The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


dabrownman's picture

Lucy was thrilled to make 2 breads in one week for a change and she really came up with a dusey too - a  Lebanese, Greek, Italian and Mexican Focaccia.

This one was made with 10 g of half year old NMNF rye starter used to make a 10% pre-fermented whole rye levain at 100% hydration that was retarded for 24 hours.

After mixing in the Kroger dough flour, a clove of minced garlic, some really thick Lebanese Lebneh, enough water to make an overall 72% hydration and 2% Pink Himalayan sea salt, we did 125 slap and folds followed by 3 sets of stretch and folds all on 30 minute intervals.  Total flour was 520 grams including the levain.

After a 30 minute rest we shaped it onto a ball and put it into an oiled stainless steel bowel and covered it in plastic wrap for a 120 hour retard  yep 5 whole days.

We let it sit for an hour and half on the counter before stretching it a couple 3 times into a PAM sprayed jelly roll pan.  Then we dimpled it with our finger tips and left  it sit fir a half an hour.

We sprinkled on a tablespoon each of dried oregano and rosemary and then crushed the last of the home grown cherry tomatoes by hand over the top.  Lucy found them in the back of the fridge where they have been waiting to be used for something interesting.

Rockfish Baha Tacos

Then we put on 4 different kinds of olives, half black and half green from Greece, Italy, Lebanon and Mexico.  Then we grated on some Italian Parmesan and drizzled on some olive oil also from Italy.

Bake Day Breakfast

We seamed it with Mega Steam for 8 minutes at 450 F then took it out and spread in the 4 Mexican shredded cheese fairly thin and put it back in the dry oven at 425 F convection for about 15 more minutes.

Indian Chicken and Veggie Curry

When it came out we garnished with Thai Basil.  We cut it with a pizza wheel and u=it was crisp on the bottom and soft on top.

It was great as it was fir sure but with some fresh Mozzarella, smoked sausage and pepperoni, spicy pizza sauce, mushrooms red bell peppers and onions, this would make a nice Pan Pizza that Chicago would be proud of.

I could tell you how great this will b e for lunch tomorrow's sandwich with Lucy's home made pork, beef, lamb gyro meat and Tzadziki sauce but I haven't made it yet and it might not happen


Hotbake's picture

Been baking so many breads with lots of add ins, back to basic but keeping my new favorite wheat germ parmesan crust.

I got a new lame finally, oh it made a world of a difference! Cutting through dough like butter, I'll so try the double slash again


Nothing beats the 50% einkorn in the whole grain hearty department. But this is way cheaper and perfect for sandwiches:)




isand66's picture

This is a 45% rye bread made with fresh milled rye sifted so it's close to a medium grind rye flour.  The ricotta cheese resulted in a nice moist crumb and the onions just go perfect with rye of course.  I added a little balsamic vinegar which added a little sweetness.

The flavor was perfect in this one with a nice sour tang perfect for a pastrami or corned beef sandwich.


Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.


This bread came out fantastic.  The crumb was nice and moist and open just enough to make a perfect pastrami sandwich with some melted cheese and Thousand Island dressing.

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.  I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.   You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours  and the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, grits, potatoes, olive oil, and salt and mix on low for 4 minutes.  You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but very manageable.  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.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  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 540 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.

Lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 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.

gavinc's picture

Swiss Farmhouse Bread – “Bread. A baker’s book of techniques and recipes, 2nd Edition” by Jeffrey Hamelman.

My experiment into the world of yeast water bread was inspired by an organised community bake on the Fresh Loaf bread site. The members have such a wealth of experience and expertise.  When things do not go to plan, experts jump in with great advice. I learned a lot by participating and through others experience.

This bread contains walnuts and raisins and uses raisin yeast water for leavening. The first step is to make the yeast water and takes 5 to 6 days.

My proofer is set at 25°C.

Yeast Water – My first attempt with raisins failed due to non-organic raisins coated with oil. I was told that I could produce yeast water using any organic fruit.  I have a kumquat tree in our yard, so thought to experiment (it’s winter here and my options are limited). My second attempt was successful using kumquats and honey. The yeast water was ready for the first build on day five.

