The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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ooofence's picture

Let me start by saying I am a HUGE fan of this site....great tips, recipes and ideas.  I found a simple wheat bread recipe and tweaked it a little bit and wanted to share it with the rest of the class :).  It makes a great loaf for sandwiches and is super simple to make.


Ingredient List:

4 - 4 1/2 oz Lukewarm Water

3 oz Milk

2 tsp Active Dry Yeast

1 Tbsp Sugar

6 oz AP Flour

6 oz Whole Wheat Flour

1 tsp Salt

1 Tbsp Barley Malt Flour (optional, if you do not have it, use 2 tbsp sugar)

3 tsp Vital Wheat Gluten

2 tbsp Canola Oil


Add the water and milk to a mixing bowl and add the yeast and sugar to dissolve (I use my Kitchen Aid Mixer bowl).  After letting the mixture stand for 5 minutes add the rest of the ingredients.  I then use the dough hook and knead the dough fo 15 minutes on speed 4.  Let rise for one hour, punch down and form the loaf (I use square off and roll technique..not sure that is the proper technical term LOL).  Let rise again.  I have a super hot electric oven so I get the oven up to 500 degrees for the first 5 minutes then bake at 425 until done.

I am an amateur baker and if there is anyone out there that can see this and make any suggestions as to how to improve on this recipe I am all ears :)

I have pictures but I need to downsize them..I will post them shortly :)

txfarmer's picture

Just got back from my 2 week vacation in Kenya/Tanzania last weekend. It was our first time visiting Africa (one more continent off the list, Antarctica is the only one left to tackle now), so much too see! We did 10 days of safari trips, 4 parks in Kenya and 2 in Tanzania.


Saw all  Big Five. Lions are lazy, especially the male ones. Both my husband and I are leos, I told him: no, I am NOT going to hunt and do everything for him while he sleeps and poses. And NO, he can't have 4 wives. :P

African Elephants are BIG. And gentle. In the lower right picture, two baby elephants are napping, 3 big ones are guarding them. :)

Cheetas, very hard to see since they are so alert and fast. We got lucky on the last day, saw them twice! They are my favorite animal.

African Buffalo, I think their horns look comical.

Black Rihno, even harder to see than cheetas, since there are so few of them. Also saw it on the very last day. Stretching the zoom on my digital camera to the limit here.

Lots of other animals and birds to see. Hippos, apparently they are dangerous and lethal. I just can't comprehend since they are huge and move soooooooo veryyyyyyyyyy slooooooooowly.

We were there to witness the annual wildebeest migration, boy there are a lot of them. 2 million in Masai Mara alone.

Flamingos, so pretty when they all fly, but so hard to catch that with my crappy camera

Look at me, look closely, are you getting sleepy?

Don't raise your head too quickly, might get dizzy

These are blue monkeys, because they are an unmentionable area, neo-blue too, I at first thought they sat on some paint!

Yeah, the little one looks cute, but don't be fooled...

Bald Eagle, my favorite bird

Hippo's personal massage therapist

Vulture, and their breakfast

Ostrich, they are allover the place

I like this one's "headpiece"

For the last 4 days, we went to Zanzibar, a tourist island off Tanzania's coast. Superb beach and water, one of the best scuba diving locations in our experience. So many fish, and they are not afriad of people.

Between beaching and diving, we visited the historical stone town on the island

Doors from past

Great vacation, there are so much more to see, we definitely want to go back. One day I will climb kilimanjaro!


before we left for vacation, I baked Hamelman's hazelnut and prune bread from "Bread", easy and straightforward formula, delicious too.

Since the formula is quite easy, I played with shapes to make it fun. The oval one is cut into pieces then proofed and baked with the pieces together, nice effect without having to score.

The other one was just 3 triagle pieces proofed and baked together

Nice open crumb studded with yummy hazelnuts and prunes

Due to the butter in the formula, the crumb is quite soft, so the dough can be made into buns or sandwich loaves.

Floydm's picture

I think I fed my sourdough starter once this summer.  I thought for sure it was a goner, but I fed it last Saturday night and, lo and behold, Sunday morning it had nearly tripled in size.  It baked a great looking loaf.

Floydm's picture

As I mentioned the last time I posted, after a visit there I decided I needed to figure out how approximate the scones at Murchie's in Victoria, BC.  I tried two recipes last weekend that were very similar except one was yeasted and the other was unyeasted.  The unyeasted one came out very good and, while light and creamy, had the crumbly consistency I typically experience with scones.

I used the cream scone recipe here but substituted currents for the cranberries.   

