The Fresh Loaf

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Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I don't bake a lot of gluten free bread, but I've got a couple of regular GF customers that I bake for weekly. Usually I bake a nice Olive bread and GF "Not Rye" (sort of a deli rye style). I use recipes from Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (Healthy Bread in 5M and Gluten Free Bread in 5M).

One of those customers asked if I ever bake a GF fruit and nut bread. I hadn't, and didn't see one in my recipe books that I liked so I set out to create a brand new GF recipe. That turned out harder than it sounds, as I don't know too much about percentages and the effect of all the ingredients of GF bread but I figured I knew enough about it now to give it a try.

After three iterations I think I've got it. Here's the winning recipe:

  • Brown rice flour - 50 g
  • Whole sorghum flour - 50 g
  • Whole Teff flour - 50 g
  • Tapioca starch - 25 g
  • Coconut flour - 25 g
  • Water - 150 g
  • Milk (I actually used home made kefir) - 50 g
  • Egg - 50 g (1 large)
  • Butter - 20 g
  • Honey - 15 g
  • Fruit (I used dried blueberries for this one) - 30 g
  • Nuts (chopped almonds) - 20 g
  • Salt - 4 g
  • Active dry yeast - 4 g (1 tsp)
  • Xanthan gum - 5 g (1.5 tsp)
  • Golden flax seeds - 10 g

I mixed the flax seeds into 50 g of the water and let it sit until the water was a bit thick (mucilaginous). This helped with the crumb and texture of the bread. I then mixed all the wet ingredients (including softened butter) and the yeast, added the fruit and nuts, and then all the blended flours and salt. I mixed it well to aerate it and let it sit, covered, for two hours. It was then smoothed carefully into a greased pan and rested for another half hour.

Given that it was an enriched bread (with kefir, butter and honey) I baked it at 350F. For the first 20 minutes it was covered with an overturned steel pan, then another 20 minutes uncovered.

I'm pretty impressed with the crumb, crust and flavour of this one. I'm not much into gluten free bread but I like to get it as close to gluten flour bread as I can, and this one is pretty close. I guess I'll add it to the baking rota! All the 'rules' are different for GF breads. The hydration is something like 125%, for example, and I had little idea how much xanthan gum to use. The soaked flax seeds and mucilaginous water made a big difference too.

I forgot to take a picture until half of it had already gone to one of the customers, but managed to get a couple quick snaps before the other half was gone. :) Note that I had to cut it in half before it was really cool (one of the customers came to pick up her other bread), so it looks a little gummy in the top photo.


varda's picture

   (Some home baking today - a 90% durum with wheat starter.)

I am thinking about going to the Kneading Conference next week.  Has anyone gone lately or planning to?   Any thoughts or tips?  Thanks!

Skibum's picture

Well, I have neither baked much nor had time to visit this site for the last couple of months. Moved from Canmore AB to Golden, BC. Moving is a HUGE pain, but I am very satisfied with the result. I love my new home and town!!!

Check out my new kitchen. It is easily 4 times as large as my last kitchen. There is a full pantry unseen to the right of the fridge. Now, I have a well equipped kitchen, but so far have used a little more than half the cupboard space. LOADS of counter space for working dough! Lots of space for my new toys, a FoodSaver and a Sous Vide Supreme. Floyd, you have seen my old kitchen and boy is this a serious upgrade

The biggest change for me is going from a gas cook top, electric convection oven to a non convection electric oven with induction cook top. I love the induction top.  However my bake results for the oft pull apart dinner rolls were different. Certainly I didn't get the nice brown on the crust, I got with the same time and temperature with convection. So far, I figure I will need to bump up my baking temperatures a bit and I have had to add extra time to the first bake.  I have also moved from 4,420 feet above sea level to 2,580' and will have to make adjustments for this.

If anyone has any comments or suggestions on how to get a browner crust, I would most appreciate any suggestions.

Happy baking friends, from a happy old ski bum at home in Golden, BC!

Danni3ll3's picture

I haven't done any sprouted grain breads lately and Dabrownman's loaf from a few weeks ago inspired me for this loaf. I would cut back on the hydration though because it was hard to shape and I wasn't able to get a really nice tight boule like usual. I also think I overproofed it and the loaves stuck to my baskets. So all in all, I didn't get the oven spring I wanted but the loaves are still delicious.


1. Sprout 30 g of each of the following grains: kamut, spelt, rye, buckwheat, Selkirk wheat, red fife, and einkorn. 

2. Autolyse all above with 700 g water (I would probably start with 600 g next time), 50 g local yogurt, 550 g unbleached flour, and 67 g each of fresh milled kamut, spelt, rye, Selkirk wheat, red fife, and Einkorn. Let sit for an hour. 

