The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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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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  • 472g bf (78%)
  • 68g rye (11%)
  • 130g levain (11% flour 11%water) 
  • 164g red wine (27%)
  • 292g water (48%)
  • 85g chocolate (14%)
  • 85g walnuts (14%)
  • 85g cherries (14%)
  • 11g salt (2%)

First I toasted the walnuts and set em aside to cool while I scaled all the other ingredients, Then I combined everything but the salt and let it sit for an hour, then I added the salt and gave it two minutes of slap and folds followed by a two minute rest and another 30 seconds of slapping and folding. Around forty minutes later I gave it a quick stretch and fold and let it ferment undisturbed for the remainder of the 4hour fermentation. Once bulk fermentation was over I shaped it and popped it in my trusty pullman pan and let it proof for just short if five hours, then I baked it at 450 for around an hour, then i flipped it out of the pan and browned it up for five or so minutes then set it aside to cool overnight.

mmmm nelly this is some tasty bread, rich as all get out and despite the laundry list of ingredients everything pretty much holds its own. the wine especially is super tasty, and goes great with the other additions.

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  • 500g bf (89%)
  • 120g rye levain (11%rye 11%water)
  • 84g rye berries (15%)
  • 84g rye chops (15%)
  • 84g extra corse rye (15%)
  • 28g rye whisky (5%)
  • 28g honey (5%)
  • 377g water (67%)
  • 11g salt (2%)

The evening before I wanted to bake I mixed the levain using 5g chef 100g whole rye and 100g water and set it aside to ferment for roughly sixteen hours. I also mixed the rye chops, berries, and pumpernickel flour with the honey, whisky and enough warm water to cover the seeds, I mixed the soaker with a spoon every once in a while and added more warm water as needed. 

 The following afternoon I lightly mixed all the ingredients but the salt and let it rest for an hour, added the salt and gave it a few 30 second sets of slap and folds interspersed with minute longs rests. Once the dough was developed to my liking I set in in a covered bowl to ferment for three more hours, then I shaped it, popped it into the pan and let it proof for 2 or so more hours. Then I baked it in a oven whos temperature descended from 450 to 380ish over the course of an hour and twenty minutes, once done baking i let the loaf rest overnight and into the following afternoon.

I just cut into it and it is darn tasty. The honey taste is barely discernible amongst the spicy, earthy farmyardy flavors and aromas of the rye, and while I can't be sure that i can taste the whisky I can smell it for sure...I think. The crumb is tight and a little tacky due to all the whole grains and I'm planning on making some killer grilled cheeses with it for dinner.  

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I went camping over my weekend (tuesday and wednesday) and wanted to bring along a hearty sweet loaf that would be tasty and filling when eaten alone. I think I hit the nail on the head with this one, though we ended up eating it with peanut butter and honey. Also going (relatively) deep into the big woods of the pacific north west calls for a bread that is an embodiment of that very landscape. Heres how I made it.

  • 35g WW, 7%
  • 122g AP, 22%
  • 321g BF, 59%
  • 120g Ripe Levain (12% water 12% four)
  • 369g Rouge Chocolate Stout, 69%
  • 135g Fresh Cherries, 25%
  • 81g Hazelnuts (lightly roasted and lightly ground) 15%
  • 11g Salt 2%

I gave this rascal an hour long autolyse including the levain, then added the cherries, nuts and salt and mixed well with a wooden spoon, then proceeded with short sets of slap and folds interspersed with rests. I then bulk fermented for an additional two and a half of so hours, pre shaped very firmly, shaped and rolled it in oatbran and proofed for two and a half or so hours. then I baked it at 450 for 40 minutes of so, turned the oven down to 425 and continued baking for twenty minutes, then I shook the loaf out of the pan and baked it for another five or so minutes just to even up the browning.

A note, though the recordable final hydration of this loaf is a pretty manageable 81% the fresh cherries impart an incrediable amount of moisture so if you give this recipe a go (which I highly suggest) proceed with caution or maybe cut back on the hydration a little.

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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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