I am a bit of a loner as far as blogging is concerned, rarely taking part of group events. But World Bread Day is special, and whenever I have a chance, I like to join the party started in 2006 by Zorra.  This year (my third time participating) I share a sourdough loaf made with my friend Elaine’s starter, Star. It flew all the way from England and now lives quite comfortably in its new home in our kitchen in Kansas. A well-traveled starter! A few details made this bake quite special for me. Read on…

(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

50 g active starter (at 100% hydration)
375 g water, room temperature
400 g bread flour
100 g whole-wheat flour
10 g salt

Mix all ingredients for the bread in a large bowl, making a shaggy mass. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Mix gently folding the dough a few times until smooth.

Allow it to ferment for 4 hours at room temperature, folding the dough 3 times during the four hours, no need to be precise about the spacing of folding cycles. Just make sure you fold it a few times.  At the end of four hours, shape it either as a round ball or a batard.

Transfer to a well floured banneton, seam-side up, and place in the fridge overnight, 8 to 12 hours, longer if needed.

Next morning, heat the oven to 450 F. Invert the shaped loaf, still cold from the fridge over parchment paper. Dust the surface with a little flour (I added just a touch of cocoa powder to make it darker, but it’s not necessary).  Score with a brand new razor blade.

Place in a cold Dutch oven, cover, and stick in the hot oven for 30 minutes with the lid on, and 15 more minutes with the lid off.  Allow it to cool completely before slicing.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: With this bake, I finally felt I managed to shape a batard reasonably well. Most of my attempts in the past were epic failures. I also had never tried a more artistic scoring on a batard-shaped loaf. The central slashing perhaps a tad too enthusiastic, so the dough exploded more than expected.

First special thing about this bake: no discard of starter whatsoever. I followed Elaine’s method, and I must say it’s pretty amazing how well it works. I had about 60 g of starter in the fridge, sleeping in there for a full week. The morning of the bake, I took it straight from the fridge and added 40 g water + 40 g flour to it. Let it come to life at room temperature, by mid-afternoon it was bubble party in the container. So I just removed 50g needed for the bake and placed the rest back in the fridge.  I’ve used this approach three weeks in a row, without refreshing the starter for two or three days and discarding most of it every time. The oven spring is impressive, and the bread does not taste more sour than usual. If you are concerned with waste this method is for you.  Give it a go. I haven’t tried to keep the starter longer than 1 week in the fridge before using it, but it’s definitely worth experimenting with it.

Second special thing about the bake: shaped dough was placed in a COLD baking container. I cannot tell you how much I love this! I am so tired of juggling the super hot pot and lid, often burning my arm in the process. No more. When the oven is hot, you place the cold pot with the shaped bread inside, no need to add a bit of water for steam, nothing. It simply works, even with bread straight from the fridge. Excellent oven spring, as I mentioned before, and excellent crust texture.  Elaine has been playing with cold pot, cold dough, in a cold oven that she turns on when she places the pot inside it. I doubt it would work for me, as my oven heats very slowly, but she’s been baking amazing loaves using this method. Stop by her site to learn more about her experiments.

I hope you have a chance to celebrate World’s Bread Day, either bay baking or enjoying a great loaf of bread. Zorra, thank your for organizing the event, I look forward to seeing the contributions coming from all over the world…

Grab a pin!

ONE YEAR AGO: Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

TWO YEARS AGO: Spicy Cotija and Black Olive Sourdough

THREE YEARS AGO: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cake

FOUR YEARS AGO: Sourdough Rye Bread with Flaxseeds and Oats

FIVE YEARS AGO: PCR and a Dance in the Mind Field

SIX YEARS AGO: October 16: World Bread Day

SEVEN YEARS AGO: The US Listeria Outbreak 2011

EIGHT YEARS AGO: 36 Hour Sourdough Baguettes

NINE YEARS AGO: October 16 is World Bread Day


Six years ago, Zorra started an event called “World Bread Day“. Bakers from all over the world would bake a loaf of bread and blog about it.  This year I am thrilled to participate and chose my favorite type of bread to join the party.  The recipe comes from a very nice book, Artisan Baking, written by Maggie Glezer.  A country French-style loaf called Essential’s Columbia.   The formula comes from George DePasquale, from Seattle’s Essential Baking Company.

