The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

This week in and out of the kitchen

SylviaH's picture

This week in and out of the kitchen

I haven't used my Bell LaCloche in quite sometime.  It is one my favorite pieces of baking equipment and one I don't feel I wasted my money on...which I have plenty of those.  

I had a single large boule of a 'Basic 100% sourdough'. The formula I used with some minor changes is from 'Northwest Sourdough's' bread site.

I pre-heated my  regular oven and BLC.  It baked up one lovely, crackly tasty loaf as always and didn't take as long as heating up and baking on my oven stones.


Fine looking crust



the crumb


Topped with some homemade Fig Preserves.    So easy to make. Recipe below


Fig Preserves


This jam doesn't take a lot of sugar or need a pectin to thicken.

I use about 11  large figs for a pound.  Makes about 2 - 8 oz. jars of thick preserves for me.

I can my preserves in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes.  I'm 400 ft. about sea level.

1 lb. of organic ripe figs.  I have a Black Mission Fig tree that the birds share with me.

3/4 cup of sugar -  you can use a cup if you like - but I found 3/4 cup plenty sweet.

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice.  

I also added a little grated ginger and  a dash of cinnamon to taste.

I find if I slice my figs lengthwise into quarters and then dice.  They cook up best.  You can make larger pieces, as I did with this little batch of preserves.

If your preserves are thick.  Run a knife of canning blade around the inside of the jar to release any trapped air pockets.

You  can add a little water while cooking if you want a thinner jam...or need a tiny bit more to fill up a jar that's a tad bit short.


In a large stainless steel pot.  Over a medium high to low heat.  Just bring your mixture to a low boil and cook, stirring, don't let it burn,  until you have a nice thicken jam.  About 30 minutes.


Sprouted WW Flour  - Maple Banana and Banana-Fig Muffins

This recipe is from Essential Eating 'Sprouted Baking' by Janie Quinn.

 I did make some minor changes.

I didn't use any butter, instead I used Coconut oil.  

In the second batch I also used a combination of fresh diced figs and banana's.

These muffins were delicious and were taken to a family dinner party.  Everyone loved them...even the teens.

I was very happy with the texture of the muffins.

I fill the cups to the top before baking and with muffins you have to be very careful not to overmix.

I'm sorry to say the book gives only US measures.

The recipe 

6 Tablespoons of melted Coconut Oil -  I did not use butter

1/2 cup of organic pure maple syrup

2 large organic eggs

4 ripe mashed banana's -  or a combination of mashed banana's and diced figs

1  1/4 cups of Sprouted Wheat Flour 

1 cup of yellow cornmeal - I used regular cornmeal - not gluten free

2 teaspoons baking powder - 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Bake in a pre-heated 375F oven - non convection oven was used -

12 cup muffin tin lined with muffin cups

Mash your bananas/figs in a large bowl.  Slightly beat 2 eggs in a small bowl.  Wisk together dry ingredients.   I melt my coconut oil in the microwave for just a few seconds.

Add your maple syrup, eggs, coconut oil to banana/fig mixture.  Add dry ingredients to wet and gently fold until combined and still lumpy.

Ladle into muffin cups up to top of cups.  

Bake until slightly browned and test done.   Mine took about 20 minutes.  Larger ones took a little longer.   I insert a spagetti noodle and see if it comes out dry.

Cool muffins removed from muffin pan on a rack.  There hot son I lifted them up gently with a knife inserted underneath to get them out of the pan.



I put a pinch of organic cane sugar on top of the fig/banana muffins for sparkle


Did I say these were very tender and satisfying as in filling too.  A very nice ming of flavors all

come through.  Didn't miss the butter at all.  Coconut Oil..wonderful healthy stuff : ) 


This is my Sourdough Semolina Country Bread.  I posted my formula for it on my blog not to long ago.

I never get quite the best results I like, when I bulk ferment, and shape my loaves the next day.  That's what I did with this SSCB.  I also added some sesame seeds.  Just delicious on this bread.  It was also baked in the Bell La Cloche.  Turned out wonderful.  But, still would have been nicer shaped and then retarded overnight and baked the next day.


