The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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CaptainBatard's picture


I am totally exhausted after packing and cleaning my house for the last three weeks in anticipation of perspective renters coming to look at it on Saturday....I can see the light end of the tunnel with my fingers crossed. One more day of cleaning and then a quick trimming of my sleeping garden and I can get to the real business at hand, taxes, getting a plane ticket, studying French, once again packing and of course, the weekly bread fix!

I want to really thank all the people at FreshLoaf for making this site what it is, a place to learn and exchange ideas about the one thing that brings us all together... the passion for flour, water and salt!

This weeks bread, MC's Gerard Rubaud Miche ala Shiao-Ping is probably the tastiest bread that I have made in my limited baking experience. I used to be a by the book Loafer, but that has all changed since I became aware of the talented baker here at The FreshLoaf and out in the Blogosphere who have expanded my knowledge and comfort zone. The Gerard Rubaud Miche with a whopping 80% hydration had me second guessing myself  the whole time, talk about comfort zone! Will it come together or will it remain the blob that came from the deep lagoon? I have tried several of Shiao-Ping's recent posts, so a wet dough was nothing new and I should of realized it would come together in the end. I followed her basic methodology with a few variations. I used a KA for a quick mix to get the dough into shape for a autolyse and poured it into wood bin to develop the structure with 5 sets of stretch and folds. At this point I thought the dough would yield to a good gentle shaping...but it had other plans! At this point I just laughed...looking down into the bin and said "You want to be difficult do you?" and remained calm. I had to remember that is was 80% hydration after all and to be patient. In the back of my mind I remembered a comment that MC made to Shiao-Ping about the way Gerard treats wet I turned out the dough onto a floured surface and did several more gentle full S+Fs at 10' intervals and that was the ticket!  The rest of the process was uneventful, after an overnight rest in the frig., they went into a hot oven with plenty of steam. When they came out of the oven they began to sing and crackle...and oh.... the smells. I watched the crumb shrink as  the loaves cooled and the crackel pattern become more prominent like a crackle glaze pattern on a fine celandine porcelain vase. The taste was nutty, creamy and moist with a slight tang to the mouth. This is definitely one that will become a favorite.

Thank you Gerard, MC and Shiao-Ping for this wonderful bread.



                                                            "Heavenly....your bread put my head in the clouds..."








This is being sent to Susan@YeastSpotting



SylviaH's picture

A lot of TFLoafers have been doing pizza's.  Hopefully you are like me and never tire of pizza photos : )  It must be the weather.  It rained so hard water ran inside my WFO and now I can't fire it up until it dries out.  I learned my lesson.  Not all storms are the same.  So from now on the oven front gets covered for storms.  It just makes me want pizza even more not being able to fire it up.

The very thinned crusted pizza's where made with the Neo Neapolitan pizza dough recipe from P. Reinhart's 'American Pie'  I like this recipe because at least for me it can be shaped for either a thin or thick crust.  I used ADY instead of IADY and that helps the dough to stretch nicely or become a little more extensible.  I make up several pizza balls and freeze them for quick night pizza dinners. 

I made a white sauce that was very delicious.  It was made with heavy cream, cream cheese, fresh basil, EVOO, sea salt-pinch and garlic.  Then the pizza's where topped with the sauce, mozzarella, parmesean, jumbo chopped fresh raw shrimp, fresh lemon thyme leaves, lemon wedge and a lemon thyme stem for garnish.  The pizza's where baked on stones at 550F in a pre-heated 50 minutes oven.  My husband said the pizza's where very delicious and he loved the sauce.  I almost didn't get the photos.

 Joey Boy, checking out the fresh Lemon Thyme!


 Placed upon a perforated pan to keep

crisp while being sliced.

                                                                 Super thin crust.


                              Crumb of the Crown : )







caviar's picture

Has anyone tried to rec reate this delicious sounding bread. After adding all the ingredients the dough has the consistency of fudge. Stretching and folding does not seem possible.    HELP!      Herb

occidental's picture

A few days ago I made Lavash Crackers from Reinhart's Bread Bakers Apprentice.

