The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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A version of Trevor Wilson's Champlain bread.

Thank you to the community bake thread for this bread for a lot of good advice.


Ambient temperature was 80--82F throughout.

Two days before:take starter from fridge, leave out on counter, feed at 1:3:3 around midnight

One day before: feed 1:3:3 around noon, then 1:3:3 at midnight with 5g start, half whole wheat, half AP

945 Mix dough: 315g water at 90F, 200g KA AP (11.7% gluten), 189g KA bread flour (12.7% gluten), 38g spelt, 19g rye, 315g water. Rubaud to develop. Took 100g of dough and mixed with 50g leaven.

1115 Add leaven to dough

1145 Add 9g salt and 10g water

1215 Fold

1300 Fold

1330 Fold

1400 Fold

1515 Preshape. Care was taken to avoid deflation, and the ball was a little bit looser than usual.

1550 Shape. The round had mostly flattened, but there was noticably tension left in it. Used careful letter folds, then tightened on the counter, then let stand for 5 minutes to seal the seam. It seemed a little bit soft when in the proofing basket, so some light stitching was done to fix it.

1845 Bake. Dutch oven preheated to 475F and lower temperature to 450F. Bake for 20 minutes, then uncover, then bake for 20 more minutes.



I normally bake at 500F, but in an effort to avoid scorched crust, a lower temperature was used. The bottom crust is golden but not burnt. The crumb of this loaf is light and had a noticable chew due to the bread flour. The flavor was mild, with only a hint of sourness.




Future work

While the crumb was fairly light in this loaf, it would be nice to make it lacier. To this end, it might be worth lengthening the bulk a little and perhaps pushing the folds back, since in this schedule, only the final hour of bulk is fold-free.  More generally, my preshaping and shaping skills need work. I think that being more careful than usual on both of those steps was very helpful for this loaf.

I am also unsure of about the impact of the "pseudo-preferment" that was allowed to ferment for just 1.5 hours during the autolyse. The goal was to kick-start the bulk fermentation a bit without having to add more leaven. At the very least, the impact does not seem to have been negative, although further testing is needed to see if it is actually beneficial.


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A pair of loaves from a couple of weeks ago. One was made with poolish and the other with pure sourdough.


Sourdough Loaf

Followed Maurizio, except as noted.


Make leaven at a 1:2:2 starter:flour:water ratio with half whole wheat and half white flour; ready after 4 hours

Mix 249g bread flour (KA 12.5% gluten), 99g WW (KA), 100g levain, 241g water

Rest 45 minutes, then add 9g salt and 9g water

Rest 45 minutes, then pinch in porridge

5 folds at half-hour intervals, then bulk 3.5--4 hours at 79F (estimated 50% volume increase)

Preshape, rest for 20 minutes, shape, allow to proof until ready, then bake



It was hoped that increasing the amount of leaven would lead to a faster bulk and hence a milder acidity in the final product. The bulk ws faster, but acidity reduction was very small. The crumb is depicted in the header.


Poolish Loaf


Make leaven at a 1:2:2 starter:flour:water ratio with half whole wheat and half white flour; ready after 4 hours

Make poolish with 1g active dry yeast, 25g WW, 25g water; ready after 2.5 hours

Mix 262g bread flour (KA 12.5% gluten), 87g WW (KA), 50g poolish, 50g levain, 241g water

Rest 45 minutes, then add 9g salt and 9g water

Rest 45 minutes, then pinch in porridge

2 folds at half-hour intervals, then allow to bulk around 75 more minutes at 79F (estimated 80% volume increase)

Preshape, rest for 20 minutes, shape, allow to proof until ready (about 1 hour), then bake



The yeast seemed to make the crumb slightly stiff, which was unfortunate. However, the flavor was pleasantly mild, allowing the oats to come through clearly. An image of the crumb is below.

poolish crumb


Failed yeast water

An attempt at yeast water was made by cutting up an apple, adding it to some water in a jar, and then allowing it to sit covered on the counter. After a few days, there were a few bubbles, but then everything got moldy and began smelling bad. It will be tried again sometime; any further tips are appreciated.


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This was made using King Arthur bread flour (12.5% gluten) and King Arthur whole wheat, and Marizio's process was followed modulo any discrepancies recorded in the notes below.

The porridge was much easier to incorporate than the first time because it was cooked more carefully and was therefore less stiff. The oats were cooked in a sealed pot, and were moist and surrounded by gelatinized starch, but any free water had been absorbed.

The porridge was incorporated at the same time as the salt.

In an effort to reduce the sourness, this loaf was proofed at the high temperature of 87F for 3.5 hours (about 40% volume increase? it is hard to tell). Coil folds were performed at half-hour intervals for the first 2.5 hours. The loaf was then preshaped, rested for 15 minutes, and shaped. Shaping was difficult because the dough was on the wet, sticky, and loose side. The loaf was then proofed for an additional 3 hours at an ambient temperature of 80F in an 8-inch brotform. By the end of the final proof, the loaf's edge was about 1 cm below the edge of the brotform.

The loaf was placed in a dutch oven preheated to 475F to bake. The oven temperature was immediately reduced to 450. The loaf was baked for 20 minutes covered, then 25--30 minutes uncovered.


The flavor of the loaf ws less sour than last time, but still more sour than might be desirable. With careful management of starter and fermentation, it seems possible to get it even less sour. The texture of the crumb was lighter than last time and just as tender.

Questions & future work

DanAyo has recommended trying yeast water to reduce sourness, which will likely be done in the future. It also seems possible that sourness could be reduced with more careful management of starter and fermentation.

Last time, the dry oatmeal made the dough easier to handle. This time, the oats released moisture and made the dough harder to handle. For moister oatmeal, such as was used in this loaf, decreasing the hydration slightly might be prudent.

Questions will be posted in the CB thread.


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Made last weekend for the current community bake.

Maurizio's recipe was mostly followed as written using KA bread flour (12.5% gluten) and KA whole wheat; bulk fermentation took about 6.5 hours in total at 78F. One deviation is that the porridge was pinched in with the salt rather than folded in. The porridge was also a bit on the dry side. The loaf was allowed to proof in a basket for about 2 hours before being put into the fridge for 8 hours, then baked. The loaf was not exceptionally sour, but it would have gone better with the oats if it had been less so.

Apologies for the blurriness of some of the photos below.

After mixing in porridge:

After the 6th fold (so about 3 hours into bulk):

Crumb from a couple of slices near the center (I forgot to document this until I was about to freeze the sliced loaf):


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