The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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nmygarden's picture

...into the holidays. A practice pie (okay, so I wanted pie) apple-pear with brandy-soaked raisins and cranberries. The vent hole began as a heart shape and the top crust was a bit thin at the edges, so juices leaked through. But the crust is flaky and crisp - 25%WW, and the fruit held its shape and is quite flavorful, so no complaints.

To all of you who read and contribute to this site, thank you for helping us all take our interests and knowledge to a higher level.

Happy Holidays!


isand66's picture

    Holy Sprouted Wheat Batman!  There is something about sprouted wheat that adds a softness and creaminess to the crumb that is hard to describe unless you try it for yourself.


The last bake that I used sprouted whole wheat flour in came out great but I only used around 30% sprouted flour.  This time I upped the ante and used 50% sprouted flour and it worked great.  Of course I had to add some onions, cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese to bring these bad boys over the top.

I hope you give this recipe a try if you can get your hands on some sprouted whole wheat flour, or better yet do what I did and sprout and grind it yourself.


Sprouted Wheat Cottage Cheese Onion Rolls (%)

Sprouted Wheat Cottage Cheese Onion Rolls (weights)

Here is the link to download the BreadStorm .Bun file.


Mix the dehydrated onions with the water and let it sit for about 10 minutes to soften up.

Mix flours with the yeast to combine.  Next add remainder of the ingredients except the Parmesan cheese and mix on low for 6 minutes.
Now you can add the shredded Parmesan cheese and mix for about 1 minute to make sure it is thoroughly incorporated into the dough.

Take the dough out of your mixer and form it into a ball and place in a well oiled bowl or dough rising bucket and immediately place it in the refrigerator overnight.

On baking day, take the dough out of your refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for around twenty minutes to get the chill off.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape into rolls as desired and place on a baking sheet.  Cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with vegetable spray and let proof at room temperature for around 1 hour until the rolls start to get puffy and when poked with your finger the indent springs back slowly.

Around 30 minutes before ready to bake the rolls, pre-heat your oven to 525 degrees and prepare your oven for steam as well.  I use a heavy-duty pan in the bottom shelf of my oven and pour 1 cup of boiling water in right before placing the rolls in the oven.

Right before you are ready to bake the rolls apply an egg wash and sprinkle shredded Parmesan on top of each roll.

Bake the rolls at 450 degrees for the first 5 minutes and lower the oven to 425 degrees until they are nice and brown.

These should take about 25 minutes to cook thoroughly.  When done  let them cool on wire rack for at least half an hour before digging in if you can wait that long.




PY's picture

used bread flour, heritage whole wheat and rye for this loaf.

started with a pre ferment about 16 hours

G 35g 100% starter (mine is rye)

35g water

35g bread flour


final dough

310g bread flour

100g heritage whole wheat

100g dark rye

12g sea salt

1 tsp toasted and ground cumin and coriander seeds


autolyse at least 1 hour

bulk fermentation 2 hours with stretch and fold at intervals of 30 mins

preshape and bench 10min

final shaping and proof in banneton for 45 min to 1 hour

bake with steam

leslieruf's picture

was to have a go at a basic sourdough using formula I read on TFL - 1 part starter, 2 parts water, 3 parts flour with 2% salt.  I wanted a basic white loaf I could slice and freeze.  Made the liquid levain from my firm starter last night and used almost all of it to get 1 loaf and a boule.  This was the wettest dough I have ever tried so I did lots of stretch and folds over the early part of bulk fermentation time then left it much longer to ferment on the kitchen bench at about 25oC.   Am happy with results  as I had wondered how it would ever hold its shape.  





alfanso's picture

In an attempt at being anti-curmudgeonly, we hosted a get-together for neighbors last night.  I had the bright idea of consuming (too) many hours by baking three different breads on Friday.  Unfortunately, I thought about taking photos of the layout just as our first guests knocked, and mere seconds after the food had finished being laid out.  Therefore no more than a single photo was snapped of the groaning table.

Closest in the photo are the Pain a l’Ancienne baguettes.  At 80% hydration and unstructured, they are gently pulled to the length of the baking peel.  My first time baking these in a decade, from Peter Reinhart’s Bread Baker’s Apprentice.  Not knowing my baking left from my baking right at the time, I bought the BBA because the photos and walk-through explanations looked to be a good teacher.  Cold fermented for 1 day.

