The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recent Blog Entries

  • Pin It
Kuret's picture

There is not that much talk here about enriched sourdough breads so I thought I should try a writeup on a loaf od bread that I have been baking for the last 6 or 8 months every couple of weeks. The loaf is a kind of "Bran Sandwich" bread, a soft whiteish bread all leavend with sourdough starter. I have been making this mostly for my grandma who likes to eat hommemade bread but is not that big a fan of ryes and other "heavier" breads, she also is very fond of toasting and I feel that this bread is great for toasting!

This bread cointains a preferment with milk wich I know some people might have som disagreement with . However you can leave the milk out and then use dry milk in the final dough if you remember that milk is about 85% water thus all fluids must be lowered 15% and that amount should be replaced with dry milk.

Bran Toast 1 loaf

Step One, Making the preferment:


  • 30g starter (100% hydration)

  • 30g coarse rye

  • 10g wheat bran

  • 60g AP flour

  • 100g milk.

This is what it looks like before mixing:

before mixing


I let this mixture sit out for about 10-12 hours, until you see the signs of your culture beeing mature for leavening. The aroma of this preferment is very interesting, sweet and sometimes a bit like cheese.

When mature:




  • All of the preferment

  • 275g AP flour

  • 170g milk

  • 30g hard fat (butter, lard, shortening..)

  • 8-9g salt

  • 15g sugar

before first ferment

I leave the butter out of the mix until I have gotten some gluten developed and then work it in, the percentage is roughly 7.5% so it isn´t necessary but I do so anyways. The dough should be easy to develop due to the acids in the preferment.

I let dough ferment for 2.5 hours, wich I think is sufficent as the prefermented flour amount is 29% and this makes for a short ferment and proof.

After fermentation shape the dough into desired shape, loaf pan or rolls or even free form. My pan measures 4 1/4" X 11" X 2.5".

ready for proofing

Then proof for another 2.5 hours. Before baking do a couple of snips with a pair of scissors down the middle of the loaf as seen here:

The bread is placed in a 400F oven and baked with steam until done, 40-45 minutes roughly. This is how my loaf came out, a little bit under proofed you can see from the overly enthusiatic oven spring but all in all a fine piece of bread!



I hope that someone will bake this, enjoy and all in all be as happy with this bread as I am. If there is any desire for it I can post pictures of the crumb but seeing as this is a sandwich loaf it should be fairly close textured without beeing dense. You can find larger versions of the pictures at this adress:



Jw's picture

Really just named after the windmill "De Vriendschap" where I buy the flour.

I started thursdaynight with the dough, finished sundaymorning. Great taste, good structure. It is gone before you know it.



goody1006's picture

After reading Stephanie's blog about using instant oatmeal this morning, I decided to post what my most recent attempt was.

I decided to do my 'own' recipe and as the only oatmeal I had on-hand was my son's 'quick cook' oats, I went ahead.

I didn't take photos of it rising--just the finished product, 2 days into eating the darned thing.

Prior to this, I'd been thinking my starter was pretty bland, taste-wise (I like a good SOUR-TASTING loaf)....but not anymore! HOLEY MOLEY--I have to steel myself before taking a bite! I'm not sure if it's caused I used alot more starter than I usually do, or the addition of the buttermilk--but holey cripes, makes me want-2-pucker-up!

the recipe:
2 c plain unbleached white flour
2 c freshly-fed (3 times) starter
4TBL buttermilk powder (yeah, I 'cheat')
1 c warm water
1 tea sea salt
1 tea suger
1 TBL olive oil
1/2 c quick-cook oats

Add dry ingredients,(all but oats) mix well, add wet, mix a bit, then add oats, continue to mix till all flour is moistened, let rest (about 5 min).

Do 3 fold & stretch over 1/2-2hrs rising time.

shape however you want (I used a large loaf pan)and let rise final time, till apx. double in size.

Bake @ 325o for 30 min. (I have an older double-oven/range & use the top oven for the bread--it's very small so that's why the low temp & baking times.)

It's more dense than my prior loaf--I think I'll cut back to about half the starter, and perhaps half the buttermilk, as well.

Tastes pretty good, though!

btrmlk oatmeal bread last bit: I know everyone here is big on using weight, etc...but I pretty-much learned to cook by people who'd been at it so long, they could 'eye-ball' just about everything and it would come out the same....every time. So, when it comes to baking, I just like to wing-it. With things I cook all the time, it's very rare I use an actual 'measuring' tool at all--I just eyeball the ingredients, so this is a big deal for me to actually write everything down......and to be truthful, all the talk of 'hydration rates', etc...just makes my brain want to seize-up...but I'm also an old soap & lotions-gal: if this were soap, or other toiletries....I'd be right there with ya-all, with my scale!

SylviaH's picture

Just out of the oven...thought I would try this recipe from because it was a one day deal and I was heating my oven up for an easy pizza dinner with some frozen pizza dough I had put aside for a rainy husband and I both are housebond with the I just puddled around in the kitchen today!  It's late and the breads to hot to sorry no crumb or flavor does have some organic whole wheat in it along with the rolled oats and it has canned evaporated milk in it!  Should be tastey!!

One long slice in back and 2 slices in front loaf.


ejm's picture

I mentioned earlier that 6 strand braiding is easy and attempted to show my technique with text and drawings. But I could never have managed this without watching the linked videos on that post.

So we took it upon ourselves to make a video of my two-hand braiding technique as a supplement to our text/drawing instructions.

