The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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inlovewbread's picture

I made up another batch of dmsnyder's San Joaquin Sourdough and this is my bake. They are still singing as I type this! I got a better ear this time- I think it was a better scoring, I cut a little deeper than the last try. Also, I used the full 21 hour cold fermentation for this bake as apposed to the 14 hours on the last attempt. I don't know if this has anything to do with the better ear or not.

My question though is (I guess directed at David, but others please chime in): 

Can I apply this same method (fold in the bowl bulk ferment at room temp, overnight/ long cold retardation/ room temp 1 hr. 45 min/ bake) to other types of sourdough? 

I love the way that this formula and method fit into my schedule, and the cold dough is so easy to handle. It seems like a 'reliable' method. I would like to try this approach to other formulas using my sourdough starter, specifically Glezer's "Essential's Columbia", but don't know if this long fermentation would work with the malt syrup included in the formula

David- have you tried your method with any other formulas or have you modified your SJ formula ever including malt syrup? Seeded? With durum flour? Other? What were the results?

Thank you in advance for taking the time on this question. And thanks again for a fabulous formula! These batards and another batch tonight will be for company this week! :-)

koloatree's picture

Doing some baking experiments with portugese sweet bread from "Advanced Bread and Pastry" book. This bake, I could of waited an additional hour or so but was pressed for time. The dough can triple+ in size during it's final proof. I filled these bread with ghiridelli chocolate chips and walnuts. Next bake, I will proof more and add more chocolate! The topping is some pearl sugar.



These baguettes are from "Bread"; the poolish version. I made some mistakes during the shaping. These are 12ozs and could barely fit on my baking stone. This weekend, going to try 10ozs.



yozzause's picture


I called this horse bread  due to the fact that a number of the ingrediants are easily obtained from stockfeed stores catering for the horse people. There was some discussion on the availability or lack of Molasses in another topic on TFL. For this bread i got my daughter to pick up 2 litres of molasses from the rural store when she was picking up her bales of hay for the nags.

The molasses comes in one of those 1,000 litre bulk plastic containers that is on a pallet in a steel frame which is then decanted into smaller containers as required. cost was $A 5.20 for the 2 litres, i could have sourced my Barley there too but already had that from a bulk providor in Fremantle. These 2 ingrediants are firm favourites with horses hence the connection to Horse bread.

I started the barley off to produce sprouts by soaking for 24 hours in water  and then straining off the water, i tend to keep the grain in the laundry and each time i pass by i  dunk the sieve into water for a few minutes and  allow to drain again. After the 4 days the sprouts are progressing well and ready for use.

For the preferment  I used 250g stone ground wholemeal flour with 250ml of home brew coopers dark stout and 125mls of sour dough starter that was diluted to half strength and allowed to ferment over night. In the morning i added a further 450g of bakers flour 14g salt and 100ml of mollasses the dough was quite sticky but not overly wet at the completion of the mix i then incorporated 100g of the sprouted barley this was then allowed to bulk ferment for 3 hours in corporating 3 x stretch and folds.

i divided the dough into 2 parts 1 i tinned up and placed in my car to prove in the autumn sun the other i handed up and placed in a cloth and bowl and placed in the fridge for a retard and bake off the following day.

The first dough went into the oven at around 14.00hrs

the 2nd piece went into the oven the following day at 09.00.

This dough was a bit of a trial run for the sprouting of the grain for a bit of a baking session that fellow West Australian and  TFL member Rossnroller and i are going to have  next week  when we will use the WOOD FIRED OVEN  and a bigger dough

it was easier to call this HORSE BREAD rather than 36% wholemeal  64% white sour dough with stout molasses and sprouted barley.

All that tried it liked it, although next time i would probably 1/2 THE MOLASSES  as it was rather powerfull other great additions would be dried figs, dates and walnuts the texture was very good and moist and quite malty and has great keeping qualities

so the top 3 pics are the same day procedure the others are the retarded portion.

Regards YOZZA

teefay's picture

I have a Zoirushi BBCCX20 Bread Machine that I absolutely love and here is my favorite Whole Wheat Recipe that's been tested a lot and never fails me. The reason the Zojirushi BBCCX20 is better at making whole wheat bread in my opinion is because of it's twin kneading blades. It insures the ingredients especially for whole wheat are kneaded thoroughly and that makes all the difference.

Anyways, here is the recipe.




