The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recent Blog Entries

pul's picture

First time trying 100% semolina bread using yeast water for leavening. I used a basic recipe with semolina, yeast water levain, salt and water. Because semolina is a bit coarse and hard, I decided to autolyse it for 12 hrs with added salt. This was the same time it took for the levain to mature. At the end of the autolyse the semolina was soft and held to its structure.

Levain (12 hours to mature)

40 g semolina

40 g yeast water (grapes)


282 g semolina

187 g water

5 g salt

The overall hydration was about 71%, but I felt the flour could not take much more water. The dough was mainly developed by 4 sets of stretching and folding after initial mixing and kneading. Bulk fermentation took about 3 hours, shaped and retarded in the fridge for about 5 hours. Removed from fridge and let rest on the counter for about 2 hours before baking. I thought the dough was over proofed because it looked like a pancake when it hit the baking vessel. Fortunately, oven spring was great and crumb not too bad, even though I see some shaping issues. The crust came out nicely with a red hue color, while the crumb is a traditional golden color. The flavor has some sweetness, delicate crumb that goes very well with butter.



Benito's picture

After my go at the Red Miso Furikake Sourdough bake, Cedarmountain gave me the idea to make my own miso.  I actually use a lot of miso in my cooking and now I’m also gradually using it in my baking.  So why not make my own miso?  The first hurdle was to source koji rice.  I was able to find some here in Toronto as we have a local sake producer called Izumi and they sold me some koji rice.  Well the ingredient list for a simple miso is even shorter than bread, Koji rice, soy beans, salt and water.  OK perhaps it is the same as for bread.  The following is the recipe for miso that I followed.



Prep Time 30 mins Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins Soaking Time 18 hrs Total Time 20 hrs


Make Homemade Miso from scratch with just 3 ingredients and a little patience. My simple step-by-step instructions on How to Make Miso will guide you through this process. Once it is made, you can use the amazing fermented paste for many delicious Japanese dishes!

Course: How to

Cuisine: Japanese

Keyword: miso

Servings: 3 kg (6.6 lb)

Author: Nami




  1. Gather all the ingredients. Besides this, you will need 2 large bowls (one should be a very big one), 1 strainer, Instant Pot (or pressure cooker or a large pot), a clean cloth, alcohol (shochu or vodka), a potato masher (or a food processor), a 1-gallon glass jar to put miso in, and a bag of 1 kg (2.2 lb) table salt.

2. Gently wash the soybeans thoroughly several times under running water.


3. In a large bowl, add the rinsed soybeans and fill the bowl with filtered water to about 5 inches (10 cm) above the beans. Soak the soybeans for 18 hours.


4. Drain the beans. Look how large the beans are now. The right soybean is before soaking, and left two soybeans are after 18 hours of soaking. After soaking, total soybeans weigh 1435 g.


5. Add the soybeans into the inner pot of Instant Pot. Fill the pot with filtered water to about ½ inch (1.2 cm) above the beans (roughly 8 cup line of the pot).


6. Close the lid and set HIGH pressure for 20 minutes. Make sure the steam release handle points at “sealing” and not “venting”.

7. STOVETOP OPTION: Alternatively, you can cook the beans on the stovetop. Bring to a boil over high heat, skim off the surface scum, lower to a simmer, and cook for about 3-4 hours, uncovered, until the beans are soft. Add water as needed during simmering to keep the soybeans submerged in just enough water.


8. Meanwhile, in a large bowl (You will add mashed soybeans in this bowl, so use your largest bowl/pot/container/dish), combine the rice koji and salt with your hands.


9. Also, put some alcohol (shochu, vodka, soju, sake, etc) on a clean cloth and wipe inside the jar you will put miso in.


10. Once the pressure cooking is finished, release the pressure naturally. It will take about 30 minutes till pressure comes down completely and you can open the lid.


11. Test if the beans are done, by pressing a bean between a pinky and thumb. If it is mashed nicely, it’s ready. Drain the soybeans over a bowl to capture the cooking liquid. NOTE: When you are mashing the beans, you may need some cooking liquid, so save about 1 cup just in case. Ideally, it’s best not to use the cooking liquid at all (for this particular recipe, which is designed to make miso without adding cooking liquid). Water in the miso has a higher risk of potentially causing mold growth in the miso.


