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rgreenberg2000's blog

rgreenberg2000's picture

Ok, so I'm not an artist in any way, shape, or form!  Lovely images that I can see in my mind's eye always turn out as stick figures, and not very good ones at that! :)  So, it's a bit surprising, then, that I decided to try some decorative scoring on my weekly loaves this week.  Back story.......we hosted our annual Halloween party on Monday, and one of our guests brought a loaf of bread that had a "Jack Skellington" skeleton face scored on the top of it.  I thought to myself, "Hey, this would be a cool thing for me to make next year to go with my BBQ Skeleton.....

The "planner" in me decided that I should work up to something like that slowly (since I've seen my pumpkin carving, this really is a good idea!!!) So, I looked at a bunch of YouTube videos on scoring (most of which were WAY to intricate for me), and eventually decided to do a simple wheat stalk on my weekly loaf of bread to see what I could do with that simple pattern.  Well, it's not at all bad! 🤣 Much room to grow, but a halfway decent start.....

The bread is the same that I posted in my blog last week, and the fridge retard really makes the decorative scoring pretty easy (without needing to make a stiffer, lower hydration loaf.)

I'll post updates here, as I make progress. :)


rgreenberg2000's picture

I have posted similar loaves in the past, but there's probably been enough change to the formula, I thought I'd add a new entry.  This bread is what I make every week about 90% of the time (my recent olive and cranberry loaves notwithstanding.) Over the past year or two, I've swapped the amounts for whole wheat vs durum, in favor of a higher % of durum in the mix.  All of the non-white flour is freshly milled in my Komo Fidibus mill.

Oh, and I've confused people in the past with the RWC's the city I live in (Redwood City.) :)


  • 401g All Purpose (Central Milling Beehive)
  • 401g Bread (CM High Mountain)
  • 232g Durum (CM)
  • 58g Whole Wheat (CM Hard White Winter)
  • 58g Rye (CM)
  • 240g Levain (100%, WW)
  • 833g Water
  • 26g Salt

Total Flour = 1270g

Total Water = 953g

Hydration = 75%

I usually keep my weekly bakes at 72%, but on a whim, decided I'd push that up to 75% for this bake.  I also decided to use my Ankarsrum to develop the dough rather than hand mixing/folding (again, on a whim.)


Gave my starter a good feed before I went to bed, then built my levain in the morning.  I like to keep my starter jar and levain "bucket" sitting on my TiVo.....seems to keep things at a temperature that the yeast like! :)

Autolysed the whole grain flours with an equal weight of water for about 90 minutes.

Fired up the Ank, and mixed in my levain and remaining water, then added the AP/bread flours.  Once everything was mixed well, I covered the Ank bowl with a towel, and let it rest for about 20 minutes.  After the rest, I added the salt, and mixed everything to a good windowpane, which took about 10 minutes or so.

My total bulk (from addition of levain) was 4 hours (and hour longer than usual, just "for fun"), and I threw in three sets of stretch/folds, as the dough was a bit more slack than I wanted.  After I judged the bulk to be complete, I divided, pre-shaped, shaped, and set the bannetons back in the proofer for about 30 minutes.  At that point, both loaves headed to the fridge for a 12 hour nap.

This morning, I preheated my oven with stone to 475° for about 45 minutes, then slid loaf #1 into the oven covered with my enameled roaster.  Baked covered for 25 minutes, and uncovered for 15 minutes (another process modification....extending the covered time to see how much thinner the crust ends up.

I'm very happy with how both of these loaves turned out.  Got a super nice ear on one of them, with a decent ear on the other.....interestingly, the only difference of note on these two loaves is that one banneton is slightly larger than the other. I don't care enough to experiment on that front.

One of these loaves will be "donated" to a neighbor, the other should be gobbled up within four days or so.


rgreenberg2000's picture

We have friends coming into town this week, so I needed more bread on hand.  Seemed like a good time to take a run at Holiday Cranberry v2 (now BASED on Trevor Wilson’s formula, but tweaked more to my starter/process.)  Everything went very well with this bake EXCEPT for a hydration issue……. After I got all the water, levain and flours into my Ank, it was dry as dry could be!! I was completely confused, as I have mixed this volume of flour at this hydration so many times, and never had this problem.  I added water bit by bit until the dough finally came together and felt roughly the same as it normally does.  It was at this point that I noticed that I had about 1.5 cups of my water I had measured out still sitting to the side!!! Grrrr!!!!  I had mixed SOME of the formula water into my container for the levain, and completely forgot to add the rest!  Oh, well, disaster averted, and onward…….


