The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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nasv's picture

retarding bulk-fermentation, when stretch-and-fold?

Hi everyone... I recently picked up the Tartine Bread book, country artisan bread is my favorite and I'm working on working the process to my schedule.  Very simplified, with an active starter, this is how I breakdown the major steps in Chad Robertson's process:

  1. Create leaven from starter
  2. Mix dough and rest/autolyse, then add salt + some water
  3. Bulk fermentation (3-4 hours at warm ambient temperature); during bulk fermentation do stretch-and-fold about ever 30 minutes for the first 2-3 hours
  4. Divide, form into rounds, bench rest
  5. Form final loaf shapes, proofing/final-rise (3-4 hours)
  6. Bake, rest, eat

In trying to tailor this to my schedule, I understand that I can retard the final-rise in the fridge, then take it out of the fridge to warm up a little bit, and then into the oven for baking... but the book also suggests retarding during bulk fermentation.

I think in my ideal schedule, I'd like to mix the leaven on day-1 morning, and then begin bulk fermentation during the evening and let it go the night (to be followed with day-2 final-rise/proofing and baking).  I understand I can bulk-ferment with cooler water, or even stick the dough in the fridge to retard the process (what I'd likely do).  My question is where/when does the S&F fit into this?  Especially if I should do this every 30 minutes for a few hours... is the need minimized with the longer fermentation?  Do I need to do this just a few times before setting aside for colder longer fermentation?  S&F a few times, instead, before dividing into rounds and bench rest?





cranbo's picture

Gluten development, window pane and lean dough video

To try to document dough development of a lean dough, I created a video of mixing some lean, 59% hydration dough in my KitchenAid 5qt mixer at speed #2 (the 2nd click).

I'm trying to get a better idea of knead times for my mixer with respect to different doughs. Hamelman in "Bread" says 6.5 - 7.5 minutes for moderate gluten development for KAid stand mixer. He recommends 900-1000 total revolutions for moderate dough development, so with some info from fthec and KAid:

#1 (stir): 40 rpm 
#2: 54 rpm 
#3: 79 rpm 
#4: 104 rpm 

 This means:

Time (minutes) Revolutions
0 0
1 54
2 108
3 162
4 216
5 270
6 324
7 378
8 432
9 486
10 540
11 594
12 648
13 702
14 756
15 810
16 864
17 918
18 972
19 1026
20 1080

According to the stats, I may still have kneaded for too short of a time (H. also says that doughs with hydration under 60% will take longer to develop, as will doughs that have high hydration). It really started smoothing out at about 8 minutes, even more substantially at ~13 minutes. I guess next time I'll have to push it further, and see what happens. 

breadbythecreek's picture

In Search of...Flavor! Peachy Boule

We recently got very lucky and were able to buy a flat of the best peaches we have ever had. These peaches, just picked, ripened on the tree, are pure peachy goodness. At the same time, I’ve been experimenting with water/fruit fed yeast in bread baking. As a result of this experimentation I’ve discovered that it is next to impossible to get any fruit flavor from Yeast Water to be present in any baked bread. The water from the fruited yeast is just too subtle. Yes, the fruited yeast water has a nice effect on the crust (crunchy), crumb (moist and tender) and on the color (esp. with red/purple fruits), and taste (absolutely not sour). However, one would be hard pressed indeed to tell which fruit was used to prepare the yeast water. This is discouraging as why go to the trouble of using beautiful fresh, fragrant, and hard-to-come by fruits when any old bag of raisins will do exactly the same thing?

The first step was to convince my standard grain fed sourdough starter to like, and want to eat the sugars contained in peach puree. Taking my cues from Ron Ray, as documented in his Banana Saga, I slowly weaned my standard wheat based sourdough starter to accept a diet of first AP flour and peach puree until I reached the point where there was no more water in the starter seed. From there, I began the process of weaning my starter to accept a diet of pure puree (no AP flour), again to the point where there was no more flour in the starter seed.

 Now this starter ready to be developed in the final dough. I wanted to create a dough that relied solely on peach puree for the water content (Google assures me that peaches are 80% water). Thus, peach puree is comprised of 80% liquid and 20% solids. As is the recommendation, I set about creating a dough that was approximately 1/3 preferment (in the form of fermented peach puree), and was at approximately 75% hydration (e.g., liquids as a proportion of solids) and holding the overall loaf size to approximately 400g, yielded the following formula:


  • 60g Starter 
  • 185g Bread Flour
 (plus 11g extra)
  • 150g Peach Puree
4g salt

bakers %


Bread Flour:100.00%

Peach Puree: 76.53%

Salt: 2.04%

Total Dough (Conversion Factor): 209.18%



I combined the 60g fizzy starter with the 150g peach puree. Then I slowly incorporated the 185g bread flour to form a rough, sticky dough. I covered the bowl and let it rest for 20 minutes to hydrate the flour. Then I mixed in the salt.  This was given the first stretch & fold (S&F) in the bowl and left to rest for 30 minutes. At this point, I was forced to alter my plans and work in an additional 11g of bread flour. The dough was just too sticky and not holding together.  This S&F/rest process was repeated a total of four times over the next 1 1/2 hours. After the final S&F, I left it to rest an additional 1/2 hour before I turned it out onto a lightly floured counter (approximately 8g flour) and preshaped and shaped the boule. This was placed in a floured banneton and into the 46*F cooler overnight (approximately 11 hours).

