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Shiao-Ping's picture

I saw a picture in Aime Pouly's Le Pain of a twisted baguette, which reminds me of the Japanese sourdough "wave" loaf that I made. I thought James MacGuire's formula would be great for me to try Pouly's baguette fashion. I incorporated the following additions:

  • French starter, which I got from Teresa's Northwest Sourdough website.

  • Chinese (to be exact, Cantonese) style of sausage for one of the three baguettes (below). Canton is the south-eastern province of China where Hong Kong used to be a part of until the latter's cession to Britain for 99 years to 1997. The dialect spoken in Canton Province is Cantonese, which is also the dialect in Hong Kong, naturally, as well as many overseas Chinese whose ancestors were from Canton.

  • I reduced the instant dry yeast by half to 1/3 teaspoon (ie, 1 gram).

Here are the pictures of my three baguettes.






I have never gotten such a creamy crumb before. The flour I used is Laucke's Wallaby Unbleached Bakers Flour (protein 11.9%). They are a South Australia based company. During our kids' school holiday last year, we went very close to the heart of the base of German and Italian immigrants in Australia where Laucke is located. We ate at the famous Stefano de Pieri's restaurant in South Australia.







By now you probably know that I mostly eat my baguette with my eyes.  This is my supper.





davidg618's picture

Folliwing Dan DiMuzio's guidance (and others) re creating a more sour levain I prepared a 500g, 50% hydration levain, and then fed it every 12 hours for two and a half days. I maintained it at 55°F, in our wine closet, thoroughout. Subsequently, I used DiMuzio's Pain au Levain (firm starter: 480g, 60%) formula with two changes. 1. The aforementioned 50% hydrated levain vs. the formula's 60% levain; and, 2. I encreased the whole-wheat flour percentage to 20% vs. the formula's 10%. Yes, I knew the increased whole wheat flour content would alter the flavor, but I reasoned the whole-wheat alteration wouldn't effect the sour component of the finished bread. My objectives were threefold. Maintain the same excellent ovenspring with the stiffer levain as I've been experiencing with the 60% hydrated levain. Increase the perceived sourness in the flavor profile. Finally, I wanted to practice batard shaping and scoring, a shape I haven't made very often. Except for the batard shaping, as nearly as possible, I replicated all the mixing, bulk fementation, final proof, and baking steps I've used before baking the basic formula.

Just for fun, while the stiff levain was fermenting after its final feeding, I used the 250g of levain that would otherwise been discarded to make a single, all white flower batard.

The results of both bakes are shown in the photos.

As hoped for, the pain au levain is distinctively sour, but not to the extent of many of the commercial San Francisco sourdoughs I've tasted. The ovenspring was preserved, and I'm satisfied with my batard shaping and scoring.

The leftover starter loaf.

and its crumb--closed more than usual.

David G

Shiao-Ping's picture

My husband text me from China and said his boss told him over pre-dinner drinks that he is a sucker of sourdough!   Immediately I was thinking what would I bake if he ever makes a trip to Australia, not that I've been forewarned of any near-term possibility, but I was just entertaining hypothetical visits.  Somehow, I know it's not MacGuire's that I've been making lately even with all those lovely big holey crumbs that I've been getting.  The flavors of all those MacGuire breads/sourdoughs are not the best of all breads/sourdoughs that I've made.   Indulge me with this explanation: the flavors of all those super-hydrated (and the resulting super-holey) crumbs are not deeply alluring for me to want to come back and have another slice once chewing is done.

I was out doing a bit of gardening and enjoying the gorgeous sunshine of Australian winter.   It hit me that my husband left a bottle of Irish ale in our bar fridge.  There is a Dan Lepard's recipe that uses ale (as one would expect) in his "The Handmade Loaf" that I've been wanting to try.  It's called "Barm bread."  For most of you out there there will be no difficulty guessing what a barm bread might be, but I've never heard of this word, barm.  My Wiktionary says it is an old English term referring to the foam rising upon beer or other malt liquors, when fermenting, and used as leaven in making bread (and in brewing).  So, that's it - a barm bread is like a sourdough bread.


