The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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WoodenSpoon's picture


  • 412g KABF 50%
  • 247g KAAP 30%
  • 91g T85 11%
  • 150g levain (9% flour, 9% water)
  • 394g water 48%
  • 250g unsweetened coconut water 30%
  • 50g coconut flakes, dry weight, I soaked em then wrung em out and saved the water 6%.
  • 6g coco powder .75%
  • 16g salt 2%

I gave this rascal a 1.5 hour autolyse then 3 minutes of slap and folds followed by a fifteen minute rest then another two minutes of slapping and folding followed by another rest and a set of stretch and folds. Then I fermented it at room temp for an additional three and a half hours. Then I shaped it and proofed it in the fridge for about fifteen hours. in the morning I took it from the fridge and allowed it to continue proofing for around an hour and a half then baked em, preheating the oven to 550 then turning it right down to 470 after steaming.

I kept my levain at room temp and used it a little young attempting to keep it on the sweeter side of things. All in all this is a super great smelling really good tasting loaf, mmmm

dmsnyder's picture

Pane Valle Maggia, ver. 2

March 7 , 2014


Last month, I made Pane Valle Maggia, inspired by Josh's “Pain Maggiore.” It was a very good bread, but I wanted to make it again using freshly milled whole wheat flour. Also, I thought it would be improved by pre-fermenting the rye component. So, I made both changes for today's bake. The Total Dough ingredients were basically unchanged.

The whole wheat flour was milled with the KitchenAid mixer's Grain Mill attachment. I put Hard Red Winter Wheat Berries purchased in bulk at Whole Foods Market through 4 passes, starting with the coarsest setting and progressing to the finest setting.

The rye sour was elaborated in 3 builds from my refrigerated rye sour.


Whole Wheat Levain

Wt. (g)

Baker’s %

Active liquid levain (70% AP; 20% WW; 10% Rye)



Fresh-milled Whole Wheat flour










Rye Sour

Wt. (g)

Baker’s %

Active Rye Sour (100% hydration)



KAF Medium Rye flour










Both levains were mixed in the late evening and fermented at room temperature for about 14 hours.


Final Dough

Wt. (g)

Fresh-milled Whole Wheat flour


KAF AP flour






Both levains





Total Dough

Wt. (g)

Baker’s %

AP flour



Whole Wheat flour



Rye flour














  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle installed, disperse the two levains in 500g of the Final Dough Water.

  2. Add the flours and mix at low speed to a shaggy mass.

  3. Cover and allow to autolyse for 1-3 hours.

  4. Add the salt and mix at low speed to combine.

  5. Switch to the dough hook and mix to medium gluten development.

  6. Add the remaining 66g of water and continue mixing until the dough comes back together.

  7. Transfer to a well-floured board and stretch and fold into a ball.

  8. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover.

  9. Bulk ferment for about 3-4 hours with Stretch and Folds on the board every 40 minutes for 3 or 4 times. (Note: This is a rather slack, sticky dough. It gains strength as it ferments and you stretch and fold it, but you still have to flour the board and your hands well to prevent too much of the dough from sticking. Use the bench knife to free the dough when it is sticking to the bench.)

  10. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape round.

  11. Cover with a damp towel or plasti-crap and allow to rest for 15-30 minutes.

  12. Shape as tight boules or bâtards and place in floured bannetons, seam-side up.

  13. Put each banneton in a food-safe plastic bag and refrigerate for 8-12 hours.

  14. Pre-heat the oven for 45-60 minutes to 500 dF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  15. Take the loaves out of the refrigerator. Place them on a peel. Score them as you wish. (I believe the traditional scoring is 3 parallel cuts across a round loaf.)

  16. Transfer the loaves to the baking stone.

  17. Bake with steam for 13 minutes, then remove your steaming apparatus/vent the oven.

  18. Continue baking for 20-25 minutes. The loaves should be darkly colored with firm crusts. The internal temperature should be at least 205 dF.

  19. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.


The whole wheat flour particle size was much larger than that of the Giusto's fine whole wheat flour I had been using. It had a sandy consistency, not unlike Semolina flour. When mixed, the dough was slack but also soft like an semolina semolina dough. It did pass an early window pane test after mixing. The dough gained strength during bulk fermentation with 3 stretch and folds on the board, but it remained more extensible and less elastic that the dough made with fine whole wheat flour. I was concerned that the crumb would be too dense.

