The Fresh Loaf

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Mebake's picture

This is a late bake from Hamelmans "BREAD", chapter 6: Sourdough Rye with Walnuts, only with Walnuts being left out (no stock). This is essentially a 50% Whole Rye Bread. I used HOVIS bread flour for remaining 50%. most of the Rye inthis recipe is fermented.

Obviously, i have done a lousy job on proofing seem side down. I had hoped to get the artisanal effect that Hansjoakim had: here. Reason may be my boule shaping, DMsnyder would you chime in here for an advise of your boule shaping experience from SBFI?

Having observed Hans Bake, i also increased the hydration to 75% to obtain a somewhat loose dough. I have used Whole Rye instead of Hans Medium Rye.

I haven't tasted the loaf yet, but i trust in hamelman's recipe.

UPDATE: now that i tasted the loaf, it is typical of 50% Whole Rye surdough breads: mild sourness, with earthy rye flavor. I think the walnuts were in the recipe for a reason. I'll add walnuts for sure next time.


varda's picture

Yesterday I tried my hand at a miche after reading so much about these loaves on this site.   I must admit that I had to restrain myself from dividing it into three loaves as I was wondering what a three person household was going to do with an almost four pound loaf.  I tried Hamelman's Pointe-a-Calliere (page 164 of Bread.)   I had to make a few modifications.   I was planning to do 85% whole wheat flour, 15% AP, but ended up with around 60-40 because I was lower on whole wheat flour than I had thought.    Since I was baking in my clay oven which has a fairly narrow door, I found that the dough had grown so large that I had to make an oval rather than round loaf, and again because of the oven, I took it out after 45 minutes instead of the full hour since it was already quite cooked and would have turned into a cinder after any longer.  But I did follow the instructions to wait a full 12 hours before slicing despite my usual impatience in these matters.   And after all that?   Wow.   That is a delicious bread.   It is very hearty.   A slice with a bit of peanut butter makes a substantial meal.  But will we eat the whole thing?   I guess it depends how long it remains fresh, which I've yet to see. 



dmsnyder's picture


Ruth (our sister) left her sourdough starter in the refrigerator at Pelican Way (vacation home).  I plan to use it when we're back here in a few weeks.  Where shall I start?


Dear Glenn,

I'm so happy that you have decided you are mature enough to enter into a long term commitment to a levain. You have, no doubt, heard the expression "starter marriage." I assume, like most, you have the impression this refers to the failed marriage of two people at a young age, but, as the Egyptians first discovered some 5000 years ago, it really refers to the successful long-term relationship between a baker and his or her wild yeast culture.

This can be one of the most rewarding experiences anyone can have, but it only works if there is mutual respect, an understanding of the partner's needs and a willingness on the baker's part to be patient and flexible, especially in the first months of the relationship. There will be disappointments, inevitably. You must accept these adversities and work through them together. If you do, your starter will reward you with nourishment for your body and soul. It will become resilient and forgiving. It will provide an endless variety of pleasures - pain au levain, pain de campagne, sour rye, challah, even croissants! 

As you feed your starter, it will awaken and come alive. It's yeast and lactobacilli will grow and multiply and produce the CO2 that raises your dough and the alcohol and acids that strengthen your gluten and lend complexity of flavor to your bread. But, if you neglect it, it will weaken and ooze liquid (hooch) as it's strength fades to nothingness. Yet, if you feed it again and again, it will revive and forgive you, time after time. Who cannot but treasure such loyalty?

The material requirements for a successful relationship are minimal: Your starter, water, flour and salt. Bowls and spatulas and ovens you have. You will need a scale to accurately measure ingredients. It should measure to 1 g (1/4 oz) and have a tare function. The most inexpensive but very acceptable one I know is made by Escali and costs less than $30. 

