The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


rgreenberg2000's picture

My weekly bake this week, and I decided to go back to my favorite flour mix - 10% WW, 10% Semolina, and 5% Rye.  Of course, the WW % is actually higher since I feed my starter with WW flour, but you get the idea! :)  I tried very hard to be as gentle as possible with my stretching, folding, and I like the results thus far (still cooling, so haven't cut into them.)  In particular, I think these loaves seemed to hold their shape after being removed from the bannetons better than any loaves I have made before.  Here are the particulars, and some pics.....


950g AP (GM)

80g WW

80g Semolina

40g Rye

240g levain

769g water (70%)

25g salt

Total Dough - 2,184g

Total Flour - 1,270g

Total Water - 889g (70%)


6:15a - Refresh starter 50:100:100

9:00a - Initial mix - flour, water, starter

9:30a - Pinch in salt, 30x slap/fold

10:00a - 20x slap/fold

10:30a - Stretch/fold, proof 1.5-2 hours @ 75F

12:00p - Divided and pre-shaped

12:15p - Final shape, into bannetons to proof @ 75F

1:30p - loaves into fridge

8:15p - pre-heat oven, loaves out of fridge

9:15 - loves into oven

9:35 - remove loaves from DO, bake in stone for 20 more

10:00 - remove loaves from oven to cool

agres's picture

I have 4 bins of "wheat" in the pantry. They are all fresh from the vendor, at a moisture content of ~11%. If I take samples of each, mill them, and mix each sample to the same hydration, the result will range from a "brick" (Kamut) to "soup" (spelt).

If you are grinding your own flour, you need to account for the kind of wheat as you choose a hydration level.  Hard spring wheat and hard winter wheat have different hydration requirements.  If your bread making process uses  a particular hydration level,  then you need to stick with that kind, or blend of wheat so that you have a consistent flour that works at that level of hydration. Certainly, there are flours that are more or less interchangeable to a certain extent.

Selecting, blending, and processing different kinds of wheat into a consistent product is what millers do. Consistency is why flour is more valuable than raw wheat berries, and why bakers buy flour from millers rather than wheat from farmers.

If a recipe calls for a certain level of hydration, then is is assuming a certain kind or blend of wheat processed in a certain way into meal/flour. It is assuming consistency. If you not have that kind of flour/meal, then you need to adjust your recipe.

If you are grinding your own meal/flour, then you need to recognize that wheat varies from cultivar to cultivar, by location grown, and from season to season. Then, you need to make adjustments to your milling or baking accordingly.

Often this is as simple as adding a bit more flour or water to the dough. However, you need to recognize what dough of the right consistency looks like.  As much I disparage commercial flour, it is consistent. You can use it to learn what dough of the proper consistency looks and feels like. Mostly standard commercial flours work with standard recipes, and standard recipes work with the recommended commercial flours found at any supermarket. 

However, millers that supply real bakers, offer many different kinds of flour - and each different kind of flour has its use. And bakers use different kinds of flour for different kinds of products.

The home miller can produce an infinite variety of flours, and the art is in putting each kind of flour to its best use.


Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

A basic sourdough, Rye, WW, Bread flour..  then bagelized.

TwoCats's picture

I fed my starter, and, at peak, instead of discarding it, I saved it in a jar to use as a "levain" the next day.

This was the resulting bake.

  • 255g Central Milling Bread ABC+ flour
  • 70g Central Milling khorasan flour
  • 260g H20
  • A sprinkle of poppy and sesame seeds (untoasted, although I realized I should've toasted these)

Let the oven heat up at 500F for about 1 hour before throwing the bread in.

Threw it in, baked it at 500F for 20 minutes, then lowered it to 450F and baked for another 20 minutes. No dutch oven, just on a pizza stone.

Edges are a bit singed—not sure how to avoid this, other than turning the oven down.

Happy with how it turned out! Didn't taste it because I gave it to our neighbor. :)

ifs201's picture

This was my second attempt at making bread. I replaced 20% of the four with whole wheat. I had trouble getting the bread to split naturally during the bake. 


ifs201's picture

This was my first attempt at making bread

dabrownman's picture

After making tortilla pizza a coupe of times we decided to go the other way with this one.  Too hot for pizza made indoors, so we decide the gas grill, with a stone, was the way to go for Sicilian Pan Pizza.  SPP isn’t like thick crust Chicago style pan pizza but it isn’t thin crust pizza we love so much either – it is more like focaccia with pizza toppings.


The dough was a one day affair, with no retards, made with a half teaspoon of IDY for 2 ½ C of flour. The half being sprouted Khorasan and 1 C each of LaFama AP and Safeway bread flour, 2% salt 1 T of EVOO and ½ T of sugar and about 1 3/8 C of water.  We also put in our standard 1 clove of minced garlic. ½ T of dried Rosemary and 1 T of minced dried tomatoes.

