The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Ju-Ju-Beads's picture


I'm grinding in a Golden Grain stone grist mill using white wheat and corn for grits and cornmeal.  The cornmeal comes out just fine without sifting but I want to sift the finer particles (cornmeal!) out of my grits  and to try sifting some of

the bran out of my wheat flour.  I've been reading about Proth5's sieves of various sizes and wondering which ones will be most useful and where to get them.   Suggestions?


Virtus's picture

'Home Baked' by Hanne Risgaard

I was wondering if anyone that has purchased Ms Risgaard's book has had a chance to check out her 'Real Rye Bread' recipe. I don't understand why she mixed all of the dough ingredients and then takes out 400 grams of the dough and saves it for the next bake. How long can this be kept? I presume you don't use sourdough then, just the dough amount, in your next bake. I just have never read about this technique except for a simpler formula using only flour, water, sourdough and salt.

Thanks, Esther.

Wade37's picture

Is it practical to maintain the Full Sour (of 3 Stage Detmolder Process) for future use ?

I use a 100% rye starter and produce tasty, but not notably sour, rye + wholemeal loaves and I am considering trying the Detmolder 3 Stage Process to increase my output sourness and flavour. The procedure is lengthy and necessitates critical temperature control.

My question is : Is development of Refreshment/ Basic Sour/ Full Sour stage mixes necessary for each bake or can a portion of Full Sour be maintained (e.g. refrigeration + feeding, as in the case of conventional starters) for future use ?

dabrownman's picture

Parade of Sandwiches Continues - Part 3

















Remco's picture

Tasteless bread


for some time now I'm trying to bake a tasty bread. Everything I bake looks great from the outside and good texture on the inside but tastes after nothing. I switched from wholemeal flour to spelled flour because it has a more distinct flavour. Thru this website I started with prefermentation which does add a little bit more flavour to the bread. Of course adding stuff like sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and linseed it gets more tasty but the basic bread taste remains tasteless. And it has to be possible to bake a tasty bread without all kinds of taste additives.

My general recipe for a 500 gr. bread is: 50 gr. preferment, 4 gr yeast, 8 gr. salt, 400 gr. spelled flour, 25 gr. rye, 25 gr. bread improver, 15 gr. butter and a total of 390 cc water (preferment included).

Who has tips and suggestions?

Many thanks in advance!

baybakin's picture

House sweet dough

House sweet dough

This sweet dough is a mixture of two recipes; The brioche recipe from the Tartine bread book, but with the percentages of butter, eggs, and hydration scaled back to similar percentages as  Richard Bertinet's sweet dough (My favorite yeasted basic sweet dough).   I use this dough for most of my basic sweet dough pastries, some of my favorites are Monkey Bread, Cinnamon Rolls, Orange/lemon sticky buns, fake croissants (in this case with chocolate), Fruit braids, etc. 

Details on the starter/poolish: Chad Robertson advocates the use of "young" levian and poolish, with less fermentation time than more "mature" starters, using them right when they float in water.  I admit that I use them whenever it works best with my time schedule usually between 6-8 hours.  The starter is a 100% hydration, fed with a 50/50 mix of AP flour and whole wheat flour.

For people who like Yeast Water, I think this one would translate very well to YW + SD, with YW used instead of poolish (I'm looking at your dabrownman).  Pictures are of cinnamon rolls and fake chocolate croissants, dough also made an apple/cheese braid which is not pictured.  Baked at 375.

200g Poolish
150g Tartine Style starter (100% hydration, Whole wheat/AP)
210g Milk (Scalded and cooled)
50g Butter
50g Sugar
100g (2) Eggs
20g (1) Egg Yolk (retain the white for glazing/frosting)
500g Flour
12g Salt

Rosalie's picture

New Bread Book by Ken Forkish: Flour Water Salt Yeast

I ordered this book from the library, and I believe I'm the first person to check out this particular volume.  The author, Ken Forkish, had left an unsatisfying career in the Silicon Valley, chucking it all for artisan baking.  He opened Ken's Artisan Bakery in Portland, Oregon, in 2001.

Checking a bread book out from the library is a different experience from buying it.  I read it more carefully than I read the books that I buy because I only had three weeks.  When I decided I wanted to try out his techniques, I had to take extra pains to keep it clean because it was not my book and it was so new.

He gives the book his own slant, trying to keep home kitchens in mind.  Everything is done by hand, no electric mixers., lots of wetting of the hands.  The ingredients are pretty basic, as suggested by the title: Flour Water Salt Yeast.  He's particular about temperatures.  And he likes the Dutch Oven approach.

But he is perhaps of the supersize generation.  The recipes use 1000 grams of flour (mostly white, with up to 75% whole wheat).  This is, according to his accommodation, about 7 3/4 cups flour, making 2 loaves, each about 1 1/2 pounds.  I was especially shocked that his recipe for making a starter begins with 500 grams (almost 4 cups) ww flour (and 500 grams water); on day two, you toss 3/4 of this mix and add in another 500 grams each ww flour and water; and so on.  He mentions somewhere under maintenance that you can scale this down, but is this really practical for the home kitchen?