Your levain can be fed all purpose (AP) flour, but it really likes its feeding spiced up with a bit of rye and/or whole wheat (WW). The mix I use for feeding my starter is 70% AP, 20%WW and 10% rye. (All measurements are by weight, not volume.) So, I advise you to mix up a batch of starter food, say 210 g AP, 60 g WW and 30 g rye and keep it in a quart jar.

I generally keep my starter at 75% hydration. (This means 4 parts flour to 3 parts water.) And when feeding it, I mix together 1 part starter with 4 parts flour and 3 parts water. For example, mix 15 g starter with 60 g flour (the flour mix described above) and 45 g water. This makes 120 gms of starter. Mix this in a medium sized bowl (3-4 cup size), cover the bowl and let it ferment for 12-16 hours. It should double in volume and be all bubbly with a domed top. I like to do this in a glass or clear plastic container. Before using the starter to make bread, repeat the feeding. Discard all but 20 g of starter and feed the starter with 80 g of flour and 60 g of water. You now have 160 g of starter. It may now double in 6-8 hours. It is now ready to use to make bread.

I would start with a simple San Francisco-type sourdough bread. I would plan on making the same bread several times before you feel you "know it." Then, choose a variation or another type of sourdough bread. I know you like my Sourdough Italian Bread, so you may want to work on that. It is a little trickier, in that it is a wet, sticky dough. I can send you formulas for these or other types of sourdough bread.

There is a wealth of information online. You know TFL. Read Sourdough Lessons which has links to a number of sources. Mike Avery's Sourdough Home - An Exploration of Sourdough also has a lot of good information and tips. You may also want to explore Susan Tenney's Wild Yeast blog for inspiration. If you read my blog on TFL, you will find many formulas, most of which contain detailed instructions for procedures. I'll be home next weekend (making bread, no doubt) so feel free to give a call.





teketeke's picture

Would you like to surprise your family or friends for their birthday? I do! It is not difficult but time consuming especially if you use multi-color chocolate.But it is worth it when you see their reaction!! That is a speechless moment that I really love to see.  This recipe is posted by Hanaasu. Thank you, Hanaasu!( Japanese: you can understand how to make by pictures)

This SpongeBob cake was for my daughter's 4th birthday. The pink and light blue spongecake was Gary. (SpongeBob's pet snail)   SpongeBob's left arm was broken because I didn't put enough chocolate on the back.

 For my my son's 12th birthday.( bakugan 爆丸) He was surprised, and smiled with a joy when he saw this cake. I forgot to put a little bit of white chocolate to color his eyes.

This is for my husband's birthday.(LADY GAGA) He used to like her song but not anymore.....  I should have made shadow like this: Click this link below.

 It is fun! :)

9/2/2010 I challenged to trace and paint Berry Manilow's face using  a bamboo stick for my sister-in-law's birthday.

 I messed  up  the shadow around his right eye. But my husband's sister was very happy. That made me happy too.

odinraider's picture

Here is the white sandwich bread from Julia Child's Baking with Master Chefs. I made one pan loaf and one small round. It is a great white bread that my girls love. It does not have the integrity of the Jamaican hard do, but it is rich in flavor and texture.

Next up is the honey wheat sourdough I have been working on. It is still too warm to slice, so I can't be sure of the crumb, but it is nice and firm, has good lift, and a great smell.

Once I am sure of the crumb and taste, I will post the recipe.


Here are some moist, rich, and chewy double chocolate brownies.


And finally, one of my family's favorites: Pizza! Pizza in all its simplicity: sauce, cheese, fresh basil and oregano, and pepperoni on one of them.


Tomorrow will bring baguettes and focaccia.

Kingudaroad's picture

I do not yet own the book, so this bread is based on xaipete(pamela)'s blog with comments from Mr DiMuzio.


The thing that got me thinking was the attention Mr DiMuzio puts on preparing his levain. My starter had gone about 10 days or so without a feeding. I keep a white liquid starter at 100% hydration. 