In the center and partially sliced is one of the two Ciabatta loaves.  At 83% hydration, I hadn’t made these in about a year.  SAF Red IDY with a 40% overnight biga, my take on a northwest bakery’s ciabatta which is baked for restaurants. Missing sufficient loft, I guess I’m out of practice.

At the far end, sharing a cooling rack with the other ciabatta, is my slightly skewed take on SJSD baguettes.  For these, at ~74% hydration, I used dabrownman’s 3 stage build schedule with a 50/50 mix of whole wheat and dark rye flours to get from my ~65% starter to 100% hydration liquid levain.  Followed by David Snyder’s formula for San Joaquin Sour Dough baguettes.  A slightly heartier version of Mr. Snyder’s SJSD by virtue of subbing the white flour in the levain with all whole grain and adding a few more grams of water to the final mix.

The evening’s dedicated toppings for slathering on the breads were an olive paste based on David Rosengarten’s Taste program from the early days of the Food Network, and also a hummus.

Outside of the picture on the dining room table my wife made a few of her fabulous offerings.  A Mexican Chocolate Roll and Chocolate Meringue Cookies, both from Mountains of Chocolate, a tiny 35 year old paperback for which I can find no current reference.  The chocolate is laced with cinnamon and almond extract, and el segreto final is the dusting of cocoa across the surface, the roll is guaranteed to make one’s eyes roll in delight.   Similar in look (only) to this lovely creature - .

The meringue cookies use cocoa for their exterior, toasted pecan’s and she uses Lindt’s Intense Orange chocolate for the chips.   Again, similar, in look only, to these - .

The final third of her own confection trilogy last night was a pumpkin cheesecake with a cream cheese/whipped cream topping and gingersnap cookie based crust. .

Understanding that TFL is a bread based website, but - if anyone is interested in the chocolate roll or meringues, and as Mountains of Chocolate (1981) seems to be out of print for a generation, I’d be happy to share the recipes.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I must hop on the treadmill for oh, say, the next 12 hours.


dabrownman's picture

After last week’s Cosmic Calamity, Lucy has settled back down to her normal self but had to have a beer to celebrate her notoriety as the center of the universe even if only for one day.  She has an affinity for darker beers and decided that Deschutes Black Butte Porter was perfect, not only for celebrating but for bread making too.


Continuing our recent experiments with various sprouted grains, Lucy decided to use this porter for the entire dough liquid and not levain me even a drop for tasting to make sure it wasn’t poisonous.


Beer doesn’t seem to affect our normal SD breads from a fermenting and proof point of view and usually you can’t taste it too much either but this black porter did darken the color of the dough a bit.  We didn’t know how the sprouted flour would react to the beer but Lucy figured if it didn’t like beer we just wouldn’t sprout and grind grain anymore.


This recipe is similar to our recent ones with 50% whole grains and half of it sprouted.  The 50% of white flour was half KA bread flour and half LaFama AP this time and the whole and sprouted grains were a equal mix of wheat, emmer (farro), rye and spelt dropping the einkorn and Kamut this week.


We did our usual 3 stage, 4 hour each levain build using 8 g of the 4 week retarded rye starter for the seed.  The levain build was done on the heating goad and after it has doubled after the 3rd stage we retarded it in the fridge for 24 hours


The levain was fed the sifted hard bit 17% extraction of the whole and sprouted milled grains in the first to get them  wet for as long as possible.  The wee beasties really seem to like these hard bits and all the minerals and other goodies they contain. 


The levain ended up being 12.77% of the total flour weight since it is winter time instead of the 9% we would use for a sprouted grain bread in the summer that was going to be retarded for 12 hours. 


We autolysed the dough flour and porter, with the salt sprinkled on top,  for an hour while the levain warmed up on the heating pad after its 24 hour retard.  Once the autolyse and levain came together the dough was once again very sloppy but not as bad as last time since we did cut the hydration 3 points to 85% this time.


The dough did stop sticking to the granite at the 8 minute mark and end of the first set of slap and folds.  This was followed by 2 more sets of 1 minute each and 3 set of stretch and folds from the compass points.  All the gluten development sessions were followed by 15 minutes rests instead of our usual 20 minute ones.


The dough was still a bit sticky when we went to shape it and put it in the basket so I put a touch of rice flour on the boule top before upending it on the basket seam side up.  We hoped this would stop it from sticking like the last one did.  This boule was going into a well seasoned basket too, unlike the last one.  Still 82.5% hydration would have been better especially if you aren’t used to and comfortable with really sloppy dough.


