The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.


Benito's picture

This year we will be away until just before Christmas.  As a result, I need to do at least some of my Christmas baking before we go.  I’ve been eyeing the mazanec recipe from Maurizio Leo since Easter.  I realize that Mazanec is an Easter bread, but the recipes for Mazanec and Vanocka are so similar and since Vanocka is a christmas bread I thought I would try making these.  The Mazanec seems to be shaped as a boule and given a cross scoring.  The Vanocka seems to typically be plaited in two layers, I decided to do a six strand plait because I enjoy doing them and like the way they look.

I followed Maurizio’s recipe except that I used half raisins and half cranberries since I thought they would be nice and a bit more Chrismassy.  I also used brandy to soak the dried fruit instead of rum.  My fermentation took longer than Maurizio’s but I think both loaves turned out well.  I had to stagger the baking since both would not fit well in my oven.  I gave the Mazanec a cold retard so that I could bake it the following morning.

These breads are slightly sweet, enriched with butter and eggs and have hints of vanilla, almond and lemon.  I hope the recipients of these loaves enjoy them.




  • Make the levain and soak the raisins and cranberries the night before.

    In the evening, when your sourdough starter is ripe (when you’d typically give it a refreshment), make the levain. Cover the jar loosely and let the levain ripen overnight at warm room temperature about 75°F.  In a small bowl, combine the raisins/cranberries and brandy (use enough brandy so they’re just covered). Cover the bowl.


  • Mix the dough 

    In the morning, about 12 hours later, your starter should be bubbly on top and at the sides, have risen in the jar, have a sour aroma, and have a loose consistency. If it was cold in your kitchen overnight or it isn’t displaying these signs, give it one more hour to rise and check again.

    Cut butter into small pieces, place them on a plate, and set them aside to soften to room temperature. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the flour, milk, eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, almond extract (if using), zest of 2 lemons, and the ripe levain. Set the mixer to low speed and mix until all the ingredients are combined and no dry bits of flour remain. Turn up the mixer to medium-low and mix for 3 to 5 minutes, until the dough starts to clump around the dough hook. This is a small amount of dough in the mixer, so if at any time the dough fails to effectively move around with the dough hook, you can switch to the paddle attachment. This is a moderately strong dough at this point, and should mostly pull away from the bottom of the mixing bowl. 

    Let the dough rest 10 minutes in the mixing bowl, uncovered.

    The butter should be at room temperature by this time (meaning a finger should easily push into a piece with little resistance). If you used the paddle to mix, switch back to the dough hook, and with the mixer turned on to low speed, add the butter, one piece at a time, waiting to add the next until the previous is incorporated, 4 to 6 minutes total. Once all of the butter is added, turn the mixer up to medium-low and continue to mix until the dough smooths and once again begins clinging to the dough hook, 2 to 3 minutes. The dough will be cohesive, smooth, and elastic at the end of mixing.   Add the drained raisins and cranberries and mix until well incorporated.

    Transfer the dough to another large container (or leave it in the mixing bowl) for bulk fermentation.


Bulk ferment the dough

Cover the dough with a reusable airtight cover and let it rise at 82°F  for a total of 3-4 hours. During this time, you’ll give the dough one set of “stretches and folds” to give it additional strength.
Shape the dough

Check your dough; after 3-4 hours, it should have risen about 10-20%  in the bulk fermentation container, have a few scattered bubbles, be smoother with a slightly domed top, and be moderately light and fluffy to the touch. If the dough still looks sluggish or feels dense after 4 hours, give it another 30 minutes to rise.

Line the inside of an 8-inch round banneton or kitchen bowl with a clean kitchen towel and lightly dust with bread flour. Lightly flour the top of the dough and gently scrape it out to your work surface flour side down. Using a bench scraper and floured hand, flip the dough over and shape it into a very tight round by pushing and pulling the dough with the scraper against the work surface. Pushing and pulling will create tension on the top of the dough, creating a uniformly smooth surface.

