The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


  • Pin It
philvk's picture

Any body else using a SF sourdo starter? I bought the SF started from Ed Wood at

A SF starter- to me - has the potential for a beguling sweetness lurking in the middle of a complex mmmmm.

Been making bread for about 8 months now, with good flavor and oven spring.

Acidity levels turn out more variable than I'd like, but don't gyrate wildly ...

I use a proof box (home built) to stabilize the starter temperature (I'm currently liking 73 degrees).

A no knead method is working well, and is quite simple to accomplish. No autolyese (yet).

Would love to compare notes.



Phil Van Kirk


ElPanadero's picture

So I was browsing through one of my books looking for something new to make and the Tomato Sourdough looked interesting.  I'd seen it before along with a beetroot sourdough but always glossed over them thinking them to be somewhat quirky and simply strange for the sake of being strange.  How wrong was I ?!

Tomato Sourdough smells and tastes fantastic and will be a regular bake for me now ! It's delicious toasted and used for bruscetta with real tomatoes, fresh mozzerella cheese and basil.  It would also make great little side rolls or grissini for a cheese board. 

The other loaf here is a classic Levain De Campagne, a mix of white flour, wholewheat flour and dark rye.  Pretty much a standard sourdough but one I love to make for general eating.  Both loaves are made with a preferment built from white flour and since the book I'm using here is Emmanuel Hadjiandreou's "How To Bake Bread", the recipes are simple, no fuss, practical ones that will produce loaves in just a few hours.  You could of course adjust the quantities of starter, do overnight retards and so on to get more deeper tangy flavours if you so desired.

The crumbs as you can see above are quite "bready" and fluffy rather than having large gelatinised holes that are often seen with sourdoughs.  Using a higher hydration would help create the latter of course.  What I like about these recipes though is they produce some great tasting loaves that can be whipped up within a few hours and used on a regular basis rather than "show piece" or technical loaves that require a more attention.  These loaves tend to have a higher quantity of starter which cuts down the bulk proving time to a few hours.

Tomato Sourdough with Fennel and Caraway (mini loaf)

White Flour 200g, White Starter 150g (100%), Salt 3-4g, Water 100g, Tomato puree 20g, Freshly ground herbs 1-2g, olive oil 1g

Mix, S+F every 10 mins for 40 mins, proof 1hr, shape, banneton, proof 3-5 hrs till doubled, score and bake

I put fennel and caraway seeds through my grain mill here but you could equally use celery seeds or rosemary or any herbs you like.

Hydration here is about 63% and with the puree this makes for quite a sticky dough but it is workable and will eventually form a decent boule.


Levain De Campagne

White Flour 250g, Wholewheat 100g, Rye 50g, White Starter 150g, Salt 7g, Water 250g-300g

Mix, S+F every 10 mins for 40 mins, proof 1hr, shape, banneton, proof 3-5 hrs till doubled, score and bake

This bread is lovely toasted.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Been baking from Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt & Yeast, and I decided it was time to keep better notes of what I was doing so that I know how to consistently get the bread I love.  

Let me start off for the record saying that while this bread is fantastic, I won't be following these procedures again, unless I can't get an equally great bread doing things correctly...

Because Forkish recommends making a lot more levain than is called for in the final dough, last week I decided to cut the levain formula in half.  By the way, I don't "refresh" my starter. Last week, I took 25 grams of week old starter (1/4 of what he suggests using) and add it to 25 grams of White Whole Wheat Flour (freshly ground), 100 grams AP four and 100 grams of water.  However, when I wrote this down in my notebook, I erroneously wrote down 100 grams of White Whole Wheat.

Accordingly, my levain was very stiff, being at 50% hydration. It seemed awfully stiff, but it was 8:15pm, after a long day of work and I meticulously followed my notes so I figured I must have just had a bad memory for what the leaving as supposed to feel like.  Though, I knew in my head that something was wrong, I went to bed shortly thereafter, and when I woke up early saturday morning, I looked back at the book and saw my error.

Here is where it gets tricky... to "fix" the problem, my first reaction at 6:30 in the morning was simply to remove 75 grams of flour from the final dough.  However, I had already mixed the white whole wheat and AP the evening before, so I could not simply remove the whole wheat.  After removing 75 grams of flour, I held back some of the water from the autolyse step, figuring I did not need so much water now that I was hydrating less flour.

