The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My Favorite Bread Recipe- any name suggestions?

inlovewbread's picture

My Favorite Bread Recipe- any name suggestions?


Okay, so I've been a lurker on this site for a couple months now. I have appreciated the information and instructions here, they have truly helped me on my quest to make better bread. I came on here a while ago asking for help on trying to make potato bread with barm that has a chewy, open crumb and not too much crust...I received really good input and a formula for potato leek bread from breadcetera (thank you thank you thank you!!!) and have tweaked that formula here and there and well folks, I think I've got it- at least to my liking anyhow :-)

What do you think of the name: Sourdough Honey Rye?

it works really well as toast or for sandwiches. My family loves it. 

Please try not to laugh at the pictures, let me explain: I do not have a very equipped kitchen, I don't have a baking stone (yet), and I have to improvise with almost all bread making tools. I also have 3 boys under the age of 4, so making bread the "right" way is sometimes hard :-) So, this is my formula for my favorite bread, I hope you'll try it in spite of the pictures.

note: my other loaves where I used my barm the day after feeding rather than 2 days out, rose considerably higher than the loaves pictured here. Nonetheless, very good in taste.

380g KA Bread Flour

300g KA AP Flour

90g Rye Flour

300g Sourdough Starter (fed and refrigerated)

455g Water

16g Sea Salt

170g Honey

40g Dry Mashed Potato Flakes*

*I also make this bread with about 200g mashed potatoes instead of the dry potato flakes if I have them left over from dinner the night before. Turns out really tasty and a bit more moist.


1: Combine flours, set aside.

2: I use my Kitchen Aid and mix barm with the water and aerate for about a minute.

3: Slowly add in some of the flour, the honey and potatoes with the whisk attachment until it starts to make a batter. Then switch to the dough hook for the rest of the flour.

4: Autolyse for 30 minutes.

5: Add in salt and mix on speed 3 or 4 for 6 minutes.

6: Cover and let rise for 3 hours.

7: Fold and split into two. I put mine in 2 3 quart french white ceramic baking dishes. Let rise about 3 hours.

8: Bake at 425 for 40 minutes.



Janknitz's picture

No need to apologize for those loaves--they look lovely.  The name is intriguing--sounds like something I'd like to try.

Forgive my ignorance as I've never used a barm.  What is the hydration level of your sourdough starter?

flournwater's picture

I believe she's using a barm (starter) which would be about 70% hydration (assuming my math hasn't gotten too bad) where the foundation of the barm (bread flour/water) is hydrated at 100% and the seed at around 40 - 45% (at least that's the formula I use.)  I wish she had listed the barm formula, it'd make less work for those of us who'd like to try her idea.

inlovewbread's picture

I am now wondering if the word "barm" is incorrect....

I have a sourdough starter and that is what I use in this recipe. I have been using barm/ sourdough starter interchangeably. Is that incorrect? Barm is just shorter to type than sourdough starter. Also after reading Reinhart's BBA, I thought barm was the same as I did not use any commercial yeast to make my starter. Like I said, I'm still new at this so sorry about the confusion.

My sourdough starter is 100% hydration.



flournwater's picture

On the subject of a name for your bread, I can't do any better than Sourdough Honey Rye.  That describes it as well as any words I might come up with and it has a nice marketing ring to it.

As I understand it (somebody correct me if I'm off track here) barm, poolish, biga, etc. are all "starters" aka "preferments"  in their own right.  A barm, as I understand it, differs in that it incudes a seed culture which produces a very different flavor from the other styles. 

Because I'm not confident that I have all this down as solidly as I'd like, I'd suggest we wait and hope that dghdctr, David (one or both of them) or some of the others who've gathered more experience can help unravel the terminology.

Meanwhile, that loaf pictured below is too beautiful for words.  joem6112, you are incredibly good at this bread making thing.

dmsnyder's picture

This place is crawling with Davids!

"Preferments" generally is used for any portion of the dough that is hydrated and allowed to sit for several hours before being mixed with the "final dough." The term includes bigas, pâte fermentée and poolish. Some of these, for example poolish, do not contain yeast, so they aren't truly fermenting. I don't think an "autolyse" is regarded as a pre-ferment, but I may be wrong.

