The Fresh Loaf

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Benito's picture

I’ve wanted to make a mashed potato bread for some time and just got around to it.  This has 25% butter mashed potatoes, 82% hydration, 9% prefermented flour.  I did an overnight levain build which grew to over 3x and was used young just as the dome started to flatten.  A saltolyse was done also overnight, both starting in the fridge to slow things down.  The mashed potatoes were added to half the dough after Rubaud mixing when the levain was added.  Then was fully mixed with slap and folds on the counter.  The two halves of the dough were combined using a lamination and then the black pepper and fresh rosemary were added during lamination as well. Three coil folds were done.  I was aiming for a 60% rise in the aliquot jar because that is what seems to be ideal, however, for some reason the bulk was going really fast and I was late to shape the dough and there was at least a 65% rise by the time bulk ended.  I believe evidence of the over fermentation can be seen in the lack of ear and relatively poor oven spring of this bake.  It also has more slopping shoulders than I like.  I suppose the 25% mashed potatoes may also contribute to this, but I don’t think so.  

This bread smells so good right now with the rosemary and black pepper aromas filling my kitchen.  I will bake this again and watch bulk more closely than I did this time to get a better bake.  There’s always room for improvement.

Benito's picture


Here is my take on Alan’s (Alfanso) Sesame Semolina Baguettes.  I used his formula generally but made a few changes.  I added 0.07% IDY and also did an overnight Saltolyse and levain build.  I forgot how low hydration this was going to be so in the future I wouldn’t do the overnight saltolyse and would  instead just mix the levain IDY water and flours in the morning then add salt 20 mins later.  I ended bulk at 25% rise in the aliquot jar and placed the dough en bulk in the fridge until the next afternoon.  26 hours or so after the start of cold retard the dough was divided and pre-shaped and left to rest in loose rolls for 20 mins.  Shaping was a bit of a mismash of different shaping techniques but I think I like shaping ala Abel the most and will try to stick to that in the future.  These were very easy to roll out to 16” and in fact with the first one I had to cut one end because it rolled out to 18” way too long for my steel.  It was a challenge to roll these on the wet towel and roll them in the sesame seeds, each time I felt like I was degassing them a bit and then stretching them as well.  I wonder if the next time I was to make these again, if I should proof to 20% and then after shaping let them have a bench rest at warm room temperature to try to bounce back a bit from the shaping, wetting and sesame seed applications.

Having never baked anything with semolina to such a high percentage before I didn’t know what to expect, but the dough was nice and extensible. The flavour of this baguette though, for a sesame seed fanatic is just outstanding.  I’m not sure what the Semola Rimacinata is contributing for flavour but this is my favourite tasting baguette I’ve ever made.   I dare say that it tastes better than the sesame baguette I used to buy at my favourite local bakery Blackbird.

The crumb has a lovely yellow hue from the Semola and is nice and tender without too much chew.  The crust is very crispy with that amazing sesame flavour.

I have a line of dense crumb near the center of the baguette that when I examine it closely, I can faintly see white flour.  I suspect that the dense crumb section is because of raw flour that got into the middle of this baguette when pre-shaping or shaping.  I’ll need to be a better job of brushing off the excess flour.  If it wasn’t for the yellow hue of the semolina I would never have seen this line in the dense area.  I wonder if this causes some of the density in baguette crumb we see?

Anyhow, these baguette taste so good I just downed out plain no butter or anything for dinner.

alfanso's picture

Last week I posted about Abel's Semolina with pistachios, and I wasn't all A-Ok with my results, so back to the drawing board for me.  MTloaf correctly pointed out that I had miscalculated the overall hydration at 70%, rather than the 75% it would seem to be.  The correction to the formula sheet was made.  

I still stubbornly stuck to my tritordeum T150 levain but decided that the pistachios weren't the ticket for me.  Pistachios were subbed out and replaced by an equal weight (not percentage) of toasted pine nuts.  While reliving the occasional problem child my parents found in their stead, I also went whole hog and added both fennel seeds and soaked (and drained) golden raisins.  Also decided to roll the two baguettes in sesame seeds for the coupe de grâce.  The third in the line-up is a batard.  Still filled with the same internal goodies but no sesame seeds.

The baguettes are somewhat flat, potentially from the amount of fruit and nuts.  As before, the additions create a problem however minimal, for getting a straight barrel on the baguette.   Minimally open crumb, again the suspected culprit may be  the amount of additions.


Regardless, this is one delicious bread, a fantastic combination of seeds nut and fruit with a great flavor profile, almost like a dessert.  A perfect bread to slather a soft cheese across and break out a bottle of wine.

As of now, I still haven't cut into the batard to review the internal workings.  I've been on and off experimenting with proving the dough on the couche seam side up, something that I've virtually never done until very recently.  As promoted by Abel and a few baguette compatriots here.  So far I'm not sold on the change. 

340g x 2 long batards, 720g x 1 batard. 


