The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


dabrownman's picture

No not mad like crazy whack job mad but mad as hell none the less.  I go to Whole Foods ….eeeerrr…… whole paycheck, to get my normal load for whole grains – some oats, spelt, Kamut and who knows what else from the bins.  I don’t buy anything else there because I can get the same things I buy much cheaper anywhere else.


O don’t get white or red wheat or rye there because I can get them elsewhere for much, much cheaper as well.  Well Well….no whole grains were to be found in the bins at all …..not even wheat or rye at Whole Paycheck!  Things have changed drastically at Whole Foods since Amazon bought them ….except the super extreme high prices of course.

Now I have no reason to go there except to see my doctor of course, since I can’t ever seem to get an appointment to see him in his office and he is the only one I know who is rich enough to shop there.  I figured,since I was there, I went over to their flour aisle to see if they had discontinued all of their flour too.

We like beautiful bottoms.

All the Hayden mills was gone but they were carrying a whole bunch of Bob’s Red Mill flour in its place including Artisan Bread and two sprouted flours – spelt and Khorasan.  I couldn’t say no because that was the only way I was going to get any kind of spelt and Kamut and I would sprout them most of the time anyway if I had found the whole berries.

We love thick grilled pork chops almost as much as T-Bone stakes - and they look about the same too.

I could actually afford them too since they were all on special for some reason.  The normal pricing for all 3 would be way more than I would ever pay for flour of any kind.  Lucy is having a conniption fit and now worries that Smart and Final will quit carrying rye and Winco will cut out the red and white wheat all sold for less than 50 cents a pound in the bins.

Bob's Red Mill flours

We will worry about that when it happens. This week’s bread for Baby is 25% rye, red and white wheat milled from berries at home, 25% sprouted spelt and Khorasan and 50% Bob’s Artisan Bread Flour.  We did our usual 100% hydration. 12% pre-fermented flour (winter) bran levain that was retarded overnight after it doubled.

Looks like sandwich bread to me but was a bit over proofed and the dough not quite enough to proper;y fill put the pan I love so much!  It made fine toast this morning with butter, cherry jam, white cheddar, sausage, bacon and and egg on top for the stacked high breakfast sausage.

After 1 hour autolyse with the PHSS on top, we mixed it up at 80% hydration and immediately knew it was way too dry.  The BRM flours were very thirsty for some reason.  We added water to get it to 90% hydration but it still felt like a 80% hydration dough with this amount of whole grain and kind of flours. After 2 sets of slap and folds of 100 and 25 we did 2 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points letting it rest for half and hour between each on a thin foldalble plastic sheet and a heating pad with a stainless bowl on top covered with a towel.

Instant Pot Texas Beef Chuck, Chunk Chili with kidney beans that they hate so much:-)  Cilantro, green pinion, pepperjack cheese and creama stirred in as a garnish pile on

We then oiled up the bowl and plopped the dough in for a 12 hour bulk retard in the fridge.  After warming up for 2 and half hours, we shaped it into a short log for the non stick sprayed Oriental Pullman pan.  We let it proof till it was a little below level with the rim so the lid would slide on.  We preheated to 500 F but baked it for 18 minutes at 450 F lid on.

Lucy loves her salads and ribs

The lid was slid off and we baked it for 8 minutes at 425 F convection and then removed the bread from the pan and continued baking for 13 more minutes until it reached s07 F on the inside.  If bloomed itself up enough to nearly fill the Pullman with the lid on.  It then browned up nicely out of the on as well.  It would have had nice blisters if the top of the loaf didn’t get squished when it hit the lid.

and chicken noodle soup for lunch

Kale. broccoli, blueberry, cranberry. pomegranate and sunflower seed salad

It smells terrific.   Can’t wait to cut into it but that will have to wait till tomorrow.  Turns out to be very tasty, soft and moist inside and easy to cut the thin slices that my wife likes,  The sprouted grains really make this bread tastier than the ones without them.

Mark Phillips's picture
Mark Phillips

I am hosting a (hopefully) traditional Greek Christmas eve dinner and wanted to make Christopsomos.  Does anyone have a good recipe they would like to share?


davey1025's picture

Bread making is fun, even just making basic white bread


solano's picture

Just another white bread, bulk was longer this time,  almost 10 hours. 21 hs at the refrigerator. It was more easy to shape, but still difficult. Liked the result. Trevor's book is being really helpfully. 

