The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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beautiful orchard fruit, grown by the Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation at WSU-Mount Vernon

Hello everyone,

Day 2 of the Conference had so many good things going on.

Notes on the seminars and talks I was fortunate to attend on Day 2 follow:
Keynote Address – “Grow It! Mill It! Bake It!: Adding Value Adds Up” – Thor Oechsner
“Flatbreads from the Tandoor Oven” – Naomi Duguid and Dawn Woodward
“Beyond Bread: Ideas and Products for the Wood-Fired Micro Bakery” – Richard Miscovich
“Flavor & Identity: The Renaissance of Single-Varietal Wheat Flours” – Naomi Duguid, Dr. Stephen Jones,
Dawn Woodward
“Roller Mill Demonstration” – Dr. Stephen Jones

Day 2: Keynote Address – “Grow It! Mill It! Bake It!: Adding Value Adds Up” – Thor Oechsner

We laughed when Thor Oechsner showed slides illustrating how he got the `farming bug’ early in life :^) …
Biological vector: mature corn                                  Non-biological vector: tractor

Thor talked about the journey he has taken to become a full-time farmer in upstate New York, and the business model he has developed, adding value to the grain he grows by milling it and baking it.
Farming on its own Thor thought a backwards business model: buying inputs at retail and selling at wholesale.
So he created a milling operation, Farmer Ground Flour,

and Wide Awake Bakery, to provide a finished product that is truly local - a testament to New York wheat.
And what an incredible testament his loaves are!
(There was a collective gasp from the crowd when they saw these beauties!)

“Flatbreads from the Tandoor Oven” – Naomi Duguid and Dawn Woodward

Well, this was fun! and a great (and rare) opportunity to slap flatbread dough into a tandoor oven!

Naomi explained how naan was the name for bread in central Asia, where Tandoor cooking originated; and that Tandoor cooking was originally in clay-lined earth, the earth being the obvious place to hold heat. 

We had the chance to try two different Tandoor ovens, a big fuel-fired one kindly brought to the Conference by WoodStone Corporation – and a second, smaller  homemade version, heated with briquettes (it looked like it was made out of a metal can, lined with concrete then clay).

( here's Floyd at the oven :^)  )

Naomi and Dawn had made two delicious flatbread doughs for us to work with: Snowshoe (Afghan) Naan, made with 75% Oregon Red Fife, levain and yogurt, and another, sweeter one called Nadzuki or Honey Flatbread, flavored with buckwheat and cardamom.

When shaping, Naomi told us to make sure the dough was thin, flat and even, and demonstrated how to do that by grasping the dough along its edges, letting it hang down, then moving around the edges of the dough, gravity gently stretch the dough into a thin round.

Dough round on the pillow, and full view of the pillow/naandle tool,
used to slap the dough into the big Tandoor oven

The dough was docked using beautiful, Turkish docking tools Naomi brought (the tool was floured first to prevent sticking). I wish I’d asked how to spell the name of this tool, but it was pronounced “checkitch”.

The wet side of the dough is slapped against the side of the oven (you slap towards you and never reach across the hot oven), where it sticks; as it cooks, moisture transfers into the clay and the bread starts to release when it is done. The naandle was used to place the dough in the big Tandoor oven, and oven mitts were used for the small one. When the bread looked ready, we used a pry bar to release the naan and a hook, or tongs, to remove it from the oven.

Mmmm, fresh, warm naan bread…!

“Beyond Bread: Ideas and Products for the Wood-Fired Micro Bakery” – Richard Miscovich

It was wonderful to see Richard Miscovich and get a sneak preview of his new book, From the Wood-Fired Oven.

Richard was demonstrating techniques from his new book, cooking food using the whole range of oven temperatures in the WFO. Some really amazing, delicious food was coming out of that oven…

Dry-aged roast chicken (doesn’t that look fabulous?)

 Coal-roasted onions

So tasty, this Rustic Potato Pie

 Taralli,Italian sweet rings flavored with anise, boiled before baking

And this wonderful oven-roasted tomato sauce (we dipped naan bread in this – yum!)

