The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Donuttybaker's picture

So decided to dive right in and give cristal Bread a try. Not sure if I got it but damn this bread is tasty. Crispy, light and just the right amount of chew. 

Would love to hear everyone’s feedback. Thanks

WatertownNewbie's picture

My wife and I recently finished a vacation with two days in San Francisco.  We decided that visiting bakeries was a good way to navigate the city and see some new neighborhoods (at least new to us).

First stop was Acme Bread in the Ferry Building.  A wide selection, and I opted for a sour baguette.  Definitely a nice sour flavor.  Excellent crumb and crust.  This was good to munch on, and was the leader in finding a sourdough with the classic taste.  (We decided not to get anything from Boudin, so I cannot comment on their bread, but they do seem to be everywhere.)

Next was the Mill (aka Josey Baker Bread).  The photos posted on TFL showing a strong dark bake are representative.  Again a fine selection available, and I chose another baguette.  Really great flavor in the crust.  The crumb was good, but not as distinctive as the crust.  The atmosphere at the place was great too, with classic rock being played (from vinyl LPs no less).

Lastly for the first day was Arizmendi.  My wife got a slice of pizza, and I purchased a standard batard.  After two baguettes (and other food) already that day, I had no room for more bread, but I did take the loaf with me on the plane ride home.  A nice crust (great blisters) and crumb.  Certainly a solid bake, and no complaints.

The next day we began at the original Tartine.  Knowing that we would be going next to the Manufactory where the bread is now baked, I chose a Pain au Chocolat, and my wife had a croquette.  Both were superb.  Hard to think that the little hole in the wall was where Chad Robertson set up shop and achieved his following.  We then walked to the Manufactory, which is spacious and has a different vibe.  For about an hour I stood and watched the team making baguettes.  First the giant dough mixers, then the dumping of the dough, the pre-shaping, and then the final shaping.  One person in particular made shaping a baguette look like child's play.  Then we went into the main restaurant area, where I had a bowl of soup and some bread (a portion of a Basic Country loaf).  Superb bread.  Great crust and crumb.  Easy to see why Tartine bread has become so popular.  We got a loaf of the Country Bread to bring home.

If you are in San Francisco with some time to explore, it is simple to traverse the city via the excellent public transit system.  We got a day pass and used our smart phones to find what bus we needed to get from one place to the next.  (Thanks also to those of you who have posted suggestions of bakeries to visit in San Francisco.)

dabrownman's picture


Oppssss.  Mabel is very shy and doesn't want her pictures posted.  She is a cutie for sure though!

Elsie_iu's picture

Experimenting with sprouted rye...



30% Sprouted Rye Sourdough


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

105g      35%       Whole spelt flour

105g      35%       Whole Red Fife wheat flour

90g        30%       Sprouted rye flour (wet sprouts were dried at 100°C)


For leaven:

14g       4.67%       Starter

43g       14.3%       Bran sifted from dough flour

43g       14.3%       Water


For dough:

257g      85.7%       Dough flour excluding bran for leaven

143g      47.7%       Water

90g           30%       Whey

100g      33.3%       Leaven

9g               3%       Vital wheat gluten

5g          1.67%       Salt



307g        100%       Whole grain

283g       92.2%       Total hydration


Sift out the bran from dough flour except pearl millet flour, reserve 43 g for the leaven. Soak the rest, if any, in equal amount of water taken from dough ingredients.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 3 hours (27°C).  

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the leaven and salt, autolyze for 15 minutes. Knead in the reserved ingredients and ferment for a total of 1 hour 45 minutes. Construct a set of stretch and fold at the 15 minutes mark and 30 hour mark respectively. Fold in the add-ins at the 30 minutes mark.

Shape the dough directly then put in into a banneton. Retard for 14 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. The crumb appeared very sticky when I cut into the bread after 2 hours, so I placed it into a zip-zag bag for 20 hours longer before slicing the rest of the loaf.



