The Fresh Loaf

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After my first attempt to bake bread in my hooded BBQ I had several issues to address.  Most critical was the fact that the gas hose had touched the body of the grill and partially melted! So I ordered a new one and a second grate.  These arrived this week so yesterday I repeated the previous bake, substituting rye for spelt.

12 December - refresh starter and build levain before going to bed

13 December

08:25 am autolyse 105 g freshly milled whole wheat, 50 g freshly milled rye 440 g flour + 10 g gluten flour and 400 g water.

08:50 am Patted autolysed dough out on bench  and dimpled in 200 g 100% hydration starter, folded and did 120 SLAPs.  Rested 5 minutes, added 10.8 g salt with wet hands, rolled up and did another 120 SLAPs. Rested dough 30 minutes

09:45 am Divided dough into 2 and did one set of stretch and fold on each and left for 30 minutes

10:15 am Coil folds.  I had to go out at this point and it was an hour before I got back.

11:20 am Coil folds

12: 00 Final set of coil folds then left to bulk ferment. 

Visitor arrived about 1 pm 

14:15 pm - no time to deal with this, dough had increased 50-60% so I popped it in the fridge.  

The day went down the drain just after this and it was 21:40 before I could deal with it again.  Took it out of the fridge, cold preshape and left 30 minutes.

22:10 pm Shaped and bench rested until 10:30 then retarded over night.  Don't know how this will turn out, never before left a dough so long.

14 December 08:00 am  Fire up the BBQ.  Here is my modified setup

I decided to just use the deep part of my two "DO"s so these were inside the hood as well.  I turned all 4 burners on full until thermometer read 250 deg C then waited about 10 minutes before turning off the 2 inner burners.  I had my portable oven thermometer on the rack and it reached about 225 deg C.  I probably didn't preheat for long enough and I will do it longer next time.  

Removed dough from bannetons,  placed on large disposable aluminium sheet, slashed & spritzed both loaves and placed on the rack.  Closed the hood, set the timer then remembered I hadn't covered the loaves.  Opened hood, covered loaves with the 2 inverted DOs and baked for 12 minutes.  On removing DOs I was disappointed with oven spring but carried on.  Thermometer was reading fairly steadily 200 deg and my portable one had dropped to about 170 deg C.  I set timer for 18 minutes and watched.  the dough slowly puffed up more so in the end I am pretty happy with the amount of oven spring.  I felt dough wasn't quite baked at this point and Dough didn't brown very fast so I baked for an extra 15 minutes. It has turned a light golden brown. Internal temperature was 208 deg F

I think the stones were probably not quite hot enough but at least this time I don't have burnt bottoms!! Yay!

After lunch I cut loaves so whilst not particularly open I am reasonably satisfied - a little more fine tuning required though.  Crumb shots below

So, a little pale for my liking but definite progress.  I am a little less scared of the process of baking in a hooded BBQ.  New hose & regulator are a little shorter and so all is safe and good there too!.

Big thank you to @idaveindy for all the help after last bake and getting me pointed in the right direction.  A little longer preheating, maybe a little more heat in general may give me a better result.  The extra long fermentation may also have played a role too.  

Happy baking all



leslieruf's picture

Well today I made a simple 1:2:3 loaf with some wholewheat (17%) and spelt (8%). my objective - test baking in my new BBQ instead of in the oven over summer.  Just a standard 123 with a little extra water, 4 sets of coil folds.

here is my set up

I read up on how to do this, so the BBQ got to 475°F in 10 minutes so I reduced heat and put my 2 DOs in for another 15 minutes and watched temperature gauge, turning off thr 2 centre burners.  Popped the slashed loaves into the DOs spritzed them and returned to BBQ. watching the temperature fall, when it got to 375°F or 180°c I opened lid briefly and turned the middle burners on again. Turned them off once the temperature returned to 200°C.  after 15 minutes removed DO lids and baked another 15 minutes. After about 5 minutes I checked the bottom of the loaves only to find them burnt. I removed them from DO and propped them up against each other and continued the bake. the loaves didn’t brown as much as I usually get in my electric oven but after an extra 7 minutes internal temperature was 209°c plus so I took them out. 

Interestingly, my enamelled steel roaster over the cast iron plate but on a rack, burnt more than the enamelled cast iron roaster on the clay tiles over the open grid.  

will see later  tonight how the crumb is. 

Question:  yes it worked BUT I don’t want burnt bread so how do I modify my method to stop this?  yes I fiddled with the burners, turning them on briefly to keep temperature up but would it have been better to just let temperature drop and bake for longer?

