The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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dmsnyder's picture

Reinhart's San Francisco Sourdough from "Crust & Crumb"

SF SD from Reinhart's Crust&Crumb

SF SD from Reinhart's Crust&Crumb


SF SD from Reinhart's Crust&Crumb Crumb

SF SD from Reinhart's Crust&Crumb Crumb


When I started baking bread again after a 20 year lapse, it was to make two types of bread I loved but I could not get locally: Jewish Sour Rye and San Francisco Sourdough. The first bread book I purchase was Peter Reinhart's "Crust & Crumb," and I made his (prize winning) version of SF SD several times. It has been a while since I baked from this formula, and my understanding of bread making has advanced considerably. The Fresh Loaf community deserves most of the credit.


Well, it was time to return to my personal starting point and try again. In the meantime, I had made many sourdoughs, most of which in recent months have been with higher hydration doughs. So Reinhart's SF SD dough seemed really stiff to me. This time around I followed Reinhart's formula exactly, adding the diastatic malt for the first time. 


I fed the starter with KA Bread Flour. I used the same flour for the chef and the dough and added about 1/2 cup of whole rye.  The firm starter was retarded overnight before mixing the dough, and I also retarded the loaves after they had risen to 1 1/2 times their initial volume. I baked them after warming them at room temperature for 2 hours. I had forgotten how much I liked the flavor of this bread. The taste was quite sour, which I happen to like, and the crumb, while not quite as open as I wanted, was moist and chewy. 


Next time, the only change I'll make is to increase the hydration slightly.



gluonmom's picture

maintaining and using barm?

Hi, I'm new to the forum and to sourdough, though I've been making killer, crusty, yummy artisan breads for several years now. I've a couple, (probably oh, so obvious!), sourdough questions I hope you can help me with.

I made some wild yeast starter several weeks ago (using BBA's recipe), feed it regularly, and it is apparently very happy since it bubbles and doubles readily. I made bread with it a couple of times, and each time was disappointed. It tasted really bland and was so soft it was hard to cut. Crisp crust when it came out, but soft as Wonder bread by the time it was cool. The non-sourdough french, l'ancienne, and the like I make are generally wonderfully blistered and crusty. What's different about the sourdough? How do I get a crusty, chewy, holey sourdough bread?

Also, how much starter (barm) do I need to maintain? Reinhart's recipe makes 6 cups of barm, yet uses only a cup or less in any recipe. ?? Why do I need this much? It seems like if I am to build up my barm in order to use it, I end up with masses. I either need to make way more bread than I need, or throw out gobbs, or simply keep a huge lot of barm for ???. I'd rather not use up so much flour when I only need a loaf every few days. Following BBA I had so much starter I honestly don't know why people talk about needing to "build up" their starter to make bread.

Am I misunderstanding something about the process? I decided to only keep 4 oz. starter (barm) that I am refreshing with 4 oz. each of flour (hard wheat with a bit of rye) and water about every 5 days. When I pull it out to feed it, I'll have at about 12 oz to start with; 6-8 oz extra (to toss or ??) and 4oz to feed and put back in the chill chest. When I make bread, do I need to refresh this "extra" part until it is at it's peak (is this called ripening?), THEN use it to make a firm starter, THEN make the final dough, or do I just use this 4 oz directly to make into a firm starter and go from there? Am I missing something, or adding a step I don't need?

Can I use sourdough barm in any recipe that calls for barm or poolish? Do I need to do anything different? Is firm starter a sourdough version of pate firmentee? Is there a sourdough version of pain l'ancienne?

Thanks for your help!

bakerb's picture

pain a l ancienne

HI...Tonight I'd like to mix-up Reinhart's (BBA) pain a l ancienne, but I won't have time to finish it tomorrow or maybe not even till Wednesday that OK?  Or will it change or affect it in some way?

Thanks!   Beth

bakingmad's picture

NY Style pizza- High Gluten Flour

I just tried some high gluten flour for a pizza...


The results made me a happy pizza eater/maker tonight.

 I made a dough that was semi-transparent in most parts of the dough.


It made a delicious thin crust.


My next experiment is with a thicker crust.

 1 cup High Gluten Flour

1 TSP Salt

1 TSP Active Dry Yeast

1 TSP honey

 Enough water to make the dough semi-sticky.






buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

got a Volkornbrot recipe you're happy with?

I'd like to make a Volkornbrot as soon as my next order of rye berries arrives. 


I have a nice big pullman/pain de mie pan, but to fill it it takes quite a quantity, so I was hoping someone would have a Volkornbrot that's tried and true.  I have most bread books (blush), so if you just want to send me to a book, chances are that I will have the recipe.


I was disappointed by Reinhart's in Whole Grain Breads, the rye berries per his instructions are cooked way to mushy.  I was looking at Dan Leader's recipe in Local Breads, and was also thinking of Hamelman's, but was hoping someone here could recommend a recipe.   With the amount it takes to  fill my pullman pan, it would be nice to have some recommendations.


Thanks in advance!

manuela's picture

Mrs. Sulzbacher's Chocolate Hearts

I think these cookies are really wonderful



3 oz. (3 squares, 85 g) unsweetened chocolate

1 lb. (454 g) sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract

3 egg whites (or as needed), slightly beaten

granulated sugar as needed

The egg whites must NOT be added all at once, but little by little or the dough will be too soft and the recipe will fail. 

Melt the chocolate over hot water then add it to the confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer.Using the flat beater attachment mix briefly on the lowest speed, adding the vanilla. The mixture will be lumpy and most of the sugar will not be incorporated. Add the egg white 1 tbsp at a time, mixing on the lowest speed. You won’t probably need all of the amount indicated. The dough is ready when it is stiff and holds together when you work it by hand. The final consistency should be like play-dough.



