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trailrunner's picture

well I am astounded at the results of this bake. Even more simple than any others of late. Small amount of  hands on involved and amazing oven spring for so little effort. Will post crumb later...having a dinner party in an hour so need to get scooting ! 

Refreshed Starter, 100% hydration*:  150 grams
Total Flour**:  485 grams 
Water:  330g 
Sea Salt:  11 grams

Borrowed this formula from Girl meets dirt a blog that is interesting if you want to take a look. 

I of course did some changes to the formula. I used a fresh ground young rye levain at some hydration . I don't keep track of how much flour or water I add. I just make it feel right when I stir it. I used all unbleached KA bread flour. I doubled all the amounts. Of the 660g total of water there was 200 g of AYW and 460 g H2O. I added  more water to get the mix as soft as I like it. All was stirred together except the salt and placed in the oven with light on. When it was puffy in about 2 hrs. I took it out and folded in the salt with misted water at several intervals as I added the salt. Since 1 tsp adds 1 percent of hydration who knows how much I had :) ? I then set the dough back in the oven with light on. After one hour I took it out and did one s and f. It was pretty wet so I was glad I floured the board. Put it all back for another hour. Did one more s and f. Felt like it needed more time so set it back again. Was almost at double by then. Took it out and did one gentle s and f and included some ground flax seeds. Not toasted or soaked and probably only about 25g since I am experimenting with them. Made a batard and one boule....thought better of it and cut 300g off the batard and made a baby boule . Placed in banneton and directly in fridge. Baked in 500 degree preheated granite ware roaster. 500 degrees 10 min with 4 ice cubes ( note I have doubled the amount) tossed under the paper lid on.  475 degrees 10 min lid on. And then 20 min 475 lid off. Temp 212. This is my first loaves in forever with this much white. So we shall see the crumb etc. 






baby boule 

trailrunner's picture

Basically the same process as the last bake. So little hands on that it is amazing to see what the dough becomes with just time and two s and f's. The one thing I will change is I won't be doing a bulk ferment any longer. I remember why I hate having to wait around for the dough to get warmed up and risen before baking. I will shape and retard in the banneton.  I like baking the cold dough as it is so easy to get out of the banneton. Other than that I won't change any of the technique . It all went flawlessly. 

I found a way to add cinnamon without placing it in the dough. I don't soak my dried fruit but I do mist it several times as I am working in the kitchen and keep it covered to get it hydrated. This time I misted and also tossed it with 8grams of cinnamon. Wow...the fragrance!  I stole a piece of raisin off one of the loaves and it tastes great. It doesn't get the flavor all through the loaf but I do have pockets of sweet cinnamony goodness now in the bread. 

500g KA bread flour

250g Red Fife flour

250g Kamut

400g Spelt levain 100% hydration ( added more flour and water to leftovers from yesterday and let it go about 4 hrs - young levain) 

320g milk ( I didn't have fresh so made double strength powdered milk ) 

50g maple syrup

50g yogurt

320 g Banana Yeast Water

20g Kosher salt

8g cinnamon on about 250g  diced dried figs and crimson raisins and hydrated by misting. 

Mixed flours, milk and YW  ,syrup and yogurt . Used as few strokes as needed to hydrate all. Covered and set in warm 80 degrees F oven. Left till puffy. about 3 hrs. Folded in damp salt with few strokes and then folded in all levain. Covered and left in same 80 degree F oven till quite puffy about 3 hrs. Removed and did 2 s and f. On the last S and F folded in the fruit. Placed in oiled bucket and left overnight. More than doubled. Removed and shaped cold using the pinch a seam method , nothing more. Took about 2 1/2 hrs to rise up. Bake preheated for 15 min  roaster at 500 -10 min covered, 475-10 min covered and 475- 20 min uncovered. Threw in 2 icecubes at the start. 




banana yeast water

banana yeast water

young spelt levain

folding levain into dough

about 50% done folding

after the dough with levain has rested 

turned out dough on floured counter ready for s and f


after 1 fold 


after 2 folds 

macerated dried fruit


after retarding in bucket all night cold 34 degree F refrigerator


shaped cold loaves ready to rise 


risen and ready to bake


turned out of banneton ready to bake 

baked loaf

trailrunner's picture

Well the pics tell the story but here goes for some more details. 

