Orange scented fruited sourdough pan loaf

fruit loaf

Of all the things I miss most of Melbourne is the morning stroll we did to get coffee. We lived on the hills of beautiful Emerald and there was this nature trail that connected Belgrave and Gembrook, which followed the famous Puffing Billy Railway line. It was our Saturday ritual to take this trail to a hidden cafe to get the morning coffee. This was our fasted-cardio for the weekend and it was about good 10 – 12 km (round trip) distance, and by the time we reach the cafe, we are usually starving and I look forward to my piece of raisin toast like my life depended on it!

Slice or two toasted and with butter and syrup…is the best!

It was just a slice of plain mass produced sandwich loaf, but boy! it tasted amazing! I missed this so much, that I had to recreate the recipe at home. But, as you know, I’m a hard-core sourdough lover/devotee, so here is the sourdough version of a fruited pan loaf.

I wouldn’t call this a sandwich loaf, as it is not as enriched. This loaf has still got a nice byte to it and got a chewy texture. It is not a fluffy, cake-like bread at all.

fruit loaf
open crumb with a texture and a real byte

The only thing is I have added a little milk, oil and honey to make it a little bit flexible, so I can proof this in a pan. This additions resulted with a softer crumb (than a usual sourdough with just flour, water, salt) and crust. This makes it is easier to slice and hence perfect for toasts.

fruit loaf
Not the prettiest from outside…but wait till you cut into it!

So here are the steps:


Make the starter the previous night (or several hours before you start making the recipe)

Mix everything in a bowl, except the fruit. Transfer to a stand mixer and just mix until everything is hydrated.

Remember to add water gradually as you go, to create a soft dough


This is the dough that’s just been mixed. It is a little bit sticky, but not too much. Now let it rest for a bout 30 minutes.

And then mix on medium-low speed until a smoother dough is developed ( for a bout 3 minutes) You can use your hands if you like.

smooth dough

See how smooth dough is. It is not completely developed yet. Now place the dough in a plastic bowl, cover and let ferment for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, do a stretch and fold and let rest for about 30 minutes.

This is a good time to prepare the fruits.


You can skip figs or replace it with more Sultana or raisins. If the figs are soft, just slice them thinly and set aside. If they are very dry, soak them in boiling water for a few minutes and drain before cutting.

soak fruit

It is a good idea to soak the cranberries and Sultanas/raisins in boiling water for a couple of minutes. This will soften them and hydrate them. This will ensure that they won’t absorb moisture from the dough and also will blend in nicely without tearing the gluten stricture.

stretchy dough

After the stretch and fold and the resting time, the dough is now fully developed. Look how stretchy it is. Now is a good time to add the fruit.

adding fruit

Stretch the dough as much as you can like shown in the picture. Scatter the fruit evenly. And then, roll the dough from one end to the other. Shape in to a ball and place back in the container.

Cover and let ferment/bulk for about 3 hours


Bulked dough will be softer and bigger (not doubled, but noticeably grown). You will feel lots of air bubbles inside it.

Drop the dough on to a floured surface and pre-shape into a ball. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

shape the dough

Shape the dough like shown in the picture. If you don’t know how to shape, a pan loaf, checkout a video on you tube.

dough in pan

Place the shaped dough in a lightly greased loaf pan. Cover this/place in a plastic bag and refrigerate over-night or several hours (minimum 12)

proofed loaf

It will be proofed during the long retardation. ( 18 hours) But if you wan to bake earlier than this, take the loaf out and let it sit out-side (at room temp.) until it’s risen well above the brim of the pan.

Fully proofed loaf will be doubled in size. Do a poke test to see it is ready. When you press lightly with a finger, if it bounces back slowly, then it is ready.

baked loaf

Pre-heat the oven to 420 F

Lightly egg wash the top and bake; 15 minutes at 420 F and then a further 20 at 375 F.

Once done cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes and demold the loaf and leave to cool completely


Slice with a serrated knife and enjoy!

Best served toasted

Orange scented fruited sourdough pan loaf


Servings: 1 loaf

fruit toast


    For the starter
  • 70 g flour
  • 30 – 35 g water
  • 1 tsp starter culture
    For the dough
  • 200 g all purpose flour
  • 100 g strong bread flour
  • zest of 2 medium oranges
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil ( or butter)
  • 15 g honey
  • 70 ml full fat milk
  • 100 ml water
  • 100 g starter ( 50% hydrated)
  • 1/4 cup each dried sultana, cranberry, figs ( can use all sultana or all raisins if you prefer)


  1. Make the starter ahead of time
  2. To make the dough, mix everything except fruits and water in a bowl. Add water gradually and mix to incorporate everything
  3. Transfer to a stand mixer(or you can continue to hand knead) and mix until a dough is formed. Add more water if the dough is stiff
  4. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes
  5. Mix again on medium-low speed until a smoother dough is developed ( for about 3 minutes)
  6. Round the dough up and place in a bowl, cover and let rest 45 minutes
  7. After 45 minutes, give one stretch and fold and let rest for another 30 minutes
  8. Prepare the fruit in the mean time (check post for details)
  9. Stretch the dough as wide as you can and scatter the fruit evenly
  10. Roll the dough from one end to the other and then shape into a ball
  11. Place in the same container, cover and let bulk for about 3-4 hours
  12. Once bulked, pre-shape the dough and let rest for about 20 minutes
  13. Shape in to a loaf and place in a greased pan
  14. Cover and refrigerate for several hours (over night)
  15. Check the loaf before baking. If it hasn’t proofed enough, bring it out and let proof further at room temperature until ready
  16. Pre-heat the oven to 420F
  17. Lightly egg wash the top and bake for 15 minutes and a further 20 minutes at 375 F
  18. Once done, let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then demold the loaf
  19. Cool completely before slicing
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Sourdough Brioche loaf

I was asked several times if I have a sourdough brioche recipe and unfortunately I had to reply with a very polite NO and it didn’t feel right. So here it is! I am thrilled to finally write this down and so grateful for the encouragement I receive from many of my followers on IG and this blog.

french toast
french toast made with sourdough brioche

So, long story short, I bought a brioche loaf (not a sourdough one) from the whole foods for breakfast last Saturday. I know, I bake all the time and still run out of bread every now and then. But I don’t usually buy super-market bread except when I’m in a hurry or at a loss of ideas, like that Saturday. And that’s not even the worst part. The worst bit is, that it really hurt when you have to buy bread, ever since I started making my own bread. I felt like I’m cheating or betraying something or someone. As funny as it may sound, it is true.

sourdough brioche
sourdough brioche

We made some nice french toast with that brioche and I knew at that moment ” we are so going to eat home-made sourdough brioche next weekend”. So here it is, my homemade sourdough brioche.

sourdough brioche
sourdough brioche

I made it as indulgent and rich as I could, with all the butter and eggs, pushing the limits really.

stiff starter

Make the stiff starter, several hours before (preferably overnight) making the dough. It is as easy as mixing everything together and kneading into a smooth dough ball. This is how its inside is going to look once fermented.

mix the dough

Next step is to make the dough. To start with, weigh everything except butter into a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with dough hook. Mix on low speed until everything comes together. Scrape down with a spatula to encourage.

mixed dough

Once everything is mixed, increase speed a notch and mix until a smooth dough is developed. Scrape down the bowl as necessary. Use the extra 2 tbsp of milk as you go to loosen up the batter if it feels too stiff.

