The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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Sedlmaierin's picture

Ok, here I go again. I did try to take a few more pictures-semi succesfully.


Info about the actual bake and ingredients:

-I used Arrowhead Mills Organic whole rye flour and KA Bread Flour;no medium rye flour at all

-the freshening was done using my "old bread" rye starter-freshened with old bread,too

-I did not add the optional yeast

- the freshening fermented in my oven with pilot light on for 6 hours;basic sour on countertop for 24 hours(i figure the temp was around 68-70 degrees); full sour ripened for 3 hours in pilot lit oven

-bulk fermentation about 20 minutes; final fermentation about an hour, shaped into two loaves, fermenting on parchment paper

-painted the loaves with water, docked them and put them in the pre-heated oven on a baking stone with steam for 10 minutes at 490 and then 50 minutes at 410. i let them sit in the turned off oven for about 10 minutes.

-they rested for 36 hours before I cut into them

The taste of this bread  transports me back to my childhood-it is just like the bread I grew up on! This is the first time I feel that my bread actually tastes sour-which to me is a good thing! I mean it is very yummy-moist crumb, nice chewy crust, just the right density.I am very, very happy! The major thing I would do differently next time is to let the final fermentation occur in a brotform or lined/floured bowl-it might help the dough from spreading too much.

this is the fermented basic sour

full sour at mixing

full sour after it was fully fermented-I had to stir it down once during fermentation  because it rose too much(others might say because I put it into a too small bowl.......a small distinction ;p)

tadaaaaa, bread!

crumbiest, crumb shot

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hey All,

Just wanted to share with you some recent bakes.  Enjoy!  Sorry no recipes.  Please bug me if you want any of them.


4/2/10 - Pane Casereccio di Genzano, Poilane style miche, Olive Bread.  The olive bread did not turn out well...  Sorry no crumbshots for these.

4/4/10 - Cottage Loaves

4/6/10 - Pane di Matera (Durum bread).  This is my poor attempt at this bread.  It's really difficult to shape.  Mine looked horrible, but they tasted pretty good...  More info here: and here:

4/7/10 - Breadcrumb Bread...  This is another attempt at doing the Pane di Matera shape, very slightly more successfully, but not quite there yet...

4/8/10 - Olive Bread...  Sorry no crumbshot...  My friends said it tasted really good...

4/11/10 - Pizza.  Mushroom, and Artichoke, and Jamon Serrano...

Kathy Summers's picture
Kathy Summers

Dear friends,


I have made handmade bread almost every day for the last thirty-nine years. We raised a family of nine children and they are mostly made of handmade bread. Being so busy with our children as they were growing up and having little money, I figured out a way of making bread that was not only nutritious and delicious, but also easy, fast and economical. I have taught our six daughters and hundreds of other people how to make bread. Many say it is the best bread they have ever eaten and the first time they have been successful making bread. Our twenty-four grandchildren all love our bread and some are now making it themselves. Our family now has three generations of bread makers who all use this method.


I have never seen bread made this way and have read hundreds of bread recipes and bread books. This method is unique and the bread is some of the best bread you will have ever tasted.


The instructions are simple and specific. All the yeast bread recipes are made with instant yeast. The ingredients are rapidly mixed together. There is a short kneading time and no first rising of the dough.  The bread is shaped, raises and then baked. Every recipe can be completed from start to finish within one and one half hours.


I really thought I was done writing bread books. I have written two, but the enthusiasm I have found from many people still wanting to learn to make bread has only increased. Times are hard now for many people. Homemade bread is inexpensive.


I have been blessed to create better and easier recipes, so come along and join me in a new book on handmade breads. You’ll find old friends and new friends and old ways and new ways to guide your bread-making journey.


All you need to do is to read and follow each individual recipe. All the directions are included in the recipe itself of the entire process of making that particular bread.

This book is available on It is called The Best and Easiest Handmade Breads From Start to Finish in 1 and 1/2 hours.

LindyD's picture


"A bagel is a round bread made of simple, elegant ingredients: high-gluten flour, salt, water, yeast and malt. Its dough is boiled, then baked, and the result should be a rich caramel color; it should not be pale and blond. A bagel should weigh four ounces or less and should make a slight cracking sound when you bite into it instead of a whoosh. A bagel should be eaten warm and, ideally, should be no more than four or five hours old when consumed. All else is not a bagel."

So wrote Ed Levine in The New York Times.  Having tasted (and baked) various bagels,  the elegant simplicity of Jeffrey Hamelman's formula, both in ingredients and technique, perfectly fits Levine's description.

