The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


  • Pin It
benjamin's picture

I've been taking it easy with the baking lately due to the excessive heat in center city Philadelphia, which has been hovering around 100 for the past few days now. I always feel guilty running the air conditioners and the oven at full tilt simultaneously, half expecting Al Gore to knock on my door and give me a lecture. Regardless, I had the itch to bake, and so I went back to one of my favorite recipes, the Vermont sourdough from 'Bread'.


Levain Build

  • Bread flour: 4.8oz

  • Water: 6oz

  • Mature culture (firm): 1oz

Final Dough

  • Bread flour: 1lb, 8oz

  • Whole-rye flour: 3.2oz

  • Water: 14.8oz

  • Salt: 0.6oz

  • levain: all of above

The levain should be made 12-16 hours prior to the final dough, however with the high temperatures of the day I only gave mine 10 hours.

Mix all of the ingredients for the final dough, less the salt and allow to autolyse for 20 min. Add the salt and mix for 2min.

Bulk ferment for 2.5hr with 2 stretch and folds.

I used all of the dough to make a single boule. Proofed for 1.5hrs... again this was shortened from the actual recipe due to excessive heat in my apartment.

Bake @ 460 for 40 min (first 10 covered).



Happy baking


Neo-Homesteading's picture


This rolled and filled bread was something I made one morning for my husband. My husband and kids can sometimes be picky (plus my son has food allergies) so often when I'm trying to write new and inventive recipes they run...ASAP! I do experiment often but this I believe was a good time to be momma's guinea pig! Its my soft butter enriched sourdough recipe with a chocolate and cookie filling, the chocolate fudge is a home made sauce and for the cookie crumbs I used ladyfingers but any vanilla type cookies would work, the cookies essentially are the glue to keep the roll from just oozing. 


External Link to blog post and Recipe:

Neo-Homesteading's picture

I've recently stumbled upon the tradition of making Polish bialy. This was my first try at the recipe and I found them to be absolutely amazing. Although I am not Jewish and have never had one before in my life I think I gave it a good effort and made my own variation that is wonderful and tasty. (with my sourdough starter of course!)


External Link to blogpost and recipe:

hmcinorganic's picture

uh oh!  this happened again!  As usual, my timing for baking was way off.  I tried to fit breadmaking into a very busy day.  Same batch as usual, 123 sourdough with 1/3 of the flour being whole wheat.  I took the dough from the fridge and divided it into 3 batards.  Let rest 20 minutes and shaped into 3 baguettes.  scored with slashes.  The "porcupine" loaf was cut by my 5-y-o daughter. and that one split up the side;  whoops.  I don't think I sealed them well enough, and the porcupine cuts aren't deep enough.  The other 2 are all my fault.  Not sure what happened;  lots of oven spring.  Is this due to underproofing? (note, I am quite pleased with the two loaves, they turned out great!)

the diagonal slashed loaf came out great.  The long lengthwise one less so;  I've seen examples of that on this site, but haven't tried it.  And the porcupine loaf exploded.  crumb shot when it cools if I can wait that long......

CaffeIna's picture

Hi everybody!

During the weekend I tried a recipe for brioche that comes from a mix of different recipes given by friends and found online. I added cream cheese to the dough with the idea of making it fluffier. I really wasn't sure about the result...I had never made brioche before...but the result was suuuuper good. Don't expect anything suuuuper sweet as American stuff usually have. And don't expect them to taste like cheesecake. They are more like a sweetish bread....which make them perfect for both breakfast and a snack. Here is the recipe, but you can find it also on my blog

Sorry but i still have to figure out how to upload a pic in this section.



Cream Cheese Brioches

Ingredients:  yields 14-15 small brioches
170 gr (6 oz) all purpose flour
50 gr (1.75 oz) sugar
70 gr (2.5 oz) cream cheese

15 gr (0.5 oz) melted butter
50 ml (1.7 fl oz) warm milk + 3 or 4 extra tbsp for brushing
5 gr (1 tsp) sugar

7 gr (1 and 1/2 tsp) instant yeast  
few drops of vanilla extract 

Dissolve the yeast in some of the milk, together with one teaspoon of sugar. In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients with the dissolved yeast and the remaining milk until the dough is homogeneus. Don't get scared if the dough seems to be a bit too fluffly as long as it stays compact. 
Place the dough in a clean bowl,  cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume (at least 2 hours).
Roll out the dough onto a floured surface into a 10-12inch square then roll. Using a string cut into 1/2inch thick piece. Place them onto the baking sheet covered with baking paper, cover and let rise until doubled volume. 
Brush the risen dough with a mixture made of 3-4 tbsp of milk and just a few drops of vanilla extract. 
Bake for 20 minutes maximum or until lightly golden brown. (make sure not to overbake them as I almost did!)
Let cool on a rack. Serve them plain or with some butter or jam.


