The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


isand66's picture


This is the first bake since returning from my business trip to Germany.  I had a nice trip, but unfortunately as usual I brought back the "Black Death" with me and it took me a good week to start feeling normal again, not to mention adjust to the East Coast time zone.

My wife has been dying to try making yogurt in the Instant Pot so after she finally made enough yogurt to feed a small army I decided to make use of some of it in a bread.

Fall is upon us on the East Coast of New York....well it was around 75 degrees today, so maybe it doesn't feel like it just yet.  Anyway, this bake is the perfect fall bread to have with some soup or as part of a nice sandwich.  No cheese needed as it is inside the bread!  I used a medium hard style cheese that doesn't melt very much which is why you can see nice chunks of it in the bread.

I also added a nice helping of caramelized onions which seem to have melted into the final dough.  Next time I will add some to the outside of the bread to really taste the sweet onion flavor.

Beer added a nice complex flavor and went perfectly with the fresh milled rye and spelt flour.  This one is tasty and good enough to eat with nothing on it, but a little butter won't hurt it either.



Download the BreadStorm File 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.

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

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours, and beer 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 30 minutes to an hour.  Next add the salt, and starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and  mix on low for 4 minutes.  Add the cheese and onions and mix for about 30 seconds.  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 as desired.   Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  The dough will take around 1.5 hours depending on your room temperature.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.  (Note: the fresh spelt and rye combo really ferments quickly so don't let it go too long or you may end up with a pancake).

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 540 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.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 25-35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.

The crumb was perfect for this type of bread, with a fairly open crumb but too much so you can hold all those nice fillings in!

cfraenkel's picture

I am excited to take part in my first community bake.  I have been at this sourdough adventure for a couple of years now, and have truly enjoyed reading everyone's advice and posts.  Garbage bread started many many years ago, with frozen bread dough from my favorite place, Trader Joes!  I learned that my kids would eat all kinds of things if I "hid" them in bread, or spaghetti sauce or ...  It all started with trying to make a "portable" pizza when one of them was in their only wanting to eat pizza faze.  I would cut up pepperoni and sauce and cheese and roll it up in a log, and tell them it was "pizza bread."  It worked!  So then I started really just putting whatever I could into the bread.  Broccoli, onions, whatever leftover meat was in the fridge etc.  and Garbage Bread was born.  If it has cheese it can't be bad!

So for this 123 challenge, I set out to use up what I had hanging around.

Starter (leftover from many thanksgiving loaves) 160g (don't ask what was in it - see note about leftovers - I took what I had added flour and water in more or less equal proportions and waited for it to be bubbly)

320g water

480g flour.  about 40+ g of leftover freshly milled combo hard white and spelt, 320g Organic White flour, 120g white spelt

10g salt

I had just finished baking  for thanksgiving (sage and onion brioche for the stuffing, plain sourdough for the table, sourdough banana bread for the granddaughter) and I was baked I mixed all the above together, threw it in the Kitchenaide for 15 minutes  added a knob of butter and let it go for another 5 minutes.  Let it sit until bedtime (about 5 hours) and rolled it out into a rectangle.  While the kitchenaide was doing it's work, I found apple and sage sausage in the fridge that I forgot to put in the stuffing, made some carmelized onions to go with it, and then grated some cheddar on top and sprinkled with some mystery grated cheese that I found in the fridge).  I rolled the whole thing into a log, put it in a basket lined with parchment and stuffed it in a plastic bag and put it in the fridge overnight and most of the day until I got home. (I'm pretty sure it over proofed, but I had very little choice, the DH doesn't "do" bread he only eats it)  I managed (barely) to stuff it into my roasting pan and bake at 450df for 25 minutes lid on and 25 minutes lid off. 


















Not as bad as I thought it would be (with the crazy long fridge proof)


shanicealisha's picture

Hey thefreshloaf! It's my first ever post. I followed this recipe from Fat Sourdough on YouTube. It's my second time baking sourdough - I've been using my boyfriends un-bleached white starter which is a few months old now.  I'm very proud of how it came out! 


The dough:

  • 150g semolina
  • 70g buckwheat flour or wholewheat
  • 660g bread flour
  • 135g sourdough starter
  • 700g water 

Seed mix:

  • 40g flaxseeds
  • 17g fennel
  • 20g toasted sesame
  • 20g poppy seeds
  • 55g sunflower seeds
  • 21g salt
  • 120g hot water

p.s. I did have to sub the sunflower seeds for hemp seeds because we didn't have any. Still very delicious! 


