The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hey All,

Just wanted to share with you my recent bake from 3/10/10.  These are improvised graham flour boules.  I didn't have a lot of graham flour laying around, so I made it up out of stuff I had in the kitchen.  Enjoy!

I am dedicating these to dmsnyder who demands a crumbshot!


Total Formula

1430g - AP - 60%

524g BF - 22%

14% - Coarse Wheat Bran - 14% (Shilo Farms Organic)

96g - Wheat Germ - 4% (Bob's Red Mill)

1788g - Water - 75%

48g - Kosher Salt - 2%

5g - Active Dry Yeast - 0.2%

4126g - Total Dough Yield


Liquid Levain (125% Hydration)

238g - AP

298g - Water

24g - Firm SD Starter (60%)

560g - Total


Stiff Levain (65% Hydration)

476g - AP

168g - Water

560g - Liquid Levain

1204g Total


Final Dough

714g - AP

524g - BF

334g - Coarse Wheat Bran

95g - Wheat Germ

1332g - Water

48g - Kosher Salt

5g - Active Dry Yeast

1204g - Stiff Levain



Evening Day 1

6:45pm - Mix Liquid Levain, cover, let rest on counter.

9:10pm - Stir levain, cover let rest.

Day 2 (midnight)

12:00am - Mix stiff levain, cover, let rest 30 mins.

12:30am - Knead stiff levain for a minute or so until smooth, form ball, cover, place in fridge.

Evening Day 2

6:20pm - Take stiff levain out of fridge.

7:10pm - Mix final dough, autolyse 40 minutes.

8:00pm - Turn dough

8:30pm - Turn dough

9:00pm - Turn dough

9:30pm - Turn dough

10:30pm - Divide into 4, shape boules, place in linen lined baskets, proofe for  45 to 60 minutes.  Place 2 stones in oven along with steam pan.  Preheat oven to 550F with convection.

11:45pm - Turn boules out onto peel, slash as desired, place in oven directly on stone.  After all are in, place 1 cup of water in steam pan, close door, turn down to 460F, bake with no convection for 10 minutes.  Turn convection on for 20 minutes.  Rotate loaves, bake for another 30 minutes with convection at 430F.  Loaves are done when internal temp reaches 210F.  Cool completely before cutting.


darren1126's picture

Does anyone have a good receipe for Sub Sandwich Bread. My family loves home made subs but I'm never satisfied using the traditional white bread recipe. I love it with meals, or,  a great snack with butter, but, not with subs....

Thank you!

JoeVa's picture

Bake, bake and bake, the time passes and you demand more, you want more, you are more exigent.

In my previous post I shared with you a good looking bread but I admitted it was not to my taste. I have to say you that even in my last trip in Paris (March 2010) I didn't find a really amazing bread. I tasted a lot of bread from famous and not so famous bakeries and a lot of bread at Europain Exhibition. Some bread was really good, most of them good, someone bad. Till now I take with me, in my memory, just two or three bread I can say - that's a perfect sourdough!

So I planned a new formula to try the flavor potential of this sourdough bread. It was based on the previous one (85% white bread flour, 10% whole wheat, 5% whole rye. 66% hydration. 25% pre-fermented flour (100% hydration). Short mix with S&F ...

My changes:

  • The preferment was feed (and it is feed) with 97% bread flour 3% whole rye, 100% hydration. This adds a fruity smell.

  • Tested a new white bread flour. This is a strong "type 00" flour (50% extraction rate, low ash content), I think W 340. It could be used for long fermentation. Proteins contents 14% with European measurements (11.8% USA measurements).

  • Longer cold proof. This was not planned but I didn't want to bake early morning before work. So I adjusted the process to accommodate a 20h cold proof at 5°C.

I wanted to take a few shots of the process but I was tired so I took just a photo of my super cheap mixer while waiting my water cools down 2°C.

And here the levain almost ready to go:


The Bread:

Do you think it is to my taste? ...

I'm thinking these very light (empty) bread cannot be to my taste. It seems that the aroma escape from the loaf together with the water.

Next loaf? Maybe a T80 organic miche.

ehanner's picture

A couple weeks back, Shiao-Ping picked up a new book and did a nice review on it here. I was intrigued by what I saw and ordered a copy from Amazon which arrived early this morning.

I will not go into great detail about the book except to say that I am a visual person. I appreciate seeing what the finished product looks like in vivid color. The BSB is stunning in this regard. Every bread and pastry is artfully photographed in a way that make me want to try every one of these recipes. The method for each is carefully worded to be clear.

One interesting aspect is that they have several base recipes that are then modified or added to to create something different. For example the Mr. Potato Bread (page 92) calls for 830g of sourdough (pages 50-51) . "Once you have a basic white sourdough, millers sourdough (multi grain), or spelt sourdough you can create  other variations from it." These are called Derivative Breads.

This is how I have organized my thoughts about the breads I bake but I didn't really have a good grip on the variety I could create with the base recipes. This book is loaded with unusual breads you have never heard of or tasted unless you happen to live down the road from this bakery or perhaps in Oz where some of these couplings might be common. Fig and Barberry loaf, Spiced Fruit sourdough, Mr Potato Bread and on and on. Each one looks better than the last.

