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breadbakingbassplayer's picture

6/4/11 - Latest Bakes - Invisible Pizza, Baguettes, and Olive Oil Brioche with Dried Pears and Toasted Walnuts

Hi All,
Just wanted to let you all know I'm still baking even if I'm not posting as often...  Here's the latest from my kitchen:
1.  Invisible Pizzas (We forgot to take pictures)
2.  Baguettes
3.  Olive Oil Brioche with Dried Pears and Toasted Walnuts

This recipe makes 2 pizzas, 2 baguettes, and 2 olive oil brioches...  Bear with me through all the madness:
Recipe: (Makes approx 3000g of base dough)
Stiff Levain:
400g @ 50% hydration

200g AP
200g Water
1/2 tsp instant yeast
402g Total

Final Dough (approx 65% hydration):
1196g AP
52g WW
36g Rye
808g Water
38g Kosher Salt
1 1/2 tsp Instant Yeast
402g Sponge
400g Stiff Levain

For Olive Oil Brioche with Dried Pears and Toasted Walnuts
180g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
175g Dried Pears
175g Toasted Walnuts

Digital Scale
Large Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
Measuring Spoons
2 - 4L Plastic Tubs with Covers
Rubber Spatula
Plastic Scraper
Bowl with Water
Large Plastic Bag
Baking Stone
Steam Pan with Lava Rocks
Oven Thermometer
Instant Read Thermometer
2 Loaf Pans
Baker's Linen

1.  Prepare stiff levain, mix, let ferment for up to 1 hour, and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.

2.  4:45pm - Mix sponge, cover and let rest for up to 1 hour.

3.  5:30pm - Mix base dough by hand in large mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients, and then dry ingredients on top.  Mix from bottom up with rubber spatula.  When shaggy dough forms, mix dough with wet hands for a few seconds to work out all lumps.  Place in bag and let rest for 1 hour.

4.  Roughly cut up dried pears, and toast walnuts in pan and let cool.  Lightly oil 2 tubs with olive oil.  6:30pm - Stretch and fold dough and divide into 1600g and 1200g portions.  Place 1600g gram portion into oiled tub, cover and let rest.  7:00pm - Turn baguette dough, and in the mixing bowl with the 1200g portion, add 180g of olive oil and slowly mix by hand until olive oil is combined completely into the dough.  This takes about 10-15 minutes.  Then add the toasted walnuts and dried pears.  Mix until combined evenly, place into plastic tub, rest for 45 minutes.

5.  7:45pm - Turn baguette dough, and brioche dough, rest for 1 hr 15 minutes.

6.  9:00pm - Arrange baking stone in oven on 2nd rack from bottom.  Preheat with convection until oven thermometer on baking stone reaches 600F.  Divide baguette dough into 4 pieces at 400g.  Preshape 2 baguettes.

7.  9:15pm - Final shape baguettes, place on bakers linen couch, cover and let proof for 60-90 minutes.  Oil 2 loaf pans with olive oil, divide dough into 2 equal portions (900g approx), shape brioche, brush tops with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and leave to proof until dough reaches top of pan, then refrigerate.

8.  9:45pm -  Prepare pizza as you like, turn off convection and oven temp down to 550F, and bake for 6-7 minutes directly on stone.  Boil some water in a pot for steam pan.

9.  10:30pm - Turn oven down to 475F, Pour boiling water into steam pan, and place on top rack of oven.  Turn baguettes out on to flipping board, slash and place in oven.  Bake 10 minutes at 475F with steam, then 15 minutes at 450F without steam.  Cool completely before cutting.  Take brioche out of refrigerator.

10.  Turn oven down to 400F, remove plastic wrap from brioche, place in oven in pan directly on baking stone.  Bake for 45 minutes until internal temp reaches 190F to 200F.  Turn oven off.  Remove from pan, return loaves to oven directly on baking stone for 10 minutes.  Cool completely before cutting.




varda's picture

Semolina Rye Pain Au Levain


A friend of mine who traveled a lot, returned from a trip to Africa (Ghana I think) and announced "everything goes with everything."   This meant apparently that one needn't fuss about colors or styles - one could simply wear anything with anything.   I have begun taking that perspective with bread.   Today I tried a formula where I baked with 68% bread flour, 16% rye, 15% semolina (not durum flour.)   As I was mixing it up, I had doubts.   Does everything really go with everything?   The bread is baked.    I still say yes.  

