Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough

Back in the first few days of last December I was craving for some sweet-but-not-too-rich bread so I searched around the Internet and found several sweet ideas with citrus & Earl Grey twist.

This bread is based principally on this recipe and inspired by citrus idea of this.  I skipped the spice all together because I don’t like cinnamon but would make the exception for freshly ground nutmeg in some baked goods.  However, no spice needs to be here for I want to see how the Bergamot fragrance of this King of Earl Grey perform even among more citrus juice, pulp and zest of Clementine.

For that time of the year I had a choice between glowing-hue Tangelo or Clementine and I chose the latter simply because it has less pith; but still thought about how that deep reddish orange-y color of  Tangelo would look in the bread.  I would try other citrus such as orange or blood orange when they are in season.

One more thing, I had a large bag of golden raisins with Stollen in mind but was glad to use it here first in rehearsing for more sweets in the coming holidays and to fulfill my yearning for sweet bread.  Not to limit myself there I also had Manuka honey to spread on the slices even before the bread was created.  Talk about intense desire or had I waited a bit too long?  I had all these flavors dancing in my head for a some time while mixing the dough and waiting for its two fermentations. 😉

I was aiming for a fairly wet dough so increased the water a little to get the 72% hydration for the overall dough –that accounted for just the flours, water and starter–.  All other liquid such as agave nectar and citrus juice were to moisten the raisins which no doubt would have absorbed some liquid in the dough to stay moist after being baked.  If you were to make this bread in your kitchen, you’ll need to adjust the liquid and be able to read, touch and feel the dough to get it to the desired state of medium gluten development.

The starter was vigorously strong because I had been religiously feeding it twice a day during the 8 weeks back then since its birth (not a small task because it was dully tedious after a while so it went into cold storage ever since), the hydration seemed okay, the dough was kneaded long enough to reach the required gluten development, the shaping went well, the steam & temperature were properly applied because the crust’s color proudly proved it so… and yet this bread did not have an open crumb, so read further to find out why.

Let’s make this bread and see how it turns out.

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough


  • 200 g  vigorous 100%- hydration white starter, refreshed at least 2 times.
  • 500 g unbleached wheat flour (50% bread flour, 50% all-purpose flour)
  • 330 g water
  • 20 g agave nectar
  • 9 g sea salt
  • 150 g Clementine,  blitzed up, skin and all,  in a food processor
  • 1 Tablespoon  Earl Grey Tea (loose leaves)
  • 200 g  sultana (40%) ; I used golden Thompson Seedless raisin

Over all dough hydration is, give or take, about 72%,

How I do it

1. Boil 125 g water,  pour over the tea and leave it to infuse.  Reserve the moistened tea leaves and cool off the [liquid] tea .

2. In a large mixing bowl mix the flours; then add the starter.  Loosen the clinging starter with the rest of the water.

3. Pour this water, the [cool] tea, and the  moistened tea leaves into the mixing bowl.  Mix until hydrated.  Let autolyse for 30 minutes.

4. Add the salt and agave nectar into the dough and knead well in a mixer, about 5 minutes.  Your mixer mileage might vary.

5. Add in the blitzed-up Clementine and continue mixing until the dough reaches medium-gluten development, another 3-5 minutes.

6. First fermentation – Cover the dough with saran wrap and let it proof at room temperature 72° – 75° F, about 3 hours.

7. At the end of the first proofing period, knead the fruit into the dough.

mature starter

mature starter

fold in the sultanas

fold in the sultanas

8. Shape dough into a batard and place it, seam side up, on a floured linen-lined basket or banneton and sprinkle some flour on it.

shaped loaf, seam-side up

shaped loaf, seam-side up

9. Cover it well with saran wrap, put the whole thing in a large plastic bag (white-colored trash bag works really well here) and place it in the fridge overnight.

Note: I wanted to bake the loaf on the same day so left it proof in the oven crack open with the appliance light turn on to get close to room temperature, about 4 hours.

10. The next morning, preheat oven and baking tiles to 475° F  for at least 30 minutes.  Prepare steam.

11. Take the loaf straight out of the fridge, turn it out on an inverted baking sheet lined with parchment paper.   Alternatively, turn it out on a lightly floured peel if you have one.

