The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.


MTloaf's picture

This recipe was brought to my attention in a recent post here with a link to the King Arthur blog post. 

I was curious because the recipe makes a similar version of my weekly bread and requires little to no prior planning and the schedule frees up the shorter daylight hours for other things like fishing or the neglected chores around the house. I was skeptical at first that it would produce only a passable bread but would be lacking something that a more hands on approach would provide. I was wrong about that.
I am one of those bakers that believe a starter has to be well maintained and developed to make an open crumb country bread similar to the Tartine style. I used the warm days of this past summer getting my starter and bread to be like the version that Chad Robertson writes about in his latest Bread book and what he refers to as a boosted leaven required for his signature country bread. It requires a bit more time and effort but it did work better and it made some pretty good loaves. 
This so called “don’t be a hostage bread” might need a more catchy name but it has worked very well without fail in my few recent attempts at it. So well in fact that it may become my new go to method for my weekly bake. 
The recipe is fairly simple:

1000 grams total flour The recipe specifies KAAP for the white flour and 10 to 20% whole grain ( I have reduced it to 900 gr because the loaves wouldn’t fit in my bread bags)

80% hydration (which seems to work well for me) 

2% salt

40 grams starter recently fed but can be used straight from the fridge. (I have used a fresh fed and a few days old and both worked well.)

I mix the starter in the water first and then the flour and salt.The recipe calls for 4 compass folds 15 minutes apart. I used 3 coil folds 20 minutes apart. 
Bulk ferment for 12 hours at 72 degrees or until it doubles. I would normally ferment to 50% but without the intermittent folds during the bulk it will easily double. After which it is divided and shaped for another 12 hours in the fridge. 
Starting in the evening works best for me rather than putting it together first thing in the morning. 
There is something about the long slow fermentation that produces a silky beautiful dough to work with like no other I have had before and brings out the flavors as well. 
No hostage

Dough End of bulk
This is after the final fold and 11 hours later at the end of bulk fermentation. 

15% spelt

This loaf is 15% home milled spelt and the crumb is as good or better than the old way of doing it. 

Sliced spelt

This is last weeks with 10% WW  5% spelt 5% rye

I would encourage others to try this method and come up with a better name but be aware of the “Stockholm Syndrome” because it has definitely changed my beliefs!



The other loaf from the Campagne dough which was shaped with a different method resulting in a more even crumb. Country

Sourdough_Hobby's picture

Found the CB page on ciabatta over the weekend, thought the Biga recipe from mwilson looked interesting. In the past my ciabatta was all over the place, the flour I was baking with was inconsistent. Slightly adapted, wanted to see how much water the flour could take, could have probably pushed it slightly more, but this is one of the better ciabatta I have made, definitely the softest. Ended with a very strong dough if I understand correctly this if from the large portion of Biga. 

Could have probably proofed it for an extra hour, but was getting late.

Ciabatta #1

Biga (12h)

  • 600g Flour 
  • 250g Water
  • 60g LM


  • 200g Flour
  • 35g Oil
  • 18g Salt
  • 500g Water

Mixed and folded 3 times over 3 hours. Cut into rectangles and proofed on linen for 1,5h on a cold counter. Will change this next time, slowed things down as I could feel dough got cold. 

justkeepswimming's picture

We're (finally) getting settled in our new home, and I have mostly figured out what needs doing for a successful bake at 6,000 ft. My starter had been on (to borrow a medical term) "comfort measures only" for about 4-5 months. It was fed just often enough to prevent death by neglect, but it wasn't exactly thriving. After series of feedings a few weeks ago, it was back to it's robust self. 

Lately I have been wanting to bake something other than loaf pan breads, so I invested in some new toys: an oblong banneton and oblong clay baker from Breadtopia. 

After baking mostly pan loaves for about a year, my shaping needs work.... I have a hard time getting dough to have the same thickness at the ends. One end is usually fatter than the other.  

Dough specs: 

Dough flour 460 gm. (50% bread flour, 50 % home milled flour {half hard red spring wheat, half spelt}). 

