The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


dabrownman's picture

Lucy loves Haiku and between bakes she thinks up some good ones.   Between bakes I thought we should all give it a try and see if our bread improves.

Just add them on here as comments.  Here is Lucy's first shot and then mine but there will be more as time allows.

Don Baggs makes baguettes

Out of any recipe

 Turns dough into sticks

And mine

Pumpernickel airs

Wafting through the bakery

So few friends remain


leslieruf's picture

This bake was quite a change in method for me.  Normally I mix, bulk ferment and shape during the day, cold retard overnight and bake first thing in the morning.  This time I started late in the day. 

I had some levain left from another bake so just added a bit more flour, some bran and left it to mature.  My formula was a simple white 74% hydration sourdough with 8% prefremented flour.  I made 2 loaves, 1 with a pinch of ascorbic acid (to see if it made a difference) and 1 standard.  This was just something to try after DanAyo had brought this topic up recently.  The loaves were both 550 g. both loaves treated exactly the same.

5:30 pm Mix flour and water for a 1 hour autolyse, Ascorbic acid treated dough felt very wet and I worried a bit.

6:30 pm added salt and levain, gently dimpled levain and did a few stretch and folds followed by 80 slap and folds (I am still working on getting good strength in my doughs).  

7 pm 15 stretch and folds in the bowl followed by 4 of Trevor's coil folds. This was repeated 3 more times and just before 9 pm I placed dough in covered bowls in my conservatory with windows cracked open. Overnight temperature was forecast to be 10 - 11 deg C and I kept my fingers crossed that the bulk ferment would hold till this morning.  Both doughs were very soft but had come together well.

8:15 am this morning I preshaped dough, rested 15 minutes then shaped.  the ascorbic acid treated dough felt and looked a little puffier.  The dough was proofed for about an hour and a half only.  The heating was on in the house so room temperature was probably about 21 deg C,  I prefer scoring cold dough so this was a bit of a challenge and it looked quite flat as it went into the oven.  Standard bake 15 mins lid on in DO and 15 mins lid off at about (230 deg C) 475 deg F.

Left hand loaf is treated with ascorbic acid. 

Ok, they look good, sprang very well in the oven.  Not a great deal between the two in fact.

Late afternoon I cut the loaves to slice and freeze and got quite a surprise.

Top slice is the standard bake, the lower slice is from the Ascorbic acid treated dough.  I am a happy camper. Didn't set out to achieve this but will definitely attempt this again.  Not sure if it was the long long bulk ferment at relatively cool temperatures or the slap and folds or something else all together.  No retardation either.  I don't make many straight white breads anymore and while I don't always want a crumb like this, it is really fun to have achieved it.  

Earlier in the morning I had baked 2 loaves of Trevor Wilson's European Peasant bread a l Danni3113.  I remembered to fix the levain % and this too turned out really well.  I won't write out method etc it is a repeat of an earlier bake.


Must admit this is a very nice bread indeed.  I mucked up the actual weights of the differing grains but I think I got it about right in the end.  It didn't matter, it tastes wonderful and we really had to hold back at lunchtime.

I think I need a rest now, I have "baked up a storm" over the last few days but we have an interesting selection in the freezer.

happy baking everyone


suminandi's picture

Using a recipe posted in 2013 by d_a_kelly for Panettone a tre impasti in June. My adaptation was to use mango yeast water as the water to build the first impasto and then a small amount ( 5gr) of stiff rye starter in the second dough build. 

The first dough made Saturday late morning, the second late evening Saturday. The last build made Sunday morning and baked when it had tripled ( or perhaps 4x) in a loaf pan. Hand kneaded each step. Used Montana Flour and Grain unbleached white flour. It is a high gluten wheat flour. Baked it when it had risen past the pan lip. It was still growing. Could have used a bigger pan. Great oven spring. May not be able to cool it fully before the family riots. 

Used vanilla extract + orange bitters to simulate fiori de sicillia, and it smells good. 


Bread1965's picture

I'm constantly frustrated by any amount of left over starter. It seems so wasteful. So most of the time I simply place whatever's leftover into the jar with the rest of Charlie - my loyal starter.

