The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


teketeke's picture

I made SteveB's croissants today. Here is his formula and method.  Thank you, Steve!

I highly recommend it! It was absolutely delicious! Although I used my raisin yeast water instead of the instant yeast, therefore I decreased the amount of sugar.  It is very easy to make raisin yeast water which means fruit yeast water.  I recommend to use orgainc ones that is much better taste than the others.  Here is the link of fruit yeast water that Ron and Daisy and I had worked on.   and   You can read Wao's post that is helpful, too.   Ron and Karin made some great breads using apple yeast water. Daisy and I have raisin yeast water that is one of powerful fruit yeasts.  If you are not fond of soury bread, or you are looking for a new thing, you may enjoy it.


 Here is my ingredients that I change are Bold letters.


145 g I used KA AP flour

145 g Raisin yeast water


Final dough

335 g I used Bread flour

115 g Water

65 g Milk

36 g Sugar

10 g Salt

20 g Butter

290 g Poolish (all of the above)



225 g Butter


I replaced new pictures that I took them in the morning. They look clear and nicer.


I will practice to shape the croissants more...  I have a problem when I let put the dough in a refrigerator before shaping because the dough is always dry when I take out the dough from the refrigerator so that I can see some crack when I am about to strech the dough to roll it into the croissant shape.  So I didn't put the dough in a refrigerator this time, I put the dough in a basement that was around 15℃. That is why these croissants look little shaky. 

 Brush your teeth after eating,please :)

Happy baking,




I tried this croissants again. My goal is like Mrs London's croissants that are totally art. Of course, the taste was wonderful.

You can see Mrs.London's croissants here.

Here is the pictures of Mrs London's croissant that I bought.

Here is my croissants that I tried a couple days ago.

My problem is shaping... Hmmmm..


3/31/2011  I tried again..

 After I cut the dough triangle shapes, I put them in the refrigerator for a couple hours to shape nicely. I can't get such a length to roll many times.   I saw other Japanese home bakers shaping very well..  hmmm

While the dough was at proof, I had to leave the dough for 2.5 hours.I wanted 2 hours proofing time though. I can't tell if the tast is good or not because I haven't eaten it yet.

Next time, I may not put the triangle dough in a refrigerator because I saw some crumb are not flaky but doughy.  I don't know if the method produce doughy crumb..

I hope that it is good.  They will be our breakfast.. Giant croissants.

Best wishes,


jsk's picture

A couple of weeks ago i got that feeling in my stomach that I have to bake bread again. I used to bake quite a bit until six months ago and I felt it is the time to start baking again. For this I had to create a new sourdough starter as I sadly found my old one molding in the back of the fridge. I started it with some rye flour and water and converted it gradually to a white flour stater. When it was active and vigorous enogh. I decided to bake with it. I chose to try David's San Joaquin, wich I've been wanting to try for a long time.  

As I didn't have a dough scraper in hand (lost it somewhere in the house), I didn't use the S&F in the bowl technique, and kneaded the dough for a few minutes in the KitchenAid and had two folds during the bulk fermentation, wich developed the gluten well and the dough was strong and elastic. I retarted the dough only for 15 hours because of tight schedule. I shaped it into two batards, proofed and baked as in the formula.    

The Loaves

The Crumb

The results were great! The crumb was delicious and open with a slight tang and a wonderful presence of rye. The crust was quite thin but crispy and had a great flavor.

I highly recommend this one!

Have a great weekend,


Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

One of my favorite breads from Hamelman's Bread is Pain Rustique (comes right before "Country Bread" and "Rustic Bread").  The bread is unshaped like a ciabatta, although it only has 69% hydration, and is scored before baking.  When I get it right (as opposed to, say, forgetting the salt and yeast following the autolyse, as I did the first time I tried the formula), it produces a toothsome crust and a flavorful, moderately open crumb.  As a bonus, the time from first mix to pulling the breads out of the oven is under 3 hours (not counting preferment time).

Anyway, the last week I was talking with my mom about the sourdough starter I brought her on our crazy baking day , and the subject of converting pre-fermented, commercially leavened formulas to sourdough came up, as did the Pain Rustique.  This got me thinking--why not try Pain Rustique as a sourdough?  And the more I thought, the more I had to try it.

Pain Rustique as written by Hamelman has 50% of the flour in a poolish, so I simply replaced this with a liquid levain.  I usually scale Hamelman's "Home" quantities by 2/3 since I can only fit 2 loaves on my stone at a time.   Here's what I did:


  • 100g ripe starter at 100% hydration. 

