The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


ehanner's picture

As a follow up to my last post on super hydrated dough, I have been making a loaf every day now for 3 days. My first batch had 10% dark rye and my daughter thought it was uncommonly delicious. That's a big statement from a 17 yo daughter.

Day 2 brought a batch with only 5% rye and a less intense bake in the  early stage. The loaf was lighter in color and still delicious.

Today, I made a double batch and stayed with 5% rye which I scalded and cooked for 1.5 hours. After cooling to RT, I incorporated the rye and went to an autolyse period of 20 minutes. At that time I added the salt and yeast and folded for a dozen or so times to incorporate the salt. There was quite a difference in the way the dough felt and handled after delaying the salt for 20 minutes.

The flavor is quite unique. The nutty after tones are still there and it seems just a little sweet and wholesome. I don't think that is a very good description let me think about it and  talk to my testers.

Sorry I don't have an image to show at the moment. I'll try to get one up when my camera returns.


hmcinorganic's picture

I've been on vacation and not baking for a while.  I have been keeping my starter going, however.  Last week I made the 1/3 whole wheat 1-2-3 sourdough ... again.  I'm caught in a rut :)  

I forgot the salt though, and had to mix it in after 2 or 3 stretch and folds.  Seemed to work ok though.  Bread was good, but I forgot to take pictures.  I made 4 small baguettes.  Those are just hard to shape;  I need practice.  Scoring was good (I did 3 - 4 lengthwise slashes) but the bread was underproofed.

I have a question about storing bread.  I've read here on this site that you shouldn't store bread in plastic, as that makes it soggy and moldy, and that the fridge isn't good either.  We normally eat 1/4 of each batch the day its made, I give some away, but the last loaf sits around and gets very hard.  Still tastes fine....  I've taken to slicing up the last loaf and freezing it to make croutons or bread pudding "starters".  

I am baking the 1-2-3 loaf again today.  My starter got very runny, too much water at the last feeding, so I had to add a bit less water than called for.  I *didn't* forget the salt :)  I shaped it into to boules and they are rising right now on the counter.  I"ll post pictures later today when they're done.  

Its good to be back home and into my bread routine again.  I am going to make regular whole wheat sandwich bread tomorrow as school is starting and we need to pack lunches again...

pmccool's picture

Although blogging has taken a back seat to other activities, I have been baking in the background.  It's just that none of those have made the leap from the kitchen to the Web.  And, frankly, most of them were old favorites and I really didn't have anything new to say about them, except for yum!

This weekend, though, was different.  My wife has decided to make some dietary changes, with the objective of greatly reducing the GI loads of the things she eats.  On the one hand, that means eliminating a lot of foods that are either sugary or constituted primarily of simple carbohydrates and replacing them with foods that contribute either higher protein content or complex carbohydrates.  So, when she had a package of 100% rye bread in her hand while shopping this weekend, I said "I can make that at home.  And I can use sourdough, which will make it even better for you."  All true but highly optimistic, considering some of my recent sorties into high-rye land.

Back at the house, groceries unloaded and put away, I made a bee-line for TFL and started looking at the accumulated wisdom and experience regarding 100% rye breads.  Of the various possibilities, Mini's Favorite 100% Rye was most appealing to me so I started the mise en place Friday evening.  First up was to prepare the rye sour.  Keep in mind that I pitched my old starter some weeks back and began another.  So, while potent with yeast, the new starter is still fairly mild in flavor.  It would have to do.  Next up (although not in Mini's original formula) was a soaker consisting of 100g each of cracked rye and boiling water.  Still another addition, a sunflower seed soaker consisting of "some" (about a handful) sunflower seeds and enough cool water to cover.  Yeah, yeah, I know, always measure for repeatability.  I was off the page at that point, anyway, so measurements didn't seem too important.  After that, off to bed.

The next morning, I toasted the bread spices in a skillet on the stove top and ground them.  Not knowing the exact formulation, I guesstimated that 2 tablespoons of coriander seed and 1 tablespoon each of caraway and fennel seeds should do.  Oh, my, the house smelled wonderful!  From previous experience, I knew to keep an eye on the fennel seeds; they start out with a greenish cast and turn a golden brown when ready.  The caraway and coriander start out a tan/brown color, so they aren't as helpful in indicating when they are done.  It is important to give the seeds a shake every minute or so to prevent scorching.

