The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


baybakin's picture

I walked into my specialty foods market, and there they were,  staring back at me.  Sitting next to the key limes and tangelos,  the yellow-orange skinned globes begged me to stick a nose in the display.  Bergmont orange season, short lived as it is, had arrived.  Almost without thinking, I tossed a few into my basket.

Bergmont orange zest is the major flavor component in earl grey tea, and as I was enjoying a nice cup of earl grey, inspiration took hold; Earl Grey Sticky Buns!  The sweet dough is based on Richard Bertinet's, and the basic idea is based off of "Orange Sticky buns" from an issue of Saveur.  The dough is given a cold-retard at least overnight in the fridge to develop flavor, in lieu of a pre-ferment.

Sweet Dough (Make the day previous to bake day):
510g Bread Flour
225g Strong Brewed Black Tea (cool)
100g (2) Egg
56g Unsalted Butter
37g Sugar (I use evaporated cane)
20g Dry Milk
10g Salt
4g Instant Yeast

Mix until shaggy dough is formed. Rest for 20 mins. Kneed until gluten is well formed. Retard overnight (or longer).

112g Unsalted butter, soft (1 stick)
zest of 2 bergmont oranges (chopped fine)
zest of 1 small meyer lemon (if more zest is wanted, optional)
125g raw sugar (brown sugar if you can't find raw)

Roll dough into a large rectangle, spread filling evenly across dough.  Roll up dough into cylinder, cut into 12 pieces and place into a buttered baking dish (mine is 9"x12").  Bake untill cooked though at 325F.  Frost if desired.

Second Cooking's picture
Second Cooking

The loaf shown below used the same formula as the rolls I posted last week. The only difference is I increased the cheese to 50% of the flour percentage and increased to 650g total flour for a loaf size batch.


I was quite pleased with the results. The cheese was oozing quite a bit at that percentage, but that's OK by me. I had a seam on the one side that I didn't seal real well, also. I was hosting the meeting for my boy's Adventure Guides club this month and rushed it a bit. My one son made a batch of chili and I made pot of beans to go with. My other son made some chocolate chip cookies to serve the other kids for desert, so was quite a good meal. It was very tasting sopping up a bit of chili with some good bread in hand.


I made a batch of pretty standard rolls to go with the dinner, as well. With kids and mixed crowd it make since to have a safe choice.


I made an 800g flour batch with the following percentages:

Bread Flour 100%, Water 65%, Salt 2%, Instant yeast ~0.7%

Mix to incorporate, rest 20 minutes, stretch and fold twice, retard in refrigerator 24 hours, bring back to room temperature (about hour and and half), divide in 75g portions, preform into 6” logs, rest 10 minutes, form into knot rolls, proof about two hours, bake 15 minutes at 400°, serve warm.


I had a room full of hungry people when the rolls were done baking, so they went straight out. I didn't actually have any warm myself (I did have a couple pieces of the cheese bread, but that I had let rest a couple hours). I had some of the rolls over the next couple days and they were pretty good. I'm thinking to make some white bread crumbs up for the filling in some Bialys this weekend. Have to check what our plans are though, to see if I'll have time to get it in or not.


Happy baking everyone,

Take care, Todd

Second Cooking's picture
Second Cooking

I made some rolls a few weeks ago with bits and pieces of left over hard cheese. I just grated them and added to the dough. I also had just a scrap of Gouda, that I cut in chunks and threw in as well. They came out fine. Mostly a shrap taste from whatever the predominate hard cheese was. I liked the occasional smoked smoked bite from the Gouda.

When I saw a Smoked Gouda at the Costco last weekend from a local dairy, I decide I would give some cheese rolls another try. I tend to more whole grain when cooking only for myself. Figuring everyone would want some cheese bread, I decided to go with mostly white flour. Since my starter is on a white whole wheat, I went with a country style mix on the dough.

 Overall Formula:

300g Bread Flour* 60%

150g White Whole Wheat 30%

50g Rye 10%

325g Water* 65%

10g Salt 2%

0.5 Tablespoon Instant yeast ~0.5%

180g Smoked Gouda 36%


*I used a 20% of the flour as a preferment sourdough at 100% hydration.

100 g White whole wheat

100 g Water

 Mix all ingredients, except for the cheese. Knead by hand for minute or so, and fold into the dough. I cut these a little uneven in size so they would give different size pockets in the rolls.


