The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Xenophon's picture

Last week I was getting ready for a short easter break when I realized I still had some kalamata olives, fresh rosemary and an opened pack with assorted italian cold cuts (salami, cured ham...) lying around in my fridge.  It was all a bit too much to eat in one go so I decided to try my hand at a foccaccia-inspired bread that would incorporate all these ingredients.

The result was surprisingly tasty; I didn't have high hopes -especially because I wasn't working from a recipe- but it turned out really well and very tasty.

Preparation and recipe:

a) Spread the fresh rosemary in a baking pan and put in a cool oven (I used 60 centigrade) with air circulation on for a couple of hours.  The rosemary has to be dry but keep temperatures low or you'll lose some of the flavourful organic compounds.

b) Place the cold cuts into an oven dish and put it under the grill until they start getting crispy/crumbly when cooled.  Use tissue paper to blot up the fat that comes out (optional).  Allow to cool and chop/crumble into pieces.  Roughly chop the kalamata olives.  Reserve.


- 500 grams white bread flour.

- 300 grams water, room temperature (which in my case was 31 centigrade)

- 7 grams bread machine yeast

- 15 ml (1 TBSP) of fine quality olive oil

- 100 grams roughly chopped kalamata olives

- 100 grams pumpkin seeds

- 50 grams dried and crumbled/cut cold cuts

- 7 grams (1.5 tsp) of rosemary, ground to powder

- Couple of sprigs of dried rosemary to decorate the crust

* No salt was added as the olives and dried cured meats are already salty but this is a matter of individual taste.

Straightdough method.

Combine flour, yeast, water, olive oil and mix well until absorbtion.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes after initial mixing, then knead vigorously for another 10 minutes.

Bulk fermentation until the volume has doubled (in my case, with the generous quantity of yeast and the high ambient temperature this took 25 minutes)

Punch down/fold the dough and roll it out into a rectangle that's about 1.5 cm thick.  Spread the meat, powdered rosemary, pumpkin seeds and chopped olives on the dough, fold closed and give a short kneading to mix in everything.  The objective is to obtain an even distribution but don't knead too long or the olives will turn to mush. 

Shape into a batard /oval shape, roll through some dried rosemary leaves and place in a well-oiled pullman pan (2 liter). Brush on a slight coat of olive oil.  Preheat oven to 210 centigrade.

Bench rest until doubled in volume (in my case once again after a mere 20 minutes), put the lid on the pullman and insert into oven.  Total baking time was 45 minutes, after 25 minutes I removed the lid from the pan so the top crust could brown.  Remove from oven/pan and let cool on a rack.

The result:

The crust was delicate but very crunchy and the taste and aroma delicious so while it was a hastily improvised experiment I'm quite pleased with it.  Did I mention it tasted fine also ;-)  Of course the quick rise times and absence of pre-ferment precludes any real taste development in the dough itself but in this case that's not an issue as taste was mainly a matter of the rosemary, olives and the meat.


dabrownman's picture

We had one more batch of saved white Italian starter left over from the panettone bake which produced so much excess starter it is nearly obscene.  It was built up over 3 stages and had been previously refrigerated for several days. We decided to do an Italian bread and was torn between an Altamura Pope’s Hat or the Chacon it eventually inspired.


For breakfast a couple of days ago, we were finishing off the last 3 slices of the Eric’s Chacon; a marbling of challah with Eric’s Favorite Rye, toasted with a schmear of grilled salmon and cream cheese and decided to do a chacon in a way we had not done before.   It is funny how bread decisions get made sometimes.


We used the same whole grain variety of Kamut, rye, WW, quinoa, barley and oats with a little potato and Toady Tom’s Tasty Toasted Tidbits this time but reduced to 22% of the flours used so that the rest of the add in goodies could possibly come through a little better.  We kept to the 72% hydration of the last bake and hoped that it wouldn’t end up feeling as wet overall since the scald was deleted from this bake too.


We also decided to reduce the 36 hour retard and final proof in the fridge back to 24 hours after the last batch over-proofed at the 36 hour mark.  Reducing the whole grains in the mix should slow things down a little bit my apprentice noted as well.  She would be pretty smart sometimes if she wasn’t so dumb, if cute, otherwise.


We used a high percent of levain (20%) of the total dough weight again, which is more than we normally would use if we were going for sour, but that is what we had left over and after refreshing it to bread speed.


Some fine bakers like to use large levain amounts in their bakes like Peter Reinhart and our own Ian.  This might have contributed to the over proofing of the last bake though and another reason to go with a 24 hour retarded proof this time. But, after 15 hours it sure hasn’t proofed itself up much in the fridge.


The method was the same this time as the last bake except for the 24 hour final proof and retard in the fridge and we divided the dough into two, not to make two different loaves but to make two different kinds of bread in one chacon.


One half of the dough had kalamata olives, home made sun dried tomatoes and grated asiago cheese added to it and the other half had fresh rosemary, garlic and grated parmesan cheese.  Now that sounded pretty Italian to me but I cut the salt down some to account for the salt in the add ins.


