The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Pa de Vidre / Glass Bread

I’d made this once before a few months ago after warehousing Abel’s posting for over a year.  Time to try again and figure out the mysteries & miseries of how to make this bread “properly".  And it took about 4-5 iterations over the course of a week, each time trying a new thing or two.  Until I had a breakthrough two nights ago in the mixing phase on my final failed attempt.  But with some additional tweaking, last night’s product came out of the oven looking pretty darned close to what I was after.

There were two key elements to the success.  The first was to the initial mix being performed by hand rather than relying solely on my mechanical mixer.  This step now develops a smooth fully incorporated dough ready for the mixer.  The second was the careful handling of the dough during the transfer from bench to oven peel.  the “wettest” and lightest handling of the divided dough as possible.

Pan de Cristal is a fairly amorphous animal that dares the baker to move it from bench top to oven peel without partially or totally destroying the anticipated shaping or the structure of the dough.  At a total of 95% hydration (90% water, 5% oil) with 90% white flour, it is not one to accommodate any type of man-handling.  So I knew and so I’ve learned.

My first attempts last week varied the hydration from 95% - 85% in failed effort to get the dough to behave.  But the hydration isn’t really the issue.  It’s like having musical notes on a page - which account for only 10% of what the final sound is - the other 90% is the skill and soul of the musician.

When I decided to forego the dividing and shaping altogether by placing the entire BF'ed mass into a baking dish, the notes didn’t play so well.  But at the point I had already unlocked the “secret” to getting a well mixed and well developed dough.

This dough rises very fast due to the IDY, Levain and sugar. In my kitchen, 90 minutes was about all it took to triple in size.  The addition of Letter Folds at 0, 30 and 60 minutes provides the strength this dough needs to be workable at all - at least to me.


Pan de Cristal, Levain Formula        
Abel Sierra, alfanso        
     Total Flour    
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1250 Prefermented20.00%   
 Total Formula   Levain  Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%624.0 100.00%124.8 Final Flour499.2
 Bread Flour90.00%561.6 100%124.8 Bread Flour436.8
 Rye10.00%62.4 0%  Rye62.4
 Water @40dF90.00%561.6 100%124.8 Water305.7
 Salt2.00%12.5    Salt12.5
 Olive Oil5.00%31.2    Olive Oil31.2
 Sugar2.00%12.5    Sugar12.5
 IDY1.33%8.3 0.00%0.00 IDY8.3
        Levain, chilled249.6
 Totals200.33%1250 200.00%249.59  1250
Alternate mixer speed slow and fast while incorporating all ingredients.    
Add Flours,intial Water, cold Levain, IDY.  Hand mix well.  Autolyse 20 min..    
Hand mix/add Salt, Sugar to incorporate.  Dough is wet enough take it well.    
50 French Folds.  5 min rest.  50 French Folds.       
Into mixing Bowl.  Slowly add Bassinage alternating hand and  machine mixing.    
Once dough starts to form ridges in the mixing bowl, slowly add Oil and finish mix @78d   
Mix is done when dough slaps against sides of mixing bowl and hook alternately picks up and drops dough back.
Dough into oiled tub, immediatly fold well.  Allow to triple in height.  In my warm kitchen tthis was ~1hr 40 min. 
Spill onto well floured workbench.  Will likely be goopy.      
With wet hands and wet bench knife (at all phases)  square off edges and divide as desired.  
Pick up and place onto  parchment paper on peel.  Try to not compress, squeeze or stretch the dough in the transfer.
Oven should have been preheating at 480dF.       
Bake at 460 ~13 min. w/steam.        
Release steam rotate loaves, continue baking at 440dF for up to 30 min.  Oven off, vent for 3 min. 

An earlier failed attempt at 85% hydration.  The crumb was okay, actually fairly good.


This was the 95% hydr. failed baking pan attempt.  At this point two nights ago I'd figured out how to get a quality mix and Bulk Ferment.

And the resultant batons.  Just did not work - at all!  Dense and overly chewy.  At least the crust was in the vicinity of where i wanted to be.

