The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

dabrownman's blog

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After making tortilla pizza a coupe of times we decided to go the other way with this one.  Too hot for pizza made indoors, so we decide the gas grill, with a stone, was the way to go for Sicilian Pan Pizza.  SPP isn’t like thick crust Chicago style pan pizza but it isn’t thin crust pizza we love so much either – it is more like focaccia with pizza toppings.


The dough was a one day affair, with no retards, made with a half teaspoon of IDY for 2 ½ C of flour. The half being sprouted Khorasan and 1 C each of LaFama AP and Safeway bread flour, 2% salt 1 T of EVOO and ½ T of sugar and about 1 3/8 C of water.  We also put in our standard 1 clove of minced garlic. ½ T of dried Rosemary and 1 T of minced dried tomatoes.

This dough makes great focaccia bread all on its own but topped with pizza cheeses, grilled sausage, smoked pepperoni, fresh pizza sauce, mushrooms, red onions and red peppers with fresh basil for garnish, you have a real winner on your hand if you don’t mess up all that hard work like Lucy did.

The sauce was based on Chris Bianco’s fresh sauce but modified to use fresh home grown cherry tomatoes instead of canned San Marzano plumb tomatoes plus we used Thai Basil instead if regular Genovese and we added red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and one clove of garlic to the mix and then crushed it with our bare hands for 5 minutes until it made a nice fresh pizza sauce.

We liked this sauce a lot.  We put the stone on the gas grill and turned the 4 burners up to full whack to get the temp up to 600 F and get the stone screaming hot.  Sadly, the grill was full of grease from all the meats made on it and it caught fire with flames shooting up 2’ over the stone and smoke billowing.

Grilled Salmon

My neighbor came over thinking the house was on fire.  I showed him the grill n fire and he just laughed saying he was glad I was just stupid rather than the house on fire.  That grill hat to be 1,000 degrees for sure and it wouldn’t stop burning even after I turned off the burners.

Grilled Chicken - half for tacos.

Soot covered the entire patio concrete and the outside, of the once shiny stainless steel grill, was black.  When the fire finally went out I waited for the temperature to get to 450 F before firing up the burners manually on low because the battery for the igniter had melted.  Oddly the once dirty stone was completely clean like it had been in the oven on cleaning cycle.

There is that salad ....or two

When The temperature got back to 550 F, the same temperature I make pizza inside in the oven, I put the panned pizza on the stone and closed the grill setting the timer for 5 minutes.  Normally it takes 7 minutes inside to get a thin crust perfect, but when I opened the lid to check it, the crust was totally burnt around the edges dark as charcoal as was most of the bottom. 

A bake day SD breakfast or ......another omelet or two

I forgot the stone was lagging in temperature and still about 800 F when I checked it with the infrared thermometer. 2-3 minutes would have been way, way better for sure.  Better to use your tools before committing the pizza to the stone for sure but – oh well, maybe next time.

My wife just cut off the burnt bottom and said the edge pieces were fine.  Being lazy,  I ate the middle of the pie that was not nearly as burned without cutting off the dark part.  it didn’t taste burnt but was crispy like no thicker crust style pizza ever was supposed to be.

So, all is well that ends well. Next time, Lucy will remember to empty the drip pan and the slide out bottom of the grill like normal people do before making pizza on the grill.  Thankfully we also got a chance ti redeem ourselves by making my wife’s Sourdough Sandwich Loaf with a 22 hour retard.  It turned out way, way better than the pizza for sure.

This one very similar t the last 2 except it has 20% whole grains, all of it in the 100% hydration levain begun with 15 g of NMNF starter.  Once the larger than normal levain had doubled, we retarded it overnight for 12 hours to bring out the sour. My wife is liking sour bread recently. Yea!

 We eat a lot of salad. 

We also had 5% each Sprouted Spelt and Sprouted Khorasan in the dough flour with the remainders split half and half with Signature bread flour from Safeway and LaFama AP.  We upped the hydration to 80% for this one too keeping the PH sea salt at 2%

The method was a bit different with only 2 sets of slap and folds. of 100 and 50 slaps and 2 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points - all on 45 minute increments for a change.  After shaping and placing it into a wide loaf pan sprayed with pan release, we let it sit for half an hour before bagging and putting it into the fridge for a 22 hour retard.

