The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


  • Pin It
jennyloh's picture

Followed the recipe above from Floyd,  I had a lot of fun doing this, especially the shaping of the dough.  Somehow the 1st method of shaping caused the middle to rise more than it should, perhaps I shaped it too tightly.

The 2nd with raisins,  I think I put too much raisins,  all the raisins started to spill out.  



Interestingly, the dough didn't turn out as sweet as i thought it would be. The dough had a good oven spring.  It was so nice to watch it "grew" in the oven.  And I learnt about sugar glaze and egg glaze from this experience.  It was nice to see the shine,  just that the hands get sticky handling the bread after that.

Thanks Floyd - for the great recipe.



proth5's picture

So,this is off topic and I am somewhat sorry.  I've hit baking deprivation in a big way (which is demonstrated by the fact that I just bought a cute little pullman pan with the rationale that I have already committed to having to ship a few things from the Ryukyu to home and that I've never seen one that size in the US) and I'm only one month in.  Sigh.

But, yesterday my wakeup call was the shaking of the earth and the tsunami warnings.  This is not my favorite way to wake up.  But I figured that the weekend's excitement was over.

As I type, Okinawa is on tsunami alert due to the Chilean earthquake.  It is one thing to be shaken awake.  It is another thing to prepare for and speculate on disaster as it approaches.  My limited Japanese keeps me mostly in the dark, but I do know that places where I normally work/play/shop are closed and evacuated.  Fortunately my hotel is on the East China Sea side of the island, and I am more than 30 feet up, but it is strange and stressfull to think  tsunami may be hitting this tiny island. Obviously I have been glued to the internet, but we don't seem to be newsworthy.  The one English language TV station that we have is not helpful.  I'm used to weathering the weather of the Rocky Mountain region.  It is frankly freaky to me to have these threats coming from the earth itself.

Although the Japanese stations continue to flash a map (with Okinawa in red - that can't be good) what numbers I can understand (and it is amazing how desperation is a fabulous language teacher - these were just sounds to me a matter of weeks ago and now I can figure out some words - and I used my first Japanese words to get what I wanted rather than pointing today.  Hooray!) tell me that while I have typed and fretted the worst was not as bad as it could have been and has probably passed.

I'm not sure that I will ever be able to process news reports about earthquakes around the world in quite the same way ever again.

Please remember the victims of the Haitian and Chilean earthquakes. 

And bake a loaf for me...

Chausiubao's picture

So I worked my first eight hour shift today, and I had some difficulties, learned some interesting things, and in general came home smiling. The two main things that I learned deal with double hydration and venting an oven. When I was first shown oven venting, my eyes were pretty glazed over; I'd never heard of venting, and pretty much didn't know what it was, why you might do it, and in general was confused. A few days later (today, as it were) it was explained to me. Venting is, as its definition implies, removing air, or things in the air, from a space. You vent an oven at the very end of the bake, in order to remove steam and ensure that a good crust forms. But more then that, venting ensures that your crust will last, and stay long past its time immediately out of the oven.

Venting is the key to creating crusty breads. 

We baked off baguettes today, but we also baked off some baguette dough cut for sandwiches, and these didn't get vented. The reason being rolls aren't supposed to be hard and crusty, but rather softer and easier to take a bite out of when you're enjoying a sandwich. If you don't vent, the moisture from within the crumb will move into the crust, softening it (diffusion!), but if you do vent, there is less moisture within the crumb to allow this. The moisture gets baked off during the vent period and is carried out of the oven. When I finished my shift, I walked out to my car and I said aloud, "well, I learned something today". The only thing left to determine is whether venting can be done in the home baking environment, which it may or may not be able to. 

Secondly, double hydration. I personally have never been exposed to such a technique, or at least not by this name. You mix a stiff dough, then when the gluten is already formed, you mix in water to complete a high hydration. The dough is extremely slack and gets several folds to strengthen the dough. Now that I think about it, it is identical to making brioche or certain types of foccacia where you mix the dough to develop the gluten, then knead in butter or olive oil to enrich the dough with all the qualities large amounts of fat contribute. Additionally there is no shortening of the gluten that occurs when mixing large amounts of fat with wheat flour. I'm not really that blown away by double hydration, but its an interesting way to hydrate dough, and its amazing how similar ciabatta is to making foccacia, its just a different ingredient is being kneaded in. 

