The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I have a customer who has teenage children. She buys a lot of different kinds of bread from me, but she was still buying cinnamon bread from a local chain because her kids love it. She asked it I ever made something like that. I found the ingredients online:


Wheat Flour, Water, Cinnamon Chips [Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Palm), Cinnamon, Soy Lecithin], Sugar, Yeast, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Dextrose, Sodium Strearoyl Lactylate, Mono-diglycerides, Ascorbic Acid, Protease.,

... and said, "Well, no, I don't make bread with those things in it, but I could make you something to try."

I started with Daniel Leader's recipe for Scali bread (from "Local Breads") which is made with a poolish, AP flour, and a touch of olive oil and sugar for enrichment. I did replace about 10% of the AP flour with white whole wheat flour (her kids will never notice :) ) [CORRECTION: The recipe for the Scali bread was actually from America's Test Kitchen's "Bread Illustrated" book. Sorry to lead anyone astray!]

Once the bulk ferment was finished I stretched the dough into a rectangle (easy to do; this dough is so soft and stretchy), then rubbed a little olive oil on it, sprinkled it with sugar (I used organic cane sugar for this and in the dough) cinnamon, and cinnamon chips (I figured they wouldn't like it without these!) then rolled it up. I then flattened the roll and cut it into three strips. I twisted each one then braided the loaf, tucked the ends under and put it in an oiled bread pan.

This was then baked as usual for a soft sandwich bread (350F for about 40 minutes). I should probably have done an egg wash to make the crust shiny, but it was just a test loaf. Still looked very nice once baked (though a bit lopsided; my braiding skills with soft sticky dough aren't great).

The crumb was really lovely. I cut the loaf in half and took a thin slice, just to make sure it was acceptable to me, before she took it home to the teenagers. Apparently it was a big hit and was quickly devoured, so now I need to make more!


dabrownman's picture

This week’s smoked meats included the usual sausage, chicken thighs and pork ribs but Lucy threw in a 3 pound chuck roast that was on the thick side too. Normally we would smoke a pastrami, corned beef or brisket but they are ridiculously expensive and Chuck roast is half the price.  She wanted to see if this usually slow braised meat could be smoked and pulled like a pork shoulder

She also wanted something to celebrate the Dow crushing 21,000, which it did this morning – about a month after it crossed 20,000 on January 25th.  This the fastest 1,000 point rise in Dow history – quite an achievement although a 1,000 point rise was only 5% and quit unlike the % rise it took to go from 1000 to 2,000.  Some of us are old enough to remember the Dow closing at 837 in 1974 and then 10 years later also closing at 837 in 1984.  Those were not great investing years and called ‘The Lost Decade.’

But we are celebrating today because the pulled beef turned out great and it on[y took half the time in the smoker as the brisket too at 6 hours to h=get to 195 F!  So, we needed some buns quickly and they had to be good so instant yeast, sugar, butter and Half and Half seemed to be the way to go in Lucy’s mind bit then she tossed in some potato flakes to make them potato buns.

After a slap and fold mix per the recipe below, we did the usual slap and folds to get it all incorporated and then did 2 more sets of 8 all on 30 minute intervals.  Then we did 3 sets of 4 stretch and folds,  We let the dough ferment for a while to let it puff up before shaping into thin buns and letting them proof for about an hour  We washed them with half and half and then slid them on the bottom stone at 400 F for 12 minutes before turning the oven down to 350 F for another 12 minutes.

They browned up very nice and we brushed them with half and half when they came out of the oven to keep them soft and put a shine on them.   It was 5 hours from start to finished baking.  These rolls are delicious and were perfect for the pulled beef sandwiches.  These are our go to fast buns and we make them in SD too using 15% pre-fermented flour in the 3 stage, 12 hour NMNF levain – if you want them to be done in 5 -6 hours you have to use 30% pre-fermented flour and have the levain built before you start counting the hours.

Mix everything except the salt & butter for 30 minutes before adding in the left outs.

100% LaFama AP with 2 pinches of instant yeast

14% egg

10% Potato flakes

10% Non-Fat Dry Milk Powder

17% unsalted Butter

65% Half and Half

2% salt




Da Baker's picture
Da Baker

have used egg white, egg yolk and knishes wont brown!

pmccool's picture

My work schedule is set up so that I get every other Friday off.  Or, as my employer puts it, I'm on a 9/80 work schedule.  That means Mondays through Thursdays are 9 hours a day, one Friday is 8 hours, and the following Friday is off.  I love it.  Having a 3-day weekend every other week is a wonderful thing.

