The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


not.a.crumb.left's picture

During the Champlain community bake I abandoned Trevor's premix method as it degraded my UK flours too much and I ended with soup...

Thinking a bit more about temperatures I thought what would happen if I were to do the 'premix' method but keep the dough 'cooler' rather than into fridge and then get to room temp. I used the 304g amount of water for 70% hydration as in his formula.

After mix I put dough at  8PM in my wine cooler at 10C overnight and mixed at 7AM with leaven from the night before. Dough was really soft but much more the consistency as seen in his video but a bit softer. I then did 2 X 30 min interval coil folds and then basically left the dough in the proofer at 80F....till 3.5 hours later.

Pre-shape, 20 min bench rest and then at 10C in the wine cooler....for 2 hours... 

I really tried not to look at the clock but to get a feel for what the dough looks and feels like when it should be ready...then I ran out of time and had to bake as I had to go out for the rest of the afternoon...and dough looked kind of ready... are the photos...I think it would have been a better crumb, if I would have had time to let it go for a bit longer...and needed a bit more time!

The pre-mix is something that I will try again really makes the dough softer and opens up that crumb!!!!!

"We know that already!!!!!" you may tell me off...but I never could get it working  in my kitchen with my flours and this is really exciting. I just need to keep the pre-mix a tad colder in the wine cooler and it seems to work. Just need to get that 2nd proof right...That really is my kryptonite!!!!   Kat


Ru007's picture

Hello friends!!

A couple of weeks ago, Abe posted a mid week bake. I've never done a mid week bake. I just couldn't figure out how to fit it into my work schedule (08:00 - 17:00). So Abe's post really inspired me to try it, and it worked!! I didn't miss a beat with my regular routine. 

Here's how it went: 


1. Levain build, just before work. I used my cold starter straight from the fridge (20g NMNF rye starter, 40g whole wheat flour, 32g water). 

2. 17:00ish get home and autolyse flour and water for an hour. 

18:00 Mix levain, dough and salt for a couple of minutes, rest for 10ish mins and repeat. 

18:45 Lamination (basically stretch the dough out on the counter as far as it will go, and then fold it up).

I was trying to build strength quickly because I didn't want to be up until all hours of the night folding dough! (It was dark so the pictures aren't great).

Stretch and fold x 3 at 19:15, 20:00 and 21:00. 

Bulk ferment at room temp overnight. The temperature was about 2 Celcius over night so, it was pretty much the equivalent of refrigerating it. I did keep the dough warm during the stretch and fold period though (in the oven). 

3. First thing in the morning, preshape and rest for 30mins. Shape and proof for 1 hour at room temp (while doing all my morning things before work). leave dough in the fridge for the day. 

4. 17:00 on Tuesday preheat oven, bake at 18:00, loaf done by 18:50!

I could have sliced last night, but I left it till today.

Here is the formula, its another mostly white SD. 

  Weights       %
Levain          9125%
Water 30081%
Flour 370100%
white295 80%
w/w38 10%
spelt37 10%
Salt 92%
Total dough weight       770 


Thanks for the inspiration Abe, in my mind working a full day meant I could only be a weekend baker, apparently not :)

Happy baking everyone





Elsie_iu's picture

You know how bread (or specifically, naan) is perfect for soaking up every last drip of curry? And how addictive paneer curry dishes are? Palak paneer, methi malai paneer, paneer butter masala and achari paneer, to name but a few. Curry bread is definitely not a new idea. See the popular Japanese fried curry bread (Kare-Pan) for evidence. Here, I combined Indian curry spices, Thai strong-flavoured condiments and Western cheese in this bread, a surefire way to wake one’s dimmed summer appetite.


