The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


JMonkey's picture

Desem bread is a favorite of mine, in no small part because I can only make it in the winter. But it's also beloved because it was one of the first sourdoughs I ever made, and because it comes from The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book, a book that, though it is not without its flaws, is still a book that I love dearly and continue to bake from several times a month.

Desem is essentially a 100% whole grain pain au levain, done in the old French way for customers who did not like their bread sour. To keep the acid notes to a minimum, bakers kept their starters firm and chilled, both of which are the key to making this loaf. Laurel Robertson recommends making your starter by placing a dough ball in a bin of 10 lbs of flour at about 50 degrees F, and then feeding it once a day for a week or so. I've done it that way, but I've found it's not really necessary. If you've already got a starter, just feed it with whole wheat at 50% hydration (thereabouts) and store it in a place where the temperature stays in the 40s or 50s. Ideally, you want the starter at about 50 degrees F. Feed it a couple of times that way at that temp, and you should be ready to go. This is why Desem remains a winter bread for me, because only then can I rely on my garage to remain within that temperature range.

The result is a lovely loaf. Just a little bit sour, with a creamy texture and a nutty, sightly sweet flavor. It's hearty but, though it doesn't typically have the big holes one usually associates with a lean hearth loaf, it's not a dense bread. Tonight, we ate it with a corn chowder,  a dish of which I'm certain Laurel Robertson would not approve, since it's made with chicken stock and a half pound of bacon. I have to say, though, they made fine dinner companions. It will also make tasty sandwiches tomorrow, I'm sure.

Here's what the loaf looked like out of the oven:

And here's what the insides look like:

Finally, here's how I made it.


  • Whole wheat flour: 100%
  • Water: 70%
  • Salt: 2%
  • Starter: 30% of the flour is in the starter at 50% hydration.


  • Whole wheat starter at 50% hydration: 225 grams
  • Water: 275 grams
  • Salt: 10 grams
  • Whole wheat flour: 350 grams

Combine the starter and the water, and mash them up together until it's nice and mushy. Add the salt and then add the flour. Stir until it comes together into a mass. I use fresh flour, because I'm one of those nuts with a grinder and a half-dozen 5-gallon buckets full of grain in his garage. If you're not (and your partner or spouse probably thanks you for it) you'll be using store-bought whole wheat flour, which is dryer, so you may want to add some more water, maybe as much as 50 grams. The dough should be shaggy and soft, but not quite sticky.

At this point, I like to let the dough sit for 10 to 20 minutes. I often time this by how long it takes to make a pot of oatmeal or a batch of pancakes, because I usually start making this bread while I'm preparing breakfast. Once the dough has sat for long enough, I knead for 3-4 minutes, let it rest for another 5 minutes or so, and then knead again for another couple of minutes. At this point, it should be done. I love and respect Laurel Robertson to high heaven, but there's really no need to do 300 strokes. Unless you enjoy that kind of thing, of course, which,  I'll admit, I sometimes do.

I try to get the dough temperature to about 70-75 degrees F if I'm thinking about it. Jeffrey Hammelman has a good trick for this. Measure the temperature of the starter with an instant read thermometer, then measure the temperature of the flour (since mine's coming right out of the grinder, it's usually close to 100 degrees!). To know how hot the water needs to be, Multiply the desired dough temperature by 3, then subtract the starter and flour temperatures. Voila! But, to be honest, I usually just guesstimate. In my kitchen, the starter's cold and the flour's pretty warm, so if the water feels lukewarm or just an eesny-weensy bit warm, I figure it's good enough. I'm not making a microchip, after all.

