The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


RonRay's picture

One Pound Pullman Shorty


A one pound loaf is just right for me. I can comfortably go through two loaves a week, without getting too overweight...


I use an Alum-7½ (7.500” x 3.750” x 2.250”) bread pan, which converts 478g of my test doughs into loaves of about 1 pound. Those pan-breads allow me to make reasonable comparisons later based on photographs and my data logs. This has worked well for my purposes, but what happens when the loaf pan itself is what I want to compare?


That was my problem when txfarmer's posting got me interested in her Sourdough Pan de Mie – Link:


Then there where all those other formulae that best fit the Pullman pan form factor, Even the shorter 9” pan requires a much larger dough than the 478g that most of my testing has been based upon.


A possible solution occurred to me when reading txfarmer's Kasutera (Castella) cake posting – Link:

In that posting, she mentions what to do if you wanted to make a wooden pan for the cake. She includes how to treat the wood before you baked using it.


I measured the cross-section of my most recent loaf that had been made in my A7½ pan. With that, I could calculate the volume. It came to about 90 cubic inches, or 1475 cubic cm. Armed with that information, it was easy enough to determine that the Pullman's approximate 4” x 4” cross-section would need to be 5.625” long for an equal 1475 cc of volume.


I made a paper pattern of the Pullman's cross-section and transferred it to a piece of picture matting material and used that to make my cutting lines on 2, 1-1/2” pieces of yellow pine and 1, 3/8” piece of solid teak. And then cut the pieces out and sanded them for a better corner fit. I let the thin teak piece remain slightly higher than the other 2 pieces. I wanted the lid to press against it so as to hold the wooden spacer firmly at the unused end of the Pullman during the final rise and baking.


Following txfarmer's posted instructions, I soaked the new blocks under water overnight, towel-dried them the next day, and then baked them at 350ºF ( 177º C) and went longer than the 30 minutes, giving them a full 45 minutes and then let them cool in the oven on the still warm oven stones. There was a strong pine smell during the baking and for some time after that.


My test bake was of 478g of dough in a preheated oven on oven stones without steam for 45 minutes at a temperature of 350ºF ( 177º C) and removed the loaf from the Pullman as soon as it was taken from the oven.

There was no smell of wood during the baking and nothing unusual in the taste of the finished loaf. Everything worked as well as I could ever have hoped for.


The resulting loaf can be seen with the light colored end piece being where it was pressing the parchment paper I had wrapped around the thin teak block. The 3 wooden blocks are shown as they were positioned during the baking – only the parchment paper was removed with the loaf.

I labeled the items in this photo, which has the parchment paper still wrapped around the teak block. Notice the wrinkles in the parchment paper were transferred into the end crust of the 1 pound loaf. The actual ending weight of the original 478g dough was 440g while still hot.


I am well pleased with the method of reducing a Pullman's baked loaf to suit the user's desires.



Grandma Dawn's picture
Grandma Dawn

After years of baking bread I started making fun shapes.  My first attempts were using the entire batch of dough to make one large "Fun Bun". 

I made a frog for the neighbor girls.

Then a mouse for my backdoor neighbor.

I tried a pig next.

Then a lizzard???

For Easter . . .

Decided to try bread stick dough and came up with an octopus and starfish, using sesame seeds for details -

Using sweet roll dough, dried fruits, and frosting, came up with Mr. Caterpiller.

I used caraway rye dough to give the color and texture I needed for Super Bowl Sunday.

Then a grand daughter asked for a monkey.  For this I used a regular rye bread dough and the caraway rye bread.

Can't forget Santa . . .I took a picture of the before baking and after to show that some distortion occurs during rising.

For the ladies I needed a flower.

My daughter-in-law likes a glass of wine so I created a cheese bread "grape cluster" for her.  I really like this one because #1 you can make different sizes and #2 the bun is so tasty that you don't need anything to go with it. 

So, these are my edible centerpieces.  I have since gone to making as many as 12 "fun buns" out of one 3 C. (flour) dough recipe.  I'll post pictures of those and then share how to's.


codruta's picture

by George, I think I've got it!

