The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Felila's picture

What to do with ww sourdough bread with burnt crust

My last batch of wholewheat sourdough was a disaster from start to finish. I was distracted and didn't mix the starter thoroughly enough. Nonetheless, I mixed up the dough and waited for it to rise in the refrigerator. Rise was slow and I was worried that it would be dry and hard, so I mixed up the dough with some extra white bread flour, commercial yeast, water, and honey.  I retarded it for a day and baked it this morning. I was online and not paying attention ... the bread got too brown. Not quite burnt, but the crust is unpleasantly hard and strong-tasting. Inside is fine, but very sour. 

Ordinarily I would just cut up the bread and use it in bread pudding. There's a plastic tub in the freezer where I store the bread bits until I have enough for a batch of pudding. However, this bread is so intense that I think it wouldn't work well in bread pudding. 

I'm thinking that I could slice it thin, cut off the crusts, and make garlic bread. Once baked, I could freeze it. Or perhaps some sort of onion soup with bread? Any other suggestions?

BTW, the sourdough made with white bread flour turned out superb, so the day wasn't a total waste :)

isand66's picture

Holy Guacamole Sourddough

I had a new brand of store bought guacamole in the refrigerator just calling for me to use it in a bread.  I made bread before with fresh avocados and I've been meaning to try it again with a higher percentage of avocados this time.

The pre-made guacamole had some tomatoes, peppers, cilantro and onions which ended up adding a nice kick to this bread.

I also added some left over mashed potatoes as well as greek yogurt and I used Durum flour as well.  The idea was to create a moist, soft bread with a sour undertone and I think I achieved this.

The crumb was nice and moist and open with a buttery yellow/green texture.  The addition of the guacamole and yogurt made this a very wet dough even though by the strict definition of hydration it really wasn't it.  This would have made great Ciabbata bread but I decided to stick with traditional Boules.  The second one I made stuck to the cloth liner since I guess I didn't add enough rice flour so it ended up a little flatter than the first loaf.

If you decide to make this and are intimidated by wet dough feel free to increase the flour percentage or cut back on the water.


71 grams Seed (Mine is 65% AP Flour Starter)

227 grams AP Flour

151 grams Water (85 - 90 degrees F.)

Mix seed with water to break up for a few seconds and then mix in flour until the starter form a smooth dough consistency.  Put it in a lightly oiled bowl and loosely cover and leave at room temperature for at least 10 hours.  The starter should double in volume.  Put the starter in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days or use it immediately.

Main Dough


385 grams Starter from above (you may have a little left over from above)

315 grams European Style Flour ( can substitute bread or AP flour or a combination of the two)

251 grams Durum Flour (make sure not to use Fancy Semolina as it is too gritty)

122 grams Mashed Potatoes

308 grams Guacamole

73 grams Greek Style Plain Yogurt

335 grams Water (85 - 90 degrees F.)

16 grams Sea Salt (or table salt)


Mix the starter with all the water except for 50 grams just to break it up.  Next mix in the flours for 1 minute on low in your mixer or by hand and let them autolyes for 15 minutes up to an hour.    Next add the salt, guacamole and yogurt.  Mix on low for 1 minute and then add the remainder of your water unless you feel the dough is already too hydrated.  Mix on low-speed or by hand for 4 minutes.  Remove the dough from your mixing bowl to your work surface.  The dough will be very sticky so you may want to use a bench scraper to help you do 4-5 stretch and folds.  Leave the dough uncovered for 10 minutes on your work surface or put it in a slightly oiled bows.  After 10 minutes either on your work surface or in your bowl do another stretch and fold, cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Repeat this S & F procedure one more time and let it rest another 10 minutes.  Do one last S & F  and put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl for 2 hours.  If you don't feel the dough has developed enough feel free to do some additional stretch and folds while the dough is in the bowl and then put it in the fridge overnight.

The next day when I returned from work I removed the dough from the refrigerator and  I let the dough sit out at room temperature for 1.5 hours.  I then formed it into loaves and put them in floured bannetons and let them rise covered for 2 hours.

Score the loaves as desired and prepare your oven for baking with steam.

I then baked on my oven stone with steam at 450 degrees until both loaves were golden brown and reached an internal temperature of 205 - 210 degrees F.  I left them in the oven for 15 minutes with the heat turned off and the door open a crack to get the crust a little harder.

The end result was a nice golden-yellow crumb with a hint of green.  The crust was nice and crispy and the bread was moist and flavorful.

This bread has been submitted to Yeast Spotting here at

Cosmo Waiting for the Bread to Bake
May_be's picture

Going on vacation: How to keep starter alive?

To those of you who've successfully been maintaining starters for years now:

I'm a newbie bread baker. I've grown two starters from scratch, both using Reinhart's methods. The first one is a white starter made using the pineapple juice method. The second one is a wholewheat starter made using the mash method. I've been keeping them both in the basement at about 70-72F. The first one I'm feeding daily, at 80% hydration. The second one is very new, I'm just on day 7 and have mixed it into the mother starter at 75% hydration. So far they both seem to be behaving well, the first one is rising after each feed and winding down by the next one, and the second one seems to be working just as Reinhart describes in his method. The starters are pretty new, and I've only baked a couple of loaves with th first one which were clearly not perfect - somewhat dense crumb and over-sour flavor - but that may be for a host of other reasons as I discovered while browsing this forum. 

