The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


lief's picture

When I came across breadnik's Russian Coriander-Rye recipe, I knew I had to make it! However, I don't do much baking with commercial yeast these days, so I converted the recipe to one that uses a levain. Given my lack of experience with breads that use a large percentage of rye flour and the fact that that I didn't even attempt to make the recipe as stated first seemed a little risky, but I can be fairly adventurous when it comes to baking and cooking :-)

                                                                    The finished product, yum!


I made a few minor modifications to use the ingredients that I had on hand, but the overall amounts of flour and water are very similar to breadnik's recipe.  I should also note that the mother starter I used is a white bread flour starter, since I do not currently maintain a rye starter.

Starter build 1: (fermented for ~11.5 hours)
mother starter (bread flour based @55% hydration) 14g
dark rye flour 22g
water 12g

Starter build 2: (fermented for ~5 hours)
starter 1 (from first build) 48g
dark rye flour 50g
water 28g

Final dough: (fermented ~10.5 hours)
starter 2 (from second build) 126g
dark rye flour 194g
white bread flour 80g
spelt flour 80g
vital wheat gluten 80g
sea salt 12g
ground coriander seeds 4g
honey 60g
molasses 60g
canola oil 30g
water 234g

1) Bring the starter to maturity in 2 builds. Due to the lack of gluten in the rye flour, the starter doesn't really expand like I'm used to so it is difficult for me to gauge the starter maturity. The fermentation times I used were fairly similar to what I might use for a non-rye flour dough.

2) For the final dough, mix all the dry ingredients together with a whisk to ensure a good distribution. I was feeling too lazy to grind up coriander seeds, so I just used pre-ground coriander from the spice rack. Add the levain then the wet ingredients, with the water last, as specified in breadnik's original recipe.

3) Mix the dough until ingredients are combined and all flour is hydrated. Autolyse for 20 minutes. Strictly speaking, I'm not sure this step can be called an autolyse, because the levain and salt are both in the dough. However, it still helps to develop the gluten.

4) Knead the dough for 20 minutes. It will NOT pass the window pane test. Perhaps this is a useless test for high percentage rye breads? The dough should be a little tacky. It is also quite stiff and difficult to knead.

5) Let the dough ferment! I let the dough ferment for almost 10 hours after kneading. This seems on the long side to me, but as I mentioned earlier, it is difficult for me to tell when this dough has reached maturity. Any comments on good maturity indicators for high percentage rye breads?

6) Shape the dough into two small batards and immediately refrigerate. I refrigerated for almost 8 hours.

7) Remove the batards from the refrigerator to let them warm and proof. In this case, I let it go for five hours! Again this seemed long to me, but I was able to apply the "poke test" to this dough and it didn't seem unreasonable from that perspective.

8) Spritz the batards with water and sprinkle them with slightly crushed coriander seeds. Then put them in the oven, preheated to 410-415F (my oven is not that accurate). I used a baking stone and steam, but the steam may not be necessary since the batards were spritzed with water. After 10 minutes, remove the steaming device and turn the oven down to 380F. Rotate the batards after another 10 minutes.

9) After 37 minutes of total bake time, remove the batards from the oven and allow them to cool (somewhat) before devouring ;-) This bake time may have been a little high as some parts of the bread seemed a bit darker and crustier than it should be.

Despite all of the uncertainty I had around the timing of this bread, it turned out great. The taste is complex, somewhat sweet, and all delicious. Not much oven spring. The crumb is fairly dense (sorry, no photo), but not as dense as most rye breads I have had. This is the second time I've made this bread and I'm fairly certain it will be popping out of my oven very now and then for a long time to come.


The original recipe that breadnik posted can be found here:

jombay's picture

Here are my sourdough croissants from Daniel Leader's Local Breads. It's the nicest croissant dough I have worked with thus far.




Baker's Percentage

Whole Milk

Liquid Levain

Instant Yeast

300 gms

100 gms

15 gms




Unbleached AP flour

500 gms


Unsalted Butter (for dough)

60 gms


Granulated Sugar

15 gms



Unsalted Butter (for roll in)

10 gms

200 gms





wally's picture

With a new baking job I've been overwhelmed to the point of hardly having time to enjoy posts on TFL let alone contribute.  But as the 4th has approached I found a day off to recharge my batteries, revisit some breads I love to bake, and try an experiment in dinner rolls involving ciabatta dough.

First, revisiting old friends - in this case Hamelman's mixed starter pain au levain, and, fougasse. 

