The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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teketeke's picture

When I prepared to make "36 hours + sourdough baguette" that is posted by Txfarmer  last night, I mixed the sourdough culture and flour instead the water and the flour by my mistake because I was ready to feed my starters in the same time.  The sourdough culture that is my keeper was taken out from refrigerator.( 6 ℃)    I didn't want to throw it away, so I continued ...

1 Baguette 

The day before:

100% white hydration sourdough starter 75g ( from refrigerator : The was my keeper. I keep my 100% starter at the roomtemperature and feed it twice a day )

Ice water                                            160g

* Mix them and put it in a refrigerator for overnight.

The final day:

flour  53g

salt  5g


1. The final day- mix the starter mixture and flour →Autolize 30 minutes →Add the salt and mix ( strech and fold way while giving it strokes)

2. Fermentation ( I did  3 hours  )    Strech and fold every 30 minutes ( as Tyfarmer's recipe)

3. Shape

4. Proof  ( I did 2.5 hours)  Temerature was 68F.

5 Bake   470F for 7 minutes, 450F for 13 minutes , and shut off the oven  left the baguette for 5 minutes in the oven.


  In fact, I tried her recipe a couple days ago, but it was a failure because it was burst on the bottom.I think that was under-prooved. It was very tasty and it was chewyer than this baguette above. it was also cruncher, too. I really thank Txfarmer who sharing the best baguette's recipe I ever tasted. 


 Last night when I made the mistake, I made another batch of the baguette.  I hope that it will be successful tomorrow...

---Next day---

The result was good.  But it was still underprooved. I should have let it rise for the final fermentation.

And, I set up another one last night to use my mistake version.  I took 4 hours for bulk fermentation and 3 hours for final fermentation. I let it rise double in bulk in the test dough. I usually bake when it is 1.5 times in bulk.  I enjoyed to make these baguettes.   Thank you so much, txfarmer.  She is an amazing baker.



-----Our family's favorite bagels------------

When I have a lot of starter that is keeper in a refrigerator, I make Susan's bagels .


I will try the other Susan's bagels soon.


This is the bagels that I used 100% white wild yeast by Sourdolady.


My daughter who is 4 years old made a special one. She call it " A human bagel" One of my friend said " It looks like a frog!"


The bagels are that I used 100% rye sourdough culture by Hamelman.

I think they are softer than the other one. But I like them too.

They are made by my daughter again. From right on the top, a car, a regular bagel, and a christmas tree.   I like to make bread with my daughter who makes me laugh while making.


Thank you, Susan!

Happy baking,





copyu's picture

Hi everyone,

This is my first 'blog' and I'm so nervous...I want to include a spread-sheet in my post, but I haven't got a clue how to do that! Here we go!


Copyu's Xmas Cake Estimator
Ingredients 15cm round   6" round 17cm round    15cm square 22cm round    19cm square 25cm round   23cm square 28cm round 30cm round       28cm square
Raisins 125g/4.5oz 160g 250g 375g 500g 625g
Sultana raisins 375g/13oz 560g 750g 1kg 1.125kg 1.75kg
Dried currants 60g/2oz 90g 125g 185g 250g 315g
Mixed peel 60g/2oz 90g  125g 185g 250g 315g
Glacé cherries 60g/2oz 90g  125g 185g 250g 315g
Marmalade 1 Tblsp 1½ Tblsp 2 Tblsp 3 Tblsp 4 Tblsp 5 Tblsp
Brandy (Rum OK, too) 50ml/1.7floz 65ml 100ml 150ml 200ml 250ml
Options: replace some of the raisins with chopped dates, apricots, dried cranberries or blueberries, fruits preserved in rum, etc. Angelica can replace some of the cherries, if you like the taste 
Butter 125g/4.5oz 160g 250g 375g 500g 625g
Brown sugar* 100g/3.5oz 130g 200g 300g 400g 500g
Plain flour (APF) 120g/4oz 180g 240g 360g 480g 600g
Mixed spice ½ teasp ¾ teasp 1 teasp 1½ teasp 2 teasp 2½ teasp
Orange/lemon zest 1 teasp 1½ teasp 2 teasp 2 teasp 1 Tblsp 1 Tblsp
Eggs 2 3 4 6 8 10
Bake time (hours) 02:30 2: 30 to 3:30 3 to 3:30 4 hours 5 to 5:30  6 to 6:30
*NB: there are many types of 'brown sugar', so feel free to vary up/down by 20-25% according to taste

Oh, my gosh! It worked!

