The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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This is my first attempt with this formula I’ve put together for a Japanese inspired sourdough using red miso paste and furikake.  Furikake for those unfamiliar with it is a seasoning blend that can vary that Japanese often use to top their steamed rice.  This particular one has nori flakes, bonito and sesame seeds as the primary ingredient.  I’ve based this on Kristen’s basic sourdough recipe.


Total Dough Weight 900 g


Total Flour 494 g 


Bread Flour 80%


Whole Wheat 20%


Total Water 377.5 g 76.5% hydration


Bread flour 352 g


Whole Wheat 97 g


Water 320 g


Levain 115 g


Miso paste 21 g 4.3% (My red miso paste is almost 1 g sodium per 20 g miso) add miso with salt during final mix.


Salt 9 g 1.8%


Furikake 3 tbsp added during lamination 


Levain build 


Whole wheat flour 50 g


Water 50 g


Starter 25 g


Fermentation at 78ºF


1.    Liquid Levain   (0:00) --- I build mine at around 1:2:2 and let it sit at about 80°F until it more than triples in volume and “peaks”. For my starter, this takes approximately 5-6 hours.


Flour for my starter feeds is composed of a mix of 10% rye, 90% bread flour


2.    Autolyse  (+3:00) --- This is a pre-soak of the flour and water. If concerned about the hydration hold back some of the water. You can add it back later, if necessary. Leave the autolyse for anywhere from 2-4 hours (I prefer 3 hours) while the levain finishes fermenting.


3.    Add Levain  (+6:00)  --- Spread on top of dough and work in using your hands. This is a good time to evaluate the feel (hydration) of the dough.


4.    Add Salt and Miso (+6:30)  --- Place salt and miso on top of dough and work in with hands. Dough will start to strengthen.  200 French Folds.


5.    Light Fold   (+7:00) --- With dough on a slightly wet bench do a Letter Fold from both ways. NOTE: If baking more than one loaf, divide the dough before folding.


6.    Lamination  (+7:30) --- Place dough on wet counter and spread out into a large rectangle. Sprinkle on Furikake.  Do a Letter Fold both ways.


7.    Coil Fold   (+8:15) --- Do a 4 way Stretch and Fold (Coil Fold) inside the BF container.


8.    Coil Fold   (+9:00) --- Do a 4 way Stretch and Fold (Coil Fold) inside the BF container.


9.    Coil Fold   (+9:15) --- Do a 4 way Stretch and Fold (Coil Fold) inside the BF container.


10. End of BF - Shaping   (~11:30) --- The duration of the BF is a judgement call. Shoot for 50-60% rise (assuming my fridge temp is set very low). Warmer fridge (above 39F) means your dough will continue to rise... so in this case, bulk to more like 40%. Shape


11. Retard Overnight & Bake   --- Score cold and bake in a pre-heated 500F oven for 20 minutes with steam


12. Vent Oven 20 minutes into the bake --- Vent oven and bake for 20 or more minutes at 450F.


I ended up doing 4 coil folds in order to get a good windowpane.  I’m not sure if the miso interferes with gluten development or not.  When I bake this again I will see if that happens again.

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I baked a sourdough loaf using Kamut for the first time.  It wasn’t the easiest thing to find here in Toronto, but I recently came upon a new organic market that carries Kamut grown in Canada.  The colour the whole grain flour is a lovely butter like yellow.

This is a 20% Kamut, 80% strong white flour.  9% pre-fermented flour.

Autolyse for 3 hours then added 100% hydration levain, salt 2% and more water to give a total hydration of 78% followed by Rubaud kneading to ensure that salt and levain are well mixed until smooth.  Then over the course of 6 hours a stretch and fold, followed by lamination and then three sets of coil folds were done during the first 3 hours.  Pre-shaping was done when the aliquot jar had risen 40%, followed by a short bench rest and then final shaping.  The dough in banneton was left out at room temperature until the aliquot jar showed a 50% rise then cold retard was done in the fridge overnight and baked in the morning.

I’ve recently taking to brushing on water using a pastry brush that first use to brush off any excess rice flour from the time the dough spent in the banneton.  I think I am getting a bit better blisters on the crust this way which I like.  Anyone have any other suggestions for even bigger better blisters I’m all ears.

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This has quickly become our home’s favourite sourdough.  There is something special about the Einkorn with the Red Fife.  There is a hint of cinnamon flavour from this bread, which doesn’t contain any cinnamon, and a sweetness to the crust which is wonderful and that we love.

I’ve been using the aliquot jar lately and it is helping me more accurately determine the degree of fermentation.  Last week I fermented to 40% rise before pre-shaping and shaping.  Then I left the shaped dough in the banneton until the aliquot jar showed 50% rise.  This week I ended bulk fermentation at 50% and pre-shaped, then shaped and then put the dough immediately into the fridge because by the time the dough was placed into the banneton, it had risen an additional 5% to 55%.