Preparing for a Friday bake, I fed my starter Monday night, Tuesday night, and Wednesday morning, still keeping it 100%. It was gobbling up the flour at a fast pace. On Wednesday night, I made it into a 60% firm starter and put it in my wine fridge at 62 degrees. I was hoping, as Mr DiMuzio commented, that this lower temperature fermentation would enhance the tang of the sourdough. The firm levain was refreshed twice more at 12 hour intervals, tripling the amount of firm starter at each refreshing.(taking 480 grams of firm starter, discarding 320 grams, and adding 200 grams of flour and 120 gr of water). The starter was doubling in size and peaking at almost exactly 12 hours. 


The formula for 2 loaves:

700 gr KA all purpose flour

500 gr water

21 gr sea salt

480 gr firm levain 60% hydration(the levain was made and refreshed with KA bread flour)

I mixed the all the ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon until well mixed and let it all rest for 30 minutes. I then did about 2 minutes of french folds(Bertinet style), and about ten more french folds 20 minute later. And finally 2 more stretch and folds at 20 minute intervals. I bulk fermented for another 1 1/2 hours, then divided and shaped into boules, proofed for another 1hour and 15 minutes and baked in a 480 degree oven, dropping the temp to 430 degrees for 33 minutes with steam applied for the first 10 minutes.

There was substantial oven spring and they smelled great!

I was really expecting a more open crumb than I got. I'm not really sure where I went wrong. I shaped them very carefully trying to keep all the gas in there while getting a good surface tension. Maybe I'll try a bit more water next time.

The flavor was spot on with the perfect subtle tang I was looking for. The crumb was soft and moist,but had a real good tug and chew. Overall I liked it, but think I can improve it. (Like every other bread I have made. lol)

Thanks for reading about my San Francisco Sourdough adventures!




bnom's picture

I decided that my first by-the-book recipe I'd make from Hamelman's Bread would be Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain.  I had my starter bubbling, my scale ready, started adding ingredients to the bowl and--wait a minute--this can't be right.  The formula was clearly incorrect (It turns out that I just happened to choose the Bread recipe most fraught with errors).  So I  improvised the best I could. 

I then looked up, on the Mellow Bakers site, the errata sheet and also found Hamelman's email correcting the formula.  Yesterday, I closely followed his formula, so I could compare the two breads while they were still fresh in my mind.   

Here's the crust/crumb from Hamelman's corrected formula:


And here's the crumb of my improvised version:

The winner?  We thought the improvised loaf had a much better flavor and texture.  The Hamelman version was, by comparison, rather doughy and bland. Although I loved the bloom and ears.  I think the answer is in the balance somewhere between the two.  Next time, I keep track of my own formula and post results. 


dmsnyder's picture


SFBI Artisan I, day 5


Today, we baked 3 batches of baguettes - with poolish, sponge and "pre-ferment" (like biga). The didactic portion covered baker's math for doughs with pre-ferments. We reviewed a lot of material on mixing and dough handling. As a "bonus lesson," Miyuki demonstrated special baguette scoring techniques.


Miyuki called this a "Dragon Tail."


Dragon Tail baguette


Bend the baguette into a curve and cut as for an epi, except fold all the pieces to the convex side of the baguette


These are all Miyuki's - ready to load



These are mine - baked


Loading baguettes 


I don't think I've mentioned that there were wonderful pastries available with coffee when we arrived, and we were served delicious lunches each afternoon. Lunch today was two kinds of pizza - margarita and 5 spices chicken, mango and scallion - really delicious. Today, we were also served wine - a very nice pinot grigio. The desserts were lemon macarons and "nouveau linzer," a layer of flourless chocolate cake spread with raspberry jam under chocolate mousse. Ooooooh my!




At the end of the day, Michel Suas met with the class, which is a long story for another time. We tasted the different baguettes we made and also some hand-mixed baguettes Miyuki made and baked in a home-type oven. We took some photos and went home with a couple half-pints of ice cream the interns had made. I got strawberry and cassis.


Michel Suas


Class photo (3 students had to catch planes prior to this, unfortunately.)


