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Benito's picture

Up until today, the only time I’d worked with semolina was using about 50-60% for baguettes and I loved the flavour with sesame seed crust.  I didn’t want to reproduce a batard with the same composition so I thought I would try to put together a formula myself and see if it might work.

I thought I had read that semolina hydrates very well, so I thought I’d aim for 80% hydration if the dough seemed ready to absorb that much during mixing adding the levain.  I also remember Michael Wilson saying that he had the best results with this flour when he developed the gluten well.  I wasn’t in the mood for machine mixing and thought I’d see if I could do the flour justice totally by hand.

Levain build


12 g starter, 70 g water, 70 g Semola rimacinata 

ferment 74-76ºF overnight.

Saltolyse Overnight build

429 g Semola rimacinata 

313 g water cold 

15 g hold back water for bassinage

143 g levain

10 g salt

In the morning add 143 g levain to the saltolysed dough, poking and then pinching and finally stretch and folding.  Gradually add 15 g of water.  Rubaud x 5 mins.

Then 250 slap and folds.

Bulk at 78ºF 

30 mins bench letter fold - set up aliquot jar.

30 mins lamination

30 mins coil fold

30 mins coil fold - window pane achieved

Allow to rest at 78ºF until aliquot jar shows 60% and the dough is appropriately jiggly.

Final Shaping as batard, then transfer to wet towel seam side up to dampen the outside.

Transfer to a plate with black and white sesame seeds (toasted)

Transfer to unfloured banneton seam side up.

Bench rest until aliquot jar 70% rise then start cold retard 7 hours.

Preheat oven 500ºF with dutch oven inside.

Remove dough from banneton score and transfer to dutch oven on a parchment sheet.  Spritz some water into dutch oven.

Bake lid on dropping temp to 450ºF for 20 mins.

Drop temp to 420ºF continue to bake lid on for 10 mins.

Remove lid and remove bread from dutch oven and continue to bake on the rack for 15-25 mins until crust colour sufficiently and baked through. 


Benito's picture

Wanting to recover from my last two disasters of babka bakes and applying what I learned from them.  We do truly learn more from our disasters than our successes (thanks Dan).  I decided to try to use some Matcha powder I recently purchased and make a babka with a much drier filling that would avoid the pitfalls of soggy crumb.  I am adapting the same recipe for sourdough babka by Maurizio of  

At the end of bulk fermentation and shaped into an angel food pan.


Total Dough Weight

800 grams

Pre-fermented Flour



One babka for a 9″ x 4″ x 4″ Pullman pan (without lid)

Total Formula



Baker’s Percentage


All-purpose flour (11-12% protein; King Arthur All-Purpose Flour)



Whole milk (cold from the fridge)



Large eggs (about 2, cold from the fridge, plus one more egg in reserve for the egg wash)



Unsalted butter (Kerrygold; room temperature)






Caster sugar (superfine white sugar)






Sourdough starter (100% hydration)


18  g

Matcha Powder 




Dough Mix

My final dough temperature for this dough was 76°F (24°C).



310 g

All-purpose flour (11-12% protein; King Arthur All-Purpose Flour)

107 g

Whole milk (cold from the fridge)

107 g

Large eggs (about 2; cold from the fridge)

100 g

Unsalted butter (Kerrygold; room temperature)

29 g

Caster sugar (superfine white sugar)

8 g


138 g

Mature, but mild, levain

18 g

Matcha Powder

Levain Build 6 hours

30 g starter 100% hydration, 60 g bread flour and 60 g water.  Should be mature in about 5-6 hours at 78-80ºF. 

2. Mix – 1:00 p.m.

Before mixing, take out the butter called for in the recipe and cut it into 1/2″ pats. Let it sit at room temperature until called for.

I used my KitchenAid stand mixer to mix this dough. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the mature levain, flour, matcha powder, whole milk, large eggs, salt, and half of the sugar. Set the mixer to low and mix until everything is incorporated. Let the dough rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

After the 10 minute rest, turn the mixer up to medium and mix for 5 minutes until the dough starts to pull from the sides of the mixing bowl. At this point, slowly stream in the remaining sugar while the mixer is running. Mix for another 1-2 minutes until the dough comes back together.

With the mixer still set to medium, add the room temperature butter, one pat at a time, waiting to add the next until the previous is absorbed into the dough. It might take around 5 minutes to mix all the butter into the dough. After all of the butter is added, continue mixing for another few minutes until the dough smooths out and once again begins to cling to the dough hook. The dough should be almost fully developed at this point (it won’t completely pass the windowpane test, but almost).

Transfer the dough to a container for bulk fermentation, cover, and keep somewhere warm—78-80°F (26-27°C)—in your kitchen for bulk fermentation.

3. Warm Bulk Fermentation – 1:25 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (or longer, as needed)

During this time, give the dough 2 sets of stretch and folds where the first set is 30 minutes after the beginning of bulk fermentation and the second set is 30 minutes after the first. After the second set, let the dough rest, covered, until the next step.

