The Fresh Loaf

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Basmati-Semolina Bread

I'd been thinking that the sweet fragrance of basmati rice surely earns it some upward mobility out of its lowly caste, buried under the curry, and up into the brahmin bread basket.  A golden crumb seemed appropriate to its elevated status, so semolina was recruited.  I kept the durum to bog-standard Bob's Red Mill Fine Semolina, so as not to put the formula as out of reach as proper fine durum is (i.e., mailorder only).  Golden Temple Atta Durum would probably have been more appropriate (see below) and somewhat more accessible than the pukka mailorder product, but a soaker of BRM fine worked well.  I'm getting in the habit of adding 3% toasted wheat germ to mostly-whiteflour breads, following David Snyder's report on the SFBI miche.  So in that went.  Finally, developing the formula coincided with the recent spike in RYW chatter @TFL and the concomitant successional climax of my little mason jar crabapple/PinkLady/raisin/honey ecosystem, so RYW was fated to be the levain.  The results were surprisingly satisfying.



1. Day before baking,

  • In morning, feed RYW with equal weight of Rubaud flour mix (100% hydration: 30 g RYW + 30 g flour).  Incubate at 77˚F until evening, then make up levain and incubate that overnight (9h) at 77˚F.
  • Bring 3 c unsalted water to boil.  Stir in 2 c white basmati rice (I used Lundberg Organic).  Return to boil and reduce flame to lowest setting.  Cover and cook for 20'.  White basmati rice weighs 142 g/c.  2 c dry came to 909 g cooked = 284 g rice + 625 g water; therefore each g of dry rice contributes ~2.2 g water when cooked.  This is more rice than needed.  Adjust accordingly if you don't want to have leftover rice.
  • In evening: Mix semolina soaker and leave at 77˚F (or whatever room temp is) overnight.                                         

2. Baking day, reduce cooked rice to a grainless mush via food processor and/or Foley food mill (I used the latter -- worked well).  Weigh out 420 g of mush.

3. Combine levain and all final dough ingredients (bread flour was KA Organic) except salt into shaggy mass. Adjust hydration if necessary.  Autolyse 30 min.

4. Add salt and french fold 5' / rest 5'/ french fold 5'.  Transfer to fermentation vessel (I use plastic boxes).

5. Bulk ferment 2.25 h with stretch and folds (in box) at 30', 60' and 100'.

6. Bench rest 25'.

7. Shape into a miche or 2 boules/batards.  Proof in rice+wheat floured banneton(s) for 2 h at 77˚F.

8. Bake on preheated stone in 500˚F oven turned down to 450˚F at start, for 20' with steam.  Remove steam apparatus, reduce oven temperature to 440˚F, and bake for an additional 20' with convection.    

9. Turn off oven, open door slightly, leave loaf on stone for 10'.

10. Remove and cool on rack.  Internal loaf temperature 210˚F.  Wait until fully cooled (preferably 24h) to slice.

Baking definitely diminishes the basmati flavor and fragrance.  Whereas the air was intoxicatingly perfumed with every slap of the french folding, in the finished loaf its presence is more evenly balanced with the wheat flavors.  Perhaps those more learned in the arts of gluten-free baking have tricks that would allow increasing the rice percentage in the formula.  The crust is sweet and chewy.  The crumb is angelfood-cakey soft and creamy yellow-white, slightly sticky on the bread knife but far less so 24h out of the oven than when just cooled.  RYW left no SD tang whatsoever, as advertised.  Toasts up exquisitely, best with butter.  The better the butter the better.  Fairly irresistible, truth be told.  I'll definitely be baking this again.  Maybe next week :-)

One feature of RYW that I'd failed to grok from posts by akiko, dabrownman et al. is the explosive leavening power of these potions.  From pilot builds beforehand, I knew my little homebrew could double a 100% hydration Rubaud flour mix in 6 hrs at 77˚F.  But that didn't prepare me for its Usain Boltian performance in a dough.  This juice could raise the dead.  What's up with that?  Just different bugs?  High titers?  Epigenetic adaptation to anaerobic conditions?  My baking routine this summer has been to start a SD batch and, while its fermentation proceeds at its normal stately pace, I can mix, ferment and bake a CY'd preparation (lately Reinhart's 100% WW sandwich loaf).  But bloody hell.  The CY loaf could hardly play through this time with the RYW dough hollering Fore! from the banneton.  It was nip and tuck, with the WW getting a bit overproofed (bogie?) while the RYW loaf holed out.

Finally, this bake and its score honors the victims of the tragedy in Oak Creek, WI.

Voila.  Blogo ergo sum.

