The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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d_a_kelly's picture

Savoury Brioche Crown

Hi bakers everywhere,

this is my first bake in my temporary kitchen here in Perugia, Italy. I saw the recipe on Paul Hollywood's Bread on the BBC and, as he had stuffed it with Italian flavours, it seemed a suitable thing to try. I was dubious of the little oven I have here, which looks to be older than I am (and my oven therometer is still in transit) but, on the whole, I was happy with the result. It's pretty easy to make, and as light as a feather, dripping in melted cheese and salty prosciutto. Well done Paul Hollywood!

I slightly scaled down the recipe as his seemed to produce something far larger than I wanted. All measurements in grams.

strong white flour 300 (I used farina manitoba, which is like a very strong white in UK) 

salt 6

fresh yeast 12 (fresh yeast is easy to find here in supermarkets, but instant yeast almost impossible - the reverse of UK! I'd use 6 of instant if that's what you have)

whole milk at room temp 102

whole eggs 120 (this worked out luckily as exactly 2)

unsalted butter at room temp 150 (83% fat)

parma ham 6 - 8 slices

buffalo mozzarella 250 - 300

a bit of fresh basil

grated parmesan 

egg for glazing


Dissolve the fresh yeast in the milk and leave until it becomes bubbly (or use instant yeast and skip this step). Add the flour, eggs and salt. This is a soft dough so it's best done in a machine. I wouldn't want to try this one by hand! Work it until the dough is formed and then slowly add the butter. The dough is ready when it starts to come away from the side of the bowl and has a shiny surface. It's important to add the butter quite slowly. I think in total it took my about 10 minutes, but I had left the dough to autolyse for 15 minutes or so before I began working it. Leave in a warm place (I put it next to a lamp) until it has at least doubled in size - tripled is better. For me this took about 4 hours. 

When it's ready, dump it out onto some clingfilm, flatten it (careful, it's quite soft!) and put in the freezer, well wrapped. I found after about half an hour it was ready to be rolled. It ought to be firm to the touch. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle twice as wide as it is long, to a thickness of about 5mm. Keep moving it because it warms quickly and becomes sticky!

Place the parma ham across the surface and then rip the mozzarella and cover, like you were making a pizza. Then some basil and a healthy handful of grated parmesan. Roll it up (starting from the long axis) until you have a good long tube, with the filling tight inside. Trim the ends. Then take a good sharp knife and cut it down the middle, along the length of the long axis. Don't simply cut it in half!!! This done, turn the long pieces cut-side up, next to each other, and twist, one hand moving one way, the other in the other. This braids them. Stick the ends together to form a circle. This sounds more complicated than it is... it ought to look something like this when done:


You can see the filling where the dough has been cut. This melts wonderfully in the oven.

Leave that to rise, well covered to stop it forming a skin, for about 2 hours. It needs to double in size. Brush with eggwash, add more grated parmesan, and then put in the oven at 200C (without fan according to Hollywood - I couldn't turn the fan off, so I settled for somewhere in the region of 185 if the dial is to be trusted) for 25 minutes. It's best eaten warm or cold, but not oven hot.

A really tasty brioche recipe this, and I'd happily make it again now that I know the oven isn't as terrible as it looks :)





Floydm's picture

Bakery Congress 2013

As Breadsong already posted about, this past weekend the Bakery Congress 2013, the largest annual baking industry event in Western Canada, was held in Vancouver, BC.  As tradeshows go it was cheap and I was looking for an excuse for a bike ride on a beautiful sunny day, so I pedaled over to the PNE to take a look.  

The minute you walked in the door you could smell that this wasn't just any tradeshow.

Bakery Congress

Bakery Congress

Breads and sweets everywhere!

Bakery Congress

Bakery Congress

I chatted with Ross from Nunweiler's Flour Mill quite a bit and picked up a couple of bags of their organic flour, including their Red Fife Flour. I'm looking forward to giving it a try!

Bakery Congress

Lest we forget we are in Canada: hockey-themed giveaways.

Bakery Congress

Ah, the slicers. Do those every bring back memories...

