The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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adelie's picture

Just starting my blog here. I’m an passionate amateur bread baker that’s done Kong’s of research, but doesn’t have much time to test out my knowledge. However, there have been several attempts at some more basic breads, here is a log of my attempts at some recipes:


Ru007's picture

 Hello friends!

So, I haven’t been around for a (long) while. My last post was my last bake. Really, it’s been that long. You know when life just gets so …. blah… you can’t actually see straight? I’ve had one of those. Maybe not everyone can relate, but I think nearly everyone here can relate to this, “passion is an incredible alarm clock”. [I know someone will call me out for replacing the “purpose” with “passion”, but whatever.] For whatever reason, we all have a fiercely passionate attachment to our bread baking. It’s not the be all and end all of our lives, but that doesn’t invalidate the passion. 

My point is, at some point I had to decide to “never let a stumble in the road be the end of the journey”.  So what happens when fear has a show down with passion? Its just a matter of time before the alarm clock sounds and passion wins. I started a journey here, had a stumble, and yet here I am.

So the next chapter starts in familiar territory. Partly because this one of my absolute favourite loaves and partly because after such a long time without baking, my (old) starter (which I had dried over a year ago) and I needed to kind of dip our toes in the water first. So I didn’t really change anything from the formula below:

I did add a little less water, I usually hold back about 20g of water from the soaker just so I can see how the dough feels. This didn’t need anymore water.

 This loaf was an exercise in patience. Its getting cold here. Yesterday was particularly miserable, so things were happening very slowly. There was a lot of dough watching during the fermentation and sitting on floor next to oven anxiously while it baked (I know I'm not the only one who does this! LOL!), but here it is. 

And the crumb... 

Feeling kinda rusty, but I'm just happy I to baking again!

Thank you all for the warm reception, I know I kind of just fell off the face of the earth! I’m so glad to be back, you have all been thoroughly missed. And hello to all those who have joined in the last year, I'm looking forward to getting to know all the new faces.

Happy baking!


Beatrice's picture

Hi bakers!

Today I want to share with you my first experience with a loaf made with the "sift and scald" method; here it is the recipe:

150gr whole wheat flour (you have to sift it 12 hours before starting to mix the other ingredients, the bran that remains has to be soaked in 75gr of scalding water 12 hours)

350gr white bread flour

350gr water

10gr salt

100gr leaven (I made mine with 20gr starter, 40gr white bread flour and 40gr water and let it sit overnight)


I prepared the soaked bran the night before and in the morning I mixed water and leaven, than flour (both the white and the sifted one)
and let it sit covered for 1 hour.

I added salt and the soaked bran and worked the dough until all the ingredients were well incorporated; I let it sit for 3 hours and an half for the bulk fermentation and did 4 round of stretch and folds (as this dough was really wet).

Than I let it rise until it nearly doubled in volume, and I started the preshape. I let it rest on the bench for 20 minutes after the reshape and than shaped in a boule shape.

I put the dough in a proving basket and let it sit at room temperature covered for 1 hour and an half.

I then transferred the dough in the fridge for the retarded fermentation until the next morning (circa 18 hours).

I baked it with my Lodge: 20 minutes covered and 35 minutes without the lid.

I am happy with the result and the crumb but I have to admit that it was very difficult to work with and that the oven spring didn't happen. I think that maybe my bran was less dry than I thought (or it was less in quantity) and I added too much water to it, and than this amount of water (350 for the dough and 75 for the bran) was too much to handle properly (as I am a beginner). 

Let me know if you had some experience with this method or if you try my formula!

Keep baking,


dabrownman's picture

Lucy was feeling pretty good this week and spent some time coming up with this bread.  She got back to her roots with a 50% whole grain bread where half the whole grains were sprouted. The 6 grains she used were red and white wheat, Kamut, spelt, rye and oat.


She started sprouting the grains on Monday dried them on Tuesday night and started the sourdough bran levain on Wednesday night.  She took the bran from the sprouted and non-sprouted grains and used that for the only build using 12 g of NMNF rye starter as the base.  A few hours of a cold retard followed to bring out the tang instead of just the sour.

The entire levain was 10% pre-fermented bran and flour at 100% hydration and the process took 8 hours for the levain to double.  Then into the fridge it went for a 24 hour retard.  While the levain was on the counter, Lucy dug around her secret pantry to find some figs and walnuts -10% each.

We did a 30 minute autolyse for the non-sprouted high extraction flour only with 2% Pink Himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top.  Sprouted, high extraction flour just needs to get hydrated since it is pre-auotlysed during the sprouting process. 

Overall hydration was 72% because we used the lower protein Lafama AP for the dough flour and the re-hydrated figs would bring some extra moisture to the party.   A relative 75% would be about right for this kind of bread.  Once everything hit the mix we did 100 slap and folds to get everything incorporated and the gluten forming started.

The left-over fig soaking juice, with some of the re-hydrated figs, were used to feed the Fig YW … nothing at all went to waste.  After a 3 minute rest, we did 3 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points also on 30 minute intervals.

Grilled Tuna is a must have meal around here...It was Mom's request for Mother's day.

Can't have Mother's Day without flowers either.

