The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


  • Pin It
grepstar's picture

Last weekend I took another stab at the Sourdough English muffins, going with some of the modifications that I suggested in my previous post. Here is my recipe for this batch with the changed ingredients from Nancy Silverton's original recipe in boldface:


18 oz White Starter
2 cups plain soy milk
7 oz unbleached white bread flour (high extraction - 14% protein) (I used 1 oz less)
3.5 oz dark rye flour

10 oz warm water (85 degrees)
0.3 oz of SAF instant yeast
1/4 cup oat bran

1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup rye flakes
2 tbs raw sunflower seeds
2 tbs raw pepitas
7 oz unbleached white bread flour
(high extraction - 14% protein)
1/4 cup (minus a smidge) honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 tbs kosher salt
Cake flour for dusting
Semolina flour for dusting

This time, I was able to make the muffins over the course of one day as the original recipe calls for. The sponge fermented for about 2 hours before I made the final dough which in turn rose for another hour and a half.


I decided this time that I needed more strength for the parchment paper rings and so I cut the pieces of parchment twice as tall and then folded in half. While seeming like a good idea, it ended up being more difficult to fill the rings since the dough got caught between the folded layers on a few of the muffins and the strength of the rings was no greater. Besides, I cost me double the amount of parchment paper.

The use of the cake flour for dusting the board became a real pain since the dough was more hydrated in this version than the last. Most of it clumped up and took some effort to brush off. In the end, using no flour at all and keeping my hands slightly damp to help handle the dough would have worked much better.

The muffins rose in the rings for about an hour and then I dusted them with semolina and tossed them in the oven.

I waited until the next day before tearing one open and they were much tastier than the last batch. The sweetness of the honey was much mellower than the agave nectar and the wheat germ and rye flakes added even more heartiness in flavor and texture.

Split muffin


My wife and I have been enjoying them as the base for fried egg sandwiches: toased muffin, 1 fried egg, 2 slices of facon (veggie bacon), a think spread of garlic herbed queso fresco from Shepard's Way and a smear of dijon mustard.

Floydm's picture

My parents just came back from Paris. Here are a few bread pictures they took for me:





Wayne's picture

This was my first shot at making Essential's Columbia bread..................batards slightly deflated when they were scored...probably overproofed a little.  Anyway,  this is a very good bread.  Thanks Mountaindog for your wet starter recipe. 

Wayne's picture

Finally got around to building my "high dollar" proofing box.  First picture is the inside of the box w/transformer to the side.  Happened to have the transformer on hand from my day's as a research chemist.  Second picture is the outside of the box showing the temperature probe and the transformer.

Srishti's picture


Oops... I forgot to slash it.....

Everybody seems to think I'm LAZY..

I don't mind, I think they're crazy......

Please don't spoil my day, I'm miles away....

And after all I'm only sleeping..................................




It's a 100% whole "wheat + rye" sourdough sleepping chamber


Srishti's picture

I Made the whole wheat buttermilk loaf from JMonkey's Biga method.

It turned out wonderful... Really nice texture... smooth...and freshfeel in the mouth... I am never buying sandwitch bread again.... :) This was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks JMonkey :)


Srishti's picture

This week I made 100%Whole Wheat Strombolini. They were relly great and the kids loved them...


GingerP's picture

I made this yesterday and coverted the milk's 15oz. wrong.  I ended up adding way too much flour to reach desired consistency.  Also, I dont feel like it rose well.  In making this recipe the RIGHT way--does it rise well even though you dont pre-test the yeast with hot h20??



sewwhatsports's picture

I was a little frustrated with my baking yesterday and went back to my basic yeasted white bread.  I used my KA unbleached white flour and the resulting loaf restored my faith.  Here are the pictures I just took.  Gonna let it cool then have a nice sandwich.  Yummy!!


caribbaker's picture

I recently moved to a very small island in the Caribbean called Nevis.  I am a professional pastry chef by trade however am only working two days a week as we really moved here for my husbands job (a chef also).  I bake bread several times a week at home as well as at work.  When I moved here and tried to bake bread like I was used to I was quite dismayed.  There really are no alternatives to AP flour and even that I kind of weak.  Sometimes we get whole wheat flour but nothing like the choices I had at my local co-op in the states where I moved from.  To top that off, sometimes the flour had an off taste from sitting on the shelves too long or from the boat it came over on, also there seems to be only instant yeast here.  Sounds bad for a baker huh? 

 I almost gave up until one day I decided to try a recipe from Julia Childs book "Baking with Julia" for a pain de campagne which directs you to make a levain without using yeast.  Attempting to catch wild yeast got my excitement level going again for making bread.  I made the chef in the bread area of my pastry kitchen where bread has been baked for about 20 years figuring there had to be some wild yeast there.  The book says that after 2 days you might get a little rise and it will smell somewhat yeasty.  When I walked into work the two days later I was shocked to see my little pint container full of bubbly yeasty wonderful stuff!  Now we are talking!  As I followed her recipe, my little starter became more and more healthy and robust to the point of, on the day I made the first loaf it was kind of crazy tangy.  Now, I know that I only have to leave the starter out a few hours when I feed it and it is a lovely sucessful starter.  I have decided that the climate here being warm and humid is just wonderful for a sourdough.  I divided my start and keep some at home also for everyday baking.  

A sour dough is not really a dough that the Nevisians take to all that much (they like soft and sweeter bread) however the guests at the Inn seem happy.  I did give a taste of my first loaf to the morning bread baker who is from here and she tasted it and said that she had tasted something like it long ago.  "The old people used to make it." she said.  This made me very happy because it tells me that a starter is probably how it was once done, even here, and in a way I am bringing something back.  Needless to say, I am jazzed about bread baking again even with my all purpose flour!



Subscribe to RSS - blogs