The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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WoodenSpoon's picture

Semolina&Kamut&PoppySeed Levain


  • 269g BF (52%)
  • 103g Kamut (20%)
  • 78g Semolina (15%)
  • 140g Levain (13% bf 13%water)
  • 26g Toasted SesameSeeds (5%)
  • 346g Water (67%)
  • 10g Salt (2%)

The evening before baking I mixed up my levain using 7g active chef and 200 or so grams of both water and flour and let it ferment at an albeit cool room temp overnight plus some of the following morning.  I made extra for a different project and the additional flour and water with out a significant increase in chef caused for a slower fermentation for the levain, which was fine. When I was ready to start mixing I added everything but the salt and sesame seeds and let it sit for an hour, during this time I toasted the seeds in a dry cast iron and made sure they were cool. 

After the hour had passed I mixed in the seeds and salt and gave the already pretty developed dough a minute or so of slap and folds followed by a rest and a few more folds. Then I let it ferment for an additional four hours at room temp with a few stretch and folds at the 1, 2 and 2 and a half hour marks. 

Five hours later I shaped the loaf and rolled it on a wet towel then rolled it on a plate full of black sesame seeds and popped it in my pullman pan for 4 hours.

Four hours later I baked it at 450 for an hour then took it out of the pan and baked it for another 10 minutes.


mmmmm mm this is some tasty bread, its both buttery and earthy and the sesame seeds both on the inside and out contribute a great nuttyness that I am a big fan of. I was also very pleased and a bit surprised at how well the dough came together with two flours that didn't contribute much gluten to the mix. I expect this one will go fast and I will make it again for sure. 

ElPanadero's picture

Going Dutch !

Figured it was time I tried a bake in a dutch oven.  We have a Le Crueset pot but it is wide and shallow and thus not suitable.  After hunting around I figured I could use this steamer pot which was sitting in a cupboard.


Seemed ideal, plenty deep enough, round and with a lid.   Turned out to be really good.   The proofed loaf dropped in smoothly with parchment paper and the loaf rose very well.  I think I'll be using this pot quite a lot from now on !

The loaf I made was loosely based on Chad's Tartine Country Bread, however I wanted more wholewheat than his 10%.   I used a wholewheat starter and I also had a bag of Malthouse flour to hand (a blend of wheat, rye and flaked malted grains) so I threw some of that in as well.  So plenty of wheat in this loaf.  Hydration was about 70% and the crumb came out pretty well.

White Bread Flour - 350g

Wholewheat Flour - 100g

Malthouse Flour50g

Water - 330g

WW Starter (@100%) - 100g



Autolyse (F+W+Y) - 30min

Added salt then rested - 30min

Stretch+fold every 30min for 2hrs

Shape and banneton

Retard in fridge overnight - 12 hrs

Rest 45min at room temp then baked 15 mins lid on, 25-30 mins lid off

I made a similar loaf to this last week and baked on a stone and it came out much flatter as the dough spread after being turned out.  The Dutch oven approach clearly offers side support and produces a nicer looking loaf imo.
's picture

Gourmalicious- My very own little home bakery

Hi all, I am very excited to share that I have finally started selling my baked products to a select group of customers and got extremely flattering reviews. I bake before leaving home on 1-2 workdays  and then half day over weekends with a full time job I only bake as hobby. Some of the things that really picked up and people loved them include: 1-Garlic Knots 2-Pleated bread with different fillings 3- Cheese and herb loaf. I am sharing the images here. 

Grobread's picture

Sourdough pizza crust with rye

I've been experimenting a bit with rye lately and the first thing I learned is that it has this weird quality that makes the dough very extensible, but not very elastic, right? So I was thinking to myself, where, oh where could I use that specific quality? And the first answer that came to my mind was Pizza! (The second idea is laminated dough, but I haven't had the chance to try it, I wonder if anyone has). 

I had already planned a pizza party with some friends and at the last minute decided to try that idea by adding 10% of rye flour to my pizza crust recipe. I had never done it with sourdough starter either. I don't make pizza very often, but I'm very happy with the results, I think this is my best attempt yet. They had a very nice oven spring, and the crust was crispy and golden, not super open crumb, but enough that it was really good and almost no edge leftovers, even with a rather picky and healthy audience! And as predicted, the dough balls were very easy to extend to make the pies very thin with a thicker edge. Needless to say, the flavor was great.