12. While the soybeans are still hot, transfer some of the soybeans back in the Instant Pot inner pot and mash them with a potato masher (pestle or bottle, etc). Do this process in batches so it’s easier to mash nicely.


13. If you have a food processor, process some soybeans until they are paste form. Do this process in batches so it’s easier to process.


14. ONLY if the soybeans look really dry, add a small amount of cooking liquid. As I mentioned earlier, it’s best if you don’t add it in this recipe. Scoop out the paste and continue with next batch.

 15. Mashed soybeans must be warm/room temperature (NEVER hot) before combining them with the koji because hot soybeans can kill koji mold. Mashing takes time unless you make a small batch, so you don’t need to worry about the soybeans being hot in this recipe.

16. Add the warm (not hot!) mashed soybeans into the bowl with the koji and salt mixture.


17. Knead well to distribute the rice koji and salt with mashed soybeans. Take time to do this process until it’s mixed well.


18. Using your hands, form tennis ball-sized balls with mashed soybeans.


19. Put each ball into the container and mash it with your fist and knuckle to ensure that all air pockets have been eliminated. Do one layer at a time, and make sure to press down tightly. If you have a glass jar, you can see if you miss any pockets by looking from the side of the jar.


20. Repeat this process until all the balls are pressed tightly in the jar. Pat down the surface with flat of your palm or knuckle to smooth out. Make sure you have a space left for the weight on top of the miso. If your jar/container is too small, use another container. Clean the inside surface walls of the container with a shochu-soaked cloth/paper towel to deter mold.


21. Sprinkle ½ Tbsp of sea salt on top of the surface.


22. Place a plastic wrap on top of the surface and make sure to cover nicely. I use my adjustable drop lid (otoshibuta) to hold down the plastic wrap while I work on covering the edges and remove it when I was done.


23. Put heavy objects (or rocks) on top of the miso. I put 1 kg (2.2 lb) of table salt (cheaper than the sea salt) in a plastic bag and put it on top.


To Store


  1. Write down the date on a masking tape and put it on a jar. Place the miso in a dark and cool place for at least 3 months (I put in a storage underneath the stairs). You can also use a dark pillow case and try to find a darker spot in the house.
  2. After 3 Months (April/May)

    1. Stir the miso from the bottom up to avoid mold forming. When checking the miso, do so quickly to avoid exposure to air. If you see any mold on the surface, carefully scrape it off. Clean the inside surface walls of the container with a shochu-soaked cloth to deter mold. Smooth the surface, place a new plastic wrap on top, and put the weight back on top. Place the container back to a dark and cool place for another 3 months.

    After 3 More Months (July/August)

    1. During summer months, the fermentation will be faster but the chances of getting mold are higher. Stir the miso from the bottom up every 2-3 weeks and check your jar regularly and remove any mold appearing on the surface. Even if a layer of mold covers the entire surface, the miso below should be fine. Just scrape off the surface to a sufficient depth where only mold-free miso can be seen. Clean the inside surface walls of the container with a shochu-soaked cloth to deter mold. Smooth the surface, place a new plastic wrap on top, and put the weight back on top. Place the container back to a dark and cool place.

    When Miso is Done (September)…

    1. Remove the weights once the miso is done and store it in the refrigerator to prevent from over-fermenting. You can divide the miso into smaller containers so they will fit in your refrigerator. Now you can enjoy your own miso paste made with patience, love, and perseverance. 

Benito's picture

I’ve been participating the baguette CB and realized that I hadn’t documented any of the baguette bakes in my blog.  I find it can be nice to go back and see how my baking has progressed with its various ups and downs.

The formula I’ve settled on to hone my baguette craft with is Abel’s Baguette au Levain.  This is the formula I’ve been following.

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 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 30% rise then place dough into refrigerator 2ºC overnight and up to 24 hours.

Next day 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.

Remove dough from fridge and divide into 3 equal weight doughs and pre-shape lightly as boules.  Bench rest 15-20 mins.  

