The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


txfarmer's picture

Another soft SD 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf from me - these are our favorite breakfast item. The inspiration came from the super light banana sandwich bread in Rose Levy Beranbaum's "Bread Bible" (Farine adapted it into a free form loaf with great scoring pattern here, she also has the original formula there), I replaced all of the flour with KAF ww, dry yeast with sourdough starter, and changed fermentation schedule accordingly. Sticking to the method of intensive kneading + long cold fermentation, it was another soft, tall, flavorful ww loaf.


Sourdough 100% Whole Wheat Banana Sandwich Bread

Note: 15% of the flour is in levain

Note: total flour is 420g, fit a my Chinese small-ish pullman pan (shown in picture), for US 8X4 loaf pan, I would suggest 455g of flour.


- levain

ww starter (100%), 18g

milk, 29g

ww bread flour, 54g

1. Mix and let fermentation at room temp (73F) for 12 hours.


- final dough

ww flour, 357g (I used KAF)

banana puree, 168g

honey, 29g

water, 130g

butter, 29g, softened

milk powder, 29g

salt, 8g

all levain

2. Mix together everything but butter, autolyse for 40-60min. Add butter, Knead until the dough is very developed. This intensive kneading is the key to a soft crumb, and proper volume. The windowpane will be thin and speckled with bran grains, but NOT as strong as one would get form a white flour dough. For more info on intensive kneading, see here.

3. Rise at room temp (74F) for 2 hours. Punch down, put in fridge overnight.

4. Take out dough, punch down, divide and rest for one hour.

5. Shape into sandwich loaves, the goal here is to get rid of all air bubles in the dough, and shape them very tightly and uniformly, this way the crumb of final breads would be even and velvety, with no unsightly holes. For different ways to shape (rolling once or twice, i.e. 3 piecing etc) see here.

6. Proof until the dough reaches one inch higher than the tin (for 8X4 inch tin), or 80% full (for pullman pan). About 5 hours at 74F.

9. Bake at 375F for 40-45min. Brush with butter when it's warm.


You can't really taste the banana, but it does soften the crumb and lends a very subtle sweetness. Perfect with some PB, one of my favorite SD 100% ww sandwich loaves so far.


Sending this to Yeastspotting.

MarieH's picture

I finally purchased Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread. I have been resisting buying another cookbook but the constant references to Bread wore me down. I am now a convert. I took a few days to read the book and found myself saying “I didn’t know that” and “Wow” many times.

I decided to start with the Vermont Sourdough recipe, but since I live in Tallahassee, my levain is southern.  I created a sourdough (levain) culture in January and it is maintaining very well.  I am thrilled with the bread results - the flavor and texture is great. I also made a semolina loaf that is pictured with the two batards. The scoring on the front batard was too shallow. Even though I am fairly experienced with artisanal bread making, scoring still intimidates me.  I hold my breath and slash with minimal confidence.

Back to Hamelman’s book – if you are holding back because you don’t need another bread book, buy it anyway. I have learned about dough temperature, mixing times, and preshaping to name a few things. Because I live in Florida, my kitchen is always warm. I didn’t know I need to start with chilled water to get a proper dough temp (there’s a formula!). The book is written for professional bakers and home bakers and is very helpful for people who want to improve their bread baking skills and end product.

Here are my pictures. And thanks to everyone for being my bread baking neighbors. I value your friendship and willingness to share your bread baking journey.     ~Marie



Bee18's picture

I'm so confuse and angry with this new blog, that I managed to open through Blogger/Google, that I can see when I sign in, that I know that the url address is the one I wrote down yesterday on TFL and that nobody can find when typing the url on a different computer.
I browsed the system for hours without finding a sensible answer to this problem, I upgraded my Internet explorer to the new 9,I'm desperate.
The TFL site seems not to be compatible anymore with my Win 7 as I cannot get the Bar with the buttons upon the comment box, nor in the create content.
Is someone there that know to deal with the registration to a different blog than TFL can tell me where I'm wrong?
hundred if no thousands of people are blogging upon the Internet, many as I can see have a blogspot address, why mine is not working. Should I wait several days until it will appear ? Is it like the first sourdough... be patient.... it will come ?
Sorry for the members I sent to watch my photos, if anybody want to give me an email address I will transfer them through my Picasa site.

Franko's picture


A few weeks back I went looking to find a source for Fancy or Extra Fancy Durum flour here in B.C. or Western Canada but drew a complete blank with all my usual local retailers. Durum Atta flour for chapatti and other Indian baking is readily available but the x-fancy is nowhere to be least for now. Fortunately breadsong  was able to give me a hand and put me in touch with one of her contacts at Giusto's in San Francisco who was quite happy to fill my 1 bag order. The shipping cost was fairly steep, but now at least I had 25lbs of beautiful, finely milled durum flour that I could use while I try to source something a little closer to home. One of the several breads that I wanted the flour for is a recipe from Maggie Glezer's 'Artisan Baking' called Tom Cat's Semolina Filone. David Snyder as well as many others on this forum have posted on it, but it was David's post of his bake of this bread that really inspired me to give it a try. Link to David’s post below:

I won't go into a step by step of the procedure since David has already covered that thoroughly in his post, with our methods and experiences with the dough being almost identical. The one notable difference being that I didn't find I needed to add any extra flour because of the dough being “gloppy” during the initial mixing. This may be because I was using a blend of Canadian AP and Bread flour, likely with a higher gluten content than the KA-AP that David used.

