The Fresh Loaf

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Maxbob002's picture

I made a French bread size loaf from a sourdough baguette recipe. It's a recipe I got in a sourdough class that I make regularly but usually in typical baguette form. It has about 50grams of starter and 2 gram sof commercial yeast for a 900 gram total dough. We are having roast beef melt sandwiches for dinner so I made some larger loaves than normal. I did everything I thought would decrease oven spring. I used a lower oven temperature, bulk and proofed longer than normal and held my lame completely vertical. Between Charlotte and the commerical yest, the end result was among the best oven spring I have had in a loaf. Not sure how it happened but will have to keep experimenting and learning. Bread baking is so complex.

Thanks for reading.

Cedar Mountain's picture
Cedar Mountain

I had some leftover buckwheat, spelt, rye, oats cereal porridge from a previous bake along with some sprouted gold and brown flax seeds...amazing what you can do with some fresh milled flour, water, salt and yeast! 

30% fresh milled organic grain (rye, red fife); 70% organic, unbleached white flour; 22% young (2 hours) levain; 23 g  sea salt; initial hydration 75%, final hydration 88% after addition of organic grains porridge, sprouted flax seeds, toasted buckwheat.  Bulk fermented for approximately 4 1/2 hours, dough temperature 78 F throughout; pre-shaped, bench rested for 1/2 hour and then final shaping, into proofing basket and cold proofed overnight in the fridge for 18 hours. Baked in combo cooker and Schlemmertopf clay baker directly out of the fridge, 500 F covered for 20 minutes, 450 F for 10 minutes; 450 F uncovered for 18 minutes.  The aroma is definitely buckwheat but the crumb taste/texture is soft, custardy, chewy because of the porridge and slightly grassy like olive oil because of the sprouted flax seeds.  I like this one...and yes, it too is going on my list of favourites!



JenMayer's picture


Pros: Looks fancy. Shape of loaf is pristine

Cons: Bread typically needed to cook longer as it seemed to trap more moisture especially on the bottom of the loaf. Harder to remove bread from pan after baking. Can not see progress while the dough rises (except for top of loaf). 


Pros: Can visualize the dough as it rises giving you a good idea of how well the crumb will end up. Easier to clean.

Cons: Difficult to remove bread from pan after baking at times.

Metal (Steel):

Pros: Excellent shape. Bread seems to cook through faster and more "even". Easy to remove bread from pan after baking. In my opinion, this pan produced the best product;)

Cons: Can not see the "underbelly" of bread as it rises like you can with glass pan. 

Pans used in this experiment:

Ceramic- Wilton® Indulgence® Professional Stoneware 9-Inch x 5-Inch Loaf Pan from Bed Bath and Beyond

Glass- Pyrex Corning NY (Not sure where I bought this from)

Metal- Wilton® Advance® Loaf Pan from Bed Bath and Beyond

joc1954's picture

I started to experiment with yeast water made from raisin or pears and wanted to test if it is possible to make 100% buckwheat flour bread that is actually gluten free. Buckwheat is quite popular here in Slovenia. "Ajdovi Žganci", the Slovene word for buckwheat maize porridge, is a typical Slovene food prepared by farmers. 

The recipe is simple: in my case I used 900g of freshly milled buckwheat flour (milled on my own mill at home), added 1000g of water, 20g of salt and 3 tablespoons of psyllium and 30g of olive oil. A day before I have used 30g of raisin yeast water and 30g of buckwheat flour to prepare the levain. After doubling I added another 100g of water and 100g of buckwheat flour and waited about one hour that the levain started to raise rapidly. Then I have mixed everything with handand put in a model covered with parchment paper. The dough was proofing in my oven at 35 dC until it doubled. Then I just turned on my steam oven with max amount of steam and baked at 230 dC (the maximum available temp) for 45 minutes (the oven had to warm up within this time) and then without steam for next 15 minutes at 210 dC.

The bread turned out great and was quite soft although still quite dense, but much better what I was actually expecting. The raisin YW performed a great work.

I am eagerly waiting for any comments and suggestions for improvement.

Happy baking, Joze

Danni3ll3's picture

We have a local restaurant called the Prospector. They are known for their soft airy rolls or buns. I was fortunate to find a copy of their recipe online. My daughter was having a bunch of friends over for a pizza party and she wanted to make some prospector buns to go with some marinara dipping sauce. She had the idea of brushing them with butter and sprinkling them with Italian herb mix and some parmesan before baking. They turned out delicious and just as tasty as the ones from the restaurant.

