The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Recent Blog Entries

SugarOwl's picture


My husband wanted "Carraba's" bread, so I made some No-Knead Bread based on Jim Lahey's. This bread is about 90% hydration, I think it's easier to work with than the lower ones since I can feel when the dough needs to rest better (it's dramatically different).

  No Knead Bread

  •  100g Bread Flour
  • 73g All Purpose Flour
  • 156g water
  • 4g Salt
  • 2g Yeast

  Mixed all and let sit in a container for 11 hours at about 74F. Mixture was bubbly and smelled fermented in the morning. Put in the refrigerator for about 1.5 hours. Lightly floured the top and did some stretch and folds in the bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes. Sprinkled a pinch of an Italian seasoning blend, then sprinkled on more flour and did more stretch and folds in the bowl.


Left out for about 30 minutes. Not quite doubled.


Preheated oven for 425F. Stretched the dough out a bit and did some finger poking all over it instead of scoring. Baked for 20 minutes. Took it out and rubbed a butter stick on the top. Put back in for 5 more minutes. Bread temperature read 205F.


Bread was puffed up like a balloon. It was about 1/2” tall before going into the oven. I probably should've scored it or let it do it's final rise longer. But no explosions at least!



This is for lunch so I'll report back on how it tastes later.

Update: It tasted pretty good, but too chewy for me. I think that's the bread flour though, so maybe less bread flour and more all purpose flour. The seasoning was very subtle, two pinches needed if not using an oil with seasoning dipping sauce. To make it really good, it needs some onion-garlic-salt-butter brushed on top after baking. I prefer garlic on top of bread instead of in it.

I'm not big on big holes, this sopped up pasta sauce pretty well. Next time I'll let it rise fully before putting in and see how big the holes are.

HeiHei29er's picture

Had planned to try a white sandwich loaf with 10% barley flour today, but my copy of Rheinhart's "Whole Grain Breads" arrived yesterday.  Skimming through it and his section on mashes caught my eye.  What could make better mash than barley?  :-)

I've been messing around with using RYW and mother starter for my levains lately, and I continued that with this one.  I also added some juiced up RYW to the final dough (40g refrigerated RYW with 1g brown sugar added and then let come to room temp).  For the mash, I prepared per Rheinhart's method (I did not add the diastatic malt and increased the flour by that amount).  My initial hydration was 230%, but I lost a little due to evaporation.  I weighed the final mash and subtracted the weight loss from the water to get the final mash percentages.

I used the simple pan method and immediately moved to shaping after a long, slow gluten development.

The bread smelled like beer throughout the first half of the bake.  Very easy to recognize!  

After the first 10 minutes out of the pan, internal temp was 173 deg (temp probe was not sticky at all when pulled from the loaf).  I put it back in for 8 more minutes at 375 deg, and it shot up to 209 deg!  I was worried about over-cooking it, so I stopped at that point.  After the cooling, the top of the loaf dimpled in a few spots and the bread feels moist.  Rheinhart said the mash gives it a moist, creamy texture, so I'm hoping that's what I'm feeling and that it's not completely undercooked.  I'll find out tomorrow morning.

EDIT:  Crumb is creamy.  Seems moist, but nothing sticks to the knife blade when slicing.  Crust was just starting to burn before crumb started browning when making toast this morning.  Not sure if that's undercooked or the nature of the crumb with using a mash.  Also, here's how to make the mash...

1) Pre-heat oven to 170 deg F.  If you have an oven than can be set to Warm at 150 deg, even better.

2) Turn off oven, and then heat water in saucepan to 165 deg.  Add flour(s) to the water, stir to hydrate, cover, and immediately put in the oven.

3)  If you don't have the warm setting (I don't), start the oven for short periods and then shut off.  Ideally, you will have an oven thermometer next to the mash.  You need to keep the oven temp between 148 - 158 deg F.  You want to keep the temperature below 170 deg F to protect the alpha-amylase enzymes, but high enough to denature the beta-amylase enzymes.

4) Hold the temp in the 148-158 deg F range for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.  Allow to cool before use.  Can keep on the counter for up to 24 hours or can freeze for up to 3 months. 



Benito's picture

Shisaido black sesame sourdough, shisaido is seaside in Japanese.  I called it this because of the seaweed, the nori flakes that are in this bread.  The smell of this bread just out of the oven is divine, you can smell the nori and the black sesame seeds.  This is my country loaf with nori and black sesame seeds, so my base sourdough recipe.

The levain build is overnight along with an overnight saltolyse for convenience.  In the morning add the levain to the dough and do Rubaud kneading for a few minutes.  Rest and then slap and fold until full gluten development.  500 done.  Rest 20 mins.  Bulk temperature 82ºF.

