The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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rport's picture

I tried making oatmeal porridge bread. Follow Chad Robertsons Tartine #3 Very high hydration, 4 folds over 3 hours form, basket, overnight in fridge bake 500 right from the oven. Very tasty. 

dabrownman's picture

Borodinsky bread was being baked long before the Battle of Borodino that supposedly led to its name and way before the Commies in Russia decided to standardize the recipe to make sourcing the ingredients for the bread much easier.  When the Soviet government says this is the way this bread is to be made then that is it – no variants or options allowed.  Free people don’t live like that of course.

Sprouted rye

Nothing wrong with this bread but it sure could be better – much better….at least according to Lucy at any rate.  She found the 80% rye, 20% wheat, 85% hydration recipe with beet molasses and coriander a bit boring.  So she has been working on a better version that suits her crazy bread attitude and weird way of making any kind of bread really.

Aprouted wheat

Hanseata got her hooked on a mixture of bread spices, Mini Oven got her hooked on walnuts and altus in high percent rye breads and Andy hooked her on prunes.   She didn’t have any prunes, at least not ones she could find as easy as black mission figs, so they subbed for the prunes.  If I have a bottle of Boulder Beer’s Chocolate Shaker Porter, it is going in the rye mix every time – regardless of what Lucy says – well at least most of the time.

That is a lot of add ins

So this is a 75% whole grain rye and 25% whole grain red and white wheat with 37.5% of the grains sprouted.  We kept the overall hydration at 85% with the levain water and dough liquid the Chocolate Porter with 2% salt. 

Way too small for the pan.

We 5% red rye malt and 3% each molasses and barley malt syrup with another.  The toasted and lightly ground seeds were 6% with half being caraway and the other half equally split between fennel, coriander and anise.  The walnuts and mission figs were 20% each and the altus was 25%

It rose about 50% before the pepitas went on.

The 15% pre-fermented bran levain was made from 10 g of NMNF rye starter that was at least 20 weeks old.  It was a 2 stager over 18 hours.  Then we did a 3rd stage of the malt, molasses and barley malt syrup and another 15% pre-fermented high extraction rye and wheat at 100% hydration that was left to sit until it rose 25% as the dough flour and porter were autolyzed for 1 hour with the pink Himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top.

Once the now 30% pre-fermented levain hit the mix we did 30 slap and folds with wet hands followed by 2 more sets of 6 slap and folds – all on 20 minute intervals.  Then we did 3 sets of 6 slap and folds to incorporate all the add ins and get them evenly distributed.  Then we let the dough sit for an hour before panning it in the oriental Pullman that was way too big or it.

Now that is some fine corn bread

We did dome the top with a wet spatula to give it some shape and then let it sit for 4 hours when it did very little proofing for some reason.  It was very slow and we were getting restless but we were patient at least at first and then Lucy started biting my ankles before I realized it was almost time to feed the poor beast.


We then remembered we were drying some red and white malted wheat to make into diastatic white malt.  So that took a half an hour to get out of the dehydrator and milled into the malt we like.  We then fired up the oven to 425 F preheat and plopped on the squash seeds to gussy up the top if the dough.  In another half an hour the oven was ready and we dropped the covered pan in the oven - 5 hours after it hit the pan.

Lets have a salad to go with that home made Okinaowan Spicy Shrimp Soba with Habanero


 We turned the oven down to 400 F when the bread went in for 15 minutes and then another 25 minutes at 365 F. before we removed the lid to end the steaming.   Another 20 minute later and bread was done at 205 F just like Mini Says to do in her famous post here  Can’t go wrong with anything Mini says about rye bread.  I call her the master rye bread baker but she yells at me for that!  So much for trying to be nice to the ladies:-)

This bread didn’t spring much but it didn’t collapse either – yea!  So there is hope it isn’t a brick either.  I can't tell you how powerfully good this bread is - but you don't want to meat it in a dark alley without a bread knife.  it slices so easily a quarter of an inch thick without effort.  The taste is incredible.  No wonder Lucy says this is her new favorite bread!


Cedar Mountain's picture
Cedar Mountain


My neighbours, across the alley and across the front street, are lovely folks; we have known them for many years, since the day we moved into our neighbourhood. They have been the willing guinea-pigs, taste-testers, for many of my bread experiments over these past few months, graciously accepting and eating up the evidence of my good and not-so-good bakes while offering kind feedback, comments and encouragement. So, feeling a little more confident after these past few bakes, I thought today would be a good day to thank each of them with a loaf of their favourite bread for the weekend...