3. Mix 22 g sea salt and 266 g of 80% levain. Pinch and fold till well integrated. 

4. Do 4 sets of folds a half hour apart and them let rise till double. 

5. Divide into 800 g portions (3 loaves), preshape, rest, then do a final shape and put into well floured bannetons. I ended up using a lot of flour to shape these as the dough was definitely too wet. 

6. Proof in the fridge over night. I baked mine after 14 hours but I think they should have been baked much earlier. 

7. Heat oven and dutch ovens to 475 F for 45 minutes, place loaves on parchment circles in Dutch ovens, cover and drop temp to 450F. Bake 25 minutes, remove lids and bake another 22 minutes at 425 F. 

The loaves are very moist and the. Dumb is perfect for a sandwich. 


dixongexpat's picture

So I finally got to the bottom of my bag of multigrain leftovers from the local mill (Barton Springs near Austin, TX). Just to get rid of it all, I shifted the flour mixture to 350g whole wheat, 150g bread flour (not counting the levain which counts for about 75g of bread flour). In order to attempt to compensate for this shift, I added about 2/3 teaspoon of active yeast to the mix. The dough rose overnight in the fridge and was a bit cold when I started the folding. I didn't have enough time to do the full folding routine, so things were just at room temperature by the time I did the final rest.

The good news is that the bread rose higher than normal, however pretty much no crumb. Very sandwich-bread. Still tasty though!

Next week - 100% bread flour!

dixongexpat's picture

I have been doing pretty much the same loaf every week, so the pictures are a bit repetitive by now. Here are some samples during June and July. Texture is about the same on each. Fairly dense, didn't rise a lot. Flour was about 50/50 bread/whole wheat mix.

June 3


June 11


June 17


July 1


July 9

mungie's picture

I conducted an experiment to determine two things with respect to high-hydration sourdough bread:

(1) What does it look like when it's underproofed, perfectly proofed and overproofed?

(2) What is the difference between baking in an enclosed vessel v. on a baking stone with steam?

I made 5 loaves, each of which were about 385g as follows (~78% hydration):

-800g unbleached AP

-75g home-milled white, spring whole grain wheat flour

-75g home-milled red, spring whole grain wheat flour

-50g home-milled whole grain rye flour

-760g water

-180g levain (100% hydration)

-21g fine sea salt

Mix flours and 710g water. Autolyze for about 1 hour. Mix in levain, salt and rest of water. Slap and fold until moderate gluten development. Bulk ferment for around 4 hours at 80-85 degrees (until grown by 50%) with 3 S&F every 30 minutes for first 1.5 hours. Divide, preshape and bench rest for 30 minutes, then shape into boules. All loaves were baked in an oven preheated to 500 degrees. When the loaves were placed in the oven, the oven temperature was lowered to 475 and the loaves baked with steam for 20 minutes. The steam was then taken away and the loaves baked for another 20 minutes at 450.

These are the ways in which the loaves differed:

(1) First bake: NO PROOF - immediately after shaping, Loaf One was baked in an earthenware pot, Loaf Two was baked directly on a baking steel. Steam was provided to the second loaf using lavarocks (with water poured over) at the bottom of the oven and sporadic spritzing with a spray bottle.

(2) Second bake: MIDDLE PROOF - Loaf Three was baked in an earthenware pot, Loaf Four was baked on the baking steel (same as first bake). These loaves were proofed at room temperature (about 80 degrees) for 25 minutes, and then in a warm fridge (about 60 degrees) for 35 minutes.

(3) Third bake: OVER PROOF - Loaf Five was baked in an earthenware pot. I did not use the baking steel for this bake because I already knew that the loaf would pancake. Loaf Five was proofed for 2.5 hours at room temperature (around 80 degrees).


Loaves One and Two Top View.  I tried to score them differently, but I did a very rough job scoring for Loaf Two, which is evident in the bake.

Loaves One and Two Side View. The loaves seem to have similar oven spring, although Loaf Two baked darker.

Loaf One.

Loaf Two. I was surprised that Loaf Two did not spread in the oven (because all my prior experiences trying to bake high-hydration SD on a baking stone resulted in spreading), but in hindsight this makes some sense as the loaf did not have a chance to relax after shaping.

Note that many of the holes inside are very small. These loaves felt quite dense.

