The Fresh Loaf

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breadsong's picture

Hello, I was poking around the website, where they make available back issues of their magazine.
I was delighted to find an article written by my SFBI Weekend Baguette class instructor, Frank Sally, on baking with Teff (in a WFO): (The SFBI Teff Miche article starts on page 26).
(David, if you're out there, this one's for you!)

I wrote Frank and asked permission to post the formula here, and he agreed and kindly offered a modified version which I tried baking this weekend.
With so many thanks to Frank Sally and SFBI!!!

I used Bob's Red Mill Whole-Grain Teff flour; that website notes "Whole Grain Teff (Tef, T'ef) an ancient North African cereal grass, is a nutritional powerhouse. It is the smallest grain in the world (about 100 grains are the size of a kernel of wheat!). The germ and bran, where the nutrients are concentrated, account for a larger volume of the seed compared to more familiar grains."

I tried to create "cereal grass" with the scoring:


*Added to post: As a result of Larry's question below, I went back to the article to re-check the baker's percentages.
In the article, in the formula for the Teff levain, the baker's percentages for Starter and Teff flour were switched.
I am embarassed to say I failed to notice this as I blithely went along, entering the information for calculation in my spreadsheet.
Here is the bread as I made it (and the formula restated below, as it was intended to be made!):

SFBI Teff Miche       1500 Desired Dough Weight in grams       <----      
  From 2010.1          
  Baker's Percentages Weights Baker's
Ingredients Dough Starter Teff Levain Dough Starter Teff Levain Total %
Bread flour 1 1   688 76   764 98%
Teff flour     0.1     18 18 2%
Water, boiling (65%)     0.52     94 94  
Water, 70F (35%) 0.65 1 0.28 448 76 51 575 85.55%
Salt 0.027     18.6     18.6 2.38%
Sourdough Starter   0.4     30   30 3.84%
Starter     1     182    
Teff Levain 0.5     345        
Total 2.177 2.4 1.9 1500 182 345 1500  
    (1) (2)          

Restated formula (1500g loaf):



Teff Levain



Bread flour





Teff flour





Water, boiling















Sourdough Starter










Teff Levain











(1) Starter: Mix to 70F, ferment 12 hours.

(2) Teff Levain: Pour 65% of water, as boiling water, over teff flour & mix to make mash.
Cool to 70F. Add remaining 35% 70F water.

When mixture is at 70F, mix in Starter. Ferment at 65-70F for 12 hours. (My Teff levain was starting to recede after 7.5 hours; I carried on with the mix at that point).


(3) Dough: Place flour, water, salt in bowl. Mix to very strong improved mix, medium soft consistency.

Mix in teff levain until incorporated.

Bulk ferment 1.5 hours with 2 evenly-spaced SF's. (I let the dough ferment for an extra ½ hour).

At end of BF, dough will be very sticky and full of gas.

Divide into 1.5kg pieces. Bench rest 20-30 minutes. The dough will become loose and flat.

Flour proofing basket with rice flour. Shape and retard 12-15 hours.

Brush off rice flour, score for even expansion, bake with steam 500F 25 minutes, then additional 35 min. (I found in my oven, that I had to bake in a reducing oven to so the loaf wouldn't get too dark. After 20 minutes, I reduced to 460F, then to 440F after another 20 minutes for the remainder of the bake).

This was a very wet, sticky dough and the stretch and folds did wonders (dough just after mixing, then just after the final shape):

The scored loaf, then the result in the oven:

The loaf is cooling now, and crackles are starting to appear. The most wonderful aroma has filled the kitchen. I want to let the loaf cool a good long while, but I can't wait to taste it & see how the crumb turned out!!!
from breadsong

Submitted to Yeastspotting!
louie brown's picture
louie brown

A return to Andy's formula yielded good results and considerable lessons about dough development, strength, and fermentation. At the same time, I'm more convinced than ever that all home baking is local. Andy, if you are reading, thanks again for your guidance.

Now, an interesting new question arises. Andy mentioned that the center of these breads does not bake up as does the perimeter. My own loaf, and my own experience in general, agrees with this. I have made and seen loaves with very even distribution of the cell structure, but more often, I make and see loaves that have a perimeter with larger, varying cell size, and a center with a more uniform structure. As a nontechnical person, I am only guessing that this is a result of a combination of all the factors that go into a finished loaf; handling, fermentation, baking. 

I would be very interested in comments directed at the goal of producing loaves with more evenly distributed cell structure throughout the loaf, even if the holes themselves are irregular in size, if that's clear.

