The Fresh Loaf

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SylviaH's picture

With a house full of company, my little grandaughter helped me make this apple and pumpkin pie.  We used Caroline's buttermilk crust recipe..ran a little short on didn't get a fancy crimped matter, won't affect the taste... we also made a couple of pumpkin pies problem just pieced in the edges.  Making a deep dish apple next time I will triple the recipe..also 3X for 2 large pumpkin pies.  I like plenty of dough to work with and can always make cinnamon twists with extra dough...we like our crust a little on the thickish side...especially when it's this buttery tasty and DIL requested a thicker crust, made me smile! 

Grand daughter picked the Indian girl pie bird for Thanksgiving, she liked her better than the Indian boy!  I have a lot of pie birds!



Happy Thanksgiving to TFLoafers!


Nickisafoodie's picture

Boule covereduncovered on left


I made one large 7 pound recipe for two loaves (Hamelman's "Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Wheat").  Given they were 3.5 lbs each I baked one at a time. Both were retarded 13 hours in the fridge (okay, one was 12 and one was 13 hours) then placed directly on the hot stone after slashing, steam used first 12 minutes.

The first loaf used a large stainless bowl covering for the first 15 minutes of baking.  When removing the bowl some of the dough stuck to the side and pulled away, but it finished nice and the tear is not too noticable.  Thus my decision to bake the second loaf without the bowl - a big mistake (on the left in the first picture and in the single shot picture). 

You can see how the bowl made the first loaf on the right better looking with tiny bubbles and a nice crust.  The "mistake loaf" on the left and bottom has a dull looking crust in addition to a demarcation line about one inch up the side and all over the bottom which essentially matches the look and sheen of the crust from the first covered loaf.  The better looking blisters and color must be from the heat of the stone which can be seen when looking at the side of the loaf.   The top part of the uncovered loaf in the second picture doesn't have the nice color and tiny bubbles on the skin that the covered one has. 

I expect them both to look and taste the same when they cut on Thanksgiving- but visually speaking (and poor slashing technique aside) the loaf on the right looks much better.  So my take away is to stay with a covered loaf going forward. 

One other thought that surprised me: the oven spring was better on these breads coming right out of the refigerator and into the oven than those of the past where I would take them out one hour to warm up at room temp while the oven was preheating.  The chilled dough seems to not spread out to lower height and wider loaf by keeping the pent up energy intact until released by the heat - resulting in a higher rising loaf than otherwise. 

Happy Thanksgiving all...

rayc's picture

Because I did not want to throw out some left over starter, I made Flo's 123 formula.  I thought it turned out pretty good.  Loaf got cut before I got a pic, but have pics of  what was not consumed.  Every body here rated it good, but to me it didn't have the degree of sour tang to it that I like.  Crust was definitely chewy and the crumb was chewy also. Overall it was  a good bake. 


 250 grams   White Starter (67% hydration)

498 grams    Water

747 grams    White Bread Flour

18   grams    Salt


Baked at 450 degrees on convection  for 20 minutes covered with a aluminum pan.  (Thanks Susan)

Removed pan and baked another 20 minutes.   Didn't turn oven down, which next time I will turn oven down to 425 after 20 minutes.  Looking forward to the next time. 


I put the good things first The Sandwich with a cup of tea.  I have to say it hit the spot.

 crumb shot:



 crust shot:  I'm happy with the aount of oven spring I got.

Crust Shot:  Other side 


This was a good bake.  Just need to work on shaping a bit.  Practice makes perfect,



amolitor's picture

We broke up a jack-o-lantern for soup the other day (just a regular pumpkin, not a sugar-pie or anything, not a pumpkin especially for eating but of course edible). Had a couple cups of mashed baked pumpkin left over, so I thought I'd see what happened when I put it in bread. I wasn't expecting much flavor, since the regular pumpkins just don't have that much. The answer, in short, was: Eh, it's bread. Sort of moist.

The long answer:

Evening of Day 0:

  • 1 cup whole flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 T active sourdough starter

Let sit out overnight, covered, until you get a nice active/ripe sponge the next day.

Morning of Day 1

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 cups mashed baked pumpkin.. gunk
  • ripe sponge from last night
  • 4 cups bread flour (roughly)

Mix in the bowl to get a kneadable dough. I used a 10 minute autolyze at this point because I wanted to make muself some coffee.

