The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


the P and the C's picture
the P and the C

I'm planning on doing some regular weekend baking and started this weekend with a batch consisting of a 70% hydration sourdough shaped in several ways. This batch made a boule, batard, baguettes, dinner rolls and sandwich rolls. 12% WW flour and 7% rye flour.

dabrownman's picture

My wife and daughter said I had to make Thanksgiving Dinner on Sunday a few days late because they missed our dressing, sides and especially the Cognac gravy for the sweet and golden potato smashed that wasn't served at cousin Jay's.  I missed the brown sugar carrot and butternut squash and braised / baked little cabbages.known as Brussels Sprouts.  For the dressing,  we always mix some yeast white, cornbread and some sourdough for the dressing bread mix.

This time we got out the last of Yippee's Bordinsky for the sourdough portion and made the cornbread and poolish white bread from scratch.  The 123 was made to total 300 g of Lafama flour total, including the 1 of the poolish so the cocktail loaf would fit in the Mini Oven easily along with the Mega steam.

If you have ever wondered how Lucy gets her maga steam in the Mini oven she takes a Pyrex 1 cup measure and puts 2 lava rock in it and fills it nearly to the brim with water.  She microwaves it for 2 minutes to get it hot and then puts it in the back of the oven preheated at 450 F to get it really steaming after 5 more minutes - then i  the bread goes for 10 minutes before the steam comes out and we bake at 425 F convection for another 15 more minutes to get it to 207 F.

This one had no autolyse but did get 2 sets of slap and folds of 125 and 25 slaps each and then 2 sets of 4 stretch and folds all on 2 minute intervals after the 100% hydration poolish got bubbly 3 hours after it was mixed.  It went into the cocktail pan a bit small but really puffed itself up over the next 2 hours to rise 1/2 inch over the rim in the middle and then it got the 3 B;s and sprang well above the rim by 2" in the middle to look like a little bloomer in the UK - very cute.

If you are going to make foot long buns you should at least make the sausages a foot long too instead of have them come in at 10".  I really need a new apprentice :-) These are spicy Italian.  Our latest batch of Dijon mustard is still way to hot to use and needs at least another 2 months of aging and maybe even 90 days.

We won't cube it up until it cools down later so the cubes can dry out by tomorrow afternoon.  My daughter hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up in 7 hours today so I hope she will be recovered enough by tomorrow afternoon to help make dinner or I will be very cross with her for sure.  Bloomers get me talking British it seems:-) 


Danni3ll3's picture

I don’t know why I do this to myself but I am doing Xmas Sourdough orders again like last year. The plan was to simplify and only offer two kinds of breads but somehow, I can’t say no and I am doing 3 kinds. And not only that… last year, I limited my orders to 36 loaves… somehow things go away on me and I am doing 48. So that means 4 baking sessions as I can only make 12 loaves at a time. 


On top of all of this, I have a bunch of other commitments that I can’t get out of. So the next 2 weeks are going to be crazy. Hopefully, someone doesn’t end up maimed or dead at the end of this!


So I apologize in advance if I am not going into as much detail as usual. First baking session is a Cranberry Wild Rice with Pepitas.


Makes 3 loaves


Wild Rice:

75 g raw wild rice

10 g buckwheat groats


60 g pumpkin seeds, raw

150 g cranberries

200 g water

30 g honey


700 g unbleached flour

200 g kamut berries

200 g spelt berries

575 g water

30 g yogurt

22 g salt

250 g 100% hydration 4 stage levain


A few days before:

  1. Bloom the wild rice with the buckwheat groats by the method of your choice. Once bloomed, refrigerate until needed.

Two days before:

  1. Mill the kamut and spelt berries, sift the bran and reserve 125 g of bran/sifted flour for the levain. Start building your levain (10g/10g/10g).
  2. Place the flours in a tub and reserve.

The day before:

  1. In the morning, continue building the levain (20g/20g).
  2. Toast the pumpkin seeds. Add the cranberries and the water. Soak overnight.
  3. At night, feed the levain again (40g/40g).

The day of:

  1. Do your final build of the levain (80g/80g).
  2. Add the honey to the soaker.
  3. A couple of hours before the levain is ready, add the wild rice, the soaker, and the water to the flours and mix well. Let sit covered at room temp (73F).
  4. Once the levain has peaked, add the yogurt, the salt and the levain to the dough. Mix well and let sit 30 minutes.
  5. On 30 minute intervals, do slaps and folds (75/50/10), and then go to stretches and folds (3 sets).
  6. Let sit for an hour and then refrigerate for a couple of hours.
  7. Divide into portions of 800 g and round with a scraper. Let rest for 1 hour.
  8. Shape into boules and put seam side down into bannetons.
  9. Cover and place into the fridge for 9-10 hours.

Baking day:

  1. Heat pots and oven to 475 F for an hour. Bake boules seam side up for 30 minutes at 450 F covered, and then at 425 uncovered for 17 minutes.