The crumb hasn’t really set even after 20 hours. It stuck to the knife when sliced and would benefit from toasting for a firmer texture. I thought of two factors that might have contributed to this. The first is the use of sprouted rye. Amylases supposedly have been denatured after being heated at 100°C but I can’t be sure. The second is that the bread was under-baked. My instant read thermometer was broken so I couldn’t check the temperature…

Despite the poor texture and crumb, the taste is not bad. It’s moderately sour and sweet at the same time. The sprouted rye gives the loaf a malty character, which can be noticed especially from its aroma.




Pressure cooked curried lamb & mushrooms fusilli


Bored of fish quesadillas? Tried fishcakes quesadillas instead :) With Edam cheese and ancho & guajillo chili sauce


Paniyaram and poha


Smoked almonds & green beans spaghetti in curry leaves pesto


Easter lamb meatballs with ghee roasted carrots & potatoes and hummus


Easter-inspired dinner: Roasted asparagus, spiced carrots and potatoes, mini peas quiche in spring roll wrappers, spaghetti in white wine garlic mussels sauce, and shio koji pan grilled pork collar chop (Not burnt! Trust me)


White sandwich loaf: 20% pearl millet 10% Indian atta



Benito's picture

A bit of background about me, I quite new to bread baking having only really starting this year and having some success following the methods of Peter Reinhart in Artisan Breads Everyday for commercial yeasted breads.  I decided that I would like to try sourdough and if I was going to do that I would also try my hand at making a sourdough starter.

My first attempt didn’t seem to work out, I followed Peter Reinhart’s instructions from Artisan Breads Everyday, but after several days and little apparent activity I gave up and started again.

My second attempt I followed Peter Reinhart’s instructions for a seed culture again and things were going fairly well, however, the phase 4 seed culture seemed to have only a bit of vigor.  After two days in phase 4, I decided to discard all but 100 grams of the seed culture, which had a very pleasant acidic smell and then added 100 g of water and 100 g of unbleached bread flour.  I am hopeful that this will become more vigorous with regular 1:1:1 feedings.  I should say, I didn’t really know any better and started this with all purpose whole wheat flour that wasn’t organic.  I will keep this one fed and going and see what happens.

 Now my third attempt, but this time with Sourdo Lady’s instructions found on this site.   I found some organic sprouted rye flour at Whole Foods and decided I’d use this flour to make a seed culture.  Hopefully third time’s a charm. 

I will try to update with photos in the next days of my adventure.

SeasideJess's picture

 Khorasan Chia 100% WW

Hi Friends!

After a yeasted bread baking hiatus, I've been trying again to learn to make bread with 100% home milled whole wheat. It's going a bit better this time. I'm using Peter Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads" with enough resulting success to keep baking. It helps that I'm currently feeding a household of two adults and three 18-year-olds on a tight budget! Past me was kind enough to purchase lots of nifty tools, like a grain mill, a pizza stone, a Dutch oven, etc etc, so I can make bread for the price of the grain in my local bulk bins (pretty darn cheap.)

Here is a picture of 50% hard red winter, 50% Kamut brand khorasan wheat, with chia seeds added.

This is PR's recipe for whole wheat focaccia, with two modifications: chia seeds added, hydrated separately as how Janet described in her chia sourdough post; sifted-out bran,  hydrated with boiling water before cooling and returning to the dough. 

The khorasan makes the dough very strechy. I was expecting a more open crumb but probably over-handled the dough making the boule and degassed it. Nonetheless I was very happy with the crust, crumb, and flavor.

I have also subsequently used this same dough to make two long loaves, more like ciabatta style, which came out (slightly) more open, with an extraordinary sweetness to the smell of the crust. I have no idea why. 

Bröterich's picture

Overnight Country Brown — Happy Easter


Danni3ll3's picture

This is basically a Pain de Campagne but with a bit more whole grain. I figured that a fairly plain loaf, meaning no add-ins aside from the flax, would go well with an Easter Dinner meal. 



