The Fresh Loaf

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Ric Snapes's picture
Ric Snapes

Hello everyone. 


My name is Richard Peter Snapes, and I am starting a bakery. I have not trained as a baker, and I have no money. So i'm starting on the smallest of scales and documenting everything I do. 


I have a blog here:


Please go and check it out.


Love RPS.

meb21's picture

Hi All,

I'm enjoying this site! Here's my first try at Tartine country bread...

tartine bread |

tartine bread crumb |

thanks for looking! Marie


isand66's picture

This is my second and third attempts at making this bread.  I really love the sweetness the dates impart to this bread so I've been meaning to make it again for a while.  Version 2 I made last week and I rushed the dough into the oven and it was definitely under-proofed.  It had some nice fissures and the crumb was much tighter than it should have been.  It still tasted good but I had to make it again the right way.

The third time it came out much better and was worth making it again.

I changed some of the flour from the first bake and used Durum instead of Einkorn Wheat and also added some Spelt.

If you can try to bake this one, I highly recommend it.  The dates add a wonderful sweetness to the bread and create a dark crust.  This a perfect bread with cheese or great for a steak sandwich.

I used a 2 step build for the starter mixing Durum flour with a Hard White Whole Wheat.

I'm still learning the BreadStorm program and I broke out the water and flour in the seed starter separately.  Hopefully it calculated it correctly.

The dates are simmered in part of the water used for the main dough and instead of chopping them up like I did last time, I just mushed them a little in the bowl which worked out fine.


Sour Dough Date Bread Act 2.2 (weights)

Sour Dough Date Bread Act 2.2 (%)


Levain Directions

Step 1

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.

Step 2

Mix the flour and water with all of the levain from step 1 and let it sit at room temperature again until it is doubled.  At this point you can either use it right away or put it in the refrigerator and use it the next 1 to 2 days.

Date Preparation

Make sure there are no pits in the dates and do not trust the package like I did which claimed they were pitted dates.  Simmer the dates in 226 grams of water until they are soft.  After you remove them from the heat, add 100 grams of cold water and let the dates sit until they come back down to room temperature.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours with the remainder of the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the dates, butter and salt and mix on low for 2 minutes and speed #2 for another 2 minutes or by hand for about 6 minutes.   You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but very manageable.  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.  I made 1 large Miche for this bake.

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 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, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 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.



Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

A distant relative asked me if I would provide the Challah for the blessing at her Son's wedding.
I would have complete freedom of choice for all the parameters, e.g. amount, shape, formula.
The 200 guests were to be seated at 18 tables.

After some deliberation I decided to bake 1 Challah for each table, and a special one for the head table.
I thought I'd get 4 X 500g into the oven, which would require 5 batches.

Then ...
I flicked through Hamelman's "Bread" while my dearest wife was watching. She spotted the Hungarian Wedding Braid. That was it! Had to do it now.

The recipe is calculated for a bread diameter of 40cm, too big for my domestic oven. I can accommodate just above 30 cm.
So I did some experiments with the Eggless Water Challah dough from "Inside The Jewish Bakery (ITJB)", an excellent dough to shape and very tasty, too.

I decided that for a 30cm Wedding Bread the best weight for a short strand was 50g, and the long strand would be 250g.

My oven can accommodate 2 of these: now I was looking at producing 9 batches for the Hungarian Breads, plus one for the top-table challah.

On Friday evening I scaled all ingredients for the 12 Kg of ITJB Bakery Challah - flour, water, salt, yeast, sugar, oil and packed them for each batch individually - with exception of the 70 egg yolks...

The next step was creating a spreadsheet that told me what I had to do in 10-minute increments.

For a considerable amount of time I would have 5 batches going simultaneously.

It turned out that the first top-table challah (12 strand double decker) didn't rise well (handling, I suppose), so I had to add another batch.

I started at 5am on Saturday, at my home in Brighton, and was ready to deliver in London by 6.30pm. Phew.