  • 250g King Aurther All-Purpose Flour

  • 250g water

*Note: I needed 600g of ripe levain, didn't get around to mixing it until 10:30 the night before, and needed to start the bread be 7 the next day.  For a longer sitting time, I'd do less starter and more flour and water.

Final Dough

  • 300g flour

  • 120g water

  • 600g levain (all) 

  • 12g salt


  1. The night before, mix the levain, cover and let sit overnight for 9 hours (but see note).

  2. Mix flour, water and levain by hand until all the flour is hydrated.  Autolyze for 25 minutes.

  3. Add salt, mix in the stand mixer at speed 2 for 2 minutes.

  4. Do 30 stretch and folds in the bowl with a rubber spatula, rotating the bowl with each fold.

  5. Ferment for 150 minutes, giving the dough a stretch and fold on the bench at 50 and 100 minutes.

  6. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.  Divide in half to make 2 510g (18oz) pieces, placing any scraps on the rough side of the dough. Then place each piece on a floured couche, smooth side down.

  7. Start pre-heating the oven with a baking stone and any steaming apparatus. Proof the loaves for 40-50 minutes.

  8. Flip the loaves onto a sheet of parchment on the back of a sheet pan.  This can be done by hand, but I've taken to pulling a bit of the couch over the edge of the pan, then flipping the loaf couche and all onto the parchment.  This avoids the problem of finger-shaped indents on top of the loaves, which fill in while baking, but make scoring difficult.

  9. Score longways, load into the oven, and bake for 35 minutes, with steam for the first 15 (I've been using the popular "towel method", placing rolled up towels soaked in hot water in two loaf pans below the baking stone.  After 15 minutes, the pans are removed).

  10. Turn off oven, open door and loaves in for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.


The results looked very much like my previous attempts at Pain Rustique (and why not?  It's still an unshaped, 69% hydration dough).





The flavor, however, was surprisingly different.  A nice, mild sour flavor in the crumb, with a stronger sourness in the crust.  Crust was more sourdough-y than the poolish version, and the mouthfeel of the crumb was subtly different, but I don't know how to describe it.  The flavor evolved a little over time--on the first night the tiny amount of whole wheat from my starter (which is fed 25% whole wheat, 75% white) was detectable, but by the next day (and with the second loaf, pulled from the freezer a couple days later) that had mellowed and the sourness had increased.

A very, very tasty bread, all told.  I'd say better than the poolish version, although as I've noted the two are quite different in flavor.  I'll definitely make this again!

OldWoodenSpoon's picture

Twelve days ago I posted this topic about my troubles with an all white flour version of my successful whole wheat and rye starter.  Since then I have been nursing that starter with multiple daily feedings, and keeping it quarantined from my other starter to avoid cross-contamination.  Based on research, and excellent direct advice, the issue was diagnosed by David Snyder and Debra Wink (Thanks to both of you!) as thiol degradation and I proceeded to try to "feed through it".

I started out by stepping up the interval but maintaining the 1:1:1 (s:w:f) ratio I had been using.  That proved too hectic, and I could not count on getting even the brief mid-day work break I needed to stay on schedule.  Even though I work at home, I seemed to end up on the phone for an hour starting just before the starter should be fed.  It felt like I was not going to be able to make it work that way so I increased the food supply by going to a 1:3:3 ratio and reduced the frequency to every 12 hours.  I also reduced the initial inoculation from 30 grams to 10.  I thank Eric Hanner for his valuable input that led me to this action.

I was able to maintain the 12 hour interval successfully, and true to Debra Wink's assurance, on the 10th day things changed.  I did not know what I was looking for, but Debra was right:  when it happened it was obvious.  What I noticed first was a difference in the matured starter when it was time for the next feeding.  The viscosity of the "discard" was lower and it was much less sticky as well.  It dropped off my spatula almost of it's own accord into the discard jar and left the spatuala mostly clean.  Previously I had to scrape and wipe and eventually wash the spatula to get the stuff off.  The other change was the volume in the jar.  While the bad bugs were in charge there was little loft to the mature starter, even after 12 hours of obvious activity.  After the change it started nearly tripling in 12 hours. 