The lead photo and these next few were last night's success story.  I don't think the look of the bread is all that off from what I imagine it should be.

The bread is incredibly light and airy and when freshly baked or reheated/toasted the crust takes on that snap which likely gives the bread its name, while the crumb remains moist and tender.  I am not often a fan of the "rustic" look of bread that has more than a minimum of raw flour on the crust.  And so I appreciate that these do not.

alfanso's picture

On the levain feeding side of life: My 100% hydration AP levain was last fed on 08 Dec.  After two feedings yesterday, 07 Jan, it was quite happy again.  Posting these last two sentences to disseminate the knowledge that a well developed 100% AP levain in the back of the refrigerator can sustain a full month, at the least, without being fed, and spring back to life in a pair of feedings.

Our friend, who'd sampled a fair amount of my breads before, was joining us for lunch yesterday.  But she'd never had my ciabatta.

Yes, I've posted this before, as both an AP Biga and AP levain, as well as a levain tritordeum version.  This mod is minor, but brings me back to the more basic FWS combo.  A place where I most prefer to reside.  Mr. MeGee’s version uses olive oil, and in that regard I’d been true - until now. Here it is simply a levain FWS bread with a very minor boost of IDY, y nada más.

My feeling was that the olive oil was coating the gluten strands making then slick and therefore might be inhibiting their structural growth, and also causing a minor increase in mixing time which, with an old KA dough hook mixer, is too long to begin with.

Once more, here is the formula at 1500g.  I removed the olive oil and added that amount to the bassinge and the hydration is now 79%.

Ciabatta w/ 125% Levain @79% Hydration       
Scott MeGee, alfanso        
500g  will yield 3" diameter loaves - small        
     Total Flour    
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1500 Prefermented20.00%   
 Total Formula   Levain  Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%827.4 100.00%  Final Flour661.9
 AP Flour100.00%827.4 100%165.5 AP Flour661.9
 Water (cold in final dough)76.00%628.8 125%206.8 Water cold337.6
 Olive Oil3.00%24.8    Olive Oil24.8
 Salt2.10%17.4    Salt17.4
 IDY0.20%1.7 0.00%0.00 IDY1.7
        Levain COLD372.3
 Totals181.30%1500 225.00%372.31  1500
KA mixer: "1",  “2” & "6" to incorporate, 2nd hydration @ "4"to add, “6” to mix, “8” to finish. 
Whisk IDY and COLD levain in COLD water, then add flour.  Mix on "1" until water is taken up,  "2" until shaggy.  Pinch and fold.
Cover and "autolyse" for 20-30 minutes       
Remove dough from mixer,  ~50 French Folds, 5 min rest, 50 FFs.     
Back to mixer: bassinage of COLD water, salt and olive oil ADD VERY SLOWLY - mixer on "4", then "6" & "8" to finish.
Mix done with slapping sound, and dough pulling off bowl onto hook, then dropping back to bowl again. 
bulk proof - 2 hr., 3 folds - 0, 40, 80.  40 minute final rest      
scale at (ex.) 500g, no pre-shape, couche seam side up      
40 min final proof        
Roll and stretch dough as it goes to baking peel       
Preheat @480dF        
Bake w/ steam @460dF, ~13 min, another ~15 min, then vent      
o If flour scaled separately from water & levain, IDY can be incorporated into flour.    
o Shift speed in mixer back & forth to accommodate activity needed, i.e. addition of the bassinage, but end with speed of "8".
o First Letter Fold is right out of the mixer and is "aggressive".  Second and third are succedingly much more gentle.
o Dough is quite sticky, so flour the bench well.       
o Couche takes a pretty fair amount of flour, the oven peel (with parchment paper) takes none.  
o Shaping into a "barrel" and apply light pressure when tightening the skin of the dough - don't overdo or overthink
o Couche seam side up        
o Transfer from couche to peel.  Gently roll loaf over on couche, "scoop up" from ends, gently stretch to length and onto peel
o There is a lot of moisture in the dough so it takes a longer bake than one may think.  One reason why the coloration is dark.

