The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sedlmaierin's blog

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Catching up again.

I made the Brioche a while back-since I don't have a mixer it was all hand kneaded and I thought I would fail miserably for while, since following Hamelman's instructions when kneading by hand proved-ahem-difficult. Incorporating a gigantic amount of butter into hydrated dough made me want to cry, but then, once I decided I was just going to half-knead,half frissage the thing into SUBMITTED. And it was worth every moment of doubt....................we ate most of it while still slightly warm-definitely the best way to eat it in my opinion. Sublime!

Then I made a loaf that I found on the Chilli und Ciabatta website( on a BBA Poilane style Miche.I made my own flour mixture(using rye,ap,ww,and buckwheat),added a tad more water,watched my loaf rise in the most beautiful fashion-it was going to be perfect.Until one part of it stuck to the HEAVILY floured kitchentowel, when taking it out of the bowl after its final proof.Deflated like a balloon, of course.Oh, well....the stenceling was a disaster ,too. Am getting worse rather than better at that-the bread tasted great, though. A bit flat but yummy!

Then I made the Soft Butter Rolls from "Bread" but they were devoured so quickly that there is no photographic evidence.Next time........

I also tried my hand, for the first time, at David's San Joaquin SD-wow what great taste! I am making it again -dough retarding in the fridge. Nicely sour loaf,amazing oven spring. I prepped myself for another flat loaf when I realized I had only preshaped it and forgotten to shape it(yeah, absentminded me),but it really rose nicely in the oven.Scoring-terrible.....will I ever learn how to score bread I wonder.I used KA AP ,replaced 50g of it with White Whole Wheat ( I read that in the European Style flour David was using there is a small percentage of WWW.....thought I'd try it),stone ground rye and a AP starter.

That's all.......folks! Almost time for another pretzel bake, me thinks....................


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So, life has taken me on a charming and busy ride-no blogging time and I am therefore way behind on posting about my recent bakes. Not that there is anything to be missed since some of them did no turn out(and it seems I might not even have taken a picture of one of the breads,oh well).


Irish Soda Bread

This bread was delicious! And I can barely remember what I did......I could not find white pastry flour for some reason, so I believe I substituted it with AP flour...also couldn't find wheat flakes, used oat flakes instead and 365 whole wheat pastry flour.Made my own buttermilk.The bread is a scandalous yellow color......I assume that is the whole wheat pastry flour. The color itself was stunning.


Then there are the two breads,that were disasters-or almost disasters, depending on your taste/texture preference. I am not even sure I took a picture of both and I couldn't possibly tell you what the pictures are that I do have.Helpful,isn't it?

Anyways, I think the reason my attempt at Whole Wheat Levain and Pain au Levain with Whole wheat were such bears, was that I used KA Organic Bread Flour and both breads ended up being very chewy....Bagel like in consitency.Why did I use KA Bread flour? Because I am constantly searching for a good organic flour and I hadn't tried that one yet.....well, I might just go back permanently to regular KA AP-for some reason my WHoel Foods does not carry the organic variety.

Anyways, here are pictures-I think the first one is the WHole Wheat Levain and the second two are the Pain au Levain....but I honestly have no clue!As far as I know they might all be the same bread..

Lastly there is the 70% Rye with Rye Soaker and Whole Wheat

That loaf turned out great-love the nutty flavor,the slight chewiness the rye chops give..yummy all around! I baked it in a cast iron casserole-I think I should have just used a smaller casserole so that the bread would have had a thicker profile.Well, next time...............

That's all-hopefully in the future I can be a bit more on top of this posting thing!

Happy weekend and a happy father's day to the papas out there!


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I have not been able to blog for a bit now, so a few bakes have lined up that I want to share.

#1 Vermont SD

I won't even go into details of this bake, because frankly NOTHING went according to schedule and therefore I couldn't possibly talk about what I did.Let it just suffice to say that I did the mixing of ingredients at 8am and the poor bread didn't get baked until about 8 or 9pm.....travelling in and out of the fridge all day (that's what happens when I think I can have a few toddlers over and go through the simple things like folding and shaping when needed-yeah, right!)

I only took a picture of one loaf-the other one actually was prettier but was devoured at a little girl's b-day party. This guy, for some reason would have benefitted from a tad more proofing, since one of the slashes blew out a tad.The flavor was great-it is amazing what that small amount of rye flour does!

