The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


MadAboutB8's picture

As part of the plan to try using up 5 kilos of potato that we have, I turned to Bourke Street Bakery cookbook for Mr Potato Bread. 

This was the first time I followed BSB's method of starter built, i.e. number of feedings and amount of starter. In the past, whenever I made the sourdough from BSB, I adapted Hamelman's method.

I usually fed the starter twice before the bake, but I did three for this bake (followed the book's feeding schedule). The dough was much more active. However, come to think of it, it could have been10% of rye in the dough that contribute to a rather active dough or it could be both.

Apart from following the book's feeding schedule, I also didn't substitute the nigella seeds in the recipe for something else  I am usually a serious offender  when it comes ingredients substitution. I'm glad I didn't for this bake as the nigella seeds enhanced the flavour of the bread tremendously. The aroma was fantastic. The seeds together with rosemary gave the bread extra kick, extra flavour. It was really a flavoursome bread.

 Nigella seeds also known as kaloonji in Indian cuisine

This is unusual potato bread, different from the ones I made before that included mashed potato. This bread called for chunk potato, which still can be seen when the bread was cut. It gave the rustic look and provide some different texture to the bread.

BSB's recipe use 62% hydration, I increased this to 66% as I rather like working with high hydration dough. It's easier, more pleasant and fun when it comes to kneading.

More photos and recipe can be found here. 


SylviaH's picture


I made a fresh supply of candied orange peels for my spring holiday baking.  I find the video on you tube, by yanghalying, very intertaining and instructive.  By using her method for candied peels, I have excellent results, firm, colorful and tasty candy peels, for oranges and lemons.  

I made a batch of Orange Aniseed Wheels from Ciril Hitz book 'Baking Artisan Bread'.  They are very tasty and an easy one day bake.  Perfect to try out some of my now fresh supply of candied orange peels...they are so delicious, I have eaten so many, I think I'm having a vitamin C overload, they are addicting!




                                                   Brush the Pin Wheels with Clarified Butter and dust in Sugar - for better keeping!












                                     Crumb appears yellow from indoor light...lost the evening sunlight!  Flavor is lovely of orange and aniseed.









oceanicthai's picture

After I had fried up some onions for dinner the bottom of the pan looked and smelled so good with the carmelized onions.  So I put a little water in it, mashed up some roasted garlic, and used it in my autolyse for this bread.  It smelled heavenly in the oven. 


txfarmer's picture


I went all in. (original recipe here, 3 earlier variations here, 3 more variations here, previous whole grain experiments here, with 60% whole grain here, 80% version here)

barley flour, 75g

ww flour, 375g

ice water, 475g

salt, 10g

rye starter (100%) 100g

-Mix flour, ice water and autolyse for 12 hours.

-Mix in salt, starter, then follow the basic 36 hour sourdough baguette formula here.


Whole grain flour breakdown: 15% barley flour, 10% rye flour (all in starter), 75% ww. Hydration: 105%, yup, you read that right, I think it's necessary in order to get an open crumb and relatively thin crust. Note that the percentage of starter is lower than previous versions, that's because whole grain dough fermentate much faster, I reduced starter amount to maintain the convenient 36 hour timeline without over-rise.


Crumb is open, especially for a 100% whole grain dough, flavor is rich, HOWEVER, it's far from perfect:

1. the crust is a tad too thick for baguettes, and crumb a tad too "chewy", mouth feel is not as light as I would've liked for a baguette

2. the profile is a bit flat, one or two more S&F may give the dough mroe strength to rise higher


All in all a good and delicious baguette, but not our favorite. My husband thinks the 60% whole grain version has the best flavor/texture, I thing the ones with 40% to 60% whole grain all have a good balance between rich whole grain flavor and light mouth feel.


Interestingly, this batch tasted better the next day (baked for another 5min to warm up and re-crisp the crust before eating), the flavor improved, and the texture is less ... "wet", more crisp, this is opposite to white flour baguettes which taste the best fresh. Maybe high ratio whole grain breads need time for the crumb to "set". This is far from the end, I want to keep playing with this dough to see whether I can improve on the rise and the texture.


Submitting to Yeastspotting.

Sam Fromartz's picture
Sam Fromartz

Beer Barm Bread, with Spent Grains

Ahhh, beer making. I don't partake of this sport, but my step-mom, Patty, does, with a passion. And I have to say her IPA will put rivals to shame. But here's the thing. She's been brewing this beer for a few years, and even grows the hops in the backyard. I have long wanted to make a bread with the "wort" (that is, the pre-fermented beer) and the "spent grains" (the malted barley soaked in hot water that, with hops, makes the wort). This is the ultimate beer bread and the method goes back to England and Scotland, and probably much earlier historically, considering barley beer and bread built the pyramids.

British baker Dan Lepard explains that the mildly antiseptic qualities of hops prevent the barm leaven from turning sour. This might seem odd, given that hops are bitter, but in a small dose of leaven they actually sweeten the bread.

