The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Thegreenbaker's blog

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I baked a fair amount this week, so this is the first of two or three posts.


Wholemeal Oat Bread.

Pre soak

1cup Rolled Oats

1 1/2 cups just boiled water

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon honey (or sweettner of your choice if you choose to even add sweetner)



1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

1- 1/12 cups water

3 cups of wholemeal flour. (high gluten/strong/very strong)

1 - 2 cups extra for kneading.



1 put oats, just boiled water, and salt into a bowl and leave for an hour.

2 add honey, yeast and water to the bowl with the oat mixture. Leave for a few mins if you need to wake up your yeast.

3 add flour gradually to the water/oat mixture and stir until it is just combined and all the flour is incorporated. (if you do this in a mixer then do what you normally do and gradually add the extra flour to the dough until it is sticky but not tacky. This dough works like most average dough but it is just a little sticky due to the oats and their strach.

4 If doing this by hand, liberally flour the bench, take the dough out and knead for about 10-15 mins. flouring bench as the flour is absorbed into the dough.

5 Leave the dough to rise in an oiled covered bowl till it doubles in size,, then take out, fold it and put it back until it again doubles in size.

6 Fold again (I wanted to give it as much strength as I could) then rest for 10 mins

7 Shape and proof for 45-50 mins in a warm kitchen

8 Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 mins at 190 degrees celcius.

Leave it to cool completely before cutting.


Above is the Oat bread next to the apple cake and an oat bread roll.


mmmmm mmmmm!


I am extatic about this bread. It tastes GREAT! and rose higher than I expected considering the oats!






Thegreenbaker's picture

I decided to make dinner early for a change and needed to make some bread as well.

I began the bread so that it could rise while I was doing dinner. It began as my usual loaf, but I thought we needed more grains in our diet (seeing as I had been having porridge each morning for breakfast while I was getting used to the cold UK weather and then while the oven was broken and once it was fixed I have been eating bread for breakfast, lunch and snacks......tut tut tut)

So I threw some oats in a bowl and added hot water. Then after they'd soaked for an hour or so, I added more hotwater and some salt. I woke up some yeast in a bit more warm water with a little bit of goldren syrup and added that to the oat/water mix.

Then slowly added flour. Once I reached a consistency I couldnt stir but it wasnt thick enough to pull out and knead, I left it for about an hour and a half. I came back, and kneaded in almost 2 cups of flour.

Here I decided as I was stirring my barley that I was cooking (for vege barley soup) that it just might go nicely in the dough that I had finished kneading. So I kneaded in about 1/2 cup of cooked, still warm soft fluffy barley. Left it to rise till it doubled, punched it down, left it to rise again then gave it a fold for extra strength and left it to rest for 20mins.

It has made two decent sized batards and is now just proofing on a well floured bench covered with wet muslin.

I will take phots now, and once they are proofed, then again when they are cooked and their crumb. I am curious and anxious as to their taste and appearance......If it works, I have an idea for a nice healthy breakfast bread make with precooked Barley, Quinoa, Brown Rice (Basmati) and Rolled Oasts (if I find them I will use soaked/cooked steel cut oats as they offer more fibre and are worth more nutritionally than the rolled kind) With Wholemeal/wholewheat flour and covered in seeds. I want to try to get the most out my toast....and sandwhich (as well as for my family)

I will how ever try to make sence of the higgledy piggledy recipe above and write it out (and add things) in better order and adjust fermentation times. Might even make it with a preferment of the wholewheat to give it a more developed flavour.

I am pretty health aware and know that my daily porridge oats did much more for me than the yummy toast and toffee tasting set honey I have been eating. lol.


Bo be continued!........................................................................


Thegreenbaker's picture

Again I made my quick bread. The treacle whole wheat loaf.

It again was a success! I think I have hit the nail on the head! This time the Whole wheat/white ration was 75 WW and 25 White. I kneaded it for 15 mins and even got a windowpane! *falls over in shock*

Heres a picture of the finished loaf. This time slashed and it rose so beautifully. I could cry!


and a front on with slices shot....


woo hoo! :)


So if thats the ups whats the down?


Well, I decided to make a fruit loaf...with a marzipan swirl.

It tastes great but it loooooks like something from the swamp! I called it the glop monster.

It would have been great IF I had have made it into two smaller loaves, but after I shaped it,

it just grew........

and grew.......

and grew!!!

Its hanging OVER the bakers stone here, and I thought I'd have a right horrid mess! Isnt it ugly?

It had good oven spring, (hence growing MORE)

Its not the most aesthetic loaf, but it sure did taste good :)


I soaked the fruit in apple juice and mixed spice. I used currants and cranberries and the treacle loaf dough.


Next in like is more ciabatta, more treacle loaf (hopefully 100% WW version) some bagels perhaps and BBA Multi-grain bread.

