The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Skibum's picture

First a big thank you to Ru007 for posting this sourdough donut recipe a while ago. I used your formula exactly and boy did these turn out well!  I scaled the balls to 85 grams, roughly the size of a golf ball and they ended up huge. It took about 5 minutes each in the deep fryer at 375F. After cooking 3, I bagged and refrigerated the remaining 5 dough balls, figuring they will be better fresh. I may also cut the size in half to get a more Timbit sized treat. I just used granulated sugar, sprinkled on and rolled in.

This is the first time I made donuts. It will not be the last! What a nice treat!!!

Happy baking! Ski

PY's picture

trying something new. Vietnamese baguette. No sourdough. Fun to make and taste like a baguette although they don't necessarily look it! 

Looking forward to some char siu, pickled carrots, pate and cilantro banh mi for dinner. 


dabrownman's picture

We always have pizza on New Year’s Eve, every year ……… for years and years.  But this year we didn’t….. at least not homemade pizza.  We got a take out from Oregano’s and it was good but it just cannot compare to homemade pizza – sorry to Oregano’s.

W final got around to making pizza tonight for dinner.  It was simple crust.  13% high extraction sprouted 4 grain, 8% semolina and 79% Smart and Final High Gluten with a bit of olive oil, a pinch of instant yeast, 2% salt and 72% water.  No rosemary, fresh garlic or sun dried tomatoes in the dough this time – Lucy has been really lazy lately for some reason.


We did a few sets of slap and folds, 30 minutes apart with the dough resting on the heating pad under a bowl between sets until it showed a 30% rise.  The we placed it in an oiled bowl, covered it in plastic and retarded it for 24 hours.


When we took it out and divided it 3 hours before we made the 2 pies it had risen a full 100% in the cold.  It shaped well enough and once the oven had been at 550 F for half an hour we made the first pie using spicy homemade sauce, hot Italian sausage, pepperoni, green and red pepper, caramelized red and white onions and crimini mushrooms, Monterey Jack, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses with green onion and basil for garnish.

We let the pie bake for 5 minutes and then spun it and let it bake another 5 until it was brown and the crust crispy.  We hate wimpy, limp, foldable pizza.  We like it thin and crisp no matter how much stuff you put on it!  This one fit the bill perfectly.

It was delicious – no doubt about it.  Just Yummy!

dabrownman's picture

It has been 3 weeks since we last baked a loaf of bread proving that IBBA (Insane Bread Baking Addiction) can be controlled to some degree – but I did bake some rolls 2 weeks ago -  for Christmas / Hanukkah.  We never did get around to baking fruitcake and panettone for the holidays either…..Lucy is getting pretty lazy if you ask me

We are out of bread completely after clearing put the freezer for the future son in law to take back to Colorado with the last of the smoked sausages and pulled pork.  So, we need everything.  White bread, whole grain bread, multi-grain bread, fruit and nut bread, All kinds of rye breads, rolls,  etc.

I am always amazed how much darker the bran levain is compared to the dough!

We are starting out new year with a basic 33% sprouted multi-grain sourdough bread.  The sprouted grains were composed of red and white wheat, Kamut and spelt.   The levain was a 2 stage sprouted bran one at 100% hydration and 13% pre-fermented flour.

The first 4 hour stage was all the bran from the sprouts.  Since the kitchen was 64 F it really didn’t do much of anything for 10 hours but we kept stirring it every 4 hours anyway.  At the 10 hour mark we got out the heating pad and cranked the levain up to 78 F and all was well – it doubled in 4 hours.  Just shows how important temperature is to all things trying to ferment.

We did a 30 minute autolyze with the pink Himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top.  Once the levain hot the mix the hydration was a tad over 78% sort of like a sprouted Forkish Country Brown loaf except the bulk of the flour was the cheapest, store brand, 10% protein, flour I got on sale at Albertson’s – 5# for 99 cents.

Since the AP was so weak, the mix started out pretty sloppy.  We did 50 slap and folds right off the bat to get everything mixed in an then did 2 sets of 8 slap and folds and 2 sets of 4 stretch and folds every 40 minutes with the dough resting on the heating pad, under a stainless bowl, in between manipulations to keep it warm.

At the 3.5 hour mark after mixing, we pre-shaped and then shaped the dough into a squat oval, it was still pretty sticky, and plopped it into a rice floured oval basket seam side down, Forkish style, hoping it wouldn’t stick.  After bagging it new trash can liner to start of the new year, we put it in the fridge for a 15 hour retard. 

It looked like it proofed pretty well in the cold so we decided to let it warm up on the counter as the oven heated up to 500 F with the combo cooker inside.  We then un-molded the bread, no slashing required and slid it into the combo cooker for 2 minutes of steam with the lid on turning the oven down to 460 F.

When the lid came off, we turned the oven down to 425 F convection this time and baked it for another 5 minutes before removing the bread from the bottom of the combo cooker to finish baking the bread on the bottom stone.  10 minutes later the bread was nice and brown and 208 F – ready for the cooling rack.

It had puffed itself up and blistered pretty well under the steam so we hope the crumb will be equally as nice when we slice it later today.  A good bread to start off the baking year.  The crumb was soft, open, moist and glossy.  This bread tastes grand and would make a fine everyday bread if we didn't make a new one every week!