Bakery Congress

Bakery Congress

Need a mixer, anyone?

Bakery Congress

This picture I took for Song of the Baker, who is always telling me about how great the flour from Anita's Organic Mill in Chilliwack is. I will get out there to check out their store, one of these days.

Bakery Congress

Baking presentations were running throughout the day.  Here Craig Ponsford, former BBGA chairman and part of the Gold Medal winning Team USA at Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, and Tracey Muzzolini, from Saskatoon and who has also competed in the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie with Team Canada, prepare to present on making whole wheat baguettes.

Bakery Congress

Scoring the loaves.

Bakery Congress

Craig asks "How many of you are getting asked by your customers about gluten free?"  He then went on to talk a bit about the benefits of "whole-milled" whole wheat flours as opposed to whole grain flours that are actually reconstituted from white flour.   

Bakery Congress

Back on the floor, you can see that there were a lot of vendors and attendees here. Vendors were selling ingredients, machines, packaging, ...

Bakery Congress

Errr.... probes too.  I think this was to measure the volume of the loaves?  A bit over the top, IMO, but if you bake tens of thousands of loaves a day that kind of precision matters, I suppose.

I had an enjoyable time and was able to snack on enough samples of sweets that I was thankful for the long bike ride home to work off some of it!


AdrienneEPBM's picture

Traditional Breads From Around the World

Hi everyone! I am new here, but would really like your opinion on a project I am considering.  After 10 years of food service work and baking professionally as well as for fun, I am now working in the book business.  I am considering compiling some traditional...somewhat from all over the world into a beginner's guide, or better put, an approachable collection of timeless recipes.  Do you guys think this is a worthy project (given there is an abundance of great recipes available online?) And do you all recommend any beginner's guides that may already be available? (Most of my books are pretty advanced and I fear I have lost the ability to see through a newbie's eyes... 

I very much appreciate your opinions and suggestions here. 

Thanks a bunch!




isand66's picture

Tangzhong Cream Cheese Rolls

FinishedRolls A few weeks ago I made some potato rolls using the Tangzhong  process and they came out excellent.

I decided I needed some rolls for some hot dogs and sandwiches for the week so I used the same process as before but this time I used some cream cheese and heavy cream as well as whole eggs and butter to really try to come up with a tasty and soft roll.

Just to pretend these rolls were a little healthy I used some spelt and Kamut flour along with the bread flour.

I mixed these up the same way as last time but cut back on the total mixing time and it didn't seem to make much of a difference.

The final rolls came out nice and fluffy and soft but with a ton of flavor.  I honestly can't stop eating them which is not good.

The final result was a nice soft crumb, crisp crust and tasty roll.



Note: Tangzhong consisted of 50 grams Bread Flour and 250 grams heavy cream.  I included this in the overall formula below.


Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I usually do this the night before.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Prepare the Tangzhong.   Use a  5 to 1 liquid to solid ratio (so 250g liquid to 50g flour) and mix it together in a pan.  Heat the pan while stirring constantly.  Initially it will remain a liquid, but as you approach 65C it will undergo a change and thicken to an almost pudding like consistency.  Take it off the heat and let it cool before using it in your recipe.  Some people will refrigerate it for a while but you can use it right away as soon as it cools..

Mix the flours, Tangzhong and milk together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and walnut oil, cream cheese and butter  and mix on low for a minute.   Mix for a total of 6 minutes in your mixer starting on low-speed and working your way up to speed #2 for the last 4 minutes.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and cut into equal size pieces and shape into rolls.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with moist tea towels or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.


The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, using a simple egg wash brush each roll and sprinkle on your topping of choice.   Next add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 425 degrees.  Bake for 35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown.

Take the rolls out of the oven when done and let them cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.


breadsong's picture

Baking Association of Canada - Baking Congress

Hello everyone,

                …pretty daisies on the exhibition grounds, greeting me as I arrived for the Baking Congress


Summer arrived this week – I’m happy for all the people who have travelled to Vancouver (at this time of beautiful weather!), to participate in the Baking Association of Canada’s Baking Congress, held yesterday and today.
I was able to attend yesterday, enjoyed the company of many really nice people, including TFL’s Floyd, running into him unexpectedly :^)
Floyd's post about the event is here - great coverage and lots of really good photos!

