The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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dabrownman's picture

I've been working on a new home made Gas Regeneration BBQ /Smoker

that I hope to eventually use to make pizza.  It's like a mini wood fired oven.  It's built out of huge hominy can and a 40-56 oz can of beans. It's the best BBQ and smoker I have ever owned and it was nearly free! I'm pretty sure I could get a small 12" stone for it and turn it into a pizza oven fairly easily. It works on a small pile of 1/4" twigs and 4 charcoal briquettes. Amazing heat from that beast.  Throw some wood chips on top you have a smoker that makes the best meat you have ever had.  I can see a Pizza oven too .......

MAde a very nice apple smoked chicken breast for dinner.  Just yummy, especially with the YW orange turmeric bread!

TastefulLee's picture

No Knead Jalapeno & Cheddar Sourdough ala Lahey

I am loving all the great ideas and helpful advice on this website. I have been using a 1 – 2 – 3 sourdough recipe that involves no kneading, from another valuable and wonderful post on this site, but decided to try the famous No Knead bread for the first time. I mixed up the dough last night, subbing 1/4 c. each whole wheat and rye for the bread flour. 11 hours later I flattened the dough into a rectangle and topped with 2 seeded, chopped jalapeno peppers, which I folded in. I gently flattened the folded dough and added 5 oz. of extra sharp cheddar cheese and folded the dough again. I then allowed the dough a 15 minute bench rest before proofing in a bowl lined with parchment for about an hour. I transferred the bread on the parchment to my preheated cast iron dutch oven and baked according to the original recipe. All I can say is O.M.G. The bread is gorgeously browned, caramelized beautifully. It sang loudly when removed from the oven and I can hardly wait for it to cool. Thanks to the two posters who did this before me for giving me the courage to try it. I have to say that I was getting very nervous when I was folding in the peppers and cheese and the dough kept ripping…but it didn’t seem to matter in the end. Just had to share! I will be adding some photos later but since my son needs the internet and our upload speed is pathetic I'll have to wait a bit. 

I only started baking with my sourdough starter last week and the results have been wonderful thanks to so many experienced bakers who are willing to share their expertise with a newbie like me. Many thanks for all your support  :)

dabrownman's picture

Chad Robertson's Country SD - Modified

Isand66 (Ian) has been using a much greater percentage of starter/Levain in his recent SD breads.  As I was looking around for a place to start with this idea, I ran across Chad Robertson's Country SD that uses this same technique.  I also prefer at least 10% rye and WW in the finished loaf and wanted to make sure that was the case in this bread.  I also wanted a higher hydration dough and one that had more AP flour and less bread flour.   This bread sure looks good on the outside but I can't cut into it yet until my wife gives the OK since she is taking it into work tomorrow.  I'm hoping the crumb is fairly open this time - and it was fairly airy.  It was also delicious, especially toasted with butter.  This one is a keeper!

 Chad's Sourdough - Modified - makes 1 large boule

Levain Build - Two days before bake day

  • 82 g starter @ 100% hydration (50% rye and 50% WW)
  • 45 g bread flour
  • 60 g rye flour
  • 60 g WW flour
  • 125 g water

Mix and ferment for 6  hours at 68 F and the refrigerate overnight

Noon -  before bake day

  • 370 g starter @ 75% hydration (all from above)
  • 185 g bread flour
  • 185 AP flour
  • 280 g water
  • 14 g salt

Mix all except salt for 2 minutes on KA 1 and autolyse for 1 hour. Then add salt and mix on KA 3 for 4 minutes.  Move to an oiled bowl and let rest 30 minutes.  Do 10 S&F's in the bowl and let rest 30 minutes.  Do 5 S&F's in theowl and let rest 30 minutes.  Do 1 S&F on a floured bench, return to the oiled bowl and let rest 30 minutes.   Do 1 more S&F on a floured bench and form into a ball, return to the oiled bowl and let rest 1 hour.  Retard dough overnight.    The dough will rise about 10-20% in the fridge.

