The Fresh Loaf

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My timing was out, had to shape when I should have been cooking dinner so no cross!  

Used Hamelman's recipe from bread, scaled to give 20 buns at about 80 gms.  ready to proof.

The only changes were to replace peel with cranberries and similar amount of raisins, reducing currants a little and my own spice mix (don't remember where I found this recipe)

very yummy recipe!


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 I saw this recipe at Christmas but decided to make it today to take with to a gathering of friends.

mix together

300 g flour

40 g sugar

1/2 tspn salt

4 gm instant yeast

add 150 ml warm milk. and knead by hand. It was so dry I added probably 10 ml more milk and 10 ml water. then I tried to incorporate 40 gm butter but gave up and used my kenwood until I had windowpane. left to double about an hour and a half. rolled out into oblong, spread 100 g apricot jam over and the following mix leaving border around all edges

200 g ground almonds (I only had whole almonds so blitzed them)

4 tbspn sugar

1/2 lemon, zested and 2 tbspn juice

6 tbspn cream

1.5 tbspn cinamon

1/2 tspn gr ginger

1/4 tspn gr cloves

1/2 tspn gr cardamon

pinch nutmeg

fold edges in on shorter side and roll dough.

Cut lengthwise and twist two strands.

leave to proof 45 minutes in a lined loaf tin

and then bake at 180°c for 50 minutes. no steam.

cool a little, spread with 50 g warm sieved appricot jam and sprinkle with raw sugar.

Divine with a coffee or a glass of port!  

it vanished in no time at all, just the crumbs left.


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 My twist on this was to use Rosie, my yeast water culture, for approximately 50% of the liquid.  Saturday morning refreshed some of my starter and left it to do its thing all day.  Saturday evening I fed it again and left it overnight. At the same time I mixed up 50 g flour and 50 g yeast water and left overnight. Late the next morning I added the rest of the liquid to the YW preferrment and the flour and autolysed for 45 minutes. Added levain and salt. I only managed 3 sets of slap and fold / stretch and folds before it had doubled. The dough was lovely to work with and very active.  Preshaped, rested, shaped and after less than 2 hours proofing  it was ready to bake. 

Parallel to this I was making my normal multigrain bread (based on Rose Levy Berambaum 10 grain torpedo). It took 2-3 hours longer to bulk ferment.  It was then shaped and retarded overnight and baked this morning.  I have tried a different shaping method and it seems ok so far.

Baked for 16 mins lid on and 18 minutes lid off my DO at 230°c.

I must admit it was absolute chaos last night as the 1:2:3 loaf needed to be baked, the multigrain had finished BF and needed attention and I was trying to cook dinner. Danni, I had to laugh when I read your post this morning - I hardly knew what I was doing half the time.  that they all turned out well is amazing. The 1:2:3 is really yum (I sneaked a bit before freezing) and the grain is always good but I am pleased with the shaping.

A good bake, happy too that the yeast water is active (I am storing it in the fridge) and together with the spelt has made a great loaf I will make again.

Happy bing



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We are off to a BBQ tonight so decided to try out making Fougasse.

I used Paul Hollywood's recipe but made totally by hand.

500 g strong flour

10 g fine salt

7 g instant yeast

 Mix in large bowl and add 350 g tepid water and 2 tbspn olive oil.

Mixed by hand, added 1.5 tspn each finely chopped thyme, sage and Rosemary (on light side as hubby not so keen on rosemary in particular)  then did a lot of slap and folds/ stretch and fold and did get a window pane (with SD I don't usually bother).

 Bulk fermented 1 hour 15 mins and it had just a little more than doubled. Divided and shaped - went reasonably well, 2nd one a little better than the first, proofed 20 mins, sprayed with olive oil and added a little oreganoto one and a little parmesan to the other and baked about 22 minutes at 200°c.

Lead photo is parmesan one and below is pre proof shaped dough

the next two photos are the oregano and salted one and the first one shaped and cut using pizza cutter.


Not sure if I will get a crumb shot, but so far happy with this and it was easier than I thought it would be.

can't wait to try them, so fingers crossed the crumb is good.  Lol.