Craig Ponsford, Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie gold medal winner (1996) and former chairman of the Bread Baker’s Guild of America (BBGA) conducted bread-baking demonstrations, ably assisted by Tracy Muzzolini, a member of Team Canada 2008 and the BBGA. Both taught at BBGA's WheatStalk event last summer in Chicago but I didn't have the opportunity to take their classes - so it was wonderful to seem them at this conference. Thanks to them both for the instruction, and their hard work putting together the demo!  

A nice variety of 100% whole-grain breads were prepared – baguettes and Red Fife and barley pretzels (baked that day) and I was able to see Craig shape pumpernickel, braid challah and mix Danish dough to be laminated the next day.

Craig has published a collection of whole-grain and gluten-free recipes for the California Raisin Marketing Board – formulas for delicious-looking pumpernickel and pretzels are here:

Craig shared lots of interesting information during the demonstration I saw.

(display of how the wheat berry components can be separated during milling, part of the lovely display at Nunweiler's Flour booth - the gentleman there very generous, sharing information about milling, and samples of their organic, whole-grain flour)

On whole-milled flour:
- the components of the wheat berry are never separated when flour is whole-milled; flour labelled as whole-wheat could have the endosperm, germ and bran separated and re-combined
- how to tell if the flour you have has been whole-milled: the flour will never sift out white, as the germ ‘smears’ when milling and gives color to the flour; the flour will have similar particle sizes so you won’t see large pieces of bran
- whole-milling stabilizes the germ
- you can use 2/3 less yeast when using whole-milled whole-wheat flour as this flour provides more food for the yeast

On mixing:
- 2nd speed mixing too aggressive for whole-grain flour
- recommended less mixing time and using folds, to preserve flavor
- add salt later on intensive mixes; if you add salt too soon, dough can build strength too fast and potentially break down before it’s fully mixed

On sweeteners:
An interesting thing Craig does to cut down on white sugar is to substitute agave syrup or fruit puree (applesauce, banana or prune puree, raisin paste, hydration may need adjusting if using a really wet puree). He mentioned he includes applesauce in his Pumpernickel bread – wish I could have been there to taste the baked bread!

On shaping:
Craig used wet hands and roughly air-shaped the pumpernickel paste, placed it in a tub of coarse pumpernickel meal, making sure it was completely coated in meal before placing in a greased pan, and noted you can keep the rye paste super wet as the coarse rye will keep on absorbing.

...really coarse pumpernickel meal, and a toss into the pan

And when braiding the challah, he demonstrated how you can braid ‘up’ instead of braiding on a horizontal plane; I think he said it was easier to see what you were doing. It was like he was braiding a little tower - I wish I could have captured that braiding method on video.

On pretzels and lye:
Craig sprayed the pretzels with a 4% lye solution, using a regular spray bottle. I thought this was a wonderful idea - no splashing or dripping as might happen when dipping, no distortion of the shape because you’re not moving the pretzels, and you might not have to mix as much solution?

Here’s the baked baguette, super flavor!:

and the crumb... 

These are pieces of the pretzel cut up for tasting

(I was preoccupied taking the picture and regret not taking a piece, to sample)

A short seminar on sprouted grains was presented by Everspring Farms.

The lady presenting (I regret not catching her name) discussed the nutritional benefits of sprouting, and some variables to consider when sprouting - time and temperature (germination times of 12 to 48 hours were mentioned), and the variety of wheat (as germination weakens the grain).
The lady presenting also mention the duration of germination would affect the amount of sprouted grain you blended into your mix (the longer the length of germination, the lower the inclusion of rate of sprouted grain flour); and that using sprouted flour can give a softer crumb and slow staling.
She also said sprouted grains can be used as a wet mash, but to mill into flour, are the sprouted grain is dried down at a low temperature.
Here’s a picture of a wet mash:
(ground with the Kitchen Aid grinder)

I tried making a sprouted grain bread with that mash, along with additional sprouted whole-wheat flour once, and really liked the bread! The seminar was a good reminder to get organized and try this again.

