The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Cari Amici,

questa volta non c'è un Pane, un Panino o il dolce delle Feste, c'è soltanto il desiderio di augurarvi delle serene e gioiose giornate di festa, perchè possiate passare un Buon Natale ed una fine dell'anno strepitosa.

Ci tenevo moltissimo a ringraziarvi per la gentile ospitalità che mi avete riservato al mio arrivo in questo straordinario spazio virtuale, per me fonte di grande apprendimento grazie al lavoro di tutti voi.

A presto ed ancora tanti Auguri a tutti!!!!


PY's picture

Goji berry style. Let's hope it works. This is Day 1

kenlklaser's picture

Sort of straight dough, but with 4% over-fermented sponge which I make up ahead of time and keep in the freezer, so I guess it's really sponge and dough.

This post has been edited, dabrownman in the comments below made me realize something was wrong in the formula presentation.  My apologies for any confusion that the flawed formula may have caused.  As a result of this edit, some comments may now be out of context.


 total  final  sponge 
 formula  dough    
 %g %g %g
Baker's Flour, 11.8% protein4%30    100%30
Pastry Flour, 9% protein96%720 100%720   
malt, low diastatic2%15 2.08%15   
Instant dry yeast0.775%5.81 0.775%5.58 0.775%0.232
cool water55%412.5 49.79%358.5 180%54
 ~~~hydration rest~~~        
cool water15%112.5 15.63%112.5   
salt2%15 2.08%15   

Sponge instructions are located in a comment of mine below dabrownmans.

Final dough: Mix pastry flour, AB mauri low-diastatic malt, instant dry yeast. Add water, mix briefly until just combined and let rest for 20 minutes.  After the time has elapsed, mix again.

Add salt, sponge, and water, and mix well until gluten is well developed. Warning: Increasing the hydration after autolyze makes for difficult mixing.

Let it bulk ferment to double.  I then refrigerated it overnight (not planned, but unexpected circumstances demanded it), punched it down once. In the morning, weighed, divided into 3 equal weight portions, let it warm a little, shaped, and let it proof to 1.5 gas:dough ratio, scored, and baked in a dry oven at 450°F for 20 minutes.

Not real happy with the crust, not as crispy as I'd like, but this flour seemed the secret of a bread I'd been trying to duplicate for years. It has a nice soft, melt in your mouth crumb, like a restaurant from the 1980s in Bird Rock (San Diego) used to have in their baguettes, The French Pastry Shop.

Update: reheated the batards this evening in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, and the crust was divine, nice and crispy without being tough. 

breadsong's picture

Hello and happy holidays, everyone!

The Bread Baker’s Guild of America ( offered a course, Italian Holiday Baking, in September 2013. I was delighted to attend, the class was outstanding, and it was taught by Chef Biagio Settepani of Pasticceria Bruno in New York.

Chef Settepani  took us through a wide range beautiful, colorful, and delicious Italian celebratory breads and pastries, in the weekend class. This Pandolce Genovese is one of the holiday treats we made. It is full of fruit and flavor (orange, lemon, almond, anise, raisin), fairly quick to make, and very nice for gift-giving! :^) 


I made this last year with some homemade candied citron in place of candied lemon peel. (Buddha’s hand citron, before and after candying – I hope to find these again at the market sometime- the flavor was incredible!) 


This year’s version was made with store-bought citron (greener in color), and lightly toasted slivered almonds in place of the pine nuts.


I googled Pandolce Genovese to see if a recipe was available online; and found a version of Chef Settepani’s recipe published here
This recipe notes to soak the raisins in Marsala. We did that in class for one of the breads we made and the raisins were so delicious! I will plan ahead and give the raisins the special treatment the next time I make this Pandolce :^)
The table below is based the online recipe (vanilla intentionally not included).

In the photo below, I divided into 7 pieces as I mixed a larger batch.

 ... just mixed, and loaded with dried fruit!





6 Pandolce Genovese are destined for gifts, and 1 was sampled for ‘quality control’ :^)

                                  ...crumbly, enjoyed when still warm from the oven…!

Buon natale, buon cottura, e buon appetito!
:^) breadsong

golgi70's picture

