The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


dmsnyder's picture

Last week's successful experiment making an “Italian” bread with bulk retardation has made me want to try other types of bread using that technique and other Italian-style breads.

I've been thinking about making a Pugliese bread ever since I first read about it in Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Have you noticed that some thoughts take longer than others to get translated into action? Well, this one has taken about 4 years. In the interim, I have accumulated a sizable number of other bread books, and several have formulas for Pugliese. Consulting these, I find amazing variation, particularly in the flours used. Some use part or even entirely Durum. Some use partly whole wheat. What they have in common is 1) Use of a biga, 2) Relatively high hydration. Most recipes specify shaping as a round loaf with no scoring. The lone exception is The Il Fornaio Baking Book which shapes and scores Pugliese like a French bâtard. None of the formulas in the books I consulted use a sourdough biga.

The formula I ended up using is my own notion of a good rustic bread baked as a large round loaf, with a nod to Puglia. I suppose I could call it “Pugliese Capriccioso.”



Wt (g)

Baker's %

AP flour



Fine durum flour









Active starter (100% hydration)






Note: For greater authenticity, one would use a firm starter. If you do, the water in the final dough should be increased and the flour decreased to keep the hydration the same in the formula.


  1. Refresh your sourdough starter 8-12 hours before mixing the dough.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, disperse the active starter in the water.

  3. Add the flours and mix to a shaggy mass.

  4. Cover the bowl tightly and let it rest (autolyse) for 20-60 minutes. (Note: There is no harm in autolysing for longer, but do not decrease the time to less than 20 minutes. I often go out and run errands for an hour or more during the autolyse.)

  5. Add the salt to the dough and mix it in thoroughly.

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled, clean bowl and cover tightly.

  7. After 30 minutes, do a “stretch and fold in the bowl” for 15-20 strokes. Repeat 3 more times at 30 minute intervals.

  8. When the dough has expanded by 75% or so (about 30 minutes more), transfer it to a floured bench.

  9. Pre-shape into a ball and let the dough rest for 20 minutes to relax the gluten.

  10. Shape the dough as a boule and place it seam-side down in a floured banneton.

  11. Place the banneton in a food-safe plastic bag or cover with a damp towel. Proof the boule until the dough springs back slowly when you poke a finger into it.

  12. 45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 490ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  13. Transfer the loaf to the baking stone, seam-side up, steam the oven and turn the temperature down to 460ºF.

  14. After 15 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus. Bake for another 30 minutes or until the loaf is done. The crust should be nicely colored. The internal temperature should be at least 205ºF.

  15. Leave the loaf on the baking stone with the oven turned off and the door ajar for another 10 minutes to dry the crust.

  16. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.


Pugliese Capriccioso crumb

The crust was crunchy, and the crumb was quite chewy. The flavor was remarkably sweet, especially given that there was no sweetener in the formula. The nutty flavor of the durum flour came through and was even more present than in the breads I've baked with a higher percentage of durum. There was little sourdough tang, although that might increase by tomorrow.

This is a bread I will be making again. I think it could stand an increase in hydration, maybe even up to 78% or so.

I also made a high-extraction miche today. This followed my formula and procedures for the San Joaquin Sourdough. The only changes were 1) I used Central Milling's “Type 85 Unmalted” organic flour for the final dough, 2) I added 5 g of diastatic malt powder to the mix, 3) rather than pre-shaping and resting for 60 minutes, after cold retardation, I let the dough ferment at room temperature until almost doubled, then pre-shaped and rested for 20 minutes, and 4) I made one large boule with the entire dough.


The crust was quite crunchy with a sweet, caramelized sugar flavor. The flavor of the crumb was sweet and earthy with moderate sourness. It was quite delicious 3 hours out of the oven, and I think it will have a long shelf life and make wonderful toast.

This is another bread I expect to be making again.


I enjoyed a slice of each with our dinner of Proscuitto with melon and Fedelini with roasted San Marzano tomatoes, garlic, bread crumbs and fresh basel.


 Submitted to YeastSpotting







codruta's picture

I gathered on my Romanian blog bread pictures from my readers and bread bakers. Please take a look (link below) to see what others bake. A lot of them are begginers, but they all did a wonderful job.