100% Whole Wheat Bread for Bread Machine

-----REGULAR LOAF-----

1 cup Water
2 1/2 cups Wheat bread flour
1 1/4 tablespoons Dry milk
1 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 tablespoons Butter
1 1/4 tablespoons Honey
1 tablespoon Gluten
2 teaspoons Molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons Fast-Rise yeast *** OR ***
2 teaspoons Active-Dry yeast

-----LARGE LOAF-----

1 1/2 cups + 2 tb Water
3 3/4 cups Wheat bread flour
2 tablespoons Dry milk
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Honey
1 1/2 tablespoons Gluten
1 tablespoon Molasses
2 1/8 teaspoons Fast-Rise yeast *** OR ***
3 teaspoons Active-Dry yeast

The trick to making 100% whole wheat bread in your machine is an extra knead,
which gives the yeast and gluten a second chance to create a lighter loaf.

When your first knead cycle is completed, simply reset the machine and start again.
Some manufacturers produce home bakeries with a whole wheat cycle;
if your machine doesn't have one, this start- again method works as an easy


The gluten gives the whole wheat flour the structure necessary for a good loaf.
If your market doesn't stock wheat gluten, try your local health food store.
Remember the extra knead. It's especially important in 100% whole wheat bread.
Because of the extra knead, use this recipe only on the regular bake cycle.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

txfarmer's picture

The first one is Alsace loaf with Rye from Dan Lepard's book "A handmade loaf". Recipe can be found online here: , but of course I have the book and love it.

Made one big batard and several small rolls. This is a fast bread to make since there's commercial yeast in it. Dan used fresh yeast, but I used instant yeast (adjusted amount).

The crumb is relatively open, and the rye berries soaked in white wine lends texture and a sweet taste to the otherwise earthy bread, very nice with some butter.


The 2nd one is Black Pepper Rye from Dan Lepard's website: - that thread not only has the recipe, but also a very good picture tutorial on how the bread is made. If you do a little search you'll find this bread has been successfully tried by many folks here on TFL, and most liked it.

I started out somewhat skeptical, since only "fakers" add coffee to their rye breads right? Wrong! Coffee, as well as plent of black pepper and poppy seeds, are not here to mask anything, but to provide strong and greatly blended flavors on their own.

I used very strong espresso powder from KAF, so the coffee taste was definitely strong (which I like), the black pepper provided a lingering spiciness, and the large amount of poppy seeds on top got toasted and became so fragrant during baking. Such strong flavors all blended well together, suprisingly.

Using only commercial yeast, it's another very fast bread to make,  delicious with some PB.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

They just didn't want to be baguettes!

I took the recipe under Metric and divided by 20 to use 500g total flour in the recipe.  I did make some changes... I added an egg white into the water to total 165g in the final dough.  I used 1/2 tsp of yeast in the final dough.  This gave me longer fermentation.  I also hand mixed the dough.

Poolish Baguettes, page 101, Hamelman's "BREAD" with barely a pinch of yeast and using 9% protein white unbleached wheat flour to sit 12 hours at 23°C (74°F).

Mixed the dough with water (22g egg white "small egg" and 143g water) whipped with a fork  then added to the poolish along with salt 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast and 12% protein unbleached wheat bread flour.  Let stand one hour and folded the dough.  Did two more folds with 2 hours between for a 5 hour bulk rise.  Cut off 8 rolls at 100g each and one at 85g.  Let rise under cover and kept moist with water to rise about 45 min to an hour.  When somewhat risen, I sprinkled with sesame seeds and made 5 point star scissor cuts not connecting the cuts.

Then quickly into the hot steamy oven 240° rotated with steam release after 10 minutes.  Baked for another 10 minutes.  Then the second tray got sprinkled and scored hot on the trail of the first tray. 


They made it to the dinner table.  Crispy crusts and tender insides, still warm.

Mini Oven




varda's picture

Today I made Hamelman's poolish baguettes.   Which retaught me a lesson I've already learned which is that making baguettes is hard.   A month or two ago, I tried the Bouabsa formula several times, without having any idea that it wasn't reasonable to start one's baguette making career with that, so I backed off to Hamelman which I think is quite delicious in its own right.   But it is still hard for the novice bread baker.  

From this side it doesn't look so bad -

From this side, not so much ...

