The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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ExperimentalBaker's picture

Used the middle-class brioche recipe for this bake with some changes.

1) I divided the dough into 3 portions - original, 4% matcha powder added, 8% cocoa powder added. I shaped them into rectangles and put one layer on top of the other, then rolled them up into a log shape and placed it into a loaf tin.

2) I did not put in fridge after developing the dough, which I regretted because the dough was very very soft.

3) I added 1 tsp of vanilla extract

The dough was overproofed because my wife was baking her cakes.

I find the matcha and chocolate flavour a tad weak. And because of the added flavours, my expectation before taking the first bite is that it should be sweet, but it isn't. Will use a sweet dough recipe for such flavours in the future.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I don't get jealous of the usual list of suspects that crank out the "I gotta bake a loaf of that" breads. I get it that their skills weren't given to them and they had to put in their time at the work bench to learn the craft. They all probably baked a brick or two in their time before they got to where they're at these days. I've already baked a couple of bricks so I'm part way there. I keep winning ribbons at the Leavenworth County Fair where the Mennonite families are stiff competition so I know I'm improving.

Once upon a time, I envied Paul because he could be up in front of a class to teach bread baking skills but those days are over. I got a class of my own, humble enough but I haven't done any teaching since 1975 when I did some substitute teaching at the local schools. It was a "Knowledge at Noon" class, sponsored by the county Extension Service office at the town library for all of one hour. There were only five adults in attendance and somebody's great granddaughter who was easily distracted by the samples.

I had a Good time. I finally got to put my myself up there and be myself in public talking about bakers math, preferments, soakers, stretch and folds, and a home baker's toys from the tool box.. There were samples of a blatant copy of Floyd's Rustic Bread. The class got to compare a Basic White Bread done in the straight mix fashion and one teased out with a poolish, minimal yeast (3/8 tsp), and an overnight stay in the fridge. That teased out white bread was the best white bread I've ever baked and the class and agent agreed. There was a willing volunteer to take it home at the end of the class. I also completed an arrangement to swap some of my sourdough starter for some homemade, unfiltered honey made here in Leavenworth.

Would I do that again? Oh yeah, I sure would despite the occasional stumbling, brain freezes, and the moment I remembered that teaching is always harder than it looks from the seat of a distracted student. There were some things I did wrong, some things I forgot, but there were things that I'd do all over again and will when I get the chance. Nobody walked out, I know that I reached one attendee with some knowledge she didn't have before she walked in, and I got two attendees really fired up and ready to tackle one of RLBs rye breads from her "Bread Bible".

I got to make a difference, admittedly a very small difference, in the world today as a volunteer for the county Extension Service. Not a bad way to spend my summer.




dabrownman's picture

After seeing Pa de pagès català - Catalan loaf posted by Abelbreadgallery about a week ago, I knew Lucy couldn’t resist making it something more to her liking by mixing it up some.  She has been struggling with her sprouted grain project but thinks she might finally have it sorted out after this bake- I’m not so sure since after she turned 10 she has slowed down recipe wise.


She increased the usual amount of whole grains in this loaf to 35%, and sprouted them because we like the taste if we can figure out  a way to keep the bread from over proofing due to the way more enzymes the sprouting unleashes…..which makes more sugar from the starch  allowing the yeast and Lab in the SD to run wildly out of control.


She also dropped the commercial yeast since it isn’t needed and we don’t run a bakery that needs to speed things along even if the flavor of the bread suffers.   She increased the hydration some to 72% and also subbed some Lafama AP and some Winco AP flour too for some of the bread flour.  We did use King Arthur bread flour for a third of the white flour making the protein for the white flours averaging out to 12%. 


Why the EU gave this straightforward SD bread made with a little whole wheat and bread flour special status for Catalonia is beyond me since people have been making this same bread all over the world for at least a hundred years and likely much, much longer.  Still, the Catalonians must be proud of it anyway…..but wish it has some rye or spelt and or both to improve the flavor but that would be another bread entirely.


Our usual 4 day process was extended a day to get the wheat berries sprouted and chitted,   which took a day.  By the time we dried them in the AZ at 110 F, milled them and sifted out the hard bits it took a day and a half.    We ended up with 28 g of hard bits that we fed to the 7 week retarded, huge looking if only  4 g, of 66% hydration, rye starter over 3 stages to build the final  tiny 7% levain at 60 g.  We retarded the levain  after the 3rd feeding for another 24 hours.


