The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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huggy3kp's picture

Can anyone help me? I need the Flax Seed Wheat Bread Recipe in US Weight & Measures, I would be so Happy if someone can helpppppppppppp me.!

cmckinley's picture

I have been considering buying a flour mill does anybody have any suggestions on which on is the best to buy for a home baker?  I don't have too much money to spend.  

mountaindog's picture

It's been quite a long time since I've actively participated on this forum, but I have the flu this week and am cooped up inside with plenty of time to bake and web surf, so thought I'd provide an update on how I think I've improved on some of my old sourdough techniques, as well as show some fun results with brioche.

French Fold on Sourdough

After all these years, I still find that my favorite sourdough formulas are either the Columbia or the Thom Leonard boules from Glezer's Artisan Baking. I always return to them over again, and often make some of each in a given week, as they have some different qualities that I like in both.

I've posted the formulas for these breads here a few years ago, but I've since changed my methods a bit. For quite a long time, over a year, I abandoned my KitchenAid Pro 600 stand mixer and started using the no-knead technique as many here have used, extending the bulk fermentation to overnight at room temp, and giving 3 good stretch-and-folds the first 90 minutes into the first bulk ferment before going to bed at night. That sure made things easy, and I was able to fit it into my busy summer schedule especially, but it didn't quite give me the open and flavorful crumb I really wanted. I think the dough just wasn't getting quite developed enough via that method.

I don't think my dough hook on my stand mixer, however, was really doing such a great job developing the gluten as well, so recently I began really studying the French Fold in more detail, and I really find Richard Bertinet's video extremely helpful for this, thanks to people on this site pointing me there when I lurked earlier this Fall. To make my sourdough I now continue to do it all by hand, relatively quickly, with really superior results to what I got before using no-knead or even stand mixer.

Here's my long-ferment adaptation of the Columbia Sourdough from Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking:

Makes two 44-ounce (1250 g) round boules or four 22-oz batards (original recipe doubled)
Time: about 36 hrs. with 20 minutes of active work

This method works well if you are busy with work during the week and don't want to be baking all day Saturday either. I begin this process on Friday Morning. Once you get comfortable with it, you could even begin it Thurs. evening and make the final dough before work on Friday morning, letting it rise while at work and shaping as soon as you get home.

Approx. 30 hours before baking (e.g. Fri. Morning) make the Levain as follows:
90 g ( 2 oz) fermented white/wheat-flour sourdough starter refreshed 8-12 hrs before (I use a batter-like starter made with equal weights water to flour, not a firm starter.)
140 g (6.6 oz) lukewarm water
320 g (10.6 oz) unbleached all-purpose or bread flour

Dissolve starter in the water, then add flour and knead this stiff dough until smooth. Place in covered container and ferment at room temp (@70F) until doubled, 8-12 hrs.

That evening (e.g. Fri. Evening) make the final dough as follows:
1200 g (42.4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
110 g (3.8 oz) whole-wheat flour, finely ground
30 g (1 oz) whole-rye flour, finely ground
40 g (1.4 oz) toasted wheat germ
40 g (1.4 oz) non-diastatic barley malt syrup (This is sold in most supermarkets or where home-beer-brewing supplies are sold.)
970 g (34 oz) warm water
all the fermented levain you made the night before (550 g or 23.2 oz)
32 g (1 oz) fine sea salt

Mix By hand: combine all 3 flours, wheat germ, and salt in large bowl, and mix thoroughly with rubber spatula or mixing spoon until all dry ingredients are perfectly distributed. Measure the warm water first and while it's sitting in a container on your scale, use a clean tablespoon to scoop a little syrup at a time into the water until the correct weight (40g) is added to the water. If you accidentally spoon in too much, just scoop a little syrup out of the water before it dissolves, stir well to dissolve. Pour the malted water over the ripe levain and mix well until dissolved, then pour the water/levain liquid over the flour mixture and mix with spoon, dough whisk, or hands until just combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest 1 hour at room temp. (@60-70F).

So, my dough handling method now is:

1) mix all dry ingredients together in large mixing bowl: flours, salt

2) add water to the ripe levain to dissolve and mix in its own bowl

3) add watered levain to flours in large mixing bowl and mix until well-combined by hand with my trusty King Arthur dough whisk (or use spoon or hands).

