The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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mcs's picture

Market Day - video

It was a cold and rainy morning...but it was market day and the people needed their bread and pastries...

Shot between 1:00 AM and 1:30 PM yesterday, August 23, 2014.  Enjoy.


Market Day

cassie1641's picture

A beginner question about cinnamon bread

I have tried several different recipes for cinnamon bread. They have all turned out pretty decent (beginner here-pretty decent being edible and having a cinnamon swirl and taste). But every. single. time. there is a gap between the crust and the bread when it's sliced (after the first slice, it looks like a cavern to the other end of the loaf) I've rolled it, tightly, per one recipe. I folded it, loosely, per another. And countless other combinations of roll, fold, tightly, loosely. What am I doing to make that gap? Is it the cinnamon layer that's preventing the dough from adhering? If so, why only at the top/crust layer and not at every swirl?

golgi70's picture

Pain au Levain and Onion Walnut Rye

It was a nice run.  The Farmer's Market Blog that is, but it's time to move on.  It was a great project and after nearly two years I'll go ahead and call it a full blown success.  

At this juncture I'd prefer to share new bakes, improved bakes, and/or some epic failures.  This week I'll share my Pain au Levain after a few trials.  The intention was to mock my levain essentially into a loaf, hence the name of the bread.  I think that is the idea of Pain au Levain.  Essentially just an elaboration of my starters to a loaf.   Yes I thought it would only be fair to use my wheat and rye cultures.  After some tinkering I am very happy with the latest results.  

I've also been making tinned Rye's once a week to add to my Tuesday donation bake which surprisingly have been a hit. This allows me to double the amount of loaves available but without chaos as i can bake it a day or two (or a week for that matter) in advance. I just tweaked my 70% Rye with Whole Wheat to include caramelized onions and toasted walnuts.  I cut the Whole Wheat and added strong white flour to lighten the loaf a bit.  It turned out an 80% Rye with 20% HP as the base.  I'm very happy and the change I'll make next time is to increase the onions, forgo docking, and increase the yeast in the final paste.  


Pain au Levain (for 2 - 750 g loaves)

Levain:  DDT 75F

17g  Seed (70% Hydration 30%Wheat/70%Whtie)

87g  Flour Mix (70%white 30% WW)

56g  H20


12 hours 


Rye Sour  DDT 73F


2 g  Seed (100% hydration)

32g  Whole Rye

32g  H20


12 hours 


Final Dough:

160g  Wheat Levain

65g    Rye Sour

583g  H20

211g  Freshly Milled Hard Red Winter Wheat (CM)

477g  Central Milling AP (Costco now has this in place of Baker's Craft)

18 g   Salt


Autolyse: 2 hours holding back 5% H20     DDT 78F

Add Levain and mix through.  Then the salt.  

Slap and folds for 5 minutes (medium development)

Add 5% H20 and squeeze through until incorporated

Bulk 3:00 with 4 Folds @ :20, :40, 1:00, 2:00 (last fold very gentle)

Divide, rest, and shape as desired.  Cold Retard 12-18 hours 

Bake 500 with steam for 15 minutes and vented for 25-30 more


Onoin Walnut Rye (for 1 Pullman) 

Cook Onions (you'll need double if not more than the weight for the dough) Bring some olive oil/butter in a pot over medium high and add onions.  Season very lightly with salt and pepper stir cover and turn heat down to low and let sweat for 10 minutes.  Take lid off and bring heat up to medium low and cook slowly until deeply carmelized.  Deglaze pan with a touch of water ever by and by.  Cool to room temp.  

Rye Sour (12-16 hours @ 70-73F)


5 Seed (100% hyd)

109 Freshly Milled Rye

90  H20


Full Sour  DDT 84F (3-4 hours)


205  Rye Sour

281  H20

224  Freshly Milled rye


Final Paste:  DDT 80-82F 

412  H20

561  Fresh Milled Whole Rye

224  Guistos Ultimate Performer HP

112  Caramelized Onions 

168  Walnuts toasted and coarsely broken

30    Sea Salt

3      IDY


Mix all but walnuts for 10 minutes (by hand) or until you just start to feel a touch of strength from the strong flour.  Add walnuts and mix in to distribtute.  

