The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


kendalm's picture

In an attempt to better understand laminated pastry spring I am today left even more confused. If you take note of the two (really sad looking) pain aux chocolates the one on the left proofed for about 2.5 hours whereas the one on right proofed for 3.5-4 hours - both from the same dough under the same conditions (about 72f). In an attemot to figure out timing and oven temps to achieve maximum rise I intentionally tried baking several, actually 4 bakes from the same dough and expected the longer the proof, the greater the rise. Instead i found that as the dough rose and became more 'jiggly' as often stated by croissant experts, the opposite happened to the baked product. Generally most credible guides say to proof 3-4 hours and it appears at least in my case the shorter the better. I also have the same cross section of two croiisants where the earlier bake shows obvious rise and the second ... Pancake. What is going on here ? Very hard to understand what is going on inside this kind of dough. I thoroughly read a guide by txfamer who warns how underproofed croissants inhibit layer separation. Getting these things to pop is beginning to make bread look like cake !

Danni3ll3's picture

Like Bread1965, I have been collecting the left over levain from my bakes because I just couldn’t justify throwing out perfectly good starter. I didn’t feel like making waffles or pancakes and I had done a bit of research on using Starter in bread dough without refreshing it. I also took a peek at FWSY for how much yeast to use in a hybrid dough. So armed with that info, I came up with a recipe.

Then in the middle of it, I read Bread1965’s post and had a mild heart attack when he said he threw his batch out because it was overly sour. I did taste the raw dough to make sure it wasn’t too sour. It actually had a very mild tang. I wonder if this was because I tend to use my Levain as soon as it tripled which it does in 3-4 hours. So the leftover Levain is still very young. 

Anyhow, it all turned out just fine. And it tastes more than fine too. We had some for dinner. Here is the recipe:

1. Autolyse 600 g unbleached flour, 302 g multigrain flour, 50 g ground flax with 600 g water. Let sit for an hour. 

2. Add 410 g unfed levain at 80% hydration, 30 g yogourt, 1/2 tsp yeast and 22 g salt. Mix well using pinch and fold. 

3. Ferment doing 4 sets of folds every half hour and then let rise till double. 

4. Divide into 3 small loaves, preshape, rest 15 minutes, shape tightly and place into bannetons. Cover bannetons and out to proof in the fridge for 12-14 hours. 

5. Preheat oven to 475 F with Dutch ovens inside. Drop loaves into pots lined with rounds of parchment paper. Bake covered  25 minutes at 450 F, uncover pots and bake a further 22 minutes at 425 F. 

I found that making only 3 loaves this weekend was a piece of cake when I usually make 12 (I took a break from baking for my friends).  Not having add-ins to fuss with was also kind of nice! I also know that I can collect my left over Levain and make bread with it that is quite tasty.  

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

Bagels, #8, The Most Perfect Recipe

Source:   stu borken

Description: This is the best recipe for bagels.  Unfortunately it only makes 8.



1medium size nesting/rising bowl, weigh it and record it's weight

1/2Tablespoon evoo for rising bowl, oil it after mixing dry ingredients in it

2-Cup Pyrex measuring cup to proof the yeast

1Kitchen Aid Pro 600 Heavy duty stand mixer with lift bowl and rubber edged paddle attachment

1dough hook attachment for kneading dough AFTER the paddle used

1Can non-stick spray, regular, not for baking kind

9.1 oz  spring water no chlorine or fluoride in the water

1rimmed baking sheet, thick bottomed, 17" X 13.5" which holds 8 ~ 3/2 ounce raw bagels

1Sheet parchment paper cut to fit the baking sheet, lightly sprayed with non-stick spray

1large pot to hold 3 quarts water bath and to hold and flip bagels

1Chinese skimmer or cheese curd skimmer to flip the boiling bagels and to lift and drain them to a cake rack prior to placing them on the parchment on which they will bake

