The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Holiday Bakes

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Holiday Bakes

-Update 14/09/11: added some photos of 100% WW and 70% WG Rye

-Update 15/09/11: added crumb shots of 100% WW and 70% WG Rye

Initially I only planned to bake two kinds of bread that fitted well into a family holiday schedule:

7.00 being woken by our 5 year old

7.15 to 7.30 preparing pre-ferment (rye sour or biga)

8.30 breakfast

9.30 to 19.00 being busy with having fun

19.30 to 22.30 baking time

As it turned out this schedule worked very well, but peer pressure from TFL and the family made me bake a much greater variety of bread, specifically: Bara Brith, Pain de Campagne with variations, 70% Rye sourdough with variations, Potato Bread, 100% Wholewheat Sourdough, Pizza, White French Bread

Unfortunately I can't post many pictures as the camera charger gave up during the holiday, but I will bake some of the breads again in the near future and post photos then.

Notes about the formulae (explicit formulae follow below):

  1. Bara Brith: I used Elizabeth David's recipe – it is a very dry dough, so I added a bit more milk. The original uses 150 ml milk per 450g flour, I used 170g milk. I also used a different flour mix: 400g strong white flour (Hovis) plus 50g wholewheat flour (Tesco's strong stoneground organic). Very nice result. Below my first try, with a bit of Welsh countryside:

  2. Pain de Campagne after DiMuzio (I have his “Appendix Of Formulas” on my phone). Once by the book and once with biga and 50% wholewheat. Both turned out nice, but the latter one could be tweaked.

  3. Potato Bread (after Elizabeth David). I used the original formula – this uses 4.4% salt. As I had no idea how potatoes would affect salinity I went for it. Nice bread (smell, consistency), but too salty. Couldn't eat it. I'll retry with 2% salt.

  4. French bread: 300g flour, 200g water, 6g salt, 2g instant yeast. Mixed and proofed in the evening, retarded in fridge and baked before breakfast.

  5. 100% Wholewheat Sourdough, inspired by DiMuzio and Andy, great result, formula given below.

  6. 70% Rye sourdough with variations. Details given below.

 It was quite amazing to see how all of this baking fit in with our busy holiday schedule, without putting too much strain on family life.

 100% wholewheat sourdough:

 Straight formula:

Wholewheat flour 423g (100%)

Water 317g (75%)

Salt 8.5g (2%)

Yield 748.5g (177%)

 Flour from Soaker: 33% at 75% hydration

Flour from preferment: 33% at 75% hydration

 Soaker (kept in fridge for 12 hours):

Flour: 141g

Water: 105g

 Preferment (kept on bench for 12 hours, at 22C):

WW flour: 141g

Water: 105g

Mature rye starter (80% hydration): 25g

 Adjusted Dough:

Flour: 141g

Water: 105g

Salt: 8.5g

Soaker: 246g

Preferment: 246g

 Bulk proof at 24C: 1.5 hours

Shaped into loose boule,

Final proof: ca. 2 hours

Reshaped boule into loose envelope shape (as in some of the Pane di Altamura videos)

baked immediately at ca. 230C for 30 minutes without steam.

Complex taste and quite open crumb for a 100% wholegrain bread.

Photos of the bake on 14/09/11 (a 750g loaf)

The dough after final proof (could have done a little longer, but started to get fragile)

After shaping (right into the oven from here):

And after the bake:


The crumb of the 100% wholewheat bread is not great, nowhere near the nice open structure of the bread I made in Wales, although I think this one tastes even better. I attribute the crumb appearence to a number of causes:

  1. I rushed this bread (a mix of family duties and misjudgement of the dough development)

  2. The starter was slightly over its maximum

  3. The flours I used here were quite different: I am running out of stock and had to use a mix of Canadian high gluten wholewheat with low gluten wholewheat (both from Waitrose), whereas for the holiday bread I used Tesco's strong organic stoneground wholewheat.

  4. I stretched the dough too much when shaping.

I'll work on this and report back in a separate post.

70% Rye with variations

Update 14/09/11: Got the percentages slightly wrong when I wrote my notes - this now reflects what I actually baked. Must have been tired ...

