The Fresh Loaf

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a_warming_trend's picture

A Southern Twist: Pimento Cheese Sourdough!

This might be my favorite sourdough variation ever. Okay, maybe second to my Dark Chocolate Chunk endeavors. Anyhow, the red pepper and cheddar cheese compliment the tang of the sourdough so perfectly...and the slight sweetness of the white flour and's good, y'all. It's really good. The following is the formula I developed for one loaf.

Note: I don't have crumb pictures for the boule/batard...only from a ciabatta version I baked. The crumb for the boule/batard looked similar, but rose more with the 76% hydration given below.


400 g all-purpose flour (could, alternatively, replace 50-100 g with whole wheat!)
280 g cool water
200 g 100% hydration white starter
11 g salt
10 g malt powder (optional)
3 g ground black pepper
60 g roasted red peppers, finely diced and drained of liquid
60 g finely chopped cubes of sharp cheddar cheese
15 g cream cheese


1) Prepare your starter/levain however you like, such that it will be ready in 8-12 hours.

2) Mix flour and water in a large plastic bowl and autolyse for 8-12 hours (if you're unable to do the super-long autolyse, you'll be just develops the gluten and sweetness of the flour in such a nice way).

3) Add the levain, salt, malt, black pepper, red pepper, cheddar, and cream cheese, and squish through your fingers until incorporated (the technical term is the "pincer method," but I have to be honest. I just squish!). Stretch and fold the dough over itself for an additional 3 to 4 minutes after mixing.

4) Stretch and fold the dough 4-16 times (1-4 full turns) at 30 minute intervals over the next 1.5 to 2 hours. Watch the dough to determine whether it needs three or four folding sessions.

5) Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 2-4 hours after the last fold, or until increase roughly 80%.

6) At this point, you can either put the container in the refrigerator for 4-72 hours before shaping and proofing, or shape and proof immediately.

7) Shape into a boule or batard and proof in a brotform/banneton for between 2 and 3.5 hours at room temperature, or 30 minutes at room temperature and between 8 and 18 hours in the refrigerator. In any case, try to proof until 45-55% increased in size.

8) If you've shaped and proofed at room temperature, pop the loaf in the freezer for 20 minutes before releasing from the brotform.

9) Bake at 475 F for 18 minutes with steam, 20-25 minutes without.




Cher504's picture

 “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair….”

 And here in the northeast, winter 2015 just didn’t know when to quit! Don’t get me wrong, winter is not my season of discontent; I love the snow and bracing winds. But at some point, enough is enough! I’m ready for spring and flowers. I've spent a good part of this winter trying recreate a loaf that comes close to my recollection of the Raisin pumpernickel bread from my youth…not to put it on a pedestal or anything. Here’s a few pix of the first several tries.


This was from Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker.










 This one's from the Silver Palate Cookbook, and there was a no-knead version...Something just wasn't right, and I'm continually misjudging the fermenting time - usually too short...

I even did some research; here’s a few slices from a well-known bakery across town. It looks great, but...

it doesn't taste much like rye at all. It’s very light; in fact you can actually see right through the crumb. That’s not the pumpernickel I remember. My ideal is a dark, chocolate brown, a little dense and chewy, studded with raisins. Deciding I needed a heftier rye flour to continue on this quest, I ordered of bag of coarse pumpernickel meal (from It's even coarser than I expected.







After setting it to ferment, I took a walk in the park. It was the first day of spring.

               Central park is really lovely in the snow.

     The next day I mixed the coarse rye sour with the final dough ingredients. Basically I followed the formula from ITJB, using the coarse rye meal for the final build of the rye sour, (first build was medium rye). I added 1T each of molasses, espresso powder and cocoa powder in lieu of the caramel color, otherwise I followed the formula as is. The dough seemed a bit dry, but I figured the coarse meal was just thirstier…so I went with it. All seemed to be going well…the loaf expanded nicely in bulk ferment and in the final proof. Although, to be honest I find it tricky to judge whether it’s double or triple it’s size, still I was hopeful. After the loaf came out of the oven I went for another walk. All the snow from the day before had melted and lo and behold…

Finally, the first harbinger of spring. I felt like she was smiling at me! Unfortunately, the change of seasons did not cause the pumpernickel raisin gods to smile upon me. ;-( 

My loaf was too dense - although I loved the texture of the coarse meal and I thought the flavor was very nice.