Keep an eye out, as I seem to be enjoying my picture posts :D




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I link my photos from far it is the easiest way for me work it :S


I have a few contacts on my flickr friends list...all people who saw my photos and decided they wanted to add me. So I add them back :)

One contact posted this most delicious looking recipe. It is in another language, but they also have written it in english below the entry in their native tongue.

It looks absolutely scrummy! So, I thought I'd post a link for those who want to have a look.


Thegreenbaker's picture

Today I had a little triumph.

My oven has been broken for 5 days and finally the oven repair man came to replace the element....yesterday....

So, after testing the oven with lentil Pie and Steak and red wine pie (for the hubby) last night. I was ready to make some bread today.


I had made a poolish, but after a bit of a busy/mixed up day, it had been left out for too long and I decided not to use it. I had made it way too wet as it was anyhoo.


So, I threw together a half Wholewheat and half white loaf. Indending it to be a sandwhich loaf as I have missed toast ovwer the past week! *pouts* I decided that I might try adding a teaspoon (heaped) of treacle into the mix thinking it would be nice with the whole wheat. So, I did.

The whole recipe went

2 Cups strong whole wheat flour (about 12 %)

2 Cups strong white flour (about 11.6%) both organic.

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons active dry yeast.

1.5 teaspoons salt

about 2 cups luke warm water. (I began with 1.5 cups but then had to add 1/4 cup extra, then a 1/4 cup extra on was then a liiiitle sticky which was alleviated when I kneaded it with more flour)


I mixed the whole wheat and the white flours together in a bowl. added the salt and mixed again.

I then dissolved the treacle and yeast in the water (1.5 cups)...left it for about a minute then poured the oil into the water mixture.

Poured the whole lot into the flour and mixed adding extra water as I went until it came together.

I then kneaded the dough (with extra flour as I'd added a little too much water) for about 10 minutes...perhaps a little more....

and left it to rise for an hour in a warm place.

Then gave it another knead (its a sandwhich loaf) and placed it back in an oiled bowl covered to rise for another hour.

I shaped it and rolled it in seeds then left it to rise for 45 minutes in a warm place (covered)

Placed it in a preheated oven for 50mins at 190 degrees celcius.


What I do for my sandwhich loaves is I own two loaf pans (well 4 but they are 2 pairs in different sizes)

I use the spare loaf pan as a lid while rising and for the first 10-15 mins in the oven.

It works a little like the la cloche and keeps the surface moist so that it has as much chance of springing as I can give it.

Usually it works alright, but tonight.....

It worked a treat.


This is by far the best sandwhich loaf I have made :)


The only thing I'd change is making it 100% whole wheat if I were to keep the treacle in it, or omit the treacle and use honey or nothing.

I didnt score it so it tore, but, I kind of like the says to me I made a good bread that wanted to rise. It looks rustic aswell :)

And below is the crumb shot. Very nice for a sandwhich loaf :) Lets hope I keep repeating these happy results!





Thegreenbaker's picture

Well, I have picked up where I left off and am having a great time.


I tried to make stollen. It was my first attempt, and I think it was ok, but I know what I will change for next year.

Toast the almonds, omit the mixed peel, add more Marzipan perhaps and change some of the fruit I put in. I used apple brandy to soak the fruit which was lovely but could have used more fruit.

I added half the required fruit amount and thought that it looked like a lot of fruit so I made another batch and aded the fruit to that, then once cooked, I realiused that the fruit was scarece. Which for my preference is good, but for my hubby.....not so good.

Also, my stollen seemed really crispy and too brown. I followed the recipe but I used strong bread flour not all purpose flour, so perhaps that was the reason.

I also decided against icing it and went with a brown sugar (muscovado sugar) glaze with shaved almonds. Perhaps I should have iced it.


Oh well, this is how we learn and become better bakers :)


Stollen shaped and ready to proof 


 Stollen a little over cooked I think.


I also made my first batch of ciabatta today. I began the poolish last night and I tell you I am so proud of myself!

I decided to improvise as I was shaping and threw in a heap of red onion, and lovely organic 10 year old cheddar (I dont know much about cheese except what I like)

and bot was it consumed by myself, my hubby and my 5 year old very soon after it came out of the oven!

YUMMO! That is most definitely a make again bread :)

I will post pics as soon as I remember what my flickr account details are! lol.




Thegreenbaker's picture

Just another lot of photos of my baking. :)


Below is a batch made from a poolish I made around 9pm last night and then fermented on the counter (at around 10-13 degrees celcius most of the night) until around 11am today.

Just a simple mix of approx 750g sifted wholewheat (wholemeal) flour, water, salt and 1/4 teaspoon of yeast. (with gluten flour added)


Then this morning, I added around 750g fine durum semolin. about 70-100g unbleached white flour, salt, 1 teaspoon of yeast, 1/3 cup rice bran oil and about 2 cups of butter milk.