For the yeasted recipe, I came up with something like this saffron bun recipe, leaving out the saffron and using cream instead of milk and butter.

These were delicious but too rich and heavy.  Next time I'd use maybe half cream and half milk and bump up the amount of yeast I use.

I'm pretty sure now that Murchie's scones are not traditional baking powder raised scones but instead yeasted cream buns.  They really nail it so that they both taste light and rich at the same time.  It is going to take a few more tries, but I think I'm heading in the right direction.

Mebake's picture

This is a 2nd shot at Hamelman's Whole wheat levain (sourdough 50% wholewheat), after improving my steaming technique.


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hey All,

Just wanted to share with you a project that I am working on...  So on 8/30/10, I took delivery of 75lbs of flour from King Arthur which I ordered because they were having a free shipping on certain items.  This included their AP flour along with their WW and White WW.  What to do, what to do...  So, I baked my first full sourdough bread without adding any yeast not too long ago: with great success as far as open crumb, and crackling crust...  The flavor was very good, but there was one person who thought it wasn't salty enough or something...  Anyways, back to this project...

The previous sourdough bread was based on a liquid levain (100% hydration) which is also the hydration of my storage starter...  So my bright idea was to convert my liquid starter to a partially whole grain stiff starter at around 55% hydration...

On 9/1/10 at around 10:20pm, I threw out about half of my liquid starter, kept a small portion of it and mixed it as follows:

200g AP (King Arthur)

100g WW (King Arthur

150g Water

100g liquid sourdough storage starter (100% hydration)

550g total stiff starter yield

10:20pm - Mix all, place in covered container, let rest on counter.

12:20am - Place in refrigerator


9/2/10 - Feed Stiff Levain Again (Starter Build #2)

200g AP

100g WW

150g Water

550g All of starter from the evening before.

1000g total stiff starter yield

9:00am - Mix all, knead into ball, place into covered container, place in refrigerator.


9/3/10 - Final Dough

600g AP

200g WW

200g White WW (KA)

700g Water

24g Kosher Salt

600g Stiff Levain

2324g Total dough yield

6:18pm - Take stiff levain out of refrigerator and let rest on counter.  Give the levain the float test.  Measure out all ingredients.

Stiff levain out of refrigerator.  Notice the bubbles.

With a wet spoon, cut out a piece of the stiff levain and place it in some water to see if it floats...  If it does, it's ready to use.  For more on the float test, please check out this link:  Note point A3.

Cut up levain into pieces, place in large mixing bowl along with the measured amount of water required for the recipe.

Premeasured flours.  Note that on the bottom is the AP flour, and on the top the WW flours.

Kosher salt

All the ingredients in the bowl.  Notice that on the bottom is the water and stiff levain.  Then the whole wheat flours, the AP flour, then last on top is the Kosher salt.  This sequence is very important, and will prevent the formation of lumps or dry clumps, and dry bits stuck to the side of the bowl.

Beginning the mixing at 6:57pm.  I am using a large plastic/rubber spatula.  This is the initial mixing which takes about 30 seconds.  You can pretty much keep the spatula stationary and move the bowl at this stage.  It is just to mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.

This is probably about 1 minute of mixing.

A little more mixing.

Done mixing with rubber spatula... Now time to get wet and dirty with hands and water...

This is the dough after the following: make sure you have a bowl of water next to you...  Wet your hands and squish the dough in order to work out any lumps...  Then slap fold and roll two times.  This technique that I use is a hybrid of what Richard Bertinet does with in his sweet dough video, except I prefer to do it all in my mixing bowl to prevent getting my kitchen counter sticky and messy:

1.  Take the ball of dough by one end, let it stretch down using gravity.

2.  slap the bottom part of the dough into the bottom of the bowl.

3.  Fold the top part that you are holding into the center, and roll it into a ball in one forward motion.

4.  Rotate bowl 90 degrees and repeat.

Place entire bowl into large plastic bag, autolyse (rest) for 30 minutes...  Have a cup of coffee, tea, or beer...  I'm having beer...  Just as a note, these series of steps lasted from 6:57pm to 7:02pm, which is about 5 minutes out of your life...

Dough after 30 minute autolyse.

7:40pm - Dough after 2 slap, fold, and rolls...  Sorry for the blurry pictures.  Notice how much smoother the dough is...

Dough after about 10-15 slap, fold, and rolls...  Notice the dough tear at the bottom.  At this point when this happens, stop handling the dough, place it in plastic bag and wait for about 20-30 minutes.

