The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


varda's picture

A few months ago I made a loaf of Russian coriander rye which was not Russian enough and way too coriandery.    I have been meaning to get back to it with changes since then but so much bread, so little time.   Today, I used that bread as a starting point and tried again in the process losing all of the Russian and most of the coriander.   This is a mostly dark rye bread with some spelt and wheat flour.   It uses a dark rye sour seeded from wheat starter.   It was quite wet, so I shaped by patting and stippled instead of scored.   The crust is covered by mixed seeds - sesame, poppy, caraway, and a tiny bit of coriander.   In my original version I used molasses, honey, and oil.   I ditched all of that this time.   Dark rye has plenty of flavor without the sweeteners and I couldn't remember what the oil was for.    All in all, a tasty rich bread.



The formula

Dark Rye
























Whole Rye





Dark Rye



































Whole Rye










Dark Rye




















Seed mix





baked pounds





total grams










Build starter the day before and leave on counter for 17 hours until very holey and sour smelling.   Mix all but salt and seeds.   Autolyze for 1 hour.   Mix in salt.   Move dough to wet bowl and pat into ball.   Brush top and sides with water.   Leave on counter until it expands a fair amount but not until dough shows signs of breakdown.    This took around 2 hours.   Flip onto parchment paper - I had to use a wet wooden spatula to get it out of the bowl since the dough was so sticky.   Brush out irregularities with a wet pastry brush.   Stipple with a fork.   Sprinkle with seed mix.    Bake at 450F on stone with steam for 25 minutes, and 25 without. 

Bee18's picture

Hi everybody,
Since the buttons don't want to appear when i'm writing my posts at TFL I continue to upload photos on my blog. Sorry that you have to go there but I don't have any other choice.
To find my blog the best way is to type Bread and More Bread mock rye bread gluten free. it should bring the right page and then you will see my address
i cannot find another way to bring the right page. From there you can see all the posts I had posted from the first one about rice sourdough - may 2011. as well as all the photos of the breads I done since.

I have done a water yeast from apple sultanas and dry apricot, it very much alive, i already used a part of the water in my breads and to feed my Rice SD and my Rye SD and the growing is phenomenal.

i'm going to try and use different combinations of GL Free flours like this one that is very high protein :
1 1/4 cup of soy flour or chickpea + 1 cup of potato flour + 1 cup of Tapioca Flour + 1 cup of Brown Rice Flour.
after mixing them together you use the quantity you need in the recipe you follow.

I will post the photos and the results of all my attempt and again I invite you to find my blog and have a look.

GSnyde's picture

Since we got back from Hawaii a few weeks ago, we’ve been craving Hawaiian sweetbread.  When we were there we bought a local bakery’s cinnamon sweetbread, pull-apart buns coated with cinnamon sugar--not gooey sticky buns, just barely sinful.

When there, I tried the Hawaiian sweetbread recipe in this post (  It was very good, and totally true to the local sweetbread we’ve often enjoyed.  Very much like the “poor man’s brioche” in Reinhart’s BBA.

Today, I decided to go for Hawaiian-style cinnamon buns.  I used the same dough recipe.  I divided the dough into pieces of about 85 grams each.   I made seven of them into plain sweetbread buns without cinnamon sugar.

They are soft, tender, shreddable and delicious.  They will make good teriyaki chicken sandwiches tomorrow.

The other 12 buns were brushed with water, rolled in cinnamon-sugar, and placed in a buttered baking pan, each with a dollop of butter-cinnamon-sugar glaze on top.  They were baked at 375 F for about 25 minutes.  The glaze was too dry to run down the sides of the buns, but it makes a nice crispy sugary crust on top.

They are delicious!  And not as guilt-inducing as “real” cinnamon rolls.

Tasha, of course, snoozed through the whole thing.

