The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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sam's picture

100% white


I wanted to try out a schedule that worked for my normal work-week and maximizing
flavor, because I am usually not around during the daytime hours.  Also I
wanted to see the effect of a purely white flour mash.
Due to the way my schedule works, I did bulk ferment of 24 hrs, with the understanding
that my final dough might be sour (hopefully not inedible sour),
So for this recipe I was going for 100% white flour.  For my palette, a white
bread with a solid tang is good.  Maybe not so much tang for breads with a high
percentage of whole grains.

Turns out, this was perfect (for me).  I would make this again.  Tastes great!

All flour is KA Bread Flour, except for the starter flour which is KA AP.
All weight in grams.

Total Dough Weight: 1000  
Total Dough Hydration: 68%  
Total Dough Flour Weight: 595  
Total Dough Water Weight: 405  

Levain Percentage: 20%  
Levain Hydration: 125%  
Starter Percentage: 10% of leaven 
Starter Hydration: 125%

Soaker Percentage: 54%  
Soaker Hydration: 80%  
Mash Percentage: 20% of soaker 
Mash Hydration: 200%  
Soaker Salt Percentage: 1%
Overall Dough Salt Percentage: 1.5%

Flour Weight: 114  
Water Weight: 143
Starter Weight: 12

Flour Weight: 64  
Water Weight: 128
Diatastic Malt Powder: 1

All Mash:
Flour Weight: 257  
Water Weight: 129  
Salt Weight: 3  
Final Dough:
All Levain
All Soaker/Mash
Flour Weight: 155

Salt: 6

Procedure I did:

1)  Evening #1, made mash.  I did 55C for 90 mins, 60C for 30 mins,
65C for 30 mins, 70C for 30 mins.

2)  Morning #2, mixed levain and soaker/mash.

3)  Evening #2, mixed everything to final dough.  Put dough into
chiller at 44F / 6.6C.

4)  Morning #3, stretch + fold.

5)  Evening #3, took dough out of chiller, another stretch + fold.

6)  Final of evening #3:

Allowed 1 hr for warm-up.

Shaped.  Cut out a small chunk of dough to watch bubble activity.

It took 2.5 hours for dough to be ready for bake -- Both from bubble activity
and feel of the dough.  I am getting better at gauging the feel of the dough,
and not needing the crutch of watching bubble activity, but it is good to have
the small chunk of dough as a confirmation.

Turns out, I am still staying up too late on Evening #3, because it takes a while
for the dough to do the final ferment after being the chiller for so long.  
But, I can make bread during the week!  :)


Oven after first 10 minutes of steam:


Baked with steam (above) for 10 mins at 460F, then lowered to 420F.   Here it is after 20 mins at 420F.



A little bit darker than I'd like, but all good.   Internal temp measured 207F and was hollow to the thump.








Happy baking!


sasidhar79's picture

how to extract barm from beer for baking


One of my friends brews his own beer at home, I want to get some barm from him for baking bread.

Please help me by letting me know how I can extract the barm and during which phase of brewing should I extract it.

thank you




Franko's picture

Bread and Meat, the making of a savoury sandwich

We don't see a lot of posts on sandwiches on this forum, which I'm sure is what most of use our daily bread for. I thought it'd be fun to do something a little different by including a procedure on the meat that went into this particular favourite sandwich of mine.

Yesterday morning I mixed ciabatta dough for ciabatta buns or ciabattini in order to make one of my all time favourite sandwiches, the porchetta sandwich. Ciabatta is a bread I seldom make for sandwiches but when I've have the time to make porchetta I can't think of another bread I'd rather put it on. Hamelman's Ciabatta with Biga was the formula used, scaling it out to make about a kilo of dough to work with. It's the first time I've used this formula for Ciabatta but certainly not the last as it makes a very nice dough that's relatively easy to handle, and has an excellent aroma and flavour once baked. The ciabattini were scaled at 105 grams per, the remainder of the dough was used for a smallish loaf that I'll use for a sub sandwich.

The crumb is soft and moist, with no large holes, perfect for soaking up the flavours of the lightly smoked porchetta and any other condiments I might add, which is usually a peperoncini or two, some thin slices of provolone and a drizzle of good olive oil.

