The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

dabrownman's blog

dabrownman's picture

Love these real artisan baking videos.  If the bread was 4# and tastes as good as Poilane's then he cold sell it for 9.6 Euros in Paris and $50 in Phoenix:-)

dabrownman's picture

It has been a long time since Lucy made some real old time SD bagels of any kind and she has never made and used a 7 day, old dough leaven to make them rise.  She wanted to do a regular levain but what kind of fun would that be?


Old and slow is fairly normal the closer you get to 70, or 116 when it comes to Lucy, but only slow really works for food - especially sourdough.  Old food usually turns green and smells to high heaven – even though that never stopped Lucy from eating it.

White ones ready for the boil

Lucy and I prefer pumpernickel bagels and the ones you can buy are not SD and not very pumpernickelly if you know what real pumpernickel bagels are supposed to look. smell and taste like - not that these were very close to real ones either.  Tough to make real pumpernickel bagels without barley malt syrup, red and white rye malt and the pumperdimes you need to cut in half to make the required real pumpernickels. 

So, we made do with what we had and didn’t worry about the details in the fine print.  First off we made a regular white sourdough using KA white bread flour at 70% hydration 2% salt and 10 g of NMNF Rye starter.  We slapped it around and folded it until it had risen 50% and then put it in an oiled SS bowl, covered it plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for a week to let it get itself situated and a bit sour.

When Lucy finally got round to making bagels she first softened up some dehydrated onions in hot water, tore off a piece of cold, old dough that weighed about 170 grams and then added enough fresh, milled whole rye flour and Pink Himalayan sea salt to get the hydration exactly 53%.

Being the math whiz she is, she did this calculation of how much rye to add in her head.  This is why Lucy is a First Class Baking Apprentice today after 15 years of apprenticeship.  For those of you not as Math based, the old dough had nearly an exact 100 g of flour in it and 70 g of water for a 70% hydration old dough.

The math for 70% hydration old dough is 170g/1.7= 100 g of flour for a 53% hydration dough that has 70 g of water in it, the formula is x*.53 = 70g of water;   x=132g of flour since the old dough has 100 g of flour in it then you need 32g of whole rye to get a 53% hydration dough ….which also works out to be 32% whole rye as well – the amount found in deli rye.  Aren’t you glad you aced algebra in high school?

Why are bagels 53% hydration?  Well technically, a white bagel is 53% hydration so a 32% whole rye one should be a bit higher than 53%, say 56-58%, but Lucy doesn’t understand such things and just makes all bagels 53% because that is what bagels have always been.

No, bagels are not anything but 53% hydration for white dough so she made the white ones at that hydration using a twice as big a lump of old dough that was now 9 days retarded and used how much whole wheat? Right, yep twice as much as the rye ones - 64 g would do it.

 Loaded Old Dough Pizza 

So how did we get that dark color for the pumpernickel bagels with only 32% rye and no barley malt syrup or red rye malt.  Well, Lucy cheated – that’s how.  We know how she likes to cheat when doing anything especially difficult things like getting the right color in pumpernickel.

Nova Lox right off the cold smoke

Old time bakers might have done a 3 hour baked scald with the rye, some white and red malt, barley malt syrup and some brown sugar and water to make a very dark pumpernickel whole grain caramel combo, like we used to do when we had the stuff to do it and were anal about these thongs or even things if spelled right.

$1 cold smoke rig

This time Lucy cheated with some espresso powder, brown sugar, cocoa powder, 5 g each, and a few drops of caramel coloring that we got at Smart and Final to make black things for Halloween.  Who knew it would make some pumpernickel looking bread too?  Remember that you have to get some kind of sweetener in there to have the pumpernickel tastes right – otherwise it tastes like deli rye.

Marinated Tuna ready for the grill

The last thing we did was add in the dehydrated onions.  We love them in all rye breads but especially pumpernickel – 5 g dry weight as all it took for these two bagels.  The white and Pumpernickel bagels were supposed to be treated the same after mixing but my apprentice forgot about the pumpernickel dough on the counter after the three hours of gluten development.  

She was supposed to shape them and then leave them on the counter for an hour and then retard them for 18 hours before boiling and baking them in the Mini Oven with a Sylvia Steaming Pyrex Cup.  But she fell asleep again and they sat in the counter for hours on end, till 4 am the next morning before I found them and put them in the fridge.

Breakfast Burrito - onion , chorizo, potato and egg ready to be rolled up and garnished

They were more than slightly, mega over-proofed and flattened but they sure smelled great!  A couple of days later I really watched her to make sure this didn’t happen with the white ones.   So, they came out looking a whole lot better, way mire like bagels even if they had no chance io tasting half as good as the pumpernickel ones.

