The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

dabrownman's blog

  • Pin It
dabrownman's picture

This is version 5 of my SD multi-grain challah called Brachflachen Mehrere Vollkombrot but wanted to make a special one this year - that non Jews would like - by Easter.  I added; whey water, a Yeast Water levain on top of the SD one, sunflower seeds,  white diastatic rye malt, malted barley, lentils, vital wheat gluten and various sprouted grains while cutting back on; the egg,  molasses and honey.  The crust came out lighter than usual but was still very dark and thick but soft after it cooled.  The crumb was more moist, more open, even with 40% whole grain and more interesting with the the sunflower seeds and the sprouted berries.  The taste is far superior and everything I would want in this bread.  It its a lot of work but you will be rewarded with a fine Holliday bread.  The method and formula follows the pix's.  I had an identical boule retarding in the fridge overnight, have now baked it off and those pictures will follow at the very end. I also added the 20 g of Pink Himalayan sea salt to the formula which was missing.  I do like using both starters.  SD for taste and YW is known for its spring and mpoist crumb by my experience.  These 40% whole grain breads with sprouts and seeds need all the help they can get and the YW seemed to help in spring and moistness.


2 days before bake, take the berries and soak them in water for 5 hours.  Place a sheet of  wet paper towel on a tray and spread the seed out on top of it.  Cover with two more sheets of wet paper towel.  I just get the towels wet, squeeze out the water and unravel them to flat. Cover the whole shebang with plastic wrap and let sit until needed’

1 day before baking make the 2 starters.  There is 4 hours between each of the builds.  At the 12 hour mark, put both levains in fridge overnight for retardation of 8 hours

In the morning, take out the levains and put them on the counter for one hour as you autolyse the dough flours with the whey water and water (I used an equal part mix as usual) in your mixer bowl with the paddle on KA 1 then cover with plastic.

After an hour add the levains and mix again until they are incorporated and cover.  Let autolyse for one more hour.

Add the salt and all the mix-ins except the seeds, switch to dough hook and knead on KA 2 for 8 minutes.  Add in the seeds and the sprouts and mix until combined.  Transfer dough to a well oiled and plastic covered bowl.  Let rest 15 minutes.

 Do 10 S&F’s on a floured work surface, form into a ball and put back into a plastic covered oiled bowl.  Do 3 more S & F’s at 15 minute marks only do 4, 3 and 2 S&F’s.  Let dough develop in plastic covered oiled bowl for 1 hour.

Divide dough in half and pre-shape into boules.  Do final shaping 10 minutes later making sure the skin is stretched taut, dust top with 50/50 mix of AP and Rice flour and place top down in basket lined with a well floured towel, using the same dusting flour combination.  Place baskets in a tall kitchen trash can liner for 1 hour.  Place in fridge overnight to retard or, when dough has risen 70%, it is ready to bake when it passes the poke test.

Pre-heat the oven at 500 F on regular bake for 45 minutes with your steaming method and stone in place.  Invert baskets onto parchment paper on a peel, do a T-Rex or, my favorite, 3 Toed Chicken Slash or a beauty of your own and slide into oven on the parchment paper.  Turn down temperature to 450 F and steam for 15 minutes.  Remove steaming apparatus and parchment, turn oven to 425 F convection and bake for another 25 minutes or so turning the boule every 8 minutes 1/3rd of a turn.  When the bread has reached 205 F inside, turn off oven, keep door ajar and let boule crisp on the stone for another 12 minutes.  Then remove to a cooling rack until cool.

If retarding, take the bread out of fridge in the morning and leave in the plastic bag.   Immediately start your pre-heat of the oven and bake as above.  My retarded boule will be going in the oven shortly.  It rose beautifully in the fridge.

 This bread also bakes very well Tartine Method in a cold or hot Dutch Oven. 

