The Fresh Loaf


Receive Updates

Signup to receive Updates!

The Fresh Loaf
High Extraction Sprouted Sourdough – Finally A Sort Of Real White Bread

High Extraction Sprouted Sourdough – Finally A Sort Of Real White Bread

Lucy finally got around to making a sprouted white sourdough that doesn’t have any whole grains in it….if you overlook the 6 grams of whole rye in the rye sour starter.


  Lucy kept this one at 74% average extraction for the sprouted 5 grain portion and the Kamut and wheat at 82% extraction making for an overall extraction of 78% for half the flour.  The other half of the flour was LaFama AP.


I used look in awe at Phil’s (PiPs) 80%home milled extraction sourdough and thought one day Lucy would get around to her version of it but now we have sprouted flour to add to the mix too.  We followed our general MO of late.


The levain was a 3 stage on but we timed it to be ready to hit the autolyse with the salt sprinkled on top with the salt.  We only did a 45 minute autolyse since the hard bits had been sifted out of the high extraction flour.  We have the basis of some fine Toadies with these left overs.


We did our usual 3 sets of 30 slap and folds and 2 sets of 4 slap and folds all on 30 minute intervals before pre-shaping and final shaping into a boule and being placed in a rice floured basket, bagged in a trash can liner for the 21 hours of cold retard in the fridge without any bulk ferment on the counter.


Once the dough came out of the fridge we let it rest on the cou8nter for 45 minutes before firing up Big Old Betsy to 450 F with the combo cooker and top and bottom stones in place.  Once he oven was at temp 1 1/4 hours of warm up had taken place.


The dough was un molded onto parchment on a peel, slashed in a diamond and slid into the combo cooker for 18 minutes of steam under the lid at 435 F.   Once the lid came off we continued to bake at 425 F convection this time for 5 minutes before taking the bread out of the CC and letting it finish baking on the bottom stone  for 10 ore minutes.


It bloomed, blistered and sprang well under steam and browned up well without it.  We will have to wait for lunch to see how the crumb and taste came out.


The bread stayed crispy on the out side ans was soft moist a glossy in the inside and fairly open too.  It wasn't that much different than the 50% whole sprouted grain version but it did taste a bit milder from a whole grain flavor point of view and it was more sour.  Sometimes the powerful whole grain flavor can mask some some of the sour.

We like this bread a lot and it made a fine bologna, cheese, lettuce and tomato sandwich for lunch wit the usual fixings  


SD Levain Build

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



7 Week Retarded Rye Sour






82% Extraction Whole Kamut and Wheat
























Levain Totals






82% Extraction whole Kamut and Wheat












Levain Hydration












Dough Flour






82% Extraction Whole Kanut and Wheat






La Fama AP






Sprouted 74% Extraction 5 Grain






Total Dough Flour






























Dough Hydration






Total Flour w/ Starter


















Hydration with Starter






Total Weight






80% Extraction 5 Grain












80% Extraction 5 grain sprouted  flour is equal amounts




of: spelt, wheat, barley, rye, and  Kamut -105 g total











There is 6 g of whole rye in the starter








Using old wheat berries and storage?

Using old wheat berries and storage?

Hi All-

I'm new to the forum, not new to baking, 100% whole grain baking is my preference.  I now am going to be getting into home milling.  I have a MockMill on order that should be arriving shortly.  Didn't want to invest too much money, don't have extra counter space for a counter top model, and finally, I only bake for 2 people.  I don't use my Kitchenaid mixer very much at all since getting into long preferments and stretch and fold routines...

On to my question. Last summer, I bought some wheat berries from my local farmer's market- and they are from the 2014 harvest.  I cooked them and used them in bread baking last year.  Well, I forgot about them and just found them while cleaning out the cupboard.  They have been stored in a paper/wax bag with a folded tie arrangement (like a coffee bag).  

Are the berries still good do you think?  

The berries I have for my upcoming milling have been put into large jars with metal bale/rubber seals as soon as the berries got home.  Hoping this is sufficient for storage in the cabinet.  My kitchen tends to run cool, 65 or lower in the winter, about 70-75 in the summer.  

Part of the way I justified the purchase of a mill was because I've read that berries last longer than flour.  I had to dump some expensive flour from Anson Mills that went rancid after almost a year...  I go through slumps in baking, and sometimes take off a few months...




Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Chocolate Cake

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Chocolate Cake

I signed up to make a gluten free, dairy free, chocolate cake this weekend. I think this challenge is out of my range. Any recipes or ideas would be great!

Pain au Levain - The Journey

Pain au Levain - The Journey

I know lot's of people post their Pain au Levain results, but I thought I'd share mine anyway and hopefully encourage some people to give it a go!

I've been baking for some time now, but I've been shying away from a straight 100% Sourdough recipes. The main reason was because I lacked the proper knowledge in maintaining a Sourdough Culture. I knew the basics of feeding, but lacked the understanding of when it was properly ripened for use. For example, most bread books ask for a "mature" or "ripe" sourdough, but don't tell you what that looks like or how long it takes because feeding ratios are very diverse and a starter may be over active or under-active depending on a wide variety of factors.

