The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


davidg618's picture

I haven't made an olive loaf in more than a year; I'd forgotten how delicious olive sourdough is. I checked in both Bread, randMaggie Glezer's Artisan Baking, but found the dough formulae nearly identical to what I bake routinely, so this is just my usual sourdough: 10% Rye and 90% White flours at 68% hydration, with Kalamata olives, halved and pitted. Some of them were as big as walnuts.

David G

yozzause's picture

Hi there to conclude the holiday we travelled from Darwin to Adelaide on the Ghan , the train named after early explorers use of Afghan  camel drivers opening up the continent. The modern Ghan caters for 4 styles of travel, the Platinum class where opulence is the name of the game at about A$3,000 Gold comes in at A$2,000 where you still get good sleeping berths and fine dinning  We then have red class and you have a sleeper but dining is taken in a club style dinner and finally you have the red sit ups which is reclining chairs and the use of dinner and shared shower and toilet facilities this is where we travelled, and  for A$15 extra you could use the club car that had 24hr tea and coffee and club style seating for socializing.

The journey starts at 9.00 am with the first stop at Katherine where you are able to leave the train for a variety of tours,  we Explored the Katherine Gorge.

After some 4 hours the train sets off throughthe night occasionally allowing passing freights to pass at long loop sidings in the middle of nowhere. The next morning we pull into Alice Springs for another lengthy stop and more optional  excursions, the one that i took was to see the old Ghan where the steam train used to run, it was very good not so much for the old train but a world class motor museum that has a huge collection of historic as well as modern trucks. Another night spent before waking to the sight of the Flinders Ranges  and gradualy the outskirts of suburbia.

We had a nice hotel in Adelaide and caught the free tram into the markets here are some of the photos that i took of bread on sale also some of the wine we sampled in the Barossa.



All up a very good holiday can recommend Darwin and Kakadoo  train was good even travelling on the cheap like us at back packers rate of A$666 no frills but fun. Adelaide will definately have to visit again. Got into the zoo at childrens price on our youth  hostel pass and saw the giant Pandas and their great enclosure.  

Regards Yozza    


yozzause's picture

After seeing some really lovely ryes here recently I thought it was time to give it a go, so this morning whilst refrehing my sour dough i thought rather than toss it out i would put it to work.

I used 500g of coarse rye meal and 100g of white flour 200g of ripe sour dough culture, (just my standard white culture refreshed twice a day normally) and 14g of salt to this i added enough water to make a batter the same consitancy as the sour dough culture and just whisked it with my hand for a few minutes till it felt that it had all come together i then pour / scraped it into a bread tin and used a wet spatula to smooth the top a bit like trowelling cement really dusted it with rye flour and placed it in a plastic bag  for 4 hours.

To my great suprise when i returned it had passed the top of the tin and had stuck ever so slightly to the plastic, i hadn't expected it to have made it that far actually. Any way i fired up the combi oven and in 5 minutes i had it in the oven with a bit of steam for 6 or 7 minutes and then let it bake at about 185C for the best part of 40 minutes.  

It was then onto the cooling rack and  when it was barely cool enough we sliced it to see and taste. It had a certain amount of sourness that we don't normally detect when using the same culture in other doughs.

I was quite pleased with the openess and the texture of the crumb especially as there had been very little mixing to develop what gluten the white flour and the sour dough culture brought to the mix. The German program manager loved it and took the remainder of the loaf home for the family to comment upon, but is still looking for a heavier loaf with what he refers to as champagne style aeration, minute little holes in great profusion. for me it was quite moorish and well worth the 5 minutes it took to bring together  the 4 hour proof  with virtually no moulding skills required.

another bake was a quick go at Baguettes using instant yeast with 24 hour retardation of the dough  and then shaped a quick fermentaion period and baked off, time was a bit of an issue and i think i could have allowed them a bit more final proof  but other than that quite happy

regards Yozza

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

-Update 14/09/11: added some photos of 100% WW and 70% WG Rye

-Update 15/09/11: added crumb shots of 100% WW and 70% WG Rye

Initially I only planned to bake two kinds of bread that fitted well into a family holiday schedule:

7.00 being woken by our 5 year old

7.15 to 7.30 preparing pre-ferment (rye sour or biga)

8.30 breakfast

9.30 to 19.00 being busy with having fun

19.30 to 22.30 baking time

As it turned out this schedule worked very well, but peer pressure from TFL and the family made me bake a much greater variety of bread, specifically: Bara Brith, Pain de Campagne with variations, 70% Rye sourdough with variations, Potato Bread, 100% Wholewheat Sourdough, Pizza, White French Bread

Unfortunately I can't post many pictures as the camera charger gave up during the holiday, but I will bake some of the breads again in the near future and post photos then.