Breakfast Burrito

Sea Bass Tacos

All we had was baking soda for the bagel boil which didn’t affect the color of the pumpernickel ones but the white ones came out a bit peeked looking.  Should have put some brown sugar in there for them.  Boiled them for 30 seconds a side and then they white ones were dried on a towel before dunking them in an everything mix of white poppy seeds, sesame seeds, kosher salt and non-rehydrated died minced onions.

Grilled Salmon

They were baked for 8 minutes at 450 F with steam and then 8 minutes without steam at 425 F convection in the mini oven.  Although looking totally different on the outside they looked remarkably the same in the inside if you discount the color difference.

Crispy on the outside, yet open and chewy on the inside.  They both are nicely sour due to the old and slow processes at work.  Guess that explains Lucy’s sourness as well!  We have been making all kinds of stuff recently.  Smoked meats; bacon, sausages, lox and cold smoked nova lox some kosher dill pickles.

Bake day breakfast

My new Pit Boss, vertical, pellet smoker finally got here but when I plugged it in on Sunday it didn’t work….. so…… I took it back and have to wait another week for them to assemble another one and get it to me.  What a hassle.  I have ti smoke 2 different kinds if bacon tomorrow so I hope I can get the old Masterbuilt smoker to work one more time!

I saw I guy on the internet selling a cold smoke ring for $40 which looked like wire sieve with the middle pushed up and smoke pellets around the middle in a ring.  You light one end with a torch and it smokes for 8 hours or for 4 hours if you light both ends to get more smoke.  So, I took my $1 sieve I got from Goodwill and made one to smoke the lox.  It worked fabulously but I had to spend $24 on the torch!

Home made Gyro with all the fixin's

dabrownman's picture

We sent a picture of the last focaccia to the daughter and she said that she wanted on when she was here this weekend.  This one was a bit different because Lucy is so old she can’t remember from one minute to the next and never liked doing the same bread twice anyway when she could remember.


This one is only SD with no Instant yeast kicker.  The levain was 100% hydration, 15% pre-fermented flour with the 10% whole grains (rye, red and white wheat) in the levain. The last one didn’t have any whole grains at all. 

The dough flour was half AP and half bread flour instead of mostly bread flour.  Overall hydration was the same at 71%.  The levain and the dough were retarded for 24 hours and last time the dough was retard for 5 days.

Smoked Sweet Italian sausage for dinner.

We did 2 sets of slap and folds of 100 and 25 slaps and then 3 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points all on 30 minute intervals before retarding in an oiled bowl.  We let it warm up for an hour and a half on the counter before shaping it into the PAM sprayed jelly roll pan.

4 of these smoked chicken thighs went into the Hatch Green Chili with Smoked Chicken, white beans and fresh corn.

After shaping we covered it with plastic wrap and let it proof for an hour before dimpling and putting on the toppings.  1 T each of dried rosemary and oregano were dimpled into the dough first.  Grape tomatoes are then squeezed over the top, the juice spread around and the tomatoes placed on top. Then red and green onion, orange and red bell peppers, crimini and brown trumpet mushrooms and 4 different halved olives were placed on top and them covered with a dusting of Parmesan cheese.

It's not dinner without a great salad.

The last thing was a drizzle of olive oil and Into the 450 F oven it went for 8 minutes of Mega steam.  Then the steam came out and a layer of Monterey Jack cheese went on and back into the 425 F Convection oven it went for another 13 minutes.  When it came out we put on another layer of grated Parmesan and fresh Thai basil and a bit more EV olive oil.

Yes it it a the Avozilla Avocado!  This one is a cross between the West Indies and Guatamalen Garantuan varieties.  The are a couple of other ones grown in Australia but they aren't smooth skinned like this one.  This one was $2. 

With the extra toppings this one was all that much better than the last one.  We have been munching on it for lunch all weekend with a side of Persian cucumbers and Zatar, oregano and fresh dill infuse Lebneh mixed with Lebanese Greek style yogurt.  Just plain deliciousness all around!

We froze some for the focaccia for the daughter to take back to her husband in Seattle later today.  Sending him some more starter and lava rocks too.  4 posts in a month - Lucy has been busy,

dabrownman's picture

Wow!  3 posts in 3 weeks.  This one is all white bread too.  Lucy is really slipping!

Kroger had some 93% lean hamburger meat on sale this week for less than $3 a pound so we immediately started thinking about our monthly burger tradition.  The weather has been moderating and the pool water temperature is getting to be a bit below body temperature if you get in before noon as it is still in the mid 100’s by the afternoon.


I tried to get Lucy to go swimming with me to get back into some kind of shape but she isn’t having any of it and just wants to sun herself in the morning sun and sleep in the afternoons.  Sounds like the perfect life with someone else picking up your food, shelter and transportation costs.   Guess that makes her a millennial at heart even though she is only 15 going on 105?

