The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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kalikan's picture

Converting white starter to rye


For some reason I though this is covered in Hamelman's Bread, but can't find it... What steps should I take when converting portion of my white 100% starter to rye? Is it a simple matter of just feeding it for a couple of days with whole rye flour or should I start feeding it with a mix of white and rye and increase proportion of rye to white with every feed?

also, is it safe to assume that 2-3 days 2x per day feelings would be enough to call it a rye starter and use it to make rye bread or should I do it for a longer period of time?

Thank You!

MJ Sourdough's picture
MJ Sourdough

Hot cross bun help

Fresh loafers

Just need some help with my 100% sourdough hot cross buns. Particularly with regards to the crossing paste.

I do not score the buns because just priory to baking I add a sweet crossing paste. I let the buns proof longer (so the oven spring does not break the surface of the buns). Then i add the crossing paste, just before putting them in the oven (with steam), but they still seem to break through along the lines of the crossing paste. I have attached some pictures for a better idea of what i mean, as i think I am rambling at this point.

any helpful comments/suggestions/tips?


MJ Sourdough

kringle's picture

Using Bread toppings

I have been baking bread now since Christmas using Ken Forkish’s book Flour,Water,Salt,Yeast.  I have had good success.  I also like to use banneton baskets.  Recently I have been trying to add King Arthur’s Artisan bread toppings.  When I sprinkle them into the floured banneton, the toppings simply slide to the bottom.  I then tried spritzing the top of the loaf with water after I removed it from the banneton so the seed would stick but it ruined my nice circles of flour.  This weekend I spritzed the banneton with water and sprinkled the topping in. It stuck well to the sides but my dough did not want to come out of the banneton.  How do I apply this topping without causing more problems?

Wandering_Smoke's picture

It's all about a KitchenAid model G

Hello everybody. I just bought a 1937 (I think) KitchenAid model G mixer, and it needs a little TLC before I can put it to work. So I'm hoping that the knowledgeable people here can help me out. I'm fairly competent when it comes to mechanical and electrical stuff (though I might not know the proper names for things), so I'll be doing the work myself. Any help, tips, tricks, advice etc you can give is greatly appreciated. Thanks. 

For reference, or if you're just curious, this is the mixer I bought 


First thing's first. Does anybody know where I can find a service manual? 


About grease. 

I'm pretty sure the model G was made before any special types of grease. So I'm wondering if should I use bearing grease, like what I use to pack the wheel bearings on my car? Or should I use one of the mixer grease types I've read about in an N50 thread here? If I should use mixer grease, what would you recommend? 

If I need parts, where can I get them? Are some parts interchangeable with a Hobart N50? Are there any particular pieces I should check for wear? 


About wiring. 

The mixer I bought obviously needs a new power cable. I was/am a little overly excited about buying the mixer so I jumped the gun and bought this from eBay The original looks pretty fat, so I'm hoping that will fit without leaving a gap...or being too big. Does anybody know how/if it will fit? What did you use? I saw an N50 with a flame paint job. That one had what looked like a braided steel cable. That would be my #1 choice if I could find one...and if it had an angled plug. I looked for one like it but I couldn't find anything. 

The model G has a cool old fuse. I'm going to leave it in place, but I'm not going to use it. I'm not sure if I should replace it with a modern fuse (internally) or bypass it completely. What would you recommend? 


There is one attachment I need/want, but I'm not exactly sure what will work. I want a spiral dough hook. I've seen two that I think might work. And an expensive one that was made for an N50. Would you guys give me some parts numbers of the dough hooks that work, please? 


Well, that's all I can think of right now. I want to know everything about the old beast, since I plan to have it for the rest of my life. So please feel free to add any useful information you can think of. Thanks.

leslieruf's picture

two different rye flours


up till now I have used rye meal flour (right one in photo) the only one available to me locally.  Now I find a little bulk store "Indian Spice Traders" it is called and it stocks lots of ingredients for the local indian population stocks rye flour.  (left one in photo).  How would you classify them?  dark? light? ........?

