The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


yozzause's picture

just a bit of an article that might interest members in the Phnom Penh Post




Phnom Penh Post - The prodigal baker returns, and he’s brought along some fresh ideas

 In his original Siem Reap venture, the Canadian baker was an experimenter. Photo suppliedThe prodigal baker returns, and he’s brought along some fresh ideasFri, 21 October 2016 

Canadian Zita Long opened Zita’s Bakery in Siem Reap in 2014, and his perfectionism meant that he spent little time outside of the kitchen during the past two years. Long became a bit of a local celebrity, and business boomed: crowds lined up for his crumpets, Berliners, apple crumbles and trademark sourdough bread.

But a little over two months ago, he left. Zita’s Bakery closed its doors.

“The last few days [before I left], I remember feeling very confused, and upset in a way,” Long says. “I was feeling hopeful, but also with a little uncertainty.” Long knew he would return to Siem Reap, but he wanted a break, and a little time to explore new trends and techniques. He took off for Perth, Australia, to reignite his passion for the trade.

Long is a young, self-taught baker. He developed his skills while living in Cambodia – where there were limited opportunities to formally learn the trade – and worked on a trial-and-error basis.

Perth was a city of self-reflection, Long says; it is quiet and, more importantly, close to Fremantle. There, Long had the opportunity to study under a retired bread-baking instructor as well as a traditional Italian baker, Nick Agostina. They spoke about technique – as well as their beliefs and values – and Long observed his process.

Zita Long might open a bagel shop next, he says. Photo supplied


“I got to touch dough again for the first time,” Long says with a laugh. “I didn’t think I would miss it, but I did.”

The baker then travelled to Melbourne, which has its own renowned traditional baking scene as well as a batch of new bakeries with cutting-edge approaches. “The croissants and cruffins were tremendous,” Long says, noting that the queues were constant.

“I came back from Australia with an open mind,” Long says. He’s now scouting around for his next opportunity or collaboration: perhaps a bagel cafe. But nothing is set in stone, he adds. He’s not even sure if his sourdough is relevant anymore – or if it’s him or the town that have moved in a different direction.

One thing is for certain: if you’re in Siem Reap, you likely won’t go hungry for too long before his next plans unfold.

Keep up with Zita Long’s projects:

Username *Password *  Contact author: Sarah Rhodes

Just a quick update and article featuring Zita (Bakingbadly) that might be of interest

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

It was my daughter's baby shower on the weekend, and I made good old spinach dip. Of course, you need to put it in a sourdough bread bowl, right? So I added one 123 sourdough boule to the weekend bake. It turned out to be so good, I'm making smaller bread bowls (or boules, if they don't want them for holding soup!) for the subscription list customers for Wednesday. Nice creamy open gelatinized crumb, but I didn't get a crumb shot because I hollowed it out at the shower and it was devoured!

Sometimes it's nice to get back to basics. :)

  • 150 grams of 100% hydration active starter
  • 300 grams of water
  • 400 grams of bread flour (Roger's Silver Star)
  • 50 grams of sprouted whole spelt flour (Anita's Organic)
  • 9 grams of salt

30 minute autolyze; 5 hour bulk ferment with 3 or 4 stretch & folds; overnight retard in the fridge; shape & proof for a couple of hours; bake in a DO.

Anne-Marie B's picture
Anne-Marie B

A quick bread made with a bottle of dark stout, 50/50 wholewheat flour and bread flour and yeast. The dough was too soft for a freeform loaf and while digging for a loaf pan, I found my plum pudding mould and dumped the dough into that instead. I rather like the shape.

Cedar Mountain's picture
Cedar Mountain

Please bear with me...I know this is the third post in one day but I baked this a few days ago and have been waiting until today to slice into it.  Some months ago I tried baking a traditional rugbrot for my Danish neighbour after she had lamented about missing the rye bread she had grown up with. Ever since then she has been a willing participant, taste testing many of my bread experiments but always kindly telling me how much she prefers a good rugbrot!  She and her husband have been such good neighbours to us for over 30 years, how could I not have another go at a Danish rye bread for them?  

This is a variation of Chad Robertson's Rene's Rye Bread, with a higher percentage sprouted rye berries, relatively lower percentage flour.  I mixed 400 g fresh milled rye flour, 200 g fresh milled Red Fife, 22 g sea salt and 220 g levain. I left this covered for 8 hours at room temperature and then mixed in 200 g sprouted rye berries, 100 g toasted pumpkin seeds, 100 g toasted sunflower seeds, 100 g coarsely crushed pistachios, 250 g chopped dried Kalamata figs, a good glop of unpasteurised, raw honey, 1 bottle dark malt beer (500 mls) and 350 mls water; the dough had a wet exposed aggregate cement consistency. The dough fermented for 4 hours at room temperature; then I put the dough into two loaf pans for another 3 hours at room temperature before an overnight cold-proof.  I baked the loaves directly out of fridge the next day, 10 hours later...followed Dab's advice and did a progressively lower temperature bake starting covered with foil at 425 F for 20 minutes; 400 F for 10 minutes;  uncovered and baked 40 minutes at 375 F and then de-panned and baked for 20 minutes at 325 F.  When cooled, I wrapped them in parchment paper and plastic wrap and left them for 24 hours...and waited.  I cut into one this morning and took a loaf to my neighbour; she tasted a slice this morning and pronounced it "lækker!"