Bench letter fold, rest 30 mins. Set up aliquot jar.  

Lamination add black sesame seeds and 10 g of crushed nori sheets.  Rest 30 mins and do coil folds about 30 mins apart waiting for the dough to relax.  Four and a half coil folds done.

Shaped into batard when aliquot jar showed 60% rise.

Warm bench proof until aliquot jar 95-100% rise then cold retard for 7 hours.


Preheat oven 500ºF with dutch oven inside.

Once over reaches temp, turn dough out of banneton, score and bake in dutch oven for 20 mins at 450ºF with lid on.  Drop temperature to 420ºF and bake 10 mins with lid on.


Remove lid band bake for 20 mins or until done with the bread out of the dutch oven on rack directly.


leslieruf's picture

This is just a simple 1:2:3 bread with 30% of the flour being organic stoneground Australian Emmer flour.

Levain:  Thursday afternoon first refresh.  20 g refrigerated starter + 20 g water + 20 g bread flour

Thursday evening before bed 50 g first build + 50 g water + 50 g flour. leave over night on bench, room temperature dropped to about 19°C.  

Friday about 9 am refrigerated as I had to go out.

Friday midday remove levain from fridge

12:15 pm autolyse 113 g Emmer flour + 262 g bread flour + 250 g water

 mix on speed 1 until all incorporated about 2 minutes. cover and leave

13:00 pm:  Add 125 g levain and mix 2 minutes on speed 1.  Added 6.75 g salt and mixed another 2 minutes. Very soft dough but not too sticky.  So whilst I sprayed oil in bulk fermentation container I gave it another minute on speed 1.  I didn’t want to over mix, rather just enough and build the rest of strength with folds. 

13:15 pm Cover and rest 30 minutes

13:45 pm Coil folds.  This was repeated 3 more times with dough getting better each fold

I was heading out so at 17:05 pm I preshaped dough then at 17:20 pm final shape and into banneton and then the refrigerator.  A little concerned as I prefer to give the dough a little bench time before retarding.

This morning,preheated oven and DO to 240°C. Scored, then spritzed dough and popped it into the oven for 15 minutes with lid on then 16 minutes lid off.   Internal temperature 98°C (208° F).

So far looking good!  this dough was lovely to work with even though it was very soft.  I think hydration would be 71-72%.  

The big test is of course the crumb - will post later when cut.  will up the % of Emmer next time but doubt I will go to 100% because of cost and availability.



Kistida's picture

I'm not a fan of very tangy/acidic sourdough bread, that's why I normally don't proof my loaf for extended periods in the fridge. The only time an overnight loaf didn't taste very sour was when I used a stiff starter and there were cinnamon sugar and raisins in the loaf.

My liquid starter Prune is slowly getting back to normal but it’s not peaking at its usual 4 hours yet. For this loaf, it almost-peaked at 6 hours but I used it anyway. I used Maurizio’s all-purpose sourdough but adjusted it for a smaller loaf with a bit of spelt flour, cranberries, walnuts and sugared orange zest.

The inclusions were added in the 2nd hour of bulk fermentation. I rubbed 1 tbsp of sugar with the orange zest and mixed this into the dough with the chopped cranberries and toasted walnuts.

Because I started mixing late (blame Prune ?), the final proof started only at 7pm. So, the loaf stayed at room temperature for 2 hours and then, left to chill next to the milk on the bottom shelf of the fridge.

For some reason my oven did not stay at 230°C (reduced from 250°C preheat) after the loaf was placed in it early this morning (kitchen was 21°C). It dropped to 230° then, hovered at 220°C so I timed the bake anyway – 45 minutes.

And, the zest use was worth it! The acidic tang was there yet mild but barely noticeable thanks to the aroma from the orange zest. The next time I make this loaf, I will add the zest and sugar at the beginning of bulk fermentation so the zest gets incorporated thoroughly. Probably better to preheat my oven more than 45 minutes, and bake longer for a thicker crust.

Like my 6" small cake pan, I use a small 8" banneton for such small loaves (enough for 6-8 slices). I cover this with a sewn double layer cover from high thread-count cotton pillowcase (we've way too many for 2 people!) and trusty shower caps (I gather them from our travels). The cotton cover and shower cap are also used for my mixing bowls.

Help: can anyone tell me how do I adjust my posts to eliminate those extra spaces?

dabrownman's picture

This one was 40 % Whole Grain Rye, 60% unbleached AP Wheat with 4% rehydrated dried minced onions ( weight before rehydrated) and 4% Black and brown Caraway. 2% salt at 75% hydration overall.

16% whole rye levain made with 20 g of NMNF rye starter with all of the bran from the fresh milled rye in the levain.

