The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Do you prefer to sift your fresh milled flour? What would be the main reasons to do so or not?

This bake is about 50% bread flour mixed with 50% non-sifted fresh milled whole wheat and rye. The hydration is 68% with 18% fermented flour. No autolyse, 5.5 hours bulk fermentation and 5 hours in the fridge after shaping. Baked out of the fridge on a cold pot and cold oven. In general I am pleased with the result and the crumb is soft and aerated. Mind you that I milled the grain in the blender, so the flour is kind of coarser than commercial.

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After some time without baking I am back with a repeat formula based on a mix of bread flour, whole wheat and durum. Roughly 180g bread flour, 80 g whole wheat and 40 g durum. The levain contained 15% of the total flour and the total hydration was 75%. The room temperature was about 16C. I built the levain the night before and processed the dough during the day. Below is the crumb shot.

Wish you happy baking in the new year.


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I tried to use some fresh dill from the garden. My idea was to roast few cloves of garlic, but at the time of mixing I realized that I had forgotten to roast them. So I decided to use few cloves of black garlic that I had available around here. The following were the ingredients

86 g levain (whole wheat at 100% hydration)

30 g semolina

100 g blended whole grain berries (60 g whole wheat + 40 g rye)

167 g bread flour

174 g water

4 g salt

Handful dill

5 black garlic cloves - chopped


Dissolved the levain in water, added all the flour and mixed into a shaggy mass. Waited for 30 min to add salt, dill and black garlic, kneaded for 1 min to incorporate. Applied 3 to 4 stretches and folds at 20 ~ 30 min intervals. Bulk fermented for about 5 hours, shaped and stored in the fridge for another 5 hours. Baked at 230C for 35 min with lid on + 3 min with lid off (oven and pot were preheated). 

The loaf bloomed OK, the crust is crispy and the crumb moist as expected. The fresh dill has pretty much disappeared while the black garlic can still be seen. The texture is similar to adding raisins or cranberries. However, I think the black garlic made the flavor quite savory. I still want to fine tune and use roasted garlic to make things a bit more subtle.



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I came home to see that my levain was doing quite well in my Doraemon bowl! The CO2 got trapped by the cling wrap. Interesting.

I mixed some unusual cassava flour this time. Cassava flour is gluten free stuff and this one was not toasted. I would like to try the toasted one sometime later on. The cassava flour needs to be hydrated before mixing. Since it was the first time I used, I hydrated with boiling water, but I think tap water would work just as fine.

I did not keep a good track of all ingredients, but here it goes:

80 g levain at 100% hydration

25 g cassava flour at 200% hydration

170 g flour (12% protein)

30 g semolina

80 g WW

4.5 g salt

177 g water

Total flour: 350 g

Total water: 267 g


I have done the standard procedure that I have followed lately: (1) Dissolve levain in water as well the cassava blob. It was a little gummy after hydrating, so I had to dissolve it by hands. (2) Add all flour and mix into a shaggy mass. (3) Wait for 30 min and add salt, kneading for 30 sec to 1 min. (4) Apply 3 sets of stretches and folds every 20-30 min. (4) Bulk fermentation needs to be about 4 hours. (5) Shape and retard in the fridge for about 6 hours. (6) Bake straight from the fridge on a 230 C deg oven for 45 min with lid on + 10 min with lid off (I started baking on a cold pot). (6) Wait to cool and slice

Crust and crumb were quite good. Since the cassava flour is mild in taste I could not identify it in the final loaf. Note that cassava flour and tapioca starch are different things. The cassava flour is not fermented, so the flavor is mild. Since I scalded the cassava in boiling water, it felt as the tangzhong method. Being gluten free, cassava flour is becoming a good option for those with celeriac decease. You will find other names for the product including: cassava, manioc, mandioca, yuca, ...).




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Hello Everyone


Following some irregular posting, here is a bake where I am using a bit durum. You can't even see it in the final bake, but hey it is a good start.



20 g starter (10 g from each starter I have been keeping)

50 g white flour

50 g water


All levain

160 g white

20 g semolina

70 g whole wheat

157 g water

4 g salt


Dissolve the levain in water, add all flour and mix into a shaggy mass. Wait 30 min and add salt, knead a bit (<1 min). Wait for another 30 min and add another 10 g water and knead to incorporate. Apply 3 stretches and folds every 30 min, and bulk ferment for another hour. In total, the bulk fermentation was about 4 hours in the oven with lights on. Shape and retard in the fridge for 4.5 hours. Baked in a 230 C oven starting with a cold pot, 42 min with lid on + 10 min with lid off.