1set tongs to lift baked bagels from baking tray to cooling rack

1cake cooling rack large enough to hold the 8 baked bagels after removing from oven

2whisks 1 large to mix dry ingredients and 1 smaller to dissolve yeast in warm water

1good kitchen scale

1       bench scraper



                         WET INGREDIENTS

9.1Ouncespring water brought to 110 degrees, no chlorine or fluoride, not distilled water

1Teaspoon barley malt syrup mixed into the above warm water

1Teaspoon Instant Yeast dissolved into the warm water plus barley malt syrup



                      DRY INGREDIENTS

16ounces King Arthur Sir Lancelot Flour

1Teaspoon diastatic malt powder from King Arthur

2 1/2Teaspoon Morton's Kosher salt, not pickling salt



3  Quart sink water

2  Tablespoon Barley malt syrup (this is what a bagel making company, “Rise Bagels”, uses in their boiling water bath, only this alone is what they told me, I use the next two ingredients in my boiling solution)

1  Tablespoon Non-diastic malt powder

1  Tablespoon Baking soda 







Makes 8 bagels, ~3.2 ounce dough balls, 2.9 ounce baked bagels.

Use a scale to weigh water,flour & raw dough segments to make equal size bagels.   

Shaping the bagels; 2 techniques may be used; 

1) make a ball and push a finger into the center all the way to the other side then twirl it around 2-3 fingers stretching the hole.  

2) If you watch uTube videos of bagel making you will learn how to make a rope and wrap it around 3 fingers of your hand with an inch of dough overlapping in your palm, then rolling the overlapping ends on a bread board, which will seal the ends together.  



Weigh & notate the weight of a medium size nesting proofing mixing bowl.

Set up a~17” X~13.5” baking sheet with parchment.  Lightly spray with non-stick spray.


In 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup place the 9.1 ounces of spring water and the 1 tsp of barely malt syrup, then bring to 110-degrees in a microwave.

Add yeast to the 110-degree water and stir with small whisk.

When yeast foams, it’s alive.  If dead, start again with fresh spring water, syrup and proof the yeast.  If alive, mix with the small whisk and then pour it into the bowl of the stand mixer.


In medium bowl on a scale, weigh out 16 ounces of Sir Lancelot flour.  

Add the diastatic malt powder and the 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt.

Mix these dry ingredients well with large whisk or spoon.


Pour flour mixture into bowl of stand mixer with the yeast-liquid.

Attach the paddle.  

Turn on the KitchenAid to setting #2 and let it mix until ALL the flour is wetted.  Remove the paddle and attach the dough hook.  Again, set the motor to setting #2 and allow it to knead the dough for 7 minutes.  Wash out the flour inside the measuring bowl, dry it well then oil it with oil.  

The bagel dough will be soft and not tacky.  Remove the dough to a bread board (use flour on the board if needed) using a bench scraper. Knead it a few times which will help do something with the gluten strands, then you shape the dough mass into a ball.  Place the dough top side down into the oiled bowl move it around then flip it over and cover bowl with plastic wrap tight across top of the bowl and not touching the dough.

Place the dough into a warm, proofing oven for 1 hour, the dough will rises to double in size.


Weigh the bowl with the dough in it.  Subtract the weight of the bowl which you measured at the start of the recipe.  You now have the correct weight of the dough.  Divide this weight by 8 and you will have the correct weight of each raw dough pieces with which you will make equal size bagels.  The weight of each piece will be about 3.1 to 3.3 ounces.  You are not to cut the dough as yet…keep reading….


Have wet/damp paper towels or wet dish towel handy to cover the main dough mass and the dough segments so they should not dry out during the weighing and shaping.  


Remove the dough from the bowl to a cutting board (do not knead) and cut into half, then into 4ths then into 8ths.  Keep covered with wet towels.  Place each piece onto the scale to get the correct weight, cutting off some if too heavy or borrowing from another piece if too light.  Do this to get all 8 of equal weight of ~ 3.2 ounces.  You will have exactly 8 equal weight dough pieces.


