The Fresh Loaf

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Benito's picture

This is set number 15 of my baguette trials and tribulations and in some ways one of the most successful baguette bakes I’ve had where I figured something out that has turned out to be critical to my baguettes.  I have been stumped by the lack of ears and grigne on my baguettes, but happy with the crumb.  Well in this bake I reduced bulk fermentation aiming for only a 25% rise in bulk and then eliminated bench room temperature proofing of the shaped dough instead putting the baguettes into the fridge after final shaping.

For three baguettes about 280 g (to account for aliquot jar)






Total Flour






Total Dough Weight (g)










Total Formula




Liquid Levain



Final Dough













Total Flour







Final Flour



AP Flour/T55







AP Flour/T55



Strong Bread Flour







Bread Flour













Autolyse (93%)










Final (7%)







Bassinage(v cool)













Diastatic Malt Powder




















Starter (in final dough)






























Dissolve diastatic malt powder, IDY and levain in water.  Then add flour and mix.

20 mins later add salt with wet hands and work in with dimpling and pinching.  then Rubaud kneading for up to 4-5 mins.  Remove 30-50 g of dough and place in aliquot jar and keep with the dough.

Rest 50 mins then Coil Fold.

Rest 50 mins then Coil Fold

Once aliquot jar reaches 25% rise then place dough into refrigerator 2ºC overnight and up to 24 hours.

Remove dough from fridge and divide into 3 equal weight doughs and pre-shape lightly as loose rolls.  Bench rest 20 mins.  Shape baguettes and place in floured couche and then into refrigerator for 1 hour.

Next, set oven up for steaming with Sylvia towel and cast iron skillet and temperature set to 500ºF.  In fact I now wait for 30 mins after oven is turned on and then place the Sylvia towel loaf pan filled with boiling water from kettle into oven.  This time I tried pre-heating oven and baking with steam at 525ºF but ended up with slightly burnt bottom crust so will go back to 500ºF. 

Using transfer board place each baguette on a parchment lined peel.  Brush excess flour off each baguette.  Score.  I didn’t brush water on the baguettes this time and still had some blisters.

Transfer baguettes onto baking steel using the peel and parchment.  Pour boiling water into icast iron skillet.  Bake with steam for 13 mins then remove Sylvia towel and cast iron skillet. 

Drop temperature of oven to 500ºF and turn on convection (I forgot to turn on convection which leads to more uneven browning).  After 5 mins turn and rotate baguettes.  Check for done ness in another 5 mins, if not fully browned then rotate and turn again.  Remove once crust is nicely browned.


Hotbake's picture

Although it's more of an Everything-I-Craved focaccia!

I wanted einkorn bread, garlic onion bread, something cheesy, something spicy and everything bagels!

So I winged an einkorn focaccia with jalapeno, green onion, garlic olive oil, cheddar,  black pepper and everything seasoning 🤦‍♀️

It ended up pretty good tho! 

leslieruf's picture

Reading through some of the Baguette CB posts I noticed that alfanso had made Hamelman's Sourdough Seeded Bread and when I was deciding what to make this week I decided to have a go at this.  

Monday I refreshed my starter and then before I went to bed I mixed up the soaker & the levain

Soaker: 27 g flaxseed & 81 g room temperature water. Covered and left overnight

Levain: 12 g starter + 73 g water + 57 g flour mixed, covered and left overnight. 

Tuesday 9 am Dry toasted 23 g sesame seed & 46 g sunflower seed in skillet as I didn't want to heat the oven just for this.

9:30 am Instructions were to mix all ingredients together.  I decided to add the toasted seed mix later during bulk ferment so mixed together all of the soaker + 136 g water + all levain.  This was then added to 294 g flour + 1 g diastatic malt + 31 g rye flour + 8.8 g salt. I felt dough was a little dry so I added 2 tspn water.  I did fewer slap & folds than usual then rested dough for 40 mins. 

