The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


dabrownman's picture

Their first egg was eaten by ravens and their 2nd one was eaten by a ring tail but hopefully they will pay more attention to their eggs from now on!  They are beautiful Bbids to watch.

agres's picture

There are the dreams of night that are forgotten with the morning coffee; and, there are the dreams that come as one considers the bread one is eating with morning coffee. Thus, one steps forth in the bright morning light, to find the 7 Pillars of Wisdom. (T.E.L. will forgive me because one of the best breakfast breads I ever had was in Hafer Al-Batin.)

I have been seeking a better PdC for a long time. In the last half of 2018, I was looking at some mix of fresh ground grain and white flour. Those results can be understood by the fact that New Years came and went, and I was still looking.

More promising is my current approach of grinding a mix of grains, sifting out the bran, making a dough, and soaking the bran, then recombining the bran into the dough AFTER the gluten is well developed.

This morning's grain mix was rye, spelt, Kamut, red spring wheat, and red winter wheat. The dough was all sourdough, and the starter is added right up front when I first add the water to the flour. The bran was soaked in a bit of l evain.  

All in all, one of my most successful baking experiments in many years. For a commercial product, I might switch the red winter wheat for a white wheat, but here we have an over-flowing herb garden, and most of our menus want a full flavored bread. 

dmsnyder's picture

Josey Baker Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

David Snyder

February, 2019

Browsing cookbooks at a branch library, I found Josey Baker's “Josey Baker Bread.” I have driven by and peeked into his bakery in San Francisco, but have never tasted his products. I confess I found what he charged for a slice of toast off-putting. But, folks seem to like his bread. Looking through the book, I found some recipes for 100% Whole Wheat sourdough bread. It certainly looked good in the photos, and I am still looking for my personal favorite 100% whole wheat sourdough. So, I checked out the book.

I won't comment on the book's style except to say it is an attempt to seduce some one into baking bread at home who is still a bit frightened and mystified by the whole process. It is certainly a worthy objective.

Anyway, here's my first bake of this bread.

Note: Baker does not call for a true autolyse. He combines all the ingredients in the “Final Dough” at once and, after a mix to just distribute them evenly in the dough, he lets it sit for a half hour before beginning a series of stretch and folds at half-hourly intervals. The procedure described below is what I actually did. I mixed the final dough, including the levain but not the salt, and let it rest for a period before adding the salt. This is the way I was taught at the San Francisco Baking Institute to autolyse dough when a liquid levain is used.

Total Dough

1 loaf

2 loaves

4 loaves



Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Whole Wheat flour






















1 loaf

2 loaves

4 loaves



Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Whole Wheat flour





Water (cool)





Sourdough starter










  1. Mix the levain ingredients well in a 4-6 cup bowl. Cover well.

  2. Ferment at room temperature (72-76ºF) for 8-12 hours.

Note: The sourdough starter I used to seed the levain is 100% hydration. It is actually 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% whole rye. For purposes of the “Total Dough” formula, I treated it as if it were entirely whole wheat.

Note: Because of a social obligation, I was not able to mix the final dough right when the levain was ripe. I refrigerated the ripe levain overnight and continued the process the next morning.

Final Dough

1 loaf

2 loaves

4 loaves


Wt (g)

Whole Wheat Flour




Water (warm)








Ripe levain









  1. Mix the flour and water and levain to a shaggy mass. Cover and let rest for 30-60 minutes. (Note: I actually autolysed for a bit over 2 hours.)

  2. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix it in with a spatula, spoon or your hand.

  3. Distribute the salt evenly using a pinching procedure (as described in FWSY or Tartine No. 2), alternating with stretch and folds in the bowl.

  4. Cover the bowl and ferment until increased in volume by 50% and well aerated with bubbles (about 3 hours at 80ºF). Perform stretch and folds in the bowl every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours.

  5. If making more than one loaf, divide the dough evenly into the desired number of pieces.

  6. Pre-shape piece(s) into balls. Cover and let rest for 10-30 minutes.

  7. Shape into boules or bâtards. Place in floured baskets and cover or place in food-safe plastic bags.

  8. Proof the loaves 3-4 hours (per Josey Baker). I proofed 1 hour at room temperature, then refrigerated to bake the next day.

  9. Pre-heat oven to 475ºF 45-60 minutes before baking.

  10. Bake either on a baking stone with steam for the first 15 minutes or in a Dutch oven, covered for the first 20 minutes. The total bake time should be 45-50 minutes, to an internal temperature of 205ºF.

  11. Remove to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.

Note: Baker says one can cold retard this bread, either in bulk (after Step 4.) or as formed loaves. (after Step 8.) He does not say whether or not he would ever do both retardations.

The flour I used was Turkey Red wheat, freshly milled in a Mockmill 100 set at its finest setting. I did not sift out or remill any of the bran. The dough was soft and tacky but very manageable. It seemed to be developing some strength curing the stretch and folds, but was quite loose during shaping.

