The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


breadbythecreek's picture

We recently got very lucky and were able to buy a flat of the best peaches we have ever had. These peaches, just picked, ripened on the tree, are pure peachy goodness. At the same time, I’ve been experimenting with water/fruit fed yeast in bread baking. As a result of this experimentation I’ve discovered that it is next to impossible to get any fruit flavor from Yeast Water to be present in any baked bread. The water from the fruited yeast is just too subtle. Yes, the fruited yeast water has a nice effect on the crust (crunchy), crumb (moist and tender) and on the color (esp. with red/purple fruits), and taste (absolutely not sour). However, one would be hard pressed indeed to tell which fruit was used to prepare the yeast water. This is discouraging as why go to the trouble of using beautiful fresh, fragrant, and hard-to-come by fruits when any old bag of raisins will do exactly the same thing?

The first step was to convince my standard grain fed sourdough starter to like, and want to eat the sugars contained in peach puree. Taking my cues from Ron Ray, as documented in his Banana Saga, I slowly weaned my standard wheat based sourdough starter to accept a diet of first AP flour and peach puree until I reached the point where there was no more water in the starter seed. From there, I began the process of weaning my starter to accept a diet of pure puree (no AP flour), again to the point where there was no more flour in the starter seed.

 Now this starter ready to be developed in the final dough. I wanted to create a dough that relied solely on peach puree for the water content (Google assures me that peaches are 80% water). Thus, peach puree is comprised of 80% liquid and 20% solids. As is the recommendation, I set about creating a dough that was approximately 1/3 preferment (in the form of fermented peach puree), and was at approximately 75% hydration (e.g., liquids as a proportion of solids) and holding the overall loaf size to approximately 400g, yielded the following formula:


  • 60g Starter 
  • 185g Bread Flour
 (plus 11g extra)
  • 150g Peach Puree
4g salt

bakers %


Bread Flour:100.00%

Peach Puree: 76.53%

Salt: 2.04%

Total Dough (Conversion Factor): 209.18%



I combined the 60g fizzy starter with the 150g peach puree. Then I slowly incorporated the 185g bread flour to form a rough, sticky dough. I covered the bowl and let it rest for 20 minutes to hydrate the flour. Then I mixed in the salt.  This was given the first stretch & fold (S&F) in the bowl and left to rest for 30 minutes. At this point, I was forced to alter my plans and work in an additional 11g of bread flour. The dough was just too sticky and not holding together.  This S&F/rest process was repeated a total of four times over the next 1 1/2 hours. After the final S&F, I left it to rest an additional 1/2 hour before I turned it out onto a lightly floured counter (approximately 8g flour) and preshaped and shaped the boule. This was placed in a floured banneton and into the 46*F cooler overnight (approximately 11 hours).

The following morning, as is my habit, I took the dough out of the cooler and let it come to room temperature. About half an hour into this warming up period, I began to preheat the oven and the combo-cooker to 450*F. This takes about 1/2 hour. When the oven was fully preheated, I removed the cooker from the oven, overturned the dough onto the parchment, slashed (not very well, hmm.), and slid the loaf to the bottom of the hot cooker. Placing the lid, back into the oven the whole works went for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the lid was removed—The moment of truth, pancake, hockey puck, boule? What would it be, well, as it turned out, peaches are not the best for massive oven spring. I wouldn’t call it a pancake, somewhere bigger than a hockey puck, but not much. After removing the lid and turning down the oven to 425*F the loaf was baked for another three minutes, then I removed the bottom of the cooker and the parchment, and placed the loaf directly on the stone. This is where it remained for another 7 minutes. Then, I propped open the oven door for an additional 10 minutes (total 40 minutes in the oven). Then I removed the loaf. Well, it does smell of peaches.


 Way too much flour in the banneton - I was worried about sticking.  The oven spring is not great, sort of like it was overproofed. It sounds hollow when I thump it and the crust is quite thick and hard. So. Now comes the real test. After all of this work and experimentation, did I create a peachy tasting peach bread? Here is the shot of the crumb:

 As you can see, the crumb is definitely a peachy color, moist and tender. There are bits of peach visible in the crumb. Does it taste of peaches- yes, faintly.  It tastes almost like a not-so-sweet cake, not a bit sour, which is not surprising.

If someone were to not tell me peaches were 51% of the mix, would I ever be able to figure that out?  No. Alas, I think the pursuit of pronounced fruity flavor in the crumb of a yeasted bread needs something more than peach puree.

Happy Baking!

