The Fresh Loaf

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Yippee's blog

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To learn more about concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS), please see here and here





Thanks to CLAS (and Rus ), making this decadent dessert bread is truly a piece of . It is a fancy and thoughtful gift that will definitely wow your friends! Let the results speak for themselves.  


OR = original recipe %, and our procedures differ.



(mix in KitchenAid and bulk in it's bowl and your hands will thank you)


10% whole rye CLAS

90% fresh, unsifted rye flour ground by Vitamix

(OR: white rye/medium rye 50/50)

50% full-fat homemade yogurt (OR: milk, of which I ran out)

34% water (OR: 28.6%)

0.15% dry yeast (OR recalculated: 0.37%)

dough temp 30C/86F -ish

30C/86F x 240 mins




3% water (Yippee +)

salt 1.8%

26% raisins, soaked with rum and water  (OR: 20% raisins, syrup 3.9%)

12% candied orange (OR: 5%)

38% toasted pecan (Yippee +)

1.8% orange zest (OR recalculated)


Total dough weight ~1500g



30C/86F x 60 mins



9"x2" round pan



30C/86F x 75 mins



glaze (3.8% honey + 1.9% warm water)

220C/430F x 10 mins

200C/390F x 50 mins

glaze again, let dry overnight


















Yippee's picture

To prevent unsightly pinhole crumbs caused by excessive hydration of whole wheat flour, before I bake, I test the flour's absorption capacity by autolyzing it under different hydration levels and observing its gluten development. The hydration at which the dough starts to slack/tear is the bottom line for me to stop adding water to the dough. 


Alternatively, if my dough contains more than whole wheat flour, I can still judge the maximum hydration of the dough during the mixing process without pre-testing (such as how I do it here).


At the pre-dough stage, I use just enough water to form a dough that I can knead/mix easily later on.


 At the mixing stage, I mix the pre-dough, to further develop/strengthen its gluten to ~ medium+ development before adding more water.  I continue to mix and add more water gradually to maximize the dough's hydration. I take care not to over-mix since the whole wheat dough is fragile. 


Also, I found that using CLAS in the whole-wheat dough can significantly improve its quality. In addition to imparting superb flavors to the whole-wheat bread, CLAS also tenderizes its crumb, making it supple like white bread, even it's a lean dough with no fat, dairy, or sugar.


I apply similar principles when developing "white" doughs' gluten.

Yippee's picture

To learn more about concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS), please see here and here









Cranberry walnut bread is my family's favorite dessert bread. I used to make it mainly with AP flour. I am excited to transform this delicious recipe into a tastier and healthier 100% whole-grain bread using freshly ground flour and more advanced CLAS techniques. Thanks to CLAS, this whole-grain bread is as soft as its AP cousin and does not have the unpleasant grassy taste generally associated with whole-wheat bread. Rum-soaked cranberries, toasted walnuts, fresh flour, and CLAS create a moist whole-grain bread with mellow, complex flavors that one finds irresistible. 

As usual, it's super simple to make such delicious bread with CLAS. 


P.S. To prevent unsightly pinhole crumbs caused by excessive hydration of whole wheat flour, you can test the flour's absorption capacity by autolyzing it under different hydration levels and observing gluten development. The hydration at which the dough starts to slack/tear is the bottom line for you to stop adding water to the dough. 

Alternatively, if your dough contains more than whole wheat flour, you can still judge the maximum hydration of the dough during the mixing process without pre-testing (such as how I do it here).



3% whole rye CLAS

97% fresh WW flour ground by Vitamix (Central Milling organic hard red spring wheat berries)

72% water P.S. (just enough water to hydrate the flour so that you can knead/mix easily)

0.2% dry yeast

dough temp 86F/30C-ish 

86F/30C x 240 mins




8% water P.S. to reach your dough's maximum hydration (or slightly under) 

1.6% salt

38% rum-soaked cranberries

38% toasted walnuts

Total dough weight ~1650g


P.S. Mix

Knead/mix to further develop/strengthen the pre-dough's gluten to ~ medium+ development before adding more water

Continue to mix and add more water gradually to maximize the dough's hydration 



86F/30C x 60 mins





86F/30C x 60-75 mins



425F x 10 mins w/ steam

375F x 50 mins w/o steam (P.S. adjust timing according to dough size)



                                                             Better lighting reveals the attractive purple hue of walnut bread.               




Yippee's picture

For my reference-so that I'll remember which is which. Hope it's useful to you, too. 

Yippee's picture

 To learn more about concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS), please see here and here


Ingredients (pre-warmed and maintained at 30-32C/86-89.6F throughout the process):


50% freshly ground, unsifted whole wheat (All the whole rye/wheat flours I bought are rancid.)

42% freshly ground, unsifted whole rye

8% whole rye CLAS


30% + 9% water

50% home-made yogurt, full fat

8% honey (recipe calls for 1.3% sugar)

2% salt (recipe calls for 1.3%)

0.3% instant yeast (recipe calls for 1%)

sunflower seeds as needed


I decided to change the sweetener to honey and increased its amount to 8%.


