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apprentice's picture

I love this bread! I love it for a lot of reasons, not least of which that it's easy and delicious. I also feel as if I'm reclaiming a bit of our bread heritage, when I make this loaf. Barley has a long and wonderful history. Now it is almost exclusively used in brewing – understandable on account of its very low gluten content. But a pity from the nutritional point of view!

I've made it three times, and I'm not quite there yet. But I'm well within sight of the changes that will make it work for me. So here's the story to date:

#1 Bake: The dough, silky soft and extensible. Not much elasticity:













Bulk ferment was good, but not much oomph left for the proof.

Shaped as pain-fesses, about as ready as it would ever get.













Beautiful crumb, lovely taste:













But short!!!!

















Got a little more height after experimenting. That's Bake #2 on the right:













The trick seems to be substituting some bread flour for a portion of the whole wheat. I also threw in a pinch of gluten. Am happy to share the percentages of barley, ww and bread flour that seem to work best for me. But it will have to wait until I return from a short holiday.

Meanwhile, if anyone else wants to play with this, go check out the thread on Mini O's Oat & Barley Loaf. PMcCool posted Jaine's recipe there about half-way down. It's dated Aug. 23/06. (Sorry, the taxi's due, or I'd go get the link to post it here for you.)

Happy Baking!


ehanner's picture

Early (really early)this morning I mixed up a big batch of Susan's SD. I planned to bake this 3 pound batch as a single boule under cover with steam which is what I do when I know Susan will be grading how I did on her recipe.

This turned out wonderfully IMHO. The oven spring is about all I could expect and the color is perfect for my tastes. It took 33 minutes at 450F (I lowered the heat to 400F at 28 minutes). At the end I followed my friend David's advice and left the bread in the oven with the oven off and the door cracked, to crisp up the crust. And, I added 1% diastatic malt (8g) to the final dough in hopes of enhancing the color just a bit.

The crumb isn't as open as Davids but then I didn't give it any retarded ferment time. The flavor is a mild sour and a great wholesome flavor. I wouldn't say that I can taste the malt but this is the best sourdough I have made-ever. That's saying something considering the many varieties I have tried. We like a mild sour and I like it a little more so but some people cringe when you get a full sour that turns your toes up. I have no doubt this would be really sour with an overnight retarded ferment .

I get the sense that there is something going on with the total mass of the loaf. This might not make any logical sense but all of the aspects of tastes I look at and can judge seem better in a larger loaf. It is just dawning on me that maybe this is a SD Miche. Any thoughts on that?


Susans Giant Boule
Susan's Giant Boule

Giant Boule-Crumb
Giant Boule-Crumb

chahira daoud's picture
chahira daoud

Hello everybody,

It was my first attempt to use pumpkin in baking ,i was totally amazed from the result, the bread was light , veeeery delicious, my kids could not wait even to fill its slice with any filling, so i will put the recipe and try it, you will not stop making it.

I got the recipe from a french book" i think that the original version was in english because the author is australian, i do not know exactly, her name is Ann wilson , the book name is " Pains et petits pains".

I love the book because 99% of the ingredients used are familiar in Egypt,except " Rye flour"< we do not have, can you send me some pleaaaaaaase, hahahaha,There is a pumpernickel recipe,and i can not do it ,do not you feel petty for me????

Anyway , i will show you the pumpkin kind that i used in the recipe,

That is the only kind we have in Egypt, and we use pumpkin rarely, that is a shame !!! we have very good pumpkin harvest.So i tried to use and create a lot of recipes " in which pumpkin is a main ingredient".O.K, i will start now, here is the recipe:-

7g. yeast" i used fresh yeast , about 1 tbls"

1/4 cup of pumpkin boiling water " in the recipe they boiled the pumpkin, i did not , i cooked it in the oven, i made it puree, and i left it in a strainer to get rid from its juice, and i used this juice to prepare the dough"

4-41/2 cups bread flour.

1 tspn salt

1 cup of pumpkin puree " about 300 g. raw pumpkin", it was different with me because this kind of pumpkin is veeery juicy, i got a lot of liquid from it"

1/4-1/2 cup pumpkin water.

1 beaten egg.

2 tspn water

pumpkin seeds for decoration.

instead of explaining i will let you with the pics, and feel free to ask about everythink , that you think it is not clear.

First the pumpkin from inside:


Here is my lovely yeast" i am in love with yeast"

I gave it to eat " some sugar " i made for her some massage , then i cover her to take a nap,she became now very good and happy,

I started to prepare the ingredients, then making the dough.

