The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Mrs262's picture

Hello from Ohio!!

Hello, everyone! My name is Angie and I'm from central Ohio. I am currently the head baker and assistant manager at a bakery/deli. I've been there for almost 5 years now. My biggest responsibility is bagel production. Our bagels are the best sellers!!

Anyway, I joined this site to learn all I can about breads and to meet other bakers! My bread skills are lacking (we do 5 types of bread and that is IT) and I'd really like to expand my abilities!

Nice to "meet" you all and thanks for reading my post!! :)

bshuval's picture

My "dream book" on rye bread

I love making bread. I also love learning about breads. There are many books on French-style, Italian-style, and American-style breads. In fact, the theory of making wheat-based breads can be found in many baking books. I have yet to see, though, a book dedicated to making rye breads. Most of my books (and I have many) have a couple of recipes, sometimes even a chapter, on rye breads. But that is it. The advice in the various recipes varies wildly: Glezer instructs that a very long knead is required, whereas Whitley claims that kneading rye breads is futile. 

I don't think that any one author is "wrong"; I believe that there are many styles of rye bread making (Russian-style, German-style, Scandinavian-style, American-style, French-style, and in each family there are many different breads). What I would like to see is a book dedicated to rye breads. This book will contain various recipes from the different families of rye breads. It should also go into the special techniques required for rye bread making. 

What had prompted this for me was a recent trip down the bread aisle of the supermarket. I don't usually visit the bread aisle -- after all, I don't buy bread -- but I was curious to see what they had. Usually, when I see the endless lists of ingredients in commercial breads ("pillows" is a more fitting term for these breads), I am all the more glad that I bake my own bread (although the main reason I bake my own bread is because it is fun). Anyhow, I visited the bread aisle. I notice a huge array of Russian ryes. There were maybe 15 different breads, from 2 different bakeries. The lists of ingredients were surprisingly short; save for malt, I had all the other ingredients on hand. I was almost tempted to buy a loaf! These breads looked divine. 

This got me thinking that I would like recipes for these. The only places I found Russian ryes was Whitley's book and Linda Collister's "Country Bread" (where Whitley's recipe appears as well). But there are so many more. I am sure there are other styles of Russian ryes. I opened some other books. Jan Hedh, for instance, advocates adding some gelatinized rye. I haven't tried that yet. Other books bring further methods.

The bottom line is that I am fascinated with rye bread, but I am missing a book that is all about rye breads. Perhaps someone can make it happen! 

sam's picture

Soft butter rolls + cinnamon-sugar mini bread


I tried out this recipe for soft butter rolls, and a mini cinnamon-sugar bread.   It came out pretty well.  I had to use baker's yeast in addition to my sourdough leaven, and I am happy with the result.   I used the same dough for both the rolls and the cinnamon bread.   I was seeking a light and feathery texture, and this did not disappoint.   It is extremely soft and shreds very easily.

Here's the recipe and pictures.

Total Dough Weight: 950Total Dough Hydration: 50%Total Dough Flour Weight: 633Total Dough Water Weight: 317Percentages/Hydrations:Leaven Percentage: 20%Leaven Hydration: 125%Starter Percentage: 10% of leavenSoaker Percentage: 30%Soaker Hydration: 80%Soaker Salt Percentage: 1.0%Mash Percentage: 30% of soakerMash Hydration: 200%Final Salt Percentage: 2.0%Butter Percentage: 10.0%Egg Percentage: 10.0%Dry Milk Percentage: 10.0%Honey Percentage: 5.0%Bakers Yeast Percentage: 2.0%Leaven:AP Flour Weight: 121Water Weight: 152 Starter Weight (125% starter): 13  (starter flour=6, starter water=7)Mash:Flour Weight: 57 (Rye=28, Whole-Wheat=29)Water Weight: 114Diatastic Malt Powder: 0.5Soaker:All of MashAP Flour Weight: 133Water Weight: 38Salt Weight: 2Final Dough:All of LeavenAll of Soaker/MashAP Flour: 316Water: 6Salt: 11Butter: 63Egg: 63Dry Milk: 63Honey: 32Yeast: 12

Began with the rye+whole-wheat mash.  Cooked for 4 hrs between 155-165F.


Final dough balls fully risen, appx 3 hrs of rise-time.   I brushed them with butter before and after baking.

After baking:

Crumb is tender and soft:
Here's the cinnamon-sugar bread:

Cheers, and happy baking!
Rose Lucia's picture
Rose Lucia

How do you get the texture of commercial white bread, which is light and kind of sponge including the flavor of them?

