The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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hanseata's picture

Swedish Limpa Rye

One of the breads I bake regularly for sale is the Swedish Limpa Rye from Peter Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads". The word "Limpa" sounds intriguing - but it simply means "round" in Swedish - I asked my Finnish friend Melita. Therefore, of course, my Swedish rye breads are always round.

I made some changes to the original recipe, though. I use less water for the starter - I found 142 g water results in a really wet dough: 127 g is sufficient. I also cut back on the molasses, adding only 37 g. The recipe amount with 57 g is, like many of the WGB recipes, too sweet for my taste.

As with all my breads I bulk ferment the dough overnight in the fridge - I need only 4 g instant yeast (instead of 7 g) - and bake it the next morning.

142 g rye flour
85 g whole wheat flour
4 g salt
170 g water
64 g whole wheat mother starter
191 g whole wheat flour
127 g water
all soaker and starter
57 g whole wheat flour
5 g salt
4 g instant yeast
37 g molasses
14 g canola oil
9 g anise, fennel, cardamom, cumin, (cumin less than others)
7 g orange zest ( 3/4 - 1 orange)


In the morning, prepare soaker and starter.

In the evening, prepare final dough, place in lightly oiled container, cover and refrigerate overnight.


Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hrs. before using.

Preheat oven to 425 F/220 C, including steam pan.

Shape boule and proof in floured banneton (seam side up) for 45 - 60 min., until it has grown 1 1/2 times its original size. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Score (I like a windmill pattern).

Bake 20 min. at 350 F/175 C, steaming with 1 cup boiling water, rotate 180 degrees and continue baking for another 25 min. until bread is a rich reddish brown and sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom (internal temperature at least 200 F/93 C).

The breads I sell are a little smaller (80%), to fit into the oven - and to cost a little less!

Updated 11/4/14

larginski's picture

OIL or NO OIL in bread

I have been making what I think is some very flavorful bread recently. A few years ago I discovered a local mill and have been playing with their organic wheat and rye flours. The other week my mother-in-law, a great baker herself was enjoying the bread and she asked what oil I used. When she learned that this bread was only flour, water and salt she was puzzled. Why would I make a bread without any fat? She learned to bake in the 40's and used pork fat.

That raised a good discussion, why would I use oil. I had always thought the fat was used to add some flavour to breads made from processed flours where the taste of the wheat was processed out of it.  The bread i have made is moist, flavourful but does tend to dry out a bit faster than bread made with oil/fat.

Having learned the great flavour of wheat are not possible in the grocery store, bleached flours I wondered if that is the primary reason for its inclusion in recipes. Fat is flavour?

I love this site and the shared knowledge of the community of bakers.

Comments welcomed. 

JL  - Gatineau, Quebec

Bake Skywalker's picture
Bake Skywalker

The Journey Begins

I have officially deemed this week the start of my Bread Season.  As the weather gets increasingly colder, I can't think of a better way to warm up the house.

Not long ago, early this year (2010) I became obsessed with teaching myself to be an Artisan Bread maker. Throughout my life I have done this frequently. I'll find something interesting and obsess over it endlessly...well endlessly may be an overstatement. It's more until I find something else to obsess about. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

Right away I hit the pavement; I went up to my locale library (which is an amazing facility) and checked out several bread making books. The first two that I picked up read like most other cookbook I had ever used, listing the ingredients and then step by step directions that usually lack the critical details to make any dish truly exceptional - enter my culinary education. Low and behold the book I left for last in the group would turn out to be my holy grail of bread making. I had stumbled upon "The Bread Makers Apprentice" by Peter Reinhart, and so my journey began.

I can truly say that while most hobbies that I embark upon fall to the wayside sooner or later this adventure has transcended to something that's more a part of who I am as opposed to what I do. The lessons and fundamentals that I have learned to date have produced some rather exceptional results, in my personal opinion and I can't wait to share these experience with The Fresh Loaf.

amolitor's picture

Walnut Levain

This is a new bake of the recipe I discussed in this post.