Now some pictures:

Shaping started with scaling the dough and shaping the strands: 7 for each bread, 2 breads in each batch:

To get the star-in wheel shape I had made a template, 30cm in diameter:

The first crossover

The second crossover -the star shape becomes apparent:

And the ring to complete the bread:

Proofing several batches at different stages:

Glazing with egg - I used 4 eggs for the glaze alone

Luckily I had Spock and Kirk with me ...

The pile of finished breads is growing

And boxed, ready for shipping

Not all breads fitted in this giant box ...

Then off to London with public transport

I have no pictures from the wedding (on Sunday) - but there was not much time to take pictures, the challahs were very well received.

Happy Baking,



emkay's picture

My starter seed culture is in Phase 3. I can't wait to start making sourdough. In the meantime, I made a krantz cake with chocolate and pecans. The recipe is from Yotam Ottolenghi's "Jerusalem".



trailrunner's picture

I hadn't baked in a while and hadn't used my AYW in weeks!   Got my odds and ends of partial bags of flour out and voila....lovely bake.   Fed my  100% hydration rye starter with spelt and AWY 2x a few hours was SO active I had to refrigerate it overnight. Used up 65g Semolina, 42 grams Italian Chestnut flour, 86 grams Kamut, 123 grams sprouted Rye and 458 grams AP KA.  Mixed and autolysed  with  640 g water without salt for 1 hr. Added salt and used speed 2 for 5 min . Very slack dough but responded well to s&f's. Fermented room temp for 2 hrs with s&f q 30 min x4 and then 1 hr more at room temp. Shaped 2 boules and immediately retarded over-night. Baked cold this AM in 500 degree pots for 20 min. covered...sprayed 10 x in pot with filtered water then covered....uncovered and 20 min open. The fragrance is wonderful. Will post crumb shots later. 

 photo IMG_6893_zps14e8ac91.jpg  photo IMG_6894_zps7fbce72f.jpg  photo IMG_6895_zps1cc59eff.jpg  photo IMG_6897_zpsb0d59dfc.jpg  photo IMG_6900_zpsf74a17e6.jpg first of Spring...asparagus quiche. I use buttermilk for the crust and in the filling...broiled the asparagus first. Delicious.  photo IMG_6891_zps54192770.jpg

crumb shots added. I couldn't be MORE pleased with this bread. What a crust and crumb. Full body flavor...very very wheaty. I am impressed with the caramelization of the crust and note how uniform the crust thickness is all the way around the slice. Chewy and almost candy-like. Rich brown color to the crumb and exquisitely tender due to the AYW. Love the glisten to the crumb . My camera doesn't want to catch the dark crust but it is way darker than in the pics. I baked it to 212. What else to say....if I never made another SD loaf but this one I would be more than content.  photo IMG_6904_zpsfeced175.jpg  photo IMG_6906_zpsdff0a446.jpg  photo IMG_6903_zpsb898ea8c.jpg  photo IMG_6902_zpsf205dd69.jpg

Skibum's picture

Oh my! Great idea Josh! Any other great ideas like this would be most warmly welcomed.

Best regards, Brian

bakingbadly's picture

Four nights in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Accompanied by my business partner, our quest was to find a bulk flour supplier for my sourdough bakery in Siem Reap, Cambodia, called "Bäckerei". Other high priority items included paper bread bags, food-grade lye (sodium hydroxide) for pretzels, and brotformen (dough proofing baskets). 

Of course, I was also on the lookout for bread. Good bread, I mean.

Traffic was hectic in Bangkok, like most metropolitan cities. But what caught me off guard was the motorbikes zipping across and along the sidewalk. Many of them. Combine this common occurrence with the fact that drivers keep on the left-hand side in Thailand and you got yourself a paranoid person---me. 

Okay, never mind that.

My first major stop was at Bei Otto, a German restaurant, bakery, butchery, delicatessen, and catering company. The whole sha-bang!

