The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

  • Pin It
dabrownman's picture

SD Hemp Bags - txfarmer method with Hanseata's Seeds

After the last bake's attempt for flavor instead of holes, this bake was for baguette holes.  I also had some hemp seeds burning a hole in my pocket so thought they would be appropriate.  Burning, burning holes, holes and hemp are baggie proof and go way back to SF in the early 70's as far as I can personally attest.

I wanted to use txfarmer's 36 hour baguette method for a new variation that was different from all of her many variations.  The holes she produces with this recipe, in all of its forms, are amazing - and holes were the main goal today.  I wanted a new variation and Hanseata's Hemp seeds (scalded and then soaked for 4 hours) were the ticket.  I want to thank them both for their inspiration.  I did use a slightly different method by retarding the levain for 12 hours too, to go along with the 24 hour autolyse.  Was trying to get more SD flavor and hoped for holes with this extra levain retard.  The previous bake of 20% rye and WW had much better, deeper and lingering SD flavor - the taste of the bread was just better overall and more akin to my personal preference.

Got a nice crust with some blisters, some ears, some glossy holes, nice nutty taste from the hemp seeds, nice SD twang along  some very poor slashing on one baguette as is usual for me.  I give this bake an 87  or B+. Recipe follows pix.  Use txfarmer's method and just retard the levain too.

The bread was more sour today and I am adding another crub shot of the lunch shot that follows.  Bologna with  cheddar cheese and greens, salad, a brie wedge, a radish, carrot and jicama sticks, olives, tomato, some refried black and red beans.  Sorry for the smudge on the lens - never photograph while you eat!  Took Dopey out of the title too since this bread isn't.

SD Starter     
 Build 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
SD Starter30  303.48%
Dough Flour %   
Bread Flour809.28%   
Dough Flour30034.80%   
Dough Hydrat75.00%    
Total Flour485    
Total Water370    
Total Hydrat.76.29%  Seeds     20 
Total Weight862 Baked WT355 
Lev % of Total38.28%  each of 2  

Seeds not included in weights or percents calculated off of them. 

ehanner's picture

Fermenting Vegetables

I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience with using a Sourdough Starter to inoculate a batch of cabbage or other vegetables? The creature population of the starter could easily contain many of the best pro-biotic strains touted for good digestive health. Just like with flour, cabbage has lots of LB's on them to get a culture going but it would speed up the process but change the outcome slightly by adding a flour based starter to the mix. The people who sell starter cultures for veggies say you should use a fresh batch of starter each time. That seems like it would be unnecessary from all I know about SD cultures. I'm new to making my own fermented veggies and they are delicious!

I'm hoping we have some members from around the globe that currently make their own sauerkraut that will comment on this off topic request. I recall David posted on pickles once.??


Szanter5339's picture

Nutellás kalács.

A legjobb kalács.


2 dl langyos tej

3 evőkanál cukor

1 tk só

50 g puha vaj

2 tojás sárga

100 g joghurt


600 gliszt

20g élesztő

+ 1 tojás a kenéshez

jamesjr54's picture

SF Country Sourdough with looonng proofs

Made G Snyder's San Francisco Country Sourdough version 3-13-11 modified with long bulk and shaped proofs. Came out great.

This month has been a milestone for me in my year of baking. After reading the post "the basic problem with my sourdough" and the comment thread, I revised my starter routine. Combined with newfound revelations around patience and proofing (more like what I call "duh-piphanies"), I've been able to create very nice loaves without commercial yeast. Which has been a goal of mine from the beginning, inspired by the wonderful breads I see here from experienced folks and newbies alike. 

Another goal has been to reduce the "tyrrany of the bread" on my family schedule. So I've been pushing proof times for both bulk and final proofs to see what happens. Trying to get the bread to work around MY schedule, instead of vice-versa. 

For this bake, I used G Snyder's formula with this process:

Monday night: made the levain, left at room temp 11 hours (NB - my starter is 100% hydration)

Tuesday morning: made the dough; 30 min autolyse, 45 minute room temp proof, then in the fridge for 11 hours.