I baked these loaves right out of the refrigerator.


The crust was thinner and less crunchy than the last bake of this bread. The crumb was less open than last time and had fewer large holes than ordinarily expected of a dough at this high-hydration level. I really can't attribute the denser crumb to the coarser whole wheat flour. This bread is 20% whole wheat, while the San Francisco Sourdough I made with the same flour has 30% whole wheat. I really am unable to nail any of the other "usual suspects" at the moment. I'll just have to make this bread again and see. Oh, the sacrifices we make! 

This bread had a wonderful aroma. It was very tender and less chewy than the last bake.The flavor was extraordinary. When first sliced after cooling, the bread was very sour, which I attribute particularly to my use of rye sour. It was not so sour as to mask the delicious, complex flavor. A wonderful sweet, wheaty flavor predominated. I could not discern a distinct rye contribution to the flavor. In fact, the flavors were well-balanced and integrated. I am accustomed to this kind of mixed flour bread needing at least 24 hours for the flavors to meld. It will be interesting to see what this tastes like tomorrow.

I found myself wanting to keep tasting the bread while cleaning up after lunch. It occurred to me that this is a bread I could easily make a meal of, no butter, cheese or other distractions necessary. This is definitely a bread I will want to make frequently.

Since I was going to be milling flour anyway, I figured I might as well mill enough to make a couple loaves of San Francisco-style Sourdough Bread with increased whole wheat. (See: San Francisco-style Sourdough Bread with increased whole wheat flour)


I was pleasantly surprised when I sliced the SF SD. The crumb was really nice and open. Moreover, the crumb was moderately chewy. Obviously, there is more going on than the difference in the whole wheat flour. The flavor had in common with the Pane Valle Maggia a moderate sour tang and a lovely, wheaty flavor. 

And, since I was feeding my rye sour anyway, I figured I might as well build enough for a couple loaves of Jewish Sour Rye.



 This rye, like the last ones, was baked at the higher temperature - 460 dF for 15 minutes, then 440 dF for another 20 minutes. I do like the results better than those I got baking at 375 dF. Very good when first sliced and delicious toasted  for breakfast.

All in all, a very good couple of baking days. 

Happy baking!


emkay's picture

For a long time I was scared of using yeast. Although I am still a novice at bread making, the fear has subsided. In addition to learning bread making, I've always wanted to tackle laminated and enriched doughs. Viennoserie is like a happy place where cakes and bread meet. For some strange reason I find Viennoserie less scary than bread. With bread, there is no place to hide my mistakes. It's flour and water (and salt and yeast). With Viennoiserie, mistakes are still noticeable, but the butter, sugar, eggs and milk make those mistakes more palatable.

I was fortunate enough to attend a 5-day Viennoiserie class at the SFBI. I wasn't sure if I could reproduce the results at home without a sheeter, proof box, and high-tech oven, but I was inspired by all the croissants seen on TFL especially txfarmer's amazing croissants. I'm using a scaled down version of the croissant with poolish recipe I learned in class (which I think is from Suas' Advanced Bread and Pastry). 


Attempt1: traditional-shaped croissants. Long story short, I used too much butter for the roll-in and I didn't proof them long enough before baking. My shaping skills need work. The croissants have too many shoulders. The layers are not distinct.
croissant 1a - traditional

Attempt 2: pain au chocolate. I can see some distinct layering and there's some honeycombing. My results were better than those in attempt 1.
croissant 2a - chocolate croissant 2b - chocolate

Attempt 3. I knew during the lock-in that my beurrage was too hard. But it was too late to turn back and let the butter soften a bit so I proceeded and hoped for the best. I could see that the butter layer was patchy even with each subsequent turn. (Note to self: Always make sure the detrempe and beurrage are the same texture before doing the lock-in.) I was worried about the how the patchiness of the butter would lead to uneven layering and bready croissants. So I used the dough to make blueberry danishes where the breadiness would be less noticeable.
danish-cwp_1 danish-cwp_5

dabrownman's picture

The girls really liked this week’s YW Italian bread we baked using a take in the poolish calzone recipe by replacing the poolish with YW.  That will be a tough bread to beat but We though we would give it a go at using nearly the same recipe and replacing the YW with SD this time. 


