The Fresh Loaf

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

Altering or converting a sourdough recipe question - 2 questions

August 12, 2019 - 11:03am -- berryblondeboys

I made my first sourdough starter about 3 weeks ago. I've made exactly one loaf so far (only). I just keep refreshing weekly and putting it back in the fridge. 

Part of the reason I haven't really worked with it yet is that nearly every recipe is mostly white flour and I just don't bake with much white flour.  Does anyone have a good way of converting a sourdough starter to a mostly whole wheat or rye starter?

And... this start is a liquid, not a stiff starter. How do I convert that to a stiff starter if I wanted to do so?

Ameliaclute's picture

benefits of creating a levain?

August 12, 2019 - 9:36am -- Ameliaclute

I've been making sourdough for a couple months now, and have been trying to expand my skill set. My most reliable and most used recipe is:

545 g bread flour

36 g Whole wheat flour or rye

75 g starter

13 g salt

365 g water

This recipe calls for you to just mix all the ingredients together in the first step and go straight into folds and bulk. I've performed an autolyse with this recipe which creates a nice product, but is not necessary for great bread still. 

newbiebaker2019's picture

Tartine Country Bread Recipe - UK

August 12, 2019 - 5:22am -- newbiebaker2019

Hello all,

My first post on the site so thanks in advance for anyone looking. I have been attempting to perfect the Country Bread recipe from the tartine book but every time I get to the shaping part, the dough just seems to lack strength and it makes it super difficult to pre-shape and then fold before putting it into the banneton. When I look at the pictures in the book the dough seems to be super smooth and completely uniform in texture and colour. The one thing I am wondering is whether I am getting my flour wrong?

Luke_on_Loaf's picture

This was the result of a whatever-I-had-in-the-pantry + I-need-a-good-camping-loaf. It was so good I decided to put it on here. It went something like this:

329 g King Arthur AP flour

174 g King Arthur White Whole Wheat

42 g King Arthur Bread Flour

260 g Local Stone-Ground Spelt, 60 sift (From Migrash Farm in Baltimore County, MD!)

336 g Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter, 10% ABV

219 g H20, warm-ish

330 g medium-ripe levain (~100% hydration, mostly local wholegrain stone-ground rye, also from Migrash, + a little KA bread flour)

2 metric handfuls of walnuts, chopped 

1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt


I did a ~4 hour Autolyse with the flour, the beer, and the water while the levain was doing its thing. Mixed, performed 5 or 6 stretch and folds, then let sit over night for a total of about 12 hours for the bulk ferment. Divided, shaped, and threw into loaf pans. ~3 hour proof, Slashed and threw in the oven at 450 for about 40 mins. 

Supple, sweet, tangy, nutty, robust. Perfect. Each bite reminds me of the outdoors. 

Can't wait to take it camping!




wvdthree's picture

Recommendations for small electronic kitchen scale

August 11, 2019 - 1:06pm -- wvdthree

Hi all,

        I have a probably ten year old, small Salter kitchen scale. Recently I have noticed that after I finish dumping ingredients in a container on the scale and it hits the peak,correct weight, the weight starts to go down. It usually stops after 10 grams or so but it's still disconcerting. Clearly,something is going on with it.

myra byanka's picture

Crush is Greyish Color

August 11, 2019 - 12:23pm -- myra byanka

I have been experimenting with a new recipe and the crust, both times I baked it, turned out a dull grey/brown color. The bread is tasty and the crust is crisp, but not attractive. The recipe is a pain de campagne with a whole wheat poolish. I tried steam the first time - really ugly crust - and nothing the second - not much better. Used a baking stone, gas oven 475 degrees. I put some oil on the dough before proofing it in a covered bowl x 2, as directed. Any ideas?

ross bakery's picture

Cybake software or alternative

August 11, 2019 - 6:37am -- ross bakery

Hi, we're a small wholesale bakery on the Isle of Man. We're getting busy quite quicky so I'm looking for bakery production software to help with customer orders and invoicing. I'm currently doing hand written delivery notes and then manually entering these into an invoice at the end of the month. It took eight hours last month and is killing me!