This will take about 4-5 minutes.

silky dough

Once the dough is developed, then add the softened butter, a bit at a time and continue to mix. The dough will end up very sticky but looking silky like shown in the picture. Empty the dough into a greased bowl. Cover and let ferment until almost double in size.

This may take roughly about 4 – 6 hours depending on the room temperature


This is the dough doubled in size. If you put this is a smaller bowl, it will be easier to judge. Next picture is a better one.

Once it has doubled, we need to punch this down before chilling it in the refrigerator.


Easiest way to punch down the dough is to drop it on to a floured bench and use a scraper to fold it. Avoid handling it with your bare hands as it is extremely sticky.

Once the dough it punched down, place it back in the same bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or over night.

shaping dough

We need the dough to be chilled to be able to handle it, but as soon as you take it out of the fridge, it will be too hard.

Let the dough thaw for about 30 minutes or until it is malleable but still cool. Dump the dough on to a lightly dusted bench and roll into a log.

If the dough becomes too sticky, place it back in the fridge

divide the dough

Divide the log into 8 equal pieces

Remember the dough should remain cold and still firm all the while

shape dough

Shape each dough piece in to a nice smooth round ball, as if you are making dinner rolls. Use flour to stop dough from sticking. Use the scrapper to help release the dough.

Use as little flour as possible when dusting. We don’t want a thick flour coating around the outside of the dough.


Grease a loaf pan and place the dough balls like shown in the picture. Pack them snug, so they will rise upwards as they proof.

Now egg wash the tops lightly. You can use a bit of milk too. this is to stop it from drying.

Cover and leave in a warm place to proof

proofed dough

In a cool temperature (19 C), the proofing will take up to 8 hours. In a warm atmosphere, this will be around 5 hours.

But keep an eye, you can clearly tell when it is ready. The loaf will fill the tin and expand into a fluffy wobbly thing

baked brioche

Next step is to egg wash and bake the loaf. Be very gentle while egg washing, no to deflate or damage the fragile skin.

Bake at 400F for about 15 minutes. Then another 20 – 25 minutes at 350F.

If the top is going too brown too quickly, reduce the temperature earlier than mentioned.


Let the loaf cool off in the pan for about 10 minutes and then slide it off on to a cooling rack. Let the loaf cool completely before cutting into pieces or storing away.

By all means, feel free to dig into it while still warm, if you like it that way.

french toast

You can use the brioche for anything. I mainly use this for french toasts.

This brioche is softer on the day it was made and tend to get a bit dry the next day. But it doesn’t really matter if you toast it or made french toast with it like I do. The slices has more body and will hold nicely, so it is perfect for french toasts, which is the main purpose behind me making brioche.

sourdough brioche
soft crumb
Sourdough Brioche loaf


Servings: 1 loaf

sourdough brioche


    For the starter
  • 20 g fed starter culture
  • 70 g flour
  • 30 g water+/-
    For the brioche
  • 100 g of the above stiff starter
  • 250 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar (use 4 if you want the bread sweeter)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 160 g softened butter
  • 2 tbsp milk (to be used if necessary)
    Egg wash
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp milk


  1. Make the starter the day before (at least 8 hours prior )
  2. Weigh everything except butter and milk into the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook
  3. Mix on slow speed until combined. Use milk if the dough is stiff
  4. Increase speed and mix until a smooth dough is developed ( for about 5 minutes). use milk if dough is stiff. Dough should be wet and sticky (check the blog photos)
  5. Then add the softened butter, a bit at a time and mix to incorporate
  6. Scrape down the bowl every now and then
  7. Once all the butter is incorporated mix on medium for another minute or so
  8. The dough is silky, wet and extremely sticky
  9. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and set aside for the fermentation to take place. Dough should be almost doubled in size
  10. This will take about 6-8 hours depending on the room temperature
  11. Once the dough has doubled, punch it down using a spatula or greased palms(check blog description for more detailed)
  12. Place back in the same bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours (or overnight)
  13. When ready to make the brioche, take the dough out and let it sit outside for about 15-20 minutes
  14. Then take the dough onto a floured bench and shape into a log
  15. Divide the log into 8 equal pieces and shape each piece in to smooth dough balls
  16. Grease a loaf tin and place the dough balls in, placing them close together in pairs
  17. Apply a light coating of egg wash/milk, cover loosely and leave in a warm draft free place for the final proof ( 5 – 6 hours)
  18. Once the dough has risen(proofed/doubled in size) preheat the oven to 400 F
  19. Egg wash again and bake for about 15 minutes
  20. Reduce the temperature to 350 F and bake for a further 20 minutes
  21. Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes to cool down
  22. Slide off the loaf and place on a wire rack to cool down further
  23. Once the loaf is completely cooled, you can either slice it or store in an air-tight container
  24. Best consumed on the same day
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Sourdough baguettes

A complete guide to crusty homemade sourdough baguettes!


I was on a mission to finding the secret or holly grail to making perfect sourdough baguette at home. In a bakery, this would be a no big deal with all the state-of-the-art mixers, proofers and ovens. But it can be quite challenging at home.

open crumb and crispy crust

First of all, a baguette is nothing but a type of bread in the form of a long stick. The main reason for shaping the dough into a long stick is to get more of the crust. Baguettes are usually broken by hand rather than sliced and served with stews. If not they are split lengthwise used to make sandwiches. There are a few characteristics to a baguette:

  • long stick like shape
  • Crusty exterior
  • Very open crumb
Open airy crumb/ sliced length wise

So in-order to achieve the above, we need to make sure to do the following;

  • Shaping/molding to create tension
  • Use steam while baking
  • a higher hydration ( above 70% is recommended)

You can use a basic bread recipe and turn it into a baguette. The only differences are in retarding and shaping. It is best to let the dough retard as a bulk. If you shape the baguettes and try to retard, they tend to lose their shape and sometimes, become too wet or soft to handle. This makes it harder to score and transfer to the oven. So the best practice is to bulk retard the dough and shape prior to baking.

open crumb/ sliced

I have figured out, with time, the less you knead the dough, the better. Gluten is developed over time. And we will only use stretch and folds at intervals to create the strength. This will require no mixer at all.

With all the basic sorted, lets get to the steps


A first step is to get the starter ready. Feed the starter 6-7 hours before making the bread. Use a 100 % starter, meaning 1 part water to 1 part flour to feed the culture.

e.g: 50 g flour, 50 g water to feed 1 tsp starter

This is how my ripe start looked like at it’s peak

More about starter


Mix the flour, water (leave 3 tbsp of water for later) and starter in a large plastic bowl. Mix only to combine everything just like shown in the picture. Now close the lid and leave for about an hour to autolyze.

Gluten will be developed during this time, without our intervention

Adding salt

After about an hour, add the salt. Dissolve the salt in the left out water and add to the dough. Mix until a smooth dough is formed. Place in the plastic bowl, cover and leave to rest for 45 minutes until the first stretch and fold (s&f).

we will do 3 s&f during bulk

Stretch & fold

Give a stretch and folds (s&f) at 45 minutes and repeat two more at 45 minute intervals. At every fold, you should see the air bubbles on the outside. With every s&f, the dough will start to feel more elastic and stronger. At the end of 3 rd s&f, rest the dough for about 2 hours .