This is where it gets interesting: The dough was kneadable without sticking on a wooded board (just barely -- this is my preferred dough texture). I kneaded in:

  • 2 and 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander (I think this was an error)

and kept kneading. The dough kept getting sticker, and I kept dusting aggressively with flour. I think this not uncommon when you're adding vegetable matter to a dough, I have a potato bread recipe that's similar. I think the vegetables give up water as you work them. I kneaded for about 10 minutes on board, working in probably 3/4 cup of flour just to maintain it at "almost but not quite sticking to the floured board." At this point I gave up, and started kneading it as a high-hydration dough (slap it down, let it stick, streeeeetch a bit and fold it over, rotate 90 degrees and repeat) for another ten minutes. Thankfully, it didn't get much wetter.

Bulk rise a couple hours, with a couple stretch-and-folds, the dough came together beautifully. However, it tasted TERRIBLE, or possibly I was having a stroke. I *think* the coriander was doing something unpleasant, so the dough tasted fine for a few seconds, and then there was this weird bitter thing that happened in your mouth.

Anyways. Shaped into a boule, proofed in improvised banneton, preheat over to 475, bake with steam at 425 for 45 minutes. Probably should have baked longer.

The bad taste seems to be gone (thankfully) and what we're left with is a completely unremarkable sourdough that's rather moist (almost gummy) and has a lovely color. It's too moist to toast easily, which is a bore, I'd bake it another 10 or 15 minutes if I was to do it again (which I won't -- this recipe was a bust, to my mind!)

It's the best looking loaf I've ever baked, though, so by golly, here's some pictures:


Crumb very moist. You can see bits of pumpkin in it! Sorry for the sort of lousy photo, this was in the evening:


Mebake's picture

This is my recipe of a 50% sourdough spelt.

  Total Dough      
A/P flour 50% 539 grams    
spelt Flour 50% 539 grams    
Water 65% 701 grams    
Salt 2% 22 grams    
Total 167% 1,800      
  Levain Build      
        Prefermented Flour
A/P flour 100% 204 grams 35%  
Water 60% 122 grams    
Sourdough 25% 51 grams    
Total 185% 377      
  Final Dough      
A/P flour 310 grams      
spelt  Flour 539 grams      
Water 553 grams      
Salt 22 grams      
All levain 377 grams      
Total 1,800 grams      



In the evening, take you starter out of fridge, refresh it , and leave it on counter to double. Refresh it again before you go to sleep in such a way that it would double overnight.


In the morning, refresh the starter in propotions that would allow the starter to ripen in maximum of 4-5 hours. I chose to bake during week day, therefore i brought the starter with me to work to build my final levain. I was afraid of over ripening during my duty, so i reduced the starter in the levain from 25% (51g) to 25 grams. it took the levain 11 hours to ripen @60 hydration at 78F !

At Home, i cut the levain and dissolved it in the recipe water (tepid water), and then added the remaining ingredients except the salt. I Autolyzed the dough for 1/2 hour, and then spread the dough, sprinkled all salt on top, kneaded the dough until a smooth ball is formed. I was wary of my mixing , so as to not to over develop the spelt.

I immediately transfered the dough in its iled bowl to the refrigerator for an 18 hour retardation.


In the morning, I removed the dough( which has increased 50% in volume) to a bench and stretched and folded it letter wise. The dough was returned to the bowl, and i went to work.

On the evening, and 18 hours later, i removed the dough (which increased 50% in volume) to a bench divided it into two (1000g, and 800g).An hour later, i preshaped the still cold dough into a boule and a batard. An hour later, i shaped the doughs, and inverted them into floured bannetons.

I left the doughs to ferment for 3.5 hours. I preheated the oven with a stone and a pan filled with lava rocks to 470F for 30 minutes, and then inverted the doughs onto a peal and transfered the doughs to be baked for 15 minutes with steam, and 20 minutes without.

The flavor was mildly tangy, and spelt flavor was quite discernable. I liked it, though i would prefer a more hydrated dough (70%).



occidental's picture

After reading several posts about Hammelman's Vermont sourdough with increased whole grain I decided to give it a try.  I've been impressed with my results from the basic Vermont Sourdough and this version didn't let me down either.  I found the errata sheet on the web here: ( ) and used those amounts to put the formula together.  I proofed one loaf in the kitchen (~67 degrees) and the other in the garage (~50 degrees) to account for the extra time the second loaf would be proofing while the first one baked.  I baked the loaf from the kitchen first followed about an hour later by the one from the garage.  I baked both using the 'magic bowl' steaming method.  There was quite a difference in the loafs. The kitchen loaf didn't have much oven spring, while the one from the cooler garage had great oven spring and is one of the best looking loafs I have ever baked.  The crumb is similar in both loaves.  The taste is great, although I can't say there is much of a taste difference between the two loaves. I will definitely be making this formula again.  Here is a pic of the loaf with the great oven spring:

occidental's picture

I've been attempting to improve my baguette making skills over the past few weeks.  This weekend I came up with my own formula based on a few of the things I learned from my last effort's with Pat's (proth5's) baguette formula.  Most notably I wanted to come up with a relatively low hydration formula using AP flour.  I also wanted to get a bit of whole wheat flour in the mix as well, and come up with enough dough to make two decent sized baguettes .  With that in mind I came up with the following formula which I calculate to be at 66% total hydration:

