The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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kendalm's picture

Getting some improvent by bumping Temps a bit and taking the stone out for a few minutes before baking.  It seems with my element setup that reaching an ambient of 450F gets the stone up to 550F which will scorch the underside of my loaves.  Today I jacked the top element a bit more and then just removed the stone for a few minutes to allow it to drop down to around 450F.  Results look better yeah ? 


Bröterich's picture

I found this recipe in a German paper.

These are really nice, crunchy, and a good alternative to bagels. The basis is a wheat sourdough and they are dipped in syrup and sesame seeds before baking.


dom1972's picture

This is nothing fancy just a regular sandwich loaf. But is my first after having heart transplant. Getting back at it is best therapy. Unfortunately while I was out my starter didn’t make it so I’ll be just doing yeast for now. My schedule is hectic right now and just don’t want to worry about feeding and maintenance. I did some research and just wanted some more insight on is it just as simple as adding the amount of flour and liquid back to recipe to convert some of my sourdough to yeast for now? And do I just use as much yeast as I want to control how fast the fermentation? 

Thanks for any help

peacecow's picture

After seeing everyone's delicious bakes, I finally got to make one of my own. I used Maurizo's recipe for the dough, but scaled it ~1.3x to fit a 13" pullman, so 1075g of dough. I used more filling than called for because I love sweets. One end was chocolate filling mixed with nuts, and one end was the chocolate filling with the cacao nibs. In total it was 300g of the chocolate filling, 90g of some extra baklava filling (nuts/sugar/cinnamon), and a handful of cacao nibs. I didn't use all of the simple syrup, so next time I will make half. I rolled it out more thinly than the recipe calls for, and I'm glad I did, so that the filling was better distributed.

Very filling heavy, but I'm pleased with how it turned out, and it's pretty easy. It is very decadent, so I froze part of the loaf for later. I like the additional crunch and flavor of the nuts.

Rolling it up such a long loaf was a bit cumbersome.

And for the baklava, I had a bit of fun trying out different nuts (almond, pistachio, pecan, hazelnut, and walnut). All very tasty. Almond and pecan were the most mild and least interesting tasting. Pistachio, hazelnut, and walnut I would do again.


gavinc's picture

This is a 10% whole-wheat sourdough that is our everyday bread. It is great in the morning with bacon and eggs and an extra slice with vegemite or a jam. I bake it once a week or sooner if we run out. I gift a loaf to the guy next door occasionally as he mows our front nature strip when he is doing his own. A great sourdough that I have been baking for years and never misses.Cheers,Gavin

justkeepswimming's picture

....and getting brave enough to post my progress. This is a no knead yeast recipe. 50% KAF AP, 50% home milled hard red winter wheat, 76% hydration. Progress!

I'm starting to feel comfortable enough with the basics to want to get into the sourdough world. Onward!

Now to figure out how to add the crumb shot.

Edit: even figured out how to add photos! I had better quit for the day while I'm ahead. 😁

Benito's picture

DMSnyder was kind enough to share Maggie Glezer’s Sourdough Challah recipe in his blog a few years back, so how could I not want to give it a go.  I love challah but have never eaten a sourdough one so this’ll be my first.  I followed his posted recipe except for a few minor changes and one mistake. I don’t keep a firm starter so just used my 100% hydration rye starter. I also made this as one larger loaf rather than his two smaller ones. I also accidentally use olive oil instead of a neutral oil for more than half of the oil component. We’ll see if that has a negative effect on the flavour.

