The Fresh Loaf

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dmsnyder's picture

This weekend, I returned to my roots, tweaked a new favorite and baked a new bread.

When I started baking bread again after a 25 year hiatus, my motive was to make two favorite breads I was unable to obtain locally – Jewish Sour Rye and San Francisco-style Sourdough. My initial achievement of these goals was with the Sour Rye formula from George Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker and with Peter Reinhart's Sourdough Bread from Crust & Crumb. These remain among my favorite breads.

Yesterday, I baked Greenstein's Jewish Sour Rye. The “authentic” NY-style deli bread is made with a white rye sour and first clear flour. As my taste for heartier rye breads developed, I began using whole rye flour rather than white rye and found I preferred it. For this bake, I used KAF Medium Rye though, and found it a very good.

Greenstein's recipes all use volume measurements. Some time back, I converted a couple of my favorites from his book to weights. (See Sour Rye Bread from George Greenstein's “Secrets of a Jewish Baker”) Although I'm a firm believer in weighing ingredients and do so even when feeding my stock sourdough starter, I have to confess I feed my rye sour by feel. The sour I built for this bake must have been firmer than usual or the medium rye thirstier than the BRM dark rye flour I've been using, because the dough ended up drier than usual. The effect was the cuts opened up much more than they usually do. The loaves were also under-proofed, and they had major bursting.

The flavor of this bread is wonderful. When tasted right after cooling, it was intensely sour. It was less sour on the second day. I believe I'll stick with medium rye for this bread for a while.


The miche we baked during the SFBI Artisan II workshop (This miche is a hit!)  is a new favorite. I've made it four times now, I think, each time with a different flour mix. Today, I picked up on brother Glenn's bakes using half Central Milling's “Organic Type 85” flour and half one of CM's baguette flours. I used CM “Organic Tye 85” flour to build the levain and KAF AP flour for the final dough. This results in 13% high-extraction flour and 87% white flour in the total dough. I scaled the miche to 2 kg for this bake.

I was inspired by Breadsong's scoring of her Teff miche (SFBI Teff Miche - 1.5kg) and attempted to do something similar. I bow to her superior artistry, but I'm not unhappy with my result.

SFBI Miche crumb

SFBI Miche crumb

I left the miche wrapped in baker's linen overnight before slicing. The crust remained crunchy. The crumb was moist. The aroma was quite wheaty. The flavor of the crust was dark and sweet. The crumb was moderately sour but with a complex wheaty, sweet flavor. 

Recall that all the high-extraction flour in this bread was pre-fermented. I really like the effect. The higher ash content results in more active fermentation and acid production, both of which I appreciate. The impact of the Type 85 flour on the flavor profile was greater than one might expect from its 13% presence in the total flour. In the original SFBI formula, the whole wheat flour is also in the levain, and constitutes only 3.33% of the total flour. This bread was very good made entirely with high-extraction flour, but, at least at the moment, I believe I like it best using the original formula. It's a hard call, because all the flour mixes I've used have made delicious breads.


The new bread I baked was the “Vienna Bread” with Dutch Crunch from BBA. The TFL members' bakes of this bread (Latest Bake: Dutch Crunch) really inspired me, especially the rolls, since we planned on making hamburgers for dinner.

Vienna Bread with Dutch Crunch Bâtard

Vienna Bread with Dutch Crunch Rolls

Reinhart's Vienna Bread formula makes a lovely dough, and the Dutch Crunch topping is visually striking on both larger loaves and rolls. I really had no idea how thick to apply the topping, so I “laid it on thick.” From the results, I think I got it about right.

Vienna Bread with Dutch Crunch at start of proofing

Vienna Bread with Dutch Crunch at finish of proofing

Vienna Bread crumb

As advertised, the crust is crunch and slightly sweet. The crumb is very light, delicate and tender with a lovely balanced flavor. The flavor is like brioche but much more subtle. Words like "delicate," and "finesse" come to mind. I anticipate that this will make outstanding toast and French toast. Actually, I think I could just sit down right now and eat the whole loaf as is.

