The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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bakegirl's picture

Blobby Challah

Help!! It has taken my years to perfect my challah recipe (its not really mine), however, my family loves it and I think it is perfect. However, especially lately, the braids are running together as it bakes and it comes out of the oven looking more like a rye bread with no braids. It goes in looking perfect. I am out of ideas and am very frustrated. Thanks for any advice or suggestions.

ghazi's picture

100% Whole Spelt

Finally figured out what I was doing wrong with this grain. No more stretch and folds instead slap and folds with a good autolyse is what is expected

I really like the higher hydration, it works great. Keeps longer too

Thank you Dabrownman

Next time I will try a full 24hrs fridge autolyse @ 50% hydration


400g wholespelt

310g water

8g salt

60g Spelt starter 50%

autolysed for 3 hours @ 70 - 75 F

Added levain let sit another 20 minutes, then salt and rest of 110g water. Left to soak and incorporate on its own for 1 hour

Brought together starting 1st set of slap and fold for about 10 min, after 20 min another set around 5 min, anfter another 20 min last set lasted only 2 minutes, even less since I didn't want to go voer it was comeing together tightly nicely

retarded overnight in fridge . Next morning bring to room temp let rise a bit more then shaped and into brotform.

Baked in preheated dutch oven @250cturning down to 200c after 2 minutes. Then after another 8 minutes down to 170c for rest of bake. Then at 150c with lid off for last 10 minutes  or so

Edthebread's picture

Grown up banana bread with sourdough

Grown up banana bread

Hi everyone

We had some bananas that were becoming over-ripe, but we had had enough banana quickbreads. We decided to make a sourdough bread with a substantial amount of bananas.  The banana added a nice, moist texture to the bread, but did not taste overly of bananas.  It is also free from eggs and nuts, for households like ours with food allergies. I was pleased with the texture of the bread, and I liked the decoration with oats that I applied before scoring and baking. The full recipie is here.


Papoula's picture

Sourdough + commercial yeast??


I've been questioning myself about adding or not as much as 0,20% yeast of commercial yeast over flour weight in my sourdough loaves.

i have found a good forum here discussing about this matter (good to know it's not only me!).

So I have decided to face the test proposed on the forum!

I did 2 doughs, same recipe, same conditions, with only 10 minutes difference of time.

And voila the results!

Loaf on top, used NO commercial yeast, and took 1h30h longer to ferment under room temperature.

Loaf on the bottom, took 0,20% yeast plus sourdough and fermented 2 hours in room temperature! It had a better overall growth and thinner crust. 

But the crumb... see it for yourself! Loaf without yeast was just amazing!

Enjoy your baking!



instagram @papoulabakehouse

isand66's picture

French Style Asiago Caramelized Onions Porridge Bread

If you haven't figured it out by now that I kind of love this whole porridge bread thing than now you finally know :).

I just finished off my last Durum Semolina with Ricotta Porridge bread and wanted to change things up a bit and add more whole grains.  This one has plenty of whole grain goodness added to the KAF French style flour including fresh rye flour, fresh spelt flour and fresh whole wheat flour along with a nice mixed grain porridge.

I wanted to caramelize some onions for pizza night so I used the left-overs in this concoction along with a healthy dose of shredded Asiago cheese.

The starter was made with my standard trusty AP stiff seed starter along with some French Style flour in 1 build this time since my mother starter was just refreshed.

I made one large Miche which ended up coming out as tasty as it gets.  A nice moist open crumb with the combination of mixed grains, cheese and onions really just make this a wonderful bread.  I highly recommend this one, but beware it is a bit sticky so you need to be used to handling wet doughs.


French Style Asiago Porridge Bread (%)

French Style Asiago Porridge Bread (weights)

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.


Levain Directions Build 1 (Using AP Starter at 66% Hydration for Seed)

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my Proofer set at 81 degrees and it took about 4 hours.


Oat Porridge Directions

Add about 3/4's of the milk called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the milk is absorbed.  Add the remainder of the milk and keep stirring until you have a nice creamy and soft porridge.  Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature before adding to the dough.  I put mine in the refrigerator and let it cool quicker.


 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours , wheat germ  and the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, cooled porridge and salt and mix on low for 5 minutes.  Next add the cheese and onions and mix for another minute.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).  Note: this is a pretty wet dough so you may need to do a couple of additional stretch and folds.

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 5 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Since I made a large Miche I needed to lower the temperature to 425 F for the last 15 minutes to prevent the crust from burning.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.





Faymore's picture

Doughy Whole Wheat bread, help please!

Hello, this is my first posting here.  I am a new in the baking profession and was recently hired by a local bakery a few months ago,  I'm having some issues off and on, most due to faulty equipment but recently my problem has been that the wheat bread is coming out of the oven still doughy in the center.  The oven is pre-set and has not changed temperature, all the other breads come out fine.  The bread bakes for 40-50 minutes until it temps to 195-200 and we use 2 thermometers to make sure.  The recipe has not altered, my measuring has not changed or anything.  It only seems to be the whole wheat bread.  The white comes out fine, the rye comes out fine, the other wheat-based breads come out fine.  I recently read that you can take the bread and put it back in the oven upside down for 20 minutes or so and finish cooking it, however this did not work.  Any help figuring this out would be GREATLY appreciated!!!

Oh, and the bread sets for around 2 hours to cool before it is cut and sponges for an hour to an hour and a half before being handled (as required by the recipe)

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

Sweet Coffee Bread


100% Bread Flour
6% Malted Milk Powder
6% Shortening
1.4% Vital Wheat Gluten
8% Canned Pumpkin
0.2% Lecithin
1% Instant Yeast
60% Water

8% Sugar
1.75% Salt
0.25% Cinnamon

This batch used 18 ounces of flour (510g), and was baked in an oversize loaf pan (5” x 10” x 3”).