I’m just glad Lucy is feeling better with more spunk since we got her on the right food. Our daughter is coming for a visit next weekend for Labor Day and Lucy will be happy to see her again so Lucy needs a bath.  It’s been years since I gave her a bath but I thought I would again this week just for fun, save some bucks and remind her who the boss is around here. 

My daughter wants lox from The Bagel Man who gets them from NYC.   I’m going to make some with Gin, Dill, Salt, Pepper and Brown Sugar and then rinse them in some cold water and soak them for a bit in some water with la few drops of liquid smoke in it.  I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and see if I can make some half decent lox for $7 a pound instead of $27.  It’s all about the bagels anyway, right?  Maybe I’ll make some of them too since we can’t get SD bagels anywhere at all? 

These buns were made from a 100 g flour poolish at 100% hydration using half AP and half bread flour  using 1 g of Instant yeast that I added 10 g of NMNF Rye starter too.  The started was still very active after being refreshed last week.  After 3 hours it had doubled.  We added 46 g of bread flour, 22 g of butter, 24 g of egg, 10 g of sugar and 3 g of salt to the mix.  We did slap and folds and then regular kneading to get it all mixed and the gluten developed.   Then let it sit fir an hour and did one set of stretch and folds.

After resting for 20 minutes we shaped them onto 3-115g balls that we flattened and patted into flattish rounds that we thought would be the right size for 5oz hamburger patties.  We put them on well used parchment paper that was on the vented tray that came with Mini Oven.  We put the whole thing in a plastic trash can liner to proof. 

After 45 minutes we fired up the MO to 425 F and got the dish rag into the Pyrex measuring cup that was half full of water to simulate Sylvia’s Steam.  After 2 minutes on the MW on high it was steaming so we brushed the tops of the buns with an egg wash and loaded it onto the open spot on the vented baking tray and loaded the whole shebang into the MO for 8 minutes of steam.

The buns went in with the middles a bit depressed for some reason but, after 8 minutes of steam, they had puffed themselves up in the middle to loo like hamburger buns.  We took out Sylvia’s steaming cup and turned the oven to 425 F convection for another 8 minutes when they browned up nicely.  We brushed them with water when they came out to the cooling rack to make sure the tops would be soft.

They came out light as feather and, after slicing to toast them on the grill, the inside was fairly open too.  These buns you can start to finish cooled in 6 hours which is a good thing to remember.  T like that they were mildly sour and held up well to the all the piled-on goodies – bacon, caramelized Hatch green chili, onion and mushrooms, mayo, ketchup, lettuce and tomato.

This is a great grilled burger for sure and worth all the work with baked wedge fries and home made the dill pickle spears that didn’t get into a picture for some reason.  We love hot dill pickles made with a split Serrano chili

The one and only,  great and wonderful daughter has already ordered tilapia Baja fish tacos with guacamole, salsa and chips one night and smoked chicken thigh, hatch green chili with beans, fresh corn and green beans in the soup with the same condiments for another night. 

By ordering Mexican, she is making it easy on her dad for next weekend.  We are all looking forward to a fun holiday weekend.  Lucy hopes you all have a good one with your family to!  If it’s not a holiday for you, where ever you are, Lucy says just act like it is and all will be grand ?  Enjoy the monsoon sunset.


dabrownman's picture

Lucy was thrilled to make 2 breads in one week for a change and she really came up with a dusey too - a  Lebanese, Greek, Italian and Mexican Focaccia.

This one was made with 10 g of half year old NMNF rye starter used to make a 10% pre-fermented whole rye levain at 100% hydration that was retarded for 24 hours.

After mixing in the Kroger dough flour, a clove of minced garlic, some really thick Lebanese Lebneh, enough water to make an overall 72% hydration and 2% Pink Himalayan sea salt, we did 125 slap and folds followed by 3 sets of stretch and folds all on 30 minute intervals.  Total flour was 520 grams including the levain.

After a 30 minute rest we shaped it onto a ball and put it into an oiled stainless steel bowel and covered it in plastic wrap for a 120 hour retard  yep 5 whole days.

We let it sit for an hour and half on the counter before stretching it a couple 3 times into a PAM sprayed jelly roll pan.  Then we dimpled it with our finger tips and left  it sit fir a half an hour.

We sprinkled on a tablespoon each of dried oregano and rosemary and then crushed the last of the home grown cherry tomatoes by hand over the top.  Lucy found them in the back of the fridge where they have been waiting to be used for something interesting.

Rockfish Baha Tacos

Then we put on 4 different kinds of olives, half black and half green from Greece, Italy, Lebanon and Mexico.  Then we grated on some Italian Parmesan and drizzled on some olive oil also from Italy.

