The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Floydm's picture

Since my previous post I've taken a number of steps to clean up the site and reduce the amount of personal information stored here. Most notably, just by removing accounts that never activated or activated but never posted and haven't logged in in years, I was able to shrink the user database by over 75% (!). That is a change that you won't really notice, of course, because those accounts were by definition ones that hadn't made an impact, but it makes me feel much better about the amount of personal information I have stored here.

Other changes, changes you will (or may) notice:

  • I've updated the privacy page to more accurately reflect the current state of affairs and technologies used here.
  • I've added a "I accept the terms of use" screen that you'll see the next time you sign in or when you first sign up. It is meant to comply with the GDPR requirement that explicit opt-in be recorded and is generally considered the right thing to do. I probably should have added it sooner.
  • I've granted all users the ability to delete their accounts.
  • I've removed the ad display code from a number of screens where it seems inappropriate such as the user login, user register, user account edit, and content creation screens.
  • I've configured Google Analytics, which is used to measure traffic here, to anonymize IP addresses and purge traffic information at the shortest interval allowed, 14 months.

I'm still figuring out how best to deal with accounts that have been idle for a long time that posted content of value to the community. I may try to contact them to get an explicit opt-in. Or I could remove their email addresses from the accounts, which I believe are the only personal information I have about them. Or I could close the accounts and associate their content with the "Anonymous baker" user. I'm not sure what makes the most sense yet, just that I want to respect people's privacy and honour current regulations regarding people's personal information while not losing the tremendous public resource we've built collectively over the years here.

Elsie_iu's picture

This is my second attempt at both barley flour and sprouted white wheat flour. I’ve wanted to retry working with barley flour since my failed first try. After Ian posted his Guinness Rye Barley Wild Rice Bread, I decided that I’d be brave and incorporate barley into my bread again.


30/30 Freshly Milled Barley/Sprouted White Wheat Sourdough


Dough flour:

90g       30%      Freshly milled pearl barley flour (since I can’t get whole)

90g       30%      Freshly milled sprouted white wheat flour

120g      40%      Whole red wheat flour 


For leaven:

13g        4%      Starter

13g        4%      Bran shifted out from dough flour

13g        4%      Whey


For dough:

287g      96%      Dough flour excluding bran for leaven 

280g      93%      Whey 

39g       13%      Leaven

10g        3%      Vital Wheat Gluten

6g          2%      Salt



216.5g     71%     Whole grain

299.5g     98%     Total hydration


Shift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 13g for leaven. Mix the rest back into the dough flour or soak them in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients for a minimum of 4 hours.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, about 7 hours.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients and let ferment overnight for 12 hours. At the 10 hour point, the dough didn’t rise much so I let it ferment for 2 more hours. The dough still felt very firm even after that but I took it out of the bowl anyway.   Immediately I freaked out as the gluten was very poorly developed and the strands were very short and kept breaking. I calmed down and stretched and folded it for a couple of times. The dough became slightly more elastic but it’s still nothing close to other dough I’ve worked with before. Therefore, I stretched and folded it again after letting it rest for 20 minutes. It was allowed to rest for another 20 minutes before the third set of stretch and fold followed by a 30 minute rest. The dough was shaped after the last set of stretch and fold (so 4 in total) and let rise in the proofing basket. At the same time, the oven was preheated at 250°C/480°.

The dough didn’t really rise after 40 minutes so I decided to wait for longer. Nevertheless, the dough still felt firm after 75 minutes which was very unusual as the dough is normally 80% proofed after 30 minutes at this very warm temperature. I scored the dough anyway and bake at 250°C/480°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 20 minutes more until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 205°F. Let cool for at least 3 hours before slicing.

There was little oven spring but to my surprise, the dough rose upward rather than spread out. The bread is flatter than most of my other bread but at least it looks like a loaf of bread rather than a pancake brick. The bread actually came out much better than I expected. When I cut it open, I know the bread was very over-proofed though it felt very firm before entering into the oven. However, the crumb is not that close and dense when considering the firmness of the dough. The crust didn’t brown very well but it is thin and crisp.

Huge holes: an obvious sign of over-proofing

Despite the closeness of the crumb, the bread is very moist and still kind of light. The taste is exceptional for bread this plain (any bread tastes better with nuts or cheese in my opinion). I kept it very simple as I really want to taste the barley and sprouted white wheat. This has really paid off as the nuttiness and freshness of the grains really shine. 

I’m not sure exactly what contributed to the performance of this bread so any comments regarding it are welcome!


dabrownman's picture

We know how much Lucy loves her Mexican food so she went all in to make a bread that would hold up to our planned Red Pork Enchiladas.  I have to admit she relay came up with a Duesy this time.  It is way different than her normal bran levain, some portion whole sprouted fare.