Although this version of porchetta is not close to an authentic one where the pork shoulder is stuffed with a sausage type filling from other parts of the animal along with various other ingredients, it is quick and easy to prepare and has plenty of flavour.

The recipe I used as a reference point is Mario Battali's which can be found here , but I just made a blend of olive oil and the herbs and spices he suggests (and some he doesn't) in a food processor, rather than make the sausage type filling this time. The herb and oil paste is then spread over the pork that's been cut in such a way that it can laid flat and then be rolled up and tied.

Once rolled and tied it was rubbed with sea salt and a generous amount of black pepper, placed in a zip-lock bag and liberally doused with white wine. It marinated in the fridge for four days, being turned once a day to ensure all of it was exposed to the wine over the course of marination. The day before cooking it was removed from the marinade and dried off, then wrapped in a double layer of cheese cloth and put back in the fridge to dry overnight. The next day the meat was cooked in a hot smoker for two hours at 220F using a very light smoke of oak wood. It's not essential that the meat be smoked. It can be made with just a conventional oven, but a bit of smoke adds a lot to the overall flavour.

Before going to the oven after initial 2 hour smoking

After that it went into the oven for 2 more hours at 250F or until the internal temperature read 170F. After 5-10 minutes out of the oven it was wrapped in saran and allowed to cool down slowly before being placed in the fridge overnight. The meat is savoury and succulent with a bit of crunch from the fat that has turned to cracklings over the long cooking time. Redolent of garlic, fennel seed and rosemary, with some heat from the black pepper and a few chili flakes that were included in the seasoning, it packs an incredible amount of flavour into the 2 or 3 slices I used to make the sandwich in the photos below.

The sandwich is best if the meat and bread are warmed first before it's eaten and I'll usually put the cheese on the meat while its warming to melt it slightly. While it's not a true porchetta or porchetta sandwich in the authentic sense , it does make a very satisfying lunchtime snack.

Happy eating,



loydb's picture

Experiments in Pasta: Milling My Own Flour

I finally got a new pasta maker to replace the one I destroyed via water and overestimating my ability to remember how to reassemble it. :) This time, I went with a motor! I stuck with an Atlas 150, which was a great machine for me until I went all Mr. Fixit on it.

Previously, I'd been using store-bought flour. Last night was my first try with it using flour I milled myself, though I hedged my bets on this one with around 33% King Arthur Bread Flour. I didn't find a lot on milling pasta flour using the search, so hopefully my experiments will aid searchers somewhere down the line.

Attempt #1
I didn't think to take pics of anything but the final product, I'll do better on the next run, promise. All grains are from Pleasant Hill.

I started out with 6 oz of durum wheat (14%)  and 2 oz of hard white wheat, milled fine, mixed with 3 oz KA. By the time it was all said and done, I easily added another 1-2 oz of KA.

Put the milled flour in a bowl, make a well, crack two room-temperature eggs in it, add a couple of healthy pinches of kosher salt (1.5 t maybe?). Whisk with a fork to blend in flour from the edges. When it gets too dry, pour in a little bit of room temperature water (I ended up using just over 3/4 cup of water). Eventually it becomes too heavy to stir with a fork, switch to a spatula or spoon or whatever you use. I chose to hand knead this instead of using my DLX, so I have some sense memory of the dough development as experiments progress. 

After it comes together in the bowl, move to a heavily-floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. Mine was really, really soft and damp, and I used a lot of KA flour by the time the kneading was done. It still felt really soft, almost like focaccia. Put the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. I let it sit 45 minutes. 

I rolled it out about 3/4" thick (using a lot more flour), cut off a chunk about the area of slice of cheese, and started running it through the Atlas. Lemme just say right now, if you're thinking of buying one of these, get one with a motor. It's so nice to be able to work solo, and it takes less than 3 seconds to move the motor from the flattening rollers to the cutter and back. I folded it back on itself a couple of times at setting 0 and setting 1, then progressed until setting 4, their recommended thickness for the spaghetti cutter.

Moved the motor to the cutter, and ran the first sheet through. It was a gummy, messy disaster. Fortunately, it was going to be discarded anyway (as per the recommendations for first-time use).

