The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

  • Pin It
isand66's picture

Multi-grain Sourdough

I get a kick out of trying new types of flours and grains in my bread baking.  I frequently shop on-line at King Arthur Flour and like to try new and different products when I can.  I've read many recipes on The Fresh Loaf using soakers and have tried a few recipes from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Bread book with mixed results.  I decided the other day to try my own formula using a multi grain soaker from my baking supply bin and also used some of my existing refreshed sourdough starter mixed with some rye, whole wheat and first clear flours.  The results were surprisingly good considering I had no idea what to expect.  The final bread had a great nutty sour flavor with a nice thick crust and moist crumb.



2 oz. Rolled Oats

2 oz. Malted Rye Berries

2 oz. Barley Flakes

1 oz. English Malted Wheat Flakes

1 1/2 Cups Boiling Water

Final Dough

15 oz. White Starter recently refreshed

3.5 oz. Whole Wheat Flour

3.5 oz. Medium Rye Flour

4 oz. First Clear Flour (you can substitute bread flour or High Gluten Flour)

2.5 Tsp. Salt

6 oz. Water, 90 degrees F.


Mix all ingredients for soaker in a bowl and add boiling water.  Let it sit for 2-3 hours covered until the grains are soft.

After 2-3 hours add the soaked grains along with the remaining liquid in your mixing bowl and add the flours, salt and remaining water and mix for 2 minutes.  The dough should come together in a shaggy mess and should be relatively moist at this point.  Let it rest for 5 minutes and mix for 4 minutes more on medium low-speed.

Remove dough from mixing bowl to work surface and do a stretch and fold.  You may need to wet or oil your hands and the work surface since the dough will still be very sticky at this point. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest uncovered for 10 minutes.  Let the dough rest uncovered for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes do another stretch and fold and cover the dough with a moist lint free towel or plastic wrap sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Do another stretch and fold two more times letting the dough rest 10 minutes each time.  After the last stretch and fold put the dough into an oiled bowl and cover it tightly.

Let the dough sit in your bowl for 2 hours at room temperature.  It should only rise slightly at this point.  After the 2 hours are up put in your refrigerator for at least 12 hours or up to 3 days.

When ready to bake the bread take your bowl out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for around 2 hours.  After 2 hours shape the dough as desired being careful not to handle the dough too roughly so you don't de-gas it.

Place it in your bowl, banneton or shape into baguettes.

Let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours covered with oiled plastic wrap or a moist cloth.

Pre-heat oven with baking stone (I use one on bottom and one on top shelf of my oven), to 500 degrees F.

Slash loaves as desired and place empty pan in bottom shelf of oven.

Pour 1 cup of very hot water into pan and place loaves into oven.

Lower oven to 450 Degrees and bake for 25 - 35 minutes until bread is golden brown and internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.

Shut the oven off and leave the bread inside with the door slightly open for 10 minutes.  This will help dry the loaves out and keep the crust crunchy.

Let cool on cooling rack and enjoy!

This post has been submitted to the Yeast Spotting Site here:

IndoLee's picture

Kuta Sourdough (A Whole Wheat Tweak Susan's Norwich SD)

“Kuta” Sourdough  (A Whole Wheat Tweak of Susan’s “Norwich” SD)

February 28, 2012

I love Susan from SD’s Norwich sourdough (see original recipe here: which she adapted from the Vermont Sourdough in Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes) and I used her Norwich recipe exclusively while I worked out the kinks in my Indonesian kitchen (see previous TFL posts).

As much as I relish the Norwich recipe, I like my SD with a bit of whole wheat flour for taste and texture so I made some modifications in order to incorporate WW in addition to the Rye. 

After numerous trials, I finally found a recipe I really like:  still quick and easy, with the same build and maintaining the character of the Norwich bread, but with the addition of a bit of WW zing.

"Kuta SD" Loaf made with both Retarded Bulk Ferment (Method #2) and Retarded Proof Ferment (Method #3)  Nice & Sour!


Crumb (From Above Loaf)

I’ve made this final recipe numerous times now and can say with confidence that it’s got all the things we love about SD: a nice crust, a crumb that’s still soft, but slightly more chewy and robust than the Norwich original, and just enough hint of whole wheat for our liking.  It’s now our “house standard” with all hankering for the Kuta loaves above any others turned out here to date.

