The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Chiesa_Dan's picture

Hamelman's semolina bread (sourdough)


yesterday i baked my first try at Hamelman's semolina bread, the sourdough version. I increased the durum to about 70%, but the levain was all white flour still. The loaves were retarded for 18 hours at 4ºC and in an effort to not get very big holes, i degassed the dough as much as possible prior to shaping. Before mixing, i did an autolyse of about 20 min. and then mixed 2,5 min. on medium speed on a Kenwood machine.

Baked right out of the fridge in my WFO, with steam for the first 10 min., for 45 min.

Overall very good flavour and aroma, just slightly sour, but balances with the sweetness of durum flour. Next time i'll try 100% semolina, since the crumb was still too gummy for what i would like in a semolina bread; had no problems whatsoever with shaping or rising or oven spring, so i suppose it will not go terribly wrong then.

Here are a couple of pics:


Good baking to all,


Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Baking Bread for a diet (by the book, and a variation)


My Wife and I decided to reverse some of the effects than my good bread had on our waistline (nice bloom ...).

The diet of choice for my wife is the "Scarsdale Meical Diet", carried out after a book she got in a charity shop years ago (British edition of the "Scarsdale Medical Diet" by Tarnower, 1985).

This diet calls for "Protein Bread", which hasn't been available in the UK, so the editors provided a recipe.

Please take a look at my outcome first:

The original formula (tinned loaf on the left):

Wholewheat Flour 78%

Soya Bean Flour: 22%

Water: 72%

Vinegar: 0.8%

Sugar: 1.3%

Salt: 0.8%

Instant Yeast: 0.87%

I baked this bread according to the recipe, and it turned out edible, but quite dense with a strong soy bean taste which didn't integrate well with the wheat flavour (in my opinion). My wife's remark: Not quite your standard.

However, she was happy (only having 1 slice a day), but  I wasn't.

I researched the Internet and TFL about adding soya flour, and found that nobody recommends adding more than 10%. Hm.

I then thought I could use the original proportions, but do things I learned about here on TFL to improve the outcome:

My second approach to "Protein Bread" (bread on the right in photo above) was using a wholewheat sourdough and a soaker, and not use sugar and vinegar, and I added more salt.

Here the straight formula:

Wholewheat Flour: 78%

Soya Bean Flour: 22%

Water: 72%

Salt: 1.6%

Wholewheat flour from starter: 29%

Hydration of starter: 100%

I made the soaker from the remaining water and wheat and left it at ambient temperature for about 5 hours.

The starter matured for about 14 hours at 28C.

The dough had a nice feeling after I mixed soya flour, salt, soaker and starter, and id didn't need much development.

During the 2 hour bulk proof I folded twice. The final proof in a basket took about 90 minutes.

The result is very different from the yeasted loaf (I expected it to be): Not dense at all. And the wheat clearly dominated the taste in a nice way. Quite appealing, actually.

With the background taste of soya I can imagine this bread alongside Japanese dishes such as Miso-braised mackerel, or even with Natto on top (Do I hear a scream from the Japanese corner?) I'll try that after I finished my diet...

This experience reminded me of the cartoon Yakitate Japan ( I saw only the first episode), where a baker explains to the young baker-hero that good bread is made with the topping in mind. Does anyone know where I could get Yakitate Japan DVDs in the UK?





longhorn's picture

SFBI Artisan I, Day 4

Wow! Five breads in one day. Anyone thinking about doing this class needs to be prepared for long, busy days! We were on our feet almost all day!

One of the real lessons from this class is prepping and planning. When you are baking four of five (or more) breads it is important to be time efficient.  All dry ingredients wer measured the afternoon before and our seed soaker for the multigrain was prepared the day before. This morning we began with the autolyse of the whole wheat flour, then mixed our egg dough, then back to the whole wheat...and so on, weaving back and forth as we mixed and divided and preformed and shaped and preformed and shaped and baked and shaped and so on.

Our mixer schedule was optimized to also avoid cleaninhg - until the final dough which was pan bread (homestyle white bread) which required a careful cleaning of the mixer to make sure all the seeds and rye and wholewheat doughs were removed.

