The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Dink DMB's picture
Dink DMB

I spent the last few days working on a 75% hydration sourdough with 10% rye and 10% whole wheat. At the first fold I divided the dough in two and added some inclusions to each half. One half had kalamata olive, fresh rosemary and lavander while the other had hemp heart and flaxseed. For my first attempt I’m feeling ok with the results but I’m sure there’s room for improvements. I hope to gain more experience and confidence with the breads I try out.

Elsie_iu's picture

I know it’s spring…not fall but the pumpkins sold in supermarket look gorgeous. If you’ve read my previous pumpkin pancakes post, you know I hate pumpkin. However, I can take it when it’s mashed and mixed into pancakes and bread, and to be honest, I adore the striking yellow-orange colour they add to the dough.

Although I did some research on the proportion of pumpkin usually incorporated to bread dough, the hydration level and the cream cheese filling ingredients are totally are not adopted from other recipes. I just kept adding water until the dough felt right to me and adjusting the filling ingredients until it tasted well-balanced.

Pumpkin cream cheese roll---in the form of sourdough bread


For leaven:

25g      6.5%      Starter

17g      4.5%      Whole wheat flour

15g       4%       Water


For dough:

380g     100%     Whole wheat flour 

240g      63%      Water

220g      58%      Mashed pumpkin (I pressure cooked Kabocha squash, you may need to add more water if you                                      option for roasted pumpkin)

57g       15%       Leaven

6g         1.6%      Salt

10g       2.6%     Vital wheat gluten


For filling:

200g     53%      1/3 less fat cream cheese

25g      6.5%       Honey

20g         5%       Lemon juice

20g         5%       Water


411.5g    100%     Whole grain

267.5g     65%     Total hydration (excluding the pumpkin which offers a significant amount of moisture) 


Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, about 6-8 hours.

Roughly combine all dough and let ferment overnight for 10 hours.

Mix all ingredients for the filling into a spreadable paste and keep refrigerated until one hour before the dough completes the overnight ferment.

Turn the dough out of the bowl and stretch and fold for a few times, then let rest for 20 minutes. Gently stretch the dough into a rectangle with the 2 sides being the length of the bread pan (8 inch for mine). Spread the filling onto the dough, leaving at least one inch on the edges of the 2 sides with the length of the pan. Roll the dough into a log and pinch the end together. Place into the bread pan and let proof for 1.5 hours. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 204°C/400°F.

Bake at 204°C/400°F for 35 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan and bake for 5 more minutes or until well-browned and internal temperature reaches a minimum of 190°F.

This bread is slightly sour and only very subtly sweet. It tastes like naturally sweet pumpkin but not sugary pumpkin pie so if you should add some cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg along with a few tablespoons of sugar if that’s the route you’d like to take. The cream cheese filling provided a pleasant tang and slight sweetness that goes really well with this surprisingly light-tasting bread.

The crumb is very moist and tender thanks to the pumpkin and sourdough even if it’s 100% whole wheat. The crust is slightly crunchy out of the oven but softens and turns pleasingly chewy as it cools. 

Who knows pumpkin bread can be so refreshing that it reminds me of spring? Let’s celebrate spring…with pumpkin cream cheese bread!



BreadBabies's picture

My husband and I are taking our first trip anywhere since we were married 3 years ago. We didn't have the funds for a honeymoon and the kiddo was created just one month after we said our vows.  This year, for my birthday, I asked him to arrange a long weekend and surprise me with the destination. I wanted somewhere close enough that we could be back in a flash if necessary, but far enough that we had to take a plane. He chose Portland. 

Naturally, I hear Portland and I think Ken Forkish. We're only going to be there for a couple days, but trips to his bakery and pizzeria are a top priority. Thus in preparation, I ordered Elements of Pizza.

I've only been at bread baking for just over a year. But I've been at pizza for over a decade. I spent 10 years working in the industry and I have a husband who loses his  $&*^! at the mention of a Neopolitan pizza. Together, we spent years in pursuit of delicious pizza -- at restaurants and at home.

A few months ago, we made a trip to Central Milling. Much to our surprise and delight, we encountered Tony Gemignani's 00 flour. I've always understood that 00 requires north of 900 degrees, so I generally don't bother with it. But it's Tony. Tony of legend...Tony of some of the most delicious pizza I've ever had...Tony whose restaurant we never pass up even if it means we have to get in line half an hour early and eat our pizza standing up on the side of the road. So, yeah...we bought the flour with no real plans to use it.

In his 24-48 hour dough, Forkish calls for 00. I was skeptical for the reasons I mentioned. I also didn't think it could match the flavor of my usual 3 day cold fermented dough. But I followed the recipe. Anyway, it was the perfect opportunity to try this special edition 00 flour from The Legend.

