The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


isand66's picture

 This is a version of my go to hamburger/hot dog bun/rolls formula.  Last time I made this with fresh milled rye so this time I used fresh milled whole wheat instead.

As usual they didn't disappoint.  I made these around 160 grams so these will fit the biggest burger you dare to use.  They are nice and soft and flavorful and perfect for burgers, sandwiches or just with some eggs and cheese for breakfast.


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 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 160 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.  If you want seeds, brush with an egg wash and sprinkle on your toppings.  I used poppy seeds and smoked sesame seeds.

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.




dabrownman's picture

.Lucy and I have been working hard on her app that makes food invisible and has no smell so that fat people like me can lose some weight because we won’t be able to find the food we would normally consume.  Here is a picture of a delicious Chinese 9 course meal…..can’t see it can you?  Lucy rests her case    but not so fast.


Sadly, the no smell part still has a way to go.  It doesn’t smell like Chinese food but it does smell like a large pile of rotting flesh that has been in the sun to ripen.  I know you can’t smell it but believe me it is pretty putrid.  I’m pretty thankful she isn’t close to the no smell part because it keeps her from working on her app to replace everyone’s job and Silicon Valley is already spending billions to do just that as it is.

Back to bread.  Lucy said I should have spelled Chacon Shacon to get the 3 S’s in the title but I told her Tom Chacon would be really upset if he saw it.  She didn’t remember who Tom was though… even though he left TFL in haste and in a huff after Lucy made him semi famous.  Just shows how pride and ego can make you fail big time, every time!  In this case Ch sounds exactly like Sh so the alliteration still works!

A Chacon is a great way to make a bread that stands out for a special occasion.  As I have said before, if I had a bakery, I would bake a weekly special bread in some kind if chacon design and then sell it for a buck more to make some extra profit.  The special occasion this time was the Summer Solstice Challenge Bread.

Miso Pork Stir Fry with Shiitaki Mushrooms

We spent about 5 minutes extra to come up with the sun design and get it in the bottom of the basket.  Lucy said we should have spent more time on it but I told her that time is the one resource that I have so little of, that I just can’t spare more than that extra on any one bread thing when it takes a couple days to make a simple Sourdough bread like this as it is.

Thai Green Chili Veggies with Tofu

She wanted to make sun’s rays yellow and orange using durum, corn meal and food coloring to make them pop and I’m sure next time she can do whatever she wants.  It does sound pretty good though.  At least they stand out pretty good as it is.

Instant Pot Osso Bucco for Yippee!

Simple this bread is otherwise.  All white flour, 10% pre-feremtned Lafama AP levain using 10 g of NNMNF rye starter at 100% hydration that was retarded for 24 hours.  The dough flour was half Smart and Final unbleached AP from the bins and half High gluten flour from the bins so we ended up with bread flour.

Now doing carrots in the same pan with the rosemary steamed then seared potatoes in butte.

The original recipe was 75% hydration overall but it felt too dry so I upped it to a bit over 78%.  When making a chacon, if you get it too wet the design won’t pop like it should.  We did a 30 minute auto;yse with 1.9% PH sea salt sprinkled on top.

Once everything came together, we did 50 slap and folds to get everything mixed and then did another set of 50 slaps 30 minutes later to get the gluten moving along nicely.  Then we did 3 sets of 4 stretch and folds from the compass points also on 30 minute intervals.  Then, into a plastic covered, oiled, SS bowl for a 16 hour retard in the fridge.

We let it warm up on the counter for an hour before starting the chacon process.  We started with a ball in the middle and then made the rays like a small baguette and then cut them in the middle to get a point at one end and a fatter end that attached to the ball in the middle.  We just eyeballed them.

Goat brie with Colby jack cheese and white peach lunch with this bread today.

Then we shaped the remaining dough into a boule and placed it on top of the design in the bottom of the basket and put it into a plastic grocery shopping bag to proof on the counter for 1.5 hours.  Then we um-molded it onto parchment on a peel and slid it into the 475 F combo cooker, lid on for 18 minutes of steam at 450 F.

Lid off and 16 more minutes of 425 F convection heat to get it to 206.5 F.  We took it out of the bottom of the combo cooker 8 minutes before the bread was finished so the bottom didn’t get too dark and we didn’t bake it to 210 F like normal because the design was getting too dark and we didn’t want it to burn.

