The Fresh Loaf

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HeiHei29er's blog

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This is my stand-by bread.  One of these days, I need to finalize a recipe and stick with it.  For this one, I eliminated the oat flour and reduced the buckwheat flour.  The sorghum, buckwheat, and barley flours were used for a mash, and buckwheat and oat groats were used in a hot water soaker.

Loaf flattened a bit versus springing, but the crumb turned out nice and moist and fairly open.  I keep wanting to make this a hearth loaf, but it's tricky getting it right with the level of gluten free flours.  I may just start keeping this a pan loaf.

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The 4th is a big family gathering every year for my wife, and all of her siblings come back to town.  One of the first items on the list is getting nisu from one of the local bakeries.  Decided to try my hand at braiding and making my first one.

Followed the recipe in the comments of this thread, but adapted it to two loaves. 

Unfortunately, we got hit with a heat wave and humidity today/tonight, so I didn't want to heat up the house.  So...  I baked this one on my new grill with the infrared heat panels.  Used my digital temperature probe for smoking to monitor the temp in the grill.  Placed my pizza stone on the grill grates and then baked the nisu in my Granite Ware turkey roaster.

Overall, went very well for the first attempt.  The dough when first mixed is quite sticky.  Keep needing and using five minute rests.  It pulled together quite well and was easy to work with after the second rest.  Only issue was with the baking...  The grill wouldn't stay below 400 deg F with the burners on the lowest setting, and the bottoms of the loaves are borderline burned.  Next time, I'll have to cycle the burners on and off to hold the temp in the 390-400 deg range.  The steel infrared plates hold a lot of heat, so I don't think the temp will fluctuate too fast by turning it on and off.


Forgot the egg wash...

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TFL'er Wish List bake #6...  Followed this one pretty close with a couple small deviations and one addition.

I used a RYW and SD culture combination for the initial levain and then RYW instead of water in the 2nd levain build.  Other than that, the only change I made was adding some Vegemite.  Gave the bread kind of a French Onion soup smell while it was baking.

Like Danni3ll3, my final mix turned out really sticky and the dough was slack.  I had no free water in the rice in the morning, so I'm wondering if the high humidity we had this weekend has made my flours a little less thirsty.  I dropped the target hydration to 68% from 70% (excluding water in the rice), but that wasn't enough.  I ended up at 65% with the 25g of extra flour added.  Firm enough to work with, but I wasn't confident enough to make it a free standing loaf.  I think it would have puddled.  It turned out great as a pan loaf using my Pullman without a lid and baked in my large turkey roaster with steam for the first 18 minutes.

I rubbed the Vegemite into the flour similar to rubbing in butter.

Crumb turned out nice and moist.  Definitely on the custardy side, but not chewy.


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TFL'er Bake List Week #5...  Slowly but surely working on the list of bakes I saw on TFL and wanted to try.  This week's bake was based on Paul's Barley/Wheat Bread loaf.

I used a 2-stage levain build with blueberry yeast water and a small rye starter inoculation.  Instead of hard, red whole wheat, I tried a soft, white whole wheat, and I used most of the WW in the levain builds to make sure it was fully hydrated.  The second levain was over doubled in 5 hours, and had a yeasty/yogurty aroma.

This was the first time I used this soft white wheat, and it doesn't seem very thirsty so I dropped the hydration to 70%.

The bake went well and the dough was easy to handle.  It wasn't sticky at any point during the bake. The only thing that was unexpected was the small size of the loaf.  After the initial mix, I thought I had missed one of the flours.  I had to double check my notes to make sure I didn't miss anything.  I'm guessing it's from the high amount of whole grain???  The loaf did rise well and had a good oven spring, but I should have used Paul's 600g flour per loaf instead of dropping to my usual 475g.  It would have filled the pan out nicer.

Loaf smells great and looking forward to slicing it tomorrow morning for breakfast!



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TFL'er bake list #4 this week, and this weekend's bake was Danni's Oat Porridge Bread.

A fun bake, and I learned a new technique by making a porridge.  The bread came out really good and has great flavor!  The crumb is nice and soft without being sticky.  Will definitely keep this one on the list.


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With my daughter that's gluten sensitive back from college, I decided to see if I could come up with a sourdough GF loaf.

