The Fresh Loaf

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Danni3ll3's picture

I haven’t done a bread with olives for quite a while and while searching TFL, I came across this one from Dab. The loaf looked amazing and the crumb is to die for. Dab was super helpful and answered all of my questions. So I owe him a big thank you for that!



The recipe is his (scaled to make 3 loaves) and I tried to follow it to the best of my ability with the ingredients I had available. He used 3 types of starters but I only had two available to me so my bread was adapted to that. Be aware that the prep was a bit onerous especially when I make 4 batches of this but if my bread turns out half as well as his, I will be thrilled. Here goes:




Makes 3 loaves


632 g of unbleached flour

194 g of durum semolina 

60 g of soft wheat berries

30 g each of barley flakes, spelt berries, einkorn berries, kamut berries, rye berries, hulless oat groats, red fife berries and farro berries.

625 g of water

22 g pink Himalayan salt

390 g of mixed levain (sourdough and peach/apple yeast water - Procedure in recipe)

234 g olives (Kalamata and black ripe olives, sliced)

40 g sun dried tomatoes

2 g fresh rosemary



  1. Sourdough starter: A few days before you plan to make your dough, get your sourdough starter going if it is in the fridge by feeding it 1:1:1 water and flour/bran/whatever makes it happy. I started using unbleached flour but once I had milled my grains, I fed it the bran. I also fed it twice a day. You will need 25 g of this for the seed amount.
  2. Yeast Water starter: At the same time, refresh your yeast water by removing the old fruit and feeding it some fresh fruit and leaving it room temperature until it has bubbles at the top. Dab advised me to add a bit of sugar and some honey if it didn’t get going strongly. Mine fizzed within a few hours so I didn’t add the honey or the sugar. Once it fizzed, I put a few tablespoons of the YW into a container and added unbleached flour to make like a thick pancake batter. I left this overnight. In the morning, it was nice and bubbly so I fed it again some YW and more flour. You will need 25 g of this for the second seed amount.

The day before:

  1. Run the durum semolina through a grain mill to turn it into flour. Reserve in a tub.
  2. Run all of the grains separately through the mills and sift out the bran. Save the bran for feeding the seed starters or for another use. 
  3. Measure out 16 g of the sifted flour from the soft wheat berries and add to the tub
  4. Measure out 8 g of the sifted flour from remaining grains and add to the tub.
  5. Mix the remaining sifted flours together and save in a separate container to do the builds of the levain.
  6. Add the unbleached flour to the tub and mix. Cover and reserve.


  1. About 12 hours or so before mixing your dough, do the levain builds.
  • First build: Take 25 g of sourdough starter and 25 g of YW starter. Add 50 g of filtered water and 50 g of high extraction flour. Let rise for 4 hours at room temp (73-74F). 
  • Second build: Add another 50 g each of filtered water and high extraction flour to the levain and let rise 4 hours. It should have doubled. 
  • Third build: Add 76 g  each of filtered water and high extraction flour and let rise 4 hours.
  • Yes, I got up in the middle of the night to pamper the levain. 😉

Dough Making Day

  1. Mix the water with the flours in the tub and autolyse for one hour. The dough was surprisingly not as sticky as what I usually deal with. 
  2. While the dough is autolysing (is that a word?), chop the sun dried tomatoes and rehydrate them in hot water. Drain and squeeze out the water after an hour. 
  3. Chop the fresh rosemary finely with a mezzaluna. 
  4. Measure out the olives. 
  5. Add the salt and the levain and do “3 sets each of 30 slaps and folds and 4 stretch and folds on 30 minute intervals with the olives, sun dried tomatoes and rosemary going in during the first set of stretch and folds.” -Dab. By the way, you will lose a few olives during the process and having four legged apprentices around really helps. 😉 The dough felt quite billowy at the second set of folds so I did the last two sets very gingerly. Dough temp by the last fold was 75.4F. Then I left it alone for only 30 minutes as opposed to Dab’s one hour because my kitchen is warmer than his and the dough definitely looked ready. 
  6. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions of about 745 g and do a quick pre-shape. Let rest 10 - 15 minutes and then do a final shape, and place seam side down in rice floured baskets. I used stitching and rolling top to bottom as well as spinning the dough like a top to shape. I was careful not to degas the dough. 
  7. Cover and place into the fridge to proof overnight. This ended up being 17-18 hours. 