Lucy always reminds us to have a great salad with any dine meal.  She did with honey goat cheese, blueberries and heirloom tomatoes this time with the usual cucumber, green onion, carrot, crimini mushroomsshaved fresh Brussels  sprouts, Romaine and iceberg.

We like the way it came out and it does remind us of the Sun and the Summer Solstice.  Have to wait on the crumb though.

It pays to have a good breakfast on bake day the day you can have SD pancakes easy as pie - for Leslie !

Adam4SD's picture

This is a keeper!

I mixed: Buckwheat, BF, Semolina, graham, white whole wheat and little bit of malted flour.

20% of plum levain and 80% water...

The crumb is very soft with medium openness but the best part is the smell!

Cedarmountain's picture

This photo was taken at dawn a few days ago. It is a field of heritage Marquis wheat grown by Cedar Isle Farm. They have carefully nurtured an initial very small seed stock over a number of years and now have enough seed to grow Marquis wheat for a modest commercial harvest.  I saw this photo in their Late Spring Update e-newsletter and wanted to share it with the TFL community if for no other reason than it's a beautiful picture!  Here is the accompanying excerpt from the newsletter:


Late Spring Update 2018

    " ...planted our saved seed of heritage Marquis wheat again this spring, and the seedlings are flourishing. Take another look at the photograph (at the top), taken at dawn. Those tiny drops of moisture are not dew (condensation of moisture from the air), but guttation.  When the soil moisture is high, and there is little transpiration from the leaves because daily photosynthesis hasn't yet begun, water can accumulate in the roots, creating a slight root pressure that forces moisture to exude through special glands in the leaves.  Cool, eh?

Happy Spring from all of us at Cedar Isle Farm!

Jim "

Cedar Isle Farm - Organic Grains CSA

3270 Chaplin RoadAgassiz, B.C. V0M 1A2Canada Copyright © 2018 Cedar Isle Farm - Organic Grains CSA, All rights reserved.
leslieruf's picture

My planned Solstice bake has not eventuated, it may still in a few days time.  Still this bake started on 20th, and finished today.  My very first 100% Rye bread - Madelaine Jude's Danish Rugbrod.  Here in NZ,  it is the winter solstice so maybe it is fitting.

20th June

9 am - 20 g Rye starter + 20 g water + 20 g rye flour leave on bench

8 pm Add 60 g water + 60 g rye flour and leave overnight

21st June 

8 am Add 60 g water + 60 g rye flour and leave on bench.  Cover 125 g whole rye berrieswith boiling water and leave to soak.

11:15 am Mill 65 g chocolate malted grain (I think it is probably barley, it should have been rye but that is all I could get) on the coarsest setting on my Mockmill.  It had a few chunks but milled quite fine and quite easily. 

Add 55 g boiling water to 62 g choc malted grain + 63 g kibbled rye, cover and leave.  It was like a very thick paste but almost crumbly.  Smelt like dark dark coffee.

7 pm Cook the soaking grains for about 12 minutes until tender but had to add a little water. Cover and leave.

Mix the final levain - Add 80 g water and 80 g rye flour and leave on bench overnight.

22nd June

9 am Mix together 150 g rye flour + 400 g levain + 15 g malt extract + the rye berries/kibbled malted grain mix (about 175 g).  This was such hard work, no way was it wet enough.  Double check recipe.  No additional water.  I decided to keep adding water until it became as author said  "stiff dropping consistency" - this took about an additional 140 g. By this time I am exhausted!! really really difficult to mix by hand - all I wanted to do was have a lie down!!

Here is dough just before I put it in the pan.

No salt?? double checked but no salt, ok.  Transfer to metal bread form, smooth top with wet spatula

and leave to double. It took 4 hours even though kitchen was probably at about 20 - 21 deg C.

Covered and tented bread form with foil and baked for 30 minutes at 220 deg C and 30 minutes at 180 deg C.  Internal temperature was only 170 deg F so I put it back for  another 30 minutes but uncovered. Internal temperature now 208 deg F so all good.

I will follow instructions and wrap bread and leave it for 2 days before slicing.  This was on my husband's wish list as he had spent some time in Denmark as a young man and wanted me to replicate the bread.  Time will tell if this is a true replication to the Danish bread he remembers.

It was quite a different bake for me, will post crumb once we cut it.






