The Fresh Loaf

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xaipete's picture

A good friend of mine sent me this recipe last weekend. She and her husband used to eat this excellent appetizer or meal at Sayat Nova in Chicago many decades ago. She was pleased to see that it is still on their menu after all those years!

To call this "pizza" really doesn't tell the story of either its base or topping. The base has crackerish qualities lacking in bread and its topping, rich only with meat, fragrant spices and herbs, and devoid of any cheese-like quality. We gobbled down these meat pides last night with astounding speed.

Yesterday, I found a video demonstrating how to make them on youtube. Before watching it you might want to mute the sound because the music, which they offer for sale, is a bit harsh for my ears.

The authentic choice of meat is lamb, but if you object you could substitute beef. I ground my own lamb with the grinder attachment of my KA, but mincing it with a food processor would also work nicely. Of course you can also just buy the product already ground, if you choose.

The flavor of the finished pide is greatly enhanced by a lot of fresh lemon juice.

I took a lot of pictures, but, alas, didn't have the CF card in the camera except for the last shot.



(Makes 12)

7 g instant yeast
227 g warm water
7 g salt
7 g sugar
56 g shortening (I used Crisco, but you could probably use olive oil with good results)
340 g AP flour

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground lamb
3/4 cup chopped parsley
3/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped or passed through a garlic press
1/4 cup tomato paste
14 oz. can pear-shaped tomatoes (you can also use peeled, seeded, and chopped fresh tomatoes)
1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika

Lemon wedges, fresh mint, and olive oil

Mix dough ingredients together adding enough extra flour, if necessary, to make a soft pliable dough.  Knead for about 5 minutes to make it smooth and non-sticky.  Turn into greased bowl, cover, and let rise until double, about 1 hour.

Punch down and divide into 12 equal pieces, each slightly under 2 oz. Shape into balls, arrange about 2” apart, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450º with rack on lowest level, and prepare topping. Drain tomatoes and finely chop the pulp.  Add pulp to remaining topping ingredients and mix with a fork until completely blended.  Divide meat mixture into 12 portions of about 1/3 cup each.

Take 2 pieces of dough and roll each to a 7 to 8” circle (dough will be very thin).  Place them slightly apart on ungreased lipped baking sheet lined with either parchment or a silicon baking pad.  Using a fork, spread meat mixture evenly to edges of dough.  

Bake one sheet at a time at 450˚ for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom but still capable of being folded. Remove and cool on racks. Repeat until all are baked.

Serve with lemon wedges.  Armenians put pickles or salad on top, and fold in half to eat.  

Store in sets of 2, with meat surfaces together (I put waxed paper between.)  Wrap well, and refrigerate or freeze.

To reheat:  Thaw, if frozen.  Leave in sets of 2.  Bake at 450˚ for 5 to 7 minutes until piping hot.  Separate and serve with lemon wedges.

Notes: May be top with salad dressed with 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, 4 tablespoons olive oil, salt & pepper, and lots of fresh chopped mint.


Shiao-Ping's picture

This sourdough was inspired by MC's fantastic Double Apple Bread at her farine-mc site.  My family is big on apples and when I saw her post I knew I would have to try.    

I used to wonder how apples in a good apple pie don't stick to the pastry.  Last November I was in New York  for a rare Chinese concert of Liu Fang and in one of my sleepless nights adjusting to the time zone difference, I was watching the American Iron Chef Boby Flay in a quest trying to find the best apple pie in America.   In the show, the brown paper bag apple pie won the contest.  Ever since then, my apple pies have seen great successes (I've tried it with frangipani built in, I've tried it with a custard centre, I've tried it with both - they are all good) and even my father-in-law loved it.   I admit this is a convoluted way to explain why I ended up with excess custard in my fridge and why it found its way into this apple sourdough.  To me, custard goes so well with apples.   

While I made my custard bread every now and then (I use custard to hydrate the dough) and my kids love it, I was not sure how my sourdough culture would react to custard.  One would say you don't need custard as sourdough is flavorful enough.  In making this bread, I also resisted using any instant yeast.     

