The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Hello, What a pleasure to discover farine-mc's post on her blog about Noah Elbers and his talented group of bakers, and this bread.
Thank you Farine!!! (Farine-mc's post is here: - great information on how to make this bread, and video from Mr. Elbers' bakery, too!)

This oatmeal bread is made with cooked steel-cut oats, maple syrup, levain and a poolish. I had to try it!:

These are the weights I used (to make two loaves, 680g each)
(My baker's percentages may not correspond exactly to farine-mc's percentages;
I keep my starter at 100% hydration):

Noah Elbers' Maple-Oatmeal Bread       1360 Desired Dough Weight in grams       <----      
  Baker's Percentages Weights Baker's
Ingredients Dough Levain Poolish Dough Levain Poolish Total %
Bread flour 0.75 0.2 0.9 438 23 53 514 76%
WW flour 0.25 0.05 0.1 146 6 6 158 24%
Steel-cut oats, cooked 0.2     117     117  
Water 0.54 0.25 1 316 29 58 403  
Maple Syrup 0.16     94     94 75.05%
Yeast instant     0.004     0.2 0.2 0.03%
Salt 0.0264     15.43     15.43 2.30%
Sourdough Starter   0.5     59   59  
Levain 0.2     117        
Poolish 0.2     117        
Total 2.3264 1 2.004 1360 117 117 1361  

Here's the crumb shot (this bread has a gorgeous flavor, very moist crumb, and a slight sweetness, not definable as maple but still very good):

Happy baking everyone! from breadsong
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Hello, With many thanks to Franko for sourcing this wonderful Red Fife flour for me (so very kind)!
I've now the luxury of baking with this heritage, organic, stone-ground, 75% sifted whole-wheat from True Grain Mill, and I am very grateful.

These breads were made using Mr. Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Whole-Wheat (Red Fife) Flour, as Franko had done.
Franko really did a beautiful job on his bread; his post is here.

The Red Fife is a lovely, top-notch flour to work with, and my husband and I were very happy with crust, crumb and flavor it produced in this bread.
We cut into the small loaf, trying to wait a decent amount of time to let it cool off!
The dough was retarded in the fridge for 20 hours before baking.
I included a picture of the Red Fife flour below (on left side of plate; my other stone-ground whole-wheat flour on the right side of plate, for comparison).

Happy New Year everyone! from breadsong

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Hello, I am taking a trip down memory lane in trying to make this sourdough rye with walnuts.
I got to taste a rye bread with walnuts, made by Mr. Hamelman, at the IBIE show in Vegas in September.
His bread was absolutely delicious!!! I'm afraid I'd never had the pleasure of tasting good rye bread prior to tasting his.
Using his formula, I hoped to re-create the flavor here at home. I just tasted a tiny slice and although my bread could never match his, it is good and tangy, and I love the walnut flavor in this loaf.

I did two things differently from the formula/instructions...I added 15g of vital wheat gluten to the mix to try and strengthen the dough, to compensate for the 50% rye; and for some unknown reason, thought I had to proof the loaves seam side up (consequently scoring after proofing, not before proofing).  Also, running behind schedule this a.m., I just caught the sourdough as it was starting to deflate and am not sure if that had an impact on how this bread turned out.  Having never baked with 50% rye before, I didn't know if I should be expecting any oven spring or not, but I didn't get any.

Here are my pictures: First loaf, no blowout; second loaf, side blowout; and a crumb shot


Here's Mr. Hamelman's bread from the IBIE show (demonstrating what this bread actually should look like!):

I will definitely try this bread again, maybe at 40% rye overall and see how it goes.
Regards, breadsong




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Hello, These loaves are to bring to a New Year's potluck (no crumb shot...although the bread smells so good I'd dearly love to cut into one so I can taste it!).

Inspired by louie brown's Olive Leaf scoring to evoke the olives in his bread, I tried to score little garlic bulbs on the tops of my loaves.
They turned out looking more like strange, animal paw prints...!   :^)

This dough fermented beautifully - I hope there will be a nice crumb once it's cut & that everyone likes it!
Happy New Year! from breadsong

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Hello, There have been so many beautiful Panettones baked and posted about here on TFL this Christmas season.
Thanks Daisy_A, SylviaH and others for your inspiration!

These Panettone are from Artisan Breads at Home by Eric Kastel. This is a sponge bread, mixed and baked today. They are flavored with orange zest, candied orange peel, chopped chocolate and chocolate ganache! Advanced Bread and Pastry has a chocolate glaze for Panettone so that's what I used. It is thinner than the glaze Sylvia used - next time I may try hers - it was so attractive.

Here are some pictures, before baking (one unglazed, one glazed), and two after baking.

