Week 94: Hybrid Sourdough

This is a hybrid sourdough, calling for both a wild yeast starter levain/sourdough) and commercial yeast. There’s a lot of shouting on bread forums whether or not using yeast in a sourdough loaf is sacrilege, or cheating, but I’ve come across recipes from Dan Lepard, Peter Reinhart and Ken Forkish (the three kings of bread), and if they can do it, then so can we. If you want to make a beautiful loaf, but don’t want to wait three days, then this is your answer.

The following is adapted from from Dan Lepard’s Mill Loaf. I wanted to share the minimalist kneading technique that he accidentally discovered when working in a very busy restaurant. He was constantly having to run between kneading doughs and prepping other dishes, and the time period in which the doughs were left to rest were often getting overextended. Much to his surprise, he found that this was a good thing. His book, The Handmade Loaf, is one of my favorites because it has easy to follow recipes that are beautifully photographed and unique.

You’ll need a Dutch oven, or any other pot with lid to bake the bread.

Step 1: Feed starter

  • You’ll need 250g of starter
  • My starter is a 1:1:1 ratio. i.e. 100g each of starter/water/flour.
  • The flour I use is a mix of 70g wheat + 30g rye

Step 2: Make dough (next day)

  • 250g active white starter
  • 275g water from the tap (about 68 degrees)
  • 300g bread flour
  • 150g whole wheat
  • 50g rye
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 7g yeast
  1. Measure water into a large bowl.
  2. Add the starter and whisk to combine.
  3. Measure out all the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  4. Add dry flour mixture to the water/yeast liquid.
  5. Mix with the handle of a wooden spoon, til no dry bits remain. If you prefer, or if it’s not coming together, go ahead and use one hand to squeeze the dough together and get it thoroughly mixed.
  6. Cover and let rest 15 minutes in a warm place.

Step 3: Knead and proof

  1. Now it’s time to do the stretch and fold method of kneading:
    • With wet fingertips, pull up a section of the dough, then fold it over itself. Do this 8 to 12 times, rotating the bowl as you go along. Don’t pull too much, and if it starts to tighten stop. Turn over, cover and rest 15 minutes.
    • Repeat this stretch and fold kneading/resting for 15 minutes two more times.
  2. You’ll have done 3 stretch and fold cycles and 1 hour total resting period since mixing the dough together.
  1. Place dough on an oiled countertop and gently press to flatten.
  2. Pick up the sides, one at a time, pull out and gently flap up and down to stretch it out into a rectangular shape.
  3. Now you will do the envelope fold of kneading:
    • Pick up the right hand side, stretch it out a bit, then fold the right side over, then fold the left side over on top of that. Then, fold the top portion down and the bottom portion over on top of that. Flip this over and return it to the bowl. Cover and rest 1 hour.
    • Repeat this envelope fold knead one more time, cover and rest for another hour.
  4. You’ll have done 2 envelope kneading cycles and 2 more hours resting for a total of 3 hours.

Step 4: Shape

  1. Remove dough from bowl onto a lightly floured surface.
  2. Follow along with this “How to shape a batard” video
  3. Place dough, seam-side up into a floured proofing basket.
  4. Cover, and let rest for about 30 minutes.

Step 5: Bake

  1. Cut out a parchment paper sling that will hold the dough and fit in the pot your using to bake the bread.
  2. Preheat oven to 450, with a Dutch oven, or other heavy pot with a lid, inside.
  3. Lay the sling over the dough, flip and remove dough from basket.
  4. Score
  5. Bake at 425 for about 50 minutes.

Week 93: Pączki

POLAND: Fat Thursday (Tłusty Czwartek) is celebrated in Poland on the last Thursday before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent. Poles celebrate by eating pączki, doughnuts filled with rose jam or plum preserves. The tradition has carried over to Polish-American communities across the country, and many bakeries have long lines Fat Thursday mornings, with customers waiting to get their pączki fix. Unique to pączki is the addition of a small amount of alcohol that’s added to the dough before frying, supposedly to prevent the dough from absorbing too much alcohol.