12. Slash a single cut from one end to the other, holding the blade at about 30 degrees to create a flap over the dough.  This will result in a beautifully open ‘grigne’ and nice ear.

13.  Load the loaf on parchment onto baking tiles; turn the oven down to 450° F, bake with steam for the first 15-18 minutes.

14. Turn down the oven  to 360 ° F, remove the parchment and bake, without steam, for a further 30 minutes.   Halfway through, turn the loaf 180 degrees.

15. Turn off the oven, crack the door open and leave the loaf in for a further 5 minutes.

16.  Cool off completely on rack.  Slice it.  Enjoy.

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough 'Grigne'

Loaf, Crust & Crumb

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough Loaf, Crust & Crumb

This post is featured in this week’s Yeast Spotting.

Lesson Learned & Notes to Self:

I could not wait to bake it the next day so skipped the delayed fermentation in the fridge, and prepared the loaf to bake that evening even when it was still quite doughy –not quite expanded & filled with bubbles nor passed the finger test– [first] sigh!

To make the matter worse, when it came to slashing the dough my mind went totally blank as I recalled (that’s what happened when one did not practice bread making for a  period of 365 days or more) and so the utility blade not only went directly straight a perfect 90 degrees onto the dough’s surface but also with quite a deep, about a half-inch, cut –see picture below– [second] sigh!

What to do at this “point of no return” nor avail redemption but to quickly put the loaf in the oven, loaded the steam, shut the oven door closed and hoped for the best.

Start 2 End of 3-hour Proofing

from Start to End of 3-hour Proofing period: not much expansion

The loaf did turn out okay appearance-wise.  I am thankful that the hot steam definitely brought about some sort of oven spring to create that beautiful “grigne” and  deep mahogany color for the crust.

loaf turned out okay with "grigne" but no ear

loaf turned out okay with "grigne" but no ear

Things to remember for the next loaf.  Yes, I’ll make this bread again:

1. This is sourdough then allow the loaf to rise to its fullness no matter how long it would take, well, within reason.  You can wait to bake the next day if need be.  Light & filled with bubbles not doughy loaf before it goes into the oven.

2. Take the time to mentally go over how you’re going to slash the loaf.

3. Hold the blade at an angle 20-25 degrees &  give a determined cut to create a flap-over-the-dough slash;  and don’t be too emotional since it’s only bread!

The bread tastes awesome by the way with a dash of Manuka Honey.  Enjoy!

Manuka Honey on Stupendous Toast

Manuka Honey on Stupendous Toast


sourdough Pan Siciliano

sourdough Pan Siciliano

What is Pan Siciliano?  It’s a delicious bread from Sicily shaped in the form of an S and has both wheat and semolina flour.  Its light crust and crumb, slightly sweetened with just a tad of honey, a bit of olive oil which goes very well with semolina flour, and enriched with crunchy crusted sesame seeds, all together created a light bread that is so unexpectedly wonderful with a subtle hint of sourdough note.

Yes, this particular recipe from Mike’s Sourdough Home caught my attention because its bread is raised completely using sourdough starter so make sure your starter is vigor and strong.  I was pretty excited about making this bread the first time for I learned how to shape a baguette, then coil it into an S, painted the loaves with seeds and also learned to be patient waiting over 48 hours before I could bake and taste a completely new bread.  Many lessons learned and I thoroughly enjoy the process.

Some of you might not like this bread –Birgit, for instance did not appreciate this bread at all–  if you are crusty-sourdough-type of a person.   The S-shaped loaves look lovely and I think children would assuringly enjoy this soft bread.  I, myself, like to toast  this bread very lightly, to not over-dry it, for breakfast munching it over a cup of warm tea.

I converted the original recipe into metric measurement and adjusted it just a bit where I see fit .  Let’s make the bread.

sourdough Pan Siciliano

sourdough Pan Siciliano

Pane Siciliano

Recipe is from Sourdough Home, which is  modified from a recipe in “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.