There were so many delicious ways to take advantage of all that heat!

“Flavor & Identity: The Renaissance of Single-Varietal Wheat Flours” – Naomi Duguid, Dr. Stephen Jones, Dawn Woodward

This seminar offered the chance for taste-testing breads and crackers made with single-varietal wheats, to distinguish flavor characteristics of each wheat, and to see if the flavor of the cracker translated into, or predicted, the flavor of the bread.

These were the breads – seven breads, seven whole wheats (Red Fife, Red Russian, Pactole, Tevelde, Edison, Renan, Soissons)

The breads were made with white sour, 2.2% salt and different hydrations for similar dough consistency.

It was interesting how different people picked out different flavors for each loaf.  All of the grains (save one) were grown at WSU Mount Vernon (one came from Ontario), and all flour was milled fresh and used within one day of milling.

What struck me with these breads, is how each one had a grassy aroma, almost as if you could smell the field –
Dr. Jones said this happens with freshly-milled flour.

Flavors identified in these loaves by our group of tasters were a range: butteriness, caramel, sweet, pepper, spice, chocolate, bitter, earthy, milky – some loaves had more acidity than others. The bread I tasted made with the Renan wheat didn’t have an upfront acidity but acidity came through and lingered in the aftertaste - quite good.
The crackers to my taste had different flavors than the bread, for example, cereal flavors and lemon notes. 
The cracker made from Soissons wheat had a ginger/spice flavor – quite extraordinary!

The next day, Dr. Jones talked about the wheat breeding work conducted at his research facility – the large number of wheat varieties they look at each year, breeding for flavor, explaining, or pulling out flavors in wheat by variety, location and year, for chefs and bakers. 
It would be wonderful to buy single-varietal wheat, labelled to describe flavor notes and terroir – just like you might find for a bottle of wine. It was very interesting and exciting to take part in the taste test and hear more about the work Dr. Jones and his team are doing at WSU!

(more about this in Floyd’s post)

(Dr. Jones has written about wheat, flavor and identity in this article, Kicking the Commodity Habit, published in Gastronomica)

“Roller Mill Demonstration” – Dr. Stephen Jones

Have you ever wanted to see what the inside of a roller mill looks like? I have, and was grateful Dr. Jones opened up a roller mill to show us the inside, and the end result of milling.


Next post:  Day 3!
Previous post: Day 1!

2012 Kneading Conference West posts: Day 1Day 2, Day 3






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local wheat, ripening in the sun

Hello everyone,
I attended the third annual Kneading Conference West this past weekend – a celebration of local wheat and grains, and a wonderful gathering of people interested in breeding, growing, milling and baking with them.

We couldn’t have received a warmer welcome – Dr. Stephen Jones and the other people hosting this event made us all feel right at home.

Once again, the hard-working Conference organizers brought us the most interesting speakers and presenters, creating a schedule jam-packed with so many great seminars it was difficult to choose which ones to go to. And everyone at WSU Mt. Vernon outdid themselves with their hospitality – we were very well taken care of by the staff, volunteers and caterers, with delicious meals and treats at the tasting events.

One of the lovely details – fresh flowers gracing our mealtime table

It was a pleasure meeting so many friendly people, and to see people I’d met before at this Conference.
The spirit of friendship and generosity was everywhere – people exchanging contact information, tips, formulas, experiences – and bread! The same gentleman who brought a beautiful wood-fired miche to share last year, did the same this year and this time I was lucky to be there when he sliced it and offered it for tasting. The crust had rich, caramel, roasted flavor, the crumb flavor was superb, with beautiful wheatiness and acidity. Check out this gorgeous bread, and crust!

I am not surprised there were so many people there I’d seen before at Kneading Conference West - the event keeps getting better and better, and continues to provide a great opportunity to connect with other bakers and to understand more about milling and farming.

