The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

dabrownman's blog

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I got this from Zorra for those that want to participate

kochtopf ( DetailDear bread baking-friend,

you participated in a past World Bread Day, so I just wanted to let you know, we will celebrate World Bread Day 2020 again.  

It will take place on October 16. More information and how to participate you can find on my blog:

Invitation is available in Deutsch, English, Polski, Português and Spanish. Italian should follow soon. Until then just use Google Translate.

I think this year this special food holiday is more important than ever. So I would be very happy if you participate in #wbd2020 #worldbreadday #worldbreadday2020 again. And perhaps you could motivate your blogger friends to participate too!

I am looking forward to see many loaves of bread 🥖🍞🥐 from all around the world,

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It has been a while since I made a loaf of bread.  Covid and health issues have just about made life as horrible and boring as can be among other things.  At least I can still drink a glass of wine a day:-) Lucy has really slowed down since she turned 17.  I had to make a ramp for her to get up on the bed and her hind quarters don't work as well as they used to - but she is hanging in there and a real trouper.

We needed bread for some home made lox and since pumpernickel bagels are my favorite this was what Lucy came up with.  100% hydration 4% each molasses, cocoa, brown sugar and caramel coloring to make it dark and 4% each whole coriander and whole caraway to give it that rye bread aroma and flavor with 2% salt. Finally 5% sunflower seeds.  I wanted 10% walnuts too ....but non were found in Lucy's pantry:-(  Use walnuts if you have them with the sunflower seeds!

We love mix,, dump and bake breads and this is one of them.  the levain was 100% hydration with 75 g of whole mixed grains, 75 g of water and 20 g of NMNF rye starter that has been in the fridge for about forever - at least 6 months.  Once it doubles then in to the fresh milled flour flour it goes with the water and all the add ins.   Then mix it up and let it sit covered in plastic for 3 hours.

Then dump it into Yippee's Oriental Pullman Panthat is sprayed with pan release and shape a small dome on top and cover in plastic.  Once it rises to near the rim of the pan in the middle, spray the lid and slide it on and make for 32 minutes at 425 F and then 30 minutes at 400 F with the lid off till it reads 207 F on the inside.  Take put of pan and let cool on a rack.  once cool , wrap in plastic and let sit for at least 18 hours on the counter before slicing.

This is a lovely, and powerful,  whole grain rye bread.  Since we are having smoked brisket today for Labor Day, currently smoking away,  it will go perfect with that as well.  Hope you all are well and hanging in there with this pandemic crappola.

Happy Baking!

PS.  Lucy still says to not forget to have a great garden salad like this one with every dinner.


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Being a twin and the 2nd one born, my twin has always said I was a real 'Born Loser'.  But this year's birthday is a very special one because my birthday is on 02-02-2020 .....the same day as the Super Bowl.  It seems fitting that my Chiefs are favored to win by 2 by the bookies.  But they are oh so wrong!  I think the Chiefs will win by 20.  So I'm taking the 200 to 1 odds that they will do so and putting 20 bucks on it.  I'm getting ready to celebrate their huge 20 point win by making pizza in the toaster oven using home made tortillas....... and washing it down with a bottle of 20 year old Amarone that I paid about $20 for so long ago!

The only thing that would be better is if I was going to be 20 years old this Sunday instead of ...........68!

Lucy says to have a salad with that pizza! 

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 Cold temperature means the LAB are producing acetic acid (tang) and warm means the LAB are producing Lactic acid; Bran acts like a buffer, besides providing all the great minerals and vitamins, in the dough. Bran allows the LAB to continue to produce acid at pH levels that would normally shut down the LAB from producing acid at all. 84 F is the best temp for yeast to reproduce and 92 F is the best temperature for LAB reproduction. At 93 F yeast are reproducing at a restricted rate like it was 44F. So, if you restrict yeast reproduction and promote LAB reproduction you are vastly increasing the LAB to yeast ratio in the starter and dough. More LAB and less yeast mean more acid production over a longer time and a more sour bread because proofing times are extended due to less yeast in the mix.  A great SD bread has both tang and sour! This basic science was the foundation of the No Muss No Fuss Whole Rye Starter and how  to make more sour bread.  You can manipulate the LAB to yeast ratio in starters and dough and you can control the tang and sour in your breads using temperature and science.