Shape baguettes and rest in floured couche for 20 mins then return to fridge to chill until oven reaches 500ºF.  Chilling the dough makes scoring easier.

Using transfer board place each baguette on a parchment lined peel.  Brush excess flour off each baguette.  Score.  Brush water on each baguette.

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 480ºF and turn on convection.  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.



albacore's picture

My Rus-ian bread journey

I've always been interested in Yippee's posts about CLAS and I've done a couple of CLAS bakes with good results. Most of the detail on CLAS is to be found on Rusbrot's blog and in his YouTube videos. What caught my eye recently was his post about Russian Monastery bread. This is presented as a rye/wheat bread made with a custom built starter. The starter is made with coarsely crushed rye malt and raisins, followed by a rye flour build, so I'm guessing it is a composite of a raisin yeast water and sourdough. I didn't have any rye malt, but Rus suggests you can use coarsely crushed rye grain and malt extract instead, so I ordered some malt extract, but it never came. Back to plan A mkII - make my own rye malt! This is the guide I followed, but much simplified as I was only making 200g. A few days later it was ready and I kicked off my Monastery bread build.
I followed Rus's process to make a rye/wheat Mischbrot. All went OK and I ended up with an OK bake. It was a bit solid, (like all my rye bread is!) and had a lot of cracks in the crust - not sure why.

After this, things got more interesting. Rus suggests that you can save some of the dough to make a ripe dough starter - pate fermentee, I guess. So I did this and used it to make a high extraction wheat flour big boule.

Levain build 1

    10g rye malt coarsely crushed
    10g Red Lammas wheat grain coarsely crushed
    10g BF
    10g Red Lammas flour
    12g ripe dough
    40g water
    5 hrs 28C
Levain build 2

    10g levain build 1
    100g WW flour sieved
    75g water
    12hrs 25C
Main dough

    200g WW flour #40
    200g WW flour #50
    100g Manitoba flour
    350g water
    autolyse 20m
    106g lev build 2
    10g salt
    mix, 2 folds
    3 hrs 45m bulk
    NB: remove 70g dough as a ripe dough starter and store in frij
    shape to  one big boule
    FP 1hr 10m
    And what a great bake it turned out to be! Super oven spring, good loft, nice open and moist crumb

Just to make sure this bake wasn't a fluke, I did a similar bake, but to two small boules and one tubby batard again nice looking loaves:

So go on - why not give it a try! If you have a proofing box, you are good to go!


bos's picture

I just finished baking my first Oatmeal Porridge Bread out of the Tartine no. 3 cookbook.  I've only been making bread for a few months (15-20 loaves), so please keep in mind the following are the interpretations and results of a true beginner! Since I've started to have consistent success with the Tartine loaves, I thought I'd try my hand at a porridge bread for the first time.  

The biggest thing I had trouble with on this recipe was figuring out how the porridge should come out.  I did a (too brief) search and found a few blogs where people added extra water when cooking the oatmeal to keep it moist. 

I made my first batch of oatmeal the day before mixing the dough.  I initially added 250g of rolled oats and 500g of water, but it did not seem like it could possibly be enough water.  That 1:2 ratio by weight is about a 1:1 ratio by volume.  When making oatmeal to eat on its own I always follow the directions given for a 1:2 ratio by volume (or 1:4 by weight) and cook it for less time than the prescribed 15 minutes given in T3.  It also didn't make sense to me that T3 gave one set of directions for porridge (1:2 ratio for fifteen minutes) regardless of what grain is used.  So I doubled the water and cooked on low.  The resulting product was super gelatinized and soft.  Individual oats were broken down into smaller sizes and could easily be squished.  I put the oatmeal in the refrigerator overnight. 

