The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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dabrownman's picture

We just love kjknits English Muffin recipe and make it all the time.  Well, we make them when we run out of them - without fail.  We just can’t stand not having them in the freezer. It is just not done.

We always tweak the recipe a little bit.  This time we used 1 ½ C of AP, 1/4 C each of Durum Atta and White Whole Wheat. 


We also used 20 G of  multi grain starter (33% each desem, rye and durum atta) that has been in the fridge for at least a week at 65% hydration and 20 g of our yeast water too.

This time we hand formed some of the Muffins and cut some with a plastic glass.  See if you can tell which is which in the pre dry fried and after dry fries shots.

We actually made them the same size as Thomas EM’s (don’t ever look at their ingredient list) by rolling the dough ½” thick this time – ours muight have been a tad taller.

The spring was at least 100% on these fine English Muffins that come out just like Wofferman’s, where I worked as a sack boy what seems like only a couple of years ago when it was really nearly 50.

So soft and tender on the inside when nicely browned on the outside.  Make sure you get them this dark too.  Use a cast iron skillet for best results.

When toasted, buttered and lightly covered in our Dragon Fruit and Prickly Pear Tuna Combo Jam – just delightful for a Sunday morning breakfast.

Try them and you won’t ever buy Thomas’ fine EM’s ever again.

dabrownman's picture

After reading Juergen Krauss’s blog on making 100% Russian Rye here

and re-reading Andy’s (ananda) many posts on rye breads, we decided to see if yeast water levain, in conjunction with rye sour levain, could do a better job of lifting this heavy dough to new heights and provide a more open crumb.


We wanted to stay near the 85% hydration, 35% preferment, 100% whole rye grain that both these fine bakers use.  We added home milled whole grains to this model.  But, we do like rye sprouts, prunes and a combination of seeds;  fennel, anise, coriander and caraway, that go so well in 100% whole rye breads to produce a more complex flavor and interesting crumb texture.  No scald was used as Andy sometimes uses in his rye breads.


We also added some barley malt syrup and home made white and red (diastatic and non diastatic) malt to sweeten things up a tad and get some more enzymatic action working on the carbs turning them to sugars that the combo yeasts could use to make CO2 and hopefully more and bigger holes.

This was a lean toward Andy’s methods. We figured the sprout and prune addition would only make the rye even more difficult to lift to a more open crumb.  We also decided to take the hydration up to over 92% to account for the fresh home milled thirsty flour.  We added a 2 hour autolyse for the water, flour, salt and 3 malts.  No retardation for this loaf for some reason but it's loss leaves another thing to try someday and see how the bread changes.


We decided to use Juergen’s baking temperature and schedule rather than Andy’s since we just didn’t have 6 ½ hours to bake low and slow as Andy does sometimes.  Someday, we will use Andy’s bake temperature and time schedule, to see the differences it will surly make.  We used Juergen’s uncovered baking method instead of Andy’s covered low and slow one.

The dough nearly doubled in the pan, was docked with a toothpick and placed in the steaming oven.   The bake went well in the mini oven with Sylvia’s steam contained within.   The loaf sprang another 1” in the oven which was unexpected for this bake.


When the loaf finished cooling, we wrapped the loaf in the parchment paper we use for tamales (much less quality and 1/3rd the price) instead of bread parchment.  The parchment covered loaf was then wrapped in a towel for the 24 hour (or more if I can make it that long) wait to slice requirement.    I’m shooting for 48 hours and a Sunday cut and taste.  Haven’t ever made it that long before :-)


The formula follows the pix’s.  Last night's sunset - 'red sky at night , sailor's delight'  Was a good omen for a old sailor like me.  This bread easily sliced 1/4" thick., had a nice open crumb, was very moist , very tasty and just plain delicious.  toasted with butter it was  sublime.........can't wait for lunch and pate!   Enjoy the sunset.  Lunch photos follw it.

The pate doesn't look too interesting cut in half, but ,once cut in quarters the caramelized onion and mushrooms, egg, Swiss chard and carrot come out.


The rye berries were ground to medium flour consistency in the Krups coffee grinder.  The sprouts were started by soaking the rye berries for 3 hours and then sprouting them between layers of damp paper towels covered in plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.  The sprouts were done in 20 hours, just in time for the mix.

My apprentice actually forgot to put them in and we had to de-pan, mix the forgotten sprouts in and then re-pan.  Whew!  I’m sure it didn’t hurt the dough any since it is not a dough but a grayish, tan paste that sticks to water and oil and anything else all at the same time – no problem.

