The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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inlovewbread's picture

Essential's Columbia

This bread is from Maggie Glezer's gem of a book: Artisan Baking. I have been wanting to make this bread for a while because it was named after the Columbia River. As a Washington State native, I had to make it. I'm glad I did as this bread has become my new personal favorite. 


Bread Flour 45%, All-Purpose Flour 45%, Whole Wheat Flour 8%, Whole Rye Flour 2%, Toasted Wheat Germ 3%, Barley malt syrup 3%, Water 67%, Levain 41%*, Salt 2%* (*Glezer's formula specifies 41% but by my calculations it was more like 46%. I used 30g 50% hydration firm white starter to innoculate 150g bread flour at 63% hydration (63g water). *I decreased the salt from 2.4% to 2% overall.

I made a small change to the original recipe in method. Instead of mixing for 10 minutes (!) which I thought was a bit much, I mixed to shaggy mass then let rest (autolyse) for about 50 (instead of 20) minutes before adding the salt and levain. I then did two stretch and folds for the first two 45-minute intervals of the 5 hour bulk ferment. The dough was then divided, shaped and proofed for 4 more hours. I also changed the baking from what was recommended in the book. I baked at 500 degrees F for the first 5 minutes with steam, then turned the oven down to 460F, then 425F for the last 10 minutes, for a total of 34 minutes baking time.

This is the best ear/ bloom that I have ever gotten on a loaf. It was really fun to watch it open up in the oven. 

We like the toasted wheat germ that was added to this bread. It adds a lot of nuttiness and depth of flavor along with a small amount of rye and white whole wheat. Some others on TFL have tried it with spelt with good results. I might try that. The picture above shows one that I slashed twice, and the other tried to follow the "grapevine pattern" instructions described in the book. THere is only one small off-to-the-side picture of the actual bread, so I wasn't quite sure what Glezer meant. My attempt wasn't pretty- too many scores. The below picture is of some sort of shape I made-up today to avoid a disaster. I tried shaping these batards differently than I usually do (actually, I tried GR's technique shown here) and the batard ended up too long for my baking stone. (Not to discount this shaping method, just my learning curve error to blame) So I made a coronne/ ciabatta shape to fit. Worked pretty well, and I kind of like the look :-)

Wonderful flavor and texture, I love this bread.

Fly's picture

Yet another vital wheat gluten question!

How does adding it affect hydration?  I know it goes in small amounts but given that it's virtually straigh protein (the one I looked at said 80%-90% pure protein) I can see it affecting dough consistency more than the small addition would seem. 


I'm looking at it b/c I'm still having difficulty getting my 50% WW bread to spring well in the oven and hold it.

cajun_1's picture


Just started my starter from this fine website. The instructions say "cover" for 24 hours.  Mine is in a glass jar. Should the lid be loose or tight? Maybe a cloth or something other than the lid?  Any help is truly appreciated.


jsk's picture

Replacing wheat bran in Struan bread.

I want to bake tomorrow the PR's Struan bread and make the pre-doughs today.

The soker calls for wheat bran wich I don't have in the moment. What other grain/flour can be a good subtitue for it?

Thanks a lot!

RiverWalker's picture

Whole Wheat cookies? (Melon Bread)

My fiancee and I are anime fans and a while back I felt adventurous and tried making Melon bread, based on a recipe I believe I found on this site.  (for those who don't know, Melon Bread is basically a bun type thing, that has a sweet bread, with a sugar cookie sort of crust laid over it.)

it came out pretty well,  definitely able to see the reason its popular in japan.

but health-wise, they aren't so hot.  by weight watchers points, they werel like, 4-6 points each or something like that.

so I thought of trying to make a version thats healthier.   now for the bread-portion, I am fine, I have been experimenting with substituting WW flour for regular and such.

but for the cookie portion...  it seems a bit trickier.  (I mean, how often do people make COOKIES with whole wheat flour?)

