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rgreenberg2000's blog

rgreenberg2000's picture

Got my weekly bake done today, and all went smoothly.  The only real adjustment to my usual process was due to an early dinner that we had scheduled to celebrate our youngest daughter's birthday with her grandparents.  Instead of my usual 1.5 hour final proof at RT (before retarding for a few hours), I only let it proof at RT for .5 hours, then into the fridge for about 6 hours.  Everything came out well (no crumb shot yet, but I expect it will look the same as usual, perhaps a little tighter based on the dough feel, and how it looked out of the fridge.)

950g AP flour (Gold Medal)

80g WW flour (KA)

80g Semolina (BRM)

40g Dark Rye (BRM)

760g Water

250g active starter (100% hydration)

26g salt

The other minor change to my process was to try to replicate Kat's perfectly vertical ear from her blog post earlier today (HERE).  I dropped my scoring further down on the side of the loaf, whereas my usual scoring is just a bit to the side of the center line.  On the first loaf, I think I was a bit hesitant with my slash, and this resulted in a bit of a wavy ear:

I approached the second one with a bit more confidence, slashing in one motion (I also move the slash location up just a bit....more toward center), and I got much closer to a "soldier" ear (standing at attention):

Other than that, I got good spring, nice color, and some good blistering, too.

I'll keep working on this scoring technique, as I find it somewhat visually appealing.  Thanks for the inspiration, Kat! :)


rgreenberg2000's picture

My weekly bake this week, and I decided to go back to my favorite flour mix - 10% WW, 10% Semolina, and 5% Rye.  Of course, the WW % is actually higher since I feed my starter with WW flour, but you get the idea! :)  I tried very hard to be as gentle as possible with my stretching, folding, and I like the results thus far (still cooling, so haven't cut into them.)  In particular, I think these loaves seemed to hold their shape after being removed from the bannetons better than any loaves I have made before.  Here are the particulars, and some pics.....


950g AP (GM)

80g WW

80g Semolina

40g Rye

240g levain

769g water (70%)

25g salt

Total Dough - 2,184g

Total Flour - 1,270g

Total Water - 889g (70%)


6:15a - Refresh starter 50:100:100

9:00a - Initial mix - flour, water, starter

9:30a - Pinch in salt, 30x slap/fold

10:00a - 20x slap/fold

10:30a - Stretch/fold, proof 1.5-2 hours @ 75F

12:00p - Divided and pre-shaped

12:15p - Final shape, into bannetons to proof @ 75F

1:30p - loaves into fridge

8:15p - pre-heat oven, loaves out of fridge

9:15 - loves into oven

9:35 - remove loaves from DO, bake in stone for 20 more

10:00 - remove loaves from oven to cool

rgreenberg2000's picture

Today (well, and yesterday) was time for round 2 of my sourdough bagels.  The last batch were ok, but very dense, and HARD!!  So, I changed two things this time around.  I upped the hydration to 61% (from 59%), and I let the bagels proof at room temp for about 90 minutes after shaping.  The rest of the process I left the same, and, with the bagels now out of the oven, I think I'm on the right track.  Oh, wait, I did also add 25g sugar, so I guess I changed three things!  Here's what I did.....

Preferment/Levain - 339g

31g Starter from fridge

155g Freshly milled Hard Red Spring WW

155g Water



753g AP Flour

393g Water

339g Levain

25g Sugar

19g Salt



Total Dough - 1488

Total Flour - 923

Total Water - 563

Total Hydration - 61%



Build levain, and let rise at room temp for 10-12 hours (not quite what I did, as I was building levain for two bakes)

Mix levain with dough water in mixing bowl, then add flour/salt and mix together well

Knead 10-20 minutes, or until dough is soft and smooth

Ferment at room temp for 1.5 hours, then overnight in the fridge

Remove from fridge, scale to 120g, and form bagels

Allow to proof on parchment lined baking sheet for 1.5 hour

Simmer in water (with malt powder) for 1 minute per side, remove and top if desired

Bake at 475F for 35 minutes on baking stone

Remove, cool, slice, eat

Here are a few pics from along the way.