To make a quick barm

250 g ale (or bottle-conditioned beer)

50 g white bread flour

4 tsp white leaven (Dan's starter is 80% hydration; as the amount used is so little, it would not matter if your is not 80%.)  

Heat up the ale or beer in a saucepan to 70C (158F), then remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the flour.  Transfer to a bowl, leave to cool down to 20C (68F), then stir in the leaven.  Cover with a plastic wrap and leave overnight to ferment.  (My barm took 36 hours to be bubbly.)  Use as you would a leaven (but adjust your recipe water as the barm is quite liquid).    


          the ale and the barm freshly made up                              the barm is ready

Dan Lepard says this is a perfect replica of the complex barm of olden times for the home bakers.

Now, the above formula is really curious to me.  Recently a TFL user Bruce (Frrogg1son) asked me about a Chinese "65C soupy dough" and when I Googled it a whole string of Hongkonese and Taiwanese bread recipes ran up; many of these breads are on the sweet side with milk powder, butter and sugar, almost like French brioche breads.  I see these type of sweet white breads in Japan a lot too.  

The curious thing is that the ratio of water to flour in this "65C soupy dough" is the same as Dan's ale to flour ratio; ie, 5 to 1, and it is heated up to 65 C, closed to Dan's 70 C.  Bruce told me that the science behind this soupy dough is that "when the flour particles reach about 65C, they burst, releasing starch molecules, which have the capacity to absorb very large amounts of water.  It is like gelatinization."  What this does to a dough is that it improves the moistness of the crumb and keeping quality of the bread.   He first discovered it on the internet as a natural way to extend the moistness of some doughs.   How interesting.  I imagined what this does is similar to what potato does for some sourdoughs - very most crumbs and good keeping quality.

That said, I felt a sense of auspicious foreboding coming for this barm bread.  Dan's book (page 41) says the Barm bread is the traditional wheaten bread of England.  Wow.


The formula

150 g barm from above (the rest can keep in the fridge for a week)

250 g water (adjust your water temp to achieve a dough temp of around 21C / 70F)

500 g strong white flour (or a flour mix of rye and wholewheat, or even soaked grains, but I used white flour only)

10 g salt (or 1& 1/2 tsp)

*  Note: This is a 68% hydration dough; but I added 20 g extra water to bring it to 72%. 

Schedule in hours and minutes 

0 :00    In a large bowl, whisk the barm with the water.  Add the flour and salt, and stir until you have a sticky mass.  Cover.  Autolyse. The dough temp should be about 21C (70F).

0 :10    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 - 15 seconds.  Return the dough to the bowl.  Cover.  (I gave the dough 7 - 8 folds inside the bowl, which  lasted 15 seconds, much the same way as dough is folded in James MacGuire's pain de tradition here that I recently posted.) 

0 :20    Knead again as above.  (I folded the dough again in the bowl.)  The room temp should be about 20C (68F), if not, you may need to place your dough in the fridge for part of the time to keep the dough temp down.

0 :30    Knead again as above.  (I folded again.) 

1 :00    Knead again as above.  (I folded again.)

2 :00    Knead again as above.  (I folded again.)

3 :00    Knead again as above.  (I folded again.)

5 :00    Turn the dough out and divide it into two pieces of 450 g each (I left mine as whole).  Pre-shape each into a ball.  Cover.

5 :15    Shape dough into boule and place into floured linen-lined baskets or bowls.  Cover.   Leave at room temp of around 20C (68F) for a bit longer than 4 hours or until dough almost doubled.

8 :30    Turn on your oven to 220C/425F (if it takes one hour to pre-heat).

9 :30    Bake with steam for 50 - 70 minutes.


