The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

dabrownman's blog

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people in jobs with robots within in 10 years........ I would believe them.

dabrownman's picture

We had not made pizza in some time and it had been way longer since we had made YW/SD combo levain for the dough and even longer since we made it on the gas grill but it is summer and there is no way we are heating up the kitchen  to ramming speed for a couple of hours.

The recipe is easy enough.  9% pre-fermented KA bread fkour levain using 2.2% NMNF starter and YW for the liquid – in our case half FIG and half apple YW.  The dough flour is half LAFama AP and half KA bread flour at 70% overall hydration and 2% PH sea salt.  We added re-hydrated dried rosemary and sun dried tomatoes both chopped medium.  We did not put in any shopped garlic like we normally do for some reason.


Once the levain had tripled we added it to the 20 minute autolyse that had the salt sprinkled on top and then mixed it with a spoon before doing 40 slap and folds.  We then did 2 mores sets of 20 slap and folds and 2 sets of double Sleeping Ferret folds all on 30 minute intervals adding in the rosemary and sun dried tomatoes during the first set of 20 slaps.


We then let it rest for an hour in an oiled SS bowl for an hour before going into the fridge for a 13 hour retard.   Take it out 4 hours before you want to make pies and leave it in the counter for an hour before dividing into, in our case (3) 250 g pies. Shaping into a boule and putting them back into the bowl oiled up a bit so they don’t stick together as they rise over the next 3 hours.


These make large 14”pies which is the largest that will fit on our round stone.  With the 3 hour proof the dough was strong yet very extensible and they formed nice very thin crusts that didn’t tear even with the add ins.  I transfer them to a wood peel that had flour rubbed into it and corn meal for the ball bearings so it will slide off easily before we put the toppings on.


These 3 pizzas were the same in most ways.  DaBrownman’s spicy sauce goes down and spread thinly first, followed by 75 g each of fresh whole mozzarella and part skim mozzarella. Then the chopped smoked onions and crimini onions go down.


The first pie had smoked hot Italian sausage on it, the 2nd one had Guisto’s, a large, thin pepperoni from Whole Foods and a great pepperoni, the 3rd was our version of margarita even though it had smoked veggies on it.  Then we showered each pie with real grated Parmesan.


The margarita had basil leaves dropped on the pie after it came out and all the pies got some additional Parmesan as well.  The grill is the best way to make pizza around here because we can get it up to 650 F with the 4 burners on and the pies take 5 minute to bake on the hot stone instead of the 8 they take in the 550 F oven.


That is a big slice with no bend and no fold - crisp like a potato chip!

These pies came out super crisp and the crust crunched like potato chips – just the way it should be.  The pepperoni was the best in my book because the meat was thin enough to crisp up and it was delicious.  The margarita was second favorite with he hot Italian smoked sausage bringing up the rear - but it was still great.



Sadly my daughter was in surgery until after midnight and missed it.  M y wife and I could only eat 10 of the 24 slices and the remainder hit the freezer for left overs.   After slicing, we have learned to keep then on raised cooling racks so that they stay crisp as opposed to leaving them on a plate where they get soft.  

And Lucy has this thing about salad with ever dinner too!  This one is peach, blueberry, shaved Parmesan, carrot, red pepper, crimini mushroom, green onion, cucumber and tomato slices

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Her it is another wedding anniversary and ths one is special for so many reasons.  First it rained really hard in the wee hours this morning and we really need the raid badly.  The rain cooled off the excessive heat and we need less heat. 


The hi-way from east to west was flooded when a portion of it got 3.5 inches of rain in a hour – half a year’s worth.   We are mostly happiest just to be alive and still kicking with each other.


So Lucy came up with an appropriate recipe for an anniversary bread for 2.  I’m sourdough and my wife is a sweet yeast water so Lucy combined them in one bread.  This one had one levain based in the NMNF SD rye starter and a pre-ferment. made with two yeast waters; one Fig and one Apple.