I kneaded it for 10 mn,it turned soft and smooth like a baby skin.

I put 2 drops of olive oil on it to prevent it from sticking . then i covered it with a clean towel " of course"

shshshshsh, i warned all my family members, not to disturb my baby" i am fool , am not i???"

it is ready now , let us start the game,i re knead it for 2 mn.

I took 1/4 the dough,

then the remaining dough, i made with it a ball, and i put it in a sponge cake pan after oiling it and

sprinkle it with flour" i used corn flour"

I glazed it with the beaten egg, then i decorated it with the rubbon.

I glazed it again, i let it to rise.

My oven was too busy this day, so i let it more than an hour" it became like a monster" oh!lalala!!! 


I forgot to tell you about the pumpkin seeds.

I baked it on 210c.

here it is:


I forgot to take a pic for it after removing it from the pan.

So on my second attempt, with another shape , i did, voila,

And the Crumb??????

I will let  to you the judgment!!!!!????

Sorry for taking too much time, but i think the details will be so helpfull for beginners.

Thank you , and for all the yeast & bread making fans, a big hug from me to you.

Chahira DAoud , Alexandria , Egypt.

P.S: wait for my " pate morte" lantern & our feast cookies & biscuits.

Kuret's picture

This weekend I decided to make some Swedish style breads reminded of a conversation Ive had in an arlier thread about the ultimate book on baking ryes. So instead of rushing out to get the "holy grail" of rye books I decided to make some from a Swedish baking book that I own.

The rye bread Is actually one of the best ryes I have ever made although the method seemed strange to me. First of you make a sourdough preferment with an hydration of roughly 60-65% wich is really dry for a whole rye dough. This is left to ferment for at least 12 hours after wich the final dough is made with a small kicker of commercial yeast, the recipe calls for fresh yeast wich is availble all over Sweden so that is what I used. The dough then ferments 60 minutes and is punched down once during fermentation after wich it is shaped and left to ferment for 45-60 minutes more before going into the oven for 50 minutes. Really great bread, can´t stress that enough!

The barley flatbread was a big faliure, It was far too salty and that resulted in to slow fermentation and though salty crumb. I then re read the recipe and realised that there must be a mistake, the authour specifies 2.3% syrup and 3.3% salt (roughly) which I think is a mix up the salt seems much more resonable at that level. Will probably try them again some day as I love the taste of them with some hot bean stew.

EDIT: Ho hum! Here is a pic! The loaf on the right has been man handled a and that is the reason for the flour being a bit splotched over the top of the loaf but the other is as beautiful as a newborn baby, whitch it is in some regard...

gmask1's picture

I figured that I'd make myself a blog rather than posting back into the forums all the time. No point cluttering up a perfectly good forum with my one-track-minded baking experiences! 

Last weekend I took another shot at the 100% Sourdough Rye recipe kindly passed on to me by a good work colleague. My previous attempt had been a fair to middling success, and I was confident that this would turn out even better than the first. I was pleasantly surprised by how good the loaves turned out, given my total inexperience in making bread. 

Here's how they turned out: 


and the interior:


What I'm most happy about is that the resulting loaves - apart from tasting great - have my mind working to figure out ways to improve them. The scoring didn't take, so I'll need to think about different ways to work the scoring out. Plus the surface tension is probably not right, so I'll need to work on my folding.

Lastly - for my own benefit as much as anyone else's - this is the recipe I've been using successfully (all credit to OliverN from my work. I've made a couple of small annotations over time). Any suggestions or variations are absolutely appreciated!

Stage 1:

Mix together

4 x cups rye flour.

3 x cups luke warm water

2 x cups starter.

Leave for 16-24 hrs, until the mix has a domed top.


Stage 2

Mix into previous mixture

3 teaspoons sea salt

4 x cups rye flour.

Leave for 12 hours.


Split mixture into two bread pans and leave for a couple of hours (I never do that though). For rye flour you do not need to kneed it. I just flatten the mixture and roll into a log.