Anyway, photos (I've included one with flash to better illustrate the translucency of the cell walls,) followed by some shots of txfarmer's crazy baguette, which I undertook just as a challenge. The long cold autolyse and bulk fermentation make for a really delicious bread. However, do take txfarmer's admonition to heart: this isn't an easy dough to handle, especially as a baguette. Myself, I'd be inclined to form it maybe as a batard, or more accurately, a log of some kind. I'm still trying to figure out how I got a 21 inch baguette on my 17 inch stones. Still, delicious and a fun project.

And a side by side shot, which is actually pretty interesting:



Sunshinemom's picture

Man'oushe Za'atar and dips

I am a vegan from India and I enjoy making breads from all over the world.  A couple of years ago Middle Eastern Cuisine caught up in India and led to the opening of many restaurants serving bread topped with zaatar.  Since the first time we had it at "The Arabic Bistro" zaatar topped manoushe breads have become my favourite.  We love it just as it is topped with zaatar or with tahini and hummus on the side.

The good thing about this recipe is that the dough works great for pita breads as well.  I made a few of those too.  Instead of making large pitas I chose to make mini pitas, measuring an inch in diameter.  They make tasty appetizers when served with Italian Tomato Sauce or Hummus.

Dish:Yield: Two 5" pizza base, and about 15 to 20 mini pitas - breads. A small bowl of hummus bi tahini and a very small bowl of tahiniyeh

For the Man'oushe dough (I used half of this recipe):
All Purpose Flour - 6 cups
Salt - 1 tsp.
Sugar - 1 tbsp.
Mahlab - 1/3 tsp. (I omitted this)

Dry yeast - 2 tbsp.
Water - 2 cups
Milk (I used soy milk) - 0.75 cup

Zaatar spice mixed with some olive oil

Place flour, salt and sugar together. Stir to mix. I dry blended in a mixer.

Mix the yeast in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water and set aside till frothy.

Add the yeast mixture, milk and rest of the water in a well in the center of the dough mixture and bring together. Knead to form a sticky dough. The original recipe says the dough will be sticky but mine was just right to touch.

Cover and rest till doubled, about an hour, depending on the room temperature.

Divide into 8 balls and dust with flour. Rest for 30minutes.

Roll into mini pizzas about half inch thick. Place two breads side by side in a baking tray and sit for 15 minutes.

Pre heat oven to 150C. Spread zaatar paste on the breads and bake till puffed very lightly brown, about 15 - 20 minutes for the first batch. The rest take slightly less time. Keep an eye on the breads the first time as the time taken may vary for different ovens. Don't let it go toasty brown or it will also turn hard. The bottoms should sound hollow when tapped and turn a nice brown. Serve hot with hummus and tahiniyeh or with any other dip.

Mini pitas

Mini pitas with hummus and tahini

I baked two pizzas and rolled the rest of the balls into thin circles about 8" in diameter.

Cut several one inch pitas using a cookie cutter. Pop in after the pizzas are baked keeping the temperature at 150C. After one minute invert all the pitas and bake. Within a minute they will all blow up into neat puffs. Remove and serve hot with the dips.

These make easy and quick appetizers for parties. You can make the dough in advance and refrigerate after wrapping in cling film.

Sjadad's picture

After lurking for a year I've decided to share what I've been up to.


Five Grain Levain

Five Grain Levain


Vermont Sourdough

Vermont Sourdough





Pizza Crumb



Baguettes a l'Ancienne

Baguette a l'Ancienne using Don's recipe and Sylvia's wet towel steaming method


Baguettes a l'Ancienne Grigne

I was fairly pleased with La Grigne and the scoring


French Apple Tart

I do pastry too :)

Cheshie's picture

So I started my first sourdough starter this morning. I followed the wild yeast recipe from sourdolday. The rye bread came out well yesterday, so I used rye flour and squeezed orange juice. I have aspirations of turning this one starter into both a rye starter (just keep feeding it rye flour) and a white sourdough (start feeding it unbleached white flour after the first three feedings). Now to be patient...

hansjoakim's picture

I admit there's not a speck of either lactobacilli or saccharomyces cerevisiae on the ingredient list this time, but that doesn't mean it's no good... I've been busy in the kitchen (breadwise and otherwise) the last few weeks, but my blog's been sadly neglected. This weekend's dinner is something that really looks after itself once you've popped it into the oven, so I thought I could use the opportunity to snap a few photos.