Continue reading “Week 93: Pączki”

Week 92: Muffuletta Sandwich Bread

NEW ORLEANS by way of SICILY: A focaccia-type bun, that was traditionally served for breakfast during Festa dei Morti (Day of the Dead), and topped with olive oil, anchovies, oregano, and caciocavallo cheese. It’s ties to New Orleans are through Salvatore Lupo, an Italian immigrant who opened the Central Grocery & Deli in the French Quarter, and began making his own version of the stuffed focaccia. Legend says that at lunchtime, farmers would buy a loaf of muffuletta bread, sliced deli meats, olives and cheese, and then proceed to eat standing up. Lupo decided to put all the ingredients together in a sandwich to make it easier for them to enjoy their lunch.

Today’s muffuletta sandwich feeds 4-6 people and is made with a large 14″ round loaf. It consists of layers of marinated olive salad, mortadella, salami, ham, and provolone, mozzarella and Swiss cheeses. Although Central Grocery has been closed since Hurricane Ida, you can still order a muffuletta and/or jars of their olive salad to ship anywhere in the U.S. And, here’s a good recipe for olive salad if you want to make your own.

Napoleon House is another place in the Quarter that folks like to go for their muffuletta. They serve the sandwich heated, which I prefer because then the crust is crunchy, but of course, there’s a TON of controversy surrounding that!

how to make a muffaletta

This version is adapted form the muffaletta recipe on the King Arthur Baking website. I used the ingredients exactly as listed, and it produces a superb loaf. But my method is a little different, so I’ve written out instructions below. And be forwarned: timing is a factor, and it’s important to figure out what schedule you’re going to follow before you begin. You can start in the evening, before you go to bed, or first thing in the morning. Also, you need a 14″ pizza pan to bake the bread.

Start just before bedtimeStart in the morning
10:00pm – 8:00am, First rise, 8 hours10:00AM – 6:00pm, First rise 8 hours
9:00am – 10:00am, 2nd rise: 1 hour6:00pm – 7:00pm, 2nd rise: 1 hour
10:30am – 12:30pm, 3rd rise: 2 hours8:30pm – 10:30pm, 3rd rise: 2 hours
1:00pm – 9:00pm, 4th rise: 8 hours11:00pm – 8:00am, 4th rise: 9 hours
9:30pm -10:00pm, 5th rise: 30 minutes8:30am -9:00am, 5th rise: 30 minutes

Step 1: Make starter (8 hour rest)

  • 113g water
  • 120g all purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp instant yeast
  1. Mix the starter ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl, cover, and let rest at room temperature overnight.

Step 2: Make dough

  • 420g all purpose flour
  • 227g water
  • 9g salt
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • All of the starter
  1. Measure the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add the starter.
  3. Mix with the handle of a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.
  1. Using a dough scraper, do some in-bowl stretch and folds. You’ll notice the dough begin to get a little smoother as you go around and around the bowl.
  2. Cover and let rise 1 hour.

Step 3: Envelope kneading, proofing, and shaping

  1. Scrape the dough out onto a to a lightly oiled countertop.
  2. Deflate the dough and press it into a rectangle. Do 2 envelope folds: first stretch out and fold the right end over to the center, then stretch out and fold the left end over that. Then do the same from the top end and the bottom end. Turn it over and place into an oiled bowl.
  3. Cover and let rest 2 hours.
  1. Scrape dough back out onto the oiled countertop.
  2. Deflate it, then pull the sides out and over towards the center to form a circle. Turn it over and shape into a ball, dragging it along a dry part of the countertop to make the top taught.
  1. Press into a flat round.
  2. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Place the disc onto a piece of round parchment, cut to fit into a 14″ pizza pan and pat or roll the dough into a 14″ round. If it keeps springing back, just cover and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. Cover and let rest in the fridge for 8 hours.