This caused me to rethink things, and I realized that when I added 216 grams of the levain, I was going to wind up with a lot more flour since it was only 50% hydration.  So I had the brilliant idea of adding 120 grams of water to the starter to get it the right hydration.  For those who do not know, you can't simply add 120 grams of water to 50% hydrated dough and expect the dough ball to hydrate properly.  Oh boy, what to do?  

Next, I just decided to mix up the water and the dough ball, almost like dispersing my 325 grams of levain into 130 grams of water.  Mixed by hand and broke it all up (after the kneading thing clearly was not going to work, and I had a soupy levain by the time my dough was nearly done autolysing.  Meanwhile, I started thinking about the math and calculated, whether rightly or wrongly, that when I removed 75 grams of the flour from the dough, and then added 130 grams of water to the levain, I wound up with too little flour and needed to add back in 55 grams of flour.  So, after the autolyses was done I kneaded in 55 grams of the removed flour and then added in the 216 grams of soupy levain.

(Lost yet? Good. Don't try this at home). Final dough temperature came to 77 degrees by 7:00 a.m.  The dough came just about up to the 1 liter mark on my 12 quart container.  (I am mixing units here, forgive me).

Turned at 7:20, 7:50, 8:20 and 9:10.  By 4:30 the dough had just about doubled, and I decided it was going too slowly, so into the oven with the light on it went.  By 8:20 we were tripled, and by 8:45 we were shaped and in the fridge.

By 6:30 a.m. this morning the dough was ready to come out of the fridge and the oven was preheated to 475.

When the combo cookers were preheated, I tried getting the dough out of the basket and it stick at the bottom/top pretty good.  Dough was misshapen but still in one piece, albeit flattish.

After removing the lid, and baking for 15 minutes or so, the bread was a very dark brown, so I lowered the temp to 450 for the remainder of the bake.  As you can see, they came out "boldly baked" which is a euphemism for burned.  And, yet.... they don't taste burned at all.  The bread has an excellent flavor. Crust is delicious and crumb is wonderful.

A successful bake despite the ridiculous contortions I went through.

 So far, the notebook has been an utter failure, but that is because I kept poor notes and then followed them to a T without thinking.  I am sure I will improve at this all in good time.  Although I would never bake this way deliberately, one thing I will take away from this is that I can get the crust pretty darned brown and the bread is far from inedible. 


blackhatbaker's picture

My friend's birthday is tomorrow, so I figured I should bake something that I knew would turn out well, and that I had some experience with. The Tartine basic country loaf seemed perfect. So I baked.

I made a total of 4530g of dough. The hydration was bumped up, about 84%. Normal 4 hours of fermentation, s&f every half hour. I baked with steam more like 30 minutes, as opposed to 20, though. Today was such a blast; baking never seems to get old.


p.s. I thought I should mention that I now have a very detailed baking notebook. 3 sections, Simple Levain Baking, Rye, and Whole Grain Baking. It has a table of contents sorted by date, as well. All in an effort to produce a consistent quality for my bread. Thanks to David Esq. for suggesting that I take more detailed notes!

Edit: 9/16/14

Here's a couple crumb shots and sandwich I made from this bake,



Here's a po'boy I made, but with oyster mushrooms instead of oysters. Also had some caramelized onions and baby arugula, with a cheeze sauce from Non-Dairy Evolution. All served on the toasted Tartine country bread. Served with arugula salad with peppery apple-sesame viniagrette, blanched almonds, raisins, and some simple torn bread (from Saturday, of course). 


Catomi's picture

So life got busy, it got hot outside, and I got lazy about updating. Here's the last several weeks, roughly condensed into one blog post.

FWSY's Overnight Country Brown. I made this as a bit of a lark, as I needed to return the book to the library and wanted to try something out of it first. This was my ugliest loaf so far; it spread quite a bit while proofing (I need to learn how to contain a high hydration loaf with towels) and transferring it to the oven created a flat, lumpy thing. When it was done baking, the crust was tough enough that my three year old pretty much gave up on it (I also need to figure out if there's anything I can do to bake artisan loaves with a less tough crust without fundamentally altering the recipe). That said, it was my tastiest loaf to date by far. It had a nice sourdough tang, with a more complex underlying flavor that was delicious. For some reason, the only picture I took was of the proofing dough.

Sourdough bread from The Nourished Kitchen. This recipe called for ingredients measured by volume, not weight. I don't know if there was a problem there, or if I made a mistake, but this baked a brick.  I seriously believe I could have broken a window with this loaf.  I was a little sad, since I used the last of my delicious spelt flour for it, but such is the price of experimentation. No picture.