Indian-Thai-Inspired Cheese Curry Sourdough


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

150g      50%       Whole spelt flour

90g        30%       Spouted spelt flour

60g        20%       Pearl barley flour


For leaven:

10g        3.3%       Starter

40g      13.3%       Bran sifted out from dough flour

40g      13.3%       Water



For dough:

264g        88%       Dough flour excluding bran for leaven

173g     57.7%       Water

57g          19%       Whey

90g          30%       Leaven

9g              3%       Vital wheat gluten

5g           1.7%       Salt

-g               -%       Curry spice mix (1/8 tsp each of coriander, cumin, turmeric and black pepper, and a pinch each of nutmeg and cinnamon)


60g        20%       Gloucester cheese, cubed (or sub a strong Cheddar)

1.5g      0.5%       Dried fried shallots

1.5g      0.5%       Dried fried baby shrimps

3g            1%       Fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped



245g      80.3%       Whole grain

275g      90.2%       Total hydration


Sift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 40g for 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 5 hours.

Soak the dried shallots and shrimps in a little hot water to rehydrate. Set aside until needed.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the salt, leaven and soaked bran, autolyse for 15 minutes. Knead in the reserved ingredients and ferment for 15 minutes. Fold in the add-ins then ferment for 2 hours longer.

Preshape the dough then let it rest for 15 minutes. Shape the dough and put in into a banneton. Retard for 9 hours after proofing at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Let the dough warm up at room temperature for an hour. Preheat the oven at 230°C/446°F.

Score the dough and bake at 230°C/446°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.

The crust of this bread is extra crispy as the fats of the cheese fried the dough surface. It is contrasted by the moist crumb and gooey cheese. I love the spiciness of this bread but feel free to tone it down by reducing the spices used.



To be honest, I have never been much of a fan of beetroot. The only way it tastes good to me is when roasted to slightly caramelized on the edges. This bread was a request from a friend who kindly gave me some high quality beetroot powder.


Beetroot Hazelnut Sourdough with 20% Rye


Dough flour:

240g      80%       Freshly milled whole white wheat flour

60g        20%       Whole rye flour


For leaven:

8g         4.7%       Starter

36g        11%       Bran sifted out from dough flour

36g        11%       Water



For dough:

264g        88%       Dough flour excluding bran for leaven

211g     70.3%       Water

62g       20.7%       Whey

80g       26.7%       Leaven

9g             3%       Vital wheat gluten

5g          1.7%       Salt

15g            5%      Beetroot powder



30g          10%      Toasted hazelnuts



304g       100%       Whole grain

313g     103.0%      Total hydration


Sift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 36g for leaven. Soak the rest in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 4 hours.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the salt, leaven and soaked bran, autolyse for 15 minutes. Knead in the reserved ingredients and ferment for 30 minutes. Fold in the add-ins then ferment for 4 hours longer. I used cold water this time to prevent over-proofing.

Preshape the dough then let it rest for 15 minutes. Shape the dough and put in into a banneton. Retard for 10 hours.

Preheat the oven at 230°C/446°F. Remove the dough from the fridge to warm up at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Score the dough and bake at 230°C/446°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.

I’m aware that adding ascorbic acids to dough can preserve the bright red colour of beetroot. However, red is an eldritch colour for bread crumb to me…Brown bread beats red bread anytime of the day :) Despite the absence of red crumb, I can taste the presence of beetroot. This bread is not noticeably sour even though the leaven was on the mature side and rye flour was included. I attribute this to the addition of beetroot, which its sweetness masks the sourness.


Fish tacos with homemade corn tortillas (100% masa harina at 160% hydration)

Stir fried rice noodles


Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Every now and then I go to Peter Reinhart's "Bread Revolution" for something different. I've been meaning to try sprouted pulp bread for some time, and the time was right. I have a sack of Kamut (Khorasan wheat) that I don't use much because it's just too hard and difficult to mill by hand. Like milling gravel into sand - the resulting flour is very coarse and sandy. I sprouted some a while back, dried it and milled it into flour, which was easier than the unsprouted grain but still time consuming to dry it properly.