When I took it out the next day, it held the shape of the pan, like jello (as it warmed up and I broke it apart it got much softer again).  I got nervous, did some more googling, and came across the post about the recipe from The Perfect Loaf discussing the lessons they learned across multiple attempts.  They recommended sticking to the 1:2 ratio by weight and cooking 18 minutes on low-medium, covered.  I made a second batch of oatmeal this way.  The water barely covered the oats before cooking, and at the end of cooking the oats were somewhat softened but kept their shapes as individual pieces.  Certainly, some gelatinization took place, but it wasn't much compared to the first batch.  They were much too dry to want to eat them plain and clearly had the potential to absorb more water.  They did look much more like the oats Chad is seen using in the video on Bon Appetit.  

When it came time to add the porridge to the dough (at the second s&f), I wound up splitting the dough in two in order to have a version with each porridge.  



Porridge with doubled water (1:4 oats:water).   <---- the bread on the left and top in the photos

I gave this dough about 8 stretch and folds and it was not until the last one that it started to maintain any structure.  It did get billowy.  I pre-shaped and shaped it into a boule.  I had some difficulty shaping it as I have not worked with anything near this level of hydration.  It wound up tearing a bit, so I let it rest and shaped it again more gently.  I patted oats on top of it as I was afraid to roll it in anything, and stitched it quite a bit once it was in the banneton.  

When I took it out this morning it maintained it's structure on top, but that structure had a disconnect from the sides.  It was quite wide, although it did not continue to spread.  It just fit into my combo cooker.  

Cutting into it (after 24 hours), it has a more even crumb, despite having very little oven spring.


Porridge with regular water (1:2 oats:water).    <------the bread on the right and bottom in the photos

This dough shaped nicely and I rolled it in the oats before putting into a lined bowl and stitching.  Today when I turned it out onto the parchment, it was huge and pillowy.  It held its shape much better than the other loaf, but certainly was not tight at all.  It also filled the combo cooker to the edge.  

This bread had much better oven spring, but the crumb was denser towards the bottom.  



I am open to the idea that it is just my inexperience with the extremely high hydration that caused the wetter dough to do so poorly.  What are your thoughts on the water content of the porridge?  How gelatinized do you make it?





leslieruf's picture

Not baking so much but love the combination of Kamut & spelt so this weekend did a repeat of an earlier bake where I had pushed the Kamut to 50% with close to 80% hydration.  

Starter was refreshed on Friday morning and so before bed I built the levain. 13 g starter + 60 g water + 60 g bread flour

Saturday at 9:15 am autolyse for 30 minutes

114 g bread flour + 212 g kamut + 38 g spelt and 275 g water.  It felt a bit too wet and I remembered last bake where I had decided the hydration should be lower.  So I added another 20 g bread flour, not something I do at all.

9:45 am   add levain and mix with 100 SLAFs.  Patted dough out and sprinkled over 7.6 g salt, rolled it up and did another 100 SLAFs.  Leave to rest 40 minutes

10 am mix the white 1:2:3 following a 40 minute autolyse - just a very standard 600 g total dough weight loaf.  Method was the same as for the Kamut & spelt.  Left to rest for 30 minutes

10:45 am coil folds to both doughs and this was repeated 4 times at 40 minute intervals. 

12:50 pm both doughs were left to bulk ferment.  Room temperature was probably only 20 deg C and contrary to my usual practice I bulk fermented in shallow containers so I could perform coils more easily.  This meant I was a little uncertain about how far the fermentation had gone. 

15:40 pm There were some bubbles on top of both doughs and only small bubbles visible underneath but I felt the fermentation had gone as far as I wanted it to so I preshaped, rested for  20 minutes before doing the final shape - very simple folding sides to the midline and then rolling up.  Bench rest for 30 minutes then into the fridge overnight.  

Sunday morning 8 am.I find it quite difficult to get a really good colour on my breads these days, I am not happy with my oven but for now I have to do my best with it.  Oven was preheated to 260 deg C.  Dough was baked in DO 15 minutes covered, 15 minutes uncovered.  I popped it back for another minute with top element on high but didn't achieve much. 

Kamut/spelt loaf

Basic white 1:2:3 (I was trying out a new brand of flour)

Just every day bread but using the different flour has made quite a difference.  I had made a new starter during Covid19 lockdown and have added it to my old starter so I happy the way it is performing.