I started by creating a brown rice starter.  I cheated though and used scrapings from my AP/WW starter.  My first mix was the scrapings left over from a refresh of the AP/WW.  Best guess is there was less than 1 gram left in the jar.  To that, I added 25g of brown rice flour and 25g of water.  After 24 hours, it was quite bubbly and showing at least 50% expansion.  So far for me, the rice starter doesn't go much beyond that for expansion no matter how long I leave it.  Subsequent feedings were 1:5 (water:flour) at 90% hydration.  After the 4th feeding, the wheat flour in the starter was below the limit for a 1kg loaf to be determined GF.  On all subsequent refreshes, the mature starter has a wonderful aroma that's somewhere between fruity and buttery.  It is a sweet smell that doesn't remind me of sour at all.

This recipe uses two GF flour blends.  Why...  I had both brands in the pantry and wanted to use up one before opening the other the first time I tried it.  Had reasonable success and didn't want to mess with it.  :-)   The hardest part is getting the consistency right.  My guess is this will work just fine with other GF flour blend brands.  You'll just have to play with the hydration until you get that heavy cake/brownie batter consistency.

I'm not sure how long you can safely ferment a dough with egg whites in it, so I've been adding a bit of ADY to the final mix to make sure the final proof moves along.  I't been getting done in 2-3 hours.  Need to do some digging to see if the ADY can be dropped further and extend ferment/proofing out to 3-4 hours.



142.5g Domata 1-for-1 GF flour blend

178.1g Water

20g brown rice flour starter culture

Ferment 12-16 hours at 70-72 deg F


Final Dough:

285g KAF GF flour blend

47.5g Bob's Red Mill GF Oat Flour

239.9g Water

9.5g Pink Himalayan Salt

26.1g Salted Butter (room temp)

60-65g Egg Whites (2 large eggs) (room temp)

1.2g Active Dry Yeast

16.6g Honey



Combine final fours and salt then mix with a whisk

Rub room temperature butter into the fours using a fork until butter is evenly distributed.  (Flour will get something like a coarse sand look to it.)

Combine final water and honey.  Warm to 80-85 deg F and then activate the ADY in that mixture.  Set aside for 5-10 minutes to let ADY wake up.

Whip room temp egg whites slightly until they get a little aerated and bubbly on top.  I haven't been going all the way to fully whipped.

Create a well in the center of the flour/butter blend.

Add activated ADY/water/honey mixture to the levain and mix thoroughly.  Pour mixture into well and add whipped egg whites.  Slowly stir mixture with a spoon and gradually incorporate flour to it.  Thoroughly mix and make sure any lumps are broken and batter is smooth  It should have the consistency of a very heavy cake or brownie batter.

Spoon batter into a buttered/GF floured loaf pan and smooth top with a wetted spatula.

Put loaf pan in a sealed bag (I use a large clear plastic bread bag I got from Amazon) and put in final proof at 81 deg F.  Let rise until center of the loaf is approximately 1" above the pan rim.

Approximately 30 mins prior to final proof finishing, pre-heat oven to 350 deg.

When dough has finished rising, GENTLY spread melted butter on top of loaf.  (I use a silicone bristle BBQ brush)

Oven set-up: Cookie sheet on very top rack shielding upper element.  Cookie sheet on very bottom rack shielding bottom element.  Pizza stone on rack one slot above bottom rack. 

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 deg F with steam (I put in GW roaster pan) and then 30 minutes without steam.  After the 60 minutes, I remove the loaf from the pan and place it directly on the baking stone for another 15 minutes.  Final internal temp is usually about 210 deg F.  

Turn off oven and leave loaf in the oven with the door cracked for another 10 minutes.  Let loaf fully cool on a wire rack at room temp before putting in a bag.


Egg whites


Levain/Water/Honey/ADY/Egg Whites combined in flour well before mixing


After removing lid.  Good oven spring!

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TFL'ers bakes list...  Week #3.  This week's bake was inspired by Abe's Dip and Dab Polenta Sourdough.  Plan A was to follow this bake as described.  However, I had a great pour of bourbon last week with a friend who's into it a bit.  That led to a discussion on what it takes for a whiskey to be classified a bourbon.  One of those "rules" is that the mash has to be >51% corn.  In addition, this was a high rye bourbon.  And...  An idea was born.

