The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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Russian_Baker's picture

помогите , пожалуйста , определить - что такое "cl" ?

25 cl -  это сколько в миллилитрах , а 30 cl ?

KathyF's picture

Round two for the Overnight Country Blonde. A couple of changes this time. Because last time the bulk ferment kind of over proofed and it's getting quite a bit warmer now, I decided to bulk ferment in the fridge overnight. The final mix was at 8 pm, four sessions of stretch and folds and then in the fridge just before midnight. I then took it out and left it on the counter for four hours. Here is a before and after showing what it was like when it first came out of the fridge and after 4 hours:

The other change was that I decreased the hydration to a total of 69%. My family apparently are not big fans of the gelatinized crumb from the high hydration (sacrilege!). We did a taste test and they like the texture of this crumb better. Here is a crumb shot:

I think it turned out pretty good!

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I took the plunge a month or so ago and bought a pizza oven for our patio. I am still "dialing it in", as it were, but I was able to make some outstanding pizza with it this weekend.

The photos are on my phone and I've never had much success posting from my phone to my fresh loaf blog, so you'll have to just take my word for it.  Or, if you are so inclined, you can read a review and see some photos on my word press blog.

The neighbors truly raved about the pizza. But more important than what they thought, I thought it came out great. I am already looking forward to next weekend's guests.  I made the pies with sourdough; some 30% whole wheat, some 100% Caputo 00 flour. Next week I will likely make the 30% whole wheat again, as I cannot, in good conscience, make 100% refined white flour pizza.

If you're thinking of getting a Pizza Party wood-fired oven, despite its cheesy name, I can say that it is a very worthy oven for making pizzas.

alfanso's picture

Not quite the same as a comb-over.  Back from my northern voyage where I was able to handily empty out the freezer from the warehoused batards for the in-laws, I had a hankering' to make a batch of Ken's Bakery's Country Blonde batards.  (vs. the FWSY version)

Retarded fully shaped and couched, these rested comfortably in the refrigerator for about 18 hours.  

I really like the cold retard method of already shaped dough as there are some distinct advantages.  The bake day is shortened considerably and the cold dough is easy to score, especially for high hydration doughs.  

The downside is that it extends the prior day, the mix/ferment/shape day, by another hour or more.  And also that the couche requires a significant amount of flour to be applied lest the dough sticks nastily to it upon being moved to the oven peel.  Which has two disadvantages of its own: the dough retains a lot of the raw flour, especially on the underside and which is something that I really don't want in my product, and the couche, over time, starts to grow a layer of permanent hardened flour on it's surface, even after some vigorous scraping.

With a somewhat slack high hydration dough, as this is, the additional flour on the couche is a necessity - specifically because of the extended contact with the couche during the long cold retard.  Lower hydration doughs do not need nearly as much additional flour. 

The do-over is because the last time that I baked these, I had erroneously taken the batards out of the refrigerator way too soon, and sitting in a warm kitchen alongside a 500dF oven, they were murder to score.  Aside from wanting a tasty bread, I wanted to prove to myself that it was indeed the warming up of the prior batch that made it a struggle to get a clean score, hence this morning's bake and blog entry.

These are just over 78% hydration baked at 470dF.  

15 minutes steam, rotated, 23 minutes more and then 2 minutes vented.

For whatever reason, the batards, both inside and out seem to always appear in these photos more red than they actually are.  Crust being browner and the crumb being a little whiter.

Here is what the sad prior bake looked like - someone should call the cops:

A pretty gory crime scene, hopefully not to be repeated!

And here is today's bake.  Happily baking away in the oven, and the finished product

And here is the underside and my poor couche (after scraping!)


JessicaT's picture

June 6 2015 bake

Recipe based on the Norwich Sourdough from the Wild Yeast Blog.

450g white all purpose flour

60g dark rye

300g Water

182g ~100% hydration starter

11g of salt, dissolved in 50g of water

Water temp is unknown, but room temp was about 25*C

Steps went as followed:

Mix all but the salt, and 50 g of water into a shaggy wet mess. Autolyse for 30 minutes. After that bulk ferment for three hours, with stretch and folds every thirty minutes for two hours, totaling four stretch and folds.


At this point, the dough was shaped and was supposed to be final proofed at room temp for about two hours, but due to it being incredibly warm, it rose *much* faster than I had anticipated, so it went into the fridge at about 5:30 pm, and was baked at about 6:20 pm, with 20 minutes of steam, and 20 without.

dmsnyder's picture

Pain au Levain with mixed sourdough starters

Last week, I baked Hamelman's "66 Percent Sourdough Rye." Searching my TFL blog, I found I hadn't made this bread since 2008! This bread is leavened with a rye sour fed with Medium rye. It is interesting to make in that the dough handles like a high-percentage rye (very sticky with not much gluten development) yet the rye flavor is not dominent. It does have the advantage, shared with other high-rye-percentage breads, of brief bulk fermentation and proofing, which makes it a quick bread to make, assuming you have elaborated the sour the preceding day. This is a mellow, tasty, "all-purpose" bread, to my taste. Good fresh and toasted. It's a great bread for sandwiches. 