I find it difficult to follow a recipe whitout making a few small modification, even though I don't intend to in the beginning. This time i've increased the whole-wheat and rye flour quantity given in the formula (by ~10%), decreased the amount of bread flour, which in consequence made me increase the quantity of water.  I'm pleased with the result, even if the couronne didn't expand as much as I would of wanted (I suspect it was a bit underproofed, and maybe a little underbaked??). I tried to slice the loaf after 3 hours, but it was still a bit warm in the middle, so I gave up and decided to wait until tomorrow. The crust is thick, and it shattered in pieces under the knife when I cut it.

I don't know about others, but since I bought hamelman book, my breads improved a lot. (I started baking bread about 2 years ago, having my starter since then, and I purchase hamelman's "bread" a month ago)

Recipe in romanian can be found here, translation available on the sidebar:


RuthieG's picture

A lot has been said regarding using the liquid wild yeast or water yeast for sourdough and thought I would give you an idea of the results that I have been getting.  I use a double feed for my bread  and by that I mean that I refresh the yeast water routinely and when I am ready to bake, I take 1 part yeast water and 2 parts flour, or there abouts.  I don't really measure to the inth degree just generally use a 1/2 cup measure and fill the container and add that to my yeast water and stir. It really depends on the amount of levain I will need ....sometimes I empty the original starter to about half and sometimes I don't.... Later in the day, I do the same thing again and this time I might add more flour and more yeast water, again depending on the amount of Levain I need. 

Yesterday afternoon,  I made a recipe of sourdough and let it rise for a few hours and then punched it down and bagged it and stuck it in the refrigerator over night.   This morning I took it out and let it rest and warm up on the counter for at least an hour while I did morning chores and then shaped it and put it on an oiled and floured parchment.  I left it in the microwave to rise while I was out shopping.  I honestly don't know the total amount of time that it proofed but most all afternoon and I baked the boule first as it seemed to have risen the most and I felt the batard could wait. 

The result was a beautiful batard that proofed beautifully and baked in a nice shape and color. 

 I will share  a picture of the crumb when I cut it. 


This is the  boule that I made using the same type levain but baked it in a cast iron pot.  I used a different recipe and am anxious to see if the taste is different.   I really overbrowned the botton of the boule as I forgot to turn down the oven but it didn't burn just got darker than I would have liked.

The crumb:

As you can see by the one end that was cut off, we had this bread with our dinner tonight.  I can tell you that it was very good.  My husband was all smiles.


Grandma Dawn's picture
Grandma Dawn

I started baking bread in 1969.  As a new bride I wanted to continue the family tradition of making Swedish Rye Bread.

A few years ago I was looking for ways to share my love of baking with my grandchildren.  Here are some "fun buns" I have created.

RonRay's picture

Simple Multi Levain Builds for SD &or YW

 [Updated: 110519-0940]

A great deal has been written about methods to build, or refresh, leavains. It is not the purpose of this posting to say here is a “better way”. The sole purpose here is to say here is a very simple way, if you want to build any desired amount of levain for a loaf you wish to try.


I have given out free calculators to work out any mix combinations I can think anyone would ever really want. I still give such things out, however, many people seem to panic if faced with a spreadsheet, still they do use a computer, which is far more complicated. The world is filled with many mysteries that I have given up hopes of ever understanding. So, here are a few basic steps to figure out your builds.



1/ Only 100%HL (hydration levels) are considered.

2/ Only White Sourdough ( WSD ) or Yeast Water ( YW ) are considered.

3/ Only 1, 2, or 3 Builds are considered.

4/ Only Ratios of 1:1:1 ( Seed:Flour:Liquid ) are considered.

5/ You must know how much Levain you want to end with.

6/ You must already have a SD Seed amount, or a YW Seed amount to start with.


Start by writing down the Amount Desired.

Example: AD = 200g

Decide how many Builds you want – limit is 1, 2, or 3.


Sourdough Only:


Rule: Divide the AD to find initial Seed required:

1-Build, Divide the AD by 3

2-Build, Divide the AD by 9

3-Build, Divide the AD by 27


Example: AD = 200g

1-Build, 200 / 3 = 66.666 round the up to 67g.

You will need 67g of Seed to mix with 67g of flour and 67g of water for a total of 201g of levain.


Example: AD = 200g

2-Build, 200 / 9 = 22.222 round the up to 23g.

