The Fresh Loaf

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dosco's picture

On Saturday 1-17-2015 I baked this loaf. As I've mentioned previously I've been tinkering with Reinhart's BBA Basic Sourdough recipe. For this bake I aimed for 77% hydration:


10.2 oz preferment, 70% hydration

20.25 oz flour:

   1.5 oz Arrowhead Mills Rye flour

   1.5 oz Arrowhead Mills Sprouted Wheat flour

   5 oz KAF AP flour

   5 oz KAF White Whole Wheat flour

   7.25 oz KAF Bread flour

16 oz water

0.5 oz salt

I mixed the flour and water and autolysed overnight. I then mixed the preferment with the shaggy mass and added the salt. I kneaded with my Kitchen Aid for a total of 20 minutes using 5 minute kneading intervals with 5 to 10 minutes of rest between.

I let it ferment at room temperature (65dF in my house) for 2 hours, then put it in the refrigerator overnight and most of the next day; in the evening I stretched it out and formed it into a ball and put it back in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning I removed it from the fridge, did the final forming into a boule, and put it in a brotform dusted with white rice flour. It stayed in the kitchen for about6 or 7 hours to do the final rise (picture attached), then into the oven set at 550dF with ice cubes in a pan for steam. The boule was baked on a Pampered Chef pizza stone.



Side note: I have not independently verified the temperature of the oven.

The loaf baked for about 20 minutes at 550dF and then 475dF until finished.

Crumb shot also attached.



The loaf is delicious however I was not happy with the oven spring. I did some thinking.

1. I am not sure my steaming method is optimal for my oven (gas fired and vented).

2. As I've mentioned in several recent posts, I received a copy of Forkish's FWSY and I am considering using a DO.

3. My slashing technique for boules is not correct ... I was using the "angled lame" approach for batards which is not correct for boules.


I am now looking for an inexpensive cast iron DO ... I am looking to borrow someone's to try it out before I spend $50 on a new DO. I have several ceramic DOs, and I am considering using one as a "cloche" (I am concerned that if I preheat one of these to 500+dF and I drop in some dough that it will cause the DO to crack).


Next loaf will be 80% hydration.


Question: what are your thoughts on proofing? Does this loaf seem underproofed? I'm still getting used to the brotforms, which has been a significant change from the batards I was making using a jury-rigged couche system. I am a bit unhappy with the tight crumb ... I know it is mostly the result of my kneading process, but could the crumb be a bit more open if I let it proof more? Note the bottom of the loaf, the crumb is a bit dense. Opinions are welcome/encouraged.




jimcornwall's picture

Hi :

I am starting to bake and do so awhile back.  I want to do some sourdough breads that use starters from various places.  In looking at the recipes some same use unbleached bread flour others say bleached is ok. I don't want to waste money buying the wrong kind. Thanks for any advise

Jim Cornwall

mycroft's picture

a simple, very clean, 4-ingredient pancake. it is wheatfree and perfect for those who are into clean eating and health.


1 cup sourdough (mine is a rye, hence wheatfree. sometimes i take two weeks of feeding to convert it fully to buckwheat for gluten-free option)

2 cups wholegrain buckwheat flour

2 - 3 cups of milk (depending on consistency of pancake that you like0

just a small dash of agave nectar. (or omit this if you like)


i mix them up, keep it overnight, and cook as you would any pancake!




a_warming_trend's picture

A long weekend means just that much more time to experiment with intimidating techniques!

This weekend, I have baked two two-loaf batches of sourdough, using a formula that involves a short bulk fermentation and a long cold proof. 


50 g starter (I have a rye and a white, and either will work great)

75 g AP flour

75 g water

(200 g total)

Final Dough


700 g AP fl

100 g WW fl

560 g water (water #1)

20 g water (water #2)

10 g malt/sugar

19 g salt

Any "mix-ins" imaginable, really!


1) Mix levain; wait 8-12 hours. 

2) Mix levain with flour and water; rest for 45 minutes (mini-autolyse--no salt, but fermentation has begun!)

3) Mix in salt and sugar/malt using pincer method (2-3 minutes)

4) Mix in any "extras": cheese, nuts, fruit, etc.

5) Rest for 30 minutes. 

6) Stretch and fold 1-2 full turns (4-8 stretches) every 30 minutes, for 2.5 hours

7) Rest on the counter for 1 hour

8) Retard in the refrigerator for 1 hour (boy, do I need this for shaping. AMATEUR ALERT.)