Using your scraper, scoop up the dough, flip it over, and place it in the prepared banneton, seam side up. The seam on the bottom should be completely sealed. If it’s not, pinch the bottom closed with your fingers. Cover the banneton with a large plastic bag (or another bowl cover) and seal.


For shaping Vanocka, divide dough into six equal portions.  Pre-shape as a boule.  To form each piece into a strand about 14” long. On an un-floured board, flatten each piece with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece to about ¼ inch thickness. Then roll up each piece into a tight tube. Using the palms of your hands, lengthen each piece by rolling each tube back and forth on the bench with light pressure. Start with your hands together in the middle of the tube and, as you roll it, move your hands gradually outward. Taper the ends of the tube by rotating your wrists slightly so that the thumb side of your hand is slightly elevated, as you near the ends of the tube.)

Braid the loaf.  Braiding somewhat loosely, not too tight. 



Proof the dough

Proof the dough at a warm temperature 82°F  for about 6 hours.  Extend the proof time as necessary until the dough is puffy and a poke slowly springs back.


Bake and finish

Heat the oven to 400°F (200°C) with a rack in the middle and a baking stone on top (if you don’t have a baking stone, you can bake directly on a 13x18-inch half sheet pan ). In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg and 15 grams milk for the egg wash.

Place a piece of parchment paper on top of a pizza peel or upside-down sheet pan. Tip the proofed dough out to the center of the parchment paper so the seam is facing down.

Lightly brush the entire surface of the dough with the egg wash. Using a razor blade, baker’s lame, or sharp knife, make a cross shape with two shallow straight lines that intersect right at the top-center of the dough. Sprinkle on the sliced almonds (if using), slide the parchment paper onto the baking stone or sheet pan, and bake for 20 minutes at 400°F. After 20 minutes, rotate the parchment paper halfway and reduce the oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake the Mazanec/Vanocka for another 25 to 30 minutes, until it’s golden brown and the internal temperature is around 200°F (93°C). Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.

If desired, fill a fine-meshed strainer with confectioners’ sugar and liberally dust the top of the mazanec. This is best the day it’s baked, but can be stored on the counter for 3 days, covered.

My index of bakes.

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.


HeiHei29er's picture

When I read Ian's recent blog post, I put this one on my short list for bakes.  Not only because of the Guinness, but the blend of grains as well.

I translated his recipe into two standard loaves for me and stayed as true to his recipe as I could.  Only a few small changes that I don't think changed anything significantly.  
1) I omitted the EVOO;
2) I used my standard method for potato bread prep (caramelizing the potatoes).  With that I increased the hydration in the formula, but in all likelihood, his method of mashed potatoes (higher hydration than fried potatoes) probably yielded a similar final dough consistency;
3) I used a combination of a stiff starter (45% hydration) and a liquid starter (100% hydration) to achieve his 60% hydration.

My stiff starter is relatively new and I don't have much experience with it.  Due to weekend schedules and work travel, I was only able to get one refresh in after 2 weeks in the refrigerator.  It responded well, but was a little more acidic than I would have liked.  The dough developed well after mixing.  I used my standard 4 sets of bowl kneading for gluten development.  I was finished with gluten development and the dough went into the proofer 90 minutes after mixing.  It appeared to be fermenting quickly at the 30 minute fold and looked even further along at the next 30 minute fold, so I moved to shaping.  This is quicker than I expected, but maybe not surprising given the amount of pre-fermented flour.  Next time, I think I'll do more kneading early to get through gluten development quicker so I can get a better feel for the fermentation progress.  After shaping however, the dough drastically slowed and was in final proof for almost 3 hours.  It was nice and jiggly, but did not reach the level of expansion I expected.  I attribute that to the acidity in the stiff starter but that's a bit of speculation at this point.  Need to get more experience with that starter before drawing too many conclusions.

