The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


mikedilger's picture

There is a graph going around which compares the growth of yeast to LAB across the temperature range.  The yeast being compared is C. milleri.  What disturbs me about this graph is that people interpret it as being the only yeast relevant to their sourdough.  It's not.

The Graph

C. milleri is not the dominant yeast species in ANY of the 567 sourdough samples genetically analysed by the .  However, a lot of research has found C. Milleri to be present in the most powerful starters. Most of the older sourdough samples (the best and most well known) are dominated by the famous and well known Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

S. cerevisiae has been studied quite a lot, and its temperature dependent growth is fairly well studied and modelled [1][2][3][4].

I include a much better graph for this yeast (the upper solid line marked "Sc" is Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  The lower dotted line is irrelevant).

I think both yeasts are relevant.  The optimal temperature for maximizing your starter's leavening capacity [Edit: probably not, too many complicating factors, especially LAB competition] probably depends on what temperature you've been keeping it at (and thus the balance of yeasts), but I would expect it to be around 29-30C, which is damn good for both of these yeast varieties.



[1] Cheung et al., 2015, The Effect of Temperature on the Growth Rate of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

[2] Mensonides, F.I.C., Schuurmans, J.M., de Mattos, M.J.T, Hellingwerf, K.J. and Brul, S. 2002. The metabolic response of Saccharoymces cerevisiae to continous heat stress. Molecular Biology Reports, 29: 103-106.

[3] Authur, H., and Watson, K. 1976. Thermal adaptation in yeast: Growth temperatures, membrane lipid, and cytochrome composition of psychrophilic, mesophilic, and thermophilic yeast. Journal of Bacteriology, 128 (1): 56-68.

[4] Salvado, Z., Arroyo-Lopez, F.N., Guillamon, J.M., Salazasr, G., Querol, A., and Berrio, E. 2011. Temperature adaptation markedly determines evolution within the Genus Saccharomyces. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77 (7); 2292-2302.

dmsnyder's picture

Mixed Grain Sourdough Bread 

March, 2019

David M. Snyder



After the disappointing attempt to replicate Larraburu Brothers' San Francisco Sourdough Bread, I needed solace. The best cure for failure is to get up and do better. 

I had recently had a nice message exchange with Dan Larsson, a very talented young Swedish baker. He posted photos on Instagram of a gorgeous loaf that was 20% fresh-milled Einkorn flour. In response to my questioning, Dan said Einkorn added a lot of good flavor and also speeded up fermentation. (It was not clear that was an Einkorn or just a whole grain flour effect.) Anyway, I decided to formulate a sourdough bread with 20% Einkorn just to see what I thought. I happened to have a bag or Einkorn berries, and I milled some fine Einkorn flour with my Mockmill100 for this test.


Total dough

Bakers' %

Wt (g)

AP flour



Whole rye flour



Whole wheat (Einkorn) flour












I fed my starter with a flour mix consisting of 70% All Purpose flour, 20% Whole Wheat flour and 10% whole rye flour. I pre-mix these flours and keep them in a large, air-tight glass jar to use as needed. A typical pre-mix batch would be 280g AP + 80g WW + 40g Rye flours.

Note: For this bake, I used home-milled Einkorn flour for the “Whole Wheat flour” in the Final dough.



Bakers' %

Wt (g)

Flour mix






Stiff starter







  1. Dissolve the starter in the water. Add the flour blend and mix thoroughly until the flour has been completely incorporated and moistened.

  2. Ferment at 76ºF for 6 hours


Starter 2

Bakers' %

Wt (g)

Flour mix






Stiff starter







  1. Reserve 50 g of the ripe Starter 1 for another purpose.

  2. Dissolve 20 g of the ripe Starter 1 in the water. Add the flour blend and mix thoroughly until the flour has been completely incorporated and moistened.

