The Fresh Loaf

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pul's picture

I have been quite busy lately, but haven't stopped baking. By the way, is it my impression or the number of posts has increased significantly lately? I can't keep up with so much information anymore. 

Baked two loaves this weekend, a record batch for me. Both 75% hydration and 20% levain. Some mixed cold bulk fermentation and cold proofing. Top loaf was 25% dark rye + 5% red fife, while the lower loaf 20% dark rye. The lower loaf was given as gift, so no crumb shot. The pic below is for the crumb shot of the top loaf along with my lunch yesterday.




nmygarden's picture

Hi All,

A brief post to share today's bake, a SD multigrain loaf (and a BIG one at that) with a bit of spice to it, plus olives and roasted red peppers. Flours and grains combined AP and BF, whole rye flour, barley flakes, and wheat germ, plus add-ins including multicolor quinoa (cooked), stuffed green olives and roasted red peppers (and the olive oil they were cooked with). I used Old Bay Seasoning (at 2.5%) for the salt and extra spices.

This may have been the largest loaf I've made - dough weight >2K. My cloche dome wouldn't have possibly covered it, so I fashioned a cover from aluminum foil - worked just fine. Baked 20 minutes covered @450 F, then 40 minutes uncovered @425 F.

I'm very pleased with the result - the crumb is soft and open, the crust is thin, but has some chewiness to it, and the flavor is well-rounded and savory. If I try this one again, I'll probably scale it back a bit, or divide the dough into smaller loaves.

Happy baking, Everyone!

doctordough92's picture

I made KAF's March baking along recipe - Gruyere stuffed mini loaves.

While they may not look like much in this pic, these turned out to be an awesome cheese-filled volcano. I divided the dough into 4 per the "mini loaf" sizes but they were much too big for one person so we cut them in half. Also, instead of the starter they prescribed with dry active yeast overnight, I used equal weight sourdough starter (although I'm sure my hydration wasn't equal). I also did half Gruyere and half Pecarino Romano. I didn't have pizza seasoning on hand so I made my own - equal parts dried basil, dried oregano, and dried thyme. 

Perfect flavors and perfect cheesiness. I would say that in order to better hold the shape, I would roll my dough log tighter before cutting them. A skewer may even help to hold the tight coil while it bakes. I also thought mine could have risen more in the oven, it was a touch dense in the end. I may choose to proof it longer next time. 

I would almost say that 10 oz of cheese is a bit too much. While I never imagined saying that, it may be true in this case. I'll try 8 oz next time. A blend of parmesan and asiago may be nice to try as well. 

doctordough92's picture

Having been baking for 2 months and several mediocre baguette attempts, I've finally executed a sub-par baguette with an A+ recipe - SJSD baguettes from dmsnyder. 

The recipe is great. A nice blend of WW and all purpose (I didn't have the rye on hand to use but will next time). I recently purchased a baguette pan from a baking store that has three wells with many holes to cook baguettes on. What I found was that the three I baked on the pan did not brown on the bottom but the remaining one baguette that I baked on a sheet was slightly browned on the bottom. 

I was impressed with the forty-five degree scores. I would, however, like to have them open up more like dmsynder's did. The crust was great, though. I steamed with a preheated cast iron and boiling water for the first ten minutes. 

I believe there is a size issue here. While these are good length, they are fairly skinny and haven't beefed up like dmsynder's have. What can I do to make sure these not only rise but expand out and bulk up? Did I not proof them long enough? I also have splitting at my seam underneath which makes me think it may have under-proved as well. 

Danni3ll3's picture


Making sprouted flour is something that I have been curious about so I slightly adapted one of Dab’s recipes from last summer. And since I used Trevor’s pre-mix method earlier this week and had good success with it, I decided at the last minute to use the same method for this bread. 

That wasn’t my original plan since I was going to use part yeast water, dump everything together except for the salt and the levain, let sit while the levain did its thing and then mix in the last two ingredients. I had to give up the yeast water since I wasn’t sure what would happen having it sit overnight and then adding the levain and the add-ins. The yeast water will have to wait for another time. 

