The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Paul T's picture
Paul T


Hello everyone, 

So I’ve been successful in all the Ken Forkish recipes that I have attempted until this one. 

So my dough after final mix and folds is about about 1.5 liters in volume using the Cambro 12 quart.  It then rises overnight ( 10 hours this time ) to slightly under 5 liters - nearly tripled in size.  The dough is doming and producing huge bubbles. I used the dough at 10 hours. Shaped it - balls not as tight as they should be. Proofed  it - watched carefully - lots of poke tests - none seemed over proofed. Poke tests revealed that it was ready to bake. First loaf was an improvement over previous attempts at this challenging recipe but rise could have been much better. Second loaf on the right in picture was a disaster. As soon as I put it in the Dutch oven it collapsed. I must say - the flavors of the bread are incredible despite their sorry appearance.  Looking for suggestions. Feel like I’m very close to getting this. I like to give a way a loaf to a different neighbor each time I bake so disappointing that I can’t share. I just won’t give away these sad things. 😕



On the other hand - I’ve had great luck with the Tartine County Bread Recipe. 


Martha Effinger's picture
Martha Effinger

Mockmill  200 purchased 4/1/2019

Used only twice due to health issues.

This is a powerful mill that is

1.Easy to operate

2.Simple to clean

3.Stepless adjustment of the settings

4.Throughput of approximately 100g or 200g of soft wheat/minute

5. Sturdy industrial motor

6.Grinding mechanism consisting of corundum-ceramic bringing stones

7.Innovative casing made from renewable materials

8.Made in Germany



Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Continuing from a Russian "black" bread, so-called "baton" is another staple of Soviet and Russian shops. One of the most popular breads, it is delicious, with very slight sweet and buttery notes, and quite close, but very soft crumb. It sure was my favourite bread as a child.


Although not typically made with sourdough, after discovering a sourdough recipe I couldn't resist baking a couple of them. And my second attempt was rather successful! The recipe I followed is again from the Russian web site (literally - baking at home):


Here is the translation of the method. I made double portion for two batons, here the ingrediants are for just one.


30g mature wheat starter 100% hydration

30g warm water

40g flour (bread flour; if available, can replace 5g with rye flour for improved fermentation, which I did using whole rye)

Final dough

All preferment

245g bread flour

120g water (plus extra if needed, I used 15g extra for double portion)

4g salt

12g sugar

10g room temperature butter (or margerine)

1/8 teaspoon instant yeast (optional, I didn't use)


Make preferment by dissolving starter in warm water, adding flour and mixing. Leave to ferment for ~8 hours at room temperature (I just left overnight, for more like 12 hours I think).

Sift flour into a mixing bowl, add salt, sugar and instant yeast, if using, and mix. Make a well in the flour mixture. Dissolve the preferment in water (I used warm), pour into the well, and mix the dough. Add a splash extra water if needed to hydrate the flour. The dough should be soft, but not sticky and should generally hold its shape. Lightly knead in the bowl 3-4 minutes, and then mix the room temperature butter in the dough in small portions. When all butter is mixed in, knead on a work surface (no flour) until smooth. Round up the dough and place back in the bowl for around 1 hr 15 min (40 min is using instant yeast).

Very lightly dust the work surface with flour and perform a double letter fold. Place the dough back in the bowl for 1 hour (or 30 min if using instant yeast). At this point I started seeing some signs of fermentation, with a couple of bubbles appearing and seemingly slightly increased volume, however the dough is not wet, so it's no very obvious at this stage.

Then take the dough and roll it out with a rolling pin into a rectangle relatively thinly (~1/2 cm I'd say). Then tightly roll it, avoiding trapping air, into a sort of short/thick baguette-like shape. Seal the seem on the worktop and leave to proof covered, until doubled (or until at least clearly increased in size, I don't think I got doubling). Took me around 3 hours with no instant yeast, with them recipe says around 1.5 hrs.

Spray with water and score the dough with deep diagonal cuts. Bake in a preheated oven at 220°C, first ~12 minutes with steam, around 30 minutes total. Optionally, cover with cold water or starchy gel immediately after takign out of the oven (I just used some water). Cool on a wire rack, for at least 40-50 min.

Mine don't have a typical look, for some reason the cuts didn't open up (perhaps should have cut deaper or given them a minute after scoring before baking, to avoid them sticking back?). A baton you can find in a shop in post-USSR countries looks like this (found on wikipedia): 

Nevertheless, the taste is authentic with very slight extra acidity from using sourdough (I imagine speeding everything up by adding a tiny amount of instant yeast would reduce that even further). Crust is much nicer than from a shop in Russia - thin, but crispy (as opposed to a very soft crust you get there). Delicious bread, that is also quite easy to make!