This time I sprouted a big jar of it, then whizzed it wet into pulp in the food processor. Reinhart had a perfect recipe to try it out. He used Emmer pulp in his version but one of the options was Kamut instead. Other ingredients are soaked raisins and chopped nuts (I used walnuts and hazelnuts instead of walnuts and almonds as in the original recipe. I try not to support the water-intensive almond industry more than I have to). There is a bit of dry yeast in with the levain, and also a bit of vital wheat gluten in the mix.

Mixing went well in the Ankarsrum. The dough was nice and stretchy, though a bit sticky.

Bulk was only 1.5 hours, and the dough rose nicely. The bit of flour on the top is so I could poke the dough. :)

Pre-shaping and shaping went fairly well though the dough was quite sticky (partly because of the fat, wet raisins!).

Reinhart bakes it at 460F, with steam. I followed these instructions but in hindsight should have turned the oven down a bit for at least the last half of the bake. It's a very bold bake - on the verge of burned!

The crumb is very nice and moist. Reinhart suggested that the pulped raisins would dissolve into the dough, but that wasn't the case with the dough roller on the Ank.

Lovely flavour and texture; I will make this again (now that I have a big bowl of sprouted Kamut pulp!).

dabrownman's picture

Lucy was making up for lost time making two different breads.  One a 10% whole 5 grain yeast Naan and the other a 10% whole Kamut pizza dough.  The 5 grains for the Naan were red wheat, spelt, Kamut, rye and oat.  Both were made with and 10% pre-fermented whole grain flour poolish at 100% hydration and both dough flours were LaFama AP.   Overall hydration for both was 72%

Pizza Dough

Both had a short 30 minute autolyse with the salt sprinkled on top followed by 2 sets of 150 slap and folds each on 30 minute intervals.  Both had 3 sets of 4 stretch and folds also on 30 minute intervals followed by a 30 minute rest before being shaped into a ball and placed in oiled SS bowl for a long cold retard – 24 hours for the Naan and 48 hours for the pizza dough.

Naan Dough

Now for some differences.  The pizza dough had dried rosemary. Fresh garlic, chopped sun dried tomatoes and olive oil added in at the first set of stretch and folds and the Naan had 5% softened butter and fresh garlic added in during their first set.

Divided Pizza Dough

The Naan and pizza dough came out of the fridge 4 hours before baking, 24 hours apart.  The Naan and divided into (6) 144 g pieces and the pizza dough was divided into (3) 244 g pieces.   Both Naan and Pizza crusts were formed and shaped by hand the same way with the Naan more rustic.  Both were baked on 550 F stones.  The Naan was tossed on two different stones by hand one after the other and the pizzas  were slid on the bottom stone with a peel.

White Smoked Pizza with Portuguese Linguisa 

The Naan was baked for 90 seconds each side and removed to warm towels where butter infused with fresh garlic was brushed on both sides and the 3 pizzas were baked for 5 minutes and then spun with the peel and baked for 3 minutes more, removed to cutting board for slicing with a pizza wheel and then placed on wire racks suspended over 9x13 baking pans - so that the crust stays crisp as it was when it came out of the oven.  We do not like inferior, thick, soft, floppy foldable NY style pizza.

Pepperoni Pizza

The 3 pizzas were a white pizza with smoked everything Portuguese Linguisa, smoked onion, smoked mushrooms and fresh mozzarella.  It was out least favorite topping combination for all 3 of us but the crust was the best killer crisp.  This is Chris Bianco’s most popular pie but he uses sweet Italian smoked sausage and smoked mozzarella and a different crust!

Sopresatta Pizza

We did put fresh grated, extra aged, Parmesan on each pie too.  The girls though this pie would be better with Bianco’s fresh sauce as the base but I thought it might be better with a Parmesan béchamel or asiago alfredo base to keep it a white pie.  Biaco’s is a killer pie and you should order it for sure but this one…. not so much.

