The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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nicodvb's picture

Does soy flour inhibit protease?


I'm curious to know if soy flour can inhibit or slow down protease action in doughs. If so, what percentage is it safe to use with respect to flour? Does anyone have first hand experience with it?

I read some mention of it in baking applications, but nothing well explained.

If I werent sick at bed I would have tried it myself, but I have only whole (and very hard) soy beans  at home :-(




Norman's picture

My First loaf of 2011

I only had 4 hrs to do the bread and I made kinda like no knead bread. I measured the flower and the water (300gr for bread flour and 210gr of water, 1/4 tsp of yeast and 1 tsp of salt and sugar) but the dough was not wet enough like I wanted to.  So I add some more warm water, I really don't know how much I put, but the dough got really wet, almost like a pancake butter. Anyway, I let it rest covered for like 3 1/2 hrs and then I had quite a hard time trying to fold the dough, but with the used of flower and dough scraper I managed.  I had some friends coming over for diner so I only let it rest for like 30 minutes while the pot was getting hot in the oven.  I cooked it covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for 12 minutes.  The bread needed to have been cooked for a bit longer, but diner was ready and I had to get it out of the oven and sliced it while still pretty hot. Nevertheless, bread was very good and the crumb was a bit undone to me, but still much better than most bread than you can buy in the stores.  Over all, pretty happy.  Attached is the picture of it.


Felila's picture

Green baking

I don't want to spend money on parchment paper, plastic wrap, plastic bags, and tin foil, only to throw them away after one use. It's a matter of frugality + wanting to be environmentally responsible.

I used to save the plastic bags from the supermarket and wash and re-use them as long as possible before they fell apart. However, the supermarkets are using thinner, sleazier bags, AND I've recently learned that my old freezing method (put the loaf in a bag and freeze it) was inadequate. I'm wrapping the loaves in tin foil and then putting them in heavier plastic bags. When they're needed, I let them thaw, heat them in a 375 degree oven ... and then throw away the tin foil. Which hurts.The bread is better (moister) but I've wasted the aluminum and the energy it took to make it.

I've also been experimenting with retarding bread dough, which seems to require lavish use of plastic wrap to cover bowls. The wrap then has to be thrown away.

I was recently given some Peter Reinhart bread books. Many of the recipes call for parchment paper ... which I resist using. Another use-once, throw-away item.

Are there any bakers out there who can advise me on environmentally-sound baking? I would like to bake using only reusable equipment.



dmsnyder's picture

Whole Wheat Bread from BBA made with fresh-ground flour

A couple days ago, I tested my new KitchenAid Grain Mill's output with a formula calling for about 30% whole grain flour. It was very good. In fact, the flavor of that bread has improved over two days. Even as I dipped my toe in the home-milled flour waters, I knew that the real test, for me, would be how the flour performed in a 100% whole wheat bread.

Most of my breads are made with levain, but my favorite whole wheat bread has remained the “Whole Wheat Bread” from BBA. This is made with a soaker of coarse ground whole grains and a “poolish” made with whole wheat flour. I have used bulgur for the soaker in the past. Today, I used coarsely ground fresh-ground hard red winter wheat, the same wheat was used finely ground for the poolish and final dough. The formula can be made as a lean dough (plus honey) or can be enriched with oil and/or egg. I used both.

The KitchenAid Grain Mill does a great job with coarse grinding. I found that, with the first pass, the particle size is rather variable. It seems to even out by putting the flour through the mill again at the same setting.

I ground the rest of the grain at the next to finest setting. I put it through 3 passes of increasing fineness, actually. The flour ends up somewhere between semolina and AP flour fineness, at least by feel. This slightly coarse flour, fresh-ground, seems to absorb a bit less water than the KAF WW flour I usually use. I ended up adding about an extra tablespoon of flour to adjust dough consistency during mixing.

Bulk fermentation, dividing, shaping and proofing showed no differences I noticed from the behavior of this bread made with KAF WW flour. However, there was a remarkable difference in the aroma of the bread during baking and cooling. It filled the kitchen with a wheaty smell that both my wife and I found absolutely lovely. (As I write this, the bread is cooling. I hope it tastes as good as it smells!)

