The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It started with an Einkorn Poolish.  What was I thinking?   Should drink my morning coffee first before doing this.  Desperate to try out my new crown cane banneton, threw the last of my Einkorn flour onto the scale, 138 grams.  Matched that with equal weights of water. Whoops! A tad too much, no biggie, Einkorn loves to soak up water if given the time and gee whiz, only 10 extra grams.  Then found a 7 g package of instant yeast, tore open and tapped in a gram or two saving the rest for later.  Stir, cover and forget for the rest of the morning while I enjoy my coffee and get into my day.   

As I poked and prodded my Einkorn Poolish over the course of the morning, it reminded me just how sticky Einkorn dough can be.  I hope it works out.  I slipped a small hot freshly peeled boiled potato into the bowl, along the side, warm things up a bit around 10 am.   Rising nicely and doubling which it doesn't have to do but looks like an afternoon bake.  Around noon, grated the potatoes and stirred it into the poolish.  What a mess to clean the spoon!

Around 2 pm I did my maths.  Let's see....  at least 750g dough.  A two-three water to flour recipe would be 300g H2O to 450g flour.... subtract the poolish and get my water and flour weights for 66.6% hydration.  Add the potatoe and it should be in the 500g range for figuring 2% salt.  (Used 8g table salt.)   I decided on AP flour, no bread flour in cupboard.  Hey, did discover I had two kinds of spelt flour from the same manufacturer, one sifted "white" and the other whole flour.  The carb. and fiber contents are very different.  

Two o'clock mixed up the dough with rest yeast and after half an hour rest, used wet hands to knead shaggy dough into smooth dough. Still sticking and wondering if the dividing and shaping will be just as sticky.  After another half hour of sitting, turned out onto a lightly AP floured bench and no problem dividing with a bench scraper as long as the cut edges got a little flour on them in the process.  Six balls at  approx 120g each and one seventh ball with 145g.  That's how it came out from original instructions of 100g each with one at 150g.  20 min rest under a damp towel.  Rolling out large ball into a disk, draping well floured banneton, reshaping other balls and spacing around middle.  Cutting hump into a 6 point star and pressing points onto each ball to secure.  Dusted a little bit around the edges with raw sesame seeds.  Let proof under damp towel on rack.  Oven 220° C with steam pan baked on heavy pre-heated pizza pan.  Fine soft crumb with a crusty yummy loaf.  

Reflecting back on flattening and draping the heavier dough ball,  it could have been a smaller disk with less dough spread out at the bottom of the banneton.  Seeds would have to be rolled into outside surface before draping.   You can see I almost covered the bottom.  There is so little room at the bottom of this banneton.  Not sure if I like the looks of the cane lines as compared to a smooth cloth lined form at the Wild Yeast Blog



Anne-Marie B's picture
Anne-Marie B

A fond adieu to Portugal with this light semolina loaf, pao Alentejo, from Nelson Carvalheiro's recipe. It starts off with two different starters, one made with bread flour and one with rye. Left them overnight to bubble and mixed the bread the next morning. I got busy in the garden, so it overproofed a bit. I gently knocked it down and shaped the loaf according to Berndt's method and let it rise in a bowl lined with well-floured cheesecloth. It all worked well except that I could not get the required ridge when it baked. I probably did not flour the end of the roll enough before putting it down to rise. It is one of the nicest tasting breads I have ever baked. I will make it again and keep on trying to get the right ride along the loaf.




alfanso's picture

An old friend, Field Blend #2.  But with a new twist.  I recently returned to Mr. Hamelman's all AP 125% hydration levain (from my all rye version of it) and had a hankering to combine this with Mr. Forkish's FB#2 formula.  A Hamelkish or Forkelman Frankenstein.

Aside from using the all AP levain, I dropped the overall hydration down from 78% to a more Hamelman-like top-of-range of about 73%.  All other percentages and flour mixes were adhered to, including the pre-fermented flour percentage.  Due to the addition of the levain at "autolyse" time, I shortened the bulk rise by that same half hour as the autolyse.  Then my standard bulk retard and ...  

A very recent change to my pre-shaping and final shaping is a work-in-progress.  Trying to be ever more gentle, I'm still working on getting a consistent shaping.  Not complaining, you understand, just explaining a thing or two.


