The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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photojess's picture

and I have to say it was very, very good!  There was no specific bean taste, although it was wheat-y.   I don't mind that at all though.  My husband is all about putting peanut butter on whatever bread I make.  It honestly doesn't matter what kind it is....which I find rather funny.  His favorites I would have to say are the ryes though.

Liseling posted her Pinto bean bread in this thread:

and here is a pic of the bread and crumb.  Not sure where that little air bubble came from though.  I rubbed the top of the bread with butter while still warm, and I made sure I pretty much pulverized all of the beans in the food processor.  I started the beans first thing in the am, let them cool, and used the warm water as directed.  I have to say, that this was a really nice dough to work with too.

Please feel free to comment on anything you see I should change, like shaping, or whatever.  For being a whole wheat bread, I think it turned out just dandy!

rhag's picture

I work at a small Organic Bakery in Winnipeg,MB. We get our grain directly from the farmers and mill our own flour/grain and press our own organic sunflower oil at the bakery . The bread is pretty basic but is made with the best ingredients possible. I work the night shift from 8pm to 430am by myself and on average I make between 275 and 400 loaves each night along with roughly 700 buns and 250 WW cinnamon buns. I make 9 kinds of bread during the night: Wholewheat, Wholewheat Multi, White, Cracked Wheat, White Multi, Wild Rice, Light Sourdough Rye, Spelt, and Ciabatta.

After I finish work at 430 I drive 45 min to bake in a woodfired oven for a farmers market on the weekend until 10am which is just for fun to help out a friend with production.

PICTURES! They're kind of crummy because I took them on my phone.










Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

This was my contribution to the July 4th feast this year. I was asked to bring a dessert, with a request for something fruity. Blueberry pie seemed like a perfect choice. Simple in concept, but not always simple in execution, baking the perfect pie can be quite a challenge. This one could have used a little more lemon juice in the filling (or better yet, some rhubarb :-), but the crust turned out surprisingly well. And so, I offer my tip for keeping the edges from overbaking:

Instead of piecing together foil strips, I like to cut a doughnut shape. But rather than wrapping it from the top down, like most people do, I find that wrapping upward from underneath the lip of the pan does a better job of protecting the fluted edge from the intense heat rising off the heating element. This allows for lower placement in the oven, which gives better browning to the bottom crust. I can monitor how it's going by baking in a clear pyrex pie plate, and move the pie higher or lower as necessary. 

davidg618's picture

My wife makes three loaves of light whole wheat bread, alternating every other week with an all-white flour version of the same recipe. Two of the loaves are our "daily bread", the third routinely goes to a neighbor. She uses our bread machine, a Zo, on the "Dough" setting, and does a 2nd bulk fermentation, panning and proofing, and baking outside the machine. The machine does a one hour bulk proof; her second bulk proof is usually 2 to 2-1/2 hours depending on the dough's behavior. The long bulk proofings allow the doughs, expecially the whole wheat version, a chance to develop good flavors.

Curious if I could convert the recipe to a sourdough, i scaled it to produce the same dough weight and hydration as the original recipe, but replaced some of the white flour and water with 240g of active sourdough starter at 60% hydration, built using the 3-build approach I use for all my sourdough formula.

The photo answers my curiousty with a firm yes.

However, the experiement taught me the question I should have asked: "Is it worth the additional time and effort?"

This bread is all one would ask for in a sandwich bread: excellent flavor; closed, but light and slightly chewy crumb; and a soft crust--even before I brushed them with butter. But I can say the same things about my wife's bread. Here's a photo of her all-white version I took a couple of weeks ago.

From my point-of-view we're going to stay with the tried and true Yvonne has baked for the last six years. Doing the sourdough was fun, and we will certainly enjoy eating the result.

Sometime in the future I'm going to see if I can be successful baking a single sourdough loaf entirely in the Zo. I think it's possible, in the programmable mode, using a very active starter, and removing the paddles after the knead step. This will allow up to a four hour bulk fermentation step. But that's for another day.