Happy Sourdough baking.

Short Crust Bottom and Puff Paste Top for the latest Apple Pie with ginger and snockered fruits with Vanilla Bean Ice Creame

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getting home to Seattle from his one on one, exclusive, Holiday SD Bread Making Lesson in Arizona with Lucy!  He gets it now!

A Thing of Beauty it is!

Used 24 week retarded NMNF rye starter 10 g to make a 50 g WW, 100% hydration starter.  79% hydration overall with 26% whole wheat, the rest half bread flour and the other half AP.  I set of slap and folds to mix followed by 4 sets of stretch and and folds from the compass points on 30 minute interval.  3 hours final proof in a basket.   Baked at 475 F in a combo cooker preheated to 525 F with lid on and 10 min at 450 F lid off removed from bottom of combo cooker to oven rack 5 min after lid came off.  This sounds very familiar:-)  He has a proofer on his oven to keep everything at 80 F though!  He said it isn't as tasty as mine though but he knows why - no 1-2 day retard ff the levain and no overnight retard for the final proof but he didn't have the time since they were going skiing at Whistler's.  Still very nice!

Here is his apprentice. The Mabes,  not wanting to get out of bed.

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Well, it sure has.  Thanksgiving has come and gone and so has Christmas.  The photo above is a very white SD Chacon of 7% rye and the rest KA bread flour at 78% hydration using 15 g of long stored Rye NMNF starter  -that was lurking at least 4 months in the bottom of the fridge.

Chacon crumb

The great and wonderful Son in Law was her e so I finally got to showing him how to make a SD bread using very wet dough to boost his knowledge and experience,  The Chacon shaping was new for him but we covered slap and folds stretch and folds and shaping the non Chacon part if the dough.  This one was proofed on the counter after a 4 hour retard.    The 2nd loaf was a gift that my daughter was giving to a friend in Seattle with 120 g of newly refreshed 66% hydration NMNF rye starter.  

This friend wanted a loaf and astarter to get her on her way to making great SD bread too!  Hers was a mix of red and white wheat with some rye at 10% whole grains.  We let this one proof in the fridge for 14 hours and we took it out as we fired up the oven to bake it.  This one was scored.

The brisket flat sliced perfectly.  The decadent point disappeared so fast I couldn't get a shot.

Both were baked in a Combo Cooker since I got one for my SIL last Christmas.  20 min at 465 F lid on and 15 min at 425 F convection.  Forgot to spritz them so at least that didn't change.  They both came off the bottom of the cooker 5 min after the lid came off and finished right on the oven racks and baked to 208 F 

Mabel the Magnificent. She's and 11 month old AussieDoodle.  The sweetest Baby ever! And the nearly 16 year old Lucy sound asleep.

78% hydration is too much for a Chacon with 72-763% about right so it didn't really pop like it normally would to reveal the design.  The score also sort of sealed itself up because it was so wet -  so no gringe on the other one either.  The crumb was just the way we like it.  Soft, moist and glossy with various hole sizes.  Both of these would be called classic SFSD 's,  The Chacon tasted terrific.

Puff Paste for Chocolate Cinnamon Rugelach!

We used the Chacon for Christmas Eve Prime. Smoked Beef Brisket made just the way Aaron Franklin describes in his book with the following exceptions.  We used my new vertical pellet smoker using a competition blend if cherry, apple and hickory instead of post oak,  We all agreed that it was the best brisket we have ever had so hats off to Aarron Franklin of Austin Texas!

Extra thin tortilla pizza with a nice Chianti and my daughter's Christmas Eve salad that made Lucy proud.

The SD bread was the perfect white bread for such grand smoked meat.  I love that new smoker it has made everything; ribs, turkey breast, chicken thighs, sausage and pork butt perfectly every time.  Only available exclusively at Lowe's - Pit Boss Pro Series 4, vertical pellet smoker - highly recommended and only $379 - half the price of a Traeger, horizontal barrel .

Son In Law's Christmas Breakfast SD Cheese and Scallion Popovers - Yummy with home made Lox and Nova Lox ! The Arizona Sunsets are still the same but this was a Christmas Eve Sunrise.

