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Prior to the many posting here about biga I had already decided I’d try a non biga ciabatta recipe.  One of the people I follow on YouTube, Joy Ride Coffee has a formula up that I decided to give a go.  I decided to make the ciabatta with a 12% white flour I have left over from an early baguette bake and only used whole grain in the levain.  The levain itself is my usual 100% hydration.

Flour and water mixed and autolyse x 1 hour.

Levain added (8% pre-fermented flour) and given 30 min rest.

Bassinage adding salt and enough water to bring hydration up to 80% and then olive oil added followed by slap and folds x 250. Followed by 1 hour rest

one Lamination then 3 sets of coil folds at 45 min intervals.

Unsure how far to take bulk fermentation I ended it at 25% (probably a mistake) and the dough went into cold retard until the following day.

RT bench rest x 1 hour then divide and shape.  I snapped into a log, uncertain if that is appropriate for a ciabatta.  Rested in the couche seam side up for 1.5 hours until finger poke left a small dent only popping back up slowly and partially.

Baked at 480ºF with steam for 13 mins and then 420ºF convection without steam until golden brown.

One ciabatta split on top, which I wasn’t expecting.  This made me think that they may have been underproofed and I think they were somewhat.

The crust is quite thin and crisp while the crumb has a tender chew compared to most sourdough I make.  The flavour is alright, I think that the Quebec flour at 10% protein has better flavour, it certainly is more yellow in colour.

Here is my wine bottle helper (cheap wine I’ll never drink is good for something finally). 


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Still wanting to see if our very strong 13.3% protein Canadian flours interfere with the open crumb I’m attempting another bake of this formula I’ve thrown together.  Instead of 80% strong bread flour, I use 50% strong bread flour, 30% lower protein flour (10% protein), 10% whole red fife and 10% dark rye.  9% prefermented flour is use and this time I’ve lowered the hydration to 75% because the 10% flour isn’t very absorptive of the water.

The dough was built using an overnight saltolyse, mixed with levain using Rubaud kneading.  Structure and gluten were built using a strong bench letterfold, a lamination and then 4 coil folds leaving it undisturbed for the final 2 hours or so during bulk fermentation at 80ºF.  Bulk ended and final shaping was done at 50% rise in the aliquot jar and left on the counter for an additional 45 minutes of proofing prior to cold retard at 2ºC overnight about 21 hours.

Baked as usual in a dutch oven, preheated at 500ºF then dropped to 450ºF and baked in dutch oven lid on for 20 minutes, lid removed and oven dropped to 420ºF and baked for a further 23 minutes.

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I realized that I hadn’t made any pizza in quite sometime.  My working on baguettes over the past several months got in the way ?. So 2 days ago I put together my go to sourdough pizza recipe from the pizza Community Bake.  I haven’t really many any changes to that recipe except that I now give the dough after cold retard 2 hours of RT final proof.  This has helped with a more open cornicione.  I’m still making 9” personal sized pizzas in my cast iron skillet.  A couple of adjustments to my methods for baking are that after I have stretched the dough I take the cast iron sklliet out of the oven (550ºF) and place it on my stovetop on a heated element so that the skillet stays as hot as possible.  This helps get that bottom crust crispy.  Finally for the final three minutes of baking, I turn on convection broil.

The vegetables are three types of Italian olives, roasted peppers, peperoncini, artichoke hearts, onions, basil and sundried tomatoes marinated in red wine vinegar and olive oil with dried oregano.  When using such wet toppings I use the strategy of first topping the dough with the cheese, in this case a pecorino Romano.  This really prevents a soggy crust even with such wet heavy toppings I used today.  You can see in my photos, the browned dry bottom crust and the photo of the slice that is holding the weight of the toppings without flopping

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Blasphemy, I know what the Baguette Brigade will say about these, Blapshemy!!!  Oh well, I do not care.  I was in the mood to do something with chocolate and had started the mix for these Bouabsa baguettes.  I added 100 g of Lindt 70% dark chocolate which is always a good pick me up.  I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone add chocolate to their baguettes, but I have to admit I haven’t done a search.  In all likelihood it isn’t an original idea.  The chocolate was added at the first fold for which I did a strong bench letterfold and threw the chocolate in as if it was a lamination.

I usually do only 2 coil folds and no French folds for my baguettes, however, for this set I did the letterfold and then two coil folds.

The kitchen smells like chocolate cake right now and I can’t wait until one of these cools off to slice it open.

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I decided I’d try to apply some of what I’ve learned making baguettes to my hearth loaves.  One thing that has been in the back of my mind for a while has been whether or not my use of high protein Canadian bread flours 13.3% protein could be preventing my heart loaves from having a more open crumb.  I know that achieving an open crumb is multi factorial and for many not worth the trouble, but it is something I wanted to see if I could eventually achieve.

