The Fresh Loaf

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dmsnyder's picture

San Joaquin Sourdough & Friends

San Joaquin Sourdough & Friends

San Joaquin Sourdough

San Joaquin Sourdough

San Joaquin Sourdough Crumb

San Joaquin Sourdough Crumb

This boule is made with my Pain de Campagne formula. ( I used KAF French Style Flour with 5% KAF Organic Whole Wheat and 5% Giusto's whole rye flour. I formed one boule which weighed 860 gms baked. I baked at 480F for 18 minutes under a stainless steel bowl, then another 22 minutes at 460F uncovered. The shine on the boule is real. I assume this is gelatinized starch from the covered baking. I thought it was a nice effect.

 The "friends" are baguettes made with the Gosselin pain a l'ancienne formula.(à-l039ancienne-according-peter-reinhart-interpretted-dmsnyder-m) There were 4 of them, but I devoured one with dinner. It did not have as open a crumb as my last batch, but the taste was wonderful - very sweet, classic baguette flavor.


holds99's picture

This week I tried Michel Suas' whole wheat sourdough bread for the second time.  I made four pounds of dough and divided it into 2 loaves (2 lbs each).  The leavening is an overnight levain.  After reading Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads I decided to take a little different approach and prior to mixing the levain into the final dough I mixed the whole wheat and bread flour (for the final dough) together and mixed in the water and let it stand for 5 hours.  It became very soft and creamy.  Then I when the levain was ready I mixed it into the final dough mixture and let it stand for about 20 minutes.  Then added the salt and gave it a good 8-10 minute hand mixing using Richard Bertinet's "slap and fold" method.  During bulk fermentation I did three stretch and folds at 20 minute intervals.  Then divided the dough into 2 equal sizes, shaped it and placed them into heavily floured (50% rice flour/50% AP flour) unlined willow brotforms.  I belief soaking the combined final dough flour with the water really made a difference.

You might be interested to know that I used a different knife to score each loaf, which are sitting in front of their respective loaf.  The left loaf (right photo, top) was scored with a PureKomachi 5" high carbon stainless steel serated tomato knife.  The loaf on the right was scored with a standard serated 5" kitchen knife.  I think the PureKomachi does a hugely superior job. I also have the PureKomachi bread knife, which is also a great knife.  Hey, I sound like Ron Popeil selling Vegamatics :>).

Anyway, if you like whole wheat bread, well, it doesn't get any better than this.  It has great taste, nice mouth feel with a tinge of sourness after swallowing---and terrific flavor. 


2 nd try at Michel Suas Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread - Advanced Bread and Pastry

Michel Suas Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread - Advanced Bread and Pastry

chahira daoud's picture
chahira daoud

Dear friends,

In the occasion of our feast , i made a lot of cookies and biscuits , some are pure egyptian , some from the gulf area , chocolate chips cookies ,european biscuits, so that is a variety , so every one of you can choose the one he likes.

if you are interested to share the recipes , i am ready.

Eli's picture

I made Norm's Onion Rolls back in April and wish I had posted them then. That bunch seemed to be a little more aesthetic. These were great tasting and Norm's Onion Rolls, along with Henry's Scones have made me quite popular with the neighborhood.

Burger with Norm' s Onion Roll and Mr. Stripey tomatoes! Delicious!!

Thanks Norm and Henry!! ehanner's made me covet that onion poppy seed explosion again!

Thanks for making them look so good again!


AnnieT's picture

I just got my used copy of this book which I had thought of sending to my son in Paso Robles as he is talking of building a clay oven. I thought maybe the brick oven would interest him, but having started to read it I may keep it. Fascinating book with lots of information, but I found one point that confuses me. The author claims that the internal temperature of a loaf should be at least 195*, though 200* is ideal. Then he goes on to say that bread baked to a higher temperature does not keep as well. Here I have been carefully baking to at least 205*! Who should I believe? I searched and found that several members have the book and like it - did anyone else notice the comment? A.

dolfs's picture

Baking Challah is a weekly thing in my kitchen. I have blogged about it extensively. For the holidays I did something a little "special" inspired by a long ago post by Mariana (I think).

