Pan de Sol


Golden, nutty, and crunchy– sunflower seed bread satisfies the soul. A slice of sunshine. The Baker’s Percentage for this bread is as follows:

Total Flour                                   1,000 g                                     100%

White Flour                                     900 g                                       90%

Whole-Wheat Flour                        100 g                                       10%

Levain                                             200 g                                       20%

Water                                              700 g                                       70%

Raw Sunflower Seeds,

Roasted                                           200 g                                       20%

Salt                                                    22 g                                        2.2%

Roast the sunflower seeds in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool slightly. Add the seeds at the beginning of the Mix and continue on through the Bake.

Maybe the best bread for PB&J.


50% Butter, 100% Awesome


Time to change things up a bit. I was feeling adventurous and decided to have a go at making Brioche. It’s a lot of work (and a lot of butter), but if made well, very satisfying. A few notes before we begin. It is essential that you have a standing mixer. The dough must be well developed, and this can take upwards of 20-25 minutes total mixing time. Cold ingredients. This is critical for proper dough work up. You don’t want all that butter running out of your dough. You will notice that the Baker’s Percentage is measured in ounces not grams. As long as you have a scale, you’ll be fine. The Baker’s Percentage for this bread is as follows:

Total Flour                                  1 lb 8 oz                              100%

Bread Flour                                1 lb 2.4 oz                             77%

All-Purpose Flour                             5.6 oz                              23%

Ice Water                                         2.2 oz                              9.6%

Eggs, Cold                                         6                                    49%

Salt                                                    1 Tb                              2.5%

Sugar                                               2.9 oz                              12%

Rapid Rise Yeast                           1 1/2 tsp                              5%

Unsalted Butter                               3 sticks                             50%

Put all the ingredients, except for the butter, in the bowl of a standing mixer. With the dough hook attached, begin mixing on Speed 1 or Low. When all the ingredients are incorporated, turn the mixer up to Speed 2 and mix until the dough is strong and tough, about 5 – 7 minutes. When the dough is almost there, take the butter out of the fridge, unwrap it, and place on a clean, strong surface. You want to make the butter pliable, but still keep it cold. To do this, take a rolling pin and pound the butter until it is half its thickness. With the mixer still going, add the butter about a tablespoon at a time. Don’t worry about the butter being incorporated before adding the next piece, it’ll figure it out. Once all the butter is added, turn the mixer up to medium. Keep a close eye on the mixer because it has a tendency to walk off the table with such a rigorous job. You may need to stop and scrape down the dough once or twice, this is fine. The mix can take anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes, and it does feel a bit like babysitting. The dough is ready when it fully “sheets”. That is, when you take a little bit of the dough out and gently pull it, it should stretch into a thin, almost transparent sheet. If not, keep mixing. When your dough is fully “sheeting”, turn it out onto a non-floured surface and form into a large round. Return it to the bowl and tuck some plastic wrap around it so no air can enter. Let rise for one hour, give it a turn and place back in bowl, covered. Let rise for another two hours, or until the dough has about doubled and feels aerated. Grease two loaf pans. Turn the dough onto a non-floured surface and divide in two. Gently coax the dough into a rough rectangle and roll into a cylinder. Try to close up the seam on the bottom of the loaf by rolling the dough back and forth. With such a high amount of butter, it is difficult to get the dough to stick, so do your best and don’t worry if it doesn’t entirely close. Place the shaped dough in the loaf pans seam side down, cover and refrigerate overnight. If you don’t have time, proof the loaves until they fill the pans 3/4 of the way, then bake. An hour before you bake, remove the loaves from the fridge. Preheat the oven to 400. Brush the loaves with eggwash and bake for about 40 minutes. No steam is necessary. The loaves should be deeply browned, so give them a full bake. If you feel they are getting too brown, loosely cover them with a piece of foil. Gently take the bread out of the pans. Give it a thump on the bottom. It should sound hollow and feel springy and light. Use all of your will power and let the bread cool, inhaling all of its buttery aroma.

I know this bread is a lot of work, but at least you can say you made Brioche once in your life. Opus Est Diligo!!