This one has no whole grains at all but that doesn’t mean that it lacks flavor.  The 12% re-fermented flour levain was begun with 10g of our NMNF rye starter but it was a 2 stage affair.  The first stage was equal parts semolina and Lafama AP flour at 66.66% hydration.  This was left out overnight to ripen and double.

Now that is some kind of folding.

The next morning we added an equal portion of Smart and Final high gluten flour, to make 4% for each flour and added enough water to get it up to 81% hydration.  There was no autolyse this time either.  The dough flour was also a strange combination - 22% Lafama AP, 11% Masa Harina, 11% corn meal and 44% S&F high gluten.

We added 1.5% Pink Himalayan sea salt, 2.5% powdered chicken soup base that has salt in it and enough water to get the whole shebang, with the levain, up to 73% hydration.  We weren’t going for holes since this was going to be a pan bread with a lot of add ins.

The add ins went in at 3 different stages.  We did 100 slap and folds to get everything mixed initially and let the dough rest for 1.5 hours.  We did 10 more slap and folds and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.  Then we added 20% hot pepper jack cheese for the first set of folds.  On the 2nd set of folds we added 2 chopped scallions and some chopped cilantro.

Grilled Salmon and Black Rice Salad

Before the 3rd set of add ins and folds, we browned 1 thick strip of peppered bacon and then sautéed some white onions until they started to caramelize before adding 1 seeded jalapeno and half a cob of fresh corn kernels to the sauté and finished caramelizing the onion.  We chopped up the crispy bacon and added it before deglazing the pan with a bit of water to get every last bit of goodness out of the pan.

That is a shatter crisp crust even after sitting in the fridge overnight wrapped in plastic.

All of the folding was done on 30 minute intervals and we let the dough rest for half an hour before shaping and putting it into ta pan sprayed, tall oriental Pullman pan for final proofing.  After about 3.5 hours of proofing the dough had risen 1” above the rim in the center of the pan and it was ready for the 25 minutes of Lava Rock Mega Steam at 425 F.

Then we baked the bread for 20 minutes at 425 F convection with the steam removed.  Then we took the bread out of the pan and baked it right on the oven rack for 5 minutes until it hit 207 F on the inside.  This bread smelled awful good as it baked,  it just has to be yummy but we will wait till tomorrow.

Yes it is tall and the direct sun really brings out the yellow tinged crumb. 

This bread is delicious!  Not too much heat from the jalapenos, cheesy, with a hint of bacon, cilantro and onion in the background with the surprise of corn.  The crumb is soft and really moist!  This will go great with the pork and cheese enchiladas on Saturday.  We have changed it to a 7 dried pepper red sauce.  With the bacon, fresh veggies and cheese in this one we decided to refrigerate it. 

Lucy says have a salad with that sunset

pul's picture



Levain Weight (g)%
 Starter @ 100%155%
 Dark rye5016%
 Bread flour15048%
 Light spelt8326%
 Whole wheat258%
 Total water24076%
 Total flour315100%


Mixed some flours available at home and came up with the recipe above. Built a 125% hydration rye levain for about 4 hours. Autolysed the dough flour and water for about 40 minutes, and then mixed the levain except the salt. Kneaded for 2 minutes and after 30 min applied the first stretch and fold, adding salt. Applied three more stretches and folds every 30 min apart until the dough was fermented (air bubbles on the side). Shaped into a boule-batard, proofed for 15 min and shoved it into the fridge for 3 hours cold proof. Baked straight out of the fridge on a preheated pot at 230 C for 25 min with lid on + 10 min with lid off. Below is a picture of the crumb, which turned out quite airy.I observed that fermentation was a little faster than normal, since the amount of salt used was not much, and the amount of fermented flour was also higher than I normally use.



alfanso's picture

Another batch of Vermont SD, ho-hum.  However this time I decided to score these differently as well as some pre-shaping changes and a more gentle final shaping.  Which I'll attribute to the shorter and slightly stubbier look of these 

In the spirit of Abel's Ziggy scoring, which I've done  few times now - I decided to try a cross cut, "x's" all down the length of the dough.  And wound up with two distinct looks.

On the first two baguettes, I used a ceramic blade but didn't like the drag.  So I switched to my regular curved lame razor blade for the final two.  And I like the results much better.  

Playing with my food is fun!

In both of these pictures, the two on the left were with the ceramic blade and the two on the right with the razor blade.

380g x 4 baguettes/long batards.


Elsie_iu's picture

I figured out that I’ve only shared my pumpkin pancake recipe on this site. Not that I like it any less but I don’t always want pumpkin pancakes nor have the mood to roast and mash a pumpkin. This base recipe is the one I turn to most often when I’m craving pancakes. It’s my proud no-fail formula that I’ve took at least 40 times to perfect.

 This is the version following suggestion 2 below.


