The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


txfarmer's picture

Sending this to Yeastspotting.

Click here for my blog index.


Made these when I was fighting the crazy "double chocolate croissant" battle. Luckily these are not nearly as difficult, the procedure was similar to other sourdough soft sandwich breads I have posted about. Didn't even have to get dutch processed cocoa for it, the natural cocoa worked perfect, even though it did take extra time to knead the dough to full development. I bet dutch processed cocoa would work here too, if not better.

Another thing I noticed was that it proofed much faster than other similar loaves, I am guessing it's another side effect of natural cocoa powder too. Do keep an eye on it during proofing.

Sourdough Double Chocolate Soft Sandwich Loaf

Note: 19% of the flour is in levain

Note: total flour is 250g, fit my Chinese small-ish pullman pan. For 8X4 US loaf tin, I suggest to use about 270g of total flour. For KAF 13X4X4 pullman pan, I would suggest using about 430g of total flour.

- levain

starter (100%), 13g

water, 22g

bread flour, 41g

1. Mix and let fermentation at room temp (73F) for 12 hours.

- final dough

bread flour, 203g (I used half KAF bread flour and half KAF AP flour for a balance of chewiness and volume)

sugar, 38g

butter, 18g, softened

water, 137g

salt, 2g

egg, 24g

cocoa powder, 10g (natural or dutch processed)

chocolate pieces or chips, 20g


1. Mix everything but chocoate pieces/chips until stage 3 of windowpane (-30sec), see this post for details. Add in chocolate pieces, mix in using low speed or by hand.

2. Rise at room temp for 2 hours, punch down, put in fridge overnight.

3. Takeout, divide, round, rest for 1 hour. shape as instructed here for sandwich loaf.

4. rise at room temp for about 4 hours. For my pullman pan, it should be about 80% full; for US 8x4inch pan, it should be about one inch above the edge. The dough would have tripled by then, if it can't, your kneading is not enough or over.

5. for sandwich loaf, bake at 400F for 45min, brush with butter when warm. 


Soft and shreddy. The amount of chocolate chips/chunks was rather light, which is an effort to keep this still a "bread", rather than "dessert". You can certainly add more to satisfy your sweet tooth or chocolate craving.



Made another one using a different mini sandwich tin (also bought from China), which took 6X55g of dough, came out equally well


stephy711's picture

Find more recipes on my blog Dessert Before Dinner


Everyone in the family loved this recipe. It was great with butter and trout roe when it was fresh out of the oven, and this morning it was perfect with cream cheese and smoked salmon. The crumb is tender and the crust was firm, creating a wonderful contrast. It's great right now, but this bread will be even better with soup or smoked fish in the winter. Like all brown breads, this is a hearty, winter weather bread. It has a very complex flavor and it is even better a day or two later.

Russian Black Bread 

  • 2 packs active yeast
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup dark molasses
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 oz (1/2 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 2 ¼ oz (1 cup) wheat bran
  • 13 oz (3 cups) bread flour
  • 11.25 oz (3 cups) rye flour
  • 2 Tbsp caraway seeds
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp minced shallots
  • 1 tbsp ground dark roast coffee
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds

    1. Heat 2 cups water, butter, chocolate, molasses, coffee grounds and vinegar on stove until butter and chocolate are melted. Set in refrigerator to cool. Too hot liquids will damage the yeast.Proof yeast with ½ cup water and pinch of sugar
    2. Sift together flours and bran.
    3. In separate bowl, add fennel, shallots, caraway and 2 cups of the mixed flours. Add chocolate mixture and yeast to the flour. Continue adding flour half a cup at a time until the mixture pulls away from the mixing bowl.
    4. Knead until mixture is springy yet dense. Place in oiled bowl and let proof until doubled in size (about a hour and a half).
    5. Remove dough from bowl and divide into two pieces. Shape pieces into boules and dust tops with cornmeal, flour and caraway mixture. Let rest for 45 minutes
    6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Just before baking, slash tops of loaves. Bake for 45 minutes or until dark.
dmsnyder's picture

This weekend, I made two of the pains au levain from Hamelman's Bread - The Pain au Levain, which Hamelman says is typically French, and the Pain Au Levain with Mixed Starters, which is made with both a white liquid starter and a rye starter. This bread also contains some whole wheat flour in the final dough.

