The Fresh Loaf

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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

Winnish's picture


Delicious and easy-to-make PRETZELS


Recipe and more photos - you are invited to check at my blog
It's in Hebrew, Google translator is on top left side-bar 

Bee18's picture

I want to thank all of you.
I downloaded Mozilla Firefox. I try to find my blog through and found it just under its address but not exactly as I designed it, which is not important as long as the photos and the text is there. I tried also through IE 9 (I updated)
and found it, the title BTW is Bread and more Bread.
If you can find it please can you send a comment through it so I can see how it's working back to me.

I still cannot make appear the bar, above this with the buttons I need, although I have now this " disable rich text " mention but it don't move to anywhere when I click on it.BTW when I click on it I got the mention javascript void (0) ???
anybody knows what to do ? I look at my programs and could see that I have Java 6 updated 22. I haven't got any new message asking me to update.

Until this problem won't be fixed I will use this spotsblog to allow TFL members to see photos when I have ones to show.
I really hope that at one stage I will over come the difficulty of loading pictures on TFL because this site is so fantastic that I don't feel like blogging from another site. Let say that it's a temporary bandage....until better times.

I will continue to blog as before but will indicate to go to the other blog when it will be necessary.

Thank again to all of the members who tried to help so quickly. This is one of the good part of TFL, I say one because there are so many others as we all know. Thank to Floyd who had built it and gave to this, now international, community of bakers to meet and learn from each other.


txfarmer's picture

Another soft SD 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf from me - these are our favorite breakfast item. The inspiration came from the super light banana sandwich bread in Rose Levy Beranbaum's "Bread Bible" (Farine adapted it into a free form loaf with great scoring pattern here, she also has the original formula there), I replaced all of the flour with KAF ww, dry yeast with sourdough starter, and changed fermentation schedule accordingly. Sticking to the method of intensive kneading + long cold fermentation, it was another soft, tall, flavorful ww loaf.


Sourdough 100% Whole Wheat Banana Sandwich Bread

Note: 15% of the flour is in levain

Note: total flour is 420g, fit a my Chinese small-ish pullman pan (shown in picture), for US 8X4 loaf pan, I would suggest 455g of flour.


- levain

ww starter (100%), 18g

milk, 29g

ww bread flour, 54g

1. Mix and let fermentation at room temp (73F) for 12 hours.


- final dough

ww flour, 357g (I used KAF)

banana puree, 168g

honey, 29g

water, 130g

butter, 29g, softened

milk powder, 29g

salt, 8g

all levain

2. Mix together everything but butter, autolyse for 40-60min. Add butter, Knead until the dough is very developed. This intensive kneading is the key to a soft crumb, and proper volume. The windowpane will be thin and speckled with bran grains, but NOT as strong as one would get form a white flour dough. For more info on intensive kneading, see here.

3. Rise at room temp (74F) for 2 hours. Punch down, put in fridge overnight.

4. Take out dough, punch down, divide and rest for one hour.

5. Shape into sandwich loaves, the goal here is to get rid of all air bubles in the dough, and shape them very tightly and uniformly, this way the crumb of final breads would be even and velvety, with no unsightly holes. For different ways to shape (rolling once or twice, i.e. 3 piecing etc) see here.

6. Proof until the dough reaches one inch higher than the tin (for 8X4 inch tin), or 80% full (for pullman pan). About 5 hours at 74F.

9. Bake at 375F for 40-45min. Brush with butter when it's warm.


You can't really taste the banana, but it does soften the crumb and lends a very subtle sweetness. Perfect with some PB, one of my favorite SD 100% ww sandwich loaves so far.


Sending this to Yeastspotting.

MarieH's picture

I finally purchased Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread. I have been resisting buying another cookbook but the constant references to Bread wore me down. I am now a convert. I took a few days to read the book and found myself saying “I didn’t know that” and “Wow” many times.

I decided to start with the Vermont Sourdough recipe, but since I live in Tallahassee, my levain is southern.  I created a sourdough (levain) culture in January and it is maintaining very well.  I am thrilled with the bread results - the flavor and texture is great. I also made a semolina loaf that is pictured with the two batards. The scoring on the front batard was too shallow. Even though I am fairly experienced with artisanal bread making, scoring still intimidates me.  I hold my breath and slash with minimal confidence.

Back to Hamelman’s book – if you are holding back because you don’t need another bread book, buy it anyway. I have learned about dough temperature, mixing times, and preshaping to name a few things. Because I live in Florida, my kitchen is always warm. I didn’t know I need to start with chilled water to get a proper dough temp (there’s a formula!). The book is written for professional bakers and home bakers and is very helpful for people who want to improve their bread baking skills and end product.

Here are my pictures. And thanks to everyone for being my bread baking neighbors. I value your friendship and willingness to share your bread baking journey.     ~Marie




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