The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Yippee's picture

20101109 Mr. Hamelman's 5-Grain Sourdough with Rye Starter


I haven't really been taking full advantage of Mr. Hamelman's book. The 90% rye made at the beginning of this year was the one and only formula from his book I've attempted.  For the most part of the year, I've been taking my time to upgrade my equipment, getting to know their properties, and playing with a simple formula.  Now it seems that I've gotten a hang of the very basic aspects of bread baking, I'm ready for more 'adventures'.

This time I picked the five-grain sourdough with rye starter.  This is a pretty straight-forward formula.  Despite the high % of whole grains in the dough, the high gluten flour used has made up for decent gluten development.  Due to the relatively high hydration, the dough was very loose in my mixer at the beginning. I briefly mixed all the ingredients and let them sit for a while and ran the mixer again. I considered this the 'S&F' by my mixer. By repeating this a few times, the gluten had developed to the extent I preferred and the dough had formed within the first hour.  The handling of dough was not a problem at all.

To prepare for this and other future bakes of Mr. Hamelman's formulae, I stocked up with 50 lbs of cracked rye. Considering how frequently I bake, it should probably last through next decade! Just kidding!  I've found other uses of cracked rye, thanks to the delay of my bake.  Each morning in the week following the original bake that was cancelled, I ate some of the refrigerated soaker with my oatmeal. At the end of that week, all the old soaker was consumed.  I prepared a new batch of soaker for this bake. 

I was hoping this bake would serve as a test for temperature and timing required for fermentation of dough leavened by an active, systematically refreshed starter.  Inevitably, the original bake was put off and I was, again, working with a weeks-old, unrefreshed starter. When I prepared this starter for the original bake, I did not follow the instruction in the book.  Instead, I used up most of my 100% rye starter on hand and built it into an 83% levain. 

When my dough is in final proof, I usually check on its progress before I go to work in the morning and adjust the thermostat accordingly, so that it would be ready for baking when I return.  There was an episode this time which almost gave me a heart attack.   Instead of seeing the 54F I had set for the overnight proof, the bright red, heart-stopping 64F on the digital display made my eyes pop!  I had forgotten to turn on the refrigerator!  I said to myself:  'I'm dead, it's over!' (今次死梗, 衰硬!)  Thank goodness, the dough was a little shy of ready; my sluggish starter had saved the day!  I froze the dough immediately for an hour and moved it to a 33F refrigerator.  When I got home that night, it had reached the perfect stage for baking.  Whew! ( 險過剃頭!)

The following is a summary of my interpretation of the formula:



This is one of the loaves I'm going to bring home to my parents during Thanksgiving.  In order to come up with a variety of breads, I have to complete a few more bakes within the next few days. Time is running out. Yikes!  The pressure is on!     

Here are some pictures:

curvesarein's picture

Wanted: Original Bosch WW Bread recipe in the 80's. The one the demonstrators made.

Ok, what excitement today!!! My Bosch Universal Plus mixer and food processor showed up and my Nutrimill and Bread Slicer. I spent all day super cleaning and organizing for my equipment. I am so glad I have lot's of room in my kitchen and pantry. The Nutrimill is large. Ok now I want to make the original recipe I made 30 years ago with the Bosc Machine then with 2 speeds. Does anyone have that recipe?

saltandserenity's picture

Breakfast Biscotti

These are a biscotti unlike any other you may have tried.  Traditionally, biscotti are hard, sturdy cookies, made for dunking into coffee or tea.  These biscotti are firm but crisp and quite crunchy and airy all at the same time.  They are delicate and will shatter if you are not careful handling them.  It is a lot like eating a crunchy cloud, if you can imagine that.  I call them breakfast biscotti because they are made with Special K cereal.  That's what gives them their unique texture. 

Pictures and recipe are here:

Home Baker's picture
Home Baker

Wheat bread with cracked rye and wheat berries



  • 700g all purpose flour

  • 700g bread flour

  • 200g rye flour

  • 150g whole wheat flour

  • 100g wheat germ

  • 100g ground whole grain cereal

  • 100g milk powder

  • 50g cracked/kibbled wheat and/or rye berries

  • 40-50g course kosher salt

  • *1/2 teaspoon citric acid powder

  • *1/2 teaspoon ginger

First, grind, weigh and measure all the dry ingredients, combining them in the mixer bowl.

