The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Apple Betty's picture
Apple Betty

Hello all TFL'ers.  I stepped away from baking bread for awhile and just started again about 18 months ago, but this time with SD.  I want to say thank you to everyone that posts on this site.  What a wealth of information, passion and willingness to share. There are many folks here that have inspired me to keep learning and challenging myself.   I felt after "lurking" on the site for so long that I'd log-in.  My hat goes off to Floyd for such a great site that he tirelessly maintains. (IMO). Until next time.... happy baking.

kiki's picture

Everyone, have a fun trick and yummy treat!!



isand66's picture


I am honored to be participating as a recipe tester for Stan Ginsberg's upcoming bread book featuring rye breads.  We are not legally allowed to share or discuss the actual recipes we are testing, but fortunately we can at least wet your appetite with some photos.



I have to say I was very happy with the way the first recipe came out and even though I am not normally a big fan of spiced bread this one was subtle enough that it worked.

Stay tuned for more to come....


dabrownman's picture

After 3 weeks of baking fruit, nut and seed bread, Lucy had enough of these experiments and decided to go back to another experiment that she wasn’t quite happy with  the last outcomes. This bake goes back to the multigrain SD breads using home sprouted, dried and milled flour but also using the same sprouted multi-grains as whole berries.


We have been sprouting grains to make our own red and white malts for some time and have been using sprouted whole berries in bread for about as long with no problems.  But, when we tried using large amounts of sprouted flour in SD breads using our normal methods, things started to go wrong with gummy crumb, gluten structure breakdown and bread that wouldn’t spring and bloom like it should.


We finally said that if we were going to use our normal long; autolyse, retards of starter, levain and dough that we would have to keep the sprouted whole grains to 15% or less of the total flour if we wanted bread that looked like it should aesthetically.


The thing we liked most about sprouted grain breads is their unique and deep flavor – a taste that we couldn’t get any other way.  So we are going to have to work on a new method to get more sprouted whole grain in the mix without losing the sour, spring and bloom and getting a nice moist and open crumb that wasn’t gummy.


So we cut out the levain build retard and the bulk ferment entirely and cut down the autolyse to 45 minutes (no levain and no salt)  and dough retard down to 12 hours while upping the whole sprouted grain to 20% from 15%.  The overall whole grains remained at 50%.  This batch of 6 multi-grains, sprouted and un-sprouted, consisted of: spelt, einkorn, rye, wheat, Kamut and barley.


We upped the hydration to over 84% (which might have been a point or 2 too high) but it came together well by the end of the 3rd set of slap of folds of 8, 2 and 1 minute.  It quit sticking to the counter at the 8 minute mark and end of the first set.  We incorporated the whole berry sprouts during the first set of the compass point stretch and folds and they were incorporated by the end of the 3rd set.


4 meat chili with Mexican cornbread is perfect when the temperatures finally fall into the 80's during fall.

Once it was shaped and placed in a basket seam side up without any bulk ferment, it was bagged and placed into the fridge for a 12 hour retard.  The next day we took the dough out of the fridge as it looked like it was 80% proofed and would need a little counter time to be just right for baking.


A cool salad goes perfect with hot chili.

After an hour we fired up Big Old Betsy to 500 F and put the Mega Steam in once She beeped saying she was hot.  15 minutes later we up ended the dough onto parchment on a peel slashed it in a square and put the bread on the bottom stone for 15 minutes of steam.  After 2 minutes we turned the oven down to 450 F .


Once the steam was complete it was removed and the oven was turned down to 425 F convection and we continued to bake for another 20 minutes until the boule reached 205 F on the inside.   We left the bread on the stone with the door ajar after the oven was tuned off for 8 minutes to really crisp the crust before removing it to the cooling rack.


This bread turned that deep mahogany color we love so much, sported those little blisters on the skin.  It sprang and bloomed well too showing it hit the oven at about 87.5 % proof.   It is nice when everything comes together with a new recipe on the first go.   .


 Will have to wait on the crumb until later today.  The crumb came out very soft, open and moist,  Even though the bread was baked to 205F and hit 208 F sitting on the stone after the oven was turned off, it could have been baked to 210 F with no worries.  The taste was grand as the crust held its crispy character and the crumb was delightful;.  This is one of those really good breads you just can't get enough of.  Bake some sprouted grain bread to see how good it really is.


Whole Multigrain SD Levain

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



8 Week Retarded Rye Starter






MG 15% Extraction
























Levain Totals


















Levain Hydration






Levain % of Total Flour












Dough Flour






85% Extraction Multigrain






KA Bread Flour






Total Dough Flour


















Whey 268, Potato Water












Dough Hydration






Total Flour w/ Starter






Liquid w/ Starter












Hydration with Starter






Total Weight






Whole Gtrain %












Whole Multigrain Sprouts












6 whole multigrain mix is: einkorn, rye, wheat, barley, Kamut, spelt


38% of the the whole grain flour is sprouted




This bread made for a fine P&J sandwich with the usual salad, apple fruits and veggies .


blackhatbaker's picture

Some changes I made for this bake of 3-stage pain au levain

-Levain chef premiere fermented for 3 hours

-Included a 2 hour RT autolyse without levain

-bulk fermentation lasted 45 minutes

-hydration increased to 72%

-used "high extraction" flour blend: 50% whole wheat, 50% all purpose

-Shaped into 1 miche, 1 boule, and 1 batard

some crumb shots

Overall, I was pretty happy with this bake. The crumb structure was much more open, and I liked the color from using the high extraction flour blend. The flavor had a prevailing sweet overtone, and the crust was well-carmelized, judging by color and flavor. Next week, I might add some raw wheat germ to the mix, for flavor.

