The Fresh Loaf

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HokeyPokey's picture

Very very late in the day, but the wait was totally worth it! The lightest, tastiest sourdough Colomba Pasquale ever - massive thanks to bakes on this site. 

Full recipe and LOADS of photos on my blog here


STUinlouisa's picture

This bread was inspired by one in Kathleen Weber 's book. I was curious how flattening the dough, spreading it with garlic puree and shredded cheese (a combination of Jarlsburg Swiss and Parmesan), and wrapping it up into a boule would work. The main concern was that the loaf would  end up with a concentration of garlic and cheese goo in the center. That didn't happen. There is a pretty good dispersion throughout. Well worth  trying with other ingredient combos.

Happy Memorial day. 


STUinlouisa's picture

This bread box was made by my brother. The wood is from an oak tree that was removed when a house was built 5 miles away 15 years ago. Lumber was milled from the tree and used as trim and stair treads in the house. The leftover was given to my brother. 

 The wood was cut, fitted, sanded and glued mostly by hand it has no fasteners other than screws in the hinge. The wood was treated with linseed oil then finished with satin polyurethane. I'm just guessing that there was in excess of 30 hours work involved, when you enjoy what your doing who keeps track. It came out beautiful. 

I told him that if we put it on the Web he could get at least $19.99. The reply was maybe for 15 easy payments.

Now I've got  to make some bread worthy to be put in the box.


JessicaT's picture

I feel like I must brag a little bit, with this loaf that I just pulled out of the oven. After much trial and tribulation, and lots of loaves donated to the garbage can, I think I mostly understand how to bake a GOOD loaf of sourdough bread.

To start from the top, I had decided to try baking a loaf of bread, after being unsure of whether or not I had rehabilitated my starter. as well as the days being really hot. It had been behaving a bit weirdly still, but I thought, "What the heck." So what I did was use the Norwich Sourdough recipe as a the basis, and kind of did a weird mix of that with the Tartine method.

I did half of her recipe, so to break it down, the ingredients list went as:
450g ap flour

60g rye flour

300g water

180g whole wheat starter

11g of salt, dissolved in 25 g of water

I mixed the ingredients by hand, let it autolyse for 30 minutes. After that, I only did 3 stretch and folds at 30 minutes each. I had contemplated doing a fourth, but I had noticed the dough had been rising quite quickly, so I stopped it there. After the third stretch and fold, I let it sit for 30 minutes, at which point I did a quick and dirty pre-shape, let it bench rest for about 15 minutes, and did the final shaping, and dumped it into the banneton. I stuck it in the fridge at about 9:45 PM, and pulled it out at about 9:15am. I had noticed that when I pulled the loaf out, it had expanded in size up to about 1.5 times. I let it sit for about 45 minutes on the counter while the oven heated up, baked it at 475*F for 20 minutes with the lid on my DO and 450 without the lid for another 20 minutes.

Upon removal of the bread from the oven, I could hear it singing and crackling away. For the time being, I am thankful that I cannot smell the bread due to an on going cold, thus reducing the temptation to hack into it right away. But I cannot wait to let it finish cooling down to cut into it for lunch later.

A couple things to note, mostly for myself, but I had let the dough rise about 1.5x it's size each, during the bulk fermentation and final rise stage. As well, the days have been reaching about 30*C externally, and about 23-24*C inside the house. Bulk fermentation was about 1.5 hours, and final fermentation was about 12 hours.

lenawr's picture

My initial plan was to use the basic tartine method. Since I'm not (not at all actually) familiar with spelt flour I didn't stick to the schedule after all.  

I fed my levain at 10 pm:

-50 g whole wheat  

-50 g white all purpose flour

-100 g water 

-1 tbsp active sourdough starter 

Next morning (around 8 am):

-100 g active levain (passed float test)

-300 g water (room temperature)

-100 g all purpose flour 

-400 g whole wheat spelt flour 

Autolyse 40 minutes. 

Add 10 g salt and 50 g water, mix, a few stretch and folds. 

Six stretch and folds after 20, 20, 20, 30, 40, 40 minutes (total 2:50), then shaped the boule and let it proof 3:30 in room temperature (71 F). 

It was baked on pizza stone in steamed oven- 10 minutes in 465 F, then 30 in 410F. 


The crust is too thin for my liking however its crunchy and nicely browned. 

As for the crumb it's extremely light and airy, there's almost no chewiness there. The bread seems to be a little over proofed. 