The starterAmount (gms)
Active sourdough starter35
Warm water80
Bread flour135
The final dough 
Warm water60
Large Eggs3 eggs + 1 egg for glazing the loaves.
Vegetable oil55
Mild honey65
Or Granulated sugar60
Bread flour400
Sourdough levain200


  1. The night before baking, mix the starter and ferment it at room temperature for 8-12 hours.
  2. In the morning, in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the starter in the water, then mix in the 3 eggs, salt, honey and oil until completely combined.
  3. Mix in all the bread flour until it forms a shaggy mass.
  4. Knead the dough on the bench or in a stand mixer until it is smooth and there is moderate gluten development. (Add small amounts of water or flour to achieve the desired consistency, better if you do not have to) The dough should be quite firm.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover it tightly. Ferment for about 2 hours. It may not rise much.
  6. To make one loaf, divide the dough into two equal portions, and divide each portion into the number of pieces needed for the type of braiding you plan to do, so divid each by 3 to make 1 six strand braided loaf.
  7. Form each piece into a ball and allow them to rest, covered, for 10-20 minutes to relax the gluten.
  8. Form each piece into a strand about 14” long. (I like Glezer’s technique for this. On an un-floured board, flatten each piece with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece to about ¼ inch thickness. Then roll up each piece into a tight tube. Using the palms of your hands, lengthen each piece by rolling each tube back and forth on the bench with light pressure. Start with your hands together in the middle of the tube and, as you roll it, move your hands gradually outward. Taper the ends of the tube by rotating your wrists slightly so that the thumb side of your hand is slightly elevated, as you near the ends of the tube.)
  9. Braid the loaves. Braiding somewhat loosely, not too tight. Photos below are braided a bit too tight.
  10. Place each loaf on parchment paper in half-sheet pans (I used a quarter-sheet pan for each loaf.) Cover well with plastic wrap or place the pans in a food grade plastic bag, and proof at room temperature until the loaves have tripled in volume. (Glezer says this will take “about 5 hours.” I proofed in the oven with the light on and it took about 4 hours.)
  11. If it’s almost tripled and when poked the dough only springs back a little, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Gauge the dough again. Stick a finger lightly in the dough. If it makes an indentation that doesn’t spring back, the dough is ready to be baked. If not, wait a bit more.
  12. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF with the rack in the upper third of the oven about 30 mins before final proof is complete.
  13. Brush each loaf with an egg lightly beaten with a pinch of salt.
  14. Optionally, sprinkle the loaves with sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds.
  15. Bake until done – 25-40 minutes rotating half way. If baking as one large loaf may take a bit longer, bake until sounds hollow or reaches 190ºF in the middle.
  16. Cool completely before slicing.

Benito's picture

I’ve only made focaccia once before and that was using IDY.  So I decided it was time to use my now trusty starter to make one instead of IDY.  As often the case I went to and followed Maurizio’s recipe to make my first one.  I decided to try loading this up almost like a deep dish pizza.  So I topped with halved cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, stuff green olives, shallots, rosemary, black pepper and pecorino Romano cheese.

From his website I’ll post the formula here for your convenience.


Total Dough Weight

1,200 grams

Sourdough Starter





One 1200g focaccia

Total Formula

This table shows the entire quantity and baker’s percentages for each ingredient. If you’d like to make two large focaccia (or four smaller ones), double everything in the table below.


There’s no specific levain build for this focaccia, just use some of your sourdough starter when it’s ripe (when you’d normally give it a refreshment). See my post on the differences between a levain and sourdough starter for more information on the two preferments.

Target final dough temperature (FDT) is 76°F (24°C).



Baker’s Percentage


All-purpose flour (King Arthur All-Purpose Flour) 11-12% protein



High protein bread flour, malted (King Arthur Bread Flour) 13% protein



Extra virgin olive oil (Jovial Olio Nuovo Organic Olive Oil)









Sourdough starter (100% hydration)



Mix – 9:00 a.m.

This dough can be mixed by hand (I would use the slap and fold technique) or with a stand mixer like a KitchenAid.

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add both the flours, water, salt, and ripe sourdough starter (hold back the olive oil until later in mixing). 

Mix on speed 1 for 1 to 2 minutes until incorporated. Then, mix on speed 2 for 5 minutes until dough strengthens and clumps around the dough hook. Let the dough rest in the mixing bowl for 10 minutes.