10:30 am The dough felt really quite strong and Hamelman suggests only 1 fold after an hour and a quarter.  I felt this was too long to wait to incorporate the sesame & sunflower seeds so I gently pulled the dough out as much as it would allow then sprinkled the seed mix over, folded the sides in then folded the dough bottom to middle then top down and left to rest for another 45 minutes. 

11:15 am At this point the dough was very strong but I did manage one gentle coil fold to ensure the seed mix was evenly distributed. I left the dough to ferment for 3 more hours.  

2:15 pm Shape dough, place in banneton and leave on bench.  At 3:45 pm I had to go out so I popped dough in the fridge until the next morning.  I could see there was some slight increase in volume but it wasn't big during final proof or bulk ferment. 

I saw a post by Gavinc who had also made this formula and felt his final proof should have gone longer (if I remember correctly).  This was why I gave the dough a 90 minute bench proof before retarding. 

The other bread I made was also a new formula & method for me.  I made fullproofbaking's 50% wholewheat sourdough, and I followed her method as much as I could - it is very different to anything I have done before.

I did a second refresh of my starter Monday night, feeding it 50:50 white:wholewheat flour. Yesterday morning early I built the levain and kept it in the microwave at about 27 deg C until it was ready to use.  Because I don't trust the flour here in NZ to perform well with an extended autolyse, I only did a 2 hour rather than 4 hour autolyse for the wholewheat portion.  It was really wet.  The white flour had its own autolyse and once again I shortened it to just 1 hour.  

Once the levain was ready, I added the starter to each autolyse and mixed for several minutes.  In the end I gave the white flour dough 50 SLAFs and the wholewheat I mixed with a spoon as it was too wet and showed very little evidence of gluten development.  After resting for 45 minutes, I added salt to each dough and mixed again as before.  The doughs were rested another 45 minutes and then combined by way of lamination.  The combined dough was soft but seemed ok. 

I managed another 3 sets of coil folds then left dough to ferment.  Instructions said 2 hours so I thought sweet! I have to go out but should be back in time.  Room temperature (and dough temperature) were lower than fullproofbaking"s so I thought all will be well.

Oh dear, I came home to pancake.  It was close to the indicated time and dough had spread and puffed up a bit so I shaped as well as I could and put it in the fridge to retard overnight. 


This morning I baked both loaves in DO at 250 deg C for 15 minutes, lid off and another 15 minutes at 230 deg C.  The 50% wholewheat loaf was done so I removed it from the oven but had to put the Seeded sourdough loaf back for another 10 minutes until internal temperature was 205 deg F.

What a contrast.

Seeded sourdough - the back loaf in the lead photo

Here is the crumb

I think it could have done with a bit more on the bench before retarding but whilst firm it isn't actually too dense.  The addition of the diastatic malt (thank you Albacore!) has meant I finally have some decent caramelisation of the crust!! The taste is really good so I will make this again, possibly adding a bit more water given how strong this dough was.  I wonder if an autolyse would have made this more extensible

50% wholewheat - oh dear:(

It's pretty flat! Quite disappointed.  

Crumb shot

Ok, so the profile is pretty flat, but the crumb isn't too bad.  It tastes really good.     

I used the same white bread flour in both these bakes and whilst the strength of the seeded sourdough was more than I thought it would be, this flour does seem to be strong and my bakes have shown that.  It was a bit of a surprise that the 50% wholewheat dough was so slack, I can only think that this was mostly to do with the wholewheat.  I will have to try again, but next time I will reduce the length of the autolyse  and the hydration especially in the wholewheat.   I will also incorporate a lot more slap and folds to build strength 



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

Hello friends.

 At some point during the week of October 19th, I will be making my interpretation of Julia Childs Cranberry walnut pumpkin bread. this enriched "brioche" type bread has become a Pie king tradition! Maybe it will become a tradition around your way too! 