Remove from fridge and let rest on counter for 1 hour.  Do 1 S&F gently  and do final shape into a boule.  Make sure to tighten the skin properly.  Place in cloth and floured bennaton and let rise in a plastic trash can liner for 2 hours. 

One hour before boule is proofed, heat oven to 500 with stone and steaming apparatus in place.  Remove boule from benetton onto parchment lined peel and put in the oven.  After 2 minutes turn down oven to 450 F .  After 15 minutes total, remove steaming apparatus and bake at 400F convection for  another 15- 25 minutes until the temp hits 205 F in the center of the boule.  Turn off oven and  left bread sit on the stone with the oven door ajar for 10 more minutes.  Remove bread to cooling rack until completely cool.

isand66's picture

Two-Fifths Sourdough Rye Beer Bread

This recipe is an adaptation from Veronika at  It uses the no-knead method and allows the gluten which is very weak in rye breads to develop slowly.  I decided to add some dark beer to give it an extra kick and also used First Clear flour instead of Bread or AP flour.  I ended up keeping the dough in the refrigerator for an extended period since I ran out of time to let it rise completely at room temperature.  I think this ended up creating an extremely sour sourdough rye which is not for the faint of heart.  If you want a more mellow tasting bread, I suggest you follow the directions below.

All in all, the bread turned out fairly well with a nice crispy crust and chewy, moist crumb.  The beer definitely added another flavor profile which makes this bread ideal for a nice sharp cheese and beer.



5 oz. water (90 degrees F.)

3 oz. Rye Flour (I used medium grade from KAF)

2 oz. First Clear Flour (you can substitute Bread flour or High Gluten flour)

2 oz. Refreshed Starter (100 % Hydration White Starter or Rye or Whole Wheat)

Final Dough

7 oz. Dark Rye Flour

10.5 oz. First Clear Flour (or Bread flour or High Gluten)

2 Tsp. Salt

1 - 2 TBS Caraway Seeds (more or less depending on your preference.  I used 1.5 TBS)

12 oz. Dark Beer


Prepare the starter and let it sit out at room temperature for 5-8 hours until it is nice and bubbly and ripe.  You can use it immediately or put it in the refrigerator overnight until ready to use.

Mix the starter with the room temperature beer and break it up.  Next mix in the flours and salt until the dough comes together and is still sticky. You don't need to over-mix the dough as it will now sit covered with some plastic wrap for 18-20 hours at room temperature.  (This is the point where after around 8 hours I put it in my refrigerator).  After 18-20 hours the dough should be nice and puffy and ready to turn out on an either a lightly floured work surface or lightly oiled one.  Do several stretch and folds and then put the dough in your floured banneton or bakers couche for its final journey which should take around 1.5 - 3 hours.

When the final dough is nice and puffy and passes the finger poke test, prepare your oven for hearth baking.

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 leave the bread inside with the door slightly open for 10 minutes.  This will help dry the loaves out and keep the crust crunchy.

Let cool on cooling rack and enjoy!

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

raqk8's picture

Oh-So-Buttery Dinner Rolls!

I get the feeling that dinner rolls are one of those things that don't come out of the oven very often. We all love them. There's something about the soft melt-in-your-mouth inside, the buttery outside... it's nearly impossible to resist a freshly made dinner roll.

That's just the problem though. That whole freshly made thing is hard to do. I don't know about you, but it is rare I have the time to be home early in the afternoon to throw a batch of dough together to be ready for dinner. I would absolutely love to (and so would AJ... he managed to finish all but one of the rolls I made), but it's just not that feasible very often....

Please visit my blog over at to see the full post and recipe!

NetherReine's picture

Surprise Sourdough with Chia Seeds


An adaptation of Norwich Sourdough by Susan @ Wild Yeast


360 g ripe 100% hydration sourdough starter (I use wholewheat starter)

100 g chia seeds

510 g bread flour (I use King Arthur)

510 g white wholewheat (I use Wheat Montana Prairie Gold)

710 g water at 75 degrees Fahrenheit

25 g salt


Mix the flour, water, chia seeds and starter on low speed until combined. (About a minute in my KA mixer).

