The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

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alfanso's picture

Posted my first experience with the Kingdom Bakery Ciabatta the other day, and was pleased with the results, but tinker I must.

Changes this time employed a trifecta of pro baker's techniques, starting with the Kingdom mixing and BF, followed by the Ciril Hitz method of divide, and then the Scott MeGee method of shaping. 

The final three folds were performed on a watered bench-top with no flour. And I ensured that after each fold I returned the dough to the vessel seam side down.  

The dough was incredibly active at the three hour BF mark, yielding a very jiggly and unstable mass for divide and shaping, more so than with the Scott MeGee formula.  This made the dough difficult to shape in the Scott MeGee style, something that I've grown to greatly prefer.  The loaves were well floured (read as too much flour for my tastes) and therefore no issue to remove from the couche, basically merely rolling the loaf over on the couche and handling it from the ends.  The first was the shortest and most difficult to shape.

These baked several minutes less time than the last batch, and the lighter coloration and denser, heavier loaf testifies to this.  Still quite tasty.

After the last bake I was asked whether my BF had tripled.  Here is the today BF with the black dot indicating where it began. 3 hrs @78dF.

Overall I feel as though there was some technique improvements, and a better loft on the loaves, but I was expecting more from the shaping, which is usually not much of an issue with me.

1500g = 3 ciabatta loaves.


ifs201's picture

My grain source is undergoing some changes and is temporarily closed so I'm running really low on supplies (other than rye). I am breaking more intuitively these days since I'm short on time, but the bread is about 35% rye, 5% whole wheat, and 5% whole spelt. The remainder is KABF. 2% salt, 20% rye levain, and 6 hour bulk around 70 degrees followed by overnight in the fridge. 

I had made some trail mix for my husband as he needed to take a short road trip (dried banana, cranberries, raisin, walnut, and almonds). I threw what he didn't finish into one loaf. In the other loaf I added everything but the bagel seasoning from Trader Joe's (salt, garlic, onion, sesame, poppy seeds). 

Really tender and delicious loaves. Nothing to look at, but I like these a lot. 

HeiHei29er's picture

I've been tweaking this recipe a little each bake and narrowing it down to a method that works for me.  Have tried it as sourdough, but I like it better with raisin yeast water.  The toasted buckwheat really comes through, and I've slowly reduced the amount so it doesn't overpower everything else.  Have tried it as both a hearth loaf and a pan loaf, but it's really working better for me as a pan so far.  It's hard to keep good strength with the non gluten flours and the inclusions, so the hearth loaves tend to flatten more than rise.  Today, I tried Dan's loaf pan method and it worked great!

I do a two part levain build using the RYW from my refrigerator.  Normally I do nothing but RYW, but I ran out for this bake (have some fermenting), so I topped it off with regular water and added 0.5g ADY during final mix.

This bread is 70% WW, 20% spelt, 5% toasted buckwheat, and 5% oat flour with a barley, oat and buckwheat soaker.  It has a hearty flavor that I really enjoy as toast with my oatmeal in the morning and it makes delicious French toast.  Something about the combination of the toasted buckwheat in the bread and the cinnamon in the egg mixture...

Will post a crumb shot later tonight.  Will probably slice this one for dinner and see how it does as a turkey and cheddar panini.


EDIT:  Crumb photo added.  Didn’t get this one cooked all the way.  I hit 210 deg for final internal temp, but it’s just a little on the moist side.  I’m hoping it cures a little bit over the next day or two.  Texture and flavor are good though, and it made a great sandwich for dinner!


Danni3ll3's picture

 My daughter noticed a local bakery use this mix of spice in their bread and asked me to make something similar. When I researched this particular mix, I discovered that it was called German Bread spice. So I tweaked the grains in one of my favourite porridge bread recipes (I’m all about porridge bread these days... Thank you to Ian for convincing me!) and tossed in these spices. 




Makes 3 loaves

German Spice Mixture

(Procedure in recipe)

1/2 tsp anise seed

1/2 tsp fennel seed

1/2 tsp caraway seed

1/2 tsp coriander seed



100 g large rolled oats

200 g water

45 g honey

40 g butter



700 g strong bakers unbleached flour

100 g freshly milled wholegrain Red Fife berries 

100 g freshly milled wholegrain Selkirk berries 

100 g freshly milled wholegrain Rye berries 

50 g freshly ground flax seeds

700 g water

23 g pink Himalayan salt

30 g yogurt

250 g levain (procedure in recipe)

Extra wholegrain and unbleached flour of your choice for feeding the levain



The day before:

1. Take 2 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 4 g of filtered water and 4 g of wholegrain flour. Place in a warm spot for about 8 hours. 


The night before:

1. Mill the berries from the various grains. Place the required amounts of each milled flour in a tub. Grind the flax seeds and add to the tub. Add the unbleached flour to the tub as well. Cover and set aside.

  1. Toast the whole spices for the German Spice in a dry frying pan until lightly fragrant. Grind in a spice or coffee mill. Reserve. 
  2. Feed the levain 20 g of water and 20 g of wholegrain flour. Let that rise at cool room temperature for the night. 


Dough Making day:

1. Early in the morning, feed the levain 100 g of filtered water and 50 g each of strong baker’s flour and whole grain. Let rise until doubled (about 5-6 hours). 

2. About two hours before the levain is ready, put 700 g filtered water in a stand mixer’s bowl and add the flours from the tub.  Mix on the lowest speed until all the flour has been hydrated. This takes a couple of minutes. Autolyse for at least a couple of hours at room temperature. 

3. Make the porridge: Add the water, the butter, the honey, and the spices to the rolled oats and cook on low until water is absorbed and porridge is creamy. 