Still using my Vitamix to grind the flours since I am not ready to play with my new toys yet. 


whole wheat

whole rye


I autolyzed the whole wheat flour with yogurt; gluten was quite well-developed after ~2 hours. 



I added some rye flour to the wheat-yogurt mixture and mixed them in my Zojirushi bread machine for ~10 minutes to strengthen the gluten. Then I added all the remaining ingredients and mixed for another 10 minutes, and added more water during the mix until the dough couldn't take in any more. The dough looked like this when mixing was complete:



Bulk: 30-32C/86-89.6F x 150 mins 

I halved the recipe to 523g total dough weight, which fits perfectly in a 8x3x3 pan. 



Proof: 32C/89.6F x 60mins



My bread machine "hack". 



Baked in my Zo x 70mins, dark crust. 



Baked loaf. 




Crumb shot (click to enlarge). 



 P.S. 20210601

Since my family likes this bread, I want to share it with my friends, too.  This time I pre-fermented 100% of the flour and increased the amount of CLAS to 10%.  The bread turned out even more flavorful and was slightly tangy. If time permits, I think I will continue to make a pre-dough in the future. I made this bread with a 9x4x4 tin, so the slices are standard size.  I used organic white hard wheat berries to grind flour for one of the loaves because I ran out of red berries.  


I kept the loaf that was made with white whole wheat.












Sent this loaf (made with hard red wheat) to my friend with kumquat and homemade marmalade.




Harvesting kumquat makes me happy!


Yippee's picture

Preparing to make a traditional panettone can sometimes be daunting, especially when I don't have MANY ingredients!  A panettone recipe from Chef Alphonso Pepe calls for several citrus fruit paste. It is discouraging that I have to pause to prepare these ingredients every time before I can make his panettone.  I like spontaneous baking, and that's why I love CLAS.  Any extended prep work before a bake will most likely deter me from baking. But Chef PePe's panettone sounds so refreshing with all the citrus fruit ingredients, and I want to try it. So I came up with the idea of making various citrus fruit marmalades to expedite the prep work. This way, I will have these ingredients handy and I can make his panettone whenever I want. But the workflow of making marmalades that I can find is laborious; even those which claim to be "simple" are not simple enough for me. So, I decided to use my tools to turn it into an easy job.  Here's how I do it:



Weigh the citrus, then weigh an equal amount of sugar (1:1). You may adjust the sugar amount according to your preferred ratio. For every 2kg of sugar used, you need to add the juice of at least one lemon ?. 

                            Use an automatic citrus peeler to peel both citrus fruits.                              




                              Roughly cut the citrus strands with scissors, then pulse them in a food processor.                                


                             Use an electric juicer to juice the citrus.                               If you decide to also use the pith, process it at this stage to get rid of its bitterness. Then make sure to pulse the pith as well.                              Snip extra pulp and scoop the membranes out of the compost if you are not going to use the pith.                              All three ingredients to make marmalade:                              Dump them into the Instant Pot                             High-pressure cook for 5 minutes if you do not use the pith, and if you do, add a few minutes. Once depressurized, "saute" to boil the mixture until it reaches 220F.                                         Load the marmalade in canning jars and process them using your preferred canning method. I found that ~900g of citrus at a 1:1 ratio of sugar yield ~ 5x250ml jars, which fit perfectly in my Instant Pot basket.                              This is the orange marmalade that I made yesterday using the peel/zest part only. Without the pith, there were not enough peels to evenly distribute throughout the marmalade. It's also harder to gel.  I had to increase the sugar to a final ratio of 1:2 for it to set, which made it syrupy. To avoid this, next time I may have to increase the peels to compensate for the weight of the pith not used, or more completely scoop the membranes out of the compost.                                This is the ? mandarin marmalade that I made with whole fruit. So far, I've found that mandarin is the perfect citrus that yields the least bitter marmalade without extra pith processing.                              Vibrant color with the perfect taste and texture.                         




 ?


Yippee's picture

 To learn more about concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS), please see here and here





    Happy Holidays! I wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season. Let's look forward to a better year in 2021!




A gigantic 1.2 kg loaf! A perfect holiday gift!         

After decoration


Before decoration 






89%    T55/Beehive AP                                                                          

8%      almond flour

3%       whole rye CLAS

13%     water

37%     milk

17%     butter

10%     egg

1%       dry yeast

5%       sugar

1.3%    salt

12.5%  rum-soaked raisin

12.5%   candied orange




30-33C x ~45 mins until doubled







30-33C x ~75 - 90 mins until doubled


Egg wash


Score (scissor-cut)


Sprinkle pearl sugar


Bake (1.2kg)

410F x 20 


410F x 10 

cover with foil

410F x 10

rotate, cover with foil

410F x 15

skewer test for doneness                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   As I was about to settle in at the end of a busy day of baking,  at 11 pm on Christmas Eve, I suddenly realized that almond flour = NUT!!! One of the families to whom I was gifting the Pain des Rois has kids who are allergic to nuts!!! I had planned to give the bread to them at 8 am on Christmas morning. What should I do  I frantically searched the bread books and settled to bake a Cramique.  So, I pulled an all-nighter of baking to kick off my 2020 Christmas.  By 6:30 am, the loaves were cooling; by 7:45 am, they were packed and delivered. Whewwww!  
        Some beautiful scenes of autumn.     



