The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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CAphyl's picture

When I was in the UK last week, I made David's excellent recipe below.  As I have done many times in the past, I prepared the dough and froze half of it to bake later.  I hadn't tried this with baguettes, so I was interested in how it would turn out.  I froze the dough for four days. On the first batch, I had a heck of a time moving them, as I didn't have all the tools I have in my home kitchen.  They got a bit flat as I moved them. For the second batch, I bought a metal baguette baker with tiny holes that I used for the final proof and baking, and this worked much better for me.

I defrosted the dough overnight in the fridge, and it was ready to go the next morning.  I followed the recipe instructions from there, placing the new baguette baker on a heated stone.

My husband really enjoyed these baguettes, as did our UK friends who tried them.  The taste was wonderful and the crumb fine. My husband loved the really crusty crust.

San Joaquin Sourdough Baguettes

Total ingredients

Wt (g)

Bakers %

AP Flour



WW Flour



Medium rye Flour









Liquid starter






9.2% of the flour is pre-fermented

Liquid Levain ingredients

Wt (g)

Bakers %

AP Flour



WW Flour



Medium rye Flour






Liquid starter







Final dough ingredients

Wt (g)

AP Flour


WW Flour


Medium rye Flour






Liquid levain






  1. 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)
  2. Dissolve the levain in the water, add the flours and mix to a shaggy mass. Cover and autolyse for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the salt and mix to incorporate.
  4. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.
  5. Bulk ferment for 3-4 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.
  6. Refrigerate the dough for 18-24 hours.
  7. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and transfer it to a lightly floured board.
  8. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and pre-shape as logs or round.
  9. Cover the pieces and allow them to rest for 60 minutes.
  10. Shape as baguettes and proof for 45 minutes, covered.
  11. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.
  12. Transfer the baguettes to your peel. Turn down the oven to 480ºF. Score the loaves and load them onto your baking stone.
  13. Bake with steam for 10 minutes, then remove your steaming apparatus and continue to bake for another 10-12 minutes. (Note: After 10 minutes, I switched my oven to convection bake and turned the temperature down to 455ºF.)
  14. Remove the loaves to a cooling rack, and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.




BobS's picture

The recent posts from wassisname and limmitedbaking got me hankering to try this bread.

I used the formula here, but, as happens in the Hippie Kitchen, modified the method:

  1. Mix flours, polenta and water, autolyse 30 min. I used KA Bread and WW flours.
  2. Add levain, salt and pepitas; slap-and-fold until there is some gluten development.
  3. Bulk ferment 3 hours, folding 3 times.
  4. Scale, rest, shape.
  5. Retard in fridge about 18 hours.

Then baked at 460F for 15 minutes with steam, then another 20 minutes at 460 F without steam, then 10 minutes at 410F convection.

It's really good. You wouldn't think such a little bit of polenta would make such a difference, but it does.

Pepita Polenta Sourdough

mwilson's picture

This was an experiment to make a loaf ideal for toasting and to have a lightness of commercially "improved" bread leavened with just sourdough.

Lievito madre bound for 12hrs @ 18-20C.

autolyse: 80% canadian wheat, 10% white spelt, 10% light rye. 55% hydration. 12hrs @ ~20C.

Bath lievito for 20 minutes in sweetened water @ 20-22C.
1st refresh: [1]:[1.5] ([lievito]:[flour]) 28C for 4 hours.

133g lievito refreshed
620g autolyse
58.6g water
15g oil
10g honey
9.7g salt

Bulk ferment for 90 minutes @ 28C. Proof @30C for 3-4 hours or until generously tripled.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I baked my fourth and fifth Tartine Basic (Whole Wheat) Country loaves this week, using freshly milled flour.  I used 100% whole wheat for the leaven and 70% Whole Wheat for the dough (which came to a 73% whole wheat for the total dough).

The flour that comes out of my Komo mill, was measuring at 105 degrees toward the end of the 700 gram grind, and the wheat berries were in the fridge for about 8 hours before grinding. 

The loaves came out nicely. I gave away the more distinctly patterned loaf to a family member and brought the other one with me for our weekend away, largely because I had a similar loaf in the freezer and wanted to see what this tasted like when it was fresh.

The bread was delicious and the crumb was very soft, moist and chewy.