Autolyze the dough for 30 minutes.

Add the salt and mix on medium speed (depending on your mixer) until dough reaches a medium level of gluten development. (4 minutes in my KA)

Place dough in an oiled container – I always use olive oil.

Ferment for 2.5 hours with two stretch and folds at 50 minutes apart. (I ferment in my “oven proofer” (oven with pan of hot water) at about 80 degrees Fahrenheit).

Turn the dough onto counter that has been sprayed lightly with olive oil. ( I never use flour for counters). Divide dough into 3 equal parts and preshape into balls.

Cover the balls with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

Form loaves into desired shape (I usually make batards) and place in proofing containers. (I use bannetons dusted with rice flour to prevent sticking).

Cover bannetons with plastic and proof for 2 to 2.5 hours. I put mine back into the “oven proofer” at around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

After 1.5 hours I pull the dough from the oven and preheat to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. At this time I am also preheating my baking stone and cast iron skillet (which I use for steam). The dough continues to proof on the counter for the remaining hour.

Once the dough is fully proofed (use the “finger poke” method), turn them onto parchment. Slash each with your preferred method and design.

Turn the oven temperature down to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and place the loaves, parchment and all, onto the baking stone. Pour 1 to 1.5 cups of hot water into cast iron skillet (or use your preferred steaming method). Bake with steam for 10 minutes and then remove the skillet from the oven. Rotate the loaves at this time for even browning. Continue to cook another 15-20 minutes until the crust is very brown and the internal temperature of the bread is approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cool bread on a wire rack.

Issa's picture

Cold retardation and then what?

Novice question here.  Retarding during bulk fermentation works best with my schedule, so it goes in the fridge about 8pm and comes out of the fridge the next day at 4pm.   My issue is that I am unsure what to do after I pull it out of the fridge.  Some recipes don't even mention anything and just go straight from 'out of the fridge. shape. final proof'.  Some recipes 'out of the fridge. come to room temp. shape. final proof'.  Then others say 'out of the fridge. 1 hour on the counter. shape. final proof'.  So I am missing some information.  If I WERE to pull it out of the fridge, and begin working with it immediately it would be difficult to work with and surface tension may not be possible.  So then I conclude that I must let it come to room temperature, but am I also supposed to let it warm up to the point that it begins to rise further (treat it as a room temp bulk fermentation from this point on) OR should I assume that all rising that has occured in the fridge is all that it needs?  Also, when leaving it out on the counter to come to room temp must I leave it in the bowl?  The stainless steel bowls retain the cold longer so it takes the dough an additional amount of time to come to room temp.  Am I paying too much attention to minutiae?  Thanks in advance for everyone's help.  I did search the forum, but still came up with the same questions. 


isand66's picture

Multi-grain Sourdough

I get a kick out of trying new types of flours and grains in my bread baking.  I frequently shop on-line at King Arthur Flour and like to try new and different products when I can.  I've read many recipes on The Fresh Loaf using soakers and have tried a few recipes from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Bread book with mixed results.  I decided the other day to try my own formula using a multi grain soaker from my baking supply bin and also used some of my existing refreshed sourdough starter mixed with some rye, whole wheat and first clear flours.  The results were surprisingly good considering I had no idea what to expect.  The final bread had a great nutty sour flavor with a nice thick crust and moist crumb.



2 oz. Rolled Oats

2 oz. Malted Rye Berries

2 oz. Barley Flakes

1 oz. English Malted Wheat Flakes

1 1/2 Cups Boiling Water

Final Dough

15 oz. White Starter recently refreshed

3.5 oz. Whole Wheat Flour

3.5 oz. Medium Rye Flour

4 oz. First Clear Flour (you can substitute bread flour or High Gluten Flour)

2.5 Tsp. Salt

6 oz. Water, 90 degrees F.


Mix all ingredients for soaker in a bowl and add boiling water.  Let it sit for 2-3 hours covered until the grains are soft.

