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LeadDog's picture

Lemon Rosemary Sourdough

Lemon Rosemary Sourdough

I saw a post here on The Fresh Loaf  by someone looking for a formula for a Lemon Rosemary bread.  This combination sounded really good to me so I decided to give it a try.  First I had to decided how much Lemon Zest and Rosemary to put into the bread and I decided to try for about 2% for each of them.  Then I decided that I would use up the last of my bread flour and use some fresh milled whole wheat and rye.  I figured on a hydration of 70% and that the percentage of the sourdough preferment would be 20%.  It is summer time here and the temperatures have been hot so I figured less preferment would slow things down a little bit.  I now had a plan on how I was going to make this bread now I'll tell you how it went.

 The first night I made my first build of the preferment.

1st Build  Grams  Percent 
 Starter 50% 
 Flour 14  100% 
 Water 50% 
 Total 28 


 The next morning I add more flour and water to the preferment for the 2nd build.

2nd Build  Grams  Percent 
 1st build 28 54% 
 Flour 51 100% 
 Water 36 70% 
Total 114 


When I got home from work the afternoon I mixed the dough up as follows.  

 Dough Formula Grams  Percent 
 Flour* 571  100% 
 Water 400  70.05% 
 Salt 10  1.75% 
 Preferment 114  19.96% 
 Rosemary 11  1.93 
 Lemon Zest 12  2.10% 
 Olive Oil 11  1.93% 
 Total 1129  197.72% 

*Flours  Grams  Percent 
 Bread Flour 445  77.93% 
 Whole Wheat 69  12.08% 
 Rye 57  9.98% 
  First I dissolved the preferment into the water and then  mixed in the bread flour.  I let this sit while I went and milled my wheat and rye flours.  Next the wheat and rye flours were mixed in and the dough was let sit for 30 minutes.  We have Rosemary growing in the yard so I went and picked enough for 11 grams and then chopped it up into small bits.  I used a small grater to make Lemon Zest from one lemon and ended up with 12 grams.  I added the Lemon Zest, Rosemary, Salt and the Lemon Pepper infused Olive Oil all at the same time.  The rosemary went in first and my first reaction was it was going to just over power the bread.  The Lemon Zest went in last and after that all I could smell was lemon.  This seemed like it was going to be one powerful bread.  I mixed the dough until the gluten developed.  Then the dough was turned out into an oiled bowl and placed in the wine cellar for a cool ferment.  Four hours later I placed the bowl in the refrigerator so I could cook it when I got home from work the next day.  I checked the dough in the morning before I went to work and it had raised up to touch the plate that I place on top of the bowl.  When I got home that day the dough was lifting the plate off of the bowl.  I set the bowl out and let the dough warm up for two hours.  Then I turned out the dough on to a floured work surface and folded the dough over on itself to get some flour on all the surfaces of the dough.  When I looked at the dough after I did this the dough looked so nice I just want to bake it like that without shaping it any more.  I figured that if I rolled it over onto some parchment paper that it just might work.  Then I put the dough into a counche and turned the oven on to 460°F to preheat it.  I used a cast iron roasting pan to bake this bread in so it is oiled and preheated in the oven too.  When the oven gets up to temperature I place the dough in the pan and cook it with the lid on for 25 minutes and then the last 15 minutes without the lid.  The bread had great oven spring and just looked wonderful to me when I pulled it out.  The aroma of the bread just filled the house but now I had to get some sleep.  Cutting the bread would have to wait for the next day at work were my coworkers are my bread testers.   My testers really liked the bread.  They were eating great big slabs of the bread all day long.  I told my boss what kind of bread that I had made and she said she didn't like Lemon Rosemary.  Later a coworker tells my boss how great it tastes and talks her into trying a slice of it.  My boss then emails me telling me how great the bread is.  There were many great compliments on this bread, it was just incredible.


davidg618's picture

Dan DiMuzio's baguettes with liquid levain

I'd planned to do yet another bake of classic baguettes ala Hitz' formula, but after seeing and reading Pamela's blog entry a week ago, and after comparing Dan's formula with what I've been doing--they are very similar except for the liquid levain--I gave into my temptation and made the DiMuzio formula. The only change I made was to scale the formula to 1000g final dough weight (four 250g small baguettes) which isn't really a change, merely a diminuation. The DiMuzio formula calls for instant yeast, in addition to the liquid levain. I considered not using it, ultimately deciding to be faithful to the formula.

