The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


dabrownman's picture

2’s are big around here, especially this week.  Neigh a twin, the 2nd one born (a real born loser), in the 2nd month, on the 2nd day, 2 minutes before midnight in 1952 makes 2 a really big deal.  It is not a a lucky number having lost more money betting on 2 and 22 or even 12 or twice 22 to make one stop betting on 2’s if you could.

Still, this bread is 22.22% whole 9 grain – about as white a bread as one would ever want and still have a bread that tastes complex.  The 9 grains are red and white wheat, buckwheat, barley, spelt, rye, Kamut, oat and quinoa.  I know….none of them are sprouted so the bread isn’t as healthy as it could have been but it will kill you only a bit earlier and hardly worth worrying about.

Lucy wanted to do all kinds of crazy things with this bread but she had to take a back seat for once and hates riding in cars anyway.  We have been very busy doing not much of anything else worth doing and pretty much just being lazy loafers – but not more than usual either.

I mean we are old with Lucy pushing well over 90 now.  She even smells a bit like one of my 2 great Aunt Minnies - who have both been dead for many a moon.  It isn’t a good smell and not something a long bath will correct without some kind of smell good being splashed all over her.

So, it is a plain bread with 13% pre-fermented flour using a NMNF wheat starter for the 3 stage, 100% hydration, bran levain – we have a wheat NMNF starter now too.   We didn’t retard the levain either keeping to the lazy loafer theme.

Wife's pumpkin pie for Cousin Jay

We did a 30 minute autolyze, with the PHS salt sprinkled on top, that brought the hydration overall to 75%.  It could have easily taken 3% more water if you want bigger holes that have no taste whatsoever.  The dough flour was half 10% AP and half bread flour.

Apple Mango Galette

We did 50 slap and folds to get the levain and salt mixed in and then did 2 more sets of 10 slap and folds before doing 3 sets of 4 stretch and folds – all on 30 minute intervals.  it had puffed itself up about 30% in those 3 hours even though the kitchen was 64 F.

Stuffed Pork Loin

The reason it was puffy was because we did the gluten development rest periods on the heating pad at 80 F!  Once we did the pre-shape and then the final shaping into a boule, we placed it seam side up in a rice floured basket and then bagged it in a trash can liner for the 10 hour retard.

There's that really big chicken!

When the dough came out of the fridge it still wasn’t fully proofed, so we left it on the counter for 3 hours before unmolding, onto parchment, slashing and sliding it into the 500 F oven, between the two stones with the Mega Steam below.  We tossed 2 cups of cold water onto the lava rocks as we closed the door.

After 18 minutes of steam at 450 F we turned the oven down to 425 F convection for 12 more minutes until the bread was 209.5 F on the inside.  It puffed itself up and bloomed well enough before turning a nice brown color.  Have to wait for the crumb shot.

The first salad of the year from the back yard that has those Black Russsian, yellow and red cherry tomatoes

dschal's picture



I finally tried the famous San Joaquin sourdough formula by dmsnyder.  This is version 2.0, scaled to 750 gram loaves because the 500 gram loaves just got eaten too quickly!  I find the pound and a half size about right for our typical usage.  I followed the formula given here:

I proofed one loaf as per the instructions, and the other in a brotform, to see if there would be any benefit to more support for the sides of these larger loaves. In my photos, the loaf on the left was in the basket, the one on the right was proofed in a linen couch with the sides supported by linen folds and props.  Perhaps you can see from the photo that indeed the loaf from the basket had more vertical expansion than the linen proofed loaf.  The next time I will put both loaves in the brotforms, which is also a bit easier for me to manage in my small kitchen.  The loaves were baked for 44 minutes at 460F, with steam for the first 15 minutes (just 2 cups of boiling water in a preheated roasting pan).  I will try to edit in a crumb shot after the loaves cool enough to slice.

Next up will be the San Joaquin sourdough baguettes!  Thanks to dmsnyder, who has long been an inspiration for my baking through his posts here!




T. Fargo's picture
T. Fargo

Food Porn: No Knead Spelt and Rye Sourdough (75% hydration)Article Photo

Ready for sandwiches. A close, elastic crumb, with just enough moisture.


   This slightly sweetened rye loaf gets a nuttiness and boost of nutrition with a dose of Spelt flour.  It is most excellent with ham salad, Reuben sandwiches, BLT's or simply just toasted on its own.  This bite of food porn has a dark chewy crust, odoriferous of toasted malts, caraway and caramel.  The crumb is a moist, elastic and tightly gathered.

