The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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This is probably the easiest post I've ever written...








One for you, one for him, NONE for me 


Bye Bye babies...

Hope the uncles will treat you well...

At least take a crumb shot that's not out-of-focus and not too fuzzy


I hope these are my graduation loaves for Borodinsky

I really want to move on to Rus's next bread

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was one of the best things that ever happened!!!




Rus's Borodinsky 1940






A perfect birthday gift for mom....slicing birthday bread for son (the baby in my avatar, the one who called me "evil mom")...


















 Tartine Country 

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I did not diligently fold the dough as Rus did during shaping...hence the crack???












 My first free-form "torpedo" - goes all the way to Arizona! 



 The loaf that stays at home was made with a mold, which restricted the length of the bread.  

A less elongated dough with the same weight = slightly taller loaf = more photogenic 






Learned a costly lesson in cooling rye bread...



One for me, one for you...check your 



Rus Brot's Bread Lighthouse Instructions 


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                                                To Mariana, my guiding angel 💕💕💕


                                                   Thank you for the enlightenment! 







I have successfully made Mr. Bigot's panettone using a simple method based on Mariana's advice.***  Mr. Bigot is a French master baker who apprenticed under Professor Calvel over half a century ago. He uses unique flour combination and procedures in his panettone formula. I am intrigued to find out how good this bread is.


Mr. Bigot uses two Japanese flours, with protein contents of 10.7% and 11.5% respectively, in a 3:1 ratio to make his panettone.  He mixes the dough by hand and the final product looks like this:




 Photo credit: Chinatimes




Spectacular, isn't it?! I followed Mr. Bigot's formula exactly but used my own procedures, which were created largely based on the information Mariana had shared. 


Let's start.



Levain naturel



I converted my existing starter to 50% hydration and built it with most of Mr. Bigot's levain procedures below: 


Day 1:

100g - (10.7% protein) flour; I used King Arthur all purpose flour (11.7% protein)

50g -yeast water

malt syrup optional

mix well

DT 75.2F at  RT 75.2F x 6hrs

shrink-wrapped, tied (which I didn't do), into fridge x 24hrs


Day 2

100g - (10.7% protein) flour; again I used KA AP flour

50g - water

0.4g - malt syrup

50g - starter from previous day

mix well

DT 75.2F at RT 75.2F x 6hrs

shrink-wrapped, tied (again, I didn't do it), into fridge x 12-24hrs


repeat Day 2 procedures for 5 days to one week

starter matures when it can triple within 5-6 hours


My starter never tripled.  I decided it was active enough when it had doubled within 5-6 hours for two consecutive days. So I stopped building after the 4th day.




My starter looked like this when it was ready.


The starter was built using DBM's no-fuss method together with Mr. Bigot's procedures. 

There was no discard during the entire build. I did it that way for fun but it was quite a brain work-out to figure out the ratio and stuff. 

If you are interested to build your starter that way, please consult DBM as I may not be able to redo the math after six months. I'm sure he will figure it out for you. Right, Dab?


Mr. Bigot's instructions to refresh (1kg of starter)

Starter : AP : H2O = 1 : 2 : 1

0.8% malt syrup

mix well

DT 75.2F at RT 86F x 5-6 hours, should triple

divide into 2kg each

wrapped, tied loosely allowing 2-finger space





The following formula yields two 5.25" panettones, each weighs approximately 550-600g.






all purpose flour 175g - 41.18%

bread flour 75g - 17.65%

levain 75g - 17.65%

sugar 75g - 17.65%

water 125g - 29.41%

butter 75g - 17.65%



It's impossible for me to mix by hand. So I used my Zojirushi bread machine to incorporate the ingredients.  I controlled the amount of ingredients being mixed so that a paste could be formed. I held on to the water and only added what's needed to form a paste.  Once a paste was formed, I incorporated the remaining water using the "double hydration" method. The dough was mixed until it had reached intermediate gluten development.***


I constantly checked the dough temperature to ensure it was below 75F .  If the dough needed more mixing but it was getting warm, I cooled it in the fridge then resumed mixing.


I let the dough ferment at 81-84F for approximately12 hours. It doubled. I chilled the dough for about an hour before proceeding to the next stage of mixing.



Main Dough



all purpose flour 87g - 20.59%

bread flour 37g - 8.82%

egg yolk 187g - 44.12%

butter 37g - 8.82%

sugar 50g - 11.76%

salt 2g - 0.59%


Chilled the preferment first.  Used the same strategies when mixing: aim to form a paste, hold back liquid (yolk), maintain DT below 75F, chill if needed, then resume mixing, incorporate remaining yolk using double hydration method.


Once the dough was close to be fully developed,*** mixed with ingredients in B. below.



diced orange peels 25g - 5.88%

diced lemon peels 25g - 5.88%

raisin 75g - 17.65%

rum-soaked mixed candied fruits 75g - 17.65%

rum 5g to soak mixed candied fruits for a week (I only soaked them in the day before baking)

Please be aware not to over use the rum.  I learned it the hard way in my first attempt when I did not read the instructions carefully.  I literally doused the candied fruits and raisins with rum.  They were completely SOAKED and every raisin was plumped. The alcohol killed the dough and there was no rise at all. 




Gluten fully developed. 

Usually I would stop messing with the dough but not this time...





Bulk Fermentation



Instead, I stretch-n-folded the dough every 30 minutes for about three hours when the dough was left to ferment at approximately 82-86F. 