Joe19721238's picture

I'd like to know the difference between a Portuguese roll in a Kaiser roll and when I said Portuguese roll I mean the hotter darker thicker type bread compared to the white lighter Kaiser roll type read in a town in in in a town called Hoboken New Jersey there is a bakery called Dominick's bakery they have the greatest bread you'll ever taste in the world but they don't make like Kaiser  type rolls than a soft and light they make like thicker darker heavier roles that are just fantastic I think it's it's like a Portuguese roll but they also make them long and a Portuguese rolls. is small but I would just like to know that kind of bread that that's called.

DesigningWoman's picture

Hello, dear FreshLoafers,

For those of you in Europe, this programme might be interesting to watch;

Available in French and German, not sure if this will be visible at all in North America.

All the best to all of you,


dabrownman's picture

It has been a while since I made a loaf of bread.  Covid and health issues have just about made life as horrible and boring as can be among other things.  At least I can still drink a glass of wine a day:-) Lucy has really slowed down since she turned 17.  I had to make a ramp for her to get up on the bed and her hind quarters don't work as well as they used to - but she is hanging in there and a real trouper.

We needed bread for some home made lox and since pumpernickel bagels are my favorite this was what Lucy came up with.  100% hydration 4% each molasses, cocoa, brown sugar and caramel coloring to make it dark and 4% each whole coriander and whole caraway to give it that rye bread aroma and flavor with 2% salt. Finally 5% sunflower seeds.  I wanted 10% walnuts too ....but non were found in Lucy's pantry:-(  Use walnuts if you have them with the sunflower seeds!

We love mix,, dump and bake breads and this is one of them.  the levain was 100% hydration with 75 g of whole mixed grains, 75 g of water and 20 g of NMNF rye starter that has been in the fridge for about forever - at least 6 months.  Once it doubles then in to the fresh milled flour flour it goes with the water and all the add ins.   Then mix it up and let it sit covered in plastic for 3 hours.

Then dump it into Yippee's Oriental Pullman Panthat is sprayed with pan release and shape a small dome on top and cover in plastic.  Once it rises to near the rim of the pan in the middle, spray the lid and slide it on and make for 32 minutes at 425 F and then 30 minutes at 400 F with the lid off till it reads 207 F on the inside.  Take put of pan and let cool on a rack.  once cool , wrap in plastic and let sit for at least 18 hours on the counter before slicing.

This is a lovely, and powerful,  whole grain rye bread.  Since we are having smoked brisket today for Labor Day, currently smoking away,  it will go perfect with that as well.  Hope you all are well and hanging in there with this pandemic crappola.

Happy Baking!

PS.  Lucy still says to not forget to have a great garden salad like this one with every dinner.


suminandi's picture

Very hot here. High temp around 110 F, so, to keep the kitchen cooler and reduce electricity use, i cooked a bread on our weber grill. I put a clay baker on to preheat for 15 min before loading the dough and cooking covered for 20 mins and then uncovered for another 20. The grill cover was on for all of it, besides to remove the clay baker cover. 

With some iteration, it could work. The bread was good, with a mild smoke flavor. It was slightly undercooked ( though that could be from cutting while hot). The bottom was very charred and had to be scraped off. 

It’s my ‘staple bread’ - bolted fresh ground winter wheat. 

isand66's picture

This bread was inspired by Derek's post from last week here. 

He recently made a few awesome loaves using raw onions in the dough.  I usually saute or caramelize my onions before adding them to the dough and a lot of time they end up getting absorbed into the dough.  By putting them in raw, they definitely kept their shape much better and also added a wonderful onion flavor to the bread.  I used some freshly made Greek yogurt that my wife recently made which really helped create a nice moist crumb.

This one came out excellent and made excellent pastrami with melted cheese sandwiches!  The crumb was nice and moist and flavorful.

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.

Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.   You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours  with 90% of the water and the yogurt for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, salt and the balance of the water and mix on low for 4 minutes.   (Note: if dough is too wet you don't need to add all of the water).  Next, add the chopped raw onions and mix by machine or hand for about 15 seconds until they are incorporated into the dough. 

Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 540 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

Lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 25-35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.





















leslieruf's picture

After Covid19 lockdown I was gifted 4 kg of flour and suddenly my bread improved greatly.  Now I am running low and so I went on line and ordered 10 kg, crossing my fingers that I had chosen the right flour.  Todays bake was a straight up white 1:2:3 with each flour. I added a little diastatic malt to help with caramelisation.


45 minute autolyse to start.  Levain was added followed by 100 slap and folds. Salt added followed by another 100 SLAFs.  4 sets of coil folds at 40 minute intervals then the dough was left to ferment for another 2 hours.  Preshape followed by 30 minute rest. After Final shaping I left them on the bench for about 30 minutes before retarding over night.  

Original flour seemed to be a little stronger, the new flour spread a little and felt a little softer.  

Baked this morning and I am so happy with the results.

Original flour

crumb shot

new flour

crumb shot

well that was better than expected.  I think I am happy with my new flour!  the malt is giving me better crust colour too! 

Finally, on the original flour loaf, I got some pretty nice blisters too!

The angle of my photos makes one half of crumb shots look bigger than the other - an oops for sure as the slices were side by side.  

A good start to the week ahead, bake happy everyone





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