Did you know Caraway is referred to as Persian Cumin?  Excerpt from Wikipedia:

The etymology of caraway is complex and poorly understood.

Caraway has been called by many names in different regions, with names deriving from the Latin cuminum (cumin), the Greek karon(again, cumin), which was adapted into Latin as carum (now meaning caraway), and the Sanskrit karavi, sometimes translated as "caraway", but other times understood to mean "fennel".[6]

English use of the term caraway dates back to at least 1440,[7] and is considered by Skeat to be of Arabic origin, though Katzer believes the Arabic al-karawya (cf. Spanish alcaravea) to be derived from the Latin carum.[6]

Caraway is called zīreh (زیره) in Persian.


No Knead Spelt and Rye Sourdough (75% hydration)


  • 50 g Spelt Flour
  • 50 g Dark Rye Flour
  • 100 g Sourdough Starter (fed)
  • 115 g Water

Mix with dough whisk, cover loosely and set aside, room temperature for eight hours or until active and bubbly. (Starter Substitute: 50 g AP flour, 50 g water and 6 g Red Star Active Dry yeast)

Dough mix:

  • 300 g Bread flour
  • 50 g Spelt
  • 50 g Dark Rye
  • 50 g Molasses
  • 5 g Ground Caraway seeds
  • 11 g Kosher Salt
  • 200 g warm water


Combine dough mix and Levain, autolyze for an hour and then retard overnight.  Remove from fridge and allow to rest 2 hours.  Sprinkle dough with flour and remove to floured bench.  Flatten, fold in thirds, flatten and fold in thirds again.  Pinch seam at bottom, then tuck down sides to form loaf on parchment sprinkled with a bit of cornmeal or polenta.  Cover with a large enough bowl and rest / rise for 1 hour.  Brush risen bread with water, slash with knife or bread lame.  Place on baking stones in preheated 450°F oven and add steam (1-1/2 Cup boiling water in steam tray) for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 425°F for 20 minutes, or until instant read registers 205° to 208°F.  Rest on wire rack until cooled.

 Check out this article on Newsvine.

FrenchNyonya's picture

Hi Loafers,

I baked 2 of these pumpkin loaves last night. Using some steam pumpkin puree, organic strong bread flour, rye starter, an egg, some avocado oil, a table spoon of organic brown sugar, salt and water. 



Texture is great with a typical soft fluffy crumb for any bread that made with tang zhong. Taste wise is a little too lean for me and the pumpkin is not enough which it was the mistake of using too much water. should have added some milk powder to correct the mistake. 

Actually, i wanted to bake just a loaf not 2 but because i added too much water (BIG Mistake) and there is moisture from the pumpkin and the tang zhong prove to be too wet for the dough.So i added more flour. Hence, the colour is a little pale to my liking. 


Gave one away to a friend and she loves it. So that make me a happy baker :)

leslieruf's picture

pretty much as per Ru's post of 31 October, but as I don't like walnuts I used macadamia nuts and added sunflower seeds as well. Nuts and seed % as her bake.  Bulk ferment a touch longer, room temperature about 23°c. Final proof went quickly as I wanted to bake today (no retard) and an hour and a half later I put it in refridgerator to slow things while oven heated up.

First off I baked the two 1:2:3 loaves I had made (wasn't happy with last bake at all so needed to repeat it) and these turned out well so that is good.  

Then I baked this loaf in DO at 250°C for 18 mins followed by 15 mins lid off at 230°c.

Just sliced it and really excited - lovely golden glossy crumb, thin crust and yum with butter - couldn't resist. Hubby wanted to know what was in it too so he is starting to enjoy the different breads I have made lately! Now the freezer is full and we need to eat some before I bake again :)  Definitely will make this again, Maybe next time I will add the spices.

Thanks Ru, great recipe :). Leslie

Crumb shot!


joc1954's picture

This is another experiment in preparation for bread evaluation this Friday. 15% whole grain spelt, 15% whole grain rye, 70% AP flour,  8.5% of starter from AP flour @100% hydration, allover hydration 72%. Rye and spelt grains were freshly milled at home. BF for 3.5 hours at dough temperature 28dC. After adding 2% salt after 30 minutes from initial mix I used Trevor's "stretch and scoop” method for about 8 minutes with a short brake and then S&F at 30 minute interval. Preshape, 30 minutes bench rest, final shaping in a boule and immediate retard for 16 hours and then usual baking straight from fridge. The crust was just perfect as I wanted to be, the crumb was extremely soft and very open for 72% hydration. Due to used AP flour the crumb was really fluffy and not chewy at all.

