The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Benito's picture

Some of you maybe familiar with anko, but for those of you who aren’t it is a paste that is made from azuki beans and sweetened with sugar and is a popular component in many Asian desserts.  For this bread, I made a Koshian Anko (smooth anko) but a Tsubuan or chunky anko could be used as well.  If anyone is interested I can post the recipe for the anko.

Overnight levain build

14 g starter + 86 g cold water + 86 g bread flour left to ferment at 77ºF overnight.


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.


Prepare Koshian  (smooth) Anko 1 day ahead of time, use 65 g.



The next morning mix the following except for the butter.

312 g bread flour

1 large egg

30 g sugar

126 g milk

6 g salt

180 g levain 


Using a standmixer, mix until incorporated at low speed.  Then mix at higher speed until gluten well formed.  Then gradually add the butter and mix until the dough is elastic, shines and smooth.

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 anko paste 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 12” and placing that on top of the plain rolled out dough.  Finally rolling the anko dough out again to 12” and finally placing that on top of the black sesame dough.


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. 


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.


justkeepswimming's picture

This was on my list of things to bake. It was good, though the anise flavor was a bit srong for me (and I like anise!). It overpowered everything else. It was a new jar, and likely more fresh than the fennel and caraway I had on hand. 

I followed the recipe as described, but made it in a small pullman pan instead. So much easier for sandwiches and toast! It was fantastic toasted with butter and marmalade.

The dough was pretty wet and sticky, and I almost didn't score it. It would have been fine without, I suspect, still learning when to just let that go.  A few slices made it into the freezer for another day. Next time I'll try a little less seasoning and a bit more orange zest. 

alfanso's picture

Now my second post of a bread from the Kingdom Bakery videos.  The prior was for a polenta based bread.  And his method of mixing and folding this dough had me curious enough.  Also this employs a poolish, something I hadn't done before with ciabatta, as it was always either biga or levain.  

A third curiosity for me is the low hydration.  At 73% this is certainly the lowest hydration ciabatta that I've ever made.  And it all went along smoothly. Of course with learning my way though this.  

I would have rather had shorter length loaves, but that will be corrected, along with other minor corrections, the next time.  I already like this method and formula.

A very soft crumb, and an extra-crunchy crust.  Just what I like!

Ed. The dough is actually 76% hydration with the consideration that the oil is a liquid and is to be included in the overall hydration.

500g x 3 ciabatta loaves

Kistida's picture

This is our favorite currently. Even with the lower hydration than what we are used to, it’s a delicious bread! 

This is Bertinet’s version: 

Preferment (Fermented white dough 10 - 12 hours) 

  • 3g instant yeast 
  • 500g all purpose flour 
  • 350g water 
  • 10g salt 


  • All of the preferment 
  • 3g instant yeast 
  • 50g water
  • 250g all purpose flour 
  • 50g unsalted butter 
  • 5g salt 

and this from

Preferment (10-12 hours) 

  • 450g bread flour 
  • 270g water
  • 1g instant yeast
  • 8g salt 


  • 690g preferment
  • 250 g bread flour
  • 65g water
  • 45g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2g dry yeast
  • 4g salt


Day 1 evening:

  1. Mix all preferment ingredients until just combined with no traces of flour. 
  2. Cover and let it stand at room temperature for 10 to 12 hours. 


Day 2 morning:

  1. Add flour, salt, yeast, butter and water to the preferment. Mix until a homogeneous dough forms. 
  2. Then, knead the dough by folding it on itself and pressing down hard with the heel of your hand. Continue kneading for about 10 to 15 minutes until the dough is smooth. 
  3. Alternatively, the dough can also be kneaded by bringing a rolling pin down hard across the dough, then press the dough down to flatten. After that fold it on itself. Repeat this for 10 to 15 minutes until the dough is smooth.
  4. First proofing: Form the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let it rest for 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Pre-shaping: On a clean counter (no flour), shape the dough into a ball. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes. 
  6. Final shaping: Shape the dough into a boule or bâtard. Lay it seam side down on a lightly floured cloth-lined tray.
  7. Second proofing: Cover with and let it proof for 1 hour at room temperature. 
  8. While the dough is proofing, place a tray or dish on the lowest shelf of the oven and a bake sheet (for the loaf) on the middle rack. Preheat the oven to 450ºF/230ºC. 
  9. Gently transfer the proofed dough to a piece of parchment paper or a floured peel. 
  10. Score the dough: Begin by scoring a deep line (about 1 cm deep) in the middle of the dough. Then score shorter lines (about 2 or 3) on either side of the middle line. 
  11. Pour about 1 cup of boiling water into the tray at the bottom shelf of the oven and spray the walls of the oven with water.
  12. Quickly transfer the scored loaf to the bake sheet using the parchment paper or peel. 
  13. Spray the walls of the oven again before quickly closing the oven door. 
  14. Bake at 450ºF/230ºC for 10 minutes. 
  15. Then, lower the temperature to 420ºF/220ºC and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and registers at least 190°F/88°C. 
  16. Turn off the oven. Remove the loaf from the parchment and baking sheet. Then, let it cool in the slowly cooling down oven on the middle rack with the oven door partially open. Let the loaf cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.  


Benito's picture

I am not having any luck with my 100% whole grain bakes.  I thought I’d give it another try, but this time with a different grain, this is a stoneground 100% whole wheat.  I should have applied some of the lessons from my previous two whole red fife bakes, those would have been to lower the hydration (isn’t that what we always advise new bakers?  I should take my own advice) and reduce the proofing.  Being a bit stubborn I went ahead and ignored some of that advice and thought that it was the red fife flour that was the problem.  No I think my methods and high hydration are the problem.  

