The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


MadAboutB8's picture



I made both Vermont Sourdough and Vermont Sourdough with Whole Wheat several times in the past year but this was the first time I attempted this recipe (Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain). There were serious typos in the formula for home-bake. Mixing the dough by following the ingredient list, I ended up with a pancake batter. I have heard about the big errata sheet for the book, but this was the first time I came across the recipe error myself. Thank God that at least there was no typo in Baker’s Percentage and liquid levain built. At least, I prepared starter built correctly and I corrected the ingredient errors by using the Baker’s Percentage.


  Before and after ingredient correction

Thanks to the new baking stone (one-inch thick paving bluestone bought from Bunning), my bread came out singing loudly (really really loudly). It sang with crackling tunes for several minutes (no joke!).



As you would expect from Vermont Sourdough, the bread was lovely with pronounced tang from increased rye and percentage of levain. 

Full post and more photos are here


codruta's picture

I made a new starter few days ago, just to taake photos of the process.

I started with 100g (tap) water, 50g AP flour and 50g rye flour, let it sit 24 hours at room temperature. It almost tripled it's volume.

The next day I switched to a 12 hours feedeing schedule, keeping 75g culture, adding 75g water, 50g AP flour and 25g rye flour. Here are some pictures taken in day 2, 3, 4

after day 4, I feed it only with APflour and water, and in day 5 it looked like that:

The smell changed during these days, from sour, sprouted grains, yogurt, sweet and sour, yeast.

This is how it developed in 5 days:

I'm happy with the result, but I don’t know what to do with it now, cause I don’t want to keep two starters, I want to give it away, but I’m from Romania and I don’t know if there is a safe way to “mail” it.  It's a shame to throw it away in the garbage...

I'll bake a bread with it to see if it has a different taste than my old starter, I'm very curious.

For a complete post and pictures, you ca visit my romanian blog Apa.Faina.Sare. (whitch means Water. Flour.Salt.)

And if any of you have any idea what to do with it... I'm all ears.


txfarmer's picture

Recently, I have posted about my SD version of the classic Hokkaido Milk Loaf (see here:, this time I adapted it to use all ww flour. Yes, the original Hokkaido Milk Loaf is quite enriched, and this ww version is not any "leaner", however, I do think ww flour adds more dimension to the flavor, and all the enriching ingredients bring incredible softness to this 100% ww loaf. To me, "healthy eating" is not about restricting, on the contrary, it's about bringing in different kinds of natural food groups into my diet and thriving for a balance.


SD 100%ww Hokkaido Milk Loaf

Note: 19% of the flour is in levain

Note: total flour is 420g, fit my Chinese small-ish pullman pan. For 8X4 US loaf tin, I suggest to use about 450g of total flour.


- levain

starter (100%), 22g

milk, 37g

ww flour (I used KAF ww), 69g

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

- final dough

ww flour, 340g

sugar, 55g

butter, 17g, softened

milk powder, 25g

egg whites, 63g

salt, 6g

milk, 150g

heavy cream, 118g


1. 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 grains, but NOT as strong as one would get form a white flour dough. For more info on intensive kneading, see here.

2. rise at room temp for 2 hours, punch down, put in fridge overnight.

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

4. 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.

5. 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.

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


A crumb and flavor even whole grain haters would love.


Tear/shread away...


Sending this to Yeastspotting.

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

A collection of my recent bakes:

Poolish Baguettes

Cut for BLT's

Ciabatta (Craig Ponsford formula)

Somewhat disappointing crumb.  Another batch made the following week looked similar

Miche, shaped as a large batard.

With baby for (largely uninformative) scale


More Ponsford Ciabatta, made without the final letter fold "shaping"

Crumb, still disappointing

Happy baking, everyone,


mcs's picture

 This past week (June 5-11) May visited the Back Home Bakery from the L.A. area for her internship.  During the week we had the usual work-load plus a bunch of extra palmiers and baguettes for a special order.  The area she felt she improved on the most was controlling the factors to get the desired dough temperatures in both loaf breads and laminated doughs.  Although I'd like to think that being in the bakery was her main highlight of the trip, seeing this as we were coming home from the Tuesday night farmers' market was probably at the top of the list. 
Thanks for the hard work May, and for spoiling Hoku rotten.


