The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


  • Pin It
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.


alfanso's picture

Not to be confused with the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Gang.
Having no experience with rye sour levains, I thought it was high time to get on the stick and rustle me up a dose.  I think the idea came to me after seeing Varda’s recent comment and quest for NY rye.  So off I went.  

With no First Clear flour, I relied on the Pearson’s Square method to combine differing grains with differing protein percentages in order custom create the high protein percentage that I wanted, somewhere around 15.3%.  The Bread Flour itself is at 13.3% (Pillsbury) and the Vital Wheat Gluten at 56%.  In order to get what I wanted, the Pearson’s Square told me that I need a mix of 95.3% Bread Flour and 4.7% VWG. (95% & 5% for practical purposes here).
All I had to start with was my standard kinda-does-everything stiff levain.  Just the discarded throwaways from prior builds, but which I have found can perpetuate themselves endlessly – and rather quickly.  Starting out with not much more in my container than scrapings of maybe two dozen grams I did two builds with just rye and water.
Here is the container with 100g of fresh feed mixed together with the 20 or so grams of leftover levain.  On the left is the just fed mix, on the right is 3 hours later.  I discarded ~half and then did another 100g feed, from which I used 50g to start my rye sour levain according to David Snyder’s 3 stage build schedule.


Here is what the rye sour looked like just after the first stage feeding, and what it looked like after the 3rd stage at completion.  For the first two stages, the sour matured at the 3 hour mark, and at the third stage it was completely domed over in just under 2 1/2 hours, well ahead of the recommended time of 4-8 hours.  That’s 750g of rye sour in that second picture.


I made three 475g batards out of them instead of the two ~750g loaves that David displays.  On the left, they are finished fermenting and ready to be glazed and scored.  These babies grew like something out of sci-fi movie!  

This step took only 45 minutes instead of 1 hour to complete.  On the right, they have received the glaze and are scored.  I decided to score 2 of the 3 length-wise (not wise!), the 3rd across the top as recommended.  The shaping was actually better than what's in the picture, but these grew so rapidly that they wound up mis-shaping each other - as evidenced by the middle fellow who was squeezed from both sides.


There are the kids underway.

And the finished product.  


The caraway seeds are there, but non existent in the photos.  This is a significantly darker crumb than the rye breads we had growing up in the Bronx, where all three bakeries within 4 blocks of my street sold them.  The crust isn’t anywhere near as “crackly” as those either, in fact a bit on the softer side.  But for the most part they do taste of the rye bread that I knew growing up.  I’m not that excited about the look of these, but for a first time, I’ll take it.  And that just means that there is room for improvement!

Lessons learned:

  • As I already knew, rye doesn’t act much like AP flour.  It is thirsty and my French Folds required much more muscle to perform.  In a home mixer, I can imagine the motor groaning and quitting.
  • Note to self - make two 750g loaves next time, not three at ~500g.
  • Don’t plan on doing much else once the final dough mixing starts.  The action between prep, clean up as I went along and attending to the next step was almost constant due to the proximity of the steps and rapidity of the dough’s final rise.
  • Therefore have as much mise en place as possible.
  • In general, the dough was much easier to handle than I had anticipated, knowing rye's sticky reputation.
  • Consistent with my warm-ish kitchen and generally spunky levain base, everything happens faster, and the timings for most steps are shorter duration. This I well knew going in, and timed it as such.
  • Don’t bother with fancy, alternate scoring.  It looks as though rye doughs have a minimal oven spring when it comes to a grigne.
  • Once the rye sour is domed and ready for incorporation, the entire activity can be completed in mere hours.  Total time for the final mix, shape, rise, & bake was under 2 1/2 hours.  Along with the third stage build, all activity today was under 5 hours.
  • I would have liked to have baked these longer, to get a better crust coloration, but they didn’t seem to want to be cooperative, and they were finished being baked without being willing to take another deeper shade. 



Carissimi Amici,

oggi voglio lasciarvi lo spunto per un dolce che ha accompagnato ed accompagna tuttora, molti pranzi familiari ed anche ottime colazioni.

La ricetta non è mia, ma di una straordinaria ed umile Pasticcera conosciuta tanti anni fa, quando durante le vacanze scolastiche andavo dalla zia e lei mi accompagnava sempre in un piccolo negozio, di cui ancora, nonostante gli anni passati, ricordo con struggente emozione ogni cosa.

Ines, così si chiamava la Pasticcera, prima di chiudere il suo negozio mi ha generosamente regalato un quaderno con le ricette che metteva in produzione ogni giorno e siccome, un buon appassionato non deve essere geloso delle sue ricette, oggi io ne condivido una con tutti voi sperando possa piacervi.

Un grande abbraccio a tutti quelli che si fermeranno da un piccolo "Chicco" della Toscana.


greedybread's picture



This gorgeous book could not have come at a better time.

Not only are the photos stunning, the recipes are ones you will make.

Traditional and regional recipes with the odd twist.

I am in heaven!!

I love it!

But today is also about 2 new recipes…..Turkish Pide & Borek…


This recipe is a mix of recipes by Somer that he shares in his ‘Anatolia’book, one by Ozlem and a few others collected over time.