Ever since I bought Ruhlman and Polcyn's book on charcuterie, I've wanted to try the confit method of cooking and preserving meat. Back in the day, after harvesting foie gras, French farmers of Gascony and the Dordogne had great quantities of duck meat and duck fat, but no easy way to conserve the meat, save for the confit technique. Today, with refrigeration, the main reason for using confit is the unique tenderness, texture and flavour of confited meat that make the technique worthwhile.

In brief, the meat is first dry cured with salt (add pepper, coarsely ground cloves and a clove of garlic if you like) for 24 hours. Rinse off all excess salt under cold, running water and place the meat in an ovenproof pot or casserole. Pour over rendered fat (or oil) so that all the meat is covered and place in a low oven for 8 - 12 hours, until the meat is beautifully tender and settled on the bottom of the baking vessel. Keep the meat submerged in the fat and cool to room temperature before covering the vessel with foil and refrigerating it. Both Ruhlman/Polcyn and Robuchon have great recipes for duck confit, that, if followed accurately, produce confits that can be kept for up to 6 months in the refrigerator. As the fat turns solid, and prevents air to reach the meat, the confit technique is a way of hermetically sealing meat.

I had problems obtaining duck fat, so I used a cheap olive oil as the poaching medium instead. The olive oil doesn't turn solid in the refrigerator, so this will not make a fully conserved duck confit. According to Ruhlman, it can still be kept for up to a month in the fridge, but mine won't last that long. Promise.

So... Rub your duck legs with generous amounts of coarse sea salt, a few ground cloves, pepper corns and a crushed clove of garlic. Place in the fridge for 24 hours, then rinse and place in a tight cooking vessel. The tighter you can place the meat in the vessel, the less fat/oil you need to use to cover the meat:

Duck confit

Fill it up all the way so that all meat is covered in rendered fat/oil:

Duck confit

Now, a good idea is to first warm the pot over medium-high heat until the oil is close to the simmering temperature of water. This will give the legs a good thermal kick in the beginning (otherwise you might have to extend the baking time in the oven by several hours). Then place in a low (approx 80 - 85 dC) oven, uncovered, until the meat is absolutely tender. One way to check whether it's finished, is to gently pierce the meat with a skewer. If the fat that runs out is a thin, liquid stream, it's done. My four legs were done in roughly 8 hours. Remove from oven and let the vessel come to room temperature before you cover it with foil and refrigerate it.

A simple but tasteful dish of confited duck legs can be made by cooking the legs at 220dC for 15 mins (the last few minutes with the broiler on to make a ridiculously crisp and delicious skin) and serving them with a ragu of lentils (I used green du Berry lentils), carrots, shallots, garlic, asparagus beans and a potato purée. Shredded duck confit is amazing in salads as well. Oh, and did I mention that this is great with bread too? A tasty duck rillette on freshly baked pain au levain... sacrebleu. Bon appétit!

Duck confit


Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

My family is not so much in to football, but we are into bread.  This post will give you an idea how much.  You see, my mom taught me the basics of making bread when I was a kid.  However, she never went much beyond a basic white bread pan loaf (although these were always excellent).  Although I got her The Bread Baker's Apprentice for Christmas a couple years back, she never got into the artisan baking thing, with pre-ferments and all, and found the whole process a little intimidating.  But this year, for Christmas, she asked for a baking lesson from me.  Today was the day.

The plan: to bake three types of bread in one day, making two batches of each so that I could make one and demonstrate, and then she could make one.  Limitted to her standard (but quite good, as I discovered) home oven, this required staggering the batches over the course of the day.

On the roster: Italian Bread (from BBA), Potato Rosemary Bread (also from BBA), and French-style rustic bread (Pain Rustique from Hamelman's Bread). All solid players that I can do in my sleep at home, and felt like ought to go fairly smoothly, while showcasing different flavors, shaping and slashing styles.

Let the games begin!

We showed up at my parents' place at 9am, bringing with us a pre-game miche:

Another Mighty Miche, ready for toasting

At 9:30 my dad took the baby, my wife went out shopping with her mom and sister, and my mom and I got to work.  First up was mixing Italian Bread--not much teaching there, although I demonstrated the power of the 5-minute rest for helping along gluten development

Italian Bread #1, in between the remaining biga and the poolish

From there, the day proceeded in an almost-orderly fashion, alternating mixing, stretch-and-folding, dividing, and shaping with one bread and then another.  Mostly things proceeded smoothly, although there was a moment of panic when we realized that I'd dumped out, pre-shaped and final shaped Potato-Rosemary Bread #2 instead of #1, while #1 sat happily bulk fermenting for an extra half an hour.  Some improvisation was required (we pretended batch #2 had never been shaped, quickly shaped batch #1 without a pre-shape and pretended it had already been proofing for 10 minutes.  It worked.)