Which brings me to my question, which is, what is the best way to keep them alive when I'm on vacation? I will be going away soon for 18 days. Do I stick them in the fridge and just feed them when I come back, or should I get my neighbor to come in to feed them from time to time when I'm gone? If the answer is the latter, how often should I request the feedings?

Thanks in advance.


breaducation's picture

Sprouted Wheat Country Bread

I have been on a bit of a country bread kick lately but I’m always trying to mix it up. For my latest variation I’ve replaced the typical 10% whole wheat flour in a country bread with 15% sprouted wheat.

Although I don’t have that much experience using sprouted grains it’s something that has always intrigued me. Mainly because of the purported health benefits but also because of the delicious flavor.

For one thing, when you use a sprouted grain like wheat you are using the entire grain. At this point it’s already much more nutritious than white flour but not any better than your average whole wheat flour. What causes sprouted grains to excel so greatly in nutrition is the activation of enzymes in the sprouting process. These enzymes breakdown some starches before they get to your body making bread made from these grains easier to digest. The sprouting also increases levels of some vitamins and protein.

On top of all these nutritional advantages sprouted wheat also tastes great! It is much more sweet tasting than whole wheat flour and doesn’t have any of the bitterness. It’s these flavors that led me to the idea of trying sprouted wheat in a country bread.

The finished loaf had outstanding flavor! It was quite sweet from the sprouted wheat and very mildly sour probably from making it as a straight dough instead of retarding. I feel like I could increase the sprouted wheat to 25-35% of dough weight and still get a great mild sprouted wheat flavor. If I went that high with normal whole wheat it would dominate the flavor and have that bitter whole wheat taste. I think I’m going to be using sprouted wheat a lot more often in my breads.

For the formula, process and more photos visit aBreaducation.

isand66's picture

Chocolate Stout Amaranth Yeast Water-Sourdough Combo

My wife bought a bottle of Chocolate Stout about a month ago with the intentions of making some kind of chocolate cake.  This would have been a very good use for this stout, but since she never had a chance to put it to good use I decided it was time to give it a try in a bread.  I recently purchased another new flour which I have since found out is a very old flour called Amaranth.  I decided to combine this with some sprouted wheat flour, KAF European style flour along with a Yeast Water starter and my stock AP starter.  I used some Italian style 00 flour in the Yeast Water build which I built up in 2 stages.  If I made this again I would probably increase the hydration since it is only around 68% and I think the crumb would have been more open with a higher hydration.

Yeast Water Starter Build 1

100 grams Italian Style 00 Flour (KAF)

100 grams Yeast Water Starter

Mix the flour and Yeast Water in a bowl until thoroughly combined.  Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for around 4 hours.  The starter should almost double when ready to proceed to build 2.

Build 2

Add ingredients below to starter from above and mix until incorporated.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 4 hours.

100 grams Italian Style 00 Flour

35 grams Yeast Water

Main Dough Ingredients

107 grams Refreshed AP Starter (65% hydration)

318 grams Italian  Yeast Water Starter (all of starter from above)

200 grams Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour or Whole Wheat Flour

150 grams Amaranth Flour

405 grams European Style Flour (KAF) or Bread Flour

161 grams Mashed Potatoes (I like to mash them with the skins on and used red potatoes)

503 grams Chocolate Stout at room temperature

16 grams Raspberry Champagne Vinegar

16 grams Salt (Sea Salt or Table Salt)


Mix the starters with the stout but save 50 grams for later (no... don't drink it!) and stir to break it up.  Next mix in the flours into the starter mixture and mix for 2 minutes with your mixer or by hand.    Let the dough autolyse for 20-30 minutes to an hour in your bowl covered with a cloth or plastic wrap.  Next add in the salt, balance of Stout and vinegar and mix on speed #2 for 4 minutes or by hand.  The dough should have come together in a ball and be tacky but not too sticky.

Next take the dough out of the bowl and place it on your work surface.  Do a stretch and fold and rest the dough uncovered for 10 minutes.  After the rest do another stretch and fold and cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Do one more stretch and fold and put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and let it sit at room temperature covered for 2 hours.  After 2 hours you can put the dough into the refrigerator for 24 hours or up to 2 days before baking.  Feel free to do some additional S & F's if you feel it is necessary.

The next day (or when ready to bake) let the dough sit out at room temperature for 1.5 - 2  hours.  Next, form the dough into your desired shape and put them in floured bannetons, bowls or on a baking sheet and let them rise covered for 2 hours or until they pass the poke test.  Score the loaves as desired and prepare your oven for baking with steam.

Set your oven for 500 degrees F. at least 30 minutes before ready to bake.  When ready to bake place the loaves into your on  your oven stone with steam and lower the temperature immediately to 450 degrees.  It should take around 20 - 30 minutes to bake  until both loaves are golden brown and reached an internal temperature of 200 - 210 degrees F.

Let the loaves cool down for at least an hour or so before eating as desired.


Balloon Flower

Xenophon's picture

Sourdough rye Vollkornbrot with flaxseed and pinhead oats.

