The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


IceDemeter's picture

While I was putting together our "treats" (rolls for the man and rye for me), I still wanted to bake some day-to-day sandwich bread that we both would enjoy.  I hadn't done any high-percentage whole durum for a while, so I put together a dough with 55% durum on the Thursday, and it ended up in the fridge to ferment overnight.

Well, of course I got on here that evening, and had yet another stunning example from Kendalm of wonderful and tempting and oh-so-intimidating baguettes.  I know my (lack of) skill level well enough to realize that I am nowhere near capable of shaping a proper baguette, but started thinking that the dough in the fridge might be a good one to try shaping in a shorter, fatter version.  The hydration level was pretty low, and the dough wasn't sticky and was quite extensible thanks to the durum, so I decided to give it a go...














Fresh Milled Durum


















Wheat Germ






Oat Bran












Fresh Milled Durum






Diastatic Rye Malt












All Purpose Flour


















Total Dough Weight












Total Flour






Total Water (Hydration)






 Levain: Build up 80% hydration levain ending up with 288g total (160g durum and 128g water). Allow to peak, then refrigerate until ready to use. Used up the left-overs from two or three weeks ago, so pulled from the fridge to come up to room temp when mixed the autolyse.

Toasties: Toast 13g each of raw wheat germ and raw oat bran in open pan until darkened and aromatic. Allow to cool to room temp or refrigerate until ready to use. Used up left-overs from a couple of weeks ago, so pulled from the fridge to come up to room temp just before mixing the autolyse.

Autolyse: Mix together 300g of AP, 180g of durum, 26g of toasties, and 5g of diastatic white rye malt with 319g of water in to a shaggy mass. Cover and let rest for up to 2 hours. Mixed at 11:20 a.m.

Dough Mix: Add the salt and levain to the autolyse, and mix in completely using pinch and fold method. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Levain in at 1:00 p.m.

First Knead: Knead dough until it feels smooth and cohesive (pausing if gluten starts pulling), then cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes. Did 200 turns from 1:20-1:30 p.m. Dough felt really good, so transferred to bulk ferment container.

Stretch and fold: Do in bowl every 30 minutes for first two hours of bulk ferment, then refrigerate for balance of fermentation. SF done at 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, and 3:30 and the dough went in to the fridge.

Pre-shape, shape, and bake: Pull dough out of fridge and make sure fully fermented. If not, then allow to come to room temp in the container and finish fermenting. If ready, then remove dough from container, divide, and pre-shape in to rough logs. Cover with damp cloth and allow to rest for 60 minutes. Dough had more than doubled when pulled out at 9:00 a.m., so divided in to 2 x 563g and put one back in fridge and pre-shaped and covered the other. Changed mind 10 minutes later, so pulled out other piece and pre-shaped and covered it as well. Allowed to rest until 10:00 a.m., then used very lightly floured board and hands to shape both pieces in to long baguette-like shapes. Placed on parchment lined sheet pan and covered with damp cloth to proof.

Pre-heat oven with baking stone or steel or large sheet pan and large roaster cover to 475 deg F (250 deg C), and prep for steam.  Pre-steam with 1/2 cup boiling water before loading loaves.

Cover oven window with towel, remove roaster cover from sheet pan, transfer loaves on parchment paper to heated sheet, cover with roaster, add 1 cup of boiling water to steam pan, and bake for 18 minutes.  Remove steam pan and roaster cover, rotate loaves, drop temp to 450 deg F (230 deg C) and bake for another 12-15 minutes to an internal temp of 200 deg F (93.3 deg C).

Turn oven off, open door, and let loaves rest inside for another 5 to 10 minutes.  Cool completely on rack before slicing.

These seemed fully proofed by about 11:15, so were scored and in to the oven by 11:20.  Internal temp after 18 + 15 minutes was 202 deg F (94.4 deg C)

The final loaves are quite heavy (not surprisingly, with lots of whole wheat and low hydration) and are approximately 14-1/2” long x 2-1/2” high x 3-1/2” across (37 cm x 6 cm x 9 cm). 

