The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

First Loaf of 2011

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

First Loaf of 2011

Hey All,

Wishing you all a very happy 2011.  Here's my first loaf of the year.  It was for my friend Sarah's birthday on January 2nd...  I've been baking pretty much the same bread for the past few months save for few high percentage rye breads which I will write about when I have some more time and energy...  This bread is one of my best recipies of late...  Here's the recipe and process:

Total Recipe:

750g Total Flour

540g Total Water (approx 72% hydration)

16g Kosher Salt

40g Storage Sourdough Starter @ 80% Hydration

1346g Total Dough Yield

**Storage Sourdough Starter at 80% to 100% hydration fed within a few days and kept in fridge.


Digital Scale

Oven with convection

Oven thermometer

Instant read thermometer

Large mixing bowl

Rubber spatula

Plastic scraper

Large plastic bag

Linen lined 8" to 10" banneton/brotform/colander lined with tea towel (non terry cloth)

2 baking stones

Wooden peel, or some way to get the loaf into the oven directly onto stone

Cheap loaf pan filled with lava rocks

Bowl of water to wet your hands/scraper/spatula

Rye Sour:

76g Rye Flour (Arrowhead Organic)

76g Water

20g Storage Sourdough Starter (I am keeping mine at about 80% hydration these days)

172g Total


38g WW Flour (Whole Foods 365)

38g AP Flour (Whole Foods 365 and/or Hecker's)

76g Water

20g Storage Sourdough Starter (I am keeping mine at about 80% hydration these days)

172g Total

Final Dough:

598g AP Flour (Whole Foods 365 and/or Hecker's)

388g Water

16g Kosher Salt

172g Rye Sour

172g Levain

1346g Total Dough Yield




12:30am - Weigh out ingredients using a digital scale, mix starters in separate bowls, cover and let rest on counter at room temp...  Go to bed.

10:30am - Weigh out final ingredients using a digital scale.  In a large mixing bowl, add ingredients in the following order: water, starters, flour, salt.  Mix with rubber spatula into a rough shaggy dough, then with wet hands squish out any dry clumps, scrape down bowl sides with wet plastic scraper, place bowl in plastic bag, close and let rest.

11:30am - Using a wet dough scraper, scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl, then with wet hands stretch and fold the dough 4 times.  Pick up the dough mass from the center, lift and let the front part flop under, and release.  Turn the bowl 180 degrees and repeat.  Each time, you can squish the dough down with lightly wet hands.  cover and let rest.

12:00pm - Turn dough using method above, return to bowl to plastic bag, close and rest.

12:30pm - Prepare proofing basket by generously flouring the linen/cloth.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface/board, shape into large boule/round, and place into proofing basket seam side up.  Lightly flour the dough, cover with cloth towel, place into entire basket into plastic bag, close and place in top shelf of refrigerator.

10:00pm - Take dough out of fridge and place on kitchen counter.  If using an 8" basket, dough should be domed over top of basket.  Do the poke test to see if the intentation springs back slowly, but a small impression still remains.  Prepare oven by arranging one baking stone on the lowest level, and the other on the highest level.  Place bottom baking stone with the length going front to back.  Prepare lava rock loaf pan, fill 3/4 way with water.  Place steam pan on bottom rack to the side of the baking stone.  Place oven thermometer on bottom stone and turn on oven to 500F with convection.  Make sure your kitchen is well ventilated, open the windows and run fans.  This is especially important if you are using a gas oven.

10:45pm - Remove oven thermometer with tongs/oven mitts so you don't burn yourself.  Turn off convection.  Lightly flour wooden peel, gently loosen dough from basket and turn onto peel.  Slash as desired and place into oven directly onto bottom stone.  Close oven door.  Bake 10 minutes at 500F with steam pan.

11:00pm - Remove steam pan, turn oven down to 450F and bake for another 40-45 minutes.

11:40pm-ish: Check weight of loaf and internal temp of loaf.  If weight is approx 15% less than the pre-bake dough weight, and internal temp has reached 210F, then loaf is pretty much done.  You can turn the oven off and put the loaf back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

11:50pm-ish: Take loaf out of oven and let cool overnight on a wire rack...  Go to sleep...


Loaf profile

Close-up of crackly bottom crust


Bad crumbshot picture from friend's iPhone camera...




Submitted to Yeastspotting on 1/4/2011


Floydm's picture

Awesome.  That loaf is intense.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Thanks Floyd...  I hope 2011 for you is as or more awesome than this loaf...


Mebake's picture

Tim! Where have you been? I was just about to post a blog on "missing members"! Good to hear you're still baking.

And what a wonderful loaf! I see one tiny drawback to your loaves, Tim: You charr them beyond caramilization. Otherwise, your breads look great!

Keep bloging..


breadbakingbassplayer's picture


I've been working too much trying to meet deadlines at work, and fit in some holiday baking for my friends...  Not much time or energy to post...  It's different just baking than baking and blogging.  The taking pictures, editing, and writing something intelligible...  I've become a bit of a lurker lately...  It's less effort...

As for the missing members, where's Shiap-Ping?  I haven't seen her posting in a while...

As for the charring, it's just on the outside edge of the perimeter of the boule...  I find that if I don't char slightly, the flavor just isn't there...  This was learned from Jim Lahey's "My Bread" book...  I did slightly over bake this one as the crust is thicker than my usual, but it turned out very well...  The iPhone picture doesn't do the crumbshot justice...

Happy New Year!


wally's picture

I really like the cool scoring you did on the boule.  The recipe is reminiscent of Hamelman's pain au levain with mixed starters.  Bet the combination made for a great-flavored bread.


varda's picture

When I read your post, I bookmarked it planning to bake it soon.   I guess soon is 2 months.   Here is my humble attempt at it.   I pretty much followed your instructions, except messed with the schedule a bit - I cut the bulk ferment short (anxiety over semi-whole grain doughs liquifying) and instead of cold retarding, I proofed for 3+ hours.    And didn't go to sleep as instructed.    Can't match your scoring, but I did get the mountain profile.   Can't wait to cut and eat.   What a great formula.   Post more please.  -Varda