 Stretch and fold 3 times 20 minutes apart. Let rest another 20 and divided.


 I was a little pressed for time when I started on these. My starter was at room temperature (approx. 70°), but I used warm water to bring the dough temp up a little quicker. I also kept everything in a warm oven the whole time (approx. 85°). I had formed these all as rounds. They proofed in about an hour and a half.


 Bake at 400° for just under 20 minutes. I checked at 15 originally and they were pretty much done by then, so I covered with foil. I didn't want them to brown up much more, but wanted to be sure to have the cheese melt.


 I let them rest about five minutes.


 They came out pretty good, I thought. I had two right then.

I've made similar versions before with other semisoft cheeses, as rolls and bread loafs.  With rolls you tend to get a little more seeping out the sides or you could used a little less cheese, I suppose.  I have plenty of cheese left.  I may try this as a loaf next and squeeze a little more cheese in.

Take care, Todd

Second Cooking's picture
Second Cooking

I received an assortment of chocolates in my Christmas stocking this year. I prefer dark chocolate exclusively, but an 82% cacao is too much even for me, as an eating chocolate. I have couple desert recipes I could have worked it into, but they were all a little too sweet for my mood. I like to make rolls with a piece of chocolate in the center, from time to time. I figured I would play around a little bit with something like that and see how it turned out.


I knew I had to add some additional sweetner and decided to go with honey. I wanted to use some walnuts and figured that would be a good binder as well for the filling. I'd made some cookies the other day for the boys, and chopped up one of the 60% cacao chocolates instead of chips. I liked the way that kind of blends into the dough, so want to do something to that effect with the rolls. I've been using white whole wheat a lot lately, so that's what I went with for the flour. The last time I refreshed my starter, that's what I used as well, so this is basically a 100% white whole wheat recipe, with some added gluten for better rising power. This is what I made:


Overall Formula:

360 g White whole wheat 90%*

40 g Gluten 10%

260 g Water 65%*

30 g Honey 7.5%

15 g Walnut oil 3.75%

8 g Salt 2%

1 teaspoon Instant yeast ~0.5%

45 g Walnuts 11.25%

45 g Dark chocolate (82% Cacao) 11.25%


*I used a 25% of the flour as a pre-frement sourdoughed at 100% hydration.

100 g White whole wheat

100 g Water



45 g Walnuts 11.25%

45 g Dark chocolate (82% Cacao) 11.25%

30 g Honey 7.5%



Mix together first seven ingredients, including pre-frement and knead for 2 minutes. Chop walnuts and chocolate for the dough into consistancy of meal. Fold them into the dough and knead another 30 seconds. Stretch and fold the dough twice at 30 minute intervals. Let rise approximately two hours @ 80° F. For the filling chop walnuts and chocolate coarsely and combine with honey in a small bowl.


After the dough has risen, punch down lightly and divide evenly into eight pieces. Shape each piece into small rounds and place a spoonful of filling on the middle of each, dividing the filling evenly. Fold the edges inward to cover the filling and pinch to seal the seam. Shape quickly into rounds and place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise approximately 45 minutes @ 80° F.


Preheat oven to 400° F. Bake for approximately 18 minutes. Cool 5 to 10 minutes on wire rack and serve while still warm.


I was actually quite pleased with the results. With the honey and nuts it had a pleasant taste overall and didn't leave a bitter after taste. If I make these again, I would probably choose a different chocolate though, just to be safe. These re-heat well covered in foil. I just pop them in the toaster oven for about eight minutes.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss


A commuter-friend travelling with me to London on the train used to live in Ravensburg, in a region in Germany called Oberschwaben.

One day he told me he really misses a speciality from there called Seelen.

They are rolls with an open crumb and a slightly chewy crust, sprinkled with caraway and coarse salt.

Searching the internet I found a number of recipes, and some descriptions of the "original": a roll made with spelt, using high hydration, long fermentation, and a wet, hot bake.