TomK's picture

I decided to do a test run of my planned bake for next week. For the last couple of years I’ve taken loaves around to our neighbors, this year it will be more than ever, 10 loaves. I still have to work out how to manage that, 2 at a time in my oven.  I’ll be studying Danni’s posts for ideas!

When I’ve used cranberries before I thought it was too much, so this time I scaled back the cranberries to 30% of the add-ins and upped the walnuts to 70%. Total add-ins 11% of the dough weight.

I mixed 592 g of CM ABC+ and 254 g of sifted, freshly ground Red Fife with 657g of water and left it for a 90 minute autolyse with 18 g of salt sprinkled on top to dissolve. Then I added 108 g of 100% hydration levain (3-stage bran-fed from NMNF, retarded overnight) and mixed for 6 minutes, rest 15, mix 3 minutes, rest 15, and mix 3 more minutes before putting it into my bulk fermenting container and into the proofer. Overall hydration 79%.

I’ve been experimenting for several weeks with a novel method to get my dough temperature up where I want it for bulk ferment. Especially this time of year, the house is rarely over 66 degrees F and as I usually have to get done in one day due to limited refrigerator space, I want the dough to ferment at 82 to 84 dF.  Because I use an Ankarsrum mixer, I’ve taken to using a heat gun on low power on the outside of the rotating bowl while mixing, keeping track of the dough temp with an infrared thermometer as I go. This works great, I can easily and gently warm the dough 20 degrees in under 10 minutes without getting any of it too warm. Then my cobbled-together proofer-cum-storage box can just barely keep the dough warm for a few hours, it was never able to warm it effectively.

I did 5 sets of stretch and folds on 30 minute intervals, adding 127 g of coarsely chopped walnuts and 53 g of chopped, dried cranberries after the second set. After 3:45 I judged that it was ready so I divided the dough in two, did a pretty tight preshape (the dough was pretty stiff, I’ll increase the hydration next time from 79 to perhaps 81%) and let it rest for half an hour before shaping 2 boules and proofing at 84 dF. My shaping was a bit uneven, I think because the dough was stiffer than what I’m used to. 

I didn’t get the oven hot in time so it was still heating up when I thought the dough was ready after 1:30 and I had to wait another 15 minutes. The dough spread quite a bit when I turned it out and slashed it so I was worried the loaves would be pretty flat as I loaded them into the preheated Dutch ovens. Baked at 475 for 5 minutes, 450 for 15 minutes, then uncovered the Dutch ovens and baked another 17 minutes at 425.

Turns out I got decent if not spectacular oven spring and some small ears. In the morning I was anxious to see how the crumb turned out and was pleasantly surprised. The loaves were less than perfectly round to put it charitably, I guess I could say they have a rustic look. ;-)


Well that’s ok after all. I Won’t. Change. A. Thing. for next week. I’m very happy with the flavor of this bread, the walnut flavor is forward and the cranberries are more subdued but definitely there. Really good toasted with butter.


pmccool's picture

Our oven has been rather busy lately, especially with the Christmas cookies that my wife likes to make at this time of year.  In spite of all of that going on, I still managed to work in three different breads yesterday.  

First up was the Tyrolean Christmas Zelten from The Rye Baker:

These gems are essentially fruit and nut loaves lightly glued together with the smallest possible amount of dough.  Raisins, golden raisins, chopped figs, pine nuts, and any of hazelnuts/almond/walnuts spend the night in a rum soaker.  (I used almonds.)  Right alongside those, candied lemon and orange peel have their own beauty bath in white wine.  The next day, rye flour, all purpose flour, fennel, anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lemon zest, orange zest, sugar, salt, egg, and water after blended into a dough.  After the dough has risen, both soakers are combined with the dough.  The soakers contribute enough liquid that the dough becomes more of a batter but you soldier on and shape three loaves on parchment or a pan liner.  After baking and cooling, the loaves are wrapped or bagged and allowed to ripen for a couple weeks.  These should be ready when the kids come to town for New Year.  

