The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


MadAboutB8's picture

Whole wheat multigrain sourdough from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread cookbook is the bread that I bake quite often. I really like the mild sweetness from honey and the aroma from the mix of honey, whole wheat flour and grains. It got a nice texture and taste. I am always amazed at how sweet the bread is for a little amount of honey in it.

I wanted to try experimenting Peter Rienhart's whole wheat flour soaker with this WW multigrain loaves. I was so impressed with the 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf from Peter Rienhart's Wholegrain Bread. It delivered a tasty and soft crumb loaf (the details of that bake is here:

I was so curious to see what the difference Peter Reinhart's soaker method will deliver to the bread that I baked often and know its taste and texture profile.

Well, what can go wrong with matching technique and recipe of the two bread masters I admire the most, Jeffrey Hamelman and Peter Reinhart. 

The soaker method didn't dissappoint. It delivered more open and softer crumbs. I don't know if I was only imagining...but I think, by using soaker method, the WW multigrain also tastes nicer and sweeter. The taste and aroma from honey is more pronounced. All and all, I'm happy with incoporating soaker method to whole wheat recipe..and will definitely do it again in my future WW bake.

More photos and recipe can be found in the below link.



breadsong's picture

Hello,  I recently attended a weekend workshop at SFBI where we made six different kinds of baguettes. This workshop was a lot of fun and we benefited from excellent instruction from our talented, organized, extremely knowledgeable and hard-working teacher Frank!
On day 1 we made three kinds of baguettes (straight dough, sponge dough, poolish dough).
On day 2 we made teff, then wheat germ, then sunflower seed baguettes.
All were good, with the poolish, teff and sunflower seed baguettes being my favorites flavor-wise.
We were using an 11.8%, hard winter wheat flour for these baguettes.

I tried to take pictures showing what the dough looked like as it developed, and showing how the dough was shaped, as we progressed.
Some pictures are a bit blurry due to my poor photography skills, and the speed at which our instructor's hands shaped those baguettes. 
There are some really nice pictures for this baguette class from an earlier post by txfarmer:

This was our very well-equipped working area (those OVENS!):


The hand mix, gluten developed after hand mix, gluten developed after machine mix (Frank demonstrated machine mixing for us on the second day)


The dough after 3 stretch and folds


Dividing the dough into square shapes, for preshaping


Preshaping (after gently degassing, first roll, then three pictures showing the second roll)


Shaping (after gently degassing, first roll, reversing the roll, second roll, then five pictures showing the last roll & seal)

 Extending (Frank's hint: press down and move hands outward while rolling, but don't stretch the dough sideways)


Frank's expertly shaped baguette


Proofed baguettes


Frank demonstrating scoring and my straight dough baguettes ready to bake


My first baguettes out of the oven!, the results of day 1 and a crumb shot

The results of day 2 and a crumb shot (this was a teff baguette)

While the dough fermented and proofed, Frank taught us about ingredients and fermentation among other things, upstairs in the classroom.

Frank also demonstrated how we might produce the same baking result in a home oven:

Cast iron pan with cast iron ball bearings heating in the bottom, fire bricks for top and bottom radiant heat, 550F temp!
Load bread, place perforated pie pan filled with ice cubes over cast iron pan, close the door, watch the steam pour out!
(I think Frank tried to plug the oven vents with tin foil but lots of steam escaped from the oven anyway, as the ice melted and dropped onto the hot cast iron)

This was a really, really good class. My classmates were all super nice people and enthusiastic learners who all made lovely baguettes!
The quality of Frank's instruction was superb, and thanks too to the bakers who took care of us and spoiled us with beautiful breads and pastries at breakfast, and wood-fired oven pizza for lunch on our last day!  
I hope you like the pics everyone.  Regards, breadsong 







hmcinorganic's picture

text to come soon, but here are some pictures of my sourdough from october 28th.  They turned out well!  I need a scoring lesson.  any good recommendations on this site?


boule before cooking.  I'm not really sure how to slash it...

and after

<picture>  not uploading right now...

this is my old standby the 1,2,3 sourdough.  I used 9 oz starter, 16 oz water (my starter is too wet) and 9 oz white, 9 oz bread and 9 oz whole wheat flour.  and 1 Tbsp salt.  I mixed for 2 minutes in my KA and then did 3 stretch and folds over 2 hours.  It developed nicely.  I fermented in the fridge for about 6-8 hours and then shaped using my brotform pans (that I haven't used in several years).  One boule and one baguette.  I couldn't get the chill off the dough so the rising time was a long time.  more than 90 minutes.  I have a real hard time telling if the bread has rose enough.

