The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Rustic Rye's picture
Rustic Rye

Hello Fresh Loaf Community,

This is my first post on the site after reading recipes and browsing for the past several months. I have been really inspired and impressed by all the amazing bread I have seen here on TFL and want to join the conversation. 

The loaf was made using spent beer grains obtained from Somerville Brewing (Boston, MA) and naturally leavened thanks to Stefano, my sourdough starter. 

A few months ago, I took a bread making class at the brewery where one of the owners lead us through making a spent grain loaf with rosemary. That was tasty, but I wanted to improve the results using my starter. After taking some spent grain home and finding a great recipe on The Perfect Loaf (thanks Maurizio!) I began experimenting. 

During the beer making process, the grain is mashed, boiled, then separated from the liquid. The byproduct, "spent grain," is either thrown away of fed to farm animals. Instead of letting it go to waste, this batch of grain will instead go to feeding this animal, aka me, and feed my voracious appetite for artisan bread. With that in mind, baking with the spent grains gives me a deep satisfaction knowing that I'm putting something to practical use which would normally get thrown in the bin. 

I was pretty pleased with the crumb, which turned out light and airy, while maintaining a tender, chewy texture. This was a moderate hydration dough (80%) that produced a pretty light loaf. It had a nice nutty flavor from the grain, similar in character to a loaf with lots of whole whole wheat, but without any bitterness. Lately, I have been working on getting a consistent airy crumb with good rise and pronounced ears. This loaf seemed to have all three. Horray! 

Here's how I made the loaf:

Yields 2 large loaves. 

1. Levain build: 50 g starter, 50g whole wheat (WW), 50 g bread flour (BF), 65 g 90˚ F water. Let stand for ~5 hours in a warm area. 
2. Autolyse 2 hours before levain is ready: 100 g WW, 50 g rye, 850 g BF, 700 g 90˚ F water
3. Mix: Dissolve starter in ~60 g water then add to autolysed dough. Slap and fold for about 7 minutes then add about 20 g salt and slap/fold a few more minutes to achieve medium dough development. 
4. In 30 minutes increments, fold the dough a few times. Add 250 g spent grain right before the second round of folding. I found my dough needed 3 sets of folds, your dough might need less or more depending on the efficiency of your slap & folds after mixing. 
5. I let bulk fermentation go for about 3 hours, since the dough was progressing nicely. I let the dough sit for an hour after my last set of folds. 
6. Divide and preshape. Let sit for 20 minutes after preshape and before final shaping. Then into the fridge for the overnight rest.
7. The next day, preheated the oven to 500˚ F for about 45 minutes with my lodge combo cooker. I turned my dough into the shallow side, scored it, then baked with the lid on for 30 min, then removed the lid and decreased the temperature to 450˚ F for another 15 minutes.

Happy baking everyone,


alfanso's picture

We spent the month of November in northern California, where we lived for 15 years.  In SF for Thanksgiving with long long time friends, we stopped at one of the Arizmendi Bakeries that dot the bay area.  Among other delectables, we picked up their Sesame Semolina Jalapeño Cheese breadsticks, which we both fell for immediately.  Upon return home my wife asked if I could try to duplicate them.  So…

Looking for guidance here on TFL and the other sites, what I mostly saw was what would qualify as Grissini, those tall slender and sometimes gnarly things. I wasn’t interested in those near ubiquitous Skinny Minnies that are posted everywhere, nor those overly cheesy soft things that made a number of appearances as well.  No.  What I was after was a crisp sesame coated semolina version with some real girth to it.  The idea being to come as close to duplicating those treasured batons that we picked up in SF.

I relied on Jeffery Hamelman’s "Semolina (Durum) Bread" formula as my template, and then modified it to suit.  With the swapping out of the olive oil for more water and the addition of the two cheeses and jalapeños, this was no longer a Hamelman but an Alfanso with the nod to Mr. H.  This is a dough that uses an aggressive sponge, ready in 75 minutes in my 78-80dF kitchen.  

At 80g each, the breadsticks baked in a 460dF oven for 13 minutes with steam, 6 additional minutes and then 2 minutes more for venting.  And for a first time, I did not remove the parchment paper from under the dough.  Too delicate and messy to bother with.  

The Arizmendi breadstick, the real deal, exhibits both a pronounced cheese flavor as well as at the bite of the jalapeño in the back of the mouth.  I’m not quite there yet in either department, but the first inklings of the stronger taste are just beginning to show through.  Still have some work to do.  