Happy New Year to the all the Fresh Lofians from Lucy and I

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Love these real artisan baking videos.  If the bread was 4# and tastes as good as Poilane's then he cold sell it for 9.6 Euros in Paris and $50 in Phoenix:-)

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It has been a long time since Lucy made some real old time SD bagels of any kind and she has never made and used a 7 day, old dough leaven to make them rise.  She wanted to do a regular levain but what kind of fun would that be?


Old and slow is fairly normal the closer you get to 70, or 116 when it comes to Lucy, but only slow really works for food - especially sourdough.  Old food usually turns green and smells to high heaven – even though that never stopped Lucy from eating it.

White ones ready for the boil

Lucy and I prefer pumpernickel bagels and the ones you can buy are not SD and not very pumpernickelly if you know what real pumpernickel bagels are supposed to look. smell and taste like - not that these were very close to real ones either.  Tough to make real pumpernickel bagels without barley malt syrup, red and white rye malt and the pumperdimes you need to cut in half to make the required real pumpernickels. 

So, we made do with what we had and didn’t worry about the details in the fine print.  First off we made a regular white sourdough using KA white bread flour at 70% hydration 2% salt and 10 g of NMNF Rye starter.  We slapped it around and folded it until it had risen 50% and then put it in an oiled SS bowl, covered it plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for a week to let it get itself situated and a bit sour.

When Lucy finally got round to making bagels she first softened up some dehydrated onions in hot water, tore off a piece of cold, old dough that weighed about 170 grams and then added enough fresh, milled whole rye flour and Pink Himalayan sea salt to get the hydration exactly 53%.

Being the math whiz she is, she did this calculation of how much rye to add in her head.  This is why Lucy is a First Class Baking Apprentice today after 15 years of apprenticeship.  For those of you not as Math based, the old dough had nearly an exact 100 g of flour in it and 70 g of water for a 70% hydration old dough.

The math for 70% hydration old dough is 170g/1.7= 100 g of flour for a 53% hydration dough that has 70 g of water in it, the formula is x*.53 = 70g of water;   x=132g of flour since the old dough has 100 g of flour in it then you need 32g of whole rye to get a 53% hydration dough ….which also works out to be 32% whole rye as well – the amount found in deli rye.  Aren’t you glad you aced algebra in high school?

Why are bagels 53% hydration?  Well technically, a white bagel is 53% hydration so a 32% whole rye one should be a bit higher than 53%, say 56-58%, but Lucy doesn’t understand such things and just makes all bagels 53% because that is what bagels have always been.

No, bagels are not anything but 53% hydration for white dough so she made the white ones at that hydration using a twice as big a lump of old dough that was now 9 days retarded and used how much whole wheat? Right, yep twice as much as the rye ones - 64 g would do it.

 Loaded Old Dough Pizza 

So how did we get that dark color for the pumpernickel bagels with only 32% rye and no barley malt syrup or red rye malt.  Well, Lucy cheated – that’s how.  We know how she likes to cheat when doing anything especially difficult things like getting the right color in pumpernickel.

Nova Lox right off the cold smoke

Old time bakers might have done a 3 hour baked scald with the rye, some white and red malt, barley malt syrup and some brown sugar and water to make a very dark pumpernickel whole grain caramel combo, like we used to do when we had the stuff to do it and were anal about these thongs or even things if spelled right.

$1 cold smoke rig

This time Lucy cheated with some espresso powder, brown sugar, cocoa powder, 5 g each, and a few drops of caramel coloring that we got at Smart and Final to make black things for Halloween.  Who knew it would make some pumpernickel looking bread too?  Remember that you have to get some kind of sweetener in there to have the pumpernickel tastes right – otherwise it tastes like deli rye.

Marinated Tuna ready for the grill

The last thing we did was add in the dehydrated onions.  We love them in all rye breads but especially pumpernickel – 5 g dry weight as all it took for these two bagels.  The white and Pumpernickel bagels were supposed to be treated the same after mixing but my apprentice forgot about the pumpernickel dough on the counter after the three hours of gluten development.  

She was supposed to shape them and then leave them on the counter for an hour and then retard them for 18 hours before boiling and baking them in the Mini Oven with a Sylvia Steaming Pyrex Cup.  But she fell asleep again and they sat in the counter for hours on end, till 4 am the next morning before I found them and put them in the fridge.

