Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …



BBB ~ Whole Wheat Tangzhong Bread

Bread … just flour, water, yeast … then maybe salt, butter, an egg … maybe nothing more, maybe just a tiny more … but good grief how as much as we love it and crave it; the variety using the same basics is overwhelming and awe inspiring.


This month Karen K (Karen’s Kitchen Stories) in her debut as a BBB is bringing us a most interesting bread.  Tangzhong Bread (aka Japanese Milk Bread, aka Hokkaido Milk Toast).  The recipe is based on the book 65 degrees C by Yvonne Chen, and adapted by Christine Ho.  You will find several versions of this bread on Karen’s site but with this BBB bake she went with a whole wheat version and that of course really warms my soul.  The bread uses a Tangzhong, a concoction of cooked flour and water that is cooked to 65 degrees C or 149 degrees F.  Sounds pretty much like a roux if you ask me.  If  you don’t have an instant read thermometer cook, don’t even pretend you can make do without it, you need one.

After I’d made the Tangzhong and it was cooling, I started thinking I should really try this baked in my Pullman loaf pan but too bad it wasn’t going to make enough dough to fill my long pan.

READ, I’ll never learn.
It says clearly “makes enough for two loaves”.

I had the final dough ingredients all measured. Luckily for some strange reason I had left the bowl on the scale and tared it out because when I poured the Tangzhong into the bowl it measured 200 grams.  The recipe only called for 100 grams.  Woops.  I was setting up for a mis-measure disaster or total genius.  200 grams of Tangzhong = 2 loaves: That should be enough dough to fill the Pullman pan.  So, I quick like measured all ingredients for another loaf … well except no more sugar, no more butter and no more than the 30 grams of flax seed that I had already added.  I am overjoyed with this bread in a Pullman loaf pan both with and without the lid.


I know one bread baker who says that even bad bread makes good toast and thinks very poorly of toast.  I on the other hand have a very high opinion of toast.  I’ll agree that many times less than great bread makes pretty good toast BUT I find there is a toast continuum as there is with almost anything.  While this bread is marvelous for sandwiches of all sorts, this bread maybe the ultimate toast.  This bread maybe the very definition of toast!

And now if you’re up for my dirty little secret:  While I do finally begin to see that Gorn has really begun to appreciate, taste and even differentiate really good bread from the factory stuff (see how polite I’m being not labeling it “library paste”), he still craves his childhood baloney on white bread.  In his childhood it was WonderBread; today in Michigan it’s there’s … drum roll please … Hillbilly Bread.  I kid you not, it is labeled Hillbilly Bread.  He got one of his cravings the week before I baked this bread.  His Hillbilly was gone when I baked this but there was still baloney.  This bread is the only bread I’ve ever baked that fit’s his craving.  Light and fluffy, awesome.  With that in mind, I think this might be the first bread I bake that my 7 y/o grandson will like.


50 grams bread flour
240 water
110 grams milk
45 grams whisked eggs (about one large egg)
100 grams Tangzhong (half of above) unless of course like me you have that large pullman pan
40 grams sugar (optional: I left out)
5 grams salt
200 grams bread flour
150 grams whole wheat flour
6 grams instant yeast
40 grams unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces

Tangzhong mixture (makes enough for two loaves)
Mix the flour and water together until there aren’t any lumps.
Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and registers 149 degrees F or 65 degrees C. If you don’t have a thermometer, then yes, you really need to get one. Llook for lines in the mixture made by your spoon as your stir. Remove from the heat immediately when it reaches 149°.
Scrape the mixture into a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it onto the surface of the tangzhong.  Covering the mixture surface eliminates evaporation.  Let it cool, and then refrigerate it for several hours.  I did not refrigerate either time I baked this.

Bring it back to room temperature when you are ready to use it. Or just let it cool to room temp before using it as I did.
This will last a couple of days. If it starts to turn gray, toss it.

Makes one loaf, and is easily doubled Add all of the ingredients except the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. You can also mix by hand or bread machine.

Mix the ingredients until they form a dough. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until incorporated. Knead until the dough becomes very elastic. More is better.

Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes. I’m sure it could cold ferment overnight, but haven’t done it.


