The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


bharonC's picture

There are countless small food recalls each month. These recalls are headed by, however not required by, the FDA. The federal government's financing of the Food and Drug Administration is not usually considered during these recalls. The 2011 Skippy recall, however, is bringing to mind the reduction in funding. Lawmakers are really considering cutting funding to the FDA and USDA, in spite of the hazard of unrecalled food. Post resource - Peanut butter recall 2011 highlights danger of cutting funding by MoneyBlogNewz.

Massive recall on peanut butter this year

In a move expected to cost about $50 million or more, Skippy has recalled peanut butter in 16 states. The Skippy Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread and Skippy Reduced Fat Super Chunk Peanut Butter Spread have both been possibly contaminated with salmonella bacteria. The UPC numbers 048001006812 and 048001006782 on the 16.3 ounce jar means that it is in the recall. These are only plastic jars. The FDA is working in cooperation with Unilever, the company that manufactures Skippy, to pull the possibly tainted product off the shelves.

Getting food safety covered

In a new bill signed into law last year, the FDA got an update. To be able to get a recall before, the Food and Drug Administration had to work with the business. Now the Food and Drug Administration can issue the recall itself. More money was put in the FDA budget so that food safety is closely viewed while new inspectors could be employed. The funding for these changes, however, seems to be at risk. Part of the funding is appearing from cuts to the USDA, which is responsible for the safety of the meat supply. The new food safety laws may never really be enforced though. This is because Congress is asking for FDA reductions. The lack of funding with consequences is very significant since tainted food causes over 3,000 deaths a year.

Biggest issue for food safety

The United States has to figure out something for financing food safety. It is hard to determine. The food and drug safety in the United States are taken care of by the FDA which means lots of stuff is going on. Food safety is also, alternately, handled by the United States Department of Agriculture or 14 other federal agencies. There are also many government officials that keep track of this in the state and cities. There are several challenges with the heavier regulation though even though it might help food safety. Small farms, farmer's markets, and other local food producers have currently expressed concern that increased regulation costs them a significant percentage of their sales. All of the food safety recalls means millions lost from the safety spending budget and economy. The political, social and economic changes might turn out to be too hard for every person to face.

Information from



Food Safety News

Government Accountability Office

bartwin's picture

I would like to put back some bran and wheat germ into my white flour bread recipes.  Does anyone know what that translates to in terms of additional water per cup of flour?

Jo_Jo_'s picture

Couldn't help but want to share this link from "I Can Has Cheezburger"  Lolcat bread pic.... On to my raisin bread, which turned out pretty good.  I used Winter White Wheat, red wheat is simply to strong flavored for making a good cinnamon bread.  I like the red wheat for my cereal bread though!  The darkness of the crumb is mostly from the cinnamon that went into the dough.

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I did not soak the flour at all with this recipes, simply ground it and made it into the bread.  I used kefir (basically a lot like buttermilk), and the only other changes I made to the recipe was to use pecans, splenda for the cinnamon swirl and honey in the actual bread.  Oh, I also reduced the percentage of raisin in the recipe by half.  Not sure why the baker's percentage asked for so much, but it seemed rather outrageous.  Here's the dough after the kneading it for about 4 minutes.

At this point I added the pecans and raisins, and kneaded for a few minutes, which worked ok, but I decided to do a little hand kneading before I let it rise, just to mix them in a little better.  I then greased up a container for the dough to do it's bulk rise in.

It actually looks pretty good in there, and I'm starting to think this will turn out to be a nice loaf.

Starting to rise a little bit, a little bit slower than I expected, but I think I used active dry yeast rather than my instant yeast. 

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Took about 2 hours, but it's now risen well and ready to be shaped into a loaf of bread.  This is 1.8 lbs of bread dough.

I flattened the dough with my hands, trying not to eliminated all the bubbles, but wanting the texture to be like a sandwich loaf.  The gluten was really well developed, so this was easy but took two steps.  It needed a few minutes to rest before finishing flattening it.

Here it is with the cinnamon and splenda, plus a small amount of flour with a spray or two of water on top to hold it all in place.

All rolled up, ready for it's final proof.  It's looking pretty good, but I think I should have made a little bit more dough for this loaf.  I thought it was 2 lbs, but when I looked back it was actually about 1.8 lbs at the most.

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I took two pictures of my finished bread, in different lighting conditions, because of the speculation about why the BBA book's picture was so different.  I am thinking that these last pictures will show what a difference simple lighting and camera position can make, but I also did not cook my bread for a full 40 minutes like BBA called for.  I do not like really dark crusts, so tend to pull them or cover them with foil if I think they are not quite done. 

