The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


breadsong's picture


Mr. Reinhart’s Wild Rice and Onion Bread is back on the front page; the picture and the recipe tempted me to try making some :^)

Not having any wild rice, black-and-mahogany short grain rice (a blend) was substituted, and a mixture of caramelized sweet onion, leek and shallot used in place of raw/dried onion.
In place of all bread flour, I used 1/3 each bread, 75% Red Fife, and 100% whole-wheat (locally-grown) flour.

I added some (golden) sage from the garden, recalling the beautiful use of the herb in this post (Pine Nut and Sage Sourdough – thanks Marcus!).
The bread  was shaped as a crown with a ‘wreath’ of golden sage leaves on top (crispy after the bake).

Mr. Reinhart’s instructions are for overnight fermentation, but wanting to bake this bread today, I mixed a flying sponge (1.25 hour ferment, as per Mr. Hamelman’s technique), then mixed the dough using less yeast overall, then a
2-hour bulk ferment, and 45-minute proof.

My kitchen smelled like Thanksgiving as these breads were baking and cooling.

With thanks to Mr. Reinhart for his very flavorful recipe, and also to Floyd for featuring it.
It is a very-good-tasting bread, and a new favorite.

Before baking, and the crumb (sliced while warm, had a hard time waiting for this to cool!):

Happy baking everyone!
:^) from breadsong

OldWoodenSpoon's picture

After last night's poor results on the Vienna Bread recipe from Inside The Jewish Bakery, I received some excellent tips and advice.  I wasted no time putting them to work tonight in a fresh bake.  Unfortunately I am still not getting it right.  I have the same result, albeit less severly, in this next bake. 

The essential change in this bake over my first was to change to a lower protein flour.  This bake was done with 100% unbleached Pendleton Mills Morebread flour, which is right at 12% protein and 0.55 ash content according to the specs in their technical booklet.  The dough took slightly less time to form a window pane, and the house is warmer today so proof times were closer to those prescribed in the book.  I also baked these to a slightly higher internal temperature (208F) than the called for in trying to get them properly colored up on the crust.  When the crust color seemed right, the IT ended up being high. 

Here are the latest results:

These loaves started to contract almost immediately upon unpanning them.  I rotated them over onto their sides at the first indication of trouble, and the contractions predominated on the "top" sides after that.  Thus the "hourglass" is lopsided in the cross section on these.

It is interesting that the compressed, doughy patch is on the side of the loaf that is not sunken in.  The sunken in side does not have that doughy, compressed effect.  Also, the crumb seems to be pretty uniform across the cross section, with considerable openness, indicating vigorous activity.  That may be contributing to the problem.

The flavor in this bread is, again, very good.  The crumb is light and tender, but still with a good "bite", even with the reduced strength of the flour.

I will bake this yet again once I find some quality flour that is below 12% protein.  Also, based in part on the information provided in response to my blog post on the previous loaves, I will  consider reducing the yeast in the next batch if further reducing the strength of the flour does not solve this.  I always get explosive response from instant yeast, and I seem to have to reduce it in nearly every formula I bake with it.  This one seems headed in the same direction, but I will stick to varying only one thing at a time.  More baking for me that way!

Thanks for stopping by.

dmsnyder's picture

After my recent less than satisfactory experience with gummy rye bread, I returned to an old, reliable favorite of mine - Hansjoakim's 70% Rye Bread.


Total formula


Baker's %

Medium rye flour

436 g


First clear flour

187 g



467 g



11 g



Rye sour final build


Baker's %

Medium rye flour

218 g



218 g


Ripe rye sour

11 g



Final dough


Baker's %

Medium rye flour

218 g


First clear flour

187 g



249 g



11 g


Rye sour (all of the above)

447 g


Note: 35% of the total flour is from the rye sour.


  1. The day before baking, mix the final rye sour build. This should ferment at room temperature for 14-16 hours.

  2. I used a KitchenAid stand mixer, but these procedures could be done by “hand.” Mix all the ingredients in the final dough in a large bowl. If using a stand mixer, mix for 3 minutes with the paddle at Speed 1. Switch to the dough hook and mix for 5-6 minutes more at Speed 2. The dough at this point is a thick paste with little strength (gluten development providing extensibility and elasticity). Optionally, after mixing, you can knead briefly on a floured board with well-floured or wet hands.

  3. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it tightly, and ferment for 1 hour.

  4. Transfer the dough to a floured board and pre-shape it into a single round. Cover with plasti-crap or a damp kitchen towel and rest for 5 minutes.

