The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I have a profusion of rhubarb (and other things, but that's another story) from the garden right now, so I've been canning and preserving. Yesterday I made a batch of sweet pickle relish and another of rhubarb chutney. I've been thinking of how to use rhubarb in bread, so I decided to do a test loaf of sourdough ('cause, I had, like, nothing else to do, right?) with some of the chutney ingredients.

I started with my go-to formula when I'm testing ingredients rather than technique or formula - a simple 1-2-3 country sourdough.

  • 100 grams of 100% hydration wheat starter
  • 200 grams of water
  • 200 grams of bread flour
  • 50 grams each of stone-ground whole wheat and whole rye flour
  • 6 grams of salt

The chutney ingredients were

  • diced (fairly fine) rhubarb - 1 stalk that I had left
  • small handful of raisins
  • a bit of finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • about a tablespoon of organic cane sugar
  • a bit (didn't really measure, maybe a couple of teaspoons?) of spices - some lightly crushed cardamom and some toasted, crushed fennel and anise, leftover from a rye sourdough I made a couple of days ago

I mixed the starter into the water, along with the sugar (easier to dissolve) then added the flours and mixed to get everything wet, and left it sit for about 30 minutes. Then I dumped everything else in and squished and folded it until all was incorporated. No fancy technique for me! :) I stretched and folded (and a bit of scooping and rounding as well) about three times over the next hour or two, then put it in the fridge overnight. It's pretty warm here right now so I didn't want it to overproof.

This morning, in the middle of making large batches of dough for the weekend bake, I remembered to shape the dough and pop it into a banneton. About an hour and a half later I slid it onto a stone in a 475F oven and covered it with a steel pan for 20 minutes, then uncover, rotate the loaf and turn the oven down to 425F for another 20 minutes.

Nice spring; nice crust; smells really good!

Couple of busy hours later and time to cut it open.

Wow, was I happy with this one! The crumb is fabulous and moist, and the taste is really, really good. The bits of rhubarb didn't quite dissolve so there are little pink bits in the dough that have a tart zing to them, along with the sweet spicy ginger bits and the juicy raisins. I think the spices are just right too. This one will be a seasonal offering in the bread shop, I think!

isand66's picture


This is a new version of an older formula using a starter instead of yeast.  I also removed the honey that was in the original and used fresh milled rye flour.

I added some crushed caraway seeds that I pulsed in my coffee grinder for some added flavor.

I was very happy with how these came out.  The rolls were very flavorful and the crumb nice and open and moist from the cream cheese and butter.  You don't miss the extra sweetness from the honey at all.  They made great steak sandwich rolls and also are terrific with some simple butter.


Download the BreadStorm formula here.

Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I usually do this the night before.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours,  and water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for at least one hour.  Next, add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), cream cheese, softened butter and crushed caraway seeds and mix on low for 5 minutes.    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.

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1 hour.  Remove the dough and shape into rolls around 125 -130 grams each.  Cover the rolls with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap Sprayed with cooking spray and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 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.

After you place the rolls in the oven and add your steam lower the temperature to 445 F.   Bake for 25 minutes or until the rolls are nice and brown.

Take the rolls out of the oven when done and let them cool on a bakers rack for as long as you can resist.

Here are some more photos from our garden.  I almost passed out taking the photos in the 95 degree heat with 100% humidity.

alfanso's picture

Little T Bakery  t-shirt, Portland Oregon

sadkitchenkid's picture

My mom made some fillo dough yesterday and gave me some to play around with:

The first picture is of traditional nut baklava. I made a paste of walnuts and orange blossom water. 

The second picture is sometimes called birds nest baklava, and the fillo is cooked first, covered in syrup, and then filled in the center with either whole nuts or powdered nuts.

My mother and I have been baking up a storm this week! Here are some examples of what we've been making:

snowball cookies made with toasted almonds and rose water, cookies (similar to shortbread but finer) stuck together with homemade apricot jam and dipped in ground pistachio, a special middle eastern cookie called Ghorayeba which is a very creamy rich cookie, short bread cookie with chocolate and pecan, short bread filled with homemade apricot jam, and so on. We made about fifty of these platters so far and will be gifting them to neighbors and friends.


Happy baking!


Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I don't bake a lot of gluten free bread, but I've got a couple of regular GF customers that I bake for weekly. Usually I bake a nice Olive bread and GF "Not Rye" (sort of a deli rye style). I use recipes from Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (Healthy Bread in 5M and Gluten Free Bread in 5M).

One of those customers asked if I ever bake a GF fruit and nut bread. I hadn't, and didn't see one in my recipe books that I liked so I set out to create a brand new GF recipe. That turned out harder than it sounds, as I don't know too much about percentages and the effect of all the ingredients of GF bread but I figured I knew enough about it now to give it a try.

