The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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koloatree's picture

Pictured below is a sourdough raisin walnut bread. the recipe i copies is from ehanner at i sliced it thin, toasted + butter + a little extra cinnamon sugar on top = YUM! i was hoping to get a larger ovenspring but i dont think my oven was hot enough. i also didnt score the bread properly.





below is another attempt at baguettes. these were also sourdough using KA All Purpose flour. Once again, my oven was not at proper temp so i am sure that contributed to the lack of oven spring. also, this time i used a large alluminum pan to cover the bread and also placed a small cast iron skillet inside for additional steam. i still need to learn proper shaping technique and i want to try a better flour with 11.4% protein. does even a few tengths  of protein contribute to color and oven spring?




deep dish pizza for later that day. credit goes to BTB on here is what i use for a 9Inch round pan 2 inches tall. i sauteed onions and green peppers, used italian sausage, red pack whole peeled tomatoes, preshredded maggio mozzerella, lots'a spinach, and a sprinkle of parmesian ramano. cooked at 480 for 30-35 minutes.

Flour and Semolina Blend* (75% 25%)
Water (47%)
ADY (.7%) convert to IDY use ~25% less
Olive Oil (6%)
Corn Oil (18.5%)
Butter/Margarine (1%)
Sugar (1.5%)
Salt (1.5%)







dmsnyder's picture


Susan from San Diego, of “Magic Bowl” fame, has posted two of her basic sourdough bread recipes. These have been on my lengthy “to bake list” for a long time. The photos of her breads are stunning, and many other TFL members have baked from her recipes and enthused about their results.

This weekend, I baked two boules of her “Original Sourdough” - to be distinguished from her “Ultimate Sourdough.” The latter can be found here:

I made some modifications in procedures which I will describe, but Susan's original “Original Sourdough” formula can be found here:


David's Un-original Sourdough after Susan from San Diego's Original Sourdough

Note: This recipe involves 3 “builds” - a “starter,” a “sponge” and the “dough.”


Active starter 1Tablespoon

Water           15 gms

Bread flour    25 gms



Water           240 gms

Bread flour    173 gms

Whole wheat flour 50 gms (I used KAF White Whole Wheat.)

Starter All of the above



Bread flour      284 gms

Water              60 gms

Olive oil           14 gms

Salt                7.5 gms



(I did my mixing in a KitchenAid Accolade.)

Make the Starter by dissolving the active starter in the water in a small bowl, adding the flour and mixing until all the flour is well hydrated. Cover tightly and allow to ferment for about 8 hours. It should be puffy and slightly bubbly. Refrigerate for up to 3 days if you are not ready to use it immediately.

Make the Sponge by dissolving the Starter in the water in a medium-sized bowl. Mix the flours and add them to the dissolved starter. Mix thoroughly and then cover the bowl tightly. Allow the Sponge to ferment until it is bubbly and has expanded - about 8 hours.

Make the dough by dissolving the Sponge in the water and mix in the olive oil in the bowl or your mixer. Mix the flour and salt, add it to the wet ingredients and mix with a spoon or spatula or with the paddle at Speed 1 to a shaggy mass. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 20 minutes to an hour. (This will allow the flour to hydrate and the gluten to start developing.)

Switch to the dough hook and mix at Speed 2 until you have moderate gluten development. (This took me about 10 minutes.) The dough should clean the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom with a diameter of about 6 inches.

Scrape the dough onto your lightly floured bench and do a couple of stretch and folds. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly. (I use a 8 cup glass measuring “cup” with a tight-fitting plastic cover.) Stretch and fold the dough 3 times at 30 minute intervals, then allow to rise in the bowl until double the original volume – about 4 hours in my coolish kitchen.

Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and pre-shape into rounds. Cover and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Then, shape the pieces into boules and place each in a floured banneton. Cover with plastic wrap, a towel or place the bannetons in food grade plastic bags.

At this point, you can either allow the loaves to proof until 1.5 times their original size or retard them for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. (For this bake, I proofed and baked one boule immediately and retarded the other.) If you retard the loaves, allow an extra hour or two for proofing – about 4 hours from when you take them out of refrigeration until you bake them.

Forty-five minutes (or 45-60 minutes, if using a baking stone) before baking, pre-heat your oven to 480F with a sheet pan or baking stone in the oven. (Make sure your sheet pan is large enough to form a base for the cover you will be placing over the loaf. See below. I used a heavy-gauge black steel, non-stick sheet pan that is larger than the standard “half sheet” size.)

When the loaf is proofed, transfer it to a peel dusted with semolina or corn meal, load it onto your sheet pan or stone and immediately cover it with a stainless steel bowl that has been pre-heated with hot tap water. (Dump the water but do not dry the bowl just before loading the loaf in the oven.)

Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the bowl from the oven, close the door and lower the temperature to 450F. Bake for another 15-18 minutes until the loaf is nicely colored and its internal temperature is at least 205F. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar with the loaf in it for another 5-10 minutes to dry the crust.

Cool the loaf on a rack completely before slicing.


The loaf that was baked without overnight cold retarding was much like a French pain au levain. Right after cooling, it was only very mildly sour and had a nice wheaty flavor. Thirty-six hours later, it had a more pronounced but still mild sourness. The flavors had melded and were improved, to my taste. As you can see, the crust was rather light-colored. There was almost no coloration at the point I removed the bowl. The boule had moderate oven spring but great bloom. This is typical of the results I get when I bake loaves covered in this manner. The crust was crisp, and the crumb was nice and open but chewy.

Susan from San Diego's SD boule

Susan from San Diego's Sourdough (Not cold retarded)

Susan from San Diego's Sourdough (Not cold retarded) Crumb

I baked the cold retarded loaf the next day. This time, I baked the loaf covered for the first 15 minutes, but on a baking stone rather than a sheet pan. Also, I preheated the oven to 500F then turned it down after loading the loaf. I baked at 450F for 30 minutes total, then left the loaf in the turned off oven with the door ajar for another 5 minutes.

As you can see, the second loaf had significantly greater oven spring. I think this was due to the hotter initial temperature and, maybe, the stone. Also, the crust is significantly darker, which I prefer in this type of bread.

Susan from San Diego's "Original Sourdough" baked after cold retardation.

Susan from San Diego's "Original Sourdough" baked after cold retardation - Crumb

This loaf had a crunchier crust and significantly more sour flavor than the loaf that had not been cold retarded. The crumb was chewy but maybe a bit less than the loaf baked the night before.  To my taste, this loaf was just about perfect - very close to my personal ideal sourdough bread. I bet it's going to be even better the next day.

Thanks Susan!




TeaIV's picture

this is my first Sourdough: (san fran SD, i think it was pretty good for a first time). All of the sourdough things that I baked I used with the starter that I grew with Sourdo Lady's recipe, using dulled lemon juice.

sorry for the blurry image...

This is my first Pizza... very Garlicky Pesto (home-made) with moz cheese, mushrooms and pine nuts. oh, and a cheese-filled crust! I love those! sadly this is taken pre-bake. It didn't last long enough to take a picture of it when it was ready. we were hungry that day...


and last but not least, My Sourdough Pizza. all I can say is it was Amazing... best pizza dough I've ever tasted... the toppings could have been better, but oh well. cheese filled crust again. this time I insisted that I take several pictures, but someone's hungry fingers were running towards the pizza already. both of these were using the pizza primer recipe on this site.

TeaIV's picture

I made baguettes with poolish using one of the recipes on this site, and It was delightful!! my family all agreed that this was some of the best bread I've made!


compare to my first try with baguettes:

Way better!

guan.xiu's picture

The asian flavored sweet roll , made with butter,egg and sugar.

I don't know how to describe lots of recipes because of my poor English. Sorry about that.


Floydm's picture

I worked from home Wednesday and used it as an opportunity to refresh my starter and bake a couple of loaves.

The dough I made was a "little of this and that" dough.  I threw some leftover mashed potatoes in, the last couple of ounces of a bag of rye flour I had, a bit of whole wheat flour from another bag I needed to use up, and a couple of cups of AP flours.  I made the dough very wet, 70+ percent hydration.

I folded a few times throughout the morning and tried to shape a couple of freeform loaves in the early afternoon.  It was amazingly sticky.  No amount of water on my hands or flour on my board (or vice-versa) was working for me. 

After 10 minutes of sticking and swearing and being about ready to dump it into the compost, I dumped the gobs into a couple of loaf pans.  Two hours later, I came downstairs to the kitchen and was pleasantly surprised by how much it had risen in a loaf pan despite the way I had abused it.  So I baked them.

sourdough loaf

Not my most beautiful loaf, but pretty darned good.  I don't think anyone else but me could tell this was not what I'd intended to make.  And the sourdough flavor was tremendous: the extra abuse and longer rises let it develop more.

nosabe332's picture

I decided after a few sensible, somewhat alarmist, posts here on TFL that i would not buy unglazed flooring tiles (terracotta, saltillo, etc) for use in my oven. There are too many health concerns involved with the manufacturing and raw material differences between flooring tiles and bakeware. Any cause for concern should not be ignored. It's likely that flooring tiles could be perfectly fine to bake with. On the other hand, maybe not.

It helps that I'm getting a good amount of money back after taxes, which I decided to spend on a baking stone and other baking equipment. And to keep track of what I could get, I'm putting together this list:

Sur La Table, (Best Manufacturers) $42, 14x16x5/8

Old Stone, (via Amazon) firebrick, $29.95, 14x16x?

