The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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  • 460g bf
  • 60g ww
  • 120g rye levain (50% hydration)
  • 452g water (hold 52) (should of held more)
  • 116g boiled purple potato
  • 59g hard goats milk cheese (roughly cubed)
  • 83g hard cured salami (roughly cubed)
  • 1 small sweet onion (well caramelized)
  • 12g salt 

After the autolyse I soaked/mashed the levain in the 52g of water that I had held back from the final dough. I often employ this technique to more easily incorporate the very very firm rye levain into the final dough. This time absolutely held back too little water so if anyone tries this I would hold more like 100g.

Once I incorporated the levain and salt I gave the dough a few sets of slap and folds then over a period of folds I added the cheese, meat, potato and onion. after a few more stretch and folds I bulk fermented for around six hours, then proofed for probably another four then baked the loaf in a 450 degree oven for around an hour, After the loaf was baked and the oven was off I let the de panned loaf finish up in the hot oven for a bit. 


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Over my last few days off (and the few days proceeding) I made this rye bread. The name means Cherry Rye Bread, I liked how it sounded and it accurately describes the bread so bam! Kirschroggenbrot is born. I started out a few days before starting the bread by sprouting a little more then 1000g of rye berries. This is the second time I'v sprouted anything and I'm pretty pleased by how straight forward and apparently foolproof it is.

Once the berries were sprouted I took half of them and dried them for around 4 hours at 105F in a dehydrator, and the other half I put in a jar in the fridge 

Once the berries where dried I ground them very coarsely and got to work on the levain builds.

Build one: 10g coarse rye, 10g water, 10g rye chef

Build two: 30g coarse rye, 30g water, 30g (all of previous culture)

Build three: 110g coarse rye, 110g water, 90g (all of previous culture) 


Once the culture builds were good and finished I started on the final recipe,

500g super coarse, sprouted rye flour. (77%)

300g coarse rye levain. (23% rye, 23% water)

600g sprouted rye berries. (92%)

233g dried cherries. (36%)

293g german black beer. (45%)

142g water. (22%)

16g salt. (2.5)

First I mixed the flour, beer and water and let it sit for 25 minutes. then I added the berries, cherries, levain and salt. Mixed with my hands briefly and packed right into my 9x4x4 pullman pan. 

4 hours later I put the pan with the top on into a 450F oven and baked for 30 minutes

30 minutes later I turned the oven down to 420 and baked for 30 minutes

30 minutes later I turned the oven down to 375 and again baked for thirty minutes

half an hour later down to 350

half an hour later down to 300

half an hour later I removed the top of the pan.

15 minutes later I removed the loaf from the pan and finished it up on the stone for 15 minutes.

after 15 minutes I took the loaf off the stone and put in on a oven rack, turned the oven off and let the loaf and the oven cool down together for an hour or so.

Then I waited 24+ hours and cut it.

This bread is crazy filling and just great tasting. My house smelled like caramelizing sugar, spicy wet rye and cherries for hours.


another thing I did differently this time was lightly rub the inside of my pan (including the top) with butter on a paper towel, then I put a generous amount of rye flour in the pan, closed the lid and shook. this gave the loaf a nice covering of rye and served as a non stick barrier for such a wet loaf.

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Over the last few days I took my first crack at sprouting grains. It was a resounding success that I feel has probably opened the door to more experimentation and exciting flavors in my bread. This one is primarily sprouted rye flour, sprouted rye berries and seeds. It's a great loaf of dense hearty bread. It smells super malty and sweet and the flavor of the seeds come through nicely.

Here's how I made it

192g Sifted fresh ground hard red (34%)

343g Whole fresh groung sprouted rye (61%)

54g Rye Levain (5% water, 5% rye)

341g Sprouted rye berries (61%)

84g Toasted sunflower seeds (15%)

28g Toasted sprouted pumpkin seeds (5%)

14g Salt (2 1/2%)


30 minute autolyse

mix and rest for 45 minutes

shape and ferment for two hours at room temp

16 1/4 hours in the fridge

5 1/4 hours warming up on a heating pad

bake at 450 for 45 minutes then at 430 for 50 minutes

cool for 24 hours and slice.