This dough makes great focaccia bread all on its own but topped with pizza cheeses, grilled sausage, smoked pepperoni, fresh pizza sauce, mushrooms, red onions and red peppers with fresh basil for garnish, you have a real winner on your hand if you don’t mess up all that hard work like Lucy did.

The sauce was based on Chris Bianco’s fresh sauce but modified to use fresh home grown cherry tomatoes instead of canned San Marzano plumb tomatoes plus we used Thai Basil instead if regular Genovese and we added red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and one clove of garlic to the mix and then crushed it with our bare hands for 5 minutes until it made a nice fresh pizza sauce.

We liked this sauce a lot.  We put the stone on the gas grill and turned the 4 burners up to full whack to get the temp up to 600 F and get the stone screaming hot.  Sadly, the grill was full of grease from all the meats made on it and it caught fire with flames shooting up 2’ over the stone and smoke billowing.

Grilled Salmon

My neighbor came over thinking the house was on fire.  I showed him the grill n fire and he just laughed saying he was glad I was just stupid rather than the house on fire.  That grill hat to be 1,000 degrees for sure and it wouldn’t stop burning even after I turned off the burners.

Grilled Chicken - half for tacos.

Soot covered the entire patio concrete and the outside, of the once shiny stainless steel grill, was black.  When the fire finally went out I waited for the temperature to get to 450 F before firing up the burners manually on low because the battery for the igniter had melted.  Oddly the once dirty stone was completely clean like it had been in the oven on cleaning cycle.

There is that salad ....or two

When The temperature got back to 550 F, the same temperature I make pizza inside in the oven, I put the panned pizza on the stone and closed the grill setting the timer for 5 minutes.  Normally it takes 7 minutes inside to get a thin crust perfect, but when I opened the lid to check it, the crust was totally burnt around the edges dark as charcoal as was most of the bottom. 

A bake day SD breakfast or ......another omelet or two

I forgot the stone was lagging in temperature and still about 800 F when I checked it with the infrared thermometer. 2-3 minutes would have been way, way better for sure.  Better to use your tools before committing the pizza to the stone for sure but – oh well, maybe next time.

My wife just cut off the burnt bottom and said the edge pieces were fine.  Being lazy,  I ate the middle of the pie that was not nearly as burned without cutting off the dark part.  it didn’t taste burnt but was crispy like no thicker crust style pizza ever was supposed to be.

So, all is well that ends well. Next time, Lucy will remember to empty the drip pan and the slide out bottom of the grill like normal people do before making pizza on the grill.  Thankfully we also got a chance ti redeem ourselves by making my wife’s Sourdough Sandwich Loaf with a 22 hour retard.  It turned out way, way better than the pizza for sure.

This one very similar t the last 2 except it has 20% whole grains, all of it in the 100% hydration levain begun with 15 g of NMNF starter.  Once the larger than normal levain had doubled, we retarded it overnight for 12 hours to bring out the sour. My wife is liking sour bread recently. Yea!

 We eat a lot of salad. 

We also had 5% each Sprouted Spelt and Sprouted Khorasan in the dough flour with the remainders split half and half with Signature bread flour from Safeway and LaFama AP.  We upped the hydration to 80% for this one too keeping the PH sea salt at 2%

The method was a bit different with only 2 sets of slap and folds. of 100 and 50 slaps and 2 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points - all on 45 minute increments for a change.  After shaping and placing it into a wide loaf pan sprayed with pan release, we let it sit for half an hour before bagging and putting it into the fridge for a 22 hour retard.

It wasn’t quite finished proofing so we left it on the counter for another 2 hours before spritzing the top and baking it in a 500 F preheated oven with lave rocks for Mega Steam.  We turned the oven down to 450 F when we closed the door after putting 2 C of cold water on the hot rocks.  After 18 minutes of steam, we took the rocks out of the bottom of the oven and turned the oven down to 425 F Convection for another 18 minutes ff dry heat.

When it hit 207 F we moved it to the cooling rack.  It Blistered and browned well but the bloom and spring was limited because it was 100 % proofed when it hit the heat.  The crumb came out perfect for sandwich bread and the way my wife likes it.  The next morning when I sliced it, the crumb was moist, soft and sour with a nice tang.

Breakfast Sandwich with this bread

This is one of many delicious white sourdough breads that everyone should at least like a little bit.

Elsie_iu's picture

For the longest time, provolone equaled provolone dolce to me. I use it as a sharper alternative to mozzarella. Only until recently, it’s aged cousin, provolone piccante was introduced to me. Oh what had I missed! Provolone piccante is true to its name: pungent, salty and just full of flavors. I’d even go as far as to compare it with 24-month Parmigiano Reggiano!


