The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Fagus's picture

Winter is already gone but the snow still remains in some places and nothing better to remind the past cold weather like a hundred percent rye with soaked rye meal and heath honey. Happy saturday!



candis's picture

after the year from hell with five operations and no baking, I'm ready to start again. so many of you have posted such impressive loaves...I feel like a complete beginner. best wishes to you all. here I go!

isand66's picture

        I really loved the way the last Oat Porridge Bread came out so I wanted to try a variation adding some potatoes an also introduce some kamut into the flour mix.  I decided at the last moment to throw in some shaved Parmesan just because I love cheese.

The only mistake I made with these rolls was underestimating the amount of liquid naturally occurring in the potatoes.  Even though I cut back on the liquid from the last bake, the potatoes which are around 81% water really made it very difficult to shape into rolls the traditional way.

I decided to use an extra large muffin pan to place the poorly shaped rolls and it worked out great.  These are some tasty rolls and were perfect for the turkey burgers with caramelized onions and fresh Parmesan cheese I used them for, one night for dinner.

If you want to make these yourself I would suggest cutting the water down to around 190 grams instead of 240 in the main dough.


Porridge Potato Parmesan Rolls (%)

Porridge Potato Parmesan Rolls (weights)


Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.


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.

Oat Porridge Directions

Add about 3/4's of the water called for the porridge to the rolled oats in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the water is absorbed.  Add the remainder of the water 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  with the the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, cooled porridge, potatoes and salt and mix on low for 4 minutes.  Now add the shaved Parmesan and mix for another 2 minutes.   You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but very manageable.  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).  Note: this is a pretty wet dough so you may need to do a couple of additional stretch and folds.

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,  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 around 25 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the rolls are at least 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.




dabrownman's picture

Way back, when I first started making SD bread, I followed the same old routine; Gluten development with 10 minutes of kneading, then 2 hours of fermenting, then shaping and about 4 hours of final proof.  It made good bread but not the best.


Then I went to slap and folds for gluten development, then stretch and folds then 2 hour of ferment followed by a bulk retard of 8 hours, warm up, shape,  final proof and bake.  This worked a little better.


Then I went to slap and folds and stretch and folds followed by no ferment at all, shaping then 12 hours in the fridge, warm up and bake.  Better bread again.  But it was easy to over-proof in the fridge so I cut the retard to 10 hours.


The other way to add time to the process that would allow for a bulk counter ferment and a longer retard is to cut the levain amount from the 15-20% of the total flour and water weight to something less than 10% in the hopes that the longer time would lead to better flavor without over proofing.


The small levain was built over (2) 3 hour stages with progressively greater amounts of flour and water and then refrigerating the levain for 24 hours after it had risen 25% in volume after the 3rd feeding.  It finished doubling on the counter the next day after 2 hours of warm up.


So Lucy cut the levain amount to less than 10%, added a 2 hour bulk ferment to the 3 sets of slap and folds of 6, 1.and 1 minute upping the interval to 20 minutes and 3 sets of stretch and folds, from the compass points only,  also on 20 minute intervals.  During the 2 hour bulk ferment, 1 set of stretch and folds were done at the 1 hour mark. 


The dough was then bulk retarded in the fridge for 12 hours.  The next morning, after the dough had warmed up for 2 hours on the counter, the dough was shaped and placed into a bran floured basket – something new and allowed to proof on the counter for 2 hours before going into a 525 F preheated oven with  Mega Steam.


It steamed for 15 minutes and, once the steam came out, it baked another 10 minutes before hitting 205 F on the inside.  We left in on the stone with the oven off and door ajar until it hit 207 F on the inside when it was removed to the cooling rack.


What a great lunch - this was a pate maison sandwich with melted pepper jack cheese and this bread - killer!

It spread out some, sprang and bloomed a little, less than out normal which means over proofing or too wet or both even though the hydration was 2% lower than normal – so I’m guessing over proofing at about 95% instead of 85%. It did brown, but hard to tell with the bran coating if it blistered.  The crust went very soft as it cooled.  Still, the crumb should be fairly open for a 50% whole grain bread but we will not know that until after lunch.

Last Friday's Ancient Grain Plotziade bake for breakfast - this bread is seriously good.

 The crumb came out less open than we wanted sue to it being over proofed.  Thank goodness we were dong this experiment to keep it from over proofing in the fridge and we managed to over proof it on the counter :-)  The crumb was soft and moist -  the crust softened even more.   The taste was complex and deep due to the grains used but it was not as sour as our normal loaf - don't like that but maybe it will be better tomorrow.  It makes a great sandwich bread and the lunch was fantastic. 

