes and S&F again. Repeat 1 x.  After a total of 2 hours refrigerate dough for 12 - 24 hours. (Note: this is a pretty wet dough so you may need to do a couple of additional stretch and folds).

Remove dough from refrigerator 1.5 to 2 hours before using.

Shape as desired. Proof for 1.5 - 2 hours (depending on room temperature) and will only rise about 1/3 it’s size at most.

Preheat oven to 550º F, including steam pan.

Score bread, and place in oven. After 5 minutes reduce temperature to 450ºF.  Bake for 35-50 minutes, until nicely browned (205ºF).

Cool on rack at least for 2 hours before eating.









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