Let the mixer stir the dry ingredients to an even blend. I use the paddle attachment turning on its lowest speed in the completely filled bowl of a Kitchenaid K5A mixer. Once mixed, you will divide the dry ingredients into two equal parts.

I should mention here that the portions and processes in this recipe were designed to match my own kitchen and my own equipment. The dry measures completely fill my largest mixer bowl, the four loaves are the maximum that my oven can handle in one bake. 


I start building production starter a couple of days ahead, with the aim of having about 600 grams of vigorous starter ready when I plan to start mixing and fermenting the loaves. 

Measure separately for each batch:

  • 250g production sourdough (from whole grain rye, whole grain wheat and unbleached KA all purpose -- all organic)

  • 660g water

  • *2 tablespoons honey (from a local coop)

  • *1/2 teaspoon natural soy lecithin

  • *1 tablespoon organic barley malt syrup

  • *1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Make two batches of wet ingredients. The dough will be mixed in two batches to prevent ruining the mixer by overtaxing its motor and gears. One batch of wet ingredients goes into each half of the dry ingredients mixture. 


Into each of two large mixing bowls, add one measure of the combined wet, then one measure of the combined dry ingredients. Fit dough hook onto mixer and carefully work one measure of wet ingredients into one measure of dry ingredients for only a few minutes, ending with two batches of wet dough. Cover each  bowl with plastic and let it rest for 1/2 hour.


Dump each bowl of wet dough into the same large plastic lidded tub. Stretch-and-fold dough a few times in the tub, then cover tub with lid and place into refrigerator for total of 16-24 hours.

Remove tub from refrigerator for about ten minutes of stretch-and-folds at two intervals, first after 4-6 hours and once more after 8-12 hours. Rest in refrigerator for final, uninterupted 8-12 hours.

Place at least a pint of water into a clear glass or plastic container and place the container the same spot the final rise will occur. A ball of dough will be dropped into water at the same time as the loaves are set in the rise location. By watching for the moment when the sunken ball of dough floats the the surface it will be possible to determine exactly when the dough has reached its maximum rise. The vessel of water is placed in the area where the final rise happens well ahead of time to ensure that the water achieves the same temperature as the air --and the rest of the dough-- in that space. 


Cut a small (50-75g) piece of dough off and shape into tight ball. Cover and set aside.

Divide remaining dough into:

  • 2 pieces @ 950g for smaller (8") loaf pans, and

  • two pieces @ approximately 1125g for large (9") loaf pans.

The process I use is to portion two pieces of dough at 950g, then weigh remaining dough and divide it into two equal portions. The larger amounts can vary somewhat but I find this recipe gives the best result from the standard 8" loaf pan when the loaf is formed from a 950g measure of dough. Shape and pan dough into the greased loaf pans. Place loaves into plastic bags or lidded tubs for final rise, then move to the final rise location. 

Now, retrieve the reserved ball of dough and drop it into the glass of water which had been placed hours before in the same final rise area where the shaped, covered loaves have now been placed. The ball of dough will sink to the bottom of the container of water. The ball of dough will remain submerged in the glasss of water for a long time, but start checking it periodically after about two hours. The amount of time required for the dough ball to float (which marks the end of the final proof) can vary widely, from at least two to more than four hours, depending on temperatures and the vitality of the starter. I have found that capturing the precise moment when the dough achieves its maximum rise (but not a minute more) is the key to producing a really remarkable flavor and appearance from this recipe. Excellent and repeatable results are obtainable by using this method to monitor the final rise: when dough ball floats to the surface the loaves must go immediately into the hot oven.


