The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.


DanAyo's picture

The following are links to our Community Bakes

Below are tips & ideas that you may find useful. 

For those in the US, the History of King Arthur Flour Company is very interesting and historic.

Although not listed as a tip, the links below may prove interesting for some.

Miscellaneous Blog Post

A compilation of my bakes during a Community Bake


I am trying to use a Table of Contents for my BLOG. Links to blogged bakes will be posted to this page. I plan to post a link to this page on all BLOG bakes, experiments, tips, Community Bakes, etc..

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Wanted to bake some proper rye bread this week, so decided to repeat the "Nobleman's" rye following Rus Brot's recipe (sorry, video in Russian)

Here is my formula using a mix of whole and light rye flour instead of medium, due to availability:

Used a different mix of seeds this time (no pumpkin seeds, very little sunflower seeds, added black sesame and poppy seeds instead). Also didn't top the loafs with seeds on the outside - last time they didn't stick very well and cutting every slice produced a big mess on the table.

The pre-dough never seemed to "fall" like it should when it's ready, even though I gave it 6 hours instead of recommended 4-5 hours. I couldn't really wait longer if I didn't want to bake at 1 am. It increased in size a lot and was very spongy though, so I went ahead and there weren't any issues later.

Tried baking first ten minutes at 260C with the convection on - and it did make a nice crust and loaves didn't burst on top, but when the fan is running the oven has a serious hot spot on one side in the back, and it darkened one of the loaves too much there, and I think reduced the oven spring on that end of the bread (see far end of the left loaf). And the other bread burst on the side a little bit, must be from my handling of the loaves when transferring onto the peel. Need a better system to prove them, since the brotforms are not ideal for this type of dough (or I should try lining them with towels perhaps) and I was using a rectangular pyrex dish with a couche, and getting the dough out was a bit tricky.

Taste is great! I think I prefer the original seed mix (having large pumpkin seeds is nice in particular both visually and texturally), but nothing wrong with this one either. The bread is very flavourful anyway (and would be even without the seeds I guess!).

Floydm's picture

The Fresh Loaf is on a new server now. Hopefully you'll all find your way here and the new server performs just as well as the old one.

Nothing significant changed from a user's perspective. The server is running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS instead of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. The versions of PHP, MariaDB, and some of the other tools have been upgraded accordingly.

This paves the way for a site software upgrade in the hopefully not-too-distant future, but that is a bigger undertaking.

Please let me know if you notice any problems that might be related to the move.

Esopus Spitzenburg's picture
Esopus Spitzenburg

This loaf is a complete game changer for me. This is my first (nearly) 100% whole wheat loaf (I think!) that I have found to be delicious. I'm generally an aspirational high-percentage whole wheater - I'll often make high percent whole wheat loaves wanting to enjoy them, but ultimately finding them overpowering in flavor and sourness.

For this loaf, I used some leftover whole wheat flour from Maine Grains that I had purchased to make matzah. This particular flour was shmurah, or "watched," which means that it was observed from the time of harvest to ensure it didn't come into contact with water. While I've been familiar with the company for a while (I won their lottery for a ticket to the NY Grains Home Bakers Meetup a few years ago!) this was my first introduction to actual Maine Grains flour, albeit in a roundabout way. The flour was marketed as whole wheat, but because I didn't get it from Maine Grains I don't have much other information about it - the taste is so mild that I am slightly worried it isn't 100% whole wheat (I'm reaching out for more info).

Anyway, this loaf has 100g starter (75% hydration, 50/50 AP and WW), 500g mysterious MG flour, 20g vital wheat gluten (Anthony's), 10g salt, 383g water. 45 min autolyse, stretch and folds every 30 mins for 3 or 4 hours. Refrigerated for about 14 hours, pre-shaped cold and rested for an hour, shaped and did a final proof for another hour in the Lodge, baked at 475 first covered, then uncovered (no idea for how long). 

This is my first non-matzah use of this flour, so I can't tell how much of an impact the vital wheat gluten had, but I am very pleased with this loaf. It has a nice crumb as far as I am concerned, and it is flavorful without being super wheaty or very sour.


I generally mill my own whole wheat, but I'm afraid to say this flour is far superior to my own... I need to learn how to get my flour closer towards this one. 


You can see that I need to re-season my Lodge!

Floydm's picture

Heads up that an upgrade to the server TFL runs on is coming up soon. It's actually a migration to a new machine, not an in place upgrade. That's a safer approach because if anything goes wrong I can bail out and leave the site and server as they are right now.

I'm hoping to take care of it tomorrow late afternoon Pacific time but it might not happen until later in the week. I'll post another announcement an hour or so before I start.

I've run the test migration twice already and the migrations have gone very well. Expect about an hour of read-only access to the site while I back up and copy everything from the old box to the new. 

