The Fresh Loaf

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MadAboutB8's picture

My learning path of baking with rye flour continues from last week where I started baking light rye sourdough with 15% rye flour. This week I increased the rye percentage to 20% and added sunflower seeds and grains (millet and pearl barley) to the bread.

The method and recipes were largely similar to last week's. I also continued retarding the dough overnight. So far, there has been no issues with retarding low percentage rye bread. The loaves turned out nicely with nice and open crumbs, no gummy texture issue of overfermenting.

However, these breads were quite acidic, which I was not sure if it was due to the higher rye percentage & long fermentation. Or if it was something to do with the starter. Or if it was double effect of long fermentation and caraway seeds that lift sour flavour in rye. I plan to do a bit more experimenting this weekend, by removing caraway seeds and change the starter to see if the bread will remain highly acidic.

Note: if you like a sour sour sourdough, you would like this bread. I personally like bread with a balance of flavour. Though, my partner quite enjoyed this bread.

Full post and recipe can be found here.


ph_kosel's picture


400gm unbleached bread flour

100gm dark rye flour

1.5 teaspoon salt

1.5 teaspoon active dry yeast (SAF brand)

1 tablespoon each of brown sugar, dill weed, and dehydrated onion flakes

333 gm very warm water (just cool enough to put a finger in and not whimper or yank it out)


Mixed dry ingredients in kitchenaid mixer, added the very warm water, mixed on low until dough cleaned the sides of bowl, turned out on countertop, kneaded briefly, formed into ball, and plopped it into a floured, linen-lined brotform bowl to rise covered with tea towel.  Worked on income tax return for 3 or 4  hours.  Preheated oven with pizza stone to 450F.  Turned loaf out of brotform bowl onto parchment paper on inverted cookie sheet (in lieu of a peel). Slashed loaf, spritzed with water, and slid it onto the preheated pizza stone, parchment and all.  Covered with stainless bowl in lieu of playing "steam-the-oven".  Set timer for 15 minutes and removed the stainless bowl when it went off.  Set timer for 10 minutes and checked browning when it went off.  Decided to brown 5 more minutes and set timer again.  Whipped up cornstarch glaze (1.5 tablespoons cornstarch mixed in ~1/4 cup cold water, added hot water fill coffeecup, nuked in microwave until it just boiled).  Pulled loaf out of oven at about the 30-minute mark and glazed the top of the hot loaf with the thickened cornstarch soup using a basting brush.

Result:  Got some decent oven spring using the bowl-on-a-pizza-stone trick (at least it didn't shrink!).  The glaze dried nice and shiny on top but the bottom is caked with un-appetizing white flour from the brotform.  Bottom crust seems thicker than top, presumably from direct contact with preheated pizza stone.  I think I need a smaller brotform bowl to try to get a taller, more spherical loaf (any excuse to buy more toys). This loaf is pretty (on top, at least), a bit dense, and tastes pretty good although the onion dominates and masks the nuttiness of the rye.

I took pictures and will try to post them later.  Never played with this blogging interface before.

Br6e5gir4's picture



  To Susan, the creater of the the cheesecake factory dark bread recipe.  This recipe you created,  the one which contains,  coffee,  and I think molasses,  or other ingredients that I cannot think of offhand.  How many pounds is it,  so I can know what to set my bread machine at.  My bread machine will make 1 1/2  or 2 pound loaves. Which size  ( l 1/2, or 2 lb.) will this recipe make?   I would appreciate an answer for this thank you. 


Thanks,  Laurie K.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hello fellow bakers - I hope the Gods of baking are smiling upon you :) 

I've just made another guess loaf - (which if you don't know me, means I just guess what I put in and wait to see what happens).

It's the best yet, bar maybe one.

I had a failed loaf yesterday, I think I was too cack handed when I moved it after it's second rise and it deflated - 

not sure if this was due to my using plain flour instead of strong flour - but I should have let it rise for longer after I'd moved it.

But today's (todays?) bread was fantastic (by my standards) and now I'm going to start taking notes.

This one is beautifully soft with a lovely crust which is also soft but firm and chewey.

It's delicious toasted too. 

I want to either try it without honey in it, or try a different honey - I'm not convinced it's the best thing to put in. 

The ingredience are the same as the rest I've done;

1 egg

Milk (actually long life milk!? hehehe dunno if it makes any difference - I think it would)

olive oil


demerera sugar (because it's all I've got and it works)

dried yeast 

strong flour


and I put in my best wishes for a nice loaf

Happy Baking everyone

Take care







Jo_Jo_'s picture

I of course start by planning ahead, which means sitting on my bum and reading the instructions all the way through. Help is always appreciated, but sometimes I get a little to much help. In this instance, Smoky decided he would help me read the BBA recipe which for some reason wore him out and required him to take a 20 minute nap on the book which I was holding up. Now normally, with any of the other cats, I would simply move around alot and they would go find a place to lay that didn't move so much. Smoky though simply gave me a dirty look each time, groaned loudly, and re-adjusted himself for more zzz's. Don't tell anyone, but I finally had to kick him off and send him packing, much to his disgust.