The formula was this: 


112 grams of sourdough starter at 100% hidration (30% whole rye, 70% whole wheat)

140 grams whole rye flour

354 gr. plain white flour

504 gr. water

I originally calculated this to be ripe in about 12 hours but in the morning, about 8 hours later, it was already quite ripe, so I degassed it, and put it in the fridge for the remaining 4 hours until mixing the final dough.

Final dough:

Levain ..................1120 gr. (40% prefermented flour)

Bread flour ............840 gr.

Salt..........................35 gr. (2.5%)

Sugar.......................40 gr. (2.8%)

Water.......................448 gr.

Total flour: 1400 gr.

Total water/hidration: 1008 gr. (72%)

I mix the levain with the rest of the ingredients in the bowl for about 4 minutes, then let it rest. S&F at 30 and 60 minutes, and then let it rest for about 2.5 more hours. Then cut and shape 8 300gr. balls and let rest covered. The first one was made about 2.5 hours later, and the last one about 5 hours later and they all came out very good. I bake them on a stone at 230°C for 9-10 minutes. The last one was something like a dessert calzonne with pear, pineapple and blueberries.

Happy baking!


FLSandyToes's picture

HELP: Beginner with Problem Buns

Hello, everyone,

This is my first time posting, although I've browsed your forums quite a bit lately, and even grabbed a recipe or two. Thanks for those!

This morning I made Beth Hensperger's Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook (isn't there an abbreviation for that?) Hamburger Rolls to go with our burger cookout tonight. They came out looking quite lovely, tall with deep gold sesame-dusted tops. They were good, but just missed the mark. They were a little bit heavier than I'd hoped. I'm after a very light, fluffy bun. These were more substantial than that. Here are the ingredients:

8 oz. Spring Water
1 Large Egg
4 TBsp. unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
2 TBsp. Sugar or Honey
15 oz. Bread Flour with extra to adjust hydration if needed.
1/4 cup dry Milk Powder
2 TBsp. instant Potato Flakes
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsp. IAD Yeast

I made them exactly as written, baked at 375F for 15 minutes. No additional flour or water was needed; the dough looked, handled and rose just fine. Can you offer any suggestions to improve them? Or perhaps point me to another recipe that might suit me better? I'll be your best friend and take you to the circus!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

making sourdough starter -- sauerkraut juice

The No Stir Sourdough Starter

This last week I started a vigorous rye starter by simply pouring water over rye flour and leaving it alone, covering it.  No stir, no mixing, just stand alone at 75°F and watch.  

This time I want to avoid, skip over the stinky bacterial population growth in the starter so I'm pouring sauerkraut juice over flour to see what happens.  Same 74°F to 75°F  temperature.    


  1. Spoon rye flour into clean tall narrow jar.   About one inch or 2.5 to 3 cm. deep.  (I used 30g Rogers whole rye flour)
  2. Pour strained sauerkraut juice gently over the flour.  Should make a top layer of about half an inch or 1.5cm deep.    (I used 40g strained Bick's Wine Sauerkraut)   Do not stir.
  3. Mark the level, time and date with a permanent marker pen.  Cover loosely with lid or plastic wrap and loose rubber band. 
  4. Stand in warm spot 75°F (23.8°C)  out of drafts and danger.  Do nothing but observe but this includes daily removal of cover and noting aromas before recovering.  

That is it.   Just for information my culture growing glass is about 2" in diameter, 5" tall and weighs 178g empty.  The sauerkraut contains sodium as well as vitamin C, wine and sulphites.  The last of which may or may not interfere with yeast activation.  It is not raw sauerkraut juice which might be preferable.  When the starter takes on a beer aroma, it will be fed more flour.

Anyone wishing to participate is welcome.  

