The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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emkay's picture

I have always wanted to make a naturally leavened croissant for no other reason than to see if I can do it. But most sourdough starter / levain croissant recipes I see on the internet have both commercial yeast and levain in the dough. I have nothing against using commercial yeast in croissant making or in any other bread for that matter. Whatever floats your (bread) boat is fine with me. Croissants and other laminated yeasted doughs are challenging enough without using sourdough starter / levain as the sole means of leavening.

When Michael (mwilson) recently posted his purely sourdough croissant formula, let's just say that I was more than excited to try it out. The day I made my croissants was one of the hottest days of the summer in San Francisco. 83 degrees F! And, yes, that is considered hot for SF. I did have some minor tearing while doing my folds and I didn't roll the dough thin enough during the shaping step, but I don't think that had anything to do with the weather. I just need to practice my lamination skills. I filled the croissants with chocolate because (1) I have a big box of Callebaut chocolate batons that I needed to use up and (2) uh, it's chocolate, so why not? :)


I deviated from Michael's recipe a little bit. I used more egg yolk and butter and I didn't add any flavorings to dough as suggested in his post. I didn't use a stiff levain nor did I double-feed my levain to temper the sour flavors. I built a 20% rye flour, 80% hydration levain which fermented for 12 hours. Even though I wasn't following the letter of the law, I hoped that I was honoring the spirit.


I think my croissants still turned out pretty well. These croissants seemed sweeter and less buttery than the typical French-style croissant. My crumb wasn't as lacey and honeycombed as I would have liked and the bottom crumb was slightly compressed, but that's because I overhandled the dough. They were still flaky and crisp and oh-so delicious! I admit to having more than one with my afternoon tea.


Naturally Leavened CroissantsGramsBaker'sPct
Low-protein bread flour (~12% protein level)350100%
Egg yolk205.7%
Granulated sugar6318%
                                                           DOUGH726.3 grams 
Roll-in butter22631.1% of final dough


  1. Mix together all ingredients except the roll-in butter. (I used my KA stand mixer to mix the dough on speed 1 for 2 minutes and then on speed 2 for 2 minutes.)
  2. Refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours. (I did it for 6 hours.)
  3. Enclose the roll-in butter in the dough. (I like the regular lock-in method, but any alternative lock-in is fine.)
  4. Do 3 folds with 1 hour rest in the refrigerator between each fold. (I used the single fold aka letter fold as opposed to the book fold, but that's just my personal preference.)
  5. Shape the croissants and let them proof for 16 hours at 72 degrees F. (I shape retarded mine at 40 degrees F for 16 hours and then let them sit at 72 degrees F for 3 hours before baking.)
  6. Gently brush with egg wash and bake at 375 degrees F until golden brown, about 20 minutes. (Baking time will depend on the size of your croissants.)


:) Mary

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

After taking the summer off of baking bread (too hot in house) I took the opportunity of our recent long weekend to bake up some Neopolitan style pizzas on the grill.  As usual with my pizzas, I used unglazed quarry tiles and a grill flare-up method to re-create that fire hot environment a traditional forno would give.  No shots of the wild mushroom, goat cheese and arugula pizzas I made, but here are the Margheritas.  The very puffed up cornichione makes the pizzas look like the crust was thick and deep, but it was actually about a 1/4 of an inch thick, just the way we like it.


squarehead's picture

Hi all im wondering if anyone out there has tried the Devil's Tooth Bakery (Outer Sunset, San Francisco) cinnamon rolls? They are a molten caramel buttery wonder, but the dough is thinner and more carmelized then a "traditional" cinnamon roll. I wonder if this is the result of the laminating process? Anywho I was just wondering if anyone out in TFL world knows what I'm talking about so that I can attempt to re-create the recipe at home. I live 5 hours from SF so I can't just pop in to grab one. ; )

PetraR's picture

Well the move went well and the new Oven is a DELIGHT.

Here a picture of the new Oven

Just out of the Oven. * drooling *

Cooling down * waiting, waiting ... wahhhh *



Crumb * Kids stole the first slices pffft *



We have more of this bread with our Green Bean Soup * Like my Mama used to make *  

Just Butter on bread and a bowl of Soup and some Frankfurters, what can be better?


250g  mature 50% hydration Starter

625g Strong bread flour

 75g Whole Wheat flour

550g tepid Water

   1Tbsp Caraway Seeds

 25g Salt

   1tbsp Oil


Mix flour, Water and oil and Autolyse for 1 hour.

Add Salt.

French kneading in Sets of 5-6 and 5 minutes bench rest in between, did that for 6 times.

Bulk ferment for 12 hours at  room temperature.

Shape and put in banneton which I sprinkled with Corn flour. 

Put a kitchen towel in the fridge , cover banneton with floured kitchen towel and cover with a plastic bag and put on Kitchen towel in fridge.