MadAboutB8's picture


I came across the famous Tartine Morning Buns when I was searching for croissant images of Tartine Bakery (as I was on my mission to perfect the croissant making, I figured I should look up to the best:))

The buns received rave reviews on the blogosphere and I was curious to find out myself how good they are. I just bought Tartine cookbook (the pastry version) recently and look forwards to Morning Bun recipe. However, the recipe wasn’t included in the book.  I managed to locate the recipe online on 7x7 website. The bun is an indulgence version of cinnamon rolls and made with laminated (croissant) dough. That’s perfect, another recipe I can try to keep practicing on croissants.  The rolls are filled with the mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest. Doesn’t that sound like a recipe for success, buttery flaky pastry filled with orange cinnamon sugar? Indeed, it was the success. It tasted soooo good, pure heaven.

 The rolls were baked in muffin tin coated with butter and sugar, which gave it sticky caramelised bottom. A nice touch to the buns.

 Though I enjoyed the bun made with croissant dough, I had the feeling that sweet bread dough should have been used in the recipe instead of laminated dough. A close look at the actual Tartine's Morning Buns gave me that impression. The bun didn’t have layers of pastry. It was simply a bread bun. Moreover, baking laminated dough in muffin tins somehow limited its ability to expand. As a result, the pastry didn’t achieve its full flakiness potential and became slightly doughy, especially the parts that were sitting inside the muffin cup. If I am to make these Morning Buns again (which I’m sure I will), I will make them with sweet bread dough or brioche dough instead.

 Full post and recipe is here (


Bee18's picture

Hi everybody,

I just checked if the address of my blog has been activated by Google and it's a big yes.

sorry to the members who had tried several times to reach the blog and had been put in front of the desagreable note that the blog didn't exist or has been removed.

So the address is the one I wrote down yesterday :

I'm still looking around to learn more about this gluten free or low gluten and the water yeast which can be a good thing for those who are also sensitive to commercial yeast.
My next try will be to build a SD from Spelt flour and go through the recipe of Breadomania. For the ones that have not the Celiac category sickness but only a kind of intolerance it might be a good solution to have a bread as close as possible to a white bread and be able to make sandwiches with it.
I'll let you know through the blog where I will upload the photos of the result.


Karen Guse's picture
Karen Guse

I just thought I would share a little video a friend of mine did for a class project.  This is my Bakery out of the basement of my home.  Please note, I am a BAKER not an ACTOR!

Franko's picture

I was browsing through Saveur's online magazine the other day and ran across a recipe for a tomato and cheese pie from Sicily called Scaccia. The recipe can be found at the link below.

It caught my eye not only because it looked and sounded delicious, but also because it uses durum flour for the dough. Having recently acquired 25lbs of the stuff, I've been on the lookout for any recipes that call for it, and thought I'd give this Scaccia a try.

The formula for the dough is simply flour, olive oil, salt and water, which makes a pasta dough that can be stretched out into a very thin sheet and then spread with a thick tomato sauce and cheese. The recipe indicates it can be rolled out with a pin, but that proved impossible for the dough I'd made. In hindsight I'm not sure I'd want the dough so well developed that it could be rolled out anyway, as I think it might make it a little too chewy. The next step of trying to fold this to create several layers of dough and sauce (similar to laminating a croissant or puff pastry dough) was the tricky part. My attempt was moderately close to the procedure described in the recipe, but only because I used the largest icing spatula I had to help me fold the dough over on itself. The dough was hand mixed, and then developed using the slap and fold technique until it was able to come cleanly off the counter, but the next time I mix this I'll use a bit less water to make the dough a little easier to work with. The recipe from Saveur calls just for tomato sauce and caciocavallo or pecorino cheese in the filling, but I used a blend of pecorino and provolone instead. Since I had some thin slices of spicy Capicola sausage on hand, I added some of those for good measure as well. Once I'd managed to get it folded over, more cheese and sauce were added, then another two folds with more cheese and sauce going on. Next onto a parchment lined sheet pan and sprinkled with the last of the cheese and placed in a 500F oven for 10 minutes, then for 35-40 minutes at 400F. Once out of the oven I let it cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes while I made a warm scallop and prawn salad to have for dinner. By the time that was ready, the Scaccia was cool enough to eat, but still warm and soft on the interior, with a cheesy, slightly spicy aroma coming from it. The best way I can describe the flavour and texture of this pie is that it reminded me of what the top layer of a well baked lasagna tastes like, only softer. I'm not sure if what I made is what Scaccia is supposed to be like, but this tastes fantastic just the way it is. A few photos of the procedure and results below.

All the best,



RonRay's picture

    I really enjoy baking artisan loaves, but I decided that if I wanted test the results of changes in my breads, the artisan loaf was a poor choice. I wanted something where each loaf could be compared with the other test loaves - primarily based upon photo records and detailed method writeups on my part.

 For a while I used Flo Makanai's 123 formulation:

It work okay, but still wasn't what I wanted.