When I adapted my white starter to rye, I used the coarse one but it really doesn't rise much so it is hard to judge if it is active, certainly not lots of bubbles, just a small increase in volume.   It sits in the fridge quietly doin not much but does work when refreshed and used to build levain of whole wheat or white flour.  Going forward, is it better to use one like this or the finer one or maybe a bit of each.




ChezMini's picture

Help! Croissants flat and dry inside

Hi All, i baked a batch of croissants and they came out flat, too crunchy and dry from the inside as per the photo. how can i fix this?

breadforfun's picture

5-grain Levain variations

Hamelman's 5-grain Levain is one of our favorite breads.  My wife and I always have some on hand in the freezer (it freezes quite well), ready to toast a slice for breakfast or for a sandwich.  It also lends itself to all kinds of variations since it is easy to modify the ingredients and relative amounts of the soaker.  I have used cracked rye (as called for in the original recipe) and have also had success with bulghur wheat.  This time, inspired by this post earlier this year, I tried it with freekeh, something I just recently discovered.  Freekeh is green durum wheat that is lightly smoked, so I was hoping to impart that smokey flavor to the bread.  Another variation this time was when making the levain, I doubled the amount of the seed starter, shortening the fermentation time to reduce the acid formation and yield an overall sweeter bread.  The two loaves were retarded in the refrigerator overnight and baked after resting at room temperature for an hour or so.

The bread is really delicious, although the smokiness is not as pronounced as I had hoped.  The sweetness nicely complements the dark caramel of the crust.  I will make this again and probably increase the amount of freekeh in the soaker for a more smokey character.



PetraR's picture

Today's bake



To me it was new to do the finall rise of the bread in the fridge, I usualy do it the other way round, I knead the dough

and put it in the fridge for 12 - 18 hours and then shape the cold dough and put it in the baneton, proof and bake.

This time I shaped the bread after 12  hours bulk fermenting at room temperature and then let the bread rise for baking in the fridge.

It was so much easier to score the loaf for starters.

30 minutes  before I pulled the banneton out of the fridge I pre heated my oven  * in which I had my Dutch Oven *  to

250 C and put the cold shaped bread on parchment paper, scored it, put it in the hot dutch oven and baked.

It worked well.

This is just a simple recipe, nothing special but always yummy.

I changed the recipe slightly by using only 400g wheat flour and 200g  wholewheat flour, usually I use 500g Wheat flour and 200g Whole wheat flour.

200 g mature 50% hydration wheat Starter

400g wheat flour

200g whole wheat flour

300g warm water

   10g salt

     2 Tbsp vegetable oil * I did not have olive oil in the house *

Mix all up, knead until soft , smooth and elastic dough  , bulk ferment for 12 hours, shape the loaf, put it in the banneton, cover with floured kitchentowel and plastic bag, put in the fridge for finall rise and bake straight from the fridge after 12 hours * Over night *.



alefarendsen's picture

Thoroughly confused about baker %, does it include levain?


I always thought bakers percentages are ratios of ingredients measured again total flour in a dough. So, for example:

  • 200 grams 100% hydration levain
  • plus 600 grams of flour
  • equals 700 grams of total flour (600 + 100 from levain)
  • Which would mean 14 grams of salt would be 2% in bakers percentage

But now I'm reading Tartine and on page 48 it says:

  • Water 750 grams = 75%
  • Leaven 200 grams = 20%
  • Total flour 1000 grams = 100%
  • white flour 900 grams = 90%
  • whole wheat flour 100 grams = 10%
  • salt 20 grams = 2%

Just to be sure that the total flour doesn't include the flour from the leaven: later in the recipe he says, take the leaven, mix it with water, then add 900 grams of white and 100 grams of whole wheat flour.

In my calculations 2% of the above would be 2% of 900 (white) + 100 (ww) + 100 (from levain) = 2% of 1100 = 22.

