The Fresh Loaf

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Mebake's picture

This is a whole Wheat Multigrain I baked in a pan lately, only with no yeast added. Looks like my parents are starting to appreciate Sourdough leavened breads!

Lately , I learned a new trick. To know that a loaf is ready, I tapped on the bottom of the pan. When i heard a hollow sound, i baked it!


dmsnyder's picture




I have made miches from Peter Reinhart's BBA, from Daniel Leader's “Local Breads” and the Miche, “Pointe-à-Callière” from Jeffrey Hamelman's “Bread.” All were good breads. Reinhart's was the closest to the Pain Poilâne I remember from my single tasting in Paris some 25 years ago.

This weekend, I baked the miche from Michel Suas' “Advanced Bread and Pastry” for the first time. Suas references Pain Poilâne as the best known miche, but he does not say his formula is an attempt to replicate it. His “miche” is a 2 lb boule. This is smaller than my notion of a miche, but what do I know? I'll ask M. Suas the week after next when I'm at the SFBI for the Artisan II class and report back.

Suas' formula and procedures are quite unusual in several respects. It uses 3 builds and specifies a mixture of high-extraction, bread and medium rye flours. The final dough has 50% pre-fermented flour from the levain, and almost all the water comes from the 120% hydration levain. Even more remarkable is the very brief bulk fermentation of 15 minutes. I assume this works because of the very high percentage of pre-fermented flour. After shaping, the miche is retarded overnight before baking.


First levain feeding


Baker's %

High-extraction flour

1 3/8 oz



1 ¾ oz



1/8 tsp


Starter (stiff)

1/8 oz



3 ¼ oz


  1. Mix all ingredients well with a DDT of 70ºF

  2. Ferment 16 hrs at room temperature.


Levain formula


Baker's %

High-extraction flour

8 1/4 oz



9 7/8 oz



1/4 tsp


First feeding

3 1/4 oz



21 5/8 oz


  1. Mix all ingredients well with a DDT of 70ºF

  2. Ferment 8 hours at room temperature.

Note: I fermented at room temperature for 6 hours, then refrigerated overnight. I allowed the levain to warm up and ferment another 2 hours before mixing the final dough


Final dough formula


Baker's %

Bread flour

5 5/8 oz


High-extraction flour

1 7/8 oz


Medium rye flour

1 7/8 oz



7/8 oz



3/8 oz



21 5/8 oz



21 5/8 oz


Note on ingredients: I used "Organic Type 85" flour from Central Milling for the high-extraction flour, KAF Bread Flour and KAF Medium Rye flour.


  1. Mix water and Levain

  2. Mix flours and salt. Add to water/levain mixture and mix to medium gluten development. (I mixed this dough in a Bosch Universal Plus for 3 minutes at first speed and 6 minutes at second speed.)

  3. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and ferment for 15 minutes.

  4. Pre-shape the dough into a light ball and rest it for 20-30 minutes.

  5. Shape into a boule. Place it in a banneton and cover well with plastic or place in a food grade plastic bag.

  6. Retard overnight in the refrigerator. (Suas specifies a temperature of 48ºF, actually.)

  7. The next morning, pre-heat your oven to 500ºF with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  8. Pre-steam the oven. Transfer the miche to a peel. Score the miche. (Suas specifies a diamond pattern.) Transfer it to the baking stone. Stem the oven. Turn the oven down to 440ºF. (See Note, below.)

  9. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the internal temperature is 205ºF and the bottom gives a hollow sound when thumped. (Note: I baked this in a Lodge Combo Cooker – Convection bake for 20 minutes covered at 460ºF, covered then 25 minutes at 440ºF, uncovered.)

  10. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.

Suas doesn't mention it, but most authors recommend waiting 12 to 24 hours before slicing this type of bread.

The miche

Miche crumb

I sliced and tasted the bread after it had cooled for about 4 hours. The crust was crunchy. The crumb was chewy. The aroma and flavor were unlike any bread I've ever tasted. It did have a mild sourdough tang, but the flavor was uniquely wonderful. It had some nuttiness I associate with wheat germ and sweetness I've only tasted before in some baguettes that have had a long, slow fermentation or were made with pâte fermentée. I assume the wonderful flavor can be credited to the combination of the "Type 85" flour and the unusual process commented on above.

I'm looking forward to baking some other miches using this flour. It's wonderful.


