The Fresh Loaf

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Yippee's blog

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Please see here and here to learn more about concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS).




This bread is very easy to make once you get all the ingredients.






Making malted wheat flakes




We can flake it using Trailrunner's method 







using  a pasta maker



Either start with non-diastatic wheat malt, such as this one:







Moisten diastatic wheat malt with water not more than twice its weight, steam it under pressure in an Instant Pot for 30 minutes to soften and convert it to non-diastatic malt, and flake it with a pasta maker. Using this method, 55g of wheat malt yields ~ 89g of flakes.










 Click to enlarge








3% whole wheat CLAS

4.5% water - CLAS

84% Beehive AP

4% sugar

0.2% barley malt powder

46% water




2% salt

0.6% dry yeast



5% butter



13% wheat bran

12% water



25% malted wheat flakes


Total dough weight 680g

DT 31C





+A. above and mix until a dough forms

continue to mix,

and +B. to fully incorporate and develop gluten

+C., continue to mix to combine 

gradually +D.(could have incorporated more water, but I was in a rush today)

gradually +E.





~32C x 90 mins




9x4x4 tin




38C x 50 mins




446F x 40 mins, no steam


446 x 5 mins, rotate

446 x 5 mins or until it taps hollow






 Click to enlarge

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Hello, friends!


I made burger buns in the air fryer on the 4th of July, but I didn't document the process. 

    So I re-baked and took pictures. This is the Instant Vortex Plus Clear model. It has a wider but shorter interior than my Corsori air fryer.  

I used two Target Made by Design 8" pans (online purchase, now on sale for $2.80 till Wednesday 7/13) to prove and bake the buns. During proofing, I used a small glass container to push the pans, making sure they were completely closed to keep the dough moist. Remove the glass container before baking. 

    No opening between the pans during actual baking, it's shown here to illustrate the setup.     

I mixed my daily milk bread dough and bulk fermented it in my Zojirushi bread machine.  After shaping, I proved the buns (covered) in the air fryer at 115F x 40mins using its dehydrating function. 

  90g x 3 buns
   Egg washed
   No preheat  Baked at 400F x 13mins, checked (can bake for 2 more mins for a darker crust like the one I baked on July 4th) 
   Turned the pans upside down, baked at 400F x 5 mins, and checked again. Bake longer if needed. 
   Same milk bread dough baked as dinner rolls. Same temperature and timing. 70g eachtotal flour 260g
           To make a boule in the Instant Vortex Clear air fryer  I use the black baking pans shown below to make boules in my Corsori air fryer, but they are too tall for the Instant Vortex.     So I got a German brand springform pan, which is slightly shorter, and covered it with the above black pizza pan to make boules in the Instant Vortex. 
   No preheat  400F x 15minsflip400F x 10 mins, checkbake longer if needed260g flour, ~480g dough    
        Made some rings following Gavin's ideas. 
    While the buns had a perfect mini-burger shape, the areas covered by the rings didn't brown well, even though I had already removed the rings halfway. 
    Made some French rolls in the Instant Vortex. 
    I used Baker's Secret pans to bake some rolls in the Cosori.  Target pans are too big to fit there. Generally, Instant Vortex browns more evenly than Cosori.       
    Lastly, make sure not to use stainless steel or any other light-colored pans to make bread in the air fryer.
    Almost no browning at halftime, and the finished loaf was very pale.
  See here for another air fryer bake   The End
Yippee's picture


Rus Brot's Ukrainian Palyanitsa recipe




When I couldn't use my oven because it was baking German bread all day, I used the air fryer to make crusty bread for the first time. It turned out great and was fun too! 

It was similar to cold-oven baking using a graniteware roaster. I used a baking pan (1400 ml) and a pizza pan to cover the dough, both made specifically for air fryers. For 500g of dough (~63% hydration), 400F x 30 minutes, then invert the pans and air fry for another 25 minutes @ 400F.



No preheat

400F x 35 mins


400F x 10-15 mins

bake longer if needed


That's it! Super easy!


P.S. The dough was fully-mixed and fermented in the Zojirushi bread machine. You may be able to reduce the baking time - I wasn't checking the loaf as it baked. I just followed the baking time that I normally use in cold-oven baking. 






















