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I had some extra time at the beginning of last week to bake some breads to enter in the fall fair.
The fall season is now here - so I thought I'd post this today - season's greetings everyone :^)

A sourdough bread, with the idea for the stencilled leaf and lettering coming from these beautiful breads
made by MC of, and Chef Tess Bakeresse - thanks so much ladies!

Mr. Hamelman's 70% Rye with a Rye Soaker and Whole-Wheat Flour, another lovely formula from his book!

A braided yeast bread, using Larry's super Cheese Bread formula. This dough is really nice to work with for braiding, bakes up with such vibrant color and tastes fantastic. Thanks again, Larry - it was good to make this bread again!
The braiding instructions I found here; this bread was shaped with 4 strands weighing 200 grams each.

This "sunflower" was made with the Multigrain Pan Bread formula from Advanced Bread and Pastry, with shaping inspired by one of Mr. Roger Gural's pretty breads pictured in one of the BBGA newsletters.
Each 'fendu' petal was scaled at 85 grams, and the small center boule scaled at 60 grams.
The edges of the petals were rolled in cornmeal to add some extra color.

I don't have any pictures yet of fall leaves, but did take these pictures of flowers which have some lovely fall colors, while at Kneading Conference West

Best of the season, and happy baking everyone!
:^) from breadsong

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I just attended Kneading Conference West 2011 in Mount Vernon, Washington, which was held September 15-17.
What a wonderful gathering of farmers, millers, researchers and bakers! I met a lot of very nice and interesting people!
The whole experience was fantastic - meeting so many people and seeing a few people I'd met before, attending the seminars and lectures, the beautiful setting in amongst the gardens and orchard, and the food was delicious!

I had the pleasure of meeting Farine-mc at the conference, along with another Vancouver Island food writer, Rhona McAdam.
They have both posted really nice write-ups about the conference:
*Edited to add:

*Edited to add:
I also really enjoyed meeting Teresa of Northwest Sourdough. Teresa has also written about Kneading Conference West, and included some great photos and video! in her post:

These ladies have written about the conference far better than I ever possibly could, so I will stop writing now and just share pictures of ovens, and breads and pastries brought and made by the instructors and attendees! :^)

Wood-firing bagels (note the charred bagel board!)
  ...bagels were flipped once dry enough

Beautiful breakfasts! kindly provided by BreadFarm and Macrina Bakery and Cafe
BreadFarm's lemon-berry danish was exquisite!   ... Macrina's pumpkin bread was fabulous!
...and Macrina's beautiful bundt cake:

Some baking from the conference classes

Professional Baking class taught by Jesse Dodson and Michael Eggebrecht
 Professional Baking class - Boule - wow!
Large Ciabatta - Professional Baking class
  fresh, moist, delicious...the cheese was great too
Barley breads (instructors Andrew Ross, Leslie Mackie)
 ...and tasty barley pretzels also!

Morning Buns from Andrew Meltzer's Laminated dough class (beauties!)

...a lovely scoring pattern on this loaf, wood-fired and made with freshly milled flour and instruction from Larry Jansen

An assortment of extremely delicious breads brought by Cliff Leir, of fol epi bakery in Victoria, BC
(slightly blurry shot, trying to get my camera to go quicker than that knife coming in on the left!)

...and a couple of ovens, the oven on the right constructed on site! (instructor Kiko Denzer)

A tour of the BreadFarm Bakery was offered, and what a display of gorgeous breads. I've tasted the Roasted Allium bread and Sour Cherry Lemon bread - incredibly flavorful :^) Here are just a few of their lovely breads!

