The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


mwilson's picture

The aroma is unbelievable!

Made with Stoates (Whole Spelt) and Marriage's (Superfines) Flour, tap water (pH 7.8) and sea salt. 

Refresh (aka levain) 4 hrs @ 30C
50g LM (from bath)
50g Stoates Whole SPelt
15g water
= very firm 45% est. hydration.

400g flour (50% Spelt, 50% white)
111g LM as above
280g water
9.5g salt
10g olive oil

Bulk 2hrs @ 28C

Shaped, not moulded/freestanding and proved until triple (proper triple!) 5hrs@ 27C.


A few more pictures including crumb.

not.a.crumb.left's picture

I am tinkering with different flours and methods and one of them is to develop gluten for my weekly handmixed 4kg batch as close to a window pane as I can.....without having a mixer for now...

Carole aka DesigningWoman kindly recommended some videos from the Ecole International de Boulangerie for 'petrissage manuel en masse' which is basically manual mixing with folding and slap and folds...BUT I love in particular what he does when he divides and layers the dough pieces during slap and folds...

I also used Shipton Mill Swiss Dark Flour for the first time (and as it was said to be low on gluten) mixed it with their strong Canadian flour. Here are my loaves:


Luckily I made a 'spare' one to check out the result as all the others were given away and one  in particular bloomed amazingly and made my day.....


I also find that cinching gives me a more open crumb and as the bulk rise went to at least 80%ish  as I was running late in a meeting it was a hell of a proofy dough...

Happy baking.... Kat



Elsie_iu's picture

It’s been ages since I last baked a porridge loaf so I’ve decided to bake one again. This is the first time I worked with amaranth flour. I went for bagged flour since it’s 4 times cheaper than buying the grains and grinding them myself… Despite that, its flavor has really surprised me.



25% Amaranth 15% Sprouted WW Oat Porridge SD


Dough flour:

180g      60%       Freshly milled whole white wheat flour

75g        25%       Amaranth flour

45g        15%       Freshly milled sprouted white wheat flour


For leaven:

10g       3.33%       Starter

40g       13.3%       Bran sifted from dough flour (excluding amaranth flour)

40g       13.3%       Water


For scaled amaranth dough:

75g          25%        Amaranth flour from dough flour

75g          25%        Hot water


For oat porridge:

15g            5%         Extra thick rolled oat

15g            5%         Hot water


For dough:

185g      61.7%       Dough flour excluding bran for leaven and amaranth flour

150g         50%       Scalded amaranth dough, cold from the fridge

123g         41%       Cold water (3-4°C)

90g           30%       Leaven

30g           10%       Oat porridge, cold from the fridge

9g               3%        Vital wheat gluten

5g          1.67%       Salt




305g        100%       Whole grain (excluding oat porridge)

243g       79.7%       Total hydration (excluding oat porridge)



Sift out the bran from dough flour, reserve 40 g for the leaven. If not adequate, supplement with amaranth flour.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 5.5 hours (24.5°C).

Make the scalded dough and the porridge by combining the hot water with the flour and oat respectively. Let them rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour, then keep them refrigerated until needed.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients let it ferment for 3 hours. Construct 3 sets of stretch and fold at the 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 1 hour mark.

Shape the dough then put in into a banneton. Retard for 11 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. Score and spritz the dough then bake straight from the fridge 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.


To avoid proteolytic degradation of the dough again, I kept everything cold. Moreover, I was being very cautious about adding more water. Thus, the dough was quite stiff, which is not what I’m used to. Next time, I’ll very likely up the hydration for easier handling and a more open crumb.  



I didn’t know what to expect about amaranth but I was guessing it’d be sweet. Wrong. It’s very sweet. Even sprouted kamut and durum are no competition for amaranth. This means huge because, remember, the amaranth flour I got is neither freshly milled nor sprouted. I also sensed a sunflower seeds note from it.




Pizza time! 100% www SD pizza with Parmigiano Reggiano and homemade ricotta


Tangy cheese lightens a pasta dish…? Linguini in sun-dried tomatoes & rosemary zucchini sauce with Tomme de Crayeuse


Mexican rice, sautéed cabbages with cherry tomatoes, blackened swordfish, and… What is that burnt mess??

Ah, not burnt :) Ribs in a rich ancho & guajillo peppers sauce


Yogurt marinated chicken skewers with grilled veggies and Le Bleu d'Auvergne


Sumac hummus veggies platter with 50% www SD naan and grilled halloumi


And I’ve only noticed now: what a cheesy week!


pul's picture

Let me share with you this nice flavored sourdough that came out of the oven this morning. It uses a mix of bread flour (65%), whole wheat and rye. I milled WW and rye in the blender, but did not sift out any bran this time.