#2 Vermont SD with increased Whole Grain

I went by the metric column and just used 1/10 of that means my percentages were as stated in the Baker's percentage column. I really like the flavor of this bread,even yummier than the original Vermont SD

I had a bit of a shaping issue;as we munched our way through one of the loaves I noticed one big fat hole...........seems to me, momma's shaping can use a lot of practice! I used Bob's redmill organic flour and organic whole rye flour from Organic Wheat Products, MN

Both of them were proofed seams side down, but the one on the left got baked seam side up and I did not slash it.The one on the right actually showed some cracking of the crust-very exciting!crumb shot of the unslashed loaf.

As you can see at the bottom left, I had some issues-the main one, I think, being that I somehow did not mix the salt in as well as needed and when I went to form the loaves in this loaf, there seemed to be small pockets of dense flour---really strange. I think the other loaf will be more uniform, but alas, it is taking a sojourn in the freezer.

#3 A variation of the 80% SD Rye with rye flour soaker

This bread I am super proud of! Since I had already made the three stage 90% rye I thought I would take some leeway with this bake and combine a few methods and add a dash of my own ideas-in pursuit of a childhood bread.

So, I built the SD according to the three stage method with the proportions set forth in the three stage 80% rye. I used 200g water and 200g Rye flour for the soaker, I subsituted sifted high gluten red hard whole wheat flour for the bread flour and I added 70g of ground Sunflower seeds. I added the sunflower seeds because that used to be one of my most favorite breads we bought from the Hofpfisterei in Munich and when I went on their website it stated that the bread was a 90%Rye10% wheat bread with ground up sunflower seeds.I ground them in my coffee grinder.

I added the optional yeast, since I figured the bread could stand the extra aeration with the whole wheat flour and sunflower seeds present. I almost want to say this is THE yummiest rye I have made so far-but let me be reasonable and say it is one of the most delicious ryes. It is nice and moist, can be cut very thinly, it had great ovenspring and the taste is very complex-it almost tastes as if some spices were in it-maybe a hint of caraway.

Ok and now off to work..............

Happy Sunday to all of you!


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Let's see...this bake went pretty much according to recipe and it ended up having a seriously low profile(3.75"thickest- 1.5" at it's thinnest). I don't know if the lowness of my bread's profile is acceptable! I wish I had written down more detailed notes on my previous Miche bakes(even though neither one of them had as high of a rye flour percentage as this one), in order for me to see how to augment my bake so that the loaf has just a tad bit more height.

Anyways, as I have said before...I am developing into an absolute Miche LOVER! This bread is amazing! The crust is so yummy and dark and caramelized tasting-grrrrrrr-it makes me crazy! The crumb is nicely sour, substantial, but light and so healthy tasting with all the whole grain goodness.I swear I have already eaten a quarter of this bread all by myself today-I don't even know why I bother freezing half a loaf.....really silly and not necessary!

So, I......

-used 50% hard red wheat and 50% hard white wheat flour and sifted out the biggest bran particles myself

-also used arrowheadmills organic white flour

-the proofing times were pretty much as printed( I did three folds), but I felt for the final proof things were progressing so fast that it ended up going in the oven after about 1 hour and 45 minutes.....I feared overproofing

-final proof was in a pastry cloth lined bowl, seams up., time I will try seams down,this bread definitely did not need any extra encouragement to flatten possibly an extra s&f

- baked as recommended in book plus a 12 hour rest

pictures here....and please, if you have any advice as to how to get it to have a slightly higher profile, let me know.oh, and i tired to do another stencil, but I was in such a hurry to get the bread in the oven that I pretty much had no time to make sure the stencling went is supposed to read "Ceci n'est pas une Miche"..which I think is befitting since you fellow bakers only get to see pictures ;p

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This bread seemed really easy to make and it has an excellent flavor! After quizzing my family and friends they all voted for the version with onions, so that's what I made. Not having made or eaten potato bread before,I had no idea what to expect and the only thing that surprised me was how relatively soft the crust turned out to be-it was nice and crunchy when coming out of the oven, but softened upon cooling.I assume that is because it is relatively moist,with the potatoes,onions and oil. I really enjoy the effect that the olive oil has on the flavor-it makes it fruity,rich and creamy!

I left the skin on my one, huge potato and just chopped it fine-that means there are very small pieces of potato still visible in the bread and the skins gives it a nice marbled effect.

The one thing that did not work out that well-or let's say it only worked well on one loaf-was the fendu shaping.And it was entirely my fault-on the succesfully fendu shaped loaf I really used a lot of flour,which I then had to knock off before folding and final proofing.Which made me think,oh I won't use as much flour on the next one, just a little bit..lo and behold, it just didn't turn out that well-it didn't open up as nicely and the rolling pin stuck just a tad when I tried to get it out.Live and learn.

Here are pictures:

So far this challenge has been a lot of fun-I would have never made the potato bread otherwise! It is a lovely bread that I will definitely make again.