Submitted to YeastSpotting




hanseata's picture

Looking for a birthday cake for my smart and pretty, but lactose intolerant stepdaughter, I leafed through my German and Austrian pastry baking books. Nearly every one of those gorgeous torte recipes listed cream as main ingredient, especially the Austrian ones, requiring lots of "Obers" (= whipping cream). But I had promised Cat a German "Geburtstagstorte" with all pomp and circumstances - and finally I found one.

Here it comes: chocolate lover's dream and almost lactose free - Nougat Torte for a lactose challenged, chocolate loving, (no teetotaler) birthday girl!

Warning: This cake is highly addictive - consume at your own risk!!!

NOUGATTORTE   (12 - 16 servings)

60 g/2.1 oz all-purpose flour
60 g/2.1 oz hazelnuts, ground
50 g/1.8 oz bread crumbs
1 heaping tsp. cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
60 g/2.1 oz butter, softened
20 g/0.7 oz sugar
70 g/2.5 oz almond paste, chopped or coarsely grated
7 egg yolks
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
7 egg whites
70 g/2.5 oz sugar

250 g/8.8 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
130 g/4.6 oz whipping cream (whipping cream contains much less lactose than milk, but can be substituted with pureed silken tofu)
250 g/8.8 oz Nutella
200 g/7 oz butter

60 g/2.1 oz water (1/4 cup)
3/4 tsp. brown sugar
45 g/1.6 oz rum

1 nougat bar (or 1/2 bar semisweet chocolate) ca. 75 g
50 g/1.8 oz almond slices, toasted

To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F. Line bottom of 28 cm/11" springform pan with parchment paper, and grease.

Add flour, hazelnuts, bread crumbs, cocoa and cinnamon to bowl of food processor (or mini chopper), and pulse until nuts are sufficiently ground.

In a large bowl, mix together butter, 20 g sugar, almond paste, egg yolks and vanilla extract until creamy. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with 75 g sugar until stiff.

Fold first egg whites into butter mixture. Then fold in flour mixture. Transfer to prepared springform pan, smooth top with rubber spatula. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes. Let completely cool on wire rack.

To make the nougat cream:
In a saucepan, cook cream until hot, remove from heat, and stir in chopped chocolate, until melted. Then stir in Nutella, until smooth (place back on switched-off, but still warm stove, if necessary). (If using silken tofu instead of cream, melt chocolate first, then mix with purreed tofu and Nutella).

Let mixture cool to room temperature, then transfer to mixer bowl, add butter, and beat until creamy.

To assemble:
Remove cooled cake from pan and peel off parchment paper. Cut horizontally in three layers. In a small bowl, mix ingredients for rum mixture. With potato peeler, shave nougat or chocolate bar into thin stripes.

Place bottom layer of cake on platter, and brush with rum mixture. Generously spread nougat cream over cake bottom (the amount of nougat cream is enough for covering every cake layer generously. But don't forget to save some of it for the pastry bag!). Sprinkle with 2/3 of nougat or chocolate shavings.

Place second cake layer on top, brush with rum mixture, and cover with nougat cream. Place third layer on top. Brush with rum mixture, then spread nougat cream evenly over top and sides of cake. Fill rest of cream in pastry bag with large star tip, and garnish torte with nougat cream rosettes. Sprinkle top with rest of nougat or chocolate shavings. Then sprinkle toasted almond slices over top and sides.

Keep torte in a cool place. It keeps fresh at least for 3 days.


(Adapted from Karl Neef: "Sonntagskuchen & Festtagstorten")

EdTheEngineer's picture

Firstly, I have a new song to kneed along to. The lyrics are relevant - I can only assume the idea for the video was conceived under the influence of something stronger than fermentation fumes.

The rhythm is slightly faster than my usual kneading rate, but in the same way top athletes often run to music that has a slightly faster beat than they find comfortable to improve stamina, my quest to be a finely honed baking machine will not succeed without a little pain and sacrifice. 

Anyway, I wanted to make a bread for the table to go with a crunchy salad with a fairly weapon's grade french dressing and some cheeses. I made a 'bram' as described in Dan Lepard's The Fresh Loaf. This was done by taking 250g of strong bottle-conditioned ale up to 70 degrees C (I presume to boil off the alcohol) and then 50g of flour was whisked in. When cool, I added a tiny bit of pre-ferment from my sourdough starter (which is not quite ready at five days old but I couldn't resist). I left this mixture for 4 hours by which time it had doubled in volume.