4. Cold Bulk Fermentation – 3:30 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. (next day)

Assess the dough: has it risen a little in the bowl during the warm bulk fermentation? It should be a little puffy and smoothed out. If it looks like there’s no activity at all, give the dough another 30 minutes to 1 hour and check again.

Once you see some rise in the dough, place the covered bulk fermentation bowl into the refrigerator overnight.

Same day option: I much prefer making this over the course of two days, but you could make this all in one day: let the dough finish bulk fermentation for 2-3 hours on the counter. When the dough has risen around 50% and feels puffy, proceed with the rest of the steps below. However, I do recommend placing the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour after this warm bulk fermentation to chill before rolling out!

5. Roll, freeze, cut, and shape – 8:00 a.m.

Before taking the dough out of the refrigerator, make one of the fillings below (keep the filling covered until ready to use). 


Black Sesame Filling

150 g ground black sesame seeds, use mortar and pestle to grind

37.5 g sugar mix with ground black sesame seeds 


64 g honey

21 g butter room temperature 

Cream together honey and butter to make smooth spread


I had too much of the sesame and sugar mix, could reduce by 25-30% I think.


In the morning, take the dough out of the refrigerator and scrape the dough out to a floured work surface. Flour the top of the dough and using a rolling pin (or dowel), roll the dough out to a rectangle approximately 16″ x 12″ in size with a short edge closest to your body. 

If you want a less-sweet, less-sticky babka, spread less filling over the rolled out dough.

Using your hand or an offset spatula, spread the honey butter mixture over the dough leaving about 1″ clean on the short side farthest from you. Sprinkle the sesame sugar mixture over the dough.  Starting at the side closest to you, roll up the dough into a tight cylinder. It’s important for the dough to be rolled up rather tight, so pull the dough at each revolution of the cylinder.


Important: Place the rolled-up log on a baking sheet and place it into the freezer for 15 minutes (this makes it much easier to cut and braid).

Using an angel food cake pan, cut parchment to fit into the bottom of the pan, butter the sides and central tube of the pan.

After the 15-minute freezer rest, take the baking sheet out of the freezer and return the dough log to the counter. Using a sharp knife, cut the log to split open the log from one side to the other. Pinch the two top halves together and braid the dough one strand over the other. At the bottom, pinch the two halves together again. Don’t worry if filling spills out or things get messy — it’s all good.

After the dough is braided, pick up the braid and place it on the parchment right in the middle, then pick up the sides of the parchment and lift the dough up and drop it into the pan.

Cover the pan and place it somewhere warm, ideally, 78-80°F (26-27°C), to proof.

6. Proof – 8:30 a.m. 12:00 p.m. (or until ready)

This dough can be slow to rise at this point. Give it the time it needs to rise up to about 1/2″ below the rim of the Pullman pan. For me, at 78°F (26°C), it took about 3.5 hours. See the image below for how high my dough filled my pan.

7. Bake – 12:00 p.m.

Preheat your oven with the rack in the middle to 350°F (176°C) — no fan assist (no convection).



When the oven is preheated and the babka dough is fully proofed, place the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (to catch any sugar spilling over). In a small bowl, whisk together one whole egg and 1 Tbsp water and brush a thin layer of the egg wash on the top of the dough. Then, slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 55  minutes until the center of the babka reaches 200°F (93°C) then leave in oven with the oven off for another 5 mins.. Keep an eye on the babka in the last 10 minutes of the bake, if it’s coloring too quickly drop the temperature to compensate.

Yuzu Simple syrup

While the babka is baking, make the simple syrup. In a small saucepan heat over low 52g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar with 59g (1/4 cup) water and about 1 Tbsp Yuzu extract (adjust to taste). Heat until the mixture bubbles a bit and stir occasionally until the sugar fully dissolves in the water. Transfer this simple syrup to a container to cool. If covered, it will keep indefinitely in the fridge (I reuse over and over for babka, other baked goods, or even cocktails).


When the babka is fully baked, remove the pan to a cooling rack. Using a plastic spatula, free the short sides of the babka (the sides without parchment) from the sides and bottom of the pan by pressing the spatula down from top to bottom.


Using a pastry brush, brush on a thin layer of the Yuzu simple syrup. The amount you put on is up to you: the more you add the sweeter the crust will become. Let the babka rest for 10 minutes in the pan. Do not let the babka rest for longer than 10 minutes or it’ll be hard to remove from the pan.

After the 10 minute rest remove the babka from the pan.  Remove the sides of the pan by resting the bottom of the pan on a heat proof object such as a tall can.  Then you should be able to remove the babka from the base and center of the pan with the help of one or two spatulas.  Rest on a wire rack until cool to the touch.