Benito's picture

This is a 25% whole red fife sourdough I baked today.  I made a double batch so I could give one away, unfortunately I think I’ve overproofed these, live and learn.

For two loaves 890 g 

748 g bread flour 75%

160 g whole red fife (total 252 g with the levain) 25%

688 g water gives 78% hydration - add levain and salt without reserved water

4.5 diastatic malt

18 g salt

184 g levain 1:2:2 starter 40 g, 80 g whole red fife 80 g water


These were given 150 French folds after the addition of levain and salt to ensure they were fully incorporated.  

Countertop stretch and fold and then divided into two for the rest of bulk.  Aliquot removed for the jar.

Lamination 30 mins later followed by coil folds every 40 mins.

Bulk fermentation ended at 60% rise in aliquot jar and shaping done and then left on counter at room temperature for another 30 mins.

Overnight cold fermentation.

Baked as usual for the batard in Dutch oven 450ºF x 20 mins then further 23 mins at 420ºF most of which was on the baking steel directly.

The boule was next baked with steaming set up with silvia towel and cast iron skillet.


The batard in particular show some collapsing and lack of oven spring which to me indicates that it had overproofed for this formula.  When I bake this next time I will end bulk at 50% rise.  I am still learning what fully fermented dough looks like and now I think I’ve seen over fermented dough which is a good learning experience for me.


The boule, having seen that the batard baked up showing overproofing, I slipped into the freezer for 10 mins before turning out onto parchment and then transferred onto the baking steel.  Baked for 20 mins with steam at 450ºF and then steam removed and baked for further 23 mins at 430IºF.  Strangely it had better oven spring.  I was more careful to score more shallowly to try to compensate for the overproofing.  However, an error in oven settings prevented one of the ears from forming.  The first 20 mins of steaming bake I had the oven set to convection, so the fan blew hot air on one of the ears and that prevented it from springing up and forming a good ear.  I didn’t notice this until 15 mins into that first phase of baking.

Danni3ll3's picture

I liked everything about these boules the last time except for their size. They were on the small side so I increased the dough by 10% this time and it did seem a bit better. I think I would go another 10% next time. 

By the way, Selkirk wheat is an old wheat from the 50s. I get it at Daybreak Mills. It’s their hard spring wheat.


Makes 3 loaves


350 g of freshly milled Selkirk Wheat flour

725 g strong bakers unbleached flour

725 g filtered water

30 g yogurt

23 g pink Himalayan salt

265 g levain (procedure in recipe)


Two mornings begore: 

1. Feed 2 g of starter, 4 g water and 8 g Selkirk wheat flour. 


Two nights before:

1. Feed the levain 20 g of water and 20 g of Selkirk wheat flour. Let that rise at cool room temperature for the night.


The morning before:


1. Feed the levain 100 g of filtered water and 100 g of Selkirk wheat flour. Let rise until doubled (about 6 hours).


2. Place into fridge until the next morning.


The night before:


1. Place the required amount of each freshly milled flour in a tub and add the unbleached flour to it.


2. Cover and set aside.


Dough making day:


1. When ready to make the dough, take the levain out of the fridge to warm up before being used in the dough.


2. Using a stand mixer, mix the water with the flour, and mix on speed 1 until all the flour has been hydrated. Let this autolyse for a couple of hours.


3. Once the autolyse is done, add the salt, the yogurt, and the levain to the bowl. Mix on speed one for a minute to integrate everything, then mix on speed 2 for 9 minutes.


4. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place in a lightly oiled covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes in a warm spot (oven with light on).


5. Do 2 sets of stretches and folds at 30 minute intervals, and then 2 sets of sleepy ferret folds (coil folds) at 45 minute intervals. Then let the dough rise to about 50%. It should have irregular bubbles visible through the sides of the container and bubbles on top as well.


6. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~710 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 30 minutes on the counter.


7. Do a final shape by flouring the top of the rounds and flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and fold over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make a nice tight boule.


8. Sprinkle a mix of rice and all purpose flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons. Let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge overnight.


Baking Day


1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully but quickly place the dough seam side up inside.


2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes at 425 F. Internal temperature should be 205 F or more.

ifs201's picture

I decided to try and make sourdough bagels this week. I always thought bagels would be really hard to make and unnecessary since good bagels are easy to locate in NY. However, I decided to try making them at home after the last bagel I purchased had no flavor whatsoever. 

I mostly followed this recipe from Baked the Blog, but I followed more of the process of Hamelman's bagel recipe (except he uses pate fermentee). 

I didn't have diastatic malt or malt syrup, so I just used honey. 

Overall, happy with how these came out and pleasantly surprised that it really was quite easy. Next time I'd try to get my hands on some diastatic malt, malt syrup, and maybe make the bagels a bit bigger (these were 120g). I'd also try a longer cold ferment (this one was about 12 hours). 


