The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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I always enviously looked at posts on IG and here when I saw marbled loaves.

They remind me so much of baking "Marmorkuchen' with my Mum and evoke some of that feeling making it as a bread. I remembered a thread where Dan experimented with chocolate malt.

I could not get any so just used some dark roasted Barley malt instead with some cocoa nibs that I had in the larder and grounded. 

I mixed a Champlain, halved dough after 7 hours AL and then added salt and developed in different containers. This loaf from Trevor is like an old friend now and I use it as the basis for so many of my baking experiments with it's lovely ratio of spelt, rye and white flour.

Bulk was approx 4 hours or so at 76F with 2 -3 folds and I folded the two doughs gently together at the last fold and then let the dough bulk for another hour or so...

Pre-shape, 30 min bench rest

Final Shape, 45 min ambient proof and then 12 hours in the wine cooler at 4C

I was very happy with this as a first attempt...The taste just has a hint of cacao and quite a hearty taste from the malt....   I must try this again.... Kat


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I saw this beautiful image of a Pain Fendu from a very inspired baker and this was the over ambitious and a bit impromptu attempt to recreate something similar.

I basically mixed a  80% Champlain and rolled it out in the middle, degassing the dough quite a bit and then with the split at the bottom put it into a banneton. 

Sadly both versions stuck together again (although the 'split' was floured with rye flour) and did not quite open the way I was hoping looking more like a ciabatta and the other just ripped partly open...

BUT what I could not believe was how little the crumb was affected by the severe degassing of the dough? In fact, it seems that the degassing contributed to even a nicer distribution of the bubbles, I wonder?

If anyone has any good ideas for shaping a Pain Fendu, then please let me know. I did a search here any other tips are happily received...



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This is my attempt as David's lovely formula and I am glad that today a friend who has often been to San Francisco sampled the bread for me and said that indeed it reminds him of San Francisco on a sunny day in the UK! He very gladly took also a loaf home with him too....

I tried to follow David's process a closely as I could and just had to make a number of changes. One that I handmixed the dough and also as there was no target temperature but David mentioned that he put the dough into the proofer at 80F...I actually mixed the dough and aimed for 28C...

The starter was also very new to me as a 'firmer' version and when it looked like this I thought it must be ready after nourishing it for a week like described by David.

I handmixed after 2 hours AL and also held 16g water back in order to mix the stiffer starter in easier. I then waited for 30min and added the salt. I then completed a number of slap and folds until the dough had nicely developed. 

I bulked and followed folding as per David's instruction. After 3 hours the dough had risen, to approx. 50% and was nice and bouncy.


30 min bench rest and then final shaping cinching and another one I tried more the J. Hamelman oblong shaping which ends with a longer batard. I should have weighted them as one was too big for the banneton although a 1kg one and the dough was 1.2kg...

This is where I was nervous about David's instruction and to let the dough proof at room temp for 2 hours or more as my wine cooler is not the I gave it 1 hour and the dough had grown although not the 50% as indicated by David. 

I baked after 15 hours in 4C wine cooler...

The crumb is nice and lacy and great sandwich bread. The taste is indeed more sour than my usual bread. Not shockingly more sour but different.....I never had SF sourdough so I cannot comment myself but I liked the taste!

If I were to bake again, I probably would judge the size of banneton more carefully so that I  let the proof go on a bit longer before going into the wine cooler.

Thank you David......

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It was Friday again and again time for my 4 loaves for friends...

I saw a Semolina Sesame loaf in Tartine 1 and another sesame seed loaf in Tartine 3.

Then I had a look in the larder and also had some Khorasan/Kamut left and had a golden vision formed  in my head with all those seeds too.....

25% Caputo Semola Rimacinata

25% Doves Farm Kamut/Khorasan

50% Strong Canadian Flour

80% water, 2% salt, 15% roasted sesame seeds and more seeds for outside..

20% starter feed 1:1:1 in the morning and used after 3 hours at peak

3 hours Autolyse flour and water (50g kept behind) - aim for 28C target dough temperature

Mix in levain - Rubaud and wait 30 min

Add salt and leftover water and slap and folds (using also petrissage manuel where I layer dough and then slap and fold as I had 4.1Kg of dough), I aim to have a windowpane at the end of mixing

Coil folds after 30 min

After 30 min - mix roasted seeds and fold and squeeze in , coil folds

after 60 coil folds 

after 60 min coil 

Left dough alone for last 1 hour and dough doubled 

Pre-shape, 30 min bench rest, and final fold via cinching and room temp proofing in bannetons for 30 min before going into 4C wine cooler for 14 hours.

Pre-shape and probably could have done with a little bit of less tension as the dough was strong anyway.. I also need a better set of scales....

lovely dough dump and degree of rise during bulk....

I held a small test loaf back.... It had a  lovely sandwich crumb but the best was just the taste  with all those sesame seeds!

I probably next time add a bit more water as the seeds also seemed to have absorbed a lot of the water as well as the Kamut and the Strong Canadian flour too. I also probably would squeeze the seeds a bit more to avoid potential little lumps that I spotted during bulk and kept squeezing out...

But overall very, very happy with this bake!   


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I baked a :

100g Spelt

100g Caputo Durum Rimacinata

300g Stong Canadian White

420g water

72g starter - 80% hydration - from the night before

10g salt

I had a shorter AL this time 2 hours as I wanted to use the stiffer starter from the night before. I found that because I used the spelt and durum that I almost got a windowpane just within that shorter AL time.