Another remarkable difference is that the color of the loaves is quite a bit lighter than loaves made with KAF WW flour and exactly the same other ingredients and the same baking time and temperature. I thought this might be because the KAF WW has malt added, but it is “100% hard red whole wheat,” according to the ingredient list on the bag.

The flavor of the bread is just perfect, to my taste. It has a wonderful whole wheat flavor with not a bit of grassiness. It is very slightly sweet. I used a very mild-flavored clover honey, and I cannot find any distinct honey taste in the bread. The flavor is bolder and more complex than this same bread made with KAF WW flour. I'm sold!

As I've written, above, Reinhart's whole wheat bread from BBA has been my favorite. I've made other whole wheat breads from formulas in Hamelman's “Bread” and Suas' “Advanced Bread & Pastry” that I found less tasty. I am now wondering how they would be if made with fresh-ground flour. Hmmmm …. This is shaping up to be a project.


Mebake's picture

Betrayal Of a starter

Just to finish off 2010 with a "cheerful ending , my starter has failed me twice. Having ventured on to bake Hamelman's Pain Au Levain with Wholewheat, My Doughs have twiced turned slack and headed to the trash bin instead of the oven, twice in a row? that is a killer. Add this to my lower back pain, iam not inclined to bake anytime soon. 

Iam a keen caretaker of my Starter, but lately i was unable to please it. Long story short, i have to keep an eye on it more often, inorder to revive the healthy population i always nourished.

Now i have to watch all the wonderful Year end bakes of my fellow TFl members, and drool on.

EDIT: Light Bulb On! I believe the reason behind my starter problematic vigor has to do with overfeeding right from the fridge. As Underfeeding reduces the number of viable yeasts that ensure fermentation, Overfeeding, seems, also overwhelms the starter, and the end result is same.


ananda's picture

Pain de Siègle; New Year's Eve 2010


Finishing the year with what seems to have become our "regular" House Bread of late.   There is one loaf at just over 1500g scaled dough weight, and one at 1000g.   Crust, crumb and all round flavour are just as I like and aim to achieve.  


Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Rye Sourdough



Bacheldre Organic Dark Rye









2. Final Dough



Rye Sourdough [from above]



Organic White Bread Flour












Overall Hydration



% Pre-fermented Flour




  • Build the rye sourdough over 2 elaborations across a 24 hour period.
  • For mixing I used the "bassinage" technique, by holding back 75g of the water. This was to counter the lack of apparent willingness on the part of the flour to take up as much water as I was hoping for. Starting at 63% and I ended up with a respectable 68%, which seemed perfect in the final dough.
  • I let the dough stand for half an hour during the mix cycle, and thereafter it came together as a really good strong dough; given 25% Dark Rye.
  • 2 hours bulk proof, with 1 S&F after 1 hour
  • Scale, divide and mould. Final proof in bannetons. I held one back in the fridge for half an hour. Proof time for the first loaf was around 2 hours.
  • Tip the dough out of the bannetons, and cut accordingly before setting in the oven at 250°C. Bake with steam on a hot brick base. I turned the heat down to 220°C after 15 minutes, then down to 200°C after a further 30 minutes, baking out for 1 hour in total.

I measured the weight loss for the big loaf, and did the following calculations:

Finished Baked weight of 1325g, meaning weight lost 222g.   As a percentage of the moisture, this means 35.83% of the original moisture was lost, thus, 64.17 was retained.

Photographs of the finished breads are shown below.DSCF1601DSCF1598DSCF1600DSCF1601DSCF1602DSCF1605DSCF1608DSCF1609DSCF1607

There's a bit of illness in our home tonight, so NY will be low key.   However, I just want to wish everyone at TFL a very Happy New Year!   All the best for 2011


breadsong's picture

Pain au Levain - using Red Fife Whole-Wheat Flour (for Franko!)

Hello, With many thanks to Franko for sourcing this wonderful Red Fife flour for me (so very kind)!
I've now the luxury of baking with this heritage, organic, stone-ground, 75% sifted whole-wheat from True Grain Mill, and I am very grateful.

These breads were made using Mr. Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Whole-Wheat (Red Fife) Flour, as Franko had done.
Franko really did a beautiful job on his bread; his post is here.

