The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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dmsnyder's picture

SF SD with WW from C&C

SF SD with WW from C&C

SF SD with WW from C&C - crumb

SF SD with WW from C&C - crumb

Having been raised on San Francisco Sourdough, if for no other reason, I prefer sourdough bread that is ... well ... sour.

 Peter Reinhart's formula from "Crust & Crumb" was the bread with which he won the James Beard prize, and it is my favorite SF-style sourdough. There are two overnight cold fermentations - One with the chef, which is a very dry levain, and the other of the formed and partially risen loaves.

 I have been adding some rye flour most times I bake this. This particular time, I left out the rye but used KA Organic Whole Wheat flour entirely for the levain. Then I used a mix of 1/3 high-gluten and 2/3 bread flour for the dough.

 There are two 690 gm boules retarding in my refrigerator, but I wanted to bake one loaf without the cold retarding, just to compare. I made this loaf into a batard, as you can see.  I baked it at 475F with steam for about 7 minutes, then at 425F with convection for another 25 minutes. I think it could have come out a couple of minutes sooner.

 The crust is still crisp and crunchy. The crumb is quite chewy from the high-gluten flour. (I think I'll use less next time.) It has a lovely taste. I like what the whole wheat does to the flavor. I'll use more next time I bake this bread. The sourness is less than usual, probably because i skipped the overnight cold retardation. You know, I like it either way. This is just good bread!



Arlette's picture

 This dessert is made with Coarse Semolina , mixed with yogurt , eggs and butter, after it's baked we drizzle cold syrup .Namourah or Halwa Semolina: This dessert is made with Coarse Semolina , mixed with yogurt , eggs and butter, after it's baked we drizzle cold syrup .To all my friends the Bakers ,

I am going to share some of my baking pictures , and mostly they are Lebanese and Middle Eastern Recipes, and later on I will add more pictures .

Enjoy These cookies are called Easter Cookies, they are prepared using Semolina and spices, and Ghee or butter, lots of Middle Eastern Spices are added as well.  the cookies are prepared, the night before , rolled and left on a cookie sheet all night cover with clean towels, and baked the second day.Easter Cookies: These cookies are called Easter Cookies, they are prepared using Semolina and spices, and Ghee or butter, lots of Middle Eastern Spices are added as well. the cookies are prepared, the night before , rolled and left on a cookie sheet all night cover with clean towels, and baked the second day. This is a plate of Lebanese Maamoul, with three kind stuffing dates, pistachios and walnuts mixed with almonds.  These cookies are part of our Easter Tradition and Baking.tPlate of Lebanese Maamoul: This is a plate of Lebanese Maamoul, with three kind stuffing dates, pistachios and walnuts mixed with almonds. These cookies are part of our Easter Tradition and Baking.t

dmsnyder's picture

Banana Bread
Banana Bread

In addition to all the yeast breads, including sourdoughs, Peter Reinhart has also provided us with recipes for other types of baked goods. In Crust&Crumb, he has a Banana Bread recipe I tried for the first time yesterday.

Reinhart gives two methods of mixing: one if you use butter as the fat("Creaming method"), the other if you use oil ("Batter method"). I had an attack of self-restraint and used oil. I also cut down the sugar by about 1/3, because most recipes call for more sugar than I like, and cut down the walnuts by 1/3, because I didn't have as much walnuts as I thought I did. Reinhart does not call for toasting the nuts, but I did - 5 minutes at 350F.

Next time, I am going to try using less oil (Canola).

The past and future tweaks aside, this made a very nice quick bread. It is very moist and tastes delicious.


proth5's picture

As promised I did a test loaf with my home milled high extraction flour.  I used .01% of diastatic malt by weight of the flour and baked using my standard "test loaf" formula.  Once again, I went by the numbers - strokes, folds, dough temperature, and fermentation times as for my other loaves.

The results of the .01% malt are posted here:

For comparison a non-malted loaf is posted here:

My observation is that except for some minor variations in shaping and slashing, the loaves were pretty much the same.  If anything, I would say that the malted loaf rose a bit more and was a bit more lively during shaping, but that might be my imagination.  I didn't notice any significant gumminess in the crumb - again, I didn't notice much difference at all.  .01% is a very small amount of malt and perhaps I will run a second test with a higher percent in the future.

But for now, I just don't think I need to malt the home milled.  It may be that there is a balance within the parts of the grain that are used that tends to compensate for the relatively high Falling Number or just...well, I don't know anymore.  Any comments that can shed light on this would be much appreciated.

My next test bake will be home milled that has been aged for 2 months - which is the recommended aging for whole wheat type flours.  We'll see if my patience pays off.