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I have blogged about baking Pretzels before and this time I had one concern I wanted to be able to improve on-shape. Turns out two improvements were made and I will need expert baker's help to determine what is responsible for the slight texture change -which in my eyes made them perfect!

So, my previous bakes ended up with Pretzels that rose quite a bit in the oven and due to poor shaping, almost turned more into a pretzel shaped bun, than a Pretzel. The current Pretzels received(in general) superior shaping but also did not have a lot of oven spring. I don't know if that is the reason that the resulting Pretzel is chewier, I don't even know why the oven spring was only moderate- maybe once I elaborate on my procedure you guys can help me figure out what caused the chewiness, because I definitely prefer that over the more airy results I had in the last two bakes. Not that there was anything wrong with the other guys-just a personal preference! Here's the link to the old post ,I guess I only blogged about them once, but this is actually the third try-the second bake was done without sticking the pate fermentee in the fridge and they still turned out, pregnant looking and more airy.

Procedure this time around:

-I anticipated not being home for the mixture of the dough and gave my husband specific instructions as to what to do. For that reason I prepped as much of it as I could and the flour ended up with a 4 hour, roomtemp(maybe 70) autolyse.

-The pate fermentee ended up not doming and falling until I was back, so I can attest to the quite amazing gluten development the autolysed flour had already, when I started hand mixing the dough

-Bulk fermentation was at about 1 hour 50 minutes......forgot to fold the dough until the last twenty minutes of bulk fermentation-so it got folded close to the end

-pre-shaped into cylinders,rested the dough for about 20 minutes, then shaped the pretzels. the first few still looked like they would end up kind of tight, so I decided I would roll out the long strands of dough , let those relax again for a few minutes and then shape them into pretzels. THAT worked perfect and you will see that some of the pretzels stayed quite open.

-final fermentation about 30 minutes- and no they did not increase by 75 percent-closer to 50%...I REALLY wanted to eat pretzels last night and hurried the poor things along

-fridge time about 30 minutes,then dipped them and baked them about 16-18 minutes

Resulting Pretzels

Now I just have to figure out the right way of storing them. Unfortunately Pretzels are really not good to keep-even the next day they are significantly less crunchy. I should have frozen these as soon as they were cool-maybe it isn't too late yet.


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Quick recap of the baguette baking:

-followed the recipe apart from the fact that I did not have enough AP flour on hand and sifted some stone ground white whole wheat flour to make up the difference.I think the ratio was about 3/4 AP to 1/4 WWW

-read and re-read about pre-shaping and shaping three times........even though it might not look it, that part seemed to go a lot better

-final proof was for about 1 hour 15 minutes

-the crumb is very light  and has a beautiful fragrant flavor;deeper taste probably due to the inclusion of the whole wheat

overall I feel this is an improvement from the last two tries......if I keep on working on baguette baking I  guess I will have to buy a peel.That was the most frustrating part-transferring my nearly perfect looking risen loaves to the oven-and scoring................let's not even talk about it! I don't know which way to adjust-am I scoring too deeply,does it need to go deeper?

Anyways, am happily munching on these guys!

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This is one of those breads I have been very eager to make, and it is finally done. I am posting about this now, even though the 24 hour rest is not done with yet,because the little man is asleep and I am also trying not to forget any aspects of the procedure.

-my SD starter with the rye meal fermented in the oven with pilot light on for about 12 hours and then I stuck it into the fridge for convenience

-I soaked the berries for about  18 hours, then boiled for about 1.5 hours

-I had some frozen old bread and poured hot water over it to soak...I let it stand for around 12 hours, too(can you tell I had intended to bake this earlier than I eventually did?)

-I used hard red whole wheat flour for the high gluten flour

- the day of the bake I mixed together all the ingredients for the final dough but did not add any water. I didn't really do a very good job at pressing out the water from the old bread soaker, either. I was slightly concerned that the unsoaked rye chops would eventually absorb too much water, so I was very generous with my water allowance and decided to err on the wetter side. Meaning,after mixing the dough with my hand held mixer for-let's say 8 minutes- I decided I wasn't going to add any flour, even though I would consider the dough to have been more batter like. NO WAY of actually "shaping" it into a log as it says in the instructions; or I could have shaped it into a log but there would have been no way for me to transfer the log shape to the pan.

-since I still seem to have the darndest time in planning out my baking day, the bread bulk proofed for about 20 minutes, then got stuck in the fridge for about 2.5 hours, then gently scraped the dough into the oiled/floured pans, for a final fermentation time of about 45 minutes. I just went by how high the dough rose in relationship to the pan rims.