That said, I did get some good oven spring and very happy with how the loaves turned out.  One is scored with a single long score and the other is coated with the bran from sifting the whole grain and baked seam side up.  The aroma is whole grain with a hint of sweetness and that comes through in the flavor as well.  A firm flavorful crust with a moist crumb!  I used it for a grilled turkey sandwich today and it was great!  The toasted bran on the crust gave the loaf a nice little crunch.  I will make this one again!

Levain #1
113.3g  All Purpose Flour
73.3g   Water
55.3g   White Flour Starter, 60% hydration

Levain #2
113.3g  All Purpose Flour
68.2g   Water
All of Levain #1

Caramelized Potatoes
127.8g   Russet or Gold Potatoes, chopped into small cubes (~1/2")
3.8g       Butter

Final Dough
178.9g   Bread Flour
144.8g   Whole Wheat
133.8g   Whole Rye
115.9g   Whole Spelt
330g      Guinness Extra Stout (or your preferred Stout/Porter)
96.1g     Water
16.2g     Salt
21.3g     Honey

1) Mill grains and sift through a #40 sieve.  Set bran aside.
2) Combine ingredients for Levain #1 and ferment 5-6 hours at 76 deg F (expanded to about 150% and well domed)
3) Combine ingredients for Levain #2 with all of Levain #1.  Ferment for 2-3 hours at 76 deg F
4) Caramelize potatoes by frying at low heat for 1-2 hours in a covered, buttered pan.  Stir occasionally.  The goal is to soften/caramelize the potatoes without forming any brown fry crust on the potatoes. Cool to room temperature.
5) Combine the fried potatoes with the final dough water and puree them in a food processor.
6) Combine all the final ingredients, Levain #2, and potato puree and mix to a shaggy dough.  Autolyse 15 minutes.
7) Add salt and perform 4 sets of bowl kneading with 10 minute rests between sets.
8) Bulk ferment at 76 deg F with folds every 30-45 minutes until dough has expanded 50-75%
9) Divide dough and pre-shape.  Bench rest 15-20 minutes.
10) Final shape and final proof at 76 deg F until doubled in size and jiggly.
11) Preheat oven to 465.  Steam oven and bake at 465 deg F (2 minutes) and 400 deg F (18 minutes); vent oven; bake at 435 deg F (20 minutes)

Pictures and videos of yesterday's bake.

Levain #1 ready for Levain #2

My version of bowl kneading.  3rd set of 4.

Crumb reveal video.  Very happy with how this turned out, especially given 50% whole grain and potato puree. Bit of a shaping error in the center of the slice...

Yippee's picture

Please see here and here to learn more about concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS). 




This pumpkin bread is made with fresh 100% white whole-wheat flour. Pumpkin puree makes up approximately 85% of the liquid in the bread.

No egg or butter is used. Instead, mascarpone cheese is used to achieve a "cleaner" pumpkin taste.  

It is slightly sweetened; a touch of cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, and freshly ground cloves are also added to compliment the pumpkin flavor.

It is served with whole milk, flavored with Michael's Tiramisu 👍👍👍espresso-liqueur mixture.





10% white whole-wheat flour from WW CLAS👇👇👇

15% water from WW CLAS

90% fresh white whole-wheat flour, ground by Vitamix

10% sugar



71% pumpkin puree



1.5% salt

0.5% gold yeast



10% whole-milk powder

0.5% cinnamon powder

0.05% freshly grated nutmeg

0.05% freshly ground cloves



10% mascarpone cheese



10% pumpkin puree



toasted pumpkin seeds for topping


Total dough weight ~ 1140g w/o seeds

Total flour 500g



by Zojirushi bread machine

1. +A, start the machine

2. gradually +B until a dough forms; continue to mix

3. +C, continue to mix to incorporate and develop gluten

4. once the dough gains strength, +D, mix to incorporate them fully

5. gradually +E, mix to fully incorporate

6. gradually +F until the dough can barely absorb more puree



32C x 120mins, or until the dough doubles



with wet hands

fold the dough ~4-6 times into a log

sprinkle G all over the log

place the log into a 9x4x4 Pullman lined with parchment slings

spritz with water 

loosely cover the top with parchment or foil



33-34C x 45mins



cold oven w/o stone

place the Pullman in a granite turkey roaster

cover the roaster with the lid, place the roaster in the oven

set oven to 400F; the oven has come to temperature after ~22 minutes

lower to 375F, x 30mins

unmold, place the bread directly in contact with the granite roaster, and then put the roaster's lid on

