The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I decided to try the rye bread from the Tartine Bread book.  This is the fourth formula I have more or less followed from the Book.  I've made the Basic Country Loaf numerous times, the Walnut Country Loaf once (my favorite bread so far), the Whole Wheat country loaf, and now the rye.

I only had 500 gram so AP flour in the house, so I made up the rest with home-milled hard red winter wheat berries. And the rye flour called for in the formula was also home milled.

For this bread, I reverted to a levain that was made 50% with AP and 50% with milled whole wheat flour.  I did this because I was advised that my 100% milled whole wheat levain looked past its peak and I figured I could slow things down a bit if I used less whole wheat flour in the Levain.  Plus, that is the formula he suggests in the book.

The dough was very sticky before the autolyse.  And, after the autolyse it was also very sticky.  I was a bit worried about this, so I wound up taking the dough out of the container and doing some slap and folds after the autolyse and then again, after the first 30 minutes.  I really did see the dough develop from doing this, and while it remained sticky, it was much less so.

I have since learned that rye flour makes a very sticky starter (reading Flour Water Salt and Yeast by Ken Forkish now), and I assume that this played a role in the sticky dough even though the Tartine formula does not call for a high percentage of rye flour. 

I believe the dough's starting temperature was 79 degrees. It moved up to 80-81 over the first 2-3 hours while it fermented in the oven with the light on. For the last hour I took it out and left it at room temperature.

The dough came out of the container okay, but it was sticky. I used a generous amount of flour on the top of the dough, flipped it, pre-shaped and let it rest, followed by the shaping.  The dough was fine for the most part, with only a little tackiness in a couple of spots.  I used extra rye flour and sifted it over the boules, together with some rice flour, scooped them up and put them in my baskets, which were generously floured with the rye flour I milled earlier in the day.

I proofed the loaves in the fridge for about 8 hours and then baked. They came out of the baskets quite easily, and I took a pastry brush to remove some of the excess flour before scoring and baking.

Two hours later, the bread was still soft and warm and oh so delicious.  The following morning, the bread was still quite moist and made delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch.

And, two days after baking, it made another delicious Peanutbutter sandwich.  The crumb is a perfect blend of chew and moistness.

One of the loaves bloomed a bit better than the other, but both are quite good.

There was no real sour flavor, something I attribute to skipping the overnight proofing. I skipped the overnight proofing because I was worried that the dough would overproof and become sticky whereas I could tell that the loaves would release after rising adequately over about 8 hours.

The bread also has no distinct rye flavor that I could discern.  Perhaps that was because I wound up using more whole wheat flour than rye.  Or perhaps I don't really know what rye bread is supposed to taste like. Either way, I will make this loaf again, perhaps with added rye.  I doubt I will reduce the whole wheat though.

Kiseger's picture

And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the colour of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat..." 

The Fox to the Little Prince from The Little Prince - A. de St Exupery

And so after a weekend break from bread baking which was spent in Berlin, I resumed my quest for good bread.  The Berlin museums, in particular the Pergamon Museum, did a most satisfactory job of compensating for my lack of baking.  I spent Thursday and Friday building up my levain……and off I went, like the fox listening out for the wind in the wheat.

And so it came to pass that The Husband was taking a day off training on Saturday as he had a race on Sunday, so he skulked around the kitchen reading out interesting snippets from his book.  He was happy as larry.  As for me,  frankly, trying to focus on S&F and dough texture while paying attention to the failing 32nd Panzer Division is an act of true devotion.  With my best "I am really interested, darling" voice, I asked a few questions to show I was listening.  Big mistake, this resulted in an erudite lecture on the Battle of Berlin which must have been very edifying for any person who was still actually listening.  I was in pre-shaping phase and trying my best (with success) to avoid using flour, having shamelessly traded marital devotion for wet hands and a tight boule shape!  

The Saturday bread is the Gerard Rubaud mix, based on MC Farine, Shiao Ping and David's various formulae.  I left the final levain build at RT overnight and autolysed in the fridge overnight (ca. 8hrs, at 10C/50F) including the spelt and rye but not the toasted wheat germ.  Overall good gluten development in 4 S&F with a total BF of ca. 4hrs, then preshape and bench rest, then straight into the fridge for 12hrs.  I think I may have overproofed this, as it just flattened out in the DO and had virtually no oven spring.  The flavour is fantastic though, nice pronounced sour tang but the nuttiness of the wheat germ and flour mix comes through.  So a visual failure but a gustative success. 