I already had the rye, and I stopped to pick up some polenta (or corn meal to make some).  However, the co-op had a high lysine corn flour, so I grabbed that instead.

Mixed up a 60:40 (corn:rye) mash and cooked it per Reinhart's method for 2 hours.  Definitely had a corn smell to it.

Started bulk late and let it go over night.  When I got up, the aliquot was showing 25%, but the dough didn't look overly puffy.  Was not abnormally high on the sides of my usual bulk ferment bowl, but did seem high in the center of the bowl.  Gave it the 2nd kneading,  On each of the subsequent kneadings, the dough hardly spread.  The aliquot jar was rising rapidly, but I didn't see it in the dough.  It was staying tall in the center of the bowl, but it wasn't spreading like I'm used to seeing.  Therefore, I thought the aliquot was misleading.  However, the dough was relaxed and I did notice gas bubbles in the bulk of the dough on the 3rd kneading.  Didn't really know where I was at, so I shaped it when the aliquot was at 75%.

During final proofing, the dough continued to take off, but also did not spread.  I moved to cold retard when the aliquot was at 100%.  The center of the dough was well over the banneton rim, but didn't rise much on the ends.  It continued to rise during cold retard, and looked like a football before removing from the banneton.  So, in hind sight, the aliquot was probably correct.  This dough fermented really fast and actively.  Not sure if it was extra sugar from the corn mash or if extra microbes from the corn flour.  It's by far the fastest and most active fermentation I've had on any of my bakes.

Baked up nice with good color in the crust.  It filled out nicely, but not a ton of oven spring.  Guessing this one is going to be close to being overproofed.  Will see in the morning when I slice it.  Really curious to see how this one tastes!


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Week #2 of working on my list of TFL'er bakes I've been wanting to try.  This week was one of Ilya's rye bakes.  Well, not exactly one of his bakes, but with his guidance and tips, I tried this recipe from Rus Brot.

Overall, the bake went really well I think.  Each step of the process went according to the video, and I had similar results.  My only difficulty was proofing temperature.  My maximum temp is 84-85 deg F, so I was a little low on the final dough fermentation and the final proof temps.  However, everything progressed just fine even at the slightly lower temps.  I also had a to guess a little bit on the consistency of the final dough, and I added 10g of water above what's listed in the method below.

It looks like I maybe blistered the crust, and I think it happened on the second misting towards the end of the bake.  My guess is it should have been a light mist, and I moistened it quite well.

This was a great first bake for high rye, and the bread smells great!  Giving it at least a day before slicing it.



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Made two loaves using the method of spacing out bowl kneading and slowly developing gluten.  For one loaf, did the 3rd and 4th sets of kneading at 15% and 30% on the aliquot.  For the other, did them at 25% and 50%.  Wanted to see how far I could push fermentation with this method (starting with a low inoculation).

Unfortunately, the 2nd loaf (on the right) stuck in one end of the banneton a bit.  It slowly stretched on that end as it fell out.  That end of the loaf was degassed quite a bit and was starting to spread before scoring.  You can see the effect it had on the bloom (left hand side of the overhead picture).  So, not sure if the spreading was due to sticking in the banneton or the extra fermentation time.  Will see if it's over fermented tomorrow when I cut into it.

The 1st loaf is for a friend, so I won't get a crumb shot on that one.



1st Dough:


2nd Dough

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The list of bakes from other TFL'ers I want to do keeps piling up, so I decided to start trying a few of them.  First up on the list was Benny's swirl milk bread.  Didn't execute it as well as the master, but didn't come out too bad for the first attempt.  :-)  Followed the method exactly as outlined in the post link below.  Only change...  I did not have black sesame seeds, so opted for black chia seeds.  I couldn't find a purple sweet potato, but I found a Garnet yam, and the color from the yam held nicely.

Overall, the bake went well.  Had a bit of a blowout on one side.  Looks like I might have rolled the white dough a little too thin in that spot.  The only real trouble was the chia seeds.  I didn't realize how much water they absorbed, and I only had about half of them in when the dough became unworkable.  I started to add water back in, and then realized that chia seeds are "mucusy" too.  Turned into a slimy mess.  But...  slowly but surely got enough moisture back into the dough to make it pliable and workable.  So, my black is more of a charcoal gray, but the flavor is good!





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