Dabrownman's Multigrain SD YW Challah        
SD Starter         
 Build 1Build 2 Build 3Total Dough Flour  Multigrain Sprouts
SD Starter20  20 Rye35 Buckwheat15
Rye10 1020 WW35 WW15
WW10  10 Buckwheat35 Rye15
Buckwheat 10 10 Spelt35 Bulgar 
Dark Rye 10 10 Farro20 Barley 
WWW 10 10 Barley20 Spelt15
Bread Flour   0 6 Grain Cereal20 Water15
AP20301060 Millet20 Total Sprouts75
Water4060 100 Amranth20   
Total10012020240 Lentils20 Hydra. w/Sprouts72.18%
      Dark Rye20   
YW Starter    Semolina20 Scald 
 Build 1Build 2 Build 3Total Bulgar20 Buckwheat 
Yst Water30202070 Oats20 WW 
Rye   0 White WW20 Rye 
WW   0 Potato Flakes20 Bulgar 
Buckwheat   0 Ground Flax Seed20 Barley 
Dark Rye   0 Bread Flour280 Spelt 
WWW   0 AP280 Water 
Bread Flour   0 Dough Flour960 Total Scald0
Water   0 50% Water/ Whey700 Hydra. w/Scald71.03%
Total605050160 Dough Hydration72.92%   
         Add - Ins 
Total Starters       Barley Malt50
      Total Flour1180 Molasses50
Flour220    Total Water880 Honey50
Water170    Total Hydration 74.58% Olive Oil50
Hydration77.27%       Egg50
  Red Rye Malt 
         White Rye Malt10
         VW Gluten10
         Sunflower Seeds75
         Hydrat w/ Adds79.96%
         Total Weight


dabrownman's picture

Had to make a couple of changes to Sweetbird’s hugely fantastic, far better than magnificent, Buckwheat Bread recipe that can be found here:

 First off we, my apprentice and I, used aWashingtonstate hard apple cider called Spire.  It was their mountain apple draft variety and used 245 g in the dough instead of 230.  We also; did not use any cider in the SD levain and used the excess apple water squeezed from the re-hydrated dried apples and frozen fermented apples from the YW plus some water.  Also used Whole Rye and WW with the Buckwheat in the first SD levain build since our starter had them and we think these grains make better bread when used in levains.   I wanted to taste the cider so I drank 90 g just to make sure it wasn’t spoiled or otherwise not up to the task at hand.

 My apprentice, bless her heart, substituted an Apple / Orange Yeast Water levain instead of SAF instant yeast since we don’t stock any commercial yeasts in the pantry, autolysed 1 hour instead of 30 minutes, sprouted the buckwheat groats instead of scalding them (after making red and 2 white malts she’s into sprouting it seems) and then put them all inside since she reasoned enough stuff would be hanging out in the end anyway.

Because the mix – ins were so wet (compared to sweetbird’s), I added 30 g of BW and 30 g of BF to them and let it autolyse while the dough was doing the same thing, added chopped pistachio nuts and chopped cooked buckwheat soba noodles, added fermented apple pieces saved when refreshing the YW that were previously frozen, re-hydrated the dried apples in apple juice.

 My apprentice also cut the salt to 10 g from 11 since the pistachios seemed salty to her when tasted for poison and she was a little bloaty this morning, added 15 g home made white diastatic malt to the vital wheat gluten, and finally, subbed bread flour for the AP which birdsong recommended doing after her bake.

 So, not much at all really major changed in the scheme of things we call bread.  We agree with sweetbrird that the dough needs 2 S & F sessions at 40 and 80 minutes and another to pre-shape at 2 hours.  Do a quick S & F to form into a ball.  Drag the skin tight and put into your large floured benetton.  Place into a plastic bag and let it final proof for at least an hour or so.  You can get your oven ready at 500 F with your steaming method in place while it proofs.  My final proof was 1 ½ hours about twice as long as sweetbird’s and it was not over proofed.

 The bread was turned out onto parchment on a peel and slashed with my patented ‘angry face with really nasty eyes design,’ steamed for 20 minutes at 430 F, then the steam was removed.  The bread then baked on the stone for about another 45 minutes until it reached 203 F and then left in oven for 12 minutes with the door ajar and oven off.

Will post the recipe later if somone wants it.  This boule finished weight was 1,305 g.

dabrownman's picture

Was getting ready for tomorrow's Sweetbird Buckwheat and Apple SD Bread bake and for once was organized enough to pinch off some of the buckwheat starter and make some lovely SD pancakes for breakfast.  I took 30 g of refreshed buckwheat starter and added;  60 G of bread flour, 60 g of buckwheat flour and 120 g of milk.  After mixing I let it stand on the counter for 1 hour and then in the fridge overnight for 8 hours.  This morning I took it out of the fridge and let it stand on the counter for 1 hour before mixing in 1 tsp of honey, a large pinch of salt,  1/2 of a large beaten egg, 1/16 tsp each baking powder and baking soda.  You forget how much you like SD buckwheat pancakes when you don't have them for years and years.  This recipe made 2 nice sized pancakes.



dabrownman's picture

Ian is well known for his interesting and delicious bread combinations.   I had taken his BPOC SD and made it into an even stranger bread by replacing his Semolina with 5% each; WW, Whole Rye and Whole Spelt.  For his bacon, cheese onion and potato I used; home made apple smoked pork jowl, ancient white vapor cheddar, caramelized onions and potato flakes.  The bread came out beautiful inside and out and was just plain delicious.  Definitely one of the 10 breads in my top 5 (actually it is one of the top 3).

