The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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ifs201's picture

I decided to try and make sourdough bagels this week. I always thought bagels would be really hard to make and unnecessary since good bagels are easy to locate in NY. However, I decided to try making them at home after the last bagel I purchased had no flavor whatsoever. 

I mostly followed this recipe from Baked the Blog, but I followed more of the process of Hamelman's bagel recipe (except he uses pate fermentee). 

I didn't have diastatic malt or malt syrup, so I just used honey. 

Overall, happy with how these came out and pleasantly surprised that it really was quite easy. Next time I'd try to get my hands on some diastatic malt, malt syrup, and maybe make the bagels a bit bigger (these were 120g). I'd also try a longer cold ferment (this one was about 12 hours). 


Elsie_iu's picture

These rolls can’t be simpler to make, yet they certainly don’t skimp on flavour. Unlike most supermarket buns, their texture is similar to a full-size pizza. They’re guaranteed crowd pleasers too.


Artisan Pizza Rolls


Dough flour

Final Dough


Total Dough



















Tipo 00 Bread Flour






























Instant Dry Yeast



















Mature Cheedar, Shredded








Canned Chopped Tomatoes, Liquid Only








Dried Marjoram


















Make the poolish. Combine all poolish ingredients and let sit until ready, about 8 hours (29°C).

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the add-ins. Bulk ferment for a total of 3 hours. Mix on low for 2 minutes at the 30 and 40 minute mark.

After the bulk, roll the dough into a large rectangle. Spread the tomato sauce over the dough, avoiding the borders. Sprinkle the marjoram and 4/5 of the cheese over the sauce, then roll it up into a log. Cut the dough crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Place the dough pieces onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press down each piece gently to the desired thickness. Sprinkle the remaining 1/5 cheese over the top. Proof at room temperature for 1 more hour before retarding in the fridge for 8 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. Remove the dough from the fridge and bake straight at 250°C/482°F for 12-15 minutes until the desired brownness is reached. Let the rolls cool for 15 minutes before serving.


These rolls were intended to be a replicate of the supermarket pizza rolls I bought during my stay in Toronto. Unexpectedly, they turned out way better than I expected. They easily beat the store-bought ones I used to love so much!


They are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, like the rim of a good Neapolitan pizza. The fat from the cheese fried the Marjoram lightly, allowing the herb to release its flavour. Meanwhile, the tomato became caramelized under high heat, and contributed to a hint of sweetness and umami taste. As for the Cheddar, I suppose no word is needed :)




Eggplant lamb ragu penne


Stir fried sliced pork, garlic scape & wood ear mushrooms with onion egg fried rice


Kipper with rosemary roasted potatoes, and caramelized mushrooms and broccolini


Oyster rice


Stir fried rice cakes, with sweet & sour fish


Mexican-inspired rice with pan-seared chestnut-fed pork chop


Braised fish maw, shitake mushrooms & zucchini, sweet & sour chicken, asparagus & peanut salad with black vinegar, stir fried beef, water spinach & bell peppers, served with broad rice noodles


Fried ribs with a tangy dip, pan-fried mackerel, garlicky eggplant salad, Korean spicy rice cake, Japchae, and gingery Chinese broccoli


Hotbake's picture

Butter was added in the dough to further tenderize the crumb.

I converted my favorite sweet rolls recipe to make this giant loaf. A little bit too big it touches the top of my dutch oven and the top got squished. Worth it though, more bread for me! It's massive and so soft it's impossible to make a good cut.

1. 400g lukewarm water
2. 55g honey
3. 105g molasses
4. 62g ww starter
5. 140g whole rye flour
6. 140g whole wheat flour
7. 290g bread flour
8. 15g cocoa powder
9. 5g salt
10. 30g soften butter

- combine 1, 2, 3 dissolved all the sugar in the water
- add 4, mix to dissolve
- add 5, 6, 7, 8 and mix until dry flour is no longer visible, rest 1.5 hour in oven with light on
- add 9, 10, slap and fold for 10 mins until smooth and not sticky, rest 1 hour
- perform 3 sets of letter fold over the next 2 hr 45 mins, rest for another 45 min - 1hr
- Shape and coat with oats, place into a banneton seam side up and sprinkle cornmeal generous all over the top
- Retard in fridge for 16 hrs.
- Slash and generously spray top with water before baking,
- Bake at 500f for 20 mins covered, remove cover, drop temp to 425f, slide a sheet pan underneath the Dutch oven / baking stone for insulation to prevent bottom from burning. Spray the top again and bake uncovered for another 40 mins.


pul's picture

Made some yeast water using fresh grapes. Really easy to make, just crushed the grapes coarsely and let ferment for 3 to 4 days in room temperature until the foam on top reduced activity. Once it is done it will look like rose wine, you may even taste if you like. Next step is to mix that liquid and some fruit with flour to make the levain, which took about 12 hours to peak. I actually had to put it in the oven with the light on to speed up the process as I wanted to bake in the same evening.