A couple of days ago I decided to try my hand at Jeffrey Hamelman’s Vollkornbrot with flaxseeds.  I did this with some trepidation because

a)     I’m a western expat living in New Delhi, India and THE key ingredient (rye flour) is not available here, meaning that I have to bring it in from Europe on each trip.  This one recipe  would blow about 1/7 th of my precious supply.

b)    The recipe as per Hamelman requires the  use of a sourdough starter, used to create a long fermenting sourdough and two soakers (flaxseeds and rye chops) .  To these are added the last fraction of the rye meal and the salt + some water and yeast so it’s not exactly a straight dough setup with minimal rise time.

The original recipe can be found in ‘Bread’ by Jeffrey Hamelman, I’m not going to reproduce it here for the obvious copyright reasons.

Modifications vs the recipe:

a)     I didn’t have rye chops and there’s no way for me to acquire those here.  So I used pinhead oats (also called steel cut oats) instead.  This worked without a hitch.

b)    One of the big challenges of baking breads here is dough temperature control.  We’re past the peak of summer but still, the temperature in my kitchen is about 35 centgrade.  This is an obvious problem when using ‘long’ rise times/preferments etc.  What it boils down to is that I shortened the sourdough rise time from the recommended 14-16 hours at around 21 centigrade to 9 hours at 33-35.


The dough (detailed instructions see the recipe in the book):

For the sourdough I used a sourdough starter that had been initiated 3 months ago, it started out as a rye sourdough starter but has been refreshed countless times with normal bread flour so it’s totally white now.  This is added to 100% rye flour and water.  Hydratation is 100% at this point.

While this is covered and put away to start its long rise, a flaxseed and –in my case- a pinhead oats soaker were prepared.  I added all the recipe’s salt to the oats soaker in order to inhibit enzyme activity (long rise at high ambient temperature).

After 5 hours I could definitely see activity in the sourdough, based on the look/consistency and the taste I decided it was ripe after 9 hours of fermentation.  Tasting/feeling/looking are imho the only sure ways to determine ripeness.  Let it ferment too long and the taste becomes harsh/vinegary.

Everything was brought together with some extra rye flour and mixed at slow speed for 10 minutes.  Bulk fermentation took 15 minutes.

After bulk fermentation I had a very slack, sticky dough that proved almost unmanageable and had a very dense texture.  This was dumped in a large cake tin (no pullman form available) that had been oiled and covered in rye flour.  I used a spoon to flatten the top somewhat.


First 15 minutes in a hot oven (245 centigrade)  with steam, followed by 1 hour 15 minutes at 195, dry.   Hamelman remarks that a full bake is imperative and I concur, given the high hydratation and the density.

Unpanning and cooling:

15 minutes before the end of the bake time, the loaf is taken out of the baking tin (very easily, no stick at all) and baked off the remaining 15 minutes to remove some extra moisture and firm things up.

After baking I was stuck with what literally seemed to be a very dense brick.  This then has to cool/rest between 24 and 48 hours so the internal moisture has time to redistribute.  It took an almost superhuman effort but I managed to wait 30 hours.  Don’t give in to temptation, I think the bread really requires this long rest before slicing.

Some pictures: 







Rye sourdough with flaxseeds and pinhead oats after unpanning and cooling for 30 hours at room temperature.










As you can see, the crumb is very, very dense and looks underbaked.  However, it looked and tasted exactly like the German whole grain Vollkornbread that’s for sale in (North) Germany.  It can be sliced very thin (4 mm is not a problem at all) with a serrated bread knife and the taste is slightly sweet, nutty with a delicate sourdough tang.  If you really want an extremely pronounced sourdough taste I guess you’d have to let the sourdough ferment a couple of hours more.  The bread goes very well with cured meats, jam, (dark) chocolate spread and cheeses that have a pronounced taste.


Big warning: Only try this and the other Vollkornbrot mentioned by Hamelman if you really like very dense German breads like Pumpernickel (the German version, has nothing in common with what's sold as such in the US).  Do not try to make rolls or smaller loaves as the crust is very hard indeed and -in the case of rolls- these would be inedible because this bread can only be enjoyed if you slice it really thin.

dabrownman's picture

Herbed Bialy's – Multigrain, Caramelized Onion, Chorizo and 4 Cheeses

After pinching off 100g of this combo; Yeast Water and Joe Ortiz’s Cumin, WW Sourdough starter for the donuts and English muffins this past Sunday, we used the remaining 230g of combo starter to make some semolina, durum atta and white whole wheat based herbed bialy’s that had a filling of home made chorizo, caramelized onions, 4 cheeses; brie, aged cheddar, pepper jack and pecorino cheese. The herbs were basil and cilantro.

What a beauty with the cilantro sprinkled on top.

The previous YW bialy’s we made here:

where we used YW only for the levain, used much lower % of whole grains and only used a small amount of pepper jack cheese with the only herb being a garlic chive in the dough. The best thing about the old bake was the unbelievable open crumb. Everything else about the new bake turned out better than the old one.

Chorizo and onion mix before caramelizing.