9) Divide and bench rest for 10 minutes

10) Pre-shape each half, rest for 10 minutes

11) Shape and place in bannetons

12) Proof at room temperature for 1 hour

13) Place in refrigerator for anywhere from 8-16 hours (in both of my cases, the cold proof was 10 hours)

14) Remove from refrigerator for the time it takes to heat the oven (30 minutes or so)

15) Score/adorn and bake (as you'll see, I added "everything bagel" seed topping to one loaf, and asiago cheese to another. I like baking plain loaves with exciting crusts!)

First bake:

Second bake:

Focusing on a long cold proof is just genuinely more stressful than focusing on long cold bulk. The "first fermentation" really is more forgiving. But the quality of the crumb of my long-proofed loaves keep me coming back for more experimentation. thus far, for me, the key is to find that "sweet spot" of levain percentage where bulk fermentation lasts for about 3-4 hours (allowing for 4-5 stretch-and-folds plus some resting time), and the loaves get about an hour outside of the fridge before heading in...but still don't overproof with 8-20 hours in that cold environment. I really like 12-14% levain for this purpose.

Oh, and here are a few bonus pics from the week. Still really working on shaping and scoring, especially of batards. This site gives me SERIOUS ear envy...

And my next experiment? Inspired by lepainSamidie: Long cold bulk WITH long cold proof. Oh boy.

And just really, really excited imagining my future with soaked and sprouted grains (which I haven't even approached to this point, but want to...). 

Can't stop. Won't stop!





AbeNW11's picture

Here is the website:


Semolina Tartine 

250g mature whole rye starter 100% hydration 

200g semolina 

300g bread flour

300g water 

12g salt

30g extra virgin olive oil 



Combine all ingredients minus the salt and olive oil.

Autolyse for one hour.

Add salt plus olive oil and incorporate.

For first two hours do stretch and fold every half hour. 

For last two hours of bulk fermentation finish off in the fridge. 

Take out of fridge, do first shaping and let rest for 15 minutes. 

Then shape into banneton and final proof in the fridge overnight. 



By the third stretch and fold I could tell there wasn't enough gluten development so on the fourth I kneaded till the shaggy mass formed a dough. Then placed in the fridge for 2 hours. After I shaped into banneton I did not refrigerate straight away as was concerned my final kneading knocked all the gas out so left out on counter top for one hour then refrigerated and proceeded as normal. The next time I try this recipe I'll do this kneading when incorporating the oil and salt.



 Nice oven spring


Crumb and texture


STUinlouisa's picture

Bought a pullman pan so I could attempt to make a better version of store bought sandwich bread requested by family members. Used the recipie from K A flour website for small honey oat pain de mie substituting white whole wheat for half the unbleached white.

At the same time in order to use up the rest of the WWW that was ground last weekend I decided to  make a sourdough boule. There was 145 g left after the pain de mie was mixed to that 225 g unbleached white was added. Then mixed 200 g starter that had just tripled after feeding with 260 g water at 90 degree F until well disolved. The flours were added and mixed till just combined and autolysed 30 min. 7 g salt was added and incorporated with pinching and folding. The bowl was covered, did stretch and fold every 20 minutes four times then let bulk ferment for 3 hours. Formed a boule, put in brotform, bagged and placed in fridge. A couple hours later noticed that it was almost doubled so decided to go ahead and bake. Preheated oven to 500 degrees F with a Dutch oven in it, scored with an * placed the boule in the Dutch  oven with the lid on put in oven and turned down to 450. Baked 35 min removed the lid and turned down to 425 baked another 10 min put on cooling rack.

I thought the pain de mie was way too sweet and as unspectacular as most sandwitch breads are, will  cut down honey  by a third next time. The boule had a much more complex flavor and a transluencent crumb due to the better fermentation. It is a keeper.






PY's picture

Only managed 6 buns as i had to hand crank 100g whole wheat berries.

100g Bread Flour

100g Fresh ground whole wheat

1/2 tsp yeast

2 tbsp brown sugar

3/4 tbsp butter

1/3 tsp salt

1/2 cup water

Tangzhong (10g bread flour, 50g water)

180c convection oven for 18 minutes

Hippytea's picture

I've been meaning to start a blog ever since I registered here, but life has got in the way. It's not as if I haven't been baking. Barring a break over Christmas, I have (it's a curious thing that, while the festive season sends many people into a frenzy of baking and cooking, it seems to have the opposite effect on me - I want a break!).

 I think my problem has been where to start. The start of my baking journey is a very long time ago - sitting on the kitchen floor watching loaves rising in the oven, or pushing pastry circles into mince pie tins. Maybe one day I'll be able to chart a path from the simple single-rise white loaves my mother taught me to bake, through experiments with high hydration, wholemeal, tangzhong and cold starts; but I'm not sure anything I wrote could really describe the long, slow, organic process of learning to handle bread.