The two levains were built separately over (2) 4 hour builds with an overnight 10 hour retard between the two to allow the sprouts to germinate.  The flour, water, salt and 3 malts were incorporated and allowed to autolyse for 2 hours before the rye sour levain was added and mixed on KA 2 for 2 minutes and then allowed to rest and develop for 30 minutes.

The rye sour was behind the YW levain in doubling so it was allowed to catch up in the dough before the YW levain was added 30 minutes later and also mixed on KA 2 for 2 minutes.  The seeds and prunes were added and mixed in.  Then the sprouts were mixed in by hand. 

The dough was allowed to ferment for 30 more minutes before being shaped with wet hands and placed in to a canola sprayed Pyrex loaf pan.   The top was lightly sprinkled with bran.

The panned dough was allowed to proof for 90 minutes.  When the bran on top had barely cracked the loaf was lightly docked and the pan was placed into the preheated 500 F mini oven with 2 of Sylvia’s steaming Pyrex cups in place.  The temperature was turned down to 450 F after 2 minutes and the loaf was steamed for an additional 10 minutes.

At the 12 minute mark the temperature was turned down to 425 F and the loaf baked for another 10 minutes.  At the 22 minute mark, the steam was removed and the temperature turned down to 375 F (convection this time) and baked for another 20 minutes, rotating the pan every10 minutes until the inside temperature reached 205 F.

The bread was cooled on wire racks, wrapped in parchment paper and the towel to rest for 24 - 48 hours before being cut.

100% Whole Grain Rye with Rye Sprouts - YW and Rye Sour Combo Starter










Mixed Starter

Build 1

Build 2



SD Starter





Yeast Water





Dark Rye










Total Starter




















Levain % of Total










Dough Flour





Non - Diastatic Malt





Diastatic Malt





Dark Rye





Dough Flour




















Dough Hydration










Total Flour





Total Water





T. Dough Hydration





Whole Grain Rye %










Hydration w/ Adds





Total Weight










Add - Ins





Caraway, Anise, Fennel, Coriander





Dried Prunes





Barley Malt

























Total Sprouts






dabrownman's picture

We, counting my fine apprentice,  have wanted for some time to make an olive bread that was loosely based on Nancy Silverman’s fine loaf that she did with Julia Child on Baking With The Masters.  But, since the girls at home despise olives except for olive oil, this want has gone unfulfilled for what seems like forever.


But, today the evil veil of olive hatred was lifted just enough, to allow an olive loaf to breathe a breath of yeasty CO2 without being killed outright by evil doers before the scald, add ins and olives could be incorporated.


We wanted a bread that had 20% whole grains and some rosemary that pairs so well with olives.  We also wanted some cracked bulgar berries that were scalded.  No sprouts this time - using them to make white diastatic malt instead.  The bread would possibly have been better with sprouts and seeds or nuts – maybe next time.


A mixture of 95% kalamata and 5% green martini olives were used.  The salt was kept down a bit since the olive brought plenty of their own.  The total hydration was around 70% which is a little low for us but the scald and olives brought some extra liquid that was un accounted for in the formula.  The dough felt like it was around 72% hydration but it is harder to tell with all the olives.


The diamond scoring pattern was helped along by refrigerating the large 3.7 pound batard for 3 hours after it had final proofed to 95% or so.  We wanted a huge loaf since no one could  know when we would be allowed to make another one - with olives in it.

There was no way this was going to fit in the mini oven.  With it only being 106 F today, a full 10 degrees less than last few days, we felt it was a real cold spell that we should take advantage of - so Betsy was fired up to 500 F with steamers and stone in place.  The batard baked up deeply brown and very crispy in the Big GE oven using (2) of Sylvia’s steam pans with towels.

The crust was thick and the extra drying with the oven door ajar kept the crust crispy even after it cooled.  The crumb was light, moist, a little glossy and fairly open with all the bran, whole grains and add ins.   Best of all this bread tastes wonderful.  It was just what we were looking for - with the exception of the sprouts, 50 g more olives and some pistachio nuts that we will add next time to gild the lily and turn this into just the kind of bread my apprentice drools over.  It is super just as it is though.


The YW and multi-grain SD starters were built separately over (2) 3 hour builds and then combined.  The water, flour and salt were autolysed for 2 hours,.  All the rest of the ingredients were then added except the bulgar scald and chopped olives.