Pain au Levain

Pain au Levain crumb

Pain au Levain with Mixed Starters

Pain au Levain with Mixed Starters crumb

Both of these are delicious breads. The Pain au Levain is mildly sour. The Pain au Levain is more sour, due to both the increased rye and an overnight cold retardation. It has a delicious, complex flavor.

Both these breads are highly recommended.


asfolks's picture

Loosely based on the formula for Le pavé d’autrefois
(Old fashioned slab) in the book,  Le Pain, l’envers du décor (Bread, behind the scenes) by Frédéric Lalos.

His version used commercial yeast and a poolish.



100% hydration fed with KA Bread flour – 300g


Water – 564g

KA Whole Wheat flour – 107g

Bay State Medium Rye – 71g

Bob’s Red Mill Buckwheat flour – 71g

KA Bread flour – 315g

Final Dough:

KA AP flour – 286g

Sea Salt – 20g


Fed active starter 8 hours prior to mix and fermented at 70°F

Flour soaker established 3 hours to
mix and held at 70°F

Mixed Levain, Soaker and Final 286g of
AP flour by hand and rest for 30 minutes.

Add salt.

Stretch and Fold at 00:15, 00:30,
00:45, 01:15, 02:15 for a total bulk ferment of 4 hours.

Turn out dough onto heavily floured
surface and fold over on itself. Rest 1 hour covered.

Spread out dough by dimpling with fingertips.
Rest 1 hour covered.

Cut into slabs of desired size and
bake on stone in preheated oven at 460°F for 35-45 minutes, depending on size.

This was a fragrant and tasty bread , somewhat like a rustic lower hydration ciabatta.

HokeyPokey's picture

I have been thinking about making challah for a while now. I do like proper Jewish challah, with its lovely soft and buttery texture, seeing the actual folds and strands in each slice. I have tried making challah twice before with mixed results – this time I’ve decided to make up my own recipe, roughly based on my previous attempts, pure sourdough, with saffron and vanilla.

I’ve decided that I like the flavour of brioche better than challah, to me brioche has a stronger flavour (much MUCH more butter in brioche recipe) , however, challah does look pretty and saffron makes things a bit more interesting.




Full recipe and more photos on my blog here

ananda's picture


Strange, but I am no longer working as a Lecturer at Newcastle College.   The decision to take voluntary redundancy felt right at the time, and I do not feel any different about that now, moving forward.

The TFL course was a great way to finish work at the College.   What better than being given a chance to teach a class of passionate, keen and like-minded bakers?   I left the write-up to Richard, and thank him for doing such a good job.   You can see it here:

Since then I have been back into College on 4 days, and some of this blog entry is about what I was getting up to back in the old haunt.   I have to say, I was on holiday at the time, and was lucky enough to be indulging myself in lots of fun with a favoured pass time; namely, making lots of lovely breads!   I spent 2 days on production, then I had a teaching contract for a day to earn some money, then a trip in to collect all the bread I had made the previous week, and say a final goodbye to the few people there.

My mission was to make a range of craft and genuinely artisan breads which I could sell at our Village Show, here in Powburn, which took place on Saturday 6th August.   The write-up follows below.

I negotiated an agreement with my previous line manager in College, allowing me to have 2 days working in the Bakery Kitchen to produce a range of breads for myself to sell at the Show.   I then wrapped and stored all the produce in the “walk-in” freezer, and met up with the Stores Manager on Friday lunchtime to collect all the bread and transport it to Northumberland ready for the Show.

I worked over Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th July, with some valued assistance from an ex-student, Dgilly, on the first day: thank you for that my friend!   There are some photographs below taken during both production sessions.