Breakfast Burrito - onion , chorizo, potato and egg ready to be rolled up and garnished

They were more than slightly, mega over-proofed and flattened but they sure smelled great!  A couple of days later I really watched her to make sure this didn’t happen with the white ones.   So, they came out looking a whole lot better, way mire like bagels even if they had no chance io tasting half as good as the pumpernickel ones.

Breakfast Burrito

Sea Bass Tacos

All we had was baking soda for the bagel boil which didn’t affect the color of the pumpernickel ones but the white ones came out a bit peeked looking.  Should have put some brown sugar in there for them.  Boiled them for 30 seconds a side and then they white ones were dried on a towel before dunking them in an everything mix of white poppy seeds, sesame seeds, kosher salt and non-rehydrated died minced onions.

Grilled Salmon

They were baked for 8 minutes at 450 F with steam and then 8 minutes without steam at 425 F convection in the mini oven.  Although looking totally different on the outside they looked remarkably the same in the inside if you discount the color difference.

Crispy on the outside, yet open and chewy on the inside.  They both are nicely sour due to the old and slow processes at work.  Guess that explains Lucy’s sourness as well!  We have been making all kinds of stuff recently.  Smoked meats; bacon, sausages, lox and cold smoked nova lox some kosher dill pickles.

Bake day breakfast

My new Pit Boss, vertical, pellet smoker finally got here but when I plugged it in on Sunday it didn’t work….. so…… I took it back and have to wait another week for them to assemble another one and get it to me.  What a hassle.  I have ti smoke 2 different kinds if bacon tomorrow so I hope I can get the old Masterbuilt smoker to work one more time!

I saw I guy on the internet selling a cold smoke ring for $40 which looked like wire sieve with the middle pushed up and smoke pellets around the middle in a ring.  You light one end with a torch and it smokes for 8 hours or for 4 hours if you light both ends to get more smoke.  So, I took my $1 sieve I got from Goodwill and made one to smoke the lox.  It worked fabulously but I had to spend $24 on the torch!

Home made Gyro with all the fixin's

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We sent a picture of the last focaccia to the daughter and she said that she wanted on when she was here this weekend.  This one was a bit different because Lucy is so old she can’t remember from one minute to the next and never liked doing the same bread twice anyway when she could remember.


This one is only SD with no Instant yeast kicker.  The levain was 100% hydration, 15% pre-fermented flour with the 10% whole grains (rye, red and white wheat) in the levain. The last one didn’t have any whole grains at all. 

The dough flour was half AP and half bread flour instead of mostly bread flour.  Overall hydration was the same at 71%.  The levain and the dough were retarded for 24 hours and last time the dough was retard for 5 days.

Smoked Sweet Italian sausage for dinner.

We did 2 sets of slap and folds of 100 and 25 slaps and then 3 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points all on 30 minute intervals before retarding in an oiled bowl.  We let it warm up for an hour and a half on the counter before shaping it into the PAM sprayed jelly roll pan.

4 of these smoked chicken thighs went into the Hatch Green Chili with Smoked Chicken, white beans and fresh corn.

After shaping we covered it with plastic wrap and let it proof for an hour before dimpling and putting on the toppings.  1 T each of dried rosemary and oregano were dimpled into the dough first.  Grape tomatoes are then squeezed over the top, the juice spread around and the tomatoes placed on top. Then red and green onion, orange and red bell peppers, crimini and brown trumpet mushrooms and 4 different halved olives were placed on top and them covered with a dusting of Parmesan cheese.

It's not dinner without a great salad.

The last thing was a drizzle of olive oil and Into the 450 F oven it went for 8 minutes of Mega steam.  Then the steam came out and a layer of Monterey Jack cheese went on and back into the 425 F Convection oven it went for another 13 minutes.  When it came out we put on another layer of grated Parmesan and fresh Thai basil and a bit more EV olive oil.

Yes it it a the Avozilla Avocado!  This one is a cross between the West Indies and Guatamalen Garantuan varieties.  The are a couple of other ones grown in Australia but they aren't smooth skinned like this one.  This one was $2. 

With the extra toppings this one was all that much better than the last one.  We have been munching on it for lunch all weekend with a side of Persian cucumbers and Zatar, oregano and fresh dill infuse Lebneh mixed with Lebanese Greek style yogurt.  Just plain deliciousness all around!