Post bake edits

I will make the following changes for future bakes of this.  Increase the total recipe by 25% to allow a full wreath with even final height.

Increase matcha to 6.125 to 7.5% to bring out more match flavour.

Do a total bake time of 70 mins, perhaps with an extra 5 mins at the end with the oven turned off and door kept closed.

Benito's picture


I wanted to bake this bread again because my previous bakes about a year ago all left my wanting.  I made a minor change to Hamelman’s original formula by changing the whole wheat to a 2:1 ratio of whole spelt and whole rye.


Levain 123% hydration

Starter 21 gm

Bread flour 107 gm

Water 134 gm



Bread flour 214 g

Spelt 71 g

Rye 36 g

Water 109 g

Salt 8 g


Oats 34 g with 3 g salt and 125 g boiled water soaker. Correction, 174 g boiled water soaker.


White sesame seeds toasted 39 g

Flax seeds 39 g


Poppy seed 34 g


1.    Liquid Levain   --- Make the final build 12 to 16 hours before the final mix and let stand in a covered container at about 70°F. Mix Levain and Soaker at the same time.

2.    Soaker   --- Pour the boiling water over the grain blend and salt, mix thoroughly, and cover with plastic to prevent evaporation. Make the soaker at the same time as the final build of the levain and let stand at room temperature. If grains that don't require a hot soaker are used (such as rye chops in lieu of the cracked rye listed here), a cold soaker will absorb less water, and therefore it's likely that slightly less water will be needed in the final dough.

3.    Mixing   --- Add all ingredients to the mixing bowl. In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed for 3 minutes, adjusting the hydration as necessary. Mix on second speed for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. The dough should have a moderate gluten development. Desire dough temperature 76°F.

4.    Bulk Fermentation   --- 3.5 hours 76ºF 

5.    Folding   --- the bulk fermentation should be 3.5 hours with 1 fold

6.    Sharped and placed in banneton.

7.    Final Fermentation   --- After shaping leave on the counter at room temperature for 1 hour aliquot jar reached 75-80% rise, then place in fridge at 3ºC for 24 hour cold retard.


8.    Baking   --- With normal steam, 450°F for 20 mins then remove lid and baked for another 25 mins

Benito's picture

DMSnyder was kind enough to share Maggie Glezer’s Sourdough Challah recipe in his blog a few years back, so how could I not want to give it a go.  I love challah but have never eaten a sourdough one so this’ll be my first.  I followed his posted recipe except for a few minor changes and one mistake. I don’t keep a firm starter so just used my 100% hydration rye starter. I also made this as one larger loaf rather than his two smaller ones. I also accidentally use olive oil instead of a neutral oil for more than half of the oil component. We’ll see if that has a negative effect on the flavour.

The starterAmount (gms)
Active sourdough starter35
Warm water80
Bread flour135
The final dough 
Warm water60
Large Eggs3 eggs + 1 egg for glazing the loaves.
Vegetable oil55
Mild honey65
Or Granulated sugar60
Bread flour400
Sourdough levain200


  1. The night before baking, mix the starter and ferment it at room temperature for 8-12 hours.
  2. In the morning, in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the starter in the water, then mix in the 3 eggs, salt, honey and oil until completely combined.
  3. Mix in all the bread flour until it forms a shaggy mass.
  4. Knead the dough on the bench or in a stand mixer until it is smooth and there is moderate gluten development. (Add small amounts of water or flour to achieve the desired consistency, better if you do not have to) The dough should be quite firm.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover it tightly. Ferment for about 2 hours. It may not rise much.
  6. To make one loaf, divide the dough into two equal portions, and divide each portion into the number of pieces needed for the type of braiding you plan to do, so divid each by 3 to make 1 six strand braided loaf.
  7. Form each piece into a ball and allow them to rest, covered, for 10-20 minutes to relax the gluten.
  8. Form each piece into a strand about 14” long. (I like Glezer’s technique for this. On an un-floured board, flatten each piece with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece to about ¼ inch thickness. Then roll up each piece into a tight tube. Using the palms of your hands, lengthen each piece by rolling each tube back and forth on the bench with light pressure. Start with your hands together in the middle of the tube and, as you roll it, move your hands gradually outward. Taper the ends of the tube by rotating your wrists slightly so that the thumb side of your hand is slightly elevated, as you near the ends of the tube.)
  9. Braid the loaves. Braiding somewhat loosely, not too tight. Photos below are braided a bit too tight.
  10. Place each loaf on parchment paper in half-sheet pans (I used a quarter-sheet pan for each loaf.) Cover well with plastic wrap or place the pans in a food grade plastic bag, and proof at room temperature until the loaves have tripled in volume. (Glezer says this will take “about 5 hours.” I proofed in the oven with the light on and it took about 4 hours.)
  11. If it’s almost tripled and when poked the dough only springs back a little, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Gauge the dough again. Stick a finger lightly in the dough. If it makes an indentation that doesn’t spring back, the dough is ready to be baked. If not, wait a bit more.
  12. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF with the rack in the upper third of the oven about 30 mins before final proof is complete.
  13. Brush each loaf with an egg lightly beaten with a pinch of salt.
  14. Optionally, sprinkle the loaves with sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds.
  15. Bake until done – 25-40 minutes rotating half way. If baking as one large loaf may take a bit longer, bake until sounds hollow or reaches 190ºF in the middle.
  16. Cool completely before slicing.

