The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


  • Pin It
ilan's picture

Before going into the bread itself (which is simple enough), here is some background:

About a week ago the Jews had their Passover holiday. This holiday lasts for a week during which the religious and traditional Jews are not allowed to eat any bread that its dough was allowed to rise.

This is due to the Bible story of the Hebrew slaves running away from Egypt (the story with Moses – let my people go…). During this quick departure, they didn’t have the time to let their dough to rise and instead of bread they the Matza – bread of the poor – for their desert track.

So, after a week of eating no real bread some factions invented the Mufleta – flat bread that can be prepared very quickly when the holiday ends (at the evening when the bakeries are not open yet).

The recipe:

·         3 cups of four

·         1.5 cups of water

·         1 spoon of oil

·         ½ teaspoon of salt

·         2-3 teaspoons of dry yeast

Mix all the ingredients and kneed it for 10 minutes.

Split the dough into balls in size of about half chicken egg and place all of them on an oiled surface.

Cover with a towel and let it rise for 30 minutes.

Put a frying pan on the stove.

Oil your kitchen counter.

Spread the first ball of dough with your hands until it gets to a size of a medium plate about 2mm thick (I consistently failed to get the correct shape out of it…).

Put the dough in the pan to fry while you start spreading the second one.

After the first got a golden color (fried from one side only), put the second on top of it and flip them – the new dough should touch the pan itself. Keep doing it until all are ready.

Once all are done, serve it with butter and honey (combination of the two is recommended). Its nice to spread the butter and honey and then fold it like a crepe or simply like an envelope.

The one I managed to take picture of was way under 2mm of thickness :)

Something went wrong - they came out too dry (I think) but me and my wife finished them all in any case...

It was interesting and different bread experience.

Next bread will be a more conventional one - already made a baguette starter for tomorrow - about 12 hours left.

Until the next post


SylviaH's picture

Nice recipe for some one day buns for sandwiches, hot dogs, or burgers.   Adapted from a Beth Hensperger recipe.  I had just written out the recipe with instructions and deleted the whole thing ; /   So here goes again!

8 oz. Spring Water

1 Large Egg

4 TBsp. soft unsalted Butter

2 TBsp. Sugar or Honey

15 oz. Bread Flour with extra to adjust hydration if needed.  I used Gold Medal Bread Flour on sale here for less than 2 bucks a 5 lb. bag.

1/4 cup King Arthur dry Milk Powder

1/4 cup mashed potato - I used a microwaved potato.  Fast and easy

1 1/2 tsp. sea salt

2 1/4 tsp. IADYeast

  1 egg yolk plus 2 Tbsp. water and 2 Tbsp. milk for glazing

   Sesame and Poppy seeds, springs of fresh Rosemary.

Add liquid ingredients to KA Mixer, add dry ingredients,  I sift my flour and dry  milk powder together.  The KA Dry Milk Powder tends to be sticky and can clump together and become hard if left with moisture for to I just always sift it with my flour..using a wisk or a wire scoop.  Mixed until shaggy adding more flour as needed to adjust hydration.  Cover and rest 25 minutes.  Knead until gluten formation just begins.  Stretch and folds 30 minutes apart until gluten has formed nice windowpane.  Pour out onto counter, shape even weighed rolls, I made 8.  Place on parchment lined pan and press down to shape buns.  I pressed a biscuit cutter nearly all the way through just for a little extra pattern on rolls.  Let rise till nearly double.  Glaze and sprinkle on seeds.  Baked 350F in a convection oven setting till nicely browned..about 20-25 minutes.



                                             The pattern from the biscuit cutter was not very pronouned..



                                                          I called these my Aussie Sandwiches : )  






rossnroller's picture

In his recent thread, Bagels From BBA, David (dmsnyder) responded affirmatively to my offer to post my sourdough bagel recipe. I’m very pleased to be able to repay him, just a little, for the many fantastic bread recipes of his I have baked over the past months. So here’s the recipe, and hope you like these bagels as much as I do, David!

