The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


VickiePNW's picture

My first post at TFL, blog or otherwise. Long time lurker. My favorite bread is ciabatta and my favorite form is the roll for sandwiches. I was buying the artisan rolls at Costco but wanted lighter, more ciabatta-like rolls. I found that making rolls is a lot harder than making ciabatta slippers, which I was getting pretty good at, thanks to TFL, before switching to rolls.

So I found these little pint size tubs online, 3" square on bottom, 4" square on top, 2 1/2" high, and thought these might work. So far, with 3 bakes, my rolls are more square.

Benito's picture

I wanted to gift a loaf of bread to some friends, and I knew that one of them has seen my last swirl bread and loved it.  So I wanted to bake another version of this but with another variation as I wasn’t sure if they’d like anko or knew what it is.  Since purple sweet potatoes are one of my favorite inclusions after black sesame and go so well with the black sesame’s nutty flavour it was the perfect combination.

Overnight levain build

14 g starter + 86 g cold water + 86 g bread flour left to ferment at 74ºF overnight.

Take butter out when build levain.


For the Black sesame powder


Grind 86 g of toasted black sesame seeds (I used a coffee grinder) then combine with 18 g of sugar.  Cover and set aside until the morning.


Steam and mash a purple sweet potato, you’ll need about 60-80 g or as much as you’d like to make a nice purple dough.


The next morning mix the following except for the butter.

282 g bread flour

1 large egg

30 g sugar

126 g milk

6 g salt


180 g levain 

Mix to full gluten development.


Blend 30 g of room temperature butter with 30 g of bread flour.  This makes it easier to incorporate the butter into the dough.  Add this to the dough until it comes back together. The dough should be shiny, smooth and elastic.

Remove the dough from the mixer, shape into a ball and divide into approximate thirds.  Shape the largest third into a boule and set aside covered with a towel.


Take the smallest third and combine with the black sesame powder and knead by hand until the black sesame powder is well incorporated.  Shape into a boule and set aside under a tea towel.

Finally take the third dough ball and gradually combine with the mashes purple sweet potato smearing it on the surface and folding it in.  Knead until the dough is a uniform colour and smooth.  Shape into a boule and place under a tea towel to rest for 5 mins.


Lightly flour a work surface and the plain dough boule.  Roll out to at least 12” in length and almost as wide as the length of your pan, set aside.  Continue to do the same with the other two balls next rolling the black sesame dough out to at least 12” in length  and placing that on top of the plain rolled out dough.  Finally rolling the purple sweet potato dough out again to 12” and finally placing that on top of the black sesame dough.  


Roll the laminated three doughs out to about 16-18” in length.  Next tightly roll the laminated doughs starting with the short end until you have a swirled log.  Place the log in your prepared Pullman pan with the seam side down (I like to line it with parchment so it is easy to remove from the pan).  Place in the proofing box set to 82-84ºF to proof until the dough comes to approximately 1 cm below the edge of the Pullman pan.  This takes about 8-8.5 hours at 82ºF, the yeast isn’t likely to be osmotolerant so it will take longer than you would normally expect.


At about 30 mins before you think your dough will be at 1 cm below the edge of the pan, preheat your oven to 355ºF with a rack or baking steel/stone on the lowest rack.  At this time prepare an egg wash and gently brush it on the top of the dough.  When the oven is ready 30 mins later, brush the top of the dough again with the egg wash.  Bake for 45 mins turning once halfway through.  Keep an eye on the top crust and be prepared to shield it with either aluminum foil or a cookie tray above if it is getting dark too soon.  After 45 mins remove from the pan to check for doneness.  Place the bread back in the oven for another 5 minutes to ensure that the crust on the sides is fully set and baked.



Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool completely before slicing.


Hopefully my friends will send me some photos of the crumb that I can share.  Fingers crossed that they enjoy this bread and that it was properly proofed and baked.  This is the first time they are having any of my bread that I’ve baked.


Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Wouldn't say it is very far outside my comfort zone, but still - as far as I remember, this is the first time I managed a loaf with high % spelt that didn't turn into a pancake a bit. Almost 40% spelt (just all I had left), total 60% whole grain - also unusually high for me, I rarely go above 40%. Also used some old stiff wheat starter (wanted to use it for another bake, and decided instead of discarding just to use it), and added a little fresh rye starter to ensure fermentation moves along. Here is the approximate formula (was adding things and weighing, and wrote down afterwards, so hope I didn't mix up any numbers):

Just mixed everything without any autolyse, did some slap&folds until partial development, then did some folds in the first couple of hours, and left to ferment. Perhaps because of high whole grain %, and addition of diastatic malt, bulk was done within 6 hours (total from mixing) despite low inoculation (<5% PFF). I kept it warm too. Might have been just a little overfermented even: was OK to shape, but just a tad more sticky than I expected. Coated in sesame seeds and retarded overnight. Baked covered for 20 min at 250C, uncovered until I liked the colour at 230C with convection (~15 min).

Not the tallest loaf, but I am very pleasantly surprised with the crumb for such high % whole grain! Don't often get it this open even for more typical for me formulas. Flavour is unsurprisingly very pronounces, but not overpowering. Sesame seeds as usual provide nice contrast.

BlueMag's picture

Hey Everyone,

Question for you.  I was recently asked to participate in a local farmer's market and wanted to ask the community for advice on essential set up materials for my booth.  Outside of a table, a pop-up tent, and a POS are there some must have items you've found that make selling easier?

Also my main question is how I should bring the loaves.  Should I bring them already packaged and have a few loaves in a display case or should I bring everything in a prep bin and bag them on-site?  I'm thinking pre-packaged would be easy-peasy but if I have a slow market I've wasted bags, ink, staples etc and maybe folks might want to select the ear that speaks to them? lol.

I don't want to reinvent the wheel here so any suggestions how best to run an efficient set up would be much appreciated.   

Thanks so much!


HeiHei29er's picture

I've been thinking about learning to make ciabatta buns for pulled pork sandwiches this summer.  I've never made ciabatta or buns, so decided to try it for the No Comfort Zone Community Bake.  In addition to the new bread and shaping, it's the first time I've used a white flour at higher than 70% hydration, which was a whole new set of challenges too!

I referenced the prior CIabatta CB and picked the Craig Ponsford recipe.  Only deviation from it was hand mixing (got to try Rubaud mixing for the first time) and lowered the salt to 2% versus 2.5% (my calculation of 1-3/8 tsp in Baker's %).

I combined final dough ingredients without the yeast for a 30 minute saltolyse.  In hind sight, not the best idea.  I left a little bit of water back to activate the final dough yeast, but with that, I didn't have any water left to thin out the biga.  It took quite a bit of pinching and folding to get things reasonably mixed before Rubaud's.  I did two Rubaud's (5 minute each) with a 5 minute rest between.  I thought the gluten was reasonably developed, but was unsure with that high hydration.  Next time, I think I'd do a third Rubaud.  Dough remained very slack throughout bulk fermentation.

Did folds every 20 minutes per the method.  I used coil folds to minimize handling the sticky dough.  I do my bulk in a lightweight plastic bowl, and the bowl kept lifting with the dough.  After the third fumbling with the bowl while trying to fold, I transferred the dough to a Pyrex baking dish.  That worked much better.

Dough expanded 2x+ at the 2 hr 45 minute mark of bulk fermentation and dough was very jiggly.  Moved to shaping.  I had no idea how much oven spring I'd get, so I decided to divide the dough into 8 buns.  The dough pieces were small enough that there really wasn't any shaping to do.  I cut the bun pieces off the main dough with a bench scraper and weighed them.  Extra scrap pieces were taken off or added to hit the weight target (70-75g), and the dough was still so wet, that they easily molded into the doughs without pre-shaping.  

