The Fresh Loaf

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adventuress-in-baking's picture

Tuesday is recording day….my husband is part of a duo that plays German music in the area and they are recording their second CD. Our son, who is also a musician and is graduating from college with a degree in Music Production Technology, is recording them. Consequently, I get to feed them. My husband’s partner loves Pumpernickel bread and is always requesting it….so today I’m baking two different recipes. Oh and in addition we will be having Weitzenbrötchen. A trip to the German butcher will round out the menu planned for “Abendessen”.

First up is a pumpernickel recipe that David (Snyder) posted and I used as a guide. I love the Rye sour from his Jewish Sour Rye and built it up yesterday so that today it was perfect for baking…risen three times its original height, very fluffy and lively and lots of continents.

David uses caramel color in his recipe. We like the taste of the Molasses so I’m giving that a try.  Here are pix of the sour fermenting;


The only significant change I made to David’s recipe was to use 2 tablespoons of Molasses  instead of the caramel color) but I did use caraway.

IMG_0518I think I pretty much overproofed this loaf so I punched it down an additional time and let it rise for another 30 minutes.I did get fairly good spring out of it but its not as pretty as loaf number 2.


According to my panel of independent taste testers, this loaf was more like a traditional Jewish Pumpernickel Rye, which I think was the original intent and it was well liked.

Next up on the baking schedule was a recipe that came from and I’ve made twice before with good results. This time I modified the recipe just a tiny bit…

I put in a cup of rye sour, used the KA Pumpernickel instead of my usual rye, a teaspoon less salt and I baked it on a stone.  IMG_0514I also brushed the outside with beaten egg instead of the butter the recipe called for. I modified the baking a little too, starting out at a higher temperature for five minutes and adding in a little steam. I think it looks gorgeous.

It apparently was still slightly warm inside when cut.

The loaf was delicious and moist inside and what my husband said was like a more traditional German pumpernickel.


I plan to make these another time to refine what I did and make sure I get consistent results the next time.

Wendy, your Adventuress in Baking

PetraR's picture

This is just our * daily * bread , or every other day bread as I bake every 3 days these days.

Left proved in a bowl with a floured cloth and right proved in a banneton * must get second large banneton *

I love a simple bread as long as it has bags of taste it does not need to look beautiful:)

No crumb shot yet as they bread is still to hot to slice.

Once I made a crumb shot I shall add it.

Those 2 bread won't last long in my house. doh

Here is * Gordon * my 50% hydration starter , just fed and ready for the fridge, I pull him out Monday for the next loafs. Or earlier depending how fast those 2 loafs dissapear. pfff


leslieruf's picture


Came across this recipe by Teresa Greenway.  although it is a white loaf it was delicious.  Double hydration worked easily and dough was fairly firm and easy to shape at 68% hydration.  Overnight retard as per recipe, only needed hour and half to proof then baked. Have no DO so steamed up oven well and happy with the result.  Will make this again for sure - just wanted to keep on eating it!

Crumb shot of small boule

greenbriel's picture

Don't want to burn out on them :)

Made a couple of straight dough boules from FWSY to give to my dentists who, shockingly, I really like :) ; a pain de mie in my new pullman pan. I somehow managed to screw up the scaling down from a 13" recipe (KAF website)  despite using a spreadsheet. They have a recipe for the smaller pan and I guess I'll just try that next time. The one for the larger pan looked better on paper to me. Should you scale IDY by a lesser amount than the other ingredients? I didn't get the great square shape but it was tasty and very different from the stuff I usually bake.

Last was FWSY pain au bacon (all SD). Interesting but kinda weird, I'm not a huge fan. First mix-in I've done though!

hanseata's picture

The day arrives for every serious hobby bread baker when he or she - no longer satisfied with being limited to store-bought yeast - craves for the star among starters - the homemade sourdough!

The usual pathway to your own starter is stirring some flour into water, hoping that, over time, this mixture will attract wild yeasts and lactid acid bacteria to devour and digest the free all-you-can-eat menu. These microorganisms are either clinging to the grains or parachute down from the air.

But there are some surprising shortcuts, especially for those people who, like us, stuff their fridge with so many baking ingredients and condiments that they lose the overview.

Check the back of your fridge, you might find something like THIS!

Or you just visit your local grocery, or supermarket, and look for living cultures in the dairy aisle (no, I don't mean a call for the health inspector!)

