The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


MadAboutB8's picture

It might makes you feel less guilty eating croissant. These croissants were made with 20% whole wheat flour.

Would it be classified as wholegrain croissants:P?

I used the recipe from Michel Suas's Advance Bread and Pastry. The recipe used preferment. The dough was quite soft and pliable and was relatively easy to work with when it came to rolling and lamination. 

These were great tasting croissants and full of flavours. It had subtle nuttiness from whole wheat, great sweetness from malt and preferment. And whole wheat was hardly noticeable in the baked croissants. It was a good alternative to traditional croissant and it was sort of comforting to, at least, have a healthy wholegrain croissant.

Full post and recipe is here (



rossnroller's picture

I was intending to give today's bread to someone, but the dough was too long for the peel and the end stuck to the handle as I was loading it into the oven, pulling a bit of dough away. I think I'd better keep this one for my partner and I...

Gives new meaning to the term 'bread porn'!

OTOH, it's marvellous how the perspective changes when viewed from a different angle. But I still don't feel it's appropriate to gift a bread that looks like a...


Best of baking all!

sam's picture


This is today's bread.  It is a 10% rye, the rest a 50/50 mix of KA bread + AP, at an overall 72% hydration.   2-lbs.

20% was the levain sour (125%) for 18 hrs @ 44F, and then heated up.  60% was the flour soaker at 55F (78%), same 18 hrs,... and then also heated up.   :-)

Then mixed it together, with the remaining flour, did not have to add any additonal water to achieve 72% hydration.   Bulk fermented for an hour, then shaped, final rise for about 3 hours appx...  I had cut off a little piece and was watching that and the loaf, not the clock...

All naturally leavened.

After taking out of the oven, I took the pics a little early.....  I couldn't wait...

A little better scoring than previously, I got a new blade today.  :)







Tastes good!



GSnyde's picture

Half of the Bear-guette dough I made yesterday ( was refrigerated overnight.  This morning I commenced to make a couple Marguerites.  I cut one of the pieces too big and decided to trim it, and the piece I trimmed off looked so much like a leaf, that I had a rare moment of creative inspiration.  Why, I said to myself, doesn’t a Marguerite deserve a stem and leaves?   Not having a good answer, I decided to try some decorative baking (not something I expect to be good at).  Here are the results.

I also tried a new breakfast loaf today—Hamelman’s Oatmeal Bread with Cinnamon and Raisins.   The recipe makes more than enough for three loaves, and I discovered I only had two loaf pans. So, on the spur of the moment, I decided to make Oatmeal-Raisin-Cinnamon buns.  I dipped them in butter, rolled them in cinnamon sugar and let them grow together in a Pyrex pan, as pull-aparts.  Because I baked them with the loaves at 450F, they scorched a bit, but they are super yummy.  And because they have whole wheat and oats, they’re health food!  I will try this variation again, baked at a lower temperature.

I also baked a small loaf of the Cinnamon-Raisin-Oatmeal Bread (probably about  6 ounces) as a free form mini-batard.  It came out very nice, too.

All in all, a good day’s bake.

I did notice that one of my loaves seemed a bit grouchy.  I imagine he’s not excited about his prospects.

Or maybe he was peeved that we hadn’t taken him with us to see the wild flowers at Russian Gulch State Park.


RonRay's picture

Apricot Yeast Water Test Loaf  [Update:110530-1000] 

   If you are unfamilar with Yeast Waters, and wild yeast, you may wish to view

Yeast Water & Other Wee Beastie Bubbles (No Math)

This was my first chance to test Apricot Yeast Water. I have intend to for a while, but wanted to wait for fresh fruit to be available. I did find some this week and started a culture with 3 of the small fresh apricots, jump-started the culture with a bit of my Apple YW.

I have heard that the dark dried apricots make a very strong levain – the more common dried fruit that are a yellowish orange have been treated with sulfur-containing compounds to keep their color (and kill the WBBs). So, the only dried apricots to use are the dark brown unsulfured fruit. Not wishing to waste time and effort, I wanted fresh, organic apricots, which start being available May through August in the northern hemisphere.

I was impressed with how fast the culture became active, and equally surprised how fast the activity ended. I tasted the YW to see if, somehow , it had gotten too alcoholic so fast. All I detected was no noticeable sweetness, and decided it must be a lack of sugar. I dropped in a sugar cube and within a very short time it became very active – so much so, that I feared the foamy head might fill the remaining air space in the glass container. It did not take long before the activity decreased nearly as fast as it had restarted.

It only took a few trials to conclude the apricot WBBs have a real thing about sugars. So, I decided to do a test of the leavening strength of the new culture. I took a small quantity of just the water, about 20g and mixed it with an equal amount of AP flour. I set this up with a clock beside it, and in front of a time lapse digital video recorded. You can see the results on YouTube, Link:

The result was a doubling in about 2 hours. Certainly a good showing for a brand new YW culture. So, a test loaf seemed quite justified.

I started the Apricot Yeast Water Levain (AYWL) builds. Details of my standard test loaf can be found here:

Details of this loaf are in the table below:

A copy of my personal test log can be found at Google Doc Link:

I had some surprises in store, however. I generally, hold each of my chosen 3-build levain developments to a 24 hour period. Instead, a late afternoon to early evening completed Builds-#1, and #2 with #3 started and placed in retard at 40ºF/4.4ºC for an overnight. Details can be found in the log.


The next morning, I did the shaping that basically matches the pan bread version detailed by txframer here:

The dough pan was covered with food cap and place in the proof box at 82ºF/27.8ºC. Most loaves that I do, which are similar to these conditions, will need a 6 hour final proof. I was rather shocked when at 4½ hours I found it was as high as any “normal” fully proofed dough. I did a rapid catch-up and dough was in the DO, with the cup of boiling water, and into the oven, within a 5 minute period. Again, details can be found in the PDF log.