Scoring was ok;  I think on the baguette I should have had only 3 slashes;  but the top and bottom ears turned out really well with "gringe?"  the boule did not rise as much.  I think I need to try a tic-tac-toe scoring.  

these are for a dinner party tomorrow.  I 'll try to grab a crumb shot before they evaporate.  They smell great!

Floydm's picture

I received a copy of Tartine Bread in the mail today and realized my baking bookshelf is now full.

My bread book shelf

(click the photo to see a higher res version on Flickr).

Um... yeah... I guess I'm going to need to start a new shelf!

Tartine Bread reminds me a lot of My Bread.  A West Coast version.  I haven't had a chance to bake from it yet but there are some interesting sounding recipes in there, like the Olive Oil Brioche that TXFarmer posted about recently.  I'm excited to check it out!

ananda's picture


Late in September, and with one week's notice of the event from the Publicity People, I approached my Level 2 students and invited them to enter the Young Baker of the Year Competition.  

This was hosted by Warburton's, who are one of the "Big 3" baking companies who dominate bread sales in the UK.   Six students entered and prepared their own recipes, which they spent a couple of weeks perfecting.   Of these, two were chosen to compete in the Regional Final held at Warburton's Bakery on the outskirts of Newcastle upon Tyne on Friday 15th September.

There were 5 students in the Final: 2 from Middlesbrough College, 1 from South Tyneside, plus Katie and Faye from Newcastle College.

The recipes are posted below.   There are also some photos from the event.   The loaves were made the day before and taken along for selected staff and managers at the Warburton's Bakery to judge.

Katie made bread using a local stout to make a traditional barm.   She also included a linseed soaker.   Fantastic recipe; malty with hydration at 75%: very attractive and flavoursome!   Faye used nettles, gathered from her own garden.   The bread was made with a white levain, and lightly spiced with roasted cumin and coriander.   Thanks Karin [hanseata] for your post which was the original source of some inspiration!

Hey, Faye was the winner!   She won £250, and now has a place in the National Final.   The prize for that is £1000, plus a work placement at a Warburton's Bakery!   The Final is a live "bake-off" at the HQ in Bolton, near Manchester, on 10th November.   How exciting; I can hardly wait to get on that train myself!



Baker Competition

Stout and Flaxseed Bread.


Stout and Linseed Bread Recipe





Formula (g)

Recipe (g)

Strong White Flour
















Formula (g)

Recipe (g)

Golden Linseed















Final Dough

Formula (g)

Recipe (g)







White Flour



Brown Flour









Fresh Yeast














Bread Method


Firstly the... Over Night soaker-


Weigh out 300g of golden linseed into a bowl and add the 500g of cold tap water.

Leave over night in a cool place for approx. 7 hours.

Then the...Over Night Barm-Beer ferment-

Weigh into a large bowl 750g of strong white bread flour- preferably Canadian and rub in the 6 g of fresh yeast gently with your fingers. Then pour in 750 of dark Allendale stout. Just combine the mixture to a paste then cover bowl to make airtight. Leave this in a reasonably cool place over night. 6-7 hours.

 On the Day the...Final Dough-


Weigh out dry ingredient first, the white and brown flour into a large mixing bowl. Rub in the fresh yeast gently with fingers and pour the salt to one side of the bowl. Weigh out the overnight soaker and add this to the bowl then weigh out the barm and add this also. Weigh out and add the stout. Attach to a mixing machine then attach the dough hook. Place on number 1 or lowest speed for 10 to 15 minutes. Periodically scrape excess dough from the sides and bottom of the bowl. After 10 minutes of mixing take a piece of dough and check the elasticity-the window pane method. If the dough doesn't stretch out enough place back onto a slow mix.

When mixed, take the dough out of the mixing bowl. Lightly grease another large bowl with shortening/butter. Very gently knead the dough in the bowl, cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place for ten minutes. Take bread dough out of bowl and weigh into 1kg pieces, then shape each piece into ovals/ balls. Sprinkle a dusting of semolina and brown flour into large bread proving baskets and transfer each loaf smooth side up into each basket. Then place baskets into a prover for about an hour until the bread has doubled and is not over proved.

Transfer each loaf onto a peel finely dusted with semolina and slash each top with a lame as desired.

Pre-heat the baker's oven to 210°C. Place in the oven for up to 25 minutes and pump the oven with steam straight after the bread is on the oven sole. Open the dampers, and bake a further 5 minutes.   Cool on wires. [Photos Below]



Nettle Bread [Photos Above]


Makes a large loaf of 1000grams and a smaller loaf of 450grams.