Tartine's Ode to Bourdin.  I'm still working on this, and have had a recurrence of the cavernous central holes. I'm OK with that, though, since I think I finally figured out something that is probably obvious to everyone else. I tried to shape it gently to avoid deflating it (as per the recipe), and was surprised when it seemed ready to bake significantly sooner than expected (according to the finger poke test). After baking and finding the large holes, I realized that if I had failed to remove that air, then of course the dough would seem ready faster.  Next time I'm going to deflate thoroughly and see a) if it takes significantly longer to rise, and b) whether or not that defeats the holes.

Barley cheddar cheese sables, also from Tartine No. 3. I measured ingredients by weight and I'm glad I did; if I was going off of volume I would have had a lot less cheese in these.  I rolled them in sesame seeds and cumin seeds only, chilled for an hour and sliced with a freshly sharpened knife.  Next time, I will try to form the roll more tightly and chill for longer, perhaps even partially freezing the roll.  I was not able to slice them as thinly as I wanted.  These were delicious, and netted the following comments from my husband:

"These are good.  Can we have these for dinner?" (I explained that I'd baked them to send some to my brother as an extremely belated birthday present.) "How many do you need?"  And then later, "These are diabolically good." So I will be making them again for sure. Highly recommended.

Canal House chocolate chip cookies. I made these to send some to my brother as well. My usual chocolate chip cookies are full of oatmeal and much thicker, so these were a big departure. Aside from ignoring the instructions to place them on the baking sheet 4" apart and getting to carve my own cookies from the sheet of cookie that resulted (which was clearly my fault), these were great.  Chewy, chocolate-y, with a nice caramel-y flavor. I did sub white whole wheat flour, since I don't keep all purpose around. Recipe here:  And here is a picture of the one circular cookie I got:

And then I took a break from artisan loaves and baked something from my childhood.  I made a few loaves of my mom's whole wheat sandwich bread. My husband's first comment when trying it was, "this is different than what I've been eating lately," and it sure is. It's pretty enriched, much lighter, has a tender crust, is not sourdough, doesn't take multiple days to make, and bakes in a loaf pan. I had some fun making the dough with the three year old. We did some observations of the yeast while it was proofing. We watched it soak up liquid and sink to the bottom (a glass bowl was handy for watching yeast sinking/rising). We watched it rise again, looking different this time.  Bob, my sourdough culture, was handy for talking about why the yeast was rising, since it's easy to see the bubbles on the sides of the jar and in the airlock. The proofing yeast formed a bumpy island (my son said it looked like land), and smelled differently than in the beginning.  It also made crackly noises when we disturbed the yeast cake and popped bubbles. And then he helped me stir in the flour and knead the dough, which is an excellent activity for blowing off preschooler energy.  He makes a good assistant baker. Yeast island (with a maraca in the background, baking with children is fun):

With my mom's permission, here is her recipe (with my notes on what I tweaked at the end):

Warm 1.5 cups buttermilk to 120 degrees. Add 1.5 cups warm water, 1-2 T instant yeast and 1/8 cup sugar.  Allow to proof. Add 1.5 T salt and 1/4-1/2 cup margarine.

Stir in 4 cups whole wheat flour (1 cup at a time). Stir in at least 3 cups of white hard wheat bread flour (add flour until the dough becomes hard to stir and is pulling away from the sides of the bowl). Let rise 30 min. Stir down and let rise another 30 min. Knead (will need lots of flour) and let rise about 1 hour. Shape into four loaves, place into well greased loaf pans and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 35 min. Turn out promptly.

My loaves: I used 1 T yeast, and I used butter since we don't allow margarine in this house. We only have whole wheat flour, so I used 4 cups of BRM whole wheat and 2 cups of KA white whole wheat (which seemed to be all that it needed at the time); I did add a bit less than 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten to compensate for not using bread flour. I greased the heck out of the loaf pans, since my first batch stuck. I also only made two loaves, since I like having nice tall loaves and otherwise they seem kinda small. Just before going in the oven:

End result:

Next up, I need to figure out what to do with this lovely, which I found at a grocery that specializes in locally grown foods. I'm not sure what yet, but it'll probably be good.

dmsnyder's picture

12 September, 2014

 One of the attractions of Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast bread baking book is that a concerted study of it will teach you how the important variables of ingredients, time and temperature can be manipulated to produce different flavor profiles and how, keeping most methods constant, you can develop procedures that accommodate to your own schedule and still produce a variety of outstanding breads.