Then, cover with a well-fitted lid and refrigerate for several hours/ overnight

Final bulk

On the following day, take out the dough and leave at room temperature for 4-5 hours, until you start to see air bubbles and the dough is risen considerably

Pre-shape 1

Tip the dough slowly on to a floured surface and form a dough ball, without knocking out too much air. The dough should be wobbly and full of air pockets. let this rest for about 5-10 minutes.

This step will make it easier to handle the dough when you try to divide and pre-shape

Pre-shape 2

This is important to create the necessary stretch of the outer skin. Divide the dough in to two pieces, and shape each into a log shape.

Cover with a light dusting of flour and leave uncovered for about 30 minutes to rest.


Traditionally a couche is used for this purpose. But you can substitute this with a thick clean tea towel. Dust it with flour and semolina generously.

This is where we are going to proof the baguettes


Shape the dough into baguettes and place on the prepared tea towel. Let these rest and proof for about an hour or 1 1/2 hours. Preheat the oven in the meantime.

Check the video attached below for shaping



Transfer the proofed baguettes on to a peel or on to a tray lined with parchment as shown in the picture.

Dust the baguettes with a little flour and score the top using sharp blade.

Once the oven is ready place in the oven, on the pizza stone/skillet along with the parchment and bake according to instructions below.


This is what I use to generate steam. A bread loaf pan with a tea towel tucked in. Pour boiling water until tea towel is covered and place this during the last few minutes of preheating

  • Preheating and baking instructions
  • Get a oven thermometer, this is your best friend. Place it in the oven.
  • Place a pizza stone or a large enough cast iron skillet on a rack placed at the top half of the oven
  • Preheat oven. I had to set digital display to 520 F and heat for 45 minutes to get to 500F on the oven thermometer inside
  • Get a bread pan, lay a tea towel and fill it with boiling water(check image above)
  • Place this pan in the oven on a lower rack during the last few minutes of the preheating
  • Let temperature reset, if it dropped when you opened the door
  • Be careful when you open the door next, the oven will be full of hot steam, waiting to be released
  • Transfer the baguettes on to a peel
  • If you don’t have a peel, place a parchment paper on the back of a cookie sheet or a large tray and use this to transfer baguettes to oven, along with the parchment
  • Score the baguettes while on the peel/parchment
  • Place the baguettes in the oven on the pizza stone and close the door
  • Temp will plummet right down (450F on thermometer) but that’s okay, it will come back up to 475 F. Maintain at 475 F.
  • Keep an eye and bake at 475 F for 15 minutes
  • Then reduce the internal oven temperature to 450 F(thermometer will read something around 450 – 430)
  • Remove steam and bake for another 12 minutes
  • When you remove the stream, the temperature will drop, so keep an eye and adjust accordingly
  • Then, switch the oven off and bake for a further 10 minutes, with the residual heat

Cool baguettes on a wire rack.

Baked baguettes

There you have it. This is everything I have learnt and I hope you will find answers to you questions/problems in this post. When it comes to baguettes, the recipe is only 20 % of the whole process. It is the timing, dough consistency, bulk proofing, shaping and most importantly baking is what matters most.

even crust on the outside

Following is a simple recipe for two baguettes which I used for experiments. Once you have mastered the technique, feel free change the recipe and try something different!

Sourdough baguettes


Servings: 2 baguettes



  • 250 g strong bread flour
  • 200 g water
  • 60 g fed starter
  • 5 g salt


  1. Mix flour, starter and 190 g of the water and autolyse for an hour
  2. Dissolve salt in 10 g of water, add to the dough and mix to form a smooth ball
  3. Let rest for 45 minutes
  4. Give a stretch and fold and let rest for 45 minutes
  5. Give 2 more s&f at 45 minutes apart
  6. After the final (3rd) s&f, leave the dough to rest for about 2-3 hours
  7. Place the dough in the fridge for a slow/cold proofing (retardation) for minimum 8 hours or overnight
  8. After cold bulk, let the dough rest in the room temperature for 4-5 hours or until you see a considerable rise in the dough and air bubbles. Dough would be wobbly
  9. Tip the dough on to a floured surface and round it up gently. Do not let too much air out. Rest for 10- 15 minutes
  10. Divide the dough to two equal parts and pre-shape in to logs. Again be careful not to knock out air. Rest the dough pieces for 30 minutes. Leave them open so the exterior will be dry and would be easier to handle
  11. Shape the baguettes(check video below) and place on the couche or the prepared tea towel
  12. Let the baguettes rise for a final time ( 45 to 90 minutes)
  13. Preheat oven in the meantime (check instructions above in the post)
  14. Bake the baguettes @ 475 F with steam for 15 minutes
  15. Reduce heat to 450 F and bake for a further 12 minutes without steam
  16. Switch off the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes under the residual heat
  17. Check for dark brown color and when tapped, should sound hollow

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Thyme infused sourdough dinner rolls

dinner rolls

I think I invented the most perfect dinner rolls recipe ever! That sounds a bit too dramatic, but trust me, that’s how I felt when they came out of the oven. They smelled so good and tasted even better with a slathering of butter, still warm and fresh.

These are NOT super enriched, brioche style buns. But they are soft, aromatic, nutty and wholesome. I think these are the perfect side to serve with your main or the bread and butter course it self. They don’t taste overly sweet, jut a touch of honey, so the thyme flavor is the real hero here. Just 10% each of wholemeal and rye makes a world of difference, by adding that nutty texture and the tiny brown color speckle to the crumb.

Thyme infused dinner rolls

Lastly, this is a recipe that can be stretched well over three days and the dough is very forgiving. So you don’t have to be precise about fermenting duration and retardation. I will mention this at each step.

Baked long rolls

To start with, as usual, with any sourdough recipe, you need the fed starter. I’m using a 100% hydrated fed, ripe starter for this recipe. If you want more details about starter head over to this link.

infused butter

Infuse butter by heating the butter with a bunch id thyme over medium heat. Let the mixture come to room temperature before removing the thyme stems.


Mix everything as described in the recipe until a dough is formed, Knead it by hand until smooth. Place in a closed container and let ferment until almost doubled in size.

doubled dough

Once the dough is almost doubled, punch down lightly and refrigerate over night ( or at least 10 hours) You can extend this time up to 24 hours

divided dough

Divide the dough in to pieces and let them rest, covered for 15 minutes before shaping

shaped dough

Shape the dough pieces in to rounds or cylinders and place them in the baking dish/tray leave space around

shaped dough

Shaped into cylindrical shape and stacked in a deep loaf tin works too

proofed dough

proofed dough (after 6-8 hours depending on the temperature) The slower the proof, the better the flavour

proofed dough

proofed long buns. once the buns are proofed, preheat the oven, brush the buns with a whisked egg, and bake for 20 minutes

baked rolles

Once baked let the rolls cool on a wire rack

baked rolls

Baked rolls (long)

These rolls are perfect served warm with butter.

These rolls can be kept in a air-tight container at room temperature for up to two days. You can freshen them up in the microwave (20 sec), then will be soft and lovely as good as new.

Thyme infused dinner rolls
Thyme infused rolls

If you wan to freeze them, seal them tightly in a freezer bag before freezing. To serve the frozen rolls, first let them come to room temperature and warm them in microwave (20 sec) or in a moderate oven (10 minutes).