 Rosh Hashanah Challah (yud bet)
Rosh Hashanah Challah (yud bet)

Maggie Glezer in "A Blessing of Bread" describes this as a yud (ten) bet (two), an originally Hasidic bread that represents the twelve tribes. I added double twisted ring on the outside symbolizing the world, unity, or the circle of live (the completion of a year), take your pick. The resulting Challah is thus also round, a traditional shape for the holidays.

A particular challenge came with the fact that no recipe I could find would tell me what size/weight to make each of the twelve balls and how much was needed for the two outside ropes. I started with my own recipe of a 1.7lb Challah that I make each week. Figuring I could do with a larger bread (guests for dinner tonight), but not being sure how much dough I would need, I made 3lb of dough starting last night (overnight ferment in the fridge). I also added raisins.

In the end I decided to make the balls 2.5oz each (30 oz) and use the remainder for the two ropes: 9oz each. Once I shaped the balls and placed them on parchment in two triangles of six (bases touching), I used a tape measure to figure out how long my outside ropes needed to be: 40 inches. Now I was very happy with my new 36" maple countertop (see other posts). I could just roll these out on the diagonal. Without it, on a smaller board, or the tile countertops this would have been a no-go. Stretching/rolling the dough that far requires a little patience and one or two rests before you get there. I was in a hurry because my wife needed the oven and broke one of the two, but with some repair its not too bad. The "break" is on the back left in the picture. So, all this worked out perfectly so you can use these ratios: 60-65% of the dough for the 12 balls, the rest for the ropes.

Taste was delicious, but my formula has now proven itself many times so I was not worried about that. Next challenge will be bread sculpting for Halloween. Don't know yet what will top last year's pumpkin and turkey



See my My Bread Adventures in pictures 

dolfs's picture

Same party with neighbors (see Eliopsomo), different bread. From the book "Savory Baking from the Mediterranean" (Anissa Helou), page 133. This was definitely an interesting a delicious treat. Two loaves did not last very long.

 Tortano Ripieno - Savory Baking from the Mediterranean
Tortano Ripieno - Savory Baking from the Mediterranean

This "torta" "no", or not quite pie, is very interesting. A Tuscan bread, it is filled with several kinds of cheese (some of it seen having oozed out above), salami and, of all things, hard boiled eggs. Savory indeed, and very delicious.

Tortano Ripieno - Inside
Tortano Ripieno - Inside 

I went through a similar recipe transcription process as for the Eliopsomo, but this time things came out too dry. I was suspicious of the 52% hydration that came out of the conversion effort, and added more water to bring it closer to 64%. In the end, I think I could/should have brought it up a little higher even. On the other hand, the low hydration did make the bread have some characteristics of a pie crust. The recipe starts out by thoroughly mixing lard (or butter), with the flour before doing anything else. Again a technique more akin to pie crust than bread dough.

I ended up putting three hard boiled eggs inside each loaf. The recipe calls for cutting them in 6 parts, which I did for one loaf, but for the other loaf I used a slicer and put the slices in. The first method gives nice, recognizable chunks in some bits, the second method distributes the egg better. If you like the egg in it, I'd put in 4 eggs in 6 parts. Concerned about health? This bread is not for you, with 3 or 4 eggs!



See my My Bread Adventures in pictures 

dolfs's picture

A party with neighbors brought some new inspiration to bake something different. From the book "Savory Baking from the Mediterranean" (Anissa Helou) I picked the recipe for Eliopsomo, or Greek olive bread. The book does not specify baker's percentages or weights, but I used my Dough Calculator to compute those. The conversion for spinach, herbs and olives are guesses and probably not exactly what the author intended. Nevertheless, I doubled the recipe and made two loaves.