We dropped the herbs, sun dried tomato and olive oil and added in a bit of red and white malt and upped the hydration from 76% to 78% which really made the dough a slack one.  We kept to the rough 17% whole grains with all of it being in the SD preferment.  This is about as white a bread as we want make for health reasons.


We stuck to the same procedure; 12 hour 1 stage levain build with a 1 hour autolyse of the flour and dough water and the salt sprinkled in top.  Once everything came together we did a with mix with a spoon and 5 minutes of slap and folds before resting 15 minutes and doing another 1minute set before stopping when the dough no longer stuck to the counter.


We then did 4 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points on 30 minute intervals. The dough was then pre-shaped and then shaped into a boule and placed into a  rice floured basket, bagged and placed in the fridge for a cold 12 hour retarded proof.


The bread proofed to 85% in the fridge so we Fired up Big Old Betsy to the 550 F pre heat and go (2) of Sylvia’s steaming pans ready for the mega steam.  Sylvia’s pans went in when the temperature hit 500 F and when the temperature hit 550 F the steam was billowing and the stones at least up to 500 F.


We took the dough out of the fridge, upended the basket onto parchment on a peel, scored it diamond style, slid it onto the bottom stone, closed the door and turned the oven down to 475 F for 12 minutes of uninterrupted steam. 


When the steam came out, we turned the oven down to 425 F, convection this time and baked the bread till it hit 207 in the inside when we turned off the oven while allowing the bread to sit on the stone till it hit 210 F when it was removed to the cooling rack.


The bread browned, cracked, blistered, sprang and bloomed well but, the blisters were not as big as the YW bread earlier in the week.  This one was not over proofed as the YW seemed to be - even though it sprang and bloomed as well as this one.


We will have to wait on the crumb and tasting till after lunch but it smells fine cooling on the rack.  This crumb is almost as open as the YW one, just as soft and moist but the taste is where this version of white bread shines - the YW can't compare if you love SD like I do.   But, if you don't like SD then the YW version is for you.  The crust stayed a little more crisp on this one but once gain it's all in the SD taste.

This bread reminds me of SFSD but little more tasty due to the whole grains and red malt.  We had a great pepper jack, smoked pulled pork sandwich for lunch with the usual veggies, salad and fruits.  This bread is the perfect white bread for smoked meats.   I wish the BBQ joints in KCMO would serve it instead of Wonder Bread:-)



Multigrain SD Levain

Build 1



RyeSD Starter




Whole Rye




Whole Wheat




Whole Spelt
















Levain Totals




Whole; Rye, Spelt and Wheat












Levain % of Total Flour & Water








Dough Flour




AP Dough Flour












Red Rye Malt




White Malt




Dough Hydration








Total Flour








Hydration with Levain




Whole Grain  %




Total Weight




And don't forget that fantastic blue cheese, cherry tomato and home grown greens in that salad! 


Julie McLeod's picture
Julie McLeod

Both these loaves are based on the basic formula and technique from Tartine Bread.  The formula for both:

500 grams unbleached white flour

375 grams water

100 grams leaven (100% hydration, white flour)

10 grams salt

The Fig & Fennel loaf has the addition of 12 grams of fennel which was soaked in boiling water for a few hours and the fragrant soaking water was used in the dough.  The fennel seeds and about a cup of roughly chopped dried figs were added after a one hour autolyse.  The Cherry & Chocolate loaf has 75 grams of dark chocolate chips and 100 grams of tart dried cherries, added after a one hour autolyse.  A portion of the water in the dough was an herbal cherry tea as suggested by member isand66 last time I posted a similar loaf (thanks!).  Both loaves were retarded in fridge for 16 hours or so and baked at 450 º for 20 minutes in a pre-heated covered dutch oven and then for 25 minutes uncovered.


I love the oven spring on the Cherry & Chocolate loaf (first picture) - it got quite a bit higher and rounder than the Fig & Fennel (second picture).  I haven't cut into either yet so can't show a crumb shot or tell you how they taste.


aptk's picture

From left to right, top to bottom

Here's a yeasted white bread, my basic white loaf bread, I added one cup roasted white onions, 1/4 cup scallions, green parts only sliced thin, one tablespoon parsley, and a half teaspoon dried dill weed.

This recipe makes one standard loaf, put once again I quartered it for four mini boules, two to bake now, two wrapped in plastic for later use.

