The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Mebake's picture

This is the usual Hamelman's Wholewheat Multigrain, only i baked twice the recipe yield, and kept the hydration untouched.


Mebake's picture

This is yesterday's bake: Hamelman's Pain Au levain With Wholewheat. I adhered to the recipe, save for the levain which was pre-maturely mixed, Ripe but not sufficiently so. This lead to extended final fermentation. Dough was mixed at 7:00 p.m. and the dough was in the oven at 2:00 a.m!! I feel you, Tim (breadbakingbassplayer). i've also increased the hydration to 75% from 68%.

The flavor is nothing much to talk about, just an ordinary pain au levain, with a wholewheat twist to it, certainly not worth all the time spent in preparation and baking.

I stretched and folded in the bowl (a la Shiao-Ping) in hope of obtaining the open crumb i desire in this type of bread, but this dough was dertermined to defeat me all the way to the end.

I wonder whether (20% baker's)Wholewheat addition to the diet of a Rye-bread flour - fed starter and levain, caused a stagnation in the fermentation speed of the dough! Any ideas?

The Wholewheat is from freshly milled Pakistani (Chapati Type) flour. Rye was doverfarm's and rest is a mixture of bread flour, and AP.

One final thing, though, this is the recipe for two large Loaves. I decided to bake one boule out of it, so the resultant weight of the dough was 1.8 Kg, Technically a Miche.



txfarmer's picture

I have been making mini's favorite rye (posted here) several times now , this last batch was my best so far with good volume, somewhat even distribution of small air pockets, and of course great flavor and moist mouth feel.


Baked in 3 mini moulds: one mini pan de mie pan (from China), two mini (0.25 quart) cast iron pots. Very cute and gave me an opportunity to test out different shapes.


While I am mostly happy, there are still imperfections and questions:

1) Since rye doesn't have gluten, everything I read says 100% rye dough doesn't need any bulk rise. However, mini's formula not only has a bulk rise, but a 3 hour long one, followed by a proof (mine was only 80min long). I have made high percentage rye with no bulk rise before, I think mini's method gives me better crumb results. Why? What does this bulk rise do? Are the bulk rise and proof in fact just a very long rise, interrupted by shaping and redistribution of air pockets? Which then leads to a more even crumb?

2) I steamed the breads by covering the moulds with another mould/pot

I baked them at 460F for 10min, removed the lids, gradually lowered the baking temperature until done. When the lids were first removed, I noticed that all three doughs rose very high, well above the moulds. However, after that, as they got baked more, they shrank somewhat. In the end, the bread still domed well and had decent volume, but I am wondering what caused the shrinking? And what can I do to prevent it? Is it because rye dough has no gluten to trap all the air gas? Should I have removed the lids later/earlier? Or maybe higher/lower heat?

3)While crumb was mostly even, but the following picture does show that the bottom layer was a bit denser than the top. How can I fix the bottom? Longer/shorter proof? Higher/lower temp? More/less steam?


Anyhow, you may think I am nitpicking, but in fact I am super happy with the breads, just want to make them even better. The crumb shot in mini's post is my dream goal!


Sending this to Yeastspotting.

ananda's picture


Three Flavoured Breads and a few Fruit SconesDSCF1880

I realised that the weekend's baking only produced enough bread to see us through the first week of our Easter holiday.   It is possible I could do some baking next week, up in the North West of Scotland, but I do not want to be beholden to that.

Additionally, I remembered there were a few nice ingredients lurking in the cupboard, which were ready for using up.   Here's a flavour of what I made today:


•1.    Tahini Bread

This is one made by SteveB: which Eric blogged on not too long back, here:   See Steve's post for the recipe and formula.   I made one or two alterations, but stayed sufficiently close to the recommended recipe and instructions.