Elsie_iu's picture

These rolls can’t be simpler to make, yet they certainly don’t skimp on flavour. Unlike most supermarket buns, their texture is similar to a full-size pizza. They’re guaranteed crowd pleasers too.


Artisan Pizza Rolls


Dough flour

Final Dough


Total Dough



















Tipo 00 Bread Flour






























Instant Dry Yeast



















Mature Cheedar, Shredded








Canned Chopped Tomatoes, Liquid Only








Dried Marjoram


















Make the poolish. Combine all poolish ingredients and let sit until ready, about 8 hours (29°C).

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the add-ins. Bulk ferment for a total of 3 hours. Mix on low for 2 minutes at the 30 and 40 minute mark.

After the bulk, roll the dough into a large rectangle. Spread the tomato sauce over the dough, avoiding the borders. Sprinkle the marjoram and 4/5 of the cheese over the sauce, then roll it up into a log. Cut the dough crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Place the dough pieces onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press down each piece gently to the desired thickness. Sprinkle the remaining 1/5 cheese over the top. Proof at room temperature for 1 more hour before retarding in the fridge for 8 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. Remove the dough from the fridge and bake straight at 250°C/482°F for 12-15 minutes until the desired brownness is reached. Let the rolls cool for 15 minutes before serving.


These rolls were intended to be a replicate of the supermarket pizza rolls I bought during my stay in Toronto. Unexpectedly, they turned out way better than I expected. They easily beat the store-bought ones I used to love so much!


They are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, like the rim of a good Neapolitan pizza. The fat from the cheese fried the Marjoram lightly, allowing the herb to release its flavour. Meanwhile, the tomato became caramelized under high heat, and contributed to a hint of sweetness and umami taste. As for the Cheddar, I suppose no word is needed :)




Eggplant lamb ragu penne


Stir fried sliced pork, garlic scape & wood ear mushrooms with onion egg fried rice


Kipper with rosemary roasted potatoes, and caramelized mushrooms and broccolini


Oyster rice


Stir fried rice cakes, with sweet & sour fish


Mexican-inspired rice with pan-seared chestnut-fed pork chop


Braised fish maw, shitake mushrooms & zucchini, sweet & sour chicken, asparagus & peanut salad with black vinegar, stir fried beef, water spinach & bell peppers, served with broad rice noodles


Fried ribs with a tangy dip, pan-fried mackerel, garlicky eggplant salad, Korean spicy rice cake, Japchae, and gingery Chinese broccoli


Hotbake's picture

Butter was added in the dough to further tenderize the crumb.

I converted my favorite sweet rolls recipe to make this giant loaf. A little bit too big it touches the top of my dutch oven and the top got squished. Worth it though, more bread for me! It's massive and so soft it's impossible to make a good cut.

1. 400g lukewarm water
2. 55g honey
3. 105g molasses
4. 62g ww starter
5. 140g whole rye flour
6. 140g whole wheat flour
7. 290g bread flour
8. 15g cocoa powder
9. 5g salt
10. 30g soften butter

- combine 1, 2, 3 dissolved all the sugar in the water
- add 4, mix to dissolve
- add 5, 6, 7, 8 and mix until dry flour is no longer visible, rest 1.5 hour in oven with light on
- add 9, 10, slap and fold for 10 mins until smooth and not sticky, rest 1 hour
- perform 3 sets of letter fold over the next 2 hr 45 mins, rest for another 45 min - 1hr
- Shape and coat with oats, place into a banneton seam side up and sprinkle cornmeal generous all over the top
- Retard in fridge for 16 hrs.
- Slash and generously spray top with water before baking,
- Bake at 500f for 20 mins covered, remove cover, drop temp to 425f, slide a sheet pan underneath the Dutch oven / baking stone for insulation to prevent bottom from burning. Spray the top again and bake uncovered for another 40 mins.


pul's picture

Made some yeast water using fresh grapes. Really easy to make, just crushed the grapes coarsely and let ferment for 3 to 4 days in room temperature until the foam on top reduced activity. Once it is done it will look like rose wine, you may even taste if you like. Next step is to mix that liquid and some fruit with flour to make the levain, which took about 12 hours to peak. I actually had to put it in the oven with the light on to speed up the process as I wanted to bake in the same evening.

Autolysed flour and water for 30 min using KA-AP flour mixed with whole wheat and rye to a proportion of about 10% ~ 15% (total flour was 320 g). Mixed the levain (~70 g at 100%) and kneaded for about 1 min, with 60% overall hydration. Let rest for 30 min, added salt, and kneaded again for 1 to 2 min. Applied 3 stretch and folds in 30 min time intervals. From autolysing to the end of bulk fermentation, the elapsed time was 5 hours. Shaped and final proofed for 1 hour before baking in clay pot at 240C for 20 min, then reduced heat to 230C for another 15 min with lid off.

