The Fresh Loaf

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Benito's picture

Sourdough Pizza with balsamic olive oil marinated arugula and grape tomatoes with egg and avocados.

Tonight I made two individual sized sourdough pizzas using my trusty cast iron skillet again.  These are almost the same as my last pizzas I made except i started the pizzas in the oven without the egg for two minutes, pulled it out to add the egg and then once done after a total of 8 mins topped with a few more marinated tomatoes and arugula and the avocado.  I like the creaminess of the avocado to contrast the sharpness of the balsamic vinegar and I preferred the yolk a bit less cooked which I why I shortened the cook time on the egg as described.

All in all a good pizza.  Have two more doughs in the fridge that I’ll make tomorrow just not sure what to top them with yet.

Hotbake's picture

I've been making the same sundried tomato cheese bread for a long time and honestly I think that's one of the best tasting bread in the world..UNTIL I saw Danni put roasted garlic in hers!! Talking about putting another one of my favorite things in my favorite bread🤤

So this time I follow my old recipe but did a few things differently:

1.added garlic slices that's been toasted slowly in the same oil that comes with the sundried tomatoes

2.Toasted the chopped up tomatoes because why not

3. Instead if chopping the tomatoes super fine and mixed in the dough to create a beautiful orange tinted dough  I kept them chunky and only did light mixing and folds! 

The result is amazing, lots of big chucks of sundried tomatoes, mildly garlicky, pretty wild looking bread 

I think I still prefer the look of kneading the tomatoes into the dough, but the garlic....oh the garlic will always be included in this bread in the future! SO DELICIOUS 

dabrownman's picture

Wow!  3 posts in 3 weeks.  This one is all white bread too.  Lucy is really slipping!

Kroger had some 93% lean hamburger meat on sale this week for less than $3 a pound so we immediately started thinking about our monthly burger tradition.  The weather has been moderating and the pool water temperature is getting to be a bit below body temperature if you get in before noon as it is still in the mid 100’s by the afternoon.


I tried to get Lucy to go swimming with me to get back into some kind of shape but she isn’t having any of it and just wants to sun herself in the morning sun and sleep in the afternoons.  Sounds like the perfect life with someone else picking up your food, shelter and transportation costs.   Guess that makes her a millennial at heart even though she is only 15 going on 105😊

I’m just glad Lucy is feeling better with more spunk since we got her on the right food. Our daughter is coming for a visit next weekend for Labor Day and Lucy will be happy to see her again so Lucy needs a bath.  It’s been years since I gave her a bath but I thought I would again this week just for fun, save some bucks and remind her who the boss is around here. 

My daughter wants lox from The Bagel Man who gets them from NYC.   I’m going to make some with Gin, Dill, Salt, Pepper and Brown Sugar and then rinse them in some cold water and soak them for a bit in some water with la few drops of liquid smoke in it.  I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and see if I can make some half decent lox for $7 a pound instead of $27.  It’s all about the bagels anyway, right?  Maybe I’ll make some of them too since we can’t get SD bagels anywhere at all😊 

These buns were made from a 100 g flour poolish at 100% hydration using half AP and half bread flour  using 1 g of Instant yeast that I added 10 g of NMNF Rye starter too.  The started was still very active after being refreshed last week.  After 3 hours it had doubled.  We added 46 g of bread flour, 22 g of butter, 24 g of egg, 10 g of sugar and 3 g of salt to the mix.  We did slap and folds and then regular kneading to get it all mixed and the gluten developed.   Then let it sit fir an hour and did one set of stretch and folds.

After resting for 20 minutes we shaped them onto 3-115g balls that we flattened and patted into flattish rounds that we thought would be the right size for 5oz hamburger patties.  We put them on well used parchment paper that was on the vented tray that came with Mini Oven.  We put the whole thing in a plastic trash can liner to proof. 

After 45 minutes we fired up the MO to 425 F and got the dish rag into the Pyrex measuring cup that was half full of water to simulate Sylvia’s Steam.  After 2 minutes on the MW on high it was steaming so we brushed the tops of the buns with an egg wash and loaded it onto the open spot on the vented baking tray and loaded the whole shebang into the MO for 8 minutes of steam.

