The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Okay, okay, I know it's not bread, but today's experimenting touches on a couple of interests to do with my bread baking. One, I'm trying out the new Ankarsrum mixer in all kinds of different ways, and two, I bought a bag of durum atta flour to play around with. And as we needed something for dinner tonight, and the garden is starting to produce a few things, I thought I'd make pasta!

First, the Ankarsrum. The pasta dough was made with the dough roller and scraper. It didn't do a bad job (much better than the KA with dough hook would have done), but the food processor is still the best way to make pasta dough in my opinion. And I confirmed that I don't want to try many of the bread recipes that came with the mixer - their measurements seem to be completely out to lunch! The pasta dough recipe said to use 350 grams or 1.5 cups of durum flour. 1.5 cups was less than 300 grams, so I went with the weight measurement. In that case, the two eggs they recommended was not nearly enough, so I added another egg and a bit of water to get the dough to come together. Never mind, I have lots of bread recipes!

Next, the durum atta flour. I'd never used this before. This is a whole-grain flour from Canadian durum wheat. It's finer than semolina but still a bit gritty with the bran in it. Using it for pasta, I found it to be very, very stretchy but not very strong, so I expect that will hold true when making bread dough as well. The pasta smells divine though; I can hardly wait for dinner! I'm going to put some of the flour through my fine sieve to see what comes out (or stays in), and then start using it in bread. I know some folks on this site have made 'Attamura' bread so maybe I'll try that. The colour and aroma are quite irresistible!

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I was gifted a starter recently that was kept at 100% hydration and I have been maintaining it in that hydration -- mostly because its in a tall narrow jar and it is easier to pour it out.  I always wanted to try the 1-2-3 formulation but was intimidated mostly by the fact that I had no idea how long to proof the dough and have always followed a recipe from either Tartine or FWSY.  Well, this weekend I decided to take the plunge and used my newly acquired starter and made myself a loaf of bread from scratch.  I also decided to use the stand mixer for the first time, just to up my baking versatility a bit.

125 grams starter (I eyeball it at 100% hydration), 250 grams water, 375 grams flour (150 grams whole wheat, 225 AP), and 7 grams of salt.  

30 minutes rest with everything but the salt, added the salt and let the stand mixer's dough hook do the work for some period of time, maybe 10 minutes until it looked like dough.  Then I did some stretch and folds over the next two hours before shaping and sticking it in the fridge.  It did not rise any overnight, so I left it in a warm microwave for a couple more hours in the morning before baking.

Came out very good. Nice tang, soft crumb and otherwise perfect. 

Danni3ll3's picture

Since I was on a roll making bread, I thought I would make a simple loaf with just flour and no add-ins. The plan was to have a couple of these loaves as testers for baking in the portable pizza oven that one of my brothers made for us.

So here goes:

  1. Autolyse 575 g of water with 30 g local yogurt, 550 g unbleached no additives flour, 300 g fresh milled einkorn, and 102 g Robin Hood Multigrain Best for Bread flour. I let that sit for a couple of hours.
  2. Then I added 22 g of salt and 266 g of a four stage levain (80% hydration), as well as 50 g of water.
  3. I did four sets of folds 20 to 30 minutes apart and then let rise till double. That took about 6 hours since I did part of the fermenting on the counter and part in the oven with the door cracked open.
  4. I divided it into 3 loaves, let rest for a while and then put into baskets. 
  5. The loaves proofed overnight in the fridge.
  6. The next day, I baked one of them as per usual... heat oven to 475 F with pots in, load pots, lower heat to 450 F, bake 25 minutes, remove lids, drop heat to 425 F and bake a further 20-25 minutes.

The other two I tried to bake in the pizza oven. This is a steel oven with two cavities. One where you build the fire, and the chamber above where we normally cook pizza. Hubby lined the upper part with fire brick and my brother built a sleeve that would keep the smoke off the bread. Hubby was not in the mood to do this but fired up the oven anyhow. He then informed me that he didn't have enough wood to keep this going for very long. The oven was at 600 F and even though I knew it was too hot, I slid the loaves onto the firebricks. We put the cover back to keep the heat in and I went back in the house to mind the loaves that were cooking in the oven. Well, less than 20 minutes go by and hubby comes to tell me that he is smelling burnt bread. It was burnt alright! It looked like a lump of charcoal! I cut it open and was actually surprised that it was actually cooked even though it didn't rise very much and the crumb wasn't all that bad after all.

So just for laughs, here are some picts:

You can see how badly the one loaf got burned. The other has parts of it that are rescuable (is that a word?).