The first build took 8 hours to mature. I left the second build overnight for 14 hours which was slightly over; 12 hours would have been good.

I recalculated the ingredients for a 680-gram dough. After mixing, the dough felt quite wet but had reasonable development. Mixed in walnuts and raisins by hand. Desired dough temperature within range (24.5°C).

Bulk fermentation for 3 hours with a letter fold halfway.

Pre-shape, bench rest and shape. Final proof for 2 hours. I chose a boule banneton on this occasion.

I scored the boule with scissors just before loading into the oven and bake the loaf in a pre-steamed oven for 36 minutes; 232°C for first fifteen minutes then lower to 221°C to avoid excess darkening due to the raisins.

In conclusion, I am very happy with this experiment as I was able to meet all the timeframes in Hamelman’s recipe. Temperature control is important for success and schedule. I was sceptical about yeast water, but now I am convinced it has its place in my arsenal and was easier than first thought. No waste!

Taste – complete absence of sour, highlights of the walnuts and raisins blended well with the crumb. Not overly sweet.

Crumb – Not dense and enjoyable.

Flour – Unbleached bread flour 11.5% protein (90%) plus freshly milled whole-wheat (10%).

Further experimentation: change nuts and fruit, leave them out, increase whole wheat.

rmzander's picture

Two 260 g loaves, whole wheat sourdough, one autolysed, one mixed all together at beginning with 1% diastolic malt.

I liked the first one better for its larger crumb, deeper color, and a bit more tang.

But then again, who likes apples and who likes oranges?

Luke_on_Loaf's picture

This was the result of a whatever-I-had-in-the-pantry + I-need-a-good-camping-loaf. It was so good I decided to put it on here. It went something like this:

329 g King Arthur AP flour

174 g King Arthur White Whole Wheat

42 g King Arthur Bread Flour

260 g Local Stone-Ground Spelt, 60 sift (From Migrash Farm in Baltimore County, MD!)

336 g Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter, 10% ABV

219 g H20, warm-ish

330 g medium-ripe levain (~100% hydration, mostly local wholegrain stone-ground rye, also from Migrash, + a little KA bread flour)

2 metric handfuls of walnuts, chopped 

1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt


I did a ~4 hour Autolyse with the flour, the beer, and the water while the levain was doing its thing. Mixed, performed 5 or 6 stretch and folds, then let sit over night for a total of about 12 hours for the bulk ferment. Divided, shaped, and threw into loaf pans. ~3 hour proof, Slashed and threw in the oven at 450 for about 40 mins. 

Supple, sweet, tangy, nutty, robust. Perfect. Each bite reminds me of the outdoors. 

Can't wait to take it camping!




Danni3ll3's picture

I revisited this upon request from one of my customers. I changed up some of the grains (Spelt and Kamut instead of Durum), added extra feta and Sundried tomatoes, and decided to go with a longer mixing time rather than sifting and soaking the bran. This last part made for a slightly more streamlined procedure. Hopefully it pays off. 



Note: I mill more grain berries than needed in order to have extra to feed the levain builds. So add extra grain berries to the amounts listed below unless you have other wholegrain flours handy to use. 


Makes 3 loaves


150 g Spelt flour (~155 g Spelt berries)

150 g Kamut flour (~155 g Kamut berries)

50 g of rye flour (~55 g Rye berries)

700 g of unbleached flour

725 g of filtered water 

10 g Old Bay seasoning

15 g Pink Himalayan salt 

30 g yogurt 

250 g levain (procedure is in recipe and will need additional wholewheat flour and unbleached flour)



143 g of drained sliced mixed olives (49 g Kalamata, 48 g Manzanilla and 46 g Black) or (375 ml jars or cans of each type)

94 g crumbled Feta (Who knew that a 90 g pkg yielded 94 g! 🤔)

72 g Seasoned Sun-dried Tomatoes in oil, drained and oil reserved (2-270 ml jars)


The afternoon before:

  1. Take 18 g of your refrigerated starter and add 18 g of filtered water and 18 g of wholegrain flour (your choice- I used mostly rye). Let rise in a warm place (oven with the light on - ~82F).
  2. Mill the grains on the finest setting of your mill. Measure the Spelt, Kamut, and rye flours and place in a tub. Save any leftover flour to feed the levain.  
  3. Add the unbleached flour to the milled flours and reserve.

