Wood Chopper

On account of its easy production, this bread is sure to find many new fans. Hobby bakers often have problems recognizing the optimal proof and too little attention is given to the impact of steam. So we can just bake an uncomplicated bread once in a while. 

The wood chopper is placed with the seam-side down in a proofing basket after forming. Once fully proofed the bread is turned out directly onto a preheated baking stone. From the absence of steam the dough surface crusts over very quickly. The oven spring develops at the weakest point of the bread- at the seam!

Due to the rustic cracking in the surface of the bread it is not necessary for the dough to be optimally proofed. A brief or complete proof is compensated for by the tears in the crust surface. 

To me this is the perfect wood oven bread! The rustic character and the strong crust show the down-to-earthness of the traditional baker’s craft.


Rye sourdough:

1st Stage / Foundation sour:

  • 100g  Rye flour Type 960
  •   56g Water
  •     5g Starter

DT: 23-25°C RT: 10-12 hours Hydration (TA): 156

2nd Stage / Full sour:

  • 161g Foundation sour
  • 200g Rye flour Type 960
  • 243g Water

DT: 28-30°C RT: 3-5 hours   Hydration (TA): 200

Wheat sourdough:

  • 200g Wheat flour Type 1600
  • 200g Water
  •    10g Starter

DT: 26-29°C RT: 15-18 hours Hydration (TA): 200

Bread soaker:

  • 100g Dried and finely ground leftover bread
  • 280g Water  40°C

Soaking time: 4-5 hours

Main dough:

  • 604g Mature rye sourdough
  • 410g Mature wheat sourdough
  • 380g Bread soaker
  • 250g Wheat flour Type 700
  • 400g Rye flour Type 960
  • 100g Water
  •    30g Sea salt
  •      5g Bread spice

Hydration (TA): 177  (higher TA due to the dried leftover bread) DT: 30-34°C mixing time: 6 min. slow/ 30 sec. fast


  1. Knead all ingredients to a smooth dough
  2. Cover and let it rise for 20 minutes
  3. Divide the dough into two equal-sized pieces
  4. Work into round loaves – see here
  5. Form the rounds into oblong lengths – see here
  6. Place into proofing baskets with the seam-side down (first sprinkle the baskets with fennel and coriander)
  7. Let it rise in a warm spot for 50 – 70 minutes
  8. Turn out the bread dough and place in an oven preheated to 250°C – no steam!!!
  9. Reduce the oven to 200°C after 10 minutes
  10. Baking time should take 50-55 minutes