My fed starter after about 4 hours (made enough for a sourdough loaf, too):

Bagels formed (I did a more even job this time):

Bagels simmered, then topped:

Bagels out of the oven (need to work on browning):

Crumb shot:

All in all, I think that this version turned out better.  The dough was very similar, but felt a bit easier to work this time around.  The longer proof time before simmering definitely made a difference as the bagels floated in my water almost immediately.....last time they sank and I had to keep them from sticking on the bottom (shallow pot.)  I'd like them to get more brown, but that's just an aesthetic.  The flavor is about where I want it.  Just a slight sourdough tang, and the crumb, though on the dense side, is what I think of as a New York'ish bagel.  Pretty happy with these, though I'm sure the next run may have a tweak or two.

Thanks for looking!  If you try these out, let us know how it goes, and any changes you make.


PS: Oh, and here's the sourdough loaf (10% whole wheat, 10% semolina, 5% rye):

rgreenberg2000's picture

I got a bee in my bonnet the other day about making a simple loaf of 50% whole wheat sandwich bread.  Nothing special, just a good solid bread for toast, sandwiches and the like.  One thing I wanted to do was to keep the level of effort fairly minimal (somewhere just above using the bread machine....) :)  I read a bunch of different recipes, and this is what I came up with:

300g AP flour

300g Whole wheat flour

366g Water

30g Milk

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp sugar

14g Salt

1.5g ADY

I mixed together the dry ingredients (including yeast), whipped the butter into the water/milk with a fork (got lots of little globules), then mixed the wet and dry together until everything was incorporated.  This was at about 9pm, and I left it in the mixing bowl, covered overnight.  At about 6am, I pulled the dough out of the bowl, and it was nice and soft, a bit puffy, and quite sticky.  With a light dusting of flour and my scraper, I pre-shaped it, then let it rest for about 30 minutes.  Then I did a final shaping, and dropped it (gently, of course) in a greased loaf pan.  It took about 3.5 hours for the dough to rise over the level of the loaf pan, at which point, I cooked it in a 425 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes (temp was 200 when I removed it.)  Let it cool, and sliced it the next day for a toast test.  Pretty tasty stuff!  Nice moist crumb, soft and tender, and very wheaty!

I'd like to get a little more loft to this one, so the next version might use a bit more flour, or a longer final rise.  Possible flavor tweaks would be to use honey instead of sugar, and maybe oil instead of butter to see what impact that might have (I'm guessing not much, they are pretty small additions anyway.)

I consider this a success -- low effort, solid sandwich loaf, and look forward to tweaking this one a bit more.  Maybe I'll even take more photos next time! ;)

Thanks for looking!


rgreenberg2000's picture

I already has bagels on the mind for this weekend when Lazy Loafer (Wendy) posted up her lovely batch yesterday.  So, I dove into the deep end, and took my first go at making sourdough bagels.  I did some searching, and decided to go with THIS RECIPE (posted by Quantum.)  I modified the levain build slightly (favoring a 1:5:5 build up), and also did the bulk proof in the fridge overnight.  I'll cut to the chase on the results......they ARE bagels, but they are a bit denser than even a typical NY bagel might be.  I think that's because I got into shaping, boiling and baking too soon after I took the dough out of the fridge.  On the next go around, I'll probably leave the dough to sit on the counter for a couple hours after they come out of the fridge.  Here are the details......


Levain Build:

31g mature starter from fridge

155g Flour (used freshly milled hard red spring)

155g Water

Let levain ferment for 10-12 hours


753g Flour (used Gold Medal AP)

377g Water

339g Levain

19g Salt

"Dissolve" levain and salt in the water, then add to flour in a mixing bowl.  Bring everything together into a cohesive dough mass (it's a bit dry, but it will happen!), then knead for 10-15 minutes (I did this by hand, so if you have a mixer, make adjustments here.)  Once the dough has become smooth in texture, place into an oiled container, and proof at room temp for 1-2 hours.  Then put dough into fridge overnight.  Remove dough from fridge in the morning (this is where I will let it sit for a couple of hours next time), and get your boiling/simmering water ready to go.  I used hot tap water, and some dry malt extract (eyeballed it).  Now is also a good time to preheat your oven to 500 degrees (I baked these on a stone.)

