The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


IceDemeter's picture

Time is flying by me again, but I'm using this blog to keep track of my bakes, so I really need to spend a few minutes catching up with myself!

Back a couple or so weeks ago, when the temps were getting to ridiculously high levels (ok - not Arizona high levels, but ridiculous for me), and there was no way that I was going to crank up the oven to bread-baking temps of 500 or so.  Inspired by Isand66's ever-lovely rolls, and a tweak by dabrownman on Mark Sinclair's potato rolls (, I decided that I would attempt some rolls (since I could bake them early in the morning at lower temps and so not heat up my kitchen too much).

I had an oat levain going, but wasn't too confident in it, so decided to include my first use of a poolish along with it:














Fresh Milled Oat flour


















Fresh Milled Khorasan (Kamut)






Skim Milk






Active Dry Yeast (pinch)












Egg (large)






Cream Cheese






Maple Syrup






Skim Milk






Diastatic Rye Malt






Active Dry Yeast (1/2 tsp)












All Purpose Flour












Total Dough Weight












Total Flour






Total Water (Hydration)







135g oat Levain: create oat levain @ 80% hydration from base durum starter (75g oats + 60g water). Allow to ferment at room temperature for 12 hours, then either use or refrigerate until ready to use.

360g Poolish: create poolish with a pinch (1/16 tsp or less) active dry yeast, 180g skim milk @ 100 deg F, and 180g whole kamut wheat flour. Allow to ferment at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours.

Final Dough: Stir together dry ingredients (1/2 tsp ADY, 225g AP flour, 7g salt, 7g diastatic rye malt) in bowl. In bowl of mixer, cream together wet ingredients (egg, 20g skim milk, 21g maple syrup, 60g softened cream cheese) with oat levain until incorporated. Add poolish and mix until incorporated. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients using the dough hook, and mix together in to shaggy mass (about 5 minutes). Cover and let rest at approx 78-80 deg F for 30 minutes.

Knead for about 1 minute, until dough becomes smooth and shiny. Cover and let rest at approx 78-80 deg F for 60 minutes.

Do full stretch-and-fold on bench, then return to bowl. Cover at let rest for 60 minutes, at 78-80 deg F if not too puffy, or at cooler temps or for less time if quite puffy.

Divide dough in to 12 x 70g pieces, but do NOT shape. Place on parchment or wax paper, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.

Next day, allow dough to warm up to room temperature for 30-60 minutes before shaping. Shape in to rolls, and place on fresh parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover loosely and allow to proof for 90-120 minutes (watch the dough!) until risen and puffy.  Baste with half and half.

Preheat oven to 350 deg. Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating once part way through.

While these are a fair bit smaller than most would use for a hamburger bun, they are just the right size for us for morning breakfast sandwiches and for just a nice "handful" of sandwich any other time.  They looked and smelled so good that I couldn't resist literally tearing in to one before it had cooled:

Most definitely a great idea for a day too hot for a loaf-bake...

Keep baking happy!

Dsr303's picture

beautiful oven spring can't wait fo them to cool to see crumb

Danni3ll3's picture

One of my friends told me that the Honey Oat bread with Seeds that was derived from MutantSpace's post was the best loaf I had made so far, so I decided to repeat it but using Spelt instead. I was a bit concerned that the Spelt might make it ferment too fast but I lucked out and it behaved itself. The loaves were beautifully proofed when I took them out of the fridge this morning. And on to the recipe:

1. Toast 60 g each of sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. 

2. Soak the seeds from above with 180 Spelt flakes, 72 g honey, 50 g butter and 288 g of boiling water. Let cool to room temperature.

3. Autolyse all above with 440 g water, 60 g fresh ground flax, 440 g unbleached flour, 160 g fresh ground Spelt, and 161 g multigrain flour. Let sit for an hour or so. 

4. Mix in 20 g salt and 212 g of 80% hydration levain. My levain is a four stage levain using mostly wholegrain rye. 

5. Ferment doing three sets of folds a half hour apart and let rise till double. This took 5 hours in a warm place (~ 82F). 