I prepared the liquid levain from my starter cache, using the 3-Build process I've made my own, over a nineteen hour interval. I mixed all ingredients together in my stand mixer for five minutes--bread hook, on lowest speed--then 3 minutes on second lowest speed, rested the dough 30 minutes, did a stretch & fold, and started to chill the dough for overnight retarded bulk fermation. I did two more S&F at 45 minute intervals before I was satisfied with the dough's development. Left to ferment overnight in the fridge, approximately 12 hours. Next morning, I divided the dough, and returned half to the refrigerator. I let the dough rest for thirty minutes. It didn't reach room temperature, but it had doubled in volume so I divided it again in two,  preshaped, rested 20 minutes, shaped, and proofed for an hour. Baked for 10 minutes, with steam, at 480*F, cleared the steam as much as possible, dropped the temperature to 450°F and baked further to 208°F internal temperature. I had decided to do the bake in two two-loaf batches. The one time I baked four baguettes simultaneously, despite the convection oven, I experienced uneven baking among the loaves.

Meanwhile, I'd removed the remaining dough from the refrigerator.

I was pleased, with the first batch's oven-spring, but one of the two loaves had a minor blowout. I'm still not confident my shaping and slashing is what it should be, and the visual results of the first two loaves didn't boast my confidence even an iota. I prepared and baked the second two loaves like the first batch with two planned changes--and one mistake. Planned: I allowed the shaped loaves to proof 15 minutes longer, and I slashed approximately 1/4 of an inch deeper than the first batch. Unplanned: In a senior moment, I forgot to lower the temperature to 450°F after the first ten minutes.  I think this only effected the crust thickness and color. The second two loaves are on the right in the picture below. I removed the loaves, like the first two, at 208°F internal temperature.

The crumb is all I could ask for, and the flavor, in my perspective, not surprisingly, is better than the poolish initiated baguettes I've been baking. Let me hasten to add, I love their flavor as well, but the sourdough levain adds complexity absent in the classic baguettes. I especially like the crust's nutty flavor bursts, and the chewier crumb. Furthermore, the flavor is only mildly sour.

So, I'll claim a conditioned success: Taste: A, Visual: C. Procedures: C+; I got a lot of them right, but not all of them. I've watched shaping and slashing video's and read shaping and slashing instructions ad nauseum, but my hands haven't yet developed the muscle memory to be able to do it rightly, without thinking about it. More practice, practice, practice. At least I've got lots of mouths that love to eat my bread, regardless of how it looks. I did, however, see one neighbor close her eyes while chewing a mouthful. I had assumed it was a gesture of ecstasy, and felt flattered, but maybe, that wasn't the real reason!


Dragonbones's picture

Baking in the land of typhoons and earthquakes

I've decided to blog my baking and look forward to sharing recipes and getting advice from y'all.

For the past 15 years here in Taiwan, I had made far too many doorstops and hockey pucks instead of edible bread, until a couple months ago I decided to invest in a few good books on baking (I got PR's BBA (Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice), RLB's BB (Rose Levy Beranbaum's Bread Bible), and NS's BLB (Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Tarpits), and also found this wonderful forum. It's helped immensely -- thank you all!

I've learned not to work so much flour into the dough (wetter is better!), and have also learned to weigh, not scoop and pack (!) flour. Equally importantly, I've learned to let it rise and proof by volume and not by the clock. I've started doing lots of pre-ferments, using sourdoughs as well as commercial yeast, and using pâte fermentée. Finally, I've gotten a hotter oven and started using steam.

My first big success was my Fifteen-grain Torpedo, based on the Tyrolean Ten-Grain Torpedo in RLB's BB p. 394. I changed the flour to 日清特高筋麵粉 extra-high gluten flour (sorry, but the brands here aren't generally in Roman script -- I'll sometimes post the original Mandarin because there's at least one other forum member here in Taiwan who might want to know the brand name or the product name in Mandarin; you can just ignore it if you don't read Chinese). I also added vital wheat gluten (小麥蛋白). The very high gluten content gave this loaf incredible shape-retention during its rise.