Don't throw rolling pins at me for asking how to, of all things get the light, airy, spongy texture and the flavor of the standard loaf of commercial white bread, like Wonder bread?!   I grew up only eating that kind of bread, which has been many years ago and I know it sounds crazy, but I really like the flavor and the texture. (Of course, the Italian bakeries around town were and are amazing, but we were not close enough to them and it was only a treat once in a while.)

toneweaver's picture

Spelt Sourdough (after Eric Rusch's formula)

I recently found Eric Rusch's Spelt Sourdough at his site, and gave it a try ( I loved this recipe, and since my wife prefers spelt over wheat, I decided to try tweaking it for our everyday sandwich loaf. I've been around on it a few times and think I've come up with something pretty good as an adaptation of Eric's wonderful hearth loaf formula:

For each loaf:
Dry ingredients
530 g spelt flour 100%
10 g salt 1.9%
1 T. Vital Wheat Gluten (this could be omitted for people with wheat gluten problems, but I find it helps the rise)
1-2 T each sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds

Wet ingredients
350 g water 66%
3T (64 g) honey or molasses, or a mix 12%
1/4 c. starter (I have a spelt starter @100% hydration)
(I sometimes augment this with a pinch or two of commercial yeast)

I mix this in two-loaf batches, let the mixed dough rest for an hour, then do 4 stretch-and-folds before putting the dough in the refrigerator for the night. In the morning I degas the dough a bit (to get fewer big holes) as I form the loaves, place them in 4.5 x 8.5 inch loaf pans, cover and let rise until they're 1.5 times their original size (this can take as long as six hours on some days). I score the loaves lengthwise (which you can see in the picture), then bake 1 hr. at 375° F to an internal temperature of 200°.  My family loves the flavor and texture of this bread, and with the seeds it's a little homage to Dave's Killer Bread, which is made here in Portland, Oregon. :-)

As you can see from my photographer daughter's picture, we couldn't quite wait the full hour before cutting into this loaf, but it should give you an idea of the crumb.














Thanks, Eric, for this terrific bread recipe!

Toneweaver (Brent)

lumos's picture

VII - Our Current Favourite : Are We There Yet? .....Almost!....maybe....


The original formula of this bread was based, at first, on Pain de Lodeve, a French levain bread which became very popular in Japan some years ago among both professional bakers and amateur home bakers; so popular someone even held an one-day “Pain de Lodeve Appreciation Society” to which fans of this bread flocked to a famous bakery to admire the bread, watching pros baking loaves of it and devouring them together afterwards. (Have you ever heard of Japanese tendency for extremism?)  It is…or the Japanese interpretation of this bread is made with levain and mostly white flour with, often, small amount of rye flour and has very high hydration of at least 80-85%, occasionally even more. And because of this hydration, the crumb is very moist with lots of large holes……


Above two pictures are Pain de Lodeve a la Japone, made by the most reputed baker of this bread in Japan.…..which could be a bit different from its original version in the mother country…..

 The origin of Pain de Lodeve and how it looks like….in France

Google translation of the text : "In honor of St. Fulcran, Bishop of Lodève that this bread was created.
It was first called bread bench because he had been forgotten at the bottom of a bench!
is a bread Rustic enriched sourdough bread for a very convoluted. Note: the bench is a kind of rye straw basket used to set the bread in shape. benchtop Bread is a bread with white flour sourdough. The dough rises slowly mass in the ancient vaults in large baskets, called benches, hence its name. before cooking is cut with a large blade pieces of the dough in the mass, they are shaped to floured hands and put in the oven. The bread is a bread bench much honeycomb sandwich to creamy and crunchy crust. Lodève The bakers have developed a strong reputation for the manufacture of bread. It is said that this bread is special LODEVE due to water entering its composition."  (It’s not my fault this text is weird! Blame Google!! :p)


….oh well…..


Anyhoo…..I found a recipe for this bread in a book I bought a few years ago, baked it and quite like it. But I wanted to make an ‘alternative Lodeve,’ too, with more ‘normal’ hydration, so that 1) I could proof it in a bannetton (which is IMPOSSIBLE with that wet dough), 2) the crumb would be not as moist. So I’ve been tweaking the formula here and there and reached to this present formula quite recently.


As I mentioned in my earlier blog,  I’ve been trying to re-create a beautiful Pain de Campagne we had in Dijon many years ago on holiday. Interesting thing is, this multitude of tweaking on Pain de Lodeve formula over the years unexpectedly led me to a formula which produced rather acceptable imitation of Pain de Campagne of Dijon. It’s not completely there yet, but quite close….


Pain de .... “Suburb of Dijon” (=almost there!)


S/D 125g (75% hydration)  - Fed with 50% WW and 50% Strong flour

Strong flour  200g

Plain flour  60g

Rye flour  30g

Spelt flour  10g

Wheatgerm  1 1/2tbs

Water (filtered or bottled) 220~230g .....or 240-250g, if you dare.

