The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recent Blog Entries

  • Pin It
Cedar Mountain's picture
Cedar Mountain


Khorasan Spelt Seeded Sourdough Bread

I was not happy with my first attempt at baking a seeded nut sourdough bread so I decided to have another go at making a seeded bread. As has become my habit of late, I used the Master Recipe from Chad Robertson's Tartine 3 as the basic dough for this bread.  30% fresh milled grains (spelt, khorasan, and a bit of rye for flavour; 70% all purpose unbleached white flour.  The flours were autolysed for 4 hours at a very warm room temperature of 24 C (I got sidetracked with some other things so the autolyse was a bit longer than usual) with 750 grams of water before adding 25 grams sea salt and 220 grams levain (4 hour levain made with a very active starter). Between the first and second folding I added a 450 gram mix of a flax seed soaker (100 g), toasted pumpkin seeds (100 g), toasted sunflower seeds (100 g), toasted sesame seeds (100 g, slightly cracked in a mortar to release more flavour), toasted almond pieces (50 g) and a tsp of sesame oil. This was incorporated with the dough stretched flat on a slightly wetted bench, gently folding and pushing the mixture into the dough. The final hydration including the water in the flax soaker was approximately 85%.  I did a total of 6 folds over the first three hours of the bulk fermentation (room temperature 23 C) and let the dough rest; interestingly, the dough temperature stayed within 78-80 F for the entire bulk ferment (maybe because I started with a cooler temperature water to mix the dough?).  After 4 and 3/4 hours the dough volume had increased by about 25 % and was nice and bubbly; room temperature throughout was a consistent 23 C.

I pre-shaped and bench rested the dough for 30 minutes before final shaping and placing into proofing baskets. I retarded the loaves overnight in the fridge.  After 14 hours I baked them directly out of the fridge in a preheated 500 F oven; combo cookers on a baking stone, middle rack.  Covered at 500 F for 20 minutes; 450 F for 10 minutes then uncovered at 450 F for 18 minutes.  The bake is still dark but at least this time it was because I wanted it that way; the oven is still running hot but I am very happy with this bread.  The combination of spelt and khorasan makes for a bread with a beautiful chewy crumb and with the seeds the flavour (especially the crust!) is nutty and toasty.  I will be adding this to my list of favourites.






Danni3ll3's picture

Last week, I participated in the Nelson Mandela Challenge Bake and ended up with a delicious if dense bread. We were not eating it very quickly so I decided to turn it into crackers. The density was right and with a few minutes in a 350F convection oven, my dense bread turned into delicious Cranberry and Pumpkin Seed crackers.

Sliced thinly ready to go into the oven

Baked to a golden brown

All ready for eating and storage!

This is delicious with homemade hummus. I discovered an amazing low fat hummus recipe that actually tastes good. I love garlic and this delivers.

1 can of chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans), drained

2 Tablespoons of fresh Lemon Juice

3 Tablespoons of PB Fit or powdered peanut butter

1/2 Teaspoon of coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic in oil

6 Tablespoons of water (I use the liquid from the drained chickpeas)

1 tablespoon of ground flax seed (Optional-I skip this)

 Blend and enjoy. :-)



Cuisine Fiend's picture
Cuisine Fiend

Sometimes you get tired of the big loaves and fancy something smaller, a housing for a cheese sandwich or a bacon butty. Here’s a selection of some of my favourite bread rolls, in no particular order...

Alehouse rolls

Alehouse rolls: excellent, with toasted oats (try to say it quickly several times…) soaked in ale or stout - the best use of home brew if you ask me ;-). They are dark and quite heavy but hellishly tasty, proper brown bread rolls.

Bridge rolls

Totally different, fluff central. Bridge rolls - or finger rolls - dainty little things, almost brioche-like.


Flutes with sage and parmesan - like really big, fat breadsticks. They are so tasty, probably best just with butter, Parmesan is such a magic ingredient.


