The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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criscarile's picture

Sourdough Pasta

This will be my first "true" entry, aside from a few (very few) comments here and there.  Quite a while ago I decided to take a bit of my sourdough starter and make it into a Durum Wheat Semolina Sourdough starter in order to make sourdough pasta.  With all the reading and researching I've been doing, souring, sprouting, or soaking seems to be the best for grains in order to release the enzyme inhibitors and neutralize phytic acid.  It was a sad day when I learned about these facts, as I have lived on breads and pastas (homemade, of course) most of my life, and couldn't think of not having them around.  So, for the past year-and-a-half I've tried to create baked goods in the "traditional" manner.  That is where this pasta comes kids can't even imagine life without pasta.

This pasta is so delicious, very mild in flavor and good to the tooth....I hope you try it and please let me know what you think!  Keep in mind that this takes advanced preparation, just like anything sourdough.

2/3 cup starter (from semolina) (starter should be very thick but pourable -- paste-like -- not sure of the percentage, and in its bubbly stage)

1 1/2 cups organic Durum Wheat Semolina

2 eggs from pastured hens

Mix together and knead until smooth and not sticky; add all-purpose flour if needed in order to obtain the correct consistency.  Place in a bowl, cover, let stand for 8 hours or overnight. 



Sprinkle with flour and punch down.  On a floured surface,divide into 8 sections and roll each section into a ball, then flatten.  With pasta machine set on lowest setting, pass dough through once, then fold into thirds, pass through again.  Increase pasta machine setting one notch at a time, up to notch "7", but only passing dough through once after the first setting; always make sure the dough is well-floured or else it will stick. Cut pasta sheet to desired length and hang to dry on designated dryer (I use a clothes-dryer).



In the above photo, pasta is drying for future lasagna... However, fresh pasta is treated differently in that if using for lasagna, there is no pre-boiling required!  Just layer in the dish and bake.  If making spaghetti or other styles, one only needs to boil the pasta for 2-3 minutes.

The final photo (scroll to end) shows pasta cut to fettucine width via the pasta machine, deliciously dressed with meat sauce and Romano cheese!


Any help with getting the actual photos onto the forum instead of showing a link would be greatly appreciated! 


dawkins's picture

My *attempt* at Levine's Divine Speculaas Rolls

After seeing these amazing looking rolls posted by Freerk ...

...I couldn't help but try making them. Unfortunately, I didn't do justice to the recipe - mine are more style than substance, thanks to some foolish tweaks.

First off, I love the shaping technique - absolutely beautiful. Mine are a bit more clover leaf/hearts looking, and irregular, but I still like it. Now - onto my less successful modifications! As I can't buy aniseed around here, I thought I'd swap the speculaas spices (which sound gorgeous) for some mixed spice, your traditional British Christmas spice mix. The spice taste was pretty mild in the finished rolls though, so I think for mixed spice you definitely need to add much more - Freerk did suggest upping the spice, but with a clove-phobe of a boyfriend, I was a bit wary (more fool me).

My next tweaks were solely based on using what I had/being too cold and lazy to go the shops. :o) I added a couple of drops of lemon oil instead of lemon zest, which came through nicely in the marzipan. Unfortunately, while the dough was rising I used up my last egg in some biscotti, so I only had about half a teaspoon left to mix in with the marzipan. I'm guessing this is why it sort of boiled out a bit rather than setting up more.

Finally, for some reason (probably my somewhat erratic oven) the rolls weren't browning after 15 minutes like the original ones in the photo, so I left them in for another 5-8 minutes. The result: nice and brown but sadly a little bit dry, of course - foolish me! I'm wondering if I can brush them with melted butter or something maybe to moisten them a little...

Anyhow, don't get me wrong: I'd say my efforts tasted about 6 or 7 out of 10, whereas those originals looked like a definite 10 out of 10 to me! What I'm loving about this site is all the inspiration and the chances to practice, experiment and learn from my mistakes, so set backs like this are just getting me thinking... I'm imagining a walnut and honey paste filling, or a pesto style filling, or some kind of hard cheese and spinach, or tapenade....

Dwayne's picture

Help - How did they do this?



Well it is the catalog season and our mail box is stuffed with them.  We got one from Norm Thompson and it had a "Slovenian Potica Coffee Cake" in it.  The picture of it looks terrific but I can not figure out how they did it.  Maybe one of you know the trick.  I could not grab the image and put it here so here is the link:


Thanks for any help.  I would like to alter my cinnamon rolls to look like these.


Thanks, Dwayne

Mike Como's picture
Mike Como

sourdough starter method

this is an excellent article using purple cabbage of all things to make a great sourdough starter.  I plan to try it next time I'm at the store looking at cabbage!  found on  .........................

varda's picture

Hamelman Mixed Sourdough Starters and Sourdough Pugliese


Several months ago there were a slew of great posts on breads with rye starters - Khalid, Arlo, Syd, Lumos and I've probably missed some.   I didn't have a rye sourdough starter, so I bookmarked a bunch of these posts and forgot about it.  Then I made a rye sourdough starter so I could make Whitley's Russian Rye, but it was only when Joyfulbaker posted on Hamelman's mixed starter formula (p. 162 of Bread) that I realized I could make it with my new rye starter.   In doing so, I found I had extra high hydration wheat starter, which looked so nice I didn't want to throw it out.   So I adapted the Pugliese recently posted by Sylvia to use starter instead of poolish.  

