The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Deja vu.  This weekend I decided to make the Tartine Country rye bread again, this time I made four loaves.  The formula in the book:

Leaven  200g

Water    800 g

Whole Rye 170 g

Bread Flour 810 g

Salt 20g.


My "modifications" to the formula:

Leaven                      200 g.

All Purpose Flour     500 g

Whole White Wheat 330 g

Whole Rye                170 g

Water                          818 g

Salt                                20g

Because I took the starter out of the fridge on Thursday evening, I was able to feed it 3 times before using it in the levain, and it did nicely by Saturday morning when it was time to mix the dough.  So, no yeast added this go around.

For me, the most interesting thing about this loaf is being able to taste the wheat, the rye and a mild tang of the sourdough.  Usually my bread is not this complexly flavored, or I can't usually taste so many things in each loaf.

I also added a smattering of sesame seeds which I think make the bread all the more delicious.

And a blurry  "bottom shot" since a lot of people seem to burn the loaf.  I avoid that, I think, by nesting the pans after the first 20 minutes, removing the deep top and putting it under the shallow bottom pan.

I really do love this bread.

STUinlouisa's picture

Finally made a good pain de mie using white wheat flour 95% extraction and natural leaven.  Before there were always problems ranging from not enough dough to fill the pullman pan to taste that was too sour. Now the only thing to find out is if it can be repeated. 


greenbriel's picture

I lied. I changed more than one thing and I made two batches again! But it worked out this time, or at least one batch did.

First I made a batch of Forkish's FWSY all-levain overnight country blonde, but I messed up by using my 100% hydration starter where he uses 80% (I'll figure out the math one day). The dough was extremely slack, despite six stretch and folds. As I mentioned in a comment elsewhere, I ended up with a bastard child of ciabatta and baguette (ciabette or baguetta?), but I have to say they were delicious. Nice and tangy on the day of baking, a bit mellower next day. I'm proud of my Brooklyn SD starter! Hard to shape and score due to the slackness. 

Crumb was nicely holey and glutinous/custardy:

As soon as I saw these were not going to be my breakthrough baguettes, I started a batch of txfarmer's straight dough. As usual I traded 50g of AP for 25g w/w and 25g dark rye for flavor, and added a 30 min autolyse. After my last failure I was taking no chances and put one cast iron Mega Steam pan and one plain CI pan (getting lava rocks this weekend) on the oven floor as I started preheating. I got more steam than ever before! It was billowing out of the vent (I tried to block it with tea towels) and even out of the sides of the door—never seen that before!

Shaping and scoring were decent, and I think I helped my effort by making 16" demis instead of my usual 20" demi+ size. The smaller size made it easier for me to limit myself to three slashes rather than the four or five I usually attempt. I made a very conscious attempt to overlap by 30% and tried to keep the lame angle correct. There's still some inconsistency between the scores, but overall I am pleased. Watched the bake like a hawk; steam came out at 6 minutes, total bake was 30 mins +5mins with oven off and door cracked.


Ears! Not Spocklike (RIP, Leonard), but better than usual. Less Nessie!


And just to prove I'm really a Brit :-D

Thanks once again to all the fine folks here for the encouragement and insight. Now to try it with other recipes and aim for consistency!



PY's picture

Made some changes from last week's attemp by retarding the dough for 15 hours and out in room temp for 1 hour. baked with steam for first 15 minutes and without for the remaining 25 minutes at 230.

think i got better oven spring compared to last week. But still on the quest for that elusive bloom!

maojn's picture

For detail steps and pictures, please see 


For 6 inch baking pan

3 large egg yolks+1 whole egg

warm milk 50g

egg white 3x

sugar 70g

cake/pastry flour 60g

butter 40g


preheat oven to 170C, line the pan with parchment paper at bottom 


- heat butter in water bath to 80C﹐ add flour quickly and mix quickly with egg whisk

- add warm milk in 4-5 times, whisk and make sure it's mixed well each time before add more.

- mix yolks and whole egg, add into batter

- cover and save for later

- beat egg white and sugar until stiff peak, see this video for detail timing to add sugar:

- add 1/3 egg white into yolk batter, mix with egg whisk until no egg white lumps.

- add the rest of egg white and mix with egg whisk until no lumps.

- use scraper to clean the side of the bowl and mix well.

- pour batter into pan from 10 inch height, this will break big bubbles, 

- put the cake pan into a water tray which is bigger than the cake pan, pour the hottest water from the faucet to depth of about 1 inch (about 70-80C)

- use broil (only top heat) setting and sure the surface is colored gold brown, then use bake (bottom heat) 150C for 50min.



website numbers total


Sjadad's picture

It's been quite some time since I baked a pure levain from FWSY so yesterday I decided to make the Overnight Country Brown.  Right off the bat I had a couple of problems.  First, I use equal weights of white and whole wheat flours in my starter and keep it at 100% hydration while Forkish uses an 80% hydration starter.  This was not a huge obstacle since I'm pretty good at math so I could do a conversion.  My second problem was that I didn't have enough whole wheat flour to make the levain per Forkish's formula and still have enough to make the final dough, and I didn't feel motivated enough to go to the store.