We froze some for the focaccia for the daughter to take back to her husband in Seattle later today.  Sending him some more starter and lava rocks too.  4 posts in a month - Lucy has been busy,

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Wow!  3 posts in 3 weeks.  This one is all white bread too.  Lucy is really slipping!

Kroger had some 93% lean hamburger meat on sale this week for less than $3 a pound so we immediately started thinking about our monthly burger tradition.  The weather has been moderating and the pool water temperature is getting to be a bit below body temperature if you get in before noon as it is still in the mid 100’s by the afternoon.


I tried to get Lucy to go swimming with me to get back into some kind of shape but she isn’t having any of it and just wants to sun herself in the morning sun and sleep in the afternoons.  Sounds like the perfect life with someone else picking up your food, shelter and transportation costs.   Guess that makes her a millennial at heart even though she is only 15 going on 105😊

I’m just glad Lucy is feeling better with more spunk since we got her on the right food. Our daughter is coming for a visit next weekend for Labor Day and Lucy will be happy to see her again so Lucy needs a bath.  It’s been years since I gave her a bath but I thought I would again this week just for fun, save some bucks and remind her who the boss is around here. 

My daughter wants lox from The Bagel Man who gets them from NYC.   I’m going to make some with Gin, Dill, Salt, Pepper and Brown Sugar and then rinse them in some cold water and soak them for a bit in some water with la few drops of liquid smoke in it.  I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and see if I can make some half decent lox for $7 a pound instead of $27.  It’s all about the bagels anyway, right?  Maybe I’ll make some of them too since we can’t get SD bagels anywhere at all😊 

These buns were made from a 100 g flour poolish at 100% hydration using half AP and half bread flour  using 1 g of Instant yeast that I added 10 g of NMNF Rye starter too.  The started was still very active after being refreshed last week.  After 3 hours it had doubled.  We added 46 g of bread flour, 22 g of butter, 24 g of egg, 10 g of sugar and 3 g of salt to the mix.  We did slap and folds and then regular kneading to get it all mixed and the gluten developed.   Then let it sit fir an hour and did one set of stretch and folds.

After resting for 20 minutes we shaped them onto 3-115g balls that we flattened and patted into flattish rounds that we thought would be the right size for 5oz hamburger patties.  We put them on well used parchment paper that was on the vented tray that came with Mini Oven.  We put the whole thing in a plastic trash can liner to proof. 

After 45 minutes we fired up the MO to 425 F and got the dish rag into the Pyrex measuring cup that was half full of water to simulate Sylvia’s Steam.  After 2 minutes on the MW on high it was steaming so we brushed the tops of the buns with an egg wash and loaded it onto the open spot on the vented baking tray and loaded the whole shebang into the MO for 8 minutes of steam.

The buns went in with the middles a bit depressed for some reason but, after 8 minutes of steam, they had puffed themselves up in the middle to loo like hamburger buns.  We took out Sylvia’s steaming cup and turned the oven to 425 F convection for another 8 minutes when they browned up nicely.  We brushed them with water when they came out to the cooling rack to make sure the tops would be soft.

They came out light as feather and, after slicing to toast them on the grill, the inside was fairly open too.  These buns you can start to finish cooled in 6 hours which is a good thing to remember.  T like that they were mildly sour and held up well to the all the piled-on goodies – bacon, caramelized Hatch green chili, onion and mushrooms, mayo, ketchup, lettuce and tomato.

This is a great grilled burger for sure and worth all the work with baked wedge fries and home made the dill pickle spears that didn’t get into a picture for some reason.  We love hot dill pickles made with a split Serrano chili

The one and only,  great and wonderful daughter has already ordered tilapia Baja fish tacos with guacamole, salsa and chips one night and smoked chicken thigh, hatch green chili with beans, fresh corn and green beans in the soup with the same condiments for another night. 

By ordering Mexican, she is making it easy on her dad for next weekend.  We are all looking forward to a fun holiday weekend.  Lucy hopes you all have a good one with your family to!  If it’s not a holiday for you, where ever you are, Lucy says just act like it is and all will be grand 😉  Enjoy the monsoon sunset.



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