When the folds could no longer hold together and slipped apart right after the S&F,  divide the dough in half.




Stretch-n-folded each dough one more time. At this point the dough was strong and puffy and could be easily transferred to the molds. Bulk fermentation was complete.







Final Proof



At approximately 82-86F for about 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 356F, then turned it off.

Applied egg wash to dough.  Leave dough in oven for 5 minutes.

Took dough out. Preheat oven to 320F.

Cut the dough with scissors as shown.



 Peeled the 'crust'.



 Baked at 320F x 50 minutes.



 Used inner pots of rice and vacuum cookers to hang.  



Light as feather! 👍👍👍even though much less butter (only 26%) is used than most panettone formulae.  The flour combination must have done the trick! Very little strong flour in the formula!



Great success with another master baker's panettone formula* using the same procedures!  









***In discussions with Mariana here.   

*In David Kelly's blog post here.




The End


Something special for my friends:





















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Thank you, LL, for sharing the formula!  




Holy moly! Almost used the black cardamom...



Only a tiny pod is needed...



The dough smells like perfume! 100% pre-fermented.




Would have been more aesthetic if flax seeds are used but I only have flax meal.





Puffy...but I might have rushed the bake - could have let it ferment a bit longer...



My little helper...



Too tired to create steam tonight, a big bowl comes handy...




Brushed with melted butter

Need to further experiment with the oven temperature with another bake

I enjoy the shortcut of getting 8 rolls out of one shaping





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We pour our heart and soul in the dough.  Every loaf is a love story.

You will know how much I miss you when you receive my bread...




Sending mommy's love with the taste of home...


Rye crisps made with Stan's honey flax seed crisp bread formula (modified procedures and ingredients)

100% pre-fermented, whole rye 74% , AP14% , WW12%

86% hydration including 9% honey

1.2% salt

7% milk powder

12% each: chia seeds and flax meal

sesame seeds and extra rye flour to coat

dough rolled out by Kitchen Aid pasta attachment

375F x 15ish mins




Mommy's favorite...




Don't forget to call...







Remember mommy...


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                                                       Where there's a will, there's a way.




Fingers crossed...





Looking good...BUT






I took the dough out of the Pullman too soon and it collapsed in the oven...

Well, lots of altus for future bakes




one more try...





Docking with bamboo skewers made BIG holes...






65% rye @85% hydration



100% pre-fermented

starters: WW 7%, Rye 25%

levain: whole rye 18%, rye flakes(porridge) 22%, Giusto Ultimate Performer - highest protein flour 28%


20% each: double raisins and walnut

salt 2.2%

IDY 0.3%



Retard @39F x 3.5 hrs



395F x 1.25 hrs in Pullman with lid

395F x .25 hr out of Pullman






An extra loaf goes to Arizona - hope all is well...






Re-bake to perfect the loaf...







No docking this time to avoid messing up the surface...

Longer retarded proof:  36F x 6 hours






 Very pleased, pretty inside and out...




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Dear friends:

Just wanted to let you know that despite my life has been upside down lately, I'm still hanging in there and trying to bake when I can...



So you know I have not given up baking yet...


I've been so busy lately that I'm only getting a couple hours of sleep every day


Full post to come, probably much, much later...



💡💡💡 moments, things have come together...


15% pre-fermented, 70% hydration...























My hands shook - my kids were rushing me to get the photo shoot done so they could start eating...








Catch up with you later,  I'll be back...








Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, my magic wands from France...Can't wait to try them!







Same formula @ 66% hydration




























Yes! Baby! I am happy with a 66% hydration baguette like this!









Epic! Baby! I like the shaping! @ 64% hydration...


























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Delicious bread!  Thank you, Ian!




Making bread with durum flour, potatoes, and cheese - new experience to me!








We are big fans of your delicious bread, Ian!








The crumb shot...








Trying to make a sandwich, but the pan-fried croquettes are too big...








End-of-summer dinner...


School starts tomorrow.  WE are ready for the challenges of the new school year...








Breakfast for the boys: Potato bread + bacon potato soup...Yum Yum!








Ha! I spy with my little eye...



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It was a super busy weekend: I was also making a few other things besides Joze's cranberry tarragon bread...



Homemade taco styled by my younger son...

It's super delicious!









Making tortillas is a no-brainer - so much easier than making bread...

I follow a simple corn tortilla recipe from the New York Times...









30 - 35g each seems to be the perfect size...








First tortilla from my new tortilla press! Fun! Fun! Fun!









Trying out the workflow suggested by Ian (for pizza), which requires an extra step of trimming parchment paper; I was too stressed out to do the extra work last time...Besides,  I'm a bit SO confused here樂樂樂...Is the paper supposed to go onto the stone?  If not, then it defeats the purpose of using it樂樂樂...









As usual, I do it anyways...The paper is scorched.







Now, there's a slight problem - the paper is so brittle that it turns into ashes if not handled carefully.  Then some of the ashes stick to the tortillas...









Armenian meat pie and French Pissaladière - we're having an international cuisine day!









This mix of meat is also perfect for burgers...
















Guess how many onions are used here?  Four big ones!  Most of them shrink and disappear in front of my eyes!











I must remember to get the right type of anchovies next time because the fillets in one of the cans are really mushy...









My elder son made me this soft-boiled egg...










So cute!









We don't just eat, eat, eat...



We do try to enjoy the outdoors before the summer is over...





Santa Cruz, CA







The little kid who once called me "evil mom"...








Why did summer go by so fast?




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