The Fresh Loaf

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Bread1965's picture

For whatever reason I have far too many half eaten bags of oats lying around my pantry.  So this week I baked a version of Sarah Owens' honey spelt oat bread - without the spelt.  As has been a theme of late for many of us, Trevor Wilson was the inspiration. Trevor has been posting on Instagram some great fluffy-crumb pastry flour breads. I didn't have any pastry flour to use so I improvised with some all-purpose, whole wheat and bread flours. I thought using an all-purpose flour with it's lower protein content would be a reasonable substitute for pastry flour. 

I used : 140g of flaked oats in an overnight soaker with a 110g mature levain (using AP flour) ; 45g of amber honey (I think next time I'll use maple syrup as "tis the season" in Canada) ; 105g AP flour ; 45 g whole-wheat flour ; 400g hard bread flour ; and 11g salt. Total flour (including the levain) was 605 g (26.4% AP, 7.5% whole-wheat and 66% bread). Total water (including levain and soaker but not the water content in the honey) was 575g.  So the hydration is about 92% - but it wasn't anywhere near as slack a dough as you'd think given that number because the oats were thirsty. I'd increase it to 100% next time just to see how it changed it.

This was a stiff dough. I worked the levain and water into a slurry and it took a while to incorporate the soaker and break down what by the next day became a dense clump of moist oats. Trying to create structure to build an open crumb was near impossible as the dough wasn't very extensible. 

After all was mixed together I gave it three additional stretch and folds (as best was possible) an hour apart while it sat in a warm spot in my kitchen. I then placed it into my oven with the light on for bulk - another four hours. When it had clearly doubled I divided the dough, pre-shaped into boules and gave it a short bench rest before shaping into batards for an overnight fridge retard. Bake was mid-morning at 450 for 20 and 15 in a combo cooker.

They had a great rise and bloomed very well.

The one issue I had with them was that in the morning the dough seam had split open a fair bit on both loaves (they were loaded seam side up in the baskets). I wet them a bit with my hand and then tried to stick them shut just before loading them into the combo cooker. The crumb below is very soft and fluffy - it's very nice and the flavour is very earthy.  The oats really come through. The honey is noticeable but not overwhelming. At the base of the loaves you can see the spot where I tried to wet and then stick the dough together just before loading - it's a 'damp spot'.  This was just a shaping technique mistake - I should have made sure to properly close the seam when I shaped them the night before.

Overall, a great bake and one I'll repeat many times! Bake happy..

nnehme's picture

I have been trying to achieve an open crumb with 75% hydration but today I managed to achieve a nice open crumb with 65% hydration. This was the result of long autolyse and fermentation, gentle handling and lower than normal temperature baking. I am happy with the results and got me to appreciate that what goes on to achieve an open crumb is many other factors than just increasing the hydration level. 

Have you managed to get an open crumb too ? any other technique you can share ? 

Danni3ll3's picture



CedarMountain posted this recently and it looked absolutely delicious so I pretty well followed his recipe aside from reducing the hydration and adding a tiny bit more levain just to use it all up. He makes a batard and a boule but I made 3 boules out of the one batch of dough. 


80 g sifted rye (90 g of rye berries)

170 g sifted Selkirk wheat (190 g wheat berries)

750 g unbleached flour

700 g water

20 g salt

250 g levain (100% hydration)

whole wheat and bread flour to feed the levain (procedure explained below)

Add-ins #1

50 g ground sesame seeds

100 g hemp hearts

150 g boiling water

Add-ins #2

50 g chia seeds

50 g flax seeds

50 g toasted hemp seeds

250 g boiling water


A couple of days before

  1. Mill rye and wheat berries. Sift out the bran and reserve the bran to feed the starter. Measure out the necessary flours and reserve. 
  2. At the same time, I measured out all my seeds and reserved those as well in separate containers.
  3. Remove 10 g of starter from the fridge and feed it 20 g of the bran and any left over flour from the rye and Selkirk wheat. Add whole wheat flour if needed to make up the 20 g. Add 20 g water and mix well. Continue to stir this every 12 hours and keep at room temp (73F).


