The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Alfie's picture

I have buying Reynolds parchment paper and recently saw

The pricing between Walmart and the above link is so different I am wondering if I am missing something.

The S&H for webstaurantstore was high so does anyone have suggestions?


TIA, al

wally's picture

One downside to working as a baker is that it doesn't allow me time to bake during the week.  So now everything gets crammed into weekends.  And frankly, sometimes after a week at the bakery, I really don't feel like spending a day off baking more.  And yet, inevitably I find my two starters staring at me ruefully, and so on a beautiful Fall day when the temperatures felt more like September than mid-November, I decided to do a series of bakes.

Below, from the upper left moving clockwise: a 72% rye with soaker, Vermont Sourdough, a batard and a boule of Polish Country Rye.

On Saturday I got started by mixing and then retarding overnight Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough.  I've discovered that even with giving the bread an hour and a half proof before final retarding, it still needs an additional three hours the next day at room temperature to finish proofing.  But, the finished loaf rose nicely in the oven.


Here's a couple crumb shots of the Vermont sourdough:


Saturday evening I prepared the rye levains and soakers for the 72% rye and the Polish Country Rye.  I've become so fond of the added sweetness imparted by soakers, that they are now a routine part of my rye preparation.  However, a couple weeks back I had my first experience with the dreaded 'starch attack' and this has led me to now add either part of all of the salt in my rye formulas to the soakers as a preventative measure.

This morning while the Vermont sourdough finished its final proofing, I began with the 72% rye because I knew it would have the shortest floor time before final shaping and baking.  In using a high proportion of the water for the recipe in the levain and soaker I unintentionally created a problem I had not foreseen: my kitchen was cold this morning, and I found that the flour temperature and those of the levain and soaker were only about 68° F.  But there was so little water to be added to the final mix, that it was not possible to arrive at a DDT of around 80°.  This necessitated both extending the bulk fermentation from 30 minutes to 50 minutes, and setting the dough container on top of my then-warming oven to increase its internal temperature.  Note to self: it's important to retain a sufficient amount of water for the final mix to adequately adjust DDT!

In any event, the jury-rigged proofing worked, and once the loaf was air-shaped (the hydration was at 80%) and placed in a pyrex baking dish, it required a little under 50 minutes before it was ready for baking.  I baked if for 60 minutes, starting out at 450° and dropping the temperature by 25 degrees every 15 minutes, so that the oven temp at bakes end was 375°.

Here's the final result: it will sit for 24 hours to completely set and then I'll add some crumb shots.  But it's already got a pleasant sweetness about it.

The Polish Country rye I altered slightly by upping the percentage of rye from its usual 15% to 30%.  Even with that, this is a most agreeable dough to work with - it has the gluten development and consistency of wheat-based doughs, so there is very little of the stickiness associated with high percentage ryes.  Final proofing after shaping one into a boule and the other a bâtard was about two and a half hours and it baked at 440° for 45 minutes.  Here's some more shots of the final result - crumb shots to follow.

        All three breads were baked using a combination of SylviaH's wet-towel-in-a-dish method and my lava rocks in a cast iron frying pan to generate steam.  As the loaves and cuts indicate, I cannot say enough good things about Sylvia's simple yet effective work around for those who, like me, struggle to maintain steam in our steam-venting gas ovens.

So, at the end of a beautiful Fall day I sit at my kitchen table surrounded by a week's worth of wonderful and varied sandwich breads, along with a rich rye loaf that will accompany some good cheeses and spreads.

Not a bad way to unwind after all.


EDIT: crumb shots of 72% rye and Polish Country rye below.


mdunham21's picture

I am rather new at making homemade bread but it is something I am growing to love.  I come from a family of cooks and bakers, mostly from my mom's side of the family.  Her father was an excellent cook and baker; I recently stumbled upon one of his bread recipes for buttermilk loaf bread.  I have been making this loaf on the weekends for the past year or so.  However, he kept the majority of his recipes in his head and didn't write many of them down.  This has forced me to branch out on my own.  This weekend I prepared a biga pre-ferment for a pugliese from "The Bread Bible"

This recipe does not use Durum flour which is fine because I was unable to locate any at my local grocery.  The biga was prepared with a mixture of all purpose flour and coarse rye flour, a small amount of commercial yeast and water.  This mixture was allowed to ferment for about 18 hours at a cool temperature.  