Prep time is about ten minutes to scale the ingredients and complete the calculations for the desired dough temperature (76F).   Figure another couple minutes to very lightly oil two sheets of parchment (wiping off any excess oil), which are then placed on two baking sheets.  This is your insurance policy to make sure your bagels won't stick to the parchment after the retarding period.  BTW, these two sheets can be used over and over again.  Just let them dry out before storing them and lightly re-oil before using again.

The dough is then mixed for three minutes to incorporate the five ingredients, then five to six more minutes in a stand or planetary mixer.

Now, about mixers.   Over the past year I've been using my KA Artisan mixer to mix this 58- percent hydration dough.   It easily handled the first three minutes of mixing at speed one,  but began to heat up during the second mixing stage at speed two.  I resorted to strapping an ice pack on top of the mixer to keep it cool and even shut it down for a few minutes if I thought the mixer was straining too much.  That worked and my KA Artisan has survived mixing 30 pounds of Sir Lancelot high gluten flour for bagels, but I've paid very close attention to it every minute of the mix.  

Not wanting to push my luck any further because my KA grain mill and food grinder attachments are important tools, last month I found a Bosch compact stand mixer for sale.   After mixing two batches of bagels, I remain amazed that the little Bosch (which I can hold in one hand) doesn't even get warm while mixing this very stiff dough.  


Once the dough is mixed, it is bulk fermented for one hour, then divided into 13 (a baker's dozen) four-ounce pieces (roughly 112 grams).  Each piece is rolled into a log shape with blunt ends to a length of 10 to 11 inches.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, and a video worth a million or more, here's a link to a great video by Ciril Hitz demonstrating the same shaping method described in Hamelman's Bread.

It takes about a minute to divide, weigh, and shape each bagel.  Divide the 13 bagels between your two lightly oiled parchment sheets, bag the pans or cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least six hours or overnight.  I prefer at least 12 hours.  Retarding is important because it slows down the fermentation of the dough and encourages lactic acid to develop, as well as that lovely crust.  The bagels remain in the refrigerator until you are ready to boil and bake them.

The next morning preheat your oven (and stone) to 500F and add three to four inches of water to a large pot, which will be brought to a boil.   While waiting for the oven to preheat, assemble a large bowl to contain ice water, a plate and cake rack to hold the bagels after their ice bath, a spider or slotted spoon, and another plate to catch any droplets of malted water as you move the bagels from the boiling water to the ice bath. You'll also need a couple sheets of parchment and your peel.


Add enough barley malt syrup to the water (before it begins to boil) so that it's the color of dark tea.  Once the water is at a rolling boil, dump a tray of ice cubes into the large bowl and add water.  Remove one tray of bagels from the refrigerator, uncover, and place two or three in the boiling water for around 45 seconds.   They'll pop right up and float.  The syrup adds a touch of sweetness and color; boiling begins to gelatinize the starch and creates the glossy crust, but boiling too long (some authorities say a minute is too long; others say two minutes) can cause the dough to collapse or  develop patches of yellowed, thickened crust.   

Remove the bagels from the boling water and immediately place in the ice water bath to chill for a couple of minutes. I don't use bagel boards, so I move the chilled bagels to the cake rack for about a minute, then to the parchment on my peel (after adding toppings, if any).   Once all the bagels from that batch have been boiled, chilled, and moved to the parchment covered peel, into the oven they go for 15 to 18 minutes.  Proceed with the final batch and enjoy while still warm.

The results: authentic, elegant bagels that even Ed Levine would love.



This recipe is my first bake of The Bread Challenge

jrcharter's picture

Hello all.  Two years ago I was diagnosed with having a gluten allergy, or what is more commonly known as a wheat allergy, or Celiac's disease.  NO MORE Sourdough bread?    Time to go jump in the ocean.  So, I found some "sourdough" bread mixes, done gluten free.  Expensive and really dry.  Lots of Tapioca flour used, which in reality is a starch.  What to do?  Well, either keep buying bad bread for about $8 bucks a loaf or become a bread baker/chemist.

My breads have been tasty, have bend, but are peasant breads, heavy with little rise.  I use a sourdough starter and feed it Lecithan, ascorbic acid and ginger mix, and it has been okay, but does not cause the bread to rise much.

Since my goal is a gluten-free, taste-filled, fluffy loaf with a crisp sourdough crust, I have a ways to go, but will keep on trying.  If anyone has any information to make my chemisty experiment a sucess, let me know. 


