The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Benito's blog

Benito's picture

These are a traditional Christmas time dessert from Provence France.  They are a vegan brioche so rather than butter there is olive oil used instead.  This recipe was posted by Melissa over on Breadtopia and I followed her excellent formula.  I did make some changes.  I did not have ground anise so instead used Chinese Five Spice.  Also instead of just orange, I used a combination of Meyer Lemon and a smaller amount of orange.  Pompe å L’Huile recipe


  • Stiff Levain (250g, 56% hydration) 
  • 140g bread or all purpose flour
  • 70g water
  • 40g starter, 100% hydration
  • Final Dough 
  • 80g water (1/3 cup)
  • 100g sugar (½ cup)
  • 12g orange blossom water (1 Tbsp or additional orange juice)
  • 9g salt (1½ tsp)
  • 3g ground anise (1 tsp) (can substitute Chinese 5 Spice ¾-1  tsp)
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 36g orange juice (3 Tbsp)
  • 120g olive oil (½ cup + 1 Tbsp)
  • 350g bread flour (2 2/3 cups)
  • 250g stiff levain from above, doubled or tripled in size
  • Optional 
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil to brush on the breads when hot from the oven
  • The night before you plan to bake, mix a 56% hydration sourdough starter weighing 250g. Knead it on the counter for 1-2 minutes, and then place it in a jar with room for tripling. Cover and leave it somewhere warm. This stiff starter can be created from a single feed of 40g 100% hydration starter, 140g bread flour, and 70g water.
  • Mixing
  • In a medium bowl (ideally with a pouring spout), measure out the water, sugar, orange blossom water, salt, and ground anise.
  • While the sugar and salt begin dissolving, zest and juice the orange, straining out seeds and pulp.
  • Stir a bit and then add the oil.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, briefly whisk your flour and instant yeast - OR - add the stiff starter in chunks to your flour. If you chose to proof your yeast, you can simply pour the mixture over the flour.
  • Add the orange mixture to your stand mixer bowl and begin mixing using the dough hook attachment.
  • Mix 5-8 minutes, initially on low speed and then low-med. Pause once early on to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The dough should be smooth and only slightly sticky to the touch toward the end of mixing.  Should come clean off the sides of the bowl.  (Took much longer than 8 mins)
  • If you don't have a stand mixer, mix by hand or with a spatula, and then slap and fold the dough for gluten development. Videos of this technique can be found here.
  • First Rise
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until about doubled. This was 3 1/2 hours with instant yeast, and 8 hours with sourdough.
  • Shaping
  • Scrape the dough onto your countertop. There's no need to flour or oil it. Divide the dough in two pieces and roll them into balls.
  • Cover the dough balls with a large piece of plastic wrap (you'll reuse this) and let them rest for about 20 minutes.
  • Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper. You can also prepare two parchment squares and bake the breads one at a time on a smaller baking sheet.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll the dough balls into circles about 8 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.
  • Transfer the circles to the parchment paper, and make cuts in the dough as if it were pie but without reaching the center or the edges. Open the cuts a bit with your tool (spatula) or your fingers.
  • Final Proof
  • Cover the dough with your sheet of plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until puffy, almost twice as tall. This was 1 1/2 hours for instant yeast, and 4 hours for sourdough.
  • Baking
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F with a shelf in the center position.
  • Bake the pompe à l'huile for 16-18 minutes or until the internal temp is over 200°F. If your fermentation times were long, the color of the breads may be lighter despite the interior being cooked through.
  • Lightly brush the breads with olive oil to help them stay soft longer.
  • Let the pompe à l'huile cool on a rack for about 20 minutes, then sprinkle powdered sugar on them if desired.
  • The breads can be wrapped for storage, and softened through reheating in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.

Benito's picture

Because of the babka debacle from last weekend I had to come up with another bake for some friends.  I decided to bake this christmas cake again as it is really quite good.  I like the combination of the tart cranberries with the sweet honey crisp apples with the spices and rum in this cake.  I like to do a lemon drizzle icing more for the look than anything.

For three loaf pans

7.5 cups flour

2.5 tsp baking soda

1.25 tsp salt

3.75 cup vegetable oil

7.5 large eggs

3.75 cups granulated sugar

1.25 cups packed brown sugar

2.5 tbsp cinnamon

1.25 tsp nutmeg

3 tbsp rum

2.5 tsp vanilla

7.5 apples ¼” dice 

3.125 cups cranberries coursely chopped


Place a rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 350ºF.  Butter and flour the pans.