Autolysed flour and water for 30 min using KA-AP flour mixed with whole wheat and rye to a proportion of about 10% ~ 15% (total flour was 320 g). Mixed the levain (~70 g at 100%) and kneaded for about 1 min, with 60% overall hydration. Let rest for 30 min, added salt, and kneaded again for 1 to 2 min. Applied 3 stretch and folds in 30 min time intervals. From autolysing to the end of bulk fermentation, the elapsed time was 5 hours. Shaped and final proofed for 1 hour before baking in clay pot at 240C for 20 min, then reduced heat to 230C for another 15 min with lid off.

The recipe is just like any pain de campagne, adapted for yeast water with no efforts. Oven spring was great, all baked in one day without retarding dough. I am not a huge fan of retarding dough in the fridge. I don't really think it noticeably enhances any flavor, and the crumb is always more dense. Retarding also results in too many blisters, so whenever I can, I won't retard.

Cooper's picture

The other day, while looking for rye flour at my local Whole Foods, I came across spelt flour, made by the same company, Farmer Ground I used their organic rye flour before, and while I am still very new to baking a good, mostly rye loaf, I liked the taste the rye flour gave to my wheat loaves when it was added in moderation. 

I have heard about spelt and spelt flour before, and decided to give it a try.  Initially, I thought about adding just a small amount of spelt to replace all-purpose flour in my trusted go-to recipe for sourdough.  I simply wanted to see how it would taste. When it came time to bake, however, I suddenly became very "inspired", and figured "Why not just see what else I can do?"  With all of my bread-baking attempts, the loaves always come out edible, even if terribly looking, so I was not particularly afraid of a failure. As the result, I present to you a loaf baked with not just two, but four flours: all-purpose wheat, whole wheat, medium rye, and spelt.  The dough was a pleasure to work with, nice and pliable, not too dry and not too wet, albeit a bit sticky, even given the relatively low moisture amount. I suspect the "stickiness" was the result of rye flour being present, as I have experienced that before (to the point where once I had to literally scrape my loaf out of banneton where it was placed for final proofing).

I must admit I didn't start with any specific proportion in mind, and at first was planning to use much more of "other" flours, but then I became concerned that they will alter the overall behavior of the dough too much, so I reduced their amounts to some arbitrary low numbers.

Here's my final recipe:

Levain (100% hydration, white AP flour) - 150 g
Water - 290 g 
Medium rye flour - 50 g
Whole wheat flour - 50 g
Spelt flour - 100 g
King Arthur AP flour - 285 g
Salt - 11 g

Baker's math:

AP flour - 360 g (64%)
Rye flour - 50 g (9%)
WW flour - 50 g (9%)
Spelt flour - 100 g (18%)
Total flour - 560 g (100%)
Water - 365 g (65%)
Salt - 11 g (1.95%)

I built my levain in the morning, as usual, using my refrigerated starter, filtered water, and all-purpose flour. The proportion is 50 g / 50 g / 50 g, which makes 150 g of levain that I use later. I warm up the water a little, to quickly bring the mix to the room temperature, and then let it rise for approx. 6 hours, depending on the temperature in the kitchen.  Once the mixture is bubbly, smells of bread yeast, and has roughly doubled in volume, I consider it ready to go.   

For the dough, I start with warm water, so the yeasts start working fast. I mixed all of the ingredients, except for salt, in a stand mixer on low speed until everything seemed to be well integrated (about 2 min), and then let it autolyse for 45 min in an oven that was first warmed-up on Bread Proof setting.  For my regular loaves, I have also done it in a cold oven, and simply increased the autolyse time to 60 min.  Then I added salt, and mixed the dough in a stand mixer with a dough hook for about 7-8 min on speed 2.  Then the dough was moved to a glass bowl and covered with plastic (here, I use a shower cap).