Over time I've found that the subtle flavors that are imparted by a mixed starter of my everyday levain and rye levain, combined with a small introduction of whole wheat flour to the final dough, make this pain au levain my go-to bread of choice.  There is noticeable sourness in the baked loaf, yet not so overwhelming that it obscures the other flavors imparted by the mixture of grains and starters.


(A little crackly crust for David S here)


Plus, I have to admit, it's just plain fun to be able to use both starters simultaneously in constructing one dough.  Usually I find myself grabbing one or the other starters out of the fridge (now that it's unbearable summer here in D.C.) and staring somewhat ruefully at the one which goes unused.  So Hamelman's mixed starter sourdough not only satisfies my taste buds, but assuages any sense of guilt over favoring one levain over the other.

The fougasse I haven't baked in some time, but I had promised compatriots at my favorite pub that on Saturday I would appear with snacks in hand.  And what better way to share than with a niçoise olive and sea salt fougasse! 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The beautiful leaf shape was shortly admired and much more rapidly dismantled by my fellow pub mates!  I've tried these with a variety of additions - roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and traditional anchovies.  In any incarnation, I find them quickly devoured.  And let's face it, they are a 'fun' bread because of their distinctive shape.

My third bake on Saturday was with a traditional ciabatta dough of 72% hydration.  But instead of creating the usual 1 lb. loaves I decided to cut the dough into 1.5 oz increments and bake dinner rolls with them - ciabattinis as I like to call them. 

The dough makes for a quick and easy dinner roll that can be bagged and frozen once cooled, ready to be pulled out and thawed as needed.  Most of my dinner rolls contain healthy doses of butter, so I find this very simple roll - just flour, water, salt and yeast - to be a nice change and a wonderful sop for any dish that contains oils or juices.


The other eventful recent occurrence was a delightful 2-day workshop at King Arthur Flour in mid-June on wood-fired oven baking, taught by Dan Wing who, with Alan Scott, wrote the 'bible' on wfo's - The Bread Builders.  It was an eye-opener for me in that my conceptions of wfo's as mainly pizza makers were thrown out the window as we not only baked wonderful breads, but cooked equally wonderful meals on them. Those who are interested in reading more about my second 'excellent adventure at KAF' can find my recounting here.

Happy baking and Happy 4th of July to all!


jennyloh's picture

I was in for a pleasant surprise when I made the beer bread from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread book.  It was sweet and tasty.  I had my fun turning this into rolls.  

I've adapted the recipe a little,  reducing whole wheat,  and using the diastatic malt powder as I just couldn't find barley that I could sprout.  

I'm beginning to appreciate the stretch and fold method,  as I do see the impact on the crust.  I'm also learning how to steam my oven such that I get the thin crispy crust.  

Check out my full blog here.  



varda's picture

I just finished making my first edible bread in my cob oven.   In May I had no kitchen so wasn't able to bake at all.   Then in June, I got my kitchen back, but I started the process of building an outdoor oven.   Since I am not a handy person this was very challenging.  I read Kiko Denzer's book from cover to cover, did soil testing on the dirt around my house, bought some materials, scrounged some materials and made some materials, and got some great advice on the forum here.   I heard a lot of things about how you could make this sort of thing in an afternoon.   Maybe if you have a team of oxen or a lot of friends who want to help.   Suffice it to say it took me a lot longer than that.   I have tried for the last few days to bake in it.   The first day it wasn't quite dried out - I left some wood in it - so half of the bread got smoked and the other half didn't cook.   It all got dirty.   The second day, I cleaned it out properly before baking, but I didn't quite get just how long or how hot the fire had to burn.   So the loaf was as mushy as it went in an hour later.   Today, I stoked the fire for three hours to make sure it was hot enough, did a thorough cleaning, and then cooked away.  40 minutes later I had this:

and this

and finally the oven ad hoc and unlovely as it may be


txfarmer's picture

This is a bread from "A handmade loaf" by Dan Lepard. Good thing I googled before making it, the formula has a mistake, the levain amount should be 75g, not 150g. You can see the thread about this issue, as well as the whole formula here.


This is a bread went beyond my expectations. Lemon was a prefect match for barley, bringing out its slightly sweet flavor. Crumb is soft and chewy. It's not delicate and sweet like normal lemond dessert breads, it's hearty with a nice summery undertone.


I did adjust the levain/water amount to accomodate for my 100% starter, also cut the yeast amount by half (in volume) since I used instant and the book used fresh. The dough still proofed a little faster than what the book suggests


Hey, it kinda looks like a lemon huh?

darren1126's picture



I'm going to try a recipe I found on this site for Kaiser Rolls. I have a couple of questions and know that someone out there would know the answers.