Susan’s recipe calls for 100% hydration starter which is kept the same here.  In addition to the Rye flour in the Norwich recipe, I ended up with 135 g of Whole Wheat flour while reducing the White flour. Bread hydration is only a tad higher at 66.74% vs 65% due to the increase in both starter and water (relative to both total flour and total ingredients).  The slightly higher hydration is to keep the dough equally gaseous (i.e. crumb open) while compensating for the addition of the WW flour.

Aside from the whole wheat and some small tweaks, preparation of this recipe is the same as the Norwich recipe so if you’re used to making Susan’s fabulous bread, you should already be familiar with prep here.

To easily compare the two recipes, I added a chart below showing Susan’s Norwich recipe and the Kuta recipe side-by-side – keeping the total ingredients the same (2003 gr)


(After the primitive little village of Kuta, Island of Lombok - Indonesia where we are for the next 2 years.)  Adapted from Susan from SD’s “Norwich” Sourdough Bread – with lineage from Hammelman.)

Yield: About 2 Kg  - 4 medium (500 gr), or two large (1,000 g)r batards or boules;


Mix & Autolyse: 30 minutes (about 5 or 6 minutes mixing –total time, plus about 25 minutes autolyse)

Bulk (First) Fermentation:
Method 1:  Proof for about 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) at room temp (in range of 740 to 780 F) and doubled in size.
Method 2:  Proof for about 75 minutes (1¼ hours) at room temp (in range of 740 to 780 F) then refrigerate (retard) for 6 to 8 hours) – I usually do this overnight for a mid-morning bake the following day.  When retarding during the bulk ferment, the goal is to achieve the same doubling of size - partly during the 1¼ hours at room temp, but mostly as the fermentation continues more slowly while refrigerated.  I find that after 1¼ hrs at room temp, the dough is perhaps 25% to 30% larger in volume (at the time I refrigerate it), but fully doubled after a night in the refrigerator.

Divide, (Weigh) Pre-shape, Rest & Final Shape: About 15 minutes total.  Preshape dough, then rest for 10 minutes or so preparatory to final shaping into boules or batards.  Final shape after resting.

Proof (Second) Fermentation:
Method 1:  Proof for about 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) after final shaping (or after removing from refrigerator and shaping if you retarded during the bulk ferment), then bake,
Method 2:  Refrigerate (retard) your loaves, immediately after final shaping by putting them into loosely fitting, sealed plastic bags for 6 to 12 hours, then proof them for about 60 minutes after removing from the refrigerator;
Method 3:  Proof the final shaped loaves for 75 minutes (1¼ hours) at room temperature then retard (refrigerate – in bags as above) for 6 to 12 hours, placing the loaves directly into the oven from the refrigerator.

NOTE: If you retard twice (during bulk and proof), keep total retardation time (bulk + proof) under 18 hours and note that bread will be relatively sour after so much retardation.  Be careful not to over-proof if retarding during BOTH bulk and proof!

All of the above methods work fine - your choice.  With either method of retarding (before or after proofing or both) your loaves can stay refrigerated for 6 to 18 hours – more if you have to, but in my experience, dough quality and strength will start to degrade after about 18 hours total retardation (bulk plus proof) – and faster if you allowed a 1 ¼ hour room temperature proof before refrigerating (i.e. Proof Method 3).

Bake:  About 30 to 38 minutes – longer times for the larger loaves and shorter for smaller ones.  Also, in my experience, batards, because of their shape, tend to cook at bit quicker than boules of the same weight.










600 gr


Water - Room Temp about 760 F).  (% shown is % of Total Ingredients)

610 gr


360 gr


100% Hydration Sourdough Starter.   (% shown is % of Total Ingredients - including starter) 

365 gr


900 gr


White Bread or AP Flour (% shown is % of Total Flour)

750 gr


120 gr


Rye Flour  (% shown is % of Total Flour)

120 gr


0 gr


Whole Wheat Flour  (% shown is % of Total Flour)

135 gr


23 gr


Salt (% shown is % of Total Ingredients)

23 gr


2003 gr


Total Ingredients

2003 gr





Total Flour



Total Water (includes starter)



 Water/Flour Ratio (hydration)



Starter/Flour Ratio





1.         MIX - Mix the flours, water, and starter on low/dough speed in your mixer until flour is just incorporated and still quite shaggy, about one minute.  (If your room temperature is 760 F or above, add the salt now (it will slow down the bulk fermentation a tad – good for higher temps).