Here are some pictures of Artistry, on display:



 (this bread was really good)




Dogwood flowers crafted by a young lady from Vancouver Island University, above in color, below, au naturel

This Spring, I've tried to take pictures of dogwood blooms and I'd say the ones above look very realistic!


It was a very enjoyable day at the Baking Congress, so glad I attended - met many helpful and kind people, saw some beautiful baking and got the chance to taste delicious things.

Happy baking everyone,
:^) breadsong

AnnaInMD's picture

550 Flour - equivalent flours here in the States ?

Would I use a "bread flour" or a high gluten such as "Lancelot"  by King Arthur ?  I

am trying to do this (hard rolls) recipe which is supposedly the original East German one - when no good ingredients were available.

Thank you,



ananda's picture

Spring 2013 - Crete and other baking at Bread and Roses

Bread and Roses

Spring 2013


Finally, this post is coming together!   It has been a long time in the making, and in the meantime it’s “all-change” here at TFL.   The re-vamped site looks great Floyd, and I am about to experiment with all the new upload options now made available.   I gather I should be able to embed my own videos; well, let’s just see how I get on shall we?

Ok, well, I’ve entitled this post “Spring”, but in truth, we haven’t really got going with this most beautiful of seasons in the UK, especially here in “The North”.   Current estimates are that the natural environment is lagging 6 to 8 weeks behind where we could reasonably expect it to be.   Many of the big old trees in our village have no buds on them whatsoever.   And it has been cold; very cold indeed.   It is now windy, but there is some warmth when the sun is out properly.   I start off with this whinge because it drove many Brits to choose to escape to Southern Europe at Easter-time, fed up as the coldest March on record was finally drawing to a close.   Alison and I were part of this exodus, although we had decided to take a 2 week break at Easter some time ago, when we found cheap flights with EasyJet from London’s Gatwick Airport.   We are going to Scotland with family this July, so hit on the idea of exploring our favourite island of Crete in the Springtime; what a fantastic ideas that turned out to be too.   We are used to Crete appearing baked; little water, no grass, limited flowers to say the least.   It can be a trifle windy, but ordinarily it is HOT.   Of course our visit this time brought very different weather, and a landscape very unfamiliar to us, and very beautiful indeed.

I made notes of our early days in Crete, and reflected largely on baking, given I made bread in the wood-fired brick oven attached to the lovely “Anatolika” Beach House where we were staying.   I will write up the notes below.   There is also a video slideshow to watch, with photos of my baking, of the amazing landscape we enjoyed, and acknowledgement of our feline companions through the fortnight.


“Anatolika” – The Beach House; Easter 2013

Alison loves Crete – she has been coming on holiday to this island for close on 25 years.   She brought me to Crete for our extended honeymoon back in 2007, and I too fell in love with the place.

Since then we have stayed in various places around the island; all very beautiful.   But this is the best of all and we have been so excited about coming back here since we first secured the booking back in late 2012.   We stayed here in the heat of July and August 2010; you can read about our adventures on that trip here:

Setting the scene: we are on the South Coast, around 40km due South of Rethymnon – Crete’s third largest city.   The road west is unfit to use to drive in our grotty hire car and the road east meanders for a few kilometres around shore and mountainside before it peters out.   To the south is the Libyan Sea, with the tiny island of Gavdos some 4 hours away by boat.   After that, next stop Africa!   So the north is our access point, over hills rising close to 1000m, with the town of Spili as our base for buying supplies.

We re-visited our favourite greengrocer and stocked up on aubergines, peppers, courgettes and other vegetables, as well as some fabulous local strawberries.   The shopkeeper also sells loose dried beans and pulses, so we bought fava and gigantes too, and we also found some local speciality pasta.   Last, and definitely not least, we bought local honey, plus the gentleman’s own olive oil [truly top class], and raki, which was sufficiently smooth that Alison was quite happy to down a tipple in one when offered a sample in the shop!