I am so happy I got the chance to meet and talk to so many amazing people, to learn lots of new things, and taste so much good food and bread at this Kneading Conference!
:^) from breadsong





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My neighbor had a bumper crop of Transparent apples this year and generously shared with us :^)
I used some to make Ciril Hitz's Apple Kuchen, from his book Baking Artisan Pastries and Breads.
The foundation for the Kuchen is Rum-Raisin Brioche! :^)
 .. the baked Kuchen

...a crumb shot

  ...close up of Butterkuchen (almond paste),
the rum-raisins and the brioche; before adding the apple slices and the crumbly, streusel topping...LOTS of good stuff in this Kuchen! :^)

Blackberries are ripening beautifully right now, with the heat we are having. I pulled out my old and treasured recipe for Glazed Blackberry Pie!:

... a close-up of the berry filling:

I wanted to share the recipe for this delectable (imho) summertime tart!:
Glazed Blackberry Pie
(strawberries, blueberries or raspberries may be substituted for the blackberries)
5 cups blackberries
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
a pinch of salt
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 baked and cooled 9-inch pie shell
1 cup whipping cream

Crush and sieve 1 cup of the blackberries to remove seeds.
Combine cornstarch, pinch of salt, sugar, sieved berries and water in a saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until the glaze is thickened and clear. I let it come slowly to a boil, and boil gently for 1 minute.
Cool slightly, and add the lemon juice. Sometimes I add a little bit more lemon juice to brighten the flavor if I think it needs it. Now is also a good time to add a bit of liqueur of your choice, if that interests you!
Very gently, fold the remaining berries into the glaze.
Pile the berry mixture into the baked pie shell. Cool and chill.
Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Yesterday I tried making a Vollkornbrot (just a small one, 8x4 loaf pan size). I added currants to Mr. Hamelman's recipe from his book Bread. I waited 24 hours to slice it - was so anxious to taste! It had a really nice flavor with the currants. I'm really looking forward to how this will taste tomorrow. end view

side views...  

  ... and the crumb

Today's bake is Sourdough based on this formula from my Guild class;  I tried to score the loaves to look like wheat. This was really fun to try!

and one last close up (I really like those bubbles!)

Happy baking everyone!
:^) from breadsong

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While visiting Victoria last March, I picked up a book called My sweet Mexico, written by Fany Gerson.
This book is full of all sorts of lovely things, and as I was looking through the book a few days ago, came across a recipe for Alegrias (Amaranth “Happiness” Candy).
The ingredients listed pecans, peanuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds, piloncillo sugar, honey, a bit of lemon (or lime) juice,
and puffed amaranth seeds.
I wondered if I could take those ingredients and make an Amaranth “Happiness” Bread!

Tried to decorate the top with 'flowers',
with ingredients used in the bread:  

                                                 a pumpkin-seed flower:

 ... a picture taken before baking

I tried making an amaranth starter for this bread, recalling Farine’s very helpful post about using different types of flours in preferments; based on the advice in Farine’s post (courtesy of Safa Hemzé), I kept the amaranth flour in the starter, and kept the amaranth flour to 15% of the total flour.

Mini posted about Amaranth Starter – it was interesting to read that she thought the starter smelled like corn; I definitely tasted the flavor of corn when I first tasted the bread. The power of suggestion?!

This is how my amaranth starter looked after it had doubled:

This is the formula I worked out:

A note on how to 'puff' amaranth (It’s like making mini-popcorn!):   I heated a deep pan over medium-high heat for a minute or two, added 1 Tablespoon of amaranth seeds, which immediately started to pop; covered the pan quickly, removed from the heat, and shook the pan around holding the lid in place until most of the amaranth was popped (‘puffed’).  I did this three or four times, until I’d popped enough for my bread recipe. Keep those amaranth grains moving though - they'll scorch easily in a hot, dry pan.


Crumb shots:

...the effect of piloncillo sugar:
What this sugar looked like in the dough, after mixing:

The second bake today is Mr. Hamelman’s Sunflower Seed Bread with Rye Sourdough.
The sunflower seeds within, and crusting the loaf, sounded enormously appealing.
I saw jsk’s lovely bake with this formula today, and there was a helpful reply to the OP from David (thanks David…gave me some guidance re: S&F’s with this dough :^)   ).
I also happened across this beautiful post of Benjamin’s, and inspired by the beauty of that loaf, tried to score my sunflower-seed-crusted bread similarly. My loaf is not a thing of beauty like Benjamin’s!!! but despite my loaf's appearance I am happy with this bread’s very flavorful, moist crumb and crunchy, toasty crust of sunflower seeds!