Notes about the formulae (explicit formulae follow below):

  1. Bara Brith: I used Elizabeth David's recipe – it is a very dry dough, so I added a bit more milk. The original uses 150 ml milk per 450g flour, I used 170g milk. I also used a different flour mix: 400g strong white flour (Hovis) plus 50g wholewheat flour (Tesco's strong stoneground organic). Very nice result. Below my first try, with a bit of Welsh countryside:

  2. Pain de Campagne after DiMuzio (I have his “Appendix Of Formulas” on my phone). Once by the book and once with biga and 50% wholewheat. Both turned out nice, but the latter one could be tweaked.

  3. Potato Bread (after Elizabeth David). I used the original formula – this uses 4.4% salt. As I had no idea how potatoes would affect salinity I went for it. Nice bread (smell, consistency), but too salty. Couldn't eat it. I'll retry with 2% salt.

  4. French bread: 300g flour, 200g water, 6g salt, 2g instant yeast. Mixed and proofed in the evening, retarded in fridge and baked before breakfast.

  5. 100% Wholewheat Sourdough, inspired by DiMuzio and Andy, great result, formula given below.

  6. 70% Rye sourdough with variations. Details given below.

 It was quite amazing to see how all of this baking fit in with our busy holiday schedule, without putting too much strain on family life.

 100% wholewheat sourdough:

 Straight formula:

Wholewheat flour 423g (100%)

Water 317g (75%)

Salt 8.5g (2%)

Yield 748.5g (177%)

 Flour from Soaker: 33% at 75% hydration

Flour from preferment: 33% at 75% hydration

 Soaker (kept in fridge for 12 hours):

Flour: 141g

Water: 105g

 Preferment (kept on bench for 12 hours, at 22C):

WW flour: 141g

Water: 105g

Mature rye starter (80% hydration): 25g

 Adjusted Dough:

Flour: 141g

Water: 105g

Salt: 8.5g

Soaker: 246g

Preferment: 246g

 Bulk proof at 24C: 1.5 hours

Shaped into loose boule,

Final proof: ca. 2 hours

Reshaped boule into loose envelope shape (as in some of the Pane di Altamura videos)

baked immediately at ca. 230C for 30 minutes without steam.

Complex taste and quite open crumb for a 100% wholegrain bread.

Photos of the bake on 14/09/11 (a 750g loaf)

The dough after final proof (could have done a little longer, but started to get fragile)

After shaping (right into the oven from here):

And after the bake:


The crumb of the 100% wholewheat bread is not great, nowhere near the nice open structure of the bread I made in Wales, although I think this one tastes even better. I attribute the crumb appearence to a number of causes:

  1. I rushed this bread (a mix of family duties and misjudgement of the dough development)

  2. The starter was slightly over its maximum

  3. The flours I used here were quite different: I am running out of stock and had to use a mix of Canadian high gluten wholewheat with low gluten wholewheat (both from Waitrose), whereas for the holiday bread I used Tesco's strong organic stoneground wholewheat.

  4. I stretched the dough too much when shaping.

I'll work on this and report back in a separate post.

70% Rye with variations

Update 14/09/11: Got the percentages slightly wrong when I wrote my notes - this now reflects what I actually baked. Must have been tired ...

These breads are based on the German Mischbrot formula which I posted earlier

 Straight Formula:

WG Rye flour: 70%

WG Wheat flour: 30%

Water: 75%

Salt: 2%

Instant Yeast: 0.3% (optional)

WG Rye flour from preferment: 28% at 80% hydration, (using 10% ripe WG rye starter, 12 hours on bench)

WG Wheat flour from soaker: 30% at 74% hydration (12 hours in fridge)

WG Rye flour from scald: 22% at 80% hydration, after cooling kept in fridge

I used different amounts of instant yeast to stagger the breads – I could only bake one loaf at a time.

Bulk fermentation ranged from 45 min to 2 hours, final proof for 1 hour at 22C.

The loaves were shaped with wet hands into rounds for freestanding bake.

I made 4 variations of this bread; all had a wonderfully complex taste:

  1. Without soaker and scald, with 20% sunflower seeds

  2. as given

  3. as given, plus 20% sunflower seeds

  4. as given, plus 3% caraway seeds

Despite the quite strong taste these breads go very well with all sorts of foods, even jams. Stilton cheese complements the bread flavours especially well.

Photos of the bake on 14/09/11 (two 750g loaves)



A very pleasing bread.


ananda's picture

Wheat Levain and Kamut Boules Baked in the Wood-fired Oven

Last Monday and Tuesday Alison and I were joined by my family who came up to help with a number of projects we have on the go just now.   Many thanks to my Mum and Dad and Brother and Sister-in-Law, for all their help.   The initial project which dragged them up from northern and eastern corners of Yorkshire to the far north of England was to try to make some improvements to the firing efficiency of my wood-fired oven.   My family have watched and supported me from afar in my summer baking antics, and I believe my brother’s offer to try to improve the potential of the oven was an offer of genuine enthusiasm to help me expand my own baking activities in the longer term.

