The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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Herbalgarden's picture

My Dill is shooting up the roof!! So, I decided to use lots of Dill for my bataru and coupe.

Sal2011229's picture

hello my name is Salvatore masterbaker for 35 years just built a kit to use in a bakers pride or  blodgett pizza oven . It is a steam injection generator that will be able to bake artisan breads the correct way any questions on this or to purchase it please email at or text me at 626 419 3661 thank you

victoriamc's picture

So little work for such a lovely loaf of whole rye sourdough bread.  I have ventured into the world of no-knead breads and much to my surprise I am really pleased with the resulting juicey, flavourful and healthy loaf.  Its made with predominantly whole rye flour, and leavened purely with an active sourdough.  Details you will find on


alfanso's picture

A recent comment by fotomat1 led me to the link for PiPs Fighting Gravity blog entry.  I hadn’t seen it before as I had not yet  known of TFL until a number months later.  I was enchanted not simply due to the photographic skill of the pictures, but specifically the photogenic images of his batards.  They struck me as being as beautiful a set of batards as I have ever seen. was time to give it a go.

Phil’s formula calls for 100% “fresh milled organic” WW flour at 4 x 1000g batards.  I reworked the numbers to produce 3 x 500g batards.  Starting with converting my all-purpose stiff levain scrapings (which are left over in the container I generally use for levain builds), I did a single stage build – per instructions to give me the 130g of levain that I needed for my 1500g mix.  The Total Dough hydration is 88%.


  • First time at anywhere near 88% hydration for me.
  • Never worked with a hydration above 83% before – and that is my ciabatta hydration.
  • Never worked with anything more than 40% non-AP flour before.
  • I use Pillsbury WW flour, I wouldn’t know how to mill grain, nor do I really ever look for “organic” on the flour label.
  • The WW was thirsty enough that working with this hydration was not an issue.  Shaping was a surprisingly simple task.
  • 1 hour of fermenting at room temp with 1 set of letter folds, per intructions.  Followed by a 1 hour cold retard.  Then divided, shaped, couched and back into the refrigerator for 18 hours.
  • Scored and baked directly from refrigerator.
  • Steam 12 minutes, post steam 20 minutes, 2 minutes oven venting.  Total time in oven: 34 minutes.

I couldn’t be more pleased!

Left: Ready to come off the couche.  Right: on oven peel and scored.


Steam just released and batards rotated.

Out of the oven.

Update: I was having bad dreams over the oddball moose bites missing from the crumb, so this morning I cut a few more slices past the offending tunnel.  It was breakfast time and I wanted my toast, ya know.  So things are looking a lot more normal further inland on the same batard, and somewhat more in line with what PiPs displays on his blog entry. Here is what I discovered after that spelunking expedition.

From PiPs entry:

And outside of photography skills, and color saturation from my phone camera (Grrr), they are at least in the same ballpark now.


UKHoneyBeeMan's picture

Hot on the heels of last week's first attempt and the fantastic welcome I received from everyone I thought I would attempt to make my very first blog post following my second attempt at a sourdough loaf.

The starter used is the same as last week which followed a Paul Hollywood starter recipe using organic grapes to get the natural yeasts flowing, it seems to have survive the week despite my best efforts to ignore it!

So, last week's starter was topped off with 75g plain flour and 75g tepid water allowed to sit on the kitchen worktop for 24 hours (ish) and then put in the fridge.

On Wednesday I retrieved the starter jar, removed approx. 150g and the added 75/75 of flour and water again. I then put it back in the fridge without letting it sit on the worktop at all.

Friday evening (7pm) I removed the starter from the fridge and allowed it to come up to room temp. 15° Celsius (60°F?)

I made a sponge or Poolish or whatever name people give to this phase using:

300g Plain Flour (Is this what some people call "all purpose flour"?)
115g water

This was whisked into a smooth batter, covered and placed into the fridge.

1pm - I removed the "Sponge" from the fridge and left for an hour to come up to approx. room temp. 18°C.
2pm - I made a rough dough using 350g flour, 110ml of water and 5g of salt.
2:20pm - I emptied the rough dough onto a floured worktop and kneaded for approx. 10 mins until elastic and stretchy. Placed it in an oiled bowl. covered and left alone.
3:30pm - Removed from bowl and did a stretch and fold routine simply pulling the dough out and folding it back on top of itself in a North, South, East & West direction. If that doesn't make sense, use a clock and go 12, 6, 3 & 9 :) Back in the bowl to rest again.
4:30pm Stretch and fold again as above. Then placed into Banneton (Brotform) to prove. This seemed to happen really quickly and it had risen almost to the top of the basket within an hour.
5:30pm Fan Oven preheated to 220°C (430°F) tray beneath shelf ready for hot water.