Step 4: Bake

  • 1 egg white, beaten with 2 tbsp water
  • about 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
  1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. After 30 minutes, or when the oven is at 350, uncover the dough and brush the top with egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until it’s a light golden brown and the internal temperature is 190°F when measured with a digital thermometer.
  5. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Sandwich fillings

  • 4 oz. genoa salami
  • 4 oz. soppresata
  • 5 oz. thinly sliced black forest ham or capicola
  • 8 oz. provolone cheese, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • olive salad

Week 91: Mardi Gras Babka

Last year, during Week 43, we made a traditional King Cake, which is more like a yeasted cake than a bread. This year we’re doing a take on the most popular version that is sold in bakeries today, with a rich, sweet, brioche-type dough, a cream cheese filling, and covered with a butter and cream cheese frosting on the top.

Step 1: Make dough

  • 115g (1/2 cup) milk
  • 70g (5 Tbsp) butter, softened/room temperature
  • 1 egg
  1. Warm the milk to about 100 degrees
  2. Add the butter in small pieces and stir until melted
  3. Add the egg and whisk to combine.
  4. Set aside
  • 260g flour
  • 50g sugar
  • 5g yeast
  • 2g (1/4 tsp) salt
  1. Measure dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk to combine.
  2. Use the paddle attachment, and on low speed, add wet ingredients into dry ingredients until combined.
  3. Mix on high for 30 seconds, then low for 30 seconds.
  4. Dough should be soft, but not sticky, when you press your fingers on it. If it’s really sticky, add flour, one tablespoon at a time. Shouldn’t need to add more than 1 or 2.
  5. Scrape dough out and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours. It won’t double in size like other bread doughs, but it does need to have risen a bit.

Step 2: Make fillings

  • 8 oz cream cheese (1/2 packet) You need the solid block type.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup blueberry jam
  1. Put cream cheese in a bowl and warm it just a bit so that it softens and is easier to spread, but don’t melt it.
  2. Add sugar and mix until well combined. It’s kind of hard at first, but it’ll happen.
  3. Once it’s all mixed in, use a whisk to soften it up a bit more.
  4. Measure out the jam.

Step 3: Fill and Shape

  1. Line a 8″ x 4″ loaf pan with parchment paper
  2. On a heavily floured surface, roll dough into a 16×12-inch rectangle. If your household is warm, do this on a piece of parchment on an upside-down cookie sheet, so that you can put it in the fridge to stiffen a bit.
  3. Spread cream cheese mixture onto dough, leaving a 1-inch border on one short end, then add jam on top.
  4. Starting at the other short side, roll up dough, jelly roll style, pressing the edge to seal.
  1. Trim ends if they don’t have filling in them.
  2. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut roll in half lengthwise.
  3. Overlap one roll onto the other to form an “x” with cut sides up.
  4. Carefully twist dough pieces around each other, then lift and place in an 8 x 4″ loaf pan, cut side up. It’ll seem like you can’t lift it, but just do it. It’s okay if it’s messy – once it lands in the pan it’ll be just fine.
  5. Tuck the two ends underthemselves.
  1. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Step 4: Bake

  1. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes, covering the top if it starts to brown too much. Inside temperature should be 190 degrees.
  2. Let cool on a wire rack completely before icing

Step 5: Decorate

  • 4 oz butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • purple, green ane yellow sugars*
  1. Mix butter and cream cheese until combined
  2. Add powdered sugar and mix
  3. Beat by hand with a whisk to fluff it up a bit
  4. Spreead on top of babka, and decorate with coloured sugars

Homemade coloured sugars

  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • purple, green, yellow liquid food coloring
  1. Use 3 zip-lock bags to make coloured sugar, placing 1/2 cup sugar and 8 drops food colouring in each one. Shake to combine.

I adopted my recipe from Charlie Andrew’s New Orleans Cream Cheese filled King Cake. I highly recommend it, if you want to give it a try!