Acknowledgements: I think the original source was a bagel recipe posted on Dan Lepard’s forum, but adapted for sourdough and re-posted on the Sourdough Companion forum.  Unfortunately, I have so far been unable to retrace my steps to the post in question. Once I do locate it, I’ll post the URL here.

I have been baking these bagels just about weekly for the best part of a year, and during this time have made multiple small tweaks to arrive at the recipe I am about to post.

I have to admit to being a sourdough nut, and probably biased towards sourdough as a leavening agent, but I do take the point that some types of bakery products are not ideally suited to sourdough and turn out better with dry yeast. That bias acknowledged, my firm opinion is that this sourdough bagel recipe yields better flavour – actually, an all-round better bagel - than I have encountered in any commercially yeasted version (and I speak as a committed bagel consumer from way back, not just as a home baker). 

What does ‘better’ mean? Well, for me, a lovely caramelised thin shell of a crust that crackles a little when you bite into it, and a crumb that is tightish and firm, as it should be, yet not dry – and of course, full flavoured and delicious. (I like a touch of rye nestled in amongst the flavours, so often use a starter with 30% rye/70% white flour.)

These babies are best fresh, but toast up well the day after baking, and work beautifully with butter and honey (and a nice cup of good leaf tea brewed for 4 minutes!), as well as the more traditional savoury toppings.

I usually make only 6 bagels per bake, as my partner and I prefer to have them fresh as a once weekly treat, rather than freezing any that are not consumed on the day of the bake or toasted the next day. I suspect others might prefer to make more in one batch, so the following recipe is for a dozen bagels.


  • 400g starter* (100% hydration)

  • 150g filtered water

  • 550g flour (plain flour if you’re in Australia, AP in the US)

  • 38g oil (I use non-GM canola oil)

  • 25g malt extract (I think this is referred to as malt syrup in the States?)

  • 10-12g salt (15g if you are not used to lower salt doughs)

*As mentioned, I like a suggestion of rye in the flavour, so I use 30% whole grain organic rye and 70% organic white plain flour in my bagel starter. However, I’ve quite often used an all-white flour starter, and the end result is just as good.



  • Hand-mix all ingredients in bowl.  Will be quite a dry dough, but persist in mixing for a few minutes and only add a little extra water if the dough won’t come together. No need to rest the dough once mixed.

  • Do a couple of short kneads (say, 2 or 3 minutes) at 10 minute intervals. Use conventional-style kneading: this dough is too stiff for stretching and folding. Leave to rise for 3-4 hours.

  • Divide into 12 equally weighted portions, and pre-shape into balls. Flatten them a bit, then poke a hole in the middle with a skewer and work it around until you can use your finger to take over and create a bagel-sized hole (I prefer to keep the hole small so toppings don’t fall through, but I take full responsibility for this idiosyncrasy and don’t expect anyone else to take it on!).

  • As you complete each bagel, place it in a lightly oiled container large enough to allow the batch to sit there shoulder to shoulder, so to speak. Rub both sides of bagel on the oiled container surface to coat lightly with oil. Put ‘good side’ up.

  • Retard overnight in fridge (cover bagels with plastic, and put entire container in a plastic bag)

  • Preheat oven to 215C (420F). Fan off if you have a convection oven.

  • While oven heats up, bring about three or four inches of water to boil in a large pot, then add a couple of good dessertspoonfuls of malt extract and stir it in to dissolve. The colour of the boiling liquid should resemble weak tea (unmilked, of course!).

  • When oven is ready, plop into the pot as many bagels as will fit in the boiling malty water without piggy-backing on each other – I manage 3. Flip after 30 secs (so, each bagel gets a malt bath of 1 minute in total). Drain on cake rack or similar for a few minutes.

  • Line a baking tray with baking paper (‘parchment paper’ in the States, I believe) and sprinkle lightly with semolina.