I have been eating up all of the half a loaf, boule and batards that I froze after each bake over the last 3 months to see which ones I liked most and how best to rate and present them.  Being a sandwich king, I thought each might be presented as a nice lunch.  I was going to wait till I had finished them all (and have nearly done so), photo with the new old Nikon camera to do them justice this time, but, I had to break this one out separately since it is by far, far and away the best sandwich and lunch I have had these past few weeks.

Since this bread only deserves the best, the sandwich was a Dabrownman Super Special - Curried Grilled Chicken with Mango Chutney.  The sides were cold Rosemary, Pecorino, Parmesan,White Polenta, home grown Field Greens, Meculin and Lettuce Salad, home made Kosher Dill, Bread and Butter with Serrano Pepper pickles and a home grown navel orange.  The curry, chutney and polenta recipes follow the pix's as a bonus for all lunch lovers on TFL.

The first pix is a mis en place recipe for the Grilled Chicken Curry.  It has about 2 T each starting from the far right diced small; celery, green onion, red onion, grilled Italian squash and eggplant, carrot, red pepper, poblano pepper,  each orange mango chutney and mayo,  1/2 tsp Madras Curry powder, 1/2 grilled chicken breast,  1 T each; dried apricot, cranberry and raisin (reconstituted with hot water.) Mix it all up and you are finally done with this fine sandwich's filling.

Rosemary White Polenta with Parmesan and Pecorino

1/4 C medium grain white corn meal

1/4 C white corn flour (ground from WCM above)

1 C milk - any kind

1 C chicken stock - I use home made

1 T butter

1 T fresh rosemary chopped fine

1/2 C Pecorino and Parmesan grated cheese blend


Bring milk and stock to a simmer and slowly add the corn meal and corn flour while whisking constantly.  When the mixture thickens to a thick porridge, stir in butter, rosemary.  Turn off the heat and add the cheese.  Pepper to taste.  Serve warm for dinner but it is much better the next day cold for lunch.

Orange Mango Chutney

 In large fry pan sauté:

 1 T oil

½ T fresh ginger and 2 cloves minced garlic

 Sauté until fragrant about 1 min and add:

1 C brown, white or red onion, Sauté until soft about 3-5 min Add:

 1 C red bell pepper

1 T minced hot chili (jalapeno, Serrano, Thai)

1 ½ tsp Madras curry powder, curry powder or hot curry powder

½ tsp Gharam Masala

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp each cayenne powder and red pepper flakes

1/8 tsp each; allspice, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon

 Sauté for 1 minute until spices are fragrant then add:

 2 C diced mangos

½ C apple cider vinegar

½ C brown sugar

Zest of 1 orange - Supreme the orange and add the segments with the juice of membrane

1 diced pealed and cored small apple (can use pineapple and juice instead)

¼ C raisins

½ cups Macadamia nuts (optional)

 Simmer until the chutney thickens to jam about 20-30 min.  Place hot in sterilized jar and put into refrigerator when cooled.  It also freezes well in small portions which is what I do.

 You can chutney just about anything but you may want to use lemon zest, segments and juice depending on your choice of fruit or vegetable being made into chutney.


dabrownman's picture

I've been making as many things as I can with oranges to try to use up this past years crop before donating the rest to the food bank.  So I've been  making orange marmalade.  Several years ago I forgot that I had marmalade on the stove and it nearly burned but it was just darkly caramelized like a flan.  So marmalade in this house now comes light, medium and dark just like the bread crust and crumb does.  No wonder jam and bread go so well together.  I think it was MiniOven that said when you think the bread is done, leave it in the oven 5 more minutes - same goes for jam - let it cook 5 more minutes or even 10 or 15.  I've now carmelized strawberry, apple,  pear. prickly pear tuna, raspberry and blackberry jams too.  Changes them completely.


dabrownman's picture

A blend of Seigle d’Auvergne and Borodinski where diastatic malt is used in the dough on the French side and non diastatic malt with scalded rye berries is used on the Russian side.  Thank goodness no retardation is required, no matter how nice it would be, to produce a nearly classic clash of multicultural bread with different colored malts and multi grain flours that ends up being slightly unique in the end - in a peaceful and united way.   The loaf rose well during final proof but the spring was more of a sprawl.  The crust is chewy the crumb is moist, soft and quite airy.   It tastes like your eating really good Russian Rye bread while walking down the Champ de Elysee in the springtime.  Recipe follows the pix's. 