The formula with 68% hydration, 95% bread flour, 5% whole rye starter.

Semolina100 10015%
Starter260  24%
Salt12 121.8%

Mix all but salt and autolyze for 1 hour.   Add salt and mix.   Ferment for 3 hours with two stretch and folds on counter.    Cut and shape into batards.   Proof seam side up in couche for 2 hours.   Bake at 450F for 25 minutes with steam, 20 minutes without.  

This is tasty but just slightly overcooked.   I wish I'd removed after 40 minutes.   Also I meant to steam for 20 minutes, not 25 but I made a mistake with the timer and then got distracted before I could correct it.   I don't think that made a difference. 


breadbythecreek's picture

Survival of the Fittest Pt. 2 - Raisin YW Wins!

If you've been following this blog, when we last left this subject, I was trying to determine which of my many jars of YW I should keep. I have decided that having multiple jars of different fruits is pointless, since it is near impossible to tell which fruit was used by either taste or smell.  Some color will be added from darker fruits, but that's about it.  So, the first trial to see which fruit water was the most effective (the most rise in the least amount of time) revealed that my water made from cherries (initially with dried, then switched to fresh) jump started with strawberry water, was the winner. 

The second heat was to test the cherry water against apricot and raisin.  I ended up having two raisins as my first raisin water was discouragingly slow to activate.  I purchased new raisins from a different source and started a second jar.  One variable that I hadn't accounted for was the relative amount of sugar in each of the solutions that I tested.  To better calibrate this for the second heat, I obtained a brix meter (for wine making) and was able to test each solution straight from the jar and add an appropriate amount of fresh water to bring the solutions to the same level of sweetness across the board.

It was interesting to compare the brix readings from the various jars.  At just 3.4, the winner of the first round, cherry, had the lowest brix.  The older raisin had a brix of 3.6, followed by the new raisin at 3.9, and finally, the apricot had the highest at 5.0.  Since I was after a final test amount liquid of 10g, I calculated the amount of fresh water to be added to each tester to bring all of the testers' brix to 3.4.

Initially, I tried to use a 100% hydration for the test runs (10g solution added 10g bread flour).  However, the paste was too thick to go down my new test tubes, so I had to increase the hydration to 143% (10g solution to 7g bread flour). This created a liquid enough paste to go down the tube and still have enough viscosity to rise back up.  

The following photos show the progress 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 hours into the race. Testers are from left to right:

raisin2 (new raisin), apricot, raisin1 (old raisin), cherry

 As you can see, from the start, apricot and old raisin were much more active than the other two, just an hour into the race they were pretty much neck and neck.  Cherry and new raisin barely moved.  


After two hours, cherry had picked up some speed, but raisin2 was still thinking. Apricot was in the lead after two hours, followed close behind by raisin1.
    Three hours in, apricot still leads, raisin1 a close second, cherry is picking up, and raisin2 still stuck at the gates.

 Four hours in, apricot and raisin1 neck and neck, Cherry is stalled, but raisin2 is coming alive!



At the finish line, 5 hours after the start, we have a winner. Raisin1 peaked at the top of the tube, Apricot never made it that far.  Had I let Cherry and Raisin2 go, they may have gone farther, but I called it: Raisin1 will live to rise another day!


codruta's picture

hamburger buns

I was in a search for the perfect hamburger bun for a long time. When I say "perfect", I mean perfect for my personal taste. I've tried Peter Reinhart recipe from BBA, I've tried different recipes form diferrent sites, I've tried Tangzhong method, all with wonderful results... but not perfect. Recently, I took hamelman's ingredients from page 258 (soft butter rolls) and Susan's pate-fermentee method link here , followed by these modifications: I've decreased the quantity of yeast, taking as refference the quantity given by susan, and I adapted for my quantity of flour, I've used milk instead of water, and remove the dry milk from the ingredients list and I did not used steam when baking. The buns came almost close to perfection. Next step is to use sourdough instead of old dough, but I'm not sure about how to substitute one to another (the old dough can be replaced using the same quantity and hydration by sourdough?? -can it be that simple??)