Dough turned out onto floured baking sheet, which was a little too small (so I now have a loaf with a straight edge!), top cut with a sharp knife in a cross and placed in the oven followed by a small jug of hot water into the tray beneath.

6:15pm Bread risen and turning a nice golden colour, water tray removed and door left slightly open for approx. 5 mins to allow moisture to escape from oven completely.

6:25pm Loaf removed from oven and placed onto rack to cool.


WoodenSpoon's picture

  • 460g bf
  • 60g ww
  • 120g rye levain (50% hydration)
  • 452g water (hold 52) (should of held more)
  • 116g boiled purple potato
  • 59g hard goats milk cheese (roughly cubed)
  • 83g hard cured salami (roughly cubed)
  • 1 small sweet onion (well caramelized)
  • 12g salt 

After the autolyse I soaked/mashed the levain in the 52g of water that I had held back from the final dough. I often employ this technique to more easily incorporate the very very firm rye levain into the final dough. This time absolutely held back too little water so if anyone tries this I would hold more like 100g.

Once I incorporated the levain and salt I gave the dough a few sets of slap and folds then over a period of folds I added the cheese, meat, potato and onion. after a few more stretch and folds I bulk fermented for around six hours, then proofed for probably another four then baked the loaf in a 450 degree oven for around an hour, After the loaf was baked and the oven was off I let the de panned loaf finish up in the hot oven for a bit. 


Skibum's picture

Well, I thought I would try out my new oval shaped brotform and I like the result. Like my round form it is made for 500g of dough. I used a half of KF's formula, then divided it for the two small forms.

The dough has just been placed in the brotforms to proof. After 3 hours the dough had risen above the forms comfortable. Each loaf was 612 grams and perhaps the upper limit for these forms.

Once again the loaf in the round form stuck badly, so I have worked on that problem today. The only thing I changed up was a longer autolyse of 6 - 7 hours to see if that would open up the crumb. It didn't.

I think I over did the bulk ferment as it peaked then fell back somewhat. I did the final mix at 3:30 pm which was too early. By 7:00 am the bulk had fallen.


Happy baking folks, Ski

dabrownman's picture

This week Lucy continues her infatuation with sprouted and whole grains by going big to come up with a 100% whole grain bread that had 50% sprouted grains in it.  The sprouted grains were equal amounts of spelt, rye, Kamut and wheat.  The non sprouted whole grains were wheat making the non wheat sprouted grains in this bread 37% of the total.  It all sounded pretty healthy and tasty to me.


Instead of using our small amount of held back levain from last week bake, like the past few Friday bakes, we used a  bit of our rye sour starter that has been stored for 8 weeks in the fridge hopefully getting sourer.  We had no trouble getting the starter perked up during the levain build.  We fed it the sifted out 15% extraction hard bits of the non sprouted whole wheat for the first 2 stages.  These stages were of 2 and then 3 hours.


 We then fed the levain the 85% extraction of the non sprouted wheat for most of the 3rd stage which doubled easily in 3 hours during the AZ kitchen summer heat of 86 F.   We always figure that it is best to get the hardest bits in the mix wettest the longest. 


It is amazing to me how well the No Muss, No Fuss Starter works for virtually no maintenance effort at all.  It has been a while since we built a WW starter for a Friday bake too – can’t even remember the last time.  Once the levain had doubled we retarded it for 24 hours.  It came out to be 16.5% pre-fermented flour in the levain.


While the levain wormed up the next day we autolysed the dough flour and water only – no levain, no salt for 2 hours.  Once everything came together we did 3 sets of slap and folds of 8 1 and 1 minute, adjusting the water during the first set.  We then did 3 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points only.  All the gluten development was done on 15 minute intervals.


We then had to decide whether to pan this 82.5% hydration bread up or put it in a basket for the planned 12 hour shaped retard.   In the end I couldn’t find a pan small enough for this amount of dough, too small for a regular loaf pan and too big for a cocktail loaf – so in a rice floured basket it went.


A great way to make a fine chicken taco is to grill the tortillas, onions and peppers on the grill with the marinated chicken.  The first peach nectarine, strawberry Fuji tart of the year.

