The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

jen lynch's picture
jen lynch

Low FODMAP breadmaking

Just when you thought dietary preferences couldn't get any more high-maintenance . . . My husband started a low-FODMAP diet a few months ago.  It is sort of the latest dietary crazy BUT he has suffered from IBS all his life and had terrible cramps and he feels 100 percent better following this.  FODMAPS are a group of carbohydrates some people have difficulty digesting . . . they are not proteins or oils . . . so gluten is NOT a FODMAP but wheat, spelt, barley, rye, kamut are.  Oats and amaranth have moderate amounts.  There are a whole bunch of other foods that are high in FODMAPS that need to be avoided--many of them find their way into GF FOODS (bean flours, dry milk, agave, chicory, garlic, etc).

So this is my question:  I want to add gluten to a GF flour but I am not entirely sure how to substitute or what to expect.  I was watching the Breadtopia sourdough starter video earlier and he mentioned rice flour not being as absorbent. Any idea what would be the best flour to do this with?  Also, I found David's reply on a different thread and that is exactly what I was thinking but I am still unsure and wondering if anyone has tried this or what other modifications I should probably make.


Well, you could use some wheat free/ gluten free flour, and add the gluten back in with Vital Wheat Gluten. Technically, you'd be getting a tiny amount of wheat. But you'd be getting a large amount of gluten highly concentrated, so it wouldn't take much added to the recipe to do the trick. The VWG I have is 8g protein in every 12g of the powder. If you mixed 25g of that VWG for every 100g GF flour, you'd have about as much gluten as a decent white bread flour. A good loaf could possibly be made of maybe 400g GF flour, 300g water, 100g VWG, and half a packet of yeast. You could do the same with any flour you want to try to use, I guess. It stands to reason you may have to knead a little more to make sure all the gluten is well distributed and well developed throughout the loaf, since it isn't an integral part of the flour. Bake at maybe 350F to 375F for about 35 to 40 minutes for a soft pan loaf. Higher temp and steam for a crusty boule. If you really want a crusty boule, batard, or baguette, you should also use more water to make up for the higher heat.


Any help or suggestions would be very helpful .


BTW, the low FODMAP diet sounds weird and very draconian but after a while you are supposed to start to try out different foods to see which ones are tolerable and which ones really cause problems.  Spelt sourdough is supposedly low FODMAP and tolderable (because of the fermentation) but that is a couple of weeks away.

Bröterich's picture

Dunkles Bauernbrot (dark farmer's bread)

I tried this recipe yesterday which I found on the popular German site Pötzblog (,

essentially a sourdough wheat/rye mix. The author says it is one most of the most read recipes.

I made 2 loaves one in the dutch oven the other one a cloche. I was very pleasantly surprised.

My wife and I ate almost half of a loaf this morning for breakfast.


Philip Gregory's picture
Philip Gregory

Slow-doughn (slow-down) sourdough...

Hey bakers, friends!


You guys have been great to me. This picture is just my second attempt at sourdough in the dutch oven. It works wonders for me and my family. Too much bread... is there such a thing?


I am about three weeks in to a sourdough frenzy. My starters are just about that old (three weeks), and I'm making sourdough bread for friends, for family, for co-workers and for dogs. Whoops!!! Someone left the bread out on the counter and maybe our puppy a very happy puppy.


ANyway, to the point! I have questions. Lot's of them. Currently I am without a scale which is fun but, can be a challenge. Also, my kitchen is often times below 60 F (it's one of those old-fashion basement kitchens complete with cold stone and unsealed corners). The winter draft has actually created the perfect environment for my bread making. Everything is moving slower, the dough is always cold until it hits the bottom of the dutch oven, and I realize that this variable will not hold up for long. Soon (hopefully) the house will be warm and my process will have to adapt.


The question I want to ask now, considering this cold-kitchen environment, is how can I use it to my advantage?

Is there anyone out there who has experimented with using less sourdough starter and allowing for a longer fermentation?

For example, I use about 1 cup of starter to 3 cups of bread flour (no scale yet, sorry) for a loaf of bread. Does anyone have any experience, perhaps, using less sourdough starter (making up for the weight with more flour/water) to achieve a longer, slower fermentation period?

I generally autolyse flour, water and starter for 1.5 hrs in my cool kitchen.

Then, sprinkle salt and start with stretch and folds (S&F) once when I add the salt, then two more times at 45min-1hr intervals (if I have the patience). 