Divide the dough into 3 or four equal pieces and form each piece into a ball.
IMG_9798With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 10 inch long oval. Fold the oval into thirds, widthwise, like an envelope. Turn the envelope so that the short side is facing you, and roll it into a 10 to 12 inch length.
Roll that piece like a cinnamon roll, with the folded sides on the inside, and place the piece in an oiled bread pan, seam side down.
IMG_9801Repeat with the other pieces, placing them next to each other. IMG_9802Those words “Roll that piece like a cinnamon roll” should tell you this is just begging for a filling!  I had elaborate plans for my second bake (brown sugar butter, cinnamon brown sugar + dried blue berries, etc.) but things consipired against me.  But just think about it.  If you do one loaf, you can have 3 or 4 rollings going into one loaf.  Each one of those rollings gives you the opportunity to leave it as is – just beautifully light fluffy bread – OR put in a filling.  I leave it to your imagination.
Cover and let rise for about 40 minutes, until about 4/5  the height of the bread pan.

Baked in Pullman pan lid off

Baked in Pullman pan lid off

Bake in a 175 degree C/ 350 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the loaf from the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Pullman pan with & without lid took 40 minutes.

Baked in Pullman Pan lid on, this is the side. I love those snails swirling.

Baked in Pullman Pan lid on, this is the side. I love those snails swirling.

I baked it with the lid on first and we loved the bread.

Served it one night with  a French Cassoulet.  Delightfully tight but light and fluffy crumb.

Served it one night with a French Cassoulet. Delightfully tight but light and fluffy crumb.

But it made me wonder what the crumb would be like if I baked without the lid.

Maybe the crumb was slightly more open baked with the lid off but it wasn't a great difference.

Maybe the crumb was slightly more open baked with the lid off but it wasn’t a great difference.

What did you say?  Well, of course you want a slice … oh well, yes a loaf would be better.  That’s a great idea.  Just get in that kitchen and bake it!  Then pop over to Karen’s Kitchen and get the details on how to be a Bread Baking Buddy this month.

This is lovely bread.  You’ll want to check out all the Babes baking this month, we are a most creative bunch.

Do not forget the oats!


Muesli Rolls ~ BBB

Muesli Rolls ~ BBB

Butter don't forget butter ... cheese was good as well.

Butter don’t forget butter … cheese was good as well.

Our Kitchen of the Month … Karen: Bake My Day and boy did she ever.

Karen found this recipe in Global Baker by Dean Brettschneider

As the baker says: a real breakfast roll for champions, full of seeds, dried fruits and chocolate. They are great fresh, or toasted the next day and the day after.

Karen said to try them with Swiss Emmenthal cheese, perfect partners! but we ran out of rolls before I could get any Emmenthaler.

These rolls may not have transformed us into Champions but they certainly brought joy to the table each time I served them; really that’s saying quite something don’t you think.

I believe if you follow the proportions of bread flour to whole wheat, you’ll get a reasonably light roll.  If on the other hand you are in a whole grain phase as I am and chose to cut the bread flour by half (using 250 grams bread flour instead of the 500 grams) and doing some strange numerical calculation like I did and use 250 grams white whole wheat flour (not the 50 grams of whole wheat called from in the recipe), you’ll take out a delightfully wonderful tight crumbed roll like I did.

Another word on the differences in flours and water or as Karen said: “what’s in a name, that what we call flour by any other name would bake as sweet….” provided that you add enough water that is.”  In all the years our little group has been baking together, the one lesson we all seem to have to learn over and over is flour on the other side of the pond is different.  When Karen, our kitchen of the month who happens to bake in the Netherlands, said this recipe worked perfectly for her that should have set off a warning bell to us on the other side to add a little more water.  I can’t tell you how much more water … just more.

So if you follow the directions exactly as Karen has them posted on her site and you’re using flour from the North American side of the pond, add a little extra water.  If you are so lucky as to have some potato water (and not like me watch it go down the drain and yell “NO wait, come back! I need that!”) or whey from a little cheese making as Elizabeth suggested, replace some or all of the water with it, I know you won’t be disappointed.

Muesli Rolls ~ BBB ~ 15 rolls

250 grams  strong bread flour, (Original:  500 grams)

250 grams wholemeal or whole wheat flour, (Original: 50 grams)

40 grams jumbo rolled oats

2 3/4 teaspoons gr  (2.3/4 tsp) instant dry yeast

10 gr (2 tsp) salt

20 grams blackstrap molasses

20 grams honey

20 ml olive oil

370 ml water (next time 390-400)

60 grams gr (scant 1/2 cup) walnut pieces (chopped small)

30 grams gr (3 Tbs) linseeds/flaxseeds, soaked in liquid

20 grams gr (2.1/4 Tbs) sesame seeds

80 grams gr (1/2 cup) sunflower seeds

80 grams gr (2/3 cup) pumpkin seeds

90 grams gr (1/4 cup) dried apricuts, cut into pieces

60 grams gr (1/2 cup) small chocolate chips/drops (optional: used 40 grams)

100 grams gr (1 generous cup) jumbo rolled oats to decorate

1. Place flours, oats, yeast, salt and wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Using a wooden spoon, combine to form a dough.  Tip dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 15 minutes, resting it for 1 minute every 2-3 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Check dough throughout kneading for stickiness; add a little more water or flour if necessary to achieve a soft dough that’s not too firm.