Clean up, consult the manual. If it fails to cut, add flour to the dough and run it through the rollers.

I liberally sprinkled the cutting board, cut off another square of dough, floured both sides, and ran it through at 0. Folded, floured, repeated. Move to 1, same thing. As it got thinner, I sprinkled flour on the sheet of dough and gently massaged it over the surface, then flipped and hit the other side. Finally, I sprinkled some flour directly on the cutting rollers. 

I should talk here about the texture of the dough. I didn't do any sifting, so all the bran was still in the dough, which felt kind of grainy. When at the final thickness, I could feel the bran in relief when spreading on the KA flour. This was the first thing that concerned me.

Back to the rollers -- this time, everything came through the cutter mostly intact, but the individual strands of noodles were, in some cases, still clinging to each other, looking vaguely like a computer ribbon cable. This was the second thing that concerned me.

I hung the noodles on the drying rack, and the bran in the tiny noodles made them feel almost like they'd been rolled in sand. This was the third thing that concerned me.

At this point, my wife is on the way home from work. I have a bunch of noodles that I'm pretty sure are going to be a gummy, grainy mess. Oh well, I've got dried pasta in the pantry, I can always break it out if necessary.

The noodles hang out and dry for around 45 minutes. Now, they feel like dry, sandy ribbons. I'm not optimistic.

I throw the noodles in 6 quarts of boiling salt water to which I've added 1 T of olive oil, and boiled them for 4 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so to keep them from clumping up, then drained them in a collander before adding them to the sauce for about 90 seconds on the stove.

Fearing the worst, I added some fresh-ground asiago and parmesan and tried some.

They were fantastic.

Nothing stuck together, and there was no grainy-ness. It was amazingly tender. 

Heartened by the success, I'm going to try using more fresh milled flour next time, perhaps only using the KA for adjustments (which would still end up being a couple of ounces if it runs to form).

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

10/2/11 - Kürbiskernbrot (Pumpkinseedbread)

gt40's picture

Mello Judith Flour vs Caputo Tipo OO differences for pizza

I wanted to test the differences between Mello Judith flour and Antico Molino
Caputo Tipo 00 flour  for use in my modded ciabatta pizza recipe here:

Both seem to be close on the protein levels:

Protein level listed for Mello Judith: Protein 11.8 +/- 0.3%

Protein level on Forno Bravo: 11-12% and on Amazon: Protein content 11.5%

I started a side by side comparison test to try and quantify the differences.  

Yesterday I made 2 batches of pre-dough sponge- one with Antico Tipo OO Chef's flour and the other with Mello Judith.  First I weighed out the water- 500g x2= 1000g total. I put it in one container and dissolved a total of4g of yeast into the water.  Added a teaspoon of malted barley syrup and stirred till the yeast and syrup were dissolved. I figured by making one batch and splitting it in half, both batches would get the same barley syrup and yeast in the water. Next I weighed 500g of each type of flour and mixed it one at the time with equal amounts of the water yeast syrup mixture so that I had two batches and put them in their own container. I measured everything out with a scale accurate to 10th of a gram and each container contains 500g flour, 500g water + the yeast and syrup that was dissolved in the water. I let them sit at room temp around 75 degrees for an hour and then let them slow ferment in the refrigerator for 24 hours and here is the result:

As you can see, the Mello Judith rose a lot more even though it had exactly the same amount of yeast, water, barley syrup for the same amount of time and temp.  I was surprised to see such a big difference under exactly the same conditions.  Any thoughts or suggestions on why there is so much difference  would be appreciated.