Benito's picture

I’ve only made focaccia once before and that was using IDY.  So I decided it was time to use my now trusty starter to make one instead of IDY.  As often the case I went to and followed Maurizio’s recipe to make my first one.  I decided to try loading this up almost like a deep dish pizza.  So I topped with halved cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, stuff green olives, shallots, rosemary, black pepper and pecorino Romano cheese.

From his website I’ll post the formula here for your convenience.


Total Dough Weight

1,200 grams

Sourdough Starter





One 1200g focaccia

Total Formula

This table shows the entire quantity and baker’s percentages for each ingredient. If you’d like to make two large focaccia (or four smaller ones), double everything in the table below.


There’s no specific levain build for this focaccia, just use some of your sourdough starter when it’s ripe (when you’d normally give it a refreshment). See my post on the differences between a levain and sourdough starter for more information on the two preferments.

Target final dough temperature (FDT) is 76°F (24°C).



Baker’s Percentage


All-purpose flour (King Arthur All-Purpose Flour) 11-12% protein



High protein bread flour, malted (King Arthur Bread Flour) 13% protein



Extra virgin olive oil (Jovial Olio Nuovo Organic Olive Oil)









Sourdough starter (100% hydration)



Mix – 9:00 a.m.

This dough can be mixed by hand (I would use the slap and fold technique) or with a stand mixer like a KitchenAid.

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add both the flours, water, salt, and ripe sourdough starter (hold back the olive oil until later in mixing). 

Mix on speed 1 for 1 to 2 minutes until incorporated. Then, mix on speed 2 for 5 minutes until dough strengthens and clumps around the dough hook. Let the dough rest in the mixing bowl for 10 minutes.

Next, turn the mixer on to speed 1 and slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl while mixing. Once all of the olive oil is absorbed, turn the mixer up to speed 2 for 1 to 2 minutes until the dough comes back together.

Transfer your dough to a bulk fermentation container and cover.

This highly hydrated and enriched dough is  wet and loose , it won’t strengthen to the same degree as a typical bread dough.

As you can see below on the left, immediately after mixing the dough is still very wet and chunky. However, it’s not falling apart or soupy. Resist the temptation to add more flour at this point, as you can see below in the image at the right, by the middle of bulk fermentation it’ll strengthen after several sets of stretch and folds.


Transfer the dough to a covered container for bulk fermentation.


Bulk Fermentation – 9:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Give the dough 4 sets of stretch and folds, starting 30 minutes after mixing, and a set every 30 minutes thereafter.

Every 30 minutes for the remaining 2 hours of bulk fermentation gently stretch the dough, with wet hands, toward the corners of the rectangular container. The dough will resist stretching and spring back (especially with the oil underneath), but don’t force it—each time you stretch it’ll relax a bit more and eventually fill the container.


Proof – 11:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Transfer the dough to a deep rectangular pan that’s been greased with olive oil. If you don’t have a pan with a silicone liner, make sure to heavily oil the pan’s interior so the focaccia doesn’t stick during baking.

At 76-78°F (24-25°C), the dough will proof for 4 hours. This time period is flexible and dependent on the temperature: if it’s cooler, let it proof longer, and conversely, if it’s warm, you might be able to bake sooner.

Every 30 minutes for the first hour, uncover the pan and gently stretch the dough with wet hands to the pan’s edges to encourage it to fill the pan. The dough will naturally spread out during this proofing period, so it’s unnecessary to spread the dough aggressively. Once the dough is mostly spread to the edges, cover the pan and proof for 4 hours.



Top & Bake – 3:15 p.m.


First, dimple the unadorned dough with wet fingers. Make sure the dimples are evenly spaced and go all the way down to the bottom of the pan. Then, drizzle on 1-2 tablespoons of your extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with herbs and coarse sea salt. If using other toppings, add them now as well—I like to press them into the dough gently.

Bake the focaccia in the oven at 450°F (232°C) until deeply colored on top, about 30 minutes. Rotate the pan front-to-back halfway through this time. Keep an eye on it during the last 5 minutes and pull it out if it’s coloring too quickly, or leave it in longer if you’d like it a little darker.


Let the focaccia cool a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack. It’s fantastic warm from the oven, and best on the day of baking, but it’ll keep well for a couple days loosely wrapped in foil (reheat under the broiler before serving).


Benito's picture

In order to bring out much more miso flavour I used my red miso and increased it to 10%.