She is another great Turkish chef who writes an awesome blog, gorgeous recipes and easy to follow.

Check her out if you have not already.

You can make this round or rectangle shaped.

I have gone with rectangle but apparently round pide is just as common.

With out further ado…..

IMG_0920 (1024x768)

Turkish Pide:

4 cups of high-grade flour.

1 tsp salt.

3 tsp of dried yeast.

1 & 1/2 cups of warm water.

1/4 cup of olive oil.

1/2 tsp sugar.

For Topping:

1/4 cup of natural yoghurt.

1/4 cup of warm water (for yoghurt)

1 cup of mixed sesame and Nigella seeds.

For Tray:

Olive oil to brush on tray.

1/4 cup of wholemeal or semolina flour to dust the tray with.

IMG_0939 (1024x768)

Warm 1 &1/2 cups of water and stir in sugar.

Stir in yeast and mix well.

Allow to stand for about 15 minutes.

Mix flour and salt together and place to the side.

Mix oil into the frothy yeasty mix and then combine into the flour.

Form a dough and knead for about 5-6 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Cover and allow to stand a warm place for about an hour.

IMG_0906 (1024x768)


Take dough from warm place and knead a little more and then shape into your rectangle or 2 rounds.

Brush tray with olive oil and dust with flour.

Place dough onto the tray (as above) and allow to rest for about an hour.

15 minutes before the bread is ready, pre heat the oven to 200 Celsius.

Mix yoghurt and warm water together.

Dip fingers into yoghurt mix and then indent all over the bread.

Creating pools, like on a foccacia .

You can see the indents on the photo above.

IMG_0920 (1024x768)


Do this a few times and then scatter the seeds on the top.

Pop into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until goldy brown.

Possibly not quite as much as my lovely ovens does for me!

Remove from the heat and eat while warm or cool.

Best eaten fresh really but It was still great the next morning for breakfast.

Much better than Foccacia, that really needs to be eaten asap.

IMG_0919 (1024x768)

IMG_0911 (1024x768)

IMG_0910 (768x1024)

IMG_0915 (1024x768)

AND a few of Borek to tempt you!!

IMG_0921 (1024x768)

IMG_0927 (1024x768)

Did you love this?

Have you tried Baklava?



IMG_0837 (1024x768)

091 (1024x768)

nmygarden's picture

This bake incorporated a variety of odds and ends, along with some basics, and yielded a sandwich/toast bread loaded with flavor and texture, but soft enough for sandwiches. Based on a 3-2-1 formula, it went sort of like this (I say sort of, for the first few dry ingredients were weighed as they were combined, but the scale was set to ounces) No wonder the numbers looked way off! So, here is as close as I can get:

200g Spelt, Coarse Polenta and Oat Bran (combined weight, roughly similar quantities)

100g WW

150g BF

300g Water

150g SD starter

9g Salt

150g Cottage Cheese (4% fat)

2 large Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and diced (next time, it will be 4 of them!)

So, I autolysed the dry ingredients and water for an hour, mixed in the starter, cheese and salt, developed the dough with slap and folds 9 minutes, 1 and 1 minutes, then 4 stretch and folds on the half-hour. I wanted to bake that day, so left in on the counter for a bulk ferment of 3 hours, until it had roughly doubled, then gave it one more stretch and fold, a brief bench rest, then shaped it, rolled the boule in rolled oats and placed it seam side up in a rice floured basket.

90 minutes later, it was ready, but the oven wasn't - my bad, again. I turned it out on parchment, scored it and slid it into the hot oven (450F) and onto the stone and covered with my cloche lid for 15 minutes of steam, then removed the lid and parchment and turned the temp down to 425F for another 20 minutes, plus 5 additional minutes with the oven off and the door ajar.

I'm happy with how it turned out, though always take away thoughts for next time - more jalapenos, watch the proofing more closely. Thanks for joining me!





sonia101's picture


I just worked out how to resize my photos in my post, no more massive photos (I'm high fiving myself) lol. Is this a new feature or am I slow? lol. Too easy, click on photo, resize and drag :-)


Baked some white 53% hydration bread in my Romertopf, I seriously love how easy it is baking in these pots, love the cold oven starts! So quick and easy :-)





 Other recent bakes, sourdough gozleme stuffed with baby spinach and feta  Recipe Here

Sourdough crumpets Recipe Here 




New York Baked Cheesecake I baked for a family party, with praline and chocolate coated berries.


 Cheers Sonia

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

I made some bread yesterday. As always I started with approximate measurements and then went off on a tangent.

Monday Night

So I took 2 cups of white whole wheat flour, 1/2 c rye, 1/2 c corn meal, 1/2 cup buckwheat flour and mixed it up with enough preboiled tap water at room temperature to make a gloppy pudding like consistency.


I added bread flour, yeast, a beaten egg, and some cocoa mix that I am trying to use up. Perhaps I was abit lacking in the stretching and folding it  but I figured it was good enough. The bread came out pretty good. I am convinced that presoaking the flours is the secret to a tasty loaf.

Slit the tops, Baked it in two loaf pans at 375. for 47 minutes.


Subscribe to RSS - blogs