The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

BNLeuck's picture

New multigrain bread recipe... double check me?

I'm too lazy to search for a recipe among the myriad thousands out there for one that most closely resembles what I want, but apparently not too lazy to work on my baker's percentages. Weird, I know, but I'm a weird person. Will those with some knowledge of sandwich breads and baker's percentages please look this over to make sure I haven't made some glaring error? I haven't worked with BPs in a long while, or done any more complicated a bread recipe than a standard white rustic loaf in over a year without pulling it straight from a book, so I could have gone horribly wrong somewhere.


TWO 8.5x4in LOAVES
bread flour 50%
rye flour 40%
rolled oats 10%
FLOUR WEIGHT: 100% 700g

nonfat dry milk 5% 35g
molasses 5% 35g
honey 5% 35g
butter 5% 35g
ground flax 2% 14g
salt 2% 14g
yeast 2% 14g

water 70% 490g



bread flour 50%
rye flour 40%
rolled oats 10%
FLOUR WEIGHT: 100% 910g

nonfat dry milk 5% 45g
molasses 5% 45g
honey 5% 45g
butter 5% 45g
ground flax 2% 18g
salt 2% 18g
yeast 2% 18g

water 70% 637g



My plan runs somewhat along the lines of KAF's oatmeal sandwich bread, using hot water to soften the oats, incorporate the stickies (honey and molasses), the butter, and the salt. Once lukewarm I'd add the NF dry milk, as it does not mix in well when the water is hot. The flours, flax, and yeast (I use instant) will be combined. But here is where I wonder... should I mix the remaining water with the dry mix to develop some gluten before adding in the enrichment elements, or incorporate the oat mix first? At 65% (now 70%) hydration, I don't worry about over hydrating, so I'd use all the reserved water. Or does it really matter? I have had trouble in the past developing gluten in enriched doughs, which is why I ask. Any and all thoughts on the proposed recipe are welcome!

EDIT: Taken from comments below, I have corrected my typo (oops!), will autolyse, and upped the hydration. I am baking a test batch to see if this works out like I see in my head, and will update this post accordingly. Now, just to find the time to do so... hmm...

clazar123's picture

Tell me about proofing a pan de mie when the lid is closed

I have a thread in which I have asked the best use of an antique pan that is lidded and clamped shut.

I decided to use it to make my weekly whole wheat but I have never made a pan de mie type bread. Normally, I'd poke my loaf to see when it was proofed and then bake. Well...this pan is designed to be filled on the bottom half and then clamped shut so the loaf rises and shapes into the top half,producing a torpedo shaped loaf.The dough is not accessible once the lid is shut. I just proofed for 15 min,couldn't open the lid and decided to bake. We may have a boat anchor! Is it that when you work with a pullman pan the recipe generally is adapted to the pan? Is there any way I can calculate about how much dough will fill and produce a pleasing (as in not compacted from pressure) crumb?

We had a warm front move in and this is the first time since last summer that my kitchen is over 65F (it is actually 84F). I didn't think to make my dough cooler and as a result, they are rising like rockets! That is why I think 15 min was enough proof time. I had another dough made that normally would be about  1 hour behind-giving me time to proof and bake the first loaf but I have it in the refrigerator to retard it a bit.Huge difference in dough behaviour with the increased temp.

evonlim's picture

Sprouted Organic Wild Black Rice SD Bread

baked this a while ago.. came out beautiful. (will be back to furnished the formula and the rest .. ) 

have to clean up and cook dinner now 



am back.. this is what i did


sprouted 300g organic black rice (total 4 days)

200g drained and cold dry in the fridge.. then blend till fine.