Happy baking, Joze

Cedar Mountain's picture
Cedar Mountain

Another experiment, an attempt to bake a good basic bread combining high nutritional value with an open, soft, chewy crumb and a crisp crust highlighting the taste of fresh milled whole grains.  This bread is more about the additions, ingredients I thought would compliment and add to the flavour of the fresh milled organic rye, spelt, khorasan and red fife used in the dough. I started with a base porridge made up of toasted spelt, khorasan and oat flakes; then I added a toasted and ground mix of buckwheat, millet, steel-cut oats, sesame seed, brown basmati rice and small amount of hojicha (Japanese roasted tea, added to bring out a slight grassy, nutty background flavour). The dough was a slightly higher hydration dough at around 83% after the porridge mixture was added. I am very happy with the flavour of this bread, it's what I think multi-grain bread should taste like, maybe not what others would like but what I prefer...




A boule, with what looks like hieroglyphic scoring of some sort...


 The batard, opened up nicely along the "S" score...


The crumb looks and feels like a typical porridge bread, soft and chewy; with the multi-grain flavours and the additions providing a taste I am happy with...






Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Sometimes, people just want a loaf of nice white bread, you know? I tried this recipe from America's Test Kitchen's book "Bread Illustrated", and found it to be just the thing. It's a soft bread, enriched with some olive oil and a bit of sugar, made with AP flour instead of bread flour. A pre-ferment (sponge or poolish) gives it a flavour boost too. The dough is very soft and delicate.

Scali is traditionally braided and topped with an egg wash and sesame seeds. I tried it free-form the first time but it ended up a bit flat (I think it over-proofed as well, as I shaped it then let it sit in the fridge overnight and baked it the next morning). This time I braided it and popped it in loaf pans. It proofed quite quickly and I baked it about 45 minutes after shaping. It's a beautiful bread and very tasty too.

Rather than cutting three pieces then sticking them back together, I patted the dough out to a rectangle and cut most of the way through, leaving the strips attached at the top. Then I just braided to the bottom and tucked the other ends under. It fit nicely into 8.5" X 4.5" loaf pans, sprayed with pan spray.

alfanso's picture

SFBI Pain au Levain w/caraway seeds.  Inside and (clearly) outside.

I'm the man.  And I went overboard on covering the batard with caraway seeds.  Decided for the first time in my still nascent caraway seed career to NOT use a cornstarch glaze on a bread containing them.  Well, instead I used a similar method to the sesame seed coating technique.  Roll shaped dough on wet paper towel, then roll in seeds.  For the baguettes, I only sprinkled seeds on top of the moistened dough.  But for the batard, I decided to go whole hog and roll the moist dough in the plate of caraways.  The result was a bit shocking to see.

I did post these on here once before with caraway seeds, but the image of the batard was enough to drive me to another posting.  The seeds were so heavily covering strangling the batard that I could hardly see my score.  And indeed, it did not bloom with the oven spring that I typically expect to see.

355g x 3 baguettes, 650 x 1 batard.

Crumb shot added...

Finally sliced into the batard.  With just the edges chock full of caraway seeds, it doesn't seem so nefarious.  

My mother always chided me not to play with my food.  So I guess this is my version of payback!



Filomatic's picture

It seems like forever since I baked bread that wasn't rye.  This bake had the most explosive oven rise I have ever had, and I'm not sure why.  These were shaped oval, but almost grew round.  I used 50-50 Central Milling Artisan Baker's Craft and 85 Extraction Wheat, both malted.  I'm not sure what the equivalent percentage WW in this recipe would be.  The recipe is 75-25 bread flour to WW, so my experiment seemed low risk.

In place of the cracked rye called for in this recipe I used an old rye bread soaker, now a third generation, since the old bread I used itself had included an old rye bread soaker.  I also upped the hydration during the mix by almost a cup.  The dough was sticky, but after working with rye the last couple months, handling seemed easy by comparison.  The Central Milling flour also has beautiful extensibility.

I regret taking the loaf on the left out too soon, but it had reached 209F.  The one on the right required about 10 extra minutes to get to temperature, thankfully.  I used only natural leaven and cold retarded the shaped loaves about 20 hours, baking straight from the fridge on stone.


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