I tried doing two main things with my first attempt at making healthy melon bread, I substituted part of the sugar, with Splenda, and used 100% whole wheat flour.   while it did not end up BADLY, I was profoundly unimpressed with the cookie crust.   while it did seem to prevent the bread from crusting up early(quite well, in fact, the bread portion was wonderfully soft and fluffy) and never got remotely crispy, in fact it was hardly distinguishable from the bread portion.

the regular flour cookie portion of the recipe I am using is:

1c Flour (with the straight recipe, I mixed AP and cake flour, though I'm not sure the distinction mattered that much)
1/2 tsp baking powder
3Tbsp Butter
4Tbsp Sugar
1 egg

(sugar/buter creamed, mixed with egg,  then the baking powder/flour mixture mixed in.  portioned and refrigrated, then rolled out and put on top of the mostly proofed buns)

is it possible to do something like this with whole wheat flour and it work better than I experienced? larger volume overall? more baking powder?  would using only half WW flour improve it greatly or would the WW flour weigh it down too much even then?

I'm not averse to experimenting if thats what it takes, but if I can get a direction thats more likely to work, that would be appriciated.

also, how does Splenda interact with bread baking or cookies like this?

Feelin Crumby's picture
Feelin Crumby

Quarry Tiles ("Baking Stones")

I recently bought unglazed quarry tiles (floor tiles) to line my oven with for "hearth" baked breads. Does anyone know if there is any preparation that needs to be done to the tiles before use, other than washing?

Thanks, Jim

turosdolci's picture

Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Maple Cream

A carrot cake with an Italian twist, this is a light moist cake that is an old recipe of my family. Sorry folks I forgot to add the bolg address.

Jahosacat's picture

starter from yeast or not?

I'm ready to start my first starter and I'd like to try making one myself instead of buying one. I've looked at recipes for starters and see some that have yeast and some that don't. I'm curious about others opinions and/or experiences with making starters that include yeast and ones that don't include yeast.



moxiemolly's picture

Day 35, Floyd's Blueberry Braids, WOW!

Wow, I made Floyd's blueberry and cream cheese braids today (started them yesterday) and they are AMAZING! I did one by the book and made the other with a smear of the cream cheese filling sprinkled with chocolate chips, YUMMY! In case you haven't come across his post here is a link:

I highly recommend trying it. One note, my oven cooks a little fast because it has a convection option so this bread only needed about 25 minutes. Here are some pictures of the process:

The braids before going into the oven, the large one is blueberry:


The braids right out of the oven, it was really hard to wait 30 mins before cutting:


A close up of the delight:



A slice of blueberry heaven:


And a shot of chocolate loveliness:



Thanks Floyd!

trenz's picture

Italian Baking Secrets / The Italian Baker

Hi, I am new to baking and have been reading this site while deciding which couple of books to buy.( awesome site by the way ) I have read the threads  about recommendations and have a question. I can not find The Italian Baker in the bookstore and my librarys copy is lost. I wanted to take a look before purchasing and came across a book called Italian Baking Secrets by Father Giuseppe Orsini. This one I can get at my library. Here are quotes from two of the amazon reviews

This book appears to be very closely related to 'The Italian Baker' copyright 1985 by Carol Field. In fact this may essentially be a "new edition" of that quarter century old book(?) The overall length is reduced, apparently by omitting some of the most obscure material and replacing or substantially rewriting chunks of the rest. Yet the similarities are huge. At least pages 18-55 are reprinted word for word (in the process changing the anecdotal "I" from a she to a he). And the table of contents is almost the same. I wish I knew more about the relationship between the two books and between the two authors so I could better compare the highs and lows.

I guess I didn't need this book because I already own Carol Fields' 1985 "The Italian Baker." I don't know if the joke's on me, but huge portions of this book (including the personal anecdotes) are copied verbatim from that volume. What the heck? To be fair, the recipes are excellent, especially the regional and rustic breads - I'm just not sure this guy should get the credit.

Does anyone know anything about this book? Is it even worth checking out of the library or is it no good?