The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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helend's picture

KipperCat - your 100% wholemal spelt NYT method tryout

Hi KipperCat

I said I would try out your method for the NYT loaf using 100% wholemeal spelt. I stuck to your instructions as closely as I could:

1lb 100% wholemeal spelt flour

1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 tsp salt

2 oz yoghurt


10 oz water NOT 12 oz as it just seemed too wet to me ...

Anyway mixed it all at 9pm last night.

At 9am today, turned it out and did the stretch and fold thing as best I could on a clean unfloured board - 10 times - 6 then 5 min rest then 4 more

Back into well-floured bowl for approx 2 hours (it had good surface tension and rose up not touching sides of bowl)

Preheat oven 250c with baking sheet (maybe 1/2 hour)

Turned out dough onto hot sheet and into oven for 20 mins

This is the result:

and cut in half


All in all about 3 1/2" high

So the only changes were 2 oz less water and baking sheet rather than stone.

Hmmm - I have to say I am still less than impressed with final steps - turning out onto hot sheet lost some of the rise and no matter how hard I try with this method, I always think the inside is a little damp and rubbery, something I never struggle with otherwise. I guess it will be OK toasted.

My gut feeling is to have returned the folded dough into a bread tin and then popped it into oven when well risen. I would bake it 10 mins at 250c then lower temp to 190c and bake for about 30 mins, then turn out of tin for another 5 mins.  No more work but not a boule shape I know.

Don't know if this helps, Kippercat. Good luck!




Dorothy's picture

rye leaven need help

Trying to make sourdough bread rye flour starter. I can't get mine to double after 7 days. Should I start over? I added 100 percent white flour to the 2nd feed.  Could this be the problem???

Cooky's picture

What happens when you don't slash


Aargh. I baked this multigrain sourdough in a covered pot in a pre-heated oven. Never considered slashing because the dough was so soft. I haven't cut into it because it was intended to go to a dinner party tomorrow. I may take it anyway because, you know, they're friends.


Ramona's picture

kernals or berries??????

Hello, I am new to all of this.  Years ago, I did teach myself how to make basic bread from a recipe.  But since then I have grown in the health world and become a food snob.  I now want to grind grains and make bread this way.  Once I get this down, then I would like to move on to sourdough starters.  But first this.  I have a KA mill grain and have never used it yet.  Still in it's box new.  I went to go buy some wheat, rye, and spelt grains the other day at a coop health store and found that there were several options, that I was unaware of.  The book, for ordering, would say wheat and then the weight and price, and I take it, that it meant kernals, but am not sure.  I could not ask the clerks there because they don't know anything other than stocking and cashiering.  The other option was berries.  I thought the kernals and berries were basically the same thing, but obviously not.  I have been told that I can use both in my mill.   But I do need to understand the difference and how it will affect my end result.  Can anyone help me with this?  I appreciate your imput.

david t's picture
david t

Freezer bags - 3 or 4 slices too short

I'm investigating what type of bags you fellow bakers use to store sliced loafs in the freezer.
I've been using zip lock plastic bags but I find these bags 3 - 4 slices too short for a full loaf.  Right now I just add them to the top and then zip.  
Has anyone seen a long skinnier bag that would fit a full loaf without stacking?

manuela's picture

Cocoa buns

These are nicely flavored with cocoa and cinnamon and lightly frosted.

Full recipe is here

cocoa buns

azuredrupe's picture

Ultimate Starter from Wild Wheat

Hello! I am a long-time reader, first-time poster. But I just had to! Here is the story:

I have tried making wild starters two separate times (both BBA method), but each failed. On a recent trip to Montana, I got a crazy idea: why not get some of the tops of some wild wheat plants and see if I could culture yeast from them? Well, it was a great success!