Adam4SD's picture

I finally got the color with 10 gram flowers steeped in 250 ml of hot water.  I compromised brighter hue by using higher % of whole grain flours but I am happy with the turmeric contrast. I would love to see larger holes in the crumb but not succeeding somehow...

Beatrice's picture

Well, I'm back with a new loaf of bread! This time I wanted to experiment something new and I decided to mix two of my favorite flours to create what I thought would be the perfect loaf to me.

I choose to go for 20% whole rye flour (that I think it's the same thing as dark rye in US) and 15% whole khorasan flour and all the process was smooth and relatively easy. 

But...there is a but! 

I over proofed even this loaf, I think due to the fact that the temperature, as I said in previous posts, is high up here and it is so difficult to adjust to this humidity, too. I tried to proof it less at ambient temperature (let's say 5 hours in total, counting also the earlier stages) and then I let it sit in the fridge for about 8 hours! But when I looked at it it was going over the basket and it was full of air as a balloon. 

I'm still really happy with the result because I love this type of crumb and the flavors are fab! I really love this mix.

I, indeed, have to better my skills in reducing the proofing time because sometimes I think that the retarding time in the fridge it is the most important thing but in reality it's the bread that decides and you have to go with it and not to fear changing your timings. 

As I said previously this is a learning process and I love to make mistakes that allow me to better and to think about this fantastic art!

Now the formula:

100gr whole rye flour

50gr whole khorasan flour

350gr type 1 flour (here in Italy)

410gr water

10gr pin hymalaian salt

100gr leaven (20gr type 1 starter, 40gr water, 40gr type 1 flour)

handful of poppy seeds for the top

The process was the same as the last post I did, so I don't want to bother you!

This is the crumb shot: as I said, I love the texture and the crust is crunchy due to the fact that I added poppy seeds (they are a burst of flavor and texture and they are super cute). It is the perfect bread to make sandwiches and bruschetta with and for this reason I can't complain. But next time I really want to have the proof right and to get a nice spring in the oven: in order to get a taller loaf but also to try to achieve a good open crumb (it is a challenge at this point).

I hope to read your feedbacks soon and I thank you in advance for reading me!

Happy baking, Beatrice XX

Lady_C's picture

Since going on a 1 day French baking course at Christmas I have been keen to continue my croissant baking journey. There are many blogs on here already but I wanted a place to be able to track my progress and perhaps help other's in the meantime - even if it's just to show how not to do it! 

The recipe I use is from the Bread Ahead baking book. 

500g strong bread flour (I can't get strong bread flour so I used bread flour which I think has 13% protein here) 

12g sea salt

55g sugar

40g softened unsalted butter

30g fresh yeast

140g full fat milk

140g water

250g butter

1 egg for the eggwash 

I have had varying degrees of success the 3 times prior to this blog post. The first batch I made were OK - some honeycomb structure but not as airy as I'd like them to be. You can see them here. Changes I've made since that batch are leaving the dough in the fridge just a few hours rather than overnight and proving for longer. 

This week I've made 2 batches - 1 is actually still proving. 

The first batch this week turned out quite bready - although some bizarrely more bready than others even though they're from the same batch. There was a little evidence of layers in some of them but not many. I'm sure the butter was too warm during the laminating so it's been absorbed by the dough. I had sliced the batter and made the butter block by rolling that out - quite thin due to advise from another baker on TFL. I'm now wondering if this only made it easier for the dough to absorb the butter when it got too warm? 

After some more reading on TFL I decided I was going to make some changes to the batch that are currently proving. I decided only to do half the recipe so that I wasn't using so many ingredients. Also given the hot and humid climate I:

- beat the block of butter to shape in some cling film and then rolled it to size, rather than slicing it and then rolling it

- cooled the butter before locking it in as I think that previously my butter has been far too warm 

- put the dough back in the fridge after the lock in for 15mins and put the rolling pin in the freezer - as far as I can see it this was a very important step given the climate 

- rolled and turned it and then put it in the fridge for 1h 30min until I'd completed 3 turns (envelope fold) - I will do this every time from now on 

- each time I'd put the rolling pin back in the freezer alongside some ice blocks which I used to cool my counter down for 10mins before I rolled out the dough - I will continue doing this as it seemed to help 

- left it in the fridge overnight 

- I began to roll out the dough but had to put it back in the fridge several times (for between 5 and 15 mins) before I'd reached the correct dimensions - will probably increase the time it's in the fridge between rolling out 

- I cut my croissants and began stretching and shaping them, however, by the time I'd got to the remaining 4 they had warmed up too much so I put them in the fridge for about 10 mins - next time I'll cut all the triangles out and then refrigerate them all for 15mins before shaping 

- I egg washed them and now they are proving...update to follow! 


