The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

zoltan szabo's blog

zoltan szabo's picture
zoltan szabo

Hello to every1!

Hope you guys all ok! I have not posted anything in the past few months now but checked out the blogs almost each day. In main time, I had a busy 5 month to open Glasgow's newst 4* hotel with my executive head chef James Murphy, the Glasgow Grand Central Hotel. Anyway....i dont want you guys to be bored with my story, here is some loafs.


The mixed dough.                                      

 A good few hours later in the bannetons.


While the sourdough is proov's, I was quickly kneaded a focaccia dough too. I dizzled the dough with confit garlic oil, pesto and then added the tomatoes. Some parts I may pushed the cherry tomatoes in too deep but it was still tasted lovely.


The end results. I had the loaf with potted pork and some pickles, recipe here.


Happy Baking!


zoltan szabo's picture
zoltan szabo

Hello to everybody,

I never had the opportunity to post anyhing a while now, but I try to keep up myself with the development on this website.

Many of you guys are baking really really nice looking loafs so I would like to promote every1 not to give up the good work! I also spotted that many of yous building wood fired ovens wivh is very inspiring and this time I wish I wouldnt stay in a flat. Anyway.....

Please find below a few pictures from some of my recent bakes, the first picture is a hazelnut loaf, very nice, charactheristic flavour, I roasted the hazelnuts until they where almost really dark brown so the fragrant flavour was quite intense. Also I added a touch of hazelnut oil to it.

The next is my first retarded loaf. I used my usual recipe, posted on the website earlier.



So...... I would like to ask for  some advice and comments about retarding. I made my dough then i left it to proove for 2hrs. Folding after 40min. Then i placed into the fridge until next day morning. I gently removed from the oiled bowl and put into the heavily floured banneton. I let it rest for about 3hrs, then I removed from the prooving basket onto a hot tray and then baked it on 210C.  I noticed that the large air boubles stayed on the top of the loaf. I would like to ask you guys to give me some feedback on my method as well as some advice on how can i move those air pockets so there are everywhere and not just on the top.

Looking forward for the comments!

Thanks and happy baking!



zoltan szabo's picture
zoltan szabo

Good Afternoon everyone,

I would like to share a picture from my ciabatta i baked today afternoon.

I mixed up the dough in the morning around 11am ish. Normaly mix it the night before but this time i never had the time for it. Anyway. I placed the sticky dough into a well oiled shallow container and covered with cling film. Let it rise until 2pm ish. Then strech-fold it once and left it in the tub until 4pm. I switched on my oven for 190C to heat. I poured the dough onto a well floured table and then devided into two. Brushed with some olive oil, dusted with flour and let it rest for 30min. Than carefully I lifted onto a baking sheet and chucked into the oven. It was take abt 25min to bake them.

The colour was lovely golden, nice crispy crust and delicius crumb. Normaly the longer fermentation results with a more open-crumb structure but it was still lovely.

Ingredients: 260gr flour, 230gr water, 6gr dry yeast, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp salt + extra flour for dusting, extra oil for brushing.  

I based my recipe on a similar recipe submitted by LilDice on May 10, 2007.     

Happy Baking,


zoltan szabo's picture
zoltan szabo

Hello to everyone,

Sorry I haven't posted anything in the past month, beeing busy with work and outside work. I would like to share these pictures with you guys, this were the selection of breads I used to bake for the restaurant I was charge of.

There were always minimum of four breads can include: lemon, tomato, olive, bluecheese & walnut, pain de campagne, savoury brioche, focaccia, fougasse aux lardons, plain white, 50/50 wholegrain. 

The day started early in the morning to make up a few batch of loaves for lunch then again for dinner. Sometimes I needed to bake fresh bread for banqueting events for up to 500guests. I am not a baker, just a very passionate cuisiner.

Pain de campagne



mini rolls

brioche rolls


See you guys soon,

 Happy Baking,



zoltan szabo's picture
zoltan szabo

The 'Stew' of the day:

Here Glasgow the weather is still wintery, Ok, today was abt 5hrs sun shine but yesterday abt 3hrs not rained out of the 24hr. Today I decided to use up some of my winter roots and some dried beans. About a week ago I brought some nice cannellini beans, even shape, nice shine, great texture and amazing taste. So I cooked this stew style dish and served with some of my leftover sourdough loaf, grated parmesan over it. I think its quite a nice dish if someobody likes beans as much as I do. And believe me I do love them.

Here is the recipe 4 about 4 (if you are vegetarian leave out the pancetta)

  • 2.5 espresso cup worth of cannellini beans
  • abt 100gr pancetta diced or cut into lardons
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 clove of garlic, scraped into a fine paste
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, halved then sliced
  • good dash of olive oil (do not use E.V.O.)
  • few sprig of thyme
  • few sprig of basil
  • 2 bay leaf
  • seasoning
  • 3 large plum tomatoes (ripe), diced
  • 100gr sliced salame piccante
  • abt 50-80gr diced celeriac
  • good handfull of parmesan, grated
  • left over sourdough bread
  • 3 Knorr veg.stock cube mixed with abt 800ml water (you maybe not even gonna need all)

Heat olive oil, add onion, garlic, pancetta, carrots, celeriac. Cook for abt 5 minutes or until begin to colour.Add the tomatoes, beans, all the herbs and cover with the stock.Bring to the boil and simmer until the beans are absorved some of the stock. Keep them covered with the stock. When they are start to soften but still al dente add the sliced salame picante. Adjust the seasoning. Remove the thyme/bay/basil stems. (if you would like it as a soup then add more stock, adjust seasoning)

Now..if you have a stew...its your choice to decide how do you going to eat it. At lunch time me and my wonderful wife was eat with a handfull of parmesan and toasted sourdough, tomorrow...I think I'll going to put into some individual mini casserolle dishes and going to bake it with some sourdough on top and pecorino cheese. The soup will soak up in the bread while the cheese melt and caramelise on top.

