The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


tomsbread's picture

I made Hamelman's Country Bread for an uncle who knows his food. He spoked approvingly about the baguettes in France and I was really tempted to bake some for him and get his opinion on my baguettes. It was also an attempt to get my daughter to eat my breads. She is not a fan of hearth breads and I did not want to bake those soft cotton sweet dough breads found all over the country. The only time she liked my bread was a simple plain white loaf. When I asked her why she liked it, she replied that there were no raisins in the bread. To my chagrin, she does not mind supermarket breads but rejects most of my breads, especially when they are walnut and raisin.

Pictures of the breads are in


sefie ebrahimi's picture
sefie ebrahimi

hi i love bread making and this is the first time i am hear

Floydm's picture

I have a batch of the revised no-knead bread about to go into the oven, with about 10 percent whole wheat flour and 5 percent rye. I've also got a whole wheat sourdough rising.

While letting the dough rise, I was sorting through potential bread feed content and came across this site. Um... well... wow. There is some good information there, but the colors, the layout, the photo, the music... just go see it for yourself. Be sure not to miss the dog playing piano.

beanfromex's picture

I am sitting at my sister,s dining room table trying to type on a laptop..  I have never done this before and the keys are sooo narrow!!!

 I baked yesterday, twice in a week!! I did the ciabatta and my brother in law took pictures with a great camara, pictures to come soon. He does part time camera work for hockey teams, so shooting bread gave him a whole different goal.

The flour worked differently again, and the crumb is once again different We had to open the windows as the cornmeal was burning and she was worried about the fire alarm going off..

The first loaf was a raison cinnamon loaf, with hardly any cinnamon as she was out...note to self-always check ingredients in the pantry before starting baking.

I picked up some baking tins, one for english muffins and the other for individual loaves.

I have not bought the BBA yet, and it was on back order from the I will have to wait until I get into Chapters...canada's verrsion of barnes and nobles.

It is gently snowing here and looks very christmassy...

Hasta luego and hello to all.

ps two more weeks left in the north!!


tomsbread's picture

Its probably stale by now but I made an attempt at claypot bread. I probably need a few more practice to get the hang of it but it was fun. Perhaps I am too used to the conventional way of making bread but I think the old way makes bread that is predictable and better looking.

More pictures in

pmccool's picture

After a 3 week stretch with no baking, I finally caught up a bit this past weekend.  With the exception of some crescent rolls for Thanksgiving dinner from a recipe in Southern Living magazine, everything was from the Bread Bakers Apprentice.

My wife volunteered me to bring cinnamon rolls to a brunch with friends.  I decided to try Reinhart's formula from BBA and it was a big hit.  I made a double batch so that I could try both the cinnamon roll and the sticky bun variations.  Plus, we needed a bunch anyway.  The dough is fabulously rich and sweet.  The inclusion of the lemon zest adds both a fragrance and a flavor that are still identifiable in the finished baked goods.  Because it was for a Saturday brunch, I made the dough Friday evening, shaped it into rolls and put them in the refrigerator to retard overnight.  That gave me time to bake them in the morning and convey them, still warm, to the brunch. 

I did take a few liberties with the rolls.  Reinhart calls for spreading a cinnamon sugar mixture on the dough before rolling it up, using white sugar.  I replaced the white sugar with brown sugar for some additional flavor.  And, remembering a delightful twist from my college days, I scattered some chopped apple and chopped walnuts on the cinnamon rolls before rolling up the dough.  (That idea comes from the enormous cinnamon rolls that are still available from the Hilltop Restaurant in L'Anse, Michigan, just up the hill from Lake Superior.  They will even ship the rolls to buyers in the U.S. if you want to order them from their website at  And no, I don't get any commission, just a bit of nostalgia.)  The other variation was to add some chopped pecans on top of the glaze for the sticky buns.

Here are the cinnamon rolls, after coming out of the refrigerator:

Unbaked cinnamon rolls

You can see that the dough is so soft (I didn't even need a rolling pin to spread it into a rectangle; just patted it out) that some of the rolls have partially collapsed, even though they were refrigerated.  If I have to use the overnight retard again, I think that I will allow them to rise to nearly full size before putting them into the refrigerator.  That way they will hold their shape better.  As it was, I had to nudge them back into shape as they completed rising at room temperature.

Finished, they looked like this:

Baked and glazed cinnamon rolls

The sticky buns looked like this after being taken from the refrigerator:

Unbaked sticky buns

As with the cinnamon rolls, I had to straighten these up as they rose.  You can see the layer of caramel topping in the bottom of the pan, with the bits of pecans.  Reinhart notes that any excess topping can be refrigerated.  Silly man!  We used it all!

After baking and inverting onto another pan to let all of that wonderful caramel coat them, the sticky buns looked like this:

Baked sticky buns

Oh, yeah, they are good!  One friend said that although the cinnamon rolls were the best she had ever had, the sticky buns were over the top.  My wife has already told me that these will be on the menu when everyone is home for Christmas.