From there, it was a matter of combining the starter, the water, the spices, the cracked rye soaker, the (drained) sunflower seed soaker, and rye flour.  It's a bit of a stretch to refer to a 100% rye dough as "dough".  Wet mortar seems to have a closer similarity to this stuff than any dough based on wheat flour.  Anyway, the ingredients were thoroughly mixed, covered with plastic wrap, and left in the sunshine on our stoep.  We're seeing the first signs of Spring here in Pretoria and the sunny stoep was warmer than my kitchen.

An hour later, I brought the bowl back in, troweled the dough onto a wet countertop and worked in the salt, per Mini's recommendation.  The dough was put back in the bowl, covered, and set back out in the warmth of the sunshine.  At the 3-hour mark, the mortar/dough was showing some aeration, which indicated that the starter was at work. 

Since the cooking gear available to me is a bit different than Mini's, I elected to split the dough into two loaves and bake each in a 4x8 (inches) loaf pan.  Those fit neatly into a covered roasting pan, giving me the steam chamber that Mini devised by flipping one pot upside down on top of the other.  Having oiled the pans and dusted them with rye flour, I brought the dough in, divided it into two pieces, shaped each, and gently tamped them into the waiting loaf pans.  Each pan was approximately half full, giving me a reference point for gauging their eventual expansion.  Just to be sure that I didn't miss anything, I also lightly sprinkled the loaves' surface with rye flour, knowing that the resulting cracks in the flour would be another indicator that the dough was rising.  After that, I covered each loaf pan with plastic, put them in the roasting pan, covered it, and set the whole shebang back out in the sunshine. 

Two and a half hours later, or five and a half hours into the process, the loaves had filled the pans about 3/4 full, which was about a 50% expansion.  The top was a network of dark fissures in the lighter rye flour.  After debating the merits of allowing further fermentation/expansion versus the possibility of over-proofing, I decided to err on the side of caution and bake the bread.  I did remember to remove the plastic wrap (whew!) from the loaf pans before sliding the roaster into the oven.  I also chose to sprinkle a tablespoon or so of water in the floor of the roasting pan, just to add some more steam.  Maybe that helped, maybe not.

Per Mini's instructions, the bread went into a cold oven, then spent the first 25 minutes at 200C in convection mode.  After that, I took the roaster out of the oven, pulled the loaf pans from the roaster and put them back in the oven, then switched the oven from convection mode to a top and bottom heat mode, still at 200C.  Not knowing exactly how long they would take to reach the recommended internal temperature of 93C, I checked back in 20 minutes.  The internal temperature was barely 91C, so I gave them an additional 5 minutes.  At that point, the thermometer showed 94C, so I removed the bread from the oven and depanned the loaves onto a cooling rack, covering them with a cotton towel.  A few hours later, after they were thoroughly cooled, I put each in a plastic bag.

If you read Mini's account and compare it to this one, you'll notice that the added soakers and the division into two loaves are not my only departures from her formula.  She is working with a finely ground rye flour (Type 950, I think) that, back in the States, I might call a medium rye.  What I have available is a stone ground whole rye with noticeable flecks of bran.  I think that my dough was a bit stiffer than she describes hers, probably because of the additional absorption of the bran.  Consequently, I wasn't bashful about working additional water in from either the countertop or my hands.

Having given the bread 25 hours to for moisture distribution and stabilization, I cut into one of the loaves this afternoon.  Several things became evident.  First, I could have allowed the ferment to continue longer.  These are not bricks but neither did they achieve the airiness of crumb that Mini's bread shows.  My concern about over-proofing made me a little too twitchy.  I think that is going to be one of those experience things (with probably at least one flop) to know how much is enough and how much is too much.  Second, the bread spices that were so evident during the baking have taken a backseat to the rye itself in the finished bread.  They are still in there, but they are the background singers to the rye's lead (if we were talking music).  The sunflower seeds add a bit of nutty crunch and flavor to the blend.  The crumb is very moist and cool but not gluey.  Were it not for the textures of the the cracked rye and sunflower seed soakers, it would be almost cakelike; albeit a very dense and chewy cake.  There's a lot going on in this bread and it's only Day 1.  I'm curious to see how the flavors evolve as the bread ages.  Most importantly, my wife likes it!  Since it was intended for her benefit, that's a good thing.

