The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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DoughBoyFresh's picture

Fresh Off The Presses

OK, so for all my dedicated fans, of which I'm sure are numerous, I apologize for my negligence in updates. You might have though I was outta the game forever, but you were so wrong. That is to say, I have recently concocted some delish-ass bread. The inspiration came from my long time friend and college Armun Liaghat, to whom this loaf is dedicated. Enough with the babble lets dabble.

This is a 25% Whole Dark Rye, 75% white loaf. I used some of that chronic Red's Mill Whole Dark as night Rye and some regular Trader Joe's AP. I also added about a cup of flax seeds. Usually, I DGAF about a bread flour, but this time it ended up biting me in the ass (more on that later). I made about a cup of preferment with rye flour, a little water, and finished up the hydration with my all time favorite beer.

Yes that's right. It's not from Michigan, it's not an IPA, it's California Ale. Side Note to all the beer snobs: check it out. At this point, my starter was looking like some chunky diarrhea. Let that sit for 24 hours feeding every 8. Then I mixed up my dough, autolyse, and blah blah blah. Bang! Super dank loaf.

Well, almost...

While the crumb is acceptable as a sandwich bread, it was not at all what I was aiming for. With the hearty pre-ferment, I was hoping for large gelatinous bubbles, but instead got what amounted to the crumb of under kneaded WW:

I will try the guy again, only with two differences. I will substitute in bread flour, and add a ~24 hour retarded fermentation in darkest corner of my fridge.

So I ask my devoted readers; Do you think this aught to help my crumb? And with that, I say goodbye from Doughboy Fresh and stay crispy.

Skibum's picture

Double fed sweet levain bread

My first bake from Ken Forkish's Flower, Water, Salt, Yeast.  Ken says to bake it down dark.  Okay!

This was baked at 475F n a hot covered DO for 20 minutes then uncovered and baked at 475 convection.  After 10 minutes turning at the half, this was the result and though Ken says bake for 20 uncovered, I thought things were dark enough using a convection bake.  This loaf really crackled and hissed once removed from the oven.

I had planned to follow Ken's instructions to the letter, but sometimes life gets in the way.  Uncle skibum had too much medicine the night before starting this project, so instead of starting the levain at 7:00 am as planned it didn't get done until 9:30.  Oops!  The result was that I was too tired to shape at the end of the day, so the dough went into the fridge in bulk to be shaped, proofed and baked the next day.

Forkish has a most interesting take on adjusting your flavouring by adjusting the levain -- neat concept!

I halved this recipe and the loaf still had so much volume, my bread knife was nearly not long enough!

Now I'm sure my overnight bulk in the fridge changed the flavour profile, this is a tasty bread with an almost creamy crumb.

Next up is Ken's Walnut Levain Bread and the starter was mixed by 8:00 am, so I should be able to exactly follow the schedule today.

Happy baking !  Brian

pmccool's picture

Belated post: Hamelman's Pain de Mie with Whole Wheat

This bake took place on Labor Day weekend.  My pullman pans were silently mocking me from their perch in the cupboard, reminding me that the last time I used them, the loaves had ears.  Or eaves.  That isn't supposed to happen with pain de mie.  Chalk it up to overfilling the pans.

So, this seemed like as good a time as any to experiment again.  As before, I used the pain de mie formula from Hamelman's 2nd edition of Bread.  In checking my previous numbers, it became evident that there was, indeed, an error in the math.  Having checked the scaling factor for my 9x4x4 pans, compared to the larger ones that Hamelman uses, it appeared that 810g of dough would be appropriate for one of my pans.  From that point, the rest of numbers were quickly calculated and I set to work.

This bread departs from the formula in three ways.  First, it contains 50% whole wheat flour, rather than being an entirely white bread.  Second, I took my first stab at using the tang zhong method, reasoning that it could benefit the texture of the finished bread.  Fifty grams of flour were combined with 250g of water and cooked until it formed a soft paste or roux.  Third, I substituted honey for the sugar in the formula, in equal weight.

The balance of the bread was pretty much according to Hamelman's instructions, except that I mixed and kneaded by hand instead of with a machine.  

