The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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breadbakingbassplayer's picture

1.  It's OK to screw up and start over.

2.  Your 1st fermentation is finished when your dough as approximately doubled, and holds the impression of your finger when you poke it...  If it's not ready, keep waiting...

3.  Full sourdoughs are unpredictable and very dependant on some of the following factors: the strength of your starter, and the temperature of your kitchen...

4.  Sourdoughs can take a long time to rise...

5.  Things change when you change your flour, hydration, amount of yeast, temperature, etc...  Basically things change when you change things...

6.  It's still OK to screw up and start over...

7.  The more mistakes you make, the more you learn...


JoPi's picture

Here is a video on grilled pizza. I've done pizza on my BBQ grill.  This is a bit different.

It looks delicious!

ehanner's picture

There has been much discussion lately about the rather remarkable Gerard Rubaud as written by MC. Everyone seems to like the flavor of the multi grain levain and dough mix but the method is a trial for home bakers due to the tiny amounts involved in the starter.

To make a long story short, I decided to make one loaf which means the first stage of the levain could be mixed in a large thimble with a tooth pick. Since all of the starter feeds and the dough use the same mix of flours, I added it all up and mixed it all together in one batch as dsnyder suggested in his second try at this. It makes the process far less cumbersome since you only have to measure once all the small amounts.

I also weighed out the salt and divided it into 1/4's and added a little from 1 pile spread out in all 3 levains. I hope that is clear. In practice I just sprinkled a pinch in each build to slow it down a bit as per the author.

I also broke from my usual method of adding the water (for the dough) to the levain and creating a slurry. Rubaud says use the water in an autolyse and THEN add the levain and salt. All small things but in the end I think it makes a difference.

All of us that are baking this bread are after the BEST bread we can make and attention to the smallest detail may make a difference.

I will not duplicate Davids most excellent recipe table it can be found here. Also Shiao-Ping's wonderful front page post is here. And MC's Interview which started this off is here.

I'm quite happy with this second attempt at this bread. It did smell wonderful in the house tonight and I can only imagine how it must be to be in a room of 50 or so right out of the oven. Many breads taste good but in my experience not all of them smell great after baking. The bread is just slightly warm to the touch and there is no sour tang. Just a full flavored translucent and creamy crumb and a thin crispy crust. Very nice.


inlovewbread's picture

This bread is from Maggie Glezer's gem of a book: Artisan Baking. I have been wanting to make this bread for a while because it was named after the Columbia River. As a Washington State native, I had to make it. I'm glad I did as this bread has become my new personal favorite. 


Bread Flour 45%, All-Purpose Flour 45%, Whole Wheat Flour 8%, Whole Rye Flour 2%, Toasted Wheat Germ 3%, Barley malt syrup 3%, Water 67%, Levain 41%*, Salt 2%* (*Glezer's formula specifies 41% but by my calculations it was more like 46%. I used 30g 50% hydration firm white starter to innoculate 150g bread flour at 63% hydration (63g water). *I decreased the salt from 2.4% to 2% overall.

I made a small change to the original recipe in method. Instead of mixing for 10 minutes (!) which I thought was a bit much, I mixed to shaggy mass then let rest (autolyse) for about 50 (instead of 20) minutes before adding the salt and levain. I then did two stretch and folds for the first two 45-minute intervals of the 5 hour bulk ferment. The dough was then divided, shaped and proofed for 4 more hours. I also changed the baking from what was recommended in the book. I baked at 500 degrees F for the first 5 minutes with steam, then turned the oven down to 460F, then 425F for the last 10 minutes, for a total of 34 minutes baking time.

This is the best ear/ bloom that I have ever gotten on a loaf. It was really fun to watch it open up in the oven. 