Soft rolls

I guess these can be infused with other herbs you like, so go ahead and try with your favorite herb like rosemary, sage etc. I have used a mild honey because I wanted to hero the thyme flavor. You can substitute honey with sugar, or maple syrup.

Soft rolls
Thyme infused sourdough dinner rolls


Thyme infused sourdough dinner rolls


  • 140 g ripe sourdough starter
  • 200 g bread flour
  • 200 g all purpose flour
  • 50 g rye flour
  • 50 g wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 stick butter (110 g)
  • a bunch of thyme
  • 1 egg to egg wash


    For the infused butter
  1. Place the stick of butter and a hand full of thyme(with stems) in a pot and melt over medium heat
  2. Stir until butter melts
  3. Once the butter is melted, let it simmer for two minutes and take off the heat
  4. Let the mixture cool to room temperature
  5. Once cooled, remove the thyme stems, leaving some of the leaves
    For the dough
  1. In to a bowl of a stand mixer, add all the flours and salt
  2. Lightly mix to combine
  3. Add the eggs, honey, starter, butter mixture and 1/2 cup of the milk and start to mix
  4. Add the rest of the milk as you go, to make a soft dough
  5. Once the dough comes together, bring it over to an oiled surface and knead by hand until smooth (for about a minute or two)
  6. Place the dough in a plastic tub (non reactive container) close the lid and set in a warm draft free area to ferment
  7. The dough need to be roughly doubled in size (should take about 5-6 hours or more)
  8. Once the dough is bigger, punch it down slightly, place in the same container and refrigerate overnight (minimum of 10 hours)
  9. When you are ready, take the dough out and let it come to room temperature and soften up (should take about 4 hours)
  10. Place in a warm oven (27 C – 30 C) to speed up
  11. Once the dough is soft, divide into pieces ( 14 pieces of 70 g or 12 pieces of 80 g)
  12. Cover and let these rest for 10 – 15 minutes
  13. Then shape them in to rounds or cylinders (shape of hot dog buns)
  14. Once shaped, place them in on a lined tray or a greased deep baking dish
  15. Leave about 1/2 inch gap all around for the will grow bigger as they prove
  16. Now cover them with plastic wrap and place in a warm draft free place for the final rise(may take several hours ~6 or more)
  17. To speed up place in a warm oven (27 to 30 C)
  18. When they are proofed, preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C)
  19. Lightly egg wash the buns on top, and bake for about 20 minutes or until top is golden brown
  20. Once baked, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack
  21. Serve warm

Microwave for 20 seconds to warm these buns before serving

Store then in an air-tight container for up to two days at room temperature or freeze in a freezer bag

Thaw frozen buns ans microwave to freshen them up
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Cranberry marzipan sourdough couronne

cranberry couronne

I watch baking videos on my way to work and that is why I love to take the bus. This is the time I use to visualize, sketch and brain storm about my bakes and plan in my head about what I am going to tackles next. I thought of revisiting some of the older seasons of GBBO last week, and this couronne of Paul Hollywood took me in complete awe.

So, I created something in my head, that ticked the following boxes

  • an enriched dough
  • naturally leavened
  • use my cranberry jam
  • tastes and look festive
  • indulging but packs a punch

And as a result, this recipe was born, last weekend. I didn’t know what to expect, up until the time I actually took a bite. Well, I couldn’t believe what I just put in my mouth! It was that good! If I eat this with my eyes closed, I wouldn’t know what to call this. It feels like a bit of mince pie, an orange pond cake, a frangipane tart and brioche all mingling in your mouth harmoniously.

I will mention what each component does in this couronne, so you can substitute these with your favorite things. But I seriously recommend you try this combo.

Homemade Cranberry jam – color, tartness cuts through the sweetness. It is chunky, so adds texture

Orange marzipan – adds fragrance from orange, adds sweetness and texture, keep the bake moist

Crystallized ginger – adds warmth, adds a punch

Sultana – texture, flavor of mince meat (Christmacy in other words)

Orange glaze – adds a shine to the finished product, keeps it moist for longer, enhance flavor

Here is the step by step process:


Get the sweet stiff starter mixed. Form in to a tough dough ball and place in a container, closed. Let this ferment until it is doubled in size. Could take between 8-12 hours depending on the room temp.(overnight works for me) If you wan to delay the process, place this in the fridge for a few hours to slow down.


I forgot to take a picture before opening up the fermented stiff starter ball. Here is an inside shot anyway. This is ready to be mixed with the dough now


Mix everything according to the recipe below to make the dough. Dough will be sticky. Notice there is no sugar in this dough, just in the starter. Once mixed, take it out on to a floured surface, and fold a few times to make it smooth, check the next image.


Once the dough is smooth like this, place it in a greased container, cover and place in a warm draft free area to ferment, until it is nearly doubled in size.

This is a good time to make the marzipan too. Use the same mixing ball, no need to wash it. Mix in all the ingredients in the recipe, and get it shaped nice and smooth like in this picture. Wrap this in cling wrap, and place in the fridge.


The dough is nearly doubled in size. (this took about 6 hours at 20 C) Now place this in the fridge for several hours. Time these to suite your schedule. It is alright to leave it out or in the fridge for couple of extra hours.

At this stage, the dough is too soft to handle. By placing in the fridge, this will firm up.


Final big step is to put all these together. Ready your jam, ginger, sultana and set aside. Take the dough out and let it soften a bit. In the meantime, roll the marzipan as thinly as possible. Use two parchment papers or use a Silpat like i did. The marzipan should be the same size as your dough sheet. Get it roughly to what you plan to get your dough at. If your kitchen is warm, place this in the fridge until you roll the dough.


Roll the dough on a well floured bench. The thickness shouldn’t be less than 3/4 of a centimeter. If you roll it too thin, it will break when you spread filling and also will tear when rolling.


Spread the jam on the dough. I use my fingers. A spatula may tear the dough underneath. Leave space here an there. Check the picture. And then scatter the sultana and ginger pieces.


Now lay the marzipan over the filling. Simply take the marzipan you rolled, take the top parchment paper off, tip it over the dough, so marzipan is facing the filling. Peel off the Silpat/parchment that was underneath.

Trim the marzipan edges if it overhangs. Press gently so it sticks to the filling.


Now roll the dough as you would do with a cinnamon roll. Flour your hands generously.


This step is similar to any babka, if you have made that before. Cut through the rolled dough, length wise, using a sharp knife. Turn the strands upwards. Twist the two strands to form a spiral. Try not to lose too much filling in this process.


Once twisted, form a ring with the dough by joining the two ends. Do this on the tray if you like. Or do it on the bench and carefully transfer it onto the tray. Now this has to rest/proof for a few hours. (3-4 hours I would say) You wouldn’t notice much difference in the size. But the dough will spring back when gently poked. The resting will help relax the dough.

Bake in a hot oven (410 F) for 40 minutes. If top start to burn, cover with a foil during the last 5-10 minutes


While the couronne is baking, get the orange glaze ready. Bring freshly squeezed orange juice and sugar to a boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes until thickens.

You can of course use apricot jam glaze instead.

