The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


codruta's picture

I took cranbo suggestion and made this loaf with my new starter, using flo's 1.2.3. method. This is how my bread turned out. I'd say it's very pretty. It is more sour than my regular breads, but I eat a slice a few hours after baking it, so I guess the aroma wasn't fully settled. Tomorrow I'l be able to feel the real flavor, I hope.

I had a new starter that I never used, some oat flour that needed to be used asap. For this loaf I used 150g 100% starter, 300g water, 100g whole wheat flour (organic) 80g oat flour, and 270g bread flour, 10g salt. It was 71% hydration, but easier to handle than I would imagine. I did two S/F during 50 minutes (for a 2h 30 min bulk fermentation) then shape, then one hour at room temperature and 8 hours in the fridge. I took it out of the fridge one hour before baking it. The dough had 900g, and the loaf 760g. I'd never guessed that so much water evaporates during baking..?!

I'll post the complete recipe soon at my blog Apa.Faina.Sare.


hanseata's picture


Little Nut

In 2008 I stuck some fresh hazelnuts in the ground at different places in our yard. I also gave some to our friend Tamara for her gorgeous garden. In spring 2009 I checked for weeks the planting sites, but nothing showed, only some more weeds.

I don't bother too much about those, and when my husband complains about our untidy lawn, I say: "Green is green!" This motto was already an annoyance to my neighbors when I was living in Germany. My eco-friendly garden was a fertile breeding ground for dandelion and burning nettle seeds, and other horticultural threats that law abiding, Round-Up toting garden owners abhor.

Last year I looked at some puny rhubarbs planted many years ago along the fence before cedars and maples blocked the sun. I noticed a seedling with round, serrated leaves that seemed familiar. After almost two years a hazelnut had sprouted! Though I scanned every centimeter of our yard for more, it was the only one. But Tamara gave me another nut-ling, she got several of them.

My two little hazelnuts cheerfully grew more leaves, while I watched them like a hawk, knowing my Richard's merciless efficiency with the lawnmower. They survived last winter, buried by tons of snow, and outgrew their yogurt container collars (protection from certain people to who believe that nature should be "beaten into submission").

With some luck, and if some people - I name no names - keep their greedy weed whackers off them, "Hazel" and "Little Nut" will grow into nice, big bushes, providing us with an abundance of delicious nuts. Unless our fat squirrels eat them first!

And this is it why I need hazelnuts:

The photo shows a pecan version of the delicious Hazelnut Mini Bread. Both recipes you find here:



txfarmer's picture

Recipe is from KAF(, I used instant yeast rather than active dry, which means I could skip the "warm milk to proof" bit, and make the whole thing even easier. Also skipped the cream cheese on surface, since I didn't have any. Very delicious though, a good base for all kinds of add-ins, next time I will try green onion and bacon.


I highly recommend using a cast iron pan to make this, the crust is perfection


And a fluffy soft delicious crumb


Sending this to Yeastspotting.

