The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recent Blog Entries

ckujawa's picture

Just pulled this from the oven about 20 minutes ago and can't wait to dig into it. We had cooked a turkey this past weekend and wanted to make sandwiches...but of course we needed a bread built just for such an occasion. So...I set to work with the breadcalc spread sheet and this is what I came up with.

Levain @ 50%: 100%/3oz
Water: 50%/2oz
KAF Speacial Flour: 90%/3oz
KAF White Whole Wheat Flour: 5%/1oz

Final dough...
All the starter: 25%?...I didn't weigh it, just threw 'er in
KAF Special flour: 80%/ 12.25oz
KAF White Whole Wheat Flour: 10%/1.5oz
KAF Pumpernickle Flour: 10%/1.5oz
Water 73%/11oz
Salt: about 1tsp (I estimated from here on out...)
Fresh sage, chiffonade 2Tblsp
Dried lavender, crushed 1Tblsp or so (still estimating)
homemade dried cranberries...about a cup

I let the starter do it's thing overnight. Mixed all the ingredients to the salt up, autolyze 10 minutes, knead with a mixer for 5 minutes and let them sit in bulk ferment for 2 hours (slap and fold every 20 minutes or so). Then, I put the dough on a lightly floured board, added the rest of the ingredients to the pile and kneaded until well mixed. Back to bulk ferment for another 1-2 hours--no slap and fold this time. Shape and rise in a banneton for about an hour, preheating the oven to 500 degrees toward the end of the rise (no time here...I just turned it on and walked away). Prior to the preheat I put a sheet pan in the oven upside down so it would get nice and toasty before I placed the load on it. Gently transferred the boule to parchment paper on a free sheet, cut my pattern, then transferred to the sheet in the oven. Added steam every 5 minutes for the first 15, then dropped the temp to 400degrees where the bread did it's thing for about 30 minutes (internal temp of 190). Of course, 1/2 way through the 400degree time I rotated the loaf 180 degrees.

Here it is on the way in...quite tasty too if I do say so myself.

davey1025's picture

Einkorn flour truly made a difference in both taste and texture. I only used about 10% of the total flour weight in this recipe.


Happy New Year everyone

Michael Fuhrman's picture
Michael Fuhrman

After years of reading these helpful blogs, I am reaching out for help.  For the past 20 years, I've been baking bread in my home kitchen.  Recently, I started using a Blodgett gas oven with a metal deck 30x42 at a local church to see if I can dramatically increase production and still maintain the quality I seek.  My initial goal is to move from 4 to 8 loaves in my Dutch Oven at home to 50 in the Blodgett gas oven.  The idea is to start a small bread shop in my hometown.  I've baked a couple of patches of pain de campagne at 78% hydration in the Blodgett oven. While the loaves exhibited the oven spring and maintained the taste, the crust failed to achieve that deep rustic look.  Instead, the loaves came out ashy.  Very disappointing.  

I've inserted a pan filled with hot water at the point the loaves went into the oven (temp. 450F) and sprayed the loaves with a hand-held bottle but to no avail.  The loaves just don't have the Dutch Oven look I get at home.  

Can I achieve that deep, dark reddish/blonde crust in a Blodgett oven?  I've attached an image of my first attempt in the church oven.  

Elsie_iu's picture

Sprouted White Wheat Buckwheat Barley SD


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

150g      50%       Whole white wheat flour

90g        30%       Sprouted white wheat flour

30g        10%       Toasted buckwheat flour

30g        10%       Toasted pearl barley flour


For leaven:

20g       6.67%       Starter

30g          10%       Bran sifted from dough flour

30g          10%       Water


For dough:

270g         90%       Dough flour excluding flour for leaven

100g      33.3%       Whey

143g      47.7%       Water

80g        26.7%       Leaven

5g          1.67%       Salt



280g       90.3%       Whole grain

310g       100%        Total flour

283g       91.3%       Total hydration


Sift out the bran from dough flour, reserve 30 g for the leaven. Soak the rest, if any, in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 5.5 hours (18.5°C).

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the salt and let it ferment for 20 minutes. Fold in the salt and ferment for 4 hour 10 minutes longer.

Preshape the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes. Shape the dough then put in into a banneton. Retard for 8 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. Remove the dough from the oven and let it warm up for 40 minutes. Score and spritz the dough then bake 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.


As the temperature of my home dropped to 18.5°C/65.3°F, the fermentation time of the dough more than doubled. Though I tried to feel the dough rather than relying on the clock, I still under-proofed the dough slightly…



This bread is quite robust in flavor. You can definitely tell the presence of the toasted buckwheat despite the small percentage of it used. The sweetness and toastiness are more pronounced than the sourness, thanks to the toasted barley and buckwheat, and sprouted white wheat.