The 2nd pie started as a basic Margarita using Biaco’s fresh sauce, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil with an added thin sliced smoked pepperoni and smoked onions.  The crust was still plenty crisp and this was the girl’s favorite pizza.

My favorite was the last of the 3. It started out like the 2nd one above as a basic margarita but this one added a thicker sliced smoked Columbus sopresatta sausage, red onions, red peppers and smoked mushrooms.  This was one fine pizza and my new favorite pie possibly of all time – at least for the moment.

Bianco’s fresh sauce is just a can of Marzano plum tomatoes, grown on the slopes of Mt Etna, crushed between the fingers with fresh basil until it is thick and smooth - no blending.  My fresh sauce uses fire roasted tomatoes with Italian herbs, fresh minced garlic, fresh basil and red pepper flakes crushed between the fingers until smooth.  The girls missed the smoky, garlicky, spicy sauce. 

The Naan was perfect with the Indian Basmati rice and Chicken and Vegetable Tikka Masala my daughter loves so much. It was pretty yummy for sure.   The hard part is what left overs to eat for diner tonight.  Maybe I’ll put some Chicken Tikka Masala on that white pizza!

Lucy reminds us to never forget the salad with that Sopresatta Pie 

mwilson's picture

Starter Preparation

Starter dough which was conserved in water for 16 hours at a regulated 20 degrees C was removed from storage and cleaned to obtain the "heart". This involved the removal of a dry crust formed on top and a wet under-layer which were then discarded. The remaining dough was pressed gently before being sliced into strips which were then allowed to soak in a bath made from sweetened water (2g sugar per litre of water). After 20 minutes the dough pieces were removed from the bath and squeezed to remove excess water before being scaled to the required weight. An equal quantity of flour, 1 part starter to 1 part flour (1:1) and 35% water were added to form a dough. This was then left to rise for 2 hours at 28-30 degrees C.


An autolyse process was prepared at 50% hydration using Leckford Estate bread flour (100%) and 1 percent diastatic barley malt flour. The flours were initially mixed with only part of the water to first form a breadcrumb-like texture. The remaining water was then added to allow for the formation of a dough which was allowed to rest covered with cloth until the starter was ready.

Main Dough

The remaining ingredients; salt and water were scaled and mixed. The starter dough and autolyse dough were divided into 8 roughly equal pieces and mixed together individually by hand kneading before being combined into one dough. This was again re-cut into numerous pieces which were added one by one to the prepared salt water solution with the mixer operating at speed 1. A paddle attachment was used to mix the ingredients until a dough formed that cleaned the bowl. This took approximately 5 minutes. The attachment was then changed to a dough hook before being mixed at speed 2 for a further 5 minutes.


The completed dough was allowed to ferment for 90 minutes at 28-30 degrees Celsius before being shaped and allowed to proof for further 5 hours at room temperature (approximately 25C).


After the proof period the dough was scored three times and transferred to a pre-heated cast iron stone before being placed into an oven at 230C. Steam was used during the first ten minutes.


"The finished loaf rose well although it is a little wide for its height. This can be contributed to a number of factors. The original formulation is designed to produce baguettes which require little strength. The flour although marketed as bread flour isn't particularly strong. The method could have been adjusted to allow for a longer bulk fermentation which would have developed more strength before being shaped."

Visual assessment and organoleptic characteristics

Golden hue and many blisters cover the crust. Creamy-white crumb. Wheaty aroma. Slight sweetness on the palate. Soft and light textured with a very subtle hint of mild acetic acidity that finishes through the nose.



14% pre-fermented flour.
68% hydration.
2% salt


PalwithnoovenP's picture

Yesterday was our Oath-Taking ceremony. It was full of pride and joy. Why wouldn't we be proud and happy when I found out that I was 17th all over the country. I only prayed to pass and out 76,673 who took the licensure exam, only 22,936 passed and out of those 22,936, I am the 17th! To celebrate the occasion, I made this special bread.

