The Fresh Loaf

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

Over the last 5 years Lucy has baked a lot of bread.  Little did I know how famous she has become as a bread baker.  At the wedding, I can’t tell you how many people come up to me and said I’ve had Lucy’s bread before and it was great!  I thought how can this be, I don’t even know who this person is.

Well, it seems that my daughter and son in law over the years have been taking Lucy’s bread back to New Mexico, Chicago, Denver, Texas and who knows where else and the friends have had the chance to taste Lucy’s recipes and have been following this blog.   Several are now baking bread, even SD too!

The bread for a wedding reception appetizer was a hit as was the dipping sauce.  The guests wolfed them down, Including the large, 4.5 pound, signature H slashed bread pictured first, after her new last name - a sprouted 6 grain SD miche which was the centerpiece of the table until it was sliced up and eaten.

I did get to take half of it home until my sister in law from Texas and my nephew from Chicago split it and took it away too!  I did have a quart of pipping sauce left over but no bread to dip in it.  So, I made a couple of 6 grain SD loaves which my wife latched onto for gifts.  I’ve at least started some pizza dough yesterday for pizza tonight!

The two loaves were 10% pre-fermented 6 grain SD with the 10% whole grain all in the 100% hydration levain.  The bread came in at 78% hydration with 2% pink Himalayan sea salt.  The levain was made with a bit of new NMNF rye starter but was stored for a week in the fridge before using.

The dough was not autolyzed or retarded but was ready for the oven 8 hours after the initial mixing.  It smelled wonderful as it baked. It is nice to have the wedding behind us and be back to a more normal schedule.  The Newlyweds are off to Hawaii for their honeymoon - the same place my wife and I went 30 years ago – even the same Islands, Maui and Kauai.  How so much life changes as so much stays the same. 

Lucy reminds us to never forget the salad - so we enjoy them often.

My personal favorite bread of the wedding was this Seeded Multi-grain SD Chacon!

sockysue's picture

Low Carb Bread Problems

November 12, 2017 - 9:51am -- sockysue

I just started working at a scratch bakery, and one of the bread types we make is a low carb loaf.  I don't know what is in the mix since it is proprietary and the owner won't tell me.   The problem is that the bread "breaks" while it is proving, causing large cracks in the loaves.  Can anyone tell me what I can do to avoid this?  

leyo's picture

Dan Lepard kneading method - stodgy bread!

November 12, 2017 - 3:32am -- leyo


I'm a fairly inexperienced bread baker and I have been experimenting with recipes from the book Short & Sweet by Dan Lepard. The kneading method in this book is to do light kneading at intervals. However I'm not having much success! I tried making this black pepper and caraway rye recipe and the result was stodgy and the dough was separated in pieces, as you will see in the photo of my sad loaf.

Does anyone have advice or videos in how to make sure I get this bread making method right? Or should I try different methods?

pogrmman's picture

My First 100% Whole Wheat Bread -- suggestions to improve?

November 11, 2017 - 8:27pm -- pogrmman

Hi everybody!

About a week or so ago, I posted asking about making a lean 100% whole wheat sourdough. I got a lot of good feedback, and was recommended this recipe. Because I normally bake on a somewhat different schedule, I used the same formula but tweaked it for my normal baking schedule. (Not to mention scaling it from 4 kg to 1.25 kg)

sadkitchenkid's picture

So I'm sitting here typing this with a dent on the bridge of my nose from the safety goggles, and slightly tingly fingertips (shoulda worn gloves), and I know what some might be thinking: was using lye worth it? 

Well yeah duh. 

Here is the recipe video I made for them



Anyway, the pictures speak for themselves. I'll include the recipe at the bottom. 


230g bread flour
230g water
1tsp molasses
80g rye starter

Mix this first then let ferment for 8hours

rest of dough:
330g water
19g salt
710g bread flour

Lye bath: 

2.2kg cold water

4g lye

After the levain is ready, mix in these remaining ingredients, knead for 15 minutes,  and let ferment for about 6 hours. Then refrigerate overnight. The next day, take out the dough, and divide it into 16 balls. Let the dough rest on the counter covered for 15 minutes then shape into rings. Place the rings onto two baking sheets dusted with cornmeal and place a pizza stone or a couple of upside down baking sheets in the oven and preheat to 475F (have your oven preheating for around 2 hours). Let the rings proof while you prepare your toppings and the lye bath. It took my bagels 1.5hrs to proof. 

For the lye bath: Wear goggles and gloves and weigh out the water in a pot and then add in the lye. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Prepare your toppings. I did Flax & Fennel, Everything, Sesame, and Poppy, and spread them out among some plates (one plate per topping) Once the water is boiling/simmering, drop in your bagels (my pot fit 5 at a time) and boil for 1 minute on each side before placing on a sheet of parchment paper. Then take each bagel and dip it into its topping and place it TOPPING SIDE DOWN, back onto the parchment. When all of your bagels have been topped, using a pizza peel or baking sheet, slide the sheets of parchment onto your hot pizza stone/upsidedown baking sheet. Bake for two minutes, then flip over the bagels, placing the topping side up. Bake for another 18 minutes. 

Take out of the oven when golden brown, and enjoy. 

Happy Baking!

Wrena Holliday's picture

Sour dough starter not mature enough yet...

November 11, 2017 - 12:24pm -- Wrena Holliday

Hello, I just began a new starter a bit over a week ago using the Tartine Bread recipe. I have made this before but never with all organic flour. My starter does not seem to be active enough. It is not doubeling in size. I has bubbles, looks and smells healthy. I tried feeding it twice a day and it didn't make much a difference. Maybe I need to keep feeding it twice a day? Is it the organic flour? Any info would be great! Thanks. 

Trevor J Wilson's picture

Open Crumb Mastery

November 11, 2017 - 11:38am -- Trevor J Wilson

Hey folks, just want to let you all know that I wrote an eBook. I promise, this is the only time I'm gonna pitch it here. It's specifically on the topic of achieving an open crumb. It's not for beginners, and it's not a short book. It assumes the reader already has a sourdough starter and knows how to use it -- it does not discuss starter creation. The book goes very deep into the subject of developing dough structure, so its focus is primarily on fermentation, structure building, dough handling, and working with wet dough.

isand66's picture

  We just went from Spring/Fall to Winter in one day on Long Island New York.  It was in the low 20's last night and this morning, perfect for a nice hearty porridge bread!

I recently bought some nice plump organic dried cherries from Trader Joe's and we had bought some Parmesan Cheese rinds at Whole Foods to use in sauces, etc. so of course both went into the porridge mixture along with oats, malted wheat flakes and cracked spelt (left-over from sifting the spelt flour).  I used milk to add some extra creaminess in the porridge.

The majority of the flour in this one was freshly milled with my Mock II grain mill and sifted to get the big bits out.

The cherries and cheese were a perfect combination.  This is one of the those loaves you can eat with nothing on it, but a schmear of butter or cream cheese doesn't hurt either :).

Download the BreadStorm File here.

Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap. (Note: I cut the Parmesan cheese from the rind into small pieces and added it to the levain).   Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.  You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

Porridge Directions

Add about 3/4's of the milk called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the milk is absorbed.  Add the remainder of the milk 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.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours, and the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, cooled porridge, olive oil and salt and mix on low for 5 minutes.  Add the cheese and mix until incorporated or you can add it by hand during the stretch and folds.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 5 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.




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