The dough was kneaded for 4 minutes and then placed into an oiled bowl to rest.  (4) sets of S & F’s, 15 minutes apart, were done on and oiled counter with the scald and olives incorporated in the 3rd set.  They were well incorporated by the 4th set.  The dough was allowed to ferment and develop on the counter for 90 minutes. 

It was then pre-shaped into a large batard, rested for 10 minutes, final shaped and placed into a rice floured and cloth lined basket, placed in a tall kitchen plastic trash bag to proof.  It was immediately refrigerated for 14 hours. 

The dough increased in volume 57.3 % in the fridge overnight.  It was allowed to come to room temperature and proof an additional 2 hours total getting to the 92.6% proof mark before refrigerating again for 3 hours.  This extra retardation would not normally be required but the intracacies of life come first.  Not really but it sounds so right and good.

The oven was preheated to 500 F with steam for 45 minutes before the dough was removed from the fridge, un-molded from the basket onto parchment and a peel, slashed and placed on the stone for baking.  The oven was immediately turned down to 450 F and steamed for 15 minutes.   The steam was removed and the temperature turned down to 425 F convection this time.  The batard was rotated 180 degrees every 5 minutes for another 30 minutes until it tested 205 F in the center.

The oven was turned off and the bread was allowed to crisp on the stone with the oven door ajar for 12 minutes before being removed to a cooling rack.  The batard rose to 209 F while crisping on the stone.

The formula follows the pix's

Combo Starter Olive Bread with Rosemary and Bulgar Scald    
Mixed StarterBuild 1Build 2Total%
SD Starter250252.86%
Durum atta250253.28%
Steel cut oats010101.31%
6 grain cereal010101.64%
Ground  Flax Seed0550.66%
Oat bran0550.66%
Yeast Water400405.25%
Total Starter1557022529.53%
Levain % of Total Weight13.42%   
Dough Flour %  
Diastatic Malt30.39%  
Durum Atta253.28%  
6 Grain Cereal445.77%  
White WW354.59%  
Bread Flour30039.37%  
Dough Flour762100.00%  
Dough Hydration65.22%   
Total Flour874.5   
T. Dough Hydration69.70%   
Whole Grain %19.95%   
Hydration w/ Adds69.70%   
Total Weight1,676   
Add - Ins %  
Kalamata Olives10213.39%  
Dried Rosemary20.26%  
Scald %  
Cracked Bulgar303.94%  
If we would have put in Sprouts %  
Total Sprouts455.91%  
dabrownman's picture

We had some yeast water and SD Desem starter left over from our 'Bun Experiment' yesterday where we compared YW with SD in buns.  We were going to use them up with a combo starter to make the same buns but we have too many buns after yesterday.

From left: poppy and not your usual; nigella and basil seeds.

What we did not have was bagels so we used them up on some 15% WW bagels.  Our last bagel bake was a much higher percent whole grain SD bagel with sprouts.  They were delicious.  This bagel recipe was still based on Stan Ginsberg’s recipe he published on TFL and is more traditional in grains with the whole wheat being in the combo yeast water and SD Desem starters only.

These bagels are by far and away the best ones we have ever produced.  If you want NY Jewish Bakery Bagels - these are the ones you want to bake - thanks Stan.  The crust was nicely browned and blistered.  They came out of the oven crisp and went to chewy as it cooled.  The crumb was open and moist yet had just the right bite a bagel should have.  The taste was very good with a slight SD tang.  They were delicious, just cooled, un-toasted with cream cheese.  No toasting necessary at all.


We built the YW and SD Desem starters separately over (2) 3 hour and (1) 2 hour  build and then refrigerated them both for 48 hours.  Home ground whole wheat berries were used for both starters and accounted for all the WW in the final dough.

The water was mixed with the 2 starters to liquefy them.  The rest of the ingredients were added and mixed by hand to incorporate.  The dough was kneaded for 10 minutes by hand and then allowed to rest, ferment and develop for 2 hours covered with plastic wrap on the counter.  The dough doubled over that time.

The dough was them divided into (10) 128 g, folded into balls and then into 12” tapered, from middle to end, ropes.  The ropes were rested for 10 minutes and then formed into bagels by the ‘over the knuckles’ method where the ends were rolled on the counter to seal them together. 

The bagels were placed onto a parchment covered and semolina sprinkled cookie sheet, covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated for 20 hours.