(100g left for add in)

150g organic coconut flour ( just love how this flour gives a good crunch after toast, fragrant as well) 

150g bob's red mill organic wholewheat flour

250g strong bread flour 14% protein

250 Gold unbleached AP

200g active starter

add ins

100g black rice sprouts

300g edamame (boiled n peeled)

100g toasted brown sesame seeds

a handful of dry ramie leaves, grind ( a local leaves used to make Hokkien O Ku Kueh)

700g water (50g hold back)

15g salt

2 tbsp rice malt syrup

mixed all the flour, rami leaves, rice malt syrup, starter n water

autolysed 40mins

add in salt n 50g hold back water

rest 40 mins

add in sesame seeds, sprouts and edamame (add water if needed)

rest 40mins

SF 3 times 30, 60, 90 mins

it was late, retarded the dough in the fridge, i did the third SF in the morning, put it back in the fridge.

came back in the afternoon.. took out rest to room temp. shape n bench rest 30mins. reshape and proofed in basket for 1 n half hour 

(check dough at all times)

baked in a preheated oven 250C with steam 15mins.. 20mins without steam. cool in oven with opened oven door 

black rice sprouts

2nd SF 




made 3 medium loaves



here are the crumb shot... bottom is wee bit dansed, why? how can i get it evenly open? 


as for the taste, it is a serious bread!! like eating from white rice, brown rice to black rice! need to get acquainted with the taste and grainy texture. overall, it is soft, chewy n pleasent grainy bite with nice crunch of the crust becos of baking with steam and boldly baked.

it is a lot of prep.. and time taken sprouting and etc.. as dabrownman said a bread without sprouts is like a solar without sun! 

so.. let's sprout and bake, happy sprouting and baking






HokeyPokey's picture

Chocolate Biscuit - nice and easy

I woke up this morning determined to make a batch of chocolate biscuits for my late morning cuppa. 


Read full recipes and intructions on my blog here 



chaspan's picture

Pain au Levain with Whole-Wheat - success eludes me

I've tried to make Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Whole-Wheat recipe from "Bread, A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes" three times, and I have yet to achieve a truly pleasing loaf.  I also tried a very similar recipe that I found on the internet, with similar results. 

It's not all bad news.  The flavor of the bread is quite good.  I'm happy enough so far with the degree of openness of the crumb and the texture of the interior. 

Now for the bad. 

1) The crust is too chewy and leathery.  I don't think that is right for this bread.  I think it should be at least a little bit crisper. 

2) At the end of the second rise when it's time to go in the oven, the loaf is a puffy, gelatinous mass that wiggles like jello when you touch it.  I can't get it on a peel or board without deflating it, and I can't get it off the well-floured peel and onto the oven baking stone without it sticking to the peel and deforming upon landing.  I've had batards in the shape of a boomerang, and boules that looked like deflated footballs. 

3) I don't get much oven spring.  My cuts don't open up very much either.  They just look like the stretch marks on my belly.  :-)  I cannot get an ear. 

High hydration dough is a new thing for me, and I'm finding it difficult to deal with.  I do stretch and folds in the mixing bowl, but when I go to shape the loaves after bulk fermentation, I find that the dough is still so sticky that I have to use quite a bit of bench flour to handle it without sticking to everything.

Here is the process I've been following: 

1) Mix the flour and water by hand in the mixing bowl until all of the dry flour is wetted, more or less.  Autolyze for 30 minutes. 

2) Put the bowl on the mixer.  My mixer is a Hobart N50 5 quart planetary with three speeds.  Low speed is quite slow, but medium speed is pretty fast.  High speed is not usable for dough.  I mix at low speed while adding the salt first, and then the levain, for about two minutes total.  I switch to medium speed and mix for 4 minutes. 

3) Take the bowl off the mixer, cover with plastic wrap, and bulk rise for 2.5 hours with two stretch and folds, in the bowl, at 50 minute intervals.  I haven't tried doing the stretch and folds on the bench because the dough is quite wet, and it sticks too much to my kneading board.  It sticks to everything it touches. I have tried transferring the dough to a wider bowl with more sloping sides to make it easier to do the stretch and folds.  It was easier, but there was no change in the final result. 

4) At the end of bulk fermentation, divide and shape the loaves.  I have mostly shaped the dough into batards, but today I used a brotform basket for one of the loaves.  Rise 2.5 hours.  Preheat oven to 440 degrees during the last hour of second rise.

5) Pour hot water into a pan at the bottom of the oven, close the door, then quickly, one loaf at a time, move the loaf to a well-floured peel, slash it, and transfer it to the oven onto a Hearthkit oven insert stone.  When I move the loaf to the peel, it feels gassy and jiggly and fragile.  Even if I'm very gentle, it often deflates when rolling it or flipping it onto the peel.  It almost always sticks badly to the peel and ends up in a deformed shape in the oven. 

6) Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.  I measured the interior temp of the loaves with my Thermapen after 35 minutes in the oven at 440 degrees, and they were 206 degrees.  I have never gotten much oven spring, an ear, or even a well-opened cut, with any of these loaves.


I've been very careful to stick to the exact quantities of ingredients specified, and the overall instructions.  I don't think I'm over-hydrating, but I've had to add one or two tablespoons (15 to 30 grams) of additional water during initial hand mixing because there seemed to be insufficient water to wet all the flour.  Perhaps I should avoid that and see  if the autolyse will take care of it. 

My best guess is that I might be overfermenting, either during bulk fermentation or second rise, or both.  But I don't want to prejudice the jury, and I suspect I have more than one problem area that needs to be addressed. 

I hope some of you have suggestions for me.  What can I do to get this heading in the right direction?

Elisabeth's picture

Tips on shaping croissant buns?

Im making croissants today, and my husband loves them as sandwich rolls (we've only ever bought them, blech). Any tips on how to shape them? Id like them about hamburger bun sized.

greedybread's picture

Dolce Milanese take 2!! 2013 version...

Dolce Milanese Take 2!!

Been AWOL, as lost bready mojo for a bit…:(



Fruity, fruity, fruity, fruity!!

Fruity, fruity, fruity, fruity!!

Still warm...

Still warm…


As you know, I am partial to fruit breads:)

I made this bread last year but felt I could improve on what I had done, so here we are!!

Dolce Milanese 2013!!

Almost brioche in taste, as it has 250 g of butter in it!!

But it’s not too much…

The fruit & rum , just add to the over all wonderful taste and help preserve it:)

This bread is still good after 5 days UNTOASTED!!!

That is how moist it is, and then still good after 5 days toasted or in a bread and butter pud or or or or…..

Endless opportunities there:)

I would like to say that there were two loaves and i gave one away and went away for 3 days, hence why i EVEN had it last more than 2 days!!

Use the recipe here to make your own!!


Buttery dough..

Buttery dough..

Full of citrus zestyness!

Full of citrus zestyness!


Ready to lightly roll out:)

Add the fruit in and roll it baby!!

Add the fruit in and roll it baby!!

Roll it

Roll it

Ready to rise!!

Ready to rise!!


rising, rising…rising:)

Almost ready to bake!

Almost ready to bake!

Ready to munch!!

Ready to munch!!


Sliced while warm:)

Nom Nom Nom

Nom Nom Nom

Big Bite!!

Big Bite!!

Slice a piece

Rich and buttery….

Mmmm fruity

Mmmm fruity

Have a lovely coffee and  ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY!!

No butter on it as hubby suggested!

baragouiner's picture

Rye starter vs white starter


This is my first post but I've been trying to bake sourdough for a few months. What I'm wondering is whether different starters are more or less active than each other e.g. is a rye starter is more active than a white starter?

I've managed to start and maintain a rye starter and am using it to make 100% strong white loaves but wonder if I'd get better results using a white starter with white flour.



dabrownman's picture

Whole Wheat and Spelt Sourdough with Sprouts and Seeds

We were out of white bread again and with Lucy in the middle of her rye bread experiments, it didn’t look like we would get a chance to make one either.  But we built the rye levain for her and at the same time a whole wheat one for this bread and a YW one for some possible pizza - possibly tomorrow or Sunday.  Saturday is out since we are off to Tucson to finish moving my daughter back home.


This levain build was 3 stages, 4 hours each, levain build like the last one with the exception that, instead of an overnight 12 hour retard of the levain after the 3rd feeding, this one had a 36 hour retard after the 3rd feeding.  It was allowed to come to room temperature for 2 hours when it more than doubled.


That same 2 hours was used for the autolyse of the dry ingredients with the exception of the seeds and sprouts.  The liquid was the reserved soaking water from the sprouts for this bake and the soaking water from last one with some honey.


The dry included toadies, WW, Spelt, oats, corn, red and white malts, a small; amount of VWG, and some medium ground white and black sesame seeds with some golden and  brown flax seeds.