Makes 3 loaves

29 g each of Kamut, Spelt, Rye, Red Fife and Selkirk wheat berries (to be sprouted and milled into flour)

26 g each of Kamut, Spelt, Rye, Red Fife and Selkirk wheat berries (to be sprouted and used whole)

957 g unbleached flour

50 g freshly ground flax seeds

100 g dried cranberries

100 g shelled pistachios

30 g yogurt

735 g filtered water

22 g salt

305 g of 100% hydration levain (method is included in recipe)

  1. A few days before making the dough, weigh out 29 g each of Kamut, Spelt, Rye, Red Fife and Selkirk wheat berries for a total of 145 g. Soak them for 4 hours and then drain. Rinse and drain every 8 or so hours until the berries show three little white rootlets buds. This took 30 hours. Spread a thin layer of sprouts evenly in a dehydrator lined with window screen (so the berries don’t fall through while drying) and dry for 3 hours. Weigh the dehydrated berries to ensure that you have roughly 145 g which let you know that they are dry enough to be milled. Mill the berries and reserve for the levain. 
  2. Use the same method to sprout 26 g each of the same grains (Kamut, Spelt, Rye, Red Fife and Selkirk wheat berries). I sprouted these a little bit longer but I try not to have the rootlet grow longer than the berry itself. Refrigerate until dough making day. Bring to room temperature before using in the dough.
  3. A day or two before making dough, revive your starter so that it is active. I did several feedings 10 - 12 hours apart.
  4. Early in the evening before, mix the water with the flour, ground flax and the salt into a shaggy dough. Put into the fridge for a few hours.
  5. Toast the pistachios in a dry frying pan and reserve along with the dried cranberries. The pistachios toasted really quickly so they really to be watched closely. 
  6. Before going to bed, take the dough out of the fridge and let warm up to room temperature overnight on the counter. 
  7. Also before going to bed, feed 25 g of your starter with 140 g filtered water and all of the sprouted 5 grain flour. It doubled overnight and was ready in the morning (8 hours).
  8. First thing in the morning, mix the levain and yogurt with the dough. With the first batch of dough, I did a few minutes of slaps and folds to mix in the levain and then the add-ins but I felt like I was tearing the dough, so the next 3 were all done inside the bucket using folding and rolling. I let the dough rest a few times to let it relax and allow me to continue without ripping it. Once the levain is well mixed in, add the pistachios, cranberries and sprouts, and continue the folds to get everything integrated. Let rest for an hour. 
  9. Then do 2-3 sets of stretches and folds an hour apart. Place the dough in a warm spot and let it rise about 50% or maybe a tad more. 
  10. To release the dough from the bucket, I wet my hand and ran it all the way around and under the dough, rewetting as necessary. Then I made sure one side of the bucket was wet and slid the dough out on that side. The whole thing stayed intact without deflating. 
  11. Sprinkle a bit of flour on the mass and divide into 3 boules of about 840 g. Pre-shape gently into rounds without deflating the dough. Let rest 1 hour and then shape using the cinching method. Tighten and round out the boules by pulling the dough on the counter.
  12. Place seam side down into rice/ap floured bannetons, cover, proof on the counter for another hour, and put to bed for the night in the fridge.
  13. The next morning, about 15 hours later, heat up the oven and the Dutch ovens to 475 F for 45 minutes to an hour. Place parchment rounds in the bottom of the hot pots, score and place the dough inside and cover. Scoring isn’t usually my thing but I found my lame and scored the loaves even though they were seam side up. 
  14. Bake at 425 F for 25 minutes. Uncover and then bake for a further 20 minutes. I usually bake at 450F for the first part but thought I would try a lower temp to bake a bit less dark as often the loaves with fruit in them end up with an almost burnt bottom. It worked like a charm!
  15. Cool and enjoy!


I got pretty decent oven spring considering all the add-ins in these loaves. They sure smell heavenly! Crumb shot when we cut one open. 

Bread1965's picture

Well, this is my sixth attempt at making a more open crumb per Trevor's book. I'm not getting the wide open crumb Trevor does, but I'm enjoying some mighty good breads along the way. This is this weekend's bake.. first the pictures.

This loaf was made with 100g of 100% hydration AP flour starter at peak, 200g water, 285g flour (70% bread flour, 30% whole wheat) and 6g fine sea salt. I gave the flour an hour autolyse before adding the starter and salt. I gave the dough three sets of stretch and folds thirty minutes apart. Aside from the initial mixing of the starter into the flour/water, the three stretch and folds sets were each four simple quarter turn of the bowl stretch and folds. I tried to build structure but keep it gentle.