Cedar Mountain's picture
Cedar Mountain

And since I had the green tea matcha powder out....this is something that is a familiar treat at family gatherings; I think it has roots in the everyday cooking experiences of my parents and grandparents - not always having ready access to other ingredients, making do with whatever was on hand. It is really easy to make and really, really delicious...a very unique chewy, mochi-cake-like texture.  


Sweet glutinous rice flour (mochiko), coconut milk, cream/milk, eggs, butter, salt, baking powder, green tea matcha powder, sugar...all mixed together and transferred to a greased baking pan, that's it!



Bake at 350 F for about 90 minutes or until the top is nicely browned and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the baking pan...




Cedar Mountain's picture
Cedar Mountain

Ok, so it's not rye bread but I thought it was time to take a break from my exploration of rye bread and this is something I have been wanting to bake for a while, Hokkaido Milk Bread!  I know there have been many previous posts about this type of bread so I am not going to say too much about this bake other than to say this one is not the typical white milk bread so ubiquitous to the many Asian bakeries where I's green bread.

I am not slamming white bread or anyone who enjoys baking/eating white's just a personal preference for other than white bread that inspired me to try a Green Tea Matcha Hokkaido Milk Bread version.  It is made with the usual ingredients - Tangzhong, milk, yeast, all purpose white flour, yeast, sugar, egg - and some matcha powder.  I was pleased with the way this bread turned out and plan to try other variations (all of which are cheaply and readily available from local Asian bakeries but where's the fun in that?) - coconut buns, red bean bread...


Dough prepared with a Kitchen Aid mixer, transferred to a glass bowl for initial proofing...



After the initial rise, shaped and placed in a greased loaf pan for final proofing...


Final proof finished, ready for baking...


And the finished loaf...


Danni3ll3's picture

I got my inspiration for this bread from Cedar Mountain's Khorasan Spelt Seeded Bread. I was totally impressed with the crumb and look of that bread and decided to make something similar with the flours and seeds I had in the house. 

Levain - Build up to 230 g of 80% levain (132 g flour/98 g water) in 3 stages from my NFNM starter. I ended up using a tad more not to waste what was in the jar. 

Add-ins - Toast 50 g chopped almonds, 50 g pumpkin seeds, 50 g black sesame seeds, 50 g sunflower seeds, and 75 g Buckwheat groats in a frying pan. Pour 300 g of nearly boiling water over seeds and soak 15 minutes. Drain but reserve soaking water for autolyse. 

Autolyse - Mix all add-ins with 750 g water (next time I will reduce this to 700 g) and 678 g unbleached bread flour, 194 g wholewheat flour, 48 g Buckwheat flour and 48 g sprouted Buckwheat flour. The plan was to add in also a teaspoon of walnut oil but it turned out to be old so I didn't want to risk using rancid oil. Let sit for 30 minutes. 

Mix - Add in 22 g sea salt and 240 g of 7 hour old levain. I used pinching and folding to incorporate everything. The dough felt very hydrated. 

Ferment - I gave the dough 4 sets of many folds over the next few hours. We went out to dinner in the middle of this so timing between sets was not consistent. Dough fermented for 7 hour, some at 72 F and some st 82F, until it was 2.5 times the original volume. 

Divide and rest - I split the dough in two and did a very loose preshape. I let it rest 10 minutes and then had fun trying to do the final shaping due to it being so wet. It was hard to get a tight skin on it and I had to redo it several times to get it to the point it had somewhat of a skin. 

Proof - I popped the dough into the baskets and then into the fridge for a 13 hour proof. 

Bake - Baked at 500F for 20 minutes in preheated Dutch ovens, 10 minutes at 450F and another 20 minutes with the lid off until internal temp was 206F. 

The loaves didn't have a huge oven spring but the crumb actually turned out very nice. I love the flavour too. I am thinking of redoing this next week with the reduced hydration and adding some nut or sesame oil. 




Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

I have I have been continuing to pursue my study of 1-2-3 bread. I had some extra pureed blueberries I though would go well in bread. They did except for the one loaf that stuck to the bottom of the pan, so I ate some and it was addictive and cut up the rest and froze it, for stuffing or maybe even croutons. The other loaf might have been a bit under proofed.




Loose dough on silipat

Crumb shot

isand66's picture

       This is a great fall bread made with apple cider, rye flour and lots of walnuts.  If you don't like walnuts you can certainly leave them out or cut  down on the amount used which was quite a bit.

I really like the combination of flavors in this one.  I ended up with a little more of a bold bake than I would have liked but it tastes great.




Download the BreadStorm File Here.



Levain Directions

Mix all the Levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I usually do this the night before.  Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours,  and the apple cider together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 60 minutes or longer.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and balsamic vinegar along with the eggs, and mix on low for 6 minutes.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  At this point you can flatten the dough out slightly and incorporate the walnuts.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (If you have a proofer you can set it to 80 degrees and follow above steps but you should be finished in 1 hour to 1.5 hours).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.   Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 25-35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 210 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.




Skibum's picture

It has been a while since I have baked something from Inside the Jewish Bakery -- too long.  Beigle or Hungarian filled rolls as described in the book are still one of the BEST things I have ever taken out of my oven!

Walnut and almond you say? Well I made a 1/4 batch of walnut filling and it was only good to cover half of the rolled out dough. Out of walnuts, I made a second batch of filling using almonds, so the inner part is walnut and the outer rolls almond. YUMMY!!!

I have frozen most of it, but there is still a slice on my cutting board and as my chicken dinner is cooking in the smoker, I sneak small slices of this beigle heaven!

Happy baking! Ski


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