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Need Math Help: Starter Build

Need Math Help: Starter Build

I know it's here but I can't find it after searching. Please forgive redundant question.

Recipe calls for 115g starter at 100% hydration. How much should I scoop out of my big jar of 100% hydration starter in the refrigerator to finish with 115g after a three-stage build each at 1:1:1?

I know it's about 4.5g but I did it with some trial and error with childish math working backwards.

Can someone help with a quick formula done on a non-scientific calculator?


Seasoned kitchen (air yeast)

Seasoned kitchen (air yeast)

I read somewhere that the more you bake, the more "seasoned" your kitchen becomes, producing a better and faster rise and predictable results.  This seemed to be the case when I moved into a new kitchen... All of my old ways and recipes didn't  seem to work, until months later... But now I can pull off practically any trick with  great response because I bake daily, operating a bread shop from my home.  So is  this a true idea because of the amount of natural yeast in the air, or a myth? I'd love a link to learn more about it!  Thanks! 

Four Times Three Bread Braid.Variation 2

Four Times Three Bread Braid.Variation 2

* From the book: "The Art of Braiding Bread"


Oat Porridge Sourdough Bread

Oat Porridge Sourdough Bread

Over my very brief experience baking bread I have come to appreciate and respect the many variables that can and do affect the outcome of a bread bake...some loaves turn out despite my abuse, some are a disappointment despite lavishing care and attention to detail on them, some I have no idea what it is that made them as they are!  But that's why I so enjoy baking's never the same, never absolutely predictable, always a challenge.  Most recently, the weather around here has started to heat up as summer gets underway, the kitchen is usually around 25 C by the afternoon. Of course this has a big impact on my starter and any dough I have fermenting or proofing...I am being tested now on whether or not I have learned anything over the past winter/spring about the various stages of my dough, how intuitive (or not) I am in working with the variables (temperature, humidity being the most obvious right now). I have learned that I have to focus on keeping my dough warm as in the winter/spring or cooling it as in the summer to maintain optimum temperatures for the levain to do its thing (77-80 F seems to produce the best results for me). So with that in mind, today (outside temperature is a very pleasant 24 C, sunny, humidity about 72%) I baked what has become a favourite of mine, Oat Porridge Sourdough Bread.  

Again, I used Chad Robertson's Master Recipe from Tartine No. 3 as the basis for my bread. I mixed a 300 g combination of fresh milled spelt (50 g), rye (50 g), hard spring wheat (100 g) and a grain cereal blend containing barely, oats, rye, buckwheat, spelt, emmer (100 g) with 750 g unbleached white flour; mixed with 750 g water (80 F) and autolysed for 1 hour.  Then I added 25 g sea salt and 225 g of very young levain (3 hours old, very bubbly and active) and started the bulk fermentation at room temperature (23 C to start; 25 C by the end). After the first fold I added an oat porridge mixture (100 g toasted oats plus 200 g boiling water; covered and soaked for 2 hours; then added 50 g coarsely cracked toasted sesame seeds) being very careful to gently fold and incorporate into the dough. I am not sure about the exact hydration at this point but given the 750 g water in the autolyse and 200 g water in the oat porridge it was somewhere around 85% + at least; the dough did not feel overly wet, probably because of the fresh milled grain flours and oat/sesame seed mixture, and was very extensible, elastic after finishing 6 folds, each series of folds 30 minutes apart .  The dough temperature was 82 F to start and 78 F after 3 hours.  The dough had risen 30 % after 5 1/4 hours (this slightly longer than the 4 hours Robertson states; probably due to the very young levain)

The dough felt very billowy and full; I did not bother with a bench rest, shaped the loaves and put them into baskets to proof at room temperature (25 C) for 1 hour and then retarded in the fridge overnight.  Total proof time was about 10 hours.  I baked them in combo cookers on an oven stone, covered at 500 F for 20 minutes; 450 F for 10 minutes then uncovered at 450 F for 18 minutes.  I am having some issues with my gas oven and today it must have been cycling on the hot side as you see from the pictures. The crust is very dark, too much for my aesthetic sensibilities but it tastes pretty good so I guess it's ok for today.  







Fervere Bakery in Kansas City sold

Fervere Bakery in Kansas City sold

Fred Spompinato, owner of Fervere Bakery, has sold the bakery so that he can retire, as reported in this article in the Kansas City Star.

Mr. Spompinato thinks that he has found the right baker to carry on his vision.  I certainly hope he is right.  Even though I'm not a frequent customer by any stretch, it's nice to know that such high quality bread is available locally.


Large Flour recall by GM

Large Flour recall by GM


In case you have not seen this yet, General Mills has recalled 10 million pounds of flour for E. coli contamination. See the notice here:

It is for Gold Medal, Wondra and Signature Kitchen brands and it can be dangerous if it is consumed raw. 


Over-risen bulk fermentation in Overnight country brown. Rehabilitation?

Over-risen bulk fermentation in Overnight country brown. Rehabilitation?

Yesterday I decided to make Ken Forkish's "Overnight Country Brown," carefully following his steps including the overnight  fermentation. He says to allow the dough to ferment for 12 to 15 hours so that it is nearly tripled in volume. Well, by the morning the dough had tripled, but was very loose, so most likely it was over-risen. It was impossible to shape into a ball, the dough flattening into a pancake. I am actually annoyed that the recipe would state the the dough should triple and that it would take 12-15 hours at room temperature. I did some research and discovered that many "fresh loafers" have made this bread, but have either shortened the rising time, or did the bulk fermentation in the refrigerator. I will do that next time. Though, I still want to know if bulk fermentation needs to triple in volume. Does anyone know what might be ideal? Maybe doubled is sufficient.

