The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Anne-Marie B's picture
Anne-Marie B

Figs x 2. I blended 120g dried figs after soaking in hot water and added it to my dough. After kneading I folded in 250g of chopped figs and let it rise overnight. A teaspoon each of coriander and caraway seeds goes really well with the figs. A great tasting loaf.



Southbay's picture

Sometimes I get nerdy with theme breads when trying to come up with new ideas, and yesterday was the final NBA game for the local boys (Warriors). I tried to follow the theme to the end. 

We just got back from travel, so my two starters (San and Fran) came out of the fridge on Saturday evening after 2 weeks of hibernation. They got only one good feeding after warming up, doubled overnight, and were added to this bread Sunday morning. We were in Pennsylvania, which is near Cleveland and just returned to the Bay area like the Warriors.

I did an autolyse overnight with the basic dough mix: 1 cup water, 2/3 cup semolina flour, 1/3 cup AP flour, ~1.5 cup bread flour (until dough had good texture), 1 heavy tbsp corn flour, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast powder, 7 shakes of old bay seasoning. The semolina, corn flour, and nutritional yeast flour are for the golden color of the home team, extra protein for warriors, and an earthy taste. The corn flour fits the theme of warrior bread as I'm guessing local warrior native Americans would have had some corn. 7 shakes of old bay for game 7 in the Bay area.

For flavor and color, I added kalamata olives for purple. To help the bread rise to the occasion like the Warriors didn't do, I figured they'd need the the Curry 3-Point Hot Streak (Curry is their best player who lives/dies by 3-pointers), which contained curry powder, more nutritional yeast, more old bay, horseradish, and 3 shakes each of 3 kinds of hot sauce (Franks, Tabasco, Sriracha). It created a golden, strong-smelling mixture that I let sit overnight in the fridge and added during the stretch and folds so it would produce a literal hot streak throughout the bread.

Starter, olives, 1 tsp salt, and hot streak were incorporated Sunday morning. I fidgeted a little with adding more flour to help with the wet starter and olives, then spraying more water as I thought the dough wasn't wet enough. That extra handling made me anticipate a tight crumb, with possible cake-like aspects from the semolina and corn flour. I baked in my preheated combo dutch oven for 20 mins at 450 and 20 mins at 350 using kosher salt on the bottom as is my habit.

For hole fans, the bread ended up with an irregular crumb as a result of the olives and hot streak interrupting the internal structure. It had a nice soft chew and was earthy and spicy and delicious warm with butter. My wife did say it had a bit of cake-like texture while it was still hot.

Forgive the erratic placement/sizing of photos as I'm working on that particular skill. The bread achieved the gold and purple I was going for and was a nice bake on Father's Day to go with and stand up to some hot wings and oysters as well as plenty of liquid bread refreshment.

breadforfun's picture

Even after nearly 7 years of making sourdough breads, I can still be surprised.

One of the frustrating aspects to me about bread making is the difficulty in achieving consistency from bake to bake. Of course, for most of my career I was a process engineer in the semiconductor industry, where repeatibility in process is essential, a fairly high bar.  Breadmaking is more of an art for me, in part because we are working with biological systems where the chemistry behind the process is much more complicated, and in part because we just can’t control the entire process in our homes.

I baked some of my “standard” sourdough the other day. When I say standard, it is really a riff on something I have made before, but with a twist (yes, I know changing things doesn’t help the consistency thing, but…). David’s (dmsnyder) San Joaquin Sourdough is just a fantastic bread as it is. I use it as a baseline to experiment with alternate flours. I often substitute spelt for about 20% of the total flour, but I had some khorasan wheat (Kamut®) that I needed to use up for this bake instead.

I made a 3kg batch of dough, and divided it into 2x900g and 2x600g. The larger loaves were put into lined oblong baskets while the smaller loaves were placed into floured round brotforms.  All were put into separate plastic bags and retarded overnight in the refrigerator and baked the next morning.

All the loaves had nice oven spring and looked pretty much like my other bakes. Now, here’s the surprise: The large loaves had huge blisters, and an overall shine to the crust, while the smaller loaves did not. OK, maybe the lack of shine on the small loaves was masked by the flour coating the brotforms, but why the lack of large blisters?