The finished bread was much better than my first attempt.  Look, Ma, no eaves!:

The corners are slightly rounded.  Either there should have been a few more grams of dough in the pans or it should have been allowed to proof just a bit longer.  Or the shaping wasn't quite as uniform as needed.  I'm leaning toward the latter, since the dough was almost touching the pan lid when the dough went into the oven.

The crumb also suggests that the dough was neither under weight or under fermented:

Despite the less-than-stellar focus, it's easy to see that there is a small zone of compaction around the sides and bottom of the loaf.  It appears that the center of the loaf, which is the last to expand as the heat reaches it, has compressed the outer layer.  My read is that there may actually have been slightly too much dough in the pan, though not nearly as overloaded as my first attempt.  The bread was certainly easier to chew than its predecessor.

The results of the tang zhong showed up less in the form of a "shreddable" crumb and more in the form of a non-crumbly crumb that stayed moist.  Achieving a wispy, ethereal crumb would probably have required twice as much time in kneading as I used.  I'm happy for the way that the bread didn't dry and crumble, which whole wheat breads are prone to do.

For next time, then, a small reduction in dough quantity, keep the tang zhong, and work on shaping for more end to end uniformity.  I'll probably also drop the oven temperature by 25-50F from Hamelman's recommendation.  Although he is known for his preference for deeply colored crusts, my opinion is that less is more for a pain de mie style bread crust.


rossnroller's picture

Yozza's sourdough bread baking class


Some time ago, Yozza (Derek) started running bread baking classes for the public after hours at his place of work, an educational institute near Fremantle, Western Australia, that runs commercial cookery courses (among many others). Yozza worked for years as a pro baker, and although his official position at the institute is essentially clerical, he has never really taken his baker’s cap off. When I first visited him some years back (after we linked up through TFL), I noticed containers of starter sharing space with paperwork in his office! I do believe there was also a 25kg bag of flour propped up in a corner.

Yozza is a high energy person lit up by all things baking. I struggled to keep up with him on that first visit as he led the way at frenetic pace to the wood-fired oven he had managed to convince the institute to have installed. He had organised some students to lend a hand in its construction during some weekend busy-bees. The effort had been worth it. It’s a fine-lookin’ fine-cookin’ son of a gun. Yozza was clearly proud of it, and justifiably so.

In fact, the WFO was the reason he had invited me on campus. I had developed a sourdough pizza that I was very pleased with. I thought it better than any dry yeasted one I had turned out of my domestic oven in my years of pizza baking and experimentation, and mentioned in a PM to Yozza that I’d love to see what a WFO would do for it. No sooner said than invitation issued! That’s the sorta bloke Yozza is.

Anyway, the pizza night was a lot of fun. I wrote it up on my TFL blog (includes a pic of the WFO): see Yozza and Rossnroller’s Great Wood Fired Oven Adventure.

That was a while ago, and Yozza is now approaching retirement. He hasn’t lost any of his fervour for baking, though, and his energy levels have not dropped in the slightest. No chance of him going gently into that good night – way too much bread to bake, and knowledge to share!

I believe he’s intending to keep running the public baking classes post-retirement and that’s just as well. Somehow, I don’t see him being able to stay away from the campus bakery area he has made his own over the years. Indeed, if the institute management has half a clue – rare for management in my experience, but let’s not get bitter and peripheral – they won’t let go of an asset as valuable as Yozza just cos he’s retired. All that means is more time to share his pro wisdom and love of all things floury with students, the public – indeed, anyone remotely interested.

I’ve tapped myself off track somewhat, so time to impose a bit of self-discipline. To the baking class, then.

There were twelve attendees in all. Most were friends or work colleagues of Yozza’s, many with little or no baking experience. This night was invitation-only. The main focus was sourdough. Yozza’s objective was to fine-tune his content and presentation prior to advertising the class to the public. He’d asked if I would consider writing up a promo piece for the local paper, and I was happy to oblige. Besides, as a sourdough nut, I was interested in comparing and contrasting Yozza’s modus operandi with my own.