Total Flour 494 g 


Bread Flour 88.5% 437 g


Whole Wheat 11.5% 57 g all in levain 


Total Water 387.5 g 78.5% hydration 


Levain 115 g


Miso 49 g 10% 


Salt 7.5 g 


Overnight Levain build 1:6:6 


In the morning dissolve ripe levain and miso in the water holding back 10 g of water.  Add flour and mix until no dry flour visible.  Rest for 20 mins.

Add salt and gradually add the hold back water 10 g.

Rubaud kneading x 5 mins.  Rest 30 mins.

Strong bench letter fold.  Set up aliquot jar.  Rest 30 mins.

Lamination sprinkling on furikake (I do not measure how much is added but I like to sprinkle on quite a bit)

Do coil folds at 30 mins intervals until good window pane achieved.

Bulk ends when aliquot jar shows 60% rise.  Bulk was done at 80ºF and was completed in 4.25 hours.

Shape into batard.

Left on bench until aliquot jar shows 70% rise then place in 3ºC fridge for cold retard overnight.


Next morning 

Preheated oven at 500ºF

Bake 450ºF lid on for 30 mins


Dropped to 420ºF lid off 20 mins


Benito's picture

I’m closing the year out by baking these baguettes.  I spent a good part of the summer and into fall learning how to bake baguettes with a ton of help from Alan, Don, Doc and Danny and I’d like to thank them for helping me to learn how to make these.  I doubt I would even have tried had it not been for their prodding and the Community Bake.

The details of my formula are In this link.

My newly vigorous starter is playing havoc with my timings so I think these went a bit over and so I didn’t get ears.  On the other hand, it could just be that I’m rusty with scoring and need more practice.  I also didn’t do one step that makes scoring easier, the final cold proof after shaping and before scoring.  The dough was proofing so quickly that I didn’t want to chance it getting even further away from me by giving it some fridge time.

Benito's picture

I made a cranberry walnut sourdough loaf sometime in the past year or so and thought that although it was good, not soaking the cranberries made them less than they could be.  So this time I decided since it is Christmas why not soak them in some fine Flor di Cana 12 year old Rum.

What follows is the formula with the double batch weights in parentheses.

For one 906 g loaf 78% hydration 

311 g white bread flour.    (622)           

46 g whole wheat flour.     (92)          

21 g dark rye flour.           (42)             

266 g warm water, then         (532)   

21 g water for mixing later       (42)  

7.5 g salt  (15)

77 g levain   (154)

2 g diastatic malt powder 0.5%  (4)


76 g (152 g) Dried Cranberries 20% soaked overnight in rum drained before use

76 g (152 g) Lightly toasted Walnuts 20%


Total final weight 906 g 


Overnight levain 1:6:6  13 g starter 78 g flour (39 g each red fife and bread flours) 78 g water  started at 8 pm 74ºF with cold water to start, rose x 3 but starting to fall at 5 am

At the same time as the levain build do a Saltolyse mixing flours, diastatic malt, salt and water except hold out water.


In the morning add levain and gradually add hold out water.  


Bulk Fermentation 1215 to 530 pm


  1. + 30 min Bench letterfold remove dough for aliquot jar
  2. + 45 mins Lamination.  Place dough on wet counter and spread out into a large rectangle. Spread walnuts and cranberries on the dough in thirds. 
  3. + 45 min Coil Fold
  4. + 30 min Coil Fold
  5. + 30 min Coil Fold

Bulk fermentation ended with aliquot jar showed 60% rise.

Shaped dough into batard and placed in bannetons.  Allow further bench rest at room temperature until aliquot jar showed 70% rise.  

Cold retard in 2ºC fridge overnight.

Preheat oven 500ºF with dutch oven in place.

When dough loaded into Dutch oven drop temperature to 450ºF and bake with lid on for 30 mins.

Remove lid and drop temperature to 420ºF and bake without lid for additional 15-20 mins watching colour of the crust, compensate if getting too dark by dropping temperature to 350ºF if needed.

Benito's picture

Since it is Christmas I decided to try baking sticky rolls for the first time having never attempted cinnamon buns in either yeasted or sourdough form ever before.  I was particularly interested in this recipe because he uses a Yudane.  This is similar to a Tangzhong except that the flour isn’t cooked with a liquid.  Instead boiling water is added to the flour and then mixed until it has gelatinzed.  This is a simpler process than a Tangzhong and I think I’ll apply it to sandwich bread in the near future.

Maurizio recently posted his recipe for these sweet roll on website.  I will repost the recipe here.

Total Dough Weight

1,200 grams

Sourdough starter in final dough



Nine large cardamom rolls (baked in an 8 x 8″ square pan)

Total Dough Formula

Desired dough temperature: 76°F (24°C).