4) cover bowl and let rest for 1 hour.

5) tip rested dough onto clean counter (no flour, no oil, no water) and begin the French fold a la Bertinet. I do this for at least 5 minutes before giving it a rest, scraping the dough together with a bench scraper, and continuing for another 5 minutes. It is amazing how well this works even for very wet doughs. The first minute or so, it is tough, you feel the dough tighten and not stretch yet still be sticky and you're ready to give up, but keep at it and all of the sudden, the dough starts to stretch while simultaneously becoming less sticky, you can really feel it change. By the second 5 minute stretch, it really starts to look like in the video andd tightens up really nicely, leaving almost nothing sticking to the counter.

6) After 10 min. of the French fold, place dough ball into lightly oiled container and cover, let rest 30 minutes, and then do a regular gentle stretch and letter fold after 30 minutes. Repeat this rest and stretch-fold 1 more time, then let dough bulk ferment overnight in cool location (50F-60F) until a little more than doubled in bulk.

7) Next morning, shape dough into loaves as desired and let rise until doubled again, around 4-5 hours in my chilly 60-65F house. Bake as usual.

This total 10 min. French fold develops the gluen just as well as traditional hand kneading with added flour for 15-20 min. and I think works better than my stand mixer ever did. The benefits are less time kneading, no added flour to toughen up the dough, but better gluten development, and easier to work with large batches that don't fit in my stand mixer anyhow.

The Thom Leonard boule (above) crumb from the French Fold. This was a wet dough and I had not yet studied David Snyder's scoring video when I baked these. After seeing David's scoring tips, my Comunbia batards (below) turned out with better ears, even though those were also wet doughs. (Oops, my batard shaping still needs practice as I left a "baker's cave" in there).

FYI - my adaptation of the Thom Leonard boule (also from Glezer's Artisan Baking) is the same mehod as above for Columbia, just different formula and quanitity of dough, as follows:
Makes one 4 lb. (1.8 kilo) large boule or two 2 lb boules.
Time: about 36 hrs. with 20 minutes of active work

The evening before baking make the Levain as follows:
45 g (1 oz) fermented white/wheat-flour sourdough starter refreshed 8-12 hrs before (I use a batter-like starter made with equal weights water to flour, not a firm starter. If you are using a rye-flour starter, substitute the 30 g of the rye flour in the final dough with more white AP flour.)
120 g (3.3 oz) lukewarm water
140 g (5.3 oz) unbleached all-purpose or bread flour

Dissolve starter in the water in a small bowl, then add flour and beat this batter-like dough until very smooth. Place in covered container and ferment at room temp (@70F) until doubled, 8-12 hrs.

Next day make the final dough as follows:
250 g (8.8 oz) Whole Wheat Flour (If you like your bread a little darker add up to 350 g whole wheat here and use less white flour below.)
30 g (1 oz) whole-rye flour, finely ground (If using a rye-flour starter in the levain rather than wheat, substitute the rye flour here with 30 g more white AP flour.)
850 g (29.9 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
780 g (27.5 oz) warm water
all the fermented levain you made the night before (305 g or 10.6 oz)
23 g (0.8 oz) fine sea salt or course Celtic Grey Sea Salt


Brioches a Tete

Since my husband's family are visiting here from France this winter, I decided to make some brioche, which I have't done in a long time, using some lovely non-stick molds they brought me from France. I made Peter Reinhart's Rich Man's Brioche from the BBA, and I also used Bertinet's French Fold method to mix and knead the dough, but this dough was really too wet and full of butter to do this properly (really like a cake batter), still, I persisted, and it eventually did come together a bit, and turned out nice and light, despite having a fine-textured crumb. I think next time I will try Peter's middle-class brioche, which has about half the butter. This version here was heavenly with a good cup of coffee on a cold snowy winter morning though  :-)

dmsnyder's picture

I made cinnamon rolls for the second time today. I used the recipe from SusanFNP's "Wild Yeast" blog, a wonderful site for bakers. The recipe is adapted from Michael Suas, with whom Susan has taken classes at the San Francisco Baking Institute, I believe. The link to Susan's recipe is:

I modified the filling by using a "only add water" cinnamon bread/roll shmear from KAF and added some plumped up raisins and lightly toasted, coarsely chopped pecans.