More pictures and complete recipe (written in romanian, but translator available on the sidebar, although, the automatic translation it's kind of funny) can be found here Apa.Faina.Sare


MadAboutB8's picture

Bourke Street Bakery's Spiced Fruit Sourdough - love it, love it, love it


Generally, I don’t make fruit breads often. Not that I don’t like them. I just have the tendency to bake more seeds and grains breads. I have two big bags of golden raisins and dried cranberry (about 1.5 kg each) from CostCo sitting and taking room in the pantry that I so wanted to use them up. Hence, there have been and will be more fruit bread baking in the coming months.

This recipe came from Bourke Street Bakery cookbook from which I have been baking more lately. Their recipes produce wonderful baked goods and those photos were so mouth-watering to look at. I tweaked the recipe a little to suit my taste and preferences, e.g. replacing 10% bread flour with whole wheat, increasing the amount of water (hydration), using only golden raisins instead of mixture of golden raisins and currants. I also reduced the amount of raisins and didn’t soak them as suggested by the recipe.

This is one of the tastiest sourdough fruit bread I’ve made so far. There could be few factors contributing to the great flavour; cinnamon and mixed spices, high percentage of golden raisins and sourdough starter (I started to think that having an overall high ratio of starter improves the flavour). Comparing this recipe to Jeffrey Hamelman’s golden raisin sourdough, we liked this better. Spices and more golden raisins added wonderful flavours to the bread. We totally love it.

Full post and recipe can be found here,


davidg618's picture

You know you're a foodie when... return from a wonderful weeklong boat trip on the Rhine river, through Germany and France, with only one souvenir: a Kugelhopf baking pan.

Today, I baked my first ever Kugelhopf. The original recipe came from here I modified it slightly.

Kugelhopf  (recipe from TFL; Hezi, IsrealiBaker :modified)


500g Flour (at least 60% AP)

7g Osmotolerent  IDY

50g sugar

3 large eggs

100g water

200g whole milk

zest of 1 lemon

10g salt

200g unsalted butter, well softened

Brown sugar to dust pan

For post-bake sugar glaze:

            100g water

            120g sugar

            2 or 3 lemon peel strips


In mixer bowl, combine flour, sugar and yeast; whisk to combine.  Add eggs, water, milk and lemon zest.  On low speed (KAid speed 1) combine until well incorporated; increase speed (KAid speed 2) for 2-3 minutes. Cover and rest for 20 minutes.

Add salt and continue kneading (speed 2) for seven minutes. Scrap bowl occasionally.

Add butter in thirds, combining each third on low speed until butter disappears.

Increase to moderate speed (KAid speed 4) and knead, scraping bowl occasionally, until dough just begins to clean the bowl’s sides (about 10 mins.).

The dough will be very wet and sticky, but satiny. Collect into a coherent mass in the mixer bowl, cover and rest in refrigerator for 1 hour. Stretch and fold in bowl, degassing vigorously.

Return dough to refrigerator, covered for one-and-one-half to two hours, until it doubles in bulk.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

While dough rises prepare the pan by liberally coating inside with soften unsalted butter, sprinkling brown sugar of entire inside. This brown-sugar and butter mixture will caramelize, giving the cake’s exterior a delicious color.

Also, mix the glaze sugar, water and lemon peel in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about five minutes. Set aside to cool

Transfer dough to Kugelhopf pan, or Bundt pan, filling to slightly more than half. Cover, and allow cake to rise until slightly below the pan’s top edge.

Bake on lowest shelf until top ( the cake’s bottom) is deep brown, and internal temperature reaches 195°F to 200°F

Remove from oven, and let cool in the pan for about five minutes; then remove from pan. Let cake cool completely.

Brush the cooled cake liberally with the sugar glaze. Let it dry until tacky; then sprinkle with granulated sugar or powdered sugar.

Overall, I'm pleased with the result. I had a little dough left over that I baked in a tube pan, glazed it like the one pictured, and tasted it.  Crumb is moderately closed, light and airy, with a nice spring but no chewiness. flavor not overly sweet.

I made the dough entirely with King Arthur AP flour. I didn't want to run the risk of a "chewy" loaf. The picture loaf is going to a dinner party tonight, so no crumb shot. I'm going to do another in about ten days, for another dinner party,  but will do a 60% high gluten flour, 40% chestnut flour, and incorporate brandy soaked currants, and chopped, roasted chestnuts. Since the party's at my house I'll post a crumb shot of that version.

