April DB Challenge: Savarin

Savarin from Sugar for the Brain

Hello everyone!

This month’s Daring Baker’s challenge was amazing! I had never heard about savarin before. Frankly, it’s a long process (3 waiting time for the dough to rise!), but it’s so worth it! You can choose many flavors of syrup and filling so it’s a very versatile dessert.

“Natalia of Gatti Fili e Farina challenges us to make a traditional Savarin, complete with soaking syrup and cream filling! We were to follow the Savarin recipe but were allowed to be creative with the soaking syrup and filling, allowing us to come up with some very delicious cakes!”

Savarin by Sugar for the Brain

Recipe with Photo Tutorial (PDF)

  • 2½ cups (600 ml) (12-1/3 oz) (350 gm) bread flour *** I used All-purpose flour with great results
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water, lukewarm
  • 6 (320 gm) large eggs at room temperature, separated
  • ½ satchel (1½ teaspoons) (4 gm) instant yeast or 15 gm (½ oz) fresh yeast
  • 4 teaspoons (20 ml) (20 gm) sugar
  • 2/3 stick (1/3 cup) (80 ml) (75 gm) butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) (2 oz) (55 gm) butter for greasing the work surface, hands, dough scraper & baking pan


In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lukewarm water, 3 tablespoons (1 oz) (25 gm) flour and yeast , cover with cling film and let rise 60 minutes


  1. After 30 minutes put the egg whites in the mixer bowl and start working with the paddle at low speed adding flour until you have a soft dough that sticks to the bowl (about 2 cups or 270 gm) and work until it comes together, cover with cling film and let rest 30 min.
  2. Add the sponge to the mixer bowl (**I messed up here, the sponge and the dough must be together in the mixer now! I added the dough at the end of step 9, everything was alright anyway!) along with a tablespoon of flour and start mixing at low speed.
  3. When it starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl add one yolk and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour.
  4. Add the second yolk , the sugar and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour.
  5. Raise the speed a little. Add the third yolk and the salt and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour.
  6. Keep on adding one yolk at the time and the flour saving a tablespoon of flour for later.
  7. Mix the dough until is elastic and makes “threads”.
  8. Add the butter at room temperature and as soon as the butter is adsorbed add the last tablespoon of flour.
  9. Keep on mixing till the dough passes the “window pane test”.
  10. Cover the dough with cling film and let it proof until it has tripled in volume (2 to 3 hours).
  11. You can prepare the Pastry cream now if you chose to use it, and refrigerate it.
  12. While you wait prepare your baking pan buttering it very carefully not leaving too much butter on it.
  13. Grease your dough scraper, your hands and your work surface and put the dough on it and fold with the Dough Package Fold two or three times around (5 folds twice or three times). Cover with cling foil and let it rest 15 minutes on the counter.
  14. Turn the dough upside down and with the help of your buttered dough scraper shape your dough http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta2_h6Qogp0 in a rounded bun.
  15. Make a hole in the center with your thumb and put it in the prepared pan.
  16. Cover with cling film and let rise in a warm spot until the dough reaches the top of the pan (about 1 hour).
  17. Pre-heat oven to moderate 340°F/170°C/gas mark 3.
  18. Bake the Savarin for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  19. Meanwhile prepare the Syrup.
  20. When the Savarin is done take it out of the oven and let it cool.
  21. You have two choices now : you can brush it with syrup right now or you can let it dry out (so it will lose some of his moisture that will be replaced by the syrup) and brush it later on.
  22. Whatever you decide the day you want to serve it and fill the hole with your filling of choice and decorate it. You can serve the Savarin with some filling on the side.

Savarin by Sugar for the Brain

Maple and White Beer Syrup
Recipe from Unibroue

  • 6 oz. White beer
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup orange juice 

Bring beer, maple syrup, and orange juice to a boil and reduce by half. Brush Savarin with syrup. (If you want to soak the savarin in this syrup, double the recipe).