It was such an unusual and unexpected result, I had to see if I could repeat it.  I even used exactly the same formula, and the result was indeed the same.  Why? It seems to do with the linen liner that may wick away moisture from the top surface. This is consistent with you bakers out there that use a couche for proofing. But doesn't the flour also wick moisture away? If anyone has an explanation, I'd love to hear it.

Just for completeness, here are some crumb shots.


And a shot from the second bake.

The breads tasted fantastic.  The khorasan wheat adds a very distinct nutty and rich flavor to the breads. Regardless of the baskets used, the crust was crispy and chewy and the crumb was moist and quite fragrant. No doubt I'll be using the khorasan flour more frequently.


PalwithnoovenP's picture

Today is Father's Day so I prepared meals for my dad. Normally, one will make some burgers for dad or prepare a carnivore feast but you know us, we love sweets and dad do not like to eat much meat anymore so I prepared some sweet and rich treats for him.

I made some fried pies. We really love fried pies especially peach and mango but I prepared a special one this time.

The dough is spiral pastry because I'm running low on butter and I still need a pretty large amount for all other things I'm going to make including the filling for this pie. Crimping the edges is my favorite part of pie making. I think I'm pretty good at it.

These are fried coconut cream pies and these are no ordinary pies. We love coconut sweets so when we harvested some young coconuts I thought of using it in a special dessert. Instead of packaged sweetened flaked coconut, young coconut called buko with soft thin delicate sweet meat is used here and it is what makes these pies special.

The filling is a milk based custard made more special by pandan extract from fresh pandan leaves. Buko pandan is a classic flavor combo in the Philippines; if you don't like it, just use vanilla but please use buko, it;s much better than packaged coconut with superb texture and flavor.

The pastry is flaky, golden, and crispy! It almost doubled and blistered after frying in hot oil. Its slightly salty flavor goes very very well with the sweet and rich custard filling.

Here it is bitten to reveal the filling and all those succulent young coconut strips! Enjoy!


I served the pies in the morning and for lunch, I cooked some pancit. Again! This one has chorizo, braised pork leg and mushrooms, shirmp, and veggies! Very delicious and perfect for lunch.


For the afternoon snack, I made doughnuts. Though made with commercial yeast, the overnight fermentation and quite a bit of butter makes it really flavorful. In the hotel where I had my practicum, doughnuts that were oval were considered "rejects" because of mishandling and unfit for sale and display but I see beauty in them so I purposely made my doughnuts oval. I plan this to be a my signature shape if I will ever open a doughnut shop, so don't steal it! :P I fried them right this time and learnt that a low flame is the secret for a perfect doughnut especially for filled doughnuts where no hole is punched in the center. The inside is done and the outside is golden brown and crispy.

Coffee and doughnuts go so well together and dad also love coffee so I rolled them into one dessert, coffee doughnuts! In the hotel I tasted a fantastic coffee doughnut filled with coffee whipped cream and glazed with a caramel glazed and decorated with pastry cream. It was so delicious but it costs $2.00 for a piece! I want to make something similar  and delicious. For just over $3.00 I made 4 with an extra little one from the scrap dough pieces. The filling is a coffee custard made with instant coffee powder; if I want to be fancy, I will use my own blend of coffee beans, roast them to my preference and infuse my milk with it. Still with it's simplicity, it was better than the hotel's not because of the taste (it's on par) but because of the fresh ingredients; no doughnut pre-mixes, no powdered pastry cream that just needs to be mixed with milk and no powdered glazes!

It goes great with hot chocolate. It was rainy and windy this afternoon and it's really comforting, I chose a simple dusting of icing sugar rather than a glaze since the filling is already sweet. Still, in my case it is a cold chocolate drink made from raw cocoa liquor that is pressed and dried into cakes.


The crust is crispy and light that only a real doughnut can have. Some may argue but in my opinion, baked doughnuts can be good but they can NEVER match a fried doughnut!

This is a "knife and fork" doughnut so I filled them generously with the custard. If you want to eat them on the go, fill them less. The crumb is ethereal! It so soft and fluffy and light and feathery! I think it's because of the kneading, I also think that I have improved in my kneading skills; before I spend more than an hour but now it takes just under 25 minutes for the dough to pass the windowpane. This is the first bread that I sliced using my serrated knife that my dad gave me on my birthday, without it I would be in trouble. It's like magic, it effortlessly sliced the very delicate doughnut without me applying any force, just slicing back and forth like playing a violin. Thank you and Happy Father's day daddy!

