The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

trailrunner's blog

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oh pie !  



before baking...  photo IMG_6914_zps8118b68c.jpg after...most amazing...2 apples and a small amount of " goop"...if you want I will post the link to easy.  photo IMG_6915_zpse6e5f0c6.jpg

trailrunner's picture

I hadn't baked in a while and hadn't used my AYW in weeks!   Got my odds and ends of partial bags of flour out and voila....lovely bake.   Fed my  100% hydration rye starter with spelt and AWY 2x a few hours was SO active I had to refrigerate it overnight. Used up 65g Semolina, 42 grams Italian Chestnut flour, 86 grams Kamut, 123 grams sprouted Rye and 458 grams AP KA.  Mixed and autolysed  with  640 g water without salt for 1 hr. Added salt and used speed 2 for 5 min . Very slack dough but responded well to s&f's. Fermented room temp for 2 hrs with s&f q 30 min x4 and then 1 hr more at room temp. Shaped 2 boules and immediately retarded over-night. Baked cold this AM in 500 degree pots for 20 min. covered...sprayed 10 x in pot with filtered water then covered....uncovered and 20 min open. The fragrance is wonderful. Will post crumb shots later. 

 photo IMG_6893_zps14e8ac91.jpg  photo IMG_6894_zps7fbce72f.jpg  photo IMG_6895_zps1cc59eff.jpg  photo IMG_6897_zpsb0d59dfc.jpg  photo IMG_6900_zpsf74a17e6.jpg first of Spring...asparagus quiche. I use buttermilk for the crust and in the filling...broiled the asparagus first. Delicious.  photo IMG_6891_zps54192770.jpg

crumb shots added. I couldn't be MORE pleased with this bread. What a crust and crumb. Full body flavor...very very wheaty. I am impressed with the caramelization of the crust and note how uniform the crust thickness is all the way around the slice. Chewy and almost candy-like. Rich brown color to the crumb and exquisitely tender due to the AYW. Love the glisten to the crumb . My camera doesn't want to catch the dark crust but it is way darker than in the pics. I baked it to 212. What else to say....if I never made another SD loaf but this one I would be more than content.  photo IMG_6904_zpsfeced175.jpg  photo IMG_6906_zpsdff0a446.jpg  photo IMG_6903_zpsb898ea8c.jpg  photo IMG_6902_zpsf205dd69.jpg

trailrunner's picture

What a lovely bread!  As has already been said this has a tender  cool crumb and a pronounced wheat flavor and pleasant faint  sour. I didn't get quite the large holes as in Franco's bake but I altered the formulas a bit. I doubled the amounts that Franco posted. So I had about 2000 g of dough. I shaped this into 3 boules. Thus more handling.  I used the 2 starters and the only thing I altered was the whey I fed the starters. I have a lot of it as I make a lot of soft curd cheese. I put all the dough flour in all but 10% of the water and let it autolyse overnight. I have done this with all my bakes lately and really love the way the gluten develops the next day. I also used sprouted rye flour for all of the dark rye called for . I baked it in preheated 500 degree iron pots. Straight from the fridge. I wasn't sure about rise times so I let the dough rise for 1 hr in the banneton before I retarded it. No counter time prior to bake. 5 minutes in covered pot at 500, 15 min at 460 and then uncover pots and 15 min at 460. Internal temp 212. 

I got a lovely caramelized crust and small ears :) I will definitely make this again. Look forward to seeing how the flavor profile changes over the next days. just out of the fridge:  photo IMG_6868_zps4a24ea30.jpg  photo IMG_6869_zpsab74a224.jpg  photo IMG_6871_zps2c0393a2.jpg  photo IMG_6872_zpsca450f3b.jpg  photo IMG_6873_zpsd234039e.jpg

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Great sweet potato rolls. I had more potatoes so upped the % of ingredients. The dough is lovely to work with. I  decreased the yeast as I wasn't going to bake them yesterday.  Substituted my whey for milk. The dough responded very well to a long slow rise on the counter and then retarded in the fridge.  Filled with bubbles. Very easy to shape when cold. I retarded 15 of them....50 oz of a 13x9 covered container. Today all I did was turn it over  on a lightly floured countertop and cut them with a dough blade and barely shape and placed in a greased 13x9 pan !  Easy. Rose for an hour brushed with butter and baked . These are delicious. Lovely rich flavor and slight sweet potato taste comes through We had them with curried butternut squash soup. I froze half. Will definitely make these again. 