Could I miss out bagels? Definitely not and this is a really foolproof recipe. They do spring in the oven massively, go for malt extract to add to the boiling water, I think it makes a difference in the flavour.

Parker House rolls

Parker House rolls, invented in the Boston PH hotel: they look a bit like Pacman and infuriatingly open up whilst being baked. Very, very nice though – all that butter doesn’t go in there for nothing.


Baps, my favourite, soft, floury, white - totally old-fashioned. Replace the butter in the recipe with lard and you're back in the 50s...

dabrownman's picture

After seeing David’s sourdough white bread post this week, poor Lucy got the willies for it worse than ever.  When you don’t eat much white bread, the ramifications of missing it can be dangerous when the White Bread Willies strike.  I tried to get Lucy back on her trans humanist project since the sun burns hotter every day and it won’t be long before the oceans boil away and we need to be permanently somewhere else – not that she isn’t most of the time anyway.

But she had the WBW’s bad and just wouldn’t think about more important things.  So she came up with one to get her paws back on earth where they belong….. even though the pavement is so hot she burns them every time she goes outside when the sun is out – poor thing – thank goodness for grass that can handle 114 F heat for months at a tie as long as an ocean of water is poured on it every day.  Better to use it before the sun boils it away.  We really need to get that solar oven set up!

This was a simple recipe.  No sprouted grain, only 10 whole grains, a bran levain, plain old water used for the liquid, an overnight 12 hour, retarded bulk ferment made it pretty straightforward.  The 12 whole grains were rye, spelt, white and red wheat, emmer, einkorn, quinoa, oat, barley and buckwheat = 12 grams each.

The 3 stage 100% hydration bran levain was made with the sifted hard bits that came out at 27% extraction and 20 g.  The 2nd stage was added 2 hours later - 10 g of 73% extraction multi-grains with an equal amount of water.  3 hours later another 10 g each of whole extraction multi -grain flour and water were added for the 3rd stage when the 2nd stage had doubled.  The 3rd stage doubled in 2 hours at the 7 hour mark.  The levain ended up to be 10% pre-fermented flour using 8 g of NMNF rye starter.

The remaining 32 g of high extraction multigrain flour and the remaining dough flour, consisting of LaFama AP flour, were autolyzed with the dough water for I hour, with the pink Himalayan sea sprinkled on top.  Once the levain hit the mix we did 30 slap and folds to get everything mixed together and then 3 sets of 8 slap and folds and 3 sets of 4 stretch and folds all on 20 minute intervals to develop the gluten.  We then placed the dough in the fridge for the 12 hour bulk retard.

The next morning, we took the dough out and let it warm up for an hour before pre-shaping and final shaping 20 minutes later.  We then placed the dough in a rice floured basket and bagged it in a plastic shopping bag and let it proof for 30 minutes before retarding it again for 4 hours.  Once the dough came out of the fridge the oven was preheated to 500 F with the combo cooker inside.


We un-molded it, slashed it straight out of Jurassic Park; T-Rex style.  Since this was only a 700 g loaf, we steamed at 425 F for 20 minutes before taking the lid off finished baking it with the fan on for 5 minutes, before removing it from the bottom of the combo cooker and finishing it on the stone.  When we took it out it read 210 F on the inside.


It sprang, bloomed and browned up well with some blistering.  Now we have to wait for the crumb shot later.  This one is very tangy, just the way we like it.  It is very soft and moist and the crust went soft as it cooled too.  It is open but not crazy open so it holds nti butter and jam.  Can't help but like this bread as least as much as you like your inlaws:-)  It made for some fine toast for breakfast and we know it will make great sandwiches for the week.  This is our kind of SDSF for sure.

There is that breakfast and last nights Chicken, bean cheese and grilled veggie enchiladas


3 Stage Bran Levain - 10% pre-fermented flour @ 100% hydration

18% Whole 10 grain

82% LaFama AP

85% hydration

2% salt

How about a nectarine , peach, blueberry and banana Really Deep Dish Pie  To go with that salad

alfanso's picture

A few days ago David Snyder posted his version of the San Francisco Baking Institute's pain au levain (almost) all AP flour batard.  Seeing this as the equivalent of an open invitation, I decided it was time to strike quickly.  And I'm so glad I did.