To read more about this year's Conference, please see these posts:

Notes on the seminars and talks I attended on Day 1 follow:
“Bread Culture” – Dr. Darra Goldstein
“Yeasted Crackers” – Naomi Duguid and Dawn Woodward
“The Role of the Mill in Community Life” – Tom Hunton

Keynote Address – “Bread Culture” – Dr. Darra Goldstein

The hospitality experienced at the Conference and was a theme touched on by Dr. Darra Goldstein in her keynote presentation, “Bread Culture”. 
Dr. Goldstein took us through a beautiful slideshow of paintings and images depicting the relationship between people and bread through the centuries: bread as a basic necessity to survive, the labor to get bread to the table, bread as a symbol of charity, heavenly abundance and faith providing sustenance, bread and salt as the expression of hospitality in Russian culture, bread as political, bread becoming art, bread becoming Wonderbread. 
Some of the images (this is one of the images in the slideshow) showed people holding bread close to their heart or carrying bread close to their body. Dr. Goldstein suggested we should bring bread close to us again, to effect a cultural change.


“Yeasted Crackers” – Naomi Duguid and Dawn Woodward


It was a pleasure to see Naomi Duguid and Dawn Woodward working with yeasted cracker dough, and I was glad I stopped by to catch some of their discussion about their beautiful crackers.

Checking on things in the wood-fired oven

Here were some interesting things Dawn and Naomi mentioned:
- baking on a baking stone helps the cracker
- when baking with more flavorful grains, less sugar and salt are required
- the miller’s art comes through when tasting flavor differences in coarse vs. fine grinds
- interesting patterns can be imprinted on crackers, using the bottom of a whisk, for example
- a pasta machine can be used as a ‘sheeter’ to get cracker dough really thin
- lentil puree (lentils brought just to the boil, then pureed to a thick paste), when added to cracker dough, makes a supple dough

Turbinado sugar, sparkling in the sun, finishing this sweet cracker

Everyone got to enjoy Evelyn’s Crackers later in the day – with gorgeous cheeses from Gothberg Farm, Samish Bay Farm and Golden Glen Creamery, and brew from Skagit Valley Malting. Truly refreshing! :^)



“The Role of the Mill in Community Life” – Tom Hunton

Tom Hunton gave an really interesting talk about the work he and his family are doing down at Camas Country Mill in Oregon.  He talked about the mill being a community food hub, connecting growers, consumers, restaurants and baking schools, and food banks – by defining specific needs, facilitating intentional growing, and creating custom mixes at the mill.

Tom also talked about their focus on education and farm to school outreach. In addition to supplying Oregon school districts with local wheat for cafeteria programs, they have relocated the Lower Fern Ridge Schoolhouse, built in 1888 and in use until 1936, to Hunton’s Farm  – and are restoring it to use as an education and community center.  The school operated in Alvadore, OR and Tom said it was the last piece of living history there – it is lovely to think this building will not be abandoned or destroyed, but used once again for education, teaching kids (and adults) about farms and wheat, and how flour is made!

The Lower Fern Ridge School, relocated and awaiting its new foundation

(more about this in Floyd’s post)

Next post:  Day 2!

2012 Kneading Conference West posts: Day 1Day 2, Day 3

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Hello everyone,

Thanks to David for his Pizza Bliss post and the delicious pizza crust formula and method he shared.
Pizza crust has always been a challenge for me and I was very happy to have made this pizza crust!

David's formula made a lot of dough and we ate pizza three nights running - my husband couldn't believe his luck :^)

This was one of the pizzas we enjoyed (Bacon, Potato, Rosemary):

With the olive oil and bacon, we didn't add the Fontina cheese called for - even so, this pizza was extremely tasty and I imagine even more so, with the cheese!
The arugula topping added a really nice fresh flavor, delicious and simply dressed with fresh lemon juice.

before baking - bacon, potato, rosemary and onion toppings

baked, dressed and the crumb

                                    ...quite yummy!

Happy baking everyone!
:^) breadsong

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Hello everyone,

It’s been a summer of so much sun here in the Pacific Northwest – have tried to capture the season with some pictures –  flowers, light and beautiful sunshine.


the center of this flower seemed like the sun's rays...


