The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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MommySetFree's picture

Reusing Commerical Yeast Dough

I have resused sourdough - dough as a starter to start a new batch, by just taking a hunk and using it as the starter, instead of the designated sourdough starter.  Has anyone tried doing this with a hunk of commerical yeast dough?

golgi70's picture

Farmer's Market Week 11 CranPoppy Spelt (60% WholeGrain)

So my love for spelt continues to grow.  I loved the poppy baguettes and thought cranberries with be a nice addition. Continued with the intentionally low profile elongated batard which yields more slightly smaller and more crusty slices.  I tried the staggered retard to get through this bake and was mostly successful but saw the dough acting less vigorously towards the last. bake.  Had they all been baked in the first round all would have been quite well with the world.  

CranPoppy Spelt

Makes 1 - 943 g loaf

Build 1 (12 hours)

2 Starter

20 Spelt

20 h20


build 2 (4 hours)

40 g  First Build

60 g  Freshly Milled Whole Spelt

36 g  H20



190 g  Strong Flour

10   g  Fresh Milled Whole Rye

220 g  Freshly Milled Whole Spelt

300 g  H20

25 g   Poppy Seed

12 g   Sea Salt

50 g   Cranberries


Autolyse Flours, Poppy Seed, and H20 for 2 hours

Add Levain and Salt and mix to combine.  

Develop to medium and then add cranberries and stir in on speed. 1

bulk Ferment 3 1/2 hours (4 S +_F) @ 30 minute intervals


Bake 480 Steam for 12 minutes

460 for 18-22 more.


Happy Baking



And the Bounty.  We got pickling cucumbers (my first small batch of half sours came out really go so I'm gonna make a bigger batch today), brocolli, walla walla and spring onions, goat feta, pluots, pears, asian pears, salad lettuce, local dried herb mix, some sugar snap peas.

bayoubakery's picture

reviving a neglected starter.

OK... I was bad. I got sent out of town for work and my starter languished in the fridge for 3 weeks.

For the last week I have been trying to revive it without much luck.

Have been discarding and feeding twice a day with equal weights of flour and water with no activity at all.
No bubbles at all. It has a nice odor. No streaks or discolorations. Just sits there like a nervous prom date.

Any suggestions to save it? Or did I kill "The Beast" as we call it here.

isand66's picture

Max's 100% Triple Levain Bread with Onions

  It's been a few weeks since my last post.  I've been very busy, traveling to Costa Rica on vacation which was amazing and upon my return we added another family member to our pack.  I am happy to introduce Max who is our new 9 month mixed breed puppy.


We had a great time in Costa Rica trekking through the rain forest and hanging out in the pool and in the ocean.  It's a beautiful country and worth visiting if you get the chance. 
Rain Forest in Costa Rica

To welcome Max into our lives I decided to name my latest experiment in his honor.  I have been wanting to try making a sourdough where all the flour comes from the levain so I decided to build 3 different starters and incorporate all of the flour and most of the water for the dough as part of the preferment's.I used mostly whole grain type flours and tried using a combination I though would create a nice nutty flavor.  I also couldn't help but add some barbecued onions in the mix since I love the flavor of onions in bread.

I let the dough over-proof slightly before placing the loaves in the oven which lead to a more flat loaf than I wanted, but the taste was fantastic with a nice moist open crumb full of flavor and more than enough sour to go around.






Mix ingredients in a bowl for each starter until thoroughly combined.  Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for around 8 hours.  The starter should almost double when ready to proceed.  (I used my proofing box set at 83 degrees and the starter were ready to use after about 5 hours.)

 Main Dough

Mix the starter together in your bowl along with the salt, oil and water for 2 minutes.  Next mix the onions in and mix for another 4-5 minutes.  Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover.  Let it sit at room temperature or in my case at 80 degrees in my proofer for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Do a total of 3 stretch and folds or more if you like until the dough starts to come together and develop sufficient gluten strength.

Next place it in your bowl covered in your refrigerator over night for at least 12 hours.  Since this dough has so much levain you don't want to keep it in the refrigerator too long so I suggest no more than 12 hours.


