The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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the hadster

Today I made bread from freshly milled Einkorn.  I can't really convey the glory of the flour.  I milled it on the finest setting and then put it through a 40 mesh and then a 50 mesh screen.  The resulting flour was the most amazing color of cream.  And the smell was more like a perfume than the odor of wheat.

The dough was similar to a 50% whole wheat dough, only not the sawdusty flavor that I associate with high percentages of whole wheat.  I think the absence of the bran contributed to that.

The bread has a texture and flavor I can't convey.  I only know I am going to keep working with Einkorn.



72% hydration

50% freshly milled Einkorn flour sifted through a 40 then 50 mesh screen

10% sprouted buckwheat flour

10% sorghum flour

30% ap flour

.18% sea salt

Tartine method: 1 hour autolyse, added salt, 5 hour bulk fermentation with 30 minutes folds.  

The dough did not really begin to move, so I retarded it in the fridge before shaping.

Shaped the dough at 9:30 straight from fridge.  Baked it at noon.  500 degrees, under a cover, 3 second steam for 12 minutes.  15 minutes at 400 with convection setting.  Internal temp: 207.  Let it sit in the cooling oven with the door open for 30 minutes.

The dough was smooth and elastic with nice gluten development, but it relaxed almost immediately.  My active starter really had to work hard on this flour mixture.  Maybe the Einkorn held it back a bit, or it could have been the sorghum flour.

Next time, 50% Einkorn, 50% ap flour.


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the hadster

Followed the method pretty much exactly.  Made 1/2 recipe using my own flour blend (bread flour, 15% whole wheat, 15% sprouted buckwheat).  Hydration 77% when all was said and done.

Warm kitchen, needed only 2 hours of bulk fermentation.  Used 15 seconds of the french kneading method for the third fold to develop the gluten.  Used a lined banneton.  Bread shaped and in the fridge by noon.  Baked at 9:30 this morning. 500 degree preheated oven turned down to 450, 3 second steam, 15 minutes under cover, 15 minutes without cover, interior temperature 209.

Crust soften considerably upon cooling, but should firm up again.  Interior is shiny and custardy.  A bit soft for my preference, but I cut into the loaf early (friend for breakfast), so tomorrow will reevaluate.  Crust a lovely dark brown.

Need to adjust flour blend a bit: perhaps add some rye.  Will reevaluate taste tomorrow.


After 15 minutes under cover with 3 second steam:

15 minutes later the loaf is finished.

Crumb shot



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the hadster

I need another cook book as much as I need another hole in my head.  Last count, I had several hundred cookbooks.  I've read them all, many times.

So, I resisted buying "Tartine Bread" because I've put myself on cookbook restriction.  I am not permitted to go to Barnes & Noble, and I can't spend too much time on Amazon Prime cookbook section - because I have no will power.

There was such a buzz about this book and this method, so I gave myself permission.

In truth, the wet dough, the stretch and fold, and using a dutch oven is very similar to many other books previously written.  I'm thinking about the no-knead method of over 10 years ago and all the books that have come out using that method.  Peter Reinhart, (his book "Crust & Crumb" lead me to my AHA moment), uses long slow fermentation...  In truth, there isn't anything truly new in "Tartine Bread" about the recipes, method of building and baking in home ovens.

Still, I am most certainly NOT returning the book.  I love his story.  I think most of us here have been searching for bread with an "old soul," I certainly have.  I also value all the pictures, and his in-depth instructions and photographs for shaping are wonderful.

But what I find so wonderful about this book is the whole section on what to do with the bread after its made!  And that is why I'm keeping the book.

And I want to go on record as saying this: I own Daniel Leader's book, "Bread Alone." He advises putting a few grains of commercial yeast into your starter to "attract" the wild yeast. (honestly).  And he waxes poetic about wood burning ovens.

Having cooked in a wood burning oven, I know that the SOURCE of heat does not affect the taste of the bread at all - or anything else cooked in a wood burning oven.  If it did, we would all be barbecuing and talking about hickory vs oak vs maple woods - which, btw, make a huge difference is food that is exposed to smoke from those woods.

