The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Mebake's picture

I made this bread yesterday from Hamelman's yeasted prefermets section. I used 50% Strong white Hovis bread flour, and 50% Snowflake Nutty Wheat Flour. As the latter contains too much bran, i adjusted by adding some all purpose flour to the final dough.

I mounted two baking stones on two separate racks. The oven spring was better this way, i think. I used Sylvia's Steaming technique.. (very effective).

I cut some slices today morning, and the bread smelled strongly of buckwheat. I used buckwheat in lieu of millet called for in the recipe. The crust is crunchy, and the crumb is soft and satisfying. I love this bread!


dmsnyder's picture

You can go nuts trying to find the perfect pizza dough formula. The cookbooks and the web are full of recipes for various types of dough and full of opinions regarding the type of flour to use, the ingredients (beyond flour, water, salt and yeast) and the mixing and fermentation methods that work best.

My goal for today was what I understand to be classic pizza napoletana. The dough should consist of the four basic ingredients only – no oil, sugar, malt or other stuff. The crust should be very thin and crisp on the bottom, not soft or soggy. The toppings should be minimal, so the crust is the main attraction.

After reading through many, many recipes, I settled on the one in Maggie Glezer's “Artisan Breads.” It uses the 4 ingredients only. It is for a Naples-style pizza. It is credited to Emanuele Leonforte of Hosteria restaurant in Port Chester, New York.

Leonforte uses a mix of Doppio Zero and high-gluten flour that Glezer calculates as resulting in about 12.5% protein. He uses a remarkably short mix. He ferments the dough for a long time but only once. Glezer gives the option of retarding the dough overnight and fermenting it the next day, and that fit best with my schedule. The method I used is described below.




Baker's %

KAF Bread Flour

500 g


Instant yeast

1/4 tsp



10 g


Water, lukewarm





  1. Measure the flour, yeast and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix them.

  2. With the dough hook in place and the mixer at slow speed, gradually pour in the water.

  3. Mix until the dough forms a ball and cleans the side of the bowl, about 3 minutes.

  4. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes.

  5. Mix the dough at Speed 2 for about 3 minutes. It should be fairly smooth but will not pass the window pane test.

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board and divide it into 4 equal pieces of about 200 g each (to make 10 inch pizzas).

  7. Shape each piece into a tight ball.

  8. Place each ball into a 1 qt Ziploc bag with a tablespoon of olive oil. Roll the ball in the oil and seal the bags.

  9. The dough can be refrigerated overnight, frozen for later use or allowed to ferment at room temperature for 5 to 6 hours for use the same day. (I refrigerated two balls and froze two.)

  10. For refrigerated dough, remove it to room temperature 3-5 hours before you plan on making the pizza, depending on room temperature.

  11. An hour before baking, pre-heat the oven to 500ºF (or more, if possible) with a baking stone on the middle shelf.

  12. Remove one ball at a time from its bag and shape into a 10 inch round by your method of choice.

  13. Top the pizza as desired, immediately transfer it to the baking stone, and bake for 8-10 minutes until done. Repeat for additional pizzas.

The toppings I used for each pizza were:

  1. Brush the entire surface of the shaped pizza dough with olive oil.

  2. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary.

  3. Sprinkle with a large clove of garlic, sliced very thin.

  4. Distribute on the pizza a cup of cherry tomatoes, halved, cut side up or a cup of fresh roma tomatoes peeled, seeded and cut into quarters.

  5. After baking, optionally top with fresh arugula or basel leaves.


Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes, pre-bake

Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes, baked

Pizza with Roma Tomatoes, pre-bake

Pizza with Roma Tomatoes, baked

The results were wonderful! The dough stretched easily to paper thin without tearing and baked so crisp there was no sagging when a slice was help up by the corona. Biting into it was a noisy crunch. The flavor of the crust was delicious. The whole experience sold me on minimalist toppings.

Pizza bottom crust

Thin crust


I don't think adding a few capers, or olives or mushrooms would do any harm, but I don't think making pizzas with heavy saucing, lots of cheese or lots of anything will be tempting again.

 The pizza was a nice follow-up to last night's bruschetta.

Bruschetta with fresh funghi porcini and with tomatoes and basel


Submitted to YeastSpotting

SylviaH's picture


This sourdough focaccia if based on the excellent post,  for a 'sourdough raisin focaccia' by bwraith.

 I halved the recipe and adjusted the hydration to use all duram flour to mix with my regular bread flour sourdough pre-ferment.  It turned out very much to our liking, my husband ate 3 slices and said he liked it best with the goat cheese.  Thanks to Franko recent posts on using duram flour, I was inspired to bake a semolina sourdough focaccia today.  I knew my figs were not going to wait for my next wfo baking!

