The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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LeadDog's picture

Persimmon Bread

We have a persimmon tree and this year I thought I would make Persimmon bread from the fruit.  First I had to find a recipe that I liked and do a trial run to see how the bread tastes.  I found a recipe at this website that I used to make my bread. The first one turned out very tasty but I thought that I should double the recipe and bake the bread in my panettone mold.

Persimmon Bread



2 1/2 cups persimmon, mashed pulp.  I put mine in a blender and made a smoothie out of them.  There was a little extra that went into the bread also.

2 tablespoon lemon juice

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup plus 4 tbsp. sugar and 4 tbsp. water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups bread wheat flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon nutmeg 

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup roasted almond pieces


Mix the persimmon lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, water, and vanilla extract together.  Then add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.  Then mix until all the flour is moistened.  Add the almonds and raisins and mix them in.


Pour into what ever baking pan you are going to use and smooth the top out so it looks nice.


Preheat oven to 325°F then cook for 1 1/2 hours.  Let the bread cool completely before cutting.  The glaze was made by melting a thick slice of butter.  Then added a half tablespoon of fruit flavored brandy, an eighth of a teaspoon of Vanilla and Almond extract each.  The glaze is then thickened up by adding powdered sugar until I got the thickness that I wanted.  This glaze is just very wonderful all on its own.  I then placed some sliced Almonds on top of the glaze.  I love the wonderful flavor that the persimmons give to this bread.



TerryTB's picture

Quintessential French Sourdough - Pain Au Levain [Leader]

[First Post!]

When I first attempt a new bread, I don't know what to expect.  Much like a piece of art, I have an end goal in mind, but by the time I am to the "perfecting" stage, it could be mistaken for a completely different project from which it began.

Pain au levain.  Universal, complex, subtle.

This bread was going to be a hearty boule that would always be around, yet never the center of attention.  Now it is the bread that I most likely reach for.  Ripped off heel? holding a tandem of goat cheese and bartlett pear?  Squeezing a scoop of tuna salad?  Gripping a banana dolloped with peanut butter?

Yes.  Every time.  All the time.



My proportions are taken from Daniel Leader's "Quintessential French Sourdough" and the method is partially borrowed from pain l'ancienne.


Stiff Dough Starter Refresh:  

  • 45g Old starter
  • 50g Water
  • 95g All purpose flour
  • 5g whole wheat


  • 62.5g stiff dough levain
  • 175 all purpose flour
  • 60g whole wheat flour
  • 15g rye flour
  • 175g water
  • 5g salt



  • Autolyse 20-30 minutes
  • Knead for 20 minutes, in three intervals, with 5 minutes in between to let the dough relax
  • Primary ferment for 2.5 hrs at 70F, with stretch & folds at 15 min, 30 min, 45 min and 60 min
  • Dust a piece of plastic wrap, place in banneton
  • Shape dough, place in banneton, and wrap plastic over the dough
  • Place in fridge for 24 hrs
  • Proof for 45 minutes out of fridge
  • Score
  • Bake, covered (ceramic dutch oven) for 20 minutes at 500F
  • Oncover, lower oven temp to 425F, bake until tapped hollow
Here are a couple of attempts:




GSnyde's picture

Variation on San Francisco Country Sourdough— BBA Liquid Levain, Central Milling Flours and Dutch Oven


After my baking hiatus, I needed to take another try at variations on my “San Francisco Country Sourdough”.  I made three mini-baguettes and a 800 gram boule. 


I wanted to try this bread with my new favorite flours--Central Milling Co.’s Organic Artisan Baker’s Craft (with malted barley) in place of AP flour, and Central Milling Co.’s Organic Type 85 in place of the whole wheat. Making the BBA Poilane-Style Miche Saturday involved making a larger quantity of liquid levain (what Reinhart calls his "barm") than I needed for the Miche, so I used some leftover levain for the SFCSD.

Once I got all the math done to adjust for the different hydration in the BBA levain, it was all pretty simple.  The mixing, fermenting, dividing, shaping and proofing pretty much followed my previous techniques for this bread. 

The baguettes were proofed on the wondrous linen couche from SFBI, and I’m pretty pleased with the scoring and grigne.  The boule was proofed in a linen-lined banneton.  I tried a different scoring pattern; ok, it ain’t artistic, but it spung.

My main experiment was baking the boule in a cast iron Dutch oven (Lodge 5 quart “Double Dutch Oven”).  I did not preheat the DO, though the oven was pre-heated.  I loaded the loaf on parchment in the lid of the DO.  It didn’t get any color in the first 12 minutes covered, but it sprung some.  Maybe 15 minutes covered would have been better.


It took almost an hour of total baking time to get the right color and internal temperature. Maybe the longer baking time was due to using a lower shelf in my oven to make room for the DO.

In any case, all four loaves came out well.  The flavor of the baguettes is wonderful, but not noticeably different than with KAF flours.  The malt in the Organic Artisan Baker’s Craft may have added a bit to the dark roan color.




Here’s the whole formula.