 What do you say? Take a break from sticks, I look forward to seeing all of your creations! 

yozzause's picture

 I revived my S/D culture and made this today, its a 50% Wholemeal loaf with the addition of Raw Red Onion  added at 10% and Poppy Seed at 2%. Started first thing this morning and finished  just after the evening meal. Even had time to try some  before bed time and very happy with the taste and texture.    


PalwithnoovenP's picture

Hi folks! This pandemic is still here but I'm still thankful that none of my family is sick, we still have food on our table and maybe the only major problem is an absence of a stable internet connection for four months already; it is only a problem because it compromises my performance for distance learning and other work from home arrangements from time to time. I hope you all are doing well amidst this crisis, let us pray this will end soon.

I still bake but mostly non-bread (cookies-maybe I'll do a separate post on those) and I try to cook food from different  parts of the globe. As I was browsing my photos I found photos of this bread that I made last year. I still remember the taste. It was a raisin bread inspired by pain aux raisins, instead of a laminated dough I used brioche dough which is closer to how raisin breads are and I spread a rich vanilla pastry cream then sprinkled a good helping rehydrated dark and golden raisins; a different route from cinnamon sugar, the folded it and baked it in a brioche suisse manner, It really reminded me of those "a-bit-better" days.

I'll keep it short and just tell the story through the photos. I did not expect this bread to be so huge. I expected its size to be only a third of it; should have divided it into three for more convenient slices.

Brioche dough

Rehydrated Raisins

Pastry Cream - 4 egg yolks for under a cup of milk.

Ready to be folded. I really love this look.


A rasin-candied mandarin biscotti. Got a bit sidetracked. :)

Eggwashed and ready to be baked.

Shiny and boldly baked. It deflated slightly when cooled.

A third of the whole loaf. The could have been perfect size. Looks like a ciabatta in
the last two shots.


The inside. Crust was thin and soft, crumb was soft with the slightest bit of chew; buttery and slightly tangy. The sweet pastry cream and raisins are perfect for this rich bread. So delicious! I cut it while warm and the cream gushed out, after cooling completely, slices were much cleaner and better. Delicious either warm or at room temperature.

Slices so neat, could have easily passed as cake in these last two shots! :)

I hoped you enjoyed this post. Hope to see you again soon!

idaveindy's picture

How I lubed and adjusted my Chinese-made Shule (German) brand version of the Marcato Marga 3-roller hand-cranked grain mill.

No guarantees here. This blog is about my particular machine, my experience and observations.

I checked the Marcato Marga site, and externally it is identical to mine except for cosmetic differences. Be aware that the interior could be very different.

On this other person's  blog page:

in the first photo, the Shule is the pink box on the left. And it's the mill featured in the 4th photo.  Again, that page is not mine; I'm just using it as reference.


Here's the same mill at Amazon, where it goes by the name Norpro.  It shows the two screws (2 on each side) that you need to remove to get to the gears. There is a set of gears on both sides. And you can see the hex nut bushing in this photo.


On mine, there was a rough spot, slight resistance of the gears, at a certain roller position, as if the gears were rubbing there. it happened every turn of the rollers,  about about every 2 turns of the crank since there is not a 1:1 gearing. 

You only need to remove the 4 screws, two from each side. Then gently pull on the big adjustment knob, and the _core rod only_ of that cylinder comes out with that side cover.  Do not attempt to remove the knob from the side cover or core rod. Knob, side cover, and core rod (axle) stay together.

After removing the two screws per side, the other side cover, the one with the crank socket and the hex nut, can be pried off.  Mine was held pretty tightly via friction after removing the two screws holding it to the inner side cover.

There are four stand-off rods with nuts holding the inner side covers together. Leave those alone.

There are four hex nuts holding the feet and the base to the two inner side covers. Leave those alone. I mistakenly removed them, thinking they held the outer side covers, but they are attached only to the inner side cover. 