Water 330 gm

Starter 75 gm (1:1:1)

Salt 9 gm salt


Mixed everything together and kneaded it in a Bosch compact mixer for 10 min. I was busy and knew I wouldn't have an opportunity to do anything else for developing/organizing gluten. Bulk at 70F for 6 hours, about a 50-60% rise.

Preshaped/rest/shape and into banneton. The dough was pretty stretchy and on the verge of slack, I was glad I didn't push hydration any further. On a whim, I did that flour on a paper towel decoration thing that was popular for a while.... flip the dough out of the banneton onto a well floured paper towel. I used it as a sling to put it in the banneton. Rested on counter for about 15 min then into the fridge for 12 hours. Flipped onto parchment (seam down), scored, and placed into preheated clay baker. Baked at 490F for 20 min with the lid on, then at 450F lid off to internal temp 199F. That's the highest I can get at this altitude. It's cooling now, no crumb shot since it's a gift. 

This is only my second loaf using the baker, the first one came out just like this. The shape is more helpful for our usual bread uses (toast, sandwiches) than a boule. And the clay baker is much easier than a dutch oven for my arthritic joints to deal with. It's nice to have something different! This bread a gift for a brother visiting from out of town so no crumb shot. 

Benito's picture

We are seeing some friends in our building tonight for dinner and I offered to bring some rolls. We are still here in Florida and without my starter so these were made with IDY. I wanted to bring something that wasn’t just a milk bread so decided to add mashed steamed sweet potato to the dough. I couldn’t find purple sweet potatoes anywhere near me so went with the regular orange ones. I didn’t measure the amount of sweet potato that I added. I added it after the dough was well developed after adding the butter/flour paste. I just added the sweet potato gradually until I liked the colour of the dough.

Also, note that I made these without the assistance of a stand mixer, these were fully hand mixed, a lot of slap and folds to start the day.


Pan 7.5 x 11.5” = 4 rolls by 6 rolls



25g  - King Arthur AP flour

125g -  milk 

The classic ratio in tangzhong 1:5

Final dough

371 g KA AP flour and 29 g to mix blend with butter when mixing by hand

50 g granulated sugar

150 g 1% milk

1 egg

29g room temperature butter,  mix with 29 g of flour

6.06 g  instant yeast

7.74 g salt

All of the tangzhong mixture


egg wash: 1 yolk and 1 tbsp milk, beaten…


Cook Tangzhong mixing flour and milk constantly until it becomes a thick roux.  Let cool before adding to final dough.  Or add to cold milk and egg to cool it down.


Blend room temperature butter and flour together and set aside to incorporate after the dough is well developed.


Whisk together dry ingredients flour salt and yeast. 


To mix by hand, add the salt and yeast to the wet ingredients (milk, tangzhong and egg) to dissolve.  Next add the flour and mix with a silicone spatula until no dry flour remains.  Rest 10 mins.  Next perform French folds until the dough is well developed.  Smear the blended butter/flour onto the dough and then fold to incorporate and then perform further French folds until well developed.  Gradually add the mashed sweet potato and knead to incorporate it well into the dough.  Form into a tight ball and place in a bowl covered with plastic or a damp cloth and place in a warm place until doubled (about 1hr 30 mins).  Alternatively, you could mix the sweet potato and butter and then add the mixture to the developed dough until well incorporated.


Butter a large baking pan.  Punch the dough down and then divide into 24 equal portions.  Form each into tight boules.  Place in the buttered baking pan seem side down.  Cover them and allow them to fully proof about 1 hour - 1 hr and 20-30 mins, they should pass the poke test.


After about 30 mins of proofing time, whisk your remaining egg and milk and then brush the small boules.


About 30 mins prior to end of final proof preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Immediately prior to baking brush the dough again with the egg and milk mixture.


Bake the rolls uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 190F. Cover if your rolls get brown early in the baking process.


Remove the bread from the oven but not the pans, brush the tops with butter while hot, and then let cool for 10 minutes before pulling the bread from the pans. You may need to slide a butter knife down the sides of the pan to loosen the bread, but I have found parchment paper to be unnecessary.  Sprinkle with fleur de sel if you wish after brushing with butter. 