Instead of using King Arthur All Purpose flour, I used Carrs Special CC flour, but included 5% Coarse Semolina to give more bite to the loaf.   I also increased the pre-fermented flour from 16 to 20%.   The bulk proof time was shorter, at 2 hours, but it was hot and sunny here again today, and I put the dough out in the sunshine, covered.   The dough mixed up strong, as seen in the photograph.DSCF1870DSCF1886

I was a little disappointed with the shaping of the final dough, and the result in the finished bread.   I guess fendu shapes work best with oval brotform, and I only have a round one.   Anyway, the split made in the dough piece with the dowel pin ended up completely lost.   The finished dough texture was really pleasing.   As regards taste, I found the bread to be very much as described in Steve's post.   Thank you to both Steve and Eric for posting on this in the first place.



•2.    Cheese Bread

This is loosely based on Jeffrey Hamelman's formula in "Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes", pp. 180 - 181.   I have made this previously and you can see the blogpost on it here:    I did make quite a few changes along the way, but kept to the methods and most of the material proportions, ending up with just over 1.5kg of dough.   I increased the pre-fermented flour to just short of 30%.   I used light rye flour at nearly 11% of the total flour, where Hamelman uses just white flour.   I did use a small amount of dried yeast, as his formula directs, and this was very helpful in achieving the full volume in the Pullman Pan.   I used Paprika @ 1.2% on flour, which was very effective in terms of dough colouration.   I used a small amount of Strong Cheddar Cheese, plus Spanish Manchego Cheese, in the proportion and form Hamelman suggests.   I made a small boule, and a large loaf in a Pullman Pan, using 4 piecing.   A video is attached here to give more information on how this technique works.   See here:

There are also some photographs below showing the finished loaves.   Notice the high volume achieved in the bread, and the lovely moist crumb.   This is far too open for the type of Sandwich bread sold in UK supermarkets.   However, it is exactly what I had set out to achieve using a lengthy fermentation procedure, including a stiff levain, and just a tiny amount of dried yeast in the final dough.



•3.    Toasted Almond, Fig and Prune Bread

Again, this uses Hamelman's idea on pp. 185 - 186, and I have made it before; see the same post referenced above.   But I used almonds instead of hazelnuts, and, added some figs as well as the prunes.   The proportion of fruit and nut is accurate to the formula, but the amount of each ingredient does not fall into line with the Hamelman recipe.   I had no wholewheat flour in stock.   Instead, I used all white bread flour, but included wheaten bran as 2.25% of the flour content.   I made just one loaf from this dough, at a whopping 1.58kg.   I have attached a video of how I incorporate fruit and nuts into ready-mixed dough:


Some photographs of this very dramatic bread are also attached below.   The flavours in this are just amazing.




•4.    Fruit Scones

I made a really small batch of scones as an afternoon treat to have with a pot of Green Tea.   This is based on the formula I tweaked recently when mentoring Kieran in the Scone entry for the NECTA Competition.   We had a lovely fruit and nut mix in the house, including pistachios, pecans, almonds, brazils and cashews, as well as raisins, golden raisins, cranberries and sultanas.   I added some chopped stem ginger as extra good measure.   Ordinarily I mix scones using 60% soft flour, and 40% strong flour.   As I only had strong flour in the house, I used a small proportion of light rye flour to reduce the gluten content.   I also used the baking powder kindly supplied by my colleague Dinnie Jordan, who owns Kudos Blends, and is a specialist on chemical aerators.   These scones are soooo light: many thanks Dinnie!

Formula and method below; this yields 7 scones:


Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

Marriage's Organic Strong White Flour



Doves Farm Organic Light Rye Flour



Skimmed Milk Powder



Pell Baking Powder [specialist blend]



Organic Lightly Salted Butter



Golden Granulated Caster Sugar









Fruit and Nut Mix with Stem Ginger








  • Crumb the butter with the flour, milk powder and baking powder
  • Dissolve the sugar in the water and add the egg. Then add the fruit and nuts
  • Add this to the crumb and combine until just clear.
  • Roll out on a lightly floured surface and cut out the scone shapes.
  • Place the scones on a baking sheet, and brush the tops with beaten egg
  • Rest for 15 minutes to allow the gluten to relax, and to ensure the chemical reactions take place largely in the oven
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven [200°C in my fan oven], for 15 - 17 minutes
  • Cool on wires
  • DSCF1877

    Best wishes to you all
RuthieG's picture

One of our favorite sandwich loafs is a Honey Whole Wheat that my friend Annie passed along to me and has become the regular go to bread in this household.  However I am always looking for a new loaf and wanted to try the Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf  mentioned in this thread  and compare it with my regular loaf only because I love trying new recipes and have a goal of trying as many different varities as I can. 