On to the making of my version of the Bread Baker's Apprentice Cranberry Walnut bread. I looked over the recipe, and realized immediately that I would have to change a few ingredients. To me walnuts are rather evil, causing stomach aches and just making a person feel horrible. Not to long ago someone suggested using pecans instead, and I tried that with the raisin bread with pretty good results. I love cranberries and decided even though they make my mouth raw, it would be worth it to try it this time. Actually, I love most fruits, but seem to have a bad reaction to them and while I still eat some usually it is in a small amount and rather quickly so they don't sit in my mouth.  It's funny how your body seems to have cravings for things that you probably shouldn't eat. I decided that the dried fruit and nuts could soak in the water overnight (I soak dry fruit so that is doesn't burn and turn hard when baked).  I set up two soakers. The other one had about 50% of the recipes flour (fresh ground winter white wheat) and kefir (similar to the buttermilk that was called for). The other 50% bread flour I saved for the next day.  I have the picture of the berries and nuts, but for some reason I seem to have either deleted or misplaced some of my pictures.  Life goes on....

The next day I combined all the ingredients, including the flour/kefir soaker and leaving out the cranberry/nut one. The cranberries had soaked up all but a tablespoon of the water, so I included that in the dough. I had to add some water to the dough to make it the right consistency, kneading it with my kitchenaid for 6 minutes. I then added the fruit/nut mix, which added a little bit of moisture to the whole thing and kneaded it for another 2 minutes. I pulled out my King Arthur Silicone Rolling Mat and put extra flour on it, and put the dough into the middle, then folded it a couple times.  This created a boule shape, or round ball.  Just a note, if you don't have a good place to knead and shape your bread, the King Arthur rolling mat is really awesome.  I love it and pull it out for every loaf I make, even if it's just to shape it into a log for a single loaf.

I let it rest a few minutes, and then shaped it into a log.

Since I used the baker's percentages that Reinhart provided in his book, I was able to adjust the recipe to make a single 2 lb loaf of bread that fit perfectly into my bread pan. I know that I was supposed to braid this loaf, but while surfing on SomethingShiny's website I found a wonderful idea. The very first picture on the site was of this bread, with turkey and cheese stuffed inside. I decided right then that mine was going to be a sandwich loaf, since this would probably not be made again till Thanksgiving.  My mouth started to drool, because cranberry sauce and turkey on a sandwich are really good together.  My husband says I'm nuts, because cranberry sauce does NOT belong on a sandwich, but I just don't agree and since I am ALWAYs right.....

I used part of the egg from the recipe to do an egg wash on the crust, and it came out really nice. I took 8 pictures of just the crust, it was shiny and such a nice shade of brown. Just beautiful, tender when eaten, with a beautiful color and shine which made it hard to cut into. It was just to pretty!

I realized that I would have to cut it open, so I could see what the crumb looked like. It was just such a perfect loaf that I really didn't want to, except for the thought of taking a bite of it!

I took this picture of the crumb inside, and didn't look till later and realized it really didn't show how wonderful the crumb was.

The next morning I cut the loaf into slices and froze half of it, then took a few slices and used natural lighting to see if it would help show the crumb. The crumb was darker than normal, but I think that was because of the liquid from the cranberry soaker.  It's great tasting bread!

I will be making this again, probably for Thanksgiving. It has great taste, texture, and the crust is wonderful too. Definitely a holiday bread.

Bread Engineer's picture
Bread Engineer

After sever attempts at rustic breads that were consumed in private without anyone allowed to see them (taste was generally good, but the crumb was more appropriate for a sandwich loaf, and some had excessively chewy crusts), my last bake was improved enough to share.

This was based on TXfarmer's recent ciabatta rolls and 100% WW baguettes.

I used the baguette formula (105% final hydration) with the addition of 5% olive oil. Process was adapted for a work-week bake and was functional. I won't repeat my modification unless I have a similar time issue. It definitely didn't make handling the soft dough any easier, and my soft-dough-handling skills are limited at best. I ended up with a non-homogeneous air distribution (over-risen in some areas, which collapsed when I divided, and under-risen in others). These would have benefited from a longer proof, but it was getting late.

Sunday night - mix soaker and refrigerate

Monday night - combine soaker, refrigerated starter, and salt; stretch and fold 4x @ 30 min intervals; put in refrigerator

Tuesday 7:30 pm - remove from refrigerator and put bowl in a larger bowl of hot tap water. 8:45 pm - divide and let proof at room temperature. 9:45 - in the oven (half on a stone and half on a sheet pan)

SylviaH's picture

Today I made Irish Soda Bread to enjoy with our St. Patrick's Day dinner!  I've listed the ingredients and if you would like to see photos of step by step instructions they are on my blog Here.  Making soda bread, takes a little practice.  The list of ingredients are what i used today, I added a little extra flour, while gently mixing the dough and used a heavily floured board to shape the dough.

1. 280 gms All Purpose Flour - low protein         

2. 8 gms baking soda - Always Fresh - I throw out anything over 6 mos. old

3. 4 gms salt

4. 4 gms Cream of Tartar - "      "

5  300 gms Buttermilk








                         Soda Farls     from the same recipe       Med Low Temperature bake apx. 10 minutes on each side in a well seasoned iron pan.  I also make

                         these on my electric griddle.



