The Fresh Loaf

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cake diva

My husband woke up Saturday morning to an early morning show featuring the best doughnuts in the country.  So he announces he wants doughnuts for breakfast.  Unfortunately, doughnuts are not like pancakes or waffles that you can just whip up without notice.  He had to settle for sourdough (from starter scraps) waffles with fresh raspberries and cream and of course, bacon.  And then I got off to starting the doughnuts for next day's breakfast.

The recipe I used is Lightest Fluffiest Doughnuts from Country LIving.  Instead of manual kneading, I opted to use my Hobart N50.


  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1/2 cup water, warmed to 110F

  • 4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast (2 packets)

  • 3/4 cup + 1/4 tsp sugar

  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I used homemade Greek-style yogurt)

  • 2 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 4 1/2 cups AP flour

  • Glaze:  1/2 cup confectioners' sugar + 1 tbsp. whole milk


To make the dough:

  1. Combine water, yeast and 1/4 tsp. sugar in large mixing bowl.

  2. After 5 minutes, add warm milk and oil and stir.

  3. Add the remaining sugar, sour cream, eggs, yolks, salt and vanilla and stir.

  4. Add the flour gradually.

  5. Using a dough hook, knead the dough at medium speed until you have a soft, smooth, shiny dough- about 6-8 minutes.  The dough is quite wet and will not completely clear the sides of the bowl to form a ball.

  6. Place dough in a large oiled container and cover.  Let rise at room temp. until doubled in size, about 2 hrs.

  7. After doubling, punch dough down, recover, and refrigerate for 2 up to 12 hrs.

To make the doughnuts:

  1. Turn the dough into a generously floured surface.

  2. Lightly flour the dough and roll out to about 3/4 inch thick.

  3. Cut doughnuts using a 3 inch cutter.  I used a 4-inch tumbler lid.

cutting doughnut rounds

      4.  Transfer rounds to a baking sheet.  Gather scraps, reroll, and repeat cutting doughnut rounds until all dough is used.

     5.  Chill doughnuts for 30 minutes before frying.

To fry the doughnuts:

  1. Heat about 4 inches of vegetable oil in a large deep skillet with a thermometer until oil reaches 350F.

  2. Fry doughnuts 3 at a time until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.

  3. Remove doughnuts with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

To make the glaze:

  1. Combine glaze ingredients in a shallow bowl until smooth.

  2. Dip doughnuts while hot then transfer to wire rack to cool.

  3. Try different flavors like lemon, raspberry chambord (raspberry preserves + Chambord to thin), chocolate Kahlua sauce, etc...


Up close...

The requisite crumb shot...

doughnut crumb

Results:  Bite was like getting your teeth down into a soft pillow without collapsing like you would with those doughnut chains, texture was smooth and airy. mouth feel was substantive, flavor not too sweet which is how you would want it with the glaze on top, and simple, i.e., no added flavors, no hint of tang from the longish fermentation.  I'm sure this would be even better with the Kahlua chocolate sauce, or a fruity glaze like Raspberry-chamboard.  I give this recipe a thumbs up for its ease of making and deeply-satisfying results.

dmsnyder's picture


There has been quite a bit of discussion on TFL regarding cold retardation of late. This is a recurring issue, as a site search on “retardation” will reveal. My overall conclusion has to be that, particularly for sourdough breads, there is no hard and fast rule. This is not surprising, since review of several highly-regarding bread books reveals considerable variation in how this subject is approached.

Most home bakers are fundamentally pragmatic. Some groove on the science and want to understand each process in detail, but most just want to make really good bread. Retardation is mostly a matter of convenience – to fit bread baking into a busy schedule – for both the home baker and the professional. For some, retardation during bulk fermentation works better. For others, retardation of the formed loaves is more convenient. But does the choice effect the quality of the bread?

I have generally made my own choice according to the procedures specified in the formula I was using. I've made breads that call for retardation in bulk, like Nury's Light Rye and Anis Bouabsa's baguettes, and I've made breads that are retarded after the loaves are formed, like most San Francisco-style sourdoughs. But I've never switched a recipe from one to the other, until today.

