The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

MaximusTG's blog

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Hi all! Been a while since my last post; didn't do many breads last month. Mostly pita and naan-breads, Turkish pizza etc. 

My sourdough culture had been dormant in the refridgerator for a while, so I decided to refresh it again. After half a day it was getting active again. 

But since it was also almost midnight, I decided to refresh the sourdough again, but also make a dough with part of it (before the 2nd refresh). So I wrote up a formula; 25% ww flour, 75% flour, 2% salt, 70% water. Calculated for 1 kg total weight. Replaced 80 grams flour and 80 grams water with 160 grams (100% hydr) sourdough. Kneaded with mixer. 

Covered and let rise for about 8 hours. Next morning dough was shaped in a batard, and left to proof in a banneton. Final proof took about 4-5 hours. Baked for 30 minutes on a baking stone with steam. Then 10 minutes in oven off with door left ajar. 

It was a very tasty bread! Especially with some butter.

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I wanted to do a brown sourdough loaf with beer in it. So I took a bottle of "Duvel", a Flemish beer with 8,5 vol% alcohol (330 ml)."Duivel" or "Duvel" means Satan in Dutch.

For a batard and a smaller boule I needed about 1750 grams of dough.

11% whole rye flour
60% whole wheat flour
29% wheat flour
2% salt
70% liquid (which ended up being almost 1:1 beer:water)

Calculated how much of all ingredients I needed for required dough weight.
112 grams whole rye flour
610 grams whole wheat flour
295 grams wheat flour
20 grams of salt
662 grams of liquid

I replaced 50 grams of wheat flour and 50 grams of water from this with sourdough culture.

Last night I mixed 100 grams of sourdough with 330 grams of whole wheat flour and 1 bottle of Duvel
I also mixed in another bowl 280 grams of whole wheat flour, 112 grams of whole rye flour and 332 grams of water.

Next morning mixed it all together along with the wheat flour and the salt. Kneaded with dough hooks after 15 minute autolyse.
Then proofed for 2,5 hours with S&F twice. Then shaped into a 1kg ball and 750 gram ball. Let rest for couple of minutes. Then shaped smaller one into ball again and put in banneton. Larger ball as batard, also in banneton. Towel on top, bit of water sprayed.
After 2,5 hours they were turned, scored and baked at 230 C for about 35 minutes for the larger one and 30 minutes for the smaller one.

They taste very nice!

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This sourdough pizza is topped with tomato sauce, caramelized red onions, sauteed chicken thighs in cubes, goat's cheese and arugula.

280 grams of farina di grano tenero 'tipo 00'

165 grams of water

7 grams of salt

100 grams of 100% hydration sourdough (fed with high gluten bread flour).


This gives a total hydration of 65%. 

Mixed all ingredients, allowed half an hour of autolyse. The sourdough was fed two days before and kept in fridge after reaching peak activity. 

Then kneaded with dough hooks. Let proof for about 5 hours. Then divided in two balls (about 270 grams each), and put them in oiled containers. 

Chop red onion into thin strips, and bake in some butter on a low heat with some brown sugar. When they are almost done, add some balsamic vinegar. I used some Heinz Tomato Frito as sauce.

After a 2 hour proof I shaped, topped and baked them at 250 C on an oven stone. 

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Expanding on the bread I baked last week, the seeded sourdough loaf, I increased the total hydration to about 73-75%.

This time only sunflower seeds inside the bread, and topped with sesame. Baked at a slightly higher temperature. Could have done with a bit more final proofing, cause the bread had quite some oven spring. 

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I got the book "How to Bake" by Paul Hollywood for my birthday recently, have been baking some bread from it; I like the sort of breads that are in it, though I don't like the "vagueness" in the recipes. Especially in the sourdough ones. For instance, the amount of hydration of the starter is not even mentioned. With my 100% hydration starter, the recipe below has a total hydration of 71,4%. Which I do not find that very high, considering the original recipe uses part whole wheat flour. And that is with the maximum amount of suggested water

So I kind of freestyled it, using wholemeal flour (cause I thought I still had wholewheat, but didn't), not sure what the distinction between the two is in English. It basically a wholewheat flour that is not as wholewheaty as usual , but not quite a wheat flour :P.

Anyway; this is what I used:

225 grams of flour
175 grams of wholemeal flour
250 gram sourdough starter, very active, refreshed day before
8 grams of salt
250 grams of water
50 grams of sunflower seeds
50 grams of flax seeds
50 grams of sesame seeds
50 grams of poppy seeds, half in the loaf, half on top

Mixed it all, kneaded with dough hooks, let rise for 5 hours until double, shaped, rolled in poppy seeds, put in proofing basket, proofed for 2 hours (original recipe said 14 hours!), baked 45 minutes at 190 degrees C with steam.