I followed the recipe to the letter.  My belief is that before you start adding and subtracting from a recipe you need to first make it completely as is and then experiment later.  The result was a wonderful light loaf that was an immediate hit.  I usually can resist the urge to slice a hot loaf but I honestly couldn't when my husband walked in and said, "Let's sample it.  We did and it was absolutely delish.......


The rise was so beautiful and honestly when I slashed it for the oven, I knew that I could have left it to rise longer...It was almost like a small explosion.  I ended us with a slash that was probably 1/2 inch deep instead of the 1/4 that I was looking for.  I use a very sharp single edge blade made for straight razors and it was a brand new blade and made a beautiful slash.....It blossomed as I finished the slash and the obvious rise in the oven was amazing.  One loaf, see the crumb picture below, actually ended up with a weird little top puff/crowne.  (Notice loaf on the right in picture below)  The other loaf, though. had a beautiful crown/top.   I was out of real butter and had a butter/oil combination stick that I used to glaze the top.


The recipe was easy to follow, easy to knead, no adjustments at all and came out amazingly good.  It isn't better or worse than my regular Whole Wheat loaf, just different.  I would encourage you to try the recipe. 

The crumb.


I think if you try this recipe, you will not be disappointed....I certainly felt that since I had never made a blog entry, this bread was worthy of my first blog.


txfarmer's picture


My Christmas sourdough Panettone (blogged here) baking tired me so much that I thought I wouldn't be brave enough to deal with another sweet starter holiday bread for at least a year. Well, apparently 4 months are enough for me to forget the pain. Made two SD Colomba Pasquale over the weekend, both went to Italian friends who marveled over how authentic it looked and tasted.


There are many recipes, I mostly based mine on this one (thank you Google Translate!) It was very detailed, even had shaping diagrams, however, I did have two challenges:

1, I am not sure what kind of starter he used in the dough. I converted my 100% starter into Italian sweet starter and fed it every 4 hours 4 times (kept at 85F) before mixing the first dough. At which point I realized that the 50% sweet starter may be drier than what's used in the formula (doesn't sound like he used Italian sweet starter). In the end I adjusted the water amount to get a very liquid silk dough similiar to the SD panettone and pandoro dough I made before. I also noticed that the butter ratio in the formula is on the lower side, so I increasted just a little bit to about 35%.

2, The dove case I got (from here) had a recipe attached online, which says to use 250g of flour (about 680g of dough) per case. I had a feeling it was too much, after shaping, the case was already a bit less than 1/2 filled. I know from experience that a well kneaded broiche dough like this is capable of expanding to 4, even 5 times of original size. I put some extra dough in mini panettone paper moulds, only filling 1/4 full. After 2 hours of proofing, the dove case is already full, while the mini panettone ones took 3 hours to get to near the edge. In the end I baked the doves an hour before panettones, which means they are a tad underproofed, had "too much" ovenspring, looks like the birds are trying to soar away from the case! Even the mini panettone ones had great ovensping, ended up with a significant dome top. Both are very light, but the doves are just a bit less airy comparing to the mini panettones, which are lighter than air! Next time I will put only 500g of dough in the dove case, which will probably take 3 hours to get to the top and have an even airier texture.


SD Colomba Pasquale (very adapted from here)

-First Dough

Italian Sweet Starter (50%, fed 4 times and kept at 85F), 135g

bread flour, 390g

butter, 135g, softened

sugar, 105g

egg yolk, 3

150g+105g water

1. Mix sugar and 150g of water, heat until sugar completely disolves. Cool.

2. Mix starter with yolks, add in flour, sugar syrup, butter, knead with paddle attachement until becomes a wet smooth dough

3. Add the remaining 105g of water little by little, until completely absorbed. The dough is very wet, but smooth and can leave the bottom of the mixer bowl when mixed with the paddle attachement.