The chacon started with an olive knotted roll in the middle surrounded by a rosemary twisted rope.  The rope was surrounded by balls of alternating doughs.  The remaining dough was separated into 2 ropes each and made into an alternating 4 strand round challah shape.


The ends were braided but instead of being tucked under they were rotated to the side to make the challah larger in diameter.  This was placed on top of the rest of the shapes in the basket.  It didn’t quite cover but we didn’t want to smoosh it up too much to see what the shape would be like on the bottom of the loaf after baking.  Why should top get all the pretty decoration?


This dough was still pretty wet, much wetter than our normal chacon dough, so it will be interesting to see how the shapes come though the cracking stage when baked.  Hopefully it will still crack as expected.  If it tastes half as good as it smells before baking, we will have some fine Italian bread to eat.


Just checked on it and this bread needs much more time in the fridge to proof right so, 36 hours is back on the table but it will have to be 40 hours because I’m not putting this bread in the oven a 5 AM!  Or 10 AM either.

Just put it on the heating pad to warm up and proof before we heat up Big Old Betsy.  It should bake it in A DO to be consistent with the last bake but consistency is far from my baking prowess.

Wow! After 42 plus hours in the fridge and on the counter this bread baked up the deepest, richest, mahogany color with blisters I have seen on any bread coming out of our Big GE.  It was baked on a stone at 500 F for 2 minutes and then an additional 12 minutes at 450 F all under steam with 2 of Sylvia’s steaming pans and a 12” skillet with lava rocks, ala David Snyder, that I threw a half cup of water into as I closed the door.

 This chacon is awfully handsome on the outside and it sure smells just as tasty too.  Can’t wait to slice this bread and have a taste but I will – at least till it cools.  Sadly, all the intricate balls didn't crack due to too much hydration.  The challah on the bottom didn't even show a sign of being there much less crack.

I turned the oven off and cracked the door when the chacon got to 203 F since it was so dark and let it sit on the stone till it hit 205 F on the inside.

The crumb came out not quite as open as the last bake but it was moist and soft.  The crust went softer as it cooled but was mighty tasty and chewy.  This bread is delicious and I can't wait to have it with some lemon flavored olive oil, fresh Italian herbs, black pepper and Italian grated cheese.  This is some kind of delicious that should be patented or illegal.



Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



SD Starter


















Total Starter
























Levain % of Total












Dough Flour






Red Malt






White Malt






Toady Tom's Tasty Toasted Tidbits












Whole Wheat






Dark Rye


















Dark Rye






Potato Flakes






Oat Flour












Dough Flour


















Dough Hydration












Total Flour






Total Water






Total Dough Hydration












Hydration w/ Adds






Total Weight












Whole Grains












Add - Ins






Asiago & Parmesan Cheese






Olives & Sun Dried Tomato


















1/2 T of Fresh Rosemary






1 Clove of Minced Garlic









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.



Yeasty Boy's picture
Yeasty Boy

Hello. I'm a noob to this forum and I'd like first to thank everyone here for such informative content as I've found it rather easy to navigate and research the information necessary to score a perfect success with my very first baking effort ever, and to produce the finest pizza I have ever had the priveledge to bake and eat.

MNBäcker's picture

Rehydrate dried Rosemary?

March 8, 2012 - 6:45am -- MNBäcker

Hi, all.

So, I have been baking a couple of batches of Rosemary-Olive sourdough. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results, but I have one slight problem:

the Rosemary flavor is barely noticeable in the bread. I think I used a pretty good amount of fresh Rosemary already, but I could of course increase the amount. The problem I will have is, that when I get to "production stage" and make a dozen loaves or so at a time, I'd need a bush of Rosemary every week - that doesn't sound very sustainable.

MNBäcker's picture

Dried vs. fresh Rosemary

February 8, 2012 - 10:36am -- MNBäcker

Hi all.

I'm getting ready to make a Rosemary Olive Sourdough and I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle the Rosemary part. I bought a small plant for the windowsill and would love to use it fresh, but there's a chance I will end up making these 12 loaves at a time, and I don't think the plant would give me enough. Will dried Rosemary give me the same results? What's the best way to incorporate the dried herb? Do I need to rehydrate it somehow first?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



Sheblom's picture


A while back I baked a raisin and rosemary loaf and it came out quite well, and the flavour was quite excellent. I have only been baking for a year now and from that year I have gather one opinion. I have still lots to learn.

So I am going back to basics. Just have one simple recipe and tweak that recipe to learn all the ins and outs of getting a decent loaf of bread. Don't get me wrong I will be baking with different recipes that I find here on fresh loaf and in Various books. My major aim though is to stick with one basic recipe and learn all the ins and outs. What temperature to bake at, when to add the salt, what temperature the water must be, how long to proof the loaf, what will happen if I have a high hydration loaf, etc

This is all in aid for me to learn and know when and where certain elements will happen. So that it will be less hit and miss if it going to be a good loaf and be more certain that a loaf will come out how it should.