  I finally realized I need to eliminate the variation in shape of the serious “test samples”. So, I switched to using a pan bread as my standard. Since it is either myself or the birds that will eat everything I bake, 2 kilo loaves would be a very poor choice in size. Going through my stock of pans, it came down to a choice between a 636 ml, 1037 ml, or 1475 ml capacity pan.

The smallest, a 5-3/4” loaf pan did fine for a 293g size, the 7-1/2” work well for 478g size and the standard 8” loaf pan did well 680g loaves.

Small 300g range example Link:

One pound 500g example Link:

Standard 8” - 680g example Link:

I settled on using my 1 pound loaf pan. It is 7-1/2” x 3-1/4” x 2-1/2” (19 cm x 10 cm x 6 cm) and generally, a 478g dough batch size.

I also wanted a formula that was as basic as I could find, but that offered good flavor development, and a high degree of certainty in judging the levain activity level. I settled on converting the common French formula of 100-60-2-2, where in barker's percentages that was 100 flour, 60 water, 2 salt, and 2 fresh yeast. Well, since I had no easy access to French flour, nor fresh yeast, and since wild yeast is where my interest lies, I chose to take the 60% liquid and use 60% of the total flour as my levain. I simply refer to this as 40-2-120.

I use a 3-build levain sequence, which provides more than enough opportunity to judge the levain activity as it is moved through the three builds. And, I generally manipulate maturity of each build to stretch over a 24 hour period, which generates plenty of flavor from the flour as it matures. Finally, having 60% of the final dough in the levain builds, I have found no need to be a purist about autolysis and generally add the salt in with the last 40% of the flour at the beginning of the final dough. I do give a long rest following the mixing, but since the salt has been added, I will simply call it what it is – a rest.

To ensure that there are still plenty of the goodies remaining that the Wee Bonnie Beasties (WBBs) need to generate the leavening gases, I limit the rises in the 3 levain builds to a target range 60% to 90% as acceptable rise, but I try very hard to never let it exceed 90%.

Kneading, bulk fermentation, shaping, retardation, and final rise are all interrelated variables that I experiment with in any given loaf. Of course, additional ingredients are another class of experimental variables open to extend the “playtime” called baking bread.

Naturally, you come across things that may seem unimportant, that really do make a difference. One example the comes to mind is the old belief that pan breads really do not need to be scored.... Be a skeptic of all “rules”.


I do think scoring creates benefits....





Salilah's picture

Wanted to share a sonewhat strange experiment with you!

I was refreshing my rye starter from the fridge, so kept 75g and refreshed (back in the fridge after a while) and decided to boost what was left with some white flour and water to build into a baking levain.  I knew I could only do one small loaf, but the starter seemed so lively, I thought "Why not use all of this?"

Dubious recipe:
53og rye & white starter 100% hydration (roughly)
200g flour
50g warm water
8g salt
(to get to around 68% hydration I think)

Mixed up fine without the salt - autolyse for around 45m then S&F in the bowl.  Getting late so it went into the fridge for around 14 hours

Out again this morning, S&F, added salt, S&F.  It appeared to be getting more rather than less sticky with the S&F in the bowl, and I had a reasonably good windowpane.  Turned out onto a floured board and shaped roughly then one formal S&F and covered for 30m.  Repeated again and waited 30m.  Rough shape and waited 30m.  Final shape - it seemed fine, quite firm, getting a reasonable shape (though I am not very good yet).

Floured very lightly, then covered with oiled clingfilm to proof.  After about an hour and a half, I checked and saw - the cowpat!


The skin was tearing all across the loaf - in some places just gently folding away from the inside!  Finger-poking felt normal (some spring back) but I thought I ought to bake ASAP!

Oven 230, didn't bother to slash as it was splitting anyway - just a little bit of steam at 5m and 10m

It came out looking almost reasonable (if a bit still cow-patty):


It tastes quite nice!  Quite sour - which I guess comes from teh long retarding and the really high %age of sourdough starter.

I'm guessing the tearing of the skin comes from being well over-proofed?  It wasn't particularly long, but I assume the low amount of flour compared to the amount of starter meant the yeast ran out of food too early?  Any other thoughts?


gingersnapped's picture

[crossposted with much more detail from my own blahblahblah,]

A naturally leavened sourdough spelt is therefore HEALTHY (kinda!) and GOOD FOR YOU (mostly!) but most importantly it is EASY and AWESOME. 

My baking life is more of an after school special, which means that most breads don’t fit into my schedule unless I’m willing to be forgiving.  Sourdoughs especially require a long rise and need to be thrown in the oven right away to avoid the overfermentation/vinegar flavor.  This loaf proofed and doubled neatly overnight but lived in the fridge for the next 12 hours until I could get it into the oven.  It had an acid flavor that was just this side of a little overpowering to the nuanced grains (worked fine for me, cooking genius that assumes balsamic vinegar cures all ailments).

