The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


DesigningWoman's picture

Having successfully followed Abe's advice and restricted the cold retard to just the bulk fermentation, the next step seemed to figure out the best way to score for optimal rise/bloom/oven spring.

This was basically a rerun of the previous bake, except that the add-ins were ground dried clementine peel and poppy seeds, as well as the multi-grain scald.

I started off by blowing the pre-shape, rolled them into logs, rather than boules, which was my intent.

Anyway, what is it about the shaping on the first loaf that just doesn't seem to go right? I know I'm not supposed to, but the first batard didn't feel like it had enough tension, so I patted it back out and did it over.  Having rectified my error, I let the two boules bench rest for 30 minutes.

And, I finally remembered to hunt down a "small, clear, straight-sided container" so I could really try judge the final proof, rather than just winging it. I deliberately set it out on the bench before dividing and weighing so I would make sure to take some off and stuff it in the container. Well, obviously it was so clear, that I forgot it -- just didn't see it, didn't even remember until after I'd scored the loaves. Mmmph. Next time.

I got the impression that the "letter-folded" loaves rose more uniformly than the "backward crossant" one, so this time I shaped both in the letter-fold fashion and scored them differently.

So, the loaf on the left was the first one -- bungled pre-shape, twice-shaped and scored with two parallel cuts along the axis of the loaf. The second one was scored on the diagonal, possibly not as deeply as the first one -- I'm still having trouble judging the depth as I cut.

Well, is the mess on the left-hand loaf from bad shaping, or did I score too deeply and too far towards the end of the loaf? I guess the only way is to shape and score the next two loaves in exactly the same fashion, and see if I get exactly the same results. I'm willing to bet I won't :-D

Update: crumb shot

Thoughtfully provided (with a little prompting from granny) by grandson. This is the loaf on the left, with bad pre-shape and wonky scores, but the cross-section looks okay to me. Crumb isn't too dense, for which I'm thankful.

The saga continues…

isand66's picture

     It's about to get real chilly here on Long Island tomorrow.  They're predicting the temperature to go down into the low teens, so what better bread to eat with a bowl of hot soup than a nice hearty 50+ percent rye bread.

This one has beer in the main dough which always adds a great flavor to rye bread.  The sour cream in the porridge adds extra moisture and really made this bake perfect.  The rye flavor really does come through so if you are not a fan of rye this is not the bread for you.

Mr. Frog is not having much luck fishing in his frozen pond :).


Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.

Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.   You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

Porridge Directions

Add about 3/4's of the water called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients as well as the sour cream in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the liquid is absorbed.  Add the remainder of the water and keep stirring until you have a nice creamy and soft porridge.  Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature before adding to the dough.  I put mine in the refrigerator and let it cool quicker.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours  and the beer for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, cooled porridge, olive oil and salt and mix on low for 5 minutes.   Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 5 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.

wheatjerm's picture

long-time lurker first-time poster here. I've learned so much from so many folks on here finally had to sign up and join in on the fun 

worlds colliding with this purpley kombucha barley sourdough bread

more specifically, ~2 cups of grape and pear mash from a secondary kombucha fermentation (along with lots of the probiotastic bacteria and yeasties) mixed with a whole wheat levain and a final dough approximately 60% whole wheat and 25% barley. rolled in wheat germ pre-bake.

very pleased with the results altho definitely lots to tinker with this first of many future experiments. also very cool to find another use for the fermented fruit besides feeding the compost pile!


Skibum's picture

Greeting fellow bakers. I have not been here for a few months and am poorer for it. My baking was in a rut, so I came here for some inspiration and it paid off in spades.

My first bake out of the rut was NY Style Deli rye from P. Reinhart's, "Bread Baker's Apprentice." This is one excellent sandwich bread and keeps well on the counter.

I have been baking pulla religiously every couple of weeks and thought, why not use the pulla dough for babka?

I rolled the dough out, brushed with melted butter being careful to leave about a 3/4" border of plain dough. I then spead on a chocolate filling and sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts, (filberts). Next, I rolled the dough into a tube and sealed the seam and rested in the fridge for a half hour or so. The theory is that makes the dough easier to work.