Proofed, egg washed, scored and saltd

With this kind of salt

Here they are, straight out of the oven

Here's the close up shot

Here's the crumb shot

And here's the sandwich shot.

CAphyl's picture

Baked another Tartine loaf with increased hydration, looking for the perfect crumb (which, of course, can never be achieved!)  We had this loaf for lunch with my husband's sister and her husband, Bob the baker from England.  They leave today, so we enjoyed lunch outside in the California sun.  Bob gave the bread passing marks. They return to Liverpool (and a bit of rain) this afternoon.  They did have rain here and in Las Vegas during their visit.

We enjoyed the bread, and I will continue my experiments in hydration. I believe I may try a WW recipe next.

aptk's picture

This is a 100% whole wheat sourdough bread with lots of nuts and seeds mixed in (walnuts, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds).

I have recently taken a personal chef type endeavor, not like a gourmet chef, where I show up with wonderful ingredients and fix a 5 course meal. It's more of a I show up in your kitchen and fix dinner out of whatever I find in your kitchen. It's a hey everybody, grandma's going to come and fix us dinner kind of a thing.

I like to include fresh baked bread with the meal, but because I am only going to be there for 2-3 hours, I need a bread which I can make up in my kitchen ahead of time, transport to the site, and bake in their kitchen. And it needs to be something that doesn't require any fancy oven set up, something that I can have baked and cooled enough to eat within the time restraints, two hours.

So here is the recipe: 3/4 cup warm water with one tablespoon sugar dissolved in it, one cup active sourdough starter (I use a 100% hydrated starter), and one cup whole wheat flour. Mix together in bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes to one hour. Then I added one cup of unsalted nuts and seeds, I teaspoon salt and another cup of whole wheat flour. And mixed that in. (I'm totally old school, all my mixing and kneading is done by hand) And then gradually knead in about another cup of flour to make an elastic dough. I would have said smooth, but there's a lot of nuts and seeds in there!. It then gets a thin coat of oil and is allowed to rise until doubled in size.

This is enough dough to make a large boule loaf. But what I did was punch it down, knead it lightly, and cut it into four quarters. I pre-shaped each quarter into a mini boule. Two of the loaves were baked in my kitchen, after being allowed to proof for about an hour.

The loaves shown here are the ones that had been in refrigerator. The top loaf went directly from the fridge to the oven, the second got to sit at room temp while the first one baked (425F, 45 minutes, light steam). I wanted to compare crumb between the two. Here's what I got.

What I ended up with was four quite tasty although rather dense loaves (which is what I get normally with this particular recipe unless it retards for day or so).


zoyerteyg's picture

Having benefited from the collective wisdom of other Fresh Loafers for a while, I thought it was time to make a contribution. This bread is a sourdough adaptation of a straight-dough whole-wheat multigrain loaf with honey and dried malt that my much-loved late father-in-law used to make with a bread machine.

The family always loved it, and when I took up bread baking asked me to replicate it. They claim my version tastes the same, which of course can't be true because the technique has changed. Anyway, I've been tinkering with the recipe for a few years, influenced by the Hamelman whole-wheat multigrain bread and more recently by various bloggers on this site, especially David Snyder. Today's loaf had easily the best oven spring so far and tastes good too. The crackly crust was especially satisfying.



I thought it might be worth sharing the recipe because it has a couple of unusual features for a whole-wheat multigrain both of which are retained from my father-in-law's original formula, namely the high proportion (72%) of whole-wheat flour and the inclusion of the dried malt. Here goes:


Overall Formula (makes two large loaves) 

   643g            whole-wheat flour                                                                                                              72.1%

     20g            culture whole-wheat flour

   257g            bread flour                                                                                                                          27.9%

     64g            cracked wheat or rye                                                                                                            7.0%

     64g            steel-cut oats (or other grain)                                                                                               7.0%

     55g            linseed (or other seed)                                                                                                          6.0%

     28g            dried malt                                                                                                                             3.0%

     28g            honey                                                                                                                                    3.0%

     18g            salt                                                                                                                                        2.0%

   723g            water                                                                                                                                   80%

     13g            culture water



Levain build

   113g            whole-wheat flour (+20g culture flour)                                                                              72.3%

     51g            bread flour                                                                                                                         27.7%

   107g            water (+13g culture water)                                                                                                 65.2%

     33g            stiff whole-wheat culture                                                                                                   20.1%


Prepare the levain around 12 hours before the final mix, and ideally leave it to ferment at 21°C.