Breadtopia, Fibrament, $51, 13x17.5x3/4, $69, 15x20x3/4

Ace Mart, American Metalcraft, Corderite, $44, 14x16x1/2

Central Restaurant, Fibrament, $58.49, 15x20x3/4


i never thought i'd see the day that sur la table looked like an economic option!

ques2008's picture

Finally got myself an inexpensive digital camera and would like to show off one of my "creations" which is far from original.  I'm sure many of you have made this danish ring.  I got this recipe from  Cooks Country is a great web site, by the way, and would like to know how many of you are members and whether or not you use your membership.  They seem to have a gold mine of knowledge with truckloads of practical advice.  I'm thinking of signing up.

Anyway, I'm showing pictures of the (1) preparation for the dough where I slather it with the filling, (2) the finished product and (3) the product partially gobbled up.  I halved the recipe, and didn't quite succeed with the cutting and the turning upside of each slice, but the recipe gives a step-by-step.  I'll try it again one day, and hopefully, get the technique right!

Picture 1:  Prepping the dough.

 prepping the dough


2.  Danish ring fresh out of the oven:

danish ring as it came out of the oven

3.  And now, as it was partially eaten (closer look of slices - as you can see I did not quite do the slices with flying colors!)

partially eaten ring



vincent's picture

·         2 cups evaporated milk

  • 3/4 cup white sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 4 teaspoon instant dry yeast1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour

  • 4 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 4 tablespoons or more dry bread crumbs for topping

  • Note no water added


  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles; remove from heat. Add the butter and sugar and the salt; stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm. And dissolve the baking powder and the baking soda

  2. Pour the cooled milk mixture into a large mixing bowl.. and 6 cups of the flour and the instant dry  yeast (note: be sure you mix well the flour and the instant dry yeast ; stir well to combine. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth  . And it should a little bit sticky not so wet…if it is to dry add milk just enough to make sticky and when you kneading just  greased the surface with vegetable oil  no flour.

  3. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  5. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 25 pieces (depending how many you cut) as long it will be equal parts and form into rounds. Then dip into the bread crumbs and roll it all over.  Place the rolls on a lightly greased baking tray. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour

  6. bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

  7. i cut remeaning dough about a quart in the pandeasl dough is for the ensaimada  for my trial to make ensaimada it's  the same recipe in the pandesal....




 when you finish the 1st rising of the dough fold it just like pretzel fold and when you finish folding brush with scramble egg the outer surface then cover again with cloth let it rise for 1 hour then bake

Note: i baked them together 1st layer is the pandesal 2nd layer ensaimada after 10 minutes i switch the position  puting the ensaimada 1st layer and the pandesal 2nd layer... until golden brown

bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. then get the baking tray spread with margarine by brush and dip in into the sugar i prepared it is hot when done by margarine and sugar....  same reicpe of the pandesal ....  my trial taste good and the pandeasal ....enjoy


SylviaH's picture

Well I'm just getting in practice...the fire needed to be hotter today..Im still very much in the learning stages! At least I know how to build a fire!  That took I can make a fire with only a few minutes of the smoke you get when first lighting up the logs and let me tell can get a lot if you don't do it right!  The first time my daughter and I lit it up...the fire department drove by in our neighborhood!!  I guess they saw what it was and didn't bother us.  A neighbor probably called!!  We had such a laugh! Im practiceing doing multiple bakes! First pizza.  I tried a new crust recipe from PR American Pie Book.  New York Style's thicker and supports heavier toppings...I like the Neo-Neapolitan the best!  I made JH Vermont sourdough this time putting one into the WF Oven...I decided to put the other two loaves in my regular oven because I suspected the WF Oven was not quite hot enough!  My thermo. is broke so I had nothing to register the oven temperature except my hand!  I want one of those lazer thermos!  Last but not least a small roast went in and my husband can take it out when he gets home from work!

  Nice Fire!  Nearly No Smoke!!  I made 5 Pizzas!

J.H. Vermont Sourdough was next as the ovens temp. started to cool!  Started the Levain at 11PM last nite and finished loaves at 9PM tonite!  I retarded in frig. to time with WFOven temperature drop... I was close!  Oven could have been a little hotter...bread took about 30 min. to bake I gave it a couple of spritz of steam!

J.H.Vermont Sourdough loaves that were baked inside...I placed all 3 loaves in oblong plastic tubs for the frig. with spice jars rolled in parchment to support them ; /  ... It was all I could think of as I don't have much room in my refrigerator!

Wood Fired loaf on the Left.  Oven loaves on the Right.Last but not least...a small Bar-B-Q Roast still in the oven for a long slow cook.  The oven will hold heat all night and into the morning!




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