I then cut the sough in half lengthwise and formed a crude braid, cut side up and placed it into the loaf pan to proof. Baked at 350F with steam for 20 minutes and a further 35 minutes to finish. Delicious!

Elsie_iu's picture

For those who have never tasted Morbier cheese, it’s a kind of cheese that turns very chewy when melted. Moreover, its taste is so lactic that it resembles yogurt a lot.



Arugula & Morbier Cheese SD with 30% Sprouted Kamut


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

150g      50%       Whole white wheat flour

90g        30%       Sprouted kamut flour

60g        20%       Pearl barley flour


For leaven:

14g       4.67%       Starter

38g       12.7%       Bran sifted from dough flour

38g       12.7%       Water


For dough:

262g      87.3%       Dough flour excluding flour for leaven

150g        50%        Whey

100g      33.3%       Water

90g           30%       Leaven

5g          1.67%       Salt



90g        30%        Morbier cheese

15g          5%        Arugula



247g        80.5%      Whole grain

307g        100%       Total flour

295g       96.1%       Total hydration


Sift out the bran from dough flour, reserve 38 g for the leaven. Soak the rest, if any, in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 4 hours (22°C).

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the salt and let it ferment for 20 minutes. Fold in the salt and ferment for 20 minutes. Knead in the add-ins and proof for 3 hours longer.

Preshape the dough and let it rest for 25 minutes. Shape the dough then put in into a banneton. Retard for 10 hours.

Remove the dough from the fridge and let it warm up for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. Score and spritz the dough then bake at 250°C/482°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 208°F. Let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.



Like all bread with cheese, this bread has killer crispy crust as the fat oozing out from the cheese fried the dough. The crumb is dense, partly due to the low gluten content of the dough and partly because it was slightly under-proofed... I’m still beyond stocked at how dissimilar the dough performs in different seasons! 



This bread tastes very sweet so it goes well with the tangy cheese. The arugula adds both freshness and peppery spiciness, which in my opinion, are indispensable components of the loaf.




Smoked Raclette stuffed chicken breast, homemade chorizo penne, roasted sweet potatoes and caramelized mushrooms & onions on beans & two sprouts


Ghee roasted baby cuttlefish with rava upma


Spicy caramelized lotus roots, vinegary bean sprouts & black fungus and YW kimchi dumplings


Anchovies and caperberries linguine with garlicky shrimps


30% rye SD bagels


Danni3ll3's picture

Hubby has been asking for a light rye so I checked out my fridge and found some rye flakes that had been there for a while. I also have 25 lbs of rye berries at my disposal so this what I came up with after searching the web and several bread books including Tartine 3. 



Makes 3 loaves 



60 g rye berries



56 g rye flakes

112 g water

30 g yogurt 


Main dough

100 g sifted Rye flour (120 g Rye berries)

100 g sifted Selkirk flour (115 g Selkirk berries)

100 g sifted Red Fife flour (115 g Red Fife berries)

690 g Unbleached flour 

650 g water + 25 g

25 g salt

250 g Rye levain (125 g milled and sifted Rye berries, 125 g water - Procedure in recipe)


Three days before:

  1. Weigh out 60 g of Rye berries for sprouting and rinse them well under water. Soak in filtered water about 6-8 hours, drain well, and leave to sprout, rinsing every 8 or so hours. When they have sprouted, dry them will in a towel and refrigerate until needed. Mine were taking forever probably due to the cold snap (-18 F/-28C with a windchill of -33F/-36C) we are having even though the house is kept at 73F. After 48 hours, I could see barely see white rootlets on a few of them so I put them in a warm spot overnight with the second stage of the levain hoping to speed them up a bit. 

Morning or Mid day of the day before:

  1. For the first build of the levain, mill 125 g Rye berries for the levain and sift it to separate out the bran. Take 18 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 18 g of filtered water and 18 g of Rye bran. Let rise in a warm place (oven with the light on and door cracked open - 82F). Save the rest of the bran and the flour for the levain builds.
  2. Mill the various berries for the main dough and sift to obtain the required amount for each grain (Rye, Selkirk and Red Fife). Save that bran for dusting the bannetons and for another use. 
  3. Place the high extraction flours in a tub and add the unbleached flour to it. Cover and set aside.