I cut into it while still warm so the crumb is a bit smooshed.

This is the bottom of the second loaf.

This is the pizza oven.

Danni3ll3's picture

I have been away from baking due to an unexpected work commitment. After 6 and half weeks, I couldn't settle on what to make so I decided to make one multigrain flour mix and try different add-ins. It was interesting to see how the add-ins affected the hydration of the dough.

Basic Multigrain Mix

  • 550 g unbleached flour
  • 100 g fresh milled red fife
  • 100 g fresh milled kamut
  • 100 g fresh milled spelt
  • 50 g fresh milled rye
  • 52 g Robin Hood Multigrain Best for Bread flour (I checked that this bag wasn't one of the recalled ones)


Multigrain with Amaranth, Millet and Bulgur

  • 50 g toasted amaranth
  • 50 g toasted millet
  • 50 g bulgur
  • 200 g hot water
  • 30 g local yogurt

Multigrain with Porridge Oats and Ancient Grains 

  • 150 g toasted Porridge Oats and Ancient Grains Mix
  • 200 g hot water
  • 30 g local yogurt

Multigrain with Infused Fruit and Seeds

  • 30 g toasted sunflower seeds
  • 30 g toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 30 g chopped dates
  • 30 g cranberries
  • 30 g raisins
  • 200 g hot Earl Grey tea
  • 30 g local yogurt


  1. The night before, I milled my flour and toasted and soaked the add-ins in the hot liquids only.
  2. The next morning, I added the yogurt to the add-ins and did the last feeding of my 4 stage starter (80% hydration).
  3. A couple of hours before the levain was ready (when it is tripled), I autolyzed the add-ins with the flour mix. The amount of water differed as follows: The amaranth, millet, bulgur mix needed 550 g of water, the porridge oats needed 600 g of water, and the fruit, seed mix only needed 500 g of water. The dough after mixing was rather stiff.
  4. When the levain was ready, I added 22 g of sea salt and 266 g of levain. Once again, the various mixes needed differing amounts of water for the dough to feel right. The amaranth, millet, bulgur mix needed an extra 20 g of water, the porridge oats needed an extra 30 g of water, and the fruit, seed mix did not need any extra water.
  5. Once everything was well mixed, I did 4 sets of folds 20 to 30 minutes apart and let the dough rise till double. This took 5 to 6 hours depending on where I had the dough. I slow down some loaves by leaving them on the counter while I am doing the folding and others, I put into the oven with the light on and the door cracked open.
  6. I divided each batch into 3 loaves (so a total of 9 loaves), and let them rest for a few minutes before doing a final shape and putting them into baskets. 
  7. They proofed overnight in the fridge.
  8. The next morning, I preheated the oven to 475 F with the dutch ovens inside. I baked the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes and then removed the lid and lowered the temp to 425 for an additional 20-25 minutes.

Most of these loaves are being frozen for Father's Day and 3 are going to my favourite soup kitchen. We are keeping one for ourselves and I hope to post a crumb shot of that one shortly. I was really happy with the oven spring on these so the crumb should be good too.

dmsnyder's picture

This week, I have baked two batches of Forkish's "Field Blend 2." The whole rye and whole wheat flours in both batches were milled in my Mock Mill KitchenAid attachment (Highly recommended!)

One batch was baked in Lodge Dutch Ovens at 475 dF for 50 minutes (30 covered, 20 uncovered). The other batch was baked on a baking stone with my usual oven steaming method at 460 dF with steam for 15 minutes, then at 435 dF convection bake for 30 minutes. The DO loaves are the boules. The hearth loaves are the bâtards.

The following crumb photos are from one of the DO bakes. From past experience, I would say the hearth bakes' crumb structure is pretty much identical. (I'm not showing it, because those loaves are going to a family barbecue at a nephew's house in Oakland.)

At least in my electric home oven, these two methods yield very similar, equally satisfactory results. I would not say there is much difference in oven spring, crust consistency, crumb structure or bread flavor. 

Happy baking!


dabrownman's picture

It was very strange this week to see a new show called Year Million.  This week’s episode was called.  Hey Dude, Where’s my Body?  It was all about Lucy and my fascination with trans humans and our eventual transition of our brains and identity of who we are to the cloud to become immortal -  getting rid of our weak bodies that get diseased and kill us off today – not to mention cost a fortune to maintain…. only to die.

Transitioning ourselves to the cloud solves many of the world’s ills today.  No more planet despoiling to keep ourselves watered and fed.  No more worries about getting a good education or getting a good job to sustain ourselves and families. No worries about getting sick and dying.  No more poor sick or starving.  You can be whatever you want to be, any day you want to be it creating your own world and existence.  It has an appeal that they claim will be overwhelming.