After three iterations I think I've got it. Here's the winning recipe:

  • Brown rice flour - 50 g
  • Whole sorghum flour - 50 g
  • Whole Teff flour - 50 g
  • Tapioca starch - 25 g
  • Coconut flour - 25 g
  • Water - 150 g
  • Milk (I actually used home made kefir) - 50 g
  • Egg - 50 g (1 large)
  • Butter - 20 g
  • Honey - 15 g
  • Fruit (I used dried blueberries for this one) - 30 g
  • Nuts (chopped almonds) - 20 g
  • Salt - 4 g
  • Active dry yeast - 4 g (1 tsp)
  • Xanthan gum - 5 g (1.5 tsp)
  • Golden flax seeds - 10 g

I mixed the flax seeds into 50 g of the water and let it sit until the water was a bit thick (mucilaginous). This helped with the crumb and texture of the bread. I then mixed all the wet ingredients (including softened butter) and the yeast, added the fruit and nuts, and then all the blended flours and salt. I mixed it well to aerate it and let it sit, covered, for two hours. It was then smoothed carefully into a greased pan and rested for another half hour.

Given that it was an enriched bread (with kefir, butter and honey) I baked it at 350F. For the first 20 minutes it was covered with an overturned steel pan, then another 20 minutes uncovered.

I'm pretty impressed with the crumb, crust and flavour of this one. I'm not much into gluten free bread but I like to get it as close to gluten flour bread as I can, and this one is pretty close. I guess I'll add it to the baking rota! All the 'rules' are different for GF breads. The hydration is something like 125%, for example, and I had little idea how much xanthan gum to use. The soaked flax seeds and mucilaginous water made a big difference too.

I forgot to take a picture until half of it had already gone to one of the customers, but managed to get a couple quick snaps before the other half was gone. :) Note that I had to cut it in half before it was really cool (one of the customers came to pick up her other bread), so it looks a little gummy in the top photo.


varda's picture

   (Some home baking today - a 90% durum with wheat starter.)

I am thinking about going to the Kneading Conference next week.  Has anyone gone lately or planning to?   Any thoughts or tips?  Thanks!

Skibum's picture

Well, I have neither baked much nor had time to visit this site for the last couple of months. Moved from Canmore AB to Golden, BC. Moving is a HUGE pain, but I am very satisfied with the result. I love my new home and town!!!

Check out my new kitchen. It is easily 4 times as large as my last kitchen. There is a full pantry unseen to the right of the fridge. Now, I have a well equipped kitchen, but so far have used a little more than half the cupboard space. LOADS of counter space for working dough! Lots of space for my new toys, a FoodSaver and a Sous Vide Supreme. Floyd, you have seen my old kitchen and boy is this a serious upgrade

The biggest change for me is going from a gas cook top, electric convection oven to a non convection electric oven with induction cook top. I love the induction top.  However my bake results for the oft pull apart dinner rolls were different. Certainly I didn't get the nice brown on the crust, I got with the same time and temperature with convection. So far, I figure I will need to bump up my baking temperatures a bit and I have had to add extra time to the first bake.  I have also moved from 4,420 feet above sea level to 2,580' and will have to make adjustments for this.

If anyone has any comments or suggestions on how to get a browner crust, I would most appreciate any suggestions.

Happy baking friends, from a happy old ski bum at home in Golden, BC!

Danni3ll3's picture

I haven't done any sprouted grain breads lately and Dabrownman's loaf from a few weeks ago inspired me for this loaf. I would cut back on the hydration though because it was hard to shape and I wasn't able to get a really nice tight boule like usual. I also think I overproofed it and the loaves stuck to my baskets. So all in all, I didn't get the oven spring I wanted but the loaves are still delicious.


1. Sprout 30 g of each of the following grains: kamut, spelt, rye, buckwheat, Selkirk wheat, red fife, and einkorn. 

2. Autolyse all above with 700 g water (I would probably start with 600 g next time), 50 g local yogurt, 550 g unbleached flour, and 67 g each of fresh milled kamut, spelt, rye, Selkirk wheat, red fife, and Einkorn. Let sit for an hour. 

3. Mix 22 g sea salt and 266 g of 80% levain. Pinch and fold till well integrated. 

4. Do 4 sets of folds a half hour apart and them let rise till double. 

5. Divide into 800 g portions (3 loaves), preshape, rest, then do a final shape and put into well floured bannetons. I ended up using a lot of flour to shape these as the dough was definitely too wet. 

6. Proof in the fridge over night. I baked mine after 14 hours but I think they should have been baked much earlier. 

7. Heat oven and dutch ovens to 475 F for 45 minutes, place loaves on parchment circles in Dutch ovens, cover and drop temp to 450F. Bake 25 minutes, remove lids and bake another 22 minutes at 425 F. 

The loaves are very moist and the. Dumb is perfect for a sandwich. 


dixongexpat's picture

So I finally got to the bottom of my bag of multigrain leftovers from the local mill (Barton Springs near Austin, TX). Just to get rid of it all, I shifted the flour mixture to 350g whole wheat, 150g bread flour (not counting the levain which counts for about 75g of bread flour). In order to attempt to compensate for this shift, I added about 2/3 teaspoon of active yeast to the mix. The dough rose overnight in the fridge and was a bit cold when I started the folding. I didn't have enough time to do the full folding routine, so things were just at room temperature by the time I did the final rest.

The good news is that the bread rose higher than normal, however pretty much no crumb. Very sandwich-bread. Still tasty though!

Next week - 100% bread flour!

dixongexpat's picture

I have been doing pretty much the same loaf every week, so the pictures are a bit repetitive by now. Here are some samples during June and July. Texture is about the same on each. Fairly dense, didn't rise a lot. Flour was about 50/50 bread/whole wheat mix.

June 3


June 11


June 17


July 1


July 9


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