Loaves Four and Three Top View. Loaf Four baked with a larger diameter due to spreading in the oven. In addition, the rings from the banneton are less evident in Loaf Four due to the spritzing.

Loaves Four and Three Side View.

Loaf Four baked higher on the side facing the oven door due to my spritzing on that side of the loaf.

Loaf Four.

Loaf Three. Loaf Four was much more open than Loaf Three, even though it was subject to the same conditions as Loaf Three. My assumption is that I handled Loaf Three more during shaping. 

Comparison of Loaf One and Three (both baked in earthenware pot). The oven spring is about the same.


Loaf One has much more uneven hole distribution, with quite large holes near the outer edges/crust.

Loaf Three, on the other hand, has much more even holes. The smaller holes are bigger and the larger holes are smaller.

Loaf One crumb close up (middle of loaf).

Loaf Three crumb close up (middle of loaf).

Also note the shape difference between Loaves One and Three - you can see that Loaf Three wanted to spread more, but was prevented from doing so by the pot. (Loaf One, in contrast, is more of a triangular shape rather than the shape of the pot.)

Loaf Five Top View. This loaf baked darker because of the additional fermentation during the longer proof, which resulted in more caramelization of the crust. The overproofing is evident in the way the scores opened up (more of a stretching, rather than a tearing, apart).

Loaf Five Side View.  You can see that the dough was really resting against the pot for the entire bake (where the rings end).

Loaf Five.

Loaf Five crumb close up. The smaller holes are much larger than the smaller holes in Loaves One through Four, and the size of the holes is generally more even.

This hole distribution seems more desirable for a sandwich bread cooked in a loaf pan, and I would not have considered this overproofed for such a loaf because the bread did not collapse, the bread is light and airy and there was some oven spring (but not enough for a blowout in the loaf pan). These results show me that slightly underproofing is preferable for this type of high-hydration, freestanding loaf than overproofing. In addition, a dutch oven or other kind of enclosed vessel provides support and more even steaming. 

This is the earthenware pot in which Loaves One, Three and Five were baked. This is called a "ddukbaeggi" in Korean and comes in many sizes. (It also costs about $10 to $15 dollars per pot, which is much cheaper than a dutch oven!)

trailrunner's picture

Thanks to Danni's  post I got out my starter , fed 'er up and started mixing. I followed most of her formula but used some Winter Wheat from Breadtopia and added 60g brown sugar to the fruit soaker with the 60g of butter. I didnt put any cinnamon due to her experience and I didn't want to do a swirl in the center of the bread. Maybe next time. 

I did my bake in a 425degree preheated cast iron pot lid on 15 min and reduce heat to 375 bake additional 25 min. Perfect finish at 210 internal temp. Got great rise and lovely color and fragrance. Just took out of the oven so crumb pics later on .... if we can wait! This bread smells fabulous! 

dmsnyder's picture

This week, I baked another dried fruit and toasted nut sourdough bread. I really like the combination of eathiness from the nuts and the sweet tanginess of the pieces of dried fruit. The nut flavors seem to permeate the crumb while the fruit yields surprising little explosions of tartness when you bite into a bit.

I have baked cherry-pecan sourdoughs several times, but this is the first time I based one on Hamelman's "Fig-Hazelnut Levain." It is very good and was a big hit at a pot luck to which I took it. I think it could be improved though with a bit more hydration and the addition of some rye and more whole wheat. 

Here are some photos:

Happy baking!


isand66's picture

I love porridge breads.  They are so moist and flavorful I never tire of making or eating them.

I tried something a little different for this one by using Greek yogurt in place of part of the water in making the porridge.  I think it just added an extra layer of flavor and was worth trying.

I also used beer as part of the liquid in the main dough.  This one was extra hydrated and was a little challenging to shape the next day.  Next time I would shape it right out of the refrigerator instead of letting it sit out for an hour.

The final bread tasted and smelled fantastic.  It was extra moist and good enough to eat without anything on it.  The beer didn't come through as much as I would have hoped since I didn't use enough of it due to only having 1 left to use.  Next time I will use all beer instead of water.

I've included a bunch of photos from my garden which is in full bloom right now.  Hope you give this one a try and enjoy the flowers.

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 used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.  You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

Porridge Directions

Add about 3/4's of the milk called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the milk is absorbed.  Add the remainder of the milk and keep stirring until you have a nice creamy and soft porridge.    Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature before adding to the dough.  I put mine in the refrigerator and let it cool quicker.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours, and the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, cooled porridge, and salt and mix on low for 5 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.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

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.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  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 5 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 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.


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