The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Janetcook's picture

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cardamom Loaf

When a friend showed up at my front door with a freshly picked pumpkin in her arms I didn't have to think much as to how it would be 'put to use'.  Recently I had found a recipe for a spiced pumpkin loaf on a food blogger's site (Annie's Eats) that had caught my attention.  While the original recipe didn't include cardamom, I somehow decided to include it in my ingredient list. I am glad I did.  I also used WY to leaven the loaves rather than IY…..I just can't resist tweaking recipes :*)



FORMULA:      (Based on the one above from Annie's Eats which was based off of KA Pumpkin Yeast Bread…..which I tweaked for use with WY and whole grains….)

FLOUR  100%   (15% of the flour was used in the leaven - pre-fermented.)

WATER   28%    (12% of the water was yeast water which I use in my leavens to keep them on the sweeter side,)

SALT       1.5%

IY            0.15%


HONEY    14%

EGG         13%

OIL            5%




CLOVES         pinch

MACE              pinch

NUTMEG         pinch

GINGER          pinch

(Adjust spice pinches to your preference.)



It didn't take long for the pumpkin to be transformed into several colorful and fragrant loaves.  


     Freshly ground flour


                     some egg yolks   



a bit of spice   


                                  sweetened with honey  


all combined to make the final loaves.


No crumb shot since the breads will be heading to new homes soon while the formula will stay behind to be added to one of my Bread Binders so that I can bake this bread again and again and again.

                                                      Happy Fall and Happy Harvest to you all.




Kiseger's picture

A song tasting of new wheat

A song of the good green grass!

A song no more of the city streets;

A song of farms - a song of the soil of fields.

A song with the smell of sun-dried hay, where the nimble pitchers handle the pitch fork;

A song tasting of new wheat and of fresh husk'd maize.

A Carol of Harvest, for 1867.  Walt Whitman (1819-1898)

 And so it came to pass that I had an afternoon to prepare more bread and The Husband was nowhere to be seen.  Luxury.  Surveying my cupboard, I spotted some spelt and realised I hadn't used it in a while.  Called "triticum spelta", spelt is one of the ancient wheats - discovered in Neolithic sites which date as far back as 2500-1700 BC.  It is also known as dinkel and, this is nerdy bit, is a hexaploid wheat - eg. it has six chromosomes.  In France, it is known as "épeautre" or wheat of the Gauls!  Hildegard of Bingen couldn't get enough of spelt, particularly recommending a spelt gruel called "Habermus" for which she gave a recipe (spelt, water, apple, lemon juice, galangal, cinnamon, honey, psyllium and almonds….).  According to her, spelt cleans the blood and gives man a joyous spirit.  Worth trying!!  Spelt was also used by the Romans, and for a bit of fun, see the link below to the British Museum site which has a recipe for spelt and whole wheat bread, based on a bread found in Herculaneum.

Anyway, the boule below is based on the "Ode to Bourdon" Basic Country Loaf in Tartine, but I wanted to jazz it up so swapped some whole wheat for spelt.  

Whole Wheat & Spelt Boule

Bread Flour                  300                  60%

Whole Wheat               100                  20%

Spelt                            100                  20%

Salt                              10                    2%

Water                           400                  80%

Levain                         125                  25%

The levain was 50BF/50WW at 80% hydration, used at 6hrs.  Kitchen is about 22C/71.6F.

1. Autolyse - all flour and 380g water, left this to autolyse for 1hr.

2. Mix in salt, 20g water and 125g levain.

3. Bulk Ferment - did a total of 5 S&F every 30mins.  Total bulk was 5hrs.

4. Preshape and bench rest - 30min

5. Shape and proof - this went into a banneton and into the fridge for 12hrs.  Went straight from fridge to banneton, scored with scissors.

6. Bake straight out of the fridge at 250C for 25mins, try to turn down the ridiculous antiquity of an oven, give up, have a glass of wine, then take the lid off to bake for another 25mins, watch the oven at some point drop down to 240C (ish). 

I completely forgot to pre-heat my DO but found that the loaf rose quite well anyway.  Decent oven spring and evenly aerated crumb, I prefer it this way than with massive holes.  Taste was mildly tangy and more so this morning, with a warm, almost sweet nutty taste from the spelt.  The top is sprinkled with sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds which marry up well with the flavour of the bread.  Am tempted to try this with 25% spelt and 15% WW.  Excellent with spicy olive oil, even better with a thin slice of lardo di colonnata and a drop of balsamic. 

O Earth, that hast no voice, confide to me a voice!

O harvest of my lands!  O boundless summer growths!

O lavish, brown, parturient earth!  O infinite, teeming womb!

