The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Floydm's picture

This evening I was planning on doing a longer post about how I set up and made the first post on TFL 5 years ago today and how I couldn't have imagined that it'd blossom into what it has become.  I was also going to share photos of a cute little bakery in my hometown that my mother sent me, but as you've likely heard a terrible earthquake hit Haiti this afternoon and my employer, Mercy Corps, is scrambling to organize a response to the earthquake.  We of the fundraising team are doing all we can to raise funds promptly and get the word out that we and partner agencies are responding immediately.  So I'll keep it short and just note the anniversary, offer my sincerest prayers for the people in Port-au-Prince, and take it as another reminder to count my blessings at every opportunity.


gonzalezbrazil's picture

I´m here back now in this my first post of 2010.


I´m an artisan bread baker from Petrópolis, Brazil, where i started baking breads to survive. I have had a pet-shop at my city for 23 long years , but i´d losted my business on a riverflood at 2003, January. The waters invaded my pet-shop and destroyed all. Then, with lots of bills to pay, lots of unsolved payments i declared me on bankrupt. The next years were so hard times and for many following days i had no money to buy breads on bakery. Then i decided to study recipes of breads and study how to bake my own bread at home. I found a new recipe of that famous Jim Lahey´s no-knead method and started to bake that breads first to my own, but then i decided to sell them to neighbors, parents, and friends. Parallel i´d started to reasearch lots of new breads from all the world´s corners. Now, after one and 8 months after that challenge, i have my own small bakery where i produce a variety of 170 breads, cakes and buttered biscuits. I had my history narrated at one of best reportage Tv show in Brazil from local Globo Network Tv. My history you could view in this video but the language is our local portuguese:,,MUL1052006-16619,00-COMERCIANTE+REVELA+RECEITA+PARA+SUSTENTAR+A+FAMILIA.html

And here you could view my flaxseed bread step-by-step recipe of that Jim Lahey´s bread version, but still in portuguese language:,,MUL1052070-16619,00-VEJA+COMO+PREPARAR+O+PAO+INTEGRAL+DE+TRIGO+COM+LINHACA.html

  I hope you enjoy it.

After those months of many reasearchers i baked lots of ethnic breads and Challah Bread is one of my favorites.

In my city, of Germanic colonization, i´ve been contacted on last June to bake breads at a local Germanic Festival called Bauernfest. And i created an original bread for that event, that folks loved a lot. With the Challah dough, i baked a bread filled with honey brushed on top, sliced rippened bananas, walnuts and golden raisins, sprinkled with grounded cinamon. When i finished, i´d folded that bread similar like Germanic Strudel. It turns AMAZING. The people at festival looked to that loaves and asked me imediatly: Is it a Strudel??? Then i decided name that bread as Jewish Strudel.

Then it was a ´must` after that occasion. Always baking Jewish Strudel i become famous among locals and i decided to begin the 2010´s post productions here sharing with you this bread i think you´ll love a lot!


Here the recipe:

You could begin making the dough of KAF blog´s recipe for Challah you get here:

Then, do the following path:

Rest the  original dough of Challah to double size for one hour, then deflate it and rolling it in a great rectangle shaped dough. Brush the surface of dough with honey, sprinkle clover and cinnamon all over the dough, then sliced sliced rippened bananas or apples, golden or sultan raisins and a lot of chopped walnuts. Then fold the dough in a third then another folding in last third, just like an envelope sealed. Sprinkle an amount of wheat all purpose flour and cinnamon clove mixture at top and bake exactly like you done with Challah.


This bread turns excellent, with astonishing aromas and softly sweetened dough. You could variate the fruits you choose for filling it with a diferent assortment like figs, black prunes, apricots, combining them with those correspondent jams to brush on surface. It´s amazing when sliced the bread with fresh heavy cream on top.


For your mouthwatering P.J.Hamel promised me to publish a recipe and picture of this marvellous Strudel...a Jewish Strude for next posts at KAF blog!

Susan's picture


130g starter (100% hyd.), 305g water, ~1/4 cup sesame seeds, 9g salt, 1 tsp toasted sesame oil, 400g All Trumps high-gluten flour, 50g coarse whole wheat flour.

The dough was kept close to 76F throughout mixing and fermentation.

Mix starter and water.  Add seeds and oil, mix.  Add flours and salt, mix just until flour is wet, rest 1 hour, fold 3x at 30 min intervals.  Let rise until near doubled (about 2 hours).  Shape, put in triangle brotform, and deposit in fridge for overnight.  Bake at 500->460F (after a half-hour out of fridge) under cover for first 20 minutes.  Let rest in oven for 10 minutes after bake.

DownStateBaker's picture

Sorry for the delay. I thought I would have a chance to post day two right away. I am now in day three of the creation of the starter. So let's catch up!