Above is the basic formula that I've used for many years...TOO many years! If you're interested in 'rich fruit cakes', [aka "wedding cakes" and "Xmas cakes" in the British Commonwealth] then this is must-read for you. If you've never made one of these rich, boozy, dense cakes before, then have a go and relax...there's nothing here to intimidate anyone over the age of 10. Everything here is very flexible, unlike the 'persnicketiness' of a lot of bread-baking and pastry-making, where everything has to be 'just-so'. Don't have an ingredient? Then substitute, within reason. Can't buy that stuff where you live? Then make your own, right at home! Don't have time today? Then do the next bit tomorrow! It's October, now, so it's not too early to be planning one or more of these scrummy items. Xmas cakes are traditionally made a month or two before eating, anyway...Once baked and cooled, they were usually coated with a thick icing and stored in air-tight 'cake tins' for a month or two. [In the 21st century, that means wrapped in aluminium foil and kept in an air-tight plastic container.] The un-iced cakes can also be stored for many weeks. People often pierce the cakes with a skewer and drizzle a little brandy on them once or twice a week before re-wrapping them in their foil 'cocoons'

Last year, I made this 'recipe' at least 6 times, but no two batches were the same. They were all good, but I will go into the gory details of my odd failures, as well, with some comments on what NOT to do. For non-metric bakers, I've estimated the ounce equivalents from the metric weights, but only for the 15cm (six-inch) ROUND cake form. If you want to make this cake in an 8"-9" round form, then you just need to double the ingredients of the 6" recipe. For the others, eg, square forms, you might need a metric tape measure or a calculator, or just look at the beautiful 'ratios', say, of the flour or the sugar and do things 'by feel'. If the sugar is 3 or 4 times higher than the first column, then the other weighed ingredients will be 3 or 4 times higher as well. What could be easier? It's not really difficult at all, with the spread-sheet to help you. Additionally, the cake form sizes are just a 'guide-line', so be flexible and use what you have on hand


Before baking time, your cake pans should be lined with one or two layers of brown paper and then some baking parchment (/wax-paper/silicone paper) that comes about 5cm (2") above the edges of the pans. Your oven should be set to a fairly 'slow' seting...150°C/300°F (or 20°C/50°F lower for fan-forced ovens)

The night before baking, decide on your dried fruit contents and chop coarsely, where necessary. Place into a large glass bowl and add the marmalade and brandy (or rum). Mix thoroughly with a spoon and add another little splash of the booze, if you like; cover with cling-film and refrigerate until it's time to make the batter. An hour or three would be enough, but I like to steep the fruit for a long time—12 hours or more. It's completely up to you, however! I've left my fruits for 24 hours with no damage

At your chosen time, beat the butter, sugar and citrus 'zest' together (with an electric mixer, if you have one) until they're just barely combined; add eggs, one at a time, and mix until just barely combined; then add this butter mixture to the steeped fruits and mix by hand, with a spoon, for a couple of minutes. Add sifted flour and spice to the contents of the bowl and mix again, by hand. Your batter is done

Push spoonsful of the batter right into the bottom edges of the cake-forms and then spread the rest of the batter evenly into the pans. Tap the cake-forms several times on a chopping-board or the counter, to 'settle' the ingredients. (If you're fussy, you can flatten the top of the batter with a wet spatula.) Bake for the times recommended in the spreadsheet. To test for 'done-ness', push a paring/fruit knife right into the centre of the cake to the bottom and remove it, slowly. If the knife is clean, it's done. If it has uncooked batter on it, return it to the oven for 15 minutes longer and test again