350g very very young spelt levain 100%( fermented only about 4-5 hrs) 

660g KA bread flour

90g Kamut

50g fresh milled rye

22g Kosher salt

20g maple syrup/20g yogurt

500g water ( 300g apple yeast water 200g water) 

I put all the flour and the yogurt and maple syrup with the  YW/Water mix together with just enough spatula work to get it wet. Placed covered bowl in the oven with the light on and door propped a bit open so warm but not too warm. Left it several hours till puffy and the young levain was also puffy and full of bubbles. A note about this. I took the  160 g water and 160g  spelt flour and added it to 18 grams very firm rye starter from my NMNF cache. I did not do multi feedings I did nothing...mixed it and set it in the warm oven with the bowl. 

I removed the bowl and sprinkled the salt on the dough and sprayed it till quite damp with water. I then did about 30-40 gentle turns with the spatula just to get it folded in. I folded in the levain using just enough gentle turns to get it mixed in. I then covered the bowl and placed it back in the warm oven. I waited a couple more hours. You can see the bubbles on the dough. I scraped it out onto a well floured counter. I did two s and f one right after the other....that was it...Nothing, absolutely nothing else. I placed it in the oiled container and DID NOT leave it out anymore. I placed it directly in a cold fridge. You can see it easily doubled and more by this morning.

I removed  the cold dough from the container. Divided into two 800g pieces. The rolls were barely shaped while cold  to preserve the puffiness so somewhat free-form. The batard was also barely touched. It was cold and all I did was lightly sprinkle the seam side with coarse rye flour . I then pinched the seam together. No preshape, no rest, no shaping at all. Just folded the edges together and pinched. Placed seam side down in rice/flour banneton. Plastic bag and into the oven with light on and the pan of rolls. Left to rise one hour. Baked the rolls first at 500 for 10 min and 475 for 10 min. They are brushed with egg yolk/half and half and sesame seeds sprinkled on. Misted a couple times with water in first 10 min. They are amazing...had a ham and cheese on one and husband had house cured pastrami from our yum !! The batard was baked in my trusty roaster that was preheated 10 min at 500.Loaf turned out on parchment and lowered into hot roaster.  Loaf baked with two  ice cubes for steam thrown in bottom of hot pan for 10 min at 500 lid on, 10 min at 475 lid on and 20 min lid off. 

Crumb shot of bread will be tomorrow...I am taking it to our Buddhist meditation get together. I hope this lenghty description will help to further the " almost no hands on" technique of gluten development. It has certainly converted me. There is no reason to do much of anything. Nature takes its course with little interference. I have a fig/raisin banana yw that will have cinnamon in it to see how that does with the no hands treatment. More to come tomorrow. 

after the salt and levain were added and it rested in a warm can see the bubbles in the dough

after only two stretch and folds 

into bucket for the night

wow...look at that dough growth all in the room temp time at all

out of tub onto floured counter ready to divide


batard in banneton seam down

batard ready to be turned out after 1 hr rising


you crack me up...



wow....what BIG ears you have :) 



rolls risen and glazed and ready for oven



rolls baked 




roll crumb

trailrunner's picture

whew....I think that says it all !  Date yeast water has been stored in fridge. Still going strong and I had added water to the used dates to see how it would hold up. So far so good. Levain loves Kamut . It filled the jar in a matter of a couple hours so I stored in fridge. Using up many flours from Breadtopia in an effort to move forward with grinding my own grains. These three loaves are the proportions that I used for the buns except I used more grains in the mix to = 532g. I used my Middle Eastern date syrup instead of maple syrup. Final dough is Hard white Spring WW, fresh milled rye, Turkey Hard Red Winter wheat. 