Week 90: The Queen’s Scones

I tested a lot of scone recipes, with a variety of combinations of ingredients: cream/butter, milk/butter, no butter/just cream, and or buttermilk. I also tried recipes that used cake flour, self-rising flour and just regular flour. They all work, and the differences with some were quite subtle. And then I came across this one from one of the Queen’s chefs, Darren McGrady, and finally stopped searching. This is THE ONE!

I’ve listed the ingredients and the method, and if making them for the first time, watch the video so you’ve got the method down. This batch makes 16 2-inch scones.

I’ve also included a video on how to make your own clotted cream. I just cheat and buy a pint of cream; use 1 cup for the scones then thicken the other cup with an immersion blender, rather than whipping it which adds air, so then it’s too fluffy.


  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (450grams)
  • 1 stick soft butter (113grams)
  • ½ cup plus 1 Tbs granulated sugar (136g)
  • 4 tsp baking powder (20g)
  • 1/4 tsp salt *
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk, half-and-half or cream (I recommend cream)
  • 1 cup sultanas or currants (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • the salt is my addition – it’s not part of his recipe/method


  1. Cut the butter into little pieces.
  2. I mixed the dry ingredients with the butter in the stand mixer with the paddle attachement until very well combine.
  3. Measure 1 cup milk (or cream) into a pyrex measuring cup, then added the egg and whisk it to combine.
  4. Use a 2″ cookie cutter, and do not twist when pressing down on the dough.
  5. Keep cookie cuteter coated in flour so the dough doesn’t stick
  6. I bake them pretty close together, so that they don’t tilt, just a fingertip width apart
  7. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes

Here is a critique on the tea scene where the the Queen has tea with Jackie Kennedy.

Week 89: Honey Buttered Oat Sourdough

This recipe comes our way via Gina Tan, who runs a bakery out of her home in Singapore,Baking With Gina“. Lucky for us she also has many bread recipes on her blog here. This one is unique and delicious, as I’m sure they all are. The instructions are a little vague, so I’ve written them down with more detail in case you’re new to baking. Here’s the original recipe, if not.

This bake is a 3-day affair, if you count feeding your sourdough the night before. Resting periods while dough goes through it’s various proofing stages is 6 hours, and then there’s an overnight rest in the fridge.

Sourdough Loaf
Sourdough Crumb

Step 1: Feed starter the night before. You’ll need 50g of active starter for the bread.

Step 2: Prepare oats

  • 10g unsalted butter
  • 35g oats
  • 75g milk
  • 45g water
  • 15g honey
  1. Melt butter, add oats, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. The oats will get nice and brown – but you don’t want them to burn.
  2. Turn off heat, and let cool for just a little bit. If you add the liquid when the pan is super hot, it’ll all evaporate before having a chance to cook the oats.
  3. Add the milk, water and honey. Stir to combine and cook on low heat until thickened and oats are cooked.
  4. Turn off heat and transfer to a bowl. Cover until ready to use so it doesn’t dry out.

Step 3: Make dough

  • 200g bread flour
  • 25g all-purpose flour
  • 25g semolina flour
  • 175g water
  1. Measure flours into a med-large bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Add water then mix with the handle of a wooden spoon until there are no dry bits left.
  3. Scrape sides down.
  4. Cover and let rest 90 minutes
  • 50g starter
  1. Add starter to the dough and with a wet hand, squeeze dough with your fingers and thumb to mix. You don’t want to squeeze the dough through your fingers, or use your entire hand, just your fingers. When dough starts to stick to your fingers, wet them again.
  2. Scrape dough off sides, cover and let rest 30 minutes.
  • 5g salt
  • oat mixture
  1. Add salt and oats, and mix to combine. If you have a rectangular container, transfer dough to that for the rest of the resting/kneading steps.
  2. Cover, and let rest 30 minutes. Total resting time so far is 1 hour.