Since the final dough requires only 216g of levain, I scaled down the formula while simultaneously adjusting so the final levain hydration was 80%:

Active Levain @ 100% hydration     22g

White Flour                                       82g

Whole Wheat Flour                           27g

Water                                                85g

Otherwise I followed the directions without deviation.  As an experient I used two different sizes of dutch ovens.  One was a standard Lodge cast iron dutch oven and the other was a smaller 4-quart Emile Henry.  My experience was exactly what Forkish said it would be (p. 47), which is the loaf in the smaller D.O. baked up higher with a more pronounced split.  You can see the two loaves side-by-side in a photo below.

This is a delicious bread with a very moist, creamy crumb and a wonderful substantial crust.  I won't wait so long before making it again. 


The loaf baked in the 4-quart D.O. is on the right. 

AbeNW11's picture

So I'm back from my travels and this is my first attempt at Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough. What a pleasure this recipe is. Enjoyed this bake a lot and very pleased with the results. Crumb shot to follow... 

And here's 2 crumb shots. One end and another towards the middle. Not bad for a 65% hydration bread. Nice and soft with somewhere to spread the peanut butter.


Sylviambt's picture

I've been working with liquid sourdough starters for the last several years and have just started investigating stiff starters, something that you can store for longer term. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

leslieruf's picture

 and I learnt a huge amount today. Decided to make 100% hydration Bread recipe as posted by TigerX on 3rd March. I must admit I nearly didn't carry on when I twigged that it is a 100% hydration starter and dough! Without method to follow I set out to make this bread doing what I thought would work.

Mixed flours and autolysed 1 hour. Added levain (which I had set up last night) and salt. Mixed on medium speed for about 5 minutes (I have an older Kenwood Chef) then poured into large bowl. After 30 minutes I did 2 s&f 15 minutes apart followed by 3 slap and folds. Amazed to see how the gluten had developed but it was still a very loose dough. Left bulk ferment on bench at about 22oC for nearly two and half hours. Did quick preshape, rested 10 minutes followed by the best I could do with shaping. dough proofed okay and after 2 hours I refrigerated for 45 minutes before baking with as much steam as I could get. The dough just ran everywhere (like a mud stream) even before I got it into the oven, and instead of a batard and a boule I have a couple of ciabatta! that are about an inch high.


what should I have done differently? Taste is good, crumb good, and fairly moist.

Would cold proof have changed anything? more stretch and folds? I have a long way to go but It was a huge learning curve.

greedybread's picture

Well 3 years on, I decided to do this again and it really shows ...

How much I have learnt about bread, flour and yeast...and myself.

The only thing is now, is my oven is complete crap!!

But i work round it...less top shots:) 

No matter what I do, it burns....tinfoil, lower temp etc....But a new oven will be purchased shortly...

In the mean time....

Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy.


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This is a serious bread lovers bread!

You need to allow a good day at least but delicious, packed full of flavour, fruit & nuts…

Just divine!! 

Best start at night as it needs overnight 1st proving or at least 8-10 hours to rest.

I would make this in a Panettone mould, or a tubular mould.

I did one brioche mould (above & below) and one panettone mould (below).

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What do you need? 

The willpower of Job not to eat it all by yourself!

So without further ado…

2 tsp of dried yeast.

Half a cup of warm water.

Half a cup of Bakers flour.

From this.....

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For dough:

Half a tsp of yeast

1 tbsp honey

1/4 cup of warm water

1 cup castor sugar

3 large eggs

3 cups of Strong bakers flour

Pinch of salt

2 tsp fennel( or anise) seeds

Grated zest of 2 oranges

Grated zest of 2 lemons

160g butter

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 Fruit/ nut mix:

1 cup hazelnuts.

1 cup chopped walnuts.

4 dried figs chopped.

1 large cup raisins.

1 tbsp flour.

Stir yeast into warm water and leave to stand for 15 minutes until creamy.

Add flour in yeasty mix , combine well & cover.

Let stand for an hour.

Place in mixing bowl, 2nd amount of yeast, with water and honey.

Allow to stand for 10 minutes until creamy.

Stir in the sugar and eggs, then add in pre ferment.

Add in the zest, fennel, salt and flour.

Mix the butter into dough .

Knead in mixer for 5-6 minutes until smooth but sticky.

Place in a well oiled bowl and cover with gladwrap and leave at room temperature overnight to double in volume.

Lightly turn out dough on lightly floured area and press out the dough.

Toss fruit and nuts in flour and spread 1/3 of fruit etc on the flattened dough.

Roll up dough and flatten again, repeating the above process until all fruit and nuts are incorporated in the dough.

Allow dough to rest ten minutes in between additions of fruit and nuts.

When all fruit is incorporated, place in well oiled mould.

Panettone moulds are good.

But they need to be WELL GREASED!!

Ok, back to recipe…

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Cover and allow to rise for 3-4 hours until doubles in size.

Heat oven to 210 celsius and place Mataloc in the oven.

Bake for ten minutes and reduce heat to 190 celsius and cook for another 45-60 minutes.

As soon as you are able….

Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy!!

A lick of mascarpone ?


Dont be shy now!!

See the zest and the plump raisins………..

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 Recipe Adapted from Carol Field’s “The Italian Baker”, 2 Ed, 2011


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