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dolfs's picture

A birthday present and long time no baking: had to use the present and bake some!

Suas' Cinnamon Rolls

Suas' Cinnamon Rolls

Ever since I started baking, now about 2 years ago, I hated our tile counter tops which are not suitable for working dough etc. I had worked on a marble slab since, but it was small and got me into trouble with larger batches, or longer breads (like large challah). Yesterday my solution arrived (two day early father's day/birthday present) in the form of a maple countertop, standard depth (25"), 48" wide and 1.5" thick. You can see it in the background of the photo above. While meant to be an actual counter top, I put some rubber feet under it to prevent sliding, and put it on top of the counter. Heavy lifting, but solid and immobile (might leave it on permanently). Wonderful! Now I needed to make/bake something.

I got Suas's book (Advanced Bread and Pastry) a while ago and read almost the whole thing (the technical stuff, not all formulas) in just a few days. I really like this book. This weekend I finally had time to make something from it (work has been incredibly busy, so little baking happened in the last few months, except the routine sandwich bread). The choice was actually from the Viennoisserie section, page 360/361: Cinnamon Rolls made with "Sweet Roll Dough", and  "Sticky Bun Glaze" (p. 394) on the bottom and "Flat Icing" (p. 646) on top. Although not in the recipe, but apparently present in the photographed version, and consistent with that, I added golden raisins.

Suas' Cinnamon Rolls Inside
Suas' Cinnamon Rolls Inside 

Of course, and as fairly typical for me diving into formulas in books, I found an error in the "Sweet Roll Dough" formula right away. I found this because I use my Dough Calculator spreadsheet and it comes up with different answers. In this case the conversion from metric to US decimal was wrong in the formula on the line for Cake Flour, and as a result, the fractional representation of the decimal was wrong as well. In the formula, as presented, cake flour is 0.748 pounds, or 0.424 kg. That is incorrect. The correct number: 0.935 pounds (which is indeed 424 g). Also, the lbs & oz number, given as 12 should be 15 oz. Here is the formula I used (with different numbers because it was scaled down to produce 2 lbs of dough):

Suas' Cinnamon Rolls
Suas' Cinnamon Rolls (12 rolls)

I did not have milk powder, so I used the Dough Calculator to convert to "real" milk (and presented above). Although the formula does not describe it here (but does in the book), I used SAF Osmotolerant Instant Dry yeast (available from King Arthur's Catalog). The high sugar content of the dough can make life a little difficult for regular IDY but OT IDY can handle this better. Fear not if you do not have it. You can use just a little more regular IDY and allocate a little more time for the proof and you should be fine. A similar comment applies to the use of cake flour. The texture will be better with it, but if you don't have it, try AP flour instead. 

The instructions for making the dough are pretty standard. This dough should come out of the mixer fairly cold (72F) so you may need to use cold(er) milk. You can see the calculation for my case in the formula above, where I had to use 42F milk. My fridge happens to be set at 40F, so I used it straight from the fridge. Put all dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix well. Add wet ingredients, except butter and mix at second speed (even 3rd on KA mixers) until full gluten development, adding the butter in small batches starting about 2/3 of the way through mixing. Dough should clear the bowl and be fairly stuff, although supple because of the butter. If you desire raisins, knead them in by hand at this point (I used about 100 g).  Let proof on the counter for about 1 hr and then refrigerate overnight.

One of the problems with this book (in particular for the home baker) is that it provides formulas  (of course using baker's percent) for both large amounts (typically a 10lbs dough) and "test" amounts, but does not specify the yield for either. My prior baking experience told me to make a 2lbs dough to get about 12 rolls (I actually got 13). Likewise it talks about using the "Sticky Bun Glaze", but does not tell you how much you need, nor does it say how much cinnamon sugar and icing you need. I guessed the cinnamon sugar wrong, but here is how to make the right amount (prepare whenever, and store in moisture tight container):


Ingredient % Decimal lbs Fractional lbs Volume Metric
Sugar 100% 0.1103 1 3/4 oz 4 T 50 g
Sugar, Brown 100% 0.1103 1 3/4 oz 4 3/4 T 50 g
Cinnamon 8% 0.0088 0.14 oz 1 3/4 t 4 g


Next morning, take the dough out of the refrigerator about 1-2 hours and let it warm up. While it warms up, prepare the "Stickly Bun Glaze" (optional) from the formula below. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth, then add the remaining ingredients and set aside. Alternatively you can heat everything up in a pan until the sugar is dissolved and then let things cool down.