It is a panettone-like bread in terms of flavor but I added just a tablespoon of butter. Why? Because I have other plans for this bread. The dough was made with bread flour, all-purpose flour (because I ran out bread flour), eggs, sugar, salt and butter. Kneading was only 20 minutes and it made a strong windowpane perhaps because of the all-purpose flour with less gluten. The dough was rich even with just a bit of butter because aside from the water in the levain, all the liquid came from the eggs. My starter was slow in raising this dough so I left it overnight at room temperature for bulk fermentation. Great decision. After 12 hours it was doubled, nicely risen and fermented.

I don't have candied peel so I added only raisins in the dough but because I want to pack as much raisins as possible; I stretched it into a thin and long rectangle then scattered raisins rolled it from the long end and coiled into a snail to shape it before proofing it in the tin. I did not soak the raisins because I don't want extra moisture and I want the raisins to even dry the dough. Proofing took 4 hours and it is as high as the tin before baking.

Hence, it made a nice dome after baking. The sides were a lovely golden brown with blisters the there was even a little browning on top. I can't believe that I made this lovely bread. It has an air of an "Alfonso Pepe" Panettone.

Look at those blisters.

My plan for this bread is to turn it into a special bread pudding for a special occasion. A more elegant one because it involved the whole bread being turned into a pudding unlike other puddings which use cut-up bread. To make this pudding I let this delicious bread dry (I originally intend to use the word "stale" but decided against it because it was just dried with no stale flavor) in the fridge for 2 days then bathed in a rich custard flavored with orange and vanilla to make a similar flavor profile to my panettone french toast dream that didn't materialize last time. I think this bread and bread pudding is special because you make a bread with the pudding in mind, you make a special bread with a purpose rather than finding a way to save a bread that you unintentionally let stale. I added very little butter because I want the crumb to be sturdier because it will be soaked in custard so it will still have integrity when it is already a pudding. 

I cut the dome off the bread last friday for a neat finish and to facilitate the soaking of the bread; it was a substantial snack on Friday afternoon. Here is the inside of the freshly baked bread. It was not feathery but still light, soft and fluffy. No tang at all with the right sweetness and so aromatic. It was a very good raisin bread.

The dome.

This is the portion that was turned into a pudding.

The fridge did a very good job in drying this bread so it absorbed the custard well. I bake the bread last Friday and the custard on Saturday night because I know we will be euphoric from the Oath-Taking ceremony and might not have the energy to do thing so I prepared things in advance so I can just bake this pudding straight away to celebrate. When we got home yesterday, everything was prepared so I just soaked the bread with the custard. Perfect time-saver because we were already tired from the long travel and we were trying to catch a replay of the Pacquiao-Matthysse fight. :) I'm happy for our senator's win but I'm happier for my parents yesterday.

Here is the bread getting bathed in custard.

After an overnight custard soak.

I baked the bread pudding for 20 minutes over live fire and 20 minutes over ember just to dry the center. I knew it was done because I can smell it from upstairs, so aromatic! I was greeted by this beauty when I opened the clay pot. It looks very silky! I can imagine a crunchy caramel top would so well with it.

It looks like a perfect candidate to be "bruleed". If I had a torch, I would brulee it! 

The bread definitely became plumper and heavier and the lines became harder and straighter. I love how it looks!

I love how the sides are crispy and the inside is so silky and custardy! Perfect contrast! And the crumb maintained its structure that I have an idea how the fresh bread looked from the inside. My orange-vanilla custard trick worked too, it feels like I am eating a panettone bread pudding with plump and juicy raisins. It's like turning a whole panettone into French toast. The pudding was already very rich so it needs no additional custard or whipped cream or syrups; it perfect as it is. The texture was different from a normal bread pudding. It feels like eating a very moist and silky slice of bread. It's hard to explain. It's just so good, perfect for the occasion!

My dad was so excited to taste it so he cut it immediately into perfectly neat slices.

A truly memorable treat for a memorable occasion!


Some pictures from the Oath-Taking Ceremony.

