The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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isand66's picture

I was in the mood for a pretty simple but tasty bread so I threw this one together a day after my return from my business trip to Germany.

I used a mix of AP, freshly milled whole wheat and rye along with some rye chops and cracked wheat for added texture.

The addition of the olive oil helped soften the crumb a bit and the toasted onions added a nice subtle onion flavor.

The final bread came out very tasty with a fairly open crumb and thick crust.  The only issue I had was the bottom crust was a little gummy which may have been caused from overproofing the dough but I'm not sure.  I almost never have this issue so hopefully it was an aberration.  Fortunately, the bread still tasted great. If there wasn't snow on the ground I would fire up the grill and throw some slices on with olive oil, garlic and fresh mozzarella.

Enjoy.....can't wait for the next 2 snow storms this week.........NOT :)




Mixed Grain with Toasted OnionsFINAL (weights)

Mixed Grain with Toasted OnionsFINAL (%)


Download the BreadStorm File Here..


Levain Directions

Mix all the Levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 8-12 hours or until the starter is nice and bubbly.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the levain by dissolving the liquid starter in the water, then add the flours and mix well. Ferment at room temperature, covered tightly, until the surface is bubbly and wrinkled. (8-12 hours)

Add onions to water and let sit for 5 minutes to rehydrate.  Add water mixture to flour and mix for 1 minute or less. Cover and autolyse for 30 minutes.
Add the rest of ingredients and mix to incorporate for 3 minutes.  Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

Bulk ferment for 3 hours with stretch and folds in the bowl every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours, then a stretch and fold on the board after 2.5 hours. The dough should have expanded by about 50% and be full of small bubbles.  Refrigerate the dough for 18-24 hours.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and transfer it to a lightly floured board.  Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and pre-shape as a round.  Cover the dough and allow to rest for 60 minutes.

Next, shape as batards and proof for 45 minutes, covered.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 5 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.



jasperdrak's picture

Oops. Well - you can't win 'em all. This monster was supposed to be 8 cheese topped white rolls ( I had a nice bit of cheese going spare so thought I'd give them a go. I used Doves Farm organic white flour. I'm staying at my friend's house (cat sitting) and she has an excellent oven so I couldn't resist trying it out. The dough was very wet and unworkable as I tried to knock it back and knead it. I have no idea what I did wrong. I converted cups to grams etc, so I'm thinking possibly that (!). Bloody cups... So it was either bin the gloopy mess or add flour and see what happens. I tried the latter. Then dolloped it onto an oiled and floured baking tray. And THIS happened. It's actually not too bad! Maybe needs more salt... 

Quite a tight texture and small crumb. What would this type of bread be? Any clues? 

zachyahoo's picture

This was my third time attempting croissants. I used txfarmer's adjusted recipe but I used bread flour instead of the AP suggested. I was really going after those thin layers, the honeycomb, etc.

Unfortunately I didn't have access to a higher quality, high fat, european-style butter, so I tried the "beat some flour into the butter" method. Not sure if this helped or not, but I imagine it helped absorb some of the water from the butter I used, also helping it to plasticize more easily.

The taste with the poolish was really interesting actually. To me it seemed noticeably less sweet and more complex than the recipe I'd been using before (Paul Hollywood's). 

The layers were pretty good, but still not what I'm looking for. However, the shaping was FAR superior than my previous attempts. I was actually able to get the "7 steps" that I was going after- rather than the 5 or even 3  (AH!) from previous batches.

For some reason (more liberal use of resting?), this dough was way easier to stretch and roll up than the other two times I'd done it. I used KA Bread flour instead of the Gold Medal Bread flour - but I changed too many other variables to conclusively say this had anything to do with it.

 Notes for the next time:

  • Mix the dough more thoroughly.
  • Don't forget to add the sugar until the last second! (Boy that was hard to mix in)
  • Maybe add more yeast to make up for the fact that I don't have any osmotolerant yeast
  • Be very rigorous about tidy, accurate folds
  • If there's any doubt, let the dough rest in the fridge. This can only help the final product
  • Be careful with the egg wash! Don't let it drip into the layers! (I tried to do this, but wasn't as successful with the second egg wash, right before going into the oven)

Here are some pictures from my previous attempts at shaping (oof, they're rough!)

jasperdrak's picture

The experimentation and excitement continues. Who knew you could get excited by a bread roll? Forgive me - I'm a newbie remember. I haven't tried using white flour or making white bread so I thought I would start small, half a roll recipe and see what happened. I made these four wee things yesterday. The recipe is here:

I thought they looked a bit pale so left them in for a few minutes more. They tasted fantastic. I am a recently lapsed vegetarian, so of course it had to be good dry cured smoked back bacon I filled them with. Here's a slightly wobbly crumb shot. I promise I'll get better. (There is an indelible little blue/black scratch on my phone's camera lens, so try and ignore it if you find it - on the top right roll above) ;)  


Yippee's picture


Custom made for someone special...

100% whole wheat (Giusto's organic high protein) flour, 50% pre-fermented with starter and raisin yeast water; 60% sprouted grain mix: lentils, millets, soy beans, corns, and wheat berries.

 Pictures here...





zachyahoo's picture

I've made Ken Forkish's White Bread with Poolish several times, but this was my first time attempting his 80% Biga. This dough was incredible! So bouncy and full of life!

Unfortunately, because I've yet to get any bannetons, I'm still using a cloth lined bowl/cloth on the counter. This time, although I floured the cloths (with what I thought was) very heavily, both batards stuck to them, and there was some tearing when putting the loaf on the peel. 