Process. I am still experimenting with almost no hands on. Works really well. I mixed to shaggy stage only making sure ALL was wet. Used a large silicone spatula. NO SALT. Everything else in the bowl. Let it rest on radiator for 4 hrs. Sprinkled on Salt and wet it with spray bottle. Did 30 turns in the bowl with spatula. Covered and left 30 min. one set s & f. left 30 min and did one more set. Then a wrinkle ....I forgot the dough !! yikes !  Didn't set the clock...went about my business for a couple hours....oh wow !! dough loved every minute on its own...appears I have created a very independent bread formula !  Turned it out and cut three chunks for boules. New shaping technique employed that last few loaves with great results....look at those ears !  All I do is lightly dust both sides of dough. Then I pull four corners to the center and pinch them together as much as possible. Flip it over with this side down so will be free-form on top when turned out. No pre-shape ,no dough scraper, no gluten sheath tightening....nothing. Takes a few seconds. Doesn't degas the dough at all. 

Baking. Utilizing my granite ware roasters. 500 degree preheat in oven...takes about 15 min with my electric oven. have loaves on parchment , lower in to hot roaster put in one ice cube. Cover bake at 500 for 10 min lower to 475 10 min. Remove cover...go WOW !  finish for 20 min at 475. Internal temp 211. 

Crumb shot when thoroughly cooled

date YW

kamut levain

date syrup/levain/yogurt

flour mix

dough without salt ....rising nicely and developing structure

with salt sprayed with water 

after 2nd  set of s&f ! 

after first set of s&f

filled the banneton over night in the fridge

nice cracks soon to be ears ! 

yep....looking good 

love my OVE gloves and my roasters 

gorgeous even fine crumb with very crisp crust. flavor is remarkable and only a tiny hint of sour very tender chew



As I said the formula is the same as the buns I posted. 100g of active date YW added to 600g water  and 400g active kamut levain ( it was a rye levain in the buns) 

My feeling is that the levain works slower and the YW works faster but the YW needs warmth and the levain not as much . Seems to complement each other throughout the retarding of the dough as well as the bake. Will post pics of crumb when I get them. 

trailrunner's picture

Another double levain dough. I joined a facebook group that uses only yeast waters for baking. Wow....there is SO much info and amazing pictures of breads etc. Anyway I got my feet wet , so to speak with date water. I took a small amount of my AYW and inoculated it with 6 dried dates. Whoa...stand back !  It was full of bubbles in just a couple hours using the lights in my oven to warm it. I added a piece of orange peel, as I do with my apple yeast water, as I think it keeps it from getting too much  alcohol formation. 

733g unbleached KA

266g Spring WW

266g Durum flour

66g yogurt

66g maple syrup

400g ripe rye levain at 100% hydration

100g date YW

600g filtered water 

26g kosher salt

I got many of these figures for this formula from a post Danni had some time back. I double it and changed some things but I have her to thank for the yogurt. It finds its way into all my breads now. I have Ian to thank for the buns :) he has great ones . 

Bread1965 gave me the idea I used for mixing this dough although I changed up one big part. I mixed everything but the salt till a shaggy moist dough. I then covered and set the dough on the radiator to warm. He lets his set for 5 hrs. I think mine was closer to 3 1/2. It was amazingly puffy . Note I did NOTHING but mix to a shaggy stage with a rubber turns or twists or pinches etc. Nothing. I departed from his method at this point. I added the moistened salt by folding in the bowl. I then left it 30min and did a s&f on the board. Dough was SO extensible and puffy  . I waited 30 min and did another s&f. One more at 30 min and that was all. I had gorgeous gluten development. Since I knew I was making buns I then placed it in a bucket and retarded overnight in the fridge at 34 degrees. Look at that growth overnight !! It was barely at 2L when it went into the fridge . 

