The Fresh Loaf

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


Over the last few days I took my first crack at sprouting grains. It was a resounding success that I feel has probably opened the door to more experimentation and exciting flavors in my bread. This one is primarily sprouted rye flour, sprouted rye berries and seeds. It's a great loaf of dense hearty bread. It smells super malty and sweet and the flavor of the seeds come through nicely.

Here's how I made it

192g Sifted fresh ground hard red (34%)

343g Whole fresh groung sprouted rye (61%)

54g Rye Levain (5% water, 5% rye)

341g Sprouted rye berries (61%)

84g Toasted sunflower seeds (15%)

28g Toasted sprouted pumpkin seeds (5%)

14g Salt (2 1/2%)


30 minute autolyse

mix and rest for 45 minutes

shape and ferment for two hours at room temp

16 1/4 hours in the fridge

5 1/4 hours warming up on a heating pad

bake at 450 for 45 minutes then at 430 for 50 minutes

cool for 24 hours and slice.



Ruu's picture

Dough Breaker

March 25, 2015 - 4:14pm -- Ruu

Hello again bakers,

I have got another questions. So i have been learning a recipe (W African bread) for the past few months.

My biggest concern is that this recipe calls for a very silky smooth dough. To accomplish this result, they use a machine called a "milling machine".....I think its called a "Dough breaker" here in the United states. Its looks like a dough sheeter but not the same.

This machine create a very smooth, silky elastic dough. I am unable to use this machine due to its safety concern in the united states.

hreik's picture

Soaker question

March 25, 2015 - 3:18pm -- hreik

So I love Hamelman's Seeded sourdough which has a cold soaker of flax (overnighted) and toasted sunflower and sesame seeds.  His 5-grain levain has a warm/hot soaker of flax, sunflower, cracked rye and oats.

I'm not crazy about oatmeal in bread and want to use his seeded sourdough PLUS adding the cracked rye. Since the hot soaker he uses for the 5-G combines all the seeds/oats, I cannot extrapolate out how much water to use for the rye amount.

Anyone have any suggestions? 3:1? 2:1? I will overnight it w the flax.

Thanks in advance


Thaichef's picture

Is this the correct way to test your sourdough starter ?

March 25, 2015 - 1:52pm -- Thaichef

Hello :  I kept my starter going for a while and just fed it about two hours ago. It is not bubbling now but I hope that it will after 4-5 hours.

I remembered reading Tartine Bread book at the Barnes and Noble book store and it said "to test if your starter is ready is to do a "float test" . I did and drop about 1 tablespoon of starter into a cup of water. The starter sinks to the bottom which according to Chad Robertson, the Starter is not ready!!!

I was surprised since I had been using my starter without any problem for a while. So... what to do???


Abelbreadgallery's picture

Sourdough, olive oil and some herbs

March 25, 2015 - 12:14pm -- Abelbreadgallery

Sourdough with extra virgin olive oil and some dried herbs I’ve found (rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil). For upgrading the aromas of the dried herbs, you should mix them with oil and heat it in the microwave, just a minute or less at low power. This time I’ve used 50% of sourdough per kilo of flour, a pinch of yeast, and the quantity of olive oil is about 5%. Oil gives not only aroma but also preservations and changes the structure of the crumb.

WendySusan's picture

I've been taking books from the local library to see if any are worth spending money on.  Since there is a wealth of information on this site and the internet in general, I hesitate to spend money until I know whether or not it will be a useful reference.  One of my recently borrowed books is Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish...which will also probably be a keeper.  The Pain Au Bacon recipe caught my eye so I decided to bake it the Wendy way...meaning take a recipe for a guide, and adapt it to my way of baking and hope for the best!

Last night I created the levain/starter as follows:

7:00 pm.
100 gr Wheat Sour Starter
100 gr. Rye Sour Starter
200 gr. Whole Wheat Flour
200 gr. Water

Mixed it all together and let it ferment and at 11:00 p.m, I added 50 gr. WW flour and a splash of water, mixed it and went to bed.

This morning it had almost doubled in volume and looked pretty lively.  I then put together 600 gr. of KA bread flour with 300 gr. warm water and let it sit for about 30 mins.  I then added the starter, 12 gr. of salt and while the original recipe doesn't call for it, I added 12 gr. of yeast (being some impatient and can't wait days for a rise), mixed it in the Kitchenaid until incorporated and let sit another 10 minutes before I added a pound of bacon, minus 3 slices my husband ate, that had been cooked crisp and chopped up along with two tablespoons of the bacon fat.  I then mixed it again in the mixer until it started to pull away from the sides of the bowl.  You could see the strands of gluten developing though it was still quite sticky and moist.

I tipped it out onto the floured counter and kneaded it with wet hands a few times and covered it with a bowl for 15 minutes.  I then did a stretch and fold every 15 minutes for an hour before splitting the dough between two bowls that had been lined with flour dusted towels.  I let the loaves proof a little less than an hour using the finger poke test.

Today I had to make do using an aluminum Calphalon dutch oven.  I have ordered a Lodge and 2 bannetons.


Since the recipe made two small loaves, I cooked the other on a heated stone to see how the two compared.

I set the oven for 475 degrees f and  heated both DO and stone together.  I tipped the DO loaf out and put it in and covered it.  The other loaf was put on a cornmeal strewn parchment covered cookie sheet and slid onto the stone, parchment and all.

Cooking time was 30 minutes covered and 20 minutes uncovered.  Stone loaf was done in 30 minutes and the DO loaf was done in about 15 more minutes....doneness checked with a thermometer.  The Calphalon performed very well.


Meanwhile my husband is salivating and hovering over the bread with the knife.   When we finally cut into the loafs, the one done in the dutch oven was much loftier with an incredible crispy crunchy crust...and while both loaves were really excellent the loaf on the stone while extremely nice and tasty, paled in comparison.  I probably should have used some steam on the stone boule for a crispier crust.


This was a real successful bake and I'm very pleased with the results.

nomolosca's picture

What makes a traditional baguette?

March 25, 2015 - 9:35am -- nomolosca

I'm trying to get an understanding of what, exactly, makes a traditional baguette. Most of the research I've done indicates that the ingredients must only be wheat flour, water, yeast, and salt, that there is a required length, and that the baking must be done by hand. That said, most of the recipes I've seen are more limited than what the rules allow for.

Is a baguette considered traditional if it has...

- A combination of white flour and whole wheat flour instead of just white flour, or must it be all white flour?

WendySusan's picture

Dutch Oven?

March 25, 2015 - 5:16am -- WendySusan

Having never baked bread in a dutch oven before, I decided to purchase one (along with some bannetons) so I bought a Lodge which won't get here for a few days.  Then I had a "lightbulb" moment.  I have a Calphalon 3 qt dutch  oven in anodized aluminium.  Its not as thick and heavy as I expect the lodge to be, and can only be used for a fairly small loaf, but its oven safe and was wondering if it would work as well.  Any thoughts?

Gaffri's picture

Sharing some experience with Kefir bread

March 25, 2015 - 4:26am -- Gaffri


I'm relative new to this forum but has baked sourdough for several years. I mostly bake traditional dark rye breads with different nuts, whole grains and whatever seeds I have available and also rolls/buns. I'm planning on doing some posts on rye breads and share some of those wonderful danish rye bread recipes with the rest of you.


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