The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


bnom's picture

I decided that my first by-the-book recipe I'd make from Hamelman's Bread would be Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain.  I had my starter bubbling, my scale ready, started adding ingredients to the bowl and--wait a minute--this can't be right.  The formula was clearly incorrect (It turns out that I just happened to choose the Bread recipe most fraught with errors).  So I  improvised the best I could. 

I then looked up, on the Mellow Bakers site, the errata sheet and also found Hamelman's email correcting the formula.  Yesterday, I closely followed his formula, so I could compare the two breads while they were still fresh in my mind.   

Here's the crust/crumb from Hamelman's corrected formula:


And here's the crumb of my improvised version:

The winner?  We thought the improvised loaf had a much better flavor and texture.  The Hamelman version was, by comparison, rather doughy and bland. Although I loved the bloom and ears.  I think the answer is in the balance somewhere between the two.  Next time, I keep track of my own formula and post results. 


dmsnyder's picture


SFBI Artisan I, day 5


Today, we baked 3 batches of baguettes - with poolish, sponge and "pre-ferment" (like biga). The didactic portion covered baker's math for doughs with pre-ferments. We reviewed a lot of material on mixing and dough handling. As a "bonus lesson," Miyuki demonstrated special baguette scoring techniques.


Miyuki called this a "Dragon Tail."


Dragon Tail baguette


Bend the baguette into a curve and cut as for an epi, except fold all the pieces to the convex side of the baguette


These are all Miyuki's - ready to load



These are mine - baked


Loading baguettes 


I don't think I've mentioned that there were wonderful pastries available with coffee when we arrived, and we were served delicious lunches each afternoon. Lunch today was two kinds of pizza - margarita and 5 spices chicken, mango and scallion - really delicious. Today, we were also served wine - a very nice pinot grigio. The desserts were lemon macarons and "nouveau linzer," a layer of flourless chocolate cake spread with raspberry jam under chocolate mousse. Ooooooh my!




At the end of the day, Michel Suas met with the class, which is a long story for another time. We tasted the different baguettes we made and also some hand-mixed baguettes Miyuki made and baked in a home-type oven. We took some photos and went home with a couple half-pints of ice cream the interns had made. I got strawberry and cassis.


Michel Suas


Class photo (3 students had to catch planes prior to this, unfortunately.)


I would certainly recommend this course to any serious home baker or any professional baker. For the home bakers: It really helps if you have studied modern bread making concepts beforehand. The workshop covers a lot of material, and it moves fast. You do not want this to be your very first exposure to baker's math or scaling ingredients or using pre-ferments, just to give a few examples. 

On the other hand, the class was about half professionals, some with many years experience as bread bakers in restaurant or bakery environments. There was no one who didn't learn a lot. I think I heard every one of them talking excitedly at one or more points about concepts and procedures they were eager to apply in their own workplaces.

Now, to go home and try to apply everything I've learned. 




breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hi All,

Just wanted to share with you my attempt.  It is loosely based on foolishpoolish's Brioche au Levain: and the Brioche With Liquid Levain recipe on page 204 of Daniel T. Dimuzio's book: Bread Baking: an Artisan's Perspective.  I am doing this completely by hand...


Liquid Levain:

100g AP (King Arthur)

100g Water

50g Sourdough Starter (100% hydration)

250g Total


Final Dough:

650g AP (King Arthur)

280g Whole Milk (scalded and cooled)

225g Unsalted Butter (2 sticks @ room temp)

112g Eggs (2 XL)

75g Caster Sugar (extra fine)

18g Kosher Salt

1.4g Instant Yeast (1/2 tsp SAF Gold)

250g Liquid Levain

1609.4g Total Dough Yield


Method (at least what I did)

Day 1 (8/20/10)

2:35pm - Mix liquid levain, cover let rest for 3-4 hours.  Scald milk and let cool.

6:00pm - Measure out all ingredients.