The night before going to bed

  1. Feed the levain 100 g of bread flour and 100 g of filtered water. Let sit at room temp overnight.


Dough making day

  1. The levain should have doubled and since I wasn’t ready for it, I simply stirred it down and let it rise again.
  2. Grind the sesame seeds and the hemp hearts. I did this in a bullet and had to do it in small batches as the seeds clumped. CedarMountain suggested adding a bit of the water to help get a finer grind. Add the boiling water. Mine ended up looking like soup but it did thicken a bit over time.
  3. Add the boiling water to the second set of seeds and let sit for at least a couple of hours. After an hour or so, I combined both sets of seeds because I was so concerned about the soupy first mixture. That helped a lot and produced a fairly thick mixture. 
  4. Autolyse the flour and the water and let sit for an hour. After the hour, add the salt and the levain. Let sit in a warm spot (82F) for a half hour and do a set of folds. 
  5. Let sit another half hour and add the seed mixture to the dough. This was not fun! The best way I found to do this was to spread the dough out on a wet counter, spread the seed mixture on the dough, roll it up like a jelly roll in one direction, then rolll it up like a giant snail in the other direction, do a few more of these, squish all the dough together to force the seeds into the dough and finally, I resorted to doing French slaps and folds. This was a bit of a mess with seeds flying through the air and sticking to everything within flying distance. Thank goodness, hubby was in house cleaning mode and he kindly waited till I was done for the day and he took care of the floors (I cleaned up the counters. I am not that cruel after all.) Now I remember why I usually mix in the add-ins at the autolyse stage rather than waiting till the second fold. With one batch, you just get through it but when making 4 batches, you get to resent the dough a bit when you get to the fourth batch of dough. I will have to try making this again putting in the add-ins at the beginning and see if it makes a difference in the results.
  6. Do another 2 sets of folds a half hour apart and let rise 80-90%. I didn’t know this when I was making the dough but CedarMountain let his rise 30%. I checked out my dough at 30 and 50% rise but felt that my dough was not ready so I let it go till just under doubled.
  7. Flour a counter heavily as this is one wet dough! Flour the top of the dough and scrape it out on the counter. Divide into 3 equal portions (or 2 one boule and one batard as per CedarMountain) and preshape into boules. Now this was a lot of “fun”. The dough was sticky, sticky, sticky and slack. I must have done 2 or 3 reshapes before I got the dough in some semblance of a boule. Picking up the dough in the middle and letting it fold itself in half really helped give it some structure. I did that probably a couple of times before doing the preshape. I kept thinking of Trevor who says to keep your fingers moving and use a light touch. Well, this woman still ended up with major dough fingers!
  8. Let rest 10-15 minutes (Cedar let his rest 30 minutes) and do a final shape. This was a quick, flip over, make into a boule and flip back. Then I lightly floured the top of the boule and twisted it round and round (like a top) until I got a decently taut skin (Pulling it towards me on the counter would just have added to the layers of dough on my hands). Then I quickly dropped them seam side down into rice/ap floured bannetons and covered them with bowl covers.
  9. They went into a very cold fridge for overnight proofing. 
  10. The next morning, I baked them as per my usual: Preheat pots and oven to 475F, place parchment rounds in the bottom of the pots, flip the boules seam side up on a cornmeal sprinkled counter, quickly place the boules seam side up in the pots, cover, bake for 25 minutes at 450F, remove lids and bake for further 25 minutes at 425F. The dough stiffened up nicely during the cold proofing so it wasn’t too floppy when I was placing it into the dutch ovens.

I got awesome oven rise out of these and they smell heavenly! This is a great recipe! Thanks for posting it, CedarMountain!


Elsie_iu's picture

Finally, I shared a bread recipe with no crazy combinations.

I feel like I was experimenting with some rather uncommon sourdough for too long. Not that they didn’t taste good but I’m suddenly craving a slice of plain and simple dark rye bread. Though I love the aroma of rye, I prefer the texture of wheat so 40% whole wheat and 10% whole spelt were included. 

