The Fresh Loaf

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caryn's picture

I decided to try the technique in Chad Robertson's Tartine Book No. 3, so I spent several days developing a starter based on his technique rather than using the usual starter that I maintain. So when my levain was ready, I mixed the dough for white-wheat blend.. The consistency seemed very loose, but since I had not made this before, I just decided to continue with the steps. Then this morning, after I had already put the dough in rising baskets, with a lot of difficulty since the dough was so loose, I re-read the recipe. Lo and behold, I had miscalculated and had omitted 250g of bread flour, and it was too late to do anything about it, so I baked the loaves. They are not pretty, but amazingly the flatbread was very tasty with a nice flavor and crumb! Now I can't wait to try again when I will be sure to use the proper amount of flour. Hopefully I will be able to get to the store to get more bread flour in a few days.

Right now I am rather snowed in!l


Sitopoios's picture

I bought this book but it was not enough time to backing. 

Now I try it. This bread is like a danish ryebread, but not so complicated. I like it! 

It was backed at the same time with Pain de campagne (Local breads. Daniel Leader). 

My wife and eldest daughter prefer a white bread, and I'm and the youngest (1.5 years) - this wonderful ryebread! 


My daughter (6) drew the bakery of his dreams :) 

On the left side - proofers. 

 Two breads 


dabrownman's picture

I should have figured that once Lucy found out that I wanted to try out dobie’s no baking equipment except an oven, bowl and hands, she would try to make my life miserable with this weeks bread recipe – 11 grain sprouted ciabatta rolls, with wheat sprouts in the baked scald,

Normally the water content of ciabatta is critical and developing the gluten in a mixer is almost a must… with mo scale, mixer, dough scraper or even a spoon this was a challenge to say the least.


I would love to tell you the recipe since these came out so well but alas, I have no idea what it really was and just a faint hint of what it was supposed to be since the recipe Lucy gave me to follow was on my new computer and it blew up – probably because it found out that no technology was allowed!

The 11 sprouted grain flour was supposed to be 25% of the mix with the rest LaFama AP.  10 of the 11 sprouted grains were the same as last week’s bake with the addition of buckwheat which I picked up to make soba noodles,  The sprouted wheat berries in the 3 hour, baked scald were supposed to be 12.5% with 30 g each of the dough flour and water mixed in as well.


The hydration was supposed to be 90% overall with the Witch Yeast, Cook Potato and Rye SD combo starters at 15 g total coming in at 15% pre-fermented flour and 100% hydration.  We fed the 11 sprouted grain bran to the levain for the first of 3 feedings with the other (2) 4 hour feedings being the 80% or so extraction.  The dough liquid was easy at 12 fl oz of Shiner’s Black Lager and it was used for the 2 hour autolyse with the dough flour and the salt sprinkled on top.


That is about all I can remember and, true to Lucy’ form, most of this stuff isn’t supposed to even be in ciabatta but that never stops a wild child let loose on a poor, unsuspecting and nearly defenseless world.  Jeeze what a mess!  Might as well not have even mixed it all together but, when you are older, you can easily forget how much your baking apprentice hates you much less remember where you live. 

Scald before the scald

After a couple of minutes of slap and folds we cleaned off out fingers as best we could, covered the glop with the bowl and hoped the somewhere around the 20- 30 minute wait to the next set would help this soupy mess – no clocks allowed either.  It did firm up  a bit but it was way easy to fling onto the floor and ceiling both. 

Lucy cleaned up the floor and the stuff on the ceiling will eventually dry out, turn to dust and fall off over the net 200 years.  After 4 sets it has firmed up enough to do 3 sets of stretch and folds.   We have no idea how much bench flour we used but it was about a handful a couple of times all total.

We had planned to make (8) 135 g personal ciabatta buns after looking at Lucy’s recipe.  We have no idea how big these bins ended up but there were 8 of them when we finished wet hand shaping – if you could call it that.   We divided these into eight pieces by grabbing a hunk of dough and plopping it onto a floured parchment lined baking sheet 

After messing with them to get them half decent looking and sprinkling some flour on top so the plastic bag it was wrapped in wouldn’t stick,  we bagged them and chucked them in the fridge overnight.  We were shooting for an 18 hour retard but it was at least 16 hours I’m guessing.

After taking them out of the fridge to warm up and take a peek, we had some breakfast, read the paper, had a couple of cups of coffee before watering the lettuce garden and trying to get the new laptop fired up to check the market…… only to find out the curser wasn’t working making the laptop totally worthless. 

After firing up the old backup and getting some work done we decided to fire up the oven and bake these little, bunnish beauties up.  I would guess they were out of the fridge 2-3 hours before the oven was lit.  We set her for 450 F and when Big Old Betsy beeped we waited a bit before putting the Mega Steam on the bottom rack so that the stones could catch up to BOB. 

A few minutes later, when we could see steam billowing out of Betsy’s vent, we loaded the sheet on the bottom stone while turning the oven down to 425 F.  We looked through the glass door to see them puff up nicely.  Once we thought the spring hand sprung, we took out the Mega Steam and turned the oven down to 425 F convection. 