Mom kneading Potato Rosemary Dough

Italian Breads Proofing - "Mine" are on the left. (All on my new TMB/SFBI couche!)


Potato Rosemary Breads in the Oven


Rustic Breads in Bulk Fermentation - "Mine" is on top (Also my lovely SFBI/TMB proofing board)

Italian Breads, Finished. Mine on the left (clearly under proofed!)


Rosemary Potato Breads (I don't even know whose are mine!)

Rustic Breads  (Mine on the Right)

The hardest part of the whole business (besides being up on our feet all day baking), was teaching the shaping techniques.  I had the principles clear in my head (surface tension, surface tension, surface tension), but conveying the actual physical motions (which are just plain tricky anyhow) was quite difficult.  Practice was useful -- except on the Italian bread, I had my mom shape and slash one of "my" breads after I demonstrated the technique so she'd have an extra chance to get the hang of it.  What proved invaluable, however, was employing a dish towel a la Mark of Back Home Bakery to demonstrate.  I already thought that video was great when it was posted, but now I'm really grateful to Mark for making posting it! I only wish I'd thought to do that before we'd already shaped the Italian breads, rather than after.

The other main challenge was the oven--it was just too good!  My parent's gas oven held it's heat remarkably well, which meant that turning the temperature up before was actually unnecessary, and indeed counter-productive since amidst the chaos I forgot to turn it down after loading the breads.

The fruits of our labors

The bakers and their breads


After we were done baking, we brought three choice loaves over to my in-laws for dinner (it was my father-in-law's birthday, by coincidence), and had a lovely meal.

Clockwise from left, Rustic Bread, Italian Bread, and Potato Rosemary Bread



It was a fun, busy, bread-ful day.  I'd do some things differently if I were to do this again (like use a bigger oven and do three batches instead of six!), but my mom and I had a great time.

Happy baking, everyone,


mdunham21's picture

This weekend has been a smorgasbord of baked goods.  Friday afternoon i mixed together a poolish with the intentions of making poolish baguettes the following day.  I let the poolish sit out until it was nice and bubbling then retired it to the refrigerator for the next day.  I removed the poolish from the refrigerator and brought it to room temp while I prepared the main dough. 

I was working off of Peter Reinhart's poolish baguette recipe from BBA.  I sifted the wheat flour to remove the bran, i'm not sure if my sieve was fine enough to remove all the bran but it removed a large proportion of it.  I'm going to be a bit lazy in my blogging tonight and just post a few pictures, which will not include crumb shots because the crumb turned out piss poor.

I had to find something to do with the left over bran i sifted from the wheat flour.  I decided to make bran muffins, which I have never made before but thought i would try.  The recipe was a crap shoot a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  I used a small portion of wheat flour to AP added some sugar some molasses, yeast, and buttermilk and an egg.  I topped the muffins with oats and baked them in a 350 degree oven until a toothpick came out clean.  I can't say I've ever had a bran muffin so I have nothing to compare them to, they seem to taste fine.  

I caught an episode of Diners Drive in's and Dives earlier this week, Guy Fieri happened upon a restaurant that featured cranberry and wild rice french toast.  The two ingredients seem like such an odd combination to me and I had to try it.  I pieced together a recipe and made a large sandwich loaf with a smaller free form loaf to go with it.  Needless to say, I can't wait for breakfast in the morning, I just wish I had some fresh maple syrup to go with it.  

As if this wasn't enough for one day, I decided to make sandwich loaves for the upcoming week.  The loaves are basic white loaves from The Bread Bible.  I don't eat a lot of white bread but this will have to do this week until I can make some whole grain loaves.  

Nope, not done yet.  The poolish baguette recipe calls for 7 ounces of poolish, which leaves a substantial amount for another application.  I am tossing around the idea of making a poolish pizza crust tomorrow, although I am still uncertain about a recipe at this point.  I have also decided to start the bread baker's apprentice challenge tomorrow.  I have already made quite a few of the recipes in the book but I will chalk that up to practice.  At any rate, I have the soaker for Anadama bread sitting on the counter top now, another post to follow.