 50% Dark Rye Sourdough with Dark Malt and Aromatics


Dough flour:

150g     50%      Dark rye flour 

120g     40%      Whole wheat flour 

30g      10%      Whole spelt flour


For leaven:

10g       3%      Starter

12g       4%      Bran shifted out from dough flour

12g       4%      Whey


For dough:

288g     96%      Dough flour excluding bran for leaven (including soaked bran)

255g     85%      Whey (including that for soaking)

34g      11%      Leaven

6g        2%      Salt

5g       1.7%      Dark barley malt powder 



3g        1%      Aromatics (1 tsp each of whole coriander and fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp cumin, toasted and crushed)


310g     100%     Whole grain

272g      88%     Total hydration


Shift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 12g for leaven and soak the rest in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients for a minimum of 4 hours.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, about 6-10 hours.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients including the soaked bran and let ferment overnight for 10 hours. Fold in the aromatics and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Construct 3 sets of stretch and fold over a 1.75 hour proofing period, shape the dough after the last set of stretch and fold and let rise untouched for at least 30 minutes (part of the 1.75 hour). At the same time, preheat the oven at 250°C/480°F and pre-steam at the last ten minutes.

Score the dough and bake at 250°C/480°F with steam for 15 minutes then at 230°C/446°F without steam for 15 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 205°F. Let cool for at least 5 hours before slicing.

This bread had great oven spring but the crumb is rather close with some large holes  due to over-proofing. The slash in the middle should be cut deeper for better spring.

The smell of this bread is lovely with the aroma of the aromatics coming through. Overall, this sourdough is very moist with a slightly chewy but thin crust. It has deep and rich flavour with a slight tang.

Anne-Marie B's picture
Anne-Marie B

No tangzhong in this method. I used my rye starter and also replaced 25% of the bread flour with wholewheat flour because I like a bit more texture. It cooled its heels in the fridge for nearly 2 days but rose beautifully and still produced a supersoft, light loaf. 





Wapcaplet's picture

This is perhaps my 5th attempt at making bread with sourdough starter, without any commercial yeast. Three of my previous attempts used a Sourdough pain naturel recipe with various mixes of whole wheat, white bread flour, and unbleached all-purpose flour, and one was an improvised recipe using white flours. I used an overnight levain with only a small amount of starter (~15g) for all of these.

For the 5th try, I used Flo Makanai's 1.2.3 method to make a small batch (2 short baguettes) using only unbleached all-purpose flour (Safeway brand), and I'm very happy with the result. The taste, crust, and crumb are every bit as good as my best commercial-yeast French bread (using Julia Child's recipe); it is slightly on the dense, too-chewy end of the spectrum, but that may not be a bad thing.

I did not do an overnight levain this time; instead, I took the starter proportion straight from my mature culture (100% hydration by weight), which had not been fed in almost 24 hours.

Here are the total proportions I used:

  • 100g starter
  • 200g water
  • 300g flour
  • 7g salt

In the past I've had some problems getting all the flour to be evenly moistened by the autolysis, and it can be hard to incorporate the salt into a shaggy autolysed dough, so I changed up the procedure a little this time, hoping to alleviate these.

This morning, in a medium-sized bowl I combined 200g water with 200g flour, as kind of a "2/3 autolyse", since it leaves out 100g of the total flour. After mixing this, I sprinkled the 7g of table salt on top so it could start dissolving.

About 30 minutes later, I added the remaining 100g flour, and the 100g of starter, and stirred just enough to moisten it. Unfortunately, it was still kind of lumpy due to the dry flour, but it smoothed out after a few stretch-and-slap-and-folds over the next couple hours. There was not a significant rise in volume during that time, but plenty of large bubbles, and the texture of the dough felt just right - silky, yielding, and sticky if you touch it for too long.

By lunchtime it looked ready to be shaped into loaves. I went with two small baguettes, since the dough seemed pretty slack, and I didn't want one big flat chunk. These rose for almost two hours, nearly doubling in volume.

I baked them on small cookie sheets on parchment paper, in a 450F oven on the upper rack for about 30 minutes. For steam, I use a broiler pan of water on the bottom rack, and a hand spritzer against the walls of the oven every few minutes. I also sprayed the top of the loaves a few times to give them a nice crust, and rotated the pans to get even browning.

This is a recipe I will definitely use again!

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I had a request from a new customer for Rosemary bread the other day, so started poking around looking at recipes. There were previous posts on TFL about Daniel Leader's rosemary filone in "Local Breads" with some indication of difficulty in reproducing his results, but as I have the book I thought I'd give it a try. Being me, I didn't just make one or two but took orders for 11 and made 12, hoping it would turn out!

The rosemary in my garden is at its peak right now - just ready to bloom, which is when the flavour is the best. And I have lots of it, so no trouble there. I also buy big jugs of extra-virgin olive oil from Costco, so lots of that too. The flour I used is Rogers All Purpose (Western Canada).

