The Fresh Loaf

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Danni3ll3's picture

I am super pleased with the oven spring on this one. This is a variation of Tartine 3's Flax Sunflower Bread. 

I toasted 140 g of sunflower seeds and 140 g of flax seeds. I gave the flax a whirl in my mini chopper and then soaked them overnight in 180 g of water. 

The next morning, I put 700 g of warm water in my mixing tub, added the sunflower seeds and soaked flax. I had to work the flax a bit to loosen it up as it had gelled quite tightly. To that I added 500 g unbleached flour, 100 dark rye, 100 spelt, 100 g white whole wheat, and 200 multigrain flour. I let that autolyse for one hour. 

After the hour was up,I added 22 g salt , 200 g of a 3 stage 100% hydration part rye/part wheat levain as well as 60 g water as the dough felt tight. 

I then did 6 sets of folds a half hour apart and then let the dough sit until I saw bubbles forming on the sides of the bucket. 

I divided the dough into two, preshaped it, let it rest for maybe 10 minutes, shaped it, and then into baskets for an overnight retard of about 12 hours. 

I baked the dough straight from the fridge into a hot Dutch oven as per my usual 20 minutes at 500, 10 minutes at 450 and then another 20 minutes uncovered. 

I am learning that I like to mix in my add-ins with the water if the autolyse, put the flour on top and mix everything up. It seems easier than trying to add things at the first fold stage. Less messy and way less sticky. The add-ins seem better dispersed too. 

The second thing I am learning is that I get better oven spring if I retard my loaves for 10 to 12 hours instead of 18 to 24. Not sure why but mixing the dough in the early evening and baking 12 hours later seems to be giving me better results. 

Crumb shot will happen when we cut one open. ;-)

dmsnyder's picture

This weekend, I wanted to make a rye bread to go with smoked fish, and, since I was refreshing my rye sour anyway, I also made a pain au levain with a rye starter. The rye is another Berliner Landsbrot (thank you Stan Ginsberg). The Pain au levain is a formula posted quite a while back by Hansjoakim. Formulas for both are available on TFL.

This is a delicious bread. It is 90% rye, and the dough has almost no gluten to help form a loaf. It's really sticky. Yet, for some reason that totally escapes my understanding, it is really easy to handle and shape, considering. Did I say it's delicious?

This is another bread with a delicious flavor and a classically crunchy crust. (Ooooo! I just noticed the crust crackle in the loaf behind this slice!) It made a fine sandwich with some white meat from the chicken roasted for dinner last night.

Happy baking!


RamChef's picture


For most of you on The Fresh Loaf site, “vital wheat gluten” is an essential ingredient used to get that additional rise in whole wheat bread.  That was my experience as well until about six months ago.  Now, “vital wheat gluten” is the key ingredient I use to make Seitan or “Wheat Meat!”

My son is a vegetarian, so I am always on the lookout for vegetarian recipes I think he would like.  Approximately six months ago I was watching “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” and saw an interesting episode featuring a restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa called Tacopocalypse.  They were making their Andouille Seitan Burrito.   Guy Fieri was impressed and commented that most people would not even know there wasn’t any meat in it.   What is this Seitan stuff anyway?  It took me a few attempts to successfully Google  “seitan” as I did not know how to spell it, but I quickly found information about seitan as well as a recipe to make it.  The recipe I used that first time and still use was from Liquid amino acid was the only product I had not previously worked with and all of the recipe ingredients were available at my local grocery stores.

Prior to discovering seitan, the meat substitute I used most was tofu.  Unfortunately, I have never been a fan of tofu.  The texture of tofu never gave me the impression I was eating meat.  The same cannot be said for Seitan.  Seitan has an outstanding meat like texture and is tremendously moist.  Seitan is also very versatile.  After you make seitan you can keep it in the refrigerator for approximately one week and you can substitute it for almost any meat.  

Favorite recipes of my son and daughter who is not a vegetarian include  Seitan nuggets, Sweet and Sour Seitan, Spaghetti and Seitan Meatballs,  and Shaved Seitan Sandwiches.  

If seitan is not something you are familiar with or have not tried, I highly encourage you to give it a try.  It is a great substitute for meat if you are a vegetarian or vegan.  If you are a meat lover, it is a good change of pace and I would contend actually makes a better nugget than chicken!