It also occurred to me that my sourdough starter had been neglected recently, so I started feeding it on Friday morning.  After four feedings, one of rye, it was ready to go to work Saturday afternoon.  Since there was enough to fuel two batches of bread, I started with the New York Deli Rye from BBA.  When I made the deli rye previously, I used fennel seeds in place of the optional caraway seeds.  This time, I remembered just how well dill gets along with onion, so I added dill seed to the dough.  It may not be original, but it is absolutely delicious in this bread.  What a great foundation for sandwiches!  The dill seed, I think, will be a standard part of this recipe going forward.  Because of the yeast that Reinhart includes in this formula, I was able to complete this bread before going to bed Saturday evening.  Here are the finished loaves:

Sourdough NY Deli Rye

I'm not entirely certain what caused the lighter blotchiness on the top crust, unless maybe it was the spray oil on the plastic that I used to cover the loaves while they fermented.

After setting the deli rye dough to bulk ferment, I started a batch of the basic sourdough bread, also from BBA.  After bulk fermenting and shaping at room temperature, the loaves went into the refrigerator.  On Sunday, after getting home from church, I pulled the dough out of the refrigerator and allowed it to finish fermenting at room temperature.  Then I baked it on a stone, with steam, starting at 500F and then dropping to 450F after 10 minutes.  When the internal temperature reached 205F (love that instant read thermometer!), took them out of the oven.  At that point, they looked like this:

BBA Basic Sourdough

I still need to practice slashing, although one loaf came out better than the other.  They also formed small ears along the slashes.  I have no idea what the crumb looked like, since I gave them to friends.  Apparently the flavor was alright, since they reported that one loaf was half-eaten by the time they got back to their house.

It was a real treat to get that much baking in over the course of a few days, especially since a couple of recipes were new to me.  And it was a pleasure to find some new favorites.

Thegreenbaker's picture

I wasnt to make a Rustic loaf, but my dough is always too runny.  Runny in the way that its like normal bread dough, but it spreads out no up. It rises, but not high. I tend to end up with a loaf 30cm in diameter and spreading.

I am guessing it has something to do with the spelt flour I am using.

Maybe it is my technique. By the time I decide it chould be in a loaf tin and I put it in there ti proof a bit, it doesnt want to rise.


So I mix the douch, knead it for about 5-6mins as it is Spelt not Wheat. It gets to a nice elastic stage then I put it in an oiled bowl and leave it.  It grows huge.

Last time I rose then I punched it down and it rose well again. Then I chaped it and left it to rise again............but it didnt.

This time I punched it down gently, then put it on a tray to rise again-hoping I could just put it in the oven but is just spread out again. I didnt want flat bread. So I put it in a loaf pan and it hardly rose. I put it in a preheated pre humidified oven with a tray of hot bubbling water. There wasnt any oven spring what so ever, in fact the little bit of rise I did get in the tin, flattened out. :(

 So I have theories.

I handle it too much. Maybe one rise a punch down and then put it in its mould/loaf pan to rise again. Then put it in the oven.


I'm out of Spelt flour now, and we have decided to go to wheat flour as it is soooooo much cheaper.  We have been paying almost 10 australian dollars for 1kg of spelt flour. Organic yes, but goodness. So I will have to start again.

It might be easier with Wheat. But I still wont handle it much. It might even hold its shape so that I can have a Rustic loaf!





Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

So, I've talked alot about making this bread in previous posts on the original thread but have not documented the experience as yet in photos. So here goes:

3 cups casually measured AP flour + 2 T rye flour (i read somewhere that it enhances the flavor)

1 1/2 t salt

1/4 t active dry yeast disolved in 1 5/8 cup purified water

Oven at 475, baking vessel pre-heated. Baked covered 30 mins, uncovered 15.

1. What I call the biscuit stage-- all the ingredients are dumped in the bowl, mixed just enough to bring it together:


2. 18 hours later:

Those yeasties have been busy-- love the pressure buble on the plastic wrap:

The Fold (actually I folded it twice in 15 min intervals):

3. The oval platter for rising and the oval clay covered roaster:

3. Shaped and put on the platter for final rise:

4. 3 Hrs 15 Mins later (running erands). Apparently there is no such thing as over-proofing?:

5. Fresh out of the oven:

6. Side view, nice oven spring. It's about 4.5 ":

7. Top View:

8. Network of fine cracks on the bottom:

9. Crumb:

zorra's picture

I like these Italian rolls. Nice shaped and great in taste!

Pane Biove

250 g flour
8 g fresh yeast
5 g salt
20 g lard
1/2 TL honey
~130 g water

How to shape them you find on my blog:

Floydm's picture

Tried a whole wheat sourdough for the first time with my current starter.


Certainly not the kind of crumb I can get with regular bread flour, but not bad for something purely leavened with a starter.




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