Happy Baking,


White Sandwich loaf before pre-shape

Sandwich loaves final proofing

White sandwich loaves final proof

Finished sandwich loaves

Crumb Shot


Mixture of the day's bake

Crumb shot of cranberry wild rice bread

dmsnyder's picture


One of the breads we baked at the SFBI Artisan II Workshop last month was a miche. Everyone thought it was one of the best breads we baked. I made it at home for the first time two weeks ago, but used “Organic Type 85” high-extraction flour from Central Milling rather than the mix of white and whole wheat with the addition of toasted wheat germ we had used at SFBI. (See This miche is a hit!)

This bread was delicious, but I did want to make it at least once using the formula we had used at the SFBI, just to see how it turned out at home compared to baked in a commercial steam injected deck oven. Certainly the several TFL members who have baked this miche in their home ovens since I posted the formula have found it to be good. Also, at the SFBI, we had found that miches scaled at 2.5 to 3 kg somehow had an even better flavor than those scaled at 1.25 kg. So, today I baked a 2 kg miche using the original SFBI Artisan II formula.

For those who would like to make this larger version, here is the formula for a 2 kg miche:


Total Dough

Bakers %

Weight (g)

AP Flour



WW Flour









Wheat germ toasted








Bakers %

Weight (g)

AP Flour



WW Flour









Liquid starter







Final Dough

Bakers %

Weight (g)

AP Flour









Wheat germ toasted









The procedure used was the same as in my previous blog entry about this bread with one exception – shooting for a slightly lighter crust, I baked with steam for 20 minutes at 450ºF, then turned the oven to convection bake at 425ºF for another 40 minutes. I did not leave the miche in the turned off oven to dry out before removing it to the cooling rack. I did leave it in the oven while I heated the oven back up to 460ºF conventional bake for the next loaves (about 5 minutes).

I was concerned about over-proofing this loaf, and it was lined up ahead of a couple San Joaquin Sourdough breads waiting to bake.

Miche after baking 20 minutes with steam at 450ºF

The blowout I got suggests the loaf was a bit under-proofed. I also shaped the boule really tight, which may well have been a second factor.

The miche sang loud and long while cooling. The crust had some crackles, but not like the last miche.

Crust crackles

Loaf profile, cut through the middle


Crumb close-up

2 kg miche beside 514 g San Joaquin Sourdough bâtards

The crust was crunchy-chewy - much thinner than the last bake. It was much less caramelized, and this was apparent in the less wonderful crunch and flavor. The crumb was nice. It was quite noticeably denser in the center of the loaf. I think this is expectable with a miche of this size. I thought the crumb structure was pretty consistent from the center of a slice to the crust.

6 hours after baking: The aroma of the crumb had a pronounced whole wheat grassiness. The crumb was moderately chewy. From past experience, I expect it to be softer tomorrow. The flavor was good - mildly sour with a nice wheaty flavor - but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the miche made with Central Milling's "Type 85" flour. I think the flavor would have been better had I used fresh-milled whole wheat. That's what I will do the next time I bake this miche.

24 hours after baking: The aroma and flavor have mellowed and melded. The grassy aroma is gone. It just smells like a good sourdough country bread. The flavor is now delightful - very complex - nuttier and sweeter. A very thin smear of unsalted butter makes this bread ambrosial.

I froze half the miche. The other half will be croutons for onion soup gratiné tonight, breakfast toast with almond butter and crostini with ribollita for dinner tomorrow. (The ribollitta was my wife's all-morning project.) That should leave another quarter loaf for sandwiches, panini, French toast ... 


Submitted to YeastSpotting


davidg618's picture

I've been looking for a recipe for buns suitable for hamburger, sausage and peppers, grilled portobello mushrooms, pulled pork, or the like. Indirectly I came across this recipe, Dan Lepard's Soft Baps (Manchester Guardian, Oct. 6, 2007) replying to this TFL posting .

They feel wonderfully soft, just like my wife wants in a sandwich bun. I'm making turkey burgers with pesto tonight for dinner. Seemed like the time to try these.

This happened during the bake: Kissing Baps; who says our UK friends are reserved?

The mottled surface indicates there will be a few gas bubbles, but I'm expecting a sandwich bread, closed crumb. I'll take a crumb shot tonight when we serve them, and post it later.

The crumb

As expected, closed but not dense, very slightly chewy. Can't say much about flavor; it was swamped by sage, thyme, pepper and turkey. This is a keeper; my wife agrees.

David G



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