I would certainly recommend this course to any serious home baker or any professional baker. For the home bakers: It really helps if you have studied modern bread making concepts beforehand. The workshop covers a lot of material, and it moves fast. You do not want this to be your very first exposure to baker's math or scaling ingredients or using pre-ferments, just to give a few examples. 

On the other hand, the class was about half professionals, some with many years experience as bread bakers in restaurant or bakery environments. There was no one who didn't learn a lot. I think I heard every one of them talking excitedly at one or more points about concepts and procedures they were eager to apply in their own workplaces.

Now, to go home and try to apply everything I've learned. 




breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hi All,

Just wanted to share with you my attempt.  It is loosely based on foolishpoolish's Brioche au Levain: and the Brioche With Liquid Levain recipe on page 204 of Daniel T. Dimuzio's book: Bread Baking: an Artisan's Perspective.  I am doing this completely by hand...


Liquid Levain:

100g AP (King Arthur)

100g Water

50g Sourdough Starter (100% hydration)

250g Total


Final Dough:

650g AP (King Arthur)

280g Whole Milk (scalded and cooled)

225g Unsalted Butter (2 sticks @ room temp)

112g Eggs (2 XL)

75g Caster Sugar (extra fine)

18g Kosher Salt

1.4g Instant Yeast (1/2 tsp SAF Gold)

250g Liquid Levain

1609.4g Total Dough Yield


Method (at least what I did)

Day 1 (8/20/10)

2:35pm - Mix liquid levain, cover let rest for 3-4 hours.  Scald milk and let cool.

6:00pm - Measure out all ingredients.

6:15pm - In a large 15L stainless steel mixing bowl, add the milk, eggs, about 1/3 of the caster sugar, all of the liquid levain, salt and yeast.  Mix well with a wire wisk until well combined.  Next, wisk in about 1/3 of the flour, mix until smooth.  Then, add the remaining flour, mix with a spatula until combined well, cover and autolyse for 25-30 minute covered.

6:40pm - Knead in remaning sugar by hand.  Sprinkle sugar lightly around the dough and onto the sides of the bowl, and knead dough by picking it up slapping and folding it to either the side or bottom of bowl using 1 (right) hand (left hand holds and rotates the mixing bowl).  Continue kneading and adding sugar until all sugar is used and dough begins to develop strength and stop shredding.  About 10 minutes.

6:50pm - Cut butter into small chunks and begin kneading butter into the dough.  Reserve the butter wrapper for greasing the plastic container for rising.  Method for kneading butter: smear 1 chunk of butter along the sides of the bowl, then slap and fold the dough on the sides of the bowl using 1 (right) hand (left hand holds and rotates the mixing bowl).  This will take about 40 minutes and your arm/hand will get tired.

7:25pm - Transfer dough to buttered plastic tub, cover and let rise for about 1 hour on counter.  Turn dough 3 times at 15 minute intervals.

8:30pm - Turn dough and transfer to refrigerator.

9:45pm - Turn dough, let rise in refrigerator overnight.

10:50pm - Take picture of dough in progress for TFL...  My tub is about 4L.

11:23pm - Turn dough (because I felt like it...)

To be continued tomorrow morning...

SylviaH's picture

The sourdough boulé is the same recipe I baked on my last post, except I made a few little changes replacing some of the bread flour with 120g of whole rye, honey instead of sugar and upped the hydration slightly.  I made two large loaves instead of three so I could make better use of my oven today.  The flavor was delicious and we enjoy very much both versions of this sourdough.  I had 5 very large ripe banana's perfect for doubling the recipe for 'Banana-Nut Bread' from the book 'Williams-Sonoma Bread', this is a great tasting banana bread, today I left out the nuts.  The fried apricot hand pies were made a couple of days ago.  I make them once a year, guess why!  I boil sweetned fresh apricots with a bit of lemon juice into a thick lumpy puree for the center filling or sometimes I use dried apricots for the puree, both are delicious.












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