Once the levain came out of the fridge to warm up and finish doubling we autolysed the rest of the flour with the dough liquid that included the left over soaker water for the sprouts with the salt sprinkled on top of the autolyse ball so Lucy wouldn’t forget it.  After 2 hours, the levain was mixed in and 6 minutes of slap and folds commenced followed by 2 more sets of 1 minute each.  All the sets were separated by 30 minutes of rest,


We then did 3 sets of stretch and folds on 30 minute intervals and had planned to add some sage, walnuts and walnut oil to the mix or possibly some olives with the sage but then decided to make a plain old sprouted white bread since we don’t have any in the freezer and my wife might eat it.


After and hour of bulk ferment, we pre-shaped and then shaped the dough into a boule, placing the dough seam side down in the rice floured basket.  The dough seemed pretty springy and full of air.  Into the fridge it went for a 24 hour retard.   We hoped the small levain would not over proof the dough as it retarded but you never know until you look.  When we took a peek at 21 hours it looked OK so we let it go for the full 24.


Lucy decided to the boule come to room temperature and bake it then rather than cold right out of the oven.   This bread is baked seem side up and not slashed so a little over proofing won’t be a horrible thing like usual – just semi horrible which Lucy equates to semi sweet chocolate which isn’t all bad. 


Since it was only 80 F at 7 AM and cloudy this morning we decided to bake the bread in Big Old Betsy…… if it wasn’t 100 F by 11 AM.   It was preheated to 550 F and when BOB beeped it was at temperature we loading in the Mega Steam under the bottom stone.  12 minutes later the steam was billowing.

We un-molded the bread onto a parchment covered peel and slid the bread onto the bottom stone.  2 minutes later we turned the oven down to 500 F and 2 minutes later we turned it down to 475 F where it stayed for another 11 minutes when the steam came as we turned the oven down to 425 F – Convection this time.


The bread continued to bake for another 10 minutes when the bread read 208 F on the inside and was removed to the cooling rack.   The bread sprang well but didn’t open at the seams.  It also browned up nicely with the blisters we love so much.  We will have to see how the crumb looks and how it tastes later for lunch.  It did come out of the oven light as a feather which is always a good sign.


The crust softened as it cooled and this has to be the softest crumb of all time.  Almost impossible to cut while still warm out of the oven –maybe that has something to do with it!  The crumb was also open and moist bu8t it was the taste that stood out.  Much tastier than the normal 35% whole grain wheat bread and well worth the effort to sprout and dry the whole berries first.  We like this bread a lot and my wife might not find any left when she gets home.




RyeSD Starter Build

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



7 Week Retarded Rye Starter






18.66% Sprouted Wheat Extraction
























Starter Totals


















Starter Hydration






Levain % of Total












Dough Flour






81.34% Extract. Sprouted  Wheat






 11.97% Protein Flour Mix






Total Dough Flour


















 Sprout Water 125, Water






Dough Hydration












Total Flour w/ Starter






Total Liquid w/ Starter












Total. Hydration with Starter






Total Weight






% Whole Grain












11.97% Protein flour mix is equal parts of LaFama 11.22% AP.


12.7% King Arthur bread flour amd 12% Winco AP flour





PMcCool's picture

My second bake from last weekend had more to do with some fresh figs that I had found than it did with bread.  Although I grew up on a farm and had plenty of first hand experience with many kinds of fruit, figs weren't part of the local scene.  I don't recall seeing a fig outside of a Fig Newton cookie any time prior to my high school graduation.  When I did eventually encounter figs in their whole form, they were dried instead of fresh.  The farm, by the way, is located in northern lower Michigan, which explains the dearth of figs.  At a guess, I must have been in my 40s before I ever laid eyes, or hand, on a fresh fig.

Imagine my surprise and delight on finding a tray of fresh figs at a store recently!  (They aren't that common here in NE Kansas, either.)  They followed me home and we considered all sorts of options before settling on this Fig and Rosemary Chicken from the Foodie Fresh blog.  How do I love it?  Let me count the ways.  1) Figs.  2) Fig and balsamic reduction (that's the 'sauce' for the pizza).  3) Fresh rosemary.  4) Goat cheese.  5) Grilled chicken.  6) Caramelized onions  7) All of that in one place at the same time!  8) Pizza!