My index of bakes.

albacore's picture

This is a follow up to my post  in the "Besuschio - The Definitive Panettone" thread, with a bit more detail.


I decided to make a fresh starter for my LM - probably not necessary, but never mind! I followed the instructions at 

using a homegrown organic apple, flour mix of Marriages organic BF and some Italian Manitoba flour (+ a little malt) + spring water.

I left it at 28C and it had doubled in 24hrs, so I followed the next few steps in Dietmar's instructions and after a day or two developed a routine of 50 starter/50 Marriages Manitoba/20 spring water at 28C. This fits nicely in a 300ml cream pot (dry storage), covered with a shower cap. I roll out and roll up the dough about 5 times, shape into a ball and put into a clean pot.

I do this at about 9am and 9pm every day, now with a bit less flour to reduce waste: 40/40/16. pH ends up pretty consistently at 4.1.

After 2 weeks the LM seemed pretty active, so I did the 3 refreshments at m9, e1 and e5. Final pH was a bit high at 4.5, but Dietmar gives a range of 4.3-4.4, so I didn't worry too much.



So next I made the primo in the Kenwood Major with the spiral dough hook. I would have liked to use the IM5, but there wasn't enough dough.


The recipe I followed said to mix the LM with the flour (Marriages Manitoba again) and water and develop gluten. Then add the sugar, then butter, then the yolk. The trouble with this method is that the initial dough was very stiff, so kneading generates a lot of heat and also it is extremely difficult to then incorporate the butter/yolk.

Much better I think to mix LM + flour + water + enough yolk to give a kneadable consistency, knead, then add the rest of the yolk bit by bit and then all the butter, piece by piece.

All in pH was 5.59. Temp was a bit low because of our cold kitchen - about 22C. Even if you attemperate everything, the dough loses heat in the mixer.



I made the secondo the next morning at m11.20 - it was well risen and had a pH of 5.15. Bulk was slow and I eventually baked at e10. I'd put 290g in 300g cases, which I think should have 360g dough in them, so I think I was waiting for some extra rise that was never going to happen.



A couple of sites I like the look of:


That's it - till my next attempt!




trailrunner's picture

Nothing different except I frequently swap out my grains so as to get through my inventory. Milled  the grains right before using them they were  still warm. Mixed everything except salt autolyse 30 min. KA mixer 7 min speed 2  adding in the salt and some extra held back water. Cleaned the bowl as usual with a perfect ratio of dry/ wet ingredients. 

I am very pleased with the crumb and crust and amazing wheat flavor. Made great grilled cheese sandos. Don’t recall ever making 3 loaves as identical as these 3! 😊

335g Yecora Rojo berries Barton Spring 

335g T85

232 Generic WW berries

100g Danko Rye berries Barton Springs

250g mixed levains - one rye starter one YW starter

200g active Apple YW

350g water

23 g salt

Trinity- 40 g EACH EVOO, Honey and Buttermilk

450 degrees Graniteware roaster 20 min lid on 20 minutes lid off. 

happycat's picture


I was away from my Toronto place for 7 months, living alone, working on projects and losing 55 pounds. When I came back, I was ready to get back into baking!

Last weekend we made onion soup and I made baguettes to hold up the broiled gruyere cheese on top. We roasted then pressure-cooked beef neck to make the broth which left us with lots of tasty beef bits. The beef seemed like a great filling for a steamed bun. I remember eating bao at a Toronto place... they were delicious but horribly expensive. As usual, that inspired me to make my own.

Beef filling needed some pickled vegetables, so I pulled out my mandolin and ripple blade earlier this week and sliced up carrots, cucumbers, red onion, celery, red cabbage and pickled them in vinegar, garlic and spices for a few days. I managed to use the mandolin extensively without a single injury :)  My wife mixed some pickled ginger in mayo to provide a spread. She also seasoned the beef with black bean sauce and other stuff and I sneaked in some lime juice to bring it alive.

Today, I made the bao.


I used the steamed bao recipe from another TFL member. It worked perfectly. This is an enriched dough with milk, oil and sugar and it uses two rising agents: yeast and baking powder. Fun!


A lovely enriched dough, hand kneaded and proofed.