Bake Day Breakfast

We seamed it with Mega Steam for 8 minutes at 450 F then took it out and spread in the 4 Mexican shredded cheese fairly thin and put it back in the dry oven at 425 F convection for about 15 more minutes.

Indian Chicken and Veggie Curry

When it came out we garnished with Thai Basil.  We cut it with a pizza wheel and u=it was crisp on the bottom and soft on top.

It was great as it was fir sure but with some fresh Mozzarella, smoked sausage and pepperoni, spicy pizza sauce, mushrooms red bell peppers and onions, this would make a nice Pan Pizza that Chicago would be proud of.

I could tell you how great this will b e for lunch tomorrow's sandwich with Lucy's home made pork, beef, lamb gyro meat and Tzadziki sauce but I haven't made it yet and it might not happen


dabrownman's picture

It has been forever since Lucy made a bread of any kind or posted about it.  I don’t eat bread anymore because my diabetes is harder to control and I would rather drink a glass of wine, beer and bourbon after thinking about it - when sober. Hard to get snockered on one glass though.  It’s like being in a diet by limiting the plate size.


Lucy, off course, still has onset renal failure due to her ancient age but she is way, way better now a days.   We figured out that we were killing her with the two dog foods. One dry and one wet mixed together, she loved to eat.  Now she eats food for her condition that is 10 times more expensive but only has 4% protein instead of 30%.  Who knew you could kill your dog feeding her good food and save her by feeding her crap food?  Low percent protein is good sometimes…..


It’s summer but the monsoon has been sparse, only one day of rain so few great sunsets.  Not nearly as hot as usual either.  We’re becoming more of a desert with lower temperatures, only 106 - 110 F, and not much rain.  Since we got rid of the grass in the front yard, our water usage is way down and it is nice to see the desert in bloom all summer.

Lucy still has her 8’x20’ patch of the grass in the back that required a new electric mower to mow.  No more having the fuel go bad and clogging up the carb and fuel lines every year.  It only takes 90 seconds to cut it every week and she loves sunning herself and rolling around in the grass.  Lucy misses baking bread but she is too old to remember what it was like - just like me.  Still, it is better to make and eat great bread than eat crap bread……. if you don’t have renal failure or diabetes.

We had a lot of electrical things going wrong in the house after 33 years of not fixing anything when it broke.  The great thing was that we could get them all fixed in a day by a great electrician who happens to be from Gumbo Land – New Orleans.  So, we made him a SD bread that could have come from there.  Foodies love all kinds of good food. 

He thought it was weird that I made bread though.  I guess bread making doesn’t fit the normal lazy, retired, fat man profile…….. especially when almost no one makes bread now a days especially sourdough.  When I told hm I would make him a loaf he said  – really?  I told him it wasn’t a big deal and it would only cost a buck to make.  When he saw it he said …..Whoa – haven’t seen a bread like that before and I told him me neither since they all look a bit different.

I asked him what kind of bread he wanted - whole grain made from fresh ground flour, sprouted flour bread, fruit bread, nut bread, olive bread, cheese bread or whatever it didn’t make any difference.  He said he would leave it up to me.  I told him a New Orleans style SD with some whole grains, but still a white bread, would remind him of home and Gumbo.   No time for sprouting grains and get the bread done in 48 hours.

A few days before, my wife finally needed another loaf of her sandwich bread with school starting up again.   So, I baked 2 loaves in two weeks – a new recent record.  When I started my wife’s loaf and got the flour out it had been infected by evil weevils so I had to toss it all out and get some new but some of the tossed flour was sprouted Khorasan and spelt so these breads lack those goodies.My wife’s bread is 30% whole grain; red and white wheat and rye in equal amounts, 20% pre-fermented flour bran levain at 75% hydration and made in a wide tin.  The other one is 20% whole grain, 10% pre-fermented flour bran levain at 72% hydration.


Both levains took forever to double, over 24 hours each, since the NMNF rye starter was near the end of its usefulness and has been in the fridge for well over half a year with no maintenance.  There is only 5 g left to refresh for another half a year – but I’m retired so I haven’t gotten around to it yet – maybe tomorrow or next week!  It took me a week to get this written up as well.  It seems to take at least a week to do anything now a days


We did the slap and folds and stretch and folds over 2 hours and then let it sit for an hour before a final shaping and panning or basketing for the final proof.  The tin was retarded for 2 days and we just left the basketed boule out on the counter overnight in a plastic bag since time was short and Lucy gets me up a 5:15 every morning with the bad hunger pains that have no end.


