The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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teketeke's picture

 I started to make a wild yeast sourdough starter on 21st August this year ( from here -- and my first sourdough was Susan's one.

You can see my sourdough diary here ---

I couldn't solve the problem for a while until I saw Vogel's blog--- 

After I use the technique ( take some dough and put it into a glass ),  I don't make any rubbery-slipper bread anymore. I also use finger test too. That is very helpful.

---This week-----

I tried some recipe that are posted here and they became my favorite.

1) Simple white sourdough loaf that was posted by Daisy-A.

Again, I made another one that I used soaker that I didn't plan to do.  I was trying to make 70% rye that is posted by hasjoakim but I found mold in the sponge next morning so that I used the soaker for this loaf. It came out nice bread.  I felt that I need 1-2g more salt to this loaf when I tasted. 


Thank you, Daisy!  When I shape this loaf, I give the dough tension like this video. There are a moment that we can't see what he is doing but you will see at the end. :)


2) I make nut-sourdough that is posted by hansjoakim.  My husband loves this bread,So do I! 



I used walnuts instead of Hazelnuts but it was very good although I scorched the surface. I will make this bread again. Thank you, hansjoakim. 


3) 5 Grain levain bread by Hamelman: I really love this bread. But I can't shape it nicely. As you see the picture, The gloom looks like a bump after a child hit his or her head on the wall or something.  I used the shaping method by Hamelman's book.  Please let me know if you have some ideas to solve this.

Thank you for reading, everybody.

Happy baking,





breadsong's picture

Hello, I've been wanting to make croissants for years. hansjoakim's recent post and getting a copy of Ciril Hitz's Baking Artisan Pastries and Breads spurred me into action.
I tried using a tutove rolling pin for the first tri-fold. I had some dough/butters layers happening, then unhappening, as the pictures show - poor temperature control & butter likely being too cold. For final shaping, I don't think I rolled the dough thin enough; triangles were cut somewhat unevenly; this all shows up in the final proof and bake. The kitchen was warm this morning due to other baking - I don't think this helped things either so the final proof happened in a cooler part of the house...but I still had butter leaking out during the bake.
I'll call these "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly".  Husband happily munched away anyway!  Regards, breadsong


Eric Von Hildebrand's picture
Eric Von Hildebrand


Hello, I am new to the forum. I am looking for a person/persons that have baked bread in a wood fired oven or want to learn how to. I have built a wood fired oven and have only made pizza in it so far. My cooking skill are pretty good, baking skills ok, bread making skills 0. 

Finely able to get pix posted. I still have a ways to go on the wfo but it works and bakes gr8 pizza.

Me- I have the wood fired oven

You- Bread baking skills

Thank you for your time. Please help if you can. Thanks again Eric


By the way I am in Lynnwood Wa. and I am still looking for people who would like to bake in a masonary oven. To night I and trying the basic bread receipt that is in the lessons area. I will be cooking it in a reg. oven not the wfo. Wish me luck. Thanks for your time. Eric

La masa's picture
La masa

This all started as a joke in the Spanish forum

I commented on my way of kneading, which is basically the slap & fold method using just one hand. It's a very convenient method for the amount of dough I use to make, about 1.2 Kg or 2.65 lb, but I've used it with up to 2.5 Kg of dough.

Good-humoured discussiong followed, with some forum members ironically questioning the possibility of such a thing as one-hand slap & fold, so I decided to make a little video and this is the result.


dmsnyder's picture


The "San Joaquin Sourdough" is my own recipe. It evolved through multiple iterations from Anis Bouabsa's formula for baguettes. Most of my deviations developed in discussion on TFL with Janedo, who first suggested adding sourdough starter and rye, and, then, leaving out the baker's yeast and making it as a "pure" pain au levain.

I have tried many modifications of ingredients and procedures. The current formula uses the ingredients specified below.

Those who have followed the evolution of this bread will note that I have increased the levain from 20 to 30 (baker's) percent. I have also switched from a 75% hydration levain to a 100% hydration levain, reducing the water added to the dough to keep the overall dough hydration about the same.