The 100 % hydration levain doubled overnight.  Once everything was mixed the next morning we let it sit for an hour before we did 100 slap and folds and 3 sets of stretch and folds on 40 minute intervals.  We then did a final proof of  2.5 hours before baking lid on at 425 F for 18 minutes and lid off for 23 minutes until it hit 205 F in the middle.

This bread smells terrific!  Can't wait to get some home made lox on it!

Lucy is still hanging in there at 17 but her hind quarters are not working well, her eyesight is a bit weak and she is totally deaf now.

This bread is delicious and is a fine example of Jewish Deli Rye.  Perfect with a Schmear and some home made lox!

Happy JDR baking to everyone!


Kistida's picture

I simply added ingredients to make a small single layer orange cake for dessert today. The 6” pan is preferred because it provides enough cake for 2 human beings without guilt of over-stuffing our bellies or having to cope with leftover dessert. :D 


  • 115g all purpose flour 
  • 5g corn flour 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 60g sugar 
  • 25g unsalted butter 
  • 20g light olive oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten 
  • 60g fresh orange juice 
  • 60g milk
  • Optional: chocolate chips, nuts, sugar 

Orange syrup 

  • 1/4 cup orange juice 
  • 4 tbsp sugar 
  • 1 tsp orange zest

Sift dry ingredients in a bowl.

Rub the zest into the sugar (releases fragrant essential oils and lightly tints the cake yellow). Then, butter, oil and beaten egg. 

Weigh juice and milk in a measuring cup (this makes an orangy buttermilk). Then, alternate milk and flour mixtures into the sugar mixture. 

Pour into grease and lined pan. I used chocolate chips and a sprinkling of about 1 tsp sugar. 

Place the pan on a quarter sheet and bake for 28-30 minutes at 180°C. After baking, let the cake cool for about 10 minutes then loosen it out onto a cooling rack. Remove the parchment paper on its base, flip the cake topside up and poke the cake all over with a toothpick/skewer and drizzle/brush orange syrup over the warm cake. About 45 minutes (couldn’t wait any longer), I took a little slice and was pleasantly surprised by the citrusy burst of flavor. So happy with this first time bake. 

A few days ago, I tried making the Invisible Apple Cake (Gâteau Invisible is its fancy name). I guess the Ambrosia apples I used were overly juicy because the cake stayed relatively wet even after the batter had set. And the cake shrank a little once cooled too. 
I checked with Bea (the owner of that El Mundo Eats site) and she said it looks fine and just to bake a little longer with a foil tent. This was a very tasty cake but I will make it again when I get new bags of apples. ??

SugarOwl's picture

I am once again trying The Approachable Loaf from the 2020 Community Bake

Link here:

This time I am replacing some of the Whole Wheat with Bread Flour and am adding the Honey back in. Total Amounts are still the same for a 1,000g loaf.


Total DoughGramsPercent
Whole Wheat Flour35268.00%
Bread Flour16832.00%
Total Flour518100.00%
Instant Yeast50.80%
Olive Oil275.25%
Hold Water53 



WW Flour352
Yeast (pinch)0.25


I saw someone did a 100% poolish on another post with whole wheat bread so I thought I would just do all my whole wheat as a poolish. I have a bad habit of experimenting before I even get the basics down so if this doesn't work out I'll just go make some muffins and do some cake planning (my son's birthday coming up).

I also read that Hamelman mixes his yeast with the water before adding in the flour (poolish), so I think I'll do that too. He also mixes a little water at a time in the center of the dough when using a dough hook for kneading. He pulls out the hook then puts a little water in that empty space in the middle and then continues mixing. Water, mix, water, mix. I may use my mixer, but it's a good mental note for the next time I do.

The poolish will be started as soon as my littlest one goes to bed.

(I also have no idea why my spreadsheet looks like that.)



I let the poolish go for 16 hours. I saw short gluten strands when I pulled it back. I'm guessing those strands are gluten, they look kind of gross, like melting skin from a horror movie or the wrinkles on your fingers after a long bath. Sorry for the visual. That's the best way I can think of to describe it. I'm not sure it was done yet, but it did smell wheaty with a hint of changing to alcohol.

I did score it before baking. I thought it was too deep and too much, but you can barely tell I did any scoring. I scored two long ones on the side (about 3/4"-1" deep) and several small /short ones down the middle. So I guess it's a good thing I did. I also thought it had bulk fermented too long, but it rose just fine in the oven.

I ran into a two problems but I did what I could.

Problem 1: I accidentally added an extra 100grams of water (in addition to the hold out water, for a grand total of 152g extra). I forgot that I had added all the water into the poolish and was only going to add the 52grams. It was a very slack dough, so I added 76grams of whole wheat plus a little extra for dusting. I did 3 stretch and folds with 30 minutes in between each one. After the last stretch and fold I shaped it and put it into a dark loaf pan.