After my 3rd S&F I usually transfer the dough to a lightly oiled  casserole dish so it can sort of spread and relax. By this time, anywhere from 3 to 4 hrs has passed. When the dough looks happy and rested, maybe 1/2hr or 1hr later (remember this is a cold kitchen, so I am going by observation) I will pick up the dough and set it on the counter. (Total elapsed time: 4.5 to 5 hrs) I do a careful stretch and fold, no pushing on the dough or pressure then flip it so the seam side is down and let rest for another 1/2hr. then I sprinkle a little flour on top and around the sides (very little flour, just enough to release some stick) and with my scraper, I slide it into the dough, working quickly, all around the dough. It's hard to describe what it is that i do, but basically the scraper shapes the dough for me instead of me doing it because my hands are too rough. Then this shaping rests for a 1/2hr, and then I will do the same thing: a little flour dusting and the scraper motion to create a nice and taught Boule shape then i flip it onto my hands and drop it inverted, bottoms up, into a proofing basket. I let proof (all the while, the dough has been in the same cold kitchen) for anywhere from 1-2hrs. In the mean time i will do a dance, a little jig, and preheat the oven and dutch oven.

In conclusion, the time that has elapsed from when i mixed the autolyse to final proof ready to bake, it has been about 8hrs at a consistently chilly temperature. 


So... I don't find that the bread has over-proofed or under-fermented for that matter. The crust and crumb have been very satisfactory. The taste is slightly sour. Obviously, my starter needs to mature more, etc.


My inquiry is this: Can I use less starter in my dough and make up for it by allowing longer fermentation and proofing ? Does the sourdough starter work like that, or is there a certain percentage of starter you need to create a good bread. The extreme being: 2 tablespoons of starter to one loaf of bread, in which case the fermentation period would be a lot longer... Does this make sense? Does anyone have answers, comments, unrelated suggestions to the process I explained above...

Thanks guys, sorry for the long-winded post.

surefoot's picture

Bottom of bread bakes faster in gas oven


I need tips and advice in baking in my gas oven. Any bread or cake that I bake on the middle rack gets baked faster at bottom whereas the top is a pale brown. It also tastes slightly uncooked. :(

dabrownman's picture

Lucy Takes Another Shot at Not So Tzitzel Like Sprouted Rye

We baked a version of rye bread called Lucy’s Sorta Tzitzel back in the middle of August and it turned out to be one of the very best rye breads we have made to date – found here.


So naturally, Lucy wanted to try and mess with it and see if she could improve on it somehow to make it more Tzitzelish.  She dropped the whole grains to 40% from 60% but made them all sprouted rye instead of equal amounts of rye and wheat with only half of them sprouted.   Tzitzel doesn’t have any sprouted grains in it but, since sprouted grain taste so much better, Lucy says –why not?


Lucy remembered to use some corn meal on the crust this time which is traditional and shaped the bread into an oval shape which is closer to the traditional batard than a boule.   She also upped the bread spices considerably to get closer to the traditional rye.   She also used some barley malt syrup this time in place of the red malt which would get a bit closer to traditional rye bread.


She also decided to up the hydration this time even though the last Tzitzel Like bake had 50% more whole grains and came out perfect.  Hey, she won’t listen to me about the hydration anyway so I just go with the flow which in this case was a sticky, sloppy mess that never stopped sticking to the counter until the end of the 3rd set of slap and folds. 


She strayed from tradition by using a New Belgium porter from Fort Collins, CO for all of the dough liquid.  As far as the process goes, we followed the previous Tzitzel bake with the exception that the long cold retard was reduced to 16 from 20 and the dough was allowed to proof on the counter for 3 hours on a heating pad before Big Old Betsy was fired up to ramming speed.


We slashed the oval more traditionally than the T-Rex we used the last time and  we also decided to bake under the Magnalite turkey roster bottom, used as a cloche, instead of using Mega Steam which is much more work than we wanted to expend today. 


What is better than LA red hot tamale and chicken taco?August was hot, so the last rye bake really proofed well in the fridge but this one, in the AZ winter cold, just didn’t move along as fast.  In fact it hardly puffed itself up at all in the fridge.  Temperature really makes a huge difference in how bread ferments and proofs.  So we hoped our rule of: watching the dough instead of the clock would work out so that all would be fine in the end.


We are really starting to get into home made fresh noodles,  can trailrunner's SD ones be far behind?  This bread baked up nice and brown, sprang and bloomed well enough and smelled teriffic as it baked - must have been the bread spices.


