The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recent Blog Entries

  • Pin It
Cher504's picture

      Today I'm documenting this sour rye bread so I can remember what I did and not have to look back thru multiple threads to find my way. My last sour rye came out really well, but today I wanted to add in a few more ideas culled from various posters. From ehanner: using water from rehydrating onions as part of the dough water. From Norm: going all the way to 100% with the rye sour component, and bulk fermenting in a wet wooden box (well, I used a salad bowl). From dmsnyder: most of the method, plus baking at a higher temp for crispier crust and using medium rye rather than light.

          I made one fatal mistake - I did a 20 minute autolyse of the white flour and water (I had a few errands to do). Disaster! I was using high-gluten flour (I'm out of first clear) and it turned into a web of indestructible gluten strands which took a lot of patience to incorporate when I mixed the final dough. And the crumb shot reveals that I wasn't completely successful either. Thankfully, it came together flavor-wise despite the little blobs of white...

Everything Rye

Everything Rye 

With glaze

With the glaze

Crumb shot

Crumb shot. 


  1. Stage 1 sour: From refrigerated stock add 1/2 C water, stir to dissolve and aerate. Stir in 3/4 C medium rye to a thick paste. Sprinkle 1/4 C meduim rye on top. Ferment at room temp ‘til risen and ‘cracked‘ into contintents. If not ready to continue, refrigerate overnight.            
  2. Stage 2 sour: Add to the stage 1 mixture 1/2 C water, stir to dissolve and aerate. Stir in 3/4 C medium rye to a thick paste. Sprinkle 1/4 C medium rye on top. Ferment at room temp ‘til risen and cracked into continents. Again, OK to put in fridge for a while.
  3. Stage 3 sour: (Mix this stage before bed, let it ferment overnight) Add to the stage 2 mixture 1/2 C water, stir to dissolve and aerate. Stir in 3/4 C medium rye to a thick paste. Sprinkle 1/4 C medium rye on top. Ferment at room temp ‘til risen and cracked into continents. Should have at least 17 oz. by now - enough to make one loaf.
  4. Rehydrate handful of dried onions with boiling water - (save water!)
  5. Measure 1 generous T caraway seeds. Grind 1/2 T, reserve rest for topping
  6. Prepare 1 C altus -(save the water) if using.
  7. Mix final dough. 

WATER ________________________________________ 227g (8oz) 

                   add enough additional water (to H2o from onions and altus) to make 227g

RYE SOUR _____________________________________454g (16 oz)

FIRST CLEAR (or high gluten) FLOUR______________454g (16 oz)

ALTUS _________________________________________@125g

KOSHER SALT___________________________________7g (.25 oz)

INSTANT YEAST__________________________________5g (.2 oz)

GROUND CARAWAY SEEDS_______________________5g (.2 oz)

NIGELLA SEEDS__________________________________8g (a heaping T)

 I hand mixed all 10 min, then rested 5 min, and did some slap and folds on a floured  counter for another 10 min...what a mess!

8. Bulk ferment [AND PREHEAT OVEN NOW to 475F with D.O. inside] - about 30 min. total. Put dough in large, wooden salad bowl moistened with water. Cover with another large bowl. With very wet hands, do 2 sets of stretch and folds every 5 minutes. Then just let it rest. The dough became puffed, but it did not double.

9. Shape, top, score - with very wet hands, gently shape a boule by cupping hands underneath the dough - do it right in the salad bowl. Slide dough onto parchment paper generously dusted with cornmeal. spray loaf with water and top with the rehydrated onions, poppy seeds, rest of caraway seeds a little bagel salt and some cornmeal. 3 slashes. NO FINAL RISE! Load into the D.O. - parchment paper and all.

10. Bake - turn oven down to 450. Bake covered for 20 min. Uncover, (whee! nice oven spring) and bake 25 more min until internal temp reaches 205. Make cornstarch glaze

11. Take loaf out of DO, turn oven off and put bread back in for 10 more min. to get more crispy. Glaze with cornstarch.


The flavor was great - not overly sour, surprisingly. The crumb was very moist with little jolts of nigella and caraway seed flavor. The crust was chewy, and all those seeds and onions added some crispiness too. 

 NEXT TIME: DO NOT AUTOLYSE!! Try loosening the rye sour with the water first and then add the rest of the ingredients. Get the clear flour - tastes much better - really missed it this time. Add extra 25% nigella seeds - those are flavorful! Try skipping the glaze next time, it seemed to make the crust less crispy. 

NatiGO's picture

So, I've been absent from my blog, but it doesn't mean I haven't been baking.

Lately I've been baking almost exclusively the Rustic Bread by Floydm. I never made loafs with preferments, so it was new, but I liked doing it.

I also recently acquired a Le Cruiset pot, so I baked in it for the first time. And I have to say, it was the most beautiful bread I have ever baked!