A verse to seek, to see, to narrate the.

A Carol of Harvest, for 1867. Walt Whitman (1819-1898)

tigg's picture

new to sourdough, anyone direct me to a good recipe?

Just recently became disabled, I'm a certified chef, but left the cooking scene years ago, got so burnt out. I recently rediscovered my passion . Now having all the time in the world, I recalled my mother having that nasty looking jar of starter  in the fridge all my life, but remember how oh so good the bread it made tasted. SO I made me a starter, and recently made a couple loaves that my family goobled up.. but I personally didn't care for.


Any recipes that have been tested and approved I can be directed to? Thanks

and such a wonderful community this is, glad I stumbled upon it.

Kiseger's picture

Einkorn & Kamut

If he shows talent as an artist, give him pencils or modeling wax in his playroom, but do not let him bite his slice of bread into the silhouette of an animal, or model figures in soft bread at the table. And do not allow him to construct a tent out of two forks, or an automobile chassis out of tumblers and knives. Food and table implements are not playthings, nor is the dining-room a playground.

Table tricks that must be corrected from Etiquette (1922) by Emily Post.

And so it came to pass that for one reason and another, and then some more on top, one was deprived of the joys of baking for two whole weeks.  A grueling trial that was, but survived it we did and rebounded by pouncing on two clear days of baking to the exclusion of all else. 

We had spent a weekend in Copenhagen for The Husband's crazy race and I had nourished high hopes of a free moment to explore Meyer's Bageri.  This is Claus Meyer of Noma fame and of Grupe & Meyer flour fame, worth watching the Chad Robertson masterclass with Meyer video: ). 

Any hopes of a bakery visit were thunderously dashed by the decision to check out the race swim, bike and run courses.  This, of course, took all day as each course was deconstructed by the triathletes, and I tried to survive the experience by encouraging everyone to stop for a glass of wine here and there.  That didn't go down well, but The Husband had a hugely successful race and so a return trip to Copenhagen has been promised for the sole purposes of a bakery and flour pilgrimage.  We shall see.

On our return, The Husband duly noted the obvious calamity ... that there was no fresh bread in the house.  A hushed silence inhabited the room as neither of us dared utter the forbidden question - "should we buy some bread?"  It was rapidly agreed that dinner would be a breadless affair and the starter was promptly fetched and inspected.   It had been nestling happily in the fridge and - oh joy - got cracking on its first feed, so we pressed on. 

Einkorn & Macadamia Bread

Thanks to Karin (Hanseata) for the inspired recipe for einkorn and hazelnut bread (link below).  I followed this formula pretty much to the letter, making adjustments to bulk ferment and proof times as my kitchen is quite chilly.  I had run out of hazelnuts and so took a punt with macadamia nuts - cracked in half and very well toasted.  The photos show that I managed to squash the bread slightly when loading it in, but I think I got a good oven spring and the crumb was acceptable for a first go at this.

Verdict: stick with the hazelnuts.  The macadamia just doesn't have enough pazazz of its own to hold against the delicious einkorn bread.  The Husband, at this stage parading around the kitchen in his training kit trying to impress me with detailed post-mortem analysis about time splits and average speeds from his race, quickly realised that this was not the path to true love.  He put down his race statistics and tasted the bread - "Delicious!" he declared…"Shame about the macadamia nuts…..", which did not further assist his quest for the path to true love. 

But he had a fair point.  So I made this bread again, without any nuts or additions and it is absolutely delicious on its own.  Karin has created a delicious blend which allows the delicate einkorn flavour to shine through.  No photos of the non-nutted bread, it was promptly wolfed down.  Everything is good with this bread (I do mean everything - smeared about or not) …. so I'd suggest making it plain or adding the hazelnuts, just don't add macadamia.  I'll be making this one again with hazelnuts and certainly again just plain.  Here's the link and a thousand "Danke" to Karin.


Tartine 3 inspired 60% Kamut

Kamut                                      60%

Bread Flour                              20%

High Extr. Whole Wheat           20%

Water                                       85%

Salt                                           2.4%

Levain                                      16%

Levain made from 50WW/50BF at 80% hydration, used at 4hrs when peaked.

A few changes to Chad's recipe:

1. I did not add the wheat germ. 

2. I reduced the salt slightly from 2.5% to 2.4%, a marginal change I feel.

3. I upped the levain from 15% to 16% in part because that's how much went in and I couldn't be bothered to faff around trying to take 5g out to hit the perfect 15%. 

Otherwise, I followed Chad's instructions making adjustments for time/temp.  Autolyse was an hour, 6 S&F with a total bulk ferment of 4.5hrs and it was proofed for 14hrs in the fridge.  Baked in the DO at 250C then taking the lid off after 30mins, and left for another 20mins at around 230C. 

