The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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isand66's picture

  I love pecans and remembered the other day that I had some pecan meal left over just yelling at me to use it.  What better use than in a new version of a porridge bread.

I also found some bulgar, cracked wheat, rye chops and malted wheat flakes to use in the porridge which smelled amazing while cooking.

I used some fresh milled spelt, durum, and rye along with some AP flour, potato flour and KAF French style flour.

The end result was a dark looking bread that was soft with a chewy crust and is bursting with flavor.  The pecans are not very obvious in the final bread but you can taste them just enough.

I highly recommend trying this one if you have all the ingredients as you won't be disappointed.


Pecan Multi Grain Porridge Bread (%)

Pecan Multi Grain Porridge Bread (weights)

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.


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 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.  You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

Porridge Directions

Add about 3/4's of the milk called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the milk is absorbed.  Add the remainder of the milk and keep stirring until you have a nice creamy and soft porridge.  Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature before adding to the dough.  I put mine in the refrigerator and let it cool quicker.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours  and the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, cooled porridge, potatoes and salt and mix on low for 5 minutes.  Now add the onions and mix on low for another minute until they are incorporated.    You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but very manageable.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

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.


My little seal dog....Lexi cooling off at the beach yesterday
Max prefers the sand to the water :)
DSC_0115 (1)
Busy Bee on one of my cone flowers.


STUinlouisa's picture

This bread is a continuation of trying to perfect a technique of baking in a Kamado style but metal grill. The bread is also an experiment because of using a high percentage of old dough something I've never done before (had a left over ball of natural leavened pizza dough). I know I really need to concentrate on one thing at a time but can't seem to help myself.


315g old dough ( 40% fresh ground white wheat 60% KA AP)

125g active starter

200g water

35g fresh ground Rye

35g fresh ground Einkorn

230g KA AP

10g salt

Combine the water, old dough and starter in a bowl stirring to breakup old dough and starter. Add the other flours and mix  till a shabby dough forms. Make a depression in the center of the blob and add the salt and just enough water to start dissolving it. Let sit for 20 minutes then do pinch and folds to distribute the salt and give the gluten a bit of workout. Form a ball and cover. Do S&F every ten minutes four times cover and let ferment. Went fast due to warm temps and active dough. Form  boule and place in rice floured cloth lined banneton let double and put in fridge while preheating grill and stone  to 500F.  Flip the boule onto a rice flour dusted peel and score, or in my case attempt to score, then scoot it onto the stone and cover with a stainless steel mixing bowl. Turn down the vents on the grill to start cooling it. Bake for 15 minutes and remove the bowl. Turn down vents even more. Bake another 15 minutes.  Final temp in grill was 410F.

 Just cut and tasted the bread. It has the hole structure and creamy crumb of a Tartine style loaf and was not sour like I thought it might be.

It was a pretty successful bake (luck) the only improvements needed are a better top crust and better scoring technique.

Next time I'll try preheating a DO bottom using it as the lid, scoring can only get better.



Colin_Sutton's picture

So, last week I posted the first sourdough loaf that I wasn't too embarrassed to upload on here.

So far, my sourdough experiences, including today, have produced loaves which spread as much as they rise.

I would really like to produce something more like a recent posting by KathyF, who not only uploaded an inspiring photo of her variation of 1-2-3 Sourdough, but kindly provided her exact quantities and method in the thread on request.

I can cheerfully say that KathyF must have an amazing level of skill, which completely alludes me.  I want beautiful boules like hers, not discs like mine :-(

Adapting KathyF's quantities, I came up with the following and made two loaves (quantities include the final build of the 58% hydration levain):

  • All-purpose flour: 96%
  • White wholemeal flour: 4%
  • Water: 65%
  • Salt: 2%
  • Diastatic malt: 1%
  • Seed starter: 7%

Anyway, it was Friday evening, I’d had a horrible week and the thing that was keeping me going was the thought of some weekend baking.

Everything was mixed, some stretch & folds done and bulk fermentation was almost finished by midnight… and then I fell asleep, only to wake up 4 hours later to bubbling dough resembling the moster from The Quatermass Experiment in my Brød & Taylor folding proofer.

That dough ended up in the trash.

