The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


leslieruf's picture

recipe by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou's book.  Inspired by Abe & Carole I had a go at this yesterday whilst making my 5 grain levain for the community bake.

Starter was refreshed the day before and in the evening I built the levain - 100% hydration with some bran included and left it overnight on the bench. 

Bake day was crazy - visitors in and out and bread on the go.

Mixed together 237 g flour & 6 g salt.  then I added 4 g nigella seed and went to get the celery seeds.  Oops, it is mustard seed.  What to do?  ok I have oregano (only 1 g as plant is tiny) and there was rosemary in the garden.  So I added 1 g finely chopped oregano and 1 g finely chopped rosemary.  Mixed with flour until well distributed. This is just another small  575 g loaf.    

Mixed together 24 g tomato paste (home made so not as strong as commercially made stuff), 6 g olive oil, 119 g water and 178 g levain.  To this I added the flour mix....  and mixed well.  Hadjiandreou mixes then rests 10 minutes, then does a series of folds at 10 minute intervals.  I decided to just do my usual 200 slap and folds to make sure I had enough gluten development.  I gave the dough 2 sets of stretch and folds 45 minutes apart.  At this point I decided I should follow instruction which had said bulk ferment 1 hour, shape and proof 3 - 6 hours.  So I patted dough out

it was a little poofy, so I folded sides to centre and rolled it up, popped in the banneton to proof

An hour and a half later it was like this

so I popped it in the fridge.  I wanted to bake it when I baked the 5 grain levain later in the day.  It was also fermenting much quicker than I expected.

An hour and a half later I turned the oven on, put the DOs in and left to preheat for an hour.  Here it is before I scored - a nice dough, hasn't spread much.  Not sure if it would have been better baked a little earlier though. 

So this was baked at 260 deg C for 15 minutes, then 15 minutes lid off at 225 deg C.  Don't seem to be able to get an ear at the moment :(   Still it baked up fine although I think there is now a hot spot in my oven.

Crumb shot

the colour is pretty true too.  An interesting flavour, had for lunch today with cold cuts and brie.  Not sure if it is the oregano or the rosemary coming through.

A good bake though, I will see how I feel about the flavour as I eat it and make adjustments then.  The celery seed would give a different flavour I think.  


SK1's picture

Hello- My sourdough starter (KA unbleached white bread flour and water 100% hydration) is now about 3 weeks old.  It rises very well after every feeding, at least double sometimes more, but my bubbles are not real big, there are a lot of them but they are fairly small. Is that ok?  I keep the starter on the counter at room temp which fluctuates between 65-71 F

I have not baked with it yet, but plan too soon. 

Esopus Spitzenburg's picture
Esopus Spitzenburg

I've been baking recipes from Martin Philip's Breaking Bread recently, and this is based on his recipe for Pane di Genzano. I have a small container of black garlic that somebody gave me, which was just sitting in the fridge, so I added some to the dough at around 4.5%. I also didn't have wheat bran, so I sifted some whole rye flour and used rye bran to coat the boules. I know that I should have left the breads in the oven longer to get darker, as is traditional, but my instinct made me remove them at this level of brownness. If I make them again, I'll try to get them darker.

The bread was relatively simple to make, and had a great texture (very soft crumb), but I was not particularly impressed with the flavor-- it lacked the depth that I've come to expect from good sourdough breads. I was worried that I had put too much black garlic in, but the flavor was actually very subtle, and it possibly would have benefited from a little more garlic (or maybe a combo of roasted garlic & black garlic?).


Here's the crumb:

Skibum's picture

I began browsing the fresh loaf mid 2009, when I was trying to learn how to bake proper bread. Over the years the suggestions, advice, support and references have taught me much about baking bread. I enjoy the breads I bake.

Perhaps the best early advice I adopted was from a poster who suggested that if you can buy your flour from your local artisan baker do so. I have done so ever since, in Canmore and now in Golden where I just bought my second bag of bread flour from our local bakery.

Now I bake pulla about every 10 days to two weeks, but the starter loaf I mixed Tuesday with the new batch of flour resulted in more oven spring than I have ever seen. Mind you the pulla loaf I baked 2 weeks ago was with 5 month old flour, but holy cow I have never seen such oven spring before!

The result was a nice loose crumb, great flavour and eat ablility! The dark on the crust is from the granulated sugar I generously sprinkled on the egg wash coating prior to baking. There is much to be said for an active, well fed starter, but I think the real hero here is the flour. the owner and head baker of this 50 year old family run bakery has been buying flour from the same southern Alberta mill near Lethbridge since the bakery opened. I feel blessed to be able to bake with such a good flour and have been loving the results!

Happy baking! Ski

PS anyone wants the recipe, please just ask and I will post it in the comments.