It usually takes about 4 hours to rise, but in the winter, my house is usually pretty chilly. It could take three hours if you keep your home at 68 or 70 degrees. Then, I shape  the loaf and proof it for two hours in a cooler with the bread on an upturned cereal bowl and a cup or two of hot water thrown into the bottom. I like to bake mine in a covered clay baker at 450 F for 35 minutes with the cover on and 10 minutes with it off. If you're using a baking stone or a cookie sheet, try 450 for 35-40 minutes. Steaming the oven is also nice, if your oven steams well and you don't mind the risk of  damaging or ruining your appliance (ask me how I know there's a risk). Let it cool on a rack for about an hour before slicing.

varda's picture

Sometimes good things are right in front of you, or a bit off to the right under "Also on the Fresh Loaf."   The other day I was nosing around, when I clicked through an image that had intrigued me for awhile, and discovered JMonkey's version of a desem whole wheat loaf.   Reading through it, it all seemed so simple, even though Desem has lurked in my brain as something very strange and mysterious.    So I took a dab of my ordinary white starter and built it up over three feedings with fresh milled whole wheat, at low hydration, and matured in a cool but not cold environment.    Then made a loaf, roughly following JMonkey's numbers, but not his times (I followed the dough's times which were different.)    As I have no cloche, I baked for the first time in a year or more in my dutch oven.    I find it difficult to get the dough in the DO gently enough, and manhandled it a bit in the process (just like JMonkey apparently.)   Since I was never able to manage a preheated DO without burning myself, this time I placed the dough into an unheated DO and then into a preheated oven.  

The aroma of the dough while fermenting was strong yet strangely sweet and very pleasant.   The finished loaf didn't come out looking anything like JMonkey's and of course I have no idea if I captured his taste either.   

I will say that this bread makes for very hearty eating.   I just had a slice, and don't know if I'll have room for dinner.   The bread itself is almost overwhelmingly whole wheaty to my taste, but seems very much the staff of life.  

I know, particularly in light of Eric's untimely passing,  that bakers come and go on this site.   I believe that I started participating on this site some time after JMonkey stopped contributing.   Yet here he has taught me about desem and I appreciate his help.    Of course I wouldn't even have been aware of this type of bread had it not been for Phil's wonderful baking efforts

Formula and method:

Seed hydration








Whole Rye







5:00 PM

4:00 PM

4:00 PM

10:00 AM













Whole Rye






Whole Wheat


































Whole Rye







Whole Wheat
































Used freshly milled medium course flour to feed starter


Used garage and just inside garage door to mature starter



Temp varied from 42 to 62F





Grind wheat berries at fine.



Mix flour and 350g water and autolyse for 1 hour



Mix in salt, starter, and rest of water



Mix for 40 minutes at speed 1 in compact Bosch



Rest 15 minutes



S&F on counter



BF 30 minutes, S&F on counter



BF 30 minutes, S&F on counter



Shape into boule and place in brotform with floured paper napkin at base



Proof 1 hour 15 minutes



Spray top, slash and place in Dutch Oven



Bake in preheated oven (cold covered DO) at 450F for 40 minutes



top on, 18 minutes with top off.






dabrownman's picture

We have been baking with YW, Combo YW / SD and straight SD lately but have not had the chance to compare identical YW and SD recipes to see how they might compare.  We recently made a Joe Ortiz Desem Starter that we really liked so decided to use WW to build each of the starters to the same 90 grams of levain with the same 80% hydration.


We usually want somewhere around 40 % whole grains minimum in our breads with sprouts and seeds, but since these rolls were going to be used for our monthly hamburger dinner we skipped the sprouts and seeds but added fresh chopped basil, caramelized onions, bacon and parmesan cheese instead. 

Yeast Water version is first for pictures.


These additions reflected isand66’s (Ian’s) bacon, caramelized onion and cheese bread we rank in our top 5 and his roll bake this week along with breadsong’s roll bake this week that had basil and parmesan cheese in it.  We thought combining the 2 would make for a very nice bun for our grilled poblano chili, caramelized onion and mushroom, cheese burger we were planning for dinner.


Since it is summer, we planned on bailing the rolls in the mini oven using (2) of Sylvia’s steaming cups designed for it.   We are amazed the varieties of well baked bread that come out of that little oven.


