The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Floydm's blog

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Almost everything in my garden plot died over the winter. The one exception is the sage. So I wanted to bake something that used sage, and recalled seeing Lazy Loafer's Sage & Onion Levain.

I used 50% bread flour and 50% AP flour because that is what I had handy.  It is extremely tasty.

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Nothing fancy but I baked a couple white sourdough loaves this evening. Around 73% hydration, 65% AP flour, 35% bread flour.

It was sunny and beautiful but still cool today, so they rose too slowly to have them ready for suppertime. I'm looking forward to trying one of them in the morning.

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Ever since trying Skibum's pulla this summer I've been meaning to bake one.  

I used jarkkolaine's recipe as the basis since it had metric weights.  The one notable difference is that I used a tangzhong to try to get a fluffier crumb. Did it help? Mmmm... I'm not sure it did, but I may not have nailed the timing quite right.

I did a five strand braid, which might not have been the best choice but that is the way the dough divided.

Like Skibum I eggwashed and sprinkled some almond slices on top.

Overall a success and one I'm likely to do again soon.

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I was working at home today, so as well as making a pot of soup I managed to get a couple of bakes in.  The skinny ones are roughly based on these poolish baguettes, though I added a bit too much salt which is why they are kind of chalky looking. The rounds are my standard sourdough loaf. I used the Brød & Taylor proofer again when I wanted to pick things up with the sourdough loaves and it worked like a charm. Very handy. 

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After a two month break, I finally am baking again.  

This summer was hectic. I've been working a ton, plus there was a two week road trip around BC and western Alberta, including a few days exploring Banff and Jasper.  Truly a stunning area.  One highlight of being in that region was getting a chance to meet Skibum and try his pulla, which was fantastic.

Right before summer began and before things got super crazy, I got ahold of a Brød & Taylor folding proofer.  During the summer our place is pretty warm, but as the nights are getting longer and colder, the days shorter, cooler, and wetter, I've been expecting it would come in useful.

So I finally got around to reviving my starter last weekend. I fed it Saturday night and tried baking with it Sunday.  It was a cool day and things were progressing extremely slowly, so I decided to give the proofer a go.

I was very pleased with the results.  My loaves which were taking forever to rise at our ambient room temperature around 18C (65F) perked up considerably at 82F.  My starter wasn't dead, just a bit groggy after such a long slumber.  The final loaves came out very well.

I also made a batch of yogurt in the Brød & Taylor, which I'd never tried before.  It too was a success.

It's a neat new toy that I'm looking forward to playing with this winter.

ALSO, I don't know if you get it in the US, but in Canada and France today this is the Google Doodle:

It is celebrating the 22nd anniversary of the Décret Pain, which defined a traditional French baguette.

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12% rye, 12% whole wheat, around 73% hydration, baked in my enamel pots.

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As I mentioned in my last post, I've been working on a Polish Rye recipe.  I baked it again this weekend and this time took notes.


  • 180g AP flour
  • 120g water
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of instant yeast

Final dough

  • All of the preferment
  • 120g rye flour
  • 460g AP flour
  • 40g potato flour
  • 12g sea salt
  • 30g barley malt syrup
  • 3g yeast
  • ~360g warm water

The colour comes more from the malt syrup than the rye flour.  Still not perfect, but we really like it.

 * * * 

Unrelated, but I also realized this weekend that TFL is 10 years old as of yesterday.  The first post is here.  Kinda neat... I certainly did not foresee that it'd end up growing to be such a rich community of bakers from all around the globe. 


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I hope everyone's new year is off to a great start.

Winter weather has lead to winter colds, which unfortunately reduces the sensitivity of my already not terribly refined palate, but I have been baking when I can.  Two of my recent efforts are worth mentioning.

Above and below are pictures of my recent attempts to make something like the Mazowiecka loaf that a local Polish bakery makes.  It has a bit of rye, a tightish crumb, and a sweet, malt-y flavour.

Right now I'm using around 20% rye, with a few tablespoons of malt syrup.  I also tried using a pâte fermenté to give it a bit more depth and longer shelf life.  It is good, though I don't feel like I've totally nailed it yet.


The other one I've been baking regularly is my standard sourdough (72% hydration, 15% whole wheat, 7% rye flour, 2% salt) but also adding 200g (20%) of soaked grains.  I've just picked up a few different cereal mixes, like Bob's 6 Grain, which I soak a cup of overnight in one cup of water, then mix into the final dough.

It's nice. Not a drastic change, but it adds a bit of crunch and texture to my daily bread.

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A month has blown by since the last time I posted here.  With good reason: we spent most of November in Europe visiting my wife's family.  

We had a couple of days in London:

The rest in Warszawa...

and Kraków.

Food/bread-wise, we didn't have time for food tourism.  Yes, I hit Blikle bakery while in Warszawa for some pączki, but most of our meals were either with family or at Bar Mleczny.  

Which I am not complaining about: the food is fantastic, the breads and rolls always fresh and very, very good. I wish we could find breads like the fresh bułki (seen above) as easily in North America as you can there. Literally every corner store has them, fresh and unwrapped, and very good: light and crispy but not massive and pillowy like most of the grocery store rolls I find here. It must require a very different approach to shopping than what we have here, with many more frequent trips to a local shop, for it to be profitable for even small stores to stock so many fresh perishable items. 

* * *

I have been baking since being back.  At top is a cross section of a Dill Cottage Cheese loaf I made last night, very similar to this dill bread recipe.  An exterior shot:

I also baked a white French loaf to go with a pot of soup:

and my regular sourdough rounds, two of which are rising at the moment.

I've been enjoying reading about everyone's Thanksgiving meals. This was the first year since moving to Canada that we didn't also celebrate American Thanksgiving. We did a big production with turkey and stuffing and cranberries in October, however, so it didn't feel like we were missing anything. It is just good to be back home and baking in my own kitchen again!

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Right now I certainly have the will to bake, and some interesting new books to bake from, but am so busy with work and travel that I'm not finding time to bake much at all right now.  Above is the one sourdough boule I made last week. It did come out pretty nice, I gotta admit.

This weekend's travel took me past Bread Farm in Bow, Washington, which is always worth a short detour to visit.


I finished reading In Search of the Perfect Loaf on a ferry ride.  Highly, highly recommended.  I think anyone who enjoys visiting this site regularly will enjoy reading it and recognize quite a bit of their own ambitions in Sam Fromartz's story.  Read it!

Since I'd finished my book on the return ferry ride I just had to admire the scenery.  


Such is life in the Pacific Northwest.


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