Lovely dough made with 100% home-milled Red Turkey wheat

Formed loaves, ready for a 12 hour nap at 40ºF

Baked loaves, cooling

The crumb

I sliced the bread after it had cooled for about 3 hours. The crust was chewy, except for the ears which were crunchy. The crumb was very moist and tender with a wheaty and mildly sour flavor. My experience has been that this type of bread improves after a day or so.

Happy baking!


Valdus's picture

Small Batch equals Small Bread

I thought that the dough was at the 1.75-ish cup point, thus I heated the forge, put it in wet parchment. Took out the heated cast iron, placed it in, poured in a half a cup of water under the parchment and started the usual 450 after 500 for 20 then for 30. Herein is the result, small, unimpressive, with no 'boom' really. 

Not sure if something went wrong, I feel like I way over-proofed. I am moving more toward the second proofing for no more than 45 minutes- ever. But the whole waiting for 85% just doesn't work for me. 

I wonder, I wonder a lot, about the differences between all of us in space, geography, and thus temperature. I read about Dabrownman's adventures in AZ baking, basically like baking in adobe and wonder how much different it is to baking here in Louisiana- like baking under water. 

Then I had another thought, my dough seemed to have expanded out more than up. So maybe the batch of dough should be wider? No, because many people bake on a flat stone and that allows for serious wide-age. 

So if I had to ask for a conclusion, I would say, too small, too proofed (despite it only rose 50%) and ye gods Valdus- you need to work on shaping!

Further, for slap and fold, it better be a pretty big piece of dough. 

Comments are welcome and encouraged. 

Valdus's picture

"You succeed you learn something, you fail you learn something."

I followed Dabrownman's advice to the letter. 

  • I mixed 60g starter, 120 ml water, 180g AP/Bread Flour, let it autolyse for 30
  • I added salt, mixed and slapped and folded 150 times. 
    • I would have enjoyed if there would have been more dough.
    • I was surprised at how much the dough stuck to my fingers. 
  • Stretch and folded exactly four times at 30 minute intervals. 
  • Let it rest for 30, preshaped this tiny bun. 
    • So small I could put it in a 2 cup pyrex glass. 
      • Went up to only cup. 
  • Waited for it to rise 90 minutes. 
    • Only went up to 1.5 cups (50% proof?)
  • My schedule demanded I put it in the fridge for a retard. 
  • This is where I am the next day. I think I will start the oven and bake it. 
    • I would dare to say it has gone down!

A very small batch

Skibum's picture

Well friends, my second Forkish effort in as many weeks from "Flour, Water, Salt and Yeast." This is a robust bread. Baking in the Dutch oven really gives a snap to the crust, while the crumb is open soft and shred able. Boy did the loaf ever snap, crackle and pop when I removed from the hot DO to the cooling rack!

As I don't really like the taste of whole wheat, I reduced the WW in the starter by half and made up the difference with white rye flour. The result is much more to my taste. With about 3 Tbs of WW flour in this loaf, my 2 kilos of Organic whole wheat flour will last some time. It lives in the fridge.

Well this is another recipe that will go into my baking rotation. I have firmly baked myself out of my rut with this one!

Happy baking! Ski

leslieruf's picture

A couple of weeks ago I made the Tomato & Nigella seed loaf from Emanuel Hadjiandreou"s book "How to bake bread".  I was drooling over the photos and decided then I would make 2 more of these recipe's next bake.  So yesterday I prepped the levain in the morning and then about 2 pm started mixing dough.  I also did 300 slap and folds instead of 200.  It was about 31 deg C outside here, so I had to watch the dough carefully.  I won't detail method as it was fairly standard with 45 minutes between coil folds.  Bulk ferment until about 70% bigger, 20 minute rest after preshape and cold overnight proof.  All loaves were shaped and retarted 4 hours after mixing.

Beetroot bread was first up.  Lead photo

219 g bread flour

119 g water + extra 10 g

95 g grated raw beetroot

6 g olive oil

5 g salt

131 g 100% levain 

Interesting dough that was purple - and I added 10 g extra water as I felt it was a bit stiff.  half an hour after the start of bf, I realised I had forgotten to add the olive oil so added it with a lamination and carried on. The dough was lovely and silky 

Crumb shot - love the spots of red, wonder how purple dough turns into yellow bread!  Beetroot flavour is not obvious but maybe next meal ex freezer will be stronger.  so pretty!!



Cheese & herb Bread. 

191 g Bread flour 

128 g water

6 g salt

1 g chopped parlsey

106 g cheddar cheese (I used Tasty cheddar)

0.75 g chilli flakes (I chickened out and reduced this, it should have been 1 g)

142 g 100% levain

Lovely silky dough as well.  When I went to score before baking, the dough was very very firm. The smell when baking was amazing.