 Makes 3 loaves


150 g high extraction spelt flour (200 g Spelt berries)

150 g high extraction rye flour  (200 g rye berries)

150 g high extraction Kamut flour (200 g Kamut berries)

820 g unbleached flour

50 g freshly ground flax (50 g flax seeds)

950 g filtered water

24 g Himalayan pink salt

30 g local yogurt

250 g 100% hydration levain (procedure for this is in recipe)


 The afternoon before:

  1. Mill the Spelt , Rye and  Kamut berries and sift to obtain the needed amount of high extraction flours. Place the required amounts in a tub. Save the bran for feeding the Levain and for another use such as bran muffins. Reserve any leftover high extraction flour for feeding the Levain in the evening and the next day. 
  2. Add the unbleached flour to the tub. 
  3. Ground the flax seeds in a bullet and add to the tub. Cover and set aside.
  4. Take 18 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 18 g of filtered water and 18 g bran. Let rise in a warm place. 

The night before:

  1. Before going to bed, feed the levain 36 g of water and 36 g high extraction flour. Let that rest in a warm spot overnight.

Dough making day:

  1. Early in the morning, feed the levain 72 g of filtered water and 72 g of high extraction flour/AP flour and let rise 4-5 hours in a warm spot. 
  2. Two hours or so before the levain is ready, put 950 g filtered water in a stand mixer’s bowl and add the flours from the tub.  Mix on the lowest speed until all the flour has been hydrated. This takes a couple of minutes. Autolyse for at least a couple of hours at room temperature. 
  3. Once the levain is ready, add the salt, the yogurt and the levain to the bowl. Mix on the lowest speed for a minute to integrate everything, then mix on the next speed for 5 minutes. 
  4. Remove dough from bowl and place in a covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes at room temperature (73F). 
  5. Do 4 sets of stretches and folds at 30 minute intervals, then do two more sets on hourly intervals. Immediately after the last fold, place the dough in the fridge for 4 hours. The dough almost doubled. 
  6. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~860 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 60 minutes 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 or big bubbles. 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 half rice/half AP flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons. Cover with plastic bowl cover or shower caps. 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. Then take the loaves out of the fridge. 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.

Oops! They hit the lid so the tops are flat. That will probably affect the crumb. 😳I need to remember to use less flour next time! 

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

On today's installment of cooking with Pop-Pop, we will take you through the steps for reviving Slo-Mo from his golden, albeit chilly refrigerated slumber, and prepare for a bake. For this exercise, we will need the following. 60 g of sleeping wild yeast @ 100% Hydration 1- 4 cup Pyrex glass storage container with a lid 1- 1/2 Pint Ball canning jar with a lid 1- slender mixing spoon 1- digital scale Bread flour UN-chlorinated Water. Step 1- Weigh 20g of the starter into the 1/2 pint jar (This will be your reserve.) Step 2- weigh the remaining 40g of starter into the 4 cup container (This is the "mother" for our dough build) For the next step, we will be mixing in equal parts of flour and water into our starter. The goal here is to keep the poolishes/ levain at 100% hydration. The simple equation to accomplish this is: Equal parts Flour + Water + Starter = 100% Hydration example: 20g Flour +20g Water + 20g Starter = 60g Starter at 100% hydration. Step 3 Using the formula above mix up your two batches of culture one to reserve for next time and one to be the mother of our bread. Be sure to mix the ingredients until all the flour is wet and the poolish looks smooth. Step 4 Cover and set both containers aside in a warm place (72-74F,) check in on the progress after about an hour or two. Step 4 Once you see signs of fermentation activity (bubbles on the surface and a sweet nutty aroma) you can put the 1/2 pint jar into the refrigerator. Allow the 120g of mother starter to continue to ferment until the next feeding (about 12 hours.) In actuality, I did not save enough starter on Thursday, leaving me with only 45g of mother to build on. Here is the 60g reserve just before it went back in the refrigerator. As you may have noticed this technique leaves us with no waste/discard to deal with; very clever indeed! To be continued.....

Skibum's picture

I have been quite lazy over the past couple of weeks buying my hot cross buns from the local bakery. I finally decided to get busy and bake a batch. The recipe I used was Floyd's recipe which I searched on this site and uses commercial yeast. I normally use a natural yeast starter, but have also been lazy of late in feeding my starter. Next batch of buns perhaps.

Happy baking and Happy Easter! Ski


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