Pastry Cream and Chantilly
Servings: 1 savarin plus some for serving
Recipe with Photo Tutorial (PDF)

  • 2 cups (500 ml) milk
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) (1¼ oz) (35 gm) cornstarch
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
  1. In a saucepan bring to a boil milk and sugar.
  2. In a bowl whisk together egg yolks, egg, cornstarch and sugar.
  3. Add the hot milk to the eggs one tablespoon at the time to temper it.
  4. Pour in the saucepan again and bring to a boil stirring constantly.
  5. When the cream thickens remove from the stove.
  6. Put cling film onto the cream (touching the surface) and cool.
  7. Pour 1 cup (250 ml) cold heavy cream in mixer bowl with the whisk attachment. Beat until whipped.
  8. Combine with the cooled pastry cream adding a tablespoon at the time of whipped cream until it gets to the right consistency.

Savarin by Sugar for the Brain

DB March 2013: Turtle Zucchini Brownies

Turtle Zucchini Brownies

Hey guys!

Are you skeptical about adding vegetables to your desserts? I must admit for zucchini and avocado, I’m not.  And I’m the first to be suspicious about adding strange ingredients to my meals. Maybe it’s because I love zucchini and avocado and can see there place in a dessert. Moreover, I had already tasted zucchini chocolate cupcakes which were totally delicious. My boyfriend hadn’t and he was doubting my mental health (or that I had another mental illness he didn’t already know about!) when I told him that I was going to do zucchini brownies. I’m joking, but I saw the doubt in his eyes in addition to his comments like “Yuck”, “Gross”, that he made “as jokes” ;). Well the brownies turned out so very delicious. The skeptical man was convinced, so will you! There texture was more like a boxed cake than a brownies though, but so very yummy anyway! And here is the Turtle twist I gave them!

Challenge : Ruth from Makey-Cakey was our March 2013 Daring Bakers’ challenge host. She encouraged us all to get experimental in the kitchen and sneak some hidden veggies into our baking, with surprising and delicious results!

Turtle Zucchini Brownies

Turtle Zucchini Brownies
Recipe adapted from Two Peas and their Pod and Tablespoon
Yield about 16 brownies

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 14 oz caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • Garnish: about ten caramels and 1 tablespoon of whipping cream, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 13 x 9 baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper leaving an overhang on longer sides, set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer, combine sugar, vegetable oil, and flour, combine until mixture resembles wet sand. While mixing, on low, add cocoa, zucchini, vanilla extract, salt and baking soda. Mix until well combined.
  3. Spread half the batter in pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in large microwave safe bowl, microwave caramels and whipping cream uncovered on High 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until smooth.
  5. Pour caramel over partially baked brownie (wait until the brownies are quite set, longer than 15 minutes if you have to, else they will do like mine : caramel and brownies merged so I don’t have a layer of caramel) spread to edges. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the pecans. Drop remaining brownie batter by small spoonfuls onto caramel layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup chocolate chips and remaining 1/2 cup pecans.
  6. Bake 33 to 36 minutes longer or until center is almost set. Cool 1 hour at room temperature. Drizzle with melted caramel. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour before serving. Lift from pan using the parchment paper overhang. Cut brownies into squares and serve. Store covered at room temperature.

Raspberry and White Chocolate Mille Feuilles DB challenge

Mille feuilles

Hello everyone!

Hope you had a great week! Here is this month Daring Bakers’ challenge!

“Our October 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Suz of Serenely Full. Suz challenged us to not only tackle buttery and flaky puff pastry, but then take it step further and create a sinfully delicious Mille Feuille dessert with it!”

Mille feuilles

You can get the recipe and the how to here (PDF)

My experience : I would have liked the pastry to be more airy. Mine was like compact layers. It was flaky so I guess I kind of succeeded to make the recipe, but maybe I should have omit the step 6 of baking (where you put a heavy tray on top of your pastries so that they don’t puff too much). I will definitely try other recipes and see what could have gone wrong. It was a fun challenge to do anyway! Looking forward to try it again!

For the filling, I did the White Chocolate Cream from A Village Pantry but it’s the second time I try doing such a chocolate whipped cream and both times it kind of became liquid albeit delicious :S

Have fun in the kitchen 😀 I’m heading over to see what the other bakers did!!

Mille feuilles

Daring Bakers: Filled Pate a Choux Swans

Hello everyone!

Daring Bakers did it again!!!! This is such an awesome challenge!

“Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pate a choux shapes, filled with crème patisserie or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!”

I’m very glad I had already mastered pate à choux though! It could have been very messy! In fact, it was quite easy! I would have like to try other types of cream, Kat gave us a couple recipes, but I lacked the time 🙁 I will sure be trying them another time! Here is how you do these cute swans (I used Chantilly Cream)!

Filled Pate a Choux Swans

Filled Pate a Choux Swans
Pate a choux (How to PDF)
½ cup butter
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs


  1. Line at least two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F .
  3. In a small saucepot, combine butter, water, and salt. Heat until butter melts, then remove from stove.
  4. Add flour all at once and beat, beat, beat the mixture until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pot.
  5. Add one egg, and beat until well combined. Add remaining eggs individually, beating vigorously after each addition. Resulting mixture should be somewhat glossy, very smooth, and somewhat thick.
  6. Using a ¼” (6 mm) tip on a pastry bag, pipe out about 36 swan heads. You’re aiming for something between a numeral 2 and a question mark, with a little beak if you’re skilled and/or lucky.
  7. Remove the tip from the bag and pipe out 36 swan bodies. These will be about 1.5” long, and about 1” wide. One end should be a bit narrower than the other.
  8. Bake the heads and bodies until golden and puffy. The heads will be done a few minutes before the bodies, so keep a close eye on the baking process.
  9. Remove the pastries to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before filling.


  1. Take a swan body and use a very sharp knife to cut off the top 1/3rd to ½.
  2. Cut the removed top down the center to make two wings.
  3. Dollop a bit of filling into the body, insert head, and then add wings.

Chantilly Cream
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Chill medium mixing bowl and whisk in freezer for 10 minutes before beginning. In chilled bowl, whisk cream until it begins to foam and thicken. Add sugar and continue to whisk just until soft peaks form. Do not over-whip.

Filled Pate a Choux Swans

Daring Bakers’ April Challenge : Nazook and Nutmeg Cake

Hey guys!

Ready to try something new?

” The Daring Bakers’ April 2012 challenge, hosted by Jason at Daily Candor, were two Armenian standards: nazook and nutmeg cake. Nazook is a layered yeasted dough pastry with a sweet filling, and nutmeg cake is a fragrant, nutty coffee-style cake.”

This is exactly what I like about the Daring Bakers’ Challenges: going out of my confort zone.  Yes I do try a lot of recipes, but they revolve mostly around things I do know and, well, chocolate (just look at my keywords cloud!). But I’m really glad I try both of these recipes. They are different and very good! Oh and I’m not usually a big fan of nutmeg but the crust, the cake and the walnuts just go so well together!

You can see the whole challenge here (with step by step pictures). I made half of each recipe and used salted butter.


Yields 40 pieces

Pastry dough
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2½ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 cup sour cream
1 cup softened butter (room temperature)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup softened butter (room temperature)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 whole egg

Make the Pastry Dough

1. Place the sifted flour into a large bowl.
2. Add the dry yeast, and mix it in.
3. Add the sour cream, and the softened butter.
4. Use your hands, or a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, to work it into a dough.
5. If using a standing mixer, switch to a dough hook. If making manually, continue to knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl or your hands. If it remains very sticky, add some flour, a little at a time.
6. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 3-5 hours, or overnight if you like.

Make the filling

7. Mix the flour, sugar, and the softened butter in a medium bowl.
8. Add the vanilla extract.
9. Mix the filling until it looks like clumpy, damp sand. It should not take long. Set aside.

Make the nazook

10. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
11. Cut the refrigerated dough into quarters.
12. Form one of the quarters into a ball. Dust your working surface with a little flour.
13. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle or oval. The dough should be thin, but not transparent.
14. Spread 1/4 of the filling mixture across the rolled-out dough in an even layer. Try to spread the filling as close as possible to the edges on the short sides, but keep some of pastry dough uncovered (1 inch/2.5 cm) along the long edges.
15. From one of the long sides, start slowly rolling the dough across. Be careful to make sure the filling stays evenly distributed. Roll all the way across until you have a long, thin loaf.
16. Pat down the loaf with your palm and fingers so that it flattens out a bit (just a bit).
17. Apply your egg yolk wash with a pastry brush.
18. Use your crinkle cutter (or knife) to cut the loaf into 10 equally-sized pieces. Put onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
19. Place in a preheated moderate oven for about 30 minutes, until the tops are a rich, golden brown.
20. Allow to cool and enjoy!


