The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


suminandi's picture

I bought some Glenn wheat berries from Kenter Canyon farm at the Atwater Village farmers market ( in Los Angeles). It was $2 per pound, not cheap but not too outrageous. The Glenn wheat is grown in Santa Rosa, California. I’m currently buying hard red spring wheat from Montana Flour and Grains by mail, and I would like to transition to a more local supplier. 

I milled it and baked my typical loaf- sourdough, 100% whole grain, no additives besides salt. The starter is rye and comprised 10% of the grain. The other 90% was the Glenn wheat ( replacing the montana hard red spring wheat). The hydration of the loaf was 80%. 2% salt. 

Impressions- the flour held up well to fermentation with sourdough. The final crumb was softer than the Montana loaf is typically. Probably lower gluten, but strong enough to get a nice enough profile with the usual treatment. Excellent aroma including malty notes. I have been adding spelt to my wheat loaves to reduce the chewiness of the hard red spring loaves, and I’d say the Glenn loaf is an excellent texture alone. 

Here is a crumb picture

Bread1965's picture

I came across this recipe a few weeks back. It talks about making a 40% hydrated starter to be left neglected for a few weeks while acid builds up and yeast permeates the starter. Later that "seed sourdough" is used as part of the bread recipe. I decided to give it a try.  I made the "seed starter" three weeks ago and left it in a cool room @ at about 55F degrees. I then followed the recipe as outlined.

The crust is delicate, not too crisp but almost shatters as you cut into it; it also has a bit of a chew to it. The aroma is subtle but fragrant. The crumb is very soft and almost lacey in texture and has a "milky" quality in it's taste as well.  It's a very nice bread and I'll play with this some more. I also thought this could be good way to use left over starter - to feed it to a 40% hydration and leave it for a few weeks to be added to future bakes.

The one thing that was VERY strange was that the dough skin during bulk tore with light coil folds. It was as if the structure was too weak to handle it's own weight. I'd fold it and then come back in 30 minutes to fold again but find a tear on the skin. And as bulk went on the skin would tear while doing subsequent folding. It wasn't completely falling apart, but definitely struggled. I thought perhaps to add a few percent of gluten flour to help next time I try this. It didn't proof and expand very much - maybe by 25% - I think because the structure wasn't fully there.  I think "why?" has to do with the acid overload that the seed starter is providing. I know I've read the link between gluten development, starch, the development of enzyme alpha amylase and acid but don't remember how the connection all works. If someone comes across this post and knows what's going on in this bread please share - thank you!

I'd encourage you to try this. There's something special going on with this bread.  The French salted butter helped! :)

Bread1965's picture

I made Maurizio's waffles with some discard this morning.  You'll find his recipe here. The modification was to use a blend of 50% whole buckwheat flour and 50% unbleached bread flour in place of the 250g of all-purpose. Otherwise it was pretty much the same.  I had been accumulating starter from feedings this past week in a glass jar in the fridge. I didn't weigh or measure it so I assume I probably added a full cup rather than half - but it was more spent than not (ie: not active, but not totally depleted either. Using a Belgian waffle maker the recipe yielded five full rounds.


tortie-tabby's picture


I'm not sure why my loaf turned out so flat and dense. I have a few suspicions but I was wondering if anyone could give me suggestions on how to improve.

Starter 150 g
AP flour 300 g
150 g bread flour
Whole wheat 55 g
Water 364 g (76%)
Salt 12 g
IDY (1/8 tsp to supplement starter)

2 tbs oatmeal (soaked then pressed dry)
120 g toasted chopped walnuts
100 g dried dates

1. Feed starter
2. At the same time, mix flour, salt and water for a 1.5 hr autolyse (I know I didn't do this for long enough)
3. Dimple starter into dough and gently fold to incorporate.
4. 3 rounds S&F between 30 min intervals (add soaked oats, walnuts and dates after first round), a total of 2.5 hour bulk ferment
5. 20-hour cold ferment
6. 1 last S&F to help release dough from the bowl, pre-round then bench rest for 1-2 hrs (dough very wet although gluten development looked good, walnut pieces might've been too large)
7. Shape
8. 40-minute hour proof in towel-lined bowl (cut short because the poke test indicated the dough was ready)
9. bake at 500 F on baking stone with steam for 15 mins
10. bake with convection at 470 F for 25
11. returned to oven, covered in foil, for 30 mins at 350, loaf had already cooled for 25 mins



Edit: added extra images



ifs201's picture

I had some bananas sitting around and was inspired by a banana sourdough post from Trailrunner. I'd also been itching to make another chocolate sourdough, so I decided to make the two doughs and laminate the two together. I found it pretty hard to develop the gluten in the banana dough (which uses almost no water and just bananas for hydration), so I won't be surprised if this is a dense loaf. One loaf looks quite pretty from the outside, the other is a lovable mutant with bumps and lumps. 