This bake was the same 20% Einkorn, 9% Red Fife which was all in the levain and strong bread flour.  It had the same hydration of 82% and 9% pre-fermented flour.  There was a 3 hour autolyse. Salt was the usual 2% and added with water 30 mins after the mix.  Bulk fermentation lasted 4 hours and 15 minutes at 80ºF.  Structure and gluten were built with a combination of 100 slap and folds done after salt was added, one stretch and fold, one lamination then three coil folds.  After 50% rise, I pre-shaped the dough allowing it to bench rest for 10-15 mins then did final shaping and then into banneton and the fridge at 2ºC for 21 hours of cold retard.

Baked as usual in a dutch oven preheated in a 500ºF oven, when the dough was loaded into the dutch oven the temperature dropped to 450ºF with the lid on for 20 minutes.  Then the bread was removed from the dutch oven and continued to bake now at 420ºF until good colour was achieved, this took more than 20 minutes turning the bread to get even colour.

My score was more off Centre than usual and it is interesting to observe how that affected the shape of the resulting loaf compared with the last one.  The long cold retard along with brushing water on the dough seemed to contribute to even better blisters than the previous bakes.

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Third in my series of Einkorn bakes.  This time I increased the Einkorn to 20% and reduced the Red Fife to 9% all of which was in the preferment.  Other changes I used the aliquot jar and ended bulk fermentation at 40%.  I did a preshape, bench rested for 15-20 mins then final shaped and into the banneton.  I left it out on the counter until the aliquot jar showed just over 50% total rise (not 50% additional rise) then put it into a 2ºC fridge for cold retard.  Next morning baked as usual expect that since I got new oven gloves (The Ove Glove) yesterday after waiting 3 months for delivery, I was able to take the loaf out of the dutch oven to finish baking on the roasting rack after the first 20 minutes.  I think this helped me get a much more even colour on the crust which I’m really happy with.

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I’ve made this once before and wanted to give it another go since I still have some Einkorn and wanted to inch up the % of it in the bake.  Being aware of the difficulty baking with Einkorn, I just increased the amount from about 10% to 13.5%.  The dough handled just fine.

Bread flour 71%

Whole Red Fife 15.5%

Whole Einkorn 13.5%

Prefermented flour 9%

Diastatic malt 0.5% 

Hydration 80% 

Levain 1:1:1 with whole red fife fermented 78ºF for 6 hours.

Autolyse 3 hours.

Mix levain, 30 mins the add salt 2%.  slap and fold to fully mix.

Over the course of bulk fermentation at 77ºF did a letterfold, then lamination and then 3 coil folds.

When volume increased 33% or so shaped and placed in banneton.  This was approximately 5 -5.5 hours.  Continuing to watch fermentation via the aliquot jar left on counter until 40% rise then placed in fridge 2ºC for 20 hours.  (Had to work)

Baked in DO for 20 mins at 450ºF then lid removed and baked at 420ºF for further 28 mins.

Strangely both times I have baked this I have found the browning of the crust to take quite a long time and to be uneven.  Has anyone else had this issue with Einkorn?  I wonder if I’ve over proofed a bit causing the uneven browning, but I’ve never had that before with other sourdoughs that I have baked, it is strange.

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I wanted to see how far I could push bulk fermentation and with this bake I probably went a bit far.  I’ve baked this bread before which is in total 50% whole grains but I’ve never pushed the hydration to 83% which I did for this bake.  I also used my aliquot jar and shaped once it showed that the dough had risen 50%.  Given the lack of oven spring, I think for my skill set, 83% hydration and 50% rise made the resultant dough a bit too loose to shape tightly and attain better oven spring.  I’ll post photos of the crumb when I slice it tomorrow.  We have baguettes to eat today.

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Once again using my favourite sourdough pizza dough recipe that was written by Will the Pie King and shared during the Community Bake, I made a Marinated Artichoke and Olive sourdough pizza.  Actually I made two 9-10” pizzas tonight and will make another two tomorrow.  In the past I have usually cold retarded them for 48 and 72 hours.  This time I wanted to see what would happen if I cold retarded for 72 and 96 hours.  Well tonight of course was the 72 hours and the dough performed as expected, very well.

I marinated a combination of artichoke hearts cut in ⅛, sliced kalamata and green olives, roasted red peppers, halved grape tomatoes, sliced peperoncini and pecorino Romano cheese.  I bake my pizzas in a cast iron skillet which is perfect for a single person’s dinner.  While the pizza dough comes to temperature I have the oven heating to 550ºF for 1 hour with the baking steel and cast iron skillet on the second lowest rack.  After the hour of the topping marinating and the dough coming to room temperature I stretch the dough.  Take the skillet out and place it on a heated burner on the stove to keep it blazing hot while I dress the pizza.  The stretched dough is placed in the skillet and the pecorino cheese goes on first.  I find placing something like cheese first helps keep the crust drier.  Then the marinated toppings are placed on top of the cheese layer.  The pizza is then baked in the oven on convection 550ºF for 8 mins turning once.