At the other end of the town car park is the INCA supermarket where we bought other provisions, including a good range of flour….milled in Crete.   I bought a beautiful coarse wholemeal with protein of 14.4%, a strong white flour for bread at 11.8%, and what must be close to a US All Purpose flour at 11.2% - although I expect it to have been milled from predominantly Mediterranean-grown wheat and, as such, that the protein quality and water absorption would be lower than its US counterpart.   I have included photos of the flour bags in the slideshow.   All the flours were produced by the same milling company.   We followed one of the company lorries on our way back to the airport as it made its way from its base in Souda, near Chania, to one of the plant bakeries in the capital city, Heraklion.

The labels are headed ΜΥɅΟΙ ΚΡΗΤΗΣ, which I suspect translates as “Cretan Mills”.   The Greek word for flour is αλεύρι.

I don’t lay claim to the flour being any local speciality flour like the Gilchesters’ which I use in the UK; anything but!   They are clearly industrially-produced flours with consistent specifications.   But, they are milled at Souda, the port which serves the second city, Chania, in the west of the island.

I do not know where the Greeks source bread-making wheat, but have these inclines.   Thessalonikii in the north of the mainland is noted for agri-business, and one suspects the shortfall is made up from wheat from the other EU nations, France being a most likely source.

I arrived in Crete to bake, armed with a red plastic scraper, 40g of levain stashed in a plastic container, and a neat mini-scale which I have photographed in the slideshow.   The scale weighs upto 300g, in 0.1g denominations, although a level scoop only provides about 30g of flour, so weighing out accurately can be a bit of a pain.   Still, it’s a good balance; I avoided “winging it”, but managed to keep things as simple as possible for me to enjoy the pleasures of baking in our wonderful seaside abode.

We arrived on Friday afternoon.   I had driven overnight from home to London [350 miles/560km] before the flight to Crete, plus a 120km journey from Heraklion airport, so, yes, I was tired.   We shopped on Saturday, and I built up the levain.   Alison and I sourced some wood from the roadside and the beach, and the owners of Anatolika supplied more besides.   The sun shone and it was hot for the first few days.

On the Sunday, I baked a large Miche, which was a little over-ambitious at 1.5kg of dough, as my makeshift banneton was too small to allow full proof, meaning the crumb in the centre areas of the bread ended up just a little tight.   I also made 2 small cobs of Toasted Almond and Prune Bread which served well for breakfasts over the next few days.   The pick of the breads was undoubtedly a large wholemeal cob, which I topped with a few sesame seeds.   I think a white crusty bâtard, or maybe a small but chunky baguette, with a scattering of sesame seeds is typical of everyday Greek bread.   But, we like wholemeal flour better, and I had a couple of plastic round bowls to use and some linen tea towels to improvise as bannetons…so these loaves became our bread of choice for our lunchtime sandwiches this holiday.

In the early part of the second week of the holiday I baked once more.   This time I made a pizza, which baked in just 2 minutes in the red hot oven, just after extinguishing the fire.   A courgette focaccia followed, taking just 5 minutes to bake through!   I made more wholemeal bread plus some spicy buns.   The buns tasted good, but the levain was somewhat over-ripe by the time I came to make them, and my supply of bread flour running very short.   Yet again, the wholemeal loaves were just great; I reckon hydration in these loaves was in excess of 80%, and they stayed fresh for days.

Of course, we really did not want to come home.   Here is the slideshow of photographs from the holiday.


Post Holiday

Nigel covered the Hexham Farmers’ Market on 13th April allowing Alison and I to catch up with my family on the way back home from London.   I then had to travel back up to Dunbar for nightshift work on Sunday night for 4 nights.   We had friends for dinner the following Saturday and I worked just one Sunday night back up in Scotland.   After that I baked all week on my wood-fired oven at home in preparation for the Alnwick Farmers’ Market on 26th April.   You can see my baking effort on the slideshow below.   The weather was rubbish that day, but sales were ok considering.   I attended Hexham Farmers’ Market the next day, and sold out of everything very quickly, including the small amount of excess from the day before which went on special offer.