Bake happy every one. 


isand66's picture

      This bread is like a Challah on steroids 😆.  If you have not tried making a porridge bread yet, give this one a try and you won't be disappointed.  It is full of flavor and pretty healthy to boot.

You can vary the porridge ingredients and it will still taste great and if you want to make it a little more decadent, use heavy cream instead of the milk in the porridge and use some in place of the water in the main dough as well.

I made one loaf out of this formula and a bunch of rolls which I like to freeze and use for burgers and sandwiches as needed.  For the rolls I also sprinkled some cheese on top before baking, just because anything with cheese is just plain better in my book 😺.

Here is the BreadStorm Link

Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.   You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

Porridge Directions

Add about 3/4's of the milk called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the liquid is absorbed.  Add the remainder of the milk and keep stirring until you have a nice creamy and soft porridge.  Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature before adding to the dough.  I put mine in the refrigerator and let it cool quicker.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours  and the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, cooled porridge, eggs maple syrup and salt and mix on low for 4minutes.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 545 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

Lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.

Benito's picture

I usually would use peaches this year because the local Ontario peaches are awesome but you have to peel them. Nectarines don’t need to be peeled so that’s why they are in my galette. This is my first galette although I have baked many a pie. I used my go to pie pastry recipe by Bravetart. If you’re not familiar with it the recipe is in her awesome books  I love that it has the delicious flavour is butter and no transfats that shortening pastry would have. It is made like a puff pastry with much layering so once bake you get many many layers of tender buttery goodness in each bite. 

Benito's picture

Cedarmountain here on TFL got me interested in making miso after he replied to my blog post about my red miso furikake sourdough.  One major ingredient needed to make miso paste from scratch so I learned from him was koji rice.  From Tartine Book No. 3 “Koji is the traditional Japanese food culture of rice inoculated with Aspergillus oryzae mold.  It has been used for more than two thousand years to make miso, sake, soy sauce, amazements, pickles, and many other umami-rich foods that form the backbone of Japanese cuisine.”  We have a local sake producer here in Toronto Canada that happens to sell koji rice.  I plan on starting my miso making project soon but in the meantime I was very interested to taste koji rice and wanted to try making koji rice porridge sourdough.

I adapted the recipe from Tartine Book No. 3 and blended it with an oat porridge sourdough from Maurizio of The Perfect Loaf as I liked his methods in the past.  This adapted formula has a lot of rice porridge in it, the rice is 50% in baker’s math and based on the photos in Tartine, I wasn’t expecting much oven spring from this bread since the rice porridge is such a high percentage of the dough and is weighing it down.  I was still surprised at how flat the resulting loaf came out.  If the flavour of the koji rice comes through strongly enough then I might be able to reduce the amount of koji rice in the bread and hopefully improve oven spring next time around.  On the other hand it might also be that the bread is overproofed.  The extra sugar in the dough from the koji may have moved fermentation along quickly and waiting for 45% rise in the dough may have been too much proofing since the dough had to overcome the weight of the rice.  The crumb will show what the truth is as usual.

I should mention that the cooked koji rice is quite delicious and has a nice sweetness to it so one has to bake this bread at a lower temperature once the steaming portion of the bake is over.

0 hours - Levain build, 18g starter 36 g water and 36 g whole wheat flour ferment 80*f for 6 hours

6 hours - prepare koji rice 100 g with 200 g water - after cooked spread out on cookie tray, cover with aluminum foil while cooling

6 hours - Fermentolyse - mix water 252 g, 72 g levain, flours.

7 hours - mix salt using some water then do slap and folds to ensure well incorporated and build gluten.

730 hours - add cooled koji rice a little at a time folding well after each addition, you may need to add small splashes of water while folding in koji rice. Then start stretch and folds

Break of any large clumps of porridge with your fingers to break them up.  Once first set stretch and folds complete remove small portion of dough to aliquot jar

8 hours - stretch and fold

830 hours - coil fold or consider a lamination

9 hours - coil fold

930 hours - coil fold

10 hours - coil fold

13 hours - end of bulk 6 hours after salt mixed - bulk rise 50% in aliquot jar - go to shaping - 30 mins bench rest then cold retard until baking next day

Following day - preheat oven with dutch oven at 500*F for 1 hour

Bake in dutch oven 20 mins the drop temperature to 450*F keeping lid on, then remove cover and drop temperature to 375-400*F (dough has a lot of sugar so will brown quickly) and complete bake may take 30 mins or so before crumb fully baked.