Originally, all gluten development was by the “stretch and fold in the bowl” method. I have added a couple folds on the board and lengthened the bulk fermentation prior to cold retarding the dough.

These changes result in a somewhat tangier bread. I don't think they have changed the crust or crumb structure noticeably.

I made two other modifications of my procedures for today's bake: First, I employed the oven steaming method recommended for home bakers by The San Francisco Baking Institute.

The oven is not pre-steamed (before loading the loaves). A cast iron skillet filled with steel pieces (nuts and bolts, rebar pieces) is pre-heated in the oven along with two baking stones. One stone is placed on a rack above the stone and rack on which the loaves will be loaded. When the loaves are loaded, a perforated pie tin filled with ice cubes is set atop the skillet. As the ice melts, water drips through the perforations and turns to steam when it hits the metal pieces.

I deviated from the SFBI-prescribed method in two particulars: I used only a single baking stone, and my cast iron skillet was filled with lava rocks rather than steel pieces.

My second procedure modification was to open the oven door for a few seconds every 5 minutes during the final 15 minutes of the bake. This was to “vent” the steam rising from the loaves themselves in the hope this would result in a crust that stays crisp longer. It did result in less softening of the crust as the bread cooled. Methods to vent the oven and dry the crust during the last part of the bake warrant further exploration.




Active starter (100% hydration)

150 gms

KAF All Purpose flour

450 gms

BRM Dark Rye flour

50 gms


360 gms

Sea Salt

10 gms



Mixing In a large bowl, mix the active starter with the water to dissolve it. Add the flours and stir to form a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and let rest (autolyse) for 20-60 minutes.

Sprinkle the salt over the dough. Using a plastic scraper or silicon spatula, stretch and fold the dough 30 times, rotating the bowl 1/5 turn between each stroke. Cover tightly. Repeat this stretch and fold procedure 3 times more at 30 minute intervals.

Fermentation After the last series of stretches and folds, scape the dough into a lightly oiled 2 quart/2 liter container and cover tightly. (I use a 2 quart glass measuring pitcher with a tightly fitting plastic lid manufactured by Anchor Glass.) Ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes with a stretch and fold after 45 minutes, then place in the refrigerator and leave it there for 21 hours.

Dividing and Shaping  Take the dough out of the refrigerator and scrape it gently onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently pat it into a rectangle. Divide as desired or leave in one piece. To pre-shape for a bâtard, fold the near edge up just past the center of the dough and seal the edge by gently pressing the two layers together with the ulnar (little finger) edge of your hand or the heel of your hand, whichever works best for you. Then, bring the far edge of the dough gently just over the sealed edge and seal the new seam as described.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and/or a kitchen towel and let it rest for about 60 minutes, with the seams facing up. (The time will depend on ambient temperature and how active your starter is. The dough should have risen slightly, but not much.)

To shape a bâtard, fold the near edge of the dough and seal the edge, as before. Now, take the far edge of the dough and bring it towards you all the way to the work surface and seal the seam with the heel of your hand. Rotate the loaf gently toward you 1/4 turn so the last seam you formed is against the work surface and roll the loaf back and forth, with minimal downward pressure, to further seal the seam. Then, with the palms of both hands resting softly on the loaf, roll it back and forth to shape a bâtard. Start with both hands in the middle of the loaf and move them outward as you roll the loaf, slightly increasing the pressure as you move outward, so the bâtard ends up with the middle highest and the ends pointed .

Preheating the oven One hour before baking, place a baking stone on the middle rack and put your steaming apparatus of choice in place. Heat the oven to 500F.

Proofing After shaping the loaf, transfer it to parchment paper liberally dusted with semolina or a linen couche. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel or a fold of the linen. Proof until the loaf has expanded to about 1-1/2 times it's original size. (30-45 minutes) Do not over-proof, if you want good oven-spring and bloom!

Baking Pre-steam the oven, if desired.

Slip a peel or cookie sheet under the parchment paper holding the loaf or transfer to a peel, if you used a couche. Score the loaf. (For a bâtard, hold the blade at about a 30 degree angle to the surface of the loaf. Make one swift end-to-end cut, about 1/2 inch deep.)

