The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Maryann279's picture

I just finished a week at SFBI taking their whole grain bread class.  We made about 20 different kinds of bread;  they were all good and many were outstanding.  There were lots of interesting shapes, and we used many add-ins, such as dried pears, nuts, seeds and sprouted wheat berries.  This was the third week-long class I've taken there, and I'm starting to be able to work more efficiently and keep up with the more experienced students.  As usual, there was a mixture of home bakers and professionals.  It was a very productive week and I'm becoming more certain that I want to pursue baking and pastry as a second career.

Salilah's picture

Two loaves underway this weekend - Hamelman's Pain au Levain, and Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Whole-Wheat Flour - both use a stiff levain which I hadn't done before, so I made enough to do a good-sized loaf for each. 

"The white will be baked Saturday late afternoon, and the brown on Sunday morning" I commented to my other half.  "We always seem to have lots of bread when we don't want to eat it, and no bread when we do", he commented.  Oops!  I'm still learning and experimenting - and he wants a bit more certainty about what he is going to eat - well, nothing wrong with that!

Mental note to plan ahead a bit better - and I decided yesterday afternoon to try to do a rapid "Saturday Lunch bread".  Luckily I'd refreshed the starter so it was quite lively and fluffy - so I customised Tartine to make a small boule

60g starter (100%)
200g white flour
22g rye (light)
160 water
5g salt

Mix starter, flour and water and autolyse for 30mins.  Add salt, stretch and fold in a bowl. 
Stretch and fold after 30 mins, an hour, 90 mins, 2 hours
Pre-shaped and rest for 20mins, shaped and into bannetton in fridge overnight

This morning (9:30ish - well, it is Saturday!) it came out of the fridge - very little rising, so allowed to come to room temperature.  Into oven after about 2 hours (had to sort the car out) at 240C on a stone under a cover for steaming for 10mins, then cover off and turned down to 200C for about 30mins

Quite a nice little loaf! 

It didn't rise too much (probably a bit overproofed - not much expansion through the score) but enough, with reasonable oven spring

Before it all disappeared, the crumb:

The crust softened (as mine often do) but it tasted nice, just warm still when we cut it.  There's a crust left in case we get hungry before dinner!


HokeyPokey's picture

My starter was calling out to me and I couldn’t decided what type of bread I should make when I got home after work. I’ve noticed red chillies sitting on my kitchen shelf and remembered that I had some fine corn meal somewhere in the cupboard – corn and chilli bread it is!!

Mixed it up last night after work, shaped it around midnight before going to bed and baked it this morning. Didn’t get a very strong corn smell while it was baking – the corn flavour is quite mild, crumb is very soft and it is very very tasty.

The dough was incredibly soft and I was tempted to all more flour to it last night – glad I didn’t, great texture and you can really tell the impact milk and butter had on the dough. Will definitely make this one again.

Full recipe and instructions in my blog here

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Recently, I decided it was time to go back to trying my hand at some loaves using the ADY that's stored in my downstairs freezer. The first recipe that I'm working on is Pioneer Bread from the Kansas Wheat Commission's web site.

For those rare few with a curiosity about wheat harvests, the web site has a day by day account about this year's harvest. They also have included maps that depict the daily progress. It's not for everyones taste but it is suitable for work.

Pioneer Bread is similar to a lot of other loaves that are described as rustic or farmhouse loaves. This particular loaf is an enriched loaf in that the recipe calls for the use of vegetable oil as an ingredient. Since the recipes are taken from the winning loaves at the Kansas  State Fair, I didn't think I could go too far wrong. So I set out to convert the recipe into a formula using weight measurement rather than volume. I also added a preferment and have tried soaking the corn meal and whole wheat components. My procedures aren't quite textbook but the second time around on this loaf has met the approval of both Mrs PG and myself. The crumb isn't as wide open as I'd like but the taste is very good and the aroma from the bake filled our little house.

For those who have suffered through this far and may have an interest in the formula, I've included a link to my blog posting that has my initial attempt at the conversion to weight measurement. It's not a perfect piece of recipe literature but if you can wade through and try the loaf for yourself, please email me or leave a comment. I expect to have a sourdough variation worked out and posted on my blog by the middle of July.


Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hi - well using my usual make up dough - I made a pizza - awful day - argueing with people - got home, had nothing in the house - thought hmmmm tuna - tomatoes - flour = pizza :) 

and it came out nicely - I think I'll use a bit semolina flour in there next time - I noticed on the 2nd one - that if you fold it and roll it a few times, you get those lovely big pockets of air bubbles - I like them :D 

I made a video of how I make bread - I'll get that uploaded soon. 




Make pizza - not war :/

RonRay's picture

Light Rye, Caraway, and Emulsified Raisin
Yeast Water Loaf

 Updated: 110615-1100 Added Summary Table of the 3 loaves at the very end of this blog

For the initial two loaves,
see these link:s:

  This loaf combined light rye flour and caraway seed with emulsified raisins in the Raisin Yeast Water (RYW). I also made the overall development come very close to the initial loaf's 105 hour development timing, about 106 hours. However, rather than a 45+ hours final dough retard the major retardation was done with the Build-#3 of the 3-build RYW Levain.

  This loaf, was baked primarily to test two points: Firstly, was the prolonged final rise a result of the newness of the culture in the initial loaf's levain, or was it the extended retardation periods that most caused the slower final rise?  Secondly, how well would the emulsified RYW flavors work when combined with rye flour (and caraway seed, of course) ?

