The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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jamesjr54's picture

Pain de Beaucaire

Baked these today from Bread Cetera. Very nice taste, and fun to make. Overnight levain, 20 min autolyse, 1 hr bulk ferment, 30 min rest, fold, slurry, cut, stack, 1.5 hr proof. Baked on its side 15 minutes @ 450F w/steam; bake w/o steam 25 min. 


lumos's picture

Karaway - New Russian/Lithuanian Bread shop in London

Not sure how many of you are near enough to go and buy their bread, but there's a tiny shop in the newly opened Westfield Stratford City that sells good selection of Russian/Lithuanian breads and other baked goodies.


They have Lithuanian style scalded rye, pumpernickel, Borodinsky and several other interesting bread, and they are not mass-produced.  I only nibble small pieces of those bread they have for tasting (too much breads at home for consumption...), but they all taste really good.  Thoroughly recommend it.


jcking's picture

More Durum

Following on the latest post of Varda, I'm giving Durum another go. Reading posts here, books  and other reading I'm treating Durum more like Rye and Whole Wheat. An additional point from Leaders book gives the dough a little more salt a final shape before going into oven. The vita C was my idea.

Makes two loaves.

Starter build;
50g KA Chakki Atta sour seed/starter (66% hydration)
120g Water
200g KA Chakki Atta flour
Overnite sourdough build of 12 hours

Final Dough;
800g KA Durum Flour
560g Water
24g Salt
500mg Vita C tab, crushed and dissolved in the water
370g starter

Bakers Percent;
100% flour
68% water
2.3% salt

5 mins, Hand/spoon mix (all the above)
30 mins, rest
5 mins, knead with rolling pin
10 mins, rest
(knead and rest three times)
Stretch and fold
30 mins, bulk ferment
Stretch and fold
30 mins, bulk ferment
Divide and rough shape
15 mins, rest
Rough shape (pre-heat oven 475°F with stone and cover)
30 mins, proof at 80°F (in home made proof box)
Final gentle shape with brown rice flour and place on parchment paper, slash
(no more proofing)
Slide loaf/s with parchment into oven, add steam
10 mins, add more steam
10 mins, lower oven to 400°F
5 mins (remove cover if using) lower oven to 350°F
10 mins more then turn off oven, open oven door and vent
(use newspaper or similar to fan oven)
Close oven and leave bread in for 10 more mins
Cool and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Batard and Large knotted roll.

Batard 14" long and large roll 9".

Nice thin crispy crust with a hint of sweet. I'm thinking this dough could make a nice bagel.


P.S. Sorry Varda no tunnel of love :-)

loydb's picture

San Francisco Sourdough Culture: King Arthur Bread Flour vs Milled Whole Wheat

I got some of the San Francisco sourdough culture from I decided to make two different starters -- one that was fed nothing but King Arthur Bread Flour, the other fed nothing but home-milled hard red and hard white wheat. Both produced extremely active cultures within 4 days of 12-hour feedings. I used the basic sourdough bread recipe from BBA, using KA Bread Flour for one, and an 85% extraction sifting of hard red wheat (13%) for the second. Both were given a light wash of egg yolk whisked with milk before the seasame seeds were sprinkled on. They had a 5 hour bulk fermentation and a 2.5 hour final proof.

The KA rolls were crunchy on the outside, but were very much 'white bread'-like on the inside. My wife likes them, I'm thinking about turning them into french toast. They have almost no sour flavor at all, and not much depth. The whole wheat rolls, on the other hand, have a more assertive sour flavor (but still nowhere near King Arthur's New England sourdough). They also (unsurprisingly) have way, way more flavor overall.

I'm going to keep both alive and separate and try again in a few weeks. I'll also try a much longer bulk fermentation.

King Arthur Bread Flour 

Whole Wheat

PiPs's picture

Any grains you like...

With a rye starter now sitting on the bench for the foreseeable future I thought it was about time to reduce the amount of packets of cracked grains sitting in the pantry that were purchased before my Komo mill arrived.

I have found milling rye quite unlike milling wheat. The flour I am producing has large colourful flakes of bran and soft flour with only a hint of grey. If I am not careful milling, the Komo can become slightly clogged with rye flour when the hopper is filled with large amounts of grains. I have taken to pouring grains into the hopper gradually, being careful not to over fill it or under fill it.

When mixed with water the rye turns an earthy brown colour, quite different to the whole rye flour I have purchased in the past. Oh, and it likes water, a lot of water. I have spent the past week tinkering with the starter’s hydration trying to come to grips with this.

This bread is an absolute favourite of ours. It is not a high towering open crumbed architectural marvel. It is dense, moist and exceedingly aromatic. In the past I have used whole rye flour but for this bake I sifted the rye flour used in the final dough to try and lighten the crumb.