  • 100 g starter (60% hydration)
  • 280 g AP flour
  • 30 g ww flour
  • 210 g water
  • 12 g salt

I followed the steps below:

  • Refresh starter the night before
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl to a shaggy mass, allow to autolyse 30 minutes
  • Fold in bowl, about 20 strokes two times at 30 minute intervals
  • Remove from bowl, stretch and fold then place in container and bulk ferment approximately 3 hours
  • Divide dough and shape two baguettes, allow to rise approximately 2 hours
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 475

All went well, including shaping, which I always struggle with when making baguettes.  At this hydration scoring goes better for me than if I am working with a higher hydration dough.  Here is a visual of what I came up with:

I was pretty pleased with crust and crumb and went to the taste test and that is where the disappointment set in.  This was the flattest tasting, most flavorless bread I can recall tasting.  I sat and thought "What went wrong?"  The solution didn't come to me right away, but later in the afternoon I remembered I didn't ever add the salt!  I've forgotten the salt before but I've always remembered at some point and have been able to get it worked in before baking.  Well, I guess it's another lesson learned.  I finished up the first loaf with the help of lots of honey and jam.  I took the second loaf and did with it what I have been doing with a lot of my leftover baguettes:  sliced, added butter and garlic salt, wrapped it in foil and placed it in a ziplock in the freezer.  I come home from work and throw the foil wrapped frozen loaf in the oven for about 30 minutes at 325 and you have great tasting garlic bread to accompany your dinner.   Hopefully using it as garlic bread will help the flat taste!

MadAboutB8's picture

I can't recall I ever had whole-wheat pizza.  It sounds rather un-Italian but I want to experiment a little and see how the whole-wheat pizza would turn out. It would be great if it works so that we can, at least, claim that it's wholegrain pizza and somewhat a healthy choice, even though it is fully loaded with cheeses, chorizo, and etc, lol.

I used pizza base recipe from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker Apprentice and replaced 70% of bread flour with whole wheat flour. 

Instead of tomato sauce, I spread the pizza base with basil pesto (I got three big jars from CostCo that will last for so many pizzas and pastas) and topped it with mozzarella cheese, onion and chorizo (spicy Spanish sausage). The cooked pizza then topped with baby rocket leaves (arugula). Chorizo is something I love to cook with. It has such an intense well-rounded flavour that complements any dishes really well.

The whole wheat pizza crust works quite well. It is not as moist and soft as the one made with white flour. The crumb is also not as open but it is tasty nonetheless. I also feel that the whole-wheat base is crispier than the white flour base.  

For more details and recipes, you can visit the blog =>


hanseata's picture

A while ago I bought a new baking book full with mouth watering photos of gorgeous looking loaves: "Brot", an introduction to Germany's best bakers and their signature breads. Luxurious as this book is, its principal purpose seems to be promoting culinary travels to the featured bakeries, not giving readers understandable instructions on how to make those lovely loaves at home.

The sourdough starter you simply "buy from a bakery" - no mention of hydration levels - and breads are baked "at falling temperatures". And if you obediently follow the recipes' baking temperatures and times you will end up with howling smoke alarms, crazed pets, and charred bread corpses - the instructions are probably meant for wood fired ovens. The publishers obviously printed the recipes in as they came from the bakers, never bothering with having them edited.

So I was up for a great challenge - would I be able to overcome these handicaps?

The first bread I tackled was one from my hometown Hamburg, "Hamburger Kräftiges", a hearty rye sourdough. In the book it looks like this:

"Hamburger Kräftiges" from "Brot - Deutschlands beste Bäcker"

This is the original recipe (2 breads)

520 g rye sourdough (from a bakery)

500 g rye flour type 1150

350 wheat flour type 550

540 g water (25 - 28 C)

 25 g sea salt

 16 g Bioreal-yeast


Knead all ingredients for 8 minutes at low speed, adding the yeast after 2 minutes. Cover and let rest for 1 hour. Shape into a round loaf, place on a baking sheet and proof for 1 - 2 hours, in a draft free location.

