The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

codruta's blog

codruta's picture

These are both "a first time" for me. I never made ciabatta before, and I never made SFSD before. The formula I used for ciabatta was from Txfarmer blog, the one that is made in 36 hours (I made in 40 hours), and I was so pleased with the result, I baked it twice, one after another. First time with some whole wheat in it, and second time with some rye and wheat germs, toasted. I'll defenitely make this formula again, I still have to learn when to stop the fermentation and how much to develop the gluten before putting the dough in the fridge. I'm happy with the result, but I based my work on instinct, without having a clue if I'm doing right or wrong what I'm doing.

Pictures from the first batch:

 and from the second batch



San Francisco started with David's formula from "Crackly crust and shiny crumb SFSD form AB&P" (I don't have the book, yet, but after this bread I'll save some money to buy it) - link to David's post here. I increased slightly the rye percent in the formula and I added some durum flour, and the resulting bread is extraordinary. I never tasted a true San Francisco sour, so I can't compare, but I think this bread is the best I've made so far (in white bread category). It's moderate sour, and the crust is deliciously flavored, and the crumb is cool and silky. I am very very happy I made this bread, all my good thoughts went to David everytime I ate a slice of bread.

pictures with the crust:

and with the crumb:


 Happy baking everyone! Thank you TFL members for being here.


PS. If someone is interested, more pictures and complete recipe can be found on my romanian blog, link for ciabatta here, and link for SFSD here.

codruta's picture

It seems that days and weeks really flies lately and I don't have enough time to write about all the breads I bake. To get upto date, I'll make a resume with the most important breads I've baked in the last days/week:

1. I made semolina bread, in two different days (first it was a 60% semolina + 40% white flour with 67% hydration, next time it was a 70% semolina + 30% white flour and 71% hydration), inspiread by Hamelman's Semolina Bread and Giovanni's bread. I used a stiff levain and I had to add a lot of water to the dough, and I still think it was not enough. But semolina bread is one of my latest revelations, I love it's flavor so much... too bad I have only one bag of semolina left... :(

The crumb is yellow, but not as opened as it i in giovanni's bread, yet, it is a very tasty formula. It's elastic and chewy and it's wonderful sweet when toasted.

Here are pictures from the first bread:

And from the second one: (I dind't realise before how much they resemble, till I put the pictures together)

2. I make baguettes again, using the same formula as the last time, reducing the hydration to 71%. Better than the first time, but still a long way from perfection.


3. I made another rye bread, using a rye soaker and rye chops made from soaked berries, chopped and then soaked again. I started with 90g berries (140g after soaking and draining) and ended with 210g rye chops, soaked and drained.

The bread has more volume than the last time, even if the dough got stucked in the banneton in a couple of places and it deflated a bit while I forced it to come out. (mini, I did not cheat while I sliced the bread, no funny angles while cutting it, and I have 8-9 cm max... well it's better than 6 cm from last time:)

The bigger holes in the crumb are a sign of overproofing, or a sign of air or/and water incorporated in the dough while shaping?

Well, that's about it, for now. Not quite up-to-date, I still have some "san joaquin"s left that I want share with you, but this is already a too long post.



codruta's picture

I didn't even finished my last rye bread (the one I wrote about here) and I was eager to do another one. This time with rye chops in it. least  I think they are rye chops... I took some rye berries, soaked them overnight in warm water, and next morning I chopped them with a sharp knife. I guess that makes them rye chops...doesn't it? As a difference from last time, I used british rye flour (last time it was austrian) from Doves Farm. I increased the hydration (from 83% last time), but I can't say for sure how much, I can't estimate precisely how much water was absorbed by the rye berries, but I think overall hydration was somewhere between 88%-89%.

20% strong white flour (doves farm), 80% rye flour, 20% rye chops, some caraway and fennel seeds, toasted and crushed. (sorry about the quality of the picture, it was taken very early in the morning, but I want to show you the "rye chops")

Everything seamed fine until I put it in the oven. How can this beauty:

turn into this "beast":

After 24 hours I cut it in two, and the crumb was a bit sticky. I thought the bread is compromised, but I let it sit another 24 hours until I sliced it and taste it. It is quite delicious. When toastes, the rye chops gets a nutty wonderful flavor. The bread is sweet from rye, and sweet from berries. I feel like I'm on the right track, but I want to have more volume in my rye breads than this:

I am happy that I don't have to trasform this bread into altus (that was my fear when I first cut it), but I'm dissapointed that I didn't get more volume. It has only 6 cm height :( What did I do wrong? the dough was not overproofed, that is for sure. Maybe a bit underproofed? I worked it too much when I shaped it? And why does the crumb feel a bit sticky when the internal temperature after baking was (again) 98C?




codruta's picture

I gathered on my Romanian blog bread pictures from my readers and bread bakers. Please take a look (link below) to see what others bake. A lot of them are begginers, but they all did a wonderful job.

