The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Hello Everyone,

This is a short writing about a 60% whole grain loaf baked this morning. The whole grain was a mix of stone ground whole wheat and organic rye, which was let to autolyse with all salt while the levain was building (~8 hours). The hydration during autolyse was about 67% (water to whole grain flour ratio), while the loaf hydration was 75%.  I bulk fermented at room temperature (~ 27C) for 4 hours, and then shoved it in the fridge for another 12 hours of bulk cold fermentation. In the morning, I took the dough out of the fridge, shaped and proofed for 50 min at room temperature, and then baked from a cold oven start and cold pot.

I am quite OK with the resulting crumb and crust. My whole wheat flour is quite course, so you can see bits in the crumb. A good autolyse is needed to avoid problems with the gluten network formation. This was a small loaf containing 300 gr total flour (180 gr whole grain), 8.3% fermented flour, 75% hydration, and a dash of honey.


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Let me share with you this nice flavored sourdough that came out of the oven this morning. It uses a mix of bread flour (65%), whole wheat and rye. I milled WW and rye in the blender, but did not sift out any bran this time.

The formula proportions are listed below. The levain was prepared 12 hours prior to mixing the dough. I also autolysed the WW + rye for the same amount of time. The kitchen was about 17C throughout the day, so I just left the autolyse to happen on the counter and added all salt together. Since I did not sift the bran out and the blender yields a courser flour, autolysing the WW + rye is a good idea.


WW starter18g6.00%
Bread flour34g11.33%
Mix WW + Rye88g29.33%
Bread flour169g56.33%
Total flour300g100.00%
Total water219g73.00%

 Autolyse + levain prior to mixing the final dough

After mixing the final dough and applying the usual S&F process (4 sets), I left the dough bulk fermenting on the counter for a total of 9 hours (including S&F) at about 16C overnight. In the morning I shaped the dough into a small batard and put in the fridge for an hour before loading it in the oven to bake for 30 min with lid on + 5 min with lid off (all preheated). Everything came out so fine with nice crumb and good crust. I have been playing with long retarded bulk fermentation and short final proofing. Even though I have not retarded the bulk fermentation in the fridge, I think the long BF on the counter in a cool kitchen had a similar effect, whereas the short proofing kept me away from the over proofing problems. It is incredible how many possibilities there are available for baking a loaf of bread. Even though I do not follow this procedure under a normal situation, it has been good to feel the dough and have some control on the results.




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I have been milling my own flour on a blender which is coarser than commercial flour. Following the suggestion from Dabrownman, Danni and others, I have sifted the flour and used the bran and large bits to build up the levain. First I soaked the bran for 2 days and left in the fridge to soften up before building the levain.

I do not have precise measurements, but the approximate quantities are:



25 g bran

30 g starter

30 g bread flour

80 g water



110 g fresh milled flour (whole wheat + rye)

120 g bread flour

130 g water

70% hydration (felt like 75% when handling the dough)


Following standard steps, dissolved the levain first and added the dry ingredients, 4 g salt, a dash of honey and a dash of olive oil. No autolyse, 3 stretches and folds in the bowl, 5 hours bulk fermentation, shaped and straight into the fridge for 4 hours. Baked from fridge in a cold pot and cold oven for 55 min at 230C.

I can tell that I experienced the best aromas ever when baking. The levain also had a sweet and nutty smell because of the bran. Tasting this morning, the crumb revealed softness, nicely aerated, and nutty. I also got a nice oven spring, which I think has to do with the bran levain since it looked more active than normal. Overall it has been a great experience worth while repeating whenever I mill my own flour.

Happy baking to ALL



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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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