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ExperimentalBaker's picture

I tried to bake a chocolate sourdough bread using Shiao-Ping's post. Other than halving the recipe, changing the proofing times, adding in 100g of walnuts and baking in a cold dutch oven, everything else is the same.

However, outcome is different. :p


Proofed, fridged overnight. Floured and scored immediately out of the fridge and went into the pre-heated oven in a cold dutch oven.

There is some oven spring... But...

The crumb is very tight. Almost like a cake...

I did not use the bosch mixer this time round. I stretched and fold according to instructions. I did find the dough very stiff while doing the stretches.

My fridge might be too cold. After 40 mins of baking, the internal temperature is only 29C! Extended the baking time for another 30 mins or so.

Having said that, a cold loaf is easier to transfer, doesn't stick to the banetton much and easier to score too.

Maybe for the next bake, I should increase the hydration and let it proof longer at room temperature before putting it in the fridge.


milhomandioca's picture

Hey, everyone!

My name is Renata and I've been reading TFL for a long time, always thinking about being a part of the community. And now it's the time for it. I want to learn more about sourdough bread and improve my technique.


This one is my regular whole-wheat sourdough. I wasn't happy with the scoring in this one, the loaf was underproofed. But the flavor and texture were nice.

White flour                                                  70%

Whole-wheat flour                                  30%

Water                                                             65%

Salt                                                                    2% 

Mature 100% sourdough starter        25%

ExperimentalBaker's picture

Baked this in the morning before going to work.

Process is similar to the one from the original post here.

Some changes on my side:

1) My yeast water is not that active. Maybe I have not been feeding it enough and left it in the fridge. So it took more than 10 hours to get it to double after making the levain. So, in my main dough, I added in 60g of my active sourdough (100% hydration) and more sugar (60g). I adjusted the remaining flour (-30g) and water (-30g) accordingly.

2) For the main dough, instead of using water, I used more yeast water.

3) I knead the butter into the dough after the salt is mixed. All kneading is done by my bosch mixer.

4) I added 20g of white sesame seeds and 20 g of black sesame seeds. They are toasted in the oven slightly beforehand. I added them after gluten formation is moderate.

5) I did a bulk fermentation of 2 hours because my room temperature is 30C.

6) The proofing time is much longer than 2 hours. Like I mentioned previously, the yeast water is not very active. So, after proofing at room temperature for 4 hours, it has not reached the top of the tin. And because it is my bedtime and I don't want it to over-proof while I am sleeping, I put it in my wine cooler at 15C.

This morning when I woke up, the dough is about 1cm above the top of the tin. I baked the dough using the cold start method mentioned in the original post. 20 mins of 210C was enough to nearly charred the top of the loaf. Internal temperature is 90C when I pulled out the loaf.

Next bake, I will have to reduce the temperature to 200C.

I made another different loaf last night, now it is slowly proofing in the fridge, it is the chocolate sourdough recipe from shiao-ping's post. I won't get to bake it till tomorrow night, ie. close to 48 hours of fridge time.

dabrownman's picture

Ever since Sylvia posted her wood fired calzones we have been making them at least once a month.  These were packed with home make pizza sauce, fresh and shredded mozzarella, Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses, Italian hot sausage and pepperoni , red and green onion, button, shitaki and crimini mushrooms, with some red pepper slices and fresh basil.

The crust was starter with 100g each of AP flour and yeast water with a couple three pinches of ADY and 10 g of 6 week old rye sour starter.  We didn't have as much time as usual so we made sure the levain would be very active -quickly!  After it had risen 100% we added it to 400 g of AP 1.8% salt and enough water, 252 g, to get it to 70% hydration.

We did 6, 1 and 1  minutes of slap and fold sessions 20 minute apart and 3 sessions of  stretch and folds fromt the compass points also on 20 minute intervals.  Then we let it bulk proof on the counter for 4 hours before shaping them in to ovals with a rolling pin.  My daughter stuffed and folded them which is why they look so good and I egg washed them and slashed them 3 times each and loaded them onto parchment on a peel.


Here is the bottom of one piece before it was inhaled.

They were so big they barely fit on the rectangular baking stone in Big Ole Betsy who was waiting at 500 F with no steam.  We slid them off the peel onto the stone and then after 2 manures we turned the oven down to 450 F and baked them for another 8 minutes before turning them 180 degrees on the stone and turning the oven down to 425 F - convection this time.  In 15 minutes they were done, bottoms more crisp than the tops, and transferred to a cooling rack for 5 minutes before serving.  They were still too hot to eat though.  They looked fantastic and tasted great.  Just as good as a pizza.

The last of Ian's bread made a fine breakfast this morning and monsoon has arrived so....... the sunsets are better!


breadforfun's picture

I haven't posted in a while due to a busy travel schedule and family obligations. When I finally returned a few weeks ago I wanted to try out a few formulas from Robertson's latest book, Tartine 3. His combinations of ingredients and use of porridge (think cooked soaker) are very intriguing. 