HELP - all ideas welcome, I am an absolute newby in BBQ cooking, so all ideas very welcome.






leslieruf's picture

I started out to make Ru's seeded sourdough which I love.  I ran out of levain (didn't calculate properly) so added in the left over from the first refreshment of the refrigerated starter.  I am not sure how much water I added to it to thin it from 66% hydration - a dumb move as it was quite thin when I used it. 

12 midday - toasted 15 g chia seed, 37 g sesame seed and 22 g flaxseed. I had blitzed sesame and flaxseed a little in the coffee grinder. I then added 55 g water but it sucked it all up so I added another 55 g water and left to soak.

12:15 pm Autolyse 245 g flour, 50 g wholewheat flour freshly milled, 28 g freshly milled rye and 4 g gluten flour with 198 g water.  I amended the water amount because of the extra with the grain but it was too dry so just went with what it should have been. 

13:30 I added the seed soaker and 90 g 100% levain. I did 100 SLAFs and dough just wouldn't come together.  Far too wet! This was my oops, too much extra water.  Thinking about it I realised that in the past I have added seed soaker when I did the autolyse!!  I really don't know where my head was that day.  What shall I add to soak up the excess?  Oh, how about some oat bran, got a packet of that!  So I worked in 20 g oat bran and did 30 more SLAFs before adding 7 g salt.  This was followed by another 130 SLAFs and dough felt really good!

14:15 pm one set of coil folds. 

14:50 pm one set of coil folds

15:25 pm one set of coil folds

16:00 pm final set of coil folds and dough was left to bulk ferment.

19:00 pm dough had risen about 50% so preshaped and left for 25 minutes

19:25 pm final shaping followed by 30 minute bench rest and retarding at 19:55 pm

Baked the next morning after 14 hour retard in a preheated DO for 15 minutes at 240 deg C with lid on and 18 minutes lid off.

Managed a small ear! Crumb shot

Really really happy with this loaf, lovely nutty flavour.  My oops correction worked out really well so I may add some oat bran again in future.

It feels good to be starting to bake a bit more again.



leslieruf's picture

After my last attempt I decided to reduce the autolyse time and see if it helped.  I made 2 x 600gm loaves - one had 1 hour autolyse, the other had 2 hour autolyse.  I withheld 20 gms water in both and found this made a huge difference.  I did 100 SLAFs, rested 5 minutes then added salt and did another 100 SLAFs.  

I also shortened the rest periods between folds to 30 minutes - 1 fold before lamination and 3 afterwards.  Bulk ferment took in total six and a half hours for loaf 1 (1 hour autolyse) and 7 hours 40 minutes for loaf 2 (2 hour autolyse). Both loaves were shaped and left on bench for 30 minutes then retarded overnight.

Next day my bake started a little later than usual as I had an 8:15 appointment so overnight retard was about 14 hours. Baked at 240 deg C for 16 minutes in closed DO then lid off for another 16 minutes.

Top image is loaf 1.

Loaf 2.

Still getting to grips with my new oven and would have liked a bit more colour.

Crumb shot loaf 1

Crumb shot loaf 2

Side by side comparison

Looking at the side by side comparison, I think 1 hour autolyse (lower loaf) is better with my flour although I may try again another time.  Much happier with the crumb this time and dough seemed to have more strength to hold its shape.

It is a lovely bread and will get baked again I think.

Bake happy everyone


leslieruf's picture

a friend told me of this flour available for a brief time at our local supermarket


Well, another friend made a cakey slice and had real trouble and found the mixture much too wet.  so I decided to proceed with caution.  Hold back some water and bake 2 loaves (600 g each) side by side - one with flour as it and one with 1% added gluten.  I just made standard 1:2:3 doughs.

so here are the doughs at end of mix - autolyse 30 minutes, 100 SLAFs, add salt then another 120 SLAFs. 

dough 1 il Molino flour only

Initially held back 25 g water but added 10 g back to dough and the balance with the salt.  After autolyse dough looked quite unorganised but through the SLAFs became a lovely dough that  lovely smooth and non sticky.

dough 2 - il Molino + 1% gluten

The same process and added all the water. This dough was more extensible , softer and had more bubbles.


Both doughs had 4 sets of coil folds at 45 minute intervals then preshaped

and rested for 30 minutes. Final shaping was 6 hours after mixing. dough 1 on left, dough 2 on the right

Dough was left to proof and this took 1 hour 45 minutes and I then refrigerated dough for another hour 15 minutes (was dinner time) then both baked in preheated (@ 250°c) DOs for 15 mins lid on, 15 mins lid off at 230°c fan. 


crumb shot dough 1

dough 2

This flour made lovely dough and I am really glad I bought a couple of bags, one of which I have stored in the freezer. I am in process of moving so baking has to wait!