I made half a recipe, I thought it was too much. But now I'm doing the whole one! It's very good.

I loved how it looked and how it tasted. I'm addicted to doing this recipe. And using my pot.

One of the times I baked two loafs, one in the pot and one in a regular opened pan, and the difference was huge!

I would like to bake it in a batard shape, but I'm afraid I won't get that beeeeautiful crust as in the pot. What is the best way to make that same steam on an opened pan?

One thing I would like to say is that before joining here, for me, the whole process of making bread would take like 2 hours tops. One hour was enough time for a bread to rise (no wonder it was always heavy). Now, I plan myself ahead, and usually take a whole day off when I want to bake. And it's paying off.

Thank you!

PY's picture

First attempt at 100% whole grain bread. Only 2 tablespoon starter required and 9 hours to a nice loaf. Very happy with the results!

Whale 7's picture
Whale 7

my attempt to send a photo, but I think it is upside down....We love chewy crust, so this was baked the full tIme.  Great bread.

nmygarden's picture

After several weeks of whole and sprouted wheat, I needed a break and was seeking middle ground between the Multigrain SD breads I prefer and the soft sandwich type breads my husband prefers. And I missed including rye in the mix, the flavor it brings and even didn't care if the dough is kind of sticky. I wanted a soft, yet open crumb and rich flavor. So, what's in the kitchen to contribute? Rye (25%), of course, cornmeal (12%), caraway seed, a touch of molasses and an extra baked potato (15%). Aside from an overabundance of rice flour on the towel and neglecting to reduce the oven temp toward the end of the bake and nearly burning it, it came out alright.

And it has been a baking week, Fruitcake last weekend, SD English Muffins this morning (WW Date) and later, Cherry Chocolate Stout, slightly modified from one Wooden Spoon shared with us a while back. Really looking forward to the finished bread. I'm in SF's now and each time I uncover the dough, the stout wafts up to me.  :)

Happy Baking, Everyone!


Cari Amici,

questo Pane è stato messo in produzione tante volte proprio perchè il suo gusto, i suoi profumi rievocano in me i ricordi più belli della mia infanzia, quando accompagnavo la nonna al Forno del paese per cuocere il pane che aveva lievitato lentamente tutta la notte sotto una calda coperta.

Quante volte lei mi ha regalato un pezzetto di impasto e mi ha insegnato cosa fare per ottenere un buon pane.

Quanto mi piacerebbe che i bambini di adesso avessero la stessa fortuna.........

Questa ricetta è di un Maestro Panificatore Italiano, Antonio Cipriani che io ho avuto la fortuna di ascoltare e vedere lavorare durante una delle recenti Edizioni di “PANE NOSTRUM” Festa internazionale del Pane, che si sono tenute a Senigallia (Marche-AN).

Bella la sua ricetta e straordinarie le sue lezioni sul pane, se vi ho incuriosito venite a trovarmi.



Questi sono gli ingredienti che lui utilizza, qui di seguito vi inserisco delle specifiche per comprendere meglio:

Ingredienti per circa 1 kg di impasto:

- g  250  farina di grano tenero Tipo 2 (Corrisponde ad una farina di grano tenero integrale setacciata ed a cui viene tolta la crusca più grossa) proteine 12,5%

- g  200  farina di grano tenero integrale - proteine 12,5%

- g   25   farina di segale integrale - proteine 6,4%

- g   10   olio extra vergine d'oliva

- g  310  acqua

- g  225 di lievito naturale idratato al 50%, attivo dopo un rinfresco

- g  50 di Biga (fatta 12 ore prima con: 34 g  farina W330 proteine 13,5% , 16 g acqua, 0,5 g lievito compresso)


Temperatura finale impasto:  26 °C (in estate) e 29 °C (in inverno)


Per tutto il resto e per leggere i suoi preziosi insegnamenti vi lascio il link del mio post:


kacy's picture

The prep schedule got messed up when i had to drop everything and go marketing with a friend. Ended up with the autolysed dough which was slapped and folded about 2 mins on the counter and hurriedly thrown into an oiled bowl, bagged and immediately refrigerated. Came back more than 6 hrs later and started to do the first SF. Left dough on counter and did 2nd SF an hr later then refrigerated again another 3 hrs. Shaped and couched then went into fridge again overnight. Slashed and Baked this morning after 12hrs proof. There is no magic protocol here. Just a play with time and temp. Just shows how forgiving the whole mix can be. The aroma coming from the bake was just so good. Cant wait to savour and to see the interior.

100g starter. 200g water. 200g bread flr. 50gwholewheat. 50g rye

Happy baking everyone. May the fired up ovens keep you warm  these wintry days..

isand66's picture

This is one of my favorites from the recipe testing group to date.  It has hints of fennel and caraway and overall just tastes great with a nice moist crumb.  It's perfect for sandwiches or just about anything.Closeup1



I'm not posting the other recipe from this group which was a Cider Rye since it didn't turn out the way intended and ended up with a gummy crumb.

