The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Today’s baking – with thanks to Mr. Clayton, Sue and Andy

breadsong's picture

Today’s baking – with thanks to Mr. Clayton, Sue and Andy

Hello everyone, I had the opportunity and pleasure to try making these breads today!

The first is Pain Hawaiien Fauchon (hazelnut and coconut bread), from Mr. Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads.
I had purchased Mr. Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads recently and shortly thereafter was sorry to hear of his passing.
With gratitude to Mr. Clayton for his book, this recipe and for the many wonderful-sounding breads and starters he's written about.

For this bake, the shaping and filling are Russian-braid-style, and inspired by Sue's marvelous-looking! Coconut Babka.
Here's a picture (rich flavor from the toasted hazelnut and coconut, and not too sweet):

Last weekend I was out scouting for wild edibles, as part of a hike led by the grower at our local herb farm.
I was able to (carefully!) pick some nettles to bring home. After washing, I dried some of the leaves and steeped some leaves in water, to make Faye's Award-Winning Nettle Bread, that Andy posted about (Thanks to Faye for her formula, and to Andy for sharing it!).
Faye's bread was lovely; I really liked Karin's bake of this bread too, and am glad I had the chance to make this.
This bread has an amazing, almost floral aroma from the crushed coriander and cumin, and deep flavor from these spices. The steeped nettle water was a nice deep green color, but the dough did not pick up any green tint; bits of nettle leaf were quite visible in the dough prior to baking, but after baking, less so - the coriander and cumin seeds are easier to spot in the crumb.
The dough mixed up really nicely and was a beautiful texture to knead.

Before baking, I tried stenciling again - trying for a 'nettle leaf'. Fortunately, the side blowout that happened during baking didn't affect the stencilling on top, although the crackled crust did a little bit. I didn't mind a bit and was happy to hear these singing loaves when they came out of the oven :^) :

For a long time now! I've wanted to try making Andy's Pain de Seigle, and am very grateful to him his formula, and for kindly writing about leaven building and refreshment when replying to queries in his post.
The rye levain for this bread was built up from a white 100% hydration starter, over two refreshments and 26 (instead of 36) hours. I think I missed the mark on the second refreshment - the levain had peaked before I was up this morning to mix the dough.

I made this bread with 75% sifted rye - the baked bread has a light-colored crumb and the flavor is a bit sour and tangy, completely delicious - I love the flavor this rye sour brought to this bread.
These loaves sang very loudly after baking, and the escaping moisture was knocking little bits of flour off the crust here and there (I haven't seen that before! :^) ). I was hoping for a nice open crumb like Andy's - it was not to be - but I was happy with the crackled crust. Here are the loaves after baking (the scoring was inspired by a beautiful loaf in this post of Franko's):


Happy baking everyone!
from breadsong


dmsnyder's picture


breadsong's picture

Thank you, David!

ananda's picture

Hi Breadsong,

What a really great range of breads to produce; you have been very busy.

Your take on Faye's loaf is wonderful, I'm sure she'd be very impressed.   Have you made that loaf with a regular Canadian bread flour?   The crust looks so tasty, and the artistry really draws the eye to the loaf.

I think you are not giving yourself enough credit regarding the crumb of the Pain de Siegle.   It's pretty open, and not that different to what I usually achieve.

I would imagine your version of this will be somewhat lighter than the one I make, and less sour pronunced too.   I use a Dark Rye flour in the sour, and no doubt Daisy_A will also testify, as she uses the same flour: it is very coarse, with chunky dark pieces of bran, and it is very fermentable.   Additionally, I use water at 167% on 100% flour in the sour culture for elaboration.   That plus a 36 hour regime points in one direction: the rye culture is fully fermented and is indeed sour.   It's just a style issue.   I've always looked for sourness in bread by using rye.   But when it comes to the wheat levain, I maintain it and try to use it as it peaks, so as to avoid sourness and achieve more gentle flavours.

Remember the purpose of souring the rye is to help to stabilise the pentosans and give better dough structure late on in proof.   It also brings tremendous keeping qualities to the bread.

Wow, I love the bake profile of these loaves; tremendous work at the oven stage, very much to be admired.

Many thanks for your references and using these formulae to such great effect Breadsong

All good wishes


breadsong's picture

Hello Andy, Had a busy but good day today, wanting to make some nice loaves as 'gifts from the kitchen'.
Faye's bread was made with a 13% hard spring wheat (Canadian) flour. I am so glad you think Faye would like this -
I was hoping the loaf would turn out and approach her high standard! Thank you for your kind comments.
Thanks too re: the Pain de Seigle. I used 167% hydration for the rye sour - next time I'll try to time it so I have the full 36 hours to elaborate the sour, and try dark rye. I managed to catch the wheat levain at peak for Faye's bread - it was going strong and popped the lid off of the container it was fermenting in!
So glad you like the bake - I baked on the hot side - leaving the loaves in for a bit after baking with the oven off and door ajar, for additional drying.
It really did the trick today for crackling crust.
Thank you, Andy, for providing these formulas, which I enjoyed working with tremendously!
:^) from breadsong

Mebake's picture

All Look Beautiful, Breadsong! All a work of art..! Lovely, Lovely work!