Crumb - disappointed I can't see the parsley.  maybe next time more and less finely chopped.  Cheese fairly strong in the bread, but because it was grated it has vanished into the crumb.  It is a little salty for my taste, maybe next time a standard cheddar might be better but will see what I think when the loaf has gone.     


Lastly I made 1:2:3 with Durum, rye, barley & potato flour

196 g bread flour

30 g barley flour

30 g rye flour

30 g durum flour

15 g potato flour

256 g water

6 g salt

9 g starter built to an 88 g levain (from recipe flour & water)

This was actually pretty wet and I did an extra 50 slap and folds.  Dough didn't rise much before shaping.  It spread a bit and you can see that I was still a bit short on dough strength.  Still it is a nice bread that I have made before (when it turned out better, oh well... still tastes good!).  The lid on DO wasn't shut properly and you can see the crust is a bit dull.

Crumb isn't too bad after all. 

Our summer is very hot with most days 28 - 32 deg C so I was happy things went so well.  The doughs had 14 hours in the fridge before baking.

A rainy day would be sooo nice, our last real rain was just before Christmas and we had 15 mm in January but spread over 3 days so it does not do much.   

Bake happy everyone.




Donuttybaker's picture

Any help would be appreciated. 

Straight dough

dough temp 77

proofing @ 95 degrees and 75% humidity 30-45 mins

frying @375-380

thank you. 


alfanso's picture

This is a 76% hydration ciabatta modeled on that of Scott McGee.    Unusual in the low hydration and that he shapes these.

Dinner the other evening with friends for “Sunday macaroni and gravy”, which may be an Americanism for pasta with tomato sauce.  Also includes sausages, meatballs and ribs, all cooked in the “gravy”.  I hadn’t made a ciabatta in a while, so it was off to the races as part of our contribution to dinner.  

Today I’m once again seeing our visiting-the-U.S. London TFL compatriot Abe (in olden days "Lechem" and even older "A BakEr").  So I thought that I’d bake him one too.  But I wanted to bake something bigger.  Bumped up from 500g to 750g each, they are pretty easy to make, The biga was made the evening before and then warehoused in the refrigerator until mix time.  I’ve tried the Jason Molina Cocodrillo ciabatta quite a while back, and although it is a cinch to make, the flavor is lacking, so I ditched the effort and formula after two consecutive trials.

These were stretched out long enough that I had to load the baking deck sideways instead of head in.  13 minutes with steam, 16 minutes after, and 3 minutes of venting.  These could have gone a few minutes more.  

If you are a fan of the super open ciabatta crumb that mice and small children can fall through, this isn’t the formula for you.  But it is a ciabatta in every way, with modest open crumb,  thin crisp crust, and a light as a feather crumb. And makes fabulous toast.

And as toast:

Ciabatta w/Biga @76% Hydration       
Scott MeGee, alfanso        
500g  will yield 3" diameter loaves - small        
     Total Flour    
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1500 Prefermented40.00%   
 Total Formula   Biga  Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%825.5 100.00%  Final Flour495.3
 Bread Flour100.00%825.5 100%330.2 Bread Flour495.3
 Water (cold in final dough)76.00%627.4 66%217.9 Water cold327.6
 Olive Oil3.00%24.8    Olive Oil24.8
 Salt2.10%17.3    Salt17.3
 IDY0.60%5.0 0.14%0.46 IDY4.5
        Biga cold548.6
 Totals181.70%1500 166.14%548.62  1500
KA mixer: "1",  “2” & "6" to incorporate, 2nd hydration @ "4"to add, “6” to mix, “8” to finish. 
In mixer: IDY into COLD water, COLD biga, flour.  MIX ON "1" until water is taken up, then "2" until shaggy.  Pinch and fold.
Remove dough from mixer,  ~50 FFs, 5 min rest, 50 FFs.      
Back to mixer: bassinage of COLD water, salt and olive oil ADD VERY SLOWLY - MIXER ON"4" THEN  "6" & "8" to finish.
Mix done with slapping sound, pulling off bowl onto hook, then dropping back to bowl again.  
bulk proof - 2 hr., 3 folds - 0, 40, 80        
scale at 500g, no pre-shape, couche seam side up       
40 min final proof        
Roll and stretch dough as it goes to baking peel       
Preheat @480dF        
Bake w/ steam @460dF, ~13 min, another ~15 min, then vent      
mahaiku's picture

I love my little mini pullman pan!  I'll be tinkering a bit with how much dough to make to totally fill it.  My small batch recipe only managed to rise to about 3/4" from the top.  The loaf slid right out and I'm pleased with the nice soft, even crumb with minimal crust for sandwich bread.  I've already made my dough for my rye bread test tomorrow. 

83% hydration recipe baked at 350°F for 30 mins.

Stay inspired!


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