The recipe is just like any pain de campagne, adapted for yeast water with no efforts. Oven spring was great, all baked in one day without retarding dough. I am not a huge fan of retarding dough in the fridge. I don't really think it noticeably enhances any flavor, and the crumb is always more dense. Retarding also results in too many blisters, so whenever I can, I won't retard.

Cooper's picture

The other day, while looking for rye flour at my local Whole Foods, I came across spelt flour, made by the same company, Farmer Ground I used their organic rye flour before, and while I am still very new to baking a good, mostly rye loaf, I liked the taste the rye flour gave to my wheat loaves when it was added in moderation. 

I have heard about spelt and spelt flour before, and decided to give it a try.  Initially, I thought about adding just a small amount of spelt to replace all-purpose flour in my trusted go-to recipe for sourdough.  I simply wanted to see how it would taste. When it came time to bake, however, I suddenly became very "inspired", and figured "Why not just see what else I can do?"  With all of my bread-baking attempts, the loaves always come out edible, even if terribly looking, so I was not particularly afraid of a failure. As the result, I present to you a loaf baked with not just two, but four flours: all-purpose wheat, whole wheat, medium rye, and spelt.  The dough was a pleasure to work with, nice and pliable, not too dry and not too wet, albeit a bit sticky, even given the relatively low moisture amount. I suspect the "stickiness" was the result of rye flour being present, as I have experienced that before (to the point where once I had to literally scrape my loaf out of banneton where it was placed for final proofing).

I must admit I didn't start with any specific proportion in mind, and at first was planning to use much more of "other" flours, but then I became concerned that they will alter the overall behavior of the dough too much, so I reduced their amounts to some arbitrary low numbers.

Here's my final recipe:

Levain (100% hydration, white AP flour) - 150 g
Water - 290 g 
Medium rye flour - 50 g
Whole wheat flour - 50 g
Spelt flour - 100 g
King Arthur AP flour - 285 g
Salt - 11 g

Baker's math:

AP flour - 360 g (64%)
Rye flour - 50 g (9%)
WW flour - 50 g (9%)
Spelt flour - 100 g (18%)
Total flour - 560 g (100%)
Water - 365 g (65%)
Salt - 11 g (1.95%)

I built my levain in the morning, as usual, using my refrigerated starter, filtered water, and all-purpose flour. The proportion is 50 g / 50 g / 50 g, which makes 150 g of levain that I use later. I warm up the water a little, to quickly bring the mix to the room temperature, and then let it rise for approx. 6 hours, depending on the temperature in the kitchen.  Once the mixture is bubbly, smells of bread yeast, and has roughly doubled in volume, I consider it ready to go.   

For the dough, I start with warm water, so the yeasts start working fast. I mixed all of the ingredients, except for salt, in a stand mixer on low speed until everything seemed to be well integrated (about 2 min), and then let it autolyse for 45 min in an oven that was first warmed-up on Bread Proof setting.  For my regular loaves, I have also done it in a cold oven, and simply increased the autolyse time to 60 min.  Then I added salt, and mixed the dough in a stand mixer with a dough hook for about 7-8 min on speed 2.  Then the dough was moved to a glass bowl and covered with plastic (here, I use a shower cap).

I let the dough sit for 30 min, then did 4 rounds of stretch-n-fold (or is it pinch-n-fold? :-) ), with 30 min rest intervals in-between.  Finally, I let the dough rise undisturbed for approx. 2 hrs. The loaf was formed as usual, placed into a banneton with linen cloth insert (because I was afraid the dough with rye would stick again), and refrigerated overnight, about 12 hours.

In the morning I preheated the oven to 500F, along with my cast aluminum cover inside, placed the loaf on a cookie sheet lined with silicone pad, and baked as follows: covered for 20 min @ 475F, then uncover, bake 15 min @ 460F, then 15 min @ 450F.  When done, internal temperature of the loaf was 207F, and I felt it was a bit too low, so turned off the oven and left my bread inside for 5 more min. This resulted in internal temperature going up by only 0.5F, and was perhaps a bit detrimental to the crust (although I am not completely certain about that part).

The resulting loaf, just out of the oven:


The crust was crunchy and tasty, with a distinct rye flavor, but I thought it came out just a tad bit too "tough", and slightly bitter in places, although it was definitely not burned.  Perhaps those last 5 minutes inside the cooling oven were not needed?

The crumb:

Overall, I rate this bake as a relative success, and will definitely try making it again.  As always, I appreciate all of your thoughts, comments, and questions.

Happy baking!



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