Bread Flour 435g (CM High Mtn)

AP Flour 434g (CM Beehive)

Whole Wheat 219g (fresh milled, CM hard white winter)

Water 749g

Levain 250g (100%, WW fed)

Dried Cranberries 300g

Salt 25g


 Combine water and levain, mix in Ankarsrum on low until well combined.

Add WW, AP and bread flours, continue mixing on low until well mixed, rest for 20 minutes.

Mix on medium speed until dough is well developed (about 12 minutes in Ank).

Add cranberries by the handful over about 2 minutes, mix until well distributed.

Move Ank bowl to proofer @ 72°F. Stretch/fold twice at 30 minute intervals.

Dough after 2nd stretch/fold:

Bulk proof ~2:45 @ 72°F, or until dough seems a bit puffy (doesn’t seem to get jiggly with all the cranberries)

Dough after bulk complete:

Divide and pre-shape into rounds.

Dough divided/preshaped:


Shape into final forms (round, batard, etc.), then place into bannetons @ 72°F for 60 minutes.

Move to fridge and continue proof overnight (these went about 15 hours.

Dough just before heading to fridge:

Just out of fridge:

Slashed and ready to bake:

Bake, covered, in a preheated oven @ 475°F for 15 minutes.  Remove cover and bake for 25 more minutes.

Loaf #1 after removing inverted roaster:

Finished loaves:

Cool thoroughly, slice and eat!

rgreenberg2000's picture

As part of my search for some new formulas to work with (with an eye toward the holidays), I spent some time perusing PiPs blog posts.  If you haven't had the time to look through his content, I have to say, I could spend a month or two just baking some of the absolutely delicious looking breads that he presented here!  Lovely stuff!

Anyway, the Olive & Herb sourdough that he shared in his blog looked like a great option to play with.  I followed the formula very closely, making a minor adjustment to 72% hydration, which I tend to prefer.  My Whole Wheat flour was freshly milled hard white winter wheat from Central Milling, and I used a 50/50 mix of CM Organic AP, and CM High Mountain ("bread") flours.  I wasn't able to get to Whole Foods, where they have my preferred olives in their olive bar, so the olives I used for this bake were brined Castrellano olives from the local grocery.  As it turned out, they weren't quite as briny as usual, so my salt was a little low in the finished product.

Everything got mixed/developed in my Ankarsrum.  After about 12 minutes of development, things looked pretty good, so I added in the olives bit by bit to get them incorporated.  Interestingly, the olives didn't mix in quite as well as I had expected, and they seemed to want to crowd the roller in my Ank.  After a total of 15 minutes in the mixer, I did a bit of hand kneading/manipulation to get the olives as well dispersed as I could.

Did about 3 hours of bulk @ 79°F in my XL proofing setup (large cooler, seedling mat, and an Inkbird controller), then shaped and dropped in the fridge overnight (after another hour in the proofer.)  When I baked loaf #1 in the morning, it was a bit explosive in its oven spring, which led me to believe that it may have been a bit under proofed.  I left loaf #2 to sit in the proofer again at 75°F for about 3 hours and then baked it.  Not bad, but I feel like I missed my window in there somewhere! :) The taste is fantastic (as mentioned, a bit low on salt), the crumb is what I like as it holds onto things like butter better, and I look forward to baking this one again.