I followed MC's instruction on fermenting the fresh apples for 5 days here with double quantity.  But I am scared of soaking muesli overnight as she did because it reminds me of the many failed gluten-free breads that I used to make.  So, I just used rolled oats in this instance.   

Here is my formula:  

200g rye starter @ 75% hydration

360 g Lucke's Wallaby unbleached baker's flour (11.9% gluten)

50 g rolled oats (and extra for dusting)

75 g shop-bought dried apple slices (chopped)

30 g water

120 g of the sweet , alcoholic juice from fermenting the apples

100 g cooked Granny Smith apple puree

55 g home-made vanilla custard

75 g of the fermented apples, chopped (the rest of the apples went with bacon under griller as part of yesterday's breakfast!)

 9 g salt  

I've been wanting to try David's beautiful San "waa-keen" Sourdough but there is a picture of a crown bread from Auvergne, France, in Leader's Local Breads (page 100) that really took my fancy.  I am not confidant if I bulk ferment my apple-loaded dough for 21 hours, as in David's method, that I would be able to shape it into the crown shape without deflating the dough too much.   So, before all is said and done, I mixed, did 4 stretch & folds in a space of 3 hours, shaped, and then put the dough into my refrigerator just before mid-day yesterday.  Here is the shaped dough before it went in:   


    the shaped dough  

I was however uncomfortable with the varying temperatures in my big old fridge, -1C to 7C (30F to 45F).  It was quite cold last night - the air through my kitchen window registered 14C (57F); I thought, perfect, that's the temp that I want my dough to be in; so at the last min I took the dough out of the fridge (it'd been there for 12 hours) and placed it right next to the window before I went to bed. 

I baked it this morning at 9 (21 hours altogether for proofing!).  And here is the Triple Apple Custard Sourdough (what a tongue twister):  


                           Triple Apple Custard Sourdough  


                                                                                                      close-up 1


                   close-up 2



                                The crust


I am very happy how this sourdough has turned out.  The crumb is as open as I could have hoped for.  The mouth-feel is quite heavy as it is very moist with loads of apples.  Thank you, MC, I know you are travelling at the moment, but you'd be happy with this apple sourdough, knowing how much you like fruits, dried fruits and all that healthy stuff!  And, thank you, David, for your ever detailed instructions in all of your wonderful posts.



Susan's picture

This little loaf is a perfect example of overproofing.  This is not a good thing.  Note the light color of the crust, the short stature, the spreading, and the more biscuit-like crumb.  I made a pizza with half the dough, and forgot the rest for a few hours.  A little bird told me to go ahead and bake it, but being hard-headed, I shaped it and put it in the fridge for the night.  You see the result.  My apologies to the little bird for not following her suggestion.

Susan from San Diego

Yippee's picture

I'm very happy to have worked out this recipe, not only because I am adding a new variety to the many existing recipes using sourdough starter discard, but it has also brought back a lot of fond memories from my childhood.

Egg puffs were one of my favorite after-school snacks that I picked up from a street hawker outside my elementary school.  Those freshly made egg puffs had soothed and warmed my rumbling stomach at winter dusk-I was in the PM section of my elementary school.

To make egg puffs, a thin batter of eggs, sugar, and evaporated milk is prepared. A two-piece egg puff iron is needed to produce these hollow, crispy egg-shaped waffles, giving them the Cantonese name that literally means 'little eggs'.  Street hawkers heat their irons on charcoal stoves, which are much more powerful than my electric stove at home. 

Street hawkers also use the same batter to make 'grid biscuits', which are very similar to waffles.  They are round in shape and have four quadrants.  These biscuits are usually served with a spread of butter and peanut butter and sprinkled with sugar on top. Therefore, if you dont' have an egg puff iron at home, you may try this recipe with a regular waffle maker.

Even though I'm thousands of miles away from my hometown across the Pacific, distance, thanks to these 'little eggs', only makes the heart grow fonder.

