The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Today's bread is made from fresh ground, sifted Hard Red Spring wheat from Montana Flour and Grains

Very basic bread - 

400 gr bolted fresh ground flour

320 gr water (80%)

8 grams salt

30 gr olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

60 grams levain (stiff starter ~65% hydration)


2 hr autolyse flour and water

Mix dough including autolyse, levain and salt - let rest ~30 min

mix in honey and oil.

Bulk ferment until nearly doubled (~4 hr as warm room temp)

preshape, rest 20 min, shape - into refridgerator overnight

Bake in covered pot at 450 deg F directly from fridge. 20 min covered, 15 min uncovered

Here's the crumb (I cut it hot, so it's a bit wet in the picture. It dried off after a while). 

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WW flour 900 gr

water 700 gr

levain 150 gr

salt 18 gr

2 hr salt soak ( flour, water, salt) 

5 hr bulk fermented 

1.5 hr proof after shaping into 2 batards

baked at 450F for 35 min

one loaf cut right away. That’s why the crumb is wet in picture. 

malty-wheaty flavor. Soft texture. Crust is crispy 


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Weekly bread for my friends. Continuing the series of 100% red fife loaves. Hydration 78%, salt 2%. The reviews have been good. No crumb picture because they were all given away. 

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Today’s red fife loaf. I dropped the hydration a bit from the recent loaves. The past few loaves have been tending to relax a lot while in proofing and flattening out bit. So I brought the hydration down a bit from 78% to 75%. Added a small amount of olive oil for flavor. 
Very good wholewheat flavor with malty notes. Soft crumb - not at all chewy. I’m getting the hang of this grain, which is weaker than the northern red spring wheat I usually use. Could have proofed a bit longer, but not bad for 100% wholegrain. 

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I’m lucky to have (so far) a healthy household and furthermore employment that I can accomplish with telework. 

I continue to bake 100% wholewheat sourdough, thanks to buying flour from a local-ish farmer. It is California grown red fife and after a few experiments, I’m getting delicious, light ( for ww) loaves out of it. I’ve been sharing loaves with friends which has given us all a chance for a few minutes socializing in the driveway. One friend even brought his violin and played some tunes :-). 

Here’s a crumb picture 

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I bought some Glenn wheat berries from Kenter Canyon farm at the Atwater Village farmers market ( in Los Angeles). It was $2 per pound, not cheap but not too outrageous. The Glenn wheat is grown in Santa Rosa, California. I’m currently buying hard red spring wheat from Montana Flour and Grains by mail, and I would like to transition to a more local supplier. 

I milled it and baked my typical loaf- sourdough, 100% whole grain, no additives besides salt. The starter is rye and comprised 10% of the grain. The other 90% was the Glenn wheat ( replacing the montana hard red spring wheat). The hydration of the loaf was 80%. 2% salt. 

Impressions- the flour held up well to fermentation with sourdough. The final crumb was softer than the Montana loaf is typically. Probably lower gluten, but strong enough to get a nice enough profile with the usual treatment. Excellent aroma including malty notes. I have been adding spelt to my wheat loaves to reduce the chewiness of the hard red spring loaves, and I’d say the Glenn loaf is an excellent texture alone. 

Here is a crumb picture

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Using a recipe posted in 2013 by d_a_kelly for Panettone a tre impasti in June. My adaptation was to use mango yeast water as the water to build the first impasto and then a small amount ( 5gr) of stiff rye starter in the second dough build. 

The first dough made Saturday late morning, the second late evening Saturday. The last build made Sunday morning and baked when it had tripled ( or perhaps 4x) in a loaf pan. Hand kneaded each step. Used Montana Flour and Grain unbleached white flour. It is a high gluten wheat flour. Baked it when it had risen past the pan lip. It was still growing. Could have used a bigger pan. Great oven spring. May not be able to cool it fully before the family riots. 

Used vanilla extract + orange bitters to simulate fiori de sicillia, and it smells good. 


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This weekend’s bread was mostly spelt with a rye starter and some of last week’s leftover bread (altus). 

400 gr whole spelt (fresh ground)

270 gr water

6 gr salt

80 gr refreshed rye starter ( 100% hydration)

100 gr altus*

-autolyse spelt and water about 2hrs

-mix in starter, rest a bit, mix in salt and altus

-bulk ferment with occasional folds about 5 hrs

-preshape,shape proof in fridge overnight

-bake at 475 F covered for 20 min, 425 F uncovered for 20 more mins

*the altus was last week’s ww bread, crust removed, soaked in water and then squeezed out. 

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I’ve been working on consistency with my bake of 100% fresh milled whole wheat sourdough for the last several weeks ( about 4 loaves a weekend since thanksgiving). 

I think I’ve got what I want for my family’s basic bread. Soft texture, airy enough crumb, blistered and thin crust. And, importantly, 3 bakes in a row that are about the same. 🙂

formula: ( with dough mix time equals t-zero)

-12 hrs: refresh refridgerater starter 1:2:2. I use 100% starter 

-2 hrs: mix 400 gr flour and 300 gr water until all dry stuff is wet (shaggy mass)

0 hrs: knead well the shaggy mass plus 100 gr refreshed starter. ~300 folds. 

+ 0.5 hrs: incorporate 8 gr salt plus a small amount of water to help it dissolve 

-fold about every hour. Was not totally consistent with this, but always managed the one at t=1.5 hrs. Room temperature is 70 F

+6 hrs: preshape

+6.5 hrs: final shape, put in fridge

+18 hrs ( approx). : put in covered baker, slash; preheat oven to 475 F, lower heat to 425 once bread is loaded and temp is back to 475. 20 min covered, 15 min uncovered 

The picture is after about 30 min cooling, would cut better with a longer wait. 

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and first bake of 2018. Made a batch of 50-50 fresh ground red spring wheat and AP flour. Mixed one half with olives and the other with seed blend (sunflowe, sesam, flax). Folds during NYE board game night, preshape and shape just after midnight, refridge over night, bake after the Rose Parade (~noon). Bringing to potluck this evening. 


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