The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

XXVIII – Just to Prove…

lumos's picture

XXVIII – Just to Prove…

….that I’m still baking!

The photos of some of the breads I’ve baked since Christmas.


 These are three loaves I baked to take to my in-laws for Christmas and Boxing Day dinners. Nothing special, just a few selections from my regular loaves….to play safe.

Pain Rustique with Parmesan and Edamame (front – recipe link)  and my basic sourdough with Walnuts (back – recipe link)


My safest crowd-pleaser, cocoa flavoured sourdough with cranberry and walnut. (recipe link)



And some of the breads I've baked since January.....

Pain de ‘Suburb of Dijon’ with Mixed Levain (original recipe here, but I used mixed levain of strong flour and WW flour for this loaf for more rustic flavour)


A variation of above but with reduced WW in the main dough ingredients.

The thing I wanted to show here, almost as much as the bread, is the wooden board the bread is sitting on is my new toy.  With generous size of 56cm x 46cm, it’s large enough for most of pastry/bread making work.   Thoroughly recommend it to all UK home bakers! Period. (Note : you can get an almost identical one from John Lewis at L.60.-, if you’re desperate to over-spend money. :p)


 And lastly, a few glimpse on my current, on-going experiment; an attempt to re-create Pain L’ancienne by a small artisan bakery, Earth Crust, who has a truly great stall with various breads and other baked goodies at the farmer’s market on Market Square in Cambridge town centre. It’s quite different from Pain L’ancienne by Peter Reinhart or Daniel Leader which looks like a rustic ancestor of baguette. It’s a large loaf which, I suppose, is very similar to Pain Rustique in appearance, but with more chewy texture with good bite and lots of large holes.  It’s sourdough based and has good deep flavour.

 Have experimented a few times, and I think the flavour is getting closer but can’t get  the texture right!!!!


…….so the quest continues……






dmsnyder's picture


lumos's picture

Thanks, David! :)

varda's picture

seeing what you have been baking.   And anxiously awaiting your formula for the Ancient (or old-fashioned?) Bread because it looks really wonderful.  -Varda

lumos's picture

Thank you, Varda!  I'm anxiously awaiting the day when I manage to perfect my imitation L'ancienne, too! ....hope it won't be too long ahead..... :p   

Janetcook's picture


I am glad to see a post from you filled with more beautiful loaves.  I love your scoring - actually I envy it :-).  The crusts all look so inviting.  You have given me new scoring patterns to work with.

Thank You!

Take Care,



lumos's picture

Thanks, Janet, for your kind words.  Sorry total lack of detailed formulae for those breads this time.   ;)

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Looking forward to tasting the real thing,


lumos's picture

Hi Juergen, thanks! Hope I won't disappoint you...!

Sheblom's picture

Great looking bread man. Hopefully my loafs will come out that good some day! 

I am truly jealous of your new toy!

lumos's picture

Thank you Shelblom....except for I'm not man. LOL

Yeah, that wooden board is really great.  Just what I've been looking for years and years, and finally!  

Sheblom's picture

haha sorry about that! 

lumos's picture

No worry. You're not the first one. ;)

ananda's picture

Hi lumos,

What a fantastic selection of breads you are showcasing here.

Lovely!   And the last formula which you are currently working on looks particularly good.

Very best wishes


lumos's picture

Thank you, Andy.  The original one is really good, I'm almost tempted  to drive north on M11 for 1 hr to Cambridge just to get that bread.  Actually whenever I go to Cambridge these days, I'm more looking forward to buying the bread than seeing my daughter!  :p  They used to sell very authentic Campaillou, too, which is my all time favourite, but they seem to have changed the recipe a few years ago for some reason and it's not that good any more.  But now I discovered L'Ancienne instead.  (...or rather, Daisy discovered it when we met for the first time in Cambridge) 

Salilah's picture

Wonderful looking breads!! (as expected <grin>) - these are superb...

Which day do you go to the market?  I've not seen these guys before - mind you, we hardly ever go into the centre - the Farmers Market is on a Sunday, but we typically are there on Saturday if we are there at all... 

As others, I'm fascinated to try the recipe when you've worked out what it should be - I love the idea of trying to recreate a bread that I've tasted somewhere, I've just got a long way to go yet!
(PS went to Moro night before last after the Flamenco Festival at Sadlers Wells - huge great miche that they were chunking up for the tables - nice taste but strange, "moister" than mine according to Chris, but tasting a bit floury according to me!)

lumos's picture

Hi Sali. Thanks! :)

Yep, 'the official' Farmers market is on Sundays, but I haven't been to it, so not sure if Earth's Crust there on Sundays.  The one I usually go to is their regular, daily market (perhaps they don't call it 'farmer's market' as there're more non-food stalls than food-related...)  on Mon-Sat, and Earth's Crust is there every day.  You won't miss it because it quite large stall and the only bread stall there.   

The varieties of breads they sell is really, really amazing and they all look good, but I've only tried a few of them as I'd always bee-lined for Campaillou when it was good and now to Pain L'ancienne.    Their ciabatta looks quite inviting, actually.....

I love the idea of trying to recreate a bread that I've tasted somewhere,

I tend to do that quite a lot, not only with breads but also with other cooking.   S'ppose I took it from my mother because she used do that often; re-creating the foods we had in restaurants....and we used to eat out almost every weekend as a family when we're kids.  Food obsession runs in the family....:p

Had a very similar experience at Moro with their bread on our first visit.  Quite disappointed as I'd heard such a good reputation about their bread.  But on the second visit, it was so much better and tasted really good.  It was extremely busy on our first visit (Saturday lunch), so possibly they had to serve some loaves that were baked on the day.  I think that sort of sourdough bread needs to be rested for a day or two to develop the flavour....and get rid of excess moisture, perhaps.  


dabrownman's picture

will my breads become fantastic like yours are?

lumos's picture

That's rather flattering, I'm brushing....

I'm no where 'fantastic' compared to other, truly fantastic bakers on this forum, but thanks to them I'm slowly improving, I guess....;)


PiPs's picture

Hi Lumos,

So great to see you have been busy in the kitchen.  "Nothing special" you say .... I beg to differ, I see a really superb selection of amazing breads!

I'll have a loaf of the Pain de ‘Suburb of Dijon’  please ...



lumos's picture

Thanks, Phil, for your compliment. Means a lot coming from an exceptional baker like you.

hehe, I'm still trying to get nearer to the town centre than the suburb of Dijon.   Havent' got around to perfect it yet..... :p

Mebake's picture

Glad to know you're baking on... What a lovely assortment of breads, Lumos! beautiful breads..

I'll try your coco flavored bread... it will be pricey, as cranberries are rare and expensive. I'am looking for coco satisfaction for me wife :P



lumos's picture

Hi Khalid, thanks! Lovely to hear from you, too.

It doesn't have to be cranberries, you know.  I sometimes use other dried fruits like apricot. It also works quite well with white chocolate if you want to be naughtier. :p  I'm actually proofing one as we speak with the same base dough but with just walnuts for my friend.

SylviaH's picture

I especially love the edamame loaf.  I meant to stop by sooner. I'm running about 2 days behind myself..Your baking photos are so lovely and you have been busy.


lumos's picture

Hi, Sylvia. Thanks for dropping in. :)

It was good job all those breads were what I've already blogged about (and its variations).  I could just post the photos and paste the link to the original recipes. :p