I removed gently from the bucket and used scissors to cut 3.5 oz pieces. Shaped gently and let rise 1 hr Brushed with egg yolk/half and half mix and sprinkled sesame seeds. Preheated oven to 500. Baked buns for 3 min at 500 and lowered to 475 for 12 min. Rotated pans top to bottom shelves and baked 5 more minutes at 450. Perfect. 








crumb shot added....tender and wonderfully flavorful...just a hint of the date sweetness. Amazingly fragrant crumb

trailrunner's picture


This is a further experiment with the rye banana SD I posted a week or so ago. I wanted to see what would happen if I got more  and quicker rise out of it and less sticky to work with . I used my AYW and made two levains. I also roasted the bananas as I had read that if they are cooked instead of raw they seem to not inhibit the action of the SD yeasts. I doubled the formula and made 3 approx 700 g boules this time. I also used my really big granite roaster circa 1940. all I can say. Two boules fit perfectly. No time at all in the oven to get to 500 degrees. I did two first and then remembered someone on here posted they threw in some icecubes into their roaster. I did it for number 3 and look at the ears !! Will do that from now on as well. Cast iron shall continue to reside in the basement....granite roaster is the way to go , at least for me. 

500 g mixed levain= 400g of 50% unbleached KA and 50% fresh milled rye at 100% hydration with banana yeast water ( made it from my AYW by adding fresh sliced bananas and waited a couple hours for lots of bubbles to appear then fed over a couple hours 2 x to get the 400g. Started with 10 g NMNF ) 

                                 100g AYW levain fed only KA 

440 g AP KA flour

90g freshly milled rye

110 g spring hard wheat flour

500g roasted bananas ( roast in peels at 300 degrees till black. let cool and squeeze out pulp and water ) 

70g date syrup

70g yogurt

18g salt 

mix everything but salt. I place salt on top of resting dough and spray well with water.  Let rest for an hour or so till puffy.  Do 30 turns in the bowl a few times every 30 min. incorporating salt and watching for texture of dough to become pliable. Remove from bowl and begin gentle stretch and folds a few times. Add in the chopped dates and pecans. I don't weigh these I go by how it looks and feels. Place dough in oiled container and let rest in warm place till about 50 % . Yeast water moves fast so don't leave it too long. shape as desired and cover and retard in fridge. I took these out of cold about 30 min before baking to get the YW started again. As dab noted YW loves warmth. Preheat granite ware pot to 500. Place loaves inside and throw in a few ice cubes. Cover and bake 500 for 10 min reduce to 475 for 10 min. Remove cover and cont to bake 475 for 20 min -----if making larger loaves adjust final uncovered time till 205 or so degrees. Amazing bread. Crumb pics added. This bread was impossible to resist. Still a little warm but we had it with " breakfast for dinner" . Those are strawberries with my homemade Meyer Lemon curd....oh yum !!  The bread has a delicious tender crumb. Banana flavor really comes through. Not as heavy as the other loaf as there is less rye. Could have put even more dates...can't have too many dates LOL !   Will not forget the ice cubes ever again. Will cut that loaf on Sunday at our pot luck at our Buddhist center and will see if there is any difference. Definitely a keeper loaf. I will be subbing other fruit for the banana and see what I get. Stay tuned. 



trailrunner's picture

the banana rye date and pecan bread made it to the iron skillet this morning! My maple syrup comes from a friends trees in Wisconsin. He taps each Spring. Delicious. 