4. Leave at 75F for 12 hours, amazing how much it grew during that time, probably 4 times of the original size.


- Final Dough

first dough,

bread flour, 85g

honey, 15g

salt, 4g

sugar, 30g

yolk, 3

butter, 60g, softened

vanilla, 1tbsp

orang zest, 1 orange

candied orange peel, 160g

1. Mix together first dough, flour, honey, salt, yolks, vanilla, and orange zest, knead with paddle attachement until gluten develops

2. Slowly add sugar, knead until the dough is smooth and leaves the side of the bowl

3. Add butter bit by bit, knead until the dough is very smooth and elastic, passing windowpane test with a strong and thin window

4. Add in candied orange peel (soaked in rum and hot water overnight, drain before using), mix at low speed until combined.

5. Bulk rise at 75F for an hour

6. Divide and shape as shown here. I put about 680g of dough in each dove case, too much, 500g would be better. The case should only be 1/4 to 1/3 filled. Used 80g of dough for my mini panettone moulds.

7. Proof at 85F for about 3 hours. The original formula says 4, but my Italian sweet starter is faster. In reality, the dough for the dove cases only got 2 hours of proof before it completely filled the case and had no where to go, the dough for panettone cases got the full 3 hours, by which time, it filled the case 90%+.

8. Apply Glaze (about 100g of sugar mixed with enough egg whites to make it spreadable), spread on finely chopped nuts (30g of toasted and skin removed hazelnuts, 10g of toasted pine nuts, 55g of toasted almonds), decorated with toasted whole blanced almonds. Spread on sugar pearl, then a lot of powerded sugar.

9. Baked at 360F until golden and done, 50min for the 680g doves, 20min for the 80g mini panettones, estimating 40min for 500g dough.


The bird grew and grew in the oven, almost fell over the edge of the mould. They wanted to fly away! :P


The mini panettone was not so mini, can't believe 80g of dough filled up the whole mould and created such a dome. I think these are properly sized, which leads to proper proofing time and oven spring.


The panettones were incredibly shreddy and light, lighter than air. One recipient of the dove cut it while I was there, while the crumb was also very light and shreddy(my Italian friend and her family said it was perfect), I felt it could be improved slightly if properly portioned, probably only because I just had the mini panetonnes to compare right beforehand.The taste is lighter than the panettone I made during Christmas since there are less add-ins, but the candied orange peel, icing, and almonds on top were perfect together. I think its flavor is in between of panettone (lots of add-ins) and pandoro (no add-ins). The proofing time was much shorter than the SD pandoro and panettone I made before, probably because there's way less sugar in the dough, and a tad less butter. With all the icing and candied peel, I don't miss the sugar though.


Submitting to Yeastspotting.


MadAboutB8's picture

This might not be the traditional Hot Cross Bun but my Easter won’t feel like one without Chocolate Hot Cross Buns.

I based the recipe largely on the traditional Hot Cross bun I made last week. I included sourdough starter in the recipe for extra flavour. The starter didn’t help much with the rising, if at all. I also couldn’t taste any acidity from the starter.

Inspired by The Flavour Thesaurus book (the book about flavour pairing), I included crushed cardamom and cinnamon in the bread dough instead of mixed spices (sorry, the Hot Cross bun hard-core). The book suggested that cardamom, when paired with chocolate, makes chocolate taste rather expensive. That was interesting and I was curious to find out.

The cardamom does make the chocolate aroma nicer, lovely. The bread smells fantastic. I don’t want to sound too overly excited...I totally love this bun. It was the best chocolate hot cross bun I ever had, still drooling thinking about it. I can't tell which buns I love more, traditional or chocolate...they're both equally nice. I'll let my family decide when they have these two on Easter Friday.

Full post and recipe is here.


breadsong's picture

Hello everyone, I had the opportunity and pleasure to try making these breads today!