Divide the dough into 12 equal portions (about 122g each), pre-shape into balls, then let rest for a few minutes.  Take each ball and roll it out into a cylinder about 8" long, wrap the cylinder around your hand (seam on the palm side), then roll the seam to seal.  Once all of the bagels are formed, simmer them in your water for about 1 minute per side (do this in batches sized according to the vessel you are using.)  Remove from the water, press into whatever toppings you might be using, and place on parchment paper that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Slide the parchment onto the stone in your oven, bake for 20 minutes.  If they aren't dark enough for your tastes, bake a bit longer.

Remove from oven, cool, then slice, toast and enjoy!

I'm looking forward to eating these, and then giving this recipe another go with some tweaks.


rgreenberg2000's picture

Ok, time for my weekly bake, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to up my Whole Wheat percentage to 50%.  Just to make it impossible to compare at all to previous bakes, I thought I'd also do my first overnight pre-mix (a la Trevor Wilson), AND up the hydration from my usual 68% to 75%.  Nothing like changing lots of variables all at once! :)

Overall, it went ok, though I did not like starting with cold dough, and had to fight the my wetter dough when it came time to pre-shape and shape (practice, practice, practice!)  My times were off (as expected with the cold start), but for the most part, things moved along at a similar pace to my usual bakes.  One loaf didn't spring a ton, but the other was decent.  The one loaf that I have cut so far has a crumb that I like (as I've called it before....and all-purpose crumb.)  The final judgement will come from tasting it, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Some pics.......  The larger of the two loaves out of the oven:

The smaller of the two loaves sliced:

I'm still getting a bit of a grassy smell (hard red spring wheat), and I'm not sure if this is normal, or just this batch of wheat berries.  I'll check back with a taste note tomorrow.

Thanks for looking!


rgreenberg2000's picture

Back again with more RWC sourdough.  Mostly the same process as I usually use, with a few changes.....  I built my levain using 50/50 AP/Rye instead of my usual WW.  Adjusted the amount of WW in the formula to keep that % about the same.  I used a mix of black and white sesame seeds to keep my loaf from sticking to the towel that lines my banneton.  Here are the details......

1000g AP flour

205g WW flour

240g Starter (100% hydration)

770g Water

26g Salt

Mix flours, water and starter, let rest 30 minutes.  Pinch in salt, do ~20 stretch/folds, then rest 30 minutes.  Repeat s/f, bulk proof ~1.5-2 hours.  Divide, pre-shape, rest, final shape, proof in bannetons for 1 hour @ 75F, then into fridge for 2 hours.  Bake in oven preheated to 475F, covered for 20 minutes, uncovered for 20-25 minutes.

Observations: This dough rose well during bulk and final proofing, and felt very light and "bubbly".  I noticed that the outside of the dough seemed as though it had dried a bit, I'm thinking it gave up a bit of moisture to the towel lining the banneton......I don't recall seeing this before, but it could also be from the time in the fridge (I didn't put the loaves in a bag like normal.)  Good oven spring.  The crust seemed duller, more dry than normal, and the bloom seems to show the dryness of the skin that I noticed.  Crumb is a bit tighter than normal, which I attribute to rough handling in final shaping.  Flavor was great, loved the additional flavor from the seeds.  I need to repeat this one to see if it performs the same.  My gut says that the starter was more active with the rye incorporated into the feed, but with so many variables at work with every batch, who knows?!?!?  :)

Some pics.......

Happy baking, all!


rgreenberg2000's picture

This week’s round of RWC SD.  Changes for this one were:

  • Dropped WW addition, increased Semolina
  • Reduced hydration to 67% (was going to make baguettes, but didn’t)
  • Increased 75F proof to 2 hours before overnight


Did my usual mix, rest, pinch, stretch/fold, rest, s/f, rest, s/f rest, bulk, etc.


The dough was a bit stickier than I expected with the reduced hydration, but I also switched to Gold Medal AP since the store was out of KA… seems to behave a bit differently.  Got everything shaped up ok, and baked up after a cold nap.


