The Fresh Loaf

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rossnroller's picture

I have a must-try list of sourdough breads and other goodies that I'm constantly working my way through, yet the list never seems to get any shorter. Trouble is, you guys on TFL keep posting irresistible pics, and the recipes go straight on to my list (and waistline).  O the trials of the home artisan bread baker! And of course, we wouldn't have it any other way...

When I'm not trying new breads, I fall back on my trusty repertoire of favourite breads that I do again and again. I'm sure we all have these, tweaked to personal taste. Every so often, I realise I haven't done one of my faves for way too long. So it was with Shiao-Ping's 'House Miche': I baked this again recently after somehow neglecting it for months, and it was like revisiting an old friend - familiar, but stimulating as well. I couldn't quite remember how it turned out (too many loaves ago), but I just knew it was a standout. Well, memory duly refreshed, felt I wanted to share this one with y'all. Blame it on the crumb:


And yeah, it's not a miche. I prefer batards - and the beauty of home baking is that you are free to customise as you please. I also like to take the option of adding a proportion of rye to the dough.

This crumb is spongy, which I really like, with a cool mouthfeel, nice structure and elasticity, a lovely creaminess about it, and nutty flavour tones that develop in depth and complexity the day after the bake. The crust has character, but is not so robust as to be tooth-endangering (conscious of this at the moment, having recently needed a crown due to chomping over-zealously on a pizza and breaking a back molar that had been sending me warning signals that all was not right for many phobics have unlimited capacity to ignore such signals).

This 'House Miche' - er, batard -  is an old friend that I'm going to make more effort to stay in touch with from now on. Well worth inviting to your table, if you haven't already.

Thank you again, Shiao-Ping!




GSnyde's picture

We had guests this weekend, and they’re bread lovers.  So the bread sort of became the centerpiece of the weekend.

Friday night I made the two very different levains, one for Tartine Basic Country Bread (50% whole wheat and 50% white at 100% hydration) and one for the SFBI Walnut-Currant Bread (95% white and 5% rye at about 55% hydration).  The Walnut-Currant bread is my variation on the Walnut-Raisin Bread Brother David posted about last December (

Saturday morning I mixed both doughs fairly early.  The timing worked well, since the Walnut-Currant bread has shorter primary ferment time and shorter proofing time.  Because I knew we’d eat a lot of it, and because I wanted to continue my experiments with loaf size, I made two full size (975 gram) loaves of the BCB and retarded one in the 50 F garage to bake the two sequentially (previous experience having shown that two slack loaves of that size don’t really fit on my stone).

I made the Walnut-Cranberry breads—two 550 gram boules—with about 10% pumpernickel flour, which gave it a slightly deeper, richer flavor.  This bread made a very nice appetizer before dinner Saturday and was wonderful toasted for breakfast with cream cheese.

Walnut-Cranberry Bread


Walnut-Cranberry Crumb


The two Tartine loaves ended up looking quite different from each other.  The first one was browning too fast, and I covered the top with aluminum foil and reduced the temperature to around 450 F (with convection) for the second half of the bake.  Attempting to reduce the char, I baked the second one—the one proofed more slowly at lower temperature—at 475 F with steam for 20 minutes and at 450F (with convection) without steam for about 17 minutes more.  The second one had a nicer crust color and better grigne, and slightly more upward expansion.  The two loaves' crumb texture and taste are almost identical.  That is to say, delicious!

BCB Hotter Bake


BCB Cooler Bake

 BCB Crumb


For dinner Saturday, I wanted to serve something that would compliment the Basic Country Bread.  I settled on a Daube a l'Agneau (lamb stew in a Provencal style), marinated 15 hours in wine, cognac, herbs, spices and vegetables and then braised slowly for four hours.  Nothing could have made better gravy to sponge up with this wonderful bread.  Delicious with a well-aged Oregon Pinot Noir.

I continue to be very happy with the crumb texture of this Tartine bread, but I think next time I bake it I’ll go back to the Dutch Oven method.  In my four or five bakes of this bread, that method resulted in the best crust color and grigne.


freerk's picture

Today I passed my windowpane test with flying colors.


The strawberry season around here starts early this year. We had a nice spell of dry sunny spring weather. That is all any decent strawberry asks for to taste as delicious as they do in these perfect circumstances.


