The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Skibum's picture

Boule 11 15 totally organic bloom

This loaf was proofed seam side doen again, Forkish style and baked seam side up. Though I took great pains to seal the seams in both the pre and shape, it looked like they would bloom open and they bloomed open beautifully!

I once again used 25 grams of sweet levain and 25 grams of yeast water levain, 300 grams flour and 231 grams water total. I used 30 grams durham semolina for flavour and colour boost.

I had an old friend over for dinner last night I hadn't seen in two years - before I started baking bread. He gave this loaf the best endorsement a baker can get! He ate most of it, repeatedly going to the cutting board and slicing off large chunks he wolfed down with his chili. There is barely enough left for toast this morning.

Now that I bake in a cast iron covered DO, my pizza stone gets little use, so I thought, why not place it on a rack above the DO to provide some radiant heat from the top to go with the radiant for the cast iron and the hot air convection bake. Baked 12 minutes covered, 10 minutes uncovered, turning often. Bake setup:

Time to get busy again.

Happy baking!  Brian

gmagmabaking2's picture

We 3 gmas made donuts!

We all started with the idea of making pumpkin "raised" donuts but adapted for equipment etc.. Mine are the lead in donuts... made way too many!!!! 

Helen made beautiful donuts... twice, at least, because they were a huge success at her daughter's workplace. She made them the first time with a simple glaze and the second time with the same glaze she used on the "Starbucks" scones... 

 and now the Special Ones.



Those are amazingly good looking donuts... I should have driven up there and blocked the road to her daughter's!!!!

Now we visit Barb's kitchen... these looks great! 

and so do these... the wholes and twists...  

and then fried...  and then all sugared up.  She also had a nice pot of Pea Soup going on in that kitchen.... YUMMMY.... What a great   

Fall menu... Later she made another batch of donuts, a fruitcake, and some muffins... This time she made mini donuts out of the holes... great idea. She is perfecting a "spudnut" recipe and will be getting that to us soon... I am looking forward to trying that!

We had a great time together, going on and on about donuts and enjoying ourselves... Barbra gets to pick the next bake... what is it going to be big sister?

Thanks for checking in to see what we are up to.

Happy Holiday Baking, Barbra, Diane and Helen.

Theresse's picture

What's the least and most amount of time required for a sponge (or starter)?

Hi -

New to this of course.  A youtube video by Dave of Dave's Killer Bread showed that he let his sponge or starter (can't remember which he called it and don't know if there's a difference) sit on his counter for about an hour before continuing to add flour and mix more/knead.

Some googling (haven't yet read my bread books!) showed lots of comments about people letting their starters sit for several hours.

Last week I made Dave's recipe and let it sit for only an hour and it came out fine.  Tonight I'm doing a different version (an imitation recipe I found online of his more seedy breads which he doesn't share recipe-wise) and I'm making 4 loaves instead of 2.  Any reason I should let it sit for longer than an hour before continuing to mix and adding the rest of the flour, etc?


mkress's picture

White Breads: Var 1 The Bread Baker's Apprentice - Too Yeasty

I made White Breads: Variation 1 from The Bread Baker's Apprentice and I made knot rolls and they turned out very yeasty.  I put in .22 ounce (1%) of Fleshman's IDY as was called for.  I tried to follow the recipe as exact as I could and everything seemed to go well.  Should i halve the yeast and go for a longer rise in the future?  Is there something else that can contribute to it tasting too yeasty?

isand66's picture

Multi-grain Sourdough with Soaker

Today it's snowing.  Not enough to bring out the snow-blower but enough to enjoy a nice cup of soup with a sandwich made with my hearty multi-grain bread.  I've made similar breads before and I followed the basic procedure but I varied the soaker/scald ingredients and the combination of flours in the main dough.

I used some Vermont maple syrup infused with vanilla to add a touch of sweetness to offset some of the bitterness from all the whole grains used in the recipe.

I cooked the whole grains with 290 grams of water on my stove top and let it come to a boil for about 5 minutes.  I then transferred the scald to a bowl and let it sit overnight covered.  The scald absorbed all of the water so I adjusted my final water amount accordingly.  I still ended up with a very moist dough but one that was manageable.

I really like the way the crust and crumb came out on this bake.  A nice dark thick crust with a chewy interior, perfect for the cold days and nights ahead.

I have to say I've bought multi-grain breads from the supermarket in the past and there is just no comparison to this healthy and tasty bread.




Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours with the water and honey in your mixer or by hand for 1 minute leaving 50 grams of water to add later.   Let the dough autolyse for 20 minutes to an hour in your bowl and make sure to cover it.  Next add in the salt, olive oil and the soaker and mix for 2 minutes.  Add the balance of the water as needed and mix for an additional 4 minutes.  The dough should have come together in a ball and be tacky but not too sticky.

Next take the dough out of the bowl and place it on your work surface or a clean dough rising bucket sprayed with cooking spray.  Do a stretch and fold and rest the dough uncovered for 10 minutes.  After the rest do another stretch and fold and cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Do one more stretch and fold and put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and let it sit at room temperature covered for 2 hours.  After 2 hours you can put the dough into the refrigerator for 24 hours or up to 2 days before baking.  Feel free to do some additional S & F's if you feel it is necessary.  I baked the bread about 24 hours later.

The next day (or when ready to bake) let the dough sit out at room temperature for 1.5 - 2  hours.