Dragonbones Fifteen-Grain Bread

This was baked in my old oven, which I got rid of a couple weeks ago. It didn't get hot enough (only 400F max, sometimes 365F), especially the lower element, so the bottom crust in the above pic could obviously be improved upon.


Make sponge.   

  • ¼ tsp instant yeast

  • ½ TBSP malt syrup

  • ¾ cup + optional 1-2 TBSP water, RT

Should be DRY, to make up for the very wet mixture of grains and seeds to be added later. Let hydrate an hour, then add 100g (about 2/3 c) extra-high-gluten flour (日清特高筋麵粉 brand).  Original recipe called for bread flour (throughout). 

Make flour mixture (dry mix). In a separate bowl, mix these:

  • 200 g (about 1.25c plus ½ TBSP) extra-high-gluten flour

  • ¾ tsp instant yeast

  • 4 tsp (12 g) vital wheat gluten (小麥蛋白))

Whisk these 3 items together, dry. Spoon onto the sponge to cover it completely. Cover this with plastic, ferment 4 hours at RT, then overnight in the fridge.  This will form the 'dough' on day two.

Soak grains and seeds: Mix the following (or your own creative mixture of seeds and grains) in a small bowl, then add ½ c minus 1 TBSP HOT water, stirring well. Cover tightly, soak overnight at RT.

RLB's Original: ten-grain cereal mix, ½ c plus 2 TBSP, or 100 g

My version - equal amounts of the following, mixed into a larger bag (then measured out ½ cup of the mix, saving the rest for a subsequent batch):

  1. buckwheat flour, fine

  2. pumpkin seeds, toasted

  3. sunflower seeds, toasted

  4. cornmeal

  5. whole oats (chopped in my spice grinder) then toasted

  6. pearl barley; briefly chopped in spice grinder then toasted

  7. barley tea (=roasted unhulled barley), cracked (in my spice grinder)

  8. whole millet, toasted

  9. sesame, white

  10. sesame, black

  11. rye crumbs

  12. caraway

  13. spelt flour

  14. wheat germ and wheat bran

  15. zaliang 雜糧 (multi-grain) powder


Mix the dough on low (KA2) 1 min., then medium (#4) SEVEN mins; will be dryish. Rest 20 mins (do not skip). Add salt (1.25 tsp) and presoaked seed mixture including liquid.

Knead another 3-5 mins until well incorporated; should be slightly sticky. Adjust with flour or water; will weigh 680 g (24 oz). Taste to check whether salt was added.  Due to errors on my first attempt (failure to realize sponge should be so dry, leading to adding too much water), I kneaded longer, working in flour, for about 15 minutes before dough was smooth; it was a very firm dough, resilient, slightly tacky.

Put in greased, flat-bottomed bowl; turn once. Push down to make top level, and mark this and the double level. Cover tightly. Let rise RT til double. Dough becomes more slack, workable.

Oil spatula. Scrape onto floured counter, press into rectangle.  Letterfold, turn, repeat; return to oiled bowl, turn, cover, let rise until doubled again, 45-60 mins.  

Shape and final rise:  Turn onto lightly floured counter, press into a rectangle. Shape into a torpedo-shaped loaf or bâtard. Spray parchment with oil then dust heavily with cornmeal. Set parchment on a peel or the back of a cookie pan;  set torpedo atop this, and cover with a large container, proofing box, or loosely with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled. Meanwhile preheat oven to its maximum, with stone on lowest shelf, and cast iron pan on oven floor.

Dust with light or medium rye flour and score.  Prepare a cup of boiling water. Open the oven, slide the dough with its parchment sheet onto oven stone directly, and pour water onto cast iron pan underneath. Shut door quickly. After 30 seconds, spray water and shut door. Repeat once more.  I didn't lower the oven temp because my old oven maxed out at a wimpy temperature. A hotter oven might need to be turned down at this point, especially the top element.  Bake 20-30 mins, turning once, or until golden brown; internal temp should be about 208°F.  Cool completely on rack before cutting.   

RESULT: Excellent! Chewy, full of grain, nice crust, nice flavor. Maintained shape, rose more than expected during final rise (had to orient diagonally on parchment to fit in oven!). Cuts opened well, looked great!  Cornmeal on bottom contributed nice texture too.   

