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After years of practice and changing steps to make the process simpler, I think I finally have the classic sourdough loaf down.

The crumb was good, too.

I use a very simple process and try to minimize the clean up.  Approximately 1 cup starter, fed and on the rise; mix with one cup water; add 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup bread flour and 1/2-1 cup more to get the dough to the consistency you desire. Mix well, cover and leave for one hour to autolyze. Mix in 1 T salt and 1-2 T olive and mix with dough scraper, turning several times.  Cover and leave for 30 minutes. Turn the dough in the bowl two more times, every 30 minutes. After final turn, leave on counter at room temp for 90 minutes.  Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.  Shape into boule and place in banneton to rise for several hours or overnight.  Bake in cloche at 500 degrees with lid on for about 30 minutes and 10-15 minutes with the lid off at 465 degrees (convection if you have it).

 I bake this loaf several times a week when I can!

CAphyl's picture

Thanks to all of you who offered advice after I lost my starter to mold after a long trip.  As I mentioned, the gluten-free starter was fine, so I stole some and built it up using ww, white and rye flours.  It really perked up quickly, and this is the first loaf I baked using it, a classic sourdough.  Thanks again to all for their suggestions.  I will try them all when I go on my next extended journey.  Best,  Phyllis

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Well, it's finally happened.  I lost two of my starters during a long trip away in England.  I have an all white flour starter and a mixed starter with white, rye and ww flours and both bit the dust as I was away for five weeks. I fed them right before I left and put them in clean jars.  I'll never do that again!  I've traveled before and they have been fine.  AND in the UK, my starter seems OK, but smells terrible.  My niece feeds it while I am away, so I am not sure why it smells so bad.  It perked up OK when I fed it, but I didn't have good luck with most of the bakes.  Went a bit flat, even though the dough had a good rise.  I think I need Mini-Oven here to help!

I had two gluten-free starters that came through all right, so I converted one to gluten to try and see if that would work.  I fed it twice yesterday, once before I got up and it seems to be popping up nicely.  I am going to try to make some dough this morning.  Fingers crossed that it works out! I am also planning to bring back some starter from the Midwest that my sister feeds while I am away.

Open to all discussions on how I can maintain the starter when I am gone for long periods.  I also need to catch up on everyone's wonderful bakes.  Here's hoping I can get back to normal with my starter and bakes.  Best,  Phyllis


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I made this recipe today for the second time.  It is so good, and so light. It's probably more like cake than a donut as it is baked. I am always happy to find gluten-free recipes that are tasty and easy.  Jeanine Friesen has many wonderful recipes, and this is one of her best. If you are gluten-free and haven't found her Faithfully Gluten-free site, I highly recommend it. These donuts are so sweet and good!  I hope you like husband and I love these donuts. I used fresh strawberries from our local farmer's market in the donuts and for the glaze. I had enough dough to do a couple of mini-loaves as well.


They looked pretty good before I put the glaze on.


It was a bonus to have the mini-loaves, too. Hope you enjoy it.  Best,  Phyllis

Gluten Free Strawberry Donuts

Recipe by Jeanine Friesen

Faithfully Gluten Free



Strawberry Doughnuts:

•2/3 cup (107 g) white rice flour

•1/4 cup (31 g) tapioca starch

•1/3 cup (67 g) granulated sugar

•1/2 teaspoon (2 g) baking powder

•1/2 teaspoon (2.5 g) baking soda

•1/2 teaspoon (2 g) xanthan gum

•1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) salt

•2 large eggs

•1/4 cup (60 ml) oil

•1/4 cup (60 ml) sour cream (or plain yogurt)

•1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract

•1/3 cup (80 ml) finely chopped strawberries

Strawberry Glaze:

•2 tablespoons (30 ml) mashed strawberries

•1 cup (125 g) Confectioners' sugar

Strawberry Doughnuts:

1Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F ( degrees C). Lightly grease a six cavity doughnut pan.

2Whisk together the rice flour, tapioca starch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt.

3In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, sour cream, and vanilla.

4Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and stir to combine. Stir in the finely chopped strawberries.

5Scrape the batter into a large resealable plastic bag or piping bag. Cut off one corner, and pipe the batter into the prepared doughnut pan.

6Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops spring back when gently pressed.

7Allow the doughnuts to stay in the pan for about 5 minutes, before carefully removing them to a cooling rack. Allow the doughnuts to cool while you prepare the glaze.

Strawberry Glaze:

1Measure out 2 tablespoons of mashed strawberries. Stir this into the Confectioners' sugar so that no lumps remain. To get a nice consistency with the glaze, microwave it for about 30 seconds to heat it slightly before dipping the doughnuts into the glaze.

