The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Husband always bakes the cookies in the family and I’m the bread baker. But he has begged for baggies forever! So I looked up some saved formulas and we picked an easy one. Well easy I so far as baguettes can be easy! 

These are hybrid . Use a tiny amount of starter to make a preferment and then only a 1/4 tsp ADY the next day. I directed and he manipulated the dough. We opted for “ rustic” shaping since I noted that other TFLers had done so . One baggie was retarded a couple hours and baked same day. Two were bulk retarded and baked today. I don’t like bulk retard because you lose all that lovely expansion in the shaping and there is only so much ooomph in the yeasts. 

The shaping and baking were easy.  One hour 500 preheat with baking steel and transfer dough  on parchment with a sheet pan . Steam was easy just boiling water poured into a hot pan beneath the steel left for 10 min. 

These loaves sang their little hearts out when they came out of the oven. The crust is shatteringly crisp. The holes are respectable for a first ever baggie baker😊. 

Since we grew up in New Orleans making a ham and cheese po boy was mandatory. Delicious! Wish we had had some fried Gulf shrimp! These are way better than anything we’ve had in recent memory in New Orleans and not anywhere as wondrous as some we had in tiny village boulangerie in France a few years ago. 

There are three more loaves shaped and retarding for a bake tomorrow. Will see how that goes. Husband is happy so I’m happy.

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i wanted this bake to be in my blog as well. Please check out the write ups in the post that Danny started. It’s amazing how one formula can be so versatile. The information given to the bakers is so helpful. 

There are more pics and a full description of my process in the Community Bake.





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Really happy with the crumb! Open and so sourdough tang at all with the YW influence. Very dominant flavor from the oats. Will definitely be trying this again. 


WI have Cedarmountain to thank for the idea of fermenting the soaker. I added 80 grams of my AYW to the rest of the water for an overnight fermentation. I used two levains both fed with Red Fife, one my SD starter and one my YW starter both are usually fed unbleached. The oatmeal was flaked on my new Marcato flaked. 

The next morning the oatmeal was wonderfully fragrant. I used some milled spelt and the rest unbleached  flour the oatmeal and the two levains. The dough was let to rest after mixing everything including salt  for two hrs. Only needed one s&f to be really poofy. I did one more s&f 30 min later just to see how it would feel.... beautiful satiny dough. In one more hour it had doubled.. yikes! My YW is so active I should have been more careful. I shaped gently dough,  was full of bubbles and really light. Retarded overnight so about 16 hr. Had really risen as you can see. Baked at 475 covered for 15 and then uncovered for 20. 

The crumb shot will be tomorrow. The loaves are so light and big and the area where I scored is glossy and beautiful. I can hardly wait to taste. 

(Sorry the pictures out of order... darn phone!)

Glossy crumb

Ready for the oven

Whoa.. overproofed


Ready to retard



Ready to shape

Ooops doubled! 

After autolyse:

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and orange zest with semi-sweet chocolate chips. I took bits and pieces from TFL posters Shaio Ping and Beatrice as well as Jay on Perfect Sourdough a Facebook bread blogging site. I used his formula with a major twist. I made the levain with AP and cocoa and YW . I added another 100g of YW to the dough . This was a very large batch of dough. A two hour autolyse with everything except add ins. One s&f and an hour later one lamination for add ins. That’s it. No shaping just folded the edges under this the gorgeous free form bursts. The crumb is open and tender and so rich. The loaves were retarded 18-20 hrs. 







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This Loaf is in a 17” long x 6” wide banneton. A friend gave it to me she had bought it years ago in Germany and never used it. 70% Arrowhead Mills AP, 20% home milled Kamut, 5% milled rye and 5% milled Emmer all sifted and bran fed to levains. 

I used my SD levain, my AYW levain and AYW as part of the liquid. Thus 3 distinct chemistry processes. I mixed everything including salt with a large rubber scraper just till moistened and let it rest 2 hrs. Dough was extensible and poofy by then. Did one lamination and returned dough to bucket. After another hour did one s and f. That’s it. Bulk ferment was 2 hrs. Retarded at 55 degrees for 12 hrs. Baked in my huge 100 yr old granite roaster 500 degrees covered 20 min and 475 degrees uncovered 30 min. 

Amazing open crumb and incredibly tender. Very full flavor and fragrance is wonderful. 

For me this affirms that hands on isn’t necessary and that fermentation times and temps are what makes an open crumb and fantastic flavor. 







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This is the most amazing bread I have ever created. I used a banana bread recipe for the base. The original is on Perfect Sourdough Teresa L Greenway’s Facebook site. I had previously made her formula. In an effort to clear out my pantry I decided to incorporate new fruits but keep the other essentially the same. I have canned green Victoria rhubarb from a friend in Wisconsin. I used applesauce that I made from wild apples I picked. I created enough bubbly levain to double the formula making 4– 8x4 loaf pans. The original recipe as published by Teresa calls for discard. I don’t keep any so I made 740 g of bubbly levain!! I drained the rhubarb and boiled the syrup down and basted the hot loaves with it. The flavorings are cardamom and diced candied ginger. All I can say is wow! Amazing. I leave this batter to rise in a warm place for 2 hrs. I find it really makes a wonderful difference in the breads texture. You can see the incredible oven spring. If you join/search  Perfect Sourdough you can see the post and get the links for the details. 



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Used the Mock Mill to grind my cornmeal. There isn’t much information out there so had to experiment. I ordered 6# of Hoosier Hill Farm yellow popcorn. Haha I was optimistic about my new project! 