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Over my last two days off I made this really big Oatmeal Miche. Its subtle and earthy and maybe a little too big but it will last all week until I have time to make another so I'm pleased.

Here's how I made it

Levain build one 

  • 20g rye chef
  • 50g fresh ground hard red
  • 20g water

Levain build two

  • 25g firm levain
  • 100g fresh ground hard red
  •  50g water

Final Dough

  • 1100g Bread Flour (69%)
  • 320g Hard White (20%)
  • 70g Hard Red (4%)
  • 10g Rye (1ish%)
  • 150g Levain (6.6%hard red 3.3%water)
  • 1150g water (72%) (hold 100g)
  • 400g Cooked oatmeal (25%)
  • 235g Toasted Hazelnuts (15%)
  • 32g Salt (2%)

First I mixed all the flours and let the dough autolyse  at room temp holding 100 grams of water for later.

Eight hours later I dissolved the levain in the leftover water and incorporated it into the dough. Fifteen minutes later added the salt and have the dough a few slap and folds. followed by a ten minute rest and a set of stretch and folds followed by a 20 minute rest.

During that 20 minutes I roasted and cracked the hazelnuts and cooked the oatmeal.

I incorporated the nuts and oatmeal and for the next hour and forty minutes I have the dough 4 sets of semi evenly spaced out stretch and folds. then I left it alone for around six hours. Then I shaped it and put it right in the fridge to proof

21 hours later I removed it from the fridge and put it right in a 500degree oven. 5 minutes later I reduced the heat to 450 and continued baking for another 55 or so minutes. once the the loaf was done I turned the oven off and left it in with the door cracked for an additional ten minutes.



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I have been busily working away on my Rye levain formula and the one I just baked off this morning on one of the best yet. Recently I have started to shy away from my standard 100% hydration white or primarily white levain towards much firmer entirely whole grain levain starters. I still keep my chef at 100% hydration and I think that going from a cold wet chef to a warm dry levain to a warm wet final mix is really contributing to the flavor complexity.

Here's how I made it.

Levain build #1

  • 3g 100% hydration rye chef
  • 21g fresh milled whole rye
  • 10g warm water
  • 12 hr ferment at room temp

Levain build #2

  • 5g 50% hydration rye levain
  • 50g fresh milled whole rye
  • 25g warm water
  • 12 hr ferment at room temp

Final dough

  • 480g bread flour 70%
  • 170g fresh milled whole rye 25%
  • 45g levain 7.5% (5%rye, 2.5% water)
  • 55g rye chops 8%
  • 536g quite warm water (hold 36g) 79%
  • 13g salt 2%

First I mixed the flours and rye chops and hydrated them with all but 36g of the warm water and let it sit for 45 minutes. Then I added the salt and in a different bowl I moistened/mashed with a fork the 45 grams of firm levain in the remaining 36 grams of water and added that to the dough. After a quick mix with a wooden spoon to incorporate the salt I mashed the whole dough in my hands and as adding water to already partially developed dough isn't always the easiest thing to do. 

Once the dough came back together I gave it a firm two or so minutes of slap and folds followed by a twenty minute rest, then I gave it another quick set of slap and folds and a ten minute rest then another quick set and a fifteen minute rest then another quick set and an hour rest.

After an hour I have it a good stretching and folding in the bowl followed by a very quick slap and fold half an hour later and one more another half an hour later. 

By now the dough has been fermenting for around 3 hours and forty minutes. I gave it an additional 5 hours and forty minutes of room temp bulk fermentation shaped it and popped it in the fridge for 19 hours.

Around noon today I put the loaf in a 500 degree oven, poured hot water over my preheated lava rock and baked it for 55 minutes turning the oven down to 450 after the first two minutes.

This is one heck of a good loaf with a pretty prime aroma to boot. Earthy, hearty and lactic with that characteristic rye spiciness followed by a light acetic zing. So tasty.

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I haven't been posting/reading much on the fresh loaf lately and I haven't been super pleased about it, but due to lots of work around the holiday season and general lazyness my TFL activity has decreased but my bread baking is still at a fever pitch.