I did, I added mini-chocolate chips ... just not all the recipe called for.

I did, I added mini-chocolate chips … just not all the recipe called for.

2. Add walnuts, seeds, dried fruit and chocolate(if desired). Knead until well incorporated and combined into dough.

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Have faith, keep kneading, it will all come together!

Place dough in  a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and leave in a warm place for approximately  1 1/2, until dough has doubled in size. Gently knock back dough in bowl by folding it back onto itself several times. Cover again and leave for a further 30 minutes.

Squares ... that's really easy!

Squares … that’s really easy!

3. Tip dough upside down onto a lightly floured work surface.  Sprinkle flour over top of dough (which was on the bottom of the bowl).  Very carefully turn dough over and gently flatten to 2cm (3/4 in) thick.  Using a dough scarper or large chef’s knife, cut dough into 7cm (2 3/4in) squares.  Using a pastry brush, brush the tops with water.  Sprinkle entire surface of each roll with rolled oats, and pat down gently to stick them on.

4. Line a baking tray (cookie sheet) with baking (parchment) paper.  Place rolls onto lined tray (sheet), leaving a 2-3cm (3/4-11/4in) gap between each roll.  Cover (I always use a shower cap) and leave to prove for 30-45 minutes, depending on room temperature.

5. Place rolls on baking tray (cookie sheet) in a preheated 230C/450F/Gas 8 oven, apply steam and quickly close oven door.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning tray around halfway through baking if needed Remove rolls from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

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Gorn’s comment: I know I’m going to regret this but I can’t stop eating them.  At that point I swiftly packed them up and put them out of sight.  Reports from the other Babes are these are knock their socks off GREAT!

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We enjoyed these for breakfast several mornings, with soup in the evening twice and at least once in the afternoon with some lovely Earl Grey.  They keep wonderfully well in the fridge and then toasted.

Would you like to be a Bread Baking Buddy?

Karen is host kitchen this month and would love to see you baking with us. However… she was so clever to register for KOM in June ánd go on a vacation somewhere around that time. So luckily there is Lien to the rescue!! Lien (from Notitie Van Lien fame) will also be ready to receive your submission ánd send you your Buddy Badge!


Here’s how:

Just make the rolls, then email your link (or email your photo and a bit about your experience if you don’t have a blog) to BOTH  bakemyday {at} gmail {dot} com AND to notitievanlien(at)gmail(punt)com add subject BBBuddy

Submissions are due by July 1st.  Once you’ve posted, you’ll receive a Buddy badge for baking along, then watch for a roundup of all of the BBBuddies posts a few days after the close of submissions, or in this case…. as soon as Karen is home again and the laundry done.
The Bread Baking Babes are:

Hey pssst: have you seen them? We added a couple of new Babes…. and yes they scare us. Just a bit. We now have Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories  And we have Judy! Judy blogs at Judy’s gross eats and she has volunteered to be Kitchen of the Month next month! (we would never pressure. Babes just volunteer. by themselves. sure.) 


And the Babes posting Muesli Rolls are:

"Almost an Easter Egg"


BBB Romanian Easter Bread ~ Babes go with Braids!

Our kitchen of the month is Pat from Feeding My Enthusiasms.  I never get excited about sweet but being a Babe, I do have to bake and for sure I try my best to bake the monthly Babe bread.

I measured all the ingredients well before Easter … melted butter and milk went back into the fridge as life started coming at me like the steam engine it is and it was fully 10 days later before I got back to this.  Talk about quilt looking at your kitchen counter.  Sweet just isn’t a big motivator for me. I love chocolate but go for the really good dark stuff.  Sweet is nice from time to time but it’s usually salt I crave.
Once I started the mixing of this dough, it was like the heavens were welcoming me in: the dough was silky and easy; the kneading soothing and relaxing; the aroma of cinnamon baking from the oven … all was right with the world.
After his first slice, Gorn’s comment was: I’d really like another slice but I’m not sure I can manage it … he did.  The bread is that good.  Even for me, it is that good.  So good I enjoyed it for toast two breakfasts in a row.