Here is the formula normalized to 1000g, which is what I used for this bake.


Semolina Cheddar Jalapeño breadsticks with sponge     
Jeffrey Hamelman, mod by alfanso        
     Total Flour    
     AP Flour20.00%   
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1000 Semolina20.00%   
 Total Formula   Sponge  Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%509.7 100.00%203.9 Final Flour305.8
 AP Flour50.00%254.8 50%101.9 AP Flour152.9
 Semolina50.00%254.8 50%101.9 Semolina152.9
 Water69.00%351.7 70%142.7 Water209.0
 Salt1.80%9.2    Salt9.2
 IDY0.40%2.0 1%2.0 IDY0.0
 Sugar2.00%10.2 5%10.2 Sugar0.0
 EV Olive Oil0.00%0.0    EV Olive Oil0.0
 sharp Cheddar Cheese7.50%38.2    Cheddar Cheese38.2
 Parmesan Cheese7.50%38.2    Parmesan Cheese38.2
 finely chopped Jalapeño8.00%40.8    Jalapeño40.8
 Totals196.20%1000.0 176%358.8  1000.0
Total time: ~5.5 Hours.        

Finely grate both cheeses

Mix all sponge ingredients well.  Will ripen in 75 min. (in a 78-80dF kitchen).  CONCURRENTLY...

Autolyse final dough flours and water        
Combine the sponge and autolyse and hand mix well.  Add salt and hand  mix again.   
75 French Folds, then a 5 minute rest.         
Add cheese and jalapeno and hand mix to incorporate.  And a final 75 FFs more.And a final 75 FFs more.    
Bulk rise 90 min with one fold at 45 min..       
Divide into 80g pieces.  Rest 15-20 min. and final shape ~14-17 in. long.    
Roll in wet towel and then in sesame seeds.       
Onto couche, final rise 60 min.        
Preheat oven 480dF.        
Bake at 460dF with steam.        
13 minutes, remove steam, 6 minutes more.  Then vent for 2 minutes with oven off.   


During our absence our friend house/dog sat.  Upon our return I asked her which bread she’d like me to make for her.  She opened my looseleaf and while blindly flipping pages stopped on the Phillipe Gosselin Baguettes, levain version.  I have rarely made this in the 4 or so years since my first foray.  but as the lady asks, the dude abides.

M. Gosselin is another luminary boulanger in Paris, another who, I believe, also won the annual competition for best baguette in Paris.  The formula that I use was posted on TFL by David Snyder back in 2012.    And as you can see, these make for explosive oven spring and a quite open crumb.


Elsie_iu's picture

No vital wheat gluten this time.



Porcini Mushrooms Cheddar 30% Germinated Red Rice SD


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

150g      50%       Whole spelt flour

90g        30%       Germinated red rice flour

60g        20%       Whole Red Fife wheat flour


For leaven:

10g       3.33%       Starter

40g       13.3%       Bran sifted from dough flour

40g       13.3%       Water


For dough:

260g     86.7%       Dough flour excluding flour for leaven

100g     33.3%       Whey

132g        44%       Water

90g          30%       Leaven

5g          1.67%      Salt


For porcini sautéed mushrooms:

60g        20%        Diced king oyster mushrooms

1 tsp         -%        Dried porcini mushrooms, powdered 

1/4 tsp      -%        Onion powder

1/8 tsp      -%        Salt

1/2 tsp      -%        Cooking fats (preferably ghee)



-g               -%       All of the porcini sautéed mushrooms

50g      16.7%       Red mature cheddar cheese



305g       100%       Whole grain

277g      90.8%       Total hydration


Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 3.5 hours.

Make the porcini sautéed mushrooms. Heat the fats in a pan over medium heat, toss in the king oyster mushrooms and cook until caramelized. Put in the rest of the ingredients and mix until the mushrooms are well-coated in the powders. Deglaze the pan with a tablespoon of water or dry white wine. Remove them from the pan when the water/wine evaporates. Set aside until needed.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the salt and let it ferment for 20 minutes. Fold in the salt and the add-ins. Ferment for 1 hour 55 minutes longer.

Shape the dough and put in into a banneton. Retard for 10 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F.

Remove the dough from the fridge to warm up for 30 minutes. Score and spritz the dough then bake 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.