I threw together a formula with:

50% strong bread flour

30% low protein (10%) white flour

15% whole red fife 

5% whole rye

9% prefermented flour 

2% salt

0.05% diastatic malt

78% hydration

I did an overnight levain build 1:4:4 and a saltolyse dissolving the salt and diastatic malt in the water and then adding the flours.  Mixed until a shaggy mass.  Both the levain and dough were left on the counter at a cool room temperature overnight.  The ripe levain was added to the dough and pinched in then a bowl scraper was used to stretch and fold until it was well combined.  Structure was built with a strong bench letter fold followed by a lamination and then four sets of coil folds.  A good windowpane was attained.  Bulk was ended when the aliquot jar reached 60% rise.

In retrospect the hydration was a bit too high for my flour, I forgot that lower protein flour doesn’t absorb water as well as high.  I should have taken my own advice and held back some of the water when mixing.  The dough just felt wetter than usual.  When I shaped the dough it didn’t keep “standing proud” very well, so I added stitching in the banneton hoping that it would help keep that surface tension.

The next day, about 20-30 mins prior to baking I put the dough into the freezer hoping that it might help keep its shape better when turned out of the banneton.  Somehow things worked out alright, I didn’t get a pancake after all. It wasn’t what I was hoping for, but it wasn’t a disaster.  I will try this again but with less water.


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I thought I’d give a go at this formula again making one small change.  With my recent experience scoring warm dough I thought I’d skip the final cold proof and be brave and score room temperature baguettes.  The kitchen is much cooler now than before so my usual 30 mins bench proof turned into a 60 mins bench rest.  I now keep the aliquot jar out on the counter with the dough when taken out of the fridge ending cold retard.  I have found it interesting to see how much the aliquot jar has fallen in the fridge almost to the original level at the beginning of bulk fermentation.  After dividing, pre-shaping, bench rest, then final shaping and 60 mins bench rest the aliquot jar rose back up to 20% rise.  Not sure that these are sufficiently fermented, like usual the crumb will tell.

They were not that much more challenging to score warm, they do wrinkle quite a bit and the seeds of course always mean that I have score twice per score because the first one never quite goes through along the whole length.

Overall outward appearance is good, some decent ears and grigne.  I’ll post crumb photos after dinner.


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I love the effect that sweet potatoes have on tenderizing the crumb and the sweet flavour of sweet potatoes and thought I should make another sweet potato sourdough but instead of pecans, this time adding black sesame seeds.  Those who know me know I love the flavour of sesame seeds and black sesame seeds in particular.

This formula makes a 900 g dough.

I built both the levain and saltolyse dough in the evening starting both with fridge cold water and some fridge time.

Levain 1:4:4 10 g starter 40 g 2ºC water and 40 g whole wheat

Saltolyse dough mix.

290 g water 2ºC dissolve 2% salt 8.18 g then mix 331 g bread or all purpose flour and 41 g whole wheat flour. Then place in fridge.

Just before bedtime take both out of the fridge and leave at a cool room temperature overnight.

In the morning once the levain has just peaked, spread 74 g of levain over the top of the dough, then pinch or dimple into the dough with wet fingers.  The stretch and fold in the bowl followed by 150 slap and folds on the counter.  Let rest in bowl for 20-30 mins in proofing box at 80ºF.  Bulk fermentation has started and fermentation at 80ºF for remainder of bulk.

Clean 1 sweet potato and poke all over with fork.  Microwave 5-10 mins until well cooked/soft.  Cut open and remove meat and mash thoroughly.  If the potato is dry, add some neutral oil while mashing and a pinch of salt.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Edit - an alternate and better way to prep the sweet potato.  Clean and poke sweet potato with a fork.  Rub all over with olive oil, wrap in foil and bake at 375ºF until soft.  Cut open and remove meat and mash thoroughly adding a pinch of salt.

Divide dough in two and do a counter letterfold to the first half then placing it back in the bowl in proofing box.  To the other half of the dough do a strong letterfold smearing the mashed sweet potato on the dough prior to each fold incorporating all the potato.  Place dough in a separate bowl into proofing box.  The sweet potato may interfere with gluten formation so incorporating it separately helps ensure that the gluten is maximized.

After 30 mins do a double lamination as in my video incorporating the black sesame seeds during the lamination.

Remove 30-40 g of the dough and set up your aliquot jar.  See video for further information on how to use the aliquot jar to assess bulk fermentation.

The aliquot jar should be kept next to the dough throughout bulk fermentation to ensure that the temperature and rate of fermentation is as close to the main dough as possible.  Each time you remove the dough for coil folds remove the aliquot jar as well from the proofing box.