From a cold oven start and oven set to max (450ºF/232ºC) in the DO it was steamed for 20 minutes. Lid removed at 20 minutes and the temperature dropped to 400ºF/204ºC with a total of 45 minutes for the baking.

The finished loaf had an internal 207.7ºF/97.6ºC and a hot weight of 437g – down 8% during the baking. The loaf was cooled on wire for over an hour, before cutting.

The loaf had a very nice aroma, but neither taste, nor smell indicated the apricot components in the loaf. The crumb color was softly off-white in the orange-brown range, but only in a small degree. Texture was moist and softer than my general SD loaves. A pleasantly fruity, slightly sweetish flavor. The top crust portion was chewier than I would have expected, but quite acceptable.

   I should, also mention, I could detect no tang at all. I had expected a bit from the apricot flavor itself. But, any tang vanished along with any apricot specific flavor.


The crumb was exactly as expected, given the 60% HL (hydration level) and the highly developed windowpane test it was kneaded to.

Based upon this single test loaf, apricot WBBs develop much stronger levain than any I have seen before. The Apricot YW rise times are somewhere between 25% faster, or if you are one of  the half empty glass types, the other Yeast Waters are 33% slower ;-)

Update:110530-1000I have just had a couple additional slices of this Apricot YW loaf. In the 23 hours since baking, there has been a flavor change. It is still quite pleasant, but definitely less sweetness. The change is hard to describe, but while it is NOT "astringent", that is the closest word I can think of to describe the very slight difference in flavor. My initial reaction was 'use a bit less than 2% salt, next time'.


Winnish's picture














Saffron Challah - soft and fluffy, lightly sweetened  with a touch of saffron.













For recipe and more photos - you are invited to check my blog

Please note that my blog and my posts are in Hebrew.
Google translator is available (top left side-bar), but the translation is funny sometimes, so please feel free to ask me if something is unclear.


GSnyde's picture

I didn’t want to steal Brother David’s blog post title without due credit.  Last Fall he told of his scissor-happy bake of epis and dragon tails (  And today I pursued a similar adventure.

Twenty-two years ago today, my wife, Cat, and I were married.  We scheduled the wedding for the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend because Sunday afternoon was the only time available for a private party at Green’s, a wonderful restaurant on the Bay in San Francisco, and we wanted to give our guests a Monday holiday to sober up and/or travel back to their homes.   The happy bonus was we almost always get a three-day weekend for our anniversary.

So, the goal today—of course—was to bake something to broaden the already broad smile on my beloved’s lovely face.  Her favorite is Cinnamon-Raisin-Pecan bread, and I’ll bake some of that tomorrow.  Her second favorite—always good for a swoon of pleasure—is proth5’s “bear-guette” ( which is now my usual baguette.

Having had success with this formula, including shaped as marguerites (’ours-flower-bear-and-other-goodies), I decided to work on my scissor skills and try some new shapes.

The poolish and levain were made up last night, and the dough was mixed this morning.  I let it ferment two hours, gave it one stretch and fold, and left it in a chilled cooler while we went to a fabulous lunch at Café Beaujolais (duck confit Cobb salad with warm bacon lardons has spoiled regular Cobb salad for me for the rest of my life).

On our return three hours later, I split the dough ball into two, put half in the fridge for tomorrow, and shaped three baguettes from the rest.  I studied the excellent videos on forming epis ( and dragon tails (  I am pretty pleased with my first attempts, though this dragon doesn’t have a very long tail.

And, as always with the bear-guettes, the flavor is superb, the crust is crispy and the crumb is a nice balance of chewy and open.

Anniversary dinner was excellent.  You might not think meat on a stick stands up to the elegance of baguette and Champagne, but charcoal-grilled pork satay with home-made marinade and home-made spicy peanut sauce is pretty tasty

I’ve been working on Thai cuisine.   A meal of satay and baguette is my version of crust-asian. [sorry]


tssaweber's picture

For quite some time now I gave up trying to find the European type flour “Ruchmehl” or “Halbweissmehl” here in the US, even though I still believe that the farmer’s style breads and rustic hard rolls would need this flour.

Two days ago browsing through Costco I found this flour and reading the label I felt this could be it.



 Two 10 pound bags for a little bit more than $6 was also a very good price and it is unbleached and not enriched, so let’s give it a try!

Coming home I prepared a preferment and later in the afternoon mixed the dough. No cold retardation for this time because I was too curious to taste the rolls and didn’t want to wait. The result was and tasted awesome!


Happy baking!



For the interested bakers:

Update from my trip up North:

dstroy's picture

I ran across this today and had to come over and post about it here!


The Breadou® Loaf baguette is designed to look like a loaf of bread but is, in fact, made from flexible polyurethane foam and meant to be used as a computer keyboard wrist rest. The site also says they smell like the real thing too.

How many folks are thinking that the person who came up with this idea was having some tough times getting their doughs to work out right? XD

Also, I'm intrigued by the idea of a baguette "custard caterpillar" - kinda would like to see a recipe for the non-foam version!

Those loaf thingies can be found over here, by the way.


pmccool's picture

There was a bit of frost on the grass here in Pretoria overnight and the temperature inside the house at 6:30 this morning was a bracing 55ºF.  By 3:30 this afternoon, the indoor temperature had rocketed all the way up to 57ºF!  Another day or two of this and the granite counter tops in the kitchen should be chilled enough to handle laminated doughs with no risk of butter breakouts.  That, of course, assumes that the butter block is soft enough to be malleable.  I may have to set it out in the sun for a few minutes...



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