Oh.  My.

All I did was throw together a simple dough, maybe 70% hydration plus a drizzle of olive oil.  My wife did the rest of the work.  And when she got done, boy, did it all work together!

Here's a ready-for-the-oven pic:

Isn't that a thing of beauty?

But wait, there's more:

That's right, fresh from the oven and ready to eat!  This, people, is some seriously good food.  There were no leftovers.

Energized by the fabulous pizza, I managed to put together some kolaches for the third bake of the weekend, using dough from the previous weekend's class.  Those turned out pretty well, too.  Sorry, no pictures of those.  Having sized them at 80g each, I think I'll try shrinking them to 50 or 60g each the next time that I make them.  That will allow for a higher ratio of filling to bread.

That's more baking than I tend to do most days but I'm happy with all three outcomes.  (The first was Hamelman's Whole Rye and Whole Wheat bread, covered in an earlier post.)


PMcCool's picture

Consistency has much to recommend it but a person needs some variety in life, too.  Hence the first bake from this past weekend - Hamelman's Whole Rye and Whole Wheat bread.  Mostly.  It seems as though I've had more than my share of white breads in recent weeks.  It wasn't the result of any grand plan, just happenstance.  And they were good breads, too.  They just left me wanting something browner and grainier.  

In thumbing through Hamelman's Bread - 2nd Edition, I came across his Whole Rye and Whole Wheat bread.  It sounded like just the thing to break the white bread streak.  The formula is pretty straightforward:

Bread Flour  50%

Whole Rye Flour 25%

Whole Wheat Flour 25%

Water 68%

Mature sourdough culture  5%

Salt  1.8%

Yeast, fresh  1.25%  

In spite of the yeast in the formula, this is a sourdough bread.

I did take some liberties with both ingredients and process.  First, I left out the yeast.  That allowed for a fuller sourdough flavor and a slower rise, which fit better with the day's other activities.  The recipe calls for 6 minutes of mixing in a spiral mixer.  Wanting a close-textured crumb for sandwiches, I opted for approximately 18 minutes of hand kneading.  Finally, I mixed together the levain, the water for the final dough, and the whole wheat flour, allowing the mixture to sit for about an hour.  This gave the bran in the wheat flour an opportunity to absorb liquid and soften somewhat before I mixed in the bread flour and salt.

So, other than changing nearly half of the variables, it's exactly as Mr. Hamelman intended.

Since my starter had been refreshed the previous weekend and put back in cold storage, I simply used the called-for amount straight from storage to build the levain.  The mixed levain was covered and allowed to ferment overnight.  By the next morning, it had grown appreciably and was bubbly throughout.

As noted above, the final dough water and whole wheat flour were combined with the starter and the bowl covered.  After an hour or so, the salt and most of the bread flour were mixed in to make a rough dough.  The dough was then treated to an extended session of hand kneading.  Kneading was a bit of an effort.  Twenty-five percent rye flour, pre-fermented, equals sticky dough.  I had held back perhaps 20 or 30 grams of the bread flour in anticipation of needing it for bench flour.  That turned out to be a good call, as the dough wanted repeated flourings to stay manageable.  By not adding more flour or water than the formula called for, the dough was at the intended hydration level when kneading was complete.

Finally, it was covered and allowed to ferment for until approximately doubled, which only took slightly more than three hours.  The loaves were pre-shaped, rested, then shaped into batards, placed on parchment sheets, covered with plastic wrap and allowed to ferment without any side support.  Happily, there was a limited amount of spreading during the loaves fermentation.  With the warmer temperatures this time of year, the loaves were ready to bake in less than three hours.

The loaves were slashed, then baked with steam at 460F for 15 minutes.  After that, the temperature was turned down to 440F for another 20 minutes of baking.  At that point, the loaves had reached 208F internal temperature, so they were removed from the oven.

Oven spring was good, with slightly more than a doubling in height from the unbaked loaf.  The slashes opened up very cleanly, with no tearing.  As always, I need more practice to get uniform cuts.