My secretly healthy all-time-favourite pancake base recipe (yield: 6 medium-sized thick pancakes)


Dry ingredients:

40 g whole spelt flour (whole wheat flour can be used but spelt is sweeter and lighter)

55 g dark rye flour/ buckwheat flour/ other flour/ unsweetened cocoa powder


1. all dark rye: extra light and fluffy pancakes

2. 40/15 buckwheat/dark rye: strong buckwheat aroma without a dry and sandy texture

3. 15 g unsweetened cocoa with 45 g flour: chocolate pancakes)

2 tsp brown sugar (omit for savory pancakes, 1 tbsp for sweeter pancakes and 1-1.5 tbsp for the cocoa version)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt


Wet ingredients (all at room temperature):

1 large whole egg

100 g regular fat free yogurt (sub with ricotta for extra airy pancakes)

80 g water/ milk/ whey/ extra yogurt (I often use whey or water)

1/4 tsp any kind of flavorings (optional) e.g. vanilla extract, maple flavour etc.


Add-ins (totally optional):

Citrus zest

Chopped chocolate/ cacao nibs


Nuts and seeds

cheese, corn, leek and bacon (my favourite savory combo)



Combine all dry ingredients. Beat the egg with a fork and stir into the rest of the wet ingredients. Meanwhile, preheat a non-stick 10 inch pan (I love my cast iron skillet but non-stick yields better pancake as it gives you better heat level control) at low/medium heat.

Gently and roughly mix the dry ingredients into the egg/ yogurt mixture, leaving a few small lumps. Fold in any add-ins if using.

Ladle 1/4 cup of the batter into the preheated pan. Spread it out a bit with the back of a spoon as the batter should be very thick. I like to cook 3 pancakes at the same time by arranging the 3 ladles of batter in a triangle pattern. Adjust the heat as required. Maintaining the pan at the right temperature is tricky but is also the key to making the thickest and fluffiest pancakes. It requires practices to master but here’s an indicator of the right temperature: hold your hand about 10 cm above the pan, it should feel very warm but you should be able to keep it there for over a minute.

Flip the pancakes when the pancakes are fully puffed up with lots of air bubbles. Heat the other side for roughly a minute or until cooked through.


This recipe yields soft, moist and fluffy pancakes that are in fact super healthy. They are slightly hearty rather than super airy which I actually prefer as they are more satisfying. I mostly serve it with just half a tsp of ghee and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. However, I sometimes make lemon curd or a chocolate ganache to go with chocolate pancakes.

Hope you would try this out. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Floydm's picture

You might have noticed you've been getting a ton of emails recently from companies that "care about your privacy". That is because there are new data privacy regulations coming into effect in less than a month that impact anyone doing business with EU citizens. I'm still getting a handle on what they mean and whether what TFL does constitutes "doing business" with anyone, but at the least it is a good time for some housecleaning here.

Today I started purging old accounts that never activated. There is no reason to retain anything about any of those accounts. 

After that I'll purge old accounts that haven't been active in a long time. 

Next it sounds like it makes sense for me to add a new Terms & Conditions screen that folks will need to acknowledge when they sign up or sign in. The GDPR states that site owners need to have a record of such a thing. And the T&C language needs to be understandable rather than in legelese, which is good. So I am working on putting that together.

After the T&C has been up and active site members have had a chance to opt-in, I can remove accounts that don't opt in. I don't want to retain anyone's info who isn't consciously OK with sharing it here.

I think I can also give people the permission to delete their own accounts and information, which is also part of the GDPR.

To be clear, I never sell, rent, share, or do anything with anyone's email address or any other personal information that is held here (and I wonder: does the kind of mixer or thermometer you use count as personally identifiable information?). Email addresses are used, at sign up, to verify that there is a human at the other end of the line and thus to cut down on the number of spam accounts that get created. After that, email is used for private messages between site members or to receive comment notifications, both of which you can opt out of. A handful of times a year I look up a user's email address and contact them directly, typically either because a site member asks me to get in touch with them and doesn't want to use the PM system or I have a concern about their conduct or content of a post. Your info here is not being shared or used for marketing purposes, and I put a great deal of effort to keep the site and server secure so it can't be accessed or misused.

not.a.crumb.left's picture

Ha, Ha....this time I created a 100% leaven from my 60% stiff starter and used it after 5 hours...didn't float and not rise that much and expected a flop but rise it did!!! experiment will be to up the hydration a bit more and to see whether my flour and my handling can cope!



Elsie_iu's picture

Finally! The white wheat berries are back in stock! I bought a bag of it and decided to put it into use immediately by sprouting and milling it into flour. Not sure how it would affect the dough, I started out at a low percentage of 20% sprouted flour. 