I pretty much followed the recipe as published, making a firm biga to start which ripened overnight. The dough was mixed in the big Univex planetary mixer, following Leader's instructions for a KA mixer. There was a total of 9 kg of dough (I scale my recipes to 750 gram loaves). The dough was so silky and strong; I was very encouraged. And the smell of the dough was amazing! I also liked the colour - a lovely golden yellow from the fresh rosemary and EVOO. It was a dream to shape.

The loaves proofed for about an hour, then were loaded onto peels and scored.

I did change the baking instructions a bit. I preheated the granite stones to 450F, then loaded the bread with water in the steam pan. After 5 minutes I turned it down to 425F (actually, for the second batch I turned it down to 410F). Beautiful smell while it baked! And a lovely colour when finished. Unfortunately taking the photo without flash made the colour look a bit odd. :)

The crumb is amazing - soft and light and so tasty.

This bread is definitely a keeper. Oh, and the new customer sent me a note - "I have a complaint about your bread - it keeps getting in my mouth." :)

mcs's picture

Part of the process of moving and opening up a bakery in a new land, is working with and testing the local flour.  

Here is a no-frills flour comparison between one American and two Spanish flours. 

Just flour and water at 67% hydration with no baking:

*General Mills, Harvest King (MT, US)

*Gabino Bobo, Ariana (Zamora, ES)

*Roca, Eco Força (Lleida, ES)


The Sinclair's Bakery Facebook Page

dabrownman's picture

This one is 28% whole sprouted grains consisting of equal parts red and white wheat, rye, spelt, Kamut, oat and einkorn.  It has a 10% pre-fermented bran and high extraction 7 sprouted grain, 100% hydration  levain made with 15 g of NMNF rye starter retarded for 1 week.The levain was retarded overnight after it doubled.  We did a 1 hour autolyse with the PH sea salt sprinkled on top and enough water that brought the overall hydration to 75%.  The dough flour was half LaFama and half High Gluten from the bins at Smart and Final.We did 3 sets of slap and folds of 25, 8 and 4 slaps on 1 hour increments and 1 set of stretch and folds to shape the dough right before we plopped it into a rice floured basket.  We slashed it hopscotch style, spritzed it (something we never do) and placed it into a 450 F CI Combo Cooker for 20 minutes of steam and then we baked it 16 minutes lid off at 425 F until it reached 208 F on the inside.It bloomed sprang and browned well enough but we will have to wait on the crumb till tomorrow morning.The crumb is soft. moist and open - just what you want from a white SFSD style bread - plus it tastes great too with that extra bit of tang to go with the sour.  We eat a lot of cornbread with corn and Jalapenos.  Yummy!
alfanso's picture

Hamelman Golden Raisin Bread, alfanso style.  With no evidence posted of this being made as baguettes, well, that opened the door for me with a welcome mat.

At 69% hydration these are way too dry to French Fold.  The oatmeal flakes and WW work in tandem to ensure that.  By adding a few teaspoons of water over the course of kneading, the dough became (barely) more manageable and I probably raised the hydration to about 71%.  Rye was used instead of the designated white flour for the 125% levain, and I gave the mix a 10 minute hydrating rest period before adding salt and moving on to the hand mixing.

The IDY was cut from 0.37% to 0.27% as these were destined to be retarded overnight instead of the prescribed straight linear bulk rise-divide & shape-proof-bake cycle.  And I probably could have eliminated the IDY totally.

The bulk rise was cut down from 2 hours to 1.5 hours with two folds instead of the published one.  I added the fruit at the first letter fold.

These took just about no flour on the couche, shed a fair amount of water, but released from the couche with delightful ease.

Quite a dense crumb on the baguette despite the oven spring and modest grigne.  However, the taste was completely ordinary, and other than to boast that I made a bread with oatmeal, I really don't see returning to these again anytime soon.  In fairness, there is nothing wrong with them and they make a fine toast.  There just doesn't seem to be quite enough right with them.

My second opportunity to make a Ziggy style batard (Ziggy is our own Abel Sierra's designation for this scoring), and I find it so easy using a straight ceramic blade and a lot of fun seeing it open.  comparison of the first and second Ziggy...


425g x 2 baguettes / long batards

725g x 1 Ziggy.


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