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Plain sourdough is not something I make often, though I intended to  but I seems to easily get distracted by multigrain and/or fruit breads. Somehow, I feel like one last weekend and I picked the Pain au Levain with whole wheat from jeffrey Hamelman's Bread cookbook.

The recipe uses stiff levain build which is also a good timing that I can convert my liquid starter (100% hydration) to stiff starter (60% hydration) before I am going away in the next two weeks for a month and won't have chances to feed my lovely pet starter, Jerry. I was afraid that he would be starving (for flour and water) and pass away while I'm away.

Thanks to a post on The Fresh Loaf about the sourdough starter feeding. Apparently, stiff starter is more resilient than liquid one. It is more likely that it will survive after not being fed for a while. I only need to feed Jerry a few times when I'm back from holiday to wake him up and come back to his cheerful and active self.

This bread has a pronounced sour flavour, which I believe is the result of stiff levain build with mixed flour in it (mixed of rye and bread flour). The crumb is soft, open and chewy. It's a good complement to olive oil with a bit of dukkah.  

For more details, you can visit ;


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I can't recall I ever had whole-wheat pizza.  It sounds rather un-Italian but I want to experiment a little and see how the whole-wheat pizza would turn out. It would be great if it works so that we can, at least, claim that it's wholegrain pizza and somewhat a healthy choice, even though it is fully loaded with cheeses, chorizo, and etc, lol.

I used pizza base recipe from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker Apprentice and replaced 70% of bread flour with whole wheat flour. 

Instead of tomato sauce, I spread the pizza base with basil pesto (I got three big jars from CostCo that will last for so many pizzas and pastas) and topped it with mozzarella cheese, onion and chorizo (spicy Spanish sausage). The cooked pizza then topped with baby rocket leaves (arugula). Chorizo is something I love to cook with. It has such an intense well-rounded flavour that complements any dishes really well.

The whole wheat pizza crust works quite well. It is not as moist and soft as the one made with white flour. The crumb is also not as open but it is tasty nonetheless. I also feel that the whole-wheat base is crispier than the white flour base.  

For more details and recipes, you can visit the blog =>


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This is the recipe I love from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker Apprentice. This bread makes a great toast. The bread has 16% grains which contribute to the sweetness and fantastic aroma. The bread is very moist from many grains that hold the moisture and contribute to the natural sweetness. 

The recipe also contains brown rice that can be substituted by white rice or wild rice, but brown rice seems to blend in the best. I used white rice as I had some left over frozen from few weeks ago.

"White rice can be seen in the crumbs. It made the crumb so moist."

The original recipe is a straight dough, i.e. using commercial yeast without any pre-ferment flour. I always wanted to try converting a commercial yeasted bread into sourdough and see what the taste difference it would be. As a relatively novice bread baker, I also wanted to test my baker percentage calculation.

The intant yeast in original recipe is replaced by sourdough starter in liquid levain form. The original recipe is for 2-pound loaf, which means I need to use the baker's math to calculate recipe for desired final weight, 3.5+ pounds for two large loaves. It was fun using the baker's math. I felt like yelling 'bingo' when I finished the calculation.

I find Peter Reinhart's original recipe is very sticky, almost too sticky to work with.  So, I reduced the hydration to 74%, which is still a relatively wet dough (maybe because it also has about 4% of honey in it) . I also substitute 20% of bread flour with whole wheat flour. The original recipe also has honey and brown sugar that I also reduced both amount by half as the bread would be naturally sweet by long fermentation and grain soaker.

I just realised that I pretty much changed most of the Reinhart formula. Basically, the ingredients remain the same, but their amount were changed.

What is the result?, you might ask, after the convertion to sourdough and many ingredient changes. Well, the flavour profile changes substantially which, I believe, is resulted from using sourdough starter. It introduces acidity and tang into the bread which is non-existent in the original version. The sourdough version also has tender and moist crumbs. It is not as sweet as the original. Do I like it enough to do it again? Yes, this recipe is a keeper.


For more details and recipe you can visit the blog here:


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This bread was meant to be brought to the picnic with my girlfriends and their kids. It was raining for the whole weekend and we had to cancel it. So, the bread ended up being my breakfast and weekend snacks...a happy weekend for me.

I used Jeffrey Hamelman's berne brot recipe from Bread cookbook. I made it once before and loved it. It is a buttery rich bread, without being too sweet. I figured it probably complement well with the chocolate filling...and it did. I never really like chocolate bread before. Now, I'm a convert, a chocolate bread lover.  Because the recipe is for the braided bread, it also worked well as a twisted bread.

You can find recipes and more details here

The crumb is soft and tender with the chocolate filling twisted throughout.

It made a perfect breakfast while I checked TFL out as my weekend morning routine:)


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I haven't made the fruit loaves for a while. Not that I don't like them, I do love fruit toast (a lot actually), but I've been obsessed about making grains, seeds, whole wheat breads recently and kind of overlooking my old-time favourite, sourdough fruit toast. 

Sometimes, one needs a reminder or a nag. My boyfriend just mentioned the other day what a great fruit toast from the Dench Baker (artisan bakery and café in Fitzroy, Melbourne) he had. It sorted of giving me a signal that maybe I should be baking other breads apart from grain and seed breads. 

I picked Golden Raisin Sourdough recipe from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread cookbook. It's one of my favourite recipes from the book. The bread has 20% whole wheat flour, 10% rolled oats and 25% golden raisins.