Happy Baking!


loydb's picture

This is the BBA basic sourdough to which was added 2 diced granny smith apples, 4 oz of toasted walnuts and 3 oz of small-dice parmesan and asiago cheese. The starter was KA New England that had been fed 50/50 with KA bread flour and home-ground hard red wheat. The final flour addition was 15% WW, 5% Rye and 80% KA. It got a stretch-and-fold at 15, 45, 90 and 120 minutes, then proofed for another 3 hours. The final shaped loaves proofed a little over two hours before being glazed with egg yolk and baked. Baking time was a total of 45 minutes to get the internal temp up -- I'm sure there was a lot of moisture from the apples. It's yummy. Yes, it really is slightly purple (from the walnuts I believe).


hanseata's picture

A while ago I bought a really beautiful book with breads from renowned German bakeries. Many rye bread recipes require medium rye types, easily available in German supermarkets, whereas American medium rye is hard to come by. Even my whole grocer carries only a medium grind of rye, not a lighter variety. European flours are numbered for their ash content (what's left after you forget your bread in the oven - just kidding, of course it's a properly conducted scientific incineration).

There are six rye types in Germany, from white rye (Typ 815 - not available for home bakers) to whole rye (Typ 1800). For many mixed rye/wheat breads one of the medium ryes is used (Typ 1150 or 1370), the whole rye for the darker varieties like Vollkornbrot or Pumpernickel. I tried two of those interesting recipes from "Brot - So backen Deutschlands beste Bäcker", first with the whole rye I mostly use, then with a mix of whole rye and white rye, a leftover from my test baking for the NYBakers.

The first, whole rye, trial was not at all what I expected, the bread didn't taste bad, but was too dark and too dense - a totally different kind of bread. My second trial with a mix of whole and white rye was definitely an improvement, I tried to come up with a flour ratio that emulated medium rye. But still, even though the bread tasted good, it was not quite "right", and I wasn't 100% satisfied.

From my last trip to Hamburg I bought back a package of medium rye Typ 1150, hoping my carry-on would not be searched - I also had a package of roasted spelt kernels, Grünkern, and wasn't quite sure about the legality of this import... Since I didn't want to rely on small flour packages smuggled in my luggage, I looked for a source for American medium rye. The NYBakers carry it, and so I ordered some for a side by side comparison.

I wanted a remake of the Hearty Rye From Hamburg ("Hamburger Kräftiges") - I had posted about my first experiences here:

I made two 3-step rye starters with my 100% whole rye mother starter, one fed with American, one with the German medium rye. The American medium rye looked slightly darker. Both starter fermented in sync, and were worked into two loaves with the two medium ryes. This is the result:

Almost identical looking loaves, the upper slightly lighter, made with German Typ 1150, the lower one a bit darker, made with NYBakers medium rye.

But what of the taste? I gave one half of each bread to our bread enthusiastic tenants, and we had samples of the other two halves for lunch. Every one of the testers agreed - the clear winner was: The American Rye! Though both breads tasted really good, the one made with NYBakers' medium rye was definitely better.

Both tasted better than my original substitute with a whole rye/white rye mix. I also made another mixed rye bread a few days later, requiring German Typ 1370, with the American flour, and that, too, was a winner.

I am quite happy with this result, getting the right taste with an American flour - so no more holding-your-breath-with-an-innocent-face, and risk of confiscation for this law abiding citizen (at least until I see some other German must have baking ingredient).

Here is the updated recipe for the Hearty Rye From Hamburg:

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Mrs PG and I visited my parents and other family this month. Some of the time was loosely connected to my baking activities and a pleasant part of the journey.

First, we visited Orchard Hills Bakery in Alstead, NH based on an entry in the "Farine" blog from last January. Let me say that if you approach the bakery from Gilsum, NH as we did, you won't have to worry about being caught in a speed trap along the way. The roads are rough and bumpy enough that the local constabulary needn't worry about speeders as much as they do parts that might have fallen off vehicles as they traverse the roads. The bakery is located on a hard packed gravel road off the paved roads. It's worth the trip.

The bakery is sited on a farmstead that goes way back to the owner's grandparents, maybe even older than that. They had been pressing apples for cider the day before and we could smell the leftover pressings despite the rain. Inside the barn that holds the bakery is an impressive Llopsis oven from Spain. I admit to admiring the effort and vision of the owner, Noah Elbers, to go this level as much as I admire his breads. They are excellent and remind me of how much more practice I need with my own bread. We bought a loaf of the Maple-Oatmeal  featured by MC in her posting and a batard of their French Bread. The cookies we bought didn't last much past the driveway of the farm.

After visiting Acadia National Park, we stopped at a Hannafords supermarket in Ellsworth, ME to do a little foodie shopping. There, I located some made in Maine mustard from Raye's and a bag of buckwheat flour from the Bouchard Family Farm of Fort Kent, ME. I don't have any experience with buckwheat flour but that didn't stop me. We always enjoy finding local foods on our trips.