           Slice warm or cooled and eat with butter and jam or they make a wonderful bacon or corned beef sandwich.






              I also made one replacing 1/4 cup of AP flour with 1/4 cup organic white whole wheat and 1 TBsp. caraway seed....not your traditional soda bread, but delicious with the corned beef.








ehanner's picture

I hope you see this and respond Pat, I read your tip about the butter frame and want to ask a question.

After reading your tip on using a frame to roll butter into a light went off in my head. That sounds like a great idea for building a consistent size and thickness of butter, if I understand what you wrote. So the first thing is to figure out what the cubic volume is in a block of butter. Next decide how thick you want the slab to be and mill some hardwood to that size thickness. I'm thinking that 1/4 to 3/8 inch would be a good thickness as it it twice the thickness of the final roll out and would be the same thickness as the dough roll out the first time. You would tap and roll the butter (encased in parchment or plastic) inside the frame and flatten it. Removing and chilling the butter after for later use.

The hard part of this will be determining What the volume is of the amount of butter in your batch recipe. There would be minor differences in weight/volume ratios between various butter makers depending on water content but these would be so small I think not worth bothering with. I usually use the English method of encasing the butter whereby I form the dough to be 1/3 longer than the size of the butter. So then, I need to make a frame about 8 inches wide on the inside and long enough to equal a pound of butter at say 3/8 inch thick or what ever that thickness turns out to be.

Is that about right Pat?  If this works out, it will resolve my main issue with making croissants, which is forming the butter.


dmsnyder's picture


I made some banana breads tonight. They were delicious – better than ever before with some tweaking the baking temperature. As I was tasting it, I got to thinking about the book from which I got the recipe.

Banana Bread from Crust & Crumb

Banana Bread crumb

Peter Reinhart's Crust & Crumb was one of the first two baking books I acquired when I started baking again after a 25 year lapse. (The other was George Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker.) While my baking library now contains some two dozen books, C&C remains one of my favorites, and, as I look at it today, the reasons are clear. First, it contains a couple formulas I return to again and again – the best formula for San Francisco-style sourdough bread I know and the formula for Banana Bread.

This book was my introduction to so many basic concepts, including the orderly steps in bread baking, from mis en place to tasting, and the function of each in achieving “a loaf of bread that is rhapsodically beautiful and exceptionally delicious.” Reinhart's amalgamation of science, art, craft and philosophy, all expressed in beautiful and lucid prose, captured me. He emphasized the rigorous application of knowledge and technique but also the ultimate importance of “feel” for the dough, acquired through disciplined and reflective practice. That is the path he defined to become a “bread revolutionary.”

Crust & Crumb was published in 1998. Reinhart's introductory chapter is titled “The Bread Revolution.” It is of particular interest now, given our recent discussion of that topic. Reinhart's perspective is of special interest because of the role he has played in this phenomenon. He reviews the recent history of bread baking in America and the influences of various people and events and also delves into his personal history, albeit briefly. He concludes the book with a chapter on The Bread Baker's Guild of America and how it nurtured the young bakers who ultimately put the USA on the world bread map through victories in the Coupe du Monde, notably the second place finish in 1996 which included Craig Ponsford's winning first place in the bread division.

I love this book. Many newer books have advanced “the bread revolution” since Crust & Crumb was published, but it continues to have an unique place in my bread baking library, and I think it remains a valuable resource to anyone striving to make great bread.

Happy baking!



Maryann279's picture

I having been baking off and on for a long time, including making bread, but I finally got serious about it last fall.  This blog will chronicle my journey in the world of bread baking.  Warning:  I will be going into baker's percentages and other technical aspects of baking the bread, so this blog may be very boring ;-)

I took two classes at SFBI on artisan bread making and now am trying to re-create the bread we baked in the class as best I can with home equipment.  I finished my last class in February and have been reluctant to start baking again because the class results in the professional deck ovens were so spectacular.  I broke the ice last weekend by baking a challah recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, and now am on to various loaves that are made with sourdough, preferments, etc. 

I've been nursing along the sourdough starter from SFBI and haven't killed it (yet).  Post-challah, I've been trying to figure out what to make next.  I'm realizing that most of the recipes (formulas) I like need some planning in advance, which I haven't gotten the hang of yet.  Today, I finally decided to make multigrain sourdough.  This requires a stiff starter, and the one I've been feeding had a higher percentage of water.  So I used the SFBI starter to create a new stiff starter.  After another feeding, it will be ready to use in the multigrain.

Since the stiff starter looked kind of dead initially, and I was concerned about the mother starter being somewhat weak, I made a second starter with more water, using 100% white flour, 50% each rye and KA whole wheat, 100% water and 50% starter.  To achieve optimal fermentation temperature (at least while I am awake) I have the starter in a 80 degree F water bath.  It will get another feeding in 24 hours.

After 3 hours, the stiff starter has lots of bubbles on the bottom.  I think it will be just fine.  Not much action with the wet starter yet.


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