The Fresh Loaf

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

Anyone know "Valentinos"?

February 6, 2010 - 2:52pm -- RiverWalker

theres a pizza place where I grew up, (southeast nebraska) called Valentinos. its the name for good pizza there, and its great.

by my memory, their main pizza crust is a relatively thick, fluffy, moist, buttery and light.  but at the same time having enough stiffness to not be completely flimsy. it had a nice gold browning on the bottom.  it could stand up to a relatively heavy load of toppings, and have a presence, but not be overwhelming.

celestica's picture

Why Did This Banana Bread Fall?

February 6, 2010 - 2:09pm -- celestica

I made this banana bread from my children's Sesame Street book.  I liked that it started out with whole wheat flour and honey.  I used pastry flour.

It had an impressive rise in the oven then collapsed to flat on the counter.  In fact, it started falling at the 55 minute mark. 

Can you suggest any improvements that would help it stay high?  I thought of eggs and baking powder but I'm not sure.

3 ripe bananas

3/4 c. honey

1/4 c. melted butter

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

nicodvb's picture

Does barley flour has any means to rise?

February 6, 2010 - 1:55pm -- nicodvb


besides rye another passion of mine is barley.

I was wondering it barley flour has any means to rise, just like wheats have gluten and rye has pentosans.


I know fo sure that in Sardinia bakers have been making a 100% barley bread for centuries, but now it's only a memory of the far past and I couldn't find the recipe.


I found several recipes here, but all tainted with wheat.



LA Baker's picture

Barm in place of Levain? Confused....

February 6, 2010 - 12:31pm -- LA Baker

I want to make some of the recipes in DL's Local Breads, but I don't want to make his levain from scratch.  I have a great starter that works, do I need to start again with a Levain?

I'm sure this info is on this blog somewhere, but I couldn't find the exact answer I need.  Can someone tell me the difference between BARM/STARTER/LEVAIN/POOLISH/BIGA/PATE FERMENTE/STIFF LEVAIN?  Can you subsitute one for the other, or is one process that different from the other?  Are they basically the same thing, but merely two ways to do the same thing?

Faith in Virginia's picture

Levain building method question

February 6, 2010 - 12:18pm -- Faith in Virginia

Looking for some scientific comparisons to building a levain in relation to what I have been doing.   I won't say that what I do is wrong,  just not how others do things.  I have great results and quite happy with my breads but I'm trying to find out other than the method, how things are fermenting in comparison to conventional levain building.  Also if this method could fail me at some point.

Instead of a conventional levain build I use the discards of my feedings to make my bread. 

Matt H's picture
Matt H

I wanted to make a lean yeast bread with some of the wonderful stoneground cornmeal from Ridgecut Gristmills that I posted about here. I decided on baguettes, since I hadn't used the fancy perforated pan that I bought from the King Arthur store in a while.

I loosely followed Reinhart's recipe for Pane Sicialiano, which he says takes 3 days, but I was able to compress it into 2. You start with a pâte fermentée, which is really just a lump of French bread dough. I used 1 1/2 cups of stoneground cornmeal and poured boiling water over it and let it sit overnight. (I don't really know if this did anything. I didn't introduce any yeast or malt for enzymes. Thoughts?)

Added about 1.5 c of bread flour, 1.5 c. semolina, 1 T. olive oil, 1 t. honey, and 1/2 t. instant yeast, and enough water to make a fairly slack dough. Kneaded a bit, let it rise a couple times, shaped, put it in the fridge for about 6 hours, took it out, let it warm and proof about 2.5 hours, then baked at 450 in a steamy oven. I rolled one of the loaves in cornmeal after shaping, to see if I'd like the crunch on the outside (yup, it's nice).

These were a bit of a departure for me, as I rarely bake with so much white flour, but I wanted the corn flavor to really shine through. And did it! Wow, a lot of corniness going on here. I think the long, slow fermentation also gives these extra flavor. Slightly sweet, a bit nutty even, with a creamy mouthfeel punctuated by firm nubbins of corn. At first bite, it reminds of a normal pan cornbread, but with a more satisfying chewiness.

I'd mark it as a successful experiment. Highly recommended if you like corn flavor. (The rest of the dough will be pizza tonight!)

Corn Semolina Baguette

Corn Semolina Baguette crumb

Matt H's picture

Last week's bread baking contest in SF

February 6, 2010 - 11:15am -- Matt H

Found out about this too late: Yeast Affliction! All-Out Artisan Bread Bakedown & Craft Beer Tastiness took place last weekend. Any Fresh Loafers involved? Worth looking at some of the photos and checking out the team names...

People's Choice: Team #11 / Fire in the Fornix! / The Hurricane

People's Choice Honorable Mention: Team #14 / Dark Horse Breads / Pear Walnut Bread

Photog's Choice: Team #9 / The Fancy Boyz / Pain a l'Ancienne

uberathlete's picture

Questions about Potato Flour

February 6, 2010 - 9:49am -- uberathlete

Hi everyone. I'm considering using some potato flour in my bread roll recipe. I have a few questions:

1. Does potato flour help to increase softness and moisture retention?

2. Does potato flour affect crumb structure significantly?

3. If I replace a % of flour with potato flour, should I increase the % of liquid?

4. Does potato flour adversely affect rise and volume? When dough has potato flour, will rise time (second rise) be affected (ie. should I let the dough rise for a longer period)?


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