375F x 15mins




👉👉👉How to make whole-wheat CLAS


 ground wheat malt: 25g

 Whole grain wheat flour: 75g

 Water T. 45°C: 140 ml

 Vinegar (5% acidity): 10 ml

 Fermentation temperature: 38°C±2°C

 Fermentation time: 24-36h

 Hydration: 150%

 End pH: around 4


To refresh wheat CLAS

1:7 (wheat flour in CLAS: new wheat flour), no vinegar needed

150% hydration@38+-2 C x 12 hours


I usually set up a water bath (~low 40s C) in the Instant Pot, support the container with a trivet, and use the Instant Pot's yogurt feature to make CLAS:   


Then cover it with the lid.






How I develop gluten for whole wheat dough 







Steam the pumpkin under high pressure in the Instant Pot for 30 minutes, or until it's softened to your liking 

       pumpkin puree            Ta-da!       Served with whole milk, flavored with Michael's Tiramisu espresso-liqueur mixture    


Benito's picture

This is my first bake using my new Ankarsrum Assistent to develop the dough.  What they say is true, there is definitely a learning curve and I am at the beginning of that slope.  This would usually take 30 mins from start of mix to the end of kneading in the KA mixer, not that I could safely do two loaves though.  With my being totally new to this mixer and wanting to try both the dough hook and the roller, it took me 60 mins!  Much of it was me f’ing around though so I can’t blame the Ankarsrum Assistent.  In the end, the dough was lovely silky and had a great windowpane.

I wanted to bake two loaves as gifts and wanted to bake something I’m quite familiar with, so it had to be a Hokkaido milk bread.  However, since they’re gifts you never know how much whole wheat the recipients might like or not, so I decided that 30% is a good amount for that extra wheat goodness without going all the way.

For two loaves, one in a 9x4x4” and the other in a 8.5x4.5x3” pan.



Mix the levain ingredients in a jar or pyrex container with space for at least 50% growth.

Press down with your knuckles to create a uniform surface and to push out air.

At room temperature, it typically takes 7-9 hours for this sweet stiff levain to be at peak.


In a sauce pan set on med heat with about 1.5 cm of water, place the bowl of your stand mixer creating a Bain Marie, whisk the milk and flour until blended. Then cook for several minutes until thickened, stirring regularly with a spoon or heat-resistant spatula. Let cool.



In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the milk (consider holding back 5 g of milk and adding later if this is the first time you’re making this), egg, tangzhong, salt, sugar, diastatic malt and levain.  Mix and then break up the levain into many smaller pieces.  Next add the flour and vital wheat gluten.  I like to use my spatula to mix until there aren’t many dry areas.  Allow the flour to hydrate (fermentolyse) for 20-30 minutes.  Mix on low speed and then medium speed until moderate gluten development this may take 5-10 mins.  You may want to scrape the sides of the bowl during the first 5 minutes of mixing.  Next add room temperature butter one pat at a time.  The dough may come apart, be patient, continue to mix until it comes together before drizzling or adding in more butter.  Once all the butter has been added and incorporated increase the speed gradually to medium.  Mix at medium speed until the gluten is well developed, approximately 10 mins.  You will want to check gluten development by windowpane during this time and stop mixing when you get a good windowpane.  You should be able to pull a good windowpane, not quite as good as a white flour because the bran will interrupt the windowpane somewhat.  This is a good time to add inclusions such as my favorite black sesame seeds, that way they do not interfere with the gluten development.  If you add inclusions mix until they are well incorporated in the dough.


