The Fresh Loaf

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robin.masters's picture

Skipping yeast from books


I'd like to ask for your help. I'm a beginner bread baker, making my own sourdough (Reinhart recipe) at home and baking 100% whole wheat bread (from Reinhart's Artisan Breads Everyday) on a regular basis. I'm quite satisfied with the results. To make it a bit complicate i'm on a candida diet, can eat only whole grain flour and not allowed to use yeast. So sourdough is a natural choice. But that's the only recipe i know where i can bake without yeast. 

I've recently bought Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads and the Hamelman Breads book as i would like to try new recipes. I'm a bit disappointed as almost all of the recipes are with yeast (but they are great books of course). I know that's not that easy to just leave yeast. Is it any way to increase the sourdough or any other method to leave yeast somehow? 

In the Artisan Breads the yeast is only optional, so maybe there is some way to use those recipes.

Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks in advance,





holds99's picture

Rye Pain au Levain with Cracked Rye and Caraway Seeds

Pain au Levain - Rye with Cracked Rye Soaker and Caraway Seeds

This formula produces an excellent rye bread that tastes great and is good plain or
toasted.  With  cracked rye soaker and caraway seeds
incorporated into the final dough mix, toasting this bread brings out a pleasant
and more pronounced rye and caraway taste. 
The soaker and caraway seeds gives it a good texture and a distinct rye
taste.  This is a medium rye,
high-hydration dough that produces a rustic type bread with open crumb and nice
color and crust.

Yield: 8 lbs 15 1/4 oz of dough or 4.08 kilograms (4 loaves @ 1
kilogram (2.2 lbs) each, or 2 loaves @ 2 kilograms (4.4 lbs) each.  This recipe may be halved to produce 2 loaves @
1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) each or 1 large miche type loaf @ 2.2 kilograms (4.2 lbs).


  • Ferment: Double levain build (starting with a mature rye
         starter): 1st levain build 12-14 hours, 2nd levain mix 2.5 - 3 hours for a
         total of approx. 15 hours prior to final dough mix, depending on room
  • Soak cracked rye: Overnight
  • Mix final dough: 8 minutes
  • Stretch and Fold : 1 hour with 4 stretch and folds at
         20 minute intervals
  • After 4th stretch and fold, shape the dough into a
         large ball and place it in a lightly oiled covered plastic container and retard
         dough in refrigerator overnight.
  • The following day remove from refrigerator, allow dough
         to come to room temperature (75 deg. F)
  • Pre-shape, rest, and shape: 35 minutes
  • Proof: 2.5 – 3 hours
  • Bake: approximately 45 minutes

Desired dough temperature: 75 deg. F

Levain Build No. 1 Ingredients:

  • 1 Tb (1.2 oz./34g) ripe 100%-hydration sourdough
  • 8 oz (226g) water at 75 deg. F)
  • 8 oz (226g) light rye flour

Levain Build No. 2 Ingredients:

  • All of Levain Build No. 1 plus:
  • 8 oz (226g) water at 75 deg. F
  • 8 oz (226g) pumpernickel flour

Final Dough Ingredients:

  • 10.5 oz (298g) first clear flour
  • 44.5 oz (1,262g) bread flour
  • 1.3 oz (37g) salt (2 Tb)
  • All of the double levain build
  • 35 oz (992g) water
  • All of the soaker
  • .5 oz (15g) caraway seeds (2 Tb.) Note. If you prefer a
         stronger caraway seed taste, add an additional tablespoon of caraway seeds
         to the final dough mix

Soaker Ingredients:

  • 7 oz (200g) cracked rye (1 1/2 cups)
  • 12 oz (500g) boiling water (1 1/2 cups)

Note.  Conversion rate of 28.3495321 or 28.35 grams per
ounce was used in this formula.



Prepare the soaker (at least 8 hours
in advance, or overnight) before you plan to mix your final dough.  Measure out 7 oz (200g) cracked rye (1 1/2
cups) and place it in a 1 quart bowl, e.g.: stainless steel bowl.  Pour 12 oz (500g) boiling water (1 1/2 cups)  of boiling water over the cracked rye, cover
immediately with aluminum foil and allow to sit at least 8 hours, or overnight.