Build-#1 = 23g of Seed to mix with 23g of flour and 23g of water for a total of 69g of levain.

Build-#2 = 69g from B-#1 to mix with 69g of flour and 69g of water for a total of 207g of levain.


Example: AD = 200g

3-Build, 200 / 27 = 7.401 round the up to 8g.

Build-#1 = 8g of Seed to mix with 8g of flour and 8g of water for a total of 24g of levain.

Build-#2 = 23g from B-#1 to mix with 23g of flour and 23g of water for a total of 69g of levain.

Build-#3 = 69g from B-#2 to mix with 69g of flour and 69g of water for a total of 207g of levain.


Yeast Water Only – Note Well: Everywhere you find “Liquid*” below, you can use YW, or H2O, or a mix.


Rule: Divide the AD to find initial Seed required:

1-Build, Divide the AD by 2

2-Build, Divide the AD by 6

3-Build, Divide the AD by 18


Example: AD = 200g

1-Build, 200 / 2 = 100g

You will need 100g of YW as Seed to mix with 100g of flour for a total of 200g of levain.


Example: AD = 200g

2-Build, 200 / 6 = 33.333 round the up to 34g.

Build-#1 = 34g of YW as Seed to mix with 34g of flour for a total of 68g of levain.

Build-#2 = 68g from B-#1 to mix with 68g of flour and 68g of Liquid* for a total of 204g of levain.


Example: AD = 200g

3-Build, 200 / 18 =11.111 round the up to 12g.

Build-#1 = 12g of YW as Seed to mix with 12g of flour for a total of 24g of levain.

Build-#2 = 23g from B-#1 to mix with 23g of flour and 23g of Liquid* for a total of 69g of levain.

Build-#3 = 69g from B-#2 to mix with 69g of flour and 69g of Liquid* for a total of 207g of levain.


I hope that is of some help...



hanseata's picture

After realizing that we preferred tangy sourdough breads to milder fruit yeast loaves, I banned my apple yeast water into the no-see area of my refrigerator - the place where stuff goes that is hardly ever used. Bad conscience made me feed it together with my other two starters before I went on my trip to Germany, but after I came back I forgot all about it.

Leafing through Jan Hedh's "Swedish Breads And Pastries" again, I felt enticed by his "Pain au Levain with Bran and Vinegar" and rummaged in the fridge for the sorely neglected apple yeast water. Halfways expecting it had perished due to starvation, I opened the lid of the recycled sour cream container. It smelled still sweetish sour, but had some suspicious little white specks floating on the surface.

I poured most of the fruit water into the sink, retaining only the "sludge" on the bottom. From this I took a spoonful to build up my levain, wondering whether it was still alive. Amazingly, it was. It fermented through all 3 steps as it should, it took only longer, so I left it overnight on the counter (NOTE to all other abusive fruit yeast parents: your offspring is way more resilient than you think!).

Adding the other dough ingredients to my lively fruit yeast levain, I realized what an enormous amount of bran was to go into the breads, about 48% (= 250 g bran per 518 g flour for 2 loaves). But it was the first time I was going to make this bread, so I obediently followed the recipe.

From my former experiences with Jan Hedh's recipes I knew better than to stare at the kitchen timer, but let the dough and the shaped loaves proof at their own good time. With former fruit yeast breads I had been too impatient to wait that long - and they had grown "horns" and done other weird things in the oven (see my blog).

I also knew that the baking times in the recipes were often much longer than the breads actually needed in my oven. So when my loaves went into the oven I kept an eye on them. They had some oven spring, and didn't act out like their older siblings, but it was obvious that they would not turn out quite like the loaf shown on the picture in the book:

Jan Hedh's Pain au levain with bran and vinegar - as it is supposed to look like (in the book): light and airy, with some little brown specks.

My bread was anything else: brown and dense - it suffered from a severe case of bran-o-mania!

This could not just be one stupid German baker's screw-up - I wonder whether there was a zero too many in the recipe: 25 g bran instead of 250 g?