The following morning, as is my habit, I took the dough out of the cooler and let it come to room temperature. About half an hour into this warming up period, I began to preheat the oven and the combo-cooker to 450*F. This takes about 1/2 hour. When the oven was fully preheated, I removed the cooker from the oven, overturned the dough onto the parchment, slashed (not very well, hmm.), and slid the loaf to the bottom of the hot cooker. Placing the lid, back into the oven the whole works went for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the lid was removed—The moment of truth, pancake, hockey puck, boule? What would it be, well, as it turned out, peaches are not the best for massive oven spring. I wouldn’t call it a pancake, somewhere bigger than a hockey puck, but not much. After removing the lid and turning down the oven to 425*F the loaf was baked for another three minutes, then I removed the bottom of the cooker and the parchment, and placed the loaf directly on the stone. This is where it remained for another 7 minutes. Then, I propped open the oven door for an additional 10 minutes (total 40 minutes in the oven). Then I removed the loaf. Well, it does smell of peaches.


 Way too much flour in the banneton - I was worried about sticking.  The oven spring is not great, sort of like it was overproofed. It sounds hollow when I thump it and the crust is quite thick and hard. So. Now comes the real test. After all of this work and experimentation, did I create a peachy tasting peach bread? Here is the shot of the crumb:

 As you can see, the crumb is definitely a peachy color, moist and tender. There are bits of peach visible in the crumb. Does it taste of peaches- yes, faintly.  It tastes almost like a not-so-sweet cake, not a bit sour, which is not surprising.

If someone were to not tell me peaches were 51% of the mix, would I ever be able to figure that out?  No. Alas, I think the pursuit of pronounced fruity flavor in the crumb of a yeasted bread needs something more than peach puree.

Happy Baking!

MadAboutB8's picture

Tartine's Morning Bun - best eaten fresh in the morning, every morning


I came across the famous Tartine Morning Buns when I was searching for croissant images of Tartine Bakery (as I was on my mission to perfect the croissant making, I figured I should look up to the best:))

The buns received rave reviews on the blogosphere and I was curious to find out myself how good they are. I just bought Tartine cookbook (the pastry version) recently and look forwards to Morning Bun recipe. However, the recipe wasn’t included in the book.  I managed to locate the recipe online on 7x7 website. The bun is an indulgence version of cinnamon rolls and made with laminated (croissant) dough. That’s perfect, another recipe I can try to keep practicing on croissants.  The rolls are filled with the mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest. Doesn’t that sound like a recipe for success, buttery flaky pastry filled with orange cinnamon sugar? Indeed, it was the success. It tasted soooo good, pure heaven.

 The rolls were baked in muffin tin coated with butter and sugar, which gave it sticky caramelised bottom. A nice touch to the buns.

 Though I enjoyed the bun made with croissant dough, I had the feeling that sweet bread dough should have been used in the recipe instead of laminated dough. A close look at the actual Tartine's Morning Buns gave me that impression. The bun didn’t have layers of pastry. It was simply a bread bun. Moreover, baking laminated dough in muffin tins somehow limited its ability to expand. As a result, the pastry didn’t achieve its full flakiness potential and became slightly doughy, especially the parts that were sitting inside the muffin cup. If I am to make these Morning Buns again (which I’m sure I will), I will make them with sweet bread dough or brioche dough instead.

 Full post and recipe is here (


bobchristenson's picture

Earth oven collapse

Well this sucks. After many days (and a few dollars) I finished my earth oven last friday. Two layers (thermal and insulation with straw mix). I didn't have time to cover it and it rained heavily today completely collapsing both layers of the top of the dome.

Now what?

I had to buy fireclay and I don't want to have to do that again so reuse is crucial. . Anyone have ideas for rebuilding without refilling it with sand (which would basically be impossible, plus my sand is now gone that I used the first time)? I don't want to tear it all down because I think I'll lose too much clay and end up with straw mixed throughout.

If I have to tear it all down I may just rebuild with firebrick instead of earth.

Any help or sympathy?

varda's picture

Suggestions for using Whole Durum flour?