Shiao-Ping's picture

I have been having problems with my San Francisco starter.  This is the only starter that I have used so far that is not home grown.  It is not as vigorous as what I am used to.  This is the third time I've used it to make sourdough but I'm still not getting the open crumb that I want.  I am documenting it because my husband claims that it is the best sourdough I've made so far.  He absolutely loved the flavor and could not stop raving about it.  He said "it's long in the palate, like wine."   

Our kids' God parents came tonight and I made roast pork leg for dinner.   There was only a little bit leftover and my husband said he couldn't wait to have roast pork sourdough sandwich with apple sauce tomorrow.   Another reason why he likes this sourdough is because the crust is not too crusty (thick crust hurts his gum?!).

Well, if it makes my family happy, I am happy.  So I am going to be "thick-skinned" and show this somewhat dense crumb here.  



          San Francisco Sourdough  


                          The crumb  


For this sourdough, I tried to follow Leader's San Francisco Sourdough recipe (p. 212 - 215 of Bread Alone), but I had no patience.  A 29-hour procedure became 65 hours for me because I left it in the refrigerator for too long.   And maybe that is what contributed to the great flavor!  



dmsnyder's picture

Inspired by the gorgeous rye breads hansjoakim has been showing us, I made Hamelman's 70% 3-Stage Rye Sourdough today.

I've made lots of light rye breads and enjoyed them, but I had not yet tackled a rye with over 50% rye flour. I had also never made a rye using the "Detmolder 3-Stage" method. It was time.

I'm glad this was not the first rye bread I attempted. My acquired comfort level with slack doughs and sticky rye dough helped immensely. Working this dough, which has so little gluten it never develops perceptibly, would have been discouraging and confusing without that experience. A 70% rye dough is a different critter from a 40% rye. The latter feels like a "normal" dough, except stickier. The former is like moulding clay. A light and  quick touch is needed to successfully handle the dough, especially in shaping. I was pleased that, using this approach, almost no dough stuck to my hands.

The 3-Stage Detmolder method was developed by German bread scientists to optimize flavor and, particularly, the balance of yeast, lactic acid-producers and acetic acid-producers in the dough. This requires some advance planning. I started the whole process 3 days ago by activating my rye sour with two feedings prior to starting the first "stage" of the Detmolder process. The 3 Detmolder stages are rye sour elaborations that differ in hydration, fermentation temperature and length of fermentation. The final dough adds to the rye sour some high-gluten flour (I used KAF Sir Lancelot.), more water, salt and, optionally, instant yeast. It has a very short fermentation of 10-20 minutes and proofs in bannetons until expanded somewhat less than 100%. I proofed for 1 hr, 15 minutes. In hindsight, I could have proofed for another 15 minutes. (My kitchen was around 79F.)

The dough is divided into rounds which are "docked" rather than scored. Docking involves poking multiple holes in the crust before baking. There are toothed rollers that professional bakers use. I used a "Susan from San Diego Special Mixing Implement," otherwise known as "a chopstick."

The 1.5 lb loaves were baked in a "falling oven temperature," starting out at 490F for 10 minutes to maximize oven spring, then at 410F for another 30 minutes. I left the loaves in the oven, with the oven off and the door ajar, for another 10 minutes to dry the crust.

Steaming should be intense but brief. I poured some hot water over lava rocks in a pre-heated cast iron skillet 3 minutes or so before loading then poured some more water on the rocks just after loading. The skillet was removed after 5 minutes, and I left the oven door open for a few seconds to let some of the steam out before continuing the bake.

Hamelman says to delay slicing for at least 24 hours. 

70% 3-Stage Rye Sourdough, with this afternoon's crop of cherry tomatoes.

70% Rye profile

70% Rye crumb

Slicing the bread, one gets the sense that this is a heavy bread. However, in the mouth it doesn't feel dense or heavy. The crumb is quite tender. The first flavor hit is earthy rye with a very mild sourness. (The sourness may well increase over the next few days.) The surprise is the long-lasting aftertaste which is decidedly sweet!