Happy Cooking and Baking!





zoltan szabo's picture
zoltan szabo


I would like to share my scones with you guys, hope some of yous get some inspiartions from it, as its quick, easy and great with a cuppa.

in the oven

cooling on wire rack

with jam and clotted cream

    This is the recipe I use for afternoon tea and cream tea scones.


  • 600gr self raising flour
  • 120gr unsalted butter
  • 3tbsp caster sugar(may need more)
  • About 2-2.5 cup milk (luke warm)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 egg


  • 1. Mix flour and sugar,salt together.
  • 2. Add the butter and mix for 3-4 min on spped 2 (Kitchenaid) then add milk.
  • 3. Mix until you get soft,smooth and elastic dough.
  • 4. Roll out into 1cm thick then cut out with a cutter.
  • 5. Brush with lightly beaten egg.
  • 6. Bake in moderate oven until golden.
  • 7. Cool on wire rack, serve.

Happy Baking!


zoltan szabo's picture
zoltan szabo

Hello to everyone,

I would like to share with you guys my white loaf I baked the other day.

Notes: Crispy crust even after a few hours, nice soft inside, very good lightly toasted as part of a good bruschetta.



  • 1kg flour
  • 45g fresh yeast
  • 20g salt
  • 40gr pork lard
  • about 700ml luke warm water


 1. Day before mix 400gr flour, all the yeast and 200ml luke warm water together. Cover with a floured cloth and set aside to a warm place until next day.

2. Next day add the rest of the flour, water, salt and soft lard. Mix on KA speed 2 for 3 minute then on speed 4 for 10 minute. The dough should be soft smooth and elastic. Place into a gently floured bowl and dust the top with flour and cover with a cloth. Rest it for 45 minute.

3. Place back to the bowl and mix on speed 2 for 5 minute then on speed 4 for 10 minute.

4. Form a large round loaf and place on a gently reased baking tray.

5. Brush with water. Cover with a cloth and rest for about 45-60 minute.

6. Brush gently with water then make a few cut on top and bake in moderate oven until golden.

7. When ready remove from the oven and place on wire racks, gently brush with water to give a nice gloss.

Happy Baking!


zoltan szabo's picture
zoltan szabo

Hello to everyone,

I would like to share with you guys my todays loaf. I used Bacheldre Watermill's Oak Smoked Malted Blend Strong Flour plus my old good sourdough.


Tasting notes:

Crispy but chewy crust, slightly smokey flavour with excellence after taste + nice sour flavours.


  • Flour (Bacheldre Watermill's Oak Smoked) 100%
  • Water 64%
  • Sourdough starter (100% hydration) 34%
  • SAlt 2%
  • Oil 2.5%

Mix F+W+SS+O for two minute then add salt and mix for another few minutes until the dough smooth elastic and slightly sticky.

Proof for 6 hrs on room temperature, then push down with your hands, let it rest for another 4hrs.

Deflate, knead for 8 minutes then place into a gently floured bannetton. Let it proof on room temp. for 3hrs.

Heat the oven 220C with the baking tray, when the tray is hot dust with flour or semolina then pour over gently the loaf. Slash it then place into the oven. I baked for 30 min closed door then the last 5 minutes half open door. Remove to wire rack to cool.


Hope you guys like this!

Happy Baking!



zoltan szabo's picture
zoltan szabo

Hello to everybody,

I would like to share with you guys my todays bread. I used 100% hydriation sourdough and ground caraway.





% quantity mea need mea
Flour 100% 375 gr 375 gr
Water 66%   gr 247.5 gr
Starer 34%   gr 127.5 gr
Salt 2%   gr 7.5 gr
Oil 2.5%   gr 9.4 gr

 Plus 1 level teaspoon of ground caraway seed.

I mixed together every ingredients yesterday , then today morning i knead it back, then placed into a floured banneton. I left to proof for 3hrs then baked in 220C oven for 30 min. rested on wire rack.

The crust is a wee bet chewy but a bit crunchy(if this makes any sence).

happy baking! zoltan

zoltan szabo's picture
zoltan szabo

Hello to everyone,

I would like to share with you guys my todays loaf.

I made it with brown flour feed 100% hydration sourdough starer.


375gr strong flour

127gr starter

245gr water

8gr salt

10gr vegetable oil

extra flour for dusting

1. first kneading time is for about 10minute by hand.

2. rest for 4-6hrs.

3. knead back for 10minute again by hand.

4. proof in banneton for 2.5hrs.

5. bake in 220C oven for 30min with some steam.

6. 5 minute on 180C with half open oven door.

7. rest on wire rack

By the way guys, I really like this site and I think some of you's have an absolute great talent for this bread baking!






Subscribe to RSS - zoltan szabo's blog