Minor chages:

  • sour sponge was 1/2 cup white, 1/2 cup rye, 1 cup water

  • "old dough" starters were each somewhat bigger, using 1/3 cup water each and "enough" flour.

The main difference is that I accidently added about 1 cup too much water, so:

  • the loaf was bigger (about 3 pounds)

  • there was less sour flavor (since I used the same 1 cup water/1 cup flour sour sponge, for more bread)

  • I worked at higher hydration, somewhere between 65 and 70 percent (it started wet, but I worked more flour late in kneading, and some more during stretch and fold)

Then I baked it for a full hour, hence the dark crust.

Also, I chopped some of the nuts fairly fine to get more nut distribution throughout the bread. The purple coloration of the crumb is more thorough and even, but not up to Acme Bakery standard yet! This loaf is outstanding with jam, especially toasted.

Dwayne's picture

Cinnamon Loaf

Off and on people have asked about cinnamon bread recipies so I thought that I would tell what I've been using.  I've been using the Soft Sandwich bread from Peter Reinhart's "Artisan Bread Every Day" with a few tweeks and it always turns our great.  I was one of his recipe testers for this book and this may be the bread that I've made most often from the book.  The tweeks are I'll some times trow in an extra egg and I have not been letting it set overnight in the refrigerator.  I'll either make a full batch which makes 50 oz or I've written in the book the weights for each ingredient to make only 40 oz which is what the Pullman loaf pan takes.

I like lots of turns and lots of cinnamon.  Lately we been getting some from CostCo that is excellant: Kirkland - Ground Saigon Cinnamon.  I need a longer counter top.


My son got me a Pullman loaf pan and I really like the way loafs turn out.  Sometimes when you do a loaf like this you can get air pockets but I'm thinking that this pan helps to do away with the air pockets.


Bake time are 25 minutes with the lid on and 20 minutes with the lid off.


This makes great toast or french toast.  I've counted 7 or 8 rings of cinnamon in some slices.


So, I would highly recommend Peter's book and Pullman Loaf Pans.


Happy Baking, Dwayne


fayee's picture

hot lemon lava desserts

has anyone heard of the hot lemon lava  individual cake dessserts served at the Sweet Tomato restaurant chain?  many people on the internet are looking for a recipe to make from scratch at home but if you check many recipe sites they all talk about lemon pudding cake etc. which is not the same.

this recipe, from the descriptions i read, is like a chocolate molten cake baked in ramekins but from probably a sponge/lemon cake with molten lemon filling.

according to comments i read it is to-die-for  . so is anyone up for the challenge?

can't wait for the reply. thanks

butterflygrooves's picture

What are your bread making essentials?

No, I'm not talking about ingredients, I mean tools!  I'm fairly new to bread making and although I have the few things I need to make basic loaves, this is going to be a life long addiction in which more tools will be needed. 

I plan on making every kind of bread I can possibly try so what might I need in the future?

What are your essentials?

fishers's picture

freezing dough a bust!

I froze 1/2 a recipe of dough before final shaping with the idea of shaping and baking within a week.  I thawed for 24 hours in the refrigerator and noticed some rise as it thawed.  Let it come to room temp and then carefully shaped so as not to degas.  That was it - no further rise after 3 hours.  I hate to throw out the dough.  Can I use it as a starter or something?

Dwayne's picture

San Joaquin Sourdough

I made this bread this weekend and was so pleased with it I had to post some pictures and thank David for sharing his recipe.  It is a great bread.  The substitutions that I made was I used Gold Metal Better for Bread for the white flour and Bob's Red Mill Dark Rye for the Rye flour.  I had been getting my starter ready by feeding it every day for about a week.  Another change I made was the way I did the strech and fold.  I've been looking every where for those plastic scrapers and so I do not have one.  I did the strech and fold just by getting my hands wet and picking up the dough and using gravity to do the streching and I would do the folding.  I was very tempted to use Richard Bertinet's method, maybe next time.  David's directions were great with time intervals listed so I followed them pretty closely.