SJSD is a wonderful loaf of mildly acidic sourdough with a most excellent crust and a lovely open crumb from a long cold bulk ferment and minimal handling.  It also works very well for me since I'm limited on space in the fridge.  I can reduce the 24-36 hours in a cold fridge and leave at a slightly warmer temp outside overnight.  Right now that is in the high 40's low 50's.  As winter pushes along it will be colder and I simply just mix it earlier in the evening to give it extra time.  When it's warmer in the evenings during summer I mix it a bit later and once I have some room in the fridge in the AM I move it in the tail end of it's bulk. 

I found out Friday that a friend was doing a crab boil for her birthday and decided to make some bread to go with it.  I had to work with my extra starter for my Levain.  I used the same amount of PF as per usual but a bit more than half was stiff wheat and the remainder my rye sour.  Then i got lazy and didn't want to take out the mill for such a small amount of Wheat so I adjusted.  I cut the WW altogether (minus what's in the starter) and decreased some white flour to add 20% overall Central Milling T85.  

The rest went as per usual.  

1 hour autolyse without the cultures.  

Mix in cultures followed by salt to a very soft and undeveloped dough.  

Bulk 1 hour at room temp with 3 folds @ 20,40, and 60 minutes.  

Then outside to the cool evening air for 12 hours.  

Divide, preshape, rest 1 hour.  Shape to lightly floured couche.  

Proof about 50 mintues.  

Baked 500 with steam for 17 minutes and vented for 25-30 minutes longer.  


This might be my best rendition yet.  

Cheers and Happy Healthy Holiday's to All



emkay's picture

Even though I haven't been blogging, I have been baking quite a bit. Other than my weekly loaves, lately it's been mostly non-bread. Like these spicy ginger molasses cookies. The cookies contained grated fresh ginger and dried ground ginger. Other spices in the cookies were green cardamon, black pepper, cloves and cinnamon.  Super spicy and gingery. Not for the faint of heart.


I had some extra egg whites and was too lazy to make macarons, so I baked meringue clouds. These are not the crunchy meringue cookies that are baked low and slow for a long time to dry them out. These were baked at 325F for about 20 minutes. They were light as air and almost collapsed in my hand as I picked them up. The insides were still soft and barely held in all the toasted hazelnuts and bits of chopped chocolate.



These pecan cookies are adapted from a King ArthurFlour recipe. I doubled the amount of pecans and I used toffee bits instead butterscotch chips. Even though I chilled the cookie dough for 24 hours, the toffee bits made the cookies spread out. I was afraid the cookies would be fragile due to the thinness, but they held together nicely. The coating was granulated sugar with fleur de sel. I loved the sweet and salty.


My super duper low maintenance starter has been in the refrigerator unfed for 17 weeks now and it still looks almost as good as new. There's a teeny bit of gray hooch but no mold or dark spots.I just take about 6-8 grams from the jar every week and build it up as necessary for baking. For an excellent reference on this no muss no fuss starter maintenance, please read dabrownman's primer at 

One of my weekly loaves is David's San Joaquin sourdough.


I haven't made focaccia in a while so I made some last week instead of my weekly levain. I used Nancy Silverton's focaccia recipe as published in the LA Times, but I increased the rye flour and added some whole wheat flour too. I didn't add toppings to my focaccia this time since I wanted the flexibility of a plain focaccia. I just used a generous sprinkling of Maldon sea salt. I followed the method outlined in the the LA Times article, but I used two 9x2-inch round cake pans because I like my focaccia taller. The original recipe calls for two 10-inch round pans. In the parentheses below I listed the baker's percentages that I used. Overall hydration was 78%.


Focaccia (adapted from Nancy Silverton's focaccia in the LA Times)


  • 88 g AP flour (100%)
  • 110 g water (125%)
  • scant 1/16 teaspoon instant dry yeast (SAF red)


  • All of the sponge
  • 400 g AP flour (80%)
  • 50 g whole rye flour (10%)
  • 50 g whole wheat flour (10%)
  • 350 g water (70%)
  • 12 g olive oil (2.4%)
  • 12 g salt (2.4%)
  • 4 g instant dry yeast (0.8%)
  • More olive oil for brushing
  • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling


As usual with this recipe, it was absolutely delicious. I'm sure the fact that the dough pretty much bakes in a pool of olive oil didn't hurt the cause either. The crumb wasn't as open as some batches of focaccia I've made in the past, but like some people say "You can't eat the holes".

Happy Holidays!

:) Mary

nmygarden's picture

...into the holidays. A practice pie (okay, so I wanted pie) apple-pear with brandy-soaked raisins and cranberries. The vent hole began as a heart shape and the top crust was a bit thin at the edges, so juices leaked through. But the crust is flaky and crisp - 25%WW, and the fruit held its shape and is quite flavorful, so no complaints.

To all of you who read and contribute to this site, thank you for helping us all take our interests and knowledge to a higher level.

Happy Holidays!


isand66's picture

    Holy Sprouted Wheat Batman!  There is something about sprouted wheat that adds a softness and creaminess to the crumb that is hard to describe unless you try it for yourself.


The last bake that I used sprouted whole wheat flour in came out great but I only used around 30% sprouted flour.  This time I upped the ante and used 50% sprouted flour and it worked great.  Of course I had to add some onions, cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese to bring these bad boys over the top.

I hope you give this recipe a try if you can get your hands on some sprouted whole wheat flour, or better yet do what I did and sprout and grind it yourself.


Sprouted Wheat Cottage Cheese Onion Rolls (%)

Sprouted Wheat Cottage Cheese Onion Rolls (weights)

Here is the link to download the BreadStorm .Bun file.


Mix the dehydrated onions with the water and let it sit for about 10 minutes to soften up.

Mix flours with the yeast to combine.  Next add remainder of the ingredients except the Parmesan cheese and mix on low for 6 minutes.
Now you can add the shredded Parmesan cheese and mix for about 1 minute to make sure it is thoroughly incorporated into the dough.

Take the dough out of your mixer and form it into a ball and place in a well oiled bowl or dough rising bucket and immediately place it in the refrigerator overnight.

On baking day, take the dough out of your refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for around twenty minutes to get the chill off.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape into rolls as desired and place on a baking sheet.  Cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with vegetable spray and let proof at room temperature for around 1 hour until the rolls start to get puffy and when poked with your finger the indent springs back slowly.

Around 30 minutes before ready to bake the rolls, pre-heat your oven to 525 degrees and prepare your oven for steam as well.  I use a heavy-duty pan in the bottom shelf of my oven and pour 1 cup of boiling water in right before placing the rolls in the oven.

Right before you are ready to bake the rolls apply an egg wash and sprinkle shredded Parmesan on top of each roll.

Bake the rolls at 450 degrees for the first 5 minutes and lower the oven to 425 degrees until they are nice and brown.

These should take about 25 minutes to cook thoroughly.  When done  let them cool on wire rack for at least half an hour before digging in if you can wait that long.




PY's picture

used bread flour, heritage whole wheat and rye for this loaf.

started with a pre ferment about 16 hours

G 35g 100% starter (mine is rye)

35g water

35g bread flour


final dough

310g bread flour

100g heritage whole wheat

100g dark rye

12g sea salt

1 tsp toasted and ground cumin and coriander seeds


autolyse at least 1 hour

bulk fermentation 2 hours with stretch and fold at intervals of 30 mins

preshape and bench 10min

final shaping and proof in banneton for 45 min to 1 hour

bake with steam

leslieruf's picture

was to have a go at a basic sourdough using formula I read on TFL - 1 part starter, 2 parts water, 3 parts flour with 2% salt.  I wanted a basic white loaf I could slice and freeze.  Made the liquid levain from my firm starter last night and used almost all of it to get 1 loaf and a boule.  This was the wettest dough I have ever tried so I did lots of stretch and folds over the early part of bulk fermentation time then left it much longer to ferment on the kitchen bench at about 25oC.   Am happy with results  as I had wondered how it would ever hold its shape.  






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