I'm becoming a fan of Hamelman's penchant for bold bakes.  While I won't push as far as he does, getting a dark crust and browning of the grigne is as pleasing to my tongue as it is to my eyes.

The resulting crumb was very much what I wanted, well aerated but able to retain condiments:

This bread is more to my liking than the Vermont Sourdough and its variants from the same book.  It has a significantly higher wholegrain flour content, for one.  The blend of rye and wheat seems tastier than either one alone, too.  Even at 68% hydration and 50% wholegrain flour content, the crumb is pleasantly moist.  It's close to a week now since I baked the bread and it shows no sign of staling.  My wife sliced some today and made a bruschetta of sorts with a balsamic-fig reduction spread on the bread and scattered bits of goat cheese.  That was toasted in the the toaster oven and, oh, my, was it good!

The good news is that this is a bread worthy of being in the regular baking rotation.  The bad news is that there are so many other good breads in Bread that I don't know when I might get back to it.


wassisname's picture

I finally got a chance to answer Karin’s latest challenge.  It was a good one and left me with a good loaf of bread, too!


Trying to come up with a loaf that would reflect the history of it all was a little too daunting, so I asked myself what sort of bread I would serve to the iron handed knight now.  What kind of loaf would I bake if he was standing in my kitchen?  (Any kind he wants!!)  Something with flavors of home but maybe a little more modern in style.  It didn’t take long to decide on a combination of barley, oats and flaxseeds in a medium-wholegrain sort of wheat dough.  It sounded good to me, anyway!  This loaf was baked as one large round.  I think I’ll split it next time, but for this bake the big round seemed appropriate.  The method was a little harder to decide on.  My first thought was good, old-fashioned hand kneading, but the man inspiring the bread is clearly no stranger to a little mechanical assistance, so I let the mixer do the work.


The result was as good as I could have hoped for.  The crumb was surprisingly light and soft and the flavor complex, though distinctly sour.  I prefermented quite a bit of the flour without really thinking it through.  I think it worked well against the other flavors, but for non-sour lovers it would probably be a bit much and the amount of leaven should definitely be reduced.  Barley flakes in place of the barley meal would be another change worth trying.  I think I would have opted for that from the start if I had had any barley flakes. 

All in all a worthy bread, I think, one I will be baking again.  I got a good response from everyone who tried it so I’ll make plenty for sharing.  If anyone doesn’t like it?  Well… thanks to Götz, now I know just what to say! :)




David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I pulled the trigger on a pullman 13x4x4 loaf pan recently, and have been itching to bake a sandwich bread.  I was unable to do it last weekend due to travel plans, so I was trying to figure out a way to get the loaf done after work. Unfortunately, I can't begin to bake anything until 7:30 pm at the earliest, and I usually go to bed by 10. 

Then I had an inspiration -- instead of making the oat/white bread recipe from KA Flour's website, I would make the "master loaf" from Whole Grain Breads. I thought that I could mix the "soaker" and "biga" one evening and make and bake the dough the next.

What I forgot, however, was that the formula calls for two rises. For some reason I had thought there was only a single rise, in the pan.  However, by the time I figured it out, I was in for a penny, in for a pound, I sucked it up and realized I'd be up for at least an hour longer than I hoped.

I rushed things along by putting the dough in a warm oven and letting it rise for only 45 minutes or so, during the bulk fermentation and then for the proofing in the pan.

I also forgot how to bake the darned loaf. He uses the "epoxy" method where you make the biga and soaker the day before, and then mix in the final ingredients with the two components.  While the "final ingredients", being a bit of flour, honey, butter and a lot of yeast are to be added to the other components, I decided mix them first....resulting in what looked like wet brown sugar.

Let me just say that it is not easy incorporating that sticky granular mess into the rest of the dough.  However, after a while, it blended in seamlessly.

I still don't think I am getting a proper window pane and do not understand how it is possible to give instructions suggesting a total of 3 minutes hand kneading.  Maybe store-bought whole wheat flour would behave differently.

I get it to a shaggy mass, let it rest, and then kneed for several minutes, including slaps and folds, with wet fingers. It gets super sticky, I let it rest for another five minutes, and repeat.  May have done this 3 times.  It is still pretty darned sticky when I break off a piece for the window pane and it is still very weak.  Next time I am going to break out the kitchen aid and see if I get better development.