Next, turn the mixer on to speed 1 and slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl while mixing. Once all of the olive oil is absorbed, turn the mixer up to speed 2 for 1 to 2 minutes until the dough comes back together.

Transfer your dough to a bulk fermentation container and cover.

This highly hydrated and enriched dough is  wet and loose , it won’t strengthen to the same degree as a typical bread dough.

As you can see below on the left, immediately after mixing the dough is still very wet and chunky. However, it’s not falling apart or soupy. Resist the temptation to add more flour at this point, as you can see below in the image at the right, by the middle of bulk fermentation it’ll strengthen after several sets of stretch and folds.


Transfer the dough to a covered container for bulk fermentation.


Bulk Fermentation – 9:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Give the dough 4 sets of stretch and folds, starting 30 minutes after mixing, and a set every 30 minutes thereafter.

Every 30 minutes for the remaining 2 hours of bulk fermentation gently stretch the dough, with wet hands, toward the corners of the rectangular container. The dough will resist stretching and spring back (especially with the oil underneath), but don’t force it—each time you stretch it’ll relax a bit more and eventually fill the container.


Proof – 11:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Transfer the dough to a deep rectangular pan that’s been greased with olive oil. If you don’t have a pan with a silicone liner, make sure to heavily oil the pan’s interior so the focaccia doesn’t stick during baking.

At 76-78°F (24-25°C), the dough will proof for 4 hours. This time period is flexible and dependent on the temperature: if it’s cooler, let it proof longer, and conversely, if it’s warm, you might be able to bake sooner.

Every 30 minutes for the first hour, uncover the pan and gently stretch the dough with wet hands to the pan’s edges to encourage it to fill the pan. The dough will naturally spread out during this proofing period, so it’s unnecessary to spread the dough aggressively. Once the dough is mostly spread to the edges, cover the pan and proof for 4 hours.



Top & Bake – 3:15 p.m.


First, dimple the unadorned dough with wet fingers. Make sure the dimples are evenly spaced and go all the way down to the bottom of the pan. Then, drizzle on 1-2 tablespoons of your extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with herbs and coarse sea salt. If using other toppings, add them now as well—I like to press them into the dough gently.

Bake the focaccia in the oven at 450°F (232°C) until deeply colored on top, about 30 minutes. Rotate the pan front-to-back halfway through this time. Keep an eye on it during the last 5 minutes and pull it out if it’s coloring too quickly, or leave it in longer if you’d like it a little darker.


Let the focaccia cool a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack. It’s fantastic warm from the oven, and best on the day of baking, but it’ll keep well for a couple days loosely wrapped in foil (reheat under the broiler before serving).


Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Russian bread, not an old GOST recipe, but rus brot reverse engineered it from the ingredient list:

Original formula:

Here is the formula, using a mix of light and whole rye flour available to me, instead of medium rye:

I asked the miller about the extraction rate of the light rye, since they don't know the ash content I had to rely on that to mix whole and light rye to approximate the Russian medium rye standard. It was approximately 1 part light rye to 2 parts whole rye. And it seems that was a good ratio, I didn't need to adjust the hydration relative to the recipe, beyond just using wet hands when mixing, which is normal anyway.

It was my first attempt at free-standing mostly rye bread, so I was following the recipe as close as possible. My new heating system worked well, just set to constant heat, basically, and I had very similar rising times to what rus brot had.

So, for maximum power I refreshed the rye starter from the fridge according to rus brot's refreshment schedule for 70% hydration sour in the end over three feeds. Last feed was done yesterday morning, at the same time as the scald. Scald was kept in the oven, which was manually adjusted to approximately 65C by measuring the temperature.

Preferment contained the starter, scald and more water and flour, and was kept warm until it peaked, around 5 hours.

