The Fresh Loaf

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

Orlando Newby

April 10, 2019 - 9:40am -- wfilada

Just signed up for the site. I've signed up for other baking sites, classes, etc.... Just wanted to be able to bake some decent sourdough bread. I've, kind of, accomplished that but now I think I'd like to expand my horizons and thought this would be the way to go. I've found that sharing sites like this are the best. Worked well with bar-b-q so I figured why not bread. 

Looking forward to baking up some winners!

Reeni's picture

What do you use to store your 12-inch sandwich loaves?

April 9, 2019 - 9:39pm -- Reeni

I've been making sandwich loaves in 9x5 pans, 2 loaves at a time, once a week, and they are by far my most popular/quickly-consumed-by-my-family bake. For this reason I'm thinking of getting 12"-13" pans to end up with longer loaves that will last awhile (there is 2 inches left of the batch I made Thursday!) but still fit in my oven.

DesigningWoman's picture

Starting with CedarMountain

Unfortunately, I don't seem to have made any notes of the fermented soaker bake. Pretty sure that I used my basic 70% hydration, white (with 10% whole wheat) loaf, 25% rye starter at 100% hydration. Probably about 150g of oat soaker at a 1:2 ratio, with a handful of seeds for good measure. Also sifted out 12g of bran from the whole wheat and added that with 9g of water to the soaker.

I do have a vivid recollection of many, many SLAFs (CedarMountain, you could've warned me!), trying to get the dough to come together. It finally did, just enough to liberate my hands, so I stuck the dough in the fridge overnight, hoping to firm it up a little. It did, sort of. But was still a very slack and tacky dough. Pre-shaped as best I could, bench rested, shaped, coated with flax and nigella seeds and plopped into their baskets.

They rose pretty well, albeit without ears. Crumb was soft (and stayed that way), crust was thin and crunchy, taste was mild and "wholesome" without feeling like it's supposed to be good for you. Obviously still need to work on my shaping!

Oat soaker in an Abe DNB

It looks like I baked these three days later, although have absolutely no recollection of the bread, except that I gave it away (but to whom?). Instead of fermenting the soaker separately, I made up the oat soaker a few hours before adding 350g water and 20g rye starter to it, mixing that up and pouring it over 500g of flour (10% T150 whole wheat) and 10g of salt and let the whole thing ferment for about 12 hours at room temp. It's so rare that I make boules, I should remember who these were given to, but I'm drawing a total blank.

But my big discovery was using sourdough instead of yogurt in my favorite yogurt cake recipe. This one got all kinds of things thrown at it: Swapped out half the flour for 25% cocoa powder and 25% ground almonds; replaced half the yogurt with 130g of starter, threw in some frozen cherries… it worked!

Then there was a quick visit back to the Hamelman five-grain levain, cocktail-sized! I tried an all-rye levain and it looks like I added a handful of cranberries. Love the taste of this one!

Adventures in rye

Having finally found a source for something called "dark rye", after so many months of being eager to try my hand (and taste buds) at a high-percentage rye bread, I was a bit disappointed to find that there were no "bits" in this supposedly whole-rye flour; the texture is desperately, uniformly fine. This leaves out something like the tourte de seigle, which specifically calls for T170 (in the French recipe), but perhaps gave me a little wiggle room for less-demanding recipes.

After scouring through the (too) many recipes bookmarked over the last year, I set my sights on Mark Sinclair's 100% rye for a number of reasons: he is extremely open as to what kind of rye flour is to be used; the levain is done in one stage and used fairly young; process sounded easy enough. And it was 100% rye; I figured if I was going to learn about the pitfalls of making rye bread, I might as well get my feet really wet.

It all went surprisingly smoothly; the video of the process was a great help and most reassuring. Of course, I did, once the loaves were shaped and in their pans, send a panicked message to Mini, who very kindly held my hand through the rest.

The baking loaves smelled absolutely wonderful. Taste and aroma are great, but I was disappointed in the crumb, which I found too dense and too uniform. I'm wondering if I should add more water, proof longer, or add seeds.