100% hydration starter = 1 cup          
Evaporated milk = 2 oz          
Eggs = 2            
Tapioca starch = 1 oz          
Castor sugar = 4 oz          
Baking soda =  1/4 tsp          
Baking powder =  1/2 tsp          
Custard powder = 2    TBSP          
Vanila extract = 1    tsp          
1 Whisk all ingredients until well mixed        
2 Heat up both pieces of egg puff iron and lightly spray with oil      
3 Pour batter to the base piece to about 90% full      
  Close with another piece, then turn upside down       
4 Take turns to heat both sides until the egg puffs are done  (It took Yippee 20 minutes on her electric stove)
5 Cool egg puffs on wire rack for 10 minutes before serving      

 A non-starter version recipe:

All purpose or cake flour = 4 oz
Tapioca starch = 1 oz
Castor sugar = 4 oz
Baking powder = 1 tsp
Water = 4 oz
Evaporated milk = 2 oz
Eggs = 2  
Custard powder = 2    TBSP
Vanila extract = 1    tsp

This will be submitted to Wild Yeast Yeastspotting!

ArtisanGeek's picture

I have relocated my Bread Baker's Toolbox (Volume Conversion Formula Tool , Custom Batch Formula Tool) to one of my hosting servers at Now I can finally shut down my server at the house. I hope you can get some use out of these tools and I will be making more of them soon. If you have any suggestions for formula or conversion tools that would make your life easier, just let me know.

audra36274's picture

    I couldn't let Sylvia and Pamela have all the red stained shirts! I did use Sylvia's meatball recipe, but instead of rolling the out by hand used and ice cream scoop to put the meatball in the bread crumbs. NEXT time I will only use a cookie dough scoop. They were way too big! I was scooping, rolling and putting them straight in the oil when I stopped to count. Sylvia had 18 or so and here is 10,11, 12. Uh oh. Too late. Good thing I have a big mouth. They were great ya'll. Thanks for the inspiration. My bread crumbs vanished somehow, but they were great.

hansjoakim's picture

Here's one of my favourite rye loaves:

70 percent rye with hot soaker

The loaf is a 70% rye with a hot rye meal soaker. The hydration is around 80%, and I put approx. 15% of the total flour in the soaker. The pre-gelatinized flour contribues to a very soft, moist and tender crumb, and gives the loaf excellent keeping qualities. The rest of the flour is whole rye (about 55%) and ordinary bread flour (30%). I make it with a firm white starter and a tiny speck of fresh yeast, about the size of a small pea (just under 2 gr.), so the loaf develops a nice, round flavour during a 2 hr bulk fermentation. Final proof is approx. 1hr 15 mins.

70 percent rye with hot soaker

This loaf is a decent compromise: It has the nice flavour of rye, and the added bread flour contributes significant strength and  lightness to the loaf. You could add different bread spices or herbs to it, but I think I prefer it plain.


For dinner, I opted for the feuillete with salmon tartar from Roux' pastry book. Well... I have been out of puff pastry for a couple of weeks, and I needed a good excuse to make some more ;-) Besides, I'd just seen a video of a chef making the quick/blitz/rough version of puff pastry, and I would like to have a go at it myself. I've made the classic version before (and I'm still blown away by the puffing power of classic puff), but never the quick version. The procedure is simple enough: Basically a buttery pie dough that is given turns, and brief rests in the fridge in between. One shouldn't do too many turns with quick puff, as that tends to break down the rough layers and diminish the volume of the end product. Enough of that... so I did four single turns on the pastry while the rye bulk fermented. No pain at all, and I was thoroughly surprised over how quick (and dirty) the method is.

I cut off a bit of the dough this afternoon to make dinner. The dough is rolled into a thin circle, and this is then rolled in granulated sugar. The sugar caramelizes in the oven, and adds a unique sweet crunch to the feuillete at each bite. Sweet sugar crunch, fresh salmon and buttery feuillete went down remarkably well in my book :)

Feuillete with salmon tartar

Roux writes that the rough version bakes up to about 75% of the volume attained by correctly rolled classic puff. Doing the rough version felt a bit like cheating, I'll gladly admit it, but for such savoury applications, I don't think it matters that much. I'll definitely go with the classic one for any ambitious dessert, but the rough version is very handy and comes together very quickly.