The dough rose nicely, and I shaped it into a log by first patting it into a long rectangle and then folding it up to the middle, from the bottom, and down from the top to the middle, and then in half again.  I have absolutely no idea why I did it this way instead of just rolling it up all the way.

I think the dough filled about 1/2 the pan, maybe a little less.  It rose to within 1 inch of the top, rather rapidly. In fact, i think it was probably closer to 3/4 of an inch. I worried it would pop the top but it did not even make it to the top.  Next time I may use more dough or perhaps with better glutton development I will get a better rise.

The loaf it self came out okay, but not fantastic.  I did not run a stick of butter along the top but will probably do that next time around.

It made great toast. It was relatively easy to slice. But it is definitely not the best bread I've made. I've got work to do on the whole grain breads.  This one, like my last one, contains  a bit of rye.  I made myself PB&J for lunch with it, and look forward to seeing how it does. However, the next loaf I make in this pan is going to be the honey oat white bread from KA Flour's site. I want a soft decadent loaf that my son will like. I don't want to try giving him the whole wheat before I get him hooked.

emkay's picture

Fennel has a very distinct, licorice-like flavor. Fennel, and its relative anise, tend to be polarizing. People seem to love or hate it. I am definitely on the side of loving it. My favorite way to eat raw fennel bulbs is thinly shaved and tossed with citrus segments and a citrus vinaigrette. I use the fennel fronds like any other fresh herb. A couple nights ago I combined fennel fronds, fresh rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and crushed fennel seeds to rub onto a pork shoulder for slow-roasting. I even make a sweet 'n savory shortbread cookie that has fennel seeds, parmesan cheese and Maldon sea salt. It sounds strange, but it's an absolutely delicious cookie.

I bought a 2-pound bag of dried organic black mission figs from Costco a couple weeks ago and have been looking for an excuse to use it. Dabrownman posted his fig and fennel bread and I knew what I would bake.


The starting point for my fig and fennel bread formula was the Tartine basic country bread. I used 20% whole wheat flour and a levain that has fermented for 12-15 hours as opposed to Chad's 4-6 hour levain. The levain was built from my rye starter. I soaked my dried figs for 30 minutes in warm water and then drained them. I saved the fig soaking water to use in my dough. I would say my water was half fig soaking water and half from the tap.

I mixed everything except the salt and figs, let the dough rest in the bowl for 30 minutes, and then squeezed in the salt. I bulk fermented at 73F for 3.5 hours with stretches and folds. The figs were added during the second S&F. Shaped and retarded at 40F for 14 hours. Baked at 450F for 35 minutes with steam during the first 15 minutes.

Fig and Fennel Bread Grams (Bakers' Pct)

AP flour (Central Milling ABC) 480 (80%)

Whole wheat flour 120 (20%)

Water 450 (75%)

Salt 12 (2%)

Levain (100% hydration) 120 (20%)

Dried figs (soaked, drained & quartered) 200 (33%)

Fennel seeds (half ground, half crushed) 9 (1.5%)


Final Dough 1391 grams

Overall hydration: 77.2%

Prefermented flour: 9.1%


The bread was lovely. I thought that 33% figs would've been enough, but in hindsight I think I could have gone up to 50%. The crumb was not as open and hole-y as I wanted, but I guess if it was too open then the figs would fall out. The fennel seed flavor was quite assertive since I ground half the seeds into a powder before adding it to the dough. I left the other half crushed. The flavor was well distributed throughout the bread and I could taste it in every bite. Fennel and figs really work well together.


The other fennel bread I baked is a semolina, golden raisin and double fennel bread. I stole the flavor combination from Amy's Bread in NY. The dough is based on the semolina sesame bread (pane siciliano) that I learned at the San Francisco Baking Institute. There's a tiny bit of instant dry yeast in this dough. The instructor at the SFBI said it's a bit of insurance since a naturally leavened semolina dough can be a bit tricky.

I used some fennel bulb as well as fennel seeds. I sliced the bulb, blanched it for 2 minutes, drained and chopped it. I ground all the fennel seeds into a powder. I soaked the golden raisins for about 15 minutes in warm water and then drained them.