2.         AUTOLYSE - Let the dough rest (autolyse) for 25 minutes.

3.         ADD SALT & MIX - Add the salt (if not already done in Step 1) and continue mixing on low to medium-low speed until the dough reaches a moderate level of gluten development. This should take about 5 or 6 minutes depending on your mixer.  You can judge gluten development by lack of stringiness and tear of the dough.  When mixed enough, the dough should be noticeably more elastic.  If it’s still stringy and shaggy and tears rather than stretches it needs a bit more mixing - as it does if it’s still sticking to the side of your mixer bowl.  (Remember you will be doing stretch and folds later to more fully develop gluten/dough strength so don’t go overboard and beat the daylights out of your dough now or even try for classic “windowpane” glutenization – no need).

4.         BULK FERMENT - Transfer the dough to an oiled, covered container and ferment at room temperature for roughly 2 1/2 hours (or until no more than doubled.)  (Shoot for a doubling of size.  If it’s still a bit less than doubled don’t worry – it’s probably had enough time to finish the bulk ferment unless your room temp is low, in which case give it a bit longer).  Exact time will depend on room temp, flour used and most importantly, how spunky your starter is at the time of use).  If your starter has not yet “peaked” when it is incorporated (i.e. not fully “ripe” and at the point where it has expanded all it’s going to, and is about to fall), or if it’s been a while since it peaked and it’s started to get a little acidic, (which is how I sometimes like to use my starter in order to develop a bit more tanginess), your bulk ferment may take longer.  Not to worry – just watch the volume – knowing that bulk fermentation is completed when it has just doubled in size (a bit less is fine - more than doubled and you’re playin with fire!)
Note:  After much experimentation, in my very hot and humid Indonesian kitchen (sometimes as high as 880 F - with super high humidity), and my particular combination of starter, flours and water, I’ve found that my bulk fermentation and proof times are radically lower than every one of the numerous other SD recipes I have tried since moving here.  Just proves again that one needs to develop a good “dough sense” and rely on it – not on other’s stated times!

5.         STRETCH & FOLD - Do two stretch and folds (“letter folds”) - one at 30 minutes and another at 60 minutes - returning the dough to your oiled/covered contained after each fold.  (Gently stretch the dough until its about 1/3rd of its original height, then, like a business letter, fold the top 3rd of the dough down over the rest of the dough, fold the bottom 3rd up - over where the top 3rd is now; fold the left 3rd to the right and the right 3rd to the left).  If the dough feels weak you can double the number of letter folds at 30 minutes.

6.         DIVIDE & PRESHAPE - Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Divide it into four 500 gr (or five smaller loaves if you like them more petite) or two 1,000 gr pieces for larger loaves, and pre-shapeinto balls (for boules) or torpedos (for batards).  I usually make two larger (2 pound) batards.  If you want your loaves to be the same size, use a scale to weigh the pieces and adjust to equal weight by taking away or adding a piece of dough, chopped off with your board knife.  If adding weight, slap the extra piece onto what will be the “seam” side of the dough so it will get incorporated at the bottom of the loaf (while proofing) – i.e. the side that will be the bottom of the baked loaf – usually the one that faces up when you tension/stretch the dough during pre-shape. 

7.         REST PRESHAPED LOAVES – Sprinkle the pre-shaped loaves lightly with semolina if they feel wet or simply cover loosely with plastic or a towel otherwise and let rest for 10 minutes to allow the dough to relax.

8.         FINAL SHAPE LOAVES - Final shape into batards or boules and place them “seam-side” up (i.e. turn the pre-shaped loaves upside down) into a linen-lined couche, or metal proofing tray or a well-floured banneton or parchment paper - flour with a mix of 50/50 white and rice flours or semolina flour. For good spring and shape, remember to develop a good “gluten sheath” on your loaves (see Hammelamn’s great shaping videos at: and Remember that if you want larger holes in your finished loaves don’t “degass” the loaves as Hammelman does in his commercial bakery and handle the dough tenderly during your stretch and folds and shapings!

Note:  Doing a greater number of S & Fs at 60 minutes and/or handling the dough roughly or de-gassing it (especially during pre & final shaping) is a sure way to get a tighter, less open crumb (which you actually may want if using the loaves for sandwiches as we often due.)