Thanks for looking! :) 

Elsie_iu's picture

Although the daytime temperature is still above 25°C in HK, hawkers selling roasted chestnuts and sweet potatoes are starting to show up on the roadside. Of course I cannot miss out the opportunity to them in bread.


Miso Caramelized Chestnuts Sourdough


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

120g      40%       Sprouted white wheat flour

120g      40%       Whole white wheat flour

30g        10%       Whole toasted buckwheat flour

30g        10%       Whole toasted barley flour (I milled barley flakes)


For leaven:

9g         3%       Starter

18g        6%       Bran sifted out from dough flour

18g        6%       Water


For dough:

282g        94%       Dough flour excluding bran for leaven

182g     60.7%       Water

100g     33.3%       Whey

45g          15%       Leaven

9g              3%       Vital wheat gluten

5g          1.67%      Salt


For caramelized chestnuts:

35g      11.7%       Roasted chestnuts

10g      3.33%       White granulated sugar

5g        1.67%       Red miso paste



304.5g     100%       Whole grain

304.5g     100%       Total hydration


Sift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 18g for leaven. Soak the rest, if any, in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients.

Make the caramelized chestnuts. Put a few tablespoons of water and the sugar into a small pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat from high to medium when most water has evaporated. Dissolve the miso paste in 2-3 tablespoons of hot water then pour it into the pot after the sugar has transformed to cinnamon-brown. Stir the bubbling mixture vigorously while adding in the chestnuts. Continue to heat it until it thickens and produces a shiny coating on the chestnuts.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 3 hours.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the salt and leaven, autolyse for 20 minutes. Knead in the reserved ingredients than ferment for 15 minutes. Fold in the add-ins and ferment for 3 hours 15 minutes longer.

Preshape the dough then let it rest for 15 minutes. Shape the dough and put in into a banneton. Retard for 12 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it warm up for 20 minutes at room temperature.

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 behaved in a weird manner when I was trying to develop the gluten. It wasn’t really coming together so I got a bit nervous. The resulting bread does have a rather poor crumb structure but it could have been worse, so I feel like this was a victory already :)

The crumb is not as moist or chewy as my usual bread. It might be a result of the incorporation of buckwheat and barley or it was only one of the consequences of poor dough structure.

Despite the relatively disappointing crumb profile, the flavour is outstanding. Toasted buckwheat is strong and robust, which goes really well with the saltiness, sweetness and the slight bitterness of miso caramelized chestnuts.



Sliced pork tenderloin with lemon glaze

Mixed mushrooms and beans with Chinese olive pickles


Silken tofu seasoned with aromatics (scallions, garlic and ginger) and Chinese soya paste


rgreenberg2000's picture

After my first positive experience with baguettes last week, I wanted to give them another try (and we were out of bread…..gasp!!)  I decided I wanted to go with a 65% hydration dough this time to take any dough handling issues out of the process.  I also decided to just use a yeasted dough since I had a window to make bread, and didn’t have a leaven built up from my stored starter.  Here’s the formula I used (shooting for 3x 330g loaves): 

480g AP (80%)

120g Semolina (20%)

390g Water (65%)

3g ADY

12g salt 

I mixed the flours and water together, then let that rest for 30 minutes.  I added the salt and yeast, mixed those in using the pinch method, then gave the dough about 20 slap/folds.  I repeated the slap/folds 2 times at 20 minutes.  Then I let the dough bulk proof at 75 degrees in my Brod & Taylor for about 90 minutes.  At this point, I divided the dough, and pre-shaped each piece into a round.  I let those rest while I cleaned up a bit, then I shaped my “baguettes” (they are probably a bit heavy, fat and short to call baguettes, but I’m fitting them into what I need/want, so good enough) and let them rest in the couche with plastic wrap covering them up.  After about 45 minutes, they looked ready to bake, so I slashed them and popped them onto my baking stone in a pre-heated oven (450 on Conv Bake), with some ice cubes in a CI skillet.  Added more ice about four minutes later, then let it go for 11 minutes before removing the CI.  The loaves baked for about another 7-10 minutes, then out they came to cool.  All in all, I’m pretty happy with how these turned out.  I still have plenty of practice to do with the shaping (had a couple blowouts that occurred on the end of two loaves), but the entire process was way more manageable this second time around.

A shot of the loaves cooling:


A crumb shot:

Thanks for checking these out!


Portus's picture

In preparing for the 123 community bake on Saturday morning I hauled out my wooden dough board and gave it a brief scraping down.  My usual maintenance regime is a simple scrape after use, then an airing outdoors in the sun, weather permitting, followed by a light scrape prior to next using.  This time I decided apply science to the "light scrape" residue by dropping the bits (<2g) into a plastic container to which I added another <2g water, closed the lid and waited for the evening.  I then added 20 g each of water and flour, and Sunday morning it presented a decent outcome as shown in these pictures.