So, this past Friday, I got to play with some new recipes.  The first bake was an Irish soda bread.  It turned out wonderfully, in a craggy sort of way, with plenty of spring in the oven.  We took it to a neighbor whose mother had died a couple of days previously.  Consequently, there are no pictures.  It was well received; so much so that I’m not sure any of the extended family actually knew of its existence.

The second bread that day was something I'll call an Irish oatmeal porridge bread.  It features cooked steel-cut (or pinhead, or Irish, or Scots) oatmeal, some bread flour, some whole wheat flour, plus some molasses to help boost the flavor.  If you aren't acquainted with steel-cut oats, they are fairly analogous to cracked wheat.  Each oat kernel is broken into 3-5 pieces as they pass through a set of rollers at the mill.  The texture is quite different from rolled oats, even the old-fashioned variety.  The cooked porridge is more nubby, a bit more al dente. 

The dough was a bit drier than I expected.  There are two factors that may have been in play.  The first is that much of the liquid in the bread is contained in the porridge.  If one were to measure the pre-cooked and cooked weight of the porridge, they’d know how much water is lost during the cooking.  Of course, one would have to think of that in advance.  The second factor is the AP flour in this particular batch of bread.  It’s the Eagle Mills Ultragrain flour, which contains 30% white whole wheat flour along with the usual patent flour.  The extra fiber content makes it more absorbent than a typical AP flour.  Which of those was the greater influence, I can’t say.  What was clear was that the dough required more water, probably another 50-60 grams worth before it softened to something less than bagel dough.  Note that the dough didn’t feel particularly dry but it was quite stiff to knead. 

The dough was bulk fermented in a covered bowl, then shaped into a loaf that went into an 8x4 loaf pan.  The final proof, covered, went until the dough crested about ¾ of an inch above the pan rim, at which point it went into the preheated oven for baking.   

The first impression is favorable:


Hmm, perhaps a bit lopsided:


Well, yes, a longer final proof would have been a good idea:


And the crumb:

If you look closely enough at the crumb, you will notice a compression zone where the dough was in contact with the pan.  It appears that the outer extent of the loaf suffered some compaction before the top tore loose and released the pressure.  The rest of the crumb is very uniform and is a splendid base for my sandwiches this week.  The bread is firm and moist, probably an artifact of the moisture in the porridge, as well has having a degree of chewiness that is definitely due to the steel-cut oats.  The molasses, which is one of my favorite flavors, is front and center in both fragrance and taste.  I suspect this would also be very good toasted, with nothing more than butter spread on it.

I also managed to squeeze in a batch of sandwich rolls on Saturday, yielding 6 hotdog buns and 6 hamburger buns.  All in all, it was a fun time in the kitchen this past weekend.


Danni3ll3's picture

As mentioned in my other post, I was busy baking a ton (for me) of loaves today. This is Oats 4 Ways recipe. It also makes 2 large loaves or 3 small ones. Bake for a shorter time if making the smaller ones.

1. Toast 75 g rolled oats and then soak overnight in 150 g of boiling water.

2. Soak 75 of oat groats overnight in 150 of boiling water.

3. Autolyse all of the above (do not drain) with 500 g water, 67 g organic yogurt, 578 unbleached flour, 174 g freshly milled spelt flour, 174 freshly milled kamut flour, 52 freshly milled oat flour and 20 g of oat bran. Let sit for a couple of hours.

4. Mix in 23 g of salt, 275 g of 80% hydration levain (levain was fed 9 hours prior) and 55 g of water to adjust the hydration of the dough to feel like my ear lobe (my new trick). Use pinching and folding to integrate everything together.

5. Do four sets of folds a half hour apart and let rise till double. The total bulk fermentation for this dough was just under 5 hours in a warm spot.

6. Divide into 2 or 3 and do a loose reshape. Let rest 15 minutes and do the final shaping. Pop into baskets, then into plastic bags and finally into the fridge for an overnight proof.

7. The next morning, (or afternoon in my case because I had so many other loaves to back first), bake as per my usual method.

This ended up with a lovely colour. I am not sure why my other loaves (Sprouted wheat and multigrain)  looked a little pale compared to these. Does putting dough in a real banneton affect the colour (Yes, I finally treated myself to some real bannetons ). The oat loaves were done in my usual plastic baskets so I got my usual colour. Then again, I also was treated to a lame and was playing with the scoring on the other loaves but I don't see how that would affect the colour.

The multigrain loaves are in the back for comparison.

Danni3ll3's picture

It was like a baking marathon session today. I can only bake 2 loaves at a time and I had 10 loaves to bake! I more than doubled up on what I usually do because I can't bake next weekend and I wanted to give a couple of loaves away to friends and family.

So the first set of 5 loaves were this multigrain and sprouted wheat sourdough. This makes 2 large loaves or 3 small ones.