Does any one else know this Italian flour? I have never seen this flour before abut hope I can get it in future. I usually add 1% gluten but this flour alone was great!


leslieruf's picture

It’s been quite a while since I posted except for the CB earlier this week.  I pulled my starter out of the fridge on Sunday and did one refresh. Then 9:15 pm mixed the levain

9 g starter + 44 g water + 44 g flour and left on the bench over night.

Monday am popped it in the microwave to warm up as room temp was only 12°C, brrrrr. once it was nice and bubbly mixed final dough

335 g bread flour + 6 g gluten flour

94 g Durum

60 g freshly milled whole wheat

37 g freshly milled spelt

360 g water.

brief mix by hand followed by 100 SLAFs.  Added salt and an additional 10 g water followed by 120 SLAFs. Dough left to bulk ferment. After 45 minutes I did 1 set of coil folds  then 2 more an hour apart.  It was not warm so last hour or so the BF was done in microwave with door cracked open.  Once I had 30% increase in volume and bubbles were visible with a slight domed look I divided dough into 2 x 550 g loaves, pre shaped and rested for 30 minutes.  At 7:15 pm I decided dough was ready so baked in preheated DO for 15 minutes at 430°c fan with lid on and 15 minutes lid off.

Crumb shot

It is good to bake again.  happy baking everyone



leslieruf's picture

A couple of weeks ago I made the Tomato & Nigella seed loaf from Emanuel Hadjiandreou"s book "How to bake bread".  I was drooling over the photos and decided then I would make 2 more of these recipe's next bake.  So yesterday I prepped the levain in the morning and then about 2 pm started mixing dough.  I also did 300 slap and folds instead of 200.  It was about 31 deg C outside here, so I had to watch the dough carefully.  I won't detail method as it was fairly standard with 45 minutes between coil folds.  Bulk ferment until about 70% bigger, 20 minute rest after preshape and cold overnight proof.  All loaves were shaped and retarted 4 hours after mixing.

Beetroot bread was first up.  Lead photo

219 g bread flour

119 g water + extra 10 g

95 g grated raw beetroot

6 g olive oil

5 g salt

131 g 100% levain 

Interesting dough that was purple - and I added 10 g extra water as I felt it was a bit stiff.  half an hour after the start of bf, I realised I had forgotten to add the olive oil so added it with a lamination and carried on. The dough was lovely and silky 

Crumb shot - love the spots of red, wonder how purple dough turns into yellow bread!  Beetroot flavour is not obvious but maybe next meal ex freezer will be stronger.  so pretty!!



Cheese & herb Bread. 

191 g Bread flour 

128 g water

6 g salt

1 g chopped parlsey

106 g cheddar cheese (I used Tasty cheddar)

0.75 g chilli flakes (I chickened out and reduced this, it should have been 1 g)

142 g 100% levain

Lovely silky dough as well.  When I went to score before baking, the dough was very very firm. The smell when baking was amazing.

Crumb - disappointed I can't see the parsley.  maybe next time more and less finely chopped.  Cheese fairly strong in the bread, but because it was grated it has vanished into the crumb.  It is a little salty for my taste, maybe next time a standard cheddar might be better but will see what I think when the loaf has gone.     


Lastly I made 1:2:3 with Durum, rye, barley & potato flour

196 g bread flour

30 g barley flour

30 g rye flour

30 g durum flour

15 g potato flour

256 g water

6 g salt

9 g starter built to an 88 g levain (from recipe flour & water)

This was actually pretty wet and I did an extra 50 slap and folds.  Dough didn't rise much before shaping.  It spread a bit and you can see that I was still a bit short on dough strength.  Still it is a nice bread that I have made before (when it turned out better, oh well... still tastes good!).  The lid on DO wasn't shut properly and you can see the crust is a bit dull.

Crumb isn't too bad after all. 

Our summer is very hot with most days 28 - 32 deg C so I was happy things went so well.  The doughs had 14 hours in the fridge before baking.

A rainy day would be sooo nice, our last real rain was just before Christmas and we had 15 mm in January but spread over 3 days so it does not do much.   

Bake happy everyone.




leslieruf's picture

recipe by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou's book.  Inspired by Abe & Carole I had a go at this yesterday whilst making my 5 grain levain for the community bake.

Starter was refreshed the day before and in the evening I built the levain - 100% hydration with some bran included and left it overnight on the bench. 

Bake day was crazy - visitors in and out and bread on the go.

Mixed together 237 g flour & 6 g salt.  then I added 4 g nigella seed and went to get the celery seeds.  Oops, it is mustard seed.  What to do?  ok I have oregano (only 1 g as plant is tiny) and there was rosemary in the garden.  So I added 1 g finely chopped oregano and 1 g finely chopped rosemary.  Mixed with flour until well distributed. This is just another small  575 g loaf.    