The buns went in with the middles a bit depressed for some reason but, after 8 minutes of steam, they had puffed themselves up in the middle to loo like hamburger buns.  We took out Sylvia’s steaming cup and turned the oven to 425 F convection for another 8 minutes when they browned up nicely.  We brushed them with water when they came out to the cooling rack to make sure the tops would be soft.

They came out light as feather and, after slicing to toast them on the grill, the inside was fairly open too.  These buns you can start to finish cooled in 6 hours which is a good thing to remember.  T like that they were mildly sour and held up well to the all the piled-on goodies – bacon, caramelized Hatch green chili, onion and mushrooms, mayo, ketchup, lettuce and tomato.

This is a great grilled burger for sure and worth all the work with baked wedge fries and home made the dill pickle spears that didn’t get into a picture for some reason.  We love hot dill pickles made with a split Serrano chili

The one and only,  great and wonderful daughter has already ordered tilapia Baja fish tacos with guacamole, salsa and chips one night and smoked chicken thigh, hatch green chili with beans, fresh corn and green beans in the soup with the same condiments for another night. 

By ordering Mexican, she is making it easy on her dad for next weekend.  We are all looking forward to a fun holiday weekend.  Lucy hopes you all have a good one with your family to!  If it’s not a holiday for you, where ever you are, Lucy says just act like it is and all will be grand 😉  Enjoy the monsoon sunset.


Benito's picture

These are a tasty way to use up your sourdough starter discard.  Here’s the recipe.


  • 200 grams (about 1 cup) mature sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 1/2 cup (60g) bread flour
  • 1/2 cup (60g) whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons (12g) rye flour
  • 12 g extra virgin olive oil
  •             20 g toasted sesame oil 
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  •             2 teaspoon black sesame seeds            
  •             1 teaspoon flax seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt      
  •             Pink Himalayan salt, for topping



  • In a bowl, combine sourdough starter with flours, olive oil, sesame oil, seeds and salt. Mix to combine, kneading until the dough comes together in a smooth ball.
  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
  • Position oven racks in the upper 1/3 and lower 1/3 of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
  • Cut dough in half; put one half back in the fridge while you roll out the other. Cut dough again into 4 smaller pieces.
  • Roll out each piece into an oblong rectangle. You can do this with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, or using a pasta roller for super thin crackers. I like to roll my dough out to the #6 thickness setting (out of 8). If you are rolling by hand, just roll it as thin as you possibly can.
  • Lay out two oblongs of dough side by side (not overlapping) on each baking sheet.
  •             Dock each oblong of dough with a fork (to prevent bubbling of the flatbreads)
  • Spritz or brush lightly with water; sprinkle with flake salt.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown and crispy, rotating the pans top to bottom and back to front part way through baking.
  • Let cool, then transfer crackers to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Crackers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
Cellarvie's picture

Here in the UK right now it's a rare fine weather-public holiday combo, so it's time to reach for TFL's Jason's Quick Ciabatta recipe and open up the BBQ.  Cheers Jason

BreadLee's picture

I'm beginning this Danish recipe straight from Copenhagen. I just milled the wheat and rye.  Yeast water is fermenting. 

It also uses walnut oil and milk.  

We'll see how it goes.  

Mamabread's picture

Hi All, 

I’ve just dived into the world of baking naturally leavened bread and I’m just a tiny bit obsessed. I’ve been drooling over my friend’s instagram pictures for the past couple of years. (He’s a chef in Toronto/MTL who bakes sourdough weekly). Last week my sister brought me some of his starter. Which was handed to him from another chef, who got it from his grandmother and apparently it’s very very old. So I was super excited to dive in and make some bread. My sister gave me a lesson and we used my king Arthur white bread flour with 75% hydration and I couldn’t shape figure out how to shape a wet blob of flour goo for the life of me. But it still tasted delicious and after a week of reading the perfect loaf blog almost cover to cover I was read to try again. 