The tin was baked in the aluminum Magnaware Turkey Roaster and the boule in the CI Lodge Combo Cooker.  Both turned out very nice with the tinned bread nicely sour to go along with its more sandwich bread style crumb.  The boule had the 3 B’s in spades bloom, bold and blistered even though I forgot to spritz it again.  The boule I’m sure was more open and less sour but we didn’t get to see it or taste it.

Meat  - Ribs and sausage, Country style ribs, chicken

The food has been the same around here – varied and plentiful with lots of salads.  Been swimming every day trying to lose weight and get back into some kind of shape with emphasis on some kind.  At least I git a tan out of it.  Lucy is doing great and sends her best.


Turkey Bolognese and Salmon

Pork Chop


Bacon Cheese Burger, home made hot pickles and baked wedge fries

Tacos and Grilled Tortilla Pizza


Breakfast Turkey Bubbles and Squeak, Omelet and Pancake


dabrownman's picture

After making tortilla pizza a coupe of times we decided to go the other way with this one.  Too hot for pizza made indoors, so we decide the gas grill, with a stone, was the way to go for Sicilian Pan Pizza.  SPP isn’t like thick crust Chicago style pan pizza but it isn’t thin crust pizza we love so much either – it is more like focaccia with pizza toppings.


The dough was a one day affair, with no retards, made with a half teaspoon of IDY for 2 ½ C of flour. The half being sprouted Khorasan and 1 C each of LaFama AP and Safeway bread flour, 2% salt 1 T of EVOO and ½ T of sugar and about 1 3/8 C of water.  We also put in our standard 1 clove of minced garlic. ½ T of dried Rosemary and 1 T of minced dried tomatoes.

This dough makes great focaccia bread all on its own but topped with pizza cheeses, grilled sausage, smoked pepperoni, fresh pizza sauce, mushrooms, red onions and red peppers with fresh basil for garnish, you have a real winner on your hand if you don’t mess up all that hard work like Lucy did.

The sauce was based on Chris Bianco’s fresh sauce but modified to use fresh home grown cherry tomatoes instead of canned San Marzano plumb tomatoes plus we used Thai Basil instead if regular Genovese and we added red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and one clove of garlic to the mix and then crushed it with our bare hands for 5 minutes until it made a nice fresh pizza sauce.

We liked this sauce a lot.  We put the stone on the gas grill and turned the 4 burners up to full whack to get the temp up to 600 F and get the stone screaming hot.  Sadly, the grill was full of grease from all the meats made on it and it caught fire with flames shooting up 2’ over the stone and smoke billowing.

Grilled Salmon

My neighbor came over thinking the house was on fire.  I showed him the grill n fire and he just laughed saying he was glad I was just stupid rather than the house on fire.  That grill hat to be 1,000 degrees for sure and it wouldn’t stop burning even after I turned off the burners.

Grilled Chicken - half for tacos.

Soot covered the entire patio concrete and the outside, of the once shiny stainless steel grill, was black.  When the fire finally went out I waited for the temperature to get to 450 F before firing up the burners manually on low because the battery for the igniter had melted.  Oddly the once dirty stone was completely clean like it had been in the oven on cleaning cycle.

There is that salad ....or two

When The temperature got back to 550 F, the same temperature I make pizza inside in the oven, I put the panned pizza on the stone and closed the grill setting the timer for 5 minutes.  Normally it takes 7 minutes inside to get a thin crust perfect, but when I opened the lid to check it, the crust was totally burnt around the edges dark as charcoal as was most of the bottom. 

A bake day SD breakfast or ......another omelet or two

I forgot the stone was lagging in temperature and still about 800 F when I checked it with the infrared thermometer. 2-3 minutes would have been way, way better for sure.  Better to use your tools before committing the pizza to the stone for sure but – oh well, maybe next time.

My wife just cut off the burnt bottom and said the edge pieces were fine.  Being lazy,  I ate the middle of the pie that was not nearly as burned without cutting off the dark part.  it didn’t taste burnt but was crispy like no thicker crust style pizza ever was supposed to be.

So, all is well that ends well. Next time, Lucy will remember to empty the drip pan and the slide out bottom of the grill like normal people do before making pizza on the grill.  Thankfully we also got a chance ti redeem ourselves by making my wife’s Sourdough Sandwich Loaf with a 22 hour retard.  It turned out way, way better than the pizza for sure.

This one very similar t the last 2 except it has 20% whole grains, all of it in the 100% hydration levain begun with 15 g of NMNF starter.  Once the larger than normal levain had doubled, we retarded it overnight for 12 hours to bring out the sour. My wife is liking sour bread recently. Yea!

 We eat a lot of salad. 