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hey All,

Just wanted to share with you my attempts at Dan Leader's Pane Casereccio di Genzano from Local Breads, and my version of Muesli Bread.  Enjoy!


zoltan szabo's picture
zoltan szabo

Hello to everyone,

I would like to share with you guys my todays loaf. I used Bacheldre Watermill's Oak Smoked Malted Blend Strong Flour plus my old good sourdough.


Tasting notes:

Crispy but chewy crust, slightly smokey flavour with excellence after taste + nice sour flavours.


  • Flour (Bacheldre Watermill's Oak Smoked) 100%

  • Water 64%

  • Sourdough starter (100% hydration) 34%

  • SAlt 2%

  • Oil 2.5%

Mix F+W+SS+O for two minute then add salt and mix for another few minutes until the dough smooth elastic and slightly sticky.

Proof for 6 hrs on room temperature, then push down with your hands, let it rest for another 4hrs.

Deflate, knead for 8 minutes then place into a gently floured bannetton. Let it proof on room temp. for 3hrs.

Heat the oven 220C with the baking tray, when the tray is hot dust with flour or semolina then pour over gently the loaf. Slash it then place into the oven. I baked for 30 min closed door then the last 5 minutes half open door. Remove to wire rack to cool.


Hope you guys like this!

Happy Baking!



SylviaH's picture

These scones are lovely and moist and have a wonderful flavor.  They taste great with jam and butter.  I enjoyed a wedge with mascarpone cheese.  They make for nice looking Easter scone.

My variation on a lemon scone recipe.

8 oz. plus extra for some light kneading and adjusting hydration - I used Pillsbury All Purpose Flour

2 Tablespoon Sugar

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1/4 cup Unsalted Butter

2 teaspoons Lemon zested

2 teaspoons Fresh Rosemary - clipped into small pieces

2 Medium Eggs

4oz. whipping cream - I only had heavy cream so I mixed half heavy cream and half milk

Sparkling sugar for sprinkling about 2 Tablespoons -

In a Medium bowl.  Wisk all the dry ingredients, lemon zest and rosemary in a medium bowl.

Using a pastry cutter add the butter until the butter is in very small pieces..the flour will look crumbly.

In a small bowl.  Lightly mix 2 Medium eggs and cream.

Make a well in the flour mixture and add the egg, cream mixture into the center.

Mix quickly and gently until all is moistened.  I use a fork.

Dump out onto a floured surface and gently knead and shape into a round.  

Brush with some cream and sprinkle with sparkling sugar.  Make slices with a wet knife into eight wedges.

Bake 400F pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  I baked for 20 min. on 400F convection.






dmsnyder's picture


I'm continuing my exploration of bread baking with Gérard Rubaud's mix of flours. Today's breads were made with a firm levain, as used by Rubaud, and a high-hydration final dough. I made about 1500 gms of dough. The flour required is shown in the first chart.



Wt (gms)




Whole wheat



Whole spelt



Whole rye






I divided the dough to shape two 500 gm boules and two 250 gm ficelles.

Total dough




Amount (gms)

Bakers' %


















Amount (gms)

Bakers' %







Active starter







Final dough




Amount (gms)

Bakers' %

















We had some of the baguette with dinner. It is a mildly sour bread with a delicious flavor, like the other breads made with this mix of flours.



jennyloh's picture

For the love of bread,  I woke up 5 am,  with 4 hours of sleep just to see this bread rise and baked.  I didn't regret.  

Adapted from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads,  I tried my hand again on this Pain de Campagne Poilane.  In addition,  I also tried using a claypot to bake this.  

I'm quite satisfied with my results,  the crust was crispy,  the texture is amazingly soft unlike those others that I tried.  I would have liked more holes,  but I think what matters is the taste.  The taste is good,  a little sweetness, if I changed to sourdough,  it probably has better effect.

