The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.
technically_bread's picture

Hamelman's Vermont sourdough - always a good basic loaf [fixed repost]

July 8, 2021 - 10:08am -- technically_bread

I've been on this site before but it's been a while, so I set up a new account. Hi!

I pretty much always have good success with this recipe.

On this occasion I was trying to film the whole process so I could share with a family member who is interested in baking. Easier said than done, what with all the small subtle things you barely think about when you've been baking a while, and the spread-out, slightly unpredictable schedule.

Happily the bread came out really well.

HeiHei29er's picture

Help with large diameter ratan and dough sticking in banneton

July 8, 2021 - 6:41am -- HeiHei29er

I recently purchased some additional bannetons.  When I received them, the ratan is a much larger diameter than my original bannetons.  Because of the larger diameter, the space between the ratan is larger and deeper.  With that, my doughs have somewhat stuck and not released easily.  I've used this one for 6 or 7 bakes, and the dough has stuck every time.  It tends to stick in the ends, but has also stuck on the side a few times too.

I usually scrape the majority of the excess flour out, but I didn't after yesterday's bake.

HeiHei29er's picture

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.

Abelbreadgallery's picture

Sunflower Seeds & Rye Sourdough

July 7, 2021 - 6:26pm -- Abelbreadgallery

Sunflower seeds are probably one of my favorite ingredient when i wanna bake. I think the flavour and the aroma of the toasted and soaked seeds combine so well in a loaf like this, with a big amount of rye sourdough and rye flour. This time I made this bread using Medium Rye Flour from Ardent Mills. If anyone is interested about this bread, please let me know.

Abel Sierra, Mexico City.

JonJ's picture




My daughter, who is 19, came down with covid and had lost her sense of smell the day before this bake. She asked if this bread had olives or cranberries in it! Think she's on the mend now, and has mentioned that she is starting to taste things again.

This is my first bread with sundried olives. They're kalamata olives and needed to be hand pitted before baking. The sundried olives brought a fairly pungent olive taste to the bread, not unpleasant but tasted like a strong olive oil, and a different flavour to the breads I've made with regular pickled olives. Although only 20g was used in the loaf the flavour tended to dominated, but 20g of sundried olives was around 19 olives, so its fairly concentrated.

The sundried tomato, like the sundried olives, were used 'dry' and weren't rehydrated before using. They were fairly unusual in that they weren't fully dried - they have a nice amount of moisture in them and we keep them in the fridge. So it felt right to use them as they were and they were great in the bread, but next time I'll double the quantity.

The feta didn't seem to do much. The quantity of feta probably also needs to be doubled, and next time I won't crumble as finely.

This bread was made using the food processor to develop the dough, which together with the home made proofing box seems to be becoming my new standard way to make bread.

The water, chilled in the fridge overnight, and levain (from the proofer) were initially mixed in the food processor to form a slurry. To this all the flours were added and were given two 10 second pulses and then left to 'fertmentolyse' for 50 minutes. Then a series of about 4 additional short pulses of the food processor, were done patting down the dough between each pulse to give, in total, another 15 seconds of whizzing. So, a grand total 35 seconds of food processor mixing.

The dough was then moved into the proofer, set to 26°C. Prior to lamination the salt was mixed into the dough by hand, around 1.5 hours after the initial levain mix. The inclusions were laminated in, followed by 2 coil folds. Shaping was done 5.25 hours after adding the levain, with the aliquot just under 50% increase in volume. The banneton was placed in the proofer for an additional 15 minutes before retarding on the bottom shelf of the fridge at 5°C for 15 hours. Banneton was removed from the fridge and popped into the freezer while the oven was warming, which is probably why I did the crazy scoring since the top surface was stiff and easy to score! Bread was baked at 240°C for 25 minutes covered, then 220°C incovered for 20 minutes.

Really enjoying this bread flour which is made from a sifted winter hard white wheat flour. This is my first local flour that has a decent protein percentage, around 14% apparently and it just sucks up the moisture, as well as giving that ridiculous oven spring that I've been envying. It also gives that mouth feel of a high gluten bread, that not unpleasant chewy gluten in your mouth which I've only ever noticed before from added VWG! The hard red wholemeal is a sprouted flour, got a bit chopped off in my formula but think it brought some flavour to the bread, kind of hard to tell with all the inclusions.


Baked top view

Crumb series

Crumb detail

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Decided to try to make "traditional sourdough" style bread using CLAS and CY. Mostly standard formula, 25% whole wheat, 75% hydration:

I used a week-old CLAS from the fridge, and I pre-warmed it before mixing, like recommended for wheat doughs. It contained 5% of all flour for the bread, like recommended for 1st grade or high gluten flour. I reduced the yeast from recommended just a touch, since I didn't want to open a new packet, so 2.4g instead of 3 g IDY.

The dough felt just a little overhydrated, which surprised me, normally the bread flour I have can take up to 80% hydration, although the whole wheat flour I used is much more sensitive to water content. I wonder if the recent rainy weather here increased the humidity... Anyway, fermented it at 25°C, and after three sets of folds within the first 2 hours it had good strength, and was already quite active. I left it for 1 more hour where it increased in size a lot and had a lot gas trapped inside. I shaped it very gently, and probably too gently - I should have made the structure a little more robust, since after proofing the dough flattened out a bit more than I would have liked when turned out on the peel. Oven spring would have saved that though - if a little spot on the loaf didn't get stuck to the peel and got folded under the rest of the loaf! As we say in Russian, "never happened before, but here we go again". Anyway, it still rose nicely in the oven and the bread looks not too shabby. Would have been great if not for this stupid mistake.

The crumb is fantastic, relatively open, yet mostly even. Getting close to the "lacy" territory, not quite there yet. However, there are clear differences from what I would expect from a similar bread using regular sourdough (which might be explained by too much hydration?..). The crust is thinner, and almost completely lost the crispness more quickly. And I don't really detect any sourness in the taste. The crumb is also softer than I am used to. So I wonder if I would prefer higher % of CLAS in this style of bread, perhaps 8% PFF like recommended for whole grain wheat? Or maybe my young CLAS needed a refreshment (which I did this night after baking). Or should I just reduce the yeast and give LABs more time? What I think too though is that the smell is nicely more "bready"!

And now I wish I had a pH meter to compare acidity objectively from the two different methods...


Just checked on my refreshed CLAS and it exploded during the night spilling out of the container! The temperature was right as far as I can tell (I didn't get up and check during the night, but it started right, and was right now - and smells right too), so must be bacterial CO2 production. Need to find a bigger container... I wonder what this change in behavior means, if anything.

Gus's picture

White interior on loaf - is this mould?

July 7, 2021 - 1:38am -- Gus

Greetings everyone,


I am no bread expert nor baker, however I thought that this forum would be the best place to get advice on an issue  I’ve been having.

I buy my sourdough from my local shop. This is the second time that the interior of the loaf is completely white, “bleached”, looking like mould. I bought the bread and left it overnight in the fringe, slicing it the following day. As you can see by the picture, there is only an outer ring close to the crust that looks normal,

TwistedBreadStarter's picture

Levain mix: 1:1:1 versus FWSY 1:4:5

July 7, 2021 - 12:49am -- TwistedBreadStarter

I’ve started making Levain loaves using the Flour Water Salt Yeast book. In this book he uses 1:4:5 for levain:water:flour parts of the levain renewal. So that’s 80% hydration, and the levain culture put into the result is only 1/10th of it by weight.

Compare that to the standard “wet starter” where it’s simply 1:1:1 components. That’s 100% hydration, and the levain part put into the mix is 1/3rd the final result by weight.


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