After 2-3 hours add the soaked grains along with the remaining liquid in your mixing bowl and add the flours, salt and remaining water and mix for 2 minutes.  The dough should come together in a shaggy mess and should be relatively moist at this point.  Let it rest for 5 minutes and mix for 4 minutes more on medium low-speed.

Remove dough from mixing bowl to work surface and do a stretch and fold.  You may need to wet or oil your hands and the work surface since the dough will still be very sticky at this point. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest uncovered for 10 minutes.  Let the dough rest uncovered for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes do another stretch and fold and cover the dough with a moist lint free towel or plastic wrap sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Do another stretch and fold two more times letting the dough rest 10 minutes each time.  After the last stretch and fold put the dough into an oiled bowl and cover it tightly.

Let the dough sit in your bowl for 2 hours at room temperature.  It should only rise slightly at this point.  After the 2 hours are up put in your refrigerator for at least 12 hours or up to 3 days.

When ready to bake the bread take your bowl out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for around 2 hours.  After 2 hours 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 moist 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 leave the bread inside with the door slightly open for 10 minutes.  This will help dry the loaves out and keep the crust crunchy.

Let cool on cooling rack and enjoy!

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

IndoLee's picture

Kuta Sourdough (A Whole Wheat Tweak Susan's Norwich SD)

“Kuta” Sourdough  (A Whole Wheat Tweak of Susan’s “Norwich” SD)

February 28, 2012

I love Susan from SD’s Norwich sourdough (see original recipe here: which she adapted from the Vermont Sourdough in Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes) and I used her Norwich recipe exclusively while I worked out the kinks in my Indonesian kitchen (see previous TFL posts).

As much as I relish the Norwich recipe, I like my SD with a bit of whole wheat flour for taste and texture so I made some modifications in order to incorporate WW in addition to the Rye. 

After numerous trials, I finally found a recipe I really like:  still quick and easy, with the same build and maintaining the character of the Norwich bread, but with the addition of a bit of WW zing.

"Kuta SD" Loaf made with both Retarded Bulk Ferment (Method #2) and Retarded Proof Ferment (Method #3)  Nice & Sour!


Crumb (From Above Loaf)

I’ve made this final recipe numerous times now and can say with confidence that it’s got all the things we love about SD: a nice crust, a crumb that’s still soft, but slightly more chewy and robust than the Norwich original, and just enough hint of whole wheat for our liking.  It’s now our “house standard” with all hankering for the Kuta loaves above any others turned out here to date.

Susan’s recipe calls for 100% hydration starter which is kept the same here.  In addition to the Rye flour in the Norwich recipe, I ended up with 135 g of Whole Wheat flour while reducing the White flour. Bread hydration is only a tad higher at 66.74% vs 65% due to the increase in both starter and water (relative to both total flour and total ingredients).  The slightly higher hydration is to keep the dough equally gaseous (i.e. crumb open) while compensating for the addition of the WW flour.

Aside from the whole wheat and some small tweaks, preparation of this recipe is the same as the Norwich recipe so if you’re used to making Susan’s fabulous bread, you should already be familiar with prep here.

To easily compare the two recipes, I added a chart below showing Susan’s Norwich recipe and the Kuta recipe side-by-side – keeping the total ingredients the same (2003 gr)


(After the primitive little village of Kuta, Island of Lombok - Indonesia where we are for the next 2 years.)  Adapted from Susan from SD’s “Norwich” Sourdough Bread – with lineage from Hammelman.)

Yield: About 2 Kg  - 4 medium (500 gr), or two large (1,000 g)r batards or boules;


Mix & Autolyse: 30 minutes (about 5 or 6 minutes mixing –total time, plus about 25 minutes autolyse)

Bulk (First) Fermentation:
Method 1:  Proof for about 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) at room temp (in range of 740 to 780 F) and doubled in size.
Method 2:  Proof for about 75 minutes (1¼ hours) at room temp (in range of 740 to 780 F) then refrigerate (retard) for 6 to 8 hours) – I usually do this overnight for a mid-morning bake the following day.  When retarding during the bulk ferment, the goal is to achieve the same doubling of size - partly during the 1¼ hours at room temp, but mostly as the fermentation continues more slowly while refrigerated.  I find that after 1¼ hrs at room temp, the dough is perhaps 25% to 30% larger in volume (at the time I refrigerate it), but fully doubled after a night in the refrigerator.

