The Fresh Loaf

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

Hello from Montreal

November 27, 2017 - 10:43am -- WaterAndPixels

Hello, happy to join this forum, hoping to learn a lot. I'm an enthusiast cook and it seems that I enjoy DIY food way too much since I baked my 1st loaf this week-end.

This was simple AP flour + instant yeast + salt + water bread, cooked in a combo cooker. I used my Thermomix to hydrolise and knead the dough, it worked but I'm a bit worried I'll kill the motor on the TM if I keep doing this. Really liked the result, but the crust is a bit too thick I need to see how to manage this (I like crust a lot, but this was too much especially on the bottom).

knitfty's picture

Newbie from Washington

November 27, 2017 - 9:38am -- knitfty

Hi everyone!

My name is Morgan, and I'm from Washington state. I just baked my first loaf of bread last night, and something about it really, really appealed to me. I spent the rest of my evening last night and my morning this morning finding recipes and tutorials and information on bread baking, and I definitely want to get into this more.

Portus's picture

Ideas please

November 27, 2017 - 8:04am -- Portus

I have probably missed them in the archives, but I am looking for a SD recipe that is both quick and easy to make.  Typically it is for those occasions when you realise late afternoon/early evening that the bread bin is empty and you need a loaf for the next day.

My usual backstop loaf is from Vanessa Kimbell - With sufficient starter to hand (100g), 3-4 hours is all that is required for an early morning bake straight from the fridge.

Just Loafing's picture

Sourdough Woes

November 27, 2017 - 7:07am -- Just Loafing

Hello Amazing Bakers!


I have really been enjoying reading this blog! There are so many impressive and creative bakers here! I having been a "serious" home baker for about 6 years (that is, serious about my search for the perfect loaf!). 

I have had pretty good sucess with sourdough, have made and baked often with my own sourdough. Within the past 3 months, I have begun to have serious issues with my starter. In August, I went on vacation and during that time my started died and turned a nasty black.

gravitok's picture

After a lot of trial and error over the years I have finally landed on a bun I am happy with.  Thought I would finally share here. 

arugula's picture

Seeking long-to-peak (6-8 hours) starter and flour query

November 27, 2017 - 4:28am -- arugula

Hi, my starter peaks in 2-4 hours and teacher Teresa Greenway told me to get the longer fermentation I want, I need a longer starter. I can trade or buy. I can also offer my vigorous and fast starter if anyone wants it. 

Secondly, has anyone here found King Arthur flour weaker in gluten development than other flours, whether AP or bread? And has anyone tried Champlain Valley Milling for white and whole grains? These are the flours we have locally. I am thinking of ordering Heartland Mills to try. 


Cuisine Fiend's picture
Cuisine Fiend

It's fantastic what you can do with Tartine style sourdough - like these snakeskin seeded batons.

I've used a mix of seeded flours, some oat and barley flakes and millet grain. I stretched the fermenting over four days and the flavour certainly benefited.Here's the link to full recipe. Absolutely love the method.



jessamyne's picture

Will my starter poison me - sick starter

November 27, 2017 - 1:56am -- jessamyne

Hi all, 

I have a starter that's just over two years old, and I pulled him out of the fridge a few days ago to find that he really smelled (of old parmesan cheese), and there was a weird pinky-brown layer on top that looked like either little worms, or kind of like mushroom gills ... unfortunately I didn't think to take a photo. I will admit I'd been neglecting him a little, but only to the point where I was expecting some hooch on top and he'd be fine after a few days of being well-fed.

mike_1_berry's picture

405gr white bread flour

45gr wholewheat flour

250gr water (usually use more water but as my maple syrup was on the thin side I had to adjust the water down)

90gr starter

10gr salt

100gr maple Syrup

150gr raisins

150gr walnuts

1tbsp cinnamon.

Danni3ll3's picture

I have been wanting to make a cinnamon raisin recipe but after my last experience with cinnamon (bread took forever to rise and I found out that cinnamon impedes the growth of yeast), I have been wary of it. I found a recipe here on TFL that seemed to account for the cinnamon’s action on yeast and it had a lot of good reviews. So here is my adapted version from that adapted version from the Bourke Street Bakery Spiced Fruit Sourdough Recipe.

Spiced Raising Sourdough Recipe 

adapted from MadAbout B8’s version of  Bourke Street Bakery: Ultimate Baking Companion

Makes 3 loaves


Unbleached flour 768 g

Freshly milled Red Fife flour 112 g

Water 620 g

Sourdough starter (100% hydration)465 g

Salt 22 g

Ground cinnamon 2.25 tsp

Mixed spices 3.5 tsp

(4 parts cinnamon to 1 part each of ginger, clove, nutmeg, and coriander.)

Golden raisins (sultana)  358 g

Yogurt35 g

Freshly Ground flax seed50 g

  1. Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl, except salt, raisins, cinnamon and mixed spices.  Mix until the ingredients are incorporated. Leave it to autolyze for one hour.  
  1. Mix raisins with cinnamon, mixed spices and yogurt. Reserve. (I think that next time, I would soak the raisins for an hour or so, drain them, add the yogurt and the spices to them and then go on with the recipe)
  1. Sprinkle salt over the dough surface and mix well. Fold until until a moderate gluten development is achieved. 
  1. Let rest for a half hour to relax the gluten and then incorporate raisins, cinnamon powder and mixed spices into the dough until well combined. I did this by sprinkling some of the raisins, doing a fold, sprinkling more raisins, doing another fold until all the raisins were in the dough. Then I let the dough rest a bit and then did more folding to make sure the raisins and spices were evenly distributed. I did add a few grams of water here as I found the dough a tad dry. The water helped rehydrate and distribute the raisins. 
  1. Leave the dough in a warm spot and cover the bowl. After one hour, do one set of stretch and folds. Let rise till doubled in size.
  1. Divide the dough into three ~830 g portions. Pre-shape the doughs into rounds and let them rest for 15-20 minutes.
  1. Shape the doughs into boules and place into bannetons and cover. Place the dough in the fridge overnight. The recipe says you can also proof at room temperature for 2 hours or until almost double in size.
  1. I baked some batches right out of the fridge and found I got a better oven spring than when I followed the recipe which said to let the dough rise for an additional 60-90 minutes after it came out of the fridge. I followed my usual baking method which is to preheat the oven and the dutch ovens to 475 F, load the dough into the pots (parchment rounds in the bottom of the pots prevent sticking especially with the fruit in there), drop the temp to 450 F and bake covered for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for a further 25 minutes at 425 F.

I just had a few pieces and I must say, the spices really give it a zing in your mouth. It is super tasty and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the crumb was as open as it is. I was expecting a much tighter crumb based on the weight of the loaf. 

I did do a quite a few things differently than I usually do based on Trevor’s book. I did a three stage levain build 1:1:1, 1:2:2 and 1:3:3. Using a 100% levain is different for me but I figured I better stick fairly closely to the recipe. I usually use ~80% hydration levain. Another thing is that I never include the levain in the autolyse; being faithful to the recipe again! I was also way more gentle at the shaping stages. I have been degassing my dough quite firmly and did not do that this time. I handled it with kid gloves. ;-)



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