The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

SylviaH's blog

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I used my 2 day old biga on the loaf that is sliced.  The other boule is still a Scali experiment in the works!  Scali has become one of our favorite everyday breads.  The flavor is so delicious.   What the olive oil does to the crumb is so pretty and seems like you are eating buttery pastry and the sesame seeds just add more nutty toasty flavor...I don't know how else to discribe it.  Now I know why this is such a popular bread in New England Italian baking!  It's traditionally a 3 rope braid.  I like the shape boule's give for sliced bread so I did a round 4 strand boule braid.  If you haven't tried this bread yet you are missing out on a simply delicious italian loaf.  The recipe can be found on the recipes section under yeast breads- Scali bread.  This bread was baked in beautiful loaves by weavershouse and posted the other day in her blog..she has the bug too! : )

I used a little different mixing method on this loaf and adding a little more King Arthur All Purpose flour.



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This is yet another sourdough version of the Pain De Tradition.  I baked this in my La Cloche bell for 15 minutes covered starting at a 450 oven and then turning it down to 350F at the start of the bake for one hour total convection bake time.

The taste is very nice and I can taste a hint of the extra organic white wheat that was added.  

Early oven shot  later after removing Bell cover!  The La Cloche was pre-heated with oven.


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This is my attempt at this lovely bread posted by Shiao-Ping.  I did a long write-up but just deleted it and would like to say..My loaf leaves a lot to be desired...but the 'Flavor is amazingly delicious'  I couldn't believe how lovely, creamy, smooth and flavorful this bread tastes..the flavors that developed over the long fermentation are crust did soften somewhat and I don't think as crispy as it should be..  I think my next attempt I may adjust my flour so there is a little less hydration.  My dough stuck on part of the banneton when I was putting it onto the board..but I don't think it did to much harm.

My lighting is pretty bad in my dark kitchen tonight!


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Almond-Scented Cinnamon Rolls- I know more cinnamon rolls..but these are a little different and a delicious Italian version!  My husband has been begging for cinnamon rolls and it has been a I thought I would make some with an bit of an Italian flare..this is my adaptation from a recipe on the  The dough is easy and comes together so fast in the food processor.  This is the first time I have made dough in a food processor..I have to say I was amazed.  I also liked the fact that they added the butter before the liquid ingredients because I think this does make a difference! You get a more tender crumb by discouraging the onset of the gluten formation.  I think this definately makes a difference even with little bit of butter that goes into this dough!  No eggs are in the recipe!  I used King Arthur All-Purpose flour.  I mixed the dough the night before and without shaping the rolls, placed the dough in a lightly buttered bowl.  Placed in the refrigerator overnight and the next morning let it warm up to room temperature and then rolled out the dough and formed the rolls.   I doubled the filling replacing half of the flour with Almond Meal and adding a little brown with the granulated sugar.  I used only buttermilk in this recipe.  When the rolls were glazed I kept the glaze thin...not a thick glaze like my cinnamon rolls usually have and just before baking I added a very light sprinkling of King Arthurs expresso powder on the proofed rolls.  When the rolls where finished baking I removed them right away from the pan...I would suggest parchment lined pans instead of just buttering the pans.  I glazed the rolls and made double the recipe and used it all...topping the glaze with slivered almonds.

These rolls definately had a very tender, delicious crumb and the overall almond flavor the light sprinkling of expresso powder was only noticable if you knew it was there... topped off with a cup of espresso was absolutely wonderful! 








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I wanted to have another go at this delicious loaf 'my new love Scali', this time I used a natural biga, mixed the dough, put it into a lightly oiled container and fermented it overnight.  I removed it from the refrigerator and let it warm for about an hour and then shaped one braided loaf...brushed it with one egg white mixed with one cup of water and spread on the sesame seeds heavily and baked it under my enameled turkey pan the lid and oven a few spritz of water just before covering the loaf.  I don't know if I'm going to slice this loaf or freeze it..but I have a feeling the crumb is very nice and the flavor with be too and the crust is great on this bread, browning to a lovely mahogany!

This Scali Braided Loaf is a fairly simple and fun bread to make..use your favorite way of mixing.  The recipe is on

We couldn't wait to cut into it!




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With all the chat lately about the 'Baguette Monge'  I pretty much followed that recipe.  I used my K.A.A.P. flour and a poolish..was what I had and I did want to try it with some added Olive Oil as suggested a while back by Jane!  They where baked under a steam cover with added steam!  Just out of the oven so I will post a crumb shot a little later this evening!


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Scali loaves make a wonderful flavored Italian bread!  I think I will will use this recipe from King Arthur Flours to make some torpedo rolls even though it is traditionally braided with added sesame seeds.  The crumb is perfect for sandwiches and the crust is crunchy good with the added flavor of the sesame seeds.  We loved it even with my fresh made "Bing Cherry Jam"!  Oh, the cherries are so sweet and good this year and well worth the pitting to make jam!



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Put it in your Meatballs!  Roll your Meatballs in your homemade bread crumbs!  Make Rolls!

I was asked for the meatball recipe and for photos on yesterday's blog for Italian Sandwich Rolls I made useing Dan DiMuzio's recipe for Sicilian Semolina Bread...which I snuck in a cup of Organic White Wheat in enchange for the cup of Bread flour...forgive me Dan!!  It was my ADD..I think that's what you call it!