 Chocolate DoughBanana Dough
Whole Wheat7575
Cocoa powder18 
YW Levain5050
Ripe Banana Puree 410
Date Syrup3535
Chocolate Chips225 
12:30 PM30 min autolyse 
1:00 PMadd levain - 75 s&f 
 add salt - 75 s&f 
 stretch and fold 
 laminate and add chocolate chips 
 coil fold 
 coil fold 
7:00 PMshape 
8:00 AMbake 


Danni3ll3's picture

I took a break from weekly baking over the Xmas holidays. I did bake a batch for my brother during that time but that was it. Amazing how easy one batch seems when you don’t have to repeat everything 4 times. 


This bread was inspired from the over abundance of feta in my fridge and dehydrated cherry tomatoes from my garden that were sitting in my cupboard. Unfortunately, when I went to use the feta, it had started developing lovely shades of blue even the best by date was still a month or two away.  😖Hubby to the rescue! He ran (well, drove in a snow storm actually) to the store for me! 


For those who don’t live in wintry regions, we have really been nailed with snow. I’ve lost count of how many snow storms we have had so far this winter! 



Makes 3 loaves


Add ins

100 g Kalamata Olives, chopped

25 g Sun Dried Tomatoes (See note in recipe)

100 g crumbled feta

30 g olive oil 



700 g unbleached strong baker’s flour

200 g freshly milled Selkirk flour

100 g freshly milled Einkorn flour

50 g freshly ground flax seed

720 g tomato soaking liquid/filtered water plus 25 g water if needed

21 g salt

250 g levain


Two mornings before:

  1. Take 2 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 4 g of filtered water and 4 g of wholegrain flour. Let sit at cool room temperature for the day. 


The two nights before:

  1. Feed the levain 20 g of water and 20 g of wholegrain flour. Let that rise at cool room temperature for the night. 
  2. Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in lightly salted (pinch of salt) hot water until the skin is easily pierced with a knife (~2 hours). Drain well, reserving the tomato soaking water, and add 30 g of olive oil. Let marinate and then place in the fridge. Refrigerate the soaking water as well. Note: You can use sun-dried tomatoes already in oil but I had my own homemade dehydrated tomatoes from this summer.


The morning before:

  1. Feed the levain 100 g of filtered water and 75 g of wholegrain flour as well as 25 g of strong baker’s flour. Let rise until doubled (about 6 hours). 
  2. Place into fridge until the next morning. 


The night before:

  1. Mill the Red Fife and  Einkorn berries. Place the required amounts in a tub. Add the unbleached flour to the tub. 
  2. Grind the flax seeds in a bullet and add to the flours in the tub. Cover and set aside.


Dough Making day:

  1. Early in the morning, take out the levain to warm up. I usually give it a good stir at this time.
  2. Put the reserved tomato water in a stand mixer’s bowl (I warmed it up a bit in the microwave) and add filtered water until you have 720 g. Add the flours from the tub.  Mix on the lowest speed until all the flour has been hydrated. This takes a couple of minutes. Autolyse for at least a couple of hours at room temperature. 
  3. Remove the sun-dried tomatoes from the fridge and let warm up on the counter. Chop the olives and crumble the feta if needed. Add to the tomato mixture (no point having a million bowls out). 
  4. Once the autolyse is done, add the salt and the levain to the mixing bowl. Mix on the lowest speed for a minute to integrate everything, then mix on the next speed for 9 minutes. My dough needed an extra 25 g of water so I added it while it was mixing. 
  5. At the end of the 9 minutes, add the sun-dried tomatoes with the oil, the feta and the chopped olives. Mix another minute or two until incorporated.
  6. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place in a lightly oiled covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes in a warm spot (oven with light on). 
  7. Do 2 sets of stretches and folds at 30 minute intervals and then 2 sets of sleepy ferret folds (coil folds) at 45 minute intervals, and then let the dough rise to about 30 to 40%. This took about another hour on this particular day. It should have irregular bubbles visible through the sides of the container and bubbles on top as well. 
  8. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~800 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 30 minutes on the counter. 
  9. Do a final shape by 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 cross 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.
  10. Sprinkle a  mix of rice flour and all purpose flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons. 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 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 but quickly 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 at 425 F. Internal temperature should be 205 F or more.

agres's picture


Big bread – about 30% whole wheat with bread flour.


All sourdough, refreshed twice, then mixed dough using a total of ~ 1 liter of water, total weight of dough was just over 2 kilo.  Baked on preheated stone at 400F with convection.








theo's picture

My first bread made with poolish.  It was excellent!! the crust was crackly and not hard the crumb was creamy and flavorful.  