Happy Baking!


codruta's picture

Last week I made two batches of baguettes, using David's formula for Rustic Sourdough Baguettes after Phillipe Gosselin.

I am very pleased with the taste, though I admit the shape isn't exactly what I wanted. I couldn't shape them as David instructed (being put in front of the dough, I did not knew how to handle it withoud folding it), so I tried to shape them like I saw in Hamelman's video. The result is... well... it is what it is... not a beautiful classic baguette, not a beautiful rustic baguette, but for my first try at this formula, I'm content with the result. I followed David's formula, with one small modification, I put 235g water in the dough for autolyse, and next morning I added the rest of 40g water. I tried at first with 225g and the dough was very stiff.

Thank you, David, your formula makes some tasty baguettes. We (me and my boyfriend) had a chance to taste Gosselin's baguette in Paris in 2010 and we were kind of dissapointed. After tasting my baguettes, and my boyfriend said to me "your baguettes are way much better than Gosselin's.".

The ones without flour on them went in the oven right after shaping (it did not occur to me in that moment, that if I shaped them, I must let them proof). The floured ones got an hour of proofing.

I wrote about tsese baguettes on my romanian blog, link here.


codruta's picture

Hello, everybody. I have a lot of news and questions today.

This bread is “80 Percent Rye with Rye Flour Soaker” from Jeffrey Hamelman's “Bread.” No commercial yeast added. It was made from ~750g dough (83% hydration). The rye starter was made from a small amount of my good old white starter. Three weeks ago, I split my white starter in two parts, feeding one part entirely with rye flour, 2 feeds/day. For this bread I used some organic rye flour I bought from Austria (I don't know if it's medium or dark)

This is my first 80% rye bread and I have no idea if it looks like it should. Of course I've seen david's rye breads, hansjoakim's, mini oven's, Franko's, nicodvb's and others examples here on TFL, but I can't evaluate objective my own product: I can't tell if my bread is beautiful or so-so, if the crust expanded too much or not, if the crumb is too dense or it is just as it should be for this type of bread.

I would have hoped to have more volume and the egdes of the bread to be more round and curved. The bottom is a bit concave. The internal temperature after baking was 209F (98C) - I overbaked it? I baked it 18-20 min with steam (was it too much?) and 30 min without steam. I cut the bread 16 hours after baking, cause I was too curious to see how it is inside.

It is the firtst time I tried to measure DT and I wanted to have a DDT at 27.7C, but I did not know how to do it. Starter temp. was 23.5C, soaker temp 23.5C, flour temperature 20C. I took 27,7, multiplied it by 4 = 110.8. Minus 23.5, 23.5, 20. Result 43.8 C. I figured I need 44C for the water. But in the end, after mixing ( by hand, in a glass bowl), the DT was 24.6 C. There is another factor in the equation that I did not considered? (I did not used a mixer, so there is no friction factor, my guess). Should the air temp be considered, too? (27.7 x 5 = 138.5. ddt = 138,5 -20-20-23,5-23,5 = 51.5?  I should have used 51,5C for water?)

I left the bulk ferment 1 hour, shaped the dough in the air with my hands wet, as good as I could (a video for this would be gold!), and then I dropped it in the floured banneton. The dough was wet, I had doubts if is OK to put it in banneton, but I did not know what to do with it. The more I kept it in my hands, wondering what to do with it, the more it started to stick, so, I dropped it in the banneton and I waited to see what happens. Well... it stucked a bit, and I think I should have put more flour in the banneton in the first place. Or is there another way to transfer it from wet hands in banneton, other than drop it directly?

I agree, there are a lot of questions here. Maybe some of you can help me, I'd appreciate any advise from those with more experience.

Final rise was 1h30min.

Given the fact I have never eaten a loaf with so much percent of rye (only 66%, I wrote about it in a previous post), I don't know how the taste is suppose to be. But for my taste, this bread is phenomenal, just like I imagined it would be like. Incredible sweet, earthy, verry little sour, with a strong flavor of rye. The sweetnes of rye was a revelation for me. I'll keep making rye breads, me and rye we are friends for life.

First crumb shot was taken after 16 hours, the second crumb shot after 36 hours.

I'll send this post to YeastSpotting.

On my Romanian blog, Apa.Faina.Sare. I launched an invitation, for World Bread Day in 16 october. I'd like to ask you to join me. it is simple: I need a picture, or two, of a bread you made recently, your name (or nickname) and the name of the bread. That is all. I will collect all the photos and I will exhibit them on my blog, in 16 october, in a special post. I will be very happy if you'll respond to my invitation. My email is codruta at, the last day for email is 15 october. 


codruta's picture

Hello everybody! There are a lot of wonderful breads here lately. I was gone in vacation, and since I got back I keep reading every post that I missed. I feel so inspired everytime I open this site and I read your stories. My "breads-I-must-try" list is already too long and it keeps getting longer. If some of you want to know how my breads looked like two years ago, when I was a beginner and I did not know anything about bread and about this site, take a look at the picture from my latest post on Apa.Faina.Sare. (pictures at the end of the post). I learned a lot in the last two years, thanks to this site and its members.

