Wild yeast raisin mountain loaf with molasses


I haven’t had time to update my blog in a while as all my time was taken up with all the things happening back in Japan, with the elections, the Olympics and other bad news…

Now I need something to cheer me up so I am back to my blog and baking!

First, I wanted to share this recipe – it’s my favourite raisin bread.


I used molasses instead of sugar for this bread as it gives you a really nice dark colour, extra richness and depth of flavour.

A generous knob of cultured butter melting on top of a thick slice of this raisin bread is just heavenly. It smells gorgeous when toasted!

Raisin loaf with molasses

450g of high grade/strong flour

8g of salt

a little bit of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove powder

9g (1 tbsp) of powdered milk

180g of wild yeast starter  [40%]

37g of molasses [8.2%]

150g of milk *

100g of almond milk *

55g of water *

*liquid is 305g in total  [68%] you can replace almond milk with any kind of milk

45 g of unsalted butter [10%]

180g of raisins (soak in warm water for 10 min and drained)


  • Put all the ingredients in a large bowl except for the butter and the raisins. Knead for 15 min.
  • Add the butter. Knead again until the dough becomes shiny. (app. 5-10 min)
  • Add the raisins. Combine them well into the dough.
  • Cover the dough with cling film or a wet tea towel and let it rise in a warm place for about 4 hours. (until it doubles in size)
  • Divide the dough into three. Shape it into balls.  Rest the balls for 15 min covered with cling film or a wet tea towel.
  • Shape each ball and put it in a loaf tin. (I’m sorry I can’t explain well without the photos! Search “how to shape mountain loaf” and you can find a lot of web sites explaining.)
  • Let it rise in a warm place for 1.5- 2h until the dough fills 80% of the tin.
  • Preheat the oven to 200℃, 20 min before finishing the final rise.
  • Spray water on the dough generously and bake it in the oven at 190℃ for 30-35min. (In the last 15 min, you might need to put foil on top if the top starts to get too dark)

Mini baguette sandwich for mini people.


I made these mini baguettes for my mesdemoselles’ school lunch. They love baguettes, especially my older one. I added a little bit of butter in the dough to make it a bit softer for them, but I didn’t find much difference to be honest. Maybe I didn’t add enough? I think my normal baguette recipe is better after all.

This time I made “Tandoori chicken with roast peppers sandwich”. This filling is great with hard (not soft) bread.



I like using a couple of different coloured capsicums, it’s so cheerful and delicious  for the eyes.


Tandoori chicken and roasted peppers sandwich

some baguettes (recipe is here!) for sandwiches

some green salad

for the tandoori chicken

4 chicken thigh fillets

2 tbsp of unsweetened natural yoghurt

1 or 2 tsp of curry powder

1 or 2 tsp of tomato paste (tomato sause)

1/2 tsp of salt

some cumin powder

some coriander powder

some cardamon powder

some chili powder or flakes (I didn’t use this as we have little people)

1 tsp of lemon juice

1 tsp of grated garlic

1 tsp of grated ginger

Method: Stab the chicken thigh fillets a few times with a fork. Put all the marinade ingredients together and marinate the chicken for a few hours. Grill the chicken until it’s cooked through.

for the roast peppers

1 capsicum or 1/2 of two different coloured capsicums (sliced)

1 tbsp of olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste

Method : Heat olive oil in a pan, add capsicum and saute them for a couple of minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.


Natural Yeast Starter – photos



Finally I took photos! There we go, this is how I make starter using my previous liquid yeast.

Day 1 :  Sterilise a glass jar (I use a coffee plunger glass) by slowly pouring some boiling water from the edge.  Mix 120g of whole meal four and 100g of liquid yeast in a bowl and put it in the jar.

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Cover with cling wrap and leave it in a warm place until it doubles up. (approximately 5-6h depending on the ambient temperature)

5-6 hours later ↓


Once it doubles in volume, put it in the fridge till the next day.

Day 2 : Take the starter into a clean bowl, add 150g of high grade/strong flour and 80g of lukewarm water and mix it by hand until just combined. (no need to knead. It’s ok if it’s still a little bit powdery and lumpy.)  Put the starter mixture back in the jar and leave it covered in a warm place until it doubles up.


5-6 hours later ↓


When it doubles in volume, put it in the fridge till the next day.

Day 3 : Put the starter into a clean bowl, add 50g of high grade/strong flour and 25g of lukewarm water (flour 2: water 1) and mix it by hand until just combined. (no need to knead. It’s ok if it’s still a little bit powdery and lumpy.) Put the starter mixture back in the jar and leave it covered in a warm place until it doubles up.

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5 hours later ↓


When it doubles up in volume, put it in the fridge till the next day.

Voila!! The starter develops more in the fridge and is ready to use!


You can keep feeding this starter and keep it going for a couple of months. Repeat the day 3 process every 2-3 days or when using the starter to make bread.

My little helper – I always use a whiteboard marker to mark the glass jar. It’s much easier to see how much the starter has developed. Very useful item for my bread making. 😀


Wild Raisins Yeast – photos


I made a new batch of wild yeast using raisins and this time I didn’t forget to take some photos! I wrote how to make wild yeast starter in a previous post “Organic Prune Yeast”  but I didn’t have pictures. I think the photos are really helpful for those of you who have never made wild yeast – I was really unsure when I made wild yeast for the first time.