Shaping the bagels:  Remember, there are two ways to shape.  

Put one piece at a time onto the bread board with the “skin” side or outer side down and the pointy side up just slightly pat it into a crude disk (skin side down) then gather up the 4 sides and pinch together.  Turn over so the skin side is now facing up, and with the sides of your hands pinch the bottom to make a nice ball.  Cup your hand over the ball and move it against the board for about 5 seconds in a circular motion to close the bottom seams.

Using your thumb or finger, press down in the ball center all the way down to the board.  Lift the ball with your thumb still in place and with your other thumb break thru the hole and twirl it with 2 or 3 of your fingers in the hole to open the hole pretty large.  Place the bagel onto the parchment.  To this for all 8 pieces.  I then pick up each one and spread the hole one more time with twirling 3 fingers.  Spray lightly with nonstick spray and cover with wet/damp paper towel then with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 8-24 hours.  

Remove from the refrigerator and let sit in a warm rising oven or warm room, still covered for 45 minutes.  

(If you forget to use the spray on the raw bagel dough, then the paper towel will stick to the dough and NOT come off which will tear the bagels and deflate them and spoil the dough.  If you happen to have forgotten the spray and you do deflate the cold bagels, you can save them by putting the dough all together again into one mass, and, re-cut and re-weigh and re-shape and let rise for 1/2 hour, then do the boil).

Make your poaching liquid.

When you remove the cold bagels from the refrigerator set the oven to 498 degrees (500 if you can).


To Boil:

Bring the poaching solution to a boil in a large enough pot to hold 2-3 bagels at a time.

When the dough has had a chance to warm and rise for 45 min then, using two hands, gently lift the bagels (if the dough is tacky then you wet your hands from the tap and then pick up the raw bagels) from the parchment (they should come off easily) gently transfer one at a time, gently into the boiling liquid and let them poach 30 seconds then using the strainer, flip over for 30 seconds then flip back to right side up and remove with strainer to the cake rack to drain then to parchment paper on the baking pan.  Do this for all 8 bagels.  This is the place where you may sprinkle some poppy seeds, sesame seeds or rehydrated chopped dried onions onto the surface of the wet bagels.  I don’t use any, they just make a mess when you try to cut the bagels.


The Baking:

Preheat your baking oven to 500-degrees.  

Place bagels into the 500-degree hot oven, upper rack for 8 minutes.

Pull the pan out and rotate it around 180 degrees, front to back, also flip the bagels over.  Place them back into the same oven for 6 minutes. Remove the tray of bagels and flip them over once again, right side up.  Look at them, they may need another 2-3 minutes at 450 or on convection at 425 to get nicely browned and crispy. I like my bagels nicely browned just shy of a char, if they are not browned as yet, I let them bake longer.  

Remove with tongs to cake cooling-rack and allow to cool completely.  


To Serve:

The plain bagel gives you a great bagel flavor and chew.  Or, you may cut it in half and toast it.  The way I do it, is, I cut the bagel in half, I leave the two halves together, not separated, and toast the bagel in a toaster oven long enough to put a browned crust on the surface.  That way the outside gets real crispy and the center is soft and moist.  Most people like to separate the two halves and toast each half.  Serve with butter, jam, or classically, cream cheese, lox, a slice of tomato, capers and chopped or very thinly sliced purple onion.



Serves: 8

Serving Size: 1

Yields: 8

Prep Time: 30 min

Idle Time: 10-24 hours

Cook Time: 20-25 min

Total Time: 24 hours


man_who_eats_bread's picture

Walnut Wheat:


This week's loaf is about 50% whole wheat with walnuts mixed in (my first loaf with goodies in it!)

Overall Ingredients/percentages:
266.7g white flour (50%)
250g whole wheat (46.875%)
16.7g rye flour (3.125%)
416.7g H2O (78.125%)
11g salt (2.0625%)

Thursday evening: feed leaven

80% hydration
20% Medium Rye flour
80% AP flour
plus mature starter

Friday morning (around 11am): mix dough

350g H2O (~90F)
200g bread flour
250g Whole wheat flour

Let autolyse ~45 min.