I think this bread is made to eat with a hearty stew. Too bad it's way too warm for that. Smoked meats or smoked fish are more appealing. How about some Cotswold cheese? I'm off to go fishing for some smoked salmon.


Submitted to Yeast Spotting on Susan FNP's marvelous Wild Yeast blog

proth5's picture

I don't know if it is my enduring love of the classic Star Trek Episode (remember - the tribbles ate all the quadrotriticale) or longing for the wee great mountains and lochs of Scotland (one of my past "homes away from home") but lately I've been obsessed with triticale - the wheat/rye hybrid developed in Scotland.

 Now 90% of the time, I am all about the research - reading, questioning, and studying before I make a move.  Of course, there's that 10% of the time where I just jump in - and the triticale was definitely in the 10%.  And as our story unfolds, we can all see why I usually do research.

 I tempered the triticale and achieved a 13% moisture reading.  I then milled it as I would wheat to about 85% extraction.  It milled mostly like wheat - although to get good bran separation, I needed to mill finer than usual.  But I would have been able to easily mill a "near white" flour as I can with wheat.

 I then proceeded to mix up my usual high extraction formula (levain based, 12% of the flour pre-fermented, lean dough, 72% hydration) with the aim to "go by the numbers" and see how triticale would be different.

 First bump in the road - when I brought the dough together, I realized that I had a dough with the characteristics of high percentage rye dough.

 As I passed the time between my 20 "folds in the bowl" - I did what I should have done and looked up triticale.  It was first bred in the laboratory in 1875 by a Scottish biologist and now is mostly available as a second generation hybrid (2 types of triticale are crossed.)  It is an interesting grain in that it has the high yield of wheat with the range tolerance of rye.  This in itself is interesting as it has the potential to produce a useable grain outside the range of wheat.  It is supposed to combine the taste of wheat with the taste of rye, which might make it interesting for those bakers who like a little rye in most of their baked products.  There are some claims that it is incredibly "good for you" although I take those lightly.

 Of course, the downside is that the gluten content is low and it is considered less desirable for bread baking than wheat - but more so than rye.

 So with the dough in the bowl, I decided to treat it somewhat like a rye dough.  Fortunately the base was already a levain.  I continued to mix it 6 times with the "fold in the bowl" method (as I would for a whole wheat - but it never did get any significant gluten development) then shaped it and put it in a banneton moderately dusted with a rice flour/wheat flour blend.  I allowed it to proof for 1 hour 15 minutes and it did rise fairly nicely.  It did not seem particularly over proofed, but seemed fragile enough that I wanted to get it into the oven.  For the first time ever, I "cheated" (by my definition) by using parchment on the peel as I just felt that it would not survive the slightest roughness while loading.  After a feather soft landing on the peel - the dough flattened considerably.  No need to score, but I did lightly dock it.  I baked it in a receding oven starting at 500F with copious steam.

 The result?

 Well, I wouldn't call it good (I gotta be me...), but I wouldn't call it bad.  It had a wonderful wheaty aroma while baking and did have a small amount of oven spring, but I was expecting a rock.

 See below - It was really, really flat.  I put an egg cup in the shot to give an idea of how flat it was.

Triticale Loaf


The crumb, however, although very fine was fairly light.  It was not really heavy. (See below.)

Triticale Crumb


The taste was actually quite nice - like red whole wheat with just a hint of rye.  Just enough to add complexity, but not to overwhelm the wheat. I probably should have let it settle for a day - but given that this was not destined to be a truly fine bread - I felt it didn't matter.

 Now this isn't a question of "what went wrong with my bread?"  I know what went wrong.  I went off the deep end and used a grain that wasn't going to give me the best results.  But it didn't give me horrible results and the taste was quite nice.

 The question is really - how do we take this somewhat marginal grain and make a much better bread?

 My thoughts are as follows:

  • Add wheat flour - this is the obvious one and one that I'd like to avoid for now.

  • Bake it as enriched pan bread - I should not have so much trouble with collapse and spreading.

