The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

loniluna's blog

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We think it's pretty funny that the slice looks like it's hovering over the whole pie. This probably isn't your average, 21-year-old couple's Saturday night meal. This is a from-scratch, red onion, spinach, fresh mozz and feta pizza on a garlic herb crust. We've been at this pizza-making deal since fall, making one about once a week, and this was - by far - the best one we've ever made.

A strange thing happened at the cheese counter. I asked for the fresh mozzarella, pointing to the large, white cheese balls.

"You guys making pizza?" the cheese counter guy asked.

After confirming in the positive, he said, "I suggest you get the smaller ones. I just throw those on my pizzas."

We glanced at each other and both inwardly rolled our eyes. We both wanted to reply, "We're making pizza from scratch. Surely 30 seconds of slicing a soft cheese isn't going to exhaust us."

And though the pizza was $10 worth of ingredients (a good chunk on a student's budget), it was well worth it. Can't wait for leftovers today.

The only critique I have of our pizza would be the crust. It's a bit bready, and probably a little...amateur, I guess. I'm looking for a bubblier, crunchier-type crust. If anyone has any suggestions or a recipe to direct me to, it'd be much appreciated.

And, of course, if you want the recipe, I'd be more than happy to provide it.




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Ten inches fell outside overnight, so I made this:


Fiance-approved rosemary focaccia. Pretty sure I found the recipe on here, but I can't seem to find it anywhere now.

And, as requested, a massive photo of the crumb:

I have no idea what focaccia crumb is supposed to look like, and I kind of don't care, because this was absolutely amazing warm dipped in olive oil.


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Ah, the elusive honey wheat braid. Now that I'm 21, engaged, a college graduate with no hope of a job thanks to the financial crisis, I've finally had time to reach this sacred goal.

I freaked out when I first bit into it. I finally got the right amount of sweetness, the right amount of heartiness, the right amount of everything! Finally!

Though, honestly, it could have had more time to proof, but I grew impatient and wanted it done by the time my fiance, Britton, got home for dinner. Maybe I shouldn't have made asian cuisine to go with such a European country bread, but he didn't complain. Both agreed it's the best bread I've made in the past few months.

The recipe is from Taste of Home's The Complete Guide to Country Cooking, a gift from my mother. Totally never expected a winner like this to come out of it, but the bread section is really pretty impressive.

It makes two loaves, though I only make one at a time when I first try them. Britton and I can only eat so much bread in a day. Really wish I had gone with the two loaf recipe for this one!



Wheat Bread Braid

2 packages active dry yeast

2 1/4 c warm milk

3 tbs sugar

1/3 c butter

1/3 c honey

1 tbs salt

4 1/2 c whole wheat flour

2 3/4 - 3 1/2 c all-purpose flour


In large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in milk. Add sugar, butter, honey, salt and whole wheat flour; beat until smooth. Add enough all-purpose flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto floured surface; knead until elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise for 60 minutes.

Punch dough down. Divide in half and shape into traditional loaves, or divide in fourths and roll each portion into a 15-inch rope. Twist two ropes together, and pinch each end to seal.

Place in greased 9 in x 5 in loaf pans. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven during last 5 minutes of rising.

Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks.



It's easier to cut when cool, so try to hold off as long as you can before tearing into this mother of a loaf.

Expect many more posts from me in the future, as the job market grows smaller and smaller...

Anyone happen to be looking for a baking assistant in Milwaukee? :)


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