So, would "delicate" and "subtle" bread be your choice for a hamburger bun? No?

Caramelized red onion with balsamic vinegar and roasted New Mexico Green Chile hamburger on Vienna Dutch Crunch roll




jombay's picture

Hey all,

Made my first brioche today and I haven't posted in a while so here it goes.


The formula is from Advanced Bread & Pastry by Suas.


Bread Flour                       100.00%

Water                                65.00%

Instant Yeast                       0.10%

Mix and ferment 12-16 hours at RT.


Final Dough:

Bread Flour                        100.00%

Milk                                      7.00%

Eggs                                   72.00%

Osmotolerant Instant Yeast     1.60% *I used instant yeast but added 30% more

Salt                                       2.60%

Sugar                                   22.00%

Butter                                   65.00%

Sponge                                 54.00%

Mix all except butter until well developed. Add butter gradually until fully mixed.

First fermentation 1 hour

Preshape, rest 30 mins in fridge.

Shape, proof 1.5 hours.

Bake 400f ~15mins.

Very light and tender. Think I'll try txfarmer's 100% butter brioche next time.



sam's picture


As a newbie, I've begun paying a lot more attention to my starter + preferment ripeness levels, timings, keeping a log, etc.  Today I baked a big (for me) single loaf of 3lbs (68% overall hydration, 1/3 of the flour pre-fermented, all white KAF Bread Flour).   Yesterday, I caught both my starter and subsequent levain at just their peak of ripeness, mixed the final dough, and bulk fermented at 50F for about 14 hours.  I intentionally under-mixed the dough in my stand mixer (I did appx 770 revolutions of the dough hook, normally would do mid-900 revolutions), because I wanted to see if the extended time spent in the chiller would complete the development by itself.  After the 14 hours in the chiller, the dough was plenty extensible, but not so much elastic.  I did a couple S&Fs, which brought some elasticity (strength?) to the dough, but I think it was still a little under-developed.  I went ahead with it anyway to see what would happen.  I took the entire 3lb dough and shaped it into a large log / roll, let it rest for 15 mins, scored one long slice, then baked it on my oven baking stone, with 8 seconds of steam, vented after 20 mins.  I initially had the oven at 500F but backed off to 460F and further to 425F, about 45 mins total baking time.  Bread temp was 206F after coming out of the oven, maybe a little low.  I've never baked a single loaf this large before.

The entire downstairs of the house filled with a wonderful aroma of baking sourdough bread.  I think I got a pretty good oven spring, but the crumb isn't the most open in the world.  I only cut it once vertically for the picture -- not going to cut it horizontally to check the crumb because I'm keeping this for eating.  It has a nice sourdough flavor, and good chewing texture.  Will make a perfect dinner bread.  :-)








Next time I will mix a little bit longer, my normal ~950 revolutions.


Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I just made the best loaf of bread that I've ever made in my whole life! 

For so long now, I've wanted to be able to make bread, and feel happy with what came out of the oven, and in the past I was easily dissuaded.

This loaf is about the 4th one I've made - and only about the 7th one I've ever made in my life, and it - is - gorgeous!

I made a bit of a mistake - I was busy - and it got a bit overdone - but I took (I think Daisy_A's) advice and brushed it with "butter" (margerine) and covered it whilst it was cooling - I was expecting it to be like a rock, but no, it's got a beautiful dark crust that crisps and melts, and the inside is so beautifully soft, I can't believe it. 


Am I getting too carried away by bread? haha I don't care, I love it!

It was a very simple recipe (if I can remember it - I just make it up, I don't weigh anything);

strong flour


1 egg

small amount of olive oil 

demerera sugar 


dried yeast

small amount of honey


I just mixed some warm milk and oil and honey in a pan, and poured it in to a bowl with the yeast, salt and sugar - I left it to bubble - took a while though.

I then mixed more flour in it, and left it alone again 'cos it didn't seem to be working, but apparently I was being impatient. 

