The Fresh Loaf

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Moya Gray's picture
Moya Gray

Thank you Hanseata for the croissant recipe & instructions - they turned out wonderfully even in Hawaii's 80 degree weather!

Julianna Hsueh's picture
Julianna Hsueh

Cranberry Muffin

It has the taste of cranberry, and it's soft and very delicious.


Unsalted Butter  90g

Castor Sugar  70g

Egg  1

Milk  80ml

Vanilla  a little 

Low Protein Flour  110g

Baking Powder  one tea spoon

Cranberry  some


1. First put the unsalted buttering the bowl and stir it, and put three spoons of castor sugar and a little vanilla.

2. And put the egg into the mixing bowl and mix it. 

3. Then sieve the low protein flour and baking powder. put some milk and low protein into the mixing bowl and mix it.

4. Finally put cranberry into the mixing and mix it, and then spoon the mixture in to muffin mold. Then put it in to the oven which is preheated to 180˙C, and bake for 30~35 minutes.

Grobread's picture

Hi! I just got a copy of "Tartine" (it might be a little outdated, but what the hell). Anyway, this is the first attempt at the basic country loaf recipe. I think the crimb should be more open, at least according to the pictures, but I still liked it very much.

What do you think is causing the crumb not to be as open as desired? Is it a problem of shaping or fermentation/proofing? I followed the instructions as closely as I could, but in the morning the levain was a little mre ripe than I expected, and I couldn't control the temperature very well, I used water at room temperature and put the dough in the oven with a pot of hot water during the bulk fermentation, by the time I shaped the loaf, my kitchen was at about 75°F so it wasn't really necessary. It proofed for about 3.5 hours; eventhough the book says to proof for 3-4, I think its possible that it was slightly over-proofed since as I said, I think the levain was a bit more active than desired. Also, I still have to practice the whole idea of being very gentle on the shaping and last turns to avoid degassing; I was doing it all wrong, thinking that the most important part of shaping was to get the gluten very tense before the final proof, but it was the other way around, am I right?

Anyway, I'm liking it very much, I think I can learn a lot from the whole method. I also got a copy of "Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast", so I'll be experimenting with that soon too. I get the impression that the community around here actually prefers FWSY, right?

Cheers and happy baking!


PY's picture

Baked my seeded SD loaf again this weekend. Decreased hydration, still slow activity during bulk fermentation. But got a bit more oven spring than last week.

taste is fantastic as previously using BF, WW heritage and rye. 3 seeds sesame, poppy n sunflower.

leslieruf's picture

After two years of trying (and failing) to make various sourdough starters I have finally succeeded!  I used Maggie Glezer's firm sourdough starter (from zolablue's post).  I started in September and it was a little slow, then a family member got very sick so I just put it in the refrigerator for probably 5 weeks before getting it going about 10 days ago.  I managed to get it to double, then treble in size in 24 hours but remained frustrated that I couldn't do it in 8 hours.  So even though my kitchen is reasonably warm, I set up a heating pad inside a large plastic container which maintained a steady 21 degrees Celcius and inside 2 days I had a lovely firm starter that quadrupled in 8-9 hours.  Today, a wet and windy day here, I finally made two 400 gram boules using Jeffrey Hamelman's pain au levain (Bread).  I am so happy and exited and when I finally cut it tonight the crumb is great!    Reading Zolablues posts have been a huge help.  

kacy's picture

Quite airy and evenly sized pockets dotted with added sunflwr sesame and walnuts..

kacy's picture

Where i live daily temps exceed 32 celsius. Working with dough is a challenge. I hv followed ur site for quite a while and felt its time to begin sharing...

Took mths and mths to figure out what goes on with flour yeast and water and their interaction with so many other variables. I now hv my fav method which seems to work quite often tho not always.

Today i share with you my kitchen offerings- a seeded  loaf made with one third rye, seeds and nuts and sourdough.

Hoping that others in the tropics may find this useful.