  • Use commercial yeast to supplement the levain.  The oven spring with a levain is always somewhat less than with commercial yeast.  Oven spring may have made up a bit for the collapse.

  • Any suggestions?

 So I call upon the collective wisdom of the TFLer's to come up with suggestions...  I'll certainly be willing to try them if they seem reasonable. This seems like a grain that just hasn't had the right marketing campaign...

 Happy Baking!

kranieri's picture

second endeavor after coming back to my electric oven after a month of wood fired brick oven adventures. delicious little rolls for pretty much anything, for me it was a dinner roll.

pretty good rise for a 100% whole wheat, but that seems to be the standard since switching to natural leaven, open crumb, super moist. i was quite pleased. the crust was pretty good too even for the electric oven, although my heart still has a brick oven sized hole...



Shiao-Ping's picture

Goji is one of the most anti-oxidant berries in the world.  Tibet is a barren country; they don't have much produce but they have Goji in abundance.  In the health food stores in Brisbane, I sense a fab going on with these Tibetan Goji berries.  They sell for a lot of money but in China and Taiwan they are dirt cheap - you buy them from Chinese herbal medicine stores.  As kids, we were told to have plenty of them as they are very good for your eye sight (or so the Chinese herbal doctors have us believe).  A dish that my mother often made when we were little was beef and Goji soup - it's like a clear stew which is mildly sweet and very nutritious.   In Chinese restaurants, sometimes you can get clear chicken and Goji soup with ginger, served individually in a cute little porcelain pot.  My mother would be very happy to learn that I have made these Goji berries into a sourdough bread.  


                                       Goji berries from Tibet                               cooked spinach  

This is my first take on this combination.   I soaked the Goji berries in boiling hot water for 10 minutes so that when they are kneaded into the dough they would be mashed into puree and would color the dough.  I added a touch of freshly ground nutmeg and pepper to counter  the sweetness from Goji.  I want this to be a more savory rather than sweet sourdough.   And, it worked.     


mixing                                                 the dough                                            done proofing

start to finish - 18 hours     

My Formula:  

190 g starter @ 75% hydration  

186 g white flour  

186 g KAF Sir Lancelot high gluten flour  

90 g water   100 g Goji berries soaked in 100 g boiling hot water for 10 min.  

120 g cooked English spinach (I cooked more than double that quantity in 20 g olive oil, then squeezed out as much liquid as possible)  

10 g Tibetan salt  

freshly ground nutmeg and black pepper  

fine psyllium husks for dusting    


final dough weight 980g and approx. hydration 70% (about 50-60% of spinach weight is liquid even though they've been squeezed)        



    Tibetan Goji Berries & English Spinach Sourdough                                      


                                  The crumb                 


              more crumb                                                        


                                                  ... and more ....  

The crust is soft to bite into and yet very crispy.  I have found a way to manage my oven to achieve a crust that I like - I start the baking at 240C/465F for 10 min, turn the temp down to 215C/420F for another 10 min, then 190C/375F another 10 min, then 170C/340F for the remaining 10 min - all up 40 minutes for a loaf around 1 kg.   I have found that it is time, not heat, that matters for the crust that I like.    

The crumb was really delicious - I could have it on its own without any butter.  (I tend to under-salt my dough as I like to make it up in the butter I spread onto my slice when I have it.  This is the same as, for example, when I cook risotto - I save a portion of the butter/oil required for the recipe until the last minute just before the dish is to be plated, so the rice is coated with the lovely butter, silky and fragrant, as I take my first morsel.)  

I enjoy this sourdough more than the Caramelized Hazelnut & Blueberry Spelt Sourdough that I made two days ago.  No single taste stands out; there is a very fine balance in the sweetness of Goji berries, the salt, and the spiciness of pepper and nutmeg.  You cannot single out any individual taste.  The flavors blend in effortlessly because they are compatible.   