The night before:

  1. Feed the levain 36 g of filtered water and 36 g of wholegrain flour. Let rise overnight in a warm place. 

Dough making day:

  1. Feed the levain 72 g of filtered water and 72 g of unbleached flour. Let rise in a warm place till double. This took about 5 hours.
  2. Measure the feta, crumble if needed, and set aside.
  3. Drain (save the oil) and weigh the sun-dried tomatoes, (slice if not sliced), measure out 25 g of the reserved oil, and add both to the feta. 
  4. Drain the olives, weigh, and add to the feta mix.
  5. 2 hours or so before the levain is ready, mix the water with the flours and autolyse. This takes a minute or two in a mixer. Let autolyse for at least a couple of hours.
  6. Once the levain is ready, add the Old Bay seasoning, the salt, the yogurt, and the levain. Mix for a minute on low until the levain is integrated, then mix on speed 2 for 9 minutes to develop the gluten.
  7. Add the feta, the olives, and the sun-dried tomatoes/oil mix gradually to the bowl. Continue mixing on speed 2 until the add-ins are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.
  8. Do 2 sets of folds at 30 minute intervals, then do two sets of sleepy ferret folds at 45 minutes intervals. Let rise for another hour or so until you see lots of small irregular bubbles through the wall of your container. The dough should have risen about 30% and be quite billowy.
  9. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~800g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 30 minutes on the counter. 
  10. Do a final shape by flouring the top of 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.
  11. 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 overnight. 

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 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes. Internal temperature should be 205F or more.

They smell awesome! My streamlined process doesn’t look like it impacted the oven spring negatively. Crumb when we cut into one!


dmsnyder's picture

I haven't been posting here much of late. I have been mostly baking variations on a multi-grain sourdough - some mix of heritage wheats, rye, kamut and spelt - with the whole grain flours between 30 and 50% of total flour and all home-milled.

The last few days, I've had a hankering for San Joaquin Sourdough baguettes, and this morning we made a run to our favorite Italian deli where I bought some toscana salami and caciocavallo cheese, which makes my favorite sandwich. I got home, took the retarding dough out of the fridge and had that sandwich on very fresh baked bread. As Flanders and Swann wrote in their "Cannibal Song," "A chorus of yums went 'round the table."

But, not content with plain old baguettes, I used the dough to shape 3 different versions of San Joaquin Sourdough - a small baguette, an epi de blé and a fougasse.

And, finally, the sandwich (minus a couple bites):

Happy baking!


ifs201's picture


Day 12:30 PMYeast Build 1 (100g YW and 160g BF) - mix    
 5:30 AMYeast Build 2 (add 188g water and then 200g BF, 96g WW)    
Day 212:30 PMAdd 493g BF and 376g water and 19g salt   
  Mix nuts and raisins using lamination   
  stretch and fold approx 3x   
 3:00 PMDivide, preshape, shape   
  ferment room temp 2hr   
 5:00 PMBake at 450 for 15 min and then lower to 430   

Build #1 was extremely slow and I started to think that my mango yeast water didn't work. I ended up letting it go 15 hours (eeek!). My Build #2 seemed to go extremely fast so I called it after 7 hours as it looked domed, puffy, and had risen abut 3x. Approximately 80 degrees inside. I did 2.5 hours for the bulk ferment and 2 hours for the final as it wasn't passing the finger dent test. The dough felt great to work with. This is pretty much my typical crumb. Would have liked it to be more open, but it tastes good. Not sure what happened to all of the fruit! 

The loaves had a nice expansion in the oven, but then crust definitely looks different than all of my other loaves. Very fun to try using YW. Thanks to Danny for leading the community bake! 

Build #2

Final proof:

Final Proof



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