Final dough was mixed by adding flour to the preferment, together with salt, sugar, molasses (I used black treacle), and seeds. When the dough came together it was surprisingly not very sticky, and easy to handle with wet hands (although until it was mixed properly it was a mess). After kneading for a few minutes to distribute the seeds, the dough was fermented warm for 1.5 hrs. Then shaped using plenty of light rye flour to avoid sticking, and proofed in my bannetons, also generously dusted with rice flour. Proofed for 50 min on the heat pad.

When taken out of the bannetons, I remove excess flour as best I could with a brush, and then brushed with plenty of water. Already here I noticed the dough was cracking for some reason. I suspect the surface might have overdried with too much flour when proofing, but avoiding cracks in hearth rye bread is a challenge with a lot of factors involved.

Sprinkled with seeds (probably put too much), and baked in preheated oven on steel at 260C for 10 min, then reduced to 190C and baked for 50 min. For most of that time switched to bottom-only heat to avoid burning the top.

I am really pleased with the crumb for 80% rye bread, and didn't get too many cracks, so reasonable free-standing rye bread is possible quite easily! Seeds are of course delicious. For some reason the taste of black treacle comes through a bit more than I expected, and the bread is overall on the sweet side.

Danni3ll3's picture

I ran out of bread (taking a break over the holidays) and needed a loaf to go with soup so I was looking for something simple. I love Spelt with porridge so this was it. 





Makes 3 loaves



100 g large rolled oats

200 g water

45 g honey

40 g butter



700 g strong bakers unbleached flour

300 g freshly milled wholegrain Spelt flour 

50 g freshly ground flax seeds

700 g water

23 g salt

30 g yogurt

250 g levain (procedure in recipe)

Extra wholegrain and unbleached flour of your choice for feeding the levain


The day before:

1. Take 2 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 4 g of filtered water and 4 g of wholegrain flour. Place in a warm spot for about 8 hours. 


The night before:

1. Mill the grains if you are using spelt berries. Place the required amount of flour in a tub. Grind the flax seeds and add to the tub. Add the unbleached flour to the tub as well. Cover and set aside.

2. Feed the levain 20 g of water and 20 g of wholegrain flour. Let that rise for the night. 


Dough Making day:

1. Early in the morning, feed the levain 100 g of filtered water and 100 g of strong baker’s flour. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled (about 6 hours). 

2. About two hours before the levain is ready, put 700 g filtered water in a stand mixer’s bowl and add the flours from the tub.  Mix on the lowest speed until all the flour has been hydrated. This takes a couple of minutes. Autolyse for at least a couple of hours at room temperature. 

3. Make the porridge: Add the water to the rolled oats and cook on low until water is absorbed and porridge is creamy. Add the butter and the honey. Stir until well distributed. 

4. Once the autolyse is done, add the salt, the yogurt, and the levain to the bowl. Mix on the lowest speed for a minute to integrate everything, then mix on the next speed for 8 minutes. At the end of the 8 minutes, add the porridge and mix until incorporated.

5. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place in a lightly oiled covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes in a warm spot (oven with light on). 

6. Do 2 sets of coil folds at 30 minute intervals and then 2 more sets at 45 minute intervals, and then let the dough rise 40%. This took about another hour. It should have irregular bubbles visible through the sides of the container and  bubbles on top as well. 

7. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~800 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 30 minutes on the counter. 

8. Do a final shape by flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and cross over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make a nice tight boule.

9. Sprinkle a  mix of rice flour and all purpose flour in the bannetons. I sprinkled some rolled oats as well. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons. Let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge overnight. 

Baking Day

1. The next morning, about 11 hours later, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully but quickly place the dough seam side up inside. 

2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes at 425 F. Internal temperature should be 205 F or more.


The boules ended up with awesome oven spring. I think that having a bit narrower pots helped with that. I was glad to see that the new pots weren’t too small for the amount of dough I usually make. Having a curved lid also helped as the boules sprung well above the edge. I didn’t relish the idea of having to rescale all my recipes. 


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