The night before:

  1. For the porridge, cook the rye flakes until the water has been all absorbed. Cool. Mix in the yogurt and let ferment overnight.
  2. Before going to bed, do the second build of the levain. Feed the levain 36 g of water and the rest of the bran as well as some sifted rye flour to equal 36 g. Let that rest in a warm place overnight.

Dough making day:

  1. Make the final leaving build by feeding the levain 72 g of filtered water and 72 g of sifted Rye flour. Let rise 4-5 hours in a warm spot. Mine had almost doubled after 5 hours. 
  2. Two hours before the levain is ready, mix the water with the flour on the lowest speed in the bowl of a stand mixer until all the flour has been hydrated. This took a couple of minutes. Autolyse for a couple of hours.
  3. At the same time, take the sprouts out of the fridge to warm up to room temperature if you put them in the fridge. Mine were still sprouting. For some reason, it looked like only a third or so sprouted. I used them all anyhow. 
  4. Once the levain is ready, add the salt, the extra 25 g of water and the levain to the bowl. Mix on speed 1 for a minute or two to integrate everything, then mix on speed 2 for 5 minutes. Add the sprouts and the porridge, and mix until everything is well integrated. You may want to switch the dough to a plastic tub at this point. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Do 4 sets of folds at 30 minute intervals, then do one more set an hour or so later. Let rise for 45 minutes. 
  6. Then put in the fridge to continue rising for 3 hours. The dough rose about 30%.
  7. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~745 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest one hour on the counter. Refrigerating the dough really helps with shaping. It holds its shape, is less sticky and there is less risk of deflating it. 
  8. Do a final shape by flouring the top of the rounds and flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and fold over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make a nice tight boule.
  9. Sprinkle some of the leftover bran in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons, cover, let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge for 9-10 hours. 

Baking Day

  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 30 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 25 minutes. Internal temperature should be 205F or more.


Once again, I am quite pleased with the shape and oven spring resulting from the method I am using. Dough making takes all day but it sure is worth it!

dabrownman's picture

This is the latest iteration of the bread I have been making for her of late.  I’ve got her hooked as long as the sourdough bread looks like a loaf, tastes good and has some whole grains in it and she doesn’t have to make it of course😊


You can see the last fold in the top.When you want to fill the Pullman properly you have t account for the spring too so that it sprigs to perfectly fill the pan as it bakes and the crumb is nit compressed as a result.

This one Lucy calls the 20%’er.  It has 20% whole grains made up of home milled red and white wheat, oat and rye and 20% each of spelt, durum and Bob Red Mill Artisan Bread flour and LaFama AP.  We went back to sizing the loaf to perfectly fit the Oriental Yippee Pullman pan that is our favorite pan by far.

This one had a 10% pre-fermented Bran / flour, 100% hydration levain that was single stage that took 6 hours to double on the heating pad using our 2% (12 g), ancient aged, NMNF rye starter.  I say ancient because we hardly bake at all anymore and this was nearly the last of it and I used what was left in the container to refresh it.  So, it had to be at least 4 -5 months old with no maintenance in the fridge.

You can see how the steam condensed on the lid and then ran down the insides of the pan and darkened the top all of the loaf on the sides - So water does darken bread once it can evaporate in the heat when not contained  by the pan anymore.

The one thing Lucy live more than me is being lazy and she is really, really lazy and now limps like her Master but her limp is going away and mine is not probably because she still drinks Tequila shots and Boilermakers just about every day.

Big thick meaty grilled pork chop with veggies and salad

The autolyse, with the salt sprinkled on top, was an hour and the slap and folds were 150, 50 and 10 slaps each and the stretch and folds were 4 each twice all on 30 minute intervals. It was pretty easy work with an 75% overall hydration.  All the time between those dough manipulations, the dough was on an oiled plastic sheet on the heating pad and covered with a SS bowel and a towel

It pays to have a good breakfast n bake day but the wife already had some of her omelet and sausage~

We then did a set of stretch and folds and some slap and folds to tighten it up and to get it into a roll shape and put it into the pan release sprayed pan with the lid on – also on the heating pad covered with the towel.  It sat there looking lonely and doing nothing that we could tell since the lid was on for 2 hours.

