The Fresh Loaf

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Danni3ll3's picture

Ru007's post on her Sourdough with Polenta, Sunflower seeds and Pepitas motivated me to try her recipe since it looked amazing! I didn't have any Polenta but thought that cornmeal might be close enough and with her encouragement, I went ahead and used cornmeal.

The plan was to double her recipe and be done but my starter was 100% hydration as opposed to 80% like hers and my math got wonky when I started using the baker's percentages instead of the actual weights after I had soaked my cornmeal. No matter, I am really happy how it turned out.


Make Soaker: Pour 220 g of boiling water over 80 g of medium grind cornmeal and let sit for several hours (5 hours or so)

Levain: Feed starter with a 1:2:2 ratio of part rye, part whole grain flour and water. Let sit 6 hours.

Add ins: Toast 75 grams each of hulled sunflower and pumpkin seeds in frying pan. Let cool.

Autolyse: Mix 275 g of cornmeal soaker with 300 g wholegrain wheat flour, 700 g unbleached all purpose flour, and 560 g of water. Let sit for an hour.

Mix dough: Sprinkle 22 g of sea salt over the dough and add 200 g of the levain. Pinch and fold to incorporate. I also added 20 grams of water here because the dough felt too stiff. 

Fermentation: Do a series of 4/5 folds every half hour at the beginning of fermentation and every hour later on until risen by 30-50% which took about 5 hours. Add in seeds during the second set of folds. I used the slap and fold method to get the seeds evenly distributed since the pinch and fold method wasn't doing it for me and my hand was getting sore.

Divide and Pre-shape: Divide the dough into two loaves and used the letter fold method to pre-shape. The loaves sat uncovered on the counter for about 40 minutes.

Shape: Flip the balls upside down and do the letter fold method again. I got a nice tight skin by pulling the dough towards me on the counter. Let it sit for a few seconds and then put it seam side up in floured (all purpose and rice) baskets. Put the baskets into plastic bags to prevent the dough from drying out.

Proof: Let proof on the counter for one hour and then into the fridge for 20 hours and 20 minutes. 

Baking: Heat oven with baking stone and dutch ovens to 500F for 45 minutes. When oven is ready, turn out dough onto counter sprinkled with cornmeal. Remove dutch ovens from oven and sprinkle bottom with cornmeal. Gently drop loaves in dutch ovens and score with razor blade. Bake at 500F for 20 minutes with lid on, drop oven temp to 450 and bake for 10 minutes longer. Remove lid and bake for another 30 minutes.


I let it cool for about 20 hours before cutting it up to go into the freezer in slices. I am really pleased with the crumb!

I ate the ends and I was really pleased with the flavour. Thank you Ru007 for your post and your inspiration!

PalwithnoovenP's picture

I originally planned to enter this for BBD #83 for a bread with special flour but I'm pressed for time and did not make it to the deadline so maybe it was really meant for BBD #84. Thanks to Susanne for a great theme of sandwich bread for this month: and to Zorra for coming up with this great monthly challenge: Sandwich bread is my favorite type of bread to make because it is hearty and homey and the standard bread in our house. Discovering so much more techniques, I now strive to improve our favorite house bread.

This bread was mainly inspired by the painting and music here. The painting is so finely crafted with textures and colors as if it was real. The music also really fits the melancholic mood; I almost cried when I listened to it for the first time. The painting reveals different stories depending on the interpreter's mind; I see a longing for true love rather than unrecruited love. When I was in the university, this is my calming music whenever I'm having a review for an exam. Played with rain and thunder effects, it is much more calming and much more real. With the painting and music in my mind, I was able to form a story and a formula for a bread that will fit the setting.

                                                                           Lover’s Bread

Once upon a time in Ancient China, there were lovers both of noble descent who truly love each other. On their rare dates, they would meet at a stone bridge to take a stroll under the romantic moonlight and eat at their favorite place, a special bread. The owner of the place was truly ahead of their time, baked bread in decorative shapes with sticky rice and beans were sold and became a favorite among the people.

During that time as frequent attacks from neighboring states often transpire, all men ages 17 and up are required to partake in a three-year mandatory military service. The man was stationed to guard and protect the northern border. One night on the last year of his service, their camp was savagely attacked by enemies injuring hundreds, luckily they defended the area and defeated the enemy but he was not one of the lucky ones able to return. When the news came to the lady, she was stricken with sorrow and grief and did not know what to do, they were almost getting married. For her loyalty to him and their true love, she vowed to never marry which surprisingly her family agreed to.