There have been plenty of Eureka moments - the River Cottage video that first gave me the inkling that dough could be much wetter than I ever thought, the realisation that less yeast is better, and all the standard white bread recipes I had ever seen used far too much ("of course you can use less yeast," my mother said, "it just takes a bit longer"). But those moments, crucial as they are (and this site has offered many turning points) are only a small part of the story. They're the moments when your brain learns something. But the real learning is in your hands, and that takes years. I can handle a loaf. I think I can handle it well. But compared to some of the people on here, and some of the masters I've seen on YouTube, I'm a total beginner.

 So that's where I've decided to start: as a beginner. My yeast loaves (I use instant yeast sachets) have reached a fairly high sort of 'intermediate' standard, and I had just been contemplating moving on to something a bit more challenging, like ciabatta or rye, just as long as it didn't involve sourdough, because that was WAY too complicated, when my friend turned up at my door with a jar of goo.

                "This," she said, "is the daughter of Hildebrandt".

                Hildebrandt was a sourdough starter which my friend had created some time in the middle of last year and nurtured lovingly, but now, as she prepared to move to Ireland, managing and transporting the starter just seemed like too much work. So Hildebrandt was to be adopted out to another friend, and her newborn daughter was to be entrusted to me.

                Well, what could I say? It was a sacred charge. I eyed the jar of starter, head echoing with arcane words absorbed from long, technical online threads I had read in a failed attempt to understand sourdough. I put it in the fridge. And I forgot about it.

                A few days later, it crossed my mind that perhaps something else needed to be done besides refrigeration. I pulled out the daughter of Hildebrandt, now homesick and hooch-addled, and asked my friend for more advice. Armed with what little I could understand, I tried to make amends.

                First, I named her: Ermintrude. It seemed to be a name with dignity, but a certain earthiness which was fitting. Then I apologised. A warmer bed, and a few days of inexpert feeding later, and I made my first loaf, with no better guide to readiness than the presence of bubbles. It shouldn't have worked. Ermintrude felt hungry and unloved, and was still drowning her sorrows, as evidenced by an eye-stinging smell of brandy; but she is a forgiving soul, and that first loaf - made from a bastardised version of James Morton's basic sourdough recipe, but baked in a tin and entirely omitting the bulk ferment (the gluten started to collapse during the initial kneading, so I took a damage limitation approach) - was despite everything one of the best-tasting loaves I have ever made.

Ermintrude's first loaf - single rise white sourdoughErmintrude's first loaf - crumb shotYum

                Since then, Ermintrude and I have been learning a lot together. It took me too long to realise that her alcohol problem was down to hunger and loneliness, and when I started feeding her twice a day, she got off the bottle and has been far happier for it. Now she bubbles and froths and is ready for anything. I've had to scrabble for recipes to use up the excess starter - we've made waffles (slightly underwhelming), crumpets (outstanding), crepes (simply fabulous) and, today, a wonderful, unexpectedly enormous chocolate cake. What has amazed me is that some of these recipes - the crumpets and crepes especially - are actually easier with sourdough than by the usual method. Of all the things I'd ever read about sourdough, on here and elsewhere, I never came across the idea that it could make things easier.

Sourdough crumpetsSourdough chocolate cake

 As for the loaves, I've still got my stabilisers on. I stuck to that bastardised single-rise recipe for a few weeks, reckoning that I needed practice managing my starter before I tried anything with any element of risk. The other day, I branched out and (hold onto your hats) added a bulk ferment. I underproofed it a bit in my anxiety, and it was still in a tin, but it wasn't half bad. I think I need a while to settle into this recipe properly, and perhaps (whisper it) try it free-form, but after that, I'll be looking to spread my wings.

                So I'm looking for suggestions. What recipe should a sourdough beginner move onto once they've mastered the basic white? Nothing too scary, please - I'm not sure I'm ready for recipes that take three days, and despite studying innumerable blogs, threads and podcasts, I still can't remember the difference between a poolish and a preferment. Something relatively easy, but something that'll bring out that sourdough flavour that, up to now, I'm only getting a subtle hint of, or give me a start towards that famous open crumb.

                Ermintrude awaits her orders!




PY's picture

used my new rye starter which is 8 days old.



