The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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golgi70's picture

I decided I'd fine tune my Sesame Wheat this week.  The previous results had notes saying "approved" so I didn't faddle much with the formula but I will increase the hydration next time as the seeds gobbled up some of the h20.  I may also see if ti benefits from a liquid levain opposed to stiff next go around.  

All the loaves were shaped and ready for an early morning  around 3pm.  So a good 12-15 cold final proof was set.  Then i woke up in the middle of the night to find my oven wasn't heating up.  Uh Oh.  Okay so i lose a batch and have to repair oven but how am I gonna get rid of all that dough?  Fortunately I made a call at 8 am on Saturday and my oven was fixed by 9 am  and baking started 8 hours late.  Too late to make the market but just in time to save the dough and find some friends to adopt the loaves for dinner.  So they ended up with nearly 24 hour cold proof and held up nicely.  A little extra acidity but the loaves were just great.  Thank you toasted sesame seeds.    This project started on Week 3 and then again on Week 12.  Since then I've fiddled further increasing the whole grain and seeds quite a bit.   



11% prefermented flour (70% White, 30% WW) 1:2:2 @ 66% hydration (8 hours)


Flour Compostition (42% Stone Ground Hard Red Winter Wheat, 2% Whole Rye, 56% Bread Flour (11.5%)

H20                                                   87% (This will go to 90% next time around)

Sesame Seeds Toasted                      20%   More raw seeds to roll the loaf in.

Sea Salt                                              2.5%  


Autolysed with levain for 1 hour.  Hold back 5% H20.

Add Seeds and most of held back h20 and sqeeze through to combine.  Add salt with remaining h20 and 

continue pincer/folding to develop some gluten and incorporate some air.  

Bulk 3 hours with 4 folds @ 30 minutes 

Divide, preshape, rest, shape and roll tops/sides in seeds  .   Retard 12-15 hours.  Bake.  


Now that I'm baking on Tuesday's for small donations/trades as well I opted to work my Spelt Country Bread from Week 19  At that time  I was using Whole Grain Spelt Flour but now I have Spelt I've milled.  I opted to put 10% whole grain in the levain and sift the remaining 15% to roughly 90% extraction. This is an excellent loaf and in the books as far as I'm concerned. 


Spelt Country 


Spelt Levain: 10% PF 100% whole grain spelt @ 66% hydration with 3 builds.  Final Build (3-4 hours)


total flour:  25% Spelt (15% sifted to 90% extraction for final dough), 2% Whole Rye, 73% Bread Flour (11.5% protein)

total h20:  79%  

Salt:  2%


Autolyse with levain 20 minutes holding back some water for the salt

Add salt with h20 and pince/fold until salt is well incorporated and dough has some strength (more will come with folds)

Bulk 3 hours with 4 folds @ 30 minutes.  

Divide, preshape, rest, shape  retard 8-12 hours


And for the Spelt Country




golgi70's picture

I decided to go back to the 5 Grain Levain from Week 26 found here  

I made two major changes.

First, I increased the hydration by a total of 13% in the dough portion.  

Second, I  decreased the PF in half from 25% to 12%.  I kept it split 7% liquid levain and 5% rye sour.  

Another change I made which I suppose was significant but not as much so as the priors is the soak(which could be any combination of seeds/grains).  Our local COOP has Rolled Rye and I thought to use it in place of the called for Rye Chops (which I subbed with Bulgar last time).  I also subbed toasted sesame for the sunflower seeds this time around.  So all in all it's equal parts toasted sesame, toasted steel cut oats, flax, and rolled rye.  I gave the loaves about an hour to proof before retarding overnight and an hour to warm up before being baked.  I'm very happy with the results and the only change I think I'll make will be upping the hydration just a touch further.  



