The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Julie McLeod's picture
Julie McLeod

Cherry and Chocolate Sourdough Boule

My first blog post here.  :)

This loaf is a modification of the Tartine bakery formula and method.  I wish I could figure out a way to prevent solids added to the dough from popping out after shaping.  The cherries on the surface charred a bit much but the rest of the bread is so nice that I can overlook that fault.  Lovely untoasted with butter.

Cherry and Chocolate Sourdough Boule 


100 g. leaven

375 g. water

500 g. unbleached organic white flour

10 g. sea salt

100 g. dried Montmorency cherries

50 g. dark chocolate, broken in pieces


Mix 100% hydration starter with equal amounts of water and flour to yield enough for 100 g. of leaven plus extra if needed to store (i.e. 40 g. starter, 40 g. water, 40 g. flour).  Allow to rise to peak.  Mix 100 g. leaven with 350 g. water, add flour, and mix with hands.  Autolyse for 45 minutes.  Add remaining 25 g. water and salt.  Mix with hands.  Fold in chocolate and cherries.  Do stretch and folds in bowl every 30 minutes for 2 1/2 hours.  Pre-shape and rest for 20 minutes.  Shape and put in floured banetton.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Pre-heat dutch oven at 550F.  Place boule in dutch oven and slash.  Reduce oven temperature to 450F and bake covered for 20 minutes and uncovered for 25 minutes.

 Crumb shot:



Sherlock's picture

Mixer Input


I've been a lurker here for a while, there is o-so much that I didn't know about bread-making and so much more. Anyhow on to my question.


So here is my scenario, I am new to cooking and it has quickly come to be a very enjoyable hobby of mine (perhaps due to eating part of it ;)). I guess one could say that I am just getting into breads, with little experience but I like what I have tried thus far, and do really enjoy messing around with pizza dough's, after reading here i would really like to try to do bagels. Anyhow I have been debating getting a mixer, and had relatively been going in the direction of a kitchen-aid given my positive experience with my parents tilt head one. But after reading a lot across the internet and here It seems that KA is pretty poor when it comes to dough.

That being said I am on a budget, and do have about $200 in credit for webstaurant from reviews.

This in mind I have a few questions

Is the KA Commercial line any better (specifically KSM8990DP) than their artisan/professionals? 

What is with the older kitchen-aids K5SS etc that makes them desirable? can they handle my needs of being able to knead?

Should I just do kneading task by hand, and use a cheap KA off craigslist or something for other tasks (whipping, mixing cookies etc)?

I know there are Bosch and ANKARSRUM as the strong favorites here, as well as hobart (insanely expensive), but was hoping to find something that I could use my webstaurant discount on, being that its a significant chunk of  change.


Thank you so much for your input.


Lazybakery's picture

Hello from the South Coast of England

Afternoon (Morning / evening) everyone. I live in Rye (appropriately enough) on the South coast of England and I've been baking very occasionally with varying degrees of success for a couple of years now.

About 6 months ago some friends clubbed together to send me on a baking course for my birthday (nice friends!) which proved to be a lightbulb moment for me - A good teacher giving sound guidance and advice and suddenly I could bake good (in mine and my wife's opinion!) bread.

I now find I'm baking 3 or 4 times a week for friends and family around my little town and dreaming of starting my own micro-bakery (The Lazy Bakery).

I would attach a photo of some recent loaves but have to work out how to resize them as they are all over 2mb (can anyone help please?)

Anyway, I look forward to interracting with everyone on here!

Edit: Below is a picture of a white loaf with Caraway seeds I made for the in-laws at the weekend (thanks to FloydM for advice on resizing). For this loaf I soak the seeds in Anisette for 24hours to give a little extra oomph to the flavour,

metropical's picture

ciabatta dough got delayed in fridge

scheduling left me without the time complete the task.

The dough is in the fridge about 4 days old.

Is there anything I can or should do before I try to rescue it in the oven?

full quiver farm's picture
full quiver farm

Research on slow fermentation and gluten sensitivity

Some of my children are sensitive to gluten, but I have found that slowing down the fermentation seems to help with this. Currently, I am using Basil's Pain Au Levain recipe from Bread Alone, and getting good results with no special flours or esoteric ingredients.

Can anyone point me to any research that has been done on slow fermentation and sourdough and it's effect on the digestibility of gluten?

Thanks for any help you can give.

Gil at Full Quiver Farm

Murderboner's picture

Acidic/Vinegary starter? How to adjust?

I have a starter that is being fed in a 

1:5:5 ratio. I noticed that it has a pretty strong vinegar smell and it tastes pretty acidic. Can I fix this by increasing the flour/water ratio? If so how much more?

thanks in advance

Abelbreadgallery's picture

Pain a l'ancienne

Pain a l'ancienne, with some drops of andalusian olive oil.

95% bread flour, 5% rye flour, almost 80% water, 2,2% salt and 0,6% yeast.

16 hours bulk fermentation (12 hours in the fridge, 4 hours at room temperature). Shape. 30 min final proof.


dabrownman's picture

Saturday Night Calzones – or are they Stromboli’s?

From what Lucy can tell these are either calzones or strombolis depending on how Italians feel at the time or how they slice them and if anyone who knows the difference between the two is present.  I’ve decided, once again, that Lucy is nearly worthless in these matters, like most other things but we will go with her suggestion of calling them Stromzones..


We use the same dough for Italian focaccia and pizza interchangeably so there isn’t a difference that way for us either.  This time, to mix things up and try to cater to everyone’s personal preferences, we made the girls favorite poolish white Focaccia Romana and, for Lucy and I, our favorite sourdough multigrain Focaccia Romana for the crust portion.