I wore a traditional formal wear reserved for the most formal of occasions.

Any formal wear would do but I decided to wear my best Barong Tagalog because our Code of Ethics states that each teacher is a trustee of the cultural and educational heritage of the nation and is under obligation to transmit such heritage as well as to elevate national morality, promote national pride, cultivate love of country, instill allegiance to the constitution and all duly constituted authorities, and promote obedience to the laws of the state.

WIth my very proud, happy and thankful parents.



With the pin signifying that I am already a fully-fledged Licensed Professional Teacher.

It was a once in a lifetime experience. I felt goosebumps especially when we spoke our oath and I almost stuttered with some of the words. All of the sleepless nights, time, money, effort of mine and my parents did not go to waste. I managed to hold back my tears especially during the singing of the Hymn of Professionals with lyrics like this. 

Propesyonalismo at integridad
Professionalism and integrity
Responsibilidad sa bayang nililiyag
(Our) Resposibility to (our) beloved nation
Kahusaya't kaalaman
Excellence and Knowledge
Taglay naming mga propesyonal
Us professionals have

I think I almost cried because I felt each word, the gravity of the duties that are now on our shoulders and the challenges that await us and that even in my lowly condition in life, I am now considered a professional.

With all the pride and joy comes this tremendous duty and responsibility. This is not the end, this is just the beginning of real life journey and I can't wait to practice it to touch and mold young lives. The achievements of mine are now finished, it is about my students now. It is now a lifelong goal to be the best teacher that I can be for my students. Thank God for everything! Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for letting me into your life!

dtdayan's picture

This is my version of Dan Lepard's walnut bread.  Instead of walnuts, I substituted cashews as the main ingredient. I would like to increase the recipe's hydration next time as Lepard's hydration is quite stiff (see attached photo).  The final crust is crispy and the bread's interior is softer due to the mix of AP flour and bread flour in contrast to the original recipe of just bread flour. My revised recipe is as follows: (makes 2 loaves)

For cashew paste:

50g cashews

30g water

20g melted butter

2T white sugar

Pinch kosher salt

MIx above ingredient in blender to create paste.

For dough:

200g AP flour

150g bread flour

100g Dark rye flour

50g Whole wheat flour

100g leaven 100% hydration

.8g instant yeast

100g cashew paste

100g cashews

240g water

10g kosher salt

MIx all wet ingredients including instant yeast, add to dry ingredients.

Knead every 10min x3.

Fold dough 1hr x1.

2.5 hours bulk fermentation

Divide dough into 2 and shape into ball. Rest 30m and shape and cover to container.  Proof for 2 hours.

Transfer into dutch oven with cover and bake into 220C oven 25min, remove cover and continue baking for 20min more.

sayersbrock's picture

I made a large, dense pagnotta foggiana over the weekend and the entire process went really well. Whole wheat flour for the biga with cornmeal mixed into the bread flour for the dough. Coarse, chewy, and crusty. Typical of Italian bread in general, maybe closely resembling a nice Pugliese loaf. 

Because I worked all weekend I had to do all proving in the refrigerator and I was pleasantly surprised with the results. My scoring improved and my experiments with baking at higher temperatures have paid off. 

I do have a general question though.  We are experiencing unusually hot and humid weather currently in Michigan and I decided to gradually add bread flour during the mix until the dough was perfect, knowing that the absorption would be effected by the weather and following my usual ratios might not have worked. 

So, no matter what method of bread making you use, is there a certain step in the process that you give leeway for due to environmental factors?


Michael Brock 

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I finally got around to baking this bread; had it bookmarked for ages! As it is blueberry season here, and I happened to have some cream cheese handy, I thought of it and went ahead and baked it. So good! Here's the original post (in case you don't have it bookmarked). :)

My crumb isn't as open and light as Floyd's was, but then, I probably didn't wait long enough to cut it, it smelled so good. We ate one and I froze the second for a family dinner coming up.


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