The first picture, below, shows the loaf profile and crumb.  Like I said, not a brick but more proofing would have been allowable.

The second picture, below, shows the "crackle" texture in the flour sprinkled on top that was caused by the loaf's expansion during proofing.

There are things that I might do differently next time.  I'd probably skip the rye flour dusting in the loaf pans and use a solid fat instead of oil.  The oil/flour residue on the sides of the loaves isn't visually appealing to me.  I might also skip the dusting of flour on top of the loaves.  It was my choice rather than anything Mini recommended and I don't know that it helped me to ascertain readiness as much as I had hoped.  Oh, and I would try to remember to dock the loaves prior to baking.  That step got left out entirely and it was probably only because the loaves were somewhat underproofed that I don't see any problems as a result.

Thank you, Mini, for sharing your formula with us.  Once I feel like I have a handle on this bread, I'd like to try some that have a very long, low-temperature bake to see if I can approximate a pumpernickel that is baked in a WFO overnight.


JoeVa's picture

Ultimamente le miche di grande pezzatura hanno trovato il mio favore. Un pane tondo, con farina semi-integrale ed impasto tenero, profilo "basso", ben cotto e lievitato naturalmente. In letteratura questo tipo di pane è spesso descritto come "il pane di una volta" tipicamente prodotto nei piccoli paesi o nelle cascine e cotto in forno a legna. In Francia potrebbe assomigliare a quello fatto nei primi del '900 a cui si è ispirato Poilane, in Italia al pane di Genzano/Lariano ed in Canada a quello riportato da James MacGuire come il tipico pane mangiato negli insediamenti europei.

Lately very large miches found my favor. A large round bread, with sifted whole wheat flour, "low" profile, well cooked and naturally raised. In literature this type of bread is often described as "the old style bread" typically produced in small villages or farms and cooked in wood fired oven. In France it might look like the one baked in the first years of '900 that inspired the famous Pain Poilane, in Italy to the bread of Genzano /Lariano and in Canada to that one reported by James MacGuire as the type of bread typically eaten by the early European settlers.


Le persone un pò più anziane lo descrivono così e ne ricordano nostalgicamente i sapori ed i profumi. Purtroppo non ho mai avuto il piacere di parlare con qualcuno che ricordi veramente com'era quel pane e che riesca in modo razionale a confrontarlo con quello attuale. Le persone hanno ricordi che definirei romantici o di vita quotidiana come, ad esempio, "era molto buono e profumato", "durava più di una settimana", ... provo spesso a fare domande semplici ma più precise - "dove prendevano la farina?", "usavano il lievito madre?", "come conservavano il lievito?", "come impastavano?", "che consistenza aveva la mollica?" - ma il più delle volte ottengo risposte molto vaghe.

The elderly describe it like this and they remember the flavors and aromas with nostalgia. Unfortunately I never had the pleasure of speaking with someone who really remember how it was, I mean in a rational way to be able to compare that bread to the current one. People have memories that I define romantic or daily life as, for example, "it was very good and fragrant", "it lasted more than a week", ... often I try with more precise but simple questions - "where did you buy the flour?", "did you bake with sourdough?", "how did you store the  yeast?", "what about the kneading?", "what was the consistency of the crumb?" - but most times I get very vague answers.

I nomi utilizzati per questo tipo di pane sono tanti: micone, pane di campagna, pane paesano ..., ma il pane è sempre quello.

The names used for this type of bread are many: large miche, country bread, rustuc bread ... but the bread is always the same.

Mia madre mi racconta di quando era piccola e viveva in Sicilia. Avevano una piccola attività commerciale e suo padre faceva il pane in un grande forno a legna per poi venderlo in paese. Era il "pane di una volta", molto probabilmente con le stesse caratteristiche che ho descritto, ma prodotto con farina di grano duro siciliano. Nella "casa del forno", così la chiamavano, si svolgeva la panificazione. C'era una stanza adibita alla preparazione ed un'altra per il forno. In questi locali venivano ospitati anche dei piccoli pulcini che avevano bisogno di stare al caldo (... le norme sanitarie non esistevano). Usavano il "criscenti" (crescente in italiano) ovvero del lievito madre asciutto, nient'altro che un pezzo di impasto (una pagnotta) riportata da un impasto al successivo; nessuna indicazione sulla sua conservazione.

