The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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aptk

Before I go any further I want to talk for a minute about my sourdough starter. This is a very "wet" starter, and I measure by cup rather than by weight. It resembles the flour paste we used to make as kids.

Here's the basic recipe: 1 cup flour, 1 cup water, 1 packet yeast. Mix together and let it sit out on the cupboard until it develops a sour smell. Feed it half a cup of flour, and just short of a half a cup of water every day while it's sitting on the cupboard. When you get too much, dump about half of it out and feed it again. Once it's got an odor you like and it's nice and bubbly it's ready to use. When I'm not baking every day I keep it in the fridge and feed it every 4-5 days. Then when I'm ready to bake again I take it out, feed it and give it a day to come back to life. Next night I set the sponge for as much starter as I'm going to need and go from there.

This makes a good sandwich bread, although the loaf shown has a couple of big bubbles which will make a mess if you're having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!

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aptk

I have been called out!! I posted a collage of some of my recent favorite breads, and was challenged to show my results. So I'm going to try it! I am also including the recipe I used. And if it's not one of my original throw things in bowl efforts, I will post a link.

The recipe included with these dinner rolls, is my most dependable basic white bread recipe. This will make one regular loaf of bread, or a dozen good size rolls. It shapes well too.

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aptk

Top Row (left to right)

     Deep Fried Stuffed Traditional Tortillas, Basic yeast white bread, Sourdough Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls, Olive Parmesan Focaccia

Middle Row (left to right)

     Garlic/Spinach Cut/Twist Focaccia, Sopapillas, Cherry Pecano Yeast Bread, Buttery Rosetta Yeast Rolls

Bottom Row (left to right)

     Artisan Sourdough Mini Boule, Pepperoni Pizza, Traditional Alaskan (Yukon) Sourdough, and White dinner rolls

I am thoroughly looking forward to trying the recipes and techniques I have seen on this site. Bread really is the stuff of life in my home. Thank you all for the lovely pictures, the recipes and formulas that you share, And thanks also for all the hints and advice that you so freely provide! So bring on the butter or your favorite toppings and BAKE ON!!

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

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aptk

I increased my recipe by 50%, hand shaped two circles, used a spinach and garlic filling. It filled my pizza pan. Can't wait until dinner to taste it. If it tastes as good as it smells, it'll be yummy!

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aptk

We often cut it into bread sticks with a pizza cutter, this one had an excellent texture and flavor. Crisp, crunchy crust, chewy on the inside and gooey on the top, almost like a sauce-less pizza!

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aptk

This bread is so tasty that I couldn't wait to share the recipe. I'm listing the ingredients in the order that I used them, and am including the exact brands that I used.

 

Ingredients:

1 c. warm water   (from tap)

2 Tbs. honey   (Don Victor with comb)

2 1/2 tsp. dry yeast   (Fleischmann's Active Dry)

1 tsp. salt   (Morton's Iodized)

1 cup unsalted nuts and seeds   (Salad Pizazz No Salt Raisin Nut 'N Sunflower)

2 Tbs. Walnut Oil   (Hammon's Roasted Black Walnut Oil)

1 cup whole wheat flour (Montana Wheat Bronze Chief)

2 cups (about) all purpose white flour (Gold Medal Unbleached)

Special Prep:

Empty the packet of seeds and nuts into a bowl and pick out the raisins unless you specifically want them in there. This blend contains unsalted pumpkin and sunflower seeds along with sliced almonds and whole cashews. After removing the raisins, I added chopped walnuts and sesame seeds to make one cup. This is not totally necessary, the packet contains about 7/8 cup.

Method:

1. Pour warm water into bowl and stir in the honey until it dissolves. Sprinkle with yeast and allow to sit until yeast blooms, 10 - 15 minutes.

2. Sprinkle salt and oil over bloom. Pour in the whole wheat flour, mix until smooth with a fork and then let it sit about 10 minutes.

3. Mix in the nuts and seeds and mix well. Add one cup of the all purpose flour and continue mixing with fork until it's all worked in.

4. Knead in the last cup of flour a little bit at a time. You may not need the entire cup, so add slowly and knead until your dough is smooth and elastic. This took me longer than straight up white bread. You should have a ball that is tacky, not sticky, which has pulled all the flour and dough bits from the sides of the bowl. Shape into a ball and oil lightly to coat the dough ball and the bowl.

5. Cover loosely and allow to raise until doubled in size. (About an hour and half to two hours)

6. Punch dough down and shape into a loaf of your choice. Or make mini loaves by dividing in half before shaping. I made mini boules. Once you have your shape, roll in flour to totally coat. (I simply dropped my boules into my flour canister and rolled them around) Place on a flat surface in a warm area and allow them to rise again for 30-45 minutes.

7. Preheat oven and stone to 450F. When bread is ready, score and bake with steam for 20-25 minutes. My internal temp was 185F. Cool on wire rack.

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aptk

I must be an idiot because there is no way I can get a picture to load without using a new blog post. I repeatedly get a message that says the web page has expired.

So here's the crumb shot, this is quite possibly the best tasting bread I've ever baked! And yes, I did use scissors to make my scores. I'll make another entry on the recipe I used.

 

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aptk

What I'm looking for is some small loaves that would be the perfect size for two people at a single meal. This is my first attempt. I also want to develop a scoring method that results in a loaf that looks like a flower (the one on the right). These are straight out of the oven and on their way to the cooling rack.

It's a Honey Whole Wheat bread with unsalted seeds and nuts (sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds; almonds, cashews and walnuts). I'm anxious to cut one of them open and see what it looks like. The smell is awesome, so I'm sure the flavor will be good.

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aptk

Perfect on this winter stormy night!

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aptk

I was trying for croissants, ended up with butter everywhere, divided the dough into six pieces, tried to roll it into a ball, shaped it with an apple corer, gave each an egg bath and sprinkled sesame seed in the center. Looks like crap but tastes absolutely wonderful!

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