I let the dough sit for 30 min, then did 4 rounds of stretch-n-fold (or is it pinch-n-fold? :-) ), with 30 min rest intervals in-between.  Finally, I let the dough rise undisturbed for approx. 2 hrs. The loaf was formed as usual, placed into a banneton with linen cloth insert (because I was afraid the dough with rye would stick again), and refrigerated overnight, about 12 hours.

In the morning I preheated the oven to 500F, along with my cast aluminum cover inside, placed the loaf on a cookie sheet lined with silicone pad, and baked as follows: covered for 20 min @ 475F, then uncover, bake 15 min @ 460F, then 15 min @ 450F.  When done, internal temperature of the loaf was 207F, and I felt it was a bit too low, so turned off the oven and left my bread inside for 5 more min. This resulted in internal temperature going up by only 0.5F, and was perhaps a bit detrimental to the crust (although I am not completely certain about that part).

The resulting loaf, just out of the oven:


The crust was crunchy and tasty, with a distinct rye flavor, but I thought it came out just a tad bit too "tough", and slightly bitter in places, although it was definitely not burned.  Perhaps those last 5 minutes inside the cooling oven were not needed?

The crumb:

Overall, I rate this bake as a relative success, and will definitely try making it again.  As always, I appreciate all of your thoughts, comments, and questions.

Happy baking!


The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...


My interpretation of, Pane de Altamura - Carol Fields, The Italian Baker (Page #95)

The bread of Altamura is the only bread in Italia, to be protected by, Denominazione d'Origine Protetta (DOP, Designation of Origin) 

This bake is inspired by the ancient bread from Altamura


Phase 1 -  The Biga

Commercial yeast kick starter: Scant 1/2 tsp. IDY (Exactly 1.4 grams)

Flour (100% semola rimacinata) 250 G. 100%

 Water (Acqua di Fiuggi) 180 G.  72%

Ambient room temperature:  76 degrees Fahrenheit.

Elapse time: Six Hours


The biga is very active, and at least doubled. I plan to move into Fermentolyse, at approximately the 12 hr. mark. 4:30 AM. ( As strange as this may sound, the timing fits in with Barron's bathroom schedule. Smile...


I opted to lower the biga hydration by 60 grams. ( 24% points) My gut feeling is, the total hydration of Ms. fields formula is too high. 

Phase 2 - The Fermentolyse

Elapse time: Twelve Hours

1. The final dough IDY, (1.4 grams) is dissolved in the final dough water (430 grams) 

2. The 12 hour biga is dissolved into the yeast/water mixture.

3. While the Bosch universal is running at speed number one, the durum wheat flour (semola rimacinata) are mixed into the milky white biga/yeast mixture, about 100grams at a time. 

 4. Once all the flour is hydrated, a 1 hour rest to allow the high protein, fragile gluten flour, to completely hydrate, and at the same time begin to develop. 

Next: Phase three - The gluten development (Improved method, Dr. Raymond Calvel) 

After the one hour Fermentolyse, the dough looks relaxed and noticeably velvety. 

Phase 3- The gluten development (Improved method, Dr. Raymond Calvel)

As we begin the development phase, I keep in mind the fragile nature of durum wheat gluten. In accordance with the teachings of Dr. Calvel, I attempt to use the Bosch universal to minimize manual labor, while at the same time respecting the dough from to start.  

Note: All mixing was done on Bosch speed number 1. This is something I have never before attempted. 

1. The salt is added, and the well hydrated dough takes a ten minute ride in the Bosch. 

After the ten minutes the dough has not begun to clear the bowl. 

 After a 5 minute rest

After another ride in the Bosch of 5 minutes. The dough is still rather sticky and has not cleared the bowl

The partially developed dough is rested for 5 additional minutes.


One last 5 minute ride in the Bosch universal, and eureka! The dough has just started to clear the bowl. To recap, all mixing was done at the lowest speed for a slow gentle development of the gluten network.

Phase 4 - The bulk ferment and hand development

At this point the 82% hydration dough ball is still sticky, with some minimal strength. The dough ball is placed into the graduated straight sided fermentation container. While in the container a stretch and fold is done at each of the four sides. Additional stretch and folds will be done at 45 minutes, 90 minutes, and 135 minutes. At that point the dough will be left untouched for 45 more minutes. 

After the 45 minutes, and stretch and folds. The dough is sticky but very manageable with wet hands.

