The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recent Blog Entries

isand66's picture

I am really loving adding rice to my doughs and this bake was no exception.

I wanted some nice soft rolls especially so I could freeze some of them to have for burgers and sandwiches as needed

I added mashed potatoes  with the skins on, some cottage cheese and a little maple syrup for a bit of sweetness.

When I was ready to bake them I used an egg wash and sprinkled black sesame seeds, garlic sesame seeds and smoked Gouda cheese on some of the rolls.

All I can say is these were not only nice and soft but full of flavor and perfect for any use.


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.

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

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours and cooked rice together in your mixer or by hand along with the water, until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 30 minutes or longer.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and the rest of the ingredients and mix for 4 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 (If you use a proofer set to 78 degrees you can finish in about 1.5 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  hour.  Remove the dough and shape into rolls.   Cover with moist tea towels or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 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.

Lower the temperature to 435 degrees.  Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until the rolls are nice and brown.

Take the rolls out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before eating.  It's hard to resist splitting one of these open and spreading some butter and indulging :).

Elsie_iu's picture


True: it looks embarrassingly ugly. 


Also true: it tastes phenomenally good.



30% Sprouted Quinoa Almonds Sourdough


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

150g      50%       Whole spelt flour

90g       30%       Sprouted quinoa flour (I used a mix of white and black)

60g       20%       Whole Red Fife flour


For leaven:

5g        1.67%       Starter

20g      6.67%       Bran sifted out from dough flour

20g      6.67%       Water


For dough:

280g     93.3%       Dough flour excluding bran for leaven

245g     81.7%       Water

45g          15%       Leaven

5g          1.67%      Salt



30g           10%       Toasted almonds, halved crosswise



302.5g      100%       Whole grain

267.5g     88.4%       Total hydration


Sift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 20g for leaven. Soak the rest (I got 7 g) in equal amount of water taken from dough ingredients.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 3 hours.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients. Construct a set of stretch and fold at the 15 and 30 minutes marks. Knead in the almonds at the 45 minutes mark then ferment for 3 hours 30 minutes longer.

Preshape the dough then let it rest for 15 minutes. Shape the dough and put in into a banneton. Retard for 10 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F.

Score and spritz the dough then bake at 250°C/482°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 208°F. Let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.


There were at least 4 factors I have thought of that might be responsible for the collapsed structure: 

1.      The omission of vital wheat gluten

2.      Weak and slack dough due to high hydration

3.      High enzymatic activities from sprouted and freshly milled flour

4.      Simply over-fermentation/over-proofing 


Or more likely, a combination of them…



Whatever, the bread still has amazing taste from sprouted quinoa. It is detectably nuttier than most bread I have baked in the past. There is only mild sourness but the sweetness is much more pronounced.  

What I like about sprouted quinoa other than its nice flavour is how forgiving it is, despite being gluten-free. The dough was easy to work with as it was just as elastic and extensible as composed of all whole wheat/spelt flour. Moreover, quinoa didn’t affect the texture of this bread adversely. Unlike buckwheat, Masa Harina, durum and rye, which often produce sticky/dry/sandy/cakey crumb, including quinoa in the formula still yielded moist and springy bread.



Spiced rice with pan grilled veggies, baked grouper and roasted yellow peppers relish

Crab cakes (recipe recommended by dabrownman, I swapped 80% mayo with homemade yogurt and they turned out great) with quick pickled cucumbers, corn, orange peppers & cilantro salsa, baked spiced chicken drumsticks, penne in parmesan tomatoes sauce, pan grilled cauliflower, caramelized cauliflower leaves (…again…so you know how much we love them)

Paprika that has been sitting on the supermarket shelf for months shouldn’t be called “paprika” (you know, those sold in pretty little bottles) It has nothing to offer other than some red colour, contrary to the fresh kind, which is super pungent and smoky!


By the way, I'm calling this flatbread :)


alfanso's picture

Been keeping a low profile around here, minding my own business - mostly.