  5. Shape the dough into a boule and transfer to a well-floured brotform or banneton, seam-side down.

  6. Cover the boule with plasti-crap or a damp towel and proof for two hours. (My loaf was fully proofed in 1 hr and 30 min.)

  7. One hour before baking, pre-heat the oven to 250C/480F with a baking stone and your steaming method of choice in place.

  8. When ready to bake the bread, transfer the boule to a peel. Transfer the boule to the baking stone. Steam the oven. Turn the temperature down to 460ºF.

  9. After 10 minutes, remove your source of steam from the oven.

  10. After 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 225C/440F.

  11. Bake another 40-45 minutes. Monitor the loaf color, and, if it is darkening too quickly, turn the oven temperature down further. It would be well within the rye baking tradition to do this planfully in steps, ending up as low as 205C/400F for the last 10-15 minutes.

  12. The loaf is done when the crust feels firm, it gives a “hollow sound” when the bottom is thumped and the internal temperature is 205F or greater.

  13. When the loaf is done, turn off the oven, but leave the loaf in it with the door ajar for an additional 10 minutes.

  14. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly before slicing. It will be best to leave it 24 hours, loosely wrapped in linen, before slicing.

    This is a delicious bread with a mild to moderate sourdough tang and earthy rye flavor. The crumb is tender and moist, but not at all gummy. It's my idea of a delicious high-percentage rye bread. It will be perfect for tomorrow's breakfast with cold-smoked salmon and for dinner with split pea soup.

    I also baked a couple loaves of the Tartine Basic Country Bread, another of my favorites.

    This time, I did not retard the loaves overnight. I don't recall if I've done this before, but I really enjoyed the result. Tasted two hours out of the oven, still a little warm, the flavor was spectacular. It was very mildly sour with a sweet, complex wheaty flavor. Either with or without retardation, this is a delicious bread.


    Submitted to YeastSpotting


GSnyde's picture

Today I baked two things from Inside the Jewish Bakery: one worked out very well, and one didn’t.  The double knot rolls with Honey-Whole Wheat Challah dough are just as I hoped.  The Mini-Schnecken came out all wrong.

First, the Mini-schnecken.  These are supposed to be like rugelach, except rolled up and cut rather than rolled in a crescent shape.  I used the cream cheese short dough from ITJB, and it was easy to make and had a great texture.  But as I was rolling out the dough to add the filling, I realized that the dough sheet was way too thick.  I followed the instructions, rolling one recipe of the dough out to 18” by 8”, and ended up with a sheet of dough that was about 3/16”“ thick, and when I added the amount of jam filling the recipe called for, that was too thick too.  I wonder if one recipe is supposed to make two sheets of 18x8 and the filling is supposed to cover both (more thinly).  That would make a product more like my experience of rugelach.

In any case, though they look nothing like mini-schneckens, they are delicious (some Apricot and some Olallieberry).  I especially like the dough…might be great for bear claws.  Here’s some photos:

The double knot rolls were a breeze to make.  I hand kneaded the dough and it had a great silky consistency.  The instructions in ITJB for shaping the rolls were excellent.  And the resulting rolls are superb.  They’ll be great with leftover turkey.


wassisname's picture

I haven't been able to get pumpkin and sunflower seeds out of my head since Franko posted about the combination here.  In the end I went in a little different direction, using 25% whole wheat instead of rye and adding flax seeds.  No special reason for either change - the flax seeds just happened to be beside the other seeds in the freezer, so in they went, and I've been on a light whole wheat kick lately that isn't quite out of my system.  So, I came up with this:

The pumpkin and sunflower seeds were toasted in the oven at 375ºF for 6-7 minutes.  The flax seeds were soaked in all the cold water they could absorb for about 8 hrs.  I drained the flax seeds before adding them to the dough so the water used does not figure into the formula at all.  I should note that the weight in the formula is the dry weight of the flax seeds.  I didn't think to weigh them after the soak... hmm... throws my formula off, doesn't it... sorry, too late now.  Between the toasted seeds and the wet flax I think I came out about even on the hydration.

For the final dough the white flour and water were autolysed for 20 minutes.  The starter and salt were then added.  I kneaded until the WW starter and white flour portion were fully incorporated.  Easy to see because of the color difference.  Then I added all of the seeds by flattening out the dough, spreading the seed mixture over it and folding repeatedly.  When it turned into a sticky mess with seeds falling out everywhere I gave it a five minute rest.  It behaved much better after the rest and I kneaded another minute or two until everything was evenly incorporated.  The dough was given 3 S&F's at about 45 minute intervals before I went to bed.