During my pizza night visit, I’d been struck by the vast differences between the pro and amateur baking worlds. So it was again this time. It’s largely down to a matter of scale. I do one 1kg bread at a time, hand-mixing in a plastic basin, bulk proofing in a 10L plastic container, using baking paper as a couche (often torn, scungy and singed from multiple bakes). I use Sylvia’s wet towel steaming method during the first 15 minutes of the bake, which I subsequently micro-manage by reducing the oven temperature at set intervals to achieve the finish I like. All very attention-intensive. That is the luxury of the amateur baker.

Yozza, on the other hand, weighs out kilos of flour, water and starter on a commercial set of scales that make my little domestic Target battery digital job look like a kid’s toy, then dumps the lot into a whacking great Hobart spiral mixer, turns it on and stands back while it does its thing.

The institute ovens are high-tech marvels. They take 6 trays (I think) of bread or buns per bake, and heat up at a rate of one degree per second. There is digitally controlled steam injection, and steam reduction. A fan, similarly precisely controlled. And all sorts of other functions I didn’t catch. At $8K each, pretty reasonably priced, too, for anyone who wanted to start up a small bakery.

Cinnamon scrolls a-baking in one of the two ovens


But of course, the contrasts between pro and amateur bakers are not simply down to equipment.

For example, Yozza’s dough shaping is deft and fast-motion in contrast to mine. I tend to be fussy and fastidious; he takes a dough ball in each hand, which he tightens and shapes in two quick dragging and rolling motions that seem to morph into one. The results beat my best efforts…and in quarter the time. 

The class was well organised, packing two sourdough breads and some yeasted cinnamon scrolls into 3.5 hours. Yozza had prepared his ‘Black Sesame Sourdough’ the day before, baking it early in the class, then consigning it to the cooler so we could sample it sooner than the usual two hour post-bake minimum.

The second sourdough, his ‘50% Wholemeal with Home Brew Stout’ (a stout and wholemeal flour soaker is one component of the formula), we made from scratch.

The class appraises their scoring of Derek's 'Black Sesame Sourdough'


With the trusty old Hobart making easy work of the mixing, Yozza took us through assessing gluten development via the window test (which I never do at home). He then moved to stretching and folding the dough, which he spread out across the benchtop like a fleece. The dough was then left to proof with a couple more S&Fs at 45 minute intervals. Towards the end of the class, it was weighed out into 500gm loaves and shaped, Derek mentoring and sometimes coming to the rescue if impending disaster loomed. Each participant was given a foil container of shaped dough to take home and bake next day.

Baked straight out of the foil tin at home, not the most aesthetically appealing finish I've ever managed, but the bread was delicious. The stout lurks in the background, adding an enticing maltiness to the flavour profile.


Speaking of which, Yozza gave us a sample of his home-brewed stout during the class, and very pleasant it was: dark but smooth and mild, with a lovely fine, creamy head.

One of the attendees, who once worked with Derek as a baker, owns a small property in the middle of some prime wine country in the state’s south-west, and he treated us to a couple of bottles of his own wine – a respectable sauvignon blanc. Went well with some lavishly buttered slices of Derek’s ‘Black Sesame Sourdough’. Oh, and one of the hospitality students brought in a tray of home-made chocolates. It was all too delish to worry about the cal hit.

Which didn’t stop there! Each attendee was given a dozen cinnamon scrolls to take home. My partner also attended the class, so we ended up with two dozen. I scoffed two with a cup of tea when we got home, my partner one, and we had another two each next day. The rest are stored away in the freezer. They might have to stay there a while! We’re trying to lose weight prior to a coming travelling stint in Thailand. Were on track to be in reasonable shape, but we have a bit of work and abstinence in front of us after Derek’s class!

glazing the cinnamon scrolls


With effective advertising and promotion, Derek should have some packed classes in front of him. If I recall correctly (and chances are I don’t), he’s intending to charge the public a paltry $85 per person. Outstanding value for a fun evening of baking education and mentoring from a true pro, and an array of tasty baked indulgences that go on giving for days at home!

Thank you Derek!

Cheers all


breadsong's picture

Kneading Conference West 2013 - Day 1

local wheat, ripening in the sun

Hello everyone,
I attended the third annual Kneading Conference West this past weekend – a celebration of local wheat and grains, and a wonderful gathering of people interested in breeding, growing, milling and baking with them.