After removing the bagels from the fridge, they were immediately simmered for 30 seconds a side in 1 gallon of water with 1 T of barley malt syrup and 1 tsp of baking soda.  The wet bagel bottoms were placed on a kitchen towel for 5 seconds after coming out of the water and then placed on parchment paper sprinkled with semolina which was on the top cover of the mini ovens broiler.

The mini oven was preheated to 500 F with the rack on the bottom.  A 1 cup Pyrex measuring cup with a rolled up dish rag, half full of water, was micro waved until the water boiled.  Sylvia’s steaming method was then placed in the middle of the parchment paper between (4) bagels at the corners.

The bagels were steamed for 8 minutes with the heat being turned down to 450  after 2 minutes at 500 F.  At the 8 minute mark the steam was removed, the bagels turned upside down, the rack rotated 180 degrees and placed in the upper position.  The Mini Oven was turned down to 425 F convection at this time.   After 4 minutes the bagels were turned right side up again, the rack was rotated 180 degrees and placed back in the lower position for an additional 4 minutes

At 16 minutes total baking time the bagels were deemed done.  They were nicely browned top and bottom and sounded like a drum when tapped on the bottom.  They were moved to wire cooling racks until cooled.

Dabrownman's 15% Whole Wheat  Bagels     
Desem StarterBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
SD Desem Starter1400142.06%
Total Starter44402811216.47%
YW StarterBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
Yeast Water25160412.06%
Total Starter503669213.53%
Levain % of Total15.94%    
Dough Flour %   
Bread Flour34050.00%   
Dough Flour680100.00%   
Dough Hydration53.24%    
Total Flour788    
Total Water453    
T. Dough Hydration57.49%    
Whole Grain %14.34%    
Hydration w/ Adds58.86%    
Total Weight1,280128 g each for (10) bagels
Add - Ins %   
Barley Malt202.94%   
Diastatic White Malt20.29%   


dabrownman's picture

We have been baking with YW, Combo YW / SD and straight SD lately but have not had the chance to compare identical YW and SD recipes to see how they might compare.  We recently made a Joe Ortiz Desem Starter that we really liked so decided to use WW to build each of the starters to the same 90 grams of levain with the same 80% hydration.


We usually want somewhere around 40 % whole grains minimum in our breads with sprouts and seeds, but since these rolls were going to be used for our monthly hamburger dinner we skipped the sprouts and seeds but added fresh chopped basil, caramelized onions, bacon and parmesan cheese instead. 

Yeast Water version is first for pictures.


These additions reflected isand66’s (Ian’s) bacon, caramelized onion and cheese bread we rank in our top 5 and his roll bake this week along with breadsong’s roll bake this week that had basil and parmesan cheese in it.  We thought combining the 2 would make for a very nice bun for our grilled poblano chili, caramelized onion and mushroom, cheese burger we were planning for dinner.


Since it is summer, we planned on bailing the rolls in the mini oven using (2) of Sylvia’s steaming cups designed for it.   We are amazed the varieties of well baked bread that come out of that little oven.


This was no exception.  Both rolls were soft and moist inside with the YW being more so but the SD was more open.  The crusts came out nice and crusty but were immediately toned down to nice and soft by brushing milk on them immediately – no one wants a hard hamburger bun. The crust on the SD was darker and more blistered and the spring was greater.  The SD rolls were baked last when the oven temperature and steam were working better.

Now for the Desem SD pictures


The YW rolls were slightly under baked and the SD ones were slightly over baked even though both were baked the same way and for the same time and temperature exactly.  Since only the levain was retarded, the SD tang was muted for the SD rolls and there was no SD tang in the YW as expected.

We liked both of these rolls equally well and have now found our new go to hamburger bun and possible bruschetta  bread.  We will add 10g each of potato flakes and ground oats with a little garlic and 12g of water to the recipe next time to make it even better.  We just forgot them this time by mistake.



The levains were built over (2) 3 hr and (1) 2 hr build before being refrigerated overnight.  Home ground whole wheat was used for the levains in keeping with the normal Desem starter feed.  We also ground the soft white whole wheat berries.


Each  dough was made by hand mixing the levain and non fat milk together first to break up and liquefy the levain, then the flours, butter and oil were added.  We added the fat to give the rolls an even more tender and moist crumb.  The dough was then hand kneaded for 4 minutes and allowed to rest for 15 minutes in an oiled, plastic covered bowl.

YW is on the right in side shot and on the left in the crumb shot.  The spirng better for the SD - quite unexpected.