We bagged the boule in a new trash can liner and put it in the fridge for its 12 hour chill.  When we took it out of the fridge the next day, it looked like we could let it warm up on the counter for an hour, before firing up Big Old Betsy to a 500 F preheat, which would give it a 1 hour and 45 minute counter warm up total.  


The dough was upended out of the basket onto parchment and peel, sticking a bit but no worries, slashed and loaded onto the bottom stone and covered with the hot bottom of a heavy aluminum pot for steaming.  5 minutes later we turned the oven down to 450 F  After 18 minutes the lid came off and we continued to bake for another 10 minutes at 425 F - convection this time.


After deflating a bit when slashed and spreading just a bit like high hydration dough wants to do, the bread made a comeback with some decent spring, bloom and blisters under steam.  Once the led came off, the crust browned nicely to that deep mahogany color we love so much.


It was baked to 207 F  and left on the stone, oven off and door ajar for 5 minutes to really crisp the skin.  We usually don’t get that color with sprouted grains so maybe it was the porter? For some reason, sprouted grains don’t usually put mahogany on crust!


The crust was crisp when it came out of the oven but softened as it cooled   The crumb was darker in color due to the porter but as soft, moist, glossy and open as the other similar 50% whole grain with half sprouted breads of late.  This one tastes very good too, like the other ones, but I wish the porter would come through more.


I think we have taken this as far as we need to right now and can move on to higher percent whole grain breads with lots of stuff in them and maybe sprouts and sprouted flour too!


Levain Build

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



4 Week Retarded Rye Sour Starter






83% Extraction Whole & Sprouted






17% Extract Whole & Sprouted
























Levain Totals


















Levain Hydration






Levain % of Total Flour












Dough Flour






83% Extract Sprouted & Whole Grain






1/2 La Fama AP & 1/2 KA Bread Flour






Total Dough Flour






























Dough Hydration






Total Flour w/ Starter






Black Butte Porter & Water w/ Starter












Hydration with Starter






Total Weight






% Whole Grain






% Sprouted Grain












Whole and sprouted grains include equal 





amounts of rye, spelt, emmer and wheat





Half the whole grains were sprouted









bryoria's picture

I used to make the buttermilk bread from the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book as our everyday sandwich bread, but then I discovered an overnight fermentation recipe and the colour, texture, and taste are so much better, I don't think I can ever go back to an all-in-one-day bread recipe.

My recipe is based on this one for Traditional Soaked Whole Wheat Bread from The Elliot Homestead website, but I've made several modifications to make it work with freshly ground whole wheat flour and end up with 3 good-sized sandwich loaves.

Here are my modifications from the original recipe:

  • I always use fresh ground flour, right out of the mill (I have a nutrimill), measured by weight (440 grams in soaker, 440 grams in sponge).
  • I use 1 2/3 cup of the milk and water (instead of 1 1/2 cup).
  • I use lemon juice instead of apple cider vinegar.
  • I add 3 Tbsp of wheat gluten and 1 Tbsp instant yeast to the final mix.
  • I bake using the "convect roast" setting on my oven, set to 375F, for 35 minutes.
  • I find this makes three good, decent-sized loaves. The original recipe shows two very flat loaves. Maybe she has huge bread pans?

This bread has a wonderful texture, toasts well, and fits well in our sandwich containers! It does take a very long time to rise in the pans, and I don't rush it. 1 1/2 hours is typical, at room temperature (we keep our house at 19C). I bake it at 375F convect roast setting for 35 minutes.

I have made some observations when using fresh ground flour. This bread is the ultimate if the flour is truly fresh - the flavour is fantastic. I use the flour immediately after milling, while it's warm. If you don't use it within 24 hours, the flour changes and turns into an unruly teenager who will destroy all of the gluten in an overnight ferment. The dough will never firm up - it loses all its elasticity and just spreads into a flat pancake on the counter. I assume this is due to enzyme changes. In that case it is better to age the flour for weeks before trying to use it again, though I will use "teenaged flour" for same-day baking like pancakes, muffins, and cookies.

caryn's picture

After mostly making levain breads from Hamelman's bread, I decided to try Ken Forkish's approach which is quite a bit different.  I had made bread using the Dutch oven technique a long time ago when the method was popularized. It seemed like everyone was jumping on the band wagon. A number of books came out with variations on that technique. What I noticed was that for the most part the recipes were white breads with some subtle flavor additives, and I have always favored breads with a fair amount of whole grains. So, though intrigued with the method, I was not that excited about the recipes for that "new" technique.