Maybe I'm easily amused but I was in awe.

The bakery at Bei Otto had Vollkornbrot (whole grain bread), Mehrkornbrot (multi-grain bread), Roggenbrot (rye bread), Brötchen (German bread rolls), and Brezeln (pretzels). Let's not forget German sausages and miscellaneous goodies like Weisswurst-Senf (sweet mustard) and Quark (curd cheese)!

Bei Otto is what I envisioned my bakery to be. Well, not exactly. I prefer to run a much smaller company and would love to work with a local German butcher, cheesemonger, and beer brewer. A microbrewer in Cambodia is really stretching it but, hey, we're free to dream.


Next stops were a few supermarkets: Emporium, Tops Market, Central Market, Tesco Lotus, and Villa Market. Of the 5 supermarkets listed, Villa Market was the most interesting. By a stroke of luck, the "spokesperson" of Maison Jean Phillippe, a purveyor of artisanal foods, was present.

Maison Jean Phillipe offers French breads. All sourdough, even their pastries. At the Villa Market, I sampled their brioche---somewhat rich and buttery---and a charcoal-black batard. It tasted similar to... what you expect from a good, light, soft French bread.

Next up: Schmidt, a wholesale supplier of baking goods.

Now this was paradise.

I think I gasped out of excitement when I found brotforms, which I promptly bought. Very costly, but I'll have them replicated in Cambodia by wood craftsmen. I also purchased a kilogram (2.2 lbs) of lye pellets, which called for a second gasp upon notice.

Oh, and the flour... At first glance I could hardly keep the soles of my feet on the floor. Then I had a closer look.

Unfortunately for me, the majority of their flours were pre-mixes and not a spec of it shall enter my bakery. They did, however, have the rye and wheat flour I was searching for.

My business partner and I had a long discussion with the managing director of Schmidt. Getting the flours in bulk is not a problem. The problem is: getting the flours into Cambodia at a reasonable cost. This brings us to our final destination.

Near the border of Cambodia and Thailand is a cassava processing plant. If you don't know, cassava is a plant that's harvested for its starchy root, kind of like a potato. In various forms, it has multiple uses: food products, biofuel, animal feed, and so on. 

We contacted the owner of this processing plant to give us tips on how to export flours into Cambodia from Thailand. He was kind enough to meet us and we're very, very thankful for that.

As we departed, they gave us a bag of fresh cassava flour (also known as tapioca) as a farewell gift. They suggested that I experiment and try it in my breads---hey, why not? Maybe I'll invent a new product and popularize cassava breads in Southeast Asia.

While crossing the border from Thailand to Cambodia, my business partner (and dear friend) said to me, "I hope customs doesn't check your bags."

I shot back, "Why?"

Then it dawned on me. In my hand-luggage I had a bag of tapioca flour and lye pellets. These two items resemble something in particular. Suffice it to say, I was highly relieved to pass the borders without trouble.

All in all, my trip in Bangkok was fruitful. Not a complete success but a leap in the right direction. 

Thank you for the read and jolly bakings!


Mebake's picture

I've been baking for the Arts and crafts market,scheduled next Friday the 14th of March,  and here are 2 bakes out of 3. I plan to bake Tartine's sesame bread last. When i have spare spare time, and effort, i plan to bake Mark Sinclair's Potato rolls that Mr. Mark has so generously shared with us. 

80% Rye with Rye flour soaker from Hamelman's book: BREAD

Whole Wheat Multigrain from Hamelman's book: BREAD

I'll save the money i earn from the market to replace my oven with a larger one. 





bbegley's picture

I was pleased with the results.  The beer came through big time.  The crumb was moist and chewy.

1 1/2 cup Whole wheat flour KA

1 1/2 cup bread flour

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 Guinness beer

1/4 t yeast

1 1/2 t sea salt

-18 hr ferment

-baked in dutch oven at 500 degrees, 20 min lid on, 18 lid off.



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