The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
Ross Bread's picture

New to Fermented Sourdough

February 18, 2019 - 8:28am -- Ross Bread

Hello, All!


I am new to this site and baking bread in general 'my baking knowledge in general is elementary.'

Recently i've been researching the benefits of fermented sourdough bread and i wanted to see if anyone here could recommend and tips and tricks to making a fermented sourdough bread starter. The level of fermentation i am looking for is more for 'positive' health and gut microbiome benefits more so than for increased flavor. 


Any and all tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated!!!



thank you



Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

Last month I participated in the Community Bake for Hamelmans 5 grain sourdough bread. I made it 3 times because I was intrigued and pleased with the results. 

I found it was not a dough that it did not knead machine mixing. It benefited from putting some pepita seeds in the soaker, and an autolyse for the flours before adding the starter .

I really benefitted from all the information that others provided. I did not have a charming canine assistant but I did have paper towels. I used these to prevent icky sticky taps.

The pictures came out crappy , but the bread did not!


And of course I had to share the breads with my writing group.

child eating


AlisonKay's picture

I'm a 100% wholegrain loaf nut. I don't really want to make anything else. And I regularly make goat's kefir at home, so when Abe told me about a loaf he'd made using whole Spelt and kefir, I was keen to have a go.

This is the 4th attempt and the best so far.

The flour is from Shipton Mill in the UK. The levain was built with 50/50 flour and kefir at 26C degrees for 19 hours. 26C is maintained though a long bulk and proof with gentle stretch and folds and then this time, I retarded overnight before baking.

It's a little burnt - I've recently treated myself to an Emile Henry loaf pan and am getting used to the way it works - but the crust and crumb are good. The flavour is what keeps bringing me back; so creamy and honeyed. I guess it's the predominance of lactic acid bacteria (over acetic) due to the kefir.

I'm not stopping with honing this recipe because I want to keep tasting it! Thank you, Abe.

Baron d'Apcher's picture

Surface tension issues ( is it mixing, ferment, proof or shaping?)

February 17, 2019 - 4:21pm -- Baron d'Apcher

I am having persistent problems where I shape loaves, appear to have the proper surface tension but the loaves collapse in the bannetons and on the couche during the proofing, surface turns wet, loaves deflate and flatten during overnight retard in the fridge and when they bake, the ends flatten with minimal oven-spring and barely a bulge in the middle.  I am using Farmer Ground Flour and bulk ferment in a tote with a lightbulb to keep it at a balmy 78F.  Starter is active. Am I adding too much starter?  I'm flummoxed and frustrated.

startercook's picture

the perfect muffin!

February 17, 2019 - 2:18pm -- startercook


This is my very first post.

I am trying to make the perfect chocolate muffin - light & fluffy with an attractive dome.

So i am trying to going to a period of trial & error to find the optimal ingredients and wondered whether TFL community could assist.  In short the ingredients are as follows;

100g plain flour, cocoa powder, egg, 50ml oil, 50g caster sugar, 100ml milk, 1/2 tsp baking powder, pinch cinammon and choc chips. Gas mark 200deg for 20mins.

trailrunner's picture

and orange zest with semi-sweet chocolate chips. I took bits and pieces from TFL posters Shaio Ping and Beatrice as well as Jay on Perfect Sourdough a Facebook bread blogging site. I used his formula with a major twist. I made the levain with AP and cocoa and YW . I added another 100g of YW to the dough . This was a very large batch of dough. A two hour autolyse with everything except add ins. One s&f and an hour later one lamination for add ins. That’s it. No shaping just folded the edges under this the gorgeous free form bursts. The crumb is open and tender and so rich. The loaves were retarded 18-20 hrs. 








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