I did try that method around that time and it worked quite well, and I even felt it was a nice change from the breads that I was making. However, I still craved the whole  grain formulas  and found the procedure of depositing  dough into a blazing hot pot rather scary. So I went back to making breads the more usual way a la Hamelman and some others.

Now, after stumbling on some posts here at TFL, I saw some wonderful write-ups on the breads from Ken Forkish's book abbreviated here as FWSY. I was particularly interested when I saw dmsnyder's 2 posts on the 75% whole wheat bread from his book. (  ).  So now I was intrigued once again. I asked him and lindyD some questions on the method, and today with the Forkish book from the library,  I baked the 75% whole wheat  bread. I think it may be one of my best breads that I have made to date. I was a bit skeptical when I started, thinking that the bread might be heavier than I would want, but the texture was really nice considering the amount of whole wheat in the formula. I highly recommend this to anyone.

I also worked on making the method less scary. I know that both dmsnyder's and lindyD use a Lodge Dutch oven combo to make the process safer and easier, but being reluctant to add yet another piece of equipment to my already excessive collection, I worked on coming up with my own solution, getting some ideas from lindyD. So this is what I finally did. I proofed the dough in 2 bannetons in the refrigerator overnight as directed. I then preheated my oven with my 6 quart Dutch oven to 450 F.  After 45 minutes, I took the first loaf out of the refrig and inverted it on to a peel with a greased piece of parchment paper on top of the banneton.   The bread dough was now on the peel sitting on the parchment paper, so I trimmed the paper so I would be able to lower it into the pot. I took the pot out of the oven, slashed the loaf, sprayed it with water, and then lowered it into the pot holding onto the parchment (with oven gloves on). It worked nicely. When the first losf was baked, I repeated the process with the second loaf, reusing the parchment paper.

So now I am a big fan of "Bread, Water, Salt, Yeast" and look forward to trying more of his breads, and perhaps using the technique on the more standard formulas. I will, though, test to see if a similar result could be achieved using a stone and an aluminum pan lid. That way I could bake the two loaves at once.

This is a picture showing the crumb:


Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

This was an experimental loaf. As the weather gets cold I am testing time and temperature.

The idea here was to increase the ratio of rye starter to wheat starter to 2:1 - this was mostly to give it a stronger fuller flavor - that worked. I also let this bulk ferment for about 24 hours. The amount of time out of the fridge is the variable since "room temperature" is definitely different than it was a few months ago.

This formula is for one loaf but I continually get enough rise and spring to actually bake two good sized loaves.

isand66's picture

  If I could only eat 3 things, 1 of them would be cheese, the other bread and the third I'm not so sure. There is nothing that smells so good as bread baking with cheese oozing out of it.

Continuing my exploration of sprouted flour I decided to make a porridge bread using freshly ground and sprouted whole wheat for around 36% of the flour with the balance being KAF European style and AP from the levain.

I used what I had left of a nice semi-sharp New Zealand cheddar cheese which worked very well with this formula.  If I had to do it again I would prefer to add even more cheese to take it over the top.

The porridge portion consisted of KAF Organic Six Grain Flakes which consisted of oat, barley, rye and a couple of other grains which I mixed with milk.

On one of the loaves I decided to top it off with some smoked bamboo sesame seeds which really added a nice finishing touch.

The end result of this bake was near perfection.  This one tastes as good as it gets.  The crumb is nice and moist from the porridge and the sprouted whole wheat adds another layer and dimension to the final bread.  If you get a chance I highly recommend you try this one as it won't disappoint.



Sprouted Wheat Cheese Porridge Bread (%)

Sprouted Wheat Cheese Porridge Bread (weights)

Download the BreadStorm File Here.


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.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

Porridge Directions

Add about 3/4’s of the milk called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients in a small pot on your stove, 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 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 20-30 minutes.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and cooled porridge, and mix on low for 6 minutes.  Add the cubed cheese and mix on low for 1 minute until it is evenly distributed.  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 1.5 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 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 500 degrees and after another 3 minutes lower it 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.





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