Sourdough Semolina Country Bread




Here's a lovely and very delicious way to use a baguette.    

Sliced thin, rolled and toasted in an oven. -----------'Correction' the chef did use the word 'baked' in the oven  

It was just simply perfect along side a salad.  

Tucked in the center of the rolled toasted baguette was delicious compot of filling with Peaches, ginger, lovely fruits, like dried tender juicy figs, herbs.  Just an added perfect crunch and blend of flavors alongside our salads.









dabrownman's picture

round is exceptional.  Everything baked perfectly inside and out. - very inspiring Sylvia.  I really like the NW SD and fig jam  I'm going to bake on a stone covered with a big aluminum pot this Friday since I  haven't baked that way for such a long time my apprentice doesn't even remember how nice it is.  Thanks for the reminder !  Love the baggie crisp too. Never baked with coconut oil either so will have to give that a try,

Nice baking Sylvia

annie the chef's picture
annie the chef

Magnificent bake, Sylvia. Nice salad, too.

Your fig jam recipe has arrived just in time. I'm going to make some this weekend.

Thank you for sharing your bake and recipes.


SylviaH's picture

What a lovely icon!

Thank you for the nice comments and, your welcome!


annie the chef's picture
annie the chef

Thank you, Sylvia.  TFL is a great place to learn and share the baking experience.  My bread baking skill has improved so much in the last few months.

Happy baking!


SylviaH's picture

Thank you for the kind words! 

It's always nice to change one's routine with another method you like.  Even my levain got an extra sour charge for the SDSB, love it with the sesame seeds.


You'll be very happy with the coconut oil.  Rug it on lips, hair conditioner, skin too...very healthy stuff much like olive oil.  If you saute anything with it do it until a fairly lower heat.  Works great for rubbing around cake pans too.  I haven't tried it in a pie crust yet..that one's a little tricky, I expect.  As far as the coconut flavor..It's lovely and mild and if you worry about it carrying over into your can hardly even notice it, especially with anything that has plenty of flavor already.  It will be solid around I think about room temperature.  Maybe about 78F and warmer melts so easy.  Doesn't need refrigerated.  I just love it.  Several nice organic brands out there...get the most for your money.  You will probably use a lot once you try it.

Glad you liked the baggie crisp..they are wonderful with the right combo of fillings...great crunch, melt in your mouth.


Mebake's picture

Beautiful Breads and muffins, Sylvia. The muffins with the wholewheat sound so healthy. YUM!!


SylviaH's picture

It's hard to believe a flour this tasty digests as a vegetable.  Best eaten in regular portions as it can be filling and cleansing   : ) in a healthy way.



lazybaker's picture

Great breads. I wish I could achieve crumb like that! Thanks for sharing the recipe for muffins and fig preserves. I definitely have to pick up a jar of coconut oil.

SylviaH's picture

Your welcome for the recipes.  

Practice and you will the crumb you like.  I hand mixed this bread with gentle stretch and folds.  

I think you will enjoy the many benefits of the coconut oil.


FlourChild's picture

Absolutely perfect crust and crumb from your BLC!  I might just have to stop fiddling around with makeshift steamers and  get one.  Loved looking at all the beautiful things you've made- muffins look so tasty and healthy, and homemade jam- wow.  The mason jar of roses is the perfect mix of elegant flowers and charming arrangement.  Thanks for the smiles and inspiration :)

SylviaH's picture

I like the way the BLC holds a nice sized boule.

I loved the flower arrangments too!   Would you believe all the dishes, water and wine glasses are can't tell until you pick them up...great for outdoor summer parties.


varda's picture

Hi Sylvia,   When I saw the picture at the bottom, I thought you were going to tell us about a visit to a fancy restaurant.    But on closer inspection it seems that is your table.   Wow!  -Varda

SylviaH's picture

into my daughter's lovely outdoor kitchen!  The party was for friends, that will be moving to TX;  a older couple that ride their horses everyday and are very knowledgeable about horses, she bought a  western saddle from them.


wally's picture


It's all mouth-watering, including the fig preserves.