To have Daniel Leader advise me to be mindful of using plastic wrap to help the environment while at the same time he's using TONS of wood as his fuel source, made me want to toss the book across the room.  I didn't, but I wanted to.  How many acres of trees have been cut down to satisfy Daniel's need for romance?  His web site now brags that his bakery has produced more wood fired bread than any other bakery in the US, perhaps the world.  I shutter to think of the trees cut down.

To hear Chad Robertson talk so honestly about this in his book, and the fact that he made a different choice and proved beyond doubt to his customers that the source of heat doesn't matter, well, it made me admire him and his achievements even more.

Daniel Leader is an important person in the bread world - he has contributed much.  I just wish he didn't use wood to heat his ovens.

I am sorry if I have offended any Daniel Leader fans on this blog - I just had to rant to an audience that knew what I was talking about.

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the hadster

sigh.  Over proofed my bread again.

I keep getting into trouble with the long retard AFTER shaping.   It did not appear to have risen that much over night, so I let it sit out for 2 hours, then I reheated the oven for 45 minutes, and then I baked the bread.  Next time, I will cut the counter top bit down to 1 hour and will preheat the oven at the same time.  sigh

The good news is that the bread is lovely.  Nice open crumb. Lovely earthy flavor.

I did a 3 or 4 stage build:

Biga: mixed in the evening, let rise until almost double, fold down & into fridge over night.

250 g water

300 g flour

50 g starter

Sponge: started with the biga and water for 1 hour to soften, then added flour. 2 hours at room temp

600 g biga

150 g water

100 g flour

Bread dough: added the rest of the flour and salt, let sit for 1 hour, then French kneaded twice, 5 minutes apart, for 1 minute each.  S&F at 30 & 60  11:05 AM was the start time of autolyse.

850 g sponge

100 g flour

9 g kosher salt


S&F at 12:45 & 1:15.  By 1:45 the dough was so active I decided to scale, bench and shape.  I used a steel mesh strainer lined with flour sac towels because I don't have bannetons here.  They were suspended in a bowl over night.  I put a piece of plastic wrap lightly on the top - which became the  of the loaves - and then put in the fridge over night.


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the hadster

I did not use the quick recipe so highly recommended on this site.  I bake in the mornings - have to share an oven - and I needed a recipe/method that work work for me.

I found one that had nearly identical ingredients and proportions, but that involved an over night biga.  This was the first bread recipe that I wasn't convinced would demolish my mixer or kitchen.

I need to work on my dough handling to get a more open crumb, but taken as a whole, I count this as a successful experiment.

And yes, there is strange dark thing on the cut loaf.  I'm at the cottage, and it's another rainy day in a summer of rainy days.  Pine needles are every where.  We have 3 dogs, and none of them seem to remember to wipe their feet or brush the pine needles off their coats before they come in.  We've asked them to, of course, but so far our requests have fallen on deaf ears.  I didn't notice the strange thing until I looked at the pictures, by which time I had eaten that cut piece of cibatta....

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the hadster

Below is the crumb shot.  I am working on my own flour blend.  Fortunately, my sister is with me at the cottage, and she has a sensitive palette.  And she loves bread.

This is a mixture of bread flour, whole wheat flour, sprouted buckwheat flour, and whole dark rye flour at 72% hydration. I made an error with the percentages of the different flours because I'm challenged with math, so I aways work with 1000 grams of my base flour (white bread flour), I can duplicate.

It tasted wonderful.



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the hadster

I haven't posted in ages, and maybe I have never posted to my blog here, but I'm so excited!  What you see is my starter that I'm calling Gem Island Truffle because of it's savory not too sour taste and aroma.

I captured it and nursed it along from a feeble beginning.  It finally began to show signs of being strong enough to push up some bread.  What wonderful bread it was!

I fed it and stuck it in the fridge for about 5 days.  I took it out of the fridge at 7 AM, waited an hour and fed it.  That is a 1 quart Mason jar with 100 grams of starter in it.  At 12, it was doubled in bulk but I wasn't ready to bake, so I stirred it down. 

2 hours later, this is what I found.  I was so happy to see the activity that I didn't mind the mess all over the counter!


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