Armenian Nutmeg Cake
Makes one 9”/23cm cake which yields 12 servings

1 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup butter, preferably unsalted, cubed
1/2 cup walnut pieces, may need a little more
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg.
1 egg

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F .
2. Mix the baking soda into the milk. Set aside.
3. Put the flour, baking powder, and the brown sugar into your food processor. Pulse until uniformly mixed.
4. Toss in the cubed butter. Pulse until uniformly mixed into tan-colored crumbs.
5. Pour HALF of the crumbs into your springform (9”/23cm) pan. Press out a crust using your fingers and knuckles.
6. Crack the egg into the food processor with the rest of the crumbs still in it.
7. Grate 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg. Toss that into the food processor, too. Pulse until well-incorporated.
8. Pour in the milk and baking soda mixture. Continue to mix until a slightly lumpy tan batter is formed.
9. Pour the batter over the crust in the springform pan.
10. Gently sprinkle the walnut pieces over the batter.
11. Bake in a preheated moderate oven for 30-40 minutes. It’s ready when the top is golden brown, and when it passes the toothpick test (comes out clean).
12. Cool the cake in the pan, and then dig in. Yum yum!

Apple Buttermilk Muffins with Caramel Glaze

Hey everyone!

Did you have a nice week? Me? I’ve been trying to work for school, but I find, as always, that being motivated while students are on strike is hard (strike against a rise in tuition fees). No courses so no deadlines which means a flickering motivation (and by flickering I mean being motivated for 1 hour a day at best!). I’ll keep trying because thinking of our return to school and the many many things I have to do before the end of the semester makes me very nervous.

Well, while being unmotivated for school, I was working at my job and of course doing some desserts and photo.

Here is the Daring Bakers’ Challenge summary: The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lis stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

At first I wanted to do an apple bread with a caramel glaze but finally decided to do apple muffins. I’m working on my photography skills, I’m happy with these but I’m not equipped yet to do overhead photos so for now it’s a real pain in the “you-know-what” 😉

Apple Buttermilk Muffins with Caramel Glaze

Apple Buttermilk Muffins
Adapted From Living Tastefully
Yield : 12 muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups peeled, cored and diced apples
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 400˚F.  Grease 12 muffin pan cups.
2.  In a small bowl, mix first 6 ingredients.  In a large bowl, beat buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract, and egg until blended; stir in the flour mixture just until flour is moistened.  Fold in apples.
3.  Spoon batter into muffin pan; sprinkle batter evenly with chopped walnuts.  Bake muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.  Immediately remove from the pan.

Caramel Glaze
Adapted from Pass the Sushi 

  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted

In a saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Whisk in the milk and powdered sugar. Immediately pour over the muffins.


Daring Bakers’ Challenge : Scones!

Hi everyone!

Here is a Daring Bakers’ challenge I did not fail yay! My other try with the starter is on its way!

Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

I had never eaten scones (a.k.a biscuits) before (I know, I know, don’t judge me!). It’s good, flaky, a light taste of butter and is quite easy to make when somebody like Aud from Audax Artifex tell you all you need to know so that they don’t come out flat (like triple sifting the dry ingredients).

I had fun doing these! I would recommend to double or triple the recipe because I had like 5 scones 😉 Also don’t wait for them to become too brown, I should have taken them out of the oven before. They were great anyway! So this is easy, cheap and delicious, what are you waiting for? Go bake them, right now 😉


Here is the original recipe given by Audax Artifex


Basic Scones (a.k.a. Basic Biscuits)

Servings: about eight 2-inch (5 cm) scones or five 3-inch (7½ cm) scones

Can be doubled


1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour

2 teaspoons (10 ml) (10 gm) (1/3 oz) fresh baking powder

¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) salt

2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz) frozen grated butter (or a combination of lard and butter)

Approximately ½ cup (120 ml) cold milk

Optional 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing the tops of the scones


1. Preheat oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9.

2. Triple sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. (If your room temperature is very hot refrigerate the sifted ingredients until cold.)

