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dabrownman's picture

15% Whole Wheat Bagels with YW and SD Desem Combo Starter

We had some yeast water and SD Desem starter left over from our 'Bun Experiment' yesterday where we compared YW with SD in buns.  We were going to use them up with a combo starter to make the same buns but we have too many buns after yesterday.

From left: poppy and not your usual; nigella and basil seeds.

What we did not have was bagels so we used them up on some 15% WW bagels.  Our last bagel bake was a much higher percent whole grain SD bagel with sprouts.  They were delicious.  This bagel recipe was still based on Stan Ginsberg’s recipe he published on TFL and is more traditional in grains with the whole wheat being in the combo yeast water and SD Desem starters only.

These bagels are by far and away the best ones we have ever produced.  If you want NY Jewish Bakery Bagels - these are the ones you want to bake - thanks Stan.  The crust was nicely browned and blistered.  They came out of the oven crisp and went to chewy as it cooled.  The crumb was open and moist yet had just the right bite a bagel should have.  The taste was very good with a slight SD tang.  They were delicious, just cooled, un-toasted with cream cheese.  No toasting necessary at all.


We built the YW and SD Desem starters separately over (2) 3 hour and (1) 2 hour  build and then refrigerated them both for 48 hours.  Home ground whole wheat berries were used for both starters and accounted for all the WW in the final dough.

The water was mixed with the 2 starters to liquefy them.  The rest of the ingredients were added and mixed by hand to incorporate.  The dough was kneaded for 10 minutes by hand and then allowed to rest, ferment and develop for 2 hours covered with plastic wrap on the counter.  The dough doubled over that time.

The dough was them divided into (10) 128 g, folded into balls and then into 12” tapered, from middle to end, ropes.  The ropes were rested for 10 minutes and then formed into bagels by the ‘over the knuckles’ method where the ends were rolled on the counter to seal them together. 

The bagels were placed onto a parchment covered and semolina sprinkled cookie sheet, covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated for 20 hours.

After removing the bagels from the fridge, they were immediately simmered for 30 seconds a side in 1 gallon of water with 1 T of barley malt syrup and 1 tsp of baking soda.  The wet bagel bottoms were placed on a kitchen towel for 5 seconds after coming out of the water and then placed on parchment paper sprinkled with semolina which was on the top cover of the mini ovens broiler.

The mini oven was preheated to 500 F with the rack on the bottom.  A 1 cup Pyrex measuring cup with a rolled up dish rag, half full of water, was micro waved until the water boiled.  Sylvia’s steaming method was then placed in the middle of the parchment paper between (4) bagels at the corners.

The bagels were steamed for 8 minutes with the heat being turned down to 450  after 2 minutes at 500 F.  At the 8 minute mark the steam was removed, the bagels turned upside down, the rack rotated 180 degrees and placed in the upper position.  The Mini Oven was turned down to 425 F convection at this time.   After 4 minutes the bagels were turned right side up again, the rack was rotated 180 degrees and placed back in the lower position for an additional 4 minutes

At 16 minutes total baking time the bagels were deemed done.  They were nicely browned top and bottom and sounded like a drum when tapped on the bottom.  They were moved to wire cooling racks until cooled.

Dabrownman's 15% Whole Wheat  Bagels     
Desem StarterBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
SD Desem Starter1400142.06%
Total Starter44402811216.47%
YW StarterBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
Yeast Water25160412.06%
Total Starter503669213.53%
Levain % of Total15.94%    
Dough Flour %   
Bread Flour34050.00%   
Dough Flour680100.00%   
Dough Hydration53.24%    
Total Flour788    
Total Water453    
T. Dough Hydration57.49%    
Whole Grain %14.34%    
Hydration w/ Adds58.86%    
Total Weight1,280128 g each for (10) bagels
Add - Ins %   
Barley Malt202.94%   
Diastatic White Malt20.29%   


Franko's picture

A Spicy and Savoury Semolina Levain for Bruschetta

Semolina Levain with Roasted Garlic, Black pepper and Provolone

Incorporating black pepper into a bread is something I've wanted to try for a while now, finally deciding last week to have a go at it. What I wanted was a bread for grilling to use for bruschetta, with black pepper, roasted garlic and cheese meant to provide a bit more zing than your standard white Italian of French loaf offers. Using Jeffrey Hamelman's recipe for Semolina Levain from "Bread" as my starting point I took my best guess as to what percentages of pepper, garlic and cheese to add to his formula to achieve the flavour I was looking for. In the end I think I came pretty close, although next time I'll cut back on the black pepper just a touch and use either a sharp, dry aged Provolone or Pecorino Romano for a more assertive cheese flavour.

