The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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HeidiH's picture

Wonderful pizza dough learned by reading "you guys"

One again, using the TFL search box and reading a bunch of postings led to my having a really great outcome!  This time it was pizza dough.  

TFL helped me figure out what would work for me and our tastes:

-how much dough to make for a big pizza for two (start with 280 g flour)

-the formula (100% 00 flour, 2% salt, 1.5% yeast, 70% water, 5% EVOO)

-how to manipulate it (stir, 2 stretch & folds at 50 minute intervals, a few hours in the fridge, 2 hours to come back to room temp, then shape)

-how to bake it (on parchment paper trimmed to fit the pizza, on bricks, 550F for 10 minutes)

It was spectacular crust!  You guys rock.  Thank you for sharing so much information here. 

We topped it with homemade fresh mozzarella cubes that had been marinated in herbs/spices, browned loose sausage, sauteed mushrooms/spinach/garlic, and a few shavings of parmesan.  (We can't do tomatoes but didn't miss them at all.)



dmsnyder's picture

The benefits of hand mixing bread

Frank Sally, an instructor at the SFBI (and my instructor in the Artisan II Workshop), recently published this article in Modern Baking. The article is short, but it has a lot of good information and a formula for hand-mixed sourdough bread. I thought it would be of interest to TFL. Here's the link:

Benefits of hand mixing bread 



isand66's picture

French Style Baguettes with Quinoa Flour

I was in the mood for something simple and relatively uncomplicated to bake so I decided to make some baguettes based on the Peter Reinhart method from ABED which uses a long overnight ferment of the bulk dough.  Of course I couldn't leave well enough alone and had to add something different to make it more interesting.  I just picked up some quinoa flour from the supermarket which imparts a nice nutty flavor to the dough.  I also added some low protein Italian style 00 flour from KAF along with some organic whole wheat and bread flour.

The end result was a nice crispy, light and nutty flavored baguette.  I still need some practice with my shaping and figuring out how long to make them so they fit on my oven stone.  I could have handled the dough a little lighter to preserve some bigger holes, but overall the crumb was not bad and the crust was nice and crisp.


300 grams KAF Bread Flour (BakersPercentage, 44%)

200 grams Italian Style Flour 00, KAF (BakersPercentage, 29%)

100 grams Organic Whole Wheat Flour, KAF (BakersPercentage, 15%)

80 grams Quinoa Flour, Bob's Red Mill (BakersPercentage, 12%)

454 grams water, 70 degrees Fahrenheit (BakersPercentage, 67%)

14 grams Sea Salt  (BakersPercentage, 2%)

7 grams Instant Yeast (BakersPercentage, .01%)


Using your stand mixer or by hand, mix the water with the flours for 2 minutes on low.

Let the dough autolyse for 30 minutes.

Add the salt and mix for 2 minutes more on medium speed, adding more flour if necessary to produce a slightly sticky ball of dough.

Remove dough to your lightly floured work surface and need for 1 minute and form into a ball.

Leave uncovered for 10 minutes.

Do a stretch and fold and form into a ball again and cover with a clean moist cloth or oiled plastic wrap.

After another 10 minutes do another stretch and fold and put into a lightly oiled bowl that has enough room so the dough can double overnight.

Put in your refrigerator immediately for at least 12 hours or up to 3 days.

When ready to bake the bread, shape the dough as desired being careful not to handle the dough too roughly so you don't de-gas it.

Place it in your bowl, banneton or shape into baguettes.

Let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours covered with oiled plastic wrap or a wet cloth.

Pre-heat oven with baking stone (I use one on bottom and one on top shelf of my oven), to 500 degrees F.

Slash loaves as desired and place empty pan in bottom shelf of oven.

Pour 1 cup of very hot water into pan and place loaves into oven.

Lower oven to 450 Degrees and bake for 25 - 35 minutes until bread is golden brown and internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.

Shut the oven off and crack the door with the bread still present.  Let it sit for 10 minutes to continue to dry out and develope the perfect crust.

Let cool on cooling rack and enjoy!

