The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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dmsnyder's picture

The Roasted Potato Bread from Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread" is another bread that has been on my "to bake list" for a long, long time. It is a yeasted, lean bread made with pâte fermentée. It uses a mix of bread and whole wheat flour, and, of course, roasted potatoes.

I made these in the recommended, traditional "pain fendu" (split bread) shape. It looked cool in the pictures and gave me an excuse to buy yet another wooden rolling pin, because my others are too thick, and the dowling I have is too thin. I'm sure you all understand.

This is a very good bread, considering it's not a sourdough. The crumb is cool and tender, yet a little chewy. It has a lovely, straight ahead wheaty flavor. There is no potato taste per se. It would make a wonderful sandwich bread or toast. Hmmm ... or bread to soak up sauce.


mountaindog's picture

I decided to revive my dormant Carl Griffith's 1847 Oregon Trail starter last week, so I had a lot of nice ripe starter by the end of the week on hand that I wanted to use up. I used an excel spreadsheet I made up for Flo's 1-2-3 sourdough to use up any amount of excess ripe sourdough starter, except in this case, I needed to increase the hydration since I was using all whole wheat flour in the final dough, so it became 1-2.25-3 bread (78% hydration final dough). The reason I made this as 90% whole wheat is simply because the excess starter I had was made up of about 25% whole wheat and 75% AP, so even though the final dough is all whole wheat, there is about 10% AP in the overall formula due to the large amount of starter.

One other thing that I got away with that I don't usually do is that all the starter used in this formula was actually ripe the day before I made the dough, but I got busy and just put it in the frig, so it was not as strong as it could have been since it was past peak, but the bread still came out with great flavor and a nice soft open crumb, chewy dark golden crust, not at all dense.

This is also the first bread I've made with my new big bag of organic Meunerie Milanaise flour from Quebec, and I notice a distinct difference in taste compared to either the King Arthur WW or Bob's Red Mill WW that I usually use (it handled very differently as well, very extenisble and silky dough). The Milanaise flour had absolutely no bitter whole wheat aftertaste, it was sweet, I imagine this must be what freshly-ground whole wheat flour tastes like, and this bag was milled on January 8 I think (thanks to Tete au Levain's tip on how to determine the milling date on the bag I had).

After mixing the final dough with my dough whisk just long enough to get everything incorporated, I let it rest 30 minutes, then did about 2-3 minutes of folding in the bowl with dough scraper, rest another 30 min., then 2 stretch & folds 30 min. apart, then just left it in it's bucket to bulk ferment overnight in my 62F basement Thursday night.  Friday morning before I left for work, I shaped the loaves and placed them in a couche in my 50F basement refrigerator until I got home from work, then baked them as soon as the oven was preheated. They came out flatter than I had hoped, but since it is a wet dough, and mostly whole wheat, that may be expecting too much. To me the most important thing was the open crumb and great taste these had, much better than the desem bread I attempted 2 years ago.

I am happy enough with this result and the taste that I plan to make this our weekly bread from now on, since I'd like to reduce the amount of white flour we are eating these days. The Oregon Trail starter is a very strong and fast riser, so I was hoping it would do well with whole grains, and I think it did. I will try this formula again with my home-made starter to see if it does as good a job rising this dough as "Carl" did. I also hope using a starter that is at peak (as opposed to older discarded starter past peak as used here) will improve the volume.

Susan's picture

Susan's "Faux Deli Rye"


75g firm starter

210g water

25g rye flour

275g high-gluten flour (if using bread flour or AP, adjust the water)

1 tsp caraway seed powder (optional, but good)

1 tbsp caraway seeds

6g salt

Mix starter and water, add the rest and mix, wait 20 minutes, *fold in the bowl, wait 10 minutes (3 or 4 times from *), cover and refrigerate overnight.  Remove from fridge, flatten on counter, *envelope fold, cover with bowl, wait until dough relaxes, maybe 15 minutes (3 or 4 times from *), let rise until when snipped with scissors you see a holey network (thanks, Dan Lepard, for that hint).  BTW, the last two times the dough is folded, round it up well.  Turn the dough ball to create surface tension, let rest for 5 minutes to seal the bottom, then overturn into a banneton.  Let rise for ~3 hours at room temp.  Triple Slash, spray with water, load into 500F oven, cover, bake for 20 minutes, remove cover, lower heat to 460F and bake for 10 minutes.  Turn off oven and leave for 5 minutes. Remove to a rack and rub butter over the loaf for a leathery crust rather than a crisp one. 

As everyone's dough is different, use your judgment concerning timing.  My room temperature is around 70F today.

Susan from San Diego

Jw's picture

it is funny how new recipes or experiments later on turn into 'production bread'. I have making rustic bread almost in production now, trying to become a week-baker instead of a weekend-only baker. That is one of the current challenges.