This recipe makes three 400-gram loaves and will take 3 days to finish.

Pate Fermente:

dough hydration is about 58%

240 g mature starter, at 100% hydration; prefer to refresh over 24 hours

45 g/3 Tablespoon water

30 g strong/bread flour

135 g all-purpose flour

2 g/¼ teaspoon salt


final dough hydration is about 81%

450 g pate fermente, all the above pate fermente

210 g  semolina flour, I use Giusto’s semolina flour and don’t remember whether it’s  fine or coarse grind

210 g strong/bread flour

360 g lukewarm water, I use water around 80 ° – 85° F

7 g/ 1 ¼ teaspoon salt

28 g/2 Tablespoons olive oil

20 g/1 Tablespoon honey


Raw sesame seeds (optional), highly recommended.


DAY 1:

In the afternoon or evening  start making the pate fermente by mixing all the ingredients together, knead it a bit to a smooth and firm dough.

Cover it well and allow to rise until almost double.  How long this would take depends on how strong your starter is.

Place it in a well-covered container and put it in the refrigerator overnight.  The pate fermente can be stored cold for 3 days.

DAY 2:

When you are ready to make the final dough, remove the pate fermente from the refrigerator.

Cut it into small pieces, cover them and let warm up to room temperature, about 1 to 2 hours.

Mix the pate fermente pieces with the water and mix until smooth.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  Cover and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the flour to well hydrated.

Place the dough on a cool surface and knead well until smooth.  This takes about 10 to 12 minutes.

Place the dough in a container, 2.5 times its size.  Cover, let it rise for several hours until is almost double.

Prepare a large (half-size) baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Gently handle the dough, cut it into 3  equal pieces.  I weigh the dough pieces.  Form the dough into thin baguette.

Coil both ends, with each end, in opposite directions  into the distinctive shape of this bread.

To do this, grab each end of the baguette with a hand and start coiling the dough from the outside to the center.

Place the shaped loaf on the prepared baking sheet.  Cover it with saran wrap.  Repeat the shaping for the other 2 loaves.

Mist the loaves with water.  I used a spray bottle with a light misty setting.

Sprinkle the loaves with sesame seeds.  Loosely cover with saran wrap, put the sheet into a large [garbage] plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.

DAY 3:

In the morning, take the loaves out of the refrigerator.  The loaves should have risen a bit during cold storage.

Place the loaves at a warm place and let warm up to room temperature.  The loaves will continue to rise.

It takes about 2 hours or until the loaves  are light & full of bubbles.  Finger test should leave a small dent on the loaves.

About an hour into the proof, carefully spray the loaves with water again and paint them with more sesame seeds.   Please do not disturb/deflate

the formed bubbles.  Cover again with saran wrap and leave the loaves alone undisturbed.

About an hour before the loaves are done, pre-heat the oven to 500° F.  Steam is needed so prepare for it now.

Place the loaves on baking sheet in the oven.  Turn the oven temperature down to 450° F.  Bake with steam for 15 minutes.

Turn the baking sheet 180 degrees so the loaves bake evenly, and bake another 10 to 15 minutes without steam.

When the loaves reach a nice shade of brown, pull it out of the oven.  Let it cool on rack  for 20 minutes.


== I am going to dig for more pictures of this bread, please come back to check out.

sourdough Pan Siciliano crumb
sourdough Pan Siciliano crumb

I am sending this bread to Yeast Spotting.  And I am going to go over there to see other bakers’ breads for the week which has always been a feast for the eyes (and drooling for sure); so please join me.

Norwich Sourdough Boule

Norwich Sourdough Boule baked in Dutch Oven

Norwich Soudough Boules

Norwich Sourdough Boule

It’s Hamelman’s Bread‘s Vermont Sourdough, a country white bread.  But I did not pay much attention to white bread recipes then until I stumbled upon Susan’s Wild Yeast Blog where the name and the recipe come from.

I did not have any oven set up to bake bread in different shapes other than the forever boule during the first year of my bread baking.   I became quite good, if I said so myself, at using the available baking tools at hand, namely my two baking pots, and also at shaping and slashing round boules.  Also the first year, I was the sole mixing machine & my elbow grease was wholly responsible for all the bread baked during the said period.