One rainy dusk while walking, she saw that same stone bridge where they use to meet during those rare chances and saw two young lovers much like them. She remembered her lover only to realize he is not there anymore and again felt the cold and melancholy so to cheer herself up she decided to go to their favorite place and eat the bread they used to love. At least with that bread she feels he is still with her filling her heart with good memories and bliss.

I could make the story more dramatic, you know adding various classic elements and archetypes for this kind of love stories but this is not a writer's blog so I focused on the bread. :) When I heard the music and saw the art, I just can't take them off of my head, imaging various scenarios in my mind like clothing, architecture and FOOD. I thought of various Asian ingredients and incorporated them into a bread. Rice and beans immediately came to mind as they are classic combinations especially in East Asian cuisine.

I thought of roasted soybean flour because I think it's unique and it is seldom used for other purposes than rice cakes. In Japan, mochi served and/or dusted with kinako just like injeolmi with konggaru in Korea but in China, the same combination of sticky rice and roasted soybean flour is much more dramatic, called San Da Pao (三大炮) meaning three cannon shots, watch it here at 04:22 and find out more here. It must be very entertaining during ancient times, they even found a way to make food a form of entertainment maybe because there were only a few during those times.

A bread containing sticky rice and roasted bean flour made with sourdough BAKED in a tin with a decorative shape is what I thought of a revolutionary bread that fits the period and setting of the painting if it was true. The oval shape of these sandwich breads is my signature so do not steal it! :P 東愛 Dong Ai means Eastern Love and I think it surely fits the theme of this bread.

I couldn't find roasted soybean flour so I made my own adaptation. Mung beans are probably the second or third most popular bean in East Asia and it is widely available here so that's what I used. I soaked it, steamed it and mashed it. The resulting paste was cooked in a pan until dry and powdery then further roasted until brown then finally sifted to remove any big bits. It smells very fragrant and nutty.

Rice is the staple in most of Asia and in our country as well. I have made a bread with rice before so I decided to do it again this time leaning towards more on oriental flavors, meaning no milk or butter. I made a sticky rice roux again but instead of milk or water, I used rice washing for it; it is common practice here to use it in lieu of water for soups for a more delicious result so I brought it here too. If you make rice, you know what I mean, the first wash removes the dirt and dust and you throw that away; the second rinse, that's what you want to keep, clean but with still a lot of starch.

Here is the sticky rice flour mixed with the rice washing and honey. I originally planned to use a saccharified starch sweetener like maltose or rice syrup because I feel it's more authentic but I can't find it so I used honey since I reckoned it is of medical importance in Oriental medicine and it tastes good too compared to just sugar.

Here is the finished sticky rice roux. It will provide a specific chew and moisture retention to the bread.

A day before mixing, I fed Zhou Clementine from her cold sleep and fast and proceeded to make the levain the next day. A fortnight and half without feeding, she grew more than triple in 12 hours. The levain ripened and became more than double in 6 hours. She is smelling very fragrant and sour. This is just her second loaf and I want to understand her more because her first was not that good so I did not include even a bit of instant yeast, This a fairly complex bread for me purely raised with a sourdough starter. I heard enriched breads are not really sourdough friendly especially for a young starter but I still continued.

Here are the ingredients before mixing. Anti-clockwise: Roasted mung bean flour, strong flour, sticky rice roux, levain, and salt.

I kneaded it adjusting the rice washing bit by bit and kneaded until the gluten is developed then I added some oil to soften the crumb. I'm surprised that I was still able to pull a relatively strong windowpane despite the large amount of sticky rice flour. The bulk fermentation took 6 hours at room temperature and then to the refrigerator overnight. I found that Zhou Clementine likes a long warm bulk fermentation to be just shy of doubled. I thought that all of the enrichment was too much for her because the growth is not that obvious as I'm used to when using instant yeast but I still continued and believed.

Here is the dough next day. Nicely doubled and fragrant, no yeasty smell, just sweet sour aroma.

I divided it into 3 and shaped them differently before proofing them in my special tins. I wish I took a photo of them before proofing so you could see the strength of my starter. The bulk fermentation was long but the final proof was fast and Zhou Clementine raised them just fine in 3 hours.

The first one is a two pieced coiled loaf.

The next one is three pieced loaf but instead of rolling them, I twisted each dough  piece like a twist doughnut.