The total 14% pre-fermented flour was split evenly between the two and was entirely made up of 5 whole grains: rye, Kamut, spelt, red wheat and oat in equal amounts.  Both pre-ferments were 10-% hydration with the liquid being equal parts of apple and fig YW for one and water for the other.


The NMSF starter was just refreshed lat Friday so it as really ready to go and the levain doubled in 4 hours and then put in the fridge for 16 hours.  The combo YW preferment was very slow to take off.  Both had been in the fridge for months and months with the fruits floating on the bottom.


We just took off some of each for the preferment after shaking them up and bit first.  After 4 hours it hadn’t done a thing so we just forgot about it an by this morning it had tripled.  It was really slow at first, but plenty feisty when it was needed.


Red Chicken Enchiladas

The SD levain was really cold coming out of the fridge so we did anew technique called ‘The Biscuit Method’  This method is just like getting the butter in the flour when making biscuits. I took the levain and just mixed it into the dry dough flour with my fingers until it looked like sand. This warmed it up to room temperature immediately.  We then put the dough water in to get it fermenting.


Chicken Chili Verde

30 minutes later we put in the YW preferment and mixed it in with a spoon and 20 slap and folds to get it incorporated and then sprinkled the salt on top with 4% more water bringing the overall hydration to 75% instead of the usual 71% for 123 bread.  With 14% whole grains it could easily take the extra water since half the dough flour was KA bread Floor and the other half La Fama AP.


We the started the gluten development after the water and salt was stirred in with another 20 slap and folds followed by 2 sets of 10 all on 30 minute intervals, getting the total slap and folds up to 60.  We then did 2 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points and let the dough bulk on the counter covered by the SS bowl for 30 minutes.


SD Pancakes for Bake Day

We pre-shaped the dough and then 15 minutes later finals shaped it and plopped it into a rice floured basket seam side up.  We let it proof for 2 hours and then un-molded it onto parchment on a peel, slashed it hopscotch style spritzed it and slid it into the combo cooker for 30 minutes of steam at 425 F,


Once the lid came off, we let it bake another 10 minutes qt 425 F convection until it was bloomed, boldly baked and blistered..  We will await the crumb shot after it cools.  We also did 2 Strutting Peacock Fans and Sleeping Ferret Folds but Lucy want so keep when we did them secret for some reason.  One thing is for sure is that Biscuits, Ferrets and Peacocks make better bread.

The crust stayed crispy and it was thin.  The crumb was so soft it was almost impossible to cut with my bread knife. It really puffed itself upbut the crumb was only moderately open.   I ate two pieces with melted butter after 10 seconds in the microwave.  it is delicious.  Hardly sour and not too sweet either.  A fine bread all the way around.





1% NMNF rye starter

7% 5 grain Whole grain flour

7% water

YW Preferment

7% 5 Grain whole grain flour

3.5% each Fig and Apple yeast waster


43% Lafama AP flour

43% KA bread flour

61% Water

2% Sea salt

178% Total

Lucy says to never forget he salad




dabrownman's picture

mantra and calling card.  My wife is from St Louis and I grew up in Kansas City.  I ran across this youtube video about artisan bread in St Louis and Kansas City with a treat at the end that reminds me of where we live now and what we think about when it comes to cuisine and what we like to eat and drink.  I would suggest to smoke the Italian sausage though.

Happy viewing.

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Years ago, Lucy came up with a fruit stupid that had a sweetened, enriched bread dough for a crust.  This time Lucy really want all out with an almond crust, adding a cream Anglaise and cream cheese filling with the fruit on top.  This one is light years ahead of her first one if you ask me.

Baked almond crust


We used 3/4 can of evaporated milk, 2 eggs and 1/4 C of sugar for the Anglaise that we thickened on the stove and cooled in an ice bath with some orange zest and nutmeg to give it some flavor.  When it was nearly cooled we whisked in 1/3 C of whipped cream cheese.