13% pre-fermented sprouted bran and high extraction flour levain – 100% hydration – 65 g each flour and water

20% sprouted high extraction dough flour – 100 g

67% AP dough flour,  10% protein – 335 g

65 % water – 325 g

2 % PHS salt. – 10 g

I'm not sure how many Prickly Pear Margaritas we made over the Holidays...... but this was not the only one:-)

alfanso's picture

No batards were harmed during the making of this blog entry.  All were proofed in a couche under retard.  Considering how much time I spend on baguette baking, I'm surprised at how many batards were part of the year.  A partial list...

Son of SJSD, Alfanso Style with 75% hydration mixed flour Levain.

Forkish Field Blend #2 with 75% hydration mixed flour Levain.

Gosselin with WW and 75% hydration mixed flour Levain.

Hamelman Pain au Levain with WW and stiff Levain.

Hamelman Pain au Levain w with mixed stiff & liquid Levains

Snyder Semolina Capriccioso

Snyder Semolina Capriccioso, Alfanso Style with 75% hydration mixed flour Levain.


Pane di Altamura, Alfanso Style with 60% hydration durum flour Levain. 

SJSD ALfanso Style Rye with caraway seeds and cornstarch glaze, 100% hydration Rye Levain.

WW Fig-Pecan with 75% hydration mixed flour Levain.

Hamelman Pain au Levain with WW, figs and pecans, 60% Bread Flour Levain.


Pane di Alfansomura Semolina/AP with 60% hydration Rye Levain.

SFBI Pain au Levain with caraway seeds and cornstarch glaze, 100% AP flour Levain.

SFBI Pain au Levain, 100% AP flour Levain.

Hamelman Olive Levain with 125% hydration bread flour Levain.

SFBI Pain au Levain with 80% hydration, modeled on SteveB's post using drywall taping knife for shaping.

Wow!  A busy and tasty year. 



Modern Jess's picture
Modern Jess

Unrelated to this loaf, I am planning on baking a loaf for a coworker who has some wheat issues. She's had modest success tolerating a very long-ferment sourdough loaf that I prepared for her (taking pains not to incorporate any unfermented flour along the way), and I'd like to now try an all-spelt loaf for her as an experiment. Thus, I needed to split off my wheat-based starter into a spelt variant, and rather than waste precious spelt, I thought I would make the most of the transition.

So THIS loaf is a pretty much plain, standard sourdough, but made with an overnight spelt levain. The levain was mixed at 100% hydration, and I had a tablespoon or two left over as a seed for an all-spelt starter.

The recipe is as follows:

  • 500g KA Bread Flour
  • 350g water (77°)
  • 150g spelt levain @100% hydration
  • 13g kosher salt

Stretch & folds happened at 30 minute intervals for 3 hours. Skipped bench rest (I was running short of time) and formed the loaf, which then proofed overnight for ~9 hours in a cool kitchen. Baked covered @ 500° for 20 minutes and uncovered @ 450° for 13 minutes.

I think this is one of my better crumbs, and the spelt seemed to add some extra tastiness -- hard to articulate, maybe more nutty?


joc1954's picture

Some time ago I bought about 250g of hemp seed flour and today I made the first attempt to use it. Recipe was simple: 20% wholegrain spelt flour, 9% hemp seed flour, rest was AP flour, hydration 70%, 8% of  starter @100% hydration, 5% white sesame seeds, 2% salt (all bakers percents).

The dough was quite of a dark color due to added hemp seed flour. 3 hour BF, divide & shape with 30 minutes bench rest and then 3 hours proofing on the bench and then retarded for 7 hours before going straight into the the oven.


The color of the crust is pretty dark although I was not baking longer than 40 minutes. The crumb is soft and fluffy with a special taste of hemp seed flour which goes perfectly together with sesame flavor. 

At the beginning I was quite sceptic about the result because the final proof was so slow. The oven spring was not so great as usual, but the crumb is quite open and more ore less pretty even.

Happy baking, Joze


joc1954's picture

Some time ago I promised alfanso to make baguettes once and they are here. Not really very nice, but not too bad at all for the first time. Definitely I have to learn baguette scoring.

I used Alfanso's recipe with a small change that I was using 100% hydration starter, the rest was the same.

I was baking them in my steam oven at 230 dC and high steam for about 25 minutes and at the beginning I dropped 2 ice cubes on a hot skillet to generate a steam blast.

Those ones which are darker baked and look better went into oven on a cold tray,  while the lighter ones were loaded on a hot tray. The crust was pretty thick and crunchy, actually too thick much for my taste, the crumb was great but not too open. However, my grandchildren loved them and didn't complain at all :-)

Next time I will do them I will definitely change the baking parameters to see if I can get thinner and slightly softer crust. I think I have to use less steam and bake with steam for a shorter time.

Happy baking, Joze

whathelll's picture

Internet blows at the new house so I started reading about sourdough in november, ordered bunch of shit from amazon and started baking mid december.  

last two batches i've been mixing einkorn into the wholewheat/bread flour and adding stuff like chestnut puree/raisins/nuts.  came out pretty good!


Here are some loafs I've pulled out of the oven from the latest to the first loaf of bread i ever baked.



Danni3ll3's picture

You are all going to think that I keep posting the same loaf of bread over and over again because they all look so much alike! Ha ha! I promise that they are all different. 

I am gifting these loaves so instead of dividing the recipe into two loaves, I divided it into 3. I was really pleased with the size of these and will do this again when giving loaves away. The monsters I make for the soup kitchen really are too big for someone who has a small family. I end up freezing half of the loaf we keep because we just don't eat that much bread in a week. 

Here is the recipe:

Okay the picture did not post where I wanted it! Posting on a phone really is not ideal. At least you do have the recipe above and it isn't sideways!



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