RonRay's picture

Emulsified Raisin Yeast Water Loaf

          Creature in the crumb
   It is not uncommon when using a Yeast Water (YW) to strain out the food portion (vegetable, herb, or fruit) and use only the clear water portion of the culture. When the culture is fed with raisins (Raisin YW, or just RYW) the raisins tend to become empty skins after a few days. Before that, the raisins go through a transition from simple raisin into an alcoholic tasting fruit and as the WBBs consume the insides of the raisins, finally into the empty skins.   Around the second or third day, the raisins make a fine treat to use in raisin bread, or salads, etc. However, by the time that only the skins are left, all the taste that is left is a bitterness of the skin. Thus, if the raisins go through the full cycle, one is left with just another form of discard, and basically a worthless one to strain from the balance of the RYW.   In this test loaf, I tried using everything, but not as any "raisin bread" one would recognize from that name - in taste, nor appearance.    I started a fresh RYW culture, using organic raisins, water, and a jump-start from my stock Apple YW. After 24 hours, I totally emulsified the soften raisins. At 48 hours I used 15g of this very active Raisin YW (RYW) plus 15g KAAP to start Build-#1 of a 3-build RYW levain at 100%HL (hydration Level). Builds #2 & #3 followed and resulted in a total levain of the desired 354g of RYW levain.    The levain was combined with 118g of bread flour and 2% fine sea salt. Kneaded until a satisfactory windowpane was obtained, and then retarded for just over 45 hours.   After the retardation, the dough was removed from the fridge, allowed to warm up for an hour, and then, shaped in a simple log form and placed in my standard A7½ (7.500” x 3.750” x 2.250”) buttered bread pan. Covered and placed in a proof box at 82ºF ( 27.8º C) for the 10 hour final rise.    The dough top, was scored from each end to make two 80% parallel scores. Place in TP Dutch Oven & 1 cup of boiling water poured on the floor of the DO. DO lid added at once. The cold oven stones removed. The DO placed at the lowest position, and the oven set to the max - 450ºF ( 232º C) for the first 20 minutes of baking.   After 20 minutes, the DO cover was removed The oven was reset to 400ºF ( 204º C), and the door of the oven was cracked open 1/2” (12 mm).  After a total of 45 minutes the loaf        was removed and cooled on a wire rack for about 2 hours before cutting.   I found the variation in the color in the sliced loaf surprising.  I have seen this in other loaves, but not where I knew first hand that the kneading had been over 20 minutes on a Kitchen Aid hook at fourth speed. From the uniformity of the crumb, there can also be no doubt that the levain was well distributed through the dough. Since the total coloration came from the levain, I am left to speculate that the lighter portions of the crumb were colored primarily from the water portion of the levain and the darker areas are the larger raisin portions that were less capable of physical migration through the flour in the final dough mix.   In any event, I fancied I could see a creature in the crumb.  In order that you might more easily see what I refer to, at the lower right hand portion of the next image, I inserted a small marked up copy exaggerating the creature's position.   A copy of my baking log is available on Google Docs using this Link:Z-110614-10_RYW_478g [Photos]_110615-1540 .pdf -
  The crumb was softer than would be the case with SD. It also was less open than the last several loaves, excluding the Pullman enriched loaves. It looks as if it were a 30% rye, and could be mistaken in a photo – IMHO.  The flavor is distinctly NOT like, SD, App.YW, Apr.YW, Potato YW, and despite the very dark crust, it is not sweet to my sense of taste.  I believe that the tartness of the emulsified raisin skin, contained in the levain, somewhat offset the sweetness that a strained RYW has.  As fully expected, there was no tang to the flavor, but a very full flavor that seemed more of a wheat than raisin. Indeed, there was no trace of any identifiable raisin flavor. I thought it a very pleasant flavor that might go well in combination with rye, which might be well worth testing.Ron
MadAboutB8's picture



I made both Vermont Sourdough and Vermont Sourdough with Whole Wheat several times in the past year but this was the first time I attempted this recipe (Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain). There were serious typos in the formula for home-bake. Mixing the dough by following the ingredient list, I ended up with a pancake batter. I have heard about the big errata sheet for the book, but this was the first time I came across the recipe error myself. Thank God that at least there was no typo in Baker’s Percentage and liquid levain built. At least, I prepared starter built correctly and I corrected the ingredient errors by using the Baker’s Percentage.


  Before and after ingredient correction

Thanks to the new baking stone (one-inch thick paving bluestone bought from Bunning), my bread came out singing loudly (really really loudly). It sang with crackling tunes for several minutes (no joke!).



As you would expect from Vermont Sourdough, the bread was lovely with pronounced tang from increased rye and percentage of levain. 

Full post and more photos are here


codruta's picture

I made a new starter few days ago, just to taake photos of the process.

I started with 100g (tap) water, 50g AP flour and 50g rye flour, let it sit 24 hours at room temperature. It almost tripled it's volume.

The next day I switched to a 12 hours feedeing schedule, keeping 75g culture, adding 75g water, 50g AP flour and 25g rye flour. Here are some pictures taken in day 2, 3, 4

after day 4, I feed it only with APflour and water, and in day 5 it looked like that:

The smell changed during these days, from sour, sprouted grains, yogurt, sweet and sour, yeast.

This is how it developed in 5 days:

I'm happy with the result, but I don’t know what to do with it now, cause I don’t want to keep two starters, I want to give it away, but I’m from Romania and I don’t know if there is a safe way to “mail” it.  It's a shame to throw it away in the garbage...

I'll bake a bread with it to see if it has a different taste than my old starter, I'm very curious.

For a complete post and pictures, you ca visit my romanian blog Apa.Faina.Sare. (whitch means Water. Flour.Salt.)

And if any of you have any idea what to do with it... I'm all ears.


txfarmer's picture

Recently, I have posted about my SD version of the classic Hokkaido Milk Loaf (see here:, this time I adapted it to use all ww flour. Yes, the original Hokkaido Milk Loaf is quite enriched, and this ww version is not any "leaner", however, I do think ww flour adds more dimension to the flavor, and all the enriching ingredients bring incredible softness to this 100% ww loaf. To me, "healthy eating" is not about restricting, on the contrary, it's about bringing in different kinds of natural food groups into my diet and thriving for a balance.


SD 100%ww Hokkaido Milk Loaf

Note: 19% of the flour is in levain

Note: total flour is 420g, fit my Chinese small-ish pullman pan. For 8X4 US loaf tin, I suggest to use about 450g of total flour.