Thank you.

The last bake, before I went in vacation, was a bread from Martin's blog. Martin names this bread STUREBY DELUXE. A friend of mine had trouble with the recipe and I wanted to help him, so I baked the bread to see how will turn out. I did not have white spelt flour, so I replaced it with white flour (type "0" italian bio flour- very good), and a bit of whole wheat flour. Martin keeps a stiff levain at 70% hydration. I transformed my starter in a stiff one, for this bread. I mixed by hand and I followed his instructions, (only I added more water and I retarded the dough just 8 hours, not 10-14 hours as he recommends). This bread is very very good. The crumb is moist, chewy, full of flavour. I took 3 breads with us in our holiday and they kept very well for a week. Here are some pictures:

You can see my romanian post about this bread here: paine-alba-dupa-reteta-stureby-deluxe

I ordered some bannetons from Germany and I'm impatient to get them. It's a matter of days. Till I'll get my bannetons, I decided I'll only bake baguettes, and after that I'll throw away all the improvised baskets and linens. First breads on my list for the new bannetons will be the kamut bread that andy posted a while ago, and Faux Faux Poilane from varda's blog.

It's good to be back! Happy baking, everyone!



codruta's picture

Recently, I bought a flour with a confusing romanian name "alac". The seller told me that is spelt, or something similar with spelt.  It was a very expensive bag of flour and I decided to use it with care. After the first bake, I was surprised by the flavor: I never felt such a deep wheaty nutty strong flavor in breads made with spelt. I thought is pure luck to find such a good flour, or maybe just an impression. I made another loaf, with AYW, using same flour, in the same ratio as before (60% "alac" flour, 10% rye flour and 30% white flour). The same wonderful result: deep rich wheaty taste, with a vague hint of bitterness. All this time I was convince I'm using spelt flour. I made a third bake, with sourdough, roasted fennel seeds and anise seeds (inspired by Hanseata and her post linked here) - this loaves were the best I've ever tasted. After that, I decided it's time to find out more about "alac" and, surprisingly, I found out that "alac" is not Spelt, but Einkorn. So... I used Einkorn flour all this time without even knowing it. That made me sad, somehow. I went back at the shop, and I bought another bag. That made me happy again.

back to bread

For the last bake, I used this formula:

Overall Formula:
- Italian white flour type "0", bio (corresponding to French T65, if I'm correct): 185 g ……………………………… 28.5%
- Einkorn Flour: 400 g ………………………………… 61.5%
- Rye Flour: 65 g ………………………………. 10%
- Water*: 495 g ………………………………………………………….. 76.1%
- Fennel seeds, roasted and crushed: 5 g ……………….. 0.77%
- Anise seeds, roasted and crushed: 2 g ……………….. 0.3%
- Salt: 13 g ……………………………………………………………… 2%
dough: 1165 g ………………………………………………. 179.2%
*I used 80g water in the levain, and 415g the water in which I boilled some beet roots, that's why the red-orangish colour.The stiff levain was build in two builds:
first build:
- White flour: 35 g
- Water: 35 g
- Sourdough (100%): 10 g

second build:
- White flour: 30 g
- Rye Flour: 40 g
- Water: 40 g
- Levain from first build: 80 g
results 190 g stiff levain 72.7%For the final dough:
- Italian white flour type "0", bio: 115 g
- Einkorn Flour: 400 g
- Rye Flour: 25 g
- Water: 415 g * see the note
- Stiff levain: 190 g
- Fennel seeds, roasted and crushed: 5 g
- Anise seeds, roasted and crushed: 2 g
- Salt: 13 g

I let the dough autolyse for 40 minutes (just water and flour, without levain and salt), Than I added the levain and the salt, I knead by hand using folds in the bowl technique and in the end I added the roasted seeds, and knead again, a few folds. The dough temperature was 24-25C. I transfered the dough in a oiled container, did 2 S-F at 50 minutes interval, for a total fermenattion time of 2h:30min. I divided the dough, shaped it and let it proof 1h:40 min, then I baked it on a baking stone, with steam for the first 15 min.

When I shaped the batard I used Khalid technique, illustrated here. I like it.

Batard: While I transfered the dough from the linen to the parchement paper, and while I scored it, I was talking on the phone. I wasn't paying attention to what I'm doing, and the batard sticked a bit to the transfer board. That's why is a little asymmetrical and the scoring is not perfect.