Divide, (Weigh) Pre-shape, Rest & Final Shape: About 15 minutes total.  Preshape dough, then rest for 10 minutes or so preparatory to final shaping into boules or batards.  Final shape after resting.

Proof (Second) Fermentation:
Method 1:  Proof for about 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) after final shaping (or after removing from refrigerator and shaping if you retarded during the bulk ferment), then bake,
Method 2:  Refrigerate (retard) your loaves, immediately after final shaping by putting them into loosely fitting, sealed plastic bags for 6 to 12 hours, then proof them for about 60 minutes after removing from the refrigerator;
Method 3:  Proof the final shaped loaves for 75 minutes (1¼ hours) at room temperature then retard (refrigerate – in bags as above) for 6 to 12 hours, placing the loaves directly into the oven from the refrigerator.

NOTE: If you retard twice (during bulk and proof), keep total retardation time (bulk + proof) under 18 hours and note that bread will be relatively sour after so much retardation.  Be careful not to over-proof if retarding during BOTH bulk and proof!

All of the above methods work fine - your choice.  With either method of retarding (before or after proofing or both) your loaves can stay refrigerated for 6 to 18 hours – more if you have to, but in my experience, dough quality and strength will start to degrade after about 18 hours total retardation (bulk plus proof) – and faster if you allowed a 1 ¼ hour room temperature proof before refrigerating (i.e. Proof Method 3).

Bake:  About 30 to 38 minutes – longer times for the larger loaves and shorter for smaller ones.  Also, in my experience, batards, because of their shape, tend to cook at bit quicker than boules of the same weight.










600 gr


Water - Room Temp about 760 F).  (% shown is % of Total Ingredients)

610 gr


360 gr


100% Hydration Sourdough Starter.   (% shown is % of Total Ingredients - including starter) 

365 gr


900 gr


White Bread or AP Flour (% shown is % of Total Flour)

750 gr


120 gr


Rye Flour  (% shown is % of Total Flour)

120 gr


0 gr


Whole Wheat Flour  (% shown is % of Total Flour)

135 gr


23 gr


Salt (% shown is % of Total Ingredients)

23 gr


2003 gr


Total Ingredients

2003 gr





Total Flour



Total Water (includes starter)



 Water/Flour Ratio (hydration)



Starter/Flour Ratio





1.         MIX - Mix the flours, water, and starter on low/dough speed in your mixer until flour is just incorporated and still quite shaggy, about one minute.  (If your room temperature is 760 F or above, add the salt now (it will slow down the bulk fermentation a tad – good for higher temps).

2.         AUTOLYSE - Let the dough rest (autolyse) for 25 minutes.

3.         ADD SALT & MIX - Add the salt (if not already done in Step 1) and continue mixing on low to medium-low speed until the dough reaches a moderate level of gluten development. This should take about 5 or 6 minutes depending on your mixer.  You can judge gluten development by lack of stringiness and tear of the dough.  When mixed enough, the dough should be noticeably more elastic.  If it’s still stringy and shaggy and tears rather than stretches it needs a bit more mixing - as it does if it’s still sticking to the side of your mixer bowl.  (Remember you will be doing stretch and folds later to more fully develop gluten/dough strength so don’t go overboard and beat the daylights out of your dough now or even try for classic “windowpane” glutenization – no need).