This bake built on the previous one without autolyse, but we gussied it up and baked it with Sylvia’s steam this time while making it a totally hand made dough. Because of the steam and50 Flower temperature, the bake took longer than the previous one that was 10 minute long. This one took 5 min of steam and then 10 more minutes to finish.

These bialys were just delicious with a slight SD tang that we hope will develop over the next 24 hours. We continue to be impressed with the JoeOrtizSDstarter and when mixed with the YW created a nice, light, open crumb and a crust that was thin and chewy. The filling was built up from the bottom starting with fresh basil a cube of double creme and a cube of Alpine Lace Swiss, then a tablespoon or so of the chorizo and caramelized onion mix, with 4 cubes of cheese on top (2 cubes of pepper jack, 1 cube of pecorino and a cube of aged, super sharp cheddar.

Before proofing.

The Method

was straight forward. The combo YW SD was built up over (2) 3 hour builds and (1) 2 hour build and then it was refrigerated for 72 hours. But there was no need to refrigerate it other than to fit my scedule

The chorizo and onions were sautéed until caramelized and refrigerated until needed.

Spooned and docked after proofing.

After warming up, the levain was mixed with the dough water to break it up and the salt, flour, dried potato flakes, barley malt, molasses and butter were added to the mix. After combining by hand, the dough was emptied out to a slightly floured surface and kneaded by hand for 5 minutes. It was fully developed and the dough rebounded immediately when two fingers were poked into the dough. The dough was rested for 20 minutes and then 2 sets of 4 S & F’s each were done on 15 minute intervals. The dough was then allowed to ferment for 1 ½ hours until it had nearly doubled.

Sylvia's Steam in the microwave heating up.

The dough was divided into (10) roughly 100g pieces and hand formed into tight balls. These balls were rested for 10 minutes and then formed into little pizza shapes by picking them up and hanging them in the vertical while pressing out the centers.

Mis en place for filling the unspooned and undocked bialys

These were placed on semolina sprinkled parchment paper on un-rimmed baking sheets. The centers were then pressed out again before covering with plastic wrap to proof for another hour. At the 30 minute proofing mark the oven was preheated to 500 F regular bake and Sylvia’s Steam was prepared in the microwave and placed in the bottom of the oven.

Basil and brie first then Alpine Lace went in too on this level but not shown for som reason..

After proofing, the centers of the bialys were then pressed out flat again with a wet spoon and the centers docked with a fork to keep them from puffing in the oven. Some basil leaves were placed in the bottom with a cube of brie and a cube of Alpine Lace Swiss, a tablespoon of chorizo was added and flattened out to fill the well and 2 cubes of pepper jack and 1 cube of each of aged cheddar and pecorino were placed on top.

Chorizo, and 3 more cheeses, pecorino in the middle, flanked by cheddar and pepperjack.

The bialys were placed onto the middle oven rack with the stone one very top rack and steam below. At 2 minutes the temperature was turned down to 450 F regular bake. At 5 minutes the steam was removed and the temperature turned down to 425 F convection this time as the bialys were rotated 180 degrees on the oven rack. At the 10 minute mark the bialys were rotated 180 degree again and at 15 minutes they were done and moved to cooling racks. The fresh chopped cilantro was then sprinkled on top

Before the cilantro went on.

The formula follows the pix’s.

Cut vertical with my daughter apprentice holding before scarfing.  She liked them!

Cut horizontal.  Not as open as the first YW only ones but these tasted so much better.  Will make them again.

SD & YW Semolina, Durrum Atta, WWW Bialy's w/ Caramelized Onion, Chorizo and 4 cheeses     
Mixed StarterBuild 1Build 2Build 3Total%
SD Starter2000203.48%
Yeast Water3500357.61%
S. White Wheat21170388.26%
Durum Atta16017337.17%
Total Starter92696923050.00%
Levain % of Total22.14%    
Dough Flour %   
Durum Atta10021.74%   
Bread Flour20043.48%   
White WW5010.87%   
Potato Flakes102.17%   
Dough Flour460100.00%   
Dough Hydration56.52%    
Total Flour575    
Water - 340, YW -35375    
T. Dough Hydration65.22%    
Whole Grain %46.09%    
Hydration w/ Adds70.09%    
Total Weight1,039    
Add - Ins %   
Barley Malt204.35%   
Total Add Ins8017.39%   


Apprentice takes a nice 105 F bake herself in the backyard oven.  Dumb Doxie !!!





markwhiteff's picture

Crust question


I was wondering whether anyone has any ideas about the crust in the picture below

Bread was baked at 440 degrees for about 40 minutes and was abou 205 degrees when pulled out. The crust is actually darker than the picture shows. The crumb is very light. I was happy with the bread, but didn't like the large chunks of cracking that occurred about 10 minutes after i pulled it out of the oven. As you can see the crust is fairly thin. But it is the large cracking that i'd like to fix. Hoping somebody here will have some ideas. Thanks!

mamatkamal's picture

Chebakia or Chebakiya (Mkharqua-Mkharka-Mkhar9a)/The Classic Moroccan Flower Cookies / Chabakia ou Chabakiya Marocaine!