Once the loaf is out of the oven, glaze while it is still hot. And then let it cool down on a wire rack

That is it! You can then decorate this however you like. You can drizzle this with white lemon icing or even royal icing for a fancier finish. Decorate with red and green cherries for an even better look! I kept is simple with some sugar coated cranberries, few rosemary ends and a light dusting of icing sugar.

You can of course, use mince meat instead of my cranberry filling.

Give this a go and leave a comment

Bon Appétit !!

Cranberry marzipan couronne


cranberry couronne


    For the starter
  • 70 g flour
  • 1 tbsp active starter
  • 2 tbs sugar (brown or white)
  • +/-30 g water
    For the dough
  • 70 g of above sweet starter
  • 250 g flour
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g butter (soft, cubed)
  • 125 ml milk (+/-)
    For the Marzipan
  • 200 g ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 60 g castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • zest of one orange (very important)
    For the spread
  • about a 3/4 cups of Cranberry jam (preferably homemade)
  • 1/3 cups of sultana
  • 1/4 cups of crystallized ginger cut into small pieces
    For the glaze
  • Equal parts of orange juice and sugar
  • OR
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam


  1. Make the starter ahead and let ferment.
  2. To make the dough, mix everything except milk in a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a hook attachment.
  3. Start mixing on low and slowly add milk, to bring the dough together
  4. If necessary add extra milk or a little water (tablespoon at a time). The dough should be soft and sticky
  5. Take the dough off on to a floured surface, and knead by hand to form a smooth ball
  6. Place in a covered bowl and leave in a warm place for several hours
  7. Make the marzipan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  8. The dough will be risen considerably (almost double) if not leave for another hour or two
  9. Then refrigerate the dough covered for several hours or overnight
  10. When you are ready to make the couronne, take the dough out and let it soften (not too much, its easier to handle when cold)
  11. Prepare a tray lined with a parchment paper and set aside
  12. Prepare the filling and set them aside
  13. Roll out the marzipan between two parchment papers. Check the post and the pictures.
  14. Now take the dough on to a floured surface and roll out to a rectangle
  15. About 45 cm by 35 cm( the dough thickness should be no more than 3/4 cm)
  16. Once done, spread the pear jam, sprinkle with sultana and ginger (you don’t have to use all of the filling)
  17. Place the marzipan layer on top of the filling. Press gently. check the images above
  18. Starting from one end roll the dough tightly length-wise
  19. Using a sharp knife cut the rolled cylinder in half along the length ( see picture)
  20. Now twist the two strands (look at the photos in the post)
  21. Make sure to have cut sides exposed.
  22. Once twisted, bring the two end together to form a ring
  23. Tuck the end bits underneath
  24. Place on the prepared tray
  25. Leave covered in a warm place for about two – three hours (or more depending on the temp.)
  26. The dough will be softer to tough and will spring back when poked gently
  27. Preheat the oven to 410 F
  28. Bake for 40 minutes, turning the tray half-way through to the bake
  29. In the meantime make the Orange sugar syrup
  30. Once done remove the baked couronne from the oven
  31. Top should be golden brown and should sound hollow when tapped
  32. Lightly brush with the sugar syrup or melted apricot jam
  33. Once done let this cool completely before cutting in as the filling need setting
  34. Decorate with whatever you like
  35. Slice with a serrated knife
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Pear & Walnut Sourdough Babka


I have been all about apples and pumpkins lately and I almost forgot pears, until I accidentally bumped into a stall at the farmers market, flooded with multi-colored pears.

I have been eating them from the start of the season, but didn’t think of baking with them. So I thought, this is a good chance for that. I have been baking more bread than cakes lately as my household solely depend on my bread. Plus we are controlling our sugar intake. It’s not like we are on a strict diet or anything, just that we try to balance what we put in our bodies. So something along bread line seemed more appropriate than an indulgent cake.


The thing is I don’t bake for the sake of IG or my blog. Everything I bake gets eaten to the last crumb, in other words, I can only bake what we could consume.

So back to the babka. For this one, I’m using a sweet starter with less hydration. This allows you to control moisture later. The starter can be made ahead (6 or more hours prior to making the dough). Use 50% – 75% hydration. It is important to use fed, ripe starter to make this to get the maximum volume.


The pear jam could be made ahead too. The jam need to be cold when spreading over the dough. And it wouldn’t hurt to toast the walnuts before hand too.

I will mention the step by step method below.


Mix the dough according to instruction on the recipe. Place the dough in a lightly greased plastic bowl and cover. Let it double in volume. In a warm, draft free place, this could take up to 5-6 hours. The starter strength is a factor here too.


This is how the dough looks like, when it is doubled it’s size. It’s grown sideways and upwards too. (the picture doesn’t show the upwards rise) But roughly twice the size is good enough. At this stage, lightly punch the dough and re-shape in to a ball (it will shrink to a smaller dough ball) and place back in the same container. Close the lid tightly and place in the fridge for 10-12 hours or overnight. This can be longer, even up to 24 hours.


How the dough looks like right out of the refrigerator. It will be firm to the touch. Let this thaw for a bout 5- 10 minutes, but not longer. We just need it to be workable but not too warm. It is easier to roll-out and cut a firmer dough.


Lightly dust the bench and the dough with flour. Start to roll the dough to a rectangle. If dough starts to shrink back, let it rest for 5 minutes. If your kitchen is warm, cover refrigerate the dough for 5-10 minutes to let it relax.


once rolled out, it should be about 1/2 cm in thickness. Do not roll out too thin, the dough might tear when you spread filling. Too thick and you won’t get may swirls.

Pear jam

There’s no specific recipe for this. Peel and core two pears, cut into cubes. Add to a saucepan with 2 tbsp dark brown sugar, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer. Smash the pears once soften. I left few chunks. Simmer for about 30 minutes or so until reduced and thickens to a jammy consistency. Let this cool.


Toast walnuts until golden. then chop the roughly. Set aside.


Spread the pear jam evenly, and sprinkle with walnuts. Scatter some dark brown sugar if you like.


Start rolling the dough. This could be along the length or width. If you like more swirls, roll it along the width wise. I’m doing length-wise here. I like medium swirls as it is easier to handle when twisting.


cut the dough in half along the length. And slowly turn the cut sides up, without losing the filling.


Pinch one end together and start inter-twining. Twist the two strands all the way down, keeping the cut(open) side up, all the while. Pinch the end bits too. If the dough is too long for the tin, using both hands, lightly squash the dough from the two ends until it becomes a bit shorter, so it fits the loaf tin.


Lift the dough and place carefully in the greased tin. Adjust to fill the tin evenly. Do not disturb the layers. Now cover this with a plastic, with ample room to grow. The top shouldn’t be touching the cover. let this prove in a warm place. This might take up several hours. (4-6 hours) Warmer the room temperature, the quicker the rise

proofed dough

This is how the proofed loaf will look like. It is slightly jiggly, softer to the tough and considerably grown to fit the tin. the dough will spring back when poked. Pre-heat the oven to 360 F and place the rack in the bottom 2/3 of the oven. This will stop from top catching too much. Ans back for 40 – 50 minutes. Turn the loaf around after the first 20 minutes, so that both sides will be baked evenly.