375g x 4 baguettes / long batards

And why do I call these long batards as well?  I'm so glad you asked.  Last year I was made aware of a page from Msr. Calvel's book which portrays differing bread shapes, weights, sizes and scores.  And so I changed my tune and adapted to both.

And as long as open crumb was mentioned, here are slices of the two breads I've made using this softer, gentler approach to shaping.

The two on the left are from a deli rye and the two on the right are from this FrankenBread (FB#2).  Both are at 73% hydration.



dabrownman's picture

She's got a gray face now but she is still pretty spry for her age!

isand66's picture

It's that time of year again for grilled burgers which demand some tasty buns like these!

Fresh milled durum and whole wheat with some Caputo 00 style flour and sweet potato made the perfect soft and flavorful burger bun.

Download the BreadStorm File Here.


Levain Directions

Mix all the Levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I usually do this the night before.  Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours,  and 400 grams of the water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 30 minutes or longer.   Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), sweet potatoes, olive oil and balance of the water, and mix on low for 5 minutes.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (If you have a proofer you can set it to 78 degrees and follow above steps but you should be finished in 1 hour to 1.5 hours).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 hours.  Remove the dough and shape into rolls (for burgers I usually weight the dough to 145-155 grams).   Place the shaped rolls on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray or use some parchment paper and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone above the pan.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the rolls in the oven.

Let them bake for around 20 minutes until they are nice and brown.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before eating.

Elsie_iu's picture

After working with sprouted wheat, it makes total sense to start venturing into the zone of sprouted spelt. This time, I decided to make it fully-loaded rather than leaving it plain.



20% Sprouted Spelt Sun-dried Tomatoes Cheddar Sourdough


Dough flour:

150g     50%       Whole wheat flour

90g       30%       Whole spelt flour

60g       20%       Freshly milled sprouted spelt flour 


For leaven:

10g       3.3%      Starter

10g       3.3%      Bran shifted out from dough flour

10g       3.3%      Water


For dough:

290g     96.7%      Dough flour excluding bran for leaven 

265g     88.3%      Water

30g         10%      Leaven

9g             3%      Vital Wheat Gluten

3g             1%      Dark barley malt powder

5g        1.67%      Salt



34g       11.3%     Sun-dried tomatoes

90g         30%      Smoked cheddar cheese



305g       100%     Whole grain

280g      91.8%     Total hydration


Shift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 10g for leaven. Mix the rest back into the dough flour or soak them in equal amount of water taken from dough ingredients for a minimum of 4 hours.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, about 8 hours.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients and let ferment until ready. My leaven wasn’t ready when I use it so the dough took 16 hours to double. This leads to degradation of dough structure as the excessive activity of protease broke down the gluten. The bulk fermentation should take less than 10 hours if the starter is ripe and this problem should not occur. Fold in the smoked cheddar and sun-dried tomatoes and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Construct 3 sets of stretch and fold over a 1.25 hour proofing period (20+30+25), shape the dough after the last set of stretch and fold and let rise untouched for 25 minutes (part of the 1.25 hour). At the same time, preheat the oven at 250°C/480°F and pre-steam at the last ten minutes.

Score the dough and bake at 250°C/480°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 20 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 205°F. Let cool for at least 3 hours before slicing.

The gluten broke down leads to poor dough structure that couldn’t support itself. The dough thus flattened out immediately when put into the oven. However, there was still some oven spring and the crumb wasn’t too bad. It is very moist and chewy: just the way I like it.  Shuuu… I’ll just tell my mom that it’s flatbread when I serve it to her!

As for the taste, there’re no words…They are so delicious! Of course, you can hardly go wrong with sun-dried tomatoes and cheese but the sprouted spelt added something special too. I’d be lying if I tell you I can taste strong sprouted spelt flavour. Yet it is what that takes this bread from tasty to phenomenal.


I took some extra dough and made it into pizza. It turned out to be the best decision ever! 

Spread with home-made tomato relish. Half with feta cheese and half with smoked cheddar (my mom can’t stand goat’s cheese), topped with caramelized cabbage.

