The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

peacecow's blog

peacecow's picture

After seeing everyone's delicious bakes, I finally got to make one of my own. I used Maurizo's recipe for the dough, but scaled it ~1.3x to fit a 13" pullman, so 1075g of dough. I used more filling than called for because I love sweets. One end was chocolate filling mixed with nuts, and one end was the chocolate filling with the cacao nibs. In total it was 300g of the chocolate filling, 90g of some extra baklava filling (nuts/sugar/cinnamon), and a handful of cacao nibs. I didn't use all of the simple syrup, so next time I will make half. I rolled it out more thinly than the recipe calls for, and I'm glad I did, so that the filling was better distributed.

Very filling heavy, but I'm pleased with how it turned out, and it's pretty easy. It is very decadent, so I froze part of the loaf for later. I like the additional crunch and flavor of the nuts.

Rolling it up such a long loaf was a bit cumbersome.

And for the baklava, I had a bit of fun trying out different nuts (almond, pistachio, pecan, hazelnut, and walnut). All very tasty. Almond and pecan were the most mild and least interesting tasting. Pistachio, hazelnut, and walnut I would do again.


peacecow's picture

I did a lot of holiday baking this year, and part of that was gifting out bread. I made milk bread and potato bread.

This is the most even my milk bread has looked. I always weight each section, but this time, I was more careful about shaping the dough into rectangles before rolling them up, and that really helped.

Years ago, I had potato bread from Macrina bakery, and thought that it was so amazing, so I wanted to give this a try. I feel like I'm missing something, but it was so long ago, I'm not sure what I need to change.

My friend gifted me some flour from our local mill for Christmas, so I was very excited to try them out! I made the basic loaf from Full proof baking with 25% millet using artisan bakers craft from central milling (my current bread flour), espresso bread flour and Skagit 1109 from Cairnspring mills. And very non-scientifically, I also proofed them at different times. I tend to over proof, so I wanted to shape at different points to really get a feel for how the dough changes.

ABC- shaped at 30% rise. Fridge at 35%

Espresso- 45min later at 74C, shaped at 40% rise, fridge at 45% rise

Skagit 1109- Shaped at 45% rise, Fridge 52% rise

I enjoyed noticing all the differences. Taste wise, ABC was the most plain. Espresso and Skagit 1109 were darker and wheatier tasting. Skagit 1109 definitely added the most flavor, and as described, couldn't handle as much water. I'm getting better at lamination. I can tell better how shaping underproofed dough feels. It was not lively at all. 30% rise was definitely too little. When I was shaping the last dough, it still felt like I could have pushed the bulk longer and got the dough more airy, but I didn't want to make the same mistake I always do, so I ended it.

It was also good to see approximately how much wiggle room I have. Between the first and last shaping was about 1.5- 2hrs at 73-75C.


I also got my hands on Caputo 00 flour for making pizza. I tried both of Maurizo's pizza recipes. They both turned out well. I think the 00 flour really made a difference in how easy it was to stretch the dough. One of the difference was the size of the recommended dough balls (290g vs 250g). I think 290g was perfect. The crust was crispy on the bottom and not too thin, whereas I made the middle too thin with the 250g ball, and one slice couldn't support its own weight.

peacecow's picture

I took advantage of Thanksgiving weekend to bake a bunch. I have the perennial problem of never following through completely on my plans because I try to do too much, but I'm still happy with what I accomplished.


Bake 1- Fullproof baking basic sourdough, but used 30% whole grain

From left to right, 30% kamut, 30% kamut proofed an hour longer, 30% millet, 30% amaranth

First kamut loaf

Second kamut loaf

30% millet

30% amaranth

Kamut- My goal with the kamut loaves was use the aliquot jar and get better at judging timing. I meant to read up more on the aliquot jar before going into the bake, but never got around to it, so I'm still less accurate than I'd like to be. I shaped the first loaf ~ 50% rise, and the second around 60%.


Despite the lack of ear on the second loaf, I'm still pleased with the crumb. I'm learning that slight overproofing is no big deal to me, so I'd like to do the opposite next time. Very mild sour taste for me.


Millet- Reduced hydration by 50g, which works out to 67% hydration. Told myself I would add in more depending on how much the millet affected the hydration. Forgot and then felt it was too late at the end. Stiff and harder to work with. Definitely will try again with more water. Was a bit dense. Husband commented that it had a beer taste. It tasted "gluten-free" to me because the only times I've had it are in gluten free bread. Added very springy texture.