Happy Halloween,


StuartLeGa's picture

When my son's family visited us in August he brought some "Canadian & very strong white flour" purchased in the UK can anyone please tell me anything about this flour - is it similar to what in the UK is described as "Strong white flour" and here in France TYPE 65?

A further question  Farine de Ble Noir which I think is Buckwheat flour - rye flour or not? - various websites indicate it is but don't answer the question directly!

Floydm's picture

Right now I certainly have the will to bake, and some interesting new books to bake from, but am so busy with work and travel that I'm not finding time to bake much at all right now.  Above is the one sourdough boule I made last week. It did come out pretty nice, I gotta admit.

This weekend's travel took me past Bread Farm in Bow, Washington, which is always worth a short detour to visit.


I finished reading In Search of the Perfect Loaf on a ferry ride.  Highly, highly recommended.  I think anyone who enjoys visiting this site regularly will enjoy reading it and recognize quite a bit of their own ambitions in Sam Fromartz's story.  Read it!

Since I'd finished my book on the return ferry ride I just had to admire the scenery.  


Such is life in the Pacific Northwest.

gary.turner's picture

I downsized from a 1500sq ft house with a 60s style kitchen best used for 60s style TV dinners. You know, no counter space. I am now in a small apartment with even less counter space and I'm still searching for storage space.

I have solved the counter space problem. A friend spoke highly of the John Boos JNS09 Maple Wood Top Stallion Work Table, Galvanized Legs, Adjustable Lower Shelf, 1-1/2" Thick, 48" Length x 30" Width (as Amazon lists it).

This is a heavy, ~100lbs, maple bench top on sturdy legs that hold an undershelf. I am not done finishing the top, only having applied four coats of penetrating oil. I apply three coats, then scrape the surface back to bare wood. This allows succeeding coats to further penetrate the wood without building up a thick surface coat which, when it cures, could chip off.

It is an absolute pleasure on which to work my dough. I wish I had got this when I first started baking. The top picture shows the bench top and a couple of sourdough, panned sandwich loaves cooling.

Back in the late fifties or early sixties, there was an oil well service company whose tag line for their ads was something like, "You don't have an oil well? Well, buy one." If I may steal, if you don't have a proper work surface for bread making, buy one. You won't regret it.


David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

This weekend was a "disaster" in terms of baking waste. I don't even recall what I was trying to bake, but I got distracted and used the wrong quantity of water.  I determined this because the autolyse was very dry and when I weighed my container it was short by a whole lot.  Unfortunately, it was not possible to incorporate the missing water at this point. I tried to overcome the problem with time, and eventually the pools of water in my dough bucket began to subside and I had a crappy looking dough that felt awful.  More time passed and it seemed almost passable except for the tumors of hard matter which I can only assume were clumps of drier dough in the mix.

At this point, I had already started down the path of making the Forkish Double Fed Sweet Levain bread and given the huge quantities of discard that he calls for, I had enough to make four loaves by the end of the second feeding. (I did not do a full forkish feeding for the first one, but did so for the second).  When I got to adding the salt to the Sweet Levain dough, I realized I forgot to add it to the first dough disaster I had created, so I just dumped the mess into the trash and said, good riddance.  I promise to have my notebook nearby next time I bake so I can keep better track of things.

Anyway, back to the double fed sweet levain bread -- his process calls for 1/2 tsp of yeast, he says, because the levain he uses is not particularly active, having been recently fed before mixing.  I decided to experiment and skip the yeast for the first batch and then add the yeast for the second batch.  The second batch also contained rye and more ground white whole wheat.

The dough is supposed to grow 2-2.5 times in size, and the one with the yeast, which was started nearly an hour after the one without, rose admirably and allowed me to shape and put in the fridge before bed.  The second set of dough started an hour earlier and without the yeast was barely budging, I think it came to just above 1 liter in the cambro container when it started just below 1 liter. I had no idea how long it would take to get to nearly 3 liters, but I put the bucket in the pantry which is a bit cooler than the kitchen this time of year, and went to bed.

In the morning, my shaped and yeasted dough had grown quite a bit in the baskets and were ready to bake first thing (6:30 a.m.).  I had added rolled oats to the proofing baskets and even sprinkled them around the perimeter of the dough, in addition to using rice flour.  These babies dropped out without leaving any bits behind FINALLY!

Scored Dough

The loaves baked up very nicely though they did not open up much.

And, as you can see, the crumb is beautiful.  It is very soft. No sourness at all. Just lovely to eat.

Even though it was baked fresh that day, I decided to make some grilled cheese for dinner.  I have been using my cast iron skillets to grill my sandwich, using the second skillet as a panini press. This makes the bread toast up beautifully.  I am using coconut oil and cheddar. Yum!


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