The inevitable: Left overs and scrap puff. Oh boy. What to do? Can't throw it away, can you? It's all butter and flour-y goodness, innit? My local grocery store had some perky raspberries the other day, so I thought a mille-feuille would finish off a long day.





Added June 27: I still had some of the rough puff pastry in my fridge, and figured I could use the rest to make some apple turnovers and a dessert this weekend. I picked up a nice batch of Royal Gala apples at the local grocery and made an apple filling. Instead of the usual vanilla/cinnamon flavoured filling, I tried a recipe flavoured with lemon juice and a liberal sprinkling of Calvados. *Yum*

Apple filling

So, for the turnovers, I sprinkled them with sugar and some chopped almonds just before baking. I think they turned out alright, but you can see that the rough puff version doesn't puff up as much as the classic one. Still tastes good, though.

Apple turnover

For the dessert this weekend, I opted for a recipe in Friberg's pastry book that I've been drooling over for a long time, but not had the opportunity to make before now. It's something he calls puff pastry apple points, and it's an interesting variation on the usual mille-feuilles. The puff pastry is baked as a thin sheet (i.e. weighed down by a second baking sheet on top for the first 15 mins.), and is cut into three consecutively thinner strips. The points are then made by stacking layers of puff, the Calvados apple filling and a Calvados cream. The whole thing is iced with ordinary whipped cream, and decorated with crumbs of left over baked puff. I think it turned out alright! It tasted great anyway, with a marked Calvados taste due to both the filling and the Calvados cream. By the way, here's how it's supposed to look: Photo from the book. Note that I took the photo before cutting into individual servings... slicing these mille-feuilles tend to become... messy. Pressing through the cream and cutting with a serrated knife through the pastry strips should do the trick.

Puff pastry apple points

audra36274's picture



What is the weather where you are? Here is what is going on in the south. We can't seem to get ripe tomatoes because we enjoy them green . Early in the morning it is already 84 with high humidity. I start my bread and sit it out to rise. Then we pick and prepare for canning. Go knead. Start canning before it gets any hotter. Go shape for final rise. Take hot jars out and sit aside to be undisturbed. Bake and cook.  The days are busy, long, and hot but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I wish you all good food and happy baking. Anybody else have that first ripe tomato yet? Luckily my friend has a greenhouse and we have really had them all winter.



dmsnyder's picture

The rolls I made with the Sourdough Italian Bread  dough were so good, I made a bigger batch today. I thought about making them larger than last time, but my wife said she wanted hers smaller. So, I made half of them 4 oz and half 3 oz. I guess you could call them "His and Hers Sourdough Italian Rolls."


One of our favorite breads is the Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread from Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice." I don't know why I don't bake it more often. Just "so many breads, so little time," I guess. Anyway, my wife has been lobbying for me to make it for a few weeks. So ...



xaipete's picture

When I saw Sylvia's sandwiches I immediately knew what we were having for Father's Day! I made BBA's Italian Bread. Thanks to information gleaned from David's posts I knew to increase the mixing time. I think it took about 10 minutes on medium speed in my KA to pass the window pane test.

I used a regular biga (is there really any such animal?) that I made the day before and held overnight in the refrigerator. I made one loaf and 4 hoagie-style rolls (each roll weighed about 5 ounces).

Note to self: whenever putting sesame seeds on the outside of loaves, rolls, etc., brush the target with egg white wash or most of them will be on the floor and not in your mouth. I can't tell you how many times I swept the kitchen floor yesterday! Before bagging the breads, Jim said, "Why don't we just scrape the seeds off!" I agreed whole-heartedly!

My meatball recipe is oddly (just kidding) similar to Sylvia's. It comes come foodtv's Ina Garten. You can read it here if you are interested.

I, like Sylvia, really think San Marzano tomatoes are the best and use them in all my special dishes.

The meal was a winner and the bread held up very well to the meatballs and sauce. I dressed the meatball with a semi-firm whole-milk mozzarella and popped them under the broiler for a few minutes.

I wanted my picture to look like just like Sylvia's but was out of parsley, so I had to substitute a sprig of cilantro :-) which I threw away after taking the photo.

Happy Father's Day to all,



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