Happy Baking!

holds99's picture

 Petite Pain (rolls) No. 1  - S.S. France - Bernard Clayton

Petite Pain No. 1 (rolls)  - S.S. France: - Bernard Clayton recipe

 Petite Pain (rolls) Interior - S.S. France - Bernard Clayton recipe

Petite Pain (rolls) No. 2 - S.S. France: - Bernard Clayton recipe

Petite Pains (rolls) - S.S. France Note: The following excerpt is taken from Bernard Clayton’s NEW COMPLETE BOOK OF BREADS – REVISED AND EXPANDED, page 633. “The anchor of the cuisine aboard the S.S. France was French bread in its least complicated form---flour, yeast, salt, and water.  These four basic ingredients became something special in the hands of the nine boulangers. It is not French flour that makes the difference, said the bakers.  "American flour” can be used if one understands that it must be treated with deference.  Permit it to relax.  Don't rush it or it will get stubborn.  There is more gluten in American flour and it will fight back when it has been kneaded too aggressively.  Walk away from it. Let it relax, then start again. The bakers also cautioned not to pour hot water into flour because this, too, will toughen the dough.  Use water that is baby-bottle warm---about 97 degrees Fahrenheit. One surprising practice in the France bakery was the use of a piece of well-laundered wool blanket to cover the dough as it rises.  The bakers had cut 6-by-3-foot strips from wonderfully soft white blankets that in earlier times had been used by stewards to tuck around passengers taking their ease in deck chairs.  The names of famous French line ships were woven into many.  Now they were keeping dough warm. My one regret is that I did not ask for one of the old blankets as a memento of the voyage.  I fear they were tossed out when shortly thereafter the liner was taken from French line service. This method can be adapted by the home baker.  I have since cut up an old army blanket to use in my kitchen and have discovered that even the softer doughs will not stick to wool. To allow the dough to grow and mature and to become more flavorful, the S.S. France’ recipe calls for the dough to rise three times and to rest for one 15-minute interval. The petit pain or small bread is nothing more than an elongated roll about 5 inches in length and 1 1/2 inches in girth.  It is a golden brown and crusty on the outside, white and soft inside.  The dough can be cut into four 1-pound loaves if you wish.” 

Note:  Much the same as Monsieur Clayton I regret not having one of those lovely, soft, old S.S. France’ blankets for my rolls to cuddle under.  And to make things worse, my old army blanket got stolen out of the back of my Jeep at the beach a few years back, so that’s option is gone.  Just when things seem darkest there’s always a ray of sunshine…steaming to the rescue… the S.S. Walmart.  Sacrilege that it may be… I cover my roll pans with large, rectangular, clear plastic containers that I purchased at Walmart…and they work great.  I’m fairly certain that the S.S. France’ boulangers would thoroughly disapprove of this method, as in: “mon Dieu, Monsieur Americain!”  Be that as it may, my method works just fine for me... merci.

On a more serious note. I selected this recipe because the rolls are simple, delicious and it’s a good exercise for entry level bakers.  This recipe uses the “direct” method (yeast only, no pre-ferment) and produces very good results.  I made the dough just a little wetter to produce a good interior.  I also used the stretch and fold method rather than knocking down the dough, as Clayton suggests.  I use stretch and fold for everything…well, nearly everything… I am still working to perfect this technique on pancakes J.   Finally, I made round rolls instead of oblong/oval shaped rolls.  I used these two techniques (“stretch and fold” and round roll shaping) because Bill Wraith’s video (available on TFL) shows the "stretch and fold" method and Mark Sinclair’s folding and roll shaping videos (available on TFL and his Back Home Bakery home page) show the “stretch and fold” method and “shaping” round rolls. Mark makes shaping rolls look easy, which reminds me of the old story about a tourist visting New York asking a New Yorker: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” to which the New Yorker replied: “Practice”.  So, here’s a chance to practice.  The two videos will help you immensely.  So, if you’re an entry level baker and want to tackle some “direct” method rolls this might prove to be a good way to GET “ROLLING”.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL


sumowrestler's picture

Making the 100% whole wheat bread recipe from Crust and Crumb is an all day task. I would like to make this a two day process rather than doing it in one day. Is it possible to retard the sponge overnight in the refrigerator? If so, what do I need to do?



E. Wilson

breadnerd's picture

I grew up in the chicago area, and a staple in college was the deep dish stuffed pizza. Now I live elsewhere, and it's harder to find. Plus, the whole challenge of making your own is hard to resist. I've been happy enough with varios thin crust pizzas, but the other day on a whim searched on recipezaar for the ubiquitous stuffed pizza.... and I found it!