I am starting to get more comfortable holding back some of the water because I have found that Robertson's formula and my flour (regardless of whether it is King Arthur or David Esq. brand), yields a dough that is too wet.  By "too wet" I simply mean a dough that seems "pasty" at the beginning and stays wet and sticky all the way through final proofing, and never really feels like "dough" at any point in the process.

Here is the heel of the bread:

Here is the crumb, though the white balance seems off in the first shot:

And here it is a few days later on my sandwich for today's lunch:

Overall, I am very pleased with the bread and think that I will try upping the grains for my next bake.  Ideally I want to see if I can get a 100% home-milled loaf that satisfies my wife and me -- not so much because I am bothered by having white flour in my bread, but because the fewer ingredients I need to make a delicious loaf of bread, the happier I am. Plus, there is a large degree of satisfaction involved in making everything from scratch, including the flour.

CatPoet's picture

I have been baking so much lately and a lot of biscuits.  The tradition here is 7  types of   small biscuits served with coffee when people come over and I been a good hostess.

I have made    Duche de Leche ,   Toffee,  Dark chocolate  with white chocolate chunks and macademian nuts,  Toffee with  white chocolate chunks,  plain dark chocolate,  Peppermint chocolate  and vanilla.

Pew, I  need a rest.

And that is beside the 3 loafs  I been baking and cakes and home made icecream ( four flavours) and dinners for 3 guest...

But my  pridest moment must be this cake, isnt lovely and you can eat everything  except the stalk for the bulrush. 

dabrownman's picture

Like everyone else around her, at least those who count, Lucy loves pizza just about more than she loves pumpernickel. It is a closer race than one might think.   We usually start off the weekend with grilled salmon on Friday night.


Then Saturday we do something Mexican, this year was grilled pork that was then made carnitas style by sautéing it with bacon fat in a cast iron skillet to really bring out the tastes of old Mexico.


Sunday night is reserved for pizza.  This year we made the crust a little bit different with some Desert Semolina from Hayden Mills, mixed with our favorite tortilla AP flour from La Fama with a combo levain of YW and Rye Sour.  Today is smoked ribs and chicken thighs in memory of those who died fighting to protect us and to let us do as we please today.


Don't forget breakfast and lunch.

.An added bonus, our daughter is off to Seattle and Vancouver to visit a sorority sister which leaves the cooking and baking field wide open this weekend to try something a new way.   You would think that being young you would be less set in your ways but our daughter likes her food made the traditional way she grew up loving - especially for holidays.


For the pizza, Lucy made a levain of 10 g of rye sour, 66 g of LaFama AP and 66 g of YW and let it sit out overnight for 8 hours.  it easily doubled over that time.  Then she mixed up 50 grams of Desert Durum and 350 g of LaFama with 260 g of water, 10 g each of salt and sugar and added them to the levain.   We let the shaggy mass let it sit for 30 minutes.  This gave us a 70% hydration dough.


Lucy then added 20 g of olive oil and did 3 sets of slap and folds on 5, 2 and 1 minute on 20 minute intervals and 3 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points only - also on 20 minute intervals.  The dough was then refrigerated for 6 hours.  We warmed it up for 2 hours before forming 3 dough balls – freezing one for later ala Phyllis.


Once it warmed up the dough was formed into crusts on parchment easily, ala Ian, since we had planned on not doing a par bake of the crust  - also no rosemary, sun dried tomato or garlic in the dough and no mojo de ajo spread on top of the crust either so we are getting far a field from the taste an method of our regular pizza dough. 


The toppings were a little different.  Andouille sausage replaced the hot Italian one.  Store bough pepperoni replaced the home made one.  We caramelized the Andouiille first and then the red onion, crimini and button mushrooms all together, instead of separately, in the fat .  We didn’t caramelize the hot chili and pepper mix of yellow banana, Serrano, Poblano, Hatch green and jalapenos.  The green onion and the red bell pepper were left fresh.


We only used the standard 3 cheeses of mozzarella, Pecorino and Parmesan.  There was some fresh basil flowers from the back yard but we forgot to put them on.  We were very hungry and when hunger strikes around here we forget who we are… much less if there was basil to go on top.  I’m not sure Lucy remembers who she is even today.