My 3 days experiences are here with recipe:


By the way - after it cooled, the boule cracked a little and seem to have shrunk. Is that normal?


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hey All,

Just wanted to share with you a very large 2.225 kg mixed levain miche that I baked on 2/23/10.  It is roughly 12 1/2" in diameter by 5 1/2" tall.  It was well worth staying up late on a weeknight to do.  We cut into it on 2/25/10 at a dinner part, and it was worth the wait...

Please excuse the crumb shot as it was from my friend's iPhone under less than stellar lighting conditions...



Stiff Levain

216g - AP

129g - Water

22g - Firm SD starter (60-65% hydration)

366g total

Liquid Levain

144g - AP

144g - Water

14g - Firm SD starter (60-65% hydration)

302g total

Final Dough

576g - AP

286g - BF

144g - Organic Hard Wheat Berries (freshly ground)

44g - Organic Spelt Berries (freshly ground)

30g - Organic Rye Berries (freshly ground)

762g - Water

26g - Kosher Salt

366g - Stiff Levain

302g - Liquid Levain

Approx 2500-2600g total dough



7:00am - Mix stiff and liquid levains, place each in covered containers and let ferment on counter for 8-10 hours.

6:40pm - Measure out final dough ingredients.  Prepare a bowl of water for dipping your hands to knead.  Place all water in large mixing bowl.  Cut up stiff levain and place in mixing bowl along with liquid levain.  Add all try ingredients on top and mix well with wooden spoon.  After all is combined, with wet hands, knead dough in bowl using french fold method squishing out any lumps.  Knead for about 5 minutes until relatively smooth dough, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

7:15pm - Turn dough using stretch and fold method, cover and let rest.

7:45pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.

8:15pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.

8:45pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.

9:15pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.

10:15pm - Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and shape into boule.  Cover and let rest for 15mins.

10:30pm - Final shape and place into floured linen lined basket, lightly flour top of dough, place towel on top, place basket in plastic bag, proof for 60-90 minutes.

11:15pm - Place baking stone on 2nd rack from bottom, prepare steam pan, preheat 550F with convection.

11:45pm - Add 1 cup of water to steam pan, close door.  Turn boule out onto floured peel, slash, place directly onto baking stone, add 1 more cup of water to steam pan, close door.  Turn oven down to 460F, no convection.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Rotate loaf, bake for another 15 minutes.  Then turn down oven to 400F and bake for another 55 minutes, rotating half way.  Loaf is done when internal temp reaches approx 210F.  Cool and rest for 24hrs before eating.



jpchisari's picture

This a adapted from a formula I've used for a few years now and decided to replace the 100% Hydration Poolish with 100% Hydration Levain. I made no adjustments to original formula for this.

Original formula is from Bread Bakers Guild Team USA 2002






Final Dough








Dissolve Yeast in water

Add flour and mix until smooth and well incorporated

Let ferment 12 -14 hrs at 70degF until poolish has risen and just begins to fall.


Final Dough

Place Water, Flour, Malt and Poolish in bowl of vertical mixer and mix on speed 1 for 4-5 minutes or until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Rest for autolyse for 20 minutes

Add Yeast and Salt and mix speed 1 for 2 minutes

Mix speed 2 for 1-3 minutes to develop structure

Gluten should not be fully developed

Dough will be light and lively and be on the soft side.

Ferment at 75degF 2 hrs with punch and fold at 1 hr

Divide into 12 oz pcs and gently preshape into cylinders and rest for 30 minutes

Shape into baguettes

Final Proof 50-60 minutes

Bake at 475degF for 20-25 minutes with steam( mine take approx 18 minutes in my oven)

Vent oven for last 3 minutes of baking


The last three photos are baguettes I retarded for approx 4 hrs before proofing and baking. To bring to room temp and proof took approx. 2 hrs.

These retarded baguettes browned much more quickly and had a more open crumb.





Subscribe to RSS - blogs