Bake in 180 preheated oven for an hour. 

cmagerssmith's picture

I purchased the new Bosch Universal Mixer so I could make bread using my wheat grinder.  I purchased locally from Whole Foods their Organic Hard Red Winter Wheat.  I've tried a couple of times to make bread using it and each time it is "sticky" and never even reaches the kneading stage.  Just threw away yet another big batch of sticky dough.  Truly frustrating!!  I'd like to utilize the grain that I can purchase locally and really do like to grind my own grain for nutritional benefits.  In case the problem with not enough protein in the grain, I added dough enhancer (perhaps not enough though)

I've troubleshooted each and every facet - or so I thought I did.  I just threw away my second big batch of sticky dough.  Does anyone have a straightforward delicious recipe using Organic Hard Red Winter Wheat.....or have any suggestions for me.  Thanks so much,  Cindy  (located in Florida)

dmsnyder's picture

Susan from San Diego Sourdough

Susan from San Diego Sourdough

Susan's Sourdough Crumb

Susan's Sourdough Crumb

It was time to get back to basics. My wife and I love sourdough bread. I have been having lots of fun exploring other breads, especially rye breads and baguettes of late, but I was missing "plain old" sourdough bread.

 The formula that Susan from San Diego developed has been made by many on TFL, and, if there is anyone who has not loved it, they have kept it to themselves. So, Susan's sourdough has been on my "to bake" list for quite some time. Here is how I made it:

450 gms Giusto's Ultimate Performer (High Gluten Flour)

50 gms Giusto's (Whole) Rye Flour

340 gms Water

50 gms Active Starter

10 gms Sea Salt


Mix the water and flour in a large bowl until they form a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and allow to rest (autolyse) for 15-60 minutes.

Add the starter to the autolyse and mix it in. Then add the salt and mix it in.

On a lightly floured bench, do 4 or 5 French folds. Cover the dough for 30 minutes. Repeat the folds and resting for 30 minutes. Then, do the folds a third time. (At this point, I had moderate gluten development.)

Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly. Allow to rise until doubled. (I used my favorite Anchor Glass 8 cup/2 liter glass pitcher with a tight-fitting plastic cover. My dough doubled in 6 hours.)

Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape as rounds. Cover and allow to rest for 10-20 minutes.

Shape as boules and place in floured bannetons. (I used French linen-lined wicker ones.) Spray lightly with oil and place in food-grade plastic bags or cover with plastic wrap.

Proof for 1 hour, then place in the refrigerator over night (8-12 hours).

Take the loaves out of the refrigerator at least 4 hours before you plan to bake them. Allow them to warm up and rise to 1-1/2 times their original size.

45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 450F with a baking stone on the middle shelf and a cast iron skillet and metal loaf pan on the bottom shelf.

When the loaves are ready to bake, bring a cup of water to a boil and place a handful (4-6) ice cubes in the loaf pan. Shut the oven door.

Sprinkle semolina on a wooden peel. Transfer a loaf to the peel. Score it, and load it on the baking stone. Do the same with the second loaf. Then pour the boiling water into the skillet, being careful not to scald youself, and shut the oven door.

After 10 minutes, remove the two water recepticles from the oven. Bake another 10-15 minutes, until the loaves are nicely colored, the bottoms have a hollow sound when thumped and the internal temperature of the loaves is at least 205F. When they are done, turn off the oven but leave the loaves on the baking stone with the oven door held open 1-2 inches for another 5-10 minutes to dry the crust.

Remove the loaves from the oven and cool them thoroughly on a rack before slicing. (2 hours, if you can stand it.) You are allowed to smell the loaves and listen to them sing while they are cooling.

1. My sourdough starter is "1:3:4" (starter:water:flour). If your starter is more liquid or more firm, you should adjust the amount of water you use in the dough accordingly.
2. The 2-pan oven humidification and steaming method is from Hamelman's "Bread." Susan bakes her loaves under a stainless steel bowl for the first 1/2 to 2/3 of the time. I would have done this, if I had made a single large boule. But Hamelman's method gives me the second best oven spring and bloom.
3. With overnight cold retardation, this bread was moderately sour when first cool. The crust was thin but crunchy. The bread had a firm chewiness but was in no way "tough." It was, in short, what I regard as a "classic San Francisco-style Sourdough." Since this is precisely what I wanted, I am delighted with this bread. I am moving it from my "to bake" list to my "bake often" list.


holds99's picture

This bread was made from the Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread recipe in George Greenstein's book Secrets of a Jewish Baker.  It's a really good bread, which has a very nice flavor and somewhat reminds me of a Scandanavian bread in texture; fairly open but substantial.  The recipe call for a sponge but this bread isn't difficult to make and is baked in a loaf pan.  As Mr. Greenstein says in the short intro: "The bread is best when baked in a loaf pan and sliced for sandwiches or toasted'  Oatmeal adds a distinct rough texture and nutty flavor and keeps the bread moist."  Like Mr. Greenstein said, it's excellent sliced and eaten with butter and marmalade or toasted.  My wife, who critiques the breads I bake really likes this bread.  I like to try different recipes and this one, for my taste, is a winner.

