The Fresh Loaf

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patman23's picture

Feedback On My Recipe Please....

Hello everyone,

Ive worked out the bugs of my Whole Wheat bread recipe.  This is just a simple sandwich loaf bread.  Nothing too fancy...

I have included my recipe for your review.  If you see anything that needs to be changed or any have any suggestion please feel free to let me know.  Blessings,,,,


Bread Recipe



4-6 cups of WW flour

1 tsp of yeast

Enough water to make a loose dough



Combine all ingredients and cover in a glass or SS bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to sit on counter for at least 16 hours up to 24.  If it’s going to be longer then place the soaker in your fridge until you are ready to make the bread.



6-8 cups of WW flour

3-4 cups of King Author White Bread four

1 tbsp yeast

Enough whole milk to make a stiff dough



Mix for 10 min on a low speed

Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge until you are ready to make the bread.  At least 16 hours but it can go as long as a week in your fridge and still be great.



The Dough:

Place both bowl on your counter until they both come up to room temp.  About 8 hours.

Cut the Bigga into small cubes and places back into your mixing bowl.  

3 tsp salt

2/3 cup honey

1 ½ stick of real butter softened (do not use margarine)

Add the Soaker and mix on low for about 10 min.  Add white flour if needed to make a very tacky but not a sticky dough.  You may need to add more water to get the consistency you are looking for.

Prep a bowl with cooking spray and let rise until doubled. Covered by plastic wrap.

Punch down and weigh out 800g loaves, should make 4 or 5 dough balls.

Prep your loaf pans with cooking spray.

Allow your dough balls to rest for 20 min on the counter, covered with a damp towel.

Shape your loaves and place in prepped loaf pans.

Spray the top of each loaf with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise until doubled. 

Meanwhile preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  Once the dough has doubled brush the tops with milk and place in the oven.  Immediately lower the oven to 350. 

Bake for about 45 min or until the internal temp reaches 200.

Cool on a rack

Brush tops with melted butter.

Once they are cool, place them in bread bags.  Should last about 5 days on your counter.



katiecooks815's picture

Bread dough rising?


I have a question regarding dough rising ... 


I am making a bread dough recipe. After the initial 1 1/2 hour rise after mixing, the recipe has me shaping the dough into balls and letting the balls rise for 15-30 minutes. After that, I shape the dough balls into loaves. 

It works just fine but I am curious about the science behind it - why do you need to shape the dough into balls first? Couldn't you shape them right away into loaves, pretzels etc.?

crystally's picture

Advice please? Refrigerating shaped dough

Im an amateur baker and made a batch of sweet dough last night. Left it to proof from 7pm - 1am (too tired to deal with the dough). I punched it down and left it in the fridge overnight.

Took it out to shape at 6am this morning. I baked the first batch of shaped dough in the oven and it turned out good :) but i left the other SHAPED dough (covered with a damp paper towel in a container) in the fridge till i get back tonight to bake them. 

just wondering if it will turn too sour or deflate by the time i get home to bake. Any thoughts?

deschnell's picture

First post, not first Sourdough

Hi, and thanks to all posters I've been spying on in the last year as I practice making my sourdough!

I'm a home hobbyist... playing for fun and flavor. I haven't followed a recipe for over 6 months - I find more creative adventure by guessing, learning how the dough feels, watching it rise properly (or not), watching it burn (in the BBQ), etc. etc.

Here are some photos of my last batch... The dough was fairly dry compared to most of my experiments in the last 6 months - I couldn't give you a percentage... I didn't really measure anything :) - I know there was just over 500ml of water, and that my starter is roughly 100%.

I used roughly a cup of cold starter (from fridge), 520ish mls of warm/almost hot tap water, and enough white flour to make my dough. *edit - oh yeah, there is also a big glob of honey, maybe 2-3 tbsp, and a dollop of soft butter (which melted in easy due to hot water). I let it rest for ~30 min, then added 20g of salt which I had moistened and added to some flour to make a paste, then spread and kneaded it in. All mixing was done in a plastic bowl with a metal spoon, then with hands.

I let it proof in the covered bowl for about 3 hours, then worked it down, divided, and placed into pans where they rose another ~4hours inside my oven (off) with a bowl of hot water under the light, with light on for first hour. I had them too close together, and they decided to join together... I had to gently cut them apart, pull them out, let oven heat to 460F, insert pans, throw in about a cup of water for steam, and set the crust for 10 min. Then turned down to 350 for another 25 mins, turned oven off, let some heat out, and let them sit in the oven for another ~6-10 minutes.

How's that for a recipe?? it was fun, bread tastes great, perfect crumb for sandwiches and toast. Love it! Only thing missing, which I was hoping for, was a little more oven spring.


sourdough rising


latanante's picture


I have a question and this forum is the perfect place to ask !!!