9.         PROOF – Put the couche, banneton or metal proofing tray into a large plastic food grade bag, after dusting the tops with semolina to keep the tops from sticking to the bags, and proof at room temperature for about 2 ¼ (+) hours (Proofing Method 1).  If you are in a very high humidity area you can simply cover with a towel.  Allow to increase in size by about 75% maximum (not double!).

Or, alternatively, you can use Proofing Method 2 or 3 above.

Don’t rely on the clock to tell you when the loaves are fully proofed.  Learn to use a “finger poke” to test proof!  (Poke the top of the dough with a finger  about 3/8ths  to 1/2  an inch deep – if the indention remains a crater in the dough, without any spring-back, it’s over-proofed, so… prepare for disappointing oven spring and difficulty scoring!)

Note:  If your loaves stick to the bags when you try to remove them, use your board knife to gently free the dough from the plastic.  Don’t simply pull the plastic off as you may cause the loaves to deflate.  If you are not using bannetons and have trouble scoring your loaves,, let them sit uncovered for the last 30 minutes or so (at room temp or in the refrigerator if retarding).  This helps develop a bit of “skin” that is easier to slash (with less tearing) than if the surface is wet.

Proofing for an hour before retarding (Proofing Method #3, above), may work fine for you.  Or, you may find, as I did, that you need to adjust this time up or down for future batches.  I do find it a bit harder to test for proper proofing when retarding this way (as opposed to Method #2) - because after an hour of proofing at room temperature, the loaves continue to proof more actively in the frig (i.e. for a longer time before retardation sets in), and the cooler/refrigerated, but almost fully proofed dough, is a bit harder for me to assess for correct proofing when I take it out of the frig to bake.

After making this bread so many times, I now usually do both bulk and proof retarding, using Proofing Method #3 and refrigerating my shaped loaves 1¼ hrs after the bulk fermentation.  Seems to work well and give me the most flexibility with regard to my schedule.

10.  PREHEAT OVEN - Preheat the oven to 4750 F, for at least 1 hour, with a baking stone in your oven.  I use two stones (one on the top shelf and another on the bottom as my little Indo oven here has to huff and puff to get to4750 F and cools rapidly due to poor insulation and low BTUs).  I’ve found the 2nd stone tends to keep temp drops down when the door is opened (and also allows me to use the broiler for extra heat if I need to get the little oven above about 4250 F).

11.  TURN OUT & SCORE LOAVES - Turn the proofed loaves onto a semolina-sprinkled peel or parchment and slash the loaves.  If batards, see Susan’s Norwich SD photo for her (“two overlapping cuts that are almost parallel to the long axis of the batard” at the first (Norwich SD) link above, and place loaves in the oven.   Remember to overlap your cuts so they don’t cause bulges in the finished loaves.  (See a great two good videos on loaf slashing at: and  David Snyder (2nd video) also has a superb tutorial in his TFL blog with more info about scoring bread, at:

Note: For better spring and crust, use a steaming method to develop oven humidity during the first 15 minutes of baking
: cover loaves with a metal or Pyrex bowl (ala Susan’s “magic bowl”) when they go into the oven; or place a tray of steaming water in the bottom of your oven (filled with lava rocks works great; or 2 or 3 coffee cups full of boiling water, etc.    See a good video on steaming with lava rocks at:!)

  Mortar and pestle sets made from local pumice rock here cost about $1.50 so I simply preheat my 8 inch mortar in the oven along with my baking stones then, about 5 minutes before I bake, place 6 ice cubes into a metal wire (Asian type) strainer laying it on top of the mortar in the oven – gives me nice oven steam and water for about 15 minutes so I don’t have to remove a pan (or cups) of boiling water from the oven, or open it again and lose any precious heat!

Note:  If you like your bread crazed (crackled) on the outside (and like to hear it “sing” when it comes out of the oven) use a plastic bottle of water with a pump and spray the tops of the loaves with 3 or 4 good squirts/mists of water after scoring and just before placing in the oven, then again 2 or 3 more times during the first 6 to 8 minutes of baking.

12.  REDUCE OVEN HEAT & BAKE- Once the loaves are in the oven, turn the heat down to 450F. Bake for 15 minutes with steam, and another 15 to 20 minutes or so without steam. (Again, if you use a mortar and ice as I do for my batards, the water from the ice cubes will have steamed away at about this time). Loaves (in my oven) are done in 30 to 38 minutes depending on size & shape.  In any event, they’re done when internal temp in range of 2020 to 2040 F and/or they sound hollow when thumped/tapped.