We like the toasted wheat germ that was added to this bread. It adds a lot of nuttiness and depth of flavor along with a small amount of rye and white whole wheat. Some others on TFL have tried it with spelt with good results. I might try that. The picture above shows one that I slashed twice, and the other tried to follow the "grapevine pattern" instructions described in the book. THere is only one small off-to-the-side picture of the actual bread, so I wasn't quite sure what Glezer meant. My attempt wasn't pretty- too many scores. The below picture is of some sort of shape I made-up today to avoid a disaster. I tried shaping these batards differently than I usually do (actually, I tried GR's technique shown here) and the batard ended up too long for my baking stone. (Not to discount this shaping method, just my learning curve error to blame) So I made a coronne/ ciabatta shape to fit. Worked pretty well, and I kind of like the look :-)

Wonderful flavor and texture, I love this bread.

meadmaker's picture

Hello and welcome to my Blog!

After deciding to make some bread today, I discovered this site while googling recipes for yeast/starters.

As my baby, Tyler, and I are both coming down with a cold, I planned to stay at home today and what better thing to do than make bread! Well, two more reasons for this; first, I'm making some Ethiopian Doro'Wat for dinner so am making some 'authentic' Injera Bread to go with it.. from Teff flour and water. Second, I wanted to make some bread for myself as the cost of the [bad] bread in my area is now too high for our small household budget. So, hazzah!... Challah bread it is. :-)  I just remembered how nice the Challah bread from Wholefoods in La Jolla, CA, is; they sell some organic baked-same-day bread from a baker out there and woooh! Yummy! How hard could it be?


Challah bread came out looking beautiful! However, the taste was bland. :-P  The only place I skimped was using old bread flour. Will try again. Meanwhile, the Injera dough is still sitting, waiting for the Doro'Wat to be done which will be in about 40 minutes. At that time, I'll add salt to the dough to stop the yeast, then make them on the griddle. Stay tuned!..


trailrunner's picture

I have had a busy but very productive day . I made the decision to do a large bake of the Nury so that I could really study the wet dough and make adjustments as the day went by rather than having to wait 1-2 weeks to bake again. We have a large party coming up so the bread will be perfect for that. Gotta watch my Saints win the Super Bowl !

I took a lot of pics in sequence so that you can have an idea of how the dough should look at different stages. I know this has helped me a lot in dealing with the artisinal breads . I hope it will help others too. I didn't get picks of the levain or the dough during folding...sorry..I will get the amazing windowpane next time I promise.

I made enough levain so that I could make 3 double batches. I then made 3 large loaves from each double batch so the loaves came out really nicely sized for sandwiches etc.  You will also see that I used rice flour on the counter when cutting the wet dough. The first batch this was an experiment since I don't like the way flour works at all on a counter under wet doughs. After seeing how splendidly this worked I will use it always. Almost none of the rice flour sticks to the dough but the dough , in turn ,doesn't stick to the counter at all so transfer to the parchment is simple . I sprayed the dough cutter with water and wet my finger tips. This prevented anything from sticking to anything else. I had semolina on the parchment because we like the taste so much with the rye bread. I also learned that the dough cutter makes an ugly straight sided loaf so after the 1st one of those I took my wet fingertips and reshaped the cut sides/ends of the loaves after transfer.

Here are the pics...starting with the dough as it came out of the fridge. You will note there are 3 buckets. I took one out waited 45 min and took another out and waited again 45 min and then took out the last. You will see the difference in the dough as it bubbled up while attaining room temp. The 45 min wait between each batch gave time for the 30 min bake and then upping the temp in the oven to 500 again and allowed time to cut and transfer the dough. The formula says to bake at 350 but if you preheat to 500 and then immediately turn back to 460 it allows for misting the bread w/o cooling the oven too much.

just out of fridge after 24 hr. retarding: Photobucket after 1 hr: Photobucket all three buckets--45 min. lag between them starting from left to right : Photobucket dough poured out onto rice flour : Photobucket cut with wet dough cutter--note straight sides of dough...didn't make this mistake again :) Photobucket into the 500 degree oven and quick spritzt with water several times and turn back temp to 460: Photobucket great oven spring ! Photobucket first 3 finished loaves: Photobucket gorgeous open crumb: Photobucket my reward: Photobucket

turosdolci's picture

A carrot cake with an Italian twist, this is a light moist cake that is an old recipe of my family. Sorry folks I forgot to add the bolg address.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hi All,

This is a little out of order, but it will have to do.  Here are some pics of a 100% Hydration Whole Grain Muesli Bread that I baked on 1/21/10 in response to Vincent Talleu's post here:

I will try to post the recipe when I get home tonight.  The basic proportions are 95% WW, 5% Rye, 15% Muesli, 100% hydration based on the WW and Rye flours.  Enjoy!