dosidough's picture

I’ve been following all the wonderful things being baked by the testers for Norm and Stan and decided I need the excitement of a challenge. Over the years I have had more rye bricks than loaves but lately I use Beatrice Ojakangas’ “Whole Grain Breads” and get good results but I wanted the Sour Rye experience.  We used to have a great German deli that carried some but alas they are gone. I picked “Eric’s Fav Rye”.  Got a quick order of First Clear Flour from KAF, and last Friday evening began converting my starter to rye. First feeding 50/50 white four/medium rye left out over night, a.m. fed all rye and once again late Sat. night. It was very active right off and seemed ready to go Sunday morn so I had at it. Started early so the sponge could sit 8hrs. and I’d have the bake finished sometime around 10/10:30. (Just in time for the annual 4th of July war zone type explosion of our neighborhood)


If absence makes the heart grow fonder can not doing a task give your hands the opportunity to learn it on their own? For 6 months I’ve been barely baking except quick sandwich loaves...shape up, drop in the pan. Suddenly I noticed a totally different feel or awareness when shaping this rye, and the same thing with a sourdough bake for Fathers Day. I think I’m finally getting a strength and tightness to the gluten cloak. It just happened and seemed so natural. Oh that elusive assuredness in the tactile core of this bread baking thing. Isn’t it glorious.

Well, the oven preheated an hour and I don’t use the pan water/ice for steam but mist heavily with water and use a deep aluminum roaster as a cloche. It’s rectangular so for this batard shape I just stretched it out a little and smooshed it in so it would sit flat and be elongated. Not elongated enough!! Guess I got that cloak going real good. the shaped batard was just under 12” and the roaster was just over 13”. after the first 12 min. when I went to remove the cover it stuck, really stuck and I ended up pulling off about 2” of each end getting it off. A biter sweet moment indeed. I was amazed and so happy with the oven spring but now I had a rather strange endless loaf of rye. No heels!!! boooo. Didn’t get a pic of the shaped loaf to compare size to the finished bread but the difference was pretty great.

What a great bread this is. Had to zoom out first thing Monday for the corned beef  kraut and deli pickle. Reuben time! Great sour flavor moist crumb at the just right mode, not too light nor dense. I may try the Greenstein Jewish rye that dmsnyder worked up and posted awhile back. It uses the First Clear flour also. (looks like I may need to order more) Has anyone tried the recipe on the bag from KAF? It has sour cream in it. Ooooh ssoouurrr ccrreeaamm!....

Here’s a “bonus” pic of the sourdough I made for Dad this Father’s Day. One of the prettiest I’ve done even if I do say. It’s good to have the gifts turn out that way. No crumb shot, it was for their meals that week.

Bake on!.......

ptinsle's picture

I am very new to baking bread.  The first 2 loaves I made was great!  Looked good and tasted good too.  Then things went downhill.  Is it possible to left it rise too much the first time and that effecting the second rise?  I'm making white loaf bread.
When I made it again it rose beautifully the first time but not the second.  Instead of letting the dough determine the rising time I've been using the suggested time in the recipe.  Is that the wrong approach?



SylviaH's picture

These sourdough loaves are from Beth Hensperger's 'The Bread Bible'.  There are two different books titled 'The Bread Bible'.  Rose Levy Beranbaum's 'the bread bible' is one of my favorite books. 

This  sourdough bread recipe was designed to bake in loaf pans.  It makes a very nice tasting basic sourdough bread for everyday use for sandwiches and toast.  It was my first attempt at making it and I changed a few things.... next time I will omit the yeast and give the loaves an  overnight in the frig. 

Makes two 9X5 inch loaves

B.H. Recipe

1 1/2 cups warm water 105F to 115F - I used 168g cool water

1 Tablespoon - l pkg. active dry yeast - "  " 1 teaspoon IADY

1 Tablespoon Sugar -                          "  " 1 TBsp. Honey

1 Cup Classic Sourdough Starter            "  " 180 gms - sourdough

8 Tablespoons unsalted melted butter   - ( 1 stick )

1 Tablespoon salt                                "  " 1 Tbsp. sea salt

5 1/2 to 6 cups unbleached all purpose flour or bread flour  -  125 g per cup of Gold Medal Bread Flour

Baked at 350F oven preheated  -  35 to 40 Minutes

You can add 1 to 2 cups of raisins or dried blueberries, or 1 cup of granola to the dough.

I mixed my dough with the paddle in my KA just until shaggy and let it sit covered for 25 min. added salt and with the kneader blade kneaded for until the dough came together and cleared the sides of the bowl and was smooth for about 3 minutes.  Removed and placed it into a greased bowl and did Stretch and Flolds until the gluten was developed.  Divided into 2 pre-shaped loaves rested for 15 min., shaped and placed in pans for final proof.  Baked in a pre-heated convection oven 400 and adjusted heat as loaves browned. 

                                       Pictures taken under kitchen lights so they have yellow cast






Subscribe to RSS - blogs