Then mix in 150g leaven and 11g salt. The leaven didn't seem completely ready (failed the float test), but I figured it'd catch up.

I left it for an hour, put it in the fridge, then realized I forgot to stretch and fold! So around 5pm I pulled it out and did a few stretch/fold rounds. After a couple rounds I mixed in around 2 C. of walnuts.

I put it back in the fridge over night till about 7am this morning. 

At 9:45 I shaped the loaf and put it on parchment paper and in a bowl to proof (covered with a towel). Ambient temperature is probably around 70, but I also baked some muffins this morning so the kitchen was warmer.

Around 11:10, with the oven and dutch oven preheated to 500F I started the bake. 20 minutes with the lid on and another 10 with the lid off. Internal temp was around 210F.

Now I've got to wait for it to cool. I'll post the crumb shot in the comments...

dixongexpat's picture

Finally got to the store with all the usual flour choices. Picked up some 50/50 whole wheat/white wheat combo flour and a smaller organic rye. First loaf was without rye, and just used the same recipe as the last loaf, adding cinnamon and walnuts and craisins. Very tasty! Now I just need to find something to do boules on...

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Inspired from a more basic recipe posted from Kaydens,  Einkorn bread with 47% starter and 1200g total weight with 62% hydration.   I've added a Tangzhong, toasted and cooked whole grain, and upped the hydration a wee bit adding a trace amount of fat. So a little bit closer to 1350g dough.


Toasted Einkorn 100% Einkorn Bread with Tangzhong:


  • 30g einkorn starter
  • 130g water
  • 120g einkorn flour              280g total


  • 90g einkorn starter
  • 100g water
  • 90g einkorn flour               280g total   

I'm doing a faster build starting with 90g of active starter instead of 30g. When bubbly and smelling ripe and yeasty, the plan is to mix up the dough, wait an hour and chill overnight.  Make Tangzhong and toast berries while waiting on the Levain. Covered the cooling tangzhong with the drained berries to prevent a "skin" forming on the surface.


  • 30g einkorn flour 
  • 150g water            

Mix up in Microwave dish and allow to fully hydrate 30 minutes before zapping at high on 30 sec intervals until thickened.  Weigh dish and flour soup before and after heating to replace any missing water lost in the heating process.  Allow to cool.

Toasted Einkorn:

  • 50g whole einkorn berries      
  • 1 tablespoon butter or oil for frying
  • 30g finely chopped onion, or soaked dried onion, (optional, thought about it but haven't tried it yet)
  • about 220g or one cup of water  (berries will absorb their own weight in water so anything over 50g should work)

Wash einkorn berries in sieve under cold water and drain.  Heat up butter in small sauce pan and add berries (and onions) Medium high heat stirring constantly until berries start to pop and onions glassy.  Pour in a glass of water and bring to boil, stir and simmer 5 minutes, cover and turn off heat to swell the berries for the next 10  minutes.  Eventually drain and save liquid to use for dough water.


  • 280g Levain
  • 180g Tangzhong 
  • 100g swollen soft cooked whole berries
  • 216g drained berry water + water
  • 14g salt
  • 570g Einkorn flour                                                                    

Total dough weight:  1350g    

Added in the order above and stirring to blend the salt into the "liquids."  Flour added on top and used electric mixer 5 minutes with dough hooks medium speed.  Cover and chill overnight 10 to 12 hrs at 15°C (59°F)   

Return dough to mixer and using dough hooks, mix medium speed for a minute.  (I added one Tablespoon of water to dough during this time, I thought my dough too dry.)

Spoon into a very well floured banneton  throwing more flour around the edges and across the top.  Cover with a folded dry cloth and allow to almost double.  (Another option is to butter a bread pan and dust with nut flour.  Spoon in the dough and smooth the surface with a wet spoon or scraper into a nice rounded form.  Dust the top with nut meats.)