4.         BULK FERMENT - Transfer the dough to an oiled, covered container and ferment at room temperature for roughly 2 1/2 hours (or until no more than doubled.)  (Shoot for a doubling of size.  If it’s still a bit less than doubled don’t worry – it’s probably had enough time to finish the bulk ferment unless your room temp is low, in which case give it a bit longer).  Exact time will depend on room temp, flour used and most importantly, how spunky your starter is at the time of use).  If your starter has not yet “peaked” when it is incorporated (i.e. not fully “ripe” and at the point where it has expanded all it’s going to, and is about to fall), or if it’s been a while since it peaked and it’s started to get a little acidic, (which is how I sometimes like to use my starter in order to develop a bit more tanginess), your bulk ferment may take longer.  Not to worry – just watch the volume – knowing that bulk fermentation is completed when it has just doubled in size (a bit less is fine - more than doubled and you’re playin with fire!)
Note:  After much experimentation, in my very hot and humid Indonesian kitchen (sometimes as high as 880 F - with super high humidity), and my particular combination of starter, flours and water, I’ve found that my bulk fermentation and proof times are radically lower than every one of the numerous other SD recipes I have tried since moving here.  Just proves again that one needs to develop a good “dough sense” and rely on it – not on other’s stated times!

5.         STRETCH & FOLD - Do two stretch and folds (“letter folds”) - one at 30 minutes and another at 60 minutes - returning the dough to your oiled/covered contained after each fold.  (Gently stretch the dough until its about 1/3rd of its original height, then, like a business letter, fold the top 3rd of the dough down over the rest of the dough, fold the bottom 3rd up - over where the top 3rd is now; fold the left 3rd to the right and the right 3rd to the left).  If the dough feels weak you can double the number of letter folds at 30 minutes.

6.         DIVIDE & PRESHAPE - Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Divide it into four 500 gr (or five smaller loaves if you like them more petite) or two 1,000 gr pieces for larger loaves, and pre-shapeinto balls (for boules) or torpedos (for batards).  I usually make two larger (2 pound) batards.  If you want your loaves to be the same size, use a scale to weigh the pieces and adjust to equal weight by taking away or adding a piece of dough, chopped off with your board knife.  If adding weight, slap the extra piece onto what will be the “seam” side of the dough so it will get incorporated at the bottom of the loaf (while proofing) – i.e. the side that will be the bottom of the baked loaf – usually the one that faces up when you tension/stretch the dough during pre-shape. 

7.         REST PRESHAPED LOAVES – Sprinkle the pre-shaped loaves lightly with semolina if they feel wet or simply cover loosely with plastic or a towel otherwise and let rest for 10 minutes to allow the dough to relax.

8.         FINAL SHAPE LOAVES - Final shape into batards or boules and place them “seam-side” up (i.e. turn the pre-shaped loaves upside down) into a linen-lined couche, or metal proofing tray or a well-floured banneton or parchment paper - flour with a mix of 50/50 white and rice flours or semolina flour. For good spring and shape, remember to develop a good “gluten sheath” on your loaves (see Hammelamn’s great shaping videos at: and Remember that if you want larger holes in your finished loaves don’t “degass” the loaves as Hammelman does in his commercial bakery and handle the dough tenderly during your stretch and folds and shapings!

Note:  Doing a greater number of S & Fs at 60 minutes and/or handling the dough roughly or de-gassing it (especially during pre & final shaping) is a sure way to get a tighter, less open crumb (which you actually may want if using the loaves for sandwiches as we often due.)

9.         PROOF – Put the couche, banneton or metal proofing tray into a large plastic food grade bag, after dusting the tops with semolina to keep the tops from sticking to the bags, and proof at room temperature for about 2 ¼ (+) hours (Proofing Method 1).  If you are in a very high humidity area you can simply cover with a towel.  Allow to increase in size by about 75% maximum (not double!).

Or, alternatively, you can use Proofing Method 2 or 3 above.

Don’t rely on the clock to tell you when the loaves are fully proofed.  Learn to use a “finger poke” to test proof!  (Poke the top of the dough with a finger  about 3/8ths  to 1/2  an inch deep – if the indention remains a crater in the dough, without any spring-back, it’s over-proofed, so… prepare for disappointing oven spring and difficulty scoring!)