Greenstein's Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread

ehanner's picture

PR Italian
PR Italian

Italian Bruchetta & White Bean Soup
Italian Bruchetta & White Bean Soup

Last night I made a double batch of Peter Reinhart's Italian Bread with Biga. I think I did a review of this bread a short time ago so I won't bother with the formula now.  My daughter told me I had to make this bread every day from now on. She was quite emphatic so I'll have to put it on the short list. This Italian has such a nice flavor it takes you by surprise. I must say the after taste is my favorite in this style.

So what does one do with 4 loaves of delicious Italian bread? Make Bruchetta!! The tomatoes are ripe and plentiful now and all the herbs are in full swing so the time is right for a big batch. I discovered a new (for me) Balsamic vinegar made from figs the other day. I decided to try that instead of the usual dark and heavy variety I otherwise use. The result was a slightly sweet yet tart dressing that we all loved.

A few Months ago JMonkey turned me on to a great soup cookbook by Sally Sampson called Souped Up. He said at the time he thought it was the best in the genre and I have to agree. The White Bean with Basil above was delicious as has been everything I have tried in the book. I have tried maybe a dozen out of 100 very nice recipes. It's on Amazon and inexpensive. I have given 4 copies away so far to family members.

I baked these on a sheet pan without a stone from just barely up to temp. I forgot to turn the heat down for a while so the tops got a little too brown first but they are still fine.



apprentice's picture

This bread was begun with the highest hopes and a bubbly poolish...

Beer Bread poolish









The poolish had actually bubbled a little too long. It looked perfect around 15 or 16 hours, but I had other things on the go and left it for another two hours. Slight deflation. Couldn't be helped. The picture was taken right before mixing. What do you think?

Had all my ingredients measured the night before, ready to go. Because I couldn't find hulled malted barley kernels locally, only unmalted, I opted to use non-diastatic barley malt powder. I understand malting better now. It seems I could have produced the powder myself using the unmalted kernels. That's what malting is, I learned, thanks to Mini O and a bunch of reading. You sprout or germinate whole grain kernels (usually, but not only barley) under controlled conditions. Once malted, the grain is heated to dry and then ground into powder. Sometimes called crystals, flour or extract, just to confuse things further. :)

I chose a nut brown ale from a local micro-brewery. Bonus! The bottle held 650 ml, so there would be some left over to go with my supper of curried chicken.

Will make a long story short for now. Things looked promising every step of the way. Even had some fun experimenting with techniques for the final ferment because I don't own oval bannetons. I scooched one loaf up in a trench created with a piece of canvas and covered it with plastic. Also tried an idea in From Julia Child's Kitchen for suspending a long loaf in a canvas sling, weighted heavily, from the edge of a table. Both worked fine but bannetons are way easier. They're on my long wish list!

I loaded the bread in the oven. My dinner was ready. I'd already been sipping the ale, and it was utterly delicious! I'm usually more of a wine or single malt whiskey girl, but that ale made a convert of me. It also made me so impatient for the bread! I was beginning to see why Hamelman wrote in his recipe that this one would have a lively, robust flavour.

Here they are:

beer bread loaves









And here's the crumb:

beer bread crumb









And here's the part I've been sighing about since Thursday. Why I haven't really wanted to write this blog entry. The taste...I'm so sorry, Jeffrey...was disappointing. Insipid even.

Gasp! Even typing those words, let alone saying them aloud, feels sacrilegious to me. I've always found Hamelman's recipes completely reliable. Oh, the temperature might be a little hot for my oven. I also had a lot to learn about handling rye before I could produce something similar to the promised results in those breads. But taste? He's never failed me there.

And probably still hasn't. It might well have been a mistake on my part. For one thing, I ended up with about two ounces less than the total weight he indicates. I have a sneaking hunch I might have mismeasured the salt, using the 1 1/4 tsp amount from the next line in the text, instead of 1 T. But that wouldn't account for two whole ounces!

So I'll make it again, especially if I hear from someone at TFL that they had a good result with this recipe. It's basically a nice white bread with some whole wheat and malted barley thrown in. The poolish, the ale...altogether it should have been tasty, as advertised. We'll see.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! Thanks for your interest.


Added by EDIT: Please be sure to read my post in the comment section below on the results of the second bake. I did change my story! This is a lovely bread, well worth your time and attention.


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