The Fresh Loaf

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



 I have been making this "recipe" since the mid 70's. I say recipe as that is what it was when I first saw it in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. I have changed very little in all these many decades..why mess with perfection !  But the last few times I have made it, which is less often than in years past since we love our sourdoughs and I don't care for SD Challah, I have used some of my yeast water to lengthen the shelf life of the Challah. I have posted this revolutionary step here before. It is amazing what it does to the crumb and texture and fragrance. If you are familiar with Challah then you know that along with making it you either have a selection of recipes for using it after it is stale, which is at most 48 hrs , or you eat it all immediately :)

I added several large strips of fresh Minneola orange peel to my apple yeast water yesterday as I refreshed it. Wow....the fragrance was amazing. Today I decided to make my old standby Challah and added 1c of the newly refreshed and fragrant orange/apple yeast water in place of plain water.  Oh my....the house smells of brioche/pogne de Romans ( which I make at holiday time). The taste is so rich  without all the butter needed to make those other breads. If you would like the recipe...let me know. c

( not sure why the other pic keeps posting. I have tried 5 times to get it to post correctly. I am so tired of the inability to easily post pics as I used to be able to do. Will stop posting pics after today due to frustration ) 








challah crumb

dann's picture

brioche hydration

June 2, 2016 - 9:55pm -- dann


is there a computation rule of the brioche doughs wich gives the rate of hydration of this dough, according to the amount of fat it contains ?

no fat:
we can hydrate at the maximum capacity of the flour: 0 butter : 56% hydration

20% fat:
we should hydrate it with a maximum of 47% hydration

so, to resume, the question is mathematical relation between fat and hydration

thank you
kanakapriya's picture

Sourdough starter in hot, humid equatorial region

June 2, 2016 - 8:26pm -- kanakapriya

Hello Bread Masters,

I have been lurking around Fresh Load for years and years.  I have learnt a lot from here and made fairly decent pizzas, middle eastern flat breads, bagels, but, not so decent loaves . I am an excellent arm-chair baker though :)

I have an overwhelming desire to make my own starter and bake a sourdough here in Chennai India where the average temperature in any given day crosses 90.

Years of  reading suggests 100 is too hot for sourdough. 

chleba's picture

starter suddenly hyperactive

June 2, 2016 - 8:23pm -- chleba

I have had a fairly benign 100% hydration starter for last several months, feeding it 25% rye, 75% apf.  Feeding 1:3:3 ratio roughly ever 8-12 hours, sometimes it'd be almost 24 hours, but didn't seem to impact strength much.  It just happily chugs along, gets a little bubbly, barely manages to double.  I don't recall brand of flour, bought in bulk, organic, unbleached.  Ingredients were simply wheat. 

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

It must be spring - I have garlic scapes in the garden! Of course, that inspired this week's test loaf - Roasted garlic scape and Asiago cheese levain. The scapes were chopped and roasted with a little EVOO for about 15 minutes in a covered dish at 400F. I baked demi-loaves (scaled around 400 grams) because this is a specialty bread, not an everyday kind of bread. Each loaf had about 2 Tbsp each of chopped, roasted scapes and shredded cheese. The recipe for the dough was my usual levain dough made with freshly made levain (so not very sour but very tasty!) and a bit of whole grain flour (in this case, whole spelt).

It over-proofed a little so I didn't get quite the oven spring I wanted. That was my fault - I forgot to turn on the oven! It takes a while to pre-heat with the granite stones in there. Oh well, it turned out fine in the end, with a chewy crust and moist, tender crumb. Very fragrant and tasty too!

I might just eat the whole thing... :)

Anne-Marie B's picture
Anne-Marie B

A slow sourdough with wheat and rye starters as well as a soaker made with dry bread, water and salt. It is then made with wheat and rye flours, semolina and ground hazelnuts. Great depth of taste. Lutz just called it dinner. Dinner it is.

Recipe here:



CAphyl's picture

I have been so boring in my baking and sorry I haven't posted in so long.  I keep making the same recipe and trying to eliminate steps as I go, to make it as easy as possible, including the clean-up.

For this loaf, I don't accurately measure the ingredients...I sort of do it by feel.  I use about one cup of really active starter (still on the rise); 1-1/2 cup of water; 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups of bread flour. I generally use King Arthur Flour or Bob's Red Mill; you can't beat high quality flour.  

I mix all of the above together in a 12 cup mixing bowl and let it autolyze for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  After adding just under a tablespoon of salt, I add a tablespoon or two of olive oil and mix it up with a dough scraper and my hands.  I turn it with the scraper every 30 minutes for a couple of hours and then let it sit on the counter for 30-90 minutes.  I bulk retard the dough at least overnight in the same bowl I mixed it in (the olive oil really cleans the bowl up when you do the stretch-and-folds in the bowl) and then shape it and let it proof overnight to bake in the morning.

 I preheat my covered baker to 500 and bake with the lid on for 33 minutes and then at convention 465 degrees for 14-15 minutes with the lid off.

The dough stuck to the banneton a little bit, and it dropped too close to the edge, but came right out when it was finished baking.

I was really pleased with the crumb as well.

I will try to post again with much less of a gap.  Love to see everyone's bakes.  Best, Phyllis


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