Step 4: Knead and Proof

  1. Stretch and fold*, cover and rest 30 minutes
  2. Lamination**, cover and rest for 30 minutes
  3. Coil folds***, cover and rest for 30 minutes.
    • 2nd coil fold and 30 minute rest
    • 3rd coil fold and 30 minute rest
    • 4th coil fold
  4. Cover and let rest for 1 hour. Total resting time is 6 hours.

Step 5: Shape and proof overnight

  1. Shape the dough, then place in a lined & floured container for 20 minutes.
  2. Cover then place in fridge for an overnight rest.

(Next day) Step 6: Bake

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees, and place a Dutch oven with lid instead to heat up along with the oven.
  2. Score top of loaf.
  3. Bake, covered, at 475 for 20 minutes
  4. Uncover and bake at 450 for 20 minutes
  5. Cool completely before slicing.

*Gluten development: Stretch & Fold

**Gluten development: Laminating

***Gluten development: Coil Fold

Week 88: 100% White Whole-Wheat

Do you have a whole-wheat bread hater in your life? Trick them with this bread made with white wheat, as opposed to the more common red. It’s as soft and squishy as Wonder Bread, but much more nutritious. Flour milled from white wheat looks and acts more like refined (all-purpose) flour, but still contains the bran, germ and endosperm. It’s got a milder flavor and softer texture than red wheat loaves, but is just as good for you.

  • 384g white whole wheat
  • 30g vital wheat gluten
  • 7g yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 36g brown sugar
  • 300g water
  • 3 Tbsp butter, cut in little cubes
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice, or plain vinegar)
  1. Measure the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Whisk to combine.
  3. Heat water to 120°F.
  4. Cut butter into little cubes, then add to hot water and stir to melt.
  5. Add the vinegar.
  6. Place bowl in mixer and knead on lowest speed with the dough hook while slowly add the water.
  7. Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula to help encourage total incorporation.
  8. Once it’s all mixed together, increase to speed #2 and knead for 10 – 20 minutes, scraping sides occasionally with a rubber spatula. You want the dough to be coming away from the sides on it’s own. . If you knead on speed #2 you’re not in danger of over kneading, so be patient – it’ll happen.
  9. Cover and let rest in a warm place for 30 – 60 minutes, until doubled in size.
  10. Lightly oil your work surface, and scrape the dough out from the bowl.
  11. Shape into a rectangle about 8″ wide, so it fits into a 8″ x 4″ loaf pan.
  12. Roll into a loaf using the head and shoulders method.
  13. Please in an oiled loaf pan, seam side down. Or line with parchment paper.
  14. Cover and let rest in a warm place for about 30 minutes, so that it is puffed up enough to be a little over the rim of the loaf pan. You don’t want it to puff up too much, because you want some of the rising to take place in the oven.
  15. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  16. Just before baking, dust with a little flour, and make 3~5 diagonal slashes
  17. Turn oven down to 350 and bake 30 minutes, until golden brown and internal temperature is 190 degrees.
  18. Let cool on a wire rack.

Week 87: Italian Supermarket Bread

Americans who were raised in neighborhoods with a large Italian-American community grew up with a staple they call Italian bread, readily available at their local supermarket. This familiar braided loaf is topped with sesame seeds and its nutty taste, sturdy crisp crust, and soft interior never disappoints. It’s made with semolina and double-zero flour, and it’s well worth getting those flours so you can make it again and again. I prefer the crust to be on the dark side, but it’s more common for it to be paler than that.

I started off by studying the method of making the No-Knead Italian Bread on Leites Culinaria, one of my most favorite food websites, and took from that the use of semolina and double-zero (00) flour. I added some sugar and olive oil to enrich the dough because I found that many commerical brands have some kind of sweetener and fat in the list of ingredients. I also mixed in some flax seeds with the sesame seeds to use as topping.