We like our pizza crust very thin, as thin as a cheap paper plate and so crisp it doesn’t bend or fold like NY style pizza.  We want it to crunch when you bite into it even if it is cold.  We also like them loaded up which makes the crunch part tough and why we normally par bake the crust for 3 minutes.


In the smoker they go - can't wait for them to get done later today!.

This curst came out perfect even without the par baking but it took 8 minutes at 550 F to get it just right and not burn the crust - top or bottom.  My wife loved this pizza and I thought it was almost as good as Lucy can make it, except for out SD version that has the herbs garlic and sun dried tomato in it – and mojo de ajo on it.

Lucy says not to forget the salad!

Hopefully the ribs and chicken will turn out all right to cap off a fine Memorial Weekend.  Hope yours was just a good as Friday's sunset.


PMcCool's picture

Between wanting a break from my GF experiments and my starter requiring a refresh, it was time to bake something different, something with sourdough.  For reasons not entirely clear to me, I keep going back to Leader's Local Breads in spite of its known defects.  It probably has something to do with the fact that the breads, when they work, are just so good.

A case in point would be the Polish Cottage Rye.  It's the very last formula in the book and it has no errors.  Moreover, it is a very pretty and tasty bread.  At 1215g, unbaked, it is also a hefty loaf but not in any way a brick.  I'm getting ahead of myself...

Since I had Friday off, one of my morning tasks was to pull the starter out of the refrigerator and give it a good feeding.  Thinking that rye flour might be a good pick-me-up for the starter, I used the whole rye flour that I had on hand.  At that point, there was no plan for a specific bread, just getting the starter back in fighting trim was the primary goal.  Even though the kitchen temperature is in the 75-78F range these days, the starter was a bit sluggish from it's 2-3 week stay in the refrigerator.  It was midafternoon before the starter showed real evidence of activity and late in the evening before it was ready to launch a levain.  By then, it had more than doubled (with rye flour, remember) and was eager for more food.

Since there was only finely milled whole rye flour on hand instead of the white rye that Leader calls for, that was what went into the levain build.  After a thorough mixing of the starter, water, and rye flour, the levain was covered and left to its own devices through the night.

It was about 7:45 Saturday morning when I walked into the kitchen and found a levain that was ready for bread.  All that was left was to combine the levain, water, bread flour, and salt into the final dough and give it a good knead.  About 15-18 minutes of kneading, according to Leader.  So I set to with vigor, using the slap and fold method because of the dough's relative softness.  There were a couple of intervals where I used the traditional push-turn-fold method of kneading but I found myself adding more flour than I wished to because of the dough's stickiness, so then it was back to the slap and fold method.

Per Leader's directions, the dough was set to ferment until it had expanded about 1.5 times its original volume.  I suspect mine was somewhat closer to doubled but without any adverse effects.  The dough was then shaped into a single round and placed in a floured banneton for the final fermentation.  While the loaf was fermenting, the oven was set up with a baking stone and a steam pan.

When the loaf was nearly doubled, the oven was switched on.  After it had preheated to 450F, boiling water was poured into the steam pan.  The loaf was immediately tipped out onto parchment paper, slashed, and slid onto the baking stone.  The loaf looked well proofed before going into the oven.  Once there, though, it experienced even more expansion; perhaps less than doubling but certainly a 1.5 expansion from the pre-bake size.

The fragrance while baking was wonderful.  Lots of roasty/toasty notes with sourdough highlights.

We had to leave as soon as the bread came out of the oven, so I simply plopped it on a cooling rack with a towel over it.  When we returned home, we found that it had been singing during our time away:

Quite a bit, actually.

That second picture also gives a sense of the amount of oven spring.  You can see how there was some tearing at the intersection of two slashes on the right-hand side. It's also evident when looking at the top of the loaf:

The deep chestnut tone of the crust is just as appealing to the tongue as it is to the eye; lots and lots of malty and nutty flavors.

Given the length of the kneading, it's no surprise that the crumb is very regular and rather finely textured:

Some of the crumb texture may also be attributable to the use of whole rye, rather than white rye, flour.  Since I made no adjustments in the formula's hydration, the perceived hydration may be lower than it would otherwise be.  