The weather had turned chilly so I decided to use an overnight bulk ferment in one of the cooler corners of my house.  That corner turned out to be considerably cooler than I expected and by morning was 42ºF.  Oops.  So much for shaping the dough first thing in the morning!  It took a couple of hours more in a warm place before it looked even close to ready .  Probably could have used longer but I was tired of waiting. 

Final proof was about 3 hrs (75ºF - 80ºF).  I baked at 450ºF for 15 minutes with steam, then about 40 minutes at 410ºF.

The result was delicious!  The smell filled the house and was almost too much to bear.  The "bread" turned out mild and tasty but the seeds are, of course, front and center.  I mixed a little honey and butter "just to see how it would go with the bread" and went weak in the knees.  More seeds please!



louie brown's picture
louie brown

This bread combines Larry's idea for kneading the cheese into the flour with my own practice of showering the top with parmigiano and then topping it with caramelized onion, which in turn came out of Silverton.

I mixed a dough of about 75% hydration using Central Milling flour. 100% starter made up about 20% of the formula by baker's percentage. I wanted a soft, white crumb, so I added some olive oil and some milk. I kneaded about a cup of finely grated cheddar into about 18 ounces of flour. This gave a very mild cheese flavor to the crumb. Twice as much cheese, or a more strongly flavored one would give more flavor.

Given the schedule this week, I fermented the dough in bulk overnight after folding it pretty aggressively in the first hour. This yielded a dough in the morning that was both wet and taught. 

I flattened out the dough and gave it two hours on the bench, which was about an hour less than it needed. This, with the milk and olive oil and cheese kneaded in, did no favors for the cell structure. I docked it all over with wet fingertips before loading. It baked at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. I gave it another five minutes at 475 to darken it.

So, not a pizza, not a foccaccia, and not really a loaf of bread; sort of a bastard, but very well received by tasters. After all, everyone loves cheese and onions baked to brown and black.


Sheblom's picture

Hi everybody!

I did my normal weekend baking and unfortunately either my brain wasn't with it or i was not paying the proper attention. My loafs didn't come out that great.. I think my first mistake was making my dough to wet therefore it was very sticky when it came to shaping. Which in turn stuck more to my hands than actually getting in to a nice tight shape, and being still pretty new to this, I got very frustrated.. so my shaping was of poor form. My sourdough came out alright-ish, I think it would have been a bit better if it was a more tacky dough than sticky and having a benneton would have been good to keep a nice tight shape. Plus with it being sticky when I tried to slice it its just came out wrong. My other sourdough loaf...well lets just say i am having a flat bread tonight for supper..

Same issue with my enriched white loafs, too sticky a dough and over proofing.. they are eatable and the flavour will be good, but look wise needs alot of work..

So at the end of the day I was very dissapointed with my baking this weekend. I still need to learn loads and need lots and lots of practive. PLuse if anyone can give any advice or an article on proofing that would be great, that one area where it is always hit and miss with me.

But here are my photos from the weekend. Please be kind!



davidg618's picture

I've been homing in on a 50% Whole Wheat sourdough loaf, made with a levain built entirely with Whole Wheat flour. This quest has been ongoing (but relaxed) for about a year, and recently I've been close: flavors are especially to our liking, crumb al dente as we like, and nearly as open as desired, but still room to improve. Today, I think I've hit it.


My previous attempts' short-falls were all dough strength related, in two words: slack dough. And slack dough directly led to shaping difficulties, flat loaves, and closed crumbs.

Getting to this point has been evolutionary.

I've only been baking sourdough a little more than two years. For the first six months I religiously mixed and kneaded doughs in my KA mixer, usually following the formulae authors' recommended mixing times and mixer speeds (generally 2 or 3 minutes on speed one, often followed by 1 to 3 minutes on speed 2). Early on, I learned about Stretch-and-Fold; never a fan of hand-kneading I adapted it quickly. I was mostly content with the results, but, prompted by TFLer suggestions, I switched to hand-mixing, and for about a year except for speciality doughs, e.g., Foccacia, Brioche, the mixer gathered dust. I learned how dough "feels" in all its various stages. I also developed a skin rash, on my mixing hand only, that may--and I emphasize "may"; I've not yet seen a dermatologist--be attributable to flours or sourdough.

For the past four months I've returned to mixing doughs in the mixer, and wearing latex gloves when I S&F, or hand manipulate dough. The rash is clearing slowly.