PY's picture

it's been awhile. was busy moving to a new home and now that i have kinda settled down at a new place, it was time to try out the new oven.

this is a sundried tomato sourdough adapted from tartine bread no 1. 80% bf 20% spelt, sundried tomatoes which had been rehydrated, 1.8% salt, 20% sourdough. 4 hours bulk at room temperature with turns every half hour for the first 2 hours, then another at 45 mins and lastly after 1 hour. Bulk cold retard for 12 hours. Shaped and bench rested 40 mins, final proof 80 mins.

would have preferred a bolder bake but forgot to open the lid until it was 25 mins left of baking time as i had guests visiting.

expected a more sour loaf but surprisingly wasn't tangy...perhaps spelt ferments differently from wheat and rye?

crumb is soft and nice.



Ru007's picture

If porridge loaves = “yum” and seeded loaves = “yum”, then porridge + seeds = “YUM” or “yum x 2”? Well, I’m not sure how mathematically sound that equation/formula/hypothesis (or whatever) is, but I decided to try it out.  



Weights (g)

Final dough






Levain (80% hydration)
























Unbleached white bread flour




Whole wheat
























Sunflower seeds




Pumpkin seeds




Sesame seeds (black)




Sesame seeds (white)




Oat porridge








Total dough weight







1.3 stage levain builds (all w/w flour) from 6g of NMNF rye starter, into the fridge overnight.

2. Toast 30 g rolled oats separately from pumpkin/black sesame/sunflower seeds and separately from the white sesame seeds. Crush the white sesame seeds

3. Cook the oats over a low heat in 140g of water, until it’s a thick/stiff porridge.

Mix 105g of the porridge and all the seeds, into the fridge overnight.

4. Make the autolyse and leave overnight in the fridge.

5. 2 hours before mixing, take everything out of the fridge

6. Mix everything plus salt. Rest for 45mins.

7. 4 S&F at 45min intervals. Bulk ferment for 3 hours or until it’s got some good bubble action going. 

Pre shape, 30min rest. Shape, 1 hour on the counter, then into the fridge (19 hours).

8. Remove from fridge, score and bake at 240dC for 30mins with steam, then at 220dC for another 15mins, turn off oven and leave loaf in for another 5mins.  


The loaf sprang and bloomed fairly well. I'm pleased with how moist and soft the crumb is. Thank you oat porridge.


 The taste of this loaf is great, it has a nice nuttiness and a very mild sourness. Definitely YUM.

This is my third seeded loaf in a row. First one, wasn’t really what I wanted. It had just black sesame seeds and steel cut oats. Here's a pic of that loaf. 


I mixed in the seeds and oats on the first fold but didn’t get the distribution of the seeds right. The crumb was alright, but I found it a bit dry. I didn’t realise that the seeds would soak up quite a bit of liquid. So i decided to tweak the formula.

Last week was just seeds. I upped the hydration, skipped the steel cut oats (figuring i should just learn how to handle just the seeds first) and mixed the seeds in at initial mixing (not with folds). That turned out better, no more dryness and better distribution. Here's a crumb shot of that loaf: 

This week, i went back to try oats again (not steel cut this time). I'm really having fun with my seeded loaf experiments, but i think i'm done messing with this formula (for now). What to try next? 

Happy baking!





Skibum's picture

Well I finally got what I was looking for with this bake!  Pretty much the same mix as the last two bakes of this recipe, but somehow with the first two, I got lazy and used a muffin tin. Buns were fine, but not pull apart shred able.

This bake I  placed the formed boules on a parchment lined sheet pan about 1/2" apart, confident that after proof and bake, they would actually stick together. Mission accomplished! Baking them in the middle of the sheet pan allowed the buns to bloom to maximum size. The crumb is pull apart an shred able, delicious without butter. Just what I was looking for.  An egg wash gives the gloss.

For sweetener I used 15g barley syrup and 25g honey. The barley syrup gives a nice note to the sweet flavours.  I also used more of a knead and fold, rather than the stretch and fold method of dough development I had been using. Perhaps I was a little too lax on the S&F's, perhaps too aggressive and tore the gluten strands.. In any event I have had a couple of pulla bakes blow apart, but using the knead and fold things worked out better.

Happy baking!  Ski

LanaL's picture

Can someone translate: "Refresh 100% starter to yield +200 grams for the next morning.  Overnight room temps can be 60F.  Use 50 gm whole wheat, 50 gm AP, 100 gm H2O and 30 gm natural leaven at 100% hydrations."  I REALLY want to make the steel cut oat bread posted here, but have only been baking for about 6 months and have not graduated to the % method... use recipes that prescribe grams.  Can someone help?

isand66's picture


This is a nice moist and flavorful rye perfect for a pastrami or corned beef sandwich.