After a few minutes we rotated the sheet and let them bake until they looked a bit brown and tapped hallow on the bottom.  Normally we would bake them for 8 minutes with steam and 10 without but we guessed as best we could since timing anything was verboten as Lucy likes to say often enough.

These little slippers had an open crumb, tasted terrific and were wonderfully sour.  I would love to show some photos, but keeping with the spirit of dobie’s challenge – Lucy said no to the camera being used…..sad too since there were about the best little rolls ever!  You will just have to take my word on it.

Yea!  Lucy changed her mind when I told her I couldn't use a food taster for these rolls either so the camera came out and she wanted to make sure i put last nights sunset in the post.

 Here is the recipe Lucy gave me.

SD Levain BuildBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
6 Week Retarded Rye Sour60061.09%
Witch Yeast60061.09%
Cooked Potato Starter60061.09%
20% Extraction Sprouted 11 Grain2400244.37%
80 % Extraction 10 Grain026325810.56%
Levain Totals %   
Whole 10  Grain91.516.65%   
Levain Hydration100.00%    
Dough Flour %   
LaFama AP31256.78%   
Durum Semolina10018.20%   
80 % Extraction 10 Grain468.37%   
 Black Lager & Water 3038570.06%   
Dough Hydration84.06%    
Total Flour w/ Starters550    
Total Water477    
Wheat Sprouts305.46%   
Hydration with Starter86.72%    
Total Weight1,116    
% Sprouted 11  Grain25.02%    
11 grain flour is equal amounts: Pima Club, barley, spelt, buckwheat 
Sonora White, einkorn, Kamut, rye, oat , wheat & emmer  
Scald is 30 g of 80% extraction sprouted  11 grain   
30 g of sprouted wheat berries and 30 g of water   
All included in above     

 Don't forget to top off the finished baked scald to the original 90 g with some extra water when done. 

rfisher17's picture

I've been making pain au levain and baguettes for several years.

Great Crust, great flavor, nobody doesn't like it,,,,except me.  The crumb is too tight.

I'm not getting the open, loose, irregular crumb that I want.  

I use hydrations from 75% to 80%, with greater success in the higher hydrations.

This week, I've made two batches of baguettes by following the Craftsy videos by Jeffrey Hamelman at 

King Arthur..  He gets good crumb, I don't.

Got any suggestions?


Frustrated in Crumb

dosco's picture

Made some waffles using this recipe.

I deviated from the recipe by using some starter instead of commercial yeast. I made a stiff preferment and after it doubled in bulk I scooped out a generous tablespoon full and went forward with the recipe. The bulk fermentation was about 8 hours in a very warm room, followed by the called-for retardation in the fridge.

I went wrong with the pearl sugar. I was able to knead it into the dough by hand, and I let it rest about 6 hours in the fridge (which was a mistake). When I removed it to divide into 5 pieces, there was a puddle of liquid at the bottom of the bowl - I tasted a bit and it was sweet, apparently the pearl sugar drew some moisture and dissolved. Ugh.

Well, might as well move forward so I divided it and let the smaller pieces rest in my laundry rooom which is quite cold this time of year (poorly designed/insulated 1960s era home).

I fired up my 20-year-old commercial "Belgian waffle iron" (not a sexy Krampouz) this morning, took one of the dough balls (that had risen ever so slightly overnight), pressed in a small spoonful of pearl sugar (to compensate for that which dissolved), and placed the ball in the iron.

The result was quite nice. Coming off the iron the waffle seemed to be limp/floppy but after it cooled for a minute or two the sugary outer crust hardened nicely and the waffle stiffened. The waffle was very tasty and I enjoyed one with a cup of coffee. In the pic the blackened parts weren't burnt, it was the pearl sugar that had caramelized and darkened.

My daughters also had some for breakfast and they both enjoyed them. My wife had a bite and said that she thought they were good (she has some gluten tolerance problems so all she could have was 1 bite).

The next time I make these I will only knead in the pearl sugar when I'm definitely ready to  cook within 1 or 2 hours afterwards.


Mr. Waffles's picture
Mr. Waffles

Even if most of my yeast-related work is in waffles, I bake up a regular loaf or two, from time to time. Last weekend I did Ken Forkish's white bread with poolish. Good stuff and fairly easy to prepare.

Anne-Marie B's picture
Anne-Marie B

A delightful little boule.



David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I love hummus and thought it was time to try my hand at pita.  Using the recipe from serious eats, I met with great success.  The formula called for more yeast than I like. I set the oven at a higher temperature (baked at 550 though I did not check the thermometer, I just baked shortly after it came up to temperature.

The pitas were very soft.  Made six of them. Ate two fresh out of the oven. Just cut them up and dipped them in homemade hummus.  It was a real treat.

I will try this with sourdough next and then with more whole grains. I may also try cooking on the stove top and see how that goes.


alfanso's picture

Plus one little batard...

Used my own levain on these.  3x300g, 1x550g.



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