Using my 75% hydration levain starter as the base for building the liquid levain, I came up a few grams short of the water, but made up for it in the mix.  After the standard 300 French Folds, I gave the dough 2 hours of bulk rise with letter folds at 40, 80 and 120 before packing it away for an overnight nap in the refrigerator.  A morning shape and afternoon bake directly from the retard.  For a relatively low hydration dough, the crumb is modestly open. 

With an increase in formula yield of 25%, the bake was 340g x 4 demi-baguettes at 460dF, steam for 13 minutes, rotated and baked for another 17 minutes with a final 2 minutes for venting.  The dough was easy to handle and shaped nicely (except for that one slightly bludgeon-shaped critter).  And they scored and opened beautifully.  The flavor is slightly tanged with a crisp snap to the crust and fresh flavor.  Boy oh boy, I love nicking some of the stuff I see on this website.

The other day, just as David was posting, I pulled a set of Hamelman's Pain au Levain with WW out of the oven.

mcs's picture

Here are a couple of videos I made at my last two markets, one in Bozeman and the other two days ago in Big Sky, MT.  Enjoy ;)



Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Having decided that I'm tired of trying to work with sloppy wet doughs, particularly in large batches, I've revised several of the recipes I use so that the overall dough hydration is in the range of 70% to 72%. This is my first experiment with the Harvest bread from FWSY, and it's a keeper!

I was making a batch of six loaves so I mixed it in the big mixer. That, and reducing the dough hydration, were really the only changes I made to the original recipe. Half the flour is pre-fermented in a poolish overnight. I used Rogers Silver Star bread flour and home milled whole wheat flour. The dough was mixed in Max (the big mixer) for about five minutes at around speed 1.5. It was then folded twice in the first hour and left to sit in a cool-ish basement kitchen for a total of 2.5 hours. It was silky, stretchy and strong, exactly as I wanted it to be.

Next, I scaled and pre-shaped it. It was pillowy and soft but still easy to handle.

When shaping, I gently popped some of the bigger bubbles but the dough was still standing strong, yet poofy and soft. After one hour proofing in floured napkins in the wireframe couche, it was onto the peels and scored for the oven (preheated granite stones to 500F).

Five minutes at 500F (with steam), 15 minutes at 425 then turn and another 15 minutes. Internal temperature was around 207F. Oven spring was ginormous - so much for the concept that higher hydration doughs have better oven spring. This was miles better than the pancakes I get from a 78% hydration dough sometimes.

Beautiful crust and ears...

And the crumb is dreamy - creamy, soft and with just the right amount of holes. This morning's melted cheese did drip through some of the larger holes, but there's still enough bread left around the holes to hold all kinds of toppings!

Next up - Overnight 40% Whole Wheat!


Infomaven's picture

Tartine Bread - After several pounds of failed dough, I finally was able to produce a loaf of Tartine Bread.

What finally helped me was Lewis' YouTube video: Gluten Gone Wild: Tartine for Dummies.  Lewis described Chad Robertson's method with some explanations that just helped me to understand the process a little more.  He used 5 Stretch & Fold every 10 minutes followed by refrigerating both the bulk fermentation and the final proofing.  Cold dough is so very much easier to work with.  Anyway, I am very pleased with the results.  





Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Well, I nearly ruined a large bake (eleven loaves) of my best deli-style rye bread today, simply by following the recipe instead of my own smarts. I've baked this bread many times (I've got two customers who absolutely love it and order large batches fairly regularly).

The recipe is originally from Peter Reinhart's "Crust and Crumb". It takes a long time as there are three stages of starter, each one of which can be refrigerated overnight, so it takes some planning. The recipe recommends a shortish bulk ferment at room temperature, then shape and proof (three hours at room temperature, then overnight in the fridge, then an hour at room temperature before baking). I should listen to my own advice - based on my factors (room temp, flour, whatever) it never ends well when I do that.