  3. Ferment at room temperature for 5-6 hours.

  4. Refrigerate overnight.

  5. The next morning, let the starter come to room temperature during the autolyse.



Final dough

Wt (g)

AP flour


WW Flour


Water (85ºF)




Stiff levain





  1. Mix the flour and water at low speed until they form a shaggy mass.

  2. Cover and autolyse for 90 minutes

  3. Add the salt and levain and mix thoroughly.

  4. Form the dough into a ball and place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  5. Ferment at 76º F for 31/2 to 4 hours with a stretch and fold in the bowl at 30 minutes and 60 minutes and a stretch and fold on a lightly floured board at 90 minutes.

  6. Divide the dough as desired or bake as one larger loaf.

  7. Pre-shape as round(s) and rest, covered, for 10-30 minutes.

  8. Shape each piece as a boule or bâtard and place in a banneton. Place banneton in plastic bags.

  9. Proof at room temperature (68-70º F) for 1-2 hours. Do not over-proof. (My loaf was very puffy after 1 hour.)

  10. Cold retard overnight.

  11. The next morning, assess the degree of proofing. The loaf may be ready to bake or need additional proofing. Act accordingly.

  12. 45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 500º F with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  13. Score as desired.

  14. Bake at 460ºF with steam for 15 minutes, then for another 25-35 minutes in a dry oven.

  15. (Optionally) Turn off the oven, and leave the loaves on the stone, with the oven door ajar, for another 15 minutes.

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

I did not note that fermentation was any faster than usual, compared to other doughs with similar proportions of whole grain flour. I did note that the dough seemed less absorbent than usual, but then I have been baking breads that, most often, have at least double this proportion of whole grain flour.

On the other hand, there was amazing oven spring, and I don't think the loaf was under-proofed .... at least not by much.

The crust was crunchy, but becoming chewy. The crumb was tender-chewy. The flavor was wonderfully balanced with a prominent lactic acid mellow sour and just a touch of acetic acid tang. Lovely! We had some for dinner with Joe's Special.

For those not in the know, this is a very traditional San Francisco specialty invented by the long-closed New Joe's Restaurant, which was right on the Northeast corner of Broadway and Columbus in the heart of North Beach. It is a scramble of onions, ground beef,  spinach and eggs. It might have garlic. I seasoned it with salt and pepper only.  I added sautéd mushrooms. Some inauthentic versions add wine.  Very delicious hot or cold.

Happy baking!



Filomatic's picture

Polish Milk Rye (chleb z mlekiem) from The Rye Baker, page 309.  It uses  a wet rye sponge as well as commercial yeast and has 60% medium rye (home ground and sifted), 40% bread flour, eggs, milk, molasses, and caraway seeds.

It's was a fast developing dough that shaped easily with gentle handling.  It's tasty and has quite a subtle flavor and would go with practically anything.  I can't recall working with a dough with such low hydration (~60%) since I started making sourdough.

davey1025's picture

So I scored these breads all from the same batch of dough. As you see the ear on the one is so nice but in the others my scores seem as though the dough is over fermented. These came out of the fridge and into the oven.


Any thoughts?


nice ear


Elsie_iu's picture

Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present to you… another over-fermented loaf! :) You see, that’s what happens when you think to yourself, “No big deal, the dough can wait for another 30 minutes,” but it’s in fact more than enough time for proteases to go wild and destroy the structure of your dough…



30% Sprouted Buckwheat + White Wheat SD


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

120g      40%       Whole white wheat flour

90g        30%       Whole spelt flour

45g        15%       Sprouted white wheat flour

45g        15%       Sprouted buckwheat flour


For leaven:

10g       3.33%       Starter

30g          10%       Bran sifted from dough flour

30g          10%       Water


For dough:

270g         90%       Dough flour excluding flour for leaven

100g      33.3%       Whey

145g      48.3%       Water

70g        23.3%       Leaven

5g          1.67%       Salt



305g        100%       Whole grain

280g       91.8%       Total hydration


Sift out the bran from dough flour, reserve 30 g for the leaven. Soak the rest, if any, in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 4 hours (24.5°C).