David G

codruta's picture

four or five grain levain

I don't know why I've waited so long to make this bread, after buying hamelman's book. I've done it before, from intructions giving on this blog, which were very helpful, btw. For grains, I used a mix of fennel seeds, flaxseeds, spelt berries and oat bran. I retarded the dough overnight, omitted the yeast as instructed, and I baked it directly from the fridge. For the final fermentation, the instructions weren't very clear to me... in case I opted for retarding the dough overnight, it still gets an hour of fermentation on room temperature, or after shaping goes directly in the fridge??

Final fermentation. Approximately 1 hour at 76 degrees. [The dough can be retarded for several hours or overnight, which case the bulk fermentation should be 2 hrs with 1 fold, and the yeast left out of the mix.]

Not knowing what to do, I let it stand 45 minutes at room temperature (78F), but I still don't know if that was good, or this step shoud have been skipped. Maybe someone can clarify this.

Also, I don't know if baking directly from the fridge was the right decision, I wonder if it would have risen more if I let it stand 1 hour at room temperature before baking?

Anyway, I'm extremely pleased with the result, the taste is absolutly amazing.

More pictures and the addapted recipe (recipe in romanian, translator on the sidebar) can be found here, at my new blog  Apa.Faina.Sare

Mebake's picture

HansJoakim's Rye leavened Pain Au levain

I have eyed Hansjoakim's post : here ever since he blogged about using his excess ripe rye as a leaven for a Pain au levain with Wholewheat from Hamelman. Hans has generously posted his recipe, and i, sickened from my failures with liquid white levain, and attracted by the description of the flavor, finally decided to try it yesterday.

I used Waitrose Organic Strong white bread flour for 80% of the white flour, and 20% all purpose - plain flour. Whole wheat was waitrose organic plain flour, and Rye was Doves Farm organic Rye.

Brushed the flour off:

The Ovenspring was substatial. Was it the Rye? or i was growing impatient with my dough at 11:45 pm? fermentation was faster with this Rye leavened bread. Though i would add 1 hour more to the bulk fermentation. Final fermentation was 2 hours.

The Bread was chewy due to the 12.9% protein flour. The flavor was superb, as described by Hans! Thank you Hans for the solid recipe, this is one new favorite of mine.





ananda's picture

Pain de Campagne with Gilchesters Farmhouse Flour

Pain de Campagne using a Stiff Wheat Levain and a portion of Gilchesters Organic Farmhouse Flour

Leaven Build


Recipe [grams]

1. Leaven Build One

Saturday, 15:00

Refrigerate Overnight



White Bread Flour

[Marriage’s Organic Strong White Flour]








2. Leaven Build Two

Sunday, 11:00

Leaven from above


White Bread Flour








3. Leaven Build Three

Sunday, 19:00

Refrigerate Overnight

Leaven from above


White Bread Flour







Final Dough Formula


Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

Leaven from above

   Flour:  22.22

+ Water: 13.33

     Total: 35.55


+ 240


Carrs Special CC Flour



Gilchesters Organic Farmhouse Flour












Overall Pre-fermented Flour



Overall Hydration



Flour Mix

72.22% White Bread Flour

27.78% High Extraction Flour





  • Combine both flours with the water and autolyse refrigerated overnight
  • Combine the autolyse with the leaven and work up the dough for 3 minutes.   Add the salt and develop a further 3 minutes.   Rest for 15 minutes.   Develop a further 5 minutes.
  • Bulk proof for 3 hours.   One S&F after 2hours.
  • Scale and divide into 3 pieces: 1 x 650g, 1 x 930g and the remainder, 1492g
  • Final proof in Bannetons for 4 hours
  • Bake Profile for the largest loaf, I loaded the loaf, once tipped out and cut, into an oven at 250°C and utilised steam.   After 15 minutes I turned the heat down to 220°C.   After another 20 minutes I turned the heat down to 200°C and baked the loaf out a further 20 minutes.   Then I left the loaf in the oven, switched off, with the door propped open.   Finally I cooled the loaf on wires before the inevitable photo shoot.


One note: a long proof, accounted for by use of refrigerated autolyse and leaven.   The dough proof temperature ranged between 18 and 23°C.   Seven hours of total proving was just about right; the percentage of pre-fermented flour is reduced on most of the breads of this nature which I have been baking recently   Photographs are shown below; tastings have not yet been carried out.