Way back in Spring I posted about Rose32 Bakery in Gilbertville, MA. We stopped in for lunch on Saturday and found a busy place with lots of locals and the owners on site. The Mitchells have a good thing going on. The pastries aren't the common supermarket fare and worth the cost. They have a good selection of breads, cooked in their Llopsis oven, with excellent flavor. Breakfast and lunch is served by an efficient and enthusiastic staff. Beer and wine is available as well as the required coffee and tea. I also met the co-owner of Ruggles Hill, a goat farm that supplies goat cheese for sale at the bakery. He told me he was happy to buy his breads from Rose32 until he had time to build his own WFO. Happy locals eating, a happy staff, and happy owners, there isn't much more needed for an enthusiastic recommendation than those facts.

It's time to get back into the kitchen to practice and improve my breads after tasting what professional bakers can do. I certainly learned that much.

PiPs's picture

How to cheer up sad, sick children?

Chocolate chips!

We have a case of glandular fever in our house at the moment making for a worrying week. Several trips to doctors, blood tests and we finally seem to have a boy with a smile and energy again.

This bake was in fact planned for a 40th birthday party in a park today, but the party was cancelled due to the increasing number of storms we have been having. We had another storm this morning, similar to last Saturday.

I had decided to play with the Tartine bread formula using my freshly milled rye starter and finishing a bag of bakers flour I had in the back of the cupboard. (Much to the delight of my partner) I mixed on a Friday night and baked Saturday morning….fresh bread to take to a party. Oh well…now we have fresh bread for lunch instead.

After the bread came out of the oven this morning and with the day free it seemed like the perfect opportunity to put through a batch of banana and choc chip wholemeal muffins. Perfect comfort food for a sick kid.

The muffins are loosely based on a Gordon Ramsay recipe for blueberry wholemeal muffins and while they are delicious with blueberries I used choc chips for kid appeal. I also substituted yoghurt and milk instead of buttermilk.

The muffins melt in your mouth when still warm from the oven leaving little smiling faces covered in chocolate. Not surprisingly it doesn’t look like they will last long.


Rye Starter Tartine loaf
Total dough weight: 2kgs
Hydration: 77%
Prefermented Flour: 10%
DDT: 26-27°C

Freshly milled rye starter @ 100% Hydration: 200g
Bakers Flour: 800g
Freshly milled wholewheat: 200g
Water: 750g
Salt: 23g

Dissolve starter in 700g of the water, then mix with flours. Autolyse for 30 mins.

Add salt and final 50g of water. Fold through the dough.

Bulk ferment three hours with four stretch and folds 30 mins apart in the first two hours.

The dough was racing, so after a 20 mins bench rest I shaped it and placed in the fridge for an overnight rise.

Final proof was roughly eight hours in the fridge.

 It was baked straight from the fridge with steam on stone for 10 mins at 250°C then a further 35 mins at 200°C.


After a few months of wholewheat , sifted wholewheat breads and last weeks grain bread these breads are such a treat, so soft they are hard to cut. The humid air has now softened the crust, but it was thin and brittle when freshly baked. What appeals to me most about this bread is the bran flecks contrasting with the translucent crumb. The flavour seemed a happy balance between tang and lightness … it dissolves in the mouth … but …

… it was too close to overproofing for my liking and the oven steaming is still not as consistent as a dutch oven.

Lunch ended up being a generous slice topped with avocado, lemon and cracked pepper…

… as another afternoon storm rolls in across Brisbane.


codruta's picture

Last week I made two batches of baguettes, using David's formula for Rustic Sourdough Baguettes after Phillipe Gosselin.

I am very pleased with the taste, though I admit the shape isn't exactly what I wanted. I couldn't shape them as David instructed (being put in front of the dough, I did not knew how to handle it withoud folding it), so I tried to shape them like I saw in Hamelman's video. The result is... well... it is what it is... not a beautiful classic baguette, not a beautiful rustic baguette, but for my first try at this formula, I'm content with the result. I followed David's formula, with one small modification, I put 235g water in the dough for autolyse, and next morning I added the rest of 40g water. I tried at first with 225g and the dough was very stiff.

Thank you, David, your formula makes some tasty baguettes. We (me and my boyfriend) had a chance to taste Gosselin's baguette in Paris in 2010 and we were kind of dissapointed. After tasting my baguettes, and my boyfriend said to me "your baguettes are way much better than Gosselin's.".