* I put the kitchen towel in the fridge and on top of the banneton as it seems to prevent sticking of the dough *

Preheat your Dutch Oven to 250C.

Tip the dough gently on to a parchment paper that is sprinkled with Semolina and score.

Transport your dough with the parchment paper to you Dutch Oven.

Bake with the Lid on at 250C for 30 Minutes.

Turn the heat to 200C and bake without the Lid for a further 20 Minutes.

isand66's picture

     My wife asked me to make a simple Pumpernickel bread to bring to my Nieces birthday party this past Saturday.  She wanted to stuff it with her Sour Cream Spinach Dip and I didn't have a lot of time since she asked me Friday afternoon.


I decided to adapt a few recipes I found in some of my baking books and came up with a bread similar to what you would find in a bakery but without the rye starter typically used.  The final bread came out perfect for the dip and I made a second one for sandwiches.

The crumb was tight which is ideal for this type of bread.  You can taste the crushed caraway seeds and molasses in this one.

It worked real well for my dinner last night of pastrami with melted Munster cheese.

It was a busy weekend and I made some smoked wings with a spiced paste marinade and citrus balsamic glaze and caramelized smoked onions for a Labor Day party at our friends house.  Everyone seemed to enjoy them since there were none left at the end of the day.





Pumpernickel Yeast Version (%)

Pumpernickel Yeast Version (weights)

Link to BreadStorm files.




Add dehydrated onions to water first.  Next mix all of the flours together in your mixing bowl along with the instant yeast and cocoa powder.  (Note: I used a double dark cocoa powder).

Next add in the water and mix for one minute until the ingredients come together.  Let the dough rest for 20 minutes and then add in the remainder of the ingredients.   (Note: I used my coffee grinder to crush the caraway seeds or you can use a mortar and pestle).  Mix on low for 5 minutes and speed number 2 for 1 minute.  Take the dough out of your mixing bowl and place in a slightly oiled container/rising bucket.  Do a few stretch and folds and place the dough in your refrigerator overnight.

The next day take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for around 1 hour.  Shape it as desired and place in a basket or shape batards.  In the meantime warm your oven to the highest setting and prepare it for steam.  My oven goes up to 550 degrees F.

After approximately 1 hour the dough should have increased in size around 1/3 or so and pass the poke test.  Score as desired and place in your oven with steam.  Lower the oven after 1 minute to 450 degrees and bake until the internal temperature is 210 degrees which should take around 20-25 minutes.

Let the bread rest for at least 1.5 hours before diving in.

HokeyPokey's picture

I haven't been baking much bread lately - two toddlers are taking a little bit too much of my time :)

But I HAVE been making a lot of quick bakes - pancakes, biscuits, cupcakes - you name it.

Here is a full post of two of the most delicious and the least time consuming pancake recipes you will ever find - full recipe

And here is a photo of someone enjoying a pancake :)

yozzause's picture

Funny how these things happen,  RobynNZ in a response to JCrising recommended the Bourke street bakery as a good Aussie bread book and i concur, In fact after thinking that i had loaned my copy and was not going to be getting it back, my wife unearthed it under some piles of papers and to celebrate its return i decided to use it for some breads that i was going to be making with a bread enthusiasts group that i formed at work from staff and students whereby we bake some interesting breads for use in a retail outlet/training centre down in the West end of Fremantle.

We quadrupled the white sourdough and then made two derivatives from that same dough, the spicy fruit loaf and the sprouted ryeberries with caraway.

The dough was made after regular work and the recipe was followed  below is a pictorial account   white sourdough to the fore and the sprouted rye to the rear





spicy fruit bread derivative from the white sourdough


 On wednesday morning whilst baking off the sourdoughs after 36 hours cold fermentation i put through a dough inspired by our friend Khalid with his experiments with a Biga recently.

on the Monday evening i made a dough with no salt and only 1/2% yeast and placed it in the coolroom  on the Wednesday morning i made a dough with 2 kg flour and 1 kg Biga this was going to be used for the dinner rolls in the restaurant with enough dough over for 3 loaves which went into the just vacated bannetons  this dough had a bulk fermentation time of almost 2 hours  and the bread was superb

  and here is how it looked once cut 


kind regards Derek

wassisname's picture

Just a few pics of breads that I took to the fair this year.  I had a lot of fun, earned a few ribbons, and got a lot of bread out of it! 

My favorite (for the moment) out of this bunch is one that I don’t think I’ve ever posted.  I’ve only baked it a couple of times, but it is just so good… one of what I think of as “aromatherapy breads.”  I know they all smell good, but there are a few breads that give off an aroma that, all by itself, would be worth the effort.  This one is a light rye with coriander and raisins.  It’s so straightforward I won’t even post a formula.  Just add around 5g freshly ground coriander and a handful of raisins per loaf to a 20% whole rye sourdough and you are there.  It’s really about the coriander and raisins, so just about any dough you like would work.  Happy Baking!


grdresme's picture

The idea seemed a good one, in my mind at least. The nuttiness of spelt, combined with the sweetness of corn. Never tried anything like it before, so it was a complete shot in the dark. I missed spectacularly, and yet, I have hit the mark at the same time. Weird ey? 