Bulk 1-1:30 hours 

Shape or press into greased pullman.  sprinkle tops with rye flour and proof 1-1:30 hours Bout Flour should be crackled over top and should be 1/4-1/2" from top of pan.  

Bake:  preheat to 480F  Steam for 20 minutes.  Turn down to 400 and bake for another hour.  

Unmold and finish out of pan for a few minutes to color up the sides if necessary.  

Cool completely, wrap in linen for at least 24 hours.  


Cheers and Happy Baking



scoyu's picture

Brioche with Tangzhong


It seemed like I was never going to find a fully enriched brioche recipe with tangzhong, so I went ahead and just tweaked a recipe I found in french ( ). I ended up using a 120 gr of tangzhong which was sweetened with honey.

This worked beyond my wildest imaginations, I bulk fermented in the fridge overnight, no S&F, treated like a laminated dough to get layers, then rolled into a log and cut portions out to rise. The 'lamination' gives a great shreddable crumb. The tangzhong is a definite plus in rich brioche


Oh and I forgot to egg wash, doh


crumb shot

Jason1876's picture

FWSY 10% whole wheat with poolish

Finally, I got this one right!!!(hopefully)


  • 500g AP flour 
  • 500g water (fridge cold)
  • 0.4g yeast

Final Dough

  • 400g AP flour
  • 100g WW flour
  • 230g water (20g water short)
  • 22g salt (I love salt)
  • 3g yeast


  • poolish at 11pm with cold water, stickered the tub, at 6am its doubled in size.

(its summer time, the room temp is always high, so my mind told me `take time and temp as ingredients`~no, its Ken Forkish actually)

  • mixed the final dough at 6am. Instead of 250g water, I used less water 230g.

(I tried to follow the recipe exactly before, and the results were really really slack, trust me~so, I cut out some water, mainly because I live in a coastal city and its really moist here, REALLY, so i thought, huh~maybe I should follow my heart a little bit~plus, the quality of the flour I mentioned before can also affect the ability to absorb the water, I guess)

  • s&f every 15 mins. 0600 - 0615 - 0630 - 0645 - 0700.
  • fridge the whole tub for 12 hrs.(from 7am - 7pm )

(I had to go to work. If I had more time, I would divide and pre-shape and shape the dough, then basket, wrap and fridge them.)

  • 2.5 times in size when I got back, divided the dough (its actually not slack this time).
  • pre-shaped and rest 15 mins, then pre-shaped again and rest 15 mins
  • shaped, basketed and proof 1 hr, did the finger dent test, (ok, its ready, lets bake)
  • 250°C, 30 mins lid on+20 mins lid off

(I normally do 20+25 but some part of me always tells me `follow the recipe! then follow your heart!)  

the crumb tasted really really moist and elastic, a bit nutty and milky with a little bit tang(I love the tangy aftertaste).

Finally I got those big bubbles!!!

Its not perfect yet, but I will absolutely keep baking, making more and more and learn from the mistakes.

Guys, please give me some advises judging from these pics.



(I shouldnt read the book <Josey Baker Bread>, I mean I baked over 10 loaves per week!!! and the weekends are whole day bread making and baking, my whole apartment smells like bakery. I give away a lot of loaves to my friends and neighbors, well...most of them did not like this kinda bread, because its really chewy, not soft, not sweet with no cream, sausage, dried meat floss... the rest are those who really appreciate the smell of wheat, tangy, nutty, the freshness. to me, its really tasty and amazing to make sandwich and pudding with.)

oh~BTW, I think I killed my 200g levain last night, cuz this morning, nothing really happened, there's no bubbles in the dough and on the surface. I did the floating test <Tartine Bread>, but somehow, nothing really happened.

I'm not really sure but I guess the water is a bit too warm? (not hot!) not a quitter, so tonight, keep going.



paul0130's picture

So what is this thing?

I finally got my own starter going! I first tried my hand at sourdough last year and failed at making my own starter, so I ordered KAF starter online. This helped me to get some experience and find out what it's supposed to smell like and how it looks like when it rises properly, etc.So this year when I went to the beach at Myrtle for a week I tried again. I started with a very liquidy mix of water and unbleached white flour and set it out on the screened balcony for about a day. Then I just kept it going for the rest of the week at about 100% hydration. But here is where it gets interesting.