It wasn’t quite finished proofing so we left it on the counter for another 2 hours before spritzing the top and baking it in a 500 F preheated oven with lave rocks for Mega Steam.  We turned the oven down to 450 F when we closed the door after putting 2 C of cold water on the hot rocks.  After 18 minutes of steam, we took the rocks out of the bottom of the oven and turned the oven down to 425 F Convection for another 18 minutes ff dry heat.

When it hit 207 F we moved it to the cooling rack.  It Blistered and browned well but the bloom and spring was limited because it was 100 % proofed when it hit the heat.  The crumb came out perfect for sandwich bread and the way my wife likes it.  The next morning when I sliced it, the crumb was moist, soft and sour with a nice tang.

Breakfast Sandwich with this bread

This is one of many delicious white sourdough breads that everyone should at least like a little bit.

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We finally got some time off to visit our SIL and daughter In their new Seattle home over the Memorial Day weekend and meet Mabel for the first time too.  We had a really nice time over the 5 days and got to see the city up close.  Mabel is cute as a button….. and smart as a whip unlike other baking apprentices who are bred to be stupid.


Our SIL was only there one day since the USS Nimitz, CVN-68 just got out of dry dock after a years’ worth of refit and has started its first of many weeks of sea trials.  We got to see it leave port from the roof of their apartment that is a block away from the Space Needle and has one of the best 360 degree views of the city from the 41st floor.

There is the Nimitz leaving port for the first time in a year on a typica cloudy day in Seattle.

Here is what it looks like on a non cloudy day

The only thing not wildly overpriced at Pike’s Market are the flowers,  We got a beautiful, huge bouquet for $20 but it is still fun to see them throwing the fish you just bought for a fortune being thrown around all over the place!  Three Girls Bakery is there and we got 2 bagels with a schmear and lox or $24 – yikes!  But, they were 3 guys there for some reason.

They had some nice looking bread in the window but, by the time we got the bagels eaten, the huge pile of people were there for the holiday weekend and I couldn’t get close enough to get a picture of the display window,  It was wall to wall peeps for the rest of the morning.  We did buy some fresh prawns, diver scallops and hot links for gumbo my daughter said I had to make while there so she could get a refresher course on how to make it just so and get a batch of creole seasoning.

Mt Rainier is the white covered peak in he middle - 60 miles away from where the picture was taken.

The one night My SIL was there, he smoked the sausages and chicken thighs for the gumbo and some Spanish, not Mexican, Chorizo that was already smoked for a breakfast omelet the next morning. It is always better to smoke sausages again if they come smoked because they do such a horrible job of smoking them in the first place.

The Chorizo came from Metropolitan Market along with several aged cheddar and gouda cheeses.  This is a great grocery store that is not nearly as good as Central Market in or even HEB in Texas but as good as AJ’s in Scottsdale or Whole Foods - but more expensive than all of them.  Everything in Seattle is expensive.

We went to Molly’s to get 4 ice cream cones and a jar of

udge toping and the bill came to $35 – Jeeze!   The ice cream was good but not that good – no ice cream is!   You have to be really rich to live there for sure and I’m wondering how all the homeless people can do so?  They moved most of them out of downtown and out to an I-5 Camp so it isn’t as bad as it was not long ago.

Still, it is a lovely place so different from Phoenix and a great place to visit for sure.  The COSCO in Kirkland had great prices on Washington red wines, highly rated 4.4 to 4.5 on Vinino’s label photo app, for $17 to $24.  Now you know where their private label ‘Kirkland’ comes from.  They had good prices in salmon too, compared to Pike’s Market so we got some

Shrimp Pasta with cherry tomatoes and smoked susage.

We took Mabel to Discovery Park for a walk and found the Indian Cultural Canter there too.  Weed is legal there but this takes stoned Indians to a new level😊  We went to the locks to see the boats going up and down after going to 8 OZ for great bacon, cheese burgers, truffle fries, beer and wine for happy hour one night – the only other time we went out to eat while there.  Didn’t get to any winery’s or breweries this trip but, the local beer our SIL had in the beer fridge was nice too.

Mabel is worth the trip on her own.  She is the sweetest thing, never barks or growls and loves to play with toys, other dogs or humans. I posted 3 videos of her, playing soccer with a ball in her mouth, playing with herself in a mirror and with other doggies at puppy school.

3 of the movies would not upload and I couldn't figure out how to do it.