I finally got around to baking this bread after promising Lechem (Abe) that I would.  My grain selection was bulgur, steel cut oats and flax & sunflower seeds.  Indeed, all the crowing around TFL for this bread is well deserved and it is quite delicious.

Mixing by hand proved to be a bit of a bear, but French Fold mix it I did.  Left out the IDY.  Two letter folds at 40 & 80 and into retard.  The seam was a bit hard to ID as I was placing it onto the couche, and the two baguettes had a small amount of exposed seam which split on the side of each.  Grr, but it happens once in a while.  Twice in one bake is another thing.

Another bread where there is scant evidence of having been done in baguette form, so you know that it was destined to be mine to do so.

Being a heavy dough I wasn't disappointed in the amount of grigne on the breads, but I was hoping for a little more.  Next time I'll add some IDY and up the hydration a little.

Abe visits a friend of his in Miami Beach, maybe annually, and last year we got together for the day, driving around and exposing him to a mini-tour of some of the Latin culture there.  Argentine cafe for breakfast, Cuban sandwiches and cubano coffees for lunch and Peruvian seafood for dinner.  With a few stops elsewhere in between.

This year, in fear of what to do, I came up with a plan which met with Abe's satisfaction.  Lunch at the Granier Bakery in Sunny Isles Beach where, for no other reason to go there, it was where Abel Sierra put in time with his friend last summer.  Then the “scenic” back way drive from there to my apartment in Ft. Lauderdale where we did two bakes together.  

I had prepared both a Vermont SD, which was still retarded in bulk, and an already couched and ready for the oven semolina with raisins, pine nuts and fennel seeds.

Afterwards a short walk for a dinner of pizza and beer, and then we traveled back down to Miami.  The destination being the fairly new Miami wholesale only bakery of the Sullivan Street Bakery in NY.  If the bakery doesn’t sound familiar to you then perhaps the owner will.  Jim Lahey, he being the baker who popularized the no-knead bread.

It is a pretty large scale operation and I checked with the head baker there to ensure that our visit was welcomed.  We arrived close to 11 PM, in time to see both some shaping and some baking in their humongous ovens.  Plenty of time for conversational interaction, and they couldn’t have been more accommodating, ensuring that we each left with a bread of our choice.  All in all, an exceptional and fun outing.

How am I going to top that next year?  Hmm.

not.a.crumb.left's picture

and baked another Semolina durum loaf, WW loaf with white...based on 1:4:5 ratio and it works so well.....

I think I try next time a version with Khorasan and Durum....what an autumn colour feast that will be!

Although inoculation was 20% I pushed the bulk at a temp of 74F to 6 hours and shaping was pre-shape and straight into the basket for 15 min ambient proofing and then into fridge overnight...

Great colour and flavour...

I also decided to bake similar formula with the semolina durum and WW but added Chia seeds...I followed Danni's advice and roasted them and then just added them to the mix for AL...I didn't add any additional water for the seeds either and dough felt quite stiff considering it was a 1:4:5....

Trying a Rubaud with 4kg of dough was a 'wrestle' and ended up with slap and folds...arms and hand aching!!

Will be fun to bake tomorrow...

Happy 1st November....Kat

albacore's picture

I've had a good few discussions lately about domestic oven steaming, notably with DanAyo and Doc.Dough.

I've tried various in-oven solutions over the last year or two with good, but not great results. It was also getting to the point where it was taking longer to set the oven up than it was to do the actual baking!

I became convinced that the best way forward was to generate steam externally and introduce it into the oven. This blog post gives some details of the practicalities of how I achieved this.

I decided that the simplest steam generator was going to be a pressure cooker, but there are other options, eg a steam wallpaper stripper!

So, as luck would have it, I found a nice compact stainless pressure cooker preowned at a good price. Originally sold by Lidl, I believe. I drilled a hole in the lid with a hole saw and fitted a 1/4 bsp ball valve, sealed in with a ptfe washer. I added a 1/2 bsp hose fitting and this end of things was ready to go.