May working on the 20qt mixer while we start the rolls


shaping as I record times in the background





RonRay's picture

Sourdough, and Yeast Water Combinations  From Sour to Sweet and Way Back Again
Previously, I posted details on the loaf I use as a 'standard', for purposes of testing. Link:A Standard KISS Loaf, or Keep It Simple Smiley The Fresh Loaf
In that post, I gave a table for three basic types of loaf - White Sourdough [WSD], Yeast Water Levain [YW], Sourdough & Yeast Water Hybrid [SD&YW].These three basic types were shown with there formulae given in two batch sizes, 680g and my 'standard' 478g
In this post, I provide photos of these 3 types, as baked in my standard nominal 478 gram size. At the end is a fourth type loaf, which I will simply call "Aged-SD". The four loaves generated a range of flavors, "nice tang", "fruit and sweet", "sweet with a mild tang", and finally "Strong tang with sweet overtones".

The first images are of the "Straight Sourdough" loaf.  It gave a very nice, mild SD tang to the loaf.

This second set of images is from a totally Apricot YW loaf.There was no sign of any SD tang, nor any apricot flavor, however, there was a very nice flavor with a fruit-like sweetness, and the slightest hint of the type of "tang-like" taste one might detect in an apricot itself.  

This third loaf was a combination of the same sourdough culture used in the first loaf, and the apricot yeast water culture use in the second loaf.

I found the flavor was all I hoped for, a lovely blend of the sourdough tang and sweet, fragrance of the fruit with a slightly different tang from the Apricot YW.

This forth, and final loaf offers a flavor, not unlike the third loaf, but with a "jacked up" sourness. The "Aged-SD", is explained in the PDF copy of my baking log's detail comments, which you can access from Google Docs at the following link:Y-110610-07_Aged-SD+SD&AprYW_478 [Photos]_110611-1115.pdf -

Extremely good oven spring. Of course, the final rise went 6 hours + 45 minutes, and it was 40% bread flour in the dough. Nonetheless, the 11% levain, which was this first testing of Aged-SD surly didn't cut into the levain's ability to leaven this loaf. The top of crust was strong and very chewy. If you like a good good tang with note of apricot tang, but without identifiable fruitiness and a soft touch of sweetness, then, you would like the loaf's flavor. Crumb was more open than my recent enriched sandwich breads, but still more than tight enough to be an excellent sandwich and toast loaf.   The levain method of adding Aged-SD most definitely accomplished my desired objective of combining SD and YW merits into a Hybrid Sour Sweet and Sour loaf.

breadsong's picture

There are a couple of herbs in my garden, that thankfully, come back each year –
I so look forward to when these fresh herbs have started growing!
Chervil is one of the first things to start growing in spring. It reseeds itself, and there will be new chervil in the fall also :^).
I love the tender, lacy leaves and delicate anise flavor.
Golden sage, which I am so grateful made it through our cold winter, is now producing some pretty
golden-and-green variegated leaves.

Time for some herb rolls! 
(the image is an experiment with merging photos):

This idea I first saw in a Better Homes and Gardens ‘Holiday Cooking’ magazine, from December 2000.
After proofing, the rolls are gently brushed with egg white; the herbs are applied; then the rolls are gently brushed with egg white again, making sure the whole herb leaf is covered; then the rolls are ready for the oven.
Parsley (Italian flat leaf) is another nice herb to use for this technique.

Susan at WildYeast also made a lovely! version, using parsley, for her Roasted Garlic Bread.

The chervil rolls were the herb version of this recipe:

The golden sage rolls were based on Sylvia’s excellent ‘buns for sandwiches’ recipe (Thanks, Sylvia!).
The potato adds such a nice flavor and texture to these rolls!


The chervil rolls were baked in a pan on a rack in the oven (no baking stone). The chervil didn’t brown at all and kept its green color through the bake :^)

I was a little worried about the golden sage browning as the leaves are thicker and wanted to lift off the roll a bit after being brushed with egg white. Also, these rolls were baked on a baking stone, starting out at a hotter temperature but baking in a reducing oven. After 2 minutes of baking I covered the rolls with foil, turned the oven down to 325F convection for the last two minutes of baking and removed the foil, so the tops of the rolls would finish browing (but hopefully not the sage!).