This was no exception.  Both rolls were soft and moist inside with the YW being more so but the SD was more open.  The crusts came out nice and crusty but were immediately toned down to nice and soft by brushing milk on them immediately – no one wants a hard hamburger bun. The crust on the SD was darker and more blistered and the spring was greater.  The SD rolls were baked last when the oven temperature and steam were working better.

Now for the Desem SD pictures


The YW rolls were slightly under baked and the SD ones were slightly over baked even though both were baked the same way and for the same time and temperature exactly.  Since only the levain was retarded, the SD tang was muted for the SD rolls and there was no SD tang in the YW as expected.

We liked both of these rolls equally well and have now found our new go to hamburger bun and possible bruschetta  bread.  We will add 10g each of potato flakes and ground oats with a little garlic and 12g of water to the recipe next time to make it even better.  We just forgot them this time by mistake.



The levains were built over (2) 3 hr and (1) 2 hr build before being refrigerated overnight.  Home ground whole wheat was used for the levains in keeping with the normal Desem starter feed.  We also ground the soft white whole wheat berries.


Each  dough was made by hand mixing the levain and non fat milk together first to break up and liquefy the levain, then the flours, butter and oil were added.  We added the fat to give the rolls an even more tender and moist crumb.  The dough was then hand kneaded for 4 minutes and allowed to rest for 15 minutes in an oiled, plastic covered bowl.

YW is on the right in side shot and on the left in the crumb shot.  The spirng better for the SD - quite unexpected.


(4) sets of S & F’s were done on 15 minute intervals with the herb, onion, bacon and parmesan added in on the third set.  The dough was then allowed to ferment and develop for 90 minutes.

Each batch made (6) 111 g rolls.  After dividing, the rolls were S&F’ed to shape and then rolled under the palms of the hand until the skin was tight and the fold seamed shut.  The rolls were then proofed for 2 hours on parchment in a plastic bag.

YW on the left, SD on the right.


The oven was preheated to 500 F and Sylvia’s (2) Pyrex cups, half full of water with a wash cloth in them were heated until boiling in the microwave.   The rolls with parchment were placed on the top part only of the mini’s broiler pan with the steaming cups and loaded in the lower rack for 10 minutes of steaming.  After 2 minutes the temperature was turned down to 425 F.

Who wants a plain cheeseburger?


When the steam came out at the 10 minute mark, the baking rack was moved to the upper level and the temperature turned down to 375 F convection this time.  In 5 minutes the rack was rotated 180 degrees and moved to the lower level for 5 more minutes of baking. 

When you can have one of these.  Both have grilled poblano peppers, Alpine Lace, Emmenthaler Swiss and brie cheese, caramelized onion and mushrooms.  One has lettuce and tomato and one does not.  Either makes any architect a proud builder :-) Even Lindy's on 4th in Tucson would have a hard time beating these burgers and no way they can beat the buns!


At 20 minutes the rolls were deemed done and removed to wire cooling racks where they were immediately brushed with milk to soften the crust for hamburger buns.

Brownman's Banana Bread made as a sheet cake For desert.

Formula follows the pictures.

YW StarterBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
Yeast Water25200452.86%
Total Starter404199030.00%

Or the Desem starter below

Desem SD, Caramelized Onion, Basil, Bacon,  Parmesan Rolls     
Desem StarterBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
SD Desem Starter1000102.86%
Total Starter404199030.00%
Levain % of Total14.49%    
Dough Flour %   
Bread Flour7525.00%   
Soft White Whole Wheat5016.67%   
Durum Atta5016.67%   
Dough Flour300100.00%   
Non Fat Milk19565.00%   
Dough Hydration65.00%    
Total Flour350    
Milk and Water235    
T. Dough Hydration67.14%    
Whole Grain %42.86%    
Hydration w/ Adds68.29%    
Total Weight621    
Add - Ins %   
Olive Oil 103.33%   


 Add ins are split between  12 rolls     
3 Bacon strips     
4 T Chopped basil     
6 T Caramelized onion.     
1/4 C Grated Parmesan    


dmsnyder's picture

This was my second bake of Phil's (PiPs) Desem. His beautiful blog entry on this bread can be viewed here: Honest bread - 100% whole-wheat desem bread and some country bread. As with my first bake, I modified Phil's procedure somewhat, using CM fine ground organic whole wheat flour rather than fresh-ground white WW flour and machine mixing. While I baked directly on a stone last time, today I baked in Lodge 4 qt. Cast Iron Dutch ovens.