We couldn’t have received a warmer welcome – Dr. Stephen Jones and the other people hosting this event made us all feel right at home.

Once again, the hard-working Conference organizers brought us the most interesting speakers and presenters, creating a schedule jam-packed with so many great seminars it was difficult to choose which ones to go to. And everyone at WSU Mt. Vernon outdid themselves with their hospitality – we were very well taken care of by the staff, volunteers and caterers, with delicious meals and treats at the tasting events.

One of the lovely details – fresh flowers gracing our mealtime table

It was a pleasure meeting so many friendly people, and to see people I’d met before at this Conference.
The spirit of friendship and generosity was everywhere – people exchanging contact information, tips, formulas, experiences – and bread! The same gentleman who brought a beautiful wood-fired miche to share last year, did the same this year and this time I was lucky to be there when he sliced it and offered it for tasting. The crust had rich, caramel, roasted flavor, the crumb flavor was superb, with beautiful wheatiness and acidity. Check out this gorgeous bread, and crust!

I am not surprised there were so many people there I’d seen before at Kneading Conference West - the event keeps getting better and better, and continues to provide a great opportunity to connect with other bakers and to understand more about milling and farming.

To read more about this year's Conference, please see these posts:

Notes on the seminars and talks I attended on Day 1 follow:
“Bread Culture” – Dr. Darra Goldstein
“Yeasted Crackers” – Naomi Duguid and Dawn Woodward
“The Role of the Mill in Community Life” – Tom Hunton

Keynote Address – “Bread Culture” – Dr. Darra Goldstein

The hospitality experienced at the Conference and was a theme touched on by Dr. Darra Goldstein in her keynote presentation, “Bread Culture”. 
Dr. Goldstein took us through a beautiful slideshow of paintings and images depicting the relationship between people and bread through the centuries: bread as a basic necessity to survive, the labor to get bread to the table, bread as a symbol of charity, heavenly abundance and faith providing sustenance, bread and salt as the expression of hospitality in Russian culture, bread as political, bread becoming art, bread becoming Wonderbread. 
Some of the images (this is one of the images in the slideshow) showed people holding bread close to their heart or carrying bread close to their body. Dr. Goldstein suggested we should bring bread close to us again, to effect a cultural change.


“Yeasted Crackers” – Naomi Duguid and Dawn Woodward


It was a pleasure to see Naomi Duguid and Dawn Woodward working with yeasted cracker dough, and I was glad I stopped by to catch some of their discussion about their beautiful crackers.

Checking on things in the wood-fired oven

Here were some interesting things Dawn and Naomi mentioned:
- baking on a baking stone helps the cracker
- when baking with more flavorful grains, less sugar and salt are required
- the miller’s art comes through when tasting flavor differences in coarse vs. fine grinds
- interesting patterns can be imprinted on crackers, using the bottom of a whisk, for example
- a pasta machine can be used as a ‘sheeter’ to get cracker dough really thin
- lentil puree (lentils brought just to the boil, then pureed to a thick paste), when added to cracker dough, makes a supple dough

Turbinado sugar, sparkling in the sun, finishing this sweet cracker

Everyone got to enjoy Evelyn’s Crackers later in the day – with gorgeous cheeses from Gothberg Farm, Samish Bay Farm and Golden Glen Creamery, and brew from Skagit Valley Malting. Truly refreshing! :^)



“The Role of the Mill in Community Life” – Tom Hunton

Tom Hunton gave an really interesting talk about the work he and his family are doing down at Camas Country Mill in Oregon.  He talked about the mill being a community food hub, connecting growers, consumers, restaurants and baking schools, and food banks – by defining specific needs, facilitating intentional growing, and creating custom mixes at the mill.

Tom also talked about their focus on education and farm to school outreach. In addition to supplying Oregon school districts with local wheat for cafeteria programs, they have relocated the Lower Fern Ridge Schoolhouse, built in 1888 and in use until 1936, to Hunton’s Farm  – and are restoring it to use as an education and community center.  The school operated in Alvadore, OR and Tom said it was the last piece of living history there – it is lovely to think this building will not be abandoned or destroyed, but used once again for education, teaching kids (and adults) about farms and wheat, and how flour is made!