Post-migration, hopefully the site just looks and acts like it does now. This isn't a software upgrade, though that is hopefully coming before too long too.

headupinclouds's picture

Inspired by Benny's red fife bakes, and an earlier red fife by @suminandi that caught my eye, I wanted to see what I could learn from working with this flavorful but fermentation intolerant heritage grain.  I'll be doing a few bakes with this one using desem at different percentages of PFF.

Based on Benny's baking notes and comments from others, I erred on the side of caution in this one, and it might be a little underfermented.

Details to follow.



  • 20% PFF
  • hydration by feel in lower 70's
  • final pH 4.12 (very sour to taste)

yozzause's picture

Had a quick bake today testing a recipe for a friend that was in her breadmaker  booklet,  it came out rather nice but i did tell her hers wont come out looking the same.

The Garlic and Herb dough placed into the cold Sassafras and washed with cornflour paste

The poppy and sesame seed applied

Proved nicely with the lid on  and ready for the oven

straight from the oven

Cooling down This was a fast dough  mixed at 9am  and out the oven  close to mid day

it was actually a tasty piece of bread  The dough was mixed on the bench by hand.

flour 520g

salt 10g

dried yeast 10g

malt 10g

milk powder 10g

fresh chopped garlic 10g

Australian dried herbs 5g

Olive oil 10g

water 350g

regards Derek












headupinclouds's picture

I stopped by the Grow NY grain stand at the local farmers market and picked up the lone bag of Frederick soft white wheat berries they had and a few bags of stone-ground flour from Farmer Ground and Small Valley Farm so I could sample some local wheat varieties and try a few bakes with professionally milled whole grain flour for comparison with Mockmilled flour.  Larger bags of wheat berries can be ordered for pick up in advance.  I am interested in the Renan flour, but a 50 lb minimum is a bit intimidating.  If someone in the NYC area is interested in splitting an order please let me know. 

In addition to the wheat flour, I picked up one bag of whole rye from Farmer Ground.  I have been wanting to try the recipe for the Finnish (ruis)reikaleipa from Daniel Leader's Living Bread, so I queued it up.  (Leader refers to it as reikaleipa, although Wikipedia clarifies the rye version is technically ruisreikaleipa.)   It is a thin circular UFO-like rye with a hole in the middle, which was traditionally used for storage and aging on poles just below the kitchen ceiling.

From Wikipedia:

This is lower hydration than the whole rye Volkornbrot I've been learning to bake and has a pleasantly chewy texture.  It would be a great bread for a camping trip!  It employs a single rye sour build prior to the final mix, but I was quite surprised by the depth of flavor from such a simple formula, and am not now unsure why I don't bake rye more often.  Leader recommends consuming within 4 days, although various articles I have seen suggest these were often baked in large quantities and consumed well beyond that.  Taking a hint from the small Finnish cafe where these were photographed, we baked the holes and post stenciling dough remnants as biscuits and ate them as egg sandwiches for brunch to get a preview of the flavor while the larger loaves cooled.  The recipe suggests baking a 12 inch round with steam, although our gas oven is unforgiving to uncovered bakes, so I opted for two 8 inch discs that would allow for covered bakes in a round DO and lodge pan at 400 F for 40 minutes.  The photos below indicate a doubling in the initial rye sour after approximately 12 hours, followed by a roughly 30% rise of the final mix at 1.5 hours and an additional 25% post-shape rise after 45 minutes with a corresponding reset of the aliquot jar.

I noticed the crust puffing up in a few places after I uncovered it, so I used a chopstick to dock it while it was in the oven.  I will probably do that ahead of time for the next bake.

Danni3ll3's picture

These were a huge hit the last time I made these. However, I forgot that this dough is very loose. When doing a single set of coil folds, keep at it until the dough tightens up. For example, it took 4 rotations of 90 degrees each to get the dough to firm up on most sets of coil folds. 

I also did another coil fold just before dividing to give the dough a bit more structure. 


Makes 3 loaves

Add ins:

150 g Sardo Olive Bruschetta, undrained 

100 g Sardo Sweet Pepper Bruschetta, undrained


Main dough:

700 g Strong Bakers Flour

200 g freshly milled Selkirk flour 

100 g freshly milled Spelt flour 

700 g filtered water

20 g pink Himalayan salt

250 g levain (procedure in recipe)

Extra wholegrain and unbleached flour for feeding the levain

The afternoon before:

1. Take 2 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 4 g of filtered water and 4 g of any kind of wholegrain flour. Let sit at cool room temperature for about 8 hours. 


The night before:

1. Mill the Selkirk wheat and Spelt berries and place the required amount in a tub. 

2. Add the unbleached flour to the tub. Cover and reserve. 

3. Feed the levain 20 g of water and 20 g of wholegrain flour. Let that rise at cool room temperature overnight. 



Dough Making day:

1. Feed the levain 100 g of filtered water and 50 g each of wholegrain and unbleached flour. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled (about 4 or 5 hours). 

2. Two hours before the levain is ready, put 700 g of filtered water in a stand mixer’s bowl and add the flours from the tub.  Mix on the lowest speed until all the flour has been hydrated. This takes a couple of minutes. Cover and autolyse for a couple of hours at room temperature (73F).