The Rye looks just about right, not dense, as Andy righty said.


breadsong's picture

Hello Khalid, I appreciate your compliments, and thoughts on the rye bread.
:^) from breadsong

MadAboutB8's picture

Looks like you had a great day of baking. They all look great, very artistic and wonderful admirable.

The combination of hazelnut and coconut sounds lovely. I can just smell the aroma of both getting baked, must be flavoursome.



breadsong's picture

Hello Sue, It was a nice relaxing day of baking and I always enjoy the chance to try new things -
such as your coconut babka filling :^)
I went outside for a few minutes while the Pain Hawaiien was baking, and when I came back inside to check on the bread the wonderful smell of that bread hit me as soon as I walked through the door!
This hazelnut-coconut bread is a hit with my husband - thanks so much for your filling and shaping ideas -
he loves everything about this bread!
Thanks again, from breadsong

Syd's picture

Stunning breads, Breadsong.  Beautiful stenciling and scoring!  Were the nettles of the stinging variety?  Did you have to rinse them in boiling water to nullify the stinging effect?  Your breads are an inspiration! :)

Very well done,


breadsong's picture

Hello Syd, Thanks so much!
The nettles were of the stinging variety. I tried to be careful when picking them, but one did brush my bare hand -
I surely did feel that!
The lady hosting our hike explained that drying or cooking the leaves would neutralize the stinging compound; I did find this to be the case. The dried leaves can still be a bit prickly though.
Thanks again! from breadsong

ehanner's picture

I'm with Sue, the combination of coconut and hazelnut must have been nice as it baked. Your stenciling is a nice touch.


breadsong's picture

Hello Eric,
Thanks for writing and yes, the hazelnut-coconut bread was wonderfully fragrant while baking.
I'm glad you like the leaf stenciling!
Thanks again, from breadsong

SylviaH's picture

I think the cracks on the leaf stenciling is very pretty.  They all look delicious!


breadsong's picture

Hello Sylvia, I was really happy to see the crackles on these loaves - wherever they might show up :^)
We really enjoyed the flavor of all of these - and am grateful to those who developed the formulas!
With thanks from breadsong

teketeke's picture

Too many good breads, breadsong! I also lover your stencils on your loaf, as well as your scoring on the loaf that comes from Franko's.    They look really good!

Best wishes,


breadsong's picture

Hello Akiko, I thought Franko's loaf was a real beauty and I thought it was nice of him to share how he scored his loaf, in his comments on that post.
I'm glad you liked the stencils and scoring.
:^) from breadsong

kim's picture


You always bake beautiful breads. I hope I have a chance to meet you in person before moving back to Asia. I love your nettle and Andy's Pain de Seigle breads. It is nice to see varieties of your bake in one post. I do admire the skills you have like others TLF members.


breadsong's picture

Hello Kimmy,
Thank you very much for your kind words. My goodness it would be lovely to meet you, too - I'd be quite happy to be in your company, and perhaps get a chance to see how you make your perfect croissants and pretty breads :^)
The nettle and rye breads were a delight to make and I'm glad you liked these.
Thanks again, so much!
from breadsong

Franko's picture

Hi Breadsong,

Stinging nettles in B.C.?? ;^) If you ever have a problem finding them ( which I doubt) just let me know and I'll gather a few kilos out of our back yard for you.

I agree with Andy, I think the crumb on your Pain de Seigle looks great, as well as on all the other breads you've made here, and the stencilling on the nettle bread is lovely. Your posts are always such a treat for the eyes with all the care you put into making them so visually appealing with your artistic flair for scoring and design. Combine that with all the other baking skills you clearly have and it makes for a very enjoyable post from you time after time. Thanks for the kind mention and link to my blog as well, much appreciated.

Best Wishes,


breadsong's picture

Hello Franko - I haven't seen nettles around our place - perhaps I could trade you blackberries for nettles - blackberries are what we have, out back!
Thank you so much for your compliments - so kind! I was giving some of these loaves as gifts and was trying to make them look nice.
I'm so glad you enjoy my posts, as I enjoy yours and those of so many other talented bakers here on TFL - 
the photos, formulas and instruction contributed by everyone are just wonderful - I am so grateful!
:^) from breadsong

wally's picture

I love your loaves and especially the scoring and stencil.

Nice bake

breadsong's picture

Thank you, Larry! I appreciate you taking the time to write.
from breadsong 

Laddavan's picture

Your bread look delicious, It's not just a loaf of bread but it is art.

breadsong's picture

Thank you so much, Laddavan! That's such a nice thing to say.
:^) from breadsong