The Fresh Loaf

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ohc5e's picture

Uncooked Focaccia Dough with garlic, rosemary toppingUncooked Focaccia Dough with garlic, rosemary topping 

Baked, Whole FocacciaBaked, Whole Focaccia 

Leaning Tower of Focaccia...check out the crumbLeaning Tower of Focaccia...check out the crumb

So I posted a few days back about good recipes for focaccia.  Thank you all for your suggestions.  I did a little research and developed a hybrid formula of my own.  I baked it for the first time tonight and I am very happy with the results.  It came out with a very crispy, browned crust and a chewy, open crumb.  It was delicious and just what I was looking for...

The recipe is below...

500 g of KA bread flour

150 g refreshed, starter (100% hydration, also KA bread flour)

4 g of SAF instant yeast

11 g of sea salt

25 g of olive oil

15 g of rendered, liquid pork fat (40 g of olive oil is probably okay)  * I used guanciale (a cured Italian cut of pork) that added great flavor to the bread.  I sauteed it on low heat and discarded the solids, reserving the liquid fat

345 g of water


Mix all ingredients in bowl of the mixer, except for the salt, until it forms a loose dough.  Mix on a slow speed for 5 minutes.  Add the salt and mix on medium high speed (8 on my viking mixer) for 8-10 minutes until it clears the bottom of the bowl and passes the windowpane test.  

Let it rise in an oiled container for 2 hours of bulk fermentation, turning and folding it every 45 minutes, a total of three times.  Gently turn out the dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet and gently stretch it out about half way to the edges. Let the dough rest for a half an hour covered with plastic wrap.  Stretch the dough again to the edges.  I used an almost pizza-like technique lifting the dough up and letting the weight of the dough stretch it out.  Try not to force the dough or degass it very much. Let it rest for another thirty minutes covered.  If you need to stretch it out a few more inches do it now before you top it.


I took two large cloves of chopped garlic, a tablespoon of sea salt and 2 tbsps of chopped rosemary and ground it up to a paste in a mortar and pestle.  Mix two tbsps of water and two tbsps of olive oil with the garlic-rosemary mixture.  Brush on top of the dimpled surface of the dough.


Bake for 25 minutes in a pre-heated, 450 degree oven.  Let it cool on a rack for 20-30 minutes and cut into desired shape...ENJOY! 

susanfnp's picture

I made these sesame-semolina flatbreads for this month's breadbakingday (theme: flatbreads). They are unleavened, extremely fast and easy. I was able to roll them very thin by using a pasta roller, the first time I used it for anything but pasta, and it worked very well. I will definitely use it again. Recipe here.

Sesame-semolina flatbreads


Darkstar's picture

I have to start off by saying that this was a very rewarding learning experience and I hope to be able to articulate some of what I learned by making this miche.

So I had a weak moment on Amazon a few weeks back and ordered Reinhart's BBA and Whole Grains books as I've been wanting them for two Christmas' and a birthday but my wife and family never seemed to get the blatant hints. I read BBA first as here at The Fresh Loaf it is considered gospel. I found it to be a well put together, well thought out, easy to read book. Peter Reinhart's teaching style comes through very well and he made concepts like bakers percentages make sense to me after I'd read and had time to digest them.

Day 1: I started out three days ago by making a hardball pre-ferment with KA Whole Wheat flour sifted through a fine mesh strainer, sourdough starter, and a little filtered water. The hardball sat covered in a lightly oiled bowl for 4-5 hours at room temperature before I put it in the refrigerator to retard for the night.

Day 2: The next afternoon I mixed up the main dough by warming my hardball, sifting TWO POUNDS of KA Whole Wheat flour, incorporating that with the hardball and some water and salt. I mixed the dough and kneaded this behemoth for 10-15 minutes the stashed it in a large covered bowl to let it rest and rise. The dough was left covered at room temperature for around 5 hours during which it doubled in size nicely. Back to the refrigerator for the dough to retard overnight.

Lesson number one was learned here. I had never tried to hand-knead that much dough. Frankly I'm a slave to my KitchenAid but this was just too much dough for it to handle. I used a technique I learned from this site. Once I found it difficult to knead anymore I let the dough rest covered for five minutes. After it rested it was very pliable and able to be kneaded again.