  Oven spring was comparable to both previous emulsified RYW loaves, as was the darkness of crust - although, the longer development loaves (this and the first) may have a slightly darker crust, but if so, it is marginally so.
  The two longer development loaves also did develop a more full bodied flavor, but even the short development loaf (second loaf) had an above average flavor – at least in my opinion. 

   The first and (this) last loaf had development times of 105 and 106 hours, respectively, from start of Build-#1 of the 3-build levain to the dough entering the oven, while the second shorter development loaf was developed over 28½ hours. The long cycled loaves took 10 and 9 hours respectively for final rise, while the short cycle only took 6¼ hours for final rise. Thus, I conclude that the culture's age had little, or nothing to do with the longer rise time, and that extended retardation, be it in the levain builds, or in the final dough, caused the observed increase in final rise's time that were observed.

   The crumb texture, moistness, and flavor of this final loaf were judged by me to be very good. The Rye and Caraway certainly did nothing to decrease my pleasure with the loaf.

   When I next make this combination, I will likely increase the percentage of rye flour and maintain the caraway seed at the 2 B% used here.

   These next links are to 3 baking logs in PDF format for this loaf, the initial loaf, and the previous 'replication' loaf.

loaf's baking log at
Google Docs link:

478g [Photos]_110623-14305 .pdf -

previous 'replication' loaf's baking log at
Google Docs link:

478g[Photos]_110619-1200 .pdf -

initial loaf's baking log
at Google Docs link:

[Photos]_110615-1540 .pdf -

Update - Added Summary Table of the 3 loaves below:

The above table, without a doubt, will have time entry errors of a few percent, but then I would hate being perfect ROFL





varda's picture

Last month, while experimenting with durum flour, I hacked together a loaf that turned out to be surprisingly tasty.   Fortunately when I'm hacking around, I'm disciplined enough to write things down just in case.    Yesterday, I made it again, with a few minor changes, and it came out more or less the same as last time, so I'm declaring it a keeper.  










w. 68% starter










Bread flour






Whole Rye






Whole Wheat






Atta Durum
























Total grams













Mix all but salt and autolyze for 1 hour.   Mix in salt.   Bulk ferment for 2.5 hours with 2 stretch and folds.   Shape into boule,  place in lined basket, and proof for 1 hour.   Then refrigerate overnight (9 hours).   Place on counter and proof until ready.   Bake at 450F for 20 minutes with steam, 25 minutes without.

The last time I made this I did not retard overnight.   This time I added a small amount more durum.   Neither change seems to have had much of an impact.   

txfarmer's picture

Another classic from "Bread". As always, I eliminated commercial yeast and extended rising time accordingly. So fragrant and delicious. Original recipe makes a lot of bread, which is a good thing, because they disppeared really fast. Of course I increased hydration, because my whole rye flour is very thirsty - and because I am a sucker for wet dough. My rye starter is way fast, especially in this weather, and this bread has a very high levain ratio, which means that it's a pretty fast bread to make.

Shaping method for the round loaf can be found at:

Five-Grain Sourdough with Rye Sourdough (adapted from "Bread")

Note: makes 3X730g loaves

- Levain

whole rye flour, 226g

water, 190g

rye starter (100%), 11g

1. mix and let rise for 12 to 16 hours.

- Soaker

flaxseeds, 82g

rolled rye, 82g

sunflower seeds, 68g

oats, 68g

salt, 20g

water, 374g

2. mix and cover, leave overnight

- Final dough

bread flour, 680g

water, 340g

honey, 14g

leavain, 417g

soaker, all

3. mix everything and autolyse for 30min.

4. knead until low-medium gluten development. rise at room temp (74F) for 2 hours, S&F @ 30 and 60min.

5. divide, preshape, let rest for 20min.

6. shape and proof for about 70min.

7. bake @450F with steam for 15 min. lower to 430F, let go of steam, keep baking for another 30 to 35min.


Wrapped up and ready to be eaten.


How can it NOT be delicious with this many seeds and grains?


Crumb is pretty open for a bread with 25% whole rye, and this much seeds.


Sending this to Yeastspotting.

MadAboutB8's picture


After last week’s super crusty bread, we decided to give our jaw a break with pan bread this week. Don’t get me wrong. I love crusty artisan bread but from time to time, you can’t help craving softer pan bread.

I've got Advance Bread and Pastry book for a while now but haven't made many breads out of it (got a really bad habit of cookbook addiction, but not enough time to use them). Flipping through the book, I cam across Multigrain Pan Bread. Instantly, I was attractd to it for two reasons, multigrain and pan bread. I love multigrain bread for its flavour and texture (and health benefits). The recipe also has interesting technique and flour mixture.

The recipe employs both pre-ferment (with yeast) and stiff sourdough starter to enhance the flavour. The recipe calls for 5 different flours; wheat flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour, semolina flour and rice flour. I ended up made it to 6, by including soy flour as well. 


The grain mixture is typical, which include sunflower seeds, oats, flaxseeds and sesame seeds (which I replaced them with cooked rice). This bread tasted amazing. It was naturally sweet. It had no sugar, and little amount of honey. I believe the wonderful flavour was resulted from several factors; pre-ferment & SD starter, grains and seeds, the mixture of flour and its flavour profile?. I'm actually not sure how the different types of flour would contribute to the great flavour (I'm planing to bake plain bread with this flour combination and to find out).

I can't help comparing this bread to PR's Multigrain Extraordinaire, which was my favorite multigrain sandwich bread. ABAP's tastes equally nice, if not nicer, but has no sugar, less honey and no butter (got veg oil though). I think I've found my new favourite multigrain bread:)

Full post and more photos are here



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