Otherwise my usual process of adding leaven, wait 30 min and then add salt and a bit more water.

Slap and fold and then bulk for approx. 6 hours including a lamination and 2 folds.

30 min benchrest and 30 min at room temp in banneton before in wine cooler at 4C. for 15 hours.

I then scored 1 loaf with a simple in the middle cut and the other with a double..

I noticed a slightly lesser rise on the double cut loaf and thought it was amazing to see where the bubbles were trying to escape...I always knew that scoring can affect the crumb and the shape of a loaf and was great to being able to compare...I might try that again..


Crumb of double score loaf

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I am tinkering with different flours and methods and one of them is to develop gluten for my weekly handmixed 4kg batch as close to a window pane as I can.....without having a mixer for now...

Carole aka DesigningWoman kindly recommended some videos from the Ecole International de Boulangerie for 'petrissage manuel en masse' which is basically manual mixing with folding and slap and folds...BUT I love in particular what he does when he divides and layers the dough pieces during slap and folds...

I also used Shipton Mill Swiss Dark Flour for the first time (and as it was said to be low on gluten) mixed it with their strong Canadian flour. Here are my loaves:


Luckily I made a 'spare' one to check out the result as all the others were given away and one  in particular bloomed amazingly and made my day.....


I also find that cinching gives me a more open crumb and as the bulk rise went to at least 80%ish  as I was running late in a meeting it was a hell of a proofy dough...

Happy baking.... Kat



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A while ago Joze created an amazing version of Maurizio's 50/50 during a community bake which I loved doing at the time ..

I wanted to have another look at cold bulk as I can bulk ferment dough for let's say 5 loaves or more without the need to have a retarder or fridge to host all the cold bulk overnight and then pre-shape, final shape, ambient proof and bake is my aim...

Joze's shaping approach is a bit like a ciabatta and I wanted to change it a bit more into a loaf that I could score...

So.. 25g liquid starter, 50g WW Shipton Mill Canadian WW, 50g Marriages Organic Strong White

7:00 and was ready at 12:00 after 5 hours..

AL 9:00 - 400g Shipton Mill Canadian , 400g  Marriages Organic Strong White and 560g water

12:00 Add levain and flour, 60g water - Rubaud 

12:30 Add 18g salt and 60g water dough temp 25C and slap and folds until almost fully developed not quite yet...

Then into proofer at 80F and three coil folds at 30 min and there was some nice activity and fermentation along side creases from last fold were still slightly visible..ready for the fridge, I thought...

Put in wine cooler at 4C 15:00

Took dough out at 7:00AM  and dough temp was 6C...I know my wine cooler does not quite give me the accurate temp..always a bit warmer..

Pre-shape with cold dough and surprised to feel air in it...

45 min bench rest 

Final Shape and into banneton - and then room temp proof for one hour and 15 min...This is the bit where I always  loose my nerve! Can I go longer?

Not to unhappy with the result but wonder to try similar approach with a stiff leaven from my 100% starter and what difference I get in taste and dough strength...

If anyone has some great references or tips for cold fermentation, plesae let me know... Happy baking... Kat

Dough when put into wine cooler..after 3 X 30 min folds

Dough coming out of wine cooler in the morning after 15 min, dough temp 6C and hate to prick the chap...

Dough straight out of wine cooler before pre-shape

pre-shape of cold dough




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Happy New Year to All...

I have not posted very much but my first bake in 2019 was using 50% Strong White Marriages combined with 50% Swiss Ruchmehl that I ordered before Christmas from a supplier in Germany.

I don't know much about this flour but it was so smooth during baking and tastes a bit like a Pain the Campagne with a rustic taste... 

Love to experiment with different flours and would buy this again, if available in UK. Never mind... Kat

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A friend has a walnut tree and gave me some walnuts...So when I looked at my Tartine 1 book again there was a basic recipe similar to my usual 1:4:5 with 100g WW and the rest strong white flour and 100g leaven...

So I followed the advice and toasted the walnuts in the oven which gave them an amazing flavour and surprised I had any left to bake with...

I then followed a bit the @fullproofbaking route and after 30min one coil fold and then lamination after 1.5 hours in bulk and added the walnuts...Then 2 X hourly coil folds and then left alone for 1 hour or more until nicely risen but not too proofy....

No pre-shape and as only two loaves just divided and straight shaping and into bannetons. I left them ambient proof for 25 min and then into 4C wine cooler over night....

I just loooooove the taste and the second one went to my friend with the tree!

Now, there is an interesting discussion going on about whether to pre-shape or not and triggered posts on IG after a talk by Ian Lowe at the UK Grain Lab event in UK. So, this is what I tried as the dough was strong enough, I thought and kind of the right shape to go into final shaping....need to look more into this....   Kat

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After a visit to Linas Stores in London yesterday my son kept saying that I really must try to bake Focaccia bread...

so I was inspired by a formula in Tartine1 where Chad Robertson basically describes that they grabbed a proofed loaf and added in his case sliced potato to the dough and it turned into a focaccia....

So, as I had too much starter this morning I made a quick basic white 1:4:5 dough and let the bulk go quite far and proofy...then just poured it into an oiled baking tin and let it proof for an hour until it looked like this...

That finger poking thing was sooooo much fun and added olive oil and some tomatoes and a bit of parmesan cheese.....I was not allowed to add peppers...

Baked for 20 min and done...

This was surprisingly quick and easy and just have 2 pieces left for a packed lunch tomorrow...



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