6:15pm - In a large 15L stainless steel mixing bowl, add the milk, eggs, about 1/3 of the caster sugar, all of the liquid levain, salt and yeast.  Mix well with a wire wisk until well combined.  Next, wisk in about 1/3 of the flour, mix until smooth.  Then, add the remaining flour, mix with a spatula until combined well, cover and autolyse for 25-30 minute covered.

6:40pm - Knead in remaning sugar by hand.  Sprinkle sugar lightly around the dough and onto the sides of the bowl, and knead dough by picking it up slapping and folding it to either the side or bottom of bowl using 1 (right) hand (left hand holds and rotates the mixing bowl).  Continue kneading and adding sugar until all sugar is used and dough begins to develop strength and stop shredding.  About 10 minutes.

6:50pm - Cut butter into small chunks and begin kneading butter into the dough.  Reserve the butter wrapper for greasing the plastic container for rising.  Method for kneading butter: smear 1 chunk of butter along the sides of the bowl, then slap and fold the dough on the sides of the bowl using 1 (right) hand (left hand holds and rotates the mixing bowl).  This will take about 40 minutes and your arm/hand will get tired.

7:25pm - Transfer dough to buttered plastic tub, cover and let rise for about 1 hour on counter.  Turn dough 3 times at 15 minute intervals.

8:30pm - Turn dough and transfer to refrigerator.

9:45pm - Turn dough, let rise in refrigerator overnight.

10:50pm - Take picture of dough in progress for TFL...  My tub is about 4L.

11:23pm - Turn dough (because I felt like it...)

To be continued tomorrow morning...

SylviaH's picture

The sourdough boulé is the same recipe I baked on my last post, except I made a few little changes replacing some of the bread flour with 120g of whole rye, honey instead of sugar and upped the hydration slightly.  I made two large loaves instead of three so I could make better use of my oven today.  The flavor was delicious and we enjoy very much both versions of this sourdough.  I had 5 very large ripe banana's perfect for doubling the recipe for 'Banana-Nut Bread' from the book 'Williams-Sonoma Bread', this is a great tasting banana bread, today I left out the nuts.  The fried apricot hand pies were made a couple of days ago.  I make them once a year, guess why!  I boil sweetned fresh apricots with a bit of lemon juice into a thick lumpy puree for the center filling or sometimes I use dried apricots for the puree, both are delicious.











dmsnyder's picture

SFBI Artisan I, day 4


Yesterday, we looked at the effects of two variables - pâte fermentée and high-gluten flour - on one kind of bread - baguettes. Today, we used pâte fermentée as the constant, and made 5 different breads with it. They were:

1. Pan Bread. An enriched sandwich loaf.

2. Rye Bread: A French-style pan de seigle.

3. Whole Wheat Bread 

4. Egg Bread. Very enriched with sugar, eggs and butter and braided.

5. Multi-grain Bread. With a soaker of 3 seeds, rye, whole wheat and AP flour.


Plan for the day


Ripe Pâte Fermentée. (Incidentally, a good illustration of the chaotic pattern of un-organized gluten resulting from a short mix.)


We made multiple loaves of each. We made the pan bread using 3 different shaping methods. We used multiple scoring patterns with the the rye bread and  the whole wheat bread. So, we did 7 shapes, 12 scoring patterns, 5 kinds of dough and 20 loaves, in all. I was truly wiped out by the end of the day. 

My breads from today (absent the 3 pan loaves). Front to back: Multi-grain, Whole Wheat, Egg Bread and Rye Bread.


One of my Whole Wheat boules


Miyuki squeezed in a couple classroom sessions on different pre-ferments.

As a very special treat for me, Susan Tenney (SusanFNP) came over to SFBI to chat and stuck around helping Miyuki with racking the baked loaves. It was such a pleasure to meet her face to face. She is such a pillar of the home artisan baking world!

At the end of the day, before tasting all the types of breads we baked today, we mixed pre-ferments - pâte fermentée, poolish and sponge - for tomorrow, when we return to baguettes.

