The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Elsie_iu's picture

After being persuaded by Ian for times, I finally gave in and made some caramelized onion for bread. In case you’re wondering, nope, he didn’t mention about the part about Jinhua ham and shiitake mushrooms :)



Jinhua Ham Shiitake Mushrooms Caramelized Onion SD


Dough flour (all freshly milled except pearl millet flour):

120g     40%       Whole spelt flour

90g       30%       Sprouted white wheat flour

60g       20%       Whole white wheat flour

30g       10%       Whole pearl millet flour


For leaven:

7g        2.33%       Starter

39g        13%       Bran sifted from dough flour

39g        13%       Water


For scalded dough:

30g        10%       Whole pearl millet flour from dough flour

30g        10%       Hot water


For dough:

231g        77%       Dough flour excluding pearl millet flour and bran for leaven

193g     64.3%       Water

85g       28.3%       Leaven

60g         20%        Scalded dough

9g             3%        Vital wheat gluten

5g         1.67%       Salt



60g         20%        Re-hydrated shiitake mushrooms, sliced

50g      16.7%        Onion, thinly sliced

27g           9%        Jinhua ham, cubed



303.5g       100%       Whole grain

265.5g      87.5%       Total hydration


Sift out the bran from dough flour except pearl millet flour, reserve 39 g for the leaven. Soak the rest, if any, in equal amount of water taken from dough ingredients.

Prepare the scalded dough by combining the pearl millet flour and hot water, set aside until needed.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 5.5 hours (26.5°C).

Prepare the add-ins. Heat 1/2 tsp of your cooking oil of choice (I used extra virgin peanut oil) in a pan. Sauté the onions and mushrooms until softened and caramelized. Pour in the Jinhua ham and a couple of tbsp of water (I used the leftover water from re-hydrating the mushrooms) to deglaze the pan. Remove the mixture from the pan when all the water has evaporated. Let cool completely and refrigerate until needed.  

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the leaven and salt, autolyze for 15 minutes. Knead in the reserved ingredients and ferment for a total of 2 hours. Fold in the add-ins then ferment for 1 hour 45 minutes longer. Construct a set of stretch and fold at the 15 minutes mark and 1 hour mark respectively. Fold in the add-ins at the 30 minutes mark.

Preshape the dough and let it rest for 25 minutes. Shape the dough then put in into a banneton. Retard for 12 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. Score and spritz the dough then bake straight from the fridge at 250°C/482°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 208°F. Let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.



Since the dough was fully-proofed, it had virtually no oven spring… Fortunately, the crumb still turns out quite open for a whole grain loaf.


I haven’t tasted the bread yet so I can’t comment on the flavour. The write-up will be uploaded afterwards. That said, the bread smells strongly of caramelized onion and shiitake mushrooms so it should be anything but bland.

Updated: The bread has a nice springy texture and seems particularly moist thanks to the mushrooms. Surprisingly, the Jinhua ham is pretty subtle while the mushrooms dominate. There is alluring aroma associated with the caramelized onions. For the bread itself, it has little, if any, sour and is mostly sweet from the sprouted grains and spelt. 





Cheese stuffed potato mochi. Aren’t they cute?


Rava upma with assorted tomatoes and… curried fishballs? Errr… should be soya tikka :)


Home-fermented kimchi fried rice with tiny dried fish, Edam cheese and fried egg. This is good. I mean it.   