So for winging this recipe, it turned out quite delicious. 

                                       The focaccia is steamed oven for 10 minutes.  Placed in a 10" oiled pan.












       Happy Fourth of July!



GSnyde's picture

This weekend has been pretty much perfect.  We’re on the North Coast.  The weather is sunny and mild.  The birds and flowers are enjoying Summer.  I’m barbecuing three nights in a row (loin lamb chops, Bulgogi and Tandoori Chicken).  And I baked something new and something familiar; something sour and something sweet.

After my Bouabsa baguette fail a couple weeks ago, I didn’t panic.  And I didn’t fall back on the old reliable (and always wonderful) proth5 Bear-guettes for my next baguette bake.  Yesterday, for the first time, I baked the Baguette Tradition After Gosselin After DMSnyder which Brother David recommended (  According to the instructions, I divided and “shaped” the gooey dough into “baguettes”, with no proofing before baking.  The shapes are sorta long and skinny—skinnier in some places than others, but they basically refused to be pulled into any regular shape.  I believe the term “roosteek” makes them sound prettier than the term “gummy snakes”.

The crumb also is not perfect.  Better than the Bouabsa ones, but still just a tad rubbery.  Perhaps under-fermented.  The crust is nicely crispy.  The flavor is outstanding, a bit sour and very complex. 

I’ll try this formula again.

Tomorrow is my brother-in-law’s annual barbecue, and today I made a bunch of Sylvia’s amazing sandwich buns ( for burgers.  I had tried this formula before, and again found it simple and satisfying.  I made 14 of them with a double batch of dough.  The convection oven allowed me to bake two pans together (oooooh!).

Here they are ready to go in the oven.

And here’s the finished product.

They are delicious!  My wife says I should have made seven more so we could have a 21 bun salute for the occasion.

I leave you with a view of the garden we love to tend.

Happy Independence Day to all!


hanseata's picture

In front of the store where I sell my breads I saw a bed of lavender in full bloom. The smell was wonderful, recalling memories of glorious summer holidays as a student in the Provence. It also reminded me of a bread recipe with lavender that I always wanted to try, and some lavender cupcakes I had made last year, but wasn't quite satisfied with.

The lavender buds in my garden have not opened, yet, but I have some dried lavender flowers, and the assurance of reliable sources in the internet that fresh and dried lavender had the same strong aroma, and were therefore interchangeable.

At the first bite the breads' seasoning appears a bit unfamiliar, but then the taste buds open up, and welcome the subtle lavender flavor - a hint of Provence.

LAVENDER BREAD (6 mini breads)

22 g whole wheat mother starter (or white starter)
63 g all-purpose flour
45 g water

3 g instant yeast
270 g water, lukewarm
all starter (130 g)
400 g all-purpose flour
100 g bread flour
20 g sugar
12 g salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsp. dried lavender flowers, or fresh lavender flowers (from 6 stems)

In the morning, mix starter. Cover, and let sit at room temperature.

In the evening, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add to all other dough ingredients. Mix at low speed (or by hand) for 1 - 2 minutes, until all flour is hydrated. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Knead at medium-low speed for 2 minutes, adjusting with more water as needed (dough should still be sticky). Continue kneading for 4 more minutes, the last 20 seconds at medium speed (dough should still be somewhat sticky).

Transfer dough to lightly floured counter, and (with wet hands) stretch it gently into a rough square, and fold it like a business envelope. Turn it 90 degrees, and, from the small sides, fold it again in thirds.
Gather dough package into a ball, tucking edges under, and place in lightly oiled bowl (seam side down). Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Repeat Stretch & Fold 3 more times, with 10 minute intervals. After last S & F place dough in oiled container with lid, and refrigerate overnight.

DAY 2:
Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours before using. Its volume should triple.

Preheat oven to 425 F/220 C, including steam pan.

Divide dough into 6 equal pieces, and shape first into rounds, then roll them into strands. Score, cover, and let rise at room temperature for ca. 45 minutes.

Bake breads at 425 F/220 C for 12 minutes, remove steam pan, rotate loaves, and bake for another 13 minutes, until golden brown (internal temperature at least 200 F/95 C)

Let breads cool on wire rack.

This recipe is an adaptation of Richard Ploner's Lavendelbrot (from: Brot aus Südtirol).

HokeyPokey's picture

No crazy marathon baking for me this weekend - just one loaf of bread and one apricot frangipane tart.

I love English apricots - a massive box for £2.50, can't complain, can I? I wonder if I can make a recipe for Apricot bread? Hmmm....


