The Fresh Loaf

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

After the success of my "Monster Multigrain Miche", I went on to develop sourdough rye breads. Again. Failing repeatedly across the span of 2 years, I finally achieved what I call "Strong Rye".

  • "Strong Rye": German-style sourdough rye bread (Roggenmischbrot) featuring 80% whole grain rye flour (T170) imported from France and freshly ground German-style spice mix (caraway, fennel, etc)

The formula is an adaptation of Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread recipe "80% Sourdough Rye with Rye Soaker." The crust; crackly and boldly baked. The crumb; dense, smooth, and moist (or "juicy" as Germans would say), with a light tang accompanied by a strong, earthy, sweet aroma and flavour of rye. Unfortunately, no photo of the crumb. I keep forgetting to snap a shot!

Approved and thoroughly enjoyed by 2 German taste-testers. I am happy to say, to my surprise, the Strong Rye is now picking up in popularity by my customers!

  • My farmers market bread display. Left to right: Bagels, Strong Rye, Monster Multigrain Miche, Ciabatta. Top: "Normandy" white bread

After attending my local farmers market nearly every Sunday for 2 and a half years, I have begrudgingly decided to discontinue my attendance as a vendor starting from this Sunday. To hasten progress, I must concentrate my efforts into opening our bakery-shop with my partner (Cake Baker) Jana. 


Major construction and installations are completed. Now on to "minor" tasks: designing uniforms, designing signage, designing menu, procuring tableware, packaging and outstanding equipment, setting up POS system, hiring and training new staff, and the list goes on and on and on.

We hope to launch 3 weeks from now but further flexibility and patience may be required.

A week ago we received our proofing baskets (Brotformen) from Germany. I'm unreasonably excited as these do not exist in Cambodia. However, now having these baskets at hand, I will likely search for rattan crafters to produce custom baskets for our bakery. Another lengthy but worthwhile project!

Cheers and happy baking, all. I shall update you again in the near or distant future!

Mr. Zita
Head Bread Baker
Bang Bang


leslieruf's picture

Another baguette attempt, this time using Trevor Wilson's easy SD baguette recipe.  I doubled the recipe and made 4 x 350 g baguettes and a small boule with remaining dough.   It was a bit cool and dough was slow, I got hung up on time so I think I did not bulk ferment enough. Still, baguettes are a big improvement on last lot, I used my new larva rocks so although my steam technique still needs improvement I think there was definitely more steam in the oven.  The boule didn't fare so well and although I scored the top, I obviously didn't score suffiently.  The crumb on the boule was a bit tight and both baguettes and boule felt "heavy" so i think they needed more fermenting or proofing!  The baguettes are in the freezer so no crumb shot, we will see when they are eaten.

So there is still a long way to go. Next time I will allow more time and watch the dough not the clock!!!!! 

DanAyo's picture

Information on Ankarsrum Mixers

May 26, 2017 - 4:36pm -- DanAyo

I just bought an Ankarsrum Mixer. I understand that in the past it has been known under a variety of names including Verona, Magic Mill, Electrolux Assistent, and DLX. Is it possible to setup a forum section dedicated to this type of mixer since the mixing method is radically different from most other mixers?

I'm experienced with KitchenAid mixers, but this mixer is very different.

I've searched the internet for viable information and I've not found much. I'd especially like to have user to user input.

threehappypenguins's picture

Bread with rough surface? I'm experimenting, please help!

May 26, 2017 - 3:57pm -- threehappypenguins

I'm doing some pretty unorthodox baking. Complete experimentation. I decided to put this in "Challenges" rather than the "Baking for Special Needs" section because I thought "Challenges" would be more fitting. I have a bit of a long explanation ahead, so bear with me.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I baked a batch of six Sunflower Flaxseed Levains from Tartine 3 this morning. I made the dough last night and let it sit in the basement (my version of 'cellar temperature') overnight, then shaped it and proofed in baskets this morning. It proofs a lot more quickly than the five hours Robertson recommends so I had to have the oven and the cast iron pots hot and ready. The dough was quite sticky this morning but stretchy, and it shaped well into boules. These were 750 grams (wet dough weight) boules, baked in 3 quart pots. Turned out very nice!

mutantspace's picture

if dough is very spongy does that mean I've added to much yeast

May 26, 2017 - 10:22am -- mutantspace

just wondering if anyone has any ideas...i was experimenting with a recipe this afternoon using instant yeast. I did a 4 hour sponge with 7g of instant yeast, half flour (wholemeal), mostly milk and water.