I’ve been enjoying reading Hanne Risgaard’s book, Home Baked.  Ms. Risgaard’s breads and baking are as lovely to look at her writing is to read; the story of Skærtoft Mølle and Mr. Hamelman’s beautiful foreword adding to this beautiful book of breads.
The photos of the Danish summer landscapes are evocative and so pretty, the gorgeous light-filled images capturing the beauty of the grain, the fields and landscapes, and the flowers…

There are so many lighter foods to enjoy in summertime, but the temperatures in the kitchen here have been in the low 80’s, with some humidity too – rye time! Looking at this book again, I really wanted to bake some of Hanne’s Danish bread …this is her Spelt Rye Bread.

The Spelt Rye, in Ms. Risgaard’s method, is raised with old dough.  The first time I made this bread, I re-worked the formula to use a liquid rye levain (trying to keep the total amounts of each ingredient in line with the original formula) - and made extra dough, so I’d have ‘old dough’ for a second bake.

First bake with liquid rye levain                                  Second bake with old dough
400F oven reducing to 355F                                        500F oven reducing to 355F  


Here are the ingredients, and quantities used:
(Reprinted from Home Baked, copyright 2012 by Hanne Risgaard, used with permission from Chelsea Green Publishing (

First bake with rye levain (1750g dough for 9x4x4 pan, 400g dough reserved as old dough for next bake):

The 400g of old dough was based on the recipe in Hanne’s book, which makes a larger bread.
Here’s the formula re-sized (1750g dough for 9x4x4 pan + 339g old dough):


Second bake with old dough:


Crumb, from first bake:

With the second bake, I was delighted with the oven spring – 
not sure if it was due to the hotter start in the oven, or a really happy dough using old dough!
(no crumb shot for this one, this loaf was a gift)

The flavor was really robust and very complex in the version using old dough, but the first version using liquid rye levain tasted pretty good, too :^)  Both were very hearty, and delicious with the seeds.

Have baked Ms. Risgaard’s Pumpkinseed Buttermilk Rye a couple of times, too.  Another  wonderful formula, the buttermilk adding richness; and love how the top crackles so attractively during baking.

One more sunny picture, this time of grain ripening in a local field  –
a promise of a good harvest and more good bread to come!

Happy baking, and happy summer, everyone!
:^) breadsong

Submitted to YeastSpotting 

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Hello everyone,

Andy (ananda) very kindly sent some Gilchester’s Farmhouse Brown flour home with Franko, after Franko’s recent trip to the UK and Czech Republic
Many thanks to both of these generous bakers – Andy for sharing this lovely flour, and Franko, who carefully packed the flour all the way home from the UK, then shipped some of the precious lot to me :^)   

(Isn't it cool how TFL enables us to make friends with people from all parts of the world?)

delighted to see this arrive in the mail: gorgeous, soft, golden, fluffy flour...


I used the flour for two separate bakes of Andy’s Gilchester’s Miche - this formula another fantastic contribution by Andy, but not the best handling of it, on my part...

The first bake (two boules) was under-proofed - to my dismay!, attempting a pretty stencilled pattern, inspired by the Gilchester's website design...
(the leading photo for this post was the "good" side)

before baking, then...                     under-proofing resulting in oven spring

               first boule...can still sort of see the "g" for gilchester's; and the other fared even worse!

Oh, dear.

Looks gave way to flavor and aroma, though: after the baking these loaves had a toasty, almost caramel-like aroma; the crust was crisp, but the crumb soft in texture.
The taste!: tangy, wheaty, even a bit peppery – with a lingering acidity, quite delicious.


Andy encouraged me for the second bake, saying it was better to be on the under-proofed side than
over-proofed, with this flour - given high extraction, fine milling, and lots of enzymes.

Not heeding Andy's advice, the second bake (a mini-miche with the remaining flour), I managed to 
over-proof (proofed for 2.5 hours instead of 2 hours as for the first bake):

baked, with very little movement in the oven          ...and the crumb

crumb might look a little better close up?
...this bread was just as fragrant and flavorful as the first :^)

Thanks again, Andy and Franko - your thoughtfulness resulted in bread with amazing flavor!
I'm thinking this flour must have been recently milled, given its 'fresh' taste - quite fabulous;
causing me to start thinking about home-milling again so I can try to recreate this flavor.

