The Fresh Loaf

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. . . once again a boule and a batard.  After 5 days away I fed my starter 1:1:1 using about 10% organic rye and strong bread flour for the feeding.  My mother must have liked seeing dad back as she more than doubled and fell back within 4 hours, so it was into the fridge to mix the next day.

For the batard I went to 75% hydration using an overnight autolyse of the flour and water doing 4 sets of S&F's with 10 minutes rest followed by 3 more S&F's with 30 minutes rest.  After an hour of bulk on the counter into the fridge for 18 - 20 hours of retarding.  After an hours rest this morning, I pre-shaped, shaped, proofed for 35 minutes and baked @ 500F for 8 minutes with steam, then 450 convection with steam removed for another 12 minutes, turning often.  I got a good deep score with the lame and the oven spring on this loaf was enormous!  I wish I had before photo.

 The boule was prepared side by side the batard using the same method.  For the boule, I used 15% organic rye and 10% whole wheat and went 85% hydration autolysing the flours and water overnight.

For both loaves I used 20% of recently fed and vigorous starter, adding it to the autolysed flours, mixing well and then adding salt after about 20 minutes.  To the boule I added 1Tbs oil and 11/2 Tbs honey.  Next time I will add 'toadies.'

The boule was proofed in a linen lined bowl and at 85% kind of flopped flat when I turned it out.  This was baked in a hot DO though and with the sides supported also achieved amazing spring.  I baked in a covered DO @ 500F for 20 minutes, then uncovered for 10 @ 450F convection turning once.

And the boule in some lunch action today:

Roast chicken, bacon, Hungarian salami and tomato make a fine sandwich!  Very satisfying bread.

Here is a shot of Takakaw Falls in Yoho National Park in BC.  The falls is 258 meters high and is easily accessible by vehicle and about 11/2 hours drive from my home in Canmore.

Happy baking folks!  Brian




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I have baked this in the past as a yeasted recipe and thought I would try a half recipe using my SD starter.  I fed the starter 1:1:1 and 4 hours later it had more than doubled, so I mixed as per the recipe only using dabrownman's sourdough process:  knead for 5 minutes, 5 rest then knead for another 5.  Bulk proof on the counter with S&F's at 30, 60 and 90 minutes, 11/2 hours on the counter then into the fridge to retard overnight.  An hour to warm up this morning, then divide and scale the dough, pre-shape and bake.  I baked about 25 minutes @ 400F on convection, using steam for the first 10 minutes, which is something I have never done with pulla.  The steam seemed to help.

This bake nearly turned into a gong show as I ran out of bread flour before the dough was mixed and ended up using about 5% each cake & pastry flour and durham semolina.  The result is some of the best tasting pulla I have ever baked!  Fantastic with strong, fresh coffee!

I also let the dough tell me when to bake and proofed for 40 minutes, rather than the suggested 20 in the original recipe.  I had 2 loaves, so I proofed the 2nd for 60 minutes and saw no difference in the loaves, so 40 minutes is right.

I paid a visit to this morning and gifted the head baker a half loaf and was able to purchase another 20 kg bag of Bakemark Deluxe Strong Bakers Flour for $20 and that should keep me out of trouble for another 4 or 5 months.

Happy baking TFLers!


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I used the SD method, sorry the dabrownman method once again on this one, using 10% organic rye, 10% duram semolina and 5% WW.  All aspects of this bread went together well and I can't wait to taste the results. So I did an overnight autolyse on the whole grain flours @ 100 hydration and another hour of 100
% auto when the bread flour was added.  I did manage to add the rest of the bread flour  this time.  Mixed in the levain @ 20% and rested it with the aslt on top of the dough, in case I forget to add it.  Four S&F's with 10 minutes rest then 3 more with 30 in between, 1:20 on the counter, then into the fridge for an 18 hour bulk retard.  One hour rest on counter, then pre-shape, rest 15 and shape.  I find boules much easier to shape than batards and baguets and have consistently got great results baking boules in a hot dutch oven.