San Francisco Country Sourdough (12-12-10 variation)

Yield: Two 750g  Loaves or Three Mini-Baguettes (235g each) and one 800g Loaf




140 grams KAF bread flour

140 grams water

26 grams active starter (75% hydration) 

FINAL DOUGH (66% hydration, including levain)

660 grams   Central Milling Organic Artisan Bakers Craft flour (85.7%)

65 grams  Central Milling Organic Type 85 flour (8.5%)

45 grams   BRM Whole rye flour (5.8%)

456 grams   Water at room temperature (59%)

17 grams   Salt (2.2%)

306     Liquid levain  (40%)



1. LIQUID LEVAIN:  Make the final build 8 to 10 hours before the final mix, and let stand in a covered container at about 70°F.  The levain should be bubbly and gluey.  It can be refrigerated once it has activated; if you refrigerate it, make sure you adjust the water temperature in the final dough to compensate.

2. MIXING: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl, including the levain, but not the salt. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated into a shaggy mass. Correct the hydration as necessary.  Cover the bowl with plastic and let stand for an autolyse phase of 30 to 60 minutes. At the end of the autolyse, sprinkle the salt over the surface of the dough, and finish mixing 5 minutes. The dough should have a medium consistency.  

3. BULK FERMENTATION WITH S&F:  3 hours. Stretch and fold the dough in the bowl twice 30-strokes at 45-minute intervals.  Place dough ball in lightly oiled bowl, and stretch and fold on lightly floured board at 45 minutes.

4. RETARDED BULK FERMENTATION (optional):   After second S&F on board, form dough into ball and then place again in lightly oiled bowl.  Refrigerate 8-20 hours, depending on sourness desired and scheduling convenience.

5. DIVIDING AND SHAPING: Divide the dough into two  pieces (or more for baguettes) and pre-shape.  Let sit on board for 30 minutes, and then shape into boules or batards or baguettes.

6. PROOFING: Approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours at 72° F. Ready when poke test dictates.  Pre-heat oven to 500 with steam apparatus in place.


7. BAKING: With steam, on stone. (or in cast iron Dutch Oven)  Turn oven to 460 °F after steaming (or 475 °F if using DO). Remove steaming apparatus (or DO cover) after 12 minutes. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes total (50-60 minutes if using DO).   Rotate loaves for evenness as necessary.  When done (205 F internal temp), leave loaves on stone with oven door ajar 10 minutes.

Happy Baking.



MandyMakesBread's picture

Yummy bread!


So I've been baking for a few weeks now and I am enjoying myself tremendously.  I've made bread for home and for friends now and I just love it.  

I've learned some tricks from reading on here that were very helpful. The most helpful to me was the 10 tips on here for making french bread.  How to get the crust brown has been a problem, but no more!  Now I crank the heat up higher and add some water to the bottom of the oven and my results are brown and crusty bread!   

I have a bowl of poolish sitting out right now in preparation for making some french bread with dinner tonight.  :-)



winestem's picture

Tartine bread baking attempts

Help, help, help, help! I'm ready to throw in the tea-towel! I've got a wonderful smelling and behaving wild yeast culture going and I've followed the procedures in Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread to what I think is a perfect "T". The problem is that I'm getting almost no rise from the dough once it goes into the oven. I do the autolyse for 45 minutes, I get a magnificent smooth and silky fermentation, but in the end, I get dense, good-tasting, but too dense loaves! Any suggestions as to what I can try and/or am doing wrong?

JoeVa's picture

Macina, giusto un pò

Un aggiornamento sull'ultimo mese. Dopo il fantastico paesano che potete vedere nel precedente post "Working for Favaglie Bread Baking" ho avuto un paio di settimane senza pane, o meglio di pane ne ho fatto ma è andato direttamente alle galline!

Last month update. After the great country bread you can see in the previous post "Working for Favaglie Bread Baking" I had a couple of weeks without bread, I mean I baked but the bread went directly to the hens!

Il processo è stato totalmente fuori controllo per ben due fine settimana, pane di gomma, veramente pessimo, ma alla fine ho capito cosa non andava ed è ritornato il mio pane, addirittura migliore di prima!

The process was totally out of control for two weekends, gummy bread, so bad, but I finally figured out what was wrong and my lovely bread is still here, even better than before!

Il freddo ed il nuovo lotto di farina sono arrivati in contemporanea ed hanno creato non pochi problemi. E' incredibile quanto la prima lievitazione sia sensibile alla temperatura, anche solo pochi gradi possono fare la differenza.

The cold weather and the new batch of flour arrived at the same time and they got me many problems. It's amazing how the bulk rise is temperature sensitive, even a few degrees can make the difference.

Ho dato la colpa a tutto, dal mugnaio (scusa Fulvio) al lievito ... ma la colpa era soltanto mia, mia e basta!

I blamed everything and everyone from the miller (sorry Fulvio) to the levain ... but the fault was mine!