I didn't have enough spare levain from the previous build, so mixed some more (in a sleepy 4am haze), left it to ferment and started over the following morning.  Next time I think I will just have to retard the bulk dough overnight, as this isn't the first time this has happened.

Here's some notes on the second attempt, including variations from KathyF's version:

Method followed [updated since original post]:

  1. Autolyse for 30 minutes;
  2. 10 minutes in the KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook on a low speed;
  3. Bulk fermentation at 27°C (80°F) for 3.5 hours (approximately 37% increase in volume);
  4. Two sets of stretch and folds at 45 minute intervals in the early stages;
  5. Pre-shape, 20 minute bench-rest, form into two boules, place in bannetons sprinkled with brown rice flour, proved as follows:
  6. Prove 1st loaf at 27°C (80°F) for 3 hours;
  7. Prove 2nd loaf for 1 hour at 27°C (80°F) then retard for 4 hours at 4°C (40°F);
  8. Place each loaf in a La Couche, pre-heated to 260°C (500°F);
  9. Dropped the oven temperature to 230°C (445°F);
  10. Bake for approximately 20 minutes covered, and then 25-30 minutes uncovered.

I'm still finding dough at these hydrations tricky to handle, though my shaping of the final loaves was a bit more confident than last week, and I could feel the skin round the dough tightening during the final shape.

The loaf proved at room temperature was rather badly scored and didn't produce a mass of oven spring.  The loaf retarded in the fridge was easier to score, and I baked it at a slightly lower temperature and a little less time, with a fraction more spring.

Instead of the lofty boules I had hoped for, I still produced proved - but fairly flat loaves - though they are risen and taste great, have have a slightly glossy crumb.

When will I come close to the beautiful round boule I was aiming for?

  • Is the hydration far too high for European flours?
  • Am I proving too long?
  • Have I just not learned to create enough tension when shaping?

Comments and suggestions from readers last week were really helpful, so please don’t hesitate to chime-in - you guys are very generous with your advice.

Happy baking! Colin.

PS: I've started also been Tweeting some of my bakes from @ctwangel - I'll follow back bakers from here who also Tweet.

FrugalBaker's picture

Over the last 2 weeks, I bought a couple of things to fulfill my curiosity in bread making. First off, I bought 'Bread Revolution' by Peter Reinhart. It is an interesting book, lots of explaination and beautiful bread pictures too. Though, there was one particular chapter that caught my attention, Sprouted Flour Bread

I know dabrownman is the godfather on TFL when it comes to sprouted grain bread. Read his blog a couple of times, impressive indeed but never felt adventurous enough to wade into that territory. So with this book in tow, I too, have decided to sprout my own grain. Went to the health food store but only able to find some oat rye or wheat berries either. With my inexperienced eyes, I only realised that those groats are actually hulled. Not wanting to dampen the spirit, I went ahead and tried sprouting them but to no avail. Followed the sprouting process like how Mr Reinhart advised and ground the groats into flour. 

Then came spanking new toy for the kitchen, my beloved Dutch Oven arrived, yay! The result of those two things ended up as a very tasty loaf of tartine bread indeed. I got what I have always hoped for in a loaf, brown crunchy thin crust, good oven spring and open crumbs! What else could I ask for? 


Crumb shot...I can see an ear!



Breakfast time : )


Please feel free to comment. Happy Baking!






dabrownman's picture

It has been some time since josh posted one of his loaves but of them from long ago was a double levain loaf that has a dark starter and an white starter mix into the dough.  Lucy was taken by this and she put it away for a rainy day but those are few and far between in the 110 F days of summer when the monsoon is far away.


We have built Detmolder and Desem levain and starter when different hydration and temperatures can be used at various stages to bring out certain characteristic in the dough.  Josh was using different flours to do the same thing.  Lucy thought she would put them all together to some degree and see what happens.


Once again the KA bread flour on the left is the whitest of the flours used.  Top right is the 80% extraction 5 sprouted grain and the below left is the Winco unbleached AP..

