The Fresh Loaf

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

After being persuaded by Ian for times, I finally gave in and made some caramelized onion for bread. In case you’re wondering, nope, he didn’t mention about the part about Jinhua ham and shiitake mushrooms :)



Jinhua Ham Shiitake Mushrooms Caramelized Onion SD


Dough flour (all freshly milled except pearl millet flour):

120g     40%       Whole spelt flour

90g       30%       Sprouted white wheat flour

60g       20%       Whole white wheat flour

30g       10%       Whole pearl millet flour


For leaven:

7g        2.33%       Starter

39g        13%       Bran sifted from dough flour

39g        13%       Water


For scalded dough:

30g        10%       Whole pearl millet flour from dough flour

30g        10%       Hot water


For dough:

231g        77%       Dough flour excluding pearl millet flour and bran for leaven

193g     64.3%       Water

85g       28.3%       Leaven

60g         20%        Scalded dough

9g             3%        Vital wheat gluten

5g         1.67%       Salt



60g         20%        Re-hydrated shiitake mushrooms, sliced

50g      16.7%        Onion, thinly sliced

27g           9%        Jinhua ham, cubed



303.5g       100%       Whole grain

265.5g      87.5%       Total hydration


Sift out the bran from dough flour except pearl millet flour, reserve 39 g for the leaven. Soak the rest, if any, in equal amount of water taken from dough ingredients.

Prepare the scalded dough by combining the pearl millet flour and hot water, set aside until needed.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 5.5 hours (26.5°C).

Prepare the add-ins. Heat 1/2 tsp of your cooking oil of choice (I used extra virgin peanut oil) in a pan. Sauté the onions and mushrooms until softened and caramelized. Pour in the Jinhua ham and a couple of tbsp of water (I used the leftover water from re-hydrating the mushrooms) to deglaze the pan. Remove the mixture from the pan when all the water has evaporated. Let cool completely and refrigerate until needed.  

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the leaven and salt, autolyze for 15 minutes. Knead in the reserved ingredients and ferment for a total of 2 hours. Fold in the add-ins then ferment for 1 hour 45 minutes longer. Construct a set of stretch and fold at the 15 minutes mark and 1 hour mark respectively. Fold in the add-ins at the 30 minutes mark.

Preshape the dough and let it rest for 25 minutes. Shape the dough then put in into a banneton. Retard for 12 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. Score and spritz the dough then bake straight from the fridge at 250°C/482°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 208°F. Let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.



Since the dough was fully-proofed, it had virtually no oven spring… Fortunately, the crumb still turns out quite open for a whole grain loaf.


I haven’t tasted the bread yet so I can’t comment on the flavour. The write-up will be uploaded afterwards. That said, the bread smells strongly of caramelized onion and shiitake mushrooms so it should be anything but bland.

Updated: The bread has a nice springy texture and seems particularly moist thanks to the mushrooms. Surprisingly, the Jinhua ham is pretty subtle while the mushrooms dominate. There is alluring aroma associated with the caramelized onions. For the bread itself, it has little, if any, sour and is mostly sweet from the sprouted grains and spelt. 





Cheese stuffed potato mochi. Aren’t they cute?


Rava upma with assorted tomatoes and… curried fishballs? Errr… should be soya tikka :)


Home-fermented kimchi fried rice with tiny dried fish, Edam cheese and fried egg. This is good. I mean it.   


Brazilian-inspired dinner: grilled spicy chicken skewer & pork sausages, cinnamon rotisserie pineapple, chorizo & black beans, brussel sprouts, zucchini & yellow peppers sautéed with dried cranberries, onion seasoned fries and bulgur pilaf


White sandwich bread of the week: 15% masa harina 15% amaranth ciabatta with sun-dried tomatoes & rosemary


Extra: 20% toasted rye bagels

 Insanely chewy…


Thanks Ian for the inspiration!


icantbakeatall's picture

Is it possible to find wheat berries locally without spending a fortune? Specifically hard white wheat berries.

April 12, 2019 - 10:46pm -- icantbakeatall

I could only find them at whole foods so far and those were just hard red wheat berries and they were quite expensive. I live in the midwest. There's got to be somewhere I can get wheat berries for not a ton of money. At this rate i'd rather just buy flour, haha. Thanks!

BodsMimi's picture

Greetings from Blighty!

April 12, 2019 - 11:08am -- BodsMimi

Hello all, after lurking around the periphery of this forum for longer than I can remember, here I am.

I've been baking since I was a child and whilst my cakes, pastries and other sweet treats are always well received, one thing that gives me true pleasure is to bake bread. Even after decades of dough, I still get that warm, fuzzy feeling inside when I unload the oven and see the end product of my labours (which is actually about 10 or 15 minutes of my time spent measuring, mixing and kneading). 

crumbsinthebutter30's picture

Greetings from a Mainer who is looking for an apprenticeship

April 12, 2019 - 9:28am -- crumbsinthebutter30

Hello everyone, I am glad to be part of this great forum!  I am an aspiring bread baker living in Maine, and I am currently looking for any leads on a good teacher who owns/works a bakery and is looking for an intern/apprentice.  I am particularly interested in working with anyone who mills their own flour.  I am also interested in working with wood-fired ovens, but that is not a necessity.  I will relocate anywhere in the USA for this opportunity. 


Thanks for reading, and I look forward to all the great information that this forum provides!

Cheers, Kyle

crumbsinthebutter30's picture


April 12, 2019 - 9:22am -- crumbsinthebutter30

Greetings, All!  I am looking to apprentice with a small to mid-sized bakery.  I am looking to begin a micro-bakery of my own someday, and although I have some prior experience, I still do not feel confident in my skills.


  So, I am currently in Maine, but I will travel anywhere in the USA to work with the right person/people.  I am particularly interested in working with someone who mills their own flour and who bakes with a wood-fired oven. 


Thank you for your time and interest, Kyle

Bakebreadbehappy's picture

Long bulk, short second rise

April 12, 2019 - 6:30am -- Bakebreadbehappy

Does anyone use a long (10 hours) first rise with limited shape and folds and a short second rise of only an hour or two with a naturally leavened bread? Most of what I see out there has a shortish bulk and a longer second. Any thoughts on the reverse? What would be the pitfalls or benefits of one way versus the other? Thanks!

FrancoisCoppens's picture

Reviving my starter from the fridge

April 12, 2019 - 5:24am -- FrancoisCoppens

Hi everybody,

I've been having some problems with my previously thriving sourdough starter after I got it out of the fridge (on Tuesday morning) after a week or two. It doesn't double in volume anymore, even after 3 days feeding it APF two times a day. 

Yesterday morning, after feeding it, I put it in the oven at the keep warm setting (25C-35C) since it is a bit chilly in the apartment lately and when I got home from work I expected to see my starter doubled or tripled in volume. I was a little bit disappointed it only increased about 1.25x. 


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