Sift together flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.


Whisk together oil, eggs, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, rum and vanilla in a large bowl until just combined.  Fold in flour mixture until just combined, then fold in apples and cranberries.  The batter will feel thick and heavy.  Spoon batter into pans.


Bake until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.  If baking all three loaves at once it may take up to 1 hour 50 mins.  For one loaf about 1 hour 15 mins.  Remove to rack to cool for 30 mins and then remove from the pans and allow to fully cool on the cooling rack.


Make a lemon drizzle icing and pour onto each fully cooled loaf.

Benito's picture

I love the taste that seeds impart to my sourdough breads both on the inside or outside of a loaf.  I love using black sesame seeds because they are sesame flavour amped up and great inside the loaf for that contrast in colour in the crumb.

Total Dough Weight 900 g

Total Flour 494 g 

Bread Flour 80%

Whole Red Fife 20%

Total Water 377.5 g 76% hydration

Salt 2% 10 g



Bread flour 352 g

Whole Wheat 97 g

Water 320 g

Levain 115 g 

Salt 2% 10 g 

Diastatic Malt 0.5% 2.5 g


Overnight levain at 74ºF 

15 g starter

60 g water


60 g whole red fife 


Overnight saltolyse mix everything except levain using cold filtered water and left a cool room temperature.


In the morning mix levain and dough pinching and then Rubaud kneading to fully incorporate.  Start of bulk fermentation @ 80-82ºF.

Rest 30 mins then bench letter fold.  Remove small portion of dough for aliquot jar.

Rest 30 mins then lamination adding black sesame seeds in three parts.

In 30 min intervals doing coil folds.

Bulk Fermentation ends when 60% rise in the aliquot jar.

Shape dough - this if final shaping since the coil folds act as the per shaping.

Left at room temperature in banneton until aliquot jar shows 70% rise.

Cold Retard overnight 2ºC fridge.


Next morning preheat oven 500ºF with dutch oven inside.

After 1 hour flip dough out of banneton onto parchment paper, brush off excess rice flour and score.  Brush water onto the surface of the dough then load into dutch oven.

Drop temperature to 450ºF and bake for 20 mins.

Remove lid and bake at 420ºF for 25 mins.  May need longer to fully bake adjust if needed.




Benito's picture

This is my third time baking semolina sourdough baguettes and I ran a bit short on the Semola rimacinata flour that I usually use for this. I also hadn’t baked a baguette in some time so I felt a bit rusty, but I think overall the bake went well.

These are likely a bit overproofed I’m guessing based on the so so ears. The kitchen was pretty warm and I didn’t account for how fast they would proof on the counter, that and my starter is now creating levains and dough that ferment more quickly. I will need to take this into account in the future.

Levain Build 1:5:5
Starter 18 g
Water 90 g
Semola 90 g
Use 178 g

Semola Rimacinata 275 g (I used 220 g)
AP flour 228 g (I used 283 g)
Salt 11.8 g
Diastatic Malt 5.92
Water 308 g

Do overnight levain build and saltolyse.
In morning mix levain with saltolysed dough and IDY using Rubaud to ensure salt is well mixed.
20-30 mins later coil fold
20-30 mins later coil fold
End bulk fermentation after 25% bulk rise then start cold retard until next day.

The dough is divided and pre-shaped as loose cylinders and left to rest covered at room temperature for 30 mins. The dough is then shaped, placed on a wet towel and rolled in sesame seeds. Finally they are placed on a floured couche seam side up and left at room temperature for 40-60 mins to proof depending on the room temperature.
With 10 mins left of bench rest the oven is started 500ºF to preheat. When the 40 mins of bench rest is completed the shaped baguettes are placed in a bag and returned to the refrigerator for 30-40 mins to chill to make scoring easier. Once this time is over the baguettes are scored and immediately placed on the baking steel and boiling water is added to the cast iron skillet. The Sylvia towel with boiling water was placed in the oven 30 mins prior to baking time.
The oven temperature is jacked up to 525ºF to get the burners to activate immediately and then once activated dropped to 480ºF. The baguettes are baked with steam for 13 mins. The steam equipment is removed venting the oven of steam. The oven is left at 480ºF but convection is turned on and the baguettes bake for 10 mins rotating them halfway. The oven temperature is then dropped to 450ºF and the baguettes rotated again if needed and baked for another 3 mins to achieve a rich colour crust.