Then I added all extra ingredients, mixed, kneaded for 10 seconds every 10 minutes for 30 minutes. Let rise for 30 minutes or so. Shaped into a roll and put in sandwich tin. Then final proof for 50 minutes or so. It was very spongy though (90% wholemeal loaf) and even though i shaped it neatly the top of the loaf looked like a lunar surface.

frajasago's picture

My croissants are collapsing!

May 26, 2017 - 10:12am -- frajasago

Hi All,

I've been perfecting my croissant recipe but started having issues when baking. This recipe is from Bruno Alzone

but I changed it to replace the yeast for a 100% hydration starter. Did shape them last night and let them proof all night in the kitchen, for 10 hours (quite cold, it's winter here and my kitchen is like Winterfell) - around 53ºF.

dabrownman's picture

After quite a few white breads in a row I was worried that Lucy may have gone to the white side and then she came up with this one.  Originally it was supposed to be a 40% rye Jewish Corn Bread but that got lost in the translation of having to replenish our very old NMNF stiff rye starter.


We started the process of replenishing the starter at 100% hydration and, at the end of the 3rd stage, it had tripled so we retarded it for 24 hours.  Then we split it in half.  We then fed half the sprouted rye bran and enough water to make it 100% hydration and let it double again and then retarded that part.

The other half was fed whole rye at 66% hydration and when it had risen 25% we retarded it as our new NMNF starter we will use over the next half year with no maintenance whatsoever.  The HE sprouted flour and some whole rye was used as part of the dough flour for this Friday’s bake.  In the end this bread ended up being 10% whole grain rye and 30% sprouted whole grain rye with the remaining 60% was Albertson’s bread flour.

It looked pretty naked so Lucy added in 10% each toasted walnuts and black mission figs, 2% caraway and 2% total of equal parts of anise, coriander and fennel seeds – or favorite mix of bread spices.  Overall hydration of this bread was 80%.

Since retarding the old NMNF starter for 24 weeks, the new starter build and the levain for 25 hours each for this bread was not enough….. we decided to retard the shaped loaf in the Oriental Pullman for 12 hours too – nothing like 4 retards to make a loaf of rye bread – 3 just won’t do for a purebred German like Lucy – even though Germans probably didn’t even retard their rye breads at all I’m guessing.

This one had a 1 hour autolyse with the PHSS sprinkled on top.  Once the levain finally I the dough, we did 3 sets of slap and folds, 4,10 and 4 followed by 3 sets if stretch and folds from the compass points. all on 30 minute intervals, go get the add in’s incorporated.  Once we shaped it and plopped it into the sprayed Pullman pan, we let it sit for 30 minutes before putting it in the fridge for 12 hours.

There is that salad for Lucy

When we took it out of the fridge the next morning we fired up the oven to 500 F.  When the pan went into the oven between the two tones we turned the oven down to 450 F for 15 minutes of covered steam and then another 15 minutes of covered steam at 425 F.  After 30 minutes of steam we removed the lid and continued baking at 425 F convection for 20 minutes.

We then removed the bread from the pan and finished baking it directly on the rack for 10 more minutes.  When we took it out of the oven at the 50 minute mark it read 207 F on the inside.  It browned up beautifully but we will have to wait n the inside until we let it sit wrapped in plastic wrap overnight to redistribute the moisture before slicing for breakfast.

This one came out just the way we had hoped.  Soft, moist and open on the inside with that bread spices giving off aroma as well as flavor.  The figs and walnuts are wonderful additions to what would be a plain Jewish Deli Rye bread.  The additions make it special and handsome to look at as well. It is one delicious bread.  Now we have to toast it and put some cream cheese on it for breakfast.

Here are the ribs and the strip steak for Lucy's baker


15% prefermented whole grain rye and sprouted rye bran flour levain at 100% hydration. 8% whole rye and 7% sprouted rye bran


2% whole rye

23% high extraction sprouted rye

60% Albertson’s bread flour

80% overall hydration

10% Mission Figs

10% Toasted Walnuts

4% Bread spices – half caraway the other half, amice, coriander and fennel

2% Pink Himalayan sea salt

Vince920's picture

This is what my most recent recipe looks like. Holes are quite irregular... Some parts have large holes, yet some have an almost negligible amount of holes in them.

I'll be revealing the recipe after I try it with 70% hydration and a slightly longer proofing time.

Here's what the crust looked like. It looked almost similar to my first corn flake-topped loaf, just more brown because I removed the cover much earlier than I regularly do. I'm not at all disappointed.


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