The second bread was Bagguettes with Poolish from Hamelman's Bread, Vol. 2. 

The baguette choir was singing as these cooled.  Since my wife wanted these as the base for crostini, the less than stellar slashing isn’t particularly worrisome and the somewhat bready texture will actually accommodate the toppings better than a wide-open crumb.  “It's not a bug; it's a feature!”  Or something like that.  I used the metric quantities, divided by 10.  Per Hamelman, that should yield four 22-inch bagguettes.  Knowing that mine would be 15-16 inches in length, I opted to make six instead of four from the same batch.  

The third bread was a perennial favorite here on TFL, Cream Cheese Braids:

There was a batch of unused blueberry filling lurking in the refrigerator from a recent class, so that was the primary motive for baking these.  Were I making them specifically for a holiday gathering, I might have chosen the cranberry filling, instead.  Since no one has ever turned these down previously, I don’t expect to hear any grumbling about them this evening.  

Sometime in the next week or two, I need to make a rye bread, too.  If anyone has a suggestion for one that would be a good analog for the miniature cocktail rye breads that sometimes show up at the deli, I’m all ears...


Elsie_iu's picture

Here is a simple formula that I have used after baking a few full-of-add-ins loaves.



30% Sprouted White Wheat 20% Barley Sourdough


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

150g      50%       Whole white wheat flour

90g        30%       Sprouted white wheat flour

60g        20%       Pearl barley flour


For leaven:

26g      8.67%       Starter

27g           9%       Bran sifted from dough flour

27g           9%       Water


For dough:

273g         91%       Dough flour excluding flour for leaven

100g      33.3%       Whey

140g      46.7%       Water

80g        26.7%       Leaven

9g               3%       Vital wheat gluten (can be omitted, I have used it because my white wheat has abnormally weak gluten)

5g           1.67%      Salt



313g       100%       Total flour

253g      80.8%       Whole grain

280g      89.5%       Total hydration


Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 2 hours.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the salt and let it ferment for 20 minutes. Fold in the salt and ferment for 1 hour 55 minutes longer.

Preshape the dough and let rest for 15 minutes. Shape the dough then put in into a banneton. Retard for 16 hours.

The dough looked very under-proofed out of the fridge so I let it rise for 1 hour 45 minutes longer. Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. 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.


The dough had quite a low hydration level considering the grains used. I suspect this was due to the unusual performance of my white wheat berries. It also led to a slightly sticky and close crumb that should be more open if “normal” white wheat was used instead.



Onto the taste: this is the kind of all-round bread that probably suits the taste of most people. It is sweet and nutty from the sprouted wheat and barley but it is not as sugary as bread composed mainly of kamut and durum. It is also a bit tangy and yet it is hardly comparable to that you get with rye.




100% white whole wheat YW flatbread


Shrimps and king oyster mushrooms fusilli in garlicky white wine cream sauce


Shahi soya chunks mixed vegetable curry with YW semola naan (those spongy, curry-soaked soya chunks are the best part!)


Pulled duck enchiladas with roasted peppers sauce and homemade 100% masa corn tortillas


Curried vermicelli mixed vegetables (daikon radishes, peppers and sugar snap peas) and mussels…Spicy in every possible way


Rustic Rye's picture
Rustic Rye

Hello Fresh Loaf Community,

This is my first post on the site after reading recipes and browsing for the past several months. I have been really inspired and impressed by all the amazing bread I have seen here on TFL and want to join the conversation. 

The loaf was made using spent beer grains obtained from Somerville Brewing (Boston, MA) and naturally leavened thanks to Stefano, my sourdough starter. 

A few months ago, I took a bread making class at the brewery where one of the owners lead us through making a spent grain loaf with rosemary. That was tasty, but I wanted to improve the results using my starter. After taking some spent grain home and finding a great recipe on The Perfect Loaf (thanks Maurizio!) I began experimenting. 

During the beer making process, the grain is mashed, boiled, then separated from the liquid. The byproduct, "spent grain," is either thrown away of fed to farm animals. Instead of letting it go to waste, this batch of grain will instead go to feeding this animal, aka me, and feed my voracious appetite for artisan bread. With that in mind, baking with the spent grains gives me a deep satisfaction knowing that I'm putting something to practical use which would normally get thrown in the bin. 

