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Visiting family for Easter - so I baked a selection of breads:

Firstly, the Pugliese, based on David Snyder's recipe - I originally did this for us, but ran out of time to do another one for the family so this one was substituted

No crumb shot (for any of them, sorry!  didn't take the camera with me) - but the usual quite open crumb, light, tasty - I've posted before (I think) on this bread and it is well worth doing!

Secondly, the Cocoa with Walnut and Cranberries (I used cherries) from Lumos

Beautiful rich smell - lovely taste - not very even scoring as you can see, I didn't quite get this right, but it tasted nice!

Then, a double batch of SD Hot Cross Buns from last year's recipe from RossnRoller:

I did some seriously bad shaping here, and left them uncovered to rise for too long - they hardened off, and were quite solid...  I also did a fairly poor job of the pastry for the crosses, and it didn't go on very well.  Lots of room for improvement here - I shall be practising!  (Chris said "teacakes would be nice" - "what are teacakes?" - "well, they are hot cross buns without the crosses!").  They were a good flavour, but need to be a lot more fluffy and better shaped, and with improved crosses...

Lastly, the Colomba Pasquale, based on txfarmer's recipe:

Great fun - but again I need to improve my technique!  The dough didn't rise anywhere near enough - they tasted nice, but could have done with being a bit lighter and fluffier...  Also, I put too much almond essence in (half teaspoon), which was my mistake.  Also, I mixed the chopped nuts with the sugar glaze, then couldn't spread it - so put a dollop onto the top - which then shot straight through the dough to the bottom!!  I think more work on the mixing here, my panettone last year was a bit under-risen as well

And - for fun - the Colomba upside down to try to help it stay fluffy:

(Not in the recipe, but I did this last year with the panettone.  I did learn from the panettone to have the skewers a bit further into the bake - when I did this with teh Panettone, I had the skewers right at the base, and the Panettone fell out of the case onto its nose, which wasn't quite the best way to keep a rounded top!)

Half of the bake went to my brother- and sister-in-law and kids, who appreciated the box of breads; half went to Chris' mum, and we had the cocoa and pugliese for Sat lunch, and the Colomba and HXB for Sunday breakfast.  Overall appreciated, and I was pleased that they all came out!



Salilah's picture

In the middle of March, we had a long weekend / short week in Sicily - great fun!

Varied breads - we had two completely different Pane Nero de Castelvetrano (one from a baker in Marsala, one from a supermarket in Sciacca) and one Pugliese I think (well, it looked like it) from a baker in Sciacca

This is the pugliese - well, 3/4 of it, with the supermarket Pane Nero behind it...  It was my favourite bread - light, yellowy, great crust, I loved the shape (Chris said why didn't I do a square bread - but it won't work very well in La Cloche!)...  Excellent toasted, drizzled with olive oil and with fresh tomatoes on top (+ garlic rubbed if wanted)

This is the supermarket Pane Nero - a long oblong, I guess baked in a pan.  Sesame seeds on the top.  Chris liked this one the best - it tasted like a good wholemeal, it was brown, quite a rich complex taste but boring crumb (well, I thought so)

The crumb shot of the two breads!  I must admit I looked at the Pugliese one and thought "My pugliese looks quite a lot like that!" which was very exciting <grin>

Now I really thought I had a photo of the other bread - but I can't see it!  It was a boule shape, it wasn't a very dark crust, whitish crumb, quite a nice taste but to be honest, nothing special, and we tended to go back to our own favourites for breakfast...

So I'll leave you with another photo instead - the ruins at Selinunte

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I decided this week to have a go at the most recent (?) SF Sourdough posted by DMSnyder (

Must admit that the timing on this was the most difficult - I couldn't work out how to get all these 16 and 20 hour chunks in!

Ended up with the following timings:
* Starter refresh - should be 16h then overnight fridge, I did around 11 hours then overnight 11h in fridge, then 2 hours out
* stiff levain - should be 16h room temperature - I mixed this around 10am and put in the fridge at 9pm (didn't fancy getting up in the middle of the night); out again Sat around lunchtime
* mixed dough and autolyse for 2 hours
* added salt, levain, ferment should be 3.5-4h, mine was around 4 hours
* should prove for 1-2h, then cold retard overnight - I ran out of time again, so shaped and into the fridge straight away for overnight 15 hours (we were trying to get a repeater router to work ,so the bread had to wait!)
* should be 3h final proof warm & humid - mine was in the airing cupboard so very warm, only 2h and it was seriously well over the top of the banneton!

30mins on 240C in La Cloche, then 20m at 220C...  Lots of singing when it came out, cracked crust, darker than I usually do...

Pictures (sorry for delay, my phone ran out of charge!!)

Views inside the kitchen - poor lighting but gives an idea

Did I mention it sung?  Really chunky cracks:

And a view of the crumb (really must stop using phone for these!)

