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SeasideJess's blog

SeasideJess's picture

The lineup from left to right:

1:2:2 levain of ryestarter & wheatflour & water, sitting on top of a  1:2:2 starter refresh of ryestarter & ryeflour & water

1:1 levain build of wheatberry-honey yeast water & wheatflour, sitting on top of the wheatberry-honey yeast water

1:1 levain build of apple yeast water & wheatflour  sitting on top of the apple yeast water

All flours are freshly milled 100% whole grain.

SeasideJess's picture

I thought it would be good to write a few things down that I have learned in my milling and baking adventures.

When I first started baking (I started with 100% WW from the beginning) I used to knead in a stand mixer but I couldn't make good bread. After a lot of trial and error, I'm making consistently good 100% ww bread from home milled flour, both sourdough and conventional dry yeast. The key for me is an autolyse combined with the right hydration (between 70 to 80%). This means that there's not much kneading required in any of my breads.  

My suggestion is to start by mixing flour and water until just barely mixed/wetted, then stop. It should be mushy. *It's important that you stop, do not keeping going and developing the gluten at this stage. Cover and let rest for an hour to hydrate the bran and develop the gluten.

After an hour (or up to 12 hours refrigerated) spread the dough out flat on the counter, sprinkle on your instant yeast and salt and whatever else is in the recipe, roll it up, and knead by hand on the counter for about 2 to 5 minutes until it feels like the salt has disappeared and the gluten is developed. The dough will be very cohesive and springy and have a moist tacky surface.

If it is a sourdough, spread on the levain at this point, fold it over, add the salt, and knead it in. For active dry yeast I like to put the yeast in water and then add flour to make a paste and add it as if it was a sourdough levain. 

Then continue with your bulk proof. (Optionally you can do a letter fold or two at 1/2 hour intervals during the bulk proof, just to organize the dough and build strength.) Then do a final, gentle letter fold, shape the dough, and let it have it's final hour-long proof. 

Here is a really lovely video of 100% whole wheat bread using this method.   You can see that after the autolyse, when combining the dough with the levain and salt she only kneads for 3 or 5 minutes minutes, just to bring together the starter and salt with the dough. That is enough to develop the gluten for a rustic bread. If I'm making a sandwich loaf, especially an enriched dough, I will knead it longer, for about 10 minutes, until the gluten is very well developed and is showing a nice windowpane. 

I don't usually do stretch and folds. If the dough needs strength I give it letter folds on the counter at the end of bulk fermentation. This is especially useful for spelt and for khorasan/Kamut both of which are very extensible and need to have letter folds to soak up some of that lengthening capacity in order to be able to tighten them at the final shaping. 

I don't know why developing the gluten at the very beginning mix stage messes things up so badly for me. I just know that it makes the gluten weird: it almost seems to separate the gluten from the dough into strings. It's just not good. 


SeasideJess's picture

This is my first venture into baking with Kamut in a while. In the past, I have found this flour challenging, as the gluten needs a lot of time to hydrate, and once hydrated it's a bit weak and very extensible. I adapted this recipe from AnnieT's Semolina Bread recipe here:

I am delighted with this bread: it has a very thin, very crisp, delicate crust, a moist, tender interior, and a nice clean gentle wheat flavor.

I was concerned about the possibility of the gluten breaking down so I chilled the autolyse immediately in hopes of preventing too much early yeast and enzymatic action during the autolyse. This worked really well.

Here's what I did:  


  • 100 grams yeast water,
  • 100 grams hard red whole wheat flour

Mix, leave covered on the counter overnight, refrigerate until needed.


  • 1 cup chilled yeast water,
  • 115 grams fine-milled hard red whole wheat flour, sifted, bran discarded
  • 190 grams fine-milled (twice milled) Kamut flour, plus more to dust


  • All of the pre-ferment
  • All of the autolyse
  • 9 grams salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Mix flour, yeast water, and oil together to make a soft, sticky dough. Add more water if the dough isn't soft. Put immediately in the fridge to soak (autolyse) overnight. 
  2. Take dough out of fridge, combine with pre-ferment and salt, and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Add a little warm water while kneading if needed.  Gently round, place into a lightly oiled bowl and let rise in a warm location until ripe, about an hour and a half.
  3. Turn out, top down, onto a lightly floured surface. Slide your lightly-floured hands, palm down, under dough and lift and gently stretch the dough out, like a pizza dough. Lay the stretched dough down on counter and stretch the edges out too, into a square-ish shape. Press out any large air bubbles. Fold in thirds from the sides, and then again from the top and bottom (letter fold.)
  4. Place back in bowl, seam down, and let rise 20 minutes or so. Repeat step 3 and let rise again for 20 minutes.   
  5. Preheat oven to 425. Shape dough into a batard. Let dough rise until visibly expanded, about a half hour. Don't let it get all the way to the very tender quivery, fully-inflated stage. Place in clay baker, brush off excess flour, score, spray heavily, cover, and place in oven.
  6. After 20 minutes, remove cover and bake another 20 minutes or so, until loaf is browning at edges and the internal temperature registers around 210 Fahrenheit. 