Well, that's the theory. In fact, most of us don't have complete control of ambient temperature, one of the most important variables controlling fermentation. That means results can be very different from those Forkish describes. Nonetheless, if you do understand the basic principles, you can juggle the variables you can control to obtain really outstanding breads using Forkish's formulas and methods.

 In my Central California kitchen, about 9 months of the year, the temperature is significantly higher than it was in Forkish's Portland, Oregon kitchen when he developed his formulas. As a result, fermentation proceeds very much faster than described in the book. An “overnight” bread from FWYS will get way over-fermented if left overnight at room temperature. I have successfully followed Forkish's times only in Winter, when my kitchen temperature runs 65-68ºF.

 On top of that, my personal time demands do not always fit with the schedules Forkish describes in any of his recipes. So, sometimes … well, almost always … , I end up using Forkish's basic approach, but use my ability to control time and temperature to make it work for me. For example …

Today, I baked a couple loaves based on Forkish's “Overnight Country Blonde” formula. It calls for a final levain feeding at 9 am, mixing the final dough at 5 pm, letting it ferment at room temperature overnight, shaping the loaves at 8 am the next morning and baking at noon. I kept the formula (ratio of ingredients) and most procedures the same but altered the time and temperature a lot. Here's what I actually did:

 Three days before baking, at 10 pm, I activated my refrigerated stock starter by mixing 30 g of starter (50% hydration) with 75 g water and 75 g flour (a mix of 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% medium rye).

 Twelve hours later, I fed the levain as follows:


Levain ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

Mature liquid levain



AP flour



WW flour










  1. In a medium-size bowl, dissolve the levain the the water. Add the flours, and mix thoroughly.

  2. Transfer to a clean bowl. Cover tightly.

  3. Ferment until moderately ripe. (In my 78ºF kitchen, this took about 6 hours. The levain was tripled in volume. It had a domed surface. In the transparent, plastic container, bubbles could be seen throughout the levain.

  4. Cold retard at 40ºF until the next morning.


At about 8 am the next morning, I took the levain out of the refrigerator and let it warm up on the counter. At about 10 am, I proceeded to mix the final dough as follows:


Final Dough ingredients

Wt (g)



AP flour


WW flour


Medium Rye flour


Water (90ºF)







  1. In a 6 L Cambro(R) container, mix the water and flours to a shaggy mass. Cover and let stand for 20-60 minutes. (Autolyse).

  2. Sprinkle the surface of the dough with the salt and add the levain in chunks.

  3. Mix by folding the dough over itself while rotating the container, then complete the mixing by the “pinch and fold” method described by Forkish. Wet hands in water as necessary to reduce dough sticking to hands. (I wet my hands very liberally and frequently. My dough weighed 1820g at the time I divided it, implying that using wet hands added 18g of water to the dough. This increased the final dough hydration from 78% to 79.8%.)

  4. Bulk ferment until the dough has increased in volume to 2.5 times with stretch and folds 4 times at 30 minute intervals at the beginning of fermentation. (This took 2 1/2 to 3 hours, in my kitchen.)

  5. Divide the dough into two equal parts. Pre-shape as rounds. Cover with a damp towel and let rest 15-20 minutes.

  6. Shape as boules and place in linen-lined bannetons that have been well dusted with a mix of AP and Rice flours.

  7. Place bannetons in plastic bags and refrigerate overnight. (This was actually from about 4 pm to about 2:30 pm the next day.)

  8. Bake at 475ºF in Dutch ovens, as Forkish describes.

  9. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool before slicing.


In summary, I altered Forkish's procedures by drastically shortening the very long, room temperature bulk fermentation and adding a long, cold retardation of the formed loaves. And the levain was also cold retarded overnight.

 Forkish describes the flavor of this bread as having a mild tang that mellows over the first couple days after baking. My bread had a sweet, wheaty flavor and a moderate tang, tasted when just cooled to room temperature. The crust was crunchy, and the crumb was quite chewy. Pretty good stuff.


Happy baking!



bakegirl's picture

Help!! It has taken my years to perfect my challah recipe (its not really mine), however, my family loves it and I think it is perfect. However, especially lately, the braids are running together as it bakes and it comes out of the oven looking more like a rye bread with no braids. It goes in looking perfect. I am out of ideas and am very frustrated. Thanks for any advice or suggestions.

