The Fresh Loaf

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Anomalous's picture

Midweek Sourdough, risen in the fridge

Since I started bread baking last year I've been aiming mainly at sourdough and have made some reasonably good loaves at the weekend but it has been a challenge to fit it into the week's work schedule. The comparatively long rise of approx. 4 hours means I'd be baking at 22:50 if I made the loaf on getting home from work. Letting it rise in the fridge while I'm at work seems a pretty good solution to this, and here's how I've worked it so far.

08:00 Tuesday: mixed 50g starter with 50g wholemeal rye flour and 50g water (the starter is 50% hydrated wholemeal rye and lives in the fridge all the time. It's pretty active despite this). Left it at room temperature, went to work.

18:00 Tuesday: home from work; added 50g strong white organic flour and 50g water. Still at room temperature.

22:00 Tuesday: added 100g white flour and 100g water, still at room temperature.

07:00 Wednesday: added 300g strong white flour, 100g water, 11g salt, a glug of olive oil; mixed, a little bit of folding and stretching, formed a round, left whilst showering, dressing, breakfasting.

07:50 Wednesday: a bit more stretching, folding, gentle kneading and it's looking good. Shaped into a stubby cylinder, into the banneton, bagged, in the fridge. Off to work.

17:30 Wednesday: home from work, dough looks ready. Oven on, 230°C, baking stone in. Oven ready, baking stone out, turned loaf onto stone, dusted with wholemeal rye, slashed, into the oven, 300g boiling water into a hot baking tray for steam. Baked for 20 min at 230°C then 25 min at 190°C. It needs longer baking due to going into the oven fridge-cold.

Result: pretty good. Nice, crunchy crust; moderately airy, moist crumb; reasonably good sourdough tang. For such a relatively small amount of wholemeal rye, it has a surprising amount of wholemeal flavour. I'm not sure where to take it next to get a lighter, airier crumb, but I think I might experiment with leaving it out of the fridge a bit longer before baking in order to let it warm up a bit and do some more rising.

The overall hydration is about 62%. The starter came from a training day at e5 Bakehouse with a reputed 200 year trans-European pedigree and seemed better than my own home-grown starter. I always feed it with equal amounts of wholemeal rye and filtered water and keep it in the fridge.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hocus Pocus from Saveur

Me thinks a sample of n=20 would prove this method completely (as the Car Talk guys say) booo-oooo-ooooo-oooo-gus.

(At least they mention using a scale. That's a plus, I guess!)

nadira2100's picture

Portuguese Sweet Bread

I've caught the bread bug! After making the sourdough (and not being completely satisfied with the results) I had the urge to make some more bread. However, I was having issues with my starter and being the impatient person I am, decided to make something that wouldn't require days upon days of refreshments and monitoring. Since my first attempt at Portuguese Sweet Bread was a disaster I thought I'd revisit this recipe and see if I could correct my mistakes. I don't have a picture of my last attempt because it was THAT bad. Yes, yes it was I'm embarrassed to say. Dense, tough, mottled crust.....not my better baking moments. This time, however, I think I got it right. Or at least I'm stepping in the right direction for the perfect loaf. 

After mixing the sponge I only had to wait about 30min before it became so bubbly that I deemed it ready to use.

So I mixed up the final dough and began kneading....and kneading....and kneading. I followed the recipe in Peter Reinharts book The Bread Baker's Apprentice and he suggests adding up to 6 tablespoons of water if needed for the dough. He also has 1/4c (I think...I don't have the book in front of me right now) powdered milk in the recipe. Both the powdered milk and the water were never added to my dough and I'm not sure they were even needed or would have made a huge difference in the final loaf. 

With the first loaf, I was pretty sure I didn't knead the dough long enough because it never did rise, and it was dense and tough and bumpy. THIS loaf I knew after the first rise that I kneaded it enough because during shaping, one loaf had a little balloon of gas poking out...almost like my loaf was trying to blow a bubble.

After shaping the boules (which I definitely need practice), I popped them in the fridge overnight. 

The next day, I took them out to proof on the counter before work and when I got home they were ready to bake. Another hint that I was on the right track.....they went from this....

to this....

So I threw some eggwash over them (I need to be more thorough in the application I think), and baked them for 30min. However, my loaves reached above 190 degrees after 35 minutes so I'm pretty sure they were done at 30min. They definitely would have been ruined had I baked them at the recommended 50-60min.

After resting and cooling I couldn't wait until morning to cut into and try a slice.