Pictures show the hole the thermometer made, alas. 

SeasideJess's picture

This was a 100% whole wheat lean dough leavened with a poolish. I used my basic 100% whole wheat same-day sourdough method but substituted 150 grams of poolish for the sourdough starter.  The flour is 440 grams of hard red, and 110 grams of spelt, twice milled, no sifting. 

I proofed it a little less than usual and got more oven spring than usual, so that was neat. It has a nice light crumb, a crisp crust, and tastes great. I  was really happy with how it came out, although I wonder if scoring it deeper would have resulted in it springing apart at the score, rather than next to the score.


SeasideJess's picture

Since folks have been sharing their simple whole wheat loaves, I thought I should share this. It's a very easy, straightforward bake and makes an absolutely delicious, moist and flavorful loaf of bread.  It's adapted from  Patrick Ryan corrected the salt and added a pseudo autolyse (with yeast but no salt.)The hydration is 73% and is really perfect.This recipe produces two 600 gram loaves.

  • 700g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 510ml water
  • 35g black treacle (or honey, molasses, or barley malt syrup, which is what I used)
  • 20g salt
  • 7g dry yeast

2 x 400g (1lb) loaf tins or 20cm (8inch) proving baskets

  1. Mix together the molasses/black treacle/barley malt syrup and the water.
  2. Add the water mix to the spelt flour. Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Use a dough whisk to just combine. Let sit for 1 hour to hydrate the gluten and bran.
  3. Spread the dough out on a counter and add the salt. Roll the dough up, fold it over, and knead for about three minutes, until the salt is mixed in. The gluten is already developed by the rest, so it doesn't need much kneading. The dough will be very springy, cohesive, and tacky, and will show windowpane after a brief rest.
  4. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let it rest for 20-30 mins at room temperature.
  5. After 30 minutes turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and stretch the dough out like a sheet, and give it a letter fold. This helps to build strength within the dough. Fold the dough in thirds from one side and then the other, then roll it up from top to bottom. Return the dough to the bowl, seam side down. Cover and leave to rest for another 20-30 minutes.
  6. Again, turn the dough out onto a clean work surface then stretch the dough out and give it another letter fold. Return to the bowl and for a further 60 minutes until fully proofed.
  7. Turn out the dough on to a clean kitchen surface and do a gentle letter fold to knock back. Don't stretch it as much as before: allow it to keep some thickness and air. Pop any large bubbles. Divide the dough into two then shape each piece of dough into a rough round shape.
  8. If making a round loaf, tighten the round. (You can watch how to shape the dough in the video). Place the shaped dough upside down into a floured proving basket, seam side facing up, or alternatively in a bowl lined with a lightly floured tea towel
  9. Alternatively, the dough can be shaped and placed into a bread tin. (You can watch how to shape the dough in the video). Once the dough has been shaped, place it in a buttered floured loaf tin.
  10. Leave the dough to prove at room temperature for about 50 minutes. While it's proving, pre-heat the oven to 230°C/425°F and get your steaming setup ready, if desired.  Turn the dough out of the basket onto a baking tray and score the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or baker’s razor blade. Or if using a bread tin, dust the surface of the dough with some wholemeal spelt flour before placing into the oven.
  11. Place the loaves in the oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a good crust has formed and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the base.

Here's a picture of the dough after the first letter fold. 

Dough after letter fold

SeasideJess's picture

Today I started an experiment to see if I can make a wheat-based (or mixed wheat and rye) version of Concentrated Lactic Acid Sourdough (CLAS). I wanted to see if I could get the flavor and acidification benefits of the CLAS without using as much rye flour in the mix.

My reasoning is that rye makes the dough more difficult to handle, and the 100% whole wheat breads I make are already quite challenging for me. Another way to say it is I wanted to be able to add more CLAS without adding (as much) more rye.