NOTE: Formula below and in the link have been adjusted accordingly.

After the loaf had cooled down and the first slice tasted, I was slightly disappointed with the flavour since neither the cheese or roasted garlic came through as much as I'd hoped for, although there was no mistaking the presence of the black pepper, every so often hitting a pocket of it that definitely got my taste buds attention. Fortunately my disappointment didn't last long once I'd fired up the BBQ and grilled a few slices (brushed with olive oil) over a bed of hot coals.

The subdued garlic and cheese flavour from my previous cold tasting were now right up there with the black pepper, creating a very good balance of flavour with the durum and wheat flours of Hamelman's base formula. Without the high ratio of durum flour used in the mix I think the flavour and crumb texture would not have been as good as one made with standard wheat flour. Durum flour has such a unique and subtle flavour to it and the crumb seems to retain moisture better than standard wheat flour, possibly why the flavours released as well as they did once the bread had been heated. Just a theory, but something I've noticed with high ratio durum doughs I've made in the past. At any rate, the grilled slices were perfectly suited to pairing with the fresh taste of chopped tomatoes and basil from our garden that I made for the bruschetta topping. My best recommendation for using this bread is to either toast, grill, or fry it in some fashion to really let the flavours come to their best. Served warm to dip in EVOO, mixed with egg and cheese for a savoury [Strata] or simply to make croûtons with, just a few of the possibilities that come to mind for enjoying this bread at it's best.


Extra fancy durum flour can sometimes be difficult to find and costly, depending upon where you live. Durum Atta Flour could be substituted for X Fancy Durum, or even a 100% hydration, coarse semolina soaker used at a 20-40% ratio would likely make a good substitute to use in this formula.


The very best of the Summer to all,


 Link to working spreadsheet [here]

Procedure for Semolina Levain with Roasted Garlic, Black Pepper and Provolone


Roasted Garlic Paste:

Make the roasted garlic paste the day before the final mix and keep covered in the refrigerator. Two heads of garlic should be adequate for a single loaf of 1.150K. Roast the garlic at 325F in an oven proof dish with a 1/4 C of water, covered in foil for 30-45 minutes or until the garlic is very soft. Cut in half and squeeze the paste through a strainer or run through a food mill to ensure that the paste is smooth.

NOTE: This a method for garlic paste that I've been using since first reading of it in Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn's book "Charcuterie" [ ] The addition of water produces a braised paste that has fewer of the bitter flavours encountered in a typical roasted garlic preperation. 


Mix all the ingredients for the levain to a temperature of 70-71F/21C and let sit for 12-15 hours. 

Final Dough:

Scale out the black peppercorns and roast at 350F/176C for 15-20 minutes. The peppercorns should have mild to medium aroma to them. Allow to cool, then crush with a mortar and pestle or a heavy pan. Cut half the cheese into 1/4" dice, shred the remaining cheese and toss all of it with the crushed black pepper. 

Add the water to the Semolina flour and All purpose and autolyse for 40 minutes.

Add the levain and combine with the flours thoroughly, then add the salt and garlic paste and knead to a medium development. 

Allow the dough to relax for 5 minutes then gently stretch it out to a disk. 

Spread the cheese and pepper mix evenly over the dough. Fold the sides of the dough disk to the center then fold the dough in half and slowly knead the cheese/ peppercorn mix into to the dough using wet hands, until thoroughly combined. DDT of 76-78F/24-25C 

Bulk ferment at 76-78F/24-25C for 90-120 minutes, giving the dough 2 stretch and folds at 45 and 90 minutes. 

When bulk fermentation is complete round the dough lightly, dust with flour and cover with a cloth or plastic, resting for 15 minutes before shaping. 

Shape as desired and begin the final proof at 76-78F/24-25C for 75-90 minutes. The dough should spring back slowly when pressed with a finger.


Bake with steam in a 475F/246C oven with the vents blocked for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes vent the oven and remove the steaming apparatus. After 20 minutes rotate the loaf for even colouring and continue baking for a further 15-25 minutes. Check the colouring during this time and if necessary adjust the oven temperature to prevent the loaf from over browning. Baking times will vary depending on the weight of the loaf but a 1 to 1.5K should take between 35-45 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 210F/98.8C. At this point remove the loaf from the oven, wrap in cloth and cool on a rack for 8-10 hours before slicing.


NOTE: Use the bread toasted, grilled, or fried for best flavour.


baybakin's picture


For part II of my panaderia series, I bring the recipe for just about the most prevelant of pan dulces (sweet breads) in my old neighborhood; Conchas.  I've been looking for a good conchas recipe for ages, ever since I could no longer walk down the street to get a batch for 30 cents apiece.