Desem crust close-up

The general appearence of the loaves was pretty much the same between the two baking methods. I understand that Phil is contending with the special challenges of a gas oven, but, for me, baking on the stone directly is easier than wrangling hot and heavy DO's. 

Desem crumb profile

Desem crumb close-up

I cut the desem loaves 3-4 hours after baking. The crumb structure was very satisfactory, but it was somewhat gummy. Hansjoakim (see below) raised an excellent question: Would the desem benefit from a 24-36 hour rest before slicing, like a high-percentage rye does? I wonder.

The flavor of the desem, tasted when first sliced was very assertive - sweet whole wheat with a moderate sour tang. The sourness had decreased the next morning when I had it toasted for breakfast. It was very nice with butter and apricot jam.

I also baked a couple 1 kg loaves using the SFBI Miche formula. (See Miche from SFBI Artisan II - 2 kg) I altered the flour mix. The final dough was made using half KAF AP and half CM Organic Type-85  flour.

We had some of this bread with dinner. The crust was crunchy and the crumb was soft but chewy. The flavor was complex - sweet, wheaty and mildly sour. I have made this bread using the original SFBI formula, with all CM Type-85 flour and with the mix I used today. I'd be hard pressed to say which I prefer. They have all been delicious.

I'm happy with today's bakes.


isand66's picture

I've been wanting to try my hand at making Phil's 100% Whole Wheat Desem bread since it sounded so simple but yet so good.  I had started preparing the Desem starter a while ago but had to abandon it when I went away for business.  I was not thrilled with the way it was turning out anyway so it wasn't a great loss.

I decided to try a different approach for building the starter from my 100% AP White Starter by doing a 3 stage build.  For the first build I used 50 grams of seed starter, 125 grams Bread Flour (KAF), 75 grams Organic Whole Wheat Flour and 200 grams of water.  I mixed this up and left it out at room temperature overnight for around 10 hours.  I then put it in the refrigerator until that evening when I proceeded to stage 2.  I added 142 grams of Whole Wheat, and 85.4 grams of Water.  I left this out again overnight and put it in the refrigerator until the next evening.

For the third and final build I added another 142 grams of Whole Wheat and 85 grams of water.  I left this out for one more evening and refrigerated it until that evening when I prepared the final dough.

I ended up making a lot more starter than I needed, but it was worth building it up to around 61% hydration as the starter was nice and fruity and ready to go to work!

Please see Phil's original recipe for the formula and his original procedures here  I decided to change his procedures by using my Bosche Mixer as follows:

After the flour autolyes for 1 hour I added the levain and mixed on speed #1 for 1 minute and #2 for 4 minutes.  I then did a stretch and fold, rested the dough uncovered for 10 minutes.  I then did another stretch and fold, covered the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.  I did one more stretch and fold and put it in a lightly oiled bowl for 2 hours.  I then put it in the fridge overnight.

The next day I let the dough sit out at room temperature for 2 hours.  After 2 hours I formed it into loaves and put them in floured bannetons and let them rise covered for 2 hours.

I then baked on my oven stone with steam at 450 degrees until both loaves were golden brown and reached an internal temperature of 200 - 210 degrees F.

The dough lived up to all of its good press and had a nice slightly sour/sweet taste.  I have been eating it all week and it makes great toast!


dmsnyder's picture

I have been meaning to make a Flemish Desem for years. I actually started making a Desem starter once from scratch, but lacked the persistance to follow through. Phil's recent blog on his Desem (See Honest bread - 100% whole-wheat desem bread and some country bread), with his gorgeous photos and clear instructions, got me back on the job. I baked a Desem according to his instructions today. It was marvelous!