When surface shows distinct tears, place in 260 C/500 F preheated oven (no slashing). Pour 50 - 60 ml water on another hot baking sheet or oven floor. After 20 minutes, drop temperature to 220 C/425 F. Overall baking time: 60 - 70 minutes.


Wanting to start with one bread only, I took half of the recipe. To make the rye starter, I used the 3-step build from Martin Pöt Stoldt ("Der Sauerteig - das unbekannte Wesen) with 60 g ripe rye starter, 100 g rye flour and 100 g water and had a pleasantly sweet smelling active rye sour (100%).

A cold retardation seemed a good idea, and working with P.R.s stretch and fold technique, also. All went well, but when I took the dough out of the refrigerator I wasn't quite sure whether it had overproofed, it seemed to have grown more than I expected.

I shaped a boule and proofed it on a parchment lined baking sheet, waiting for the "distinct tears" to appear. The loaf grew, showing a little cracking, but not anything dramatic. I didn't want to wait until it overproofed, and put it in the oven. I knew that the baking temperatures and times had to be off, so I reduced the heat after 10 minutes, and checked the bread after a total baking time of 40 minutes, the internal temperatures registered already 210 F.

The bread didn't look bad, but not at all like the one in the book:

Was the photo in the book photoshopped? It looked much lighter than my loaf. And why didn't I get those pretty tears in the crust?

The bread tasted pretty good, too, but I wasn't satisfied - I wanted the one from the stupid book!

I posted those pictures, and friendly TFLers made some helpful comments, but nobody could figure out why my bread looked like a disadvantaged sibling.

Revengefully I didn't touch the book for a while and worked on other projects. But since I usually don't give up easily, and so far had managed to adapt many German bread recipes to American ingredients (and better techniques), I started pondering over the recipe again.

What made my bread look so different? Why had it almost overproofed in the fridge? And then, belatedly, I did some research in the "internets". I started with the mysterious "Bioreal" yeast. No wonder it had risen so much - this organic instant yeast contains less yeast cells than regular one, therefore 8 g was too much. For the amount of flour 6 g should be enough.

For the wheat in the recipe i had used bread flour - I know it's approximately the equivalent to German type 550. But what about the rye? Without thinking I had taken what I had: whole rye flour. And there it was! With help from Wikipedia I found out that German rye type 1150 was an "in between" white and whole rye. After some calculations I believed I could substitute type 1150 with a mix of 52% whole rye + 48% white rye. (I had some white rye from testing NYBakers recipes, but didn't use it).

Finally, why had the bread on the photo such dramatic cracks, and mine only puny little tears? I found the answer to this question in a TFL post, about proofing a boule on a baking sheet seamside up, not down - to achieve just such a distinct pattern!

So I tried the "Hearty Rye from Hamburg" again, with these modifications. I also changed the temperatures and baking times to the ones I use for "Feinbrot" and many other lean German mixed rye wheat breads.

I liked this result much better:

It also tasted better - according to my husband this was: "the best bread you ever made"! (He is the best of all husbands - he says that every time, when he likes a new bread).

Hearty Rye from Hamburg - crumb

This is my recipe adaptation:


60 g rye sourdough starter (100%)
100 g water, lukewarm
100 g whole rye flour
270 g water (95 F)
6 g instant yeast
all starter
110 g whole rye flour
140 g white rye flour
175 g bread flour
13 g salt


Prepare starter.

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add to all other ingredients in mixer bowl. Mix at low speed for 1 - 2 min. until all comes together. Let rest for 5 min.

Knead at medium-low speed for 2 min., adjusting with water, if necessary. Dough should still be sticky. Resume kneading for another 4 min., the last 20 sec. at medium-high speed.

Transfer dough to lightly floured surface. Stretch and fold 4 times, with 10 min. intervals (total time 40 min.) After last S & F, refrigerate overnight.

Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours before using.

Preheat oven to 500 F/260 C, including steam pan.

Shape dough into boule, place seam side UP on parchment lined sheet pan. Proof at room temperature for 45 - 60 min., or until dough has grown 1 1/2 times, and surface shows distinct cracks.

Bake 10 min. at 475 F/250 C, steaming with 1 cup boiling water, then reduce heat to 425 F/220 C and bake for another 10 min. Rotate bread and remove steam pan. Continue baking for 20 - 30 min (internal temperature 200 F/93 C).

Let cool on wire rack.

UPDATE 10/15/11: in the meantime I made a side by side comparison with American medium rye (a lighter variety, not a medium grind!) and imported (so to speak) German Typ 1150. American medium rye is a perfect substitute for German medium rye types 1150 or 1370, and my sample tasted even better:

nberrios's picture


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