The next day, take the bowl out of your refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for around 1.5 to 2 hours.  Form the dough into loaves or your preferred shape and let it rise for about 1.5 hours or more depending on your ambient temperature.


When the dough is ready to bake, score as desired and prepare your oven for baking with steam.



Set your oven for 500 degrees F. at least 45 minutes before ready to bake.  When ready to bake place the loaves into your on  your oven stone with steam and lower the temperature immediately to 450 degrees.   When the loaves are nice and brown and reached an internal temperature of 200 degrees F. you can remove it from the oven.

Let the loaves cool down for at least an 3 hours or so before eating as desired.


Max's Fortress of Solitude




Amazing Pool at Westin Resort
Swim-up Bar at Resort....Life is Good!
Costa Rican Lake Leading up to Volcano
It's Nice Being Green
Gills's picture

Herman Friendship Cake

Does anyone know how I can substitute my own sourdough starter for the starter recipe which contains commercial yeast?  What quantity of starter etc.?  Thanks

miranme's picture

Sour Sourdough and Low Glycemic Sourdough bread

Floyd and Chris,

Thank you for your post. I am working on getting the original Laraburu yeast and bacteria. Can you give me some advice on how to access the yeast and bacteria files and how to get a sample of the yeast and bacteria to start a starter? Are there charges to get specific samples?  I assume once I get the bacteria and yeast I add them to warm water and then add some whole wheat flour and let it rise.  Can you give me more details and links on how to get the starter, bacteria and yeast to grow and form a new starter with Laraburu yeast and bacteria?


Since my post I have made some good progress on producing a very sour loaf which I can titrate and a loaf that is light but sour. I have a few unique situations. I have diabetes which means that regular white flour is bad for my blood sugar and I cannot use it. The other is that I am having massive dental restoration done and cannot chew hard crusted bread. While old I am not completely feeble and useless. At least I can still make good sourdough.

Another post by carthurjohn describes a common problem with sourdough and his hitting a brick wall. Below are my revisions for a sourdough starter and interesting dark sourdough relatively low glycemic bread.

1.     The starter- Many people asked about making a very sour starter. I have one that is very sour and can be even too sour. I read a link about “pineapple starter” in which pineapple juice was used to make a very sour starter. The pineapple juice idea did not appeal to me. They did mention using Apple Cider Vinegar to make a very sour starter. This appealed to me. I use natural Apple Cider Vinegar to start Red wine Vinegar and it has worked well. It has a pure all natural safe lactobacillus culture which grows well.  If it is too sour I add more water and flour to make a milder starter.


I took my standard sourdough starter (about 2 cups worth) and added about 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar and then refreshed it with warm water and white whole wheat flour. It started and worked well. I left the starter outside in warm weather (80-90 degrees) for a day or two and it was powerfully strong and I was ready to start using it.

2.     Making Bread with a lower glycemic index.  Now that I had a sour starter I experimented with trying it out. I worked from a recipe for Laraburu style French bread. Laraburu’s bread was not typically extra sour but a good balance. The recipe calls for adding rye flour to enhance the sourness.


The first step is to autolyse 2 cups warm water, 2 cups whole wheat white flour, 1 cup rye flour and 1 cup buckwheat flour. After letting it sit for thirty to sixty minutes I add 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 cup of the extra sour starter. I mix everything thoroughly by hand and then put a clear plastic film over it and cover it with a towel. I put it outside when the temperature is hot i.e. 80 to 90 degrees. I leave it overnight even if it cools off. By the next evening, it is ready for the next step.


The next step happens the morning of the second day after I started the process. I punch the bread down and add 2 table spoons honey, 1 tablespoon canola oil, 2 tablespoons regular yeast, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 cups of whole wheat white flour. If I want to make it sooner into loaves, I roll it out on a breaded marble top and set up the loaves. I usually get two French loaves and a round loaf.