The last one is a braided loaf.

Here they are altogether.

They were baked in my clay pot for 40 minutes, flipping them in the 20 minute mark. I will provide a recipe for to try it but be aware I'm not sure if these are the exact amounts I used but this is what I will use if I have a scale and an oven. Sorry too, I'm terrible at math especially baker's math because I almost do not use it. 


100% - Total Flour - 80% white strong flour 20% sticky rice flour (If you're skeptical, scale it to 10% I believe it will still make a difference then adjust the balance of the flour) (NOTE: 15% of the strong flour is pre-fermented}

70% - Rice washing or water (The water for feeding the starter and making the levain is taken from this amount) (NOTE: 70% of the water is used to make the sticky rice roux, the remaining water or "adjustment water" is used to adjust the dough consistency during the final mixing)

15% - Roasted mung bean flour (Use kinako (roasted soybean flour) if you don't want to go through the trouble of making your own bean flour and you can find it, that's what I originally wanted to use)

1.8% - Sea salt

7% Honey (If using other sweeteners, amounts may need to be varied)

7% Oil (Any neutral flavored oil)


1. The day before making the dough, refresh the starter if necessary and make the levain. Leave at room temperature for 8-12 hours until doubled. You can use it immediately or refrigerate it for another 12 hours or use any levain schedule you are used to.

2. Make the sticky rice roux by combining water, honey and sticky rice flour and cook over low heat until thick. Cool. Although similar in principle to a tang zhong, as sticky rice roux will behave very differently. A tang zhong is porridge like but this one will be like mochi when done.

3. Mix the flours and salt then the roux, levain and the remaining water until combined. The roux will be a little difficult to incorporate at first  and the dough will seem dry so you need to adjust the water but do not add too much, the dough will be soft when all are nicely incorporated and extra water will lead to a very slack dough which you do not want. A soft and a little sticky dough is what you want.

4. Knead until medium gluten development then add the oil and knead until incorporated and the dough is able to pass a windowpane.  The windowpane maybe thick because of the gluten lowering sticky rice and will be studded with mung bean grains (if you do not use kinako) because it is not as fine as the flours. I do not know what will the kneading process be like in a mixer because I don't have one so make your own adjustments.

5. Bulk rise ar 82F for 6 hours the refrigerate overnight. Shape into a sandwich loaf the next day and proof at 88F for 3 hours until almost tripled, You know your starter so stick to how your starter raises your bread.

6. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes or until loaf registers to the right temperature

*NOTE: Maybe I used 250-280g of total flour and it fits an 8X4 (9X4 or 8X5  or 9X5, sorry again, I'm not use to standard pan sizes). loaf pan.

*With your equipment and experience, I'm sure you'll do a  better job than me. I'm curious how they will look if they will be baked in a standard oven.

When I opened the clay pot, a sweet wheaty smell with notes of peanut butter and yogurt wafted in the air. It was also raining the day when I made it just like in the painting.

Crust is thin and soft at the sides and thick and crunchy at the top and bottom and a little charred on some areas.

Crumb is very nice and again very difficult to describe. Soft and fluffy but chewy, light but has dense feel. Unlike super market bread that morphs into a little solid block when squeezed, this one? Squeeze it hard and see it slowly come back to it's shape. The sticky rice gave it a very special texture, soft but chewy and resistant. gives in at first but fights back a little for a satisfying texture like saying to your face: you're eating bread not air but still it's fluffy and familiar.  See? I'm running out of words again, I think you just have to try it to know what I'm talking about.

Crumb when pulled: See the fluffiness and softness!

Crumb when sliced: It's very fine and looks like there is some whole grain in it because of the color. If I don't have a good serrated knife, I would have been in trouble because its texture makes it difficult to slice.

Slice it thick or thin to suit your preference,

The taste is tangy and nutty like there was peanut butter in it. My recent favorite of a thick smear of peanut butter on sourdough bread is answered with this bread, I don't know what's with it but it's so good. It easily approximates a PB&J sandwich even without the PB.

I don't know if this will surprise you but this are mini loaves and they are really small, small enough to fit on the palm of your hand!

I stored it at room temperature for 2 days just to test things out. I don't know if the increased keeping qualities of sourdough is a benefit because we finish the loaf faster because of the added and better flavor.

After 2 days at room temperature, it didn't lose any of its shreddable quality. It was still fluffy and soft!