It rose nicely, I then mixed in more flour, until it was possible to knead it.

Kneaded it for about 10 minutes or less - left it alone until it had risen again - the rise didn't seem very big - again apparently I was being impatient.

The oven was on for a long time, and was very hot.

I went away - came back a bit later and thought I'd ruined it - let it cool down with the melted margerine on the top, I sprinkled some flour on the top for good luck, and covered it with the tea towel - came back just now 05:30 - I can't sleep - 


and - it - was - gorgeous!


I put some margerine on and some of the honey - and bloody hell it was nice.

I am so very excited to try again soon - next time I wont keep it in for so long - I also want to try a half and half mix, where I bake one half upon the first rise - and then bake the second one after I've "punched" the air out of it then let it rise again, just to see if letting it rise a 2nd time is worth it - Jamie Oliver said it wasn't, but to be fair the recipe I tried from his book tasted s***e.

I've wanted to be good at making bread for so long, I can't believe that I'm getting good at it now, I'm over the moon :D

I can't tell you how happy I am about it! 


Oh god, I have just imagined eating this bread with my home made chicken soup - which is - a chicken (haha) ginger, garlic, some veg like carrots, potatoes, cabbage, onions, and chilli peppers, salt and pepper............


I need to lye down :)

You know what it is? You all probably make far superior bread to mine, but I can't say how happy I am that I've reached this point - it's encouraging me to keep baking, the more I do it the more I love it.

I wish I could share it with you.

In the near future I'm going to make a video for the beginners so they can be encouraged too.

cranbo's picture

So I've been baking breads for some years now and experimenting with various recipes. 

Today I've been working on these English Muffins as well as my version of Theresa Greenway's Griffin's Bread.

The versions I'm making are 62% and 68% hydrations respectively. 

Most of the time I use a KA mixer with C-hook to knead.

Both doughs clear the sides of the bowl reasonably well, but neither of these totally clear the bottom of the bowl. I ran them both for maybe 1 minute at KA speed 2 to combine, then about 3-4 minutes at speed 3. 

In the case of the muffins (which use about 70% preferment), there was about a 2.5" diameter circle at the bottom, and I added some additional flour (about 10g) and it shrank to about 2". 

In the case of the sourdough (which uses about 82% preferment), it stuck to a large circle at bowl bottom, probably 5-6" around. I had to add probably 30g of flour to make it clear the sides better, leaving about a 2-2.5" diameter circle at the bottom of the bowl. 

My questions are about hydration and mixing to clear the bowl: 


  1. Am I correct to assume that all 62% and above hydration flours will never totally clear the bottom of the bowl? 
  2. What hydration typically will clear the bowl bottom? 
If I was more accurate with my starter maintenance, I'm sure this would be less of an issue (I think my preferment hydration varies anywhere from 60-85%, because I eyeball it). I just want to get a better feel for the behavior of hydration and my mixing machine, so that I can make adjustments as necessary. At least I've learned not to add more flour to sticky ryes, I've ended up with quite a few bricks over the years. 


wtdog55's picture

Does anyone have a good recepe for a power bagel like Einsteins?

nycnaples's picture

I made the ciabatta bread yesterday loved how easy it was the only question that I have is that there was no information on the temperature for the water it just asked that you combine ingredients and mix then rest for 10 minutes then paddle untill the dough climbed the came out great but wonder if it could be better 

sam's picture


So a couple weeks ago, I began and have been maintaining my first sourdough culture, which has fortunately made some good bread so far.  I saved a couple days' worth of discards, chilled at 50F.  I found a few recipes both on this site and others for starter-based pancakes, but the ones I saw, all call for a preferment.  Well, tonight I had a craving for pancakes and didn't want to wait, so I loosely followed the sourdough starter pancake recipe on the KAF web site.  For the bulk of the flour, instead of all-purpose, I used fresh milled buckwheat.  No buttermilk was handy, so I used plain whole milk.  Used the whisk tool in my stand mixer to mix it together.  Initially it was too liquid, so I spooned in some AP flour to thicken it up a bit.   That's it, instant pancakes!   :)

I didn't get much of a sourdough flavor, probably due to the lack of prefermenting, but they still tasted very good.