These breads are based on the German Mischbrot formula which I posted earlier

 Straight Formula:

WG Rye flour: 70%

WG Wheat flour: 30%

Water: 75%

Salt: 2%

Instant Yeast: 0.3% (optional)

WG Rye flour from preferment: 28% at 80% hydration, (using 10% ripe WG rye starter, 12 hours on bench)

WG Wheat flour from soaker: 30% at 74% hydration (12 hours in fridge)

WG Rye flour from scald: 22% at 80% hydration, after cooling kept in fridge

I used different amounts of instant yeast to stagger the breads – I could only bake one loaf at a time.

Bulk fermentation ranged from 45 min to 2 hours, final proof for 1 hour at 22C.

The loaves were shaped with wet hands into rounds for freestanding bake.

I made 4 variations of this bread; all had a wonderfully complex taste:

  1. Without soaker and scald, with 20% sunflower seeds

  2. as given

  3. as given, plus 20% sunflower seeds

  4. as given, plus 3% caraway seeds

Despite the quite strong taste these breads go very well with all sorts of foods, even jams. Stilton cheese complements the bread flavours especially well.

Photos of the bake on 14/09/11 (two 750g loaves)



A very pleasing bread.



ananda's picture

Hi Juergen,

What a busy holiday, I can't wait to see the photos you did manage to take.

Your wholewheat sourdough sounds very interesting.   Given it is 100% wholewheat I would expect it to take the extra water.   Thank you for acknowleging my formula, I expect you mean the Gilchesters Miche.   This is actually 27% white flour and 73% of the Farmhouse, which is around 85% extraction, so will take less water than wholemeal.   I note you used a much longer soaking period, but with only a portion of the flour.   Quite a different technique; I'm sure you established excellent enzymatic activity this way.

One further thought: I developed a Bara Brith formula with a student last year which incorporated a pre-ferment.   It also uses fruit soaked overnight in tea.   I've posted it below if you're interested.   I can't honestly remeber whether we perfected it or not, so you may need to play with the dough hydration just a bit.   Otherwise it's a winner!

Bara Brith [Speckled Bread, or, Welsh Tea Bread


Formula [%]


1. Fruit Soaker









Mixed Peel



Strong Tea


Cover the fruit with the tea liquor


85 [47 + 13 + 25]

Strain off and reserve residual liquor [25]   Fruit should absorb 13.




2. Pre-ferment



Strong White Flour



Caster Sugar



Fresh Yeast



Water @ 38°C


Tea is acidic, stick to water







3. Final Dough



Ferment [from above]






Strong White Flour






Mixed Spice



Milk Powder






Brown Sugar



Tea [from soaked fruit]


As required to form soft dough




Soaked fruit [from above]

60 [47 + 13]







  • Soak the fruit overnight in freshly brewed boiling hot strong tea.   The liquor should just cover the fruit.
  • Drain off the liquor from the fruit and reserve both parts
  • Make the ferment and leave, covered in a warm place for 40 minutes
  • Cut the butter into small cubes, combine flour, mp, salt, spice and sugar.   Add the ferment and mix in a machine with hook or paddle beater to form a soft and well-developed dough.   Add the reserved tea liquor as needed to let the dough down.
  • Ferment for half an hour covered.
  • Cut the soaked fruit into the dough

Rest 20 minutes, then process

Best wishes



Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Andy, What inspired me to a saltless soaker kept in the fridge overnight was the discussion of enzyme activity in your original gilchesters post. It was in the back of my head when I improvised the formula of the 100% wholewheat above. I found that ww sourdough starters can make the dough really slack due to enzyme activity. By using the soaker (or should I better say cold autolyse) I attempted to counteract that.

And thank you for the Bara Brith formula. I made actually 4 versions of E. David's recipe so far, with slightly different procedures (when to add butter, etc). She omits the tea, which seems to be essential. I'll try your formula next.

Tomorrow I'll make a batch of 70% rye with scald and autolysed WW  (my workmates are getting more demanding...), I'll take some photos and post them.


breadsong's picture

Hello Juergen,
Such a nice variety of breads you baked while away.
Thanks for posting that photo of the stunning Welsh countryside and your beautiful bara brith, which looks chock full of fruity goodness!
(@ Andy, thanks for posting your formula for this bread!).
:^) from breadsong

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Thank you, breadsong.