(4) sets of S & F’s were done on 15 minute intervals with the herb, onion, bacon and parmesan added in on the third set.  The dough was then allowed to ferment and develop for 90 minutes.

Each batch made (6) 111 g rolls.  After dividing, the rolls were S&F’ed to shape and then rolled under the palms of the hand until the skin was tight and the fold seamed shut.  The rolls were then proofed for 2 hours on parchment in a plastic bag.

YW on the left, SD on the right.


The oven was preheated to 500 F and Sylvia’s (2) Pyrex cups, half full of water with a wash cloth in them were heated until boiling in the microwave.   The rolls with parchment were placed on the top part only of the mini’s broiler pan with the steaming cups and loaded in the lower rack for 10 minutes of steaming.  After 2 minutes the temperature was turned down to 425 F.

Who wants a plain cheeseburger?


When the steam came out at the 10 minute mark, the baking rack was moved to the upper level and the temperature turned down to 375 F convection this time.  In 5 minutes the rack was rotated 180 degrees and moved to the lower level for 5 more minutes of baking. 

When you can have one of these.  Both have grilled poblano peppers, Alpine Lace, Emmenthaler Swiss and brie cheese, caramelized onion and mushrooms.  One has lettuce and tomato and one does not.  Either makes any architect a proud builder :-) Even Lindy's on 4th in Tucson would have a hard time beating these burgers and no way they can beat the buns!


At 20 minutes the rolls were deemed done and removed to wire cooling racks where they were immediately brushed with milk to soften the crust for hamburger buns.

Brownman's Banana Bread made as a sheet cake For desert.

Formula follows the pictures.

YW StarterBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
Yeast Water25200452.86%
Total Starter404199030.00%

Or the Desem starter below

Desem SD, Caramelized Onion, Basil, Bacon,  Parmesan Rolls     
Desem StarterBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
SD Desem Starter1000102.86%
Total Starter404199030.00%
Levain % of Total14.49%    
Dough Flour %   
Bread Flour7525.00%   
Soft White Whole Wheat5016.67%   
Durum Atta5016.67%   
Dough Flour300100.00%   
Non Fat Milk19565.00%   
Dough Hydration65.00%    
Total Flour350    
Milk and Water235    
T. Dough Hydration67.14%    
Whole Grain %42.86%    
Hydration w/ Adds68.29%    
Total Weight621    
Add - Ins %   
Olive Oil 103.33%   


 Add ins are split between  12 rolls     
3 Bacon strips     
4 T Chopped basil     
6 T Caramelized onion.     
1/4 C Grated Parmesan    


dabrownman's picture

There is nothing we like better than sandwiches when it comes to bread.  It has been nearly month since we did a parade so here goes:

Naan made on the grill

The Chacon wiith Mushroom and Brie Soup with some home made croutons.

A brand new Breadman for a $1 on 'Dollar Thursdays' at Goodwill.  Nice gift for a physically challenged friend.

How did that Chocolate Cake get between those Mocha Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches?  I'm pretty sure that is illegal!

Monsoon Sunset

Mango is the most eaten fruit in the world - I would have guessed apples.

DaBialotta with a nice (triple 2) 2 mushroom, 2 pepper, 2 cheese egg white omlete.  We love 2's around here.

It's nice that sometimes a good lunch is followed later by a fine sunset.

dabrownman's picture

Just ate this one plain before the apprentice could get at it.

When we baked our version of hanseata's ungodly, great and wonderful bread, we said at the time that it was the best bread we have ever baked or tasted here:

 We were not exaggerating more than usual and we still feel this way.  We finally got to the other half of this huge loaf that we froze right after it had cooled after coming out of the oven.  We actually cut this half in half, knowing how good it was,  and still have a 1/4 loaf of this fine bread in the freezer. - and you don't - but you should!

with DaCarrrot and DaMinnieMarm jams.

Love grilled pak choy sum and Mexican grey squash with a fine pork sandwich.

My apprentice decided to feature this bread again with its various uses we have put it too since defrosting it rather than throw it in with the other breads we have been eating for lunch this past month.  They will be shown separately.

That's some aged cheddar there without any writing.