Options might include other flours, other sauerkraut juices, other temperatures.  As sauerkraut is fermented around 60°F it might be interesting if a 60°F sourdough starter could be developed (might take more time?)

blackhatbaker's picture

Vermont Sourdough

Some Vermont Sourdough I baked this weekend. Increased the hydration to 70%. Baked the batard in a gourmet-topf baker that I got this weekend. Got my best ear so far, and a fairly open crumb. The only thing is, I feel like the boule had most of the holes on the upper half, but still a fun bake.


Twisted Brick's picture
Twisted Brick

Latest Brick Oven Tartine Effort

Hi All,

After a number of successful batches of Tartine Country loaves in the combo-cooker, I made my third batch of the same last weekend in the WFO. I was determined to get the oven hotter than my first two attempts, the objective of getting a deeper-colored crust instead of my previous pale loaves.  I use a handheld infrared laser thermometer and for the life of me, still can't figure out how what part of the oven to read to get an accurate temp.  I am positive that the air temperature is quite a bit lower than the dome temps.  What part the dome's radiation plays in loaf color is an entirely different discussion for later.

Additionally, I am finding out that the downside of soapstone floors (great for pizza) mentioned in The Bread Builders is, sadly, true.  The heat transfer is much greater than the firebrick dome, making it really easy to burn the bottoms of my bread.  Even with parchment to start the bake, they burned a little on the bottom.

Based on the attached pics and your experience, if any of you have advice on how to alleviate the burned bottoms, I would appreciate it.  I am thinking of sliding the bread onto some (half-inch-mesh) stainless steel screens half-way through the bake.  Also, any advice on shaping, I think I need it.

Otherwise, I have changed my opinion on a brick oven being secondary to a combo-cooker's ability to create a deep, rich crust, which I love.




isand66's picture

Durum Tangzhong Sourdough

      I was in the mood for a nice Durum loaf and figured I would use the Tangzhong method to lighten it up a bit.  I've used this method for rolls several times but not on an actual loaf.

I have to say this simple recipe turned out amazing with a nice thin crust and moist and open crumb.  This is one of those breads you can just eat with some butter or cheese or olive oil and call it a day.

I highly recommend you give this one a try.  It makes great toast, grilled bread and sandwiches or goes well with some "Italian Gravy"!

Last week was our Lexie's first birthday and Max's second so we celebrated on Friday with a doggie cake.  Both puppies loved their cake :).




Durum Tangzhong Sourdough (%)

Durum Tangzhong Sourdough (weights)

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.


Tangzhong is the technique of heating a portion of the flour and liquid in your recipe to approximately 65C to make a paste (roux).  At this temperature the flour undergoes a change and gelatinizes.  By adding this roux to your final dough it will help create a soft, fluffy, moist open crumb.  It is also supposed to help prevent the bread from going stale.

It is not very difficult to do a Tangzhong.  Use a  5 to 1 liquid to solid ratio (so 250g liquid to 50g flour) and mix it together in a pan.  Heat the pan while stirring constantly.  Initially it will remain a liquid, but as you approach 65C it will undergo a change and thicken to an almost pudding like consistency.  Take it off the heat and let it cool before using it in your recipe.  Some people will refrigerate it for a while but you can use it right away as soon as it cools.

Levain Directions Build 1 (Using AP Starter at 66% Hydration for Seed)

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 used my Proofer set at 81 degrees and it took about 4 hours.

Main Dough Directions
Prepare the Tangzhong per directions above and allow to cool to room temperature.

Mix the flours, Tangzhong and water 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 20-30 minutes.  Next add the salt, oil and starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and  mix on low for a minute.   Mix for a total of 6 minutes in your mixer starting on low-speed and switching to speed #2 for the last 2 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.  (If you have a proofer you can set it to 78 degrees and only leave the dough out for 1 hour to 1.5 hours before placing in the refrigerator).

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.  Remove the dough and shape as desire and cover with a moist lint free towel or sprayed plastic wrap. 

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.  Note: I used my proofer set to 80 degrees and it took a little over an hour to be ready.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 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.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown.

Let them cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.



ghazi's picture

Feeding storage starter

Hi all

A question on feeding a long term stored starter from fridge.

I keep mine at 50% hydration and left in fridge for about 2 months. Usually I feed 1:6:3 when on counter, can I just do the same feed even after such a long storage?