I also baked a batard today and even with 35 minutes proof as per my last batard bake, I was not able to get a clean score with the lame and though got a tasty loaf, the score was not deep enough to open the grigne. . .   :-(  

I have another batch going for tomorrow morning's batard bake and will proof for only 30 minutes and see if the lame works.  It seems feeding the starter daily and baking daily creates a very active starter!  

Here is the crumb on today's multi-grain boule:

Sorry folks, only 2 out of 4 ears today, but the loaf did bloom beautifully!  

Along with the batard dough that is bulk proofing, I have a first half batch of sourdough Pulla.  Now this will be an interesting bake on two levels:  1.  1st crack at SD pulla;  2.  I ran out of my strong bread flour I buy from the local artisan and ended up using about 10% pastry flour and another 10% duram semolina to get things together. I really, really hope head baker Angela is working tomorrow so I can get another 20 kg of fresh bakery level flour!

Happy baking TFLoafers!



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I made a couple of adjustments with this bake.  For the batard, I reduced the proofing time to 35 minutes and voila, the lame worked like it was supposed to and for the first time I have the grigne I have been trying for.

I reduced proofing time on the boule to 50 minutes and once again got a clean score with the lame.  The boule contains 10% whole wheat, 15% organic rye which were autolysed in an equal weight of water overnight, oil and honey.  I baked the boule in a hot DO as I wanted to try and get it right today after a poor effort yesterday.

I had an adventure mixing this batch!  somewhere along the line I read of autolysing the flour in equal weight of water and adding the balance of the flour after auto, in the mixing stage.  So I tried this, then forgot to add the additional flour to BOTH batches of dough and was wondering how I was going to get these soupy masses together.  Then I found my notes and DOH, after 40 minutes of futile mixing added the additional flour and everything came together well.  So for both loaves, 4 S&F's with 10 minutes rest as per PR, followed by a 21/2 hour bulk ferment on the counter with S&F's at 30, 60 and 90 minutes, one hour to develop on the counter, then into the fridge for an 18 hour retard. I rested the dough on the counter for an hour ,started the oven early, then pre-shaped, rested for 10, shaped and proofed.

My shaping has improved a great deal after watching Richard Bertinet's video an making bread from his book "Dough."  I found the entire video useful and in particular the detail he goes into on shaping:

I'm not brave enough to try the slap and fold yet i'm afraid!  This video is a must watch if you haven't seen it.

And now the crumb:

Plenty of bread for my upcoming road trip!

Happy baking TFLers!  Brian

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I used a small amount of organic rye flour, perhaps 10% in my white bread flour starter and that seemed to kick things up a bit.I have reduced the proofing time to 40 minutes on the batard and while a little easier to score, my lame work still needs work.  Next bake I will try a 35 minute proof for the batard/ baguette.

The boule contains about 5% whole wheat and organic rye and it is a tasty loaf, but I liked my last bake with 10% WW and 15% organic rye better -- better flavour, greater volume in less time, better oven spring and my scores held their ears on the last one.  Okay, I was a little sloppy getting the loaf into the hot DO using parchment paper and oven mitts and need to work on that as well.

Perhaps the best part is that the flavours I am getting from my SD loaves is just amazing.  I also have some VERY happy neighbours as I have been in full on experiment and bake mode and simply cannot eat all I am baking!  The long slow SD process, sorry the DMAN process I have been using really brings out the flavours of the grains, very much P. Reinhart's thesis in using time to bring out flavour and explained som much beter by dabrownman!

Tomorrow I am baking up supplies for my upcoming BC road trip.  A couple of nights in Golden with friends to celebrate my birthday Monday and paddle the Kicking Horse River Tuesday, Wednesday to Sicamous for a couple of days beach time and then up to paddle the Clearwater River and have a look around.