  • Sprinkle on toppings – sesame or poppy seeds or whatever – if you want. (I prefer my bagels plain). Transfer bagels to baking tray, and put in oven.

  • Bake @ 215C (420F) for 18 mins. I don’t use steam for these bagels.

  • Let your bagels cool for 30 minutes or so before topping and attacking them.

  • Yeah, I know - I said I make the holes small!


    Whoops - this hole has closed up completely.



    Sans hole, too - but this is the best crumb shot (despite the camera angle warping the shape of the bagel), so it stays in. My photographic standards are low.


    Cheers all, and best of bageling to you!

Yolandat's picture

I have decided to work my way though Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I have made my own challah for some years now but really rarely ventured into any other breads. There are many techniques that I need to perfect.  I have read though the first part of the book and today I started with Anadama Bread. I substituted honey for the molasses as I am not keen on the flavour. I need to buy myself another loaf tin. I only have one small one and the recipe make 2 loaves. I did the second one in a pyrex loaf dish. I still had a small amount of dough and made it in a smaller pyrex dish. The one in the metal loaf tin looks beautiful. It has a nice rounded top browned nicely with a nice bit of oven spring. The two in the pyrex had no oven spring and lack the nice even shape of the metal tin. They were all treated in the same way proofed in the same place the only differerence is the  pryex.  Has anyone else noticed this? My friend came over with wine and cheese and we ate the smallest one. It had a lovely flavour but seemed a little heavy and the bottom 2 cm was a little more compacted. I will cut one tomorrow and see if the heaviness was a result of cutting while it was still warm or not. The pretty loaf will go to my parents. 

nuala's picture

I've been baking sourdough for about 4 months now.  The starter is healthy, it's fed regularly, and I follow the directions for baking outlined in Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice exactly as written.  The texture and flavor are good, but I've never been able to make a loaf with the nice big artisan holes I see in store bought sourdough and pictures of loaves posted to this site.  Any thoughts on what I should be doing?  Suggestions on how to create those holes?  Any comments appreciated-- thank you!

zoltan szabo's picture
zoltan szabo

The 'Stew' of the day:

Here Glasgow the weather is still wintery, Ok, today was abt 5hrs sun shine but yesterday abt 3hrs not rained out of the 24hr. Today I decided to use up some of my winter roots and some dried beans. About a week ago I brought some nice cannellini beans, even shape, nice shine, great texture and amazing taste. So I cooked this stew style dish and served with some of my leftover sourdough loaf, grated parmesan over it. I think its quite a nice dish if someobody likes beans as much as I do. And believe me I do love them.

Here is the recipe 4 about 4 (if you are vegetarian leave out the pancetta)

  • 2.5 espresso cup worth of cannellini beans

  • abt 100gr pancetta diced or cut into lardons

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 3 clove of garlic, scraped into a fine paste

  • 1 large carrot, peeled, halved then sliced

  • good dash of olive oil (do not use E.V.O.)

  • few sprig of thyme

  • few sprig of basil

  • 2 bay leaf

  • seasoning

  • 3 large plum tomatoes (ripe), diced

  • 100gr sliced salame piccante

  • abt 50-80gr diced celeriac

  • good handfull of parmesan, grated

  • left over sourdough bread

  • 3 Knorr veg.stock cube mixed with abt 800ml water (you maybe not even gonna need all)

Heat olive oil, add onion, garlic, pancetta, carrots, celeriac. Cook for abt 5 minutes or until begin to colour.Add the tomatoes, beans, all the herbs and cover with the stock.Bring to the boil and simmer until the beans are absorved some of the stock. Keep them covered with the stock. When they are start to soften but still al dente add the sliced salame picante. Adjust the seasoning. Remove the thyme/bay/basil stems. (if you would like it as a soup then add more stock, adjust seasoning)

Now..if you have a stew...its your choice to decide how do you going to eat it. At lunch time me and my wonderful wife was eat with a handfull of parmesan and toasted sourdough, tomorrow...I think I'll going to put into some individual mini casserolle dishes and going to bake it with some sourdough on top and pecorino cheese. The soup will soak up in the bread while the cheese melt and caramelise on top.