I'd appreciate any comments on the above, this is my first attempt on sourdough spelt and honestly I'm surprised  it didn't turn out to be a disaster :)

isand66's picture

I had one more can of Guinness left so figured I might as well put it to good use.  I finally had some time to mill some fresh flour especially after finding rye berries at Whole Foods again. For this loaf I milled some fresh whole rye, spelt and whole wheat flours.

I wanted to add a little sweetness to this loaf so decided to add some real maple syrup I bought last time I visited KAF in Vermont last year as well as some balsamic maple vinegar.

I have to say you can really taste the Guinness in this one and the maple ingredients add a nice sweet background flavor.  All in all it's a tasty bread, great for sandwiches or a schmear of cream cheese.



Guinness Multi-grain (%)

Guinness Multi-grain (weights)

Download the BreadStorm File Here.


Levain Directions

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 usually do this the night before.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours, rye chops and most of the beer (hold back around 30 grams) together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), balsamic and maple syrup and mix on low for 1 minute.  Add the remainder of the beer and mix on low for 5 additional minutes.  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.

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.   Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  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 1 minute lower the temperature to 500 degrees and after another 3 minutes lower it to 450 degrees.  Bake for 25-35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 210 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.


FrugalBaker's picture

Greetings and hope everyone is having a great weekend and happily baking away!


After a few successful attempt on higher hydration, I was feeling a little brave. I chanced upon a bag of organic, hulled buckwheat the other day and thought of making good use of it. So, here's what I did and please feel to comment. 


Vermont SD Recipe, plus the following

The starter was given a 1:2:2 feeding and an additional of 10gm of water 

Here's my twist


  • 20gm         Hulled Buckwheat (boiled and drained)
  • 2 tbsp        Honey
  • Mix all the ingredients and autolyse for 1 hour
  • 10gm         Salt 
  • Slap and fold for 15 minutes with very wet hands (indirectly increasing dough hydration)
  • Rest
  • Stretch and fold every 30 minutes for 2 hours
  • Bench rest for 10 minutes
  • Shape and put in banetton
  • Cold retard for 13 hours
  • Brought dough to room temperature for 15 minutes prior to baking

When I first mixed the dough, man it was so slack and sticky and I was so tempted to add in more flour but I resisted. I gave the dough a hell of a slap and fold with all my might, tough, but I put through! And when I was done, a few pieces of the dough were scattered on my counter and the floor. By the feel of the dough, I could tell that it has not much of strength yet. Afraid of my neighbour would be at the door and complain about the loud bang from the slap and fold, I gave my dough a rest and decided to give more stretch and fold to it. The first session of stretch and fold, I kinda of doubted if I would have any bread for breakfast tomorrow but all that changed after the third session, it came through. I would have given more S&F but was running of out time and decided stop. Bench rest,shape and straight to the banetton. 3 hours later after going into the fridge, I had a peek at the dough and it has risen to the brim of the banetton. I was tempted to bake it right there,right then but resisted again as some of you might have already known that I live in the tropics and the indoor temperature is 28-30 degree C on average. So I resisted and cold retard it in order to improve on flavour profile.


The dough, after 13 hours of cold retard.....


I've decided to include more crumb shots for better viewing and comments



Oven spring is incredible, so I have nothing much to complain about this bake. Though, if one would look closely to the 2nd crumb shot, that is a rather unfamiliar texture I've encountered. Could it be the honey? Also, I think it's about time that I get myself a baking stone as the bottom of my bakes are not that great. OR should I wait for Santa Clause to hand me a dutch oven? Dang....Christmas is still a long way ahead!






dmsnyder's picture

Today was the party for which I have been "practicing" - featuring my WFO-baked breads. Well, that was kind of the excuse, but it was a potluck with friends from the Italian community, so, needless to say, there was no lack of many other delicious foods.

I got to J.'s about 10:30am. She had fired her oven at about 6 am but had been afraid it wouldn't be hot enough by 10am, so she had added another log of walnut. In fact, the floor of the oven was near 800 dF and the roof was near 900 dF. So, although my breads were ready to bake, I thought it prudent to wait until the floor temp fell to 500-550dF. I shoveled out the coals and left the door open for a while.

I then swept the ashes out and mopped the floor. I had brought along a garden sprayer and tested it. Water sprayed towards the roof turned to steam instantly. I put up the oven door for 10 minutes or so while I moved my peel, the proofing loaves, my lame, some semolina, etc. to where I could load the 4 loaves as quickly as possible, once I was ready to do so.

My preceding WFO bake included a 1kg loaf of my SF-style SD with increased WW. That turned out to be really delicious, so I decided to make that bread for the party. My defense against a too-hot fire was to make smaller loaves that would bake with a shorter exposure to the heat. So, I made 2 kg of dough, the same formula except I added 25g of toasted wheat germ, just for fun.

