The Fresh Loaf

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CJHardy's picture

As I am without a Dutch oven, oven stone or bread pan of the right size, I thought I would try this basic bread in a cast iron non-stick saucepan. This is the second time I have tried baking this way. I got a limited bloom as the dough was very wet, very ripe and had no bench work or second prove. 


500g Tesco Very strong white bread flour

100g Matthews Cotswold Crunch flour

100g plain white flour starter 100% hydration

10g salt

80% hydration


Starter fed 6 hours before mixing. This had just gone past peak.

Mixing done the evening before and left covered with cling film in a bowl overnight

Hand mixed using the technique outlined on 

The dough was very ripe but had not collapsed

Oven pre-heated with water tray and saucepan at the maximum my oven will go (250 degrees I believe, as it just says Maximum)

No bench work, once at temperature the dough was added to the hot pan and returned to the oven

10 minutes at Maximum and then reduced to 200 degrees

Total bake time 40 minutes


pul's picture

This is probably one of my best ever. It contains 50% wheat flour, and 50% mix of light rye and whole wheat, 9% fermented flour, and 68% overall hydration. No autolyse has been used, two hours bulk fermentation at room temperature (30 C), applying two stretches and folds before sending it to fridge for an extended 18-hour retarded bulk fermentation.

After the cold bulk fermentation, it was shaped and proofed for another 80 min on the counter before been baked in DO at 220 C for 30 min with lid on + 5 min with lid off to color.

The baked load had a soft tang flavor developed over 18 hours of cold fermentation. Crumb texture was velvet soft and the crust as crispy as it gets. In spite of the long fermentation I have not seen a lot of holes in the crumb. I have seen reports by fellow bakers here that long fermentation helps to open up the crumb. Well, I guess there are more variables at play for getting more open crumb structure, which I don't quite understand yet. For now, I am enjoying all the benefits and fun of sourdough baking.


dmsnyder's picture

Multi-grain Sourdough Bread with home-milled flour

David Snyder

August 12, 2018

Today's bake is another variation on the multi-grain sourdough breads I have been baking for the past few years. This bread differs from the one posted August 8 (See: Multi-grain sourdough bread made with home-milled flours August 8, 2018 ) in only two ways: I increased the Spelt flour from 10% to 20% and decreased the Rye flour from 17.5% to 7.5%. I also used a high-protein bread flour for all the “white” wheat flour. The increase in dough strength during bulk fermentation was noticeable, but the dough was still quite slack and sticky.

Total Dough




Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Bread Flour (hi protein)



Whole Wheat flour



Whole Rye flour



Whole Spelt flour

















Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Bread flour (hi protein)



Whole Wheat flour






Active starter






  1. Dissolve the starter in the water. Add the flours and mix thoroughly.

  2. Transfer to a clean container, cover and ferment until ripe (6 hours for me.) If you don't use it immediately, it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Final Dough



Wt (g)

Bread flour (high protein)


Whole Wheat flour


Whole Rye flour


Whole Spelt flour


Water (85-95ºF)




Active levain





  1. Mix the flours with the water to a shaggy mass.

  2. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 45-120 minutes. (Autolyse)

  3. Sprinkle the salt over the dough surface and add the levain in 4 to 6 portions.

  4. Mix thoroughly. (I start by folding in the salt and levain with a silicon spatula. Then, I use the method Forkish specifies – squeezing the dough between my fingers alternating with stretch and folds in the bowl. I wear a food service grade glove and dip my working hand frequently in water.)

  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled, clean bowl large enough to accommodate doubling in volume. Cover well.

  6. Ferment at 80ºF for 2.5 – 3.5 hours with stretch and folds every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours. The dough should have nearly doubled in volume and be quite puffy.

  7. Transfer the dough to a well-floured board. It will be quite sticky and needs to be handled quickly with well-floured hands, helped by a bench knife.

  8. Divide the dough as desired and pre-shape in rounds. Cover with a cloth and let rest for 20-30 minutes.

  9. Shape as boules or bâtards and place in floured bannetons. Place these in food-grade plastic bags sealed with ties and let proof for 30-60 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate 8 hours or up to 36 hours at 40ºF.

  10. The next day, pre-heat oven. Let the loaves sit at room temperature while the oven pre-heats. You can bake on a baking stone ,with steam for the first part of the bake, or in Dutch ovens, as you prefer. The oven temperature and length of the bake will depend on which of these methods you choose and on the weight and shape of your loaves, as well as on how dark you prefer your crust. When done, the loaves should sound hollow when thumped on their bottoms. The internal temperature should be at least 105ºF.

  11. Let the loves cool completely on a rack for 1-2 hours before slicing.

These loaves were baked in Cast Iron Dutch ovens at 475ºF for 30 minutes covered, then 20 minutes un-covered.