~500g x 3 ciabatta loaves

alfanso's picture

It’s been so long since I made this bread that I forgot how delightful it is.  My initial go-to instinct was to build a 125% AP levain and then run a most reliable Hamelman Vermont SD.  This, after waltzing with Maurizio’s Cinnamon Raisin SD baguettes and my Sesame Semolina baguettes.  Intermixed with learning the tricks of the trade re: croissants, pain au chocolate, pain aux raisins and some cinnamon buns with raisins and walnuts.  Still work to be done on all fronts there.

However, time to return to something more simple.  Until, with visions of golden raisins dancing in my head, I decided to return to the pain au levain with WW and then add raisins to it.   I had already built my 125% levain and was ready to go when I had this revelation.  And then noticed that the Hamelman formula calls for a 60% hydration levain.  I altered the hydration of the levain in the formula sheet to match my now bubbly 125% concoction, printed off the formula and was on my way.  Along with the addition of 20% golden raisins.

The raisins make this somewhat dessert-like, and the crust has a good snap to it.  It will make superb fresh bread as well as superior toast - either with a soft cheese like Brie or with the morning butter.

Although I’ve published this twice before here and here, as there were two mods to the formula I decided to put three on a match.

Hamelman Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat, 125% AP Levain and 20% Golden Raisin.


350g x 4 baguettes/long batards

alfanso's picture

Well, it’s a been a bit of time since posting.  Last night I had itchy fingers to go back to a favorite but with a pair of twists.  My most-favored sesame semolina based on Mr. Hamelman’s 125% hydration AP flour version.  However this time I subbed out the levain for my old favorite 75% mixed flour levain.  

As long as I maintain the same percent of preferment flour, switching things around like overall as well as levain hydrations is a breeze.  I also had the urge to make a Brobdignagian baguette/long batard to go along with one normal sized.  What could be normal than that?

1 x 1150g long batard/baguette, 1 x 375g long batard/baguette.

itch scratched!

And on to other recent things

I had a desire to start to learn croissants and laminated dough.  So…many iterations later, I have somewhat cured the itch and figured out many angles to greater success.

Starting with the still edible but quite problematic: poorly laminated with a lot of tearing and leakage, shaping issues, determination of "correct" size to make into the triangles, under-baked bottoms, etc.  And one by one, I started to incorporate a few different methods. With the help of watching a few videos over ad nauseam particularly Bien Manger.

I won't go into too many details here, but settled on T45 pastry flour to cure minor elasticity problems and the T45 dough is also a tad smoother.  Went from 2% milk to powdered milk to whole milk.  Bought an appropriate large maple wood rolling pin 18 inches long.  Misunderstood that the 27 layers were not for the entire dough, but for the butter along, and so I needed to perform one more lamination step to get there.  Baby steps.  Much helped by my wife leaving town for a week so that I could spend a lot of time trying things out and searching for better methods and results.

At this point, if there are two remaining items to check off, the more important would be that I’m still seeing only the initial image of a honeycomb crumb.  The second is that without a sheeter, it is near impossible for me to roll the dough out so that it is consistently smooth and even along the entire length of the dough.  A sheeter would make life all the more easy, but I have neither the space nor desire to get one.  That would be lunacy for an apartment-based home baker.


Here you can see the start of something good.  However the number of laminations are incorrect.


Starting to get the hang of shaping but still have some consistency issues.


Much improvement on the layers of butter, now counting at 27.


These are now full sized and looking pretty good.  Still more work to do!


A  partial run of pain au chocolat.  Shy on the chocolate, I doubled up on the next run.


 I also decided to use the same dough the next time to make pain aux raisins for the first time.  Also a first time for making pastry cream.  Pleased at both for a virgin bake.



alfanso's picture

I’d been warehousing another Abelbreadgallery creation since our incredibly able Abel published this on TFL in Jan 2018.  And yesterday finally decided to give it a go.  At 75% hydration, this is near the upper end of my non-ciabatta type of bread limits.  Considering the length of time in retard and the growth of the loaf, both in retard as well as in the oven, I'm surprised at the tight crumb for a 75% hydration dough.  Nonetheless, a delicious slice of bread.