Happy Cooking and Baking!





zoltan szabo's picture
zoltan szabo


I would like to share my scones with you guys, hope some of yous get some inspiartions from it, as its quick, easy and great with a cuppa.

in the oven

cooling on wire rack

with jam and clotted cream

    This is the recipe I use for afternoon tea and cream tea scones.


  • 600gr self raising flour

  • 120gr unsalted butter

  • 3tbsp caster sugar(may need more)

  • About 2-2.5 cup milk (luke warm)

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 1 egg


  • 1. Mix flour and sugar,salt together.

  • 2. Add the butter and mix for 3-4 min on spped 2 (Kitchenaid) then add milk.

  • 3. Mix until you get soft,smooth and elastic dough.

  • 4. Roll out into 1cm thick then cut out with a cutter.

  • 5. Brush with lightly beaten egg.

  • 6. Bake in moderate oven until golden.

  • 7. Cool on wire rack, serve.

Happy Baking!


leucadian's picture

Fougasse is my favorite easy sourdough: I love the extra crust and the ease of pulling it apart. I made these with my version of Pierre Nury's and Zolablues Light rye: 65% hydration 5% rye, 20% levain (approximate) and 1.8% salt. The levain was kept in the fridge for a couple of days before I made this bread. Overnight retard following minimum stretching/folding. Rolled in poppy seeds and fennel seeds, brushed with olive oil, baked on stone 500/400 degrees F.


Sedlmaierin's picture

Wohooo,back from vacation and here now I can finally post about my two recent bakes.

Some of you witnessed the strange transformation the Hamelman Vermont SD w/increased whole grains took in my kitchen.Here is a synopsis with pictures:

- due to me being too frazzled to actually do the most sensible thing-using the metric large scale amounts to reduce to home size, I ended up with a way different percentage ratio.

  So, I went by the cup measure in my book for the liquid levain(due to laziness!-first and last time to use cup measure!) levain therefore was 3/4 cups of flour,1/2 cup of water,1.5 T SD

then the baker's % for the dough ended up being the following:

70% AP flour

30% whole grain rye

65% water

1.89% salt

all the levain

I followed the instructions for dough assembly-I ended up baking it in a loaf pan,because the dough felt kinda wet and I was doubting it could hold its shape(yeah, not one of the better baking days!).Of course I did not heed the advice Mini gave me previously of putting the dough into a pan, that would allow it to rise unhindered and therefore my bread,yet again, got stuck on the edge of the loaf pan, since it was too much dough for my pan.Oh well, the bread tasted AWESOME, though!

Am looking forward to making the actual bread from Hamelman's book soon!

Here are pics:


Yummy, moist and very stable crumb(what I mean by that is that the bread could be sliced very thinly-1/4 " or so)-excellent crunchy crust!

And now to the re-vamped "Hannoversches Doppelback"(original recipe by W. Fahrenkamp) bread. I had posted about this bread before and made a few changes this time around:

-I used the SD starter I had fed with old rye bread.It was very active and sour smelling.

-refreshed my Old-rye-bread starter in the morning (a generous 50g of it) with 150 g of rye flour and 100g of water

-let it ferment in the oven with pilot light until about 5.30pm

- I omitted the yeast from the bread and therefore used 50 g more SD than the original recipe called for

- 500 g whole rye flour,500g white whole wheat flour,1 Tbls salt, abt 750g water........I let the water and flours autolyse for about 40 minutes( I have no idea if that helped the dough in any shape or form, but thought I would try it).mixed the rest of the ingredients...let bulk proof for about 2.5 hours......folded the dough-maybe the autolyse was responsible for the fact that I could actually,marginally fold the dough at all, and stuck it into a bowl lined with a floured towel(yes, if I had a Brotform, that would have been perfect). Final proof was about 1 hour, even though I think 45 minutes would have been better-the dough seemed very puffy.And since I inverted the dough onto the parchment to be slipped ont he baking sheet I can tell you that the bottom of the loaf has a few large bubbles.