I combined everything except the raisins and chopped fennel and mixed for 2 minutes on speed 1 of my KitchenAid stand mixer. I added the raisins and fennel and mixed for 1 minute. I transferred the dough to a lightly oiled container and bulk fermented at 70F for 3 hours with a set of stretches and folds at 60 and 120 min. I divided the dough into two halves. I shaped six 100-gram rolls with one half and a boule with the other. The boule was proofed for 2 hours and the rolls for 1.5 hours (room temp ~70F). The boule was baked at 450F for 35 minutes with steam during the first 15 minutes. The rolls were baked at 425F for 20 minutes.



Semolina, Raisin, and Fennel Grams (Bakers' Pct)

AP flour (Central Milling ABC) 250 (50%)

Semolina flour 250 (50%)

Water 340 (68%)

Olive oil 25 (5%)

Salt 12 (2.4%)

Instant dry yeast (SAF red) 0.5 (0.1%)

Levain (100% hydration) 125 (25%)

Golden raisins (soaked & drained) 115 (23%)

Fennel seeds (ground) 5 (1%)

Fennel bulb (sliced, blanched & chopped) 115 (23%)


Final Dough 1237.5 grams

Overall hydration: 71.6%

Prefermented flour: 11.1%


My boule stuck to the brotform and deflated quite a bit as I worked it out of the form. The ovenspring was not enough to overcome the deflation. The rolls came out perfectly.


I loved the sweet golden raisins with the flavor of the semolina. The fennel seed was detectable, but not assertive. It was the perfect amount. The fennel bulb wasn't worth the effort. It was hardly noticeable and I would probably leave it out the next time I make this bread.

:) Mary

isand66's picture

   For those of you old enough to remember Mel's Diner, this bread pays homage to Flo who was happy to tell you to "Kiss My Grits" as she deemed necessary.Flo

I had bought some home made Ricotta from Fairway Market the other day to use for pizza and wanted to use the balance in a bread.  They just opened up a new Fairway Market closer to where we live and we went shopping over the weekend.  I picked up some Grits which is similar to Polenta but is white corn instead of yellow.  Grits by themselves are pretty bland unless you add some cheese and butter.  For this recipe I left out the cheese since I was adding Ricotta to the main dough but added a couple of tablespoons to the grits.

I ended up making way too much grits for the bread so I warmed it up on my barbeque and added some cheese and ate it as a side with dinner last night.  I was going to grill it but I didn't cook it long enough for it to thicken up enough.

I used my trusty AP starter and added some freshly ground whole wheat flour and some Bob's Red Mill Semolina along with KAF Bread flour.  I did not calculate the water used in the grits into the overall hydration but it definitely affected the final dough which was a little wet but more than manageable after a couple of stretch and folds.

The final bread ended up perfect with a nice dark crisp crust and moist light crumb.  The crumb is not too open but is perfect for sandwiches and grilled bread with some fresh mozzarella and tomatoes from my garden.

If you get a chance you should definitely try this one.  Max and Lexi guarantee you won't be disappointed!



Kiss My Grits Ricotta Bread (%)

Kiss My Grits Ricotta Bread (weights)

Download BreadStorm .BUN file here.


Grits Directions

Boil water in heavy duty pot and add grits and simmer for 5 minutes until soft and thick.  Cool completely before using.

(Note: you want to mix 1 part grits to 3 parts water.  I made a lot of extra grits but you can try and make the exact amount if desired)


Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours with the main dough water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, grits and salt and mix on low for 5 minutes and then add in the Ricotta and mix for one additional minute.   You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but  manageable.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 5 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  (Note: since I made one large Miche I lowered the temperature to 435 degrees for 2/3's of the bake to prevent the crust from getting too charred).  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.



CAphyl's picture

I have wanted to make this recipe for some time, and I have finally done it.  Very exciting. There are just so many on the list to do!  My husband and I love olives, and I make so many dishes with lemon zest that this seemed a natural for me.  My starter was getting a bit tired, so I refreshed it just before beginning this recipe. I have adapted this recipe from a blogger, foodtravelthought.

Makes two large loaves. (The one below was 2 lbs. 6 oz).

You can see those olives in there!

I used my LaCloche baker, as usual.

The crumb turned well, and the crust was very nice. The taste was very tangy and the olives strongly flavored the bread. I probably added more flour than I wanted during the shaping due to the high hydration of the dough.