Happy baking y'all,


thihal123's picture

DiMuzio's «Bread Baking: An Artisan's Perspective»

Is there an errata published for DiMuzio's book? I was scouting through this forum and notice that this is a highly recommended textbook, but according to some reviewers, there are some formula errors. I don't mind if there is a published errata, either online or in print. Does this exist?

thihal123's picture

Help with my 1st starter

It is almost 24 hours since I first started making my sourdough starter and I haven't done the first feeding because I don't know if the starter is fermenting. Thing is, on top of the mixture is a layer of pretty clear water. Is that normal? I have stirred this mixture a few times and each time, after a while, some of the water seems to begin separating.

I followed River Cottage Bread Book's method of starting a starter:

1 cup flour (I used King Arthur Whole Wheat)
1 cup warm water

Using an electric beater, I beat it for 10 minutes on fairly high speed. Then, I covered the mixture. It's sitting in a small crock pot with a glass lid.

Is it normal for this starter to have some clear water separate from the mixture after about 22 hours? My mixture/batter isn't very thick. Do I have to begin over?

txfarmer's picture

10,000 Year Vintage Miche - priceless?

Sending this toYeastspotting.
Click here for my blog index.

No, I am not exaggerating. I took a trip to Antarctic earlier this year. At the end the voyage, we had a charity auction benefitting envirnment research groups for Antarctic. I set my eyes on this bottle of 10,000 old glacier water, $200 later, it's mine. How would I use it? Making a bread of course!

What's better than a traditional miche to complement the history of this water? The formual is based on the SFBI Miche posted a while back by David (here). I have made it before (here) with my own twist, this time I did the following:
1) I used all splet flour(150g) in levain, then some of it in final dough (75g spelt) to make spelt ratio to be about 20%. For the rest of flour in final dough (900g), I used Golden Buffalo High Extraction Flour.
2) Used my usual 100% white starter
3) Baked it in my large Staub cast iron pot. Preheated at 500F for nearly one hour, slash, load the loaf, cover, bake at 450F for the first 20min, remove lid, lower temp to 430F, bake for another 40min, turn off oven, open the oven door a little, leave the loaf (in the pot) in oven for another 20min before taking out.
4)My cast iron pot is oval so I shaped the dough into a batard, which is not the "usual" shape for miche.
5)The scoring was at the request of my husband: he want something that looks like "glacier", that's the best I could do.
Everything else remained the same, including the 2KG size, wheat germ amount, as well as fermentation/proofing schedule.

This formula never fails me, and this time it's no exception. A good thing, otherwise I would be wasting some very pricy water.

Wheat germ is the highlight of this formula, but this time, I can taste the spelt adding more layers of flavor.

Very meaningful and delicious bread. That bottle of glacier water was sacraficed for a good cause.

Franko's picture

A Spicy and Savoury Semolina Levain for Bruschetta

Semolina Levain with Roasted Garlic, Black pepper and Provolone

Incorporating black pepper into a bread is something I've wanted to try for a while now, finally deciding last week to have a go at it. What I wanted was a bread for grilling to use for bruschetta, with black pepper, roasted garlic and cheese meant to provide a bit more zing than your standard white Italian of French loaf offers. Using Jeffrey Hamelman's recipe for Semolina Levain from "Bread" as my starting point I took my best guess as to what percentages of pepper, garlic and cheese to add to his formula to achieve the flavour I was looking for. In the end I think I came pretty close, although next time I'll cut back on the black pepper just a touch and use either a sharp, dry aged Provolone or Pecorino Romano for a more assertive cheese flavour.

NOTE: Formula below and in the link have been adjusted accordingly.

After the loaf had cooled down and the first slice tasted, I was slightly disappointed with the flavour since neither the cheese or roasted garlic came through as much as I'd hoped for, although there was no mistaking the presence of the black pepper, every so often hitting a pocket of it that definitely got my taste buds attention. Fortunately my disappointment didn't last long once I'd fired up the BBQ and grilled a few slices (brushed with olive oil) over a bed of hot coals.

The subdued garlic and cheese flavour from my previous cold tasting were now right up there with the black pepper, creating a very good balance of flavour with the durum and wheat flours of Hamelman's base formula. Without the high ratio of durum flour used in the mix I think the flavour and crumb texture would not have been as good as one made with standard wheat flour. Durum flour has such a unique and subtle flavour to it and the crumb seems to retain moisture better than standard wheat flour, possibly why the flavours released as well as they did once the bread had been heated. Just a theory, but something I've noticed with high ratio durum doughs I've made in the past. At any rate, the grilled slices were perfectly suited to pairing with the fresh taste of chopped tomatoes and basil from our garden that I made for the bruschetta topping. My best recommendation for using this bread is to either toast, grill, or fry it in some fashion to really let the flavours come to their best. Served warm to dip in EVOO, mixed with egg and cheese for a savoury [Strata] or simply to make croûtons with, just a few of the possibilities that come to mind for enjoying this bread at it's best.