So, what am I missing, or... simpler: do you account for levain flour in the baker's percentage?

thanks a bunch,


alefarendsen's picture

Tartine basic country bread with room temp bulk fermentation

Ideally I'd like to have a nice bread that I mix the dough for in the evening, bulk ferment it overnight on the counter and finish by shaping, proofing and baking in the morning. To get there I started experimenting yesterday with the Basic Country bread from Tartine and modifying the schedule and levain % to extend the bulk fermentation.

While at it I mixed two batches of dough, each with different %s of levain, one at 6% and one at 10%. Room temperature started at about 18C/64F in the early morning, to about 68F later in the morning and for the remainder of the day and evening.

  • 22:10 mixed 25 grams of starter (100% hydration) with 125 grams of starter mix (40% WW, 10% rye and 50% Italian tipo 2) with 125 grams of water (18C/65F) and let rise overnight
  • 08:50 the levain has little over doubled in volume and I'm starting the autolyse on the two batches of dough, both 450 white (tipo 0), 50 grams whole wheat, 350 water @ 11C/52F (no levain added, as I'd like to postpone the fermentation for as long as possible)
  • 09:30 mixing two final doughs with the levain (60 grams on one of them, 100 grams on the other), salt (10 grams each batch) and a last bit of water (50 grams @ 52F). This brings dough hydration to 73% and 75% respectively. Bulk fermentation starts with DT of 64F and volume is about 1 liter.
  • 10:05 stretch and fold
  • 10:35 stretch and fold
  • 11:05 stretch and fold. DT is now 66F. The two doughs are still very much alike
  • 11:35 stretch and fold
  • 13:50 DT is now 68F (which is also the ambient temp). Dough in first batch (the one with more starter) seemed to have risen a tiny bit more than the second batch and more airpockets seem to have developed in the first batch. Volume has still not increased a lot though. Maybe now that temp has gone up to 68F things will speed up a bit.
  • 14:55 The difference between the first and the second batch is now clearly visible. The first has risen slightly more and there are definitely more and bigger airpockets in the dough. Also the surface is showing more signs of bubbling in the blue (first) batch than in the second. Now leaving for a few hours, probably coming back at around 6'ish.
  • 21:50 Just came back. Wasn't supposed to stay out this long but friends invited us over for dinner and I had some trouble parking the car. Volume has increased on both doughs, to about 1.4 liters in the first and 1.6 or 1.7 liters in the second. Not sure when bulk fermentation is finished. Poke test has the doughs both spring back, but not really fast. It's been almost 12 hours now. Decided to start dividing and shaping. DT is still 68F. Starting with a pre-shape. Dough feels elastic, not feeling a real difference between the two batches. Doing a bench rest
  • 22:20 After a 30 minute bench rest doing the final shape now. Not noticing a huge difference between the loaves so far
  • 22:30 Retarding the boules in bannetons the fridge (42F) for the night. Wouldn't normally do this, but don't want to stay up all night ;-)
  • 09:00 Taking the first batch from the fridge and letting them proof a bit more while heating the oven at 245C/475F
  • 09:45 - 12:30 Baking the loaves in a Dutch oven (22 lid on & 10m lid off) with a 5 minute reheat in between to get the oven back up to 245C/475F

I was hoping and actually expecting to see a lot of differences between the two batches of dough having different levain percentages, but there wasn't any really... Taste, crumb, crust, looks, they're all the same. Taste was wonderful by the way. Not overly sour, just great!

So in short, by modifying the levain percentages I was able to extend the bulk fermentation to about 12 hours.


Bulk fermentation of the dough with 10% levain.

Bulk fermentation on the second dough (lower levain %). You can clearly see the difference.

Crumb looks great IMO. Crust in some places a bit bold, but that's probably due to my not lowering the temp after removing the lid of the DO. Scoring is still not very good, I have to get myself a lame.

Any comments / recommendations?