My mother tells me when she was young and she lived in Sicily. They had a small business, his father baked in a large wood fired oven and he sold the bread in town. It was the "old style bread", most likely with the same characteristics I have described, but produced with durum wheat grown in Sicily. In the "house of the oven", it took place the baking process. There was a room used for preparation and another for the oven. In these room were also hosted small chicks who needed to warm temperature of these rooms (... no health rules, I think). They used the "criscenti" ("crescente" in Italian, it means something that rise, very close to the French word "levain") a stiff sourdough, just a piece of dough preserved day by day, I have no indication of its conservation.

Ma com'era veramente "il pane di una volta"? Probabilmente non era esattamente quello che ricordano queste persone. La memoria del gusto è a mio parere qualcosa di molto complicato e facilmente influenzabile: avete presente come sembra buona una pietanza quando si ha molta fame mentre lo è molto meno se siamo sazi? E poi il gusto cambia e può accadere che venga influenzato, anche negativamente, dai nuovi cibi. Non è difficile trovare persone ormai assuefatte da quel pane bianco, borbido e senza crosta o dal classico francesino di gomma che fanno i nostri panettieri milanesi?

But was it really "the old style bread" we are thinking about? Probably it was not exactly what these people remember. In my opinion the memory of taste is something very complicated and easily influenced by many factors: you know how everything looks good when you are very hungry but it is much less if you are full? Moreover the taste changes over the time and it can happen to be influenced by the new bad foods. It is not difficult to find people now addicted to that soft white bread without crust.

Fatto stà che la mia ricerca continua e per ora mi accontento di questo:

The fact is that my research continues and for now I'll settle with this:


Utilizzo farina di tipo 1 (buratto) e due lieviti liquidi su differenti farine. Questa volta ho fatto due pagnotte una con lievito su buratto + lievito su segale e l'altra con lievito su buratto + lievito su enkir. La pezzatura è di 1.4Kg di impasto e la pagnotta prodotta ha un diametro di 25-30 cm, la massima portata della mia pietra refrattaria e del mio forno elettrico!

I use italian type 1 flour and two liquid levain on different flours. This time I baked two loaves one with a wheat levain + rye levain and the other with wheat levain + enkir levain. The dough weighs 1.4Kg and the baked miche has a diameter of 25-30 cm, the maximum capacity of my stone and my oven!



Lavorare in ciotola con questo impasto è molto bello soprattutto grazie alla consistenza morbida della pasta (idratazione del 75%). Non tutti riescono a gestire correttamente questo tipo di pasta. Bisogna essere gentili e non stressare il glutine, il modo migliore è utilizzare un impastamento breve e delle piegature. Anche la formatura può risultare un pò difficoltosa vista la consistenza e il peso dei pezzi, mano decisa ma leggera. Poi non parliamo dell'infornamento, sono costretto ad estrarre dal forno la pietra refrattaria su cui ribaldo la pagnotta, in questa fase il margine d'errore è minimo e basta poco che combinare un disastro.

Working in a bowl with this dough is very nice especially with the soft texture of the dough (about 75% hydration). You should be gentle and do not stress the gluten network, the best way is to use a short kneading and folding. Even the shaping can be a little difficult given the texture and the weight of the pieces, firm but gentle handling. Then the baking, I have to take out of the oven the hot baking stone and flip over the loaf, at this stage the range of error is minimal and it is really easy to make a mess.

Se l'impasto è condotto bene la mollica dovrebbe essere perfettamente fermentata:

If the dough was well treated the crumb should be perfectly fermented:


Visto che ho parlato di pane paesano, cascine e forni a legna, forse è il caso di concludere rivelandovi cos'è quella struttura in mattoni che si intravede dietro la mia foto personale: il forno di Cascina Croce, un piccolo paese a due passi da casa mia, restaurato nel 2001 da ItaliaNostra sezione Milano NordOvest. Sicuramente, un giorno vi racconterò qualcosa di più su questo forno ...