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the salt and let it ferment for 15 minutes. Fold in the salt and ferment for 3 hours 45 minutes longer. Construct 3 sets of stretch and fold at the 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 1 hour mark.

Preshape the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes. Shape the dough then put in into a banneton. Retard for 8 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.



Since I left the dough at room temperature for too long, enzymatic activities took over yeast fermentation. The dough showed signs of break down after the retard and collapsed in the oven. Despite that, the crumb isn’t too bad and is moderately open.



Usually I toast buckwheat before grinding it into flour, which imposes a robust and smoky flavour to bread. This time the buckwheat was only sprouted but not toasted as I was curious how buckwheat tastes in its “raw” form. It appears that the drying effect associated with buckwheat is entirely attributed to the toasting process. This bread is very moist, unlike other buckwheat bread I baked in the past. It also has a clean sweet taste instead of the sometimes overwhelmingly earthy flavour toasted buckwheat carries.




The pressure-cooked lamb was so tender and flavourful…Kashmiri Mutton Rogan Josh with white wheat & rye SD naan 


Ah that cheese! Emmental cheese mushrooms fusilli bake


If only all dishes look so colouful… Blackened shrimps tacos with cucumber lettuce slaw on homemade corn tortillas


Italian dinner: yellow datterini tomatoes & grilled zucchini with aged balsamic, honey lemon roasted chicken with red onions, (over-stuffed) pepperoni & mozzarella pizza, salmon pasta in white wine cream sauce, and chopped salad with tomato camone (super tasty!!), yellow bell peppers, cucumbers and lettuces


Indian egg kothu paratha or Mexican migas or neither? Made using bajra (pearl millet) roti instead of corn tortillas or paratha


Bread1965's picture

It's been a long last year and my starter - Charlie - has been pretty neglected. I'm finally getting back into baking some nice bread. I didn't have any whole wheat flour in the house, so made a Tartine basic country loaf using unbleached locally milled bread flour.  I used coil folds instead of stretch and folds inspired by Trevor's technique. During bulk the structure really seemed to develop well.  I gave it a fourteen hour cold retard and baked it this morning. It had a beautiful oven spring - it easily doubled. The interior structure still doesn't look as uniform as Trevor's but I'm very happy with it. The dough was nicely moist, soft and the loaf had lots of spring as I cut it.  Being Italian I was, of course, bred on bread since 1965!  My mom inspired my love of bread.  And as it's all fresh and I'm missing her, I'm dedicating this to #mom...


Abe's picture

Thank you David (dmsnyder) for the inspiration. Saw your bake and had to try it myself. 


Saturday Morning 11am: Freshening

  • 4g starter
  • 12g water
  • 8g whole rye flour

Fermented for 6 hours at 26°C (78.8°F)


Saturday Afternoon 5pm: Basic Sour

  • 24g freshening sour
  • 76g water
  • 100g whole rye flour

Fermented for 16 hours at 23°C  (73.4°F)


Sunday Morning 9am: Full Sour

  • 200g basic sour
  • 270g water
  • 270g whole rye flour

Fermented at 29°C (84.2°F) for 3 hours. 

[Recipe advises 85°F but my yoghurt maker only goes up in whole numbers using °C but it's very close and because it's a large amount of sour that's well insulated I think it would have been higher anyway. Recommendation was 3-4 hours but it was super active and smelling wonderful after just two hours. Stretched it to 3 then went onto the final dough]


Sunday Afternoon 12pm: Final Dough [reduced the recipe by 20% to make one big loaf instead of two loaves and kept the remainder sour which I added back to my starter]

  • whole rye flour 338g
  • whole wheat flour 160g
  • water 338g
  • salt 14.4g
  • [optional dried yeast 6.4g - which I did not use]
  • full sour 592g