When the oven floor temperature fell below 600dF, i decided to bake the loaves. The wait for the oven to cool this far meant the loaves were a bit over-proofed, but not so much there was any collapse when they were scored.

I sprayed the oven roof for 5 seconds or so, then loaded the loaves one at a time but as quickly as possible. I closed the door for only about 10 minutes, then opened it and rotated the loaves to bake evenly. After 20 minutes, I took one out to test. It sounded hollow when thumped, and the internal temperature was about 207dF.

There was good oven spring but only modest bloom. A couple of the loaves had some bursting. I think the over-proofing resulted in less oven spring but more fragile loaves which probably had some damage to the gluten sheath when they were dumped on the peel.

The crust was a little crunchy, but not as thick or crunchy as the previous WFO bakes. The taste of the bread was wonderful. 

Today's WFO-baked breads plus some SD Italian breads and a Fig-Hazelnut WW Soudough baked at home

Various people brought wonderful antipasti, lasagne, salads and meat. J. had told me she wasn't going to need the WFO after I finished but evidently changed her mind by today, because she baked a pork roast in the WFO which was sweet tasting and melt-in-your-mouth tender. I drank quite enough of a delicious red wine that came from somewhere. It might have been a Syrah or some sort of Rhône blend. Hmmm ... It could have been a Amarone too. It was big enough.

The best desert was the flourless dark chocolate, ground almond mini-cupcakes my wife baked. 

The breads were appreciated by all. The bread I baked in the WFO is one I have baked at home many times. It tastes different and remarkably better baked in the WFO. There is nothing "smokey" about the flavor. It is just more complex and mellow. I have no idea why, but it has been true every time.

It was a good party. Great food. Great wine. Delightful conversations. Everyone thought it needs repeating.


sonia101's picture


Just wondering if anybody else bakes with unfed starter straight from the fridge? I was finding sourdough was controlling my life and stopped baking, until a friend told me that she bakes with her starter straight from the fridge. Her starter always stays in the fridge and she feeds her starter after a bake and puts it straight back into the fridge .

Now I control my life not the wild yeast (lol) I take my unfed starter from the fridge and pour it straight into the mixer bowl ( feed it and back in the fridge) make my dough, let rise overnight, wake up and shape. At this stage I either proof and bake or place into the fridge to retard till I'm ready to bake.


Lastest bakes using starter straight from the fridge 


Bourke Street Bakery Millers Loaf


 Basic white loaf 



5 seed loaf with rye and wholemeal 


100% dark course Rye with caraway, coriander, fennel and ansi seeds 

 I'm seriously loving this carefree baking, the breads are just as tasty in my opinion.


Cheers Sonia

Skibum's picture

I have been maintaining two active levains. One white at a 1:1:1 feeding ratio and one Forkish style, 1:1:4:5 levain, ww flour, strong bread flour and unlike KF I like to go 100% hydration as it lends more to the sweet lactic acid side of the flavour spectrum. I like Ken's discussion on tailoring the flavour profile of your levains.

The first week or so with my new levains I fed daily. Then they both lived on the counter for 24 hours after feeding, then into the fridge for two days. I think my Forkish style levain is ready. I feed at 4 - 5 pm and in the morning this is what I had:

To hit the top and collapse this beast would have had to go more than 4x. I think this starter is ready! I think I need a taller starter container! Twenty our hours after feeding this levain I began the second levain build for this bake.

After my first KF style boule stuck to the brotform, I have taken great pains to use a LOT of rice flour, prior to adding the dough. Now my dough isn't sticking and the extra flour really puts some nice markings on the crust. I also love the organic bloom.


This formula worked rather well despite the high hydration @ 80%. I am getting better at Ken's wet hand S&F in the bowl technique and find that using an extra large bowl helpful.

This is a really tasty bread. The crumb has great chew and the crust snaps when you bite into it! I need to work on my shaping a little bit, but the holes where the baker sleeps didn't affect the taste and flavour one bit!!!

All in all a very satisfying bake.  A fun process and nice looking, great tasting bread. What is not to like? I am loving bread baking again now that I have natural levains. What a difference!

Oh yeah, it was like Christmas for this old ski bum today. A nicely turned out loaf and some soft PR style soft, pull apart dinner rolls. Stay tuned. I was so impressed with my fancy surgical steel bread knife I ordered their 100 year anniversary Chef's knife. Light and beautifully balanced with a 5" blade, this is easily the sharpest knife I have ever owned. A real pleasure to use!

Happy baking folks! Ski


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