The first is Pain Hawaiien Fauchon (hazelnut and coconut bread), from Mr. Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads.
I had purchased Mr. Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads recently and shortly thereafter was sorry to hear of his passing.
With gratitude to Mr. Clayton for his book, this recipe and for the many wonderful-sounding breads and starters he's written about.

For this bake, the shaping and filling are Russian-braid-style, and inspired by Sue's marvelous-looking! Coconut Babka.
Here's a picture (rich flavor from the toasted hazelnut and coconut, and not too sweet):

Last weekend I was out scouting for wild edibles, as part of a hike led by the grower at our local herb farm.
I was able to (carefully!) pick some nettles to bring home. After washing, I dried some of the leaves and steeped some leaves in water, to make Faye's Award-Winning Nettle Bread, that Andy posted about (Thanks to Faye for her formula, and to Andy for sharing it!).
Faye's bread was lovely; I really liked Karin's bake of this bread too, and am glad I had the chance to make this.
This bread has an amazing, almost floral aroma from the crushed coriander and cumin, and deep flavor from these spices. The steeped nettle water was a nice deep green color, but the dough did not pick up any green tint; bits of nettle leaf were quite visible in the dough prior to baking, but after baking, less so - the coriander and cumin seeds are easier to spot in the crumb.
The dough mixed up really nicely and was a beautiful texture to knead.

Before baking, I tried stenciling again - trying for a 'nettle leaf'. Fortunately, the side blowout that happened during baking didn't affect the stencilling on top, although the crackled crust did a little bit. I didn't mind a bit and was happy to hear these singing loaves when they came out of the oven :^) :

For a long time now! I've wanted to try making Andy's Pain de Seigle, and am very grateful to him his formula, and for kindly writing about leaven building and refreshment when replying to queries in his post.
The rye levain for this bread was built up from a white 100% hydration starter, over two refreshments and 26 (instead of 36) hours. I think I missed the mark on the second refreshment - the levain had peaked before I was up this morning to mix the dough.

I made this bread with 75% sifted rye - the baked bread has a light-colored crumb and the flavor is a bit sour and tangy, completely delicious - I love the flavor this rye sour brought to this bread.
These loaves sang very loudly after baking, and the escaping moisture was knocking little bits of flour off the crust here and there (I haven't seen that before! :^) ). I was hoping for a nice open crumb like Andy's - it was not to be - but I was happy with the crackled crust. Here are the loaves after baking (the scoring was inspired by a beautiful loaf in this post of Franko's):


Happy baking everyone!
from breadsong

honeymustard's picture

I made up this type of bread, hence the bizarre name.

Lately I've been baking almost every day. But today, I made a frittata for supper (with the help of my sister-in-law) and we used up the ten eggs that were in the house. It somewhat limited my options for bread, though there are plenty of bread without them, I know. But I was also limited on time.

I used the Tassajara recipe for "French-style bread," which I've had a lot of success with in the past. I decided to add poppyseeds. About 1/3 cup of them. Why? I happen to have an excess of them in the house, for one, and secondly I've always been curious why I hardly see savoury breads featuring poppyseeds, except in the case of topping.

I found out why.

French Poppyseed Clovers

First of all, this bread is very pretty. I made them into clovers by shaping them into three balls and putting them in two greased muffin tins (again, my sister-in-law sped up the process by helping). The texture is quite lovely in terms of the crumb and there was nothing wrong with the rising, etc. But I think the poppyseeds were a mistake.

They seem to adopt a strangely salty taste in the dough, and don't add much in terms of flavour besides that. I'm trying to imagine in what situation I could eat these, and I can't really see it. Beside a soup? That's stretching it.

In any case, with my father-in-law visiting (did I mention I have a lot of family around right now?), they will disappear anyway. He will eat any of my breads, whether or not they succeed. As he said when he ate some of my "meh" hot cross buns, "Keep on failin.'"

In conclusion, this might have been fine had I resisted the urge to be weird and put in poppyseeds. Lesson learned. Next time I'll save them for the ridiculously amazing recipe for poppyseed pastries I have.

Onceuponamac's picture

Still would like to get better oven spring - but happy with these nonetheless.


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