Oh, my! This is the best of the current series. The crust is crunchy. The crumb is tender but slightly chewy. As expected, the crumb is more open than that of the breads with more rye. I suspect the higher gluten flour contributed to the good oven spring and open crumb as well. The flavor is assertively sour with a nice balance, leaning toward the acetic acid side. It is not so assertive that is swamps the nice, mellow wheaty flavors however. This one is a keeper.

Happy baking!


isand66's picture

I just received my delivery of 25 pounds of spelt berries so obviously I needed to use some in my next bake.

I combined the fresh spelt sifted once after milling with my Mock Mill 200 with some French style flour from KAF, left-over mashed potatoes, pecans and fresh cherries.  I made one big miche this time and was very happy with the results.  The crumb is nice and open and moist and the 57% spelt in this formula really shines through with a nice nutty flavor to go along with the pecans.  This one is a keeper and worth trying.


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 water 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 1 hour.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and mashed potatoes and mix on low for 4 minutes.  Next add the chopped nuts and cherries and mix until incorporated.  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 535 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 450 degrees.  Bake for 25-35 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.

Here are a few garden photos for those of you interested.

kendalm's picture

Baking when your environment is 10-15F warmer is just no ok sometimes - 30 minute proofing give you just enough time to prep - i want 68F ambient back please - Blech ! These are my yeast on salt hypothesis -> experiment as a corollary to Abe's recent proving that starters don't give a hoot if salt is introduced - yeast was on fire today. See pics of dough here - need to scroll down a little -

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Formula note: The final dough flour: The 1/2 white bread flour is just that, 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat. Making the flour 5 oz white and 5 oz. whole wheat. Along with the other flours. The combined flours are mixed with the proper percentage of water, then to rest.

The Roadside Pie King

Danni3ll3's picture

Am I crazy to serve baguettes to French cousins? Probably, but oh well! Family dinner coming up tonight and I was asked to bring bread for the cheese course. I am bringing a loaf of my flat 4 grain bread 🙄 but since that wasn’t my best effort and my mom prefers baguettes, here they are. 

I used this recipe as it has been good to me in the past. Scoring could be a lot better but I am quite happy with the shape. 

Elsie_iu's picture

Focaccia is one of my favorite bread. It’s not hard for someone to understand why after learning about my love for salt.


Sun-dried Tomato Olive Spelt Focaccia with 25% Sprouted Red Wheat


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

130g      65%       Whole spelt flour

50g        25%       Sprouted red wheat flour

20g        10%       Pearl barley flour


For scalded barley dough:

20g        10%       Pearl barley flour

20g        10%       Hot water


For leaven:

8g             4%       Starter

21g      10.5%       Bran sifted out from dough flour except barley

21g      10.5%       Water


For dough:

159g     79.5%       Dough flour excluding bran for leaven and barley flour

144g        72%       Cold water

50g          25%       Leaven

3g           1.5%       Vital wheat gluten

3g           1.5%       Salt



20g          10%       Rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes



-g               -%       Olives, rosemaey, freshly ground black pepper, coarse sea salt and olive oil



184g      90.2%       Whole grain

189g      92.6%       Total hydration


Mix together the hot water and barley flour. Set aside until needed.

Sift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 21g for leaven. Soak the rest, if any, in equal amount of water taken from dough ingredients. 

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

Pour cold water into the spelt flour slowly until a rough dough is formed. Autolyse for 2 hours. Knead in the rest of the ingredients and the scalded barley dough and ferment for 30 minutes. Fold in the add-ins then ferment for 3 hours longer.

Preshape the dough then let it rest for 15 minutes. Lightly oil a sheet of parchment paper that fits an 8 inches cast iron pan. Place the dough into the pan then stretch it gently into a circle. Proof it at room temperature for 1.25 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. Poke holes into the proofed dough and place the olives into the indention. Drizzle olive oil then sprinkle rosemary over them. Top the dough with coarse salt and black pepper.

Spritz the dough then bake at 250°C/482°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 15 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 208°F. Let cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

It developed a shiny and crispy crust in the oven. The coarse salt and black pepper added not only flavour but also texture and look.

Infused with the flavour of rosemary and sun-dried tomatoes, the bread is very aromatic. The kitchen smelled wonderful when it was baking. 

The crumb is moderately open and chewy. I like the balance of sweetness, sourness, saltiness and spiciness in this bread.



After months of waiting, the grains I ordered overseas arrived! Immediately I put kamut, the grain I have wanted to try for ages, into use.


100% Whole Kamut Sourdough with 50% Sprouted


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

150g       50%       Whole kamut flour

150g       50%       Sprouted kamut flour


For leaven:

10g        3.3%       Starter

35g      11.7%       Bran sifted out from dough flour

35g      11.7%       Water


For dough:

265g     88.3%       Dough flour excluding bran for leaven

172g     57.3%       Cold water

60g          20%       Whey

80g       26.7%       Leaven

9g              3%       Vital wheat gluten

5g         1.67%       Salt



305g       100%       Whole grain

272g      90.7%       Total hydration


Sift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 35g for leaven. Soak the rest (I got 9g), if any, in equal amount of water taken from dough ingredients.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 3.5 hours. 