CAphyl's picture

I have been experimenting with different flours, different bulk fermentations, cold vs room temperature proofs, shaping, banneton vs. no banneton, etc. to see how the various changes would make a difference in the final bread.  I also tried different scoring patterns.  I really had fun.  I used combinations of AP flour, WW flour, rye, spelt and bread flour for the different breads. Most of the time, I used a variation of Classic Sourdough recipe below, often adding more ww, rye and spelt; one time I made five grain levain loaves with the soaker. I baked these during a visit to Milwaukee and when I returned home to my California kitchen.  I found that my Milwaukee sourdough starters are so active once revived, more so than my California starters.  Perhaps it is because my Milwaukee starters don't get used as much.  Not really sure, but the starter certainly does make a difference in the bakes. I got more height in Milwaukee than CA.  I did not use bannetons in Milwaukee and only used a banneton briefly for one bake in California. Here are photos of some of the results.

These are the today's bakes.  We are invited to dinner, and I am bringing the top loaf for our friends. Used a banter for loaf on top, not the one on the bottom.

Above is the five grain and the crumb, baked in Milwaukee, no banter.

A Classic Sourdough I baked in Milwaukee.

A sourdough batard I made for my husband in CA, crumb below.

The bake from today.

Classic Sourdough Variation

Makes: One 2 pound loaf.

Method adapted from: Classic Sourdoughs by Ed and Jean Wood. 

I varied the recipe by using my active starter that was a 70/20/10 mix of AP flour, WW flour and dark rye at 100% hydration. I really liked this mix, as it added a bit of texture.  The original recipe starter has no whole wheat or rye. I also added a cold bulk fermentation to the room temperature fermentation, per the recipe.


Final Dough:

  • 230 grams (about 1 cup or 240 ml) active starter, 70/20/10 mix of AP, WW and Rye flours at 100% hydration
  • 300 grams water (Approximately 1 1/2 cups or 360 ml water)
  • 10 grams salt (about 2 teaspoons) 
  • 500 grams unbleached all-purpose flour (about 4 cups)


  1. Mixing the dough. Pour the starter into a mixing bowl. Add the water and mix well.  Add the flour a little bit at a time until it starts to stiffen.  Hold some flour out to knead in a bit later.  Let the mix autolyze for 30 minutes and then add then fold in the salt.
  2. Kneading the dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in some of the remaining flour if the dough is too sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes until it the dough is smooth and easy to handle.
  3. Bulk fermentation. Lightly coat a glass bowl with olive oil and place the dough ball into the bowl, making sure that the top of the dough ball has a thin coat of oil. Cover and bulk ferment in the refrigerator for about 8 hours.  I made the bread during the day and then took it out for 8 hours overnight at room temperature on the counter. The original recipe calls for it to proof at room temperature for 8-12 hours, so I made a major change here. 
  4. Shaping and final proof. Use a spatula to ease the dough out onto a floured surface. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, shape it into a rough ball, cover it with a cloth, and let it rest again for 30 minutes. Now, shape the dough into a boule and place it seam-side up into a banneton coated in brown rice flour.  Leave it for 30 minutes while the oven preheats.
  5. Baking the loaf. I used my covered baker, so I preheated it with the cover on at 500 degrees (260 degrees C).  When the oven and baker are at temperature, remove the lid and pop the loaf into the bottom tray. Score it in the pattern you desire.  I sprayed a light mist of water on the dough, trying to avoid the hot surface, as I was hoping for a really beautiful crust.  Bake at 500 degrees with the lid on for 30 minutes, and then take the temperature down to 450 degrees and remove the lid for the final browning, which is another 10-15 minutes, depending on the type of crust you like.  We tend to like a bolder crust, so I bake it a bit longer. Watch it closely during this phase. If you do not have a covered baker, you can use a baking stone or tray with parchment paper, but make sure you create steam by using your steaming apparatus or baking tray with boiling water from the start of the bake.  Bake the loaf at about 480 (250 C) degrees for the first 25 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 435 for the next 15-20 minutes, depending on how bold you like the crust.
  6. Cooling and slicing the loaf:  Remove the loaf from the covered baker tray or stone and let cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
CAphyl's picture

I used the start of Nicole Hunn’s  “No-Rye Rye Bread” for this recipe, but altered it quite a bit.  Gluten-free bread is frustrating, but I really wanted to make a sourdough loaf that improved on my last effort.

I made a sourdough starter from gluten-free flour and kept it in the refrigerator.  I used Nicole’s recipe, but it is confusing and complicated, so when I refreshed it, I just used gluten-free oat and tapioca flours the first time and buckwheat and brown rice flours the second time.  It perked up very well.