Problem two: I baked it for 45 minutes, in a dark loaf pan, at.... 425F the whole time. I was meaning to turn it down after I put it in, but I was still mad at myself for the extra water so I forgot to do so. Top was a little singed in places.

Well, it turned out fine, except for the slightly burnt top (which I cut off later so it would fit in the container). The loaf rose higher this time and even though I was afraid there was not enough gluten development, it did not seem fragile this time. I like the addition of the bread flour, it mellowed out the wheat taste for my kids and probably added more gluten since I do not keep vital wheat gluten on hand. It was better with the honey this time around. For a different flavor, I wonder if a different type of wheat could be used.

I think I will stick with Floyd's Honey Whole Wheat under Favorite Recipes but I might revisit this again. I enjoy reading everyone's posts on the Community Bakes, even when the science bread geeks get technical.

Here's the loaf. First one is on the left, current one on the right.

justkeepswimming's picture

After reading Benito's recent bake, I realized it's been years since I made a simple white bread. Life finally gave me a little room to bake something reasonably quick, so I went with this KAB small Pain de Mie. (Benny, looks like you inspired several of us.... ?)

I followed their recipe and things went just they said.... until it came time to proof the loaf. A last minute change of plans came up, so after bulk and shaping, it went into the fridge for final proof. Six hours later, I put it on the counter while the oven preheated. It rose in the fridge, but only to about an inch below the pan edge. My choice was to wait longer, or cross my fingers and see what oven spring might do if I tried a cold bake (which I have never tried before). I went with the cold-ish bake. Baked in a 9x4 in Pullman pan with the lid on for 25 min at 350F, then lid off for 10 min. The crust was still a tad under baked, so I added another 5 min. bake time. Internal temp 197 when I took it out to cool overnight. 

Not too bad! I think if I had let it warm up and rise a bit more before baking, I would have gotten the square top. It has a very soft crust and crumb, and tastes like - plain bread, lol. I have a personal preference for the various flavors SD and whole grain breads offer, so I am not likely to make this very often. Still, it's worth having as something to do when a basic white bread (or rolls?) are needed.




Benito's picture

This is the first time I’ve eaten an Ichigo Daifuku so I can say it the best I’ve ever eaten ?. This is the second time making mochi and I don’t think I’ve shared the method I found on the net that makes this so easy to prepare.  Normally, the traditional Japanese method is to prepare glutinous rice and then pound it for hours and hours.  OK I do NOT have time for that so there is a shortcut.  Does the shortcut make exactly the same chewy texture we so love about mochi, not quite, but it is good enough for most of us except diehard mochi perfectionists (not me).


115 g glutinous rice flour

60 g sugar

125 mL water

8 tbsp anko

8 small strawberries

1 tbsp potato starch (preferred by Japanese) or cornstarch



  • In a large bowl, mix together the 1 heaped cup of glutinous rice flour, 4 tbsp of sugar and 1/2 cup of water until combined.
  • Loosely cover with cling wrap and microwave for 1 minute.
  • With the spoon, give it a quick mix, re-cover and pop back in for another minute.
  • Get a spatula, and wet it in water. Pull the mochi away from the sides and fold it in until it's a rough dough ball shape. It should be sticky and pliable, with the colour turning from bright white to a more translucent cream.
  • Spread the cornstarch on a clean dry surface, and pop the mochi onto it using the wet spatula. Cover it with cornstarch until it's no longer sticky, molding it into a thick and flat disc, and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • make 8 tbsp size balls of anko and place on a plate
  • Clean and hull 8 small strawberries
  • wrap each strawberry with the anko all around leaving just the tip of the strawberry exposed.
  • Repeat until all the strawberries are wrapped in anko.
  • Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with more cornstarch. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces, ideally with a bench scraper (it can be easier to visualize if you cut the round into fourths and then divide each of those in half).

  • Dust your hands with a little cornstarch before handling the sticky dough (an excessive amount will dry out the dough too much and make forming the balls harder). Roll a piece into a ball, then flatten into a disc 2 1/2 to 3 inches wide. The dough should be soft and malleable. Place the anko covered strawberry in the center of your disk of mochi with the exposed tip of the strawberry pointing down.  Then gradually and careful fold the disk of mochi over the anko covered strawberry twisting to seal the dough.

    It can help to flip the round seam side down to form it into a neater ball. Roll the mochi in the cornstarch pressing a little to help it adhere, reshaping the ball as needed. If your hands are feeling sticky, just dust again with cornstarch. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling (you may have some filling left over, which can be stirred into yogurt or oatmeal). Work as quickly and confidently as you can so the dough doesn’t get too cold.

    Serve immediately.


Subscribe to Recent Blog Entries