I was pretty pleased with the crumb, which turned out light and airy, while maintaining a tender, chewy texture. This was a moderate hydration dough (80%) that produced a pretty light loaf. It had a nice nutty flavor from the grain, similar in character to a loaf with lots of whole whole wheat, but without any bitterness. Lately, I have been working on getting a consistent airy crumb with good rise and pronounced ears. This loaf seemed to have all three. Horray! 

Here's how I made the loaf:

Yields 2 large loaves. 

1. Levain build: 50 g starter, 50g whole wheat (WW), 50 g bread flour (BF), 65 g 90˚ F water. Let stand for ~5 hours in a warm area. 
2. Autolyse 2 hours before levain is ready: 100 g WW, 50 g rye, 850 g BF, 700 g 90˚ F water
3. Mix: Dissolve starter in ~60 g water then add to autolysed dough. Slap and fold for about 7 minutes then add about 20 g salt and slap/fold a few more minutes to achieve medium dough development. 
4. In 30 minutes increments, fold the dough a few times. Add 250 g spent grain right before the second round of folding. I found my dough needed 3 sets of folds, your dough might need less or more depending on the efficiency of your slap & folds after mixing. 
5. I let bulk fermentation go for about 3 hours, since the dough was progressing nicely. I let the dough sit for an hour after my last set of folds. 
6. Divide and preshape. Let sit for 20 minutes after preshape and before final shaping. Then into the fridge for the overnight rest.
7. The next day, preheated the oven to 500˚ F for about 45 minutes with my lodge combo cooker. I turned my dough into the shallow side, scored it, then baked with the lid on for 30 min, then removed the lid and decreased the temperature to 450˚ F for another 15 minutes.

Happy baking everyone,


alfanso's picture

We spent the month of November in northern California, where we lived for 15 years.  In SF for Thanksgiving with long long time friends, we stopped at one of the Arizmendi Bakeries that dot the bay area.  Among other delectables, we picked up their Sesame Semolina Jalapeño Cheese breadsticks, which we both fell for immediately.  Upon return home my wife asked if I could try to duplicate them.  So…

Looking for guidance here on TFL and the other sites, what I mostly saw was what would qualify as Grissini, those tall slender and sometimes gnarly things. I wasn’t interested in those near ubiquitous Skinny Minnies that are posted everywhere, nor those overly cheesy soft things that made a number of appearances as well.  No.  What I was after was a crisp sesame coated semolina version with some real girth to it.  The idea being to come as close to duplicating those treasured batons that we picked up in SF.

I relied on Jeffery Hamelman’s "Semolina (Durum) Bread" formula as my template, and then modified it to suit.  With the swapping out of the olive oil for more water and the addition of the two cheeses and jalapeños, this was no longer a Hamelman but an Alfanso with the nod to Mr. H.  This is a dough that uses an aggressive sponge, ready in 75 minutes in my 78-80dF kitchen.  

At 80g each, the breadsticks baked in a 460dF oven for 13 minutes with steam, 6 additional minutes and then 2 minutes more for venting.  And for a first time, I did not remove the parchment paper from under the dough.  Too delicate and messy to bother with.  

The Arizmendi breadstick, the real deal, exhibits both a pronounced cheese flavor as well as at the bite of the jalapeño in the back of the mouth.  I’m not quite there yet in either department, but the first inklings of the stronger taste are just beginning to show through.  Still have some work to do.  

Here is the formula normalized to 1000g, which is what I used for this bake.


Semolina Cheddar Jalapeño breadsticks with sponge     
Jeffrey Hamelman, mod by alfanso        
     Total Flour    
     AP Flour20.00%   
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1000 Semolina20.00%   
 Total Formula   Sponge  Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%509.7 100.00%203.9 Final Flour305.8
 AP Flour50.00%254.8 50%101.9 AP Flour152.9
 Semolina50.00%254.8 50%101.9 Semolina152.9
 Water69.00%351.7 70%142.7 Water209.0
 Salt1.80%9.2    Salt9.2
 IDY0.40%2.0 1%2.0 IDY0.0
 Sugar2.00%10.2 5%10.2 Sugar0.0
 EV Olive Oil0.00%0.0    EV Olive Oil0.0
 sharp Cheddar Cheese7.50%38.2    Cheddar Cheese38.2
 Parmesan Cheese7.50%38.2    Parmesan Cheese38.2
 finely chopped Jalapeño8.00%40.8    Jalapeño40.8
 Totals196.20%1000.0 176%358.8  1000.0
Total time: ~5.5 Hours.        

