The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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The other day I noticed that the lavender bush in fornt of my house was blooming, so I figured hey why the heck not. the day before baking I mixed 5g of chef with 5g rye 35g bf and 40g cold water. I let this ferment for around 12 hours then 100g bf and 100g warm water to 50g of the elaborated chef, I let this ferment for around five or six hours then added it to my flour and water and autolysed for around an hour, then i added my lavender buds and honey and proceeded with slap and folds until the dough was properly developed., I then bulk fermented for two or so more hours, shaped and rolled the loaf in a mixture of very corsely ground Himalayan salt and blue cornmeal then proofed it for another two hours. then I baked it on the shy side of an hour at 450 then flipped it out of the pan and browned it up for another few minutes... hot dang it smells so darn good and the salt on the crust really goes well with what could otherwise be a pretty overwhelming flavor.

  • 441g BF
  • 29g Rye
  • 30g AP
  • 175g Levain
  • 47g Raw Honey
  • 11g Fresh Lavender
  • 11g Salt
  •   Corse Salt&Blue Cornmeal for rolling.
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Over the last two days I'v been building my levain up preparing for my weekend and for another crack at my new pullman pan. First thing this morning I darted out and picked up some triticale some oat bran and some blue corn meal. As my flour water mixture was autolysing I scalded the cornmeal and wrung it out with cheese cloth, then I added it to the autolyse. Autolyse complete I gave it a few stretch and folds in the bowl, added the salt and gave it thirty seconds or so of slap and folds followed by a brief rest and another even shorter set of slap and folds.

I bulk fermented it for a relatively short time, proofed it for a bit longer then bulk and baked it it a 450 degree oven for half an hour then at 430 until it was done, uncovered the loaf pan about fifteen minutes in to the bake and I removed the loaf from the pan when there was about five or so minutes remaining, then I let it dry out in the oven while it was off and with the door cracked.

My formula is as follows.

  • 368g Bread Flour, 61%
  • 182g Triticale, 30%
  • 110g Levain, (9% flour 9%water)
  • 156g Blue Corn Meal (dry weight), 25%
  • 435g Water, 72%
  • 12g Salt, 2%

And my procedure went

  • 1 hour autolyse (including levain)
  • 2 hour bulk ferment
  • 3 hour and twenty five minute proof
  • bake

The triticale tastes awesome, a lot like rye, but it acted considerably different, while it did feel relatively low in gluten it was considerably easier to work with, and I think the blue corn was just the what it needed, both aesthetically and as a sweet off set to the heavy earthiness of the triticale. I will be including them both in future bakes for sure.

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For my second crack at this pumpernickel I upped the hydration as well as the percentage of scalded pumpernickel flour and cracked rye. I also finally picked up a pullman pan and baked this rascal for 5 hours of active time and an additional 4 hours in the oven as the oven cooled down. This thing smells crazy good, like caramel and chocolate. It is wrapped in cotton for the time being but I'm hoping it tastes as good as it smells.

Here is my formula

  • 300g Dark Rye 87%
  • 104g Pumpernickel Flour 30% (dry weight)
  • 104g Cracked Rye 30% (dry weight)
  • 90g Levain (13% flour 13% water)
  • 245g Water 71%
  • 6g Salt 2%

First I scalded my cracked rye and pumpernickel flour, then rinsed it in cold water and wrung it out in cheese cloth then rinsed and wrung it out again. I added this to my autolyse of flour, water and levain, I let that sit for two hours then mixed in the salt with a wooden spoon. I mixed for around a minute or less. I then scrapped the clay like lump onto a pumpernickel dusted counter, shaped a log and maneuvered it into my pan dusted the top and let it proof, I proofed it until I saw the tell tale cracks (around two hours) then popped it on the middle rack of my preheated oven with my stone on the bottom rack. I baked it for an hour at 375, then turned the oven down to 275 and continued baking for four hours rotating the pan every hour. After that I turned the oven off and let the bread cool down with the oven for four more hours, now its de paned and wrapped in cloth and I will cut into it later this evening.

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  • 292g BF, 33%
  • 252g Whole Rye, 29%
  • 127g Pumpernickel, 15%
  • 119g WW, 13%
  • 180g Levain (10%flour 10%water)
  • 126g Cracked Rye, 14% (dry weight)
  • 78g Cracked Wheat, 9% (dry weight)
  • 17g Vital Wheat Gluten, 2%
  • 16g Salt, >2%
  • 624g water, 71%

I recently moved from North Carolina to Portland OR, and after three weeks of driving and feeding my sourdough culture in truck stop bathrooms, campground water fountains, old friends houses, new friends houses, parking lots and also a pretty hearty helping of straight up neglect I'v finally got the ole rascal back in shape, This is the second batch I have made since being in the glorious pacific northwest and the first batch I'v made since discovering that the Bob's Red Mill outlet store is ten miles down the road. If you have never been and happen to be in the area I strongly recommend it, Its a bulk bin paradise!

This really should of been baked in a pullman pan or something like one, but seeing as I don't have one I treated it almost as usual. My procedure is as follows.

  • 1 hour autolyse
  • During autolyse, scald/soak berries, Wring em out, rinse with cold water, wring em out again and repeat.
  • add salt and 2 minutes of slap and folds
  • rest
  • additional 2 or 3 minutes of slap and folds followed by a rest then a few more slap and folds
  • 1 or so hours of bulk fermentation at room temp
  • 16 hour proof in a 40 degree fridge
  • remove from fridge while oven preheats
  • bake at 550 for 2 minutes with steam, turn oven down to 465 for around 40 minutes, rotating/whatnot when needed
  • turn oven off and crack door and let the loaf dry out for five or so minutes
  • cool for 10+ hours

 This is one darn tasty loaf.

