Yecora Rojo Sourdough Breads

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TY MJ! Great article. Why pan under cast iron baking pot? To dissipate heat?

I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Yes, the baking sheet is to dissipate some of the heat and keep the bottom of the bread from burning.

I do that with any cast iron (e.g. Lodge) and with the Challenger Bread Pan that’s especially hot, I’ve also been finding a piece of doubled over foil under the parchment to be helpful.

Hi Melissa, what are those oblong pans you’re using in the photo gallery?

As it isn’t an ancient wheat like Einkorn, nor is it really a new hybrid wheat, do you know if this wheat is one that causes sensitivities to gluten?

Great article. Am going to try the 50/50 combination. However, I do have the same curiosity as Davilyn. Would like to know if you have an information this new flour’s gluten content in relationship to other flours, and it’s sensitivity properties. Thanks.

The pans are from Challenger Breadware. I was one of their test bakers during the development of the pan.

@Davilyn and @jegi
I think this is an area of research in progress: whether certain methods of fermentation make gluten digestible for people with intolerance and whether certain wheats are more or less likely to trigger a response in sensitive people.
Based on handling and performance, I would say whole grain yecora rojo feels like whole grain spelt/hard white/hard red (turkey red, red fife etc) and not like rye, einkorn, or kamut.

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Did you sift after milling? What Mockmill setting did you use? So happy Breadtopia has this grain because awhile back I could not find an online source.

On the Challenger Bakeware, I like the oblong shape. I see on their site it is out of stock until Feb 2020 but can be pre-ordered. Any thoughts on the pan? Did you preheat it? Uncover after 20 to make your loaves?

Very great article. Thanks for the comparison article. Hope to read more of your bread reviews here or elsewhere? Do you also have your own blog?


Hi Anne,

I’m glad we’ve got a wheat that you’ve been looking for : )

I didn’t sift for either of these doughs, and I milled on the finest setting where the stones are just knocking.

The Challenger bread pan is neat and has quite the thermal mass. I only preheat it for 30 minutes although I believe most of the recipes on their website suggest a full hour. I have this thermometer and can tell when the temperature of the pan and all corners of my oven are 500F (sometimes higher).
Sometimes I prefer to use my Breadtopia oblong clay baker and sometimes I enjoy using the Challenger bread pan. The former can support the sides of a lower gluten dough and there’s no fiddling with a baking sheet to ensure the bottom of the bread doesn’t get too dark. The latter can make quite a bubbly crispy crust with its intense heat and the ability to throw ice cubes into the pan. Both pans/bakers can give me both fantastic and mediocre ears lol.
I’ve written quite a few of the articles/recipes you’ll find here.
I do have a personal blog as well but don’t post to it very often : )


Here’s a pic of two loaves, the bottom one baked in the Breadtopia oblong clay baker and the top in the Challenger bread pan.

Within the comments, you mention putting ice cubes IN THE PAN when using the Challenger baker, or did I read wrong? If that is possible, my question is can we do it with the Lodge combo cooker? If so, exactly how should I do it? I bake my batons in long clay bakers from Breadtopia, but I make a shorter fatter one, I think it would be called a batard, in the Lodge combo cooker, and there is a bit of room on the sides. Hate to try it and ruin a loaf. Advice appreciated. (Yes, I want a Challenger, but not just yet!)

You can do it in any cast iron pan. I didn’t do it for these breads because dough with more whole grain is less likely to have crust bubbles anyway.

Try one maybe two ice cubes max under parchment just before putting the lid on.

It is safer to have the parchment barrier between the dough and the water. I once put ice cubes directly on some dough, then the lid, and the result was weird large bumps on the crust where the ice cubes had over moistened the dough.

In my experience, sometimes you risk with ice that the score seals prematurely because of too much moisture. I have yet to figure out the perfect sequence of actions, but I also haven’t tried super hard : ) I’d love to hear what works for you and next time I do a dough with 25% or less whole grain, I’ll do ice tests.

If you are not putting it in the refrigerator for most of the proofing time how long have you proved it outside the refrigerator?

1-3 hrs room temp final proof, depending on how cool your room is, also if all whole grain may be a little bit shorter.

How does the flavor compare to regular hard red wheat? The flavor described sounds great but I generally am not a huge of the bitterness in red wheat.

I think it is milder but I would need the input of others. I don’t find turkey red and red fife bitter. I also like eating grapefruit.
Apparently this is a taste receptor thing…fascinating

I also find modern (what i would call “standard”) hard red wheat somewhat bitter. But like Melissa, I don’t find Red Fife or Turkey Red to be bitter.

I just did a 50/50 Red Fife and Yecora Rojo loaf yesterday and I like it. I would say that the flavor is not bitter like standard hard red wheat can be to my palate.

Here’s an instagram post about the loaf:

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I finally got around to making some bread with only 20% whole grain wheat – crust bubble friendly amount – to test ice cube strategy.

This loaf had 1 ice cube and everything worked out well. The lower oven temp and/or the ice cube cooling down the base a bit helped the bottom of the loaf not be too dark.
Here was the process:

Preheated oven and cast iron pan to 500F.
Dough onto the parchment.
Hot pan base pulled out of oven and placed on a dish towel.
Scored dough, and transferred the parchment and dough to the hot pan base.
One ice cube under an edge of the parchment and then lid immediately on, everything into the oven.
Lower temp to 450F
Baking sheet directly (with contact) under the cast-iron pan base at the 15-minute mark.
Lid off at 25 minutes.
15 more min uncovered.

Those breads are beautiful! Can I assume the ice cube method should not be used with a preheated clay baker, only cast iron (enamel covered or not)?

Correct, for the clay baker, I paint the dough with water before putting it into the baker.

All that water strategy aside, thin crispy very-bubbled crust also requires a long cold final proof and, in my experience, a high % of refined flour.