The Fresh Loaf

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the P and the C's picture
the P and the C

This morning I baked off two sourdough loaves that I mixed and shaped last night (2am). I made a 60% WW dough at 75% hydration and add two types of inclusions at the first fold.

The first half got some parmesan and Kerrygold Dubliner cheeses mixed in and the other half was studded with rum soaked dates, toasted pecans, and cocoa.

They both taste great and again, as a newcomer to this whole world, I'd love your input, comments and feedback.


Wapcaplet's picture

I had a great success in sourdough this week, with the most impossibly light and even crumb.

My previous sourdough, and many photos I've seen of quality sourdough, have a preponderance of large irregular bubbles. This is totally unlike that.

The recipe is Flo's 1.2.3 proportion:

200g levain
400g warm water
600g flour (about 1/3 whole wheat, the rest white AP)
12g salt (about 2 teaspoons table salt)

The levain, assembled the night before, is simply a freshly fed starter: 70g mature starter, 70g water, 70g flour, mixed in a smallish bowl, and folded with a spoon a few times before bed.

Day of, combine the levain, water, and flour; stir just to moisten, then sprinkle with the salt (so I don't forget, and to let it start to absorb) - the autolyse. I think I left it for an hour. Knead with the stand mixer for say six minutes. Rest for an hour, stretch and fold in thirds a couple times, then long rise in the "easy bake oven" (oven with the light bulb turned on) until it doubled, which happened surprisingly fast, in less than 3 hours.

I shaped it into 4 nice mini-loaves of French-style bread. Vertical slices are a good size for French toast or just everyday bread/toast, plus you get more heels, a perfect size for sandwiches when sliced horizontally.

Anyhow, after a faster-than-usual final proofing, I finished them in a 450F oven with a pan of water, and liberal spray-bottle for steam and crust.

As noted, I was blown away by how perfectly even and fine the crumb is. The whole wheat flour surely plays a role here, but it's no change from how I've usually baked this bread. I didn't use any bread flour except a couple tablespoons left over in the starter.

The biggest change from my previous sourdoughs is how long I kneaded with the stand mixer. Normally I don't do this, instead mixing by hand and doing only a few stretch-and-folds. The more intense kneading at the beginning distributes the colony and its proto-bubbles more consistently, while stretch-and-fold I guess would result in more distinct layers of more-or-less active cultures, and pockets of larger or smaller bubbles as a result.

Flo's formula is great; easy to remember, easy to scale, and flexible on assembly and fermentation times. When I built this one, I did a sort of "mise en place" with the bowl of levain, a measuring cup of water, and a tub of pre-mixed flours, so I could simply combine them the next morning.
the P and the C's picture
the P and the C

 Well, as I wait for the oven to preheat I suppose I can post about what I was pulling from the oven at 1:30am.

This all started from me asking in the forum about what I should try next and it was suggested that I give Hokkaido Milk Bread a whirl! Once I saw the Tangzhong method I knew I was going to have to do it. Next was to study and decide on the recipe, but there are so many versions and I couldn't settle on just one, so I adapted one of my own from several different ways. But I couldn't find anything to write on as the juices were flowing hence my decision to start on a toy until I could track down pencil and paper.

Basically, all I did was make the Tangzhong the night before and then mixed it all up in my KitchenAid and went to town on first proof, folding, second proof, dividing, preshaping, more proofing, rolling, shaping, panning, more proofing, preheating, egg washing, baking, rotating, baking, rotating, baking, cooling, decide I'm too impatient to wait, eat one while it's hot, go to be at 2am, get up at 5:30 am and  play with the two sourdough I left to proof before bed. Ok time to get them in the oven, I hope they come out fine.




lacoet's picture


I was checking the protein content of King Arthur flours and since White WHole Wheat has 13% and bread flour 12.7% I was wondering if I could swap it in a recipe for yeasted bread?

Has anybody tried that, or has any input in pros and cons of doing it?



dabrownman's picture

Abe and others this past week have been posting about doing a bread that can take many hours on the counter with little baker help so that you can go off to work or play and not worry about the bread.  Trailrunner also did a series on her No Touch bread which this one relies on.  Lucy wanted to make one so that she could play and sleep all day and all night.

The key is getting the temperature and the size of the levain correct to allow 12-18 hours on the counter.  We chose to do the bulk ferment outside where it was in the high 50’s and low 60’s last night and to do the final proof in the kitchen where it was in the mid 70’s.  We picked 4% for the pre-fermented flour where 5 g of NMNF rye starter was used to inoculate 20 gr of bran and high extraction 6 grain flour.

This was a 100% hydration bran levain that took 8 hours to ripen.  We also decided that since we are retired and lazy that we would do as little as possible to make this bread so we chose it do an autolyse and use a no knead method.  In order to mix the dough; levain, salt, flour and water we started out doing 40 slap and folds.

That was it.  We oiled a SS bowl, rounded the dough ad plopped it inside, covered in plastic and put it on the patio table for 12 hours overnight.  It looked like it rose about 30% while we were sleeping.  We did 4 folds from the compass points to shape it and placed it in a rice floured basket inside a plastic grocery bag where it final proofed on the kitchen counter for 6 hours.

Grilled Salmon is almost as nice as Shu Mai and Pot Stickers

We slashed it T-Rex style after un-molding it on parchment on a peel and then baking it in a 425 F DO with the lid on for 25 minutes. of steam.  We felt bad about slashing it.  If we had put it in the basket seam side down we wouldn’t even have had to do any work to slash it either.  Being retired, keeping all work as far from Lucy and I as possible is the main theme and unofficial goal of every day. 

OK, we had to mill the 11% whole 6 grains and sift out the bran but we wanted a bread that tasted as good as it looked, at least tasting as good as an 11% whole 6 grain bread made with a bran levain.  The 6 grains were our usual, oat, red and white wheat, rye, spelt and  Kamut.

 Once the lid came off we baked in at 425 F convection this time for another 16 more minutes until it was 210 F on the inside.  This bread took a long time but it was hassle free, nearly no work at all and it sprang, bloomed and browned nicely.  It also smells great.  We will have to wait till tomorrow to see what is under this lovely crust though.  For sure you can do almost nothing making this bread and fit it into anything you are doing without having to worry one iota.

Here is what it look like out of the sun and sliced farther from the middle

It came out fairly open for being about and hour under-proofed even after 6 hours of proofing.  The crumb was very soft moist and sour and tangy.  Amazing how sour this bread came out.  Long proof and bulk really brought out the best in this bread.

Salad and Sunset go together


isand66's picture

  Tangzhong is the technique of heating a portion of the flour and liquid in your recipe to approximately 65C to make a paste (roux).  At this temperature the flour undergoes a change and gelatinizes.  By adding this roux to your final dough it will help create a soft, fluffy, moist open crumb.  It is also supposed to help prevent the bread from going stale.

It is not very difficult to do a Tangzhong.  Use a  5 to 1 liquid to solid ratio (so 250g liquid to 50g flour) and mix it together in a pan.  Heat the pan while stirring constantly.  Initially it will remain a liquid, but as you approach 65C it will undergo a change and thicken to an almost pudding like consistency.  Take it off the heat and let it cool before using it in your recipe.  Some people will refrigerate it for a while but you can use it right away as soon as it cools.

I really liked the way the fresh milled barley flour tasted in the last Guinness bread I baked and wanted to use a higher percentage in this bake.  I added some left-over mashed potatoes skin on along with some freshly made Greek yogurt along with the Tangzhong really made a tasty and moist crumb.  These rolls taste terrific with just some simple cheese or butter but will make a great burger bun as well.  Now if we can only get some nice weather for a cook-out!


Download 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.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Prepare the Tangzhong per directions above and allow to cool to room temperature.

Mix the flours, yogurt, potatoes, and 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 20-30 minutes.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and Tangzhong and mix on low for a total of 4 minutes in your mixer.  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 1.5 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 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 to 1.5 hours.  Remove the dough and cut into equal size pieces and shape into rolls.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with moist tea towels 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 500 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, using a simple egg wash brush each roll and sprinkle on your topping of choice.   Next add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 435 degrees.  Bake for 35 minutes or until the crust is nice and brown.

Take the rolls out of the oven when done and let them cool on a bakers rack before eating if you can wait.


CAphyl's picture

After years of practice and changing steps to make the process simpler, I think I finally have the classic sourdough loaf down.

The crumb was good, too.

I use a very simple process and try to minimize the clean up.  Approximately 1 cup starter, fed and on the rise; mix with one cup water; add 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup bread flour and 1/2-1 cup more to get the dough to the consistency you desire. Mix well, cover and leave for one hour to autolyze. Mix in 1 T salt and 1-2 T olive and mix with dough scraper, turning several times.  Cover and leave for 30 minutes. Turn the dough in the bowl two more times, every 30 minutes. After final turn, leave on counter at room temp for 90 minutes.  Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.  Shape into boule and place in banneton to rise for several hours or overnight.  Bake in cloche at 500 degrees with lid on for about 30 minutes and 10-15 minutes with the lid off at 465 degrees (convection if you have it).

 I bake this loaf several times a week when I can!

ckujawa's picture

Had a few experimental mishaps (couldn't generate enough surface tension to get good oven spring, etc) so I needed a win. Made this pumpernickel using the recipe on KAF's website...can't wait to crack into it (my son's already planning to make rubens tomorrow).


Dsr303's picture

took advantage of the cooler weather in New Jersey today and baked  olive rosemary loaves. Smell wonderful 


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