Creme Anglaise filling down and the plums started

The almond crust was half ground whole almonds and half Lafama AP, 2 tablespoons of water, 2 T of melted butter, an egg, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/8 tsp of salt.  We baked it blind for 12 minutes at 350 F until it just barely started to turn golden brown at the top edge and then removed it to a cooling rack

Ready for the heat

Once the crust was barely warm we spread the cooled Anglaise on and then placed the 4 black plums, 2 nectarines and 2 peaches, all sliced, in a rose pattern with the plums in the center.  Then the whole shebang was baked at 375 F convection for 36 minutes in the Mini Oven to give the fruit some color.

Glazed and waiting to cool

As soon as it came out of the oven, we glazed it with a tablespoon of apricot jam thinned with a tablespoon of orange juice.  It smelled pretty good baking and it looks good enough to eat but as soon as it cools we will put it in the fridge for coo; down for tonight’s dessert for the grilled salmon dinner with forbidden black rice, salad and steamed veggies.

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Lucy was back on her Meta Verse 2.0 project.  Her update is that instead of 2040 as the date we will be able to migrate our brains into the cloud, so we can live forever any way we want, has been moved back to 2050.  This is terrible news.


With the Social Security Trust Fund running out of IOU’s in 2037 and payments to be cut 30%, we were hoping for an earlier migration not a later one.  Heck, I’m still waiting on Fusion Power, promised 60 years ago, to be available in the year 2000 that is now still 50 years away.

The scientists were not at all anywhere being correct about that for sure.  I don’t know why we would believe them now about Meta Verse 2.0 come to think of it.  Lucy wonders what else they are wrong about since they have been wrong about 97% of what they told us to be true and promised us over their existence throughout history?

The only good thing is that man’s mission for the habitation of Mars is also being pushed back from 2032 to 2042 and the reason is…they want use the first Beta test of humans in the cloud, linked to their robot bodies hardened against radiation, for the Mars mission instead of sending humans.

Biological humans are just too weak for any kind of living off the earth and way, way to maintenance heavy.  A cheap date we are not.  We are the absolute worst beings to colonize space outside of elephants and blue whales.   Why would ever think we should go to Mars is beyond comprehension although I can think a a few people I would like to see leave the Earth forever too.

Talk about over proofed but it is a very wet dough that is closer to ciabatta and sprouted flour doesn't help either"-).

Not only do we have to be shielded way more than Meta Verse 2.0 robots against radiation but we need food, water, entertainment, emotional and mental health help even on earth and we create way too much waste to even be allowed to live on Earth much less Mars…… or anywhere else in the Universe according to Lucy.

The chances of a successful mission to Mars goes up by a factor of 10 by not using humans which only had a 25% chance of surviving in the first place.   Lucy says she thinks they just couldn’t find enough suicidal astronauts.  I think I will go to Mars as soon as I transition to the cloud because then I can do anything I want whenever I want….so I will…….when I can.

Best Shrimp, Andouille and Smoked Turkey Gumbo you can't buy anywhere and the bun for Monthly Burger Bash

This one is a bit different than Last Friday’s bake.  We had to refresh our NMNF starter so we built a whole rye levain for this one with all the Whole rye in the mix – 10% pre-fermented flour – 100% hydration.  The 25% sprouted grains had no rye and were equal parts of red wheat, spelt, oat and Kamut.  The remaining 15% of whole grains was red wheat.

How about a big lunch of Smoked Sopressata Pasta and the crust for Sopressata Pizza Bread with Lucy's modified Bianco fresh sauce

We did get the overall hydration up to the 86% mark this time.  We did an autolyse with all of the non-sprouted dough flour for 2 hours holding back 50 g of the water to get the salt and levain mixed in.  We cut back the 3.5 hours of gluten development and bulk ferment to 3 hours because of the sprouted grains realizing that it would be much faster with sprouted flour.

Have a good SD pancake breakfast on bake day and grilled chicken dinner is always on the menu

We did 150 slap and folds to start and then did 50 more for the 2nd set and then did 2 sets of 10 slap and folds and 1 set of stretch and folds from the compass points.  Then we got it into a ball and put it in an oiled SS bowl for a long 18 hour cold bulk retard. 

