The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


breadsong's picture

Today's bake was an experiment with multigrain, to see the difference between baking in a cold dutch oven, versus baking on my firebrick baking stone.
I've seen so many successful dutch oven bakes here on TFL - I wanted to give it a try!

The result: Very tasty! if not exactly pretty.
The baking stone loaf rose up an extra 1/2" compared to the 'cold dutch oven' loaf, which spread out more & didn't have as much oven spring/bloom from scoring.
Other variables: shaping was harder for the dutch oven loaf (fighting a sticky dough), and the dutch oven loaf was baked at a slightly lower temperature.

Crumb shot is from the 'cold dutch oven' loaf. The bottom loaf was baked on the baking stone.

I tasted a heavenly sourdough bread with sunflower, poppy and flax seeds this past week - I wanted to try and recreate that flavor - so this is the combination of seeds I used for this multigrain. The sunflower seeds were not toasted prior to soaking.

Weights, in grams, for two big boules:






Baker's %

Bread flour






Red Fife 75% whole wheat flour






75% sifted rye flour






Rye meal
























Mixed seeds






Levain (7 hour build at 80F)






Soaker (7 hour soak)












*also added approximately 1 teaspoon of barley malt syrup when mixing this dough.
The ingredients are based on Chad Robertson's Tartine Whole Grain Seeded Bread as featured In The News here on TFL (page 3), and Didier Rosada's Whole Grain Bread as featured on I am grateful to both of these talented bakers for their formulas!

Mixing, fermenting and retarding were as per Mr. Roberton's method, except I held back 90g of water to mix in with the salt and seeds after autolyse (double hydration used in Mr. Rosada's method).
Ingredients (levain, increased whole wheat flour, rye meal) were inspired by Mr. Rosada's formula.
The dough was retarded in bulk form for 12 hours, after a 3.5 hour bulk ferment at 80F.
The boules were shaped cold from the fridge; both proofed for one hour (one loaf in the dutch oven and one in a banneton).
The dutch oven was covered and placed directly on an oven rack in an oven preheated for 20 minutes at 500F. Temperature was reduced to 450F after loading the oven. The dutch oven lid was removed after 20 minutes.
The other loaf was baked on the stone with steam after the stone was preheated at 500F for 1 hour. Temperature was reduced to 460F after loading the oven.
Loaves baked for 45 minutes, then were left in oven for 10 minutes with oven off and oven door ajar.

I think this is one of the tastiest breads I've made. I really like the energy savings the dutch oven baking method provides.
Next time I'll try preheating the dutch oven and see how the oven spring is.

Happy baking everyone!
from breadsong
wassisname's picture

There will be friends, there will be skiing, there will be beer... there should be pretzels.

The recipe from Local Breads yielded beautiful results - highly recommended.  No mention of  an egg wash in the recipe, but I added one just to pretty them up.  A lump of WW sourdough starter went in too, just because it was there and in need of a home.  I can't wait for another occasion to bake these.  Does Tuesday qualify as an occasion?


SylviaH's picture

While spending time in the kitchen stretching and folding tomorrow's bread, I made a scone cake with some of my frozen cranberries and candied orange peel.  This is a variation on a recipe I have posted Here.     I used the same recipe exchanging the lemon zest for a cup of mixed, candied orange peel, and whole fresh frozen cranberries.  I tossed the cranberries and orange peel in a small amount, apx. 1 TBsp. flour before folding them into the mixed batter.  I like a scone cake shaping because it's attractive, whole or sliced and keeps well, with the added plus of less handling, which makes for a lovely tender moist crumb.  I baked this one about 8 minutes longer because of the added frozen cranberries.






HMerlitti's picture

Can someone find a monistery in Italy with a bakery that needs to be restored. ??

Who would like to go with me ??


bharonC's picture

There are countless small food recalls each month. These recalls are headed by, however not required by, the FDA. The federal government's financing of the Food and Drug Administration is not usually considered during these recalls. The 2011 Skippy recall, however, is bringing to mind the reduction in funding. Lawmakers are really considering cutting funding to the FDA and USDA, in spite of the hazard of unrecalled food. Post resource - Peanut butter recall 2011 highlights danger of cutting funding by MoneyBlogNewz.

Massive recall on peanut butter this year

In a move expected to cost about $50 million or more, Skippy has recalled peanut butter in 16 states. The Skippy Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread and Skippy Reduced Fat Super Chunk Peanut Butter Spread have both been possibly contaminated with salmonella bacteria. The UPC numbers 048001006812 and 048001006782 on the 16.3 ounce jar means that it is in the recall. These are only plastic jars. The FDA is working in cooperation with Unilever, the company that manufactures Skippy, to pull the possibly tainted product off the shelves.