Very best wishes


RonRay's picture

Apricot Yeast Water Test Loaf

Apricot Yeast Water Test Loaf  [Update:110530-1000] 

   If you are unfamilar with Yeast Waters, and wild yeast, you may wish to view

Yeast Water & Other Wee Beastie Bubbles (No Math)

This was my first chance to test Apricot Yeast Water. I have intend to for a while, but wanted to wait for fresh fruit to be available. I did find some this week and started a culture with 3 of the small fresh apricots, jump-started the culture with a bit of my Apple YW.

I have heard that the dark dried apricots make a very strong levain – the more common dried fruit that are a yellowish orange have been treated with sulfur-containing compounds to keep their color (and kill the WBBs). So, the only dried apricots to use are the dark brown unsulfured fruit. Not wishing to waste time and effort, I wanted fresh, organic apricots, which start being available May through August in the northern hemisphere.

I was impressed with how fast the culture became active, and equally surprised how fast the activity ended. I tasted the YW to see if, somehow , it had gotten too alcoholic so fast. All I detected was no noticeable sweetness, and decided it must be a lack of sugar. I dropped in a sugar cube and within a very short time it became very active – so much so, that I feared the foamy head might fill the remaining air space in the glass container. It did not take long before the activity decreased nearly as fast as it had restarted.

It only took a few trials to conclude the apricot WBBs have a real thing about sugars. So, I decided to do a test of the leavening strength of the new culture. I took a small quantity of just the water, about 20g and mixed it with an equal amount of AP flour. I set this up with a clock beside it, and in front of a time lapse digital video recorded. You can see the results on YouTube, Link:

The result was a doubling in about 2 hours. Certainly a good showing for a brand new YW culture. So, a test loaf seemed quite justified.

I started the Apricot Yeast Water Levain (AYWL) builds. Details of my standard test loaf can be found here:

Details of this loaf are in the table below:

A copy of my personal test log can be found at Google Doc Link:

I had some surprises in store, however. I generally, hold each of my chosen 3-build levain developments to a 24 hour period. Instead, a late afternoon to early evening completed Builds-#1, and #2 with #3 started and placed in retard at 40ºF/4.4ºC for an overnight. Details can be found in the log.


The next morning, I did the shaping that basically matches the pan bread version detailed by txframer here:

The dough pan was covered with food cap and place in the proof box at 82ºF/27.8ºC. Most loaves that I do, which are similar to these conditions, will need a 6 hour final proof. I was rather shocked when at 4½ hours I found it was as high as any “normal” fully proofed dough. I did a rapid catch-up and dough was in the DO, with the cup of boiling water, and into the oven, within a 5 minute period. Again, details can be found in the PDF log.

From a cold oven start and oven set to max (450ºF/232ºC) in the DO it was steamed for 20 minutes. Lid removed at 20 minutes and the temperature dropped to 400ºF/204ºC with a total of 45 minutes for the baking.

The finished loaf had an internal 207.7ºF/97.6ºC and a hot weight of 437g – down 8% during the baking. The loaf was cooled on wire for over an hour, before cutting.

The loaf had a very nice aroma, but neither taste, nor smell indicated the apricot components in the loaf. The crumb color was softly off-white in the orange-brown range, but only in a small degree. Texture was moist and softer than my general SD loaves. A pleasantly fruity, slightly sweetish flavor. The top crust portion was chewier than I would have expected, but quite acceptable.

   I should, also mention, I could detect no tang at all. I had expected a bit from the apricot flavor itself. But, any tang vanished along with any apricot specific flavor.


The crumb was exactly as expected, given the 60% HL (hydration level) and the highly developed windowpane test it was kneaded to.

Based upon this single test loaf, apricot WBBs develop much stronger levain than any I have seen before. The Apricot YW rise times are somewhere between 25% faster, or if you are one of  the half empty glass types, the other Yeast Waters are 33% slower ;-)

Update:110530-1000I have just had a couple additional slices of this Apricot YW loaf. In the 23 hours since baking, there has been a flavor change. It is still quite pleasant, but definitely less sweetness. The change is hard to describe, but while it is NOT "astringent", that is the closest word I can think of to describe the very slight difference in flavor. My initial reaction was 'use a bit less than 2% salt, next time'.