Since my discovery of Susan’s Blog about 2 years ago I’ve become its regular readers.  I love to read Susan’s posts, marvel over her beautiful creations, be inspired and to learn much more about bread baking.

I love this no-failed recipe and its tasty outcome. This recipe makes five small-size batards but here I baked in 2 large boules.

Norwich Sourdough Boules

Norwich Sourdough Boules

Follow the recipe’s instruction up until shaping.  Shape into 2 equal boules by weighing the dough or just eye balled it.  Proof in floured linen-lined baskets or couches for a good 1.5 hours at room temperature or until the loaves are light, airy and full of bubbles.

Preheat the oven with two lidded baking cast-iron pots, about 5-6 quart in size, at least 45 minutes before baking.  If your oven is not large enough to fit 2 of such pots so have to bake one loaf at a time, place the unbaked loaf in the fridge while the first loaf is in the oven.  After finishing baking the first loaf as instructed below, do allow time for the oven, the pot and its lid heated for at least 20 minutes before loading & baking the other loaf.

Bake the loaves for 25-30 minutes with the lid on.  Remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes or so in the pot or remove the pot to bake the loaf in the oven until its crust becomes mahogany dark.  Turn off the oven, crack the oven door open, leave the loaf in for another 5 minutes or so to completely dry out the crust.  Cool on rack before slicing into it, if you can wait.

Don’t you love the mahogany blistered crust?  Even if you don’t normally eat white bread, you would want to try this bread, at least once.   Sorry I don’t have any picture of the crumb but here another picture of the grigne:

Norwich Sourdough's "Grigne" & Crust

Norwich Sourdough's "Grigne"; & Crust

I encourage you to bake this bread, and yes, you can bake it in boules and enjoy it with a much thicker crust, if you are a crusty-type bread eater.

I would like to share this recipe at this week’s Yeast Spotting where bread enthusiasts and amateur bread bakers around the globe posting their marvelous recipes and beautiful pictures; please stop by for a baked treat.

I haven’t baked any bread at all the last few weeks but I finally got hold of my starters (white and rye) and brought them with me to the mountains where I am visiting at the moment.  I hope to be able to bake some bread, wish me luck, at 7200 feet.

simple sourdough loaf

simple sourdough loaf

I got back in the country from my Spring break trip already almost 2 weeks, but I haven’t yet baked any bread.  As soon as  I arrived  2 Saturdays ago, I only had enough time to distribute the gifts, straightened out my luggage, got a few hours of sleep and left the very next day heading up to the mountains –without forgetting to feed my two starters (white and rye)–.

I created this white starter last September and it has since risen consistently many loaves of bread.

white starter

white starter, 2 hours away before feeding time

Before I set up the oven with baking tiles & lava rocks for steam I used to bake all my bread in lidded cast-iron & lidded Pyrex pots.

baking vessels

baking vessels

In the beginning of my baking adventure and out of curiosity, I’d tried all sorts of suggested baking method,  including this fairly dangerous one but it worked quite well –I believe by Susan of San Diego posted on The Fresh Loaf –a pre-heated inverted Pyrex bowl over the loaf–.

inverted Pyrex baking method

inverted Pyrex baking method

I am visiting at 7200 feet above sea level so I won’t even attempt to bake any bread even one with commercial yeast; although I must confess  I thought about bread baking quite a bit in the past few days.  To relieve my hunger for baking I am going to post this Simple Sourdough also by Susan SD (stands for San Diego) whose recipe I’d made a number of times and liked it very much.

What appeals to me is its simplicity, from 4 simple & basic ingredients: sourdough starter, white flour, a small percentage of rye/whole wheat flour, salt and water to its flexible mixing, shaping & baking method.  And it tastes delicious.

Of course you can mix in seeds if you know what you are doing and don’t have to bake in a lidded pot.  For this particular loaf I threw in about 3 Tablespoons of ground flax seed and dried blueberry — purchased from Trader Joe’s– for some color as well as taste.