Prospector Buns

  • Put 2 cups of very warm water in mixing bowl.
  • Add 1⁄2 tsp. salt.
  • Add 1 egg (beaten).
  • Add 1⁄2 cup sugar.
  • Add 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil.
  • Stir in 2 tbsp. instant yeast.
  • Add 6 cups (starting with 5 cups and add more flour until the right texture).
1.Mix, then knead into a round ball (no air bubbles). (I used slap and fold to knead for about 5 minutes)
2.Grease the ball and bowl with oil so it won’t stick to the sides. 
3.Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. 
4.Shape into buns and let rise in pan for another hour. 
5.Bake at 350oF for 15 minutes (depending on size of the buns)

As noted above, we brushed them with butter, put italian herbs and parmesan on top before baking. The size of the rolls before baking were around 50 g so they needed just a bit longer to brown nicely. I baked them in convection mode.

Danni3ll3's picture

Once again, I had some levain left over from my other breads so I fed it enough to try to make another 1-2-3 loaf. I was going to increase the water by 50 grams but decided to stick to the formula and only added a few drops with the salt to help dissolve it since I was using kosher/coarse salt. I can't give you a crumb shot since one loaf went to the soup kitchen and my parents and brother ended up with the other loaf. The loaves themselves are a bit misshapen because I used parchment paper in the dutch ovens.

I autolysed 700 g of warm water with 500 unbleached flour, 250 g multigrain flour (Robin Hood), 200 g Spelt flour, 50 g rye and 50 g buckwheat flour.

I sprinkled 24 g of salt and a bit of water over the dough. Then added 350 g of 3 build wheat/rye levain and 1/4 tsp yeast. The yeast was to give things a boost since I wanted to bake this loaf on the same day with the other ones I had on the go and not have to wait till the next day. I used pinching and folding to integrate the yeast and levain into the dough.

I did 4 sets of folds every half hour doing 4/5 folds for each set, then let bulk ferment for another hour. This dough was quite fast in rising probably due to my warm spot (in the oven with the light on), the spelt and rye as well as the added yeast.

I divided the dough into two boules, pre-shaped and rested for about 25 minutes. I shaped the dough into round loaves using the letter fold method and popped them seam side down into rice floured baskets. I had sprinkled a few spelt flakes in the bottom of the baskets after I floured them.

They proofed on the counter for 2 hours and I then baked them as usual in dutch ovens at 500 F for 20 minutes, dropped the temp to 450 F for 10 minutes, removed the lid and baked for another 20 minutes. I used parchment paper to put them in the dutch ovens because the dough was very poofy and seemed like it would spread out if I used my usual method of turning out onto a cornmeal covered counter.

For a bread that was made in one day not counting the making of the levain, I was very happy with how it came out of the oven. I got really nice oven rise, the top split nicely, and the loaves felt very light so I am hoping that the crumb was fairly airy.



Danni3ll3's picture

This was inspired from the Tartine 3 Porridge Breads. I brought a loaf to friends last night and we had a few slices. It was amazingly moist and tasty. This is definitely one that I will make again!

Cook 160 g of Kamut flakes with 360 g of water for 15 minutes on medium and cool.

Autolyse 500 g unbleached flour, 250 g multigrain flour (Robin Hood), 250 g Kamut (khorasan) flour with 750 g warm water for an hour.

Sprinkle 22 g of salt on top of dough. Mix 250 g of 2 build flour/rye levain with the 416 g of porridge and work into the dough by pinching and folding. 

Fold a total of 6 times every half hour doing 4 to 5 folds each time. Let rise for another hour and half in a warm place.

Divide dough into two loaves, pre-shape using the letter fold method and let rest for 20-30 minutes before shaping into boules and putting into rice floured baskets.

Retard in fridge for 17 and a half hours. I didn't bother scoring since I put the boules in the baskets seam side down. Bake in pre-heated dutch oven at 500 F for 20 minutes, drop temp to 450 for 10 minutes, remove lid and bake for another half hour till nice and dark. 

Danni3ll3's picture

This is out of one of the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes. I found the recipe online and decided to bake a couple of loaves for one of our local soup kitchen. I figured that it would be super healthy and filling with all of those seeds and oats in it.

I did substitute Robin Hood's Best For Bread multigrain flour for the wholewheat portion of it. Otherwise, I just followed the instructions as stated in the recipe. I was amazed at how much it rose during proofing. I baked it in a clay baker and slightly burned the bottom unfortunately, but I was able to rescue the loaf so it was presentable.

ETD If the picture is showing upside down, I have no idea why and I have tried flipping it several times.

yozzause's picture


 Yesterday morning I decided to make some beetroot bread, which I had made previously and posted under chamelleon bread due to the fact that the colour changes during the baking process.

This time I was using the beetroot raw and grated 

Started off at 6.00am with making a preferment using 100g flour and 100ml of warm water and 1g of dry yeast

The preferment had developed nicely after 2 hours so the other ingredients were then added

Flour (500g) 452g white + 48g semolina only because I ran out of the white

Salt 10g 

Oil 10g

Beetroot 88g  (2 small peeled and grated beets)

Dry Yeast 12g

Water 300ml

The dough was mixed by hand on the bench  and placed in a bowl covered with cling film while we went off  to the gym and had a swim and a sit in the steam sauna.