More new stuff  this week…..  Lucy was selected by the WonderMill folks to receive a brand new mill, a wonderful one by the way, so that she can complete the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge.   Way to go Lucy!


Another breakfast with last Friday's Pumpernickel Ancient bake


Chicken and pork with spicy quinoa.



Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



SD starter






15% Extraction 10 Grains
















































Levain % of Total












Dough Flour






Ramona Pima Club






Haden Mills Farro










































HadenMillsDesert Durum






Ramona White Sonoran






Dough Flour
























Dough Hydration












Total Flour






Water, Soaker & Scald Water,












Whole Grain Equivalent %






Total Weight






Hydration w/ Levain







 Our favorite barely grilled Tuna

yozzause's picture

Hi  just an update  on a point raised by Varda and Janet to the sprouting of the malted rye grains that i obtained from a local (AUS) brew shop.


The Rye berries pictured have sprouted after 24 hours and exposed to the air for a further 12 hours. These were sold as Malted Rye but obiously  these are still viable, most likely just rolled through malt powder rather than the berries themselves having been processed for any malt content. Most malt is commercially from Barley grain where the berries are sprouted  and processed for the malt.

In my circumstance the malt was washed off in the soaking process, in brewing it would have become part of the wort. the water could have been saved and used or there maybe unmalted rye available at the brew shops. A point to remember is not to soak for to long as the grain can drown  agood soak and the exposure to air does the trick and perhaps a few quick dunks to stop drying out to fast.

As an Aviculturalist ( bird keeper ) we  had a problem at one time with seed coming in from Queensland  that  when soaked failed to sprout so wasnt viable, checks were made with the Agricultural department and we found that the seed had failed a sample test for weed seeds and was then irradiated which kills the  viability of all the seeds in the bag the alternative was for the company to return the seed to its origin. obviosly the cheaper alternative  was denaturing the grain, which is probably fine as long as you dont want to sprout it. 

Kind regards Derek  

pstros's picture

Recipe is from the book Brilliant Bread by James Morton. Really nice country bread with crusty crust and beautiful soft crumb. I have used rye starter and a pinch of fresh yeast, overnight bulk fermentation and baked in the cassrole. Satisfying result with funny pattern on the top.

Have a nice day!

Mebake's picture

Hi, fellow and dear TFL'ers

The thoughts and plans of starting a bakery in Dubai have been broiling in my mind for over a year now. As many of you already know, I began taking pastry classes some few months back as I believe that knowing how to make bread alone just won’t cut it. So, I took the classes and collected my certificate and now I think that the natural choice here is to seek an internship / apprenticeship in some bakery.

There are of course many hurdles in the way of doing so. Laws in the United Arab Emirates, specifically those pertaining to labor and food safety, are quite strict and will not allow for internships at food producing factories / outlets, unless you seek a job placement. Due to financial commitments, I can’t quit my current job to work for a bakery / patisserie / hotel / café.. and expect to be paid even remotely similar to what I earn now. Additionally, there isn’t cottage food law here, so if you plan to bake and sell commercially, you’ll have to obtain a commercial trade license like other food businesses. I’m seeking a partner to share part of the expenses, and the passion; I’ve found one so far.

I talked to a bakery owner who declined to offer an internship, but pointed me in the direction of another bakery owned by his niece in another city where the regulations are not as stringent. I paid a visit to the bakery, and noticed that although they produce some pastries (oriental and French), in addition to pita breads, their business model isn't what I’d aspire to.

The question is, am I right in thinking that an internship /apprenticeship at a bakery is a prerequisite to starting a bakery business?  I’m passionate enough about baking, especially Artisan bread, and I’m willing to do what it takes to make it happen.

I’d be happy to know what you guys think, based on your experiences. Any ideas are welcome.

Many thanks,




emkay's picture

My husband and his friends were having a peach sour beer tasting party and he asked me to bake something that could pair well with those beers. I considered baking something peachy, but peach season is not quite in full swing yet, so the ones available at the farmers' markets are still a bit too pricey and not quite at their best.

I decided to bake him a chocolate sourdough bread. I used the formula found on the SFBI website, but I think there's a similar formula in "Advanced Bread and Pastry". It's a hybrid bread using both a levain and instant dry yeast which worked out well for me since my starter is acting lazy and won't raise bread sufficiently right now. (See this thread about it:

The recipe called for chocolate chips, but I used chopped chocolate instead. Chopped chocolate had the added benefit of staying soft even after the bread cooled off. It's easier to slice when a hard chocolate chip isn't tearing through the crumb. I added 27% dried sour cherries which along with the chocolate gave me an add-in percentage of 20%. The dough is low hydration (64%) so it's easy to handle.