The Lower Fern Ridge School, relocated and awaiting its new foundation

(more about this in Floyd’s post)

Next post:  Day 2!

2012 Kneading Conference West posts: Day 1Day 2, Day 3

pmccool's picture

A variation on Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread

It was time for a break from the whole-grain breads that I have made, more often than not, in recent months.  Even so, I wasn't looking for an all-white bread, either.  In thumbing through the second edition of Hamelman's Bread, I came across his Sourdough Seed bread.  It calls for a bit of rye flour, and a generous helping of flax, sesame, and sunflower seeds.  Although there weren't any flax seeds on hand, I figured I could bluff my way through it with a bit of improvisation.

In casting about for something to substitute for the flax seed cold soaker, I came across some oatmeal that had been milled from oat groats while playing with the Kitchen Aide grain mill attachment.  Okay, so oats are a cereal grain, which isn't what people usually mean when they refer to seeds.  And these are ground up, not whole.  Work with me, people, this is improv.  So, flax seeds out, equal quantity of oat meal in.  Cold water out, equal quantity of boiling water in.  Now we have an oat meal scald, instead of a cold flax seed soaker.  

Since my starter was at a healthy stage of development in the refrigerator, it went straight into the liquid levain with no preliminary feedings.  By next morning, the levain was bubbly and ready to go.  The oat meal scald was also ready, although not nearly so demonstrative, which was very much in keeping with its Scottish reserve.

Before mixing the dough, the sunflower and sesame seeds were toasted in the oven.  Some stayed rather pale, others were a beautiful deep brown.  After toasting, they were allowed to cool.

Per the instructions, the soaker (scald, in this case), the levain, the seeds, and the final dough ingredients were all combined and mixed.  Mixing was done by hand, rather than by machine.  The resulting dough at first appeared to be somewhat dry, since it required some work to get all of the flour absorbed.  Once past that stage, it switched to being a rather sticky dough and stayed sticky throughout.  This may have been an artifact of the oat meal scald.  After mixing to a rough dough, it underwent another 8 minutes of slap and fold kneading.  By the end of that workout, it was showing good gluten development.  

The dough was shaped into a loose boule and placed in a plastic-covered bowl to ferment.  About an hour and a quarter later, the dough was given a stretch and fold, then reshaped into a boule and returned to the bowl for roughly an hour and a half of additional fermentation.  I was surprised when I uncovered the dough in preparation for shaping by the scent of peanut butter.  It wasn't really that, on closer consideration, but that was how my brain first interpreted the the toasty/oily fragrance of the sunflower seeds and sesame seeds in the dough.

At the end of the bulk fermentation, the dough was divided in two.  Each piece was pre-shaped, allowed to rest for a few minutes, then given a final shaping as a batard.  Final proofing was in parchment couches with side support.  It took nearly three hours of final proofing before the bread was ready for baking; kitchen temperatures were in the 70-72F range yesterday.  

Baking was pretty much as instructed, with steam.  I chose to go a few minutes longer with the bake to get a darker crust color.  The bread was removed from the oven when the internal temperature was 207F.

While I would have liked additional oven spring, that may not be a reasonable expectation, given the load of the seeds and the scald.  Both loaves have a lovely ear.  The coloring of the grigne shows that the bread continued to expand throughout the bake.  I had noticed a lot of condensation of the steam on the surface of the loaves a couple of minutes into the bake, which helped keep the crust soft and allow good expansion.

Here's another picture of the baked loaves:

The crumb, when I cut some slices for toast this morning, has a range of bubble sizes:

None are especially large, but, when you look at the seed distribution, there really isn't much they could have grown without banging into a seed of some kind.  The crust was initially very hard.  After 24 hours in plastic, it has softened somewhat.  The crumb is very moist and cool, some of which I attribute to the oat meal scald.  The flavor is definitely tilted in the direction of the toasted seeds,with plenty of nutty and toasty notes.  I can't distinguish the oat meal or the rye flour as individual flavors, although I am certain that they are part of the background grainy flavors.  The crust contributes hints of caramel, as well.  Overall, it's a very good bread that I enjoyed toasted and expect to enjoy as the foundation for sandwiches.  My thanks to Chef Hamelman for creating a bread that is still good in spite of my unanticipated variation.


rozeboosje's picture

Monster Raving Loony Starter

Hi folks!