We are in the beginning of virtual reality and artificial intelligence today.  We will soon be able to transition into Metaverse 1.0 where we can temporarily live in in whatever world we want in the cloud but be able to unplug and return to reality.   Metaverse 2.0 is where you leave your body behind never to return to the reality you left and be forever immersed in whatever world you want.  The question is when and since it isn’t any time soon enough to help Lucy and I out of our old age -  why worry about it?

Last week’s 40 % sprouted rye with walnuts and figs has been a real treat to eat this week for breakfast lunch and dinner.  I even tore up pieces of it and put it, as untoasted croutons, on some green chili chicken stew to sop up the soup.  This week Lucy went back to the whiter side of her pantry and came up with a half white sprouted SD bread.

The sprouted grains were Kamut. rye, spelt, oat, red and white wheat and barley.  After sprouting, we sifted out the bran to make a 100% bran, 100% hydration, 7 grain sprouted levain using 10 g of our just refreshed NMNF rye starter.  After it doubled after the 3rd stage feeding we retarded the levain for 24 hours to bring out the two sour notes.  The levain was 10% pre-fermented sprouted bran.

We stirred it down and left it on the window sill to warm up.  After the levain started to rise again, we autolyzed the rest of the dough flour and enough water to bring the hydration up to 85% for 1 hour with the PH sea salt sprinkled on top.  The bran levain had risen more than 50% when it hit the mix for the first set of 50 slap and folds to get it and the salt well mixed in.

Nothing like a good bacon cheeseburger or baked chicken breasts

We did 2 more sets of 20 slap and folds and 2 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points – all on 30 minute intervals.  We then pre-shaped and shaped the dough and placed it into a rice floured round basket, seam side up, and then bagged it for a 12 hour retard in the fridge for the final proof.

Yes that is a ship Kabob, even if spelled horribly,  and skewered Veggies with Basmati rice and more green veggies 

We took the dough out of the fridge to warm up a bit and fired up the oven to 500 F preheat with the combo cooker inside.  The dough looked to be fully proofed, instead of the 85% we like, so we didn’t expect huge spring and bloom.  We un-molded the dough, onto parchment, on a peel and then slashed the dough tic-tack-toe style before siding it into the combo cooker for 20 minutes of covered steam at 450 F.

After the lid came off, we continued to bake at 425 F convection for 15 minutes until the boule was nicely brown and 209 F on the inside.  It sprang and bloomed like we expected with some blistering making for a handsome loaf.  We will have to see what it looks like on the inside later today but expect it to nice even without the spring.  Don’t forget that today is national doughnut day – one of Lucy’s favorite days of the year.

The crumb was open, soft and moist - more open than we thought it would be for sure.  It is hearty; healthy and just plain delicious.  Can't wait to have it as toast and in a sandwich tomorrow.  Thi sis Lucy's new favorite sprouted grain bread and I have to agree woth her and can see why it is so good.


10% Pre-fermented sprouted 7 grain bran, 2 stage levain at 100% hydration that is retarded for 24 hours


40% Sprouted high extraction 7 grain flour

50% Albertson’s bread flour

85% Overall hydration using water

2$ Pink Himilayan sea salt

How about some salads for Lucy


alfanso's picture

My wife is off to a Dragon Boat race this weekend.  I won't describe what it is, you can look it up if you have the mind to.  The three main things they do there are 1) race, 2) spend a lot of downtime between races and 3) eat and nap during the downtime.  I thought that I'd add to the groaning table by baking a rather, um, large golden raisin-pecan WW bread for them.

Coming off the recent just-for-the-heck-of-it monster baguette, I decided that it wasn't big enough.  This beast weighs in at 1500g, a full 50% heavier than the prior beast while being a few inches shorter.  A perfect snacking bread with or without butter, soft cheese and/or jam, and makes a fine toast too.  Probably not a great bread for sandwiches.  C'est la vie.

Unfortunately, having hardly any experience with breads this size, it looks as though in the scheme of things a seam  twisted out of position and although it may look artistic is actually a burst seam.  I'll have to somehow console my sorrow and find the inner strength to recover from this tragedy ;-) . 

The little fellow is a 550g batard that will keep my tonsils company over her weekend absence.

The lone slice of the Big Boy that my wife left behind...


  1. 1500g x 1 truncheon
  2. 550g x 1 batard

 These are loosely based on the fabulous Ken's Artisan Bakery version of this bread.