Levain Build No. 1

  1. In a 2 quart container add 1 tablespoon active starter
         to 8 oz (226g) room temperature water (75-78 deg. F).  Mix with a wire whisk until the starter
         is completely dissolved into the water.
  2. Add 8 oz (226g) of light rye flour to the container
         and, using a Danish dough hook or wooden spoon, mix well until the flour
         and starter-water is thoroughly mixed together.  This will be the 1st levain build.
  3. Cover the container and leave out at room temperature for
         12-14 hours, or overnight.  This 1st
         levain mixture should double in volume.

Levain Build No. 2

  1. After 12-14 hours, add 8 oz (226g) room temperature
         water (75-78 deg. F) to the container holding the 1st levain build and mix
  2. Add 8 oz (226g) of pumpernickel flour to the container
         and, using a Danish dough hook or wooden spoon, mix well until the flour
         and starter-water is thoroughly mixed together.
  3. This will be the 2nd levain build.
  4. Cover the container and leave out at room temperature
         for 2-3 hours.  This 2nd levain
         mixture will be much more active and will double in volume at room
         temperature (75-78 deg. F) in approximately 2-3 hours.

Final Dough Mix

  1. Add the 35 oz (992g) of final dough water (75-78 deg.
         F) to the container with the levain mixture and mix thoroughly.  Note. Hold out salt until after autolyse
         (initial final dough rest period).
  2. In a separate large bowl mix the 10.5 oz (298g) first
         clear flour with the 44.5 oz (1,262g) of bread flour for the final dough
         mix and set aside until completion of the next step.
  3. Pour the levain/final dough and water mixture from the
         container into the bowl of a stand mixer. 
         Turn the mixer on low and begin adding the final dough flour (mixed
         first clear and bread flour), a half cup at a time.  When the dough has reached the shaggy mass stage shut off the
         mixer, cover the top of the mixer bowl with film and allow the dough to
         autolyse (rest) for 30 minutes.  Remove
         the plastic film from the top of the mixer bowl, turn the mixer on low and
         slowly sprinkle the salt 1.3 oz (37g) salt (2 Tb)  onto the dough.  Mix until the salt has been thoroughly
         incorporated into the dough, about 3-4 minutes. 
  4. At this point add the cracked rye soaker (19 oz (700g)
         3 cups) to the dough mixture. 
         Continue mixing on low/medium speed until the soaker is evenly distributed
         throughout the dough (3-4 minutes).
  5. Lightly spray the inside of a large enough plastic
         container with vegetable oil.  The
         container should be large enough to hold nine (9) pounds of dough (or alternatively,
         four and a half (4 .5) pounds if you're making half the formula).  Turn the dough out of the mixer bowl
         into the oiled container and cover. 
  6. Give the dough 4 stretch and folds at 20-25 minute
  7. Cover the container and place in refrigerator overnight
         to retard for at least 12 hours.

Baking Day

Remove the container of dough from the refrigerator and
allow the dough to come to room temperature (75-78 deg. F).  This will take approximately 3 hours.

  1. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, divide
    the dough into either 2 or 4 pieces and pre-shape each piece into a ball.  Cover the pre-shaped dough and allow it to
    rest, covered, for 10-15 minutes before final shaping.
  1. For the final shaping, lightly dust a section of the
         work surface with flour and place the dough on the floured area.  Using the flat of your hand gently degas
         the dough and flatten it out into either a round or oval shape. Move the
         flattened dough to an area of the work surface that's free of flour.  Gather the outer edges of the flattened
         dough and fold it into the center. 
         Continue turning the dough and folding the edges tightly into the
         center forming a roughly shaped ball or oval.  Tuck and rotate the dough and tuck the
         edges of the dough underneath and tighten the dough surface. This final
         shaping is done on a clean work surface free of flour to provide resistance
         needed to get the ball very tight.  After
         final shaping, the seam will be on the bottom of the dough ball.  Don't bother trying to seal the bottom seam.
  2. Lift the dough off the counter and place it, seam side
         down, into bannetons that have been generously dusted with a mixture of
         50% rice flour and 50% bread flour.
  3. Proof, covered, at room temperature, for 2 – 3 hours,
         until the dough passes the "finger poke" test, an indentation
         left by a fingertip comes back slowly.
  4. Note.  One hour prior to putting the loaves
         into the oven, preheat the oven, with baking stone along with a cast iron
         skillet, or pan, on the oven rack located below the baking stone.  Preheat the oven to 500F. You will need steam during the initial phase of
         baking.  Heat a cup and a half of
         water in the microwave on high until it's boiling (approx. 3 minutes) just
         prior to putting the loaves into the oven.  Immediately, after placing the loaves
         into the oven, pour about a cup of the boiling water into a cast iron
         skillet or pan sitting on the oven rack located below the stone.  Use oven mitts to handle the cup of
         boiling water.