I collected wheat from Paradise Valley, the Bridger Mountains, and the Hyalite Mountains. When I got home I put the wheat into jars and mixed in some water and pineapple juice. I let the three jars sit for about three hours, shaking vigorously every 20 minutes or so. Then I strained out the wheat plant and mixed in some bread flour. I then followed the BBA instructions. The Paradise Valley only took 2.5 days to get to a roaring state, the Bridger took four days, and it looks like the Hyalite batch may not grow.

Yesterday I cut my Paradise barm in half, fed it and put it back in the fridge. With the rest I mixed a wet dough (maybe 1/3 starter by volume) with a bit of whole-wheat flour and rye flour, and some salt of course. Autolyse (~20 minutes), knead (~5 minutes), then placed in an oiled bowl in the fridge overnight (trying to get the pain l’ancienne effect of BBA). I folded three times (30-45 minutes apart). The next morning I let it warmed up for about three hours, shaped into a boule and let rise on a whole-grain cereal cover cloth set within a colander for about 3 hours. Baked at 450o on a stone with a pan of water in the bottom of the oven for about 30 minutes.

Wow! Some of the beast bread I have ever made! Thick crust, open crumb, and great taste. Also, the crust has many different colors in it, which has never occurred before. I have frozen portions of my Paradise starter and my Bridger starter and intend to keep these lineages alive for many years to come.









Some additional thoughts:

I have really found that a small amount of yeast, high water content, and long cool proofing time are the three biggest factors for getting a big crumb. Now, these have been noted many times on the FreshLoaf, but I have also noticed that the best flavor, crust, and crumb seem to come from cool dough that has proofed for a long time and doesn’t seem to be raising very well. The batches that seem to be raising very well end up with a good moderate, but not huge, crumb (see the last photo – the bottom loaf is the Paradise boule and the top is a batard made from a separate batch I made at the same time with a bit more instant yeast than I typically use).

Lastly, sorry for the absence of exact measurements. I know that is a sin for baking, but I take an improv approach similar to my cooking (which I have been at much longer than baking).

All the best!




meedo's picture

Fatirat al-toffah wa al-toot (Blackberry and apple sweet pizza)

A fruity flavor squares and low in fat.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour.
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast.
1 teaspoon backing powder.
1 teaspoon vanilla essence.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder.
3/4 teaspoon salt.
1/4 cup sugar.
1/4 cup low fat yogurt.
1/3 to 1/2 cup water.
1 1/2 tablespoon oil.
2 egg whites.

1/4 cup low fat cream cheese.
1/2 cup blackberry jam.
3 apples (peeled and chopped).

1/4 cup all purpose flour.
1 tablespoon butter.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence.
2 tablespoons sugar.
1/4 cup almonds, chopped.

1)To make dough: mix all the ingredients; knead for 10 minutes, until you get smooth dough. Let rest for 40 minutes.

2)Press dough into a baking pan, spread with cream chesses.

then blackberry jam,

and top it with chopped apples.

3)To make the crumble: work butter into flour then add sugar, vanilla, and almonds. Sprinkle the mixture on top of apples.

4) Cover and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes.

5)bake at 350 F . for 25 minutes or until cooked and browned.

my homemade blackberry jam:


MarkR's picture


Mark from near Charlottesville, VA, here.  This looks like just the place I've been lookin for.  I've been baking for about a month now, mostly with a cloche, and, though I've had some early success, still have a lot to learn.  I'm planning on building an outdoor oven in the fall once things cool off a bit here.  I'm an elementary school teacher, gardener, and chicken and bee keeper.  I've also cooked off an on for the past 20 years, both in restaurants and home catering.  I'm looking forward to learning more.

Maeve's picture

Please help - my bread sticks to loaf pans

I like the shape of bread done in loaf pans, but it doesn't matter what I use, my bread sticks in the pans.  I've used glass, silicone, non-stick metal and now regular stainless steel.  I spray oil on the pans before letting the dough do it's final rise.


Someone please tell me what I'm doing wrong.  Or direct me to loaf pans that won't stick my bread.  Or just convince me that I should dispense with the loaf pan altogether, even if it won't fit nicely in my toaster.