Divided into 20 pieces of 30g each. The dough was somewhat firm. Not tacky at all.

Rolled a little thinner than 1/4 inch. These were springy fellas so I rolled some a few times because they shrank back a bit. That's an iPad 2 on a stand. Makes a wonderful timer and recipe display with the text enlarged.

Here I've smeared half with canola oil to prevent sticking after they're folded, then used a chopstick to fold them. The chopstick isn't really needed.

Here's 20 of them after proofing inside a giant ziploc bag for about an hour. Each dough is on a piece of parchment paper.

Here they are in a steamer basket before steaming. I had two rice cookers for steamers and cranked through several batches. The waiting bao didn't overproof at all.

Here they are after 9 mins of steaming, Fluffy!

Will they open up? Yes! Yay!


Making these was very simple and cheap. We agreed that these were the best bao we'd ever had by far. At the bao place we"d been to, our 20 bao would probably run $180... with filling of course, My cost? A tiny fraction?

We enjoyed these way more than tacos or fajitas I've made in the past (scratch, not kits!). The bao is so soft and tasty. I suppose I should add a crumb / shred shot. Maybe tomorrow if I remember.

I froze the bao we didn't eat to have later. Portion control is the secret to getting and staying skinny. This cat is no longer fat!

Next Steps

I'd be tempted to mess around with malts and flour. For instance, adding some of my homemade rye malt for flavour, or using some cake flour to fluff them more. I'm also tempted to use the recipe to make a closed bun with stuffing inside. These were so tasty they are worth more experimentation.

EDIT: These reheat well out of the freezer with resteaming.





Jane Doe's picture
Jane Doe

Hello all. I'm a newbie home-baker. I crave the breads from back home that are not available in NA. So I am trying to create them here. I made these naan breads that are unique to Mumbai city and available in 2-3 bakeries primarily found in one particular Muslim neighborhood. The naans are available in 3-4 sizes (diameter). They are usually eaten with meat dishes having gravy as they soak up all the goodness.

Here's my handiwork:



Watch these naans sold at local bakeries in Mumbai here:

Hotbake's picture

Hokkaido milk bread base, traditional dark chocolate+ cocoa filling with a hint of cinnamon 

I think I'm done baking till Christmas!


Isand66's picture

Durum-Quanah (Whole Wheat) Grits Bread

   I recently purchased a new (old) ancient grain from Barton Springs Mill called Quanha.  You can get more information by pressing on the link if you are interested.  I milled this to a high extraction sifting and milling twice and added this to high extraction freshly milled Durum flour.

I’ve used grits in breads several times and always like the texture and flavor it adds.  I cooked the grits with water and added some butter and a little grated cheddar.  Make sure to let the grits cool down before adding it to the dough.

A double build was used for the levain but you could easily just do one build if you desire.

I was happy with the final outcome on this one.  The Quanha flour combined with the durum was very tasty and the crumb was moderately open.  I made some nice grilled bread brushed with some good EVO and topped with some Vermont aged cheddar.


Levain Directions Build 1

Mix all the levain ingredients for build one (including the seed starter) together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 6-7 hours or until the starter has almost doubled.  I used my proofer set at 76 degrees so it took around 5 hours for me.

Levain Directions Build 2

Add in the flour and water as indicated and mix until incorporated by hand.  Cover and let sit another 3-5 hours until doubled and you should see plenty of activity.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flour 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.  After 30 minutes or so  add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces),  olive oil, honey, grits, and mix on low for 5 minutes.   Note: If you are using the Ankarsrum mixer like I do, add your water to the bowl first then add in the flour and grits.  After your autolyse add in the starter, salt, honey  and olive oil and mix on low to medium low for 15-20 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 1.5 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.

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 or if using a proofer set at 80 degrees for one hour.  Remove the dough and shape as desired and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap Sprayed with cooking spray and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.  (I use my proofer set at 80 F and it takes about 1 hour to 1.5 hours).

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 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 around 35 minutes or until the breads are nice and brown and have an internal temperature around 200-210 F. 

Take the bread(s) out of the oven when done and let them cool on a bakers rack for as long as you can resist. 


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