I am very grateful for the chance to bake with this flour - a lovely opportunity!

Happy baking everyone,
:^) breadsong




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Hello everyone, and  Happy Canada / Happy Cañada  Day!



This is a Spanish bread called Cañadas de Azúcar, baked for today,Canada’s national holiday.

I can’t remember where I first read about this bread – liking the name, I wanted to bake Cañadas for Canada Day :^) 
I searched online and found a blog entry about this bread here

Cañada translates to “gulley” or “ravine”, and Azúcar means sugar; so this is a good name for this flatbread,
with its dimpled surface and sugared topping!

In tribute to Canada’s maple trees, I used maple syrup and maple sugar
in my version.

 …summertime maple leaf  


Cañadas before baking, partway through the bake (removed from oven to brush on butter/olive oil and sprinkle with maple sugar), then returned to oven for a little bit longer to finish:



A lovely 'hint of maple' bite to have with morning coffee :^)

 ...couldn't have just one!



There have been pretty flowers blooming, so for our national holidays, here are some blooms...

Red and white for Canada


Red, white and blue, for the American TFL’ers about to celebrate the Fourth!


And how about some fireworks for this time of year? The stamens on these flowers seemed to display ‘fireworks’ so I’m including these photos as part of my holiday wishes :^)

Happy baking, and happy holidays, everyone!
:^) breadsong

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Hello everyone,

                …pretty daisies on the exhibition grounds, greeting me as I arrived for the Baking Congress


Summer arrived this week – I’m happy for all the people who have travelled to Vancouver (at this time of beautiful weather!), to participate in the Baking Association of Canada’s Baking Congress, held yesterday and today.
I was able to attend yesterday, enjoyed the company of many really nice people, including TFL’s Floyd, running into him unexpectedly :^)
Floyd's post about the event is here - great coverage and lots of really good photos!

Craig Ponsford, Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie gold medal winner (1996) and former chairman of the Bread Baker’s Guild of America (BBGA) conducted bread-baking demonstrations, ably assisted by Tracy Muzzolini, a member of Team Canada 2008 and the BBGA. Both taught at BBGA's WheatStalk event last summer in Chicago but I didn't have the opportunity to take their classes - so it was wonderful to seem them at this conference. Thanks to them both for the instruction, and their hard work putting together the demo!  

A nice variety of 100% whole-grain breads were prepared – baguettes and Red Fife and barley pretzels (baked that day) and I was able to see Craig shape pumpernickel, braid challah and mix Danish dough to be laminated the next day.

Craig has published a collection of whole-grain and gluten-free recipes for the California Raisin Marketing Board – formulas for delicious-looking pumpernickel and pretzels are here:

Craig shared lots of interesting information during the demonstration I saw.

(display of how the wheat berry components can be separated during milling, part of the lovely display at Nunweiler's Flour booth - the gentleman there very generous, sharing information about milling, and samples of their organic, whole-grain flour)

On whole-milled flour:
- the components of the wheat berry are never separated when flour is whole-milled; flour labelled as whole-wheat could have the endosperm, germ and bran separated and re-combined
- how to tell if the flour you have has been whole-milled: the flour will never sift out white, as the germ ‘smears’ when milling and gives color to the flour; the flour will have similar particle sizes so you won’t see large pieces of bran
- whole-milling stabilizes the germ
- you can use 2/3 less yeast when using whole-milled whole-wheat flour as this flour provides more food for the yeast

On mixing:
- 2nd speed mixing too aggressive for whole-grain flour
- recommended less mixing time and using folds, to preserve flavor
- add salt later on intensive mixes; if you add salt too soon, dough can build strength too fast and potentially break down before it’s fully mixed

On sweeteners:
An interesting thing Craig does to cut down on white sugar is to substitute agave syrup or fruit puree (applesauce, banana or prune puree, raisin paste, hydration may need adjusting if using a really wet puree). He mentioned he includes applesauce in his Pumpernickel bread – wish I could have been there to taste the baked bread!

