The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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ehanner's picture

A few weeks ago I saw a post with a reference to a Honey Lemon Whole Wheat loaf. As I recall a couple posters had commented that this bread was high on the best breads list for them. A fellow I have high regard for (PMcCool), suggested I would like it, so I decided to give it a spin.

The original recipe is from Bernard Clayton. One of the things Clayton does in this and other recipes I have made is to use very warm water for the mix along with a short primary ferment time and then an overnight chilled proof. Since the dough starts off life warm, it does rise fully while in the refrigerator. I suspect this also helps develop a better flavor. Another component of the flavor being the grated lemon rind, I suspect is enhanced by the warm water helping release the oils of the fruit.

The crumb is about what you would expect from a 40% Whole Wheat mix. The dough and later the bread has a very unusual and surprising aroma with the Lemon. This is an aromatic bread of the highest order. Paul said he liked the way the lemon plays off the WW and I think that's a good description of what I sence. So grab a copy of Claytons book and give this a try.


Marni's picture

I bake bread at least twice a week plus the cookies and quick breads that are the treats around here, but I just haven't had the time to post.  That combined with the fact that most of my bread baking is about getting sandwiches made that my kids will eat!  Panned loaves didn't seem interesting enough for me to keep track of, but hey, I'm baking like crazy and sometimes I like to look back and see the results of all the work.  Too bad I didn't get a shot of the eight loaves of challah last week.

So, I made this last week - It's called Clay's Sourdough Multigrain off the King Arthur site.  I rarely follow recipes exactly, this one called for wheat bran and I used wheat germ, also I subbed spelt for one of the flours.   I used Bob's Red Mill 8 Grain cereal for the grain mix.  It didn't  rise a lot, (the recipe said it wouldn't) but it was light and had a wonderful, developed flavor.  But- my kids won't touch it- it has "things" in it.Clay's Sourdough Multigrain

Because most of my bread baking is  sandwich bread, I try to find something different, just to make it more interesting for me.  I think my kids would eat the same bread every day.  This next bake is "Our Favorite Sandwich Bread" also from the KAF site.

Again I changed a few things.  My changes:  I doubled it, I used rice milk for the milk, I subbed Earth Balance margerine for the butter (and used a bit less) and I made it with half white whole wheat.  It needed close to 1/2c more rice milk to get the right consistency.

It rose beautifully and then took off again in the oven.  I haven't tasted it, but it smells great and made nice PB&J sandwiches this morning. I think it's a kid pleaser.  Straight bread, easy to make too.

KAF sandwich loaves


crumb shot


trailrunner's picture

I haven't been taking pics lately but have been baking as usual. Wanted to thank David and also document how wonderful this formula is. I have a starter , thanks to Gaarp, that doubles in one hour. I take it out of the fridge 1x a week and feed it q 12h for a total of 2 times and it is fantastic. I also have a rye starter and a bowl of "discard". The San Joaquin is great. Here are pics. Perfect sour for us as we are not wild about lots of sour. I have found that my starter is very happy in the fridge. At least it works for me.

I will pass along one tip that we discovered along the way. We make a lot of breads from Il Fornaio, a great Italian Bread Book. I have stopped making preferment, biga, poolish....I only use my works wonders. Believe it or not. The bread rises and has the most wonderful complex sweetness. My discard is a blend of both of my starters...rye and white ( alto and sax) and they are both 100% hydration. Try it. Take out the required amount of your discard and sub it for your biga/preferment/poolish...what a treat.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

discard as "biga"


xaipete's picture

Baker Beware!

I'm making a blog entry to document my experience with Leader's Corn-Rye Rounds from Local Breads. The recipe was simple enough and the little rounds seemed to turn out as described by the recipe, but they tasted just awful. I was so disappointed that I didn't even take a picture of these little round rock-like things with a very odd and inharmonious taste of corn and rye. I threw them all in the trash.


rcornwall's picture

I have finally developed a great formula for a naturally leavened sourdough. They are slow rising, but they come up very nicely. The problem is that when I slash them, they deflate. I tried to make a more shallow slash, but then I don't get a nice looking slash after final baking. Maybe I am proofing too long I guess, but I don;t get the nice open holed texture I like if I don't proof it to that point. I am using a very sharp lame each time so I know that isnt the problem either. Any ideas?


LindyD's picture

"Cheese Bread" is a rather drab description of this strongly flavored bread, so I decided to give it the name of the cheese I used.  

The overall formula (which includes a stiff levain) is:

Bread flour - 100%

Water - 60%

Olive oil -  5%

Salt -  1.5%

Yeast -  1% (or half that amount if you plan to retard the bread overnight)

Parmesan cheese -  20%

Half the cheese is cubed and half grated, then added to the dough after it has been mixed to moderate gluten development.

I was unable to retard the dough overnight because of lack of refrigerator space.  

The bread was wonderful lightly toasted and served with a breakfast egg.  It would be a terrific accompaniment with spaghetti, as well as broiled with a bit of garlic, olive oil, sliced tomatoes, and maybe a dash of fresh mozzarella.  

Am betting it will also make excellent croutons and bread crumbs.