See here for another air fryer bake




Yippee's picture


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




Easy peasy Kimchi!


Quarter the Napa (~1.3kg) and loosen/separate each layer. 




Brine the Napa.

I re-use the sauerkraut juice that I started with 3% sugar, 2.5% salt, 3% CLAS (whole rye flour + water), and 3% fresh whole rye flour. Select the "yogurt" function on the Instant Pot, soak the Napa in the juice for 3 hours. Weight the Napa down so that it's completely submerged in the juice - no need to turn it every now and then.




Cut the Napa into chunky pieces.




Mix the brined Napa with garlic chives and Korean radish, or any veggies you prefer. 




Make a Kimchi paste.

I follow a recipe that uses both fermented anchovy and fermented shrimp. I only add 4 cups of paste to keep the Kimchi relatively mild and not too salty. 




Select the "yogurt" function again on the Instant Pot. Leave the vegetables there for about 3 hours until the Napa starts to release water and soften, but is not wilted yet and is still crisp. pH ~ 4.1. 





Ready to eat - it's crunchy, tart, and mildly salty-spicy. 




Keep in the fridge to slow down further fermentation. 







Yippee's picture


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



Among the cuisines of various regions of China, there are two sauerkraut dishes that I really like, and both are made with seafood. One is called "sauerkraut squid", a popular stir-fry dish in Hong Kong, and the other is called "sauerkraut fish", a famous soup from Sichuan. In both recipes, we use sauerkraut made with mustard green, or in the absence of mustard green, a vegetable called "snow red".  We refer to sauerkraut as "Haam Shuen Choi" in Cantonese, or "Suan Cai" in Mandarin. This Choi (veggie) is both salty and sour, as the name denotes. When I was a kid, if I remember correctly, we always bought Haam Shuen Choi from the marketplace, where they were displayed in the open and sold whole. 


These days, I can find packaged Haam Shuen Choi in Asian supermarkets in the U.S. While they may look similar to the Haam Shuen Choi from my childhood, they taste terrible, probably because they are preserved with chemicals. So, I've stopped buying them and made my own with CLAS in the Instant Pot. To make pickled veggies, I've tried using mustard greens, "snow red", carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, etc. The IP-CLAS combo works perfectly for them all. In just 24 hours, I can have crunchy, sour veggies ready to go. In the past, we always had to soak the Haam Shuen Choi first and add a fair amount of sugar to balance out the flavor during the cooking process. Otherwise, it would be too sour and salty. There is no such problem with IP-made Haam Suen Choi; I can use them as-is. 


It's super easy. All you need to do is put the veggies in the Instant Pot, cover them with water (Measure how much water is used. I usually fill it close to the rim, then put a porcelain plate on top, and loosely cover with the IP lid to weigh it down so that the veggies are fully submerged.), and season the water to your liking (I usually use 2.5% sugar and 2.5-3% salt of the water used, and plus whatever spices I feel like adding at the moment). Then add some CLAS (3% (liquid + whole rye flour) ) and some fresh whole rye flour (3%). Then select the "yogurt" function (42C), wait 24 hours, and you're done. By that time, the pH is ~3.5. How easy is that! I strain the liquid and drink it daily as my "probiotic drink". I can use the filtered sediment as a second starter for the next batch, but of course, this step is not necessary. 

P.S. On second thought, I'll probably backslop the sediment, so I don't have to use my CLAS every time. I'll use CLAS initially and hope it will self-propagate in each batch as new food (fresh whole rye flour, sugar, etc.) is added. I'm hoping this is doable and not just wishful thinking.


💕💕💕 my Instant Pot. It is a handy tool to have in my kitchen. I use it to make my beloved CLAS, and I also use it to simplify the process of making marmalade.





24-hr "snow red" Suen Choi




36-hr  "snow red" Suen Choi



Sauerkraut Squid


Sauerkraut Fish


My simplified version of sauerkraut fish using fish filet 😁😁😁 


I can slice the filet thinly when it's still slightly frozen. 