I recently bought a large bag of Atta Durum flour.   I didn't really need a 20 lb bag in my closet - already have too many small bags there - but there it is.   I have been making semolina this and semolina that and don't really want to make that all the time, so I am looking for suggestions on how to combine this flour with others in a nice way.   For instance, does it play well with whole wheat flour, rye?    Or is that just weird.    Looking for suggestions....   Thanks.

teketeke's picture

Tomato pretzel with tomato yeast water and the thin pocky and crackers.

Actually, Japanese call this "Tomato pretzl", I think that is come from pretzel. So, I will write it Pretzel here that is understandable for everyone, even though it doesn't look like pretzel that I usually get here. The texture is very crispy and keep the crispiness for days as same as Ron's *sourdough cracker. They all gone within a couple days. So I don't know the thing exactly. Ron's great formula

( *Here:

and ,I made a Japanese snack, Pocky recently ( Here: ) After I posted strawberry pocky,  Robyn (RobynNZ )who gives us great information on TFL told me the great link of the pocky that we can make at home.  Thank you for all your help, Robyn. ( Bowー お辞儀)  ( Here : )  That motivated me to make thinner strawberry pocky. Although I was intrigued to make healthier one because my daughter tends to suffer with irregularity.  My brother and mother who are in Japan love Tomato pretzel which is used tomatoes and vegetables..   Tomatoes? Yes, I made tomato pretzel with tomato yeast that I used jump-start with my raisin yeast water.It is very thin sticks that I really wanted to make.     Here is the recipe: Ingredients: Levain:
  • Smashed ( 20g raisin yeast water + 80g grape tomatoes by FP )+ filtered water =100g
  • KA AP 100g
  • Honey 16g

* Note:  After I smashed the tomatoes with raisin yeast water by FP and taking them out, the actual weight was 82g around. So I added 18g filtered water to get total 100g.

Final dough:
  • 216g levain
  • 108g KA AP ( Levain 216 x0.5=108)
  • 43g butter
  • 4.3g salt
  • 0.6g black pepper ( as you like)
  • 0.4g vegetable broth powder or consomme powder ( as you like)

Optional : Topping for sesami seeds

  1. Make the levain : leave it at room temperature at 70F for 14-16 hours until doubled   The grape tomatoes + raisin yeast water + filtered water mixture. After I made the levain.                             .  Doubled.           
  2. Note: You can keep it in the refrigerator to adjust for you baking schedule.                                                                                       * I haven't left the dough for more than 4 hours. It may be suffered from sour if you leave it for 24 hours. My point is that not to get the levain hungry                                                                                                                                                                            
  3. Mix the levain with the final dough: Mix all the ingredients and knead until passing a window pane.                                            
  4.  Bulk fermentation: 4-5 hours until doubled at 73 F around.
  5.  Preheat & shape : Preheat the oven at 400F/200℃. Dump the dough in some sesami seads both sides and flatten the dough as much as you can. .                                                                                                                             2mm thick.                                                                                                                    
  6.  Make the string: Cut the dough to make a string by a pizza cutter or a knife.                                        
  7. Make thin and long strings: Roll the string using both hands like rolling the pie dough.
  8.  Bake : 380F/ 193℃ for 10-11 minutes until golden brown. Light yellow is not ready to take out of the oven yet. It may not be crispy ...                                                                                                                                                                                        
Note: When I make this tomato pretzel, I measure the levain's actual weight before mixing the final dough. I got this idea from Ron ( Ronray's great sourdough crackers) Thank you, Ron!Example:
  1.  Actual levain weight : 200g
  2.  200 x 0.5 = 100g -- Final dough's flour
    Threfore, Final dough:
  • Flour  200g ( 100g levain's flour + 100g final dough's flour which means the actual levain amount)               100%
  • Butter  40g                                                                                                20%
  • Salt  4g                                                                                                        2%
  • Black pepper 0.6g                                                                                    0.3%
  • Consomme or vegetable broth powder 0.4g                                              0.2%


Thin pocky turned out crackers:

 When I achieve to make thin pocky that I want, I made a mistake at the shaping process. It ended up crackers.. but I though it will be good and easy to make. 

Here is how I made:

#Strawberry mix yeast water#   Smashed all the 4 ingredients by FP               

  • Raisin yeast water                20g
  • Fresh strawberries              5 pieces
  • Fresh lime juice                  2 drops
  • Honey                                 27g   

After taking out the yeast mixture from the FP ----Total 160g  



  •    Strawberry mixed yeast water         160g 
  •     KA AP                                               160g

 Final dough

  • Levain  287g ( that was the actual weight from the total levain 320g)
  • KA AP  144g
  • Butter     72g
  • Salt       5.2g
  • Sugar    8g

For topping    Some walnuts ( as you like)  or you can use any kind of nuts you like ..