- levain

starter (100%), 22g

milk, 37g

ww flour (I used KAF ww), 69g

1. Mix and let fermentation at room temp (73F) for 12 hours.

- final dough

ww flour, 340g

sugar, 55g

butter, 17g, softened

milk powder, 25g

egg whites, 63g

salt, 6g

milk, 150g

heavy cream, 118g


1. Mix together everything but butter, autolyse for 40-60min. Add butter, Knead until the dough is very developed. This intensive kneading is the key to a soft crumb, and proper volume. The windowpane will be thin and speckled with grains, but NOT as strong as one would get form a white flour dough. For more info on intensive kneading, see here.

2. rise at room temp for 2 hours, punch down, put in fridge overnight.

3. Take out dough, punch down, divide and rest for one hour.

4. Shape into sandwich loaves, the goal here is to get rid of all air bubles in the dough, and shape them very tightly and uniformly, this way the crumb of final breads would be even and velvety, with no unsightly holes. For different ways to shape (rolling once or twice, i.e. 3 piecing etc) see here.

5. Proof until the dough reaches one inch higher than the tin (for 8X4 inch tin), or 80% full (for pullman pan). About 5 hours at 74F.

6. Bake at 375F for 40-45min. Brush with butter when it's warm.


A crumb and flavor even whole grain haters would love.


Tear/shread away...


Sending this to Yeastspotting.

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

A collection of my recent bakes:

Poolish Baguettes

Cut for BLT's

Ciabatta (Craig Ponsford formula)

Somewhat disappointing crumb.  Another batch made the following week looked similar

Miche, shaped as a large batard.

With baby for (largely uninformative) scale


More Ponsford Ciabatta, made without the final letter fold "shaping"

Crumb, still disappointing

Happy baking, everyone,


mcs's picture

 This past week (June 5-11) May visited the Back Home Bakery from the L.A. area for her internship.  During the week we had the usual work-load plus a bunch of extra palmiers and baguettes for a special order.  The area she felt she improved on the most was controlling the factors to get the desired dough temperatures in both loaf breads and laminated doughs.  Although I'd like to think that being in the bakery was her main highlight of the trip, seeing this as we were coming home from the Tuesday night farmers' market was probably at the top of the list. 
Thanks for the hard work May, and for spoiling Hoku rotten.


May working on the 20qt mixer while we start the rolls


shaping as I record times in the background





RonRay's picture

Sourdough, and Yeast Water Combinations  From Sour to Sweet and Way Back Again
Previously, I posted details on the loaf I use as a 'standard', for purposes of testing. Link:A Standard KISS Loaf, or Keep It Simple Smiley The Fresh Loaf
In that post, I gave a table for three basic types of loaf - White Sourdough [WSD], Yeast Water Levain [YW], Sourdough & Yeast Water Hybrid [SD&YW].These three basic types were shown with there formulae given in two batch sizes, 680g and my 'standard' 478g
In this post, I provide photos of these 3 types, as baked in my standard nominal 478 gram size. At the end is a fourth type loaf, which I will simply call "Aged-SD". The four loaves generated a range of flavors, "nice tang", "fruit and sweet", "sweet with a mild tang", and finally "Strong tang with sweet overtones".

The first images are of the "Straight Sourdough" loaf.  It gave a very nice, mild SD tang to the loaf.

This second set of images is from a totally Apricot YW loaf.There was no sign of any SD tang, nor any apricot flavor, however, there was a very nice flavor with a fruit-like sweetness, and the slightest hint of the type of "tang-like" taste one might detect in an apricot itself.  

This third loaf was a combination of the same sourdough culture used in the first loaf, and the apricot yeast water culture use in the second loaf.

I found the flavor was all I hoped for, a lovely blend of the sourdough tang and sweet, fragrance of the fruit with a slightly different tang from the Apricot YW.

This forth, and final loaf offers a flavor, not unlike the third loaf, but with a "jacked up" sourness. The "Aged-SD", is explained in the PDF copy of my baking log's detail comments, which you can access from Google Docs at the following link:Y-110610-07_Aged-SD+SD&AprYW_478 [Photos]_110611-1115.pdf -

Extremely good oven spring. Of course, the final rise went 6 hours + 45 minutes, and it was 40% bread flour in the dough. Nonetheless, the 11% levain, which was this first testing of Aged-SD surly didn't cut into the levain's ability to leaven this loaf. The top of crust was strong and very chewy. If you like a good good tang with note of apricot tang, but without identifiable fruitiness and a soft touch of sweetness, then, you would like the loaf's flavor. Crumb was more open than my recent enriched sandwich breads, but still more than tight enough to be an excellent sandwich and toast loaf.   The levain method of adding Aged-SD most definitely accomplished my desired objective of combining SD and YW merits into a Hybrid Sour Sweet and Sour loaf.


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