My first real bread success! (This was about 6 weeks ago, I guess).  I'll be trying it again with a hotter stone this time for a better bottom crust, now that I have a new oven.




rainwater's picture

Italian "00" flour continued..... is the final chapter...maybe/probably in the Italian "00" imported flour Saga.  I have made the "00" pizza crust with pretty much the same consistency as the crust made with King Arthur Unbleached bread flour.  The "00" flour makes the crust with a bit more bite (al dente?), but it's barely noticeable, but mentionable.  I used the same formula for both crusts, but the Italian "00" uses one Tablespoon of olive oil instead of two like I use with the King Arthur.  I'm not sure the Italian flour likes olive oil added??? I have to say......the Italian flour does have flavor and scent that is noticeable.  Especially when the baked product reaches that point in the oven when the aroma drifts into the house....The Italian flour has an aroma that is unique.....These pizza crusts are 75% hydration. 

When my stash of Italian "00" flour is finished, I probably will not order any time soon in spite of the's a bit expensive to mail order the Italian flour......

The first photo is the Italian "00" crust, the second photo is the King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour.  I have to say....I haven't tried all the European flours (of course), but I'm not sure they have any advantage over our American flours in texture of finished product.  The perfect crust would be King Arthur texture with Italian "00" must be something in the soil..or maybe it's the particular strain of wheat that's used.  Caputo states in their website that they use flour from many places to mill....maybe it's not just Italian soil, but maybe the strain of wheat.....This would be a great study for a company like King Arthur to research.....maybe get American farmers to use some European strains of wheat to produce or coax some different qualities from our flours.

dmsnyder's picture

Advice regarding sourdough baking in hot weather

Janedo currently has a nice entry on her blog about sourdough starter feeding and sourdough baking during the heat of Summer. (It's in French, and I haven't checked the English version.)

Anyway, Jane offers some good things to think about as the weather heats up. (It's 106F where I am today.)

Here is a link:



PeterPiper's picture

Retarding Dough How-To

I had great success with overnight retarding of my ciabatta dough.  The flavor was sweet and nutty, the crust turned to a beautiful golden brown, and I got great big holes.  I thought that trying an overnight stay in the fridge for my rustic bread would yield similar results.  But I tried it this Saturday and my dough ended up with small uniform air pockets, and lacked in the rich develoepd taste of the ciabatta.

So I'm wondering what's the secret to overnight retarding of dough?  How long does it need to warm back up?  Should you knead once then put in the fridge, or knead twice and form?  Should you use a poolish, as I did, or just mix all the ingredients and then retard the dough?

I think this method has a lot of promise, but I'm wondering how everyone else does it.  Many thanks!



dmsnyder's picture

Hamelman's 5-Grain Sourdough Rye with High-gluten flour

Hamelman's 5-grain Soudough made with rye sour is currently one of my favorite bread. The formula calls for high-gluten flour, but I have not had any for a while. I now have some KAF Sir Lancelot flour, and this is the first bread in which I used it. 

I followed the formula for ingredients exactly, as I had before. Using Sir Lancelot flour, the gluten developed a little more slowly. I think I could have given the dough another couple minutes mixing in the Bosch. I did a stretch and fold before bulk fermenting, but it could have used either more initial mixing or another stretch and fold.

The crumb was quite chewy. I'll be interested in seeing if this bread seems too "tough" when toasted.

BTW, you might notice in the first photo that the boule on the right has a duller (less reflective) crust. This was the first loaf loaded onto my baking stone, and I steamed the oven after the third loaf was loaded - maybe 45 - 60 seconds later. Even a few seconds baking without steam at the start has a pretty dramatic effect.


jhespelt's picture

Questions About First Sourdough Loaf

Hi all,

I'm new here and I'm still at that stage where I'm excited by oven spring (despite my lack of pizza stone) so if this is something obvious, bear with me. In other words, I've only recently graduated from baking bricks ;).

Ok, I've tried this recipe several times but I can't seem to get rid of this swirled look. Those spots are a little tougher than the white areas and tend to feel doughy when you pull of the crumb and roll it between your finger. I"ve had this happen with my other breads lately too. Also, it was much chewier than expected, almost too chewy for my tastes. Is sourdough supposed to be like that?