Tuesday night: out of fridge, 1 hr room temp, then pre shape and shape; 1 hour at room temp then in the fridge for 22 hours

Wednesday night: out of fridge, 1 hr room temp, then slash and bake in 500F preheated oven, lowered to 475F, covered for 20 mins and uncovered for 25 mins.

 Reminds me again how awesome this site is. Thanks to all who share their experience, advice and passion. 


sournewb71's picture

Bulk fermentation time...what's the maximum? How to handle long bulk fermented dough?

Obviously the hydration of the starter and the temperature of the room that the bulk fermentation is taking place are factors in how long to bulk ferment...but I'm looking for visual identifiers.

After reading 'Crust' and seeing how Richard Bertinet lets his sourdough bulk ferment for 16 hours, I became intrigued.  I've been usually waking up extra early in the morning following Hammelman's sourdough process to get a loaf ready to eat by lunch.  So one night I experimented, I made a loaf following Hammelman's recipe, 'worked it' like Bertinet does then covered it and went to bed.  9 hours later the dough had probably tripled.  So I carefully released it then folded and shaped it like Bertinet does.  It probably was one of the best loaves I've made!

So my question is, what is the point of no return in regards to bulk fermentation?  Will the dough eventually start deflating in the bowl and turn into a gooey mess?  What is the proper way to handle a long bulk fermentation dough?  I haven't really seen much discussion on this, Bertinet does his long fermentation in his proofing basket which he releases the dough and bakes immediately.  I don't have any proofing baskets yet so I've been releasing the dough from the bowl and then shaping it into a boule.  From this point I'm not sure which way to proceed.  The dough seems to have enough spring to it at this point to be slashed and baked, yet I'm so programmed to allow it to proof again.

Here's some side information about my process and starter:

I've went back and forth on using proofing boxes and room temperature to obtain a sour sourdough.  I have finally decided that I do not want to rely on alternative means to keep my starter and dough at a certain temperature to reach my goals.  So now after some experimenting, I feed my starter once a day and use over-ripe starter to reach my flavor goals.

Room temperature: 60-64F

Starter:  Fed once a day @ 100% hydration WW flour: Zerowater filtered water (at room temperature) @ 1:10:10.


Mebake's picture

Volkornbrot from "WGB"

I’ve always wanted to bake a Volkornbrot, and Peter Reinhart’s Version in “Wholegrain Breads” was appealing enough, though challenging too. The Recipe involves a soaker and a biga, as usual. However, the Biga was in the form of a Stiff Rye Sourdough, and the soaker was a Mash/scald. I have elected to skip the called for yeast, and went by the baking instruction of Hamelman’s version of volkornbrot in “Bread”.



120 g      Whole Rye Meal

300g       Water

3T           Flaxseeds

½ tsp     Malted Flour


- Preheat oven to 200F (93C)

- Add all ingredients except flaxseeds to a 165F (74C) water, stir, cover and insert into the oven. Reduce temperature immediately to 150F (66C). Leave the mixture in for 1-3 hours at 66C.

- When done, remove the mixture, and taste it. It should quite sweet. Add the flaxseeds, stir, and cover. The Mash can be used within 24 hours at room temperature, or up to 3 days in the refrigerator. (Note: On baking day, remove the Mash from the fridge 2 hours early to de-chill)



 213g     Whole Rye Meal

170g     Water

71g (1/3cup) Mature Sourdough Culture


 - Mix all ingredients well, cover and let ferment at room temperature from 6-8 hours until the mixture is well ripe. Degas it by stirring it, cover then refrigerate for up to 3 days.(Note: On baking day, remove the Mash from the fridge 2 hours early to de-chill)



454g     Sourdough

425g     Mash / Scald

255g     Whole Rye Flour

50g       Water

42.5g   lightly toasted Sunflower Seeds

1 ¼  tsp   Salt


 - Mix All Ingredients together to a thick sticky paste. If the consistency isn’t so, add water/flour as needed. Oil a bowl, and insert the paste into it. Cover and let ferment at room temperature for 10-20 minutes. Scrape the paste onto a floured surface (Rye flour), and work the paste into a log shape, incorporating as little Rye flour as possible. Insert the log into an oiled + Rye Floured pan, cover and let ferment for 45-60 minutes at 82F.

