The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


edwardf's picture

Half white half stoneground wholemeal. Mixed seeds at 10% bakers percentage. 

Benito's picture

I’m really sorry if I’m boring you guys, but I’m learning a lot as I repeatedly bake the same recipe.  I did this with Maurizio’s Beginner Sourdough and then Kirsten’s basic sourdough and now this 50% whole grain sourdough.  Up until now I hadn’t done any sourdough with this high a whole grain percentage, prior to this my 40% was a flat pancake.  However, after learning a few things in particular lamination when we did the CB with Kirsten, I feel that I’m getting a better handle on building structure.  With this particular dough I built structure with slap and folds, and then during bulk fermentation a lamination and 3 coil folds.  I pushed the hydration a tiny bit up to 81% this time and also added some diastatic malt powder 0.5%.  My strong white flour isn’t malted and I noticed that the original recipe had malted strong white flour.  Bulk fermentation at 80ºF went for 3.5 hours and the dough looked nicely fermented so I did a pre-shape trying to make the skin nice and taut (since spelt doesn’t have great gluten) and then tried to get a good taut batard shape.  After getting the dough into the banneton I did some stitching of the seam to try to keep the surface nice and taut.  I think this was quite successful, hopefully the crumb is nice and even and relatively open when I cut it.


Pierre-Louis's picture








Bob’s red mill bread flour



Starter (1-2-2)















My french flour run out so I baked these with Bob's red mill flour. Here is my schedule :


Built starter


Incorporate starter (slap and fold)

Add salt (slap and fold)

Simple Fold


Coil folds



10 am

3 pm

4 pm

4:30 pm

5 pm

6:30 pm

6:15 - 7 - 7:45 pm

9 pm

3 pm next day

Bulk rise is 5 hours total. I planned on doing 6 hours but it seemed ready after 5. Going by feels pays off as those are the best looking loaves I ever did. Cold proofed 18 hours, now that's a bit too much for me. The bread is sour. Not in a bad way, but I prefer when it's not as sour. Never proofed so long before but I couldn't bake earlier because of my schedule. I baked them in a dutch oven and added a bit of hot water before closing the lid. My (french) dad said that little bubbles on the bread point to too much steam but I like the bubbles.

loydb's picture

I've been baking yeasted breads while I rebuilt a starter. Yesterday was the first bake with it, and I'm pleased.

The recipe is the San Francisco sourdough from BBA. I milled 5% rye and 95% hard white wheat.

I did stretch and folds every 20 minutes for the first two hours, then left it alone for three hours. Shaped and put into a banneton, then into the fridge to proof for two hours.

It's very lightly sour, which I expect from a new starter. I'll see how it develops over the next month before making a decision to keep or not.

WatertownNewbie's picture

After reading about this recipe, I decided to go for it, especially because I had never tried a 100% spelt loaf before and I like black treacle.  For the initial mixing I included sixty-five slap-and-folds because the dough felt reasonably strong, and that seemed to be fine.  Although I did try the letter fold technique for the first S&F, the dough stuck to my counter a lot, and I opted to leave the dough in my 6-quart Cambro tub for the second S&F and did the usual reach-under-and-lift-up.

The bulk fermentation took about an hour, but the final proofing accelerated, and I left the dough in bannetons for only 38 minutes (rather than the suggested 50 minutes from the recipe).  I shaped a boule for the Dutch oven and a batard for my baking stone.  The lid stayed on the Dutch oven for the first 20 minutes, and total time for that loaf was 39 minutes.  For the baking stone I opened the oven door after twelve minutes to vent steam and flipped the loaf around at the twenty minute mark.  Total time for the batard was 37 minutes.

The crust is crisp, and the crumb has a nice subtle but observable flavor supplied by the black treacle.  I suspect that this bread will toast very nicely too.  Scoring was difficult in that the dough is very soft and puffy, and the oven spring from spelt is not what you get from bread flour or all-purpose, but this was a fun bread to make.  In addition, because this bread uses only instant yeast and no preferment, I started at 9:00 am and removed the loaves slightly before 2:00 pm.

Here are the two loaves (photos spliced).

Here is the crumb from the batard.

Carb Addict's picture
Carb Addict

I have a simple question. Why is it that we are supposed to put the shaped loaf into the banaton with the seam side UP? It seems counterintuitive to me, since the tension is on the TOP of the loaf; not on the bottom. Yet, my bread does turn out pretty good most of the time.

I don't have a round banaton. When I make boules (rarely these days), I never do that. I just put the dough on parchment and place with the top UP in a glass bowl, not with the seam up.

BTW, I bake sourdough. My starter, which I have had for about 3 years now, is very active. Even if I have not baked for several months all I need to do is feed it a couple of times over 24 hours and BOOM.

ninarosner's picture

I replicated the method of Loaf 11 because of good result. Fewer S&Fs. 


100% (500g) wholewheat stoneground flour (12.7g protein per 100g)
15% (75g) starter
85% (425g) hydration
2% (10g) salt


1 day before, I discarded most of the starter leaving only about 2 tbsp. Refreshed this with 50g water and 50g WW flour.

12.00: AL flour and water
13.00: Mixed in starter and salt, kneaded lightly on countertop, left to sit. *then went out for a walk so couldn't do S&Fs till later*
16.30: S&F
17.30: S&F
18.30: S&F
22:30: Shape into boule, and placed seam side up in floured tea-towel, in colander. Into fridge to proof overnight
09.45 next day: Out of fridge, oven on to warm up
10:45: Into dutch oven, score, and into oven at ~230c
11.05: Lid off
11.35: Out of oven to cool.


Good! The thing which is letting me down most right now is my dutch oven. It's too small for my breads, so they get squashed in there. Meaning (I think) they don't rise and open as much as they would like to. I'm keen to experiment without dutch oven and with steam method instead... though I don't have a baking stone.


SeasideJess's picture

Since folks have been sharing their simple whole wheat loaves, I thought I should share this. It's a very easy, straightforward bake and makes an absolutely delicious, moist and flavorful loaf of bread.  It's adapted from  Patrick Ryan corrected the salt and added a pseudo autolyse (with yeast but no salt.)The hydration is 73% and is really perfect.This recipe produces two 600 gram loaves.

  • 700g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 510ml water
  • 35g black treacle (or honey, molasses, or barley malt syrup, which is what I used)
  • 20g salt
  • 7g dry yeast

2 x 400g (1lb) loaf tins or 20cm (8inch) proving baskets

  1. Mix together the molasses/black treacle/barley malt syrup and the water.
  2. Add the water mix to the spelt flour. Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Use a dough whisk to just combine. Let sit for 1 hour to hydrate the gluten and bran.
  3. Spread the dough out on a counter and add the salt. Roll the dough up, fold it over, and knead for about three minutes, until the salt is mixed in. The gluten is already developed by the rest, so it doesn't need much kneading. The dough will be very springy, cohesive, and tacky, and will show windowpane after a brief rest.
  4. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let it rest for 20-30 mins at room temperature.
  5. After 30 minutes turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and stretch the dough out like a sheet, and give it a letter fold. This helps to build strength within the dough. Fold the dough in thirds from one side and then the other, then roll it up from top to bottom. Return the dough to the bowl, seam side down. Cover and leave to rest for another 20-30 minutes.
  6. Again, turn the dough out onto a clean work surface then stretch the dough out and give it another letter fold. Return to the bowl and for a further 60 minutes until fully proofed.
  7. Turn out the dough on to a clean kitchen surface and do a gentle letter fold to knock back. Don't stretch it as much as before: allow it to keep some thickness and air. Pop any large bubbles. Divide the dough into two then shape each piece of dough into a rough round shape.
  8. If making a round loaf, tighten the round. (You can watch how to shape the dough in the video). Place the shaped dough upside down into a floured proving basket, seam side facing up, or alternatively in a bowl lined with a lightly floured tea towel
  9. Alternatively, the dough can be shaped and placed into a bread tin. (You can watch how to shape the dough in the video). Once the dough has been shaped, place it in a buttered floured loaf tin.
  10. Leave the dough to prove at room temperature for about 50 minutes. While it's proving, pre-heat the oven to 230°C/425°F and get your steaming setup ready, if desired.  Turn the dough out of the basket onto a baking tray and score the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or baker’s razor blade. Or if using a bread tin, dust the surface of the dough with some wholemeal spelt flour before placing into the oven.
  11. Place the loaves in the oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a good crust has formed and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the base.

Here's a picture of the dough after the first letter fold. 

Dough after letter fold

yozzause's picture

I managed to bottle 30 bottles of Australian Ale just the other day from my home brew and also kept the dregs from the bottom of the fermenter. I decided to use some of that today to raise my dough, often referred to as a Beer Barm. I quickly worked out a dough formula and was going to make a 1KG dough but then decided that a single 750g loaf would be the go. i shook the bottle up that contained the Barm and weighed off an equal amount of flour and barm combined the two and set aside, i marked the container so that we could see its progress and its time frame. In just over two hours it was crowning and set to be used. i weighed up the rest of the ingredients and made the dough which was finished at 7.00 not sure how long the bulk fermentation will take shall have to play it by ear. More to follow tomorrow as i am off to bed

Flour 420g : Salt 9g : Malt extract 9g : Butter 9g : Beer Barm 104g : Water 233g.

After heading for bed and placing the dough into the fridge at 9.00 last night i retrieved it at 5 this morning and at 7.00 it was knocked back given recovery time and shaped at 7.30. The shape is a new one that i haven't done before and quite pleased with the result. you roll out 6 strands of dough lay 3 down in the horizontal plane and three in the vertical plane over lapping alternatively in the middle, from there you proceed to plait three strands together away from the centre which produces a star effect, you then roll these arms under the loaf to make a ball. Voila! Cutting and tasting still to come, and if the taste testing proves to be ok and anyone wants to try using the Australian Ale Barm i'd be happy to make some available to you to try ( Perth Western Australia). Mean while i have some of the ferment that i fed on with more w/m that looks like it needs to be used or fed again pretty much like you do with a sour dough, except that it's not a sourdough its just propagation of the yeasts that were used in the brewing process Saccharomyces cerevisiae


FOOTNOTE With many people suffering shortages of yeast this may be the way to go!

And the taste was very good too, I will be trying it again with extra feed of flour thrown in to the equation.


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