Since we talked a bit about slashing and ears and such in my last blog entry, I took a picture of my slash on this one.  I guess my estimate of only 1/4” slash as my standard was a bit off, I’d say this is closer to 1/2” (and, I have to say I REALLY like the looks of the bubbles you can see in the slash line…..or “ditch” if you like Dan’s parlance!):



Uncovered for last 25 minutes:



Out of the oven to cool:



Not quite the same bloom as the last one, but I think I didn’t underproof it quite as much, so that makes some sense.  Also, this batch sized ended up smaller than usual since I was originally planning to make baguettes and had changed my formula weights for that…..but ended up making two batards instead.


Haven’t cut into either loaf yet, so don’t know how the crumb turned out, but it smells fantastic!  I’ll post up a crumb shot later.



rgreenberg2000's picture

I missed baking last week due to life getting in the way, so was happy to get some time this weekend to make friends again with "Woody" (yes, my starter has a name) and make a fresh batch of my usual weekly sourdough.  This week, I dropped the rye to let the semolina shine through a little time, I think I will drop the WW (except for what's in the starter) and up the semolina appropriately.

1000g AP (KA)

100g WW (KA)

100g Semolina (Bob's)

250g Starter (100% hydration, fed w/WW)

803g Water

26g Salt


I did everything up to the final fridge proof in one day, starting the first starter wake-up refresh at 9a (10:10:10).  Followed this with 30:30:30 and 90:95:95.  I wanted to try using the starter a little earlier this time, so only let it rise about 70%, then proceeded with my mix.  All of the flour, water and starter got mixed up, and then rested for 30 minutes.  Pinched in the salt, and did about 25 stretch/folds, then rested 30 minutes.  Another two series of s/f on the half hour, trying to be much more gentle with the last one than I usually am.  After this, I let it bulk proof at 75F which took about 2 hours.  Shaped (had a devil of a time for some reason....STICKY!!!), then into lined bannetons to proof for an hour at 75F, then off to the fridge for the night.  In the morning, baked covered at 475F for 20 minutes, then uncovered for 25 minutes.

I am very pleased with the results of this loaf across the board.  Good oven spring and bloom, crazy blisters, crispy crust, and a bit more open crumb than I usually get.  Oh, and it tastes damn fine, too!! :)  Some pics......

rgreenberg2000's picture

After my first positive experience with baguettes last week, I wanted to give them another try (and we were out of bread…..gasp!!)  I decided I wanted to go with a 65% hydration dough this time to take any dough handling issues out of the process.  I also decided to just use a yeasted dough since I had a window to make bread, and didn’t have a leaven built up from my stored starter.  Here’s the formula I used (shooting for 3x 330g loaves): 

480g AP (80%)

120g Semolina (20%)

390g Water (65%)

3g ADY

12g salt 

I mixed the flours and water together, then let that rest for 30 minutes.  I added the salt and yeast, mixed those in using the pinch method, then gave the dough about 20 slap/folds.  I repeated the slap/folds 2 times at 20 minutes.  Then I let the dough bulk proof at 75 degrees in my Brod & Taylor for about 90 minutes.  At this point, I divided the dough, and pre-shaped each piece into a round.  I let those rest while I cleaned up a bit, then I shaped my “baguettes” (they are probably a bit heavy, fat and short to call baguettes, but I’m fitting them into what I need/want, so good enough) and let them rest in the couche with plastic wrap covering them up.  After about 45 minutes, they looked ready to bake, so I slashed them and popped them onto my baking stone in a pre-heated oven (450 on Conv Bake), with some ice cubes in a CI skillet.  Added more ice about four minutes later, then let it go for 11 minutes before removing the CI.  The loaves baked for about another 7-10 minutes, then out they came to cool.  All in all, I’m pretty happy with how these turned out.  I still have plenty of practice to do with the shaping (had a couple blowouts that occurred on the end of two loaves), but the entire process was way more manageable this second time around.

A shot of the loaves cooling:


A crumb shot:

Thanks for checking these out!



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