  1. Take the 2nd from left strand in your right hand and the 1st from the left strand in your left hand. Your right hand goes all the way over all the strands to the right (keep hold of that strand); your left hand goes over two strands to the center.
  2. Take the 2nd from right strand in your left hand your right hand is still holding the strand that is now 1st from the right strand (just a moment ago, this strand was the 2nd from the left...). Your left hand goes all the way over all the strands to the left; your right hand goes over two strands to the center.
  3. repeat 'til finished. Tuck ends under.


The bread recipe and more braiding photos are here:

Happy Braiding!


(edited to put video at the top of the post so it's more easily seen)

chahira daoud's picture
chahira daoud









It really was a very successful day to me.... Everything was know ,,baking adventures really make my day.

I really need to sleep deeply !!

To all my fellows on TFL,wish you all a very nice day .


Alex- Egypt.



boule's picture

I am an enthusiast who has been baking for a bit over a year now, mostly with sourdough. I started because the bread I tasted in France was so amazing and different to what I am used to in South Africa. I will be visiting New York City for a few days soon and I would like to visit any artisanal bakeries that would be willing to let me spend some time there to observe. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

betterbreadbyadele's picture

My husband and I have reared our seven home-educated children organically and pretty much vegetarian. The older children are adhering to it pretty much since they have gone on their own trying to get their spouses to try the "lighter" life. We started in the organic culture from day one of our marriage 34 years ago. In the early 80's my husband bought me our first grain mill and since then have used organic whole grain flour. I like to mix oats with the spelt when I grind it for pastries because it seems to make the flour sweeter and not quite so heavy.
One of my favorite hobbies and jobs is baking bread for friends and family. My favorite bread is a spelt yeast bread which is sweet and easy to make. I like to give this type of bread away for Christmas and holidays. Others ask me to make it for their friends, also. I do like to make the sourdough bread also and I make it almost every week for people. Sweet rolls and cakes are favorites in our family also.
Our son was married in October to a girl who is also organic and between my daughter-in-law's mother and I most of the meal was organic with the bride's mother raising the chickens. We grew the cabbage, green beans, corn and potatoes organically and I baked cookies, caramel popcorn and the yeast and sourdough bread along with making peach and grape jelly and apple butter. That may not sound like a lot but for serving around 500 people it was quite a task but I enjoyed every minute of it because we knew we were serving delicious healthy food. Whew! That was quite a long introduction.

AnnieT's picture

I have been meaning to report a new (to me) technique I have been using, although technique is a rather fancy name for it. After the dough has sat for 30 minutes autolyse I wet the counter and my right hand and do a sort of modified Bertinet method. I pick the dough up and slap it down hard and repeat several times. Just one hand and really slam it down, and in no time the dough is shiny and ready to ferment. Makes the trivets fall face down and the neighbors probably wonder what I am up to, but it is very satisfying and the bread is good. Still my favorite loaf, but gaaarp's 5 Grain Sourdough sounds tempting... A.

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

So my sourdough starter isn't ready yet. I've decided I'm going to baby it a little longer with three stirrings a day and lots of love. That being the case, I still needed to bake. This came about because I had oatmeal for lunch today. Strange lunch, I know, but sometimes you just have those cravings that must be heeded. I envisioned this as a soft-crusted bread with a dense but moist crumb and a decently caramelized crust. I wanted a little maple flavor, as well as the flavor of the brown sugar. I almost got it, but I think that this is still a work in progress. Not using instant oatmeal may be a start. It also needs a tad more salt than the teaspoon I put in. The only thing I'm lacking to make it completely from scratch is the maple syrup, which I'll get on friday, and I'll bake it again this weekend from old fashioned oats, brown sugar, and maple syrup. For anyone who still wants the recipe, it is below. I think I'm starting to get the scoring thing. These didn't blow out on the bottom. They were also better proofed than my last loaf. I let them sit for about an hour before baking. The real test of any bread making, for me anyway, is the appearance of the crumb. This is, by far, my best for a more dense loaf. I'm really loving what I'm learning here. I'm having a lot of fun baking (sometimes more than my boyfriend, our daughter, and I can eat, but it's proving to be very educational. Recipe: Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Bread - Take One Prepare the oatmeal: 1 packet instant maple & brown sugar oatmeal 1/2 cup water Mix and heat for 1 minute. It will be almost done, but not quite. Allow to cool to just warm. Assemble the rest of your ingredients: 3 1/3 cups flour 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast 2 tablespoons of butter 1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar (very lightly) 1 egg, lightly beaten 2/3 cup milk (lukewarm) 1 1/2 tsp salt Disolve the yeast in the milk. In your large bowl you use for mixing the final dough, mix together the oatmeal, sugar, and egg. Once incorporated, mix in the milk. Once all this is well mixed, add 2 cups of flour and the salt and mix until you get a thick paste. Add the rest of the flour in 1/3 cup increments until it's almost all in. If your cups are the same as my cups, it should take all but the littlest bit of the flour. If not, you want the dough to feel very sticky and barely hand-kneadable. Once mixed together so that there's barely any flour left in the bowl, rest for 10 minutes. After the resting period, turn the dough out onto your kneading surface and "knead", as well as you can, for a few minutes. 5 or so. Bulk ferment should be about 60-80 minutes. Mine was on the longer side because of the temperature of my kitchen. I stretched and folded the dough three times during this time. Got very good gluten development. Preshape and allow to sit for 5 or so minutes. Shape loaves, then proof for about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. Score and bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, then turn down to 350 and bake until a thermometer reads 200 degrees or so.


Subscribe to Recent Blog Entries