When we got it out the next morning we let it sit for and hour.  By then, it had more than doubled.  We skipped the pre-shape since it was very puffy if cold.  We shaped it into a batard and placed it into a rice floured basket for 2 hours proofing before we unmolded it and tried to score it, successfully for first 2 but unsuccessfully for the next two which really kind of mangled and deflated it.  Then we spritzed it to really let it spread.

Into the oven it went with the Mega Steam Lava Rocks on the bottom of the oven for 20 minutes of steam.  It did recover some and sprang a bit but it spread too.  It was more like a ciabatta shape when it went in.  Once the steam came out we baked it for another 15 minutes at 425 F convection.  When we took it out it was 208 F and did look more like a ciabatta.  Maybe it will be open like one too.


It did have a weak 3 B’s of bloom, blister and bold but we will have to wait in the OSM. The crumb is open soft and moist.  I sliced it like ciabatta for a bologna sandwich for lunch.  This bread is delicious!  Can't wait to make a pizza sopressata panini out of it for luch tomorrow

Got to love those salads even fruit ones

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But National Sushi Day is November 1st!

Here is Dabrownman's Swordfish Nigiri - Nigiri is traditionally served 2 identical at a time.


And here is Dabrownman breaking the rule and serving 6 - 3 of each at a time with some Salmon Nigiri but there were 3 of us so we got 2 each if that counts.  I have never seen bread of any kind served with sushi of any kind

 Most Sushi Masters around here are Mexican's dressed up to look like Japanese ones so I like to put Poblano , Serrano and Yellow Cubana peppers on our nigiri. in their honor.  Here is one for Mike that shows a swordfish one all dressed up with spicy mayo, made with real Japanese Sansho peppers and eel sauce that is not made with real eels like it is in Japan :-)  Lucy subbed thick, dark, mushroom flavored soy for eels instead.  It has every condiment on top of the rice - the peppers, carrot, cukes, cream cheese, green and red onion, celery, avocado.....


Get that Sushi Grade fish ready for November 1st!  Maybe we should invent some kind io bread for it?


dabrownman's picture

Yep it is over proofed

Normally Lucy and I would be the first ones to lead this charge but we didn’t need any bread and had a few bakes scheduled in front of another 50% whole grin bake.  As most know this is probably the bread we bake the most but we usually also out in multi-grains and or sprouted flour …or both like this one.

We stuck to the general outline except in 5-6 areas.  We used 10 g of NMNF Rey starter for the levain.  50% whole grains yes, but only 25% whole wheat.  We also had 25% sprouted whole, multi-grains made up of red wheat, spelt, rye, Kamut and oat.  We kept the same percent pre-fermented flour of 5.2% but we sifted out all of the bran from the 25% whole wheat for the levain and used the high extraction WW for the rest of the levain flour.

Since sprouted flour has already been autolyzed for18 hours, there is no need to autolyse it at all   So we didn’t.  But we did autolyse the remaining high extraction WW and the 50% white dough flour made up of equal parts of KA bread flour and LaFama AP for 2 hours trying to approximate the ones used in the OP with the salt sprinkled on top.

Another change was that we cut the gluten development by one set and 30 minutes to 3 hours before retarding.  Sprouted mixes tend to be faster so no worries.  We also did 4 Sleeping Ferret Folds on the counter to gather everything up and 150 slap and folds to start and then did 2 sets of 40 and 10 more slap and folds and then 2 sets of stretch and folds, all on 30 minute intervals, and then let the dough sit for the rest of the 3 hours total.

We then bulk retarded it for 8 hours instead of shape retarding the dough for 10-12 hours.  With this much sprouted flour, it wouldn’t make it 10 hours in the fridge without over proofing.   We can watch it a lot better if bulk retarded and then warmed up, shaped and final proofed on the counter.  If you are doing all the extra sprouting work you don’t want to blow it at the end while you are sleeping.

