The Fresh Loaf

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JoeVa's blog

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Ok, here I am with my first post!

I am a new entry in TFL, but I have been reading your Blogs, Receipts and Q&A since about 1 year. I am italian, I live in the north of Italy and I love bread and baking.

My first blog entry is about my very basic Sourdough Loaf. I named it "Pane Fermento" and it is a "Pain au Levain" style loaf. It's a lean dough, with just good flour (white wheat and whole rye), water, salt and sourdough (translation of pasta acida but I usually say lievito madre). I prefer to retard the shaped loaf overnight. I really love this bread, the rye (and the cold proofing) contribute a particular flavour, it has a light "sweet" crumb and a great crust.


From now on remember my % are related to italian flour and ingredients; so pay attention to water %, it's about -5% the amount you need with "American AP/Bread flour".

Overall Formula

Bread Flour 90%
Whole Rye Flour 10%
Malted Flour* 1.5%
Water 59%
Gray Salt 1.9%

*I add a small amount of malted flour to get a better enzymatic activity, my flour is not malted from the miller.


15% Bread flour is prefermented at 80% hydratation (12h / 14h at about 21/22°C - with a 20% inoculation).

Dough consistency

Medium soft, a little bit sticky at the beginning (hydratation rate with my flour 59%:61%)


  • 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 02:00 with 1 fold
  • Divide and shape (I use a banetton)
  • Proof 01:30 at 25°C
  • Retard 12:00 at 4°C
  • Bake on stone at 230°C 00:40, first 00:15 covered, last 00:10 with the door ajar.


Crumb shoot


Bread slice (1cm width)



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