13.  COOL - Cool on a wire rack for at least one hour.


"Kuta SD" Loaf made without Bulk or Proof Retardation


If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes for you (photos would be great too.)

Happy baking…!


dabrownman's picture

Rustique Pain Comté de San Francisco

This fancy French named bread is really a Rustic Country San Francisco Sourdough.  It originally started out as a Glenn Snyder Country SD bread minus the rustic and the sweetbird, that she is,  took the recipe and tweaked it some and came up with the most amazing crust on a bread I have ever seen.   I just had to try my hand at it and converted it further to more my liking by; using a rye sour starter,  grinding my own WW and rye, increasing the rye to equal the WW, reducing the AP accordingly and then adding 50 g of whole WW and rye berries that were boiled in water for 30 minutes and then drained.  The berries were put back into the pot with 1 tsp of olive oil and then sauteed until caramelized.  I was hoping for a bread that would be more rustic, have a deeper more flavorful taste, a deep brown crust and crumb that was soft, moist and still somewhat open.  Well, I think all but the somewhat open crumb was achieved.  I guess you can't have everything.  It is the one of the best textured and tasty breads I have ever eaten.  It, like most breads, is much better toasted with butter and I'm guessing the flavor will be better tomorrow as well.  I can't wait to try this on a new sandwich creation tomorrow.  Here are some pix's.  The recipe follows the pix's

 Rustique Pain Comté de San Francisco

Yield: Two 750g Loaves


Levain Build

86 g AP flour

25 g Whole Wheat flour

25 g Whole rye flour

175 g water, cool (60 F or so)

30 g active culture (72% hydration)


   Final Dough (68% hydration, including levain)

600 g AP flour (77.5%)

87 g whole wheat flour (11.25%)

87 g whole rye flour (11.25%)

440 g warm water (80 F or so) (57%)

14 g pink Himalayan sea salt (1.5%)

313 Levain (40%)

Scald and Caramelize: 50 grams of WW and rye berries boiled in twice as much water as berries by volume for 40 minutes.  Drain berries and return to pan with 1 tsp of olive oil and sauté until the berries caramelize and start to leave color on the bottom of the pan.  When color starts sticking to the pan they are done.


 1.  Levain : Make the final build 10-12 hours before the final mix.

2. Mix: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl, including the levain, but not the salt or the scalded berries. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated into a shaggy mass. Correct the hydration as necessary. Cover the bowl and let stand for an autolyse phase of 60 minutes. At the end of the autolyse, sprinkle the salt over the surface of the dough, and knead 4 minutes with dough hook on KA 3. The dough should have a medium consistency.  Add the scalded and caramelized  berries and mix on KA 3 for 1 minute   

3. Ferment with S&F: 3 hours. Stretch and fold the dough in the bowl once 10 strokes at the 30minute mark. Stretch and fold again, 5 strokes, at the one hour mark folding it into a ball in lightly oiled bowl.  Leave to ferment 1-2 more hours until the dough is at least 75% larger than when you started the ferment.

4. Retard: do 1 S&F in the lightly oiled bowl forming the dough into a ball again.  Refrigerate 8-20 hours, depending on how much time you have and sour your taste.

5. Divide and Shape:  take dough out of refrigerator and let it come to room temperature about 1 ½ hours.   Divide the dough into what 2 pieces and pre-shape, then shape into boules or batards 20 minutes later.

6. Proof: Approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours at 72° F. Ready when poke test dictates.

7. Pre-heat: oven to 500 with steam apparatus in place - 45 minutes minimum.  I use a loaf pan half full of water and a dry12”cast iron skillet that go in the bottom rack of the oven at the beginning of pre heat and the stone on the rack above.  When the loaves go in, I throw 1 cup of boiling water into the cast iron skillet right after loading the bread on the stone.

8. Bake:  Slash loaves. Bake with steam, on stone. Turn oven to 450 F when it hits 500 F after loading loaves. Remove steaming apparatus after 15 minutes. Bake for another 15 minutes more or 30 to 35 minutes total. Rotate loaves for evenness as necessary. When done (205 Finternal temp), leave loaves on stone with oven door ajar, oven off for 10 minutes.  Move to cooling rack until loaf is room temperature.


jamesjr54's picture

Manchego Sun-dried Tomato Parmesan loaf

Built off a "Country Semi-sourdough" yeasted bread, I made this bread on Saturday. 