5 Grain Levain


Rye Sour (5% Prefermented Flour @ 82% hydration) 12 hours @ 73F

Liquid Levain (7% Prefermented Flour @ 125% hydration) 12 hours @ 73F


Soaker (Seeds mixture = 30% of total flour)  Make Soaker at the same time as the levain/sour

25% each toasted sesame, toasted steel cut oats, flax, and rolled rye

125% boiling water

1% Salt (1% the weight of the soaker grains)


Flour: (65% CM Bakers Craft, 25% Hard White Wheat, 10% stone milled whole rye)

H20:  (75% holding back 50-100g to help add soaker/salt)

Salt:  2%


Make Levain/Rye Sour and Soaker (12hours)

Autolyse with preferments 1 hour

Add soaker and combine well using some of held back water.  

Add salt and mix with remaining water to medium development.

Bulk Ferment 3 1/2 hours with 3 folds at :40, 1:20, and 2:00 

Divide and preshape loosely.  Rest 15-20 minutes.  

Shape into boules/batards in rice floured bowls.  Let proof 1 hour at room temp and then retard 12-15 hours. 

Bake 480 with steam for `15 minutes, vented for 25-30 more.





golgi70's picture

So I've opted to work on previously formulas that I liked and get them nailed down this time around. To keep it interesting I'll float between a bunch instead of doing the same over and over.  As long as I keep notes and don't let a year pass this should work just fine.  I really wanted to work on the Whole Wheat Walnut but I need to source some good organic nuts that don't cost an arm and a leg so that'll have to wait.  Instead I went with 70% Stone Ground Whole Wheat from Week 22  I never did post that formula but the changes I made are:

I used a 66% stiff Wheat Levain (12 hour build) opposed to an 80% on a second short 4 hour build.  I wanted to increase the acidity and therefor the dough strength.  

But the large unfortunate and unintentional change was a 12 hour autolyse when I had planned on 4 hours.  I ended having to leave so i was able to retard peaking levain but crossed my fingers that the extended levain (which I didn't salt since I didn't plan it) wouldn't cause problems.  It may not have been the actual cause but fermentation moved much too swiftly in the final cold proof and 80% were a bit overproofed.  The bread did come out quite tasty and I will continue to work on this formula.  I may actually try the extended autolyse again but with a portion of salt added to keep the enzymatic activity from going too wild.  

I've also finally had some moderate success in my 100% Kamut so I'll share a couple photos as well.  This is actually 1 month or so aged stone ground kamut that I used.  I've increased my levain % slightly, decreased time between preshapes, and decreased hydration significantly.  I'll follow suit slightly increasing hydration until I find the sweet spot. 


Whole Wheat Sour:Take 2

Whole Wheat Levain:(16.5% PF) 12-15 hours
25 Seed (66% hyd)

133 Whole Wheat
 86 H20
270 Artisan
482 Wheat
700 H20            
18   Salt
Total Flour:      900         (70% WW, 30% Malted Artisan (11.5%))
Total h20:        796         (88.5%)
Total Dough:  1714(        2 @ 850g)
Autolyse 12 hours (if you do this I suggest salting and holding out a portion of the h20 for final mix)
Add levain with some held h20 and combine well. Add salt with remaining h20 and pince/fold
to medium devlopment 
Bulk 3 hours with 4 folds @ 30 minutes  
Divide, preshape, rest
Shape and 12-15  hours


* Above is what I did and some changes should be made.  But with the autolyse unsalted what changes I can't say.  Watch the dough and use your intuition or wait and I'll revisit this soon enough and hopefully have a better outline----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




 Main pic is one that was flat on left and one of the few better loaves on the right.  

one of the few that wasn't over (colder part of the fridge i suppose)

Crumb from the flatter loaves

 crumb from a better loaf (my house lighting is terrible and I appologize)