We'll be cutting into one of these for breakfast tomorrow.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Regards, breadsong

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Hello, and special thanks to Larry for posting about his Cheese Bread!
My husband loves cheese bread so I made this for him, shaped as a Celtic Knot, for Christmas.
I followed Mr. Hamelman's method for retarding the dough, to help with shaping with the strands.
Somewhere along the line I found this post on shaping, so tried it out:

The baked loaf:

The proofed and glazed loaf:

Husband's eager to cut into this and taste it!
Merry Christmas from breadsong



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Hello, I wanted to have some good bread to make the turkey stuffing with. Mr. Hamelman's formula for Un-Kneaded, 6-Fold French Bread looked good so I wanted to give it a try. Instead of the 5 baguettes as instructed, I roughly shaped two big loaves. This dough was 73% hydration.
We couldn't resist and cut some to make sandwiches for lunch today.
Another really, really good bread from Mr. Hamelman!!!

Merry Christmas everyone! from breadsong

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Hello, I made a big batch of Sourdough with Liquid Levain from Advanced Bread and Pastry, adding about 23% dried cranberries and homemade candied organic orange peel. I had tried to make a similar bread earlier this month, and wanted to try again, to give as gifts - thought friends and family might like this bread for making turkey sandwiches next Sunday! Will be freezing these in the meantime.
Here are the pictures, first, the dough (about 4750 g after the fruits were added), and then the bake,
2 x 1000g, 5 x 350g, and 4 x 250g):

(Took Larry's advice, and cut into this is good stuff!)

With thanks to dmsnyder for posting notes from his recent class at SFBI - based on that instruction, I held back the levain until after autolyse, as I wanted the dough to do as much of the work as possible developing gluten. I mixed by hand, folding the dough in the bowl for a bit then moved it to the counter to finish mixing. It was a good workout.

Happy holidays everyone! from breadsong

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Hello, I've gone gingerbread-crazy this year it seems. I decided I wanted to take those flavors and try to get them into a loaf of bread.
Here are the pics (not the greatest photos) (this first loaf made with regular instant yeast):

This was the second batch (6 loaves @ 350g, 2100g total dough, made with osmotolerant yeast):
(I updated my process below, when making this second batch).

Here is my formula, for a 500g loaf:

I mixed the sponge and let it ferment at 80F for 7 hours.
I combined the sponge with the dough water (holding back 12g of dough water, based on the weight of espresso powder, cocoa powder, & the three spices).
(I found a pastry blender worked really well for cutting up the sponge into smaller pieces, then a dough whisk finished dissolving and mixing the sponge into the water.)
I mixed in the honey, molasses and oil, then flour, sugar and yeast.
I let autolyse for 20 minutes, added salt and remaining water.
I folded and worked the dough on the counter, until almost at improved mix.
I kneaded in the espresso powder, cocoa powder, & the three spices, and continued kneading until improved mix.
Bulk ferment at 80F for 2 hours, stretch and fold every 40 minutes.
Divide, preshape, rest 20 minutes, shape, into banneton to proof.
(I found the loaves had a more rounded shape if when I proofed them in the fridge).
Loaves proofed for about 40 minutes.
Floured the top, scored, baked in a 440F oven for 15 minutes.
Took loaf out of oven, brushed top with a bit of water, applied gingerbread man (made with a bit of decorative 'dead' dough).
Baked for another 10 minutes or so, at 420F.

We had some for breakfast this morning...and I was really happy with the flavor. There is some sweetness to this bread and we thought it was good, toasted with butter.

I've got another batch on the go for today, to make as gifts for coworkers.

Happy Christmas baking everyone! from breadsong

Submitted to YeastSpotting, for Susan's Holiday Edition :^)

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Hello, These small loaves are based on Eric Kastel's Almond, Currant and Orange Sourdough from his book Artisan Breads at Home.
The scoring is an homage to EdTheEngineer's recent spiral-scored boule, that he pictured along with his other lovely breads.

I had some extra orange peel from making Christmas fruitcake, so into the bread it went. I used dried cranberries instead of currants, and reduced the amount of fruit and nuts to a little over 25% of the flour weight.

This bread uses a wheat sour; I just fed my regular starter with white and whole wheat flour and let it ferment for about 16 hours before mixing.
The dough was mixed with a combination of bread and white whole wheat flour.

The loaves were retarded in the fridge for 15 hours, and warmed up this morning for about 75 minutes before I baked them.
(I use an inverted clear plastic storage box as a cover for loaves when proofing - I can see a thermometer through it & can keep an eye on temperature. I've been filling my french coffee press with boiling water and placing it alongside the bread - it's been working out really well for getting and maintaining a humid, 78-80F proofing environment.)

Here are the pics. The four smaller loaves were divided at 230g each, and the bigger one I think was about 300g.
They sprung up in the oven!   Husband had some of the bread with lunch today and he really liked it. I'll try some tomorrow for breakfast.
This bread has a yummy aroma! I can't see any cranberry in this crumb shot but I hope it's in there somewhere!
Regards, breadsong


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