 Since I was young I've always been intrigued by these sesame/honey cookies, called in Morocco "Chebakia", not only for their beautiful flower shape but also because they are surprisingly delicious sweet treats and I love all the flavours in them!  Chebakia is one of the luxurious, tasteful, traditional and special occasion sweet, served without fail on Moroccan Ramadan table with Harira on Ftour (Iftar) meal.  However; in some regions in Morocco, chebakia is also served at wedding ceremonies and other special feasts.  Traditionally, few days before Ramadan, the whole family usually gets together to make large numbers of these cookies, which are customarily shaped like a rose, symbolizing "Respect and Love".  

Because of chebakia popularity and its cultural significance in Morocco, this has made these sesame/honey cookies synonymous with Ramadan. In fact, no Moroccan Ramadan is complete without chebakia, which can be bought almost anywhere in the street.  My Mother taught me how to make chabakiya when I was a kid, and I remember she used to talk about how tricky making those cookies were, and how her chebakia  would never taste like her mother's even if she used to make the best chabakiya I've ever tasted!  So last weekend, I decided to make those little cookies, and they brought me back as little kid again. They made me think of my mother and where I come from.  When I prepare chebakia, I always have those wonderful memories, and so will my lovely boys, one day! 

Chabakiya or Chbakia [S H A B A K E E Y A}  = الشّباكيّة, (also spelled Chebbakiya and Shebakia) is a general term for Moroccan traditional sweet sort of fried flower dessert, and which was originally considered as a confectionery Halwa [H A L W A} =حْلْوَة, which means "Cake" because of its sweet taste and flower crispy biscuit shape. It will sound odd for some of my blog followers; "A fried cookie? Come on, really?". Yes, indeed, it is a fried, chewy and sticky cookie that, strangely enough, goes so well with HariraBUT NOT tea or coffee! The sweetness of Chabakiya is intended to offset the sour yet soft, touch of the national soup, called Harira. Give me one chebakia and a bowl of Harira any day, any time and I’d be a happy woman! . 

Chabakiya is made with ingredients, very common in Moroccan Cuisine, such as sesame seeds, almonds, aniseeds, cinnamon, gum arabic, orange flower water, honey, yeast etc.... The dough is made by kneading wheat or white flour or mixture of both, with all the ingredients and mixed together, then flattened and cut into squares using a special Chebakia mold to cut the dough, then fried in oil and submerged in sweet honey syrup (usually orange flower water flavoured).   The result is a declicious, sticky, sweet and slightly chewy cookie  that looks like flower almost, and that tastes a little bit like a spicy, crispy, savory Fekkas, and a little bit like a hot glazed, sweet Almond/Honey Breewat. Both the flavour combination and the texture of chabakiya is amazing! 

Chabakiya is a little time-consuming but well worth the effort. It's also endlessly adaptable, substitute more modern ingredients for different flavours, use corn or ginger or orange syrup instead of honey, so chabakiya is more sticky and shiny. If you don't like sesame seeds or almonds,  replace them  for hazelnuts or pine nuts or peanuts or pistachio or linseeds etc....  which will change the flavour quite a bit, but they will taste great!  Don’t be intimidated by shaping technique of chabakiya, it is quite easy to make, and in fact you can create any shape you like! When making chabakiya, make sure not to overwork the dough (generally, 7 to 10 minutes seems reasonable).  This detail is very important, since gluten development, resulting from overworking the Chabakia dough, will make it tough when cooked. It is also important to maintain the temperature of the frying oil because if the temperature is too high or if you overcook them, chabakiya will be too hard and if the temperature is too low, or you undercook them, the resulting chabakiya will be too pale, very greasy and unappealing.  Note that chebakia will continue to colour slightly a few minutes after removed from the oil, so you will need to be careful when removing them. 


1-In Fes and some other regions as Rabat, Salé etc.., this same chabakiya is called Mkhar9a (also spelled Mkharqua or Mkharka = المْخَرْقَة ).

2-Whereas in Wajda (Oujda - East of Morocco) and also some parts in Fes, it is called Griwech or Griwesh or Griwchat =كريوْشْ 

3-In Agadir (South of Morocco), they have a special version of Chabakiya, called Bouchnikha = بوشْنيخَة ou Chebakiya Khyout (5yout) = الشّْبّاكيّة خْيُوطْ .

Below shows the photo of Bouchnikha, Agadir's version of Chabakia, by  Meriya (CLICK HERE FOR MERIYA'S BLOG)

4-There are several different shapes of chabakiya, the most popular one is Chabakiya Blighat or Baboush = الشّْبّاكِيّة بْليغاتْ, which has the shape of the hand-made leather shoes called in Morocco Babouche =  بَبُوشْ or Balgha (Balra) = بْلْغَة.

Below shows the photo of Chebakiya Blighat by Meriya (CLICK HERE FOR MERIYA'S BLOG)

5-There is a different type of Chebakia called " "Halwa Mja3ba" = الحلوة المجعبة. This is a very popular traditional type of Chebakia, and curiously enough, it is prepared by men only.  The dough needs very slow rising time for 17 to 24 hours, and requires a lot of practice and patience to achieve success. There is a video here by Moroccan Chef Cook Choumicha which shows how to make Halwa Mja3ba. I took the picture below of "Halwa Mja3ba" from this Cuisine Site!