We really didn’t do anything close to how you start a Desem starter though.  but that process is slightly aligned with Mini Oven’s Ancient Starter method of burying a dough ball in flour for 7 days. Ancient But Not Mini Oven's No Muss No Fuss 'Leave me Alone' Starter - 8 Days Later. The Detmolder levain process can be found here 


It didn’t do much for me seeming like to much work but, like Lucy, maybe these methods will get you thinking about what is going on in starters and levains and help you to bring out additional flavors in your SD bread whether you want them or not..


We made 2 separate levains for this bread.  One made with the 30% hard bit extraction of sprouted 5 grains consisting of: spelt, wheat, buckwheat, oat and Kamut. Notice there is no rye since we are still out of rye berries but the starter seed was from our 100% whole rye 11 week retarded No Muss No Fuss starter.


This one was a 3 stage build where the first stage was liquid at 100% hydration , the 2nd stage was stiff at 66% hydration and the 3rd stage got the levain back to 100% hydration and art each stage doubled the amount of flour used starting with 10 g of seed rye sour starter.  The stages were 2, 3 and 3 hours and done at 80 F.


After the starter had doubled after the 3rd stage we took out 2g and refrigerated the rest for 24 hours.  We took the 2 g and used that to make a smaller AP white flour starter following the same time and hydration schedules but upping the temperature to 90 F.  After it had doubled we retarded it for 16 hours.


I usually don’t question Lucy’s bread recipes that much but this was a lot of work for a loaf of bread.   After her latest fiasco with the app that inactivates all the other apps on any device it is loaded on until you pay her to fix your device and a run in with the FBI I am getting more discriminating about her potentially insane thoughts and deeds.


Instead of warming up the levains on the counter the next morning for 2 hours as the dough flour was autolysed with the water and the salt sprinkled on top like usual we left the levains in the fridge so they were 36 F when they hit the mix.  This was probably a good thing since the kitchen was high 80’s and low 90’s yesterday.


An nice breakfast is essential on bake day.  This one has a blueberry pancake lurking underneath.

Once everything came together we did 3 sets of slap and folds of 8,1 and 1 minutes followed by 3 sets of gentle stretch and folds – all on 30 minute intervals.  It felt a little slack at the end so next time I will cut the hydration a couple of percent.


This bread made a fine lunch sandwich of Swiss cheese and smoked beef sausage with the usual fixings.

,Sprouted whole grains, where the majority are low gluten to begin with, don’t take up water like whole wheat.  The dough was placed in an olive oil coated bowl covered in plastic wrap and bulk retarded for 10 hours.  We let the cold dough warm up for 1 ½ hours this morning and then shaped it gently into a boule and let it proof for another 1 ½ hours at 88 F before firing up Big Old Betsy to 450 F.  This pre heat is 50 F less than normal.


The reason is because we plan to bake this bread in a DO at 425 F under stream instead of out usual 450 F after Dough.doc posted the Larraburu baking process earlier this week.  The lower temperatures may make for a better rising loaf and a thinner crust.  I can’t abide or side with the supposed 105 F (4) hour final proof though.  I would have goo in one hour every time.


After un-molding, slashing it T-Rex style and 20 minutes of steam,  the lid came off and we baked the bread for anther 20 minutes at 425 F convection until it looked and thumped done .  The bread bloomed and browned fairly well. That mahogany color really came through.  It spread a bit too because the hydration was a bit too high.  It smell great coming out of the oven.  We will have to wait n the crumb shot.    The crumb came out very soft but resilient  The crust was very thin and it went soft as it cooled.  The taste we fantastic. Tangy and sour - and the whole sprouted grains really came through.  Perhaps the holes could have been larger but we always go for taste instead anyway.

Lucy says not to forget the salad






SD Levain Build

Build 1-3

Build 1-3


101week Retarded Rye Sour




Winco AP




30% Extraction % Sprouted Grains




















SD & YW Levain Totals




Sprouted a& Non Sprouted Flour








Levain Hydration




% Pre-fermented  Flour








Dough Flour




KA Bread Flour




70% Exaction Sprouted Grain




Winco AP




Total Dough Flour




















Total Flour w/ Starter












Total Hydration with Levains




Total Weight




% Whole & Sprouted Grain








Sprouted grains are equal amounts of:




 Kamut. spelt, buckwheat, oat and wheat





alfanso's picture

Inspiration comes from a few places.  I almost never crack open either of my two bread baking books anymore, as the world of TFL is the best on the market!  My main interests in the next loaf to tackle are usually spurred on by something in the Bread Browser, the Also on TFL or someone’s Recent Blog Entries posting.