However, thanks to this forum, I read extensively many different opinions and recipes and finally seemed to gain the knowledge and confidence I needed to bake this recipe (Hammelman's Pain au Levain with a Rye SD starter).

My first attempt was half-decent, but lacked bloom and rise. I believe the main reason was that my starter hadn't ripened enough and my shaping wasn't tight enough. I've now come to see that creating good surface tension is critical in final shaping and even pre-shaping to an extent.

My second attempt was much better. I let my Rye starter mature until it had about doubled in size and had lots of tiny bubbles throughout, and larger bubbles on the surface (~ 12 hours). I then mixed my levain build. I left it for around 10 hours making sure I watched it until it was matured (Large bubbles + domed on the edges).

I then mixed my flour and water and left for a 45 min autolyse.

Thereafter, I mixed my final dough and did 2 S&F's at 50 minute intervals and let rest for a further 50 minutes. I ignored hammelmans advice and put the dough in the fridge overnight. In the morning I let my dough come to room temperature, and then divided and preshaped into rounds with a fairly tight pre-shape. After 30 mins I shaped the rounds into tight batards and let them proof on the linen couche. After about 2 hours, my poke test seemed good and I gave them a good 30 deg angle slash down the center with my razor blade. I then loaded them into the pre-heated oven. I poured in a cup of boiling water into a bottom tray for steam and gave a few squirts of vapour over the top of the loaves. Baked for about 35 minutes.

Overall, I was pretty chuffed with the outcome. Great ears, great color, and good flavor. Even got a few blisters. I was happy with the crumb, but I'm striving for a more open crumb in the future... Enjoy.

Komo Classic Grain Mill for sale

Komo Classic Grain Mill for sale

Hello fellow FreshLoafers,

As I will soon be moving to France for the next two years, spending the majority of my time on a farm where are cultivated wheat and einkorn that are transformed into flour and eventually bread (life is hard), I will--sadly--no longer have need of my Komo Classic Grain Mill, which has served me admirably since I purchased it this past December. This means that you will have access to an amazing piece of machinery with more than 11 years remaining on its warranty. It is in terrific shape and has been very well cared for. I would ship it out either Thursday, October 15 or Monday, October 19.

The going rate for a brand new Komo is $500. As I can't help but think that "driving it off the lot" has reduced its value, I will be offering mine for $400, plus shipping charges. I have done some research into the shipping costs, which will probably run between $35-$50, depending on your exact location. The reason it's so expensive is that it's a fairly heavy piece of machinery.

As many FreshLoafers will attest, the Komo is an absolute beast. I have processed upwards of 10 lbs of grain in one sitting and while it does take time, it produces a top-quality flour. Please send me a PM if you are interested or would like more information.


Whole wheat cinnamon raisin buns with dark chocolate

Whole wheat cinnamon raisin buns with dark chocolate

For all TFL bakers who like to bake with whole grain flours and still want to provide yourselves, your friends and families with lovely home baked treats then this recipe could be a useful one to have.  This is a healthier version of a classic cinnamon bun.  The raisins of course are optional, as is the dark chocolate topping, (although the indulgence factor is somewhat reliant on the chocolate!!) .  For full details please hop over to


Yeasty tasting sourdough cornbread?

Yeasty tasting sourdough cornbread?

I made a sourdough whole wheat cornbread today.  I had taken my whole wheat starter out of the fridge (fed 2 days ago), removed 1/2 cup, added 1/4 cup warmish water and 1/4 whole wheat flour.  Added 1 cup warmed milk (about 95 degrees), 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup corn meal and a bit more water to make a thick batter.  Let this sit at room temp for 6 hours.  Then added egg, oil, baking soda, baking powder and bit of maple syrup, baked at 350 degrees.

The bread looks beautiful and tastes okay, except it's a bit yeasty tasting for my liking.  

I was hoping to get more of a bit of tang to the bread (acid) instead of yeasty flavor.  

Can anyone help?


What happend to my breads???

What happend to my breads???

So I used my usual recipe to make my usual breads.

During the last few weeks I've done everything to make by breads sour again and this is what I have changed in my quest for sourness...

  • Keep my starter at a lower hydration (50%) in the fridge
  • Keep the temperature higher (85 deg F) for the Levain
  • Used whole wheat and/or whole rye flour
  • Longer final proofing (12+ hours) in the fridge
  • More Levain (30% of the total flour)

This morning, when I took the breads out of the fridge, I noticed that they were more proofed than usual. It was strange since I didnt really change much from my last no-sour bake. The ovenspring was pretty good and after I baked the breads, I noticed a deeper, better smell of bread/wheat. More concentrated and characteristic. When I cut the first slice and tasted it, I discovered that it was actually much more sour but not too much and very well ballanced. It is propobly the best breads I ever made!

The only thing I changed, compared to my usual way, was to give the Levain more time between every feeding. I gave it about 2 hours more after it has peaked.

The question is, can this little change really ad a LOT more flavour and sourness to the breads when all the others didnt?


