The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Marc Brik's picture
Marc Brik

I was curious (again) .... I was wondering if pepper, if baked, would hold its flavour and heat... well it holds it heat a little there is a nice tinge on the tip of the tong after a few bites. But I was supprised what a nice flavour black pepper actually has. 

The bread is light,soft with a nice crumb. So; all with all, it worked really well.

Black pepper bread

You can make this dough without the sourdough starter, remove the sourdough and increase the dried active yeast to 20gr. The sourdough just gives that nice extra flavour.

Almond ground raw                             20 gr

Black pepper corn toasted                    10 gr

Anise seed toasted                                 5 gr

12% white flour                                     850 gr

Rye meal stoneground                         50 gr

Semolina                                              100 gr

Gluten flour                                           25 gr

Water luckwarm                                  650 ml

Yeast active dried                                  10 gr

Sourdough starter 60% hydration      107 gr

Salt                                                         20 gr

a)      For a starter: mix rye, semolina, water, starter, yeast, 300 gr flour. Activate to double volume

b)      Meanwhile: dry toast pepper &  anise seed, cool and ground in spice grinder

c)       Once the starter has reached the volume, quickly mix ALL ingredients together

d)      Auto lease for 20 minutes

e)      Kneed to fine window pane test, this takes a while

f)       And yes the dough is sloppy

g)      Let it rise to double to triple the volume.

h)      Divide in 450gr portions

i)        Round up, roll out, roll up, quarter turn, roll out and roll up

j)        Place on baking tray, I use baking paper

k)      Preheat the oven to 200°C, top and bottom heat no fan

l)        Make incisions  any pattern you like, dust with rye flour

m)    Cover with a light cloth, and rest until double in volume

n)      Pre-steam the oven with a spray bottle and a little container of water in the oven for 2 minuteso)     

o)      Bake the loafs for 20 minutes

p)      Check by tapping the baked bread on the bottom, it needs to sound hollow

q)      Cool on a cooling rack

r)       Very nice with some old cheese, like mature Gouda.

s)       “Eet smakelijk” 

PiPs's picture

It has rained and rained and after a week of soggy grey we finally have a glimmer of sunshine. And with all the rain and cooler temperatures I have really noticed how intertwined my bread making is with the weather. Every feeding and levain build is a unique decision – the balance between the temperature and feed ratios.

Wandering through the kitchen I throw a glance at the thermometer resting beside my rising levain and through the day I feel subtle change of temperature between rooms in the house. I notice this most among the quiet and peaceful times for me, scattered and far between though they are.

After arriving back home from my parents we had a house emptied of bread and I left it that way until the weekend. We have all been settling into the routines of a new year. Nat and I both back at work, plus we have had two new school milestones for the kids with one starting grade one and another starting her first year in high school.

With cool morning air and some time free on a drizzly Saturday I prepared my desem starter plus milled and soaked the fresh wheat flour. To me this is the simplest, purest form of bread - whole flour, water and salt. Later that day the dough was developed using stretch-and-folds over a three hour bulk-ferment before a quick final proof and bake. There is a fascination for me by using a longer bulk-ferment and developing the dough slowly and carefully - subtle changes over time – slowly becoming alive. It slots nicely into the rythem of a rainy day at home. Relaxing ...

After a long hiatus I finally baked some whole-wheat Fig and Anise loaves. Again these were raised with the desem starter with the chopped figs and aniseeds incorporated early in the bulk ferment.

These are a special treat for us and are consumed with utter joy - toasted, with a drizzle of honey, topped with ricotta cheese. We sit at breakfast with a slice or two and appreciate our morning amongst the din of school preparations and children slurping down breakfasts.

The sun is shining again ... all the best

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