To cool the cakes, snip the paper level with the tops of the cakes, invert them onto a cooling rack covered with foil and wrap the whole thing in the foil, leaving the forms in place for about 20-30 minutes before trying to extract the cakes from the forms. This technique is used when you want to ice, or otherwise decorate the cakes...the cooling in foil makes a nice, flat surface to work from. [The 'bottom' of the cake becomes the 'top' that is destined for the decoration.] Otherwise, you can just flip them back over and dust the tops with some decorative icing sugar and add some holly leaves, or whatever you fancy 

Notes on ingredients:

'Raisins' means red California raisins, but can be any type you have available. I found 'Jewellery' raisins today, which are a golden colour...'green' raisins are quite cheap here in Japan. 'Sultanas' are just raisins made from seedless grapes and are fairly cheap, flovoursome, lighter in colour and somewhat juicier than other types. You can play with the different amounts of each, as long as you stick 'roughly' to the weights. I would encourage you to replace some of the raisins with other dried fruits and berries

'Citrus Zest' is best prepared fresh, with a micro-plane or another type of cheese grater. For best taste, I make mine with the rind of half an orange and the rind of one whole lemon

'Mixed Peel' is a standard supermarket item in Australia, NZ and the UK. If you can't find it, mix your own from any dried, candied or other preserved citrus peel. It may need chopping, if you buy the whole, dried type

'Mixed Spice' is another British item that may not be popular in some's a combination of the 'sweet' ground spices that you can find in any grocery—allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, <also mace, cardamom, coriander seed>...a half-teaspoon of each of the first five, shaken together, would make a very nice 'mixed spice' for this recipe. You can google for traditional mixes (and there are dozens!) with very minor variations

"As nutty as a fruit-cake" is a good old English expression. You can add nuts to this recipe as an option, without substitution for other dry ingredients...almonds, whole, blanched or slivered; walnuts; pecans; and cashews would be the top choices. You can add them to the 'boozy fruits' or leave them until making the batter...30g/1oz wouldn't affect anything in this recipe. Chopping is optional, as well...

'Icing' usually means 'marzipan' or 'royal icing'. These make an almost impenetrable barrier to air, preventing the cakes from going moldy. There are various ways to make an icing for a Xmas cake, but these are almost 'canonical' and any recipe you find through google will work. Completely optional, however...

I need to get some 'shut-eye' post, I'll give some weird mixtures that I tried last year with commentary...I don't think there are any pics available. They will come after this year's bake.

Best to all,







wassisname's picture

 Here's something that doesn't work...

Another attempt at WWSD without a bulk ferment.  It went less well this time.  I had to get these ideas out of my head, and now that that's done I can go back to methods with better odds. 

The formula follows, but I do not recommend it.  It is just there for the record.  And don't be fooled by the photos, they make it look better than it was.  I did eat it, the flavor was good, but the texture was marginal at best.  Really hard crust, really dense, slightly gummy crumb.  After a couple days on the counter all but the biggest holes in the crumb closed-up tight.  It went well with soup after a good toasting, but that was about it. 

STARTER:  288g WW bread flour, 216g water, 58g starter, ¼ tsp salt.  Refrigerated for the first 10 hrs then room temp for the next 10 hrs.

SOAKER:  175g WW flour, 25g whole rye flour, ½ tsp salt.  Room temp for 20 hrs.

FINAL DOUGH:  All of starter and soaker, 25g WW bread flour, 19g water, ¾ tsp salt.  Kneaded 5 min, rest 5 min, shaped.  Proofed 2 ¼ hrs.  Baked 475F w/ steam for 8 min, baked 425F about 40 min.

I'm not even going to get into the "why" of any of this.  Let's just say it seemed like a good idea at the time.  I could actually feel the dough breaking down, which was interesting.  It started to feel almost like a high% rye dough after just a few minutes of kneading even though there was hardly any rye in it.  Nothing makes me appreciate good bread like bad bread.


hmcinorganic's picture

Not sure that this is going to last long enough to make sandwiches out of...... its good.