For a while I’d been eyeing WoodenSpoon’s Rye Levain batard in the Also column.  Having delved into the world of rye flour dough recently, the time had come.  Especially since I had some still potent stiff rye levain from recent breads I made this past month.  I very much like the Greenstein-Snyder method of gauging the maturity in the rise of a rye sour levain.  Sprinkle some rye flour on top and watch for it to dome and separate into “islands”.  With a very stiff levain build such as used here, that rise is minimal, but the “cracking open” of the loose flour sprinkled on top is a sure-fire indicator that the levain is active and healthy.  

Changes from the original formula:

  • adjusted for 1500g, three batards at 500g each
  • No milling of my own flours – I use off-the-shelf products
  • I wouldn’t know a “rye chop” if it came up and bit me from behind, so that was out
  • I took WoodenSpoon’s word as is when he states “Bread Flour”.  Not having any on hand (apparently too lazy to git me sum), I used a combination of AP flour and Vital Wheat Gluten, using my now handy Pearson’s Square to accurately calculate the (somewhere around) 13.3% total protein that using bread flour would provide.
  • Bulk ferment for 2 hours with letter folds at 40, 60 and 80 minutes and a final 40 minute bulk bench rest.
  • Refrigerate for ~1 hour, then divide and pre-shape, 10 minute rest, and final shape.  
  • Onto a couche, then slipped inside plastic bags to preserve moisture and prevent any surface drying.  Retard for ~18 hours.
  • Scored directly from the refrigerator and put into the 500dF oven, already under steam, add 2 cups very hot water to the lava rock pan, and pull my face back quickly!
  • 15 minutes of steam at 450dF, rotate and continue baking for another 22 minutes with 5 minutes of venting at the end.

Retarded overnight, a light shower of raw flour, scored and ready for the oven


Steam released and rotated after 15 minutes

The Kids are Alright

A little denser than I was expecting


sfsourdoughnut's picture


Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Beer Bread

Even though I’ve never really liked raisins, I’ve always loved cinnamon raisin bread toasted to perfection then slathered with butter, melting into the nooks and crannys.  But I wondered, what would it be like if I made it with sourdough starter?  Even better, what would happen if I replaced some of the water with beer?  Well, I did both and the result is not only bread that tastes like a cinnamon roll, but with the subtlety of the sourness from the sourdough and the hoppiness of the beer.

The recipe is the same as any sourdough bread.  The only difference is I replace some of the water with beer.  I use part of the beer to rehydrate the raisins and the rest goes into the dough.  Plus I dust the final dough before I form into the loaves with cinnamon and sugar.  That's it, and Viola!

1 - 12 oz bottle decent beer (I used either Lagunitas IPA or Deschuttes Black Butte Porter) divided
80g raisins720g King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour
200g filtered Water
150g 100% starter (50g starter-50g water-50g flour)
14g sea salt
2-4 Tbsp Cinnamon
2-4 Tbsp granulated sugar
Cornmeal to dust bottom of dutch oven

Autolyze the main dough of Flour/Water/Beer

In an 8 cup bowl, place
200g beer
200g filtered water
600g All Purpose Flour

Stir to combine until the liquid has absorbed all the flour and no flour remains on the bottom or sides of the bowl. Set aside to autolyze/rest for 8 hours or overnight.

 Rehydrate the raisins and set aside.
In a tall glass, place:
80g raisins
156g (remaining) beer

Awaken the starter – in a 2 cup bowl:
50g starter
50g filtered water
50g flour

Whisk well, cover and leave on counter to awaken

Then, after 8-12 hours, refresh again:
toss all but 50g of starter, add 50g water and 50g flour, whisk well, cover and set aside for 1 more hour

After the second starter refresh is completed, drain beer from raisins into a cup, saving beer (you should have about 120g), add 120g flour to the remaining beer, whisk together.
Add the beer/flour mixture and the refreshed starter into large bowl of the main dough (autolyzed flour water beer), along with raisins and salt.  Hand mix to combine well (if you wet your hand frequently, the dough won’t stick as easily).