On the counter, shape the dough into a tight ball, cover in the bowl and ferment for 2.5-3.5 hours at 82ºF.  There may be some rise visible at this stage.


You can next place the dough into the fridge to chill the dough for about 1.5 hours, this makes rolling the dough easier to shape.  Remember, if you do so the final proof will take longer.  Alternatively, you can do a cold retard in the fridge overnight, however, you may find that this increases the tang in your bread.


Prepare your pans by greasing them or line with parchment paper.  


For baking as rolls

Lightly flour the top of the dough. Scrape the dough out onto a clean counter top and divide it into 12. Shape each tightly into boules, allow to rest 5 mins. Using a rolling pin roll each ball out and then shape tightly into boules.  Place them into your prepared pan.


For baking as a loaf

Prepare your pans by greasing them with butter or line with parchment paper.  


Lightly flour the top of the dough. Scrape the dough out onto a clean counter top and divide it into four. I like to weigh them to have equal sized lobes. Shape each tightly into a boule, allow to rest 5 mins. Using a rolling pin roll each ball out and then letterfold. Turn 90* and using a rolling pin roll each out to at least 8”. Letterfold again from the sides so you have a long narrow dough. Then using a rolling pin, roll flatter but keeping the dough relatively narrow.  The reason to do this extra letterfold is that the shorter fatter rolls when placed in the pan will not touch the sides of the pan.  This allows the swirled ends to rise during final proof, this is only done for appearance sake and is not necessary.  Next roll each into a tight roll with some tension. Arrange the rolls of dough inside your lined pan alternating the direction of the swirls. This should allow a greater rise during proof and in the oven.


Cover and let proof for 6-8 hours at a warm temperature.  I proof at 82°F.  You will need longer than 3-4 hours if you chilled your dough for shaping. Proof until the dough passes the finger poke test.  For a loaf the dough should reach within 1 cm of the rim of the pullman pan.


Preheat the oven to 350F and brush the dough with the egg-milk wash.  Just prior to baking brush with the egg-milk wash again.


Bake the rolls for 30-35 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 190F. Shield your buns if they get brown early in the baking process. You can brush the top of the buns with butter if you wish at this point while the buns are still hot and sprinkle with flaked salt.


For baking loaves, bake for a total of 50 mins at 350°F, remove the loaves from their pans and bake directly on the rack for an additional 5-10 mins.

Benito's picture

I just unboxed, cleaned and setup my new Ankarsrum Assistent, I’m loving the build quality and this gorgeous orange we picked.  I can’t wait to try it out.  I plan to bake two Hokkaido milk breads tomorrow.  Hopefully I’ll have a glowing review and I hope I can learn to use this quickly with tomorrow’s bake.  In the meantime here are the photos.

Benito's picture

I’ve had this loaf on my list to bake for sometime.  I’m still not sure that I love high percentage rye breads, this one is 59%, but wanted to try a different recipe to find out.

Daniel’s description of this bread from the book:  “ There aren’t many bakers who continue to follow the tradition of building a rye sour in several stages. Josef Hinkel organizes his bakery around a mixing room where he has large mixing bowls of sauerteig at different stages of development. It’s hard to tell from looking, but the bakers know exactly which bowl is ready at which moment. Because the bowls are all open, the air is thick with the powerful, pungent aroma.

This particular bread is Hinkel’s go-to everyday loaf. He makes hundreds of them a day, selling them exclusively at his two shops, both on the same busy shopping street in Dusseldorf. For people who are new to 100 percent rye breads, this is a great gateway recipe.”

START TO FINISH: 21 to 22 hours




KNEAD 12 minutes



BAKE 50 to 60 minutes

MAKES one 1-kilo loaf





(First Stage Rye Starter)



Rye Sourdough Starter


9 g

Room-temperature water, 75 degrees


26 g

Whole rye flour


30 g




Stale rye bread, ground


25 g



75 g


(Second Stage Rye Starter)





65 g

Warm water, 90 degrees


310 g

Whole rye flour


155 g






530 g

Whole rye flour


125 g

Type 55 or equivalent flour (11 to 11.5% protein)


220 g

Old bread soaker


100 g



15 g

Dry instant yeast


12 g


Total rye flour 314.5 g (includes starter but not Altus)

Total flour 534.5 g

Rye 59% overall not including Altus.