One thing interesting is that bulk fermentation took 3 hours longer than what was recommended in FWSY


alfanso's picture

Pa de Vidre / Glass Bread

I’d made this once before a few months ago after warehousing Abel’s posting for over a year.  Time to try again and figure out the mysteries & miseries of how to make this bread “properly".  And it took about 4-5 iterations over the course of a week, each time trying a new thing or two.  Until I had a breakthrough two nights ago in the mixing phase on my final failed attempt.  But with some additional tweaking, last night’s product came out of the oven looking pretty darned close to what I was after.

There were two key elements to the success.  The first was to the initial mix being performed by hand rather than relying solely on my mechanical mixer.  This step now develops a smooth fully incorporated dough ready for the mixer.  The second was the careful handling of the dough during the transfer from bench to oven peel.  the “wettest” and lightest handling of the divided dough as possible.

Pan de Cristal is a fairly amorphous animal that dares the baker to move it from bench top to oven peel without partially or totally destroying the anticipated shaping or the structure of the dough.  At a total of 95% hydration (90% water, 5% oil) with 90% white flour, it is not one to accommodate any type of man-handling.  So I knew and so I’ve learned.

My first attempts last week varied the hydration from 95% - 85% in failed effort to get the dough to behave.  But the hydration isn’t really the issue.  It’s like having musical notes on a page - which account for only 10% of what the final sound is - the other 90% is the skill and soul of the musician.

When I decided to forego the dividing and shaping altogether by placing the entire BF'ed mass into a baking dish, the notes didn’t play so well.  But at the point I had already unlocked the “secret” to getting a well mixed and well developed dough.

This dough rises very fast due to the IDY, Levain and sugar. In my kitchen, 90 minutes was about all it took to triple in size.  The addition of Letter Folds at 0, 30 and 60 minutes provides the strength this dough needs to be workable at all - at least to me.


Pan de Cristal, Levain Formula        
Abel Sierra, alfanso        
     Total Flour    
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1250 Prefermented20.00%   
 Total Formula   Levain  Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%624.0 100.00%124.8 Final Flour499.2
 Bread Flour90.00%561.6 100%124.8 Bread Flour436.8
 Rye10.00%62.4 0%  Rye62.4
 Water @40dF90.00%561.6 100%124.8 Water305.7
 Salt2.00%12.5    Salt12.5
 Olive Oil5.00%31.2    Olive Oil31.2
 Sugar2.00%12.5    Sugar12.5
 IDY1.33%8.3 0.00%0.00 IDY8.3
        Levain, chilled249.6
 Totals200.33%1250 200.00%249.59  1250
Alternate mixer speed slow and fast while incorporating all ingredients.    
Add Flours,intial Water, cold Levain, IDY.  Hand mix well.  Autolyse 20 min..    
Hand mix/add Salt, Sugar to incorporate.  Dough is wet enough take it well.    
50 French Folds.  5 min rest.  50 French Folds.       
Into mixing Bowl.  Slowly add Bassinage alternating hand and  machine mixing.    
Once dough starts to form ridges in the mixing bowl, slowly add Oil and finish mix @78d   
Mix is done when dough slaps against sides of mixing bowl and hook alternately picks up and drops dough back.
Dough into oiled tub, immediatly fold well.  Allow to triple in height.  In my warm kitchen tthis was ~1hr 40 min. 
Spill onto well floured workbench.  Will likely be goopy.      
With wet hands and wet bench knife (at all phases)  square off edges and divide as desired.  
Pick up and place onto  parchment paper on peel.  Try to not compress, squeeze or stretch the dough in the transfer.
Oven should have been preheating at 480dF.       
Bake at 460 ~13 min. w/steam.        
Release steam rotate loaves, continue baking at 440dF for up to 30 min.  Oven off, vent for 3 min. 

An earlier failed attempt at 85% hydration.  The crumb was okay, actually fairly good.


This was the 95% hydr. failed baking pan attempt.  At this point two nights ago I'd figured out how to get a quality mix and Bulk Ferment.

And the resultant batons.  Just did not work - at all!  Dense and overly chewy.  At least the crust was in the vicinity of where i wanted to be.

The lead photo and these next few were last night's success story.  I don't think the look of the bread is all that off from what I imagine it should be.

The bread is incredibly light and airy and when freshly baked or reheated/toasted the crust takes on that snap which likely gives the bread its name, while the crumb remains moist and tender.  I am not often a fan of the "rustic" look of bread that has more than a minimum of raw flour on the crust.  And so I appreciate that these do not.

Chrisunger's picture


One of my favourite recipes is the Vermont Sourdough from Jeffrey  Hamelmans bread book.  I am finding many people are requesting me bake these for them.  I only have a KA mixer for the kneading and find it very difficult to kneed a large amount of dough by hand.  Is there any way I can use the no knead method for this recipe? 




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