Although it changes the character of the bread, I think the adapted version works pretty well. 

The Hamelman is a delicious, balanced formula.   I tweaked it by swapping out a little of the bread flour for whole wheat.   Other than that I followed instructions.  

Formula for Sourdough Pugliese:
































Mix all but salt and autolyse for 40 minutes.   Add salt.   Mix for several minutes in the bowl by scooping dough from the edges to the middle.  Stretch and fold on counter 3 times in half hour intervals.   Continue bulk ferment for 1 hour after last stretch and fold.    Shape into boule and proof upside down in bowl.   Bake at 450 for 15 minutes with steam, 30 minutes without. 


breadsong's picture

Cranberry Ginger Bread - a work in progress

We stopped in at Mix The Bakery in Vancouver awhile back and picked up a loaf of their Cranberry Ginger bread.
This bread was delicious! (I wish I'd taken a picture of it).
Thinking about holiday 'gifts from the kitchen', I thought of this bakery's wonderful Cranberry Ginger bread.
This is a first try at making this bread, using some local, fresh cranberries and ground ginger (along with a bit of lemon zest) for flavor; if I can get this loaf to the point where it tastes like the bakery's, I'll be happy to give this bread to friends and family this holiday season!
The stenciling is for Susan at WildYeast and her upcoming Holiday Edition :^)

Cranberries were popping out all over the place, giving this loaf a bumpy appearance, and the cranberry is bright, bright red in the crumb:

                                                                                                         beautiful, local cranberries :^)

These cranberries were juicy, and the first slice didn't slice all that cleanly;
here's the next one, looks a little bit better than the first?                                                                  

I tossed the cranberries in sugar prior to mixing them into the dough, but even still, these berries are tart!
A little bit of honey on this bread brings the flavors into balance nicely; but the next time I make this, I will try dried, sweetened cranberries in place of fresh.
The ginger flavor is faintly there in the background, so next time I may add some finely chopped fresh, or candied ginger, in addition to the ground ginger. I remember distinctly tasting ginger in Mix The Bakery's loaf; it tasted really good but was not overpowering, so it will take a little bit of tweaking in the next attempt.

I used some locally-grown whole wheat flour in the poolish and levain, and was so happy with the flavor
this contributed to the loaf!

Happy baking, and wishing everyone the best this holiday season,
:^) from breadsong

Submitted to YeastSpotting for Susan's Holiday Edition :^)


Carb Junkie's picture
Carb Junkie

Running new bread machine empty before using to make bread?


I have just purchased a West Bend High-Rise Horizontal breadmaker through Amazon.  I bought it because of the many good reviews.  A few of the reviews said that one should run the breadmaker through a whole cycle while the pan is empty, prior to baking any bread!  Has anyone heard of this practice?  It is not mentioned in the manual.

Thank you!

leenaud's picture

Artisan or Rustic bread

What is a fool proof way to make a high % hydration loaf with large irregular holes. I've tried a lot of recipes, some of Peter Reinhart and also Jeffrey Hamelman, but so far no luck. Thanks in advance for any feedback

PMcCool's picture

Gilding the lily

Believe it or not, Floyd's Sweet Potato Rolls can be made even better.  And I wouldn't even have known that but for a bit of Thanksgiving serendipity.

My youngest daughter and family had been in town for a visit the weekend prior to Thanksgiving.  For one of our meals, she made Elizabeth Karmel's Sweet Potato Bourbon Mash.  Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite things and they play very nicely with a bit of bourbon.  Needless to say, the dish was delicious!

A few days later, I was planning to take some rolls to our older daughter's home for Thanksgiving dinner and decided that the sweet potato rolls would be in keeping with the day.  As luck would have it, there was about 3/4 of a cup of the sweet potato bourbon mash left over; just the perfect amount for the rolls.

The dough came together nicely and the rolls baked up prettily, filling the house with their fragrance.  They tasted even better than they smelled!  As our daughter put it after taking a bite, "It's like Thanksgiving in your mouth!"  

So, if you feel the need for a bit of self-indulgence, I'd highly recommend this.   In effect, you get a two-for-one deal, since the sweet potato mash is worth doing in its own right.


Beyondthebread's picture

Working with Pan au Lait / Milk Bread

Hi, this is Daniel Rios (Beyondthebread).  Here is a photo from my latest blog entry using a pan au lait (milk bread) recipe.  I used the dough to make monkey bread, shown here, and will be posting Friday and Monday with 2 more uses for the same dough.  Here is the recipe I used --> . I hope to find bakers who love to talk bread and can add their expertise to my posts.  Come check out the recipes and pictures on  Let me know what you think and share your stories of baking.

I have been a professional baker for over 7 years now and have now started my own website to share everything that I can about my experiences and whatever experiments I decide to try out.  You will be seeing me on this site more often, now that I have found it.  I hope to meet other professional or baking enthusiasts who share my love for all things baking.