Benito's picture

This is my first bake of rye at this percentage, prior to this I have only used 5-10% in my sourdough breads.  I’ve followed Eric’s original recipe but followed Dan’s procedure building the gluten before adding the levain, salt and holdout water.


The crust is soft after it cools and will slice better the next day. If you need bread that will stand a few days, this mix is good for mailing across the country. Sealed in a plastic bag after cooling, this rye will be great 4-5 days later and freezes very well.


For one loaf


Rye Sour

50g Active Rye starter

137.5 g Rye (Whole or White Rye)

137.5 g water

Mix and set at room temp overnight. (If this stage will longer than 8 hours I suggest refrigerating after 3 hours and warming to room temp before proceeding)



Final Dough:

All Rye Sour 163 g of rye total so 29% rye

242g water (consider holding back some water say 22 g or so) hydration 73%

394g bread flour

½  Tablespoon sugar

½  teaspoon instant yeast

11g Sea Salt


(Total flour 557 g)


Build the rye sour overnight.


Mix bread flour, water (minus holdout water), yeast and sugar using a mixer.  Once incorporated let rest for 15 mins.  This is a stiff dough.  Then mix on low speed to build gluten.

Once gluten well developed add levain mixing again until well incorporated and gluten well developed.  Then add the salt and holdout water gradually and again mix until well developed.

Transfer the dough to a well oiled bowl and continue bulk fermentation 80ºF for about 1 hour or until the dough has at least doubled.

Once bulk is complete and the dough has at least doubled pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with the dutch oven inside.

Dust the surface of the dough and the countertop with flour and release the dough onto the countertop.  Degas the dough by patting it down with the heel of your hand.  Shape into a batard.

Transfer the batard to your final proofing device.  I used a cookie tray with bottles of wine on either side, then my couche and then a sheet of parchment paper.  I placed the dough seem side down onto the parchment supporting the sides of the dough.  I brushed the surface with water and put poppyseeds on the outside of the dough.  

The dough was left to final proof at room temperature.

After about 45 mins when the over was ready the dough was lifted off the couche using the parchment as a sling, placed on the countertop and scored with a bread knife.  The dough was then transferred to the dutch oven and the lid placed on top for steam.

The oven temperature was dropped to 470ºF and the dough was then baked for 15 mins lid on.  Then the lid was removed and the dough was baked for a further 20 mins at 420ºF.  After 20 mins the temperature was dropped to 350ºF and the bread was done after about another 10 mins and removed to a wire rack.

A glaze of cornstarch and water was brushed on the crust.

The bread will be left until the next day to slice.




Benito's picture

I’ve always loved the idea of babkas when I first saw them on the internet.  They look so shiny and sticky and yummy.  Now that I have sent John Dough to rehab and have him on an all rye diet I thought I would test him out and build a white levain to raise this my first babka.  My old starter could never raise a good white starter, I’d always have to add some whole grain of some sort to it for it to have an adequate rise.  So you can imagine my surprise when I made this levain 1:4:4 fermented at 78ºF overnight and after six hours (I had some insomnia that night) and I could see that it had risen 3x volume and was already falling!  Anyhow, onto the babka.  What follows is Maurizio’s sourdough babka recipe from however, I made my own filling for it instead of the chocolate or cinnamon that he has on his website.

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)



Dough Mix

My final dough temperature for this dough was 76°F (24°C). See my post on the importance of dough temperature for more information.




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)


Unsalted butter (Kerrygold; room temperature)


Caster sugar (superfine white sugar)




Mature, but mild, levain



1. Build Levain – 10:00 a.m. (or when your starter is mature)

In the morning, mix together the following in a small jar:

All-purpose flour


Water (warm)


Mature sourdough starter


Loosely cover the jar; it should be ready after about 3 hours at a warm temperature, 78-80°F (26-27°C). If it’s cold in your kitchen, warm the mixing water for this levain to get close to 80°F (27°C).


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, 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):



For the Cranberry Orange Filling:

-1 bag frozen cranberries 

- ¾ cup light brown sugar 

- juice of ½ orange 

- zest of one orange

- toasted walnuts chopped ½ cup

Cook down first 4 ingredient in a small pot until thickened adjust sweetness.  Allow to cool before using.

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 10″ x 12″ in size with a short edge closest to your body. I think that it needs to be rolled out more than 12” in length in order to get more layers in each roll and a better ratio of filling to bread.