We also had 5% each Sprouted Spelt and Sprouted Khorasan in the dough flour with the remainders split half and half with Signature bread flour from Safeway and LaFama AP.  We upped the hydration to 80% for this one too keeping the PH sea salt at 2%

The method was a bit different with only 2 sets of slap and folds. of 100 and 50 slaps and 2 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points - all on 45 minute increments for a change.  After shaping and placing it into a wide loaf pan sprayed with pan release, we let it sit for half an hour before bagging and putting it into the fridge for a 22 hour retard.

It wasn’t quite finished proofing so we left it on the counter for another 2 hours before spritzing the top and baking it in a 500 F preheated oven with lave rocks for Mega Steam.  We turned the oven down to 450 F when we closed the door after putting 2 C of cold water on the hot rocks.  After 18 minutes of steam, we took the rocks out of the bottom of the oven and turned the oven down to 425 F Convection for another 18 minutes ff dry heat.

When it hit 207 F we moved it to the cooling rack.  It Blistered and browned well but the bloom and spring was limited because it was 100 % proofed when it hit the heat.  The crumb came out perfect for sandwich bread and the way my wife likes it.  The next morning when I sliced it, the crumb was moist, soft and sour with a nice tang.

Breakfast Sandwich with this bread

This is one of many delicious white sourdough breads that everyone should at least like a little bit.

dabrownman's picture

We finally got some time off to visit our SIL and daughter In their new Seattle home over the Memorial Day weekend and meet Mabel for the first time too.  We had a really nice time over the 5 days and got to see the city up close.  Mabel is cute as a button….. and smart as a whip unlike other baking apprentices who are bred to be stupid.


Our SIL was only there one day since the USS Nimitz, CVN-68 just got out of dry dock after a years’ worth of refit and has started its first of many weeks of sea trials.  We got to see it leave port from the roof of their apartment that is a block away from the Space Needle and has one of the best 360 degree views of the city from the 41st floor.

There is the Nimitz leaving port for the first time in a year on a typica cloudy day in Seattle.

Here is what it looks like on a non cloudy day

The only thing not wildly overpriced at Pike’s Market are the flowers,  We got a beautiful, huge bouquet for $20 but it is still fun to see them throwing the fish you just bought for a fortune being thrown around all over the place!  Three Girls Bakery is there and we got 2 bagels with a schmear and lox or $24 – yikes!  But, they were 3 guys there for some reason.

They had some nice looking bread in the window but, by the time we got the bagels eaten, the huge pile of people were there for the holiday weekend and I couldn’t get close enough to get a picture of the display window,  It was wall to wall peeps for the rest of the morning.  We did buy some fresh prawns, diver scallops and hot links for gumbo my daughter said I had to make while there so she could get a refresher course on how to make it just so and get a batch of creole seasoning.

Mt Rainier is the white covered peak in he middle - 60 miles away from where the picture was taken.

The one night My SIL was there, he smoked the sausages and chicken thighs for the gumbo and some Spanish, not Mexican, Chorizo that was already smoked for a breakfast omelet the next morning. It is always better to smoke sausages again if they come smoked because they do such a horrible job of smoking them in the first place.

The Chorizo came from Metropolitan Market along with several aged cheddar and gouda cheeses.  This is a great grocery store that is not nearly as good as Central Market in or even HEB in Texas but as good as AJ’s in Scottsdale or Whole Foods - but more expensive than all of them.  Everything in Seattle is expensive.

We went to Molly’s to get 4 ice cream cones and a jar of

udge toping and the bill came to $35 – Jeeze!   The ice cream was good but not that good – no ice cream is!   You have to be really rich to live there for sure and I’m wondering how all the homeless people can do so?  They moved most of them out of downtown and out to an I-5 Camp so it isn’t as bad as it was not long ago.

Still, it is a lovely place so different from Phoenix and a great place to visit for sure.  The COSCO in Kirkland had great prices on Washington red wines, highly rated 4.4 to 4.5 on Vinino’s label photo app, for $17 to $24.  Now you know where their private label ‘Kirkland’ comes from.  They had good prices in salmon too, compared to Pike’s Market so we got some

Shrimp Pasta with cherry tomatoes and smoked susage.

We took Mabel to Discovery Park for a walk and found the Indian Cultural Canter there too.  Weed is legal there but this takes stoned Indians to a new level?  We went to the locks to see the boats going up and down after going to 8 OZ for great bacon, cheese burgers, truffle fries, beer and wine for happy hour one night – the only other time we went out to eat while there.  Didn’t get to any winery’s or breweries this trip but, the local beer our SIL had in the beer fridge was nice too.

Mabel is worth the trip on her own.  She is the sweetest thing, never barks or growls and loves to play with toys, other dogs or humans. I posted 3 videos of her, playing soccer with a ball in her mouth, playing with herself in a mirror and with other doggies at puppy school.

3 of the movies would not upload and I couldn't figure out how to do it.