Hope you all enjoyed the day the world didn’t end.


freerk's picture

Rediscovering Waldkorn bread this week. I can only take credit for mixing it all up and shaping it as tight as I managed this time around; I'm using a "soezie mix". I'm trying to break down what is in there to make it THAT dark a loaf. Any help in deconstructing is appreciated. And no, alas, the flour formula is not on the bag... Crumb pics to come when the loaf has cooled down enough (after seriously ripping a beautiful bread to pieces I have found the patience to properly cool at last)


My bananas were turning on me, so I decided on a banana bread. with toasted almonds, walnuts, vanilla, cinnamon and a lemon zinged icing. If anyone is interested in the entire recipe, give me a shout. I'll post some crumb pics of this one later as well. The banana bread was baked on the waldkorns residu heat; I'm not wasting my oven heat any more after getting in this year's gas bill...





happy baking every one, greetz from Amsterdam



yy's picture

I had a bunch of fresh blueberries in the fridge and a bag of KA Sir Lancelot high-gluten flour that had been sitting in the pantry for too long, so naturally, I decided to try making blueberry bagels. There were a few considerations beforehand:

-would the blueberry flavor be concentrated enough from just fresh blueberries?

-would I be able to knead whole berries into the dough, or would I have to find some other method of incorporation?

-how should I adapt my usual go-to bagel formula?

On the first point, I decided I would go ahead with the experiment and find out by tasting the product. Regarding the second point, in all my online research, I'd never seen a blueberry bagel with fresh whole berries kneaded in (they would probably explode and leave a mess), which led me to the decision that I would cook the berries down into a sauce, puree the sauce, and strain it to yield a smooth liquid, which I would use to replace part of the liquid in the formula. Below on the left is the blueberry sauce after cooking. On the right is the strained blueberry puree diluted with water (how much water? see below).

Finally, to my third initial question: how to adapt the formula to account for solid matter in the blueberry puree? First, I decided to use SAF Gold label osmotolerant yeast instead of regular instant yeast in case the amount of sugar in the puree was too high.

I use Peter Reinhart's bagel formula in the bread baker's apprentice, which is about 57% hydration. Not knowing what percentage of the blueberry puree was water, I wasn't sure how to adjust the amount of liquid, so I played it by ear. I just estimated that there would have to be 2 extra ounces of water than the formula calls for to compensate for the blueberry. I planned to adjust the flour later, if necessary, depending on how the dough felt.

All the liquid in the BBA formula is incorporated in the sponge step, which yielded a lovely, lumpy, purple batter:

The sponge was allowed to ferment until doubled in bulk, which took about 4 hours.

Once the other ingredients were incorporated, it seemed like the dough wasn't stiff enough, so I ended up adding another 2 ounces of high gluten flour. In my bagel experiences in the past, too slack a dough caused the bagels to become floppy in the boiling step. This brought the calculated hydration level to about 59%, but given how the dough felt, it was probably slightly lower. Here is what the dough looked like:

This brought the calculated hydration level to about 59%, but given how the dough felt, it was probably slightly lower. The final recipe was as follows (adapted from p.119 of Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice)


1 tsp instant yeast

18 oz unbleached high gluten flour

22 oz total of blueberry puree and water (use all the puree and add enough water to bring it up to the total)


1/2 tsp osmotolerant yeast

19 oz unbleached high gluten flour

0.7 oz salt

1 Tbsp barley malt syrup

Immediately after kneading to the windowpane stage, as Mr. Reinhart instructs, I divided the dough into 4 oz pieces and shaped them into rounds. The rounds were allowed to rest for 10 minutes. Afterward, I rolled each one out into a flat somewhat rectangular sheet and rolled them up tightly into logs. 

After another ten minutes of resting under damp paper towels (the dough dried up on the surface very quickly without them), I extended the logs into long snakes, looped them around my fingers, and rolled the overlapping ends to seal the bagel into the "O" shape. I found that for the best result, the overlapping area should span at least the width of your four fingers. I had to supplement this rolling method with some pinching to seal the ends securely.

Then came an overnight retardation in the fridge. In the morning, the bagels had puffed up slightly, but not dramatically:

I preheated the oven to 450 instead of 500 as instructed in the book to account for the extra sugar content in the dough. Next I prepared a boiling solution consisting of:

8 cups of water

2 Tbsp baking soda

1 Tbsp barley malt syrup

Once the solution came up to a gentle boil (more than a simmer but less than a rolling, witches' brew boil) I popped the bagels in for 2 minutes per side. I should have expected this, but I was surprised to find that some chemical reaction between the baking soda solution and the blueberries caused the purple bagels to turn almost black! Below you can see the contrast between the boiled bagels and the unboiled ones. I was hoping that the baking soda was indeed the reason behind the color change, and that the inside would stay pleasantly purple.