All I can say is thank god for bagels which are tasty and rewarding -

Sedlmaierin's picture

I have blogged about baking Pretzels before and this time I had one concern I wanted to be able to improve on-shape. Turns out two improvements were made and I will need expert baker's help to determine what is responsible for the slight texture change -which in my eyes made them perfect!

So, my previous bakes ended up with Pretzels that rose quite a bit in the oven and due to poor shaping, almost turned more into a pretzel shaped bun, than a Pretzel. The current Pretzels received(in general) superior shaping but also did not have a lot of oven spring. I don't know if that is the reason that the resulting Pretzel is chewier, I don't even know why the oven spring was only moderate- maybe once I elaborate on my procedure you guys can help me figure out what caused the chewiness, because I definitely prefer that over the more airy results I had in the last two bakes. Not that there was anything wrong with the other guys-just a personal preference! Here's the link to the old post ,I guess I only blogged about them once, but this is actually the third try-the second bake was done without sticking the pate fermentee in the fridge and they still turned out, pregnant looking and more airy.

Procedure this time around:

-I anticipated not being home for the mixture of the dough and gave my husband specific instructions as to what to do. For that reason I prepped as much of it as I could and the flour ended up with a 4 hour, roomtemp(maybe 70) autolyse.

-The pate fermentee ended up not doming and falling until I was back, so I can attest to the quite amazing gluten development the autolysed flour had already, when I started hand mixing the dough

-Bulk fermentation was at about 1 hour 50 minutes......forgot to fold the dough until the last twenty minutes of bulk fermentation-so it got folded close to the end

-pre-shaped into cylinders,rested the dough for about 20 minutes, then shaped the pretzels. the first few still looked like they would end up kind of tight, so I decided I would roll out the long strands of dough , let those relax again for a few minutes and then shape them into pretzels. THAT worked perfect and you will see that some of the pretzels stayed quite open.

-final fermentation about 30 minutes- and no they did not increase by 75 percent-closer to 50%...I REALLY wanted to eat pretzels last night and hurried the poor things along

-fridge time about 30 minutes,then dipped them and baked them about 16-18 minutes

Resulting Pretzels

Now I just have to figure out the right way of storing them. Unfortunately Pretzels are really not good to keep-even the next day they are significantly less crunchy. I should have frozen these as soon as they were cool-maybe it isn't too late yet.


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hi All,

Just wanted to tease you a little with what I'm working on right now. 

100% Hydration 100% Whole Wheat No Knead Bread


450g WW (Gold Medal)

50g Malted Barley Flour

100g Firm SD Starter (60% hydr)

500g Water

10g Kosher Salt

1/8 tsp ADY

1111 Total Dough Yield



3:15pm - Mix all ingredients in large mixing bowl with wooden spoon, cover let rest.

4:40pm - Turn dough using French fold method in bowl with wet hands, cover let rest.

5:20pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.

6:45pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.

7:35pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.

9:00pm - Shape dough as follows: flour linen lined banneton with WW flour.  Turn dough in rising bowl with wet hands using reverse letter fold so that smooth side remains on top.  Transfer dough floured side down into banneton, place banneton in large plastic bag to proof.  Arrange baking stone and steam pan in oven, preheat to 550F.

10:00pm - Try to turn the dough out onto peel but dough sticks majorly to banneton...  I manage to scrape it out onto the peel and shove it in the oven...  I get a little bit of oven spring, but it's pretty much a pancake...

10:45pm - it's out of the oven now.  I'll cut it open tomorrow morning, but I don't have high hopes for this one...

Verdict: Fail for now...  I'll try something tomorrow...


proth5's picture

Lest any of you consider that my life is all flights across the Pacific and raw squid for breakfast, I recently found myself in driving (in my little green convertible - top down - adorned with my "I Love Okinawa" magnet) from Colorado's Front Range to the great wheat growing region of Kansas for a tour of the Heartland Mill in Marienthall, KS.

Some of you may know Heartland Mill ( as the producer of Golden Buffalo flour -  a high extraction organic flour.  And so here comes the first of my shameless plugs.  Heartland Mill mills a variety of flours - all organic - either stone ground or on their long-flow roller mill. They also produce oat products and sell whole grains.  Why shamelessly plug them? Because the mill is farmer owned and they are very interested in producing flours that support the artisan bread baking community .  I believe in supporting businesses like these that can make decisions not only on profitability (as I am a great believer in making a profit) but on what they think will support their employees and their community.  So that's my first plug.  If you are interested, they sell directly to the consumer - their small bags are very lovely cloth bags - for use after emptying for small sewing projects. 