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hi my brother sent me this video link, there is some amazing looking dough in it, and loads of wonderful types of food.



tssaweber's picture

Reading through SylviaH's long blog (Oven-Steaming My New Favorite Way) I decided that I have to give this steaming technique a try.

I always felt uncomfortable with spraying my hot oven and I don't know how many times I burnt myself in pouring water on the hot bottom. Even though it is still working I believe I've done a lot of damage to the oven and this is probably also the source of all the issues I have with it not holding the temperature correctly.

Like others I was pretty amazed with the result!


The oven spring was so strong that I had blow-outs in my baguettes.

I don't think this happened because of poor shaping. (I'm Sinclair trained!  The Back Home Bakery) On the other hand it shows nicely how big irregular holes in the crumb are created and that scoring plays a big role.


Of course a very strong sourdough starter is very helpful too!!


Happy baking!



SylviaH's picture

Thank you, Karin, for a wonderful formula!  A Keeper!

My first attempt at working with 100% spelt flour.  

I baked this bread yesterday before rushing out for the day.  It works great for a busy schedule and I could have even taken less time by not over proofing it, I'll know better next time after reading, other members advice about mixing and proofing spelt flour breads.  The 'my' crumb was to dense but the flavor is outstanding,  I loved the spices and nut combo...oh and the buttermilk!  

I finally found 2 photos, that's another story!

ADDED:  My husband had it toasted this morning, detected something he really liked in the flavor...ahhhh, I told him anise and fennel.  He's usually doesn't comment about whole grain breads to much..he said he really liked this that's something!







oceanicthai's picture


I was inspired by JMonkey's bread from 2008 & from another bread I tried from Mike Avery's blog.  This bread was absolutely delicious.  I used my usual recipe for my sourdough boules with a 7-grain soaker so I wouldn't feel so guilty feeding it to my family.  I added 50 grams of Dutch cocoa, 100g of dried cranberries, and chocolate chips, folding it in the way JMOnkey showed so the chocolate wouldn't burn.  Worked fantastic. 

Mebake's picture

That is ,If My first attempt did yield anything close to a croissant. I Was inspired by Akiko's Post here about her great croissants adapted from Steve's Great website: Breadcetera, and i had to try my luck at croissants.

 This time, i have managed to retain the butter in the layers in the oven, and not ending up with a puddle of molten butter. The Dough lamination went on smoothly, But I had to let the dough chill in the freezer for 25 minutes per session instead of the fridge, due to my warm kitchen.

Chilling my dough in the freezer lead to a prolonged final proof (3 hours), which were not enough. I was too scared to allow the dough ferment in my warmer kitchen, as the butter may melt.

Finally, i actually had Croissants, with Butter in them, and a lovely flaky texture, though not as airy as Akiko Croissants, But Considerably light.

Tommy gram's picture
Tommy gram

oceanicthai's picture

This was our favorite, and there isn't much left of it.  I used a soaker for the rosemary herb.  Wish I could get fresh here in Thailand!  The internal temperature didn't quite reach 200F and the top got a bit dark, probably because of the oil, but it was soooo delicious, I can't believe I made it.

My sourdough boules are churning out of the oven regularly now.



100 grams sourdough starter at 100% hydration, mixed with 100g breadflour & 100g water  +1/2 tsp salt

Rosemary hot soaker: 1 Tablespoon dried herb & 100g hot water  +1 tsp salt

200g water mixed with 100g bread flour & 100g whole wheat flour  (I used water mixed with what was left in my pan after sauteeing onions)  +1 tsp salt

Leave out levain, autolyse & soaker overnight or 8-10 hours.  If I go beyond that I put it all in the fridge.  I add salt because it is 95F here & I don't want too much enzymatic action turning everything to mush.


Morning:  Drain soaker, mix everything together, add several cloves of mashed roasted garlic.  Add 200g of bread flour.  Knead lightly to mix everything well.  Put in bowl oiled generously with olive oil, turn to coat.  Cover & let bulk ferment for 3 hours.  I did a stretch and fold at every hour using olive oil generously.  Preshape, put in bowl seam side down & put in fridge.

Evening:  Invert bowl, very gently shape again and put into floured couche in bowl (I have no banneton.)  Cover & put back in fridge.


Soak terra-cotta cover to my improvised Thai La Cloche

Take out dough & wait until almost doubled, then put the Thai La Cloche in oven & preheat to 475F.  Gently invert bowl over parchment covered peel, slash it & sling it into the pot.  Cover & bake 20 minutes.  Take lid off, rotate loaf & bake another 25 minutes.  Check temperature.  I usually give up at 190 or 195 or so and turn off the oven.  After a few minutes I put the loaf on a rack to cool for an hour before cutting into it. 

I wonder, though, is there any way to get bigger holes in the crumb???


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