On day one we made the following:

    1. 12 small brown bloomers using an overnight sponge
    2. 6 large white bloomers using an overnight sponge
    3. 5 tinned Borodinsky loaves using the complex 3 stage process I posted on here:
    4. 12 large Gilchesters’ Miche; see my post here:
    5. 12 small boules of Pain de Siègle de Thézac, formula posted here: and here: and here: and here: and here: and here: 

On day two I made the remainder of the planned schedule:

  1. 12 Pane Siciliano, using an overnight Biga with some Gilchesters Pizza/Ciabatta flour and authentic Italian Semolina Flour [coarse, not re-milled].   The formula is posted below.
  2. 10 panned loaves of Rossisky, all rye sourdough loaf, with some red malt for flavour, and topped with cracked rye grain
  3. 6 large Chollah, as six-stranded plaits.   There is a detailed post here:
  4. 8 large Sourdough seed boule, based largely on my previous post, and on Hamelman’s original formula in “Bread”, pp. 176-77.   I used the twin leaven procedure of my post here:



Pane Siciliano Dough using a Stiff Biga


Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Stiff Biga



Special CC Flour






Fresh Yeast









2.  Final Dough



Biga [from above]



Gilchesters Ciabatta Flour



Italian Coarse Semolina Flour















% pre-fermented flour



% overall hydration





All the bread was wrapped and frozen as soon as it was cooled, and labelled for easy identification.   It was neatly stacked in baskets on a set of dolly wheels, so we could transport it easily to load to my car.

In the meantime Alison went shopping to our newly re-furbished village Antique Centre and came back with some lovely large display wicker baskets and a huge piece of purple gingham cloth to use to cover the stall table which I had paid for.   The cloth had been made a by a company calling themselves “artisan”…how appropriate!   I called into the Bank for change for a float, late on Friday afternoon, and we made a last minute call out to the family for a proper cash box to use as a till.   Alison’s Dad came up trumps; thanks Maurice!

The other work was on the publicity side, and I have been given so much support here by Alison’s sister, Beverley, who works for a printing company in Cramlington.   Here’s a plug for Ravensworths, who have done me absolutely proud; thank you all, so much.

Beverley and my niece Eve arrived on Friday night loaded with the cash box, plus the following:

200 Business Cards; 2 large Address laminates; 4 laminates giving full details for each of the products; 2 price lists, as cards on stands; 2 pages of small stickers with my logo, to use to seal up the paper I was using to wrap  the breads at point of sale.             

The publicity information for all nine varieties is shown below:



This loaf replicates the complex 3 stage formula from Auerman, of the GOST

Standards introduced in the Soviet  era.   Originally considered to be  a loaf to commemorate victory in the Battle of Borodino in 1812, this version of the bread uses a Rye Sourdough plus a zavarkha  [boil-up] of molasses, malt, rye flour and boiling water.   The 2 are combined to form a sponge.   This is then used with further flour to form the final paste.   Considered to be “The Prince of Russian Breads”   Bitter-sweet overtones with an aroma given off from the freshly ground coriander seeds.


Organic Wholegrain Rye Flour, White Bread Flour,  Water, Organic Blackstrap Molasses, Red Malt from Barley, Salt, Coriander


  • No added Baker’s Yeast
  • Salt constitutes less than 1% of the baked bread weight.
  • Contains Gluten from Rye and Wheat


Small Brown Bloomer



This loaf is made with a ripened white leaven as the pre-ferment at 37.5% of the total flour.   The remaining flour in the final dough is a wholemeal bread flour.  The leaven brings strength, maturity and flavour to the dough and produces a wonderfully bold and attractive, tasty loaf.   There is a small amount of bakers’ yeast and vegetable fat added to the final dough.



Wholemeal Bread Flour, White Bread Flour, Water, Salt, Fresh Bakers’ Yeast, White Vegetable Fat.



  • Salt and Vegetable Fat constitutes approx. 1.2% each of the baked bread weight.
  • Contains Gluten from Wheat.


Six-Strand Chollah


This loaf is used as the centrepiece for certain Jewish Festival meal celebrations.   There are lots of different plaits which can be used.   The idea is to produce a showcase loaf which allows those participating to tear off portions of the bread, as a knife is not allowed to be used.   The bread is enriched, and I have used a short pre-ferment to encourage a reliable fermentation, plenty of loaf volume and the best flavour in the finished bread.   Note that this bread is sweetened, and that butter is also used, in addition to milk in place of the usual water.   A considerable amount of egg brings further tolerance in the dough through all the process stages.