This is a very satisfying medium rye, at least in this incarnation with whole rye flour.  With white rye flour, it would no doubt be an equally satisfying light rye bread.  The flavor is a delightful combination of rye and wheat, with the additional richness of the sourdough flavors.  Neither seeds nor bread spice are needed in this bread; it is complete as is.  

If you have, or can obtain, a copy of Local Breads, I heartily commend this bread to you.


hungryscholar's picture

It's not hot here, not yet, but I am dreading the season of too hot to bake. What we have now is the sort of weather that has me firing up the grill only to have to call the whole thing off due to rain. So I am crossing my fingers for today, Memorial day.

In any case, I've made something resembling pizza on the stovetop with my cast iron grill pan and this week expanded to focaccia and something shaped reasonably like ciabatta, but lacking in the sort of holes I was hoping for, which I think means it's time to toss the last of that batch of yeast.

The focaccia was 70% hydration with about 5 % olive oil, and the "ciabatta" was 80% hydration with again about 5% oil. Both were made with King Arthur AP flour. I shaped them on a parchment to fit in my grill pan and put the dough, parchment paper and all, into the preheated grill pan with the burner at medium. The dough was in the pan for about 5 minutes and once the bottom cooked sufficiently I removed the parchment. Then it went under the broiler on low for another 5 minutes or so. It's not the way to go if you want an even crust color, but I'm rather pleased with the result and the lack of a long preheat for the oven.


Foccacia side viewCiabatta in grill pan




WoodenSpoon's picture

For my second crack at this pumpernickel I upped the hydration as well as the percentage of scalded pumpernickel flour and cracked rye. I also finally picked up a pullman pan and baked this rascal for 5 hours of active time and an additional 4 hours in the oven as the oven cooled down. This thing smells crazy good, like caramel and chocolate. It is wrapped in cotton for the time being but I'm hoping it tastes as good as it smells.

Here is my formula

  • 300g Dark Rye 87%
  • 104g Pumpernickel Flour 30% (dry weight)
  • 104g Cracked Rye 30% (dry weight)
  • 90g Levain (13% flour 13% water)
  • 245g Water 71%
  • 6g Salt 2%

First I scalded my cracked rye and pumpernickel flour, then rinsed it in cold water and wrung it out in cheese cloth then rinsed and wrung it out again. I added this to my autolyse of flour, water and levain, I let that sit for two hours then mixed in the salt with a wooden spoon. I mixed for around a minute or less. I then scrapped the clay like lump onto a pumpernickel dusted counter, shaped a log and maneuvered it into my pan dusted the top and let it proof, I proofed it until I saw the tell tale cracks (around two hours) then popped it on the middle rack of my preheated oven with my stone on the bottom rack. I baked it for an hour at 375, then turned the oven down to 275 and continued baking for four hours rotating the pan every hour. After that I turned the oven off and let the bread cool down with the oven for four more hours, now its de paned and wrapped in cloth and I will cut into it later this evening.

golgi70's picture

I'm on some sort of "white bread" kick lately.  You delve deeper into whole grain and every now and again need to come back to white flour just to remember how incredibly different it is.  But I'll have to get back to the grains here very soon.  But since a simple sourdough is on my list of breads to fine tune I embrace it.  This one is made with three builds of a stiff levain @ 66% hydration all with freshly milled Hard Red Winter Wheat.  It turned out quite nice from flavor profile but it's time for me to by some new proofing bowls and some couche to get the longer and less fat loaf I seek.  None the less they are just looks.  


Formula:  15% Stiff Whole Wheat Levain (3 builds 12hour, 8 hour, and well about 5 hours on the last one)

84% Baker's Craft

14.5% Hard Red Winter Wheat  (MIlled Fresh for the levain builds and dough)

1% Whole Rye

80%  H20 (roughly)

2.16%  Sea Salt


Fermentation:  3:30 hours with 4 soft folds @ 40,80, 120, 160

Final Ferment:  Cold 8-12 hours (I was on the short side so they needed an hour or so to warm up before baking)

Bake 480 with steam for 17 minutes  460 Vented for 20-30 more. 


Forgot to take the bounty pics but I got a couple cans of local tuna, some local shitakes, strawberries, zukes, snap peas, greens and more greens. a couple donation loaves, and a bottle of wine owed to me.  

Cheers All



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