The Fresh Loaf

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weavershouse's picture

I made JoeVa's sourdough with Durum Flour and while very tasty there are more holes than crumb. Anyone know why? I followed his formula but added 1 TBLS. vital wheat gluten because I was using all purpose flour with the durum and thought the AP might need a boost. When I took it out of the fridge this morning it looked ready to bake so as soon as the oven was ready I put one in then baked the other when the first came out. This photo is of the second loaf. The crumb was not as open on the first but almost. You can see I did not get the lift that Joe got. Like I said, the taste was very good.

I plan to do this again soon using higluten flour and I just might bulk ferment the dough overnight and stretch/fold and shape/bake the net day.





granywolf's picture

I am a diabetic. Would love to bake whole wheat bread with fewer carbs. Is there a low carb flour that I can mix with my whole wheat flour.

What do bakeries use to make low carb bread?
any hel[p would be appreciated

Floydm's picture

I baked two batches of bread today, the first being a batch of Whole Wheat Seeded Rolls.

wheat rolls

I used the master recipe from Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François's new book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day as the base for these.  Portlanders: Jeff and Zoë are going to be at Powell's Tuesday evening.

The rolls are disappearing quickly because I also made a batch of Apple Butter.  Delicious, as always.

I also made a second batch of Anis Bouabsa's Baguettes.


I'm resisting the temptation to crack these open before they cool this time, which is quite difficult.

GabrielLeung1's picture

I end a period of inactivity with a picture of croissants!


I've been trying to perfect my scaling and shaping of croissants this weekend, its very important, as i have an exam that tests my ability to do that in three days. Enrolled in culinary school for the past month, I've decided to post up a collection of photographs (that will be growing over the next six months) that I am calling my baking and pastry arts portfolio. 

Please critique what you see, and advise me about the life in industry I will be embarking on soon!

davidg618's picture

Well, I tried it: two different starters, each handled to emphasize yeast activity in one, flavor production (sourness) in the second. I have three starters, all from commercial sources. Two were purchased online, the third came from a well-known bakery, with even more well-known bakers. I chose one of the online-sourced starters; it's been consistently more active (measured by proofing times, and oven-spring) than the other two, and I chose the bakery-one for its good, but not overwhelming, sourness. I maintain the first starter at 100% hydration, I keep the second one at 67% hydration. I built both formula-ready starters (450 g each) over a period of twenty-four hours tripling the seed-sarter mass 3 times, the beginning, and the end of the next two 8 hour periods, finishing with a formula-ready starter with a mass 27 time the original seed starter. I also adjust the hydration by 1/3 the difference between the seed-starters' hydration, and the target fornula-ready starters' hydrations at each build: 125%, and 60% respectively.

Bread Formula scaled to make 3, 1.5 lb. loaves.

Total starter weight: 900 g (450 each)

Total dough weight: 2250 g

Hydration: 67%

Flour:                              Baker's percentage:

AP flour in starters: 481g      36%

Whole Rye Flour: 225g          17%

All-purpose Flour 312g          23.5%

Bread Flour 312g                  23.5%

Salt: 27g                               2%

Water in starters: 419g

Water added        475g

All three loaves were baked, one at a time, under an aluminum foil cover, on a baking stone at 480°F, 10 minutes with steam. 15 additional minutes uncovered, without steam at 450°F. Reading from the top of the pile counterclockwise #1, #2 and #3; #2 was retarded for approximately 3-1/2 hour, and # 3 5 hours.

The bread has a taste more pronounced than previous sourdoughs I've made with one or the other starters, but that could be the extra rye flour. I made a mistake; I used 10% of the dough weight, rather than ten percent of the total flour weight to caculate the desired rye content. Despite the mistake, we love the flavor. I also experienced slightly less oven spring than usual, using only starter #1.

David G

txfarmer's picture

I make baguettes often, including the Anis recipe from this forum, and some other recipes from other books. I found BBA tends to overknead for lean breads such as baguette, ciabatta, etc. For this poolish recipe, he instructs to knead until pass the windowpane test, sure way to get ride of holes and taste! I changed kneading procedure to: autolyse for 20 minues, knead in my KA for 2 minutes just to kick off the gluten developement, S&F 3 times during the first of 2 bulk fermentations. I am happy with the open crumb in the final breads.