Pre ferment -  Wheat Levain

Flour 284g

Water 170g

Total 454g


Final Dough

Flour - 568g

Salt - 16g

Yeast - 24g

Preferment - 454g

Water - 367g @ 20 degrees centigrade

Roasted cumin seeds - 3g

Coriander seeds - 4g

Dried nettle - 4g


Oven dry the nettles

Roast off the cumin

Crush the coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar

Boil 200g of water with a bunch of nettles and allow to cool

Place the flour, salt, preferment and yeast in a mixing bowl and the 200g of nettled water and 167g of cool water combined with a temperature of 20 degrees.

Place the mixing bowl on the machine and mix on speed 1 for 3 minutes

Then mix on speed 3 for 6 minutes until fully mixed

Mould the dough and rest for 5 minutes

Divide the dough into one small 450g loaf and a 950g loaf and shape

Place into baskets and place in the prover

Prove for 45 minutes to an hour at 35 degrees

Bake @ 220 degrees in a deck oven with the top to be set at 6 and bottom at 5 for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven place on wires and allow to cool.

To be fully enjoyed serve with cheese or soup.





I made the following breads at home over the half term holiday:

Pain Siègle


Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Rye Sour



Dark Rye Flour












2. Final Dough



Rye Sour [from above]



Strong White Flour












Pre-fermented Flour: 10%.   Overall Hydration: 68%


  • Build/elaborate the leaven and ferment overnight for 18 hours prior to use
  • Combine all the final dough ingredients, except the salt, and "autolyse" for one hour.
  • Add the salt and mix the dough for 15 minutes to fully develop.
  • Bulk ferment for 3 hours with 2 S&F...hourly intervals
  • Scale and divide into 2 equal sized pieces.
  • Mould round and place upside down in prepared bannetons.
  • Final proof is 1½ to 2 hours. Cut the top of the loaf just prior to baking.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 250°C. Bake with steam for 20 minutes. Drop the heat to 210 °C and bake a further 35 minutes.
  • Cool on wires
  • DSCF1419DSCF1426


White Levain with a Seed Soaker 

This was a cold soaker, using sesame and blue poppy seeds with no salt addition.   These were soaked for six hours prior to dough mixing.   I utilised an overnight retard for this bread.


Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Levain



Strong White Flour












2. Soaker



Sesame Seeds



Blue Poppy Seeds












3. Final Dough



Levain [from above]



Soaker [from above]



Strong White Flour












Overall Hydration



Pre-fermented Flour




  • Elaborate the levain and make the soaker 6 hours in advance
  • Mix all the ingredients to form the final dough, and fully develop this for 15 minutes.
  • Bulk prove ambient for 2 hours.
  • Retard overnight at 3°C in the fridge, covered.
  • Scale and divide in 2. Mould round, top with a mix of the seeds and prove in bannetons.
  • Bake profile is as Pain Siègle. Cool on wires.
  • DSCF1436DSCF1441


Best wishes to you all


probably34's picture

How do I upload pictures? It always says upload failed

txfarmer's picture

I am part of the wildly popular monthly "Daring Bakers" challenge. Joined this past April, since then, we've done some very interesting pastry recipes(I post my "official" DB post at my Chinese blog site). This month I did my first "yeast-y" challenge with them, so I want to shared it with TFL. The theme of Oct is doughnuts, so I picked the yeast doughnut recipe by Alton Brown (his recipe always works), and added my own Autumn twist by adding pumpkin puree and spices, as well as maple glaze and maple creme filling. Oh, also added a bit of my sourdough starter just for the extra flavor.

Pumpkin Sourdough doughnuts (adapted from AB's recipe)

Makes 12 to 13 doughnuts

AP flour, 280g

milk, 146g'

starter (55%), 71g

salt, 6g

instant yeast, 7g

egg, 1

butter, 35g

sugar, 25g

pumpkin puree, 82g


clove, 1/8tsp

ginger, 1/2tsp

nutmeg, 1/4tsp


1. Mix everything but salt and yeast, autolyse 30min, add salt and yeast, mix/knead until the dough is smooth and strong. It's a very very very wet sticky dough, try not to add flour. I mixed until it pass the window pane test. Very strong gluten structure. However you'll still get soft doughnuts if you knead less, crumb would just be slightly less open.

2. Cover and rise for one hour (~73F), there's a lot of yeast in the dough, it rises fast. The dough needs the extra yeast to expand properly in the short fry process. 