Romanian Easter Braid

"Almost an Easter Egg"

“Almost an Easter Egg”

Recipe By: Pat “Feeding My Enthusiasms” adaptation from The Festive Bread Book, by Kathy Cutler
Yield: 1 large braid loaf

3 1/2 – 4 cup flour, divided: 1/2 King Arthur white whole wheat and 1/2 King Arthur sprouted wheat
1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
30  grams yellow ground flax meal
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (or use orange zest), used zest of one lemon
2/3 cup milk, used half & half
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar, used brown
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
Filling:, I doubled the filling.
1/3 cup water, used lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup finely ground almonds (or walnuts, poppy seeds, etc)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (or use orange zest), used zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons milk

1. Combine 2 cups flour , the yeast, and lemon zest in mixing bowl.

Heat milk, butter, sugar and salt until butter melts; remove from heat and let cool until it reaches 105 – 115 degrees F.

Add milk mixture and eggs to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.   I used about 3 1/2 cups total.

Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth – about 10 minutes.  This became a very soft and smooth easy dough in about 5 minutes.

2. Place in greased bowl, turning to coat top. Cover; let rise in warm place until double – about 1 hour. My kitchen was very cool (62°) and took 3 hours.

3. Punch down dough. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each into a 7 x 16-inch rectangle.

I did double the nuts and sugar! Forgot an extra touch of cinnamon ~ my bad. Absolutely DO DOUBLE the filling.

I did double the nuts and sugar! Forgot an extra touch of cinnamon ~ my bad.
Absolutely DO DOUBLE the filling.

Use 1/3 of filling one each rectangle, spreading filling, but leaving a margin around edges; roll up jelly-roll style. Seal seam and ends. You will have three filled and sealed ropes.

Braid ropes; place on greased baking sheet.

Before rising.

Before rising.

Cover; let rise in warm place until double – about 30 minutes.

4. Make glaze and brush on loaf.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 40 minutes or until done.  NOW, a word of caution.  Pat’s directions say to bake this on a baking sheet I believe.  As you can see from above I put mine on parchment and slid it onto the hot baking stone in the oven.  I got a wonderful oven spring … but I also got a great out pouring of brown sugar melt.  I have a small Breville Convection table oven.  I really is a marvel BUT it really is small.  One normal rise sandwich loaf is the capacity and only then on the lower rack.  This braid fit in the middle but it did melt sugar all over the stone and a little onto the bottom of the oven.  I was astonished that just running hot water over the stone and the slide out oven bottom easily rinsed away the sugar.

Cool on wire rack.  Do let it cool.  Melted sugar is too hot for the tongue.

"The Crumb"

“The Crumb”

It is so good.  Don’t wait for next Easter.  This is just great for a special Brunch or nice breakfast any day.  Become a Bread Baking Buddy ~ don’t you know the drill by now?  ;-)  Bake the bread, send your e-mail to Pat with BBB Buddy Easter Bread in the subject line along with link to your web site or FaceBook link and you’ll get a buddy badge and be in the month’s round up post!

Easter colors.

Easter colors.

I think I can guarantee you are going to love this one.

And now for something completely different … a rant … why am I late.  For whatever reason my IP blocked my posting to WordPress on my laptop.  No idea.  So we drove into town (30miles) to the library where everything works like greased lightening.  Enjoy all those cliches.


Buddies Play in the BBB SandBox ~ Granary Style Loaf

If there is one thing Buddies and Babes have in spades, it’s free thinking creativity. If essay exams had only been like this in college, life would have been grand and fun. Probably we’d have come away knowing a lot more as well.

I feel like it’s more difficult to get many bread bakers interested in whole wheat/whole grain bread. Many of us were raised on that white stuff (I call library paste) and that’s what we’re happy to bake and see on our plates. Whole wheat/whole grain is more challenge having less gluten and the potential to taste bitter or funny or just not regular. For that reason, I am doubly pleased with Babes and Buddies who took up this challenge.

These are not in any special order because each really stands alone in it’s own special way.  That’s really how essay exams and SandBox play should be.

Granary Loaf was Judy’s first loaf in her new home, a christening of sorts she called it … I call it a spectacular loaf, just look at that marvelous crust.


Judy's Gross Eats

Judy’s Gross Eats

We got a great crumb shot from Karen who considers herself the “champion ingredient collector” but didn’t have any malted wheat flakes in her pantry. I really like the sound of that “champion ingredient collector” … I wonder how many of us feel that way … perhaps it would be better to ask how many of our partners consider each of us the “champion ingredient collector”.

Karen's Kitchen Stories

Karen’s Kitchen Stories


One of our most faithful Buddies Carola of course came through again after welcoming Tom Cruise into her pantry with a … globe continents and seas … well maybe I don’t have all those facts straight and you should check it out for yourself.

Sweet and That's It

Sweet and That’s It

For the crowning Crumb (and actually the first to bake in) and lovely bouquet! I would love to find some sprouted oat like Kelly did.  Her loaf rose gorgeously well, has a wonderful looking crumb and her son gave it thumbs up which is an A+ in my book.