The recipes I found were all nothing like the original description, so I decided to improvise, and I am very happy with the result:


Here the formula and instructions (1000g for 6 rolls):

Google spreadsheet

Schwaebische Seelen
Expected Yield1000 
Wholegrain Spelt Flour30165.2
Yeast (Instant)0.21.1
White Spelt Flour46253.3
AP Flour / Strong White Flour (UK)24132.2

Processing instructions
Dough temperature was about 22C all the time
Mix Preferment, leave at room temperature for 2 hours and then refridgerate until used, best is overnight,
Let Preferment come back to room temperature, mix with other ingredients and work dough gently. It is very slack.
Let the dough rest for amout 2 hours, with 3 sets of stretch and fold during the first hour. Towards the end big bubbles should be forming.
Make your work surface thoroughly wet and turn out the dough onto the wetness. Prepare some baking parchament for the rolls.
Forming an oval with your wet hands scrape of a chunk of dough, then make a circle with your thumb and index finger, pull the dough through and put it onto the baking parchament.
Let it rest for another 30 minutes,
Sprinkle with Caraway seeds and coarse salt,

Bake in a very hot oven with steam, ideally on a stone, mine needed 20 minutes at 230C

** UPDATE **

Here some pictures of the production process from a bakery in Schwaben:

hanseata's picture

Dan Lepard, master baker from England ("The Art of Handmade Bread"), travels (and bakes) all over the world. He also contributes regularly to the weekend issue of the "Guardian", and is always good for an interesting recipe.

I tried several of them, and never had a bad experience. Whether marmalade, pancakes, pasties, cakes or his "boozy" Ale House Rolls, we liked them all. When I saw his recipe for Stilton Crust Sausage Rolls, I was intrigued by the idea to spruce up simple store-bought puff pastry with layers of blue cheese.

There was still some puff pastry in the freezer, and I overcame my inner Scrooge to purchase real, imported Stilton.

Preparing the crust was easy. I crumbled the Stilton evenly over one sheet of thawed puff pastry, placed the second sheet on top, pressed it down with my hands to adhere, and then rolled it out to two times its original size.

The package is then folded, re-rolled, and folded again, creating several layers of cheese within the pastry. After these turns it needs a nap in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.

While the dough was resting, I prepared the sausage filling. An opened package with Johnsonville's "Stadium Brats" - the only American bratwurst that tastes like a German one - was my sausage choice, and, instead of the ground pork the recipe suggests, I took 80% lean ground beef (another leftover in the fridge.)

The idea of a fennel seasoning didn't appeal to me too much. Though I like fennel, and use it regularly in my breads, I do not care for the pervasive anise-y flavor of American Italian sausages (something never heard of in Italy, as my half Italian husband assures me.)

Bratwurst, ground beef, marjoram and white breadcrumbs are mixed for the filling

With the German type bratwurst a marjoram seasoning instead of the fennel seemed the obvious choice (I used only 1/2 teaspoon.) "Stadium Brats" don't have casings that need removing, and my food processor made mixing a cinch. (I recommend chilling the filling until using.)

The next step was arranging the filling on the chilled pastry. I wasn't quite sure what size of rolls I would end up with - you have to consider that before you roll out the dough - but mathematical imagination is not my forte, and my rolls turned out a bit larger than Dan Lepard's.


The blue cheese is visible through the  pastry

I placed the filling on the lower half of the pastry, leaving a free edge for the seam. The upper half is then folded over, and crimped with a fork. To create a neat edge, I used a pizza roller to cut off the excess dough.

Shaped loaf with crimped edges

Since I wanted to freeze some of the rolls, I did not apply egg wash over the whole loaf, but cut it first into slices. My loaf yielded 10 slices/rolls (about 1 1/2 inch wide.)

After brushing the rolls with the beaten egg, I slashed them with a sharp knife, parallel to the cut sides.

The sausage rolls baked for 25 minutes, at 400ºF/200ºC, to be golden brown and sizzling. I realized, though, that a lot of fat was rendered from the filling during the bake, leaving the bottom of the rolls soft. Next time I would follow Breadsong's advice to render the fat from the meat before mixing the filling. Or elevate the rolls with a rack on top of the baking sheet.

We had the Stilton Crust Sausage Rolls for dinner, and LOVED them! The blue cheese in the crust added a pleasant spiciness, and the seasoning of the sausages, plus the marjoram, was sufficient to flavor the whole filling - no extra salt or pepper is needed.

Dan Lepard's recipe in the "Guardian" you can find here.

TO MAKE AHEAD: The cheese pastry and the filling, or the filled loaf (without egg wash), can be kept in the refrigerator for at least a day.