Day 2

This is how my starter looked at 30 hours from the initial mix of 300g flour 300g water. I stirred it 5 times over the 30 hours. In the first 12 hours i had left the bowl, covered, on my pellet stove. It got up to 90 F, this was initially thought of as a mistake by me. So I moved the bowl to somewhere at room temp. Then over the next 28 hours it was alive with activity so awesome. So hopefully over the 30 hours you've seen activity similar to what is shown above. If it takes more time than 30 its ok, this is what you want it to look similar too before going on to the next step.


You should have 600g of starter mix. Take 300g of this mix, add 150g of flour, and 150g water. I had just poured a glass of a nice weizen-bock and mixed the water with the yeast sediment in the bottle. I figured the more the merrier, yeast wise. Then mixed it up until well combined (No chunks of dry flour). To look like this.

Day 3

Here is how it looked at around 12pm today before I mixed it up again (not adding anything). Updates to come

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I've found that the new year means I'm still going up the learning curve on my sourdough loaves. The continued low temperatures here in Kansas combined with above average barometric pressures gave me an opportunity to observe first hand some of the effects of weather on my starter and in the behavior of flours.

My starter exhibited the behavior that I should have expected with cooler room temperatures between 68-70F. Loaves rose more slowly, especially the loaf that had been retarded overnight. After refreshing my starter to a 1:2:2 ratio, activity was diminished, taking about 6 hours to double rather than the expected 3 1/2-4 hours.

I haven't lost my taste for loaves with whole wheat flour. I was surprised when my standby wheatMontana Bronze Chief turned my hydration estimates upside down. I usually aim for around 65-67%  in loaves that have 500g total flour but the loaves turned out to appear much drier than 65% after kneading.


The crumb on this first enriched loaf wasn't as open as I'd like but the flavor was more than acceptable

My most recent loaf is a boule of Bauernbrot based on Salome's excellent formula where I used up the last 60g or so of rye from a bag, added more of the Bronze Chief, some AP and finished off with some bread flour. The dough was again on the dry side when kneading. Either my estimate of hydration was low or the rye and WW absorbed more than usual amounts of water. The outside temp was around 1F, barometric pressure was a very high 30.56. I did an overnight retarding after shaping and the loaf needed almost 4 hours to warm up for baking.

The crumb doesn't show up well in this picture either. The flavor is fine enough that my wife wants to take what's left up to Omaha for her parents to sample. Now I have a reason to look back through my recipes for a formula for a bread I haven't tried before.

I've got a plan for the next four weeks. First off, I'm going to build up my starters in two steps rather than one or just taking out 100g from the container I keep refrigerated and letting it warm up. Instead of 100g, I can use 150g because I have the time to experiment with the process. Hydration level is something to work on because this is the first winter I've used a starter. Dough hydration will be moving up to the high 60s or low 70s. I know I'll have to learn new techniques because plain kneading won't be enough to get the results I'm aiming for. It's back to the bench for me, there's work to be done in the flour patch.

Shiao-Ping's picture

To continue on my last post, I experimented the gentle S&F technique on this classic recipe from Hamelman's Bread, page 164.  


                                                                      © Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread

There is nothing new about this technique - the slow and gentle (and at the same time, firm and assertive) stretch and folds on the dough over the entire length of time of the bulk fermentation to try to build up its strength, slowly but steadily.  Whether or not we have consciously applied this technique is another issue. 

My purpose was to develop dough strength slowly along side dough fermentation, so as to see how much volume I could get for my loaf and how open the crumb structure could be on this classic recipe.   Here is my Miche, Pointe-à-Callière:




I followed Hamelman's list of ingredients but I did not use his procedure.   My ingredients were:

  • 289 g just ripe 60%-hydration levain (40% baker's percentage)

  • 725 g high-extraction whole-wheat flour (as suggested by Hamelman, 86% whole wheat flour and 14% plain flour were substituted for the high-extraction flour, which is not available in my area)

  • 634 g water

  • 17 g salt

Total dough weight was 1,665 g and overall dough hydration was 84%.






My procedure:

Mix only the flour and water.  Autolyse for an hour.  Then, mix in the levain and the salt.  Up to this point, the procedure was as instructed by Hamelman; thereafter I broke away from Hamelman's instruction and started my experiment as follows: 

  1. 0:00  When all the ingredients are combined, do the first set of stretch and folds of 35 strokes.  Dab some oil on the edge and bottom of the dough all round where the dough meets the bowl (so that the dough doesn't stick to the bowl when you do the next set of S&F's).

  2. 0:30  2nd set of S&F of 25 strokes.  Again, dab some oil on the edge and bottom of the dough as above.

  3. 1:00  3rd set of S&F of 25 strokes.  (My dough already felt silky and smooth.)  Again, dab some oil on the edge and bottom of the dough as above).

