The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread Alone

gmagmabaking2's picture

We 3 gmas baked together

December 25, 2012 - 7:55am -- gmagmabaking2

We 3 gmas baked Savory Drop Biscuits from "Bread Alone" , by Daniel Leader and Judith Blahnik... although none of us dropped them, we all shaped them because we tend to think in Sandwiches... The recipe is an easy one on page 309 of this book... onion, rosemary... sauted together and then basically added to a buttermilk biscuit dough... very, very good.

leenowell's picture

Too dense and crumb problems - please help

September 11, 2011 - 1:48am -- leenowell

Hi All,

I have been making sourdough bread for around a year now and after a variety of "experiements", although the bread forms and tastes good, it is far too dense and the crumb is moist (it is more like an English crumpet than bread). I have been using recipes from "Bread Alone" by Leader and Blahink and adapted slightly through my experiments.  I have detailed my technique below and would greatly appreciate any help you can give me.

thanks very much in advance



- 200g stored in the fridge

SaraBClever's picture

I keep my own blog with my sisters at, but as I have a question about this bread I figured I'd repost it here too!  I'm not sure if that's how TFL community works/if others do this as well?  Do people keep parallel blogs around here?  I think my bread stuff is a little technical sometimes for the rest of my blog, though here probably pretty basic stuff ;-)  All in the name of better bread, right? 

Anyway here is the post (link is

This bread, Dark Pumpernickel Bread with Raisins, from Dan Leader's Bread Alone, was a lot of fun to make.  However, it takes a LONG time-two ferments rather than one (that's three rises) and 1 1/2 hours in the oven. 

I halved the recipe (and Lord knows how I would have kneaded all that dough if I hadn't) and as the rye starter I maintain (from Dan Leader's Local Breads) seems to be different from the Bread Alone book in composition (and since my starter is drastically smaller in amount than required for this recipe), I built the necessary proportions using the rye sourdough elaboration from the Local Breads recipe for Whole Rye Berry Loaf.  (I added about 5oz of water rather than the 4 oz called for in the pre-ferment as the Bread Alone sourdough seemed wetter).   I meant to only add 9oz of the final starter but ended up adding the full amount which was nearer to 11 oz.  This turned out not to be a problem, as far as I could tell. 

The recipe gives a wide range of flours, I stayed within the lower end of this range.  This seemed to work out well.  The only problem was that I think my oven got too hot over the long baking period, so as is obvious, the crust was burnt.  The inside is just fine, and I was thrilled by the dramatic oven spring.  Plus it's the first pumpernickel I've made that was truly dark (which is what I think of for pumpernickel).  It was quite sweet from the molasses and raisins, and deliciously moist:  I was happy to eat it plain.  I put half in the freezer as this is one massive loaf (and I only made a half batch!  Unbelievable.  I'll have to keep this in mind when making more out of Bread Alone-Leader is clearly baking for a crowd!)

Final question:  if anyone uses both of these books, do you know if the starters are interchangeable, as they seem to be different formulas to me?  If you use a local bread starter, how do you convert to the Bread Alone starter (not only in the hydration proportions but in the quantities required!?)


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