Meanwhile, I did a take on Western Wheat Bread from "Discovering Sourdough" e-book. I have a comment "very good" written next to the recipe in a print out - I do remember it being good when I made it last time, following the recipe exactly. Now I've decided to play around with the recipe a little bit - it came out looking quite nice, can't wait to cut it open and have a taste of it tomorrow.

Full recipe and pictures here

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

I had some extra sourdough starter that I needed to use, and have been craving pizza for breakfast.  This recipe is extremely easy and the dough is very flavorful and has a light sour tang.  Enjoy!


266g AP (+ 1 tbsp of whole wheat flour)
176g water
54g stiff SD starter at 50% hydration straight from fridge
6g Kosher salt
502g approx dough yield

Canned crushed tomatoes
Fresh mozzarella (sliced and or diced)
Whole milk ricotta cheese (strained)
Fontina (sliced)
Radicchio - washed and shredded
2 eggs

12:15am - Mix all ingredients by hand in a mixing bowl until you get a shaggy dough.  Cover and let rest.
12:35am - Knead dough for a few seconds until it is smooth.  cover and let rest.
1:05am - Turn dough (stretch and fold) in bowl, lightly coat dough with olive oil, cover and let rise on counter overnight.
8:30am - Place baking stone with longest side parallel to the oven in the center of the bottom rack, preheat oven to 650F (turn oven on convection to 550F and preheat for one hour).  Place oven thermometer on stone to you can see the actual temp of the stone.
9:30am - Take thermometer out of oven.  Turn oven off convection.  On a floured work surface, stretch dough out to the size of the pizza peel, lightly flour peel.  Place pizza dough directly on baking stone and bake for 2 minutes.  Then, take pizza  crust out of oven, spread crushed tomatoes to the farthest edges.  Then on 1/3rd of the pizza, arrange the radicchio and fontina, on another 3rd, place the mozzarella, the final 1/3rd, place the ricotta.  In the center break 2 eggs.  Place pizza back into oven close to the left side of the stone for 3 1/2 minutes.  Scoot pizza over to right side of stone, bake for another 3 to 3 1/2 minutes or until the egg is cooked to your liking (slightly runny yolks).  Take pizza out, let cool for a minute or so, cut and eat.

Notes: Placing the pizza close to the edges of the stone allow the crust to receive the maximum amount of heat radiating from the bottom of the oven, so it chars like a wood or coal fired oven.  Moving the pizza from each side allows both sides of the crust to char.

Prebaking the crust avoids the wet soggy crust under the toppings, and also makes the pizza easier to place into the oven without risking the dough sticking to the peel, or the sauce and toppings weighing down the crust.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hey All,

Just wanted to share with you probably my most successful attempt at baking a pandoro like bread to date.  I have tried baking this type of bread along with panettone with little success since college (15 years or so).  I sort of improvised this recipe so I can't vouch for the "authenticity" of it but I can assure you that this is the best tasting, best textured bread using lots of eggs, milk, butter and sugar that I have ever baked.  I have also opted to use only my stiff sourdough starter to leaven this thing, and have mixed everything by hand.  I probably should have done a better job documenting, but it's too late now.  I also used the paper panettone molds as I don't have the traditional star pandoro molds.  As a final note, this bread takes forever to make, and forever to rise.  Don't rush it.  It is ready when it's ready...



Sweet Starter
110g AP
46g egg (1 extra large egg)
16g sugar
50g stiff SD starter @ 50% hydration
222g approx starter yield

**Stiff SD starter should be fed 1 to 2 days before and kept in refrigerator.
10:45pm - In a bowl, mix all sweet starter ingredients, knead until well combined, cover and let rest 15 minutes.
11:00pm - Knead sweet starter for a minute or so until the dough is smooth, wrap in plastic wrap tightly and tie with a twist tie.  Please in a covered plastic container and place in refrigerator on top shelf (not in coldest part).  Go to bed.