Crispy bottom and crust with a chewy centre! Have you tried cabbage on pizza? Just slice them thinly and put them on top of everything of the dough raw. It’ll come out of the oven perfectly caramelized!


Dsr303's picture

made these flat breads today..not real happy with the crust. Think I’ll use some starter next time. Wanted a blistered chewy base. These were crunchy. Any suggestions?

dabrownman's picture

A year ago, I found some smoked pastrami hanging out in the freezer so Lucy came up with a modern twist for an old classic, Jewish Deli Rye, to compliment the smoked meat in a slightly non traditional style of bread.


This week I found so smoke brisket in the very same freezer so Lucy, true to her nature, came up with another slightly non-traditional JDR that is much closer to the traditional one than last year.  Dan Baggs really let us have it trying pass that one off as a Jewish Deli Rye when he grew up in New York Surrounded by the real thing.

So, this time we are calling it New Age Nearly Jewish Deli Rye hoping Don Baggs doesn’t put a Dough Contract out on us with his Miami Bread Baking Mob – The MBBM!  This one really is pretty close to the real thing -n a new age way.

First off JDR breads have a higher amount of pre-fermented flour in the levain so we doubled it to 20% about twice our usual for this time of year when it’s 104 F outside.  But, Lucy bought some rolled oats to make a porridge, or gruel, bread as she likes to call it and that meant 50g of ground rolled oats ended up in the levain – 10% or half the flour in the levin mix.

It also had 5% high gluten flour and 5% rye bran in the 100% hydration 3 stage levain as well.  Now Jewish Deli rye doesn’t have oats in it but Lucy could care less about these technical things or anything for that matter – pretty much just like me.

The dough had 25% high extraction rye, the left over from the bran sifting, making for a bread that has 30% total whole grain rye – very much the JDR standard amount.  The rest of the dough flour was had 55% high gluten flour making for 60% HGF overall.

It pays to have a good breakfast on bake day!

With so much rye and oat in the mix, high gluten seemed like a reasonable remainder even though it too isn’t really a JDR flour.  We chucked in 2% Pink Himalayan sea salt and enough water to bring it up to 71% hydration – pretty low for one of Lucy’s fake JDR breads.  She had planned ahead for once though.

We love noodles for lunch. Especially with an apple galette chaser

She planned on adding a soaker of 5% dehydrated onions and 3% caraway seeds to the mix on the first set pf stretch and folds and that would bring some extra liquid, at least 5% to the overall hydration.  Both of these add ins are traditional for a JDR bread so she was back to being normal.

It was still 90 F when I sliced into it.  Was a little dense toward the bottom.

Once everything except the add ins were brought together we did 100 slap and folds to get it all mixed and the gluten working.  30 minutes later we did 10 slap and folds and 10 minutes later we did the first of 3 stretch and folds to get the onions and caraway evenly distributed.  All the stretch and folds were on 30 minute intervals.

After the last set of S&F’s we let the dough rest for 10 minutes before shaping it into a tight batard and plopping it into a very large, rice floured, batard basket that was way too big for this bread.  We immediately bagged it and placed it into the fridge for a 12 hour retard.

Some BBQ sauce poking through this sandwixh.

The next morning we noticed that the batard didn’t do too much in the fridge overnight so we let it worm up and finish proofing on the counter for 2.5 hours before firing up the oven to 450 F with the Mega Steam Lava Pan under the bottom stone.

We unmolded the batard onto parchment on a peel, brushed it with water, a very traditional thing indeed, sliced it twice lengthwise, a non-traditional score, and slid it onto the bottom stone.  Right before the oven door was closed we put 2 cups of water on the lava rocks for 18 minutes of Mega Steam. 

A free loaf of Sourdough my wife got at the Farmers Market that she received in gratitude for donating to the baker's emergency oven fund to replace his oven that went Kaput a few weeks before.  Remember the 3 G's of character attributes so hard to master for success in all things - graciousness, gratitude and generosity.

Killer Red Pork Enchiladas for Cinco De Mayo.

Once the steam came out we lowered the oven to 425 F, convection this time, and baked it for another 12 minutes until it reached 205 F on the inside.  It sprang bloomed and browned nicely.  The smell was outrageous.  We brushed it with water again as it came out of the oven.