Release dough from banneton first with a rolling motion, cover with parchment and peel  and then cautiously flip over and slowly raise the banneton.  Score a large shallow x across the top. 

Bake in a  oven 230°C with steam 1 to 1.2 hours.  Turn down the heat to 200° at 30 min. to prevent burning and finish the one hour bake.   Baked to 100°C inside temp or 212°F.

(If you use a bread pan or form,  cover with a double layer of aluminium foil shaped first over the bottom of the form.  Remove, turn upright, mist the inside with water and crimp onto the bread pan.   Bake 230°C for 50 minutes then remove foil and lower heat to 200°C to brown top of loaf.  About  10 to 15 more minutes.)


alfanso's picture

 We returned home from a summer of quasi-gluttony downing pint after pint of heavy but oh-so-tasty ales and enjoying virtually every dinner out at old favorite restaurants as well as newer in our old city of Portland.  Only to immediately make a U-turn out of here when the specter of hurricane Maria bore down on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and was barreling straight for us.  Upon return once more, I looked forward to reviving my sleepy levain and start baking again.  Which I did for a very short while.  Because soon after the 2nd return home we were getting ready to head back to the NY area again, for a friend’s wedding.  And so I needed to reach deep into the closet and try on some suitable clothes - meaning the jackets and slacks that now never see daylight with few exceptions.

Now, I’ve spent my 67 years being pretty fit, and at this stage I intend to keep it that way for as long as possible.  And while in our old Portland haunts we visited the gym 4-5 times every week, so our very long-term exercise program was still functioning as projected.  Fortunately, all digits are still attached where they were meant to be attached, and my outer extremities are still adducting, abducting and rotating as designed.  Save for numerous small (and not so small) accumulated injuries in the course of a lifetime, of which the ledger forever grows, albeit slowly.

It was during the runway modeling phase, in preparation for the trip north, to see which pants would fit and not fit so well, that I made the distinct and unpleasant discover that the summer's food and drink had indeed caught up with me.  Just above the belt-line was a small but unwelcome band of extra, to be kind to myself I’ll call it - skin.  An “ouch” to my psyche.

Wasting nary a minute I immediately declared myself to be on a diet.  No snacking, no midnight soirées with milk and cookies, smaller and greener meals, no pizza, no beer or ales, and gasp! no bread.  Drat!

Okay, so that was a few weeks ago and the change in diet has certainly welcomed in an ever-so-slightly more trimmed me.  However, my world seems empty without days of levain builds, mixes, shaping and baking.  My routine of life as I knew it has temporarily ground to a halt.  Well, life as I knew it for the 4 plus years since I decided to bake here.  There’s a hole in my unscheduled weekly schedule.  Yes, planned for by dint of this most unwelcome post-consumption, to be kind to myself I’ll call it - growth.  Oh, I cheat just a little around the edges, but my will power to stay away from the “bad stuff” for the time being has been fairly resolute.

And when the time comes for me to start up again I know exactly what the first order of business will be.  I’ve never made the FWSY Field Blend #1.  Can’t say why, just is.  And there is this bag of white rye long sitting lonely and unloved in my pantry for quite some time just waiting to be showcased in some bread or other.

But until that now unkown future date, my only bake of October was this Sesame Semolina.  The batard was dropped off for David, owner of Laurenzo’s Italian Market, where I buy my semola rimacinata, and whose market I showcased here about a year ago.  Two gros baguettes accompanied this bake as well.  One was delivered to a new friend who we were meeting for a day of dining and fun.  The other was destined to make an express pass into my own gullet.  It was halfway through dining on this lovely bread when the above documented incident took place.  And therefore my forsworn diet prompted me to place the remaining half into deep freeze until a future date.

Oh cruel world...


