The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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jennyloh's picture

As a newbie to baking bread,  sometimes going back to the basics help to boost my confidence that I still can make a decent loaf.  


Here's a recipe for Japanese Milk Loaf,  secret seems to be whipped cream.  

Simple loaf,  a little sweet to my taste,  but generally a good bread to go with cheese and ham and made a good 12 pieces from the loaf to be eaten within 2 days.  




breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hey All,

This is my 15% breadcrumb bread from my 1/15/10 bake.  I had a some baguettes left over from a previous bake, and didn't want to waste them so I made bread crumbs with them, and made more bread...  Enjoy!




Total Dough Weight: approx 998g

Yield: 2 loaves at 400g weight after bake

85% AP - 470g

15% Breadcrumbs - 70g

10% Firm Sourdough Starter - 47g (straight from fridge fed day before)

100% Water - 470g

1.8% Kosher Salt - 8g

0.4% Active Dry Yeast - 2g (1/2 tsp)

Notes: I used breadcrumbs made from baguettes that I had made earlier that were sliced and dried out.


Day before:

Feed sourdough starter, or convert liquid starter to firm starter.  Leave on counter at room temp for 4 hrs, refrigerate until ready to use.

Bake day:

1.  Measure out all ingredients, grind breadcrumbs by hand or in a food processor.

2.  Place all water and bread crumbs in large mixing bowl, mix well, and let stand for a few minutes to let the crumbs absorb the water.

3.  Add sourdough starter cut in pieces and the rest of the dry ingredients at once, mix with wooden spoon until all is combined into a shaggy dough, transfer to well oiled plastic container, cover and autolyse for 30 minutes.  It will be very wet, but it will firm up as the breadcrumbs absorb the water.  Do not add any extra flour.

4.  After autolyse, stretch and fold dough in container with wet hands, cover and let rest for 30 mins.

5.  Stretch and fold dough in container with wet hands, cover and let rest for 30 mins.

6.  Stretch and fold dough in container with wet hands, cover and let rest for 30 mins.

7.  Stretch and fold dough in container with wet hands, cover and let rest for 1 hr.

8.  After rest, dough should have doubled in size.  To test, poke dough with a floured finger.  If impression remains, dough is ready.

9.  Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, divide into 2 pieces approx 498g, preshape and cover with cloth and plastic, let rest for 15 minutes.

10.  On a lightly floured surface, final shape loaves into batard shape, and proof for 45 to 60 minutes in linen couche and cover with kitchen towel and plastic so they don't dry out.  Arrange baking stone in the oven along with a steam pan, and preheat to 500F with convection.

11.  When oven reaches 500F and loaves are proofed, carefully turn them onto wooden peel, slash as desired and place in oven.  When all the loaves are in, pour 3/4 cup of water into steam pan (use oven mitts), close door and bake for 18 minutes at 450F with convection, rotate and bake at 450F with convection for another 18 minutes or until internal temp reaches 210F. 

12.  Cool for at least 2 hrs before eating.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hi All,

Here's some more catch-up blogging.  The top 2 are basically fat baguettes.  The bottom 2 are my made up version of bauernbrot with breadcrumbs.  Enjoy!


trailrunner's picture

This is the rest of this weeks' bake. This is my 2nd attempt at the Nury rye and I can definitely see a huge difference in both my abilities w/ wet dough and my starters. They are older as am I :) The bread has been commented on at length on this site so all I will say is that everyone is right...this is a fantastic bread. Thank you Zolablue for your original post, and David for his follow up comments and pics .



Photobucket crumb: Photobucket

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

This is for Floyd,

I think we should have a "The Fresh Loaf" T-shirt...  Have you thought about this before?  Lemme know...  I'd like to see what other Freshloafers think.


jpchisari's picture

Just recently joined this site and enjoying it very much! I had these photos from some breads I have made in the past. No crumb pics! Breads are long gone. Will Include those in future posts.

Sun Dried Tomato Bread w/Biga


Potato Bread-Straight Dough


Italian Bread-Straight Dough


Baguette w/ Poolish

Old Fashioned Bread w/Biga

Doughtagnan's picture

After reading the excellent recipe  by Pat (proth5),  posted by dmsnyder  I thought i'd give these a go over the weekend and well, it must be a good recipe as even in my ham fisted hands I managed to turn out some very tasty bread, even if I need to watch some more shaping 'n' slashing videos!  I varied it by using 300 grams of flour / 195ml eau (plus the rye starter) and made an overnight sponge with roughly 100g of the flour, starter and water the day before.  The one on the right was baked 1st and was better, must have been the proofing en plastic guttering! I had thought i'd slashed it fairly deeply but the rise was quite impressive. 

hansjoakim's picture

I've been experimenting with some different levain breads recently, all made with more or less the same procedure: Between 15% and 20% prefermented flour, bulk fermentation around 2.5 hours with one or two folds, and retarding in fridge overnight (or at least 8 hours).