Danni3ll3's picture


 I’m revisiting a lot of my recipes so it was time to remake this one and tweak the method as well. I did not sift out the bran and I used mostly unbleached flour in the levain. To be honest, I was being lazy since I had very little wholegrain flour handy, I just used unbleached flour. I also decided not to add the usual yogurt since the dough seemed quite hydrated and there would be plenty of fat to tenderize the crust from the onions and the bacon.


To make things easier, the bacon is done in the oven and the caramelized onions are done in the crockpot a few days prior. It needs a bit of planning but it sure helps having all that prepared ahead on dough making day.  




Makes 3 loaves



120 g crumbed bacon (~350 g raw)

100 g caramelized onions 



750 g strong bakers unbleached flour

200 g freshly milled Red Fife flour 

100 g freshly milled durum flour

50 g freshly milled buckwheat flour 

825 g filtered water

20 g pink Himalayan salt

250 g levain (procedure in recipe)

Extra AP flour to feed the Levain. 


 A few days before:

  1. Make the caramelized onions and save in the fridge. Recipe for doing these in the crockpot is below.


Two mornings before:

  1. Take 2 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 4 g of filtered water and 4 g of wholegrain flour. Let sit at cool room temperature for the day. 


The two nights before:

  1. Feed the levain 20 g of water and 20 g of unbleached flour. Let that rise at cool room temperature for the night. 


The morning before:

  1. Feed the levain 100 g of filtered water and 100 g of unbleached flour. Let rise until doubled (about 6 hours). 
  2. Place into fridge until the next morning. 
  3. Cook the bacon until fairly crisp and crumble it. I cooked mine in the oven to make the process a bit easier. Crumble, cover and refrigerate.
  4. Mill the buckwheat groats for the main dough and place in a tub.
  5. Mill the Red Fife and durum berries. Place the required amounts in the tub with the buckwheat flour. 
  6. Add the unbleached flour to the tub. Cover and set aside.


Dough making day:


  1. In the morning, put 825 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 a couple of hours at room temperature. 
  2. Take the levain out of the fridge and place in a warm place to warm up. I use my oven with the light on.
  3. Remove the caramelized onions and bacon from the fridge and leave on the counter to come to room temperature.
  4. After 2 hours, add the salt, and the levain to the bowl. Mix on the lowest speed for a minute to integrate everything, then mix on the next speed for 9 minutes. 
  5. At the end of the 9 minutes, add the caramelized onions and the crumbled bacon. Mix until well combined.
  6. Remove dough from bowl and place in a covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes in a warm spot. 
  7. Do 2 sets of stretches and folds at 30 minute intervals and then 2 sets of sleepy ferret folds (coil folds) at 45 minute intervals, and then let the dough rise to about 50%. It should have irregular bubbles visible through the sides of the container and  bubbles on top as well. (Well we almost got there. Hubby decided he needed the kitchen to make dinner so my dough took a side trip to the fridge for an hour. When I took the dough out, it had risen 75% and was full of bubbles. I popped the larger ones during preshape and shaping.)
  8. 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 15-30 minutes on the counter. 
  9. 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.
  10. Sprinkle a  mix of rice flour and all purpose flour in the bannetons.  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.





Caramelized Onions in the Crockpot


3 to 5 pounds yellow onions (4 to 5 large onions. I used Vidalia onions.)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or melted butter (I do a bit of both)

Pinch of salt


  1. Cut onions in half, peel and thinly slice. Put into slow cooker. 
  2. Toss onions with the olive oil and add a few chunks of butter.
  3. Cook for 10 hours on low. Give them a stir occasionally. 
  4. Cook an additional 3 to 5 hours with the lid ajar until most of the liquid is gone.
  5. Refrigerate or freeze the onions. Onions will keep in the refrigerator for one week or in the freezer for at least 3 months.


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