For the rest of the post on this wonderful bread, see my post on

Beer Barm Bread


oceanicthai's picture

Today's bake was a 3-seed sourdough.  I previously posted all ingredients and the method I used, and had to go, and lost it...sigh.  Next time  :)   Here's the pics...tastes lovely.


The seed soaker added extra water even after I drained it.  I can't tell if I underproofed or not.  The crust was nice but I didn't get as much vertical lift as I had hoped.  My scoring kind of just melted back into itself.  I like this a lot better than the wheat germ one, but I think next time I use wheat germ I will soak it first.  I soaked my terra cotta lid for a couple of hours before I baked it.

Boulanger D'anvers's picture
Boulanger D'anvers

As my previous baked boules were great in taste the crumb was good but somewhat dense. I decided to bake another boule with a lower hydraton at 68% rather than 70+. The outcome was very satisfying because the crust came out crispy an not too thick, while the crumb was airy and light.

The poolish was made of approximately 35% of the flour and a little yeast and enough water to make it into a batter like consistancy. I let this sit for about 3-4 hours at room temperature until it got bubbly. I then added the remaining flour, yeast and water and did a french fold for a couple of minutes until the dough started to come together and did three stretch and folds with about 20 minute intervals. Two stretch and folds would have been enough, I think, because the dough resisted somewhat at the last stretch and fold. The dough fermented for about 1,5 hour and was tightly shaped into a boule. It was proofed for an hour and 15 minutes after which it got sliced and baked in a french oven with the lid on at 250 degrees Celcius for 15 minutes and another 30 minutes with the lid off. Photographic (amateur style) evidence of the bake below.

Usually my breads get old and are not as tasty on the second day. But with this one it stayed quite fresh until the third day. Do you think the poolish had an impact on that?

Until next time, happy baking.

rick.c's picture



I have been on a bagel kick recently, I made a few batches of the BBA recipe before I got tired of topped or cinammin bagels.  So, I decided to go out on a limb and try these.

So, here is my madness in making them, measurements in Grams & I don't like to weigh less than 10 Grams so tsp measurements were used

  1. 194   Bread Flour
    231   Water             150*F water was used
    32     Flax Meal
    32     Whole Wheat Flour
    6       Diastatic Malt Powder  (2 tsp)

  2. 2       Yeast   (1 tsp)

  3. 388    Bread Flour
    50      Orange Juice
    100    Water
    13      Salt    (1.5 tsp)
    2        Yeast  (1 tsp)

  4. 6        Orange Zest,  (2.5 tsp)
    130     Sunflower Seeds, roasted unsalted
    100     Craisins

  1. Combine everything in 1. mix with paddle attachment of mixer until well combined.  it should be batter like and ~ 135 - 140 *F

  2. Allow to cool (this took mine 90 min) to ~95 *F

  3. Add 2. mix to combine

  4. Let stand for 2-3 hrs until yeast is active and bubbly

  5. Add 3, mix with dough hook or paddle until combined

  6. Let stand for 30 min

  7. Knead with dough hook for 8 min or until dough is nicely developed

  8. Add 4

  9. Knead for additional 5 min or until ingredients are uniformly mixed in

  10. Let rise for an hour, then place in fridge overnight

  11. Remove from fridge, divide into 9 pieces ~140 Grams each, shape into ball/roll, cover

  12. After 45 min, poke hole through center of ball and enlarge to get bagel shape

  13. Continue to let rise until almost doubled

  14. Boil in Baking Soda enhanced water for 1- 1.5 min / side

  15. Bake at 375 for an additional 25-35 mins until Done

I like the way these came out.  They distinctly tase orangey with a sweetness/tartness when you get a craisin, the sunflower taste is present and there is a marked afternote of the wheat and flax.  I will make these again, though I might play with my "soaker" (step 1) and I think using dried cranberries instead of craisins might be interesting.

More pics

hmm, photos aren't showing, they are here though



Paulthemasturbaker's picture

Hello to all you bread bakers!  This is my blog detailing my adventures in trying to perfect one kind of bread, namely Scottish Morning Rolls.  My attempts have all been unsuccessful to this date and my maiden voyages began over six years ago.  I am terribly embarrassed by this but it has taken on a whole new significance due to the long buildup to even get to where I am now :-)  I shall keep adding to this blog as long as it takes to get it right so it may take some time LOL but am sure with the advice of the good people on this forum I will make some progress, which is what counts, right?  So in a nutshell, this is where we are with it...


The first test bake.(the first officially documented one anyway ha)

I have followed the recipe I found on TFL and shall update with the bakers` percentages which is how the recipe is written.  These rolls are in their final proofing stage which is meant to last 12-18hrs.



Sylviambt's picture

First try at the Vermont sourdough turned out lots better than anticipated. I used a soupy levain as the base for the sourdough, building it over a couple of days. My second try at the baguettes still didn't work out as well as hoped for. Will try again.

Sylvia (Bronx to Barn baker)

Vermont sourdough, baguettes


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