At the 90 minute mark the dough ball is expanding quickly and developing some nice strength.

I switched the dough to a larger container and preformed the stretch and folds. The dough is much more manageable, and full of co2. 

At the 105 minute mark with an ambient temperature hovering at around 76 degrees Fahrenheit, the dough ball seems to be near full bulk fermentation, (if not over). That being said at 135 minutes I will jump to divide & shape. 

Phase 5, Divide and pre-shape

elapsed time: 135 Minutes.

The dough is nicely tripled.

All set to divide and shape



Divide and pre shape

The shaping and proofing


I ran into a bit of a timing snafu, no worries I cooled the jets on the the proof. now I am back. The oven is steaming while the loafs undergo a 30 minute room temperature proof. Just before baking the baguettes get slashed and the Altamura inspired loaf gets formed into a pompadour. 

Shaping the Altamura loaf

Slashing the baguettes

The culmination of a days work

Don't you just know I burned the bottom of the Altamura loaf on the pizza steel, unprotected. Grrr... Not very bad. While waiting for the crumb shot, am a very satisfied! I feel like, this should have been a blog post.

The obligatory crumb shot. Cheers to me!


Shaping and slashing flaws not withstanding, The bake turned out very well. The crust is thin and crisp. The crumb is tight and pillow soft. Cotton candy comes to mind. All in all I am satisficed with this first attempt at ancient bread in the style of Altamura bread. Thanks for reading.


ifs201's picture

Too hot and too pregnant to bake as much as I'd like and honestly I haven't been too proud of my bakes recently, but here it goes. 

Rolls from The Perfect Loaf (but subbed sweet potato for white) 

Focaccia from The Perfect Loaf, but added peaches for chix salad sandwiches 

50/50 white/wheat laminated sourdough with figs and walnuts - awesome combo! 

Benito's picture

This is my first attempt with this formula I’ve put together for a Japanese inspired sourdough using red miso paste and furikake.  Furikake for those unfamiliar with it is a seasoning blend that can vary that Japanese often use to top their steamed rice.  This particular one has nori flakes, bonito and sesame seeds as the primary ingredient.  I’ve based this on Kristen’s basic sourdough recipe.


Total Dough Weight 900 g


Total Flour 494 g 


Bread Flour 80%


Whole Wheat 20%


Total Water 377.5 g 76.5% hydration


Bread flour 352 g


Whole Wheat 97 g


Water 320 g


Levain 115 g


Miso paste 21 g 4.3% (My red miso paste is almost 1 g sodium per 20 g miso) add miso with salt during final mix.


Salt 9 g 1.8%


Furikake 3 tbsp added during lamination 


Levain build 


Whole wheat flour 50 g


Water 50 g


Starter 25 g


Fermentation at 78ºF


1.    Liquid Levain   (0:00) --- I build mine at around 1:2:2 and let it sit at about 80°F until it more than triples in volume and “peaks”. For my starter, this takes approximately 5-6 hours.


Flour for my starter feeds is composed of a mix of 10% rye, 90% bread flour


2.    Autolyse  (+3:00) --- This is a pre-soak of the flour and water. If concerned about the hydration hold back some of the water. You can add it back later, if necessary. Leave the autolyse for anywhere from 2-4 hours (I prefer 3 hours) while the levain finishes fermenting.


3.    Add Levain  (+6:00)  --- Spread on top of dough and work in using your hands. This is a good time to evaluate the feel (hydration) of the dough.


4.    Add Salt and Miso (+6:30)  --- Place salt and miso on top of dough and work in with hands. Dough will start to strengthen.  200 French Folds.


5.    Light Fold   (+7:00) --- With dough on a slightly wet bench do a Letter Fold from both ways. NOTE: If baking more than one loaf, divide the dough before folding.


6.    Lamination  (+7:30) --- Place dough on wet counter and spread out into a large rectangle. Sprinkle on Furikake.  Do a Letter Fold both ways.