What it did have, to my surprise, was a really good taste: slightly sweetish (no sweetener added). Much different from an almost whole wheat loaf - what it basically was.

txfarmer's picture

Yes, miracle can happen, I actually decreased hydration in my 36 hour baguette dough to make country loaves out of it. Of course I had to also try a few baguettes just to see how much crumb gets affected. I had wanted to keep it at 70%, but the new whole rye flour I am using is very very very dry/thirsty. My 100% rye starter was usually a wet paste, with the new flour, it's actually a firm dough! Had to increase the hydration to 73% just to make sure the starter can be evenly distributed, the dough handles like a 70% (or maybe even 68%) "normal flour" dough.

AP flour, 425g

ice water, 290g

rye starter (100%), 100g

white starter (100%), 50g

salt, 10g

- to make the dough and do bulk rise follow the basic 36 hour sourdough baguette formula here

- divide dough in 4 parts, each weights around 230g, preshape and rest for 40 min, two of them were shaped into baguettes, one was shaped into boule, the last one was shaped into batard

- proof for 30min, score, bake with steam at 460F for 25min.

Nice and open crumb for the country loaves

Baguettes aren't bad either. It shows that even though higher hydration help with a more open crumb, but you can still achieve a hole-y baguette at moderate hydration.

Submitting to Yeastspotting.

RonRay's picture

Yeast Water Examples with Photos TFL Links Only [Updated: 110605-0720]

This is a follow up on my Yeast Water & Other Wee Beastie Bubbles (No Math) posting at the link below:


I wanted to provide an easy way, for those interested, to find visual examples of what has been done by TFL members using Yeast Water Levain (YWL).

The intent is to list links to any TFL posting that meets two criteria:

1/ The baked item used Yeast Water (YW) as one of the levains, and

2/ The posting shows some photographic material of the baked item.


I have searched the TFL index, and have gone through Threads, which I thought might have such postings/comments with in them. There is no intent to exclude any material that meets the two criteria given above. Therefore, if you know of any existing posting not list below, that meets the criteria, please, provide me with the link, and I will attempt to add it to this index. This is not intended to be a continually updated posting, however, for those new postings in the very near future, I will try to get them added, as well – if they are reported to me.

There are 17 categories – 15 Yeast Water type groups, 1 group of mixed &or unclear types, and the first category which is not the baking, but rather the making of YW or YWL.


Within each category, I have tried to list them from oldest down to the most recent. I hope no one finds it odd that many of the examples are my own postings, but the world does have those who get upset by nearly everything.


01 *** Making YW &or YWL...

02 *** Apple YW examples...

03 *** Apricot YW examples...

04 *** Blueberry YW examples...

05 *** Cherry YW examples...

06 *** Clementine YW examples...

 07 *** Lemon YW examples...

 08 *** Mixed or Type-Unsure YW examples...

09 *** Peach YW examples...

10 *** Potato YW examples...

11 *** Prune YW examples...

12 *** Raisin YW examples...

13 *** Rice YW examples...

14 *** Strawberry YW examples...

 15 *** Tea YW examples...

16 *** Tomato YW examples...

17 *** Yogurt YW examples...



amolitor's picture


I am on a quest to duplicate, or at least create a reasonable facsimile, of the Arizmendi/Cheese Board corn-blueberry muffins. I have The Cheese Board Collective Works which does not contain this recipe, to my irritation, but which can serve as a useful guide! My most recent attempt is documented here:

Preheat oven to 425. Thoroughly oil or butter a muffin tin. This makes 6 large or 9 medium muffins.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal (relatively fine stuff)
  • 1 tsp salt (scant)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 T white sugar
  • 1 T brown sugar

In a separate smaller bowl, mix these:

  • 1/2 cup plus 2T milk
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Cut in to the dry ingedients:

  • 4 T unsalted butter

Whisk in to the milk/yogurt combination:

  • 1 egg

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the well-stirred liquid ingredients. Mix gently, just to moisten the dry ingredients evenly. Portion evenly between the greased muffin tins, bake for 25-30 minutes.


These are not the Arizmendi corn muffin, but they're not far off. They're slightly salty, and not short enough. Next time: reduce salt to 1/2 tsp, and increase butter to 6T and/or use sour cream instead of yogurt. The yogurt used was low fat, which probably did not help. Anyways, go up to 5-6 tablespoons of butter, depending on how fat your yogurt/sour-cream is.

Also probably increase leavening a little to compensate for increase shortening, say 3/4 tsp soda and 2 tsp powder.

Also, 2T sugar, 2T brown sugar.




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