I deviated from Phil's procedure in a few particulars.

1. I used a finely ground organic whole wheat flour from Central Milling rather than the freshly-milled flour Phil uses.

2. I mixed by machine rather than by hand. The autolyse was mixed in a KitchenAid stand mixer with the paddle. The final dough was mixed with the dough hook - at Speed one to incorporate the levain, salt and extra water and at Speed 2 for 6 minutes followed by a stretch and fold on the bench in place of hand mixing and kneading.

3. I proofed in a linen-lined banneton dusted with AP and Rice flour rather than WW or bran.

4. I baked entirely on my stone with steaming accomplished in my usual manner. I pre-heated the oven at 480 dF, baked with steam for 10 minutes. After 20 minutes, I turned the oven down to 400 dF and baked for another 20 minutes

Desem cross section

Desem crumb

Desem crumb close-up

The loaf had good oven spring. I cooled it for about 2 1/2 hours before slicing. It was still a bit warm in the middle when I sliced it, but I wanted to have a slice (or 3) with dinner. The crumb structure was pretty similar to Phil's, except for the tunneling under the crust, always a risk when you bake a loaf without scoring.

The flavor of the bread was delicious. It had a mild sourdough tang and a very prominant whole wheat flavor but with absolutely no grassiness or bitterness and with a lovely sweet undertone. My biggest fan and harshest critic, my wife, pronounced it "very good bread" and ate twice as much bread as she usually does at dinner.

This one joins my list of regular bakes. 


PiPs's picture

The idea of honest bread and its making found its way into my thinking over the weekend. I find myself slipping more and more into this way of baking. Using less but wanting more from it. I didn’t bake any differently to past weekends yet I felt more connected and relaxed throughout the process. The slightly cooler temperatures certainly helped both my peace of mind and the resulting bread. The kitchen felt less frantic.

 I haven’t been pushing the envelope. Just practising consistency while noticing and adapting to the subtle differences the change of seasons is bringing. Perhaps this might be seen as boring or lazy … nevertheless I enjoyed it thoroughly and it keeps us well fed.

I baked two small batches of 100 per cent whole-wheat desem bread and country breads on the weekend. This will feed the family during the week and left us with a loaf to take away on a picnic to a country market in the northern New South Wales town of Bangalow. We had the best handmade organic doughnuts while wandering through the markets. One of the country breads was given to Nat’s parents on our trip home to help ease their struggling brought on by home renovations.

I have been trying a new method of milling where the flour is constantly stirred and moved around in the bowl as it falls from the mill. I want to disperse the heat as quickly as possible and noticed a definite improvement in the time it took for the flour to cool. Whether this translates into the final bread I really have no idea. Any ideas? I sifted the wheat flour for the country bread as normal and retained the bran for coating the desem loaves.

Mixing the desem starter

Autolyse and desem starter

Squeezing in desem starter



100% Whole-wheat Desem





Total dough weight



Total flour



Total water



Total salt



Prefermented flour






Desem starter build – 10 hrs 18-20°C






Freshly milled organic wheat flour









Final dough



Desem starter



Freshly milled organic wheat flour











  1. Mix desem starter and leave to ferment for 10-12 hours at 18-20°C
  2. Mill flour and allow to cool to room temperature before mixing with water (hold back 50 grams of water) and autolyse for a minimum of one hour.
  3. Add levain to autolyse then knead (French fold) 5 mins. Return the dough to a bowl and add salt and remaining 50 grams of water and squeeze through bread to incorporate (dough will separate then come back together smoothly) then knead a further 10 mins.
  4. Bulk ferment two and a half hours with three stretch-and-fold 30 mins apart.
  5. Preshape. Bench rest 20 mins. Shape.
  6. Final proof was for 1.5 hours at 24°C
  7. Bake in a preheated dutch oven at 250°C for 10 mins then reduce temperature to 200°C and bake a further 10 mins. Remove bread from the dutch oven and continue to bake on a stone for a further 20mins to ensure even browning.