I was quite happy with these pizzas, the flavour was great.  I think I would add a thinly sliced shallot next time.


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So I decided to try baguettes again having had one previous attempt.  This time I tried the Anis Bouabsa recipe more or less based on what MTloaf and Alfanso posted here.

Because I was a bit hesitant about shaping higher hydration dough I reduced to 70%.  I also used 50% bread flour and 50% AP.  I think that is too low hydration for my flour and I think I also build up too much elasticity in the dough as they were resisting shaping to elongate them as much as I wanted.  The bread flour also worked against me when trying to s hape.  I will definitely be using all AP flour next time and hope that I’ll be able to elongate better.  I also think that I need to score more deeply than I did.

Overall so long as the crumb turns out well, a decent second effort I think with things to continue to improve upon. 

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So after much prodding from certain people, you know who you are, I finally tried making baguettes.  I decided to try to keep it as simple as possible and just try an IDY recipe.  I had a look at Peter Reinhart’s recipe and decided to have a go at that.  It didn’t require a poolish nor levain, just IDY.

I did run into several problems.  I decided to make his whole recipe which turns out makes four baguettes, well it turns out my cookie tray I was doing cold retard on is a rather tight fit for four baguettes.  My couche which I have only used to make pie pastry with and was well floured, decided that it loved the baguette dough and when it was time to turn them out and transfer them didn’t want to let go.  This was a bad problem because I ended up having to use my hands to separate the couche and the dough which quickly deflated the dough : (   I should have cut my loses there and only baked two at a time, but instead I went ahead and tried to bake all four at once on my baking steel, again it is too small for four baguettes so of course crowding on a baking steel causes uneven baking.  So the sides of two of the baguettes were touching and they were all too close so the sides of the baguettes didn’t brown nicely.  Well, what else went astray.  Scoring next, my first attempt at scoring went OK.  I think I did the overlap not too bad, but I should have scored more longitudinally and less across.  The poor dough was already deflating from my transferring them to parchment and then the scoring deflated them further.  Perhaps they had overproofed in the fridge overnight as well because they had very little oven spring.

They certainly won’t win any prizes for looks, fortunately they actually taste pretty good.  Nice soft crumb, crisp and thin crust.  We gobbled one up with dinner just now.  Not sure how to store the other three.

Lesson learned, next time just make three baguettes and don’t be too lazy to do the math to reduce the dough by 25% for this recipe anyhow.

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I tried to put together another variety of sourdough discard cracker this morning, furikake.  Those of you familiar with Japanese food will know that Furikake (振り掛け / ふりかけ) is a dry Japanese seasoning meant to be sprinkled on top of cooked rice, vegetables, and fish. It typically consists of a mixture of dried fish, sesame seeds, chopped seaweed, sugar, salt, and monosodium glutamate. ... Furikake is often brightly colored and flaky.

I’ve been craving these flavours recently so wanted to use up some discard and try to get a cracker with these flavours.


  • 200 grams (about 1 cup) mature sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 1/2 cup (60g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60g) whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons (12g) rye flour*
  • 3 tablespoons (32g) sesame seed oil
  • 3 tablespoons of Furikake
  •             2-3 sheets of nori broken up into smaller flakes
  •             1.5 tsp mirin
  •            1.5 tsp soy sauce
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • pink Himalayan salt, for topping



  • In a bowl, combine sourdough starter with flours, sesame seed oil, furikake, soy sauce, mirin, nori and salt. Mix to combine, kneading until the dough comes together in a smooth ball.
  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
  • Position oven racks in the upper 1/3 and lower 1/3 of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
  • Cut dough in half; put one half back in the fridge while you roll out the other. Cut dough again into 4 smaller pieces.
  • Roll out each piece into an oblong rectangle. You can do this with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, or using a pasta roller for super thin crackers. I like to roll my dough out to the #6 thickness setting (out of 8). If you are rolling by hand, just roll it as thin as you possibly can.
  • Lay out two oblongs of dough side by side (not overlapping) on each baking sheet.
  • Spritz or brush lightly with water; sprinkle with flake salt.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown and crispy, rotating the pans top to bottom and back to front part way through baking.
  • Let cool, then transfer crackers to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Crackers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.


My first bake with this recipe didn’t have enough of the Furikake flavour, so I’ve adjusted the recipe above to reflect what I would do next time to get more sesame and Furikake flavour.



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