Significantly better than my first attempt and so far this is the lightest crumb I've ever achieved. The loaves are soft like they should be, the cumb is moist and light and the taste delicious! I think part of my success is the use of filtered, bottled water instead of tap. I've used tap water for as long as I can remember and New Orleans water is pretty rough. I don't know why it didn't dawn on me that the tap water could be preventing my little yeasties to do their thing. I'm not sure if that's what helped this time or not but I'm going with it!

To anyone who has made Portuguese Sweet Bread did I do? Be honest please!

Swathi's picture

Whole Wheat Rye Maple Challah



I made whole wheat rye maple challh.


I used white whole wheat, Rye flour, Maple syrup, vital gluten , salt, canola oil,  two eggs  and instant yeast.



Cut piece will be look like this


Recipe can be found  here

breadsong's picture

Susan's Blueberry Sourdough Scones

Hello everyone,
I had some extra starter (wheat, rye, durum) ... and yesterday, saw Susan's post featuring lovely Blueberry Sourdough Scones.
Mixed some up last night and froze them; baked fresh this morning - Yum :^)  
Thanks, Susan, for a delicious recipe and great way to use extra starter! 


These scones are very tangy and tasty. Not too much sugar in the dough - a light sprinkle of cinnamon sugar over the top before baking tasted quite nice!

Happy baking everyone!
:^) breadsong

Sending, with gratitude, to Susan @ YeastSpotting

dabrownman's picture

T-Rex Meets Floyd’s Sweet Potato Bread & Brownman’s SD & YW Combo Starter

We always seem to have smoked and BBQ ribs for many holidays. This Memorial Day was no exception.  In KCMO where I grew up, the ribs are famous and are always served with Wonder Bread.  I was looking for a different bread when I saw Floyd’s Sweet Potato Rolls in the home page.   I though this might make a great bread to go with ribs.

 Quite unlike my wayward and undisciplined apprentice, I try to stay as close to recipes as I can but, in this case I don’t stock any commercial yeast, so I hope Floyd doesn’t mind that I subbed a SD and YW starter and converted the rolls to a bread - boule style.   I think my apprentice threw in some rye and WWW while I wasn’t looking too!   Other than that, we were true to Floyd’s intentions – pretty much.

 To commemorate Ian’s first home page cover for his Semolina, Toasted Almond Multi-Grain Bread, I used his signature T-Rex slash for this bread and for once it was near perfect – a real first for me.  Ian must finally be rubbing off on me.

 The beauty of this bread is unmistakable.  Sweet taters give this bread a lovely orange cast inside and out.  The color is what drew me to it in Floyd’s post.  I was so glad it didn’t stick to my cheap basket. 

 It also smelled great while baking from the cinnamon and nutmeg light spice in the dough.   My wife was asking what that smell was?  If it’s not Thanksgiving, I guess it is harder to pin down.

 The crust went soft as it cooled and we cannot wait to have it for dinner in about 2 hours.  Crumb shots after that.


 The levain was built over 3 stages of 4 hours each and the YW and SD were mixed together from the beginning as has been the usual lately.  After 12 hours the levain had more than doubled and into the fridge it went for an overnight stay.

We micro waved two small sweet potato and mashed the with a fork to get the ¾ of C required.

In the morning I mixed everything together in the mixing bowl (including the salt so I don’t forget it), except the levain and let it sit for 30 minutes to autolyse.  Then the levain went in and we mixed it on KA 2 for 6 minutes and the KA 3 for 2 more minutes. The dough was then transferred to a plastic covered, oiled bowl to rest for 15 minutes.

4 sets of  S&F’s were done 15 minutes apart each time on a slightly floured work surface  and then the dough was allowed to rest on an oiled bowl and ferment / develop for an hour. 

After an hour rest, 1 more set of S&F’s were done to help shape the dough into a boule.  The dough was dragged across a non-floured surface to make sure the skin was taught.  It was flipped over and the bottom seam was completely pinched off and sealed.  Then the boule was flipped over and dragged again to stretch the skin tight.   It was placed upside down in a rice floured basket to double in a plastic bag on the counter.  It rose ½” above the top of the basket in 2 ¾ hours and passed the poke test.

After 2 hours the oven was readied by preheating to 500 F with steam and stone in place.  I use 2 of Sylvia’s towel in a baking pan method for steam now.  In 45 minutes the oven was ready.  The boule was un-molded by putting parchment on the top, a peel on top of that and then the whole shebang overturned.

 Into the oven it went and the temperature was turned down to 425 F.  after 15 minutes of steaming the steam was removed and the temperature was turned down to375 Fconvection this time.  The boule was turned every 5 minutes and after a total of 38 minutes it was deemed done.   The bread was not allowed to crisp in the off oven with the door ajar as usual but was immediately moved to a cooling rack since we wanted the crust soft like Wonder Bread.