- I had just bought a baking stone and ended up pre-heating the oven withou it in it, which is responsible for the delay in baking and running the risk of overproofing the dough.

-I pre-heated to about 500 fahrenheit-after 10 minutes down to 475-then after 10 more down to 450-after 10 more minutes down to a wee bit under 400 to finish baking for about 40 minutes. The bread baked for a total of 60 minutes( to that add the double bake time).I took it out,turned the oven to 475 again, painted the bread with a mixture of starch and water and stuck it back in the oven for about 15 minutes.I let it cool until the morning, before cutting it open.

It is definitely more sour than the breads I have made with just regular SD starter.It is getting very very close to tasting like bread from the Munich Hofpfisterei!The crust is super crunchy-just perfect! I don't know if I should expect the bread to have a higher profile, since the orginal recipe calls for it being baked in a loaf pan and I decided to bake it directly on the baking stone this time.I also seemed to me that I could have used just a tad less water............................

Here are the pictures:

Sorry about the unfocused crumb shot-my camera was being uncooperative.

Am working on some Hamelman Baguettes with Poolish right now and am eager to see how they will turn out!

I am so glad I am re-united with delicious bread!


ananda's picture


Semolina [Durum] Bread and Sourdough Seed Bread.

I've been home-based all Easter weekend, so I decided on Thursday that I would make an inroad into the Hamelman Challenge set up by Brian: see

I've already done quite a bit on baguettes for the Lesaffre Cup I was involved in  and I posted last weekend on the Horst Bandel Black Pumpernickel

I'm posting all the production details and photographs below.   I haven't been totally faithful to Hamelman's formula, but will point out where and why at the relevant points.

Semolina [Durum] Bread

Hamelman, Jeffrey 2004 "Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes" New Jersey; John Wiley and Sons.  pp.135-136


Recipe and Formula:


Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]




Strong White Bread Flour









Biga Naturale [from stock]

34.9 [flour 20.6;

water 14.3]

644 [flour 380; water 264]







Final Dough



"Sponge" from above



Strong White Flour












Olive Oil






Pre-fermented flour: 40.3%. Hydration: 61.6%


  • As you can see, the first change I made is that I used "Biga Naturale" in this recipe instead of a sponge.   Partly because I had some old biga in stock, partly because Alison, my  wife,  is happier if I can keep the bakers' yeasts out of the formula.  I had about 150g of biga in stock, so fed that to give me sufficient for the 644g needed for the recipe, plus some to keep back for another day.   I did this "élaboration" approx. 16 hours before making the "sponge".
  • The sponge was made at 28°C, but given 2½ hours to ripen.   It would have taken a little more than this, but was obviously active.   The original recipe specifies 1¼ hours, but it uses bakers' yeast.
  • The next change I made was that I used an "autolyse" technique with the semolina only.   Let me explain that the semolina I used would be quite different to the type the author would most likely be considering for his recipe.   I buy the semolina from a local miller in Northumberland.   It is coarse and gritty, and quite a bit more brown than the golden varieties sold in UK supermarkets.   I love it; it's a great way to use up some of the by-products from making this gentleman's very fine pizza/ciabatta flour.   I mentioned the Gilchesters Organic Flour in this post:  I wanted to try and maintain the hydration levels of the original formula [62%].   In order to do this I exchanged the durum used by Hamelman in the sponge for strong white flour.   Given the durum wheat used in the US will be a very hard grain, and the Gilchesters grain is grown in the North of England, which is hardly our "bread basket", you can maybe understand my switch.
  • The autolyse worked really well. The semolina is very coarse and unrefined, so a good soak allowed for plenty of absorption.
  • I mixed the dough by hand, achieving a DDT of 24°C, as required. The dough was strong, and I gave it plenty of work on the bench.
  • From there I followed the recipe directions, using 1½ hours bulk, with a stretch and fold at the mid-point.
  • I made 3 large loaves in bannetons and set aside for final proof.
  • I baked these breads after 2½ hours final fermentation, again, due to the biga, fermentation time was a good hour longer; I was happy with this. The oven had been pre-heated for nearly 2 hours, and I used steam by pouring boiling water onto a pan of hot stones. I set the bread at 240°C, dropped to 200 after 15 minutes, then to 180°C after 40 minutes for the remainder of the bake.
  • The finished loaves are pictured below. The largest loaf, pictured with the long fan cuts, actually weighed in at 1.4kg. I baked it nearly an hour, directly on the hot bricks in my oven. It was still ever-so slightly doughy on the very base when we came to eat it yesterday. Maybe I should have given the "sponge" an extra half hour afterall? Anyway; the taste is fabulous, and I am really happy to have learnt another use for the semolina I buy. Up until now it's only been used for dusting purposes!