I have a round pizza stone to bake on, but I don't have a baker's linen or couche.  I put a piece of parchment on the stone and traced the perimeter of it on the paper.  This let me know where to place the doughs.  Both sides of the doughs were heavily floured and then they were covered with a tea towel for final proof.  Because I was pretty clumsy and trying to be really careful for the first 3-4 doughs, it took a good 15-20 minutes to get them divided and on the parchment.  After those first few, I got less finicky and figured a "rustic" look would be just fine.  Function before form...  Because of that lag, the first dough pieces had quite a bit more final proofing time than the last.  The method called for 45 minutes.  At that time, the first doughs were well risen and the last were a little bit flat.  Hopefully can divide quicker next time to keep the second proof a little more even.

I used a large cookie sheet upside down as a pseudo peel.  I put the parchment on the cookie bottom of the sheet and then held it next to the pre-heated stone in the oven.  I grabbed the edge of the parchment and slid it off the sheet and onto the stone.

Definitely learned a few things on this bake, but I'm a little less intimidated by high hydration doughs now.  :-)

Biga after mixing

Biga After 22 hours

Dough after Rubaud mixing

End of bulk

Divided and on parchment after second rise

In the oven after baking

dvdnvl's picture

This weekend’s round of bagels (Reinhart, BBA) and sourdough (Hamelman, Vermont sourdough) turned out pretty good. Bottom of rounds took a bit too much heat... didn’t have my baking stone or anything below the dutch ovens, whoops. Still working on basics... 

Danni3ll3's picture



I have a stash of seeds in the fridge that need using up so I thought that Hamelman’s 5 grain levain would be perfect for this, plus it is so incredibly good! I kept the weight the same but went to town with the selection of seeds. I also changed the selection and quantity of flours. Because of all these changes, I’m not calling it 5 grain levain. 😁


For some reason, I thought that Hamelman did a ferment-autolyse without the soaker so that’s what I did. When I went back to check, he puts everything in the bowl except for the salt. Oh well! 🤷🏻‍♀️




Makes 3 large loaves



50 g cracked rye berries 

50 g cracked oat groats

50 g raw sunflower seeds

50 g old fashioned oats (large flake)

36 g millet seeds

36 g amaranth seeds

25 g black sesame seeds

25 g chia seeds 

50 g flax seeds (freshly ground)

7 g salt

448 g boiling water



70 g twice refreshed starter (procedure in recipe)

275 g strong baker’s unbleached flour

345 g filtered water

Extra wholegrain flour to refresh the levain


Main Dough:

600 g strong baker’s unbleached flour

100 g freshly milled Selkirk flour

50 g freshly milled Rye flour

77 g freshly milled Durum flour

30 g plain yogurt from the local dairy

330 g filtered water

21 g Pink Himalayan salt

Extra 50-70 g water


Two nights before:

  1. Before bed, take 5 g of your refrigerated starter and refresh it with 10 g of filtered water and 10 g of wholegrain flour, and let it rise overnight at cool room temperature.


The morning before:

  1. Feed 30 g of filtered water and 30 g of wholegrain flour, to your levain and let rise throughout the day at cool room temperature.


The evening before:

  1. Coarsely mill the rye berries and oat groats  to crack them. 
  2. To this combo, add all the seeds aside from the flax. Toast in a 350 F oven or in a dry frying pan until lightly golden and fragrant.
  3. Grind the flax seeds in a “Bullet” or coffee grinder and add to the toasted seeds.
  4. Add the salt and the boiling water. Stir, cover and let cool overnight 
  5. Measure out the flours for the main dough and place in a tub. Reserve.
  6. Eleven hours before the the final mixing of the dough, add the 275 g of strong baker’s unbleached flour and the 345 g of water to the levain and keep covered at room temperature (74 F).