A Messy Kitchen

A Messy Kitchen

Apologies for my tardy posting. I really was greatly needed by a friend in dire need.

Thank you all for baking once again with us and playing so well in the SandBox!

BBBuddy badge march 15



BBB Granary Style Loaf

As Kitchen of the Month I welcome you to the BBB Sandbox for Granary Loaf.

I always dreaded those essay exams at university and in graduate school. Gad, you really had to know your stuff.  Written was awful: you had to know it, organize it in your head and get in down on paper. Then in graduate school you had to be able to write it AND talk it.  Now, contrast that with how things work in the sandbox.  In our sandbox, the kids (that would be the BBBs and now you) all come together to “play”.  When kids play in a sandbox, they have fun, they experiment and they learn.  That learning can some times move into unexpected areas.
How did I come across Granary Bread?  A friend in Seattle showed me a bread book she’d gotten for Christmas and I came across Granary Bread.   I looked at several recipes for Granary Bread on the internet and settled on a trusted source, King Arthur.  But this bread sandbox is not so much about the recipe as about playing with a concept with creativity, independence all the while sharing and inciting discovery … even if that discovery takes us into the past where we learn again: there really is very little new under the sun.

In the Granary Loaf, I felt I’d found a classic, simple, conservative recipe with a potentially unobtainable ingredient for most of us: Granary flour is a proprietary blend not available unless you are in England or order it from them. Since we can’t get that special blend, that would require us to play together and come up with ideas that would allow us to create a Granary Style Loaf.
Along the way I explored barley extract, malting process (requires sprouting and drying the grain), malt (diastatic and non) and baking undercover.  I don’t feel comfortable putting up all that I scanned from Elizabeth David’s book but if you are interested I can e-mail you some copy  if you don’t have the book and would like to read some of it.  King Arthur is an excellent source to read up on malt extract as well.

When I started playing in this sandbox, I figured I would not be able to find the proprietary flour the Brit’s have.  I was thinking whole grain flours.  Sprouted would be a plus.  Toasting whatever “wheat flakes” would add some extra flavor in the neighborhood of malted.  I think if wheat flakes can’t be found, I’d try oatmeal.  Think whole grain and malty undertones.


Almost immediately Heather came up with “I just ordered the flour from Amazon.”  Then I had to too … but coming from across the pond gave it a delivery date of March 12 … unless you were willing to pay some $70 to expedite delivery!

The only change I made here is using potato water and adding the ground flax meal.

The only change I made here is using potato water and adding the ground flax meal.

Mine came on the 12th and I baked using it on the 13.  I followed the directions on the label substituting only potato water for the water and adding in 30 grams of flax meal.  The Hovis flour was my second play in the SandBox.

Made with the Hovis Granary Flour.

Made with the Hovis Granary Flour.

Use your imagination.  Remember when you were little and made mud pies.  We’re playing around here.

Update Sunday night 15 March: King Arthur has what looks like a sort of updated/more recent Granary style loaf called Malted Wheat Flake Bread that I’m going to be starting tonight.  I very much like that it soaks grains overnight.

Authentic is not the goal, good tasty bread is. I leave it to you: loaf or rolls.

Just so not to leave you hanging, Elizabeth David in her “English Bread and Yeast Cookery” was writing about “baking bread undercover” in 1977.  She had “discovered” the idea from talking with and reading baker’s from the 1920’s.  Now, what does “baking undercover” make you think of?  Well, it makes me think about the first time I came across it was when Karen & I turned up baking (after midnight) the New York Times recipe put up by Mark Bittman from Jim Lahey in 2006.  Cast iron pot heated very hot and a lid put on it.  I thought that was revolutionary.  Turns out, not really that new under this sun.

Granary-Style Loaf

This is a bread beloved by the British. King Arthur calls it “granary-style” loaf because Granary Flour is a proprietary brand sold by a specific company in England.  A full-flavored bread with a hint of sweetness and a bit of crunch.
Recipe from King Arthur
Yield: 2 loaves
2 cups lukewarm water
1 to 2 tablespoons barley malt extract
1 cup malted wheat flakes
2 cups King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
1 scant tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 to 4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose or Unbleached Special Bread Flour*
Flavor and texture come from those malted wheat flakes!

Flavor and texture come from those malted wheat flakes!

1. Pour the 2 cups of water into a mixing bowl. Stir in the barley malt, wheat flakes and white wheat flour. Mix in the yeast, and allow this sponge to work for 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Stir in the butter or oil, salt, and about 2 1/2 cups of the all-purpose or bread flour. Add flour slowly until you have a shaggy mass hat begins to hold together and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
*You’ll use less flour if you use Special(meaning bread flour) instead of all-purpose, due to its higher absorption capacity.”