risen and ready for oven:  photo IMG_6813_zpse17fd89e.jpg crumb:  photo IMG_6817_zps24065c24.jpg

finished:  photo IMG_6814_zps955e67fa.jpg

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This is the Balthazar's Bakery's chocolate bread. I first ate it in 2007 at $9 a loaf. When I got home I searched and found the recipe online. It is a fantastic bread...but I took it up a huge notch with my starter instead of theirs. Wow..what a shreddable fantastic crumb. I also added dried cherries to 3 of the loaves.  An amazing bread. You will need a mixer to fully realize this dough. It needs 5 min and then 10 min and then about 2 min . It has the butter beaten in like a brioche but there are no eggs...lots of chocolate. Here are some pics...sorry I can't share the fragrance...or taste:) 








starter 100% white with apple yeast water to feed:  photo IMG_6795_zps974c943b.jpg before adding the butter...lovely gluten:  photo IMG_6799_zpsffa15435.jpg after the butter and salt added :  photo IMG_6800_zps9c1ec17c.jpg ready to rise:  photo IMG_6804_zps6951f257.jpg risen:  photo IMG_6805_zps0e52c796.jpg topped with cream/egg yolk/turbinado sugar :  photo IMG_6807_zps083922ca.jpg out of the oven:  photo IMG_6810_zps963debb7.jpg shreddable crumb:  photo IMG_6811_zps191e3543.jpg  photo IMG_6812_zpsb0e323db.jpg

trailrunner's picture

Latest attempt at a spelt bread was more what I was after. I still let it proof for one hour before retarding. Since reading Josh's post after I had made this I will move the shaped loaves into the fridge posthaste and not give them any bench time and see what happens. As you can see this has a lovely open crumb and I even got ears :) I attribute this to gentle handling. I incorporated John's sealing during shaping and then proofing the shaped loaf with the sealed side down and then scoring over the sealed area. Pictures show the result. Taste is creamy and crumb is tender.Raisin yeast water at work. Stored overnight in a brown paper bag and the crust is still amazing this AM. Made great toast and I am about to make an aged cheddar grilled cheese. 






just out of fridge : spelt and rye with RYW photo IMG_6707_zps6fdaef10.jpg crust :  photo IMG_6711_zpse8795872.jpg crumb shots: Spelt and rye crumb photo IMG_6712_zps717d048d.jpg  photo IMG_6713_zpsefd0a49e.jpg  photo IMG_6715_zpsac35a1db.jpg

trailrunner's picture

I have been traveling since Oct 5th. No baking but lots of eating of great breads from Canada to NYC ! I got home and found my YW and SD happily resting in the fridge. I fed everything and restored all to working order. I noted Ian's sweet potato bread and had an extra baked one so decided to try a variation using what I had on hand. Wild Yeast Blog has a formula from 2007 and I used it as a base to begin. I used 200g AYW stater and 200g RYW starter each at 100% hydration and made up the rest with my SD 100% hydration . When Ian mentions "wet" sweet potato he is correct. The dough was like ciabatta for sure. I beat it in the KA like a ciabatta until I noted some gluten development. I then placed it in an oiled bucket for 40 min. removed and did a lot of s&f's with a floured counter and gingerly movements. Rested 50 min and did the same...had really nice development at this point and it had nice air bubbles. Divided in two and made no attempt to shape...simply sprayed the top with water and pressed on pepitas and tossed into floured cloth lined baskets seed side down. Proofed for 1 hr and the loaves had filled the baskets. Retarded approx 12 hrs in fridge. Baked straight from fridge as per my usual...500 preheated pans ,place bread in pots lower to 460 , bake 20 min and remove lids and bake 15 min til 210 degrees. Crust snapped and crackled. Amazing fragrance from the pepitas. Lovely crumb but no spring to speak of.Glistening crumb and very tender due to the YW. This is going to be served with a black bean soup tonight . RYW ready to go :  photo IMG_6695_zpse1a8a521.jpg AYW ready :  photo IMG_6696_zps117997ab.jpg "shaped" and seeds on ready for basket to proof:  photo IMG_6697_zps593635ac.jpg straight from fridge:  photo IMG_6700_zps267cefc7.jpg finished:  photo IMG_6701_zpsa15ce6fc.jpg crumb shots:  photo IMG_6702_zps0e9ad8ea.jpg  photo IMG_6703_zps5988ccb8.jpg  photo IMG_6705_zps64ff31a5.jpg

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Juergan was my inspiration when he mentioned I should try spelt in the starter on the 40/60 loaf. I thought about it and made a biga with 2 feedings using 50g spelt/50 g apple yeast water for a total of 200g, no  commercial yeast .I let it rise all night in the oven with the light on. really grew and smelled lovely..faint apples   I subtracted that from the total liquid/flour in the  Norwich formula that I use as a base. I also subbed spelt for 1/2 the rye called for. I fed my regular white starter with AP as usual and used 1/2 whey and 1/2 AYW for remaining liquid.. Mixed all but salt and let autolyse for 3 hrs as I had errands to run.

Came back and did 3 sets of  30 folds in the bowl at 30 min intervals. Turned out on a wet counter and did 2 sets of s&f's at 30 min. intervals on the countertop. Divided into 3 boules at 750g approx. each. Let proof 30 min. in the cloth lined  baskets and then into the fridge overnight.