This was my first try at this type of shape, and I was a bit nervous about whether I had gotten enough tautness for a solid shape and score, but it turned out okay:

I was still shooting for more of a tight crumb suitable for some teeny-tiny sandwiches, and was really happy with how it came out:

They basically make half-sized sandwiches (which is great, since I usually cut sandwiches in half anyways), and both the husband and I loved the flavour of this.  We usually wait 24 hours before slicing in to a sourdough, but this one was sliced and we were half-way through one of the bats (what else would you call them?  They're not a baguette, they're not a batard --- but they DO look like a potential weapon!) within a few hours of them coming out of the oven.

All in all, another fun and happy bake.

Hope you all keep baking happy, too!


IceDemeter's picture

I'm mostly down to one crutch or a cane, and moving around better, so thought that it would be a good week to re-stock the freezer with my husband's favourite (the oat kamut rolls from, and a variation on my own favourite, which is 100% rye.

I was focusing on my own treat, so got lazy and duplicated the last bake on the rolls almost exactly.  The only change that I made was being TOO lazy and leaving a baking steel in the oven below the rolls, which actually made them take longer and not bake through as well since I had them in a pyrex dish.  For next time, I really need to remember to bake them at a higher temp (should go at least 375 if not 425), and to make sure to not block the heat from the element with a steel!

Still, they are tasty, and he enjoyed them for sandwiches on the weekend:

As for the rye, well - I still had some pumpkin puree around, and I kept seeing this on the sidebar here:

I wanted a 100% rye, had some 2-week-old rye sour hanging out in the fridge, had the pumpkin puree, so it just felt like a good time to try my version of this one. 

It SHOULD have been quite straight-forward, but I made the mistake of reading a post on one of the older starter threads where an "expert" stated that an older refrigerated sour wouldn't be strong enough to raise a loaf without mostly being discarded and refreshed with a good feed.  Well, I didn't feel like discarding any, and just had a "what would happen if..." mood, so I took the sour that I had, and just added a part of the flour and water from my planned recipe as a "feed", and left it to sit for a couple of hours to see whether it would do anything.

Well.  What it did was to grow like crazy, so obviously it would have been more than capable of raising the loaf directly from the fridge!  Instead, I ended up taking that now massive levain, mixing up the dough, and had it just keep going at top speed:













Fresh Milled Rye


















Dark Rye


















Dark Rye






Pumpkin Puree






Diastatic White Rye Malt
























Total Dough Weight












Total Flour






Total Water (Hydration)






Mixed old levain / sour from fridge with 100 deg F water and dark rye flour at 9:45 a.m.  Covered and placed in oven with door open and light on for 30 minutes, then door closed and no light.  It doubled in volume in 2-1/2 hours.

Mixed up the final paste including levain, salt, malt, pumpkin puree, dark rye flour, and water at 12:45 p.m.  This is extremely wet (definitely more paste than dough), so basically just stirred with dampened heavy spatula in bowl.  Covered and let sit on the counter (room temp about 74 deg F).

Dough had almost doubled by 1:45 p.m., so moved it in to a heavily buttered bread tin, then bagged it and let it sit on the counter at room temp.

By 2:25 p.m., dough had just crested top of tin.  No surface bubbles, but just had the feeling it was time to bake, so fully docked it, smoothed the top with a wet spatula, and put it in a covered dark roasted in a cold oven set at 425 deg F for 25 minutes, then uncovered, rotated, and finished the bake at 400 deg F for 70 minutes, to internal temperature of 202 deg F.

By the end of the bake, it was obvious that I had over-fermented it at least a bit, but it didn't feel overly heavy or wet, so I let it cool uncovered on the rack for 8 hours, then put it in a plastic bag and let it sit until Saturday (about 40 hours total).

The side shows that it collapsed a bit instead of springing in the oven, and the top clearly shows the grey from the water not evaporating quickly enough due to me choosing a cold oven instead of preheating:

Fortunately, the flavour and the crumb still came out wonderfully:

This is a strongly flavoured bread that I adore, and will do again, but without the old sour experiment and with a pre-heated oven and higher bake temps.  It's not a taste that my husband enjoys, so all the more for me ;)

Danni3ll3's picture

Upon request of some friends, I repeated the Cranberry Wild Rice version from a couple of weeks ago but with a few changes. I put in currants instead of raisins and pumpkin seeds instead of Pecans. 