The basic recipe I will be following is the same one from the lesson found on this website [LINK]

3 cups of all purpose flour

2 teaspoons of yeast

2 teaspoons of salt

1 1/8 cup water

In the loaf I will be showing today I have added about 1/4 cup of raisin and 2 Tablespoons of rosemary. I just love the combination of these two ingredients.

So now for some pictures:

As always start with the recipe:

Then the required utensils and ingredients [I do all my bread baking by hand as I do not have a mixer of yet]

Add the Yeast to the warm water to activate 

Add the flour, at this point I have held back the salt and let the flour and water and yeast sit for about 10min to Autolyse

I then add the salt and then Knead for 10 - 15 min, I then leave the dough to rest for about 15 min

While the dough is resting I cut up the fresh rosemary to be added to the dough

I then add the raisins and rosemary and knead for another 5min. I then tighten up my boule and let proof for about 45min. I then fold the dough and least proof for another 30min

After it has proofed, I then punch down and reshape into the final boule shape. 

I preheat my oven to 230c and place in my pizza stone to heat up as well. I also place an old roasting dish to water up at the bottom of the oven.

Once the loaf has been proofing for about an hour, I place the boule onto the pizza stone and slice in a cross. As I place boule in the oven I reduce the heat to 200c and though some ice blocks in the heated roasting dish to create steam.

I bake the loaf for about 15min then turn the loaf and back for a further 10 - 15min. 

and here is the end result:

and crumb

I am quite happy with how the loaf came out, the crust was nice and crispy and the flavour was good. I think the crumb is still a bit dense and spongy. This might be due to the salt being added later. Aslo it looks like it "blew out on one side, I am not sure why this happen, maybe my slicing was not up to par.

Next I will try this recipe without the raisin and rosemary and try it with out the autolysis and a different slicing pattern and see what will happen. Hopefully this will rectify some of the issues that I have had.

Please let me know what you think or if I must try something out at different stages of my bake.


Please excuse any spelling or grammar mistakes, it is not my strongest strength.

I have also submitted this post to YeastSpotting :

jennyloh's picture

I got a call that there's a discount on one kitchen item that I've been eyeing for like 3 years.  After lunch, I quickly hop over to the store,  the buy is not only a discount but also a free meat grinder,  well,  I wanted the pasta maker.  The sales girl promised that there will be a free surprise gadget in the pack,  and ok,  fine, we decided to buy it.  Well,  the surprise was not there and the sales girl decided to give us a the pasta maker for free!,  I was exhilarated.  

Lugging the big item back home, my son had to help me carry it home.   I couldn't wait to try.  But it was already evening,  too late for a quick bake.  I decided to work Daniel Leader's Local Breads,  usually turns out really really well.  And,  my son requested for Rosemary Bread.  Leader's Local Breads contains a lot of recipes that uses herbs,  simply love it,  and uses biga that somehow,  makes it easy for the bread to work with and it usually turns out excellent.Rosemary Filone (Daniel Leader's Local Breads)1.  Took the biga out from the fridge, put into the mixer bowl.  add in water,  and used the stirrer to cut up in chunks.2.  Add in all Ingredients, all dry first then, followed by wet.3.  Mix for 10 mins using no. 3 ( I initially used 4 and the whole machine was jumping like crazy, I was afraid that it'll jump off the counter.)  In the meantime,  I was able to do some cleaning up.4.  After 10 mins, the gluten was developed very well,  I was able to get my window pane dough.  And the dough was warm from the mixing.  Remove from the bowl.5.  Round the dough and leave in the container for 1st proof.6.  1 hour 15 mins.  the dough doubled.   7.  Split dough by half,  fold and leave for 15 mins.8.  Shape into loaf and leave in basket to proof for another 1 hour.9.  Meanwhile,  heat oven at 210 degree celsius.10. Score dough, bake for 40 minutes with steam.  (this bread is stated as no steam required, but I prefer the crust to be crispy and light)Rosemary Filone:  The dough doubled in the oven,  and the rosemary smell wafted through the oven as it was baking. This bread is so soft and the crumbs were so well stretched. Ricotta Bread - Pane Alla Ricotta(Daniel Leader's Local Breads)Since I had my machine and flour all out,  I decided to make another bread at the same time. I had a box of Ricotta that I bought,  but not sure how to use it other and there in front of me, just a few pages down,  Ricotta Bread.  I just have to try it.1.  Same method,  dry ingredients first then followed by cheese and butter, then water and milk.2.  Mix for 10 mins at No. 3.3.  Dough was mixed well. Window Pane achieved again.4.  Let proof for 1 hour 30 mins.5.  Cut 2/3 and 1/3.  Fold and leave for 15 mins.6.  Round the 2/3 dough and 1/3 into loaf.  Leave to proof for 1 hour 30 mins.7.  Score dough,  bake bread for 30 mins, with steam.  This time,  the loaves tripled.  The milk and ricotta seems to make the dough much lighter than other breads,  and with the steam,  the bread just bloomed.  This is the first bread that I see spread, bloomed,  just indescribable.I am totally happy with this new machine that I bought.  Totally satisfied,  as I usually don't get consistent mix.  And now,  with only 10 mins,  and the dough is so well mixed,  gluten fully developed.
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.






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