3. Rub the frozen grated butter (or combination of fats) into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse bread crumbs with some pea-sized pieces if you want flaky scones or until it resembles coarse beach sand if you want tender scones.

4. Add nearly all of the liquid at once into the rubbed-in flour/fat mixture and mix until it just forms a sticky dough (add the remaining liquid if needed). The wetter the dough the lighter the scones (biscuits) will be!

5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, lightly flour the top of the dough. To achieve an even homogeneous crumb to your scones knead very gently about 4 or 5 times (do not press too firmly) the dough until it is smooth. To achieve a layered effect in your scones knead very gently once (do not press too firmly) then fold and turn the kneaded dough about 3 or 4 times until the dough has formed a smooth texture. (Use a floured plastic scraper to help you knead and/or fold and turn the dough if you wish.)

6. Pat or roll out the dough into a 6 inch by 4 inch rectangle by about ¾ inch thick (15¼ cm by 10 cm by 2 cm thick). Using a well-floured 2-inch (5 cm) scone cutter (biscuit cutter), stamp out without twisting six 2-inch (5 cm) rounds, gently reform the scraps into another ¾ inch (2 cm) layer and cut two more scones (these two scones will not raise as well as the others since the extra handling will slightly toughen the dough). Or use a well-floured sharp knife to form squares or wedges as you desire.

7. Place the rounds just touching on a baking dish if you wish to have soft-sided scones or place the rounds spaced widely apart on the baking dish if you wish to have crisp-sided scones. Glaze the tops with milk if you want a golden colour on your scones or lightly flour if you want a more traditional look to your scones.

8. Bake in the preheated very hot oven for about 10 minutes (check at 8 minutes since home ovens at these high temperatures are very unreliable) until the scones are well risen and are lightly coloured on the tops. The scones are ready when the sides are set.

9. Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm.


My first Daring Bakers challenge… is a fail

Hey everyone,

I hope you had a fun Christmas with your family and friends. Today I want to tell you about the Daring Bakers. If you don’t know what it is, the Daring kitchen website host 2 different challenges each month: the Daring Cooks and the Daring Bakers. I registered in November so December was my first challenge. Unfortunately, it went quite wrong for me.
Here is the challenge in a few words : “Our Daring Bakers Host for December 2011 was Jessica of My Recipe Project and she showed us how fun it is to create Sour Dough bread in our own kitchens! She provided us with Sour Dough recipes from Bread Matters by Andrew Whitley as well as delicious recipes to use our Sour Dough bread in from Tonia George’s Things on Toast and Canteen’s Great British Food!”.

I’m ashame to say that I didn’t even pass the first step which is doing an active starter. Yes, for the sourdough bread, you don’t use yeast or leavening but use the natural one included in whole flour. For that you need to mix water and flour for a few days and let it ferment.

Ok so you want to know what happened to my little starter right, which I named Boris after another blogger’s starter, the name just fit 😉 First, I was a little afraid Boris might not activate because he needed a high temperature and my house is quite cold those days. After 3 days I was more than sceptical that it would work. But on the fourth day, which is supposed to be THE day according to the recipe, HE WAS ALIVE! Bubbling away, smelling not that good, but not as bad as before (it does smell really bad at first, it’s normal, just don’t breath when you feed it/him 😉 ).

I was not sure he was quite ready because it wasn’t really looking like a photo of another starter, but looking back, I think he was. I was ready to begin the first step of the bread when I realized I didn’t have enough Rye flour to do it (it was 11:00 pm so going to the grocery store wasn’t an option). So I decided to feed Boris one last time before beginning the bread and then, well, RIP Boris. I still don’t know why this stopped him from activating, because what I understand is that bread maker feed their starter every day. I lacked the skills to resuscitate him so… This happened on the 23rd so I didn’t have time to do another Boris before today. If only I didn’t ran out of flour 🙁

So I don’t have anything to show you today, but when I’ll be back in January I’ll be doing a Boris the second or whatever his/her name will be 😉

I’m leaving you all the instructions here if you want to try it too! I’m encouraging you to head over to Jessica’s blog if you want more details. Stay tuned for my second attempt! I’m really eager to try it again!