I had tried a new method of blooming wild rice then but talking to my pottery instructor, she just puts the wild rice in water and keeps it warm in her dehydrator. I did the same but put it in the oven with the lights on and the door shut. The temperature hit 105F or so. I left it slightly more than 24 hours and it worked quite well. So now I have two methods of no cooking wild rice to get it ready for salads or for bread. 

So here is the recipe:

1. Bloom 75 g  wild rice and 10 g of buckwheat groats in plenty of water using the above method. Drain and refrigerate until needed. Bring to room temperature before using. 

2. Toast 60 g of pumpkin seeds. Soak them overnight with 70 g cranberries, and 50 g dried currants in 200 g water. In the morning, add 30 g honey. 

3. Autolyse all of the above with 550 g water, 550 g unbleached flour, 200 g fresh milled Kamut flour, 202 g multigrain flour and 59 g fresh ground flax seed. 

4. Mix in 40 g yogurt, 20 g salt and 266 g 80% levain. Pinch and fold to integrate well. 

5. Do 3 sets of folds and let rise till double. This took about 4.5 hours. 

6. Divide into 3 loaves, preshape, let rest 15 minutes and shape tightly into boules. Put into covered bannetons for and overnight proof in the fridge. 

7. The next morning, bake directly out of the fridge. Preheat oven and pots to 475 F. Load boules into pots that have circles of parchment paper to prevent sticking, drop temp to 450 F and bake covered for 25 minutes. Remove lids and bake for another 22 minutes at 425 F. 


leslieruf's picture


We've been away  visiting family in Switzerland (with a side trip to Ireland) for. the last couple of months.  While there I  couldn't resist having a try with Swiss flour etc.  So a niece had a rye starter that I was able to use.  I just used  30% rye flour and the rest the white bread flour.  just a basic 1:2:3 loaf. Funny baking in someone else's kitchen, using an unknown starter, unfamiliar flours and equipment and oven.  

I did a 30 minute autolyse, 4 stretch and folds and bulk ferment at room temperature.  I was late starting and would have preferred a slightly longer BF.   but it was getting late so shaped and as there was no rice flour, dusted teatowel with rolled oats and popped into the fridge over night. Next morning let it warm up as I thought it was not proofed enough.  I had bought a Baumalu cast iron roaster to bring home so baked using that, 15 mins lid on, 15 mins lid off.

the taste was a little stronger than my usual bread, but for a first try with such unknown ingredients etc I was happy.  Sister in law happy too!


Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

So, after baking 75 loaves of bread in the one week since we've been back from holiday, what do I do for a break? Bake bread, of course! :) I was making "What do I do with all these green beans from the garden" minestrone for dinner, and needed some bread to go with it. All I had on hand was multigrain sandwich bread which didn't seem quite right with minestrone, so I figured it was high time I finally tried the most-bookmarked bread on this site - Jason's Quick Cocodrillo Ciabatta.

I happen to have a large bag of Durum Atta flour (this is Canadian 100% whole durum flour, finer than semolina but not as fine as remilled durum flour) so I used 150 grams of this along with 350 grams of bread flour, 475 grams of water, 15 grams of salt and two teaspoons of yeast. I mixed it in the Ankarsrum with the dough hook, and let it run at medium high speed for about 30 minutes until it was climbing up the hook (as directed). Then I poured it into an oiled container. The recipe said to let it triple which happened fairly quickly in the warm summer heat. Good thing too, as the soup was going to be ready for six o'clock and I didn't want to be waiting until eight for dinner!

I poured the gloop out onto a floured counter (on reflection an oiled counter would have been much better, and used my plasterer's scraper to sort of letter fold the puddle, then cut it into three pieces and put them (with great difficulty and laughter) onto a floured piece of parchment on a baking sheet. Shaping consisted of scrunching the sides in a bit so they didn't run into each other or off the sides of the baking sheet.

I sort of poked them a bit to re-distribute the bubbles, as I wasn't even going to attempt to turn them over at this point. And I could have let them proof a bit longer but was getting impatient for dinner, so into a 500F oven they went. Ten minutes, turn and ten more (and by that time the atta flour on the parchment was burning so the smoke alarm went off when I opened the oven to turn the pan. Sigh...)