Yippee's picture



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




A few years ago, when I read about how a Japanese bakery called Backstube Zopf builds its rye starter, I asked myself: How is this possible? With just two builds in 24 hours, the bakery makes an active, aromatic rye starter with a pH of 3.6 to 3.8. It also seemed incredible that the bakery's typical bread production cycle is so fast. It includes no bench time or a very brief rest after mixing (e.g., 15 minutes). Then there is a 30 to 60-minute proof followed by baking. 


Backstube Zopf is located in Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. The bakery initially caught my attention because of its extensive rye bread menu. The bakery's owner, Yasutomo Ihara, is an artisan baker passionate about promoting rye bread to the Japanese people. 


I later learned that the secret to the bakery's operation is two industrial rye sourdough cultures: one called TK starter, made by a German company, BÖCKER; and the other one called Active Sour, made by a Japanese company, オリエンタル酵母工業株式会社. These cultures are aroma-intensive and able to sour immediately. They are not only expensive but also unavailable to individuals. Without access to these commercial cultures, having a rye starter like the one in the bakery seemed like an unreachable dream for a home baker. 


Then CLAS came into my life unexpectedly. It takes 24 hours to make. It has a pH of 3.6 to 3.8. With the addition of CLAS, the flavor of every bread recipe is taken up a notch. It allows me to make delicious, bakery-grade rye bread at home quickly and easily in a simple way that I never imagined possible. What a pleasant surprise! It's a dream come true! Thanks to Rus, the rye baker who showed me the tricks, I'm forever grateful. 


As you know, I have a sweet tooth. I'm trying to build up my sweet bread recipes so that I have enough recipes to rotate. Lately, because of the holidays, I've been eating a lot of sweet bread made with refined flour, so now it's time to switch to whole-grain. Backstube Zopf has a sesame raisin walnut rye that looks very tempting. Here's the (65rye35spelt) whole-grain version I made with CLAS:



35% fresh whole spelt flour, ground by Vitamix

15% whole rye flour - CLAS

28.5% water - CLAS 

mix to autolyze as I prepare other ingredients



22% flaked rye

51% boiling water

mix to rehydrate the flakes



1.5% salt

0.3% dry yeast



29% fresh whole rye flour, ground by Vitamix



16% water



19% golden raisins, rum-nuked

19% raisins, rum-nuked

38% walnut


Total dough weight ~ 1400g



by Zojirushi bread machine



add A. mix ~10 mins to strengthen the gluten



add B. gradually

mix until incorporated

add C. 

mix until incorporated



add D.

add E. gradually until the dough feels right



Transfer the mixed dough to KA 

as I don't want the sticky dough to ruin my precious Zo




add F.

mix briefly to incorporate



33C x 30 mins


in the meantime

butter the bundt pan 

coat with white sesame seeds




poke a hole in the center

gently load into the bundt pan

load the bundt pan into a granite roaster



35C x ~210 mins

until cracks appear on the surface




cold oven 

Lid on granite roaster

set to 400F, ~20 mins

400F x 40 mins



wrap in tea towels

put in a plastic bag overnight


See Mini's advice for more tips on cooling rye loaf.

Thanks, Mini!💋💋💋







































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




It must have been nearly a decade since I bravely "declared" to take up Michael's 100% spelt @ 100% hydration challenge. I haven't forgotten about it in all these years, but I haven't done anything about it either. Well, until now. 


Back then, I was confident that, with double hydration, I could easily develop the dough with my Zojirushi, even if it's at 100% hydration. I'm still sure that will work. But these days, we all know that we can achieve similar results if we give the dough some time and a few folds. So instead of intensely staring at how my Zo is mixing👀👀👀, I will handle the dough (and the entire bake) with a minimalist approach. 


Nowadays, the only white flour I keep is AP because I am tired of throwing away bags after bags of rancid flour. If I need any flour other than AP, I'd grind it fresh from whole grains. So I will be using fresh, whole spelt flour to take up Michael's challenge. I specifically made a spelt CLAS for this event so that my bread is truly 100% spelt. 


So Michael, here it goes:


85% fresh, whole spelt flour, ground by Vitamix

15% whole spelt CLAS

22.5% water - whole spelt CLAS

77.5% water

2.3% salt

0.3% yeast



everything in Zo until barely incorporated; ~3 mins; DT 29C

Transfer the shaggy mass to a greased plastic container. 