I was pleased with the way the bread turned out, however I was hoping for a large sized boule compared to the one i was able to develop.  

The crust was soft and the crumb was chewy with a medium distribution of holes.

Overall I was satisfied with the results.  I currently have a sourdough starter in the making and cannot wait to make my first loaf in time for thanksgiving stuffing.

I look forward to any comments and suggestions



breadsong's picture

Hello, I have a group of people at work I wanted to bake bread for. I wanted to make them something special - this bread seemed to fit the bill!
It was such a pretty bread, as pictured in Advanced Bread and Pastry. With thanks to Mr. Michel Suas for a wonderful, if involved, formula - there are four separate preferments and I had to create a spreadsheet in order to figure out how to scale enough ingredients for 2000g of dough.
I divided into roughly 250g pieces to create as many loaves as I wanted to give (with one extra to keep, for tasting!). 
I sliced the one that achieved the least height & was surprised but happy to find an open crumb, so I hold out hope for the others. 
The caramelized hazelnuts are fantastically, wonderfully delicious in this bread!!!
Regards, breadsong

JoeVa's picture

Tre mesi dal mio ultimo post, ma continuo a panificare. Oggi scrivo per aggiornarvi sull'andamento dei lavori per il nuovo forno a legna di Cascina Favaglie. Il forno è a buon punto, resta da terminare la canna fumaria, il tetto e la struttura frontale.

Three months since my last post, but I'm still baking bread. Today I write to update you about the construction of the new wood fire oven at Cascina Favaglie. The oven it's almost ok, we need to finish the flue, the roof and front structure.


Nel frattempo faccio qualche prova di panificazione e continuo a lavorare sui prodotti che prepareremo nei corsi di panificazione di maggio 2011. Al momento ho previsto tre corsi differenti, ognuno orientato ad uno specifico tema. I corsi si svolgeranno sabato e domenica a tempo pieno. Massimo 6-8 partecipanti. Fai una cosa, falla con calma e falla bene, questo è la mia filosofia.

Meanwhile I do some baking test and I continue to work on the products we will prepare at the bread baking courses in May '11. Currently I've planned three distinct courses, each one oriented to a specific topic. The courses will be held Saturday and Sunday, full-time. Maximum of 6 to 8 partecipants. Do one thing, take your time an do it well, this is my philosophy.

Il Punto Parco Cascina Favaglie, nonché sede di ItaliaNostra Milano Nord-Ovest è un'ottima collocazione. Le nuove strutture e la natura che le circonda creano l'ambiente ideale per questo tipo di attività. Questa mattina, dopo aver finito di cuocere il pane sono andato a fare un sopraluogo sotto un'abbondante pioggia. Queste sono alcune foto che ho fatto.

Punto Parco Cascina Favaglie, also ItaliaNostra Milano North-West section is a great location. The new accomodations and facilities, the surrounding nature create the ideal environment for this kind of activities. This morning, after my baking I went to do an inspection under a heavy rain. These are some shots I took there.



I tre corsi sono:

  • Chef: Pane Francese a Lievitazione Naturale.

  • Grani dei Paesi Freddi: Pane di Segale

  • Fuoco e Fiamme: la Pizza

The three courses are:
  • Chef: Naturally Leavened French Bread
  • Cold Grains: Sourdough Rye
  • Fire and Flames: Pizza

I primi due corsi sono basati sul mio "Pane Paesano" (un pane a lievitazione naturale di grande pezzatura con impasto morbido e mix di lieviti naturali di segale e frumento) e "Pane di Segale" (pane 100% segale integrale in cassetta). Poi c'è la pizza ... ci sto lavorando, ma non avendo un forno a legna alcune cose sono impossibili da provare, la mia massima aspirazione è la "verace napoletana" (in foto quella del bravissimo Adriano, maestro e fonte di ispirazione - foto di Paoletta), riuscirò mai a farne una così? Apparentemente sono tutti impasti relativamente semplici ma l'esperienza, i piccoli gesti fanno la differenza. Alcune foto:

The first two courses will be based on my "Pane Paesano" (naturally leavened large miche with a soft dough and wheat/rye wild yeast cultures mix) and "Pane di Segale" (sourdough rye 100% pan baked). Then we have pizza ... still working on, but since I do not have a wood fired oven a lot of things are impossible to test, my dream is the "verace napoletana" (in the shot the wonderful Adriano pizza, master baker and font of inspiration - taken by Paoletta), will I be able to bake something like that? Apparently they are all simple recipes but the experience and what looks like a small gesture will make the difference. Here some photos:




E dopo aver atteso un giorno ecco la mollica del pane di segale.

And after one day rest, here the rye crumb.



The miche saranno impastate sabato e, dopo un lenta lievitazione fredda, saranno cotte l'indomani, domenica mattina. La segale sarà preparata impastata e cotta in giornata: con la segale si fa presto ... se qualcuno ti prepara la madre di segale! Entrambi saranno cotti in forno elettrico casalingo. Per la pizza si userà anche il forno a legna. In ogni corso ci sarà tempo per discutere aspetti teorici e far pratica su impasti di supporto all'apprendimento (tipicamente impasti diretti / indiretti).

The miches will be mixed on Saturday and, after a slow cold proof, they will be baked the next day, Sunday morning. The rye will be prepared, mixed and baked on one day: rye is fast .. if someone build for you the rye mother dough! Both will be baked in a domestic electric oven. For the pizza we will use also the wood fired oven. In every course there will be enough time for theory and for working on sample didactic doughs (some direct / indirect dough).

Per ultimo, ma non meno importante, va dato merito al grande lavoro di Giuseppe, Arturo (i nostri progettisti), Giancarlo (il presidente) e tutti i soci anziani di ItaliaNostra per la progettazione e supervisione dei lavori di tutto ciò che avete visto.

And least but not last, I have to thank Giuseppe, Arturo (our engineers and architects), Giancarlo (the president) and all senior members of ItaliaNostra for the great work, projects and works supervision of all you've seen.

Date uno sguardo dentro al forno!

Take a look into the oven!


Questo il nostro contatto.

This is our contact.

louie brown's picture
louie brown

I had to get this out of my system. I am an admirer of the bakery and the bread and I was glad to be able to take a shot at it. I agree with a lot of what's been said on both sides of the conversation about the book. I'm sure I will read and enjoy it more than I will use it to bake from. For a bakery book of that latter sort, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I still prefer Nancy Silverton. Anyway, I add my pictures for the record. I liked the pictures in the book of the loaves torn open, so I include one of those. My kitchen was a few degrees warmer this week, so fermentation and proofing times were closer to those indicated.






freerk's picture

Because there are hardly any bread baking videos out there in Dutch, I decided to do it myself; this loaf is way too good to be only made in English!


breadsong's picture

Hello, I made a batch of Mr. Hamelman's Oatmeal Bread to make some bread today, so I could use my new bannetons!

My sweet little niece is turning 6. I wanted to make a bread design to go with her 6th birthday card, to form part of her gift for her birthday party tomorrow. This is 220g dough, 5" round banneton, and a small bit of Mr. Hamelman's pate morte colored with cinnamon to make the "happy face":

This is 500g dough, 16cm square banneton (I scored along the lines created by the banneton):

I've got some pate morte left over; will try to freeze to use for future projects.
Regards, breadsong

OldWoodenSpoon's picture

A few days ago our son announced he had bought a scale, and he needed a straight dough formula for non-sourdough (his preference) "french bread".  He has been baking "French Style Bread" from "Beard on Bread" for a couple of years, and he wanted a weight-based formula for a similar bread.  I gave him some tips on how he could convert his cups-and-teaspoons formula to weights by baking to volume and weighing everything, and I also gave him the flour/water/salt/yeast basic formula for a 65% hydration straight dough bread for a loaf of about 850 grams.  I have not heard back from him yet on what he chose to do or how it came out.  He did, however, get me interested, and thanks to the influence of my recent experience with the Rubaud flour mix, I've taken a new interest in spelt as well.  I decided to try putting them together.

