The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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dmsnyder's picture

Hamelman's Rye with Flax Seeds1

Hamelman's Rye with Flax Seeds1

Hamelman's Flaxseed Bread - crumb

Hamelman's Flaxseed Bread - crumb

Jeffrey Hamelman's Flaxseed Bread from "Bread" is a 60% sourdough rye. It is almost exactly the same formula as his 66% sourdough rye, with the addition of flaxseeds added to the dough as a soaker. This is a delicious bread, but the wonderful flavor really comes together the day after baking.  One day 2, it is mildly sour with a prominant, hearty rye flavor mixed with a very distinct flavor of flaxseed. The seseme seeds on top, which Hamelman says are traditional, add another nice flavor and a nice additional crunch.

I have made many rye breads before and love them, but this is my first attempt at one of Hamelman's German-style rye breads. I must give credit to Eric (ehanner), whose beautiful rye breads from Hamelman inspired me to take the plunge.


holds99's picture

 Today I made Michel Suas' Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread from his book Advanced Bread and Pastry.  I was pleased with the results.  Although Mr. Suas book is written primarily for the professional baker his book is an amazing book, which covers both bread and pastry with an interesting history of bread making and many photos, illustrations and much detail re: techniques.Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Michel Suas Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread - Advanced Bread and Pastry:

Today I made Michel Suas' Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread from his book Advanced Bread and Pastry.  I was pleased with the results.  Although Mr. Suas' book is written primarily for the professional baker his book is an amazing book, which covers both bread and pastry with an interesting history of bread making and many photos, illustrations and much detail re: techniques.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

dmsnyder's picture

Gosselin Pain a l'Ancienne

Gosselin Pain a l'Ancienne

Gosselin baguettes

Gosselin baguettes

Gosselin baguette Crumb

Gosselin baguette Crumb

Gosselin Pain Rustique

Gosselin Pain Rustique

Gosselin Pain Rustique Crumb

Gosselin Pain Rustique Crumb

Both Peter Reinhart's "Bread Baker's Apprentice" (BBA) and Daniel Leader's "Local Breads" contain formulas for "Pain à l'Ancienne," based on the explorations during the 1990's by several Parisian bakers of lengthening bulk fermentation to achieve improved flavor. Of course, these techniques could not have been used in the "old days" that the name of the bread implies. Bakers devoted to this new technique use modern refrigeration which was not available to their ancestors.

Reinhart based his version of pain à l'ancienne on that of Philippe Gosselin. In BBA, Reinhart describes Gosselin's method in very general terms and then says the formula he provides is modified to make it easier for home bakers. In January, 2003 Reinhart sent a message to an internet mailing list which contained a detailed enough account of what Gosselin told him to write a formula. For me, the original formula did not seem more difficult than the one Reinhart published. This is because I almost always bake on weekends when I can accommodate my activities to the original formula. So, I thought I would give it a try. My interpretation of Reinhart's interpretation is as follows:

Pain à l'Ancienne of Philippe Gosselin, as described by Peter Reinhart

Flour.......................500 gms

Water......................375 gms

Salt.........................8.75 gms-

Instant yeast...............5 gms

Mix the flour with 325 gms of ice cold water and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove mixture from refrigerator. Add yeast, salt and another 25-50 gms of cold water and mix thoroughly for 4-6 minutes.

Ferment at room temperature until doubled in bulk (up to 6 hours).

One hour before baking, preheat oven to 460F.

Divide into 4 equal piece and gently pre-shape into torpedos.

Rest dough 10 minutes.

Shape into baguettes by stretching to 12-14 inches, score and bake immediately with steam at 460F.

The breads I made today used the following modification and extrapolations:

1. I used 50 gms of Guisto's rye flour and 450 gms of KAF Bread Flour.

2. After the long "autolyse," I mixed the flour and water with 30 gms of additional water, the yeast and the salt. The autolysed dough had moderate gluten development already and didn't want to take in the additional water with hand stirring, so I did the best I could with a scraper, then mixed in my KitchenAid with the paddle for about 3 minutes, then the dough hook for another 3 minutes. I then transferred the dough to a 2 quart glass pitcher and used Hamelman's in-the-bowl stretch and fold technique - 20 folds, 3 times at 20 minute intervals over the first hour. I then let the dough rest, covered, until doubled.

3. Gosselin's instructions to Reinhart indicated the dough would take 6 hours to double. In my (warm) kitchen today, it doubled in 4 hours.

4. I emptied the dough onto a flour-dusted board and dusted the top. I divided the dough into 3 parts. I pre-shaped the two smaller ones into rectangles and folded each long side to the middle and sealed the seams. Those, I rested with the seams down for about 10 minutes then stretched into "baguettes" and placed them on floured parchment paper. The larger piece was just cut in half to make pain rustique, rested and similarly placed on parchment.

5. I baked at 460F with steam on a pizza stone. After 7 minutes, I removed the loaf pan and skillet and continued to bake for a total of 20 minutes. I then turned the oven off, cracked it open, and left the loaves on the stone for an additional 5 minutes.


