The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


whitedaisy's picture

Because I have been making bread for over 5 years, I thought I was beyond this site's bread lessons. But after creating yet another, dense, tastless loaf, I thought I'd give them a try. I found that I was adding too much flour and that I wasn't kneading for nearly long enough.
I am very happy with my first loaf from lesson #1. My hubby says it's my best loaf ever! I plan to make up another this week, before I move onto lesson #2.

Floydm's picture

I usually wouldn't include something like this in the bread feed, but what the heck... it is Halloween.

Be careful in the kitchen, everyone.

Happy Halloween!

Floydm's picture

I made Melon bread for the first time today using the recipe posted by minako. We loved them.

I followed her directions with only I few adjustments. One adjustment I made was to put no egg in the bread dough and 1 whole egg in the cookie dough. I also didn't happen to have any pastry flour in the house, which I assume is what she meant by "soft flour", so I used all-purpose unbleached flour in both doughs.

Here are the doughs when they were ready to shape. The cookie doughs had been chilled and the bread doughs had already risen once.
melon bread

After rolling out one of the cookie dough circles, I placed a ball of bread dough inside and wrap it up.
melon bread

Then I flipped them over, score them gently with the back of a butter knife, and sprinkled on a little sugar.
melon bread

Ready to bake!
melon bread

Here they are done. It looks like I should have scored them a bit more, because the melon-y pattern completely disappeared.
melon bread

Up close.
melon bread

No matter, the kids loved them!
melon bread

Yum yum.
melon bread

Thank you again for the recipe, minako!

Floydm's picture

I baked oodles of quick breads today. Pumpkin bread, scones, popovers, and this weird potato-apple pancake from Country Breads of the World, which I recently got from the library. A good book it seems so far.

They all turned out well. The pancake kinda fell apart because I didn't use enough flour, but it tasted excellent. Want to see?

apple potato pancake

Tomorrow I bake with yeast. In fact, I need to get some sponges going right now.

sally's picture

Fridge got no space, hence can only shape in the morning. Suppose I will have to shape them & wait for them to thaw a while, think have to wait for about 2 hrs, will let you know outcome..

sally's picture

I am thinking of making bagels over the weekend, I would like to know whether I can put the dough into the fridge after the kneading process, then shape the bagels next morning.

Erithid's picture

I couldn't sleep tonight, so like any panefile, I decided to bake. I have been reading "Baking With Julia," thanks to the Boston Public Library, and thought, "why not try something difficult?" And thusly I have begun the process of creating Pain de Campagne. Wish me luck!

1/2 cup AP Flour (should be whole wheat, but I am out, we'll see if it works anyhow)
3 tbs warm water
1/2 tsp milk
(1/8 tsp cumin, but I don't have any. This is more of an experiment than anything else anyhow, so I am not worrying about it)

Work the dough into a stiff springy doughball. Knead about 5 minutes, leave in a covered bowl for 2 days at room temp.

See you in 2 days with a report and the next part of the recipe! ~Erithid

*Added 1/3 cup water 3/4 cup flour knead for 3 min let sit 18 hours

**Checked on the chef today, and it was horrible. It had become almost yogurt like and foul-smelling. I will inquire on the forums to see what could have gone so wrong. Whatever lessons I learn, I will post or link to here. Ah well, an adventure indeed.

timtune's picture

Ahh...finally after more than a 2 week wait, it arrived. Peter Reinhart's bread baker's apprentice finally got to my doorstep. Got it from Amazon.
Haven't went thru it thoroughly yet, but it certainly looks great, though i find adhering to some of the recipes difficult at times (as in measures). ;)

timtune's picture

I just set a starter out last night. Made of raisin water and unbleached all purpose. Hopefully i'll manage to get some loaves outta it this time.. hehe..

This is the 2nd time i'm doing this. Earlier this year, when i knew very little about making bread, my starter looked fermented, but they didn't produce anything or make dough rise... Guess it's just some other bacteria, not wild yeast. I live in a tropical country. Hope it's ideal for wild yeast and not some other nasty microbiological impostors...

Didn't use wholewheat flour. The last time i used wholewheat flour for an overnight poolish, it was fermented till the loaves smelled nasty and tasted bitter. lol

Hmm, how do u know if ur starter is ready to be used and how long b4 u can use it, usually....

Floydm's picture

I baked a pumpkin french bread this weekend:

Pumpkin French Bread Makes 2 loaves Poolish: 8 oz. water 8 oz. all-purpose unbleached flour 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast

Final dough:
All of the poolish
16 oz. all-purpose unbleached flour
4 oz. pumpkin puree
4 oz. water
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon brown sugar

At least I think that is right. I'm putting it down from memory, so if something seems drastically off, adjust it!

The standard approach here: the poolish sat out overnight, two rises before shaping, baked at 465 for about 25 minutes in an oven with steam. Take a look at the rustic bread recipe if you want more info.

I did a decent job scoring them:

The pumpkin loaves are on the outside, a rustic bread I baked in the center.

I think if I try it again I'll bump the amount of pumpkin up to 6 ounces. You really can't taste the pumpkin much. But you catch a whiff of it pulling a slice of it out of the toaster.


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