The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


hmcinorganic's picture

this loaf came together GREAT, following my old standard 1,2,3 sourdough bread recipe here but using 1/3 whole wheat flour.  

9 oz starter (rejuvenated after a several week hiatus)

18 oz water

18 oz bread flour + 9 oz whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp salt

I mixed and kneaded for about 2 minutes, then did 2 stretch and folds. The dough behaved very well;  not too wet, and it held its shape.

I left it out on the counter overnight and it about doubled in size in 11 hours (cold kitchen, but that seems slow).  I divided and made 2 round boules, let it rise for about 2 hours, slashed with tic-tac-toe, and baked on my stone with steam (500 °F for 2 minutes, 450°F for about 40).  It smelled GREAT.

Here is the loaf shot:whole wheat sourdough


and here is the crumb shot.  Nice even crumb.

What doesn't come through the web is the nice nice flavor.  Yum.

I posted yesterday about making gift certificates for Christmas presents.  I was able to find an editable (MS Word) document and I included some loaf shots. I'll be giving these out to a bunch of people. Here is the certificate I made:


Shutzie27's picture

1:52 p.m.:

Well, the dough has risen once and, as instructed, I have shaped it into two "irregular ovals," or at least what I hope are irregular ovals. Now they are sitting atop parchment paper, hopefully doubling in size again, waiting to be transferred to my pizza stone on the bottom of rack of the oven, which I will turn on to pre-heat in about 10 minutes. Here they were, just before I covered them:

So, there they are. I've never baked bread on parchment before, so here's hoping I can slide these on to the stone and not ruin the shape.

Niggling worries: The dough did have some bubbles, but I don't know that I would call it "bubbly." It is elastic, certainly, but awfully sticky. Since the recipe says the dough will be sticky, I suppose this is alright, but I am a bit worried. Ok, time will tell.....literally.....

Update to follow!






txfarmer's picture

Last year I spent nearly 90 hours to make sourdough pandoro. Twice (one failed attempt, one delicious success). And thought it was worthwhile. I must be crazy.

This year, I spent 90 hours to make sourdough panettone. Twice (one test run, one massive batch for gifts). Still think it's fun. They are coming to take me away anytime now.


Recipe is based on foolishpoolish's wonderful creation (here), with techniques from "AB&P", Wild Yeast, etc. Two days to re-activate my starter, one more day to convert to "Italian sweet starter", 12 hours for rising first dough, 19 hours for rising final dough. Up at midnight, then 2am, to check on the dough, finally at 3:30 to start baking. Like I said, who needs sleep when it's holiday season?!

Some notes:

- For some reason, no one, not even one source on this whole wide web, can tell me how much dough I should put in my paper mold. Most recipes would tell me how much dough to use, but not the mold size. Some tell me the diameter of the mold, but not the height. My molds are from here,  6.75inch in diameter, 4.25inch in height, and is supposed to be for "standard size, 2lb loaf". I know 2lb is 900g roughly, but that's after baking, how much dough would that be? Finally I found answer in "AB&P", for their 5.25X3.25inch mold, they use 500g of dough, which means I need 1080g for mine. Too bad I found that AFTER my first batch, so my test loaf (950g of dough) came out a bit short, but for my real batch, I used 1050g of dough and they came out perfect (as shown in the pictures above).

- Since my husband really loved the sourdough pandoro last year, he made me a "proofing box" using insulated foam boards, a pet temperature regulator, and a light bulb. Really helpful for keeping Italian starter and proofing the loaves! EXCEPT, when the regulateor's setting was messed up and it stayed at 70F , rather than the 85F I set. Ugh, messed up my whole timing.

- All sources say to simply mix the first dough until even - no mention of developing any dough strength. However, I do find if I mix first dough with KA mixer, paddle attachement, until it clears the bowl, the final dough would be MUCH easier to mix. However since the first dough is very wet, the kneading took a while

- The mixing of the final dough was easier than last year's pandoro, could be that I have more experience this time. It was lilke liquid silk by the end, VERY STRONG liquid silk glove.

- I used glaze for the gift loaves, and the "tuck in a pat of butter" method for the test loaf, both works great.

- I had 800g of extra dough left after making the gift loaves. Don't want to use another paper mold, I dumped it in my new kugelhopf pan, it was only 1/4 full, but the amazing power of italian sourdough starter raised it just fine.

- However, I couldn't hang the Kugelhopf loaf upside down, so I just cooled it upside down on the rack, judging from the crumb, the bottom layer got compressed/squished a bit.

While the crumb of the test loaf was even and fluffy, and I expect the gift loaves to have the same crumb. Lesson: don't skip the step of hanging upside down to cool!