 Overnight levain build and saltolyse as per spreadsheet.


In the morning add levain to saltolyse dough, mix to incorporate with Rubaud mixing.


Slap and fold to good gluten development. 

Rest 30 min then bench letterfold ferment at 82ºF removing 30 g of dough for aliquot jar

Rest 30 min then lamination

Then every 30 mins coil fold until dough showing good structure


End bulk when aliquot jar 60% rise

Shape then bench rest until aliquot jar 100% rise  

Then cold retard until next day.


Next day

Preheat oven 500ºF with dutch oven inside.

Once over reaches temp, turn dough out of banneton, score and bake in dutch oven for 20 mins at 450ºF with lid on.  Drop temperature to 420ºF and bake 10 mins with lid on.

Remove lid band bake for 20 mins or until done with the bread out of the dutch oven on rack directly.

Not sure I will keep banging my head on the wall with doing 100% whole grain.  Perhaps for me, doing 75-80% might be the sweet spot.  That amount of whole grain certainly has the flavour and has been much more successful for me.  On the other hand I hate calling it quits and not figuring something out so who knows.....

Anyhow, not my finest baking that’s for sure.


idaveindy's picture

March 16, 2021.

I didn't get around to taking pictures of the loaf. But I wanted to share the baking set-up.  This was the first time that I've used an inverted bowl to steam.

I used a 15" Lodge cast iron skillet. 15" is the outer diameter at the upper rim. It has a 12-1/4" inside diameter at the inside bottom.  I bought it new on Amazon when it was on sale for $40, including shipping.

The Lodge 15" skillet fits in my American 30" outer-width oven. Inside oven width is about 23".

I used a 14-7/8" diameter cordierite pizza stone to shade the skillet from the radiant heat of the lower electric heating element.  I use this same pizza stone with my Lodge 3.2 quart combo cooker. I always put it on a rack one position lower than the baking vessel, so the baking vessel is not sitting on the stone.

The banneton is 11-7/8" outside diameter at the rim, and 11-1/4" inside diameter at the rim. Bannetons are listed by outside diameter on Amazon, so figure that the inner diameter is  5/8" or about .6" less than outer diameter.

The steel bowl is 12-3/8" outside diameter at the rim, and 11-3/4" inside diameter at the rim.  So it sits on the sloped sides of the skillet, just barely above the flat inner bottom.  The bowl surface is shiny/polished (not the dull "burnish" if that's the word) inside and out. I likely purchased it at Big Lots or an Indian grocery store. 

My dough did not fill the inner diameter of the banneton. So comparing the dimensions, I figured if the dough did not spread too much, it would not touch the sides of the steel bowl.

As usual, I didn't get  the vertical loft that I wanted but the # style scoring opened well, and the crumb was decent.

The dough mass weighed 2040 grams, 4.497 pounds,  right before putting it in the banneton. It picked up some rice and bread flour from the banneton, and I sprinkled some durum semolina onto what would be the bottom of the loaf. Though it lost moisture during final proofing.

The loaf weighed 1847 grams, 4.140 pounds, about 1/2 hour after baking. 

It was my biggest loaf so far. I now wish I had photographed it.

Bertiebuoy's picture



This may have been posted a million times but I can't find it.


I use the tartine recipe with 50% wholewheat and 50% white. 80% hydration. (800g guess it's actually higher? maths not my strong point.


I make levain night before. start loaves in morning. Ready for 3-4 hour prove by lunchtime. I sticj them in the fridge till the evening and bake then. I'd really like to leave them overnight but when I do this they seem to have peeked and lost a lot of their spring. Anyone have experience of this? Am I being too hopefui leaving them all night?



Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Recipe from

It has very little semolina flour, so I decided not to post it into the semolina CB.

Used an overnight levain with bread flour based on my refrigerated rye starter. Followed the recipe exactly (halved though, for one loaf), even the timings seemed to be spot on. The only two minor issues were that I didn't break up the boiled potato enough and there were a few small lumps in the dough, and I didn't manage to develop a smooth and strong dough upfront with slap&folds, so gave it a couple of folds in the first half of the 6 hours bulk. It felt much wetter than what's shown in the video. However it turned into a really lovely dough in the end, very strong and puffy.

The size of the loaf turned out to be a problem: I usually use my 750g banneton for 900g loaves without issues, but here the recipe said it should double during final proof, and the benneton was almost full already in the beginning. So I had to improvise a couche-based proofing setup, which worked OK, but not great - I didn't manage to contain the loaf properly and it spread out during the proof, so it was on the flat side in the end.

Baked for 25 min with steam and until good colour without. Got appreciable oven spring, but since started from a flattish-loaf it's not very tall in the end.

The crust has a bit of that semolina colour and crunch, and the crumb is very soft. Tender and tasty.

However I am not sure about the crumb structure. It has very big holes, but with the length of fermentation that went into it (around 10 hours total, at ~23C), I can't believe it's underproofed. Is it possible that such structure can be caused by going through a flat stage, and some central alveoli merging at that point?

Kistida's picture

These go so well with curries (my fav chicken tikka masala gravy)

Makes about 6 - 8 naans, cooked on a cast iron skillet 

  • 3g instant yeast 
  • 100g warm water 
  • 15g white sugar
  • 40g milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 270 g all purpose flour
  • 30g / 2 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter, melted
Kistida's picture

This is the 3rd time I’m making these buns and instead of a tz plain dough, I used potato in this batch. I realize after these came out from the oven that the soft cookie topping still needs more espresso in it, and I’ve to pipe more too! Good thing they’re super tasty even with mistakes. 


Subscribe to RSS - blogs