The rolls were a pleasure to make. Susan's instructions are always so good. I'm sure these rolls would be a delight to any cinnamon roll lovers. Sad to say, I've decided I just don't like pastries this sweet. 



I must return to my quest for the Cheese Pockets of my Dreams.


Addendum (1/12/09): This recipe makes 16 rolls, which is a lot. In "Baking with Julia," the recipe for sticky buns says you can freeze the dough right after rolling it up, i.e., before cutting the rolls and proofing them. So, I divided my dough into two parts, filled and rolled up both, baked one and froze the other. Good to know. I'll probably not bake the frozen roll for at least a week. I'll let you all know how those turn out.


dmsnyder's picture

I haven't blogged about this bread for a while. We have lots of new members, and they should be aware of this wonderful bread. The recipe is in Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread." Like Poilâne's Miche, it is an attempt to replicate the bread of the common folk in the 17th and 18th century in France and Quebec. A "Miche" is a very large boule. This recipe makes 3.6 lbs of dough.

This is a pain au levain made with 100% high extraction flour. I used the first clear flour that Norm got in December and shared with some of us. This flour is more finely milled than KAF's First Clear. It is slightly gray in color and acts like a high-gluten flour.

This dough is higher in hydration than Reinhart's Miche in BBA. It is quite slack. It makes a very moist and open crumb. The taste is wonderful and gets better for several days after baking. The bread stays moist for nearly a week. 

Miche, Pointe-à-Callière

Miche, Pointe-à-Callière Crumb


SylviaH's picture

This is my first attempt at Howard's formula for Petiti Pain/Check out holds99's Blog for Bernard Clayton's S.S France Petite Pain - Revisited and Revised ....Thank you so much Howard for posting the recipe and especially for adding a poolish to it!!  These are just out of the oven and hot!  Sorry no crumb post!  They smell deliteful.  I placed these on parchment and put them on a preheated stone under a cover and steamed.  I overproofed them a little to much....they deflated a little when I sliced them!  I know you warned me...Howard!  We will enjoy these Sunday!

SylviaH's picture

This is another recipe from Beth Hensperger...This bread is intoxicating!  I love it and I can't believe how wonderful light and airy it is with a crisp to the thin crust...I baked it under cover for 30 min. steamed it about 5 seconds, uncovered and baked another 20 min...registered 200 done!

I had everyting except the fennel seeds...darn!...couldn't keep my nose from smelling the cooling chocolate, caraway sent!...I thought the taste was very good....I can just imagine it with a poolish!!  This was actually set on a dough cycle last nite in my bread machine!  It finished at about 10AM this morning mixing and first rise of the dough!  Shaped it and put it into my pre-heated 400 oven..turned down to 350 and placed on a hot stone.  There is a very similar recipe given  on-line under Russian Black Bread my Beth Hensperger.

Thought I might as well give this one a try...since I was going to heat up my oven to make rolls that Howard had just listed recently...I'll post them a little later today.


My X on top was rather blown away...prep. for dinner while it cooled!

Crumb is light and airy with a thin crispy crust.

Crumb shot! There is Wheat Bran, Medium Rye Flour, Bread Flour, Caraway seed, Chocolate, and I used Robust Molasses and Expresso Powder.





PMcCool's picture

We had invited friends for brunch the weekend after New Year's day and I had already decided to make zolablue's cinnamon rolls.  It seemed, though, that something else would be good to have with the quiches that my wife was making; something not quite so sweet as the cinnamon rolls (which were fabulous, by the way).  It occurred to me that a croissant's buttery, flaky lightness would be a perfect accompaniment for the richness of the quiche.  There was one minor problem: I'd never made a croissant in my life.