- It took my dough 19 hours at 85F to reach the rim of the mold (as supposed to  12hrs in the recipe), and I got awesome ovenspring, so they weren't over-proofed. I guess my starter likes to take its sweet time. And doesn't care about my sleep time.

- I have made BBA panettone before, no comparison, the flavor and velvety texture of this sourdough version is a whole new level.

- The gifts are all packed up and mailed out, the leftover loaves have been mostly devoured, now I just need to catch up on some sleep. Happy Holidays! ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Submitting to Yeastspotting.

OldWoodenSpoon's picture

On Friday night I baked the ciabatta from Rose Levy Beranbaums's The Bread Bible (TBB).  On Saturday I decided to try Peter Reinhart's recipe from Bread Baker's Apprentice (BBA) for comparison.  I am glad I did.  My results were success-failures.  I failed to properly shape the loaves from TBB, and as a result I ended up with broad, flat, spreading loaves with little or no loft/spring.  As a consequence of that I nearly over-baked them, although by appearance you would not think so.  I should have pushed the hydration more in the BBA loaves, because they ended up a bit "bready".  Here are my results.

First, Friday night from The Bread Bible:



As you can see, there was little true "spring" in these loaves, but the crust came out thin and crisp as it should, and the crumb is filled with holes both big and small.  I especially like the gelatinization of the starches that is evident here.  This bread is not perfect, but it is good to both the eye and the palate.  We have been slicing it big, then splitting it crosswise, and making very tasty sandwiches from this.

After these results I decided to try a comparison to broaden my experience, so I let Peter Reinhart challenge me.  Saturday night I baked the ciabatta from the BBA.  I have a couple more pictures from that bake than I do of the TBB bake above.

The shot above attests to how wet this dough was, although after the bake I concluded it needs to be wetter still.  Below are the (very) rustic loaves proofed, loaded on my "Super Peel" and ready for loading into the oven.

I baked these on my unglazed quarry tiles, as exactly according to direction as possible, even spraying the oven repeatedly during the early 90 seconds of the bake.

These loaves were not shaped perfectly, but they live up to "rustic" in character.

The folds are quite evident in my loaves, not that I think that is a bad thing.  It adds to the rustic character, and does not detract from the taste at all in my opinion.  The overabundance of flour, however, is another thing entirely, as the next shot shows.

This dough needed to be wetter, and the crumb attests to this.  The directions specify a variable amount of water from 3 to 6 ounces.  I used most of the 6 ounces.  In a sidebar Mr. Reinhart advocates raising the hydration even more, so long as the dough will sustain the stretch and folds needed to develop the gluten.  My loaves indicate this is not only a good idea, but necessary to achieve truly good results.

This closeup of the crumb shows how truly "bready" the crumb turned out.  It very much needed more water/less flour.  In addition, the small white "scrolls" in the crumb disclose my excess in flouring the dough between stretch and folds, and in shaping.  I was a bit too enthusiastic in "generously" flouring the dough between operations.  Controling this, too, will help me improve next time.

These recipes are for the same bread, but as I turned them out they seem to be from different planets.  Despite the lack of loft in the RL version I think I did the bestjob of that bread.  I got a much more true result, albeit altitude challenged!  The BBA recipe bears repeating as well, because with still higher hydration, and more moderation in that "generosity" between operations it will, no doubt, turn out a beautiful loaf.  I much prefer the bBA approach to shaping, and I like the rustic nature of the loaves once they are baked.

Two pairs of slippers: Two different ciabattas.  Too much fun!
Thanks for stopping by.


Footnote:  For those not aware:  ciabatta is Italian for "slipper" and the shape of this loaf is supposed to evoke the image of a slipper when done correctly.  Hence the name.

txfarmer's picture

I was up at 3:30 to bake sourdough pannetones last night, thanks to my starter that has a mind of its own and dislike preset schedules. It was a sucessful bake, the breads are being hung upside down at home as I type, will take pictures and post about my yearly sourdough holiday bread "torture" in a few days. In the mean time...


I had about 600g+ brioche dough leftover from my Tartine Kugelhopf (or Gugelhupf as Mini prefers :P), defrosed overnight (it had been frozen for about a week) and made two recipes from it. The first one is based on this recipe, with different dough obviously. I didn't retard the proof either, just proofed the shaped dough at room temp for about 2 hours. Used 450g of dough (in 12 pieces) for a 9inch pie pan. Gooey and delicious, butter and sugar melted and coated the pecan pieces, turning them into "candied pecans". Combined with "soft-beyond-belief" brioche dough, it was perfect for the brunch I was hosting.

Still got about 200g of dough left, and I made tarts with some FuYu persimmon I had on hand. The presentation was based on Wildyeast's post here. Each 4inch tart pan took about 80g of dough. Very delicate flavors, perfect for a light dessert or snack.