I used “10” to start thinking it would be good for polenta. I then took out one cup of that and moved down to “5” then “1”. 

The cornbread is amazing with fresh ground corn! But there are a few crunchy bits. I reset the mill to get a new set of “10” finer grinds. I started at the new “10” then went to “5” and then tried moving toward “1” but the mill stalled. I quickly moved back to about “3”. Perfect! I was using the same cup of cornmeal for the regrinding. 

The info I would pass on as a result of this is: buy good quality popcorn, start on your coarsest setting and work down. Depending on what your desired recipe is you can go coarse for polenta and finer for grits and finer yet for cornmeal. 

Do not buy dent corn as it is field corn and intended for 4 legged critters. The ultimate would be fresh corn cut off the cob and dehydrated and then ground. That’s my plan come Summer. 

The cornbread is made with buttermilk and tastes like pound cake. Truly wonderful especially baked in my Mom’s antique iron skillet 😊❤️

Served hot with local honey... yum!




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This is based on Danni's Peasant Bread...thank you Danni !  I milled my spelt, rye and kamut and ground the flax seed. I sifted out the goodies  from the flours. I have never done this before but decided to give it a try. I used two different starters that I have had going for a while. Not sure what they are but one was fed only AYW and the other was fed only durum...but that was before and they were now going be on a " water and goodies" feed :). They loved loved loved it. Tripled in 2 hrs. Boom !  I did an autolyse with just the flour and water for about 2 hrs. Folded in the levain and salt. Bulk fermented for a couple hours with only two s and f's as I went to play with my grandson. Came back and the dough had doubled . Yikes. Quickly made 3 rough boules and put it in the fridge. My new procedure as of my last bake is to let it ferment at least 36 hrs. Amazing how well it does. Will look forward to seeing the crumb as last time not only did I get great oven spring, and this time too, but I had amazing open crumb.  Baked at 500 then 475 in my granite roasters. 

crumb shots...lovely tender a little sour and beautifully open












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 I fold the dough ove\






I made three 1-2-3 loaves . Each had 100 g of your wheat along with home milled  durum, spelt and my local mill provides my unbleached flour. I used 3 different levain. #1 was my 10 yr old SD starter fed with unbleached  ,#2 was my 7 yr old Apple YW fed with unbleached and #3 was my SD starter fed with semolina. Amazing rising power with almost no hands on time. Process for each bread:  I place all the salt in a thin area and spray well on top of the dough as it rests.  It is  left to rest for 1-2 hours. I then pat the dough to a 1/2" thickness  with sprays of additional water on the countertop and the dough surface. I fold the dough over and over left to right like strudel and then end to end. Rest for one hour. Repeat patting and fold once more. Leave till puffy.. only took 2 the oven with a light on. I don’t shape so much as I pull in the edges and pinch lightly and retard pinched side down. My oven is broken so I have to be careful of temps . It was supposed to be fixed today but that didn’t happen! I am so pleased with the fragrance of the breads and the addition of Lee's  flour made the dough a pleasure to work with. 

 The first crumb shot is the Semolina fed SD levain. Flavor is VERY wheat and only a tiny bit sour. Crumb is extremely tender almost cake like and the crust is shatteringly crisp and caramelized. We love it. The second is the Apple YW crumb. Slightly sweet with no sour at all which is typical of YW. Very tender crumb as well and crust also delicious. The wheat flavor comes through amazingly well. I didn’t cut the batard it is a gift but I will let you know when it is cut on Nov 25th at a dinner we will attend. The crumb is so perfectly fine and uniform. The amount of time spent touching the dough is less than 10 min total.  after the initial mixing of levain/water/flour. All of the gluten development is due to time . The dough is SO extensible after 

Thank you again and I look forward to using Lee's flour . 

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I have started feeding my levain with semolina. I had forgotten how much it loves it... grows so fast triples in a couple hours. This is another 1-2-3  tripled with additional water . I don’t measure but probably 100 g . The barley ,I think, is responsible for the incredible taste of the last bake and the color of the finished bread. Will report when it is cut. 

300g 100% hydration semolina fed levain

600g water ( no YW ) at least 100g extra to hydrate flour and salt and countertop

900 g mixed flours——- 100 g milled barley, 200g milled rye,  

 and 600g KA bread flour 

40g yogurt

60g honey

18 g salt

Mix all but salt just til wet. Let set one hour. Fold in salt misted with water using a large rubber spatula.  Place in PAM sprayed bucket and let rest 30 min. Dough turned out on wet counter patted out to huge rectangle about 1/2” thick. Dough very extensible and had gotten poofy in bucket. Folded up left to right like strudel then folded top over and bottom up and placed in bucket one hour. Removed and patted out again.... amazing gluten sheath at this point and dough very poofy. Same folding procedure and back in bucket for one hour. Barely 25% growth but very very light. Turned out onto floured counter divided two approx 900 g pieces. Lightly shaped by pulling in four sides to make boule and folding to make rough shaped batard and placed in banneton seam down. Covered and retarded 12 h. 

Pictures tell the rest. Graniteware roaster at 500 while oven preheats approximately 15 min. Bake 10 min at 500 covered then 10 min at 475 still covered then 25 min uncovered at 475. Ears and musical crackles . Stopped using ice cubes awhile back... not needed. Amazing gluten development with almost no hands on. Very little bulk proof. 







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