 This is the semolina I used

Sourdough Seed Bread

Hamelman, Jeffrey 2004 "Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes" New Jersey; John Wiley and Sons.  pp.176-177


Recipe and Formula:


Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

Liquid Levain



Strong White Flour






Levain [from stock]


50 [flour 22;  water 28]



615 - 50 returned to stock = 565




Rye Sour [from stock]



Dark Rye Flour















Golden Flax Seeds



Water - boiling









Final Dough



Liquid Levain



Rye Sour



Hot Soaker



Strong White Flour



Strong Wholemeal Flour



Toasted Sunflower Seeds



Toasted Sesame Seeds







2 [1.6% inc seeds]





Pre-fermented flour: 22.8%.   Hydration: 75% [64% including seeds]


  • Make the rye sour 16 hours ahead of making the final dough; DDT 21°C
  • Use one élaboration to make the levain needed, then make the levain 12 hours before making the final dough.   DDT 21°C
  • Make the hot soaker at the same time. Cover with cling film and leave to cool overnight. The original recipe uses a cold soaker.
  • Toast the sesame and sunflower seeds under the grill, turning as necessary, until lightly browned
  • Combine all the ingredients to form the final dough. Mix by hand for 10 minutes to achieve a well-developed dough of 24°C.
  • Bulk ferment for 2½ hours, with one stretch and fold midway through this period.
  • Divide the dough into 3 equal sized pieces and mould round. Rest, covered for 10 minutes. Prepare 2 large bread tins, lined with shortening. Shape 2 loaves for the tins and pan them. Place the other piece upside down in a prepared banneton.
  • Prove overnight in the fridge at 8°C.
  • In the morning, pre-heat the oven for one hour whilst the loaves come back to room temperature. Use steam, by pouring boiling water onto a pan of hot stones.
  • Set the loaf in the banneton and bake that first. Then baked the 2 tinned loaves after that. Baking time will be 45 -50 minutes; set at 240°C, reduce the heat to 200°C after 15 minutes, then 180°C after 40 minutes for the remainder of the bake.

Variations here are as follows: I used rye sour rather than rye flour.   Hamelman's original formula utilises just 15% pre-fermented flour.   I wanted more than this, and will always seek to use rye in a pre-fermented form if possible.   Hydration level is as the original recipe.   I also used a small portion of wholemeal in the final dough, where Hamelman uses all-white flour.   The intensity of my baking session [I'd also made filo pastry for my wife to use to make Spanokopita for our Easter Monday visitors] meant I'd run out of white flour.   However, I was more than happy to use the wholemeal.   The final bread is not at all heavy, nor sour.   It is very "moreish", and is being eaten at quite a rate.

All good wishes



Subscribe to RSS - blogs