Happy baking folks!  Brian

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. . . just rolled in to flavour town!  This is one of the nicest tasting loaves I have ever produced.  I am totally hooked on sourdough now, am using dabrownmans excellent SD methods of work and am achieving the best tasting bread I have ever baked!  THANKS dabrownman, you are DMAN!

My next project is to re-bake all of my favourite recipes dman style in sourdough!

60 grams 100% levain

195 g bread flour

30 g whole wheat

45 g organic rye

210 g water

1 Tbs honey

1 Tbs oil

1 tsp salt

Autolyse WW and rye in equal quantity water for 7 hours, then add bread flour the rest of water and auto another hour.  Mix, develop dough and bake.  I baked this loaf in a dutch oven covered for 20 minutes @ 500F and a further 10 @ 450F convection uncovered, rotating the DO @ 5.  This recipe made a really nice sandwich loaf!

Regards, Brian



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Since my mutant loaf a couple of days ago I have spent great care in both pre-shaping an shaping and the results are much better.  New to sour dough baking on a regular basis I let the first 2 batches proof for an hour and scoring was most difficult.  I suspected over proofing.  On today's bake I proofed the loaf on the right for 50 minutes and it was reasonably easy to score, though I had trouble with the lame and had to use a serrated knife.  The loaf on the left, which proofed longer was nearly impossible to score by any means, so definitely over proofed.

This is a lean hearth loaf at 80% hydration with total flour at 300 grams.  I suspect that even at 50 minutes the dough was over proofed.  Next bake I will proof one mini loaf for 40 minutes and the second for 45.

I am most impressed with the chew and crumb on this bread and LOVE the flavour the SD baking process brings to breads.

I got on the lean bread flavour kick a couple of weeks ago.  I bought some Western Bratwurst from my local Swiss deli then realized I had no long buns and bought one of their baguettes, which looked not bad.  This was my first store bought loaf since finding TheFreshLoaf and BOY was I disappointed. 

Reading some of the complex bakes here used to make me tired, just reading the recipe descriptions!  I have realized now, that very little time is spent building the levain's and dough's and one must let the magic of time do it's work.  I am loving the whole process and REALLY loving the finished results.  GREAT FLAVOUR!!!  I now get it . . .

Best regards, Brian

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Okay this loaf definitely blew a tire and I am not sure why. Overproofed? Underproofed?  Poorly shaped?  Poorly scored?

This was a simple lean hearth loaf using my new SD starter and following dabrownman's excellent instructions:

to the tee.  HELP, any suggestions would be welcome. Other than the sidewall blowout the crumb looks pretty good and the flavour is great!

TIA, Brian

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I just baked a half batch using Syd-a's, recipe.  Great recipe and great pita the very first time:

So it was pita pockets instead of sandwiches for lunch today.  This one definitely goes into my baking rotation.  I sized these at 104 grams and think I will go larger, say 120 g next bake.  Flavorings in the next batch would also be interesting.  Hmmm garlic and rosemary . . .

Thanks again for sharing Syd-a!

Happy baking!  Brian

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Well my nieghborhood has turned into a reclamation camp.  I had EMS and Technical Rescue workers from as far away as the State of Illinois set up in front of my house for two days:

These people are here to help my friends and neighbors, so I baked a big batch of Pulla -- 4 loaves to help feed our helpers.  It was a hit with the Fire and EMS people on the scene.

I have been working with very small bake batches, ie 300 g flour for several months now.  I have to say that I got a better product working with a larger amount of dough.  This is the best Pulla bake I have ever had and chalk it up to the baking experience I have gained over the last 1 1/2 years of Fresh Loafing:

For some the world is returning to normal, but for others the real struggle begins and the recovery continues:

This has been very sad and most hard to watch.

After a week's closure in both directions the Trans Canada Highway re-opened today.  It still looks like a war zone . . .

Happy baking TFLers!  Brian


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