Raisins are the easiest dry fruits to make wild yeast from. But make sure you have “non oil-coated” raisins. You can check at the back of your raisins package. If it says “sunflower oil” (or any kind of oil) on the ingredients list, that’s oil coated. If you can not find non-oil coated raisins, you can use other fruits. You can also use fresh fruit (ex. apple, pear etc) – it’s a bit more difficult but you can try. Just add a tea spoon of honey or sugar when you use fresh fruit.

Day 1  :  Add 240g of lukewarm water and 80g of raisins (without oil coating nor preservatives) [water 3: fruits 1]* in a sterilized glass jar. Leave it in a warm place for 3 to 10 days (it depends on ambient temperature), shaking it a little and opening the lid every day at the same time. I do it in the morning. (I check the smell as well.)

* I used to put (raisins 3: water 1) by mistake and now I correct it. I apologise to those of  you who tried to make this raisins yeast with old post!!


Day 2 :  Raisins start float a little. Smell hasn’t changed much.


Day 3 : Half of the raisins are floating. It smells sweet. (If it smells unpleasant, that’s bad. The smell should never be unpleasant.)


Day 4 : When you shake the jar and open it, it will pop or fizz as you let out some of the gas, like when you open a beer. Lots of small bubbles. Smell like sweet wine. Yeast has developed! I keep it out for one more day.

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Day 5 : Without shaking the jar, you can see all the rasins are floating on the water. It’s ready to use. You can keep this in the fridge for up to one or two months.

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Next time I will post lots of photos showing how to make the starter (leaven) from this liquid yeast.

I hope you find this helpful!

Apple raisin cinnamon rolls


The other day I had a raisin cinnamon roll at a cafe near our place. It was so fluffy and rich and tasty and sweet. That made me crave cinnamon rolls for a little while. I wanted to make them by myself and tried to copy their yummy rolls. I used my brioche dough for these rolls. Lots of butter and milk and eggs. Yeah, it’s rich. But don’t worry, I am not going to eat them all by myself and not going to make this that often. So it’s ok….

I also added diced apples with raisins just because I had a lot of apples left in the kitchen.

Oh, they turned out to be super yummy rolls! Rich but not too heavy and sweet but just sweet enough for my taste!


Apple raisin cinnamon rolls  (makes 9 rolls)

250g of High grade/ Strong flour

125g of Wild yeast starter (leaven) – recipe here

4g of Salt

25g of Brown sugar

162g of Milk plus 1 Egg

75g of Unsalted butter


1 Apple (chopped in small dice)

Some dry raisins (soaked in hot water for 10 min, drained)

some softened butter to spread

some Cinnamon powder and sugar to sprinkle

some sliced almonds


This post is submitted to YeastSpotting.

Baguette training Part 2- Tips & Tricks


Baguette training part 2!  This time I want to write about baking tips I find useful and that work.  When I tried to bake baguettes for the first time, they didn’t look like baguettes. It was just a long bread. But after a few times, trying various tips and tricks, I finally got a descent look. Those tips and tricks made a huge difference.

As I was researching how to achieve the look of baguettes you see in shops, I found a few very important points.
1) Steam
2) Position in the oven
3) The first 5 minutes

So how do you do it?

1) Steam is very important for getting those lovely cuts (coupe) in the hard crust, as well as achieving a better oven spring.

To get steam, I use pie-stones and a roasting tray. When preheating the oven, I put a roasting tray with pie-stones on the bottom of the oven. When the oven is hot enough (280℃ or higher) just before putting in the bread, I pour 1/2 a cup of boiling water into the roasting tray.

I spray a very fine mist on the bread (4-5 squirts of the bottle) just before putting it in the oven.

2) In the previous post, ‘Baguette training“, I was baking my baguettes on the bottom of the oven to get maximum heat from below. I found that by putting the baguettes on the top shelf in the oven and keeping the pie stones on the bottom, you get steam evenly throughout the oven.  It’s also easier to pour the water in the pie stones tray.

With a better positioning of the bread, I got those lovely “ears” on the bread I’d been struggling to get.

3) I’m using a gas convection oven which has a very strong fan. When I first started making baguettes, I would just put the bread in and cook away. The first five minutes are very important as the bread opens up and this determines how successful your coupe will be. My fan would blow hot air and dry up the surface of the bread too quickly, preventing it from opening up.

Now, I pre-heat the oven to a higher temperature (280℃) and as soon as I put the bread in, I turn the oven off for 5 minutes. The temperature comes down to around 220℃ which is the ideal temperature for my bread. Then, I turn the oven back on at 210℃ for the last 15-20 minutes.

During those first 5 minutes, I am usually glued to the oven door, checking to see how the bread is coming along.

I hope these tips and tricks help you as much as they did me!




This post is submitted to YeastSpotting.

Gorgonzola and Pecan Maple Pancake.



I finally tried this combination, gorgonzola cheese with roast pecan nuts and maple syrup on yeast pancakes! (my yeast pancake recipe is here) It was even more yummy than I thought it might be.  Salty and sweet at the same time.  Happy gorgeous breakfast on the weekend.  😉


This post submitted to yeastspotting