The frustration I have is that the bread turns out quite heavy. While this effort was better than the first, it still is not where I would like it to be. It also is a bit sweet and overly moist. I will have to keep experimenting to improve it.  Gluten free is a real challenge.

The crumb was OK for gluten free.

Here is the recipe I used:


80 grams starter

½ cup plus 3 tablespoons water at room temperature

1 cup plus 10 tablespoons gluten-free bread flour (I used Pamela’s gluten-free  bread mix)




1-1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water

3-1/4 cup gluten-free bread flour (I used Pamela’s bread mix)

½ cup whole grain gluten-free flour (I used King Arthur’s WW gluten-free)

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon molasses

1-1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds


Place the starter into the bowl of your stand mixer and add the water; mix using your paddle attachment for a few minutes.  Add the bread flour until it is incorporated and switch to the dough hook and knead for about two minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic and place it in a warm location until the starter has doubled in size (at least 6-8 hours; I left mine for 24 hours due to schedule).

Making the Dough

Once the starter has doubled, add it to your stand mixer bowl along with the water. Mix with the paddle attachment for one minute. Add the bread flour and whole wheat flours and switch to the dough hook.  Mix on low speed and knead. Add the salt, molasses and honey and mix on medium speed for about three minutes.  Add the seeds and mix until incorporated. Place the dough in the refrigerator in a lightly oiled bowl for at least 12 hours or until it is doubled in size.  I left it for more than 24 hours.

Shaping the Dough

Take the dough out of refrigerator, ease onto a floured surface and shape into a ball.  Place into a banneton coated with brown rice flour (gluten-free). Place in the refrigerator overnight.


On baking day, preheat your domed  covered baker to 500 degrees.  Sprinkle some corn meal  (gluten-free) into the bottom tray and place the bread on top of the corn meal.  Spray lightly with water and score as desired.  Bake at 500 degrees with the lid on for 30 minutes and then remove the lid and bake at 450 for another 15-20 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minute before slicing.

dmsnyder's picture

My wife and I have always enjoyed whole wheat bread. For many years, our favorite one has been Peter Reinhart's "100% Whole Wheat Bread" from BBA. Although a lot of my breads have 10 to 30% whole grain flour, I've really been thinking I need to be baking higher percentage whole grain breads, both for health reasons and because that's the way our taste is trending. So, I've been thinking about making Reinhart's WW bread for weeks. But I just finished reading Sam Fromartz's "In Search of the Perfect Loaf" (Highly recommended!), in which he reviews, among many other issues, the health benefits of sourdough breads and the increased health benefits of whole grain breads when made with pre-fermented flour, specifically, as sourdough bread.

Now, my experience with sourdough whole wheat breads has been mixed. Some - generally those that turn out very sour - have been unpleasant to my taste. I have made several sourdough breads with about 50% whole grain flour that I liked a lot, but I wanted to go for 75 to 100% whole grain. My search of TFL revealed that I had, in fact, baked Ken Forkish's "75% Whole Wheat Levain Bread" in September, 2013, and found it very good. (See: 75% Whole Wheat Levain Bread from FWSY) I am amazed and chagrined that I have not made it even once since! 

I did make it again today. I altered Forkish's procedure to fit my schedule. I did the final feeding of the levain the day before mixing the final dough and refrigerated the levain overnight.  This time, I was able to  monitor the bulk fermentation more closely. I did let it go to a full 2.5X volume expansion before dividing and shaping. (But not to 4X expansion, as I did the last time!) I retarded the shaped loaves for about 16 hours, then let them complete proofing at room temperature for about 90 minutes before baking.

We had a few slices with our dinner, after the breads had completely cooled. It was just as delicious as I described my first bake of this bread. It was moderately tangy, but the dominant flavor was sweet, nutty wheatiness. I had it with a very tasty, winey beef stew and, after, with a slice of Gorgonzola Dolce. This bread stood up to those assertive flavors and held its own. I was pleasantly surprised how well the forward whole wheat flavor of this bread complemented that of the gorgonzola.

I expect to enjoy this bread toasted for breakfast in the morning too. And I hope I don't let another year go by before I bake this one again!

Happy baking!



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