I am continuing to expand the desem starter with one build straight from the fridge and as the overnight temperature continues to cool the desem starter is achieving a more controlled fermentation and sweeter aroma by the following morning. I have been looking forward to this kind of weather all summer and it is so nice to not have sweating dough racing away from me into a sticky mess. I even had to increase proofing times by an extra half-an-hour for this bake.

For an aesthetic change to previous desem loaves I baked these without slashing in a dutch oven after coating them in bran sifted from the country breads. I was really surprised with the increased oven spring … quite possibly the best I have had with this form of bread.

Country bread baking

The most telling tale that the cooling temperatures are affecting the bread came with the cutting and tasting. Nat took a bite and then looked at me and asked quite seriously, ‘Have you added anything else to this … it tastes sweet?’ Not only does it taste sweet, but you can smell the sweetness in the kitchen while slicing through a loaf. The crust is delicate with the bran coating adding a crunchy contrast to the soft crumb within.

So far we have eaten it with Nat’s special ‘sick soup’, with honey and ricotta, toasted with peanut butter, with plum jam, with apricot jam … and the list goes on and on.

Happy baking all ...

PiPs's picture

It has rained and rained and after a week of soggy grey we finally have a glimmer of sunshine. And with all the rain and cooler temperatures I have really noticed how intertwined my bread making is with the weather. Every feeding and levain build is a unique decision – the balance between the temperature and feed ratios.

Wandering through the kitchen I throw a glance at the thermometer resting beside my rising levain and through the day I feel subtle change of temperature between rooms in the house. I notice this most among the quiet and peaceful times for me, scattered and far between though they are.

After arriving back home from my parents we had a house emptied of bread and I left it that way until the weekend. We have all been settling into the routines of a new year. Nat and I both back at work, plus we have had two new school milestones for the kids with one starting grade one and another starting her first year in high school.

With cool morning air and some time free on a drizzly Saturday I prepared my desem starter plus milled and soaked the fresh wheat flour. To me this is the simplest, purest form of bread - whole flour, water and salt. Later that day the dough was developed using stretch-and-folds over a three hour bulk-ferment before a quick final proof and bake. There is a fascination for me by using a longer bulk-ferment and developing the dough slowly and carefully - subtle changes over time – slowly becoming alive. It slots nicely into the rythem of a rainy day at home. Relaxing ...

After a long hiatus I finally baked some whole-wheat Fig and Anise loaves. Again these were raised with the desem starter with the chopped figs and aniseeds incorporated early in the bulk ferment.

These are a special treat for us and are consumed with utter joy - toasted, with a drizzle of honey, topped with ricotta cheese. We sit at breakfast with a slice or two and appreciate our morning amongst the din of school preparations and children slurping down breakfasts.

The sun is shining again ... all the best

PiPs's picture

Richard Sennet describes the essence of proper craftsmanship as: the fluid process of deliberately setting up questions and challenges in order to solve them and increase ones skills.

This quote reminded me of so many of the wonderful TLF bakers....

The busy weeks continue in our tiny household. My partner and I both had our children staying this week with school holidays as well as her parents for a few days which allowed us to celebrate her fathers retirement.  Amongst all the chaos we prepared a roast dinner and a rhubarb and strawberry tart.

This also meant fresh bread for dinner and parting gifts...

For this weeks bake I prepared two wholewheat boules and two fig and anise batards, all with freshly milled wheat.

Refreshing desem starter

As we had so many bodies sleeping in our house I changed my usual method of milling right before mixing to allow them a more dignified morning wake up. Instead I milled the night before and added all the water and salt and soaked the fresh flour until the morning where I added the ripe starter. The same dough formula was used for both batches with the batards having extra mix-in ingrediants added during folding.