I got okay but not great oven spring for some reason. Maybe I shouldn’t have soaked the cranberries and added the add-ins later...


kendalm's picture

happy thanksgiving !

dabrownman's picture

It has been weeks since we last baked bead due to a no a carb diet where I am trying to lose 40 odd pounds and now half way there.  But Thanksgiving is upon us and there are no diets allowed by law for this holiday fete.  It is always a total carb blow out.  Many people do not now that dieting during Thanksgiving is against the law but many folks don’t know the slightest thing about physics either or that Lucy only speaks Swedish….and poorly at that.

Cousin Jay said not to bring anything as usual but we know he will want to make some turkey sandwiches tomorrow and the thought of him making them with store bought bread makes Lucy ill just thinking about it.  Plus, he will need to wash down these fine sandwiches with something decent so we are bringing him a 2008 vintage California style Bordeaux - White Oak Alexander Valley from our limited cellars.

Actually, I just got 6 bottles by UPS yesterday direct from the winery.  It was bottled in 2010 and has been cellared at the winery ever since with just a few cases released to the public right before Thanksgiving – otherwise it is only available at the winery.  I will save a bottle for Christmas and give the rest away as gifts to family and friends with bread for the Holidays.

The whole grains used for this bread were red and white wheat, rye and oat.  Lucy thought she had some Kamut and spelt in her pantry but she couldn’t find it so I see Whole Foods in her future.  The 100% hydration, 2 stage, bran levain came in at 14% pre-fermented flour which is higher than our usual because it is cold in the kitchen this time of year at 64 F.  We also did the levain build on a heating pad.  The finished, 100% risen levain,  was then retarded for 24 hours.

Lot s of soups and salads with a brisket, quesadilla and taco thrown in.

All the bran from the home milled whole grains went into the first stage along with some of High Extraction whole grains with the HE making up the entire 2nd stage.  There was 30 g of HE left over and that went into the dough flour along with the 83% Winco unbleached bread flour from the bins.


We did a 30 minute autolyse, adding enough water to get the hydration up to 75% overall, whit the dough flour and the Pink Himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top.  Once the autolyse was over, we added another 2% water and mixed in the salt.   Then added the levain that had been warming up on the counter for an hour and mixed it in with a spoon.

We did 2 sets of slap and folds of 150 and 50 slaps.  After 40 slaps of the first set, we thought the dough was a bit dry so we added another 2% water getting the total hydration up to 79%.  Then we did 3 sets of stretch and folds with the 10%, 3 percent each, of coarsely ground flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds going in on the foist set.  Once again it seems a bit dry so we added another 1% water making it 80% hydration.

All the slaps and folds happened on 40 minute intervals, also longer than normal due to the cold.  We then put it into an oiled SS bowl and covered it with plastic and put it onto the fridge for a 12 hour retard at about 30% increase in volume.  The next morning it has risen another 20% in the cold.  We piut it on the counter to warm up for 2 hours before shaping it into a boule and putting it into a rice floured basket for proofing on the counter – no heating pad this time since I had plenty of time for it to proof.


It took 3 hours to puff itself up to 85%.  We un-molded it onto parchment on a peel and scored it hop scotch style and slid it into the combo cooker that had been preheated to 500 F.  After spritzing, we put the lid on and baked it at 450 F for 20 minutes and then 20 minutes lid off to get it to 208 F on the inside.

We got the 3 B’s of bloom, blister and boldly baked but won’t know about the OSM since it is a gift.  I’m guessing it will be OK on the inside and taste as good as it smelled as it baked. 

All the best to you and yours - Happy Thanksgiving and Baking too!

Yippee's picture


Tremendous oven spring!






Sliced after cooling for 5 hours. 

I forgot this is a 90% rye, and the crumb was not set yet.

The hardest part of this bake was finding a light-colored medium rye flour.

I used KA's white rye (90%) and Giusto's Ultimate Performer (10%)

With Rus's instructions, the rest of the procedures was a piece of  






Dear food slicer, my hands thank you!


Springy and tangy slices, love them!


Thank you, Rus!






Rus's instructions



breadforfun's picture

These are such fun I can’t believe I never made them before! I substituted about 15% milled and sifted hard white wheat for part of the bread flour and increased the hydration accordingly. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 



ckujawa's picture

Wanted to post this because I got schooled by this today. The recipe was the basic sourdough from The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I added a significant amount of additional floor because what I was using was new to me and the dough didn't feel right. After 4 hours of bulk rise (also and fold every 30 minutes) I tried to shape it into batards and they would not hold. I couldn't get what I thought was the right surface tension, and they rose flat. I almost have up but figured at the worst is have good crutons. Glad I didn't give up though... The oven spring totally saved the day.


Danni3ll3's picture

I haven’t done this bread since the spring so it was time to give it a shot with the slap and fold method that I have been using for the last little bit. I increased the amount of whole grain a bit to get a bigger and healthier loaf. Hoping that this isn’t too much for the 3 quart Dutch ovens I have. 