The addition of the Greek Yogurt and potatoes really made this very moist and the combination of rye flour and First Clear made this extra tasty.


Here's some bonus shots from Pizza Night last week made with  Caputo 00 flour with a small % of whole wheat and yeast as well as some fresh Parmesan cheese mixed into the dough.







Download the BreadStorm File Here.


Levain Directions

Stage 1

Mix all the Levain ingredients for build one 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.

Stage 2

Add the ingredients for build 2 to the Stage 1 starter and stir until fully incorporated.  Let it sit at room temperature until doubled and either use immediately or put in the refrigerator until the next day.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the dehydrated onions into the beer and let it re-hydrate for 5-10 minutes.  Next mix the beer and yogurt with the  flours 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 up to an hour.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and potatoes and mix on low for 5 minutes.  Add the caraway seeds if using and mix until incorporated.  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 500 degrees and after another 3 minutes lower it 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.



Sitopoios's picture

My last bread I made according to the source with Rye, Spelt & Wheat.

I had a lot of the oats and I want to use it in sourdough instead of wheat flour. 

The experiment was not very clean, because my oven not accommodate to two loaves of bread, and one of them had to be in the proofers 1 hour more.

The result was a wonderful taste of bread! Do not be afraid to experiment :)

dabrownman's picture

Ancient alien theorists have long thought that the wee beasties found in SD are really tiny aliens brought here long ago by more complex and intelligent space traveling ancient aliens.  Lucy is a firm believer in these theories and has one of her own.

She is positive that the gel that forms when chia and flax seeds are soaked, turns them into an ancient alien gel mass that may not be very good humans to consume.  So she always specifies that chia and flax seeds be toasted in a dry pan until smoking, then ground and then baked at 450 F.

She thinks that this ensures that these potential evil aliens are really dead and can’t take over humans from the inside.  I am a bit skeptical about the whole thing though.  I’m not sure that frying grinding and baking really harms these aliens at all and really wouldn’t mind being taken over by aliens.

The idea of taking over the world when the world is so screwed up as it is a compelling to say the least and idea of punish those who screwed it up in the first place is even more appealing.  But hey, it is bake day and we can’t be diverted from it no matter how nice the theory sounds.

This bread is a 25% sprouted 10 grain and 36% whole grain bread.  The remaining 64% is bread flour.  Overall. hydration is 76%.  The add ins were 2% pink Himalayan sea salt, 2% red malt and 20% total chia and flax seeds in equal amounts.  The toted and f=ground seeds were hydrated separately in twice their weight in water and this water was not included in the recipe hydration.

The levain was a 3 stage, 100% hydration, 12 hour total, whole grain rye one using 10g of the last of the NMNF starter which had 10% pre-fermented whole grain rye flour.  Once the levain was built it was retarded overnight.  The next day we did 4th stage using the 5% bran sifted out from the sprouted 10 grains.

We stirred the 3stage rye levian down, added the sprouted bran and equal amounts of water and let the levain sit on the counter for 1 hour until it had risen 70%.  During this hour we autolysed the remaining high extraction sprouted and bread flour with the dough water and salt sprinkled on top.

Once the levain hit the mix was did 30 slap and folds to mix it all together followed by 2 more sets of 8 slaps and 3 sets of 4 slaps – all on 20 minute intervals.  We put the seeds on to gel for the autolyze and the first 3 sets of slap and folds.  By the time they hit the mix on slap and fold 4 they had really set up to max gel stage and we hope the aliens were all dead by then.

Once the slapping was done we pre-shaped and shaped the dough into an oval and dropped it into a rice floured basket for a 20 hour cold retard in the fridge.  Once we saw it the next morning it was past 100% proofed but rather than reshaping it and letting it proof again, we decided to bake it straight out of the fridge cold, slashed and baked on the bottom stone with Mega Steam using lava rocks.

We preheated to 500 F and slid the bread in on parchment for 2 minutes of steam at 500 F before turning the oven down to 460F for 16 more minutes of steam.  When the steam come out we saw the dough had puffed itself up a bit, rounding itself, but didn’t rally bloom which was expected.  We turned the oven down to 425 F convection and continued baking for another 23 minutes until the center was 208 F.

I smelled seedy for sure and we look forward to it cooling just in time for lunch sandwiches and a crumb shot.  It sure tastes seedy enough!  Yum.  Made a fine Genoa salami sandwich for lunch too.  Very soft and moist crumb and open enough for a bread with some much add ins getting in the way.  Very tasty indeed - we like it a lot!


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