I therefore conclude that a wooden dough board is superior to marble/other impermeable surfaces for mixing dough as it has the advantage of an inherent reservoir/store of starter should accidental destruction of the usual, maintained starter occur.  It also brought to mind the item I read a while back about one or other community that did not rinse out the wooden mixing bread bowl; the locals simply added water and flour, mixed the lot which was left to ferment overnight for their morning bake.

I wonder if, in terms of sourdough genetics, this wood be called a chip off the old block?


hanseata's picture

Several years ago, a baking buddy asked me to help him with a German recipe.

The formula, published by a German bakers' association, combined rye meal and cracked wheat with mustard and cheese. The amounts, of course, were calculated for a commercial bakery, as were the sparse instructions. I had to downsize the formula to home baking proportions.

A friend of slow fermentation, I re-wrote the procedure, from using just a small amount of pre-fermented flour, to preferment plus soaker (for the coarser grinds), as well as a long, cold fermentation of the dough.

For my first bread I used a medium-hot yellow mustard from Düsseldorf

I was very pleased with the result, a beautiful red golden bread, with a stunning, almost neon-yellow crumb. Pleasantly spicy (but not too much), it tasted great with cold cuts, and was a nice surprise when toasted: a bread with built-in grilled cheese!

My first loaf had an almost neon-yellow crumb

After writing a post about the Senfbrot, I never got to baking it again. Like my friend Dabrownman, I find that there are always interesting new breads out there, so why make the same, when you can try something new?

But then I received an email from food historian, lecturer and author Demet Güzey. The Senfbrot had caught her eye, as she was doing research on mustard.

Taking this a sign from above, I revisited the formula, trying it with different kinds of cheese and mustard. I, also, substituted the preferment with a sourdough starter, and reduced the yeast in the final dough even more (down to 1/3 of the original recipe amount!)

If you prefer a more assertive taste of cheese, you can choose a sharper one. For me, a version made with sharp cheddar was a bit too much.

With smoked Gouda and white Dijon mustard, the crumb is a much lighter in color, but has the same great taste!


For the updated recipe, please follow me to my blog "Brot & Bread" (recently relocated to WordPress).

not.a.crumb.left's picture

We have visitor's from London and they wanted to take some bread home so quickly made this


I pre-mixed the flour with salt the night before and put it into 10C wine cooler until 6AM when I just took it out and added 12 hour leaven via Rubaud. I have found that the pre-mix works on many formulas apart from the Champlain as long as I keep the dough coldish.....

After mixing in the leaven I warmed up dough for 4 hours in the proofer at 80F. Then pre-shape, 30 min bench rest final shaping and back in the wine cooler when we went for a walk for 5 hours...and then baked when back home from a walk in drizzly autumn weather....

Barney looks like he's been to Mars!  :D Kat

PalwithnoovenP's picture

...Ang inyo pong abang lingkod ay isa nang ganap na guro..!

Yours truly is now a fully-fledged teacher.

Yes, that's the good news that I've been wanting to share for so long but just couldn't find the right opportunity; since it is October 5 today which is celebrated annually as World Teachers' Day, I think it is now the perfect time to share it! I was just hired last September and I've been practicing the profession for almost a month. I consider my self truly blessed this year from passing the board exam to getting hired as a public school teacher. It's very difficult to get hired in public schools due to the strict selection process and I was even luckier considering that I have no teaching experience which a huge chunk of the overall criteria.

I am quickly adjusting to the new environment and busy schedule. My students get a reprimand from me almost everyday that I began questioning myself if what I was doing is right but I came to realize that it was an early sign of developing genuine love for my students that I am here to guide and correct them so they can be a step closer to their dreams.

I am teaching 3 subjects currently to 80 Grade 7 students. AP (Araling Panlipunan - Social Studies - Asian History); MAPEH (Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health); and TLE (Technology and Livelihood Education - Handicraft Production - with focus on Embroidery). Who would have thought I'll be handling these especially the last two since I have never considered my self athletic or artistic. :) It was challenging at first but I am slowly getting the hang of it, from actual instruction to classroom management. Classrooms can be chaotic sometimes due to 13 year olds emotional turmoil thrown into a melange of puberty and constructing their personal identity; but l feel I can control them more now compare to my first days which make the delivery of instruction way easier.

I once spoke in Mandarin to attract their attention and it was effective. :) And I see a considerable number of students who are willing to learn it; always asking me to teach them whenever they see me, their eyes glimmer even if it's just a simple word. I am thinking of pioneering a foreign language class to share what I know even how little it is.