Baker’s Percentage


Yudane: All-purpose flour (~11% protein, King Arthur Baking All-Purpose)



Yudane: Water, boiled



All-purpose flour (~11.7% protein, King Arthur Baking All-Purpose)



Butter, unsalted and at room temperature



Milk, whole






Sugar, caster



Cardamom, ground






Sourdough starter


1 large egg is about 50 g 


Cardamom Rolls Filling

Make this filling when your dough is chilling in the fridge. Be sure to give it enough time to let the melted butter slightly cool.




Butter, unsalted and melted


Brown sugar

2g (1 teaspoon)

Cinnamon, ground

1g (1/2 teaspoon)

Cardamom, ground

Total yield: 157g.

Cardamom Simple Syrup

Instead of topping these sourdough cardamom rolls with icing (which you totally could, if you wanted), I opt for a cardamom-infused simple syrup.




Sugar, granulated



2g (1 teaspoon)

Cardamom, ground

Cardamom Rolls Method

1. Pre-cook Flour (Yudane) – 8:00 a.m.

Be sure to make this yudane ahead of time to give it time to cool before mixing. The texture of the mixture seems to improve if left to rest for at least one hour.

 Do ahead:  Alternatively, you could make the yudane the night before, let it cool, then cover and place it in the fridge. The next morning, let it warm to room temperature before mixing it into your dough.





All-purpose flour




Boil the water and pour it over the flour in a small heat-proof mixing bowl. Stir with spatula (not a whisk as the Yudane will get stuck in the tines) until the mixture tightens up and all dry bits are incorporated. Let the pre-gelatinized flour cool on the counter until you mix the main dough.  I prepared the Yudane when the 2nd stage of levain was built.

2. Mix – 9:00 a.m.

Because I used a KitchenAid stand mixer to quickly and efficiently mix, and because I'm not looking for added extensibility, I decided against using an autolyse for this enriched dough.




Yudane (from above)


All-purpose flour


Butter, unsalted and at room temperature


Milk, whole




Sugar, caster


Cardamom, ground




Sourdough starter

Dough mix.

First, take out your butter and cut it into 1/2″ pats. Set the butter on a plate to warm to room temperature and reserve until the end of mixing.

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the milk, flour, sourdough starter, eggs, sugar, yudane, cardamom, and salt. Mix on speed 1 (STIR on a KitchenAid) for 1 to 2 minutes until the ingredients come together. Increase the mixer speed to speed 2 (2 on a KitchenAid) and mix for 6 to 7 minutes until the dough starts to strengthen and clump around the dough hook.

This dough doesn't need to be fully developed in the mixer, but it's better to mix longer than shorter—you want a strong dough before adding the butter. It won’t completely remove from the bottom of the bowl, and it will still be shaggy, but the majority of the dough should clump up around the dough hook.

Let the dough rest in the mixing bowl for 10 minutes.

Your butter should now be at room temperature; a finger will easily slide in and leave an impression. Turn the mixer on to speed 1 (I mixed on speed 2) and add the butter, one pat at a time, waiting to add each pat until the previous one is fully absorbed. Adding all the butter could take around 5 to 8 minutes.

The sourdough cardamom rolls dough is soft but mostly smooth and holding its shape at the end of mixing. The dough will be further strengthened through stretch and folds during bulk fermentation. Transfer your dough to a bulk fermentation container and cover.

3. Bulk Fermentation – 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

At warm room temperature, around 76°F (24°C), bulk should take about 3 hours. If your kitchen is cooler, place the pan to rise in a small dough proofer, or extend bulk fermentation as necessary.

Give this dough three sets of stretch and folds during bulk fermentation at 30-minute intervals. The first set starts after 30 minutes from the start of bulk fermentation. For each set, wet your hands, grab one side and stretch it up and over the dough to the other side. Rotate the bowl 180° and perform another stretch and fold (this forms a long rectangle in the bowl). Then, rotate the bowl 90° and do another stretch and fold. Finally, turn the bowl 180° and do one last stretch and fold. You should have the dough neatly folded up in the bowl.

After the third set, let the dough rest, covered, for the remainder of bulk fermentation.

4. Chill Dough – 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

At this point, your dough should have risen in your bulk container, be puffy to the touch, and have smoothed out. If the dough still feels dense and tight, give it another 15 minutes and check again.

Place your covered bulk fermentation container in the refrigerator for at least one hour to fully chill the dough.

5. Roll and Shape – 1:30 p.m.

Before removing your dough from the refrigerator, make the filling. In a small mixing bowl, combine the following. It may seem like it's not enough filling to cover the entire surface of the dough—spread it thin.




Butter, unsalted and melted


Brown sugar

2g (1 teaspoon)

Cinnamon, ground

1g (1/2 teaspoon)

Cardamom, ground

Next time consider not using melted butter for filling, only the dry ingredients.

Then brush melted butter on the dough then applying the dry filling might be easier because it was hard to spread the filling on the dough which was sticky and clumped because of the melted butter in the filling. The dough should be cold and firm to the touch; give it more time to chill if necessary.