Oh, and here's the "XL Proofer" :)

rgreenberg2000's picture

I haven't posted anything in ages since I tend to make the same loaves on a regular basis that I have shared before.  I am still baking weekly, and I visit here often to see what creations everyone is baking up!  This week, I decided to shake things up a bit and find some loaves that would be fitting for holiday gatherings and gifts.  As it happens, Trevor Wilson got his content back on line about the same time as I was perusing TFL for ideas, and his Holiday Cranberry Sourdough struck a chord with me.  So, off I went..... :)

I stayed true to Trevor's formula (after all, first time I'm making it, so......) The only changes I made were to scale the recipe for my usual loaf size, and to reduce the hydration to 72% (my comfort zone.) I also paid close attention to the dough, and my fermentation times were a bit different than his, but this is to be expected given starter differences, temp differences, etc.  My fridge proof was a bit shorter @ 10 hours, but, hey, who is in charge here, me or the bread?!?! ;) Ok, now that I typed all that, I guess I stayed true to the SPIRIT of Trevor's formula. :)

Anyway, everything went VERY smoothly for this bake.  I mixed the dough in my Ankarsrum, and it came together beautifully.  I mixed/developed the dough for about 12 minutes before slowly adding the cranberries.  The Ank got them mixed in well in about 2-3 minutes.  I baked off the first loaf this morning, and was a bit concerned that I had shortchanged the fermentation when there was just a small amount of oven spring when I removed my inverted roaster after the steaming period.  After another 25 minutes uncovered, my concerns turned out to be unjustified.  I did get a little splitting on one side of the loaf, so, I'd guess that I under proofed things a bit.

Happy with how this turned out for a first attempt, and will only make minor tweaks when I do it again.  Thanks for a great formula, and well written instructions, Trevor!

rgreenberg2000's picture

Ok, so it took me WAY too long to make this after salivating over all of Benny's iterations of his lovely Hokkaido loaves, but I finally did it.  Thanks to Benny's very detailed and clear instructions, my first Hokkaido loaf was a success (though I need to get some of his super yeast so I can replicate the explosive rise he gets!)

I just finished my first two slices of this loaf, and it is delicious! A nice, soft crumb with just a bit of sweetness.  Toasts up perfectly, and was just wonderful with a light spread of raspberry jam.  Looking forward to a sandwich for lunch!

Anyway, here's my version of Benny's 50% Hokkaido Milk Loaf.......


My bread flour was KA

My WW flour was freshly home milled white winter wheat from Central Milling

My bulk and proof temps were 82F (4.5 hours bulk, 6.25 hours final), and I did chill the dough prior to rolling

I will now shamelessly copy all of Benny's lovely bread photo angles....... :). THANKS BENNY!

rgreenberg2000's picture

No bread today (sorry, Benny, didn't get to the Hokkaido bread today), but still had some fun with flour......  I feel like I've got my pasta dough down pretty pat at this point......

400g Caputo Antimo 00

3 large eggs

Tomato paste (to make the liquid equal 230g)

EDIT: Oops!  My (minimal steps after the ingredients didn't paste!  I use the "well" method for making pasta because I'm lazy and would rather clean a bowl than my food processor set up.  I have a wide/shallow bowl that is perfect, so I don't have to do this directly on the counter.  I pour the whisked egg/tomato paste mixture into a well created in the middle of my flour.  Slowly pull flour into the mixture with a fork until it becomes very thick, then I switch to hand mixing/kneading.  It will take some time to knead all the dry flour in, but resist the temptation to add moisture! Total kneading time should be able 10 minutes.  Wrap in plastic wrap, and rest at RT for at least 30 minutes, or in the fridge for several hours.  At this point, follow the directions for your pasta machine, or roll out by and and cut your pasta shapes.  Cook (quickly) and eat!

I received a new set of cutters for my Marcato Atlas 150 pasta "machine", and I tested out the Linguine cutter today.  I think due to the rain today, my dough needed about 30 minutes after rolling to dry a bit to be ready for the cutter, but after that, it went smooth as silk......

I sautéed some crimini mushrooms with butter, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  When they were tender, I mixed in some chopped parsley, half a cup of pasta water, and about 1/2-1 cup of parmesan cheese.  Tossed with the pasta, then served with some grilled chicken breast and roasted zucchini......super tasty stuff!!!

.....and plenty of leftovers! :)


rgreenberg2000's picture

I'll preface this blog post with a big THANK YOU for the input, insights, and recommendations from my prior thread about needing to find my way back to the right timing for my regular loaves.  I think I've got it (pending a look at the crumb, but I'm pretty confident from the exterior and the heft (or lack thereof)) of my most recent bake.

430g AP

430g Bread

116g WW

116g Durum

58g Rye

240g levain

794g water

26g salt


The breakdown on the process this time was.......