After a brief rest on Sunday, Alison and I caught an early train South on Monday morning [29th April] and were joined by my parents at York en route to London.   We went to the Barbican Centre in the heart of the City of London for my Graduation Ceremony with City University.   Yes, finally I have successfully completed an MSc in Food Policy.   There are a few photographs at the end of the slideshow below.


Nigel and I had a large baking session on Thursday this week.   We attended the Newcastle Farmers’ Market for the first time on Friday 3rd May, and all-but-sold-out of bread.   Given tough competition, minimal publicity, and a first attempt, 130 loaves sold seems a good result to us.   We wait to see whether we are invited back for June and July.

I’m looking forward to the Summer.   I have a few day courses booked in, plus the Farmers’ Markets and the Powburn Show.   BUT, I soooooo need a bakery; that is the real goal I have to work for.

Happy Baking Everyone!


Mebake's picture

Mark's Potato Rolls

I promised myself the other day, that I’ll try Mark Sinclair’s  (TFL member mcs) Potato rolls. My kids desire soft enriched white breads;  and as i watched in regret my wife’s grocery bags carrying bland/cottonty mass produced rolls, this was my chance to try out Mark’s wonderful rolls featured in his latest video.

I have followed the recipe religiously, as I wanted to be true to Mark’s authentic product. I did deviate, however, when it came to overnight refrigeration. The rolls were baked the very same day, and they were absolutely delicious! They’ll have to taste even better refrigerated.

The house was filled with buttery aromas when those rolls were baked. My wife and kids ate them warm. Silky Soft, and squishy,  slightly chewy crust, and a heavenly buttery milky sweet flavor, the rolls were a hit with the family. They loved it, and ask for more!

Thanks alot Mark for the video and the recipe!


dabrownman's picture

I Got the No White Bread Blues

Willie Mae’Big Mama’ Thornton is a Blues Legend.  She didn’t write but had her biggest hit with Hound Dog which was written for her.Elvis had a big hit with it later.  She was a 6’tall, large in; voice, frame and width being well over 200 pounds.  She drank hard too and never turned down a drink from a listener.  She taught herself to play harmonica and drums as well as anyone could and often played both while on stage as she sang. 

She had the biggest blues voice anyone ever heard.  In the early 70’s we would always try to catch her when she played Rick’s in Waldo - KCMO the home of some fine Blues at that time - not 12th Street and Vine where you could get killed pretty easy enough.  She died, in 1984, from a heart attack and complications from cirrhosis of the liver. She was penniless at the time of her death.  Even though she sold 1,000,000 copies of Hound Dog she only made $500 off it.  She wrote and recorded Ball N’ Chain which was another big hit for her. Janis Joplin supposedly met sang with Willie Mae when they both lived in San Francisco and later recorded Ball N’Chain for a big hit.  Both Elvis and Janis did much better than Big Mama ever did – just by covering her songs.

With dark breads, darker DaPumpernickel breads and fruit and nut breads behind us, I decided to do an about face with a simple sort of SD white bread loosely based on one of our David Snyder favorites - Pugliesi  Capriccioso.  Keeping true to our 2 most recent resolutions, we added a little corn flour and Tang Zhonged 25 g of the flour mix with 100g of water. This water was not included in the hydration calculations.

I know some might be dumbstruck with the purer, comparative simplicity of this bake’s ingredient list but, there is a reason for it.  My apprentice was looking pretty frazzled after her long series of more complicated creations and was at the beauty parlor getting her hair done to be beautiful for next week’s festivities.  So, the bread was naturally way more sane than usual in her absence.  Without an apprentice under foot, I’m way to lazy to work that hard.   Ahhh, peace and blissful, no work retirement at last!

Another Hound Dog -a hot one with a pretty purple bow.

The rye, whole wheat and spelt sourdough levain was the one we had built on April 24 form a multigrain 3 leaven bake we posted thatday and refrigerated the rest of it.  We used half of the left over levain for the Yellow Mellow bake earlier this week and we used the rest of it for this bake.