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Yeast water experiment #2. supposedly a repeat of my first yeast water bake.  so on 30th Jan during the morning mixed up 67 g yw & 67 g flour to make a poolish for a 575 g loaf.

on 31st Jan about 5 pm mixed the flour and water oops, very very dry, can't understand why as last one wasn't like that. decided to add yeast water rather than water and added 20 g then another and on and on until I had added105 g and dough felt alright. left to autolyse while cooked dinner. Added poolish and salt and boy, what a job it was to combine. so I looked at recipe and scratched my head, looked again then went to computer and looked at recipe there rather than what I had written down. I had used 267 g flour instead of 100g g + 100 g ww + 67 g rye. ooops........ recalcalculated and added anther 20 g water (this time) and 3.3 g salt to bring total up to 10g. still a bit dry so added 20 g more water. Happy now, carried on with slap & fold 4 x @ 40 minute intervals then left to bulk ferment on bench overnight.  At 4 am it was close to double so i refrigerated until 6:30. am when I took it out to warm up.

At 8:45 am i preshaped, rested, shaped and left to proof. Had a meeting at 10 so told hubby "if it gets to the top of banneton threw it in the fridge" and he did. At 11:15 I slashed and baked 20 mins at 250°c lid on then 20 minutes lid off at 230°c. It was 209°f so left another couple of minutes with oven off. 

Really really pleased with how it has turned out especially when you compare to the 1st bake. I wondered how it would be as I used staight YW but it was fine.  Also I didn't have sprouted wholewheat or rye so just used store bought.  The loaves had about 30 minutes refrigeration before I bakrd and I don't think it was overfermented!  A happy baker. - it looks good!

crumb shot - moist but not wet, crunchy crust.



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Todays bake was using my new yeast water Rosie and as comparison an identical SD loaf.

Flour mix 50% higrade, 30% sprouted wholewheat and 20% sprouted rye

70% hydration

20% fermented flour

2% salt.

both loaves autolysed 30 minutes, mixed by hand followed by 4 slap & folds/stretch @ folds then bulk ferment until doubled.

SD was ready after 5 hours at 22°c, YW needed 8 hours, the last 3 in a warmer environment.

Loaves shaped then retarded overnight in fridge. Baked under terracotta cloche 16 mins at 250°c then 15 minutes uncovered at 230°c. Internal temperature 208°F.

Rosie's loaf is much flatter than the SD version, both have very moist crumb and I wonder if I should have baked longer.

I don't have lots of practice using such a high percentage of sprouted grain (50%) or using YW so while the flat loaf is a little disppointing I am encouraged by this bake.  the lead photo is the YW crumb and we couldn't resist cutting it for lunch. 

Great flavour so I will have to do this again, next time overnight BF perhaps and daytime proof and bake.

and here is the SD crumb


Learnt a lot that is for sure, Rosie needs to get stronger too!


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Well 2017 started off ok... My first bake was early January 2nd after an overnight cold proof. I made my version of Field blend #2 and it came out beautifully



Last weekend figured I should make some more bread as visitors had made quite a dent in the supply in the freezer. So I decided to have another go at Hamelmans 40% rye with caraway, This time with no yeast and an overnight cold retard before baking.

Mixed levain and left over night on bench

556 g rye flour

461 g water

28 g starter

After lunch added water to levain and then as I was mixing realised I should have weghed out 844 g to use. oops!

back to computer and modified recipe to hopefully balance this. modified as follows

973 g hi grade flour (140 g more than planned)

24 g caraway seed (did not change)

563 g water (an extra 80 g)

29 g salt (an extra 4 g)

mixed all and did 4 x slap and folds at 30 minute intervals then left to bulk ferment until doubled.  It was pretty active and by 6:30 pm ready for pre shape. 

Rested 20 minutes then final shape and into fridge over night. I thought it was over proofed so the first batard was baked without slashing (lead photo)

the others slashed as usual.  

Did I over proof? crumb shot from small batard - the last to be baked


Not sure about this bread. the caraway is very strong and the bread a bit on the sour side (Neither of us wants sour tasting bread and it is a first for me)

was this because I did an overnight proof ( no yeast used even though recipe said to). I am disappointed :(

Still, my bake wasn't a total failure.  I used up my surplus refreshed starter in a 1:2:3 loaf and as I ran out of higrade flour ended up using 10% spelt.  this turned out beautifully with a thin crisp crust and reasonable oven spring

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decided to make 3 batches of dough - and really pay attention to my gluten development and shaping.  Each batch was enough for 2 small loaves. I made Ru's butternut squash recipe again, my favourite multigrain and NW sourdoughs potato water SD.  I have made the multigrain recipe countless times but I reworked the recipe using the BBG spreadsheet. 