3. After the autolyse, add the Olive and Sweet Pepper Bruschettas, the salt, and the levain to the dough. 

4. Mix one speed one for a minute or so. Mix on the second speed for 9 minutes. 

5. Remove dough from bowl and place in a lightly oiled covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes in a warm spot to begin bulk fermentation. My warm spot is the oven with the door cracked open and the lights on. I get an ambient temperature of around 82F. 

6. Do 2 sets of coil folds at 30 minutes intervals and then 2 more sets of coils folds at 45 minute intervals. Then let the dough rise by 30%. This took another 45 minutes. 

7. When the dough is ready, give it a final gentle coil fold as this dough is very soft. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~750 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let it rest 20-30 minutes on the counter. 

8. Do a final shape by 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 or big bubbles. 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 as tight boule as you can.

9. Sprinkle a mix of rice  and all purpose or baker’s flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons. Cover with plastic bowl covers or shower caps. Let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge overnight. (Try to keep the final proof under 12 hours and preferably closer to 10. I overproofed these the last time when I let them go 13+ hours.)


Baking Day

1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475 F with the Dutch ovens inside for an hour.

2. 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. 

3. 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.

Well like the last time I made these, these did not get the oven spring I expected. They are pretty flat. Maybe I need to drain the oil out before adding the olives and peppers to the dough. There won’t be a crumb shot unfortunately as these are all sold. 


pmccool's picture

I've been jonesing for a rye bread, so when my most recent bread (a yeasted 100% whole wheat bread with tangzhong) developed mold before the loaf was half-eaten, I seized the opportunity. 

The first order of business was to pull my starter out of the refrigerator and give it a good feeding.  Although I have tended it, the poor thing has been in cold storage about a month and a half since it's last use.  Happily for me, it perked right up and was ready for use with just one refresh.  (Although not germane to the bread that is the subject of this post, we took delivery in April of the refrigerator and freezer pair that we ordered in February.  That's received in April 2021, ordered in February 2020.  Yes, more than a year later.  Thank you Electrolux/Frigidaire for getting right on that.)

Early that evening, I mixed both the levain and the soaker.  The levain went into my Brod & Taylor proofer overnight.  My one deviation from the recipe was to mill the flour for the soaker at a coarser setting and then use boiling water, rather than room temperature water, to hydrate it.  The soaker was then covered and allowed to cool overnight.

The next morning, about 7:30 or so, the levain was puffy and well aerated, so I went ahead with the final dough.  The KitchenAid mixer made short work of combining everything, following the recipe's directions for mixing times.  The dough went back into the proofer for the short 30-minute bulk fermentation. 

Hamelman's instructions talk about shaping the dough and proofing it in baskets for either round or oblong loaves.  But then, almost as a aside, he mentions that it works well in Pullman pans, too.  After checking on the amount of dough that he recommends for a 13x3.5x3.5 pan and scaling for my 9x4x4 pan, I found that the amount of the dough in the recipe would work perfectly for my pan.  Consequently, at the end of bulk fermentation, I shaped a single loaf and packed it into the pan, using wet hands to dome the top of the loaf.  Then I put it back into the proofer for final fermentation.

When I came back to check on the fermentation progress, I was surprised and rather concerned to see that it was at full proof and needed to go into the oven.  Just one small problem: the oven wasn't preheated yet.  Two, actually: it was also apparent that the lid wasn't going on the Pullman pan, since the dough was crested slightly above the rim already.  After re-reading the baking instructions, and checking another recipe that was specifically written to use Pullman pans, I elected to adhere (mostly) to the instructions for this bread.  There's an initial 10-minute bake at 470ºF.  Then the temperature is turned down to 430ºF for ____ minutes, depending on loaf size.  Between the directions for the two recipes, I guesstimated that 50 minutes at the lower temperature should get me pretty close.

When the oven reached temperature, I gently maneuvered the pan onto the center of the middle shelf.  Ten minutes at the higher temperature and 50 minutes at the lower temperature brought the internal temperature of the loaf up to about 203ºF.  The top was a chestnut brown and the sides, once depanned, were golden.  This:

To illustrate just how close to the edge of the over-proofing cliff I was, take a look at all of the pinholes in the top crust where bubbles were beginning to pop:

Luckily, there isn't a flying roof, nor has the top crust sunk after cooling.  The crumb shows some compression zones around the pan sides and bottom but I think these are more a product of the final expansion of the loaf's center during the bake, rather than overproofing tells.

For an 80% rye, the crumb looks pretty good.  It is very moist but doesn't coat the knife blade, some 30 hours after coming out of the oven. 

The flavor is surprisingly mild; just a faint hint of sourness and the earthy/spicy notes that I associate with rye.  There are no seeds or spices, so all of the flavor comes from the flour. 

To avoid a rerun of mold before I can use up the bread, I've cut the loaf in three pieces.  Two are in the freezer, one is in the pantry.




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