The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


dabrownman's picture

It has been forever since Lucy made a bread of any kind or posted about it.  I don’t eat bread anymore because my diabetes is harder to control and I would rather drink a glass of wine, beer and bourbon after thinking about it - when sober. Hard to get snockered on one glass though.  It’s like being in a diet by limiting the plate size.


Lucy, off course, still has onset renal failure due to her ancient age but she is way, way better now a days.   We figured out that we were killing her with the two dog foods. One dry and one wet mixed together, she loved to eat.  Now she eats food for her condition that is 10 times more expensive but only has 4% protein instead of 30%.  Who knew you could kill your dog feeding her good food and save her by feeding her crap food?  Low percent protein is good sometimes…..


It’s summer but the monsoon has been sparse, only one day of rain so few great sunsets.  Not nearly as hot as usual either.  We’re becoming more of a desert with lower temperatures, only 106 - 110 F, and not much rain.  Since we got rid of the grass in the front yard, our water usage is way down and it is nice to see the desert in bloom all summer.

Lucy still has her 8’x20’ patch of the grass in the back that required a new electric mower to mow.  No more having the fuel go bad and clogging up the carb and fuel lines every year.  It only takes 90 seconds to cut it every week and she loves sunning herself and rolling around in the grass.  Lucy misses baking bread but she is too old to remember what it was like - just like me.  Still, it is better to make and eat great bread than eat crap bread……. if you don’t have renal failure or diabetes.

We had a lot of electrical things going wrong in the house after 33 years of not fixing anything when it broke.  The great thing was that we could get them all fixed in a day by a great electrician who happens to be from Gumbo Land – New Orleans.  So, we made him a SD bread that could have come from there.  Foodies love all kinds of good food. 

He thought it was weird that I made bread though.  I guess bread making doesn’t fit the normal lazy, retired, fat man profile…….. especially when almost no one makes bread now a days especially sourdough.  When I told hm I would make him a loaf he said  – really?  I told him it wasn’t a big deal and it would only cost a buck to make.  When he saw it he said …..Whoa – haven’t seen a bread like that before and I told him me neither since they all look a bit different.

I asked him what kind of bread he wanted - whole grain made from fresh ground flour, sprouted flour bread, fruit bread, nut bread, olive bread, cheese bread or whatever it didn’t make any difference.  He said he would leave it up to me.  I told him a New Orleans style SD with some whole grains, but still a white bread, would remind him of home and Gumbo.   No time for sprouting grains and get the bread done in 48 hours.

A few days before, my wife finally needed another loaf of her sandwich bread with school starting up again.   So, I baked 2 loaves in two weeks – a new recent record.  When I started my wife’s loaf and got the flour out it had been infected by evil weevils so I had to toss it all out and get some new but some of the tossed flour was sprouted Khorasan and spelt so these breads lack those goodies.My wife’s bread is 30% whole grain; red and white wheat and rye in equal amounts, 20% pre-fermented flour bran levain at 75% hydration and made in a wide tin.  The other one is 20% whole grain, 10% pre-fermented flour bran levain at 72% hydration.


Both levains took forever to double, over 24 hours each, since the NMNF rye starter was near the end of its usefulness and has been in the fridge for well over half a year with no maintenance.  There is only 5 g left to refresh for another half a year – but I’m retired so I haven’t gotten around to it yet – maybe tomorrow or next week!  It took me a week to get this written up as well.  It seems to take at least a week to do anything now a days


We did the slap and folds and stretch and folds over 2 hours and then let it sit for an hour before a final shaping and panning or basketing for the final proof.  The tin was retarded for 2 days and we just left the basketed boule out on the counter overnight in a plastic bag since time was short and Lucy gets me up a 5:15 every morning with the bad hunger pains that have no end.


The tin was baked in the aluminum Magnaware Turkey Roaster and the boule in the CI Lodge Combo Cooker.  Both turned out very nice with the tinned bread nicely sour to go along with its more sandwich bread style crumb.  The boule had the 3 B’s in spades bloom, bold and blistered even though I forgot to spritz it again.  The boule I’m sure was more open and less sour but we didn’t get to see it or taste it.