I'm very new at this sourdough game, but I decided I would try to create a sourdough starter myself. Just over 2 weeks ago, I created my first starter mixture and I started feeding it.


On the 3rd day it made a feeble, pathetic attempt at bubbling up, but by day 4 it had turned into a sour smelling, stinky, yeast-free soup. Further feeding did nothing to alleviate the problem and by day 7 I threw the whole sorry lot away and started again. This time with nothing but rye flour and water. Not a lot of water either. JUST enough to create a very thick paste.


By day 2 I thought I could get a "yeasty" smell. By day 3 it smelled undeniably yeasty with fruity hints and a hint of beer.


By day 4 it had gone into orbit. It started doubling so fast I had to feed it at least twice a day. It now doubles in less than four hours. It's day 8 now, and I've baked two loafs with it since. The first one, I didn't add enough salt, but other than that it seemed ok. The second one was much better. At least for a total newbie like me.


But what am I going to do about this monster starter? Just feeding it is going to cost me a fortune in flour. It's insatiable.


My house already is on the cool side (though today was an exception as a lot of cooking was done and the house was warm and toasty, but that'll change during the working week!).


I'm reluctant to put the starter in the fridge this early in its life. I want it to mature a bit first. So the coolness of the house is as cool as it's going to get.


This evening I tried something new. I split the starter in two, but rather than throwing one half away and feeding the other, I kept both halves this time. The first half I fed as usual. The second one, I added half a teaspoon of salt, but fed the same way as the other one, otherwise.


Just checked, and both bowls are going strong again. Yipes. Well. I could try a WHOLE teaspoon of salt on the next feeding of Bowl Number Two, but maybe I should start looking at how much a swimming pool would cost me.


Joking aside though... Any ideas on how to rein in this monster starter? LOL What a problem to have ...

golgi70's picture

100% Wheat (using locally grown Hollis Hard Red Winter Wheat)

So one of the biggest things I've taken from the broad trip was that 100% wheat breads are much better as a smaller loaf.  I've made a few and we sell one at my current work that is scaled at a whopping 40oz and finished in a loaf pan.  It's good but every time I have it it's a bit overwhelming.  This could just be my preference as more than a few have claimed it their favorite loaf.  Regardless Dave Miller's Chico Nut was an awakening for me as the loaf is so pleasant to eat.  I've adapted some of what I liked from his loaf into the creation of my own 100% Wheat loaf.  

I formulated a recipe and went for it.  The results are out of the oven but not yet sliced so crumb shots will come a bit later.  I have high hopes that this will at least be a good starting point for my 100% Wheat.

Levain Build 1:  (this leaves extra to keep)

50 g      White Starter (100%)

100g     Stone Ground Hard Red Wheat

100 g    H20



this took about 6 hours to ripen


Levain Build 2      76 Deg for 3-4 hours

320 Wheat Flour
10 Bran from sifting
150 Whole Wheat Starter (100%)
330 H20

660 Wheat
660 H20
20 Honey
21 Salt

Total Flour 1065 g (this includes the sifted bran put back in the levain)

Total H20   1065 (plus roughly 28 g used during stretch and folds)  1093 g  Plus 20% honey weight 1097 g roughly 

total Dough Hydartion:   103 %

total Dough Weight:       2171 g   

4 loaves at 540 g or 3 at 725 g 

I'll be playing with sizing until I find the magic number.   This time around i went with the small 540 g loaf.

I sifted the entire lot of flour and the removed bran was 1% of the original weight.  I added this to the levain and now know I need a finer sifter.  I was inteding to get some extraction so the extracted flour could gain strenth through autolyse and the extracted be added back in form of levain.  I followed suit anyway since it was already done. 

1)  Make first build and let rise 4-6 hours pending temps

2)  Make second build and autolyse final dough.  