White Bread Flour, Water, Milk Powder, Sugar, Butter, Egg, Salt, Fresh Bakers’ Yeast.



  • Contains Gluten from Wheat.
  • Contains Bakers’ Yeast
    • Contains Dairy Products including Milk Powder, Egg and Butter


Gilchesters’ Miche



This loaf is leavened solely with a wheat levain maintained using white bread flour.   The flour in the levain constitutes 27% of the total flour in the recipe. The  remaining 73% of the flour is Gilchesters’ Organic Farmhouse flour [a high extraction flour, approximately 85% wholemeal].   This means the bread is made using largely locally grown and processed ingredients.   Gilchesters grow single strain, tall-stemmed organic Sativa wheat on their farm near Stamfordham.   This is stoneground to flour at their own mill, the only mill to be installed in Northumberland in the last 150 years .



Organic Gilchesters’ Farmhouse Flour, White Bread Flour, Water, Salt



  • No added Baker’s Yeast
  • Salt constitutes approx. 1.2% of the baked bread weight.
  • Contains Gluten from Wheat



Pain Siègle de Thézac



This loaf is leavened solely with a rye sourdough culture for plenty of flavour.   The rye constitutes 25% of the total flour in the recipe, the  remainder being white bread flour which gives a lighter eating texture .



White Bread Flour, Organic Dark Rye Flour, Water, Salt



  • No added Baker’s Yeast
  • Salt constitutes approx. 1.2% of the baked bread weight.
  • Contains Gluten from both Wheat and Rye



Pane Siciliano



This loaf  has been made with an overnight pre-fermented dough called a “Biga”, using  a very small amount of  Bakers’ Yeast plus half the total flour in the formula.   The final dough contains a  mix  of half authentic Italian Semola di Grano Duro giving  a hint of straw colour to the dough, and the finished crumb.    The remaining half of the flour comes from Gilchesters, being an Organic Pizza/Ciabatta flour, very finely milled . The shaping symbolises the  eyes of Santa Lucia  watching over the faithful.   The legend is that Lucia refused to marry a Roman General as she had devoted herself to God during the pre-Christian Roman era in Siciliy.



White Bread Flour, Organic Gilchesters’ Pizza/Ciabatta Flour, Italian Semola di Grano Duro,  Water, Salt, Fresh Bakers’ Yeast



  • Salt constitutes approx. 1.2% of the baked bread weight.
  • Contains Gluten from Wheat





This loaf is made only with 100% whole rye flour, red malt, salt and water.   It is leavened with a rye sourdough culture only, with no added bakers’ yeast.   The sourdough is given a full 18 hours fermentation before it is used to make the final paste.   The most basic of the Russian sourdough rye breads; this panned version has a topping of  Organic Rye Flakes to give an attractive appearance and some extra texture to the crust.



Organic Wholegrain Rye Flour, Red Malt from Barley, Water, Salt, Organic Rye Flakes



  • No added Baker’s Yeast
  • Salt constitutes approximately 1% of the baked bread weight.
  • Contains Gluten from Rye and Barley



Seeded Sourdough Boule


This loaf is leavened with a rye sourdough culture and a wheat levain for plenty of flavour.   A soaker of golden linseeds in cold water is also used, in order to encourage high hydration in the dough.   The dough is retarded overnight for more flavour.   The other seeds used are roasted in the oven before being added to the dough.   The final dough has a portion of wholewheat flour added along with white bread flour. 


White Bread Flour, Wholemeal Bread Flour, Organic Dark Rye Flour, Golden Flaxseeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds Water, Salt


  • No added Baker’s Yeast
  • Salt constitutes approx. 1.2% of the baked bread weight.
  • Contains Gluten from both Wheat and Rye



Large White Bloomer



This loaf is made with a yeasted pre-ferment, commonly used in French bread baking, called a “olish”.   This brings strength, maturity and flavour to the dough and produces a wonderfully bold and attractive, tasty loaf.