In the meantime I have this unshapeable dough. Has anyone been able to salvage a dough that has over-risen? I was thinking of just adding some yeast and trying to bake these in bread pans. Does anyone have any ideas? I can't really use this for pizza since I Had added walnuts to the dough!

I would  appreciate any insights that anyone has on over-risen dough and Forkidh's recipe. Than you.


Micro perforated BOPP/CPP bag for bakery

Micro perforated BOPP/CPP bag for bakery

Dear bakery artisan,

we are the supplier of BOPP/CPP micro perforated bags for bakery packaging.if you are looking for the bag supplier,please contact us at  thank you


How much commercial yeast to add to the final dough when using pre-ferments?

How much commercial yeast to add to the final dough when using pre-ferments?

Hi to everybody,

I was wondering...

How much commercial yeast (if any) do I need to add to the final dough when using pre-ferments?

Let´s say I want to bake a recipe that calls for a poolish or a biga.

The questions are:

1. Do I also need to add commercial yeast to the final dough? (notice that I´m talking about adding commercial yeast to the final dough, not the poolish or biga themselves, which they already have a tiny bit of commercial yeast)

2. Will the dough leaven properly just by the action of the poolish or the biga? (maybe it´s not neccesary to add additional commercial yeast to the final dough?)

3. If it´s not necessary to add commercial yeast to the final dough when using a poolish or a biga, What would happen if I actually add more commercial yeast to the final dough?

4. Is there any ratio I should use when trying to calculate the amount of commercial yeast to add to the final dough? (assuming of course, that I´m also adding a poolish or a biga to the final dough)


Let´s take the following example:


My final dough (without using pre-ferments):

flour = 165 g

water = 105 g

commercial yeast = 10 g


My poolish:

flour = 15 g

water = 15 g

commercial yeat = 0,01 g


My final dough (using the poolish):

flour = 150 g + 15 g = 165 g

water = 90 g + 15 g = 105 g

commercial yeast = X + 0,01 g = Y


What should be the value of X?

In other words, how much commercial yeast should I add (if any) to the final dough? (in addition to the 0,01 g of commercial yeast that it´s already contained inside the poolish)

I hope someone can enlighten me about this issue.

Thanks in advanced!




Ru007 inspired Cornmeal Sourdough with Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds

Ru007 inspired Cornmeal Sourdough with Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds

Ru007's post on her Sourdough with Polenta, Sunflower seeds and Pepitas motivated me to try her recipe since it looked amazing! I didn't have any Polenta but thought that cornmeal might be close enough and with her encouragement, I went ahead and used cornmeal.

The plan was to double her recipe and be done but my starter was 100% hydration as opposed to 80% like hers and my math got wonky when I started using the baker's percentages instead of the actual weights after I had soaked my cornmeal. No matter, I am really happy how it turned out.


Make Soaker: Pour 220 g of boiling water over 80 g of medium grind cornmeal and let sit for several hours (5 hours or so)

Levain: Feed starter with a 1:2:2 ratio of part rye, part whole grain flour and water. Let sit 6 hours.

Add ins: Toast 75 grams each of hulled sunflower and pumpkin seeds in frying pan. Let cool.

Autolyse: Mix 275 g of cornmeal soaker with 300 g wholegrain wheat flour, 700 g unbleached all purpose flour, and 560 g of water. Let sit for an hour.

Mix dough: Sprinkle 22 g of sea salt over the dough and add 200 g of the levain. Pinch and fold to incorporate. I also added 20 grams of water here because the dough felt too stiff. 

Fermentation: Do a series of 4/5 folds every half hour at the beginning of fermentation and every hour later on until risen by 30-50% which took about 5 hours. Add in seeds during the second set of folds. I used the slap and fold method to get the seeds evenly distributed since the pinch and fold method wasn't doing it for me and my hand was getting sore.

Divide and Pre-shape: Divide the dough into two loaves and used the letter fold method to pre-shape. The loaves sat uncovered on the counter for about 40 minutes.

Shape: Flip the balls upside down and do the letter fold method again. I got a nice tight skin by pulling the dough towards me on the counter. Let it sit for a few seconds and then put it seam side up in floured (all purpose and rice) baskets. Put the baskets into plastic bags to prevent the dough from drying out.

Proof: Let proof on the counter for one hour and then into the fridge for 20 hours and 20 minutes. 

Baking: Heat oven with baking stone and dutch ovens to 500F for 45 minutes. When oven is ready, turn out dough onto counter sprinkled with cornmeal. Remove dutch ovens from oven and sprinkle bottom with cornmeal. Gently drop loaves in dutch ovens and score with razor blade. Bake at 500F for 20 minutes with lid on, drop oven temp to 450 and bake for 10 minutes longer. Remove lid and bake for another 30 minutes.


I let it cool for about 20 hours before cutting it up to go into the freezer in slices. I am really pleased with the crumb!

I ate the ends and I was really pleased with the flavour. Thank you Ru007 for your post and your inspiration!

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