Especially beneficial today was that we used many of the same skills we have been developing for baguettes in new ways - forming the "ropes" of egg dough for braiding, forming the multigrain batards, and learned a few new skills for boules. To be candid, after ten years of making boules I thought I had it down, and I pretty well did, but working with wet doughs all week has really helped me learn to use flour much more sparingly and wisely and my boule forming today was really nice. Also learnes some new techniques for pan breads which I NEVER do but probably will now! 

Here is a photo of yesterday's baguettes all bagged up and ready to give to the hotel staff!

Here is today's egg bread braid (the pan loaves are in the image also)

The rye!

The whole wheat...

And the multigrain...

I wish I had a shot of the multigrain crumb, but all the breads had crumb about like you would expect - fairly dense for the whole wheat and rye and a bit more open for the multigrain. 

Tomorrow we return to baguettes with preferments.

I am tired!




bobku's picture

Using starter for breads with different flour

Can you use your white flour starter for other breads like rye, whole wheat? Instead of having several different starters. how does it effec the outcome?

HokeyPokey's picture

Lets get it Started

There are a lot of posts on activating a starter on this wonderful website and I thought I’d add my two pennies worth and get a chance to show off my hubby’s wonderful photos :)

My starter is taking over the world, well, taking overUKat least and I thought I’d share my feeding schedule with the rest of you and open a forum for questions / comments.


Also, I would like to know why would you keep waters (raisin water, apple water, etc.) that started popping up in a lot of recipes on this side AS WELL as a starter – whats the difference, advantages of one over another?

 Full post and lots of photos on my blog here

Mrs262's picture

Hello from Ohio!!

Hello, everyone! My name is Angie and I'm from central Ohio. I am currently the head baker and assistant manager at a bakery/deli. I've been there for almost 5 years now. My biggest responsibility is bagel production. Our bagels are the best sellers!!

Anyway, I joined this site to learn all I can about breads and to meet other bakers! My bread skills are lacking (we do 5 types of bread and that is IT) and I'd really like to expand my abilities!

Nice to "meet" you all and thanks for reading my post!! :)

bshuval's picture

My "dream book" on rye bread

I love making bread. I also love learning about breads. There are many books on French-style, Italian-style, and American-style breads. In fact, the theory of making wheat-based breads can be found in many baking books. I have yet to see, though, a book dedicated to making rye breads. Most of my books (and I have many) have a couple of recipes, sometimes even a chapter, on rye breads. But that is it. The advice in the various recipes varies wildly: Glezer instructs that a very long knead is required, whereas Whitley claims that kneading rye breads is futile. 

I don't think that any one author is "wrong"; I believe that there are many styles of rye bread making (Russian-style, German-style, Scandinavian-style, American-style, French-style, and in each family there are many different breads). What I would like to see is a book dedicated to rye breads. This book will contain various recipes from the different families of rye breads. It should also go into the special techniques required for rye bread making. 

What had prompted this for me was a recent trip down the bread aisle of the supermarket. I don't usually visit the bread aisle -- after all, I don't buy bread -- but I was curious to see what they had. Usually, when I see the endless lists of ingredients in commercial breads ("pillows" is a more fitting term for these breads), I am all the more glad that I bake my own bread (although the main reason I bake my own bread is because it is fun). Anyhow, I visited the bread aisle. I notice a huge array of Russian ryes. There were maybe 15 different breads, from 2 different bakeries. The lists of ingredients were surprisingly short; save for malt, I had all the other ingredients on hand. I was almost tempted to buy a loaf! These breads looked divine. 

This got me thinking that I would like recipes for these. The only places I found Russian ryes was Whitley's book and Linda Collister's "Country Bread" (where Whitley's recipe appears as well). But there are so many more. I am sure there are other styles of Russian ryes. I opened some other books. Jan Hedh, for instance, advocates adding some gelatinized rye. I haven't tried that yet. Other books bring further methods.

