The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


isand66's picture

My friend Eric was stopping by to go to lunch yesterday so I told him I would bake bread for him to take home.  He requested something simple and plain.  I don't do simple and's just not part of my DNA, so what I came up with is as close as it gets!

I had bought some Einkorn Wheat Berries and also some Soft White Wheat Berries from that I wanted to try grinding into flour.  I don't have an actual flour mill just yet so I used my coffee grinder and sifted the Einkorn flour once.  The soft white wheat was so soft that it didn't really have anything left to sift.

I made a 2 step starter build from some left-over Kamut/Bread Flour starter using more Kamut, European Style Flour and Pumpernickel flour.

For the main dough I added some rye chops, wheat germ, mashed roasted potatoes and some honey for a little sweetness.

I just received my Brod and Taylor Proofer for my birthday and used it for the first time.  I had already mixed up the dough and put it in the refrigerator for the bulk ferment but I let the dough sit in the proofer at 80 degrees F. for about 1 hour instead of my usual 1.5 to 2 hours.  The dough was nice and puffy after it's rest and I let the formed loaves proof at 80 degrees as well for about 1.5 hours before baking.  I have to play around with the proofing temperatures and see which is ideal.  I may try going a little higher for the final proof next time.

The end result of this bake was very satisfactory as you get just enough sour tang along withe the nuttiness and wheat flavor from the combination of flours.  The crumb was nice and open enough for this type of bread.  I will have to make bread with just the Einkorn flour in it to really taste it in the bread but it certainly added a nice flavor profile to this one.

Levain Directions

Build 1

Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I usually do this the night before.

Build 2

Mix all the ingredients listed with the levain from the first build and let it set at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled or before it starts collapsing on itself.  Either use right away in the main dough or refrigerate for 1 day.

Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours, wheat germ, rye chops and the water except for around 75 grams, together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), honey, and mashed potatoes and mix on low for a minute.  Add the rest of the water  unless the dough is way too wet.   Mix on low-speed for another 3 minutes.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  (I used my new proofer this time and it only took about 1 hour at 80 degrees).

Remove the dough and shape as desired.   Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  (Again, I used my proofer set at 80 degrees and let it rise for about 1.5 hours).

Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.

 Feel free to visit my other blog at for 100 of my other recipes.

dabrownman's picture

The quest for the New Your bagel continues.   This time we lowered the hydration 2% to 56%, used more barley malt, used 27% whole grains (the bulk of which was whole wheat in the dough flour to try to mimic first clear flour) and we used AP with VWG since we didn’t have any bread flour.


We also changed the process around a little bit too.  We built a full strength SD starter out of whole grains, stiffened it up to 65% and then let it sit in the fridge for 3 days to get sour.  Then we built a levain from that using 15 g of seed and whole grain spelt, rye and WW.  We made the yeast waster levain separately and replaced the whole spelt with AP flour.


Once the two levains had doubled, the SD levain was placed into the bottom of the container and the YW levain was put on top of that and they were placed in the fridge together for 2 days.

The levains were removed from the fridge to warm up.  While they warming we autolysed the rest of the ingredients, including; the salt, malts and VWG for 2 hours after having kneaded them together.  Dough like this would kill the KA so hand kneading is always the wiser choice but a hard slog.

After the levains hit the autolyse it took a while to work then in the hard dough by squeezing it through the fingers.  Then we kneaded the dough until it was tough but silky smooth.  After a 1 hour rest we shaped the bagels around the knuckles at 135 g each and put them on semolina dusted parchment where they rested for 1hour before gong into the fridge for a 32 hour retard.


Sorry, cut into one for a taste while they were still quite warm.

After coming out of the fridge, we let the bagels proof on the counter for 4 hours.  The bagels doubled over that time and then we refrigerated them again for 1 ½ hours to stiffen them up.  Next time we will put them back in the fridge after 3 hours and let them cool for 2.  The bagels were gently boiled for 30 seconds each side, in water that had barley malt and baking soda in it, just to shock them awake. 