So I will now give the second  of my shameless plugs.  This tour was sponsored by the Bread Baker's Guild of America (BBGA)  ( (Hello, Laverne!  It's me again!) without whose hard work I would not have had such a marvelous opportunity.  I have said before that the educational opportunities they provide are well worth the membership fee - even for this raggedy home baker - and I mean it sincerely.  So, that being said, I don't think it is fair to try and write a "tell-all" of the tour because I don't want to give the impression that folks who hunger for this kind of education just need to wait long enough and I will post it all here, and that there is no need to join.  I support a lot of their efforts and membership fees support those.

But some highlights are well worth sharing with other bread baking and milling enthusiasts.

First, for all that I have been out and about in the world, my travels have neglected actual drives through what is often referred to as "the flyover zone."  Since my trip started from Denver in the pre-dawn hours, I got to see the sun rising over the fields of Eastern Colorado, the magenta clouds reaching down to the frost covered fields, a gentle mist making the entire scene something out of a fantasy.  Yes, our mountains are beautiful, but I have never been so struck by the beauty of our plains.  I believe someone once wrote a song about it.

Then I hit the great wheat growing region.  For those of you in coastal states, or countries with less acreage, the scale of these farms is quite striking.  They are immense.   Not big, not really big - immense.  I was not exactly driving slowly and it took quite a while to drive between any areas where I could spot houses.    I cannot help but wonder how these immense farms could ever become the small farms that so many food enthusiasts promote, but this trip was not about that.

After five hours of driving, I arrived at Heartland Mill. it is a very small operation both in size and staffing.  Their head miller said that he had no particular expertise but was just "an old farm boy."  I instinctively put my hand to my wallet... :>)  They had the mills shut down so we could both tour the mill and talk.  (So sorry about no pictures, but not only are my photography skills not up to the task, but only pictures by the official photographer were allowed. ) 

We talked a great deal about the millstones themselves.  There is a type of millstone called a French millstone that is constructed of stones that are only 2 hardness points softer than diamonds.  What was discussed was that this type of millstone (which is not yet in operation in the mill) will produce a caramelization of the flour that is the "ultimate" in flour taste - or so it is according to B.W. Dedrick's "Practical Milling". Also interesting is that this type of millstone is not a monolith, but is pieced together so that there the hardness and composition of the stone is more consistent.

We then moved on to the stone milling area where we took a look at the Meadows mills.   To get their high extraction flour, Heartland is milling in one pass and bolting the flour (through a number 40 mesh sieve).  Of course I had to ask questions about this.  They found that grinding un tempered wheat (9-10% moisture) was most successful, but then the miller similarly claimed that it was a characteristic of stone milling itself that made this possible.  No one seems think about burr milling with steel, but our exchanges lead me to believe that my approach of treating my process similar to the roller milling process might (and I emphasize "might") be a good one.

We also discussed stone milling vs. roller milling and how the difference in the processes might influence the flavor profile of the flour. While there is one school of thought that the stones themselves impart a better flavor, Craig Ponsford put out the thought that the fact that the parts of the grain were never separated (as they are in roller milling) created a better flavor profile.  All were in agreement that in blind tests, bread made with stone ground flour tasted "better."

We also had an interesting discussion about the words "stone ground" when applied to flour and how various labeling regulations made it imperative to "know your miller" so that you know that the flour was really 100% stone ground, not just run through stones to meet the labeling requirements.

We went over the tempering process (for roller milling) in detail.  I have some things to think about...

The long flow roller mill is run at speeds where the flour comes off "cool."  They had experimented with milling very "un aggressively" and found that they did not create enough starch damage in the flour for it to be used in baking. 

We talked a bit about aging flour.  The maxim of "use right away or wait two weeks" was discussed.  Thom Leonard tells me that this is true - because there is enzymatic action that takes place soon (but not immediately) after milling that will impact baking qualities until oxidation takes place.  However, we also discussed that for whole wheat flours this impact is negligible and that he has used whole wheat flour at various ages with little impact on the final product. (Thom- if you are listening in, please log in and fill in the exact details - there are people here who want to know...)

On the whole, I came away with the feeling that I have a lot more research to do on milling and that that even though I have taken a lot of factors into account in my process, I have a lot more things to consider.