Sunday was a very different matter.  The Husband was up at 5am for his "70.3" (half ironman) race and so there were no book readings or history lessons.  The second bread is a sesame bread from E. Kayser's Larousse du Pain.  I played with the flour mix here which is supposed to be 80% white and 20% spelt, and decided to work with 30% white, 20% rye and 50% spelt.  I toasted the sesame and then soaked it for 4hrs.  For 500g total flour, he calls for 100g sesame which is rather a lot.  Total hydration was about 74%, he calls for 1.5g instant yeast as well as 100g levain.  This is a rather quick bread, he does not propose an autolyse but I did one nonetheless for 45mins.  Then add in the sesame, salt, instant yeast and mix with the pincer method.  (At this point, I rather pathetically thought to myself that I had gone from a panzer Saturday to a pincer Sunday, and promptly congratulated myself on having eschewed a career in comedy).  Then 1.5hr BF, preshape and 15min bench rest and a 2hr proof.  The kitchen was extremely hot (ca. 27C/80F) for London.  The photos in his book show a relatively compact bread with a tight crumb, so I was happy with the crumb here but again I did not get much oven spring.  It is rather a runt of a loaf, and I suspect this was also slightly overproofed. 

The flavour is slightly creamy and very very nutty; the sesame really dominates.  At this point, I realised that I don't really like sesame that much which goes to show that enthusiasm can definitely overrule intelligence.  Never mind, The Husband wolfed down three slices with a selection of cheese, jam and butter after his race and declared his undying love (again).  What a marvelous bit of luck I have, with The Husband that is - rather than the bread.  And so while I sulked about the lack of oven spring and The Husband discoursed on his swim in the Thames at 6am, we sat on the patio, with a glass of Meursault in one hand and a slice of the GR sourdough topped with bottarga and olive oil in the other, as the late afternoon ushered in billowing grey rain clouds and a gentle breeze.

The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.

"Please-- tame me!" he said.

"I want to, very much," the little prince replied. "But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand."

"One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox. "Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops.  But there is no shop where one can buy friendship…"


ExperimentalBaker's picture

This is very similar to the transitional wholewheat bread that I baked last week.

Only 2 changes:

1) I used my own sprouted wheat berries and grind them using the vita-mix blender after drying them in the oven at 80C (lowest temp my oven can go).

2) I reduce the amount of commercial yeast to 2g.

I find that the gluten network is not as supportive (holding its shape) but still extensible, most probably due to the sprouted berries. That's why I baked it in a loaf tin instead of free form.

wassisname's picture

The first bake in my new oven!  After weeks of no baking I have been craving something hearty, so I went to Hamelman’s Bread and opened it to a bread I had had bookmarked for a long time.  This has got to be one of the most cumbersome and prosaic bread names ever: 70 Percent Rye with a Rye Soaker and Whole Wheat Flour.  It feels like it should be a “Something-German Bauernbrot” but I can’t come up with anything better either so I will leave it alone for the moment.

I baked this one by the numbers in the formula (without the instant yeast) but I did use the rye a little differently.  Instead of a using medium rye in the sourdough and rye chops in the soaker I ran rye berries once through my grain mill, called it good, and used that in both the sourdough and soaker.  A single pass through my mill produces a mix of fine and coarse bits that I decided would be close enough to the intent of the formula.  The whole wheat flour was also freshly milled and slightly coarse.

The book calls for this bread to be baked in pans but also mentions that in Germany it can be found baked as enormous rounds.  Well, that’s all I need to hear!  I stopped short of enormous but did bake the 1800g of dough into a single round, seam side up.


The aroma of this bread is magnificent!  So good that, as usual, I couldn’t wait for the loaf to cool completely, much less sit for 12 hours, before cutting into it.  The result was dense and intense, just what I was going for.  It sure is nice to be baking again!


dabrownman's picture

This is close to last Friday’s bake that got mooshed and mangled (M&M’ed) coming out of the Romertopf clay baker.  Not wanting to end that bake on a bad note and not wanting to bake the same recipe twice Lucy decided to double the sprouted whole grain flour, drop the non sprouted whole grain flour, up the VWG and honey, dropping the boiled potato slightly and lowering the hydration slightly.