There is a section on pizzas, tying in with Ken's Artisan Pizza, which he opened in 2006 in conjunction with his bakery.  He gives recipes for pizza doughs, based on his other recipes, and focaccias.  He also gives real pizza recipes.  Looks good.

I was intrigued by his technique descriptions, especially folding and shaping.  So I tried one of his recipes, adapting it to 100% whole wheat (and 82% hydration, per his suggestion).  I think I need practice, especially on the shaping and the use of the Dutch Oven.

My impression is that, try as he might to be populist, he'll probably scare off beginners, especially with his quantities.

Has anyone else seen the book?  What are your impressions?


thihal123's picture

Help with bread from The Village Baker (Pain de Seigle sur Poolish)

I need some help with a recipe in Joe Ortiz's "The Village Baker" book, in particular his pain de seigle sur poolish (sponge-method rye bread). It seems to me his recipe measurment is way off. I like to convert his recipe from volume measurment to weight measurment. The first time I made this bread, I first measured almost everything in volume and then recorded the weight measurment. Turned out the dough was so wet (like 88% hydration!) I had to keep adding flour (about 2 cups additional) to make this even work with the slap-and-fold technique.

Here is Ortiz's original recipe on page 114:

The Poolish

2 packages (2 scant tablespoons, 1/2 oz.) active dry yeast

2 cups water

1 cup organic, unbleached white (or all-purpose) flour

1 cup rye flour

The Dough

1 1/2 cups warm water

All of the poolish from previous step

2 cups rye flour

2 cups organic, unbleached white (or all-purpose) flour

1 tablespoon salt

Glaze: 1 egg wisked up with 1 tablespoon milk


Here is what I recorded after weighing almost each volume measurment:

The Poolish

1 tablespoon active dry yeast (I think it is a misprint to say 2 packages of yeast is 2 tablespoons. 1 package is only 1/4 oz, so two packages is 1/2 oz which is way less than 2 tablespoons! First error in Ortiz's recipe above).

473g water

125g white flour

128g rye flour

The Dough

355g cups warm water

All of the poolish from previous step

256g rye flour

250g white flour

1 tablespoon salt

Glaze: 1 egg wisked up with 1 tablespoon milk


When I got to the dough stage (i.e., after incorporating the poolish) the dough was still unworkable. I had to incorporate an additional 2 cups of flour to make this workable even for the slap-and-fold method. Turns out the dough, before the additional 2 cups of water, was 108% hydration!! (Total flour = 801g, Total water = 823g, which equals 108% hydration). No wonder it was not workable!

So, can anyone help me figure out where Ortiz's recipe error is, and how do I correct it? I like the method of making this rye bread.

FlourChild's picture

Starter is ailing- what medicine do you recommend?

Recently my firm starter developed a spoiled smell- it has all the smells and appearances of a healthy starter (rises predictably, no visible discoloration, etc.), but added to that is a definite spoiled smell that I would never put in bread.  I would describe it as similar to the smell of spoiled milk.  The smell is much stronger in the early part of fermentation, after a feed, than it is later in the process. 

Luckily, I had a back up in the fridge (I maintain my ongoing culture at room temp) which sprung back to life easily and quickly and is doing well, so I am able to be relaxed about what is going on with that smell.  

My first approach was to let the smelly starter sit for two days after a feed, hoping that the desireable microbes would win out over the undesireables.  That didn't work.  My second approach was to let it go even longer- three days at room temp- after a feed, in hopes that a little alcohol or ketones or something in a underfed, overripe starter might help kill off whatever has taken root in there.   That didn't work, either.

So now I'm curious to experiment with it to see if I can find a fix:  what sort of medicine would you recommend?  I'm thinking of things like salt, freezing, lemon juice, etc.  I'll probably divide it up and try a different approach in each jar.  Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Advice?


Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

My oven setup (fan-only oven)

I have got a very simple fan-only oven (BEKO), and it took me a while figure out how to put it to its best use - with lots of inspiration from TFL.

This is how I bake my bread:

Usually use an oven stone and a metal baking sheet.

You can see the backplate of the oven cavity in the picture below - the shelf positions and the hot air outlets are highlighted:

I noticed that airflow changes a lot when loading the oven in different ways - it is not always the bit nearest to an outlet that gets burnt first!

I am now using 2 basic setups that work well. In both scenarios I have a small pan on the oven floor into which I pour boiling water (about 1/4 cup) once the oven has been loaded. The oven keeps moisture very well, and using more water cools it down too much.

Scenario 1: For a batch of 4 X 500g boules or 2X 800g boules or up to 6X 500g tins:

The baking stone receives a lot of heat from below and stays hot during the bake. The side of the boules facing the backplate gets more heat.

Therefore after 10 minutes I shuffle the breads around: turning them 180 deg. and sqapping the loaves on the stone with the loaves on the baking sheet. Usually I turn down the temperature at this point and bake for another 20 minutes. The bottoms of the loaves that started on the baking sheet might still be3 weak after that, so I usually turn those loaves over and bake them for 5 more minutes.

Scenario 2: For a batch of 1 X 100g or 2 X 500g

I place the loaf (loaves) on the baking stone, and rotate them after 10 minutes.

The baking sheet helps distributing the hot air and helps getting a more consistent bake.


I hope this might be helpful,