The first step: search TFL for threads dealing with croissants.  I found two things that proved to be very helpful.  The first was a formula for Bertinet's croissants, posted by dolfs.  The second was a link to SteveB's Breadcetera site, which included some very helpful videos and other instructions for croissants.  Armed with this information, I decided to forge ahead.  If the croissants turned out well, I would serve them to my guests; if they turned out badly, my guests would never hear about them but my wife and I would have some very tasty french toast.

The next step was to assemble all of the ingredients and start building the dough.  I'll spare you all of the process steps; Dolf and Steve have done an excellent job of documenting those, which you can read by clicking on the links, above.  My laminated dough skills, being essentially non-existent, caused a couple of butter breakouts during the turning and rolling steps.  Happily (for me, anyway), the end product didn't seem to have suffered as a result; although M. Bertinet may not have wanted his name attached to them.

I was grateful to have a largish island on which to roll out the final dough before cutting the croissants.  A 3-foot long strip of dough is much longer in reality than it would seem to be in concept.  While I suspect that I may not have rolled the dough as thinly as a professional baker would have, I did get 14 croissants out of it, plus a couple of smaller scraps from the ends (which served well for QA testing).  

Here's a picture of the shaped croissants during their final rise, after shaping:

Shaped croissants

By this point, I could already tell that they would taste wonderful.  All I needed to do was bake them successfully.  Here's how they looked after coming out of the oven:

Baked croissants

I could probably have left them in the oven another couple of minutes for additional browning, but I was very skittish about burning them after having gotten them this far.  (By the way, Dolf, thanks for including the tip on applying the egg wash.)  Turns out they were fully baked and absolutely delicious, as confirmed by our QA samples.  Lots of tender, buttery, flaky goodness.  

So, our guests did get croissants to go with the quiche, although the cinnamon rolls were probably the bigger hit of the party.  

As good as they are, these will probably remain on my "special occasion" baking list.  For one thing, there's almost a tablespoon of butter in every single one of them.  For another, they require significantly more effort for the yield than a similar quantity of dinner rolls.  Still, after a bite of one warm from the oven with a dab of marmalade, I know I'll be making them again.


KAF bakers's picture
KAF bakers

Thanks for all your mentions of King Arthur Flour. And all the mentions of our blog.  Joan @ KAF 

holds99's picture



In the recent past a number of TFL bakers have asked me for the recipe for Bernard Clayton’s S.S. France Petite Pain rolls. I sent the recipe to all who requested. The requests got me to thinking. Mr. Clayton’s rolls are baked using the direct method, using only yeast for leavening. Recently I began thinking how this recipe might be improved, or at least made differently, with the addition of a poolish. With that in mind I began experimenting and testing the recipe and have come up with what I believe are rolls with a somewhat better flavor than a direct method baking.  The added flavor is, I believe, a result of using an overnight starter (poolish). Above are some photos and below is the recipe for anyone who may be interested in what I believe are really good breakfast or dinner rolls.

Note: This recipe can be halved.



Petite Pain – Howard’s Formula

Starter Dough Mixture (Poolish)Ingredients

Unbleached all-purpose flour………………………………………………… 10.4 ounces
Instant yeast………………………………………………………………………….... 1/4 teaspoon
Malt powder (optional)…………………………………………………………..... 2 teaspoons
Water, at room temperature (70-90 deg. F.)…………….…..... 8 ounces

Total Starter Dough Mixture……………………………….. 18.8 ounces

Six hours or up to 2 days ahead, make the starter dough (poolish). In a medium bowl or 2 quart plastic container, combine all the ingredients for the poolish and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon for 3 to 5 minutes or until it is smooth and comes away from the side of the bowl/container. It will be slightly sticky to the touch.

Cover the bowl/container tightly with a lid or oiled plastic wrap (or place the poolish in a 2 quart food storage container with a lid) and set it aside until tripled in volume and filled with bubbles. Note: when the poolish has reached its peak there should be lines and creases on the surface and the mixture should be bubbly/foamy-like and it should be beginning to fall back on itself but not collapsing entirely. At room temperature, this will take about 6 hours. Note: After 3 hours the poolish can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

If refrigerated, remove it to room temperature for 1 hour before mixing the final dough.

To proceed with the rolls add the water from the Final Dough Mixture (below) to the poolish container, stir it down and proceed with mixing the Final Dough per the instructions below.