I decided to try some natural light this morning - but no table outside as yet, it's too early!  So - I put the bread on the car <grin>

Gives a better idea of the colour - as I said, darker than I usually do

The crumb - shows quite a deep crust

And a crumb closeup:

(sorry re shadows and a bit gritty)

Final pic - on the sundial, as a change from the car:

Taste - very nice, I agree with a previous comment on David's blog about a "cool mouth feel".  My only slight disappointment was that it was not sour at all - despite all the long rests in the fridge - I think probably I need to leave the levain / stiff levain out longer?  But a good looking, tasty loaf, and enjoyable to try this with these stages.  I'll try again, but need to think about timing...


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We are invited tonight to a Burns Night supper - long-running, we've been going for years!  I thought this time I should try to take some bread (though I wasn't confident enough to stop them buying bread - must be more confident!)

I recently purchased Bertinet's Crust, and Hanseata (I think) mentioned the Breton Bread, so I thought I'd give that a go, as unusually I had some fresh yeast.  As this was a new recipe, I decided to also do DSnyder's Pugliese as usually that works really well for me.  18 people so it felt like a big quantity was required - so I did around 2kg of each, which was a fun experience in itself, as I've not done these volumes before!

Ingredients - Breton Bread

Pre-fermented dough: 3.6g yeast, 3.6g salt, 180g strong white flour, 126g water - 6 hours or so (it went a bit faster)

Final dough: 10g fresh yeast, 750 strong flour, 200 buckwheat flour, 50 rye flour, 300g (all) pre-ferment, 15g sel gris, 700 water - total 2038g at 70%

Ingredients - Pugliese

200g starter, 720 water, 590 strong flour, 160 "00" flour, 250 durum flour, 20 salt - total 1940 at 75%

I thought originally the breton bread would be fairly quick, but the pugliese also went really fast - so I nearly ran out of proofing baskets!  As it was, I ended up doing 3 Breton and 2 Pugliese - both the Pugliese in the La Cloche, two of the Bretons on a stone with metal lid and the other in La Cloche

The Breton didn't rise as much as I'd hoped, even in the La Cloche - but I guess there's quite a lot of buckwheat in there!  I did bake it when I thought it was just about ready - so a bit quicker than planned...  Quite a thick crust (this one was under the metal lid), pleasant taste, went well with eggs this morning...

Not sliced the Pugliese as both are going down to the dinner, but it rose beautifully (as usual) and I hope will taste good

Challenges of timing - the Pugliese went a LOT faster than I expected - so rather than my usual proof overnight in the fridge, I baked them all the same day.  Luckily I have two ovens, so one had the stone and the other the Cloche!

Will see what the reaction is tonight

Salilah's picture

I'm enjoying experimenting with using various other liquids instead of some or all of the water (not honestly with much success so far!)

My MIL was with us when we were shopping, and she likes the recent alcoholic ginger beer - so I thought "why not?" and bought a bottle.  I found a recipe for ginger beer sourdough (from Yozzause) and adapted it a bit.

120g white starter (100%)
120 rye flour
250 strong white
250g alcoholic ginger beer (Yozzause said he'd use more in future, he used half and half water & GB)
8g salt
3g ground green cardomon

Wet dough when mixing - overnight in fridge - but once I got it out of the banneton (bit stuck) it was relatively easy to score (unusual for me!).  It didn't rise as much as I'd hoped - too much rye perhaps?  Baked in my new La Cloche for I think 25mins with lid, then 20mins without...

Nice flavour - but I'd increase the cardomon in future.  You could taste the ginger from the gingerbeer (quite subtle).  Dark strong crust, very nice toasted.

The challenge I think is the alcohol - would it make rising take longer?  I've had serious problems with a red wine bread - very little rise - and this wasnt as light as I'd like...  What does alcohol do to wild yeasts???


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I baked this yesterday - but we ate it today, so I hope that counts!

Another version of Jan Hedh's Lemon bread, with less lemon and added lemon thyme

100g 100% white starter
180g durum flour
180g white strong flour
50g rye
130g water
100g cider
25g EVOO
8g salt
zest of half a lemon (would use more in future)
leaves from 6-8 sprigs lemon thyme (would use more in future)

Mix starter, flours, water, cider and autolyse 30m or so.  Add EVOO, salt, lemon zest, herbs - thorough mix
Several S&F roughly 30min intervals for 3 hours (you can tell I was improvising - poor records!)
Refridgeration overnight, then warmed up for around 30m then pre-shaped then shaped to batard
(warning: not sure if it was the EVOO but it was a pain to shape - wouldn't seal the seam!)
3 hours I think to proof in banneton, then 15mins under SS bowl at 240 then around 25-30m at 200

Good bread flavour; not very big holes but quite a soft crumb with quite thick crust.  Nice taste but would add more lemon & herbs next time!

and the crumb:

cheers - and Happy World Bread Day!
(buckwheat batard on the way - sadly no beechnuts as the birds beat me to it!)


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Based on a recipe from cityhippyfarmgirl through Yeast Spotting:

I thought I'd give these a go.  I didn't have the malt flour, and my shaping is not quite up to scratch - so I went more for the rustic look and didn't do the rye wash.  Also I didn't have flaxseed so used linseed instead!