The "aha moment" of the day for me was finally really learning how to pre-shape and shape a boule correctly. It's about time, eh? Again, having Miyuki show me once was all it took. Having to then shape 10 boules help consolidate the technique. I learned more in an hour today about this technique then I've learned in the past 3 years. As Leadbelly said, "It's so easy when you know how." 



wassisname's picture


I decided to enter a couple loaves of bread in the local fair, and thinking about having to achieve a particular result on a particular day made me realize what a sloppy baker I am.  Well, maybe "sloppy" is a little negative.  Let's say "happy-go-lucky," or "devil-may-care," or "possessed-of-a-certain-breezy-elan" when it comes to bread baking.  Or maybe "sloppy" is the right word after all.

Whatever you call it, the result is that I rarely end up exactly where I originally set out to go.  And I'm fine with that.  Up until now I've only baked for myself, my family, and a few friends.  And they're all fine with it, too... or at least polite about it.

But now it's down to business.  I've picked the recipe (a torturous process), and I'm determined to stop improvising half-way through the bake and really dial it in. 

As a happy side-benefit, this has turned out to be a great excuse to bake even more bread than usual!


The bread:  The lean 45% whole rye and whole wheat from Whole Grain Breads.  Minus the yeast.  One has a touch of molasses and caraway seeds.  The other has some packaged bread spice, no sweetner.

I've made versions of this before, but paid more attention to what I was doing this time.  I'm pretty happy with it.  I think I need to up the hydration just a bit.  And I clearly went a little overboard flouring the bannetons - a touch of paranoia.

But about the rise... I went 45 min for the first rise, then shaped, then another 45min for the second rise.  That seems awfully fast.  That's about the recommended time for the yeasted version.  I went by feel and look on the first rise (my finger press did not spring back).  Since I've never seen a recipe with a second rise longer than the first, I put it in the oven 45 min after that.  I worry about over-proofing with rye, but would a third rise maybe be an option?



Then I turned over the camera to my daughter for a couple shots.  Future bread blogger?  Hehehe... could be.

Daisy_A's picture


I was led to Swedish baker Jan Hedh's book Artisan Bread by Dan Lepard's recommendation on TFL. I owe him thanks for that as it full of great formulae and beautifully photographed by Klas Andersson. There is lots in it to inspire.
One of my favourite Hedh breads is a lemon bread flavoured with lemon zest and green olive oil (pp.126-7). Created by Hedh when lead baker on a Swedish cruise ship, this aromatic bread was designed to work well with fish dishes. It can be made in the shape of a lemon-shaped, small dinner bread or a more traditional round roll. The breads are dusted in yellow semolina flour during the second proof, to make them even more lemon-like.

Hedh's recipe gives enough for a small batch,  In fact this is one of the few breads that I can batch bake in an hour after preheating my small domestic oven, baking 3 dinner breads in the first firing and 4-6 round rolls in the second.

The bread has a great texture. It is moist but remains firm even when sliced thinly. It takes savoury toppings well without bending or getting soggy, making it also ideal for open sandwiches and canapés.
We have enjoyed it with fish dishes and also topped it with tomato, oil and vinegar or tangy cheese and pickles. It is also good dipped simply in olive oil. However one of my favourite ways to eat it is sliced thinly with no accompaniments, so that the subtle and delicious lemon taste can be enjoyed to the full.

Even before recent discussions on TFL about copyright  I had been trying to contact Hedh's British publishers to get permission to reprint the recipe. I have had no success so far as it looks as though they have gone into receivership.

This means also that Hedh's book will become harder and harder to find.  Large sellers like Amazon and Smiths are logging it up already as out of stock. The bakery that Hedh co-owns - St. Peter's Yard in Edinburgh  - still had around 60  copies of the book when I rang them a couple of months ago. They don't post out; however if you have friends in Edinburgh do sweet talk them into getting a copy for you as it could be your last chance to get your hands on this great book!

Hedh's original lemon bread is a yeasted bread made with a preferment of yellow durum wheat flour (grown traditionally on the Swedish island of Ven), and light rye flour with stone ground, strong wheat flour added to the final, machine-mixed dough. The version I am writing up here is my adaptation, a sourdough made with semolato, whole rye flour and wholemeal flour, which is hand mixed.