Hamelman's recipe is 69% hydration which I found the dough to be very stiff. I adjusted the hydration to 72% (the dough still feel stiff with 72%). I guess that the hydration can even go higher to 75% as the oats, raisins and whole wheat flour absorb more water.


The bread is very moist and sweet due to substantial amount of raisins in it. The oats seems totally blend-in with the dough and disappear altogether. The bread is great toasted with butter. It makes a fantastic breakfast.


More details, photos and recipes can be found here :> 



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Green tea and red bean are the food pair that I love.  The bitterness from green tea complements the sweetness from the red bean paste really well. I have the left over of red bean paste I made for my homemade green tea ice cream last week. I have a big container of it and I don't like to see them going to waste. So, it makes a perfect timing to get on baking some green tea bread buns.

I used the white bread sandwich loaf recipe from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker Apprentice cookbook as a base. This bread is more like enriched bread than sweet bread. I figured that the red bean paste would add the richness and sweetness to the breads. Therefore, the recipe should be fine with just enriched bread dough.

I used 80% whole wheat (12% protein) and 20% all-purpose flour (10% protein) as flour mixture. You can also substitute these with bread flour, which should results in softer bread. I brushed the buns with milk, followed by melted butter, instead of egg-wash. So, this has resulted in less shiny crust.

I like to think that this bread is relatively healthy. It got high percentage whole wheat flour, green tea powder (rich in vitamin C and antioxidant), and red beans (irons, protein, fibre). So, it make a good alternative snack.

If you're interested in the recipe, you can find it here:>

 I made into three different shapes, flower shape ones (this picture), bread rolls in bread tin, bread rolls in cake pan

 Yummy red bean paste that I can just have them straight without any bread or ice cream.


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First rule of baking - KNOW YOUR OWN OVEN.

I think I did until a couple of weeks ago when I finally found out that I have been baking my breads in a not-so-correct oven mode for the past 6 months.

Instead of pre-heating my oven with fan+top & bottom heat, I pre-heated my oven and baked in a fan-assisted (with some heating elements) mode. The result after using the correct baking mode is significantly improved.

The loaves are more open with nicer ears and crumbs. Finally, I have a decent looking loaves.

This is my latest bake, Sourdough Seed Bread from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread cookbook, more details are here:(

This bread is also one of our favorite. It has a lovely texture and nuttiness taste from sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. I used black sesame seeds as I find them tastier than the white one and they're more nutritious, I believe. Generally, I like breads with a bit of texture, being it grains, seeds, nuts or fruits.

I also put some sesame seeds onto the loaves just before putting them into the oven. I spray the loaf surface slightly with water before pressing sesame seeds onto it.

  Latest bake with correct baking mode


 Previous bake of the same loaves, but in a not-so-correct baking mode

 Always had some troubles with the diagonal scoring.

 The crumbs

Yes, I had suffered from the oven mishap. I'm hoping that my loaves will be prettier in the future bakes.


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Whole wheat multigrain sourdough from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread cookbook is the bread that I bake quite often. I really like the mild sweetness from honey and the aroma from the mix of honey, whole wheat flour and grains. It got a nice texture and taste. I am always amazed at how sweet the bread is for a little amount of honey in it.

I wanted to try experimenting Peter Rienhart's whole wheat flour soaker with this WW multigrain loaves. I was so impressed with the 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf from Peter Rienhart's Wholegrain Bread. It delivered a tasty and soft crumb loaf (the details of that bake is here:

I was so curious to see what the difference Peter Reinhart's soaker method will deliver to the bread that I baked often and know its taste and texture profile.

Well, what can go wrong with matching technique and recipe of the two bread masters I admire the most, Jeffrey Hamelman and Peter Reinhart. 

The soaker method didn't dissappoint. It delivered more open and softer crumbs. I don't know if I was only imagining...but I think, by using soaker method, the WW multigrain also tastes nicer and sweeter. The taste and aroma from honey is more pronounced. All and all, I'm happy with incoporating soaker method to whole wheat recipe..and will definitely do it again in my future WW bake.

More photos and recipe can be found in the below link.



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Finally, I got over my procrastination of making baguettes and got on with making one.

My first attempt wasn't great and wasn't too bad either. There are things that I've learnt and will take them to my next bake. There were no issues with the taste and the dough strengths and extensibility. 

The issues I had with this bake were scoring, underestimation of the baguette size when it's fully-proof (i.e. it extended beyond my baking tray), baguette transfer from couche to baking tray.



 My home-made couche from an off-cut of IKEA curtain:)

Garlic and parsley baguettes with a mussels in white wine, yummy dinner!

You can also fine more details and photo in the below links.


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It's my first time baking 100% whole wheat bread. The recipe comes from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Bread book.

I find the method to be interesting, by soaking all whole wheat flour used in the recipe in soaker & biga. I'm quite happy with the result. The crumb is rather open and soft, which is quite extraodinary for 100% whole wheat. From my past bakings, I find a high-percentage whole wheat flour loaf to have a rather tight crumb (and this loaf is 100% whole wheat). I'm now thinking of experimenting soaking the whole wheat flour for my next sourdough whole wheat loaf, probably with our favourite Hamelman's multigrain whole wheat sourdough:)

Most importantly, the bread tastes quite nice, and is a healthy option.

Here are some pics, for recipe and more photos, you can follow this link


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