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I was looking at my stock of flours, and noticed some opened whole wheat bags, so I decided to use those and empty them out. 

So I made a recipe in baker's percentages, intending to add a small amount of sourdoughstarter.

35% Whole wheat flour
35% Whole spelt flour
30% Wheat flour
70% Water
2% Salt

calculated for an intended dough weight of 1 kg this gives;
205 grams of whole wheat flour, 205 grams of whole spelt flour, 175 grams of wheat flour, 410 grams of water and 12 grams of salt.

I then 
mixed 205 grams of whole meal flour with 205 grams of water in a bowl and covered it.
mixed 205 grams of whole spelt flour with 205 grams of water  and 50 grams of starter in a bowl and covered it.

mixed 175 grams of flour and 12 grams of salt and covered it, just to get it ready. 
I then left it all overnight (about 10 hours) to proof and soak.
The next day I mixed it all and kneaded it. It then proofed for 2 hours, was shaped in a batard and proofed again in a banneton for about 1,5 hours. 
Oven preheated at 250 C. Bread turned on peel, slashed down length. Bread in oven, water in baking tin beneath stone. Temperature back to 210/220 C. Baked for 40 minutes and then left on the stone with the oven turned off and the door ajar for 10 minutes. Tastes fantastic!

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So I wanted to try a no-knead bread again;  Just very plain and simple. Just white wheat flour, water, salt and some yeast. 
1 kg total dough weight, 70% hydration. About a 1/4 tsp of IDY and 12 grams of salt. 

Just mixed it all together and left for a night. Then did some S&F and left to proof. First time in an oval banneton, second time in a round banneton (though that one was a bit too big for the amount of dough).

After proofing I turned on a shooter, slashed and baked at 250 degrees C. 

First version was nice, but the second one got a much more open crumb. I guess because it got a more heaped 1/4 tsp IDY, and fermented a bit longer for the first proofing. 

Oval version:


Round version:



All thumbnails are clickable.

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With mother's day at hand I decided to give her a bread-baking starterset from - a 750 gram round cane banneton, some flour, a mixing spatula, a lame, and a doughscraper, yeast and a recipe. Of course, that was the perfect excuse to order some more supplies for myself. Namely a 1 kg oval cane banneton, two 750 gram bannetons out of pressed wood material, round and oval and a lame for myself and a dough scraper.

Of course, I immediately wanted to try my new stuff! So I revisited the Norwich sourdough I had made before:

though I did had to substitute a little amount of the white flour with whole wheat flour, since I did not have enough white flour. Also upped the hydration a bit.

First in the 750 gram oval banneton:



I then wanted to try the larger oval banneton, and came across this recipe:

which is similar to the Norwich recipe, but uses a different technique and a bit less rye. So I got some more flour and mixed the rye ferment yesterday evening.


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So after the low yeast version I baked a while ago, I baked some more of those. 

Then I wanted to use my own sourdough culture to bake that bread. 
I had some trouble getting the hydration right, because I feel like the use of baker's percentage is a bit harder when using a sourdough (another source of flour and water) to aim for a certain hydration. 

I used 

300 grams whole wheat flour (50%)

300 grams white flour (50%) \

                                               100 grams sourdough, 58 gram flour, 42 gram water

420 grams water (70%)            /

12 grams of salt (2%)

30 grams of butter (5%)

and a handful of pumpkin seeds.

I mixed all of the WW flour, all the sourdough and 258 grams of water the night before. 

In the morning I mixed in 242 grams of flour and 120 grams of water, the salt and the melted butter.

Kneaded with handmixer, left to rise an hour. Then shaped into a boule and put seam-side up in a banneton. After 2 hours proofing turned on a peel and scored and baked in a steamed oven on a stone for 55 minutes at 190 C. 







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For this bread I took 300 grams of whole wheat flour and mixed it with 300 grams of water and 1/8 tsp of instant yeast. 

That was at midnight. Next morning I added 280 grams of flour, 1 tsp salt, some pumpkinseeds and some flax seeds. Also enough water to make the hydration 75%. Gave it a stir and then kneaded with mixer. Let rise for 1,5 hours. Then shaped into boule. Proofed for 2 hours in banneton. Baked for 50 minutes at 190 celsius with steam.






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