The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
MickiColl's picture

I've been trying for 2 hours to load the Portugese Sweet Bread recipe that was in the Honolulu Advdertiser sometime in the early 70's and it keeps kicking me out saying the file is too big. I have downsized it to 580 x 760 and it still won't load

can anyone help me ? lshould I use the "thumbnail" setting ? I am, to say the least, frustrated to the max



Norman's picture

Trying a new pizza recipe

December 18, 2010 - 4:05pm -- Norman

I'm new here and after reading quite a number of posts, I decided to try some recipe for a pizza with a 70% hydration.  Anyway, I think that's what I did. I started this morning with a preferment or sponge, sorry for my ignorance, I mixed some bread flower with warm water, salt, yeast and sugar.  The hydration on the sponge was a 100%.  I left it in the kitchen counter for about 6 hrs and then I did the final dough. 

INGrandad's picture

Greetings from the Hoosier state

December 18, 2010 - 4:04pm -- INGrandad

Hello to all, and a thank you to all for making this a great site.


I've been baking this that and the other for many years, but only recently became interested in sourdough and in my loaves' appearance. Looking forward to many great threads and many great breads. Got a starter on the countertop, hoping to bake some Christmas goodies. Best of the holidays to you all.

bottleny's picture

I had tried again baking these two weeks (I'm a weekend baker). My first goal is to bake a very good baguette like what I saw in the bread books and in France.

Failed sourdough baguette

Last week, I used Carl's starter and the no-knead bread recipe, but tried the baguette shaping. The later didn't go well as you can see below.

The recipe is similar to this one in breadtopia but use longer fermentation in the fridge (37 hrs), followed by 11-hr fermentation at room temperature.

Just mixed. At that time, I measured the flour by volume, since my digital scale had not arrived yet. When compared with the one below, I think this was wetter.

After the first rise, did the stretch & fold (very difficult because the dough tended to stick onto the chopping mat) and 2nd proof (1.5hr). Following Ciril Hitz's demonstration, I managed to have three long sticks.

Initially I proof them on the floured towel. But they were still very sticky and hard to handle, I then decided to rest them on the roaster pan .

Baked at 475F (didn't know the exact temperature in the oven then). I tried to create the steam by SylviaH's method. But most of the steam came out from the ventilation hole on the top of the oven.

When I took this photo, I realized that I forgot to score the dough! Not much oven rising either.

The sourdough sticks. The bottom(not evenly brown; the one in the center was darker)


As expected, the crumbs didn't have big holes.

The taste was very sour, a little over what I would like. I'm not sure whether that's normal since this was my first time to have sourdough bread. These were dryer on the 2nd day.

Kind of Successful Stirato

This week I decided to try Lahey's no-knead Stirato recipe. I thought I would have better chance to succeed with his method.

Besides, my order of some baking tools finally arrived, including the digital scale and oven thermometer. This time I used weight rather volum for measuring flour.

Just mixed (Lahey's recipe is 75% hydration). And fermented in the fridge for 11 hr and then at room temperature for 12 hr.

Again, it's very sticky (Question 1). I finally managed to create a rod and divided it into two.

After resting for 40min (Question 2), then stretched them about 13-14in long and put them in the preheated roaster pan (at 475F). I sprayed a little water on top and inside the Al pan (as cover). By the time when I closed the oven door, the temperature already dropped below 400F. :-( Well, I still need to practice more.

Baked with cover for 20 min and without for 10 min (at 450F).

I knew it's a success when I took them out.

The bottom was very dark (Question 3).


The crumbs

Very nice for sandwich for today's lunch

Thoughts & Questions

Lahey's "cover" method is easy to succeed even for a newbie. No matter what kind of tools you use for the cover, it works. I wish I can find a way to create enough steam in my oven. Before that, his method is the best I can get.

Question 1: How do you handle a very wet dough? Maybe I didn't put enough flour on the surface? Is it not a good idea to use chopping mat even sprayed with flour?

Question 2: This recipe (Stirato) is different from the basic no-knead bread. For 2nd rising time, Lahey calls 30 min for Stirato but 1-2 hr for the basic no-knead bread. Why is that? I didn't get the double volume for 40 min but I went ahead to bake anyway.

Question 3: The bottom of the bread came out very dark and thick. How can I make it not so dark?

SylviaH's picture

Testing for a little personal satisfaction!  Today I baked a single large loaf of my usual - 100% levain Country Boule...I use my variation of a recipe from Northwest Sourdough,  for a 100% hydration starter, sourdough country bread.  It was proofed in the frig from 4pm until 9am.  I don't usually proof this long, but I was out for most that evening and had to leave the house at 4pm. 

I have been wanting to see my largest loaf baked in the LCC without topping out.  My loaf fit great, without 'topping out' with what I think will be very close to my fullest ovenspring for this type of loaf.  No crumb shot included.  This loaf is going to a family dinner!


                                                 Oven spring just reached under the top of the cover






                                                           Slashed with a V 'name of slash ?' on top/ Sprung up nice




                                                                                                 Apx. 4.5"H X 7" W - Correction: 1lb. 14oz baked                                                                                 


                    Happy Holidays!









Gawker's picture

I'm a cook not a baker

December 18, 2010 - 1:21pm -- Gawker

Hello I'm Gawker. 28 with a wife and daughter and a second kiddo due this summer. I'm a cook and have been for as long as I can remember. Growing up I did homework in front of the TV simultaneously taking notes from various cooking shows for things to try and I LIVED for learning about new things and trying new tastes and being able to say "Yeah I made this, no it didn't come in a box, and I'm sorry but there's no recipe...I just know in my head how things react and in the end we get dinner."


mochaccino's picture

Please help me improve this recipe

December 18, 2010 - 1:06pm -- mochaccino

For a long time the following recipe was my absolute favorite sandwich bread. Light and fluffy, with a flavor basic enough to be versatile, but still noticeably rich and buttery. Either my tastebuds have become more sensitive, or I've been exposed to a lot of higher quality bread recently, because I suddenly can not stand the flat bitter taste that comes from the short rise and large amount of yeast in this recipe. I've been spoiled by long rise baguettes, but I want a richer softer bread on my roster. What, if anything, can I do to improve it?
(Copied from Smitten kitchen)

KenK's picture

Today's bake

December 18, 2010 - 12:27pm -- KenK

I haven't posted in a long time but  continue to bake every week.  I suppose I got tired of talking about baking and experimenting.   If we ever grow weary of my "plain jane" french bread and sandwich rolls I may start back.

I thought these came out especially pretty.  I give a huge amount of credit to the community at The Fresh Loaf for my success.


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