The walnuts and figs went in on the first set of stretch and folds.  We then let the dough rest for a half an hour before shaping the dough into a squat boulot and plopping it in the rice floured oval basket.  Straight away, as the English would say, it went into the fridge for and overnight proof, sort of self a reflection of the way the world is …..depending on what is, is of course….and is never was most of the time.

Whatever is was, it wasn’t quite proofed, so we let it warm up a bit, about and hour, before starting the heat of the Underworld itself contained by the magic of General Electric - at 450 F in Lucy’s kitchen.Yes, the Combo Cooker was used this time instead of Mega Steam and we brushed the loaf with water before it went into the Gaping Maw of Big Ole Betsy II for 18 minutes of steam.

Once the lid came off, we baked it for another 12 minutes at 425 F convection to finish it off and get to 208 F on the inside.  It browned, blistered, bloomed and sprang nicely but we will have to wait on the crumb, just like always because we are creatures of habit around here.

OK, Lucy is just a plain creature …. so be it - we still have to wait for this loaf to cool and for Lucy to decide when she wants a piece to taste.  The crumb came out chock full of goodness.  It was fully proofed so there wasn't big bloom but it is soft and moist with tons of flavor.  All around this is a pretty good fig and nut bread with 50% whole grains - half of them sprouted.  You won't find one that tastes better or even one to buy for that matter - all the reason to make one yourself even better than this one.

She reminds us to always have a great salad with dinner


not.a.crumb.left's picture

Well, thought I give this one a go as I was visiting friends today and they so far have eaten a lot of Champlains!!

variation on breadtopia formula with changes as outlined below....ha, ha there is method to my madness or not.....

40% Kamut/Khorasan loaf with :

  • 300 g bread flour 

  • 200 g whole grain Kamut (

  • 360 g water 

  • 75 g leaven 

  • 10g salt (1.5 tsp)

  • 79% hydration without adding more water, 360g plus starter

I decided that 'my dough' would need a bit more water and added 

10g  water - when adding salt

10g - in bulk container so 83% hydration with leaven counted in.....

Leaven built from stiff starter, 1:2:2 , 30:60:60 at 7:30 and in proofer 76F and then put  at 11 AM room temp to slow down..

AL 12:15 – 78Dough temp with 360g warm water in proofer, dough temp 78F

13:30 Add 75g Leaven ONLY  to dough, 75F 1st Rubaud mix, 10 min rest, add salt 10g and 10g water and 2nd Rubaud mix

14: 00 Start Bulk , 10g water in bulk container dough temp75F

15:00 1 S&F dough temp76F

16:00 2 S&F 75F

17:00 3 S & F 77F - coiling 

17:30 Pre-Shape – using coiling like Trevor IG

and then briefly rounded using bench scraper

18:00 Final Shaping a la Trevor

 for proofier dough...and this worked really well but forgot to take photos as this stage....too pre-occupied!

straight into fridge which varies from 2C to 5C depending on it's mood

Bake straight out of fridge

6:15 following morning ....



Cedarmountain's picture

The basic ingredients for good bread - flour, salt, water, yeast - are simple yet can produce such a wonderful variety of breads with complex flavours, crumb textures, crusts.  Sometimes in my tinkering and experimenting I need to remind myself that bread made just with these basic ingredients can be really good bread!  So with that in mind, today's bake focused on the basics - good grain, salt, water and yeast. 

Cracked Grain Porridge Sourdough Bread

  • 250 g sifted mix of freshly ground organic rye, emmer and Marquis wheat (bran set aside for coating the loaves)
  • 750 g organic all purpose flour
  • 750 g filtered water (est.FDH 82% after addition of porridge)
  • 22 g sea salt
  • 225 g levain (4 hour)
  • 300 g mixed cracked grains (rye, emmer, khorasan, Marquis, hulless oats, flax) cooked into a porridge

The cracked grain porridge was gently mixed into the dough after the second of four stretch/folds. After four hours the loaves were pre-shaped, rested for thirty minutes and then shaped and cold proofed overnight for 10 hours. I baked the loaves directly out of the fridge; covered for 25 minutes at 500 F; 10 minutes at 450 F and then uncovered, directly on the baking stone for 20 minutes at 450 F.  




Elsie_iu's picture

After a few not-so-successful bake, I decided to cheer myself up with a loaf of golden sourdough bread. To be exact, it’s quintuple (aka five times) positive energy sourdough. So how does it add up to five? I’ll count it for you.


Masa harina      


Golden tea leaves

Toasted white sesame seeds  

See? I didn’t lie to you!