This is a winner, I just love the flavour.  At this point, The Husband was seriously looking for an improvement to his popularity ratings so I got no helpful or constructive criticism whatsoever.  Good spring but the crumb was a bit too dense - as the photo shows, some big holes but the rest is quite dense.  I am going to try this again soon and increase the bulk ferment as my kitchen was very cool and I might up the hydration slightly as well.  We smeared what appeared to be the entire contents of our fridge on this bread and were greatly satisfied: hard cheese, soft cheese, goat, ewe and cow cheese, salami, ham, paper thin slices of roast beef, butter, honey, tomatoes and pate.  Success and, despite what the clearly very un-fun Ms. Post has to say below, I highly recommend smearing food about this bread.

Bread must never be held flat on the palm of the hand and buttered in the air. If the regular steel knife is used, care must be taken not to smear food from the knife’s side on the butter. Any food that is smeared about is loathsome. 

The graduating tests in table manners from Etiquette (1922) by Emily Post.

bw54's picture

Fitting a sourdough cycle with full time work

Now that I feel I'm on top of making basic, failproof sourdough, my next bread project is to focus on the following problem: Usually starter refreshes, bulk rises etc. using a sourdough starter take about 5-6 hours if done at room temperature. But 5-6 hours is a terribly inconvenient time frame if one is engaged in a busy full time workday life. Thinking of this period while one either sleeps, or is at work is simply too short. But to do a refrigerated bulk rise, for example, would require additional time after the folding and shaping for the dough to come up to room temperature, thus extending the time required for shaping and folding/final rise/baking from about 2 hours to 4 possibly more hours. 

I should also note that I use a refrigerated preferment - I always have a jar in the fridge - because this allows me to think in terms of an 8 hour sequence from the "I'd like to make a loaf of bread" to it finally coming out of the oven. 

So here is the challenge I am going to be working on: How can I adjust the ratio of preferment to additional flour/water  for the bulk rise so that its optimal rising time is more in the vicinity of 10 -12 hours at room temperature, as opposed to 5-6 hours? Doing this would make the sourdough cycle more compatible with a full time work timeframe: One would be able to either prepare it in the evening, and bake it early in the morning, or set up the preferment before leaving for work and doing the final rise and baking at the other end of the day. 

Anyone else thinking along these lines out there? 


Floydm's picture

The latest loaves

I hope everyone is having a good late summer, early fall.  

Things have been remarkable busy in my household the past few months and only appear to be getting busier the next few months. But I have been baking when I can.  

Mostly I've been baking sourdough boules, these sorts of things.

My basic formula is 72% hydration with 20% whole grain flour, though I tend to experiment and make it lighter or grainer based on what other breads we have in the house, what we are going to have for dinner, or what sort of loaf I am craving. 

I am baking these in my enamel pots, which are cheap and pose no risk to our oven.

 We do enjoy them!

* * *

Also worth mentioning that I was contacted a few weeks ago by the folks at Craftsy, an online hobby training video site that a few community members have mentioned. I typically turn away solicitations and advertising partnership requests, but my interest was piqued when I saw they had an Artisan Bread Making class taught by Peter Reinhart as well as a Sourdough Bread Making class taught by Richard Miscovich (there is also a shorter free pizza making class taught by Peter as well). Both Peter and Richard teach at Johnson & Wales and are highly respected both as bakers and as instructors. I've taken classes or worked with both and respect them both immensely.

So I signed up for the Craftsy affiliate program (which means this isn't a paid post, but if you click through one of those links and sign up for a class there, I get a cut) and am working my way through Peter and Richard's videos. I've enjoyed what I've seen so far.

Have other folks taking these classes? Your impressions?

linder's picture

More Dutch Oven Baking

Today we baked some more San Joaquin Sourdough in the Dutch oven over charcoal.  This time I upped the whole wheat to 300 grams, added 10 grams of water to the initial mix and used pumpernickel flour in place of the dark rye.  One glitch in transfer to the pot was my handkerchief flour lined bread bowl wasn't floured enough so the bread stuck to the kerchief, but a quick whack with the bread knife/lame took care of it. 

Heating the charcoal

Waiting for the bread to bake -

The finished loaf -

The "proof" is in the pudding(er --- bread).


golgi70's picture

Some Recent Bakes

You know your in a drought when it feels strange to have rain up here in Northern California where it usually rains nearly half the year.  Some can't handle it but I've come to love it.  I get to live just minutes from a variety of beautiful beaches, have a Redwood Forest for a backyard, and an amazing marsh that draws a ridiculous variety of bird life.  Not to mention just an hour from beautiful rivers and mountains going the other direction.  Finally it rained yesterday.  And instead of the non stop mist we are so accustomed too it actually down poured with thunder and lightning.  And we need it desperately with all the wildfires going on.  Let's hope for a wet winter up on the Pacific Northwest.  