These breads had a nice, crunchy crust and an open, tender, somewhat chewy crumb. The taste was classic sweet baguette - as good as I have ever made. My wife liked it, but said she preferred the taste of the Anis baguettes with sourdough added. No surprise, as we are both partial to sourdough breads.

I was concerned that the pre-shaping of the baguettes, which Reinhart does not call for in his adaptation of Gosselin's formula, would decrease the openness of the crumb too much. It was more open than I expected. I guess I have learned to handle dough gently enough. On the other hand, it would be worthwhile to try making baguettes with this method but just cutting the dough and stretching it, without any other shaping, to see if the crumb would be even more open.

If your baking schedule allows for Gosselin's method, I would certainly recommend you give it a try. In my hands, it makes very fine baguettes.

The pains rustique require no forming, and are essentially like ciabattas. Reinhart says this dough can also be stretched into a circle or rectangle and used for pizza. I have not tried that and would be interested in hearing from anyone who does so.


AprilSky's picture

Oriental bread as I refereed to is based upon the texture of dough. Most of the oriental breads we make here use sweet dough for more delicate and tender texture. Formula of sweet dought that we are using can be different one way or the other from those you are familiar with.

Spring onion cheese roll is one of the most popular breads from my oven. I made it last night for my boys breakfast this morning. Actually, it's been a party attraction that can be prepared very easily and can drow a lot of appreciation especially from kids.


Ingredients prepared for the bread. I also add some chopped bacon for better flavor. In our community we always say that Chinese bun is steamed bread and bread is baked Chinese bun. The idea of the spring onion cheese roll came from one of our tranditonal steam buns. I just add up bacon and cheese and sent it to my oven and make it oriental bread as what I call it.    


Waiting for final proofing after shaping and dividing.


Final proofing done~~~I always love how the bread appears after proofing. It looks gorgeous. 


Taking baking as cooking is the game I love playing.


A friend from Austria told me that this could not be called "bread". He said it's more like "dessert", but he liked the desert very much. You can try to decide if you are gonna like it as well. ^------^


  • Bread flour            450 g
  • Instant yeast         5 g
  • Sugar                   30 g
  • Salt                      1/2 tea spoon
  • Whole egg            one
  • Water                   215 g
  • Butter                   30 g

Comment: I choose not to show the method here since it's simple enough to follow just by checking on the ingredients. Although my English is not not good enough to express what I have to say in 100%, I'm sure in the baking republic all the ingredients speak the same language.   




ejm's picture

We're completely distracted these days by our vegetarian burgers. The other day we decided to make them again, using 3 different kinds of beans: black, kidney and garbanzo.

We were going to serve them with pita that we planned to bake on the barbecue. We had toyed with the idea of shaping the discs early and letting them rise a little before baking and then I suddenly decided we nnnneeeeeeeded to have real hamburger buns and that we could bake them on the stone in the barbecue (as per GrapevineTX's post "Outdoor bread baking, gas grill and attempt #1".

The hamburger buns (or if you prefer: "shamburger" buns) were made with pita dough (all-purpose & whole wheat flours, oil and a little brown sugar) and baked in our gas barbecue.

Here's how we did the baking in the Barbecue: After the buns have been shaped and risen, we put them over direct heat for about 8 minutes, turning them once to account for uneven heat in the barbecue. Then moved them over to cook with indirect heat until they were done (about another 8 minutes)... (our gas barbecue can be turned off on one side).

You can see why we keep getting distracted into making burgers, can't you? And as long as it's barbecue weather, we really can't stop....

(February 2009: edited to add an anchor for the baking method. -Elizabeth)

ehanner's picture

Hamelmans 3 Stage 90% Rye

Crumb and shell

This was a fun project for me. I have done the 3 stage Detmolder starter build before and I know the flavor will be incredible when I get to cut this open in 24 hours.

I followed the formula in the book closely including using Medium Rye for the final dough mix. The only place I deviated was using KA bread flour instead of a "hi gluten" flour. I'm out of first clear at the moment and that would have been my first choice. The starter build was whole rye.

I don't have a docking tool so I used my special "Docking Pencil" which has never failed me in the kitchen.

This bread was baked for 480F for 10 minutes then 1 hour at 410F. When I get to cutting and eating, I'll post a picture of the crumb.

Added by Edit:

I posted the picture of the crumb just now. OK, I cheated and it has only been 14 hours since it was baked. The crust (shell) of this loaf is very hard. If you dropped it on a bare foot, well it would hurt. The crust is inedible for me. The dog came back for seconds so maybe if you have great teeth you could eat the crust. I trimmed the hard part and ate the inside crumb and of course it was delicious. To me it looks under proofed and too dense. 