Last month or maybe early this month, after a bunch of saving and waffling I finally joined the I have a mill club and I'm super excited about it. After my initial first few attempts and semi passable failuers I'm getting the hang of the fresh flour deal and with the new sifters my lady friend got me for christmas and the Bob's Red Mill factory outlet store a really hard stones throw away I expect I will only delve deeper.

This rascal pictured above was my first real success with fresh flour and it tasted tops. I used an all fresh ground rye levain and an additional 13% fresh ground hard red wheat that I sifted with cheese cloth to 82% extraction (thats what cheese cloth leaves you with) to bring the fresh ground total to 20%. 

Right now I'v got some hard red tempering (a first for me) and I'm building my levain up with plans to bake on monday. This time around I will up the fresh ground percentage to maybe 30% and with my glorious new sifter I will sift the red to 70%.

If yer interested the formula for the above loaf is as follows

  • 37g fresh ground sifted hard winter wheat, 7%
  • 423g BF, 80%
  • 138g whole rye levain, 13% Rye&13%Water
  • 360 warm water, 68%
  • 10g Salt, >2%

1 hour autolyse

lots of slap and flolds

a 5 hour bulk ferment

a four hour proof

and an hour bake @450F with steam provided by lava rocks


Happy holidays yall


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  • 269g BF (52%)
  • 103g Kamut (20%)
  • 78g Semolina (15%)
  • 140g Levain (13% bf 13%water)
  • 26g Toasted SesameSeeds (5%)
  • 346g Water (67%)
  • 10g Salt (2%)

The evening before baking I mixed up my levain using 7g active chef and 200 or so grams of both water and flour and let it ferment at an albeit cool room temp overnight plus some of the following morning.  I made extra for a different project and the additional flour and water with out a significant increase in chef caused for a slower fermentation for the levain, which was fine. When I was ready to start mixing I added everything but the salt and sesame seeds and let it sit for an hour, during this time I toasted the seeds in a dry cast iron and made sure they were cool. 

After the hour had passed I mixed in the seeds and salt and gave the already pretty developed dough a minute or so of slap and folds followed by a rest and a few more folds. Then I let it ferment for an additional four hours at room temp with a few stretch and folds at the 1, 2 and 2 and a half hour marks. 

Five hours later I shaped the loaf and rolled it on a wet towel then rolled it on a plate full of black sesame seeds and popped it in my pullman pan for 4 hours.

Four hours later I baked it at 450 for an hour then took it out of the pan and baked it for another 10 minutes.


mmmmm mm this is some tasty bread, its both buttery and earthy and the sesame seeds both on the inside and out contribute a great nuttyness that I am a big fan of. I was also very pleased and a bit surprised at how well the dough came together with two flours that didn't contribute much gluten to the mix. I expect this one will go fast and I will make it again for sure. 

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  • 300g Dark Rye (48%)
  • 300g Pumpernickel Flour (48%)
  • 52g Rye Levain (4% Rye 4% Water)
  • 157g Cracked Rye (25%)
  • 40g Rye Berries (6%)
  • 626g Water (100%)
  • 13g Salt (2%)

Two days before starting this bread I started keeping my chef at room temp and refreshing until it was super active. On the evening I mixed I combined all the ingredients but the salt and let sit for an hour, then I added the salt and mashed it up until the salt was evenly distributed. After mixing with a spoon for 30 seconds or so I packed the paste into my pullman pan and smoothed the top with a wet bowl scraper kind of making the edges a little lower then the middle. Then I put the cover in the pullman and went to sleep.

13 hours later the paste had roughly doubled and was gently put in a 380 degree oven and baked for an hour. Then I turned the oven down and continued baking for five hours first at 300 for a half hour, then 275 for a half hour, then 265 for three hours then 245 for a half hour and finally 230 for a half hour.

At this point the loaf temped 210 in the middle and I turned the oven off  and allowed the loaf to cool with the oven for an hour and a half, then I removed it from the pan and let it continue cooling before wrapping it in a clean towel and putting in in a paper bag for a bit over 24 hours.