Crumb: sliced and bitten!

Thank God for this wonderful day!

Happy Father's Day to my dad and to all fathers out there!

Maligayang Araw ng mga Ama!



isand66's picture

 It finally feels like summer here on Long Island, so that means it's time to fire up the Barbecue and throw on some hamburgers and hot dogs.  I whipped up a version of a yeasted bun I've made many times and changed it over to use a SD starter and made a few other flour swaps as well.

These ended up great and were nice and tasty and soft but not too soft to hold up to a grilled burger and hot dog.




Cream Cheese Sourdough Hamburger-Hot Dog Rolls (%)

Cream Cheese Sourdough Hamburger-Hot Dog Rolls (weights)


Download the BreadStorm formula here.



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 usually do this the night before.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours and 350 grams of the water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes.  After 30 minutes or so  add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), cream cheese and softened butter and mix on low for 6 minutes.    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.

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 into rolls around 125 -130 grams each.  Cover the rolls with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap Sprayed with cooking spray and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 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, apply an egg wash if desired and sprinkle on your toppings.  Next add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 425 degrees.  Bake for 25 minutes or until the rolls are nice and brown.  

Take the rolls out of the oven when done and let them cool on a bakers rack if you can resist, or slather on some butter and nobody will know!


Here are some more photos from my garden for those of you who are interested.










trailrunner's picture

then you make your crust and top it and bake and eat...pretty simple...when you have all the right "stuff". I am so lucky that I have my Mom and Grandmom's iron skillets...nothing cooks like old iron. This one is 12" across the top and 3" deep. It is paper thin in the middle...Momma called it her chicken fryer. Her Mom used to put bread to soak on a back burner with warm milk and butter and sugar. This was during the depression . That was supper when Momma got home from working at the telephone company as an operator in Toledo OH. 

trailrunner's picture

Ian's post on Durum Rye SD got me going and I had a great time with my version. I used whey for all of the liquid. We make yogurt and had a batch not set  up so I had a qt of whey frozen. My starter is a rye so went with that. I followed all the other particulars except timing. I always retard shaped loaves and let them rise for 1 -2 hrs before I place them in the fridge and then bake directly from the fridge in 500 degree pots. Worked like a charm. These loaves are SO fragrant and the crumb is delightfully tender. Definitely a loaf I will bake again and use just water as I likely won't have a whey to do it this whey again :) Thank you Ian. 

dabrownman's picture

It wasn’t long ago that Yippee sent me an Oriental Pullman Pan.  I immediately put it to good use making a fine rye bread here 100% WG Rye & Wheat Sprouted YW/SD w/ Walnuts, Prunes, Cranberries & Sunflower that Michael Wilson liked.  Michael got to taste it when he visited LA a couple of weeks ago.  It is nice to have a fellow Fresh Lofian get to try some your bread -  especially one like that one.

This bread is similar to Lucy’s previous attempt but has less rye and no red malt or cranberries, but does have fresh mangos in place of some of the prunes. rehydrated onions and aromatic seeds.  We used potato water for the liquid in place of the Black Butte Porter, cut the BMS in half but put some molasses in its place and added some espresso powder to the cocoa to make up for the loss of color due to the omitted porter and red malt.

You can see everything in the mix  except the espresso, cocoa, walnuts and sunflower seeds.

We made a few changes to the process as well.  Instead of making separate YW and SD Bran levains we made a SD bran levain and used YW for the liquid for it.  The levain was 13% preferment flour instead of the previous 19% and instead of 21 hour retarded we went with a 1 ½ hour one while I was at out an about.

The last thing to go in was the sunflower seeds.

We had planned on making a square loaf using the lid of the Pullman but, while out and about, it rose over the rim in the fridge so, after docking with a toothpick. I mounded it up with a wet spatula into a domed top.  We baked it at 450 F for 15 minutes with steam and the turned the oven down to 425 F for another 15 minutes of steam then turned the oven down to 350 F for another half hour of baking;

Then the bread came out of the pan to brown and dry the sides for 5 more minutes of baking till it hit 205 F on the inside.  The 100% hydration levin was made with the bran sifted from the whole rye and wheat and some of the high extraction remainder.  It was a one stage affair but was stirred at the 4 and 8 hour mark.  We retarded the levain for 10 hours overnight after it doubled after the 2nd stirring.