3. Punch down, cover and put in fridge so that we can fry them next morning and have fresh doughnuts for breakfast!

4. Next morning, pat out dough into 0.8inch thickness and cut out any shapes you like. At this time, you can fill them with maple cream (put in between two rounds and seal), or you can fill them after frying.

5. Let rise for 30 to 40 min until puffy, fry in 375F oil for 30 to 60 seconds until golden.

6. Fill with maple cream if you wish, then roll in cinnamon sugar or maple glaze.

The incredibly open, soft, rich crumb is brioche-like, due to the enriched dough, as welll as a lot of kneading.

Maple glaze and cream went perfectly with pumpkin spice, classic.

Maple cream:

cream cheese, 113g

butter, 28g

powdered sugar, 50g

maple syrup, 1tbsp

- Beat until smooth


Maple Glaze:

powdered sugar, 100g

maple syrup, 80g

vanilla: 1tsp

- Beat until smooth



I particularly liked these doughnut holes, went down a little too easy. :P

--------------The Asian Twist -----------------

Since I had all that oil left, I decided to make 油条 - a popular traditional Chinese deep fried pastry. I grew up having it for breakfast, they are sold during morning rush hour by street vendors, wrapped in cheap plastic bags. Similar to doughnuts, they are deep fried, delicious, cheap, popular, and utterly void of nutritional value. :P  Yet, this is one of the comfort foods that I dream of often.

There are various ways to make 油条, in a home setting, we don't need those extra stuff to make it extra fluffy (less dough, more volume, hence more profit), so it can be made easily with a process similar to doughnuts, the difference is that the dough is plain without any fat or sugar.


AP flour, 258g

milk, 180g+15g

starter (55%), 65g

salt, 5g

instant yeast, 6g

baking soda, 1/4tsp

1. Mix flour, starter, 180g of milk, autolyse 30min. Add salt and yeast, mix until smooth and pass windowpane.

2. Let rise until double, about one hour. Mix baking soda with 15g ofmilk, knead into the dough. Cover and fridge.

3. Next morning, roll out dough into rectangle, let rise for 40min

4. cut into 1.5inch wide stripes

Lay one stripe on top of another, use chopstick to press an indentation in the middle

Stretch them longer (no longer than the size of your pot though)

5. 375F hot oil, deep fry until golden, flip as necessary.

They are the most delicious fresh. There are many way of eating them. My family used to dip them in "salted fermentated tofu"(sounds strange? very yummy!). A popular way is to eat them with (or soaked in) warm sweet soy milk. In fact they are good with most dipping and sauces.

A popular street food combo is to wrap it with an egg crepe, finished with sweet sauce. Yum, just like my memory from Shanghai.

The leftover can even be cooked into dishes. I stirfried some with Chinese squash and meatballs.


I am very happy about this challenge. This is my first time to deep fry anything, I got to eat fresh doughnuts, AND relive some of my favorite food memories from Shanghai.


songwritergirl's picture

This was my first legit attempt at homemade bread, a whole wheat oatmeal bread. The recipe is from Kim Boyce's "Good To The Grain" cookbook, and is made in one day, using active dry yeast, regular whole wheat flour, oatmeal and unbleached bread flour, and a very short 30-minute autolyse before kneading and proofing. It's a great beginner's recipe.

A short list of ingredients I used:

King Arthur Flours

Red Star Active Dry Yeast

turosdolci's picture

New England, the house filled with the aroma of apples, cinnamon and cake baking in the oven. This is a trip I look forward to every year.  This apple pie cake is fast and easy to make.


moldyclint's picture

Made a couple of loaves today that went over well with the Taiwanese in-laws, and that I am pretty happy with.  My usual whole wheat sourdough base, with ~30% added high gluten white flour, and about 1 1/2 cups of rye kernels (soaked overnight, then brought to a boil and then left to soak another few hours) and about 1 cup of flax seeds (soaked overnight), and ~1+% salt.  Probably about 9 cups flour total, plus the extra seeds, making a couple of large loaves.  My sourdough, which I have been keeping in the fridge 100% of the time since coming to Taiwan, hasn't yet developed much of a sour flavour (which is fine with everyone but me), but is working well to leaven my doughs. 

This time, I started with ~3 cups of starter, adding 3 cups of flour the night before and putting in the fridge.  After letting that warm up in the morning, I added the final 3 cups of flour, along with the rye and flax.  Bulk ferment for another 2 1/2 hours, split, stretch, fold, shape, and proof for about another 2 hours.  As you can see, precise measurements and replicability are not too high yet on my priority list.  Will likely try this one again and actually keep track of masses...



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