Some pictures of the different stages plus a chart of the adapted formula and process follow:

Sourdough Wholemeal Lemon Bread: Adaptation of Jan Hedh Recipe

This bread is flavoured with lemon zest rather than lemon juice. This results in subtle highnotes in the final bread, rather than a widespread lemon taste. It is well worth getting organic and unwaxed lemons to zest if available. When grated and mixed with the flour the lovely aroma also fills the kitchen! The wholemeal, olive oil infused dough has a lovely, silky consistency and is good to work with.

I have baked this bread several times. The original instructions make no reference to scoring the bread. I made the first batch without slashes and they came out well. However the picture in the book shows a loaf with an open top. I later read in the Introduction that Hedh proofs and bakes some of his breads with the seam side upwards. The loaf then splits along the seam, giving it an attractive rustic look. My shaping skills are not yet so good that I can prevent an unscored loaf rupturing elsewhere. I now normally score the breads with one long stroke along the top and this has worked well to date.

I was concerned that a predominantly whole grain formula at lowish hydration might produce too dense a crumb and loaf. I imagine that the loaves might rise higher when Hedh's original formula is used. However the preferment seems to work well with sourdough as well as baker's yeast and I have been able to get quite an open crumb and good rise for the size of loaf and type of flour used.

My sourdough starters are quite feisty but the relatively low levels of starter in the preferment and final dough have meant that the overall fermentation has taken place without the dough losing elasticity. The amount of starter and fermentation times I give are relevant to my own situation. I am realizing more and more now that with sourdough starters any formula is just a guideline! Please feel free to adjust this to suit your own starters.

I hope that other TFLers might enjoy this bread. If you do try it I would be glad to learn from your feedback.



The quantities below are for 4 dinner breads:

With this formula I used a wholemeal starter at approximately 66% hydration. I have made this bread successfully with wholemeal flours from Dove's Farm, Waitrose and Bacheldre Mill. Bacheldre Mill was the most fruity and aromatic. I used Dallari semolato because it was the only one available locally at the time but would prefer to use DeCecco, a brand that is sometimes available, also recommended by nicobdv.

I estimate overall hydration including starter hydration at 530/945 = 56% but I'm always open to correction!

Total FormulaWeight 
Wholemeal flour695g 650+45
Semolato or other yellow durum wheat flour150g 
Whole grain rye flour100g 
Water530 250+250+30
Green, virgin olive oil50g 
Sea salt or other salt20g 
Zest of 2 medium lemons, preferably unwaxed, organicApprox. 10gWill weigh next time!


Semolato or other yellow durum wheat flour150g 
Whole grain rye flour100g 
Whole meal starter at approx. 66% hydration30g 
Final DoughWeight 
Wholemeal flour


All preferment 530g 
Wholemeal starter at 66% hydration45g 
Green, virgin olive oil50g 
Sea salt or other salt20g 
Zest of 2 medium lemons, preferably unwaxed, organicApprox. 10g 



Make the preferment approximately 12 hours before baking, normally the evening before:

Mix a small amount of starter with water to form a paste

Add the rest of the water to the starter mixture

Combine the flours and pour the water and starter over the flour.

Mix for 8-10 minutes in preferred fashion. (I 'air knead' in the manner of Andrew Whitley in order to incorporate the starter fully)

Cover and leave in an oiled container in the fridge

Mixing of final dough

Wash and zest lemons, mix into flour

Add preferment to flour

Dissolve second lot of starter in second lot of water and pour over flour

Mix by preferred method for 3 minutes

Add oil and salt and mix by preferred method for 8 minutes. (I air knead for 8 minutes then perform one stretch and fold on the bench). 

Make sure that all new starter and preferment are mixed in well.

Mix for another 7 minutes if needed, to form an elastic dough.