We then spent a little time in the lab to watch the alveograph.   I've read a lot about these tests and how to interpret them, but I've never seen the thing in operation.  Essentially this machine blows a bubble (think bubble gum) from a specially prepared disk of dough and measures the pressure required to blow the bubble and the time it takes the bubble to burst.  If you've made it this far in the blog, and you are not familiar with this test, you need to look up source material in any one of the excellent books available to home bakers that discuss rheological testing for flour.  In short, the pressure gives an indication of elasticity and the time an indicator of extensibility.  We, as home bakers, care about this because it is the perfect balance of extensibility and elasticity that give us well shaped, but open crumbed breads that we so seek.  (More about this later.)  The importance of the results of this test cannot be overemphasized (for white flours - the bran in whole wheat flours cuts the gluten so that the bubble pops prematurely).  I want one of those bad boys.  Bad. (They talk about "boys and their toys" - I'm possibly worse - and for those that don't know - I'm a girl.)

At lunch I had the opportunity to chat with P. Stephen Baenziger of the University of Nebraska.  He works on selective breeding and improving small grains (including my favorite - triticale.  "You probably haven't heard of it," he said.  "Actually, I've milled it and baked with it...").  We talked about the local heirloom wheat - Red Turkey.  We discussed that while these heirloom breeds try to keep their genetic lines pure, the various diseases that attack them keep evolving and eventually a once disease resistant variety needs to be crossed with other plants to produce reliably, especially in an organic situation (heirloom breed enthusiasts - hold off!  He is dealing with very, very large commercial operations.  Results on a smaller scale will be different.) I did have to agree with him somewhat because my own experience with heirloom plants in my home garden (which sometimes gets less than optimal care because of my work/travel schedule) has been very similar and I've begun to love my hybrids for reliable, yet still tasty production.

We did have a more formal presentation on wheat breeding and what it takes to get a new breed to the point where it can be released for large scale planting.  Now here is where even I began to glaze over a bit, for truthfully little me and little you (unless "little you" are a professional artisan baker) have little influence in this process.  But the overall takeaway was pretty profound.  He discussed that various strains of wheat - that might have better baking qualities for the artisan baker - were being abandoned because there is no perceived market for them.  In the context of a BBGA educational event, the discussion wound around to how such an organization can change this (back to the second shameless plug.)

We talked a bit about alveograph tests and how to compensate for a flour that was not ideal.  Here's where I want to put some emphasis - yes, hydration was mentioned (proper fermentation is a given in this company) - but another factor for correcting flour properties was the amount of flour pre fermented.  I found this out for myself when I was tuning up my baguette formula, but it gets very little play on these pages - I wish it would get more.

This winds me around to our last discussion.  We talked a bit about "protein levels" in wheat and how American bakers are all about the absolute number and not how the flour actually performs under the conditions of artisan bakers.  Professional bakers who have baked in Europe expressed that the absolute protein number was not as important as how the flour acted as far as its baking qualities.  Unfortunately the industry accepted tests are not designed for the kind of breads being produced by artisan bakers.  It was expressed that Heartland would like to mill these lower protein flours, but there is no market for them because bakers have been trained to look for certain protein numbers.  A lot of this was discussed within the context of how the BBGA might help, but my takeaway was this: It is not that Europe is a superior place to produce wheat; it is not that we don't have wonderful millers; it is that there is no perceived market for these flours.   I have considered this for a long time.  Maybe it was the sight of those immense fields of wheat.  North America is a great place to grow wheat - but we, as consumers and bakers don't show enough demand for these flours to make production economically viable.  Back to my shameless plug - here is where organizations like BBGA can make changes.

(I also had a lively discussion about the difference in economic incentives for small businesses/farms in Europe/Canada vs. the US, but do- not - get - me - started. Really.)

My last memorable quip was a gentleman who asked me why a raggedy home baker would know so many technical details about wheat, milling, and flour.  "Was it that your bread didn't turn out well and you decided to find out why?"  "No, I was always a pretty good baker," I replied.  "The bread was always good.  It's just that I - can't - help - myself."

I decided rather than stay for the dinner that I had spent enough time away from home and drove back to watch the sun set over the Rockies.  To wrap up this long, long post, as I drove I pondered that this had been one of the most satisfying days that I had had in a long time. (A long drive on clear roads in nice weather in a sports car might have had something to do with it, but the mill tour played a large part.)  And I thought of those words uttered by that most famous Kansas girl:

"...if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with.."

Dorothy Gale


Happy Baking!


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