About an hour before you think baking will begin, place a shallow metal pan in the bottom of the oven and turn on the oven to preheat to 500°F. As soon as the dough ball floats to the surface of the water it has been submerged in, place a mug 2/3 full of hot water to boil in the microwave. Remove panned loaves from their plasic enclosures and slash each loaf once down the middle, along its longest dimension. Take mug of boiling water from microwave and pour it carefully into the metal pan in the bottom of the oven. Place the four panned loaves on one shelf, set at a height just below the center of the oven, close oven door and reset oven temperature to 460°F. After ten minutes lower temperature to 425°F. After 20 minutes rotate loaves for even browning and turn heat down to 375°F. After 40 minutes begin checking loaves for doneness. I bake the loaves to an internal temperature of 205°F - 210°F, which takes 45-55 minutes. Each of the loaves always seems to need slightly more or less time in my oven. 

Cool loaves on rack for at least two hours before slicing. Flavors don't fully develop until about 24 hours after removal from oven. 

*NOTE ON MEASUREMENTS: Measuring cups and measuring spoons handle thick liquids and small quantities of dry product more accurately and with less waste than my scale does.

Recipe submitted to YeastSpotting page at Wild Yeast.



chenoa's picture

Pricing Pastries to Sell

Hi, I am in need of advice about how to price pastries to sell.I live in a state where it is allowed to do this out of my house. A lady wants to buy a half dozen scones from me,Raspberry White Chocolate.

How do I price these out?

The scone recipe i use is a "basic scone" recipe.I modify the add-ins depending on what kind i want to make,but that is the only thing that varies.

Is it logical to price out the basic dough per batch and then add in the price of the add-ins per oz?

Any advice would be helpful.Thanks,Chenoa

GSnyde's picture

Rainy Day, Bake Away

[Note: after the very detailed bread-making posts of recent weeks, I think it's time for something a bit more....ummm lesser].

It was a dark and stormy morning.  I woke alone.  I looked around.  Someone had set the clock back an hour.  Strange.  If today is an hour longer than yesterday, and no one else around, I should probably bake something.

Then I remembered!  There's really great fresh sourdough downstairs!  I walked downstairs.  I made coffee.  I fed the cat. I ate some sourdough toast.  I drank some coffee.  I watched the rain fall.  I read the paper.  I drank some more coffee.

Later, I made a cappuccino and ate some sourdough toast. It was good.


I listened to the rain pounding on the window.  I flipped through my one and only bread book (I gotta go to the bookstore).

And then....AHA!!!


I hatched a plan involving the Beloved's returning from her business trip to find her favorite bread (along with her favorite spouse and favorite pet).

I mised everything en place.  I mixed dough.  I kneaded nuts and fruits in.  It rose.


I flattened it, and poured on the cinnamon sugar (adding a proven aphrosdisiac, grated bakers chocolate).


I rolled it and panned it.  It rose.


I baked it.  I cooled it.  I cut it.


It was good.  

I had lunch of sliced chicken on San Francisco Country Sourdough Baguette.  It was good.

It stopped raining.

I went to the bookstore.  I found used copies of Bread Alone (Leader and Blahnik), Artisan Baking Across America (Glezer), and The King Arthur Flour Cookbook.  That was good too.

I returned home.  The Beloved returned home.  She smelled cinnamon.  She was happy.  She tried the bread.  She was very happy.

We dined on yesterday's soup and the SFCSD boule with butter.  It was good, even better today.  

The kitty again has the requisite two laps.  She is happy, too.


And when Kitty's happy, everybody's happy.


breadsong's picture


Hello, There is a recipe for Parisian Macarons in Advanced Baking and Pastry ("ABAP"), by Mr. Michel Suas, that looked like it would be interesting to try.

Quite by accident, I found this post today which points to many information sources regarding Macarons:

I didn't get past Mr. Lebovitz's first link to, finding all sorts of photos and helpful tips there:
(this link is to the first page of a multi-page 'how-to' manual on macarons)

Another helpful post on TFL was from hansjoakim - (with thanks)

With all of this helpful information and a good formula in ABAP, I worked up the courage to try making these pretty little cookies.
I ended up using the formula from ABAP, scaled for the amount of macarons I wanted to try making.
I followed syrupandtang's instruction to process the almond meal and icing sugar together in the food processor prior to mixing, and took both syrupandtang's and hansjoakim's advice regarding a slightly hotter bake and baked about 350F (conventional).