Place in a lightly oiled, covered container

First proofApprox. 90 minutes with 1 S&F at 45 mins. Adapt as needed. 
PreshapingQuarter, form into balls and leave covered for 10 mins. 
ShapingShape dinner breads into tapered, lemon-like rolls and smaller rolls as small rounds. Brush with water and dust with polenta or other yellow flour. 
Second proofProof on a floured couche for 60 mins. or until doubled in size 
PreparationPreheat oven to C250 and prepare to steam. For steaming I preheat 2 small fajita trays and pour boiling water onto them as soon as the bread is in the oven. 

I bake the dinner breads for 10 minutes at C250 with steam, open door to releas steam and turn the oven down to C230 for the rest of the bake

Check internal temperature after another 12 minutes, bake for further increments of 3-5 minutes, if needed, until internal temperature of around C90 is reached and crust is an attractive light golden colour.

Jan Hedh recommends baking rolls for around 12 minutes

Mebake's picture

This is Baked from hamelman's 40% Rye with caraway, only without caraway seeds as my wife dislikes them in bread

I found this recipe to yield a smewheat tangy bread, so it would have been better complimented eith caraway seeds. The crust was chewy, and the crumb light and even textured, i'd say very good result with no folds done, and very short fermentation time.

I'd bake it again, with caraway added.


dmsnyder's picture


SFBI Artisan I: day 3


On day 3 of the Aritisan I Workshop at SFBI, the didactic sessions covered "flour technology" with discussion of the different kinds of wheat, milling and other processes used by millers. In the lab, we again mixed 3 kinds of baguettes in order to compare the consequences of modifying the straight dough method by using high gluten four or by using an autolyse. In each case, while the formula was kept constant, mixing was varied as one would with these variations - longer mixing when using high-gluten flour and much shorter mixing when using an autolyse.




On Days 1 and 2, Miyuki did all the mixing. Today, we all got to use the big spiral mixers with much more (literally) hands on dough-feeling periodically to judge when the dough was adequately mixed.



Transferring proofed baguettes to the loader


Scoring baguettes before loading


Just to clarify: When different methods were used, I made 5 baguettes with each dough, even though my photos only show (the best) 3 of each batch.

We were able to actually experience the different dough handling of each mix when stretch and folding, dividing, pre-shaping, shaping, scoring, etc. We could also see the consequences of these variations for loaf volume, crust color, cuts opening, crumb structure and color, aroma and flavor. Miyuki repeatedly quizzed us on the reasons we got the results we did for each of these variables.


Our baguettes from today, cooling


Comparing crumbs


Of course, we also worked on improving our dough handling skills. I felt pretty good about my improvements in consistent baguette shaping. My scoring was, overall, improved. My best scoring was, in Miyuki's words, "almost good."  But I think I know what I need to do to improve my scoring.


My baguettes (left to right: Improved mix, High-gluten flour and Autolyse). My baguettes today had more even thickness and length. Scoring still needs work.


My best-looking baguette of the day.


Intermediate mix baguette crumb


Tomorrow, we make 5 kinds of bread, none of which is baguettes!  



teketeke's picture

 I found this recipe on Cookpad. ( Japanese)  It is very good to eat this in summer using juicy fresh tomatoes, fravorful fresh basil with your own baguettes. I love it without doubt. This recipe was posted by suru-zen. Thank you, suru-zen!!

 My favorite's Bruschetta recipe:


*Large fresh tomatoes ( Peeled and diced)



6-7 leaves

*Garlic (grounded)

1 clove

*Olive oil


*Parmesan cheese



2 pinch

*Freshly grounded black pepper

1-2 tsp

French bread ( sliced and toasted)

 1  baguette

Cream cheese

As much as you want

1. Put * all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix lightly and refrigerate it

for 1 hour.

2. spread some cream cheese on the french bread and put some * tomato mixture on them.

Sprinkle parmesan cheese a little bit  and ready to serve.

Thanks to SylviaH & Sagharbormo, I could have another delicious version of bruschetta. I cut the baguettes lengthlwise and pulled  some soft crumb out and broiled them until golden brown. After that, squeezed 1/2 ripen fresh tomato in the crumb,  spread some cream chease over on it, and put  my *ingredients on, and sprinkle some olive oil and parmesan cheese ( I like cheese :))    It tated very good.  Thank you, folks!



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