Quintuple Golden Sourdough


Dough flour:

150g      60%       Whole wheat flour

60g        20%       Whole Spelt flour

60g        20%       Masa Harina


For leaven:

10g       3.3%       Starter

10g       3.3%       Bran shifted out from dough flour

10g       3.3%       Water


For porridge:

45g         15%       Medium stone grind cornmeal

135g       45%       Water

0.25g    0.08%       Salt


For tea-infused liquid:

217g    72.3%       Water

54g      18.1%       Whey

3g             1%       Kenyan golden pekoe tea leaves


For dough:

290g     96.7%      Dough flour excluding bran for leaven 

271g     90.3%      Tea-infused liquid

30g          10%      Leaven

9g             3%       Powdered toasted white sesame seeds

9g             3%       Vital Wheat Gluten

5g          1.7%       Salt

3g             1%       Turmeric powder



21g          7%        Toasted white sesame seeds

45g        15%        Raisins


(Excluding the porridge)

305g       100%      Whole grain

286g      93.8%      Total hydration 


Shift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 10g for leaven. Mix the rest back into the dough flour or soak them 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 hours. Soak the raisins in a little hot water to re-hydrate.

Make the porridge. Bring the water to a boil and dissolve a pinch (0.25g) of salt into it. Stir in the cornmeal and keep whisking until no lumps remains. Cover the pot and let stand stove off for 30 minutes. Let the porridge cool to room temperature and refrigerate until needed.

Infuse the tea leaves by pouring 30g of hot water over them. Let steep for 20 minutes before pressing the mixture through a sieve to extract as much of the tea essence as possible. Discard the tea leaves. Pour in enough water to measure 217g and combine with the whey. Refrigerate until cold (skip if your kitchen is cool).

Reserve 10g of the liquid and roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the leaven and salt. Autolyse for 30 minutes. Combine the reserved liquid with the leaven. Knead it into the dough along with the salt and polenta porridge. Let it ferment for 8 hours (Mind you: my kitchen is 27°C currently).

Fold in the sesame seeds and raisins and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Shape the dough and put in into a proofing basket. Leave it on the counter for 20 minutes then retard for 8 hours. 

Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest on the counter for 1 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 without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 205°F. Let cool for at least 3 hours before slicing.

The crust is extra-crispy thanks to the cornmeal, which gives a nice contrast to the creamy crumb. The oven spring is not as much as I’d hoped for but I’m not too stressed over it since this is just the 2nd time I try retarding the dough. Hopefully, I’ll get a better grasp on the timing after a few more bakes.

The crumb’s colour is a stunning yellow even with just 1 tsp of turmeric. I doubt there’s any natural colour that won’t be masked by the pigment of turmeric. As expected, the crumb is rather closely-packed but very moist and creamy due to the incorporation of polenta porridge. The slight under-proofing might also have contributed to that to some extent. Next time, I’ll let the dough proof for 30 minutes instead of 20 minutes before retarding to see if it’d improve the situation.

To be honest, the turmeric, tea and corn flavour are rather subtle. Though I already tried to tone down the taste of sesame by using a lower percentage of it, it is still the dominant aroma of this bread. Doubling the tea leaves and halving the sesame might achieve a more balanced profile. 


Let this golden bread lift your mood up!



Beatrice's picture

Hello, I'm new here but I love the fact that we could share our passion around baking!

I've baked this loaf with the formula from the book called Sourdough. I followed all the instructions and I think it's very good (as this is one of my first experiments). 

The flavors are amazing due to the toasted oats that bring sweetness and complexity, the crumb is airy but at the same time very moist, and I think this bread is perfect both for lunch and breakfast!

I have one question: I let this loaf ferment for 3 and an half hours at room temperature and then I transferred it into the fridge; but it was fermenting at an high pace so at one point I decided to bake it even if it has only 5 hours of colf proofing. Do you think it is wrong to do so? The speed of the fermentation could have been modified by the presence of the oats?


leslieruf's picture

Loved this one that Danni had posted

So this was the third loaf that I made this week.  I scaled Danni's formula down as I only wanted to make one loaf.

Monday: refreshed starter and then built 100% levain and left to ripen.  8 pm built the final levain for dough using all bran I had sifted out plus some flour to give me enough flour and left at room temperature overnight

Tuesday: 12:20 pm mixed together flours and water and left to autolyse for 1 hour

40 g breadflour + 40 g spelt freshly milled + 40 g freshly milled rye + 40 g wholewheat freshly milled (not willing to try a second kamut loaf until I had seen the result of my first try) + 3 g gluten + 222 water + 12.6 g ground flax seed.

13:30 pm mix final dough

6 g salt + 8 g yoghurt + 219 g 100% levain.  Was thinking wow this is a lot of levain, but that is what I wrote down, must be correct!  Slap and folds, stretch and folds until all ingredients incorporated then left to rest. At 30 minute intervals did 3 sets of S & f then left to bulk ferment.

Wow, this dough is really moving - no way will I get a long BF.  At 4 pm preshape (dough had doubled!!) and at 4:35 final shape. At 5:15 I placed the dough in the refrigerator as I needed oven for dinner.  

At 6:15 pm placed dough in preheated DO and baked at 450 deg F for 15 minutes lid on, 15 minutes lid off. 

I went back and looked at the notes I had made when I copied Danni"s formula and found that whilst I had divided all her ingredients by 3, I had forgotten to do this for the levain so I had a huge proportion of levain - little wonder it took off like a rocket ship!!

I think I may have bulk fermented a bit too long but the result is ok, it just spread a bit. Danni - what do you think?   If I had had the correct proportion of levain, the dough may have been a bit firmer? 

It is sliced and frozen, will see how it is later in the week.



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