Phew!  This schedule may look like a bread making marathon to you but in truth my dough was not ready until after 12 hours!  I started mixing my dough at 7am yesterday, and it was only ready to bake at 8 pm!  Possible reasons are that my room temp was only around 18C (64F) and/or my barm was very slow.   And this is it:



   Dan Lepard's Barm Bread 



What a beautiful barm bread; the taste is most amazing, richly flavored from the ale-based barm, which has a slight bitterness and sweetness from the ale.  I am most impressed by Dan's formula.  The crumb is sweetly fragrant.  It has a very deep aroma, and allure.  Now, this is something that I would come back to have more.   






It's been years since I ate past 8pm but last night I literally had 1/3 of the loaf on my own!  Any of you ladies out there, don't do what I do. 

I have not recommended any breads to people up until now because most of my breads are frivolous experiments and for my eyes only, but I do commend this one.   Whether your guests are experienced connoisseurs or no foodies at all, there would be no qualms about this superb sourdough.  (I am blowing my own trumpet.)

Thank you, Dan. 

It's time Polly our dog go out for a rumple-trot in our yard; I sang out her name and she stirred from behind my couch.  Out she went through the hallway door to enjoy the green and the afternoon sun.   And me?  I am having my afternoon tea with this bread!






SylviaH's picture

This is yet another sourdough version of the Pain De Tradition.  I baked this in my La Cloche bell for 15 minutes covered starting at a 450 oven and then turning it down to 350F at the start of the bake for one hour total convection bake time.

The taste is very nice and I can taste a hint of the extra organic white wheat that was added.  

Early oven shot  later after removing Bell cover!  The La Cloche was pre-heated with oven.


ed minturn's picture
ed minturn

Does anyone have any thoughts on a diabetic wanting to bake bread, pizzas, etc. Are there special recipes or perhaps limits to what one eats or just now do at all. Thanks for any thougths.    ed

ehanner's picture

The dough didn't spring all that much in the oven.

This is a light and easy to chew bread with good flavor

Slashed deeply and ready to proof

After 1 hour proof time, ready to bake

MommaT asked about a recipe for a Greek Bread that she had just had while in the Mediterranean on vacation. A common bread sold everywhere and wonderful to the nose and mouth senses. I suspect the view of the beautiful Greek villages with their white stucco buildings and red tile roofs, not to mention the sea air and fine wine might have an impact on the experience of eating a piece of artisan bread dipped in the most fragrant  Greek Olive oil. Ahhh, it takes me back.  So---

When DSnyder suggested a possible recipe after connfering with his Greek DIL, well I hopped right on it. I converted the recipe to weights for the most part, at least where it counts. I used 135g per cup for the flour weight and KA AP flour. My hydration came in at 73% counting the milk and oil as liquids.

I thought the dough to be a bit firm but the recipe does call it a stiff dough. I mixed it as per  suggested but I let it rest for 20 minutes and then folded and kneaded a bit. It was starting to become smooth but not fully delevoped when I shaped it into a round and covered it. About an hour passed annd the dough had doubled nicely and felt like a puff ball. I shaped it into a tight oval, brushed an egg wash over the top and sprinkled a generous topping of toasted sesame seeds over the loaf. I don't usually slash the loaf prior to proofing but that's what was called for so I made a deep slash down the top center as you can see. I covered the loaf with plastic, dusted the plastic with spray oil and flipped the plastic wrap over so as to avoid a mess after proofing.

I had pre heated the oven to 400F and heated a 1/2 C of water for steam. The bread was loaded, in with the water and after 15 minutes lowered the heat to 350F for another 15 minutes. Actually I didn't quite go to the full 30 minutes baking time. I thought I was done enough for the first try at 27 minutes. The bread feels very light and is soft enough on the crust it is just a little hard to slice. Perhaps just just a little more oven time to dry it out.

The aroma is wonderful. Toasting the sesame seeds is always worth while. My daughter approves, saying "this is really good" , that is a pretty tall hurdle. She is a tough critic.