This was a fairly sticky dough and I did very little kneading. I just mixed (by hand), let it rest for 30min, kneaded/folded for a couple minutes and let it ferment. I folded it twice during the ferment, pre-shaped (10 min) and then final shaped. I admit that I skipped the window pane test and a second fold might not have been necessary. I let it cool completely before taking this photo and at no point did it seem like my bread had a "skin" before baking. It was at 210F when I took it out of the oven (unless my instant read is off). The dough was super sticky going into the ferment, easy to handle during the folds and then sticky again by the time I was shaping it (under developed/over developed?). I used:

8oz fed starter, 12oz water, 2.5 tsps salt, 1 tbsp sugar, 2tsps yeast and 4 -5c flour (depending on the weather in NE Ohio)



(This loaf I handled too much during the shaping, but it's from the same batch)


Thanks in advance for any suggestions. I'm almost embarrassed to stick this up here since I've spent a good number of hours looking over the various posts and astonishingly holey bread on this website, but I guess I've got to start somewhere :).





venkitac's picture

Effects of fermentation and soaking question

I don't know whether this question is geeky, but anyway: most lean dough recipes I've seen call for a poolish/biga fermented for a few hours (or retarded overnight) and then mixed in with a significant quantity of flour (let's say half poolish and half fresh flour or some such) to create dough, which is then again fermented for a small number of hours and then baked. I've a few questions about the effects of these:

- What if I make the entire dough, yeast and all, ferment for a couple of hours (or not at all), then retard overnight, de-chill and bake, versus create poolish, mix retarded poolish with fresh flour to create dough and bake? (The "Gosselin Method" in BBA is like the former). Is there a difference in flavor between these methods?

- Instead of using a preferment, what if we just use the entire flour quantity called for as a soaker, and then mix the soaked dough (unsalted and unyeasted dough) the next day with yeast and salt and then ferment for 3 hours and bake? I believe this is the original  Gosselin method. What would be the flavor difference for this method vs the above two?

- I've read books where they say "too much preferment sours the bread". From my minimal amount of baking, this doesn't seem true if you retard the preferment quickly. In fact, the Gosselin method in BBA is basically all preferment. Does that sound right, or is my taste too undeveloped?:)

Essentially, the first two questions boils down to this: we can soak all the flour overnight, or some large percentage of it. We can add yeast to all the dough overnight, or some large percentage of it. If we're retarding, we can retard immediately after mixing the dough(if we do the BBA Gosselin)/poolish(most other things) or we can retard a couple of hours later. These 3 variables create 8 different combinations, and I'm wondering is there a marked difference between the various combinations. I suppose a better question would be about the effects of all the variables involved. Bread geeks, help!

I'm not a consistent enough bread baker to try all this and say that "the difference in taste is because of this method vs that method", nor do I have strictly controlled conditions, hence I thought I would ask.

Pablo's picture

will it be sour?

I've baked basically the same bread since I started here last August.  I think I've got it down pretty well.  I play with changing things a bit here and there, but basically it's working and we like it.  One of the things that I've had to do is to let go of the need to have a really sour loaf.  I moved to wild yeast after the first month or so and played with feeding 2xs a day and different hydrations and I can't say I could really tell a difference once it was expanded out into a loaf.  There is a nice, mild sour undertone, but I lived in the Bay Area for many years and came to expect sourdough to be San Francisco style sourdough, i.e. SOUR.  I imprinted on that and I like it.  I would like my bread to be much sourer than it is.  I've tried many things over the time that I've been baking it.  Here's the latest idea:

I started with 5 grams of seed culture and 10 grams of water and 10 grams of flour and let that double then another 50 grams of water and 50 grams of flour.  So I had 125 grams of 100% hydration starter that was getting active.  I keep my seed culture in the 'fridge and it likes a couple of builds to wake up and get active.  Now I added 250 grams of flour and enough water to get a 50% hydration.  I've put it out on the deck to ferment overnight at cool evening temperature.  My plan is to elaborate that into a dough in the morning, also at 50% and let it ferment awhile in the garage where it's coolest during the day and then to work in enough water to get to a 68% or so hydration and perhaps a bit more fermenting, then proof and bake.

I'm hoping for sour from the dry, cool fermentations.  Wish me luck.  I'll post the results.