Instant dry yeast (optional)  0.2g  optional (Note- Nov. 2012: Been making this without added yeast for a while now since my sourdough starter is much stronger and more realiable than when this entry was original posted. )

Good quality sea salt  6g



  1. Feed the starter twice during 8-10hr period before you use it. (total flour for feeding = WW 36g + White Strong 36g = 72g, water 54g. I usually use 22g mixed WW+White flour and 17g water for the first feed and the rest for the second feed.)
  2.  When S/D is peaked, mix it with the water in a small bowl and stir to loosen a little.
  3. In a large bowl, mix all the flours and wheatgerm, add S/D+water. Mix to a shaggy mess and autolyse for 40 minutes.
  4. After autolyse, sprinkle dry yeast, if using, and S & F in the bowl for 8-10 strokes, turning the bowl. Rest for 40-45 minutes.
  5. Repeat two more S & F at 40-45 minutes interval.
  6. Cover the bowl and cold retard for 12-16 hrs in the fridge.
  7. When you see a few large bubbles on the surface of the dough, take the dough out of the fridge and leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  8. Pre-shape → rest for 15-20 minutes → shape, and proof in a banetton for 3-4 hrs.
  9. Pre-heat the oven @ 240C with a lidded casserole/pyrex/cast iron pan in it.
  10. Check the dough with finger-poke test, and when it’s realdy, turn it out on a piece of baking parchment and score.
  11. Place the dough in the heated casserole, load it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes with the lid on.
  12. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and lower the temperature to 200-210C (or 220C, if you want bold-bake….like me at the moment)
  13. Bake for 20-25 minutes.




best wishes,



Rose Lucia's picture
Rose Lucia

Questions about how to make yeast rolls tall.

I am looking for recipes for making yeast rolls tall.  Do I have to use more yeast?  Would really appreciate any suggestions.  Thank, Rose Lucia

cor's picture

Do Bakers usually get breaks? At all?

Hi all,


Just started working in a small professional bakery after a long stint in a grocery store bakery.  Question is, do bakers expect to get breaks in their profession?  Or is it the rule that you work long, exhausting days without more than a bathroom break?


I've been working 9 to 10 hour days with no breaks.  My old job I got a 15, then a 30, then a 15.  Not trying to complain, just seeing if I'm choosing the wrong occupation.  Any comments such as "pick a new career" are just fine!  I don't mind baking bread on the side.

freerk's picture

sautumner frangipani; diverting all power to the pies

Even though summer just doesn't seem to happen this year in these parts of the world, there are some wonderful summer fruits to be enjoyed.

Being under a strict bread baking embargo right now due to an overfull freezer, it seemed best to take advantage of the local produce (and fix my weekend baking crave in one go).

Here they are: 1x full fledged "summer of your dreams" in the shape of an almond lemon torte with fresh strawberries;

And (yesterday), the dessert that's more in touch with the slightly worrying autumnal meteorological reality over here:

Almond frangipani with apples and lemon in a pain d'epices caramel sauce. The sauce, made with apple juice, brown sugar and Monin's "Pain d'Epices"-syrup, tweaked with a hint of ginger and chilipowder, was especially tasty.

It tasted pretty much like the summer of 2011: spiking bright yellow with sunny lemon and juicy almond meal, fading away to brown via the ginger and the pain d'epices, to come full circle in acidity in the apples.

Not summer anymore, but no fall yet. I call it sautumner frangipani!


P.S. You would do me a big favor endorsing my BreadLab iniative. Every "like" will get me closer to realizing a 6 episode documentary/road movie; chasing the best bread Europe has to offer. Thanks in advance!

HokeyPokey's picture

WholeWheat and Chocolate Cherry

Posted a little bit later than intended, but its out there now, my mid-week bake, another attempt at a Honey WholeWheat and a Chocolate Sour Cherry loaves.

I am trying to achieve that lovely soft wholewheat texture you find in American breads – think gourmet WholeFoods and delis type, not the horrible Subway kind that squashes in your hand.


I am quite please with that I got at the end, probably a bit more room to play with the recipe – it didn’t spring in the oven as much as I hoped, but the flavour is very close to what I have in mind.


The other one, Chocolate Sour one was a spur of the moment thing, really. I am not really into chocolate breads, especially not the ones that use cocoa powder, I find them too sweet and not chocolaty enough. I found some lovely Valrhona chocolate in my sweets box and some dried sour cherries in the pantry – why not? Sounds like they go together, lets give it a go.


I do like the chocolate in it, especially after you’ve toasted it and the chocolate goes all soft and melty. Could do with more sour cherries, as the cherry flavour isn’t particularly strong, I just didn’t have any more at hand.


I will be trying both of these recipes again, that’s for sure


Full recipes and more photos on my blog