Extra fancy durum flour can sometimes be difficult to find and costly, depending upon where you live. Durum Atta Flour could be substituted for X Fancy Durum, or even a 100% hydration, coarse semolina soaker used at a 20-40% ratio would likely make a good substitute to use in this formula.


The very best of the Summer to all,


 Link to working spreadsheet [here]

Procedure for Semolina Levain with Roasted Garlic, Black Pepper and Provolone


Roasted Garlic Paste:

Make the roasted garlic paste the day before the final mix and keep covered in the refrigerator. Two heads of garlic should be adequate for a single loaf of 1.150K. Roast the garlic at 325F in an oven proof dish with a 1/4 C of water, covered in foil for 30-45 minutes or until the garlic is very soft. Cut in half and squeeze the paste through a strainer or run through a food mill to ensure that the paste is smooth.

NOTE: This a method for garlic paste that I've been using since first reading of it in Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn's book "Charcuterie" [ ] The addition of water produces a braised paste that has fewer of the bitter flavours encountered in a typical roasted garlic preperation. 


Mix all the ingredients for the levain to a temperature of 70-71F/21C and let sit for 12-15 hours. 

Final Dough:

Scale out the black peppercorns and roast at 350F/176C for 15-20 minutes. The peppercorns should have mild to medium aroma to them. Allow to cool, then crush with a mortar and pestle or a heavy pan. Cut half the cheese into 1/4" dice, shred the remaining cheese and toss all of it with the crushed black pepper. 

Add the water to the Semolina flour and All purpose and autolyse for 40 minutes.

Add the levain and combine with the flours thoroughly, then add the salt and garlic paste and knead to a medium development. 

Allow the dough to relax for 5 minutes then gently stretch it out to a disk. 

Spread the cheese and pepper mix evenly over the dough. Fold the sides of the dough disk to the center then fold the dough in half and slowly knead the cheese/ peppercorn mix into to the dough using wet hands, until thoroughly combined. DDT of 76-78F/24-25C 

Bulk ferment at 76-78F/24-25C for 90-120 minutes, giving the dough 2 stretch and folds at 45 and 90 minutes. 

When bulk fermentation is complete round the dough lightly, dust with flour and cover with a cloth or plastic, resting for 15 minutes before shaping. 

Shape as desired and begin the final proof at 76-78F/24-25C for 75-90 minutes. The dough should spring back slowly when pressed with a finger.


Bake with steam in a 475F/246C oven with the vents blocked for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes vent the oven and remove the steaming apparatus. After 20 minutes rotate the loaf for even colouring and continue baking for a further 15-25 minutes. Check the colouring during this time and if necessary adjust the oven temperature to prevent the loaf from over browning. Baking times will vary depending on the weight of the loaf but a 1 to 1.5K should take between 35-45 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 210F/98.8C. At this point remove the loaf from the oven, wrap in cloth and cool on a rack for 8-10 hours before slicing.


NOTE: Use the bread toasted, grilled, or fried for best flavour.


baybakin's picture


For part II of my panaderia series, I bring the recipe for just about the most prevelant of pan dulces (sweet breads) in my old neighborhood; Conchas.  I've been looking for a good conchas recipe for ages, ever since I could no longer walk down the street to get a batch for 30 cents apiece.

This recipe is adapted from a great book (possibly the best one I've found in english) by Diana Kennedy, Regional Cuisines of Mexico.

114g Flour
22g Water
50g (1) egg
1/8 tsp yeast

Final Dough:
453g Flour
150g Sugar (I use "evaporated cane juice" or "Azucar Morena")
28g Unsalted Butter
250g (5) eggs
58g water
8g Salt
2g yeast

114g Flour
56g Superfine Sugar
56g Powdered Sugar
56g Unsalted Butter
56g Shortening
(Optional Flavorings: Cocoa powder/Vanilla extract/Cinnamon)

Mix starter, let rest overnight or until doubled.
Tear starter into pieces, mix with liquids and sugar until incorporated
Mix flour, butter and yeast into liquids and let autolysis for 20 mins.
Fold in salt and kneed until dough is satiny.
Let dough double in a warm area, folding at least twice during fermentation.

Mix topping, incorporate until a dough using the back of a wooden spoon.
Add flavoring to taste.
Divide dough into 16 pieces (about 60g apiece), shape into rounds and place on a silpat or parchment paper.
Pull off 1" balls from topping mix, flatten into discs between your palms.
Press flattened discs into dough balls, flattening them a bit.
Score tops in a shell or grid pattern, cutting half way into the topping, and let double in size.

Bake at 350 for 15-17 mins, until conchas turn golden and sound hollow when bottom is tapped.