This is a really nice dough to work with and an easy mix by hand for the quantities given in Glezer's formula. After a 3 hour bulk ferment the dough is soft, supple, and very extensible with it's 33% prefermented flour from the poolish allowing for easy molding. Very similar to a baguette dough I thought, and something I'll try molding this dough as in future mixes. There will certainly be future mixes since this is a great tasting bread in all respects. I love toasted sesame seeds, so any bread covered in them is going to taste wonderful to me, but the crumb and crust just on their own work perfectly together, creating a good crunch from the crust with, to borrow one of David's terms, a nutty flavour. I didn't notice the nut flavour so much in the crumb as he did, rather I found a very slight acidity highlighting the mixed grain flavours. I know that several folks on this forum have noted the lack of flavour that durum flour has but whatever contribution it makes overall to this formula surely must be positive. The texture of the crumb is almost feathery soft but has good chew somehow as well, which surprised me. Again, possibly a factor of the flour combination used in this mix, and not something I'd want to change in future mixes. This bread being a natural for open faced sandwiches with fresh tomato and cheese or dry salami and pepperoncini with a little EVOO drizzled over, that's exactly what I had for a very enjoyable lunch this afternoon.


hanseata's picture

Much as I enjoy my Kindle for reading novels - e-cookbooks really suck!

My favorite baking books are full of scribbled exclamations, observations and suggestions. But try to enter notes in an e-book - and then IDENTIFY them again in their separate storage space on the e-reader - nothing is more cumbersome and annoying.

Therefore my only e-cookbook is Nils Schöner’s: “Brot - Bread Notes From a Floury German Kitchen” (written in English). First I got the free online version, but after I realized how much experience and work went into this compilation of recipes, I decided to give Schöner his due, and pay for the Kindle edition - a print version doesn’t exist.

Working with e-recipes is easy as long as you follow the recipe to the t, but if you want to change something, you have to write your notes on a piece of paper, and copy the recipe plus alterations and comments in your recipe program (or write them in a notebook) for later use.

Schöner didn’t make the task of navigating his book any easier by forgetting to add a table of contents to his book - but you can find it at Amazon with the book listing, and print it out.

His recipes are not “Bread Baking for Dummies”, either, and the procedure is often not described in great detail. So I adapted his recipes to my preferred method, introducing a soaker and overnight fermentation. I also found that baking it with slightly different temperatures resulted in a better crust.

KORNTALER - a hearty loaf with flax seeds, millet and, interestingly, dried, toasted soybeans.Link to the recipe:

copyu's picture

Hi all,

I haven't blogged for a while. (Lots of trouble uploading photos, which is a fairly big part of what blogging is about, I suppose; it could just be a problem at my end...Nevertheless, following all the directions on the site, implicitly, still does not work for me. I don't care why, any more...)

We've had weather that was too lousy for me to go out and about, so I did a fair bit of cooking and baking this weekend. Top of my list was a 45% durum semolina loaf made with a tiny 65 gram sourdough ‘biga’ that came out pretty well and helped me learn a lot about proper 'shaping' of a round loaf. (I’m still learning, as you can see!) I just had a hankering for good English crumpets (what other kind is there?)

The bread:

I know that my credibility is probably weak—NY yank and all, living in Japan—but I went to Australia at a 'formative' age. Back then, people in Oz used to say, "Our daughter's gone 'back home' for a year..." meaning she'd returned to some part of Great Britain where her ancestors (may have) lived...We also used to eat Cornish pasties; London buns; Bath buns; Banbury pasties; disgusting (but very delicious) sausage rolls; rock buns; roast lamb dinners [with mint sauce(!)] and, of course, fish & chips—in other words, I'm trying to say that we had the benefits (or otherwise) of the typical, full British diet as our daily cuisine. Supermarkets were still a 'thing of the future', back then...We paid nine-pence for a freshly-made meat pie or pasty in those days.

I found an ancient sourdough crumpet recipe on my HDD using volume measurements <GRRR!> and, because I only had rye starter, I ended up with:

They were tasty enough, with lashings of butter and jam…but there weren’t really enough holes to satisfy a crumpet ‘aficionado’. I rectified that today with this all-white crumpet recipe cobbled together from 4-5 web-sites and modified, by me, to accommodate a small amount of white sourdough starter. (I used some of the leftover white-flour ‘biga’ from the semolina loaf.) This is what I got:

Maybe not ‘up to snuff’ for a lover of true British crumpets, but would probably satisfy any expatriate British colonial who can’t find the usual 6-pack of 'supermarket fare'.


MadAboutB8's picture

One of the most loved pastry items with multiple identities, Pain au Raisin. Though it is widely known as Pain au Raisins (or Pain aux Raisins), it is also called escagot and snail. Many Aussies know this item as snails due to its shape.