The formula proportions are listed below. The levain was prepared 12 hours prior to mixing the dough. I also autolysed the WW + rye for the same amount of time. The kitchen was about 17C throughout the day, so I just left the autolyse to happen on the counter and added all salt together. Since I did not sift the bran out and the blender yields a courser flour, autolysing the WW + rye is a good idea.


WW starter18g6.00%
Bread flour34g11.33%
Mix WW + Rye88g29.33%
Bread flour169g56.33%
Total flour300g100.00%
Total water219g73.00%

 Autolyse + levain prior to mixing the final dough

After mixing the final dough and applying the usual S&F process (4 sets), I left the dough bulk fermenting on the counter for a total of 9 hours (including S&F) at about 16C overnight. In the morning I shaped the dough into a small batard and put in the fridge for an hour before loading it in the oven to bake for 30 min with lid on + 5 min with lid off (all preheated). Everything came out so fine with nice crumb and good crust. I have been playing with long retarded bulk fermentation and short final proofing. Even though I have not retarded the bulk fermentation in the fridge, I think the long BF on the counter in a cool kitchen had a similar effect, whereas the short proofing kept me away from the over proofing problems. It is incredible how many possibilities there are available for baking a loaf of bread. Even though I do not follow this procedure under a normal situation, it has been good to feel the dough and have some control on the results.




dmsnyder's picture

San Francisco Style Sourdough Bread

March, 2019

David Snyder


This recipe was kindly shared by Ann Rogers who got it from Mike Giraudo. Mike's recipe is his own adaptation of that of Ramon Padilla,who worked for 30 years as a baker for Parisian and Boudin bakeries in San Francisco.

These are the instructions she provided verbatim, followed by my adaptation, reformulated to make 1000g of dough.

Mike Giraudo's Recipe (per Ann Rogers)

250g starter (60% hydration)
600g water
1000g flour
20g salt
Makes two 875g loafs

Mix all ingredients 2 minutes on low speed until mixed, then mix 9 more minutes on next level speed. Then a quick stretch and fold, rest dough 30 mins, then stretch and fold one more time. 

Then cover and let dough rest for about 8 hours at room temp. 

After 8 hours, divide and shape into loafs and then into bannetons or lightly oiled containers, cover- then into the refrigerator for at least 12 - 32 hours. (The longer the time, the more sour the bread)

After refrigeration, place immediately into a pre-heated Dutch oven @475 for 20 mins and then uncover and cook for another 10 mins @450 (or until you like the color of your bread.) Feel free to use all purpose flour, makes for a great crumb. 

David Snyder's Adaptation

Total Dough




Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Total flour



















Note: The original recipe and the San Francisco Sourdough of yore are 100% low extraction (white) flour. I have modified this by including 25% whole wheat flour, because that is my preference. Besides effects on flavor complexity and nutrition, the anticipated effects would be: 1) A less open crumb, 2) faster fermentation, 3) enhanced acid production.

Note: 15.7% of the flour is pre-fermented. This is less than most sourdough formulas which average 20-25% pre-fermented flour. The effect would be: 1) A longer bulk fermentation, 2) more acid content at the time of dividing and shaping.





Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Total flour



AP flour



WW flour






Active firm starter






Note: The 21g of active firm starter consists of 7g water + 10g AP flour + 3g WW flour.

  1. The night before mixing the Final Dough, dissolve the active firm starter in the water.

  2. Add the flours and mix thoroughly.

  3. Cover and ferment at room temperature overnight.


Final Dough



Wt (g)

AP flour


WW flour












  1. Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix at Speed 1 for 2 minutes to distribute ingredients then for about 9 minutes at Speed 2 to develop the dough.

  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board.

  3. Do one stretch and fold. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.

  4. Do one more stretch and fold and transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl.

  5. Cover the bowl and ferment at room temperature for “about8 hours.”

  6. Divide the dough, if smaller loaves are desired, pre-shape into rounds and cover. Let rest for 10-30 minutes.

  7. Shape as boules or bâtards and place in floured bannetons.

  8. Refrigerate for 12-32 hours (The longer the cold retardation, the more sour the final loaf).

  9. Check on degree of proofing. If not sufficiently proofed, remove from refrigerator and proof at room temperature or warmer until adequately proofed. Then procedure to scoring and baking.
  10. Transfer to a peel. Score as desired.

