The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

ifs201's blog

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My husband requested a recipe I'd made a few years back (before I got into sourdough) of kubaneh from the cookbook Golden. Since I now know a bit more about bread, I decided to make some slight changes. I didn't have time to convert to sourdough, but I did add 10% sourdough starter and added some whole wheat. It was even better than I remembered! Next time I'll convert the recipe to sourdough. This bread is baked in an 8-inch deep cake tin covered in tinfoil and the outside gets beautifully dark and caramelized. The burnt bits are the best part. Yum!


  • 250g AP flour
  • 75g whole wheat
  • 150g bread flour
  • 350g water
  • 3/4 tsp active yeast
  • 50g starter
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 60g light brown sugar


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g butter
  • honey

I mixed the dough for a good long while and then allowed it to roughly double (2 hours). You then divide the dough into 7-8 pieces and place on a tray covered in olive oil. Take each piece of dough, place about 10g of butter in the center, form into a ball, and place into buttered tin. Drizzle the top with honey I then let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before placing in the fridge overnight. I baked in the morning - 30m at 425, 30m at 400, 30m at 350 and then leave the dough in the turned-off oven for 1 hour before eating. 

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I had some bananas sitting around and was inspired by a banana sourdough post from Trailrunner. I'd also been itching to make another chocolate sourdough, so I decided to make the two doughs and laminate the two together. I found it pretty hard to develop the gluten in the banana dough (which uses almost no water and just bananas for hydration), so I won't be surprised if this is a dense loaf. One loaf looks quite pretty from the outside, the other is a lovable mutant with bumps and lumps. 


 Chocolate DoughBanana Dough
Whole Wheat7575
Cocoa powder18 
YW Levain5050
Ripe Banana Puree 410
Date Syrup3535
Chocolate Chips225 
12:30 PM30 min autolyse 
1:00 PMadd levain - 75 s&f 
 add salt - 75 s&f 
 stretch and fold 
 laminate and add chocolate chips 
 coil fold 
 coil fold 
7:00 PMshape 
8:00 AMbake 


ifs201's picture

I've really been enjoying reducing my levain to 10% and doing a longer bulk ferment this winter. I wanted to make some loaves to give away and to serve at a party, so I tried mixing dough for 6 loaves at once. Boy, that was a mistake! My scale couldn't handle the weight so all of my measurement were thrown off, but somehow the breads may be my best ever (at least visually).

The dough was 10% levain, 2% salt, 45% KABF, 50% T85, and 5% rye. I would guess the hydration ended up being around 80% but my calculations were thrown off. I find my Farmer Ground Flour T85 to be very thirsty. At the lamination stage I divided the dough into two cheddar/jalapeno, two leek/mustard seed/shallot, one rosemary olive, and one raisin/walnut. 

The autolyse was about 2.5 hours. I kneaded the dough on the counter to add the levain and then kneaded salt and extra water (about equal amounts salt and water) 15 minutes later. I did one set of S&F before the lamination. I think I did 2 sets of coil folds, but it is possible that I did 3. The bulk ferment at 69 degrees went for about 8.5 hours, shaped, on the counter for 30 minutes, and then 13 hours in the fridge. 

I can't figure out why these loaves came out so well! I just hope I can repeat it. I think having a slightly higher hydration versus my last bake with the same flours helped. I also think I got the length of the bulk ferment about right.


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Given a busy holiday season and the very cold weather in my apartment, I wanted to try letting the bulk ferment go overnight. With the encouragement of the good TFL folks, I decided to try two loaves using 5% pre-fermented flour (50g starter/500g flour/375g water/10g salt) for an 11 hour room temp bulk (approximately 65 degrees) followed by 11 hours in the fridge. 

One loaf was 45% KABF, 5% rye, 50% organic T85, and pumpkin seeds. The other was 55% KABF, 5% rye, 20% freshly milled spelt, and 20% freshly milled hard red winter. I was surprised that the loaf using KABF and T85 seemed to absorb much more water than the freshly milled loaf. Perhaps it was because the spelt in the whole grain loaf didn't absorb much water? Predictably, the freshly milled loaf with more whole grains fermented faster and was perhaps slightly overprooved. Still, very happy with this experiment and will definitely try it again but maybe cut the levain percentage a tad on loaves with more whole grains. 

I'm giving the T85 loaf away so unfortunately I won't know what the crumb is like. The whole grain loaf tastes great. The crumb is a bit tighter than I'd like, but I still think it's pretty decent for 45% whole grain (I didn't sift at all). 

In case anyone is interested in trying this, I did a 1 hour autolyse, kneaded in the starter and let rest for 20 minutes, kneaded in the salt, rest, then three sets of coil folds. 

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This was a beet sourdough with 36% roasted beet, 25% Hard Red Winter Redeemer, 5% rye, and 70% KABF. The hydration was 70% + the liquid from the beets. I did a 2 hour autolyse and let the bulk go for 6 hours (kitchen was 64 degrees). The oven spring was fine, but maybe the bulk could have gone shorter. Interestingly I made a leek loaf simultaneously and those loaves had huge oven spring. Maybe the beets sped up the fermentation? 