The perfect Sunday starts with a batch of sourdough starter all puffed up from getting fed 12 hours earlier.  Before I even have my morning capuccino, the kitchen still dark, I look at my ingredients waiting, and get all excited anticipating the thrill of getting a nice loaf of bread from our oven.   It does help a lot to weigh it all the night before, all you have to do is heat the water in the microwave for 30 seconds or so,  and you are ready to go…

In Glezer’s book, this bread is listed as “advanced”, but it’s actually quite simple to prepare.  It calls for all purpose flour, bread flour, whole wheat, and a little rye.  Also in the formula a small amount of toasted wheat germ, and barley malt syrup.   It uses a very firm starter, probably the firmest I’ve ever seen in a recipe, it is actually more like a dough that ferments for 12 hours and then is incorporated in the mixture of flours, salt, and water.    A very slow and long fermentation, with the help of my bread proofing box.  Amazing how the two banettons fit just right inside!

After shaping, the oblong loaf proofed for 3 hours, and the round one for almost 4 hours, as I could not bake them at the same time.  Not much difference in the crumb, which was a bit surprising to me. I expected the round loaf to have a slightly more airy inner structure.  But bread is bread,  its temperamental nature one of the things I love the most about it.

I could not find a way to contact Maggie Glezer to get her official ok to publish the full recipe, but it is available online in a couple of blogs, so you can find it.  But the book is a must-have for anyone with a passion for wild yeast, so consider providing that little boost on the economy.

My batard shaping was a little better than usual, but still needs improvement… gotta keep going at it!

The perfect Sunday ends with a couple of loaves resting on the counter….

and the perfect Monday starts with a small gift to the Department!   😉

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting…    and I invite you to visit the roudup of breads at Zorra’s site!

ONE YEAR AGO: The US Listeria Outbreak 2011

TWO YEARS AGO: 36 Hour Sourdough Baguettes

THREE YEARS AGO: October 16 is World Bread Day


Sometimes I wonder if I could live without certain foods.  Rice….potatoes…. pasta?  Possibly. Cheese?  The thought makes me  weak in the knees.    Bread?  That’s preposterous,   NO WAY!

I love baking bread almost as much as eating it, so I had to bake bread on World Bread Day. Bakers around the world bake or buy their favorite bread and talk about it.

Please read all about it here

To celebrate this event I chose a sourdough loaf I’ve been contemplating for the longest time…   “Pain de Campagne”  from a recipe adapted by David, a great baker who shares his knowledge  at the forum “The Fresh Loaf


(adapted from David’s post )

100 g  active sourdough starter
450 g bread flour
50 g rye flour
370 g water
10 g salt
1/4 tsp instant yeast 

In a large bowl, mix the sourdough starter with the water to dissolve it. Add the flours and stir to form a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle the yeast over the dough and mix by folding a few times. Then sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix.

Stretch and fold the dough 20 times, rotating the bowl slightly between each fold. Cover tightly. Repeat this stretch and fold procedure 20 minutes later and, again, after another 20 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container and rest it in the fridge for 21 hours.

Take out the dough and scrape it gently onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently pat it into a rectangle. Pre-shape for  a loaf  by folding  the near edge up just past the center of the dough and sealing it pressing with the heel of your hand.   Then, bring the far edge of the dough gently just over the sealed edge and seal it again the same way.

Cover the dough with  a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30-60 minutes, with the seams up.  Finish shaping the bread by folding the near edge of the dough and sealing it again, then taking the far edge of the dough and bringing  it towards you all the way to the work surface, sealing the seam with the heel of your hand. Gently rotate the loaf toward you 1/4 turn so the last seam formed is against the work surface and roll the loaf back and forth, to finish sealing the seam.

Place a baking stone (or baking tiles)  on the middle rack of the oven and heat it to 470F.   Fill a large roasting pan with hot water. Once the shaped loaf is just 1.5 times bigger (not quite doubled in size), slash the top with a single cut all the way along the bread, and place it over the tiles.  Mine proofed for only 35 minutes.  Empty the roasting pan, leaving the residual hot water just clinging to it, and flip it over to cover the dough.  Bake covered for 30 minutes, remove the cover and bake for 10-15 minutes more, until the internal temperature reaches at least 205F.

Remove the bread to a rack and cool it for 2 hours before slicing.



This bread is simply perfect.  The crumb is, as my husband described it  ” hearty but at the same time  silky in your mouth “.  David, thank you so much for a great recipe!

Let’s hope that everyone can enjoy a nice piece of bread today, World Bread Day…

Here are some photos of this loaf in the making.

The dough, after 21 hours in the fridge is airy, all bubbly… (21 hours in the fridge make this a perfect bread to bake during the work week: prepare it the day before, put it in the fridge and finish when you arrive from work the next day).


The shaped loaf …




After removing the cover at 30 min ….


Cooling…. (the hardest part is the waiting…. 😉