Pour cold water into the un-sprouted kamut flour slowly until a rough dough is formed. Autolyse for 2 hours. Knead in the rest of the ingredients ferment for 30 minutes. Stretch and fold the dough before fermenting for 2.5 hours longer (mine was over-fermented at 2.75 hours).

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. Remove the dough from the fridge to warm up at room temperature for 20 minutes.

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.

Since I returned home late, the dough was over-fermented and over-proofed. It spread in the oven and there was no oven spring. Also, the excessive proteolysis contributed to this cracked crust.

Though the crumb openness is not pleasing, the flavour is outstanding. This bread is for those who don’t like sourness in bread. It is pleasantly sweet with tanginess so subtle that I couldn’t really tell it is there. The other thing I like is its colour: the yellowish crumb lifted my mood instantly!


Gumbo served with white basmati rice-purple rice mix

Turning cholar dal (skinned and splitted chickpeas coconut curry) into pasta sauce

Lemon curd swirl bread with 30% purple rice mochi dough

Cinnamon raspberry tang zhong bread with 50% sprouted red wheat


dabrownman's picture


Her it is another wedding anniversary and ths one is special for so many reasons.  First it rained really hard in the wee hours this morning and we really need the raid badly.  The rain cooled off the excessive heat and we need less heat. 


The hi-way from east to west was flooded when a portion of it got 3.5 inches of rain in a hour – half a year’s worth.   We are mostly happiest just to be alive and still kicking with each other.


So Lucy came up with an appropriate recipe for an anniversary bread for 2.  I’m sourdough and my wife is a sweet yeast water so Lucy combined them in one bread.  This one had one levain based in the NMNF SD rye starter and a pre-ferment. made with two yeast waters; one Fig and one Apple.


The total 14% pre-fermented flour was split evenly between the two and was entirely made up of 5 whole grains: rye, Kamut, spelt, red wheat and oat in equal amounts.  Both pre-ferments were 10-% hydration with the liquid being equal parts of apple and fig YW for one and water for the other.


The NMSF starter was just refreshed lat Friday so it as really ready to go and the levain doubled in 4 hours and then put in the fridge for 16 hours.  The combo YW preferment was very slow to take off.  Both had been in the fridge for months and months with the fruits floating on the bottom.


We just took off some of each for the preferment after shaking them up and bit first.  After 4 hours it hadn’t done a thing so we just forgot about it an by this morning it had tripled.  It was really slow at first, but plenty feisty when it was needed.


Red Chicken Enchiladas

The SD levain was really cold coming out of the fridge so we did anew technique called ‘The Biscuit Method’  This method is just like getting the butter in the flour when making biscuits. I took the levain and just mixed it into the dry dough flour with my fingers until it looked like sand. This warmed it up to room temperature immediately.  We then put the dough water in to get it fermenting.


Chicken Chili Verde

30 minutes later we put in the YW preferment and mixed it in with a spoon and 20 slap and folds to get it incorporated and then sprinkled the salt on top with 4% more water bringing the overall hydration to 75% instead of the usual 71% for 123 bread.  With 14% whole grains it could easily take the extra water since half the dough flour was KA bread Floor and the other half La Fama AP.


We the started the gluten development after the water and salt was stirred in with another 20 slap and folds followed by 2 sets of 10 all on 30 minute intervals, getting the total slap and folds up to 60.  We then did 2 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points and let the dough bulk on the counter covered by the SS bowl for 30 minutes.


SD Pancakes for Bake Day

We pre-shaped the dough and then 15 minutes later finals shaped it and plopped it into a rice floured basket seam side up.  We let it proof for 2 hours and then un-molded it onto parchment on a peel, slashed it hopscotch style spritzed it and slid it into the combo cooker for 30 minutes of steam at 425 F,


Once the lid came off, we let it bake another 10 minutes qt 425 F convection until it was bloomed, boldly baked and blistered..  We will await the crumb shot after it cools.  We also did 2 Strutting Peacock Fans and Sleeping Ferret Folds but Lucy want so keep when we did them secret for some reason.  One thing is for sure is that Biscuits, Ferrets and Peacocks make better bread.

The crust stayed crispy and it was thin.  The crumb was so soft it was almost impossible to cut with my bread knife. It really puffed itself upbut the crumb was only moderately open.   I ate two pieces with melted butter after 10 seconds in the microwave.  it is delicious.  Hardly sour and not too sweet either.  A fine bread all the way around.





1% NMNF rye starter

7% 5 grain Whole grain flour

7% water

YW Preferment

7% 5 Grain whole grain flour

3.5% each Fig and Apple yeast waster


43% Lafama AP flour

43% KA bread flour

61% Water

2% Sea salt

178% Total

Lucy says to never forget he salad





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