I made a double batch of the wheat-rye-caraway-bread.  This has only 10% rye, the rest being a blend of white, high extraction and whole wheat. I was out of high extraction at the time, so I substituted a 50/50 blend of white/WW instead.  This is an 85% hydration bread with only 7.5% prefermented flour, so the bulk ferment was long (4-5 hrs at 75˚F).  I divided the dough into 6 loaves, roughly 500-600 gm each, and proofed them in brotforms overnight in the refrigerator.  The flavor of the ground spices, each 2%, were in the background of the finished loaf, less intense than I expected considering the volume as I was adding it. The crumb was open, although less so compared to his basic country sourdough. It makes a great tasting sandwich bread, and goes surprisingly well with sharp cheddars.


When I first approached the porridge breads I noticed an inconsistency in the book (see post).  I made the Rye Porridge bread using a hybrid technique.  It was too late to add the porridge to the levain and water mixture, so I added it to the dough directly after the autolyse, but well before the second fold as stated in every porridge recipe in the book. Still, it was difficult to distribute the porridge evenly, and I believe it affected the openness of the crumb somewhat.  The flavor was very nutty and had a lot of depth due to the porridge.  The crumb was very moist and the crust had a good chewiness.

In the future when I make these porridge breads, and I definitely will, I will add the porridge to the levain prior to the autolyse, as he describes in the Master Formula section of the book. There are so many combination that sound so good, they will keep me busy for a long while.





P.S. Here are a few of views of my trip to China and Tibet:


Maine18's picture

In between World Cup games, I thought I’d catch up on a couple of recent bread experiments and bakery visits.  I’ve been traveling for work quite a bit this Spring/early Summer, and two recent trips afforded me the chance to stop by the bakeries of two favorite bread book authors, Chad Robertson (Bar Tartine) and Ken Forkish (Ken’s Artisan Bakery).

Tartine was, as always, pretty phenomenal.  His style bread was, 8 or 9 years ago, what initially got me hooked on levain bread baking.  We had brunch at Bar Tartine, and took that opportunity to order a couple of their loaves to go – the classic Country Loaf, as well as an Oat Porridge boule.

I was amazed by the size of the Country Loaf – at least twice the size of the batards I produce at home.  Rather than cut into it at the restaurant, we ended up hauling this one back on the plane to Seattle and immediately froze it, to enjoy later.  Later ended up being about 2 weeks, when we had steamed clams with a large group of friends that cried out for crusty loaf of sourdough.  Brushed with some EVOO, grilled, it was amazing.


The Oat Porridge bread was a first for me at Tartine, and we cracked into almost immediately, eating as we walked around the city.  It has a really lovely, custardy crumb and dense, dark crust.  My wife, in particular, love it and asked me to try it soon at home.


Flash forward to just last night and I gave the Oat Porridge a go at home.  I’m pretty happy with the results.  Nice oven spring and soft crumb – borderline gummy, which I assume if from the porridge portion (I ended up using Bob’s Red Mill 5 grain cereal). I didn’t get the crust to be quite as dark as I had hoped, despite leaving the loaf in for an extra 8 minutes – would love any tips/thoughts on how I might do this next time around?


Also, I monkeyed with the final proofing time, as to adjust to our weekend schedule.  After a 1 hour autolyse and then 3.5 hr bulk fermentation, the dough looked read to retard, so I put it in the fridge for what ended up being 6.5 hours (instead of a full “overnight”), pulling it out just before bed for an additional hour at room temp while the oven pre-heated.  Everything seems to have come through OK, and I will definitely be playing with this recipe some more, as I’m lately fascinated with flavor and texture of porridge breads


In between levain breads,  I made a quick pizza dough (instant yeast + Cuisinart recipe), retarded in the fridge for 3 days, baked on a baking steel for just over 5 minutes.  The quality of home pizza on the steel continues to amaze me, almost regardless of the dough recipe I try.  I really can’t imagine ever going back to a regular stone at this point, as the quick bake and char from the steel is pretty darn close to an authentic New York-style pie.


And finally, for giggles, I am making a batch of banana-infused Irish Whiskey a friend at work raves about.  Easy to make -- simply cut up 3 bananas and combine with a bottle of Jameson in a sealable jar.  Let it sit for 3 or 4 days, and then drain out the bananas through a fine mesh sieve, and pour the whiskey back into the bottle.  Drink on the rocks with a large ice cube.







GSnyde's picture


Coming up on four years since I first tried to bake bread.  The history has been kept here in my Fresh Loaf blog.  For the first two years or so, I baked almost weekly (and blogged often weakly).  Then, as my experimentation yielded satisfactory formulas and techniques, the baking became a bit less frequent and the blogging much less frequent.

I have continued baking, maybe once or twice a month.  And I remain an active evangelist for Carbotarianism.

Recently, due to a busy work schedule and then a vacation, I went about six weeks without baking bread.  The freezer stock was depleted, and my Number One Bread Fan commented on the dearth.  So....I baked her favorite, and mine: San Francisco Country Sourdough.

I feared that I might have forgotten how.  But the old saying is true: once you learn how to fall off a bicycle, you never forget.   The result was very satisfactory.


I want to give thanks again to my wonderful mentors and friends here at The Fresh Loaf.  Hope all are well.