The bread I chose to make was Susan from San Diego's “Ultimate Sourdough.” I have made it several times before. I have made it without any cold retardation and with cold retardation of the formed loaves. I decided to see how it would turn out with overnight cold retardation in bulk.

Susan's formula makes one smallish boule. I generally double the recipe to make 2 small boules. This time, I tripled it to make two somewhat larger (22.5 oz) loaves. For your interest, I have included a table of ingredient quantities for one, two and three small loaves.







1 loaf

2 loaves

3 loaves

Active starter

12 gms

24 gms

36 gms


175 gms

350 gms

525 gms

Whole Wheat Flour

25 gms

50 gms

75 gms

Hi-Gluten Flour

225 gms

450 gms

675 gms


5 gms

10 gms

15 gms

For this bake, I used KAF White Whole Wheat and Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached flours.



  1. I dissolved the starter in the water in a large bowl
  2. Both flours were added to the water and mixed thoroughly.
  3. The bowl was covered tightly and the dough was allowed to rest (autolyse) for 20 minutes.
  4. The salt was then added and folded into the dough using a flexible dough scraper.
  5. After a 20 minutes rest, the dough was stretched and folded in the bowl for 20 strokes. This was repeated twice more at 20 minute intervals.
  6. The dough was then transferred to a lightly oiled 2 liter glass measuring “cup” with a tightly fitting plastic cover and refrigerated (10 hours, overnight).
  7. The next morning, the dough had expanded very little. I took it out of the refrigerator and left it at room temperature. After 3 hours, it had expanded only slightly, and I was concerned how little gas formation was occurring. I transferred the dough to a lightly floured bench and did a single stretch and fold. The dough was then returned to the bowl. From that point, it became more active and doubled in another 2.5 to 3 hours.
  8. I then divided the dough into 2 equal parts. One was preshaped into a round and the other into a rectangle. After a 10 minute rest, I shaped one boule and one bâtard, each of which was placed in a floured banneton and then in a plastic bag to proof.
  9. I proofed the loaves until they were expanded by 75% or so. They were then transferred to a peel, slashed and transferred to a pre-heated baking stone. The oven was then steamed.
  10. The loaves were baked at 480F with steam for 10 minutes, then another 17 minutes at 460F without steam. They were left to dry for another 10 minutes in the turned off oven with the door ajar.


      The dough did not become too extensible during cold retardation. This may have been due to the very strong flour I used. However, I did find the crumb less chewy than expected. The crumb structure, on the other hand, was not appreciably different from what I got when I retarded formed loaves of this bread. There was no significant difference in the flavor. You might note, however, the absence of the "birds eyes" - the little bubbles of CO2 under the crust surface. 

      I would not hesitate to cold retard this bread in bulk again. When I do the cold retardation would be governed by my scheduling needs. The end result is about the same: Really good sourdough bread.





      AnnieT's picture

      I needed to bake something for a neighborhood picnic today and in my trusty notebook I found the recipe for this cardamom braid. I thought it was from somebody here at TFL but haven't been able to find the post. Just want to thank you, if you recognize the name, and to say the loaves are wonderful! It makes two braided loaves and the dough must be from Beatrice Ojakangas because it uses her no knead chilled overnight method. I brushed the braids with egg and milk wash and sprinkled raw sugar, and the great oven spring opened up the braids and made a neat pattern. Definitely a keeper, A.

      devil's picture

      this is my first try,it is very easy to bake.I get the recipe from the web.

      pretzel recipe is refer to:

      Shiao-Ping's picture

      1973, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.  The Taiwan Provincial Symphony Orchestra was coming into town.  I was in my first year of high school.  My father was given free tickets because of his position at the ruling KMT Party.  He pulled me out of the school that day; in my school uniform, I sat on the front roll of the concert hall, listening to the Western symphonic music for the first time ever in my life.  I had never heard anything like it; I was so moved, I had joyous tears in my eyes that to this day I still don't know where they came from.  