I have tried sourdough, but the result was a bit rustic too. The smell is ok, the looks are terrible. Hardly any ovenrise. Don't know what the problem is, maybe the master is not yet ready. I will keep trying. I am quite new to sourdough, so that is were the real fun is these days. I will keep trying, Any suggestions? Thanks in advance. Jw.

SylviaH's picture

I'll have to give this sourdough recipe another is very tasty!  I bulk fermented it overnite in my very cool bathroom!  Though I did not succeed in this loaf turning out the way I felt it should...I think it definately deserves a little more effort next time! 

I used a mixture of Dark and Golden Raisins.  With a light sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon!

Pan a little large!

Huh....not what I wanted!

Worth another try!!




Floydm's picture

A busy morning today.  First up was a birthday party for my son at a local rollerskating rink.  The high point was the Spy vs. Spy theme cake that dstroy decorated:

Based on this image.  Note that the wick of the bomb was a candle.

After that it was over to Tastebud, where Peter Reinhart was meeting with a bunch of Portlanders who are testing the recipes for his upcoming book.

I met a number of his testers and tried a few of their creations, which were all good.  As I said in my previous post, I'm looking forward to trying the new set of recipes they are coming up with.

We also tried some of the wood oven bagels that they make at Tastebud.

Delicious, dense, shiny, and chewy, definitely the best bagels I've had in Portland. 

Tastebud is walking distance from the apartment I lived in in college and where we lived when we got married.  Sigh... if only it had been there when I lived in the neighborhood, back when "weekend mornings" meant "brunch," not "cartoons."  Oh well...

dmsnyder's picture

Last week, I made baguettes using Pat's (proth5) recipe. They were good. I was amazed at the open crumb I got from a 65% hydration dough. See my blog entry:

Today, I made them again, but included an overnight cold retardation during bulk fermentation. The dough was mixed last night and refrigerated. It expanded little, if at all, overnight. I decided to let it double before dividing and shaping. After 6 hours at room temperature, it had only expanded by 50%, although I could see lots of little bubbles through the glass of the 2 quart measuring cup in which I was fermenting the dough. So, I decided to go ahead and divide it. I preshaped and let the pieces rest for 15 minutes, then shaped the baguettes and proofed them for about 70 minutes. Scored, loaded and baked at 460F.

Being a sourdough kind of guy, I found the increased sourness more to my liking than the batch I had not cold retarded. The crumb was a bit less open, no doubt due to the less complete dough expansion during bulk fermentation. I will try this again but do the cold retardation of the formed loaves next time.


dmsnyder's picture

My usual sourdough starter is semi-firm. I make it at a 1:3:4 ratio of starter to water to flour. Many of the sourdough bakers on TFL favor a 1:2:2 ratio, but fewer seem to use a true "liquid levain" which is more like 125% hydration. I was curious to try a pain au levain using a liquid starter and found the Pain au Campagne recipe in Leader's "Local Breads."

This recipe calls for a 50% hydration dough to which you add 62% (baker's percentage) liquid levain, ending up with a moderately tacky dough. The levain is added after the flour and water are mixed and allowed a 20 minute autolyse. The autolyse mixture is very, very stiff, and it takes a lot of mixing to get the very liquid levain incorporated into the dough. 

The resulting bread has a very nice flavor, but not significantly different from the pains de campagnes I make with my usual starter.

Of greater interest was the final shape of the loaves. They are formed as boules, and I proofed them in round, linen-lined wicker bannetons. I scored them with 3 parellel cuts, as Leader recommends. The loaves took an oblong form even before I could load them in the oven. This is a graphic illustration of the effect of this pattern of scoring on loaf shape, as described by Suas in "Advanced Bread and Pastry" and referenced in my Scoring Tutorial. (See the TFL Handbook.)


dmsnyder's picture

SusanFNP of fame posted a photo of her "Semolina bread with fennel, currants and pine nuts" on TFL in November, 2007. She provided a link to the recipe on her Wild Yeast blog. I immediately added this bread to my "to bake list." Well, my wife could tell you, I seldom throw out anything, and that includes my to do lists. Sometimes it takes me a little while to get around to a particular item, and today I got around to baking this bread.

Mine didn't turn out as pretty as Susan's, but this is a delicious bread. The combination of flavors and textures is wonderful - The contrasting sweet currents and savory fennel seeds and the soft crumb and chewy pine nuts and currents. Wonderful bread. 

This is snacking bread. I ate a couple slices while I was making dinner and could have finished the loaf right then and there. Yummy!

The recipe can be found at:


dmsnyder's picture

Today, I baked SusanFNP's Currant, Fennel and Pine nut levain, Pain de Campagne from Daniel Leader's "Local Breads" and another batch of proth5's baguettes (with cold retardation).



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