Wholewheat sourdough (with optional fig 'n' anise)
Total dough weight: 2kgs
Hydration: 85%
Prefermented Flour: 10%
DDT: 23°C

Whole wheat starter @ 60% Hydration: 175g
Wheat Flour Freshly milled: 973g
Water: 855g
Salt: 21g

Optional Mix-ins
Figs sliced: 375g
Anise seeds: 15g

Night before
Cool grains from fridge milled before being mixed with all water and salt.

Next morning
With wet hands squeeze and incorporate starter into overnight soak until smooth and feel no lumps then place in oiled see-through container (for checking dough development).

Bulk ferment roughly 4hrs with four stretch and folds 30min apart in the first 2hrs and another gentle stretch and fold at 3hr mark.

For the stretch and folds I tip the dough onto a bench which has been lightly sprayed with a water spray bottle/mister. The water stops dough sticking and I can give it a really good letterfold before placing back in container.

Optional: Figs and anise are squeezed through dough after 2nd stretch and fold.

Watch temperatures and dough like a hawk nearing the end of bulk ferment...I sometimes cut it short by half an hour if he dough is starting to move to quickly.

Preshape and bench rest 20 min before gentle shaping. Shaped dough placed into bannetons with floured cloths.

Adding mix-ins and bench resting wholewheat

Final proof for wholewheat boule was roughly 1.5hrs at room temperature (23°)

Fig and anise proofed in fridge for 3hrs and was baked directly from fridge.

Bake boules in dutch oven at 250°C for 20mins then dough removed from dutch oven and baked at 20mins at 200°C directly on stone for thoroughly browning.

Batards were baked on stone with steam for first 10mins at 250°C then 200°C for 30mins.

Wholewheat boules

Wholewheat crumb

Fig and anise batard

Fig and anise crumb

Breads were very well received and performed admirably at soaking up roast was swimming in it :) The dutch oven really does give theses wholewheat breads the perfect crust....

The overnight soak is something I may use more often with my only issue being that it could be a little difficult to control dough temperatures. I can't say I have noticed any real difference with the bread itself using this method....just another handy option to have.

All the best


PiPs's picture

Well it's about time....

I have been a long time reader and have learnt so much from various bloggers/posters and now I think its time I joined in. Thank you Debra Wink, proth5, TX farmer, DMSnyder, Ananda and Hans Joakim for your inspiring and educational posts.

I guess for my first post I'll show where I am at....

A month ago my new Komo Fidibus XL turned up and I have graduated form being a home baker to a home miller/baker. I love it.....I mean I really love it!

I usually bake once a week (used to be alot more...I am relaxing into it now) I have a "desem" style starter that lives in my fridge @ 60% hydration which gets expanded twice in a cool spot under the house before use...its happy. I used to be a neurotic culture current method works and gives us beautiful bread.

Yesterday was a biggish coming on the weekend and lots of kids staying for a week....they will want to be fed.

1 x Miche @1.8kg (Sifted wheat, whole spelt and rye)

2 x Wholewheat sourdoughs @ 1kg each

2 x Wholewheat raisen and coriander (From Tartine bread) @ 1kg each

Wholewheat Sourdough

Wholewheat Crumb

Raisin and Coriander Wholewheat


Last week Desem's

I love using the fresh flour. I have sourced my grains from two organic millers in Australia (one of them is biodynamic). Kialla is a organic miller just a few hours away who's flour I have used for a few years now. I use there grains for the majority of the doughs (It is strong and thirsty). I build/feed the levain with grain from Four Leaf biodynamic mills in South Australia. I have found there flour softer but more flavoursome.

Was wondering if I would miss white flour...this has not been the case at all. The Raisin and coriander bread was so amazlingly soft...melted in the mouth. All the breads had a mild flavour, no sourness (prefer it that way)

Have not cut the it a day or so until the family arrives....should be just about right then I reckon.

Well that's it for my first post.

All the best





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