Rustic Rye's picture
Rustic Rye

I have been dipping my toes into breads with added goodies recently. My favorite part of bread with goodies is biting into a slice and getting a little surprise of olives/raisins/nuts/ etc. I think it adds a nice textural variance to the bread. I haven't made a loaf with olives yet, so when I found this recipe in Hammelman's Bread and had to give it a try. The loaves are about 65% hydration, 20% olives, 10% whole wheat, and naturally leavened. I ended up making a fougasse and a batard. Please excuse the large chunk of fougasse missing here. I couldn't resist. :)

I have a few take aways that might help YOU in your next baking endeavor:

1. I did not develop sufficient dough strength since the batard spread out all over the baking stone and didn't have much rise. I either needed to slap and fold more after mixing or get more stretch and folds in during the bulk ferment.

2. Cutting the fougasse before baking needs to be done on parchment paper before loading onto the hot baking stone. Then baking it just enough to make it crispy, but still soft inside. Texture is everything here. 

3. Cut the olives in half but keep the large chunks since those are great to bite into. Next time, I would like to add some garlic and ground pepper for more flavor. 

Happy baking.
-Rustic Rye


breadforfun's picture

This morning I baked my version of Hamelman's 5-grain Levain. I think this is one of the best breads in Hamelman's book - it is tasty, it is easy to make, and it never fails. Needless to say, I make hardly any changes to the original recipe. Some of the details of my version are:

  1. Rye berries are coarsely milled into what would probably be called rye chops rather than cracked rye and the fine flour is not sifted out;
  2. I use rolled oats (Hamelman doesn't specify);
  3. Instead of water for the final dough I use the whey that I get from straining my own version of a "yogurt cheese;"
  4. A Kitchen Aid is used for mixing. The dough is scaled to make 3 loaves at 850-900 grams each, which pushes the limit in the KA (and probably doesn't help its longevity);
  5. Loaves are shaped into "logs" which keeps the slices nicely even sized for sandwiches;
  6. Dough is retarded in refrigerator at roughly 38˚F overnight and there is no IDY.

Some photos showing the progress of the bake follow.

    Cracked rye

               Cracked Rye before soaking                                    Levain after about 12 hours



                Soaker after about 12 hours                                         Dough after mixing



                     Divided and preshaped                                         Final shaping into logs



   On parchment and into a bag for retarding                   After 18 hours refrigerated retard



            Three shallow diagonal scores                                       During the steaming


                                                        The final product


Thanks @DanAyo for setting this up!



PalwithnoovenP's picture

Hello TFLers! I've been very busy this early in 2019, I almost have no time to post and check TFL. I'm glad I had a little time to post this. I baked this early this January but I'm only posting it now because, you know, teachers have a lot of paperwork aside from actual classroom teaching.

This bread was inspired by NYC.This is a remake of my Potato Onion Sourdough "Bagel-Crust" Squares but with minor differences; the inspiration came from Knishes which are also very famous in NY. In addition to baking it in an oven, I used sauteed onions instead of dehydrated onions which is how filling for knishes is commonly done.

I also added lots of freshly ground black pepper. Potato, onion, pepper; you know it's going to be delicious. It was so fragrant from the pepper.

Black pepper here as it clumped in one area of the raw bagel. I love how it looks.

I dunked half of them in black sesame seeds on both sides after boiling because I love a bagel with sesame like last time and its look.

I cut some into "squares"  just like last time because I just can't enough of it. :)

The ones without seeds stuck to the parchment paper. What if I want to make plain ones? Anyone who knows how to deal with this? 

The crumb. Potato really makes a huge difference.

Eat with a thick schmear of cream cheese.

My "schmearing skills" are not on point so it was not thick. No problem, dunk every bite in extra cream cheese!

Pardon the messy look of the following pictures. Cream cheese almost everywhere. :)


The crust was crispy and a little delicate that only boiled bagels can have. The crumb was softer than a plain bagel but chewier and tighter than my previous version. If you look at the crumb on my previous post you can see that it was a lot more open and softer, it was also moister probably due to the shape. The flavor was almost the same as I remember, like a good pizza with tang from the sourdough and sweetness from the sauteed onions but I like this one more because of the heat and fragrance of the black pepper. Really really good with the cream cheese!


I also made some wickedly good Chocolate Chip Cookies just like how a famous bakery in New York does it: gigantic and half-baked. It told you, I'm bringing a taste of NYC in our home. I used the best chocolate I can find because it is half the cookie. It's my first time to make cookies and I did not expect they would be that good.

How huge are they? They're as big as or even a touch bigger than my palm.

Look at the melty pockets of chocolate amidst the half baked dough with 3 perfect layers; a crispy craggly outer layer, a chewy middle layer; and a thick soft gooey center. Sorry if it was out of focus. I was in a hurry because I can't wait to eat it. :)

Perfect with a cold glass of milk. Enjoy!

isand66's picture

I have been meaning to sprout some flour again and finally got around to doing it.  Boy am I glad I did!  The unique flavor from using freshly ground sprouted flour is amazing.