Being alfanso, I had to tinker just a tad with the outcome and rather than duplicate his boule and xusco (batard in Catalan).  I tried to emulate his xusco and used the remainder for two wheat bran covered baguettes.  Somehow I think that the wheat bran interfere with clean scoring on baguettes.  Or maybe it’s just me.

Abel's Xusco 

And mine.  A fair representation, so I'm satisfied at the look and outcome.  The baguettes shaped nicely, but seemed to have a mind of their own in the oven.

750g x 1 xusco

340g x 2 baguettes/long batards


The formula normalized to 1000g


Catalan Peasant Bread (xusco) 100% hydration AP Levain    
Abel Sierra         
     Total Flour    
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1000 Prefermented15.00%   
 Total Formula   Liquid Levain  Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%564.7 100.00%84.7 Final Flour480.0
 AP Flour80.00%451.7 100%84.7 AP Flour367.0
 WW5.00%28.2 0%0.0 WW28.2
 Rye15.00%84.7 0%0.0 Rye84.7
 Water75.00%423.5 100%84.7 Water338.8
 Salt2.00%11.3 0%0.0 Salt11.3
 IDY0.10%0.5 0%0.0 IDY0.5
 Starter3.00%16.9 20%16.9   
 Totals177.10%1000 220%186.3  1000
"Autolyse" all ingr. except salt.  30 min.  1 stage liquid levain build @100% hydration
Salt, pinch and fold.  150 FF, 5 min rest, 150 FF  Stage 1    
LFs @30, 60    AP84.7   
Retard, divide, pre-shape, 30 min rest, shape, retard.  Water84.7   
Oven preheat to 475, bake at 460   Starter16.9   
13 min. steam.   Total186.3   





alfanso's picture

Back once more from roaming the earth and, within way less than a day home, my wife coaxed me into thinking about a next bake.  I left it to her imagination what would be next, but she deferred to me.  

In the past I'd baked the Hamelman black olive levain a few handful of times, particularly in response to our building's chief engineer's constant "whining" about when I'd bake it again and slip him a loaf.

A 65% hydration dough with 25% olives makes for a hearty if not particularly open crumb.  In keeping with my M.O. of mostly avoiding posting the same thing twice here on TFL, there was just enough tweak to qualify for this post.

Changes from the original included using 100% LL instead of his 125% LL, changed to AP flour from higher protein bread flour, substituted rye flour for WW, and used rather large quarter-sliced "spears" of large green Spanish Queen olives rather than smaller and diced Kalamta flecks. Otherwise I abided by the original formula.

These olives are quite salty, so they were scaled and quartered, placed into a water bath for a while to remove some salinity, and then toweled dry.

Abel Sierra posted somewhere that baguettes should be couched seam side up.  I did so with one of the two.  But then in my infinite wisdom, once loaded into the oven, I neglected to track which of the two loaves were which since I rotate loaves a few times during the bake.

I can't check what the crumb looks like on either the batard or the more open grine baguette as they were both delivered to the chief engineer and our office manager.  Intact! 

One does exhibit a more open grigne than the other, but I am clueless as to which was which.  The batard was couched seam side down.


At 65% hydration and weighed down by the mass of olives, the crumb doesn't exhibit a lot of openness.  The old saying is you can't eat the holes.