I decided to try some loaves, with high hopes for something better than the results pictured in the original post linked above.  I made another batch of dough by exactly the same formula and approach as outlined in that post.  Because I was not certain where it was going to end up I took pictures at many of the steps, starting with the dough made up, without the salt, and resting for autolyse:

After adding the salt and completing the first set of stretch and folds in the bowl:

I did a total of 3 sets of stretch and folds in the bowl, and here is the dough after the third set:

The original batch of dough that led me here in the first place had broken down almost completely by the time I got this far.  Results this time are obviously worlds better.  I decided to do a stretch and tri-fold on the bench to get a bit more development, (and because I wanted to get my hands on it and in it to reassure myself it was going to hold together!) so I stretched it out:

and then I folded it up:

At this point I knew I had a dough that was holding up well, with a smooth and supple consistency that had me quite excited, shall we say.  I put it into a dough bucket, let it ferment on the bench for about 30 minutes and then put it in the fridge to retard till I could bake it, what turned out to be some 20 hours later.  Here it is just before going in to retardation:

and again after the retardation, some 20 hours or so later:

I let this rest on the bench for an hour to take some of the chill off, then preshaped:

and then (45 minutes later) final shaped and put them to proof:

I failed to take a photo of the proofed loaves before baking them, but once ready I baked them sequentially in my La Cloche ceramic baker, at 525F for 7 minutes under lid, turned down to 475 for 5 minutes under lid, removed the lid and baked for 17-20 minutes more, until done.  Both loaves were baked to internal temperatures of roughly 205F-207F.

So, after all of that, I pulled these out:

and the crumb:

I found that I am so accustomed to my "other" sourdough that includes both a home-ground whole wheat flour component and a dark rye flour component that on first encounter this bread tasted somewhat bland to me.  As we worked our way through that first loaf though I began to detect subtle flavors that brought the bread to life for me.  It is still a much milder flavored bread than "my" sourdough, but it is also a very pleasant flavor that goes well with sandwiches, and as toast or french toast at breakfast.  Also, because it is almost entirely All Purpose flour, I find it almost too soft and fluffy in the crumb.  This also makes the crust somewhat insubstantial, and I will start increasing the bread flour to gradually work up to a crust and bite that is more pleasing to us.

It has been a rewarding journey, and it was nice to "win the battle" with that whatever-it-was nasty that took over my starter.  Interestingly, although I did have to significantly modify how I was feeding my starter in order to get to this point, I did not have to reduce the hydration.  I maintained the original 100% hydration in this starter all the way through, even to now.  Having gotten this far, though, I think I will split the starter into this original and a lower, perhaps about 60%, hydration version so I can experiment with the different flavors they produce.  The mildness of the flavor of this 100% hydration version may make the differences easier for me to pick up on my unsophisticated palatte.

I want to thank everyone that contributed advice on this issue.  The expertise shared, and the spirit of generosity with which it is so readily shared, here on The Fresh Loaf is a true blessing.  You are helping to make me a better baker.

Thanks for stopping by

Virtus's picture

I have just read some comments posted by 'Frelkins' about Jeffrey Hammelman's 'Horst Bandel's Bread' and a pumpernickel by Claus Meyer. The comments were posted awhile back, but the long, slow bake described sounded wonderful! I was hoping this baker could post a recipe using the long slow bake they described. Thank you.

dthet's picture

I would first like to acknowledge my deepest respect for all of the notable bakers, with special appreciation to dmsnyder, Txfarmer, and others.  Being a retired concert violinist now living in Amery, WI., my new vent for creativity is baking and my constant knead to change things as in violin (bowings, fingerings, dynamics, etc.); thus, I may tweak here and there, to suit my own tastes.

This is a violinist's concerto of the 70% Rye.  My additional passages include added ingredients and increased bulk and fermentation times.  I will provide my list of added ingredients with rising times, as provided by dmsnyder's rendition and interpretation of Hamelman's 70% Rye with a Rye Soaker and Whole-Wheat Flour.  The whole wheat flour was ground from wheat berries in my Vita-Mix "Whole Grain Container."  I used Organic Rye Flakes instead of Rye Chops due to availability.  New ingredients include: Strong coffee, Wild Flour Honey from Amery area, Date Molasses, Ground Carroway, Dutch Processed Cocoa, Toasted Walnuts, and Dark Raisins.  Baking temperatures (in F's) and times are from the Hamelman and dmsnyder recipies.