I made a SD bread for the folks that take care of my teeth.  I had an appointment yesterday but couldn’t get the bread done soon enough to get it too them during my appointment so I ran it up for lunch today.  They are so nice and really love my bread.  This is my wife’s favorite white Sourdough but made into a squat batard slashed twice.

It is 20% whole grain, red and white wheat with rye and 10% sprouted spelt and Khorasan.  The rest was half AP and bread flour at 78% hydration overall and 2% Pink Himalayan sea salt.  The bran levain was made with 15g of NMNF Rye starter stored for weeks in the fridge at 100% hydration using all the whole  flour to get it to 20% pre-fermented flour.  This is larger than normal but we only planned a 15 hour shaped retard.One it doubled it went I nto the fridge overnight.

Since all the bran is in the levain, I stopped doing an autolyse and just mix all the dough flour, water and  levain together with a few slap and folds and sprinkle the salt on top and just let it sit for 40 minutes.  It is so much easier to mix the levain into the eater and then into the dough flour to get everything evenly incorporated.  The whole grain flour is still sitting at 100% hydration and acid for 24 hours so it will be plenty soft enough – at least Lucy says so and she is First Class now after being a 2nd and 3rd class loser for 15 years.

150, 75 and 25 slap and fold sessions followed and then 3 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points finished out the dough manipulations – all on the 30 minute intervals.  Then we let the dough sit for 2 hours to bulk up before shaping and retarding for 15 hours.  The kitchen was 84 F.  IF wee were going for a longer cold proof we would have cut the 2 hour bulk on the counter for an hour or less for sure if a 40 hour retard was planned.  We baked it in a CC our usual way – no spritzing this time.

This came out perfectly sour, medium open, moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside and plain delicious.  We got it to the dental office just in time for lunch and also took them some of the cherry tomatoes we picked this morning.  They wanted the whole thing sliced up fairly and we all got a taste right away – just delicious.  The bread was great but the star of this post besides Mabel was my SIL’s sourdough popovers using the NMNF starter Lucy gave him the last time he was in Phoenix.

Killer Spanish Chorizo Omelet to go with the SD popover.

He made a counter overnight levain of 50 g each of flour and milk with 15 g of NNF starter.  Then the next morning he added 120 g of AP flour, 225 g of milk, 3 eggs and 2% salt.  He mixed it up and let it sit as the oven came up to 450 F.  The muffin tins were sprayed with Pam.  You want to make sue the levain is very active for sure.  I’m not sure where the recipe came from but it is similar to KA Flour one.  It turned out terrific and made for a fantastic breakfast.

My wife kept saying Mable Mable set the table and my daughter and SIL just couldn’t put 2 and 2 together on their dog setting the table.   They are young and didn’t know the history if Mabel in the my wife’s family when she was growing up in St Louis….. 55 years ago.  Mable was the family, maid, house keeper and nanny and my MIL used to say – Mabel Mabel set the table every night?  Now everyone says it to our new Mabel!

Since Lucy got promoted she spends most of her time like this.  She be tired and sleeping soundly.  Sweet Dreams!

dabrownman's picture

It has been awhile since Lucy had to do any bread baking and she was certainly into doing so again with her new title she happened to earn on her 15th birthday – May the 12th.  She had been a 2nd  \Class for so long she thought that was as high a title there was in the Bread Making Fantasy World (BMFW).


Pork Carnitas El Pastor (with grilled fresh Pineapple) naked and then with all the fixings.  Carnitas sauce, Crema, cilantro, green onion, mango salsa and sliced avacado.

Since our last bread post we also celebrated Cinco De Mayo and Mother’s Day too!  Who knew May was so packed with stuff with Memoria Day still to come.  With all the May happiness going on, it isn’t so strange, even with her laziness, that Lucy baked two identical breads, 16 hours apart that looked totally different yet tasted so similar.

Don't forget the Veggie Tamals but there were Chile Verde chicken ones too

Yeah, she be lazy more than anything else so she only whipped up one recipe but divided it up after the bulk ferment to shape 300 g of it into a Squat Bag that she retarded for 24 hours and then put the rest of the dough into a wide pan to make a loaf of sandwich bread for her Momma with a 40 hour retard.  Lucy is sweet like that when she isn’t biting you or upchucking on your toes for no reason at all.

And Pork Enchiladas.With amber Dos XX's and Prickly Pear margaritas and chips with home made beans.  It was too good ....What am I saying?

This one had 25.35 % whole grain evenly divided between red and white wheat with an equal amount of rye tossed into the Nutrimill.  Instead of making a bran levain, we used half the whole grains for the 12.7% pre-fermented whole 100% hydration, levain to make the 2 loaves.  So, half the whole grains were autolyzed for 2 hours at 100% hydration for the dough flour.