The crumb isn't super open, but I think it's fair for a vegetable loaf. 

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I bought a boatload of spelt berries and have been using them bit by bit in all of my bakes, but I decided to try a loaf that was 45%+ whole grain using 25% spelt, hard red winter wheat (Redeemer) and rye. I tried the Full Proof Baking method of making two separate doughs, one whole grain and one white, and then laminating them together. I also divided the dough into 2 loaves during the lamination stage, which Full Proof Baking recommends. I've always divided during the shaping stage. 

For the whole grain dough, I did 95% hydration with 4 hour autolyse and for the BF I did 80% hydration and 1 hour autolyse. It was only 69 degrees in my kitchen so I let the bulk ferment go for 6 hours. Maybe the crumb could be a bit more open, but the flavor combo of the flours is really outstanding!

I have two questions I am hoping my TFL friends can help answer:

1) As in the loaf on the left, I get a nice ear and rise, but then my loaf will also split on the top of the loaf. Is this a result of poor shaping?

2) I recently bought a Mock Mill and when I mill the spelt, the flour feels pretty fine but I still get some big pieces of bran. Can this be avoided or am I going to need to sift them out?


Thank you! 


T85 15%

Redeemer Red Winter Wheat 5%

Spelt 25%

Rye 5%

Bread flour 50%

ifs201's picture

Despite only moderate success with my previous squash loaf, I decided to try again! I upped the hydration to 65% this time (not including liquid from the squash). I roasted the kabocha squash and pureed it and incorporated so that the dough was 40% squash, 2% salt, 70% organic stone-ground T85, and 30% KAF, 20% levain. I also added a bit of honey. 

During the lamination, I turned half of the dough into squash/walnut/raisin/cranberry and the other half into squash/cumin/coriander/chipotle chili powder rolls. 

I'd never made rolls before and I'm also getting used to baking in such a cold kitchen. The bulk went for 5.5 hours, but perhaps I should have pushed it longer. I'm also hoping I baked the rolls for long enough. These are definitely some rustic looking rolls! 


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This bread was a real experiment! I had some apples from the farmer's market that I wanted to use, hard apple cider, and apple YW. I had also wanted to make another bread using oat porridge so I decided to do it all taking inspiration from the idea of apple/raisin oatmeal. This bread uses 5 different flours, oat porridge, sourdough levain, YW levain, raisins, hard cider, and grated apple. I kept the hydration at 55% because I was worried that the dough would turn to soup with all of the liquid from the oats and apple. The oats were not cooked, but were soaked overnight in the hard cider. The bread is about 40% whole grain. 


Add InsWeight of Add in
Grated Apple300g
oats soaker (hard cider)240
 Flour added to final dough
Whole Wheat7%
Rye calc3%
Bread flour calc53%


3:00 PMMix final levain and pour cider over oats     
7:00 AMAutolyse (flour + water + apples) + take levain out of fridge     
8:00 AMMix dough (levain, autolyse, oats), rest, mix and add salt and honey - first 100 slap and fold and 75 during second mix     
8:45 AMLetter fold on counter     
 Laminate on counter (raisins)     
 Coil fold 4x     
2:00 PMPreshape, 30min, shape, 30min, into fridge     
3:00 PMInto Fridge     
10:00 PMBake 27min at 485 and 22min and 450
ifs201's picture

I made babka a month or two ago using a combo of instant yeast, sourdough starter, and yeast water. This time around I decided to follow an actual recipe! This is 100% sourdough babka using the recipe for the dough from Artisan Bryan. I didn't use his fillings and instead did two babkas using a baklava-type filling (walnut, pistachio, almond and rose water) from Smitten Kitchen and one using a chocolate and nut filling. The Artisan Bryan recipe also calls for all bread flour, but I did 8% whole wheat and 15% spelt. The babka is definitely more flavorful than your average, but I am not sure how I feel about the tang. I might use YW next time. 


ifs201's picture

I previously made the turmeric and leek loaf from Sarah Owens and it remains one of my tastiest loaves. I decided to make it again, but to follow my own process with the dough, to up the hydration to 80%, and to change the mix of flours. I hope it's as tasty as the first time! One of my loaves has a small tumor on the side because it was too big for my DO and it stuck to the side as I put it in - oops! 


Rye calc3%
Bread flour calc45%


6:00 AMfinal levain build  
8:30 AMAutolyse  
12:00 PMAdd levain to autolyse and mix thoroughly  
12:15 PMTrevor Wilson mixing method 5min, 15 wait, 5min (add SALT)  
12:45 PMCoil Fold  
1:15 PMOn Counter Lamination (add leeks)  
1:45 PMCoil fold 3x  
5:00 PMPre-shape, shape, 30 min on counter, fridge  
6:00 AMBake at 490 for 25 minutes and 460 for 25 minutes  



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