I just cut into it and the taste is great, like molasses and caramal and deep dark rye flavors. The aroma matches the flavor with all the spicy sweet that you'd expect from a good naturally fermented rye.

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  • 500g BF (88%)
  • 140g Milk Levain (12% milk & 12% flour)
  • 235g Egg (41%)
  • 353g Cultured Butter (62%)
  • 38g Bourbon (7%)
  • 9g Sugar (1.5%)
  • 9g Salt (1.5%)

I started thinking about making a sweet and or enriched loaf a week ago, the idea sort of evolved from pumpkin something or other to some sort of challah back to pumpkin brioche then finally to where it now lies, One thing I knew for sure though was if I was going to be using a lot of butter I wanted it to be cultured butter, and I knew I wanted to make it myself

So I started reading up on how to make cultured butter without having access to raw cream. I ended up finding out that all you have to do to make your own cultured cream is inoculate it with around a Tbl spoon of cultured buttermilk per cup of heavy cream and let it sit in a warm place for around 24 hours, 

During the last twelve hours of the cream culturing I made a Levain with 5g chef 100g whole milk and 100g flour. Having never made a levain with milk I wasn't quite sure how it would go, but it turned out just how I hoped and right about peaked right when I was done making the butter. 

After letting the cream culture for a day I put it in the fridge to chill it then churned it in a vitamix. after washing the butter I put it back in the fridge and got ready to make the dough.

I mixed the ingredients with a wooden spoon then beat the heck out of it until my arm was really tired then covered the bowl and let it rest for an hour. Then for the next hour I gave it a good few sets of slap and folds followed by rests until the dough finally started to come together, then I put it in the fridge over night (12hrs) 

The following morning I pulled the now super firm dough out of the fridge and shaped it into four 300g strands and braided it and put it in my pullman pan, at this point it filled the pan right to half way and proofed it at room temp for 7 hours, by that time the dough had doubled plus just a little.

Right before baking I washed it with a mixture of egg and whole milk then immediately popped it into a oven preheated to 380 and baked it for 40 minutes. I started with it on the middle shelf but it sprung a considerable amount and was getting too brown too fast so I moved it down a level. By the time it was done it was golden brown all over and temped around 208.

This rascal tastes great, super soft and buttery with all sorts of fermentation'y complexity, also you can really taste the cultured butter which lends an almost cheesy taste, more like the smell of raw dairy then cheese but kinda the same. You can't taste the bourbon but you can smell it for sure which I think is almost as good. I'm thinking this loaf has some serious french toast in ints future.

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  • 325g bf (78%)
  • 25g rye (7%)
  • 122g levain (15% flour, 15%water)
  • 83g fresh chanterelles (20%)
  • 316g warm water (77%)
  • 8g salt (2%)

I have been baking quite a bit in my pullman pan lately and I figured I should change it up, also the pan was otherwise occupied so a rustic loaf was in the cards. Chanterelles are my favorite mushrooms and pretty much made to go in bread, all buttery and fragrant and whatnot and though I had never baked with them I figured it could only be a good thing. This loaf went fast so I only had it alone but I think it would of really been the best eaten with other food, or at least some good cheese. Also at around 92% total hydration this is probably the wettest non high whole grain bread I have made to date. 

First I lightly sauté's the chanterelles with a little olive oil then roughly patted them dry with a paper towel, both to absorb the excess oil and to break them up into smaller pieces, then I combined all the ingredients but the salt and let it sit for an hour.

After the hour I gave it a brisk two minutes of slap and folds followed by a two minute rest and two more minutes of slapping and folding, 45 minutes later I gave it another two minutes of slapping and folding and forty minutes later I gave it a minute of slap and fold and then another forty minutes later I gave it a stretch and fold in the bowl, let it rest for 45 minutes then scraped it out and proofed it on a very heavily floured couche for thee and a hagfish hours.

once it was done proofing I rolled it over, using the roll to build some tension on the otherwise very very slack loaf. Then i peeled it onto my preheated stone, poured water on my lava rocks and baked it at 500 for five minutes and continued baking at 450 for another 55 minutes rotating periodically .


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