CAphyl's picture

Back in the UK, and it's great to be baking again.

I was pleased with the crumb on the classic sourdough I made today.  My husband liked the crust as well.

I have revived my sourdough over months in the fridge in the UK and have started baking. Lots to do to make bread for family and friends.This one was for us, and it tasted great. I always worry about my sourdough starter when I have to leave it for so long, but it bounced back nicely. Thanks to Kiseger for giving me a great UK website to find some items I couldn't pick up at the store.

The bread made a great sandwich.  I pasted in my original recipe below.  I didn't use my covered baker (don't have one here in the UK), so I used the steam method instead. Hope to post more from here.  Best,  Phyllis

Makes: One 2 pound loaf.

Method adapted from: Classic Sourdoughs by Ed and Jean Wood.

I varied the recipe by using my active starter that was a 70/20/10 mix of AP flour, WW flour and dark rye at 100% hydration. I really liked this mix, as it added a bit of texture to the loaf as the original recipe starter has no whole wheat or rye. I also changed the cold fermentation, extending it considerably by adding a bulk fermentation phase.


Final Dough:

  • 230 grams (about 1 cup or 240 ml) active starter, 70/20/10 mix of AP, WW and Rye flours at 100% hydration
  • 300 grams water (Approximately 1 1/2 cups or 360 ml water)
  • 10 grams salt (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 500 grams unbleached all-purpose flour (about 4 cups)


  1. Mixing the dough. Pour the starter into a mixing bowl. Add the water and mix well.  Add the flour a little bit at a time until it starts to stiffen.  Hold some flour out to knead in a bit later.  Let the mix autolyze for 30 minutes and then add then fold in the salt.
  2. Kneading the dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in some of the remaining flour if the dough is too sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes until it the dough is smooth and easy to handle.
  3. Bulk fermentation. Lightly coat a glass bowl with olive oil and place the dough ball into the bowl, making sure that the top of the dough ball has a thin coat oil. Cover and bulk ferment in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours.  I did two bakes of this bread in the last week or so, and I bulk fermented the first loaf for 72 hours, and it came out really great. The original recipe calls for it to proof at room temperature for 8-12 hours, so I made a major change here. Over this period in the refrigerator, the dough should about double in size.
  4. Shaping and final proof. Use a spatula to ease the dough out onto a floured surface. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, shape it into a rough ball, cover it with a cloth, and let it rest again for 30 minutes. Now, shape the dough into a boule and place it seam-side up into a banneton coated in brown rice flour. Put in a clean plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Baking the loaf. The next morning, remove the loaf from the refrigerator and let it warm up before baking. You should be the judge of how long you need it to warm up.  My loaf needed to pop up a bit, so I let it warm up for several hours at room temperature before I preheated the oven. I used my Emile Henry covered baker, so I preheated it with the cover on at 500 degrees (260 degrees C).  When the oven and baker are at temperature, remove the lid and pop the loaf into the bottom tray. Score it in the pattern you desire.  I sprayed a light mist of water on the dough, trying to avoid the hot surface, as I was hoping for a really beautiful crust.  Bake at 500 degrees with the lid on for 30 minutes, and then take the temperature down to 450 degrees and remove the lid for the final browning, which is another 10-15 minutes, depending on the type of crust you like.  We tend to like a bolder crust, so I bake it a bit longer. Watch it closely during this phase. If you do not have a covered baker, you can use a baking stone or tray with parchment paper, but make sure you create steam by using your steaming apparatus or baking tray with boiling water from the start of the bake.  Bake the loaf at about 480 (250 C) degrees for the first 25 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 435 for the next 15-20 minutes, depending on how bold you like the crust.
  6. Cooling and slicing the loaf:  Remove the loaf from the covered baker tray or stone and let cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing.


blackhatbaker's picture

I just couldn't help myself. I really wanted to bake, so I decided to make some no-knead bread; something that would be doable during a school day, even if it meant using commercial yeast. I must say, I was quite happy with the results, and it made a delicious loaf to have for dinner. 

dabrownman's picture

We were out of town for a few days and came back to a 100 year floods.  The normal rout we take to our house was closed so we had to go around and come in the back way.  The reason the road was flooded was the 5’ of rain we got in one day when we only get 7” a year.


There was no place for all this water to go since we don’t have storm sewers, no need for them except every 100 years, except into the lake. The lake community we live in saw one end of the lake overflow onto the road at one end.  The road has been closed since Monday and will remain closed until the lake goes down enough to clear it – that could take awhile.