Ingredient % Decimal lbs Fractional lbs Volume Metric
Sugar, Brown 100.00% 0.3314 5 1/4 oz 7/8 C 150.0 g
Butter 56.67% 0.1878 3 oz 5 3/4 T 85.2 g
Salt 0.83% 0.0028 0.04 oz 1/4 t 1.2 g
Honey 38.33% 0.1270 2 oz 2 1/2 T 57.6 g
Vanilla Extract 2.50% 0.0083 0.13 oz 3/4 t 3.8 g
Cinnamon 0.83% 0.0028 0.04 oz 1/2 t 1.2 g


Degas the dough and roll out into a rectangle about twice as wide as it is long, about 1/8" thick. Brush the whole rectangle with water and sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar mixture, making sure to leave a 1" strip at the far (wide) end uncovered so the dough can stick. If you didn't do the raisins already, you could add them here (I prefer to do them earlier so the dough absorbs the raisin flavor). Roll up the dough somewhat tight, starting at the wide, sprinkled end, and ending at the other wide end, where a little pressure will "glue" things shut.

Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with parchment paper and spreading the "Sticky Bun Glaze" evenly on top of the paper. The glaze will melt and be absorbed in the bottom of the rolls and cover the bottom. Take a wet and sharp knife and cut 1" pieces of the rolled up dough and place sideways on the sheet. Leave room between the rolls for expansion. Twelve rolls, evenly spread out, will be about the right spacing on a standard home oven baking sheet. Let proof until about 1.5 to 2 times size. Pre heat the oven to 350F and bake on middle rack. You may want to consider putting another baking sheet immediately under it, to prevent the bottoms from burning. The rolls will be ready in about 15-18 minutes.

Now comes a tricky move. Take the sheet pan out of the oven, place a cooling rack on top, and then, without pressing, flip the whole deal over and place on a surface where you can deal with the dripping glaze. Remove sheet pan and parchment paper. If you used the paper this will be extremely easy! Now, to prevent too much glaze from covering the sides and top of the rolls, use a second cooling rack and invert again. Now let cool. This seems convoluted, but you do not want to handle the hot rolls with your hands: they're really hot, very sticky, and very fragile! Meanwhile prepare the "Flat Icing": 

Ingredient % Decimal lbs Fractional lbs Volume Metric
Sugar, Powdered 100% 0.2197 3 1.2 oz 7/8 C 100.0 g
Lemon Juice 3% 0.0066 0.11 oz 1/2 t 3.0 g
Water (hot) 14% 0.0308 1/2 oz 2 3/4 t 13.9 g

Mix this together with spatula and try to not incorporate any air in the mixture. If you desire it thinner, add more water. This was just about right though, I think. Now, when the rolls are still somewhat warm, but not hot, put the icing in a piping bag with fine tip, or if you don't have fancy equipment, use a plastic baggy (sandwich size or so), and cut just the tiniest piece of a corner. Drizzle the icing over the rolls in the desired amount and let the icing set (a few minutes). Then, get set and eat!

Suas' Cinnamon Rolls Sample

Cinnamon Roll Sample



See my My Bread Adventures in pictures 

dmsnyder's picture

Baguettes with Poolish

Baguettes with Poolish

Baguette crumb

Baguette crumb 

In my ongoing efforts to make wonderful baguettes at home, today I baked the Poolish baguettes from Hamelman's "Bread."