It also toasts very well. Perfect for breakfast because of the energy from the wheat, rice and honey and the protein from the beans, and also you only need to eat a small amount to feel satisfied so perfect for those on the go that doesn't have much time to eat.

My first choice to eat with this toast is some bananas and honey because it will go well with the nutty flavor but a little bit honey is already fine.

For the complete bean experience, with some sweetened mung bean paste.

Or both mung bean paste and honey if you're packing some serious load of energy.

tilt's picture

I have been working on my standard bread recipe for about 2 years now, every week changing one parameter, I posted a question about different flours and milling techniques here and a response required me to write out my recipe and method, so i figured I would post it here too, as my first blog post


I am focusing on using local grains as much as possible, and i am lucky to have a great Bakery close by that mill their own flour that i can use

66% E5 strong white flour ( there is no protein content given, I can ask)

33% gilchesters strong white (12% protein)

75% water

this is left to autolyse overnight, approximately 8 hours

2% salt 

5% water 

12% starter ( 60% hydration refreshed twice a day using approximately 5-10% the previous batch of starter. flour is Gilchester strong white)

this is all incorporated by hand and left to rest for 1 hour, then the dough is tipped out onto a lightly oiled work surface and given 1 fold, followed by four more folds every 45 mins, doing this on a work surface rather than in a container i find helps gluten development. the dough is then transferred to a high sided container for bulk fermentation. this happens at room temprature (18-23c) bulk fermentation is over when the dough has gained 50% in volume (approx 3hours)

the dough is then divided and preshaped, the when reshaping i do not touch the dough with my hands, only using the dough scrapper to shape the boule, but ensuring i get enough surface tension. after a 30min bench rest I very lightly flour the work surface and shape the dough. this is done by flipping the preshaped boules over then folding in the top and two sides of the circle, then folding that over the bottom flap, i then tighten up the boule with the bench knife.

The final proof is done in a cloth lined bannetone in the fridge, this takes 18-20 hours. the loaf if bakes straight from the fridge in a La Cloche at 250C, once the loaf is scored and in the oven the temperature is turned down to 220C. the loaf is given 30mins with the lid on and then another 25mins with the lid off.



one dilemma I have every week is whether or not I should score the loaf before baking, as they do often stay quite flat, which i have no issue with, but if i leave them unscored they sometimes have a better finish.

dmsnyder's picture

Wifely complement of the week: "What do you call this bread … so I know how to ask you to make it again?" Well, I couldn’t think of what to call it. I have made it before … sort of. It is based on Forkish’s “Pain de Campagne” from FWSY, except with a different flour mix, no commercial yeast and a different fermentation schedule. I’ve generally called such breads “in the spirt of …” whatever my starting point was.

Anyway, it is awfully good bread - very moist, wheaty and only mildly sour.



Since it is still berry season, and we have been getting really tasty, local, organic blueberries, I also made some muffins.



Happy baking!


loydb's picture

I had about 500g extra of my 100% hydration WW start (90% hard red winter wheat, 10% rye), and needed to bake a loaf for some friends, plus some for us. I wanted a bit more rise than I've been getting with 100% WW, so I used AP for half the flour bill (Reinhart's basic sourdough recipe). I'm really happy with how it came out. 


edit: Crumb Shot


Ricardo Gonzalez Brazilian Baker's picture
Ricardo Gonzale...

I'm back again after long períod of absence of this blog. I will make efforts to contribute 2 times weekly with posts and discussions here sharing all my expertise on artisan breads.

I always bake with passion and curiosity. For me one of the bad things is to look that carbage boxes full of old staled breads that go away trough carbage trucks at final day at the bakeries of my wide country, Brazil.

So, the use of Old stale breads make me Happy and i want share my conclusions with you. I use the sponge technic of Michael Kalanty to prepare Pumpkin Burguer Buns and i substituted 20% of total flour at my recipes by old bread crumbs of the same Pumpkin Buns and it turned amazing. I noticed that breads maintained the softly crumb and rised so good!!

Tomorrow i will share with you the recipes of this amazing Burguer Buns!!!