You just have to make hanseata's bread one time and you will be forever hooked and adding it to your top 5 favorite list that has 15 breads on it :-)

Feta, aged cheddar and brie, with a little dijon mustard, make for a nice grilled cheese for lunch.


dabrownman's picture

These nice looking and good tasting rolls are some thing we normally don’t do since rolls are usually reserved for holidays and bread is served for dinner otherwise.  We wanted a 50% rye SD knotted roll that also used the WW Joe Ortiz cumin starter we like so much.   So we mixed together our standard rye starter and the WW Joe Ortiz one.  It sat in the fridge after the 8 hour build for 4 days while we decided what to do with it.  We probably should have refreshed it again but no time was available.

We also wanted to boost the browning, a little sweetness and yeast activity by adding molasses, barley malt syrup and home made diastatic malt powder.   We love berry scalds and seeds in bread, especially rye ones, so a cracked barley scald was prepared and once done, some caraway seeds and sunflower seeds incorporated into it.

It is just plain fun to make knots so we do so when ever we can.  We added different individual seed toppers to the rolls to make each a little different than the others.

The sour taste is slightly muted since we didn’t retard them.  The crust is nice and brown and softened as it came out of the oven.  The crust was not as open as we would have liked even for such a high percent whole grain bread but not brickish either.  But it was, soft and moist.  It probably could have baked a few more minutes too.  They should be baked to 205 F but ever since I fried the temperature probe in a 500 F oven, trying to stupidly test how hot it really was,  we have to play the 'is it done' guessing game again. 


 These were baked in the mini oven using (2) 0f Sylvia’s steaming method developed for the little beast.  The spring was good as a result.


This WWW and Rye SD levain was made over (2 ) 3 hour builds and (1) 2 hour build and ended up at a  78% hydration and 160 g. for each roll.   The seed was a combination of a sour rye and the Joe Ortiz Cumin Desem starter.  It was very active and doubled after the last build in 2 hours.  Any sourdough starter will do though.  The starter was refrigerated for 4 days but it doesn’t need to be refrigerated at all.

The barley is cracked in a spice mill and then brought to a boil and allowed to sit at room temperature until cooled. The caraway seeds and sunflower seeds are then added to the barley scald and reserved, covered in plastic wrap until needed.  


The dough was a 50-50 combination of rye and bread flour.  The levain was mixed with the dough water, molasses and barely malt syrup to break it up.  The dough flours, wheat germ, salt and home made diastatic malt were then added and mixed by hand in a bowl with a spoon for 1 minute and allowed to rest covered with plastic for 20 minutes.


(4) sets of  S&F’s were done on 15 minute intervals on an oiled surface with the dough being returned to a plastic covered oiled bowl between sets.  During the last set of S & F’s the barley scald,  caraway and sunflower seed mix is worked into the dough on a floured work surface as this is very sticky dough because of the rye.

The dough is then allowed to develop and ferment for 90 minutes.  You want it to alt least gain 80% in volume before dividing up the dough into (6) 140 g balls to form into knotted rolls.  Form the balls into 14” ropes, make a knot in the middle and then tuck in the two ends into the middle, one from the top and one from the bottom.


Allow to nearly double in size on semolina or corn meal sprinkled parchment paper, wrapped in a kitchen trash bag.  We baked ours after 2 hours and they were under proofed by 30 minutes or so - couldn't wait though as dinner needed attention too.  Should have retarded them in the fridge overnight instead of balking them.  We brushed the tops with egg yolk and sprinkled each witha different seed or topping.  We used bran and seeds; chia, flax, basil, white and black sesame and poppy before baking in a 450 F preheated mini oven with (2) of sylvia's steamers for 10 minutes.  After 2 minutes, turn the temperature down to 425  F.  At the 10 minute mark, remove the steam and turn the temperature down to 375 F baking with convection this time.


In another 10 minutes or so, the rolls should be done and be 205 F on the inside.  Let them cool in the oven with the door ajar for 10 minutes then move to a cooling rack.

50% Rye SD Rolls With Wheat Germ, Caraway and Sunflower Seeds     
Mixed StarterBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
SD Starter2000205.39%
Total Starter60802016056.94%
Levain % of Total22.28%    
Dough Flour %   
Diastatic Malt10.00356   
Bread Flour14049.82%   
Dough Flour281100.00%   
Dough Hydration71.17%    
Total Flour371    
T. Dough Hydration72.78%    
Whole Grain %64.15%    
Hydration w/ Adds73.35%    
Total Weight718    
Add - Ins %   
Barley Malt82.85%   
Wheat Germ82.85%   
Caraway (2) & Sunflower Seeds227.83%   
Cracked Bulgar258.90%   
dabrownman's picture

After pinching off 100g of this combo; Yeast Water and Joe Ortiz’s Cumin, WW Sourdough starter for the donuts and English muffins this past Sunday, we used the remaining 230g of combo starter to make some semolina, durum atta and white whole wheat based herbed bialy’s that had a filling of home made chorizo, caramelized onions, 4 cheeses; brie, aged cheddar, pepper jack and pecorino cheese. The herbs were basil and cilantro.