Eliopsomo - Savory Breads from the Mediterranean
Eliopsomo - Savory Breads from the Mediterranean 

It worked out reasonably OK. I did not like the amount of filling. It appeared too much and the moisture content was too high. If I were to bake this again, I'd squeeze, or somehow dry out, the spinach, and also drain the olives much better/longer than I did. I would also reduce the overall amount of filling to about 60% of the recipe. It is, of course, always possible that I just misinterpreted the instructions and simply made too much, but I doubt it. I also believe that a better technique than described in the book would be in order for final shaping, causing the filling to be more distributed (like a cinnamon roll perhaps).

Filling was so wet, stuff leaked out during proofing in my couche (and ruined it). 

Eliopsomo - Inside
Eliopsomo - Inside 

 The taste was definitely OK, but not wow.



See my My Bread Adventures in pictures
nbicomputers's picture

With Christmas and Thanksgiving right around the corner I thought I would start this blog to let everybody on this site know what an old retired Baker with over 25 years experience in the baking industry does for the holidays.  Well this year I'm going to do pretty much the same thing that I do every year which is come out of retirement.  Even though there are only three people in the house my wife my son and myself my home turns into a small commercial bakery.  I literally produce enough products to feed my entire apartment building.  Being that you can only produce so much product in a home kitchen at one time a production schedule is required and must be kept to.  This is where my experience in professional bakery comes in handy.

While much of the actual baking does not start until the middle of November many things can be prepared in advance and frozen for extended periods of time such as puff pastry pie crust and Danish pastry.  The first step is in obtaining the raw materials. I have planned my  trip to bakery supply house to purchase: 50 pound bags of different flous, fresh yeast, macaroon paste and several other ingredients not available in regular supermarkets.  My shopping list is as follows
one bag king Arthur special patent flour,
one bag all trumps high gluten flour,
one bag pure as snow cake flour,
one to pound block fresh yeast,
one 50 pound cube BBS, [Baker's special shortening],
one cube HiMo Shortening (a special high water and sugar holding shortening that will emulsify rather than curdle)
one 11 pound bar choc coating
and 1 quart egg shade. 
Some of the materials such as macaroon coconut that I need in very small quantities will be ordered by mail order even though it means I need to pay a lot for these few items I just don't have the room to store a 50 pound bag of coconut.  When all is said and done by Christmas Eve I will have produced between 40 and 50 pounds of assorted cookies along with cakes and pastries and Breads.

As I began preparations in my little home bakery I will update this so all that are interested can follow along with the calendar what is made and when


Nov 13 tomorow is starting day

puff pastry dough and pie crust for the frezer and if i have time maybe il do the cheese filling.

scubabbl's picture

It's been a while... I have not written anything for a while, or baked anything for a while. It was a combination of work, and also a certain level of frustration with making bread by hand.

At first, what I made turned out pretty decent. But over time, the dough I made stopped rising, or was too dry, or had some other problem. Combine that with my frustrations with kneading dough, and I had the perfect storm of feeling of not wanting to bake anything... I think that last point, kneading dough, is where I large amount of my frustration was. I simply wasn't good at it. It never worked the way I read it should. I know some people would say, just keep practicing, you'll get it. Call me impatient, but I didn't want to have 100 failures before I had a success.

I think of it similar to body boarding vs. surfing. Yes, when you surf, you have much better control. I can ride a wave much better, you can go faster, in general, you can be a better wave man than a body board. But with a body board, you can get out there and start cracking on waves right away. I mean, after about 2 years of body boarding on and off, I drove up to the north shore (on Oahu), and was ripping on waves that were 10 to 12 feet, while my surfing friend, who has been surfing for a long time, was missing wave after wave... The point to all this is, I went and bought my kitchen body board.

My New Mixer

I made the most wonderful bread I've made ever with this last night. It took a 1/10th of the time and made about a 1/100th of the mess. With all due respect to those who made bread by hand, you have mad skills, but you're crazy. Mixers kick major rear. Also, I love my mixer. Did I mention that? All of a sudden, I'm having fun making bread again! Sweet.... oh maybe I'll make sticky buns next...


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