The last bake is Mr. Hamelman’s Rustic Bread, from a week or so ago, trying out a new stencil.
The bread, and some crumb shots:

Happy baking everyone!
:^) from breadsong

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I was captivated by Sylvia’s Sourdough Fig Focaccia, and grateful to her for her recommendation of Carol Field’s book Focaccia. I have it on loan from the library, and I’m certain after the book goes back to the library I’ll be shopping on Amazon :^)

Wanting to make something similar to Sylvia's lovely bread, I tried making Ms. Field’s Schiacciata Bursting with Grapes (Schiacciata All’Uva), as fresh figs aren't ripe here yet.
Ms. Field's recipe makes two Schiacciata, so I made one with red seedless grapes, and one with fresh sour cherries:
 ...bursting with juicy goodness!

I pre-ordered some fresh sour cherries from a local grower (rare! and a luxury where I live) and was able to go pick them up yesterday. Some are now in the Schiacciata, some have been frozen for future pies, and some are marinating in the fridge for homemade eau-de-vie :^)

                                            ...the sour cherries!

Ms. Field’s dough recipe looked awfully attractive, as it has anise seed and Sambuca as flavorings for the dough.
The photo in her book of the grape-studded Schacciata is gorgeous, and the bread's flavor lives up to the photo -
it is incredibly delicious!
The grapes and the Sambuca are a fantastic flavor combination imho. We like the sour cherry version too.
Ms. Field notes another filling/topping option…raisins soaked in Vin Santo. Wow!

I found a similar recipe for this bread on the King Arthur Flour site. Compared to the King Arthur Flour recipe, this dough is based on a 150g sponge, 350g flour in final dough, uses butter instead of olive oil, and has 3 Tablespoons of Sambuca liqueur and 2 teaspoons lightly crushed anise seed added to the dough. Each Schiacciata used 1.5 pounds of fruit.

I took a quick look here on TFL and saw these beautiful breads, also:

Here are some pictures of the layering for these filled Schiacciata:

The dough (one of four doughballs):

Filling (the fruit was sprinkled with Turbinado sugar):

Layering (pressing the dough to seal):

Topping (sprinked again with Turbinado sugar):

After 15 minutes of baking, the breads were brushed with more Sambuca!

Some crumb shots:

....and Sour Cherry      

Thanks so much, Sylvia, for reference to Ms. Field's wonderful book!

Happy baking everyone!
:^) from breadsong

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Franko was travelling in Europe recently, and thoughtfully sent me a gift from Vienna, Austria - an organic rye bread baking mix, called Holzofenbrot Backmischung (translates to: woodstove breadbaking mix).
To say that I was tremendously pleased with this, would be an understatement!
Thanks again, so much, Franko, for your kindness and generosity!

Here is the bread, baked from the mix. It looked like the mix had a good amount of rye in it, and some bread spice (brotgewurze). I tried scoring before proofing, as we were taught in my recent Guild class.
We haven't tasted this bread yet but are looking forward to it very much!
Thinking of Franko's travels, I was looking at pictures of folk art today and tried to paint a design on the bread reminiscent of eastern European folk art. (It's the thought that counts, right?! :^) I'm not a painter! and wish I'd been able to keep it more on center!).
The mix was a 500g size, to which I added 350g 90F water and 2 teaspoons (7g) instant dry yeast. The dough moved along just as the instructions said it would: 45 minute bulk, 30 minute proof (no longer!):
scored before proofing:  
              after proofing:

I'm really happy with the quality of the mix and how nicely it baked up. Such a lovely gift! :^)

Still inspired by Franko's travels!, I tried making Mr. Leader's Czech Country Bread from his book Local Breads.
I found a nice writeup about this bread here.
I used dark rye for the levain and 75% sifted rye, and unmalted bread flour, in the final dough.
This bread has a mild, but very good flavor, and an exceptionally soft crumb - almost as if a water roux were employed.
I mixed using stretch and folds in the bowl, with lots of rests, and two folds during a 2.5 hour bulk ferment; one hour proof.
I docked one as instructed, and painted the other:

Crackles and crumb:

Here are the two painted ones, side-by-side. I will keep practising this technique, for obvious reasons :^)
It was a took a little bit of time, but was fun to try.