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured or lightly greased work surface, and knead until it’s cohesive. Give it a rest while you clean out and lightly oil your bowl. Continue kneading for several minutes, adding only enough flour (or oil) to keep the dough from sticking to you or the work surface.

4. Return the dough to the bowl, turning to coat all sides, cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and let the dough rise until it’s double din bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Gently deflate the dough, cut it in half, and shape each half into a log. Place the logs in two lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch bread pans. Allow the loaves to rise, covered, until they’re about three-quarters of the way to doubled.

5. Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf registers 190°F. Remove the bread from the oven, remove it from the pans, and transfer it to a wire rack to cool.


First Sand Box Play:
I cut the recipe in half because I wanted to bake again soon with different ingredients.
1 c water (260 g)
1 T barley malt extract became 8 grams brown sugar
1/2 c malted wheat flakes (from King Arthur)
30 grams golden flax meal
1 c white whole wheat became 75 grams sprouted wheat and 75 grams white whole whole
1/2 T yeast
1 T butter
1/2 t salt used 2 grams
150 grams bread flour
used about 1/3 cup more bread flour kneading

Mixed water, br sugar, wheat flakes, white whole wheat and sprouted wheat; allowed to sit 1 hour
Whisked yeast, salt, flax meal and bread flour.
And baked following KA recipe.

Gorn & I both found these two loaves to be excellent.  Good as toast; great for a sandwich. A background whisper of malt … sweetness … but just right.  The Hovis Granary flour made an excellent loaf but I think there was not a substantial difference from the King Arthur recipe when I baked the two.

I do hope you’ll want to play in the sandbox with us, maybe you will find something new under the sun that we’ve missed.

***  To be a bread baking buddy, post your bread (on your blog, on our FaceBook group, or send me a photo and comment on the bread).  In order to receive a BBBuddy Badge and appear in my round-up post at the end of this month you MUST e-mail me at comments my kitchen at mac dot com – you know no spaces and the @ sign – AND use BBB or SandBox on the subject line.

It’s not a fancy shape, just super good bread. BBB logo March 2015 See you in the SandBox!



BBB ~ Kouign Amann

BBB logo February 2015

… and the crowd goes wild to celebrate our 7th Anniversary.

Kouign Amann


So wild, I’ve been threatened with being chained to the oven until I bake them again.  Chained to the oven … no wilder than 7 years of Bread Baking Babes!  Beautiful bread baking Babes, thank you all.

Lien is once again our KOM (Kitchen of the Month).  I am once again blown away by a bread I would never have picked: it looks intimidating (that wow factor is very high with this one) and it’s sweet, something I just almost never volunteer for.  But, I am totally won over by this one and will probably be making it again…like on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Kouign Amann
from Lien by Paul Hollywood – BBC “The Great British Bake Off
Yield: 12 – 16 pastries
300 grams strong plain flour: I used half bread flour & half white whole wheat , plus extra for dusting
5 grams fast-action yeast: I used reg instant
1 teaspoon salt
200 ml warm water
25 grams unsalted butter, melted
250 grams cold unsalted butter, in a block
100 grams caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1.  Put the flour into the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other. Add the water and melted butter and mix on a slow speed for two minutes, then on a medium speed for six minutes.
***Not sure why, but I actually used the kitchen aid for this one.
I’ll probably do it by hand next time. This is a really lovely satiny like dough, easy to knead.  I see no reason this would be difficult without a stand mixer.
2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball. Put into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to rise for one hour.
***I figured this is all about butter so took a small pat of butter and rubbed it into my palms and then onto dough ball.
Here I go again. I wanted to get this started but knew I’d have a long wait time before starting the laminating process SO it went into the fridge at this point. Slowly rising about 3 hours before I got back to it.
Next time I will be using salted butter.
3. Sandwich the butter between two sheets of grease proof paper and bash with a rolling pin, then roll out to a 14 cm square. Place in the fridge to keep chilled.***I just used parchment paper.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 20 cm square. Place the butter in the centre of the dough diagonally, so that each side of butter faces a corner of the dough. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter to enclose like an envelope.
5. Roll the dough into a 45×15 cm rectangle. Fold the bottom third of dough up over the middle, then fold the top third of the dough over. You will now have a sandwich of three layers of butter and three layers of dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. This completes one turn.
***Do not feel you need to be exact at 30 minutes. It’s chilling in the fridge, up to another 30 minutes (an hour total) it’s going to be fine.  If the dough resists rolling, extra time will allow it to relax and making the rolling out easier anyway.
6. Repeat this process twice more, so you have completed a total of three turns, chilling the dough for 30 minutes between turns.
***Do allow a full 30 minutes between turns.
I’ll be very tempted to do an extra sprinkling on this third turn, lighter than the next. The limiting factor might be it will cause the butter to break through.  I did not have any difficulty with the butter popping through the dough.  I’m thinking regular brown sugar would be lovely here and may give that a go next bake.IMG_7970