After baking for about 15 minutes, with a couple rotations of the sheet pans for evenness of browning, they came out dark greyish purplish brownish black (maybe there's a name for this shade in the Sherwin-Williams catalogue?). When I sliced them open, I was relieved to find that the lovely purple color had not disappeared entirely. The crusts actually provided a nice contrast to the interior color.

Back to the first initial question: was there enough blueberry flavor? I wouldn't say the flavor was overtly of blueberry. The dough had a gentle sweetness and a definite blueberry fragrance, but the sensation of the fruit was mostly olfactory. After savoring a bite for a little bit, the blueberry begins to come through. The floral nature of the fruit complements the malt flavor of the bagel nicely. They're delicious with some fruity cream cheese. The crust color was at first discouraging, but now I kind of like the idea of slicing one open to find a bright surprise on the inside.

yy's picture

Now that summer's almost here, really nice berries are popping up at the market. Last week, I bought two large boxes of strawberries, and a large box each of blueberries and raspberries. I did a decent job eating them, but they were starting to go overripe, so I decided to make a summer berry pudding. It's one of my favorite easy desserts because there's not much precision required. The recipe is pretty foolproof, and you can substitute any berries you like. The only requirement is that you have some good bread and enough berries to make plenty of sauce. The technique involved is minimal.

To prepare the berries, I sliced the strawberries into 1/4 thick pieces, sliced the raspberries in half, and left the blueberries whole. I sprinkled enough sugar on them to suit my personal sweetness preference, and added a couple tablespoons of raspberry liqueur (optional, but never add too much of it. It overpowers the berries). I allowed the mixture to macerate in the fridge overnight, which should draw out a good amount of liquid. If you like to have some whole berries in the pudding, reserve a generous handful of each of the fruits and store them separately.

The second day, I brought the macerated mixture up to a boil and adjusted the flavor with sugar and some lemon juice. The mixture boiled until the berries softened and fell apart. Toward the end of the cooking time, I added the reserved berries. I cooked them just until they started to soften, and took them off the heat immediately after so that they would stay intact in the final product.

For the bread, I made Peter Reinhart's BBA poor man's brioche. You could use an even richer bread, but I'm not sure the extra fat would make this fruit-based dessert much better.

My 3.5 quart round dutch oven was the closest cross sectional size I could get the small circular mold I used to assemble the pudding. The brioche sprang up nicely.

It came out looking like a giant muffin. I sliced the megamuffin into five round layers and used the bottom of the mold as a guide to trim the rounds to the right size. The trimmings were perfect for a small savory bread pudding.

Then came the fun part: layering. No rocket science here. Just a layer of bread, a generous layer of the berry liquid (at least enough to soak the layer of bread underneath through), followed by bread, and then berries, etc. I suggest erring on the side of generosity. Too moist is better than too dry. The top layer should be the last piece of bread, with just liquid spooned on top. You can have some berries on top if you'd like, but they make the next step more difficult.

After stacking the layers, I covered the top with a layer of cling film.  I then filled a small round saucepan with water and placed it on top of the pudding to weigh it down. This compresses the layers and helps the liquid soak through evenly. After being weighed down for a couple of hours, here was the result:

You can see the circular mold I used in the left hand background. This summer berry pudding may not the prettiest or the most refined thing in the world, but it bursts with berry flavor and tastes like summer. All it needs is a dollop of whipped cream (and perhaps a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you're feeling indulgent).

RuthieG's picture

I have enjoyed the yeast water/raisin yeast water episode but in feeding my beasties, I have trouble tossing the content, so I have been using mine steadily.  I made a levain the other day and made too much, so I decided to call it my water yeast sourdough and with the flour added to the liquid yeast, basically that's what it


After two days of refreshing my sourdough and putting the contents from the refresh into a bowl and "refreshing" that, this morning I used it to make biscuits.  So here are my liquid yeast, sourdough biscuits.  I hope you can tell from the pictures just how good they were.  We had them with my homemade strawberry preserves.  They were so good.




They really were so good and they were so easy to make......

Biscuits with Self-Rising Flour


1 1/2 cup sourdough (made with yeast water and flour)or whatever you have..