Brazilian-inspired dinner: grilled spicy chicken skewer & pork sausages, cinnamon rotisserie pineapple, chorizo & black beans, brussel sprouts, zucchini & yellow peppers sautéed with dried cranberries, onion seasoned fries and bulgur pilaf


White sandwich bread of the week: 15% masa harina 15% amaranth ciabatta with sun-dried tomatoes & rosemary


Extra: 20% toasted rye bagels

 Insanely chewy…


Thanks Ian for the inspiration!


trailrunner's picture

A baker on Perfect Sourdough has posted a number of times about using un-fed starter as levain . His argument is the hungry beasties are ready to devour the addition of flour in any form so why bother feeding them well ahead of time? I loved the idea and the reasoning certainly made sense to me. I had a couple hundred grams of starter in containers that hadn’t been fed in a couple weeks. I weighed it out and added freshly milled spelt and Kamut 32g each and freshly milled Turkey Red 150g,  2% salt and the levain about 250g enough water and KA BF to make an 1100 g batard. I always autolyse everything together for a few hours. Came back and it was puffy and lovely. Did  three s&f at 30 min intervals. Left it alone for another hour or so then stretched and patted  more or less like ciabatta and placed in my huge banneton. Retarded 18 hrs . Not a huge rise but oh boy... the fragrance and flavor are astounding!!! And the crust was the most crisp caramelized I could ask for. I don’t usually like “ sour” and neither does my husband but... this is fabulous with the gorgonzola we splurged on. The crumb is beautiful open tender and very cool mouth feel. I know many here were trying to get a more sour bread. This is it I think..don’t feed ahead of time. 




DesigningWoman's picture

This is like the little black dress of cakes, although I think that technically it's more a quick bread than a cake. It's a French basic, typically taught by grandmothers to their grandkids. All measurements are done by volume, using a half-cup yogurt tub that is standard here. It's a nice change after you've cleaned up your bake and put the scales away.

Here's the basic recipe:

The dry

  • 4 tubs flour*
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • .5 tsp salt

The wet

  • 2 tubs full-fat yogurt**
  • 1.5 - 2 tubs blond cane sugar (depends on taste and add-ins)***
  • .5 tub oil
  • 3 eggs


  • Preheat oven to 180°C
  • Dump one container of yogurt into a large mixing bowl, rinse and dry the tub.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, measure out your dry ingredients, whisk them together and put aside.
  • Back to the wet.
    Add your second tub** of yogurt, then the sugar and give things a good stir.
  • Then measure in your oil and your eggs, whisking between each addition
  • Now would be a good time to stop and oil your baking vessels. This recipe makes a batch that fills the 20cm loaf pan in the photo, plus a dozen very tall small cupcakes. Set everybody up on a sheet pan
  • Dump any add-ins to the bowl of dry ingredients and give them a toss to coat them in flour; this seems to help prevent everything from sinking to the bottom.
  • Tip the dry ingredients into the wet by thirds, mixing gently and making sure there are no bits of dry flour -- but don't work it so much that you get gluten development.
  • Fill your baking vessels 3/4 - 7/8 full and bake. Bake time will depend on your add-ins, but I set the timer for 30 minutes, by which time the cupcakes are usually done. You want them to pass the clean-skewer test. Usually, if the kitchen starts smelling like dessert, it's time to check.
  • Let cool on a rack and enjoy!


* While the "original" recipe calls for AP flour, I use just about anything I have at hand, which usually means bread flour and anything that needs to be used up. I systematically swap out one tub of flour for almond meal or grated (unsweetened) coconut. And here, one tub of flour was swapped out for a tub of cocoa powder.

** 130g of starter (even discard, if it's not too old and funky) can be swapped in for the second tub of yogurt. I've never tried this with a flavored yogurt, but if using grated coconut, a coconut-flavored yogurt could be fun.

*** You're limited only by your imagination: dried, candied, fresh or frozen fruit (no need to thaw if frozen, but extend your bake time); any kinds of nuts, chocolate or butterscotch chips, cocoa nibs, citrus zest, candied ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg… I've even chopped up a tired-looking apple and tossed it in.

A sprinkling of sugar just before baking will give a nice, shiny crust with just the slightest crunch to it. Otherwise, top with flaked almonds or walnut halves or whatever.

Please do report back with your variation!

Keep on baking!