 Back from the gym1 hour later the dough had risen note the times written on the film , this is a good reminder for how things are progressing.

The dark spot at the bottom of the picture is the shadow from the lens on the camera.

the dough was then knocked back (degassed) and allowed to recover for 10 minutes  it was then divided into 6 x 180g pieces shaped and placed on a lightly greased baking tray,

The tray was then placed into a large plastic bag which makes a wonderful prover preventing skinning and retaining transpired moisture. 30 minutes later the tray was removed and the dough pieces were washed with a cornflour paste wash and dusted with some semolina flour and scored they were then returned to the makeshift prover for a further 30 minutes to attain a full proof. The loaves were then put into the oven at 220C  with a half cup of boiling water  poured onto a shallow heated tray  at the bottom of the oven to give an initial waft of steam moisture to the oven interior. the bread was pulled out after 30 minutes.



The pink blush of colour is still evident and the beetroot has retained its vivid scarlet which I attribute to using raw beet rather than previously the boiled beet.


 The crumb has a nice moistness and good structure the colour of the crumb is influenced slightly by the small amount of semolina but does transform from the pink to  almost a khaki in my previous bake  hence the heading I gave it then as Chameleon bread. Overall pleased with this although my grand daughter  who was enthusiastic when she though it was cherry cake  but declined when told it was in fact beetroot. Eating wise the beetroot does have a suttle sweetness to it. looking forward to trying some as toast!

Kind regards Derek


Runnerfemme's picture

Waiting for bread to cool before slicing is an exercise in restraint and one at which I usually fail.  Not this time and it paid off.  So pleased!  A creamy, cool, light interior despite the heavy ingredients of soaked seeds, fruit and nuts.  I went full throttle on heat and was nervous that I'd burned the bread, but I had not. The burnished crust was just perfect for my preference.  My husband is sitting next to me eating a hunk as I type this and he JUST said, "Mmm mmm gooood."  Recipe & pics attached.  Happy baking!


Seeded Sprouted Spelt Sourdough with Walnuts & Figs (2 loaves)

400g KAF bread flour

400g KAF Artisan Bread Flour

200g One Degree Organics Sprouted Spelt Flour

250g 50/50 rye/spelt fed and bubbly starter (about 85% hyd)

880g water 85-90 degrees 

22g fine sea salt

2 TBL honey

2 TBL walnut oil

scant 2 TBL diastatic malt powder

200g or more toasted walnut halves

200g or more Black mission figs (soaked; rough chop)

1/2c KAF Harvest Seed blend - soaked for a few hours in hot water; drained if needed


Do soaker of seeds and figs separately; draining if needed before use. Reserve 50g water from fig soaker.

Toast walnuts – 325 for 10-12 minutes and cool completely.  Set aside. Mix 830g of water with honey, all flour, diastatic malt powder. Cover bowl and autolyse somewhere warm (around 78ºF) for 1.5-2 hours. After autolyse, add starter, salt, reserved 50g fig soaker water, walnut oil, & seeds (can add ¼ tsp instant yeast at this point if starter needs oomph). Mix by hand to incorporate ingredients - don’t over mix. Complete 4 stretch & folds spaced out by 30+ minutes (1st S&F after 30 min; store dough someplace warm during rests).  Gently add figs/nuts at second stretch & fold - don’t worry if they are not well dispersed at this point - they will be by the end.  After completing the 4 S&Fs, cover & complete bulk ferment in refrigerator over night (about 7 hours; alternatively let bulk ferment at rest for additional 2-3 hours on counter/warm room).  After bulk ferment, divide dough into 2 masses. Pre-shape into boules, let rest seam down for 20 minutes UNcovered.  After 20 min rest, shape each into batard or boule. Proof in bannetons (lined with linen dusted with rice flour, covered) for 3 hours in fridge and 1 hour on warm countertop while oven preheats. (Or approx. 1.5 hours on countertop or in warm room. If you have chosen the shorter countertop bulk fermentation, consider doing final proof in refrigerator over night/about 7 hours for flavor development).  (Choose whichever fermentation/proofing method meets your schedule needs.)

Preheat oven & cookers for 1 hr. at 500º. Turn out loaves onto parchment rounds. Score. Spritz with water.  45 min. at 500º. After 45 min, reduce oven to 450º, remove cooker lids & bake for an additional 10 min. Watch for scorching figs if any are sitting on the surface of the breads - can loosely cover with foil to prevent scorching, although this may interfere with deep browning of crust. Remove from the oven & cool on wire racks. LET COOL 100% - BEFORE SLICING (difficult, but I swear it’s worth it particularly b/c the walnut oil and soaked seeds/fruit have added to the moist crumb — slicing early will result in gumminess).



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