Transfer the loaf (and parchment paper, if used) to the baking stone. Steam the oven. Turn the oven down to 460F.

After 12-15 minutes, remove the loaf pan and your steaming apparatus from the oven. Rotate the loaf 180 degrees, if it is browning unevenly. Close the oven door.

Bake for another 12-15 minutes, then remove the loaf and place on a cooling rack. Check for doneness. (Nice crust color. Internal temperature of at least 205F. Hollow sound when you thump the bottom of the loaf.) If necessary, return to loaf to the oven to bake longer.

Cooling Cool on a rack for two hours before slicing.



Submitted to YeastSpotting


breadsong's picture

Hello, I tried Mr. Hamelman's Baguettes with Poolish (half-recipe) again today. A big thank you to khalid who gave me some very useful comments after my first baguette post, which were a great help this time around. This time the baguettes were easier to score.
I am still hoping for more holes:
Ciril Hitz has a baguette shaping video ( ) (thanks to dmsnyder for posting this!); in this video Mr. Hitz demonstrates, by stretching the dough, what development should be before shaping (my dough wasn't quite that developed)...will try for better gluten development next time & see if this improves the crumb...   
Regards, breadsong

Trialer70's picture

I am in search of bread recipes using peanut flour; I have searched this site and have not found much in the way of bread recipes.  In particular, I wish to know how much peanut flour per loaf of bread I can use in proportion to other flours.

txfarmer's picture

This is the WW loaf from the new "Tartine" Book, the procedure is very similar to the basic country loaf (which I posted about here), just with more WW flour(~70%) , even more water(80%+),  and slightly lower mixing temperature since whole grain flour fermentate faster.


One thing that bothers me about the book is his math - when he calculate baker's percentage for ingredients, he doesn't count flour in the levain. He doesn't use a lot of levain, so in reality it probably doesn't matter, but it bothers my engineering brain. That's why I adjusted the formula, so the ww amount is really 70%, both in levain and final dough. Phew, feel a lot better after that.


100% sourdough starter, 1/2 tbsp (I used 8g)

WW flour, 140g

white flour, 60g

water(78F), 200g

1. Mix and put in a cool place until it grows by 20%. If you pinch a bit of levain and put it in water, it should float. About overnight at 65F.


-Final dough

200g levain

700g ww flour

300g bread flour (book says AP flour but I used BF for the extra lift)

water(75F), 800g (I used a bit more, probably 20g)

salt, 20g

2. Mix levain, flour, 750g of water. Autolyse for 40 to 60min. Add the rest of water and salt, mix to combine.

3. Bulk rise around 80F for about 3 hours until it increase about 30% in volume. S&F every 30min in the first 2 hours, after that S&F according to what the dough needs. If mix with cooler water and let rise in cooler temp, the bulk rise time can be adjusted.

4. Divide and round, bench rest for 20min

5. Shape and proof upside down in floured brotform. I retarded my shaped dough in the fridge (40F) overnight, then warm up for another 30min before baking. The dough can also be proofed right after shaping for 3 to 4 hours at 75F to 80F.

6. Bake with steam for 45min at 450F.


Awesome oven spring, crackling thin crust that sang loudly. Since it's a very soft high hydration dough, at the begining of the bake, it tends to spread a bit, so I kept the oven temp at 500F for the first 5min, then dropped to 450F after that. The finished loaves are quite round and tall.


Quite an open crumb for so much ww


It's not quite as "hole-y" as the basic country loaf. Chad Robertson says whole grain hearth bread can indeed have open crumb, even though it might depend on many things including the type of the flour. I might increase the hydration even more to see how much I can push it.


Just like the basic country loaf, this bread is not noticably sour, but very sweet, very fragrant with whole grain flavor. Next up, I want to try the semolina formula.

Sending this to Yeastspotting.


