The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


ClaireThePear33's picture

I followed Chad Robertson's recipe for country rye loaf here, flavour is great, sweet and nutty, although crumb is a little firm

Cedar Mountain's picture
Cedar Mountain


I am amazed at the depth and breadth of available, readily shared information on this forum; there doesn't seem to be much that hasn't already been tried by the many talented and skilled bakers posting here. But the beauty of being part of this community is being able to learn from others' experience while exploring one's own bread baking... as a relatively novice baker, everything is still new and interesting and there are so many different things that draw my attention. That's good and not so good unless one can be disciplined enough to stay focused on one thing at a time. I am currently tinkering with rye breads while staying close to what I have learned over the past few months baking fairly basic sourdough bread; it's the nature of the novice to hold to what has already been learned and practiced.  But without being bold enough to try changing things up, to expand the base experience, that's all there is...and with so much more good bread to be explored, that would be a shame!  I am novice enough to be unaware of much of what should/should not be done but willing to try something new and learn from the results and eat up the evidence as other TFLers say! Here's my most recent bake...

I had some sprouted organic rye berries in the fridge, enough to make a few loaves of bread with a little leftover.  My idea was to use them all up.  So I used a food processor to wet grind 10% rye sprouts, mixed that with 20% fresh milled organic rye, 10% fresh milled organic red fife, 70% all purpose unbleached white flour and 70% water. After a 1 hour autolyse I mixed in 22% levain, 2.2% sea salt, 3% more water and 15% sprouted rye berries; the final hydration was about 78%. The bulk ferment took 4 hours at room temperature; 4 series of stretch/folds over the first two hours. Pre-shaped, bench rested for 1/2 hour and then final shaping, into linen lined baskets and cold-proofed in the fridge overnight.  After 10 hours, I baked the loaves directly out of the fridge, covered at 500 F/20 minutes; 450 F/10 minutes and uncovered at 450 F for another 17 minutes.   


Loaf number 1...good oven spring, scoring still needs some work 


Loaf number two....again with the scoring and still trying to figure out the right amount of rice flour/flour in the proofing basket



And the crumb shot...looks a little odd, I am wondering if it is because of the wet ground rye sprouts, is it underproofed, overproofed with the added rye or just poor shaping?





Cuisine Fiend's picture
Cuisine Fiend

One of my recent efforts, using a refreshed wheat starter based on pineaple juice. The loaf reasonably tasty and crusty - I wished for more air bubbles but perhaps the amount of seeds makes the dough heavier? Either that, or it should have had higher hydration, but it was damn sticky already and not that easy to work with!

Here's how, and below the result.

Sitopoios's picture

Tonight I experimented with Russian bread "Stolichny". It was baked with liquid levain. It is the GOST-bread. (GOST (Russian: ГОСТ) refers to a set of technical standards maintained by the a regional standards organization in USSR). 

Levain for this bread needs 3-phase refreshing. On the first two refreshings I added a little bit of barley flour (it will be about 10% of all flour). 

I do not recommend to add barley flour in the dough directly. Because it significantly reduces the quality of the bread. But the addition of the flour in the sponge or levain makes bread more interesting, in my opinion. In any case, the amount of barley flour should not exceed 20% in bread.

Debram's picture

what is too hot for a starter to be kept at if not in the fridge, it gets hot here I can keep in cupboard but still will be 30C plus some days unless we have the aircon on

PalwithnoovenP's picture

Meet Park Tae Young, my persimmon yeast water!

After sourdough, I promised myself I will try yeast water. Although it took many months, here she is finally. Ready to raise breads with a different character. I documented another journey of my baking life so I hope you enjoy.

Many TFLers here have used yeast water and posted their beautiful breads made with it. It's really an old thing here and when I read it before I really wanted to try it. I waited so many years before giving it a try, I'm lucky because many have formalized the yeast water method by that time.

Uncle Dab has great tutorial about yeast water here YW Primer. Even though I followed his steps, I always fail just like my SD journey, in fact its 3 times already that I failed. All those attempts, I used raisins because I read it is one of the most reliable fruits for yeast water but I forgot that the only ones available here are oiled raisins so maybe that's what was hindering my success. Determined to succeed, this time I took a different route.

This yeast water is inspired by and named after my Korean friend Park Tae Young who is also fond of dried persimmons. Actually we became friends because of food, 90% of the time we talk about food; Korean or not, sweet or savory. It is how we discovered that we both like dried persimmons and became closer than ever. We often share this snack, even through photos as she is in Korea now.

Dried persimmons have a unique taste; like honeyed apples but different. They're fragrant and sweet but are very chewy and hard. The outside bloom looks like molds but I read they're just sugars from the pulp that migrated to the surface while drying into a delicate white bloom. Maybe there's yeast in there too. Any fruit or dried fruit can be used for YW but skin on and unwashed are the best, so I decided to use my favorite dried fruit for this. We got this beautiful dried persimmons from Chinatown a couple of months ago, They're a little expensive and we seldom have them because it's only 3 times a year at most that we go to Chinatown (because of the distance and heavy traffic) so they must be put to good use.

Average temperature from start to finish is 82 F.