Enjoy with a glass of milk or a nice cup of hot cafe con leche.  The shaping takes some practice, but there's a few videos on youtube that can help out.  These simple eggy breads are favorites of mine, and I hope they will be of yours too.

Foamheart's picture

Retired US Navy Bakers? Hamburger Buns

I didn't know where really to put this. I see there are some hamburger buns listed but I was hoping to get lucky.

Retired Navy Bakers?

I was on Submarines while in the service, although not a cook. The senior cook was always the baker, ours was exceptional. The baker’s watch was the mid-watch doing mid-rats then free till breakfast to bake the coming day’s needs. Did I mention our Chief cook was the best in the Navy? No matter what he wanted, he got. He was never harassed, and no one would ever refuse to spend some time helping. But I digress.

All Navy recipes are standard and dispensed with great care through completion of advanced schools. Sure each cook adds his secrets which he carries to the grave with him, but for the most part all standardized or so I have been told.

The humble hamburger bun was an unbelievable achievement. It’s like no other bread; it’s almost a dry, sweet, flour taste. It’s totally awesome. It was like a hamburger bun English muffin with a pinch of sugar. But the dough was that of light bread, not an English muffin consistency.

I was hoping that someone might be an ex-Navy baker or know how to come by those recipes. I am too old now to go back in the service so that is not an option. Besides it would seem maybe a bit extreme, but…… they were awesome buns.

If anyone can help I would appreciate it. Who would've of thought, the humble hamburger bun.

wouldbeamateurchef's picture

Hi introducing myself I am wouldbeamateurchef from the UK

Hi everyone,

 This is the first time I have signed up for a Artisan Bread Forum and from the looks of things I aint seen nuthin' yet.

 I am an unemployed disabled woman from the UK residing in Colchester, Essex and love cooking.

Breadmaking wise I am a proud owner of an Breville Breadmachine which I use for making doughs-with my help! My most successful loaf has been a 4 cup ( The US Cup System is so clever!) Bread with instant yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil, water that I let prove for24 hours First rise then second and final rise in tin +2.

 The results of which converted me to long risings which I understand are not advisable in some recipes ie Felicity Cloakes Wholemeal Bread recipe featured in the Guardian. The bread was springy, it bounced back! the dough was silky smooth, and it had a nice sourdough? taste? 

 Whatever it tasted richer for having proved it for so long.

 I look forward to learning more from this international forum of Artisan [home and Professional] Breadmakers.

mark d's picture
mark d

Kitchen Aid mixer

I am wanting to buy a Kitchen Aid Mixer for making bread (home use). Witch one should i buy?  and what about C hook v Spiral hooks?

Please help!

MickiColl's picture

Graham Bread

For a very long time I have been searching for a recipe for graham flour bread.  I have found one and it is excellent ..( thank you Mr Google) 

it is a James Beard recipe .. how can we go wrong ? here it is

Graham Bread

Adapted for 2 loaves from Beard On Bread

  • 3 1/2 tsp instant yeast1
  • 2 tbsp sugar2
  • 12 oz warm water (between 100° and 115° F)
  • 8 oz evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 oz butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 2 cups graham flour3
  • 3 - 4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, combine graham flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Pour the water, milk and butter on top. Beat well and add in all-purpose flour a cup at a time until it comes together into a firm dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead for 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Or, use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook to do the kneading - it will take slightly less time and much less effort.

Form the dough into a ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover lightly with a clean towel and let it rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour or two). Punch down the dough and cut in half.

Grease two 9x5x3" loaf pans4 well. Shape the dough pieces into loaves and arrange in the tins. Cover them back up with the towel and let them rise again until doubled (another hour or so). Slash the tops.

Bake in a preheated oven at 425° F for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 350° F. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes. (The loaves will sound hollow when done or you can check their temperature - they should be at 190°F.) Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely. Slice and serve.


  1. Instant yeast does not need to be proofed. It's wonderful stuff. If you use active dry, you will need to proof it in the warm water with the sugar for 5 minutes before continuing with the recipe. Also, use 4 tsp of active dry.
  2. Or honey, which is what I wished I had done and will do differently next time.
  3. Whole wheat can be substituted for graham, which is coarser because the different parts of the wheat are ground separately then remixed. You can make it yourself, according to Wikipediaby mixing all purpose flour with wheat bran and wheat germ. For this recipe, you would need to mix 170 g all-purpose (about 1 1/3 cups) with 30 g wheat bran (about 1/2 cup) and 5 g (3 tsp) wheat germ. Graham flour is very coarsely textured.
  4. This dough is firm enough, according to Beard, that you can just make free-form loaves if you don't have or don't feel like using loaf pans.

A recipe from

Posted by Cori Rozentāle onMay 3, 2010.