What a beauty with the cilantro sprinkled on top.

The previous YW bialy’s we made here:

where we used YW only for the levain, used much lower % of whole grains and only used a small amount of pepper jack cheese with the only herb being a garlic chive in the dough. The best thing about the old bake was the unbelievable open crumb. Everything else about the new bake turned out better than the old one.

Chorizo and onion mix before caramelizing.

This bake built on the previous one without autolyse, but we gussied it up and baked it with Sylvia’s steam this time while making it a totally hand made dough. Because of the steam and50 Flower temperature, the bake took longer than the previous one that was 10 minute long. This one took 5 min of steam and then 10 more minutes to finish.

These bialys were just delicious with a slight SD tang that we hope will develop over the next 24 hours. We continue to be impressed with the JoeOrtizSDstarter and when mixed with the YW created a nice, light, open crumb and a crust that was thin and chewy. The filling was built up from the bottom starting with fresh basil a cube of double creme and a cube of Alpine Lace Swiss, then a tablespoon or so of the chorizo and caramelized onion mix, with 4 cubes of cheese on top (2 cubes of pepper jack, 1 cube of pecorino and a cube of aged, super sharp cheddar.

Before proofing.

The Method

was straight forward. The combo YW SD was built up over (2) 3 hour builds and (1) 2 hour build and then it was refrigerated for 72 hours. But there was no need to refrigerate it other than to fit my scedule

The chorizo and onions were sautéed until caramelized and refrigerated until needed.

Spooned and docked after proofing.

After warming up, the levain was mixed with the dough water to break it up and the salt, flour, dried potato flakes, barley malt, molasses and butter were added to the mix. After combining by hand, the dough was emptied out to a slightly floured surface and kneaded by hand for 5 minutes. It was fully developed and the dough rebounded immediately when two fingers were poked into the dough. The dough was rested for 20 minutes and then 2 sets of 4 S & F’s each were done on 15 minute intervals. The dough was then allowed to ferment for 1 ½ hours until it had nearly doubled.

Sylvia's Steam in the microwave heating up.

The dough was divided into (10) roughly 100g pieces and hand formed into tight balls. These balls were rested for 10 minutes and then formed into little pizza shapes by picking them up and hanging them in the vertical while pressing out the centers.

Mis en place for filling the unspooned and undocked bialys

These were placed on semolina sprinkled parchment paper on un-rimmed baking sheets. The centers were then pressed out again before covering with plastic wrap to proof for another hour. At the 30 minute proofing mark the oven was preheated to 500 F regular bake and Sylvia’s Steam was prepared in the microwave and placed in the bottom of the oven.

Basil and brie first then Alpine Lace went in too on this level but not shown for som reason..

After proofing, the centers of the bialys were then pressed out flat again with a wet spoon and the centers docked with a fork to keep them from puffing in the oven. Some basil leaves were placed in the bottom with a cube of brie and a cube of Alpine Lace Swiss, a tablespoon of chorizo was added and flattened out to fill the well and 2 cubes of pepper jack and 1 cube of each of aged cheddar and pecorino were placed on top.

Chorizo, and 3 more cheeses, pecorino in the middle, flanked by cheddar and pepperjack.

The bialys were placed onto the middle oven rack with the stone one very top rack and steam below. At 2 minutes the temperature was turned down to 450 F regular bake. At 5 minutes the steam was removed and the temperature turned down to 425 F convection this time as the bialys were rotated 180 degrees on the oven rack. At the 10 minute mark the bialys were rotated 180 degree again and at 15 minutes they were done and moved to cooling racks. The fresh chopped cilantro was then sprinkled on top

Before the cilantro went on.

The formula follows the pix’s.

Cut vertical with my daughter apprentice holding before scarfing.  She liked them!

Cut horizontal.  Not as open as the first YW only ones but these tasted so much better.  Will make them again.