Next, butter your baking pan (even if it’s nonstick) to ensure the rolls remove cleanly after baking. My 8 x 8-inch nonstick pan has never had issues, but I still lightly butter the pan just in case.

This dough is very soft. Act quickly to roll, spread the filling, and cut before the dough warms and softens further. If it begins to soften, place it in the fridge to firm.

Remove your bulk fermentation container from the fridge, lightly flour your work surface in a large rectangle shape, and the top of the dough in the bowl. Then, gently scrape out the dough to the center of your floured rectangle. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour, and using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 15″ x 15″ square. use a small offset spatula or your hands to spread on the cardamom and cinnamon filling evenly. It may look and feel like not enough filling, but there's plenty when the dough is rolled up.


Starting at one of the long sides of the rectangle in front of you, begin rolling up the dough as you move across. Be sure to tightly roll the dough by gently tugging on the dough as you roll.

Once finished rolling up the dough, divide it into nine 1 1/2″ pieces using a sharp knife. Transfer the pieces to the prepared baking pan and cover with a large, reusable bag.


6. Cold Proof – 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. (Overnight) As you can see above, the nine cut pieces are placed into the square pan, ready for their overnight proof in the refrigerator. Also noticeable is how soft the dough is—it's ok if they're not neatly placed into the pan. As they rise, they'll fill the nooks and crannies.

Place the covered pan into the refrigerator and proof overnight.

7. Warm Proof – 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. (next morning)

In the morning, take the pan out of the refrigerator about three to four hours before you want to bake the rolls, depending on the temperature in your kitchen.

Be sure to start preheating your oven about 30 minutes before you feel the rolls will be fully proofed. For me, the final warm proof time was about 3 hours in my 77°F (25°C) proofer, so I started preheating around 9:30 a.m.

8. Bake – 10:00 a.m.

Preheat your oven, with a rack in the middle, to 400°F (200°C). After the warm proof, uncover your dough and gently press the tops of a few rolls. As you can see above, the fully proofed cardamom rolls will look very soft. The texture of the dough will be almost like a whipped mousse. Be sure to give them extra time in warm proof if necessary. If the dough needs more time to proof, cover the pan and give the dough another 15 to 30 minutes at a warm temperature and check again.

Once your oven is preheated, remove your pan from its bag, slide it into the oven, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

While your rolls are baking, prepare the simple syrup. Combine the following in a saucepan and heat until boiling. Remove from the heat and let cool until ready to use. You will have some leftover syrup.




Sugar, granulated



2g (1 teaspoon)

Cardamom, ground

Cardamom-infused simple syrup.

The rolls are finished baking when the tops are well-colored and the internal temperature is around 195°F (90°C). Remove the rolls from the oven and brush on the cardamom-infused simple syrup. Let the rolls cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the pan, then serve.

These are best the day they're made, and certainly fresh from the oven, but can be reheated in a warm oven a day or two after.

Benito's picture

I’ve posted a previous purple sweet potato sandwich loaf which was enriched with brown sugar and butter. I wanted to try making a loaf with the sweet potato but without the animal fat enrichment of the butter and using honey instead of brown sugar. So based on the formula that Maurizio posted on I added mashed purple sweet potatoes to his formula and made adjustments to incorporate the sweet potato.

Total Dough Weight900 grams + sweet potato
Pre-fermented Flour11.00%
Levain in final dough25.96%
Yield1 x 900g Pullman loaf

For 9x4x4 Pullman Loaf Pan

Total Formula

Desired dough temperature: 77°F (25°C). See my post on the importance of dough temperature for more information on dough temperatures.

The rows marked pre-cooked below are the two ingredients cooked (in a water roux, or tangzhong) ahead of time, but they are still counted toward the formula’s overall percentages. In other words, the 8% whole wheat flour is still counted toward the total flour in the formula and is not an “extra” addition.

WeightIngredientBaker’s Percentage
37gPre-cooked (tangzhong): Whole wheat flour (Giusto’s Whole Wheat Flour)8.00%
148gPre-cooked (tangzhong): Whole milk32.00%
347gMedium-protein bread flour or All-purpose flour (~11% protein, Central Milling Artisan Baker’s Craft or King Arthur Baking All-Purpose)75.00%
79gWhole wheat flour (Giusto’s Whole Wheat)17.00%
33gOlive oil7.00%
5gSourdough starter1.10%

Total Yield: 194.90%, 900g

Sourdough Sandwich Bread With Pre-Cooked Flour Method

  1. Prepare Levain – Night before mixing, 9:00 p.m. (Day one)

Mix the following ingredients in a container and leave covered to ripen at about 78°F (25°C) for 12 hours overnight.