This recipe is adapted from a great book (possibly the best one I've found in english) by Diana Kennedy, Regional Cuisines of Mexico.

114g Flour
22g Water
50g (1) egg
1/8 tsp yeast

Final Dough:
453g Flour
150g Sugar (I use "evaporated cane juice" or "Azucar Morena")
28g Unsalted Butter
250g (5) eggs
58g water
8g Salt
2g yeast

114g Flour
56g Superfine Sugar
56g Powdered Sugar
56g Unsalted Butter
56g Shortening
(Optional Flavorings: Cocoa powder/Vanilla extract/Cinnamon)

Mix starter, let rest overnight or until doubled.
Tear starter into pieces, mix with liquids and sugar until incorporated
Mix flour, butter and yeast into liquids and let autolysis for 20 mins.
Fold in salt and kneed until dough is satiny.
Let dough double in a warm area, folding at least twice during fermentation.

Mix topping, incorporate until a dough using the back of a wooden spoon.
Add flavoring to taste.
Divide dough into 16 pieces (about 60g apiece), shape into rounds and place on a silpat or parchment paper.
Pull off 1" balls from topping mix, flatten into discs between your palms.
Press flattened discs into dough balls, flattening them a bit.
Score tops in a shell or grid pattern, cutting half way into the topping, and let double in size.

Bake at 350 for 15-17 mins, until conchas turn golden and sound hollow when bottom is tapped.

Enjoy with a glass of milk or a nice cup of hot cafe con leche.  The shaping takes some practice, but there's a few videos on youtube that can help out.  These simple eggy breads are favorites of mine, and I hope they will be of yours too.

Foamheart's picture

Retired US Navy Bakers? Hamburger Buns

I didn't know where really to put this. I see there are some hamburger buns listed but I was hoping to get lucky.

Retired Navy Bakers?

I was on Submarines while in the service, although not a cook. The senior cook was always the baker, ours was exceptional. The baker’s watch was the mid-watch doing mid-rats then free till breakfast to bake the coming day’s needs. Did I mention our Chief cook was the best in the Navy? No matter what he wanted, he got. He was never harassed, and no one would ever refuse to spend some time helping. But I digress.

All Navy recipes are standard and dispensed with great care through completion of advanced schools. Sure each cook adds his secrets which he carries to the grave with him, but for the most part all standardized or so I have been told.

The humble hamburger bun was an unbelievable achievement. It’s like no other bread; it’s almost a dry, sweet, flour taste. It’s totally awesome. It was like a hamburger bun English muffin with a pinch of sugar. But the dough was that of light bread, not an English muffin consistency.

I was hoping that someone might be an ex-Navy baker or know how to come by those recipes. I am too old now to go back in the service so that is not an option. Besides it would seem maybe a bit extreme, but…… they were awesome buns.

If anyone can help I would appreciate it. Who would've of thought, the humble hamburger bun.

wouldbeamateurchef's picture

Hi introducing myself I am wouldbeamateurchef from the UK

Hi everyone,

 This is the first time I have signed up for a Artisan Bread Forum and from the looks of things I aint seen nuthin' yet.

 I am an unemployed disabled woman from the UK residing in Colchester, Essex and love cooking.

Breadmaking wise I am a proud owner of an Breville Breadmachine which I use for making doughs-with my help! My most successful loaf has been a 4 cup ( The US Cup System is so clever!) Bread with instant yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil, water that I let prove for24 hours First rise then second and final rise in tin +2.

 The results of which converted me to long risings which I understand are not advisable in some recipes ie Felicity Cloakes Wholemeal Bread recipe featured in the Guardian. The bread was springy, it bounced back! the dough was silky smooth, and it had a nice sourdough? taste? 

 Whatever it tasted richer for having proved it for so long.

 I look forward to learning more from this international forum of Artisan [home and Professional] Breadmakers.

mark d's picture
mark d

Kitchen Aid mixer

I am wanting to buy a Kitchen Aid Mixer for making bread (home use). Witch one should i buy?  and what about C hook v Spiral hooks?

Please help!

jarkkolaine's picture

Spelt Ciabatta with Yeast Water and Sourdough

After making my first yeast water bread, I discarded most of the yeast water, leaving about two table spoons, added a big handful of raisins and a table spoon of honey, and then filled the jar about two thirds with water. I’m not sure if this is how it’s usually done, but it worked very well: In a couple of days, the mixture had developed a very fruity and inviting smell with lots of bubbles.