Finely grate both cheeses

Mix all sponge ingredients well.  Will ripen in 75 min. (in a 78-80dF kitchen).  CONCURRENTLY...

Autolyse final dough flours and water        
Combine the sponge and autolyse and hand mix well.  Add salt and hand  mix again.   
75 French Folds, then a 5 minute rest.         
Add cheese and jalapeno and hand mix to incorporate.  And a final 75 FFs more.And a final 75 FFs more.    
Bulk rise 90 min with one fold at 45 min..       
Divide into 80g pieces.  Rest 15-20 min. and final shape ~14-17 in. long.    
Roll in wet towel and then in sesame seeds.       
Onto couche, final rise 60 min.        
Preheat oven 480dF.        
Bake at 460dF with steam.        
13 minutes, remove steam, 6 minutes more.  Then vent for 2 minutes with oven off.   


During our absence our friend house/dog sat.  Upon our return I asked her which bread she’d like me to make for her.  She opened my looseleaf and while blindly flipping pages stopped on the Phillipe Gosselin Baguettes, levain version.  I have rarely made this in the 4 or so years since my first foray.  but as the lady asks, the dude abides.

M. Gosselin is another luminary boulanger in Paris, another who, I believe, also won the annual competition for best baguette in Paris.  The formula that I use was posted on TFL by David Snyder back in 2012.    And as you can see, these make for explosive oven spring and a quite open crumb.


Elsie_iu's picture

No vital wheat gluten this time.



Porcini Mushrooms Cheddar 30% Germinated Red Rice SD


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

150g      50%       Whole spelt flour

90g        30%       Germinated red rice flour

60g        20%       Whole Red Fife wheat flour


For leaven:

10g       3.33%       Starter

40g       13.3%       Bran sifted from dough flour

40g       13.3%       Water


For dough:

260g     86.7%       Dough flour excluding flour for leaven

100g     33.3%       Whey

132g        44%       Water

90g          30%       Leaven

5g          1.67%      Salt


For porcini sautéed mushrooms:

60g        20%        Diced king oyster mushrooms

1 tsp         -%        Dried porcini mushrooms, powdered 

1/4 tsp      -%        Onion powder

1/8 tsp      -%        Salt

1/2 tsp      -%        Cooking fats (preferably ghee)



-g               -%       All of the porcini sautéed mushrooms

50g      16.7%       Red mature cheddar cheese



305g       100%       Whole grain

277g      90.8%       Total hydration


Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 3.5 hours.

Make the porcini sautéed mushrooms. Heat the fats in a pan over medium heat, toss in the king oyster mushrooms and cook until caramelized. Put in the rest of the ingredients and mix until the mushrooms are well-coated in the powders. Deglaze the pan with a tablespoon of water or dry white wine. Remove them from the pan when the water/wine evaporates. Set aside until needed.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the salt and let it ferment for 20 minutes. Fold in the salt and the add-ins. Ferment for 1 hour 55 minutes longer.

Shape the dough and put in into a banneton. Retard for 10 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F.

Remove the dough from the fridge to warm up for 30 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.



I’m not sure whether the bread was under or over-proofed so any comment would be appreciated. Neglecting the unimpressive look, the bread tastes pretty nice. After all, how could it be otherwise when cheese, porcini mushrooms and red rice are combined?



Germinated red rice is a really flavorful grain: it not only contributes sweetness, but also alluring aroma to this bread. I highly recommend you to give it a try if you can get it on hand. I guess you can also sprout red rice from scratch but I haven’t tried it myself.




A couple of stir-fries


Minced mutton okra dry curry with naan


Coconut raisins buns


Spiced pumpkin pancakes


Roasted spiced orange duck with Brownman’s killer gravy :)



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