Final Dough
500g AP
164g eggs (3 extra large eggs)
136g whole milk (scalded and cooled)
100g sugar
225g unsalted sweet cream butter (2 sticks) at room temp.
12g Kosher salt
12g honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
222g sweet starter
1372g approx dough yield

2 paper panettone molds 5" diameter, 3 3/4" tall

10:00pm - Weigh out all ingredients using a digital scale.  Scald milk and let cool.  Take out sweet starter out of fridge.  The starter should be well expanded, like a balloon.
11:00pm - Place all the flour into a large mixing bowl along with the salt, create a well in the center, add the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, honey, mix with a rubber spatula into a shaggy dough, then knead by hand in bowl for a few minutes until a relatively smooth dough has formed.  Cut sweet starter into a few pieces and knead into dough. This operation should take about 15 minutes.
11:15pm - 11:30pm - Cover and let rest.  Place entire bowl into a large plastic bag.
11:30pm - Knead in sugar by hand.  About 1/3rd of total amount at a time until all this sugar is added.  This should take about 10 minutes to do.  
11:40pm - 12:00am  - Cover and let rest.  Whip the butter with a wire whisk until fluffy.  Butter panettone molds and refrigerate.
12:00am - Knead in butter by hand.  About 1/3 of total amount at a time until all the butter is incorporated.  This part is particularly gross.  Add the butter, and squeeze the butter into the dough with your hands.  The dough will look like it's falling apart, but it will eventually come back together.  Do not worry about kneading the dough until it passes the windowpane test.  It just won't happen by hand, or with AP flour.  This should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
12:20am - Divide dough into 2 equal portions, shape into a boule, place in separate bowls, cover and let rest.
12:45am - Final shape, and place into butter molds, cover with plastic wrap, place on sheet pan and into large plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.  Dough should fill the mold about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way.  Go to bed.
7:30am - Take out of refrigerator and place on kitchen counter.  Let rise.  Go back to bed, or make some coffee...
9:30am - Have breakfast.
12:30pm - Go out and take a walk, do some shopping.
3:00pm - Come home to check on the pandoro.
4:00pm - Place oven rack on 2nd from the bottom.  Preheat to 400F.
5:00pm - When the pandoro domes slightly above the top of the mold, egg wash if you like, place them into the oven on a sheet pan, turn down oven to 350F and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the internal temp reaches 190F.  

5:45pm - take out of oven, check internal temp.  Cool on wire rack and let rest for at least 12 hours.  Try not to cut into them before they have cooled completely...

Here's the crumbshot:

Winnish's picture



In this recipe I used a lot of egg-yolks, but yet the challah came out very soft and fluffy.

People have always asked me to see the inside of the challah, 
but the challahs are eaten on Fri-night and Sat morning-noon, and I can't take pictures during these hours. By Sat evening nothing is ever left, no matter how many challahs I bake.

We had a speciall ocasion in which I made extra challahs to be eaten on Sun, so I grab the opportunity and took some photos.


















Recipe and more photos - you can see in this post

My posts are in hebrew, and although Google translator is available (top left side-bar), the translation can be very(!) funny sometimes.
So If you have any questions - please don't hesitate to ask me 



breadsong's picture

I really enjoyed the recent course I took that was put on by the Bread Bakers Guild of America, and am grateful for being a member and for having the chance to participate. Another thing I really appreciate about membership in the Guild is access to Guild's online newsletter and formula archive. There's lots of good stuff in that archive!
Today's bake is Oatmeal and Sweet Date Bread, one of the Team USA 2005 formulas the Guild provides online.
This one caught my eye last March; oatmeal and dates are two of my dear father-in-law's favorite things and I wanted to make this bread for him. This bread was very moist, and delicious with the sweet dates!

It was so good, I wanted to try making it again today (...a Team USA formula for Canada Day!
...the maple leaf is to add some Canadian content :^) ...   )

Wanting to share this formula, I asked permission of the Guild to post the formula here on TFL; the Guild kindly granted permission and asked me to include this note in the post:
"The mission of The Bread Bakers Guild of America is to shape the knowledge and skills of the artisan baking community through education.  Guild members have access to many other innovative professional formulas, both online and in the Guild’s quarterly publication, Bread Lines.  For more information about membership, please visit"  

With thanks to the Bread Bakers Guild of America and Jory Downer, William Leaman and Jeffrey Yankellow, the team members of Bread Bakers Guild Team USA 2005 - who were gold medal winners that year at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie!

The formula authors describe the bread and its ingredients:
"The wide range of weather throughout the United States provides for a variety of growing climates. The warm weather of the west coast, allows for California to grow an abundance of palm trees that fruit, the luscious date. In this original formula, rolled oats, another major crop of American farmers, are complemented by the sweetness of dates. A portion of the oatmeal is fermented in a sponge. The high sugar content of the dates creates a rich brown crust that balances their sweetness. The abundance of oats results in a tight textured, full bodied crumb which is a pleasant contrast to the open crumb of the other breads."

A couple of pictures from today's bake (1500 grams dough weight, 540g boule, (6) 160g triangles):   

My first bake (3 boules, 1635 grams total dough weight):

This bread is made with three preferments and a soaker, but the three preferments can be mixed at the same time.