  11. Bake: If baking in Dutch oven, bake at 475ºF covered for 20 minutes, then uncovered at 450ºF for another 10 minutes or until done to satisfaction.

  12. Bake: If baking on the hearth, pre-heat oven at 500ºF for 1 hour with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place. Turn down oven to 460. Load loaf and steam oven. After 15 minutes, remove steam and continue baking for 20-35 minutes, until loaf is baked. (Time depends on size and shape of loaf.)

  13. The bread is done when the crust is nicely colored and the loaf sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom. The internal temperature should be at least 205ºF.

  14. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.

 Note: I retarded this loaf for about 15 hours. At the end of that time, it was nowhere near adequately proofed. I placed it in my proofing box set to 80ºF and proofed it for another 2.5 hours, the last hour while my oven pre-heated. You can see from the overly exuberant oven spring and bloom that the loaf was still somewhat under-proofed. I baked it on a pizza stone, as described in Step 12., above, for a total of 50 minutes.


I had a couple slice ... well, three ... but one was very thin! The crust was delightfully crunchy. The crumb was pretty open for a 60% hydration, 25% whole grain bread. It was very well aerated, demonstrating good fermentation. The crumb was moderately chewy. The flavor was a bit wheaty and sweet with a moderately prominent acetic acid tang, yet well-balanced. It has the old-fashioned San Francisco Sourdough feel - the genuine article. It's just what I would imagine Parisian "Wharf Bread" to have been like, if they had baked a "whole wheat" version.

I shared my results with Ann Rogers and Mike Giraudo, and Ann reiterated that, if I wanted it more sour, I should just extend the cold retardation to 32 hours (or more!) I am going to do it.

This is a keeper. It is the bread I have been trying to make for many years. I would encourage those who miss the San Francisco Sourdough Bread of yesteryear or just wonder what all the fuss is about, to make this. It's simple and easy and delicious.

 Happy Baking!


Cedarmountain's picture

This is today's daily bread...made with rolled oats fermented overnight with levain and water before being mixed into a rye/spelt/Marquis wheat dough along with some chopped almonds; shaped loaves were dusted with sifted bran and some sesame seeds, cold proofed overnight and baked this morning direct from the fridge in pre-heated DOs. 





agres's picture

I had an aunt that was exceptionally partial to bran muffins. When she visited us, I indulged her with fresh muffins every morning. Her recipe (which I scrupulously followed) was based on All-Bran breakfast cereal.  My wife and I prefer Scotch oatmeal, so we do not normally keep All-Bran in the house, so we have not been in the habit of making bran muffins for years.

However, milling flour (and sifting) generates a surplus of bran. I have taken to cheating, I sold out -- bran muffins are back on the menu (in rotation). Making bran muffins is less work than making 100% whole wheat bread (from 100% extraction flour) that my wife likes.  (Some of us do like dark, dense bread a lot! But then, we also eat herring.  :  )

  My muffins are made with soy milk and lemon juice, so I do not need to keep buttermilk. I use fresh-ground, soft-wheat as my flour, so the only evil elements are the small amounts of  brown sugar and oil. They are more healthy than the muffins I made for my aunt.

There is no law that says US PdC must be full of bran. My wife prefers breads made from 90% extraction flour,  and sometimes I add some white bread flour when the menu calls for a less assertive bread. However, today lunch was borscht, which called for a flavorful, dark bread. It was a small loaf, because dinner will be Asian Fusion served with rice, not bread.

cfraenkel's picture

I baked 2 loaves of DMSnyder's SJSD and they disappeared overnight.... so decided I'd make something that at least seemed more healthy.

I broke out the Hamelman Bread book and started browsing.  Several hours later (serious) I settled on Sourdough Seed Bread, I had all the ingredients on hand and it seemed like it would be delicious. I ended up tweaking the recipe a little bit to incorporate some freshly milled grains, and I think it turned out pretty well!  I am also bad at following instructions, and my KA mixer made the dough pretty warm at the start, but no harm done!

Prepared the Levain from 1oz NMNF starter with 4.8 oz AP flour and 6 oz Water the night before. (it took around 12 hours to be bubbly and ready -  I have never done a one step levain build like this, but we were desperate and out of bread, so I forged on. At the same time made the soaker with 2.2 oz flaxseeds and 6.7oz water.  Both Levain and soaker sat overnight on the kitchen counter.

