The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

A Grab-Bag of Bakes

a_warming_trend's picture

A Grab-Bag of Bakes

It's been a busy few weeks, both with baking and with other areas of life! As always, baking grounds me. The's one of the best things about it.

These first few loaves were my first semi-official "commissions" from a coworker. I've baked dozens and dozens of loaves for my workplace, and dozens more as gifts, but this particular coworker insisted on compensating me; she wanted me to do the work of calculating my labor, my ingredients, and consideration of the prices of competition in the area. I still actually haven't settled on a price! This is the kind of thing that's really hard for me. Anyway, I ended up baking four loaves for her, all sourdough:

1) Everything Bagel-Style SD

2) Parmesan-Encrusted SD

3) Chocolate Chunk SD

4) Simple SF-Style SD

Then, I did a couple of 20% rye, 40% whole wheat torpedos with toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds

And finally, SD with browned butter and brown sugar, which tasted like a cross between brioche and a croissant! I wrote out the formula I developed and included it below. The hydration is slightly lower than it was on the pictured bake, but I think this will improve the ovenspring without hurting the quality of the crumb. Happy Friday to all. 

Sourdough with Browned Butter and Brown Sugar


200 g 100% hydration mature white sourdough starter (however you want to create that levain)

280 g cool water

400 g all-purpose flour 
80 g light brown sugar
80 g browned butter
11 g (sea) salt


1) Mix flour and water until combined, and autolyse for 2-8 hours at room temperature.

2) In a saucepan, bring the butter to a slow boil over medium heat. Watch very carefully--this will only take 2-4 minutes. Remove the pan from the burner right when you see it start to brown. You don't want sediment to start forming at the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer for 5 minutes to cool.

3) While the butter is cooling, mix your starter/levain, brown sugar, and salt in with the autolysed flour and water. I do all of my breads by hand, but I'm sure this would work beautifully in a mixer as well.

4) Add the browned butter, and mix for 2-4 minutes, slapping the dough against the side of the bowl as it starts to come together.

5) When all ingredients have combined and the dough is at low-to-medium gluten development, allow it to rest.

6) Perform stretch-and-folds every 30 minutes for the next two hours of bulk fermentation.

7) After the 2 hours of intermittant stretch-and-fold, allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it has increased between 60% and 80% in size. This should take 1-3 hours.

8) If you plan to bake that day, allow 1-3 more hours of bulk fermentation to allow the dough to fully double. I like to retard dough during bulk fermentation; in that case, it can go straight in the refrigerator for between 8 and 72 hours. The tang will increase over that time!

9) When you are ready to bake, shape and proof at room temperature. This final proofing time will vary widely based on ambient temperature! For a large batard or boule, my proofing time for this dough is usually 2-2.5 hours.

10) When the loaf has fully proofed, place it in the freezer for 20-25 minutes. This will help with scoring and ovenspring.

11) For one large loaf: Score and bake at 450 with steam for 18 minutes, without for 22-25 minutes, until very dark brown with blackened blisters.

Happy, happy baking to all, and to all a good week!



dabrownman's picture

All of your breads pictured are just fabulous, No pulling anything out of the hat here!  These are a;;fantastic inside and out.  Well done and

Happy Baking 

v's sis's picture
v's sis

are beautiful!  Your co-workers are very lucky.  Thank you for posting the formula for the brown butter loaves.  I will give it a whirl.

CAphyl's picture

Hannah:  These are really impressive.  Beautiful.  I can never get the torpedoes perfect like yours.  What is the secret to the shaping?  Yum, yum, these are all wonderful.  Congratulations on these bakes and keep sharing!  Best,  Phyllis

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

These really look terrific, would love to sample them!

bottleny's picture

How much water in the recipe of sourdough bread with browned butter & brown sugar? I can't find it indicated in the recipe. Thanks.

PetraR's picture

Beautiful breads.

Fantastic shaping and scoring.

Not a fan of big holes, but other than that. PERFECT.

a_warming_trend's picture

I appreciate the encouraging words!

Wildeny, good catch! I left the water out of that formula by accident. I've added it back: 280 g, making the hydration (minus butter) about 76%. 

Phyllis, it's definitely taken a lot of work to get comfortable with torpedo-shaping (and batard-shaping more generally!). I actually have come to realize that I have two different preferences for two different types of batards. For a relatively short, large batard, I like the method that Hamelman describes in bread, and that Floyd demonstrates on the TFL video, with two major folds inward:

For the pointier batards, I prefer to use the method Hamelman demonstrates in the series of King Arthur videos available online, with just one major fold:

It's still hit-and-miss, though, especially at higher hydrations!

Petra, I like the chewiness of the big holes, but indeed...a number of my friends prefer a more uniform crumb!

Anconas's picture

The spiral scorings are incredibly pretty and I love the airy crumb.  Lucky co-workers!

Very inspiring :)


Carolina's picture

Hi.  I love the holes in your bread - I used to get them too but of late something has changed and I get a more even crumb.  I plan to try your sourdough loaf with browned butter and brown sugar to a T and see how it goes for me.  In the mean time I would love to know how you bake your torpedos - do you cover them with a 'cloche' for the steaming or are they just on a stone with some form of steam in the oven?

Thanks for sharing your bread journey.