Does anyone have any hands on experience with Cybake software? What are other bakeries using?


Thanks in advance. 



Danni3ll3's picture

I revisited this upon request from one of my customers. I changed up some of the grains (Spelt and Kamut instead of Durum), added extra feta and Sundried tomatoes, and decided to go with a longer mixing time rather than sifting and soaking the bran. This last part made for a slightly more streamlined procedure. Hopefully it pays off. 



Note: I mill more grain berries than needed in order to have extra to feed the levain builds. So add extra grain berries to the amounts listed below unless you have other wholegrain flours handy to use. 


Makes 3 loaves


150 g Spelt flour (~155 g Spelt berries)

150 g Kamut flour (~155 g Kamut berries)

50 g of rye flour (~55 g Rye berries)

700 g of unbleached flour

725 g of filtered water 

10 g Old Bay seasoning

15 g Pink Himalayan salt 

30 g yogurt 

250 g levain (procedure is in recipe and will need additional wholewheat flour and unbleached flour)



143 g of drained sliced mixed olives (49 g Kalamata, 48 g Manzanilla and 46 g Black) or (375 ml jars or cans of each type)

94 g crumbled Feta (Who knew that a 90 g pkg yielded 94 g! 🤔)

72 g Seasoned Sun-dried Tomatoes in oil, drained and oil reserved (2-270 ml jars)


The afternoon before:

  1. Take 18 g of your refrigerated starter and add 18 g of filtered water and 18 g of wholegrain flour (your choice- I used mostly rye). Let rise in a warm place (oven with the light on - ~82F).
  2. Mill the grains on the finest setting of your mill. Measure the Spelt, Kamut, and rye flours and place in a tub. Save any leftover flour to feed the levain.  
  3. Add the unbleached flour to the milled flours and reserve.

The night before:

  1. Feed the levain 36 g of filtered water and 36 g of wholegrain flour. Let rise overnight in a warm place. 

Dough making day:

  1. Feed the levain 72 g of filtered water and 72 g of unbleached flour. Let rise in a warm place till double. This took about 5 hours.
  2. Measure the feta, crumble if needed, and set aside.
  3. Drain (save the oil) and weigh the sun-dried tomatoes, (slice if not sliced), measure out 25 g of the reserved oil, and add both to the feta. 
  4. Drain the olives, weigh, and add to the feta mix.
  5. 2 hours or so before the levain is ready, mix the water with the flours and autolyse. This takes a minute or two in a mixer. Let autolyse for at least a couple of hours.
  6. Once the levain is ready, add the Old Bay seasoning, the salt, the yogurt, and the levain. Mix for a minute on low until the levain is integrated, then mix on speed 2 for 9 minutes to develop the gluten.
  7. Add the feta, the olives, and the sun-dried tomatoes/oil mix gradually to the bowl. Continue mixing on speed 2 until the add-ins are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.
  8. Do 2 sets of folds at 30 minute intervals, then do two sets of sleepy ferret folds at 45 minutes intervals. Let rise for another hour or so until you see lots of small irregular bubbles through the wall of your container. The dough should have risen about 30% and be quite billowy.
  9. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~800g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 30 minutes on the counter. 
  10. Do a final shape by flouring the top of the rounds and flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and fold over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make a nice tight boule.
  11. Sprinkle rice flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons, cover, let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge overnight. 

Baking Day

  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes. Internal temperature should be 205F or more.

They smell awesome! My streamlined process doesn’t look like it impacted the oven spring negatively. Crumb when we cut into one!


Essam Haroon's picture

What went wrong ? "another loaf"

August 11, 2019 - 4:07am -- Essam Haroon


I had an issue with this recipe and I get the same result, I hope someone can help me to address this issue.

I followed this recipe

pre-ferment  "Biga" (60% Hydration , 0.16% Instant Yeast, 1.8% Salt) 14 Hrs fermentation at 70F.

final dough ( 76% Hydration , 1.8 Instant Yeast) 

bulk fermenation 2.5 Hrs and 2 folds at 75F

final proof 1.2 Hrs at 75F , 80% humidity

baked 450F for 35 min steam injected.

and here is the result 


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