The next step if I am planning to bake the bread that day is to let it rise at a lower temperature i.e. 70 degrees for anywhere from 1 ½ to 4 or 5 hours until doubled in bulk. I coat it with olive oil and sprinkle sesame seeds on it and bake it at about 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes. The loaf is light, sour and very dark. It is soft and easier to chew than crusty bread cooked with steam. I have tried cooking it over wood in a Weber stove. It was edible but somewhat burnt and heavy.


If I want to wait a day, I simply punch the bread down, add more flour and let it continue to rise. The next day I add the yeast, honey etc. and prepare the loaf as above.


One of the dilemmas with making good sourdough bread is that the bacteria are productive at 90-105 degrees Fahrenheit. Increased sourness needs a warmer rise. This slows or stops the yeast. I use two rises at different temperatures. One at a warm temperature encourages the bacteria and creates a sour flavor. The other at a lower temperature stimulates the yeast. By adding commercial yeast, sugar flour and salt before the final rising I get bread that is both sour and well risen. I debated about whether or not using the commercial yeast was “cheating” and should I or should I not rely on the wild yeast in the starter. My conclusion is that some times for a heavier loaf I go with the wild yeast. Since most of my friends prefer the lighter better risen yeast crust, I usually go with that.  The rye and buckwheat flour makes the bread very dark but it also has much lower impact on my blood sugar.


I am interested in any comments or suggestions to improve on this process.





davidtor3's picture

Chocolate Coffee Buns

Hello All!

   I am a student at Johnson & Wales University and am also a cook at Dok's Deli in Providence. I had the day off today so I decided to try out a new bread I've had on my mind. For the past couple of weeks I have been experimenting with steeping various things in the bread water. For example I have done Tobacco (interesting but not very tasty results), Tea, Basil (awesome results!), and Lavender.

  So today I adapted the sweet dough recipe in The Bread Bakers Apprentice to make chocolate coffee buns. I steeped ~2.5oz coffee beans in the milk for ~10mins and strained out the milk before adding it to the mix. I used the French Fold method to mix the dough.

   To shape the buns I made them an oval shape to try and mimic the shape of a coffee bean, sticking a piece of chocolate in the center to further accentuate the coffee bean appearance.

    The final product has a great subtle but still noticable coffee flavor and a super fluffy bread.

Here is the Formula adapted from The Bread Bakers Apprentice

3.25 oz Sugar

0.25 oz Salt

2.75 oz Butter

1.65 oz Egg

16    oz Bread Flour

0.22 oz instant Yeast

9.5 oz Whole Milk

~2.5 oz Caffe Verona Whole coffee Beans

3 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate


-Boil milk, Take off heat, and steep coffee beans for ~10mins

-Whip Sugar, Salt, and Butter

-Add Egg

-Strain Milk and add along with flour and yeast


-Bulk Ferment ~2hrs

-Fold @ 1hr

-Preshape into rounds and final shape into Ovals

-Proof ~1hr

-Add Chocolate and Egg Wash

-Bake @350 till dark brown.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Interrupted Bulk Ferment! Can I Do This?

Hey all.

I miscalculated how much time I had to make my bread dough today.  We are catching a movie and need to leave right in the middle of the bulk ferment time.  I am doing a Whole Wheat Tartine type loaf.

Question:  It is now in it's autolyse stage.  Can I place the autolysed dough in fridge for the next 5 hours until I get back and then simply carry on where I left off - adding salt and bulk ferment AFTER 5 hours in fridge.

OR, can I add the salt and mix and THEN put in fridge for 5 hours, then carry on with bulk ferment when I get back?

Is one better than the other?  Or neither??



grind's picture

gluten free legally defined in USA

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

British Summertime Themed Dinner Party

I'm throwing a dinner party on Monday for us and a couple of good friends. It'll be a semi formal occasion and I usually cook about 10 courses of stupidly over-complicated and gourmet veggie food. I also tend to leave it until the last minute to plan my menu. I must enjoy pressure I guess haha. I was just trying to find some inspiration and ideas that went along with the theme and I know a lot of you baking-types are also into cooking. Any ideas/inspiration would be much appreciated.