Whilst the rest of us slaved away inside, Dave dismantled the chimney section of the oven, modified the design and then re-built it.   We built a small fire on the second afternoon to verify that things had improved; they had!

After my first 3 day stint in Leeds and a lovely Saturday evening entertaining friends at home with a lovely South Indian Fish Curry, I had some time to fire up the oven properly over 2 days, and bake bread in it.

I fired the oven gently on Sunday, then somewhat harder today in the gales resulting from an always unwanted hurricane emanating from the US and blasting over from the Atlantic.   The chimney seemed none-too-stable, but the fire roared nicely in the end.

My leavens had been a little neglected, so it was a good time to spend re-building their strength too.   I have a number of different speciality flours in the store cupboard at the moment, some in just very small amounts; others I held slightly more of.   These were left over from the TFL baking course at Newcastle College which ran near the end of July, just before my escape.

I decided to make some bread using the half kilo of Kamut flour I had in stock.   Andrew Whitley (2006; pp.87) explains that it is

“Considered to be an ancient relative of durum wheat, Kamut is the registered tradename for a cereal derived from 36 grains mailed by an American airman in Egypt to his father in Montana in the 1950s.   Its production is always organic and is controlled by the Quinn family.   Kamut is generally higher in protein than wheat but with poorer-quality gluten.”

I used a flour mix consisting of 30% Kamut, 20% Gilchesters’ Pizza/Ciabatta flour and 50% Carrs Special CC Bread Flour.   The leaven was made with the bread flour, and the amount of pre-fermented flour was 20%.   I suspect this was a trifle too low.   I began with 50g of stock levain which was built to 530g over 14 hours and 2 refreshments.   Hydration was in excess of 71%.


Here is the formula, recipe and method:


Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Levain; 2 refreshments




32 [flour 20, water 12]

512 [flour 320, water 192]




2. Final Dough




32 [flour 20, water 12]

512 [flour 320, water 192]

Gilchesters’ Pizza Flour



Carrs Special CC Flour



Doves Farm Organic Kamut Flour






Organic Salted Butter









% pre-fermented flour



% overall hydration








    • Mix the flours for the final dough with the final water required, and autolyse for one hour.
    • Combine the autolyse with the levain, salt and butter and mix gently to a dough.   Develop by hand-mixing a further 10 minutes.
    • Bulk proof the dough covered for 5 hours [leaven portion too low!], with one S&F after 1½ hours and another after 3½ hours.
    • Scale and divide into 2 x 1.04 kg pieces and one piece just over 700g.   Mould round and place upside down in prepared bannetons.
    • Final proof, covered for 3½ hours
    • Tip each loaf gently out of the banneton onto the peel, cut and bake in the wood-fired oven for 50 minutes.
    • Note that I used a wet tea towel to line the oven door as a source of steam; this was primitive, but worked surprisingly well.
    • Cool on wires after taking photographs.   Cut the loaf open far too early under temptation and enjoy a slice splattered with butter well before you really should!

These were very tasty loaves indeed!!   Oven spring was good, although the dough had been a trifle slow to prove all day.   Here are the photographs; not perfect, but the oven is well on the way to being able to perform how I always hoped it would.


So, all in all, a good few steps forward.

Codruta asked me about the “factor” in the table on the last post and I forgot to answer; sorry Codruta!   The factor is the number that is used as a multiplier to move from formula to recipe.   In this case, it is 16; so the total flour is 1600g, from 100%.

Best wishes to all


Mebake's picture

This is my second take at Hans Joakim version of Pain au Levain with Whole wheat. Recipe can be found in Hans's Blog here.

The Recipe Differs from Hamelman's in The amount of Rye and Wholewehat added, in addition to the levain. In this recipe, All rye is in the levain, and  is mixed with the remaining ingredients for the 30 min. autolyze. Salt is added thereafter.

(Edit: I've increased % of prefermented flour to 17%)

I loved the idea of Rye Sour being the leavining agent, as it enhances sour flavor, which it did, and allows for faster bulk and final fermentation.

I stretched and folded the dough letter wise, as opposed to the S&F in the bowl in my previous attempt. The Dough was very smooth and lively, and developed extremely fast!

The Flavor was, as expected, slightly sour. This bread fairs really well if cold retarded for 8-12 hours. I like Rye sour levain, as it refreshes faster with 1-2 refreshments, as opposed to white levain's 3 refreshments.


txfarmer's picture

Sending this to Yeastspotting.