I followed the 123 recipe here.

mixed 9-10 oz starter, 18 oz bread flour, 9 oz regular flour, 18 oz water and 1 Tbsp salt (remembered to add salt this time!)

did 2 stretch and folds, retarded in fridge overnight.  Did one more stretch and fold, shaped, and put in loaf pans.  Let sit in fridge for 8-10 hours.  Let it warm up to room temp for about 60 minutes while oven preheated;  put it in even though it was still cold.  I was worried it wouldn't rise much, but it seemed to do ok.  Cooked at 500 for 10 minutes and 425 for 30-35 more.  

Crust is nice and chewy, and check out the crumb!

I had a piece with butter for breakfast.  Yummo.  I doubt it will last the day :)

Franko's picture


Last week my wife Marie asked me if I could make her a loaf of Spelt bread without using any regular wheat flour in it since she has problems digesting typical wheat based breads. Up till now she's been buying a spelt bread available at our local supermarket that's one of those flash frozen par-baked things that have become so common in supermarket bakeries these days. Not being a bread purist, she been quite happy with it despite my looks askance, but I wonder if maybe some of the things I've been learning from TFL and discussing with her might have rubbed off. At any rate I've been wanting to make a bread for her that she could enjoy, and happy she asked me since spelt is a grain I've never used previously and was interested to try it out.

Richard Bertinet's new book 'Crust' has a recipe for a pure spelt bread in it which I showed to Marie, and she thought it sounded fine, but asked if I could include some nuts and/or seeds, maybe some oatmeal as well for a little variety. I think if she hadn't asked me first I would have suggested it, as the recipe seemed a little plain for our tastes. I picked up a bag of 100% whole grain spelt flour from our local health food/organic grocery that's milled by Nunweiler's Flour Co out of Saskatchewan, and a certified organic mill. They have a line of various whole grain flours including, dark rye, buckwheat, as well as whole wheat and AP. Link included below for anyone interested, although I doubt you would be able to find it outside of Canada.


Bertinet's formula is pretty straightforward other than using a poolish of spelt flour, which I made up the night before, as well as an oatmeal soaker to be included in the final mix. Next morning I toasted some sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a 380F oven for about 8 minutes, and let them cool before proceeding with the mix. I thought I might have to increase the flour ratio somewhat because of the extra water I included to the formula from the oatmeal soaker but the oatmeal absorbed almost all the water, contributing little to the overall mix, with just the water called for in the recipe being added. The dough had a bulk ferment of an hour, followed by a light rounding and a 15 minute rest, then shaped and placed in a floured brotform. The rise took just under an hour, which after having made long rising levain style breads for the last few bakes kind of took me by surprise. I think it made a good loaf, but more importantly Marie really likes it, saying it has so much more flavour and texture than the stuff she was buying from the store, which I told her was a result of having used a preferment in the mix. The technical details aside, it seems I'll be making this bread on a regular basis from here on, the only change being to increase the percentage of seeds by double or more. Recipe and photos below.

Note: the recipe below has been edited from the originaly posted formula due to some errors and miscalculations recently brought to my attention. My apologies for any confusion this may have caused anyone.


Richard Bertinet's Spelt Bread-adapted and halved







Spelt flour






Instant yeast






Oatmeal Soaker






Warm Water






Final Dough



Spelt Flour



Mixed toasted sesame, sunflower,and pumpkin seeds






Oatmeal Soaker









Instant Yeast



Total Weight




Mix Poolish ingredients together and rest overnight in the fridge.


Combine poolish with remaining ingredients and mix on 1st speed for 3-4 minutes. Mix on 2nd for 2 minutes then knead on counter for 2-3 minutes, or just until the dough is smooth and uniform. Put the dough in a lightly floured bowl , cover, and let rest/bulk ferment for 1hr. Dough temp 71F-74F .


After the dough has rested for an hour , remove from the bowl and round it lightly and let rest for 15 minutes, then shape as desired. Preheat oven and stone to 500F .


**Note: this dough rises very quickly and should be monitored very closely during the final rise. It is easily overproofed. The times and temperatures listed below are based on my kitchen environment at the time and my oven. Adjust accordingly to your own situation at the time of final proof and baking.

