The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Saturday Baking

breadsong's picture

Saturday Baking


I've been watching shaping videos, including brand a new one! from Mark at The Back Home Bakery, thanks to freerk's recent post (please see his post here...) and everyone who responded! And many thanks to Mark and those who take the time to make these videos; they are such a great resource.

There was nothing to do except get my hands in some dough!

My husband had a craving for a simple white bread, so I made a batch of Mr. Hamelman's Toast Bread (I snuck in 3% of my Red Fife whole wheat flour for some extra flavor). I made 1.5 times the recipe so I would have a little extra to practice shaping with. 
This quantity made a pullman loaf, a small batard, and two different sizes of couronne bordelaise:

I shaped the small batard trying to use Mark's technique he just posted.
I shaped the couronnes using 1.5 ounce boules for the small one (proofed in a plastic wicker basket), and 2 ounce boules for the bigger one.
I rolled the dough circle for the small couronne a bit thicker, and am happier with the result after baking.

I gave my firebricks (I use these in place of a baking stone) a rest today, and was happy with how the bread baked and rose in the oven in the absence of using a stone. The loaves were nice and crackly too, after baking.

Still having some candied orange peel left over from Christmas baking, I made Gibassier (Ciril Hitz's beautiful recipe).
This is an orange and anise-flavored enriched dough, and the flavor is absolutely-out-of-this-world!!!
I am so glad I made these!:

SylviaH made these too; I found her post today - please see here.
I think she did a much nicer job than I!

Happy baking everyone! from breadsong



tempe's picture

What beautiful baking! Thanks for your post and pictures, very inspiring. tempe

breadsong's picture

Thank you so much, tempe!

From breadsong

GSnyde's picture

Your shaping skills are exceptional!  The couronnes are gorgeous.

And I've never heard of Gibassier, but I have to say: the Hitz just keep on coming!  They look delicious.

Great job.


breadsong's picture

The videos are fantastic and were a big help for trying the couronnes.
And Mark's video was amazing, showing very clearly and slowly what's supposed to happen.
Mr. Hitz's Gibassier is one of the most delicious sweet breads I've ever tasted. 
I wanted to make something special for Sunday morning breakfast, but my husband I couldn't wait to taste
and so shared one...before dinner!
From breadsong

Floydm's picture


I *love* gibassier.  One of these days I'll try making them.


breadsong's picture

I love the gibassier too - what a discovery. The aroma of the ingredients was wonderful when mixing and the promise of flavor was more than fulfilled once we got to taste one! from breadsong

dmsnyder's picture

I'd never heard of gibassier until i got Hitz's book, and they went on my "to bake" list immediately, where they have remained. I had one for the first time at the Pearl Bakery in Portland last Summer, and it was delicious. They will remain on my "to bake" list. Maybe they'll float to the top, but I first have to take off the very stubborn extra weight i gained testing recipes for Norm and Stan's book last Summer. 


breadsong's picture

The clarified butter the Gibassier are brushed with, and the sugar they are dredged in, definitely don't help in the calorie department! But my goodness they taste incredible - something to look forward to on the 'to bake' list.
When something like Gibassier comes along, my 'to bake' list might get shorter, but my 'favorites' list gets longer!  Thanks, from breadsong

Mebake's picture

Beautiful, breadsong! Quality Breads from you Home. I love how even Quick rise breads can also be tasty!

breadsong's picture

Hello, Saturday's breads did all taste very good and my husband was happy with his Toast Bread. I've always been very very happy with Mr. Hamelman's formulas and now another one, too from Mr. Hitz!  Thanks, from breadsong

SylviaH's picture

That was my first thought as I viewed all your breads and pastries...I love the gibassier, and I keep getting organic oranges but cant seem to get those peels candied, so I can make bake a batch...yours are ever so delicious and beautiful and it was a very kind of you to mention my bake.  I think they taste even better the next day.  


breadsong's picture

Hello Sylvia, Thank you so much.
We shared another Gibassier at breakfast and they are still fabulous!, with the anise flavor a little more pronounced than yesterday.
I was so happy to have orange flower water on hand - it lends a wonderful perfume along with the peel, anise and
olive oil. I just love the way the flavors blend together in this bread!
I thought you did a lovely job shaping your Gibassier, and great photos too in your post.
Thanks again, from breadsong


arlo's picture

Lovely shaping!

breadsong's picture

The videos are so helpful!

I picked up an inexpensive little plastic wicker-style basket, hoping it would provide a pretty flour pattern for a couronne. In addition to the flour pattern, I was happy to see the basket also left impressions and embossed the dough a little bit, too!

From breadsong

wally's picture

because I got winded just looking at what you managed to produce, breadsong!  Beautiful breads and pastry.  Lovely scoring as well (and shaping of the couronnes)!  Thanks for sharing.


breadsong's picture

Thanks so much, Larry!

Sylvia is an inspiration, considering her post today & what she just turned out of her WFO (in what I think was a single day?! amazing variety, and quantity, of mouth-watering foods!).

:^) from breadsong

kim's picture



Your breads and pastry are beautiful. You are really good at shaping as well as scoring right now. I'm still struggle with shaping and scoring right now.



breadsong's picture

Hello Kimmy, thank you so much.

I found Mr. Hamelman's formula for Toast Bread a good one to practice shaping with; at 66% hydration, it wasn't too sticky and held its shape well, and was good to work with for the shapes I was practicing yesterday.

Improving on shaping and getting good surface tension on loaves has been helping me with scoring.

I have a few posts saved in my TFL favorites that have links to video for shaping; this information has been quite helpful. I have posted the links below in case you haven't seen these posts:

In addition to the good video posted by Ciril Hitz on youtube, there's other good shaping video on these sites too: 

Thanks again and wishing you every success with your baking -- from breadsong

Franko's picture

Excellent looking breads and pastries breadsong!

I think I'll have to put those gibassier on my to do list as well, they sound wonderful. Mark did make a really good shaping video, but you're obviously a quick study to pick it up so fast and with such good results. Beautiful shaping and baking on all your items, nicely done!


breadsong's picture

Thank you - I appreciate your comments very much!
I'm sure you'll really like the of the nicest things I've ever baked flavor-wise.
Thanks again - from breadsong

LindyD's picture

What lovely and interesting shapes!

Accolades to your baking and organizational skills!

breadsong's picture

I'm much more motivated to get up early on baking day, so I can get to the fun stuff.
Thanks, Lindy! from breadsong

em120392's picture

breadsong, these are fantastic! i'm in love with the couronne bordelaises. the impression of the basket makes a very interesting pattern! thanks for the video links as well.


breadsong's picture

Hello, Thank you so much for your nice comment!

I just came across this post today - really good demonstrations of all sorts of bread shapes - thought I'd include the link in case you find it interesting:

Happy baking to you! from breadsong