varda's picture

Andy's Gilchester Miche with Atta Flour

I have been admiring Andy's breads made with Gilchester flour for some time now - in fact since he posted this, and later this, and most recently this.   But I felt inhibited from trying it, since I didn't see any reasonable way to obtain the flour.   Recently Andy suggested that I might try using Atta flour, perhaps sifted to remove some of the bran.   The idea was to simulate the high extraction, low quality gluten properties of the Gilchester flour.   In fact I now have two different types of Atta in my closet - a 100% whole durum that I have posted on several times, and a more refined durum with some wheat bran added in, that I recently found at a local Indian grocery store (thanks Lynnebiz) both under the Golden Temple label.   I decided that rather than sift, I would just try the refined durum with added bran.    I proceeded exactly according to the instructions here with a couple intentional changes.   First the Atta flour rather than the Gilchester flour.   Second King Arthur AP rather than Carr's Special CC flour.   And one unintentional.   I autolyzed with starter rather than without.   I am so used to doing that that I didn't even check the instructions until it was too late.   Other than that I did the three starter feedings the day before, and left on counter overnight.   I did the first mix (before adding salt) in my Kitchen Aid, but did the rest of the mixing by hand very gently.    I also felt that more stretch and folding was necessary, so I did one more than the one that Andy directed.   And I baked in my WFO for around an hour.   I had a very hard time getting the oven up to temperature today since it has been extremely wet out, and no sooner was it up to temp when it started dropping off.   So while initial temperature was around right (600degF) by thirty minutes in it had dropped to around 380.  But fortunately crust had browned already and loaf had expanded.  

This is quite a large loaf - over a foot in diameter.   I had to score with my long bread knife - this dough is pretty wet, and a short blade would have caught in the dough.   We had this for dinner tonight - one slice was enough to cut in half for a chicken salad sandwich.   The taste is very mild given the high percentage of durum - that wouldn't have been the case if I had used the whole durum - but with very pleasant flavor.    Here is the crumb:

Reasonably even, but with mouse holes, which I've gotten every time I've used this flour.  

So in sum, I wish I had some Gilchester flour for this, but I think Andy's formula adapts well to this version of Atta and I'm glad I tried it. 


clazar123's picture

A question about fresh milled grain and fragile dough-are they related?

I just milled a batch of red hard spring wheat last week and used it to make a batch of multigrain bread today. What I noticed is that when I turned the dough out after a rise to double, it tore very easily when handling. I did 1 stretch and fold and let it rest for 10 minutes. There were several surface tears forming as it rose slightly in that 10 minutes. I was going to do another S&F after 40 minutes but I didn't like where this was going. I divided,formed and panned the dough. It seemed...fragile... when handling and tore very easily. I was going to just make boules but it seemed too stretchy and flattened easily. This was a well developed and well kneaded dough. That is an important factor in this particular multigrain loaf.

The only other significant factor I can think to add is that I use a preferment with equal volume flour,water(about 1 cup each) and 2 tbsp sourdough starter. It was "ready" last evening but I never made the loaf so I added an additional 1/2 c whole wheat flour that was also milled last week. It was quite cool in the house (65F) so I thought it would be fine. Today it looked quite satisfactory and smelled nice and yeasty. This dough was a "seat of the pants" put together of a large loaf so my measurements are non-existent. I've made it so many times I just do it. It is rising quite nicely in the pan but there are tears apparent in the surface where there was any tension.

 Is it a factor that the flour wasn't "aged" post milling? I've never had that issue before though I have had this tearing issue once or twice-never been able to pin anything down as to why. Is it related to the sourdough preferment? Is this an enzyme problem as a result of a longer pre-ferment?


ehanner's picture

Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer Review

A few Months ago, I applied to be a product tester for Brod & Taylor who designed a new folding proofer. It was a concept which appealed to me, due to our lack of counter space and my need to find a proper place to ferment and proof my breads. So I filled out the application and forgot about it. A few weeks ago I heard from the company who wanted to know if I was willing to try the folding proofer and let them know how I liked it. I was thrilled to be able to have one and run it through its paces. The company, is from Massachusetts. As far as I know, there are no other similar products on the market. They say you can warm, rise bread, make yogurt and melt chocolate. I think they missed the fact that while bulk fermenting could be considered rising, most people consider the two events (fermenting and proofing) separate events. Both require temperature control and can be reliably and easily accomplished in this product.

Counter space is hard to find in our house. When I told my wife I was getting a proofer to try out she gave me the rolled eyes “where’s that going to go?” look. Maintaining a stable warm temperature in our latitude is a challenge so she has endured foam coolers and all sorts of contraptions in the past. I’m sure I deserved the look, lol. I explained this is a folding box that compresses to a flat (sort of) profile and is easily storable.