What is the importance of the Malt Powder and is there a difference between this and the Malt powder you would put in Malt (ice cream)?

The recipes calls for 1 tablespoon malt powder. I'm wondering if this is a significant step in the process and what would happen if I left it out..

I asked my wife to pick up malt powder at the store and she came back with the powder that's used to make malts. I've looked at a couple of stores myself and cannot find it.



saumhain's picture

I am leaving to Austria for two months, there will be no baking... Can't possibly imagine how it must feel: no kneading, no feeding your sourdough, no messing up in the kitchen. And my poor starter... I have just thrown it away in the bin, since none of my relatives seemed eager to look after it.

Anyway. I obviously could not leave my family without fresh bread, so I baked 5 loaves in just a couple of days: 2 pain au levain with whole-wheat, dark silesian rye,

rye with walnuts and

yeasted spelt loaf with mixed nuts and seeds

(original recipe belongs to Zorra from and I should thank her for that!). However, I used a mixture of nust and seeds and since I had only dinkelvollkornmehl, that's what I used. Probably that is why I ended up with using about 200 gr of water in the final dough.

Even though, I have become quite a fan of sourdough breads and avoided baking with yeast only for a long time, I really enjoyed this one. It had a slightly sweet flavour and mixing the dough was really fun - I love the fact that it goes kind  of purple due to spelt.

gcook17's picture

Every summer we're faced with the pleasant task of trying to figure out how to use all the fruit from our trees.  Most of the fruit gets ripe at the same time and it's not possible to eat it all fresh.  Right now the apricots, apriums (cross between apricot and plum), plums, and sour cherries are almost all ripe.  The fig tree, which usually has 2-3 crops per year, is also beginning to have some ripe fruit.  Carol doesn't like jams or jellies so that rules out one method of preserving them.  I like jam but I rarely eat toast, so I don't go through the jam very fast.  Besides, my brother keeps sending us his homemade blackberry jam that's better than anything I ever make.  The obvious solution then, is to make lots of pastry with fresh fruit.  Yesterday it was puff pastry tarts, today it's apricot and plum danish.  And they're just in time for lunch.

The Danish dough is the Danish with Biga from ABAP.  I left the fully laminated dough in the refrigerator an extra day because I was too busy to use it yesterday.  In addition to the fruit, they are filled with pastry cream (also from ABAP) flavored with li-hing powder (1/2 teaspoon of li-hing powder to 2 pounds of pastry cream).  This dough had a mind of its own.  They were supposed to be shaped like the one in the left front in the photo but most of them unfolded themselves while proofing.




Sedlmaierin's picture

Catching up again.

I made the Brioche a while back-since I don't have a mixer it was all hand kneaded and I thought I would fail miserably for while, since following Hamelman's instructions when kneading by hand proved-ahem-difficult. Incorporating a gigantic amount of butter into hydrated dough made me want to cry, but then, once I decided I was just going to half-knead,half frissage the thing into SUBMITTED. And it was worth every moment of doubt....................we ate most of it while still slightly warm-definitely the best way to eat it in my opinion. Sublime!

Then I made a loaf that I found on the Chilli und Ciabatta website( on a BBA Poilane style Miche.I made my own flour mixture(using rye,ap,ww,and buckwheat),added a tad more water,watched my loaf rise in the most beautiful fashion-it was going to be perfect.Until one part of it stuck to the HEAVILY floured kitchentowel, when taking it out of the bowl after its final proof.Deflated like a balloon, of course.Oh, well....the stenceling was a disaster ,too. Am getting worse rather than better at that-the bread tasted great, though. A bit flat but yummy!

Then I made the Soft Butter Rolls from "Bread" but they were devoured so quickly that there is no photographic evidence.Next time........

I also tried my hand, for the first time, at David's San Joaquin SD-wow what great taste! I am making it again -dough retarding in the fridge. Nicely sour loaf,amazing oven spring. I prepped myself for another flat loaf when I realized I had only preshaped it and forgotten to shape it(yeah, absentminded me),but it really rose nicely in the oven.Scoring-terrible.....will I ever learn how to score bread I wonder.I used KA AP ,replaced 50g of it with White Whole Wheat ( I read that in the European Style flour David was using there is a small percentage of WWW.....thought I'd try it),stone ground rye and a AP starter.

That's all.......folks! Almost time for another pretzel bake, me thinks....................



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