The Interesting thing about this recipe is that there are 2 bulk fermentations, each 2 hours. I've been doing the BBA challenge, other than overkneading, I notice BBA tends to over fermentate/proof too. For this recipe, the first fermentation for me was indeed 2 hours, but that's only because I didn't knead much and did S&F, for a well kneaded dough, I don't think 2 hours would be necessary. For the 2nd fermentation (after punching down, which I translated to "gently pat down"), it was only 90 minutes for me, even that was a bit too long IMO. The extra fermentation helps with the volume of the bread, but not much else.

I am not too happy with my scoring on this one, I think I overproofed a bit. Again the recipe says to proof for 50 to 60 minutes, I did 45, 30 to 40 would've been enough, and the scoring would have opened up more with better blooming.

Now, here's the biggest "modification" I made to this recipe: I used my 100% sourdough starter in place of the poolish. With my understanding, wild yeast starter fermentates a little slower than his poolish, which means if I had used the poolish, the fermentation/proofing should have been even shorter! I love BBA, but for some lean breads, it's tendency of too much yeast, too long of fermentation/proof, too much kneading must be adjusted for me. I like sourdough breads, so I like my starter baguette better than the usual light straight baguette. The flavor is more complex (my white starter is not that sour though), and the crust is a bit more substantial.

A delicious bread, and I am always happy to practice making baguettes, I do recommend Hamelman's poolish baguette formula over this one though.

Ek's picture

My love story with the kitchen started at a very young age,but before I could actually step into the field of the professionals ,I had to go through a short experience practicing law at a law office.That experience only pushed me further to search for my real destination,and soon enough I packed my bags and flew all the way to Paris,France ,where my real journey has all started....

Altogether I stayed in France about 5 years,getting a first hand experience,first at Lenotre pastry school
and then in different Pastry boutiques in Paris,including Stohrer
and Jean Paul Hevin's chocolate shop .

Today,I live in Bangkok and enjoy one of the best kitchens in the world- the Thai kitchen .Currently,I'm in the process of starting my own business here- namely,a pastry and cuisine studio,where I hope to bring together people who desire to experience food and kitchen in a different and more intimate manner.

txfarmer's picture


This is the first recipe I made from the new book "The art of handmade bread". I followed the instruction closely, only swapping out fresh yeast for instant. I consulted Dan's informative website and forum, it turns out that the amount of instant yeast should be half of the fresh yeast by weight, but fresh yeast is denser than instant yeast, in the end, their volume usage amount are the same, so that's how I made mine.

The minimal kneading techinque worked well, but next time I will leave yeast and salt out until after autolyse. The dough was dryer than what I am used to (which is pretty wet), but that was mentioned on his forum so I forged ahead.

Since the recipe uses both rye starter and instant yeast, the fermentation time was short - bulk fermentation for one hour, with final proofing between 2 and 2.5 hours. That's where I was confused - usually proofing time should be shorter than fermentation, I did't undersatnd why this recipe has such a long proofing time. I went ahead and followed the instruction and that's why my first loaf failed. At the end of first hour, my loaf was already ready to be baked, yet my oven was still off! Massive overproof, I got a flat pancake. I tried again the next evening, same procedure bu only proofing for one hour this time, and oola, I got a nice looking high loaf with incredible smell.

Next time I will reduce, or even leave out entirely, instant yeast. The taste of the bread was fantanstic, the walnut paste really added to the flavor, that's the extra kick of this recipe.

All in all, it's a great recipe, a tasty bread, and a very useful book with lots of interesting new recipes and techniques, can't wait to make more breads out of it. I am eyeing the oatmeal apple one next.

JoeVa's picture

This bread is another of my "everyday sourdough" (I do not bake everyday! just ones in the weekend, and one pizza baking every week).

It's a lean dough made with 60% durum (re-milled) flour and 40% wheat flour. This is not "Pane di Altamura" which is 100% durum flour, but a variation of "Semolina Bread" from "Bread - J. Hamelman". I like durum flour but not 100%, I prefer to mix it with bread flour the get a more light bread. So the name of the bread is "Pane con Semola Rimacinata di Grano Duro" (bread with re-milled durum flour).


Here you can see the durum flour I used in the dough: "Semola Rimacinata di Grano Duro - Il Mugnaio di Altamura (Molino Martimucci)"


Note: this is finely milled durum flour, that is "re-milled".

The flour, and the grain from which it's extracted, is from Altamura a city in the south of Italy (in the region of Puglia). Altamura is famous for its bread: Pane di Altamura.