The main thing I didn't know was the order of ingredients and crust. Here it was---crust, fillings (cheese plus "toppings") followed by another crust, and topped with the sauce. It really works. Since then I've played around with crusts. I've been happiest so far with the BBA pizza napolean crust, which is thin and stretchy. I use a bit of WW flour for flavor/color/nutrition. I've found about 10-11 ounces for the bottom crust, and 5-6 for the top is about right. I'm using my cast iron skillet for the pan, which is a little smaller than the original recipe calls for, but works just great. I'm lucky to still have homemade home grown sauce from last summer, which helps a lot :)

I've been debating whether to prick the top crust or not--tonight I didn't and got a BIG bubble, so I think I'd recommend it.  This week was just pepperoni/mushroom, but I can vouch for the spinach as well--it's very good and seemed to make for a fuller filling after baking.  Tonight's was a bit thinner but tasty anyway...




raisdbywolvz's picture

Well, it's day 6 and I have no idea what's going on with my little buckaroo. I stir it up, dump all but 1/4 cup, add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water, stir it up again, and all it does is make a layer of hooch after a few hours. I could swear that it grew to about 3 times its size on day 4, but I'm basing that on the residue on the sides of the container. I never actually saw it grow. I've kept a closer eye on it since then, and all it does is bubble some -- not a lot -- and form a layer of hooch. If it grows, it does it in the 10 minutes I'm not looking. I believe it's not growing at all.

I have no idea why it won't show more activity. I started out following S. John Ross' instructions, feeding once a day. On day 4 I switched from rye flour to KA AP flour. That may have been a mistake. I also upped the feeding from once a day to twice a day, and now I just get hooch quicker than I did before.

I'm going to continue journaling about this in just this one blog entry, using the comments below to update it. The performance isn't worth a new blog entry every day.

umbreadman's picture

Just a heads up for anyone reading this, this blog entry is going to be an outlet for some volatile emotions directed at my most recent baking experience. Continue at your own risk.


I just got off work. I don't always have a great time at work, and tonight was like that. the past few weeks in general have been stressful because of school. In terms of bread, I find myself trying to make fermenting and proofing fit in during classes until i can come back, or retarding over night, you get the idea. I did that today by refreshing my sourdough last night, making the dough this morning and letting it partially ferment during my class on genetics. I then refrigerated it, unshaped, while I went to work for 5 hours to continue to ferment slowly. Coming back, i pulled it out, shaped it roughly into a round, and let it proof in an oiled bowl (during which time i shelled a bunch of peanuts to make peanut butter...a mindless, monotonous task that proved very mentally relaxing). Then, it came time to bake.

And its all downhill from here.

Tried to turn out the dough from the bowl, but it wasn't coming out despite oiling. Tried to get it out a few different ways until finally with an unsatisfied slurp, it peeled out of the bowl and landed off center on the peel. An edge was barely hanging off. Not so bad, but the process was a little frustrating since it's worked before. I had floured the top (now the bottom) of the dough in the bowl, and also the peel. I figured some of the peel's flour would come off during maneuvering, hence the dough flouring. Opened the oven, preheated stone was ready.....and the dough stuck to the peel.


ugh. so the door is open, heat is escaping from the oven like a convict on a prison break. Jiggle the peel, dough doesn't move. I go and grab my bench scraper, and start just scraping it off the peel. The dough is wet and at this point has lost considerable shape. by the time it's off the peel, i notice that it's not even fully on the stone; two edges are hanging off just enough to be upsetting, so i try to scrape those back on. It's ugly, my shaping is unnoticeable, and my slashes are disfigured...the icing on the cake is that i burned the back of my hand on the oven heating coils by accidentally brushing against them while trying to scrap the dough off the peel.

I'm afraid to look at the oven. What a jerk. 

Anyways, the bread might be tasty. This is my second lesson in patient bread making. the last time i baked, it was rushed, forced, and not paid attention to, and it turned out dense, gummy and very lackluster. though the taste was good, it was disheartening.

UPDATE: The bread is similar to an amorphous goo monster of doom. there's absolutely no shape. it has oozed partially off the stone and is being supported by the oven rack and the glass door.

This makes me not want to bake again for a long time. ugh. And I had plans for some adventurous spicy olive and blue cheese bread this weekend....maybe i'll be over this by then.

Really, the problem was centered aroudn the fact that i couldn't get the dough out of the bowl easily. If I could have gotten that, everything else would have gone smoothly.


A final touch on all of this is that a housemate of mine just came down to tell me that somebody had an "accident" in one of our bathrooms and didn't clean it up.

Murphy and his laws: 1

Me: 0

Game Over 

ejm's picture


At some point not long after turning the oven on to preheat our bread stone, a fuse blew. We didn't notice until after putting the first two naan in the oven. Luckily for us though, we remembered that we had once made pita on the stovetop. So we quickly grabbed the tava (shallow pan in photo) and started heating it on the big burner.

And disaster was averted. By adding only an extra ten minutes of cooking time, we were able to tuck in to our fabulous Indian style dinner. Yes, indeed, rogan josh with beets & turnips, broccoli and naan is delicious!

Here is our recipe for naan with instructions for baking in the oven. Look at the pita recipe for instructions on how to bake on the stovetop. (Also included in the list are our recipes for beets and rogan josh):



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