Every 20-30 minutes, wet your mixing hand and do the Ken Forkish stretch and fold and rotate 5-8 times, until dough starts to come together. Cover with greased plastic wrap to keep surface moist after each stretch and fold.

After 2 hours and the last stretch and fold, cover and place in refrigerator overnight.

The next day, remove dough from refrigerator and allow to warm up for about 1 hour.

Remove from bowl by lighting dusting all around edge, pulling the dough gently away from bowl so flour falls to the bottom of bowl.
Gently pour dough onto a lightly floured surface.  You are trying to preserve the bubbles and not tear the dough.
Divide into 1/3rd and 2/3rds (I do a 1lb loaf and a 2lb loaf).
Once again, using the Ken Forkish method, on a lightly floured surface, lightly stretch out each dough into a small rectangle, again, trying to preserve any formed bubbles (no rolling pins please).
Dust each surface liberally with cinnamon and sugar (I cover each surface amply).
Do the envelope fold over on top of the dusted cinnamon and sugar side, rotating the dough 1/8 turn for each fold over.

Once the cinnamon and sugar have been completely covered by the fold-overs, seal the seam side, roll over and gently roll into a ball.    You are trying to have the cinnamon and sugar on the interior of each loaf.

Set in a lightly greased bowl, seam side down, covered lightly with a greased plastic wrap.
Do the same with the other piece of dough.

Allow to rise for 1-3 hours, until bubbles form throughout the dough.  Do not over-proof.

During the last ½ hour of the rise, place 2 dutch ovens (2lb and 1lb) with lids in a 475F oven.

Once oven comes to temperature, open oven door, remove lids to side of inside of oven.

Put about 1-2 Tablespoons of corn meal on the bottom of each dutch oven.
Add the dough (large in large, small in small).  Slash the tops.
Cover with lids (I have foil around my lid to form a tighter seal).

Reduce oven temperature to 425F.  Bake covered for 30-40 minutes (check at 30, if not brown yet, go another 10 minutes).

After 40 minutes, remove both loaves from dutch ovens and place back on the rack to finish cooking until the internal temperature is between 205F and 210F degrees (another 10-15 minutes).  The small loaf may be done after 40 minutes.  Just keep checking the temperature.

Remove from oven onto a cooling rack.  Allow to cool before slicing (if you can wait).

Serve warm or toasted with melted butter, or jam, or with broiled muenster cheese on top.

I use All Purpose Flour in this recipe as it delivers a softer, moister crumb.  I am not looking for a “hearty” loaf, hence no whole wheat flour.  Feel free to experiment however and keep me posted.
Bon Appetit!

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

I have come to the conclusion that soaking the flour over night just makes bread much tastier. NOW if I could only remember to record all the amounts and ingredients I put in!

STUinlouisa's picture

Had the idea this morning and wanted to make it today so  this is a hybrid.

100g barley + 100g buckwheat milled on the course setting of my KoMo. 

400g milk 300g water and a pinch of salt

Cook until a thick porrage forms and let cool to room temp. 

125g ripe starter,300g water, the porrage, 250g KA AP, 250g fresh milled high extraction white wheat.

Mix and let autolyse. 

Add 15g salt,  25g sorghum syrup and 4g hydrated IY.

At this point a some more AP was added because the dough was way too hydrated I think it was  about 50g.

Do (or attempt) S&F every 15 min three times. This is the most sticky and slack dough I've worked with since trying 100% Einkorn. Let ferment until double.

Form a boule and proof in cloth lined bannetons dusted with a  combo of rice and white wheat flour until double. 

These were baked in a Chargriller Akorn grill on the stone diffuser that was preheated to 425F checked with an IR thermometer.  This was my  first bake in the grill but don't think it will be the last. The loaves were done to an internal temp of 210F in about 20 minutes. A lot faster than expected. 

Just tried the bread. It made a tasty loaf with a very moist crumb. The only thing it needs is a  crisper crust.

The other thing I have to figure out is how to introduce steam in a charcoal grill. Ideas anyone.




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