Cedarmountain's picture

I don't know if this would be considered a traditional scone - perhaps a variation on a traditional scone?  Scone purists might even consider it an aberration.  I served these to a nice group of women at a Spring tea event a few years ago and several commented on how much they enjoyed the "biscuits", reminded them of scones!  In my thinking scones are more crumbly, tender whereas a good biscuit is fluffy, almost flaky soft...both benefit from minimal handling and lots of butter. For my "scones" today I was using up some extra fresh milled rye, spelt and Marquis wheat flour from yesterday's bread bake mixed with some organic all purpose white flour, baking powder, sea salt, a bit of sugar, some excess starter from yesterday, cubed pieces of frozen butter and enough buttermilk to make a shaggy dough.  I patted it down gently on a floured surface, folded it once and shaped into a round on a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the pre-heated heavy cast iron baking pan I was using and scored the pieces before baking at 400 F for 25 minutes.  Scone or biscuit, whatever you want to call it, they turned out nicely and taste like...a good scone!  


I served them warm with a wild blueberry preserve; sliced grapes, apples with a drizzle of raw fireweed honey, Sage Derby and Bergeron cheese.





...and this is the bread, started yesterday, cold proofed overnight and baked this morning before the scones - a 20% fresh milled whole grain dough with a coarse ground flax, chia, hemp, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin soaker. Still working on the scoring....



alfanso's picture

A few months ago I posted my version of Abel Sierra’s Tritordeum baguettes, a result of which is posted in the lead photo.

Tritordeum, as stated earlier, is a new hybrid grain developed in Spain after decades of breeding and cultivation, and finally coming to market sometime around 2013 or so.  It is grown primarily in Spain, France and Italy and available across a few European countries.  After recalling the posting by Abel I came across a 500g bag in Trieste Italy and gave it a one time bake upon returning home.  My posting in Aug. 2018 is in the link above.

In Barcelona last week, I recalled that the worldwide headquarters of Agrasys, the company that promotes Tritordeum, is located there.  Unannounced, I rang the doorbell to their office on Tuesday afternoon, to see if I could register a “complaint" that I had searched a number of small and large supermarkets in the city in a vain attempt at finding the flour on a shelf.  Anton, who answered the ring, came down to discuss why, and we talked shop for a while.  A meeting was underway in their offices, and so Anton was apologetic for not inviting us up. When we returned an hour or so later, he greeted us at the downstairs front door again, this time with a bag of a few sample flours, two packs of Tritordeum crackers and a pair of IPA beers brewed with the grain.  And an offer for a return visit later in the week to come up and meet the staff.

Anton had glanced at my TFL blog and stated that he mentioned me to the others in the office.  We returned on Friday, meet the staff and discussed shop.  Still frustrated at not being able to locate the grain in any store, or the Forn Baltá bakery in the Sants neighborhood that once sold the flour over the counter, we were directed to a grain shop nearby where they had a bag of the flour in bulk.

Anton, Verónica and the entire staff, right up to the Company CEO, were warm and wonderful and interested in my personal experiment and own interest in the grain.  It was a great experience.  Verónica knew Abel from his baking days Barcelona, and so in a way, the circle was completed, with me having discovered the grain thanks to Abel.

All in all, I came home with about 4 kilos of T150 and a few smaller bags of a more refined grain, perhaps a T65.

In the interests of “science”, I’ve already converted a 100% hydration AP liquid levain into both 100% and 75% hydration Tritordeum levains.  The three stages of builds for each took place over the course of a calendar day, with the first consuming 10 hours to mature, the second 3 hours and the third a little under 3 hours to more than double.  I now feel that I have built up a strong enough pair of levains with most of the original AP flour winnowed out.  So I'll declare that it is almost a 100% pure Tritordeum levain at this point.

The dough was incredibly slack at my singular 70% hydration experience.  But with my planned 80% T150 grain as well as my decision to use 20% strong white flour, and after discussion with the staff, I feel as though I can still maintain a 70% hydration dough and get a less extensible result.  This should yield a dough that is more manageable than in my prior experience.  Time will tell and I’ll post some of my experimental results along the way.