Simple Sourdough Loaf with ground flax seed and dried blueberry

Simple Sourdough Loaf with ground flax seed and dried blueberry


50 g firm starter,  I use 65%-hydration starter

204 g water

275 g strong bread flour

25 g white whole wheat flour, I use whole rye flour

6 g sea salt

3 Tablespoons blueberry ground flax seed (from Trader Joe’s), optional


Mixed all ingredients minimally by hand and let it rest for 30 minutes.  Do 1 Stretch & Fold, then 2 more S&F at 1-hour interval.

Let it rise at room temperature 70°-72° F until double.  Pre-shape, rest loaf 15-20 minutes, then shape it into tight boule.  Place the loaf in a linen-lined container about 2.5 times larger than its size.  Cover it well with quick saran wrap, and place in the fridge overnight.

Take it out the next day & warm it up for 2 hours at room temperature.  Pre-heat oven with a closed lid cast-iron pot at 475 ° F, at least 45 minutes before baking.  Score the loaf, place it in the pre-heated pot, close the lid and bake for 20 minutes at 450° F.  Remove lid and bake for another 20 minutes.  I take the loaf out of the pot and bake it in the oven for the required amount of time & turning it 180 degrees half way into baking for an even bake.  Turn the oven off, crack the oven door open and leave the loaf in for another 5-10 minutes more.  Cool it on rack for 1 plus hour or so before cutting it.  Enjoy.

Simple Sourdough Loaf: Crumb & Crust

Simple Sourdough Loaf: Crumb & Crust

I am sending this bread to this week’s Yeast Spotting.  Go visit the site, even if you don’t bake bread, it’s a feast for the eyes, and maybe you would change your mind afterward.

Pane al Cioccolato: dangling chocolate pieces

It’s a little cold this morning –already my 5th day in France being with my wonderful family– in the suburb of SE Paris, so I decide to make another batch of hot chocolate drink for myself and the kids -my niece and nephew– who are sleeping still as it’s early here just past 0700 in the morning.  As I travel with my milk frother, chocolate drink can be made just about anywhere to quickly get chocolate into my blood stream.  🙂 Anyway, this “pane al cioccolato” comes to mind as I am sipping the rich, slightly sweet, aromatic and warm chocolate milk wishing a piece of such lovely toast right this minute to dunk into this wonderful drink for a double shot of dark chocolate and yes, more caffeine, not that I need any.

I’d followed & enjoyed  Jude of Apple Pie, Patis & Pâté for a while until it has become a ghost blog since July 2009.  This recipe and method came from his blog where he posted some great photos of the bread and dough.  Browse his site  when you have a chance,  you would have a fun time as I’ve had.

This bread caught my attention because of the one single ingredient namely chocolate, secondly the natural starter used in –as with most Italian bread– its biga, an equivalence of [French/Polish?] poolish, made with a lower-than-100-percent sourdough starter resulting in a doughy biga naturale and thirdly it can be done within a day after mixing the biga the previous night.

Pane al Cioccolato /Italian Chocolate Bread

recipe from Apple Pie, Patis & Pâté , which adapted from Michel Suas’ Advanced Bread and Pastry

makes two 375 gram / 13.25 ounce loaves

For the Biga Naturale / Wild Yeast Starter:

Ingredients       Grams starter (50% hydration) 28 bread flour 32 water, at room temperature 18

Mix the biga naturale ingredients until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Place the biga naturale in a bowl and cover.  Let it ferment at room temperature (70 – 75° F)  for about 8 hours before using in the final dough.

Final Dough Formula:

Ingredients       Grams all of the biga naturale, cut into small pieces bread flour 393 water 248 honey 71  cocoa powder 25/4 Tablespooninstant yeast 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 Tablespoon sea salt 10/2 teaspoon chocolate chips 78 - I used Scharffen Berger's  72% chocolate, chopped into small pieces


Mix all of the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) until evenly incorporated.  Knead 8 to 10 minutes by a mixer until it reaches medium-gluten development.  Rest 5 minutes.  Fold in the chocolate chips by hand or by machine at low-speed  for about a minute or until the chocolate chips are thoroughly incorporated.