This is a great recipe for a special occasion and the quality of the cheese you use will have a major effect on the result.  

Only one caveat:  it will make one very lousy PB&J!

Jw's picture

A few weeks ago I asked around at TFL if I could freeze my starter. Thanks for the all the tips: I turned half of the starter into ice cubes, left the other half in the fridge. The result: the icecubed starter needed some awakening (feeding for 2-3 days). It has a stronger taste then the starter I put in the fridge. Both as still very useable.

A first result with the icecubed yeast: spelt-honey-SF style (and extra honey on top). It all looks a bit pale, but that is not yeast related. Great sauer taste, a bit stronger that the mother-starter (which just needs more time to get tastier, eg. overnight).

A first result with the started I saved in the fridge, with 'line seed'? Flax?. Saved in a typical breadbox.

On this SF style bread you don't need any butter, just this 'stroop' (like solid apple syrup).

We have been away on a holiday to Sweden. No need to bake bread there... Look up baker Flink when you make it to Enkoping. Great bread.

Greatest surprise when we got to our cottage: it had a real wooden oven in the garden.
No time for that during the holiday. If you ever need a baking vacation!

That's what I would call happy baking!



Mebake's picture

Being a new member in this cool informative site, i would like to share my newest attempt to bake a Mild Rye loaf (50% AP). Pictures attached will do the talking. However, the crumb was gilatinous and rubbery, beacuse the dough was very hydrated. The end result, had a bland taste rubbery crumb, though airy and somewhat spongy. I'll reduce hydration next time.

I don't have any vital gluten, so i kneaded the dough in runnung water to get rid of some starch.

Iam learning as i go..


dmsnyder's picture

I made another batch of the baguettes described previously in

The only significant changes in the procedure were:1) I did not add the salt until after a 50 minute autolyse, 2) I was more meticulous in gently pre-shaping and shaping and 3) I let the loaves proof more fully. 4) I also poured about twice as much water over the pre-heated lava rocks to steam the oven.

Well, there's good news and bad news: The bad news is that I seem to have over-proofed the baguettes a bit, resulting in my scoring not opening up real well. The good news is, first, the flavor of this batch is equal to the first. I'm ready to conclude this recipe is reproducible in my hands. Second, the crumb is significantly more open. And third, I have finally achieved the crackley (rather than crunchy) crust I have been seeking on my baguettes! I am really delighted.

The crust is thin and it sang loudly for a long time while cooling. Cracks developed in the crust. It breaks off in thin, sharp-edged flakes when you bite it! Woo Hoo! I am pretty sure the cause was the extra steam created by the combination of lava rocks and extra water.

Now, I have to test the steaming enhancement with other baguette formulas.


jj1109's picture

Firstly, thanks to those who welcomed me to TFL!

Recently, I inherited some rather large loaf tins - 12" x 5". At the time, the person that passed them on said "I wouldn't even bother using them, I just can't get a loaf baked in the middle!" to which I scoffed a little. Hah! I am quite the baker now! I won't have those problems!

Now, these tins look big. You could drop the Grand Canyon in one of them. Well, compared to the cute little 9x5, that is. And I now have four. What to bake first?

Ah, my old favourite, Multigrain Extraorinaire, from BBA. with some minor tweaks - formula below. I cut the sugar in the recipe in half, as for my taste the original amount makes almost a sweet dessert bread. I also increased the flour - this is probably more due to my flour compared to someone elses, however I did increase it by almost 10% which seems quite a lot just to account to regional differences.

I've made this recipe a number of times - it's my standard loaf, I make one or two every weekend. So it was no big deal making the dough, shape it, dump into the new tin. Pause. I've done something wrong here, the loaf looks like a little sausage in the bottom of this tin. It must just be perspective, this being a big tin and all... leave to rise - not as much rising as I'd expect. What's wrong? Ah, I split the dough (as always) into two one pounders. This is a huge tin! I won't post the photo of the final result - it was a relatively flat loaf, and extremely embarassing!

Here's the formula I used for to make two one pound loaves (as posted in another thread, based on Multigrain Extraordinaire in BBA):

Final dough (amount ingredient / bakers %)

449g Bread Flour / 100%
105g multigrain soaker / 23.5% (below)
26g brown rice / 5.9%
18g brown sugar / 4.1%
10g salt / 2.2%
9g yeast / 1.9%
105g buttermilk / 23.5%
26g honey / 5.9%
158g water / 35.3%

Multigrain soaker: (amount ingredient / bakers %)

25g polenta / 50%
19g rolled oats / 37.5%
12g wheat bran / 25%
50g water / 100%

which works really nicely.

However, every time I scaled it up to make one three pound loaf, I would get big holes in the middle. Insufficient mixing, not enough gluten development? Not enough cooking time? I'm not sure. Anyhow, I thought this weekend, "I will make this big loaf one more time and if it doesn't work, it's back to nice easy small loaves." To be sure of the gluten part, after I used my dough hook for 6 minutes, I then did 3 stretch'n'folds in the course of an hour, then left it to rise to double. Shaped, left to rise again and baked at 190C (~375F) for around 30-40 minutes.




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