Baking Day

  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the dutch ovens inside for at least 45 minutes. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and gently place the dough seam side up inside. The boules looked liked they had risen quite a bit overnight and were quite soft so I was very afraid that they overproofed. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, (yep, overproofed again as there was not much oven spring 😥), drop the temperature to 425F, and bake for another 22 minutes.

I suppose they could be worse. I am definitely having a problem with overproofing in the fridge with my last few bakes. I did test the temp and at 38F, it shouldn’t be happening. I may need to rethink my methods. 


Just as an aside, no yogurt or flax in this one! I don’t remember when I last made Sourdough without those ingredients!

trailrunner's picture

Nice easy very minimal hands on bread. 200g/400g/600g. The levain was built from leftovers after the lovely date pecan bake and 100 g of apple YW was used directly into the 400g of liquid along with 30g yogurt and 30g of honey. Two sets of lamination folds at 30 min apart and a bulk ferment for a couple hours cause I got busy and forgot! It tripled! Yikes. Quickly shaped and retarded. Again due to stuff it sat till supper time the next day . Baked the usual graniteware roaster 10 min covered 500 degrees, 5 min covered at 465 then 20 min uncovered. Unsurprisingly not a huge spring but the crumb is lovely  and creamy and very well developed subtle flavor profile. 

trailrunner's picture

and ramacinata semolina. Ordered both flours. Amazing quality. The pasta is like yellow velvet. Helps that we had local double yolk eggs. Served with a pasta Fresca sauce. Fresh local tomatoes, caper berries chopped, my preserved Meyer Lemons diced, pancetta , a squeeze of anchovy paste, EVOO fresh basil and Parmesan grated on top. Toasted SD. 



copynumbervariant's picture

I bought a banneton because dough kept sticking to the floured cloth I was lining a bowl with. I've made two loaves with it and it hasn't stuck yet. The first was a 1 kg 30% whole wheat loaf, which I scored too shallowly to get the dramatic relief of my previous 1 kg loaf. It has the most even crumb of the sourdough loaves I've made. My loaves always have a dense area in the bottom middle. Probably that's where I'm pinching everything together when I'm shaping the boule, and popping all the bubbles from bulk fermentation.

After looking at so many graphs of growth vs temperature of sourdough yeast and lactobacteria I started to believe they were real, I've decided that room temperature fermentation is both easier and more delicious. I'm not really looking for much sourness. As an experiment I made enough dough for two loaves. One I bulk fermented in the fridge for three days, and proofed at room temperature, and the other I bulk fermented at room temperature and proofed in the fridge. The latter came out much better than the former, possibly because three days wasn't long enough in my cold fridge. Both turned out more sour than using room temperature for all stages. Cold proofing seems like a good way to manage your schedule to bake first thing in the morning, though. I'd rather bake at night and wake up to bread that has fully cooled.

I made two peach pies, one using this no-cutting-butter-into-flour recipe, and then because the crust had such short walls, I used the usual method. Except I forgot that all crust shrink, so both pies were quite shallow. The first filling was thickened with flour, and the second with roux. I couldn't really tell a difference in taste, to be honest. The roux pie had a better consistency, probably just because I used enough peaches to fill the crust. The green bits are basil, which I like in theory, but in practice I'd rather just have a little cinnamon in a peach pie.

