The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

SylviaH's blog

SylviaH's picture

We celebrated St. Patricks Day with a traditional dinner!

Mom's Irish Soda Breads.

Traditional Corned Beef Dinner

Dessert:   Buttermilk cake with Irish Tea Fondant/Glaze

One of our family....Sweet Katie Girl wearin her Green!

Happy St. Patrick's Day from our Home to Yours!  


SylviaH's picture

Semolina Sandwich Loaf from DL Local Breads.

I love my sandwich loaves with a bit of semolina flour 'pasta flour' added to I can't say enough how lovely this bread looks, smells and tastes using the Duram fancy semolina flour!  It sure blew it's side off...but  didn't hurt the flavor...I did again as instructions stated'let it rise just until it crowns just above the rim of the pan' instead of following that little voice that said to give it a few more minutes..but I knew I was useing a 100% D.semolina flour and wasn't sure what to expect...I thought even maybe a little larger pan!!  Better safe than sure so I did what it instructed!  This bread is said to have one heck of an oven spring and it does! 


Talk about oven spring!

A Beautiful Golden Color makes it even more appetizing.  This is a keeper for me. 



SylviaH's picture

My order for K.A. Irish whole meal flour came today.  So I thought I would give it a try using my recipe posted earlier for Sylvia's Irish Soda Bread {I don't know how to do the link} to my blog! ; /  The only thing I did different was use all IWM meal flour and I mixed completely with my 4 straight fingers and pushed it gently into a ball and shaped it.  I was very pleased and my husband also liked it very much...which made me happy!  I also like Bannock very much...which means's not your traditional soda bread because this one has egg, brown sugar, butter and raisins in it...but it is very I made it useing some AP and IWM before I have always made it useing only AP flour husband told me a few times how much he liked it!  The flavor of the IWM was very pleasing, wholesome and tender...not a chewy texture!  More like eating a bran muffin!! The  Irish brown bread went great with the leftover shepard's pie for a quick dinner!  We are eating Irish all week!!

Ingredients the Bannock recipe there was Kerry's Irish butter, egg, raisins, brown sugar AP and IWM flours

.Irish Brown Bread

 Tender Crumb

 Bannock/Spotted Dog


 Simple Supper






SylviaH's picture

This is the first time I've tried this popular bread.  I used my Australian sourdough.  I'd like to try making it again...I had a lot of running around to do today...but at least it got a long ferment but pushed and shoved around a lot getting it into the oven...I should have saved myself a lot of grief and just put in on parchment paper!!  I'll know better next time! 

Jeffrey Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough W/Whole Wheat

This bread is delicious and I will be making it often! I will make 4  loaves instead of 2!




SylviaH's picture

Irish American Heritage Month

This is the way my Irish Mother 'Sylvia' taught me to make Irish Soda Bread.  I was born in Belfast, Ireland and raised in the USA.  All my family...My Children and Grandchildren 'My Brother his Irish wife and her family '10 brothers and sisters' their four children and now Great Grandkids,Aunts, Uncle's, name it are close by here in the USA and a few Aunt's and Uncle's cousins in Australia!  We all love Irish Soda Bread!  This Soda Bread is very Basic and yet this recipe can be made using some wheat flour, even the Irish Wheaten flour, add raisins, currants or sultans and make "Spotted Dog" or "Spotted Dick", shape into Farls or Round Bread and cut a cross on top.  I didn't use my currants today...but you get the idea!  I baked my Farls in my Iron skillet...heated until a little flour sprinkled on the bottom turns brown..a med. low heat!  Farls also bake up very nicely on Aunt used to cover hers with a towel to help them bake a little warmer.  I bake a Farl about 10min. on each side..till they are nice and lightly browned and then turn them over once and finish.  The oven baked soda bread is baked in a preheated oven 350F for apx. 35 min.

I hope this might help some who are making Irish Soda Bread on St. Patrick's Day...It's simple fast and delicious warm or cold!

This Recipe Makes One Round Loaf "or" 4 Farls.

2  Full Cups of All Purpose Flour or 1 1/2 Cups AP and 1/2 Whole Wheat> my Mum always said the Irish cup measures are larger so we filled them!!

1 tsp. Salt

1  Slightly Heaped tsp. Cream of Tartar "This is a Family Secret sort of : )"  you can take it out if you insist on using only Baking Soda!! 

1 Heaped tsp. Baking Soda> I use the one from the health food store

1 Full Cup of Buttermilk

Mix all dry ingredients well.  Make a well in the flour and pour in buttermilk.  Toss with fork until all flour sticks together.  Handling is  fast, gentle and not over mixed...Iron fist velvet glove!!  Drop out onto a very well floured surface and push into a ball and give 2 or 3 gentle kneads it can be sticky so use extra flour.  Form gently into a ball.  Place into pie pan. Flatten a little, cut a cross on top with a floured knife.  For Farls.  Flatten cut into fourths and bake in a skillet or on a griddle.