A grateful thank you to all of the incredibly inviting people who we met at Agrasys.  

Verónica, alfanso and Anton:


 Anton's first "care package" to me:

And don't forget the Tritordeum grain IPA:

 The ~6K of grain now nestled in containers:

 Shelves at Forn Baltá bakery of "everything" but Tritordeum :-(  : 

 Barcelona is a wonderful city.  One of Antoni Gaudí's first creations:

 And "just" another doorway in a city graced with exquisite and fantastic architecture.

DesigningWoman's picture

Starting with CedarMountain

Unfortunately, I don't seem to have made any notes of the fermented soaker bake. Pretty sure that I used my basic 70% hydration, white (with 10% whole wheat) loaf, 25% rye starter at 100% hydration. Probably about 150g of oat soaker at a 1:2 ratio, with a handful of seeds for good measure. Also sifted out 12g of bran from the whole wheat and added that with 9g of water to the soaker.

I do have a vivid recollection of many, many SLAFs (CedarMountain, you could've warned me!), trying to get the dough to come together. It finally did, just enough to liberate my hands, so I stuck the dough in the fridge overnight, hoping to firm it up a little. It did, sort of. But was still a very slack and tacky dough. Pre-shaped as best I could, bench rested, shaped, coated with flax and nigella seeds and plopped into their baskets.

They rose pretty well, albeit without ears. Crumb was soft (and stayed that way), crust was thin and crunchy, taste was mild and "wholesome" without feeling like it's supposed to be good for you. Obviously still need to work on my shaping!

Oat soaker in an Abe DNB

It looks like I baked these three days later, although have absolutely no recollection of the bread, except that I gave it away (but to whom?). Instead of fermenting the soaker separately, I made up the oat soaker a few hours before adding 350g water and 20g rye starter to it, mixing that up and pouring it over 500g of flour (10% T150 whole wheat) and 10g of salt and let the whole thing ferment for about 12 hours at room temp. It's so rare that I make boules, I should remember who these were given to, but I'm drawing a total blank.

But my big discovery was using sourdough instead of yogurt in my favorite yogurt cake recipe. This one got all kinds of things thrown at it: Swapped out half the flour for 25% cocoa powder and 25% ground almonds; replaced half the yogurt with 130g of starter, threw in some frozen cherries… it worked!

Then there was a quick visit back to the Hamelman five-grain levain, cocktail-sized! I tried an all-rye levain and it looks like I added a handful of cranberries. Love the taste of this one!

Adventures in rye

Having finally found a source for something called "dark rye", after so many months of being eager to try my hand (and taste buds) at a high-percentage rye bread, I was a bit disappointed to find that there were no "bits" in this supposedly whole-rye flour; the texture is desperately, uniformly fine. This leaves out something like the tourte de seigle, which specifically calls for T170 (in the French recipe), but perhaps gave me a little wiggle room for less-demanding recipes.

After scouring through the (too) many recipes bookmarked over the last year, I set my sights on Mark Sinclair's 100% rye for a number of reasons: he is extremely open as to what kind of rye flour is to be used; the levain is done in one stage and used fairly young; process sounded easy enough. And it was 100% rye; I figured if I was going to learn about the pitfalls of making rye bread, I might as well get my feet really wet.

It all went surprisingly smoothly; the video of the process was a great help and most reassuring. Of course, I did, once the loaves were shaped and in their pans, send a panicked message to Mini, who very kindly held my hand through the rest.

The baking loaves smelled absolutely wonderful. Taste and aroma are great, but I was disappointed in the crumb, which I found too dense and too uniform. I'm wondering if I should add more water, proof longer, or add seeds.

Bitten by the rye bug, I decided next on Wally's 72% rye with soaker, figuring that the 28% of a wheat flour would give me the loft and some of the openness I'd found wanting in the previous bake. I don't have high-gluten flour, so just used my usual T65 bread flour.