- ½ hour prior to the bake, preheat your oven to 460F and prepare your steaming method. 5 minutes, before the bake time, insert the steaming device. Finally, insert the pan carfully into the oven, as dough is fragile at this stage, and turn down the oven to 370F. Bake 10minutes under steam, and 45 without. During the last 15 minutes, remove the loaf from the pan, and bake bare until it brows evenly.

- Remove the loaf and immediately wrap in a kitchen towel for 24-48 hours prior to slicing.

The aroma of the baked Volkornbrot was as expected, fragrant, and sweet. 24 hours after the bake, the crust was chewy, and the crumb was moist and tender, and speckled with toasted nuts, and seeds. The Typical earthy Rye sweetness lingers in your mouth minutes after you swallow, with a pronounced sour note.

The Mash has created a very manageable dough, unlike most Rye bread without mash/scald. Flavor-wise, the mash did add up to the subtle sweetness of the crumb.





Lcremin86's picture

Adapting bread rec. into pizza dough rec.

I want to turn my boyfriends favorite bread recipe into a pizza dough. It's the "beer bread with cheddar" recipe from the bread lovers bread machine cookbook. It goes a little something like this:

8 ounces flat beer

3.5 cups bread flour

3/4 cups shredded cheddar

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 tsp salt

1.25 tsp SAF yeast.

-Obviously we're going to replace the bread flour with APF but do you think the recipe will stand up to a pizza dough? The dough recipe in the book calls for more liquid (I know the cheese sorta counts as a liquid and would match the measurement of the extra in the dough recipe) and some of the extra liquid is olive oil. Will omitting this destroy the dough? What I'm trying to get at here is can you essentially take any bread loaf recipe and turn it into a pizza dough?


dabrownman's picture

Apple and Pear, Bourbon Dried Fruit, Ginger with Apple Jam Cream Cheese Puff Sleds

The other half of the puff paste we made the other day was used up on these tasty apple, pear  and cream cheese sleds.  This time I watched them to make sure these didn't over caramelize like the last variety.  I mixed in some apple jam in the cream cheese that is on the bottom and hidden.  Also, we reconstituted dried apricots, raisins and cranberries in some bourbon and also added fresh minced ginger to the chopped apples and pears that were sauted with some brown sugar and mixed spice.   The middle of the sled was docked to keep it from puffing and make a well / seat for the riders on the sled :-)

bryoria's picture

Laurel's Kitchen Buttermilk Bread

I made another batch of 100% whole wheat buttermilk bread from Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book yesterday.  This time I used freshly ground flour (hard red spring wheat) measured by weight, mixed all the ingredients except the butter for 2 minutes and then let the dough sit for 40 minutes in an attempt to hydrate the fresh ground flour a little bit.  Next time I would attempt this without the salt added as per the various threads on this site regarding autloyse - but yesterday I didn't come up with the idea until after I'd already added everything.

After the 40 minute rest I mixed it for 4 more minutes on speed 4 on the KitchenAid and added the butter in cold, small, pieces as per the recipe.  The butter didn't mix in very well so I moved the dough to the counter and kneaded the butter in for another minute or two, then let the dough sit in a covered bowl (in a cold oven with the lights on for warmth).  I let it rise for 2 hours and 15 minutes, giving a stretch and fold every 45 minutes.  Then divided it into two equal pieces, rounded them and let them sit for 15 minutes before forming them into pan loaves. 

I let the loaves rise for 1 hour, then baked them in a pre-heated 350F convect oven for 35 minutes.  They rose in the oven a little more and ended up the perfect size for sandwiches. 

This bread is always delicious and my family loves its softness and flavour for sandwiches and toast.  The fresh-baked heels are amazing and we usually snitch those from the sliced loaf before we freeze it - no one ever wants the heels for toast or sandwiches later anyway!

javajavabug's picture

Biga to Dough Ratio

I was wondering, is there was a perfect biga to dough ratio?

I made an Italian bread, not ciabatta, and I felt like there might have been too much biga in it. In the recipe I used, the biga weighed 17 ounces, a little over half of the weight of the entire bread. The bread was overly chewy and a bit tough. I don't think I over kneaded it either. 

Is there a rule of thumb I should follow when making a bread with a biga?

Thanks so much!