Skibum's picture

Well after an extremely busy spring, I have found the slack time to begin baking again. 

Several weeks ago our local Sobey's grocery store was bought and re-branded to SaveOn Foods and I was given a coupon for a free loaf of bread. It was my first loaf of grocery store bread in nearly 21/2 years and to my surprise, I quite liked it. My first attempt at a YW multi grain bread resulted in a brick, so I bought another loaf of store bread.

For the bread pictured above I used a yeasted version of a multi-grain recipe from P Reinharts ABED and this time got a really good sandwich and toast loaf.

205 g WW flour

50 g 7 grain flour mix

90 g strong bread flour 50 g initially and 40 g at the end to tighten things up

20 g cornmeal

20 g rolled oats

20 g dark rye flour

7 g mixed flax, ground course in spice grinder

12 g steel cut oats

29 g honey

10 g brown sugar

28 g vegetable oil

25 g egg, beaten

141 g warm milk 95 F

141 g warm water 95 F

7 g instant yeast

Mix all dry ingredients but the yeast and brown sugar. Mix all wet ingredients and add the brown sugar and yeast. I mixed this with the dough hooks on a hand mixer for a total of 5 minutes, resting after 2 and 2, then rest 10 min and did a series of 3 S&F's with 10 minutes rest. This dough developed quickly and easily doubled in an hour, so I shaped it for a loaf pan and baked it at 350 F for about 25 minutes, turning at 10 and 10.

For my next bake, I will add quinoa, millet  sunflower seeds triticale buckwheat, barley and rice to try and match the store bought 12 grain. I will continue working with yeasted formulas until I get something I like, then try it with natural yeast once again.

Happy baking folks! Brian

jamesjr54's picture


We've started making Greek yogurt at home, which leaves us with lots of eft-over whey. We've made ricotta, and I've started experimenting with using whey for some portion of the water.   

Here's the formula I used:


100 g 100% starter

100 g KAF AP

70 g Water

30g Whey (yogurt-making byproduct)

16 hours


All of the starter

700g KAF AP

300 g Sprouted whole wheat

722 g Water

20g Kosher salt

Mix all but salt - autolyse 20 min

Add the salt and knead 10 mins

Bulk proof in fridge 8 hours

Next morning, out of fridge, stretch and fold every 30 mins for 2.5 hours (this dough was slow to develop)

Shape and proof 1.5 hours

Bake in cast iron 40 minutes at 485F. Covered for 20, then uncovered.

Taste is amazing. Not at all sour, but full-flavor. Browned up more with whey - because of the sugars? 


golgi70's picture

The highly anticipated Oysterfest took place today and is the biggest draw up to this neck of this "woods", as far as events go.  There's beer and numerous vendors of oyster's in many different styles.  I'm not an oyster guy but apparently some of the world's best oysters come from right here.  There's an oyster eating competitions and all of the restaurants that vend compete for "best oyster" each year.  Many thousands gather and it's quite the spectacle.  

This doesn't cancel the Farmer's Market but moves it to another location and makes it tough to get around downtown so i skipped it.  I did my Tuesday bake of Spelt SD since many of my contributors/tasters made a point to give it high regard. Only change was I used all freshly milled whole grain spelt.  You can find the formula here.

I got my eye caught on the formula in the back of the most recent Breadlines, Grain de Lin by Steve Scott of Babette's Artisan Bread.  I added it to my Tuesday bake since the oven would be on anyway.  I made a few needed changes to the formula.  I didn't have enough flax and it was a last minute decision to make so i decided to use pearled barley I bought recently for experimenting.  The formula calls for T65 and AP but I don't have any T65.  To balance i used CM's T85 along with CM's bakers craft  and increased the proportion of white to HE to try and get something similar.  

This bread is fantastic.  Sweet and creamy; custard creamy.  A mild tang to balance.  The crust shatters and stays crunchy for 3 days.  It actually evolved quite nicely in similar fashion to a miche.  Since I enjoyed it so much i wanted a second shot.  On my first attempt I had some sticking issues during loading and from the proofing bowls.  i floured bowls more liberally and loaded the loaves using a piece of parchment to be sure it wouldn't stick to the peel.  This is some wet dough.  I got much better profile on the second wave and all else remained roughly the same.  This bread is a new favorite.  Now I gotta get some flax and try the true formula.  

And finally I tried the SFBI Finnish Rye which David Snyder has shared a few times.  You can see David's link here  Again I was forced to make a couple changes.  I had only half of the flax needed so i replaced the other half with some hemp hearts that were hanging around.  I also used both a liquid levain and rye sour (my discard from feeding this morning) as this too was a last second bake.  After tasting I don't think these alterations made too much variance from the formula.  

David's tasting notes are the same as mine so far.  Very molassesy (not a word).  But he says balance comes tomorrow so I'll wait.  Otherwise I'll decrease significantly.  Also true is it is not a "Rye".  It's a mixed grain bread, soft and moist.  I look forward to another taste in the morning.  



Finnish Rye: (header) 

Spelt SD (with fresh milled whole grain Spelt)

Grain de Orge Take 1

Grain de Orge Take 2




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