From adding the starter I let it bulk for a total of almost seven hours to get it to a double of the dough.  I then tried to pour the dough onto the bench as gently as possible, but it deflated somewhat. I gave it a simple and gentle pre-shape and let it rest for ten minutes. I then shaped and loaded it into a basket. But I could also tell that the shaping process deflated the dough as well. I think next time I'm going to dramatically reduce bulk and leave most of the expansion to happen in the basket to reduce touching the dough after most of it's rise. Let's see if that helps. I loaded it in the the fridge for about 10 hours before the bake this morning. Here's the crumb..

The crumb is gently moist, has good body to it and great mouth feel. It's a very nice bread.. I'm getting there..

Bake happy.. bread1965!


not.a.crumb.left's picture

Hi Everyone,

I thought, I share what Trevor is posting on IG on 'Pioneer SD' bread...considering the thoughts we had here on 'open' crumb or not etc.  I find this inspiring stuff and there is a bread for everyone somewhere and they are all beautiful , I think....



PalwithnoovenP's picture

Ian's techniques with my antics.

It's been ages since I last tried potato in bread. But since Ian always puts it into his bread, I was inspired to make a potato bread this time. I boiled it until very tender then mashed it including the skin like what he does. Saves trouble from peeling and has added benefits too.

I found some cheap cream cheese the other day so I immediately grabbed it. I have also been wanting to try cream cheese in bread (because Ian raves about the texture and moistness it gives to breads) for a long time but I can't because it is so expensive here. The flavor has has zero difference with the expensive brand that I know! I think l see a repeat with my breads and more cheesecakes down the road.

This is again an uncharted territory for me so a lot of mishaps for this bread but it still turned out very good. First, I forgot to take into account the water of the potato and the cream cheese. It was like kneading soup, I had to rescue it with the addition of a lot of flour throwing my "mental ratios" way way off. By the end, I managed to come up with a dough and kneaded it until some sort of a windowpane.

After a one hour ferment, I found the dough lacking strength and spreading too much so I gave it a stretch and fold; the improvement in strength was very obvious. I gave it another 2 sets of S&F's, one hour apart. Bulk fermentation took 4 hours at 34°C. What started as soup ended up as a very strong and silky dough. My starter was also pretty strong, the dough doubles after each S&F.

I divided them into 4 and shaped them into boules. Because of so much activity of the dough, I refrigerated it immediately otherwise it will overproof. I think I am gaining experience of how to read the dough. The next day I cooked them using the "guo kui" method.

Then there's another problem; because of the added flour, I ended up with more dough that my pot can handle. The dough was proofed right but were very bubbly, delicate, and sticky. At the skillet, they expanded unexpectedly huge and almost stuck to each other, very difficult to deal with. Now I know why guo kui has a very low hydration. I made a decision to bake only 3 of them and keep the last one that is on the brink of overproofing in the freezer. They continued expanding in the clay pot and stuck to each other and the pebbles, I had to pry them from things they touch that's why they have this mangled appearance but I find them beautifully rustic. Baking time took 30 minutes for each batch. The last one I baked was not affected negatively and we think it is the prettiest.

Flavor is wonderfully tangy with a buttery cream cheese and potato aroma. It was quite neutral for sweet or savory combos. We ate it with peanut butter and I think it is a nice base dough for filled buns. It was a combination of a crispy caramelized crust and a very soft moist crumb. Heavenly! It is our favorite bread to date. My past enriched breads were soft but this one is just on a whole other level of softness and moistness. I don't know if it was the potato or cream cheese or both who was/were responsible for that. Ian was so right about the texture! Thanks to all bakers who experimented with cream cheese in dough but biggest thanks to Ian for always bringing it to light!

Elsie_iu's picture

Ok, full disclaimer here: these are NOT sourdough pancakes (by the way, if anyone have luck producing SD pancakes that don’t spread like crazy but stay super thick, I appreciate it if you could share the recipe), that’s why I hesitated to even share the recipe here. However, they are so good I felt like keeping them from you would be an unforgivable crime. If you are like me that you prefer your pancakes thick and slightly hearty rather than super thin and airy, these pancakes are for you. Seriously, any canned pumpkin pancakes are no competition for them.