CAphyl's picture

I have been so boring in my baking and sorry I haven't posted in so long.  I keep making the same recipe and trying to eliminate steps as I go, to make it as easy as possible, including the clean-up.

For this loaf, I don't accurately measure the ingredients...I sort of do it by feel.  I use about one cup of really active starter (still on the rise); 1-1/2 cup of water; 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups of bread flour. I generally use King Arthur Flour or Bob's Red Mill; you can't beat high quality flour.  

I mix all of the above together in a 12 cup mixing bowl and let it autolyze for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  After adding just under a tablespoon of salt, I add a tablespoon or two of olive oil and mix it up with a dough scraper and my hands.  I turn it with the scraper every 30 minutes for a couple of hours and then let it sit on the counter for 30-90 minutes.  I bulk retard the dough at least overnight in the same bowl I mixed it in (the olive oil really cleans the bowl up when you do the stretch-and-folds in the bowl) and then shape it and let it proof overnight to bake in the morning.

 I preheat my covered baker to 500 and bake with the lid on for 33 minutes and then at convention 465 degrees for 14-15 minutes with the lid off.

The dough stuck to the banneton a little bit, and it dropped too close to the edge, but came right out when it was finished baking.

I was really pleased with the crumb as well.

I will try to post again with much less of a gap.  Love to see everyone's bakes.  Best, Phyllis

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Hello everyone:  I am back in the U.S. after over a month in the UK, where I did quite a bit of baking, but have really spotty internet, so I wasn't able to post very much or keep up on your wonderful bakes.  Lots of catching up to do!

The good news is I think I am getting somewhere with David's Italian baguettes.  The bad news is, I had so many baking mishaps I felt like a hapless beginner again.  You name it, it happened during this trip:

--Overproofing as I wanted the bread to fit my schedule, not the over way around!

--Dough sticking to banneton (crooked loaf, see below)

--I added balsamic vinegar, rather than olive oil (grabbed the wrong bottle.  While the dough smelled great, it did not rise during the bake.)

--Didn't bring the oven up to temperature (I set it about half the temperature I was supposed to have set it at and didn't notice as I using a covered baker.  When I took the lid off, I couldn't figure out why the dough was so white, until I checked the oven temp!)

--Flat as a pancake bakes

I felt like I forgot everything I had learned!  I did have some good bakes (like the baguettes above), which were mostly given away to family and friends. The bad bakes ended up in the dumpster!

You can see the crooked loaf above.  It sort of took a right turn when it stuck to the banneton.

I made a version of the rosemary and cream cheese loaves and these were appreciated by family and friends.

I made both the French and Italian baguettes multiple times, and family and friends seemed to enjoy them.  I was able to find some semolina, and it worked well. Sorry I don't have any crumb shots, as most loaves were given away.

We did some sightseeing and traveled to Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey is filmed.  My husband, sister, niece and UK friend went to the castle, as all of us are big Downton fans.  The butler took our tickets, and he was very gracious. That's me in the garden there below, and the castle at left.

While in Liverpool, we attended part of the International Beatles Convention and attended a question and answer sessions with Donovan, Pattie Boyd (first wife of George Harrison and also was married to Eric Clapton) and Peter Asher of Peter and Gordon and a producer at Apple.  Very interesting speakers. Donovan was a real hoot! Below is a view of Liverpool we enjoyed quite a bit.

Now that I am back in California, I will have to get back to baking some new things.  I feel a need to experiment and try some new things, but I sure hope I don't have as many failures!  Looking forward to spending some time on TFL and catching up with all of your impressive bakes.  Best,  Phyllis 

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Baked a lot today to take to a friend's house for Father's Day to share.  Made David'd baguettes and my old standby classic sourdough.  I really hope our friends enjoy the bread.

I do cheat and use the aluminum baguette baker, as it works quite well.

Sorry I have been off the site so much. I have been traveling like crazy and baking less.  I've got to come up with a new recipe to share.  I sure loved the cream cheese batards that is currently being featured on the front of TFL. 

As it is really getting a lot hotter, there is less incentive to turn on the oven.  I had it on all morning to bake these breads, and it still feels warm.  Look forward to catching up with everyone.  Best,  Phyllis

CAphyl's picture

I haven't posted a lot as it seems I have been traveling all the time, but I have been baking, so I will share some of those photos.  When I found out that we were so close to the King Arthur Flour HQ during our New England trip, I just had to go visit there.  It was so much fun, and I wanted to buy everything.  Generally, carrying flour in one's suitcase does make it a lot heavier, and I am already at the limit!  I got a gift certificate for my birthday, so I will be ordering a lot of KAF goods when we aren't traveling so much.  When I have been home or in kitchens where I have my starter, I made lots of breads for family and friends.  The photo on the left shows breads baked in my California kitchen; the one on the right was baked in the Midwest for a birthday party for my sister and best friend.