The ones without flour on them went in the oven right after shaping (it did not occur to me in that moment, that if I shaped them, I must let them proof). The floured ones got an hour of proofing.

I wrote about tsese baguettes on my romanian blog, link here.


dmsnyder's picture

It has been almost a year since I first made the “80% Sourdough Rye with Rye-Flour Soaker” from Hamelman's Bread. At the time, I said it was my new favorite high-percentage rye bread, and I can't say its status has changed. Actually, it's been a while since I have made a high-percentage rye bread. I've been thinking about it, but Codruta's lovely bake of this bread finally inspired me sufficiently to do it.

There are some surprising things about the dough for this bread. Hamelman describes it as “loose and sticky,” but the last time I made it, I now recall, both the hot rye soaker and the final dough were less loose and less sticky than I thought they should be. Looking back at my notes of last November, I said I would double check the numbers in the “Home” version of the formula, which I used, against the formula Hamelman provides for a larger production. Well, the numbers check out okay. I also looked at the Errata Sheet Hamelman made available in May, 2010, and there are no corrections to the formula for this bread.

Hmmm … Maybe my whole grain rye flour is thirstier than Hamelman's. In any case, I did add an extra 1/4 cup (2 oz) of water during the mixing of the final dough, which took the total dough hydration from 78% to 84% hydration.


Overall Formula

Wt. (oz)

Baker's %

Whole-rye flour



High-gluten flour









Instant Yeast



Total Yield




Rye Sourdough

Wt. (oz)

Baker's %

Whole-rye flour






Active levain








Wt. (oz)

Baker's %

Whole-rye flour



Boiling Water







Final Dough

Wt. (oz)

Whole-rye flour


High-gluten flour






Instant Yeast










  1. Mix the rye sourdough and ripen it for 14-16 hours at room temperature.

  2. Mix the soaker at the same time as the sourdough. Weigh the rye flour into a 6 cup mixing bowl, and pour the boiling water over it. Cover tightly immediately and let it cc sit at room temperature with the sourdough. (Note: Hamelman says the soaker will be thick and will have absorbed all the water. On both occasions I made this bread, there was dry flour left in the soaker, even when I mixed it. I think, for future bakes, I will add extra water to the soaker – maybe 2 or 3 oz.)

  3. Add all the Final Dough ingredients to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and combine using the paddle (2 minutes). Then, switch to the dough hook and mix at Speed 2 for about 6 minutes. There will be little if any perceptible gluten development. (Note: I combined the soaker, sourdough and water and mixed thoroughly. In a large bowl, I weighed the two flours, salt and yeast and whisked them to distribute the ingredients. I then added the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and mixed with the dough hook. I added the additional water mentioned above during this step, but, in the future, I think I would add it to the soaker, as noted above.)

  4. Scrape the dough together. Cover the mixer bowl tightly and bulk ferment for 30 minutes.

  5. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured or a wet board. With wet hands, shape it into a ball, as smooth as possible on the top side, gathered on the bottom side. (Note: I made one large round loaf. Alternatively, you could divide the dough into two equal pieces to make smaller loaves, and shape as above.)

  6. Place the loaf (or loaves) seam side down into a well-floured brotform (or two). Place in a food-safe plastic bag.

  7. Proof for 50-60 minutes at 80ºF. (Note: I heated a mug of water in the microwave for two minutes, then put the bread in the microwave to proof.

  8. 45 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 490ºF with oven stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  9. When it is proofed, transfer the bread to a peel, seam side up, and then to the baking stone.

  10. Turn the oven down to 470ºF. Steam the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

  11. Remove the steaming apparatus. Turn the oven down to 430ºF, and bake for another 45-50 minutes, or until the bread is nicely browned and the internal temperature is at least 205ºF.

  12. When the bread is done, transfer it to a cooling rack. When it is completely cooled (2-4 hours), wrap the bread in baker's linen or a clean kitchen towel and leave it on the cooling rack for at least 24 hours to stabilize the crumb texture before slicing.


The crumb was dense and a bit sticky. My analysis is that the dough was under-fermented, and the loaf was under-baked. This loaf is larger than what Hamelman specified, and, in hindsight, should have baked longer, probably with an additional lowering of the oven temperature for the last portion of the bake.

The flavor, on the other hand, was assertively sour with a delicious earthy rye flavor. I'm hoping that toasting can salvage this bread. Otherwise, I have an abundant supply to use as altus in future rye bakes.

When well-made, this bread is best, in my opinion, sliced thin and eaten with smoked meats or fish, pickled fish, strong or smoked cheeses and dark, braised meats. It has amazing keeping qualities and also freezes well.