With thanks, once again to Franko, and to Janknitz, for letting me know about Chef Tess Bakeresse and her lovely, decorative loaves. The instruction I found on Chef Tess' site re: painting bread was so helpful!

Happy baking everyone!
:^) from breadsong



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These are some breads made using some new flour: Central Milling's Organic Artisan Baker's Craft flour (malted).
The flour is unbleached, hard red winter wheat, 11-11.5% protein; it is a joy to work with!

This weekend's baking with lavender is for Karin...she posted about her lovely Lavendelbrot recently...
such pretty little breads!
I love Karin's formulas; her methods and instruction are always so good, and breads, so flavorful. 
My little lavender plant in the garden just sent up a small, second batch of flowers :^) ... a good sign it was time to try making Karin's bread.

I used 50% of the CM Baker's Craft flour, and 50% purple wheat flour, upping the hydration slightly and decreasing fermenting/proofing time a little bit because of the flour adjustment. I added some lavender syrup in place of sugar (being lavender weekend in my kitchen!, I was making lavender syrup to glaze a poundcake...decided to throw some into the bread).

The bread has the most wonderful scent and taste of lavender!

When baking, I tried something I read about in (I'm pretty sure it was from) one of the SFBI newsletters; after loading the bread and steaming the oven, I closed the oven door and turned the oven off, setting the timer for 2-1/2 minutes. After 2-1/2 minutes, I turned the oven back on. (Turning the oven off is supposed to help the steam settle on the dough's surface, to help with expansion while baking. I was happy with how the little batards opened up during this bake -
may try this again).

Trying to score some of the little breads (using scissors) to look like lavender flowers was not successful!:
A crumb shot:
  ...purplish from the 50% purple wheat flour?
                                                                                                                                 Or is it my wishful thinking? :^)

My local herbfarm lady introduced me to culinary lavender last summer - I fell in love with with lavender lemonade;
I thought it might be nice to combine those flavors in my favorite lemon poundcake. The poundcake is a recipe from Fine Cooking magazine. I added a generous half-teaspoon of lavender flowers to the dry ingredients when mixing the cake, and glazed the cake with a lavender syrup while it was warm from the oven. Mmm, mmm, good, imho!:
It was a lovely slice, for dessert last night:


These next two breads are a two-feed Sourdough with liquid levain, and a poolish Ciabatta, taught to us at the Guild class
I recently took at SFBI. This Central Milling Artisan Baker's Craft flour is everything I hoped it would be!
It's absolutely wonderful flour!

A sourdough boule:

This is the poolish Ciabatta:
  <--- this loaf, horizontally sliced--->

Two close ups of the crumb - I included these pictures because I liked the little bubbles, and gluten strands :^)

This is the crumb shot from another ciabatta loaf, from this bake:

I really did have fun making these breads. Thanks again, so much, to Karin...and Central Milling! And of course, big thanks to Mac at SFBI, for his helpful and patient instruction!
Happy baking everyone!
:^) from breadsong


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I really enjoyed the recent course I took that was put on by the Bread Bakers Guild of America, and am grateful for being a member and for having the chance to participate. Another thing I really appreciate about membership in the Guild is access to Guild's online newsletter and formula archive. There's lots of good stuff in that archive!
Today's bake is Oatmeal and Sweet Date Bread, one of the Team USA 2005 formulas the Guild provides online.
This one caught my eye last March; oatmeal and dates are two of my dear father-in-law's favorite things and I wanted to make this bread for him. This bread was very moist, and delicious with the sweet dates!