Let dough rise approx. 30-40 minutes. then slide the loaf onto your hot stone, with normal steam and bake for 10 min. Turn the heat down to 440 for 25-30 minutes or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped . Cool on wire racks for 6 hours or more.



saumhain's picture

Well, first thing, thank you all for the feedback to the previous entry. I do realize that working is no excuse for leaving my whole family without tasty bread) I am now looking on the way to adapt some of my favourite recipes to new schedule and to practice out those which fit in it.

Concerning the book... As my sister said, "now you've got something to do for the next hundred of years". This is oh so true. Obviously it won't take me that long to try out all the recipes (or at least those which I find the most exciting) but the book is definitely worth studying thoroughly. I especially got carried away with the idea of making croissants with starter (the whole viennoiserie section is indeed marvellous) and hazelnut squares. Though I might want to start with something less challenging, and learn the theory first)


GSnyde's picture

Three bakes this weekend—from the lean to the…not!  All were good to eat, and all contributed to my learning process.

Honey-Oatmeal Sandwich Loaf

In my quest for a good multi-grain sandwich bread, I decided to try Oatmeal-Cinnamon-Raisin bread (Floyd’s recipe from Hamelman posted here:, but without the raisins and cinnamon.  It is a very large recipe—made for three 8.5 x 4.5 pans—from which I made two loaves in 9 x 5 pans.  The oat soaker had very little free water and the dough was too dry to blend with the prescribed quantity of liquid (honey, oil, water and milk), so I added about another half cup of water.  It was still the densest dough I’d made and very hard to mix by hand.  But it came together after about 15 minutes of on-and-off folding and resting.

The large quantity of yeast did the job of loosening up the dough ball in the first ferment, and it pre-shaped and shaped nicely.  The loaves came out very well.  Very much the texture I was looking for, moist but not squishy.  It was great for toast and for BLTs.  This formula would make good hamburger buns, I think.  My one adjustment, besides the added water, would be to increase the salt by 25% if doing this recipe without the raisins and cinnamon.  The recipe is simple and the whole process only takes about four hours from start to sandwich.



This bread passed the PB&J test with flying colors.



Anis Bouabsa Ficelles

After my first try at baguettes—using San Joaquin Sourdough—came out pretty well, I decided to try a higher hydration dough.  Going for the crispy crust and open crumb, I settled on the Anis Bouabsa formula Brother David has posted (”).  What an adventure for a near-novice!  The headline for this story could be “Everything went wrong except the results”.

I mixed the dough easily, a complete texture contrast to the Oatmeal bread.   The dough was very sticky and almost batter-like for the 10 minutes or so of hand-mixing.   With each stretch-and-fold-in-the-bowl, the dough got a bit more cohesive and silky, but was still very loose.  With a bit of flour on the board and my hands, I managed to do the last two stretch-and-folds with the majority of the dough cohering in the dough ball.  Then, into the cold fridge for 18 hours (I didn’t have 21 hours to play with).

The next afternoon the single-handed Three-Stooges-Meet-Molten-Gumby-Snake routine began.  I read that one should use no (or very little) flour on the board in shaping baguettes.  Because the dough was super-gluey, my choices were to flour the board and my hands or to maul the poor defenseless breadlings into indescribably grotesque deformations.  I chose flour.  Even so, each little (180g) dough glob was a handful.  The pre-shaping was fairly simple, with help from a dough knife.  Then I rested them on a rice flour/AP flour mix on the board for an hour.  In final shaping, I tried to use a light touch, but found myself spending most of my effort in keeping the globs together and off my hands.  They eventually got formed into more-or-less cylindrical shapes, about 13” long.  Extremely extensible.  Wrestling the semi-liquid snakes onto my improvised couche (parchment atop a big flour sack towel) was comical.   I had visions of the snake extending to 20 or 30 feet and wrapping my entire kitchen in its gluey grip.  But dusting them all over with the rice flour blend did the trick, and the ficelles did not stick too much to me or the plastic wrap.


Scoring was likewise a mess.  The sharp and wetted lame continually dragged the sheath of the ficelles.  That maneuver will take more practice.  Then, when I tried to load the ficelles, on parchment, from the “couche” to a cookie sheet to the baking stone, the four snakes would not fit nicely on the stone with all the parchement.  So, while the oven temperature dropped, I scissored away some of the parchment, arranged the snakes on the stone, steamed, and slammed shut the oven door.  I was sure the bread would be as far from my ideal as the process was.