Raisin Pecan Whole Wheat Levain    
    Total Flour    
Total Dough Weight (g) 1000 Prefermented20.00%   
Total Formula   Levain  Final Dough 
Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
Total Flour100.00%503.3 100.00%100.7 Final Flour402.6
AP Flour70.00%352.3 60.0%60.4 AP Flour291.9
Whole Wheat25.00%125.8 20.0%20.1 Whole Wheat105.7
Rye flour5.00%25.2 20.0%20.1 Rye5.0
Water72.60%365.4 75.0%75.5 Water289.9
Salt2.10%10.6    Salt10.6
Raisins / Figs12.00%60.4    Raisins60.4
Pecans / Toasted Walnuts12.00%60.4    Pecans60.4
75% Stiff Levain2.00%10.1 10.0%10.1   
Totals198.70%1000.0 185%186.2  1000.0
    2 stage stiff levain build  
    Stage 1    
    AP Flour30.2   
    Whole Wheat10.1   
    Stage 2    
    AP Flour30.2   
    Whole Wheat10.1   


  • Day 1 – Mix Stiff Levain – 15 minutes
  • Day 2 – Mix dough, French Folds & ferment – 2-3 hours (~18-24 hour rest)
  • Day 3 – Bake – 1.5 hours 


DAY 1:

  1. Mix levain. Ferment at room temperature, covered tightly, turn once or twice during build. (can be as much as 8-12 hours - your mileage may vary)
  2. Soak fruit in water.  Reserve water for final mix.

DAY 2:

  1. Mix flours and water, include water from fruit. Cover and autolyse for 30 minutes.
  2. Add levain and salt and pinch-and-fold mix to incorporate. 150 French Folds / 5 minute covered rest / 150 FFs.
  3. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.
  4. Add raisins and pecans at first Letter Fold.  Stretch dough out into large rectangle on wetted surface and distribute fruit and nuts evenly.
  5. With each Letter Fold, try to fold so that the fruit and nuts stay toward the interior of the dough as much as possible.
  6. Bulk ferment 2-3 hours with 4 Letter Folds every 25 minutes, one final 25 minute rest, then refrigerate. Dough will start doming after the first fold.  Dough will remain silky and extensible throughout.
  7. Cover and refrigerate for as much as 18-24 hours.

DAY 3:

  1. Take the dough out of the refrigerator.  For baguettes, divide into SQUARE pieces.  For batards, divide into pre-shaped balls.
  2. Cover and allow to rest for 10-12 minutes.
  3. For baguettes - these work better as short & chubby baguettes/torpedoes perhaps allowing a little raw flour on surface for rustic look.
  4. Onto lightly floured couche, seam side down.  These will shed some moisture.
  5. Cover with plastic.  Back into retard.
  6. An hour before baking, pre-heat the oven to 500ºF, with baking stone and lava rock pan in place.
  7. Score.
  8. Bake at 470ºF 10-13 minutes steam, separate & rotate 180 front to back, then another 10-15 minutes or more after rotating.  Vent for 2-3 minutes.
  9. These should bake darker than you think.  We want the crust to be dark and thick!


  • My kitchen is almost always 78-80dF.
  • Dough can be shaped anytime during retard cycle, after ~ 2 hours in refrigerator.
  • I bake directly out of retard.
  • 1 Sylvia's Steaming towel, 1 9"x13" pan of lava rocks.  Towel goes in 15 minutes prior to bake, 2 cups of water onto lava rocks after dough is loaded.
  • Recommend the short and chubby baguettes because the fruit and nuts would wind up dominating the girth of a fully sized baguette.
  • Can also be scored with a diagonal cross hatch for the fun and look of it.


sadkitchenkid's picture

This is a 50% wholewheat loaf at 83% hydration!

I rolled the final dough after shaping into a bowl of sesame and poppy seeds so the loaf has a uniform crust all over.

226g bread flour

210g wholewheat flour

355g water

55g wholewheat starter at around 100% hydration

9g salt 


Mix all the ingredients minus the salt and starter in a bowl until all the flour is dry. Leave to hydrate for a few hours. Sometimes I let autolyse overnight in the fridge.

Fold in the starter and salt. Proceed with about 6 stretch and folds over the course of 5 hours. I only did 3 with this loaf so the oven spring wasn't as high as I would've liked, but the crumb is still nice. 

After S&F are done, shape tightly and then roll the entire ball into the seeds. Place seamside up in a proofing bowl and proof overnight in the fridge then take out the next day and let proof on the counter for about 2-4 hours. Bake at 450F for 20 with dutch oven lid on and another 20 with it off. 