The last experiment was using a blender to grind wheat berries that had been soaked in hot water, and using the resulting sludge in a loaf of bread. I had imagined the blender would create a fairly fine batter, but it made an uneven mixture of nearly cracked-wheat size chunks, and particles possibly fine enough to be flour. I think this was due to 1) too much water, 2) wheat berries being too tough even after soaking in boiling water for three hours, and 3) a not very effective blender. The resulting bread tasted great, though. Next time I'll try bulgur with less water in the blender.

not.a.crumb.left's picture

I had to squeeze in another bake before visiting family in Germany  and as they normally just see photos I wanted to take a loaf with me. I also came across some white spelt from Doves Farm rather than the usual WW spelt and the dough felt much softer.....

Inspired by Ru's scoring I gave a pattern a go for the first time!

The square scoring turned the other loaf into a spaceship....

dabrownman's picture

We had not made pizza in some time and it had been way longer since we had made YW/SD combo levain for the dough and even longer since we made it on the gas grill but it is summer and there is no way we are heating up the kitchen  to ramming speed for a couple of hours.

The recipe is easy enough.  9% pre-fermented KA bread fkour levain using 2.2% NMNF starter and YW for the liquid – in our case half FIG and half apple YW.  The dough flour is half LAFama AP and half KA bread flour at 70% overall hydration and 2% PH sea salt.  We added re-hydrated dried rosemary and sun dried tomatoes both chopped medium.  We did not put in any shopped garlic like we normally do for some reason.


Once the levain had tripled we added it to the 20 minute autolyse that had the salt sprinkled on top and then mixed it with a spoon before doing 40 slap and folds.  We then did 2 mores sets of 20 slap and folds and 2 sets of double Sleeping Ferret folds all on 30 minute intervals adding in the rosemary and sun dried tomatoes during the first set of 20 slaps.


We then let it rest for an hour in an oiled SS bowl for an hour before going into the fridge for a 13 hour retard.   Take it out 4 hours before you want to make pies and leave it in the counter for an hour before dividing into, in our case (3) 250 g pies. Shaping into a boule and putting them back into the bowl oiled up a bit so they don’t stick together as they rise over the next 3 hours.


These make large 14”pies which is the largest that will fit on our round stone.  With the 3 hour proof the dough was strong yet very extensible and they formed nice very thin crusts that didn’t tear even with the add ins.  I transfer them to a wood peel that had flour rubbed into it and corn meal for the ball bearings so it will slide off easily before we put the toppings on.


These 3 pizzas were the same in most ways.  DaBrownman’s spicy sauce goes down and spread thinly first, followed by 75 g each of fresh whole mozzarella and part skim mozzarella. Then the chopped smoked onions and crimini onions go down.


The first pie had smoked hot Italian sausage on it, the 2nd one had Guisto’s, a large, thin pepperoni from Whole Foods and a great pepperoni, the 3rd was our version of margarita even though it had smoked veggies on it.  Then we showered each pie with real grated Parmesan.


The margarita had basil leaves dropped on the pie after it came out and all the pies got some additional Parmesan as well.  The grill is the best way to make pizza around here because we can get it up to 650 F with the 4 burners on and the pies take 5 minute to bake on the hot stone instead of the 8 they take in the 550 F oven.


That is a big slice with no bend and no fold - crisp like a potato chip!

These pies came out super crisp and the crust crunched like potato chips – just the way it should be.  The pepperoni was the best in my book because the meat was thin enough to crisp up and it was delicious.  The margarita was second favorite with he hot Italian smoked sausage bringing up the rear - but it was still great.



Sadly my daughter was in surgery until after midnight and missed it.  M y wife and I could only eat 10 of the 24 slices and the remainder hit the freezer for left overs.   After slicing, we have learned to keep then on raised cooling racks so that they stay crisp as opposed to leaving them on a plate where they get soft.  

And Lucy has this thing about salad with ever dinner too!  This one is peach, blueberry, shaved Parmesan, carrot, red pepper, crimini mushroom, green onion, cucumber and tomato slices


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