Day 3: I hurried home from work to warm the dough enough so I could shape and bake it. I shaped the miche (large ball/boule) and let it rise on a bed of corn meal on my counter. Once it rose sufficiently I slashed it then used my SuperPeel to scoop it up off the counter and deposit it in my preheated, 500 degree oven on my baking stone. Two temperature changes, one 180 degree rotation and 70 minutes later I removed my first miche from the oven. Internal temp reached 208 degrees F and it thumped nice and hollow.

Lesson number two was that the SuperPeel did a good job picking up this large ball however it stretched it lengthwise a bit more than I'd have liked it to. It may be that I'm just new to the way it works and once I develop better technique I'll not have the same issue. Not a horrible thing but I think I'll stick to parchment and a regular peel for freeform loaves and leave the SuperPeel for pizzas.

This morning I could hardly wait to slice into it and examine the crumb and taste the bread. I thumped it again and it had resonance like a drum. I cut the loaf in half and inhaled deeply. I'd love to hear from others about this but it had the aroma of unsweetened cocoa powder! Two friends that received 1/4 of the loaf both smelled it too. It didn't taste like cocoa and I guarantee there was none in there. It was very strange indeed. While I'm sure this doesn't rival anything coming out of the Poilâne bakery in France it is my most successful whole wheat loaf to date, not to mention the largest. The crumb was tight but not dense, and creamy in consistency. The crust was thick and crisp and wonderful. I'm not sure I'd make this as a miche again but I can see myself making a 2 or 3 boule run of this bread. It was a lot of work to be sure but it was worth it.

Now, here come the pictures.

Miche on peel

4 lbs 6 ounces

Cut in half



dmsnyder's picture

Nury's Light Rye

Nury's Light Rye

Nury's Light Rye - Crumb

Nury's Light Rye - Crumb

My first attempt at this bread resulted in a delicious-tasting loaf, but it did not have the open crumb that I expected. This was my second attempt. There has been much discussion of the difference the flours used might be making in the crumb.

This time my dough consisted of:

Water - 400 gms

Guisto's high gluten flour - 100 gms

KA Bread flour - 350 gms

KA White Rye - 50 gms

Levain - 45 gms

Salt - 10 gms

I kneaded about 16 minutes in a KitchenAide at Speed 3-4 to achieve windowpaning. I folded twice. The dough doubled in 3 more hours and rose a bit further while retarding for 24 hours. I warmed it 2.5 hours and baked it with steam at 450F for 5 minutes then at 425F with convection for another 25 minutes. I left it in the turned off oven with the door cracked for another 5 minutes.

As you can see, I achieved the more open crumb I wanted. However, the white rye resulted in a less sour and less tasty bread. It is merely delicious, but not as delicious as the one I made with whole rye flour. This small percentage of the total flour sure makes a difference.

I'm not that convinced the diffent flours used accounts for the differnce in the crumb, at least not all the difference. I also handled the dough much more gently in dumping it on the counter, patting in out and placing the cut "loaves."

I must have more data!

Fortunately, this is an easy and fun bread to make, so, until next time ...


bshuval's picture

I baked the Pain De Camapgne from Daniel Leader's amazing book, Local Breads. I added walnuts and raisins to it. It came out delicious. Here's yet another recommendation for this book.

Anyhow, here are some pics:

Raisin Walnut Sourdough BreadRaisin Walnut Sourdough Bread


For some reason I cannot upload a picture of the crumb. A picture, and more info, in my blog:

Thegreenbaker's picture

I have had fun the last two days :)

I like not having to make mess or worry about kneading for 10 mins. Thats KAM's job :)



I made some oat bread and a lovely fruit loaf


A crumb shot.


The recipe for the fruit loaf is over at my new food blog but it is explained in simpler terms or more detailed depends on who you are. I mixed it in my mixer for 4 mins....gave my mixer a rest as the instructions said "mix bread for 2 mins then another 2 mins and it should be ready" I say they are wrong and so mix for a couple of mins and give it a rest. I wanted to have good gluten development, and it surely did that :) The crumb is so soft :)


JMonkey's picture

Sourdough chocolate cherry bread has become a Valentine's Day tradition around our house. This time around, I reduced the chocolate a bit to make it a bit more manageable to toast (molten chocolate all over the toaster oven is a real pain in the neck) and used some of Carl's 1847 Oregon Trail Starter that Leemid was nice enough to pass along at the Oregon Fresh Loafers' Meet-up back in September.

Awfully tasty stuff.