I made a SD bread for the folks that take care of my teeth.  I had an appointment yesterday but couldn’t get the bread done soon enough to get it too them during my appointment so I ran it up for lunch today.  They are so nice and really love my bread.  This is my wife’s favorite white Sourdough but made into a squat batard slashed twice.

It is 20% whole grain, red and white wheat with rye and 10% sprouted spelt and Khorasan.  The rest was half AP and bread flour at 78% hydration overall and 2% Pink Himalayan sea salt.  The bran levain was made with 15g of NMNF Rye starter stored for weeks in the fridge at 100% hydration using all the whole  flour to get it to 20% pre-fermented flour.  This is larger than normal but we only planned a 15 hour shaped retard.One it doubled it went I nto the fridge overnight.

Since all the bran is in the levain, I stopped doing an autolyse and just mix all the dough flour, water and  levain together with a few slap and folds and sprinkle the salt on top and just let it sit for 40 minutes.  It is so much easier to mix the levain into the eater and then into the dough flour to get everything evenly incorporated.  The whole grain flour is still sitting at 100% hydration and acid for 24 hours so it will be plenty soft enough – at least Lucy says so and she is First Class now after being a 2nd and 3rd class loser for 15 years.

150, 75 and 25 slap and fold sessions followed and then 3 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points finished out the dough manipulations – all on the 30 minute intervals.  Then we let the dough sit for 2 hours to bulk up before shaping and retarding for 15 hours.  The kitchen was 84 F.  IF wee were going for a longer cold proof we would have cut the 2 hour bulk on the counter for an hour or less for sure if a 40 hour retard was planned.  We baked it in a CC our usual way – no spritzing this time.

This came out perfectly sour, medium open, moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside and plain delicious.  We got it to the dental office just in time for lunch and also took them some of the cherry tomatoes we picked this morning.  They wanted the whole thing sliced up fairly and we all got a taste right away – just delicious.  The bread was great but the star of this post besides Mabel was my SIL’s sourdough popovers using the NMNF starter Lucy gave him the last time he was in Phoenix.

Killer Spanish Chorizo Omelet to go with the SD popover.

He made a counter overnight levain of 50 g each of flour and milk with 15 g of NNF starter.  Then the next morning he added 120 g of AP flour, 225 g of milk, 3 eggs and 2% salt.  He mixed it up and let it sit as the oven came up to 450 F.  The muffin tins were sprayed with Pam.  You want to make sue the levain is very active for sure.  I’m not sure where the recipe came from but it is similar to KA Flour one.  It turned out terrific and made for a fantastic breakfast.

My wife kept saying Mable Mable set the table and my daughter and SIL just couldn’t put 2 and 2 together on their dog setting the table.   They are young and didn’t know the history if Mabel in the my wife’s family when she was growing up in St Louis….. 55 years ago.  Mable was the family, maid, house keeper and nanny and my MIL used to say – Mabel Mabel set the table every night😊  Now everyone says it to our new Mabel!

Since Lucy got promoted she spends most of her time like this.  She be tired and sleeping soundly.  Sweet Dreams!

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It has been awhile since Lucy had to do any bread baking and she was certainly into doing so again with her new title she happened to earn on her 15th birthday – May the 12th.  She had been a 2nd  \Class for so long she thought that was as high a title there was in the Bread Making Fantasy World (BMFW).


Pork Carnitas El Pastor (with grilled fresh Pineapple) naked and then with all the fixings.  Carnitas sauce, Crema, cilantro, green onion, mango salsa and sliced avacado.

Since our last bread post we also celebrated Cinco De Mayo and Mother’s Day too!  Who knew May was so packed with stuff with Memoria Day still to come.  With all the May happiness going on, it isn’t so strange, even with her laziness, that Lucy baked two identical breads, 16 hours apart that looked totally different yet tasted so similar.

Don't forget the Veggie Tamals but there were Chile Verde chicken ones too

Yeah, she be lazy more than anything else so she only whipped up one recipe but divided it up after the bulk ferment to shape 300 g of it into a Squat Bag that she retarded for 24 hours and then put the rest of the dough into a wide pan to make a loaf of sandwich bread for her Momma with a 40 hour retard.  Lucy is sweet like that when she isn’t biting you or upchucking on your toes for no reason at all.

And Pork Enchiladas.With amber Dos XX's and Prickly Pear margaritas and chips with home made beans.  It was too good ....What am I saying?