SD & YW Semolina, Durrum Atta, WWW Bialy's w/ Caramelized Onion, Chorizo and 4 cheeses     
Mixed StarterBuild 1Build 2Build 3Total%
SD Starter2000203.48%
Yeast Water3500357.61%
S. White Wheat21170388.26%
Durum Atta16017337.17%
Total Starter92696923050.00%
Levain % of Total22.14%    
Dough Flour %   
Durum Atta10021.74%   
Bread Flour20043.48%   
White WW5010.87%   
Potato Flakes102.17%   
Dough Flour460100.00%   
Dough Hydration56.52%    
Total Flour575    
Water - 340, YW -35375    
T. Dough Hydration65.22%    
Whole Grain %46.09%    
Hydration w/ Adds70.09%    
Total Weight1,039    
Add - Ins %   
Barley Malt204.35%   
Total Add Ins8017.39%   


Apprentice takes a nice 105 F bake herself in the backyard oven.  Dumb Doxie !!!





dabrownman's picture

The last time we made English Muffins the kjknits way we took her SD version and added yeast water.  gmakaing made some for her grand daughter and also fried some as donuts!  What a great idea.  Her grand daughter really liked them and they disappeared fast.

Look at that color and the nice DO we got at the Estate Sale down the street.

When I told gmabaking I was doing another EM batch today and was going to fry some as donuts, I asked if she had glazed the donuts or put powdered sugar on them.   She said that they were gone too fast but thought that an apricot glaze would be nice.  Well, that sounded pretty good to me and a nice outlet for our home made apricot, nectarine and ginger jam.

The 100 g of combo YW and SD starter was pinched off a larger amount I was building for some WW Semolina bread.  It used  that nice Joe Ortiz cumin, WW SD starter and the now richly purple Apple, Minneola YW that has gone beautifully colored due to the addtion of fresh cherries inspired by Ian at isand66.  It matches my place mats which should be a requirement for any serious home baker - or possibly dumb luck :-) 

The starter was built with duram atta, whole soft white wheat and white whole wheat.  The muffin dough had 2 C of AP and 1/4 C of Duram Atta.  So these EM's were to be a healthy whole wheaty, semolina variety.  The rest of the recipe can be found at kjknits blog at  We love this EM recipe and it has turned out to be easily modified and versatile too.  Always very tasty no matter nhow my apprentice butcher's it.

The starter, flour and milk (I added 2 T more than the Cup of milk due to the extra 1/4 C durum atta in the dough flour) are allowed to sit out overnight for 8 hours.  In the morning the rest of the ingredients go in.  Then knead for 3-4  minutes and  roll them out 3/8" thick for cutting.  After cutting, place them on parchment paper dusted in semolina top and bottom and rest for 45 minutes covered in plastic.  The EM's are then dry fried in a 12" cast iron skillet.

We made 6 flat donut shapes by hand by using the bagel forming method of ball with afinger poked through it and then using two fingers opening the hole in a cirular motion.  Then we squished (another fine baking term) them flat.  Why we squished them flat I have no idea and it doesn't make much sense now, since they were going to puff up in the hot nearly smoking Crisco anyway.

These EM are explosive with the YW and baking soda working with that vigorous Ortiz SD starter.  We made the EM's larger diameter this time (same as Thomas) and increased the thickness a little to 5/16" thick.  Will make them 3/8" thick next time because, even though these babies really spring,  they still were only a little over an 1" high after cooling .  We made 11 EM's and 6 donuts instead of the 24 mini EM's made the last time.

The EM's came out as usual but were more tasty with the WW and semolina flours.  Not quite as open as the all AP flour ones, but still pretty good like Wofferman's in KC where I worked as a sack boy nearly 50 years ago.  Best job I ever had too.  The donuts were a hoot to make and fry up.  Fried them 1 at a time to save on the oil since we don't fry much around here except Crab Rangoon's,  Egg and Spring Rolls and a few other appetizers.  Will make some dry fried or baked bagel ones next time too.

The donuts fried up nice and brown and the spring on them was very good.  The crumb was very open, light and moist.  The crust was chewy just like a fried English muffin would be so, these donuts aren't like the cake or glazed donuts you are used to but they are tasty none the less.

We mixed some of our apricot, nectarine and ginger jam with some powdered suger and a T of milk to make the glaze for the donuts.   We dipped them twice to get an extra thick coat.  Butter and this tasty jam were have too's for the warm EM's.  Just delicious.  I personally had 3 of each for breakfast and can attest to their addictiveness!

Thanks to gmabaking for her great donut and glaze ideas for these fine EM's



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