I'm not sure that sourdough starters which contain a stable, mutually supportive combination of yeasts and bacteria are regarded as preferments.

The term "barm" properly refers to a sourdough with the yeast derived from beer (broadly defined). Unfortunately, Reinhart used that term improperly for a sourdough starter and corrected his usage in his more recent writings.

The term "starter" generally refers to a sourdough starter, thus excluding pre-ferments such as bigas and poolishs.

There are other terms such as "seed culture" which refer to various stages of elaborating a soudough starter. How many "builds" the baker chooses to make prior to mixing the starter with the final dough is up to the baker.

I know all these terms are confusing. The above is far from a complete glossery, but I hope it helps some.

David (dmsnyder) 

inlovewbread's picture

thanks for the imput. I guess I was trying to get too geeky and use all the proper bread terminology but ha! ended up using barm incorrectly. :-)

anyway, my recipe simply uses a sourdough starter, not barm. 

I trusted the BBA book

SteveB's picture

David, to very loosely paraphrase Will Rogers, "I never met a poolish that didn't have yeast in it." Also, since any sourdough starter that is added to a dough is, by definition 'pre-fermented', a sourdough starter is considered to be a preferment.



dmsnyder's picture

Of course you are correct.

Serves me right for writing my message before my second cappuccino. You might say I was under-proofed and provided half-baked information.


flournwater's picture

Thanks for taking the bumps out of that road.

I'll maintain a copy of your explanation to reflect on from time to time and, perhaps, that'll help avoid embarrassment (or worse, misleading someone) in the future.

joem6112's picture

I have settled on basic recipe and produce loaves like this: I have loved bread since chilldhood and love bread making.

Janknitz's picture

With some modifications because we were having a  heat wave (103 on Saturday, about 100 on Sunday, today it's in the 70's--go figure!). 

I made it in the bread machine so that I did not have to heat the oven (we have no AC).  That required some modification, primarily the addition of yeast since I don't have a Zo with a programmable baking cycle and there was no way to give it 3 hours to rise before baking.  I also removed the paddle at the beginning of the final rise and reshaped the loaf, so I had only a small hole to deal with instead of a deep, paddle shaped hole. 

The crumb and flavor of the bread were awesome.  Typical of machine baked breads the crust was lousy.  It was thick and tough--leathery more than crunchy--and because I couldn't wait a full day to slice the bead for freezing my slices were not so good. 

I can't wait to try this again in the oven instead of the bread machine.  As soon as I'm certain that our summer heat is finished, the bread machine goes back in the garage until next summer.  And if I can catch some cool weather next weekend, I'll try it again. 

inlovewbread's picture

Yeah, should be better in the oven. I'd like to see what you come up with to bake it in and see how it turns out- I'm not sure what else to try. I did finally get a baking stone and a brotform, but I think the dough would be way too slack to use either of these.

Anyway, glad you tried it. And also, we like to have it as toast with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top. If you haven't already, try it as toast the next time you bake it.

Happy baking!

Janknitz's picture

I think it has to do with my unfamilliarity of working with rye doughs.  I attempted to stretch and fold and then roll it into a loaf shape.  It looked OK during proofing in the loaf pan and I though it sprung well in the oven, though it was a bit lopsided. 

When I turned it out of the pan I discovered it had separated where the folds were and it was really misshapen.  It was also pretty dense and heavy.  I really need to practice working with rye. It just didn't have the same texture as wheat doughs and I should have recognized that.  I probably had too much flour when I was doing the folding, too. 

I was going to either throw the loaf  out or make bread pudding, but my husband started slicing it for sandwiches.  They are very oddly shaped slices, but they taste OK, and he seems to really like the flavor.  Because of the sourdough addition, the bread is still not complete stale or molded, and it's been almost two weeks. 

I will try again and try to handle the dough better.  The flavor is good, so I'm glad it didn't go to waste.  (Only to waist, LOL!).  It's a learning experience!