I then stumbled upon an errata sheet for ITJB (didn’t know about that..) and discovered that I should have added another 1/2 C of water - sigh! Teaches me to trust my instincts when the dough seems too dry. Oh well, looking on the bright side, I’m one step closer, I’ve got some old slices ready to be added as altus on the next try. And…the squirrels really like my breads. I think they’re getting to know me.

If any of you trouble-shooters out there can give me some advice I’d be very appreciative. I’m wondering if I should soak (or scald?) the coarse meal before using it in the rye sour. And if so, how much water? how long to soak and do I drain it afterwards? Would some yeast water open up the crumb in this type of bread?  Also,with regard to the coarse rye meal, do I have to keep it in the freezer? If I use it up in say, 3 months, can it remain in a room temp cupboard?


Thanks and happy spring to those of you in the northern hemisphere!







Cari Amici,

vi lascio l'idea per Un buon Pane Fatto con i grani antichi della provincia di Parma Che mi e piaciuto tanto.

La ricetta Prevede l'utilizzo di Un buon Lievito Naturale e la Lavorazione Un po 'articolata lo Hanno reso Prezioso also alla vista dei miei Ospiti Per un pranzo domenicale Recente.

Volevo cogliere altresi L'occasione per augurare a tutti voi serena Festività Pasquali.

Un grande abbraccio e felice cottura a tutti voi.


jungnickel's picture

...flour, water, salt, instant yeast, long cold fermentation


greedybread's picture


IMG_0510 (1024x768)

This is the BEST bit...

We are now on the home stretch with this bread:)

I can almost taste it!!

How are you going to eat yours??

With Salted Butter? Cheese ? Warm but plain?

Salami & Avocado?

Lets finish it!

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 Get your lovely soupy mix from the fridge.

Leave to rest a bit at room temperature while we make the caramel coloring.

Caramel Coloring:

3/4 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of water

1/4 tsp cream of Tartar.

1 cup of Boiling water.

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Place sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium heat.

Boil for 2 minutes.

Add cream of Tartar, stirring well to blend, and boil until almost black.

Usually about 8-10 minutes.


Remove from heat and add the boiling water slowly.

This will spit etc initially so be careful.

Stir all the time with a long spoon or a whisk.

Cool and then store in a glass container.

It will keep indefinitely.

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Add 1/2 cup of the cooled caramel color to the soupy mix.

Mix well.

In another bowl add 3 & 1/2 cups of bread flour.

1 Tbsp Salt.

2 tsp of yeast.

Mix well and combine into soupy caramel mix until a dough is formed.

Knead for about 6 minutes .

Remember you will not see the gluten development in Rye breads like with wheat breads.

Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover, leaving to rest and prove for about 90 minutes.

IMG_0496 (1024x768)

 Place rested dough on a lightly dusted board/ area.

Knock back slightly and form your loaf/loaves.

I did 2 round ones but you can do ovals & I would say you can even put it in a loaf tin if you have a good one.

Line your baking tray with paper and then dust with cornmeal or coarse rye.

Place loaf/loaves on the baking paper and cover with a damp tea towel.

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Allow to rest for 60 minutes.

After 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 175 Celsius.

Place a tray at the bottom of the oven, if your oven does not have a steam function or you don't have a spray bottle.

Slash the loaves, slide them in the oven and chuck ice in the pan at the bottom to create steam.

Shut the oven door asap!

Bake for 20 minutes & then turn the oven round and bake for a further 15-20 minutes until dark brown and hollow sounding when tapped.

Place on a rack as soon as you remove the bread from the oven.

Leave for at least an hour before slicing.

roses jam

You know what to do!!

Get Greedy!