Mixed together 24 g tomato paste (home made so not as strong as commercially made stuff), 6 g olive oil, 119 g water and 178 g levain.  To this I added the flour mix....  and mixed well.  Hadjiandreou mixes then rests 10 minutes, then does a series of folds at 10 minute intervals.  I decided to just do my usual 200 slap and folds to make sure I had enough gluten development.  I gave the dough 2 sets of stretch and folds 45 minutes apart.  At this point I decided I should follow instruction which had said bulk ferment 1 hour, shape and proof 3 - 6 hours.  So I patted dough out

it was a little poofy, so I folded sides to centre and rolled it up, popped in the banneton to proof

An hour and a half later it was like this

so I popped it in the fridge.  I wanted to bake it when I baked the 5 grain levain later in the day.  It was also fermenting much quicker than I expected.

An hour and a half later I turned the oven on, put the DOs in and left to preheat for an hour.  Here it is before I scored - a nice dough, hasn't spread much.  Not sure if it would have been better baked a little earlier though. 

So this was baked at 260 deg C for 15 minutes, then 15 minutes lid off at 225 deg C.  Don't seem to be able to get an ear at the moment :(   Still it baked up fine although I think there is now a hot spot in my oven.

Crumb shot

the colour is pretty true too.  An interesting flavour, had for lunch today with cold cuts and brie.  Not sure if it is the oregano or the rosemary coming through.

A good bake though, I will see how I feel about the flavour as I eat it and make adjustments then.  The celery seed would give a different flavour I think.  


leslieruf's picture

This was a repeat of this lovely bread, attempting to get more height and less spread.  I also wanted to see if there was a difference between my two starters.

I scaled this to make just 1 smaller loaf.  The porridge was enough to make two lots of dough so I did a little experiment with my starters.  One I had converted to 60% hydration 3 weeks ago and it had been in the fridge all that time.  The other loaf used my standard 66% hydration starter that always lives in the fridge.  Both had been refreshed the day before and the l built a small 100% hydration starters in the evening with final build next morning using a bit of bran as part of the flour.  Levain matured for 7 - 8 hours before I used it.  Method was as my second attempt, with no lamination just coil folds. Dough hydration was 76% as opposed to 82% for the original.   The porridge also added to the hydration and I haven't calculated that.  The dough was very soft but manageable.  As I had to go out I popped the bulk fermenting dough in the fridge for about 3.5 hours. When I came home, I warmed it up for 30 minutes and this time did a preshape and rested 30 minutes before shaping.  It then had just over an hour on the bench before retarding over night. Baked at 240 deg C in two DOs at the same time for 15 mins lid on and 15 mins lid off.

I thought the 60% hydration starter dough was a little less sticky and easier to handle but the 66% hydration starter loaf had slightly better volume.

Is there a noticeable difference? in reality not much.  Flavour might be a tad different and I haven't checked that yet.  My crumb is no way as open as "fullproofbaking"  gets for this bread, but I am really happy with this bake. 

I will test my two starters again in a couple of weeks after they have been fed and left to see if the difference in hydration makes much difference in flavour. 



leslieruf's picture

I had some left over milled grain flour sitting in the fridge.   Need a brown bread!

So I started off weighing flour to see what sized loaf, the plan was for 600 g 1:2:3
9 gm kamut
45 g spelt
93 g whole wheat
30 g rye
ok,  need to make a bigger loaf than planned as I want whole grain below 50% and I had just enough levain ready to go.  So I added 217 g bread flour and 6 g gluten flour, autolysed with 245 g water and 21 g yeast water (warmed up from fridge) for 45 minutes.  Then added 133 g levain ( 100% hydration) and. did 100 SLAFs.  Added the 7.2 g salt + another 10 g yeast water. after another 105 SLAF I left the dough to bulk ferment. 4 sets of coil/ stretch & fold were done (dough was a a bit firm for the coils but I didn't want to increase hydration further. 3 hours after finishing the SLAFs I preshaped dough, rested 30 minutes then shaped and retarded over night in banneton in the fridge.  Nicely risen this morning and baked at 240°C in DO for 15 mins lid on and 15 mins lid off.

dough was lovely to work with although a little grainy from kamut. It held its shape well overnight although I did think it might overproof because of the yeast water.  Normally when I use YW I make a poolish but this time just added as part of the liquid. 

Flavour is lovely, couldn’t resist some for lunch yesterday before it was sliced and frozen. So perhaps a little more open with the YW, not sure, but it is definitely not a dense or heavy loaf.  Positive outcome, I will add some YW more often I think.  It wasn’t a big percentage either.  

Happy baking


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