The formula normalized to 1000g 

Olive Levain with 100% AP Liquid Levain       
alfanso, based on Jeffrey Hamelman        
     Total Flour    
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1000 Prefermented18.00%   
 Total Formula   Levain  Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%522.2 100.00%94.0 Final Flour428.2
 AP Flour90.00%470.0 100%94.0 AP Flour376.0
 Rye10.00%52.2 0%  Rye52.2
 Water65.00%339.4 100%94.0 Water245.4
 Salt1.50%7.8    Salt7.8
 Green Olives25.00%130.5    Green Olives130.5
 Starter3.60%18.8 20%18.8   
 Totals191.50%1000.0 220%206.8  1000.0
  • Mix water, flours and levain.  "autolyse" for 30 min.
  • Add salt.  Pinch and Fold.
  • 300 French Folds - 150 FFs, 5 min. rest, 150 FFs.  Into oiled container.
  • Bulk Ferment 2 hours at 78dF room temp.  3 Stretch and Folds on wetted counter at 40, 80 & 120 min.
  • Add olives on first S&F.
  • Retard a few hours.
  • Divide, pre-shape, rest 15 min., final shape and onto very lightly floured couche.  Back to retard for ~12-16 hours total refrigerated rest time.
  • Oven to 480dF for ~ 45-60 min.  Sylvia's Steaming Towel 15 min. prior to bake.
  • Loaves onto parchment covered oven peel, score, and load oven.
  • 2 cups near boiling water into lava rock pan.  Drop oven temp to 460dF.
  • 13 min w/ steam.  Release steam, rotate loaves.
  • Baguettes/long batards took 25 minutes, batard ~28.  3 more min. of oven venting.

1x600g batard, 2x425g long batards/baguettes. 

alfanso's picture

I'd been warehousing Abel Sierra's post of pan de cristal for forever.  But no more.  My first attempt 2 days ago taught me a few things about a few things, and the results, while okay, were tasty but nothing more to write home about nor to write up on TFL.  And so I made what turned out to likely be the corrections necessary.

Abel's masterful interpretation has the hydration in the 115%-120% range.  I have neither the nerve nor the skill to attempt to be in that neighborhood.  I made several changes from his posting and from what I was able to cull from past ciabatta experience as well as from a few videos in hopes of attaining a similar outcome.

This was a two preferment affair, 100% hydration flour, and a 66% hydration biga, which I added for strength, because sure as the day is long, this dough needs strength and not extensibility.  In order to avoid too much heat from mixing friction I use the levain and the biga straight from the refrigerator and the bassinage incorporated cool (but could/ should have been cold) water. 

The total hydration is 95% - 90% water and 5% oil.  And it needs to be handled as little and as gently as possible.

I suppose to be more "authentic" I could have trimmed the width of the loaves and made 4 or 5 instead of 3.  But for a second attempt and first successful one, I'm pretty pleased.

The pile of goop after tripling in the tub  during BF.

Divided and placed onto fairly well floured parchment.  No proofing time needed.


Just after loading. the dough is so wet as to appear to have no structure.

Steam released and loaves rotated.

I'm not a fan of anywhere near this much raw flour on the surface.  But with a dough this wet, it may be hard to avoid.

The loaves are very light having shed a lot of moisture during the bake.  The "bald spot" on the lower left was the result of a giant gas bubble developing during the bake.



Pan de Cristal          
Abel Sierra, alfanso          
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1250 Biga40.00% Levain9.50%Fermented49.50%
 Total Formula        Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams %GramsIngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%626.3 100.00%250.5 100%59.5Final Flour316.3
 AP Flour80.00%501.0 100%250.5 100%59.5AP Flour191.0
 Bread Flour10.00%62.6 0%  0%0.0Bread Flour62.6
 Light Rye10.00%62.6 0%  0%0.0Light Rye62.6
 Water90.00%563.6 66%165.3 100%59.5inital Water271.0
 Salt2.00%12.5      Salt12.5
 Olive Oil5.00%31.3      Olive Oil31.3
 Sugar2.00%12.5      Sugar12.5
 IDY0.60%3.76 0.14%0.35   IDY3.41
 Starter0.95%5.9    10%5.9  
          Biga - chilled416.2
          Levain - chilled119.0
 Totals199.60%1250.0 166.14%416.2 210%124.9 1250.0


