The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Monica's picture

malt loaf

Living in England for several years I fell in love with the small, slightly sticky, malt loaf.  It is a dark rich "tea" bread.  I have never been able to find a recipe for one.  Anyone in England, or anywhere else, have one please?  It is a small loaf and sometimes had raisens in it.  Monica

rainbowbrown's picture

Wheat Berry Sprout Sourdough

sprouted wheat sd

Since it’s been spring I’ve been back in my springtime habit of sprouting things. I get all into it and sprout anything I can get a sprout out of and then I just eat them in or on everything. They’re just wonderful. This got me thinking about sprouted grain in bread, which is something that has crossed my mind more than once in the past, but I’ve never done.

I wanted to make a sourdough bread that included white and whole wheat flours and a large portion of ground sprouted wheat berries. I looked through all my books and didn’t find exactly what I wanted, so I wrote a formula myself. This is also something I’ve never done before, and boy was it exciting. I spent about an hour and a half the other evening, with a notebook and a calculator perfecting it on paper. Oh my…it was fun. After I was done, I felt a little drained and my boyfriend asked me which class I had been doing homework for. I told him what I had been doing and he said “man, even your hobbies are like homework.” He can’t really wrap his head around the fact that I find playing with calculators to be a lot of fun. :)

I ended up using both Peter Reinhart’s Whole Wheat and Sprouted Grain Bread from WGB and Hamelman’s Five Grain Levain as guides for my formula.


To sprout: Rinse whole grains or seeds or beans and soak overnight in a mason jar or other glass container of similar shape (for about 12 hours, softer or smaller things such as sunflower seeds or lentils could go a little less and bigger or harder things such as wheat berries and garbanzos could go a little longer). Drain and cover the jar with cheesecloth or muslin or plastic with holes poked in it and secure with a rubber band. Turn jar upside down, place in a bowl and cover with a towel. Twice a day, fill up the jar with water, swirl contents and drain through the cheesecloth. Place drained jar back in the bowl, upside down. I generally do this until the tails of the sprouts are about as long as the grain itself, which can take anywhere from 1 to 4 days, depending on what I’m sprouting. I learned from WGB, though, that when using in bread making, wheat berries should only be sprouted until you see just the beginnings of the tail, so it took me about a day (or two rinsings) after soaking for my sprouts. Note: you can save the initial soaking water and it is close to what’s called Rejuvelac. It’s quite nutritious and you can use it as part of the water in the final dough.

I also used amaranth sprouts in this bread, which ended up not grinding well, so they remained whole. They’re tiny so it ended up good.

I weighed out both sprouts to equal 200 grams and then ground them in a food processor. I’m sure any combination of sprouts to equal 200 grams would work great here. edit note: If you start out with a certain amount of dried grain and sprout it, you'll end up with more than you began with because the grain absorbs water and becomes heavier. So weigh out your sprouts after they've become sprouts and then grind them. If you have leftovers all the better; mix them in with some rice or throw them in your soup or oatmeal or salad or, you know, anything.

So here’s the recipe I used, I’ll skip the page of formula that comes before the final dough part.


· 200 g high gluten flour

· 67 g bread flour

· 116 g whole wheat flour

· 113 g ground wheat berry sprouts

· 87 g amaranth sprouts

· 288 g water

· 10 g salt

· 283 g ripe starter (75% hydration, I used 93% bread flour and 7% rye flour in my final build)

1. Mix and knead. I kneaded by hand for about 8 minutes, rested for 5 then kneaded for another 30 seconds or so. The dough is sticky.

2. Bulk ferment. It took me about five hours to get it to rise by about half. I stretched and folded twice, once at one hour and another two hours later.

3. Shaping. At this point the dough was smooth and pretty great looking. It felt a little heavy, as do many of my sourdoughs at this point. I shaped it into a big batard. Proof for about three hours, or you know, until you feel it’s ready (puffy looking, bigger, finger poke indent remains). Or, I imagine retarding overnight would work nicely. In fact, I think I’ll try retarding next time.

4. Slashing and Baking. I loaded it into a 500 degree oven with steam and turned it down to 450 after about 3 minutes. It baked for 37 minutes.


This bread turned out wonderfully, I’m so happy with it. The loaf is moist and it tastes slightly sweet and very mildly sour. It has an aspect of flavor that is deeper than other sourdough breads I’ve made with large percentages of whole wheat flour. Now I could just be waxing poetics about my sprouts, but I’m going to go ahead and say that this is they’re doing. I highly recommend trying out sprouts in bread, perhaps even as part of the soaker in some other recipe. They’re so nutritious and it’s the perfect time of year.

swtgran's picture

Does anyone else use Sapphire unbleached all purpose?