The baguette was sliced at a 45 degree angle to make bruschetta with mu SIL recipe from Houston!  Delish!

The levain was started with 17 g of NMNF Whole Rye Starter and it was retarded for a full 24 hours after it doubled to bring out the acetic acid for this rather large amount of levain.  Normally, with the temperature around 90-100 F, we would be in the 7% range for the pre-fermented flour but We had planned for two large loaves instead of 1 and a half since the baguette was only 300 g.

The volunteer cherry tomatoes are going gangbusters producing this many every day!

3 different gains are never enough for a committed floozy baker of any class; like Lucy, so she added 8% each sprouted spelt and sprouted Khorasan to the mix to up the flavor another notch or two and let’s face it, sprouted grains make any bread ferment and taste better.  Are they a revolution like Peter Reinhart says?  Well maybe a serious uprising, but he was trying to sell a book too.

The wofe wanted rids for Mother's Day so I said OK and added chicken and mild Italian sausage to her request and the salad of course!  Last night I made the bruschetta topping and used that for the salad dressing - Killer!

Being old as well as lazy, we have taken to skipping an autolyse for the white dough flour but have added a step to compensate,  We mix the levain in with the dough water and add it to the dough flour, mix it with few slap and folds and then sprinkle the 2% pink Himalayan sea salt on top and letting it rest for 40 minutes. We added enough dough water to get the overall hydration up to 78%

The loaf sliced beautiful and thin like she likes it and was soft moist and open too.  Best of all she loves the way this bread tastes!  It really is delicious.

We started the gluten development with 200 slap and folds.  Then did 2 more sets of 40 and 10 all on 22-minute intervals.  22 minutes may seem odd but that was where the timer was already set on the iPhone and Lucy is way too important to change it now that she is 1st Class all the way.  The dough didn’t seem to notice but it wasn’t talking either.

Nothing wrong with a big, juicy Kansas City Strip now and again especially with grilled salmon for the feint of heart:-)

Then we did 3 sets of 4 stretch and folds from the compass point on 30-minute intervals.  We lopped off 300 g of dough with the scraper for the baggie and shaped both pieces.  The baggie went into a rice floured tea towel lining a basket and the loaf went into a sprayed wide loaf pan instead of Yippee’s Pullman this time.

You have to have a good breakfast on Bake Day, Banana Strawberry SD pancake or any other day, Kale and veggie omelette :-)

Into the fridge they went for their 24 and 40 hour retards.  We needed a baguette for bruschetta.  The cherry tomatoes that came up volunteer this year are really starting to go into overdrive producing at least 50 Husky and Sweet 100’s every day.  Nothing like a fully vine ripened cherry tomato especially when used for bruschetta and bruschetta requires great SD bread grilled on an open flame.

How about Bruschetta with ribs?

We let the baguette sit outside in the 100 F heat to warm up as the oven heated to 500 F with the 9x13 pan of lava rocks on the bottom rack, a stone on the middle rack and a stone on the top rack.  We unmolded the baggie, slashed it 4 times and into the oven it went as we put 1 cup of water on the lava rocks, closed the door and let it steam at 450 F for a short 8 minutes.

It is tiny lump of dough and 8 minutes is plenty for steam and another 8 minutes at 425 F Convection will get it to 206 F on the inside.  It just isn’t enough time to get it dark on the outside but, with it going on the grill to toast, I didn’t want it to be dry on the inside to start with.  The loaf went in the next day, after 2 hours on the counter, with 18 minutes of steam (2 ½ C of water on the rocks) and then 18 minutes of 425 F dry heat using convection.

The loaf browned up very nicely and both were blistered.  I brushed the loaf with water after it came out of the oven to make sure the crust was nice and soft after it cooled and wrapped in plastic overnight.  The baguette was more open but still made the best toasted slab for bruschetta imaginable. 

There are few Minneolas left on the tree - perfect for this mornings breakfast

Both of these are some seriously tasty bread for sure.  I don’t think it is possible to make a better white bread when it comes to taste.  NMNF sourdough with a retarded whole grain levain and long retarded proof, 25% whole grain with 15% sprouted grain and using several different grains makes for about the best white bread that can come out of your kitchen.

We love home made soup of all kinds, even with packaged noodles

Here she is with her 15th birthday. buzz cut and new purple - K State bow.  She's the best even if only a First Class Baking Apprentice:-)

dabrownman's picture

She made it to 15 so Lucy got her promotion to Baker's Apprentice First Class.  She sends her congrats to all the mothers out there on this special day.

Lucy celebrated by picking cherry tomatoes this morning.  Mom asked for ribs for dinner and they are dry rubbed in the fridge we wll make some some sausages and maybe so chicken thighs too.


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