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STUinlouisa's picture

I just had a thought and they come few and far between.  Trying a hybrid between a yeasted dough and a quick bread. Using the acidity of the starter to activate the baking soda and the eggs to give a little structure. 

The idea came from Mini Oven's comment on teaman4077's  problem with Einkorn and eggs and the experience I had making a quick bread from Einkorn,  which had the most fluffy crumb yet.

Autolyse the Einkorn in milk for a while add the starter let sit for a while add eggs, butter, salt,  maybe a little sweetner and baking powder mix and pour into a hot cast iron skillet and bake till it is fluffy and golden.

Let me know what you think.


PetraR's picture

I baked these bread rolls today and thought I share the recipe with you.

The rolls are on the sweet side and perfect for all toppings from Jam to cheese...


First Image shows the rolls fresh out of the oven and cooling.

Second Image shoes the crumb of the roll.

Third Image shows MY ROLL with butter , I had to be quick before they are all gone again like yesterdays batch lol.




500g wheat flour

200g wholemeal flour

450g warm water 

100g  active 100% hydration sourdough starter 

    2 tsp instant yeast

    2 tbsp oil

   1 tbsp dark treacle


Method : 

Mix all ingredients together and knead until you get a smooth and elastic dough.

* With wetter dough I do french kneading *

Form dough into a ball and put in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and bulk ferment until doubled in size or up to 2 hours.

Degas the dough divide 10 , shape into 10 small boules and put seamside down on a parchment lined baking tray.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 250 C.

Brush the rolls with egg wash and sprinke with sesame seeds.

Put the rolls in the oven and turn down the heat to 200 C and bake the rolls for 30-35 min. if they brown to quickly do cover them losely with Aluminium foil.

I do not use a fan oven , so you reduce the heat by 20 C if you use a fan oven.




Ovenbird's picture

Hello All. First post here of TFL. I had been blogging about my bread for a while with blogspot but I seem to be spending more and more time on this website lately so I thought I'd move my blog over here as well. I've learned a lot from the postings on this site. It is such a great resource for bakers, so hopefully I will get some constructive feedback on my baking by posting here.

Over the past several months I have been trying to work through all of the recipes in Hamelman's Bread Book. There is so much in there that I figured baking my way through it would give me a solid foundation in baking all types of bread. While I am only part way through the book I have already identified and revisited some of my favorites. One of these is the recipe for Toast Bread.

I am actually quite surprised at how much I like this bread, since at first glance it looks like a fairly plain white loaf. The flavor is much more than would be expected though, and it truly makes exceptional toast.

For this bake, I tried to follow the recipe as written except for one thing. The book calls for both bread flour and high gluten flour. Since I don't have any flour that is higher gluten than my bread flour, for the high protein portion I mixed bread flour with some vital wheat gluten in a 3:1 ratio. This seems to work fairly well, but may be a bit more gluten than intended as the dough can get very strong especially if folded too much or left in the fridge overnight. I didn’t notice this last time, but this time it was very stiff after a night in the fridge and was actually kinda tough to cut through with my dough scraper when I was scaling the loaves.

The loaves were scaled to 1000g and baked in loaf pans. I only have one 9” Pullman pan so only one was baked with a lid on it. I put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven and sprayed the oven generously to make steam. After 15 minutes I took the lid off of the Pullman pan. Next time use less dough or take the lid off sooner as it was really hard to get off after the dough had expanded so much. II finished baking for another 25 minutes until the crust was a rich golden color.

The finished product came out very nice despite the tightness of the dough and the flavor is just as good as the first time I made it. My only complaint is that there is a doughy spot at the bottom of the one loaf I have cut through. This had happened a couple times since baking in my new oven. I’m not sure why though as the loaves seem fully cooked otherwise. I’ll have to work on this.


isand66's picture

I'm a little late for a St. Paddy's day bread, but I do have to say this one is worth the wait.  The combination of Guinness, polenta with mixed whole grain flakes as a porridge and potatoes created a wonderfully moist and flavorful loaf.  I threw in some freshly sprouted and ground whole wheat flour just for good measure.  If you have not tried a porridge bread yet, than all I can say is you don't know what you are missing!