I thought I'd share some bread I've baked in the past few weeks .  I now do the Farmer's Market less regularly and focus on my Tuesday bake for barter/donation.  As we all know home ovens don't lend to production so In the past few months I've worked on increasing the output without having to bake for 20 hours straight.  The primary solution was introducing my "tasters" to tinned Rye Breads which by surprise has been very popular.  I'm able to bake 4 pullman pans a few days in advance which get quartered and double my previous output.  Most weeks they get reserved faster than the levain breads.  I've also added some simpler breads like pain rustique, SJSD, slowrise baguettes, and some focaccia flats.  These fit in to the bake day and follow right after the levain breads have finished baking without much effort.  

70% Whole Rye with Whole Wheat and Soaker

For 1 Pullman (2.2 KG)

Rye Sour: 16-20 hours @ 70-73F


21 g   Refreshed Rye Sour

335g  H20

411g  Whole Rye Flour

4 g    Sea Salt


Soaker:  Make at same time as Rye Sour


421  H20

421  Coarse Rye Flour

8      Sea Salt


Final Paste DDT 80-82F this will require the final water be very warm

All   Rye Sour

All   Soaker

220 H20 (very warm)

361 Whole Wheat, 

8     Instant Yeast

11   Sea Salt


Mix Sour and ferment 16-20 hours.  MIx Soaker, cover, and set aside.

Mix All together (I mix for about 15 total minutes by hand)

Bulk Ferment:  30 minutes

Place in lightly greased pan and smooth out with wet spatula.  Sprinkle lightly with Rye Flour.  

Proof 50-60 minutes

Bake 470 with steam for 15 minutes and turn down to 400 and bake an hour longer rotate pans half way through.  Temp @ 208-210F

Cool on racks.  Wrap in linen at least 24 hours


Some 36 hour fermented SJSD with fresh milled whole grain and added malt.  Really Good Stuff

And finally my most recent Pane Maggiore bake which I continue to tinker with.  This is made with a stiff levain and as always freshly milled whole grains.  Not bad but more tinkering to come.  





Andy A's picture
Andy A

Tartine - It took a while

Hi All,

I'm a new member to this site but have been using it as a resource for 6 months after attempting Tartine bread and having a few problems with it. I'm now managing to create decent bread and consistently due to the information I found here. So thanks! The most important things I found were to use a DDT calculation and keep my dough temp at 78-82F during the bulk ferment and not the ambient air temp which in my inexperience was what I initially thought. It was almost impossible for me to achieve that in England. Also, I found my switch to Allisons Bread Flour from Doves Farm Organic really worked, it has less protein which I'm guessing is closer to the King Arthur AP flour mentioned in the book and on here. Not sure if it's down to a better process but it seemed to work with the first loaf I tried with this flour. I also knead the dough for 5mins before setting off the bulk ferment. I then do 2 stretch and folds during the first hour and then leave it until ready which seems to allow bigger holes to develop. Other than that I follow the book to the letter and prove in the fridge between 6 and 12 hours depending on what I'm up to and use a pair of scissors to score. Any thoughts and suggestions welcome. Thanks again!

scoyu's picture

Larousse Brioche

This is the brioche parisienne from the latest edition of Larousse des Desserts by Pierre Hermé. It doesn't have any milk which lends a much more tender crumb than every recipe I've made so far. The dough was very wet and it didn't feel like I developed enough gluten before incorporating the butter, it was also hard to shape before panning (I had to use a lot of flour & many turns with a rolling pin.)

I really didn't think it would work out or even rise much, as it felt like the entire thing was just butter. Work out it did though, and what a beautifully satisfying bread.


Here are the proportions


Flour                             190 g

Sugar                            20 g

Active Dry Yeast            5 g

Salt                                4 g

Butter                            150 g

3 eggs


The recipe is supposed to be made with a wooden spoon and a bowl, but I'm not just gonna let my KA sit there and do nothing while my shoulder is falling off. So I had to use what little intuition I've acquired for the mixing time and cannot even remember how long it was. I did let it autolyse for a good 25 mins before kneading again and mixing the butter in.

The lack of milk makes the butter and eggs sing, and delivers a beautiful yellow crumb. I used local eggs and Président butter.

Hope to post a crumb shot later. Happy Baking!

ps: I'm kind of obsessing over brioche at the moment as all my recent posts might show, so if you have a favorite recipe I'd very much like to give it a go. European butter won't use itself!