Note:  If your loaves stick to the bags when you try to remove them, use your board knife to gently free the dough from the plastic.  Don’t simply pull the plastic off as you may cause the loaves to deflate.  If you are not using bannetons and have trouble scoring your loaves,, let them sit uncovered for the last 30 minutes or so (at room temp or in the refrigerator if retarding).  This helps develop a bit of “skin” that is easier to slash (with less tearing) than if the surface is wet.

Proofing for an hour before retarding (Proofing Method #3, above), may work fine for you.  Or, you may find, as I did, that you need to adjust this time up or down for future batches.  I do find it a bit harder to test for proper proofing when retarding this way (as opposed to Method #2) - because after an hour of proofing at room temperature, the loaves continue to proof more actively in the frig (i.e. for a longer time before retardation sets in), and the cooler/refrigerated, but almost fully proofed dough, is a bit harder for me to assess for correct proofing when I take it out of the frig to bake.

After making this bread so many times, I now usually do both bulk and proof retarding, using Proofing Method #3 and refrigerating my shaped loaves 1¼ hrs after the bulk fermentation.  Seems to work well and give me the most flexibility with regard to my schedule.

10.  PREHEAT OVEN - Preheat the oven to 4750 F, for at least 1 hour, with a baking stone in your oven.  I use two stones (one on the top shelf and another on the bottom as my little Indo oven here has to huff and puff to get to4750 F and cools rapidly due to poor insulation and low BTUs).  I’ve found the 2nd stone tends to keep temp drops down when the door is opened (and also allows me to use the broiler for extra heat if I need to get the little oven above about 4250 F).

11.  TURN OUT & SCORE LOAVES - Turn the proofed loaves onto a semolina-sprinkled peel or parchment and slash the loaves.  If batards, see Susan’s Norwich SD photo for her (“two overlapping cuts that are almost parallel to the long axis of the batard” at the first (Norwich SD) link above, and place loaves in the oven.   Remember to overlap your cuts so they don’t cause bulges in the finished loaves.  (See a great two good videos on loaf slashing at: and  David Snyder (2nd video) also has a superb tutorial in his TFL blog with more info about scoring bread, at:

Note: For better spring and crust, use a steaming method to develop oven humidity during the first 15 minutes of baking
: cover loaves with a metal or Pyrex bowl (ala Susan’s “magic bowl”) when they go into the oven; or place a tray of steaming water in the bottom of your oven (filled with lava rocks works great; or 2 or 3 coffee cups full of boiling water, etc.    See a good video on steaming with lava rocks at:!)

  Mortar and pestle sets made from local pumice rock here cost about $1.50 so I simply preheat my 8 inch mortar in the oven along with my baking stones then, about 5 minutes before I bake, place 6 ice cubes into a metal wire (Asian type) strainer laying it on top of the mortar in the oven – gives me nice oven steam and water for about 15 minutes so I don’t have to remove a pan (or cups) of boiling water from the oven, or open it again and lose any precious heat!

Note:  If you like your bread crazed (crackled) on the outside (and like to hear it “sing” when it comes out of the oven) use a plastic bottle of water with a pump and spray the tops of the loaves with 3 or 4 good squirts/mists of water after scoring and just before placing in the oven, then again 2 or 3 more times during the first 6 to 8 minutes of baking.

12.  REDUCE OVEN HEAT & BAKE- Once the loaves are in the oven, turn the heat down to 450F. Bake for 15 minutes with steam, and another 15 to 20 minutes or so without steam. (Again, if you use a mortar and ice as I do for my batards, the water from the ice cubes will have steamed away at about this time). Loaves (in my oven) are done in 30 to 38 minutes depending on size & shape.  In any event, they’re done when internal temp in range of 2020 to 2040 F and/or they sound hollow when thumped/tapped.

13.  COOL - Cool on a wire rack for at least one hour.


"Kuta SD" Loaf made without Bulk or Proof Retardation


If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes for you (photos would be great too.)