The holiday was inspiring in many ways. And from the baking perspective it was amazing to see how I could fit all that in without taking too much social time. Well, my parents stayed with us, and they did the dishes...

Bara Brith certainly will stay in my repertoire. I look forwatrd to trying Andy's formula. It seems to me like it gets better over time, like Linzer Torte which we baked in November to be ready for christmas...

Nice to hear from you,


wassisname's picture

What a menu, Juergen! Not the least of it is all the food for thought you have supplied, thank you for posting all the details. I'm still torn between a dark rye and a 100% WW sourdough for my next bake, and this really isn't helping! I might just have to squeeze in both.
Looking forward to more photos.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Marcus,

I'll do a ww and 70% rye bake tonight, photos will be there tomorrow.



varda's picture

being woken up by your 5 year old.   And then making such a wide variety of breads.   I'm absolutely agog at the photograph.   You both get a great shot of the bread as well as the scenery.   I almost thought that you were photographing against a backdrop and had to take another look.   How did you get it all so clear?  -Varda

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Thank you Varda, you understand the dynamics...

I took the photo during THE sunny spell of our holiday.

The weather was very grey, but dramatic nonetheless. The air was unusually clear during the whole holiday to an extent that my wife forgot she was wearing glasses! Apparently painters come to Pembrokeshire during the autumn and winter months for the special light.

To get you an idea of the weather we had see below a view to Skomer Island from a place called The Deer Park. Within an hour or so the island appeareed and disappeared 5 times in the mist. Quite spectacular. (The photo is from my phone)

Franko's picture

Hi Jeurgen,

Looking forward to the photos of the other breads at some point, but I'll feast my eyes on the one you have till then. Splendid looking loaf, and the photo itself should be featured on TFL's front page IMO, or on the cover of a glossy food magazine. Simply gorgeous! Elizabeth David's book 'English Bread and Yeast Cookery' has been high on my list of books 'to get' for some time now, but reprint editions here in Canada are going for a pretty price. Still, it's one to have judging by  what I've read about the book ,and several of the breads I've seen made from it, your Bara Brith being no exception.

Great post Juergen, and very nice baking.

Best Wishes,



Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Do you have access to Amazon. Com ordering up north? I just checked (US) and they have paperback and used paperbacks available at reasonable prices, less than $20US, in two different editions. There seems to be two editions in hardbook, one listed at $20 and another at $36.35. I have no idea what customs fees might be on this book. It's a great and valuable book to read and keep in your library.

Franko's picture

I just went back and rechecked the book store I buy from and the book is around the $ you quote. Maybe I got my books mixed up, but I'd have sworn last time I looked (6 months ago) it up over $50. Thanks for the heads up PG!


Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Thank you, Franko.

E. David's book is available as a reptint for GBP16 in the booksops here.

Lots of great stories, and well researched history. I took it with me on holiday just because it makes a good read. Got rather intrigued by her descriptions of the use of potatoes, and a 3 stage process for bloomer breads. Lots to explore. The recepies I tried so far (Bloomer, Bara Brith, Crumpets, Potato Bread) all need a bit tweaking, though.


Janetcook's picture


Thanks for posting.  I, too, love the first picture with the Welsh countryside in the background....I am so glad you included it.

Now I have another bread to add to my 'to bake' list.  I had never heard of the Bara Brith loaf but it looks like one my daughter will enjoy......she loves bread with lots of fruit in it and lately has been delving into I can make one loaf to include both plus I get to bake a loaf from yet another attempts at geography lessons in the kitchen...

Andy - thanks for including the BB formula here.

Nice to read about your daily schedule and that your baking fit in.  In fact I imagine people were happy to allow you the time to bake :-)

Do your folks want to come to my house and do my dishes too?  I would gladly bake them all the bread they want!

Take Care,


Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Thak you, Janet.

I am sure your daughter will enjoy Bara Brith.

As for my dear parents, we were very happy to have them satay with us - They enjoy very much travelling once they are on the move, but it's quite difficult to get them there. They love their home in the middle of Black Forest (no less dramatic landscape than Pembrokeshire, in a way).


Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss


I added some photos of the 100% wholewheat and the 70% wholegrain rye I described in the original post.

As mentioned I don't have any photos of the original bake as my camera ran out of batteries and the charger didn't do its job.

The photos are from yesterday's bake.