As I said above to Jane, my dough was very dry. I haven't been able to find an error in my transcription or conversion and I added a lot of extra water to get it where I thought it should have been. Maybe it was still to dry. Also, I see I did bake it to long. Hamelman says 1 hour if it scales at 2.5 Lbs. I divided a 3Lb 8 oz batch in half so it was over done by that standard.  

I put the now sliced loaf in a zip lock bag hoping it will soften some. "Archie" is hoping it doesn't! 


smartdog's picture

Enjoying a nice piece of challah with a slice of swiss cheese and fresh tomato slices from our garden toms. Was a bit ambitious yesterday and made chocolate almond biscotti and a challah. :)Almond and Chocolate Biscotti Just another Challah

Luv4Country Soaps

Floydm's picture

The kids are in bed, reading some stories before going to sleep so that they are ready for school tomorrow. For us summer is over.

We had a great summer. The kids are old enough now that I can do a lot with them, so I did. We went camping when the lupin were in bloom...

...rafting down the river while our Chinese exchange student was with us...

...hiking to hidden waterfallls...

...and just returned from the coast.

As you may have noticed, all of this activity greatly reduced my baking. Gone are the long quiet afternoons around the house while the babies nap, the perfect time for baking. Instead the time was filled with bike rides, hikes, trips to the playground, and dips in the lake. I'm not complaining, but obviously I've not been doing a great job contributing to the site.

Thank goodness other folks have. David and Eric, the two bakers I just featured on the front page, have been two of the most prodigious posters around here. Many others have extremely helpful as well. My heartfelt thanks to all of you who've continued to make this site a pleasure to read and participate in.

I hope now that the cool weather is returning and the kids are back in school I'll be able to get back on a better baking and posting schedule. I also hope to get back on top of the technical updates to the site. Thank you again for your patience and understanding when I fall behind here.

Time to go turn the kids' lights out and tuck them in.

Good night.

Susan's picture

I recently took a step back to 2006, and resurrected a starter I dried and tucked away in the pantry.

The starter I had been using put its feet up in the air and died. Every bit of flour I put in it was consumed almost immediately and it turned to glop. Doggedly, I kept feeding and using the starter, hoping for the miracle of a beautiful loaf again. Each time I was disgusted and embarrassed at what came out of the oven: bread that was almost flat, and totally lifeless.

So finally, I pulled out the 2006 starter and brought it back to life, and am happy to say that I'm back on track.

Here are the first loaves to come out of my oven since using the new/old starter. I feel happy and renewed. It's amazing how wonderful a little bread success can make me feel. Hurrah for sourdough!

Maybe next time I hit a starter bump I'll have enough sense to call a retreat instead of being so hardheaded.



holds99's picture

As some of you are aware, I have been experimenting for the past few weeks with various English muffin recipes in an attempt to determine what I think is the recipe that truly creates the closest thing to an authentic English muffin.  The exercise has been quite interesting and productive.  So, here's my opinion, for what it's worth.  Dan Lepard's recipe has no equal.  Mr. Lepards recipe is easy to prepare, produces terrific results and is far and away the closest to what I believe is an authentic English muffin.  I previously posted his recipe with some of my comments and measurement conversions.  The photo below is of my second batch from Mr. Lepard's recipe.  Here are some tips that I used during my second baking itereation of his recipe. 

I doubled the recipe and made something like a dozen slightly larger size muffins.

I cut the rounds for the muffins 4 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.

Use lots (I mean LOTS) of flour on the towel they sit on in the baking tray to proof.  Don't skimp on the flour or they'll stick to the cloth and at that point they're fully risen and very fragile, so use lots of flour.

Slide your hand under the floured towel to flip them onto your (floured) hand and place them in the skillet or on the griddle.    DO NOT try to pick them up with your fingers, spatula, etc.  REPEAT: Flip them onto your floured hand.

I reduced the cider vinegar (50ml single batch or 100ml for doubled recipe) by half (25ml for single or 50ml for double recipe) making up the difference in liquid with water and it worked great.  Just a hint of vingar, which really works well to contrast with the butter, marmalade, jelly or jam.  Incidentally, Charlene checked the Thomas English muffins package in the supermarket and they also include vinegar as an ingredient.

When cooking them, set your electric skillet or griddle at 300 deg. F. Cook the muffins covered (if possible) to capture the steam and hold the heat as they cook.  "Dry fry" them (no oil in skillet) for 10 minutes on side 1 and 5-7 minutes on side 2, longer if necessary.  Take a temp. check with a thermometer.  They should read 200-210 deg. F. internal temp. You can cook them in a skillet on the stove just be extremely careful with the heat under your skillet.  Otherwise, you run the risk of scorching them.
Let them completely cool on a wire rack (or they'll be gummy in the center) before serving them and split them using a fork, don't cut them with a knife.  That way you get the nice holes and great texture, as you can see from the photo below.

If you like English muffins I sincerely hope you'll try Dan Lepard's recipe... and let us know how it goes.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL


  Dan Lepard's English Muffins - Second Baking

Dan Lepard's Cider Vinegar English Muffins Second Batch


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