PS a good tip for sticking the seeds on is rolling the dough in a damp towel to get the surface a little tacky. I didn't have a clean tea towel on hand so I wet my hands and rubbed them over the surface of the ball of dough, then took a paper towel and gently dabbed at it to remove the excess moisture and achieve that tacky surface. The generous coating of seeds completely coated the dough so I didn't need to line my proofing bowl (in my case, a metal mixing bowl) with flour to keep it from sticking to the sides.

Process pics

The next day:

After 20 minutes with steam: (ps I don't have a sharp razor so my scoring is pretty depressing)

20 minutes uncovered

I was gifting this loaf so I couldn't cut into it but I've made this recipe often and this is a worst case scenario of the crumb:


leslieruf's picture

 Last week I finally got my larva rocks so this week decided to have a go.  I made 3 batches of 2 loaves, 3 different breads that I often make, so nothing new there.  Made dough yesterday and did the final proof overnight in the fridge.   Preheated the oven for about 1 hour with larva rocks and DO. 15 minutes before I baked added container of steaming towells.  So first to bake was my version of Field Blend #2, one batard in DO the other on the baking stone. Added boiling water to larva rocks and baked 15 minutes lid on, and steam, then 15 minutes lid off, no steam.  this is the two loaves at rear of photo.  Quite disappointed with oven spring of the one on the stone (right hand loaf) compared to the DO version on left.

Repeated with next batch - 1:2:3 with 30% multigrain flour, single score on both. This time I put more water in steaming towells and more on larva rocks.  this is the middle row.  This time the one on the stone is marginally better than the one in the DO on left.

Finally, the last batch my favourite multigrain loaf.  this one I scored DO with 3 slashes and the one on the stone a single score. Made extra sure there was plenty of water in steaming towell and on larva rocks.  This time the one on the stone is definitely better.

to me there seems to be a definite improvement as the bake went on, much steam giving a better result.

the crumb shot (aligned as per original) shows the same improvement.

Lesson learned!!! lots and lots of free water onsteaming towells and larva rocks required to create lots and lots of steam - far more than I had ever imagined.  And to top things off, I accidentallt touched my oven mitt on the top element and ended up with a mini fire on my hand so now have to replace my favourite heavy oven mitt :(

Yogi's picture

It's been a while! Over the past month I have been baking on a regular schedule and trying out a new recipe every bake and just having tons of fun. Let's see if I can quickly recap some breads—all 100% whole wheat sourdough of varying hydrations. 



85% WW Jalapeno Cheddar and Sun Dried Tomato SD!


This bread was so much fun, and awesome tasting. Spicy when you got a pepper!



100% Hydration WW SD Beer Bread!  Made with all Homemade Belgian Dubbel, no water. 


Secret monk technique: The beer and the flour have to sit close together and absorb the essence of the beer into the flour. 


I just loved this bread. I have been making a ton of all beer breads without adding water and the flavor is out of sight. Strong, bitter, malty and tangy sour from the SD. I added some seeds to this batch. 



I think this is rolled oats, high hydration. Beyond that I can't remember!



Another batch of beer bread, this time with a Homebrew Vienna Ale. So good. No water. 


I added toasted nuts and seeds. All of these were ground slightly in an R2 food processor. 


Yes, yes. 


Pan breads are new to me and a little challenging. Surprisingly enough, when you do all beer breads without water, the dough isn't even that wet or slack after a 2+ hour autolyse. Beer and water are so different. 



85% WW Fennel Raisin Molasses SD. This recipe, and this bread specifically, was amazing. I can't stress that enough. The crust was so soft and sweet, yet slightly thin and crunchy. The raisin-fennel combo taste like licorice and melt in your mouth. Man o man. 



100% water-hydrated WW SD with seeds: flax, sesame, pumpkin and rolled oats. Because life. 

This bread was so soft and delicious, unreal. I also did a 5 hour autolyse, really softened the bread up. 


I buttered the pans heavily and reaped all of the rewards from that action in the finished product. 


80-something% hydration Walnut-Berry SD! I think I used cherries. Been using all kinds of berries lately. The watery ones are so crazy wet they mess up the hydration. But, they are redeemed in flavor and awesomeness in color. 


Totally great bread. With melted butter these loaves were gone, just annihilated. 



Raspberries have been interesting too, the disappear in the flour and just make a color/flavor profile. 



Aren't these little puff-balls so cute? I don't even know what these are. I think they are some kind of sweet bread with lots and lots of jaggery and honey and milk—all holy things. 



More cute little puff-balled bread. I was really enjoying the natural no-score look for a while...still am too. These are made with some kind of nut and berry, I wanna say apricots. 



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