I think that the instant yeast is too much, the first proof only took 30 mins rather than the 1.5 hours that the author (Daniel Leader) suggested.  Perhaps reduce to 4 g



  1. PREPARE THE GRUNDSAUERTEIG (first stage rye starter): In a small bowl, dissolve the sourdough starter in the water. Stir in the rye flour until well incorporated. Cover and let ferment at room temperature (68 to 77 degrees), about 15 hours.
  2. MAKE THE OLD BREAD SOAKER: In a small bowl, combine the ground bread and water. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours. Drain away excess water.
  3. PREPARE THE SCHAUMSAUERTEIG (second stage rye starter): Preheat the oven to 200 degrees for 5 minutes. Turn off the oven. In a small bowl, combine the grundsauerteig, warm water, and rye flour. Stir to combine. Cover and let ferment in the warm oven until bubbly and soft, like a poolish, 3 to 4 hours.
  4. MAKE THE FINAL DOUGH: Combine the schaumsauerteig, rye flour, Type 55 flour, old bread soaker, salt, and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir with a rubber spatula a few times to combine. Mix on the low speed (2 on the KitchenAid) for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn the mixer to medium-low (4 on the KitchenAid) and mix for 10 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and gather the dough into a ball.
  5. FIRST FERMENTATION: Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let stand until the dough increases in volume by about 50 percent, becoming porous and with small bubbles on the surface, 1½ hours.
  6. FINAL PROOF: On a lightly floured countertop, shape into a loose boule (see this page). Dust the inside of a 10-inch round banneton with rye flour. (Alternatively, use a bowl lined with a kitchen towel and dusted with flour.) Place the boule, smooth side down, in the banneton. Lightly dust with more flour and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let stand until very active and puffy, another hour.  Alternatively shape into a batard/roll and place it a greased pullman pan.  Roll on a pan with oat flakes to coat.
  7. BAKE: About 1 hour before baking, position an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and set the Dutch oven (with the lid on) on the rack. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees for 1 hour. Wearing oven mitts, carefully remove the Dutch oven to a heatproof surface and take off the lid. Tip the dough onto a peel or your hands and put in the Dutch oven. Put the lid on and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and bake until the loaf is a warm brown, another 25 to 35 minutes. Carefully turn the loaf out onto a wire rack. Cool completely. Store in a brown paper bag at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.

I questioned the huge amount of instant yeast, but I followed the quantities of all the ingredients since I try to follow most recipes the first time I try them.  In the end, this dough fermented much more quickly than described in the recipe so if I try this recipe again, I’d reduce the instant yeast by ⅔.


I suspect that my dough over fermented.  The dough practically grew before my eyes when it was placed in the pan.  I couldn’t get the oven heated fast enough and even had to refrigerate the dough until the oven was ready.  The dough actually didn’t grow in the oven, it actually lost a bit of height.

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" :)

Benito's picture

Having friends over gives me an excuse to bake dessert.  Bags of lemons were on sale so I decided to bake a lemon tart.  I hadn’t tried lemon curd with chocolate before so decided to bake my chocolate pate sucrée for this tart.  Since the curd recipe leaves me with 4 egg whites I decided to make Bravetart’s marshmallow meringue to top the tart and then torch the meringue for a nice finish.  The eggs were farm fresh free run chicken eggs from our friend’s country home, so most of the yolks were such a beautiful orangey yellow, it was almost a shame to cover the curd with meringue!

The lemon curd is nice and sharp without being to sweet.  The curd goes extremely well with the chocolate pastry.  I reduced the sugar in the meringue because I always find meringue too sweet, this meringue was good.