Since I spoke of country miche, farms and wood fired ovens, perhaps it is appropriate to conclude revailing what is the brick structure that can be glimpsed behind my personal picture: the wood fired oven of Cascina Croce, a small town not far from my house, it was restored in 2001 by ItaliaNostra Milano NordOvest section. Surely, one day I will tell you more about this oven ...




mcs's picture

Hey there Freshloafers,
I thought I'd poke my head out of the dough and cloud of flour to update you on the bakery's progress.

A few weeks ago I noticed that we had our two year bakery anniversary.  I think it went like this:
Me:  "Last week was two years for the bakery."
Sharon:  "Really?  When?"
Me:  "I don't know, some time last week, I think."

It wasn't exactly a 'stop the mixers and break out the champagne' type of celebration, but it was pretty cool to think of the progress we've made in such a short time.  Rather than summarizing the last two years, I thought I'd let you know what's happened in the past 12 months or so.  (Here's the post I did on our opening day two years ago; This is the post I did on our first year strategy)

During the slow months last year (November through April), I continued the baking for my wholesale accounts while working to finish the construction on the upstairs of our house.  Sharon had been patiently looking at sheetrock screw heads for the past couple of years.


the loft

I also put in a new floor downstairs, which I completed just hours before our first farmers' market in the spring.

bamboo floor

The other goal during the off-season was to take my first days-off with the wife in two years.  If you missed that post, here's the link to my entry about our trip to Vancouver Island.

As far as the Baking Business goes, I continued the first year plan while making a few adjustments like:
1.  Cutting back on wholesale deliveries.  Thursdays is now my prep day which comes in awful handy now that the busy season is here.  It's now my laminating day since the place stays nice and cool without the ovens on.
2.  More special orders and special deliveries.  Last winter I used Friday as my 'home delivery' day to extend my farmers' market season a little bit longer.  I'll continue it this winter as I offer everything that I do at the market for home or workplace delivery ($10 minimum).  The new customers are very excited about this deal.
3.  DVD sales.  Last winter I started selling some baking technique DVDs, and that's definitely helped to supplement the long and slow winter.  Here's my post on them.  The next one will be on croissants.

Other than that, it seems that it's mostly business as usual.  There have been a lot of improvements as far as efficiency goes which have added up to 'a little less work making a little more product'.  I sleep in an hour later each day, but mornings are absolutely filled with baking and/or pastry prep for the busier days.  This leaves my afternoons a little more relaxed.  Funny thing, but the difference between waking up 1 hour later each day and sleeping in on Sundays is a big deal.  Ask any of the interns if they could've used an extra hour of sleep each day!  Plus sometimes we even get to eat dinner before 7.  Hey, not all the time, but every once in a while.

Anyway, that's about it.  I'll leave you with a few pictures of some of the special orders that I've worked on this past summer and spring.

Happy Baking.


mini croissants

mini croissants baked

hot cross buns

burger buns



Kingudaroad's picture

Flour, water, salt and yeast. How can this simple recipe be so hard to perfect. I have been seriously baking bread for about 8 months now and have attempted baguettes with poolish a dozen or more times. The shaping and scoring videos make it look so easy and many on this forum have absolutely mastered the art. 

Usually my loaves are very tasty and I can consistently get a very open crumb, yet the visual appeal, with the beautiful grigne and the perfect bloom from precise scoring, has certainly eluded me.

In my latest attempt, I decided to shape a bit more aggressively and make as long of a loaf as my stone would allow. I got a bit over aggressive and the actually hung off the edge of my baking stone about an inch on each side. It didn't hurt them too much besides having little legs on each side. All in all, the shaping went well. Now see if I can proof and score correctly.

I have been using a home made lame with a double edge razor blade to score, but wanted to try something new. I have a slicing knife with about a 14" blade, made for thin slicing roasts or turkey or whatever. I sharpened it with my steel and used the long blade to have a sweeping cut that hopefully would not snag. I would have to say it was my best baguette scoring yet.

This was just a basic 68% hydration recipe with a third of the flour used for the poolish. It is beginning to get easier and I am very pleased with the results.