Round loaf: I proofed it with seams side down, hoping for a nice pattern to form while baking. Instead, I got a dome with no cracks. I have to practice more.

Here are the photos:


The bread I made before with AYW was 60% Einkorn Flour, 10% Rye Flour, 30% White Flour, 73% Hydration (2/3 yeast water, 1/3 water) and here are two pictures:


The first try with this flour was a sourdough bread. I didn't used seeds, but I used rolled germinated ryes. 60% Einkorn Flour, 10% Rye Flour, 30% White Flour, 10% rolled germinated rye, 80% Hydration, 16% prefermented flour. Photos attached below:

I never wrote a text so long in english. I hope my text is readable and comprehensible, and please correct me if some words are wrongly used.

If you'd like, you can check my romanian blog, Apa.Faina.Sare.



codruta's picture

Hi! I just want to share these photos with you. I baked this bread a few weeks ago, soon after I made my AYW. The water was fresh, sweet, mild. The formula was very simple, and the bread was delicious. I'm not sure I used YeastWater properly (all the liquid was YW, and I did not made a preferment), but I take it as an experiment with a good result.

The formula was:

- Bread Flour (type 000): 198 g ……………… 50 %
- AP Flour (type 550): 158 g …………………… 39.9%
- Whole-Wheat Flour: 40 g …………………… 10.1%
- AYW: 266 g ……………………….................... 67.1%
- Salt: 8 g ……………………………………………… 2%
Dough: 670 g ……………………………………….. 169.1%

I made the dough in the evening, with autolyse for 30 min, bulk fermentation 2h:30min with 2 S-F at 50 min. interval. Pre-shape, rest 20 min, shape, proof 1 hour at room temperature, then retard in the fridge for 7 hours, and bake it in the morning.

The taste was somehow sweet, no sour at all (which surprised me, given all the YW I used), the crumb was moist and silky.

I like the idea of working with sourdough more than working with YW, but I must admit this loaf was one to remember. The pictures were taken at my grandparents house, in the countryside.

More pictures and details can be found at my romanian blog Apa.Faina.Sare.

Have a nice weekend,


codruta's picture

I baked Pain au Levain (page 158 from Hamelman's book) a while ago, and I wrote about it here.

Soon after that, I made another pain au levain, this time the formula with mixed sourdough starters (page 162). I didn't achieve the big-holes-in-the-crumb I was looking for, but the bread was good, it had a good oven spring, and the crust was delicious. I used whole-spelt flour instead of whole-wheat flour and I mixed the dough by hand. I kept the hydration at 68% and retard the dough overnight in the fridge. This bread was a guest post, and the formula is given here. Here are some pictures:

After that, I made another pain au levain, this time a combination of Whole-Wheat Multigrain and Whole-Wheat Levain. I used 31% whole wheat flour and a soaker of roasted black sesame seeds (for colour and texture), oat bran and (old fashioned) rolled oats. The hydration was 79.8%, but a lot of water is absorbed by oats. I liked working with this dough: is so pretty, smells so nice and I could shape it without problem.

My boyfriend's sister, who lives in Paris, and her husband, who has an italian origin, they were visiting us the next day I baked this bread. They both eat a couple of slices with evident pleasure, and they comment that my breads are getting better and better (we only get to meet each other twice, maybe three times a year, so they don't taste my breads very often. Their comments were welcomed and appreciated). Here are the pictures from the beggining

and the final product:

I have the complete formula on my romanian blog Apa.Faina.Sare. The automatic translation is very bad, but if anyone is interested, I can translate it for you.


Overall  formula:
- Bread Flour: 310 g ………………………………....... 69.4%
- Whole-Wheat Flour: 17 g …………………………… 30.6%
- Water: 357 g …………………………………………….. 79.8%
- Rolled oats: 45 g ……………………………………… 10%
- Oat bran: 22 g …………………………………………… 5%
- (black) Sesame Seeds, roasted: 13 g ……………. 3%
- Salt: 9 g ……………………………………………………. 2%
dough: 893 g ………………………………………………. 199.8%Liquid levain build:
- Whole-Wheat Flour: 64 g
- Water: 81 g
- Sourdough starter (100%): 6 g
  = 151 g liquid levain 125%For soaker
- Rolled oats: 45 g
- Oat Bran: 22 g
- (black) Sesame Seeds: 13 g – roasted
- Water: 100 g
  = 180 g soakerFor the final dough:
- Bread Flour: 307 g
- Whole-Wheat Flour: 73 g
- Water: 173 g
- Liquid Levain: 151 g (all of the above)
- Soaker: 180 g (all of the above)
- Salt: 9 g

I followed Hamelman instructions (from page 168), but I let the dough autolyse for 40 min (all the ingredients except salt). After the final shaping, I retarded the dough overnight, and I baked it next morning, directly fom the fridge.



Subscribe to RSS - codruta's blog