White Bread Flour, Water, Salt, Fresh Bakers’ Yeast, White Vegetable Fat.



  • Salt and Vegetable Fat constitutes approx. 1.2% each of the baked bread weight.
  • Contains Gluten from Wheat.


The Event


Still feeling sleepy on Saturday morning, I loaded up the car while Alison provided an essential breakfast of fruit and yoghurt with espresso coffee enabling me to come fully to life.   The weather was wonderfully sunny first thing, although we were aware the forecast for the day was not good…as is, apparently, frequently the case for the annual event in Powburn!


I drove onto the site, found the “Food Tent”, and my allotted table space, and set too unloading the car and preparing to sell my wares.   Soon after, my 2 trusty assistants arrived.   They had walked to the Show, as our car was FULL of bread!   Alison was in charge of wrapping the sold items.   I took the money and gave change.   Anna, our next door neighbour took charge of the little “tastings” table we set up, offering little samples of the bread with butter, olive oil/balsamic combo, or naked.   Anna, you were fantastic; thank you so much for your enthusiasm and your belief in me and the bread for sale.   As you can imagine, I was more than happy to provide further customer support by answering any questions and giving more information out as needed; “talk the talk!”

The Show began to fill with people, and the weather turned to rain, as the forecast had promised.   It did not, however, detract from what became a really successful and enjoyable day.   I sold 70 loaves, with just 6 left to bring home.   Financially, I netted just over £200.   However, the biggest coup was all the favourable publicity, and the interest generated amongst fellow local traders and those visiting the Show.   I was overwhelmed by those committed people out there, selling local and really special food, taking such an interest in what I had done, and clearly impressed with the integrity and authenticity of the breads I had made.   It made me realise it was all worthwhile.

As you can all imagine, I have been taking numerous steps to carve out a new and more exciting destiny for me, and for Alison, in the months and years to come.   This adventure at the Powburn Show was a big and fun part of the plan.

Some photographs of the day are shown below.

“Bread and Roses” is the theme I’m using.   How very apt: the loaves which sold out first were the most specialist, special and…expensive!   The “Chollah” was a hit, and interest in both the Russian sourdoughs was just so fantastic too!   The biggie was the Gilchesters’ Miche.   That was so pleasing for me.   I have put a lot of work into perfecting being able to work with this flour, as various blog posts will testify to.   Everyone was fascinated by the local aspect and the details concerning the wheat being grown and milled here in Northumberland.   This is just great; it confirms that the small producer has to produce food which is genuinely nourishing and sustaining, in all aspects.   It also has to be really special, and something the large producers are neither able, nor willing, to try to poach, rip-off and ruin.

Lastly, thank you to all my family for support and utter belief in me; especially to Alison, of course, for wanting to share my vision as part of our journey together as life partners.

My very best wishes to all


Mebake's picture

I have not made any bread blogs for a while now, as i was moving to a another apartment.

Yesterday, i saw a bag of sifted wholewheat flour (truns out to be a high extraction, as i was unable to get rid of tiny bran and germ particles through my sifter), and decided to bake PR's wholewheat sandwich loaf from it (Found in Whole grain breads book).

I prepared a BIGA, and a SOAKERin the morning 8:30 am, and headed for work. I used tiny amounts of yeast in the BIGA inorder for it to ferment slowly until i return home 8 hours later. The BIGA was fermenting faster than i had anticipated, and asked my wife to put it in the fridge, and take it out 2 hours before i return (Wives do come in Handy afterall! :P)

I have yet to try SF (subfuscpersona)'s suggestion on freezing the BIGA and then slowly defrosting it in the fridge 24 hours prior to the baking day. I'll try this method soon.

When i returned, i waited for the BIGA to Ripen, and Mixed all ingredients. I intensively mixed the dough by hand (ala bertinet) until i had a smooth silky elastic dough. moderate Window pane was possible with this dough. I devided the dough into 1.5Kg (for the Pullman look alike pan), and 1.3 Kg for the other pan (IKEA's) red pan.