I am making a dessert involving a toasted piece of brioche, strawberries, black pepper mint and honest vanilla ice cream. It's a Belgian recipe. It's name caught my attention. It translates into "Lost Bread" and I found that to be a captivating image. In Flemish it sounds way smoother; "verloren brood"


Basically it's French toast with strawberries and ice cream. And that is just the perfect dessert to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary, as well as the fact that we booked our tickets to a sunny beach on the wonderful Spanish Island of Ibiza. I am already hunting the net for info on where to find some bakeries over there. Any tips from locals or savvy travelers are appreciated.

Anyhow. I was particularly proud of my window pane test this time. I should thank Kitchen Aid for it anyway ;-) I love my new baby!


happy baking every one

wassisname's picture

*Edited to add formula.  Pretty sure this is what I did.  Now that I look at it again it could probably stand some tinkering.

I’d heard that freshly ground coriander seeds were altogether different from the prepackaged powder, but… Wow!  Now I get it.  And, as for what freshly ground coriander does to a hearty rye, I have not the words.  But I do have the bread.

This is a half whole rye, half whole wheat loaf.  I fed my WW starter with rye to build it up with a long, long fermentation time, leaving it with loads of flavor but not much leavening power.  A bit of instant yeast solved that problem.

The result was just what I’d hoped, a hearty loaf with an aroma that is permanently imprinted on my brain.

Oh, and I generally avoid using traditional names for my bread (I just don’t have the energy to argue over “authenticity”) but since I tested this one on actual Germans, who did seemed pleased with the result, I’m going for it on this occasion. 


Dark Rye Flour150100% Mix 3-4 min
Water11577% Ferment at least 12 hrs
Initial Starter5033%  
Starter31534% autolyse flour and water 20 min
Whole Wheat Flour50054% mix all 
Dark Rye Flour42546% Alternate kneading/resting 10-12 min
Water64069% Ferment 1 1/2 hrs
Salt161.73% shape (2 loaves)
Instant Yeast121.30% Proof 1 hr
Ground Coriander121% bake w/ steam
total1920  475F 8 min
    425F 40 min
Whole Wheat Flour50047%  
Dark Rye Flour57553%  
Ground Coriander        121%  
Initial starter contribution   
Whole Wheat Flour2957%  
% of flour in starter3%  
starter as % of finished dough16%  
salt in tsp2 3/4   
yeast in tsp2 1/4   

dmsnyder's picture

This weekend, I baked another miche using the formula from the SFBI Artisan II workshop I attended last December. The SFBI formula and method can be found in my previous blog entry: This miche is a hit!

I amended the formula and methods as follows: For this bake, I used my usual sourdough feeding mix of 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% dark rye for the levain. The Final Dough was mixed with about 1/3 Central Milling "Organic Type-85 malted" flour and 2/3 WFM Organic AP, which is also a Central Milling flour. The SFBI method does not include an autolyse, but I did one. (Mixed the water, liquid levain, toasted wheat germ and flour and autolysed for an hour. Then mixed in the salt and proceeded.)

The bread flavor was the best yet, to my taste. I tasted it about 18 hours after baking. I had left it on the counter, wrapped in baker's linen overnight before slicing. This is the sourest miche I've baked. I like the sour tang and the flavor of the flour mix I used a lot.

SFBI Miche crumb

I also baked a couple loaves of one of the sourdoughs we made at the SFBI workshop. This one uses a firm levain fed at 12 hour intervals at 40% (by levain weight) of the final dough flour weight. After last week's trial of different methods of forming bâtards, I wanted to try the method portrayed in the KAF videos ( See Shaping) I think this method will become my method of choice.

The other loaf, which had an essentially identical appearance, was gifted to a neighbor before I took the photos.

SFBI "Sourdough with 2 feedings and 40% levain" crumb

This bread is meant to be a French-style pain au levain with little sour flavor. My wife's assessment sums it up pretty well: "It's just good bread."

Happy baking!


louie brown's picture
louie brown

I don't know what I am doing hanging around a culinary activity that largely demands, and attracts, precision-oriented individuals and the sort of methodical, careful procedures that lend themselves to notekeeping. I am a right side person. I don't keep records of my bakes. I do measure my ingredients by weight but I often make arithmetic mistakes. I fail to take account of variations in temperature and humidity in my apartment. I share the drive for self improvement in baking, but I don't crave the utter perfection of some, unless it comes through my hands and experiential learning, rather than through scientific or quasi scientific trial.