Crumb shot, Sylvia's sandwich bun:


I want to try making a big loaf using some Italian parsley – Susan’s loaf was so pretty!
Happy baking everyone!
from breadsong

Submitted to YeastSpotting

GSnyde's picture

For no particular reason, this weekend turned into a cheese-baking spree.   I planned to make Curry-Onion-Cheese Bread to take to our friends’ house as appetizers to snack before pizzas baked in their wood-fired oven.  And I was making the pizza dough--the Reinhart recipe from TFL’s Pizza Primer (  Then I learned that Beloved Spouse wanted to try baking cheese-crackers—a “homemade Cheez-Its" recipe from

The cheese crackers were first, and I’m happy to say they are nothing like Cheez-Its, except the color.  The recipe is very simple (  Flour, butter, salt, cayenne and lots of sharp Cheddar. 

These are sinfully delicious.  The texture is very much like a cheesy pie crust.  In fact, we decided it would be perfect as the crust for apple pie (some day when the diet is over, i.e., never). 

Next up was the Curry-Onion-Cheese bread from The Cheese Board Collective Works. This is one of our favorites. This one has a mix of sharp Cheddar, Jarlsberg and Gruyere.  Because I wanted it to be super fresh this evening, I wanted to bake it this morning.  So, for the first time, I tried overnight bulk fermenting the dough.  It needed a couple extra hours to warm up before baking, but the results were as good as always.  Our friends loved it.

It was even better briefly toasted in the 800 degree WBO

Finally, the Pizza!  We had had wood-baked pizza at our friends’ place before, but never with the outstanding dough from Peter Reinhart’s formula.   It performed admirably.  Crispy on the bottom and poofed full of holes around the crown.   Here’s our friend, Kelly, the Pizzaiolo.

My favorite of the four pizzas was topped with fresh Mozzarella, Andouille sausage, roasted peppers and Portobella mushrooms.

And this one had Proscuitto and roasted green onions.

We waddled home full of excellent cheeses.


breadsong's picture


These are three bakes using chile (jalapeno or chipotle) and cheddar cheese (I've had a craving lately for some spicy things!).

The first bake is a Cornmeal Biscuit with Cheddar and Chipotle, an old favorite from Bon Appetit Magazine, March 2006:

The baked biscuits (cheesy, oniony, with some background heat from the chipotle); we love these!:

It mixed up into a wettish dough; I folded the dough a few times incorporating some extra flour.
I froze the biscuits before baking:

The second bake is Sourdough Cheese Bread from Advanced Bread and Pastry (scaled to 1500 grams for two loaves, including 212 grams cubed sharp cheddar and 90 grams diced, seeded jalapeno slices (from a jar)).  Lots of gooey cheese melting out during the bake! I’ve been wanting to try making a cheddar and jalapeno bread for a long time.
We couldn’t wait to let this cool down before cutting into it to try. Mmmm, good!:

The third bake is Southwest Corn Bread, from Baking Artisan Pastries and Breads by Ciril Hitz.
With thanks to Mr. Hitz for this lovely corn bread formula! This is a Cheddar, Corn, Chile and Lime version.

I included the zest and juice (50 grams) of one lime, and 60 grams of crème fraiche, in place of some of the milk called for in the formula.  The lime flavor really came through and was very tasty.

I added four roasted, diced jalapenos and although my husband thought this was fine!, some parts were very spicy
(I thought sometimes the heat overtook the lime and other flavors). Next time, I might just add two jalapenos.
I roasted four peeled cobs of corn, and took the corn off the cob, to add some deeper corn flavor to the bread.
The tops of the corn breads are decorated with roasted red pepper. We really enjoyed these too!
Here is the crumb shot:

Happy baking everyone!
from breadsong




mcs's picture

Last week Patrick loaded up his truck and drove up from San Antonio, Texas for the first internship slot of 2011.  We had a busy week preparing for Memorial Day, some wholesale accounts, and two farmers' markets.  Patrick had a bit of practice with all of the bakery equipment including using the sheeter to laminate 75 pounds of croissant dough on Thursday morning.  He elected to stay in the area for an extra week for some rainy sight-seeing in Glacier National Park and finished his stay by helping us and intern #2 (May) on an extra-busy Saturday morning.  More about that in my blog entry about her week. 
Thanks for the hard work during your internship week and for helping us on both farmers' market Saturdays.  I hope you enjoyed the stay and learned lots about the baking process.


Patrick showing the mixer who's boss and operating on a Mannele made with baguette dough



Both of us working on a batch of rolls on a Saturday morning



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