 The poolish was made late last night. This morning it was about doubled and very bubbly. I used King Arthur AP flour for the poolish and for the dough. This worked well. I think the dough had the desired consistency with the exact amounts of ingredients called for in the formula. No adjustments were necessary. I mixed the dough for 3-3.5 minutes in a KitchenAide mixer, fermented 2 hours with one fold at 60 minutes. The dough was scaled and preshaped, then rested 10 minutes before shaping. I proofed the baguette for 60 minutes and baked 24 minutes at 460F with steam. I propped the oven door slightly open after I removed the skillet with water at 10 minutes in hopes of a thinner, crisper crust. I think it helped some.

 I think the result was my best baguettes to date. I attribute this to less mixing, gentler shaping and not over-proofing the loaves. My scoring is better but still far from what I would have liked. The crumb color was distinctly yellowish. I assume this is from the carotene I usually oxidize by over-mixing dough. The cut baguette had a somewhat yeasty smell, which is not desirable, but it didn't taste yeasty. The taste was less sweet than some baguettes, but nice and wheaty. 

Hamelman's recipe makes 3 lb 6 oz of dough. I scaled 2 portions at 12 oz. The rest I make into one batard shape and tried to cut it to make a "Viverais," one of the fancy shapes in "Advanced Bread and Pastry." It didn't really work, but the result was ... interesting ... and the bread was very good tasting.

 Viverais made with baguette dough

Viverais made with baguette dough

Viverais crumb

Viverais crumb 


The photo of the crumb doesn't do justice to the lovely yellow color it had. 


GlindaBunny's picture

It could probably use a little less flour next time, but I'm glad the holes aren't too big to hold a little butter.



dmsnyder's picture

Rusian rye bread 2 boules

Rusian rye bread 2 boules

Russian Rye Boule

Russian Rye Boule

Russian Rye Crumb

Russian Rye Crumb

Sauve posted the formula for this bread in Kosher-Baker's blog topic, "Diary of a Starter." As a confirmed rye bread lover, I was curious about how it would compare with the Jewish, Czech and Polish ryes I had already baked. I'm glad I tried it.


Firm starter (73% hydration):

43 g. rye starter
195 g. whole rye flour - must be finely groud
142 g. water

Mix, cover and leave for 6-7 hours at 85-90 F.  The original recipe calls for 1/3 of the mother starter and fermenting for 3-4 hours, but I find that using more traditional proportions and doubling the fermentation time works equally well.

Dough (69% hydration):
97 g. whole rye flour
290 g. high extraction flour
333 g. starter
261 g. water
9 g. salt
17 g. sugar
1 g. instant yeast

Mix all ingredients and knead until you have well developed gluten.  In KA it takes me about 12 minutes at second speed.  Ferment 80 min at 85-90 F.  Flatten the dough and shape a tight boule.  Proof in basket, seam up, 50 minutes at room temperature.  There's no need to slash.  Spray with water before baking and 1 minute before taking out of the oven. Bake with steam 50 minutes at 440-450.  Let the bread cool thorougly, 2 hours at least.  The loaf should have shiny surface without tears and tight uniform crumb.  Using medium rye flour instead of whole rye and/or bread flour instead of high extraction flour also works well.


I used my white rye starter and fed it with Guisto's Organic (whole) rye flour. I used this rye flour and KA First Clear flour in the dough. I mixed in a KitchenAid Accolade. Rather than making one large boule, I divided the dough in half and made 2 boules of 525 gms each. They proofed in wicker brotformen. I baked them on a stone with steam from hot water into a hot cast iron skillet. The boules were baked for 25 minutes at 450F. I turned the oven down to 440F, because the boules were getting pretty dark pretty fast, and continued to bake for a total of 40 minutes.