the loaves

  1. When the loaves have passed the "finger poke"
         test, they're fully proofed and ready to bake.  Turn the loaves out of the floured bannetons
         onto parchment-lined baking pans that have been liberally dusted with
         semolina, with the floured side up.
  2. Score the loaves and place the baking pans on the stone
         in the oven.  Pour the boiling water
         into the skillet or pan on the shelf beneath the stone.  Close the oven door and don't open it
         until midway through the baking cycle, 20 minutes).
  3. After 10 minutes at 500 deg. F, reduce the oven
         temperature to 475 deg. F.
  4. Midway through the baking cycle (about 20 minutes), open
         the oven door and turn the pans around a full half-turn to ensure even
         baking and also allow the steam to exit the oven.  Reduce the oven temperature to 450 deg.
         F. for the remaining baking cycle.
  5. About 35 minutes into the baking cycle, check the
         internal temperature of the loaves using a digital thermometer.  When they reach an internal temperature
         of 205-208 deg. F, remove the pans from the oven and transfer the loaves onto
         wire racks to cool.  Allow loaves to
         cool at least 3 hours before cutting them. 


mwilson's picture

Pandoro, light, rich and buttery

My first effort making Pandoro was a huge success!

see more on my new blog...

I will include my recipe as soon as I can.

jklarsen's picture

I want BIG holes in my bread.


I have been reading all of your wonderful posts on this site for quite a while, and you all seems like really good bakers.

I have only recently jump into the art of baking good breads myself, and though my ambitions are high, i am afraid that my skills still needs some training.

I have one simple question, and i realize that the answer might not be simple, i still want to ask it.


I am currently set on making breads like the Rustic light Rye loaf and Tartine style breads. One thing they have in common apart from being very delicious is the big air holes. Now here comes the question.

What is it that makes these big wonderful holes? - because i have made 60% hydration breads, and 80% hydration 100% wheat breads with yeast and or sour dough, and although my breads have been great, they have only had semi-big holes, and i want the big holes ;-)

Can any of you help me in my quest?

Kind regards,
Jan H.


Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Sourdough Pioneer Bread

Last month, I posted about my work on developing a formula for the Pioneer Bread recipe from the Kansas Wheat Commission.

Being quite pleased with my effort, I said that I'd get to work on a sourdough version of the same bread. After some work with my ADY yeast formula this past weekend, I baked that loaf and feel pretty good about it as well. I do concede that the slashing needs some work but I like the flavor, so does Mrs PG.

It turned out to be relatively stress free in that the most work was the flagrant calculator abuse to figure out my starter quantities. I have yet to master using a spread sheet.

I've indulged myself by posting some chatter about the loaf at my blog

I think the formula is fairly solid at this time and it may be one of my entries in the Leavenworth County Fair. Before I lock into that, I want to try using butter in place of the sunflower oil in the recipe. I have the most current version of the recipe in a seperate document that I can forward in either an .odf for Open Office users or a .pdf attachment for everyone that is interested in a copy. Just leave a message for me here at TFL and I'll send it along. Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

KMIAA's picture

Freh Vegetables, Blanch & Freeze?

My neighbor gave my husband fresh okra, fresh green beans, fresh, jalapeno peppers, fresh tomatoes, and fresh red peas.  There are only 2 of us in the family and I have never dealt with how to handle fresh vegetables.  What do you do with the peas after shucking them and you want to freeze them?  Do I blanche the vegetables first and then freeze?  Tomatoes will be eaten right away.  No problem there.  Hot peppers I normally don't buy them until I need them for a recipe and I don't want them to go to waste so wonder if they can be frozen.  Okra, never ate it and don't know what to do.  Fresh string beans,  blanch & freeze.  If someone could either let me know if blanching & then freezing is the right way.  I would hate to waste any of these fresh vegetables.  Thanks!

maxwellion's picture

The Sourdough for the Working Parent

OK, so I don't have kids (yet), but at the moment I'm pretty much treating my 3-week old starter like it was my own flesh and blood (I need a dog!).