First up was a semolina levain, loosely based on Hamelman's semolina bread from the levain chapter in his book. I added a pinch whole-wheat and whole-rye flour to the formula, to give it a bit more body. There's toasted sesame seeds in the dough, and flavourful seeds on the crust, that provide a rich taste to each slice. A very nice bread to go with cured sausages or paninis!

Semolina bread


A bread that really blew me away was a levain made with roasted potatoes, roasted garlic and fresh herbs. Here's a link to my spreadsheet which details the formula. If you want to try it, keep an eye on the hydration of the dough as you mix it: You might have to add or reduce water depending on the moisture of the roasted potatoes. The garlic gets a mellow, rich buttery flavour after roasting it, and it blends perfectly with herbs and potatoes in this humble bread. I used parsley, but anything from thyme, basil, rosemary, dill to oregano would work equally well. You could also replace some of the water with olive oil if you prefer a softer crumb. Either way, I can heartily recommend it.

Roasted potato and garlic bread


Finally, my everyday pain au levain from "Bread", the pain au levain with whole-wheat flour:

Pain au levain with whole-wheat flour


PS: If you're a literature buff (like me), keep an eye out for Sofi Oksanen, a young Finnish writer who's making waves in literature circles here in Scandinavia. Two of her three novels are translated into my mother tongue, and her third novel "Purge", is soon published in English ( link). Estonia, torn between Finland (West) and the Soviet union (East), is central to her work, and the tension between the two blocks has devastating effects on her characters. "Purge" is nominated for this year's Nordic Council's literature prize, arguably the most prestigious award for literature written in the Nordic languages, and I wouldn't be surprised if she wins.

trailrunner's picture

I found this formula on Sourdough Companion and used it as a starting point for my bread. is the link. I subbed the dates and pecans for the dried fruit. I also changed the spices . I used 400 g KA bread flour and 100 g KA ww flour. Sorghum syrup from TN for the sweetener. I baked it as one large loaf at 375 for 1hr. No steam and no stone this bake and no slash.

This is the most amazingly good sourdough I have made so far. The dough comes together like silk. I could handle it with ease and the folding of the fruit into the dough was simplicity itself. I used rice flour for the 1st time on the linen napkin with which I lined the basket. I will always do that from now on. It makes the dough literally fall off of the cloth w/ just a light dusting remaining. Things I will do differently...I will use a larger basket next time or else make 2 boules, I will slash...I didn't as I was afraid the fruit would burn. Turns out the charred dates are so YUM that it is a good thing when they caramelize. I will also go ahead and steam and stone although it is fine w/o but I want to see the difference. So here goes...formula "my way" and pics.

400g KA bread flour

100g KA ww flour

200g starter ( I used my 100% hydration white)

162g warm milk ( I used 1%)

162 g warm water

20 g sorghum syrup ( you could use honey)

10 g Kosher salt

7 g mixed spice ( 5 g cinnamon,1g cardomom,1g nutmeg)

250 g mixed dried fruits/nuts ( I used 1/2 chopped dates and pecans)

Mix all but fruits/nuts in KA just till moist and autolyse 20 min. Use mixer on setting 2 for 1 min to knead bread x 3 with 10 min rests between. May need to add a few drops of water depending on your ww flour and your moisture in your home. Dough should clean the bowl right away and be soft,pliable and silky almost from the start. Ferment 1 hr . Do 2 stretch and folds at 1 hr intervals on the counter. Return to oiled covered bowl after each.  Remove dough from bowl and flatten to a large rectangle. Dough is so smooth and soft that this was a pleasure. Strew the nut/fruits over the dough and roll up to a long tube and then gently fold in ends and sides to make a smooth ball. Return to oiled covered bowl 1 hr. Remove and shape as desired... 1  large boule, batard or 2 .Place in cloth lined basket. Let rise in a warm place for 3-4 hrs, I use the mantle in my kitchen above the fireplace. Bake in preheated 375 oven one hour for one large loaf or to 200 degrees internal temp...see my notes above...steam/stone etc are optional. Finished loaf :

Photobucket crumb shots: Photobucket Photobucket

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hey All,

A quick question for those of you using lava rocks to create steam...

I have been creating steam using a stainless steel pan filled with lava rocks on the floor of my oven...  I washed the lava rocks and sterilized them by boiling them in water for about 30 minutes, and then placing them in my oven to dry.  Also, the bottom of my steam pan is slightly rusted.  Not sure if this is a problem...

The results have been great, however, I have had this mineral taste in my mouth for the past week...  Has anyone noticed this when using lava rocks?  Could this be caused the the rust in the bottom of the pan?  None of my friends who have had the breads have noticed...  Also, my diet is the same, and have not eaten anything that I usually don't eat...

Anybody else have this experience?  Please let me know.  Thanks.



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