It sure made great sandwiches.

The dough autolyzing.

Speaking of olives, these are some of the seasoned and marinated ones I used. Many recipes say not to use these as they add too much flavor to the dough, but this is what I had on hand after using a whole bottle of non-seasoned kalamata olives (make sure you drain these thoroughly before using.  You don't need any more hydration in this dough, believe me!) I would say that the olive taste was strong in the final bread due to the marinated olives, but both my husband and I appreciated the flavor.

You have to love how this smells...yummy.

Add in the herbes de provence and mix well.

The dough at rest. At this stage, I thought there might be too many olives, but that is not what I saw in the final dough.

Pre-shape. This is not an easy dough to work with!

As the oven pre-heated, I took the dough out of the refrigerator after the overnight proof.

Here is the recipe I used below.


  1. 55g ripe starter
  2. 200g water
  3. 200g whole wheat flour ( actually used sprouted whole wheat)

Mix the starter and water together in an medium-sized glass bowl until the starter is fully absorbed.  Add the flour and mix well.  Cover and leave on the counter at room temperature overnight.


  1. 250g (25%) leaven
  2. 800g (80%) white bread flour
  3. 200g (20%) whole wheat bread flour
  4. 20g (2%) salt
  5. 730g water and 50g water in reserve for after you add the salt (step #5 in Method below)
  6. 3 cups pitted olives (I used 1-1/2 cups kalamata and 1-1/2 marinated kalamata and green spicy olives from our farmer's market) halved
  7. 2 tsp herbes de provence
  8. Zest of one lemon


  1. Add the 250g of the starter to a large mixing bowl
  2. Pour in 730g water and mix until the water and leaven are completely mixed and dissolved
  3. Add 800g bread flour and 200g whole wheat flour and mix until all the dry flour is incorporated
  4. Cover your bowl with a towel and let autolyse for 40 minutes
  5. After 40 minutes add 20g salt to the dough and slowly pour your 50g reserved water on top.
  6. Use your dough scraper to turn the dough several times.

Now, leave this on the counter covered with a towel for the bulk fermentation phase of about four-five hours with frequent turns. For the first step, let it sit for 45 minutes. While it is sitting, zest your lemon and add it to the olives and mix in the herbes de provence.  After 45 minutes, add in the olive mix, incorporating well.  (I actually added mine in after the third turn, but the recipe says do it earlier). Now, turn the dough with your scraper every 30 minutes for two hours.  After that period, leave the dough to rise untouched for another two hours.


As many of you know, Tartine bread has high hydration and can be difficult to handle, so this is where it gets tricky. I lightly floured my surface and eased the dough on the top of it and then floured the top as well.  I split the dough in half using my scraper and then roughly shaped the dough into two balls.  You'll need to add some flour as you go, but try to limit it as much as you can so that the final loaf will have that wonderful crumb. At this point, let the dough rest for 30 minutes.


After the dough has rested, shape into a ball, getting the dough as smooth as you can.  Place into a banneton dusted with brown rice flour and retard in the refrigerator overnight.


Preheat your oven with your covered baker inside at 500 degrees.  Remove the tray from the oven, use a bit of cornmeal at the bottom to prevent sticking, place the dough into the tray and score.  I sprayed with just a touch of water to get the nice crust.  Bake with the dome on for 30 minutes at 500 degrees, then remove the dome and bake at 450 for 15 ir 20 minutes or so.  I usually bake a bit longer to get the bold crust.  Just check it during this phase and thump the bottom to be sure it is done.

If you don't have a covered baker, place your baking stone in your oven pre-heat to 500F. You can take your loaves out of the fridge to warm up while the oven is preheating.

Place the dough onto the stone, score it, get your steaming apparatus in place and turn the heat down to 450ºF, bake for approximately 45-50 minutes until you have the crust color you desire.

I actually froze the other loaf, so we will see how that turns out when I bake it.  I had lots of fun on this bake.  Best,  Phyllis

Oh, I made one of my husband's favorites, pizza, last night.  I put pesto in the sourdough crust I made, per dabrownman's recent post.  I don't think it turned out as well as his pizza, however! I did use some of the olives that I used in the bread, as you can see.


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