This was a very messy mix, and the first time in this year of baking bread that I thought wistfully about a mixer: I was up to my wrists in the stuff and wound up resorting to the Rubaud method to make sure all the ingredients were properly incorporated. This is indeed a pudding of a dough, that gets scraped/poured into its pan for proofing.

Things went rather well, but for the fact that I got into trouble with the descending temps every 15 minutes, so the top and bottom got a bit burnt, but I'm quite happy with the crumb (lead photo) and the taste. Will definitely be doing this one again. And, darn it, my parchment got stuck -- that's never happened before.

And a last oat-soaker Abe DNB

Just for good measure. Because I knew we were going to be out for most of the day, I mixed everything together and left it on the counter. I took a look at it when we got home and could probably have proceeded to shaping, but I needed to get dinner underway, so stuck the thing in the fridge until later on, then preshaped and bench rested. The shaping was a bit of a challenge, and I was afraid of frisbees, so I shaped as best I could, coated the loaves with seeds and plopped them into these Pani-bois baking forms, which I'd bought for the rye bakes.


Thank goodness that worked…

Now, what shall this week bring?


not.a.crumb.left's picture

I always enviously looked at posts on IG and here when I saw marbled loaves.

They remind me so much of baking "Marmorkuchen' with my Mum and evoke some of that feeling making it as a bread. I remembered a thread where Dan experimented with chocolate malt.

I could not get any so just used some dark roasted Barley malt instead with some cocoa nibs that I had in the larder and grounded. 

I mixed a Champlain, halved dough after 7 hours AL and then added salt and developed in different containers. This loaf from Trevor is like an old friend now and I use it as the basis for so many of my baking experiments with it's lovely ratio of spelt, rye and white flour.

Bulk was approx 4 hours or so at 76F with 2 -3 folds and I folded the two doughs gently together at the last fold and then let the dough bulk for another hour or so...

Pre-shape, 30 min bench rest

Final Shape, 45 min ambient proof and then 12 hours in the wine cooler at 4C

I was very happy with this as a first attempt...The taste just has a hint of cacao and quite a hearty taste from the malt....   I must try this again.... Kat


ATHK72's picture

I have been baking terrible loaves lately. They were like more discs than loaves. I  decided to throw out time watching and feel the dough instead. Switched out the stainless steel pan for a cast iron skillet to generate all that steam. Abe was really encouraging with his pointers. I learned plenty from Trevor Wilson's Breadwerx and videos. And from Full Proof Baking (she has amazing hands) videos. 

I think I am almost there. 

Regular Bakers Percentage Recipe

100% bread flour (i ran out of wholemeal flour)
2% salt
20% starter (100% hydration) 
72% water

6 hours autolyse with salt added.
Hand mixed the starter in.

The rest of the process below is a guess as I did not track. I only recalled I did the autolyse on Friday, mix on Saturday morning before heading to work, baked on Monday.

SnFx2 with 20mins interval.
Bulk ferment in fridge. Remove, shape, back into the fridge again. 
Bake direct from fridge at 240dc, 20mins with steam. 
Reduce to 230dc, 20mins. 

But I dozed off and the timer didn't go off, I think it actually baked at 230dc for 30-40mins.  




dmsnyder's picture

Sourdough Bread: April 8, 2019

David Snyder

This is another hybrid bread. It differs from my last bake in the following ways:

  1. I substituted a low-protein white whole wheat for the Turkey Red wheat used previously.

  2. I decreased the total dough hydration to 72% because of the lower protein content of the flour mix. At the lower hydration level, the dough was still significantly slacker than the previous bake. It was also remarkably more extensible.

Total Dough

Tot. Flour=1163g



Wt (g)

Bakers' %

High-protein flour



AP flour



Whole Wheat flour



Whole Rye flour



Whole Kamut flour

















Wt (g)

Bakers' %

High-protein flour



Whole Rye flour






Firm starter






  1. Dissolve the starter in the water.

  2. Add the flours and mix thoroughly.

  3. Ferment at 76ºF for 8-10 hours.

  4. Refrigerate for 12 hours or up to 3 days.

Note: I have maintained my 50% hydration starter with feedings as previously described – a bit of rye and the remainder high-protein flour – with feedings about 3 times per week.