  • 0:00 - Autolyze whole wheat flours w/equal amount of water (290g)
  • 1:00 - Mix remaining flour, water, and levain until dry bits incorporated, rest 30 minutes
  • 1:30 - Mix in salt, then develop dough in Ankarsrum for about 12-14 minutes on speed 3/3.5
  • 1:45 - Move dough to bulk container and into proofer @ 82F
  • 2:15 - Stretch/fold, rest 30
  • 2:45 - Stretch/fold, finish proof
  • 5:00 - Divide, pre-shape, rest, shape
  • 5:15 - Loaves in bannetons back into proofer @ 82F
  • 5:45 - Loaves into fridge
  • 6:45 - Preheat oven to 550F
  • 7:45 - Bake loaf #1 (smaller banneton) - oven down to 475F, 20 covered on stone, 25 uncovered on stone
  • 8:30 - Re-heat oven to 550F
  • 8:45 - Bake loaf #2

I did try to use the aliquot method again, but I was getting only minimal apparent rise in my spice jar, and the dough had surface bubbles and was jiggly.  I think I didn't remove air from the sample well, so my reference point was off.....I forged ahead.  Loaf #1 didn't spring as much as loaf #2, so on my next batch, I'll extend the fridge proof an hour, and bake loaf #1 @ 8:45 on the "clock".

Overall, I'm very happy with the progress on this batch, and, if the crumb on Loaf #2 matches the nice exterior, then I will consider this my new procedure (until, of course, I change something else.)  Being able to use the proofer to control the temp variable across batches will help with consistency, and I'll work on a better procedure with my aliquot jar to use as reference.

Ok, a couple of pics.....

Loaf #1 on the left, loaf #2 on the right:

....and a close up of that proud ear on loaf #2!! :)

Again, my thanks for the help from the TFL collective, and I'll update with a crumb shot when I cut into a loaf for my toast in the morning.


rgreenberg2000's picture

I was very intrigued by Dan's CB post of the Portuguese Sweet Bread, but I didn't have all of the ingredients to properly attempt the recipe he posted.  I did think this would be a good way to use my new mixer with an enriched bread, though, so I instead decided to attempt the Portuguese Sweet Bread from King Arthur.

I followed the recipe exactly, substituting 1.33 Tbsp of Fleischmann's ADY for the preferred 1 Tbsp SAF Gold.

I used my new Ankarsrum mixer to mix everything up, and then develop the dough (went about 9-10 minutes.)

After about 2 hours, it seemed like it had puffed enough (kind of hard to tell from the photo)

I deflated the dough, then roughly shaped it into a square, as I decided to use my 8x8 brownie pan (USA Pans) instead of a 9" round....

A couple hours later, the dough was just below the rim of the pan, so I popped it into the oven to bake

After the 40 minutes called for in the recipe, the top of the bread was still a bit pale, so I hit it with Conv Bake for five minutes, and it came out a lovely, deep brown/mahogany

I haven't cut into it yet, so I'll have to update with a crumb shot later.  It smells deliciously sweet and lemony, and was pretty easy to make!


rgreenberg2000's picture

This is the third time I followed Benito's version of Eric's favorite deli rye sourdough.  After the first two times, my biggest frustration was my inability to get the rye sour well incorporated with the bread flour after its initial development........enter my new toy.  My lovely wife got me an Ankarsrum mixer for Christmas, and even green-lighted me using it a bit early.

My two favorite kitchen appliances:

So, I followed the process in Benny's blog post faithfully making the rye sour overnight, developing some strength in the bread flour/water, bringing the two together, etc.  The mixer performed beautifully (thanks to reading ALL of the posts on here about them), and I had a nicely developed and well integrated dough after about 12 minutes of mixing at the 3'oclock position on the Ank.

Baked it up and ended up with this (I was out of poppy seeds, so used black sesame for contrast:

I also made a couple of my "standard" loaves to test out the mixer with my weekly formula:

Sliced into the rye this morning:

Looking forward to a sandwich with my Kasseler Ripchen (cured/smoked pork loin):

A delicious bread, and thanks again, Benny, for sharing your version of Eric's rye!! :)



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