  • mix all the ingredients for about 10 minutes
  • bulk ferment for 20 minutes [10 minutes in the recipe but because I didn't use dried yeast I doubled it]
  • shaped into pullman and proofed for one hour
  • sprayed the top with water and baked in a preheated oven at 230°C for 15 minutes then 35 minutes at 210°C with no fan and bottom heating elements on only. Removed from loaf pan, turned on both elements and fan then returned the loaf for 10 minutes. 
Joseph's picture

This time I went for something a little larger, as I'm getting very satisfied with the outcome of these breads using a 12 hour autolyse. I also added a little fennel for the aroma. Second time with this and once again, smelled of vinegar as dough in the morning and as baked bread.

Final Ingredients
   2.4 oz   Starter: 100%H Sourdough, Fed separately
 12.0 oz      Flour: Hard Red Wheat K.A.F.
 10.2 oz     Water: Cold, Filtered
  1-2  tsp      Salt: Fresh Cracked Sea Salt
 ~1/4 tsp  Fennel: Dry McCormick Seeds

Thurs.    ~21:00   Levain: Take Starter (Abuelito) out of the fridge
Friday      ~7:00                Feed Starter
              ~19:30                Feed Starter
                          Autolyse: Mix Flour, Water and fennel in covered bowl
Sat.         ~7:30  Ferment: Add Starter, then salt, on dough, between stretch and folds. Cover
             ~20:00                  Degas, stretch and fold. Re-cover
             ~21:30                  Degas, stretch and fold. Re-cover
Sunday     7:00                  Degas, stretch and fold. Re-cover
                 7:40 Preshape: Move dough to counter, fold 4 times and place seam side down
                 7:45      Shape: Gently tighten, tucking dough underneath
                 7:50                  Place same side up in proofing basket. I line a loaf pan with damp paper towels. Cover
                 9:50                  Preheat oven, with whole Dutch Oven inside, to 450F. Uncover Loaf
               10:00                  Transfer bread, cover, place in oven.
                               +30 minutes: Remove from Dutch Oven, leave in Oven.
                               +15 minutes: Remove from oven

Inoculation: ~9.7% final dough weight.        Dough Weight: 24.8 Pre-Baking, 20.5 Post-Baking
Ferment: 24 hours at room temp. 68 F.       Proof: 2.0 hours at room temp. Baked for 45 minutes


Danni3ll3's picture

It was time to redo this one as it is one of my favourites. Recipe is adapted from Sarah Owens. 




Makes 3 loaves of ~ 885 g unbaked boules


Oat Soaker

245 g Rolled Oats

480 g Boiling Water



800 g Unbleached Flour 

200 g High extraction Spelt Flour (230 g Spelt berries)

540 Water 

726 g Soaker

80 g  Honey

22 g Salt 

30 g Yogurt

250 g Levain


Mid afternoon the day before:

  1. Take 18 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 18 g of filtered water and 18 g of bran or wholewheat flour. Let rise in a warm place. 
  2. Mill the Spelt berries and sift to obtain the needed amount of high extraction flour. Save the bran for the levain or another use. 
  3. Place 200 g of the high extraction flour in a tub and add the unbleached flour to it. Cover and set aside.

The night before:

  1. Place the rolled oats in a bowl and pour the boiling water over the oats. Cover and let soak overnight. 
  2. Before going to bed, feed the levain 36 g of water and 36 g of AP flour flour including any left over high extraction flour. Let that rest in a warm spot overnight.