 - 500g whole grain flour

 - 12g salt

 - 250ml water

 - 150g of the bram

 - A tiny pinch of fresh yeast (maybe half a gram) just because my starter is a little green still.

Mix and knead (to the anthem above) and then 20 hours in the fridge. Shaped into a batard and left to warm and prove for 3 hours, then into the oven. I didn't get a photo of it whole (mouths to feed) but here's a crumb shot:


It's a shame one can't upload flavours to the internet but it's got a really moist, fluffy crumb that has a lovely malty, nutty flavour. Great for soaking up the salad dressing and you can taste it along side fairly powerful cheeses. I'll make it again for sure. Pleasingly light for a 100% whole grain - I tried to be gentle during the numerous stretch and folds and shaping, and the long slow fermentation helped a lot. My sourdough starter will be one week old tomorrow so this week I'll do my first sourdough. I seem to have regressed to eight-year-old boy levels of excitement. I shall also try and find a slightly more high quality camera (with a flash!) as these grainy, blurry iphone shots are letting the side down.

Franko's picture

For the bread I wanted to bake this week I didn't have to look too far to find the recipe I was after. Right next to the Whole Wheat Levain in Hamelman's Bread that I baked last week is his Whole Wheat Multigrain which also uses a levain. Over the last six months I've accumulated a lot of various grains and thought I'd try to use some of them up since I'm running out of room in my storage bin. As well, I wanted a recipe that I could use the Red Fife whole wheat flour in, so this seemed like the perfect fit. The only changes I made to the formula were to increase the amount of grains by 18% and the overall hydration by about 4% , putting it into the high 70's. The grains used were millet, oatmeal, cracked wheat, rye chops, and the last of some seven grain mix I've had since last February. The millet made up 40% of the hot soaker, and the remaining grains were divided in roughly equal proportions. Since the formula includes 1% of bakers yeast in addition to the levain, this is by far the quickest rising levain style bread I've made so far, taking just a little over 5hrs and an easy one day 'mix to oven' levain bread. The loaves were baked using the dutch oven method, the boule baked totally in the lid/pot combo and the batard on the stone covered with the pot. So far I've had better results using the pot/stone combo for even bottom colour, as the lid/pot method tends to darken it more than I'd like. Earlier this week in a reply to Mini on another post I described it as scorching, but it's not even that, it's just uneven colouring since there's no 'burnt' taste to the loaf. The DO we have is heavy aluminum rather than iron so that may be where the problem lies, I'm not sure. I'm considering having a piece of baking stone cut to size to fit inside the lid and see if that doesn't correct the problem, or I may just go for a genuine Lodge CC. At any rate, both loaves turned out well I thought, with a crunchy crust and a nice chewy, even textured crumb. This is a good everyday bread for sandwiches or toast, and although it uses a levain it's very mild in acidity but with lots of deep wheaty flavour that bread lovers will enjoy. If there was any downside to this bake it's that I've just enough Red Fife flour left for one more mix, meaning my trip down Island to Cowichan Bay for more will have to be sooner than I'd thought. The RF flour is so nice to work with and makes such tasty bread I really don't mind having to literally go the extra mile/s to get some more.

All the Best,




probably34's picture

I made a batch of pain a lancienne out of bread bakers apprentice last sunday and put it in the fridge at work. I forgot about it and wound up baking it yesterday, which was saturday. The bread still sprung fine. It surprisingly wasnt that much more flavorful.

txfarmer's picture

I finished my 5th marathon today, Dallas White Rock Marathon, 26.2 miles, 3:51 finish time. It's not my fastest time, that would be 3:43. However, this one has special meaning since for the past 3 years, I had been plagued by multiple stress fractures. I would gear up to train for one, then get hurt somewhere. The last attempt was at New Orleans, I had to stop at 13.1 due to unbearable heel pain, which turned out to be another stress fracture. A lot of doc visits later, it was determined that I was seriously lacking Vitamin D, which affected my bone health. After that, it was a slow comeback, and finally today, I stood at the start line, healthy and injury free! However, life always throws curve balls. right before the race, my GPS watch "froze", not even the clock was working, my husband also didn't bring his watch, so I had to run the race with no time piece at all! I was getting a little frustrated, but a guy beside me all of sudden had really bad nose bleed, it got so bad that his wife and he had to both pull out of the race. This changed my perspective - watch or no watch, it's a blessing to be able to do what I love at all!