4. Once the autolyse is done, add the salt, the yogurt, and the levain to the bowl. Mix on the lowest speed for a minute to integrate everything, then mix on the next speed for 8 minutes. At the end of the 8 minutes, add the porridge and mix until incorporated.

5. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place in a lightly oiled covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes in a warm spot (oven with light on). 

6. Do 2 sets of coil folds at 30 minute intervals and then 2 more sets at 45 minute intervals, and then let the dough rise 40%. This only took another 15-20 minutes as the kitchen was quite warm. It should have irregular bubbles visible through the sides of the container and  bubbles on top as well. 

7. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~800 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 30 minutes on the counter. 

8. Do a final shape by flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and cross over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough towards from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make a nice tight boule.

9. Sprinkle a  mix of rice flour and all purpose flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons. Cover and let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge overnight. 

Baking Day

1. The next morning, about 11 hours later, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully but quickly place the dough seam side up inside. 

2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes at 425 F. Internal temperature should be 205 F or more.


I believe these were a bit underproofed considered the way they split open during baking. Maybe leaving them in a fridge a bit longer might have been beneficial. 

_JC_'s picture

Sourdough Sunday! So pleased with this bake, my ideal crumb!!!



70g Whole Wheat Flour

280g Strong Bread Flour

270g Water

70g Starter(100% Hydration))

7g Salt

Mixed all ingredients in a mixer until gluten is developed, took about 10 minutes in total at medium to high speed

Did 2 sets of stretch and folds with 30 minutes intervals.

Proof/proved it 1 hour at room temperature and 3 hours @ 4°C-5°C(fridge)


Baked on steel plate with stainless steel bowl cover at 250°C for 20 minutes, uncovered for another 25 minutes @ 220°C

gavinc's picture

Getting ready for our camping adventure over Easter with family. Baked these Hamelman's Traditional English Hot Cross Buns today. I may have to bake another lot. These are 75-gram dough each; formula below.


HeiHei29er's picture

I took another shot at Vermont Sourdough today.  After my attempt a couple weeks ago, I wanted to see if the tweaks I made to my starter maintenance would speed up the bulk ferment.  Ironically, I think it actually went slower.

Overall, can't complain.  Got decent oven spring, a nice color and crispiness to the crust, and the aroma is pleasant with just a bit of tang.  I think it will taste good.  Was shooting for my typical sandwich loaf type crumb, and will see tomorrow if I hit that. 

With the bakes I have planned tomorrow morning and the rest of the day's schedule, I just needed to wrap this bake up today.  I moved to shaping after 7 hours of bulk even though I was only at 60% on the aliquot jar.  Dough was rising and had some jiggle, but not where I wanted it to be.  After 3 hours of final proofing, I was getting close to 90% on the aliquot jar and decided to call it a day. 

I love the flavor I get from this bread, but if I keep making it, I may need to change my schedule for this recipe and make it an overnight BF.



EDIT:  Crumb shot added.  Everyone has their preferences, but for me, this is the ideal crumb!  Makes me rethink my complaints about fermentation time.  Maybe this is one of those recipes where I have to adapt to fit its schedule.  :-)

Kistida's picture

almost time for Easter breads/braids (not that it’s a thing in our house but I like playing with the bread calculator over at FoodGeek’s site - recipe here)

This was made with an overnight preferment instead of my usual TZ method. I’m gonna double the recipe for a wreath version next. Maybe with some eggs wedged into the dough like “Pane di Pasqua”. 

The lil swirls got smooshed!?



loaflove's picture

This blog entry is more of a diary for me to keep track of my bakes . This morning I woke up feeling adventurous and inspired by Benito's psychedelic swirly loaf and decided to modify my pain de mie recipe which i had great success with the one and only time I tried it.   Now this is an IDY formula from Betty Hung's  French Pastry 101 book.  She is the owner of a french patisserie in Vancouver.  I also was motivated by wanting to use up some leftover red bean soup and matcha powder nearing its BBD..  so I decided  to make a red bean matcha swirl pain de mie.  I cooked down the red bean soup and mashed the beans until not many whole beans were left.  That left me with a paste when it cooled down.  My next problem was how to incorporate the matcha powder into half of the dough.  After kneading with the KA mixer i removed half the dough and tried to hand knead about one tablespoon of matcha into the other half of the dough, a task that i found very difficult as the powder wasn't incorporating nicely to give me a homogeneous green dough.  i added a bit of water and machine kneaded it  but ended up with more of a marble green and white dough rather than a nice solid green.  I didn't want to over knead so I left it as it was.  After the both doughs doubled in volume i sandwiched the red bean paste between the green marble and white dough and rolled it up, placed into pullman to rise for one hour or so.  Just waiting for it to rise now then I will bake it! Be right back after these messages.

Hi i'm back. Yikes i  proofed in oven using proof setting and dough reached its height in 45 min.  i need time to preheat oven and by that time the dough hit the lid of the pan.  hope it'll be ok , oven temp acting funny.  anyway timed for a 40 min bake. supp to be at 375.   will rotate half way thru.  will prob add extra time due to the moisture from the red bean paste may need more time. yikes i forgot to rotate the pan half way thru the 40 min bake.  rotated with 8 min left. i added 5 min to bake. I love the consistency of using a pullman pan but the loaf seems to have sunken a bit with cooling   hope it's ok. 

Now for the taste.  It tasted good toasted with butter but i don't taste much red bean or matcha.  I'll have to put a thicker layer of red bean next time.  i forgot to note that i subbed 5% with WW and used APF instead of bread flour as stated in formula.  I'm really happy with the crumb. You can't beat the predictability and the consistency of commercial yeast i have to admit. 


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