If you are worried that the Guinness will overpower the bread, don't worry your little heads off :).  The beer really only adds a subtle undertone flavor and if you didn't know it was in the dough you would have a hard time guessing it was present.

Now if Spring would only decide to show up and wipe away the snow we had yesterday I would be much happier.  At least I have a nice hearty bread to go along with the 27 degree weather :).


Guinness Porridge Bread (%)

Guinness Porridge Bread (weights)

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.


Levain Directions Build 1

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.

Levain Directions Build 2

Add in the sprouted whole wheat flour and the water and mix for a minute.  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.  I put it in the refrigerator and used it the next evening but you can use it to mix the main dough right away if you want.

Porridge Directions

Add about 3/4's of the water called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients 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  and 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 and speed #2 for another 2 minutes or by hand for about 6 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).

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, score as desired and then 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 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 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.



WendySusan's picture

I decided to take the new dutch oven for a test drive using Ken Forkish's Field Blend #2 recipe.  So I studied the recipe trying to decide on a way to bake it the Wendy way.


50 gr Wheat Sourdough
50 gr Rye Sour
400 gr KA Bread Flour
100 gr KA White Whole Wheat
400 gr Water


I mixed it all up in my 2 quart container and put it in my proofing box, aka the microwave.  The next morning it was all nice and puffy having more than doubled in volume.  

Then....the first red flag.....I realized that Ken Forkish has you make huge amounts of levain and toss most of it away….next time I’m going to scale the levain for the recipe…in the meantime I did something dangerous…I used the entire amount of the levain, lowering the amount of water and slightly increasing the bread flour.  Not a fan of higher math, The Baker’s Percentage formula has taken me a while to understand but I think the lightbulb has finally lit.... but in my unscientific way, I ended up with a 74% hydration dough….his is 78%!  A big thank you to Abe (AbeNW11) for patiently answering my questions!

For the final dough I decided to skip the Whole Wheat and use all Rye flour since rye bread is a staple in this house…the final dough mix:

600 gr KA Bread Flour
250 gr Rye
600 gr Water
ALL of the levain
20 gr salt
7 gr yeast (more than he called for….cockpit error on my part…but what the heck).

I mixed the flours and water and let it autolyse for 30 minutes, then added the levain, salt and yeast.  I put it back in my proofing box and and every 20 minutes for the next hour and a half I pulled it out and stretched and folded it in the 6 quart container.  It was wet but workable with watered hands.

Back  into the proofing box and bulk ferment until 2.5 times its original size.  This took about 3.5 to 4 hours.  It was quite fluffy and bubbly.


I poured the dough out onto a well floured counter and worked it with the dough scraper lightly, splitting it into two and gently working each half into a boule.  After a five minute rest, I reshaped each boule and gently placed it into one of my new, well floured bannetons,.  Each dough filled banneton...this was my second red flag... was then encased in a plastic bag and placed into the refrigerator for what I hoped would be a lengthy overnight retardation (about 4 p.m.).

Checking on the refrigerated loaves at 9 p.m. I realized they were not going to make it the entire night and were overflowing their bannetons due to my mucking up the quantities in the recipe.

I baked at them at 450 dF in their dutch ovens after gently coaxing them out.  In retrospect I should have scored them a little as the seams I had hoped would bloom had apparently sealed shut from the wetness and weight of the dough in the baskets.


Removing the covers after about 20 minutes they were rising and browning up nicely and one had a bit of a split.


And upon removing them from the oven, they had the nice circular design from the bannetons and were a rich, golden brown.

Impatient after 30 minutes to check the crumb and taste the bread, I cut into one of the loaves to reveal a nice crumb structure and a sour rye flavor which….to quote Ron….was phenomenal!  Guess its a keeper.


I plan to make this bread again with the correct amount of levain and yeast so it doesn’t overflow its containers!

All in all it was a successful bake even though I did my best to muck it up!

Truly an adventure,




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