Once the loaf is baked (golden brown and sound hollow when tapped) take it out of the oven. Brush with a light sugar syrup. This is optional, but will help keep the loaf moist for longer, and add a shine to the top too. (Sugar syrup is 1:1 water and sugar, boiled for few minutes until slightly thick)

Once baked, this need some time to cool down. Do not cut it while warm, the filling need to settle and the crumb will be too wet and the layers will fall apart.

I loved the flavor so much. The pear jam is sweet and tart at the same time. Goes well with the mildly sweet brioche like bread and the nuts add a crunch, which is perfect!! The most delicious bit for me is the gooey top. It’s crispy, sweet, and crunchy with nuts and sugar crystals. Oh it’s pure heaven on a plate.

Let me know, if you try this out. And as always shoot any comment or question below or on IG.

Pear Jam and Walnut Sourdough Babka

Bread, snacks



    for the dough
  • 120 g fed active sweet starter
  • 300 g flour
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 50 g butter (soft, cubed)
  • 100 ml milk (+/-)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
    for the spread
  • about a 3/4 cups of Pear jam (made from 2 pears)
  • 1/2 cup of toasted chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cups dark brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 egg to egg wash


  1. Make the starter ahead. ( mix roughly 75 g flour, 35 g water, 10 g culture)
  2. Make the Pear jam and ready the nuts ( you can do this while the dough ferments)
  3. To make the dough, mix everything except milk in a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a hook attachment.
  4. Start mixing on low and slowly add milk, to bring the dough together
  5. If necessary add extra milk or a little water (tablespoon at a time). The dough should be soft
  6. Once the dough start to form, increase the speed to medium and mix for about 5 to 8 minutes, until dough becomes smooth or do this by hand.
  7. Take the dough off on to a floured surface, and knead by hand to form a ball
  8. Place in a covered bowl and leave in a warm place for about 5 hours
  9. The dough will be risen considerably (almost double) if not leave for another hour or two
  10. Then pat down the dough and form in to a ball again, place in the same container and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. (I left it overnight and a whole day and it still turned out good)
  11. When you are ready to make the babka, take the dough out and let it soften (not too much, its easier to handle when cold)
  12. Prepare a loaf tin lined with a parchment paper or grease it with spray
  13. Take the dough on to a floured surface and roll out to a rectangle
  14. About 45 cm by 35 cm( the dough thickness should be no more than 1/2 cm)
  15. Once done, spread the pear jam, sprinkle nuts and brown sugar evenly
  16. Starting from one end roll the dough tightly length-wise ( or width-wise if you prefer)
  17. Using a sharp knife cut the rolled cylinder in half along the length ( see picture)
  18. Now twist the two strands (look at the photos in the post)
  19. Twisting will make it shorter and would fit in the loaf tin
  20. Make sure to have cut sides exposed.
  21. Once twisted, pack the dough in the loaf tin
  22. Tuck the end bits underneath
  23. Make sure the dough is spread as evenly as possible across the tin
  24. Leave covered in a warm place for about two – three hours (or more depending on the temp.) for the final rise
  25. The loaf will expand and fill the tin and will look fuller and softer
  26. Preheat the oven to 360 F ( 180 C)
  27. Brush the top with egg wash and bake for 40-50 minutes, turning the pan half-way through to the bake
  28. In the meantime make the sugar syrup
  29. Once done remove the loaf from the oven
  30. Top should be golden brown and should sound hollow when tapped
  31. Lightly brush with a sugar syrup if you like
  32. Once done let this cool completely before cutting in as the filling need setting
  33. Slice with a serrated knife
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Beer barm

A magical formula to take your sourdough to the next level!

beer brm
bubbly barm

Barm is usually found in the brewing terminology, used to identify the form or scum formed on the top of a fermenting liquid, like beer or wine. This barm has been used as the levain in the process of making bread from the ancient times.

As you can imagine, that would result in bread that has a complex flavor profile. If you have trained you sensors enough, you can identify all these subtle changes in bread. I personally love to dig my nostrils in the bread crumb and inhale before I toss a piece in my mouth. It is such a sensory experience.

As we don’t have access to barm in everyday life, bakers have come up with ways to recreate the same thing. Even though it is not quite the same, you can achieve similar results in terms of flavor.

Just like you make a poolish, you can combine flour, beer and starter (sourdough culture) to make your own barm. The flavor will differ depending on the beer you choose. Any beer is okay for the job and most of the alcohol will be cooked off in the process.

Use various beers to experiment and it can be quite fun as you can smell and taste the different notes of beers in the final product. Try pale ales, dark full bodied stouts, craft beers etc. and compare the results. I find this very interesting and fun and rewarding at the same time. I am a massive beer love as well, so this is right up my ally.

Making your own beer barm is easier than you think. All you have to do is mix flour and your choice of beer, cook it off on medium heat, let cool and mix with the sourdough starter. Then you let this sit overnight and do its thing. You will wake up to find the barm bubbling away. The barm will look exactly like the form you’d find afloat a beer barrel, smell acidic.

beer barm

All you need is beer:flour:starter in 5:1:2 ratios

beer barm

Mix flour and beer and heat to 70 C string until thickens

beer barm

let the mixture cool down and add your sourdough culture and mix well

beer barm

let it ferment overnight

This barm is now ready to be used to make bread. Use it in any sourdough recipe and depending on the activity level, you can decide how much to use. All you have to adjust is the hydration as the barm is very runny.

I use this in baguettes, pizza bases, foccacia, and potato bread etc. When making pizza base, I use more of the same beer instead of water to heightened the flavor but it is completely optional.

I usually use 40% of this as the levain for my pizza and baguettes. You might need to bulk the dough for longer depending on the activity of the barm.

Here is the basic recipe that I use, feel free to experiment and let me know what you think.

Beer barm

Bread, technique


  • ale (beer) 5 parts
  • flour 1 part
  • culture 2 parts


  1. Mix flour and beer in a saucepan
  2. Heat over medium heat util thickens string constantly (70 C)
  3. Do not boil
  4. Take off the heat and let it cool down completely
  5. Add the active sourdough starter and mix thoroughly
  6. Cover and leave overnight at room temperature to ferment
  7. Use in you bread recipe as the levain
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Rolled Oats and Apple Sourdough

oats and apple sourdough

This is inspired by one of the recipes from my bakery school. I remember how much I loved the smell of grated apples while making this bread at school. We grated about 10 kilos of apple altogether and it was incredible!

When apples start to hit the farmers market, you know it is fall! I know from practice that fruits are at their best when in season. I couldn’t think of anything else but this bread when I bought home a dozen of fresh apples. I love all sorts of apple things, like pies, cakes, sauces etc, but for now I’ll stick to the bread.

Oats and apples

The original recipe uses a levain to add flavor to the bread. Dry yeast is used to actually rise the dough. I though, why not use the levain to do both of these jobs, and that way, I can convert this into a complete sourdough.

Grated apples and soaked oats. Use any apple variety you like, grate using the larger side of the grater. If you grate them any smaller, it will make you dough sticker and harder to knead.

I had to give it a couple of tries to get it right! But at the end, it was all worth it. The crumb smells amazing scented with apple. And oats make the crumb softer. This loaf used an entire apple. So I think this is a great way to use up apples.

Unlike several other recipes, this bread is mixed with apple and soaked/cooked oats from the beginning. Yes this might inhibit gluten development to a certain extent, but that is expected. This was shaped in to vienna or made into a tin loaf for that reason.

dough is stickier

You can use any sort of apple for this. But remember, some apples are juicier than others, so be mindful when adding water. The recipe only require 15% water as the moister is replaced by the apple and the soaked oats.