We fed it 60 g of AP flour and 60 g of water and it doubled and was ready to go in 2 hours.  The formula shows that the levain was a 1 stage build but it was really a 4 stage one.  When the levain was originally made we refrigerated it after stage 2 and then did the 3rd stage build the next day before refrigerating it again.  It was in the fridge for over a week before we did the AP 4 stage build today.

We hope at least the longer cold spell in the fridge will impart many more labs that yeast into this bread so it will have a decided sour taste.  There isn’t much else taste enhancing going for it besides the corn flour and other 10% whole grains in the levain.  With guests coming in next week for our daughter’s college graduation, they might prefer some white SD bread instead of all the other kinds of bread in the freezer.

The method was a 2 hour autolyse, with salt, while the levain doubled, making the water roux in a sauce pan and then mixing the levain with the autolyse with a sturdy SS spoon. Almost forgot the corn flour. Then 10 minutes of slap and folds brought this much wetter than 70% feeling dough together nicely – silky smooth just like white bread should be at this stage

We sang Big Mama’s 12 bar blues version of ‘She’s My Sweet, Sweet Angel’ while doing the slap and folds this time.  I’m not sure where the song came from but the lyrics are a little risqué for this forum as 12 bar can get sometimes.  She never recorded it as far as I know but I heard her sing it several times since folks would request it and buy her a drink.  Clay Walker did a very clean Country version he called Sweet Sun Angel not long ago.

We developed the gluten further with 3 sets of S&F’s where, each time, we gently stretched out the dough into a rectangle and folded it in thirds from the E, W, N and South.  We let the dough ferment for an hour on the counter in an oiled plastic tub, before its 20 hour retard in the fridge, to help the sour along a steeper, pucker curve.

In the morning, we took it out of the fridge and let it warm on the counter for an hour before pre-shaping and then shaping it into an oval that went into a rice floured basket seam side down.  After 30 minutes of final proof it look like it was going to take off and it did.  After an hour it had over proofed again – we are getting good at this over proofing thing.


This would eventually not even be close to fitting, un-slashed, seam side up, into the mini oven - which is officially banned to the outside patio for the summer.  We have to learn to make these breads less gargantuan in the summer months so they fit the mini oven!  Where is that apprentice when you need her to help think and plan things out right anyway?


So we fired up Old Betsy to a preheated 500 F with the (2) stones - top and bottom, 1 large Sylvia’s Pyrex steaming pan with (2 ) towels half full of water and a 12” CI skillet with the bottom filled with lava rock, per David Snyder  and half full of water for the required mega steam.  This set up trally puts out the steam.


The mini oven is famous around here for putting the best blisters one has ever seen on bread of all kinds when the steam is fierce.  But Old Betsy can blister bread pretty good too on occasion.  We steamed the bread for 2 minutes at 500 F and 13 more minutes at 450 F and then removed the steam while turning down the oven to 425 F, convection this time and continued baking for 15 more minutes when the bread hit 205 F on the inside.  We rotated the bread every 5 minutes 120 degrees on the bottom stone to get even browning.


We left the bread on the stone with the oven off and door ajar for 8 minutes to crisp the bread even more.Betsy didn’t disappoint and neither did the bread.  The bread baked boldly, blistered and nicely brown.  The crust came out crisp but it went softer as it cooled.  Will have to wait to see what the inside looks like after it cools.


We don't often make the same bread twice but, when we make white bread, a version of David's is always the one we go back to again and again - so we do make this bread often.   The crumb came out less open than usual but it was much softer and moist this time - both probably due to the Tang Zhong.  The crust went chewy soft and was delicious.  We think the corn flour addition really improved the already fine taste of this bread some too.  We like it very much and this bake again shows why David is so famous for his SF style SD breads.  He spent a lot of time developing and perfecting them and we get those benefits every time we make them even if we add a tiny little bit more whole gain to them.   If you haven't made the Pugleise, SFSD or San Joaquin you really need to do so.

The bread went extra tany the nexr moring for breakfast and toaasted well. If you like SD white bread you shoud give this one a try.



I Got The White Bread Blues


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100 g of water for the Tang Zhong not included in hydration


FloridaBreadMan's picture

English Muffins

Latest attempt at English Muffins