For the oven, the only way in was from the side and through the adjacent kitchen cabinet - fortunately it's all hidden away! So I drilled a hole in the oven wall with the same hole saw and fitted a threaded 1/4 bulkhead fitting with ptfe washer. I needed a bigger hole in the oven cladding to get access from the outside.

Then a bit of thinwall stainless tubing, plus some more fittings and a bit of silver soldering got the oven end of things finished. I fitted some silicone tubing round the stainless pipe, held in place with Kapton tape, to ensure the wood doesn't get burnt.

The pipe from the pressure cooker to the oven is an old shower hose - the good ones are silicone tubing with a chrome plated brass outer, so just the job.

So, all done and ready to go! The trial run in a cold oven was promising, except the oven started to go rusty!

I used the steamer for the first time this morning and am well pleased with the results so far. I got the pressure cooker up to pressure - about 10psi, I think. Then put the loaves in, opened the steam up full, burner up full. The pressure soon dropped to zero, but i think the initial surge is useful.

I steamed for 10 mins and then knocked it off and briefly vented the oven.

Early days, but I'm pleased with the look of the loaves. There's more work to do as the crust is slightly tough and not as crisp as I hoped - perhaps I need to reduce the steam time a bit? One interesting thing I noticed is that weight loss of the loaves was reduced.

Any way, here's a few photos of the build:



caryn's picture

I thought I would more seriously document my bread-making on this site, so I have a history that I and others can learn from. Today I baked a formula that dmsnyder posted in August using using the technique that is used in Myhrvold’s bread encyclopedia. I did the autolyse step with all but the salt (including the leaving that I made the previous day), and then I machine mixed the ingredients until medium gluten development.  I then did 2 folds over  2 1/2 hours, and then pretty much followed David’s formula. I baked the loaves in the cast iron pot, covered for 45 minutes and then uncovered for an additional 10. For the first loaf I had set my oven to 500, reducing it to 470 when the bread went into the oven; for the second, I just left the oven at 470 the whole time. I think I prefer the second one.

i feel that this was a great success. It did not rise very high, but after all it is 40% whole grain. The taste and texture was really nice. I may play with this formula some time adding seeds and/or dried fruit some time. It is a really nice formula. Thank you, David.

 My scoring could use some improvement (not as lovely as David’s), but the taste makes up for it, I feel!

dmsnyder's picture

There really was enough bread in the freezer for most of a week, but I had an irresistible urge to bake bread, and I had promised to make a 75% whole wheat sourdough with home-milled flour, and last week's SJSD baguettes were so good and so gone ... 🤪

75% Whole Wheat Levain from FWSY, made with MockMilled whole wheat (and some rye)

The 75% Whole Wheat Levain's crumb

San Joaquin Sourdough Baguettes

And, last but not least, a Walnut-Fig Levain. It's good. It's the favorite of many of those with whom I share my breads.

Walnut-Fig Levain crumb

Walnut-Fig  levain with Point Reyes Blue Cheese. Delicious!

I feel better now. 😁

Happy baking!


Filomatic's picture

Some of you might have seen a post recently by user/morb1lee ( offering samples of his wheat grain.

This 50% whole wheat using Lee's grain is the result.  I chose this plain recipe to showcase the grain, and am quite please with the results.  I ground the grain, sifted, and used the bran for the levain.  I highly recommend this process (which I owe to dabrownman), as it softens the bran, making the dough silky smooth, softens the bran so as not to sever the gluten strands, and making the whole grain more digestible.  The finished bread is as soft as sandwich bread.

The final rise was a 24 hour cold retard.

kendalm's picture

Been a little while since I made these - getting better at keeping them down in the mold - half this batch stayed down thr other half popped up. No idea why !



Subscribe to Recent Blog Entries