The crust remained very firm, even after the loaves were fully cooled. The crumb is like that Suave showed - rather dense but not dry or "heavy" in the mouth. The taste is decidedly sour (surprisingly so). If I were doing a blind taste of this bread, I would not identify it as a rye. It tastes more like a whole wheat sourdough bread to me. There is a noticeable sweet taste, too. I assume this is from the sugar. I don't think I have ever baked a sourdough bread with added sugar before, although I have used malt and honey in sourdoughs, when the recipe called for them. I expect the bread to mellow overnight and taste significantly different tomorrow.

My thanks to Suave for sharing this recipe. If he (or others) would like to tell us more about the background of this bread, I'm sure it would be appreciated.


Eli's picture

I posted a White Loaf a few days ago. I converted it from a commercial yeast loaf that I have been making for some time now. I haven't tried to ferment this recipe until today. I covered with plastic after the first rise (placed in loaf pans) and refrigerated overnight. I assumed that the sour flavor would be dominate after the retarding. After taking out the loaves and a 4 hour rise I baked them; I found the sourness still there but the bread was much sweeter than the ones I do in "a day". They also had a browner crust. The sour flavor is still there as an aftertaste however, seems more of a sweet flavor.

Since I have only been baking sourdough for a few months I find everything a learning experience with every loaf.

margiedlc's picture

Hi, I need help, my husband is scheduled for a radioactive idodine cancer treatment this Friday, and is unable to eat anything with regular salt. Therefore, he can not even have store bought bakery goods. He has been on this diet for a couple of weeks already, and I would love to surprise him with a sandwich!  but my bread is not raising. The last loaf could have been used as a sledge hammer!  Any suggestions?

foolishpoolish's picture


dmsnyder's picture

San Francisco Sourdough variation Boule

San Francisco Sourdough variation Boule

SF-SD-Variations-Boule Crumb

SF-SD-Variations-Boule Crumb

San Francisco Sourdough variation Batard

San Francisco Sourdough variation Batard

San Francisco Sourdough variation Batard Crumb

San Francisco Sourdough variation Batard Crumb

San Francisco Sourdough: Variations on a theme

The formula for San Francisco Sourdough Bread in Peter Reinhart's "Crust & Crumb" has been my favorite recipe for my favorite bread for some time. I have varied the formula, using different starters and various mixes of white wheat, whole wheat and rye.

All of the breads have been good. I can say that my favorite loaves have been made with bread flour with a small amount (10-12%) of rye flour.

I have not varied the techniques for mixing or proofing in Reinhart's instructions to date, and, with a single exception, I have always baked this bread as boules. Reinhart's instructions indicate that this bread can be formed as boules, batards or even baguettes.

This time, I decided to try some new variations in ingredients, procedures and loaf shape. The dough was mixed in a Bosch Universal Plus.

Starter Feeding

1 part mother starter

3 parts water

4 parts flour (70% AP flour, 20% whole wheat and 10% rye)

Intermediate firm starter

3 oz starter (formula above)

9 oz water

13 oz First Clear Flour


All of the intermediate firm starter

2 cups of water

23.50 oz King Arthur European Artisan Flour

3.5 oz Guisto's Organic Whole Rye

0.25 oz Diastatic Malt powder

0.75 oz salt


Day 1 - Make the intermediate starter

Mix the Intermediate firm starter. Ferment tightly covered for 9 hours (overnight) at room temperature, then refrigerate for 10 hours.

Day 2 - Mix, Bulk Ferment, Divide and Scale, Shape and Retard

Take the starter out of the refrigerator 1 hour before use.

Mix the water, the diastatic malt and the flours until it forms a shaggy mass. Cover and autolyse (let the flours absorb the water and the gluten start to develop) for 20 minutes.

Add the firm starter cut into 10 pieces to the dough and mix at Speed 1, adding the salt while mixing. Continue to mix at Speed 2 until the gluten is well developed and a window pane can be formed. (7 minutes).

Empty the dough onto the bench and fold the dough into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, at least twice its size. Roll the dough ball around to coat with oil, cover the bowl tightly, and allow the dough to ferment for at least 4 hours. (If rising too quickly, do a fold to de-gas the dough, but plan on leaving the dough alone for the last two hours, at least.)