Happy baking…!


dabrownman's picture

Rustique Pain Comté de San Francisco

This fancy French named bread is really a Rustic Country San Francisco Sourdough.  It originally started out as a Glenn Snyder Country SD bread minus the rustic and the sweetbird, that she is,  took the recipe and tweaked it some and came up with the most amazing crust on a bread I have ever seen.   I just had to try my hand at it and converted it further to more my liking by; using a rye sour starter,  grinding my own WW and rye, increasing the rye to equal the WW, reducing the AP accordingly and then adding 50 g of whole WW and rye berries that were boiled in water for 30 minutes and then drained.  The berries were put back into the pot with 1 tsp of olive oil and then sauteed until caramelized.  I was hoping for a bread that would be more rustic, have a deeper more flavorful taste, a deep brown crust and crumb that was soft, moist and still somewhat open.  Well, I think all but the somewhat open crumb was achieved.  I guess you can't have everything.  It is the one of the best textured and tasty breads I have ever eaten.  It, like most breads, is much better toasted with butter and I'm guessing the flavor will be better tomorrow as well.  I can't wait to try this on a new sandwich creation tomorrow.  Here are some pix's.  The recipe follows the pix's

 Rustique Pain Comté de San Francisco

Yield: Two 750g Loaves


Levain Build

86 g AP flour

25 g Whole Wheat flour

25 g Whole rye flour

175 g water, cool (60 F or so)

30 g active culture (72% hydration)


   Final Dough (68% hydration, including levain)

600 g AP flour (77.5%)

87 g whole wheat flour (11.25%)

87 g whole rye flour (11.25%)

440 g warm water (80 F or so) (57%)

14 g pink Himalayan sea salt (1.5%)

313 Levain (40%)

Scald and Caramelize: 50 grams of WW and rye berries boiled in twice as much water as berries by volume for 40 minutes.  Drain berries and return to pan with 1 tsp of olive oil and sauté until the berries caramelize and start to leave color on the bottom of the pan.  When color starts sticking to the pan they are done.


 1.  Levain : Make the final build 10-12 hours before the final mix.

2. Mix: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl, including the levain, but not the salt or the scalded berries. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated into a shaggy mass. Correct the hydration as necessary. Cover the bowl and let stand for an autolyse phase of 60 minutes. At the end of the autolyse, sprinkle the salt over the surface of the dough, and knead 4 minutes with dough hook on KA 3. The dough should have a medium consistency.  Add the scalded and caramelized  berries and mix on KA 3 for 1 minute   

3. Ferment with S&F: 3 hours. Stretch and fold the dough in the bowl once 10 strokes at the 30minute mark. Stretch and fold again, 5 strokes, at the one hour mark folding it into a ball in lightly oiled bowl.  Leave to ferment 1-2 more hours until the dough is at least 75% larger than when you started the ferment.

4. Retard: do 1 S&F in the lightly oiled bowl forming the dough into a ball again.  Refrigerate 8-20 hours, depending on how much time you have and sour your taste.

5. Divide and Shape:  take dough out of refrigerator and let it come to room temperature about 1 ½ hours.   Divide the dough into what 2 pieces and pre-shape, then shape into boules or batards 20 minutes later.

6. Proof: Approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours at 72° F. Ready when poke test dictates.

7. Pre-heat: oven to 500 with steam apparatus in place - 45 minutes minimum.  I use a loaf pan half full of water and a dry12”cast iron skillet that go in the bottom rack of the oven at the beginning of pre heat and the stone on the rack above.  When the loaves go in, I throw 1 cup of boiling water into the cast iron skillet right after loading the bread on the stone.

8. Bake:  Slash loaves. Bake with steam, on stone. Turn oven to 450 F when it hits 500 F after loading loaves. Remove steaming apparatus after 15 minutes. Bake for another 15 minutes more or 30 to 35 minutes total. Rotate loaves for evenness as necessary. When done (205 Finternal temp), leave loaves on stone with oven door ajar, oven off for 10 minutes.  Move to cooling rack until loaf is room temperature.