I’m not sure whether the bread was under or over-proofed so any comment would be appreciated. Neglecting the unimpressive look, the bread tastes pretty nice. After all, how could it be otherwise when cheese, porcini mushrooms and red rice are combined?



Germinated red rice is a really flavorful grain: it not only contributes sweetness, but also alluring aroma to this bread. I highly recommend you to give it a try if you can get it on hand. I guess you can also sprout red rice from scratch but I haven’t tried it myself.




A couple of stir-fries


Minced mutton okra dry curry with naan


Coconut raisins buns


Spiced pumpkin pancakes


Roasted spiced orange duck with Brownman’s killer gravy :)


dmsnyder's picture

For the past few months, I have been baking breads with 40% home-milled mixed whole grain flours. I have been playing with various combinations of whole wheat, rye, kamut and spelt. The hydrations have been between 78 and 83%. I have found the flavors wonderful, but the crumb a bit dry, especially after freezing.

Last week, I returned to a bread with 30% whole grain flours and 81% hydration. The crumb was more open, and the crumb was cooler and less "dry" feeling. The flavor was subtly sweeter. I think my 40% whole grain breads need higher hydration, even than 83%. Stay tuned!

I have also been thinking for some time about trying some new (to me) rye breads. This week, I made Hamelman's "Sourdough Rye with Walnuts." This is a 50% whole grain rye bread. It is leavened by a firm rye sour and a bit of instant yeast, but it also contains a significant amount of un-pre-fermented rye - 40% of the total rye flour. The amount of walnuts is high - 25% baker's percentage. It is very tasty, especially good with cheese. 

 I hope you all are having wonderful and delicious holidays!

Happy baking!


Filomatic's picture

This is my first brioche attempt, using Hamelman's recipe with commercial yeast.  I'm quite proud of it, but I'm not sure what it's really supposed to be like.  I'm not sure how cakey vs. bready it's supposed to be.  It certainly looks and tastes great, but I'm wondering if it's cakier than I'd like.

The problems I encountered were first that the pre-butter-addition mixing did not go as planned.  The dough was very dry, and was straining the machine.  So it's unclear to me if I achieved proper gluten development pre-butter.  Second, I'm not sure if it was adequately mixed post-butter to achieve the "sheeting" effect.  It's a very gooey dough, and it did get a bit of a windowpane, but I became afraid that I was going to overwork it if I didn't stop mixing at some point.  In all it was in there for 25 minutes or so, including several short couple pauses to inspect.

I would appreciate any thoughts people have on these questions.

isand66's picture

  I usually only put seeds on the outside of my breads but I decided to try adding it to the porridge and see what happened.

Well, I was pleasantly surprises at how tasty this one came out and the seeds add a nice extra burst of flavor as well.

The crumb was nice and open and moist as well.  This one is worth trying for sure.

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.

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 used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.   You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

Porridge Directions

Add about 3/4's of the water called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the water is absorbed.  Add the remainder of the water and keep stirring until you have a nice creamy and soft porridge.  Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature before adding to the dough.  I put mine in the refrigerator and let it cool quicker.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours  and the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, cooled porridge, olive oil, ricotta cheese, and salt and mix on low for 4 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.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 540 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.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 5 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.

davey1025's picture

Here is a tasty straight dough bread that is as tasty as it is simple to make.

Danni3ll3's picture

All of my other bread related obligations are done, so I can finally bake for the family. Cedar Mountain had posted a wonderful recipe that he called “Grass Bread”. This is an almost identical recipe with a few tweaks from me. Thank you, CM, for sharing that recipe.




Makes 3 loaves




25 g hulless oats and 75 g water

38 g wild rice and 114 g water

25 g barley flakes and 75 g water

63 g large flake oats and 125 g water



75 g rye berries

75 g spelt berries

75 g kamut berries

75 g Red Fife berries

750 g unbleached all purpose flour

725 g filtered water

22 g pink Himalayan salt

40 g local yogurt

250 g 3 stage 100 hydration levain (procedure in recipe)

Wholewheat flour/all purpose flour for feeding the 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 wholewheat flour. I used flour from our local miller. Let rise in a warm place (oven with the light on and door cracked open - 82F)
  2. Mill the grains and sift to obtain 250 g of high extraction flour. Save the bran for dusting the baskets as well as for another use. 
  3. Place the high extraction flour in a tub and add the unbleached flour to it. Cover and set aside.