Also, I just thought it would be interesting to see if it works.

If anyone is interested I can post my procedure for following the method that Andrey (AKA) Rus Brot published for starting a CLAS from scratch. Or you can just take a look at his blog here:

My impression is that if you have access to organic whole-grain rye flour and a way to tightly regulate the fermentation temperature, your odds of success are very high. I found it to be straightforward.

Once you have an established CLAS ferment/starter, you can add it to bread. Like any starter it is kept alive by refreshment, that is by removing some of the ferment and adding new flour and water. Note that CLAS is maintained at 190% hydration.

The standard formula for 90% CLAS refreshment is:

  • 33g CLAS
  • 190 ml Water @ 113°F (45C) (65% of 290)
  • 100g organic whole grain rye flour (35% of 290)

This 1:9 refreshment is the smallest amount of CLAS to new feedstock that Andrey recommends.

The water, flour, and CLAS starter are mixed thoroughly, placed in a loosely lidded container, and held at lactobacillus fermentation temperature (105°F ± 35°F) for 12 hours. I use an Instant Pot on Yogt setting.

For this experiment I used a 75% (1:3)  refreshment:

  • 110 grams CLAS
  • 214 grams H2O
  • 116 grams flour

I made two batches. One with coarsely ground rye flour (the regular/control batch) and one with coarsely ground hard red winter wheat (the experimental batch.) I put them into wide-mouth 1-pint mason jars, loosely lidded, and placed them both into the Instant Pot on Yogt setting for a 12 hour ferment. tomorrow I'll check them out and see if the wheat one gets as sour as the rye, and how the flavors compare. My established rye CLAS ferment smells and tastes clean, fresh and tart. It is similar to a sour apple flavor with emphasis on the sour rather than the apple.

SeasideJess's picture

So, DanAyo suggested that I pick one bread to bake again and again as a way to build my skill at baking with 100% freshly-milled while wheat flour.

I'm using a variation on the Laurel's Kitchen Bread book 'Loaf for Learning.' The difference are that I'm using spelt and khorasan wheat, and adding a tablespoon of Russian rye sour CLAS for added flavor and a little acidity in the dough. I'm using these wheats because I suspect that there's something wrong with the hard red winter wheat I've been getting. Today was my first bake of this bread. Here is the recipe:

Note: This is the Basic WW, page 80 in Laurel's Kitchen, using the hydration from Breadtopia Spelt/Kamut sourdough recipe plus CLAS for flavor.
(Total 68% hydration not counting the CLAS.)

Dry Ingredients
387 g kamut (43%)
513 g spelt (57%)
(900 grams total flour)
7 g  (2 tsp) instant dry yeast
14 g (2 1/2 tsp) salt
-Whisk dry ingredients together

Wet Ingredients
612 g warm water
2 tbs honey
2 tbs EVOO
40 g (2 tbs) CLAS
-Whisk wet ingredients together

Final Dough
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredients in. Mix. Let stand for 10 minutes, then adjust hydration if needed. The dough should be soft and very sticky, but have some body: not be wet and gooey like a batter.  

Knead by hand, about 20 minutes, using the method in the Laurel's Kitchen book.

The dough should remain soft and become elastic and smooth. Towards the end of kneading it should be lustrous, supple and elastic. The color will be pearly, with darker bran flecks. It should display windowpane after a 10 minute bench rest.

1st Bulk Fermentation:
Form the dough into a smooth round ball and put it into a big clean bowl to rise. Do not oil the bowl. Protect the dough from drying out by placing a platter or plastic sheet over the top of the bowl.

* COLD BULK: place dough in refrigerator overnight.
* WARM BULK: Keep it in a warm, draft-free place to rise. At about 80 degrees this will take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, at 70 degrees, about 2 1/2 hours.
Wet your finger and poke it gently into the dough, about 1/2 inch. If the hole does not fill, the dough is ready. For best results, do not wait until the dough sighs deeply when poked.

2nd Bulk Fermentation:
Leaving the dough in the bowl, gently press out all the accumulated gas. Tuck the sides under to make the dough into a smooth round again, and cover for the second rise. The second rise will take about 1/2 as long as the first. Use the finger-poke rest again to test the second rise.

Shaping, Panning, and Final Fermentation:
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. The best way to remove it from the bowl is by gently pressing a rubber spatula around the edges, and turning the bowl over. Cut the dough in half using a bench knife.  Keeping the smooth top surface carefully unbroken, deflate the dough by pressing it with wet or floury hands or a rolling pin from side to side, expelling the accumulated gas. Form each deflated dough half into a smooth round ball. Let the balls rest, covered, for about ten minutes.