Really, what are you waiting for damn guy?

Recipe, lifted neatly from Breadtopia (instructions are my own, paraphrased for those who can’t manage the attention span necessary to watch a really nice video on the Internet [jerks])

530 grams (about 5 cups well fluffed up) whole spelt flour
350 grams (~1+1/2 cups) water
10 grams (1+1/2 tsp) salt
3 Tbs honey or sugar or 2 Tbs agave
1/4 cup sourdough starter

Disolve honey and starter in warm water and mix salt and spelt together.  Gradually add spelt+salt to water.  Cover and allow to autolyse for one hour (dough will be very wet).  Proceed with a series of three or four stretch and folds at fifteen minute intervals and allow to rise covered with saran until doubled in a container with a rounded bottom (depending on how active your starter is, may take anywhere from 4-6 hours).

Prepare oven for hearth baking.  Carefully move dough to baking sheet, cloche or clay bread crock (a more structured baking environment will allow for a prettier loaf).  Mist lightly with water and add seeds; or just proceed with slashing the loaf.

Bake at 450 for about 45 minutes until darkly browned.  Use your preferred method of steaming on the outset.  Allow to cool for at least an hour before cutting.

Bake at 450 for 45 minutes or until internal temp is 195-200.

Bee18's picture

No more blogspot, as my blog have been removed for a reason that I cannot understand. I still can fill posts and still can find my list of posts. I'm like still existing as far as to edit new posts and suddendly dead as nobody can be able to see what I'm trying to send to the air. This is the most incredible saga I ever had.

Too tired and upset to look further for help, I decided to transfer my blog to the Domain/Google Host and to pay $10 a year (if you pay surely it should work better ?) and of course I changed my URL. This time it will be

For the members who had took the time to search for my baby blog and will want to follow my adventures with this Gluten Free baking it's a little change that will hopefully make it work finally. Hold your horses, and wait few days before trying this new link. It won't work immediately.

Thanks to Ron and Pamela my water yeast is working well and I'm please that Pamela got to the conclusion that one kind of water yeast is enough to suit any bread you want to do. I'll stick to my apples/sultanas formula.
True my SD rye is feeling better when I feed it with flour and water yeast. So why not ? I don't think that at this stage I will try to make a bread with only the water yeast.
I will keep on making levains following the last calculations he gave and may be I will make a white levain (as he recommanded) for my rye bread and then put more rye flour...

Anyway I will see my Computer Ing. next Saturday and try to find with his help how to get this Bar upon that window.


Grandma Dawn's picture
Grandma Dawn

After forty plus years of baking breads I decided to create "fun buns" for my grandchildren.  Each weekend I would make a batch of buns.  I kept notes about what worked and what didn't.  Since I wanted the option of using the buns for sandwiches I started with ones that were basically round in shape.

My first attempt was four turtles.

I then wanted a pig.  I thought it would be cute to serve pulled pork on a piggy bun.  Ironically, the pig proved to be the most difficult for me.  Even now I'm not confident the ears and nose will stay in place.  I tried to cut the ears in but couldn't secure the tips.  And then the nose . . . but for now I'll post pictures and talk how to's in a later post.  I did finally find a design I liked . . . but it's a rather difficult one.

At one point I got so frustrated with trying to make the quantity of buns I needed to feed a group that I even considered making heads and tails . . .

Since dough is a living organismI decided I needed some easy designs so I could make some difficult and some easy in the time frame I had to work in.  I created a chick and hedgehog that are relatively easy.

At this point I was using whole wheat dough.  I decided to try sweet roll dough for Easter bunny and chicks.  The dough raised so much after shaping that the designs were distorted.

Snails worked okay, the center raising up was actually desirable.

I continued on with the bunny and came up with options.  One has cut in ears and the other is basically two pieces, body and head with the ears cut with scissors.

Then came the fish.  Since my sons had aquariums I decided to start with tropical fish.  I wanted texture and tried grated cheese on top . . . but, I got "ick" . . . for those of you who don't know what that is, it's a fungus.

Being a Minnesotan, I needed more fish, lots of fish.

Then it was football for the guys.

I love frogs . . . one easy, one difficult.

Want to ruin my day?  Ask me how to keep ears on the mouse.  I sure don't know how . . .

Ahhhh, bears!  Who doesn't love bears!

How about a family of bears?

At this point I started looking on the internet for ideas.  I found the book Kids' Ideas with frozen dough by Rhodes.  I made several of their designs and learned some new techniques.

I especially liked the cat for Halloween.

And now the reason I bake.  My grandson's first batch of "fun buns".  HE LIKES THEM!





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