Once we saw it the net morning we decided t bake this straight from the fridge since it was fully proofed.  Once Big Old Betsy was preheated to 500 F we decided to bake this bread on the bottom stone with Mega Steam instead of a CI combo cooker.  Once the mega Steam went in we waited 15 minutes to make sure it was billowing before un-molding the bread slashing it and sliding it onto the stone with a peel and parchment underneath,.

And the brines, dry rubbed, smoked turkey, half breast is only $1.99 a pound.... instead of the that horrible deli price for an inferior product at the grocery store.  lovely and delicious

We baked it at 450 F for 15 minutes with steam and then another 25 minutes without steam at 425 F convection setting.  It browned , blistered, sprang and bloomed well enough nothing special.  Can’t wait to have a slice for lunch to see how the crumb came out and how it tastes. It sure looks good enough to eat.

The crumb came out open. glossy, soft and moist for a 1005 whole grain bread and one that over proofed as Lucy was sleeping....something she is even better at than bread concoctions.  This bread is deeply flavorful with a complex taste brought about by the whole grains.... especially with half of them sprouted.

The bread would taste much differently without the sprouted grains and I think not as tasty or interesting but some people do not like sour bread so others may like non sprouted bread of this kind better.  Nothing like a hearty, healthy bread that can stand up to anything put between it;  We like this one very much and think it would be great with some walnuts and a mix of seeds too.  It should make a fine bologna sandwich for lunch,


SD Levain Build

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



Retarded 8 Week Old Rye Starter






15 % Extraction Whole Wheat






85 % Extraction Whole Wheat
























Levain Totals






Whole Wheat












Levain Hydration












Dough Flour






Sprouted 4 Grain






85% Extraction Whole Wheat






Total Dough Flour






























Dough Hydration






Total Flour w/ Starter


















Hydration with Starter and Scald






Total Weight






% Whole Sprouted Grain






Whole Grain






Non Wheat Whole Flour












4 grain sprouted flour is equal amounts of wheat, rye, spelt and Kamut



And Lucy reminds us not to forget the salad to go with that chicken fajita taco



sonia101's picture

My whole family have voted David's SJ sourdough as the best bread ever! I am so happy I have found my "go to bread recipe". Beautiful flavour, crumb and crust! I followed David's recipe (HERE) the only deviations were,  I use my starter cold from the fridge and I bake my bread in a wet clay Romertopf with a cold oven start. David's recipe and descriptions are fantastic and the dough is a pleasure to work with :-) I have made four loaves in the last few days.


Dough directly after being mixed and then after  S&F's 




Dough, preshaping and then proofing in my warming drawer at 27C





HOT crumb shot because my son had too have a slice :-(


Once it cooled I had to have a taste and my dog photobombed my photo! Somehow I think he wanted the Salami and not the Bread lol. The bread looks doughy in this photo but it's just the shadow.




Cheers Sonia


KathyF's picture

So, I found this recipe on the web called Berkeley Sourdough by Fernando Padilla, Boudin's Master Baker. I fudged on his sourdough starter recipe, which is interesting as it is a stiff starter. I made my seed starter using a little of my 100% starter to make one at 50% hydration. The recipes were in volume measurements, so I did a bit of guessing. 

Day one: Created seed starter in the morning and left out on counter all day.  In the evening I mixed the final starter mixture which I worked out to be about 171%. The recipe says to leave it out for 18 to 24 hours, but it has been really warm and it was already bubbling after about 4 hours. Could be because I used an established starter to create the seed starter and it was more active than it would of been otherwise. So I put it in the fridge overnight and took it out again in the morning.

Day two: Left the final starter out all day. It was very bubbly by end of day. I did the final mix, kneaded the dough and put it in the fridge by 9:45 pm.

The recipe called for 2.5 cups. I figured that if I went by the 4.25 ounces per cup, the hydration would be pretty high. I reasoned that he probably scooped and swept the cup and also the type of sourdough like Boudin's seems to me to be a lower hydration formula. So I went with 5 ounces a cup and the final hydration worked out to be about 65%. 

Day three: As it looked like it didn't rise much during the night, I took the dough out at 7:45 am and left it on the counter for three hours. I then shaped the dough and let it rise for five hours. Then slashed and baked it in my dutch oven. 

And here is the crumb shot:


I am thinking that if I let it proof a little longer, I might of had bigger holes, but I think it looks pretty good for being a lower hydration formula. I do think all the fermenting did add a lot of flavor and it didn't turn out real sour either... though I think my daughter would of preferred it if it was more sour.



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