6. Divide into 3 portions of 745 g each and preshape. After a 10-15 minute rest, shape them and put into bannetons. Cover the bannetons with Bowl covers and place in the fridge overnight. 

7. After 10 hours, preheat oven and Dutch ovens to 475F. Place parchment rounds in ovens and drop loaves seam side up in hot Dutch ovens. Drop temperature to 450F and bake covered for 25 minutes. Remove lids and bake a further 20 minutes at 425F Or until well browned. 

Let cool completely before bagging or slicing. 

dixongexpat's picture

Finally - I have a loaf that looks like the ones in all the pretty pictures! LOL

The dough just starting its ferment (which occurred in the refrigerator overnight)


The result - it's huuuge!


Top view

Will add a crumb shot shortly...

rebakatt's picture

Have you ever had the experience of falling asleep in class, only to realize on test day, that the info presented in that class was exactly what you needed to know for the test?!?!   So.... three+ years ago, I was in Puglia... visited Altamura even.  Not only that, but I visited a BREAD BAKERY IN ALTAMURA.... And I was lucky enough to be with someone who KNEW the baker... and we were there early to watch him shape and bake loaves!  

As you might have guessed, I wasn't baking bread back then.  In my own defense, I was jet-lagged and otherwise a chronically sleep deprived first time mother of an infant, so even if I had tried to pay attention, I'm not sure how much I would have learned anyway.  But OH... to be able to be back there.  I'd jump right in and demand to be shown the shaping technique.... particularly for the 'U sckuanète’... or folded loaf - which is the one that stands out in my memory from the trip.   But since I can't quite do that, I'm left to scour videos on YouTube for some hints of the shaping and then slow them down to half speed to obsessively study what is second nature to these bakers.  

My bread obsession, my sourdough obsession in particular, started about a year ago.  Recently, a friend from the Puglia trip challenged me to make the Altamura bread.  And so then down the rabbit hole I went.  I can't credit my fellow bakers on this site enough... especially Franco  and even more so Lechem, for their guidance in getting started in this process.  To date, I've made three loaves.  Each has been delicious and difficult for me to keep my mits off.  Not surprisingly, the shaping has been the biggest challenge, though I think I'm starting to get the hang of it.  

These first three loaves, I've used 100% durum rimacinata... However, reexamining the DOP guidelines, it looks like you only need it to be at least 80% durum flour, so I'm considering, next time, adding some AP or bread flour to the mix to see what happens.   And, of course, for leavening I'm using a durum sourdough starter.  I've seen in several videos I've watched that bakers use some commercial yeast as well and while it is tempting to see what would happen if I did... I am a purist at heart and I believe in the strength of my starter.  

Now that I'm gaining confidence in my ability to make this bread, all that's left to do is find a 500 year old wood burning stove to bake it in.  Hmmm.......

I'm including some pics of my bakes thus far and welcome any feedback and/or helpful hints!  




Skibum's picture

My first bake was soft pull apart dinner rolls and they didn't turn out well. Now I have moved from a kitchen elevation of 4,420 ft above sea level to 2,600 feet. I was not getting the rise with the same amount of levain. Also moving from an electric convection to a non-convection oven gave different results.

I made two adjustments that worked out will for this bake. First I increased the liquid levain by 50% fromn66 grams to 102 grams for the same recipe. I also raised the bake temperature from 350F to 375F. I baked for 14 minutes with steam and 10 without. Next bake, I will back down to 12 minutes of steam. The rolls were a little over baked today, but with all the enrichment's, milk, honey and butter, they were still quite moist.

The extra levain gave me rise similar to what I had in Canmore. Two simple fixes and I am settling in to my new kitchen and oven!

Happy baking, cooking and eating friends! Ski

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I have a profusion of rhubarb (and other things, but that's another story) from the garden right now, so I've been canning and preserving. Yesterday I made a batch of sweet pickle relish and another of rhubarb chutney. I've been thinking of how to use rhubarb in bread, so I decided to do a test loaf of sourdough ('cause, I had, like, nothing else to do, right?) with some of the chutney ingredients.