A slice of that apple gallete.

We will wait for our lunch brisket sandwich to see what the crumb looks like – can’t wait.  This bread is just plain delicious.  The caraway and onion really come through.  The crust is crispy but the crumb issoft and moist.  This bread is what JRB bread is all about.

Lucy says to have that salad every night with dinner

and that Apple Galette!

Danni3ll3's picture

This is a repeat of Trevor’s European Peasant Bread (with the substitution of Kamut instead of wholewheat) while implementing Dabrownman’s suggestions: “I would do three different things with the levain build.  I would first get the starter amount up to 15 g from 10g.  Then get all the bran into the first feeding of the levain all 35g so it is in the acid the max amount of time and go to a 2 stage levain build with the first stage being 4 hours and the 2nd stage 8 hours.  Then I would use the high extraction flour from the whole grain for the 2nd stage of the levain rather than the unbleached white flour.“ My levain builds were longer than suggested but I did follow the rest. 



 Makes 3 loaves

150 g freshly milled spelt

150 g freshly milled rye

150 g freshly milled Kamut flour

820 g unbleached flour

50 g freshly ground flax

850 g filtered water

23 g Himalayan pink salt

30 g local yogurt

280 g 100% hydration levain (procedure for this is in recipe)

 Two nights before:

  1. Mill the kamut, spelt and rye separately and sift out the bran to feed the levain. Weigh the bran and set aside. Mine ended up weighing 35 g. Weigh out 105 g of the rye and save for the levain. Put the remainder of the rye and the sifted kamut and spelt in a bowl. Add the unbleached flour and the freshly ground flax. Reserve.

The morning before:

  1. After refreshing my starter 2 or 3 times, I took 15 g of starter and added all of the bran with 35 g of water. I let it sit at room temp for about 12 hours.

The night before:

  1. Feed the levain the reserved rye flour and 105 g of water. Let rise overnight. It should have more than doubled by the morning. I wasn’t ready for it in the morning, so I just stirred it down and let it rise again.

Main dough:

  1. Autolyse the flour/flax mix and the water for about 4 hours. Sprinkle the pink salt on top for the autolyse. This can definitely be shorter but I had a Pilates class in the middle and some errands to run so it stretched out to four hours.
  2. Add the yogurt and the levain and mix well. I did 100 in bucket folds to make sure everything was well integrated and gluten development was well on its way. The dough tightens up and you can’t really do a stretch but you can fold the dough over itself going around the bucket. The dough smooths out nicely and you can see all of the bran from the levain evenly dispersed throughout the dough. Cover and place the dough in a warm spot to rise
  3. Do sets of stretches and folds about 45 minutes apart for the entire span of bulk fermentation. It came out to 4 sets. Bulk fermentation took 4 and half hours and the dough rose about 30-40%. There were lots of bubbles around the edges of the container and the dough felt very billowy.
  4. Lightly flour the top of the dough in the bowl/bucket and dump out onto a bare counter. Lightly flour the top of the dough again and divide into 3 equal portions of about 790 g.  Pre-round the dough with a scraper. I must say that I think Trevor would be proud of me this time. I managed to round those loaves with minimal flour and minimal sticking! 😁
  5. Let rest for 40 minutes and then do the final shape. I used the same shaping technique that I used for my last bake. Flour the top of the boule, flip it over, pull out the top corners and stick them to the center of the dough. Do the same for the two bottom corners. Then take the points that were formed and overlap them in the middle, going all the way around. Flip the boule over and spin it like a top until you have a nice tight shape. Place in rice floured bannetons, cover and put to bed in the fridge for the night. 
  6. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the dutch ovens inside for at least 45 minutes. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots and gently place the dough seam side up inside. I first turn out the dough on a counter sprinkled with cornmeal and then pick it up by my fingertips to put in the pots. Touch wood, I haven’t burned myself yet, using this method. I will though one day! 🙄
  7. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, do a little dance because the loaves look great, drop the temperature to 425F and bake for another 22 minutes.


Once again, I got great oven spring. It is amazing how much a loaf springs up when there are no add-ins in it and only 35% whole grains. 


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