This is a great book and is proclaimed to be "The ultimate Baking Companion" on the cover. From what I can see I wouldn't dispute that statement at all. I'll be selecting some of the more unusual breads to highlight here as I suspect will Shiao-Ping in the future. One can not help but compare this book to Suas's Advanced Bread and Pastry. The last 200 plus pages are dedicated to pastry and deserts, starting with laminated doughs.This a serious book for any serious home baker or want to be pro baker.


Doughtagnan's picture

After seeing quite alot of  blog entries from my fellow bakers regarding French Flour I thought i'd share a pic of  this loaf made earlier today.  I spent last weekend in France so picked up some Pain de Campagne flour (Francine) from the massive Carrefour Hypermarket outside Caen. I have used it and Francines white flours before with good results though they are more expensive than the flour I buy in the UK.  Total flour weight was 550grams + rye starter and around 350ml of water. Yesterday, I made up a sponge with 250g of the flour & all of the water  then added the rest of the flour plus some olive oil and a little salt once it was good and bubbly.  After a leisurely kneading it was retarded overnight in the fridge, warmed up, shaped and proofed for couple of hours before baking in a cast iron casserole (from a cold oven) for 45mins on max (250c) then lid off for an extra 5mins at 200c. It was even nice enough for a pic outside!, crumb pic to follow cheers, Steve


Doughtagnan's picture

After looking for a pizza peel for home use I decided to try and make one after getting a cheap (£2) non-stick baking (cookie) sheet from the UK store Wilkinsons, only trouble is that now i'm in the dog-house for shortening a broom handle for my baking toy!.  Cheers, Steve



jstreed1476's picture

Maybe some of you saw this recent Onion feature and thought, "I know someone like that . . ."

How about a little test for deciding if your enthusiasm for breadmaking is a cause for alarm:

1. I bake enough bread to _____.

a. Feed myself (1 pt)

b. Feed myself and my family (2 pts)

c. Feed myself, my family, and the family next door (4 pts)

d. Feed myself, my family, the family next door, and all my co-workers (10 pts)

2. I have created ____ spreadsheets to calculate baker's percentages.

a. zero (1 pt)

b. 1 (2 pts)

c. >1 (4 pts)

3. If a forum post fails to include a crumb shot, I _______.

a. notice but refrain from commenting (1 pt)

b. comment on its absence (2 pts)

c. skip the thread entirely (4 pts)

4. King Arthur Flour _______.

a. is kinda pricey (1 pt)

b. is worth the investment (2 pts)

c. doesn't offer the complexity and depth of flavor offered by organic flour ground in my hand-cranked mill (4 pts)

5. Commercial yeast is ______.

a. perfectly acceptable (1 pt)

b. okay for beginners (2 pts)

c. heresy in a jar; when I travel to visit family, I bring my wild yeast starter (4 pts)


5-8 points = you're a practical baker who may even slice a loaf before it has cooled.

9-12 points = people regard your baking as a healthy pastime, but know better than to praise Panera in your presence.

13-16 points = everyday life intrudes on your breadmaking.

17-26 points = the folks at TFL are the only ones who really understand you ;-)

* no, not that kind.

Fefa's picture

I am Portuguese and many years ago (1989/1990) for professional reasons had to move temporarily to the UK.

It was then that I firstly tasted granary bread in Huddersfield

We had a short lunch break and ordered sandwiches in. My favourite were corned beef on granary.

I moved back to Portugal. Since then I have only come across granary bread again in Spain in 1995/1996

There is no such thing as granary bread in Portugal (Algarve). Does anyone know how I could get the right grain mixture and recipe for granary bread? 


Marni's picture

After seeing and reading about Qahtan's  Guinness Chocolate Cake and how delicious it is, I had to try it.  Documenting my try, which was made with Murphy's stout rather than Guinness (it's what I had) are these pics:


It turned out of the pan beautifully, Hooray!


It is a very chocolately cake, not too sweet, with a nice depth to the flavor.  I have since bought the Guinness and may try this and the gingerbread again.

txfarmer's picture

From Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking, you can find recipe here:

What a great country sourdough, crumb is suprisingly open (only 65% hydration, with some whole grain and wheat germs in), crispy crust and nice chewy texture inside. I am experimenting with firm stater, converted my 100% starter to 60% last week, fed it according to Glezer's instruction in the same book. Even though my wet starter has been performing great, raising beautiful breads, but I want to explore what more flavor a firm starter can bring out, hopefully a bit more sourness. 


I am impressed by the firm starter's rising power - 4 to 6 hours of bulk fermentation (I did 5), 3.5 to 4.5 hours of proofing(I retarted the dough after shaping). It rose quite a bit in the fridge, after taking it out, I proofed it for 2 hours, it's longer than any of the doughs I made with my wet starter before, so I got nervous of overproofing, baked the bread even though the dough was still pretty bouncy. Should've listented to the dough, it exploded a bit at the scoring marks, not terrible, but definitely underproofed. Next time I'd do 3 hours after retarding.

The most impressive part is the flavor - definitely a bit more sour than my previous breads made with wet starter, just more noticable, not overpowering at all (we don't like overly sour breads, but do like some subtle sourness to make the flavor of the bread more well rounded). Along with the barley malt syrup, toasted wheat germs, and 4 different kinds of flour, the taste is deliciously complex. I would definitely make it regularly. I might try to make it with my liquid starter (with hydration adjusted) next time just to see how the dough and bread would be different. 

Since the flavor and character of a starter takes time to develope, I am going to keep this firm starter for a while, make a few more breads before deciding which one to keep.


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