Bring the dough together on a floured surface. Use extra flour to dust, if necessary. The developed dough is less sticky.

Rolled oats are soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes. This will partially cook the oats and soften them. Make sure to cool it down before adding to the bread.


dough after the final fold. It has got much more strength now

The levain or the starter should be 50% hydrated. Depending on the room temperature, you can ripe it overnight. It it is warm, this might only take 5-6 hours. Make sure the levain is fully active.

ready to hit the oven

I am baking this bread just like any other sourdough. I gave this extra steam though, at I wanted a good crust to form.

oats and apple sourdough
beautiful and apple scented crumb

The previous loaf, lacked strength, so this is what I changed;

  • reduced culture % and proved for longer
  • did the initial mixing in the mixer
  • did 3 folds at 30 minute intervals
  • used steam when baking

Hope you will enjoy this bread.

Rolled Oats and Apple Sourdough


oats and apple sourdough


  • Oats 40 g
  • Boiling water 80 g
  • Apples grated 80 g
  • water 10 g
  • Levain/starter 80 g
  • bread flour 250 g extra 50 g
  • salt 4 g


  1. Make the starter the day before or 5-6 hours prior to making bread
  2. To make the starter, mix 12 g culture with 25 g water and 50 g flour
  3. You will get roughly about 100 g of starter, use 80 g from that for the recipe
  4. To make the bread pour boiling water to cover rolled oats, close with a lid and set aside for 30 minutes. Then let it cool down completely
  5. Grate the apples using the larger size of the grater
  6. Measure the flour and salt directly into the bowl of a stand mixer
  7. Mix apples, levain, oats and 10 g of water in separate bowl
  8. Add it to the flour and mix on low speed until combined (use the paddle attachment)
  9. The dough will be very sticky
  10. Let this sit covered for 15 minutes
  11. And mix again for about 2-3 minutes using the dough hook
  12. Use extra flour to dust the sides
  13. Then take the dough on to a floured surface and knead by hand
  14. Once the dough is developed, place it in a plastic bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to bulk for 90 minutes
  15. Give 2 folds at 30 minute intervals
  16. At 90 minutes mark, do another fold and leave for 15 minutes to rest
  17. Then shape the dough, cover and refrigerate for about 10 hours (overnight)
  18. When ready to bake, take the loaf out and leave at room temp for another 2 hours (this duration may change depending on how active your starter is, judge by doing the poke test)
  19. In the mean time preheat the oven to 480 F
  20. I use a dutch oven, you can use what ever the method you use to bake this
  21. Cover the top with oats or flour, slash and place in the oven
  22. Bake for 20 minutes (with lid closed if in DO) and then reduce temperature to 450 F and bake for a further 20 minutes (lid off)
  23. You can dry out for a further 10 minutes, with oven switched off
  24. Cool the loaf on a wire rack completely before slicing
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Pumpkin pie rolls

pumpkin pie rolls

This amazingly soft and warm rolls are the best thing to start fall with. I love making cinnamon rolls. Usually they are best eaten on the same day as they lose their freshness over time. But this pumpkin roll was different. It was fluffy as a cloud and that texture lasted for 3 days.

pumpkin pie rolls

So if you are a pumpkin lover, this is a must try. I think the pumpkin spice is what makes the whole experience enjoyable. I usually make my own pumpkin spice, but you can use the store bought one too. If you don’t like pumpkin spice, then just use cinnamon.

look how soft they are

The dough takes a nice deep orangish yellow color from the pumpkin. I have used butternut squash for this recipe, which is my go to when making pumpkin pies too. They yield a much dense flesh than other varieties and definitely sweeter. Cut the squash in half and roast one half in the oven at about 180 C for 40 minutes. Let it cool and simply scoop out the flesh. Discard the seeds and the skin. You only need 3/4 cups for this recipe, unless you are doubling.

dough doubled in size

It is important not to boil the pumpkin, as this will water down the flesh. I find even the canned puree is bit too thin for this recipe.

roasted pumpkin

The filling is what makes all the difference. Instead of just using brown sugar and butter, I have added almond mean and a little mashed pumpkin. This filling resembled what you usually get in a cinnamon scroll (the flaky pastry made with puff) Also it’s got a nice thick texture and tastes almost like pumpkin pie filling.

spices make all the difference…

If you want, just use the regular cinnamon roll filling. It will still turn out delicious.

You can either bake these in a deep pie dish, casserole dish or on a tray. I like to snug them closely in a deep baking dish so they rise upwards and interior remain soft while the tops get crusty.

pumpkin pie rolls
leave some space around

Make sure to leave some space when you are placing the rolls, as they will expand while the prove for the second time.

pumpkin pie rolls
ready for the oven

Once they come out, I’d let them cool a little bit. If you try to ice them, while they are still hot, the cream cheese icing will melt away. So let them cool off before slathering with the cheesy topping.

pumpkin pie rolls
Ice them while still warm but not hot!

I normally don’t ice the whole thing, as both of us aren’t going to finish it in one sitting! You can store these away in a air tight container and freshen them up in the oven to server later. Ice them just before serving.

pumpkin pie rolls
Pumpkin pie rolls


Servings: about a dozen


    for the dough
  • 3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cups pumpkin (roasted mashed)
  • 1 large egg (2 small)
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 milk + 2 tbsp (warm)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • about 2 tbsp butter melted
  • 2 tbsp almond meal
  • 1/4 cups mashed pumpkin
  • pinch of salt
  • pumpkin spice (1 tbsp cinnamon, 1/2 tbsp ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves and nutmeg, pinch of all spice)
    cream cheese topping
  • 1 packet of cream cheese at room temp.
  • 2 tbs butter at room temp.
  • 1/2 cups icing sugar (adjust to your taste)
  • pinch of cinnamon


  1. Mix flour, salt, sugar in a large bowl
  2. Add yeast to the 2 tbsp milk and let activate (for 10 minutes)
  3. Add yeast, eggs, butter, pumpkin into the flour mix and mix on low speed
  4. If the dough is too wet, add some flour, if it is too stiff add a tsp of milk at a time
  5. Once everything mixes, increase the speed to medium high and mix until a dough forms and it comes off the sides (about 8 minutes)
  6. Get the dough on to a floured surface and knead by hand until dough is smooth and elastic
  7. Now place the dough in a large plastic bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in volume (40 minutes – 1 hour)
  8. Once doubled punch down the dough and let it relax for about 10 minutes
  9. Make the filling in the meantime
  10. Just mix every thing until a past is formed
  11. Now place the dough on a floured surface and roll it out to a rectangular shape. The size is up to you, the wider the rectangle the more layers you’ll get.
  12. I usually go for a 12″ by 16″
  13. Once rolled out, spread the paste evenly (a thin even coating)
  14. Then start rolling along the length to form a long cylinder
  15. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in to 1 1/2 ” pieces
  16. Place the rolls cut side up on a baking dish. Leave room around as they will proof
  17. Cover the baking dish and place in a warm place to rise ( 30 minutes)
  18. Preheat the oven to 175 C
  19. Once risen, bake the rolls for about 25- 30 minutes until top is golden brown
  20. Let cool slightly
  21. While they are baking, make the cream cheese topping by whisking all the ingredients until creamy and spreadable
  22. Decorate rolls while still warm
  23. If you are not going to eat them straight away, then do not ice all of them. Store away in an air container up to two days or longer in fridge.
  24. They freeze well too. Tightly wrap plain rolls and freeze. Thaw them and freshen up in a preheated oven to serve