This post has been submitted to the Yeast Spotting Site here:

dabrownman's picture

Super-grain Challah w/ Whey Water, Sprouts, Potato, Lentil, Sunflower Seeds and 2 Starters - SD and YW

This is version 5 of my SD multi-grain challah called Brachflachen Mehrere Vollkombrot but wanted to make a special one this year - that non Jews would like - by Easter.  I added; whey water, a Yeast Water levain on top of the SD one, sunflower seeds,  white diastatic rye malt, malted barley, lentils, vital wheat gluten and various sprouted grains while cutting back on; the egg,  molasses and honey.  The crust came out lighter than usual but was still very dark and thick but soft after it cooled.  The crumb was more moist, more open, even with 40% whole grain and more interesting with the the sunflower seeds and the sprouted berries.  The taste is far superior and everything I would want in this bread.  It its a lot of work but you will be rewarded with a fine Holliday bread.  The method and formula follows the pix's.  I had an identical boule retarding in the fridge overnight, have now baked it off and those pictures will follow at the very end. I also added the 20 g of Pink Himalayan sea salt to the formula which was missing.  I do like using both starters.  SD for taste and YW is known for its spring and mpoist crumb by my experience.  These 40% whole grain breads with sprouts and seeds need all the help they can get and the YW seemed to help in spring and moistness.


2 days before bake, take the berries and soak them in water for 5 hours.  Place a sheet of  wet paper towel on a tray and spread the seed out on top of it.  Cover with two more sheets of wet paper towel.  I just get the towels wet, squeeze out the water and unravel them to flat. Cover the whole shebang with plastic wrap and let sit until needed’

1 day before baking make the 2 starters.  There is 4 hours between each of the builds.  At the 12 hour mark, put both levains in fridge overnight for retardation of 8 hours

In the morning, take out the levains and put them on the counter for one hour as you autolyse the dough flours with the whey water and water (I used an equal part mix as usual) in your mixer bowl with the paddle on KA 1 then cover with plastic.

After an hour add the levains and mix again until they are incorporated and cover.  Let autolyse for one more hour.

Add the salt and all the mix-ins except the seeds, switch to dough hook and knead on KA 2 for 8 minutes.  Add in the seeds and the sprouts and mix until combined.  Transfer dough to a well oiled and plastic covered bowl.  Let rest 15 minutes.

 Do 10 S&F’s on a floured work surface, form into a ball and put back into a plastic covered oiled bowl.  Do 3 more S & F’s at 15 minute marks only do 4, 3 and 2 S&F’s.  Let dough develop in plastic covered oiled bowl for 1 hour.

Divide dough in half and pre-shape into boules.  Do final shaping 10 minutes later making sure the skin is stretched taut, dust top with 50/50 mix of AP and Rice flour and place top down in basket lined with a well floured towel, using the same dusting flour combination.  Place baskets in a tall kitchen trash can liner for 1 hour.  Place in fridge overnight to retard or, when dough has risen 70%, it is ready to bake when it passes the poke test.

Pre-heat the oven at 500 F on regular bake for 45 minutes with your steaming method and stone in place.  Invert baskets onto parchment paper on a peel, do a T-Rex or, my favorite, 3 Toed Chicken Slash or a beauty of your own and slide into oven on the parchment paper.  Turn down temperature to 450 F and steam for 15 minutes.  Remove steaming apparatus and parchment, turn oven to 425 F convection and bake for another 25 minutes or so turning the boule every 8 minutes 1/3rd of a turn.  When the bread has reached 205 F inside, turn off oven, keep door ajar and let boule crisp on the stone for another 12 minutes.  Then remove to a cooling rack until cool.

If retarding, take the bread out of fridge in the morning and leave in the plastic bag.   Immediately start your pre-heat of the oven and bake as above.  My retarded boule will be going in the oven shortly.  It rose beautifully in the fridge.

 This bread also bakes very well Tartine Method in a cold or hot Dutch Oven. 