Proof the dough for 2 hours at room temperature in a lightly oiled bowl; if your starter is not as mature to start with it might take longer.

Divide the dough into 2 equal portions about 454 grams each.  Pre-shape lightly, cover with saran wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.

Shape into batard or ball.  Let them proof at room temperature for about 3 hours or longer until it’s light and filled with lots of air bubbles.

About 45 minutes before the proofing is done, pre-heat the oven with baking stone/tiles to 400 °F (204° F).  Prepare steam for the bake.

Slash 2 almost-parallel cuts at 15 – 20 degree angle to create flaps over the dough.  Load the loaves onto the pre-heated stone, apply steam, close the oven door and bake for 20 minutes.  Rotate the loaves, remove steam, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.

pane al cioccolato

pane al cioccolato

Pane al Cioccolato

Pane al Cioccolato open "grigne"

It tastes airily light with a soft crust, a chewy crumb and melted dark chocolate in every bite.   Serve this bread as breakfast and/or dessert with milk or your preferred drink.   Enjoy.

Italian Chocolate Bread: Crumb

Italian Chocolate Bread: Crumb

I couldn’t decide if this is rich-dough or lean-dough bread.  It started out as a lean dough with all the basic ingredients and a little bit of honey; however the [dark] chocolate has pushed it away from being lean so it’s rich bread then –Decision reached–.

I am pleased to send this bread to Yeast Spotting to share with other bread enthusiasts.  Please visit the site to enjoy this week’s wonderful bakes as well as those in the archives.  You will have a fun time there, I promise, would most likely go away with a bread or two to bake over the weekend.

pane al Cioccolato: toast

pane al Cioccolato: toast

yet another Pain de Mie Variation

yet-another Pain de Mie Variation sandwiches of smoked salmon, avocado, crème fraîche, sea salt and fresh coarsely black pepper

In just 2 days I’ll take a short Spring break vacation so I need to clean out the fridge.   Having quite some starter excess available I decide to bake my favorite Pain de Mie Variation and carry the bread with me flying across the Atlantic.  For this loaf I use different types of flours and seeds, including some nine-grain mix thrown in for good measure.

This bread turns out so well that it deserves a post by itself.  The semolina flour does make the bread seem drier; on the upshot it stays crackly crunchy for a long time.   It bakes well into a mahogany color crust and a beautiful crumb studded with seeds and pieces of coarse cornmeal.   I even record a video of its “musique du pain” within minutes it’s taken out of the oven.

I bake 2 medium-sized loaves,  keep one for my favorite sandwiches and share the other loaf with my friends, the Carsonis.  Few weeks ago I also gave a  loaf  of Pain de Mie to the same family where it was well received and quickly consumed.

Update;  I brought the rest of my bread with me on my said trip which was being canceled about 4 times due to the recent Iceland volcanic eruptionso enjoyed the slices in the four days of being an accidental tourist in San Francisco (Face Book link only).  Always bring your bread with you when you travel it comes in handy at unexpected time.

Let’s create this bread.


200 g starter excess (100 % hydration white and rye)

450 g water

400 g all-purpose flour (mine is only 9% protein)  + 1 1/2  teaspoon of wheat gluten

200 g fine semolina flour

1/8 tsp gold instant yeast **

102 g nine-grain mix + 1 TBsp toasted wheat germs + 2 TBsp quinoa grain/seed + mostly toasted sesame seed and some pepitas.

** I did not have enough starter & it did not look particularly active.  Just to be sure I add a tiny amount of yeast to give the dough a boost.


Measure the flour, the wheat gluten, yeast, and nine-grain mix in a large mixing bowl.  Use a whisk blend the mixture well.

mix of flours

mix of flours

flour mix and yeast

flour mixture, starter excess, water, yeast, salt, and seeds

Add the starter in the flour mixture; add water to the starter container to loosen the starter that clings to the container.