I baked on a 40 minute 500F preaheated stone. For steaming, i used the wet towel method of Sylvia's. (My now reliable steaming method, thanks sylvia!).

The Pullman Loaf Crumb

The Regular Pan (IKEA's) loaf crumb

After having baked thrice with my two pans, I have come to a conclusion that The material used in my IKEA pan conducts and retains heat more than the silver deep pan (pullman lookalike).

The flavor is outstanding, thanks to the formulation of peter reinhart, and the freshly milled wheat flour. I also mixed in some extra bran wholewheat flour. The crumb is soft and rich, yet light. It toasts beautifully too. The aroma of the finished loaves is heavenly.






GSnyde's picture


Cat and I don’t throw dinner parties very often, but when we do we are reminded that we are pretty dang good at it.  And now that I have become a semi-competent baker, the parties are even better.

There were several reasons for last night’s event: (1) a business associate (and friend) of Cat’s is visiting from New Zealand, (2) he’s also a good friend of Cat’s boss, whom we had never hosted in our home, (3) he’s also a good friend of Cat’s brother and brother-in-law, who are also friends of Cat’s boss and always entertaining, and (4) we had so much bread in the freezer that Cat and I would have been eating Panzanella for a month to whittle it down.  Oh, yeah, and (5) we like feeding and fermenting friends into a frenzy of frivolity.

I should mention that “having the boss and his wife over for dinner” may sound like a tense occasion (ala how many old movies).  But in Cat’s case, her boss recruited her years ago, already knowing her intelligence, skill and good nature, and his opinion of her has only grown higher over the years.  I suppose we could have messed up her work life by poisoning the boss, but I didn’t even think about that scary prospect until now.  I am conscious of the reversal of classic roles here: the wife, a manager in a big corporation, invites the boss and his wife over for a dinner prepared by the husband (whom she likes to keep in the kitchen). 

The menu included baguettes and cheeses and toasted Curry-Onion-Bacon-Cheese Bread (–-one-sweet-and-one-savory) to start, with a main course of charcoal-grilled butterflied leg of lamb (Julia Child marinade), bulgur pilaf, and Panzanella with heirloom tomatoes and herb fried Tartine BCB (  Dessert was vanilla ice cream, awesome strawberries and Chewy Chocolate Cherry Cookies. 

Cat’s boss is a widely recognized gourmand and his wife was (before kids) a talented professional chef.   So I chose to prepare proven recipes (except the cookies, of which more below).  Having a Kiwi visitor was an opportunity to prove the superiority of California Lamb over the New Zealish variety (I don’t really mean that—the lamb in New Zealand is spectacular, much better than what they export to the U.S.).

Anyway, enough background.  I should say something about baking since this is still, to a large degree, a bread-oriented web site, pastrami and pickles to the contrary notwithstanding.

I have been experimenting with different baguette formulas lately, but the most reliable for me, and the one I like best, is proth5’s formula now known as “bear-guettes” (recipe below).   The dough is a dream to work with, and the result is crispy-crackly crust and tender creamy crumb…perfect as a cheese conveyance.  The formula makes 6 mini-baguettes.  I divided the dough after an hour of bulk fermentation and put half in the refrigerator for 90 minutes, so I could bake in two batches, the second after leaving enough time for the steaming skillet to get back up to temperature.  The results were quite satisfactory, with many oohs and ahs (attributable in part, I’m sure, to the creamy goat cheese the baguettes conveyed).

The main course was also very good.  Grilled lamb and bulgur pilaf are nicely enhanced by a puddle of tart vinaigrette from the salad.  Cat’s boss’s wife—the chef—commented appreciatively on how perfect the bread in the Panzanella was; she thought I’d gotten the bread from Tartine Bakery, and seemed impressed when she learned I’d baked it myself from the Tartine recipe.  As much as I treasure my wife’s favorable reaction to my bread, there’s nothing like unbiased third-party expert validation.  The feast was washed down with a pretty fair duo of 2001 pinot noirs, one from the Russian River Valley (Dehlinger) and one from Burgandy (a Gevrey-Chambertin).  