I made 1 big loaf and about 5 rolls which I ended up eating in 2 days 😬.  I do have to say the rolls were probably some of the best ones I have made to date.  The combo of rice, potatoes and sprouted flour made them nice and soft and full of so much flavor.  I am going to make another batch of just rolls next time and freeze them for later use so I don't eat all of them right away!

If you don't have Kamut to sprout you can use Durum which would be just as good.  I used some Organic Jade Pearl Rice I bought at Whole Foods.  The uncooked rice is very unique and looks like little green shards of jade and has a very mellow pleasant taste.  If I didn't tell you there was rice in the bread you would never know, but it does help add another layer of flavor and texture.  You can certainly use any style of rice you have on hand and it should be just as good.


Download the BreadStorm File Here


Levain Directions

Mix all the Levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours and cooked rice together in your mixer or by hand along with 385 grams of the water, until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 30 minutes or longer.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), olive oil, potatoes and the balance of the water and mix on low for 4 minutes.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours (If you use a proofer set to 78 degrees you can finish in about 1.5 hours).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1  hour.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.   Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 545 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 2 minutes lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 25-35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.

Justanoldguy's picture

I needed to refresh two starters, a whole wheat and a rye, and being a positively parsimonious sort of fellow I was reluctant to send 200g of perfectly good starter down the drain. I also needed a new loaf of sandwich bread. What to do? Oh, what to do? Well, I did a discard loaf.

In all fairness I should at this point provide a 'trigger warning' for sensitive sourdough folks. I did use some IDY. However, I offer in mitigation the fact that all flour used in the loaf and the starters was whole grain and home milled.

Another trigger warning for the 'hands on' folks is in order. A 20-year-old KA mixer was involved. In mitigation I offer the fact that the loaf is 30% whole rye and throw myself on the mercy of the court.

The starters, one made from whole hard white wheat and the other whole rye and weighing 200g each were pulled out of the fridge while the water for my coffee was coming to a boil. A couple of hours later they were close to room temp and after stirring them down I spooned out 100g from each and mixed the discards together in a small bowl.

While they were getting re-acquainted (they're distant cousins) I milled an additional 100g of rye and 300g of hard white wheat into the KA's bowl and added 1/4 tsp of Ascorbic acid. Using the paddle I mixed the flours and the Ascorbic together and then slowly drizzled in 260g of warmed, filtered water. 

At that point I was exhausted and took a 30 minute coffee break. Thoroughly re-invigorated at the end of my break I used the paddle to mix in 30g of honey and, when it was integrated, the 200g of discarded starters. Because it was break time I poured another cup of coffee and put my feet up (actually my feet stayed on the floor and I sat my butt down).

Break over I sprinkled 1 tsp of IDY on the dough, rolled up my sleeves (catching a cuff on the dough hook can have serious consequences) and proceeded to knead in the yeast and work up a cohesive dough that would hang together on the hook. Then it was the dough's turn to rest for 10 minutes. Just so it wouldn't get bored I sprinkled on 9g of Pink Himalayan Salt.

When that break was over the dough once again waltzed with the hook while the salt chaperoned. Just before the ball was over I mixed in 20g of ghee.

When the dough had almost doubled I shaped with a few stretches and a roll (on the cutting board - not in the hay), plopped it into my 4x4x9 Pullman pan and took another break. 

The pan was lidded when the highest part of the proofed loaf was even with the upper rim of the pan and placed into a cold oven set to 350f. Thirty-six minutes later the lid came off and the loaf spent 10 minutes picking up a light tan.

Crumb shot

rev_jon's picture

From How to Make Bread by E. Hadjiandreou

  • 250g Bread Flour (BRM)
  • 100g Whole-wheat flour (BRM)
  • 50g Rye flour (BRM)
  • 6g salt
  • 150g sourdough starter (100% made with KAF AP & bread flour)
  • 300g water 

79% hydration

4 pull and fold style kneads, 10 minutes apart

overnight rest in fridge (12 hours)

2 hours on counter to come to room temp before shaping

proof in round banneton 2 hours at 75 degrees-ish (oven with periodic blasts of bread proof setting) 

at 2 hours started preheating oven to 500, pressing finger slightly into dough mostly springs back, if i push it in real deep it springs back mostly, but leaves indent, so i'm hoping that's the right level of proofing

preheat stone for 30min

did two slashes at an ear-encouraging angle

used half-sheet pan under baking stone, poured one cup water in as i added bread, then another cup about 15 minutes in

baked for 30 minutes

Results: looks nice, but the slashes didn't really open up much, it kind of bulged like a mylar balloon instead of keeping the nice round shape it had coming out of the banneton, so I'm still having issues with the bottom crust browning enough and there being enough opening from the slashes. My knife may be too dull, or it could be steam. I think next time i'll try the soaked rags method. Also plan to order a lame soon. 





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