Others (elsewhere on the 'net, not on TFL) that have made this bread mentioned that it was not sweet at all. So I was taken by surprise that it was sweeter than I expected. Maybe other people expected something like a chocolate cake? Well, in that case I can understand the bread was not sweet when compared to cake. I expected less sweet and felt it was more sweet. It's all about expections.

Perceived levels of sweetness aside, I would not call the bread overly sweet. The honey played very nicely with the Dutch-processed cocoa. I didn't detect any tang from the levain. Overall, the flavor of the bread was very well-rounded. The smokey bitterness of the cocoa and the bright tartness of the cherries paired perfectly with all those sour beers.



CeciC's picture

36 Hour Method

Main recipe
WeightIngredientBaker's %
350.00Wheat flour, white (industrial), 13% protein, bleached, enriched35.00%
200.00Wheat flour, white (industrial), 10% protein, bleached, unenriched20.00%
300.00Wheat flour, whole-grain30.00%
150.00Buckwheat flour, whole-groat15.00%
820.00Water, tap, drinking82.00%
20.00Salt, table2.00%
200.00bacon, unprepared20.00%
2,040.00Sub total204.00%
WeightIngredientBaker's %
150.00Wheat flour, white (industrial), 13% protein, bleached, enriched15.00%
150.00Water, tap, drinking15.00%
300.00Sub total30.00%
Add In
WeightIngredientBaker's %
200.00Canadian bacon, unprepared20.00%
200.00Sub total20.00%
Final stage
WeightIngredientBaker's %
200.00Wheat flour, white (industrial), 13% protein, bleached, enriched20.00%
200.00Wheat flour, white (industrial), 10% protein, bleached, unenriched20.00%
300.00Wheat flour, whole-grain30.00%
150.00Buckwheat flour, whole-groat15.00%
670.00Water, tap, drinking67.00%
20.00Salt, table2.00%
200.00Add In20.00%
2,040.00Sub total204.00%

I used a young Levain, which was fermented at 25C for 8 hours, which is a little less than double when i ready to mix. 

I pan-fried the bacon, seperated the drippings and bacon, both are added with starter and salt. 

It fermented at around 27C for 3 hours and went right back into the fridge for 12 hours. It has doubled in size in the fridge, it then warmed up for 2 hours, which pushed it passed the double mark and closer to 2.25.

Since the bulk fermentation was a little too long, after pre-shape it rested for 15 minutes. then final shape n proof for 30 mins. 

I will double the bacon next time, as its taste isnt too strong. 


The Second Crumb shot is from the first loaf, it seems to me that the second loaf has overproofed  in the fridge

baybakin's picture

Sometimes you just want a loaf of pan bread.

I have been working for a while to nail down a loaf of relatively lean sandwich pan bread, moving through formulas in many a baking book, converting them to sourdough and scaling them for my 4"x8" loaf pan.  I ended up settling on a highly-tweaked formula based on Peter Reinhart's Vienna Bread from BBA. Recipe is scaled for a 4 inch by 8 inch metal loaf pan.  A young levian is used for this bread, a mere 4-6 hours after the preferment has been mixed.

Natural Leaven Vienna Bread:

  • 300g Strong Flour
  • 150g Water (Warm)
  • 130g Young Liquid Levian (100% hydration)
  • 33g Egg (Save the rest for egg wash)
  • 10g Unsalted Butter
  • 10g Sugar
  • 10g Dry Milk
  • 6g Salt


  1. Mix Young Levian, Water, Egg, Sugar and Dry Milk together until homogenous
  2. Mix in Flour, Butter, Salt Until shaggy dough is formed
  3. Rest for 20 mins, kneed until gluten is well developed
  4. Bulk ferment for 2 hours, folding ever half hour.
  5. Shape, place in greased tin (scaled for 4x8)
  6. Proof until 3-4 inches above sides of tin, apply egg wash as needed to keep top from drying
  7. Bake in pre-heated 400F oven for about 20-25 mins, or until top reaches a dark chestnut color
  8. Remove from tin as soon as possible, cool on rack completely before slicing.

This Bread makes excellent sandwiches, toast, and if shaped differently makes great rolls, hotdog/burger buns. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!




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