Danni3ll3's picture

Thanks to everyone's input, my second shot at this bake turned out much better. I might have underproofed the loaves a bit but at least, I got decent if not great oven spring. Here is the changed recipe:

1. Toast 100 g of buckwheat groats. Cover with hot water and let soak for an hour. Drain. Add 50 g of yogurt. 

2. Autolyse the above with 650 unbleached flour, 50 g of freshly milled buckwheat flour, 252 g of freshly milled Selkirk wheat, 50 g fresh ground flax seeds, 70 g of diced dried apples, 75 g of diced dried organic apricots, and 625 g of water. In the end, I think I could have added another 25 g of water but I was very conservative due to my previous disaster.

3. After a couple of hours, I added 266 g of 84% hydration 4-stage levain and 22 g of salt as well as 30 g of water. The dough felt much better. I did add a bit more water with my hand as I was pinching and folding.

4. I did four sets of folds about 30 minutes apart and then let rise until double.

5. Once doubled, I divided it into portions of 795 g and did a pre-shape. I let rest 15 minutes, did a final shape and put into the bannetons. The dough was easy to handle and didn't stick at all. My usual work surface is out for repairs/replacement so I used my granite counter. I must say that I almost preferred shaping on the granite rather than the maple butcher block island. 

6. The dough was placed into the fridge to proof. 10 hours later, I took it out of the fridge and noted that it could have risen a bit more but due to tight timelines, they went into the oven anyhow. 

7. I baked as usual in Dutch ovens... 25 minutes at 450 F and 25 minutes at 425 F. The second batch had about a half hour out of the fridge and ended up looking a bit better. What I  mean by that is that the crevasses on the second batch weren't as deep.

I will get a crumb shot when I cut into the loaf.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

This is one of those bakes that sort of comes together by accident. I had soaked some rye grains a while back, planning on using them in a pumpernickel, but it turned out I had soaked too much grain, so I drained the remainder and let them sit for a day. They sprouted (as they do), and I stuck the bowl in the fridge, planning on 'doing something' with them later. By the time I remembered to pull the bowl out a couple of days later they had mostly malted (i.e. they had a tangle of little rootlets along with the tiny sprouts). I could have toasted them and made some red rye malt, but instead I decided to try something I'd been thinking of for a while - fermenting them. I soaked them in about half kombucha and half water, then covered (to keep out the pesky fruit flies) and let them sit at room temperature again for a day or two, then cooked them for around 20 minutes. They ended up tender and very, very fragrant!

The other thing I wanted to try was to make a formula for a poolish bread that could be made in one day. That meant pre-fermenting a fairly high percentage of the flour in a poolish for a shorter period of time. I used a blend of bread flour, whole wheat and whole rye flour, and threw in some raisins (and a bit of spices) just because I felt like it.

The dough was really beautiful, coming together quickly and developing very nice gluten and structure.

After about three stretch & folds on a wet counter, I put it into an oiled container to ferment.

It only took about an hour to nearly double, with a lovely dome. It was pillowy and soft.

After a pre-shape and short rest, I popped it into the bannetons. It proofed quite quickly, taking me by surprise, and the oven wasn't quite ready so I think it over-proofed just a touch.

There wasn't a lot of oven spring but it was still decent, holding its shape well and expanding somewhat.

And the crumb is very nice! Creamy and moist, and very tasty for a fairly quick bread. The grains almost disappeared into the dough which isn't too surprising considering all the soaking, sprouting, fermenting and cooking they went through! I'm glad I put the raisins in; they're a nice touch. :)

I don't think I'll make quite this same bread again, what with all that work for the grains, but I will probably make it again with a different cooked (and possibly fermented) grain porridge.

hyojongyi's picture

First of all, if I write the wrong sentence, understand me. I can not writen English perfectly. I am not a professional or amateur baker. I just love bread person . And I like natural fermented bread. So, I make a natural fermentation starter.This time I will try an apple natural fermentation starter. Today that I have used the apple for the first time.And I am waiting now.


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