Yippee's picture

To learn more about concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS), please see here and here




This is another yummy formula from Rus. Thank you! 






My largest panettone production in one go. 

    How can I prevent the top from bursting and form a dome smoothly coated with egg wash when baked?樂樂樂     Super delicious! I am sure I will impress my friends again!   TJ is awesome! 




Yippee's picture

To learn more about concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS), please see here and here




Recently, baguettes have been a hot topic on the forum. So I am posting this entry to join in the fun. 

I usually don't make baguettes because they require more hands-on work than making boules or batards. The last time I made baguettes was a few years ago. I was so busy then that I hardly had enough time to sleep. Therefore, I could only upload pictures of baguettes and ignored all the details. To fill in the gap, I took pictures of my baguette workflow today.


I used Rus's baguette formula that uses CLAS. I wish I had learned about CLAS sooner. It would have saved me a lot of work, and the outcome would have been just as good, if not better.  


Rus's formula and procedures are as follows:


97% AP

70% water 18-20°C/64.4-68F (not higher) I reduced the hydration to 65% because Beehive can't absorb 70% of water!

3% CLAS (cold +4-+5°C not fresh, at least 2-3 days in the fridge)

1% dry yeast

1.5-2% salt

3% malt


yields three 343g baguettes


Initial dough temperature 25°C/77F 



I mixed the dough in a spiral mixer for 8 minutes until it reached windowpane.



45 minutes, fold

45 minutes, fold

45 minutes, fold

keep dough temperature at 25°C/77F 



into three pieces; roll, and rest for 15 minutes 





45 minutes 




bake 20-22 minutes with steam at 250°C/482F 


Straight forward, isn't it? Per Rus, 25°C/77F is the optimum temperature for yeast multiplication. At this temperature, LAB produces more acetic acid than lactic acid, and yeast also produces a small amount of acetic acid. LAB is slow at this temperature, so it's suitable for creating the flavor of traditional baguettes.  


Speaking of temperature, my friend's wife bought a Brod and Taylor proofer, unfortunately, according to my suggestion. She complained that the proofer could not reach her target temperature. I forgot to remind her that the proofer's internal temperature rarely matches the set temperature. Because its plastic panel is flimsy, the proofer's insulation is poor. Its temperature usually fluctuates with the ambient temperature. Using different thermometers to monitor the proofer's internal temperature and reset the temperature back and forth, especially when making CLAS, is what I have to do to ensure my sourdough's quality. It is a pain to use, but I am stuck with it because there is no better product on the market.








I pretty much followed Rus's procedures except one step - I divided the dough after the first 45 minutes of bulk, and I "pre-shaped" the dough in a rectangular container that would facilitate shaping later on. 









I followed the School of Slow's baguette shaping method. It worked well for me a few years ago, and it still worked perfectly today!   People often complain that household ovens are too small to make baguettes. However, I found this to be an advantage. Because the baguettes usually reach the maximum length suitable for household ovens after they are shaped, and they often look quite presentable at this stage, there is no need to extend/roll out the dough! I used the chopping board (15 inch/38cm) to gauge the length so that I was able to bake the baguettes vertically in the oven. 






 It'd be easier to shape it in this form if we start with a square dough.



I proved and loaded the baguettes separately so that they were "social distancing" from each other in the oven after loading. 





To score, I used the "magic wand" shown in the picture.  It works wonders! When I scored the first baguette, I was a bit lost.   Then things got better, and I am most satisfied with the tapered one. 










That's it! 

Oh, wait, the end products:












I also want to tell you something exciting. I harvested my first tray of black gold. I used the worm castings to brew my first bucket of compost tea and fed it to my plants. I'm sure that my garden plants are pleased because my kumquat tree is blooming in the second round, which is unprecedented! The aroma of blossom wafts in the air.  Many bees and hummingbirds are buzzing around to collect nectar—what a happy scene! 















Before the California wildfire broke out, I could see beautiful clouds in the morning and stunning sunset at dusk. I hope the terrible things surrounding us will disappear ASAP, and our lives can return to normal.

Yippee's picture

This post has nothing to do with bread, but I thought Benny might like it. 





Super easy to make:


Ice cream

100% whipping cream 

41% condensed milk 

9% high-quality matcha powder

blend in Vitamix

freeze until firm/semi-firm


Azuki red beans

100% H2O

50% dry Azuki red beans

20% sugar

10% honey

Instant Pot high-pressure x 100 minutes

natural release


I didn't mix the red beans in the cream to preserve the ice cream's green color. 




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