3)  Add salt honey and levain to autolyse and squeeze through fingers until all is well distributed.  Rest 5 minutes

4)  slap and fold until dough is taught.  rest 5 minutes.  repeat 2 more times.  All were done with scaled water used for my hands.  I got a rough idea of added water from doing so. 

5)  Retard dough and give 2 s/f's at 45 minutes.  Then rest for 12 hours.

6)  Pull from retarder and let rest 30 minutes.  Divide and pre-shape using oiled hands.  

7)  Shape:  I shaped two loaves into bannetons, tops down.  I shaped the other two onto a flour couche tops down. 

8)  Bake at 500 with steam for 9 minutes.  Lower to 460 and continue for about 20 minutes rotating as needed. 

The dough is certainly well hydrated but not so difficult to work with.  I wish I had made a larger batch to work with and I will certainly do so but gentle shaping using little flour and letting the dough adhere to itself seemed to work the best.  


I also scored one of each type of shape.  Had a little sticking on one loaf on the way in but all worked out in the end. 

Crumb shot sometime later today.  


These two were proofed in bowls.  The two at the header of post were done on floured couche.  All in all it looks like they held better shape in the bowls.  


Unscored on the left and scored on the right.  Looks like I got a better shape on the loaf to the right more so than the scoring helping it open.  Future tests will be the true judge.

Anyway this bread is simply amazing.  Sour and salty and wheaty and just enough honey to balance but not taste like honey.  Very pleased and will simply play with loaf scaling and shaping.  



isand66's picture

Parmesan Scallion Rolls

I just returned from my latest trip to China for work and was itching to have some decent bread to eat.  China is not known for their bread so I was starting to suffer bread withdrawal.

My starter is in serious need of some tender loving care after sleeping in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks so I had no choice but to make a yeasted dough.

I used a good portion of First Clear flour along with durum, white whole wheat (to get a little healthy grains in there), bread flour and some potato flour.

I used some dried scallions, fresh grated parmesan cheese, olive oil and milk for the liquid.

The final rolls came out nice and tasty with a nice soft crumb.  These are perfect for sandwiches or burgers or just with a smear of cream cheese.




Mix flours with yeast to combine.  Next add remainder of the ingredients and mix on low for 1 minute and then for 5 minutes at speed number 2.  Note:  make sure to leave about 50 grams of milk aside and add only if necessary.  The dough should form a ball and clean the side of the mixing bowl.

Take the dough out of your mixer and form it into a ball and place in a well oiled bowl or dough rising bucket.  Immediately place the dough in the refrigerator overnight for up to 2 days.

When ready to bake, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about 1 hour.

Next gently deflate the dough and form into rolls and place on cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Cover with a moist towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  Let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour until the rolls have almost doubled in size and pass the poke test.

Around 30 minutes before ready to bake the rolls, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and prepare your oven for steam as well.  I use a heavy-duty pan in the bottom shelf of my oven and pour 1 cup of boiling water in right before placing the rolls in the oven.

Right before you are ready to bake the rolls prepare an egg wash, paint your rolls and add  your topping of choice.  I used poppy seeds and some more grated parmesan cheese.

Bake the rolls at 450 degrees for the first 5 minutes and lower the oven to 425 degrees until they are nice and brown.

These should take about 25 minutes to cook thoroughly.  When done  let them cool on wire rack for at least half an hour before digging in if you can wait that long.


Lively's picture

Reproducing Sara Lee Coffee Cake

For the past 2 years or so I've been trying to replicate the Sara Lee Coffee Cake - the pecan one... mmmm. They've changed the recipe since I was a kid so I'm replicating from memory. I'm very very close. 

The biggest challenge has been that the old version of Sara Lee was more characteristically bread than cake; the crust was bread like the crumb more cake like. I believe I have that part figured out, but there is a key flavor missing. It's the yeast. My crumb and crust are exactly as I want it, but I need a slightly more yeasty flavor and I am not talking about the mature flavor of well risen bread, but that young slightly under cooked bread kind of flavor. 

I'm using 2 tsp of standard yeast (not instant), I hesitate to use more since the texture is perfect... any suggestions?