1. Sprout 75 g of hard spring wheat berries. I used an old variety called Selkirk. This took a few days. When the tails were as long as the berry, I put them in the fridge.

2. Toast 75 g of 10 grain cereal (Bob's Red Mill) and then soak in 150 g of boiling water overnight. In the morning, stir in 30 g of organic yogurt and let sit for a few hours.

3. Autolyse all of the above ingredients with 667 g of water, 391 g of unbleached flour, 293 g of multigrain flour (Robin Hood Multigrain Best for Bread), 99 g of freshly milled Red Fife flour, 197 g of freshly milled hard spring wheat flour. Let sit for at least 2 hours.

4. Mix in 23 g sea salt and 275 g of 80% hydration levain (It was fed about 8 hours prior). Use pinching and folding to integrate ingredients.

5. Do four sets of folds a half hour apart and then let bulk ferment in a warm spot until double. This took almost 5 hours in my oven with the light on and the door cracked open.

6. Divide into 2 or 3 and do a loose pre-shape. Let sit for 15 minutes and do the final shape. Pop into bannetons or baskets and put into plastic bags for an overnight proof in the fridge.

7. The next day, bake as per my usual method of 20 minutes at 500 F, 10 minutes at 450 F, and 27 minutes with the lid off the pre-heated Dutch Oven.

The loaves look great although they are just a shade paler than my usual loaves! Depending on which loaf we cut open this week, you may or may not get a crumb shot. The loaves feel nice and light so hoping for a fairly open crumb.


kendalm's picture

Here are a couple of nice loaves from today's batch. Finally seeing some nice ears with crisper edges which I believe is a result of a shorter final proof (~45 minites-ish) and a little extra time before oven flipping. Being that its colder in the mornings its quite a challenge to get the final proof timing right and have recently been a bit disappointed by flatter loaves due to over-compensating. The last couple of bakes I have done the final proof above the oven to inject a little life into the yeast and it seems to allow for the usual 40-50 minute proof. Then as the oven opens for the first flip its been obvious that the spring is more pronounced.

That's all great but what else can be noticed here is that I have recently been experimenting with soy and its apparent that I have over done it this time as the crumb is a little too gummy. Its amazing that just a bit of soy can change the bubble structure to that of more smaller air pockets which at least for me is desirable. Not a big fan of 1 inch pockets. So it looks like time to scale back on soy maybe 1/2 g max. Although it makes for a beautiful yellow color this batch is just ok on the interior.

The balance of everything on this loaf - the baguette, is just insane to perfect !

Jacob Lockcuff's picture
Jacob Lockcuff

Hello everybody! I hope everyone is having a good day/evening. I figured I'd share my second artisan bread that I baked on Tuesday earlier this week. It's the recipe from a blog that goes by the name "ThePerfectLoaf." The recipe is titled, "My Best Sourdough Bread." I've followed the recipe pretty much to a T, but I have made a few changes related to the starter. Rather than create a levain as the recipe calls for, I just used 150 grams of my 80% all-purpose, 20% red wheat 110% hydration sourdough starter. I also bake it in my Dutch oven. Pictures. My whole family loves this bread, as do I. I've been making it every few days to have enough for breakfast, buttered, with my bacon and eggs, and I have it almost every day for lunch with homemade roast beef, cheddar cheese, a salad, and a great big pile of homemade sauerkraut. Delicious.

stu currie's picture
stu currie

This is my first attempt at sourdough. It's just a plain loaf proofed for about 20 hours in a round banneton, then adjusted a little bit to make a more rectangular shape. I was a little bit disappointed with the oven spring, but I think that was because I didn't leave my Dutch oven to heat up for long enough,  Because i was getting a little impatient. Other than  that  I'm very happy with it.

Please let me know what you think, criticism more than welcome, also, would I be better buying a rectangular banneton, or is it fine to adjust the shape just before baking?

Skibum's picture

To my honey corn bread recipe I have upped the jalapeno from one to two. Not a lot of heat from these peppers up here in moose country, but they added a nice crunch, as did the corn kernels I added. The final add was old cheddar diced fine.

Skillet honey cornbread with 2x jalapeno, diced sharp cheddar and corn kernels. My best corn bread ever!
1/ cup corn meal
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder...
1/4 tsp baking soda
2Tbs sugar
Mix dry ingredients.
beat 1 egg and add to 1/2 cup buttermilk
add 2 Tbs liquid honey and mix
Add wet to dry, then 2 Tbs melted butter, which I also use to coat the CI pan.
Bake for 16 minutes @ 400F, turning half way.

This bread has a nice sweet taste. The jalapenos bring no heat, but a nice crunch to go along with the corn kernels. My best corn bread yet!!!

Happy baking and eating friends! Ski


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