Back to bread ….even though we refreshed some of our stiff rye starter 2 weeks ago for future use, Lucy still had a couple of weeks worth of the old one that has been in the fridge 14 weeks.  We are trying to see how long it will last in the fridge before it gives up the ghost.  Well…. it made it to week 14 but it was a real struggle for the poor tired wee beasties. .


Normally we feed the starter 3 times with the sifted out hard bits of the whole grains we mill for that week bake in order to get it up to bread speed.  But this time, the starter was fed some old farina and white spelt that Lucy found hiding out in her secret pantry – who knows how long it had been there?  The weak starter didn’t like it much.


Usually our levain will double in 4 hours after the 2nd build but this one showed no movement after the 3rd build and a total of 12 hours after the first feeding.   I thought it was dead but left it on the counter overnight for another 12 hours.  Low and behold it managed to rise 50%.  My usual rule is to toss the 2nd feeding if it can’t double in 4 hours and repeat it.  But since it had no movement at all we were in new territory.


To be honest, I should have tossed half of the poorly risen levain the next morning and fed it again and see if it could double in 4 hours.   But instead I just tossed the levain into the dough white spelt and bread flour and water that had been autolysing for 1 hour with the salt sprinkled on top.


Had I been thinking more clearly or had a better apprentice, I would have not put the salt on top of the autolyse and would added it later, after the levain had a chance to work on the dough for an hour or two - uninhibited by the restrictive salt.  But instead, we mixed everything together and did 3 sets of slap and folds of 7.1.and 1 minute and 3 sets of stretch and folds all on 20 minute intervals.


Even though the dough was 72.5% hydration it was stiff compared to our normal more slack dough.  We considered getting it up to 75% hydration but didn’t do it.  I hindsight 75% hydration would have been much better so, if you make this bread, take it up to 75% so the slapping stretching and folding will be much better and the crumb will be more open too.


We love udon for lunch as much as a good sandwich with fruit and veggies!  Or...blazing hot chicken thighs with  twice baked potato, salad and steamed veg.

The huge amount of addins including; pistachios, 2 kinds of dried figs, sunflower and pumpkin seeds were added during the first stretch and folds an were thoroughly distributed by the end of the third one.


Once the gluten development was finished we skipped the bulk ferment and went right to shaping, placing it in the rice floured basket seam side down so we could bake it seam side up with no slashing.  The basket was bagged and placed into the fridge for a nice cold 16 hour retard.


It didn’t do anything while in the fridge which was sort of expected since the levain was so weak and there was no counter bulk ferment.  We took it out of the fridge the next morning and not knowing how long it would take to proof we just checked it every hour after the first two hours on the counter.


 In 6 hours we un-molded the dough onto parchment on a peel and slid it onto the bottom stone for 15 minutes of steam using decreasing temperatures to 475 F for the last 11 minutes of steam.  Big Old Betsy has been preheated to 550 F and David’s Lava Rock Steaming Pan went in when it hit the preheat temperature.  15 minutes later the steam was billowing and ready for the bread.


After the steam came out, we wanted to turn the bread down to 425 F convection but somehow managed to turn it up to 525 F instead.  We discovered our mistake after 10 minutes when the loaf, top and bottom, looked well done but the inside was only 133 F.  We covered the top with foil to keep it from being totally burned and turned the oven down to 425 F and later to 400 F.


When it finally hit 200 F on the inside I shut the oven off and when it 203 F on the inside I took it out.  The crust was so hard I don’t think you could break it with a hammer.  I’m was pretty sure that it is to be a total loss since there was no spring and no cracking of the crust at the seam.   Burt we will have to see the inside once it cools down to call it a total loss.  Well it is far from a loss - yeah!  It taste great,  The crust didn't go soft but it wasn't as crusty as when it came out of the oven.  .  The crumb was not very open, but it was packed with all those generous goodies , it was moist and soft and about as tasty as one would ever want.  We really love spelt and this bread really does it justice.


Spelt and Farina Levain Build

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



14 Week Retarded Rye Starter












White Spelt
























Levain Totals


















Levain Hydration






Levain % of Total Flour












Dough Flour






White spelt






Bread Flour






Total Dough Flour
























Dried Figs






Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds


















Dough Hydration






Total Flour w/ Starter






Water w/ Starter












Hydration with Starter






Total Weight



















Lucy says not to forget a fine salad withlunch and dinner 


Subscribe to RSS - blogs