This one had 25.35 % whole grain evenly divided between red and white wheat with an equal amount of rye tossed into the Nutrimill.  Instead of making a bran levain, we used half the whole grains for the 12.7% pre-fermented whole 100% hydration, levain to make the 2 loaves.  So, half the whole grains were autolyzed for 2 hours at 100% hydration for the dough flour.

The baguette was sliced at a 45 degree angle to make bruschetta with mu SIL recipe from Houston!  Delish!

The levain was started with 17 g of NMNF Whole Rye Starter and it was retarded for a full 24 hours after it doubled to bring out the acetic acid for this rather large amount of levain.  Normally, with the temperature around 90-100 F, we would be in the 7% range for the pre-fermented flour but We had planned for two large loaves instead of 1 and a half since the baguette was only 300 g.

The volunteer cherry tomatoes are going gangbusters producing this many every day!

3 different gains are never enough for a committed floozy baker of any class; like Lucy, so she added 8% each sprouted spelt and sprouted Khorasan to the mix to up the flavor another notch or two and let’s face it, sprouted grains make any bread ferment and taste better.  Are they a revolution like Peter Reinhart says?  Well maybe a serious uprising, but he was trying to sell a book too.

The wofe wanted rids for Mother's Day so I said OK and added chicken and mild Italian sausage to her request and the salad of course!  Last night I made the bruschetta topping and used that for the salad dressing - Killer!

Being old as well as lazy, we have taken to skipping an autolyse for the white dough flour but have added a step to compensate,  We mix the levain in with the dough water and add it to the dough flour, mix it with few slap and folds and then sprinkle the 2% pink Himalayan sea salt on top and letting it rest for 40 minutes. We added enough dough water to get the overall hydration up to 78%

The loaf sliced beautiful and thin like she likes it and was soft moist and open too.  Best of all she loves the way this bread tastes!  It really is delicious.

We started the gluten development with 200 slap and folds.  Then did 2 more sets of 40 and 10 all on 22-minute intervals.  22 minutes may seem odd but that was where the timer was already set on the iPhone and Lucy is way too important to change it now that she is 1st Class all the way.  The dough didn’t seem to notice but it wasn’t talking either.

Nothing wrong with a big, juicy Kansas City Strip now and again especially with grilled salmon for the feint of heart:-)

Then we did 3 sets of 4 stretch and folds from the compass point on 30-minute intervals.  We lopped off 300 g of dough with the scraper for the baggie and shaped both pieces.  The baggie went into a rice floured tea towel lining a basket and the loaf went into a sprayed wide loaf pan instead of Yippee’s Pullman this time.

You have to have a good breakfast on Bake Day, Banana Strawberry SD pancake or any other day, Kale and veggie omelette :-)

Into the fridge they went for their 24 and 40 hour retards.  We needed a baguette for bruschetta.  The cherry tomatoes that came up volunteer this year are really starting to go into overdrive producing at least 50 Husky and Sweet 100’s every day.  Nothing like a fully vine ripened cherry tomato especially when used for bruschetta and bruschetta requires great SD bread grilled on an open flame.

How about Bruschetta with ribs?

We let the baguette sit outside in the 100 F heat to warm up as the oven heated to 500 F with the 9x13 pan of lava rocks on the bottom rack, a stone on the middle rack and a stone on the top rack.  We unmolded the baggie, slashed it 4 times and into the oven it went as we put 1 cup of water on the lava rocks, closed the door and let it steam at 450 F for a short 8 minutes.

It is tiny lump of dough and 8 minutes is plenty for steam and another 8 minutes at 425 F Convection will get it to 206 F on the inside.  It just isn’t enough time to get it dark on the outside but, with it going on the grill to toast, I didn’t want it to be dry on the inside to start with.  The loaf went in the next day, after 2 hours on the counter, with 18 minutes of steam (2 ½ C of water on the rocks) and then 18 minutes of 425 F dry heat using convection.

The loaf browned up very nicely and both were blistered.  I brushed the loaf with water after it came out of the oven to make sure the crust was nice and soft after it cooled and wrapped in plastic overnight.  The baguette was more open but still made the best toasted slab for bruschetta imaginable. 