 Makes 3 loaves


200 g spelt berries

200 g rye berries

200 g Kamut berries

820 g unbleached flour

50 g freshly ground flax

950 g filtered water

26 g Himalayan pink salt

40 g local yogurt

280 g 100% hydration levain (procedure for this is in recipe)


 Two nights before:

  1. Mill the kamut, spelt and rye berries and sift out the bran to feed the levain. Weigh the bran and set aside. Add enough fresh flour to the weight of bran to equal 140 g. Save the bran and this amount of flour for the levain. 
  2. Place the remainder of the fresh flour in a tub. Add the unbleached flour and the freshly ground flax. Cover and reserve.
  3. Remove 10 g of starter from your refrigerated starter and feed it 10 g of filtered water and 10 g of bran. Leave to rise overnight.

The morning before:

  1. Feed the levain 20 g of filtered water and 20 g of bran.

The night before:

  1. Feed the levain 40 g of filtered water and 40 of bran/fresh flour. Let rise overnight. It makes a very thick mixture. 

Main dough:

  1. Feed the levain 80 g of filtered water and 80 g of fresh flour. This should use up all of the flour saved for the levain. Let rise until double. Mine took about 5 1/2 hours at 73F.
  2. A couple of hours before the levain is ready, mix together the water and the reserved flour/flax mix. If mixing by hand, I found it easier to first put in 850 g of water, mix as much as possible and then add the remaining 100 g of water. Sprinkle the pink salt on top for the autolyse. Let rest for 2 or so hours until your levain is ready.
  3. Once your levain is ready, add it and the yogurt to the dough. Mix very well and let rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Do three sets of French slaps and folds (70/40/10) at 30 minute intervals. Again on 30 minute intervals, do 2 sets of stretches and folds in the tub.
  5. Let rest an hour at room temp (73F) and then retard the bulk for two and a half hours. The dough rose about 30%. Total bulk fermentation was 6 hours and 15 minutes (3.75 hours on the counter and 2.5 in the fridge). 
  6. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~875 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest one hour on the counter. 
  7. Do a final shape by flouring the rounds and flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and fold over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make a nice tight boule.
  8. Sprinkle rice flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons, cover, let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge for 9-10 hours. 


Baking Day

  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 30 minutes, remove the lids, drop the temperature to 425F, and bake for another 17 minutes. Internal temperature should be 205F or more.


Well, I guess I should reduce the amount of dough a bit since the loaves all have flat tops from hitting the lid! 🙄 Otherwise, I am pleased with this version! Crumb shot when we cut into one.


Elsie_iu's picture

In my previous toasted popcorn SD post, dabrownman offered the suggestion of sprouting popcorn to soften the grain. What a brilliant idea: sprouted grains always have superior flavour!



Spinach Feta SD with 30% Sprouted Popcorn


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

150g      50%       Whole white wheat flour

90g        30%       Sprouted toasted popcorn flour

60g        20%       Kamut flour


For leaven:

10g      3.33%       Starter

40g      13.3%       Bran sifted out from dough flour

40g      13.3%       Water


For dough:

260g     86.7%       Dough flour excluding bran for leaven

145g     48.3%       Whey

106g     35.3%       Water

90g          30%       Leaven

5g          1.67%      Salt



60g         20%       Crumbled feta cheese

30g         10%       Fresh baby spinach



305g      100%       Whole grain

296g     97.0%       Total hydration



Sift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 40g for leaven. Soak the rest (I got 35 g) in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 3 hours.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the leaven, salt and soaked bran to autolyze for 15 minutes. Fold in the reserved ingredients then knead in the spinach and feta cheese at the 15 and 30 minutes mark respectively. Ferment for 1 hours 30 minutes longer.

Shape the dough and put in into a banneton. Retard for 8 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F.

Remove the dough from the fridge and let it warm up at room temperature for 20 minutes. Score and spritz the dough then bake at 250°C/482°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 208°F. Let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.


Since toasted popcorn flour is pretty sweet already, I guessed that sprouted popcorn flour can only be sweeter. Therefore, I upped the amount of whey in the formula and incorporated some feta and spinach for some tanginess and grassy flavor. This combination turns out great.



The crust is on the thin side this time. It didn’t develop a lot of blisters but it’s nicely crispy. The crumb is dense but not really unpleasant. It has a moist and mochi-like texture. Though the spinach and sprouted popcorn might have played a role in this, I believe the main culprit is the white wheat used. For some reason, flour milled from Breadtopia’s white wheat berries produces very weak dough. Gluten couldn’t develop properly whenever it is used. This has happened to me for many times already. My friend, who ordered the wheat with me, encountered the same issue. Does anyone notice this problem with Breadtopia’s hard white wheat berries?



Mushrooms and sugar snap peas pesto linguine with pan grilled pineapples, cherry tomatoes and honey glazed salmon


Italian seafood stew, balsamic glazed brussel sprouts with bacon and cilantro parmesan pesto stuffed chicken roll



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