We let it warm up for an hour and then pre-shaped and shaped in 10 minutes.  Everyone has been doing boules so we did a squat batard since we were different anyway ……and Lucy is really, really different.  It proofed for about two hours before we fired up the oven indoors at 500F with the Mega Steam Lava Rocks in the bottom for steam later on.  It hit the heat 3 hours after shaping.

Unmolded onto parchment on a peel, scored once sort of down the middle, and into the oven it went after forgetting to spritz with 3 C of water poured over the hot lava rocks. We baked it for 20 minutes with steam at 450 F and then 16 minutes at 425 F convection.  It came out blistered, boldly baked with a nice bloom.  Hope the crumb is a nice OSM and that it tastes better than it looks.

Salmon and Tuna

It really puffed itself up into a beautiful shape but no large quantity of huge holes either.  It is plenty soft and moist though.  Forgot the spritz and 5% water so the blisters and open were missing in action:-)








WW Bran













Dough flour













KA Bread




Total flour




Dough water



 Plus 12 g of PH Sea Salt

I had to go back and fix the formula. I had held back 100 g of water for he double hydration and the salt addition and then took 30 g of that to add into the bran levain before mixing it in to loosen it up.  But I forgot to add in the 30 g of levain water and found it in the cup on the counter so that drops the hydration by 5% and might account for the crumb being not as open as it should have bee,  I also had the amounts for the sprouted flour and WW high extraction switched.  Now all is well and we had this bread toasted for breakfast bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches.  It is delicious and why this formula is our go to daily eater if there is such a thing.  My wife really likes it, so I see bruschetta coming our way for dinner.  We sure have made a lot of 50/50 multigrain bread with half the whole grains being sprouted.


More salad

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This s take off from out our normal Banana bread cupcakes that we like because they are iced with sprinkles bt Lucy was not having the least bit of interest tn more work on a busy Saturday and said in the pan it goes.

It turned out delicious anyway.   

Lucy’s Banana Bread or Cupcake 

Preheat oven to 375 F degrees for loaf pan and 25F  less for cupcakes

Dry Mix:

1 ½ C plus 2 T flour

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp each ginger, cloves, allspice, mace

1 tsp each cinnamon and nutmeg

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp baking powder

1/2 C chopped walnuts

1/2 C chopped chocolate chips  THIS RECIPE USUALLY HAS 1 c EACH OF nUTS AND CHIPS

 Bourbon Fruit – add bourbon to below dried fruits in a Pyrex 1 cup measuring cup covered with plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds and set aside 15 minutes to plump up fruits.

2 T bourbon

¼ C raisins or sultanas

¼ C dried cranberries

¼ C dried apricots cut into raisin size pieces

We used ½ C each Dried Cherries and Cranberries for this bake

Wet Mix:

 3 mashed up ripe bananas – 4 is better but Lucy always eats one ahead of time

1/8 cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

½ C vegetable oil

½ C each brown and white sugar

1 T walnut oil

 dd ½ C sugar, ½ C brown sugar and Bourbon fruits to wet mix and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Mix the wet into the dry and stir 50 times with spatula until the flour is incorporated

Quickly fill cupcake paper liners 3/4th full or put into PAM sprayed large bread loaf pan which is way faster for Lucy.

Bake cupcakes for about 15-18 minutes until wooden toothpick comes out clean.  Loaves will take 1 to 1 ½ hours or more for wooden skewer to come out clean or better 196 F on the inside.  You don’t want the top to collapse when it cools. 

 LET cool completely (Like you can stop it)  on wire rack – 2 hours minimum.  Ice cupcakes with cream cheese vanilla icing and put sprinkles on each to decorate per the holiday or special occasion.  Makes about 21 cupcakes or 1 large bread loaf pan

Cream Cheese Frosting


 1/2 C butter, softened

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract


Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended; stir in vanilla.

Cut recipe recipe in half for 20 Cupcakes or 9x13 sheet cake.

Slicing was fine for 1/4" but the light was bad so Crumb Shot tomorrow


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