Amaranth- Home milled. Reduced hydration by 40g, which works out to 70% hydration, only because I splashed in a bit more than intended. I wouldn't go much higher. This grain smells so earthy! Mild earthy aftertaste.


Bake 2- Porridge breads, Maurizo's oat porridge bread and an amaranth porridge bread following the same protocol

From left to right, 3 oat porridge breads then 2 amaranth porridge breads

I wanted to gift the oat porridge loaves since my friends really enjoyed them and I wanted to compare the amaranth porridge loaves vs using amaranth flour.

I split the oat porridge recipe into three loaves so that shaping would be easier. Mixed in the oats with the salt. Last time I ended up splashing in more water to the porridge, and I felt that the dough spread a bit more than I wanted it to. This time, I only added in 50g extra to the porridge, but then it was harder to incorporate. I couldn't resist splashing in more water later because it felt a bit stiff. I lost track of time and let it go longer than I intended so overproofed quite a bit.

Two of the oat porridge loaves. You can see that gummy line of sadness prominently. Especially because the second loaf had a more rounded bottom, so it sank from its own weight. Shaped at 45% rise, and meant to do a short room temp proof, but went an hour longer. Felt sluggish compared to the amaranth, but I'm not sure that was actually the case. Taste was still good, and texture was nice and squishy except around the bottom of the loaf.

Amaranth- Subbed out oats from amaranth. Made 2/3rds of the recipe. For the porridge, I simmered 20min, turned off the heat and covered for 10min, and it turned out just right. I didn't add all the water when I added in the starter and salt. Also overproofed. Pulled at 60-65% rise. Pleased with the crumb. Also very nice and squishy. Mild earthy taste as well. I think it's a bit stronger than the amaranth flour loaf, but I need to pull that out of the freezer to do a side by side comparison.

peacecow's picture

Followed Maurizo's recipe. Had thick rolled oats, so I decided to soak the oats overnight with all the salt and then cook them a bit. Then I wouldn't need to mix in salt and then porridge since I finding mixing things in later annoying. However, its probably better not to do that since it's harder to mix in the porridge evenly, so then the salt probably wasn't evenly distributed. I also threw in 100g of walnuts because I like nutty loaves. Tried coil folding towards the end to be more gentle. It's hard with such big loaves. Once the dough tore completely apart from its own weight.

It's been awhile since I've done such large loaves. I had a hard time transferring them to the banneton. Happy with the crumb. The oats really add a nice texture.

Also tried fougasse. Turned out nice and crunchy. Could have added more herbs. Taste was plain to me, so I might add more whole grain or mix in some cheese and nuts if I try again.

Just some notes about previous pizza attempts

Baking steel really makes a nice crispy crust. Don't overload with toppings!

King arthur sourdough- very easy

Kenji's bar pizza- pretty crispy, tasty as well.

peacecow's picture

Followed 100% whole wheat recipe from full proof baking.

Hard white spring wheat

Yecora Rojo



Turkey Red

Einkorn specific starter. Reduced hydration- 360-370g for wheat, 320-360g for spelt, 260-320g for Einkorn.  30min-1hr autolyse for spelt. Started at the low end and splashed in water until it seemed comfortable to work with. Tried taking aliquots. I need to take more dough, so that the rise is easier to judge as I always question whether I'm over or under proofing.

White wheat- home milled. most mild. Whole wheat for people who don't like whole wheat.

Yecora Rojo- home milled. I like this one a lot. Very smooth/buttery? flavor at the beginning.

Einkorn- home milled. First einkorn loaf. Very sticky at the beginning, so handle as little as possible. Read many different thoughts on whether to long vs short autolyse and what hydration to use. In the end I just had to try it out and see. I definitely prefer a higher hydration. Will try to keep better notes next time. It felt too stiff otherwise. At the end of bulk fermentation, it was a little sticky, but could still be shaped. The most flat loaf by far. Mild nutty flavor with a slightly bitter aftertaste. I will play around more.

Spelt- not home milled. Very nutty. I liked the taste a lot. Surprised that it didn't flatten out more.

Turkey Red- home milled. Also like very much. Most flavorful, but not sure how to describe.

Notes from previous bakes

100% Red Fife- more neutral whole wheat

100% Kamut- the only grain I haven't liked thus far. Very sour note. Didn't get any nuttiness from it.






Subscribe to RSS - peacecow's blog