There are few Minneolas left on the tree - perfect for this mornings breakfast

Both of these are some seriously tasty bread for sure.  I don’t think it is possible to make a better white bread when it comes to taste.  NMNF sourdough with a retarded whole grain levain and long retarded proof, 25% whole grain with 15% sprouted grain and using several different grains makes for about the best white bread that can come out of your kitchen.

We love home made soup of all kinds, even with packaged noodles

Here she is with her 15th birthday. buzz cut and new purple - K State bow.  She's the best even if only a First Class Baking Apprentice:-)

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She made it to 15 so Lucy got her promotion to Baker's Apprentice First Class.  She sends her congrats to all the mothers out there on this special day.

Lucy celebrated by picking cherry tomatoes this morning.  Mom asked for ribs for dinner and they are dry rubbed in the fridge we wll make some some sausages and maybe so chicken thighs too.

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Oppssss.  Mabel is very shy and doesn't want her pictures posted.  She is a cutie for sure though!

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After David Snyder’s experiments with 40 hour retarded sourdough pan bread, Lucy thought she would try that out on the wife’s sandwich pan bread.  We didn’t know if the 11% sprouted flour used in the dough would somehow cause the dough to over ferment or over proof and not act like David’s with this one being 3% wetter as well.  But no worries, it turned out fine.


Lucy always gets a little antsy each year when it comes to the that we decide to do taxes, especially when it is later knowing we are going to pay a bunch.  Well, it is always better to have to pay a bunch rather than not having to pay at all – way better for sure …..and when the bread turns out nice then the world is on an even keel.

After the 40 hour retard

This one had another weird twist of process.  We wants to develop the gluten over the first hour using 3 sets of slap and folds and then extend the bulk on the counter for another 3 hours using 3 sets of stretch and folds.  But ,after mixing with the levain in the mix from the beginning and the salt sprinkled on top with 3% the water sprinkled on top of the salt, Lucy fall asleep for 3 hours which is a pretty short nap for her now a days.

Ready for the oven

So the plan had to change to 3 hours of sitting after mixing with the salt and a bit of water on top and then doing 2 sets of slap of folds of 50 and 25 slaps and 1 set of starch of folds from the compass points all on 20 minute intervals. So, then I was worries that Lucy’s nap would mess things up – but not…all ws well.  We shaped it and plopped into the bottom of Yippee’s tall Oriental Pullman pan.

We them put it onto a plastic grocery bag and into the fridge it went for exactly 4 hours and 5 minutes so Lucy could say she retarded her loaf 5 minutes longer than David did😊  She is like that sometimes making it a dog eat dog world from her point of view!  At least the bran levain was pretty standard.  12 g of NMNF whole rye stiff starter Pre-fermented flour was 13% using all the bran from the whole grains at 100% hydration.  It wasn’t retarded this time

He whole grains were equal amounts of wheat, rye and oats that totaled 24%.  The sprouted grains for the dough flour were spelt and Kamut in equal amounts at 12% total.  The rest of the dough flour was equal parts of LaFama AP and Safeway store brand Signature bread flour at 32% each - overall hydration was 78%.

When it came out of the fridge after the retard, it had risen right to the top of the rim on the middle so it needed another hour on the counter before firing up the oven for another hour at 500 F.  When it went into the oven it was 1 inch over the rim in the middle.  Then we realized we did’t have any steaming method ready.  So, we spritzed the top and threw a cup of water in the bottom of the oven as we closed the door. And turned the oven down to 450 F

10 minutes later we threw another cup of water in the bottom of the oven.  At the 20 minute mark, we  opened the oven to release the steam and turned the oven down to 425 F convection and continued baking for another 16 minutes until the middle was 205 F.  It rose enough to crease the top of the loaf on the rack above the level we baked it at.

It browned up well too.  We didn’t take it out of the pan for the last 8 minutes as usual so the sides and bottom weren’t as brown as usual but the wife likes the crust soft and this is the way to get it.  We also brushed the top with water twice after it came out to soften it too!  The taste of this bread is amazing even if the crumb is tighter than we thought it would be.

Mango salsa and Chicken tacos 


And Chicken tacos

It was still nicely open for a sandwich bread.  we didn’t taste it till 18 hours after it was baked so it had some time to redistribute the moisture and get sour.  The sour was very good and the tang was nice as well.  This is a fine tasting sprouted white SD bread – even the wife said she though ti was great and that is all that counts.  It slices as thin as you want it to too.