Measure the water, add to the mixture and mix with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula until hydrated; it needs not to be perfectly mixed.

mixing starter and flour mixture

mixing starter and flour mixture

Let the dough autolyse for at least 45 minutes to an hour.  Cover well with quick saran wrap.

autolyse the mixed dough

autolyse the mixed dough

Add the salt, mix the dough by hand or use a mixer to medium gluten development, about 10 – 20 minutes depends on which method you use.  I use a bread maker set at dough mixing to mix it well; it takes me 15 minutes.

mixing dough in a bread maker

mixing dough in a bread maker

well-gluten-developped dough

medium-gluten-developed dough

Fold in the seeds either by hand or at low-setting on your mixer until just well-blended, no more than 2 minutes by machine.

roasted sesame seeds & pepitas

roasted sesame seeds & pepitas

seeds mixed in with dough

seeds mixed in with the dough

Put the dough in an oiled container, 2.5 times its size.  If your dough need more structure, give it a few folds within the next hour  then proceed to cold storage overnight for a long fermentation, from 10 hours up to 24 hours.

This particular dough is quite strong so I decide not to fold it at all but leave it out on the counter for 45 minutes then put it into the fridge.

When you are ready to bake the bread, take the dough out of the fridge and let it warm up to room temperature about 2 hours or so.  If you leave it in a warm place it might take less time.  Sprinkle some flour on the dough, take it out of the bowl and place it on a floured counter.

This particular dough is soft even with all the grains and seeds in it; it has a wonderful elasticity/extensibility profile.  I can already anticipate the slashing which would be a breeze.

dough ready after cold fermentation

dough ready after cold fermentation

Divide it into 2 equal portion (use a scale).  Roughly shape into 2 balls, sprinkle some flour on the surface, loosely cover with saran wrap and let them rest for 20 minutes.

Shape dough into 2 batards.  I proof the loaves directly on parchment paper-line baking sheet right side up.  Take care to leave room for expansion between the loaves.  I use rolled towels or this to aid support to the loaves and to encourage rising-up expansion.

Sprinkle some flour on the loaves.  Put the whole baking sheet inside a large garbage bag and leave it at a warm place 72° F – 75° F.  I turn the appliance light on and put the whole thing in the oven.

Let the loaves proof until well expanded, light and full of bubbles.

ready-to-bake shaped loaves

ready-to-bake shaped loaves

In the meantime turn on the oven with a baking stone/tiles at 450 ° F, at least 45 minutes before the bake.

Slash the loaves off center with a utility blade or sharp knife or  use a lame, at an angle about 30 degrees to create a flap over the dough to encourage ear and open “grigne” development.

Load the loaves on parchment in the oven.  Turn the oven down to 435 ° F.  Bake the loaves  with burst of steam the first 15-18 minutes.

Take the parchment off so that the loaves bake directly on the baking tiles.  Bake for another 30 minutes or so.  Turn them half way into the bake so they bake evenly.  Turn the oven of; crack the oven door open ajar;  leave the loaves inside to crisp up for another 10 minutes.  This method works really well.

Take the loaves out.  Let them cool completely on a wire rack.   Do not rush to cut into them.  Well, if you can’t stand it, cut a thin slice around the edge only; leave the center of the loaf alone until it cools down the next hour or so.  Be patient.

baked loaves

baked loaves

Loaf I

Loaf I

Loaf II

Loaf II

and the crumb with seeds, cracked corn nested in the crumb cells



I enjoy this bread very very much.  I made sandwiches twice in a row.

Sandwich I:  [wild Alaskan] Smoked salmon, avocado, sea salt, cracked pepper on Pain de Mie bread.

vocado spread on toasted slices

vocado spread on toasted slices

assembling sandwiches

assembling sandwiches

Smoked salmon avocado Pain de Mie sandwich

Smoked salmon avocado Pain de Mie sandwich

Sandwich II: [wild Alaskan] Smoked salmon, avocado, crème fraîche, sea salt, cracked pepper on Pain de Mie bread.

assembling sandwiches

assembling sandwiches

Sandwiches II

Smoked salmon avocado crème fraîchePain de Mie sandwiches

Hope you will enjoy making this bread and be creative about the different types of flours and seeds.  Enjoy baking and eating!

I am sending this bread [again, shamelessly] to share with the folks at this week’s Yeast Spotting.