Wrong!  Though not much grigne, there was good oven spring.



And the crumb was exactly what I was going for—holey but with some substance to chew.



The texture is wonderful. Very crisp thin crust, with a creamy crumb.  My wife says it is the perfect baguette except she prefers some sourness. So, my next baguette experiment will be a slightly lower hydration dough with levain.

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza!

After the pizza discussion on my last blog post, I had to try a totally lean pizza dough, with just flour, water, yeast and salt.  I used the PR Neo-Napalitano recipe but with no honey or oil.   We had guests over and made two pesto and sausage pizzes, one with fresh corn and one with tomato.  The fresh corn and sausage combo is a winner.  Our guests loved the baguette and the pizza.  They think I'm a baker [heh heh].



The pizza's outer handle wasn't as puffy as the enriched recipe, but the texture was excellent.  Next pizza will be with real 00 flour.

So all told, it was a weekend of baking variety.   Some lean, and some not.  If I’d made cinnamon rolls, too, I would have hit for the cycle.



breadsong's picture

Hello, This Ciabatta is made using a double flour addition/double hydration technique, with thanks to SteveB - breadcetera!
Here's a link to SteveB's recipe and technique:

I did three stretch and folds during bulk fermentation (not following SteveB's instructions here!), thinking it might help add some air bubbles.
Apart from these S&F's and "gently" rolling the dough over onto the peel I tried not to handle the dough, for fear of degassing it. 
SteveB's instructions are to divide the dough but I baked it as one big ciabatta.
The bread puffed up nicely in the oven. I was hoping to find beautiful holes like Steve's when I sliced the loaf, but I still have room for improvement. I love how the bread looks and smells. Tasting will have to wait for another day.

Regards, breadsong





teketeke's picture

 I started to make a wild yeast sourdough starter on 21st August this year ( from here -- and my first sourdough was Susan's one.

You can see my sourdough diary here ---

I couldn't solve the problem for a while until I saw Vogel's blog--- 

After I use the technique ( take some dough and put it into a glass ),  I don't make any rubbery-slipper bread anymore. I also use finger test too. That is very helpful.

---This week-----

I tried some recipe that are posted here and they became my favorite.

1) Simple white sourdough loaf that was posted by Daisy-A.

Again, I made another one that I used soaker that I didn't plan to do.  I was trying to make 70% rye that is posted by hasjoakim but I found mold in the sponge next morning so that I used the soaker for this loaf. It came out nice bread.  I felt that I need 1-2g more salt to this loaf when I tasted. 


Thank you, Daisy!  When I shape this loaf, I give the dough tension like this video. There are a moment that we can't see what he is doing but you will see at the end. :)


2) I make nut-sourdough that is posted by hansjoakim.  My husband loves this bread,So do I! 



I used walnuts instead of Hazelnuts but it was very good although I scorched the surface. I will make this bread again. Thank you, hansjoakim. 


3) 5 Grain levain bread by Hamelman: I really love this bread. But I can't shape it nicely. As you see the picture, The gloom looks like a bump after a child hit his or her head on the wall or something.  I used the shaping method by Hamelman's book.  Please let me know if you have some ideas to solve this.

Thank you for reading, everybody.

Happy baking,





breadsong's picture

Hello, I've been wanting to make croissants for years. hansjoakim's recent post and getting a copy of Ciril Hitz's Baking Artisan Pastries and Breads spurred me into action.
I tried using a tutove rolling pin for the first tri-fold. I had some dough/butters layers happening, then unhappening, as the pictures show - poor temperature control & butter likely being too cold. For final shaping, I don't think I rolled the dough thin enough; triangles were cut somewhat unevenly; this all shows up in the final proof and bake. The kitchen was warm this morning due to other baking - I don't think this helped things either so the final proof happened in a cooler part of the house...but I still had butter leaking out during the bake.
I'll call these "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly".  Husband happily munched away anyway!  Regards, breadsong



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