The Fresh Loaf

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rgreenberg2000's blog

rgreenberg2000's picture

We had lots of good food yesterday for Thanksgiving, but I was especially happy with the dinner rolls that I made using Maurizio's Super Soft Sourdough Rolls writeup.  As promised, these were soft, fluffy, baked up nicely tall, and just downright tasty.  Perfect with a little butter, and to mop up whatever was left on my plate!

I followed Maurizio's instructions to the letter with two mods: (1) I only have AP flour on hand, so added some VWG to boost the protein content, and (2) I don't have a Lloyd pan, but my 12" CI skillet was a perfect substitute.

I snapped a few pics along the way on a busy day......

Dough portioned:

Rolls risen:

Baked and resting:

rgreenberg2000's picture

I've been wanting to make a rye bread for a while to change things up a bit, and finally got to it today (and yesterday.)

I really liked Benny's version of Eric's deli rye (pretty sure this was part of a CB), so I decided that I would follow Benny's post HERE.

I don't have too much to add to Benny's post, other than things went pretty much as planned.  I did extend the "bulk" to an hour to get to doubling, and this was a bit of an adventure to mix/develop by hand, but all in all, it came together as it should.

Here's my loaf after shaping, before adding poppy seeds, and using boxes of cat food for support rather than wine bottles (I have no doubt this will impact the loaf significantly!):

....and after baking, brushed with the cornstarch glaze:

I'll let this one "mature" until at least lunch tomorrow.  My biggest regret is that I didn't cure any corned beef or pastrami for sandwiches! :)

Thanks for the detailed post of your version of this rye bread, Benny!  Can't wait to slice it open!


rgreenberg2000's picture

I haven't posted in quite some time, but there is rarely a day that goes by that I don't check in here and marvel at the TFL creations.  I haven't posted, as I was pretty much making the same bread every week, so not much to share.  At some point (early Covid lockdown) I decided to acquire a Pullman pan and work on my sandwich bread.  I've been making this loaf with small tweaks to the flour mix here and there, and just wanted to pop in, share, and say thanks..... without some of the wonderful breads I see posted here, I would not have achieved this kind of result.  My current loaf is my modified version of Maurizio's Pain de Mie Sandwich Bread

Weekly Sandwich Loaf (9" Pullman - USA Pans)

398g AP Flour (Central Milling ABC)

76g Whole Wheat (freshly milled, CM hard red spring)

49g Durum (freshly milled, Great Plains)

14g Rye (freshly milled, CM)

350g Water

21g Olive Oil

35g Honey

9g Salt

87g Active Starter (100% hydration)

(note, my scale died today, and I obviously can't halve a double batch by eye....hence the lumpier loaf on the right that didn't fill the pan.) :)

Keep on baking, TFL, your creations inspire me!  (.....going to try one of Benito's multi-colored creations soon!)


rgreenberg2000's picture

Alfanso's recent blog post about the classic baguettes that he made, gave me the inspiration to try my hand at baguettes again (I did reasonably well in my first foray, but just hadn't made them again in a few years.  I followed the recipe and process from Alfanso's blog entry to the letter, except for extending my bulk proof to 90 minutes, and reducing the retarded portion to 3 hours.  They came out......ok.  I'm definitely out of shape from a shaping perspective, my scoring needs practice, and I think I prefer a 330g dough weight instead of 310g.

They were pretty easy to do, though, and they will likely taste good, so I will chalk this up as a success, and something to keep working on.  A few pics......

Woke up to this poolish in the am:

Ready for their fridge nap:

....and, baked:

Thanks for the inspiration (again!), Alfanso!


rgreenberg2000's picture

I decided that I wanted to change things up a bit this week, after falling into a rut making the same bread every week for a while.  Looking back through some of my favorite breads from the past, I decided that I would bake a rye sourdough with a nod to PiP's 40% rye.


343g AP

254g Dark Rye (Bob's Red Mill)

38g WW (fresh milled, hard red spring)

120g mature levain (100% hydration, fed WW flour)

385g Water

13g Salt

I used my typical process for this bread.  Mix all but the salt until incorporated, then rest for 30 minutes.  Add salt, use pinch method to incorporate, slap/fold about 30x, rest 30 minutes.  Gentle stretch folds about 20x, rest 30 minutes.  Four gentle folds, rest 90 minutes.  Four gentle folds to help release the dough from the container, then pre-shape and rest for 15 minutes.  Final shaping (batard in this case), proof in a banneton for 75 minutes, then into the fridge for about 4 hours. (NOTE: all "resting" done at RT since it was pretty warm.)

Bake covered at 475F for 15 minutes, then uncovered for 20 minutes.