  4. 1:30  4th set of S&F of 25 strokes.  (My dough felt very bouncy and left the side of the mixing bowl in a cohesive whole.  With each stroke, the dough felt stronger.)  Dab some oil on the edge and bottom of the dough as above.

  5. 2:00  5th set of S&F of 25 strokes.  (The gluten had developed very nicely.)  Dab some oil on the edge and bottom of the dough as above.  Sprinkle ample flour on the work bench.

  6. 2:30  6th set of S&F of 25 strokes and, at the end of the last stroke, grab the whole dough and lift it out of the bowl in one swift movement and drop the dough on the floured surface (what was at the bottom of the mixing bowl is now against the floured surface and it is the right side).  Cover the dough with the mixing bowl.

  7. 3:00  1st pre-shaping.  Gather the edges to the centre, turn it over (so the right side is now up), and tighten it.  Cover.

  8. 3:10  2nd pre-shaping.  (As my dough was a bit wobbly and extended out a lot as it rested, I decided to do a 2nd pre-shaping.  You don't have to if your dough doesn't need it ).  Turn the dough over so the right side is now down, gather the edges to the centre, turn it over to tighten it.  Cover.

  9. 3:20  shape it into a boule.  I placed the boule on a dusted kitchen towel.  Cover and place it in a plastic bag.

  10. 3:30  place the dough in the fridge for retarding.  (Total fermentation time was 3 1/2 hours for me at room temperature of 26 - 27C.  Adjust your fermentation time if your room temperature differs.)

  11. Retarding in the refrigerator for 12 hours.

  12. Bake as normal.




Verdict:  There appears to be more volume in my bread compared to Hamelman's bread (first picture above).  With a dough hydration of 84% (even allowing for the type of flour used for this formula), you would expect the bread profile to be somewhat flat, as seen in Hamelman's bread above.  However, the stretch and fold regime as outlined above in my procedure seems to have developed the gluten structure very nicely and, as a result, my bread seems to have more volume than Hamelman's bread.   

What this tells me is that for a high hydration dough, a slow and steady gluten development is better than a one-shot 2 1/2 minutes or 4 minutes (or whatever it is) kneading in the machine with just one or two sets of S&F's.  For a low hydration dough, you don't need to worry about the dough strength; it develops easily anyway.   Next time if I am doing a high hydration dough again, I will definitely give this method another try.



hansjoakim's picture

It's the time of the year where blistering cold winds sweep the city and the surrounding mountainside. Rest assured, no matter how many layers you put on, the cold will penetrate them and get to you eventually. I'm certain that the freezing temperatures are partly to blame for me baking a dense Schrotbrot this week... I had a careful look over my kitchen shelves, pencil in hand, and jotted down potential ingredients for a solid log. I had a vague idea of what I wanted, but this turned out quite good I think.

This week's Schrotbrot:


I've snapped a screenshot of the spreadsheet I used to make up the formula; you'll find that at the bottom of the post!

The base formula is pretty simple, and you can put any kinds of grains and seeds in it - flavour it either way you like. I love toasted sunflower seeds in these rye breads, as they give a nutty chew that goes well with soaked rye berries. I used a tad malt syrup to bring out a subtle sweetness in the final loaf. It's not very pronounced, but rather lingers somewhere in the background. I bet either honey or another syrup would work equally well. You might want to alter the overall hydration if you exchange other seeds in the soaker(s), but keep in mind that you want to keep the final dough very wet. Wet your hands with water, give the dough a rough cylindrical shape, and carefully place in a tin. The recipe below is scaled to fill a 1 liter tin approx. 2/3 way up. After about 1 hour final proof, the dough should have risen noticeably, and the top should start to look a bit fragile.

Let cool at least 24 hours. Slice as thin as possible and enjoy at 5 AM with a cheese platter and a glass of cold milk. Then go run the New York marathon.


Recipe Schrotbrot

mikesomers's picture

I cannot find a good spelt recipe that is 100% sourdough. Does anybody have one?


wakeandbake's picture

Here are some of the breads that I bake regularly and offer to customers!

Recipies are surely to come.


Wake and Bake Bread Company.

Wake and Bake Bread Company

L to R; Back Row: Mixed-Grain Levain, Sourdough Rye, Pain Au Levain.
Middle Row: Pain Au Levain, Sourdough Rye, Mixed-Grain Levain.
Front Row: Pumpernickel Rye


Wake and Bake Bread Company

Pumpernickel Rye


Wake and Bake Bread Company

My favorite!  Mixed-Grain Levain!  Even better with rosemary!




wakeandbake's picture

This is my first post on here, with much more to come I hope!  :)

Just thought I'd start by posting a pic of some Stout Beer Sourdough Rye Baguettes I made with a homemade stout beer.

They turned out wonderfully!


Wake and Bake Bread Co.


Beer Stout Sourdough Rye


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