The Red Fife is a lovely, top-notch flour to work with, and my husband and I were very happy with crust, crumb and flavor it produced in this bread.
We cut into the small loaf, trying to wait a decent amount of time to let it cool off!
The dough was retarded in the fridge for 20 hours before baking.
I included a picture of the Red Fife flour below (on left side of plate; my other stone-ground whole-wheat flour on the right side of plate, for comparison).

Happy New Year everyone! from breadsong

SallyBR's picture

Sourdough Focaccia

Made this the week before Christmas, pushing the envelope a little and making an unusual topping - chili jam...   Turned out excellent, so I share the recipe with you

(adapted from Chilli and Chocolate)

for the sourdough sponge:
195 g liquid starter (3/4 cup at about 100% hydration)
125 g warm water (1/2 cup)
25 g olive oil (2 T)
10 g honey (1 + 1/2 tsp)
50 g flour (1/2 cup)

for the final dough:
all the sponge made as described
50 g olive oil (1/4 cup)
200 g all purpose flour (2 cups)
1 tsp sea salt

to bake the focaccia:
4 T olive oil
herbs of your choice, minced
2 T chili jam, preferably homemade
coarse or flake salt

Mix all the ingredients for the sponge in a medium size bowl, cover and let it ferment at room temperature for 1-2 hours, until the surface is covered with small bubbles.

Add the ingredients for the final dough and mix until they form a shaggy mass. Let it rest for 15 minutes, then knead quickly folding the dough on itself 10 times (no need to remove from the bowl). Let the dough rest 15 minutes, and repeat this quick kneading process. Repeat for a total of 4 cycles of kneading, each with 15 minutes rest. Shape the dough into a smooth ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, and let it rise until almost doubled (1.5 to 2 hours).


Alternatively, place it in the fridge overnight, transferring to room temperature
2 hours before baking.

Cover a 9 x 13 baking sheet with parchment paper, and add 2 T olive oil to the paper, spreading it well. Put the dough in the pan and press gently until it covers the whole surface. If the dough is resisting your attempts to stretch it, wait for 5 minutes until the gluten relaxes, and do it again. Cover lightly and let it rise for 30 minutes, while you heat the oven to 450F.

Using the tip of your fingers, make indentations all over the dough, spread the remaining 2 T of olive oil all over, sprinkle herbs of your choice on half the focaccia. If your chili jam is too thick, thin it slightly with a little olive oil, and spread on the other half of the focaccia. Add salt all over the dough, and bake until golden brown on top, about 25 minutes. If the jam seems to be burning,
reduce the temperature slightly.

Let it cool over a rack before you slice it in squares, and...


For those interested in mor details, you can click here for my blog post


JoeVa's picture


Ecco il mio primo tentativo con una nuova formula per un micone di grano integrale. Su suggerimento del mugnaio Marino ho miscelato la Macina Integrale con la Buratto. La formula complessiva impiega 50% Macina + 38% Buratto + 12% Manitoba, quest'ultima usata per la costruzione del lievito naturale liquido. Le caratteristiche di assorbimento della farina integrale hanno portato ad un'idratazione finale del 78% circa, consistenza impasto medio/morbito+.

Here my first attempt to a new formula for a whole wheat miche. As suggested by the miller Marino I mixed the (very) whole wheat (Macina) with type 1 flour (Buratto). The overall formula uses 50% Macina + 38% Buratto + 12% bread flour, the last one used to build the liquid levain. The absorption characteristics of the whole wheat flour led to about 78% final hydration, medium/soft+ consistency.


Il risultato è buono, un'integrale di tutto rispetto. La pagnotta ha leggerezza tra le mani e pienezza nel gusto. La prossima volta proverò a migliorare la formula introducendo una piccola percentuale di segale integrale.

The result is good, a respectable whole miche. The loaf has lightness in the hand and wholeness in the taste. Next time I'll try to improve the formula with the addition of a small percentage of whole rye.


Ed ecco la mollica. Questa metà l'ho regalata a Stefano, un nuovo amico panificatore.

Here the crumb. I got this half loaf to Stefano, a new home baker friend.


dmsnyder's picture

70 Percent Rye with a Rye Soaker and Whole Wheat Flour” from Hamelman's Bread


Almost all the breads I bake are hearth loaves, but I've been tempted for some time to make one of the German-style ryes that Hamelman says should be baked in a pullman pan (AKA pain de mie pan).