2 cups self-rising flour

¼ cup shortening or lard

1 cup milk or buttermilk

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Put the flour in a bowl.  With a pastry cutter or your fingers rub the shortening into the flour until the texture is like cornmeal. (or take the easy way out and dump it into your food processer the way I did.)
  3. Form a hole or well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the milk or buttermilk into the well an the sourdough starter..  Ignore using a processer.
  4. Blitz a few times in the processer till well blended. Or use your fork to stir the flour into the milk, stirring in a circle so that a little more flour is incorporated with each pass.
  5. Roll out dough to ½ inch and cut with a 2 inch cutter.
  6. Place biscuits onto a greased baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  I stuck them in the microwave and let them rest there until I was ready to make breakfast.  They had a beautiful rise in the oven and the tops have a unique sourdough crumb..kind of crunchy........I love them.

 If you have issues with dumping your refresh extra's .........Make Biscuits.

MadAboutB8's picture

I made this same bread before some months ago combining Jeffrey Hamelman’s method and Bourke Street Bakery recipe (not entirely). This time I followed Bourke Street Bakery’s recipe closely. Umm, closely, I actually increased the amount of both soy beans and linseeds substantially (double the amount for both soys and linseeds), upped the amount of water a little (hydration percentage) and replaced 10% of bread flour with whole wheat flour.

The recipe called for soy flour, which I didn’t use in my previous bakes. I didn’t think that I was able to find the flour and I was not a fan of buying a big bag of ingredient specifically for one recipe. However, I also like to experiment with new things/new flours and I came across soy flour at Asian grocery store. The flour has very interesting texture. It was moist, creamy and mushy. It felt almost like the blended soy beans, only drier.

I was glad that I included soy flour into the dough as suggested by the recipe. The flour added moisture, tenderness and creamy colour to the crumbs. The bread was lovely, nutty and full of textures. I was also surprised how sweet the bread was, which I believe the soy flour must have contributed to some of the sweetness.

Soy beans in the bread tasted amazing, I love the texture and its creamy nutty flavour. It was just lovely.  I am also wondering if soy and linseed bread is Australian thing or it is something common. 

Full post and recipe is here.


arlo's picture

After nearly two good years at my local Great Harvest, two weeks ago I packed up, called it good and moved to a new venture down the road. It was hard to leave good friends and a great boss, but after talking to my Chef/Professor at college and my fiance, I decided I had hit the wall, learned everything I could at the bakery and because of that, it was time to move on from my current bakery. In order to grow and develop I needed to start working on other skills and making different loaves daily.

Talk about a change! From making 200-300 loaves a day and even more during the holidays to making about 30 loaves a day and being in charge of the the whole bread department (just me mind you : ). My two weeks at Aggie Mae's has really made me appreciate taking time to work out the kinks, experiment and get in touch with my cake making, frosting and pastry skills!

The Great Harvest I worked at was wonderful, unfortunately I have had my mind set on my ACF Certification tests and working towards becoming a Certified Executive Pastry Chef down the line in a few years. I love bread mind you, I love it more than pastries, but I understand where the money is at in my area and how pastries can really help me out in this career, so I gladly took the position as the head baker and then helper with cakes. I am certainly glad I did shift jobs.

The first week I began baking in a hearth oven, making entirely new pizzas (asked on the spot, "Ok Arlo, what are some new pizzas you are going to put out this week?") Talk about pressure, but I came through! I made Prosciutto wrapped asparagus with red peppers and Parmesan pizzas. Blue cheese, pear and walnut pizzas and more. I also worked out a new multi-grain bread recipe which went over well enough today the owner asked me to triple the recipe for the Saturday crowd!

From croissants, to mini fresh fruit tarts, country bread, sourdough seed breads, creme anglaise and more, I have certainly learned a lot this week alone and have worked on some great products.

The only rough side, work starts at 2 am now instead of 3 am.

Such is life though : )


Winnish's picture

Specially rich CHALLAH (Jewish bread)













Specially rich challah, yet soft and fluffy as a challah should be

for more photos and recipe - please check  my post



Kindly note that my blog and my post are in Hebrew, Google translator is available on top left side-bar. Feel free to ask me for correct translation if it's unclear


Have a great weekend


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