I like my pancakes with peanut butter and syrup!  Yum!


tssaweber's picture

About a year ago when my in-laws from Switzerland visited, they brought a crown and plastic doll with them, accessories necessary for a "Drei Koenigs Kuchen" (3 Kings Cake).

Of course it was their expectations that I would miraculously produce one of these cakes. Even though never done before, I survived this challenge, but of course was not totally satisfied with the result. As my last consulting gig just ended and nothing new is ahead, this was now the time to tinker with this recipe and finalize it.

From my childhood memory I knew what I wanted to achieve, a "Wybeeribroetli" (raisin roll/bun) style roll, nicely brown and soft on the outside, with a nice yellowish spongy, regular, open and moist crumb. 7 of these buns with a large one in the middle would give then a 3 kings cake.

After only two trials I was happy with the result and my younger son approved the buns to be ready for prime time. 

Happy baking!




Have a look at the formula here: Rosinenbroetchen

breadsong's picture

I tried making Karin's Dinkel Walnussbrot and really enjoyed the texture and flavor of this bread.
Thank you, Karin, for your recipe and technique!!!

I wanted to try making Spelt bread again - I saw these recipes, that used blueberries (yum!) as an ingredient:
Shao-Ping's Caramelized Hazelnut and Blueberry Spelt Sourdough
and Farine's Apple Blueberry Bread with Spelt

Thanks to all of these ladies for their beautiful breads, and inspiration for this attempt, using spelt levain, spelt flour, dried blueberries, maple syrup and walnuts.

This is my second try. The first try I built up a spelt levain over three feedings, and the crumb was quite tangy, but offset by the sweetness of the blueberries. This time, the bread is not as sour and I like the flavor a bit better.
The tiny amount of maple syrup in the formula didn't contribute any maple flavor to the baked bread.

Crumb shot from this attempt (boule), then from previous attempt (batard):


(for 2 x 650g boules):













Spelt flour





Spelt flakes















Maple syrup, Grade B





Yeast instant










Walnuts, coarsely chopped





Dried blueberries





Sourdough starter

























My sourdough starter is kept at 100% hydration; I adjusted the water in my levain to approximate the hydration of Karin's Biga in her Dinkel Walnussbrot.
I basically followed Karin's formula & instructions, but made some minor changes to accommodate the levain, & guessed as to how much yeast to include in the final dough:

In the morning, prepare the soaker. Leave at room temperature for 8 hours.
In the morning, mix the levain and leave at room temperature until double. At five hours, it had doubled - I put it in the fridge for 3 hours before mixing the dough. 
In the evening (after 8 hours), prepare final dough: Soak the dried blueberries in warm water for 15 minutes, then drain.
Mix all ingedients (except for the dried blueberries and walnuts) at low speed for 1 - 2 min., until coarse ball forms. Then knead at medium-low speed for 4 min., feeding the blueberries and nuts slowly to the dough. Let dough rest for 5 min., resume kneading for 1 more min. Transfer to lightly oiled container, and place in refrigerator overnight.

Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hrs. before using.                                                           
Preheat oven to 425 F/220 C. Prepare for hearth baking with stone and steam pan. 
Shape boules, place in bannetons, and let rise to 1 1/2 times its original size. (At 80F, this took two hours, until the boules had visibly puffed up.) Turn out onto peel or parchment lined baking sheet. Slash. 
Bake bread at 350 for 20 minutes, steaming with 1 cup of boiling water. Rotate 180 degrees, remove steam pan and continue baking for another 30 minutes (internal temperature should be at least 195 F, and loaf should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.
Let cool on wire rack.

We like this blueberry variation of Karin's bread.
Next time I might try adding a touch of natural maple flavoring when mixing the dough to see what that might add. Or, perhaps not - the spelt and other flavors are lovely as they are!

Happy baking everyone,
from breadsong


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