The arrival of the folding proofer brought complements from my wife. She liked the design and the folding and unfolding concept. The controls are simple. Turn the power on and set the temperature you desire.  The range is between 70 and 120F. I did some testing the first day and found that it did indeed maintain a very close tolerance on my selected temperature of 78F. The digital temperature selector and heat on light flickered every few seconds maintaining the set temp within a half degree over 6 hours. I used 3 instant read dial thermometers I calibrated and an IR digital laser meter. Everybody read the same temp all around the inside of the box. There is a small tray that sits on the bottom of the heating element to boost the humidity inside the closed box.  You are supposed to pour a small amount of warm water in the tray during the 5-10 minutes of warm up.

Last night I mixed up a poolish preferment and placed it in the folding proofer. The temp was set at 78F. This morning it was all happy and bubbling and exactly 78F. I mixed the dough and undershot my DDT of 78 and had a dough temp of 73F. I put the fermenting dough in the box, set the temperature to 78F and gave it a S&F every 30 minutes for 2 hours. After the shaping, I placed the dough in my large banetton that will hold a 3 Lb loaf. It easily fit inside the proofer. I didn’t think it would be necessary to cover the dough since the humidity would be boosted by the water in the tray. After an hour and a half, the dough was ready for baking and there was no dryness on the top of the exposed dough. It also wasn’t damp like it sometimes is when I have used the oven or microwave to proof in. This is good as I know that can have the effect of gluing the dough to the linen lining. The dough popped right out of the basket which was a good sign. I loaded the bread into the hot oven, folded up the proofer in seconds and put it away in the pantry, out of sight. Smiles all around.

I haven’t made much yogurt but I know how important it is to hold the right temperature for several hours. This device will certainly make easy work out of holding 115F for 5-6 hours. No need to buy another kitchen device when this one will do double duty. I think I’ll surprise the wife with some fresh homemade yogurt. She will flip cause she knows I know nothing of yogurt.

I was thinking about the warming capability. I think the next time we have a family dinner, I’ll put the previously baked dinner rolls in the “warmer” and turn it up to 120F for a while before dinner. Nothing like warm rolls with a meal but sometimes the planning can get in the way.


After using the Folding Proofer for a few weeks, I am liking it more than I thought I would.

 I like how it works. It’s a simple device that is very cleverly engineered.  Yes, you could say it’s just a warm box of air, but the more I use it, the more I appreciate it for what it does, all by itself. Last night while I was enjoying our “ World Champion Green Bay Packers” playing (thrashing)  the Denver Broncos, I was baking chicken wings in the oven. At the same time my garlic bread stick dough was proofing in the proofer. The kitchen was busy with several projects all at once. It was nice to know I wouldn’t have to schedule my hurry up soft bread rolls to get them done.  I get it that cooks and bakers need to be clever to get things done in the kitchen. Multi tasking is a necessity. But, I am really appreciating not having to juggle anything else to get consistent results in my bread products. People coming and going out the door, wind blowing through the house when it’s nice enough to have a window open but it’s really only 50F outside. I like not having to guard my dough from the elements. It’s a personal indulgence.

I like that my KA mixer bowl fits inside the proof box. It is tall enough I can place the mixed dough directly into the Folding Proofer for bulk fermenting at an established desired dough temperature. I REALLY like it that my large DLX mixer bowl fits under the lid. I have to remove the screen below and slide the water tray over but it so so nice to be able to ferment 9 pounds of dough, right in the mixer. Set it and forget it, as has been said. The heavy stainless steel bowl can cool off in the kitchen and once it does cool, there isn't an easy way to get it back warm. I ferment until it reaches the top then divide and shape. Easy.

I like that I can place a 9X13 baking pan in the proofing box and watch my cinnamon buns rise through the clear window in the top, without opening the lid. Being able to see the dough easily, without opening an oven door when I think of it is a big help for my attention deficit forgetfulness. The family enjoys keeping an eye on the progress too by glancing in the top window.