Step 1: Make dough

  • 165g semolina flour
  • 140g double-zero (00) flour
  • 135g all-purpose flour (or 100g all-purpose flour + 35g whole wheat)
  • 4g sugar
  • 7g salt
  • 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp anise seed, crushed (optional)
  1. In a large bowl, whisk flour with sugar, salt and yeast to combine.
  • 300g room temperature water
  • 15g olive oil
  1. Add water and olive oil and mix thouroughly, so there are no dry bits left. You can use your hands, a dough whisk, or the handle of a wooden spoon.
  2. Scrape sides down to clean it off and incorporate all the dough into one place. It’s very wet and sticky, so that’s fine.
  3. Cover, and let rest overnight.

Step 2: Shape

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Scrape dough out of bowl into a very well floured surface (about 2 level Tbsp worth)
  3. Knead to incorporate flour into the dough so that it’s not as sticky and easier to work with, using a bench scraper if it starts sticking to counter
  4. Clear flour off countertop (get it all!) then oil the countertop for the next step
  5. Cut dough into 3 equal pieces, about 261g each
  6. Roll out into logs about 12″ long and place on baking sheet
  7. Braid, press ends to seal, then fold under.
  8. Cover and let rest about 30 minutes to an hour, until slightly puffed.
  9. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees

Step 3: Bake

  • 1 egg white beaten with a pinch of salt
  • Sesame seeds (about 1 Tbsp)
  • Flax seeds (about 1 Tbsp)
  1. Mix egg white with salt to break it up.
  2. When dough is ready, brush it with the egg white and sprinkle with seeds.
  3. Bake at 425 for 30 ~ 40 minutes, until golden brown.
  4. When ready, turn off oven, and cool bread inside with the door open.

Week 86: Tartine’s Country Loaf

I went straight to the source to learn how to make a San Francisco sourdough, Tartine’s iconic Country Loaf. This bread has only three ingredients: flour, water and salt, and although I’ve baked a loaf a week, for the last 86 weeks, it still amazes me how something so simple can taste so good. The recipe is published on their website here, and it’s a good place to start if you don’t already have a sourdough starter (levain) going.

I actually found the first couple of steps a little confusing, and only wanted to make one loaf. So, I simplified the method for starting off, cut the recipe in half, and am sharing some steps that helped me but weren’t in the original instructions. And maybe it’s sacrilege, but I used a stand mixer. Think about it: the bakers in Tartine are using large professional mixers, so why can’t we?

San Francisco sourdough has a unique taste that we might not be able to replicate 100% outside of the region (turns out it’s because of local bug poop, not the local bacteria), but this is a close second.

Note: Many bakers, me inclued, prefer to use a square or rectangular container for dough resting. Most people use plastic, but I find that the light plastic lifts when you lift the dough, so I’ve switched to glass. For this amount of dough, an 8 x 8 square of 9 x 13 rectangle works.

Step 1: Feed your starter so it is ripe and ready to go. I always feed mine the night before and leave it out on the counter. If it’s really warm (over 72 degrees), it could over-ripen, so it might be better to feed it first thing in the morning so that you can monitor it.

Step 2: Make dough

  • 350g warm water (about 90 degrees)
  • 100 grams active sourdough
  1. Measure water into the bowl of a stand mixer. It’s important to use warm water, which helps to achieve a nice sour taste.
  2. Add starter. If it floats in the water, it’s good! (If you mix your starter, so that it deflates, then it won’t float in the water. So, just spoon it out, and drop it in the water until you have 100g worth.)
  3. Mix with a whisk to combine well.
  • 450g bread flour
  • 50g whole wheat flour
  1. Add the flours to the water and mix on low speed (#1) for 2 minutes, scraping down sides with a rubber spatula to get the flour thoroughly incorporated.
  2. Lift hook out, scrape dough bits off and add them to the bowl.
  3. Cover with tea towel and let rest in a warm place for 45 minutes.
  4. Rinse the dough hook off so it’s ready for the next step.
  • 10g salt
  • 25g warm water
  1. Add the water and salt then mix on low (#1) speed for 2 minutes.
  2. Stop to scrape the dough off the hook and the sides of the bowl to incorporate it all.
  3. Up the speed to med-low (#4) and mix for 2 more minutes.