Meat  - Ribs and sausage, Country style ribs, chicken

The food has been the same around here – varied and plentiful with lots of salads.  Been swimming every day trying to lose weight and get back into some kind of shape with emphasis on some kind.  At least I git a tan out of it.  Lucy is doing great and sends her best.


Turkey Bolognese and Salmon

Pork Chop


Bacon Cheese Burger, home made hot pickles and baked wedge fries

Tacos and Grilled Tortilla Pizza


Breakfast Turkey Bubbles and Squeak, Omelet and Pancake


Hotbake's picture

With pureed chipotle with adobo sauce, a spicy loaf 😋I like the color!


The ground chorizo taste so good, but it makes an ugly looking crumb, kind of look like patches of some kind of brownish porridge that I failed to mix in lol next time I'll use a diced up dried chorizo instead.

Another failed double slash, too straight, too long...



The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

The Roadside Pie king method

Here you have it pie lovers the complete unabridged Pie King method. Enjoy!

Annamarie7's picture

Hello everyone.  Have been baking breads for 59 years and still learning.  Found this blog today while looking for a way to salvage an old dough bowl I purchased at a yard sale some years ago.  The bowl developed a crack and I'm hoping to save it as I love old items.  Have two old rolling pins.  One was given to me 59 years ago when an elderly lady was breaking up home and she asked if I could use it.  Yep!  Have use it exclusively all these years and it's like brand new.  Rescued another similar one from a yard sale.  Was wondering if dough can be raised in an old crock as I have several of those.  I have made fermented cabbage(sauerkraut).  Just love making bread though and have made gluten free bread as well.  So happy to have found you.

Elsie_iu's picture

No formula really worth posting so I’ll just be sharing some recent food photos today.


30% sprouted spelt 20% durum 50% Red Fife wheat


10% each purple rice, sprouted spelt & sprouted rye ciabatta


Sweet & spicy shrimps and soft scrambled eggs with rava upma


Korean rice rolls with baby herrings


Pressure cooked rutabaga lamb shank stew


Chinese sausage & brussel sprouts risotto with baked grouper. Sounds weird but it's good


Farfalle with sugar snap peas in porcini mushroom cream sauce, and seared chicken thigh


Rutabaga biryani with egg drop mushroom curry


Vietnamese Pho (oxtail broth and all the fixings), peanut butter coconut curry with coconut toast, brussel sprouts and green beans in XO sauce, and sweet and sour salad (peppers, daikon radishes, cucumbers and fried shallots)


50% kamut egg yolk bread


Happy eating :)


The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Day 1: 08/07/2019

10:00 A,M. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (GMT -4)

  1. I decided on the dried fruit I will be using. I had some dried dates on hand and I picked up a package of one ingredient, organically grown raisins. 
  2. using 120 Degree F. domestic hot water and a new sponge I washed the containers.
  3. The containers are left to air dry.

rgreenberg2000's picture

I decided that I wanted to change things up a bit this week, after falling into a rut making the same bread every week for a while.  Looking back through some of my favorite breads from the past, I decided that I would bake a rye sourdough with a nod to PiP's 40% rye.


343g AP

254g Dark Rye (Bob's Red Mill)

38g WW (fresh milled, hard red spring)

120g mature levain (100% hydration, fed WW flour)

385g Water

13g Salt

I used my typical process for this bread.  Mix all but the salt until incorporated, then rest for 30 minutes.  Add salt, use pinch method to incorporate, slap/fold about 30x, rest 30 minutes.  Gentle stretch folds about 20x, rest 30 minutes.  Four gentle folds, rest 90 minutes.  Four gentle folds to help release the dough from the container, then pre-shape and rest for 15 minutes.  Final shaping (batard in this case), proof in a banneton for 75 minutes, then into the fridge for about 4 hours. (NOTE: all "resting" done at RT since it was pretty warm.)

Bake covered at 475F for 15 minutes, then uncovered for 20 minutes.

