Commercial Style Wholemeal Loaf

Overtime I have been aiming towards formulating a loaf that is as light as commercially improved bread. Continuing the theme of using my sourdough as an improver, I applied it to wholemeal flour this time.


25% italian style sourdough (45% hydration)
100% wholemeal flour
80% water
3% egg yolk
10% oil
5% honey
2% fresh yeast
2.4% salt

I am very pleased with the results!

Commercial Style White Loaf

This recipe will make a loaf perfect for toasting and as light as the ones common in supermarkets without all the added rubbish.

To achieve the vast volume we need three things, very strong flour, lots of kneading and acidity.

We need to ferment some, well most of the flour to bring acidity to the dough. I’ve used a wet and warm ferment to lower the pH quickly and allow protease enzymes to do their thing contributing softness to the crumb.


375g very strong flour (Canadian spring red wheat)
375g water (30C)
15g fresh yeast
6g honey

Mix to combine and ferment at 30-32C for 3 hours until the pH drops to around 5.3 at which time the mix will have fallen.

final dough:

175g flour as above
22g oil of your choice, I used olive
11g salt
55g firm sourdough (optional) / or 2g diastatic Malt*

Mix and knead to obtain a strong windowpane. Rest for ten minutes before shaping. Prove at 30C until increased in volume by two and a half times, around 45 minutes.

Bake with steam throughout.

*UPDATE: 22/01/2014. The bread I made (pictured) included the sourdough. After retrying the formula, I have realised as suspected that without the sourdough the yeast activity will become sluggish. Please add 2g of diastatic malt to make this work.

Hot Cross Buns

hot, glazed, hot cross buns

Original recipe from Paul Hollywood. I took this recipe and re-formulated it to include an overnight cold maturation whilst also upping the levels of sugar, butter and fruit.

500 strong 00 flour (Shipton Mill)
250 milk
80 boiled water
100 caster sugar
100 butter
60 whole egg (beaten)
20 fresh yeast
100 g sultanas
50 g mixed peel
zest of 1 orange
1 apple , peeled, cored and finely chopped
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. mixed spice

Mix flour, salt, yeast and spices in a bowl. Separately in jug dissolve sugar with the water, add the milk, cold from the fridge and finally the beaten egg. Gradually combine this liquid solution with dry ingredients to make a dough. Rest for 30 minutes – 1 hour. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.

Next Morning remove the dough from the fridge and allow about 1hr to come up to room temperature. Then knead until full development. Mix in the fruits and zest until evenly distributed. Bulk ferment in a warm place for around one to two hours or until until nearly doubled in volume. Scale into 13 100g pieces. Round each tightly and prove until generously doubled, pipe crosses and bake. Once baked glaze with jam or syrup.

Traditional Ciabatta bread with sun-dried tomatoes

This bread is ideal for sandwiches or bruschetta.

Biga – left to ferment for approx. 15hrs at cool room temp.
300g ’00’ flour, medium strength
150g cold water
1.1g instant yeast

Final Dough – kept warm at 28C.
420g biga
70g ’00’ flour, medium strength
4g malt powder
7g salt
140g water
28g good quality extra-virgin olive oil
sun-dried tomatoes or a flavouring of your choice

Mix the biga by hand using downward pressure to a smooth, dry dough. Leave at room temp overnight for about 15hrs.
Next day, cut the big into pieces add malt powder, flour and an equal amount of water. Mix until smooth. Continue mixing adding the remaining water in stages. Add salt with the last of the water. Finally add the oil and mix to full gluten development before folding in the tomatoes.

Place dough in a well oiled flat and wide container. Leave to rise at warm temp (~28C). Stretch and fold at 30 min intervals until the dough is strong enough to sit high. Wait until almost double in size (~3hrs) before dividing in two.

Leave pieces to rest for 20 mins before shaping like a business letter. Dust with more flour and proof until double with cracks in the flour (~2hrs)

Total dough volume is approx. 4 times that of the mixed dough.

Oven spring was great as with any well made ciabatta, rising vertically, swelling like a balloon.

Extremely soft and porous crumb.

Quick Baguette

Finally some bread for my bread blog…

235 67 Flour*
235 67 Water @ 30C
7 2 Malt Powder
2.8   Instant yeast
Final Dough:    
115 33 Flour*
7 2 Salt
601.8g 171%  

*Mixed flour made from 10% Canadian flour and 90% French Bread Flour (contains, malt, ascorbic acid)

Dissolve malt and yeast in the water. Add flour and mix to combine. Leave at 30C for 2-2.5hrs or until mature (wrinkled)

final dough:
Add remaining flour and knead until smooth. Add salt and finish the mix to achieve full gluten development. Total kneading time 5-10mins depending on mixer.

Leave to rise at 30C until double, 30-45 mins.

Scale, rest and shape as you wish. Proof until doubled. Slash and finally, bake with steam.