1.    Make the levain : leave it at room temperature at 70F for 14-16 hours until tripled.  * strawberry mix yeast will rise well.

*  Note: You can keep it in the refrigerator to adjust for you baking schedule. * I haven't left the dough for more than 4 hours. It may be suffered from sour if you leave it for 24 hours. My point is that not to get the levain hungry

2.  Mix the levain with the final dough: Mix all the ingredients and knead until passing a window pane.

3. Bulk fermentation: 3-4 hours until doubled at 73 F around.   *It fermented faster.

4. Preheat & shape : Preheat the oven at 400F/200℃. Dump the dough in some walnuts or any kind of nuts that you like both sides and flatten the dough as much as you can. .   ** This method for when you use tiny seeds or making crackers!   To make pocky shape with bigger topping, It should be shaped before using the nuts. ***

  Chopping the walnuts...

 Dipping the dough in the walnuts..   That is not for shaping a stick!!  roll the dough until it is 3 mm thick.

  So I cut it into cracker -shape.  I also tried to make a stick .. but it was really hard.. because the big walnut doesn't stay in the dough nicely.. 

 I made holes in the cracker to have some air to make it good texture ( crispier)when I bite.

5. Bake : 380F/ 193℃ for 15-17 minutes until golden brown. Light color crust is not ready to take out of the oven yet. It may not be crispy ...  This oven temperature will be vary depends on your oven.  * If the crackers are not crispy enough even it is cooled, You can bake them again that will be super crispy. 

6. Place them on the rack to cool. When it is completely cool, put melted white chocolate in a ziplock and cut an edge like a triangle shape then drizzle it over the crackers.

 I still made the pocky but it was irregular shapes... I will update it when I am succeeded.

  It was the best flavor so far.. 


* In summer, This chocolate doesn't firm quickly, so I put them in the refrigerator. I also keep them in the refrigerator too when ants are looking for food in my house !   but, when I put the pocky with chocolate to firm in the refrigerator as soon as I drizzled, the chocolate didn't stick to the pocky. so I recommend to leave the pocky with the chocolate for 20 minutes before putting in the refrigerator.

Next day:  I tried another thin pocky again. Yesterday's crackers above were gone within the day I made. My son shared some of them with his friends.  I felt little guilty to give my daughter the kind of sweets..  Next time, I want to try Pizza pretz !! Thank you for reminding me! :P Great idea, Sue!

  Here is the result:


This ingredients are as same as the crackers above.  The method is almost the same with the cracker too except the shaping and   baking methods.

* Shape-  Roll it out until the dough thick is 3 mm around without any topping,and make a string shape, then dipping the string in the topping.

*Bake at 380F for 12-13 minutes until slightly golden brown. 


You can use any topping , any kind of chocolate for your taste and convenience.



Happy baking,


yaunae1432's picture

More Bread Fun

Okay so my first starter was stolen. But, whoever thought there were goodies or some money in that bag were highly mistaken and very disappointed :) they got a healthy, 3-month-old, fermented sourdough starter and probably didn't even know what it was.  I've started another but this time I added milk. It called for half a cup but since I'm vegan I did 1/4 c dairy milk and 1/4 c almond milk.  I was scared almond milk wouldn't do what dairy does and might ruin the recipe. It's moving along very slowly and I'm worried it won't turn out but patience will tell. Since then, I've experimented with different recipes.  I got one of Paul Hollywood's books and made a brioche the other day.  It turned out pretty good but now how I wanted it to. Practice makes perfect! I'll just have to try it again. I want to try out a saffron bread and maybe invest in mastika or mechlebe but I'm hesitant because it's so expensive! Has anyone ever baked with mastika or mechlebe?

holds99's picture

Thank you JoeVa


Thank you so much for your terrific formula: Pane con Semola Rimacinata di Grano Duro.  The only thing I did different than your formula was raise the hydration level to 68 percent.  I made 7.62 lbs of dough and divided it into two equal pieces of 3.81 lbs each, bulk fermented each in seperate containers, which minimized the handling of the dough during shaping. 


Here are some photos.



gingersnapped's picture

Reinhardt’s Poolish Baguette

[crossposted to my general baking blagsite,!]

The day you find yourself laboring over a fine grained sieve sifting the bran out of otherwise a-ok whole wheat flour: might as well admit it you’re addicted to yeast.

relax piggybank, it's turkey

open up; sandwich time

Personal success: half batch + stretch and fold + autolyse with a hella wet dough and shaped! appropriately! neatly!  It looks like bread when it came out of the oven! (this is perpetually delightful and surprising)

Personal failure: forgot to score and got ants in the pants and pulled it out before the crust could fully harden.  The biggest advantage I’ve found to cooking in someone else’s oven — I tend to walk away and leave well enough alone (perhaps an important life lesson there).