The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Foolish Baker - Week in Review

Rajan Shankara's picture
Rajan Shankara

Foolish Baker - Week in Review

Baking lots. 


Regular SD WW loaves, seeded loaves and blackberry pecan loaves. Also did my fourth batch of yeasted Pain au Chocolat, which need some serious help. I can't get them to ferment and flake. 


Rye Ciabatta with ground flax. These were superb tasting. 


Blackberry Pecan WW SD loaves. Blackberry isn't all that great tasting. Sure looks nice though. 




Flax Sesame Pumpkin Oat WW SD AKA FSPO Sourdough. Pink salt addition on the right. I forgot to add everything in my normal autolyse step so I did it on the first fold. Worked fine. I really like this combination. 


Putting the oats on the crust is a pain, not going to do that again. 




Normal WW SD loaves as usual. Gave these away to friends. Going to move my score closer to the middle to open up that mid bloom look next time. 


OK, here is what I don't get. My chocolate bread rolls don't do much rising or layer separation even though I laminate well and never get butter problems. They taste good of course, but they are more bready than flakie.

Recipe using

1100g ww pastry flour

60% hydration, half water/ half milk straight from the fridge. This is real milk, from jersey cows milked that morning. So I think it was 335g of each liquid.

18g salt I think, it was a 2% addition

20g dried yeast, comes out to 1.8% of the recipe

2 teaspoons stevia since we don't use sugar

227g Kerry Gold's Irish Butter

I messed around with extra dough and tried some Pate feuilletee, those are so cool. 



Dough is mixed, only a little gluten development. Then immediately off to rest in walk-in fridge. 

Work butter and prep for lamination

laminate and first fold

cold rest

second fold and final pressing for shaping

boom done and in walk-in fridge overnight to bake next morning

bake at 350F in convection oven

I have not tried to do these all in one morning, I'm trying to avoid that. The overnight rest and morning bake is great for my work schedule. 

I have been pretty vague about the folding, so if anyone is up for getting this rolls improved I can go into better detail, but I see a fermentation issue here. Is 1.8% yeast too little? Too much? Maybe I should laminate before the first cold break to get fermentation going first? These can't be THAT hard to do. Each of the attempts look about the same, 1.8% yeast is the highest I have gone in the recipe. 





bakingbadly's picture

Beautiful loaves! Unfortunately, I cannot advise you on the chocolate bread rolls. I haven't experimented much with laminated dough. Best of luck though!

Mr. Zita

Rajan Shankara's picture
Rajan Shankara


fupjack's picture

You mention two folds on the laminated dough.  That would get you 9 layers, if I am counting right - 3 on the first, 9 on the second.  If you do one more fold, that should get you to 27, so more layers, more flakes.

I have yet to produce a good laminated dough at home, so I'm totally guessing.

Rajan Shankara's picture
Rajan Shankara

I read on TX Farmers laminated dough post that it wasn't about the number of folds but the relationship between the butter and dough 

Filomatic's picture

Please elaborate on the formula and use of the rye ciabatta.  Any crumb shots?

Rajan Shankara's picture
Rajan Shankara

I use mostly rye with a little wheat and some ground flax. It was SD as well. 

really with ciabatta I just throw it all together and just have fun, no measurments or worries. No shaping or anything, just plop those things onto a sheet and bake or slip in the wood oven. 

sorry no crumb shots, I think it was typical for whole wheat and rye though, small pookas (wholes).

IceDemeter's picture


Beautiful, beautiful loaves!  You've really caught me with the Rye Ciabatta idea - I'll have to do some playing with that concept, for sure.

Thanks for sharing the inspiration - and good luck with figuring out those laminated doughs

Rajan Shankara's picture
Rajan Shankara

with your enthusiasm. I should document the SD rye ciabatta and make another post. Baking has slowed down this week. Without bread all is misery.

yozzause's picture

Hi Yogi some great looking loaves there, 

I have just watched "That Sugar Film on tv last night and am now reading the book "That sugar guide" by Damon & Zoe Gameau  from Pan Mcmillan Australia and it has a great message about Sugar which is similar to what you are doing at the monastery, it does however have some advice regarding alternatives such as Stevia which is 300 times sweeter than sugar. well worth a read or watching the film it was on SBS here in Aus.

kind regards Derek

Rajan Shankara's picture
Rajan Shankara

since I could get to my emails, pardon the delay in response, Derek.


Glad to hear about the sugar research, it has brought us into a great immunity to the common cold. Yes I have heard that stevia still enters the body and acts as sugar does, spiking glucose/insulin response or something like that. No problem for me as I am an athlete, but for other folks who are less active that could be an issue with regular spikes throughout the day. 

We are experimenting with Yacon syrup as well, which does not digest as normal sugars do and does not have any insulin spike, something like that. Although it does not bake well since its main compound fructooligosaccharide breaks down at 250F and does not show up in the finished product. 

dabrownman's picture

like you do even if to only make pizzas.  Well done and

Happy baking