I was very happy with how this turned out, and I think my dough handling skills are getting better......I remember this same bread at same hydration really being a major pain the first time I made it! :)

Fresh out of the oven:

Crumb shot:

Kicking myself for not making some pastrami...... :)


ifs201's picture

After an epic failure Saturday (I decided to create my own porridge sourdough recipe and it was pancake batter), I decided to try the Sarah Owens recipe for Seeded Turmeric and Leek Sourdough from her book Sourdough. I made some slight modifications. I did 1.5x the recipe since her loaves are on the small side. 

The recipe was 75% hydration, but closer to 80% including the olive oil used to sauté the leeks. I sautéed 275g of leeks with 1tsp turmeric and black pepper. Once browned, I took off heat and added 20g poppy seeds, 30g flax, and 1 diced shallot. The add-ins were incorporated in the 2nd set of mixing. I really focused on improving my shaping method this time and also used an oiled bowl for the bulk since I felt I was tearing the gluten removing the dough from my 6qt Cambro container. One of my scores was awesome and the other one not so much. The crumb was pretty standard for me, but trying not to worry too much about a fairly closed crumb and instead focus on how moist ant tasty it is! 




Whole wheat19%
Rye 3%
Bread flour 78%


Day 19ambuild levain 
 4pmMix water, levain, and flour (autolyse) 
 4:45pmadd salt and extra 20g water 
  Trevor Wilson mixing method 5min, 15 wait, 5min 
 5:30pmStretch and folds every 30 minutes 
 8:00 PMPreshape, shape, fridge 
Day 26:00 PMBake 




julie99nl's picture

I started this at the same as my post with  champlain leavened with yeast water, but this one fermented as expected.

Using Hamelmans swiss farmhouse as a recipe building starting point, I used 10% yeast water to start my levain.

For 4 dough balls of 230 grams for a total of 920 grams

Build 1 :

81 grams 5 stagione tipo 00

51 grams apple yeast water

Fermented for about 6 hours at RT where it tripled in size and had a nice dome

Build 2 :

120 grams 5 stagione tipo 00

76 grams regular water

137 first build


Fermented overnight for about 10 hours at RT where it more than tripled and had just peaked


Final dough:

308 grams 5 stagione tipo 00

217 grams water

10 grams salt

51 grams discard (for some extra flavor)

333 grams apple yeast water levain


Started with 1 hour autolyse but felt the dough needed a little more time so I could mix by hand. Ended up with a 2 hour autolyse.

I added the rest of the ingredients in one go to the autolyse dough. It was  a little strong so I had do some old fashioned elbow grease mixing and kneading, then gave it a 1 hour rest and then did one fold. Since it still felt strong and tight, I decided to leave it at 1 fold. I used a good glug of nice olive oil in my bulk container as a sort of double hydration/bassinage. Which the dough absorbed by the end of bulk. It really started to take off and at 3 hours had almost doubled so I decided to divide and shape.

After shaping it wasn't slowing down so after 15 minutes it went into the fridge at for about 26 hours. This afternoon at around 2 I took them out for dinner around 7. It was lovely and easy to stretch.

I'm not great with pizza, as I'm still trying to figure out the best settings in my oven. This is baked on a baking steel approximately 10 inches away from the top element. It started closer, but the dough rose so much it tore when I wanted to turn it.

I gave it a 1 minute par bake so I wouldn't have  a soggy bottom and then finished topping with tomato sauce, grilled mushrooms, onions, tomatos and chorizo and fresh mozzarella and a little pecorino romano.





julie99nl's picture

I thought this would be a good bread to test out my yeast water. Problem is, I weighed and mixed it while a crisis was unfolding and I must have weighed my water wrong. The dough was a sloppy mess and fermented so fast I didn't think I could do anything with it. I threw it into the fridge to try and reign in the out of control fermenting going on. It was 2 hours in bulk and already very proofy and I had only done 1 fold and it was just spiraling out of control. In the fridge after 1 hour it was still growing and growing, so I decided to just throw in the towel and shape and bake.

I didn't even take photos during the process because it was just a crazy mess. This bread normally ferments 5-6 hours for me. This is how it turned out with 3 hours total bulk.

It actually didn't turn out that bad, and it was delicious with a very slightly sweet scent. I'm making it again tomorrow with more care to my weighing..



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