30C x 150 mins

fold every 30 mins




load it into a granite roaster



35C x 20 mins 



Cold oven 

Leave the lid on the roaster the whole time

Heat to 425F; ~ 24mins

425F x 45 mins (possibly can reduce 5-10 minutes next time; I'm still new to cold oven baking)







My "crème brûlée" whole spelt CLAS.  It's so dark because I forgot I was making a new CLAS and left it in the Instant Pot for days. 





A shaggy mass after a ~ 3-min mix





The dough at the end of bulk after folds at 30-min intervals





Read to prove











The tasty pancake - flavorful with a pronounced, lingering tangy aftertaste.  Crisp and slightly "smoky" due to the charred (but not burned) bottom. 














Yippee's picture


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




After eating the entire gigantic (2.4kg) Pain de Rois I made during the holidays, neither my family nor I could stand to eat another slice of "orangey" bread. Hence, the idea of making lemon-flavored bread came to mind. Many thanks to Derek, aka yozzause, who inspired me to perfect Le Cordon Bleu's Kouglof recipe; his brilliant idea and my beloved CLAS took the recipe up a notch and transformed it into a super flavorful and refreshing lemony dessert bread that I can't wait to share with you!


Kouglof = Alsatian brioche

"OR" = original recipe

"tweak" = adjustment to OR




39% eggs

3% rye - CLAS, tweak

5.7% water - CLAS, tweak

10% sugar

5% lemon juice, tweaknone in OR

0.5% lemon extract, tweaknone in OR

0.25% vanilla extract, tweaknone in OR

97% Beehive AP




27% full-fat milk, boiled and cooled( tweak; no pre-processing in OR)



1.6% gold yeast, tweakOR uses fresh

1.5 % salt

zest of 1 lemon



29% butter, diced



40% golden raisins, rum-soaked, tweakOR uses much less


Total dough weight ~ 1140g





by Zojirushi bread machine


1. x10mins

+ A.

then gradually + ~ half of B


2. x10 mins

+ remaining B.

develop the dough to "medium-well" 


3. x10 mins

+ C.

The dough must be fully developed before proceeding to the next steps. 

+ D. gradually


4. x5 mins



DT 29C



32-33C until doubled ~ 60-75 mins


In the meantime


generously butter a 9” bundt pan 

Then coat it with almond slices, tweakOR uses very little 

Refrigerate the pan, tweak; not done in OR


Make lemon syrup, tweakDerek's idea; none in OR; 

juice of 3 lemons : sugar

1:1 by weight

microwave until sugar dissolves





poke a hole in the middle and dump it in the bundt pan



32-33C x 30-45 mins



preheat 350F, tweak; OR temp too high; no stone; my oven takes ~ 15 mins

egg wash, tweak; not done in OR (this part of the dough will become the bottom of the Kouglof)

sprinkle almond slices on top, tweak; not done in OR


350F x 30 mins, no steam

start checking doneness with a skewer

cover with foil

insulate the bottom of the bundt pan; I use a few pizza pans


350F x ~ +5 mins



Glazetweak; Derek's idea; not done in OR


Before inverting the Kouglof onto a wire rack, gently brush it with lemon syrup


Invert the bread onto a wire rack, which sits on top of a pan that collects syrup dripping


Gently brush or dab lemon syrup onto the bread


Let cool/dry overnight


Decorate with powdered sugar before serving


Glazed and dried overnight


















 20210124 Kouglof 2.0

This time I used the tricks that Leigh, aka Naturaleigh, shared to enhance the lemon flavor. 


Rubbed the zest with sugar


Poked holes in the Kouglof to let the lemon syrup seep through




And I used my flower mold









The lemon flavor is more intense and the crumb is moister this time,  I 💕💕💕 it!  Thank you, Leigh!

Yippee's picture


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



Traditionally, to make paper-thin bread (khobz marquq), Lebanese bakers thinly stretch the dough on a bread pillow and cook it on a heated convex metal disc (saj). I have neither device, so I rolled the dough out as thin as possible and baked it in the oven.

I converted Ms. Barbara Abdeni Massaad's formula in her book "Man'oushé, Inside the Lebanese Street Corner Bakery" to include CLAS and quinoa (bulgar used in the original recipe).