I envy those with stable environmental conditions. I'm amazed by professional bakeries, which have their procedures right down to the number of revolutions of the mixer. But being a right side type, variation more than consistency inhabits my home bakery. I've learned to accept it.

Take Nancy Silverton's walnut bread, the best walnut bread I've ever had anywhere, by a mile. I've been baking it since the book was published and it usually turns out more or less the same. Yesterday, though, the dough wanted a good deal more water, and the dark rye flour seemed, somehow, to make up more of the dough than usual. For scheduling reasons, fermentation and proofing went on longer than they should have. Not by much, but by enough to make a difference. By the same token, Silverton calls for a fairly intensive mix, so taken all together, this is a loaf with a relatively close crumb, albeit one in which the cell structure should be evident throughout.

This is one the best specialty breads I've come across. The taste is very rich and complex, creamy and deep. The crust shatters all over the place. It's great out of hand, but it is spectacular with cheese. Highly recommended, even if you are a right sider, like me.

ananda's picture


Seeded Rye Hot Soaker Boules.

Pain de Siègle style of loaf, baked in a Sandwich Tin

The local flour theme continues….

After 2 recent homebaking sessions, my wheat levain has now joined the rye sour; both are built from traditional, local and organic flours.

I made 3 boules using a seeded rye hot soaker with a wheat leaven, a very simple formula for a sandwich bread, leavened with rye sour, and using the Gilchesters Farmhouse in the final dough with an 85% hydration! [Think high extraction flour here!]   Oh! We had the family round today, so I also made pizzas with homemade tomato sauce with garden herbs, and a variety of lovely toppings [from: artichokes, capers, olives, anchovies, flaked salmon, fresh basil, buffalo mozzarella or creamy Lancashire cheese.   The dough was made with a stiff wheat levain [60% hydration, just 20% pre-fermented flour], overall dough hydration was just over 76%.   No photos, sorry; but I made them as 3 tray-baked, skinny bottomed, hence crisp based, pizzas.   I gave the finished dough about 8 hours slow proof in the fridge before rolling out the bases and docking them prior to topping and baking.

  1. 1.    Seeded Rye Hot Soaker Boules

I built the leaven with 3 refreshments.   Final amounts of flour and water only are shown, but I started with 80g levain and refreshed from there.

I made 3 boules: 1 @ 1.5kg, 1 @700g and 1 @ 940g


Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Wheat Levain



Gilchesters Organic Pizza Flour












2. Seeded Rye Hot Soaker



Bacheldre Organic Dark Rye



Pumpkin Seeds



Sesame Seeds






Boiling Water









3. Final Dough



Wheat Levain [from above]



Hot soaker [from above]



Gilchesters Organic Pizza Flour



Gilchesters Organic Farmhouse Flour









Overall Pre-fermented Flour



Overall Hydration

94.6 on flour

[80.2% with seeds]



  • Make the hot soaker and final refreshment of the levain the night before, about 6 hours ahead of use if possible.   Cover and leave ambient.
  • Mix the soaker with the flour and water needed for the final dough.   Once properly combined, leave covered on the bench for 1 hour.   Add the leaven and work up to a soft dough.   Brush the bench with a little olive oil, to allow the dough to rest and condition, covered.   Leave 3 hours, using S&F regularly to develop the dough.
  • Scale and divide as desired and mould dough pieces round.   Brush the tops with a little water, and dip into a seed mixture.
  • Prove upside down in Bannetons for 3 hours.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven with masonry, and utilise steam.
  • Cool on wires


  1. 2.    Pain de Siègle in a Sandwich Tin

A really simple formula.   The rye sourdough was given 2 refreshments over 2 days.   The only flour in the final dough was Gilchesters Organic Farmhouse flour, which I am informed has an extraction rate of c.85%, and is beautifully milled.   The hydration overall is an impressive 85%, and I was able to mould this loaf just before panning!   Not bad when the weight is over 1.5kg!

Again, figures for flour and water totals only are given for the sour.   The recipe made 1 large loaf in a Pullman Pan.


Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Rye Sourdough



Bacheldre Organic Dark Rye












2. Final Dough



Rye Sourdough [from above]



Gilchesters Organic Farmhouse Flour














  • Use autolyse principle, to combine flour and water with the sour, and leave, covered, for ½  hour.
  • Add the salt and mix the soft dough to strengthen.   I used a small hand mixer with hook attachments.
  • Bulk prove for 1 hour
  • Use scant flour to mould and shape the dough piece for panning.
  • Prove for 3 hours
  • Bake for 1½ to 1¾ hours at 190°C with steam.
  • De-pan and cool on wires.

Further thoughts:

  • Flavour and performance in these doughs are both significantly improved on the last attempts with all local flour.   The high ash content dictates generous hydration levels, but also necessitates a reduction in the amount of pre-fermented flour.   The wheat leaven needs to be less ripe than my previous effort.   This time, I had it about right.
  • The leaven is stiff, as the flour is thirsty, so 60% is less than generous hydration, but it gives greater tolerance in terms of fermentation rates.   I suspect a leaven made with the Farmhouse flour may need 70% hydration, so fermentation may be over rapid to give the best dough quality possible.
  • Photographs of all products, crust and crumb are attached; my apologies, they are not the best shots I've ever taken, it has to be said!

All good wishes


Shiao-Ping's picture

Recently I re-read the Flour Treatise.  On the third chapter entitled The Milling of Flour, there is a very interesting section about wheat extraction in relation to endosperm, aleurone and bran.  It says that wheat contains on average 85% of endosperm; however, 100 pounds of wheat yields 72 pounds of flour and 28 pounds of feed material.  The article also says that the reason why it is not possible to extract all of the endosperm as flour, “even with advanced milling methods” is because “the peripheral zones of the endosperm adhere so firmly to the aleurone and bran layers that complete separation is not practical….”

When I read this, my initial thought was: Hmmm, animals eat better than we do because, not just that the aleurone and bran layers contain a lot of nutrients, but also that the aleurone layer is known to have a lot of flavour compounds.

The second thought I had was that no wonder many people say Miche has better flavour than normal bread because a lot of Miches are made of high extraction flours.

I read David’s and Glenn’s posts about how they like Keith Giusto’s Type 85 malted flour.  I rang the company and found that the flour is 90% extraction.  I felt that the flour would be great for my Miche experiment, so I got hold of the flour.

The weather has turned quite cool lately with day time temperature 20 to 22C, dropping to 14 to 15C overnight.  I figured if I mixed a dough around dinner time, I could leave it to ferment overnight on my kitchen counter and bake it first thing in the morning.  But I was not going to leave it to chances so I used a low pre-fermented flour ratio of 11% and I didn’t go for a high hydration dough.  Below was a 1.6 kg dough at 76% overall hydration with a flour combination of 75% Type 85/25% white.


My Type 85 Miche Formula 

  • 200 g liquid white starter (has just domed, but not fully matured)                   
  • 675 g Central Milling’s organic type 85 malted flour
  • 125 g bread flour
  • 584 g lukewarm water (I mixed my dough to 24C)
  • 18 g salt







I loved it.  It has been a long while since I felt excited at my own bread.  The crumb was translucent and that tells me the flour was very well fermented.  The crumb smelled sweet to me.





I cut the Miche in half to give it to my neighbor.  My neighbor’s boyfriend is making me 4 beautiful baguette bread boards, one for me and the others for each of my three sisters.  We went to a local timber merchant last week to select the wood I like.  I selected a natural dark color, hard timber from an Australian native gum tree.  For my half of the Miche, I sliced it for freezer (because I have another bread coming):




It was a beautiful clear day; my kitchen was full of light, and I was able to catch these beautiful shots (see how the difference of a split second made in the shade of color) :




 I went to visit an organic mill, Kialla Foods, 150 km west from where I live.  I wrote up about it HERE.  I brought back a few small bags of their organic wholemeal flour mix and was dying to try it.  The following sourdough was 800 grams, half the weight of the previous Miche, and had 75% of the wholemeal flour mix and 25% white flour.  It also had an overall hydration of 76%.






Apart from the flours, all that I added were my sourdough starter, water and salt.  The flavour was quite good actually.