On bake day I was begining to wonder if my starter was working well enough, but the oven spring I got was amazing!  I tried to score the bread as David said and since this is a wet dough was having trouble but I got close.


The Crust.


The crumb.


This turned out to be one of the best looking loafs that I have made.  It was also the first Batard.  The flavor was great.  I was a bit dissapointed that it was not more sour but that will be another research topic - how to get your starter to yield a stronger sour flavor.  We had it toasted for breakfast and it was so good.


Again, Thanks David!  I will be making this again.



Jaydot's picture

My first sourdough with fruit and nuts

Over the past couple of months I have been learning how to bake sourdough bread. I have produced a fair share of pale crusts, scorched bottoms, dense crumbs and one terrific doorstopper. I've spent hours on TFL looking for explanations and solutions (and finding them! Big thanks to all of you!). I think I'm slowly getting the hang of it. Last Sunday I tried my first sourdough with fruit and nuts and it all seemed to come together: it was delicious! As good a reason as any to start using the TFL blog :).

Loaves in the Big Green Egg



  • 170 gr starter (I have a 100% hydration starter, maintained on roughly 1/3 rye and 2/3 wheat),

  • 230 gr water

  • 510 gr flour (about 20% wholemeal)

  • 10 gr salt

  • 250 gr dry ingredients for soaker: 100 gr raisins, 50 gr dried apricots chopped to raisin size, 50 gr hazelnuts crushed with a hammer, 50 gr rolled oats

  • zest from one medium orange, and some Madeira wine.


  • Start with the soaker: cover the dry ingredients with water and a generous splash of Madeira wine in a small saucepan, heat up to "nice and warm", leave to cool for 6 hours, stirring now and then. Put in a sieve to drain off the liquid before starting on the dough.

  • Mix flour, starter and water. Autolyse. Add salt and orange zest and knead gently (about 5 minutes). Rest a few minutes, add soaker and knead some more.

  • Bulk ferment, do a stretch&fold at 50 and 100 minutes.

  • Retard in fridge overnight.

  • Take out of fridge, allow about two hours to get back to room temperature (my fridge is very cold), divide and preshape. Benchrest. Shape (if any raisins have worked their way out of the dough, remove them or push them into the bottom of the boule) and proof.

  • Heat oven with stone to 220C (430F).

  • Slash and bake covered for the first 13 minutes. Let oven temp drop to 200C (390F) and bake another half hour.


I use a spreadsheet I made to calculate quantities and to keep track of when I need to do what. You can see it here (I'd be happy to share the original spreadsheet). My house if fairly cool (room temp around 66F), hence the long proofing times.

Crumb shot


My basic bread formula is Flo's 1.2.3 formula, with just a bit less water, because I do all dough handling except the final shaping with wet hands. For final shaping I use flour.

I cover my loaves in the oven with a tinfoil hat shaped around an upturned banneton. Works like a charm.

250 grams of dry ingredients swells up to a much bigger and heavier load after soaking (smells nice, though). It was quite scary to tip that quantity onto the dough; hydration went up too, obviously. Still, I got a good windowpane after the second stretch & fold and the dough was still manageable (just).

Funny thing was that we couldn't find a trace of the oats in the finished loaf, but I think they did contribute to the taste.

The crumb was more dense than in my "daily" loaf (which is made using the same method, but without the soaker), there were no big holes. Still, it looked and felt lovely, pleasantly moist.

We had a loaf for lunch, even though it was still so warm that butter on a slice melted almost immediately. My lunch companions are very critical foodies, and they loved it (one of them is my brother, and believe me, he wouldn't say so just be polite :)).

It really was delicious - on its own, with butter or with strong dutch cheese!