Last time I made this bread it was lovely. That's because I bulk fermented overnight in the fridge, then shaped cold, proofed at room temp for a couple of hours and baked. The dough was a dream to handle and the finished loaves were beautiful

Yesterday / today I followed the recipe and did the room temperature bulk ferment, then shaped and proofed (2.5 hours at room temp, overnight in the fridge, then baked cold). The loaves were very overproofed and totally collapsed on the peels (I mean totally). There was a little bit of oven spring anyway and I'm hoping the customer is okay with skinny slices! Should still taste good, but here are the photos of today for comparison:

No more shaped overnight retarding for me! I'll stick with what works in my kitchen.

dmsnyder's picture

A relatively new TFL member recently asked how to make a sourdough bread. His description of the desired characteristics brought to mind a bread we made in the San Francisco Baking Institute Artisan II Workshop on sourdough baking. It was a decidedly French-style pain au levain with minimal acidic acid tanginess but a creamy, sweet complex flavor. It was the preferred bread of the SFBI faculty. The special features of this white bread were a liquid levain fed every 12 hours that made up about 30% of the total flour in the final dough.

My bake differed slightly from the original, but I give the SFBI formula as it was given to us.


Total Dough Formula 

Baker's %

Wt (g)

AP flour



Rye flour






Instant yeast (optional)











Baker's %

Wt (g)

AP flour



Rye flour






Liquid starter






Note: for the starter feedings, including the levain mix, I actually used my usual starter feeding mix of 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% Rye. So, in the levain, rather than the AP and Rye specified in the SFBI formula, I used 107 g of the above mix.

  1. Mix ingredients thoroughly.

  2. Ferment 12 hours at room temperature. (Note: Because of my own scheduling needs, I refrigerated the levain overnight before mixing the final dough. This was not the procedure at the SFBI, and it would be expected to make the bread somewhat more sour. If you can, omit this levain retardation.)

Final Dough

Baker's %

Wt (g)

AP flour






Instant yeast (optional)



Liquid starter










  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, pour in the water, add the liquid starter and mix to dissolve the starter.
  2. Add the flour and mix to a shaggy mass.

  3. Let rest, covered, for 20-60 minutes.

  4. Add the salt (and yeast, if you are using it) and mix with the dough hook at Speed 2 for 5-6 minutes. Adjust flour or water to achieve a medium consistency. (Note: I did not use added instant yeast.)

  5. Ferment for 2-3 hours at 76ºF with 1 or 2 folds, as needed to strengthen the dough. (Note: The fermentation time depends on whether you use the instant yeast and on your fermentation temperature. As usual, “Watch the dough, not the clock.” The dough should end up expanded by 25-50% and should be light and gassy. If you ferment in a transparent container, your should see the dough to be well-populated with tiny bubbles.)

  6. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape as boules or cylinders.

  7. Let the pieces rest, covered, for 25-30 minutes.

  8. Shape as boules or bâtards.

  9. Proof for 90-120 minutes at 80ºF. (I had a class to teach, so I refrigerated the loaves for 3 hours, then proofed for 2 hours at 80dF)

  10. Bake at 460ºF with steam for 25 minutes. ( I baked at 460dF with steam for 12 minutes, then another 16 minutes at 435dF convection bake in a dry oven.)

  11. Leave in the turned-off oven with the door ajar for another 10 minutes. (Optional)

  12. Cool thoroughly on a rack before slicing.

I also baked a couple loaves of a Pain de Campagne. It is based on the one in FWSY, except I leave out the instant yeast and boost the whole grain flours a bunch. For today's bake, I halved the recipe in the book to make 1100g of dough and divided that into two. We are traveling next week, and I wanted to take a small loaf along for breakfasts and picnics.

Happy baking!



Subscribe to Recent Blog Entries