The Fresh Loaf

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

This Sunday I baked one "test" baguette as I had been a bit busy playing with a new toy (an allotment!) so the dough had been a bit neglected and not worked much etc. The recipe was (loosely) based around the proth5 65% hydration baguette but my flour was a mix of some leftover french Pain de Campagne flour with some Spelt and 00 to make up around 300grams (the starter was rye). As it did not seem to be very lively or rising much so I did the test bake and put the rest in the fridge overnight as I thought the dough did not look very promising. However, the test bake was far more successful than expected, further proof that dough is pretty resilient!


After being left in the fridge overnight I hamfistedly shaped into two further baguettes and proofed the dough for an hour or so and baked with steam on max fan 250 for about 12 mins, results were even better, with much more oven spring. Also after watching the Lyon based "Bob the baker" on BBC TV slashing his baguettes my technique is coming on - I just used a hand held razor blade and one turned out better than the other, oh well. Cheers Steve


Lindal010101's picture


March 29, 2010 - 10:38am -- Lindal010101

I have tried what seems like a bazillion different bread recipes that people say are terrific, and I think they are fair to poor at best.  Am I expecting to much out of home made bread.  I'm mainly trying breads with seeds added, sesame, flax, sunflower, etc.  Shouldn't it taste somewhat as good as supermarket bread, if not better?

Help!  I'm reading to throw in the breadmachine.



boonvillebaker's picture

Controlling Rate of Oven Spring

March 29, 2010 - 10:28am -- boonvillebaker

Greetings all!


I've been lurking this forumn for some time now, started with the ol' no knead dutch oven methods and have quickly graduated to baguettes, epi's, batards, you name it. Needless to say, all of the pictures and information on this site have prooved invaluable to my burgeoning baking experience. Thank you all.

jennyloh's picture

I thought I'd share my (not bake),  but steamed chinese rice cake here.  This is something that is so dear to my heart,  as it reminded me of the time that I spent hours helping my mom doing this,  every year diligently, for some festivities.  Now that I'm away from home,  it's just something to remind me of home, family,  and I want to pass this little tradition to my little boy,  he did help out,  and did it well indeed.


This is a unique kind of cake that I probably see in Singapore/Malaysia,  and probably Taiwan, and the taste is chewy as it uses rice flour,  I forgot to take the inside.  This is usually filled with glutinous rice,  and other stuff like mushrooms, dried shrimps,  and even peanuts.

Details in

FYI - the word on the cake means "long life".


Arne's picture

G'day all, and a quick question.

March 29, 2010 - 1:10am -- Arne

Hey there, names Arne, first time poster, yada yada. I stumbled across this site a few days ago while researching pretzel recipes. Naturally, the one I found here turned out utterly delicious, and I figured that's a good sign for these forums. I've been making foccacia and pizza dough for years, but never really went much beyond that until the other day. Seeing the recipes here though, I think I may be buying a lot more flour over the next few months. :p

Sedlmaierin's picture

Ok, first off I have to admit that up until dinner all I ate all day was BREAD (plus an apple). Now, I don't know how I feel about that, but I can tell you it sure was tasty and I hope my husband and son will eat the rest, so that I don't have to be tempted to eat some more bread for dessert.

Let's husband has begged me to make Foccacia for a while and this weekend the moment had come. I decided to make Foccacia according to the recipe in Hamelman's "Bread" book (which as you can see by my past Blog posts, has become the only book I am using ever since I got it 1.5 weeks ago), which uses the Ciabatta with stiff Biga as a dough.Since the Foccacia recipe doesn't utilize all of the Ciabatta dough it meant, if I didn't scale down the Ciabatta recipe, I would have some dough left over to make one loaf of Ciabatta.

A few notes:

-it says in the recipe that one is to use "bread flour"-which I have never used before but thought, hey, I will actually buy this, this time around

-then after I had already started the Biga I decided to research the difference between bread and ap flour here on TFL and lo and behold I come upon some posts saying that when "bread flour" is specified in theis book that it really should read AP flour (I feel that my way of doing research may be a tad backwards ;p)

-after reading that retarding a dough overnight might weaken the gluten structure, I decided to use bread flour for the dough anyways, since I figured the higher gluten content might stand up better to the retardation(all you experienced bakers out there-please tell me if that rationale makes sense)

This time the bread making timing was all awry due to my duncehood-or maybe I can just say that I am experimenting in how best NOT to follow directions*wink*- here is what I ended up doing:

- once the Biga was ready, I mixed the dough and let it sit at room temp probably for no more than 30 minutes and off in the fridge it went.

-in the morning I did a S&F, then let it proof for about 45 minutes; here I divided the dough into the two pieces for the Foccacia and the one piece for the Ciabatta

-in total the Ciabatta proofed for about 1,5 hours after coming out of the fridge(wiht one more S&F) and that Focaccia for about 2.25 hours

I must not have floured the towel I had the Ciabatta proof on enough, since there were small parts that stuck to it, giving the final crust a strange "seam".

For the Foccacia I decided to make one according to Hamelman's instructions and the other one I baked according to the instructions I found in my italian cookbook by Marcella Hazan. The Hazan version calls for docking the dough after the rising time, with stiff fingers, and then drizzling the top of the Foccacia with an emulsion of olive oil, water and salt-this mixture will pool in the little hollows created by your fingers. One of them was topped with sauteed onions and the other with a little bit of onion and garlic.

The Ciabatta was done baking after 35 minutes-it almost turned too dark. At the bottom it has a very small blowout area-which I think means that I should have let it proof a bit longer after it coming out of the fridge.

The Foccacia had to stay in the oven closer to 30 minutes-they are moist and absolutely charming on the inside, but it definitely needed that extra 10 minutes to acquire some color.

And here are pictures:


plus crumb shots:

and here the Hamelman Style Foccacia:

And the Hazan Style Foccacia

and its crumb

My camera was being difficult so no crumb shot of the Hamelman style Foccacia. We already devoured the one with the olive emulsion drizzle and the Ciabatta is almost gone, too. Thos are some delicious breads! I will have to contemplate on which of the Foccacia versions I prefer-the olive oil emulsion definitely make the resulting bread very, very moist(but not soggy) in spots and it resulted in slightly flatter loaf.

I am happy with the results overall-the Ciabatta was one of the most heavenly thngs to eat!I definitely need more practice(in everything but also...) in gently laying down the Ciabatta dough-it is by no means a rectangle!



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