Dough making day:

  1. Feed the levain 72 g of filtered water and 72 g of AP flour and let rise 6 hours in a warm spot. 
  2. Two hours before the levain is ready, mix the water with the oat soaker on the lowest speed in the bowl of a stand mixer until the mass has been loosened up. Add the flour and mix on speed 2 until all the flour has been hydrated. This takes just a minute or two. Autolyse for a couple of hours.
  3. Once the levain is ready, add the salt, the honey, the yogurt and the levain to the bowl. Mix on speed one for a minute to integrate everything, mix on speed 2 for 5 minutes. 
  4. Remove dough from bowl and place in a covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes. 
  5. Do 4 sets of folds at 30 minute intervals, then do another 2 sets an hour apart. Place the dough in a cold fridge for 3 hours. The dough rose almost 50%. 
  6. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~ 885 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest one hour on the counter. 
  7. 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 patting out any cavities. 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 as tight boule as you can.
  8. Sprinkle rice flour, then rolled oats 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 for 9-10 hours. 

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 but quickly place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 30 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 17 minutes at 425 F. Internal temperature should be 205F or more.



I love this recipe. Even though I tweak it each time i make it, it never fails to give me big, beautiful loaves! 


dmsnyder's picture

San Francisco Sourdough from Larraburu Brothers

as described in

as interpreted by

David Snyder

February, 2019

Over many years, there has been much interest in reproducing the San Francisco Sourdough bread baked by Larraburu Brothers' bakery that closed in the early 1970's. The article referenced above seems the most likely accurate report available of Larraburu Brother's method. The following formula and methods have been extracted from that article, with a very few modifications as noted.

Total Dough




Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Bread flour (12% protein)



High gluten flour (14% protein)












Note: I used King Arthur Flour AP flour (11.7% protein) and Breadtopia's "High Gluten Bread flour (14% protein).






Wt (g)

Bakers' %

High gluten flour






Active starter






One day before baking the bread (e.g., before going to bed the night before you want to bake)

  1. Dissolve the starter in the water.

  2. Add the flour and mix thoroughly. Knead until all the flour is moistened.

  3. Place in a dry bowl and cover.

  4. Ferment at 80ºF for 9-10 hours

  5. Remove 50g of the fermented sponge and refrigerate for future use.


Final Dough



Wt (g)

Bread flour











  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the water and sponge cut in pieces to soften the sponge.

  2. Mix the salt into the flour and add it to the mixing bowl.

  3. Mix the dough at slow speed to thoroughly mix the ingredients, then at medium speed to obtain medium gluten development. (A medium window pane.)

  4. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour. (Note: The article does not specify the temperature for this step. I think room temperature is most likely.)

  5. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Pre-shape as balls. Cover with a cloth and let rest for 10-30 minutes to relax the gluten. (Note: The 10-30 minute rest after pre-shaping is my addition, but it is “standard operating procedures” in most artisan bakeries.)

  6. Shape the pieces as boules or bâtards and place, seam-side up, in floured baskets or on a linen or parchment couche.

  7. Proof for 3-4 hours at 105ºF in a humid environment. (Note: I placed the formed loaves in bannetons and place the bannetons in food safe plastic bags and clip them shut. Then, I proofed the loaves in a Brød & Taylor proofing box.)

  8. One hour before baking, preheat the oven with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  9. Transfer the loaves to a peel and score as desired.

  10. Bake at 460ºF for 15 minutes with steam, then at 450ºF Convection bake for another 25 minutes in a dry oven. The loaves are done when thumping the bottom gives a “hollow sound,” the crust is nicely browned and the internal temperature of the loaves is 205ºF.

  11. Cool thoroughly before slicing.

Notes for future bake: Relatively dull crust suggests either over-proofing, insufficient steam or both.

The crumb was well-aerated, demonstrating adequate fermentation, but quite dense. It was essentially identical to other loaves I have baked with 50-60% hydration doughs. There is no danger of your jam falling through big holes onto your lap with this bread! The flavor was that of a French pain au levain - sweet and wheaty with only the subtlest lactic acid overtone. There was essentially no acetic acid tanginess. It's good white bread but not anything I would identify as "San Francisco Sourdough."

I could fiddle with the hydration and flour mix, I suppose, but I am not optimistic about the basic method ever hitting the target.



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