Dabrownman's Multigrain SD YW Challah        
SD Starter         
 Build 1Build 2 Build 3Total Dough Flour  Multigrain Sprouts
SD Starter20  20 Rye35 Buckwheat15
Rye10 1020 WW35 WW15
WW10  10 Buckwheat35 Rye15
Buckwheat 10 10 Spelt35 Bulgar 
Dark Rye 10 10 Farro20 Barley 
WWW 10 10 Barley20 Spelt15
Bread Flour   0 6 Grain Cereal20 Water15
AP20301060 Millet20 Total Sprouts75
Water4060 100 Amranth20   
Total10012020240 Lentils20 Hydra. w/Sprouts72.18%
      Dark Rye20   
YW Starter    Semolina20 Scald 
 Build 1Build 2 Build 3Total Bulgar20 Buckwheat 
Yst Water30202070 Oats20 WW 
Rye   0 White WW20 Rye 
WW   0 Potato Flakes20 Bulgar 
Buckwheat   0 Ground Flax Seed20 Barley 
Dark Rye   0 Bread Flour280 Spelt 
WWW   0 AP280 Water 
Bread Flour   0 Dough Flour960 Total Scald0
Water   0 50% Water/ Whey700 Hydra. w/Scald71.03%
Total605050160 Dough Hydration72.92%   
         Add - Ins 
Total Starters       Barley Malt50
      Total Flour1180 Molasses50
Flour220    Total Water880 Honey50
Water170    Total Hydration 74.58% Olive Oil50
Hydration77.27%       Egg50
  Red Rye Malt 
         White Rye Malt10
         VW Gluten10
         Sunflower Seeds75
         Hydrat w/ Adds79.96%
         Total Weight


kozulich's picture

Anyone here baking Easter Paska or Babka?

I'm elbow deep in my annual Paska baking.  What is Paska?  Its the traditional Ukrainian Easter bread.  Its very highly decorated.  The dough is most similar to Challah - an eggy, buttery, enriched bread.  Traditionally it is baked the day before Easter, and taken in the Easter basket to church, where it is blessed by the priest, then it is eaten to break the strict Easter fast after mass on Easter morning.  Just wondering whether anybody else does this or has tried it?  These pictures are not mine, by the way, since I can't seem to find photos from previous years' efforts.

breadforfun's picture

Sourdough Semolina Filone

A few months ago I made Tom Cat's Semolina Filone from Glezer's "Artisan Baking."  It was a really tasty bread, but I wanted to try something different.  This week, I made it again, but substituted sourdough starter for the poolish to get another dimension to the flavors.  The results were pretty good.  After cooling, the crumb had a smooth mouth-feel, while there was some chewiness to the crust.  I probably could have baked the loaves a few minutes longer to get a crispier crust.  The next morning, the sour had increased as expected, but it was not overwhelming by any means.  It toasted up great.

I used two different types of Durum flour.  Extra fancy is what is normally called for in the recipe.  Since I had it, I also used whole wheat durum.  The total of the durum flours was about half of the total flours with AP flour the balance.  2/3 of the AP was from the large amount of sourdough starter that I used (about the same amount of starter as there was poolish in the original recipe).  The mixing technique was a little different.  Last time I found an error in the book that increased the total hydration.  Even after correcting for this, the recipe produces a very wet and hard to work with dough at 81% hydration, so I cut it back to 75%.  I added the last 50 grams of flour along with the salt, about halfway through the mixing.  The gluten developed by the third stretch & fold, but it was still a very slack dough.  I think they may be a bit overproofed as the oven spring was less than last time.  I also clearly shaped one loaf with a tighter surface and it shows in the scoring.  Overall, though, I am quite happy with the loaves.

Here is the formula and technique:


hanseata's picture

Some Baking Impressions from Germany - SIGH!

Visiting my family and friends in Germany I took some photos I want to share.

My friend Michaela likes shopping at an organic farm store at Gut Wulfsdorf. I never sah Laugenbaguettes (pretzel baguettes) or Laugencroissants (pretzel croissants) before. The baguettes tasted quite nice, the crumb was airy but a bit chewier than regular one.

The breads are baked in a wood fired oven at the farm bakery. (This is a batch of Easter Bunny Cookies.)

All breads are baked at the same time, for one hour, but in different places in the oven, where temperatures are higher, or lower.


They use only beech wood, or beech wood shavings, from a local forest, to achieve an even temperature (they tried it once with mixed wood, and that didn't work).