I used my baking method. I developed it across much trial and error and it's the closest I can get to foolproof and repeatable results in the home oven. It solves two critical problems a). messy pizza transfers. b) the bottom being done before the top or vice versa. (I have never been able to get good results with the stone at the top rack under the broiler. My oven just isn't good enough and has too many hot spots. So, treating the bottom and top separately in this manner was a revelation.)

Amy's Pizza Baking Method

1. Place two oven racks in the oven. One at the lowest position and one at the highest position. Place steel or pizza stone on lowest rack.

2. Pre-heat oven at 550F for an hour.

3. Shape dough into disk. Transfer to parchment paper and top pizza as desired.

4. Use a peel to place the pizza with parchment paper on the lower rack's pizza stone.

5. After 2 minutes, your dough should be set enough to allow you to easily remove the parchment paper. Using tongs and pizza peel, remove the parchment paper.

6. Continue cooking until your pizza's bottom has reached your desired level of doneness.

7. Transfer pizza directly to the top rack. (It should have no problem being supported by the rack as the crust is well set at this point) and turn on the broiler.

8. Broil for 1-2 minutes until the top of your pizza has reached your desired level of doneness. Don't walk away. Watch it through your window so you know exactly when to pull it.

Forkish calls for a 7 minute bake time. I did 6 minutes on the bottom rack and 1 minute on the top. This pizza turned out a little too crispy. I did the second pizza for 5 minutes on the bottom rack and 90 seconds on the top rack. This was absolutely perfect. It had a thin crisp layer on the outside but a soft, air center. It was full of flavor. The difference in those 30 seconds from the first pizza to the second is transformative. It's not a matter of heat loss as the oven remained on and re-heated for half an hour between pies.

My pictures are not plentiful or super revealing, but this was really a great dough. Before bake the dough was more supple than any dough I've ever worked with, even without oil. This is some really good flour and it made a great pie.

will slick's picture
will slick

After a couple of really good attempts to recreate a Brooklyn style pizza, I had a couple of disasters. Trying to slide a 16" dough disk onto a 16" steel proved to need more precision than I could muster.  I was ready to quit, when my wife reminded me how good the pies were before I got the steel. On her advice I combined the two methods. Pizza screen on the steel.

dabrownman's picture

It has been a while since dough.doc posted the Larraburu process for making their famous San Francisco SD bread from the late 60’s and early 70’s.  It really was great bread made by the thousands of loaves.  There were a couple, three things that hit me as being strange after reading the process.


First off, the hydration was in the 64 - 66% range and secondly the final proofing was as over 90 F.  I suppose I can understand both by saying the hydration depends on the flour used and if baskets were used for proofing.

The holes of the Larraburu bread were not like the gaping ones of Forkish that depend on high hydration and higher gluten flour – the crumb was open but moderate so ow hydration would be possible.  Low hydration would make sense if the flour was lower protein than what we use today and low hydration would be required if baskets were not used and the dough proofed free form.  I have a hard time seeing the stacks of thousands of baskets required otherwise - but who knows.

It was the high proofing temperatures that set me back.  Over 90 F, until I realized that high temps for final proofing, or all bench work, results in LAB making acid like crazy and the Larraburu bread of old was sour, much more sour the SFSD breads of today.

Another version of Grilled Chicken and Veggie Matzoh Ball soup

The 3rd thing that I thought was odd was that the baking temperature was only 425 F.  If I had to bake multiple loads of bread to get thousands out the door every day ,I would want the baking time to be less and 475 F would make that happen pretty easily.

Those in the know know you can't have Matzoh Balls without Pineapple Upside Down Cake

As much as I like the old SFSD breads I can hardly remember, there are things I would do different today to make it even better and fit my tastes.  I would bake it to look and taste better by doing a bolder, darker bake and having plenty of blisters on the crust.  I would want to keep the sour but want more tang.

That would mean using a NMNF starter, making a whole multi-grain levain, retarding it and then retarding the dough overnight.  Finally, I would want a bit more of an open crumb with a higher but not crazy high hydration so the holes have a better mix of larger irregular holes but not huge ones wither.  Plus, no mixing machines allowed. 

This bread gets it done for me today.  It is the closest thing to a SFSD bread of old that I like but better in the ways I want.  It tastes fantastic – wonderful really!  Plus, it only costs a dollar to make including the electricity to bake it at 425 F.  I know I could sell it all day long for 4 times as much and never have enough to go around. 