I have to admit that I am very happy with this baking test.  I previously had problems using Kialla’s stoneground organic wholemeal flour but this wholemeal flour mix is very easy to work with.  I know why.  Look at the ingredient list: organic white unbleached plain flour, organic wheat bran, gluten, organic sunflower oil, organic sugar, organic soy flour, lecithin powder, malt flour and non-coated ascorbic acid, allergen gluten and soy!!



MadAboutB8's picture

I’ve been wanted to try making sourdough pancake for quite sometimes. It was regularly suggested by sourdough bakers as a good way to use the starter discard from the feedings. 

I make pancake rather often. And I was curious to find out how well sourdough starter would leaven the pancake batter and the taste it would give.

I used the recipe from King Arthur website. The recipe is for sourdough waffle and also good for pancake. I usually have pancake with berries. Now, it's almost Winter in Australia, berries are hard to come by and/or too expensive. Topping alternative I had in mind was poached pears as pears are now in its peak season. 

I adjusted the pancake recipe a little by adding a little bit of malt powder and grated lemon zest. The pancake recipe produces relatively thin pancake. It was a scrumptious breakfast. Sourdough pancake tasted excellent with mild tang to it. It added depth of flavour. Poached pear was fabulous. I love the honey and lemon combination poaching liquid. It went really well with the pear. I also reduced the poaching liquid to use as pancake syrup. 

Full post and recipe is here



yozzause's picture

Its been a little while since i posted last, but i was particularly pleased with my last effort this morning FRIDAY 13.

Recently i invited   an old working colleague who owns and runs a very good bakery nearby to join me for lunch at the college restaurant as numbers were down and we still needed bums on seats for the hospitality students to train on. I suggested that Nick might like to bring his wife, he said that she would be unable to make it but could he bring along some one else.

Nick's friend turned out to be his flour mill technical man, so over  a 3 course lunch we had a great discussion firstly about Nick giving a young fellow some work experience as he was keen on Baking and secondly about Deans former life as a baker in the UK.

I told him that i would very much like to try some of the more interesting Flours that i had noticed they made, in particular the organic white and organic whole meal and the Rye  and course Ryemeal as well as a product we always knew as Sharps which we used for dusting purposes, it is actually semolina. Dean said that he would drop some off the next time he was passing. a week or so later whilst i was away from the office a drop off of samples was made  but not 2 kg samples that i thought i might get but 25kg bags of the stuff 120kgs in total.

I have already started to use them and have encouraged the chefs to use them too, i have also made up a selection for fellow TFL'r Rossnroller to try some too as soon as he is up and about again.

Anyway here is some of the mornings bake using 'MILLERS' RYE MEAL 

the dark seed are chia seed down on the front left there is some fennel seed we didnt have any carraway  and the other is just rolled in rye and semolina

This was a sour dough 1/3 rye meal 2/3 white flour  total 3 kgs flour

2 kgs of liquid now this is where i tried something a little different, i did a batch of alcoholic ginger beer and after botlling 18 x 700ml of Ginger Beer  i was still able to draft off a further 2 litres  just below the tap before getting to the slurry on the bottom.

i was going to use the full 2 litres but as i added it to the rye it seemed pretty pungent so i thought that i would add equal amount of water to tone it down i added my 1 kg of starter and 65g of Salt i also added 100g of gluten powder.

 basicly your 3-2-1 formula

It was given a good mix in a spiral mixer and then placed in a plastic container receiving a stretch and fold after 1 hour another after the 2nd hour followed by a turn ou and scale up to 12 pieces @ 500g plus a pinch each from what was left.

The dough was then shaped and placed onto linen cloths and then placed into the retarder over night.

Next morning i came in early before classes and  put the dough pieces onto steel trays  scored and baked of in a combi oven that heats up in about 5 minutes , it also has the benefit of being able to inject  steam so that was done for 10 minutes and the loaves baked @ 200 for 35 minutes or so.

I was able vacate the kitchen and get to my office just 5 minutes after starting time. Some of my taste testers were sure there  was a hint of ginger there  but all agreed it was mighty fine. It seems that i could have used all ginger beer dregs after all as there was only the slightest hint of gingerin the final product. maybe next time

reagrds Yozza


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