Sometimes when i make sourdough i put some fresh basil and garlic in my dough... and it is just fantastic... what would people think if i put roasted garlic instead of fresh... Would it ruin the bread.. I am afraid to try it and taste not so good.....

I would love some input :)


Thank you !!



golgi70's picture



So it started with Miller's Bakehouse, Chico Farmers's market found us another bakery, Bouchon Bakery is always worth a visit.  Then we swung over to Wild Flour bread for more loaves. 

So the two rows on the left are all Wild Flour Bread

top left (2 loaves) Dragon:  jalapeno, garlic, and cornmeal

down one:  Olive:  kalamata olives, zaatar, nigella seed

front:  100 % Rye:  caraway, sunflower seed

Second Row from left:

top:  "Wildflour"  Signature wheat loaf (baker's suggestion and mentioned Spelt)

down 1:  Super Seed (multi grain with seeds)

down 1  Wonder - all white sourdough

front:  Occidental - nuts, raisins, cardamom seed

Four loaves top right all from Miller Bake House:

top left - Sesame Loaf - 50% wheat (i think) sesame seeds

bottom left :  chico nut bread (100% wheat, walnuts, almonds)

top right:  Mission Loaf (fig and fennel)

bottom right : Spelt (100 % spelt loaf)

The front right two loaves: 

Large is from Bouchon and I forget the name but he seemed usnure if it was a sourdough.  Multigrain none the less.  Also had a sweet baguette which was good but nothing to right home about.  On the hand some of the pastries were amazing.  The gourmet HoHo, the bouchon brownie, salted carmel macaroon, and the two sandwiches just great.  They make a brioche that they finish like a pretzel which looks awesome but has no shelf life and was very dry, pain au rasin was better last time.  The lines were crazy and we had to do it twice.  Great service.  Expensive as I was already aware.  Not to knock this bakery as it is worth a visit and has some great stuff.  It is proof that too large of production diminishes quality.  

And finally front right.  Hearth and Stone from Cohasset, Ca (found em at the Chico farmers market)  

Russian Black : Pretty standard ingredient list like a Russian Rye but done with natural levain.  

I'm gonna do some slicing, take some photos of each, and then taste and I'll show em all individually. 

Happy Baking/Eating


kathyon's picture

Ed Woods starter and Tartine bread recipe

Hi,  I'm using Ed Wood's Ischia Italian starter and getting great rising and flavor out of it.  However,  I just tried using it to make the Country bread recipe in Michael Pollan's book which is a modification of the Tartine basic bread recipe.  I apparently used way too much of my Ed Wood starter as I was thinking it really was similar to the leaven that the Tartine recipe calls for.  Used 1 1/2 cups or maybe 250g of my starter.  Cooked it in regular bread pans,  and it way overflowed the pans.  Maybe just too much success but I'm confused on how the Tartine and the Ed Wood "starter" and "leaven" compare.  


Any help would be appreciated,



Norma's picture

Sourdough or nothing

        I am returning to baking and basics because of health issues. In doing research on the internet as to why I am malnourished when I have access so much I have found that our foods are compromised by irradiation, toxins, Genetic modification and at this point I realize I have just touched the tip of the ice berg. Before yeast we only had sourdough bread cultures, the live culture withstood crossing this continent in wagon trains and just like the hearty people it survived and flourished. What a wonderful heritage we have. When they introduced the instant or quick yeasts developed in laboratories they were able to cut one shift in the bakeries but they did not tell us that when this quick yeast reacted on the starches in the wheat flour it changed it to the exact energy of cancer, and when it reacted to the gluten the end result is that it destroys the villi and causes malabsorbtion of nutrients in the bowel resulting in malnutrition and a myriad of chronic diseases  such as diabetes, auto immune illnesses, cancer and many more. This is not all they did to our bread they substituted bromine for iodine in the bread and the bread flours. The bromine which blocks the absorption of iodine causes thyroid diseases and cancer. ,

    I just love baking and I hope .the members here will help me make  bread and other wheat flour produces that will help me return to good health. Understanding that sourdough products slows the absorption of the whole  meal alleviating some of the stress on the pancreas reducing the fluctuation of the blood sugars for up to six hours, plus it reduces the Glycemic Index of white bread from 100 to 64  what a boast. I have several family members with diabetes and wish to help them as well as not end up there myself. I live in Canada in a rural setting with some acreage, I have a very large organic garden which I share with several family members. I am recuperating from an auto immune disease that almost destroyed both my kidneys and liver.  There is hope thanks to good friends  family and our Creator.  I am looking forward to many more years and wish to thank those who will help in advance.   