The bottom line is that I am fascinated with rye bread, but I am missing a book that is all about rye breads. Perhaps someone can make it happen! 

joeg214's picture

2nd attempt at a Pain Rustique

I'm new to this and have only done around 7 breads so far (each one progressively better than the last for the most part)  However, since my first attempt at a pain rustique didn't fair well, I decided to give it another shot today.  I mixed my poolish last night (100% hydration) but ended up having to t'fer it to a larger bowl very early this morning (put it in one that was way too small for some reason).  I have to say, the wonderful fragrance that leaps from the bowl when you first remove the plastic wrap from this stuff is just incredible!  Here's what it looked like after 13 hours:

Here's the formula that I calculated based on Hamelman's pain rustique.  I simply typed in my figures into a  "design worksheet" pdf along with my notes.  I guess I got it right considering the end result :)

I proofed 900g of dough in a 8" X 10" X 3" homemade banneton (cost me all of $2).  After 20 min I inverted it onto a peel.   I had trouble scoring (as usual).  The dough, while manageable after the stretch and folds, was still pretty sticky so the knife tugged on the surface of the dough.  Maybe this will be easier after I get my lame this week.  After my pitiful scoring, the dough somewhat deflated...


However, after just  10 minutes (at 465F on a stone), it seemed to perk up a bit.  I did pour a cup of hot water into a pan on the bottom of the oven for steam as well as sprayed the top of the loaf and the oven walls (twice).

I continued baking while keeping an eye on the color... at 40 minutes, I decided to take it out.  The internal temperature was 205.  Overall, this one looked the best to me.  No "singing" was heard but there was a lot of nice crackling going on.   (The oval shape somehow got a little distorted getting it from the proofing basket to the peel)

The crumb came out better than any of my other breads.  It smells and tastes great but I'm wondering just what the "bite" of the crumb should be like?  This has some resiliance to it; chewy but not tough and it does dissolve in the mouth nicely.  Is it that I'm tasting good bread for the first time or did I screw this up and simply produce bad bread?  :) )


Here's a cross-section of an end piece.  The larger air pocket has a bit of a sheen to it.  I've read somewhere this is a good sign?

 One would think that making bread would be relatively easy but I'm learning that's not necessarily the case :) Well, that's about it :)  Thanks in advance for any advice or comments.

Po Jo 

sam's picture

Soft butter rolls + cinnamon-sugar mini bread


I tried out this recipe for soft butter rolls, and a mini cinnamon-sugar bread.   It came out pretty well.  I had to use baker's yeast in addition to my sourdough leaven, and I am happy with the result.   I used the same dough for both the rolls and the cinnamon bread.   I was seeking a light and feathery texture, and this did not disappoint.   It is extremely soft and shreds very easily.

Here's the recipe and pictures.

Total Dough Weight: 950Total Dough Hydration: 50%Total Dough Flour Weight: 633Total Dough Water Weight: 317Percentages/Hydrations:Leaven Percentage: 20%Leaven Hydration: 125%Starter Percentage: 10% of leavenSoaker Percentage: 30%Soaker Hydration: 80%Soaker Salt Percentage: 1.0%Mash Percentage: 30% of soakerMash Hydration: 200%Final Salt Percentage: 2.0%Butter Percentage: 10.0%Egg Percentage: 10.0%Dry Milk Percentage: 10.0%Honey Percentage: 5.0%Bakers Yeast Percentage: 2.0%Leaven:AP Flour Weight: 121Water Weight: 152 Starter Weight (125% starter): 13  (starter flour=6, starter water=7)Mash:Flour Weight: 57 (Rye=28, Whole-Wheat=29)Water Weight: 114Diatastic Malt Powder: 0.5Soaker:All of MashAP Flour Weight: 133Water Weight: 38Salt Weight: 2Final Dough:All of LeavenAll of Soaker/MashAP Flour: 316Water: 6Salt: 11Butter: 63Egg: 63Dry Milk: 63Honey: 32Yeast: 12

Began with the rye+whole-wheat mash.  Cooked for 4 hrs between 155-165F.


Final dough balls fully risen, appx 3 hrs of rise-time.   I brushed them with butter before and after baking.

After baking:

Crumb is tender and soft:
Here's the cinnamon-sugar bread:

Cheers, and happy baking!
Rose Lucia's picture
Rose Lucia

How do you get the texture of commercial white bread, which is light and kind of sponge including the flavor of them?

Don't throw rolling pins at me for asking how to, of all things get the light, airy, spongy texture and the flavor of the standard loaf of commercial white bread, like Wonder bread?!   I grew up only eating that kind of bread, which has been many years ago and I know it sounds crazy, but I really like the flavor and the texture. (Of course, the Italian bakeries around town were and are amazing, but we were not close enough to them and it was only a treat once in a while.)