200g starter at 100% hydration (I did this as a preferment from starter to make sure it was lively after a week in the fridge)
250g strong white bread flour
100g rye flour
50g golden flaxseed
250g water
10g salt


Mixed all except salt for an autolyse of about an hour.  Quite a few S&F over about a 4 hour period - quite a sticky dough!

Cut into 6 chunks and roughly shaped for a 20min rest; shaped into batards (couldn't quite get the points from the original) and proofed for about 2 hours on a teatowel until well risen.  Bedtime dictated timing for baking - so I didn't really check if they were fully proofed.  10mins under a cover at 220C, then 20mins uncovered at 220C (turning once) - this felt quite long for rolls, but they are quite big!

And - for those who would prefer to see the real colour rather than the jazzy iPhone photo:

Toasted for breakfast - very nice flavour, "yum" said OH, "tasty - but a bit like a crumpet" (not too sure what this bit means!)

Would do again...

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Stout in both senses of the word!

I decided to have a go at a sourdough version of Katie's stout & linseed loaf - waiting for the barm to ripen, I wondered what to do with the rest of the beer and decided "sort of baguette but a bit bigger!"

150g 100% white starter
25g rye flour
290g strong white bread flour
200g beer (Thwaites Very Nutty Black bottle conditioned, Tesco)
8g salt

I didn't have time to do an overnight retard, so just autolyse without salt for 30m, then a thorough S&F at 30min intervals, shape roughly, shape for batard and proof in couche (the skin hardened a bit too much I felt here).  Baked under a cover for 15mins (220C) then 10+10 I think...

Not bad flavour - quite rich and full, not tasting of beer, a good medium brown colour

Not bad!  The stout & linseed is in the fridge, need to get it out and shape (dinner interfered with this last night) and final proof - will try to post that later

Salilah's picture

Well, what a cute loaf!

Using the recipe from Franko
which builds on others - I thought I'dgive it a go.   I'd tried a version with some white flour added - but not this time...

Building the Preferment:

I used the white wheat starter I have, and couldn't measure out a small enough quantity, so ended up with
30g starter (wheat, 100%)
50g durum flour
50g water

This was in the kitchen for around 6 hours I reckon?  Bubbly and light at the end

Main Dough:

135g preferment (yes, high, I wanted to use all I had)
135g water
252g durum flour
(after autolyse, 5.6g salt)

Autolyse for around 30mins - I find the durum flour really soaks up the water!  A few S&F over the next 3 hours - fairly thorough after adding the salt, and less later.  Into the fridge overnight in a plastic container

Today - out of the fridge but still in the container for around 90 mins (driving from Cambridge to London!).  Shaped here (roughly) and covered - it didn't rise much, but I was concerned as it had had a long bulk fermentation.  About 90mins from shaping into oven

Baking: 250C for first 10 mins under a metal cloche (equals steam) then 10m at 220C, 10m at 200C, 10m at around 140C, then 10m with oven switched off (it is a small loaf!)


A very cute little loaf - I could improve my shaping, as although I did follow instructions, it is not quite right. 

However - after about 20m out of the oven (singing for at least 10m) I had to eat - really yummy!  One of the few I have felt are really successful - I could easily eat the rest of the loaf now!  Sweet taste, lovely golden crust, I'd prefer more of an open crumb but definitely worth repeating...

Very pleased - I will make this again (need to buy more flour) - a cute little lunchtime loaf!


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Two loaves underway this weekend - Hamelman's Pain au Levain, and Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Whole-Wheat Flour - both use a stiff levain which I hadn't done before, so I made enough to do a good-sized loaf for each. 

"The white will be baked Saturday late afternoon, and the brown on Sunday morning" I commented to my other half.  "We always seem to have lots of bread when we don't want to eat it, and no bread when we do", he commented.  Oops!  I'm still learning and experimenting - and he wants a bit more certainty about what he is going to eat - well, nothing wrong with that!

Mental note to plan ahead a bit better - and I decided yesterday afternoon to try to do a rapid "Saturday Lunch bread".  Luckily I'd refreshed the starter so it was quite lively and fluffy - so I customised Tartine to make a small boule

60g starter (100%)
200g white flour
22g rye (light)
160 water
5g salt

Mix starter, flour and water and autolyse for 30mins.  Add salt, stretch and fold in a bowl. 
Stretch and fold after 30 mins, an hour, 90 mins, 2 hours
Pre-shaped and rest for 20mins, shaped and into bannetton in fridge overnight

This morning (9:30ish - well, it is Saturday!) it came out of the fridge - very little rising, so allowed to come to room temperature.  Into oven after about 2 hours (had to sort the car out) at 240C on a stone under a cover for steaming for 10mins, then cover off and turned down to 200C for about 30mins

Quite a nice little loaf! 

It didn't rise too much (probably a bit overproofed - not much expansion through the score) but enough, with reasonable oven spring

Before it all disappeared, the crumb:

The crust softened (as mine often do) but it tasted nice, just warm still when we cut it.  There's a crust left in case we get hungry before dinner!



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