    Liquid to equal 11.2 oz---Strong Coffee 8 oz, Water 3.2 oz

    Organic Rye Flakes---11.2 oz

    salt---.2 oz


    Medium Rye Flour---11.2 oz

    Water---9 oz

    Mature sourdough culture---.6 oz 

    Wild-Flour Honey-Amery area---3 T

    Date Molasses---3 T

    Ground Carroway---1 T

    Dutch Process Cocoa---1/4 c

Sourdough mixture ripens 14-18 hours at 70 F; mix soaker and add to sourday on 2nd day; the blended mixtures rest covered 90 to 120 minutes.

Final Dough:

    Set aside: toasted and chopped Walnuts---5 oz; Dark Raisins---8 oz.

    Whole Wheat Flour---9.6 oz

    Water---4.8 oz

    Salt---.4 oz

    Yeast---1.5 t

    Soaker---all of the above

    Sourdough---all of the above

On a well-floured countertop, place final dough, add a sprinkling of flour in order to make a large rectangle of dough, add the walnuts and dark raisins. Fold gently until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, divide into two equal portions, shape into boules, place into bannetons (if you have them),cover, and let ferment for 120-180 minutes. Preheat oven to 470 F one hour before baking bread.

Place on parchment and with nnormal steam for 15 min. then lower the oven to 430 F for approximately 40 min. Check the loaf temperature (when it reaches 205 F), remove from oven, cool loaves on rack.  When thoroughly cool place them in a sealed brown paper bag for 24 hours.

Enjoy the rich complexities.

Pictures to follow in this violinist can download them.

David T.




MadAboutB8's picture

Every now and then, I take a break from making multigrains bread to fruit bread. I've also been wanting to try making bread with walnuts for quite somtimes, influenced by many wonderful entries from TFL members.

Cranberry and walnuts is a food pair that appears together quite often and I wanted to try making bread with cranberries. So, here go the bread from my last weekend's bake, cranberry and walnut sourdough.

I adapted the recipe from Jeffrey Hamelman's prune and hazelnut sourdough recipe. I made this recipe quite a few times with my own fruit and nuts adaptation, fig and hazelnut, fig and almond. Strangely enough, I never made the bread using prune and hazelnuts as the original recipe suggested.

I quite enjoy cranberry in bread. It added the nice sour yet sweet flavour to the bread, as well as the moist and chewy texture. The bread also got a good crunch texture from walnut.

It made great fruit toast with my home-made orange butter.

delicious with orange butter

More pictures and recipe can be found here.



txfarmer's picture


Yes, this brioche has 100% butter ratio, i.e butter weight == flour weight. According to BBA 80% butter brioche is considered "richman's", so this brioche is probably "Bill Gates'"?


First saw this bread from a blog, but it didn't provide a formula except to say it's from "Patisserie of Pierre Herme", I am not about to spend a few hundred bucks on that book, yet can't find a copy of the recipe online, so it has been taunting me ever since. Recently a reader of my Chinese blog was nice enough to send me the recipe, finally I got to make this bread!


I know some of you may suspect a bread with so much butter would taste greasy or heavy. I have made many enriched breads, a lot of them are brioches with various butter ratio, I think for a rich yet light brioche, the key is in the kneading. I kneaded it very well, and the final bread had a croissant -like crust with a "lighter than air" crumb. The contrast of a crispy flaky crust and a chiffon cake-like crumb creates a wonderful mouth feel, along with great butter flavor, it's a bread worth every bit of effort and calorie!



100% Brioche (adapted from "Patisserie of Pierre Herme")

note: I changed the qantity to be more family friendly

note: I used SAF Gold osmotolerant yeast instead of fresh

note: PH is very short on procedures, so I had to improvise a lot. My adaptions are noted in brackets.


bread flour, 300g (100%)

sugar, 39g (13%)

SAF Gold osmotolerant yeast, 4.8g (1.6%) (if you use instant dry, you may need a bit more due to higher ratio of sugar)

salt, 8.4g(2.8%)

egg, 210g(70%)

butter, 300g(100%), softened


1. Mix flour, sugar, yeast, salt, and half of eggs together with dough hook until clean the bowl, add the rest of eggs, mix until clean the bowl. (The dough was too dry with half of the eggs, then too wet with all of the eggs. I added eggs in one shot, and used paddle attachment the whole time for my KA 6pro. Mixed until it cleans the bowl, it will take a while but you need the gluten to be strong before adding that much butter.)