Final Dough Mixture Ingredients

Unbleached all-purpose flour………………………………………………… 25.0 ounces
Instant yeast………………………………………………………………………....….. 1 teaspoon
Salt……………………………………………………………………………………….......… 2 teaspoons
Water, at room temperature (70-90 deg. F.)………………….. 16 ounces
Poolish (from above)……………………………………………….……………….18.8 ounces

Total Final Dough Mixture……………………….......…….. 65.36 ounces

Mix the Final Dough.

In the mixer bowl (I use a KitchenAid), whisk together the flour and yeast. Then whisk in the salt (this keeps the yeast from coming into direct contact with the salt, which could affect the yeast’s leavening properties). If you haven’t done so, add the Final Dough water to the container with the poolish and loosen the poolish from the container with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, loosely mixing it with the water.

Add the water/poolish mixture to the mixing bowl. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for a couple of minutes (#1 speed if using a KitchenAid) adding the flour/yeast/salt mixture ½ cup at a time, until the flour is moistened into a shaggy mass. Turn off the mixer and cover the top of the mixer bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow dough to autolyse (rest) for 20-30 minutes.

Remove the film/towel and turn the mixer on to speed #2 and continue for about 5 minutes until it starts to develop gluten has strands. After 5 minutes increase the speed to # 6 for about 30-60 seconds, or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer bowl. If the dough hasn’t pulled away after about a minute, scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on medium-high (#6 Kitchen Aid) for another 2 minutes. If it still doesn’t pull away from the bowl, beat in a little flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, on low speed (#2 KitchenAid). The dough should cling to your fingers when touched.

Let the dough rise.
Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrape the dough from the paddle and container into a 4 quart food storage container, light oiled with cooking spray or oil. (The Final Dough will weigh 65.3 ounces and be 62.5% hydration) Push down the dough and lightly spray or oil the top with cooking oil. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. With a piece of tape, mark the side of the container at approximately where triple the height of the dough would be. Allow the dough to rise (ideally at 75 deg. F) until tripled in volume, 1 ¼ to 2 hours.

Note: At 20 minute intervals, during the first hour of bulk fermentation, empty the dough onto a slightly wet work surface (not floured but lightly misted with water) and stretch the dough, folding it into thirds, like a business letter.  Turn it a quarter turn and fold it into thirds again. Then place it back into the container seam side down.

Do a total of 3 stretch and folds at 20 minute intervals during the first hour of bulk fermentation.

Divide and shape the dough and let it rise.
Distribute a moderate amount of flour onto your work surface in a square 16” X 16”. Using an oiled spatula, gently scrape the dough onto the floured work surface. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour. Handle the dough gently at all times to maintain as much gas in the dough as possible. Using a sharp knife or the edge of a dough scraper and a kitchen scale, divide the dough into 4 ounce pieces. You should end up with approximately 16 pieces of dough, each weighing 4 ounces.

Divide the remaining piece of dough (1.3 ounces) into a half dozen, or so, pieces and spread it around, randomly adding a piece of it to the 4 ounce dough pieces. Shape the 4 ounce dough pieces into rolls, using the dry edge of the work surface to get traction in shaping.

Place the rolls on a parchment lined baking pan, cover your rolls lightly with a cloth, plastic wrap, sprayed with cooking oil (to keep it from sticking to the dough), or, as I do, with a rectangular plastic bin large enough to accommodate your baking pans. Let the rolls rise in a warm spot until doubled in volume, 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Use a floured finger to test the rolls to check for spring back.
Do not let them over proof.
Score the tops of each roll with 2 quick slashes made at a 90 degree angle and place them into a preheated 475 degree oven.
Add a cup of water to a preheated pan or skillet to product a large burst of steam.
After 5 minutes reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning the pans around midway through the baking cycle.
The internal temperature of the rolls, when done, should be 205-210 deg. F.


Bobs Red Mill Flour – unbleached, unbromated
KAF instant yeast
Sea salt
KitchenAid Mixer and 5 minutes of hand mixing (Richard Bertinet's slap and fold method) 
3 stretch and folds at 20 minute intervals


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