trailrunner's picture

how often can a person make and eat pizza before they get tired of it ?  Apparently a LOT !!  I wanted to see how this dough would do after X days in a plastic bag in the fridge. The answer is wonderfully. Very  much improved flavor profile and great holes !!  I used some of my chef son's sweet Italian sausage and it really added to the flavor. Same mode of operation as far as the rest of it. Layered sliced provolone on the bottom crust after it had risen for a while on the stove top. I made sure a put plenty of EVOO in the skillet before I laid the dough in. I stretched it a bit and then went away. When I came back it was nicely puffy. I dimpled and pulled it a bit and then  Layered sliced provolone on the bottom crust . Topped with sauteed red onions and red pepper and then the sausage. Next was crumbled feta and then torn fresh mozzerella. Into a preheated 500 oven for 20 min. Took it out and drizzled the seasoned tomato sauce and then grated parm. In the oven again for 10 min or so still 500. 



trailrunner's picture

Oh my....that's about all I can say. The blue granite roaster is definitely the way to go , at least I will not be using my cast iron anymore. Look at that ear :) and caramelization.  I had extra ripe bananas and I remembered posts from Shiao - ping and txfarmer using bananas and SD. I read and read and came up with a formula. I have several more I am going to try as I get more bananas. The date syrup is from a Middle Eastern grocery in Las Vegas NV. That plus the bananas really make the crust darken but not burn. Smells like I was making candy caramels !  

244g rye levain 100%

220g unbleached flour

45g rye flour freshly milled

55 g Spring hard wheat flour

245g very ripe pureed bananas

35g date syrup + 35g yogurt

9 g salt 

a very wet and sticky dough. Tried folds in the bowl and that worked well. Only way I could do them on the table was with additional flour. Finally called it good and put the dough to bed in the cool mudroom. After 4 hrs it was light but not even 50%. Went ahead and shaped in my own fold/pinch/method and placed in banneton in mud room. After 4 hrs it looked good so I put it in the fridge and went to bed. Preheated oven at 500 with the roaster in the oven. Baked loaf 10 min at 500 lid on and 10 min at 475 lid on. Baked 20 min at 475 lid off. Perfect. Can't get over the spring achieved with the granite wear . Holds in the moisture, quick to preheat pot, not heavy to transfer and can easily bake successive loaves due to fast turnaround. I'm sold .

trailrunner's picture

Took a formula that Ian had posted some time back and made a few changes . He made enriched buns as did I but I had 750 grams leftover so shaped a batard and pinched the bottom with flour in the crack hoping for a burst of creativity !  I got it. 

700g starter- 600g rye and 100g AYW 

600 g unbleached KA bread flour

225g durum

200g spring wheat 

100g soft cheese ( I used Délice de Bourgogne with the blooming crust pulled off) 

100g soft butter

85 g maple syrup

32 g salt

approx 650g water 

autolysed the flours and water a couple hours while at gym. Added everything else and did 50 turns in the bowl pulling the sides up and over with a rubber spatula. Did 5 sets of 50  at approx 30 min intervals. Put dough in bucket and let it rest 2 hrs in warm place. Didn't rise at all. Took it out on floured table and did stretch and folds. Dough is so lovely and easy to work with. Did this a 15 min intervals x 5. Placed in bucket and set in cold mud room area overnight. Placed in fridge at 6 AM. Had risen 50%. Came home from gym and shaped cold dough into 2 doz 3 oz buns and one 750g batard. Let rise about 2 hrs. Baked the loaf first in my Mom's 1940's granite roaster. It is the best for baking !  I just put it in the oven as it preheats to 500. Pan gets hot really quickly. Place loaf in and cover. Baked 10 min at 500 and then reduced to 475 for 10 min all with lid on. Removed lid and had a big smile finished baking for 20 min lid off at 475. Reheated oven to 500 . Had previously brushed buns with egg yolk glaze and put on sesame seeds. Placed baking sheets back in cold mud room to wait for bread to bake. Retrieved cold buns and baked for 10 min at 500.  switched racks and reduced to 475 for 10 min , turned back up to 500 for 2 min to brown a bit more. Amazing fragrance. Will post crumb pic later. 








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