I was very happy with how this turned out, and I think my dough handling skills are getting better......I remember this same bread at same hydration really being a major pain the first time I made it! :)

Fresh out of the oven:

Crumb shot:

Kicking myself for not making some pastrami...... :)


rgreenberg2000's picture

Got my weekly bake done today, and all went smoothly.  The only real adjustment to my usual process was due to an early dinner that we had scheduled to celebrate our youngest daughter's birthday with her grandparents.  Instead of my usual 1.5 hour final proof at RT (before retarding for a few hours), I only let it proof at RT for .5 hours, then into the fridge for about 6 hours.  Everything came out well (no crumb shot yet, but I expect it will look the same as usual, perhaps a little tighter based on the dough feel, and how it looked out of the fridge.)

950g AP flour (Gold Medal)

80g WW flour (KA)

80g Semolina (BRM)

40g Dark Rye (BRM)

760g Water

250g active starter (100% hydration)

26g salt

The other minor change to my process was to try to replicate Kat's perfectly vertical ear from her blog post earlier today (HERE).  I dropped my scoring further down on the side of the loaf, whereas my usual scoring is just a bit to the side of the center line.  On the first loaf, I think I was a bit hesitant with my slash, and this resulted in a bit of a wavy ear:

I approached the second one with a bit more confidence, slashing in one motion (I also move the slash location up just a bit....more toward center), and I got much closer to a "soldier" ear (standing at attention):

Other than that, I got good spring, nice color, and some good blistering, too.

I'll keep working on this scoring technique, as I find it somewhat visually appealing.  Thanks for the inspiration, Kat! :)


rgreenberg2000's picture

My weekly bake this week, and I decided to go back to my favorite flour mix - 10% WW, 10% Semolina, and 5% Rye.  Of course, the WW % is actually higher since I feed my starter with WW flour, but you get the idea! :)  I tried very hard to be as gentle as possible with my stretching, folding, and I like the results thus far (still cooling, so haven't cut into them.)  In particular, I think these loaves seemed to hold their shape after being removed from the bannetons better than any loaves I have made before.  Here are the particulars, and some pics.....


950g AP (GM)

80g WW

80g Semolina

40g Rye

240g levain

769g water (70%)

25g salt

Total Dough - 2,184g

Total Flour - 1,270g

Total Water - 889g (70%)


6:15a - Refresh starter 50:100:100

9:00a - Initial mix - flour, water, starter

9:30a - Pinch in salt, 30x slap/fold

10:00a - 20x slap/fold

10:30a - Stretch/fold, proof 1.5-2 hours @ 75F

12:00p - Divided and pre-shaped

12:15p - Final shape, into bannetons to proof @ 75F

1:30p - loaves into fridge

8:15p - pre-heat oven, loaves out of fridge

9:15 - loves into oven

9:35 - remove loaves from DO, bake in stone for 20 more

10:00 - remove loaves from oven to cool

rgreenberg2000's picture

Today (well, and yesterday) was time for round 2 of my sourdough bagels.  The last batch were ok, but very dense, and HARD!!  So, I changed two things this time around.  I upped the hydration to 61% (from 59%), and I let the bagels proof at room temp for about 90 minutes after shaping.  The rest of the process I left the same, and, with the bagels now out of the oven, I think I'm on the right track.  Oh, wait, I did also add 25g sugar, so I guess I changed three things!  Here's what I did.....

Preferment/Levain - 339g

31g Starter from fridge

155g Freshly milled Hard Red Spring WW

155g Water



753g AP Flour

393g Water

339g Levain

25g Sugar

19g Salt



Total Dough - 1488

Total Flour - 923

Total Water - 563

Total Hydration - 61%



Build levain, and let rise at room temp for 10-12 hours (not quite what I did, as I was building levain for two bakes)

Mix levain with dough water in mixing bowl, then add flour/salt and mix together well

Knead 10-20 minutes, or until dough is soft and smooth

Ferment at room temp for 1.5 hours, then overnight in the fridge

Remove from fridge, scale to 120g, and form bagels

Allow to proof on parchment lined baking sheet for 1.5 hour

Simmer in water (with malt powder) for 1 minute per side, remove and top if desired

Bake at 475F for 35 minutes on baking stone

Remove, cool, slice, eat

Here are a few pics from along the way.