      Three nights ago, on the eve of my departure for America, my husband suggested that I read our son's English assignment, entitled "Personal Reflection."  It was late at night and I hadn't even packed my bag.  My son wrote about his reminiscences of Australia, "the sun burnt country."  As my kids were born in South-East Asia, up until 4 and a half years ago before we moved back here, their memories of Australia were mostly from our annual beach holidays.  He describes a fishing experience during one of those holidays: 

      It is ironic that the memories most vivid are those of Australia and our annual pilgrimages back to Noosa for our Christmas holidays.  I would always look forward to these holidays for they were my only experience of what was supposedly my home country.  One particular event that sands out is shore fishing off the rocks of Little Cove.  Late afternoon warranted weakening light and an orange sun low in the sky.  Golden light skimmed the surface of the ocean creating stunning patterns of reflection.  The point was a peaceful sanctuary.  Swiftly, the armies of the seas would surge towards the rock wall and bombard it with all its force.  Occasionally, the ocean would deliver a penetrating blow when a larger wave collided heavily which resulted in troops erupting further into unfriendly territory.  Perhaps, the sea was a relentless warzone.  The smell of eucalypt combined with a salty breeze to form that earthy sent that was comforting yet unique. 

      I would never catch any fish out there; I had enough trouble holding the rod even with two hands.  Also, I had a tricky encounter with our poor choice of bait.  Bloodworms.  I soon found out why they were called bloodworms after I pierced one onto my hook and it spewed a volcano of inferno red all over my long-sleeved white beach shirt that I was made to wear.  What a gruesome experience.  More difficulties arose with actually keeping the pest on the hook.  Casting proved to be another tricky enterprise to undertake.  A five metre cast with arctic winds to aid me would be a heroic effort indeed therefore Dad would usually cast for me.  He would be hauling in fish beside me whilst I, who was sitting just three metres to his left, wouldn't catch a thing.  With my thin forearms flexed, eyebrows crooked and eyes peeled I would concentrate my entire mental wrath just calling, aiding the sea creatures into my domain.  Alas, my mental strain paid off.  I reeled in the line as hastily as my might would allow only to find an empty hook.  At this stage Dad would let me reel in one of his own catch and claim it as my own.  A bear-like hug for my glorious accomplishment was definitely in order.  Despite my bad luck, it was moments like those that put a smile on my face that reached the tip of my ears and a booming laughter that could be heard across the Pacific.  

      It was when I read "... an orange sun low in the sky.  Golden light skimmed the surface of the ocean...." that my eyes became wet with joy - because he could see what I saw. 

      He finishes his "Personal Reflection" with the following:

      I still feel a great connection to Singapore and its unique culture of coconut milk, straw skirts and 'hawker' food markets.  However, reminiscing now I realize just how deep my love for the land down under has entrenched.  It must have grown from my absolute fascination of Australian wildlife and admiration of its charm and care-free way of life.  To me, it will always remain a tropical escape of tremendous adventure.  My bonds to Australia stand Goliath tall; my David attachment to Singapore shrinks into the background.  Thinking back, those bliss Christmas relaxations created a great desire to voyage to my homeland.  Therefore, rather than dread the day I would eventually leave, I was eager to explore this new continent, make long-term friendships and above all, finally reside in the land of my nationality - Australia.


                                                                                                2001 Christmas holiday

      My son, 14, first year of high school. 


      Pablo's picture

      Using Hamelman's 40% rye formula.  I watched several videos on youtube about bread braiding.  Very helpful.  I chose a 5-strand braid for my first one because it looks great and it's pretty straight-forward seeming, compared to a 6-strand braid.  It was easy to do and the result is very satisfying.  I guess it's going to end up more of a pull-apart loaf than something that you would make sandwiches out of.  Since I was poking at challah sites to see braiding, I tried an egg wash while I was at it.  It think it's fine on the braided loaf, but it made the other loaf crust dull.  I won't do that again.