On shaping:
Craig used wet hands and roughly air-shaped the pumpernickel paste, placed it in a tub of coarse pumpernickel meal, making sure it was completely coated in meal before placing in a greased pan, and noted you can keep the rye paste super wet as the coarse rye will keep on absorbing.

...really coarse pumpernickel meal, and a toss into the pan

And when braiding the challah, he demonstrated how you can braid ‘up’ instead of braiding on a horizontal plane; I think he said it was easier to see what you were doing. It was like he was braiding a little tower - I wish I could have captured that braiding method on video.

On pretzels and lye:
Craig sprayed the pretzels with a 4% lye solution, using a regular spray bottle. I thought this was a wonderful idea - no splashing or dripping as might happen when dipping, no distortion of the shape because you’re not moving the pretzels, and you might not have to mix as much solution?

Here’s the baked baguette, super flavor!:

and the crumb... 

These are pieces of the pretzel cut up for tasting

(I was preoccupied taking the picture and regret not taking a piece, to sample)

A short seminar on sprouted grains was presented by Everspring Farms.

The lady presenting (I regret not catching her name) discussed the nutritional benefits of sprouting, and some variables to consider when sprouting - time and temperature (germination times of 12 to 48 hours were mentioned), and the variety of wheat (as germination weakens the grain).
The lady presenting also mention the duration of germination would affect the amount of sprouted grain you blended into your mix (the longer the length of germination, the lower the inclusion of rate of sprouted grain flour); and that using sprouted flour can give a softer crumb and slow staling.
She also said sprouted grains can be used as a wet mash, but to mill into flour, are the sprouted grain is dried down at a low temperature.
Here’s a picture of a wet mash:
(ground with the Kitchen Aid grinder)

I tried making a sprouted grain bread with that mash, along with additional sprouted whole-wheat flour once, and really liked the bread! The seminar was a good reminder to get organized and try this again.

Here are some pictures of Artistry, on display:



 (this bread was really good)




Dogwood flowers crafted by a young lady from Vancouver Island University, above in color, below, au naturel

This Spring, I've tried to take pictures of dogwood blooms and I'd say the ones above look very realistic!


It was a very enjoyable day at the Baking Congress, so glad I attended - met many helpful and kind people, saw some beautiful baking and got the chance to taste delicious things.

Happy baking everyone,
:^) breadsong

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Hello everyone,

January’s Bread Baking Day theme is “A Bread Fashion Show”, with a call for decorated crusts.
What a lovely idea!


A Fashion Show seemed to call for fabric – how to use fabric to decorate bread?
I was reminded me of a photo I saw once, of one of Roger Gural’s beautiful breads, stencilled with a lacy pattern.
Off to the fabric store I went.

This is Mr. Hamelman’s Unkneaded Six-Fold French Bread, using a big piece of lace to stencil, for this month’s baking challenge. I wish I could say I used fancy French lace – this was more likely drapery material :^)    



Many thanks: to Mr. Gural for the inspiration, to Mr. Hamelman for his delicious recipe, to Jenni at The Gingered Whisk for a wonderful idea for this month’s challenge, and to Zorra for her Bread Baking Day event.
I’m so looking forward to seeing what other bakers will create for this month’s ‘decorated bread’ baking theme!


*Update to this post - one more entry for the Fashion Show :^)

I was going through some photos and remembered this bread I baked a long time ago (2011).
This bread was inspired by a fashionable, floral, felted hat, made by a very talented lady I met at a bread-baking class -
I wanted to add this bread to this post!
This sourdough bread's crust was covered with decorative dough 'flowers', that had been colored with white flour, cocoa and cornmeal; the 'leaves' were colored with green pea flour. Had fun with cookie cutters, for this one :^)


Happy baking everyone,
:^) breadsong


breadsong's picture

Hello everyone,

I saw a beautiful post on last February – 
Jeremy’s lovely take on a Swedish seed bread (Svenska frö bröd).
The ‘mosaic of a crumb’ Jeremy described; all those beautiful seeds! That bread looked so, so good.
It took me awhile to look up his friend Martin’s blog, and bake this bread – I’m so glad I did! - here's a slice... :^)



There’s so much I like about this bread!