Gently transfer the dough to the bench. Scale and divide the dough as wished, according to the type and size of the loaves you want to bake. (The total weight of the dough is around 4-1/2 pounds.)

Let the dough rest, covered with plastic wrap, for 10 minutes, then form loaves. These can be place in bannetons or on parchment or canvas "couches." In either case, cover the loaves air tight and refrigerate overnight.

Day 3 - Proof and Bake (two methods)

Take the loaves out of the refrigerator and allow to warm up and rise for 3-4 hours until expanded to 1-1/2 times their original volume.

Baking method 1

One hour before baking, pre-heat the oven with a baking stone and cast iron skillet in it to 475F.

Slash the loaves as desired, spritz with water and transfer the loaves to the baking stone.

Immediately pour 1 cup of boiling water into the skillet and close the oven door. If desired, spritz the oven walls with water 2-3 times spaced over the first 5 minutes of the bake. After 5 minutes, carefully remove the skillet from the oven, empty any remaining water and dry it. Put it somewhere to cool. After the last spritzing, turn the oven temperature down to 450F.

Baking method 2

Alternatively, set the oven to 450F.

Slash the loaves as desired, transfer them to the stone and bake the loaves covered with a bowl or a roaster for 15-20 minutes. Then remove the cover.

Continue baking until the loaves are nicely colored and their internal temperature is at least 205F. The loaves will be done in 30-40 minutes total time, depending on their size and shape. Then, turn off the oven but leave the loaves on the stone for another 5-10 minutes to dry the crust. Allow the loaves to fully cool (1-2 hours) before slicing.


With this particular combination of flours and the procedure as described, the dough was quite sticky at the end of mixing. After a couple of foldings, it was extremely elastic, and I wondered if I had mixed it more than I should have. However, after bulk fermentation and dividing, the dough was quite relaxed and remarkably extensible. It was not at all sticky at this point. This has been characteristic of doughs made with KA European Artisan Flour, in my experience.

The batard pictured above was baked uncovered with steam from water poured into a hot skillet. The boule was baked under a stainless steel bowl without additional steam. Although the boule was baked about 45 minutes after the batard, the latter rose more quickly on parchment and acted as if over-proofed. The boule rose more slowly in a banneton. It did not seem over-proofed, and it had much better oven spring and bloom. The batard had a more open crumb. My hunch is that how I shaped the boule (too tight) was the major determinant of the differences in proofing time and crumb openness. (Other analyses would be welcome.)

Eating (Batard)

The crust is crunchy but not at all tough. The crumb is tender with a delicious complex pain de compagne-type flavor, except with more assertive sourness.


gamountainmom's picture

I am a novice bread baker and have been using my bread maker for about 6 mos.  I am ready to branch out (I think) to different breads but I do not know the difference between Active Dry Yeast, Rapid Rise Yeast and Instant Yeast.  I'm sure they all work differently but I would like to understand the difference.  So many recipes call for different type yeast?  Can they all be used in a bread machine?  I would appreciate your help and hope to learn much from this site.

Thank you

Keiter2b's picture

There was a question about bread and diabetes--the following recipi has worked well for me:

Combine 1/3 cup oatmeal with 1 tbsp kosher salt and 2 cups of boiling water and let sit for one hour

Combine 3/4 cup rye flour, 1 1/2 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour, 2 tbsp triple fiber(oat bran,acacia,flaxseed)

Combine 2 cups sourdough starter with 1 tbsp yeast

MIx all the above and add up to 3 cups of white bread flour kneading into a nice dough.

Let rise twice, then shape into four 18 inch long loaves

Bake at 400 degrees 35 to 40 minutes in tube pans

Instead of a bread loaf I role out and toss the dough to make a pizza crust which I bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 400 degrees

Or divide a loaf portion in two and make two buns for sandwiches. Depress the center before baking to make a better shaped bun.

This recipi has been approved for me by my glucometer. 


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