Bagel hole?  Made a little dough ball for floating to see if the bagels were ready to boil and that they too would float!

They were flipped on a kitchen towel to get rid of the excess water and then dunked into the seed mixture.  The 3 mixes this time were white, brown and black poppy, white and black sesame and a multi-seed and salt one comprised of the previous seeds plus oregano and basil seeds, black and brown caraway seeds, nigella seeds and kosher salt.  We made twice as many of the combo salt ones since they are our favorite.


Looks and cuts better when fully cooled,

The steam was supplied by 1 of Sylvia’s steaming pans and a 12” skillet with lava rocks and we used both stones to accommodate the 13 bagels and 1 small roll.   They baked with steam at 450 F for 8 minutes and then steam was removed and they baked for another 8 minutes at 425 F convection until they were deemed done and nicely browned.

Beautiful skies don't have to be sunsets or sunrises.  The sunset was great too!

After deflating in the boil they managed to puff themselves back up nicely in the steam.  These are getting very close to NY SD Bagels and would be way sourer without the YW in the mix to tone it down.  The blistered crust is crispy, the crumb chewy but the taste is near spot on too.  Even my wife is having one for breakfast today instead of Einstein’s.  Now that takes some doing.  We like this batch very much but will make some changes next time as we always do still searching for the perfect bagel that doesn’t exist.

I never eat two bagels at once but did when they came out of the oven yesterday - yummy!  Cream cheese schmear and buttered with minneola marmalade.


SD Starter

Build 1


SD Desem & Rye Sour






Whole Wheat



Dark Rye






Total Starter






YW Starter

Build 1


Yeast Water









Dark Rye
























Levain % of Total






Dough Flour



Whole Wheat






Dough Flour












Dough Hydration






Total Flour






T. Dough Hydration



Whole Grain %






Hydration w/ Adds



Total Weight






Add - Ins



Red Rye Malt



White Rye Malt



VW Gluten



Barley Malt







IchikawaHideki's picture

Levain stored in fridge.

March 11, 2013 - 7:54pm -- IchikawaHideki

Hello to everyone I'm new here and doesn't got the best english, already saying sorry for my errors.

Coming back to what I'm curious about, I got a stif levain got from my work and now I'm making artisan bread at home but I store my levain in the fridge and some times some breads doesn't come with any sour, it rise preatty well.
I feed him just 1 time per week almost, some times more whem I'm going to make bread.

cold fermetation for levain make it less sour?

ndechenne's picture

So I'm about three months into my sourdough "experiment", have my starter (I call him Niles) nicely sour and thriving. Having tried a number of recipes, my biggest problem has been consistency. The nice thing about making bread... one dollar experiments.

In any case, recently I've been managing a high-hydration poolish and have had some nice results. While the recipe calls for using the slap and fold method (did try it, arms fell off), I find that using my kitchenaid for half the process heps a lot and gets me what I'm looking for (pretty much). Slightly less open crumb, but that's ok. Different variations, added up to 100g of wheat flour that makes a nice loaf. I tend to like my bread a little tangy so I augment with some citric acid, which I like.

In any case, consistency. Dough issues, I've had rise issues, over-rising and really determining when the poolish is ready to work with makes a big difference. In this recipe, I started the poolish (1-1-1 ratio by weight) and after about 4hrs began to work with it. No additional yeast added, did the kitchenaid for ten minutes then a couple of tuck and folds. Repeat every ten minutes up to three times and I've got a pretty good gluten structure. Rise 2hrs, tuck and fold again and then rise another hour. 

I want a dutch oven but I'm broke right now, so I got this idea. I use a cast iron skillet,  then steam the oven. What you see here is that product, works amazingly well. The skillet really seems to help with oven spring, it just jumps up. The steam first ten minutes works well, at 425 for 40 minutes this is what I got:


kmcquade's picture

Organic Sprouted Wheat Berry with Whole wheat and Rye & 50% Sourdough Starter.