Keep on baking!  Rene.

louie brown's picture
louie brown

I lost track of the hydration of this loaf. It is somewhere between 85 and 90%. Prefermented flour (KA ap and a touch of Bob's Red Mill light rye) and water was added to a 100% starter. The dough was "folded" three times at 45 minute intervals, then fermented in bulk for about another 2.5 hours at about 75 - 80 degrees. It was then poured out onto a bed of rice and wheat flour, "shaped" by folding on itself in thirds, and quickly moved to a floured couche, where it proofed for about 2.5 hours more. At this point, the dough was very delicate. It was very gently flipped onto a piece of parchment, loaded and baked at 500 degrees, the first 15 minutes under a stainless steel bowl. The finished loaf had a height of about an inch and a half. The crust was crispy and not too thick. The crumb was very translucent and springy, with a honeycomb effect that brought to mind the Japanese baguettes of which we have seen photos. The taste was mild, with a slight tang.

Thanks to bwraith for his posts on sourdough ciabatta.





submitted to yeastspotting.

breadinquito's picture

Morning everyone, in the last few days here in Quito the temp dropped to a max of 19 (outside) and as a consequence, my starter looks like a drunk person doesn't want to "wake up"...suggestions appreciated...thanks in advance. Paolo

SydneyGirl's picture

I recently re-discovered bread baking and was so exicted to find this website.

Moved to Australia from Germany almost 30 years ago. After first discovering with shock that there was NO BREAD to buy in 1980's Sydney, my father quickly built a wood fired oven and my mother picked up with bread baking right where she left off when we moved from Transylvania to Germany 11 years earlier. Since then she has made 6-7 loaves per week of sourdough bread (with potatoes) almost every week. She still does it, even though it's now much easier to find "acceptable bread" (for a German) than it was. While I've made bread quite a few times in the past (like before she had the commercial mixer and her back ache prevented her from kneading a big trough of dough), there really wasn't any need for me to bake!

However, I really love home made bread and love to tinker. I had bought Rose Levy Beranbaum's Bread Bible a while ago. With too much going on, it just languished in a bookshelf till I picked it up in a reading lull recently. Even then I was reading, not making. The real catalyst was going to Ikea and picking up a packet of bread mix (no, I'm not kidding). And that set me off on more reading, browsing and joining fora, like this one. I bet you not many of the members here can say they came this site by way of Ikea! I can't wait to try out everything... 

Floydm's picture

Today was the first time since before the Haiti earthquake that I was able to bake much of anything. 

Today's breads

I baked a three seed sourdough (poppy, sesame, and flax) and an Italian bread (a pinch of yeast, some sourdough starter, and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil).  Both batches turned out very well and my starter proved to be amazingly resilient.

BTW, remember the fundraising tool I was working on for Mercy Corps that community members here helped test back in the fall?  It got written up in the NY Times a couple of months ago.  Thank you again to everyone who helped with it.  It has been a tremendous success and helped fund a lot of excellent projects we are doing in Haiti.   

dmsnyder's picture


It has been a few weeks since I last made my San Joaquin Sourdough. I had become so enamored of breads made with the Gérard Rubaud flour mix, I was starting to wonder if I would still like the flavor of the San Joaquin Sourdough as much as I had. Well, I do.

Yesterday, I made the breads with a 73% hydration dough and divided it into two 250 gm ficelles and one (approximately) 500 gm bâtard.





Wt. (gms)

Baker's %

Active starter (75% hydration



WFM 365 Organic AP flour



BRM Dark Rye flour











  1. The night before baking, feed the starter at 1:3:4 ratio of seed starter: water: flour.
  2. Mix all the ingredients and allow to rest, covered for 20-60 minutes.
  3. Stretch and fold in the bowl for 30 strokes, three times at 30 minute intervals.
  4. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover.
  5. After another 30 minute rest, stretch and fold on a lightly floured board. Replace in the bowl and cover.
  6. Rest for 30 minutes, then repeat the stretch and fold, and replace the dough in the bowl.
  7. Refrigerate the dough for 21hours.
  8. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and immediately divide and pre-shape it. Cover the dough with plasti-crap or a towel and let it rest for 60 minutes.
  9. One hour before baking, preheat the oven to 500ºF, with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.
  10. Shape the loaves as desired and place on a floured couche. Cover the loaves.
  11. Proof for 45 minutes.
  12. Pre-steam the oven. Transfer the loaves to a peel. Score them as desired and transfer them to the baking stone. Steam the oven.
  13. Turn down the oven to 460ºF and bake for 12 minutes. Then remove the steam source.
  14. Continue to bake until the loaves are done. (20 minutes for the ficelles. 30 minutes for the bâtard.)
  15. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.


The crust was nice and crunchy, and the crumb was pleasantly chewy. The flavor was wonderful, as always. There is no perceptible rye flavor, but the rye adds to the overall flavor complexity. This batch had more of a sourdough tang than usual, which we like.


Submitted to YeastSpotting


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