Can't wait to see the crumb    The crumb came out soft, moist and fairly open for a bread of this type. The best part was that this bread has outstanding flavor.  This isn't your 'everyday Jewish Deli Rye.    This is an assertive rye that belies its tiny amount of rye in the mix.  Those of you that don't like bread spices might want to cut them by a third or half..  Adding in some reconstituted dries mined onion would be a fine addition to this sour rye bread.  The porter just made everything a little more complex to the palate.  This is the best JDR bread we have ever made but it could be better. 

SD Levain Build

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



10 Week Retarded Rye Sour Starter






27% Extraction Sprouted Rye
























Levain Totals


















Levain Hydration






Levain % of Total Flour












Dough Flour






72% Extraction Sprouted Rye






KA Bread & La Fama AP 50/50






Total Dough Flour


















New BelgiumPortage Porter 340






Bread Spices






Barley Malt Syrup












Dough Hydration






Total Flour w/ Starter






Tot. New BelgiumPortage Porter 355 & Water












Total Hydration w/ Starter & Adds






Total Weight






% Whole Sprouted Rye






Bread spices include 10 g Caraway & 10 g  Anise, Corriander & Fennel

And Lucy reminds us not to forget the salad 


Debbie Gunter's picture
Debbie Gunter

Making baguettes and ciabattas: a collaboration with Markus Färbinger

I was introduced to the world of artisan breadmaking about twelve years ago, when Markus Färbinger, an Austrian baker coming from a 300 year old family tradition of breadmaking - together with his partner, South African Liezie Mulder - opened the now widely acclaimed café and bakery, île de païn, in Knysna. Knysna is the picturesque town where I live, situated along the southern coast of South Africa. Markus, also a master pâtissier and chocolatier - and a passionate teacher - was Dean for Curriculum and Instruction for Baking and Pastry Arts at the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, New York, in the 1990’s.

My partner and I, being filmmakers, dreamed of capturing Markus the person, with his extraordinary knowledge and reverence for bread, and the beauty of his artistry, on film. (In thinking about filming him, we had been inspired by the approach taken in the documentary film about the British sculptor, Andy Goldsworthy, Rivers and Tides.) Markus, with his intense commitment to “knowledge sharing”, persuaded us to take a different approach and to make detailed instructional films instead. And so we found ourselves on a fascinating and ever-extending trajectory.

After our first collaboration, Bread: One-on-One with Markus Färbinger, was well received, we embarked on a more ambitious and exacting project. Markus wanted to share the principles and techniques involved in making classic artisan breads at a high level - while also showing how loaves of an unusually high quality can be baked using a domestic oven. We decided to focus on two southern European wheat breads, and the result is a double Blu-ray Disc set titled Baguettes & Ciabattas with Markus Färbinger. Baguettes & Ciabattas takes the viewer through the entire process of making each of these breads, in what I believe to be unprecedented detail in terms of filmed demonstrations. It is aimed at serious baking enthusiasts as well as culinary professionals. Should you wish to find out more about it, you can visit the following website, and click on “Must Haves”:

You can also view the trailers at the following links:

(To get as much of a sense of the High Definition quality of the images as possible, adjust your viewing setting to 720p on YouTube.)


Just an aside: I asked Markus, some years ago, why he “double-dotted” the “i” in “païn”. He was aware of the phonetic implications, and said that it had been simply a whim of his. I think, perhaps, it visually distinguishes the French word for “bread” from what it means in English. :-)

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

Milwaukee Dark Rye Bread

Aaron01's picture

Sourdough Starter Issues

I have a quick question for the Fresh Loaf community regarding sourdough starters. I have been trying to get a starter going for about a month now but have been unable to get it to peak within 6-8 hours. It is definitely rising within that time but takes about 24 hours to fully peak. The starter is as follows:

100% hydration, fed at a ratio of 1:1:1, fed at 24 hr intervals, room temp of 74 deg F. 

Thank you all in advance for your help or suggestions

Sarah bakes bread's picture
Sarah bakes bread

San Fran sourdough how to get shiny, orange, blistered crust.

Could anyone offer me some pointers on how I might get the crust on my San Francisco sourdough to be more shiny, orange and blistered?

I use Peter Reinhart's recipe from Artisan Breads Everyday and I get a really nice loaf. It just doesn't look like what I expect a traditional San Francisco sourdough  to look like. It looks just like my pain au levain.

Many thanks and regards


Nominingi's picture

Pullman pan wear and tear

I bought two Pullman pans within the last year. Both are showing signs of wear and tear that concern me. I've not abused these pans in any way. Here are two images of the pans. Can this be regarded as 'normal'?