8:00pm - This is the dough after the 20 minute rest, and 6 additional slap, fold, and rolls...  Place bowl in plastic bag, let rest for another 20 minutes.

8:20pm - This is the dough after the 20 minute rest.  Notice how it has spread out...

This is the dough after 2 slap, fold, and rolls...

Transfer to plastic tub lightly oiled with extra virgin olive oil.  I'm sure any sort of neutral cooking oil would work.  My tub is a 4L tub, which is the smallest tub you would probaby want to use for the amount of dough this recipe makes...

Top view.  Sorry for blurry...

Added plastic wrap before putting on top.  My containers don't seal all that great.  Plus, it's insurance if the dough pops the top in the fridge...

Place in to fridge...  40F to 45F...

9:25pm - Turn dough, return to fridge...

9/3/10 - The moment of truth...

I was at work for longer than I had intended today...  Argh!

5:00pm - Do I have magical dough, or a dough explosion?

Dough Explosion!!!

Release my cornichons!!!

Dough texture shot...  Looks well fermented...  Fingers crossed...

5:00pm - After I cut off the dried bit from the exploded part, I divided the dough and shaped them into boules weighing approx 1100g.  The dough shaped nicely without tearing...  More fingers crossed...  Now for proofing for about 2 hours...

Bannettons in plastic...

5:50pm - It's pretty warm right now... 85F in the kitchen...  Proofing going well.  Turned on oven with 2 stones, steam pan.  Preheat to 550F with convection for 45 minutes to 1 hr...

7:10pm - Take the baskets out of the plastic, give it the poke test, take the thermometer out of the oven, prepare one cup of water, locate oven mitt, lame, peel, cup of flour, turn convection off...

Slash as desired...

Peel directly on to baking stone, put oven mitt on, carefully pour one cup of water in steam pan, snap picture, close oven door, turn down to 450F without convection.  Bake 50 minutes, rotating half way...

This is one of them halfway through the bake.  I rotated them, and shifted them between the upper and lower stones...  25 more minutes of baking, and then a weight and temp check...  I'm shooting for 935g or less after bake weight which puts it at a 15% weight loss, which is good...

8:00pm - Weight and temp check...  Weight around 980g, and internal temp is around 200F...  I'm looking for 210F...  Bake for another 10 minutes...

Will post crumbshots tomorrow...  Enjoy!


SylviaH's picture

I baked some loaves for friends today and also a dozen of my 'Buns for Sandwiches' for this week-ends bar-b-que holiday.  I had to use my bottom oven for the buns.  It is not convection and the buns come out more evenly browned and bake a little faster in the convection oven setting.

The recipe for these delicious and Basic White Sourdough loaves with 100% hydration starter is HERE and the Buns for Sandwiches is .


                                                                 ADDED this should read 100% 'Levain' hydration

                                            Delicious full of flavor with just the right amount of sourdough tang and sweet flavor at the end, that melts in your mouth.  Crusty, crunchy husband loves it and raves about the flavor..I must have hit his 'sweet spot' : )  I've also made this bread with added rye and it is also delicious...I have to say it... the all white is our favorite!




            Have a great weekend!




abunaloaf's picture

I have recently tried sourdough, and was really encouraged when on the second day I had bubbles.  My old earthenware crock was previously used to make saurkraut.  I put in one cup of strong bread flour, one cup of spelt and 2 1/2 cups of tepid tap water, covered it with a glass plate and left it to find yeast.

The starter smelled more yeasty and less sour after a week.  Instead of discarding starter when feeding I used it, but I have yet to get a loaf I am satisfied with.  I know how to make bread, so that is not an issue.  I have made the exact same bread weekly for many years,  But I have also learned a lot since I have become interested in trying variations.  Thanks for this site.

I let the dough rise twice before putting it in pans and it takes forever.  So two days ago I put my dough in the fridge overnight and put it into pans in the morning....The dough had some condensation and a bit of drying as well.  After all day in a proofing oven it was still having a hard time rising.  I sprayed it periodically with oil so it wouldn't dry out.  It turned brown after baking, even though I used mostly white flour. The end result was a flattish heavy loaf that tastes good, but I would like it to be lighter. That way I could put the saw back in the garage.  I think I will start adding a teaspoon of yeast so I get the taste without all the waiting. 

When doing research about how to go about doing this I noticed that some people start their sourdough with real yeast.  Is this a bad thing?

mauiman's picture

 I have formed a loaf and set it aside to rise. But once risen, how do I transfer this slightly sticky body to a baking stone which I've left pre-heating in the oven?  Is there a time tested way to do this?


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