Pink Himilayan Salt, the scald, dough and levain

Red Non D and White D Malts

Rye berries being scalded with the Red ND Malt

White D Malt on white flour

Before final rise

 French / Russian 57% Rye, 11% WW Rustic Bread

Starter - 10 g















































Levain- 220g









1st build

2nd build

3rd build



















B. Flour
























Scald – 53 g after scald and























ND Malt


















Bread –391 g
























B. Flour






D. Malt






























T. Weight












Grains& Flour


Including scald and starter




Including scald and starter














Levain is


of the total weight.




 Take 10 g of 100% hydration starter and add10 Geach; Rye, WW and AP flour along with 30 g of water.  Mix well, cover with plastic and let sit for 6 hours on the counter.  Then add 20 g each of the same flours and 60 g water.  Let sit on counter for 6 hours.  Refrigerate overnight.  In the morning add10 geach of the flours but no water and let sit on the counter covered in plastic wrap.

 Scald the rye berries and red non-diastatic malt in50 gof water.  Boil until the water barely disappears.  Turn off heat and reserve covered with plastic wrap on counter with the levain. Let sit 2 hours then start autolyse.

 Mix the bread flours, white distatic malt and water well, cover and autolyse for 1 hour after the scald and the levain have rested 2 hours on the counter.

 Mix in the levain and let autolyse for 1 hour.  Then add the scald and the salt and mix well.  Do 5 S&F’s on an oiled surface and place in an oiled bowl.  Then do 5 S&F’s every 20 minutes 2 more times.  Pre-form into ball using the final S & F’s at the 1 hour mark and let sit in an oiled bowl for 20 minutes.

 Shape as desired, I did an oval, dust with rye bran or other bran, flour or rice flour and place in prepared basket.  Place basket in plastic bag and let proof until dough has risen 70% - 80%.  You can also proof in a DO.

 Pre heat oven to 500 F for 45 minutes, with your stone and steaming apparatus in place.  No steam needed if using a DO.  Take dough out of benetton by overturning onto a piece of parchment on a peel.  Slide bread and parchment paper into oven onto the baking stone.  Turn oven down to 450 F and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove steaming apparatus and turn down oven to 425 F with convection on now.  Bake about 20 minutes more until bread reaches 205 F in the middle.   Let sit on stone, in off oven, with the door ajar for 10 minutes.  Cool on rack.

 If using DO, bake at 500 F for 20 minutes with lid on, then remove lid and turn down temperature to 450 F.  Bake about 20 minutes more until middle of bread is 205 F. 

dabrownman's picture

There is only one thing better than Gingered,  Tres Apple Almond, Vanilla Granola Crisp with Bourbon Dried Fruit.

And that is Gingered, Tres Apple, Almond, Vanilla Granola Crisp with Bourbon

Dried Fruit and home made Vanilla Ice Cream covered in Chocolate Sauce.


dabrownman's picture

I took 60 g of rye berries and soaked them for 5 hours in water.  Then, taking a metal sheet tray, I moistened a paper towel and placed it on the tray and spread the berries over the paper towel.  I then took two paper towels, moistened them, placed them over the berries, covered the sheet pan with plastic wrap and covered the whole shebang with a kitchen towel.. Every day I would move the berries around and spray the top of the paper towels a little water to keep them moist - not wet.  After 96 hours from start to finish the berries were ready to dry and looked like this.

The tray looked like this.

I then dried the berries in my table top Cuisinart convection oven.  The berries were stirred and the pan was rotated 18o degrees every 15 minutes.  I used a drying schedule of 30 minutes each at 175 F (convection), 225 F, 275 F and then 20 minutes at 325 F and they were done. Here are pictures at the end of each time and temperature.

175 F

225 F

275 F

325 F

After grinding the original 60 g of berries, it made 32 G of Red Rye Malt Powder.  The powder looked like this.


dabrownman's picture

My daughter has a sorority sister in from CA staying with us this weekend and I wanted to make something she and my daughter  probably have never been fortunate to taste before.  This weeks ITJB bake is Babka so I thought I would give it a try - with a few twists and not just twisting the dough - which I also did.  This babka leans Polish but besides being leavened with minneola / apple yeast water,  in place of a coiled loaf - I used a Bundt pan.  In place of cake crumbs, I used a almond, vanilla, granola streusel.   I also added bourbon rehydrated dried fruits (apricots, cranberries, raisins), cocoa powder and chocolate chips to the filling.   Then I put a powdered sugar / vanilla drizzled glaze on top to finish it and anyone who eats it,  off.  This is a very flavorful breakfast bread that the yeast water really helps in its soft crumb and browning.  It is not as sweet as cinnamon rolls and it is twice a sophisticated.  We have a new breakfast favorite and special treat in  DaBrownman's house from now on.  It's just yummy! Recipe follows pix's.