It ended up being tooooooooooo wet so I added another 150g semolina-very fine.

mixed and left for an hour then kneeded and left for another hour. Folded a few times and left to ferment on the counter. I then folded it a few times again and then left it to rest for 15 mins, spllit it in two and plopped one piece on a oiled/semolina'd baking sheet

and smothered it in flour.

The rest I divided into 3 pizzas.


The photos show the result!


Raw Pizza


Cooked Pizza with various vegies (Courgette, red onion, loads of garlic, Paneer cheese, parmesan cheese, Pineapple, tomato (fresh and sundried) and olives) The top pizza is the same but with Salami for the meat eaters in my house. ;)


Rustic bread...sooo pretty....moist with a lovely crumb!


Crumb close up! Dang camera...takes terrible photos!


An angled profile shot :) Just to show my skill with a camera :) (kidding)

Sorry, no wine shots this time.......................

OH! that reminds me.....*goes off to crack open a bottle of nice 2004 pinot noir*


Till next time....which will be a while as I am moving to the UK. My house will be all packed up on monday and tuesday and then I will be a nomad for a few months till the visa come through!

SO, till then.

Happy baking everyone!

Thegreenbaker's picture

I have been making some nice bread lately.

My shaping is coming along and I am favoring shapes like ciabatta and just very rustic looking breads and rolls in general.


I go between rye and semolina doughs and am enjoying making Fenu shapes. They look so cool :)



I also decided whilst I was shaping to try shape some into bagguettes......not the best I must say buuuuuuut, still tasted great :)


Here are two batards with varies slashes


My lovely Rustic Rolls that went down a treat with my family


And after an entire day of baking, I think a well earned glass of Cab sav was in order!


I DO LOVE baking bread :)




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SO, I havent made bread in a little while apart from my LSA mix bread that tasted great but never cook properly. I have been hankering for some good real bread.

So Monday evening I mixed together my preferment 1kg of flour in total, but a mixture of rye, wholemeal whole wheat, white unbleached wheat, semolina flour, gluten flour, salt, yeast, Rice bran oil.

I left it out all night until around 10am when I begn to make it into bread.

I added Wholemeal wheat flour, white unbleach flour, gluten flour and medium grind semolina into one bowl. I added half the preferment, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of buttermilk, 1 teaspoon of yeast and 1 of salt. mixed and kneaded and left of an oiled tray covered with a wet teatowl to rise.

I then mixed another bowl with wholemeal wheat, white unbleached wheat, gluten flour, rye flour the rest of the preferment, oil and buttermilk, salt and yeast. Mixed and kneaded this also and put aside to rise as I did for the other dough.

I left them for 3 1/2 hours. Came back, folded and left for another 2 hours.

Came back and divided and shaped the semolina dough which I came to call the Pugliese (even though a Pugliese doesnt contain rye or is my version of it now ;))

I loosely chaped it into 3 rustic loaves and 2 rolls. the rustic loaves I tried to shape into ciabatta loaf shapes and one I made my first Fendu. Turned out nicely :)

The rye I left for a third rise as I just didnt have time to shape it, so I folded it and left it covered for another 90 mins.

It became a big sandwich loaf and 5 rolls.

It all came out so well, and I am so happy with myself! What lovely bread!


The Fendu isnt in the picture because we had already eaten it!!! 




Thegreenbaker's picture

I decided to make a quick loaf of bread yesterday. As I was mixing the half white half wholemeal flours I thought to myself "What could give this extra flavour?" I then remembered that I had just purchased some LSA mix (linsees, sunflower seed and almond all ground up) and threw in 70 grams of it.

Once hydrated the dough was sticky and I had to keep adding flour to get it to not stick to my hands.

It rose nicely, but not as high as my normal daily bread and the oven spring wasnt as good as I normally get it either.

I baked it for 45 mins at  190 degrees celcius. I took it out of the oven and let it cool for a good 15 mins then broke it open and it was so moist and doughy I was shocked, so I put it back in the oven and baked it for another 15-20 mins.

The crust was nearly burned but it was still moist.

I think it was the LSA mix.  Linseed has a quality to it that makes it a good binding agent. It gets gelatinous and gooey and is used as an egg replacer. I once added them to some muffins (whole not ground) and soaked them first to make them easier to chew and the water became gelatinous and was absorbed by whatever the coating is around the seed to make the whole lot quite icky looking, lind of like fross eggs.  (I know! Sorry about the mental picture!)

So I am pretty sure it was the ground Linseed but am now worried about the state of the oven. :S


Although the bread was doughy, it was actually cooked....just very very moist, and it tasted wonderful........SUCH a pity about the effect the linseed has! (flax seed) 






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