2. Add butter, mix well. (I added butter a bit at a time, and mixed until the dough wraps around the paddle attachment and cleans the bowl. It can pass windowpane very well. This intensive kneading is essential for a light and tall bread.)

3. Rise at room temp until double (about 1 hour to 1.5 hour for me), punch down, put in fridge for 2 hours, punch down again, put back in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

4. PH doesn't say anything after the bulk rise, so everything below is my adaption. (Divide and shape right out of frdige when the dough is cold and managable. This dough will expand A LOT, so only fill the molds 1/4 to 1/3 full.)

5. (Proof at room temp (~73F) until the dough reach the rim of the molds, 2.5 to 3 hours for me.)

6. Egg wash once or twice, bake my 550g large brioche at 420F for 15min, then 375F for 30min. Other smaller ones (160g dough size) were baked at 420F for 15min, then 375 for 10 to 15min.


With good quality butter, and enough kneading/fermentation, this bread is both rich and light, heavenly!


Not for everyday consumption, but perfect for an occasional treat.


Submitting to Yeastspotting.

Moris's picture

Hi Everyone,  Thanks for stopping by !

You may be one of the lucky ones to have recently baked some of my fresh hand made croissants from Frozen.

I've created this blog as an extra resource for you to ensure that your croissants are the flakiest, tastiest & lightest croissants that you've ever had !

Let's get started shall we ?  :)

Step 1:  Remove your frozen croissants from the freezer bag and place on a baking sheet.  Chocolate ones should be placed seam side down.

Frozen Croissants

 Step 2:  Let them raise overnight or for approx 9-10 hours.

For best results, they should be in a slightly warmer than room temp place (75F - 80F)

A trick to achieve this warm & humid atmosphere that will allow the yeast to really work is to add a tin pan at the bottom of your oven and pour some boiling water in it when you first start the rising process.  This added steam & heat will really assist in ensuring best results possible.

Here's an action shot.  Special Thanks to Katie for being a wonderful arm model.  Please Contact us for future bookings :)



 After 9-10 Hours the croissants should be fully proofed and be double to triple in size and slightly jiggly if you wiggle the pan. 

Proofed Croissants



These ones actually proofed for 10 hours.  If yours don't look like this, you can try some things to set the mood for the yeast to really start working.

Tip 1:  Give them another steam bath & Let them sit for another hour

Tip 2:  Give them a little blast of heat.  Set your oven for only 200F and let it heat up for one minute (it won't actually get to 200F) for a quick shot of heat.  The point here is just to warm the surrounding air up a little bit and not make it too warm where the butter starts to melt out. 

After this heat blast - Sit back for a while and let the yeast do its thing ;)

Step 4:  Preheat your oven to 400F if using convection or 425F if not convection

Step 5:  Prior to baking brush with egg wash.  This will ensure a nice golden colour.

Egg Wash


It really comes down to personal preference here.  If you have no eggs, milk or cream is fine.  No milk ?  Use water, or even nothing at all.


My personal favorite is to use just the egg yolk with a little bit of water.  This will make a nice dark & crispy coating - egg yolk is always the prettiest in my opinion.


 Tip:  At this point while your oven is heating, you can refridgerate the croissants.  What this does is set the butter even more.  This will ensure optimum flakiness ;~)

Step 6:  Bake for 20 minutes or until you have a deep golden brown.  Don't be afraid to go too dark here.. the darker the better and it sets them nicely. 



These ones baked the full 20 minutes.






Close upLet Them rest on the pan for about 5 minutes.  The extra time lets the steam from the butter do its final setting.

Best served warm !

ENJOY !!!!




cranbo's picture

In researching another thread, came across this interesting article on preferments from Lallemand, in PDF format.

One interesting morsel:

The preferment minimizes the lag phase by providing an optimum environment for the yeast. The result is higher gas production later inthe process, especially in high-sugar doughs.

The lag phase is the "ramp up" phase that occurs before yeast reach their maximum productivity. The article has a nice chart. 

Here's another interesting one:

Yeast activation takes place during the first 30 to 60 minutes in all types of preferments. Longer preferment times are not necessary for yeast activation, and can have a negative effect because yeast start to lose activity once the available sugar has been consumed. The only reason for longer preferments is for flavor contribution or dough development.

I think they're referring to the activation of commercial yeasts here (Lallemand is a commercial yeast producer, after all). Yeast activation is sourdough I think is different altogether. 



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