RonRay's picture

*** Previous blog:


I have a problem with my bread - I cannot eat it soon enough. I usually need a second, or third day to finish a loaf. It used to be even worse when I made the loaf sizes that most formulae call for, but for some time now, I have split the dough into 3 equal parts, or 2 parts if the batch came to less than 2 pounds (900g). I like loaves about the size of Susan's Simple Sourdough

The three loaves below were made this past week. The dough was put together on Saturday evening and the first loaf was baked the Sunday. Tuesday I did the second loaf and the third on Saturday, making the third bake a full week from the initial mixing.

Originally, the formula was based upon Flo Makanai's 1.2.3, Sourdough but I found the over 71% hydration level a bit too wet the first time I tried it. So, I started playing around. This time, I added the Chia seeds that Shiao-Ping first drew my attention to in her blog and I continue to experiment, but this version is quite good - as is. The Chia seed gave it a new nuttiness to the taste experience. The next time, I think I will increase the amount of Chia and also increase the rye flour, but that can wait a bit.

I did the initial steps Saturday evening, and on Sunday finished enough bread sourdough for 3, small loaves. The dough had white bread flour - 66% Baker's %; dark rye flour - 13% Baker's %; dark Chia seed - 6% Baker's %; flaxseed meal - 2% Baker's %; and a 100% hydration level white sourdough starter with 13% Baker's % in the flour content coming from the starter .

Saturday evening at 7:30 PM I mixed the levain in large bowl. Added all water and mixed until smooth, then added dark rye, salt and mixed well. I had meant to hold off on the salt until the morning, but included it before thinking. Finally, I added the AP Flour. I let the dough rest 30 minutes covered, then turned it out on the work-surface. It is a very sticky dough at this stage. I used a plastic scrapper and my hands to flatten all the dough to about 1 to 1½ inches thickness. I then sprinkled over the flattened dough all the flaxseed meal and chia seed, Once that was finished I did a series of letter folds with help of a scrapper and some flour dusting to reduce the sticking to my hands. Finally, I worked the dough into a thick log and dividing it into 3, equal 423g pieces. Each piece was then formed into a ball and placed in separate 2L/2 qt. oiled, plastic doubler, lidded and placed in fridge @ 9 PM.

Sunday morning about 8:00 AM, I removed the first 423g dough from fridge. Gave it an hour to warm some, while I had breakfast, and then flattend the dough into a rectangular sheet of less than a 1/2 inch (12 mm) and began letter foldings. I repeated this 3, or 4 times with rests of 10 minutes between each group of folds. About 10 AM, I formed the dough into ball and used a bench knife, turned at 45º to press its pointed corner into center of ball's top making a deep cut. I rotated blade 90º and repeated this action. Hoping that after the dough's final rising, that these cuts might act as the crack lines when the dough was baked in the Dutch oven, I firmed the ball and placed it in a floured, cloth-lined brotform, with the dough's cut-side down. After a 6 hour rise, the dough was turn-out directly into the preheated Dutch oven, lid-covered, and returned to the hot oven for 20 minutes, then uncovered for an aditional 20 minutes, making a 40 minute total in 425ºF oven. When removed, the center temperature was 207ºF. The loaf was cooled on wire rack.

Below is that first of those three loaves, along with the Dutch oven that it was bake in.

                                                          Dutch oven baked sourdough loaf #1

This loaf was formed by dropping the raised dough into a preheated 450ºF Dutch oven, covered and replace in the oven, then set for 425º and baked 20 minutes with the lid on the Dutch oven followed by another 20 minutes with no cover on the Dutch oven,

Cooled and cut, the crumb can be seen in the image below, and tasted great. The Chia seed added a nice nuttiness to the flavor.

                                                    Loaf #1 had a reasonable openness to the crumb, but I would have liked it a bit more open.

The remaining two chunks of dough had been surface covered with olive oil and place in individual 2L/2qt. covered containers and stored in a fridge at 33 to 35ºF.

Before getting to the second loaf, I will digress to mention that one of my Silpat sheets has become so laden with the oils from hundreds of cookie bakings that dough no longer sticks to it. Further down, when I get down to the preparation of the third loaf, I will include a photo of the dough kneaded to a 1/4 inch ( 6 mm ) thickness with no flour dusting, nor oil coating - other than that which has permeated the Silpat sheet.