At the same tiime I was in the middle of my quest to bake a satisfactory 50% WW loaf. I'll define satisfactory; these are in priority order:

1. Good, strong wheaty flavor

2. Al dente crumb; i.e., when you mash it, it springs back; when you bite it, there is resistance.

3. Open crumb. Now I'm not looking for gaping holes. I want irregular size aveoles,  the biggest of which occupy no more than the thickness of a good sandwich slice--about 3/8ths of an inch radius. I frequently use sourdough breads for sandwiches. Unquestionably, sandwich-making is its singlemost use. So, I don't want mustard or mayo dribbling on my shirt front. I also think #2 is closely related to #3--if you don't have 3, you don't have 2.

4. Eye-appealing loaves. If I can have 1, 2, and 3 I'm a happy baker; if I can also have 4 I'm an elated baker.

So, back to the evolution.

Two changes from my earlier routine are, I reasoned, the keys to this success.

1. I now machine-knead the dough on speed 2 for 7 minutes, following a 1 hour autolyse. Subsequently, I still S&F 3 or 4 times at 1 hour intervals (3  or 4 depends on the perceived tenacity of the dough).

2. I retard the dough at reduced temperature (54°F) for 15 hours.

Furthermore, I believe these two changes are coupled, meaning it requires both to achieve the desired open crumb. I haven't found a corraborating "expert" reference yet, but I'm certain I perceive a change in dough's attributes occuring between S&F's and the beginning and end of retarded fermentation. I retard dough primarily for flavor development, but I'm convinced, too, it also conditions the doughs' physical behaviors.

I got the idea for this two changes from two TFL members: #1 from TxFarmer's blog, and #2 from an e-discussion with Proth5.

The formula for this bread is simple:

100% hydrated levain  30% (all whole wheat flour except seed starter)

Whole Wheat flour       35%

Bread Flour (KA)         50%

Salt                                    2%

Hydration                     68% 

Preheat: 500°F

Bake: 450°F with steam 15 mins; finish bake 450°F (steam removed)

I've also changed the way I refresh my seed starter. Following Debra Wink's guidance, now, when I build levain for baking I make enough extra to completely replace my seed starter with fresh levain. I normally build levain using bread flour. This time I built the levain using Whole Wheat flour. Consequently, I also built a small amount of levain with bread flour to refresh my seed starter for the week.

As usual, I after mixing the dough, and refreshing my seed starter I still had levain left over. I mixed the two together, fed the mix 1:3:3 with a 50/50 mix of Bread and Whole Wheat flours, and popped it into the refrigerator overnight. This morning, while I worked the bread baking, I let the leftover levain come to room temperature, and work another three hours. While the bread loaves were proofing I made a 50% Whole Wheat version of my Sourdough Biscuits ala Cookie (see and ).

It's been a fun Whole Wheat Sunday

David G



sam's picture


Here is another attempt of soft butter honey rolls.  I used the following hydration estimates for the following ingredients:  Butter = 17%, Honey = 75%, Eggs = 75%, Milk = 90%.   My targeted overall dough hydration was 66%, and fortunately the dough was spot on.  Nice and pliable, not sticky at all, but not too stiff/dry either.

Here was the recipe I made w/pics.    All flour was KA bread flour, all weights in grams.

Total Dough Weight: 950
Targeted Dough Hydration: 66%
Total Dough Flour Weight: 572
Total Dough Water Weight: 378

Leaven Percentage: 39%
Leaven Hydration: 100%
Starter Percentage: 20%
Starter Hydration: 125%

Butter Percentage: 20.0%
Eggs Percentage: 10.0%
Whole Milk Percentage: 10.0%
Honey Percentage: 10.0%
Salt Percentage: 1.8%
Baker's Yeast Percentage: 5.0%

Levain Sour:

Flour Weight: 203
Water Weight: 198
Starter Weight: 45
Final Dough:

Flour: 349
Butter: 114
Eggs: 57
Whole Milk: 57
Honey: 57
Salt: 10
Baker's Yeast: 29


1) Mix ingredients for levain and ferment until ripened.
2) Mix all ingredients into final dough.
3) Bulk ferment 90 mins, folding the dough once half-way through.
4) Scale rolls at 50 grams, I could fit 15 in a 13x9 pan, with an initial space between each roll (they will join together as they rise).
5) Final ferment 60 mins, or until fully risen.
6) Make an egg-wash + butter glaze, brush before bake.
7) Bake at 375F for 40 mins.


I made 15 rolls for a single pan, and some extra which I made a small loaf from.  The crumb is shreddably soft and light, the crust is also light and flakey.


First one is about 15 mins into the final rise, the first balls I shaped had just started to join together:






I cut open the loaf to sample it.   (Saving the rolls for now..)



Happy baking!


Szanter5339's picture


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