339g H2O

138g 100% Starter

31g Rye

31g Whole wheat

12 g salt

2.25 g active dry yeast

85g manchego cheese cubed

85g oz parmesan grated

50 sun-dried tomatoes

Mix H2O, starter and flours

Autolyse for 1 hour

Add salt and yeast

Knead for about 3-5 mins

Add in cheeses and tomatoes, adding flour as needed

knead for 10 mins

Bulk proof 1.5 hours with S&F @ 30 and 60 mins

pre-shape and rest for 15 mins

shape and into bannetons for 1 hour

Preheat to 500F

Sprinkle 1 oz grated manchego on top

Bake in dutch oven 20 mins covered at 475F, 25 mins uncovered @ 475 F

Loaf weighed 1.2 kilogram before baking. Crumb was finer than usual, but very soft and very flavorful. Great taste and texture. Start to finish in 4 hours.



ccstokes's picture

Non Stick full sheet pans


Does someone know where to find well made (non-warping) non stick full sheet pans?


Chris in Bountiful, UT

breadsong's picture

Whole Wheat Genzano Country Bread, and Banana Pain au Levain

These are two breads I've wanted to bake, for quite awhile. Really glad now that I have, as both of these breads are so delicious, each in their own way! With thanks to Shiao-Ping and Mr. Leader for their lovely recipes :^)

Shiao-Ping's Banana Pain au Levain <------>Mr. Leader's Whole Wheat Genzano Country Bread

I so enjoyed reading about Pane casareccio di Genzano in Mr. Leader’s book, Local Breads.
This was a really nice post, too, with great photos of that beautiful and dark crust:

This is a try of the whole wheat variation, Pane lariano, with some variations; I reduced the instant yeast to 1 gram, mixed by hand, divided the recipe amount into two loaves (instead of one large loaf),  and retarded the dough overnight (for convenience)…so this is not the bread Mr. Leader intended…but I am very pleased with the resulting flavor (it’s a delicious, delicious crust!).

The loaves were baked in a hot oven, preheated to 500F; then 475F for 15 minutes, 465F convection for 15 minutes, 450F convection for 7 minutes, then left in the oven (turned off/door ajar) for 10 minutes.
The loaves sang and crackled :^)

                                      The bran-flecked crust

  After cutting the end off of one loaf, 
                                                                                                                  I was nervous about the crumb, 
                                                                                                                  but really happy with the crust!

          The crumb, a little further into the loaf

The crust could be darker yet! (yearning for my own WFO :^)  )

The second bake today, Shiao-Ping's Banana Pain au Levain, makes a beautifully moist and fragrant loaf; I used a combination of fresh and frozen (defrosted) banana, ripe and sweet. The sweetness and flavor of the banana really carried through to the baked bread - great flavor!

I tried to score a 'banana' on the top of the loaf; here is the crumb (the gorgeous aroma of banana bread filling the kitchen at the moment this photo was taken!):

What wonderful discoveries these two breads were, today.

Happy baking everyone!
:^) from breadsong

Yippee's picture

20120120 New Workflow. Wild Yeast Dill Rye with Sprouted Rye Berries





This bread was specially made for my kids' piano teacher, a German master pianist.  It was  also my first bread in many, many months.   I felt that a rye bread would be most appropriate for this occasion.  For photographs, please click here.    





Submitted to Susan's Yeastspotting!


dstroy's picture

Pink Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake

So this year my son turned 10, and he requested a cake that was all sorts of "half-and-half".

Half of his cake, he wanted "hockey" themed. The other half, he wanted "warrior cat" themed. (He's been reading a series of books about fighting cats)

And he wanted strawberry AND chocolate cake as well.

I wasn't up for making a layered cake, so I asked if he'd take a strawberry cake with chocolate chips in it - and then found myself having to make something up since I couldn't find anything that matched that description online. The boxed strawberry cake mixes from the store are pretty...meh.

So I found a bunch of strawberry cake recipes that called for a white cake mix and a package of Strawberry Jello, or I'd find ones that were totally from scratch that had crushed berries in them but which weren't pink, so I decided to go with something in between since I'm not fond of the boxed white cake mixes and wanted something in between.

I am very pleased with this one, because I've never messed with a cake recipe that much before.  It came out very strawberry flavored, not too sweet, with just the touch of chocolate.