With no watch to track my pace, and I am a little rusty to "feel the pace" after not racing for years, I ended up taking it too easy - could've easily squeeze out a few more minutes. However, the plus side is that I was free to pay attention to the course, the scenary, the spectators, it was actually my most enjoyable marathons to date! Finished with a big smile, I would call it a success despite the finish time. Now that I remembered how FUN marathon races are, I am confident that there will more, and faster ones in my future!


------- Back to baguettes ----------

Since I make my 36 hour baguettes (original recipe here, and 3 earlier variations here) nearly every week, I often tweak things, and these 3 are the recent ones that I really like.

1) Sesame Baguette

It was actually my pre-race carbo loading dinner last night. Words can't express how fragrant it is. I used rye starter, with 7% toasted sesame.

AP Flour, 425g

ice water, 325g

black sesame, 35g, toasted

salt, 10g

rye starter (100%) 150g

-Mix flour, sesame, ice water and autolyse for 12 hours.

-Mix in salt, starte, then follow the basic 36 hour sourdough baguette formula here.

Rich Sesame taste in every bite

Also made smoked salmon pizza with some of the same dough

2. carrots baguette

Remember that 10lb bag of carrots, yeah, some of those went into baguettes.

AP Flour, 425g

ice water, 315g

shredded carrots, 100g

salt, 10g

rye starter (100%) 150g

-Mix flour, carrots, ice water and autolyse for 12 hours.

-Mix in salt, starte, then follow the basic 36 hour sourdough baguette formula here.


Nice open crumb with a subtle sweetness from shredded carrots, not to mention extra moisture.

Don't forget the shrimp pesto pizza made from the same dough

 3) baguette with old dough

Inspired by Wildyeast's experiment with bread crumb sourdough, I did the same to my baguettes:


AP Flour, 425g

ice water, 315g

old bread crumb, 50g

salt, 10g

white starter (100%) 150g

-Mix flour, bread crumb, ice water and autolyse for 12 hours.

-Mix in salt, starte, then follow the basic 36 hour sourdough baguette formula here.


I used white starter for that batch, would try rye starter next time for more flavor. The old bread were rye baguettes from previous time. There's a special fragrant from the bread crumb, but very subtle.


However, the keeping quality was noticably longer.

breakfast egg pizza from the same dough

Submitting to Yeastspotting.

ananda's picture

 This loaf contrasts well with the high rye posted on very recently.   A large boule, leavened with a rye sourdough, comprising just short of 25% of the total flour in the formula.

[A 1.7kg Boule made with Rye Sourdough; that's 3¾lb!]DSCF1521


Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Rye Sourdough [2 builds]



Bacheldre Dark Rye









2. Final Dough



Rye Sourdough [from above]



White Bread Flour [Allinsons]












% pre-fermented flour



Overall hydration




  • Utilise the autolyse technique with the flour, water and rye sourdough, for 50 minutes.
  • Add the salt and mix using Andrew Whitley's "air-kneading" technique for 15 minutes. Rest for 15 minutes on an oiled-counter, under cover.
  • Mix a further 10 minutes.
  • Bulk proof covered in an oiled container for 1½ hours. Knock back, then rest for 15 minutes.
  • Mould and place upside down in a Banneton, prepared with dark rye and semolina.
  • Prove 1½ hours; meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 250°C.
  • My Bake profile as follows: Pour boiling water onto a pan of large stones in the base of the oven, 3 minutes prior to baking. Tip the loaf onto a tray, and slash the top. Cover this with a large roasting dish, and place all of this onto the hot bricks in the middle shelf of the oven. Add further boiling water to the pan of rocks. Leave for 20 minutes. Then, remove the cover and turn the heat down to 210°C. Bake a further 20 minutes. Then turn the heat down to 200°C and bake out a further 5 - 10 minutes.
  • Cool on wires.




  • It's freezing in the UK just now! Kitchen temperature 10°C, Flour temperature 11°C and Rye Sour just 12°C [but wonderfully active, all the same!] 4 times DDT [26°C] = 104. Take the 3 above numbers away, and the required water temperature is an astonishing 71°C! So, I used the kettle and drew water at exactly that temperature, and, lo and behold the DDT was just what I wanted: 26°C!
  • This is one big loaf! The roasting pan method was almost successful, but I really needed a bigger vessel. The Lodge Logic Combo Cooker is on my Christmas list. I'm not big on volume. If anyone can advise on the diameter of pan which I need, I would be truly grateful. I'm guessing somewhere between 20 and 24cm?
  • Photographs attached. Some may call this "well-fired". But, I'm really pleased with the crust, and the close-up shots give some good detail of prized qualities. The crumb? Beautifully moist; so looking forward to my sandwiches for lunch at work tomorrow: French Brie with salad.DSCF1520DSCF1522DSCF1527DSCF1523DSCF1524


Best wishes to you all



ehanner's picture

A few weeks ago I posted on Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread titled A Dissenting Viewpoint. Several other members have posted reviews about the book and their breads since then. One thing I didn't care for was Robertson's confusing and incorrect description of bakers math through out the book. It is true however that if you follow the directions, you will get a great bread, regardless of the math.