I made a gift basket for a friend who suffered a terrible loss, and she and her kids seemed to enjoy it.  I threw in some cheese and other goodies after I took this photo.  Homemade bread makes such a wonderful gift that I have been buying gift bags and giving it away on a regular basis. People really seem to love it, particularly when it's still warm as it smells so good, as all of you know well.

I was baking so much lately that it seemed like the counters (and me) were constantly covered in flour.  It annoys my husband if I get too much flour on the flour.  Let's just say there were plenty of white sprinkles on the flour until the vacuum was brought out. (In the UK, it's called Hoovering. My husband is expert at it!)

I have been pretty boring in my baking and made a lot of classic sourdoughs and David's San Joaquin baguettes.  I think David would be proud of me, however, as I now know the recipe by heart.  I am always tinkering, however, with all the recipes.

I made some bread for my doctor, and she requested some starter, so I have got her all set up with a jar of starter and an easy recipe to start baking bread and maintain her starter.  She wants to try and bake her own sourdough with her sister.  I really hope it turns out, and they have a wonderful sisterly baking session.

Hope everyone is enjoying the spring weather and all the best to you in your baking.  Phyllis


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Like many of you, we end up having lots of leftover bread from my bakes.  I always like to have a fresh bread on hand, so that leaves the rumps of many loaves to be thrown out or made into bread crumbs. I ran across a recipe in Cooking Light for a sourdough artichoke and spinach strada, and I was intrigued.  On closer study, I saw that the reviews said it was bland, so I spiced it up a bit.  I actually used a chunk of the gluten-free sourdough I baked, cutting it up into cubes.  This is a very filing recipe, so I suggest using more vegetables and fewer bread cubes.  I think broccoli and sautéed peppers would be good as well.  I added a few ripe tomatoes, but don't advise this as they cause the strada to be more watery.  I added onions, hot pepper and mushrooms along with the artichokes and spinach from the original recipe.  My husband and I enjoyed it with a salad on the side. You can also add more cheese to make it really cheesy. I suggest experimenting with the vegetables and cheeses you like.  For meat eaters, I think cooking a bit of pancetta, draining it on a paper towel and then using the fat to cook the onions and vegetables would be a nice idea as well. I think almost anything would work in this.   Hope it is helpful.  Phyllis

Sourdough Artichoke and Spinach Strada


1 bunch of fresh spinach

One small onion, chopped

1 can or bottle of artichoke hearts, drained (at least nine ounces)

1-2 tablespoons of olive oil

Dried chile flakes (optional: I used a full dried jalapeno pepper from our garden, and it really provided a kick to the dish. May not be suitable for young children!)

8 ounces sourdough bread, cubed (I didn’t need as much, as I used a smaller casserole dish)

4 ounces cheddar, shredded (about 1 cup) (use your favorite cheese and add more to make it more cheesy)

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (you can use any vegetables you like)

3-6 cloves garlic, minced (depends on how much garlic you like)

Cooking spray

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)

1-3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk (depends on the size of your dish and # of eggs; I used 1 cup)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

Dash of ground nutmeg

3-4 large eggs (Use 4 eggs if you use a larger baking dish).


1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Heat olive oil in large pan.  When hot, add onions and cook at medium high heat for about 4 minutes, until soft.  Add garlic and toss for one minute.  Add mushrooms and cook for several minutes; before they are done, add your fresh spinach and turn continually until it wilts. Remove from heat and let cool a bit. (Try and remove excess moisture from the spinach).

3. Combine slightly cooled spinach mixture with sourdough bread cubes in a large bowl; toss. Add in cheddar cheese and mix thoroughly. Arrange bread mixture in a broiler-safe 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. (I used a smaller, round ceramic dish). Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top.

4. Combine milk, Dijon, pepper, nutmeg and eggs in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread mixture. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until set. Turn broiler to high (do not remove pan from oven). Broil 4 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

5. Serve with a leafy green salad.


CAphyl's picture

I have really enjoyed making David's baguettes recently (link to recipe below), both in the UK and back in the U.S. in California.  I use a baguette tray for proofing and baking and that has worked well for me.  I tried the couche cloth to start, but found that it was harder for me in handling a wet dough.

Instead of four baguettes (per the recipe), I make three, using the tray.

I still would like a more open crumb, so I will have to resist the temptation to add more flour to make the dough easier to deal with.  My husband and my friends said they really enjoyed the baguettes, so I will keep baking them and trying to improve.

I also made a few classic batards as well.

It's a lot more fun to bake these than the gluten-free loaf I made today!  Happy baking to everyone....Best,  Phyllis


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