Yeast Water,  Glazed, Spiced, Walnut, Bourbon Fruit, Chocolate Chip, Almond Granola Streusel Babka

 Dough Ingredients

1 T white sugar
1/6 C honey
1/4 stick butter (chopped in small pieces)
1/2 tsp salt
5/8 C scalded milk
1/3 C cold water
1 large egg beaten
2  C AP flour (If you use bread flour skip the vital gluten)

¾ C whole wheat pastry flour
1 T vital wheat gluten

200 g yeast water - entire levain build

 YW Levain Build

 Add 30 g flour to 30 g yeast water and mix well - let sit 4 hours.  Add 30 g flour and 30 g yeast water let sit 4 hours.  Add 60 g flour and 20 g yeast water and let sit 4 hours. It should be ready to go in 12 hours.


 Put the first 5 ingredients into the mixer. Stir with a rubber spatula until the butter is incorporated.

Add the rest of the ingredients with the exception of salt. Mix with dough hook until well incorporated 1 minute and then let autolyse covered for 1 hour.  Spread salt onto top of dough and mix on KA 3 for 8 minutes until window pane is achieved.  Move to a covered oiled bowl.  Let rest for 15 minutes then do 4 S &F’s on a floured surface.   Place back in a covered oiled bowl and let rest 15 minutes. Do 4 S & F’s on a floured surface and return to covered oiled bowl. Let rest 30 minutes.  While dough rests make the filling and streusel.

Spray bundt pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside.

 After dough has rested 30 minutes after last S&F roll out dough on a floured surface to a12”x20”x 3/8”.  Brush top with softened butter and sprinkle filling over the top.  Roll up dough jelly roll style from the long side and pinch seams together to make sure they don’t come apart.  Twist the roll like you would to wring out a wash cloth making the roll into a twist.  The roll will get longer and double in length to nearly4’as you do this.

 Place 2/3 rds of the streusel mix into the bottom of the bundt pan.  Place twisted dough into the sprayed bundt pan.  It should go around the bundt pan twice to end up with an even top.  Cover the top with the remaining streusel.  Let rise in pan, covered in plastic wrap for 1 hour.  Place in refrigerator over night.  It will rise about 20% overnight.

Take out of the fridge 2 hours before you bake.  Preheat oven to325 Fand bake babka for 40 – 45 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from bundt pan and drizzle with a glaze of ½ C powdered sugar, 2 tsp milk and ½ tsp vanilla.  Let cool slightly and serve warm – Yummy!

 Filling Ingredients

3/8 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C flour
1 T pumpkin pie spice (ginger, allspice, cinnamon, cloves)

1/2 C chopped walnuts

½ C dried fruit (cranberry, raisin, sultanas, apricot) reconstituted in bourbon.

1 T cocoa powder

1/3 C chocolate chips

¼ C butter softened to brush on rolled out dough before filling is sprinkled over it.


 Mix dry ingredients together. Keep butter and reconstituted bourbon fruit separate from the dry.  Place in refrigerator until needed.


 1/2 C almond vanilla granola - crushed

¼ C flour

¼ C brown sugar

¼ C butter

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

pinch salt

 Cut butter into other ingredients with finger tips and place in refrigerator until needed

 Alternate – no bundt pan

Instead of using a pan, on a piece of parchment paper, coil the dough around like a pinwheel creating a super large cinnamon roll, tucking the loose end of the dough under so it doesn't unravel. Brush dough very well with melted butter to prevent a skin from forming, cover with streusel and let dough rest for 10 minutes.

 Bake at 325° F for 40 minutes on a stone until the Babka is golden brown.

.Make a glaze out of powdered sugar, milk and a little vanilla. Drizzle this over the Babka and let it cool slightly.  Serve warm.  Yummy!


dabrownman's picture

My daughter gave me her old Nikon and I figured out how to use it today. It has a photo setting called 'Food' that lets you take do some kind of macro. It also has a close up setting too. 12 MP, wide angle and image stabilization with a decent auto focus. Very cool.


Subscribe to RSS - dabrownman's blog