100% Kamut pic inside

kamut out in the sunshine

And the crumb


golgi70's picture

30 weeks since I started this now tradition. I've had this idea on my mind a while.  I've eaten this bread at a few bakeries and they vary from sweet levain style to slightly enriched pan breads.  I thought I'd start with a light rye sour as the base.  The end results are pretty tasty.  The 30 percent of Whole Rye brings a great sweetness to the loaf but since 22% is prefermented for 15 hours it also brings a lovely sour flavor to the loaf.  The toasted sunflower pairs as it does in Volkornbrots.  Sweet crunchy crust, soft almost fluffy fine crumb laden with toasted seeds.  I took a guess with 80% hydration which could easily go a bit higher.  Just to open the loaf a touch more.  Otherwise this is a good loaf.  I scaled my loaves at 800g and also think a larger loaf would be better.  So I'll scale for 2 larger loaves below


Sunflower Sour 

Rye Sour (22% PF @ 70F for 12-15 hours)
20 Seed
200 Whole Rye
200 H20
76.4   Whole Rye
668   Bread Flour (11.5% protein)
553.6  H20
23.6   Salt
196   Sunflower Seeds, toasted
total flour: 954.4 (22% PF) (30% Whole Rye, 70% Bread Flour (11.5% protein))
total h20 763.6 (80% Hyd)                         (I think I'd increase this to 83-85% next time around) 
total dough 1937.6 (2 @ 968g)

Happy Baking All



golgi70's picture

It's been too long.  I use to make this religiously before I moved to the West Coast.  Bread has overcome my desire to make pastry in the past 8 years.  And crazy enough i was able to apply so much I've learned since this recipe was born.  I switched a flying sponge for an overnight Biga and squeezed 16 % Whole Grain in there with no problem  I'll keep increasing this every time til I notice it losing its luster.  



Cooled and Dressed

And finally sliced




golgi70's picture

I'm upping the ante to two bakes a week.  One to trade at market and one to sell and raise money for more ingredients/pay bills while I try to find my own "spot".  I figured I must give this formula its due and remake with proper hydration.  I made one other change based on the flavor profile of the "botched" batch and split the whole wheat half Hard Red Winter and half Hard White Winter.  I also added a longer autolyse.  The previous loaf was a fine sammi bread but it had a bitter finish and these changes were to help that aspect.  Oh and I scaled the proper amount of water this time.  The end result.  A lovely sweet, earthy, crunchy loaf of bread.  Very happy with the results.  Not sure how to compare to other PDC's as they seem to vary so much.  Without further ado.

Levain: 80% Hyd
75          Seed (66% hydration) (45 flour/ 30 h20)
148        Wheat (half hard red/half hard white)
124.5     H20
470.5   Artisan
120     Hard Red Wheat
120     Hard White Wheat
49.5     Rye
49.5    Spelt
665     H20  
20       Salt
Total Flour       1002.5g  (19% PF) (43% Wheat, 5% rye, 5% Spelt)
Total H20         819.5      (82% hyd)
Total Dough     1842       (2 @ 921 )
Autolyse 4 hour (same time I built levain) holding back 5% water. 
Add levain and 1/2 of h20 and mix to combine.  Add salt with remaining h20 and mix until incorporated and moderate gluten development.

Bulk Ferment: 2:30 with SF @ 45 minute and 1:30.  

Divide, preshape, rest 20-30 minutes

Shape and retard 12-15 hours

Pull about 30 minutes before loading.

Bake at 500 with steam for the first 15 minutes and vented for 25-30 more



golgi70's picture

So last year when this little project began I wanted to work with untested formulas and move on week to week.  I've decided that this year I'll go back and fine tune some of my favorites that can sure use a little tweaking.  I'm sure I'll throw together some new formulas as well but this sounds like more fun.

I got some great local figs a few weeks ago and figured it's time for a Fig n' Fennel redux.  Last time it was delish but needed an increase in Figs and why not get the whole grain count up.  I am waiting on the arrival of my NutriMill so I can start fresh milling at home but was a offered a demo from a local lady who has one and we ground some local Hard Red Spring Wheat (Kalse variety) and some Hard White Wheat from a farm in Oregon that she uses.  She had me take what we ground and I figured the Hard White Wheat would be a perfect fit for the Fig n Fennel.  I couldn't resist but make a bread with fresh milled flour and did a batch of Chico Nut Bread with the Spring Wheat.  I could have held back a few % on hydration (109%) but got a lovely loaf none the less.  