Alternate mixer speed slow and fast while incorporating all ingredients.
Add Flours, 80% Water, Salt, cold Levain and cold Biga(broken into small chunks).  Mechanical mix well to ensure good hydration.
Autolyse 20 min.
Add Sugar, IDY to incorporate.  Dough is wet enough take it well.
Slowly add remaining 20% cold Water until taken up.
Once dough starts to form ridges in the mixing bowl, slowly add Oil and finish mix @78d
As with ciabatta, mix is done when dough slaps against sides of mixing bowl and hook alternately picks up and drops dough back into mixer.
Dough into oiled tub, immediatly fold well.  Allow to triple in height.  In my warm kitchen tthis was ~1hr 40 min.
Cover dough in thin layer of flour.  Spill onto well floured workbench.  Will likely be very goopy.
With wet hands (at all phases) double the dough over on itself.  Square off and divide as desired.
Flour the oven peel fairly well or better to place onto well floured parchment paper on peel..
Oven should have been preheating at 480dF.
Bake at 460 ~13 min. w/steam.
Release steam rotate loaves, continue baking at 440dF for up to 30 min.  Oven off, vent for 3 min.
alfanso's picture

Another summer gone, and another summer away from baking.  Prior to taking my bake break, I mentioned to my Barcelona friends that upon return, I would also return to complete some unfinished tritordeum business.  That being to use the grain in a ciabatta.  My recent go-to ciabatta formula is a modified version of Scott MeGee’s biga based dough.

Two runs, two types of tritordeum used.  Each was a mix of 50/50 AP/tritordeum, employing the Hamelman-like AP levain at 125% hydration.  With bassinage and 3% olive oil, the overall hydration of the total dough stands at 79%.  In both cases, the water and the levain are kept refrigerated until mix time, owing to the mixing friction of my old Kitchen Aid planetary mixer raising the temperature as it developed the dough.

As with other ciabatte formula mixes, as the speed of the mechanical mixer increases, I seek two distinct signs that the dough is sufficiently developed.  Not only do I listen for the slapping sound of the dough against the sides of the mixing bowl, but I also wait to see the dough being intermittently picked up off the bowl onto the dough hook and then re-deposited onto the bowl.  Once these two qualifications are met, the dough has gained sufficient strength, and the mix is over.

The first bake used the 'T150’ flour.  The result was a relatively handsome set of loaves although the crumb, while tasty, left a lot to be desired as far as open structure - especially for a ciabatta.  I will attribute this to three culprits.  1) Tritordeum is referred to as a low gluten flour in the online literature, 2) the ‘T150’ is akin to whole wheat flour, which will “consume” more of the hydration and also contribute to a tighter crumb, and 3) to my being away from the baking craft for a few months and therefore this served as my refresher bake.  I’ll pretty much dismiss the last point as I’ve stepped away before and found little to no degradation in my skill set.

The second bake was with the ‘T65’ tritordeum, and I had just enough of that flour to fashion two 500g loaves before my store of the grain was depleted.  On this run, one can see that the crumb is more open and fairly close to when I use 100% KA AP flour at ~11.7% protein.  I also decided to allow for a rest time of 20 minutes between the initial incorporation of water and the final mix.

In both cases the shaping was decent, but fell short of being as consistent as I would like.  The girth of the loaves also didn't equal what I’ve produced before with all AP flour - the barrel just wasn’t big enough in circumference.

My opinion is that while the ’T150’ version creates a pleasing and tasty bread, it would be hard pressed to pass muster as a ciabatta from the crumb alone and delivered a heavy and dense character to the bread.  I would not recommend this as a ciabatta bread.  It was quite tasty - just don’t sell it as a ciabatta to avoid disappointment.  

The ’T65’ version has more of the ciabatta open crumb characteristic with a crumb that is open enough for what one might expect from a ciabatta at the lower end of the hydration scale.  And I think that this version could very easily please most palates and not disappoint when presented as a ciabatta.

This was just furthering my experimentation and knowledge of the grain itself and what it potentially can and cannot do well.  And I feel that the 'T65' version holds up quite well to an AP flour with the added benefits and enhanced flavor profile of the tritordeum grain.

In each run all loaves were ~500g. 

'T150' Tritordeum

'T65' Tritordeum

And for comparison, here is what the all AP version of this bread looked like from two previous bakes...


alfanso's picture

Last week I was trying to enjoy my trip to NY, and I met up with The Roadside Pie King for a couple of slices of pizza (imagine that!).  But then Abe sent a link to me from the ace bakers at The Weekend Bakery and encouraged me to give it a go.  Upon returning home the other evening, I decided to do just that yesterday and a bake this morning.