It has everything that ticks, slightly spiced juicy sultana (golden raisin), pastry cream wrapped in buttery and flaky croissant dough. Some are also glazed with apricot jam, and finished off with icing sugar.

I’m still on my mission practicing making croissants. This week was my sixth effort. Apart from making them into classic croissant shape, I also turned the dough into something else, and this week I made them into pain au raisins.

This was the second time I made them. Comparing it to my first effort, this time was way much better, which I believe it was resulted from a well-proof dough. Well-proof croissant dough will produce flaky layered pastry. 


More details and recipe can be found here




Bee18's picture

Hi everybody

Out of complete frustration, I decided to got around TLF site, after I realized that I could never get the bar upon the comments box and use the buttons. For some reason
clicking disable rich text or reverse don’t help as it did for some others who have the same problem I have.

So................I created a BLOG. I saw this little B on the Picasa button and it let me upload my photos after I created a blog through blogger. And it was done. I then understood that I can put my address on the TFL blogs for the one who would like to see the photos when I’m posting something related.

I was surprised by my own adventure into something that I though reserved to people who have something really important to tell to the world.

Now the ADDRESS is wwwbreadsandbee18 blogspot (not very smart title but easy to recognize for you who know me under Bee18.)
I checked the address several time in the Google bar search, ½ hour ago and it works.

Please let me know if you cannot get it. You can find there the whole story about the GL free experiences I did the last 15 days, with photos.

The result, for those who don’t have patience to wait and try the blog, is very good.
The bread looks good the flavor is good the oven spring was fantastic, the sourdough
began to strongly kicked after 12 days and the comments from Mini. I read about 2 dozen of different recipes on a lot of sites in English and French before I made my mind what to do.
Thanks Ananda for the recipe and the method to use.
Thanks Mike Avery from “sourdough home” bread tips blog/site.

Please place comments on the blog so I can see how it works. I will try to make it more attractive, but I need time to learn the functions.


SylviaH's picture

Peter Reinhart's 'Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread' from TBBA.  A very popular bread, made by and raved about by so many at TFL.  It is very delicious and special as any Cinnamon bread could be, with it's nuts, I choose pecan over the walnut, though I have a humungous bag of each,  I love pecans... I will make walnut next, they add their own special flavor to this bread.  I also used brown sugar and cinnamon for the swirl, topping and crumb.  Raisins, yes, my favorite 'golden'.  I was a little short on the golden,  so I   also added some dark raisins.  











Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

Last sunday we went over to my mom's for a mother's day brunch with the family.  My mom asked me to "just take a baguette out of the freezer".  You know, since baking a batch of bread in time to leave for a 11am brunch (we live about an hour away) would be tricky.  The problem?  No baguettes in the freezer--we've run through them all since I finished up my baguette quest.  

A challenge!  This presented a great opportunity to experiment with cold retardation with my standard baguette recipe, Hamelman's Baguettes with Poolish, as well as test just how well they keep at room temperature.  Here's what I did:

I mixed a batch of baguette dough around 2 in the afternoon.  I then shapped 3 small baguettes a little after 5pm, and set to proofing on a couche.  However, for one of the 3 I put a small sheet of parchment underneath.  After 40 minutes of proofing, I slid the baguette on parchment off of the couche to finish proofing, while the couche itself with the other 2 baguettes was slid onto a sheet pan and stuck in the refrigerator.  The lone baguette was baked when fully proofed, about 75 minutes total.  Once it was cool, the baguette was placed in a plastic bag that was not fully sealed, and then wrapped in a paper market bag. 

Later, at 10:30, I pulled the couche out of the fridge, flipped one of the baguettes onto parchment on a peel, and baked it immediately, while the other went back into the fridge.  Baguette #2 sat on the cooling rack all night, unwrapped (mainly because it was past 11 by then!)

The next morning, the last baguette was baked at 9:30am and taken straight from the oven into a paper bag as we hurried out the door at little after 10.

The results:

From Left to Right: Not retarded, Retarded 4 hours, Retarded 15 hours. 


The baguette retarded overnight had lots of bubble in the crust, which made it very crisp and crackly.  All three had similar (good) flavor, and seemed plenty moist inside.  The baguette not retarded was crisped in the oven before cutting, but I presume it was crisp when fresh.  The baguette retarded for 4 hours was rather chewy when we got to it (we took that one home and my wife and I ate it for dinner), about 20 hours after baking.  

Crumb shots:

Retarded overnight

Not Retarded


Retarded 4 hours

Longer retarding seemed to be correlated with a lower profile, with the non-retarded baguette being the most round (although the baguettes were sliced on the bias,  and were less flat than the slices indicate).  I don't think this was underproofing, as the grigne looks pretty clean on those baguettes.  The retarded baguettes were much easier to score than the one that had not been retarded. 

Conclusion: Retarding baguettes gives a distinctive bubbly crust (for better or for worse), and makes them easier to score, but results in a lower profile.   Flavor is about the same either way.  As long as the crust is re-crisped, a baguette can sit un-cut at room temperature overnight and be nearly as good as first baked, and as good or better than frozen and thawed. Interesting.


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