Ingredients ( for 1635 grams dough):



Oat sponge

Liquid levain




Bread Flour














Instant yeast














Rolled oats







Dates, diced







White starter














Oat sponge







Liquid levain




























I adapted the method for mixing by hand:

12 hours prior to the mixing the dough:
Poolish: Use a water temperature for 72-74F final poolish temperature; mix all until well blended; cover and ferment at 73F for 12 hours.
Oat sponge: Use a water temperature for 72-74F final sponge temperature; mix all until well blended; cover and ferment at 73F for 12 hours.
Liquid levain: Use a water temperature for 72-74F final levain temperature; mix all until well blended; cover and ferment at 73F for 12 hours.
(At 9 hours, my levain wasn't anywhere near ready...the salt taking its effect; I set the container holding the levain in a shallow basin and filled halfway with warm water; replaced with more warm water as needed; this got the levain going and it had tripled by the time the poolish and sponge were ready)

30 minutes to 1 hour prior to mixing the dough:
Using tepid water, mix together so oats are all moistened; cover, and set aside to let rest.

Prepare the dates by chopping; set aside.
"The variety of date used is flexible. It is important that they are not too soft. A soft date will blend into the dough instead of maintaining its shape, creating a dark color in the bread and increasing the likelihood of a burnt crust. The dates should be cut into ¼” pieces in preparation for mixing."

Mixing the dough:
Use a water temperature for 73-76F final dough temperature. (I started with 104F water as I was allowing for autolyse, hand mixing and resting periods during the hand mix, during which my doughs tend to cool down).

Place flour in bowl. Add 85-90% of the water to the bowl and mix until flour is evenly hydrated. Cover and autolyse for 20 minutes.
Add yeast, poolish, oat sponge, and levain to the mixing bowl. Mix with a dough whisk to combine. Cover, place in warmed proof box (to try to preserve warmth in the dough), rest 5 minutes. Dough temp.: 80F.
Oat sponge is on the left in the photo:

Add salt to mixing bowl. Mix, folding in the bowl, 50 folds. Dough temp.: 74F. Cover, place in warmed proof box, rest 5 minutes.
Fold 30 times in the bowl, then 5 minute rest as before, then finally 20 folds. Dough is lifting away from the bowl as I fold it at this point; gluten showed improved mix.

Add remaining water (80F) to the bowl, and mix to incorporate.
Add oat soaker and dates and mix to incorporate evenly.
Dough temp.: 73F (recommended to be 73-76F).
Bulk ferment at 78F for two hours, with (3) stretch and folds every 30 minutes.
Here is the dough at the end of the bulk ferment:

For the first bake I divided the dough into three parts to make boules. For today's bake, I followed these shaping instructions to make (2) triangle breads (remaining dough shaped as a boule):

Divide the dough in 160g / 5 ¾ oz pieces and preshape as a tight ball. Cover and allow the dough pieces to rest for 20 minutes.

Shape the rested balls of dough into triangles, being gentle not to degas the dough too much. Three triangles make up one loaf. Arrange three triangles together on floured linen, seam up, so that the point of one triangle rests in the center of one of the sides of the other triangle. The finished shape will have a circular appearance.
(I proofed top side up as I didn't think I'd be able to successfully flip the triangles over!).
Place the loaves in a draft free place at approximately 74° F for 30 minutes to proof.

Shaping a triangle by gently folding over three sides, towards center, pinching to seal and bring together:
                                                                        After proofing:  

A couple of notes about the maple leaf: I used a bit of decorative dough for this (extra dough that I froze after making my fol epi loaf awhile back. After thawing, the dough is just as good as new :^) ... a happy discovery!) 
After cutting the leaf and removing the excess dough, I dusted the leaf with flour.

I used the cutter to gently! mark the boule to help with placement of the leaf. 
I brushed the area where the leaf would go lightly with water, to help the leaf stick.
After the leaf was placed, I scored around it and then lightly on the floured leaf, to try to make "leaf veins".

Back to the triangles:
If proofing seam side up, turn the loaves over onto the oven loading device.
Score each triangle with two lines (I did three).

Bake with steam at 475° F for approximately 30 minutes. 
Vent the steam from the oven and continue to bake for an additional 5 minutes.
(I found these were browning fast. I moved the loaves around every 10 minutes, and covered with foil and reduced to 435F after 20 minutes. 30 minutes total bake time; left in oven for 10 minutes with oven off and door ajar).
Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool.

And lastly, a couple of crumb shots!:

Happy baking everyone, and Happy Canada Day!
from breadsong

Submitted to YeastSpotting :^)


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