This is a recipe given to me by my 50+yrs. Italian girlfriend.  This is the way her mother made meatballs and was probably taught by her two 98yr. old aunts still living in the house where she was born in Cleveland, has the old orginal wood fired oven out back..and Gayle always tells me how there is a cemetary next door!  I just had to put that in...I've heard it so many times!  The Aunts did all their canning, making and wine making down in the basement in this 3 story old home. 

This is not exact measurements but pretty can adjust for your own taste...I like lots of garlic!  The clear bowls hold a cup and half when full with water...just to give you an idea of the preportions I used today. I also used 2 1/4 lbs. of lean ground chuck.  It made a lot of large meatballs.

Meatballs-  The Measurements I have pictured are for a larger batch, what I made today. 2 1/3lbs of meat.  All the ingredients pictured are the porportions I used today.  The clear glass bowls hold 1 1/2 cups of ingredients.

Meat can be a combination of Beef - Veal - Pork

I used only Beef   -  I do not use any salt  -  I think the garlic replaces the need for it!  Taste before adding can always put it on your sandwich later!

Recipe for a smaller portion of meat balls:

1- 1 1/2 lbs. Ground Meat

1/2 cup bread crumbs    I make fresh in my food processor, using my homemade bread, fresh italian parsley, finely chopped garlic, fresh ground pepper, grated parmesan cheese to taste.  Place breadcrumbs onto a plate for rolling the meatballs.

3 regular slices of bread soaked in 1/4 cup water- Do not use bread Crumbs in your makes them tough.

1 - 2 eggs

1/2 cup of Grated Romono Cheese

1 large clove garlic finely chopped

Chopped fresh Italian Parsley

Chopped fresh Basil  - you can use dried

Little salt and pepper.   I don't use any salt for the whole recipe...just fresh grated pepper

In a small bowl mix Eggs, Cheese, Garlic, Italian Parsley, Basil, salt and pepper

Pour egg mixture over meat add dampened broken up bread with most of the crust removed.  With wet hands, gently mix the meat until all is incorporated.  Keeping your hands wet shape into round meatballs.

Roll the meatballs over the bread crumbs.

Fry in canola or I use regular Olive Oil.  I fry at a medium to medium low heat turning until evenly browned.

Add to your pot of tomato sauce...and finish cooking if still a little pink in center of meatballs!

This is the portions I used today!

This is how many large meatballs I can count them ; )

This many plus 5 more!

Sprinkel with Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese

Crumb Shot for David and Pamela ; )

You could pick these up and easily take a big tender bite...Mike ate 2!










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Today I prepared Italian rolls.  Tomorrow I will be making meatballs and Italian hot sausage and wanted a nice roll that would hold up to the fillings.  I have recently stocked up on my favorite Duram flour and Organic White Wheat.  I love Daniel DiMuzio's recipe for his Sicilian Semolina Bread useing the fine duram semolina flour.  But I also wanted to use some of my organic white wheat.  I used his formula and replaced one cup of the bread flour with one cup of the organic white wheat.  The rolls have a nice chew and crunch just perfect crumb for the saucey sandwiches....the rolls are full of flavor and will make wonderful...hoagies, submarines, or grinders!

There is a fruit stand about 2 miles from here that is selling these fabulous organic mango's ... Oh and I mean they are wondeful tasting!  I'm going back for more tomorrow...they were selling them by the box full very reasonable....maybe I could eat that many.  This is mango time of year!  I don't know the variety..all yellow in color...maybe someone on TFL does...but they are just delicious, perfect ripe and sweet!  I have blueberries and cherries...but this is a favorite..Mango Tart with vanilla custard and a very simple very easy to make Cream Cheese Tart Crust from one of my favorite recipe sites!  I will include the recipe here because this is such a great tasting tart shell and could not be easier to make.  It is wonderful filled with crab salad or anything you can think of in a tart!

The Biga Smelled So Good!

Mixing the dough is easy following Dan's instructions in his new book 'bread baking An Artisan's Perspective'

These are apx. 7 1/2 inch large sandwich rolls!  Minus one I ate!

Great flavor with a bit of chew and enough holes to hold the sauce!

Mango Tart's with Vanilla Custard and Cream Cheese Tart Shells

Vanilla Custard...coming to a rolling boil!


Cream Cheese Tart Shell Recipe........very easy very tasty! From

3 oz. Cream Cheese Softened

1/2 Cup Butter- or 1 stick Softened

1 cup All Purpose Flour

l. Blend cream cheese and butter, stir in flour just until blended and chill for one hour or up to 24.

Roll out and put in tart pans or cup cake pans are nice...

Preheat Oven 325

Bake apx. 20 mins or until light brown.

Cool add cooled custard and top with favorite fruits.

I love Jello's Vanilla Custard...the one that you cook!  Or the English brand by Bird's is wonderful.



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I hope I'm not the only one who does some strange experiments?  Like useing frozen pizza dough for a pate fermentee!!  I made french bread and another Daisy Ring yeasted coffee cake this time with Almond Paste filling.  They both tasted very good, lots of pleasing flavors in the both the bread and the yeasted coffee cake!

I used JH Baguettes with Pate Fermentee / tweaking the recipe to use my pizza dough!

Next time I will  need to make my Almond Paste filling a little more dryer.  I made a sourcream sugar glaze.

Delicious yeasted coffee bread I make in an assortment of flavors.  It's usually made as a straight dough recipe!

Lots of flavor in the tender crumb!




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