The second loaf was made two days later, on Tuesday. It was taken from the fridge at 8 AM, immediately palm-pressed into a rectangular sheet of about 3 to 4 mm in thickness. It was then rolled across the narrow dimension, flattened, and folded in half, lengthwise, seam sealed, and rolled smooth into a final baguette shape.

                                                        The same Silpat sheet makes a great baker's couche - here with the 7 hour proofed loaf.

It was permitted to rise for about 7 hours. Then it was slashed, sprayed with water and appears in next image, just as it was about to go into the oven's heat.

             The second Bread of the 3 loaves, on parchment paper and ready to be place in the oven on the hot oven stones.

Once placed in the preheated oven, on the hot oven stones at 450ºF, it was steamed for the first 10 minutes. At 20 minutes, the temperature was dropped to 425º and baked for another 20 minutes - total of 40 minutes.

It was then removed and cooled for an hour and a half. It looked like this:

                                           The well caramelized loaf #2

The flavor was even better than the first loaf had been. The well caramelized crust having a beautiful nuttiness from the Chia seeds combining with the rye flavors. Despite the extended time in the fridge, sourness was quite mild. The crumb, as you can see in the next photo, was a bit more open than it was in the first loaf, baked in the Dutch oven.

                                                        Crumb of second loaf.

Below is a detailed shot of the crust, and the dark Chia seeds can be seen very clearly in the crust.

                                              Close-up of a portion of the second loaf's crust, showing the dark Chia seeds.

I am temped to do a painting based on the image. :-)

The third loaf was made on Saturday, one full week from the initial preparations of the dough. Just after 8 AM, I took the dough from the fridge and immediately turned it out and palm-pressed the very cold - less than 40ºF ( 4ºC ) - dough into a rectangular sheet with the average thickness about 3 to 4 mm ( 1/8 inch ). I had decided to add a bit of bread spice to this loaf, and I considered the thin sheet was the best way to do that at this point. In the photo below, which was prior to adding the spice, the dark Chia seed stand out clearly.

                              The dough for the third loaf, preparatory to the addition of a bit of bread spice.

The bread spice was spread across the dough surface and then I started letter folds in the long axis. No, added oil, nor flour dusting was required for the cold dough on this much-used Silpat sheet. You can judge the dough thickness in the next image, taken at the first start of the initial fold.

                                   Closing the bread spice into the dough with the beginning of a couple letter folds.

Following a set of only two folds, the second at right angles to the first, the dough rested 15 minutes and then was final shaped.

                                      Final shaped batard prior to a 7 hour rise.

                              Following the 7 hour rise and my butchering the attempted decorative leaf slashing :-(

The loaf was turned out of the cloth-line brotform onto parchment paper and peel. Slashed in a poor attempt to form a leaf-line branchlet along the length of the loaf. It was sprayed with water and inserted into the 475ºF oven ( 245ºC ) with the parchment paper onto the preheated stones. A cup of boiling water was added to the oven's bottom steam pan at the same time. Three additional sprayings were given during the first 10 minutes of the baking. After 20 minutes, the temperature was reduced to 425ºF and the steam pan checked to be sure it was empty, and the oven door cracked to allow any remaining steam to escape during the last 15 minutes of the bake. After a total time of 35 minutes in the oven, the loaf removed and the instant read temperature in the loaf was 207º.

                                                         Finished third loaf.

The loaf was cooled for an hour and a half before cutting. Below is a photo of the crumb, which is about the way I like it for a general purpose sandwich, or jam on toast bread. The taste now has a fuller sour tang to blend with rye, Chia, spice flavors. A very satisfying

                                           View of the crumb in the third and final loaf from this dough batch.

taste for my jaded palette ;-)

Now, the big question for me is just what do I want to mix today?


Next Blog:


rossnroller's picture

It's a rainy Sunday afternoon where I am - good time to tap out a post. Besides, it's 10-10-10...gotta commemorate that somehow!