Getting food safety covered

In a new bill signed into law last year, the FDA got an update. To be able to get a recall before, the Food and Drug Administration had to work with the business. Now the Food and Drug Administration can issue the recall itself. More money was put in the FDA budget so that food safety is closely viewed while new inspectors could be employed. The funding for these changes, however, seems to be at risk. Part of the funding is appearing from cuts to the USDA, which is responsible for the safety of the meat supply. The new food safety laws may never really be enforced though. This is because Congress is asking for FDA reductions. The lack of funding with consequences is very significant since tainted food causes over 3,000 deaths a year.

Biggest issue for food safety

The United States has to figure out something for financing food safety. It is hard to determine. The food and drug safety in the United States are taken care of by the FDA which means lots of stuff is going on. Food safety is also, alternately, handled by the United States Department of Agriculture or 14 other federal agencies. There are also many government officials that keep track of this in the state and cities. There are several challenges with the heavier regulation though even though it might help food safety. Small farms, farmer's markets, and other local food producers have currently expressed concern that increased regulation costs them a significant percentage of their sales. All of the food safety recalls means millions lost from the safety spending budget and economy. The political, social and economic changes might turn out to be too hard for every person to face.

Information from



Food Safety News

Government Accountability Office

bartwin's picture

I would like to put back some bran and wheat germ into my white flour bread recipes.  Does anyone know what that translates to in terms of additional water per cup of flour?

Jo_Jo_'s picture

Couldn't help but want to share this link from "I Can Has Cheezburger"  Lolcat bread pic.... On to my raisin bread, which turned out pretty good.  I used Winter White Wheat, red wheat is simply to strong flavored for making a good cinnamon bread.  I like the red wheat for my cereal bread though!  The darkness of the crumb is mostly from the cinnamon that went into the dough.

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I did not soak the flour at all with this recipes, simply ground it and made it into the bread.  I used kefir (basically a lot like buttermilk), and the only other changes I made to the recipe was to use pecans, splenda for the cinnamon swirl and honey in the actual bread.  Oh, I also reduced the percentage of raisin in the recipe by half.  Not sure why the baker's percentage asked for so much, but it seemed rather outrageous.  Here's the dough after the kneading it for about 4 minutes.

At this point I added the pecans and raisins, and kneaded for a few minutes, which worked ok, but I decided to do a little hand kneading before I let it rise, just to mix them in a little better.  I then greased up a container for the dough to do it's bulk rise in.

It actually looks pretty good in there, and I'm starting to think this will turn out to be a nice loaf.

Starting to rise a little bit, a little bit slower than I expected, but I think I used active dry yeast rather than my instant yeast. 

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Took about 2 hours, but it's now risen well and ready to be shaped into a loaf of bread.  This is 1.8 lbs of bread dough.

I flattened the dough with my hands, trying not to eliminated all the bubbles, but wanting the texture to be like a sandwich loaf.  The gluten was really well developed, so this was easy but took two steps.  It needed a few minutes to rest before finishing flattening it.

Here it is with the cinnamon and splenda, plus a small amount of flour with a spray or two of water on top to hold it all in place.

All rolled up, ready for it's final proof.  It's looking pretty good, but I think I should have made a little bit more dough for this loaf.  I thought it was 2 lbs, but when I looked back it was actually about 1.8 lbs at the most.

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I took two pictures of my finished bread, in different lighting conditions, because of the speculation about why the BBA book's picture was so different.  I am thinking that these last pictures will show what a difference simple lighting and camera position can make, but I also did not cook my bread for a full 40 minutes like BBA called for.  I do not like really dark crusts, so tend to pull them or cover them with foil if I think they are not quite done. 

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hi my brother sent me this video link, there is some amazing looking dough in it, and loads of wonderful types of food.



tssaweber's picture

Reading through SylviaH's long blog (Oven-Steaming My New Favorite Way) I decided that I have to give this steaming technique a try.

I always felt uncomfortable with spraying my hot oven and I don't know how many times I burnt myself in pouring water on the hot bottom. Even though it is still working I believe I've done a lot of damage to the oven and this is probably also the source of all the issues I have with it not holding the temperature correctly.

Like others I was pretty amazed with the result!


The oven spring was so strong that I had blow-outs in my baguettes.

I don't think this happened because of poor shaping. (I'm Sinclair trained!  The Back Home Bakery) On the other hand it shows nicely how big irregular holes in the crumb are created and that scoring plays a big role.


Of course a very strong sourdough starter is very helpful too!!


Happy baking!



SylviaH's picture

Thank you, Karin, for a wonderful formula!  A Keeper!

My first attempt at working with 100% spelt flour.  

I baked this bread yesterday before rushing out for the day.  It works great for a busy schedule and I could have even taken less time by not over proofing it, I'll know better next time after reading, other members advice about mixing and proofing spelt flour breads.  The 'my' crumb was to dense but the flavor is outstanding,  I loved the spices and nut combo...oh and the buttermilk!  

I finally found 2 photos, that's another story!

ADDED:  My husband had it toasted this morning, detected something he really liked in the flavor...ahhhh, I told him anise and fennel.  He's usually doesn't comment about whole grain breads to much..he said he really liked this that's something!








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