My fed starter after about 4 hours (made enough for a sourdough loaf, too):

Bagels formed (I did a more even job this time):

Bagels simmered, then topped:

Bagels out of the oven (need to work on browning):

Crumb shot:

All in all, I think that this version turned out better.  The dough was very similar, but felt a bit easier to work this time around.  The longer proof time before simmering definitely made a difference as the bagels floated in my water almost immediately.....last time they sank and I had to keep them from sticking on the bottom (shallow pot.)  I'd like them to get more brown, but that's just an aesthetic.  The flavor is about where I want it.  Just a slight sourdough tang, and the crumb, though on the dense side, is what I think of as a New York'ish bagel.  Pretty happy with these, though I'm sure the next run may have a tweak or two.

Thanks for looking!  If you try these out, let us know how it goes, and any changes you make.


PS: Oh, and here's the sourdough loaf (10% whole wheat, 10% semolina, 5% rye):

rgreenberg2000's picture

I got a bee in my bonnet the other day about making a simple loaf of 50% whole wheat sandwich bread.  Nothing special, just a good solid bread for toast, sandwiches and the like.  One thing I wanted to do was to keep the level of effort fairly minimal (somewhere just above using the bread machine....) :)  I read a bunch of different recipes, and this is what I came up with:

300g AP flour

300g Whole wheat flour

366g Water

30g Milk

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp sugar

14g Salt

1.5g ADY

I mixed together the dry ingredients (including yeast), whipped the butter into the water/milk with a fork (got lots of little globules), then mixed the wet and dry together until everything was incorporated.  This was at about 9pm, and I left it in the mixing bowl, covered overnight.  At about 6am, I pulled the dough out of the bowl, and it was nice and soft, a bit puffy, and quite sticky.  With a light dusting of flour and my scraper, I pre-shaped it, then let it rest for about 30 minutes.  Then I did a final shaping, and dropped it (gently, of course) in a greased loaf pan.  It took about 3.5 hours for the dough to rise over the level of the loaf pan, at which point, I cooked it in a 425 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes (temp was 200 when I removed it.)  Let it cool, and sliced it the next day for a toast test.  Pretty tasty stuff!  Nice moist crumb, soft and tender, and very wheaty!

I'd like to get a little more loft to this one, so the next version might use a bit more flour, or a longer final rise.  Possible flavor tweaks would be to use honey instead of sugar, and maybe oil instead of butter to see what impact that might have (I'm guessing not much, they are pretty small additions anyway.)

I consider this a success -- low effort, solid sandwich loaf, and look forward to tweaking this one a bit more.  Maybe I'll even take more photos next time! ;)

Thanks for looking!


rgreenberg2000's picture

I already has bagels on the mind for this weekend when Lazy Loafer (Wendy) posted up her lovely batch yesterday.  So, I dove into the deep end, and took my first go at making sourdough bagels.  I did some searching, and decided to go with THIS RECIPE (posted by Quantum.)  I modified the levain build slightly (favoring a 1:5:5 build up), and also did the bulk proof in the fridge overnight.  I'll cut to the chase on the results......they ARE bagels, but they are a bit denser than even a typical NY bagel might be.  I think that's because I got into shaping, boiling and baking too soon after I took the dough out of the fridge.  On the next go around, I'll probably leave the dough to sit on the counter for a couple hours after they come out of the fridge.  Here are the details......


Levain Build:

31g mature starter from fridge

155g Flour (used freshly milled hard red spring)

155g Water

Let levain ferment for 10-12 hours


753g Flour (used Gold Medal AP)

377g Water

339g Levain

19g Salt

"Dissolve" levain and salt in the water, then add to flour in a mixing bowl.  Bring everything together into a cohesive dough mass (it's a bit dry, but it will happen!), then knead for 10-15 minutes (I did this by hand, so if you have a mixer, make adjustments here.)  Once the dough has become smooth in texture, place into an oiled container, and proof at room temp for 1-2 hours.  Then put dough into fridge overnight.  Remove dough from fridge in the morning (this is where I will let it sit for a couple of hours next time), and get your boiling/simmering water ready to go.  I used hot tap water, and some dry malt extract (eyeballed it).  Now is also a good time to preheat your oven to 500 degrees (I baked these on a stone.)

Divide the dough into 12 equal portions (about 122g each), pre-shape into balls, then let rest for a few minutes.  Take each ball and roll it out into a cylinder about 8" long, wrap the cylinder around your hand (seam on the palm side), then roll the seam to seal.  Once all of the bagels are formed, simmer them in your water for about 1 minute per side (do this in batches sized according to the vessel you are using.)  Remove from the water, press into whatever toppings you might be using, and place on parchment paper that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Slide the parchment onto the stone in your oven, bake for 20 minutes.  If they aren't dark enough for your tastes, bake a bit longer.

Remove from oven, cool, then slice, toast and enjoy!

I'm looking forward to eating these, and then giving this recipe another go with some tweaks.



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