The original formula comes from an experienced baker (a bakery instructor) on the site ( The soaked grains are counted as part of the total flour calculation…which makes it a little confusing at first. Here is a link to the original formula

Any grain sourdough (45% rye, 35% mixed grain, 20% wheat flour)
Total dough weight: 1kgs
Hydration: 76%
Prefermented Flour: 20%
DDT: 29°C


Rye Starter build - 23°C for 12hrs
Starter: 25g
Rye Flour: 120g
Water: 96g
Diastatic malt: 0.5g

Soaker - 20°C for 12hrs
Wheat kibbled: 60g
Rye kibbled: 60g
Barley kibbled: 60g
Linseed: 30g
Water: 210g


Final dough – DDT 29°C
Rye starter: 216g
Soaker: 420g
Sifted rye flour: 150g
Strong bakers flour: 120g
Water: 150g
Salt: 12g


I use a scraper in my right hand to pick up and turn the dough and keep my left hand wet enough to avoid excessive sticking. I did this for about 5 to 10mins …. I was in the middle of a conversation so I lost track of time.

Allow to bulk ferment for 15-30mins.

Mould into smooth balls and roll into rolled oats.

Now this is where things get a bit different from a lot of what I have seen here with regards to rye breads and cracked surfaces.

Danubian suggests we place the dough seam side down in dusted baskets ensuring the top of the loaf is covered in rolled oats. It is then proved uncovered away from drafts. As the proving continues the top of the loaf will break up cracking into islands. Mine took about 1.5hrs.

After proving the dough is placed seam side down (this involves flipping the dough out and balancing on one hand before placing back seam side down) onto a peel or parchment paper.

I baked mine in a cast iron dutch oven

On entering a preheated oven at 270° I reduced the heat immediately to 210° and baked covered for 30mins, then removed from dutch oven and baked for another 30mins uncovered on stone for ensure even browning.

While we sat on our deck in the evening chatting about upcoming Christmas events (must start soaking fruit for fruit cakes soon) and watching possums run along phone lines we were teased and tempted by the aromas streaming from the baking loaf.

All the best

codruta's picture

80 Percent Rye with Rye Flour Soaker

Hello, everybody. I have a lot of news and questions today.

This bread is “80 Percent Rye with Rye Flour Soaker” from Jeffrey Hamelman's “Bread.” No commercial yeast added. It was made from ~750g dough (83% hydration). The rye starter was made from a small amount of my good old white starter. Three weeks ago, I split my white starter in two parts, feeding one part entirely with rye flour, 2 feeds/day. For this bread I used some organic rye flour I bought from Austria (I don't know if it's medium or dark)

This is my first 80% rye bread and I have no idea if it looks like it should. Of course I've seen david's rye breads, hansjoakim's, mini oven's, Franko's, nicodvb's and others examples here on TFL, but I can't evaluate objective my own product: I can't tell if my bread is beautiful or so-so, if the crust expanded too much or not, if the crumb is too dense or it is just as it should be for this type of bread.

I would have hoped to have more volume and the egdes of the bread to be more round and curved. The bottom is a bit concave. The internal temperature after baking was 209F (98C) - I overbaked it? I baked it 18-20 min with steam (was it too much?) and 30 min without steam. I cut the bread 16 hours after baking, cause I was too curious to see how it is inside.

It is the firtst time I tried to measure DT and I wanted to have a DDT at 27.7C, but I did not know how to do it. Starter temp. was 23.5C, soaker temp 23.5C, flour temperature 20C. I took 27,7, multiplied it by 4 = 110.8. Minus 23.5, 23.5, 20. Result 43.8 C. I figured I need 44C for the water. But in the end, after mixing ( by hand, in a glass bowl), the DT was 24.6 C. There is another factor in the equation that I did not considered? (I did not used a mixer, so there is no friction factor, my guess). Should the air temp be considered, too? (27.7 x 5 = 138.5. ddt = 138,5 -20-20-23,5-23,5 = 51.5?  I should have used 51,5C for water?)

I left the bulk ferment 1 hour, shaped the dough in the air with my hands wet, as good as I could (a video for this would be gold!), and then I dropped it in the floured banneton. The dough was wet, I had doubts if is OK to put it in banneton, but I did not know what to do with it. The more I kept it in my hands, wondering what to do with it, the more it started to stick, so, I dropped it in the banneton and I waited to see what happens. Well... it stucked a bit, and I think I should have put more flour in the banneton in the first place. Or is there another way to transfer it from wet hands in banneton, other than drop it directly?

I agree, there are a lot of questions here. Maybe some of you can help me, I'd appreciate any advise from those with more experience.

Final rise was 1h30min.

Given the fact I have never eaten a loaf with so much percent of rye (only 66%, I wrote about it in a previous post), I don't know how the taste is suppose to be. But for my taste, this bread is phenomenal, just like I imagined it would be like. Incredible sweet, earthy, verry little sour, with a strong flavor of rye. The sweetnes of rye was a revelation for me. I'll keep making rye breads, me and rye we are friends for life.