All ingredients (except salt, cinnamon, and sugar) were mixed in a KA K5SS stand mixer until a smooth dough was obtained. A spiral hook was used in place of the standard “C” hook. The dough was allowed to ferment for 2.5 hours, after which the sugar and salt were added. The dough was then re-mixed for 2 minutes and 51 seconds to bring the dough to optimum condition. After a short rest, the dough was shaped, panned, and proofed.

flouryhands's picture

Should I turn out banneton on parchment first or straight on to oven stone?

What is the best method of transferring the bread from the banneton to the oven stone.  (I'm fairly confident they'll turn out ok, as they banneton was primed generously with rye flour - but one can never be sure!

Should I transfer to the parchment/baking tray before sliding quickly on to the oven stone?

or should I upturn straight on to the oven stone?

I imagine the first method is safer and best for maintaining oven temperature, but does each method make any difference to the final result?

The oven stone has only been used once before and I sprayed it with oil the first time... I'll do the same again this time with the bread - should this prevent sticking?

Advice appreciated.. many thanks.


RixterTrader's picture

Fermentation, Sprouting and Super Soft Honey Oat Wheat Bread

Let me first give the disclaimer that I am not an expert on health in relation to bread.  What I am is a guy who does not like Pharma and therefore goes the natural herbal route (with excellent results), and who really loves baking bread (and eating it too!)

I have friends that have tolerance issues with wheat, and I suffer from Gerds that only acts up when I eat all the wrong things.

With that said, let's get right into this post.

1. It is my understanding that FERMENTATION (minimum 6 hour flour/water/yeast soak) improves the health benefits dramatically due to reducing the impact of Phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient factor of wheat (and other products).

2. I also understand that soaking, or sprouting wheat berries also reduces the impact of Phytic acid.

I've noted reports that there are other benefits as well, such as pre-digestion, etc. I don't want to get into all that here.

If you have read my previous post about the most amazing soft and fluffy 100% Sprouted Whole Wheat bread, you then know I'm big on using Sprouted Wheat flour that I make at home.

Recently, after much study and research, I've learned that Sourdough breads are really good for you.  So I have spent the last few weeks making loaf after loaf of really great sourdough breads, until I have grown tired of just eating sourdough bread!  LOL!

So from time to time, I want to do a yeast bread and make all kinds of those sinfully delicious options out there.  The problem, of course, is the use of regular white flour AND the quick rise times that result in breads that are not good for you because of the Phytic acid issue (and the non-release of nutrients).

So I went about experimenting and this is what I came up with that just came out FANTASTIC!!!

1. I took 4 cups of AP Flour plus 2 cups of water and just a pinch of yeast, mixed and allowed to ferment overnight.  This is my FERMENTATION PHASE.  I'm banking on reduced Phytic here.

2. The next day, I poured this into my Bosch Universal Mixer, added 1/3 cup Agave (or honey), 1/3 cup coconut oil, 1 tsp. Salt and 1 tbsp yeast.

Now, while the mixer is running on low speed, I start adding in my Sprouted Whole Wheat flour until the dough pulls away from the sides and cleans it really nice.  

Bosch Mixing

So I don't have the exact amount of Sprouted wheat needed, as it would depend anyway on various factors such as humidity, etc.  So you just slowing add the sprouted flour until it does what you see on the video here.

Then I keep it kneading for 10 solid minutes.  This is what I want to see when it has finished the knead.

Windowpane Test

 Then I just pull it all out, form it into a ball, and plop it into a greased bowl.

Then you cover and let it double in size, the standard procedure.

After it doubled, I sprayed my counter with oil, divided my dough into two equal parts (was about 28 ounces, give or take), flattened them out into a large rectangle, and then rolled them up into loaves.

Placed into two 9x5 bread pans (greased of course).

Note: One of the loaves I added dried cranberries and sunflower seeds, sprinkled some brown sugar over it (very lightly, not making a cinnamon bread), then rolled it.

I then put then in the oven with the lights on until they reached this stage.

At this point I left them in the oven and set it to 375F. When the preheat timer beeped, I set my timer for 30 minutes to bake above 190F internal but before 205F.

This is how they looked when they came out.

After they cooled for about an hour, I cut into one of the loaves that I happened to add dried cranberries and sunflower seeds before rolling out. This is how it looked.

I hope you can see that this bread came out super soft. I just flopped over in my hand and was starting to tear by gravity alone! It tasted wonderful!  The loaf felt really light when I picked it up.

Eureka!  A very nice soft sandwich/snack bread that you can do all kinds of things to (like I did with the cranberries, seeds and brown sugar) that has its white flour component fermented and its wheat component sprouted. I would call this somewhat guilt-free in comparison to just straight yeast bread.

As a side note, the wheat I happened to have sprouted for this is HARD WHITE.

Hope you try this out for yourself. I think you will find it worth the little time it takes to make.


sweetsadies's picture

Teaching a beginner to bake a bread (in one day)

A friend of mine is coming to visit and has one day with me where she wants to bake bread. She wants to learn a healthy bread.... 

Since it is one day and I really want it to be a success, I am struggling with what bread to do. 

I  was going to start a Tartine bread because I like how it looks and it is fun but then it takes too long. Then I have always had sure success with Peter Reinharts Anadama but I am not sure if she would consider this "healthy" then I thought Peter Reinharts  Struan ...

i want her to really like bread baking and have a successful bread to do when she gets home. 

Any suggestions?