Step 3: Proofing/Kneading

  1. Add a little oil to your container, enough to cover the bottom so the dough doesn’t stick.
  2. Empty the dough into the container, scraping sides of the bowl to get it all.

The dough is going to rest/proof for 2 hours while you peridically give it a few stretches to strengthen the gluten. See Tip #3: Kneading while Proofing on the Video page for tips on the stretch and fold method of kneading.

  1. Cover and rest for 30 minutes, then do a round of stretch and folds. You could do coil folds if you prefer, or 2 stretch and folds and 2 coil folds. I’m not very good at those.
    • Repeat this step 3 more times, for a total of 4 stretches and four 30-minute rests (2 hours resting time).
  2. Cover and rest for 1 hour. It should be nice and swollen by the time it’s ready to shape.

Step 4: Shaping

  1. Dust coutertop with flour.
  2. Tip the container over to release the dough onto the floured countertop.
  3. Shape (see video instruction below)
    • Lift the side closest to you, the bottom, and stretch it out and up, then fold it over on the dough.
    • Do the same with the right and left sides, pulling them out, then folding over onto the dough.
    • Then pull the top side up and out, and fold it down ontopof the ther folds.
    • Do a few “bakers stitching” down the middle.
    • Starting from the top, roll dough down to the end.
    • Leave as is for a batard, or shape into a boule.
    • Flip
    • Cup hands around dough and slide on countertop to make the surface even tighter.
  4. Place in a flour lined bannetton, seam side up.
  5. Cover and let proof in refridgerator overnight.
  • Rice flour

Step 5: Bake (next day)

  1. About 30 minutes before baking, place a Dutch oven with lid (or any heat-proof container) in the oven and heat it to 500 degrees.
  2. Once heated, remove dough from fridge, and cover with a parchment paper sling, then invert.
  3. Lift basket off of the dough.
  4. Dust tops with rice flour (stays white) and score with a sharp knife/razor blade.
  5. Remove hot container from oven, and place dough inside. Cover, then place in oven and reduce temperature to 450 degrees.
  6. Bake 20 minutes, then remove lid and bake for 20 more.
  7. Remove from pot then place in turned off oven to cool with the door open.

Below is a video of Chad Robertson, owner of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, giving a class in Denmark. A little sourdough porn for ya.

Week 85: Eggnog Tea Loaf

Just after Halloween, I make a large batch of aged, aka boozy, eggnog (my favorite is Michael Ruhlman’s 30-day Eggnog) and put it in the back of the fridge until Christmas time. This year, we had a little bit left over so I decided to make a tea loaf with it, and wow, what a treat! SO good with a cup of Earl Grey in the afternoon, and even better after dinner with some Traditional Swedish Egg Coffee. It’s super easy to throw together, and also makes for a nice hostess gift over the holidays.

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup eggnog (measure it into a Pyrex liquid measuring cup)
  • Glaze:
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 3 tablespoons eggnog
    • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
    • pinch of salt
  1. Butter and flour an 8.5″ x 4.5″ loaf pan and preheat oven to 350.
  2. With electric beaters, or a stand mixer, cream the butter with the sugar until well combined.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until thoroughly mixed in.
  4. Measure the flour, salt, and baking powder into a separate bowl, and whisk to combine
  5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet in batches, alternating with the eggnog, and mixing to combine after each addition.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until an inserted knife comes out clean. If the top starts to brown too much before it’s ready, cover it with a tin foil tent. Do not over bake!
  9. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Measure everything into a bowl and whisk to combine.
  10. Remove loaf from pan and let cool of a rack.
  11. Drizzle with glaze, and sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.