The next morning I mixed the dough: (I am glad my scale will change units to oz from grams or I'd have been in trouble here, or doing a lot of math to scale down from bakery sized measurements)

Soaker, Levain 1lb AP flour and 8.6 oz freshly milled hard white, 2.6oz dark rye, 3.8 oz toasted sunflower seeds, 1oz toasted sesame seeds (all I had - the recipe called for more) 11.3 oz water and .7oz salt.  Threw them all in the bowl of the Kitchen Aide and mixed for a bit, it looked very dry so I added a smidge more water and set the timer for 4 minutes.  At 4 minutes the dough was 86 dF Yikes!  a little warm....

Bulk Ferment - 2.5 hours on the counter with one fold in the middle somewhere.

Divide and shape into 3 loaves - put in bannetons and retard in fridge about 21 hours.

Removed from the fridge and they were like bricks, so I left them on the counter and went to Yoga class.  Came back (about 1.5 hours) turned the oven on and loaded into Dutch ovens. 

Baked 25 minutes lid on at 475 and 20 minutes lid off at 450dF.  It smells divine and looks pretty good too!


not.a.crumb.left's picture

A while ago Joze created an amazing version of Maurizio's 50/50 during a community bake which I loved doing at the time ..

I wanted to have another look at cold bulk as I can bulk ferment dough for let's say 5 loaves or more without the need to have a retarder or fridge to host all the cold bulk overnight and then pre-shape, final shape, ambient proof and bake is my aim...

Joze's shaping approach is a bit like a ciabatta and I wanted to change it a bit more into a loaf that I could score...

So.. 25g liquid starter, 50g WW Shipton Mill Canadian WW, 50g Marriages Organic Strong White

7:00 and was ready at 12:00 after 5 hours..

AL 9:00 - 400g Shipton Mill Canadian , 400g  Marriages Organic Strong White and 560g water

12:00 Add levain and flour, 60g water - Rubaud 

12:30 Add 18g salt and 60g water dough temp 25C and slap and folds until almost fully developed not quite yet...

Then into proofer at 80F and three coil folds at 30 min and there was some nice activity and fermentation along side creases from last fold were still slightly visible..ready for the fridge, I thought...

Put in wine cooler at 4C 15:00

Took dough out at 7:00AM  and dough temp was 6C...I know my wine cooler does not quite give me the accurate temp..always a bit warmer..

Pre-shape with cold dough and surprised to feel air in it...

45 min bench rest 

Final Shape and into banneton - and then room temp proof for one hour and 15 min...This is the bit where I always  loose my nerve! Can I go longer?

Not to unhappy with the result but wonder to try similar approach with a stiff leaven from my 100% starter and what difference I get in taste and dough strength...

If anyone has some great references or tips for cold fermentation, plesae let me know... Happy baking... Kat

Dough when put into wine cooler..after 3 X 30 min folds

Dough coming out of wine cooler in the morning after 15 min, dough temp 6C and hate to prick the chap...

Dough straight out of wine cooler before pre-shape

pre-shape of cold dough




mikedilger's picture

The French typically use 10-17% rye flour and T80 flour for the rest.

Here in New Zealand I have limited choices.  But I have a flour mill.  So I've been making a flour close to T110 as follows:

  1. Hard White Spring wheat from the Canterbury region (organic, bio-gro, Demeter).  We don't grow much hard red winter wheat down here, AFAIK.
  2. Fine grind through my (somewhat annoying) hand cranked Country Living Mill.  Often I do a course grind, then a second pass find grind.
  3. Sift (bolt) through 18 hole-per-inch standard kitchen sieve.
  4. Sift (bolt) again through a finer (0.5mm?) honey strainer.

I calculated the extraction rate by weighing the final flour (734g) versus the original wheat (835g), giving 88% extraction rate.  This is in line with French T110 flour, so I will assume it has an ash content of around 1.1%.

On the market I can buy either High Grade flour (11.5% protein, similar to American All Purpose flour), or Plain Flour (10% protein).  I purchase the former from a reputable brand (Champion).  I presume it is akin to French T55 flour, which has an ash content around 0.56%.

Mixing these two flours in a ratio of 1:1, I get an ash content of 0.83%, which is smack dab in the middle of T80 flour's ash content.

I'm rather chuffed.

So my final mix is:

  • 450g Champion High Grade Flour
  • 450g Homemade bolted wheat flour
  • 100g Homemade coursely bolted rye flour (kitchen sieve only)

Since my breadmaking goal is to simply have one starter and one bread that I settle on, and then focus my efforts elsewhere, I'll be using this flour both to feed my starter and to make my bread.

Happy baking everyone!


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