The shaped rolls (without egg wash!) can be easily frozen, individually wrapped in plastic, and placed in a container with lid. They don't need to be thawed, but before baking, brush them with beaten egg, and slash the top with a sharp knife. The baking time will be a bit longer for frozen rolls.

dabrownman's picture

My Daughter’s summer kitchen apprenticeship with my other apprentice seems to have stuck.  She recently made Thai Green Curry Chicken for her boyfriend, - from memory and she quickly impressed Ole Dad with her remembering how to do French slap and folds and stretch and folds on her Thanksgiving rolls that she is always in charge of making for dinner.   


She also is in charge of the gravy since she is the Gravy Queen and this year’s was the best yet and she decided to not put a splash of cognac in to start the de-glazing – no wine either!  Who knew gravy could be so good without either?

Look at those yellow specks from Toady Tom's Toasted Tidbits !


We made up this recipe as we went along.  After we scraped the small polish plastic tub down thoroughly to make the last bread for the stuffing, we put some more flour and water in the tub hoping the leftovers would be enough to start a new batch of polish.   24 hours of counter fermenting later, it was bubbling and ready to go.


We decided to make 8 rolls of 100 g each and wanted the polish to be 15% of the final dough.  We used 5 g of Toady Tom’s, Tasty, Toasted Tidbits for some extra flavor and brown speckles, 25 g of WWW flour, 25 g of butter, 2% salt and 72.2% hydration.


The final exam Bakers percentage test question was:  If the butter was 20% water and using equal parts of cream and water for the liquid, how much AP and Bread flour were required if the AP flour was 3 times as much ad the bread flour and how much cream and water were used?

Yep the mini put some blisters on these rolls.


We hear that professional bread baking instructors use questions like this for their students even though they aren't allowed to beat them for answering incorrectly like the old days and private instructor’s still can today…..  The trick follow up question was, if we would have remembered to put milk in for the water portion of the liquid, added 10g of potato flakes,  1 egg and 10g of honey in to make them more soft roll like, instead of french bread like,  how many grams of extra milk or flour would you have to add to keep the hydration the same?

Very nice french bread but not really the soft rolls we usually enjoy.  Great with butter and jam though . My wife said they would make fine croutons or bread crumbs and my daughter said she is making biscuits next holiday in a month or so :-)

Daughter's French slap and fold tutorial....hard to believe it became that beautiful dough ball.



We didn't have time for an autolyse because the turkey, that my furrier apprentice was in charge of, was going to be done in 5 hours - so time was as short as her legs.   After mixing everything together, my daughter got right into a good rhythm of French slap and folds for 10 minutes. 

Next thing you know the dough was resting in a plastic covered bowl for 30 minutes before a set of S&F’s were done and it was back in the bowl for 1 1/2 hours of fermenting after once again impressing with her boule shaping and skin tightening techniques. 

The dough was divided into 8 pieces.  6 of the dough balls were divided again into two pieces.  The remaining 2 large 100g pieces were folded and then free formed into rolls on parchment and the other, smaller pieces were used to make 6 rolls in a muffin tin - 2 to a tin opening.  Then they were to proof for a couple of hours and be ready to bake.

Sadly, the increasingly de-focused appearing apprentice somehow managed to get the really big chicken done 1 1/2 hours early.  This was probably through faulty calculations that did not require the actual calculus poorly used - if not totally incorrectly applied.

The other college educated apprentice’s fine rolls were no where near proofed and would not be ready for the mini oven’s blistering heat until after the Thanksgiving dinner dishes were done.

They were eventually baked at 350 F in the mini oven for 8 minutes with steam and the baked for another 15 minutes at 350 F, convection this time.  We rotated the rolls every 5 minutes to make sure that they baked up evenly brown.  They sure puffed themselves up well once they hit the steam 

Thankfully, we have Thanksgiving Dinner all over again the next day, usually a Friday for some reason, as a bizarre, if totally fulfilling, as well as, filling, tradition started by my Great, Great, Great, Granny C now deceased neigh on 150 years.

The Ozark Mountains have never been the same since Granny C died and was buried at Dooley’s but Uncle Jed, Ellie Mea and Jethro were all better for her lording over and caring for them and the rest of us wouldn't even be here without her either.  So the rolls will be half polished off tonight in the Thanksgiving Dinner After.

When I went to freeze half the rolls last night, I noticed that 1 was missing and it is hard to freeze half of 7 without making a mess of one of them.   I suspected the badly calculating, if cute, apprentice managed to sneak a taste of the missing when I saw her licking her chops and sticking her tongue out at me in her ‘that was delicious’ grin.