I used the same recipe as last week but with a little less water. 38% starter, 100% bread flour, 70% water, 2.2% salt. That being said I put a lot of flour on the counter before shaping and in the basket after to avoid sticking and ripping. But I followed the method from the perfect loaf beginner bread. With the addition of using a stand mixer and mixing/kneading the dough until a windowpane could be seen after the autolyse. The dough didn’t seem to rise very much during the 5.5hours bulk in my 75 degree kitchen with 3 sets of folds 30mins apart. But shaping went well. Also, they didn’t seem to rise much in the fridge overnight.  But I was happy with the end result. Baked in my cast iron crocks at 480, 30 mins with the lid on 20 with the lid off. Hopefully, I’ll get the same or better result next week. 


My my only real question right now is, why do some recipes call for kneading until the windowpane  and some don’t include that step at all? 

(Don’t really know how to add pictures yet sorry, I’m typing from my cell phone)

Benito's picture

This is my version of a “Sunburst” Bourbon Peach Melba Pie.

Once again I used Stella Parks’ all butter pastry recipe but bumped up by 25%.

  • 281 g all purpose flour
  • 19 g sugar
  • 5 g salt
  • 281 g unsalted butter, 2.5 sticks cold not frozen
  • 144 g cold tap water



  • 2⁄3 cup sugar
  • 1⁄3 plus cup tapioca starch 
  • 1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • fresh lemon juice from half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp bourbon
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1.5-1.75 lbs of frozen peaches 1/2″-thick slices
  • 1 cup mashed frozen raspberries

I know it is peach season and I could have used fresh peaches but I didn’t feel up to the work of preparing fresh peaches and I find that using frozen peaches there is much less shrinkage when the pie is baked and almost no air gap between the top crust and the filling that I always got when using fresh fruit.


Benito's picture

I know I’ve made this before but I wanted to see if my techniques have improved at all with more baking and for this dinner I wanted a simple sourdough without a lot of whole grain or other flavours added to the bread.

This was my best looking sourdough ever.  I hope it isn’t underproofed as it didn’t rise as much as I expected during the cold fermentation last night.

For one 750 g loaf

311 g white bread flour

46 g whole wheat flour

21 g dark rye flour

287 g warm water reserve 21 g for later

7.5 g salt 

77 g levain 


Levain Build 

35 g mature starter

35 g bread flour

35 g whole wheat flour


70 g filtered water 


I’m sure most of you have looked at this recipe on The Perfect Loaf website but I will post it here if someone wants it.


I did slap and folds for 7 minutes and then over the course of two hours did three sets of coil folds.  This was the first time I did coil folds and never combined the slap and folds with the coil folds.  I think I will employ this from now on.


I made a couple of videos showing my coil folds and then final shaping.  I’d be happy if you could offer advice on doing things better, I won’t be offended whatsoever.  If I look so hesitant when doing both the coil folding and final shaping it was because I was hesitant and scared of doing it wrong.  That was the first time I used that final shaping method and I think it created more tension than how I was doing it before.


Me coil folding the final time for this bake.


Me shaping the batard using this method for the first time.


Hopefully the crumb looks good.  Fingers crossed.

ifs201's picture

I used the Smoky Chili Sourdough recipe from Sarah Owens, but added 2 tbsp tomato paste and 180g of chocolate stout to replace some of the water content. The dough was great to work with. I got a bit distracted trying to work 2 recipes at once so I ended up shaping earlier than I had intended. I usually put the loaves right in the fridge after shaping, but because the bulk was on the short side I left the dough out for about 45 minutes before putting it in the fridge. Great oven spring although my attempts at new scoring methods were funky. This was my first time using T85 flour for 80% of the loaf and resulted in a denser crumb. 

These loaves were 75% hydration and 80% high-extraction T85 flour and 20% whole wheat. 


Day 18:30 AMMix levain and let sit for 6-8 hours (30g starter, 60g water, 85g bread flour)  
 2:30 PMAutolyse  
 3:00 PMMix 4 min autolyse, levain, chili, honey  
 3:45 PMMix 4 min adding salt  
 4:20 PMStart Coil Fold on counter  
 5:00 PMLamination on counter  
 5:30 PMCoil fold 2x 30 min apart  
 6:15 PMPre-Shape loosely  
 6:30 PMshape & leave on counter for 1 hour  
 7:20 PMInto fridge  
Day 26:45 AMBake  


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