The Fresh Loaf

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

Help with Hamelman elaboration instructions

August 19, 2014 - 6:55pm -- jkandell

I'm confused about Hamelman's levain method in Bread. In the formulas, he routinely has you mix up the final levain from an active starter of 20% weight (5% for rye), fermenting for 12-16 hours at 75f. ( I think this is the "Detmolder one-stage" method?) 

But in his technical instructions on  p148 , Hamelman instructs to build the levain over two and three elaborations, starting with a small amount and growing by a factor of two or three at a time until you get the final levain.

dkozel's picture

Sanity check for first sandwich loaf

August 19, 2014 - 2:20pm -- dkozel

Hi all. I baked my first loaf a week ago for a friend's birthday. Today I picked up a loaf pan so I can make something that isn't flat. :)

Its 5" by 11" by 3". I think I need 3 pounds of dough to make a good sandwich loaf. Does this sound about right to anyone?

The recipe I think I'm going to use is:

  • 2 2/3 Cup all purpose flour
  • 3 Cup bread flour
  • 2 2/3 Cup warm milk
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • 4 Teaspoon sugar
  • 4 Teaspoon oil
  • 1 Tablespoon salt


varda's picture

One thing that happens when you bake for other people is they tell you what they want, and if you don't have it, sometimes they just walk away.   So it has gone for the past few months at farmer's markets, where a small but determined group must have their whole wheat bread, and won't even look at other offerings if it is not there.    I have been keeping a close eye on TFL for whole wheat baking.   True I have baked 100% whole wheat breads -- particularly Reinhardt's and also Pain de Mie following Janetcook's lead.   Neither of these satisfied me as a bread for sale - I was looking for an approach more in tune with my regular processes.  

Recently Last year Abel posted a bread (thanks to Bröterich for the link) made with rye sour and all whole wheat in the final dough.   (For some reason I can't find it - the post seems to have vanished.)   This inspired me, but my attempts to copy it resulted in a very bricklike substance.  So I played around a bit trying to find my own way.   Finally I stumbled on something that looked beautiful which used both my white and rye starters. The rush of the market being what it is, I sold a few loaves without having ever tasted it.   Last Saturday I brought even more to the market, and the loaves flew off the table, all the while with me wondering what in the heck I had just sold.   Fortunately though, I had a few repeat buyers, so I knew it couldn't be too bad.   This week with a bit of a slowdown since I'm not baking for the market this Saturday, I was finally able to taste my whole wheat bread.   I am really not much of a whole wheat fan - a little too healthy for my tastes, but this was really nice - particularly with the very dark crust whose sweetness contrasts nicely with the hearty crumb.   In fact I love this bread and it fits nicely into my routine, as it doesn't require any new preferments - just the ones I have on hand.

Some would call this 100% whole wheat, but of course it has some white flour and some rye flour from the starters, so I'll just call it whole wheat - seems ok.

Formula and Method:

Whole Wheat Boule   
Autolyze flour and water plus honey and oil 1:0010:30 AM
Mix all  0:1011:30 AM
Bulk Ferment  3:0011:40 AM
Shape in boule  0:302:40 PM
Proof  2:303:10 PM
Preheat 500, Load, Steam 1 min, off 6 min0:355:40 PM
Bake 25 minutes 425  6:15 PM
 FinalStartersTotalBakers %
Whole Wheat445 44584%
Whole Rye024245%
Oil74 7414%
Honey30 306%
Salt10.4 102.0%
Starter104 104 
Rye Sour44 44 
Total Flour532   
Starter is all white, 67% hydration  
Rye sour is all whole rye, 80% hydration - using Great 
River Whole Rye   
Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

This loaf was made using the sponge and dough method. A KitchenAid K5SS stand mixer equipped with a spiral dough hook was employed. The sponge was set in the mixer bowl and covered with plastic wrap, then fermented for eight hours. The dough was re-mixed for a little over two minutes because of the high rye content.

33.3% Dark Rye Flour
37.5% Stone Ground White Whole Wheat Flour
2% Vital Wheat Gluten
0.5% Salt
0.5% Instant Yeast
68% Water (Variable)

29.2% Bread Flour
5.6% Honey
2% Shortening
1.5% Salt

The photo below depicts the dough ingredients on top of the sponge just before remixing.

After remixing, the dough is rounded and given a ten minute rest (floor time), then shaped, panned, proofed, and baked.

Grilled Swiss cheese on rye with tomato and baby portabella mushrooms.

rgreenberg2000's picture

Resilient little bugger!!

August 19, 2014 - 10:30am -- rgreenberg2000

It's been a while since I have participated here, but I just had to post this am.  I am amazed at what a resilient little bugger my starter is..... For reasons I won't go into it has been neglected a LONG TIME in my fridge.  In fact, last night, when I decided to pull it out, I literally had to chip out most of it, to get at the small amount that remained with some moisture (the consistency of putty.)

Grandpa Larry's picture
Grandpa Larry

My wife claims that the older I get, the more like my mother I become. One of her idiosyncrasies was her distrust of any food not prepared by her.

I guess I am a little like that. I bake almost all of our bread, and I recently started culturing my own yogurt. I've noticed that, unless I strain some of the water out the yogurt is thinner than the supermarket variety, but it makes a perfect substitute for buttermilk in muffin, scone, pancake, and biscuit recipes. It's the consistency of store bought buttermilk.

Here's a recipe for Blueberry Muffins using yogurt.  My family really likes these muffins. You have my permission to use any yogurt you please.

2 Cups    All Purpose Flour

1 tsp        Baking Powder

1/2 tsp     Baking Soda

1/2 tsp     Salt

3/4 Cup   Sugar

1 Cup      Yogurt or Buttermilk

1 Egg

3 Tbl.      Veg Oil

1 heaping cup fresh Blueberries.

Whisk all dry ingredients until they are well combined.  Add berries and stir until they are all coated with flour mixture.

Combine egg, oil, and yogurt

Add liquid to flour/berry mixture. Mix until combined.

Scoop into muffin tins.

Bake in 375F oven until golden brown. About 15 minutes. Makes 12-14 regular or 6-7 jumbo muffins.

Make your own buttermilk:  Add 1 Tbl lemon juice or 1 Tbl white vinegar to 1 cup room temperature milk. Allow to sit until clabbered. If using lemon juice, add the zest to the batter.


Behnam's picture

Malt powder vs. Malt extract power

August 19, 2014 - 9:43am -- Behnam


Where I live, only one manufacturer produces malt related stuff, and they have two (well technically three) different types of barley malt:

The first one is labeled as Malt Extract, which is lucky honey, I think it would be called Malt Syrup worldwide.\

The second one is Malt Extract Powder, which is made from spray drying the Malt Extract.

And the third one is Malt Powder, which I don't know how it's made, and its cheaper than the other two


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