I like that the amount of moisture seems to be just right for not allowing the dough to skin over while fermenting or proofing. A small amount of water in the tray below the rack delivers the perfect environment. I find I don’t need to cover the dough even during long bulk ferments. This is something professional bakers take for granted, with a dedicated automatic proofing oven which costs thousands of dollars.

I like that I don't have to cover my dough with plasticrap so it won't skin over. No more carefully lifting the film off the top of an over proofed dough, hoping it won't tear and collapse. This is not a small thing to consider.

Wrapping up my analysis of this new kitchen tool, I think some of you will appreciate the versatility and functionality that the Folding Proofer brings to the home baker. Using it gives me a certain control of things that are otherwise sketchy. If I have learned anything about baking over the years, it is that everything matters. The exact amounts of water and at what temperature? The exact amount of yeast and controlling the Desired Dough Temperature (DDT) by whatever means possible will assure predictable results. Sourdough starters are especially sensitive to minor fluctuations in temperature. Using this proofer overnight on your preferment will deliver a predictably fully active levain or Poolish or Biga in the morning, regardless of how cool it is in the kitchen. Once you know you can maintain a proper fermenting temperature, your Pain au Levain will rise much more reliably. We all know about waiting for the dough to kick off and increase in volume because it was a little chilly. Anyone who has tried to make starter builds using the “Detmold 3 stage method” will immediately appreciate the ability to control the process.

Many of the issues that arise with new sourdough bakers are related to not understanding how sensitive natural yeasts and bacteria are to temperature and how to provide the proper climate for success. Depending on where you live and your personal home situation, this can be frustrating for SD new bakers. This tool will smooth the road to successful results.

Some will say “It’s a lot of money for a warm box of air”. Some will say “I can get the same effect with a cup of boiling water in the oven”. Both are valid opinions and I also have used the hot water in the oven. I have also had the oven turned on while I was proofing/fermenting bread in it. Hot water in the oven is an imperfect solution that works to some degree for some people. First, you have to have no other need for the oven, and, you will have to abandon the dough during pre heating that takes upward of an hour if you are using a stone, 20 or more minutes without a stone. During this time your proofing dough begins to cool and shrink. Second, depending on your electric oven, the pilot light will either make it too warm of an environment or not warm enough. Sure, you can cycle the heat on and off while guessing at how warm the interior is. If you have no distractions and nothing else to do, that is a work around. But, it’s a work around for home bakers who don’t have access to a dedicated proofing oven.  Believe me; you don’t know what you’re missing.

The inventor of this product cleverly decided to make it folding so that you can remove it from sight when not in use. This is a much bigger deal than I had realized. It needs to be the large size it is to work with other kitchen tools (pans, bowls, bannetons). My wife really appreciates that it will be gone and out of sight when I’m done using it. She hasn’t mentioned that the foam cooler that lives in the garage I have used in the past looks bulky and trashy sitting on the counter but I know she’s thinking it.

The unit is high enough that I could envision a second shelf supporting another layer of proofing croissants or rolls. I think I’ll mention that to the designer.

The marketplace will ultimately determine what the price point will be. Like every new product, the early adopters will pay a little more to try out a new gadget. Eventually the price will drift down some as the mass market takes off. It’s not for me to say what it should sell for. I’m happy that there are entrepreneurs willing to take a chance on a product that helps me bake better breads at home. I like it, a lot!


 Here are a few photos of my use. The new Brod & Taylor web site has much more glamorous images and a full product description.

Proof box collapsed on counter. Can be completely assembled in 20 seconds.

Large lined basket easily fits inside. This is 3.5 Lbs of Stout and Flax seed sourdough.

The fact that I can bulk ferment a large batch of dough in the proofer is a big deal to me.

It just fits with room to spare for circulation of the warm moist air above.

My baking pans fit nicely and you can see that another layer would work above as well.

Dinner rolls that were fast fermented and proofed at 80F because I could, and time was short.
Being able to adjust the ferment/proofing temperature to accommodate my needs are a help.

gercio's picture

Interesting techniques/methods

Probably everyone heard about autolyse technique. Recently I read about Tang Zhong method. Do you know other interesting methods/techniques which can improve flavor or give other benefits.

Sorry for my english but I still learn.