Bake day breakfast

Salmon Dinner with salad

dabrownman's picture

It is a bit less than a month till May the 5th but we will celebrate on May the 4th a Saturday instead.  That way folks that come into from out of town  can fly in in Friday after work and fly home on Sunday 

I live in a lake community called the Islands in Gilbert and there is a community park right next to the lake with Pavilions where we can stretch out,  I'm checking to see if we can have wine and beer outdoors or we will have to have it at my house next to the pool.  

A guy across the street has an Air B&B right on the the lake that is 2,800 SF that will sleep 8 if you want go in on a place close by for a couple of nights on the cheep.  We are 20 minutes from the airport and Scottsdale and 10 minutes to the fun in downtown Gilbert which is hopping on Friday and Saturday nights.

Lucy is serving her best Mexican food so Saturday is covered for food.  She will have beer and wine too and might make her famous Prickly Pear Margaritas for the faithful.  If you walk across the street to sleep it off then no worries about driving!

If you want to bring your favorite bread then suit yourself.  will will have the cheese and wine to go with it.

Send me a RSVP by PM on this site so Lucy can start to get ready.  The mire the merrier.  Cinco de Mayo is all about celebration and I'm ready for one!  How about you?

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After last weeks bake my wife said she wanted a bread like that one but in the shape of a loaf, but not in a Pullman pan, so the crumb would be a bit more open.  Well. Lucy said we would bale it in the Pullman pan without the lid.


Them my daughter said she wanted two loaves to take to people at work.  Originally when needed 3 half loaves and we would keep one half of one at home but as soon as the word got out at work that Lucy’s sprouted SD bread was coming to work she needed pieces for 8 people so each would get a quarter of a loaf instead.

The wife’s bread was coming along nicely and we were waiting for it to sit for 20 minutes before shaping and then a 10 hour retard after 3 sets of slap and folds and 3 sets of stretch and folds all on 30 minute intervals.  But Lucy being as old as she is, fell asleep leaving the dough on the counter under the stainless-steel mixing bowl all night.

My wife likes it thin and this bread slices thin.

When I wok up at 5 AM she was looking at me sheepishly so out to the kitchen I went and the dough had expanded so much it filled the entire bowl and lifted it off the counter by and inch with dough oozing out all around like it was planned.   

The part sticking out was very hard, so I cut it off with a knife and quickly shaped the rest of the dough and plopped it into the bottom of the Pullman pan and put it into a plastic grocery bag for another proof.  It sad there for 3 hours and only rose 25% - Oh my – so much for a more open crumb.  It was still 2 inches from the rim of the tall Pullman pan.

I slid the lid on thinking it was too pooped to pop but when the lid came off, 18 minutes later at 450 F, the top of the bread had stuck to the lid!  I finally got the lid to slid off and the top of the bread came with it.  So, I peeled the stuck part off and stuck it back on the bred and let it continue baking at 425 F convection until it read 207 F.

What is not to like about home made chicken noodle veggie soup with Chinese noodles?

Yeah, the top of the bread looked a but wonky but the crumb was open and the flavor of this bread was terrific.   It is the best tasting SFSD style recipe when it comes for sour for sure.  This one was 15 whole rye, red and white wheat and 10% sprouted spelt and sprouted Khorasan pretty much like the last loaf that tasted great but this one tasted superb.  Something abut a really long way over fermented dough that turned out not to be over fermented all that much.

Bake day breakfast sausage, bacon egg, butter, jam and cheese sandwiches on Yippee's Latvian Black bread

The boule and squat oval for my daughter was the same recipe, 10% pre-fermented whole grain , 100@ levain and 78% hydration total but it was not not over fermented on the counter and it was only 2 hours total for proof but it was under proofed.  I should have let it go longer but it had proofed 85%.  The crumb was not as open but it sure smelled good even though I didn’t get a taste.

One thong is for sure, I am going to let it bulk ferment longer on the counter from now on, ala Forkish, until it really doubles in volume or even more and hope it isn't too pooped to pop in the heat of the oven,

Yippee’s Latvian Black bread is really killer too!  Two great tasting breads this week,  one white and one black,  makes it a special break week for sure.

An Lucy says never forget the salad!