Fermented red beancurd marinated ribs & potatoes rice, Thai basil vermicelli with shrimps & lotus roots, and garlicky mixed veggies


Savory sweet potatoes soup


Mushroom Makhani linguine with toasted papads


Pan fried cabbage & home fermented daikon radish YW dumplings


Satay pork tacos


Taiwanese beef bowl with YW noodles


pul's picture

After some time without baking I am back with a repeat formula based on a mix of bread flour, whole wheat and durum. Roughly 180g bread flour, 80 g whole wheat and 40 g durum. The levain contained 15% of the total flour and the total hydration was 75%. The room temperature was about 16C. I built the levain the night before and processed the dough during the day. Below is the crumb shot.

Wish you happy baking in the new year.


dabrownman's picture

Per our tradition, we welcomed in the new year with pizza, once again made the ‘killer grill’ way.  We no longer make pizza in the oven because it just doesn’t get hot enough and the pies are inferior in every way.


Dough coming out of the fridge after a 24 hour retard

Lucy even perked up when got to have some crust.  She loved it too.  The 100% hydration pre-ferment for this one was 9% flour made up of equal parts sprouted Khorasan and sprouted spelt.  The liquid was all apple yeast water.  At the last minute, Lucy added in a pinch of IDY and 8 g of NMNF rye SD starter to make to make it a triple threat. 

We put it on the heating pad until it doubled, then we stirred it down and put it in the fridge for an 18 hour retard.  The next afternoon we autolysed the dough flour, half LaFama AP and half BRM Artisan Bread Flour for an hour, adding enough water to get it to 71% hydration with the 2% PH sea salt sprinkled on top.

We started off by doing 150 slap and folds and then let it sit for an hour before doing 50 more and then 25 more an hour later.  The dough was placed on an oiled plastic mat, on the heating pad and covered with a SS bowl and a towel between slapping sessions and then we let it sit for 2 hours after the 3rd one. 

We punched it down and put it into an oiled SS bowl, covered it with plastic wrap and placed it into the fridge for a 24 hour retard.  It had nearly doubled on the heating pad and then doubled again in the fridge.  Three and half hours before we needed to make pies with it, we took it out of the fridge, divided it into 3 parts of 250 g each and placed them back into the SS bowl where the pieces doubled in volume again.

This dough was perfect for making pizza, easy to roll out with not much elasticity but strong enough not to tear and make holes either.  Earlier in the day we made a batch of Lucy’s Pizza Sauce with fire roasted tomatoes this time, smoked a pound of two kinds of Italian sausage – hot and mild, 12 large Crimini mushrooms cut into quarters and a huge red onion sliced into half inch slices.

Chris Bianco’s Wise Guy Pizza is the inspiration but we put pizza sauce on ours because we like it better than a white pie like Chris’s.  We also put fresh basil on our pies after they come off the grill.  Since it was so cold and windy outside, the grill only got to 550 F instead of 650 F like usual but the stone was still hotter than 550 F with all 4 burners running at full whack.

The Cheeses were fresh Mozzarella, Full Fat aged Mozzarella and then grated Pecorino on top.  I had some nice 3", thin sliced spicy smoked pepperoni too but forgot all about it...... so it never made it on a pie.  It is usually my daughter's favorite but she never mentioned missing it.

Normally it takes 8 minutes to make a pizza but this time it took 12 minutes.  My daughter said she was disappointed that the dough didn’t have the usual fresh rosemary, sun dried tomatoes and fresh garlic in it and then said that she liked the smoked mushrooms the best and wished there we more of them on the pies.  Then she said it was the best pizza she ever had😊

She liked picking up the whole pie with her hands and no plate to show her husband how crisp it was and that even the entire pie had so sag.  Extra, thin, crisp and tasty is what makes pizza the most popular food ever invented after about a dozen others!   Make sue to put the cut slices on a wire cooling rack so that they don’t get soggy and foldable.

Lucy reminds us to have a salad with those pies!

What a great way to bring in 2019 when served with Artful Farmer and Paraduxx red blend wines!  The 4 of us polished off the 3 pies and I hate to admit I had 6 pieces.  My daughter’s husband now knows all of Lucy’s tricks to making a great pizza.  Now he wants  some of my SD and YW starters.  Happy New Year to all!