SD and YW Sweet Potato Bread     
Mixed StarterBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
SD Starter20100304.72%
Yeast Water20200408.00%
Total Starter1001104025050.00%
Levain % of Total17.90%    
Dough Flour %   
White WW255.00%   
Dough Flour500100.00%   
Dough Hydration66.00%    
Total Flour635    
T. Dough Hydrat.70.08%    
Hydration w/ Adds75.12%    
Total Weight1,397    
Add - Ins %   
Sweet Potato16032.00%   

Note : 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of fresh grated nutmeg are added with autolyse.


MaximusTG's picture

Whole rye and wheat flour sourdough bread with walnuts and sunflower seeds

 Wanting to bake another sourdough bread with a larger portion of whole rye, I started searching on the internet, and came across this recipe:

This was interesting because I had some walnuts left from something else. Not quite enough, so I added some sunflower seeds. Roasted them a bit.

I had already fed my sourdough starter and put it in the refridgerator before it reached its peak. The recipe mentions adding instant yeast in the final dough. I omitted that, because I wanted it pure sourdough.

Around midnight last Saturday I made the levain, whole rye, water, my starter. Did add a bit more than in the recipe. Left this out to ferment. 14.00 in the afternoon on Sunday I made the final dough, but did not let it rise outside, but instead kept it in the refridgerator (I had a party, so I didn't have time to bake it then). A 24 hour rise in the refridgerator later I took it out, formed a batard and let it proof for about 2,5 hours on a couche. 
Baked following recipe, and this came out: 

Update: Crumb photo's:

twofeathers's picture


I have recently been told to eat no wheat.  Easy to say.  I'm not a cook.  I would like to eat sandwiches (bagels, english muffins).  Where can I find a 'wheat-free' bread recipe?  I've read about flax seed and a few other wheat-free flours.  Is there a conversion chart?  I've also read that one shouldn't expect wheat flour consistency in the dough or the finished product.  I can deal with it.  Also, can any recipe be used in a bread machine or are they (bread machines) not a good idea?   It's a little exciting, thinking about baking my own bread.  If anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate any info.

isand66's picture

Semolina Toasted Almond Multi-Grain Bread

I was inspired to try adding some balsamic vinegar into one of my breads after reading about Karen Hanseata's Wild Rice bread on the Fresh Loaf this past week.  I have some cherry balsamic  that I love using so I was curious to see if it would have any affect on the taste of my bread.

While looking for some different components to add to my next bake I discovered that my wife had stashed some Toasted Almond Flour in the refrigerator so I figured why not give it a try.

I also used some Potato flour and Durum flour along with some hickory smoked sea salt and assorted all natural grains for this bake.

I cut back on the hydration slightly from my previous multi-grain breads and not counting the 359 grams of water used in the soaker it comes in at only 56%.  There is no doubt that the water from the soaker makes the final dough much moister than 56%.  I also did not count the soaker grains as part of the flour.  According to the BBGA (Bakers Guild of America) soakers including the water and other ingredients should be considered "hydration neutral".  This is obviously a difficult concept to control but none the less that is the prevailing rule in the industry.

For this bake I made a boule as well as a circular shape similar to a large donut.

The final dough came out very tasty. You can see the toasted almond flour imparted a slightly orange tinted color in the crumb and it gives it a very nutty flavor.  I can't say that I tasted the cherry balsamic vinegar but I'm sure it added to the overall flavor profile somehow.  The crumb is nice an open and moist and you can see some of the soaker grains melded together.

If you venture to try this, please let me know how your attempt comes out.



28 Grams English Malted Flakes

60 Grams Bulgar Wheat

55 Grams Organic Oat Bran

55 Grams Cracked Wheat

285 Grams Boiling Water

Final Dough

425 Grams White Starter recently refreshed (65% Hydration Seed Starter)

200 Grams Durum Semolina Flour (KAF Brand-make sure  you don't use the Fancy Semolina flour which is too gritty)

250 Grams Bread Flour (KAF)

58 Grams Toasted Almond Flour (KAF)

35 Grams Potato Flour

14 Grams  Hickory Smoked Seas Salt or Table Salt

264 Grams Water, 90 degrees F.

12 Grams Cherry Balsamic Vinegar (Feel free to substitute any Balsamic you have or just add more water)


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.  (I actually only let it sit for 1 hour which was long enough).