So there is a story about them, it starts as I spotted a gorgeous Kabocha squash in the supermarket at early fall. My heart was filled with excitement that I rushed to the cashier to claim it mine…all before I suddenly remembered that I actually HATE pumpkin. Days passed and I had not figured out what to do with it. Yet there was no way I would allow it to go bad nor would I eat it as its original form. That’s when I decided to turn to the internet for inspirations. Browsing through a butternut squash soup recipe from one of my favourite food blogs, Half Baked Harvest, the spice mixed for the soup attracted my attention. Roasted pumpkin soup? Maybe, but I prefer my food with more chew. Then the best ever thought came to my mind, ‘Wait, why not make roasted pumpkin pancakes?’ (Yes, I know pumpkin is only one kind of squash but I like the word pumpkin)


I know roasting pumpkin for pancakes is not a new idea but the spices and fats (just a tiny amount) that the pumpkin gets to be roasted in as well as the flour blend adopted make this recipe stands out. I swapped the butternut squash with kabocha squash and for the first time in my life I actually ate pumpkin (or squash to be accurate) with full enjoyment. They are so moist and thick with a complex flavour yet are 100% healthy and almost fat free. (I thought about mentioning this in the title but was afraid some of you would label it as bland health food).  


Addictive Pumpkin pancakes (yield 6 thick pancakes)


For the roasted squash (spice mix adopted from Half Baked Harvest)


110 g squash, cubed, any variety (I used Japanese Kabocha squash)

1/2 tsp ghee (or clarified butter, try not to substitute other forms of fats or the rich caramel flavour would be less pronounced)

1 tsp maple syrup

1/4 tsp each paprika, cinnamon and black pepper

1 garlic clove

A pinch of salt and chili powder


Combined all the ingredients and roasted in an 400°F oven for 25 minutes or until the squash is tender and caramelized. Let cool to room temperature or keep refrigerated until needed.


For the pancakes 


All of the roasted squash

100g fat free plain yogurt

20g whey/milk/water

1 large egg

0-3 tsp maple syrup (depending on your taste and the sweetness of squash, I omitted)

30g whole rye flour

20g whole spelt flour

1/2 tsp baking soda


Blend the squash, yogurt, whey/milk/water and egg in a blender until smooth. Combine the flour and baking soda and mix it gentle into the squash mixture. The batter should be very thick and NOT drip of a spoon smoothly) Leave a few lumps for fluffy pancakes. Immediately transfer ladles (1/4 cup each) of batter onto a non-stick pan (though I love my cast iron pan, it overheats easily and leads to flat and burnt pancakes) preheated at low-medium heat, spreading it out a bit with the back of a spoon. Cook until the pancakes look fully puffed up and a few bubbles appear (do not rush the process or the pancakes may firm up before reaching their full height), flip and cook the other slide briefly before transferring to a serving plate. Cook in batches if necessary (I cooked in two batches).


Roasting the pumpkin in ghee and maple syrup is not optional as this step is what transforms these pancakes from nice to addictively good. Roasting the pumpkin not only encourages browning and intensifies its sweetness but more importantly avoids an unpleasant cakey texture in the pancakes. The ghee leads to a caramel-like flavour that I crave, the garlic and chili powder adds a savory touch to these otherwise boring, pumpkin-pie-like pancakes. Whole spelt flour offers a subtle sweetness that I enjoy. The whole rye flour compliments the flavour of the pumpkin nicely while making these pancakes lighter at the same time.


Packed full with the goodness of spices, pumpkin, whole spelt, whole rye, yogurt and eggs, this is the best demonstration of how to eat healthy with no scarification of taste.

I like to serve the pancakes with a smear of ghee, a drizzle of maple syrup and a handful of pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

Vijaya's picture

Tho I have been cooking for decades, it was a first attempt at baking a bread, inspired by all the reading on artisanal breads. I like the idea of wholewheat--atta in India-- , and made sourdough using it. For the bread, I used two volumes of atta and one of all purpose flour, two volumes of water, and one volume of sourdough.


I dont have a regular oven, so I used the "gas tandoor"that I use succesfully to bake cakes. My whole wheat cakes-- with no other flour adulterating them-- generally never fail me. But for the I had to try all kinds of tricks, like using a lid of something to pour water and create steam, flipping the bread upside down to give the top crust some kind of a finish..and had to go with my nose(the fragrance of sourdough all over the house!!) and my fingers(tapping it for the hollow sound) !

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