Ieri ho riproposto il paesano con alcune variazioni, giusto per vedere cosa sarebbe cambiato. Ho provato ad esaltare al massimo l'aroma del frumento. Per fare ciò ho usato un solo lievito naturale liquido su farina bianca (perché più neutro e meno invadente), niente segale, ed ho sostituito un pò dell'ottima base di Buratto (tipo 1) con della Macina (tipo integrale).

Yesterday, I proposed again my country bread with some variations. I tried to bring out the best flavor of the wheat. To do this I used a single liquid levain feed on white bread flour (because it is more neutral and less intrusive), no rye, and I replaced some of the excellent base of Buratto (type 1, T80) with some Macina (whole).

La farina "Macina" (Mulino Marino) è il massimo per chi adora il frumento, è potente ed intensa, niente a che vedere con le altre farine integrali. E' un'integrale scura, non chiara, credo per la presenza nella miscela di grani di varietà caratterizzati da cariosside ambrata scura o rossa.

Macina flour (Mulino Marino) is the best for those who like wheat, it's powerful and intense, nothing to share with the other whole wheat flours. It's a dark whole flour, not clear or whitish, I think because of the presence in the mixture of grains characterized by a variety of caryopsis with dark amber or red color.


In sintesi:

  • 15% Manitoba (usata nel lievito liquido) + 25% Macina + 60% Buratto
  • Idratazione 77% (un paio di punti più alta, per compensare il W del nuovo lotto di farina)
  • Temperatura impasto e prima lievitazione 27-28°C
  • Autolisi di 50 minuti (per compensare il P/L un pò più alto del nuovo lotto di farina)
  • Impasto molto breve
Main points:
  • 15% white brea flour (used to feed the liquid levain) + 25% Macina + 60% Buratto
  • 77% hydration (a couple of point upper, to adjust the W of the new batch of flour)
  • Desired Dough and bulk temperature 27-28°C
  • Autolyse 50 minutes (to adjust the higher P/L of the new batch)
  • Very short mix

Inoltre ho migliorato decisamente tutto il processo di lavorazione, la filosofia vincente: fare meno è fare di più.Ho ulteriormente ridotto i tempi di impastamento e migliorato la tecnica di piegatura, nonchè di formatura. Praticamente faccio tutto in ciotola, compresa la formatura, non sporco niente ed il pane è fantastico.

Moreover I improved the overall baking process, the winner philosophy is: less is more. I have further reduced the mixing time and improved the technique of folding, as well as shaping. Basically I do everything in the bowl, even the shaping, all is clean and the bread is fantastic.


Non trovo le parole per descrivere quanto sia soffice, leggera, liscia, setosa ed umida la mollica di questi pani. Quando metti la pagnotta in verticale sul tavolo ed il coltello la taglia per metà, rompe il primo strato di crosta e poi affonda nella morbidissima parte centrale tagliandone la mollica. Senza presunzione, ma non ho mai trovato un prodotto di questa tipologia nei panifici qui in Italia, neanche dai migliori amici panettieri il cui pane è certamente buono ma nettamente diverso.

I cannot find the words to describe how soft, light, smooth, silky and moist is the crumb of these breads. When you put the loaf vertically on the table and the knife cuts to the middle, breaks the first layer of crust and then sinks into the soft middle part cutting the crumb. Without being presumptuous I never found this type of product in the Italian bakeries, not even from the best professional bakers friends whose bread is certainly good but clearly different.


E questa volta una foto del fondo, dopo che il pane si è raffreddato cantando.

And this time I have a shot of the bottom, after the bread cool down singing.


Inoltre, in questi giorni ho avuto modo di leggere "Tartine Bread" di Chad Robertson. Davvero una bella storia! Inoltre ho trovato veramente incredibili quanti punti in comune ci sono tra la mia lavorazione e quella di Chad, dalla scelta delle farina al "lievito giovane", dall'impastamento breve alle caratteristiche desiderate nel prodotto finito. Davvero un bel libro.

Moreover, these days I red "Tartine Bread" by Chad Robertson. Truly a wonderful story! I also found it really amazing how many similarities there are between my work and that of Chad, the choice of flour to the usage of what he define a "young levain", from the short mixing to the desired characteristics in the finished product. A really nice book.

saltandserenity's picture

Day 5: Double Chocolate peanut Butter Bark

On the 5th day of holiday baking my true love ran to the store to get me another 2 kg jar of crunchy peanut butter for this creation.  A no bake confection that will bring out your inner artist!

peanut butter bark

turosdolci's picture

Panettone Bread Pudding

Leftover Panettone makes a flavorful bread pudding.  A warm dessert for Christmas or New Years Eve.

saltandserenity's picture

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

On the third day of holiday baking, I present you with white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.  This is an unusual recipe in that the butter and brown sugar are creamed together and the white sugar is added later with the dry ingredients.  It's how I learned to make these but I don't know why.  They are crispy at the edges and chewy in the middle! 


CountryBoy's picture

Is a Rye bread recipe possible without soughdough?

Is a Rye bread recipe possible without sourghdough?

Everywhere I search I see sourdough.........for good rye bread.