Once the autolyse was mixed with the small amount of levain, we did 10 minutes of slap and folds where the gluten developed very well.  We then did 3 sets of S&F’s where the remaining hemp, black, white and brown poppy seeds and the WW sprouts were incorporated on the first stretch and fold.


Once the S&F’s were completed we let the dough rest for 30 minutes before shaping it and placing it in a rice floured basket and then immediately retarding it for 15 hours.  The dough had doubled during the retard so when we pulled it out of the fridge in the morning we then fired up old Betsy to 500 F to bake the bread as soon as possible.


We used our usual Sylvia’s steaming pyrex pan with two towels and David’s, lava rock filled, CI 12” skillet both half full of water for the mega steam which was placed on the bottom rack when the temperature hot 425 F.  When Betsy beeped she was at 500F we set the timer for 15 minutes to allow the top and bottom stones to get to the 500 F and get the steam billowing.


We un-molded the bread from the basket, gently since it was an inch over the rim, and over turned it onto parchment paper on a peel.  We quickly scored it and placed it on the bottom stone and steamed it at 470 F for 15 minutes before removing the steam and turning the oven down to 435 F, convection this time.


The bread was rotated 90 degrees on the stone every 5 minutes to ensure even browning.   20 minutes after the steaming scheme came out of the oven, the bread was at 200 F.  We turned the oven off and left the bread on the stone with the door closed.  When the bread hit 205 F 5 minutes later, we opened the door and allowed the crust to further crisp on the stone till it hit 207 F.


Total baking time to 205 F was 40 minutes with an additional 5 minutes for the bread to crisp on the stone from 205 F to 207 F.  The crust was blistered with small hole, boldly baked to a mahogany color and quite crisp.  The crust went soft as it cooled.  We will have to wait for the crumb shots when we slice this bread for lunch.


The crumb is soft, moist and flavorful with a very nice nutty background and seedy crunch of the hemp and poppy seeds  This is another bread we like very much.  It may not look as delicious as it really is but that is because it is subtle and not to be taste bud trusted.  It grows on you .... and we will let it do so :-)   It is a welcomed treat to have so many good bakes of late and then have the baker at Sprouts give me a decent SFSD too!  Don't say anything but my apprentices breads are way better than Sprouts  but I am glad Sprouts is selling something decent for very little hard earned cash.  I saw a very small selection of  bread at Whole Foods that is baked in a small bakery in Coolidge . AZ.  I'm going to take a bike ride there and see what that bakery is all about.  Their bread looked very good on the outside and baked in a WFO!


Whole Wheat Levain

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



WW  SD Starter






Whole Wheat
























Levain Totals






























Levain % of Total












Dough Flour












Whole Oat






Potato Flakes






Coarse Yellow Corn Grits






Whole Wheat












Dough Flour


















Soaker Water






Dough Hydration












Total Flour






Soaker Water and Water






T. Dough Hydration






Whole Grain %












Hydration w/ Adds






Total Weight












Add - Ins












Red Rye Malt






White Rye Malt












Medium Ground Sesame & Flax Seeds






White, Brown & Black Poppy Seeds






Hemp Seeds






VW Gluten
























Whole Wheat Berries






Total Flour Soaker












Weight for whole wheat sprouted berries is the dry weight.




michelebike's picture


Levain :


20 gr  Rye Starter

100 gr H20

100 gr flour ( 50% Wheat Flour tipo 2 + 50 % Whole Wheat flour )


Left at room temperature for 12 H  ( 23 ° )


Final Dough :


200 gr White Rye Flour

200 gr Wheta Flour tipo 2

500 gr Whole Wheat  flour

650 + 50 gr H20

18 gr Salt

5 gr Malt




-         when levain is ready

-         take the 650gr H20 and mix the malt

-         mix water and levain together and rest for 15 min

-         add the salt and the 5o gr of  water and rest  for 1 H

-         2 H bulk fermentation every 30 min S & F

-         1 H Bulk fermentation with only 1 S& F

-         1 H rest

-         Preshape  and bench rest 20 min

-         shape and bannetto for 1 ½  2 H

-         Preheat the oven at 250 °

-         15 min with steam at 250°

-         25 min No steam at 250°

-         15 min at 200 ° with the oven door slightly open


For TWO loaves