I'm submitting this post to Susan's Yeastspottinga blog devoted to yeast bread.  Please check it out!

  Rosebud Chebakia / Chebakia sous forme de rose:



Ingredients for Chebakia dough : / Ingredients pour la pâte de Chabbakia:

-1 kg flour (I used strong white bread flour), sifted / 1 kg de farine tamisée (J'ai mis la farine forte blanche, je crois c'est ce qu'ils appellent en France "Farine T55", mais je ne suis pas certaine)

-200 gr brown sesame seeds / 200 gr de graines de sésame brunes

-2 tablespoons anise seeds / 2 c à soupe de graines d'anis

-2 cloves / 2 clous de girofle

-1/2 teaspoon salt / 1/2 c à thé ou à café de sel

-2 tablespoons ground cinnamon / 2 c à soupe de cannelle moulu

-200 gr blanched almonds / 200 gr d'amandes blanchies

 -60 ml white vinegar / 60 ml de vinaigre blanc

 -1/2 teaspoon saffron threads  / 1/2 c à thé ou à café de pistils de safran 

 -Few small grains of gum arabic / Quelques graines de gomme arabique 

-100 ml pure olive oil / 100 ml d'huile d'olive de bonne qualité

-1 egg / 1 oeuf

-1 egg white / 1 blanc d'oeuf

-100 ml melted butter / 100 ml de beurre fondu

-180 ml orange blossom water (use good quality) / 180 ml d'eau de fleur d'oranger de bonne qualité

-You will need about 60 ml warm water, depending on your flour quality.  Add more if you need to./ Vous aurez besoin d'environ 60 ml d'eau tiède. Il faut prendre en considération la qualité de votre farine, ajouter plus d'eau si nécessaire.

N.B. If necessary, use this water to dilute the yeast with pinch of sugar, cover and allow to rest for a few minutes. / Si  nécessaire, utiliser cette eau pour diluer la levure avec un tout petit peu de sucre, puis couvrir et laisser reposer quelques minutes.

-1 teaspoon baking powder (About 5 ml) / 1 c à thé ou à café (Environ 5 ml) de levure chimique ou patissière ou la poudre à pâte

-1/2 teaspoon (About 2.5 ml) yeast / 1/2 c à thé ou à café (Environ 2.5 ml) de levure boulangère

N.B. : I used instant dry yeast, but you might use fresh or active dry yeast as well.  /  J'ai mis la levure instantanée mais vous pouvez aussi utiliser d'autres types de levure soit fraîche ou sèche active.


 Sweet Honey Syrup: / Mélange de Miel :

-1.5 kg best-quality honey / 1.5 kg de miel de bonne qualité 

-2 tablespoons orange flower water / d'eau de fleur d'oranger

-Pinch of gum arabic / Une pincée de gomme arabique

-1 cinnamon stick / 1 bâton de cannelle

 For Frying Chebakia : / Faire frire le Chebakia:

-1.5 liters vegetable oil / 1.5 litres de l'huile végétale


Other/Autre Ingredient:

-About 100 gr golden sesame seeds, toasted, for decorating / Environ 100 gr de graines de sésame brunes pour la touche finale


Prepare the Chebakia dough: / Préparer la pâte de Chabbakia:

1-You have to plan ahead on this recipe, to get the sesame seeds, washed, dried and available.  Wash out the dirt and mud. Drain the seeds and let them dry in the sun, placing them on a large baking pan. This will take 1 to 2 days to dry them.  When dry, remove any small stones from brown natural sesame seeds. / Préparer les graines de sésame avant de commencer la préparation de Sellou.  Laver les graines de sésames et laisser sécher  naturellement au soleil, ceci peut prendre 1 jusqu'à 2 jours.  Puis enlever les mauvaises graines et faire attention si jamais il y a des petites pierres noires.

2-Toast sesame seeds in a small pan over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring or shaking the pan constantly.  Allow to cool. /Faire dorer les graines de sésame à la poêle en remuant sans arrêt. Laisser refroidir.

3-Grind sesame seeds into fine powder. / Faire moudre les graines de sesame au moulin jusqu'à obtention d'une poudre bine fine.

4-Toast the blanched almonds either in the oven or in a heavy, ungreased skillet or pan until golden, stirring every few minutes otherwise they will burn. / Dans une poêle ou au four, faire revenir les amandes blanchies qu'on brasse fréquemment jusqu'à coloration.

5-Grind almonds into fine powder. / Faire moudre les amandes au moulin jusqu'à obtention d'une poudre bine fine.

6-In a large bowl, place ground sesame and almond with the flour and all other dry ingredients, then add the remaining ingredients and mix well to form a stiff dough.  Knead the dough with hands for about 10 minutes. / Dans un grand bol, mélanger les graines de sésame et amandes moulues, puis ajouter tous les ingrédients secs, bien mélanger le tout, ensuite ajouter le reste d'ingrédients en formant une pâte assez ferme. Surtout la pâte ne doit être collante.  Pétrir à la main pendant 10 minutes environ.

7-Cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap to let it rest for about 30 minutes./Couvrir avec un film alimentaire ou un torchon propre puis laisser reposer pendant environ 30 minutes.

