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The Fresh Loaf
Caramelized Hazelnut Sourdough Square

Caramelized Hazelnut Sourdough Square

This is my first time making a ciabatta shape




Semolina&Kamut&PoppySeed Levain

Semolina&Kamut&PoppySeed Levain


  • 269g BF (52%)
  • 103g Kamut (20%)
  • 78g Semolina (15%)
  • 140g Levain (13% bf 13%water)
  • 26g Toasted SesameSeeds (5%)
  • 346g Water (67%)
  • 10g Salt (2%)

The evening before baking I mixed up my levain using 7g active chef and 200 or so grams of both water and flour and let it ferment at an albeit cool room temp overnight plus some of the following morning.  I made extra for a different project and the additional flour and water with out a significant increase in chef caused for a slower fermentation for the levain, which was fine. When I was ready to start mixing I added everything but the salt and sesame seeds and let it sit for an hour, during this time I toasted the seeds in a dry cast iron and made sure they were cool. 

After the hour had passed I mixed in the seeds and salt and gave the already pretty developed dough a minute or so of slap and folds followed by a rest and a few more folds. Then I let it ferment for an additional four hours at room temp with a few stretch and folds at the 1, 2 and 2 and a half hour marks. 

Five hours later I shaped the loaf and rolled it on a wet towel then rolled it on a plate full of black sesame seeds and popped it in my pullman pan for 4 hours.

Four hours later I baked it at 450 for an hour then took it out of the pan and baked it for another 10 minutes.


mmmmm mm this is some tasty bread, its both buttery and earthy and the sesame seeds both on the inside and out contribute a great nuttyness that I am a big fan of. I was also very pleased and a bit surprised at how well the dough came together with two flours that didn't contribute much gluten to the mix. I expect this one will go fast and I will make it again for sure. 

Durum Tangzhong Bread Act II

Durum Tangzhong Bread Act II

I really loved the way the first version of this bread came out but I wanted to change it slightly and see if I could make it even better.

The only changes I made was to build the levain using Durum flour in a 2 step build.  I also used garlic infused olive oil instead of plain olive oil.  I also used a new proofing basket I just purchased which fit the amount of dough produced perfectly.

The results were excellent.  I like the flavor and creamy texture the increased durum starter imparted on the final bread.


Durum Tangzhong Sourdough Act II (%)

Durum Tangzhong Sourdough Act II (weights)

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.


Tangzhong is the technique of heating a portion of the flour and liquid in your recipe to approximately 65C to make a paste (roux).  At this temperature the flour undergoes a change and gelatinizes.  By adding this roux to your final dough it will help create a soft, fluffy, moist open crumb.  It is also supposed to help prevent the bread from going stale.

It is not very difficult to do a Tangzhong.  Use a  5 to 1 liquid to solid ratio (so 250g liquid to 50g flour) and mix it together in a pan.  Heat the pan while stirring constantly.  Initially it will remain a liquid, but as you approach 65C it will undergo a change and thicken to an almost pudding like consistency.  Take it off the heat and let it cool before using it in your recipe.  Some people will refrigerate it for a while but you can use it right away as soon as it cools.

Levain Directions Build 1 (Using AP Starter at 66% Hydration for Seed)

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my Proofer set at 81 degrees and it took about 4 hours.

Levain Directions Build 2

Add the ingredients to the Build 1 levain and mix thoroughly and cover.  Let it sit at room temperature until the starter has doubled.

Main Dough Directions
Prepare the Tangzhong per directions above and allow to cool to room temperature.

Mix the flours, Tangzhong and water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes.  Next add the salt, oil and starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and  mix on low for a minute.   Mix for a total of 6 minutes in your mixer starting on low-speed and switching to speed #2 for the last 2 minutes.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (If you have a proofer you can set it to 78 degrees and only leave the dough out for 1 hour to 1.5 hours before placing in the refrigerator).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desire and cover with a moist lint free towel or sprayed plastic wrap.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.  Note: I used my proofer set to 80 degrees and it took a little over an hour to be ready.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown.

Let them cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.




First sourdough

First sourdough

Hi everyone!

I have been lurking for a while, baking loaves from FWSY using poolish and biga.  I finally decided to try the Levain recipes, but couldn't bring myself to use the quantities of flour required to follow the starter instructions in that book.  After reading Deborah Wink's instructions on the site here, and not so patiently tending the goop for 10 days, I finally had a starter that seemed promising.  I decided on making the Field Blend #1, as I am partial to rye flavor, and this is the result.  It's still too hot to cut, but it looks pretty good to me!

Going Dutch !

Going Dutch !

Figured it was time I tried a bake in a dutch oven.  We have a Le Crueset pot but it is wide and shallow and thus not suitable.  After hunting around I figured I could use this steamer pot which was sitting in a cupboard.