Tons of seeds (pearled barley too)  ;
rye sour and a decent proportion of whole grain flour; easy mixing and process;
the delicious flavor and keeping qualities.

There were some interesting things in Martin’s formula and process.
Martin recommended a cold soak for the seeds, to soften them but not so much that they disappear into the crumb after baking.
Bread syrup was one of the ingredients. I wasn’t sure what bread syrup was but Jan Hedh had a definition in his book Swedish Breads and Pastries (syrup is 25% sugar). I thought I’d try molasses, and for another try, barley malt syrup from the brewer’s, as a substitute.
The mixing was really quick; no dough development, just long enough to combine the ingredients, then the dough panned and retarded.
Reading through Martin's post, the timing for this bread seemed so convenient, the process easy; and they were! :^)

For this bread, I wanted to emphasize barley, since barley is one of ‘seeds’ in this bread.
Barley malt syrup (a dark, thick syrup found at a brewshop) was used in place of bread syrup, and barley flour in place of whole rye called for in the original formula, for the final dough.


                                     The baked loaf

The formula for the bread picture above:

I liked this bread so much I experimented a little bit with the flour and syrup, making a couple of other versions -

whole barley flour, regular molasses at 24% of flour                         
(a bit of sweet carried through in the flavor - factoring in seeds, too, dough may have had about 10% sugar overall)
(scaled approximately 1400g dough for 9"x4"x4" pullman pan)

whole rye flour in final dough, blackstrap molasses at 12% of flour
(a bit of extra water added to compensate for the decreased amount of syrup)
(scaled 768g dough for 8.5"x4.5" bread pan)

In terms of flavor and texture, these breads were moist, chewy, hearty, rich and full of flavor.
Thank you so much to Martin in Sweden for this beautiful bread, and to Jeremy for his gorgeous version of it!

Happy baking everyone!
:^) breadsong

Submitted to YeastSpotting :^)

breadsong's picture

Happy holidays everyone!

This is a take on Guro’s lovely Caucasian Bread – a Christmas version, colored red, with sun-dried tomato pesto
for the filling :^)

There was a lovely round-up of Roses in this post (so many pretty breads featured!, which got me thinking about savory fillings and flavors for this bread).


Here's the recipe for the sun-dried tomato pesto (makes more than you will need for the rose bread):
Place in food processor and process until you have a smooth paste:
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (preserved in oil, but drained)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1/8 to 1/4 cup grated asiago or parmesan cheese

Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 3 drops Tabasco sauce, and 1/2 cup real mayonnaise.
Process again until smooth. Adjust salt to taste. Transfer to bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
The recipe called for a bit more olive oil, but I held back, not wanting to make the pesto too thin (concerned it might run out during proofing and baking).

This is my interpretation of Guro's formula. I kept hydration to 63% as I liked how that worked when making
Julia's rose bread, and reduced the yeast as I was going for a longer, overnight fermentation.
I used half of the dough to make the rose, and saved the other half to make something else.

Flour counter; roll dough to 15"x20".
Cover dough with 190g of sun-dried tomato pesto, leaving a clean border (about 1/4").

Roll up from long side;  brush flour off of dough as you roll

Cut in half lengthwise (used a serrated knife).   
Fold open to expose the layers. Pick up one piece and lay over the second piece, forming an 'X' shape, keeping the cut sides facing up.

Twist the pieces to form one long rope  Coil the rope to form the rose

Proof for about one hour. Some of the olive oil might leak out during proofing

Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes, or until 195F internal temperature is reached, turning loaf for even browning or covering with foil to prevent overbrowning, if needed.

 a colorful, flavorful crumb! :^)


Thank you, Guro! This was a fun and very delicious bread to make. It had the aroma of a really good pizza,
while it was cooling.
I was regretting not having any fresh oregano to add to either the dough, or the pesto!
Something to look forward to, for next time, although the bread had wonderful flavor as is.

Happy baking everyone!
:^) breadsong

Submitted to YeastSpotting :^)



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