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Fruit Sourdough

fruit sourdough

My weekly sourdough baking is aligned with our weekend breakfast routine. Saturday brunch, if we are home, is our most anticipated time of the week. This features my sourdough :), our favorite deli spread(smoked bacon, cheese, maple syrup, butter, relish), poached eggs, avo, beans and sausages (on someday) and home brewed coffee. We have been doing this ever since we moved to Seattle, which is almost a year now.

fruit sourdough

Back in Melbourne, we used to go out as there were plenty of good, soulful, cosy cafes that served real sourdough bread and the best coffee in the whole world. Not to mention the fine french pastries and pies and cakes and slices….

apricot, fig and raisin

There was one particular breakfast (I have this for lunch too) at a deli cafe in the hills, which was my favorite. This was a toasted fruit sourdough served with sticky baby figs and mascarpone. I have recreated this dish many times since. The most important part of this dish, the fruit sourdough, obviously, was from a local sourdough bakery, which I used to work for two years(lucky me!). So my fruit sourdough is inspired by this bread, but I have tweaked the recipe so much over time to suite our taste.

fruit loaf

I use different dried fruit combinations and use different spices every time to make it exiting. You can use most of the dried fruits like Sultana, Raisins, Currents, Cranberries, blueberries, apricots, prunes, plums, figs etc. I always keep it limited to three verities, two sweet and one tangy. But it’s up to you.


You can also use spices like cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin spice, nutmeg to give it some warmth. This will really enhance the flavor and the house smells festive every time I bake these breads.

Make sure to wash the dried fruits, specially the dark colored once. This will wash off excess residue and also help them hydrate slightly. I figured this out the hard way. The dried fruit tend to absorb water from the bread dough resulting in a tougher dough, which inhibits fermentation, gluten development and the oven bloom later. So washing them and patting them dry have helped me solve this problem. Also this recipe calls for a higher hydration too.

dried cranberry and raisins washed and dried

As always, incorporate the fruit at the end of the kneading, just before the bulk proof.

dough before it’s being kneaded
dough ready for bulk proof

This will make sure the gluten development is not disturbed. Also fruit brings in sugar to the dough and to counter balance that we need to up the leaven percentage a little. Sugar is hygroscopic and will compete with yeast for water, which could inhibit fermentation.

folding in fruit

This is why adjusting measurement is crucial. If you mix the dough with the fruits in it, more sugar is going to get incorporated into the dough, so adding fruits later prevents this. Also we just fold the fruit in, by hand and not mixing vigorously.

dough ready for shaping

That’s some extra tips if you are kind of like me, curious about whats going on behind the scene. If this is too much info and you just wanted the nice bread, then just follow the recipe, which is also me sometimes.

ready for baking

This bread can be served in many different ways. Eat it as is on the same day, it will be moist and great with butter or maple syrup and some fresh berried. It is already loaded with fruit so you can pretty much eat it on it’s own.

toasted fruit sourdough

It is also great toasted with cream and berries. Or cut it in to thin wedges and toast both sides. This will be similar to biscotti and you can serve with tea or coffee. I love these with lemon curd, cream cheese.

dipped in lemon curd

Try this bread with your favorite dried fruits, you won’t be disappointed.

Fruit Sourdough


Servings: 6-8 slices

fruit sourdough


    for the stater:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon culture
    for the bread:
  • 350 g white bread flour
  • 50 g Rye (or Spelt)
  • 12 g salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp dry milk powder ( optional)
  • 350 g water
  • 1 cup of above starter (about 200 g)
  • 1 1/4 of dried fruit of choice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or more
  • other spices if you like (a pinch each)


    To make the starter (at least 6 hours prior to making bread/preferably previous night)
  1. Use a clean jar
  2. mix flour and water until it resembles porridge. Add the culture, mix well again and loosely cover
  3. set aside until ready.
    For the bread
  1. Wash the dried fruit and pat dry. Cut them in to small chunks if necessary
  2. In a large plastic container weigh the flours, milk powder, spices
  3. In a separate container weigh the water and oil.
  4. Add wet ingredients into the flour mix. Incorporate well.
  5. Let it sit for about an hour/two.
  6. Then add the salt and starter and mix until combined and knead for about a minute or two and let rest for 10 minutes
  7. Then give another kneading for about 5 minutes. Kneading should involve stretching and folding action. With every stretch and pull, you are making the gluten stronger.
  8. Leave aside for another 10 minutes
  9. Repeat this process three more times
  10. You would notice the dough changes every time. It will become less sticky and much easier to work with. You will also notice it is a lot more stretchy, smooth now.
  11. At this point its ready for bulk fermentation. So time to add the fruit.
  12. Fold in the fruit and make sure to spread them evenly. Do not knead or over mix
  13. Cover the container and place in a warm draft free place. I usually use my oven (turned off of-course :D) for this. Place a cup of steaming water in the oven to make the environment warm and moist. Or your can use a big plastic tub with lid on or even one of your kitchen cupboards.
  14. After 45 minutes, we will give the sough a fold. So take the container out. With wet hands, stretch and fold and tuck the dough from all four sides like you are wrapping something with it. The idea is to strengthen the gluten even more. Then leave it just as before for another 45 minutes.
  15. Repeat the folding twice more and now its time for the final bulk fermentation
  16. This will depend on your starter activity, room temperature, humidity. So check your dough every 30 minutes. What we are looking for is the dough to have bulked in size and possibly with some few visible air pockets. Usually it will be ready in about 1.5 hours to 2 hours
  17. Its time to shape the loaf now.
  18. Remove the dough on to a lightly dusted surface. Fold it to make a big dough ball. This will be bouncy. This folding and shaping will remove some air but not all of it.
  19. Leave it covered for about 10 minutes to relax.
  20. Then it is ready for the final shaping. Shape however you like it. If you are not sure checkout some videos
  21. Place in a proofing basket or in any container. Make sure to lay a flour dusted tea towel or flour the basket well.
  22. Cover it completely and place in the fridge. The bread will now go in to a slow prove/bloom overnight. It will be ready for the oven in the morning
  23. On the following day,place the oven rack in the center and preheat the oven to 260 °C/ 500 °F.
  24. If you have a pizza stone, a ceramic tile, cast iron skillet or a dutch oven, place it in while the oven heats up. Place another deep tray at the bottom most rack of the oven and fill it with boiling water. This will produce steam.
  25. Check if your bread has risen. If you think it need some more time, you can pull it out and leave out for about half an hour or so. You can test this by gently poking the dough with a finger and if it springs back but not all the way back, it is ready.
  26. Once the oven is hot enough, slash the bread and place it in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. And then take the tray of water out, bring the oven temperature down to 230 °C/ 450 °F and bake for a further 20 minutes
  27. Once the bread is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack.
  28. Once the bread cools down, you can slice it with a serrated knife.
  29. If you want to preserve, slice the loaf, store in an air tight container and freeze.
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