 May all our creations bring joy

ananda's picture

Alnwick Farmers’ Market Friday 30th August 2013

Alnwick Farmers’ Market

Friday 30th August 2013


I have really enjoyed reading other TFL regulars posting about their baking adventures in relation to their local farmers’ markets.   I attended my own local market on Friday of last week and thought I’d do a short blog post with some photographs of the products I offer for sale.   I’ve posted formulae for most of these more than once before, but it may be instructive for me to give more description for each of them here, as they are currently made.

Here are some photographs taken at the market to give a flavour of the Bread and Roses' range:



DSCF5577DSCF5573_price listDSCF5576


All these breads are now made using only natural leavens.

The Moscow Rye is unchanged; 100% rye sourdough, 3-stage process.   It is an 18 hour first fermentation, followed by the addition of a scald to the sour to create a sponge.   4 hours more fermentation before making the final paste.  1-2 hour bulk and 1-2 hour final proof, then bake.   They go into the wood-fired oven at whatever temperature the oven is at; with lids on the pans.   A hot oven sees an 800g loaf bake in just over an hour.   But I have baked them for a LOT longer on the dead oven.

The Gilchesters’ Miche is unchanged too, but I find a 2 hour autolyse combined with a stiff levain gives the best results for a dough with 73% hydration using very weak locally grown organic and high extraction flour.

Seeded Sourdough has a long history, as we baked a Special Seed Bread at the Red Herring many years ago using Pumpkin, Sesame and Sunflower Seeds.   The soaker of Golden Linseed is from Jeffrey Hamelman.   The stiff white levain is my own, as is the choice of 50:50 white flour to wholemeal.   Similarly with the Five Grain Levain which is very much based on the Hamelman formula, but using my stiff levain.

The Spelt bread is still a work in progress.   I like that it allows me to use more local flour from Gilchesters.   I like that there is interest in this ancient grain.   My formula uses stiff levain of strong organic white flour at 30% pre-fermented flour, 60% hydration, with wholemeal organic spelt making up the remaining 70% of the flour.   I don’t like: it’s bitter!!   I use a raisin purée to try to offset the bitterness [with mere occasional success].   The crumb is tight and the dough dries out too quickly; an increase to 71% overall hydration has helped a little…but results in even less dough tolerance, as the fermentation always races like a train.   I definitely do not like the cost either!   Ok, it’s “a pig” to mill, and the yield is a mere two thirds of what you can expect from wheat; but how do I justify £23 for 15 kg as against £12 for 15kg of the lovely Farmhouse flour?   I should explain that the regular wheat used by Gilchesters is a single variety “rare breed” Sativa wheat, organically grown, sourced specially from Germany on account of no fancy biologist arsing about with its genetic make-up over the last umpteen years and more.   Try as I might I often fail to convince those who worship as the alter of Spelt that the Farmhouse flour offers equal provenance, is just as safe a dietary bet for those with issues, and, actually tastes a lot better.   So I’m stuck trying to make a better spelt loaf.   This one is not bad, but you can see I’m not raving about it; and that is not good enough.   I want to love all the bread I offer for sale.

Moving on; the white bread.   I’ve changed tack here; this is a more ordinary white bread.   I like it much better too.   Nigel makes a much better white loaf than I have ever achieved using the Gilchesters’ Ciabatta flour and a liquid leaven.   A lot of this is to do with his oven, I believe.   Anyway I was really happy with the 800g offerings I came up with this time.   In summary, I now use only the Marriage’s Organic Strong White flour.   I use stiff levain, 60% hydration, with 25% pre-fermented flour.   I autolyse the remaining 75% of the flour for 1-2 hours.   The overall formula gives 68% hydration.   Nigel uses an overnight fermentation for his white dough.   That doesn’t work for me.   2 – 3 hours of bulk fermentation with a couple of folds, followed by 1.5 – 2 hours final ferment gives me the best results.   Of course, the real difference is in the leaven preparation, and I remain in favour of well-fed stiff dough rather than liquid levain.   Feedback from colleagues is favourable and positive.   This is good, as I find it very hard to get REALLY enthusiastic about any white bread.

The Toasted Brazil Nut and Prune Breads are now made with levain only.   Originally, I used an overnight Biga.   I make these as 400g loaves, in order to make them a commercial proposition.   And, they are really popular at the Alnwick Market; I sold a dozen of them, even at £2.80 each.   Why do nuts have to cost £10/kg here in the UK these days???

The laminated paste does use baker’s yeast, as a “straight” dough.   I use an overnight cold fermentation.   Once the butter is incorporated, I give four half turns to laminate the dough.   Typically, this would involve 2 half turns, one hour rest, 2 more half turns, then a further one hour rest.   I used 1kg of flour in the formula, and 420g butter.   Yield gave me 15 Croissants, 10 Pain Amandes and 10 Pain au Chocolats.

Autumn at Bread and Roses looks busy; very busy indeed.

Happy Baking to you all