 400 gm.  Organic AP flour

  60 gm.  Organic KA WW

  30 gm.  Organic Medium Rye

  11 gm.  Kosher salt

1 TPSP Brown Sugar (Just cause I thought a little sweetness would go well with the wheat berry taste)

300 gm. H20

250 gm. 100% hydration starter fed twice

~ 1/8 tsp instant yeast (just to help in my cold damp Seattle kitchen J)

~ 1 cup sprouted wheat berries


I soaked Wheat berries over night, then spread them out between wet paper towels for another 24hrs or so until they began to sprout


I started to mix up the flours at about 8pm after dinner and between episodes of “The Protectors”  (a Netflix Danish series I got hooked on ).  I Autolysed the flour combo and H20 for ~1 hr.  - At this point the dough was fairly dry (60% hydration)


Flour and water after autolyse


About 9:30PM I mixed in the starter by hand, added the salt , and a pinch of  instant yeast – This was a lot of starter ( 50% of the total flour) which made a very wet dough requiring a fair amount of stretch and folds to get in mixed well and under control – In another hour, I did  a couple more stretch and folds.  According to my calculations the final dough adjusting for the Starter Hydration and high amount of starter was ~ 82% hydration.


Stretching and folding


Bulk ferment overnight on the counter  ~ 10 hrs ( room temp was ~ 65F)

Sunday morning at 7:30am, I folded in the sprouted wheat berries as much as I figured the dough could handle – Then into a cloth lined banneton for proofing for about 2.5 hrs. ( its cold in my house). At 2hrs, I turned on the oven with the cloche in it .  I like to use my bannetone but when the dough is too wet it will stick to it so I need to line it with a floured cloth.


Score & Bake in a covered Cloche 475F for 15 min then uncover reduce to 450 for 15min  - I checked the temp and feel, at this point and decided it could use another 10 min, but I reduced the temp to  425 F. Lately I have found that serial reduction in the temp results in a longer lasting crispy crust.


Results – Take a look Great crust and crumb Crunchy with the wheat berries With just a touch of sweetness J






fafive's picture

Soaker uses

March 9, 2013 - 7:54pm -- fafive

Hello everybody,

First, sorry my english, please.

After I read almost every book about baking, and reading this site since for about 2 years, there is a question without answer to me:

If I understand correctly, the by products of yeast fermentation are CO2 and alcohol solely.

If we use starters mainly to give flavors and aromas to our bread, and those are produced by bacteria, could a soaker of about 2 or 3 days generate the same benefits of a livelong mantained sourdough starter?

mwilson's picture

I confess, I am in no way skilled at lamination and hardly ever make croissants. It’s something I’ve done only a handful of times. These were my best yet and not only that, these are solely leavened by natural means, a first.

Original recipe found here - I scaled it down and used a lower ratio of butter for folding in.

2550111000flour 00 W 210/230   
50100222000flour 00 W 360/380 
20409800caster sugar 
2550221000egg yolks 
50100222000flour 00 W 210/230 
100200444000flour 00 W 360/380 
2855121100caster sugar 
75150333000egg yolks 
8153300acacia honey 
--------*butter for folding in

*original recipe says to use 2.5Kg of butter per every 4.5Kg of dough. I used 1/3 butter to dough.

Unfortunately they got too warm (31.5C) whilst proving, consequently some of the butter started to melt out and there was a slight unwated acidity in the finished product. They also rose a lot making things rather cramped!

After the bake

Crumb with errors

Incredibly delicate like clouds that just flaked and melted away in the mouth!

linder's picture

Here's my first go at the sourdough oat bread recipe I received from a friend of mine.  I made half a recipe and made note of the weight of each item as I went along.  The formula can be found in grams by following the original posting of the recipe at


The crumb -


Oh no, I just tasted a slice of this bread - it takes like Bisquick!  I'm so disappointed, but maybe I can try a second batch WITHOUT the baking soda and replace the diastatic malt with honey too.


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