Seeded Sourdough Bread

 30% fresh milled, organic grains (rye, spelt, khorasan, red fife); 70% organic, unbleached white flour; 75% water - autolysed 2 hours; Then added 22% young levain (3 hours); 2.2% sea salt - bulk fermented 4 hours at room temperature 23 C. After the second fold, I gently mixed in 40% additions (toasted sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seeds for flavour and texture; cracked heritage grains porridge for added nutrition and crumb texture - steel-cut oats, barley, buckwheat, flax, spelt). Estimated final hydration was about 85% after accounting for the additional moisture from the additions.  I shaped the loaves without a bench rest directly into proofing baskets and then refrigerated for 14 hours. Baked straight from the fridge at 500 F covered for 20 minutes, 450 F for 10 minutes; 18 minutes uncovered at 450 F.











joc1954's picture

In the spirit of my latest experiments with yeast water/SD combo and because I had some wholegrain kamut flour leftover this was my last bake before a 10 days trip to San Francisco for Oracle Open World event.

Actually nothing special, like any other bread. 77,5% hydration, relatively low due to bad experience with the kamut flour that I had some time ago. The recipe is below. YW levain was over 24 hours old and was very  bubbly, the SD levain was young - about 4 hours after inoculation. 30 minutes autolyze, 3 hour bulk fermentation with S&F every 30 minutes at 27dC,, 30 minutes bench rest , about 2 hours final raise, baked in iron-cast skillet.

  Happy baking, Joze


bakert85's picture

today's bake consisted of one of my favorite breads, which i call stirato out of habit but is more like ciabatta in its current form. it started as an Italian stiratto bread from the village baker, after i took the full scale professional recipe and toned it down for the home baker, as the home recipes are aimed at more amateur bakers and are over simplified. since then i have made many changes to it, until i got a bread that i find to be more my own than the original formula.

the dough is made up of 900 grams of 00 flour (i used "caputo" red for this batch, but i also realy like "pivetti" manitoba), 100 grams of organic stone ground spelt, 125 grams of white sourdough at 100% hydration, 22 grams of fine sea salt, 4 grams of dry yeast, 4 grams of malt syrup (half a teaspoon) and about 800 grams of ice water.

i sifted the flours and mixed with the sourdough, and 650 grams of water and autolysed for 20 minuets before adding the salt, and the frothing mixture of the yeast and malt syrup which were dissolved beforehand in a little warm water and sat for 10 minuets. i mixed the dough on medium speed until it was starting to get ready, and then gradually added the rest of the ice water. when the dough was finished kneading i gave it a couple of folds and let it bulk ferment for about two hours in room temperature. then i heavily dusted a work surface with course ground durum semolina flour and divided the dough to about 9 piece and gave them a loose shaping into a rough log. while proofing i put a baking steel in the middle of the oven, and a tray with stones on the bottom and heated to 260 degrees Celsius. i baked the bread in batches of three at a time, putting the dough on the baking steel and pouring water on the stone tray, and lowering the heat to 230 degrees.

the bread has an open, soft crumb and a crackly and crispy crust. the flavor was wonderful, wheaty and nutty, and stood on its own. overall I'm very pleased with this bake.



Danni3ll3's picture

The story is going to be told in pictures today. ;-)

The plan was slightly changed in action by adding 50 g of liquid and subbing out 100 of water with buttermilk. Otherwise, things are as written down

The only changes were that I added 50 g of liquid and subbed out 100 of water for buttermilk.

After the autolyse, salt and levain were added. Then the add-ins were added using slap and fold to integrate. Six sets of folds were done to develop the dough.

After the one hour autolyse, I added the salt and levain. Then I integrated the add-ins using slap and folds. Six sets of folds were done to develop the dough.

About to go into the fridge for overnight proofing.

Ready to go to bed for the night in the fridge.

After proofing about to go into the oven.

The next morning, ready to go into the oven.

In the oven for 20 minutes at 500, 10 minutes at 450 and another 25 with the lid off.

Cooked at 500 for 20 minutes, 450 for 10 minutes and then another 25 minutes with the lid off.

Out of the oven!

The finished loaf.

I actually made 4 boules.

I made 4 loaves, one for a friend, one for us and two went to the soup kitchen.

Sliced up for freezing

Half of the loaf sliced up for freezing.

A close up!

A close up of the crumb.

Cut in half!