Bake 350F Oven 35min. till sounds hollow when bottom is tapped and nicely browned -Farls are>    Med-Low Skillet/Griddle  Nicely browned not to dark


Mixing Dry Ingredients

Your gonna love these measurments...Full Cup of Buttermilk...same with Flour measurements...flour is heaped in this cup!!  Hey this is the old fashioned Irish Way!!

Pour Buttermilk into a well of Flour

Form into a sticky mass Gently!

Gently knead 2 or 3 times into a ball adding extra flour to keep from sticking.

Cut a cross on top or flatten a little more and cut all the way through with a floured knife and flour sliced areas and make  Soda Farls.

Place in 350F preheated oven

Apx. 35 min till done

Sliced Warm Crumb

Soda Farls in the Iron Pan

Turned Over after about 10mins.

Place in towel to keep soft.

Slice like this...

Farl Crumb

Oh I'll just have an 1/8th...and another and another before I go on my bike ride!!

Hope you enjoyed my photos...I let the battery run down in my new camera and still not sure how to use this older one! 

May The Luck of The Irish Be With You!  If you try this recipe : ))













SylviaH's picture

This is a very nice tender and delicious tasting 100% WW Cinn. Raisin loaf using P.R. recipe.  I used dark and golden raisins in the soaker.  There were some hungry mouths so it was sliced a wee bit warm...very nice with cream cheese!  

I put the cinnamon and sugar well in the center by putting an extra thick amount of the mixture right along the tip of the edge that is first to be rolled inward on the shaping of the loaf!

This is my second attempt at a 100% WW loaf...the first was the sourdough WW.  I have some WW working now!    

This is being made with my Australian culture!  Any advice is always welcome!


SylviaH's picture

I'll have to give this sourdough recipe another is very tasty!  I bulk fermented it overnite in my very cool bathroom!  Though I did not succeed in this loaf turning out the way I felt it should...I think it definately deserves a little more effort next time! 

I used a mixture of Dark and Golden Raisins.  With a light sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon!

Pan a little large!

Huh....not what I wanted!

Worth another try!!




SylviaH's picture

This is the half of dough I saved from yesterdays Basic Italian Loaf...I put it in the frig. overnite and shaped it while slightly cool.  Gave it my rolled in the soft floured linen for final proofing...which helps me to achieve a rounder loaf!  It was then placed under my steaming pan and given a 5 second burst of steam.  The oven stone and lid were preheated 500F. Placed the loaf in and  turned down to 485 for 30mins...lid removed and continued to bake aprox. another 5-10 min. till nicely browned.

Snug as a Bug!

Rolled out onto a flat cookie sheet with parchment paper a little underproofed!

Just out of the oven and doing a little singing!

Got some nice Cracks!

What a difference from yesterday's loaf baked in the La Cloche!!  Plus the added flavor from and overnite in the frig.!

I was happy with the crumb and crust!


SylviaH's picture

This is a Basic Italian Bread recipe that came with my Oblong La Cloche.....I added a little poolish.  I placed half the dough into the frig for tomorrow!  There is no oil in this Italian bread.  The recipe actually stated to add yeast to 2 cups of "hot water"!!!  I used a cool room temp. water and a little added a extra hydration...I also placed the dough to rise directly into the La Cloche per instructions....usually I have my La Cloche pre-heating with the oven.  I have read that this helps from cracking the thin bottom on the Bell shaped La Cloche.  The bread was very good with a crispy crust and tender creamy went great with the Italian dinner...I think it would make a nice garlic toast!

Recipe from LaCloche:

1 1/2 packages active dry yeast...used less IDY

2 cups hot water-----cool room temp...used

1 Tablespoon honey

6-7 cups all purpose flour....I was out of AP...used K.A.Bread

1 Tablespoon salt ....  I used a little less

Preheat Oven 400F  

I autolysed with stretch and folds.

Shape by Oblong La Cloche!! Little under proofed...Our dinner's on a time 4:30 sharp...hubby has to eat and go to work!  But he got his almost cooled bread : )



SylviaH's picture

When the Rosemary blooms I love to make Rosemary-Lemon Bread.  This is Beth Hensperger recipe in her bread machine cookbook.  I have made a few changes by adding some whole wheat flour and left out the hazelnuts and gluten.  I use my garden lemons and rosemary.  I hand mix and let the bread rise slowly in a cool room.  I also baked this one in my bell la cloche at 475 for 35 min. uncovered and baked 10min. more at 450.  The bread was sliced a little husband wanted a sandwich and it was getting late!  Hope you enjoy the photo of the Geese..they came and turned away into the sunset when I ran in to get the camera! 


A Lemon for the bread!

There is Lemon zest, Rosemary and Golden Raisins!

A Rosemary Flower/Lemon Fondant up close is so pretty and dainty!  They are very nice on cakes, breads, ect! 

 There's a hint of the rosemary and lemon zest with the sweetness of the golden raisins and honey.  The egg, butter and milk give the crumb a nice moistness and add to the lovely flavors!  All in all a nice bread for the coming of Springtime!

The end of a lovely day!



Subscribe to RSS - SylviaH's blog