-I had read on how pumpernickel in commercial settings is baked in forced steam ovens, which mirrored the sentiment expressed by ehanner( I believe) to bake the pumpernickel like a X-mas pudding in a water bath. So, I stuck the foil wrapped pans into a turkey roaster, on a grill insert, with some boiling water in the bottom.The bake started at about 325 fahrenheit for maybe 1.5 hours, the turned down(to what I thought was 250-turns out it was closer to 275) overnight(about 8 hours) , turned it further down in the morning to about 225, and then for the last 2.5-3 hours I just left the oven on its warm setting (about 140).

I did such a good job about sealing my roaster that hardly any aroma escaped and I was quite worried for a while, but sticking my nose in the oven I could smell the most divine, earthy and very malty pumpernickel smell.

When I took the breads out the top was a deep, dark brown..the sides were lighter in color, but have now darkened since they have been resting. The bread smells phenomenal, seems very juicy(even though the sticking-toothpick-in-the-middle-test came out clean) and I hope the crumb will be as perfect as the outside of the bread seems to be.

So, here are some pictures, crumb shot will follow tomorrow........and I assume that I can keep this bread in the fridge, in a plastic bag, yes?I don't remember anybody at home ever freezing this type of was just kept in plastic in the fridge. If that's a no-no please tell me!

this is the SD after fermentation

my very wet, finished dough, prior to bulk fermentation

the bread's home for the next 16 hours all nicely wrapped and cozy

one of the just unwrapped loaves...can't wait to try it!


P.S.: I forgot to mention that I had to split the dough into two pans, since I do not own one pan large enough to hold that amount of dough.

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I apologise already..I don't really seem to be able to create such nice and well thought out entries as some of the fellow bakers here. They always end up having to be wedged into my life and suffer from such rough treatment.

So, here are pictures from my second try at the baguettes. I feel they were slightly more succesful than the first ones but still just so far from GOOD....they tasted nice, but they also just haven't tasted the way I remember baguettes tasting in Paris.

I shaped and retarded them overnight......I let them rise a bit more in the morning and then onto a pre-heated baking stone they went, for just a bit longer than Hamelman calls for.It is weird but I feel like I seem more comfortable with higher hydration doughs......the baguette dough and the rustic bread dough feel more unfamiliar in my hands that for example the miche doughs I have tried. I don't know why that may be...rye doughs are pretty moist but otherwise nothing like wheat.

Anyways, pictures here......if anybody has any constructive criticism please share!


Then the Rustic Bread! The taste is amazing-it is so deep and juicy from that little bit of whole wheat and rye flour. This bread I retarded in bulk and then folded, shaped and let proof for about another 1.5 hours. The shaping seemed to me to be very tight-scoring was a disatser for some reason. I just don't seem to be able to get an even, deep cut.......that led to a blowout on the top or possibly I did not let it proof enough once it came out of the fridge.

There are two crumb shots-one from the very side of the bread and one from the middle of the can see the difference. I obviously have tons of room for improvement on this one,too, but I do have to reiterate that the taste was surprising in its nuttiness and epth. Very enjoyable!


Any comments greatly appreciated!

Am now working on the Horst Bandel Pumpernickel and very excited about it!


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Ok, here I go again. I did try to take a few more pictures-semi succesfully.


Info about the actual bake and ingredients:

-I used Arrowhead Mills Organic whole rye flour and KA Bread Flour;no medium rye flour at all

-the freshening was done using my "old bread" rye starter-freshened with old bread,too

-I did not add the optional yeast

- the freshening fermented in my oven with pilot light on for 6 hours;basic sour on countertop for 24 hours(i figure the temp was around 68-70 degrees); full sour ripened for 3 hours in pilot lit oven

-bulk fermentation about 20 minutes; final fermentation about an hour, shaped into two loaves, fermenting on parchment paper

-painted the loaves with water, docked them and put them in the pre-heated oven on a baking stone with steam for 10 minutes at 490 and then 50 minutes at 410. i let them sit in the turned off oven for about 10 minutes.

-they rested for 36 hours before I cut into them

The taste of this bread  transports me back to my childhood-it is just like the bread I grew up on! This is the first time I feel that my bread actually tastes sour-which to me is a good thing! I mean it is very yummy-moist crumb, nice chewy crust, just the right density.I am very, very happy! The major thing I would do differently next time is to let the final fermentation occur in a brotform or lined/floured bowl-it might help the dough from spreading too much.

this is the fermented basic sour

full sour at mixing

full sour after it was fully fermented-I had to stir it down once during fermentation  because it rose too much(others might say because I put it into a too small bowl.......a small distinction ;p)

tadaaaaa, bread!

crumbiest, crumb shot


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