Since I have never baked a corn bread before, I used a recipe from FloyM, and altered it to my liking/ingredients available. Here's what I did.

300 grams corn flour
700 grams whole wheat spelt flour
18 gr salt
40 gr sugar
15 gr instant yeast
4 deciliter water
2 deciliters (butter)milk
40 gr sunflower oil

1) I combined 2 dl of water with the corn flour, and let it sit for an hour.
2) Then I combined the rest of the dry ingredients, combined them with the corn mixture, and added the rest of the liquids.
3) I gently combined the ingredients (4 mins) and kneeded for about 6 to 8 minutes.
4) Rest and rise until doubled in size.
5) Knock back gently, shape 2 loafs. Rize in loaf tin until almost doubled in size.
Backed in an oven. Starting temp van 230C, after adding breads and a cup of water on the bottom, turned down the temp to 210C. Baking for about 45 - 50 mins, until core reached 95c.

Result aesthetics:
Not bad looking, but not really enviting either. 'Meh' was the first word that came to mind.

So the result was palatable. It was inteded as a bread for day to day use. Nothing special. And it wasn't. The flavor was alright. The feel in the mouth was very bad. Much to flaky/grainy. The crum itself wasn't dry - absense of fluids - but it felt really dry. However. However.
By accident I used the bread to make some grilledcheese toast for in a french union soup I made. The bread turned out to be excellent for tosties/grillend sandwiches. The corn gives it an awemsome crunch, and the addition of melting butter & cheese makes all the dryness in the mouth disappear.

Possibly, using just milk rather than a combination of water and (butter)milk improves palatabillety
Possibly, adding butter rather then oil improves palatabillety.
Possibly, soaking the corn in more liquid.



emkay's picture

Every year my parents receive many gifts of mooncakes in the days leading up to the Mid-Autumn Festival. Most of the time they are the traditional mooncakes filled with lotus seed paste and salted egg yolks. I thought I would try baking a different sort of mooncake to bring to my family's gathering. I call them American-style mooncakes. I made a trail mix inspired one and a coconut one. Mooncakes need to be baked at least a day (and preferably 2 days) before serving. Freshly baked ones do not have the correct texture since the pastry shell is still too crispy. The resting period allows the pastry shell to "return to oil" which just means that the skin will soften a bit.


Mooncake Pastry Dough

130 g all-purpose flour (10.5% protein level)

90 g Lyle's Golden Syrup

30 g canola oil

1/4 tsp alkaline water (aka kan sui which is a solution of sodium bicarbonate and potassium carbonate)*

* Note: Although a bottle of kan sui is very inexpensive, I didn't want to buy a whole bottle since I needed such a tiny amount. So I dissolved 1/2 tsp of baking soda in 1 tbsp of water and used 1/4 tsp of my solution instead of the 1/4 tsp kan sui.


1. Mix syrup, oil and alkaline water.

2. Sift flour into a mixing bowl and add wet ingredients. Mix to form a soft dough.

3. Cover and let dough rest at room temp for 30-60 minutes.

4. Divide the dough into 10 balls each weighing approximately 25 g. (This is scaled for my miniature mooncake mold.)


"Trail Mix" Filling

70 g almond meal (or chopped almonds)

80 g walnut, toasted and finely chopped

20 g sunflower seeds, toasted

50 g dried sour cherries, chopped

60 g kor fun (aka cooked glutinuous rice flour)

50 g water

20 g granulated sugar

20 g canola oil

10 g walnut oil

10 g sesame seeds (I didn't have any so I used tahini.)


1. Mix all ingredients.

2. Divide filling into 10 balls each weighing approximately 35 g. (This is scaled for my miniature mooncake mold.)


Egg Wash:   1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon of water or milk


1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Flatten the pastry dough and wrap it around the filling. Try your best to completely enclose the filling with the dough.


3. Put it into your mooncake mold to shape it. (I used a plastic mooncake mold with a plunger.)

4. Place shaped mooncake on sheet pan.



5. Bake at 375F for 8 minutes.

6. Remove from oven and let them cool for 5 minutes, then brush on the egg wash.

7. Lower oven heat to 350F and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

8. Cool for 10 minutes on sheet pan then remove to cooling rack.

9. When completely cool, store in an airtight container for at least 24 hours before serving.



I also made some coconut mooncake "cookies" using wooden cookie mold to shape them. I call them cookies because they are much flatter than mooncakes.



I used cake flour instead of all-purpose flour in my dough for the coconut ones so the dough ended up too soft. As a result, my baked cookies did not keep the carved details of the mold, but they were still delicious. They tasted like a coconut macaroon inside a mooncake pastry shell.



:) Mary


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