For the pastry - pate sucrée

75g icing sugar
250g plain flour 
125g butter
1 large egg, beaten (plus 1 large egg white, depending on consistency)


Cocoa powder variant - add 4.5 tbsp cocoa powder 31 g

Pinch of salt and 1 tsp vanilla 


Put the icing sugar, flour and butter into a food processor and blitz to breadcrumbs. Continue to blitz, and gradually add the whole egg until the dough comes together. You can check to see if it is hydrated enough by carefully picking a small amount up and compressing it to see if it forms a cohesive dough, if it does not, you may need to add a little of the egg white. Form the dough into a little round, cover with clingfilm and rest in the freezer for 10 minutes.


Roll the dough out to 12” diameter between two sheets of parchment paper (keep one for later).  If cracks form during rolling, just dab a bit of water on the cracks and bring the edge back together.  Remove the top parchment paper and transfer to the tart pan.  Gently press the dough into the pan ensuring that it goes into every nook and cranny.  Avoid stretching the dough as that leads to excessive shrinkage during baking.  If there are cracks just use excess dough that is above the pan edge to fill the crack smoothing it out quickly with your fingers trying not to melt the butter.  Dock the dough.


Chill it for 30 minutes in the freezer, this helps avoid shrinkage. Pre-heat your oven to 350F (180C) while the tart dough is chilling in the freezer.  Once the oven is ready line the top of the crust with foil or parchment paper and place pie weights or dried beans to keep the pie crust from puffing when baking.


Bake the pâte sucrée for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment paper filled with weights and bake for 15 more minutes, until the edges of the crust are golden.  (I needed an additional 5 mins so bake for 20 mins once the pie weights are removed)


Set the tart shell aside to cool (still in the dish). Leave your oven on at 350F/180C.  Since we’re adding a partially cooked filling, the tart shell doesn’t need to be fully cooled.


In the meantime, make the lemon filling.

Grab a fine-mesh strainer before you start and have it ready within arm’s reach.


For the lemon filling :

1 cup (250ml) lemon juice (about 4 lg lemons)

Zest of 2.5 lemons (organic lemons)

3/4 cup (150g) sugar

1/4 tsp salt

¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, cubed.

4 large eggs + 4 large egg yolks


In a medium saucepan (no heat yet), whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, salt, egg yolks and eggs. Add the cubed butter and turn the heat to medium. Whisk slowly until the butter is all melted. Continue whisking steadily until the mixture thickens to a thin custard consistency.  This took about 20 mins.


Immediately pass the lemon filling through the fine mesh strainer, directly into the tart shell. You may require a third hand to help get all the curd out of the pot into the strainer.  Gently tap the tart on the counter a couple of times to eliminate air bubbles.  Using an offset spatula (or back of a large spoon), smooth out the top of the filling. Bake the tart for 5-6 minutes, until the filling has slightly set and turned slightly deeper in color.

Set aside to cool for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy slightly warm or chilled.


Marshmallow Meringue

halve the ingredients to use the 4 egg yolks left over from the lemon curd.

1 cup | 8 ounces egg whites, from about 8 large eggs

1¾ cups | 12 ounces sugar or Roasted Sugar (page 102)

Consider reducing sugar as the meringue is very sweet.

½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (half as much if iodized)

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

¼ teaspoon rose water, or seeds from 1 vanilla bean (optional)


Key Point: With gently simmering water, the meringue should cook fairly fast. If you find the temperature climbing too slowly, simply crank up the heat.


Fill a 3-quart pot with 1½-inches of water and place over medium-low heat, with a ring of crumpled foil set in the middle to act as a booster seat. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg whites, sugar, salt, cream of tartar, and rose water or vanilla bean (if using). Place over steamy water, stirring and scraping constantly with a flexible spatula until thin, foamy, and 175°F on a digital thermometer, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on high until glossy, thick, and quadrupled in volume, about 5 minutes. Use immediately.


Pipe on to the lemon curd, then using torch, burn the meringue.

My index of bakes. 


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