For the President's Day weekend, I did a bit of baking, but was most satisfied with the whole grain sourdough hearth bread that I set up Monday night and baked this morning, which went very well with some chicken soup and a salad this evening. This time around, however, I forgot about folding the dough and so, just before I went to sleep, I remembered that I'd not done a thing with the bread, beyond hydrating it. Out of necessity, I jumped out of the sheets and did the "French Fold." It turned out very well indeed, flavor-wise, at least.


Not that anyone cares about that, of course, but this is a bread forum, after all. Anyway, on Monday, I had the day off while my poor academic wife had to teach class. My daughter was taken care of at her school, so I had ... gasp ... a day to myself!

From my house ... well, actually, from down the street, you can see Dimple Hill towering over the valley, a bald hill that stands just five feet shy of 1,500 feet tall. It's probably not a mile from my house as the crow files, but if you have to hoof it like most mortals, it's nearly a 4 mile hike. And it's lovely. Until today, we had 5 or 6 straight days of clear skies and brilliant sun, which soaked all the way down to my bones. On Monday, I was itching to hit the trail.

I walked through the Timberhill Open Space, into Chip Ross Park, and then took Dan's Trail to the top. It's a lovely walk through meadows, old orchards and managed forest. It's not old growth by any stretch as it's smack in the middle of the Oregon State McDonald Research Forest, but it does pass by at least one old growth stand.

The scenery is nice.

But the view from the top is a real treat. Here's a view to the east of the snow-capped Cascades and the Three Sisters. Snow pack in the Cascades is about 190% of normal, so the sisters are all decked out in wedding attire.

To the West a view of Marys Peak, which, at 4,097 feet, is the tallest mountain in the Oregon Coast Range.

And right before me, Corvallis' little corner of the southern Willamette Valley.

The rain does get to me a bit when it goes on, uninterrupted, for weeks on end. But it sure is fun discovering what a beautiful part of the country I now live in.

Thegreenbaker's picture

I am having an affair. I cannot stop thinking aboput him and the possibilities! Oh the possibilities! 

His name is Kam
Thats right. Kam.  My Kitchenaid Artisan Mixer!
*sighs happily*

I made bread, rolls and cinnamon rolls yesterday with little to no mess.
My kitchen after making all that, would normally be coated in cement like dough and flour with bowls everywhere.
(I knead on the benches which takes ages to clean/disinfect with natural stuff before hand and clean the dough off afterwards)

I have no pictures, but I am making some oat bread today as well as looking at making some breakfast rolls.
I was naughty and ate half a cinnamon roll for breakfast - I ate two last night!(they are small anyway, but I hate eating sweet stuff for breakfast....lets just kick out pancreas into shock for the day shall we?) I just have no will power when it comes to cinnamon rolls. :)
SO while eating it and feeling guilty, it dawned on me that I should make a healthy alternative. I had a vision of oat loaf dough dotted with presoaked currants and apricots all soft and gooey, Medjool date pieces also soft and succulent, grated apple to sweeten and perhaps cinnamon or mixed spice or even cardamon. Then filled with St Dalfour Apricot Jam and rolled up. I may even add some ground nuts to it somewhere (should avoid latge nut pieces for Ellas sake)

That to me sounds like a delicious, healthy alternatative to uber sweet and decadent cinnamon rolls!

Then I also am thinking of an oat bread dough, made into plain swirl rolls with different fillings such as St Dalfour Jams, stewed fruit, date puree, a fruit and nut mixture.  I suppose I should just experiment. Make a double batch of Oat bread dough, and halve it. Make fruit rolls with Jam filling, and the rest as plain scrolls with jam, fruit puree and or fruit and nut fillings.


Oh the things Kam and I can do together!


Posts and pics to come.




Floydm's picture

I rose my sourdough overnight last night, shaped it this morning, and baked it around noon. By the time I got my camera out, one loaf had been devoured and the second was reduced to this:

sourdough loaf

One thing to note: I forgot it and left it in the oven an extra 10 minutes or so. Every time I do this I am pleased with the result. Dark bread is well-baked bread!

I also tried the Lavash crackers from the BBA:


Eh... I didn't roll it thin enough, so it was more like a flat bread than a cracker. I also found the dough to be sweeter than what I'd expected. Perhaps this is the nature of lavash, I don't know. Next time I'll roll them out thinner and leave out the honey.

I also baked a buttermilk sandwich bread with some cake yeast I was given by a friend (Catlikethief). I'd never tried the stuff before. It smelled foul when I took it out of the fridge, but it definitely did the trick. I'll be interested to taste the bread in the morning to see if the flavor is at all different.


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