Grinding twice as much sprouted grain resulted in a 20% extraction this time and it was fed to the starter to make a slightly larger levain than last time.  Tempering the grain, either by sprouting them or just soaking them and then drying, makes for a 5% larger extraction than grinding un-tempered berries.   Here is a link to last Friday’s bake

 3 Sprouted Grain SD with One No Sprout


We followed the same process and routine as last week with a 24 hour retard of the levai, the rye starter was a week older at 5 weeks, we did the same autolyse, slap and folds, stretch and folds and 20 hour retard of the shaped dough in the same basket and baking in the same clay baker.


The out come was better this time because we didn’t try to upend the bread out of the clay pot right after the lid came off.  It, didn’t spring or bloom at all but it did brown up  to that nice mahogany color after the lid came off.  We took it out the clay baker and put it on the bottom stone 10 minutes after the lid came off.  At 208 F we turned off the oven leaving it in there till it hit 210 F before removing to the cooling rack.


This one sure ended up looking better than its near twin - even without spring or bloom anywhere to be found - must be over proofed.  I can’t image it tasting any better than the last bake.   I’m starting to think the Romertopf is a bad bread baker or sprouted grains are very tricky to use in large amounts.


We shall see after it cools and we make our usual sandwich for lunch.  The crumb did end up fairly open - better than last time, soft and very moist since I cut into it while it was still warm.  It tasted every bit s good as last Friday’s bake but more sprouty earthy and near dirty.


One of our favorite Enchiladas.  Manchego, chicken and spinach in a white sauce served with dried pepper rice and beans.

  I preferred the taste of last Friday's bake but others may not.  This is a complex, deep and full throated taste you can't get any other way I'm guessing.  I think I will keep the sprouted grains ground into flour at the 25% level to keep the dough from over proofing during the long cold retard.. 



A grilled Ahi Tuna  and Swordfish dinner with caramelized rosemary potatoes, salad,  steamed veggies and chili pepper rice. 


YW SD Starter Build

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



5 Week Retarded Rye Starter






15% Extraction 3 Grain






Soaker Water


















Starter Totals












Potato Water






Starter Hydration






Levain % of Total












Dough Flour






85% Extract. Sprouted 3 Grain












Total Dough Flour


















Potato and Soaker Water






Dough Hydration












Add - Ins






Boiled Potato












Red Malt






























Total Flour w/ Starter






Total Liquid w/ Starter












Total. Hydration with Starter






Hyd. with Starter & Adds






Total Weight






% Whole Grain












The 3 whole grains are emmer, rye and spelt.  The whole



grains were sprouted, dried and milled into sprouted flour.





Lucy almost forgot  the salad

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Karin (hanseata) invited me to her Götz-Brot challenge, an interesting one that leaves lots of room for imagination.

Here is my take:

My idea for this Götz bread was to create something that
- could easily be made in a hotel kitchen
- uses a straightforward and flexible process
- uses ingredients that grow locally

I came up with a bread using white flour, light spelt flour,wholemeal rye and wholemeal wheat.

The crumb looks like this:

Spelt is quite abundant in the region east of Heilbronn (Badisches Frankenland).

Usually it gets harvested while the kernels are still green, and then roasted. This is called "Grünkern", is used as grains, flaked etc, and sadly it is impossible to get in England.

The taste of it is remarkable. It goes very well as meat substitute in meatballs (Grünkern-Frikadellen)! And it is also great in soups, as risotto etc.

But I don't have Grünkern, hence the spelt.

To make this bread more interesting and unique (among Germany's hundreds of breads) I added crushed fennel and dried,pulverised nettle leaves.

Here is the formula:

Bread Flour (white)70396.6
Light Spelt Flour1585.0
Wholegrain Wheat Flour1056.7
Wholegrain Rye Flour528.3
Nettle Leaves dried and crushed317.0
Fennel Seeds, crushed15.7
Yeast (instant)0.52.8


The process is the same as for any white yeasted direct bread. NoKnead techniques can be used, or the dough can be worked until Gluten is moderately well developed, and then proofed with one fold halfway through.
It is really a matter of taste, scheduling, and skills of the baker.

First proof will take about 2 to 3 hours at 22C. Shape in any way you wish, the dough is not sticky and suitable for all sorts of things.
Second proof will take about 1 hour.