7. Roll the dough into a rectangle as before. Sprinkle the dough with the caster sugar and  fold into thirds again. Working quickly, roll the dough into a large 40×30 cm rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with caster sugar and cut the dough into 12 squares.

***My math/division skills can be limited some days more than others.  Twelve evaded me. I cut it into 16 pieces. Actually, that was probably idea for how many people were putting these into their mouths. As it turned out, I only got one because I snuck off with it first thing. I’ll do 16 again. I will however try for more square shape than the rectangle I ended up with on most.

I don’t believe I used the measured amount of sugar. I just tried to cover the rectangle and rolled the sugar in so that it stuck in the dough.


8. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin well with oil. Gather the dough squares up by their four corners and place in the muffin tins, pulling the four corners towards the centre of the muffin tin, so that it gathers up like a four-leaf clover. Sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to rise, covered with a clean tea towel, for 30 minutes until slightly puffed up.

***I used butter in the pan.


9. Preheat oven to 220ºC.
Bake the pastries for 30-40 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Cover with foil halfway through if beginning to brown too much.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
Be careful not to burn yourself on the caramelised sugar, but don’t leave them to cool for too long, or the caramelised sugar will harden and they will be stuck in the tin. Serve warm or cold

Mine took 32 minute in regular bake (no convection) oven at 405°F .
Watch these. Almost exactly at the 15 minute mark I covered these with foil or they would have been black. As it was the color came out gorgeous.
I had absolutely no difficulty removing these from the pan.


10. Serve warm or cold. Warm is best!
***Warm, you really want them warm. You really want that flaky crunch!

11. If you don’t want to eat them all in want go (of just if you want to, but shouldn’t), bag and freeze them. Before you eat them: Defrost them and place them in a warm oven (180ºC) for about 4-6 minutes or until warm, they will crisp up again.
***I didn’t see this the first time I baked them.  Believe me I will be trying this.



2 1/2  hours preparation time (mostly resting in the fridge time)
30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

We have France to thank for these caramelised buttery, sugary parcels. Lien’s been an internet sleuth and has more on how these came about.  The are perfect with a café au lait. Equipment and preparation: for this recipe you will need a 12-cup muffin tin and a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook.  (Personally I don’t think that dough hook is necessary but haven’t done it without yet.)

If you don’t want to eat them all in one go (or just if you want to, but shouldn’t), bag and freeze them. Before you eat them: Defrost them and place them in a warm oven (180ºC) for about 4-6 minutes or until warm, they will crisp up again.
I know the crumb shot is woefully lacking but I was lucky to get even that considering how fast these went.  Lien does have the perfect crumb shot!
You simply must bake these. Chain yourself to the oven door until you do. Bake, write, post and let us know how it worked out. Send your info + picture to the Kitchen of the month (that’s Lein this time, so send it to: notitievanlien(at)gmail(dot)com, add subject BBBuddy). Deadline 1 March.
Become our Bread Baking Buddy, you’ll get a BBBuddy Badge for your entry (you can add that too your post if you want) and will be added to the Buddy round up later.  Mine may look good but Lien’s are gorgeous!   I mean BAKE these. You’ll be hooked for life!


Whole-Wheat Sunflower Seed Rye Bread

I know it’s hard to believe but this is not for the Babe’s, not an early BBB bread at all.  I hope that’s not too disappointing.  I will tell you I did the Babe bread for this month and did squeal and even jig a little dance – sorry Ilva.  It’s really very good, very fun and even though the thought made me shake in my boots, it was very easy .
I saw this first on David Lebovitz’s blog and was of course over awed by the look and sound. Do you ever buy a cookbook because of one recipe?  How many cookbooks have you bought without at least thumbing through the actually book or looking at a sample as an e-book.  I may have hesitated five minutes before hitting the buy button on Amazon … I may not have.  At any rate, the book is now in my library.
Now that I’ve read it cover to cover, I’m delighted and have considerably more than the one recipe that I’m over joyed with.
The bread is milder than I expected but still has a lovely rye aroma and flavor.  It’s a dense bread and so is perfect to slice thin and serve with appetizers.  I may try it next with a little caraway and when I unpack that special loaf pan to bake cocktail rye in, I’ll be trying that. Until I find that pan, wonderful with just butter and with every cheese we put on it last night.  We’ve planned to have it toasted with an egg some morning before it’s all gone. I’m right with David on the avocado and strangely enough there is one waiting on my counter … it won’t be waiting long.