Bitten by the rye bug, I decided next on Wally's 72% rye with soaker, figuring that the 28% of a wheat flour would give me the loft and some of the openness I'd found wanting in the previous bake. I don't have high-gluten flour, so just used my usual T65 bread flour.

This was a very messy mix, and the first time in this year of baking bread that I thought wistfully about a mixer: I was up to my wrists in the stuff and wound up resorting to the Rubaud method to make sure all the ingredients were properly incorporated. This is indeed a pudding of a dough, that gets scraped/poured into its pan for proofing.

Things went rather well, but for the fact that I got into trouble with the descending temps every 15 minutes, so the top and bottom got a bit burnt, but I'm quite happy with the crumb (lead photo) and the taste. Will definitely be doing this one again. And, darn it, my parchment got stuck -- that's never happened before.

And a last oat-soaker Abe DNB

Just for good measure. Because I knew we were going to be out for most of the day, I mixed everything together and left it on the counter. I took a look at it when we got home and could probably have proceeded to shaping, but I needed to get dinner underway, so stuck the thing in the fridge until later on, then preshaped and bench rested. The shaping was a bit of a challenge, and I was afraid of frisbees, so I shaped as best I could, coated the loaves with seeds and plopped them into these Pani-bois baking forms, which I'd bought for the rye bakes.


Thank goodness that worked…

Now, what shall this week bring?


patman23's picture

Basic White Sandwich Bread Recipe

April 9, 2019 - 2:58pm -- patman23

Howdy folks,


So I’ve been playing with this white bread recipe. Or trying to get consistant results using this recipe is a bit more accurate.  That said, Ive gotten it worked out pretty well at this point. It’s a great PB&J kind of bread and makes a killer grilled cheese for dipping into tomato soup. 


Here is the recipe I’ve been using.

not.a.crumb.left's picture

I always enviously looked at posts on IG and here when I saw marbled loaves.

They remind me so much of baking "Marmorkuchen' with my Mum and evoke some of that feeling making it as a bread. I remembered a thread where Dan experimented with chocolate malt.

I could not get any so just used some dark roasted Barley malt instead with some cocoa nibs that I had in the larder and grounded. 

I mixed a Champlain, halved dough after 7 hours AL and then added salt and developed in different containers. This loaf from Trevor is like an old friend now and I use it as the basis for so many of my baking experiments with it's lovely ratio of spelt, rye and white flour.

Bulk was approx 4 hours or so at 76F with 2 -3 folds and I folded the two doughs gently together at the last fold and then let the dough bulk for another hour or so...

Pre-shape, 30 min bench rest

Final Shape, 45 min ambient proof and then 12 hours in the wine cooler at 4C

I was very happy with this as a first attempt...The taste just has a hint of cacao and quite a hearty taste from the malt....   I must try this again.... Kat


cjweaver13's picture

Hello from NY

April 9, 2019 - 12:00pm -- cjweaver13

Hey all from upstate NY. Just really got into baking bread about 4 months ago because I saw a sourdough video on youtube. From there I have gotten a healthy and happy rye starter and usually make a couple loaves of sourdough a week. I also have done english muffins, pretzels, bagels, various buns, and bakers yeast leavened bread including beer bread and a good wonder bread style bread (don't judge too much lol)



icantbakeatall's picture

I bought an essentially brand new WonderMill for a few bucks. How is the machine?

April 9, 2019 - 10:54am -- icantbakeatall

I tested it out my trying to mill some wheat berries and it seemed to do a great job. The machine seems to be pretty well liked. How do you guys like it? Anything I should know before I start using (or not using) it? Thanks!

kimemerson's picture

pre-bake weight to final weight calculation?

April 9, 2019 - 6:10am -- kimemerson

Is there a simple way to calculate the final baked weight of a loaf? If I want to finish with, say, a 615 gram loaf, is there a way to calculate what the wet dough should be scaled at? I assume hydration% will be a factor. But without an abacus, slide rule and a degree in calculus, any simple rule-of-thumb trick?



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