The loaf cut in half which I call "The moment of truth!" Ha ha!

bakert85's picture

hello fresh loafers,

this is my first blog post, so first let me introduce myself. i am a serious home baker and foodie from Israel, and have been baking breads for the last five or so years.

i hope to share with you in the future a few the recipes i have developed over time, and share photos of recent bakes, while discussing some of the obstacles of baking in Israel and how to overcome them.

happy baking,



dmsnyder's picture

We like hummus and generally buy it "homemade" at a neighborhood Armenian deli. We also buy the pita bread they sell, which is made locally but not in the deli. It's sold in plastic bags, six to a bag. It's not terrible. 

I recently checked an Israeli cookbook out of the library. It had a recipe for pita, not the first I had seen, but the book made a big deal about the superiority of fresh-baked pita over the kind I had been buying. So I made a batch.

Know what? Fresh-baked is better! In fact, home baked is better than store bought, even after freezing and thawing. Why should I be surprised?

I am not posting the recipe, because I am not convinced what I baked cannot be improved upon. Stay tuned.

Yesterday, I baked a couple 1kg loaves of sort of  Ken Forkish's "Overnight Country Brown." The only "overnighting" was cold retardation of the formed loaves. And, rather than boules baked in cast iron Dutch ovens, I made bâtards, baked in my usual manner, on a baking stone with steaming via ice cubes dripping onto pre-heated lava rocks. I'm posting the photos just to remind us that the DO method, while producing wonderful loaves isn't the only way to do so with the Forkish (or Chad Robertson) formulas. These loaves have a delicious crunchy crust and tender crumb. Wonderful whole wheaty flavor with mild tang.

Between this bread with 30% WW and the Forkishish Pain de Campagne I make with WW and whole rye, it's hard to choose a favorite. They are both so good!

Happy baking!


Cedar Mountain's picture
Cedar Mountain

Again with the leftover bits and pieces of sprouted grains, cracked grain soakers, porridges and seeds...there was an accumulation of leftover/extra stuff from previous bakes piling up in the fridge that needed to be used up before trying anything new.  So the objective of today's bake was to make a bread with a mix of these leftover ingredients - sprouted spelt, emmer, golden/brown flax seeds; toasted buckwheat; heirloom organic grains cereal porridge; steel-cut oat soaker and a bit of crushed toasted sesame seeds. No set recipe, just a dog's breakfast of leftover ingredients (nothing from Hobbes); a mixture of all these ingredients as additions to the basic bread dough I have been using lately. A 300 g mix of fresh-milled organic grains (rye, spelt, red fife); 700 g unbleached, organic white flour autolysed with 750 g filtered water for 2 hours. Then  I mixed in 200 g young levain (2 hours), 22 g sea salt with 50 g filtered water and started a bulk fermentation at room temperature, 23 C.  After the second of five folds I added a 300 g mixture of the leftover sprouted grains, steel-cut oat soaker, toasted buckwheat, cereal grains porridge and crushed toasted sesame seeds. Final hydration after including the water in the additions was about 85%.  The dough temperature throughout was in the range 77 - 80 F; final dough temperature after 4 and 1/2 hours was 78 F and the dough had risen about 30 %, nice and billowy, good gluten development. I shaped the loaves without a bench rest and cold-proofed them overnight, 12 hours. I baked them directly out of the fridge, 500 F covered for 20 minutes and another 10 minutes at 450 F; then uncovered for 18 minutes at 450 F. 


Out of the oven, cooled and ready to sample


 I thought it would be nice to have a few slices of fresh heirloom tomatoes with the bread so I went out to the garden to harvest some tomatoes; it was a beautiful, warm, late summer afternoon and the light was lovely...


And yes, I know maybe it's a little weird but when I was taking this picture of the tomatoes, I thought how perfect it would be to have photo of my fresh bread to go along with it....what can I say, I liked the way it looked in the late afternoon light!



I eventually did make it back inside with the tomatoes and the bread; here's the crumb shot (maybe a little heavy handed in the final shaping as evidenced by the slightly dense centre or it might be a clump of stuff that didn't get thoroughly mixed into the dough; something to improve on next bake):


alfanso's picture

My wife is heading north to visit with her parents.  And they really like the bread I make for them.  Baguettes more so than batards, a little more plain than fancy.  In preparation I made a batch of SJSD and a batch of Hamelman Pain au Levain w/WW to freeze and take with her.  

Tag-teaming the making of these - both mixed last night, both baked this evening was a bit of a juggling act - especially because I have only one couche which needed to be scraped down and dried out before I divided and shaped the second batch.  I shaped both batches a bit too long and one baguette from each batch wound up with a bit of a Jimmy Durante nose from hanging over the edge of the baking deck.  But the simple scheduling of these was fun.  

No she won't be taking all ten of these, but she can take as many as she wants.



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