I surprise myself.                                                                                                                         


                                                                                                                    fine psyllium husks dusting


hansjoakim's picture

There are a couple of things you can do with stale bread. Loaves that are past their prime can still be enjoyed for toast or paninis. Dried slices of lighter bread make for awesome croûtons. Not too spoilt breadcrumbs go well in stuffings or even in biscottis. Sourdough leavened pain de campagne is an awesome choice for putting in fishcakes. If you're really adventurous, hearty rye loaves mixed with rye starter, molasses, water and raisins can be made into kvas. If you're, as me, not that adventurous yet, you can slice stale rye bread, toast it until it's dry and dark (but not carbon), and put it into a new loaf of bread. If all else fails, stale bread is good bird fodder ;)

I recently made a boule of Hamelman's black bread - a 60/40 sourdough rye bread, where stale bread is mixed with ground coffee, vegetable oil and hot water. I mixed the soaker at same time I set the sourdough, and the overnight soak turned the mix into a (not very appealing) dark water slurry. I heated the soaker slightly to get the right DDT, and mixed the dough:

Mixed Schwarzbrot

I used bread flour instead of Hamelman's suggestion of high-gluten flour, so the dough came together after approximately 6 minutes in the mixer. By then it was well developed and pretty strong when I tugged at it.

Here's the fully proofed dough:

Proofed Schwarzbrot

It has a lovely brown, almost chocolate-y colour to it, and a heady aroma of fermented rye flour and strong, black coffee. The  aroma became even headier and more penetrating as the loaf baked:

Baking Schwarzbrot


The loaf weighs in at about 1 kg, so it baked for 45 minutes.

Baked Schwarzbrot

The loaf has a dark, crackly crust and an intense smell of dark coffee.

Side view of Schwarzbrot

I really like it - the flavour is unlike any other rye sourdoughs I've made. There are no hints of sweetness to it (as there are no molasses or other sweeteners/colour agents in the dough), but rather a subtle roasted coffee flavour that fits brilliantly with the taste of a 60/40 rye. I didn't include any caraway seeds or other herbs or spices, but I would like to try some dark caraway seeds next time, since Hamelman suggests that these pair nicely with the flavour of this black bread.

Side view of Schwarzbrot

Have a go at it! I think you'll enjoy it.


Crumb Schwarzbrot

As you can see, whether it's a black bread or not is certainly debatable - at least compared to a fully fledged Pumpernickel. But it's still very dark in colour as compared to other 60% medium rye loaves.

PS: Any other tips for what to do with stale bread?


The first locally grown, fully ripe strawberries are filling up the shelves at the local grocery store. Earlier this week, I couldn't resist the tempting berries anymore and went a little over board. They're absolutely delicious - soft, juicy and sweet with an almost blood red colour. This was the perfect opportunity to have a go at the Fraisier - a French strawberry cake. Some of the prettiest Fraisiers I've seen on the net, are the ones at La Tartine Gourmande, Tartelette and at Foodbeam (everything they make are stunning, and their takes on the Fraisier are no exceptions). I was stoked to be able to have a crack at this myself.

The Fraisier is traditionally a genoise cake base split in two and soaked in Grand Marnier cake syrup. The two layers are sandwiching a stack of strawberries and heavenly crème mousseline (crème patissière mixed with softened butter to make a buttercream slightly lighter than a typical meringue-based buttercream), and topped with a thin layer of marzipan.

Here, I'm in the middle of assembly:

Making Le Fraisier

Some hulled strawberries are divided in two, and lined along the rim, while whole, hulled strawberries make up the interior. Crème mousseline is then piped over this, before the second genoise layer is pressed on top, to flush the cream. Top the second genoise layer with a thin layer of crème mousseline, before chilling the cake in the fridge to firm it up.

After being chilled, a thin coat of marzipan is put on top. Here's how it turned out with my rather sparse top decorations:

Le Fraisier


This cake is all about good summer vibes. It's filled with fresh strawberries, the luscious taste of vanilla and soft butter from the crème mousseline, backdropped with the smooth Grand Marnier syrup.

Le Fraisier

If you have even more strawberries lying around (as I did - as said, I went a bit overboard), they're great on a tart, resting on a pillow of crème chantilly folded into pastry cream:

Strawberry tart


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