10% pre-fermented whole grain flour – Rye, red and white wheat

15% water

2% NMNF Whole Rye starter

Dough  Flour rest 30 minutes with levain added and 2% salt sprinkled on top

5% each - Whole grain flour mix, sprouted Spet, sprouted Khorasan

20% LaFama AP

45% Safeway Stare Brand (Signature) Bread flour

63% water.

dabrownman's picture

Yesterday was one of our favorite days of the year- St Paddy’s Day.  Even though part of my family came from Cork - the home of Beamish Beer and where Jameson’s rule, everyone can be Irish for a day.  They say that God created Guinness so that the Irish wouldn’t take over the world but for one day they do!  I hope all of you enjoyed the day as an Irishman won the Player’s Golf Championship – Rory MclIroy.  If an Irish American couldn’t win it, at least an Irishman did …… he is only 29 years old and going into the golf hall of fame for sure!


It hits the basket before the retard

Lucy and I love the SD brown SD bread from Ballymaloe’s famous cooking school, made with Beamish Stout, but the girls prefer their SD to be on the white side and they always win out when it comes to bread for smoked corned beef and bacon infused cabbage sandwiches – the must have St Patrick’s Day fare along with Colcannon and carrots – and Fairy Cakes.

90% proof

This bread was just perfect for the SCB sandwiches especially when slathered with homemade Dijon mustard that has been mellowing in the fridge for months just for this long-awaited day.  It was an easy enough recipe, at least for Lucy, because the girls don’t like stuff added into their bread ether.  The 12% fresh milled, whole grain flour, made up of red and white wheat, oat and rye in equal amounts with all of it in the 100% hydration levain, was made with 2.4% NMNF rye starter.  The whole grain levain was then retarded for 24 hours after it doubled.

The dough flour was made up of 4% each sprouted white durum and sprouted white spelt from Bob‘s Red Mill, 8% LaFama AP and 72% Artisan Bread Flour from Bob’s Red Mill.  The dough flour was autolyzed for 30 minutes with enough water to get the hydration up to 75% with the pink Himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top.  Then another 5% water was sprinkled over the salt getting the hydration up to 80% overall.

Lid comes off

The salt was mixed in with a spoon before the levain was added and mixed in roughly.  Then the first of 3 slap and folds commenced with 125 slaps followed by 2o and 10.  Even though this was 80% hydration and only 12% whole grains this one really came together nicely and it wasn’t slack enough to do any Sleeping Ferret folds after the slapping around it took.  So, we did 3 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points.


Then we shaped it into a squat oval and plopped it into a rice floured short oval basket and then bagged it into a plastic grocery bag and into the fridge it went for 8 hours of cold 38 F retard.  We went for a shaped retard because we knew St Paddy’s day would be hectic and we wanted to do as little as possible the next morning – plus we figured that the dough would not over proof in the fridge as we were sleeping in 8 short hours instead of our usual 12 hours.

Sure enough the dough was only 80% proofed in the morning, so we let it sit on the counter for an hour before starting up the oven with the combo cooker inside to it’s 500 F preheat.   It was 80 F yesterday but much cooler in the morning, so it sat on the counter for 2 hours to get to 90% proof - perfect for a white bread like this one.

We unmolded it onto parchment on a peel and slashed it twice long ways and into the combo cooker it went without being spritzed because Lucy forgot to do it even with the bottle right there in front of her big nose!  After 20 minutes of steaming with the lid on at 450 F, the lid came off for 6 minutes of convection beat at 425 F when we took it off the bottom of the CC to finish baking on the stone so it wouldn’t burn the bottom of the bread.

You want to wrap your brisket right as it is coming put of the stall ,around 170 F, and then continue cooking to 200 -205 F. Then put it in a cooler covered in towels for 2 hours and let it rest and get to 140 F before slicing and serving.

After another 10 minutes of dry, swirling heat the bread was nicely browned and read 210 F on the instant read thermometer and thumped like a drum too.  It had some small blisters and it sprang and bloomed well enough.  My daughter was finishing up the bacon and butter infused cabbage when I sliced the bread and she tore off a piece claiming it will be really good with some mustard on it.  It was nicely open too, but not monstrously so as some high hydration white breads can be.

She was wrong - It was really good with nothing on it!  The flavor was fantastic, a good base sour and the tang that all fine SFSD breads should have along with the wonderful flavor of a 6 grain bread too!  Lucy said she would put this bread up against any SFSD style bread any time any day.  The smoked corned beef was also really nice making for one fine meal for sure.

Trees from the 1999 Millennium Series

And you know that Lucy says never forget the salad


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