It has a 6 grain 11% pre-fermented flour, 100% hydration, single stage levain and all the whole grains are in the levain.  10g of NMNF rye starter was the base and the levain was retarded for 24 hours after it doubled.  The 6 grains were rye, spelt, red and white wheat, Kamut and oat.  Just enough whole grains to get the levain  sour but not too much to be noticed in the crumb.

We only did a 40 minute autolyse with the Pink Himalayan sea salt since the dough flour was half LaFama AP and half Smart and Final High Gluten.  You could sub any bread flour or even KA AP if you wanted.  Overall hydration was 73%.  We did 3 sets of slap and folds of 40, 10 and 4 slaps and 1 set of stretch and folds from the compass points to shape the dough - all on 40 min.   It was 88 F in the kitchen for all counter work for the levain and dough – nice and high.

It went into a rice floured basket, put in a plastic shopping bag and retarded shaped for 8 hours.  The next morning, we let it sit on the counter 3 hours of final proof before firing up the oven to 450 F.  We unmolded it onto parchment on a peel and slashed it hopscotch style.  As soon as the DO went into the oven, we turned it down to 425 F for 25 minutes of steam.

Once the lid came off we baked it for 8 minutes lid off at 425 F convection before finish baking, off the iron entirely, for 8 minutes on the stone.  It read 210 F when we took it to the cooling rack.  It sprang, blistered, bloomed and browned very well and the crumb was nicely open.  Best of all, it tastes terrific, wonderfully sour, moist and soft with a still crispy crust.  It will make some grand bruschetta for dinner.

We could have sprouted the whole grains and made an even better bread perhaps but we know SF bakers didn’t sprout their grains back in the day.


Davide96's picture

Hi guys,

I' m a cook in Italy, and getting a break,  I would improve my passion for bread alone in my home.

Many times for the oven I ve got (an old gas one without vent) I felt limited and frustrated, for problem such as keeping the vapour initially  and the size of the chamber, making only one or two loaves a time, etc.. 

I live in italy and solutions for home baker such as Rofco ovens are not available.

Anyone knows  solutions similar to rofco, that permit to have large chamber for 6~8loaves a time, low electricity consumption and  steam vent.? 


Thank you and have a beautiful day~




Anne-Marie B's picture
Anne-Marie B

Crisp and flaky sesame pockets. I have wanted to try my hand at these for a while. I don't think I had the best recipe and had to improvise a bit.

They came out ok and we enjoyed the nutty taste. And I now have a sesame coated kitchen. 


More recipes I found interesting:

My original recipe here:


Filomatic's picture

This is a pretty bold bake on my Hamelman 50% WW multigrain with freshly home milled kamut in place of WW.  I sifted and used the hard bits in the levain.  My hot soaker was a mix of durum, toasted old bread crumbs from my last batch, brown flax (left whole for a change), mixed rolled grains, and my faux red rye malt.  The cold final rise was about 18 hours.  I was happy that the timing worked for me to give the less bold loaf to my mother for her 81st birthday.  We were both pleased with the taste.

I was hoping for a more open structure, but it's not dense either.  I just read here that you can expect a denser loaf with kamut (

I also read in the latest Breadtopia post  ( that cold final rises result in a denser middle, and mine certainly evidences that.


Gill63's picture

Multigrain, seeded bread - using up end of bag of wholemeal flour, hence 84g wholemeal, 75g dark rye, 300g white bead flour, with 3malt sunflower seed flour to make up to 800g, 400g 50% starter, 650g water. Autolysed for just under an hour, 20g salt added and dough developed. 150g mixed ‘seeds’ added towards end of slap and folds (cut malted rye grains, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, linseed,poppy), then 3 sets of stretch and folds over next hour and a half, as dough seemed slacker than I was expected. In total, 4 hours of bulk at room temp (probably about 66-68 as heating not on initially). Dough rising, but probably not quite there when I pre-shaped. I needed to go out, and didn’t want to put it in the fridge at that point, as that wouldn’t have been compatible with a bake for breakfast......

Boules felt reasonable, but I wasn’t really convinced by my batard shaping...not enough tension generated.

Into fridge after about 3 hours (when home from Pilates and swim). Baked straight from there this morning. Batard in non-fan oven on pre-heated stone with steam, and boules in cloche in the fan oven.

Cut the batard about 40mins after it was out of the oven- scrambled goose eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms were ready😉. Flavour really good, but crumb tight and lack of oven spring compared to the boules (which were smaller). My other half tells me to stop moaning about the crumb as the crust and flavour are so good! Don’t know about the crumb of the boules, as they are destined for the freezer. Does anyone else have to decide on their dinner menu in order to make room in the freezer for the current bake? More seriously though, do people think my lack of rise in the batard is lack of bulk ferment time, poor shaping, the difference in baking environment - or probably a combination......





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