8-Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and wrap each dough ball separately in plastic wrap./ Couper la pâte en 6 boules égales et couvrir chaque boule avec un film alimentaire. 

Shaping Chebakia : / Façonnage de Chabbakiya:

1-You don't need to flour your work surface to roll out the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll out each part into a very thin rectangle. / Au rouleau pâtisserie, étaler chaque boule en un grand rectangle très mince.  Pas besoin de fariner le plan de travail car si la pâte est bien faite, elle n'est pas supposée de coller.

 2-Use Chebakia cutter to form squares, which should have five (5) strips each. / Avec un emporte pièce de chabbakiya, couper des carrés qui doivent avoir cinq (5) lanières chacun.


  3-But, if you don't have a special mold for Chebakia, simply cut the the thin dough into small squares, measuring about 8 cm on all sides. Then using pastry wheel with fluted edge, make four (4) evenly spaced cuts lengthwise in each square, but not cutting through to the edges of the square. / Mais, si vous n'avez pas un emporte pièce de chabbakiya, utiliser tout simplement une roulette dentelée, puis couper des petits carrés dont les côtés mesurent environ 8 cm, puis faire 4 longues incisions parallèles à l'intérieur de chaque carré, mais sans arriver jusqu'au bord. 

 4-Now you will have little squares with five (5) strips each. / Vous aurez des petits carrés, ayant cinq (5) lanières chacun. 

5-This is Nassim's technique to fold Chebakia, very easy and clever! He inserts a straw into the square, making sure that the strips number: 1, 3 and 5 are on top of the straw, whereas strips number: 2 and 4 are under the straw. /  Ici, je vous montre une technique de mon fils Nassim, mon petit chou de 9 ans, pour façonner le Chebakia que je trouve toute simple mais efficace et bien pensée. Il insère une paille à l'interieur du carré, en veillant à ce que les lanières numéro: 1, 3 et 5 soient au-dessus de la paille, tandis que les lanières numéro: 2 et 4 soient sous la paille.

 6-He takes the straw and allows the strips of dough to slide down. He removes the straw, then, using his little fingers, turns the dough inside out. / Il prend la paille vers le haut, en laissant glisser les lanières sur un plan de travail, puis il retire la paille.  Ensuite, il travaille avec ses petits doigts pour faire sortir la fleur vert le haut.

 7-Then, he gently pinches both the opposite corners to seal the flower Chebakia, and that's it! / Puis, délicatement il attache les 2 coins ensemble pour bien sceller la rose, et c'est tout!

 8-Repeat the process with the remaining squares and the covered dough. /  Faire pareil avec le reste de carrés et la pâte recouverte du film alimentaire.

N.B. As you can see the shaping of Chebakia is not the same on the photo below, it's normal, since some were made by my lovely boys, some by my husband and others by our friend and myself.  But they all look beautiful. /Comme vous pouvez remarquer le façonnage sur la photo ci-dessous, est différent, puisque quelques uns ont été faits par mes adorables enfants, les autres par mon mari, notre amie, et moi-même, mais l'important qu'ils sont tous beaux!

And here are some well-detailed photos how to shape Chebakia by the food writer Christine-Amina Benlafquih CLICK HERE / Voici aussi des photos comment façonner Chebakiya Marocaine, et que je trouve vraiment bien faites par Christine-Amina Benlafquihl'experte américaine en cuisine Marocaine, CLIQUEZ ICI


Prepare the honey syrup : Préparer le  sirop au miel:

-Heat the honey for a few minutes, it should be warm but not bubbling. Then add  to honey the orange flower water, gum arabic and cinnamon stick and turn off the heat. / Chauffer le miel pendant quelques minutes, attention ne laisser pas bouillir.  Puis ajouter l'eau de fleur d'oranger, gomme pilées et cannelle et mélanger le miel.  Retirer du feu.

 Cooking Chebakia / Faire cuire Chabbakiya:

1-In a deep fryer or large pot, heat vegetable oil over moderate heat. / Sur un feu moyen, faire chauffer l'huile dans une poêle à frire ou autres. 

N.B . Before starting to fry Chebakia, test the temperature by dropping a small piece of carrot into the oil; if it floats and quickly starts to brown, then you can start frying.  It is very important to make sure the oil is hot enough before frying because if the temperature is too low, the resulting product is very greasy and unappealing. To keep the oil temperature constant while frying, fry only a few Chebakia at a time. / Avant de commencer à faire frire le Chebakia, vérifier la température de l’huile de friture, en jetant dans l'huile un morceau de carotte, et s’il dore et remonte à la surface, alors vous avez le feu vert pour commencer.  Surtout n'essayez pas d'aller plus vite en mettant trop de Chabakiya en même temps dans la poêle à frire car si il y en a trop, ils vont abaisser la température de friture, ainsi vos Chabbakias absorberont beaucoup de gras et goûteront l'huile.