You can turn plain old supermarket kefir into a very lively starter!

To learn more about improv starters, and see the great breads you can make with them, please, follow me to my blog "Brot & Bread". 

The title image, by the way, shows a Tartine Porridge Bread, made with the power of kefir!

jungnickel's picture

Since I started working in a bakery one month ago I don't have much time left for home baking but thursday is my new Sunday...

Only sourdough stuff, some wheat flour breads and a 70/30 rye mix bread with almost only self milled flour.


alefarendsen's picture

(a bit of repost of my introduction on the forum, but wanted to save this bread on the blog as well)

Bought Tartine recently and in an effort to get my basics down I figured I'd drop all the sprouted grains, seeds and nuts for a while and go all basic.

I'm still baking with the Italian flour we got from Mulino Sobrino a couple of months ago. When heading back to Italy end of April I'm thinking I should get myself another batch for the coming months after we've wrapped up in our mountain refuge.

Anyway, I'm finally getting a little bit more satisfied about my shaping skills and also the two-step process of first creating a levain and then mixing the final dough seems to help structure things and get better results.

The bread with a piece of Toma cheese from the Italian Alps. We won it (the whole of it; 2kg) in a €2 lottery at the local carnaval party in Rassa.

The formula and recipe:

  • 300 grams levain (100% hydration, 50% whole wheat, 40% tipo 2 and 10% whole rye)
  • 1050 grams water @ 28C/80F
  • 100 grams semola di grano duro
  • 250 grams grano tenero tipo 2
  • 1100 grams grano tenero tipo 0
  • 50 grams whole rye
  • additional 75 grams of water when adding salt
  • 30 grams of salt

First mixed levain at 10am in the morning and let ferment all day. Mixed levain, starter, water and flour and let autolyse for 40 minutes at 20C. Mixed by hand and bulk ferment for 3 1/2 hours starting at 8pm. Starting dough temp was 23C, could have upped this a bit to get to bed a bit earlier. Folds @ 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 and 180. Was planning on doing more folds earlier but a lengthy phone call got in the way. At 11.30pm divided in 3 and pre-shaped. Bench rest 20 to 25 minutes while walking the dog followed by shaping into boules. Placed in bannetons sprinkled with (wheat) flour and put in fridge.

Following morning (today), preheated oven to 240C and baked all three in Dutch oven, starting temp 240 to 245 for 20 minutes with lid on and until golden with lid off (and temp down to 215).

Not bad for a first attempt at this recipe I think. Some uneven holes and the dough is sticking to the bannetons after they come out of the fridge after retarding. I guess substituting the wheat for rice flour should do the trick here.

Next up is slowly increasing the tipo 2 / integrale (whole wheat) content of this bread. Suggestions, tips, advice is always welcome!!

Here some info on the flour and some pictures of the mill by the way. All organic stone ground, except the tipo 0 and semola. The right column is the price per kilo (€) and getting it in sacks of 25kg gets the price down even further (I think for tipo 2 it goes down to 1.35 and tipo 0 to 1.65 or 1.60 or so).

The stone mill

The other mills aren't exactly modern either. There from the 50s and the Sobrino family have been milling for four generation now. 




bmeilinger's picture

This bread is a riff on Josey Baker's "Dark Mountain Rye" - I omit some of the seeds he uses (sesame), and incorporated lots of sprouted rye in its place. It is incredibly popular at the Cafe I bake for. Shoutout to JB for the inspiration and letting me hang out and get my hands on the dough while I was in San Francisco.

Keep in mind that that formula below is for 2 9x4.5" loaves.





Rye flour, whole grain



Bread flour, T85












Rye berries, sprouted



Sunflower seeds, raw or toasted



Flax seeds, raw









As you can see, this is a very well hydrated loaf, with total water coming in at 114%. The process goes like this: make leaven with regular sourdough starter, rye flour, and water. I use 25/280/265 or so. Scale up or down as needed. The leaven ferments for 12 hours, and the final dough is retarded in the refrigerator for about 16. The "soaker" is just the mix of the sprouted rye, seeds, cornmeal, and water. This sits along with the leaven to allow all the water to be soaked in, particularly by the flax. 



















Loaves are divided at about 1.1kg each, dusted with cornmeal, proofed until slightly risen and cracks can be seen in the cornmeal coating (1-4 hours). To score, I push into the loaf quickly with a plastic dough scraper at 5 places to give a diagonal pattern and prevent flying roof. The loaves are then baked at 450 for a half hour, rotated, and finished at 400 for about another hour. The loaves are done when they pull slightly from the pans and are colored to your preference. I like mine quite dark. The flavor of these is deep rye with a good amount of sweetness from the sprouted grain. After fighting through the dark, crisp crust, your reward is an intensely moist crumb with bursts of sweet, crunch, seed, and malt.

Here is a picture of a bunch of loaves baked for the lunch service. 

Happy baking,


WoodenSpoon's picture

Over my last two days off I made this really big Oatmeal Miche. Its subtle and earthy and maybe a little too big but it will last all week until I have time to make another so I'm pleased.

Here's how I made it

Levain build one 

  • 20g rye chef
  • 50g fresh ground hard red
  • 20g water

Levain build two

  • 25g firm levain
  • 100g fresh ground hard red
  •  50g water

Final Dough

  • 1100g Bread Flour (69%)
  • 320g Hard White (20%)
  • 70g Hard Red (4%)
  • 10g Rye (1ish%)
  • 150g Levain (6.6%hard red 3.3%water)
  • 1150g water (72%) (hold 100g)
  • 400g Cooked oatmeal (25%)
  • 235g Toasted Hazelnuts (15%)
  • 32g Salt (2%)

First I mixed all the flours and let the dough autolyse  at room temp holding 100 grams of water for later.

Eight hours later I dissolved the levain in the leftover water and incorporated it into the dough. Fifteen minutes later added the salt and have the dough a few slap and folds. followed by a ten minute rest and a set of stretch and folds followed by a 20 minute rest.

During that 20 minutes I roasted and cracked the hazelnuts and cooked the oatmeal.

I incorporated the nuts and oatmeal and for the next hour and forty minutes I have the dough 4 sets of semi evenly spaced out stretch and folds. then I left it alone for around six hours. Then I shaped it and put it right in the fridge to proof

21 hours later I removed it from the fridge and put it right in a 500degree oven. 5 minutes later I reduced the heat to 450 and continued baking for another 55 or so minutes. once the the loaf was done I turned the oven off and left it in with the door cracked for an additional ten minutes.



Anconas's picture

First, I can mis remember the amount of flour I'm measuring and end up at 72% hydration instead of 70%.

Then I can set the levain/flour/water to pseudo autolyse for 30 minutes, get an urgent call and come back to it 1.5 hours later.

Then I can start to work the dough, remarking how much slacker it was than last time and realize, after 15 minutes of slap and folds appearing to accomplish nothing, that I forgot the salt.

Fold in salt, continue slap and folds, get it to a dough consistency, still pretty extensible but the headache that started hours ago has become a nightmare and all the lymph nodes in my head and neck are swollen and screaming.  So into the refrigerator for the night.

Many vitamin C's and a long night sleep, feeling much better in the morning.  Take out the cold dough, shape it into a boule at this point realizing it will probably spread quite a bit due to the over hydration in addition to my shaping inexperience.  Flour the same towel and place to rise in the same bowl as last time.  Set the timer to check every 20 minutes, then every 10 minutes when it seemed it was getting close.  Go to turn the dough onto my makeshift peel - and it's totally stuck!  Ever so carefully slowly slowly peeling the towel back and teasing the dough off, after 20 minutes of this I have a ciabatta looking thing.

Thinking through some of the great "Saves" TFL'ers have reported, I grabbed a pan and thought I'd poor the whimpy thing in and see what happened.  But I couldn't, I really didn't want a pan loaf, I wanted a crusty bread.  With the large amount of starter I didn't think it could take much more.

It still seemed fairly bubbly even after being stretched all over trying to get it off the towel, and no one was looking so.....I stuffed it into a dutch oven and baked it.  Poor funny looking thing lol.


A little oven spring gave it a bit of lift and surprisingly, the crumb texture is better than my last try and the crust is crunchy a little crackly and blistery, very tasty.  I mean, I literally messed up all*the*steps, every one, but I like my messed up bread.


This recipe:

My messed up formula:

    290total flour  
110gWarm Water (Filtered) 72%    
200gPoolish Starter   40%total weight
140gFlour, Bread 83%    
50gFlour, Whole Wheat 17%    
6gSalt 2%    


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