The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Holiday bakes

Floydm's picture

Holiday bakes

I've been baking a bit the past few weeks.  Above is a 20% whole wheat sourdough I baked a week or so ago.  The crumb:

For our Christmas dinner I whipped up something like the Buttermilk Cluster:

It was indeed rather tasteless compared to what I usually bake, but it still was quite decorative and more than adequate for mopping up everything else.

What else?  Cinnamon Rolls from a few days ago:

And a 75% hydration sourdough with 10% whole wheat and 10% spelt flour I baked yesterday:

These ones got a real long, slow ferment thanks to the cool weather we've been having.  Nothing like those of you in the Midwest or the East of either the US or Canada have been having, mind you! Still cool enough that the beaches and the forests are frosty...

 ...and the sourdoughs are extra tangy.


dmsnyder's picture

This weather is even crazier than usual. We are in the 60's. Fort Bragg in Mendocino County on the Northern CA coast has been around 70 dF. Of more significance, we are in a significant drought.

But, we've no business complaining this week, with what's coming down on the midwest and East coast. Like, poor Ian has to bake his pizza indoors


Floydm's picture

Thanks, David!

Yes, I've been hearing from my family down there how nice but terribly dry it has been. We're pretty dry too and having a very poor skiing season, but nothing like what you are facing. Fingers crossed we all get more rain and snow the next few months!

isand66's picture

Nice looking baking Floyd and beautiful photos.  Looks like you got some nice open crumb and some great crusty crust.


Floydm's picture

Thanks, Ian!

breadsong's picture

Hi Floyd,
So glad you were able to fit in holiday baking - the breads look crusty and delicious, and I love the frosted photos of the forest, beach - and cinnamon buns!
The weather the mid-West and Eastern parts of NA are experiencing is horrendous, and I hope the storm season passes quickly.
:^) breadsong

Floydm's picture


I was chatting today with some friends who just returned from the GTO area.  It sounded pretty wild there.

chouette22's picture

What a great outcome! Can you tell us what your procedure was here? I assume you used your mixer for kneading? How long was your proofing time appr.? Any retardation in the fridge or same-day bake? Did you bake these loaves covered (I believe you often do/did this?) or just steamed your oven?

Thanks a lot!

Floydm's picture

My most recent ones, yes, were mixed in my mixer.  Then they had an all-day bulk ferment outside (covered) at around 3-5°C. I brought the dough inside in the evening, folded it a couple of times over an hour or so, then divided and shaped the loaves. I put them in bannetons which I covered and placed in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, I removed them from the fridge at the same time I started preheating my stone. 40 minutes or so later, I baked them for 20 minutes covered (just using an inverted aluminium turkey roasting pan), 40 minuted uncovered at 465°F.  

chouette22's picture

very much for answering my questions! I appreciate it!

ananda's picture

Love the sourdoughs Floyd,

Happy New Year


Floydm's picture

Thanks, Andy!

dabrownman's picture

Holiday baking Floyd.  The crumb on that WW and Spelt boule is phenomenal!  Lucy is on her back, 4 paws in the air, peddling to who knows where over those cinnamon rolls....This time we escaped the cold with it being in the 70's so no having to bring the garden inside. 

Happy Baking in the New Year Floyd.

Floydm's picture

Thank you!

Mebake's picture

Good assortment of breads, Floyd. I imagine you'd benefit from a heart wholesome rye/ wholewheat in your northern hemisphere winter. 

The crumb of your spelt SD is gorgeous!! 

All the best.

Floydm's picture

Thanks!  Yes, I need to pick up some more rye, but hearty breads definitely hit the spot right now.