The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

SylviaH's blog

SylviaH's picture

I was putting in this blog and we had an after shock from the 6.9 earthquake that just hit Baja, Mexico.  It was said to be felt as 3.2 here.  Really shook the neighbors up too!

I baked guessed it...Buttermilk Chocolate Cake with Buttermilk choc. frosting requested by Mike my husband.  I'm trying the new unbleached cake flour from King Arthur and also their double chocolate coco powder.  I also thawed out a Sourdough Potato bread for..maybe a sandwich snack later on this evening from our Roasted leg of lamb dinner.

Wishing Everyone a Happy Easter!






                                    Double coco chocolately and moist...the frosting pours on warm and firms onto the cake.  Lovely for the movie and cake!





SylviaH's picture

For years I have always made Hot Cross Buns for Easter and leaving the cross off enjoy them year round.  This is the first time I have made them with buttermilk.  Using buttermilk in baking is one of my all time favorite ingredients. The flavor was delicious with a wonderful crumb.  Just what I had hoped for and the recipe is very convenient because you can prepare it the night before and bake the buns up fresh in morning!  The recipe is at  I made these changes in the ingredients and also did a mix with a 25 minute rest and then kneaded to just all the ingredients came together and a gluten formation was just beginning.   I added 1/2 tsp. cloves, golden raisins instead of the cranberries, lemon and orange candied peel, bakers sugar, Golden ISYeast, KAAP and adjusting the hydration, the dough was still tacky before shaping.  Next time I will leave off the flour/sugar crosses as we prefer the sugar glazed crosses.  These are now my favorite HCB.


                                                            My 15 inch deep dish pizza pan filled with large HCB








SylviaH's picture

This is my version of Sourdough English Muffins recipe I found the other day on the net.  It is from correction to this link..hopefully this one works! The recipe comes from Bette's Oceanview Diner in Berkeley, California.  These muffins are delicious and make a wonderful Eggs Benedict brunch.  Though these are wonderful tasting and very easy to make I have to say the English Muffin recipe I have from Northwest sourdough are absolutely devine and still my number one favorite.  Teresa's recipe has been temporarily discontinued until published in her new book.




                                                                             To open up my EM I poke a fork around the edges and pull it open



                                             My version of Eggs Benedict for brunch!







SylviaH's picture

I made some Irish Soda Farls this morning for a quick fix me upper for breakfast.  My favorite way is to bake soda farls is on my electric grill..but being in the hurry to have these ready..I chose my iron skillet..which bakes them up great.  You do have to watch the pan doesn't get to hot..pre-heated and set about med-low works good.  I bake them for about 10 mins. on each a dry extra grease and if your pan is pre-seasoned good with some crisco..wipe it dry..otherwise the farls tend to brown mine did!  Well they must have been good.  Sliced warm I enjoyed mine and my husband's response was.. ' I have to be careful..I can hurt myself on those.'   Last year I posted a recipe for my mom's soda bread on my blog..I always use the same recipe posted here with some photos to show how to mix.







                                                                            Goes great with hot cup o tea
















SylviaH's picture

Stuck indoors with a head cold and raining all day..What would you do?  Surfed on my PC and landed at Steve's Bread Cetera blog.   I thought the 100% White Whole Wheat looked delicious and then I saw his lovely husband and I love pastries and the neighbors get a sample too,  after seeing the wonderful posts on Shiao Pings blog with meat pies in puff pastry and TaxFarmer's  croissants, my sweet tooth took over...last night I made the poolish for both.


                             Just out of the oven and cooling.  Crumb shot tomorrow.  I hope it looks half as nice as Steve's.



                                      ADDED:  The bread is made with King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour using Steve's recipe posted on BreadCetera.

                                                   The Pastries are not made with white whole wheat flour.  I used the recipes posted on BreadCetera for Croissants for the pastries.


                          Perfect for sandwiches.  I can detect the nice honey and butter  just right in the mellow wheat.





                                      I used the Moreno Cherries from Trader Joe's..I think they are the next best thing to the canned Oregon brand sour cherries

                                       I thickened them in their own juice, almond extract with a little corn starch.


                                                                             Cherry-Cream Cheese Danish - 

                                     I added fresh egg yolk, fresh lemon juice, vanilla and bakers sugar in the cream cheese.



                                                                                              Cream Cheese Pockets






SylviaH's picture

These scones are lovely and moist and have a wonderful flavor.  They taste great with jam and butter.  I enjoyed a wedge with mascarpone cheese.  They make for nice looking Easter scone.

My variation on a lemon scone recipe.

8 oz. plus extra for some light kneading and adjusting hydration - I used Pillsbury All Purpose Flour

2 Tablespoon Sugar

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1/4 cup Unsalted Butter

2 teaspoons Lemon zested

2 teaspoons Fresh Rosemary - clipped into small pieces

2 Medium Eggs

4oz. whipping cream - I only had heavy cream so I mixed half heavy cream and half milk

Sparkling sugar for sprinkling about 2 Tablespoons -

In a Medium bowl.  Wisk all the dry ingredients, lemon zest and rosemary in a medium bowl.

Using a pastry cutter add the butter until the butter is in very small pieces..the flour will look crumbly.

In a small bowl.  Lightly mix 2 Medium eggs and cream.

Make a well in the flour mixture and add the egg, cream mixture into the center.