2-When the oil is hot, then reduce a little bit the heat, and add Chebakia, only a few at a time, and fry for 4 to 5 minutes, on both sides or until brown. Add more cold oil, if necessary, and allow a couple of minutes to return to perfect frying temperature, then continue cooking Chebakia. / Dés que l'huile est bien chaude, baisser immédiatement un peu la température.  Faire frire seulement quelques Chebakia à  la fois pour 4 à 5 minutes de chaque côté ou jusqu'à ce qu'elles soient bien dorées et gonflées.  Ajouter plus d'huile froide si nécessaire et attendre quelques minutes jusqu'à que l'huile se réchauffe et continuer à cuire le reste des Chabbakiyas de la même façon.

 Soaking the Chebakia in Honey Mixture: / Faire tremper Chebakia dans le mélange du miel:

 1-Drain and put Chebakia in the hot honey, then gently push down to submerge them in the honey. Allow to soak for 10 to 15 minutes./ Bien les égoutter, puis plonger-les dans le miel chaud, sans les entasser. Laisser le Chebakia trempée dans le miel  de 10 à 15 minutes.

 2-Remove the chebakia from the honey and sprinkle slightly with toasted sesame seeds or with almonds, coarsely chopped and toasted. Serve with Harira, Enjoy and Happy Ramadan! / Retirer et égoutter. Saupoudrer Chebakiya de graines de sésames grillées ou amandes grillées et hachées grossièrement. Servir avec du Harira et Bssaha w Raha et Mabrouk 3likom Ramdan!

How to shape Rosebud Chebakia / Façonnage de Chebakia sous forme de rose:

 1-Using a rolling pin, flatten the Chabakia dough into a very thin circle. Use the circular cookie cutter or a small glass or others to cut smaller circles out on the large circle. / Utiliser un rouleau à pâtisserie, puis aplatir une boule de pâte de Chabbakia sous forme d'un cerle très mince, ensuite couper des petites rondelles avec un emporte-pièce rond.

 2-Arrange the six (6) small circles, half stacking on top of each other. With your fingers, press the edges of the circles to make them thiner./ Placer les six (6) petits cercles en rang sur une seule ligne, de telle sorte que chaque cercle doit cacher la moitié du cercle à côté. Aplatir un peu les bords des cercles avec vos doigts.

3-Place the stuffing on top of the second circle (Roasted or fried almond or almond paste or date paste  or fig paste etc...). / Placer votre farce sur le deuxième cercle (qui peut être soit amandes roties ou  pâte de dattes ou d'amandes ou de figues etc... )

4-Start rolling from the first circle, the one near the stuffing. / Commencer à rouler à partir du premier cercle, celui qui est près de la farce.


 5-Press the dough gently in the centre to help open the rose./ Délicatment, appuyer sur le milieu de la pâte pour faire ouvrir la rose.

6-To open the rose, you must force the bud open by a straw or your fingers or other tools, continue pressing the petals to separate them from the bud, and until all the petals are open and full. Don't be overly gentle during this process!/ Utilisez une paile ou vos doigts ou autres outils pour ouvrir les pétales de la rose et les separer du coeur. N'accordez pas beaucoup d'importance aux petits details.



jarkkolaine's picture

Black Tea Yeast Water

Before I saw this beautiful yeast water bread by  isand66, I had never heard about yeast water. Or if I had, I had completely ignored the topic, so new it felt to me at that time.

But when I started looking into the topic, I found that The Fresh Loaf is full of people making lovely loaves of bread with this method. And I wanted to join them.

So, after an evening of reading about YW, about a week ago, I mixed a big table spoon of black tea with a cup of water and a table spoon of honey and left to rest on my kitchen table.

For the next week, I shaked the mixture a couple of times a day and watched it ferment. I couldn't stop checking on the jar and smelling it to see if something was already happening!

In two days or so, the water started bubbling and after a few days more, it smelled like the Finnish May first drink, Sima. I suppose that would have been the perfect time to try the water, but as I was travelling (the yeast water travelled with me, naturally), so I didn't get a chance to try to bake with it until yesterday. 

Here's what the yeast water looked like just before I used it:

I was worried that the YW might be overripe, but the results were very good (for a first try, at least!). Here's the formula.


  • 100 g Yeast water
  • 100 g White wheat flour

The starter was left to room temperature for about 24 hours. It was bubbling already at 12 hours, but I felt it could use some more time (and I was busy...), so I left it to ferment a bit longer.

In the morning of the bake day:

  • All of the starter above (200g)
  • 200 g Water
  • 200 g White wheat flour

Again, I left the mixture on my kitchen table and went out for the day. When we came back about six hours later, the dough looked ripe and full of life (lots of bubbles and about doubled in size), so I decided it was time to mix the dough. 

I aimed for a 75% hydration, and a quick calculation (in my head) gave me the following numbers:

  • All of the starter from previous step (600 grams, at 100% hydration)
  • 700 g flour (out of which 100 g was fine spelt flour and the rest was bread flour from Vääksyn mylly, a smallish mill near Lahti)
  • 450 g water
  • 20 g salt 

I kneaded the dough for about 10 minutes and then added the salt just before finishing the kneading.

After two hours, I shaped the dough into two round loaves and left the rise for about two more hours. When I came back, I was surprised to see that the loaves had risen very fast, so I refrigirated them until the oven was ready and then baked in my cast iron pan (covered with a clay pot for half of the baking time).

Here's what came out of the oven: