The Fresh Loaf

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grammasherri's picture

This recipe was given to me by my late sister in law.   


Prep time: @ 40 minutesBake time: @45 minutesReady in @ 5 hours and 25 minutes"A family recipe used for Purim." 
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast
  • 3 3/4 cups bread flour, divided
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. Whisk together the yeast and 3/4 cup of bread flour. Sprinkle the yeast mixture over warm water in a small bowl. The water should be no more than 100 degrees F (40 degrees C). Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam.
  2. Combine the yeast mixture with 2 eggs, vegetable oil, sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large mixing bowl; stir well to combine. Stir in half of the remaining bread flour until no dry spots remain. Stir in the remaining bread flour, a 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, then place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place (80 to 95 degrees F (27 to 35 degrees C)) until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  3. Line and generously grease a baking sheet. Set aside. Mix onion, poppy seeds, 1/4 teaspoon salt, all-purpose flour, and butter together in a bowl. Divide onion mixture into 2 equal portions. Set aside. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Roll each portion into approximately 30x4 inch strips. Spoon the onion mixture down the center of each strip lengthwise. Begin pulling the edges of the dough up to wrap around the filling, pinching the edges to close securely.
  4. Arrange the strands side by side, seam side down. Beginning in the middle of each strand, braid the strands together by crisscrossing each side, making sure to keep the seam side down. Once both sides are braided, pinch the edges together to form a ring. Place the ring on the prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Allow ring to rise until tripled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Arrange the oven rack to the lowest position. Beat 1 egg and 1 pinch of salt together in a bowl. Brush the braided ring with the egg mixture. Sprinkle with additional poppy seeds, if desired.
  6. Bake in preheated oven until the top is golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, turning the pan around halfway through so the ring browns evenly, 45 to 50 minutes. 

   Let me know if you try it!

kendalm's picture

Greeting - been a little while since I posted thanks to being busier than normal but thought I'd drop a snap of a mixed bake - bread and croissants. This sure does challenge your timing skills and this time ended up with really nice crumb on the baguettes but a little overproofed croissants - no big deal - still pretty edible. Having been on hiatus for a bit it's good to see ya'll baking away amd hope to post more often (just got a big flour shipment so should be digging in more regularly)

PalwithnoovenP's picture

I do not have much time now to post and have fun in this wonderful community as before because of my classes and training so I am shaking up the format of my posts. :) Before, they are super wordy but now I will keep them short and sweet with maybe just a few pictures.

Xuixo (also spelled chuchos but I think xuixos looks way cooler!) is a vienoisserie from Spain. They are made with a yeast-risen dough which may be laminated or not that is filled with crema catalana, rolled into a croissant or baton shape, deep-fried then rolled in sugar. I just learnt them from Gemma Stafford in one of her travel series in Spain and as she said, the xuixo just might be the ancestor of the cronut.

I made some for mothers' day and my mom's birthday but I did not have time to post it or even take photos. They were so delicious that I made another batch.

The dough was raised with my starter which is lightning fast these days. Already doubled in 2 hours and more than tripled in less than 4 hours. If my bread made from it do not have the tang, I would think that I'm baking with commercial yeast! I laminated it with butter with a single and a double turn.

The dough already laminated. I used a vanilla custard for the filling. I shaped them into batons because it is much easier and I overfilled them but I still managed to seal them properly.

I fried them them until golden on low flame then rolled them in sugar. I did not have fine or caster sugar but it worked just fine. I accidentally poked a hole on one of them while frying so it leaked and the custard burnt on the surface. Although deep-fried, they were not greasy at all with all of the components in great harmony.

I honestly like the neat look of those not rolled in sugar but of course it lacks the extra sweetness and crunch.

Soft, light, flaky, crispy but has the body to hold that rich and overflowing custard. ¡Delicioso!

Danni3ll3's picture


Quite a while ago, I had saved a number of recipes that CedarMountain had posted and I was looking for inspiration when I came across this one in my recipe app. It sounded intriguing with using a sprouted rye berry, ground toasted millet and flax porridge.




Makes 3 loaves


210 g rye berries divided into 100 g and 110 g portions

110 g spelt berries

110 g red fife berries

770 g unbleached flour

700 g water (main dough)

50 g flax seeds

60 g millet

205 g of water (for porridge)

30 g full fat yogurt

23 g sea salt

245 g 100% hydration levain (procedure in instructions)


Sprouting the rye berries

  1. Soak the 100g of rye berries in filtered water for about 8 hours. Drain and rinse.
  2. Leave on counter rinsing every 6 to 8 hours until you see rootlets that are about the same length as the berry. This took a couple of days. 
  3. When the rootlets are as long as you want, rinse again, dry as much as possible and refrigerate until needed. I started mine on Wednesday night and they were ready Friday night when I cooked the porridge. 


A couple of nights before:

  1. Mill the spelt, red fife and the remaining 110 g of rye berries. Sift all the flours through a #24 sieve and reserve the bran for the levain. I got a total of 34 g of bran. I reserved 87 g of sifted rye flour for the levain which left me with 5 grams that went into a cambro bucket. 
  2. Add the remaining sifted flours and the unbleached flour to the bucket. Cover and set aside.
  3. Toast the millet and let cool. When cool, grind in a Bullet and set aside.
  4. Grind the flax in the Bullet and add to the millet.


The morning before:

  1. After having revived your starter for a couple of days, feed 30 g of it with all of the reserved bran and 34 g water. This will make for a very thick mixture. During the day, give it a couple of stirs when you think of it. I didn’t think of it and it was still smelling quite nicely by the evening.


Before going to bed the night before:

  1. Add the reserved rye flour and 87 g of water to the levain. Let sit overnight on the counter. It should have doubled by the morning. If you aren’t ready for it, stir it down and let rise again. Mine seemed to sit at peak for several hours so I didn’t have to stir it down. It was still smelling nicely about 10 hours later.
  2. Take the sprouted rye berries and mash them up in a food processor. There will still be a lot of chunks. Place them in a pot with the ground millet and flax seeds. Add 205 g water and the 30 g of yogurt. Cook into a thick porridge. This took 20 minutes on medium low heat. Place in a cool spot for the night. You can place it in the fridge but bring back to room temperature or use warm water for the dough in the morning.


Main dough:

  1. Loosen the porridge with the dough water (I had to use my hand as a spoon wasn’t breaking it up), and add to the bucket with the flours. Mix well. The dough felt a lot wetter than what I usually mix at this point (Uh, oh! High hydration dough! Hope I don’t end up with bricks which is what usually happens when I have dough this wet. Oh well, I forged on!). Sprinkle the sea salt on top. Let autolyse for 90 minutes to a couple of hours.
  2. Add the levain and mix well. This was very easy due to the well hydrated dough. Do 50 in bucket folds to ensure that gluten development is well on its way. The dough started pulling away from the sides of the bucket so maybe not all is lost! Cover and place the dough in a warm spot to rise.
  3. Do sets of stretches and folds about 30-45 minutes apart for the first 3 sets then go to hourly folds for the remainder span of bulk fermentation. Bulk fermentation took 3 and a quarter hours and the dough rose about 40%. The dough moved really fast even though it was a rainy and dreary day. I had bubbles on the edge of the container right from the second set of folds. 
  4. Wet the sides of the dough with your hand to loosen from the bucket, and dump out onto a bare counter. Lightly flour the top of the dough again and divide into 3 equal portions of about 825-830 g.  Pre-round the portions with a scraper. I am getting much better at this!
  5. Let rest for 30-40 minutes and then shape into a fairly tight boule. This was a bit tricky with high hydration dough but after cinching, I used the scraper to help tighten the boules as best as I could. Place seam side down in rice/ap floured bannetons, cover, and put to bed in the fridge for the night. This turned out to be 17+ hours. 


Baking day:


  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475 F with the dutch ovens inside for at least 45 minutes. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots and gently place the dough seam side up inside. The boules felt really soft and I was afraid they were over proofed. I usually don’t let proofing go that long, even in the fridge, but due to commitments, I had to prepare the dough earlier in the day than I would normally so it had a much longer nap in the fridge. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, be pleasantly surprised at the oven spring, drop the temperature to 425 F and bake for another 22 minutes or until nice and dark. I had a bit of a minor panic when I realized I didn’t hear the timer and that the loaves were still in the oven. Thankfully, they were just fine with no burnt bottoms! 
Beatrice's picture

Hi bakers! 

Today I want to share with you a completely new experiment of mine, a loaf that was in my mind for a long time but I have never had the opportunity to bake it. 

I tried to create a formula for a slightly sweet bread but I was so scared because of the sugar I had to add: will it speed up the fermentation process? will it ruin the texture of the final result? Those two questions were all I could think of.

I decided to give it a go, merging different formulas from the internet and from different books because baking is something that helps me with my anxiety as you have to be precise, gentle, determinate but also emphatic.

The ingredients:

115gr chocolate leaven

400gr water

400gr white bread flour

100gr whole wheat flour

40gr cacao

125gr raisins

50gr sugar


The method is the same as a normal country bread, I added the sugar and cinnamon when I added the salt and the raisins at the first round of stretch and fold during the bulk fermentation.

I am really happy with the result, the crumb is open even if there are the raisins and the sugar, the flavors are mild but you can recognize all of them; it is a perfect breakfast bread with some almond butter :)

Thanks a lot for reading, grazie!

Happy baking, Beatrice!

Ru007's picture

 Hello friends!

So, I haven’t been around for a (long) while. My last post was my last bake. Really, it’s been that long. You know when life just gets so …. blah… you can’t actually see straight? I’ve had one of those. Maybe not everyone can relate, but I think nearly everyone here can relate to this, “passion is an incredible alarm clock”. [I know someone will call me out for replacing the “purpose” with “passion”, but whatever.] For whatever reason, we all have a fiercely passionate attachment to our bread baking. It’s not the be all and end all of our lives, but that doesn’t invalidate the passion. 

My point is, at some point I had to decide to “never let a stumble in the road be the end of the journey”.  So what happens when fear has a show down with passion? Its just a matter of time before the alarm clock sounds and passion wins. I started a journey here, had a stumble, and yet here I am.

So the next chapter starts in familiar territory. Partly because this one of my absolute favourite loaves and partly because after such a long time without baking, my (old) starter (which I had dried over a year ago) and I needed to kind of dip our toes in the water first. So I didn’t really change anything from the formula below:

I did add a little less water, I usually hold back about 20g of water from the soaker just so I can see how the dough feels. This didn’t need anymore water.

 This loaf was an exercise in patience. Its getting cold here. Yesterday was particularly miserable, so things were happening very slowly. There was a lot of dough watching during the fermentation and sitting on floor next to oven anxiously while it baked (I know I'm not the only one who does this! LOL!), but here it is. 

And the crumb... 

Feeling kinda rusty, but I'm just happy I to baking again!

Thank you all for the warm reception, I know I kind of just fell off the face of the earth! I’m so glad to be back, you have all been thoroughly missed. And hello to all those who have joined in the last year, I'm looking forward to getting to know all the new faces.

Happy baking!


Beatrice's picture

Hi bakers!

Today I want to share with you my first experience with a loaf made with the "sift and scald" method; here it is the recipe:

150gr whole wheat flour (you have to sift it 12 hours before starting to mix the other ingredients, the bran that remains has to be soaked in 75gr of scalding water 12 hours)

350gr white bread flour

350gr water

10gr salt

100gr leaven (I made mine with 20gr starter, 40gr white bread flour and 40gr water and let it sit overnight)


I prepared the soaked bran the night before and in the morning I mixed water and leaven, than flour (both the white and the sifted one)
and let it sit covered for 1 hour.

I added salt and the soaked bran and worked the dough until all the ingredients were well incorporated; I let it sit for 3 hours and an half for the bulk fermentation and did 4 round of stretch and folds (as this dough was really wet).

Than I let it rise until it nearly doubled in volume, and I started the preshape. I let it rest on the bench for 20 minutes after the reshape and than shaped in a boule shape.

I put the dough in a proving basket and let it sit at room temperature covered for 1 hour and an half.

I then transferred the dough in the fridge for the retarded fermentation until the next morning (circa 18 hours).

I baked it with my Lodge: 20 minutes covered and 35 minutes without the lid.

I am happy with the result and the crumb but I have to admit that it was very difficult to work with and that the oven spring didn't happen. I think that maybe my bran was less dry than I thought (or it was less in quantity) and I added too much water to it, and than this amount of water (350 for the dough and 75 for the bran) was too much to handle properly (as I am a beginner). 

Let me know if you had some experience with this method or if you try my formula!

Keep baking,


dabrownman's picture

Lucy was feeling pretty good this week and spent some time coming up with this bread.  She got back to her roots with a 50% whole grain bread where half the whole grains were sprouted. The 6 grains she used were red and white wheat, Kamut, spelt, rye and oat.


She started sprouting the grains on Monday dried them on Tuesday night and started the sourdough bran levain on Wednesday night.  She took the bran from the sprouted and non-sprouted grains and used that for the only build using 12 g of NMNF rye starter as the base.  A few hours of a cold retard followed to bring out the tang instead of just the sour.

The entire levain was 10% pre-fermented bran and flour at 100% hydration and the process took 8 hours for the levain to double.  Then into the fridge it went for a 24 hour retard.  While the levain was on the counter, Lucy dug around her secret pantry to find some figs and walnuts -10% each.

We did a 30 minute autolyse for the non-sprouted high extraction flour only with 2% Pink Himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top.  Sprouted, high extraction flour just needs to get hydrated since it is pre-auotlysed during the sprouting process. 

Overall hydration was 72% because we used the lower protein Lafama AP for the dough flour and the re-hydrated figs would bring some extra moisture to the party.   A relative 75% would be about right for this kind of bread.  Once everything hit the mix we did 100 slap and folds to get everything incorporated and the gluten forming started.

The left-over fig soaking juice, with some of the re-hydrated figs, were used to feed the Fig YW … nothing at all went to waste.  After a 3 minute rest, we did 3 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points also on 30 minute intervals.

Grilled Tuna is a must have meal around here...It was Mom's request for Mother's day.

Can't have Mother's Day without flowers either.

The walnuts and figs went in on the first set of stretch and folds.  We then let the dough rest for a half an hour before shaping the dough into a squat boulot and plopping it in the rice floured oval basket.  Straight away, as the English would say, it went into the fridge for and overnight proof, sort of self a reflection of the way the world is …..depending on what is, is of course….and is never was most of the time.

Whatever is was, it wasn’t quite proofed, so we let it warm up a bit, about and hour, before starting the heat of the Underworld itself contained by the magic of General Electric - at 450 F in Lucy’s kitchen.Yes, the Combo Cooker was used this time instead of Mega Steam and we brushed the loaf with water before it went into the Gaping Maw of Big Ole Betsy II for 18 minutes of steam.

Once the lid came off, we baked it for another 12 minutes at 425 F convection to finish it off and get to 208 F on the inside.  It browned, blistered, bloomed and sprang nicely but we will have to wait on the crumb, just like always because we are creatures of habit around here.

OK, Lucy is just a plain creature …. so be it - we still have to wait for this loaf to cool and for Lucy to decide when she wants a piece to taste.  The crumb came out chock full of goodness.  It was fully proofed so there wasn't big bloom but it is soft and moist with tons of flavor.  All around this is a pretty good fig and nut bread with 50% whole grains - half of them sprouted.  You won't find one that tastes better or even one to buy for that matter - all the reason to make one yourself even better than this one.

She reminds us to always have a great salad with dinner


not.a.crumb.left's picture

Well, thought I give this one a go as I was visiting friends today and they so far have eaten a lot of Champlains!!

variation on breadtopia formula with changes as outlined below....ha, ha there is method to my madness or not.....

40% Kamut/Khorasan loaf with :

  • 300 g bread flour 

  • 200 g whole grain Kamut (

  • 360 g water 

  • 75 g leaven 

  • 10g salt (1.5 tsp)

  • 79% hydration without adding more water, 360g plus starter

I decided that 'my dough' would need a bit more water and added 

10g  water - when adding salt

10g - in bulk container so 83% hydration with leaven counted in.....

Leaven built from stiff starter, 1:2:2 , 30:60:60 at 7:30 and in proofer 76F and then put  at 11 AM room temp to slow down..

AL 12:15 – 78Dough temp with 360g warm water in proofer, dough temp 78F

13:30 Add 75g Leaven ONLY  to dough, 75F 1st Rubaud mix, 10 min rest, add salt 10g and 10g water and 2nd Rubaud mix

14: 00 Start Bulk , 10g water in bulk container dough temp75F

15:00 1 S&F dough temp76F

16:00 2 S&F 75F

17:00 3 S & F 77F - coiling 

17:30 Pre-Shape – using coiling like Trevor IG

and then briefly rounded using bench scraper

18:00 Final Shaping a la Trevor

 for proofier dough...and this worked really well but forgot to take photos as this stage....too pre-occupied!

straight into fridge which varies from 2C to 5C depending on it's mood

Bake straight out of fridge

6:15 following morning ....



Cedarmountain's picture

The basic ingredients for good bread - flour, salt, water, yeast - are simple yet can produce such a wonderful variety of breads with complex flavours, crumb textures, crusts.  Sometimes in my tinkering and experimenting I need to remind myself that bread made just with these basic ingredients can be really good bread!  So with that in mind, today's bake focused on the basics - good grain, salt, water and yeast. 

Cracked Grain Porridge Sourdough Bread

  • 250 g sifted mix of freshly ground organic rye, emmer and Marquis wheat (bran set aside for coating the loaves)
  • 750 g organic all purpose flour
  • 750 g filtered water (est.FDH 82% after addition of porridge)
  • 22 g sea salt
  • 225 g levain (4 hour)
  • 300 g mixed cracked grains (rye, emmer, khorasan, Marquis, hulless oats, flax) cooked into a porridge

The cracked grain porridge was gently mixed into the dough after the second of four stretch/folds. After four hours the loaves were pre-shaped, rested for thirty minutes and then shaped and cold proofed overnight for 10 hours. I baked the loaves directly out of the fridge; covered for 25 minutes at 500 F; 10 minutes at 450 F and then uncovered, directly on the baking stone for 20 minutes at 450 F.  





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