Thanks for reading my blog.




deweytc's picture

Just thought that I would let you all know that at Thermo Works, the Thermapen is on sale at $89 and free shipping.  I have been wanting one for a long time, but did not want to pay $95-$100 and a shipping fee, making it well over $100.  I am excited about getting my new toy.


dmsnyder's picture

I have read so many bread baking books and viewed so many videos on shaping boules, but I didn't really "get it" until I saw our instructor, Miyuki, do it in the SFBI Artisan I workshop I attended a couple weeks ago.

I will attempt to show what I learned in still photos with descriptions. I hope that viewing these and then reviewing some of the excellent videos available might help others who are struggling with this technique.

Mis en place

You will need:

1. a batch of fully-fermented dough

2. a lightly floured "board" on which to work.

3. a scale, if you are dividing the dough.

4. a bench knife or other cutting implement, if you are dividing the dough

5. prepared bannetons or a couche on which to rest the formed boules for proofing





1. Weigh your dough

2. Divide it into equal pieces.

3. Pre-shape each piece gently, incorporating any small pieces of dough on the inside. 

4. Rest the pre-shaped pieces, seam side down and covered with plastic or a towel  on the board for 20-30 minutes.

5. Prepare your bannetons or couche for receiving the shaped boules.


6. After the pre-shaped pieces have rested, shape each as follows:

* Pick up the piece and turn it smooth side down.

* Gently fold the long ends together under the piece.

* Rotate the piece 90º in your hands, and fold the other two sides together.

* Place the piece on an un-floured board, smooth side up.



* Cup your hands around the piece, and gently drag it 3 inches or so towards you in such a way that the edge closest to you sticks to the board and is dragged under the dough, thus stretching the top of the piece into a tight sheath containing the dough.


Note the position of the markers before stretching

After the stretching, the marker at the apex of the boule is unmoved, but the one that was at about 40º North, is now about at the equator.

* Rotate the dough 90º and repeat. Do this 3-4 times until the bottom of the boule is relatively smooth and the whole boule has an unbroken, smooth sheath.

Note that there are no visible seams on what will be the bottom of the boule, after the procedure described.


* Place the boules in bannetons, smooth side down, spray with oil and place each banneton in a food-grade plastic bag to proof. (Alternatively, place the boules seam side down on a couch and cover with a fold of the couche, plasti-crap or a towel.)



Well, there it is. For me, being able to visualize the stretching of the "skin" of the boule between a fixed North Pole and a point on the side, using the board to "grab" the bottom of the boule as I dragged it towards me was the "aha moment." I hope it makes sense to others.

The goal (to form a tight gluten sheath) in forming other shapes is fundamentally the same, but the method is entirely different.

Comments and questions are welcome.

Happy baking!







ehanner's picture

This past year has been very interesting for me. I made learning rye breads a goal at the years end, and while I now know enough to understand it's going to take a lot longer, I'm making progress. Recently I did an experiment with scalding rye that worked out well. We have had some great threads here on the benefits of autolyse and mixing patterns. I was reminded of a post from Shiao-Ping where she  made a Gerard Rubaud bread and another one from James Macguire that utilized long cool ferment at high hydration.

One thing that these breads have in common is hydration in the area of 80% and small amounts of yeast. This combination requires longer fermenting times and allows the development of flavorful acids. When handled gently, the bread that develops is airy and moist with great color and nutty after tastes.

I decided to make a single 900 gram loaf at 80% hydration. My plan was to start with a 90/10 ratio of AP/Dark Rye so it would darken well and hold moisture better than a straight white loaf. This is a plan for a small miche (if there is such a thing). Only the basic ingredients of flour, water, salt and yeast.This was a hand mixed dough. Just a plastic scraper, wire whisk, larger bowl and my hands were used. A key element to making this dough behave like I wanted was to control the water temperature so as to end up at a desired dough temperature of 70 degrees F. The natural reaction of the water being absorbed by the flour raises the temp by around 4 degrees F. So it's important to start near 70 at the warmest. My ambient room measures at 75F along with the flour.