Submitted to YeastSpotting

sam's picture


Here is today's bake, a 100% whole einkorn flour (unsifted, milled at home), and honey.   This was my third attempt at a 100% einkorn bread.   My first attempt, I used no honey, used liquid levain, and cold-fermented the final dough for 24hrs.  Way, way too sour.   Then I got a request for a strong honey bread from a family member.   So, I tried again with a decent amount of honey (10% by weight of flour) and no long cold ferment.   I wasn't sure how to account for the hydration of the honey.  I did search here but I didn't find much (my search skills may be lacking).  Then I read the wikipedia article on Honey, and it specified that your typical honey is about 17% water.   So I factored that value into the hydration of the recipe.   *laugh*.   That attempt was far too underestimated for hydration content of honey.  It might be true, that honey is 17% water but not for the purposes of hydrating flour.   That 2nd attempt was the gloopiest, stickiest, most unmanageable dough ever.   It felt and handled more like a 78% or higher hydration.  I baked it anyway and it was a nice frisbee.   Unfortunately, it was also too sour, and I did everything at ambient room temps.

So, for this third attempt, I used 75% as my honey-hydration estimate, and lowered the hydration of my levain to 80% instead of 100% or 125% to see if it would reduce sour at all.   20% of the flour was mashed also.   So a lot of honey and a lot of mash.  The dough felt and handled about right in terms of overall hydration, and not too sour this time.   Just a little finishing tang.   Yay!  It tastes very good.    Will go best as a breakfast bread or a PB+J sandwich.

My scoring was a little off-center, but oh well.  :)  I wasn't expecting an open crumb, and so I was not disappointed when I found it wasn't.

Recipe and pics.   All weights in grams, all flour is whole einkorn flour.


Total Dough Weight: 1000
Targeted Total Dough Hydration: 70%
Total Dough Flour Weight: 588
Targeted Total Dough Water Weight: 412

Levain Percentage: 20%
Levain Hydration: 80%
Starter Percentage: 10% of levain
Starter Hydration: 125%

Soaker Percentage: 58%  
Soaker Hydration: 80%  
Soaker Salt Percentage: 1%  
Mash Percentage: 35% of soaker 
Mash Hydration: 200%  
Final Dough Salt Percentage: 1.5%
Honey Percentage: 10%

Flour Weight: 112
Water Weight: 87
Starter Weight: 12
Flour Weight: 119  
Water Weight: 238  
Diatastic Malt Powder: 2

All Mash
Flour Weight: 222
Water Weight: 35
Salt Weight: 3
Final Dough:
All Levain
All Soaker/Mash
Flour Weight: 130
Salt Weight: 6
Honey Weight: 59  (estimated @ 75% hydration)



Happy baking!


loydb's picture

This is my latest endeavor in home-milled grain pasta. I began by milling 5 oz durum wheat, 2.5 oz hard red wheat, and 2.5 oz hard white wheat. I didn't do any sifting this time.

To the ground wheat I added:

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground annato powder

In a blender, I combined

2 room temperature eggs
One whole chipotle pepper (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil

I poured this into the mound of flour and began working in. Overall I added probably 2 tablespoons of warm water as I worked everything into a cohesive whole, then kneaded by hand for 12 minutes. The dough was really, really stiff.

The dough rested for 3 hours, then I rolled it out and ran it through the spaghetti cutter on my Atlas.

While the noodles hung to dry, I had three thick-cut pork chops to which I'd applied a dry rub that morning. They were cut into cubes and browned in a mix of olive oil and butter. After the were nicely browned, I dumped the following into the pan on top:

8 oz. sliced mushrooms
Diced red, yellow and orange sweet peppers (1 large ea)
1 diced onion
3 finely diced cloves garlic

This cooked down on the stovetop for 20 minutes. I stirred in an 8 oz can of tomato paste, then added a cup of stock (I used chicken because that was what I had open in the fridge. Beef would have been fine, as would vegetable for that matter). A pinch of kosher salt and a healthy grind of black pepper, then into a 350 degree F oven with a lid on for an hour. When done, cook the dried pasta for 4 minutes in boiling water, then add to the pan and mix for a couple of minutes. Chop some fresh cilantro and add at the last minute.

The result was great -- I'd been a little worried that the noodles were going to be too strongly flavored; I didn't want it to taste like chile powder. Apparently my guesses on quantities worked out, because they had an obvious taste without being overwhelming.



Subscribe to RSS - blogs