The Fresh Loaf

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

Okay, this was fun! Inspired by some of the suggestions on the 123 challenge (notably Mini Oven's question about using Coca Cola in bread), I decided to try something completely different. This is a 123 bread but, instead of using 100 grams of fresh 'sourdough' starter I made a poolish with 50 grams of root beer, 50 grams of bread flour and a pinch (1/16th tsp) of dry yeast. It looked and smelled nice. I used a 'natural' root beer without a lot of chemicals.

For the liquid portion of the formula I used 150 grams of water and another 50 grams of the root beer. The flour was 225 grams of bread flour and 75 grams of barley flour. Then I added 50 grams of chopped dried Bing cherries, 6 grams of salt and, because it was a poolish bread, another 1/8 tsp of dry yeast. The dough seemed a little stiff, but I wanted to keep with the 123 formula so I didn't add any liquid. I actually may have made a mistake in measuring (or maybe barley flour is really thirsty?). Anyway, it performed well and shaped into a nice boule.

I baked it in a pre-heated (to 500F) cast iron pot - 30 minutes with the lid on (reduced heat to 450F after about 5 minutes) and 20 minutes with the lid off at 425. I didn't want to burn it with the sugar that is in the root beer. I put it in seam-side up and also did a simple cross slashed across the fold lines.

And here it is! The crumb is a little tight, due to the stiffness of the dough, but still moist. The crust is very nice though a bit 'bold' on the bottom. And the taste of the root beer actually comes through!

If I make this again I think I might add some soaked or cooked malted flakes of some kind, and maybe a little bit of anise to complement the anise in the root beer.

The Bread Stone Ovens Company's picture

Simple Ciabatta Recipe

August 19, 2016 - 2:00pm -- The Bread Stone...


As a lot of you know, we offer diy kits for brick ovens 


Makes 12 rolls or 2 loaves




1/2 tsp yeast


1/2 cup warm water (to the touch)


1 cup all purpose flour


Add yeast and flour to the water and combine with a whisk to form a paste. Cover and let sit at room temperature eight hours or overnight (either on the counter or in the fridge)


Puglet's picture

Sour dough starter

August 19, 2016 - 1:13pm -- Puglet

I was recently given a sour dough starter. I've been doing the daily feeding, but haven't discarded the recommended amount, because if I discard I won't have enough to make a loaf of bread. This morning I was going to discard, but if I had, there was only a small amount left for baking. I'm new to this, so I may not be understanding the concept of sour dough baking. Thank you for any help!

southernsourdough's picture

Can commercial yeast take over an established sourdough starter?

August 19, 2016 - 3:06am -- southernsourdough

I've read that one must keep the starter separate from dough that contains commercial yeast.  According to that article (I can't remember exactly where I read that) - commercial yeast might take a foothold in the sourdough starter, and eventually out-compete the less vigorous native yeasts.  Is this a valid concern?  Can commercial yeast colonize and eventually take over the yeast population in a mature sourdough starter?   My SD starter is now 2 months old, with a pronounced tang. 

southernsourdough's picture

Looking for a good sourdough loaf recipe for the bread machine

August 18, 2016 - 8:33pm -- southernsourdough

.... Hello all!

I'm looking for a good sourdough loaf recipe for the bread machine.  I have used the recipe from King Arthur several times, and I'd like to try out other versions.

Thank you!

King Arthur Sourdough Loaf Recipe for the bread machine

BXMurphy's picture

I mixed up some NMNF starter on 6/25/16. I thought I'd share some at a friend's July 4th cookout so I pulled some of the NMNF out, added more rye to make a thick dough and kneaded it in. Rolled it up, and wrapped in plastic wrap, ready to share my science project. There were no takers. Silly rabbits.

These dough balls, about the size of jumbo marbles, have been sitting in the refrigerator ever since. Wrapped in plastic, placed in a plastic container, and stored in a zip-loc baggie. Today, I thought I'd take one out for a spin and start Ru007 and Dani3ll3's oat bread.

The dough ball was dark brown on the surface and kind of pink on the inside. Kind of reminded me of undercooked meatballs. I'm thinking I have some sort of anaerobic thing going on.

Using dabrownman's levain build chart, I mixed 7g of meatball starter with 14g of rye and 14g of water. I'll probably switch to whole wheat after this first build since that's really what the recipe calls for. I don't have a full 12-hour stretch to do a straight build so I'll be retarding some of the builds and picking up where I left off.

I'm baking this loaf for my kid brother's surprise 50th birthday party. I have six younger brothers and sisters. My mom will be there, too. Plus a bunch of strangers that I suppose have some sort of connection to my brother. I don't really keep up with them. I'm figuring the meatball starter won't do too much damage and even if it does, I wouldn't notice.

I'm going to have to sleep on this while the levain builds. I'm thinking that the refreshing and baking will kill Bad Things before they kill my younger siblings and given that I have so many of them, I'm willing to see how things turn out. But Mommy's there, too, and I only have one of her. Maybe I shouldn't retard some of the steps and just let the levain rise and fall until I get around to it?

If you were me, would you bake the loaf, let it cool, and test it on the dog first (knowing that you're bringing a pre-sliced and unimpressive-looking bread because you've cut into it) or would you just bring a cool-looking bread and hope they don't notice that "something" at the party just killed them?


SugarOwl's picture

Are Kithen aid mixer recipes more wet in general?

August 18, 2016 - 12:28pm -- SugarOwl

Hi all,
I was looking at my kitchen aid recipe book and the water content is 83%? I think I did the math right, but are mixer recipes just wetter in general? I recently used my mixer to make the Cafeteria Lady rolls and it was a very wet dough, I only had to add a few tablespoons of flour to get it to pull away from the bowl. The rolls came out very well. It was maybe a brioche dough?(


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