The Fresh Loaf

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

good price for bannetons

January 4, 2010 - 2:29am -- hutchndi

I just noticed the price of bannetons on the link provided on this site as 30.00. I boought mine about 4 or 5 years ago from TMB baking for about half that price (they seem to be quality tools to me, I now have 4, and use them often). I just checked their website and they still are only about 17.00 each.

here is the link:

Russ from RI

Kroha's picture

what kind of starter to have if only to have one kind?

January 3, 2010 - 10:39pm -- Kroha

Hello TFLers,

As I look through the books I have and mark the breads I would like to make, I notice a variety of starters in the formulas -- firm, liquid, various hydration levels...  I do not want to maintain more than one starter.   I know that I will use organic rye flour and fresh pineapple juice to start one, but beyond that, what would be the most useful and versatile starter that can potentially be converted to other types?  Any advice, as well as references to resources would be great appreciated.

Best wishes,


kolobezka's picture

La cloche - Romertopf / Terra cotta pot instructions?

January 3, 2010 - 10:23pm -- kolobezka


I am just thinking of buying a "la cloche" or a similar clay bakeware to bake our bread. I have read many of the comments here on TFL and elsewhere, but now I am a little confused about how to use clay bakeware...

- some people  recommend to preheat the la Cloche in 500°F oven (for how long?) and some prefer to put it directly with the dough inside in the cold oven. Does it make a difference? Is there a method that is better for different kinds of bread - for example lower/ higher hydratation, no knead, sourdough, yeasted, sweet...?

bakingbrunette's picture

Want to up the ante on my baking

January 3, 2010 - 6:15pm -- bakingbrunette

Hello! I just joined this site (as many other have previous to me) and the purpose was to see what other bakers were doing and how far can an amateur like me go in her baking.

I do have a blog, which is woefully underdeveloped, but I like the idea of this site and plan on using the forums heavily (hopefully as a useful contributor and not just as a baking leech ;) ).



bakingbrunette's picture

Lemon Bars - Help?

January 3, 2010 - 6:09pm -- bakingbrunette

I love lemon bars. I love to make them and while they do come out tasty, they don't seem to come out the way they should in the recipe photos. I always get a layer of whitish meringue-like foam on the top of my bars that end up cooling into a candy-like consistency.

Is this normal?

I use the recipe from with these results all the time. I've tried using cornstarch instead of flour for the batter portion of the recipe with no real change in the final product. 

Anyone know of a fix or a better recipe?


JoeV's picture

Pain d'Epi for the Holidays

January 3, 2010 - 6:02pm -- JoeV

With two invitations to house parties this Holiday season, I decide to bring a decorative and edible contribution to the events. I made Pain d'Epi loaves in two sizes. The first were meant to be used as dinner rolls on New Year's Day when torn from the stalk, and were made using 34 oz. of flour to make 4 stalks. The second were meant for an appetizer party, and 4 loaves were made from just 17 oz. of flour. Both were a big hit, and no bread was left in either basket.


tssaweber's picture

It has been quite some time since I posted on my favorite website. But (un)fortunately the business and consulting world is holding me up from blogging and bread baking. But before I disappear again in the offices of the corporate world in upstate NY, I wanted to share this picture I found by accident in one of my old bread books today.


My in-laws from Switzerland have celebrated New Year with us here in the super cold Midwest and brought a crown for the 3 Kings Day (1/6/2010) with them. Of course it was their expectation that I bake the traditional "Drei Koenigs Kuchen". I had to find a recipe for this to happen, but I guess I was successful.


I still have to work on the formula to fine tune it, but it is more or less an enhanced Zopf dough. If done I will post the formula. If some of the Swiss TFLer have their own it would be great if they could share. During the search for this recipe I found the page shared above. Of course now my quest begins to find all this cantonal formulas, bake and adapt them to the US environment.


Happy New Year to all.


occidental's picture

Hi all, I've been enjoying all your posts over the last week or so, it looks like many of you produced great breads for the holidays.  I did some baking over the holidays I need to catch up on blogging about.  I was away from home so in other words, away from the mixer, the baking stone, my arsenal of flours and the sourdough I am used to working with.  Add to that new brotforms I received for Christmas and you don't know what will happen.  Thankfully I have been reading up here at the fresh loaf and this gave me the opportunity to experiment with new methods and get out of my comfort zone.  My bakes included Vermont Sourdough, Susan's Simple Sourdough and Anis Bouabsa's baugettes.  Many of the things I tried came after reading ehanner's great post of eye opening techniques .  If you have not read that post I'd suggest you do.  You may develop a new technique or be led to many other great posts that challenge your routines.  I did all my mixing using stretch and folds and all my baking started with placing the loafs in a cold oven using the no preheat method.  I was pleased with most of the results.  The exception is that my overnight proof of the Vermont Sourdough stuck in the new brotform I received and getting it out deflated it such that it was nearly ruined.  The flavor was good but the crumb was pretty much non-existent.  Now that I'm home I've tried them again with rice flour with better results.  One bread I had not tried that I will be baking often is Susan's Simple Sourdough - just the right size for a household of 1 - thanks Susan!    Anyhow, Happy New Year to all.  A couple pictures follow...

Vermont Sourdough (not the loaf that stuck):

From bread


Susans Simple Sourdough:


From bread
fncll's picture

Artisan Bread Every Day "Mother Starter"

January 3, 2010 - 4:47pm -- fncll

So, I've reached the point in my first homemade sourdough starter (using Reinhart's _Artisan Bread Every Day_ method) of having a "mother starter." I was surprised to discover that the mother starter is very stiff-- basically a dough. I thought sourdough starter was liquidy? Is the doughy starter right?

Also, I see that one only needs 1/2C or so of mother starter for a loaf-- so I have a LOT of starter... seems like far more than I need baking just a few times per week...


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