I have not scored, so I tried to get a more rustic look like Danni's. And success! Crumb is moist, meshed, and soft with a slight tang but nothing overwhelming. I have been baking bread that takes less than 10 hours from mix to bake and the results have been gratifying without sacrificing any flavor (at least to my tasting buds).

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The smell of fresh bread in the air is so good in the morning. This one was baked at 4:30 am for breakfast. The recipe is as follows:

65 g levain @ 100% hydration

288 g flour mix (175 g bread flour, 93 g whole wheat, 20 g rye)

20 g seeds (chia + quinoa) scalded with 25 g boiling water

183 g water for mixing

15 g water (for double hydration)

4.5 g salt

Splash of honey


The levain came from two starters, one made using 80% bread flour + 20% whole wheat, and the other made with 100% whole wheat. First dissolved levain in the mixing water, added all flours and shortly mixed manually. Waited 20 minutes and mixed salt, kneading it in for about 1 min. Waited another 20 min to mix the scalded seeds, kneading again for about 1 min to mix the seeds in. After 30 min added the water for the double hydration and kneaded another 1 min or so. Applied 2 sets of stretch and folds in the bow, bulk fermented for about 4 hours in the oven with lights on. Shaped and placed it in the fridge for about 4 hours until it was baked straight from the fridge for 35 min in 220 C dutch oven with lid on + 2 min with lid off. Nice taste, moist crumb and great crust consistence. It took less than 12 hours between mixing and baking. The flavor has not been compromised by a quick bake like this one.



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Fellow TFLers,

 I decided to have some fun this week creating a new stater based on 100% whole wheat and blending my own flour in a vitamix. This is the first bake using the new starter.

It is a small loaf containing, 280 gr total flour, 73% hydration, and 3.5 gr salt. The flour mix was 60% white flour (11% protein) and 40% home blended whole wheat. I did not blend the berries too  fine to avoid overheating, so there was a lot wheat bran visible particles. I prepared a stiff levain at 60% hydration, which had 15 g whole wheat starter at 100% hydration and 30 gr whole wheat flour. Bulk fermented for 4 hours and short retarded in the fridge after shaping for another 5 hours. I baked it straight out of the fridge in cold oven initially. Overall the result was quite positive including crispy crust, soft crumb and subtle flavors.

Even though I am not actively blogging or commenting, I have been following you all and checking out all nice pictures posted every day.

Happy Baking



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Had some fun making small pizzas (less than 10 inches). 65% hydration dough with tomato sauce, home grown basil, fresh mozzarella (+ anchovies for first one below), and a drizzle of EVOO.



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This is probably one of my best ever. It contains 50% wheat flour, and 50% mix of light rye and whole wheat, 9% fermented flour, and 68% overall hydration. No autolyse has been used, two hours bulk fermentation at room temperature (30 C), applying two stretches and folds before sending it to fridge for an extended 18-hour retarded bulk fermentation.

After the cold bulk fermentation, it was shaped and proofed for another 80 min on the counter before been baked in DO at 220 C for 30 min with lid on + 5 min with lid off to color.

The baked load had a soft tang flavor developed over 18 hours of cold fermentation. Crumb texture was velvet soft and the crust as crispy as it gets. In spite of the long fermentation I have not seen a lot of holes in the crumb. I have seen reports by fellow bakers here that long fermentation helps to open up the crumb. Well, I guess there are more variables at play for getting more open crumb structure, which I don't quite understand yet. For now, I am enjoying all the benefits and fun of sourdough baking.


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My starter has been living in the fridge since its creation, but last week it decided to die for some reason. Fortunately, I had some dry starter chips in the fridge, which I could revive and after two feeds the "new" starter was good to go, very active. 

I hydrated the dry chips for 4 hours, and then fed it twice over the next 20 hours. Notice that I used tap water directly and things worked out fine. I believe the tap water here does not have a lot of chlorine.

Baked a loaf made of 67% white + 33% mixed whole wheat and rye flour at 68% overall hydration and 9% fermented flour. I also added some 10% mixed seeds for texture (flax, quinoa, chia), which were soaked in cold water for about ten hours. Very pleased with the crumb and crust. The loaf had an explosive oven spring, tearing apart the scoring slit from side to side as never seen before in my loaves.




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