STUinlouisa's picture

I decided to revisit what ancient grains I have on hand with this simple loaf. It is about 60% a equal combination of Einkorn,  Spelt and Kamut  all fresh ground with the rest being AP for a total of 500g at 70% hydration. It is naturally leavened with one build using 50g starter 100g flour mix and 70g water. The rest of the flour was started to autolyse at the same time. The leaven doubled in about 3.5 hours at 80F and was mixed with the other plus some salt. 3 S&F 15 min apart during which the gluten felt pretty developed but the dough collapsed totally between made me decide to use a loaf pan and since it was to be baked in a counter top convection oven a pullman pan was used so the lid trapped the steam. After about a 2 hour ferment the dough was double rolled and placed in the pan to proof,  which took about another 2 hours.  The loaf was baked at 425F for 15 min, the lid removed, the temp turned down to 400F and the loaf baked until a temp of 205F was reached. The taste of the loaf made me remember why I have these grains it is nutty and sweet with a grassy component. The thing the cutting board is sitting on is an antique Hoosier Baking Cupboard that was given to us by an older neighbor friend when she was cleaning out what she called junk. I tried to explain that it was worth something and wanted to pay but she wouldn't hear of it. It actually has the bin where the flour was kept as well as the covered hole in the top for loading it.


Ru007's picture

I love whole grains, and I wanted to go back to some of the loaves I’ve made and try and make them more whole grain. My polenta pepita SD has been one of my favourite loaves so I decided to start there. The first time I made it, I used 100% white flour (ignoring the rye flour in the 6g of rye starter I used). 

Here’s the formula I used this time: 



Weight (g)






Unbleached white     bread flour




Whole grain wheat flour
















Levain (80% hydration)








Polenta (40g dry weight)








Sunflower seeds




Pumpkin seeds
















Total dough weight




1. The levain was built in 3 stages, starting with 11g of my NMNF rye starter. All the builds were done using whole grain flour, this brings up the whole grain percentage in the loaf to 40%. The levain was retarded for about 8 hours the night before mixing day.

2. The polenta was just 40g dry polenta soaked in boiling water overnight. The moisture from the polenta, added a lot to the hydration of the final dough, but I wouldn’t say that the dough was particularly wet.

3. The flours, water and polenta were mixed and left overnight.

4. I added the salt and levain to the final dough and gave it 50FFs just to get it all mixed, and then a 15min rest.

5. Over the next two hours the dough had 5 sets of S&F (each set being 4 folds) every 30mins, then left to bulk ferment undisturbed for 3 hours until it looked nice a puffy (probably about double in size).

6. The dough was pre shaped and left to rest for 25mins before the final shaping. It went into a rice floured basket and into the fridge for 20hours. 

7. The dough was baked straight from the fridge at 240 dC for 45mins (with steam during the first 30mins).


The crust is nice and crispy and the crumb is moist and chewy tender.

I think the crumb is okay for this type of loaf, it looks a bit tight at the top which makes me think I should have given the dough a bit more time? I'm still figuring out what to expect with whole grains. 

This loaf is a bit sweeter than the one with 100% white flour, which i like. I definitely prefer the flavour of this loaf to the 100% white version (although that was also very nice). Overall, this is a very tasty bread, great for a sandwich. I'll absolutely try this again sometime. 

Happy baking to all :)


isand66's picture

   I wanted to use some fresh milled flour from my Mock Mill that I'm testing out so I through together a simple bread using fresh milled whole wheat, fresh milled Kamut and some barley flakes.

I do have to say I'm very impressed with the control you get with the Mock Mill.  I used the second finest settings and did one sift and reground the sifted out parts again.

The end result was a very tasty wholesome bread with a moderate crumb.


Formula  (NOTE: THESE HAVE BEEN UPDATED.  I removed the extra AP flour in final dough)

Whole Wheat Kamut Bread (%)

Whole Wheat Kamut Bread (weights)


Download the BreadStorm File Here.






Levain Directions

Mix all the Levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I usually do this the night before.  Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours, barley flakes and 400 grams of the water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 60 minutes.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), olive oil and balance of the water, and mix on low for 6 minutes.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (If you have a proofer you can set it to 80 degrees and follow above steps but you should be finished in 1 hour to 1.5 hours).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.   Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 25-35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 210 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.





Bogie's picture

i am baking a pure levain loaf . After approx 8 hrs after feeding of the levain , I am mixing the dough for the autolyse , after 30 minutes I am mixing the final dough, with 216 gr of leaven. I am folding the dough 4 times & letting it rest covered overnight. The next morning I divide it & put in proofing baskets for 4 hours. The house is at 75 to 77 degrees and the loaves seem to me to be overproofed. After transferring to Dutch oven they do not raise during the baking. It appears to me that the room temperature is too high for an overnight rise & then again for a 4 hr proof. Help I need help!


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