Do 3-4 sets of coil folds for the remainder of bulk fermentation at 30-40 mins intervals until a good windowpane is achieved.  Bulk fermentation ends once your aliquot jar reaches 60% rise.  Go directly to final shaping, the last coil fold will act as your pre-shaping one of the advantages of using coil folds.

Once shaped and placed in a rice flour dusted banneton, place into a plastic bag or cover with reusable plastic shower cap (this is what I use now to cover the dough in banneton or in a bowl) and place in fridge for cold retard overnight.

The next morning, pre-heat oven 500ºF with dutch oven inside.  After 1 hour when oven has reached 500ºF remove dough turning out onto parchment paper.  Brush off excess rice flour and score.  Brush dough liberally with water, this helps with blisters and increases the steam in the dutch oven for excellent oven spring.  Transfer to the dutch oven dropping the temperature to 450ºF and bake in dutch oven covered for 20 mins.  After 20 mins remove cover and drop oven to 420ºF.  Bake for another 23-25 mins turning the dutch oven halfway through continuing to bake without the cover until the crust is a rich mahogany brown.



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Having only made Bouabsa baguettes once very early on when I first started to bake baguettes I thought it was time to try them again.  Because I’ve been enjoying seeded crusts on baguettes lately I thought I should use sesame seeds to enhance the flavour and bite.

Bouabsa Baguette









dmsnyder, janedo










Total Dough Weight (g)










Total Formula

















White Flour


















Water  2nd bassinage



























Diastatic Malt

















Mix IDY into water, then flour.  Pinch and fold.  Autolyse 30 min.









Add salt.  Add bassinage a portion at a time, pinching and squeezing dough to incorporate









Affter bassinage, let dough rest covered for 5 min.  Then final mix and dump onto workbench.









300 French Folds.  150 FFs, 5 min. rest coverd, 150 FFs.









Into oiled covered container.  Letter Folds at 20, 40 & 60 min.  Retard for a total time of ~20 hrs..









At some point a few hrs into cold retard, flour workbench well then divide, pre-shape and shape dough into baguettes.









Dough should be scaled to approx. 330 grams each.









Onto well floured couche, cover and back to retard.









Preheat oven to 500dF for ~ 1 hr.









At bake time, remove baguettes, move onto baking peel and score.









Load into 480dF oven to bake, and steam well for 13 min.









Release steam and rotate baguettes in oven.  Bake another 10-13 min.









Vent oven, now off for 2 min.  Then remove baguettes to cooling rack











I followed the formula so graciously shared by Alfanso to which I’ve made some changes.  I’ve adjusted the weights of the ingredients to reflect what I used.  My procedure does differ from Alfanso’s in that I dissolve the salt, diastatic malt and IDY in the water, then add the flour and mix.  After a 20 min rest, I use Rubaud mixing to start gluten formation, this is done for about 3 mins.  Then two coil folds are done about 50 mins apart.  Bulk fermentation is halted when the aliquot jar shows a 20% rise.  The dough is then cold retarded until the next day.

The following day, the dough is divided into three equal portions and pre-shaped into a loose cylinder.  After a 25 mins bench rest, the dough is then shaped, rolled on a wet cloth and then place seam side up in a tray of sesame seeds to coat the top.  They are then transferred to the couche resting seam side down and left to further room temperature proof for an additional 30 mins.  The oven is pre-heated to 500*F with the cast iron skillet in place along with the baking steel. After the 30 mins of bench rest the couched baguettes are placed back in the fridge to chill for a further 30-40 mins.  Boiling water is poured into the loaf pan with Sylvia towel in place.  

When the oven has come to 500ºF and the baguettes have chilled at least 30-40 mins they are removed, transferred to the peel and scored then baked at 480ºF for 13 mins then removing the steaming equipment and venting the oven.  The oven is then switched to 480ºF convection and the baguettes are baked rotating them halfway through until they are a golden brown.

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I seldom make boules, so I decided I need to brush off some of the rust on that skill and also had long wanted to make a bread with sundried tomatoes, so here is my take on this.


For one loaf only. Total weight ~ 900 

340 g white bread flour 80% total

87 g whole wheat flour 20% total 

Total Flour = 427 g


Total water 307 g 78% hydration  (82% hydration first time)


Final dough for mixing

340 g white bread flour

49 g whole red fife flour

water 294 g (none reserved - add levain and salt without reserved water) 78% hydration

I added another 5 g water with the levain to mix and more with coil folds so estimate 82% hydration in the end

2% salt.  8.54 g

Diastatic malt 0.5% 2.14 g

76 g Levain  1:2:2  17 g starter, 34 g whole wheat flour, 34 g water



Sun dried tomatoes chopped 20% 85 g

Shallot chopped and raw 10% 42.4 g

Herbs de Provence 1%. 4.24 g (3.09 g used)

Mixed together and placed in a bowl to be added during lamination


I did an overnight build of the levain starting with fridge cold water and an hour in the fridge taking it out to a cool room temperature at bedtime.