I started with my go-to formula when I'm testing ingredients rather than technique or formula - a simple 1-2-3 country sourdough.

  • 100 grams of 100% hydration wheat starter
  • 200 grams of water
  • 200 grams of bread flour
  • 50 grams each of stone-ground whole wheat and whole rye flour
  • 6 grams of salt

The chutney ingredients were

  • diced (fairly fine) rhubarb - 1 stalk that I had left
  • small handful of raisins
  • a bit of finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • about a tablespoon of organic cane sugar
  • a bit (didn't really measure, maybe a couple of teaspoons?) of spices - some lightly crushed cardamom and some toasted, crushed fennel and anise, leftover from a rye sourdough I made a couple of days ago

I mixed the starter into the water, along with the sugar (easier to dissolve) then added the flours and mixed to get everything wet, and left it sit for about 30 minutes. Then I dumped everything else in and squished and folded it until all was incorporated. No fancy technique for me! :) I stretched and folded (and a bit of scooping and rounding as well) about three times over the next hour or two, then put it in the fridge overnight. It's pretty warm here right now so I didn't want it to overproof.

This morning, in the middle of making large batches of dough for the weekend bake, I remembered to shape the dough and pop it into a banneton. About an hour and a half later I slid it onto a stone in a 475F oven and covered it with a steel pan for 20 minutes, then uncover, rotate the loaf and turn the oven down to 425F for another 20 minutes.

Nice spring; nice crust; smells really good!

Couple of busy hours later and time to cut it open.

Wow, was I happy with this one! The crumb is fabulous and moist, and the taste is really, really good. The bits of rhubarb didn't quite dissolve so there are little pink bits in the dough that have a tart zing to them, along with the sweet spicy ginger bits and the juicy raisins. I think the spices are just right too. This one will be a seasonal offering in the bread shop, I think!

isand66's picture


This is a new version of an older formula using a starter instead of yeast.  I also removed the honey that was in the original and used fresh milled rye flour.

I added some crushed caraway seeds that I pulsed in my coffee grinder for some added flavor.

I was very happy with how these came out.  The rolls were very flavorful and the crumb nice and open and moist from the cream cheese and butter.  You don't miss the extra sweetness from the honey at all.  They made great steak sandwich rolls and also are terrific with some simple butter.


Download the BreadStorm formula 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.  I usually do this the night before.

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

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours,  and water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for at least one hour.  Next, add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), cream cheese, softened butter and crushed caraway seeds and mix on low for 5 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.

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 into rolls around 125 -130 grams each.  Cover the rolls with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap Sprayed with cooking spray and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 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.

After you place the rolls in the oven and add your steam lower the temperature to 445 F.   Bake for 25 minutes or until the rolls are nice and brown.

Take the rolls out of the oven when done and let them cool on a bakers rack for as long as you can resist.

Here are some more photos from our garden.  I almost passed out taking the photos in the 95 degree heat with 100% humidity.

alfanso's picture

Little T Bakery  t-shirt, Portland Oregon

sadkitchenkid's picture

My mom made some fillo dough yesterday and gave me some to play around with:

The first picture is of traditional nut baklava. I made a paste of walnuts and orange blossom water. 

The second picture is sometimes called birds nest baklava, and the fillo is cooked first, covered in syrup, and then filled in the center with either whole nuts or powdered nuts.

My mother and I have been baking up a storm this week! Here are some examples of what we've been making:

snowball cookies made with toasted almonds and rose water, cookies (similar to shortbread but finer) stuck together with homemade apricot jam and dipped in ground pistachio, a special middle eastern cookie called Ghorayeba which is a very creamy rich cookie, short bread cookie with chocolate and pecan, short bread filled with homemade apricot jam, and so on. We made about fifty of these platters so far and will be gifting them to neighbors and friends.


Happy baking!



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