So I proved them for 3 hours (maybe up to 3hr 15min ish) and then cooked them in the oven at 180C (although I turned the oven up to 200C just after I put them in to give them a bit of extra heat). The oven is enormous and doesn't cook that well. They were in there for 25mins and were still only light golden brown. 

You can see the layers on the outside of the croissants but the crumb isn't as open and I can't really work out why. They taste very light though and aren't as dense as the batch from earlier in the week. More photos here


Is it over proved? Is the butter still too warm? I made a batch in March that came out much much more open but I wasn't nearly as cautious in that batch with keeping the butter cold and was probably more heavy handed. I also proved that batch for about the same time but cooked it in my countertop electric oven rather than the gas oven. The electric oven only gets up to 180C. Could that be a difference that counts? 

You can see photos from previous attempts here. I'd be grateful for any feedback anyone can offer. 

Gersky's picture

I was in pursuit of a relatively cheap hobby and basically entered into the Google search bar: "stuff to do for free." One of the many lists I read through suggested I make some bread. One loaf later, and I was hooked!

My first loaf, not surprisingly, was based off of the Your First Loaf recipe from this forum. I combined 3 cups of AP flour, 2 tsp of instant yeast, 2 tsp of salt and 1 1/4 cups of water that I heated up in the microwave before adding. I attempted to shape it into a boule, but this was prior to any research on how to properly shape the dough, and it ended up being quite a blob-y looking thing with some ugly scores!

First Loaf


The result was some fairly dense (but edible!) bread. I was very pleasantly surprised, and inspired to try again and try implementing some "fancier" methods.

For my next loaf, I attempted another white bread, but this time I tried to autolyse the flour (~400g) and water (~300g) for 45 minutes. I think maybe I did it wrong, honestly, or had too much flour, because the flour never became fully saturated with the water and remained quite dry with a lot of leftover flour and dry chunks in the bowl. Not sure if my mixing (by hand) was inadequate or I just had too much flour in the mix.

Regardless, I let it "autolyse" for 45 minutes then added the yeast (approx 1 tsp because I didn't realize that's all I had left in the house) and salt (2 tsp). Tried to slap and fold for around 7 minutes. I almost felt as if the yeast was not enough to start the fermentation process, because this loaf sat for over 3 hours and barely rose at all! I decided to throw it in the oven anyway, expecting an inedible loaf, but after 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven, this came out:


I didn't even bother attempting to shape it because I thought it was a goner! Anyway, I was surprised by the interesting color/flour swirls in the crust and was pretty pumped by the holier crumb.

My last two loaves of the weekend were the ones where I felt like I was finally a little comfortable with the process. I weighed my ingredients, shaped fairly well, and attempted to score my loaves and each turned out decent! 

Loaf Three had 360g KA AP flour, 250g 90 degree water, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp instant yeast. Mixed together, slapped and folded for approximately 10 minutes, bulk fermentation for 90 minutes, de-gassed, preshaped and proofed for 40 minutes, then in the oven for 40 minutes at 375 degrees:


Loaf Four had 360g KA AP flour, 250g water heated to 90 degrees, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp instant yeast, and 1/2 tbs melted butter. Mixed together, slapped and folded for approximately 10 minutes, bulk fermentation for 90 minutes, de-gassed, preshaped, proofed for approximately 40 minutes, scored and in the 375 degree oven for 40 minutes:


Overall, I'm happy with my output. Everything was edible, nothing mind-blowing, but I had some toast and some sandwiches and some dinner bread that I made myself, and was very proud!


  • Start autolysing 
  • Score more successfully
  • Attempt the stretch and fold method instead of slap and fold
  • Attempt to make something with a pre-ferment

If any of you expert bakers have any pointers, tips or tricks, corrections or comments, I gladly welcome them. I'm happy to be starting my baking journey!

Rae Weniger's picture
Rae Weniger

Standard recipe, with added mixed seeds sesame, chia, poppy, and 1/6 durum wheat along with the white rye, bread flour and 100% dark rye starter / mother dough.





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