I put together what is, loosely interpreted, Pain Ordinaire...  Ordinary bread.  The formula is my own concoction relying on a basic hydration of 68%, and flour mix of 75% Pendelton Mills Power (Bread) flour, 10% BRM Dark Rye and 15% Montana Milling Whole Spelt (Thanks Stan!) flour.  I started with a 5 hour poolish of 160 grams of water, 160 grams of flour mix, and a scant 1/8th teaspoon of instant dry yeast.  Because the arthritis in my wrists has been bad lately, I assembled the dough, including the poolish but holding back the salt, in my Bosch mixer.  I mixed the ingredients for about three minutes, then left it to sit for 30 minutes (autolyse).  I then added the salt and "kneaded" the dough till it was well developed (8 or 9 minutes).  Considering the amount of spelt flour in my formula I think this came back to haunt me later.  I think spelt does not tolerate over-kneading well.  Here is the specific formula I used:

Flour  1158 grams     100%
Water  787 grams       68%
Yeast    17 grams       1.5%
Salt       20 grams      1.7%

Total Dough Weight:  2000 grams  (I planned for 2 1Kg boules)

After kneading I moved the dough to a dough bucket for bulk fermentation, noting that I had 2 liters of dough.  It hit 4 liters in less than two hours.  When that happened I decided to go ahead and shape the loaves and retard them overnight in the refrigerator to bake this morning. I hoped that strategy would slow down the yeast and help develop some flavor.  I preshaped the two boules and let them rest, then tightened them up and put them in my large round floured baskets, covered them with oiled plastic wrap and into the refrigerator.  I put them on the bottom, coldest, shelf in hopes of being able to hold them off till late afternoon or evening Saturday.

I looked in on them about bed time, four or so hours later, and they were obviously not very retarded!  I knew I was in trouble, but it was far too late to try to bake them before retiring.  Instead, I set my alarm for 6:30 AM, an inhumane hour for me for a Saturday morning.  When it woke me I got up, started the oven, and checked the bread.  Yup.  In trouble.  It had over proofed, even in the refrigerator.

Because of the size I baked them one at a time, directly from the refer with no bench time at all.  Even so, they fell badly when I slashed them.  There was some oven spring, but not a great deal.  I have a good deal to learn about spelt I'm afraid.  The loaves did not come out "bad", but rather, they look like their namesake:  ordinary. 

I got little oven spring because the dough had little left to give.  I got a great crust thanks to the roaster-pan-lid steaming method and a liberal spritzing with water before covering.  The crumb is dense, as would be expected from loaves that were over proofed and fell significantly on slashing, but supple and chewy.  Maybe even a bit "rubbery", probably because of the high gluten flour.  The flavor is very pleasant, and the poolish made a very positive impact.  I also like the flavor of the spelt and rye together.  It was not a disaster by any means, and it was a good lesson, but I look forward to trying again.  I will be much more careful of my timing next bake, especially if I use as much spelt flour again.

Here are some pictures to illustrate my points, beginning with the loaves.

And then the crumb shot:

As you can see, I even botched the slice, leaving a jagged surface.  And I did it twice.

This is not a candidate for the "Ugly Bread" thread, but there is plenty of room for improvement.  I'll bet it makes good French Toast for breakfast tomorrow or Monday though!


caroldos's picture

Hi! I would like to introduce myself as a newbie to this site, one who spends time in two humid areas of the country, Michigan and Alabama! Thanks for the wonderful ideas and the very patient bread bakers on this site who try all kinds of ideas and post their successes and mistakes, helping me to learn what to do. Of course I love baguettes so my initial efforts at artisan breadmaking are to tackle something way beyond my skill! So thanks to all for your ideas on how to get started with real French baguettes/batard!!


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