I only let this cool for about 15 minutes, then sliced up one loaf for dinner. The crumb is moist and glossy with a little bit of olive oil here and there from the oil that was in the container during the ferment. Crust is thin and delicate and the loaf is very squishy. Gorgeous yellow colour from the atta flour too.

This is so good, I ate about half a loaf with my soup. :)

And I've still got two more loaves. Not bad for 500 grams of flour. How can anyone pay money for rubbish supermarket bread when making bread is this cheap and easy!


cardigan's picture

I've recently decided to start baking rye breads and have jumped in this past weekend with Hamelmans 40% Caraway Rye recipe. I had the ingredients on hand, including a rye starter that seemed to be percolating, whole-rye flour and some high-gluten flour left over from a bagel bake.

It was my first time working with a dough that had more than 15% rye flour in it (or my first time in a very long time), and I was hand-kneading, so it was indeed a bit sticky though not unmanageable. I did wonder part way through if I should have gone with the mixer (I have a DLX--mix time suggestions and speeds welcome...) But I kept going, then let the dough sit for its bulk ferment, divided, shaped, gave it a final ferment for an hour, and baked.

A couple of thoughts:

-- Judging from the splits and burst, I'm thinking it was under-proofed at the end... I'm still not good a good judge of proofing. More rye seemed to make it more complicated.

-- I also think I should have kneaded it a bit more. I could feel the gluten developing as I went but was also a bit skittish about overkneading a rye (perhaps I was too cautious, though, with just a 40%...) I do know I was a degree short of the dough temperature of 78F that Hamelman mentions... I'm wondering if I could have gotten a bit more rise out of this loaf and a better crumb though. Still, I'm looking forward to the next loaf! It tasted quite good.

Here's the crumb, btw:

40 Rye crumb - Copy

MIchael_O's picture

Sandwich Bread with scoring

What I baked on the weekend. Simple White Bread. Inspired by my trip to New Orleans and eating Gendusa's PoBoy Buns. :)

kendalm's picture

In case it has become obvious that's my battle cry when something exciting emerges from the oven - this time (not included in photo 6 delicious little licorice canele) some nicely caramelized grignes and pretty nice crumb (at least on my overly critical crumb gauge). Nice thing about this bake is it's a 24 hour cold retard which lends well to a very flavorful loaf. On a side note thought a blog entry might be more appropriate thanks to the suggestion of icedemeter ;)

LydiaPage's picture

Boule bread - August 11, 2017

Well this was an interesting lesson!  I made the loaves to share with family, and I will say there is not a slice left of them tonight.  That aside - if I was a surgeon my patients would have bled out.  This slashing stuff is no joke!  I watched the example videos provided multiple times, and it looked simple enough, but in reality my nervous, slow, heavy hand dragged the dough all over the place.  The result was NOT pretty (Warning, sad picture below)!

Forming the loaves was not too bad.  I used the same ratio of ingredients in my dough as my previous bread and shaped them, enjoying the feeling of working the soft dough with my hands on the cool granite counters.  They came together beautifully, puffing up in their baskets and begging to be baked.  I used rice flour as direct - this miracle substance left even the puffy slightly sticky dough gliding across any surface it touched.  I butchered the top with my unpracticed slashing, and popped them in the pre-heated oven (I had unglazed quarry tiles in 500F heat for an hour).  The first came out, and I was happy - the temperature was perfect, it was rustic and still round, golden and lovely. 

The second followed suit, and when I cut in to them today I was happy with the pretty even crumb, and the taste delivered in the nutty tones with soft springy texture in the two slices I snagged from the basket.  

So all in all I think I get a C+ in this one.  A for effort and taste, and a D minus for slashing and appearance.  Who knew baking and butchering could be divided with such a fine line!

dixongexpat's picture

Had some leftover I need to get rid of, sooo....

Took my most recent recipe and added the rye on top - then calculated 70% hydration for the water.

The wet dough looks and feels about like the previous loaf so hopefully things will work out. Rising for three hours, then mix and stretch w/ the usual ingredients...


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