Bake in hot oven, like any white bread. In my simple fan oven I start at 240C with steam and turn down to 210 after 15min, then baking for another 15 min (500g loaves). Please adjust as necessary.

The bread is on the rustic side and the herbs come clearly through, but the blend of Fennel and Nettle (which is also used in teabags by a big British tea company) lends itself to honey and stronger jams as well as savoury toppings.

This bread also has very good ageing characteristics.




proth5's picture

…triticale croissants.

Who didn’t see this coming? Hands? Ah, well.

Triticale is my baking nemesis, my bête noir, and unfortunately my favorite grain. A cross between wheat and rye, it is very high in protein, but its gluten is of low quality. If you have ever heard a discussion about milling, you will hear that the protein content of wheat is higher as you get to the outside of the endosperm, but higher in ash and lower in quality. What does this really mean?

Well, if you’ve worked with triticale as much as I have, you know. In a 100% triticale mix, you will get some gluten formation (not like what you’d get in wheat) but it will not endure prolonged mixing (it will break down shortly after you think “It’s still pretty weak, I should mix a bit more.”) and certainly will not support lengthy fermentations and proofing. That is lower quality gluten.

But what I have found that if you use triticale at no more than 30 or 40% of the total flour in combination with a higher protein wheat flour, you can essentially treat the dough like a wheat dough. Anything more than that and you are working with something even more fragile than soft wheat.

The thing is triticale is delicious. And it was mentioned in Star Trek (the original series and DS9). So I keep baking with it.

Since I’m having fun with whole grain vienoisseries, I went for triticale croissants. I used the formula for hand mixed, hand laminated croissants from Advanced Bread and Pastry, and used freshly ground triticale for 30% of the total flour and a liquid levain of the wheat flour rather than the poolish.

The first time I tried this (well there’s a sure and certain indicator that perhaps success was not the result) I used my standard practice of putting the shaped croissants in the refrigerator for six hours or so, and then proofing and baking them. This proved too much for the delicate gluten, which puffed up nicely in the oven but gave out before the thing was fully baked. Delicious, but somewhat flat.

This time, I proofed and baked immediately after shaping. Got some nice shoulders and the lamination isn’t all bad, either. Here you go:

Triticale Croissants

They really are extra delicious and, of course have all the crispy qualities of their wheaty cousins. I know they are extra delicious because I can’t resist the smell and must eat them – with most white flour croissants, I can send them off to my fans without even a taste. Triticale is used primarily for animal feed. Yeah, those cows get all the good stuff…

Until the next cold front - Happy Laminating!

batiger1948's picture

I have a Bosch Universal Mixer (older 700W machine) and have just acquired the vintage Schnitzer Stone grain mill made in the '60s. I cannot find a pdf user manual. Does anyone know of a link or website that I may be able to find one? If not, if anyone has a pdf file for this user manual, would you mind sharing? All help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Skibum's picture

Well this loaf is similar in many respects to my lasted posted bake, with two changes: barley malt syrup instead of brown sugar and more of it by weight and one whole egg, beaten. 


20g white wheat berries

20g red wheat berries

10g red flax

10g gold flax

10g quinoa

174g hot water

I soaked this 24 hours in a cool dark place, then added:

10g wheat bran

10g steel cut oats and left it to sprout for another day or 2

When the berries are sprouting I finish the mixing.

Milk scald

174g milk scalded

25g malt syrup

25g honey

When the milk scald has cooled to 100F add

300g whole wheat starter at 100% hydration and let get happy for a few minutes

Final dough

245g whole wheat flour

20g buckwheat flour

40g dark rye flour

80g bread flour

8g salt

28g oil

1 egg beaten

Mix well and let rest 10 minutes. Do four sets of stretch and fold with 10 minutes rest in between. On the last set of S&F's add

20g sesame seeds, toasted

30g sunflower seeds, toasted

15g wheat germ, toasted

Let rise until double in bulk, then punch down and shape for a loaf pan. Bake 40 minutes at 350F, turning at the half.

This one will be my daily bread and a weekly bake. I am not sure I can get up to dman's 15 grains and 30 ingredients though. We will see.


Enjoy and Happy baking folks! Brian


CrustandCrumb's picture

As my 3.5 year old daughter would say, "deeeliciousss". Wonderful with cheese or just butter. We enjoy this bread for breakfast. Link to the recipe -

Enjoy baking!



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