After that everything was the same.  The Focaccia Romana portion was fresh rosemary and basil with garlic and sun dried tomato for the dough enhancements.   The filling was some mozzarella and parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese salted and peppered with an egg to bind it together.


The meats included very thin pepperoni, smoked hot Italian sausage and smoked chicken breast.  The caramelized veggies included red onion, button and crimini mushrooms and sautéed red peppers with some green onions and basil for color.


The poolish started the night before with a pinch of ADY and 100g each of water and white flour.  This was left out overnight on the counter to double and in the morning we added it to 200 g of AP, 5 g each of salt and olive oil and 116 g of  water to make a 72% hydration dough that we slapped and folded for 4 minutes…. twice – 15 minutes apart.


We then did 2 sets of stretch and folds where we incorporated the herbs, garlic and sun dried tomato on the first one.  It then went into the fridge for 2 and a half hours to slow it down and wait on the SD portion to catch up. 


The SD version started with a 3 stage build over 12 hours using 15 g of rye starter at 66% hydration, 120 g of whole grains – in this case wheat, spelt and rye in equal amounts mixed with 120 g of water.  When the levain had risen 75% after the 3rd build we refrigerated it overnight.


The next morning we mixed the levain with 240 g of AP, 7 g of salt, 10 g of olive oil and 160 g of water to make a 78% hydration dough.  We followed the exact same procedure as the white  poolish dough for gluten development and add in incorporation but immediately put it on the  heating pas to start fermenting and proving.- a 5 hour process.


The poolish dough joined the SD on the heating pad for the last 2 and a half hour of fermenting and proving.  We then divided (2) 180 g pieces of each to make the 4 what ever these turned out to be.   This left some of each dough left over - with way more multigrain SD than poolish.


Still working on Ians's bread for breakfast and lunch - we don't get tired of it!


We made a knotted roll and 4 balls out of the poolish to place in the bottom of a rice floured basket.  With the sourdough portion, we made and a large bialy shape to cover them and make a Mixed Italian Bread Chacon and set aside to proof again..


The tomato pot garden is just now starting to produce the bigger tomatoes to go with the cherries.

We rolled the Stromzone dough out to oval shaped rectangles slightly thicker than our ultra thin pizza crust thickness.  We then, over half the rolled out shape and leaving a 1/2” border, we piled up in layers; mozzarella, parmesan, ricotta, pizza sauce, pepperoni, smoked sausage, smoked chicken, caramelized veggies - with the green onion resting on top.


We folded over the other half and sealed the ‘pouch’ with rope twists of the crust where it came together.  They were then transferred to a parchment covered peel with a large dough scraper and the tops slit to let the steam out.


We had pre-heated the oven to 500 F and let it sit there for 20 minutes to let the top and bottom stones catch up to the oven air temperature.  As soon as the Stromzones were slid onto the bottom stone, we tuned the oven down to 425 F convection.  After 10 minutes we rotated the parchment paper 180 degrees and continued to bake for 10 more minutes.


We then rotated the pouches on the parchment paper 90 degrees twice - 5 minutes apart when we deemed the Stromzones done at the 30 minute mark.   We let these packets of goodness cool for 5 minutes before serving. 

 Yes, they were delicious and the ricotta made them different than our normal pizza – besides using a knife and fork to eat them!  We will make them again but since there are so much harder to make than pizza, we will probably start putting ricotta on pizza more often…. Such is life.  The Bi-color Chacon came out looking good with a little cracking where it should have.  It smells great from the outside.  Now that we have sliced it open, the crumb is soft and moist holes on the small to medium size.  The bottom SD is slightly darker than the poolish top making for a nice contrast.  The smell is phenomenal!  This bread will be used for some fine brisket using our homegrown tomatoes - tonight if  not for lunch.

trinalb's picture

Please diagnose my KA mixer -- bowl lift not working

Hi, I have a KA Pro model (Pro HD, I think -- I believe it was a Costco model) bowl-lift mixer. I bought it used and it was never in tip-top shape but, while making a large recipe of cake batter recently, the lift mechanism failed on me. Now the lever doesn't work well at all (barely lifts the bowl when empty and won't lift at all without assistance when full) and will not lock into place on its own. With any load in the bowl, I have to push up on the lift arm while turning the lever or the lever just keeps turning and won't actually lift. I also have to get the lever into just exactly the right place (usually after multiple tries) or the lift arm won't stay in place at all.

Is this fixable? I am guessing it is but how do I do that and how much will it cost me? I am wanting to just sell this mixer since I don't love it anyway but I won't get any money for it as is and don't want to try selling without fixing it properly, either.

Thanks in advance for any help!

BrianOD's picture

10:100:100 feed timing

I've been trying to activate a starter I purchased and have gotten conflicting results with the process.

I'm currently using the 10:100:100 method to try to increase the activity of the starter, which seems rather sluggish. I've kept the starter at 80 deg and am feeding it AP from a reputable source. The water is well water (no chlorine) and is kept also at 80 deg.

I've been monitoring the starter, measuring increase in volume on an hourly basis. At about the 3 hour mark there was a total increase of about 1/4 inch total. (this is the measurement on the tape on the side of the mason jar)

For the next 2 hours the increase was the same, about an additional 1/4 inch in each hour. At the 6 hour mark the increase per hour went to 1/2 inch. It has continued that rate of increase for the next two hours, 1/2 per hour. Assuming it repeats past activity, it will not increase volume any further from here on out, regardless of how long I leave it.

My question is, in order to increase the speed of activity commencement, do I feed it at the point where it no longer increases in volume (now) or should I have fed it back at hour 6 when the rate of increase jumped from 1/4 to 1/2?

thanks for any help