Like many here, I suspect, I love trying new breads, and have a never-diminishing must-bake list of breads I want to try - never-diminishing because no matter how many I try, I keep adding more! Thanks to Shiao-Ping's current posting hiatus, I've managed to get through most of hers now (any newcomers looking for a great source of new breads, put her name in the search window and just take your pick from any of her amazing bakes). But then along comes TXFarmer!!! Sigh...

Much as I enjoy trying new breads, I have identified 5 or 6 of the 50 or so different breads I've baked in the last couple of years that I keep coming back to as my favourites. These now comprise my core repertoire, all 100% SDs: pain de campagne (my version), Gerard Rubaud's formula (thanks to Shiao-Ping), Norwich Rye (Wild Yeast Susan's adaptation of Hamelman's Vermont SD, which I also tweak in various ways), San Joaquin SD (DM Snyder), and my version of pain au levain.

It's the last that I want to share today, because of all my favourites, if I had to pick a number 1 this would be it. Why?

  • the flavour profile - the rye component comes from the starter, which seems to add a different quality of flavour from rye that is added to a dough at mixing stage, and the small amount of wholewheat flour sweetens it up a little, while the white flour component keeps it light

  • the hydration level ensures it is a relatively easy dough to work with

  • ever-reliable

  • versatile - compatible with both savoury and sweet accompaniments, toasts well

  • the crust - nice rustic look when done as a batard (my favourite shape), but not as thick as, say, the San Joaquin, or as thin as my pain de Goldilocks would like it!

  • the crumb - the combination of bakers' flour and AP flour keeps the structure strong, but open and slightly spongy

This pain au levain developed out of various breads that I tweaked until I ended up with the formula that follows. There's nothing remarkable about the formula: pretty typical SD bread. Actually, if I recall correctly, the formula I initially based this bread on was a camp oven SD bread that someone posted on the Sourdough Companion site. Not sure how much I've ended up deviating from the prototype, but after a lot of experimenting and tweaking, the formula that follows is the one I have found myself returning to again and again. It just seems 'right' to me. Of course, feel free to try your own tweaks. My taste may not equate exactly with yours.

So, to the recipe. Be aware that this is scaled to the weight I prefer. I like to bake batards that my partner and I can finish in 2 days, so I can then move on to another bread, and it is always fresh. If you have a larger household, you might like to scale this up accordingly.


  • Ripe starter (100% hydration: 30% whole grain organic rye/70% organic unbleached AP flour): 150gm

  • Filtered water: 300gm

  • Wholegrain organic flour: 25gm

  • Premium organic bakers' flour: 200gm

  • Organic unbleached AP flour: 275gm

  • Pure sea salt: heaped teaspoon (or 2% if you want a standard measure of salt...I slightly undersalt my doughs)

Note: This recipe assumes an ambient temp of 22C/72F (adjust proofing times up or down, depending on your own ambient temp)


  • Mix all ingredients other than salt, autolyse 30-40mins.

  • Mix salt into dough

  • Bulk proof 3 hours, with 2 stretch-and-folds 30 mins apart initially, then S&F once per hour thereafter

  • After BP, preshape and rest 10 mins

  • Shape

  • Final Proof: 30 mins (dough covered in plastic), then retard in fridge overnight

  • Bake straight out of fridge next day


  • Heat oven to 250C/480F with pizza stone or baking tile, and with metal tray in bottom for ice. Bake in lower-middle of oven.

  • When 250C has been reached, drop 3 ice cubes into heated tray in bottom of oven just prior to loading slashed dough. Immediately after loading dough, spray surface of loaf and around oven with water, and shut door. Wait 2 minutes and spray again around oven. Shut door and drop oven temp to 225C/435F.

  • Bake 15 mins starting from time you loaded dough, then drop oven to 215C/420F

  • Bake 12 mins @ 215C, then drop oven temp to 200C/390F

  • Bake 14 mins @ 200C, then take bread out of oven and rest for minimum 2 hours on cake rack or similar.

I'll leave you with a couple of pics of a pain au levain I baked this morning.







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