One thing a like of durum is the color: gold! the flour is a light yellow and gives the crumb a yellow tone, the crust has a golden shadings. I'm not so good in flavor descriptions ... the bread is medium sour (not aggressive); the crumb is soft airy but substantial; the crust is nutty (I like the contrast between crumb and crust when they are mixed in your mouth).

Durum wheat is the hardest wheat, high in protein and used for pasta and bread. It caryopsys is almost transparent (like glass) and very hard and can be milled coarsely or finely. In spite of the high protein content (12% / 16%) its gluten is not "strong" like soft/hard wheat. For this reason I suggest a gentle mixing. This is not a problem for me, I never use intensive mixing because I like hand mixing (gentle mixing with S&F) and improved mixing (by machine).

Overall Formula

Durum Flour 60%
Bread Flour 40%
Water* 60%
Salt 2%

*water should be adjusted with the absorption of **your** flour.


15% of the total flour (bread flour) is prefermented at 80% hydratation (12h / 14h at about 21/22°C - with a 20% inoculation). Remember to subtract the flour and water from the final dough ingredients. 

Dough consistency

Medium soft, not too much sticky.


  • Mix all ingredients except salt (desired dough temperature 25/26°C).
  • Autolyse 00:30, then add salt on top
  • 10 stroke (stretch and fold)
  • Repeat 3 more times at 00:10 intervals (10 stroke or until the dough starts to oppose resistance)
  • Bulk fermentation 01:45 with 1 fold
  • Divide and shape (I use a banetton or a bowl)
  • Proof 01:30 at 25°C
  • Retard 12:00 at 4°C
  • Bake on stone at 225°C 00:40, first 00:15 covered, last 00:10 with the door ajar.


    Crumb shoot






        ehanner's picture

        As I begin to work my way through Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf, there is a bread pictured on the inside cover that got me wondering. It looks like a boule with an appendage twisted with pointed tips and makes me think of a handle to hold while carrying or cutting. Dan didn't identify the bread by name and I haven't seen anything like it before so until I hear otherwise from Dan or someone who knows the real name, I'm calling it Medieval Bread. I used the first recipe for White Leaven Bread as the mix and tried to shape the dough as pictured.Waiting until after proofing to shape the twist was a mistake I suspect. If you have the book, you will be amused at my rookie attempt to replicate the image.

        I have made Dan's Black Pepper Rye and the White Thyme bread which were delicious but I think I should progress in an order that will let me understand Lepards thinking. After looking at nearly every bread in the book, I see the ratios of leaven and timing are different than I have been accustomed to using. There are also a few specialized techniques that I haven't used and ingredients while common at home are unfamiliar to me in baking. Pickle Juice would be a good example. It would be easy for me to get distracted by the many wonderful new recipes and ignore the common sourdough white loaf. As I discovered, that would be a mistake.

        I made the White Leaven bread by the book except I substituted 30 grams of sifted rye into the 500g white bread flour. Dan suggests using fresh yeast and as soon as I find a local source for 1 pound bricks I intend to make the change from Instant Dry (IDY). Most of the brick fresh yeast sold in the US is made just a few miles from here so it's just a matter of finding a distributor.

        The method of developing the gluten in all of the recipes in this book are most easily done with your hands or a plastic scraper. Dan is insistent on minimal kneading, waiting 10 minutes and again just a few seconds of kneading and wait 10 minutes. After a few cycles of this you begin to see the dough come together well and become smooth and silky. Following the initial development comes a schedule of stretch and fold, waiting between folding sessions. All very gentle and effortless steps. The result is a perfectly incorporated and developed dough with just the right amount of aeration.

        Remembering that these same four ingredients can be mixed and handled in many ways to arrive at vastly different ends, I am very pleased to have followed the procedure exactly. The bread is wonderful. For me a perfect outcome is a bread that looks wonderful and has a full flavor with a long lasting after taste. The crust has been baked to a dark brown and has a deeper caramelized flavor that contrasts the crumb. When I manage to bake a bread that has this contrast and tastes this good, I'm really pleased.

        I know there are many bread books out there to choose from. Many are very similar and will produce great breads. If you are serious about making breads that are not merely great but outstanding, "The Handmade Loaf" or the US version "The Art of Handmade Bread"  is available from our link for $12. At this point it's the best value in my library and I'm delighted with the best breads I have made. Lepard has traveled Europe and befriended some of the old time bakers in far off the beaten path corners of the world. Developing these recipes for modern use is a gift to those of us who strive to bake these old style hearty breads.

        No snickering at my attempt to make the twisted boule now!



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