Recipe: 2540g total dough weight

95% WW Flour - 874g

5% Rye Flour - 46g

15% Muesli - 138g

15% Raisins - 138g

6% Agave Syrup - 54g

10% Firm Sourdough Starter - 92g (60% hydration)

2% Kosher Salt - 18g

125% Cool Water - 1150g

3/8 tsp Active Dry Yeast


0:00 - Measure out and mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, place into well oiled plastic container and cover.  Dough will look like a gloppy batter.

0:05 - Cover and let rest (autolyse) 1 hr 55 minutes.

2:00 - With wet hands, turn dough (stretch and fold) in oiled container, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

2:30 - With wet hands, turn dough (stretch and fold) in oiled container, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

3:00 - With wet hands, turn dough (stretch and fold) in oiled container, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

3:30 - With wet hands, turn dough (stretch and fold) in oiled container, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

4:00 - Turn dough out onto well floured surface, divide into 4 equal pieces (635g each), place in lined baskets well dusted with coarse wheat bran.  Proof for approx 45 minutes.  Place baking stones on 2 levels in oven (top rack should be on the 2nd space from top, and botton rack should be on bottom space), place steam pan in appropriate place in oven, preheat with convection to 550F for 45 minutes.

5:00 - Place loaves directly on baking stones using a wooden peel (2 per stone), add 1 cup of boiling water to steam pan, close door.  Turn oven down to 450F, turn off convection, bake for 18 minutes, rotate loaves between the stones, bake for another 18 minutes.  Loaves are done when internal temp reaches 210F.

Notes: I used Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flour, Arrowhead Mills Organic Rye Flour, Bob's Red Mill Muesli.  Also, I think I lied a little... The hydration is actually 125%...

Good luck!  Please let me know if you have any questions...


Ninathebaker's picture

A quick review - Sherry Yard’s the Secret Books of Baking is one of the finest books on Baking. She has created Desserts for Grammy Awards;Emmy awards and academy awards too.Even the most elaborate pastry creations can be broken down to simple pastry that anybody can master,that’s what Secrets of Baking is all about.Her book is like a bible to me.Not only does she talk about how ingredients work she also talks about how recipes are interlinked. Her Deep Dark Chocolate Tart and Halsey tart is to die for.I tried the "Danish Braid Bread" from her book and I must say it was just perfect….simply outstanding!!! This bread is called the “Vienna Bread” in Denmark and in the rest of the world it’s the “Danish Bread”.When I had decided to bake this bread,the looks of it made me a li’l nervous but it wasn’t that difficult as I had anticipated it to be.Sherry made it a lot easier .I tweaked the recipe a li’l to suit my taste. Here it is for your eyes….


Danish Dough-(called the D`etrempe)
1 ounce fresh yeast or a tbsp active dry yeast
½ whole milk
1/3 cup Sugar
Zest of 1 orange,finely grated
1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
2 large eggs,chilled
¼ Cup fresh orange juice
3 ¼ cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp salt

For the Butterblock(called the Beurrage)
2 Sticks butter,unsalted
¼ Cup All Purpose flour

3 Pears ,peeled and finely chopped
½ C Sugar
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
½ tsp Vanilla extract
¼ Cup lemon juice
2 tbsp butter

For the Egg wash
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk

Dough - Combine yeast and milk in a bowl of standing mixer,mix on low speed.Slowly add sugar,orange zest,vanilla extract,eggs and orange juice and mix well.Combine flour and salt and li’l by li’l .Knead the dough for five mins more until smooth. Add a li’l more flour if its sticky.Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30mins.