Pink Strawberry Chocolate Cake:

This is the recipe I came up with when making a 9x13 "hockey rink" cake:

I put some frozen strawberries in a ziplock the day before I made the cake, so they'd thaw before I made it.  Then for the cake, the first thing we did was to mash up those berries. This was a great job for the littlest helper who was excited to help make her brother his special cake.  The leftover mashed berries can be thrown in a container and used for smoothies later - bonus!

cream together:

  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter (1 cup)

then add:

  • 4 eggs
  • about a Tablespoon vanilla extract

when this was all ready, dump in and mix gently:

  • 3/4 cup of the mashed strawberries

mix the dry ingredients FIRST, and add to the batter mix:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 small package of Strawberry Jello gelatin mix (this stuff basically gives it that ice cream parlor taste, along with the crazy color)

And finally, after youve mixed all that stuff together, add in

  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/3- 1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips (the mini ones were perfect for this!)

Fold it together and you're going to have some pretty shockingly pink stuff to cook with.

 Pour it into your pan, having greased the sides with some butter beforehand.

Oh - and I discovered an awesome trick which is kind of a "duh" but which had never occurred to me until I ran across it searching for recipes - line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper and your cake will be a snap to pop out of the pan! 

Bake @ 350 for 1/2 hour and then start checking the cake with a toothpick to check when it's ready (toothpick won't come out mushy) - mine took about 40 minutes.

THAT'S A PINK CAKE! Your house should be smelling pretty "strawberry" now.

parchment paper, I love you!

Once the cake cools, it's time to frost:


  • 2 packages 8 oz cream cheese  
  • 2 cups confectioners' powdered sugar in a mixing bowl, and whip with an electric beater until smooth. 

(*DONT DO THE NEXT PART UNTIL THE STUFF IS SMOOTH, or you'll end up having to "zamboni" your ice rink like I did and start a new batch because it'll end up all powdery )

Then add about 

  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and beat again until you have a spreadable consistency.

Decorate as desired, in my case, it was with a hockey rink and some printed card cut-outs of pictures of cats playing hockey. :)


Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Pane al Latte e Cioccolata - Got it right now :-))


I've made the Pane alla Cioccolata fron Carol Field's Italian Baker many times with great success, and I always wanted to try the Pane al Latte e Cioccolata, which brings milk bread and chocolate together.

However, I have some problems with the milk dough recipe from the first edition of the book.

/* UPDATE */

After input from lvbaker I recalculated the formula, and now I have a milk dough with the same hydration level as the chocolate dough. A charm to work with. My adjusted percentages are given below, here some new photos:

The bread on the rise:

The whole loaf:

Detail shot:

Pane alla Cioccolata:

"Sponge": Water 15%, Sugar 0.7%, Instant Yeast 1%

Dough: all of the "Sponge", Flour 100%, Water 47%, Egg Yolk 3%, Butter 3.8% Sugar 20%, Cocoa Powder 5%, Chocolate Chips 25%, Salt 1.6%, Total 222.1%

Pane al Latte

Sponge: Flour 25%, Milk 25%, Sugar 3%, Instant Yeast 0.6%

Dough: All of the sponge, Flour 75%, Milk 25%, Rum 3%, Egg 12%, Butter 10%, Salt 1%, Total 179.6%

/* OLD POST */

But first some photos of this spectacular bread:

The shaped loaves, resting:

After the bake:

Crumb of a third loaf, a braid:

This is very tasty, as you can imagine.

Now to my problem:

The recipe gives for the sponge of the milk dough the following quantities:

1 3/4 teaspoon dry yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 cup less 1 tablespoon (135g) flour

Now, this is not enough liquid to hydrate the dough, and it definitely doesn't make the batter it should.

I am kind-of improvising,

but has anyone got the second edition of the Italian Baker? What quantities (% or g) are being used there?

Thanks a lot,




katiemetz's picture

Easter Bread Ring Yeast Quantity

Hello, fellow bakers!

I have a recipe for Rosca de Pascua, an Easter bread ring that is popular in Argentina. It calls for 2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast in the sponge, and then an additional tablespoon of instant yeast in the dough. I have successfully made this recipe three times, with good results. I'm just wondering if it's really necessary to use so much yeast, or if I could cut back on the quantity without suffering some sort of ill effects. Or should I go with the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of thought?