I didn't have super high hopes because my scoring was so ineffective, given the messed up surface of the bread..

–but OH MY GOD the crumb is amazing! I've never ever seen such a glossy crumb. There are these ultra thin shiny gluten membranes that are blowing my mind. (It tastes great too!) 

Given the size of the holes I have in there, I definitely should have pressed some more air out of the dough while shaping, but I'm very excited by this new development!

Here's a quick video looking at the gloss as well

Skibum's picture

Well this is the nicest loaf of pulla I have baked in some time. With this being ski season, I began taking shortcuts. I assumed that because I was using a sponge, I could use less than a fresh starter. I did and the previous two bakes had about 1/3 less oven spring than this bake. For this bake I refreshed my 100% starter 1:1:1 and left it on the kitchen counter overnight to double or more and then fall back. I then began the sponge and the bake and easily +1/3 more oven spring. With the additional oven spring the crumb was lighter and less chewy. So much for shortcuts.

Three or four pulla bakes ago, I absent mindedly used 100% strong bread flour. Prior I used about half and half BF and AP. To my surprise the 100% BF dough was more extensible when rolling out the braids than the blend. So all of my pulla is now 100% strong bread flour which I buy out the back door of our local artisanal bakery JK Bakery.

One of the things I love about cooking and baking is that is an ongoing learning experience. Oh yeah, my baiding is getting a little better with each loaf.

Happy baking! Ski

Mebake's picture

Hi fellow TFL mates, and a belated Happy holidays to you all.

There is progess.. slow, but sure. The Bakery name has been decided. A Location has been found.  Although FAR from the city center, and cast away inside a Mall at a residential community (the only decent space we could afford for now....),  the location shows promise. The surrounding residential community is growing, and families / households who love and know good bread actually do exist in the not-so-far vicinity!  

Equipments have been shortlisted, we’ve salivated over their pictures, but we are yet to sign the deal in anticipation of a miracle/ investor to shoulder some of the burden associated with Capital startup costs. Negotiations with a fit-outs contractor also is underway, but, ...

 We face numerous obstacles as i write this. After many attempts to raise the Power connection to a decent level fit for a Bakery, we've reluctantly settled on a 45 KW power load (An ordinary 3 deck electric oven feeds on a 30 Kilowatts all on its own!)  Gas is out of question (technically) for now, and an auxiliary power unit (generator/inverter) fitted outside/on the roof is not permitted.... which leaves us with 15 KW to run the whole show!  

 Furthermore, negotiations with many Investors are still in the works, as we try to convince their royalties that the concept is worthy of their hard earned money, all while baking sourdough for them to try and sell them on the idea. 

The part of me baking still lives on, as i continue to bake for Markets both at ARTE, and The Mall where the Bakery space is located. Recently, I’ve been asked by the Market host to do a workshop on Bread making, and so I did. It proved to be a hassle the first time, but I’m beginning to adapt to , even like the new undertaking. It is in the afternoon, but i appreciate the smile on their faces when they mix a wet shaggy dough and transform it into a soft elastic dough. Priceless

That is all in a nutshell ;)

Wishing you all the best. Bake on people. Believe. I’ll leave you with some of my recent bakes.

50% Atta Whole Wheat Sourdough

50% whole wheat crumb

50% Whole Wheat Walnut-Raisin Sourdough





The Krusty Loafer's picture
The Krusty Loafer

Baked last week using 70% hydration, 1% semolina 1% fresh ground whole wheat and 98% 00 Antimo Caputo. USed Richard Bertinet kneading method. Taste, thickness of crust, crumb, etc were outstanding.  The only thing is the next time, I will leave out the semolina.  Tended to make the crumb a little rubbery.

thedoughycoed's picture

I am no longer thedoughycoed, but the doughy recent graduate with a job doesn't look as good typed without spaces. I graduated in May and got a job and my own apartment with a real kitchen and the type of counterspace that dreams are made of. 

I prepared liege waffles the night before a huge snowstorm to reward myself for shoveling the driveway. I used "smitten kitchen's" recipe, and they were excellent recovery fuel. And yes . . . that is apple pie moonshine because it was a big storm, and I am a small girl, and my dad lives 3 hours away and can't clear the driveway for me, and gosh darnit, I earned it. 

I made KAF's "Italian Supermarket Bread." It's an exact replica of bread basket bread from Italian/American Restaurants, perfect to eat too much of before a bowl of pasta or to turn into garlic bread the next day. I did both . . .

Not leavened, so maybe it doesn't count, but I MADE MY FIRST PIE. My grandma is probably the queen of pies, and yet I did not make a pie in all 22 years of my life. I used the "Americas Test Kitchen" pie crust recipe with vodka, and it was a dream to work with. 

This past Thanksgiving, I wasn't able to travel home, so I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for my parents and friends at my new place. I have a super tiny family, so our biggest Thanksgiving was only 6 people; well I had 8 people and did all the cooking. I made "Field Blend 2" as baguettes. People are always impressed by baguettes, and what does any Thanksgiving table need more than another carb? 

I have a deep-seeded fear of large vats of hot oil (there was a homemade tortilla chip incident in college), but I made KAF's apple cider doughnuts, and they were worth it. Can I make an "immersion therapy" joke here in reference to deep frying? 


More "Field Blend #2" because I'm a woman who knows what she likes, and the wheat and rye make me feel slightly better about eating an entire loaf by myself. 

After many experiences with bagels that shook my confidence as a baker to its very core, I finally had success with floydm's bagel recipe. I made these just today and they too will become excellent shoveling fuel.


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