When I got home it wasn't as warm as the beach so I decided to stick it in the oven with the light on for a few hours. When I took it out the glass jar was very hot to the touch. Darn! I thought I killed it. It seemed to stunt the growth for a couple of days, but then started back up again. Now it's great and doubling up quickly.

So my crazy question is this. I'm calling this my beach starter. Is this really "beach yeast" or did I just pickup yeast from the air back home after the oven episode? Or did the heat just temporarily stunt the growth. I would like to think I have a souvenir starter from the beach. Either way, I'm baking this weekend! Just curious to know exactly what yeast is in there. Also, when I smell it, it has a really good lemony scent, but it almost burns my nose from the acidity scent. It's stronger and not as fruity as my KAF, but I think it's going to make a good sourdough. Thanks all for your feedback!

rgreenberg2000's picture

Resilient little bugger!!

It's been a while since I have participated here, but I just had to post this am.  I am amazed at what a resilient little bugger my starter is..... For reasons I won't go into it has been neglected a LONG TIME in my fridge.  In fact, last night, when I decided to pull it out, I literally had to chip out most of it, to get at the small amount that remained with some moisture (the consistency of putty.)

I fed it last night with very low expectations, and was happy this am to see the small amount I had (about 105g including what I fed it) with lots of bubbles.  So, I fed it again this am (1:1:1), and after about two hours, I'm very pleasantly surprised to see this kind of action!!!

I guess I just inadvertently dried my starter, and then reconstituted it.  Sharing here since nobody I know will care or understand at all! :)



hamletcat's picture

Working with sticky dough?

Sometimes when I use flours other than wheat, my dough is really sticky.  Usually I mix these doughs with my bread maker so it doesn't stick to my hands before full gluten development.  If I wanted to knead the bread myself, are there any tips for to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.  I've tried the slap and fold technique but it doesn't really work very well for flours other than wheat.  One example that comes to mind is low fat soy.  

BakerNewbie's picture

Autolyse: minimum hydration levels, other liquids?

When doing an autolyse, what is the minimum hydration level required for it to work?

Also, aside from water, what other liquids can go into an autolyse? Eggs whites? Milk? Etc.?

isand66's picture

Sourdough Date Bread w/Chocolate Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar

  One of my favorite breads is my Sourdough Date Bread which was inspired by my good friend Khalid.  Since I recently picked up some fresh dates from the supermarket the other day I figured it was time to try it again but with some slight modifications.

I didn't buy enough dates so I had to reduce the amount used slightly which didn't seem to make that much of a difference.  I also used a higher percentage of French Style flour which I recently purchased from KAF.  I really love working with this flour so I wanted to use a higher amount than before while also removing the Spelt and Durum flour but keeping the freshly ground whole wheat.

The final change was to add some chocolate raspberry balsamic vinegar to bump up the flavors a little.  I thought this would add a little more sweetness to the bread and compliment the dates well.

The final bread came out excellent with a nice dark crust from the sugars in the dates and wonderful sweet and tangy flavor which goes well with just about anything.  The crumb was nice and moist as well.

Please note:  the dates are simmered in part of the water used for the main dough and instead of chopping them up  I just mushed them a little in the bowl which worked out fine.


Sour Dough Date Bread Act 2.2 (%)

Sour Dough Date Bread Act 2.2 (weights)

Download BreadStorm .bun file here.


Levain Directions

Step 1

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 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.

Step 2

Mix the flour and water with all of the levain from step 1 and let it sit at room temperature again until it is doubled.  At this point you can either use it right away or put it in the refrigerator and use it the next 1 to 2 days.

Date Preparation

Make sure there are no pits in the dates and do not trust the package like I did which claimed they were pitted dates.  Simmer the dates in 226 grams of water until they are soft.  After you remove them from the heat, add 100 grams of cold water and let the dates sit until they come back down to room temperature.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours with the remainder of the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the dates, butter and salt and mix on low for 2 minutes and speed #2 for another 2 minutes or by hand for about 6 minutes.   You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but very manageable.  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).

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.  I made 1 large Miche for this bake.

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 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.  (Note: since I made one large bread I needed to lower the oven further to 425 F. for about half of the baking time to prevent the crust from burning).

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.