This weekend I made a solstice sun twirl bread and had way too much starter left over. I had originally planed to make some other bread but our weekend plans changed and I knew I wouldn't have the time to properly deal with it. So I thought about using the starter as a biga of sorts.

I took 260g of 100% hydration starter that was probably about two or three hours past peak and added 200 grams of unbleached flour, 88 grams of 105 degree water and 5 grams of salt. I gave them all a quick mix and threw it all into the mixer for 15+ minutes to fully come together. It was sticky but seemed fine. I shaped it into a ball and placed it into a clean bowl. I gave it two stretch and folds in the first hour to help with structure and then let it increase 2.5x in size over the next few hours. I gave it a quick shape and placed it into a basket.  About 90 minutes later I placed it into the combo cooker to bake. I probably should have just baked it right away as the finger dent test told me were were just about there - but life got in the way.

There's really no reason why I gave it a fendue shape other than because I could.. and think it looks cool when baked..

I clearly didn't' get any significant oven bloom. I think next time I'd give it a shorter bulk and longer proof. Just getting it out of the bowl took a lot of air out of the dough. By switching to a longer proof, short bulk I could have saved many of the openness (I think). That would have at the least kept more air in the bread. I guess I could have also added (I know this sounds sacrilegious) a pinch of  instant dry yeast in with the flour that morning to help the oven bloom.

It's completely edible basic 'white bread'.. a bit bland and a bit dry, but perfectly fine.  Especially with a few fresh tomatoes, basil and olive oil! And a fair attempt at not throwing away starter. Any and all recommendations welcomed.



Gersky's picture

Re-visited Forkish's Saturday White recipe today after a slightly disappointing attempt yesterday. The following chart shows my ingredients, process, and an interpretation of the given instructions (with alterations due to limitations in gear, as I don't yet have bannetons):

As I baked the first loaf, the second was in its proofing bowl in the fridge. The first loaf:

With this dough, I tried to export from my proofing bowl onto a piece of parchment paper so I could carefully slide it into the hot DO, but it lost all shape and I gave up and basically threw the misshapen pile of dough in there and it ended up in more of a rectangle shape. Not mad at it, I still think it's pretty, but the part I am bummed about is that small little doughy section in the middle of the loaf! I feared I was underbaking slightly and so gave the next loaf an extra five minutes.

The second loaf:

I was thrilled to see this come out of the oven! 

With this dough I attempted to re-shape on the counter immediately before throwing it into the oven seam side up, which created what I think are some beautiful natural tears and little ears, but my guess is that last minute shaping perhaps created the large holes which are present in the crumb? I wanted to avoid the random blob shape of the first loaf, but ended up with some un-intended caves.

Side by side comparison of the two. Small improvements every bake I think so far! Having fun with it. :)


not.a.crumb.left's picture

knowing that you are dying to find out what it will look like inside and the love that goes into making it!  Kat


Everyone was so encouraging about the previous loaf that I tried again this morning.and see how consistent I can be.....again same old 71% white and this time I scored right by the side of the loaf rather than the middle....have not cut it yet.....:D


Hi All,

So sorry to be too late for solstice bake...I had 10 teenage boys in the garden on that evening for a World Cup football barbecue and baked lots of bread is amazing what boys can manage to eat in a short period of time!!!!

So, this is my go to 71% hydration mainly white loaf with a tiny bit of WW flour and they managed to have 3 of those with their sausages and burgers!

Elsie_iu's picture

Before I talk about the details of this bread, I have to express my gratitude for Joze and Alan. Without their tips and advises, it would not be born. Thank you so much! 

This is my fifth attempt at barley flour, which also happens to be the first successful one. Regarding the challenges I faced when working with it, please refer to my recent forum post:

The major changes I made for this bake are cutting the room temperature bulk fermentation drastically from around 8 hours to 1.75 hours only, as well as skipping the autolyze. They're essential for the preservation of gluten and thus the structure of the dough.


