The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

buttermilk cluster

varda's picture

buttermilk cluster question

November 20, 2010 - 10:25am -- varda

Hi, I just baked the buttermilk cluster on the front page as a practice run for thanksgiving.   It came out very nicely but the bottom was a little too hard.   This is baked for 30 minutes at 425 deg F and it seemed like just enough to cook it all the way through.   The cluster is baked in a metal springform pan.   What would be the right correction to make to keep the bottom from getting too tough while the rest cooks all the way through?   Thanks so much! -Varda

ejm's picture

Isn't this gorgeous?
buttermilk cluster - ejm January 2010

It seems ridiculous that it took me so long to make this bread. I’ve been staring at the photo of Floyd's buttermilk cluster for ages. Every time I thought, "I've GOT to make that!" And then The Fresh Loaf website was featured in this year’s SAVEUR 100. Which bread did the SAVEUR kitchen choose to feature? Buttermilk cluster, of course.

I was really surprised when I saw a scathing review of the loaf on the SAVEUR site because all of the reviews on the FreshLoaf say the complete opposite. I examined both versions of the recipe and saw that the SAVEUR recipe calls for 5 cups flour rather than the 6 – 6½ cups flour on the Freshloaf recipe.

I assumed that SAVEUR had made a typing mistake.

I just couldn’t believe that all of these rave reviews on The FreshLoaf would be wrong, nor could I believe that SAVEUR would have added the FreshLoaf into the 100 list if the bread were no good.

I used whole wheat and unbleached all-purpose flour and a little less yeast, but otherwise pretty much stuck to Floyd's version. After some tribulation (I had to add more liquid because the dough was so dry), the final result was stellar!

buttermilk cluster

Well!! As you must have guessed from the photo, we were thrilled after pulling this bread out of the oven.

It looked and smelled fabulous!! I removed the outer ring and stuck the thermometer in – huh! only 180F. So back into the oven it went for 5 more minutes to drive the internal temperature up to 200F.

We left it to cool overnight and had it for breakfast this morning with butter, goat’s cheese and black currant jam. It was crusty on the outside and soft and springy on the inside.

It. Was. Delicious.

Thank you, Floyd!


P.S. For more photos and details about what I did, please see buttermilk cluster (bookmarked, YS)

Thegreenbaker's picture

I started my first ever sourdough starter last night. So tonights feeding is feeding 2...24 hours after it began.

Here is where it is up to now. No sign of anything happening yet but I know it can take up to a week, so my fingers are crossed.


I also made the buttermilk cluster today with wholemeal wheat and wholeleal spelt flour.

Yummo! I am eating it as I write!


I also made my own version using rustic bread as a base and adding cornmeal, oats, semolina, and spelt flour.

It was dense and filling, but tasty. :)

Look at that slashing! and with a terrible serrated steak knife and all!


I also found a good site to buy Lames and Bannetons in Australia

it is


I am happy about my progress and cannot wait to be maybe baking sourdough in about a fortnights time!








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