First crumb shot was taken after 16 hours, the second crumb shot after 36 hours.

I'll send this post to YeastSpotting.

On my Romanian blog, Apa.Faina.Sare. I launched an invitation, for World Bread Day in 16 october. I'd like to ask you to join me. it is simple: I need a picture, or two, of a bread you made recently, your name (or nickname) and the name of the bread. That is all. I will collect all the photos and I will exhibit them on my blog, in 16 october, in a special post. I will be very happy if you'll respond to my invitation. My email is codruta at, the last day for email is 15 october. 


Breuer's picture

My organic Sourdough spelt bread with oat and barley.

This is my sourdough spelt bread with fresh grounded oat and barly.

For 2 medium loafs at 60% hydration.

600 gr.  Ischia island sourdough starter- 100% Hydration

150 gr. Fresh grounded barley

50 gr. Fresh grounded oat

400 gr. Fine spelt

300 gr. Cold water

18 gr. Salt

*Mix the sourdough and the barley for around 1 minute to a sticky “heavy” dough.

*Then mix water, salt and spelt for 3-5 min. to activate the gluten.

*Autolyse for 20 min.

* Add the oat and knead for about 5 more minutes, make sure that you don´t knead the spelt to much (Otherwise you ruin the spelt), but the gluten has to be activated perfectly.

* Add the sourdough/barley dough in to the spelt dough, the dough have to be homogeny.

*Let the dough rest for 30 min. and then do the stretch and fold method in a bowl, about 10 times every 30min.  Do this 4 times in total.

*Now rest the dough in the fridge over night.

The day after:

*take out the dough and let it temperate at room temperature for about 3-4 hours.

*Do 2 stretch and fold, then half the dough and shape it by hand.

*Then put them in to a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with a mixture of 25% fine spelt and 75% whole grain durum.

*Let them proof about 50%.

* Bake them on a baking stone at 275 degrees Celsius whit steam, for 10 minutes.

* take away the steam and continue the baking at 230C in 20 minutes.

* turn of the oven, and let the oven door stay open for a few minutes.

*Cool down the bread at least 60% before slicing.


txfarmer's picture

Fresh Fig Bread - And other fig things

Sending this to Yeastspotting.

Click here for my blog index.

After a long summer of record high temperatures, I am so very ready for fall. Fresh figs in store, that's surely a sign of good things to come right? Like double digit "cool" weather? No matter how hot it is, I know fig season is fleeting, better hurry up and make the best of them.

First some fig jam.


Then a fragipane fig tart with pine nut crust.


Finally with the last 8 figs I have on hand, and that delicious fig jam, I made some bread rolls.

Note: makes 8 bread rolls

Note: total flour is 250g

- levain

starter (100%), 13g

water, 22g

bread flour, 41g

1. Mix and let fermentation at room temp (73F) for 12 hours.

- Final Dough
bread flour, 203g
sugar, 10g
salt, 5g
butter, 15g, softened
powdered milk, 13g
milk, 50g
water, 107g
levain, all
fresh fig, 8
fig jam, some

1. Mix everything but fig and fig jam until stage 3 of windowpane (-30sec), see this post for details.
2. Rise at room temp for 2 hours, punch down, put in fridge overnight.
3. Takeout, round, rest for 1 hour.
4. Roll out into 10X12inch rectangle, cut into 8 stripes along the short side, each is 10X1.5inch. For each stripe of dough, spread fig jam, then roll up with a fresh fig in the middle. The fig in the middle can be left whole, or peeled, or cut and put into patterns.

4. rise at room temp for about 5 hours. The dough would have double or even tripled by then, if it can't, your kneading is not enough or over.


5. Bake at 400F for about 25min.


Soft and fluffy bread dough matches well with the clean sweet taste of fresh fig.


I don't like it too sweet, so the amount of fig jam in the rolls was pretty modest. I figure that I can always add more jam when I eat it.


ramat123's picture

Different Flours Sourdough Starters Charateristics

Hi Bakers,

After baking for a couple of years I want to revisit the different sourdough starters charateristics. Can you point me to books / links / posts that compare the different starters and their impact on the final dough and bread?

All the best,


PMcCool's picture

Prepping starter for travel

As part of my preparation to move from South Africa back to the United States, I dried my sourdough starter using two different techniques.  The first was to simply smear a thin layer of batter-consistency starter across some parchment paper and allow it to dry at room temperature.  The second was to mix flour into some starter until it was reduced to crumbs.  I found that a mezzalune was very helpful in the latter stages of incorporating the flour by allowing me to chop the progressively stiffening starter into smaller and smaller pieces while blending in more flour.

The finished product, two bags of crumbed starter and three bags of flaked starter:

That gives me one packet per suitcase.  Each will be appropriately labeled.  Hopefully, at least one and maybe all will arrive home with me. 

I'm interested to start rehydrating a bit of each to see which one comes back to fighting trim more quickly.  I'll post follow-ups when I can.