Keep the dough in a bowl covered with a plate–plastic wrap does not work well—the dough tends to dry if left exposed to the air even for a few minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). If the temperature is higher, the cookies will puff up too fast and loose their shape.

Sprinkle a very generous layer of granulated sugar on a board and take an orange-size piece of dough, leaving the rest covered. Work the portion of dough briefly between the palms of your hands, then place it onto the sugar covered surface and roll it 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick (not thicker). Flip the flattened dough a couple of times while rolling it so that both sides are well covered with sugar.chocolate-hearts-rolled.jpg

Form the cookies with heart shaped cookie-cutters and place the cookies on a very lightly greased baking sheet. The dough scraps cannot be kneaded again because of the granulated sugar, so try to minimize the spaces between cookies while you shape them. The scraps can be baked as well and will make cookies as delicious as the rest, albeit of less perfect shapes.

Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes, they will puff up a little and dry like meringues. When they are ready switch off the oven leave them in the oven for a few more minutes to ensure they are really dry.

Cool the cookies on racks and store in airtight containers.

Note: these quantities will yield approximately 4 baking sheets of cookies. You can halve the recipe, but they are so good it would be a pity to bake a smaller quantity.


from bakinghistory

proth5's picture

Home Milled Flour

For those of you who have followed bwraith’s adventures in artisan milling – and I commend them to all – let me say that I am nowhere near his level of attention to detail and analytics. I just thought I might post as I’ve taken an approach that is more accessible to the average home miller.


I am milling on a Diamant 525 which is hand powered and uses metal grinding plates. I hand sift using plastic sieves. Here is a picture:

My last milling effort was as follows:

  1. Temper 16 oz of Hard White Winter wheat with .5 oz of water for 36 hours – wheat is dry to the touch at milling time
  2. Coarse grind – sift through #30 sieve - return what remained in sifter to grinder
  3. 2nd coarse grind – sift through #30 sieve – reserve what remained in sieve which appeared to be fluffy bran (2.5 oz). Use what passed through sieve for next grind
  4. Medium grind – sift through #30 sieve – return what remained in sieve to grinder
  5. 2nd Medium grind – combine all of the material to the grinder
  6. Fine grind – sift through #50 sieve – return material in sieve to grinder
  7. 2nd fine grind – sift through #50 sieve – return material in sieve to grinder
  8. 3rd fine grind – combine all material.
  9. Age flour for 16 days (for no particular reason other than I was away and couldn’t bake)


This seems like a lot of passes, but they go pretty fast and aren’t as strenuous as doing a single fine pass from berry to flour. The flour was fine, silky, and creamy in color.

I am not a whole wheat purist and I have reserved the bran for other uses. The remaining flour (about 85% extraction) was used in a 100% home milled flour levain. I used the technique described in the book “Bread – A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes” in the formula for “Un-kneaded, Six-Fold French Bread” – I however, shaped a single batard.


Again, I am not a whole grain purist and I usually mix white flour with my home milled. Not this time – 100% home milled. This was the first time I considered my results acceptable and I am posting pictures of the finished loaf and the crumb. Despite its many, many flaws, the bread is good and well, a first attempt is a first attempt.

To my bread baking teacher – whose raised voice I can hear telling me that I always focus on what is wrong – I apologize for my negativity. But you gave me this assignment and if you are on this forum and happen to see this post – I am handing in my homework. Yes, tempering makes a big difference for the home miller…

newbreadman's picture

Sourdough Flavor

I have had several active starters over the years and have just recently started a "wild yeast" starter. No matter what I try, I can never get that strong sourdough flavor in my bread. The loaves look and rise beautifully but always have just a hint of the sourdough tartness.

Any ideas??
THANKS in advance!!!

rainbowbrown's picture

Pain à l'Ancienne

Pain à l'AnciennePain à l'Ancienne


The other day I made the Pain à l'Ancienne from Reinhart's BBA. I can't even believe the flavor this bread had. Really, I was thoroughly taken aback. I feel like I can't even talk about it...but it was...

I know many of you have this book and if you haven't yet, try this recipe. Really. Try it. It was a very simple recipe. Do it. Now.

and have fun.

MaryinHammondsport's picture

Uncle John's Original Bread Book (out of print but available)

A bread book we have depended on for years is Uncle John’s Original Bread Book, first published in the 1960s. We wore out a paperback edition, then bought a second-hand copy of the hardbound 2nd edition from l969. I have checked at various on-line booksellers and there are plenty of second-hand hardbound copies available, if anyone is interested. I'd get the hardbound, if it were me; I tend to wear out paperbound cookbooks very quickly.

Author John Rahn Braue’s father was a baker in Germany who immigrated here to follow his childhood sweetheart and her family. The couple ran a bakery in the Midwest for years after coming to the US. Although the author was not a baker himself, he provides many family recipes; all of the ones I have tried are very good.

The selection includes recipes for a variety of starters of various types, including a number using hops. (I assume beer-making supply stores would be a source for hops; they are also available on line.) There are recipes for yeast, sourdough, white and whole wheat and rye breads, as well as brown bread baked in a can or steamed, and various quick breads. There are also batter or casserole yeast breads and sweet rolls and sweet breads of various types.

I will offer a caution about one of the latter, known as “Dad’s Tannenbaum Brot.” We have baked this for years, and it is excellent, but it’s a good idea to keep an eagle eye on the dough -- it has a tendency to rise quite quickly, and it overflowed the bowl on us one time, even in our coolish kitchen. Don’t time the first rising as if it were regular bread dough -- this stuff is active! Good though!

If you are looking for a bread book that’s a little off the beaten path and, as a second-hand purchase, reasonable in price, I recommend Uncle John.