The formula for adjusting the variable (water) follows. 215F - room temp - flour temp -5F = Water temp. For me this looks like 215F-75 -75 -5= 60F. When everything is mixed together the dough will be at or near 70F. Prof. Calvel and James Macguire both have made a point to stress that correct dough temp is the MOST important and critical aspect of making the dough you want. You just can't treat that as idle chatter form the masters and expect greatness in your oven. I like this bread because it can be made in a single day. In fact if you start at 11 AM, you should be done by 4ish, in time for dinner. The methods employed are from the old European school. My next batch will be with only 5% dark rye

450g AP flour
50g Dark Rye flour
1/2 teaspoon Instant Dry Yeast (IDY)
10g Sea Salt
400g Water (cool)

Start by measuring the room and flour temperature and doing the calculation for the water temp. If you need to use ice to cool the water to arrive at a DDT of 70F, so be it.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and make sure the flours are well combined. Add water all at one time and stir with a spoon, switching to a scraper. This should involve no more than 2 minutes and should result in a rough mass with no dry flours in the bowl. Cover and rest for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, fold in the bowl for 8-10 repetitions rotating as you go. Alternatively, pour on the counter and fold with a scraper using double letter folds.Return to the bowl and cover.

Repeat the folding process every hour for a total of FOUR folds. That means 4 more folds after the first. When it is time for the last fold, don't fold, dust flour around the seam between the dough and the bowl and using the scraper, loosen the dough ball up so you can pour it out on a floured counter.

Brush any loose flour off the top of the dough and cover it with the bowl for about 20 minutes. Removing the bowl, pull the edges up to the center around the dough to tighten the lower surface and roll the ball over to the seamed side down. Prepare a linen lined basket with flour rubbed into the fabric and lightly dust the top of the dough. Roll the dough into your hands and place it into the basket seems up. Cover with a towel and proof for around 45 minutes. The dough will have become light and puffy and will test with the finger poke test.

Pre heat the oven to 450F when the dough goes into the basket using a stone and steam producer.

Load dough when it is ready and steam normally for 15 minutes. LOWER oven temp to 350F after the 15 minutes and start checking for done around 45 minutes total bake time. The idea is to bake the interior more slowly and not to over do it with color.

I left the loaf in the oven with the heat off and door ajar for another 5 minutes to help draw the moisture out. Remember it was an 80% hydrated mix. Cool and enjoy.


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Almond Milk Bread with Dried Cherries

This recipe was inspired by a friend who gave me some dried cherries to bake something with, my recent success with brioche, and a box of unsweetened almond milk that just doesn’t taste very good to drink straight…


1000g Bread flour (Gold Medal)

600g Liquid (3 eggs + almond milk to make up amount)

200g Liquid levain (100% hydration storage starter from fridge)

150g Granulated sugar

150g Slivered almonds

230g Dried cherries

100g Unsalted butter

20g Kosher salt

10g Instant Yeast (3 tsp)

2 tsp Vanilla extract


2460g Total Dough Yield


Digital scale

Large stainless steel mixing bowl about 15L size

Rubber spatula or wooden spoon

Plastic dough scraper

Bowl of water

Large plastic bag

Plastic tub with cover (4L or larger)

3 loaf pans 9” x 5” loaf pans

Large plastic bag

Baking stone (large rectangular)

Egg+ water for egg wash

Butter for greasing plastic tub and pans



Weigh out all ingredients, cut butter in to small cubes, butter plastic tub, toast almond slivers in a pan and let cool.

7:45pm – Place eggs, almond milk, vanilla extract in large mixing bowl.  Then add the bread flour, granulated sugar, Kosher salt, instant yeast.  Mix well using rubber spatula until a shaggy dough comes together.  Knead in bowl using slap and fold method for about 5 minutes.  Then add all the butter and continue kneading using slap and fold method for another 5 minutes.   Then add almond slivers and dried cherries.  Transfer to buttered plastic tub and let rise for  2 to 2 1/2 hrs or until doubled. Turn dough every 30 minutes.  (I put it in the fridge for 1 hour due to scheduling of another bake).

9:30pm – Place plastic tub in fridge for 1 hr if necessary due to scheduling.

10:30pm – Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, divide into 3 equal pieces (800g approx).  Shape into loaf, place in buttered loaf pan. Place all pans in large plastic bag, cover and proof for 90 minutes.

11:00pm – Place baking stone on 2nd rack from bottom, preheat oven with convection to 400F.

12:00am – Brush loaves with egg wash made from 1 egg and a little water.  Turn convection off, place loaves into oven, turn down to 380F and bake for 40 minutes or until internal temp reaches 190F or more.  Cool completely before eating.



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