This AM I heated my iron pots for 30 min at 500. Remove loaves from fridge and slashed one  and into hot pots and turn down temp to 460 for 20 min  lid on and 10 min without lid.  You can see that I slashed one and let the other two burst as David has been doing. I much prefer the burst !  Huge ears and lovely crust and blisters and glistening crumb. Went out a few hours came  back  and cut one so I could have a taste and make pics :)  Fantastic YW crust that tastes like caramel  and smells like it too. Soft crumb and lovely structure . This bread is a delight . I am so pleased to have the "touch of spelt" without the headaches . I think I do better without commercial yeast. This from a baker that has used it for all breads for 40 years until I discovered wild yeast ! I don't need the extra bit of push it gives and I  like the way this reacts  much better. It has been an interesting journey toward more spelt. I shall cont, the exploration and keep finding ways to increase it reliably. There are a lot of formulas on TFL using  spelt and I want to cont. to try them. 

just out of fridge



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one slashed






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slashed loaf


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bursting forth

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dinner last night with the last of one loaf of the 40/60 loaf grilled....homemade fettucini and shrimp with grape tomatoes , capers , preserved lemon, white wine and fresh basil


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trailrunner's picture

An experiment with pluses and minuses. The original formula was posted here: There weren't really any directives  . I mixed the levain and it was gang busters when it grew ! I subbed my active raisin yeast water for all the water and used my rye wild yeast. I had to refrigerate it after only 6 hrs as it was already doubled. I didn't want it too sour. The next day I blithely mixed the dough "batter" using my RWY and subbed in 100 g whey as I was short of RWY ....uhoh...Juergen has stone ground spelt don't. Instead I now had a bowl of cake batter !  What to do. I looked at about a dozen threads to see what others had done with their spelt loaves. Not much help. It runs the gamut from in the bowl s&f's to out of the bowl s&f's to both to a batter placed in lined tins...well you get the idea. 

I forged ahead. Did several rounds of folds in the bowl...looked great. Did one on the board with Did one with the countertop oiled...yes !  Except after a few minutes it slumped...badly. I gave up. I shaped...haha...2 boules...actually dumped 2 blobs  into floured lined baskets. I let them set out while I went to the gym. The rose and rose right up and over the edges of the cloths...ugh. I gave up again...put the baskets into a plastic bag and chucked them into the fridge...time to retard and re-group. 

Juergen was kind enough to answer my messages...he had a similar experience...wet wet dough. I heated the pots to 500 and took out the two baskets...up oh...fallen dough....sigh. What to do...forge ahead ! I tucked in the edges and made sure the cloth was loose. I turned them out...surprise they held their shape !  Not so fast....when I placed them in the pots they spread. Oh well. You can see the results. Holes, crisp crust, gelatinized crumb that is tender and flavorful. A little sour but not much. Short too...I am only 5'2". I shall try this one again. I am now convinced that me and spelt can get along. 

Oh ...I will never stop using YW ! I have two jars bubbling away in the fridge...both apple. I have decided I love it best. Here are some pics. 

levain after 6 hrs


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fresh from the retarding :




 photo IMG_6554_zpsbf24ae79.jpg  photo IMG_6553_zpsa8cc9147.jpg



turned out of basket...there is hope !



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 photo IMG_6560_zps0f48ac6b.jpg  photo IMG_6562_zps5d7e16c4.jpg

trailrunner's picture

With dabrownman's assistance I was able to successfully start my YW. I used organic raisins and organic  apple with spring water. I did a small test batch of levain using 50 g YW and 50 g AP flour. Growth was evident  in an hour and it tripled in 6 hrs. For this first test batch of SD I simply subbed all YW for the water in the formula. There is a lot of info on TFL about YW. RonRay has cataloged it in one post. He uses all YW for some of his breads in place of regular water. Other folks use only a TBsp or so with flour to make a levain. It is all good as far as I can tell . Will need a lot more trials to see how it goes over time.

 The dough was stickier than it usually is. It also showed abundant growth during the autolyse time of 2 hr and also after each set of in the bowl s&f's and the 2 on the board s&f's. I shaped and left at room temp for 1 hr. I then retarded shaped loaves overnight. As you can see they held their shape well when removed from baskets. I placed cold slashed loaves in hot pots and baked covered 15 min as per my usual bakes and 15 uncovered. I will post crumb shots  later today when we have these with conchiglie  tutto giardino. 


Crumb shots added. The crust is fantastic...after sitting unwrapped for several hours it is wonderfully chewy. The crumb is very tender and not sour at all. I am pleased with the crumb structure. Will see how it evolves as the YW gets stronger. Lots to explore. c

day 1 YW day1 photo IMG_6535_zpscc75168e.jpg day 2 YW day2 photo IMG_6536_zps226d7ed9.jpg 


day 3 YW


day 3 photo IMG_6537_zps74d14d72.jpg


day day 4 YW day 4 photo IMG_6539_zps194d93d2.jpg test


levain trial ARYW/flour photo IMG_6547_zpse31cb2bd.jpg sunsets while waiting on YW  photo IMG_6533_zps78858411.jpg retarded loaf just our of fridge  photo IMG_6540_zps3f376e38.jpg turned out of basket  photo IMG_6541_zpsbf82b0e5.jpg fresh from oven  photo IMG_6542_zps91d6968b.jpg  photo IMG_6543_zps6f8980f0.jpg  photo IMG_6545_zps82289ac4.jpg  photo IMG_6546_zpsceed8e2c.jpg  photo IMG_6531_zpsc0aaedaa.jpg

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