The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bob S.'s blog

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Bob S.

This loaf was made using the sponge and dough method. A KitchenAid K5SS stand mixer equipped with a spiral dough hook was employed. The sponge was set in the mixer bowl and covered with plastic wrap, then fermented for eight hours. The dough was re-mixed for a little over two minutes because of the high rye content.

33.3% Dark Rye Flour
37.5% Stone Ground White Whole Wheat Flour
2% Vital Wheat Gluten
0.5% Salt
0.5% Instant Yeast
68% Water (Variable)

29.2% Bread Flour
5.6% Honey
2% Shortening
1.5% Salt

The photo below depicts the dough ingredients on top of the sponge just before remixing.

After remixing, the dough is rounded and given a ten minute rest (floor time), then shaped, panned, proofed, and baked.

Grilled Swiss cheese on rye with tomato and baby portabella mushrooms.

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Bob S.

Another loaf made using the "Sponge and Dough" method, only this time the sponge contained whole wheat flour and vital wheat gluten.

70% Stone Ground Red Whole Wheat Flour
5% Malted Milk Powder
2% Vital Wheat Gluten
0.5% Salt
0.6% Instant Yeast
0.18% Soy Lecithin Granules
73% Water (variable)

30% Bread Flour
4% Brown Sugar
3% Shortening
1.5% Salt

The method used is the same as in White Bread. The total amount of flour used in this recipe was 18 ounces (510 grams). The finished loaf weighed in at 2 pounds (907 grams). A Cuisinart DLC-2007 seven cup food processor was used in the production of this loaf.
The photo below shows the dough ingredients in the food processor work bowl before being blended with the metal chopping blade. After several pulses to blend the ingredients, they are dumped on top of the sponge and mixed by hand with a brotpisker (dough whisk).

The metal chopping blade was removed and replaced with the plastic dough blade. The roughly mixed dough is then dumped in the food processor work bowl as shown below:

As can be seen from the photo, the dough ingredients have not been completely incorporated into the sponge (yet). Once the food processor is turned on, all of the ingredients are incorporated within a few seconds. Total remix time: 45 seconds. After mixing, the dough is turned out and rounded as shown below:

After a short rest (known as "floor time") the dough is panned, proofed, and baked.

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

This loaf was made using the "Sponge and Dough" method.

66.7% Bread Flour
3% Dried Buttermilk Powder
0.5% Salt
0.6% Instant Yeast
0.18% Soy Lecithin Granules
62.5% Water

33.3% Bread Flour
4% Sugar
2.8% Shortening
1.5% Salt

The sponge was fermented at 78°F for 8 hours. Remix was performed in a Cuisinart DLC-2007 seven cup food processor equipped with a plastic dough blade. Total remix time: 45 seconds. The photos shown below were taken while the remix was in progress.

The weight of the dough was just shy of 2 pounds at 31 ounces. After remix, the dough was rounded and given a short rest before being shaped and panned. An over-sized 10" x 5" x 3" pan was used. The bread had a rich aroma and pleasant taste due to the 8 hours of fermentation during the sponge stage.

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

The absorption necessary to produce this soft loaf was relatively high, at 82%. This is the second loaf that I have made with Bob's Red Mill stone ground whole wheat flour. I used 78% absorption on the first run, which caused excessive loading on the mixer. Water was added to bring the absorption up to 80½%, which still resulted in a somewhat dry crumb.

This loaf was (of course) made with the re-mixed straight dough method. Here are a few more observations on dough mixing and re-mixing:

  • All of the ingredients (except salt and sugar) are mixed together until smooth.
  • The consistency of the dough has similar characteristics to a so-called “short mix” dough.
  • The dough is fermented in the mixing bowl for 2½ hours, then the salt and sugar are added and the dough is re-mixed.
  • The consistency of a properly re-mixed dough matches that of a so-called “improved mix” dough. Unlike the improved mix method, the re-mixed dough is only given a short rest before being formed and panned.

For the last six batches of bread produced, the mixing time was determined by observing the energy consumed by the mixer (in watt-hours) and the average power consumption. The average power curve is shown graphically on the display screen of an OP7200 programmable controller, along with watt-hours and elapsed time. This instrument that I cobbled together and programmed is similar to the “Mixatron”, which has been around for decades. I put together my version of the Mixatron some years ago, for use with my SP5 spiral mixer. I never had any luck using it with an ordinary stand mixer, until I started re-mixing dough with a spiral hook. The amount of energy consumed by the mixer (watt-hours) has been remarkably consistent from batch to batch. The photo of the display screen shows a clear power peak (sorry about the fuzzy numbers). The OP7200 was originally purchased from Z-World, which subsequently merged with rabbit semiconductor, and is now available at

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

This loaf was made with Gold Medal white whole wheat flour. It was baked in an oversize loaf pan (10"x 5") with the final baked weight at 2 pounds. The dough was quite slack (78% absorption). In the past, I have had less oven spring with stone ground flour (being fairly coarse in nature), but lately the volume has improved. Re-mix time has been reduced to 3minutes 45 seconds, with good results. And the flavor of the stone ground flour is superior to fine ground (in my opinion).


Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

This formula was adapted from Baker's Best, Formulas From Fleishmann's: Traditional Breads (not dated). Unlike other raisin bread formulas that I have seen, this one contains no salt. Perhaps the large percentage of cinnamon compensates the taste buds for the lack of salt. Here is the formula:

  • 100% Bread Flour
  •   66% Raisins
  •     8% Sugar
  •     5% Shortening
  •     3% Dried Buttermilk Powder
  •     4% Cinnamon
  •  1.5% Instant Yeast
  •   72% Water (variable)

Fifteen ounces (425 g) of flour was used to make a single loaf of raisin bread. Because of the added bulk from the raisins, an oversize loaf pan (10” x 5” x 3”) was used. Oven spring was limited, and the crust came out hard and crackly, as if steam had been used (it had not). When tasted, the lack of salt was noticeable to my palate. Even so, the bread was quite tasty, Next time, I will include 1% salt and cut back slightly on the cinnamon.

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Bob S.

This loaf is formulated like white bread, only 20% of the bread flour has been replaced by whole grain spelt flour. Additionally, 2.5% vital wheat gluten was included in the formula, which raised the hydration by 3%. This dough was mixed in a KA K5SS 5 quart stand mixer equipped with a replacement spiral hook for a 6 quart mixer.

Here is a view of the dough immediately after mixing all of the ingredients together (except salt and honey).

After 2 1/2 hours of fermentation, the dough rises to the height shown in the photo below:

The salt and honey were then poured on the top of the dough and then re-mixed to full development. The dough was then divided, rounded, and allowed to rest. It was then rolled out into two cylinders and twisted, then panned.

The dough was proofed for 65 minutes to the proper height:

Immediately after baking:

The next morning this photo was taken:

Then I had toast for breakfast.


Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

This dough was mixed in a KA K5SS stand mixer equipped with a replacement spiral hook for a KA 6 quart mixer. The preparatory sour was mixed by hand. This batch used 15 ounces (425g) of flour, yielding a 24 ounce (680g) boule.


Preparatory Sour:

  6 2/3%     Dark Rye Flour

13 1/3%     Water

   0.12%     Instant Yeast

Time:24 hours    Temperature: 76°F (24°C)



66 2/3%     Bread Flour

26 2/3%     Dark Rye Flour

  2 1/2%     Vital Wheat Gluten

  1 2/3%     Shortening

   0.19%     Granular Soy Lecithin

   0.82%     Instant Yeast

     1.2%     Ground Caraway Seed

      60%     Water

        2%      Salt

  3 1/3%     Sugar (added for crust color only)

Sliced Rye Buole


The preparatory sour and all of the dough ingredients were placed in the mixer bowl and mixed at slow speed for 4 minutes. After a fermentation time of 2 hours 15 minutes, the salt and sugar were added. The dough was then re-mixed at speed 1 for 30 seconds, then at speed 2 for an additional 2 1/2 minutes. The dough was rounded and given a ten minute rest. The dough ball was then re-rounded and panned. Proof time: 1 hour.

Since this loaf was to be baked in a convection oven, a 9 inch round pie pan was chosen. The dough was quite slack, and it spread nearly to the edge of the pan. Slashing was performed with a Mafter lame that I had purchased a few hours before. With practice (and a less sticky dough), I anticipate better results next time.

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

This bread was mixed in a KitchenAid "Ultra Power" stand mixer, instead of the K5SS equipped with a spiral hook (my preferred mixer). In addition, the absorption was low, making mixing difficult. Even so, after about 12 minutes of re-mixing at fairly high speed, the dough began to soften. Dough temperature dropped from 81° F to 79° F (probably due to convection cooling). The motor housing surface temperature had reached 102° F, which convinced me that it was a good time to cease re-mixing. It took 90 minutes for the loaf to rise to the proper height for baking.

In spite of the difficulties, the final loaf was acceptable. Although a spiral hook does a better job of re-mixing, the "C" hook used by the KSM-90 Ultra-Power was able to accomplish the job.

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

Buttermilk Twist White Bread

This loaf was made using a modified re-mixed straight dough process, which was adapted from the "ful-flavor process", which dates back to 1959. The formula for this bread is fairly standard:

  • 100% Bread Flour (contained no ascorbic acid)
  • 3.3%  Buttermilk Powder
  • 3.3 % Shortening
  • 0.19 % Lecithin Granules
  • 0.8 % Instant Dry Yeast
  • 67%   Water (variable)
  • 3.3 % Sugar
  • 2%     Salt

The flour weight for this batch was 15 oz (425 grams). The loaf was baked in a standard 8.5" x 4.5" loaf pan. The final weight was 26.75 oz (758 g).

White Bread Slice

The procedure for remixing a straight dough is a follows:

1) All of the ingredients, except salt and sugar, are mixed together at slow speed.

2) The dough is fermented in the covered mixing bowl for about 2½ hours.

3) Following fermentation, the salt and sugar are added and the dough is remixed to optimum condition.

4) After a short rest, the dough is moulded and panned in a normal fashion. Proofing and baking are carried out as with a straight dough.

          Probably the biggest advantage to remixing dough is the elimination of punching, folding, or stretching the dough to develop the gluten. When properly re-mixed, the dough emerges from the mixer bowl in a fully developed state (not unlike dough produced in a bread machine).

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