Mix quickly and gently until all is moistened.  I use a fork.

Dump out onto a floured surface and gently knead and shape into a round.  

Brush with some cream and sprinkle with sparkling sugar.  Make slices with a wet knife into eight wedges.

Bake 400F pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  I baked for 20 min. on 400F convection.






SylviaH's picture

This is a very simple recipe 'White-Wheat Rolls' from Maggie Glezer's book Artisan Baking!  Great easy recipe for using up that little extra sourdough.  I made bun shaped rolls using King Arthur Organic White Wheat and King Arthur All Purpose Flour.  I hand mixed the dough using stretch and folds.  Adding sesame seeds and poppy seeds with the suggested sourdough gave nice flavorful buns with a crispy thin crust and a nice chew...great for sandwiches.  I doubled the recipe and also have 2 loaves baking.



Two small 41/2 X 81/2 loaves and 10 buns.



SylviaH's picture

Recipe from 'Lorenza De Medici's - Tuscany The Beautiful Cookbook'

Like most Italian Cakes, this sweet Florentine pizza is linked to a religious feast: "Carnival".    At one time lard was used instead of butter, which added to the flavor.


    After seeing this recipe in my cookbook,  I searched online for more recipes of this Sweet Carnival Pizza.  The only ones I was able to find were  written in Italian.  This was a frustrating and unfamilar dough for me to handle which resulted in me not following the exact procedures discribed in the recipe.  I was sure I had a total disaster on my hands.  After seeing and tasting my final bake...I may...may attempt it again!  It is a delicate delicious buttery flavored cake, lightly sweet with a lovely hint of lemon and would go perfectly with a glass of wine or a cappuccino or just a big glass of milk.

If anyone is feeling venturesome and care to give this recipe a try I have written it down with just a couple of modifications.








                     6 fl oz - 3/4 cup - 180 ml        Lukewarm water (105F to 115F)                    

                                              1 oz (30g) fresh cake yeast or 2 packages (1 scant tablespoon each) active dry yeast-  I used the

                                              Gold IDY because of the extra sugar in the recipe.

                                              11 oz/330g  All Purpose (plain flour) flour  - I used KAAP flour

                                              pinch of salt

                                              3 oz/90g  Unsalted butter, plus extra for cake pan  -  I used my round metal pizza pan

                                              3 oz/90g Granulated sugar  -  I used Extra fine baking sugar

                                              grated zest of 1 lemon   -  Large organic off my tree

                                              2 Eggs

                                              1 Tbsp. Confectioners' sugar  -  I used extra for added sweetness


      Place the lukewarm water in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let stand until dissolved and foamy, about 10 minutes.

      Heap the flour on a work surface and make a well in the center.  Pour the dissolved yeast into the well and add the salt.  With a fork, gradually work in the flour until all of it is absorbed.  On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Shape the dough into a ball.  Transfer the dough ball to a lightly floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

      Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.  Punch down the dough and gradually work in the 1/3 cup (3oz/90g) butter, granulated sugar, lemon zest and the eggs, one at a time.  Lift the now-soft dough and slam it down on a hard surface several times.  Using the heel of your hand, knead until the dough is no longer sticky.

      Butter a 9-in (23-cm) round cake pan.  Shape the dough in the bottom of the prepared pan.  Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 400F 9200C).

      Bake the cake until just golden, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the pan and immediately transfer to a wire rack.  Sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar.  Cool to room temperature before serving. 


















SylviaH's picture

A lot of TFLoafers have been doing pizza's.  Hopefully you are like me and never tire of pizza photos : )  It must be the weather.  It rained so hard water ran inside my WFO and now I can't fire it up until it dries out.  I learned my lesson.  Not all storms are the same.  So from now on the oven front gets covered for storms.  It just makes me want pizza even more not being able to fire it up.

The very thinned crusted pizza's where made with the Neo Neapolitan pizza dough recipe from P. Reinhart's 'American Pie'  I like this recipe because at least for me it can be shaped for either a thin or thick crust.  I used ADY instead of IADY and that helps the dough to stretch nicely or become a little more extensible.  I make up several pizza balls and freeze them for quick night pizza dinners. 

I made a white sauce that was very delicious.  It was made with heavy cream, cream cheese, fresh basil, EVOO, sea salt-pinch and garlic.  Then the pizza's where topped with the sauce, mozzarella, parmesean, jumbo chopped fresh raw shrimp, fresh lemon thyme leaves, lemon wedge and a lemon thyme stem for garnish.  The pizza's where baked on stones at 550F in a pre-heated 50 minutes oven.  My husband said the pizza's where very delicious and he loved the sauce.  I almost didn't get the photos.

 Joey Boy, checking out the fresh Lemon Thyme!


 Placed upon a perforated pan to keep

crisp while being sliced.

                                                                 Super thin crust.


                              Crumb of the Crown : )







SylviaH's picture

Freezing bread can be a very good thing!  We loved the P Reinhart's Panettone so much at Christmas, I made another batch for New Years. Knowing we would enjoy this bread anytime, I carefully wrapped one up in foil and plastic wrap.  What a treat. We had it this morning with Mascarpone cheese.  Some breads really are so good it's understandable why they are kept for that special time.  Though still delicious. It was a tad dryer and is best enjoyed freshly baked while still very moist and tender.   





Subscribe to RSS - SylviaH's blog