There are two ingredients in the recipe that I rarely use: anise seeds (whole and ground) and ground mahlab.  I did not know what to expect in taste, but it was surprisingly mellow.  The licorice-sweet aftertaste and the overall savory, rounded flavor kept me coming back for more. 

This time, only the pie's edge turned out crisp, and the middle was still soft and slightly chewy. I will adjust the oven temperature and baking time, and maybe the hydration, in my next bake to make it more crispy overall.




10% whole rye CLAS

90% fresh white whole wheat, ground by Vitamix

68% water



0.3% dry yeast

2.7% salt

4% vegetable oil

1.9% whole anise seeds

0.7% ground anise seeds

0.9% ground mahlab

40% cooked quinoa (Zojirushi rice cooker programmed semi-brown function)



12% water


DT 31C/87.8F –ish



By Zojirushi bread machine

A. above x 10 mins

B. and C. in the next 10-ish mins



DT 33C/91.4F –ish x 150 mins



160g @



See pictures



Room temp ~ DT 28C/82.4F –ish x 60 mins



Pre-heat 550F

No steam 

550F x 2.5 mins, middle rack


The mahlab was quite expensive - $5 for 1.5 oz!




Precooked quinoa using a rice cooker.




 Mixed in Zo.




 ~160g each.




Improvised a bread pillow...😃




but ended up just rolling the dough out as this way is much easier. 




I don't think I can roll it any thinner than this. 





I like to make my own Za'tar mix to include more sesame and tart sumac.





Then mix with lots of olive oil.




A Za'tar pie is a must in addition to the plain one. 





I've started growing thyme, but I wonder if it's the same type that they use in making the Za'tar. 




I kept eating 😋...








and eating...😋





and eating...😋.  My usual main course became the dessert today for a change. 















Yippee's picture

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



💕 💕💕Lebanese cuisine. Over the years, my family has enjoyed many Lebanese dishes that I cook. But I have not baked any Lebanese bread. Lebanese Man’oushé pies look so delicious, especially meat pies. I didn't have time to prepare meat toppings today, so I made several pies with available ingredients.

As you know, I have had great success in making 100% whole-grain bread using CLAS. So the Man’oushé dough I made today was also whole-grain.

My recipe is super simple, but the bread is delicious and tender. When making bread with CLAS, I take it for granted that I can expect excellent flavors no matter what bread I make. I thought of Rus when I was baking; I can't tell you how much I appreciate him sharing this fantastic technique with us.





10% whole rye CLAS

(Depending on the formula, the whole rye CLAS can be replaced by other whole-grain CLAS like wheat, spelt, durum, etc. through refreshing on the night before baking, but I usually don't bother because whole rye CLAS makes very delicious bread)

90% fresh hard white whole wheat flour, ground by Vitamix

69% water



8% sugar

1% salt

3% olive oil

0.3% dry yeast



14% water


DT 31C/87.8F –ish



By Zojirushi bread machine

A. x 10 mins

B.+ C. x 10 mins



160g each, 8"

See pictures



Room temp ~28C/82.4F –ish x 60 mins



Pre-heat 550F

No steam

550F x 2 mins, middle rack



I put each dough ball on parchment paper, and I rotated the paper instead of the dough when I rolled it out. I found it much easier than having to handle the wet dough directly. 


160g each, ~8"

      I was so excited to see the dough ballooned! Baking at 550F, putting the dough in the middle rack ensures that the dough can balloon before it's cooked. High hydration, well-developed thin dough(intact, not torn), and high heat are the key elements that made my bread puff.  Pita


Bad picture; I was in a rush to get the next pie out of the oven.  





 Homemade Za'tar.  I prefer more sumac (freshly ground) than thyme.  The pie was tart, just the way I like.

         Parmesean.  There are so many variations of cheese pies.  I look forward to making them when I'm more prepared with ingredients. 
           20211026 Another bake to fine-tune the formula In this bake, I aimed to make the pita less soft, more rustic, and thicker. So, I reduced the hydration to ~76%, sprinkled ground, rolled oatmeal on the pie, rolled it out smaller, and baked longer at ~4:30 mins.  It turned out almost ideal, but the interior was still a bit too moist.  Maybe I'll reduce the hydration further next time.             I 💕 Za'tar man’oushé             


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