Butter Block – Combine butter and flour in a mixer.Cream on medium speed until smooth and lumpy.Set aside at room temperature.You should it end up with fully creamy texture,which should be easy to spread.
Once the Dough is chilled,transfer it to a work surface.Using a rolling pin,roll the dough into a rectangle (close to 18x13inches) and ¼ inch thick. L’il dough can help if its still sticky.Spread butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough.Fold the left edge of the dough to the right, covering half of the butter block.Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center right.This is the first turn.

Place this on a baking sheet ,wrap in a plastic film and refrigerate for 30mins.Place the dough again on a floured surface, the open ends should be on your right and left.Roll again to a rectangle, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third.This is the second turn. Again refrigerate the dough for 30mins.Roll out,turn and refrigerate the dough two more times,for a total of four more times.Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least five hours to overnight.The Danish dough is ready to use.

Filling – Toss the pears with all ingredients except butter.Melt butter over medium heat.Saute the pear mixture intil soft and caramelized.Cool it.(The original recipe called in for Apple Filling)

Make the Braid - Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough into a 15x20inch rectangle,1/4inch thick. Place it on the baking sheet.Create a fringe down one long side of the pastry by making parallel,5 inch long cuts with a knife,spacing them 1 inch apart.Repeat on opposite side.Spoon the filling down to the center of the rectangle.Starting at one end,fold the strips of fringe over the filling,alternating one by one,right,left,right and so on.When the last strips have been folded,trim them neatly.

Egg Wash - Whisk together egg and yolk in a small bowl.Using a pastry brush,lightly coat the braid with the egg wash.


Bake - Cover the braid with plastic film and allow it for proofing for about 2 hours,or until doubled in volume or light to the touch.Preheat the oven at 400F.Place on the center rack and bake for 10 mins.Rotate the pan from back to front,turn the oven temperature down to 350F and bake for 8-10mins.The original recipe called in for 15-20mins,but mine was done in less than 10 mins.Cool and serve the braid.The cooled braid can be wrapped tight and stored refrigerated for upto 2 days or freeze for a month.


Verdict – Aesthetic looks makes it all the more appealing.Good texture makes it all the more intriguing. This pastry tastes and looks best when it is filled with a fruit filling that isn’t very juicy.I love love loved it A must try recipe!

dmsnyder's picture


I baked Gérard Rubaud's pain au levain for the second time this weekend. For background and detailed procedures, see my previous TFL blog entry. Gérard Rubaud Pain au Levain

I altered my procedure in two major ways: First, I followed MC's suggestion that I try this bread with a single levain build, rather than the three builds used by Gérard. Second, rather than mixing the flours for each build, I weighed out the total flour mix and then used the necessary portions of it for the levain and the final dough. In addition, following Rubaud's lead, I scored these loaves very lightly, and I baked them at 450ºF, which yielded a lighter-colored crust.

When I made this bread a few days ago, I had problems with the proofed loaves sticking to the couche and to the transfer peel. MC said that Rubaud does not flour his couche. He dusts the bottoms of the loaves with a high extraction flour. I dusted my couche with some coarsely ground whole wheat flour, and this worked better than the AP flour dusting had. I also dusted the tops of the loaves with AP flour to prevent sticking to the covering folds of the couche. As a result, the baked loaves have a quite prominent flouring. I don't find this particularly attractive, so I'll try to avoid it in the future.






Amount (gms)

Ripe levain (stiff)


AP flour


Whole wheat flour


Spelt flour


Rye flour







Final dough



Amount (gms)

Ripe levain (stiff)


AP flour


Whole wheat flour


Spelt flour


Rye flour









This bake was essentially identical to the first in oven spring, crust consistency, crumb aeration and, most importantly, flavor. The flavor, as described before is simply astonishing.


This bread is highly recommended.



Submitted to YeastSpotting



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