But, as fate often intercedes in moments like these, alfanso decided to go almost far afield from their posted formula and do some funny stuff in an effort to "make it his own".

***Edit: Mistakenly posted as T160, but it should have read T150 - which is similar to the US Whole Wheat/UK Whole Meal.  Spreadsheet corrected as well.  The toasted sesame seeds refer only to wha is mixed in and not what is rolled onto the crust.***

I have a fair amount of the tritordeum T150 left from my trip to Barcelona in April, so I decided this would be a fine time to incorporate some into this mix.  Changes from the WE Bakery posted formula:

  • Use the tritordeum T150 "whole grain" rather than semola rimacinata.
  • Not refresh my now last-refreshed two week old levain,  as I still had a lot of it in the refrigerator begging to be used as-is. Rather use it straight away.
  • Stick with my 75% hydration AP levain rather than their 130% hydration concoction.  Just abide by their pre-fermented flour percentage.
  • "autolyse " with the levain.
  • Eliminate the IDY from the final dough as I was heck-bent on following my standard routine of retarding the dough.
  • Retard the dough both before and after divide and shape.
  • Use toasted sesame seeds in the interior and coat the exterior with them as well.
  • And, oh yeah, make these into baguettes/long batards too.

4x400g baguettes/long batards

Perhaps a more open crumb at 72% hydration?  But I'm not hung up on that sort of thang.

The formula normalized to 1000g

Semolina and Sesame loaf        
The Weekend Bakery, mod by alfanso        
     Total Flour    
 Total Dough Weight (g) 1000 Prefermented14.50%   
 Total Formula   Levain  Final Dough 
 Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
 Total Flour100.00%567.5 100.00%82.3 Final Flour485.2
 AP Flour62.50%354.7 100%82.3 AP Flour272.4
 Tritordeum T15037.50%212.8 0%  Tritordeum T150212.8
 Water72.20%409.8 75%61.7 Water348.0
 Salt1.75%9.9    Salt9.9
 Toasted sesame seeds2.25%12.8    sesame seeds12.8
 Starter2.90%16.5 20%16.5   
 Totals176.20%1000.0 195%160.5  1000.0
hold back 10% water for post autolyse bassinage       
bake at 455         
alfanso's picture

An old west coast friend emailed me 2 days ago.  Her significant other was trying, without a lot of success, to make focaccia.  Did I have a recipe?  My last focaccia foray was probably in 2003 when I was a rank amateur home baker for a short time and  initially experimenting with Mr. Reinhart's BBA but years prior to the existence of TFL.

Feeling my oats, I replied sure, allow me a few days to give it a go.  My first successful baguette dough and to this day still both the easiest as well as one of the most reliable has been the Anis Bouabsa baguette, first baked by me in late 2013.  I figured that this dough would be just dandy for a focaccia base.  And I believe that it is.  

With a 30 minute autolyse, bassinage, 300 French Folds, and three Letter Folds at 20, 40 and 60 minutes before retarding the dough for most of a calendar day, it couldn't be simpler.  

The Bouabsa formula uses a minuscule amount of IDY 0.16%, as the leavening agent, yet after a mere 1 hour bulk rise, the dough had already grown significantly.  Here it is, having just been pulled from retard.

The dough is placed into a moderately well oiled pan stretched to conform to the pan, turned over to coat the other side with oil, and then dimpled.

My selection of toppings: fresh thyme, fresh oregano, grated, pecorino-romano cheese, kosher salt, chopped kalamata olives and chopped roasted red pepper.  A final light slathering of oil over this.

Baked at 450dF for 25 minutes, internal temp 210dF.  No need for a baking stone or steam.  A final drizzle of olive oil over the surface.

The crumb was just a little more open than this picture shows.  Soft with a good chew, but the overall flavor would have benefited from both more salt and more grated cheese.

All in all a successful venture considering the length of time since I last made this.  And now my friend has an email in her inbox with these pictures and my more detailed writeup for her beau.



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