Seemed ideal, plenty deep enough, round and with a lid.   Turned out to be really good.   The proofed loaf dropped in smoothly with parchment paper and the loaf rose very well.  I think I'll be using this pot quite a lot from now on !

The loaf I made was loosely based on Chad's Tartine Country Bread, however I wanted more wholewheat than his 10%.   I used a wholewheat starter and I also had a bag of Malthouse flour to hand (a blend of wheat, rye and flaked malted grains) so I threw some of that in as well.  So plenty of wheat in this loaf.  Hydration was about 70% and the crumb came out pretty well.

White Bread Flour - 350g

Wholewheat Flour - 100g

Malthouse Flour50g

Water - 330g

WW Starter (@100%) - 100g



Autolyse (F+W+Y) - 30min

Added salt then rested - 30min

Stretch+fold every 30min for 2hrs

Shape and banneton

Retard in fridge overnight - 12 hrs

Rest 45min at room temp then baked 15 mins lid on, 25-30 mins lid off

I made a similar loaf to this last week and baked on a stone and it came out much flatter as the dough spread after being turned out.  The Dutch oven approach clearly offers side support and produces a nicer looking loaf imo.




Gourmalicious- My very own little home bakery

Gourmalicious- My very own little home bakery

Hi all, I am very excited to share that I have finally started selling my baked products to a select group of customers and got extremely flattering reviews. I bake before leaving home on 1-2 workdays  and then half day over weekends with a full time job I only bake as hobby. Some of the things that really picked up and people loved them include: 1-Garlic Knots 2-Pleated bread with different fillings 3- Cheese and herb loaf. I am sharing the images here. 

Garlic Knots

Garlic Knots

These are straight dough retarded overnight and shaped proved in the morning, coated with olive oil butter, parmeson, home grow chives and basil. 

Help with maths

Help with maths

I need 182g of active starter @ 75% hydration, 5% rye + 95% wholemeal.

My Starter is 100% hydration rye

How do I create the pre-ferment?


Too much for me all this mathematics.


P.s. I know it asks for refreshing the starter in 2 feedings but I wish to only create one pre-ferment.

Trying again after the salt fiasco

Trying again after the salt fiasco

Today I baked four pan loaves of Vermont Sourdough with whole wheat.  This time I just mixed the levain, flours and water to they were well mixed and looked like mashed potatoes.  After a one hour autolyse at 70F I added fine salt and kneaded for about ten minutes.  I noticed more strength in this dough.  It is possible that the whole wheat was a bit coarser than usual since I had it apart a couple to clean out the rye.  My wife is not a rye fan.  The dough could possibly used more water but not much.

I folded the dough twice at 50 minute intervals per the instructions in the book.  I used wet hands to help with the sticky dough and to help a bit with moisture.  At the end of 2 1/2 hours the dough looked good.  I divided it into four 20+ oz loaves and shaped them for the pans.  They did their final fermentation for 2 1/2 hours in the pans.

I preheated the oven to 425F this time and misted water on the loaves and into the oven.  This was not a serious attempt at steaming but just to see if I could make the crust a bit darker and crisper.

The recipe was modified to provided about 84 ounces of dough, reduce the salt content to 1.75% and to bake in pans  I used the last of a starter I was discontinuing and the rest was from a AP flour culture I have.  I now just have rye and AP cultures but they all shared a common source.  The whole wheat was hard red turkey wheat that I milled right before using it.

Impression.  Salt content is correct for my wife and I but perhaps too light for some.  Almost no sour flavor. The crumb feels like sourdough but the bread is lightly flavored.  Good for sandwiches of all types.

I'll see if I can post a picture of the crust.  Thanks again for the help.

ww sourdough crust

Hello from Adelaide - Australia

Hello from Adelaide - Australia

I found this site quite by accident whilst looking for info on sourdough baking and there is so much information available. I've been baking bread for years but have only recently started making sourdough but only the no knead version at 70% hydration baked in a cast iron dutch oven. I'm also very partial to Ciabatta but again only the no knead. It seems I have a fascination with yeast as I also brew beer, quite often with reconstituted yeast and for that I have a temperature controlled fridge which I now find very handy for proving my dough  as temperatures here vary from 2 - 3 degrees in winter to over 40 deg in summer. So I can set the temp in the fridge at say 20 deg and in summer it will turn on the refrigeration and in winter a heat pad to keep the temp constant.

    I am very happy with my results so far but would like to get my sourdough somewhat more sour. I have read of many ways to achieve this and have tried but with no success. The latest was to add 1/4 tsp of citric acid to my dough but again I did not notice much difference. I have ordered Carl Griffiths 1847 Oregon Trail Sourdough starter in the hope that this may give me the result I'm after. Anyway I'm happy to have found this site and look forward to exchanging ideas.

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