I rigged my oven's contact switch so the oven would stay on with the oven door ajar.
I think this venting is really the key to the macarons baking but not browing. 

Here are pics of my first effort (a little lumpy and bumpy, but I'll hopefully do better next time!):

(almond macarons with lemon filling)

I wanted to post here, to say how much I liked Mr. Suas' formula, how kind of Mr. Lebovitz to provide all of those links, and to pass along links to the very helpful information provided by syrupandtang and hansjoakim, in case it's helpful to anyone else.

Happy Baking everyone!  Regards, breadsong




CoveredInFlour's picture

Bernard Clayton's Feather Bread


I made these this afternoon using the autolyse techinique for the first time, and it made a huge difference!

My shaping may need some work, but they taste and smell wonderful!!

breadsong's picture

A try at baguettes, a la Bouabsa and SteveB


SteveB ( has made some beautiful baguettes, which I saw recently on his post:

His baguettes are gorgeous...I wanted to see if I could replicate his result using the same flour he was using,
La Milanaise Organic Unbleached AP.

This was my schedule:

Room Flour Water   Time
Temp Temp Temp   Complete
70F 70F 85F Hand mix dough 10:30 AM
      Dough temperature 77.2
      Autolyse 10:50 AM
      Hand work dough 11:00 AM
      Hand mix +50g water 11:15 AM
70F     Bulk ferment 6-8 S&F's 11:35 AM
70F     Bulk ferment 6-8 S&F's 11:55 AM
70F     Bulk ferment 6-8 S&F's 12:15 PM
      Retard in fridge 21hrs 9:15 AM
      Back up 1hr for Daylight Svgs Time 8:15 AM
76F     Warm at room temp 1hr 9:15 AM
      Divide & preshape 9:30 AM
      Rest 10:00 AM
      Shape 10:15 AM
76F     Proof 11:00 AM

Here are some pics:
A stretchy dough, after hand working (R. Bertinet's method), then after remaining 50g water mixed in (ultimately a 75% hydration dough)

After shaping, proofing, scoring  (I did what I thought was a tighter pre-shape, and tried an extra roll when shaping, as the dough was soft.
I don't think I got the surface tension I needed and I had a hard time scoring the baguettes):

The bake (I messed up when loading the oven & the baguette at left only made it halfway onto the stone!
It slid off the stone down onto the steam pan below, so I left it there; there are some score marks evident on top...I guess it did a complete 360, then was a little hard on the landing!:    :^)

Just tasting the baguette now...I'm enjoying it and am happy with the crumb.
Regards, breadsong

davidg618's picture

Day (or two) old Challah

We love fresh Challah, by itself, buttered, even jammed; but, within twenty-four hours, it's just another bread...Except, when it's used for French toast! Recently, a good neighbor and friend gave me a recipe for baked French toast, that exceeds anything I've done with eggs and Challah on a griddle.

The original recipe calls for "French bread". I've substituted day-old Challah. In my humble opinion, it's much better with the Challah substitution.

Here's the recipe.

Baked French Toast


1 and 1/2 lb loaf of day-old Challah (or French bread) cut into 1 inch cubes

8 large eggs

2 cups milk

1 and 1/2 cups half-and-half

2 tsp vianilla

dash nutmeg

1 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 cup butter

1/4 tsp salt if the butter is unsalted.

1 and 1/3 cup brown sugar

3 Tblsp light corn syrup

Butter a 9x13 baking dish; put bread cubes in pan. Beat together eggs, milk, half-and-haf, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour over the bread, and refrigerate for 2 hour, or overnight. (I've done it for less than two hour, just make sure all the bread cubes are moistened.)

Pre-heat to 350°F.

In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup (add salt if necessary) heat until bubbly. Pour over bread/egg mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 40 to 45 minutes.

My wife eats it with added maple syrup. I like it as is.

Here's a shot of a 1/2 recipe (4 or 5 servings)

David G