Then, the dessert.  I’ve toyed with chewy chocolate cookie recipes for years, my favorite being a Mocha cookie with bitter-sweet chocolate, fresh ground dark roast coffee and (I hate to admit) instant coffee crystals.  Somewhere recently I saw a formula for a chocolate bread with sour cherries and nuts, and thought that chocolate-cherry cookies would be pretty good.  So I modified my Mocha cookie recipe to replace the coffee with more chocolate and added dried tart cherries.  Awesome!  Very soft and chocolaty, with the extra chew and tartness of dried fruit. 

After some coffee and music, our guests waddled off into the late night and I’m confident Cat’s job is safe.

Here’re the recipes:

Proth5’s Bear-guettes

(adapted from dmsnyder’s report on proth5’s formula. See further notes at






Wt (oz)

AP flour




Instant yeast

“generous pinch”





Wt (oz)

AP flour




Ripe sourdough



Final dough



Wt (oz)

AP flour




Instant yeast









Total dough




Wt (oz)

Baker's %

AP flour






Instant yeast













                  Mix the poolish and the levain and let them ferment at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

                  Mix all the ingredients except the salt to a shaggy mass. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

                  Add the salt and hand mix in a large bowl.

                  Bulk ferment for 4 hours with a stretch and fold at 2 hours. (I cold retarded half after the S&F for 90 minutes).

                  Divide into 10.5 oz pieces and pre-shape as logs. Rest the pieces, covered, for 20-30 minutes.

                  Shape as baguettes.

                  Proof en couche for 1.5 hours.

                  Pre-heat oven to 500ºF with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

                  Transfer loaves to peel. Score them and transfer them to the oven.

                  Reduce oven temperature top 460 F and bake with steam for 10 minutes, and bake dry for another 9-11 minutes.

                  Transfer to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly before eating.


                                    CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHERRY COOKIES





2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder    (Scharffenberger)

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), melted

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 egg yolk

4 oz. Scharffenberger bittersweet baking chocolate, chopped or shaved

2 cups dried cherries





Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.



Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder; set aside.


In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.  Stir in the chopped baking chocolate and cherries by hand using a wooden spoon.


Refrigerate dough at least one hour.


Drop cookie dough (about ¾ of a 1/4 cup measure per piece) onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be at least 1 ½  inches apart.  Flatten each cookie a bit.



Bake for 12-13 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.


davidg618's picture

These are #'s 4 and 5. I've made three earlier loaves, all successful, with similar oven spring. I've been experimenting with retarding sourdoughs. I'm so pleased with my Overnight Baguette's flavor and crumb--straight dough, retarded 15 hours @ 54°F--that I've reasoned retarding sourdough loaves should add sparkle to already good flavor. Using my old starter, the results were mixed. I realized excellent flavors, but the doughs were slack, and their oven spring weak.

With Debra Wink's help, we've saved my new starter--I thought it was a goner--and, encouraged by #'s 2 and 3, also retarded, I baked these today. The dough was retarded 10 hours, at 54°F, before shaping.

As you see, I've got excellent oven spring. I'm going to post a forum Help! re the ragged slashing. I've not been able to eliminate it. If you have any good advice please post it either here or on the forum thread; I'll title it Ragged Slashing. Sorry, no crumb shots, these are going into the freezer.

Here's a crumb shot of #2, which is almost gone. It's been a great compliment to some home cured and smoked pastrami.

David G

HokeyPokey's picture

I've made this recipe mid-week and only just got around to taking a photo to go with the blog. Just in time too, cause there is only about a third of loaf left - a very popular little bread that ia.

The idea for a banana bread came from  Shiao-Ping's blog (which does look amazing by the way), but I wanted something a little bit ligher and more brioche-like. I had three super ripe bananas left in a fruit bowl and a jar of peanut butter with my name on it, just begging to be spread on toast and munched up.

Here we are, a light, fluffy banana bread that is just so perfect with a bit of butter, topped with lots of peanut butter - super crunchy type too - yumm.....

Full recipe and more photos on my blog here


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