Pullman or pain de mie pan

I purchased a pullman pan from KAF's Baker's Catalogue. It is from the new line of bakeware they are carrying, and it is a beautiful piece of metal. But this is not a review of baking pans, so back to bread …

Today, I baked the “70 Percent Rye with a Rye Soaker and Whole Wheat Flour” from Hamelman's Bread. It is made with medium rye, all pre-fermented. The rye soaker is in the form of rye chops – an equal weight to that of the medium rye. The remaining 30% of the flour weight consists of whole wheat flour. The dough is 78% hydration and has 2% salt and ¼ tsp of instant yeast.

Not having rye chops at hand, I hand-chopped the 390 g of rye berries needed for making 2 kg of dough, which is what is needed to fill my 13” pullman pan. (Did I tell you how beautiful it is?) Now, I believe that Andy (or was it MiniO?) claims the proper way to make rye chops by hand is to slice each berry into 3 equal pieces. I didn't do that. After trying to chop the berries on a cutting board with a chef's knife, which sent berries – whole and in fragments of varying sizes and shapes – flying everywhere, I turned to the chopping method I learned at my mother's knee. She never chopped rye berries, I'm sure, but she sure chopped a lot of fish for gefilte fish in the years before the coming of the Cuisinart. I still have her chopping bowl and hackmesser. (I believe that's what she called it.) 

Well, I made a lot of little pieces of rye, but I figure I ended up with a mix of coarse rye flour, cracked rye, rye chops and whole (and very smug) rye berries. So, I poured boiling water over the whole mess and ordered a grain mill.

This morning my rye sour was ripe and smelling wonderfully sour and fruity. My soaker was soaked. I mixed the dough.

Now this is a 70% rye, since the cracked rye is included as a flour in calculating baker's percentages. But, really, if you look at the flour, it's about 50% rye and 50% whole wheat. I've made several other 70 and 80% ryes before, and this was different. There was much less gluten development with mixing. I've not yet made a 100% rye, but I imagine it's not much different from this dough. Maybe it was the whole wheat flour, whereas the other ryes I'd made used high-protein white flours. This dough was completely like sticky clay. But not insurmountable.

I mixed the dough in my KitchenAid – about 2 minutes at Speed 1 and 6 minutes at Speed 2. Then, the dough was fermented for 60 minutes. (Hamelman says ferment for 30 minutes, but my kitchen was only about 67ºF today.) I formed the dough into a log and placed it in the pullman pan which had been lightly oiled and dusted with pumpernickel flour. After 60 minutes proofing with only a little expansion of the dough, the loaf was baked with steam for 15 minutes at 480ºF, then for another 60 minutes in a dry oven at 415ºF. The last 15 minutes of the bake was with the loaf out of the pan, on a baking sheet, to dry the sides of the loaf. There was really nice oven spring. The loaf crested well above the top of the pan. (Sorry, I neglected to photograph the baked loaf still in the pan.) In hindsight, I probably should have proofed more fully. There was some bursting of the loaf on one side, at the point it expanded over the top of the pan. 

Rye dough in pan, sprinkled with pumpernickel flour and ready to proof

Rye bread cooling

After cooling, I wrapped the loaf in baker's linen, as instructed. 

Rye wrapped in linen

The loaf was wrapped in baker's linen for 24 hours before slicing ... and tasting.

Pre-slicing (Big bread, isn't it?)

Coronal section with crumb

Crumb, close-up

Another close-up

Delicious plain. More delicious with smoked salmon!

The crust was firm but not hard. The crumb was soft and moist but slightly crumbly and less dense than I expected. The aroma is powerful with rye, yet the flavor is relatively mild. It is rye with no distinctive whole wheat tones, yet the whole wheat must have mellowed the rye flavor. There is a sweet note to the aftertaste. The rye "chops" are very chewy, which I like.

This bread has lots of character, and I enjoyed it unadorned. I had another slice with a thin schmear of cream cheese and a thin slice of Scottish smoked salmon, with some capers and drops of lemon juice. Fantastic!