I am in love with shooting pictures in natural light!

---------------- Other holiday baking ---------------------

Over the past months also, I have been baking up a storm, most of these are for gifts, but I did sample plenty to make sure they are good!


German Springerle, took me quite a few tries to get right.

The molds are about "Twelve Days of Christmas", adds another dimension of fun!

Scotch shortbreads, made with cake flour + rice flour, velvety smooth and crumbly.

Chocolate version, dipped in chocolate ganache, just in case there's not enough chocoalte or calorie!

Chocolate cookie with peanut butter "surprise" center, recipe here

Another peanut butter cookie with PB chips and choc chips, recipe here


Submitting to Yeastspotting.

breadsong's picture

Hello, I made a big batch of Sourdough with Liquid Levain from Advanced Bread and Pastry, adding about 23% dried cranberries and homemade candied organic orange peel. I had tried to make a similar bread earlier this month, and wanted to try again, to give as gifts - thought friends and family might like this bread for making turkey sandwiches next Sunday! Will be freezing these in the meantime.
Here are the pictures, first, the dough (about 4750 g after the fruits were added), and then the bake,
2 x 1000g, 5 x 350g, and 4 x 250g):

(Took Larry's advice, and cut into this is good stuff!)

With thanks to dmsnyder for posting notes from his recent class at SFBI - based on that instruction, I held back the levain until after autolyse, as I wanted the dough to do as much of the work as possible developing gluten. I mixed by hand, folding the dough in the bowl for a bit then moved it to the counter to finish mixing. It was a good workout.

Happy holidays everyone! from breadsong

sergio83's picture

since we're having a lovely cold winter here in florida in spite of la ninia i've started baking again. i've just got done with my second baguette and the thirds in the fridge-- the first one stuck to the pan i was using to shift it into the oven but it was still tasty. this last one stuck to the couche because i'm trying to be a bit more conservative with adding flour since i think my loaves have been too dusty. i may not be able to post pics since my cameras giving me grief, but when i took this one out, well, after i took it out it was crackling so loudly i could hear it at the other end of the kitchen! ... hmmm, let's see what that meant...


apparently not very much, at least at the ends... hmmm, needs salt...

dstroy's picture

Stumbled across this link today and thought you guys might enjoy it:


Let It Dough! <-- Creation according to Dough


Admit're all going to be playing a bit the next time you're in the kitchen, aren't you ;)

GSnyde's picture

Not a lot to report this weekend.  The highlight was the Saturday morning bread handoff from David.  We adopted a dozen or so wayward loaves from his SFBI adventure: a baguette, an Italian bread in baguette shape (Stirato?), an olive bread, a raisin walnut bread, a couronne, several airy decorative loaves, and--best of all--a miche.  Here's the haul, minus the five loaves already in the freezer.


We haven't tasted all of them.  We've been concentrating on  the miche--it was perfect for chicken sandwiches.  We did make wonderful french toast with part of the couronne--seemed a shame to "waste" such a gorgeous thing, but it was an embarassment of riches.

Anyway, I couldn't bring myself to bake bread this weekend, but I had to bake something.  So I tried Breadsong's wonderful lemon turnover recipe (, which had been high on my list since she posted it.  I am no pastry baker, but it came out pretty well.  Her instructions were good.  The dough was indeed very flaky and delicious.  I didn't know what filling to use, and I chose badly.  I used a lemon pie filling and it was too liquid, and leaked a lot.  It probably also kept the bottoms from getting as done as they should have been.

But I can't complain.  They are yummy.



Next week, I'll be on vacation and baking lots of old favorites and new experiments.


SylviaH's picture

For the family dinner tonight at my daughters home.  I was asked to bring velvet cupcakes.  I've never made a red velvet cake so I decided this morning to add a Yule Log, this is a first also, as you can probably tell a lot of last minute baking on my part.  It has been a very busy week.  My family 'not including myself and husband' are leaving to spend Christmas in Hawaii in a few days.  So we planned some holiday celebration early.  They are very much into red velvet cake lately...I didn't want to make cupcakes so make cakes.  Hopefully they all taste ok...everything is from scratch...lots of heavy cream, eggs, chocolate, cream cheese, not to much sugar, plenty of red food color ;)! 

 They adopted a new shelter rescue, a tiny little pom-chihuahua is on medication for kennel cough and has been doing very good, and is as all the animals extremely pampered!  So grandma 'me' is in charge of her till they return home.  They also have six other dogs, horses, birds, goats and chickens...but I'm just watching the pup...I have 3 dogs of my own.

So here's dessert!  Ready to go!




                                         Happy Baking, Happy Eating, Happy Holidays!




Subscribe to RSS - blogs