Rye Starter – Day 1:


3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (50 ml) (25 gm/1 oz) whole (dark) rye flour

1/4 cup (60 ml) water (at 104°F/40°C)

Total scant ½ cup (110 ml) (3 oz/85 gm)


1. In a Tupperware or plastic container, mix the flour and water into a paste.

2. Set the lid on top gently, cover with a plastic bag, to prevent messes in case it grows more than expected!

3. Set somewhere warm (around 86°F/30°C if possible). I sometimes put mine on a windowsill near a radiator, but even if it’s not that warm, you’ll still get a starter going – it might just take longer. It should be a very sloppy, runny dough, which will bubble and grow as it ferments.


Rye Starter – Day 2:


3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (50 ml) (25 gm/1 oz) whole (dark) rye flour

1/4 cup (60 ml) water (at 104°F/40°C)

scant 1/2 cup (110 ml) (3 oz/85 gm) starter from Day 1

Total scant 1 cup (220 ml) (6 oz/170 gm)


1. Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 1, cover, and return to its warm place.


Rye Starter – Day 3:


3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (50 ml) (25 gm/1 oz) whole (dark) rye flour

1/4 cup (60 ml) water (at 104°F/40°C)

scant 1 cup (220 ml) (6 oz/170 gm) starter from Day 2

Total 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons (330 ml) (9 oz/255 gm)


1. Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 2, cover, and return to its warm place. If you notice it has a grey liquid on top, just stir this back in and continue as normal.

Rye Starter – Day 4:


3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (50 ml) (25 gm/1 oz) whole (dark) rye flour

1/4 cup (60 ml) water (at 104°F/40°C)

1 cup plus 6 tablespoons (330 ml) (255 gm/9 oz) starter from Day 3

Total about 1¾ cups (440 ml) (12 oz/340 gm)


1. Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 3, cover, and return to its warm place. At this point it should be bubbling and smell yeasty. If not, repeat this process for a further day or so until it is!

Russian Rye Bread – Step 1: Production Sourdough


1/4 cup less 2 teaspoons (50 ml) (50 gm/1 ¾ oz) rye leaven (starter)

1 cup plus 2 teaspoons (250 ml) (150 gm/5 ⅓ oz) whole (dark) rye flour

1 1/4 cups (300 ml) (300 gm/10 ½ oz) water

Total 2½ cup (600 ml) (500 gm/17½ oz/1 lb 1½ oz)


1. Mix everything into a sloppy dough. Cover and set aside for 12-24 hours, until bubbling. Set aside the remaining starter for further loaves – see the Notes section for tips!

Russian Rye Bread – Step 2: Final Dough


2 cups (480 ml) (440 gm/15 ½ oz) production sourdough (this should leave some (½ cup) to become your next loaf of bread!)

2 1/3 cups (560 ml) (330 gm/11 ⅔ oz) rye flour (light or whole)

1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm/.2 oz) sea salt or ½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (2½ gm/.1 oz) table salt

3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons (200 ml) (200 gm/7 oz) water (at 104°F/40°C)

Total 5 cups plus 3 tablespoons (1245 ml) (975 gm/2 lb 2oz)


1. Mix all the ingredients together to form a soft dough. With wet hands, scoop the dough up and put it in a well-greased loaf tin.

2. Put the tin inside a large plastic bag, blow it up, and seal it. This should make a good little dome for your bread to proof inside. Set aside somewhere room temperature to warm.

3. The dough should be ready to bake with in anywhere between 2-8 hours, depending on how warm it is. I proof mine by a sunny window in about 4 hours. If the dough was halfway up the tin when you started, it will be ready when it reaches the top (i.e. almost doubles in size).

4. Preheat the oven to very hot 470°F/240°C/gas mark 9. For a large loaf, bake for 50-60 minutes, reducing the temperature

to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6 after about 10-15 minutes. If baking in small loaf tins, bake for 35-45 minutes, reducing the temperature after 10 minutes. If you are unsure

about whether it is done, give it a few minutes longer – it is a very wet dough, so the extra time won’t hurt.

5. Leave to cool on a cooling rack, and rest the loaf for a day before eating it.