The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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For my second sourdough loaf I tried this awesome recipe:


I followed it pretty exactly, but added caramelized onions and 1/4 tsp instant yeast. I still want to work on getting a slightly better oven spring and more open crumb, but it tasted amazing! I'm still trying to figure out if I am over proofing, under proofing, or not developing the gluten enough.


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This was my first attempt at the FWSY 80% biga. As usual I made the dough using 25% whole wheat, I reduced the water temperature given the temperature of my apartment, and slightly reduced the proofing time. Given the lack of oven spring and tighter crumb structure, maybe I should reduce the proof time further? It tasted good, but definitely room for improvement. Is a good rule of thumbs for FWSY to end the bulk ferment when the dough is 2x the original volume? 

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I am a sucker for fruit breads and decided to try this one. I would highly recommend this recipe, but I had a real issue getting the fruit to be well-dispersed. All of the fruit seem to be on the very top of the loaf which was frustrating. I didn't have fresh yeast so I used 1/2 tsp of instant and then 1/3 cup of fed sourdough starter. I put 5g of starter in the overnight pre-ferment and the rest when I mixed the dough the next day. I decided to make 2 smaller loaves.


Makes: 1 large or 2 small loaves

For the pre-ferment
175g white bread flour
5g fresh yeast
125g water, at about 25°C

For the fruit and nut soaker
100g crystallized ginger, chopped
100g raisins or sultanas
100g dried cranberries
50g pitted dates, chopped
50g dried figs, quartered
100g almonds or Brazil nuts, chopped
50g / 3⅓ tbsp rum, brandy or fruit juice

For the dough
220g white bread flour
100g  butter, plus extra for greasing
70g dark brown sugar
100g lightly-beaten egg, (about 2 eggs)


Mix the pre-ferment ingredients together thoroughly, cover and leave in the refrigerator for about 12 hours overnight. Meanwhile, mix the soaker ingredients together in a bowl, substituting similar fruits, nuts and liquid if you wish, according to taste, allergies or simply what you have to hand. Leave this mixture at room temperature for about 12 hours, stirring occasionally.

Mix the dough ingredients into the pre-ferment and knead until the sticky mixture becomes a soft, smooth and glossy dough. Cover and leave at room temperature for 2–3 hours. At this point you can give it a fold and leave it for another hour or so, but this isn’t essential.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into a rectangle about 20x25cm. Spread the fruit and nut soaker over almost all the surface. Roll the dough up carefully, turn it through 90 degrees and gently roll it up again, taking care not to force the fruit through the surface. The aim is even distribution, but it is better to leave the dough a bit lumpy than to work it so much that you end up with a mess.

Grease the baking tin (or tins) with butter, shape the dough to fit and place it in the tin(s). Cover and leave to rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until the dough doesn’t spring back instantly when gently pressed. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas 4.

Bake a large loaf for 45–60 minutes, smaller ones for about 30–40 minutes, until the top is a deep golden brown.


ifs201's picture

I got a copy of FWSY a few weeks ago and this was my first attempt at making a levain. My previous 3 efforts all used biga or poolish pre-ferment. I stuck to the recipe, but reduced the proof times somewhat given recommendations on this site and the temperature of my apartment (about 82 degrees). I also used about 75 degree water instead of the 90 degrees recommended since my home was warm. I also reduced the amount of instant yeast from the recommended 1/2 tsp to 1/4 tsp and increased the amount of whole wheat flour to 20% of the total flour used. I am very happy with how these turned out for a first attempt using my starter! I think the crumb is pretty good, but should I have expected it to be more open? 


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This was my second attempt at making bread. I replaced 20% of the four with whole wheat. I had trouble getting the bread to split naturally during the bake. 


ifs201's picture

This was my first attempt at making bread

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