But I'm most intrigued at your rolled baguette slices. I've never seen that treatment and it would be great if sometime you share the procedure in pictures.  The end product looks just delicious, especially with the filling!

You make a baker jealous.  All good!


SylviaH's picture

I'm always so flattered when you comment on my blog : )  Thank you for all the nice comments!

The baguette rolls, such a simple idea... But I didn't come up with it, you flatter me again : )

The baguette rolls were just amazing tasting and looking, so crispy.  I was very intrigued by them too!  They were made by a chef that cooked for the party.  The most info I could get was that they were sliced on a slicer... I think that means he has this piece of equipment in his restaurant.  They are sliced nice and even as you can see.  Then he said he rolls and 'correction' (bakes) toasts them in the oven.  I said about 400F and I think he nodded yes : )  They are just perfect along side a salad.  I'm looking forward to trying a version.



trailrunner's picture

Can you share what tweaks you have made to the sourdough recipe from Northwest ?  I always bake all of my breads in my cast iron pots.I love the way they come out. I preshape everything and place in baskets and then retard in fridge and bake direct from fridge. Gets great oven spring every time and really saves a lot of time. Your pics are just so pretty :)  I make fig jam all the time here in the South. we have SO many !  My recipe calls for letting them soak in the sugar over night and then cook them down. Yours is faster ! I will give it a try. I too would like to know how you hold the baguette together in a roll . c

SylviaH's picture

Nice tangy levain, with some rye/wheat in it..adding a touch more hydration, agave.  It always pretty much looks the same.  One of Mike's favorite breads.  I warm up my loaves some before baking.  I haven't had much luck right out the fridge into the oven with this one.  I would say he just rolls it while soft and then bakes it..up above I answed Larry, what I knew about how they were made.

I've heard of soaking the figs in baking soda to help remove the fuzz on the skin...but I don't see any fuzz on mine skins...'lol'

ps..sorry got in a bit of a hurry here to put dinner out.  I adjusted the formula for the BSD loaf to make one large loaf about 2lbs.



isand66's picture

Just beautiful baking Sylvia.  Thanks for sharing with us.



SylviaH's picture

Thank you and your welcome!


PiPs's picture

Wow Sylvia,

How can one blog post contain so many delicious delights?


cheers, Phil

SylviaH's picture

Thank you for the very nice comments!  

I did do some baking this time.  I learned a few things for my own personal tastes.  

I left out my experiment, unwritten down, formula for a whole wheat sprouted flour cinnamon roll, kinda of a sticky bun type.  I did get a very nice texture and did take photos..but oh, these were just to filling.  I cut each bun into forths for servings.  I would not make this again...way to filling for our tastes.  Maybe in cookie size would be better :)  We loved the muffins.

More for you, Phil.  Thought you might like to see the texture of this flour Whole Wheat Sprouted Flour mixture, and baked result.   I love the way you bake whole wheat breads and mill your own grains.

Oh my, they were topped with some special salt soaked walnuts (supposed to make them healthier and, easier to digest) supposed to be the way the ancient Aztecs did their nuts.  Coconut oil was a good choice on coating the pans, and in the formula.  A pineapple, brown rice syrup, unsweetned grated coconut, walnut mixture for the topping.  Oh, they were tasty, but much to heavy and filling with this type of flour.

 Something I found out about baking with wwsf.  I like to keep it simple, cupcakes were perfect and simple.  I like using this flour 100% for simple sweet breads, cookies, the best.  

The thing I accomplished most with baking this week. I like to keep using the WWSF in simple formula's.  Nothing to heavy to eat and enjoy it in small portions.  

I will enjoy it most, as an extra add in flour to my regular flours.  I'm not concerned about using this flour this way because I don't eat a gluten free diet and it will bake up wonderful in breads.


evonlim's picture

let me add another WOW!! everything looked delicious and beautifully done.. thank u so much for sharing

happy baking


SylviaH's picture

Thank you and your welcome : )