Shape dough into loaves, place into two greased 8 x 4 loaf pans. Preheat oven to 425 F. Place panned loaves, covered, in a warm draft-free location for the final rise.

After 30 to 45 minutes, the dough should touch all sides of the pan and arch over the top. The dough will be spongy but not soggy and a gentle indentation from your wet finger will fill-in slowly.

Place pans in the hot over. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 325 F. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the bread registers 195 to 200 F.

The loaves should leave the pans easily and be an even golden-brown, with no pinkish areas. If you thump the bottoms with your fingertips they should sound hollow.

SeasideJess's picture

Here is my latest attempt at the Laurel's Kitchen porridge bread. This one used 1/3 Kamut khorasan, for extensibility; 2/3 hard red winter, for strength.

All the flour was freshly milled on the finest Mockmill setting. I used a relatively coarse (kitchen strainer) screen to sift the big bran and added it to the porridge. The oats were run through my mill on the widest setting that would still grab them and beat them up a little. I used my ultrafine Chinese soup-skimmer strainer to sift off the finest, most powdery portion of the milled oats to add to my catch-all tub of 'white' flour and used the rest in the porridge.

I did a 1.5 x recipe which used 240g of dry oat and 1,125 g flour. Half was given a single bulk proof, then shaped into buns, proofed, brushed with milk, sprinkled with sesame seeds before baking. They took 15 minutes at 400 F and were soft and delicious, although kind of enormous.

The other half of the dough was bulk proofed twice, then shaped as a batard and put into an improvised (cloth lined basket) banneton to final proof.There the bottom seam opened up and I messed about with it and pinched it back together, which ended up tightening the crumb on the bottom of the loaf.

I turned it out on a cookie sheet, scored it, and put it in the oven on top of a pizza stone at 450 F with a towel-filled steamer. At 20 minutes I removed the cookie sheet and steam pan. I took it out after another 30 minutes.

In retrospect 450 was too high a heat for this moist, honey-enriched dough. By the time the internal temp hit 208, the crust was overbaked and got a little scorched on the bottom at the ends.

The crumb is fine, even, soft, moist, and very pleasing. This is a really nice everyday bread for toast and sandwiches. It's also good sliced thin, toasted until crisp, and dipped in coffee.

Mandatory crumb shot:

SeasideJess's picture

This was my first attempt to make a bread that uses a straightforward single dough, rather than the biga-plus-soaker method in the Peter Rinehart ww book. I was inspired to make this bread after reading so many posts here on TFL about this book, especially txfarmer's posts. I wanted to learn about proper, full gluten development in a 100% ww dough.

This bread was a great learning experience for me. I did finally achieve a true windowpane. And the way that, in turn, affected the dough handling, and the way it held on to the gas bubbles, was totally eye opening. 

I learned that I need to be much more thorough in my degassing for this style of bread. I also learned I need to be more careful not to get excess flour on the dough when I'm degassing and shaping. There is a jelly-roll spiral of dry flour in the loaf.

Altogether I'm very happy with this bake and what I learned from it. (It tastes good, too!)

SeasideJess's picture

 Khorasan Chia 100% WW

Hi Friends!

After a yeasted bread baking hiatus, I've been trying again to learn to make bread with 100% home milled whole wheat. It's going a bit better this time. I'm using Peter Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads" with enough resulting success to keep baking. It helps that I'm currently feeding a household of two adults and three 18-year-olds on a tight budget! Past me was kind enough to purchase lots of nifty tools, like a grain mill, a pizza stone, a Dutch oven, etc etc, so I can make bread for the price of the grain in my local bulk bins (pretty darn cheap.)

Here is a picture of 50% hard red winter, 50% Kamut brand khorasan wheat, with chia seeds added.

This is PR's recipe for whole wheat focaccia, with two modifications: chia seeds added, hydrated separately as how Janet described in her chia sourdough post; sifted-out bran,  hydrated with boiling water before cooling and returning to the dough. 

The khorasan makes the dough very strechy. I was expecting a more open crumb but probably over-handled the dough making the boule and degassed it. Nonetheless I was very happy with the crust, crumb, and flavor.

I have also subsequently used this same dough to make two long loaves, more like ciabatta style, which came out (slightly) more open, with an extraordinary sweetness to the smell of the crust. I have no idea why. 


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