Dough making day:

  1. Place the dough water in the bottom of a mixing bowl, add the yogurt and 620 g of the levain. Stir and add the reserved flours. Using a stand mixer, mix on the lowest speed until you have a shaggy dough with no dry flour. Let sit for one hour.
  2. Add the soaker and mix on speed one for 3 minutes. If the dough start climbing the hook, add the extra water bit by bit until it smooths out. I made 4 batches and some needed 50 g, others needed more. 
  3. Add the salt and mix on speed two for 4 minutes.
  4. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place in a tub. 
  5. Let the dough rise for an hour in a warm spot, do a coil fold and then let rise another hour until double (I gave my dough an extra hour as it wasn’t moving very fast and it never did double. Maybe I should have let it go longer but I had other things to attend to). 
  6. Pour the dough out onto a bare counter and divide into 3 loaves of about 900 g. (I differed from this. I made boules of 830 g and combined the leftover 210 g of the 4 batches into an extra loaf. I wasn’t sure that 900 g would fit my Dutch ovens during baking). 
  7. Lightly flour the top of the portions and gently round into boules using a dough scraper. Let rest 30 minutes on the counter. 
  8. Do a final shape by flouring the rounds and flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and fold over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Use your hands and a bench knife to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make a nice right boule. This dough was quite sticky so I used more flour than usual during shaping. 
  9. Sprinkle a mix of rice and AP flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons, cover, let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed overnight in a cold (38F) fridge.



  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475 with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 475 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes. Internal temperature should be 205F or more.


Oven spring wasn’t what I’ve been getting lately but then again, there are a ton of seeds in this bread. 

Kistida's picture

Thanks to yozzaause’s wonderful post, I made a dozen of these knotty buns for a little weekend trip with hubby. They’re an adaption from KAB and gozney. Glazed with warm orange syrup instead of a sprinkle of powdered sugar. 

HeiHei29er's picture

Long week at work and wanted to do a simple bake to start the weekend before trying my Go Out of Your Comfort Zone CB tomorrow.  I got this recipe from Abe, and it works really well.  Has room for flexibility on the flour selection.  I just got a bag of barley flour in, so I added some of that into the mix this time.  First time using barley flour with an AP/Bread flour base (have only used it with WW before this), and the aroma of the barley definitely comes through more on the finished bread.

Method is similar to a 1-2-3, but much lower inoculation and longer bulk ferment.  Mix and develop medium gluten at the most.  Despite the barley being low on gluten, this came together really fast.  Just a few turns of hand kneading is all it took.  Just stretch and folds after that to continue gluten development.  Woke up for a few minutes in the middle of the night, so gave it a quick bowl S&F then before it got too puffy.

Tried a new scoring pattern to get good bloom and expansion, but keep the gas flow uniform vs channeling it to a single score line.  Will see how it worked later today/tonight.  Hoping for a sandwich loaf type crumb with a few open spaces.


Benito's picture

Still trying to improve my 100% whole grain baking.  In this iteration I changed two things I believe needed to be addressed.  I’ve lowered the hydration and reduced the final proof.  I believe those changes have helped but still not quite where I want this to be, particularly the oven spring.  Despite the dough coming out of the banneton and standing tall, there was still more spread during baking than I want to see.  So it is still overproofed.  As some more knowledgeable whole grain bakers have identified, red fife doesn’t seem to be very fermentation tolerant.  


This time did a morning levain build 1:3:3 15 g + 47 g + 47 G

Morning saltolyse starting in fridge and then taking out before going to work.

Greatly reduced hydration from 86% to 80%

1220 pm bulk started levain added and in bowl Rubaud done

1250 pm 500 slap and folds completed with good gluten development

110 pm bench letterfold

140 pm lamination

210 pm coil fold

240 pm coil fold

310 pm coil fold 

Shaped at 60% 445 pm

510 pm 75-80%


The dough was fermenting very rapidly, I wanted some bench time before cold retard, but barely caught it before it was almost at 80%.

I think I’ll need to shape when the aliquot jar shows 50% and start cold retard at 60-70% next time.  I’m not sure that I need to reduce hydration more or not.  I’ll have to look at the crumb later to assess.

Anyhow, better than my previous, but I really need to shape a bit earlier and cold retard sooner or bake after the bench rest without cold retard. 


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