120g 100% hydration rye starter

30g rye 

30g BF

60g water

as I mistakenly used too much starter I prefermented this for only 6 hours

final dough

300g BF

60g rye

8g salt

all of the preferment

190g water (160g part 1, 30g part 2)

walnuts and soaked raisins

autolyse 45 mins then in went the salt and the remaining water

did slap and fold for 15min, another set of about 8 mins after 30 mins from the first set

then bulk fermented for 1.5 hours at room temp (hot day here 32c) then into the fridge it went for another 1.5 hours as dough was rising too fast.

pinched in the raisins and walnuts into the dough, shaped n proofed in banneton for 1 hour.

baked with steam for 18 mins at 250c, thereafter for remaining 25 mins for 210C

dabrownman's picture

I guess this isn’t technically a white bread but is about as close a Lucy gets to one at 23% whole grain with all the whole grains sprouted, dried and milled at home.  This one was a little bit different with the hydration reduced to 73% making for a much  less sloppy dough than usual.


The whole grains used were wheat, emmer, spelt and rye this time and the lower hydration required 2 slaps to 1 fold when we got around to doing them.  We sifted the sprouted grain and used the 28% hard bits to feed the 3 stage levain as usual.  This week the 8 g of rye sour starter used had been retarded in the fridge for 8 weeks and the levain ended up being 13% of the flour.


We built the levain on a heating pad, per our winter method, and after the levain had doubled after the 3rd feeding, we retarded it for 16 hours instead of our usual 24 hours.  Once the levain came out of the fridge the next day we warmed it up for 1 hour on the heating pad as we autolysed the dough flour and water with the salt sprinkled on top.


The white flour was a 50 / 50 mix of KA bread flour and LaFama AP.  Once everything came together in the mixing bowl we did 3 sets of slap and folds of 7,1 and 1 minute and 3 stets of stretch and folds from the compass points.  All the dough development exercises were done on 20 minute intervals.


The dough was rested between manipulations in an oiled SS bowl on the heating pad between manipulations.  The dough was pre-shaped, then final shaped 10 minutes later, placed seam side down in a rice floured basket, bagged and placed into the fridge for a 16 hour retard in place of out usual 12 hour one.


Once the dough came out of the fridge the next morning we let it warm up on the counter for an hour and half before firing up BOB to 500 F with the Lodge combo cooker inside.  We planned to watch it closely after over baking last week’s first attempt with the cooker due to a faulty probe thermometer.  So this week’s theme is’ no thermometer means better bread in the end!


The blisters even showed themselves on the bottom!  This bread made for a fine lunch sandwich with turkey pastrmi and the usual fruits, berries veggies and salad.

Since the bread was baked seam side up, no slashing was required.  After upending the dough onto parchment the transfer to the hot combo cooker was easy as pie.  Once the cooker went into the oven we turned the oven down to 450 F for 20 minutes of steam instead of 15 like last week..


Once the lid came off we turned the oven down to 425 F – convection this time.  The bread sprang and bloomed well under steam. And 5 minutes under the lower dry heat we took the bread off the cooker bottom and finished baking it on the stone. 10 minutes after the lid came off, 30 minutes total, we called the loaf done, turned off the oven and let it sit on the stone for 5 more minutes and then transferred it to a cooling rack.


It browned and blistered well enough and the bottom thump sounded hollow too.  We will have to wait and see how the crumb came out with the much lower hydration of this bake.  The crust is thin and softly chewy.  The crumb is  soft, open, moist and glossy.  The taste is superb!  I prefer it to the same bread made with the same but not sprouted  whole grains.  We will have to see what the wife says about it tonight.  I can see olive oil, Parmesan, Pecorino, fresh basil, and roseary with a grind or 3 of pepper on a plate for dipping right now. 


This bread cost 95 cents to make including energy costs.  If you include the combo cooker, baking stones, dehydrator and mill this loaf of sprouted SD was only $300 :-)  We would like to try this recipe at 30% whole sprouted grains to see lf we like that version better. Nothing like a new style of SFSD to play around with.....

For those using thermometers, now that I have new batteries in mine, we baked this bread to 207 F.  After letting  it sit  in the off oven for 5 more minutes,  it hit 209 F.


SD Levain Build

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



8 Week Retarded Rye Sour Starter






72% Extraction Sprouted Multigrain






28% Extract Sprouted Multigrain
























Levain Totals


















Levain Hydration






Levain % of Total Flour












Dough Flour






72% Extract Sprouted Multigrain






KA Bread & La Fama AP 50/50






Total Dough Flour






























Dough Hydration






Total Flour w/ Starter


















Hydration with Starter






Total Weight






% Whole Sprouted Grain












4 Whole sprouted grains include equal






amounts of rye, spelt, emmer (farro) & wheat







Lucy reminds us not to forget the salad or even the smoked chicken noodle soup:-) 



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