Add the water and flours into your mixing bowl and mix for 2 minutes on low.  The dough should come together in a shaggy mess and should be relatively moist at this point.  Let it rest (autolyse) for 25 minutes and then add the salt, balsamic vinegar and the soaker and mix for 4 minutes more on medium low-speed.  If necessary you can add some additional water or flour but be careful not to make the dough too dry.  It should be relatively sticky but not soupy.

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.

To make the circle bread I formed half the dough into a cylinder and formed it into a circle.  I placed a small glass bowl in the middle wrapped in plastic wrap that I sprayed with cooking spray to prevent it from sticking to the dough.  I placed the dough into a large banneton and let it rest per below.

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!

hansjoakim's picture

Extremities: Head, ear and trotter

There are a few cookbooks that I have on my shelf that I find myself coming back to time and time again. The last few days, I've enjoyed browsing and re-reading sections in three such books, namely Jane Grigson's classic «Charcuterie and French pork cookery» and Fergus Henderson's more recent cult classics «Nose to tail eating» and «Beyond nose to tail».

These books have a few things in common: They're mostly, and in Grigson's case exclusively, dealing with pork. And I love pork. Every thing about it. Apart from a common love of pork, they also have that in common that their recipes are rather vague, oftentimes omitting measures and timings altogether. In a day where most recipes are measured with exactness down to the gram and braising times are given in minutes (rather than the more sensible «cook until the meat tender»), this feels extremely refreshing. They both use simple and cheap ingredients and cuts of meat, but manage to take an otherwise bland cut to another level by a deep respect for even the humblest of ingredients on hand.

Finally, both Grigson and Henderson convey a wonderful British sense of humour in their books. Henderson, for instance, compares shelled walnuts rolled up in salted fatback with «eating grown-up peanut butter». In his recipe for «duck legs and carrots», Henderson instructs to «press the duck's legs into the carrot bed, skin side upwards, season the dish and pour chicken stock over until the duck's legs are showing like alligators in a swamp». In her book, Grigson often paints a slightly negative picture of the food and ingredients available in her native England compared to the wonderful abundance found in France. I'm sure things have improved in England since she wrote her original text back in 1966, but it's her vivid and delightful descriptions of French preparations that gets me every time. Her book shares many similarities to those of Elizabeth David, I think, and her style probably owes quite a bit to that of David. In her description of Pieds de Porc à la Sainte-Ménéhould, pig trotters prepared in the Sainte-Ménéhould manner, Grigson writes «spiced with quatre-épices and rolled, like pieds panés, in breadcrumbs, they have been cooked for so long – 48 hours – that they can be eaten bones and all. This gives three textures – crisp, gelatinous and the hard-soft biscuit of the edible bones. ... One charcutière told me that it's the addition of a certain vegetable or herb that causes the bones to soften, as well as the prolonged slow cooking. Local sceptics tartly hint at 'produits chimiques'

In this day and age, I feel very lucky to live close to two first class butchers, that gladly take orders for more unusual cuts. Inspired by the two cookbook authors, I placed an order for a pig's head, some ears and a handful of trotters. The plan? Grigson's Fromage de Tête and Henderson's Trotter gear. The ears I were not sure of what to do with.

Both Henderson and Grigson advocate the use of a strong brine to pickle meat. Salting of most pork cuts greatly improves flavour, but a brine can be used for some limited storing of the meat as well. Time spent in the brine can vary from a day up to weeks – depending on the cut and dish that is to be prepared. Prior to collecting my order, I had cooked and cooled 12 liters of a classic English brine, after Henderson's proportions (150 gr salt and 100 gr sugar per 1 liter water – bring to a boil, then add a piece of tied muslin with peppercorns, juniper berries, cloves and herbs and leave to cool completely). In went the head, which was luckily divided in two equal halves, the ears and trotters. Below is the bucket used for the head and some trotters, the remaining bits and pieces went into a smaller bucket. It just fit into the fridge...

After pickling for 48 hours, I was all set to get things underway, heads and all.

It looks happy – I trust it had a happy and carefree time. I hauled out my largest casserole, and placed the two head halves and three trotters in it. Filled up with water, and brought slowly to a boil to flush skum and excess salt away from the meat.

Throw out the filty and salty water, clean the meat and the casserole, and put everything back along with plenty of stock vegetables and top up with water. Cook up again, and leave to simmer until the meat is tender, anything from 4 to 8 hours.

Now, while this is simmering away, I had ample opportunity to take care of the remaining trotters for the trotter gear.