So we won’t be able to take a look at the inside or have a taste till later tonight but I’m guessing they are pretty good from the look on Lucy’s face.

Happy Thanksgiving to all Fresh Lofian’s everywhere. 


isand66's picture

I have not made any rolls in a while and since my wife insisted on some "simple" rolls for our lunch sandwiches this weekend I decided to whip something up using instant yeast instead of my sourdough starter or yeast water starter.

I had some left over mashed potatoes so I wanted to use those in the recipe.  I love using Durum flour in my breads so I used an almost 50% mix of Durum with a high protein flour from KAF, called Sir Lancelot to offset for the lower protein content in the Durum flour.

I recently purchased some Avocado Oil so of course I needed to add some in this recipe along with some Agave Nectar for a little sweetness.

The dough was retarded overnight for added flavor and baked this morning.

I do have to say they came out as good as I could have expected.  They are nice and soft and tasty and are going to make a perfect sandwich roll for sure.


400 grams Sir Lancelot Flour (KAF, you can substitute Bread Flour)

374 grams Durum Flour (Do not use fancy Semolina as it is to gritty)

112 grams Mashed Potatoes with Skins

227 grams Water 85 - 90 degrees

255 grams Milk at room temperature

14 grams Instant Yeast

57  grams Avocado Oil

14 grams Seas Salt or Table Salt

60 grams Agave Nectar


Mix flours with yeast to combine.  Next add remainder of the ingredients .  Mix on low-speed or by hand for 1 minute and let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes to absorb the flour.

Next mix the dough for another 3 minutes on #2 (If you have a dough hook switch use for this step).  The dough should come together and be scraping the side of the mixing bowl and be nice and fairly smooth but still tacky.

Remove the dough to your work surface and knead by hand for 1 minute.  Do about 3-4 stretch and folds and put in a well oiled bowl or container with a cover.  Put it in your refrigerator immediately.

You can keep it in your refrigerator for about 24 to 36 hours.  I ended up baking it in the morning so it was only in my refrigerator for around 14 -15 hours.   The dough should double while in the refrigerator.

When ready to bake the rolls or bread, take it out of the refrigerator and immediately weigh out your pieces or loaves and shape as desired.  I made rolls and let them rise for 1 hour on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

After 45 minutes turn your oven up to 350 degrees F. and prepare your rolls as desired.  I beat 1 whole egg mixed with a little water and put an egg wash on each roll.  I also added some toasted onions to some and some dried cheese mix on some as well.  At the 1 hour or so mark pop them in the oven and turn once after about 15 minutes.  These should take about 25 minutes to cook thoroughly.

Let them cool on wire rack for at least half an hour before digging in if you can wait that long.

ph_kosel's picture

I had a hand at making spice rolls using the recipe in Peter Reinhart's book "Crust and Crumb"

Ingredients (per Reinhart)

454 grams un-bleached all purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon instant yeast (see below)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup butter

8 ounces (227g) buttermilk at room temperature (see below)

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 cups raisins



Mix all ingredients except the raisins into a dough, then knead in the raisins.  Form into two-ounce balls and let rise about 90 minutes.  Bake 20 minutes at 350F.



I found that the dough seemed too dry to come together well so I added another slosh of buttermilk, maybe a tablespoon or two.  I weighed two cups of loose raisins and measured 270g; this seems a bit excessive and 200g might be more reasonable.  I popped the rolls in the oven at 350F with steam and set the timer for 20 minutes; after checking at 20 minutes I gave them another 2 minutes or so to brown up a bit.

The recipe made 18 2-ounce rolls.  I think next time I'll make the rolls larger, maybe 12 rolls per batch. 

The taste is OK:  nice sweetness, moderately spicy and rather yeasty.  I've that found recently that similar coffeecake recipes that called for similarly large yeast percentages also tasted yeasty to me.  I'm not sure if this is due to the initial yeast added or possibly to yeast propagation fed by the sugar. I may reduce yeast by half  in my next batch, to something comparable to typical bread recipes.

I found the texture a bit dry and dense.  The Reinhart recipe calls for surprisingly little liquid, and the results reflect this.

Overall, an interesting bake but something I think perhaps I can improve on - bigger, moister, less yeasty rolls, would be nice, and perhaps some cinnamon and a pinch of cardamom.



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