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For the past few weeks I've been in my native homeland of New Hampshire visiting my folks. And  being in the north east in the early spring means maple sugar. Some of our family friends have a sugar shack and I went and visited and got some of the sap, One batch I made from full on raw maple sap, then the other batch was made with sap that had been run through their reverse osmosis machine. 

The full loaf in the title image is the one with plain sap 

  • 620g BF 78%
  • 40g WW 5%
  • 40g Rye 5%
  • 196g Levain (12%flour 12%water)
  • 599g Sap 75%
  • 16g Salt 2%

The Crumb shot is from Mel's reverse osmosis sap bread and also has some soaked rolled oats.

  • 566g BF 80%
  • 141g WW 20%
  • 141g Levain 20%
  • 566g Sap 80%
  • 71g (dry weight) rolled oats 10% (really wring em out after soaking em if ya know whats good for ya)
  • 15g Salt ~2% 


We did a one hour autolyse followed by some pretty minimal slapping and folding, the batch with oats took a little more working to get it to come together but it eventually did. Then as all the ingredients were cold we started the bulk ferment at room temp for an hour then retarded it for around 12 hours. Then we let it warm up at room temp for around an hour shaped and proofed until ready, some loaves were proofed in the oven with warm water, those took around three and a half hours and some were proofed on the counter, those took a bit longer.

If you have access to some maple sap I strongly suggest you try incorporating it into yer baking, because why the heck not!

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  • 527g BF 37%
  • 385g AP 27%
  • 200g Rye 14%
  • 142g T85 10%
  • 350g Levain (12% flour 12% water)
  • 1022g Water 72%
  • 28g Salt 2%

1 hr autolyse

2 min slap and fold

15 min rest

1 min slap and fold

3 hr bulk ferment with a set of stretch and folds every half hour for the first hour and a half

scale/preshape/shape 2+ hr proof

bake at 550 then 475



I'm midway through moving cross country and having a brief stop over at my folks house so I figured I may as well get the ole chef back in shape and make some bread for my family/old friends. it turns out I'd gotten pretty darn comfortable with the temperature of my old house so figuring out the right times to make a relatively big batch in one day was less predictable then I'd expected, I feel like they came out pretty ok non the less though. As always I'm a huge fan of low percentage rye sourdoughs, that smell is like not much else!

WoodenSpoon's picture

  • 460g KABF 58%
  • 120g KAAP 15%
  • 80g Whole Rye 10%
  • 40g T85 5%
  • 196g levain (12% pre fermented flour 12% water)
  • 581g water 73%
  • 15g salt 2%
  • 1hr autolyse
  • 3min slap and fold
  • 15min rest
  • 2min slap and fold
  • 1 set stretch and fold
  • into the fridge until morning
  • scale/preshape
  • 15min rest
  • shape
  • 3 hr proof
  • bake at 550 then 470 then 450

I up'd the preferment from my usual and oh nelly did it make a world of difference, both in taste and aroma. mmm



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  • 412g KABF 50%
  • 247g KAAP 30%
  • 91g T85 11%
  • 150g levain (9% flour, 9% water)
  • 394g water 48%
  • 250g unsweetened coconut water 30%
  • 50g coconut flakes, dry weight, I soaked em then wrung em out and saved the water 6%.
  • 6g coco powder .75%
  • 16g salt 2%

I gave this rascal a 1.5 hour autolyse then 3 minutes of slap and folds followed by a fifteen minute rest then another two minutes of slapping and folding followed by another rest and a set of stretch and folds. Then I fermented it at room temp for an additional three and a half hours. Then I shaped it and proofed it in the fridge for about fifteen hours. in the morning I took it from the fridge and allowed it to continue proofing for around an hour and a half then baked em, preheating the oven to 550 then turning it right down to 470 after steaming.

I kept my levain at room temp and used it a little young attempting to keep it on the sweeter side of things. All in all this is a super great smelling really good tasting loaf, mmmm

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I was thinking about lemon poppyseed cake but wanted to bake bread so I came up with this. It is great! light and aromatic and pretty darn tasty.

  • 462g bread flour 60%
  • 238g all purpose flour 31%
  • 140g 100% hydration levain (9% water 9% flour)
  • 554g warm water 72%
  • 46g poppy seeds 6%
  • 2g lemon zest .3%
  • 15g salt 2%

1 hr autolyse with everything but the salt,

1 min slap and fold 

incorporate salt and 6 min slap and fold

stretch and fold, let rest an hour then bulk ferment in the fridge for 19 hrs

3+ hour proof.

WoodenSpoon's picture

Today I baked off this fennel&date sourdough, 

To make the levain I mixed 10g 100% hydration chef with

                     20g whole rye

                     20g warm water and let it ferment for six or eight hours at room temp, then to that I added 50g whole rye and 50g cold water and fermented that at room temp for roughly 12 hours untill it was right on the verge of falling.

To make the final dough first I toasted some fennel seeds and chopped some fresh dates. Having done that I took

700g KABF (91%)

140g Rye Levain (9% water 9%rye)

546g water (71%)

116g chopped fresh dates (15%)

16g toasted fennel seeds (3ish%

15g salt. (2ish%)

autolyse 1hr

add salt

slap&fold 6min

rest 5min

slap&fold 3 or so min

rest 10 min

stretch&fold a few sets

bulk retard around 20 hrs with one set of stretch and folds about 5 hours in.


proof 3 hrs

bake. around 30 minutes each at incrementally decreasing temps starting at 550 and going to 450


This bread is so darn good, though I did cut it while it was still piping hot (amateur hour I know) and kinda smeared the otherwise a little bit better crumb.



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