Can anyone recommend a recipe suited for busy schedules? I'd hate to keep my baking to the weekends only, and I have a lovely starter that I'm itching to use all the time. I'm at work for 8 hours of the day,  so anything I can leave for a long time, and that doesn't require much dough nursing would be great. It would also be a perfect opportunity to ditch the not very successful recipe i'm using at the moment.

NB: I'm using a white 50/50 starter with 100% hydration if that helps.

Thanks for your help


CSBaker's picture

oat flour tortillas?

So. last time I was at Whole Foods I  bought a bunch of oat flour, thinking in my    Newbie brain, that I would make some oat bread.  Turns out, oat bread is made with oats (learn something new every day).  Anyway, now I am looking for something to do with all of this oat flour, so I was thinking tortillas.  I usually make my own tortillas with half AP and half bread flour, and I like those results.  Any idea what would happen with oat flour? 

wassisname's picture

A Very Different Result

     I've been hung up on this line from Tartine Bread regarding the Country Rye ever since I read it:  "Use a medium-fine grind of whole-rye flour as opposed to a course pumpernickel rye, which will yield a very different result."  And that's it, end of paragraph, end of story.  He just leaves that hanging there like I'm not going to wonder day after day just what sort of "very different result" it would yield.  Yeah... no, that won't do at all.
     It just so happens that I have a large amount of stoneground whole rye in my freezer.  I don't know where it falls on the official grind-o-meter, but judging by the big flecks of bran and the fact that it is described as "Graham" rye I'm thinking it's a ways away from medium-fine.
     I re-worked the formula a bit.  I increased the rye and all of it went into the starter.  My ww starter doesn't always react well to sudden white flour feedings, and since the numbers worked out nicely as well... why not.  I stayed pretty true to the process in the book so I won't post that here, but I will say that, since I don't own a Dutch oven of any kind, I baked on a stone and steamed according to the wet towel method described in the baguette section of the book.  This has become my steaming method of choice - simple, safe and effective.

The numbers:

The result - Yum.  A little over-proofed maybe (I cut the timing too close with the bread that went into the oven before this one) but still got a nice spring in the oven.  The crust shattered and flew when I put a knife to it.  The crumb was very light and moist with just enough sourdough spring.  The flavor was very well balanced.  Caveat: I've never baked a light rye like this so I don't really have much basis for comparison, but I could eat this all day long.

So, was it a very different result?  I don't think I care so much anymore, I'm too busy devouring this bread!
This one I will be baking again.



tarade's picture

Help with Ingredient Adjustments PLEASE!

Hello All,

I've done *very* basic recipes, but got feeling ambitious this weekend and wanted to re-create a sandwich from Panera Bread, their Turkey Bacon Bravo sandwich.  It is made with a tomato basil bread with a slight sugar/honey glaze on the crust, turkey, gouda, bacon, and a thousand island-like dressing.

I found a recipe online for the tomato basil bread but when I made it, it came out like a dense brick.  It still tasted alright and the house smelled wonderful, but not something I could make a sandwich on.  I've tried it 2x already, hoping a little tweaking will get it right but so far, no dice.  It doesn't rise a lot so I think I need to adjust the amount of yeast in the dough, but not sure how much or what else I need to I'm hoping a knowledgeable bread enthusiast will be able to help me get it right the third time.

My goal is a soft but durable sandwich bread with a chewy if not slightly crunchy (and not overly browned) crust.  I only have the option of either a glass standard 9x5 loaf pan or metal one, and a aluminum cookie sheet - which is the best for my needs?  I know if I want "sandwich" bread I should probably get one of those covered pans but I just don't have anywhere in my area that sells them so I can't get one right now.

As for the recipe:

  • 2 1/4 t. yeast
  • 1/4 c. warm water
  • 1/2 c. warm milk
  • 1/4 c. minced fresh basil
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder 
  • 1/3 c. minced sundried tomatoes
  • 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 c. flour (1 c. all purpose, 1.25-1.5 c. unbleached white whole wheat) 

After mixing/kneading, I let it rise about an hour in the bowl, knead again a little, put in a greased bread pan and let rise another hour before popping in the over and cooking at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temp of at least 190 degrees.  It also has some sugary glaze on it but I'll worry about getting the bread right first before tackling the glaze.

Any pointers you could offer would greatly be appreciated, thank you so much!!!Tara