It was so good, I wanted to try making it again today (...a Team USA formula for Canada Day!
...the maple leaf is to add some Canadian content :^) ...   )

Wanting to share this formula, I asked permission of the Guild to post the formula here on TFL; the Guild kindly granted permission and asked me to include this note in the post:
"The mission of The Bread Bakers Guild of America is to shape the knowledge and skills of the artisan baking community through education.  Guild members have access to many other innovative professional formulas, both online and in the Guild’s quarterly publication, Bread Lines.  For more information about membership, please visit"  

With thanks to the Bread Bakers Guild of America and Jory Downer, William Leaman and Jeffrey Yankellow, the team members of Bread Bakers Guild Team USA 2005 - who were gold medal winners that year at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie!

The formula authors describe the bread and its ingredients:
"The wide range of weather throughout the United States provides for a variety of growing climates. The warm weather of the west coast, allows for California to grow an abundance of palm trees that fruit, the luscious date. In this original formula, rolled oats, another major crop of American farmers, are complemented by the sweetness of dates. A portion of the oatmeal is fermented in a sponge. The high sugar content of the dates creates a rich brown crust that balances their sweetness. The abundance of oats results in a tight textured, full bodied crumb which is a pleasant contrast to the open crumb of the other breads."

A couple of pictures from today's bake (1500 grams dough weight, 540g boule, (6) 160g triangles):   

My first bake (3 boules, 1635 grams total dough weight):

This bread is made with three preferments and a soaker, but the three preferments can be mixed at the same time.

Ingredients ( for 1635 grams dough):



Oat sponge

Liquid levain




Bread Flour














Instant yeast














Rolled oats







Dates, diced







White starter














Oat sponge







Liquid levain




























I adapted the method for mixing by hand:

12 hours prior to the mixing the dough:
Poolish: Use a water temperature for 72-74F final poolish temperature; mix all until well blended; cover and ferment at 73F for 12 hours.
Oat sponge: Use a water temperature for 72-74F final sponge temperature; mix all until well blended; cover and ferment at 73F for 12 hours.
Liquid levain: Use a water temperature for 72-74F final levain temperature; mix all until well blended; cover and ferment at 73F for 12 hours.
(At 9 hours, my levain wasn't anywhere near ready...the salt taking its effect; I set the container holding the levain in a shallow basin and filled halfway with warm water; replaced with more warm water as needed; this got the levain going and it had tripled by the time the poolish and sponge were ready)

30 minutes to 1 hour prior to mixing the dough:
Using tepid water, mix together so oats are all moistened; cover, and set aside to let rest.

Prepare the dates by chopping; set aside.
"The variety of date used is flexible. It is important that they are not too soft. A soft date will blend into the dough instead of maintaining its shape, creating a dark color in the bread and increasing the likelihood of a burnt crust. The dates should be cut into ¼” pieces in preparation for mixing."

Mixing the dough:
Use a water temperature for 73-76F final dough temperature. (I started with 104F water as I was allowing for autolyse, hand mixing and resting periods during the hand mix, during which my doughs tend to cool down).

Place flour in bowl. Add 85-90% of the water to the bowl and mix until flour is evenly hydrated. Cover and autolyse for 20 minutes.
Add yeast, poolish, oat sponge, and levain to the mixing bowl. Mix with a dough whisk to combine. Cover, place in warmed proof box (to try to preserve warmth in the dough), rest 5 minutes. Dough temp.: 80F.
Oat sponge is on the left in the photo:

Add salt to mixing bowl. Mix, folding in the bowl, 50 folds. Dough temp.: 74F. Cover, place in warmed proof box, rest 5 minutes.
Fold 30 times in the bowl, then 5 minute rest as before, then finally 20 folds. Dough is lifting away from the bowl as I fold it at this point; gluten showed improved mix.

Add remaining water (80F) to the bowl, and mix to incorporate.
Add oat soaker and dates and mix to incorporate evenly.
Dough temp.: 73F (recommended to be 73-76F).
Bulk ferment at 78F for two hours, with (3) stretch and folds every 30 minutes.
Here is the dough at the end of the bulk ferment:

For the first bake I divided the dough into three parts to make boules. For today's bake, I followed these shaping instructions to make (2) triangle breads (remaining dough shaped as a boule):

Divide the dough in 160g / 5 ¾ oz pieces and preshape as a tight ball. Cover and allow the dough pieces to rest for 20 minutes.