PalwithnoovenP's picture

To start the year, I baked one of the most difficult yet luxurious Filipino breads, Ensaymada! It originated from the Mallorcan Ensaimada but the Filipino ones are very different from its ancestor that someone said they should go by a completely different name. The Ensaimada Mallorquina was more like a croissant, flaky and laminated with lard; the Filipino Ensaymada (Notice the use of a masculine adjective for a feminine noun and different adjective placement?) is brioche like, a soft rich bread. Our ancestors have really made it our own. Notice how the spelling changed to reflect Filipino orthography? Before WWII, when Spanish was still a prevalent lingua franca in the country, it was used to be spelled Ensaimada and made with lard (lard brioche, I can't imagine how good it was.) that clearly reflects its Spanish ancestry.

It is made with flour, milk, egg yolks, yeast, sugar, salt and butter—lots of butter! This is a bit more modern yet still traditional way of making them; remember lard was the traditional fat of choice. They are then coiled like a snail and placed in fluted molds then baked until rich brown. THEN, as if there was not enough butter and sugar already in the dough; it is brushed with more, (lots of) softened butter and sprinkled with sugar and occasionally cheese, aged cheese. I know, it sounds weird to put some cheese on top of butter and sugar but that's how we love it and as you know; Filipinos love the combination of salty-sweet/sweet-savory. Traditionally queso de bola, a local version of aged Edam cheese is the topping of choice but some dress theirs even more: people in the capital city of our province top them with salted egg and ham in addition to the cheese.

It goes well with Tsokolate de Batirol Filipino-style hot chocolate which I forgot to take a picture because we were in the moment of eating this ensaymada. It's the best we've had. We have never tasted anything like it before.

They are usually yeasted but I decided to make a sourdough version and it's my first time making this bread. Two breads immediately came to my mind; panettone and pand'oro, both super rich but naturally-leavened. I had a failed panettone earlier last year so I am challenged and determined to try make a similar bread and succeed. I followed the general outline of panettone recipes and combined it with the steps and ingredients of various Filipino ensaymada recipes. The difference between my ensaymada and panettone is mine is less rich in sugar and butter (the topping compensated for this :D) in the dough but definitely richer in egg yolks.

This one was made with three doughs before the bulk ferment. No additional water of milk, all of the hydration came from a ton of egg yolks. The only water came from the stock starter and the small levain build. My hands got soar the next day due the intensive kneading required but I was extremely pleased when I saw how strong the windowpane was after the last of the butter was completely absorbed! :)

Final proof was quick despite the high amount of sugar, only 4 hours at 24C, imagine how it would have went if it was a hot summer day! The dough was already more than doubled when I put it in the oven. I baked it at 190C for 25 minutes. Oven spring was non-stop for 15 minutes, I was a bit concerned that it might fall over due to it being unable to support its own weight but luckily it did not. The dough expanded 4-5 times in the oven all created by my starter. She is that strong now.

After cooling, I slathered the Ensaymada with a generous amount of softened butter and sprinkled it with white granulated sugar and grated a good amount of cheese right on top of it. I could not find the traditional cheese so this one had some sharp cheddar on it. Enjoy!

They were so tall and light, they collapsed a little bit after cooling. I should have went the panettone route and hanged them upside down to cool. I think they could have been lighter had they not collapsed a bit.

The Ensaymada was very rich yet light which makes it all the more addicting and dangerous. I could detect a slight slight tang but it was masked or actually played well with the rich, buttery, and sweet flavors. The saltiness and savoriness of the cheese balances the sweet flavor of the bread and the topping, and adds another dimension of richness.

The crust was a bit crispy and flaky. The rich brown hue to which it was baked adds to the overall flavor of the bread. The crumb has a rich golden yellow color from all of the free-range egg yolks from our own chickens. The high number of yolks also added a savory note to the bread. Ensaymada is a bread that harmoniously floats in the middle of the sweet-savory continuum; it's up to you to which direction to push it. The crumb is very shreddy, and feather light; I feel like it's the right crumb for a pand'oro or panettone and so I feel more empowered to make them in the future and I think I have a higher chance of success in making them which just a few more modifications. It's really lighter than air!

Unfortunately, my photography skills doesn't seem to capture the lightness of the Ensaymada. I don't know why the rich golden hue didn't show either in the photos. I'm sorry too, if most photos were out of focus. :) They just look better in real life.

Ensaymada Crumb

Happy New Year!!!

Happy Baking in 2019!!!

Khetalas's picture

I scored a wondermill for 30$! 

We have a kitchen aid one but I don't like how hot it gets. When I saw this I had to snap it up! I am going to experiment in the next few days 



Subscribe to Recent Blog Entries