(You may need to _loosen_ the 4 small hex nuts holding the feet and base on, in order to remove the outer side covers.  You may need to loosen those 4 hex nuts in order to re-install the outer side covers. Just remember to tighten them when finished.  I have disassembled this incorrectly once, but have not disassembled it "correctly" yet.)

That hex nut on the side with the crank socket, is not threaded. It is a _bushing_ with an offset - meaning the hole is not centered with the outer diameter.

The offset bushing is part of the system that allows the knob to adjust the distance of that roller to the other top roller and keep them parallel.

 The "clock position" of that hex nut matters!  On mine, the thin edge, I'll call it the index position, needs to be at about 1:30,  or 45 degrees clockwise from noon. Just for reference, I had the knob set to 1, but I don't know if that matters.

I mention this here because it is important:  If this hex nut bushing gets out of alignment, meaning it's not in the correct clock position, then the rollers might not stay parallel as you adjust the knob, but the gears will _definitely_ NOT mesh correctly.  I learned this by trial and error upon re-assembly.

In fact, upon reassembly, I turned the hand crank and "felt" for the smoothness of the gears, as I used a wrench to rotate the hex nut bushing.  Adjust - test - adjust - test, until you find the sweet spot for the clock position of the hex nut bushing.

I am not guaranteeing the correct clock position of your hex nut. So observe and record what clock position its  "thin side" is at before disassembly.  In fact, you do not need to remove it.   I thought it was threaded, and needed to be removed. But it is held in place in the outer cover by friction only. 

If your gears are not meshing properly, your hex nut bushing may already be out of adjustment.

Never force the crank. If very gentle pressure doesn't turn it (without grain, that is) then something is out of alignment.

This system of a cam shaft type of axle and the offset bushing allows the gears to be properly spaced regardless of which position the knob and roller are in.


Mine has been used for 4 years or so, and lots of flour was absorbed in some grease.  I read somewhere to use peteoleum jelly to lube it, so I added that to the gears with two toothpicks held together.

You are also supposed to add a little oil between the rollers and the inside cover. 

I got smudges of grease on the rollers, and wiped them off with a paper towel. I will also clean with isopropyl alcohol on a paper towel. And I will mill and discard some white rice and some wheat to further clean.

After the clean/lube, re-assembly, and adjusting the hex nut bushing, the rollers and gears turned smoothly, and the rough spot in the gearing (ie, resistance at a certain roller position) was no longer there.

On mine, the 4 side screws are phillips (cross), and the hex nut is 10 mm.

As you re-attach each side cover (two screws per side), only _loosely_ affix the first screw (that is, do not tighten it all the way) in order to allow wiggle room for getting the second screw aligned and started.  If you tighten the first screw all at once, the second screw most likely will not align.

The outer side covers have a tight, but imperfect, fit. So you may have to "finesse" them a bit before you insert and tighten the second screw.

Again, no guarantees. This is just my explanation of my perceived experience with my machine.

ifs201's picture

I made two more 50% whole grain laminated loaves this weekend. One was filled with black and white sesame seeds and the other had raisins and toasted walnuts. I did a one hour autolyse for both doughs followed by a 3.5 hours bulk ferment (coil, laminate, 3x coil). These loaves had more spelt than I've done before because I was running low on whole wheat. Very happy with the taste of both loaves, but looking forward to being reunited with my dutch ovens, banneton, and lame to see if I am still capable of producing a decent looking loaf! 


sourdough.burr.ead's picture

I am just wondering if anybody knows why some alveoli are elongated and some are round? Does it have to do with oven spring? Or the folding technique? Any ideas would be great. 

This bread had a 6 hour levain build until doubled. 

2 hour autolyse

20% levain added followed by 30 min rest and then salt added and 10 min slap and fold. Bulk ferment was 5.25 hr with 4 stretch and folds, preshape, 25 min bench rest, final shape, 16 hour cold proof. 



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