Since 40% of the flour was whole and sprouted wheat, we did do some slap and folds and stretch and folds to get the gluten there was a bit developed and the massive add ins incorporated but it was still a sticky and sloppy mess at 85% hydration overall.  We messed with it 6 times a at 20 minute intervals until we dumped it in the pan for final rising.

It didn’t spring much in the oven but it didn’t collapse either – always a good sign with rye breads.  We have hopes the YW worked its crumb magic to open it up even with all the add ins.  It smelled terrific as it baked the other benefit of using dried onions an aromatic seeds in your rye bread mix.

Cousin Jay is coming over for Father’s Day Sunday brunch so that will be the perfect time to slic it and see what it looks and tastes like.

The bread sliced easily in 1/4" slices.  The crumb was open, soft and moist.  The taste was outstanding.  Nutty, seedy and earthy with a hint of sweetness every now and again and a fine aroma  The YW kept the sour at bay.  A very nice bread all in all - just plain delicious.  Wonderful toasted with cream cheese.  This bread could make you give up bagels.


 Single stage whole grain rye and wheat 20% extraction bran levain – 13% pre-fermented flour, 13% YW- 100% hydration total

30 % Whole rye, 10% whole red wheat, 10% whole white wheat, 30 % sprouted rye, 10% sprouted red wheat, 10% sprouted white wheat

72% Potato water – 85% hydration total with the YW in the levain

22% each, walnuts and sunflower seeds

15% fresh Mango, 7% prunes

2% each; Barley malt syrup, molasses, instant espresso coffee, cocoa, rehydrated dried onion, aromatic seeds (caraway and coriander)

Have get a salad in there somewhere with that grilled Shrimp Kabob Dinner



STUinlouisa's picture

This is a version of classic burger buns leavened using YW. The dough was enriched with just about everything I could think of,  DMS, butter, eggs and honey, that would make the buns soft and fluffy. There is about 40% whole grain component with a combo of Kamut, Spelt, Red Fife and white wheat. The rest is AP. The dough moved very quickly, almost as fast as commercial yeast probably due to warm kitchen temps but maybe due in part to switching the YW food over to peaches which seems to make the wee beasties very happy. The buns were baked in a convection oven at 325F and even with turning and switching levels only took about 17 min. They were brushed with coconut oil while still hot to soften the crust for that classic burger feel.  The result was very tasty. One comment was that the buns were good but filled you up faster than store-bought and they could only eat one. I replied that that was my goal.


Heikjo's picture

I've been directed to dabrownman's (which I've read as dabrownwoman until now...oh well) No Muss No Fuss Starter on multiple occasions, so I decided to give it a go.

I use wheat and spelt starters, so I stuck with those. The writeup by Dab is very good, but I like to compromise the main points in my own words when following a recipe. I went with the 101 g total.

66% hydration starter, make at 26-29º C (80-84 F)

  1. Mix 8 g starter, 8 g flour, 8 g water
  2. Let it double for 4 hours
  3. Add 16 g flour, 16 g water
  4. Let it double for 4 hours
    1. If it doesn’t double after 4 hours, toss second feeding in weight and redo
  5. Add 32 g flour, 13 g water
  6. Let it rise 25%, then put in fridge

The mothers I'm taking a wee bit starter from. Both are healthy and got a feeding the day before.

Left: Organic wholemeal spelt. Right: White wheat.

Here is after the first mix:

They both at least doubled, so I proceeded with stage two:

Second stage also looked good, so I started the third.

I think they increased more than 25%. The container shape makes it a bit more difficult to see and since they bump up in the middle, but I hope they still work. The spelt one went faster, so I put it in the fridge first. After this I put them in the fridge and that's where they are now. The temperature here dropped today, so it's a good thing I did this yesterday.

The next step is trying to make a loaf in this summer heat with building a levain and fridge retard. I need to look up the recipes here.

Final result:

I look forward to trying them out over the following weeks! Big thanks to Dabrownman for posting this.


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