The final dough was mixed including the salt again with fridge cold water and placed in the fridge for 1 hour taking it out to a cool room temperature at bedtime.


In the morning the levain was just past peak and was immediately mixed into the saltolysed dough, Rubaud mixing was employed for 5 minutes to ensure the levain was well mixed and some gluten was starting to be developed.


Bulk Fermentation was done at 82ºF for the duration. 


After a 30 mins rest a strong letter fold on the counter was done.  30 g dough was removed, folding it several times to get a good ball shape and placed in the aliquot jar.  I have posted about this elsewhere so refer to that post if you are interested in learning more.


After another 30 mins rest a lamination was employed.  Use the lamination to add the inclusions in three parts to ensure that they are evenly spread throughout the crumb when baked.


Another 3 coil folds were employed at 30-45 mins intervals until a good windowpane.


Bulk fermentation continued at 82ºF until the aliquot jar showed a 60% rise.  The dough was then immediately shaped and placed into a banneton and placed into the fridge at 2ºC overnight.


The next morning, oven was pre-heated at 500ºF and the steam set up was done for steam baking.  For boules I use my steam set up instead of my dutch oven which is oval.

After 1 hour of pre-heating my dough was removed from the fridge and immediately flipped onto a parchment lined peel.  I brushed off the rice flour and scored the boule trying a spiral for the first time.  I usually brush water on liberally at this point but in the fuss of doing a spiral score for the first time I forgot.


Load the dough ensuring that the steam set up is going and bake at 450ºF for 20 mins.  Remove the steam set up and then drop the temperature to 420ºF turning on convection and bake for another 20-25 mins turning halfway through until crust is a mahogany colour and baked through.

My adding inclusions during lamination video


My shaping a boule video

I didn’t achieve good oven spring.  I suspect I degassed the dough too much during shaping.  I am obviously rusty at shaping a boule.  Hope the crumb isn’t too bad as a result.

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These are my first go at an all white flour 10% protein, in this case from Quebec, that is sourdough and no commercial yeast.  After the good results I had with the sesame semolina sourdough baguettes without commercial yeast I decided I needed to give it a go again but with the Quebec white flour.  These are essentially Abel’s baguettes au levain without the commercial yeast and hydration increased to 70% during bassinage and finally encrusted with poppy seeds.  So I’ll just call them Yorkville Baguettes since that is the neighborhood that I live in ?

These were done in my now usual fashion with very little intervention, so only Rubaud mixing when adding the salt to ensure that it is well mixed.  There were no slap and folds done.  I did my usual two coil folds, in between telemedicine appointments (don’t tell my patients) so not quite at the usual 50 mins intervals.  Bulk fermentation was monitored with an aliquot jar once again ending when the jar showed a 20% rise.  The dough was put into a 2ºC fridge for bulk cold retard and stayed there for a bit more than 24 hours.

The following day I did a pre-shape into loose cylinders followed by a 25 mins bench remembering that the last time I used this flour it was extremely extensible.  Shaping when pretty well for me and these were each then dampened on a wet towel and “rolled” on a cookie tray with poppy seeds.  They were transferred to my floured couche seam side up thinking that the weight of the dough would help press the poppy seeds firmly into the dough to help attach them.  They were given a 40 min bench rest.  With 10 mins left to the bench rest the oven was turned on to pre-heat at 500ºF.  At the 40 min mark the baguettes were put back into the fridge to firm up and stayed there for 40 mins.

Finally they were baked as usual with steam at 480ºF for 13 minutes and then 10 mins at 480ºF rotating them at the halfway mark then the temperature was dropped to 450ºF and the baguettes were given another 3 minutes and then they were done.

Final Dough

475 g 10% white flour 

311 g water autolyse

9 g water bassinage

5.22 g diastatic malt

9.38 g salt

95 g Levain built with 12 g stater 45 g water 45 g white flour 10% protein

Overnight levain build with cold filtered water, refrigerate levain and then take out of fridge before bedtime.

In the morning dissolve diastatic malt and levain in water.  Then add flour and mix to shaggy mass.  Rest 20 mins then add salt and gradually add bassinage water, do Rubaud kneading for 4-5 mins until dough is smooth.  

Remove approximate 40 g of dough and set up your aliquot jar.  How to use an aliquot jar.

Ferment at 82ºF, after 50 mins do coil folds, then after another 50 mins do another coil fold.  Once the aliquot jar shows a 20% rise the dough is placed into the fridge until the following 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 poppy seeds.  Finally they are placed on a floured couche seam side up and left at room temperature for 40 mins to proof.  

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.


Shaping video

Scoring Video


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