   183g            grains and seeds                                                                                                            100%

   183g            boiling water                                                                                                                   100%

       4g            salt                                                                                                                                      2.2%


Prepare the soaker at the same time as the levain, and leave it to stand in a covered bowl at room temperature.


Final Dough

   530g            whole-wheat flour

   206g            bread flour

   433g            water

     28g            dried malt

     28g            honey

     14g            salt

   304g            levain

   370g            soaker           




  1. Mix without kneading all the final dough flour and water in a bowl until the water has been incorporated.
  2. Cover the bowl and leave the flour and water to autolyse for up to 60 mins. The target dough temperature is 24.5°C.
  3. Add the soaker and honey, sprinkle on the salt and dried malt, add the levain, and mix roughly until all the final dough ingredients are loosely incorporated.
  4. Hand-knead the dough (I don't own a mixer) for 12-15 minutes until it acquires some body and the gluten has developed perceptibly. It will be sloppy and almost unmanageable at first, but starts to settle down after a few minutes.
  5. Bulk-ferment the dough for 3 hours 20 minutes, folding three times at intervals of 50 mins.
  6. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, then lightly pre-shape them round and leave to rest for about 10 minutes.
  7. Shape the dough pieces into boules or batards, optionally coat them with sesame seeds or cracked grain, then place them seam-side up in bannetons covered by plastic or inverted bowls.
  8. Proof for 2-2½ hours, ideally at 24.5°C. Alternatively, refrigerate the bannetons for 14-18 hours. If retarding in the fridge, leave the bannetons out at room temperature beforehand for up to 1 hour and afterwards for 3-5 hours, depending on the state of the dough.
  9. Pre-heat the oven well in advance of the bake at 240°C. However, if using a peel and stone, pre-heat the oven at 255°C to allow for the loss of heat when loading the loaves.
  10. Score the loaves and transfer them to the oven.
  11. Straight after loading the loaves, steam the oven and, if using a peel and stone, reduce the oven temperature to 240°C.
  12. After 20 minutes, lower the heat to 225°C and remove your steaming device.
  13. Bake the loaves for about another 30 (batards)-35 (boules) minutes, until fully baked and crusty.
  14. Take the loaves out of the oven and leave them to cool thoroughly (six hours or longer) before tasting.


This recipe includes a few innovations compared to my earlier versions of the bread, mainly the high 80% hydration level, the long bake, and above all the long proofing time at room temperature after fridge retardation. The extended final proofing was forced on me because we had to do some shopping in the morning, but the dough had hardly moved in the fridge and I was curious to see what happened. In the end, I left the loaves out for 4 hours 15 minutes and they don't seem to have suffered. I was worried that the sourdough acid aftertaste would be too prominent, but the flavour turned out balanced and wheaty.

It's certainly a denser bread than most, but there's enough expansion to keep the denseness at a pleasant level. And to my taste it's not remotely like the caricature of a whole-wheat brick. I hope you're interested to give it a try.

CrustandCrumb's picture

Okay, I couldn't resist, I know its corny.

I've now baked twice the Black Hamster Bread recipe from Ketex, to me this is a Schwarzbrot or black bread.

The first attempt was problematic -

Too much yeast, this coupled with the starter and the bread began rising too quickly

Hydration level was way overboard - as I cut into the bread the knife had streams (yuck!)

I wasn't happy with the high/fast bake time, I felt this contributed to the wet doughy first trial

This is painful to write - I love the recipes on Ketex and they are a regular staple at our house. I always get good results. You can see below the comparison between the first attempt on left and second on right -

So on to Black Hamster Bread 2.0, here's the modifications -

No additional yeast, I put loaf pan in warm oven and let the yeast do its work

Omitted 50ml of water in final step (this was strange, Ketex always water by weight!)

30 minutes at 350F/177C with steam to start and light foil covered

30 minutes at 350F/177C with cover

30 minutes at 350F without loaf pan, cover just baked

First attempt on left, second on right

First attempt on the left, second on the right

But, I'm hooked! I am planning one more attempt at this bread. I'm probably going to extend the bake time and I will add just a small amount of yeast.






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