As I already mentioned this loaf would have come a little cleaner and taller had I cut back a touch on hydration.  Maybe down to 105% and it would have been just right.  This is hands down the best Whole Wheat Walnut bread.  Thanks Dave Miller.  


Fig n Fennel (50% Whole Grain)


Levain: (77% Hyd) 4 Hours @ 78 F
20 Seed (66% Hyd) (60/40)
20 Hard White Wheat
20 Artisan
32 H20
Rye Sour: (100% Hyd) 12 hours @ 72F
1      Seed
7.5   Rye Flour
7.5    H20

-13    Rye
-307  Hard White Wheat
-320  AP
547   H20
175   Dry Mission Figs, stemmed and halved
7       Fennel Seeds,  Toasted
14     Salt
Total Flour:    700    (8.5% PF)
Total H20:      595    (85% Hyd)
Total Dough:  1491  (2 @ 745g)  
1) Autolyse 1 hour with fennel hold back 5% h20
2) Add levain/rye sour with 1/2 of h20 and mix to combine well
3) Add salt with remaining water and adjust hydration further if necessary. Mix until moderate gluten development.
4) Bulk 4 hours with 4 folds @ 45 minutes.(Add figs slowly during the stretch and folds.  I got all incorporated by the third fold) and a bit of clumping too so I'll work on that.  
5) Divide, preshape, rest
6) shape and retard 8-12 hours   

Pull 30 minutes before baking to take some of the chill off the skin and bake at 500 with steam for 13 minutes then vented for 30-35 more.  A bold bake is best.  

*If not using fresh milled grain an increase in levain may be necessary to keep the times as written (fresh grain ferments quickly)  Half I baked straight from fridge the other half I pulled 30 minutes before loading.  The latter got better spring a bit more volume.  


As for the bounty.  Ooops forgot to get a photo.  That's cause there wasn't much to take a pic of I suppose.  Paid back some previous trades, got some local mushrooms, sage and marjoram starts, ground lamb, fresh eggs, and I'm owed a bottle of vino next week.  Also sold a couple loaves.  

Cheers All


golgi70's picture

Well i got a lot of free time on my hands these days.  Believe it or not I'm baking more and more at home.  Figured I'd share a couple bakes I did this week.  I had a friend pass through from NY on a vacation and had to make her some bread.  Then I had a meeting a different week and thought well I might as well make them some bread.  And so Rachael's Rye (a spin on the 20% Rye from T3) and a Semolina Porridge Bread.  Both were quite good.  The Rye is more of a multigrain than a Rye even at 20% Rye but it's quite delicious.  This one compares with the PVM as it's sweet cousin.  The semolina bread was inspired by not being able to get any Durum flour and wanting to use Semolina.  I added 10% as flour and more by making a porridge of Semolina.  Both are keepers.  Featured pic is the Rachael's Rye crumb.  

and below is the Semlina

Don't have a lot of time to post formula's right now but I'll give a quick breakdown of each.

Rachael's Rye:  7.5% Prefermented Flour (Wheat/White),

20% Whole Rye, 40% T85, 30% Bread Flour, 10% Whole Spelt, 2.5 % Salt, roughly 87% hdyration

Semolina:  40% KA Hard White Wheat, 10% Hard Red Wheat, 50% Bread Flour, 2.5% Salt, 80% hyd (pre-porridge)

Porridge 25%:  1 part semolina 4 parts liquid cooked for about 10 minutes and cooled and salted at 2%




golgi70's picture

A good friend of mine got a chance to work with a very reputable baker and brought me this formula for PDC as he called it.  It was his favorite of the loaves there and I had to give it a go.  Let's start with the fact that I misread my formula and came up short 600 g of H20.  I noticed the dough could take some more hydro and got 200 g in at the mix time but after re-reading the formula I noticed my botch.  So the dough should have been 82% hydration but ended at 73% which is a ways off the mark.  