I have been using Sapphire AP flour for my Artisan in 5 recipes.  I have had really good luck with all my loaves and they seem very easy to handle.  I was wondering if the difference might be a slightly higher protein than most AP and slightly lower than most bread flour?  Anyway, it seems a very good match for the recipes from this book.  Terry

Dutchbaker's picture

Cinnamon Crunch Bagel Recipe?

I recently started making bagels at home for the family on the weekends using TBB recipe.  I have been pleased with the results, but my shaping technique needs a lot of help, as you can see from the photos.   I have two young boys, and their favorite bagel is Panera's cinnamon crunch bagels.  I was curious, if anyone has tried to replicate these cinnamon bagels at home.  If so, what did you use for the cinnamon mixture to mix in the dough and sprinkle on top?  Thanks,  Dutchbaker

lbw648's picture

Fleishman's Instant Dry Yeast in Homemade Sourdough Bread

The following are the ingredients that are used in my recipe for 1 batch (3 loaves) of homemade sourdough bread:

6 cups bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 ½ cups warm starter
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 envelope regular yeast

Today, I purchased a 1lb. block of Fleishman's Instant Dry Yeast. I need to know how much of the IDY to use that would be the equivalent of the single envelope of regular yeast. Also, is IDY the same thing as the rapid rise? If so, after the bread dough is blended, do I go ahead and divide it into 3 loaf pans for only one rising? Please respond to THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!

AnnieT's picture


This afternoon on the local NPR station I heard about a bakery in Seattle, Barrachini's. Remo Barranchini was interviewed - he is 78 and has been baking bread since he was 11! The bakery was started in the basement of the house where he lived and later the present bakery was built at a cost of $5,000. When asked what he likes so much about baking bread he said that he looks through the glass door of the oven to watch the bread "burst open". So nice to hear someone so happy with his work and still getting a kick out of watching bread bloom. He says he plans on baking until he is 95 and then he will go part time. Hope I can make a trip over to check it out in person, A.

nstoddar's picture

Wild sourdough starter questions (newbie)

I'm attempting to create my own wild sourdough starter. I took a look at Sourdoughlady's recipe for starter, but it was a bit intimidating, so I went for the Joy of Cooking recipe. I've been following it pretty closely, but I'm not sure when it's done.

First, a couple of facts:

  1. It doesn't smell weird -- just normal ... maybe a little "yeasty"
  2. There are bubbles in it ... not a tremendous amount, but a decent amount
  3. It does rise some ... maybe 20% after each feeding.
  4. Also, no hooch on the top.

During the feeding last night, I was playing around with it and noticed that it's very creamy ... nothing at all like a dough. It looks to have the same texture as very creamy melted cheese. I'm not sure what that means ... something I read implied if that happened it means the yeast had already consumed (?) all the gluten and there wasn't anything else to feed on (therefore less bubbles).

The Joy of Cooking recipe doesn't include throwing any out ... not sure if I'm okay as it is, or if I should continue feeding on 12 hour schedule until it doubles, or if I'm doomed.

MapMaker's picture


One frustration that I am continually fighting is dough that seems too elastic and hard to shape.  I have this problem with various recipes for baquettes, ciabatta, pan l'ancienne, etc.  I know that resting improves elasticity but it seems I must be doing something fundamentally wrong to be fighting this all the time.  What should I look at?  Is the dough under kneaded or over kneaded?  Under proofed or over proofed?  Is it the flour?  I watch so many videos where the bread looks so easy to work that I want to improve this particular aspect of my bread baking.  Any suggestions?

foolishpoolish's picture

Learned something about the 'french fold' through practice

I only learned about the 'french fold' technique about 2 months ago. I first saw it demonstrated in the Julia Childs Baguette video (link posted elsewhere in these forums).

Said video shows a rather energetic Danielle Forestier lifting dough above her shoulder/head and smashing it down on the work surface before folding it over and repeating (800 times allegedly!).

What I've discovered is that when I use a slightly gentler technique, the dough (gluten) actually develops quicker.  Rather than smashing it down, I lift the dough about 10 inches off the surface and 'lay it out' as if I were laying out a rug or carpet (initial motion forward quickly followed by pulling back).  I then fold as per usual and pick up at the side (essentially giving the dough a quarter turn) and repeat as required.  For me this develops that silky smooth, window-pane-passing dough more swiftly and with less of an armache afterwards!

Anyway, I don't know exactly how or why this works better for me.  I suspect I had previously been tearing gluten strands through over-zealous dough-slapping. 

Hope that helps






martinah's picture

ARTISAN BREAD- what exactly is artisan bread? what qualifies it as artisan?

I'm from Germany and have always made my own bread. Since I moved to America 3 years ago I have always wondered what exactly Artisan Bread is? What makes bread Artisan?
It's just a question that's always foated through my mind. Maybe you can help me out.Martina