The berries were sprouted and dried a few days ahead but freshly milled (using the newly bought coffee grinder) on the day the leaven is built. The first thing I noticed is the smell of the flour. Its scent is divine! I have never smelled anything like that before. Though I enjoy the aroma of bagged whole grain flour, it is by no mean comparable to freshly milled sprouted flour. I now regret starting to mill my own sprouted flour so late but I guess it’s better late than never!  


20% sprouted white wheat sourdough 


Dough flour:

60g       20%      Freshly milled sprouted white wheat flour

240g     80%      Whole red wheat flour 


For leaven:

10g       3%      Starter

10g       3%      Bran shifted out from sprouted flour

10g       3%      Whey


For dough:

290g     97%      Dough flour excluding bran for leaven 

275g     92%      Whey 

30g      10%      Leaven

10g       3%       Vital Wheat Gluten

6g         2%       Salt



45g       15%     Whole sprouted white wheat berries


310g     100%     Whole grain

290g      94%     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 whey taken from dough ingredients for a minimum of 4 hours.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, about 9 hours.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients and let ferment overnight for 12 hours. Fold in the sprouted wheat berries 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 crust is thin and browned nicely, which I think had something to do with the sugar of the sprouted wheat flour. The scoring was not completely successful but the bread still had decent oven spring. 

I thought this bread would be slightly drier than other bread I baked due to the lower hydration (I usually aim for 100% for whole wheat) and the sprouted flour. However, to my surprise, the crumb is actually moister and softer than those without sprouted flour. You can hardly relate it to the dry and coarse texture people often associate whole wheat with. Considering the presence of sprouted wheat berries, the crumb is fairly open too.  

I left out the dark barley malt this time as I didn’t want it to mask to flavour of the sprouted flour. The bread tastes a bit different from the previous ones. It is subtle and difficult to describe but the sprouted flour gives it a kind of fresh note, making the bread more complex in general. Next time, I’ll definitely up the % of sprouted flour so that its aroma would be more pronounced. 


This is an inspired bake a few days ago after reading Dabrownman’s post of tang zhong Hokkaido bread.


Mixed flour Tang zhong chocolate marble bread


For tang zhong:

40g      14%       Whole spelt flour 

200g     71%      Water

12g       4%        Brown sugar

15g        5%       Honey

24g      8.5%      Dry whole milk powder


For ‘white’ dough and chocolate dough:

141g     50%      Whole wheat flour

113g     40%       Whole spelt flour

28g      10%        Dark rye flour

60g      21%        Water

4.7g     1.7%       Instant yeast

10g      3.5%       Vital Wheat Gluten

2.5g     0.9 %      Salt


For chocolate dough:

14g       5%      Unsweetened cocoa powder

14g       5%      Water


For glaze:

12g       4%      Brown sugar

5g       1.8%      Water


322g     100%     Whole grain

260g       81%     Total hydration (for ‘white’ dough)


Mix together the flour and water for the tang zhong and heat over medium-low, stirring continuously until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Let cool to room temperature.

Combine the 60g of water for the dough with the tang zhong. Pour it over the rest of the dough ingredients and mix thoroughly. Divide the dough into two parts in the ratio of 2:1. Combine the cocoa powder and water under For chocolate dough and knead it into the 1/3 dough portion. Let both dough rest for 30 minutes. Knead both the dough until smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes for each. Let rise for 1 hour.

Flour the ‘white’ dough and stretch it lightly into rectangle (any dimension works). Sprinkle cocoa powder over the chocolate dough and stretch it into a rectangle with the same width but half the length of the ‘white’ dough. Place it onto one side of the white dough and fold the over half over it so that it is sandwiched between the two sides of the ‘white’ dough. Roll the dough out to the original size of the ‘white’ dough, and then cut it crosswise into two equal half. Put one half over the other with the cut side facing opposite directions. Roll out the dough again and repeat the above procedures for 2 more times. After layers of alternate dough are formed, roll the dough lengthwise to about 1.3 times the length of your bread pan. Cut it into three equal long strips of dough and braid them together. Put it into the pan and let proof for 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine the sugar and water for the glaze and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake at 350°F in the middle rack for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190°F. Brush the sugar mixture over the hot braid and let cool for 50 minutes before slicing.

It tasted very mildly sweet so if you want, you can add some chopped chocolate or more sugar to make it more of a sweet treat.


alfanso's picture

For high hydration levains, I've exclusivly used a 125% hydration rye levain for more than a year now, but wanted to return to from whence it came.  This is another Vermont SD, retuning to Mr. Hamelman's 125% hydration AP flour levain formula.  It is just a lovely Pain au Levain bread.  Thin crisp crust and open sweet and "sparkling" crumb.

I usually avoid reposting past breads except when something has changed.  I've been mostly quiet here for a while now, and when I bake I generally stick to the tried and true.  But I thought I'd post these just for the heck of it.

3 x 360g, 1 x 410g baguettes/long batards



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