Below you will find first my measure, second David Lebovitz’s measurement in parenthesis found on his blog, and finally Hans Rockenwagner’s measurement.  You can note that my grams and David’s are fairly different.  In comparing photo’s of each, it seems like the measurements worked about the same in the final bread.  Flour is a dramatically different entity around this globe.   I was baking from the book where Hans uses cups. When I use a recipe written in cups any more, I do the measurement, weight it in grams (and yes I know liquids are measured in ml, I just do it in grams and it works for me) and write in in the book or into my MacGourmet program. Next time I just scale things.

Whole-Wheat Sunflower Seed Rye Bread

Recipe By: Das Cookbook by Hans Röckenwagner
Yield: one loaf


my measure    David Lebovitz’s measurement,     Hans Rockenwagner’s measurement
400 grams (375ml) lukewarm water, 1 1/2 cups (12 oz)
1/4 cup (80g)  honey, 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon ( I used agava syrup)
2 1/4 teaspoons (one package) active dry yeast (not instant)
450 grams (330g) whole-wheat flour, 2 3/4 cups
45 grams flax meal
1 teaspoon King Arthur Rye Bread Improver
155 grams (110g) rye flour (dark or light), 1 cup
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 cup (125g) lightly toasted sunflower seeds
Vegetable oil, for greasing the pan – I used butter

1. I deviated from the recipe here and simply added the yeast into the flours.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the whole wheat and rye flours with the salt. I used a wooden spoon. Stir the 1/4 cup (80g) honey into the flour mixture. If necessary, add an additional bit of flour if the dough is too wet, or another tablespoon of water if the dough is too dry. It should feel soft and moist, and when you touch it, your finger should just barely stick to it.

3. This is a stiff but fairly smooth dough at this point.  I don’t think I kneaded more than about 5 minutes.  I also moistened my hands fairly often by putting one palm in a bowl of water.  I can’t guess how much water this added.

4. Here I deviated from the recipe and covered the dough and placed it in the refrigerator over night.

5. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead in the sunflower seeds thoroughly, making sure that they are evenly dispersed throughout the dough.  Again I moistened one palm in a bowl of water.
Return the dough to the mixer bowl, I covered the bowel with a moist towel and then a shower cap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, took 2 hours.

6. Punch the dough down with your fist, cover, and let rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.

7. Lightly grease a 9-inch (23cm) loaf pan. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured countertop, shape the dough into a elongated rectangle, and place the dough in the pan. Cover and let rise 1 hour. (Note that it won’t rise much.)

8. About 15 minutes before you plan to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

I preheated my convection oven to 340°, placed the loaf in the well preheated oven, sprayed the top of the loaf well with the water and then gave the oven a good squirt. I turned the oven up to 350°F for 10 minutes and then back down to 340° for the last hour of baking.


My total baking time was 70 minutes.

9. Storage: The bread will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature. It can be frozen for several months.


My experience with dense whole wheat loaves tells me they are best left to cool to room temperature. It requires a great deal of patience.

Out of the oven at 1:51pm  104.4°;  at 2:45pm 141.1°F;  at 4:50pm  90.1°F;   at 7pm  72.6°F;  at 9pm  66.7°F room temperature.


For the whole wheat flour, I mixed King Arthur whole wheat flour (fairly finely ground) with half Bob’s Red Mill white whole wheat (more coarsely ground).

Of course the flax seed was added by me not the real chefs.


David Lebovitz:  Please note that this bread requires three risings. Fortunately, there isn’t any work to do between those risings. But allow yourself time when you make the bread. I started it the minute I woke up, and it was ready by lunch!


I was thinking that next time, I may swap out a bit of the honey – perhaps 2-3 tablespoons – with mild molasses. Do make sure you toast the sunflower seeds. To do so, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and spread the seeds on a baking sheet. Baking them, stirring once or twice, for 6 to 8 minutes. Some people like to toast nuts and seeds in a hot skillet on the stovetop, which you can do instead. I tried my own idea of brushing the bread with water and topping it with seeds before baking and most of them didn’t stick. So I didn’t include that suggestion here.

I found this bread even better toasted. It made a nice lunch with ripe, mashed avocado on top, which I mixed with red onion, red pepper powder, a bit of olive oil, and some flaky sea salt.

Two days and we’ll be up with the BBBs  ;-)

Happy Baking!