I started with the butternut squash.  As I had some squash frozen I defrosted it and used that.  It had a lot of moisture and I drained off what I could.  the dough was very very soft but seemed to come together ok with the 4 S&F at 30 minute intervals before bulk fermenting for a couple of hours.

once this was underway I started the multigrain. I added about an extra 20 g water to my soaker by accident and when I came to doing the autolyse my dough needed more water so I added water until it came together.  after autolyse I added the levain and soaker and it took a lot of hand mixing to combine.  The S&f were then matched to the butternut dough so I did one dough followed by the next.  the dough was very soft.

ok, onto the last one.  potato water SD.  this recipe uses the double hydration technique. I mixed the low hydration dough, added the levain then left to rest for 2 hours with s&f after 1 hour. final step is to added 2nd part of water with the salt gradually over 3-4 hours with gentle s&f.

Finally, as each dough finished bulk ferment I preshaped, rested and shaped dough.  It was quite a challenge with the butternut squash dough. It was really soft and very extensible and I struggled to get it to hold its shape. the multigrain gave me similar shaping problems but I hoped i had done enough. finally the potato water dough was just a beeze, no issues at all.

so into the fridge they went for overnight proof. set the oven to heatup automatically and started my baking.

here is the butternut squash.

Really spread during bake and I was very disappointed. next to be baked the multigrain.


Spread quite a bit too, but was a bit better. I hade made a slightly bigger batch so the 2 loaves were 800 and 600 gms

finally the potato water dough went into the oven.  i made 1 boule (photo at top of post) and the batard I baked in a oblong china dish with tented foil over it. normally i bake in DO but wanted to try this.  I slashed the top. I had used parchment during proofing so I could allow dish to warm up befoe putting in the oven. anyway, put loaf in oven and after 15 minutes removed lid of DO and foil from dish. it was way less baked than the boule so l left it another 5 minutes then removed it from the dish so it would brown.

this also needed longer to finish.  all loaves baked to 208°f internal temp.yy

later in the day, i sliced and packaged.  the grain and butternut loaves are very moist, never had that before.


the crumb shot cheered me up a bit, but I was disappointed given the extra care i had taken to try and do things better.

proof will be in the eating over Christmas.


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well for once I am a bit early. I was rebuilding my starter yesterday and thouhgt "there is enough to build a levain for Pal's challenge" so I did.

Spiced English Muffins.

never made these but loved the ones I bought a few years ago. So I used Wild Yeast's recipe and added cinamon and raisins.


110 g 100% hydration starter (made at 2 pm)

160 g flour

100 g whole wheat flour

276 g low fat milk

mixed at 8 pm and left on bench overnight.

this morning at 8 am added

75 g flour

3/4 tspn salt

1 tspn baking soda

1 1/2 tspn cinamon

2 tspn honey.

mixed then turned out on bench. added in 1/3 cup raisins then did stretch and fold / gentle slap and fold until dough was smooth.

pressed out into rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick and cut circles with cookie cutter (about 2 3/4 inch diameter). placed on semolina dusted parchment, proofed for 45 minutes and baked in my skillet on medium setting, 7 minutes each side (actually had 2 skillets going :) - such fun, and anticipation!

Definitely something I will make again, don't know why I haven't tried before given how often it is mentioned here.  Taste is great, maybe next time perhaps a little more honey and a few more raisins, but yum.... tomorrow morning will be toasting some for sure.

Thanks Pal for the push to try something new. It is a very simple bake, but look forward to seeing what others bring to the challenge.


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pretty much as per Ru's post of 31 October, but as I don't like walnuts I used macadamia nuts and added sunflower seeds as well. Nuts and seed % as her bake.  Bulk ferment a touch longer, room temperature about 23°c. Final proof went quickly as I wanted to bake today (no retard) and an hour and a half later I put it in refridgerator to slow things while oven heated up.

First off I baked the two 1:2:3 loaves I had made (wasn't happy with last bake at all so needed to repeat it) and these turned out well so that is good.  

Then I baked this loaf in DO at 250°C for 18 mins followed by 15 mins lid off at 230°c.

Just sliced it and really excited - lovely golden glossy crumb, thin crust and yum with butter - couldn't resist. Hubby wanted to know what was in it too so he is starting to enjoy the different breads I have made lately! Now the freezer is full and we need to eat some before I bake again :)  Definitely will make this again, Maybe next time I will add the spices.

Thanks Ru, great recipe :). Leslie

Crumb shot!



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