Their whole grain flours are milled on the premises.

The vegetable section in the store: six different kinds of heirloom carrots, in red, yellow, white and black.

My cousin Uta has an incredible bakery around the corner. This is a Sunday breakfast basket - every one of these rolls tasted great.


And she baked us a wonderful Chocolate Apple Torte (I never heard of this flavor combination before - the apples went well with the rich chocolate frosting).

And when I visited the Hansetown Wismar, an UNECO world heritage monument - here the "Alter Schwede" (Old Swede) restaurant

we had in a nearby cafe this Marzipan Torte. It was really difficult to choose from Cafe Hegede's selection of mothwatering cakes.




badmajon's picture

Why are my rye bread doughs turning into soup!?

I've had a bad baking day today. A day which ended with my flinging my dough into the trash can.

I just don't get why whenever I try to add rye, this problem keeps coming up. I'm trying to achieve a 75% hydration dough, which when using wheat flour, gives you something that is on the sticky side but still workable.

I added:

125g of 100% hydration sourdough starter (62.5g flour, 62.5g water)
100g rye flour
230g white bread flour

Total, about 400g flour

225 g water (about 280g total water if you count the starter)

This SHOULD give me a dough that is about 70% hydration.... RIGHT?

I let it rise once, it seemed kinda sticky when I first kneaded it, more like something in the high 70s if it were all wheat flour. I put it in the fridge overnight to retard for more flavor. It was cold when I pulled it out of the fridge and folded/degassed it. I then put it on my counter and let it return to room temperature and rise.

It ended up turning into an unworkable, soupy, nasty mess. It got WETTER, I swear it did, from the time I first kneaded it. This was horrible.

I guess the reason why I'm so frusturated is because I have no idea what keeps causing this so every time I make sourdough rye bread, I get this problem. It's almost like the sourdough starter is doing something funny to the rye, because I do know how to make decent sourdough white bread, and I know how to make (somewhat mediocre) rye bread from instant yeast. Someone please help me out here.

Now I have to walk to the store to buy a carb. *sigh*

mcs's picture

The Big Adventure

So we just got back from our two-week vacation in Europe-   Spain, France and Holland to be precise.

I'm going to roll through some of the highlights, but if you'd like to see a lot more pictures of the Big Adventure, you can check them out on my Facebook page here.

We landed in Madrid about mid-day, found our hotel, washed up a bit and headed out into town.  If you ever happen to make your way there, you should put this place at the top of your places to visit.  The Mercado de San Miguel is an indoor market with lots of booths filled with food and wine.  Yes, and because it's in Spain this means that you're free to eat, drink, and be merry while you walk and sample everything from fresh mozzarella with blueberries on a sliced baguette to a glass of wine from La Rioja.


Next we move onto the island of Ibiza where we visited my friend Helena.  Although its recent reputation is as the party capital of Europe, Ibiza has a rich history with relics dating back to Carthaginian times.  Helna hosted us at her home and gave us a super tour of the beaches, the local foods, and fantastic churches and museums. 


Our next stop was further north in the land of Spanish Wine known as La Rioja.  Two of our friends were generous enough to give us the local tour complete with visits to Logroño, Santa Lucia, and Laguardia.  In the first picture, accomplished sculptor Félix Reyes poses with some of his work and my friend Javier.  Below, there's nothing like a night on the town in Logroño with good friends, food, and wine.


Next, we took the train up to France and managed to spend a night in the picturesque village of Saint Emilion.  Since we were a bit early for tourist season, we had the streets to ourselves as we walked through the town at night after an outside dinner in the evening.


After spending a night in the very scenic town of Tours, we began our three day visit to Paris.  Of course we had the obligitory visits to the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame.  Breakfast and/or lunch was spent touring the various boulangeries- pictured here are Michel Deschamps' and Eric Kayser's.  Baguettes were coming out of the oven at Deschamps, but we opted for a couple of delicious quiches instead.