I wanted to drink the liquid but resisted and started a new bread dough instead.

Following the lead of Ian and others, this time it was time to mix in some of my sourdough starter to play with the taste a bit. I was hoping to make a boule quite similar to the one I had made the first time (and usually love to make), but because of some mistakes in calculating the proportions of water and flour (I forgot to account for the water in the starter!), ended up with Ciabatta—which was actually good, as we were just about to leave on a two day trip to Tallinn, and Ciabatta makes delicious picnic sandwiches…

Anyhow, here’s the recipe. 

First build of YW starter: (evening)

  • 60 g Yeast water
  • 60 g White flour

Second build of YW starter: (about 8-10 hours after previous step, I forgot to time everything properly…)

  • All of the starter from previous step
  • 200 g Yeast water
  • 200 g White flour

Final dough: (About 4 hours later, in the afternoon)

  • 400 g YW starter (which at this point looked a lot like a regular poolish starter)
  • 100 g Sourdough starter (100% hydration, refreshed the night before)
  • 750 g Fine, rather white spelt flour
  • 700 g Water
  • 20 g Salt

The dough was quite wet, so I gave it an autolyse (it was only about 15 minutes, as I was itching to get my hands in the dough) and worked it for 20 minutes on the table.

After that, the dough rested for 4 stretch and folds at 30 minute intervals. Then I cut pieces of the dough and let them rest on a heavily floured couche for about an hour or so as the oven heated up. I baked the breads on a baking stone for 35 minutes.

...And here’s what came out from the oven:

I am very happy with the resulting flavor:  I can’t say I taste any of the fruit anymore, but it’s a little sweet, not really sour at all. And the boys liked it (filled with some salami, cheese, boiled eggs and cucumber):

Let’s see what happens next time, as the yeast is now feasting on some fresh fruit… (And looks and smells more and more like a drink! I might have to start making cider or something, soon ;))

MickiColl's picture

Graham Bread

For a very long time I have been searching for a recipe for graham flour bread.  I have found one and it is excellent ..( thank you Mr Google) 

it is a James Beard recipe .. how can we go wrong ? here it is

Graham Bread

Adapted for 2 loaves from Beard On Bread

  • 3 1/2 tsp instant yeast1
  • 2 tbsp sugar2
  • 12 oz warm water (between 100° and 115° F)
  • 8 oz evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 oz butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 2 cups graham flour3
  • 3 - 4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, combine graham flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Pour the water, milk and butter on top. Beat well and add in all-purpose flour a cup at a time until it comes together into a firm dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead for 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Or, use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook to do the kneading - it will take slightly less time and much less effort.

Form the dough into a ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover lightly with a clean towel and let it rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour or two). Punch down the dough and cut in half.

Grease two 9x5x3" loaf pans4 well. Shape the dough pieces into loaves and arrange in the tins. Cover them back up with the towel and let them rise again until doubled (another hour or so). Slash the tops.

Bake in a preheated oven at 425° F for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 350° F. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes. (The loaves will sound hollow when done or you can check their temperature - they should be at 190°F.) Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely. Slice and serve.


  1. Instant yeast does not need to be proofed. It's wonderful stuff. If you use active dry, you will need to proof it in the warm water with the sugar for 5 minutes before continuing with the recipe. Also, use 4 tsp of active dry.
  2. Or honey, which is what I wished I had done and will do differently next time.
  3. Whole wheat can be substituted for graham, which is coarser because the different parts of the wheat are ground separately then remixed. You can make it yourself, according to Wikipediaby mixing all purpose flour with wheat bran and wheat germ. For this recipe, you would need to mix 170 g all-purpose (about 1 1/3 cups) with 30 g wheat bran (about 1/2 cup) and 5 g (3 tsp) wheat germ. Graham flour is very coarsely textured.
  4. This dough is firm enough, according to Beard, that you can just make free-form loaves if you don't have or don't feel like using loaf pans.

A recipe from

Posted by Cori Rozentāle onMay 3, 2010.


pmccool's picture

A surprising find

In the process of doing some searches relating to bread this past week, I encountered several recipes from a site named  In refining my search somewhat, I learned that the site would not display any information if I tried to visit the site by directly entering the address (or subaddresses).  However, if I used the search term "bread" and told Google to limit the search to the domain, it would return a number of pdf links.  Each pdf is a separate recipe, presumably for use by IGA member stores.  None of the documents I viewed had any statements about copyright or proprietary information.

Whether there are recipes for things other than breads, I don't know.  I haven't looked into that.


Felila's picture

What to do with ww sourdough bread with burnt crust

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

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

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

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