Final Dough



Wt (g)

AP flour


WW flour


Whole Rye flour


Whole Kamut flour











  1. Place the flours and water in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix at low speed to a shaggy mass.

  2. Cover the bowl and let it rest (autolyse) for 1-2 hours.

  3. Sprinkle the salt over the surface of the dough. Add the starter in chunks. Mix at Speed 1 for 2 minutes to distribute ingredients then for about 9 minutes at Speed 2 to develop the dough.

  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Shape into a ball.

  5. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl and ferment at 80ºF for about 3 hours with stretch and folds at 50 and 100 minutes.

  6. Divide the dough as desired and pre-shape as balls. Cover and let rest for 10-30 minutes to relax the gluten.

  7. Shape as boules or bâtards and place in floured bannetons. Cover or place in food-grade plastic bags.

  8. Proof for 2-3 hours at room temperature until the loaves have expanded by about 50%.

  9. Refrigerate for 12-40 hours (The longer the cold retardation, the more sour the final loaf).

  10. Remove from refrigerator. Check on degree of proofing. Proof further at 80ºF, as needed. (May need 1-3 hours.) If adequately proofed, proceed to scoring and baking.

  11. Transfer to a peel. Score as desired.

  12. Bake: If baking in Dutch oven, bake at 475ºF covered for 20 minutes, then uncovered at 450ºF for another 10 minutes or until done to satisfaction.

  13. Bake: If baking on the hearth, pre-heat oven at 500ºF for 1 hour with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place. Turn down oven to 460. Load loaf and steam oven. After 15 minutes, remove steam and continue baking for 20-35 minutes, until loaf is baked. (Depends on size and shape of loaf.)

  14. The bread is done when the crust is nicely colored and the loaf sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom. The internal temperature should be at least 205ºF.

  15. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.


I divided the dough into two 250g pieces that were shaped as baguettes and baked after proofing for an hour and two 715g pieces which were shaped as bâtards, proofed at room temperature, retarded for 40 hours, proofed at 80ºF for another hour and 45 minutes then baked.

The baguettes were good but lacked in flavor compared to the retarded loaves.

The bâtard had a more complex flavor and was a little tangier. It was missing the unique and prominent flavor I have come to associate with Turkey Red wheat. It is good, but I have come to enjoy the flavor contribute of whole grain red wheat and miss it in this bread. We'll see how it tastes for breakfast tomorrow.

I do want to experiment more with the low-protein white wheat, but perhaps not in a pain de campagne type bread. How about scones?

Happy baking!


dabrownman's picture

It is a bit less than a month till May the 5th but we will celebrate on May the 4th a Saturday instead.  That way folks that come into from out of town  can fly in in Friday after work and fly home on Sunday 

I live in a lake community called the Islands in Gilbert and there is a community park right next to the lake with Pavilions where we can stretch out,  I'm checking to see if we can have wine and beer outdoors or we will have to have it at my house next to the pool.  

A guy across the street has an Air B&B right on the the lake that is 2,800 SF that will sleep 8 if you want go in on a place close by for a couple of nights on the cheep.  We are 20 minutes from the airport and Scottsdale and 10 minutes to the fun in downtown Gilbert which is hopping on Friday and Saturday nights.

Lucy is serving her best Mexican food so Saturday is covered for food.  She will have beer and wine too and might make her famous Prickly Pear Margaritas for the faithful.  If you walk across the street to sleep it off then no worries about driving!

If you want to bring your favorite bread then suit yourself.  will will have the cheese and wine to go with it.

Send me a RSVP by PM on this site so Lucy can start to get ready.  The mire the merrier.  Cinco de Mayo is all about celebration and I'm ready for one!  How about you?


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