The strategy is very similar – just get your court-bouillon going with whatever it is that needs to be cooked tender. These trotters were simmered in some of the duck stock from last weekend, so I guess this is the trotter gear royale version. I could in principle have cooked them in the pot for the Fromage de Tête, as there was room enough for it all in there, but I feared that too many trotters in there would bring about too much gelatine and cause the stock to become hard as rubber once cold; a nice Fromage de Tête is characterised by meat suspended in a firm, but giving, jelly. It should not be rubbery hard, but rather instantly melt on your tongue when you eat it. Thus, three trotters went into the pot with the head, and (I'm jumping a bit ahead here) this resulted in a perfectly set and giving jelly.

I threw a couple of ears in with the trotters for the trotter gear – the ears are done after roughly an hour, so they were fished out of the pot, flattened, sliced in two lengthwise, rolled in butter and lightly toasted breadcrumbs, pan-fried and enjoyed with a blue cheese salad with a lemon-walnut vinaigrette (i.e. a take on the Oreilles de Porc Grilées Sainte-Ménéhould - to further emphasise the poshness, the breadcrumbs were pain au levain breadcrumbs. Enough already).

I've had pig's ears on occasion before, and I'm usually more enthused about the contrasting textures in the ear than the flavour itself. The cartilage that runs down the center of each piece is a chewy contrast to the soft and giving flesh on either side. Oh, and pan-fried pig's ears is a perfect dish to make just before you're going to wash and scrub down your kitchen. It spatters and spits like you wouldn't believe, so that makes perfect sense.

By now, the trotters are just about finished, and ready for potting:

My fridge is now, as Henderson advises, no longer «without its jar of Trotter Gear». Just got to figure out what to do with the lipsticky goodness next...

It turned out to be a marathon day in the kitchen, but one that was hugely rewarding and rich in taste, smell and fatty pieces of pork (which I love). By now, the pot with the ingredients for my Fromage de Tête had simmered close to 5 hours, and the jaw loosened easily from the head itself. A sure sign of doneness according to Grigson. Using the sturdiest piece of kitchen utensils I own, I somehow managed to wrangle all the meat out of the scorching hot simmering liquid without making a mess or getting second-degree burns. *phew*

It's heavy! The whole head weighed in at roughly 8 kg, but both halves made it out of the pot okay. Now's when the real work starts: Tearing all the flesh from the skull while it's still hot (easier to do so then, compared to when it's cold), chopping it into fine dice, and adding a healthy glass of white wine to about a litre of the cooking liquor. This is reduced slightly to make sure it sets up properly once cold, and mixed with some lemon juice to help cut the fatty flavour of the meat. Most of the meat from the head comes from the two tasty pork cheeks, but there are also interesting bits from the snout – not all that dissimilar to the slightly spongy mouthfeel feel of a boiled tongue. Quite delicious. Season with some pepper and crushed cloves (or quatre-épices if you get it – in either case, go easy on it), and spoon into loaf pans lined with cling film:

Pour in enough of the reduced cooking liquor so that all the meat is covered, slam the loaf pans a few times against the kitchen table to make sure everything is well packed in, cover the surface and refrigerator overnight. I anxiously pulled the fromage from the fridge the next morning, carefully unmoulding it from the loaf pan... Would it collapse in a puddle or would it hold its shape and be sliceable?

Victory! This is my first attempt at this dish, so I'm not sure if it stacks up with the rest of them – I'm most uncertain about the dice; too fine? I was afraid that a larger dice would cause the fromage to collapse upon cutting, so I kept it on the small side. Size of dice apart, it is truly utterly delicious and one of the more rewarding dishes I've cooked up.

So, what to have with a cold slice of unctuous goodness that just melts on your tongue? Grigson recommends: "French mustard (to my mind essential with most pork dishes, particularly the smooth, gelatinous ones), hardboiled eggs, green salad dressed with 2 tablespoons of raw chopped mild onion and 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley as well as oil and vinegar and seasonings. Mashed potato is a standard accompaniment to charcuterie - slimmers might prefer thin toast, or wholemeal or rye bread." To be honest, I find the brawn plenty rich enough as is, so I didn't exactly jump on the idea of having this with a pommes purée. Mustard and rye it was for me, all the way.

A celebratory meal was prepared with the fresh brawn: Accompanied with a loaf of rye sourdough, French mustard and a nice brew. A simple meal I enjoyed almost as much as preparing it.

PS: The rye sourdough was a slight modification of Hamelman's 80% rye sourdough with a rye flour soaker – I simply omitted the yeast, added some boiled rye berries and increased the hydration to about 90%. The perfect vehicle for the brawn.