WeightIngredientBaker’s Percentage
25gMedium protein bread flour or all-purpose flour100.00%
25gWhole wheat flour 
10gRipe sourdough starter10.00%

Prepare Purple Sweet Potato

You can prepare your purple sweet potato several ways, but you want to have in the end a soft mashed sweet potato. Steaming works well and leaves you with a moist mash. You can also microwave pricking the sweet potato and placing it in a microwaveable dish but something this can be dry. You can also roast the sweet potato, pricking it rubbing it with olive oil and then wrapping it in foil and then baking it until soft.

  1. Pre-cook Flour (Tangzhong) – 8:00 a.m. (Day two)

Be sure to do this ahead of time to give the pre-cooked flour time to cool before mixing.

Milk alternative: If you want to avoid using milk in this recipe, substitute out the dairy milk in the roux, below, for water (or something like oat milk).

37gWhole wheat flour
148gWhole milk

To a medium saucepan, add the flour and milk listed above. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens and becomes like a paste, about 5-8 minutes. In the beginning, whisk vigorously to break up any flour clumps, and be diligent about this near the end to avoid burning. The mixture won’t seem to do anything until it reaches a critical heat point, be patient; it will thicken.

Once it transforms into a viscous paste (something like oatmeal porridge), remove the pan from the heat and spread it out on a small plate to expedite cooling. Set the tangzhong aside until called for when mixing.

  1. Mix – 9:00 a.m.

I used my KitchenAid stand mixer to mix this dough, but it’s possible to make this bread without a stand mixer by mixing everything together by hand in a mixing bowl. To do this, you’ll need to mix for around 10-15 minutes, depending on your technique (slap and fold will work really well!).

AllPre-cooked flour (see Pre-cook Flour, above)
320gMedium protein bread flour
54gWhole wheat flour
33gOlive oil
107gLevain (see Prepare Levain, above)

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the pre-cooked flour, flour, water, ripe levain, honey, olive oil, and salt. Mix on low speed for approximately 2 minutes until the ingredients come together, and no dry bits remain. Increase the mixer speed to medium (2 on a KitchenAid) and mix for 8-10 minutes until the dough starts to clump up around the dough hook. It won’t completely remove from the bottom of the bowl, and it will still be shaggy.

Transfer your dough to a bulk fermentation container and cover.

  1. Bulk Fermentation – 9:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

At room temperature, around 72-74°F (22-23°C), bulk should take about 3 1/2 hours.

After 30 mins of bulk do a lamination spreading the purple sweet potato over the laminated dough in thirds. Next slap and fold to combine.

Give this dough two sets of coil folds during bulk fermentation at 30-minute intervals.

After the second set of coil folds, let the dough rest for the remainder of bulk fermentation aim for almost double volume.

  1. Shape – 1:15 p.m.

Prepare a sling of parchment that you can lay your shaped dough onto and then lift to place in the pan. I usually also prepare a length of parchment that goes lengthwise to prevent sticking on the ends of the bread.

I shaped this dough in my typical method for shaping a pan loaf. Check out my guide to shaping pan loaves for detailed instruction.

Once the dough is shaped into a long tube, transfer each to their pan, seam-side-down.

Using either a brush or a spray bottle dampen the top of the dough. At this point, you can sprinkle on any toppings you’d like.

  1. Proof – 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (2 hours room temperature)

Cover the pan with a large, reusable plastic bag and seal shut. Let the dough proof at room temperature, around 72-74°F (22-23°C), for 2 hours.

Overnight proof option: before the 2 hour counter proof, cover the pans with bags and place them in your home refrigerator to proof overnight. Bake them the next morning as indicated below. Expect a slightly more sour flavor.

  1. Bake – 3:30 p.m. (pre-heat oven at 3:00 p.m.)


Check on your dough: it should have risen just below the top of the Pullman pan and be very light and airy to the touch (see above). If it’s not quite there, give it another 15 minutes and check again.

I steamed the oven for this bake as described on my post on baking with steam in a home oven.

Preheat your oven, with rack at the bottom third to 400°F (205°C).

Place a pan with a Silvia towel filled with boiling water into the oven about 30 mins before the bread will be loaded.

Once your oven is preheated, remove your proofed loaf from its bag, score it and then slide it into the oven.

Take care to bake the loaf fully; if they are under-baked, the interior will be gummy.

Bake at 400°F (205°C) for 20 minutes with steam. After this time, vent the oven, remove the steaming pan(s), and close the oven door. Drop temperature to 350ºF and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes until the top is well-colored and the internal temp is around 205°F, watch the crust very closely as it might colour very quickly. Remove the pan and gently knock out the loaves onto a wire rack. Return the loaves to the oven to bake for an additional 5 minutes without their pans to add extra color to the bottom and sides.

Let the loaves cool for 2 hours before slicing to ensure the interior is fully set.

Waiting to let the loaf cool before slicing it and making myself a sandwich with it for dinner and I’m starving to it is taking a lot of willpower not to slice it early.




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