Well, I had made way too much rye sour for that bread and had a lot left over which provided a perfect excuse to make Hamelman's "Pain au Levain with mixed sourdough starters." This is also a bread I had made before, but not for some time - not since 2011. As the name implies, this bread uses both a wheat flour fed liquid levain and a rye sour. But it is basically a white bread with 84% bread flour, 8% rye (all in the sour) and 8% whole wheat. This formula is also remarkable for using only 16% pre-fermented flour. Yet, with that mix of levains, the bulk fermentation is very vigorous and takes no longer than Hamelman's usual 2.5 hours for his Pains au Levain, and that is without any commercial yeast.

I chose to cold retard the formed loaves overnight (about 16 hours, actually). They had about 45 minutes of proofing before refrigeration and about 2 hours at room temperature before baking.

The crumb was typical for a 68% hydration large loaf. On tasting a slice after the loaves had completely cooled, the crust was crunchy. The crumb was moderately chewy. The crust flavor is sweet and nutty - very flavorful as anticipated with a bold bake. The crumb flavor was quite complex. The flavors have not yet melded, and the rye and whole wheat flavor tones are identifiable. There is a late-appearing sourdough tang that is quite prominent. All in all, this bread is delicious with many discernible flavors which I expect will have mellowed by tomorrow morning. 

Anyone who enjoys any of Hamelman's Pains au Levain should be sure to give this one a try. I like them all, and I hope I remember to keep this one in my "rotation."

Happy baking!


foodslut's picture

My oven has been out of commission for a few days, and the front-panel computer gizmo needed to make it bake when you hit bake (instead of broil until the "too hot" alarm goes off) is on order. 

I have back-up plans if I really start jones-ing to bake (use friend's oven, and leave some hot bread behind as "payment"), but I've decided - after a couple of less-than-sterling attempts here and here) to use my baking down time to try to make a sourdough culture.

Why?  I feel I have the time, and a taste of bread from this local bakery (first bread I've purchased since starting baking in 2007) got me thinking I'd like to get bread with a touch of sour as well.

After reading all sorts of literature out there (including here at TFL), I've decided to try the Real Bread guy Andrew Whitley's approach to sourdough as preached in his book "Do Sourdough: Slow Bread for Busy Lives".

I'm also trying a 200% hydration liquid levain (using locally grown and stone milled whole wheat flour) instead of the 100% because I think I can aerate it a bit more easily during the build & maintenance.

Day 1 today, 16 minutes in:

As usual, all input/advice welcome.

More, as it happens ....

isand66's picture

  If you haven't noticed by now I seem to like porridge breadas, so it's no surprise I made another one yesterday.  My wife had some left-over caramelized onions from her Quesadillas she made last weekend and I had some left-over potatoes so the beginnings of a bread began to form.

I wanted to use some of my fresh milled Spelt flour for this one and I also added some freshly milled whole wheat and some Caputo 00 flour to round it out.

I compensated for the 81% water content of the potatoes by cutting back the actual water added to the main dough and ended up with a nice wet but manageable dough.
The final result was a wonderfully moist and open crumb with a fantastic nutty flavor from the spelt and just enough onions to make this one a winner.


Spelt Potato Grits Porridge Bread  (weights)

Spelt Potato Grits Porridge Bread  (%)

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.


Cosmo--"Panda Bear" catching some sun on the cable box.


FrugalBaker's picture

I have been testing my own limit on dough hydration of late and have come to the conclusion that I shall stop at 78 percent and not to challenge myself any further unless I am feeling extremely bored over the weekend.

This bake has started out as another attempt of 1:2:3, which I failed miserably the last time I tried my hands on but I guess I have progressed a fair bit for the past month. Not only that I increased the amount of hydration, I was convinced that I could go further than that. But then, the harsh reality sunk in..

I could barely do the slap and fold as the dough, well, it was not looking like a dough at all. And then I reminded myself of all the previous bake, on how I persisted and be able to pull through. So, after a 3 hours of stretch and fold, the dough firmed up but I could not shape it. I tried to do the best I could in the big container and pour it over to a heavily floured brotform. By now, the dough wobbles like a giant jelly. After some cold retardation, I was faced with yet another challenge. This time, I got to really use my grey matter on how am I going to get the dough out as part of it was still stuck to the ok, I managed in the end, big time!

The look of the dough looked like a complete flop initially but when it finally rose up in the oven....I said a little prayer (yes, I will have some fresh bread for breakfast today), phew....

Exciting it was, traumatic at times but I think it is worthwhile. Though, I should really be back to the basic now and focus more on shaping and scoring.


A better look at the crumb shot.


Finally, that's a the gloss : )

p/s: I think it looks ok for a rookie. Happy Baking everyone.


Best Regards,


Herbalgarden's picture

Made 2 sizes of dome for the cottage loaf. I should make more distinguish next time. I used spicy orange thyme and black sesame seed for both loaves.


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