The night before:

  1. Place the hulless oats in a pot with the water. Boil one or two minutes and turn off the heat. Let sit covered overnight on the stove.
  2. Put the wild rice and the water in a pot and let soak overnight covered.
  3. Before going to bed, feed the levain 36 g of water and 36 g of wholewheat flour including any left over high extraction flour. Let that rest in a warm place overnight.

Dough making day:

  1. Feed the levain 72 g of filtered water and 72 g of all purpose flour and let rise 4-5 hours in a warm spot. I deemed mine ready after 4.5 hours.
  2. Boil the hulless oats gently until the water disappears. They should be soft to the bite. I ended up with 50 g of cooked hulless oats. Cover and set aside. 
  3. Cook the wild rice until it has bloomed fully and most of the water is gone. Drain and reserve. Mine had actually done most of its blooming overnight and I just needed to cook it a bit to soften the a few hard pieces. This made 95 g of cooked wild rice. Add to the hulless oats.
  4. Cook the barley flakes in the water until the water has been all absorbed. This made 69 g of cooked barley. Add to the oats and wild rice.
  5. Cook the large flake oats with the water until soft and water has soaked in. This made more than 150 g but I used only 150 g. My oldest apprentice ended up with a bit of porridge. =) Add to the other add-ins.
  6. Two hours before the levain is ready, mix the water with the flour in the tub and autolyse for a couple of hours.
  7. Once the levain has doubled, add the salt, the yogurt, the add-ins and the levain. Mix well to integrate everything and let sit for 45 minutes in a warm spot.
  8. Do three sets of French slaps and folds at 30 minutes intervals. The first two sets have 100 slaps, and the last set has 50 slaps. Continuing on 30 minute intervals, do another 3 sets of folds. The dough was highly hydrated, therefore the extra work with it. 
  9. Let rest 30 minutes and then retard the bulk for two hours. The dough rose about 30%. 
  10. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~790g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest one hour on the counter. 
  11. 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 a nice tight boule.
  12. Sprinkle bran, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and hemp hearts in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons, cover, let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge for 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 place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 30 minutes, remove the lids, drop the temperature to 425 F, and bake for another 25 minutes. I usually do 17 minutes but the loaves were still a bit pale for my taste. Internal temperature should be 205 F or more.

Oven spring was pretty good and the loaves look quite festive with their coating of seeds. 


TomK's picture

I’ve been playing with freshly ground heritage varieties lately, this is my latest foray into freshly ground wheat.

I bought 2 pounds of locally grown Frassinetto wheat berries at the farmers market last week. Since my wife has given up on trying to be gluten free, I’m now allowed to use our old Nutrimill. Yay!

 I built my levain from DABrownman’s NMNF starter, many thanks for that scheme! I used last week’s leftover RedFife flour and bran for the feedings.

For the dough I used 70% Central Milling’s ABC+; 30% freshly ground and sifted Frassinetto; 2% salt;12% levain; overall hydration of 79%, which I’ll increase 1% at a time over the coming weeks until the dough exceeds my shaping abilities.

As is my habit, I used the dough hook of my Ankarsrum mixer to bring the flour and water to a shaggy mass and removed the hook for a 2-hour autolyse. After adding the salt and levain I put in the roller and mixed with external heat applied for 8 minutes, 15 minutes rest, and 4 minutes more. My desired dough temperature is 83dF, it’s challenging to get the dough warm enough to get the yeasts and bacteria moving. 

After about 3:45 in bulk ferment with 5 sets of stretch and folds I divided the dough at 815g, preshaped and rested for 30 minutes before shaping two boules by stitching and putting them into rice floured, cloth lined bannetons. After a few minutes they went into the 38 degree fridge for 16 hours.

In the morning After preheating the oven to 500 degrees with my Dutch ovens inside I took them out of the fridge, slashed, and got them into the Dutch ovens as quickly as possible. Reduced the temperature to 450 after 5 minutes, removed the lids after 20 minutes and reduced the temperature to 425 for another 17 minutes.

 I’m pleased with the rise and oven spring, and the crust is nicely blistered.

After about 6 hours I couldn’t resist cutting one open although I haven’t quite finished the last loaf. Taste Will have to wait until tomorrow.

 I still have some work to do to get the elusive open crumb but I’m happy with this for now.



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