The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
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Skibum's picture

One of my favourite recipes on TFL has always been Floyd's blueberry cream cheese braid. I used a batch of pulla dough I had on the go for a half batch of the recipe. The fruit filling was 1/2 cup diced strawberry, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup diced raspberries, 2Tbs lemon juice, 1 Tbs icing sugar, 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar and 1Tbs corn starch. I cooked it down until it was a syrup and otherwise followed the published recipe. What can I say but YUMMM!!!

Happy baking, ski

Skibum's picture

My summer project has been to learn the batard shape and actually achieve an ear. So far, very mixed results, with a sort of ear on this bake. Getting the right timing on both bulk and proofing stages so that I can actually score with a lame has been surprisingly difficult with more failures than successes. I would go back to baking Forkish style boules, but my seams likely won't open. hmmmmm.

On the plus side, I have been tweaking my pulla recipe for natural levains, adding a little more egg, cardamom and sugar. I tried using yeast water levain only and it makes a tasty loaf, but I find I get better balance and volume using half YW and half liquid levain. The original yeasted recipe called for two bulk rises of about an hour before shaping, but I have found with the natural levains, I get better crumb and volume shaping after a single bulk rise, doubling the dough.

I was pleased to host our own Floydm, his wife and two children a little more than three weeks ago for a short visit as they were passing through. I invited them for, what else? Pulla and coffee. He said they liked the pulla so I guess I should have baked two loaves.

The loaf I baked for Floyd was a YW levain only and two bulk rises. The last loaf I baked was 50/50 YW and liquid levain, a single bulk rise before shaping and a much larger volume on more open crumb. Yummm!!!

Ready to bake



180 g whole milked scalded

6 large cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground, add to hot milk

1/4 cup sugar plus 2 Tbs raw cane sugar, add to milk

When milk mixture cools down to 90F add

40 grams YW levain, 40 grams liquid levain. I am at 4,420 feet above sea level. At lower levels you may want to up the levain to 50/50 g's.

You can also use 11/2 tsp instant yeast, 40g water and 40 g flour

To the levain, milk mixture add:

75 grams egg. Two large eggs are about 100 grams, so I have left over for the egg wash

180 grams strong bread flour

Let this mix get happy covered at room temperature for 2 - 4 hours with natural levain and perhaps a half hour with yeast.

Add 120 g AP flour and beat to add

Add 44 g melted unsalted butter and beat until the dough is smooth and glossy

Add 5 g salt and another 120 g of AP flour or more until a smooth dough is formed. 

Allow to bulk rise until doubled, then divide the dough into three equal pieces and roll out into long tubes and braid. Why do you braid pulla? As I discovered, if shaped as a batard the crust is over baked before the inside is cooked. Oops!

Proof until about 1.5 times volume, brush twice with an egg wash, ( that left over egg) and sprinkle well with sugar.

Bake at 350F for 15 minutes with steam and another 15 - 25 minutes turning until the internal temperature is 195F+

Let cool for 20 minutes or so and enjoy a slice with a shmear of butter and strong cup of coffee.

Enjoy and happy baking!  Ski



Carissimi Amici,

dopo una pausa forzata dovuta ad innumerevoli impegni professionali ed un caldo insopportabile che non mi ha consentito di accendere il forno nella mia cucina, faccio il mio ritorno con un prodotto che io preparo spesso e con molteplici ricette, proprio perchè adorato da tutti in famiglia e dai nostri amici....i Bagels.

Mi presento non con una ricetta qualsiasi, bensì con una che mi ha regalato sempre grandi soddisfazioni in termini di gusto ed esecuzione, è una ricetta del Maestro CIRIL HITZ.....

Vi lascio il link per consultare, se lo desiderate, la mia esecuzione di uno straordinario prodotto....

A presto ed un caro saluto a tutti voi.

Felice Panificazione a tutti.

Anna Giordani


Thefreshmarksman's picture

Where am I going wrong?

September 2, 2015 - 12:47am -- Thefreshmarksman

Hello everyone I've just signed up to the fresh loaf, I've been looking in here to try and help fix my bread but haven't gotten anywhere. 

Basically every time I make bread I get this Sort of texture (picture shown above). I want to make a basic loaf tin sort of bread that doesn't always require a loaf tin. 

I think in this one there's too much oil, if anyone could help id be forever happy. 

My recipe which ive been changing lots over the past 6 months but isn't getting better is this:

450grams of flour (tescos finest)

320 of UHT milk

FrugalBaker's picture

Just realised that I have not been posting anything for more than a month now. Am still baking a couple of times a week but have been so caught up with my recent busy schedule, hope all TFL members are well. 

Abe had shared about his Tomato SD recipe about 3 weeks ago and I promised to post should it come out looking ok. (thanks for sharing, Abe)

I had a go at it two weeks ago but the dough was over-proofed, still edible but I was expecting it to be better. Of course the current climate didn't help either (with over 30 dc in the shade). Persistent I was....had another try and this time I reduced the levain a bit. Also, I had scaled down and tweaked the recipe to suit the local climate and availability of some ingredients too.



Preferment - 40gm of 100% hydration levain  : 100gm water : 100gm bread flour (total = 240gm)


  • 240gm     Bread Flour
  • 80gm       All Purpose Flour
  • 8gm         Salt
  • 1.5 tbsp   Chopped Rosemary
  • 1 tbsp      Black Sesame Seed (toasted)
  • 20gm       Sunflower Seed (toasted)
  • 160gm     Water
  • 1 tbsp      Olive Oil / Extra Virgil Olive Oil
  • 32gm       Tomato Paste
  1. Make preferment and wait till it is triple or quadruple of its original volume. Mine rose 4 times of its size within 5 hours as it is really hot here nowadays.
  2. Stir in olive oil, tomato paste,water and preferment in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients including seeds and herbs.
  4. Combine both wet and dry ingredients in a stand mixer for about 5 mins till homogeneous. 
  5. Bring the dough out and perform slap and fold for about 8-10 mins or till good gluten formation is evident.
  6. Oil a container and place the dough in it.
  7. 2 sessions of stretch and fold with 30 mins interval.
  8. Shape and place dough in banneton.
  9. Refrigerate dough overnight and bake the next day
  10. Bake at 230dc for 25 mins in a dutch oven with the lid on and at 220dc for another 10-15 mins with lid off or till crust is golden brown.
  11. Lastly, please wait for the loaf to be cooled completely before slicing.


Note : I have baked with this recipe twice and all I could say is the dough can be tacky at times but do not be tempted to add in more flour, oiled or wet hands should be good enough to tackle such issue. Also, with the large proportion of preferment, the dough can ferment rather quickly than one could expect from an SD,so watch out, it is summer after all in most part of the world except Australia. As usual, all comments are welcomed!


Dough in a banneton. The colour is similar to cooked salmon.



1st attempt and it was slightly over-proofed.                       2nd attempt.....better : )




Happy Baking,


crackerman's picture

Final rise not good enough

September 1, 2015 - 9:58am -- crackerman

Am using a wholewheat starter and feed it the day before my first build, then let it sit for 3 hours. Then back in the fridge.

Next day it's 11 ounce starter plus 4 pounds of whole wheat and almost 2 quarts of water. Basically this is the Hamelman approach with a different flour mix. This concoction will double in volume within 10 hours. Then I mix 4.9 liters of water plus 8.5 kilos of unbleached, unbromated flour, 12% protein. I add salt, 190 grams plus less than an ounce of yeast for back up.


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