Of course it didn't matter how the loaf came out.  At this point for me I failed even if a good loaf prevailed.  And based on the feel, action, and smell of the dough I knew it would be a fine loaf even with the error.  It did in the end turn out just fine.  In fact my friend said it wasn't very far off at all from the actual loaf.  Now it's on my to-do list to make it with proper hydration.  The finished loaf was pleasantly sour but not overly so with a very nutty whole grain profile and a soft tight crumb screaming for some PB&J.  

An odd thing with this recipe for me was the feed of the levain.   It's roughly 2 parts levain to 1 part flour.  I believe this was due to filtered water constrictions (they did not have warm filtered only cold) but wanted a levain that peaked in 6-8 hours and was fed 3 times daily.  Just for giggles I did 2 builds at this ratio to stay on target(D'oh).  This starter, 100% whole wheat, peaked in 3 hours for me as I guess the cold water I used wasn't cold enough.  It did have some serious sour notes to it and was vigorous.  In the end a good everyday hearth sandwich loaf. 

Pain De Campagne


Levain should be fed at least twice @ 80% hydration where the seed is equal to 1/2 the total weight.                          It's pretty close to 2 parts seed 1 part flour if that makes this easier.  And the levain is 100% Whole Wheat.

Pre fermented flour = 19 %

43% Whole Wheat, 5% Whole Rye, 5% Whole Spelt, and 47% AP or equivalent.  

82% Hydration (My loaf here is @ 73%)

2%  Salt


Autolyse 1 hour (hold back 5% of H20 to incorporate levain and salt)

Add levain with 1/2 of held back h20 until incorporated

Add salt with remaining water and mix until salt is well distributed and moderate gluten is formed.

Bulk Ferment 2 1/2 Hours with 2 SF @ 50 minutes

Divide, Pre-shape, Rest 30 minutes

Shape and Retard 12-18 hours

Bake @ 500 with steam for 15.  Finish @ 460 rotating as needed for 25-30 more.  


Got some local tuna, local ground lamb (soon to be kofte), leeks, shitakes, farm fresh eggs, greens, Herb starts (parsley, thyme, chives), paid back some barters owed, and sold a couple loaves to others.  



golgi70's picture

Well with David's strong suggestion to make this loaf after talking of the Miche in "Bread" I had to see.  I was mostly interested how this amazing loaf was mostly comprised of white flour.  I had to see.  I made 2 loaves @ 2 KG each.  I went with the original formula David mentions with just a couple small changes.  First Change was I made the Levain with all Central Milling T85 opposed to a mix of White/Wheat.  I decreased the toasted wheat germ to 2% (because I had this much on hand).  Finally I prepped a bit shy on levain so I proceeded with 11% pre-fermented flour opposed to 13% and made it up in the final dough. 

A few changes I made were adding a short 30 minute autolyse with the levain included.  I mixed using the pincer method.Then I decreased the folds down to only 2 folds @ 1 hour intervals because the dough had good strength and was lively after the second fold.  The total bulk was 3 1/2 hours

I always like to bake my cold retarded loaves from the fridge and never proof them post retarding.  The less hydration doughs do require or benefit from a 30-60 minute rest out of fridge to soften the cold skin.  I did so with these but still got a bit too much spring.  I think next time I'll let these proof for an hour or so at room temp prior to retarding and hopefully that'll hit the perfect mark.  

The toasted wheat germ is the key to this loaf.  It brings so much to this relatively simple dough.  I've just cut it after about 10 hours (couldn't resist) You can see I shoulda waited til tommorrow based on the slightly moist base.  Both loaves temped at 210 out of the oven after an hour and ten minute bake.  They lost 15% water weight through the bake.  When I did the Miche from  "Bread" the loss was around 10%.  

Tasting:  Well at first bit this bread is sweet like dessert and has a wonderful chew that brings some nice mellow lactic notes.  I'm imagining this will be fun to taste through the next few days.  




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