      I made a couple of technique changes to Hamelman's instructions:
      1.  I read that the rye pentosans and the wheat gluten are competing for water, so I mixed the wheat and water together and allowed it to sit a bit before incorporating it with the overnight rye sour.
      2.  I prefer to stick to wild yeasts.  Instead of adding commerical yeast I added a bit more ripe starter to the wheat/water mixture.  I feed my starter at 1:5:5, which translates to 3g starter to 15g water and 15g flour.  I used the ~30g discard in the wheat/water mixture and let it ferment 90 minutes until I saw a little movement before incorporating it with the rye sour, salt and caraway seeds.  It was kind of  a sticky mess at first, but it came together nicely after a bit of kneading, although I kept an eye on the clock and didn't knead more than 5 minutes to avoid overmixing the rye.

      Oh yeah, I don't think that all caraway seeds are equal.  I had some from the natural foods store for my first attempts at this rye and it was great.  Then I got some from the bulk bins at the super market and they were dull.  I'm back to the non-irradiated pack from the natural foods store and they are more full flavoured.  I don't know but what that might have to do with packaging - that is, being packaged as opposed to sitting in a bin for who knows how long.  Anyway, it did make a noticeable difference.

      I tried the 80% Sourdough Rye with a Rye-Flour Soaker recently and it came out 100% ugly, I think mostly due to overproofing.  It collapsed when I moved it from the couche and never recovered, so I was gun-shy this time and I think that I underproofed a little and that's why there's big oven spring on the slashed loaf.  I only proofed for 45 minutes.  Maybe the braid wouldn't pull apart quite so much with longer proofing, too.


      Obsessive Ingredient Weigher's picture
      Obsessive Ingre...

      I've been making Gosselin/Reinhart's pain a l'ancienne since last fall, and until a few days ago, I was having a big problem scoring it consistently.  My breakthrough?  I stumbled upon Gosselin's website and saw them scoring loaves that were MUCH less hydrated than Reinhart's recipe was leading me to create.  Oh, Peter Reinhart!  So I cut back on the water, and voila, the lame scores it perfectly (forgive the shallow angle of the scoring, but it's a mini-baguette).  So right now I'm going with this formula: 128g KA French Style Flour, 2.65g salt, 0.95g instant yeast, and 92g water.  I might cut back on the water by a couple of grams - to 89g or 90g; time will tell.

      I've been making single loaves about 5 days a week for the last couple months; they make a great lunch with some butter and confiture.  This loaf baked SO nicely.  I noticed subtle hints of pistachio and framboise as I gave a quick sniff while it cooled on the counter.

      PHOTO #1: Sliced/Crumb Shot

      PHOTO #2: Grigne

      PHOTO #3: Mini-Baguette


      Mebake's picture

      Ever since he left germany, my father has always been a fan of german sourdough ryes, aren't we all?

      The store bought Seeded Sourdough rye my father often buys is so called (nordic or norlander bread). I thought that i could mimic the taste and appearance of the said bread, i tried twice and failed.

      Venturing into starter world and sourdoughs helped develop my baking skills, and Rye baking was especially successful. Credit goes to God almighty and freshloavers.

       Yesterday, 16 days into mixing water, Rye flour and perparing a starter, my most successful rye loaf was born. It is inspired from "Norlander bread" which in turn is inspired from sourdough seeded german rye breads, and its my german-variation Rye bread

      The loaf was 70% wet, and contained: 100% wet Sourdough Rye starter, sea salt, pre-soked whole rye berries, fennel seeds, caraways seeds, aniseed, rye flour, and mixture of presoaked  seeds.

      bulk proofing took 6 hours, and final shaping proofing was 65 minutes. (obviously the crust caved in in oven, indicating an overproof)

      The taste? although i should wait for the recommended 24 hours to slice the loaf, i could not wait (Typically human!), and it was heavenly tastefull with a pleasent sour rye taste and delicious seeds.