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 filling over the dough leaving about 1″ clean on the short side farthest from you. 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).


Prepare your baking pan by inserting a piece of parchment so two “handles” stick up at the long sides of the pan (see photo above). The parchment will drape down one long side, over the bottom, and up the other side. Once it fits, take it out and place it on the counter next to your 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 40-45 minutes until the center of the babka reaches 200°F (93°C). 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.


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. 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 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 rest, lift the babka out of the pan using the parchment paper sticking up as a set of handles. You might have to use a spatula and pry it out a bit, but be gentle. Remove from the parchment paper and let it rest on a wire rack until cool to the touch. It’s even better if it sits for an hour or so to let the crust fully harden.


I actually don’t have a Pullman pan and instead have a shallower loaf pan. I allowed the dough to final proof to about 1 cm above the rim of the pan before baking.  I am going to order a Pullman because I don’t like the look of the muffin top my shallow loaf pan causes this to have.

Benito's picture

I baked Maurizio’s formula for this bread which I share below copied from his website for those interested in trying this bake.  At the end I’ll post what I will do next time I bake this based on the final results.

This tangzhong pan bread is a direct bake, meaning it’s baked the same day you mix (except for the levain, which is created the night before).

Overnight proof option: while I don’t call for this dough to be retarded (cold proof overnight), this can be done if it’s better for your schedule. Simply place it in the fridge after it’s shaped and in the Pullman pan, then bake first thing in the morning.

Total Dough Weight

900 grams

Pre-fermented Flour


Levain in final dough



1 x 900g pan loaf

For 9x4x4 loaf pan my pan is 8.5x4.5


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.




Baker’s Percentage


Pre-cooked (tangzhong): Whole wheat flour (Giusto’s Whole Wheat Flour)



Pre-cooked (tangzhong): Whole milk



Medium-protein bread flour or All-purpose flour (~11% protein, Central Milling Artisan Baker’s Craft or King Arthur Baking All-Purpose)



Whole wheat flour (Giusto’s Whole Wheat)



Olive oil












Sourdough starter


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.



Baker’s Percentage


Medium protein bread flour or all-purpose flour



Whole wheat flour






Ripe sourdough starter



2. 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).





Whole wheat flour


Whole 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.


Tangzhong vs Yudane article below


3. 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!).




Pre-cooked flour (see Pre-cook Flour, above)


Medium protein bread flour


Whole wheat flour


Olive oil








Levain (see Prepare Levain, above)

Mixing water temperature note: I used cold water from the fridge to mix this dough, mostly because my pre-cooked flour was not fully cool by the time I needed to mix. Be sure to take the temperature of the pre-cooked flour and other ingredients into account to get close to the final dough temperaturelisted for this recipe.

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. See the image of my dough right after transferring to its bulk fermentation container.

Transfer your dough to a bulk fermentation container and cover.

4. 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. Give this dough three sets of stretch and folds during bulk fermentation (first rise) at 30-minute intervals, where 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 for the remainder of bulk fermentation.

5. Divide and Pre-shape – 12:45 p.m.

Uncover your bulk fermentation container and gently scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a clean work surface. Using a bench knife, divide the dough directly in half and pre-shape each piece into a loose round. Let the rounds relax uncovered for 30 minutes.

6. Shape – 1:15 p.m.

First, lightly oil your Pullman pans with olive oil or another neutral oil. While this isn’t strictly necessary when using a USA Pan Pullman pan, it’s a little insurance just in case.

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. At this point, you can sprinkle on any toppings you’d like, I added white sesame seeds to one loaf, and instant oats to the other.


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

Cover the pans 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.


8. 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 run and a pan with lava rocks on the bottom, to 400°F (205°C).

Once your oven is preheated, remove your proofed loaves from their bags and slide them into the oven. Carefully pour a cup of ice into the pan with lava rocks at the bottom of the oven and quickly close the oven door.

Take care to bake these loaves 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. Bake for an additional 30-35 minutes until the top is well-colored and the internal temp is around 205°F (96°C). Remove the pans 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. These will store incredibly well as described in my post on how to store bread.


Based on my bake, my oven probably runs hotter than Maurizio’s.  I would reduce the temperature of the oven to 350ºF after initial 20 mins at 400ºF done with steam.  I also tend to like to make a parchment paper sling to make the bread easier to remove from the pan.  I haven’t sliced this yet so cannot comment on the flavour or the crumb, I’ll update this post after I have sliced it.