Next, form the dough into your desired shape and put them in floured bannetons, bowls or on a baking sheet and let them rise covered for 2 hours or until they pass the poke test.  Score the loaves as desired and prepare your oven for baking with steam.  I made one large miche for this bake.  I also added some organic oat bran to the bottom of the basket which adds a nice texture to the outside of the bread.


Set your oven for 525 degrees F. at least 30 minutes before ready to bake.  When ready to bake place the loaves into your on  your oven stone with steam and let it bake for about 5 minutes.  Next lower the temperature to 500 degrees for about 2 minutes and then lower to 450 degrees.   Since I baked this as a miche I then lowered the temperature to 425 degrees about half way through the bake until it was finished.  When you have a nice dark crust and the internal temperature reaches at least 210 degrees you can take it out of the oven and place it on a cooling rack.

Let the loaves cool down for at least an 6 hours or so before eating as desired.




trailrunner's picture

Spelt/rye with RYW and SD

Latest attempt at a spelt bread was more what I was after. I still let it proof for one hour before retarding. Since reading Josh's post after I had made this I will move the shaped loaves into the fridge posthaste and not give them any bench time and see what happens. As you can see this has a lovely open crumb and I even got ears :) I attribute this to gentle handling. I incorporated John's sealing during shaping and then proofing the shaped loaf with the sealed side down and then scoring over the sealed area. Pictures show the result. Taste is creamy and crumb is tender.Raisin yeast water at work. Stored overnight in a brown paper bag and the crust is still amazing this AM. Made great toast and I am about to make an aged cheddar grilled cheese. 






just out of fridge : spelt and rye with RYW photo IMG_6707_zps6fdaef10.jpg crust :  photo IMG_6711_zpse8795872.jpg crumb shots: Spelt and rye crumb photo IMG_6712_zps717d048d.jpg  photo IMG_6713_zpsefd0a49e.jpg  photo IMG_6715_zpsac35a1db.jpg

ichadwick's picture

Whole wheat-unbleached flour ratios and bread rising

I made a modest little pan loaf yesterday (no-knead) using 1 1/4 cup unbleached flour and 1 cup nine-grain (whole wheat) flour. Tasty, but it didn't rise as much as expected, so was a bit denser than optimal.

Is the ratio of wholewheat to white too high to get a good rise? If so, what should it be?

Could I get a better rise with:

1. Longer cold fermenting?(it sat 3 days in the fridge after the initial rise)

2. Longer rise time after shaping? (it had about 1 -1.5 hours before baking)

3. Less salt (had about 1/2 tblsp) or more yeast (used about 1 tsp)

4. Cooking time/temperature change (cooked at 450 for 35 mins)

Whole wheat loaf

ichadwick's picture

Sourdough cuts gluten?

There was a story on CBC's Ontario Morning today that goes hand in had with this story:

Sourdough breadmaking cuts gluten content in baked goods

It says:

A team of Italian scientists led by Luigi Greco at the University of Naples authored a 2010 study that showed significantly lower levels of gluten in sourdough made according to old methods.
The difference was so stark that celiacs in the study were able to consume the sourdough with no ill effects.

How can sourdough reduce gluten? Anyone know? Fermentation works on sugars - how doe it reduce a protein?

ichadwick's picture

Which of these books do you recommend?

I have several books stored in my Amazon cart, but don't want to buy them all at once, or get past my still-basic baking level. Which one or ones (up to three) do you recommend I get right away:

  • The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking - French Culinary Institute; 
  • Crust and Crumb: Master Formulas for Serious Bread Bakers - Peter Reinhart; 
  • Classic Sourdoughs, Revised: A Home Baker's Handbook - Ed Wood; 
  • My Bread - Jim Lahey; 
  • Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza - Ken Forkish;
  • Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day: Fast and Easy Recipes for World-Class Breads 
  • How to Make Bread - Emmanuel Hadjiandreou; 
  • Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes - Jeffrey Hamelman;
  • 200 Fast and Easy Artisan Breads: No-Knead, One Bowl - Judith Fertig;

 FYI I already have the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day and Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice.

I have seen most of them in store, and my own favourites were the Lahey and Hadjiandreou books, because they lay things out in easy steps with lots of photos.

Skibum's picture

Another blooming boule, Forkish style again

Total flour 300 grams, strong bread flour

Total water 231 grams

Sweet levain @ 100% hydration 25 grams

Yeast water levain @ 100% hydration 25 grams

Salt, 1 tsp or about 7 - 8 grams, should have spent the extra five bucks on the digi scale that gives me the decimal. .  I once again took extra care when pre-folding and folding the boule, making sure the full length of the fold was tucked in nicely.

the dough was proofed seam side down and baked seam side up.

I scored a crescent across the seam I thought most likely to bloom.

The crumb.

So I refreshed my yeast water yesterday and as bake s per dabrownman's directions and made some YW pancakes today with the 'spent' YW,  I also refreshed my sweet levain at the same time and left it on the counter also. 

YW pancakes

100 grams spent YW

100 grams bread flour

I left it on the counter overnight for yesterdays's mix and today's bake and had a massive amount of bubbling dough! This morning I added 1 egg beaten and mixed with 2 Tbs maple syrup adn 2 Tbs melted butter, 1/4 tsp baking powder and mixed it with the flour and YW. The mix took some doing, but when done I mixed in some fresh blueberries, fried it up in the same pan that fried my hone cured/ smoked bacon and YOWSER, some fine breakfast to celebrate myu first day skiing at Lake Louise!

Ahhh, topped with melted butter and real maple syrup.

I discarded the fruit this time. Next tie I will do something with the spent fruit