Barley, Spelt and White Wheat Bread With 10% Sprouted Spelt


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

120g      40%       Whole white wheat flour

90g        30%       Pearl barley flour

60g        20%       Whole spelt flour

30g        10%       Sprouted spelt flour


For leaven:

20g       6.7%       Starter

20g       6.7%       Bran sifted out from dough flour

20g       6.7%       Water


For dough:

280g     93.3%       Dough flour excluding bran for leaven

212g     70.6%       Water

53g       17.6%       Whey

60g         20%        Leaven

7g           2.3%       Powdered Alt Altus

9g              3%       Vital Wheat Gluten

6g              2%       Salt


215g      70.5%      Whole grain

295g      96.7%      Total hydration


Sift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 20g for leaven. Soak the rest (I got 4g) in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients for a minimum of 4 hours.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, about 4 hours.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients and set aside for 15 minutes. Stretch and fold the dough until the gluten is lightly developed then ferment for 15 minutes. Construct another two sets of stretch and fold with a 30 minutes fermentation in between. Leave the dough to ferment for the last 45 minutes untouched. This gives rise to a total of 1.75 hours of bulk fermentation.

Preshape the dough then let it rest for 15 minutes. Shape the dough and put in into a banneton. Leave it on the counter for 15 minutes before retarding for 16.5 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/480°F. Remove the dough from the fridge to warm up at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Score the dough and bake at 250°C/480°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 205°F. Let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.

I love this crust despite the slight over-bake! It’s shiny and crispy: just how all rustic bread crust should be like. The dough rose by approximately 20% only during the retard but it did spring a bit in the oven. Extending the bulk fermentation by 15-30 minutes may promote a better rise. 

No gluten degradation this time! The crumb is not very open but I do not get pancakes… As always, this bread is chewy but very moist at the same time.

The sweetness and nuttiness of barley shines through in this bread. I put just 10% sprouted flour into the formula for this bake to limit the enzymatic activities. Now I’ve more confidence in working with barley flour, a higher percentage of sprouted flour would go into the mix for sure in future bakes. That’s because nothing beats the taste and aroma of freshly milled sprouted flour:)

Mixed mushrooms and bursted cherry tomatoes spaghetti with balsamic glaze

Mexican quinoa, sugar snap peas and roasted salmon glazed with tamarind date chutney


Gersky's picture

I have now made seven loaves of bread! The learning curve is steep but I'm excited to keep improving. 

Over the last few days I made an "experimental" bread (which was really just an adjusted version of the suggested TFL first loaf) and my first recipe out of Ken Forkish's FWSY, the Saturday White.

First came my "experimental" white:

As with the other bread I attempted to autolyse, I found within my limited timeframe there was not much growth/increase in volume during either BF or proofing process. I found it was a little harder to shape and maneuver in and out of the bowl due to increased hydration %. Scoring was unsuccessful, probably not deep enough. Also, because I stretched and folded during the BF process and baked the bread "seam" side down, there were natural rips/seams on the bottom of the bread versus where I tried to create the weak spots on top. Pros: good oven spring I think, better color on the crust by wetting it before baking.

I found the bottom of the crumb to be a little doughy, as seen above and below. Could have used a little more time in the oven I think.


Next was my longest bread bake yet, the Saturday White!

The OG recipe calls for placing the divided dough into bannetons which I do not have, so instead I placed them in oiled bowls and re-shaped them before putting in the oven. Put one loaf in the DO and one on a cookie tray, each "seam" side up. I had some difficulty with the poke test due to the moisture content of the dough, it stuck to my finger and I was unable to tell if it was properly proofed. 

One on the left was cooked on the tray, the one on the right was cooked in a dutch oven. What a difference! Was fun to run a little side by side experiment and see the difference in color.

My first baby ear!!!

The bottom of the loaf that I cooked on the cookie sheet burned. The bottom of the loaf I cooked in the dutch oven did not visibly burn, but was noticeably difficult to cut and bite through. Again, I encountered a bit of the bread that was still fairly "doughy"? Not sure if I just need to cook longer or what my issue may be there.

Goal for next time:

  • Get a poolish going and finally do a multi-day bread!
Adam4SD's picture
  • BF 43%
  • APF 28%
  • White whole wheat  15%
  • Spelt 15%
  • 90% hydration
  • 20% levain
  • 2% salt


Bread1965's picture

Someone somewhere on the site posted the suggestion of a summer solstice bread challenge. This is my answer to that call. It's a sourdough summer solstice sun twirl with Ontario Maple Syrup, Quebec wild blueberry jam, sugared almond slivers and topped with cinnamon sugar. Happy summer to all..



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