I don't know if this looks or tastes like what MommaT was talking about or even what David's daughter in law Stephanie intended. Perhaps she will see this and comment. Thank you Stephanie and David for your interest in creating this bread. Please let me know what you think.

Here is my contribution to the recipe.

Greek Bread with Sesame Seeds

Luke warm water (80F) 1/2 Cup (118g)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (30g)
5 Tablespoons warm milk (74g)
1 envelope ID Yeast (6g (2-teaspoons))
2-1/4 Cups AP Flour (304g)
1/2 teaspoon Salt (sea salt, fine grind)

1 egg and 2 T milk for washing before seeds are applied
2-4 T Sesame Seeds, toasted

Hydration 73%

Method as called for in Davids post here
Mix, autolyse, knead and ferment till double. Punch down, shape, slash and wash with egg wash, seeds and proof for 45-60 minutes.
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, reduce temp to 350 for and additional 15 mins.,steam as normal



gcook17's picture

I have a niece who is interested in baking and I was going to buy her the King Arthur videos on Artisan Bread and Blitz Puff Pastry.  When I went to their web site I was sad to see that the DVD on Artisan Breads was unavailable.  I don't know if they will make some more and sell them again or if that's the end of it.  I sure hope they continue selling them because it was a really helpful video for me when I was starting the make hearth breads with wet dough.

One of the things I had a hard time with at first was being comfortable with gobs of sticky dough all over my hands.  I'm not such a neatnik (or so I thought), but having goo covered hands just didn't seem right.  Hearing that it was okay to make a sticky mess was one thing, but actually seeing Michael Jubinsky knead the sticky mess by slapping it around on the table and getting everything gummed up really helped me at least partially overcome wetdoughphobia.  He uses a poolish and makes baguettes and boules.  He demonstrates folding, shaping, slashing, and steaming.  This is a really good beginnig video for anyone who wants to start baking artisan-style hearthbread.  I still watch it from time to time when I want to enjoy watching someone else bake for a change.

The other King Arthur video that I have stars Jeffrey Hamelman and he shows how to make blitz puff pastry.  If you haven't tried this, you really should.  It is surprisingly good and it's also amazingly quick and easy to make.  We've tried it out and used it to make tarts similar to those shown in the video.  I'm not such a pastry expert that I can critique the fine points of this dough versus long-process laminated puff pastry, but as Hamelman says, it makes it possible to get up in the morning and say, "I think I'd like to have a puff pastry based desert for lunch or dinner."  I watch this one repeatedly, always makes me hungry.

Here are the tarts my wife and I made after our first viewing:

Plums, almond cream, and blitz puff pastry.


Apricots, almond cream, and blitz puff pastry.


photojess's picture

A BIG thanks to Pamela for posting this recipe previously!  I made this yesterday, and it was really good with dinner last night.  The recipe can be found here:

If you like wholesome goodness, with 100% whole wheat (I used white) , and added nuts and seeds, this is for you!  It has a nice crunch to it, and my sister even asked it I had started chirping yet!  Anyway, just want to give this nice recipe a little shout out!  The dough did require some additional flour, than what was listed, but it was very nice to work with.

Highly suggest this one.

audra36274's picture

  As the story goes, Emily wanted a topsy turvy cake for her birthday party. If you haven't seen one, please google topsy turvy cakes and there are even cool video's that make it look oh so easy to do. I had called the bakery and they wanted $230.00 for one to feed 20 people. Not this year! So the Wilton pans come out and this is the result. Now I know it is not a $230. quality cake, 1. because I used frosting and  fondant only on the decorations (it taste like crap) and 2. it was a less than perfect job. The front I left flat for writing purposes, but the sides and back are very curvy. If you have ever worked with fondant, it has the exact same texture as Play Dough, so I let Emily and Quaid have a good time and cut out and apply all the dots.