Some gifts that I received from some students during our Teachers' Day Celebration. Even without it, their greetings inspire me more!

Although I have no bread or two to share now, I would like to take this opportunity to greet all teachers here in the TFL community a Happy Teachers' Day! Not only those who are teaching in schools but every baker here who teaches every baking aficionado  everything that they know for the improvement of skills and the realization of dreams! I am so thankful to all of you!

Maligayang Araw ng mga Guro!

Happy Teacher's Day!

Danni3ll3's picture

This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving, and as usual, I have been asked to bring bread to the family dinner. Because it is going to be served with a number of different courses, I needed a rather plain sort of bread. At the same time, the 1-2-3 challenge presented itself. So how to combine the two… well, it is the harvest, might as well use the plethora of grains that are in my pantry as well as some flour from the local miller. He produces 100% wholegrain flour and a partially sifted flour. I bought both at the Farmer’s Market and made sure to include some in my recipe (the levain was made with this). The remaining grains were simply milled into flour and the bran sifted out to also feed the levain.


I must note that I initially thought “Yay, no math!”. But then reality kicked in. I needed to make loaves of a certain weight because I was selling some, I had to make 4 batches, each batch needed to make 3 loaves, I had to figure out the total amount of flour and how to split that between the levain and the main dough to respect the 1-2-3 challenge, the levain had to be multiplied by 4 with a bit extra so I would have enough, then that amount had to be split up to make a 3 stage levain, I had to decide which flour and how much would be used to put into the levain with the sifted bran, and so on and on and on. Just be happy that the math is all done for you in the recipe below. 



Makes 3 loaves



70 g Einkorn berries

70 g Spelt berries

70 g Kamut berries

70 g Rye berries

70 g Red Fife berries

70 g Selkirk berries

70 g Buckwheat groats

77 g Brulé Creek whole wheat flour 

76 g Brulé Creek partially sifted flour

630 g unbleached flour

720 g water

360 g 3 stage 100% hydration levain (process below)

25 g pink Himalayan salt

30 g local yogurt


The morning before:

  1. In the morning, mill all the grains and sift out the bran. I ended up with 459 g of sifted flour and 29 g of bran. Reserve the bran for the levain. 
  2. Place the sifted flour in a tub. To the tub, add the unbleached flour. Stir, cover and reserve for the next day.
  3. Take 26 g of starter from your fridge and feed it 26 g of water and 26 g of the bran. 

The evening before:

  1. About 12 hours later, feed the levain 52 g water and 52 g bran/wholewheat flour. Let rise overnight. 

Dough making day:

  1. Do the final feeding of the levain. Add to the levain 104 g each of water and wholewheat/partially sifted flour. This should use up all of the Brûlé Creek flour. Let rise till double. This took about 6.5 hours but mine sat for another couple of hours while the main dough autolysed (life got in the way). Amazingly enough, it hadn’t started receding when I finally got back to it.
  2. A couple of hours before the levain is ready (or in my case, when the levain was ready but I made it wait), add the water to the tub of flour and autolyse for 2 hours. I must note that I had to work a bit harder to get all of the flour hydrated. I do prefer to work with a slightly more hydrated dough but in the spirit of sticking to the 1-2-3 recipe, I didn’t add any water although I was sorely tempted to do so. I added the salt on top of the dough and left it there during the autolyse. 
  3. After the autolyse, add the yogurt and the levain. Mix well and let rest 10 minutes. Do in tub folds until the dough pulls away cleanly from the sides of the tub. Let rest 30 minutes.
  4. Do three sets of French slaps and folds (75/40/10) at 30 minutes intervals. Again on 30 minute intervals, do 2 sets of stretches and folds in the tub. Let rest until you can see bubbles through the walls of the tub, the dough feels a bit jiggly and there are some bubbles along the walls of the tub. The dough should have risen about 20%. I must say that this dough was a lot firmer than what I am used to and the gluten seemed to develop much faster. Total bulk fermentation at 72F was 3.5 hours. 
  5. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~730 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 45 minutes to one hour on the counter. 
  6. Do a final shape by flouring the rounds and 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. Finally stretch the two top corners and fold 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 right boule.
  7. Place the dough seam side down in rice floured bannetons, cover, let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge for 8 hours. 

These are proofed and ready to go into the oven. 

Baking Day:

  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to 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 place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 30 minutes, remove the lids, drop the temperature to 425F, and bake for another 17 minutes. Internal temperature should be 205F or more.



Once again, the shorter bulk and proof are giving me loaves that I am quite happy with!


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