I just removed the seed in the middle and cut the persimmons into little pieces and fill the jar with water three quarters full. No measuring or whatsoever. I didn't boil (to make sure that only the yeast in the fruits survives) my water like before. I just used it straight from the faucet. Before I was overly careful but now, anything goes because I feel that this is a success. I shook the jar and opened the lid twice on the first day.

Yes, miracles do happen! It is when I don't show any obsessive compulsive behavior that I succeed! The next day, it was already bubbling and active. There was a "psssh" sound when I opened the tight lid. Before it was already 7 days and yet there is no activity! Because it was already active, I didn't put honey anymore as prescribed by uncle Dab for the third day but I continued shaking and opening the lid for the next couple of days.

Here is the top view before shaking on the second day.

I kept the jar submerged halfway in water to keep ants at bay. I think ants are of the reasons too for my failures because they introduce bacteria and other microorganisms in the yeast water I'm trying to culture. Well I cannot blame them because who can resist the sweet fragrant liquid that flows down the sides of the jar when it is shaken.

Here is she is on the third day. Nothing much has changed, she is still bubbly and active but the persimmon pieces look much softer and the aroma of honeyed apples became stronger.

I shook and opened the jar for the next 4 days and here is she is by the 7th day. The "psssh" and fizzing sounds are much louder and the aroma is not unlike that of fresh persimmons. 

The top looks like a thick smoothie but settles and becomes homogeneous after shaking.

Here is close-up shot of the bubbles on the side indicating that she is very active.

Since we seldom buy dried persimmons and my yeast water could be all used up before we buy the next pack to refresh her, every yeast water that I make from dried persimmons; I will call Park Tae Young (朴泰映). Her English name is Claire Park so I guess I could fondly call my yeast water Claire sometimes. :-)

A letter that my friend wrote me, I wish I could read Hangul!

Park Tae Young and Zhou Clementine together. My bread workforce and friends in the kitchen!

Happy Yeast Water Baking!

isand66's picture

       dsc_0079    I wanted to bake a nice soft and flavorful bread but one with some healthy grains as well.  In went a soaker left for 24 hours in hot water comprised of grits, rolled oats and barley flakes.  I also added some left-over mashed potatoes and some grilled onions.

The flour was mostly fresh milled Kamut and Spelt with some KAF Bread Flour as well.

I used a cat and pumpkin cookie cutter to add some Halloween spirits to the boule, and while it could have used some seeds or cocoa to really make it cool, it still came out respectable.

The crumb was moist and open and bursting with flavor.  The soaker added a nice nutty flavor and the onions were melt in your mouth delicious along with the odd chunk of potato.  This one is worth making again.




Download the BreadStorm File Here.



Soaker Directions

Mix all of the dry ingredients together and add the boiling hot water.  Cover and let sit overnight or up to 24 hours at room temperature.

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 usually do this the night before.  Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours,  and 400 grams of the water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 60 minutes.   Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), potatoes, onions and balance of the water, and mix on low for 6 minutes.  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.  (If you have a proofer you can set it to 80 degrees and follow above steps but you should be finished in 1 hour to 1.5 hours).

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.   Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  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 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 25-35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 210 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.





HappyBread's picture

Finally bought an Emile Henry baguette baker... 1 year twice daily fed sourdough stater (785 g), 245 g H20, 545 g bread flour, 17 g salt... rise at room temp... and viola! 

dabrownman's picture

This was a special Halloween.  It has been years since our daughter was home for one.  The last time she was here we carved a Chi Oh Owl Pumpkin.  This time we put Lucy on Pumpkin.  It scared the heck out of her too!

We have a tradition of having homemade pizza for All Hallows Eve too.  This time I managed to sneak in 2 g of NMNF rye starter in with a pinch of instant yeast to make the dough.  The rest of the recipe was a bit different.  No preferment, a bit of honey and olive oil, 48 hours in the fridge after 2 hours of gluten development with a bit of garlic, sun dried tomato and rosemary in the dough - as per our usual.

We made our usual spicy pizza sauce.  The toppings were hot Italian sausage, pepperoni, caramelized onion and caramelized crimini mushrooms to go with some Manchego, mozzarella. ricotta and Parmesan cheeses and some fresh basil for garnish.  So, it was a simple pizza for once.

The dough really puffed itself up in the fridge and it easy enough to spread out into a pizza shape since the flour was half AP and half bread flour at 70% hydration.  The oven was preheated to 550 F, the pizzas baked on the bottom stone and the top stone was lowered down to get as much heat on the top as possible.

The dough browned up nicely top and bottom and the pizzas came out crispy as could be – no soggy, fold over pizza is ever allowed In Lucy’s Pizzeria.  It was yummy to boo.  The girls couldn’t decide if they liked this crust better than the one last time but as soon as I told them that this on had sourdough in it they both side last time was better!

I thought both were pretty good.  Everyone enjoyed Lucy on a Pumpkin too!  We had a great Halloween…… which is judged by how much candy is left over – we have plenty of our favorites including a new one – dark chocolate Kit Cats and pumpkin shaped Reese’s.

Lucy reminds us to make sure to have a salad with that pizza!


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