Index for my blog entries


First saw this formula from Shiao-Ping's blog post, which is adapted from Mariana-aga's blog post here. I stuck to the original version pretty closely but added 20% of toasted sunflower seeds for extra flavor. I was a little wary of baking an 100% rye in free form, but as long as fermentation is managed well, I can still get decent height and volume.

Noticably sour with strong rye flavor, this is a complex and delicious loaf. Very easy to make too.

I followed the original method of bulk fermenation for 2 hours, then shape and proof for 35-50min (40 for me). While some say bulk fermentation is not necessary for rye breads, I find bulk rise +shape +proof helps to redistribute the air bubbles, leading to a more even crumb.

brent123's picture

i here can oneone help me out if i add  to much of L cystiene to my dough what faults will i get in the hole process

GSnyde's picture

 Since my Danish pastry adventure last week, I’ve been keeping it simple.  Last Sunday I baked some of my San Francisco Country Sourdough (8.5% whole wheat, 6% whole rye, 40% liquid levain, 75% hydration).  I’ve reported variations on this formula before, for instance here (…and-oven).  Last week I used bread flour in the levain instead of all purpose, to get a bit chewier crumb.

It rose mightily and had good oven spring.  And the crumb was a bit denser than usual due to the higher-protein flour in the levain.  It had a nice,  mildly sour flavor.

Then today, I baked Maggie Glezer’s “My Challah”, with shaping assistance from my live-in semi-professional braiding advisor.

We did have a wide variety of previously frozen baked goods this weekend.  Brother David and his wife Susan were visiting, and we had some baguettes and some Tartine BCB and some of the gooey delicious Pecan Rolls I baked last week.  I heard no complaints (not that I was listening).

I also understand that David and Susan stopped for lunch today at Della Fattoria in Petaluma on their way back to Fresno.  Perhaps we’ll get a report on that nearly legendary bakery (maybe there are legends about it; I’ve just never heard them).

In addition to good eating, we enjoyed the cool North Coast weather and our late Summer garden, with its multi-colored Heathers.


SylviaH's picture

I've just returned from my first visit to Aspen, CO.  

I went with my daughter to visit the new vacation home, she's been busy decorating.

She showed me all over Aspen, wined and dined me day and night.  It was an amazing week, I came home with the 'Rocky Mountain Highs".

The weather, town, new home and food were all so beautiful!  And, we missed 'The Blackout"...


Feeling a little guilty, I baked the boys some sourdough bread before I left...'Robbie, my grandson requested 'sourdough'!

Basic white sourdough at 100% hydration levain, 65% total hydration

Crumb shot : ) have to have one of those : )

Oh yes, and how about a cracked crust..enhanced by a 'Bold Bake' and face first, gringe, drop on the floor :-/


                  And now for the really fun part.  "My, Rocky Mountain High"

      The day before leaving, I came down with a very sore throat, to say the least..something my husband said was going around at his workplace and even my girlfriend in Vegas confirmed she had too!  So, I started my antibiotics along with the advice of my daughter to be sure and consume plenty, plenty of water before going from my sea level altitude to 7000ft and above altitude.


Short rainshowers most afternoons.


Main Street Bakery      One of our morning stops for breakfast or brunch.  There's one other bakery we like even better..usually packed to the door, both of them.  Sorry, didn't get photos of the other local's bakery and lunch cafe..they close at about 3 in the afternoons.

They serve delicious breakfast, lunches and pastries.


I loved this beautiful large old home across the street from the Main Street Bakery!  Mandy said it was for sale for I think she said 14 million... it had offers, but no sale.  Years and years was this old mining town's mortuary!  It did look kind of haunted, especially face on and up close!

Not far away, another Victorian, this one, a charming bookstore, with an 'Organic Resturant' included in back, upper level.

Up the mountain to a lovely lunch of fresh trout. 


Yep!  That's me, biking around the's gorgeous, full of Victorians, that look like gingerbread houses.

In front of Jack N. home. I thought it was a little creepy looking.. :)  Lance A. home around the corner. 


There's lot's of black bears in the neighborhood, just waiting to get into your food and garbage..garbage cans have locks!


Last evening in Aspen.  Dinner of whole Dover Sole and fine wines.  Before dinner they bring plenty of bread, appetizers and parmesian from a hugh wedge brought to your table.  Resturant is at the foot of the ski lift.


                                                               Just for fun!

                                     Earlier this summer... grandson, friend, grand daughter, youngest grandson, daughter and instructor.



                                 "Planking"     friend and instructor ..... granddaughter laughing her off ... two grandson's and my daughter.





            Back from the Rocky Mountain High and to baking :-) Sylvia










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