I know it may be heresy to say on a bread baking forum, but by far the highlight of the Paris portion of the trip was not the baked goods, but our first-time visit to the Palais Garnier.  Back on January 9, I spent between the hours of 12:45AM and 2:15AM 'standing in line' online waiting for tickets as they went on sale for the first time for the Robbins/Ek show titled 'Dances at a Gathering' and 'Appartement'.  It was well worth it as we got front row seats in the center of the second mezzanine. 

If you only have one night to spend in Paris, this is what I would recommend.  I particularly enjoyed the second half of the show which featured the Swedish band Fleshquartet playing live as a modern ballet was performed in front of them. Here's a link to a video of a portion of the show from a few years ago.  It was as good as it gets.

Finally our Big Adventure was capped off with a high-speed train ride to Amsterdam, a visit to the Van Gogh museum, and a personalized tour of the Keukenhof tulip gardens by fellow Fresh Loafian and BreadLab meister,  Freerk.  It was the perfect finale as we saw more colors and varieties than one could possibly imagine and thanks to Freerk, we actually got to and from the gardens without ending up in Belgium, Germany, or just in the water somewhere. 


And thus ends Sharon and Mark's Big Adventure of 2012.  Thanks to everyone who helped us feel the local flavor of their wonderful lands! 



Franko's picture

Miche Point a Calliere from Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread"


Late in 2010 I posted on a bake of James MacGuire's Miche, Pointe-a-Calliere from Jefferey Hamelman's "Bread" *here* This is a bread I've been meaning to do a re-bake of for some time now, but for one reason or another hadn't gotten around to it until yesterday. Varda's recent post of her lovely high hydration Miche *here*, and that my flour stock includes some Central Milling Organic Type 85 Malted high extraction flour gave me the inspiration to finally have another go at this wonderful bread. The CM high extraction flour came to me because of breadsong's generosity in sharing some of what she picked up last year while in the Bay Area. Thanks again breadsong!

A miche size loaf isn't a terribly practical bread for me to make considering I'm the only one in our house other than our dog who eats wheat, and anything over a 1.2K loaf size is more than I can reasonably eat over a 7-10 day period. Practical or not, I decided to make it in the size it was intended to be and give enough away to friends and relatives that none of it would be wasted. Now that I've had a chance to taste it I'm seriously reconsidering that strategy. 

Having made this bread previously with good results I didn't see any reason to alter any of the formula percentages or procedures other than a minor change to the initial oven setting of 440F by increasing it to 460F in order to compensate for the temperature recovery time of a domestic oven ( or at least our particular oven) with a large dough like this. The dough was scaled to yield 2K, which by the time it went for bulk proofing was just around 70 grams less than that due to waste from stickage. At 82 % hydration this is indeed a sticky one at first, but it does become quite manageable after it's 1st of 3 stretch and folds, and as the author mentions, liberal dusting flour is needed during this part of the procedure. By the time it was ready for final molding the dough was soft and supple but with enough strength to easily shape it into a boule for it's final rise in a floured banneton. Because I'd managed to keep the DDT, bulk and final fermentation temps within 1 degree +/- of the recommended 76F, the final proof was almost bang on at the prescribed 2 hours, always a good sign.

The last time I baked this bread I used Sylvia's wet towel method for steaming, but this time I was concerned that too much steam with this very soft dough might hinder good crust development. The dough was quite a bit slacker than I recall the previous one being, and after a brief debate with myself I decided I'd be better off just spraying the oven before and after loading and let the moisture of the dough do the rest. Whether my thinking was entirely correct on this or not I can't say for sure, since the loaf did in the end develop a satisfactory crust, however I do think it's time I invested in a second stone to put in the rack above the loaf for more even top heat.

The low profile shape of the loaf is fairly close to the one pictured in "Bread", but the crumb doesn't have the "large interior air holes" Hamelman refers to in his side notes, at least I haven't encountered any yet. The crumb is moist and chewy with a pleasantly mild wheat flavour and just a trace of sour at this point. I'd be quite happy with the flavour if it remained the way it is, but I know from the last loaf that it will become stronger over the next few days, which is fine with me as well so long as it remains fairly moist.

A very tasty lunch today of home made country pate, sharp cheddar, pickles, with Maui onion mustard and thick slices of the miche.