Look forward to week 6 which I will start this weekend with a nice Black Bread.

dabrownman's picture

For this week’s Friday bake, Lucy came up with another variation on our sprouted grains experiment.  We are trying to increase the whole sprouted grain amount and still get a 12 hour cold retard without the dough over proofing in the fridge or turning to goo.


We upped the sprouted whole grains to 30% and the 4 grains used were emmer, rye, wheat and spelt.  We really like this combination of grains flavor wise when not sprouted and we hoped the taste would even be better when sprouted.

We followed our usual schedule of sprouting on Tuesday, drying and milling the grain on Wednesday along with sifting the milled flour to remove the hard bits to feed to the levain.  This time the hard bits ended up being a 20% extraction.


The levain was built Wednesday afternoon using our normal 3 stage way - with 3 hours for the first 2 stages and 4 for the last one.  We used a heating pad to keep the temp around 84 F since it is now winter the kitchen isn’t 84 F like the summer


In 10 hours, the levain had finished its final doubling and we refrigerated the levain for 24 hours to help bring out more sour since the SD seed was newly refreshed and stored for only 2 weeks in the fridge for this bake.


Home made 100% buckweat soba noodles with tofu in a miso / dashi / turkey stock. and below 80% buckwheat ones

The dough flour was autolysed with the dough liquid with the salt sprinkled on top for 1 hour as the levain warmed up on the heating pad.  Once the warm levain hit the mix we did 3 sets of slap and folds for 8, 1 and 1 minute and 3 sets of strtech and folds – all on 20 minute intervals.


Lemon Curd Bars and Thanksgiving Turkey with lemon slices and herb compound butter under the skin

After a 15 minute rest we pre shaped the dough into a boule and then 10 minutes later did the final shape and placed the dough in a rice floured basket for a 30 minute rest on the heating pad after bagging it.  Then in the fridge it went for a 12 hour retard.


Don't forget that salad.

By the next morning, it had risen nicely but wasn’t quite at the 90% level we like for white bread. So we let the dough warm up on the counter for 2 hours before un-molding it onto parchment, on a peel, slashing it and sliding it on the bottom 500 F stone and covering it with a heavy aluminum pot we found a Goodwill for a dollar.


After 2 minutes we turned the oven down to 465 F and continued to stem the bread for a total of 10 minutes.  Once uncovered we turned the oven down to 425 F convection and continued to make for another 25 minutes until the temperature hit 210 F on the inside – our standard temperature for sprouted grain bread.


It blistered and browned well but it also spread out 2” in diameter too.  The hydration of 78.6% for a 30% whole grain bread is high but not out of bounds.  I think the reason this spread more than normal is that the half of the white flour was AP instead of bread flour and that sprouted grain bread just spread more by nature.


Still, the spreading dough puffed itself up, sprang and bloomed well enough.  The crumb was open, super soft, moist and a bit glossy.  The contrasting bold bake of the crust that was still a little crunchy after cooling along with the soft crumb was a joy but the taste was really superb.  It is one of those fine tasting breads you would want to eat all the time, - if you could only have one bread to eat.


My 2 babies.

The crumb shots are a little less snazzy then usual but I was at the dentist this morning as the loaf cooled on the rack.  I took the loaf back up to their office and cut the bread into quarters, one for each of them and a slice that I cut up for us to taste. It is always nice to turn folks onto some good bread they normally wouldn’t eat and see their faces light up when they taste it.  It made my day.


Whole Multigrain SD Levain

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



2 Week Retarded Rye Starter






80% Extraction 4 Grain






20% Extraction 4 Grain
























Levain Totals


















Levain Hydration






Levain % of Total Flour












Dough Flour






80% Extraction 4 grain






1/2 AP & KA Bread Flour






Total Dough Flour






























Dough Hydration






Total Flour w/ Starter






Liquid w/ Starter












Hydration with Starter






Total Weight






% Whole Grain












Whole multigrain included equal amounts




of wheat, rye, spelt and emmer










TheTwistedVegan's picture

Thanks to Bill who has some outstanding information under the forum post "Maintaining a 100% Hydration White Flour Starter".  Your encouragement and very thorough answers and suggestions kept me from quitting.   And today I made my first loaf of successful sourdough from starter !!  Yea!!! 

First photo was bread from my second attempt (bad formula-recipe, over-proofing, no injected moisture).   The middle loaf is obviously my success (I  posted comments under the forum), and the third was an attempt adding in some instant yeast (just in case, but different moisture method and not cooked quite long enough).   

I really appreciate all the information and support here !!


Subscribe to Recent Blog Entries