Provolone Piccante Fennel Seed SD with 30% Sprouted Kamut



Dough flour

Final Dough


Total Dough










Flour (All Freshly Milled)









Sprouted Kamut Flour









Whole Durum Flour









Whole Spelt Flour









White Whole Wheat Flour (Starter)









Whole Rye Flour (Starter)































































Vital Wheat Gluten









Starter (100% hydration)




































Provolone Piccante (Cubed)









Fennel Seeds





























Sift out the bran from dough flour, reserve 41 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 ready, about 4 hours (28°C). Since I was short on time, it was retarded for 24 hours.  

Roughly combine all dough ingredients. Ferment for a total of 2 hours 15 minutes. Construct a set of stretch and fold at the 15 and 30 minute mark, and fold in the add-ins at the 45 minute mark.  

Shape the dough then put in into a banneton directly. 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 20 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 208°F. Let it cool for a minimum of 2 hours before slicing.



The levain became very active, well, way more than I expected, after the retard. That’s why the dough was a bit over-proofed. I scored it very lightly to reduce the risk of collapse.



Despite the ripeness of the levain, the bread isn’t assertively sour. Rather, its sweetness-acidity balance is pretty close to my taste. As we all know, durum and kamut are the candies of nature. When sprouted, they can be too sweet (yes, that’s a thing to me). Using a mature levain definitely helps to balance out everything. Of course I wouldn’t forget about the provolone piccante and fennel seeds :) These pungent additions provide the touch of saltiness and freshness much needed in this bread. 



German cured pork knuckle, whole grain mustard carrot salad, black beans, onion sautéed spinach, and pan-grilled corn. Knuckle and shanks are the most under-priced cut in my opinion! The meat is so juicy and you get all the tendon, cartilages and ligaments!


Thai-inspired shrimp soup (dipping sauce?) with fish cakes and 30% toasted buckwheat noodles


Baked hoki fillet with olive tapenade, mashed chopin potatoes (I adore this super creamy variety) and ghee roasted carrots


Shrimp molee with rava upma


Farfalle pasta salad in a coconut fish sauce dressing, with poached scallops & Indian mangoes


Provolone piccante & black pepper semola SD crackers


Jumbo shrimp gumbo, salty fried shrimp heads + shrimp oil, Caesar salad (?) with green beans, pancetta & provolone piccante, spicy roasted chicken drumsticks with tomatoes and carrots, and raisin bulgar pilaf   


50% rye caraway seed SD


alfanso's picture

An old west coast friend emailed me 2 days ago.  Her significant other was trying, without a lot of success, to make focaccia.  Did I have a recipe?  My last focaccia foray was probably in 2003 when I was a rank amateur home baker for a short time and  initially experimenting with Mr. Reinhart's BBA but years prior to the existence of TFL.

Feeling my oats, I replied sure, allow me a few days to give it a go.  My first successful baguette dough and to this day still both the easiest as well as one of the most reliable has been the Anis Bouabsa baguette, first baked by me in late 2013.  I figured that this dough would be just dandy for a focaccia base.  And I believe that it is.  

With a 30 minute autolyse, bassinage, 300 French Folds, and three Letter Folds at 20, 40 and 60 minutes before retarding the dough for most of a calendar day, it couldn't be simpler.  

The Bouabsa formula uses a minuscule amount of IDY 0.16%, as the leavening agent, yet after a mere 1 hour bulk rise, the dough had already grown significantly.  Here it is, having just been pulled from retard.

The dough is placed into a moderately well oiled pan stretched to conform to the pan, turned over to coat the other side with oil, and then dimpled.

My selection of toppings: fresh thyme, fresh oregano, grated, pecorino-romano cheese, kosher salt, chopped kalamata olives and chopped roasted red pepper.  A final light slathering of oil over this.

Baked at 450dF for 25 minutes, internal temp 210dF.  No need for a baking stone or steam.  A final drizzle of olive oil over the surface.

The crumb was just a little more open than this picture shows.  Soft with a good chew, but the overall flavor would have benefited from both more salt and more grated cheese.

All in all a successful venture considering the length of time since I last made this.  And now my friend has an email in her inbox with these pictures and my more detailed writeup for her beau.


Filomatic's picture

I make a lot of Hamelman 50%-whole-grain-with-a-soaker breads.  They often look quite similar but taste pretty different depending on the grains and soaker ingredients used.  This time was a pleasant surprise, as the depth of flavor is more than I hoped for.  The 28 hour cold final rise also helped with flavor development.

Grains:  6oz WW berries, 5 oz kamut, and 4 oz Øland landrace red wheat from Capay Mills, "a very rare wheat from Denmark, brought to the US by Claus Meyer, of NOMA fame," according to the owner, David Kaisel.

Soaker:  Boiling water poured over rye meal, old bread cubes, and faux red rye malt (The Rye Baker way, i.e., malted rye berries toasted and ground to a fine powder); cut with a pastry cutter the following morning to avoid large bread chunks.

The hydration is lower than I usually do, which made shaping exceedingly easy, and resulted in a pretty tight crumb.  I also didn't have time to sift the grain for a bran levain this time.  I'd love to try this again with rolls.



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