7.    Coil Fold   (+8:15) --- Do a 4 way Stretch and Fold (Coil Fold) inside the BF container.


8.    Coil Fold   (+9:00) --- Do a 4 way Stretch and Fold (Coil Fold) inside the BF container.


9.    Coil Fold   (+9:15) --- Do a 4 way Stretch and Fold (Coil Fold) inside the BF container.


10. End of BF - Shaping   (~11:30) --- The duration of the BF is a judgement call. Shoot for 50-60% rise (assuming my fridge temp is set very low). Warmer fridge (above 39F) means your dough will continue to rise... so in this case, bulk to more like 40%. Shape


11. Retard Overnight & Bake   --- Score cold and bake in a pre-heated 500F oven for 20 minutes with steam


12. Vent Oven 20 minutes into the bake --- Vent oven and bake for 20 or more minutes at 450F.


I ended up doing 4 coil folds in order to get a good windowpane.  I’m not sure if the miso interferes with gluten development or not.  When I bake this again I will see if that happens again.

Danni3ll3's picture



I am finally getting back to baking sourdough. I went into turtle mode and it’s time to crawl out of my shell. Maybe that should hermit crab mode since turtles can’t crawl out of their shells. 😂

Anyhow, I decided a nice fairly simple porridge bread would be a nice thing to make. And it was! 




Makes 3 loaves



100 g large rolled oats

200 g water

45 g honey

40 g butter



700 g unbleached flour

200 g freshly milled wholegrain Selkirk flour 

100 g freshly milled wholegrain Spelt flour 

50 g freshly milled wholegrain rye flour

700 g water

23 g salt

30 g yogurt

250 g levain (procedure in recipe)

Extra wholegrain flour of your choice for feeding the levain


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 wholegrain flour. Let that rise at cool room temperature for the night. 


The morning before:

1. Feed the levain 100 g of filtered water and 75 g of wholegrain flour as well as 25 g of strong baker’s flour. Let rise until doubled (about 6 hours). 

2. Place into fridge until the next morning. 


The night before:

1. Mill the grains. Place the required amounts in a tub. Add the unbleached flour to the tub. Cover and set aside.


Dough Making day:

1. Early in the morning, take out the levain to warm up. I usually give it a good stir at this time.

2. 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 9 minutes. At the end of the 9 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 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%. 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 ~810 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 45 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 had planned to sprinkle some rolled oats as well but I forgot. 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.


Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

My first post here!

I've been baking sourdough bread for the last few months (ever since yeast completely disappeared from the shops for a while here in the UK), having never baked any bread before. I have produced some frisbees a couple of times and a few times made gorgeous loafs.

But I only just now started trying rye. Coming from Russia, it's something I miss here (although I've never been a big fan of rye breads, I guess you don't know what you like until you can't have it!). So I decided to bake it myself.

I previously got some of my baking equipment from, and already back then I got their Bread Matters rye starter - it's originally from Russia, so I couldn't say no to that. Now I also got two small bread tins from them, which although pricey are of excellent quality and feel nice and heavy in your hand.

Interestingly, finding dark rye flour is a little challenging here, but I managed to get some. And made some bread!

(Well, I am skipping one failed attempt with, I suspect, very overproofed bread: huge hole on the top, dense mass on the bottom).


I followed a Russian recipe from

Translation of the recipe:


140 g rye starter 100% hydration

155 g water

45 g dark rye flour

For the dough:

All of preferment

385 g dark rye flour

150 g water (plus a little extra if needed)

8 g salt


I mixed the preferment in the evening and left overnight on the kitchen table, for around 10 hours. Surprisingly, it didn't look any different in the morning, so I assumed it was too cold during the night and left it another 2-3 hours in the morning, until it started bubbling and smelled nice and fermented.

Then simply mixed in all dough ingredients (I needed 35 g extra water to make the dough feel what I thought was right - having never done this before) and left in the bowl for ~2 hours for bulk fermentation, then divided in two and put the dough into the tins, tightly packing it in to avoid empty spaces. Left it to proof until around 50% increase, which took 4.5 hours.

Baked in a preheated to the max oven without steam. Just before baking, dissolved a little wheat flour in water to make a very liquid dough, and carefully covered the tops of the loafs. After 10-15 mins turned down the oven to ~200°C and baked for a total of 1 hour. While the bread was baking, I dissolved a little starch (I had corn starch) in water and heated it until it thickened. Immediately after taking bread out, covered the top with a little of starch gel for a nice shiny top.

Cooled down in the tins for 10-15 mins, then took bread out and cooled on a wire rack. When still warm, but not hot, wrapped in a tea towel and left overnight, to soften the crust and equilibrate water throughout the bread.


And lo and behold, next day it's a beautiful dark rye bread. It's a little moist, with a delicious rye flavour and a sour tang.



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