Shape the rested balls of dough into triangles, being gentle not to degas the dough too much. Three triangles make up one loaf. Arrange three triangles together on floured linen, seam up, so that the point of one triangle rests in the center of one of the sides of the other triangle. The finished shape will have a circular appearance.
(I proofed top side up as I didn't think I'd be able to successfully flip the triangles over!).
Place the loaves in a draft free place at approximately 74° F for 30 minutes to proof.

Shaping a triangle by gently folding over three sides, towards center, pinching to seal and bring together:
                                                                        After proofing:  

A couple of notes about the maple leaf: I used a bit of decorative dough for this (extra dough that I froze after making my fol epi loaf awhile back. After thawing, the dough is just as good as new :^) ... a happy discovery!) 
After cutting the leaf and removing the excess dough, I dusted the leaf with flour.

I used the cutter to gently! mark the boule to help with placement of the leaf. 
I brushed the area where the leaf would go lightly with water, to help the leaf stick.
After the leaf was placed, I scored around it and then lightly on the floured leaf, to try to make "leaf veins".

Back to the triangles:
If proofing seam side up, turn the loaves over onto the oven loading device.
Score each triangle with two lines (I did three).

Bake with steam at 475° F for approximately 30 minutes. 
Vent the steam from the oven and continue to bake for an additional 5 minutes.
(I found these were browning fast. I moved the loaves around every 10 minutes, and covered with foil and reduced to 435F after 20 minutes. 30 minutes total bake time; left in oven for 10 minutes with oven off and door ajar).
Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool.

And lastly, a couple of crumb shots!:

Happy baking everyone, and Happy Canada Day!
from breadsong

Submitted to YeastSpotting :^)

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I first tasted Pan de Cioccolate, an amazing bread!, when it was served to students at SFBI's weekend Baguette workshop last October. I was so happy to see that bread again, when attending my recent class there :^)
The formula for this bread is in Advanced Bread and Pastry, so today I gave it a go.
My husband loves it too, and upon tasting it, requested that I bake it for his birthday and stick a candle in it! :^)

By way of explanation, my girlfriend had kindly given me a little chocolate knick-knack...I was looking at it and was inspired by the little "chocolates"...hence the scoring and flour patterns on these loaves:

Some close-ups:

I used some Guittard 62% semi-sweet chocolate for this, with no regrets!
This formula mixes up into a gorgeous, supple dough:

And just a couple of more photos, one taken just before baking, and a crumb shot:

Happy baking everyone!
from breadsong

breadsong's picture

We took a little driving holiday down to San Francisco, and stopped at some really nice bakeries while we were away.
I took some pictures! Couldn't resist!:

Pearl Bakery in Portland, OR (large pugliese!):

...and some more lovely breads, and macarons!:

Della Fattoria in Petaluma, CA:                                               The Pane Integral I had to buy:

...that Pane Integral was fabulous!...and Della Fattoria makes one of the best cups of coffee I've ever tasted :^)

Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, CA:
...and beautiful pastries and macarons here, too!:

little t american baker in Portland, OR:

...pretty danish (strawberry basil!), and a gorgeous coffee:

And of course we couldn't leave the Portland area without a visit to Bob's Red Mill, and thanks to Floyd's front page post, a trip across the street to Dave's Killer Bread (this bread is amazingly good - we brought some home!):

We enjoyed that Pane Integral from Della Fattoria so much I tried baking it today, with a combination of 85% high extraction, white whole wheat, whole rye and pumpernickel flours and 80% hydration (Mr. Ponsford's formula from the March 2011 BBGA newsletter; Shiao-Ping made a beautiful variation here). Della Fattoria was quite close to Central Milling so I was able to stop in and get some high-extraction flour :^)
Mr. Ponsford's formula makes good bread, lighter than Della Fattoria's; both are delicious!

Hope you enjoyed the bakery pictures!
Happy baking everyone,
from breadsong




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