Benito's picture

I wasn’t planning on making such a large loaf, but it turned out to be just over 1 kg, I guess that doesn’t qualify it as being a miche, I’ll call it a mini miche 😎. It was with this bake that I noticed how extremely sluggish my starter had become, it’s now in starter rehab on a diet of whole rye and bubbling along quite nicely.

This loaf is 83% hydration and a blend of whole spelt, whole red fife, whole rye, bread flour, sesame seeds and chia seeds.  Despite the slow fermentation I think it somehow went a bit over as evidenced by the flat profile and lack of bloom and ears. Fortunately the flavor is spot on.  My partner arrived home soon after the loaf was out of the oven and remarked a bout how amazing it smelled.  I will need to try making this again when my starter is back up and running more vigorously. 


Benito's picture

Sesame crusted purple sweet potato sourdough sandwich loaf. Followed FullProofBaking formula as follows with some minor modifications.  

Levain build overnight 80ºF 
12 g starter + 72 g flour + 40 g water

Morning combine 115 g levain, 250 g water 204 g bread flour, 74 g AP flour and 74 g whole red fife flour. Could add 0.1% IDY 0.356 g
Mix in mixer low speed for 8 min with dough hook. Rest 45 min covered.
Add in 9.25 g salt and 28 g brown sugar and knead 5 min low speed dough hook.
Then add in, a little at a time, 37 g unsalted room temp butter. Knead until well combined.
Laminate dough on counter and add 111 g mashed steamed purple sweet potatoes.
Slap and fold to combine. 
Move to bulk dish. Two coil fold at 1 hour intervals. 

Once doubled, tip out onto floured counter and pat out bubbles. Shape as batard then roll on wet towel then roll on tray with sesame seeds. Move to parchment paper lined pans seed side up (I always screw this up and place seed side down ugh and then have to get it out and flip it). 
Proof covered until dough rises to just over rim of tin. 
Slash with lame, spritz with water and bake.

Preheat oven to 425 for about 30 min, then bake for 25 min at 400. Turn down oven to 350 and bake until browned 35 mins. no steam is used.

Let cool in tins for 1 hour then remove and cool on rack until fully cooled before slicing

Benito's picture

I’ve only slightly modified this recipe I saw Kristen post on Instagram.  I added a poppyseed crust to the bread because I thought that it would go quite well with the flavour of this bread and I was right.  My family did really like the bread and we had some good sandwiches on it.

This was only the 2nd sourdough sandwich loaf I’ve made. And perhaps only my 3rd sandwich loaf ever.  My first sourdough sandwich loaf was underproofed and was posted last year on my blog.  

This was quite delicious, I love the colour of the crumb which was soft and springy.  I’m not sure I like the density around the sides and bottom of the loaf, does anyone know how to fix that?  Is this normal?


For my 8.5” x 4.5” pan


Levain build overnight 80ºF 

12 g starter + 72  g flour + 40 g water


Morning combine 115 g levain, 250 g water 204 g bread flour, 74 g AP flour and 74 g whole wheat flour.

Mix in mixer low speed for 8 min with dough hook.  Rest 45 min covered.

Add in 9.25 g salt and 28 g brown sugar and knead 5 min low speed dough hook.

Then add in, a little at a time, 37 g unsalted room temp butter.  Knead until well combined.

Laminate dough on counter and add 111 g mashed steamed purple sweet potatoes.

Slap and fold to combine.

Move to bulk dishes.  One coil fold about 1 hour later.


Once doubled, tip out onto floured counter and pat out bubbles. 

Shape as a batard, the roll the top of the shaped dough on a wet towel and then onto a cookie sheet covered with poppyseeds.  Then place the dough seam side down, seeds up in the loaf pan.  

Going on autopilot here, I accidentally placed the dough seam side up, seeds down as you would in a banneton.  This was then a challenge to fix and probably compromised the tension of the skin.

Proof covered until dough rises to rim of tins.

Slash with lame, spritz with water and bake.

Preheat oven to 425 for about 30 min, then bake for 25 min at 400.  Turn down oven to 350 and bake until browned 35 mins.  no steam is used.



Rub the top crust with butter when done and still warm.  Let cool in tin for 1 hour then remove and cool on rack until fully cooled before slicing.



Subscribe to RSS - Benito's blog