Aside from the above, there are a few interesting, and I would say ingenious details within the book that need to be discussed. First, I like the idea of with holding 50g of warm water in the final dough to be added with the salt, after the autolyse. I haven't seen this procedure suggested by any other authors and it works well. I have never been convinced that the salt is properly distributed and dissolved when added after the autolyse. The water helps dissolve the salt and get it incorporated into the dough. Robertson suggests using your wet fingers to cut the additional water into the dough. Again the use of fingers to cut the new water and salt in is a new procedure that is simple and works well. It feels a little funky at first but the dough comes back together in the bowl later just fine.

Another more subtle thing that the author suggests is using 80F water in the dough. It's a way to assure that the culture starts off in a temperature range that wakes the culture up and gets it started eating and multiplying and creating co2. The result will be a more airy loaf, earlier in the proof. Judging by the loaves other members have posted on, I'd say the warmer water is a good idea.

Then, the Lodge Combo Cooker. I resisted buying the suggested combo cooker and used instead a couple of my collection of DO's and a covered steamable pan that I use on the stone. That is until yesterday. I found the Lodge CC at my Ace Hardware on sale for $33. It isn't that I didn't get good results using my other covered baking solutions. But as they say here in Packer Football country, "Good is the enemy of Great". I see DMsnyder has posted about his first Combo Cooker bake also so I suggest you read his details about his use. After Sylvia and Franko showed us how beautiful their bread are using the CC, I started wondering if the proportions of the cooker were helping the spring. Also the idea of not heating the pan first is definitely worth checking out.

I was surprised at the size of the Combo Cooker. It is perfectly sized for a 2# loaf. If you cut the handles off it would fit inside most of my DO's.  At Sylvia's suggestion, I proofed the first loaf in the smaller component pan, covered with the deeper pan. I sprinkled some grits on the bottom before loading the dough from the banetton. No extra oil or parchment were used.

As for the actual baking. I thought the crust was to thin and after cooling, not crisp for my tastes. I followed Robertsons advice on this and left the cover on for 20 minutes followed by another 20 uncovered. I thought it was a little pale so I baked it another 5 minutes for a total of 25 minutes. The second loaf was placed in the still hot base with a small handful of additional grits under the dough first. The top was still slightly warm and I spritzed some water on the inside of the cover. At the end of the second bake, I shut the oven down and let the crust dry for an additional 5 minutes. I liked the second crust a little better.

The next time I use this method, I'll take the cover off after 12 minutes. This will make the crust a little thicker and crispier I believe. Here are my first 2 boules of Tartine Basic country Bread, using the Combo-Cooker.

Robertson has brought  several ingenious methods to light in his new book. I think it's worth taking a look at to learn and understand these unique hand methods.


taparker's picture

I decided to try my hand at making this bread.   I don't think I quite have the hang of making the starter.  Need to work on that.  Glezer's book seems to indicate that the starter should be made in a semi-airtight container and I've read elsewhere that the starter should be allowed to breathe and collect wild yeasts from the environment.  I ended up with a not-quite-sour starter but used it anyway.  Instead of using the non-diastatic malt syrup I settled for a barley malt powder from my local brew shop.  I let the first rise go for 3 + hours, divided it, rested it, then shaped it before proofing for another 2 to 3 hours.  I put both batards on a silicon mat to proof and then just transferred everything to the baking stone when the time came.  I thought I had botched the batard shaping process but the loafs were very forgiving and came out looking better than I expected.  The recipe called for spritzing the loaves with water before baking and the use of a garden sprayer arrangement to add additional moisture.  I opted for a pan in the bottom of the oven to which I added a cup of water immediately after inserting the loaves.


I liked the color and crumb however the taste was not sour enough(have to work on starter) and the malt flavor was not subtle enough.  I'll try reducing the amount of malt powder the next time as well as using a more sour starter.




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