      Pictures follow:

      Fresh Loaf out of the oven


      A cross section


      A Close look


      I will sure duplicate this experience in the near future.


      Shiao-Ping's picture

      A thousand years, a thousand more

      A thousand times a million doors to eternity

      I may have lived a thousand lives, a thousand times

      An endless turning stairway climbs to a tower of souls

      If it takes another thousand years, a thousand wars

      The towers rise to numberless floors in space

      I could shed another million tears, a million breaths

      A million names but only one truth to face  

      A million roads, a million fears

      A million suns, ten million years of uncertainty

      I could speak a million lies, a million songs

      A million rights, a million wrongs in this balance of time

      But if there was a single truth, a single light

      A single thought, a singular touch of grace

      Then following this single point, this single flame

      This single haunted memory of your face


      I may be numberless, I may be innocent

      I may know many things, I may be ignorant

      Or I could ride with kings and conquer many lands

      Or win this world at cards and let it slip may hands

      I could be cannon food, destroyed a thousand times

      Reborn as fortune's child to judge another's crimes

      Or wear this pilgrim's cloak, or be a common thief

      I've kept this single faith, I have but one belief


      I still love you, I still want you

      A thousand times these mysteries unfold themselves

      Like galaxies in my head

      On and on the mysteries unwind themselves

      Eternities still unsaid

      'Til you love me                                                                                                      

                                                                                                  "A Thousand Years" by Sting

                                                                                                  Album: "All This Time" & "Brand New Day"             






      This bread was inspired by Sting's A Thousand Years.                       


      My Formula  

      • 200 g rye meal starter @ 100% hydration (built up in three feedings over 48 hours.  I had to increase hydration from 75% and added 1/8 tsp sugar as the starter was looking tough going in rye meal flour.)

      • 350 g white flour

      • for colouring/saltiness/hydration: 28 g soy sauce + 12 g squid ink + 34 red wine

      • 168 g water

      • 1/8 tsp instant dry yeast (I was afraid I might have poisoned my starter with the squid ink and soy sauce so I added instant yeast.  As it turned out my starter appeared to be strong enough.)  

      dough weight 792 g & dough hydration 76%  

      1. Bulk fermentation 6 hours with 4 folds

      2. Shape then Proof 2 hours

      3. Overnight cold retardation 12 hours, followed by 2 hours at room temp

      4. Bake at 230 C for 20 min and 210 C for another 15 min, followed by 10 min resting in the oven with the door still shut but the oven turned off.    

      This morning I showed my son and daughter the fermented dough before their school; both of them turned up their noses without saying anything.  My husband was more diplomatic.   



                   Crumb ...                                                          and more crumb      


      Well, I have to say that I am very pleased with the result.   My husband said the crumb was sensational (how supportive).  The crust was thin and ultra crispy (to me, it is baguette crust standard).  



                         top crust                                                                    bottom crust   


      There was a very faint bitterness taste to the crumb, which I find adds to the depth of flavour.   I asked my husband if he thought the bitterness was associated with the ink.  He said, even if it was not, you would form that mental association because your senses subconsciously makes the linkage between black and bitterness.       

      Notwithstanding the faint bitterness, he likes the bread also because it is very moist; but he admits this inky bread is not his most favourite.  For me, the inkiness is a strikingly sober colour that I like, at once ancient and modern.   I once heard that many Americans like their first cup of coffee blace in the morning and why black? - because the bitterness provides counter-balance to their sweet diet.  Your body actually craves for something bitter.  Another example: why do pregnant women crave for sourness - their body needs Vitamin C contained in many sour fruits or food.   I crave bitterness; not at all because this bread is bitter (it is not), it is the association that makes me welcome this bread.       



                                                                        My black abstract painting    


      Bixmeister's picture

      I recently heard from the owner of Kamado Corporation regarding my inquiry as to whether his company makes a product similar to a wood burning oven for making bread and pizza.  Richard Johnson, the owner sent my a reply including pictures that I have in this link: Meridian




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