Note to myself: Put the next extremely heavy cake I make on a solid board, NOT a cardboard cake board (they bend and will break the cake) this almost happened

   These are not that hard and I think that after making just 3 or 4 that anyone could make one with professional results. I did use dowels and corrugated cardboard to seperate when the layers changed sizes to help support the weight. And I can't think of anything I would have done differently. If you do one, follow the video, be sure to use a crumb coat and let it dry well. You should be able to smooth any rough spots because this layer gets sort of hard. Then you can frost away and not have to worry about any crumbs sneaking in. If its for kids, let them in on the fun. They will enjoy the cake more if they get to participate, and don't sweat it. It's just cake, if it flops, feed it to the chickens and run to the super market for a replacement and swear you just didn't have time to bake!Emily's cakeEmily's cake /2

xaipete's picture

Yesterday I tried the ciabatta pizza that trailrunner posted about a week ago. I was very impressed with the results.

The pizza formula has a lot of yeast in it and went through bulk fermentation like a rocket (I had to put it in the fridge to slow it down.) When it had tripled (after about 3 hours in fridge--probably faster but I just let it sit there until I was ready), I heavily floured my counter, literally poured the glutenous dough onto the flour, and then sprinkled more flour on the top. I patted the blob into a circle about 1/2 an inch thick. Then the trick was how to get the blob onto the pan-sprayed parchment. I did the best I could but had to reshape it a bit after it landed. Didn't seem to hurt it any. I topped it with tomatoes and basil (topping basil was an obvious mistake at this point because it dried out in the oven--next time I'll put it on as a garnish; sometimes in the heat of the moment I do stupid things).

I baked it on a preheated stone on the bottom rack for 8 minutes. (Trailrunner had warned me that I needed to bake the moisture out of the tomatoes and that was good advice.) After taking it out of the oven with my peel, I removed the parchment paper, topped it with some of TJ's marinated rope-type mozzarella, and slid it back in the oven for another 8 minutes. It rose up real nice in the oven and produced a delicate, soft, thickish pizza crust. The pizza as a whole didn't have as much flavor as I was hoping for but my tomatoes weren't home grown (I used an heirloom supermarket variety), so I'm not surprised as the topping was so plain. Next time I think I'll reduce the yeast to 3 g (I used 7 g by mistake) so it will take longer to go through bulk fermentation and perhaps develop a little more flavor. But all and all I was pretty happy with the results. Thanks trailrunner for posting this great pizza!

Topped with tomatoes and ready to go into the oven.

After 8 minutes

After 15 minutes (TJ's cheese had some oil in it so that's why it browned; regular mozzarella probably wouldn't brown.)

Crumb (or is it slice?)

250 g AP flour

227 g water (I might reduce to 210 g next time)

3 g yeast (I misread the recipe and used 7 g by accident)

7 g salt

tomatoes, thinly sliced or halved cherries, or a combination of both

mozzarella cheese, grated or thinly sliced

fresh basil leaves, for garnish

olive oil

kosher salt

Put the flour, water, salt, and yeast in mixer bowl and mix with paddle to incorporate. Let dough rest for 5 minutes to hydrate. Knead with dough hook on speed 2 for 10 minutes. (My dough never formed a ball like trailrunner's so next time I'm going to use a little less water).

Put dough into a container and let triple.

Place dough onto a heavily floured countertop, sprinkle top of dough with flour, and pat into a round about 1/2 inch thick. Transfer dough to pan-sprayed parchment paper, top with thinly sliced tomatoes, and bake on a stone in a preheated 500º oven for 8 minutes to drive off the moisture from the tomatoes and set the dough. Remove pizza and parchment from oven, discard parchment and top with mozzarella cheese. Return pizza to oven and bake until done, about another 7 to 8 minutes.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves, and a light sprinkling of kosher salt and olive oil.

Makes one pizza (serves two people).

The original post is from LilDice.

I also found another link to this pizza with pictures and discussion. NB: the reduced amount of IDY.




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