So we put it in the fridge for a 12 hour retard to punish it mightily and teach it a cold lesson of what happens to you if you do nothing like Lucy.  This might be what caused Lucy’s stroke come to think about it.  It was a cold winter and she did go outside without a coat or her hip flask she fills with brandy.

Well the cold did nothing for this dough and it showed.  We put it o the heating pad to do a final proof and it took a few hours – about 5 to rally get up to the lid of the Pullman and that was when we tossed it into a 475 F oven, turning it down immediately to 450F.  after 22 minutes of steam we took the lid off and baked it for another 21 minutes until it hit 206 F on the inside.

It really browned up well and filled the Pullman perfectly coming out like brick and just as crunchy on the outside too.  My wife just asked Why I burned her bread?  It is cooling now, softening and when cool we will wrap it in plastic and let it really soften the crust before we slice it for toast tomorrow.  It smells fantastic which is great because we didn’t have to pay extra for that either.


2% NMNF starter

10% water

10% Bran and high extraction 4 grain


10% HE oatt rye, red and white wheat

65% water

20% each, Bob Red Mill, spelt, durum artisan bread flour and LaFama AP

2% Pink Himalayan sea salt

dabrownman's picture

Well to start with there are only 2 of them and there should be 3 of them

But no one knows how they are made or what is in them so here goes.

First make your own Clower Tortillas from the recipe on this site and cover them with Pepperjack cheese and melt it in the microwave

Then make the chorizo from scratch.  Then fry it with white onion and potato and then fill the cheese tortillas with the mix.


then roll them up and cover them with home made chorizo red sauce.


Then cover the breakfast burritos in more cheese and melt it it in the MW too, also heating the filling again

But then the real missing part of the first photo besides the skimpy number of burritos comes to life.  Get the green garnishes ready, lime wedges, chopped green onion, sliced avocado and cilantro.

But we are not done oh no!  You have to get some crema and even more sauce ready to put on top too.

And there you go OOOpppssss! it is still totally naked!  Now, like any Mexican dish. you can put an egg on top to finish it off but in the morning it is a requirement for a breakfast burrito!

 and Lucy always reminds us to never for get that salad for lunch after breakfast!

Yippee's picture




Freshly milled coarse rye meal.

Thanks to Brad's reminder, I saved a few hundred bucks because there's no need to buy another mill. 






Stan's 100% rye crispbread. 

I like this one better than the 70% rye crispbread I made last year

because it bakes faster, burns less, and is crispier.

My son finished half sheet pan of crackers within an hour!




My pasta maker was very efficient in producing crackers with even-thickness/thinness.

Baked in a rush this time, so didn't make pretty shapes. 

Ordered some gadgets that hopefully will shape crispbread pretty. We'll see.  







Didn't I tell you I love coconut? 

I ate most of the macaroons here, in a day! 






So I had to re-bake for my son. 





For the birthday boy and his friend



RBarnhart's picture

I am using organic rye seed to mill my own rye flour. The bread turned out to be a huge favorite over Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The only issue I had was that there was almost no rye taste to the bread. Even though every last crumb was eaten with gusto by the whole family, and people were left looking for more bread, both my father and myself expect a very strong rye taste when it comes to rye bread; otherwise I may as well make plain sourdogh white and or whole wheat bread. How do I impart a stronger rye taste? My recipe is as follows:


2 cups rye starter (made by allowing equal parts water

                                and self milled organic rye flour to


Add 6 cups self milled organic rye flour.

Add 2 eggs.

Add equal parts water and heavy whipping cream until dough is kneadable.

Combine 1teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

An envelope of yeast if needed or if you like the flavor baker's yeast.

Allow first rise for 4 hours knead down gently allow 2nd rise 2 to 4 hours.

Bake at 350° for approximately 45 minutes to an hour. 

Serve with favorit bread condiment. Best when toasted.

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