Sprouting and Malting Primer

Sprouting and Malting Primer

The 25% extraction sprouted multi grain bran sifted from the 75% extraction sprouted flour.

The little green rosettes will make your muffins taste bettah and sprouted grains will make your breads taste bettah too!  Sprouting is way easier than making bread so it is perfect for Lucy and I to do for just about every bake ……and a great way to turn a 3 day sourdough bake into a 5 day one – also perfect for us retired folks looking for something to do.


Make sure you re using hulled grains if you don’t like hard to digest fiber and roughage in your flour.   I’ve seen sprouting directions out there saying to soak the grains in water for 24 hours for the first step.  Don’t do it.  You are trying to sprout them – not drown them which is what you will likely do if you soak them for 24 hours.  You want to keep grain genocide far away from you.  The first step is to weigh the grains to be soaked.


After a 4 hour max soak in water you have to put them n something so that they can sprout, you can easily rinse and drain them every 8-12 hours so that the mold is kept at bay, keep light out so no green shoots stay white instead of turning green and the cool humid air in.


I found a plastic cheese mold with small colander holes in the bottom to let the whey out when forming and pressing cheese which is also perfect for sprouting grain..  it was a bargain a 50 cents at Goodwill.


You can buy sprouting gadgets and containers online, at health food stores and in some ethnic markets too.  Many folks just use a mason jar with the solid lid removed and substitute a screen to let water out when they rinse the grain and just keep it in a dark place.


What you are trying to do is replicate how the seeds would normally germinate in the ground.  Damp – not wet, dark – no light and cool – not hot or cold.  64-70 F works  best but since you are only going to be sprouting for 24 hours total or so from when the first soaking water hits the seeds,  a bit warmer won’t mold the seeds  just rinse them more often.,


This 5 grain mix took different times for each variety to chit but no worries - it is all close enough.

After soaking, I drain the seeds in the cheese mold and rinse them in water, shake out the excess water, cover in plastic wrap and a kitchen towel to keep out the light.  I repeat this every 8- 12 hours until the seeds chit.  Different seeds chit at different rates with rye being the fastest and some ancient grains being the slowest but they all close enough to sprout together which is what I do’


Once the first white rootlets break through the seed bran shell it is called ‘chitting’ and you are now done with sprouting to make sprouted flour and ready to dry the grains.  Once the grain has chatted, I dry it in a dehydrator at 105 – 110 F for 3 hours and 30 minutes with the seeds spread pout thinly, on a single layer on the trays. 


You will know that you are done drying them enough, so they won’t clog up your mill, when they weigh about the same as they did when you first weighed them before soaking.  Once dry you can mill them and sift them like you do any flour.  Your taste buds will reward you for taking the time to make sprouted flour for all kinds of things. 

If you don’t have a dehydrator I used to dry my grain outside in the AZ but you have to figure out a way to keep the birds from eating it.  I used the broiler pan from the mini oven with the seed on the bottom covered with the vented broiler top.  I have also dried them in my mini convection oven where the lowest temperature was 150 F.  With the door ajar the seeds never got over 140 F. 

Some will say that this is too high a temperature and kills off the enzymes you are trying to promote but brewers have always been right, They use the same grain and enzymes to extract all the sugar from the starch in the grain to make beer at the fastest rate and the best temperature to do so – 150 F.  So keeping it under 150 F will do the trick.

Time to make white & red malts when the seed shoot is the length of the seed p here are two pictures showing when the seeds are finished malting

Now if you sprout your grain, in this case rye or barley, for 4 or 5 days until the shoot, not the 3 rootlets that first chit out of the seed, is the length of the seed itself then it is ready to dry to make rye malt or barley malt.  This much longer time requires more rinsing and cool temperatures to keep the mold at bay.

Once dry at 105 F you can just grind into white diastatic malt, below right, or you can take the temperature up to 325 F like the seeds above to brown them to make red non diastatic malt, below left.


 Both malts above were made from the same malted berries 

If you dry this grain at low temperature you have white, diastatic malt and if you dry it at higher temperature up to 325 F you have red, nondiastatic malt – both of which are fine bread ingredients for all kinds of reasons.

Happy Sprouting and Malting


Calling All Bread Wonks!

Calling All Bread Wonks!


As I was flipping through my news feeds today, I came across this article in the Jerusalem Post:

Low-calorie bread Catch-22 (Link below)

It is written by Master baker Les Saidel of the Saidel Artisan Baking Institute. The article is written with confidence and authority. However, there were some statements that took me by surprise based on the science. I am not a scientist, or a bread genius -- I am just a baker -- but I wonder if some of the presented information jumps out at any of my learned colleagues here on TFL.

So, I do not want to reveal exactly what it is that I am questioning, and quite frankly, everything in this article may be correct -- I think some of it is -- but please if you have a moment, read this short article and let me know if anything seems odd... or new.


Leave Your Comment:

Add Comment

More From this Publisher

Celebrity Plastic Surgery
Cancer Symptoms
Latest Health Tips
EMR Updates
Fat Burning for All

See All

Important Links

Join Empower Network
Get Your Own Page Like This!