The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

della fattoria

breadforfun's picture


A while ago, I tried to make a loaf that resembled one of my favorites, Della Fattoria's Rosemary-Meyer Lemon bread.  It turned out pretty well, although it didn't exactly measure up to my memory of the bread.  On my last flour run to Central Milling in Petaluma, I decided to make a slight detour and stop at the Della Fattoria bakery to remind myself what it tasted like before I attempted to make it again.

It was a disappointment.  My memory was probably clouded, but it was nothing like I remembered it.  The crust was soft, the crumb was dense as if it had little oven spring, and the taste was generally flat.  It seemed as if they tried to squeeze in just one more bake in their WFO before it cooled too much, but the timing was off.  Or maybe, now that I am more happy with my own bread baking, I just like the taste of what I make better. One thing that I learned, though, was that their bread included olive oil, something that I missed the first time.

I decided to make another attempt at a Rosemary-Meyer Lemon bread of my own.  I modified the sourdough recipe I have been using lately (already a modification of David's SFSD).  Instead of spelt flour, I used 10% rye.  The addition of 4% extra virgin olive oil changes the flavor to something reminiscent of a focaccia, but the crumb is more sourdough-like.  The results were pretty satisfying.

My standard starter is 100% hydration, wheat only starter.  It is fed with Central Milling Artisan Baker's Craft (ABC) flour and is refrigerated between bakes.  Before use it is warmed to RT and fed at least twice in 24 hours until very active.  For the final build I used about 11.5B-% rye and kept the hydration at 77%.  The overall hydration is 67%.  Just after scoring I sprinkled some Maldon salt (the flakey kind) into the spreading scores and peeled into the oven.

It has a nice sourdough tang, and the flavors of the rosemary and the lemon are evident but not overpowering.  The crust is dark golden and chewy.  I tried to avoid a very bold bake by slightly lowering the temperature because it might overwhelm the lemon.  The formula for this bread is:

I have become fond of using bran instead of corn meal or semolina on the peel to transfer loaves into the oven after learning about it for Genzano Country Bread in Local Breads by Daniel Leader.

Here are some photos of the crumb.  The loaf was very airy and much less dense than it seemed considering the size of bread.  The mouth feel was a bit less creamy than I was looking for, and the sourdough tang was too much for the other flavors, so no doubt there will be another iteration.



San Francisco is having a very warm fall this year.  After the rains in the early part of the week, it has been warm and sunny.  When I went to pick the lemons for the bread, the buzzing of bees was all around, no doubt responding to the wonderful fragrance of the blossoms.  I managed to capture one of our fertilizing friends starting the 2013 crop of lemons.

Thanks for reading.



breadforfun's picture

Like a number of other Bay Area bakers on TFL, Della Fattoria is one of my favorite bakeries.  I have always loved their Rosemary Meyer Lemon bread, although it can be hard to get from this small local operation. Inspired by onceuponamac on this post, I tried my hand at making something that approaches their bread.  Of course, without a WFO it can never be the same, but this bake came out pretty good.

I used a fairly high percentage (almost 30%) starter, and mixed it with predominently T85 flour from Central Milling and a small amount of light rye.  It is 76% hydration (including the starter), and it got a fairly dark bake.  Here is a photo of the finished loaf and the formula.  Next time I will probably double the rosemary.





dmsnyder's picture

Della Fattoria Bakery

September 11, 2011 - 9:51pm -- dmsnyder

Susan and I spent the weekend eating and drinking well with Brother Glenn, family and friends on the North Coast. On the way home, we stopped at Della Fattoria Bakery in Petaluma (near Santa Rosa, CA) for lunch. Della Fattoria is a small enterprise run by a mother and son. They make about 10 types of bread, as well as pastries, cakes and cookies. They were the example of a small, family-run bakery in Maggie Glezer's "Artisan Breads."

intelplatoon's picture

Sonoma County bakery looking for newest baker

July 1, 2011 - 10:59am -- intelplatoon

Want to bake bread daily in a wood fired oven?

Della Fattoria is looking to fill an open position in our bread bakery.

Must be good with your hands, and willing to work Fridays and weekends. Experience in a food production environment is beneficial. Must be able to work swiftly and efficiently, as we all know the dough doesn't wait for us.

If interested please email your resume to

Thank you for your time.

jkandell's picture

There's been a lot of discussion here about Hamelman's seeded levains (5 Grain Sourdough and Seeded Levain).  Here is an alternative recipe which I find more to my taste-buds and I encourage fans of seeded bread to give it a try.

Although Della Fattoria uses a stiff 49% levain rather than Hamelman's 125%, I think the flavor differences lies more in the mix of ingredients than the method. The flour is half whole wheat (about four times more than Hamelman), with  the remaining flour  "reduced bran" (98% of the germ and 20% of the bran). In other words, this is mostly a wholemeal bread, rather than a white bread augmented with a touch of whole grain.

The following recipe is adapted from Rose Levi Beranbaum's "Sourdough Wheat Bread with Seeds" from her Bread Bible, which she got from Eve Weber of Della Fattoria.  Although you can purchase reduced bran flour from Guisto's, I followed Beranbaum in "recreating" it by adding 2.8% germ and 1.4% bran to 95.8% all purpose flour.  Be careful your whole wheat flour is fresh--not bitter to the taste, and smells fruity when mixed with water. And freeze your germ and bran so they don't go rancid.  With this much whole grain any bitterness will ruin the loaf.

The levain is 49% hydration; the final dough excluding the levain is 79% hydration, with overall hydration of about 76%.  The final dough is tacky.


One Loaf:


bread flour       40  
whole wheat       10
stiff chef
whole wheat

bread flour
germ (half T)


bran (2.5 t)

water       284  
salt       11
honey       14
seeds       73  
stiff levain       100  
SEEDS            grams  
sunflower seeds (toasted)       13  
pumpkin seeds (toasted)       13  
sesame seeds (toasted)       14  
flax seeds
polenta or cornmeal
TOTAL       73  



Starting with about 25g of storage chef, create a mature stiff levain of 100g. (About 12 hours.)

Toast the sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds, and cool.  Mix with the flax and cornmeal to add later.

Day of baking:

Add all ingredients except salt to bread machine bowl.  Run on dough cycle enough to mix.  Autolease 20 minutes.  Add salt, and run on dough cycle about 7 minutes.  (Because of the bran and seeds, you want to mix a tad less than usual, and do some extra folds to develop the gluten to compensate.)

Bulk Ferment: 3-4 hours @75-80F.  4 stretch and folds half way through, at about 1 1/2 hours.

Loosely Shape. Relax for 20m.  Shape into batard.

Proof 1- 2 1/2 hours.  It is a moist dough and will spread a bit.

Three diagonal slashes.  Bake at 450F for 10 minutes (with steam at 0 and 5 minutes), then reduce heat to 400F for 20 minutes, then finish at 350F for another 10 or 15 minutes until crust is dark orange.  Or bake it Hamelman style hotter and shorter.

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