Anyone that owns this book has likely paged past the photos of these great crackers and has felt compelled to make them.  I've made them a few times before and always enjoy them as they make a great snack or tool for dipping into a variety of items.  Common toppings I use are sesame seeds, poppy seeds, chili powder and caraway.  I've tried both breaking these into pieces and cutting them before cooking as I did this time around.  I've typically brushed these with an egg wash before applying the toppings though this time I followed Reinharts direction and brushed with water.  I decided I prefer the egg wash as it provides a better looking deep golden finished look.  You can make these easily in an evening and try a lot of different toppings.  Consider giving them a try if you haven't yet!


occidental's picture

Inspired by Susan's post on her sesame sourdough I recently made my own attempt. I admit it isn't as pretty as hers but the taste is great and the crumb is also to my liking. Follow the above link to Susan's blog for details if you are interested in the formula.  I followed her formula pretty closely.  My ferment was approximately 20 hours.  The only other thing is that I am in so much of a habit of creating steam by adding ice to the cast iron lid on my lower oven rack I completely forgot I was going to try the 'magic bowl' method until I took the loaf out of the oven and noticed the bowl sitting on the counter, ready to be used.  So much for mise en place! Here are a couple pics of my version:

From bread

From bread
Recluse's picture

My first time baking a recipe from Hamelman's Bread. I was a little bit intimidated, especially since I've had mediocre results with the few BBA recipes I've tried, and that's widely regarded as the better intro book for the home baker. I'm fairly certain that my lack of success stemmed, not from a problem in the recipes or instructions, but from mistakes that I made due to being totally distracted by all of the gorgeous photographs. And subbing ingredients. I get in more trouble that way...

In any case, after reading through the first part of Hamelman's book, and poring over the instructions a few times, I did manage to successfully follow the recipe. The only thing I did differently was to swap out cracked wheat for flax seeds, since I didn't feel like running to the store for one measly ingredient.  Flax seeds were on the list of acceptable substitutions, so really, I as good as followed the recipe, right? That's what I'm telling myself.

This was also the inauguration of my kitchen scale as a baking assistant. It has been my faithful weight-loss tool for a number of months. I have no idea why it took me so long to use it for this second purpose, as it was an almost magical experience, not having to add an extra cup of flour, or half cup of water, to get my dough the correct consistency. Everything came together in a dough that was a bit tacky, but still very manageable, and I didn't have to tinker with it at all. I feel like I never want to measure by volume again.

Same dough, three different loaves.

I made two 1.5 lb loaves: One round loaf to practice my slashing (I am getting better, ever so slowly), and one pan loaf, because sandwiches rock my world. The approximately 1 lb of dough left I used to make a smaller loaf, which I took in to work. My coworkers happily devoured it, so I guess it turned out just fine. 

Round loaf

The loaves didn't rise quite as much as I expected. I'm not sure if that's because I didn't develop the gluten enough, didn't proof long enough, or if I just had unrealistic expectations for this kind of loaf. In any case, the texture was not at all off-putting or brick-like, and the flavor was excellent. The last few times I've made non-sourdough bread, I was disappointed by the flat flavors that I got, but there was no such problem with this loaf. I happily ate a slice of it plain, and then made a killer tuna salad sandwich with it. I loved the little pops of texture that the grains contributed, and the crackly, toasty crust.

Crumb shot

(Please pardon my taken-with-a-cellphone photographs.)

I still have a lot to learn, but for now I'm content, because this is some of the best bread that I've made to date. Although if anyone has suggestions that might help make my next batch even better, I'm all ears!

AnnieT's picture

I can remember reading complacently about TFL members whose stones had cracked - while sympathetic I was sure it wouldn't happen to my well used stone. That was then. This morning I opened the oven planning to remove the stone while I proofed a sourdough and found it in two pieces! I have no idea when it happened, no accidental hitting it, no dropping of heavy objects onto it. The only thing I have done differently was to place it on the bottom rack to bake baguettes from the King Arthur recipe last week. I have to bake the sourdough in the morning so I will push the two pieces together and hope for the best. I also have a lot to learn about making baguettes... A.

mcs's picture

I guess that's what I'd call a pizza made with 75% hydration baguette dough.  MMMMmmmmmmm!  Tomato sauce covered with seasoned chicken, marinated artichoke hearts, mozzarella and parm.  Next time you make baguettes, do yourself a favor and reserve some dough for dinner.  Tomorrow night will be calzones.


kathunter's picture


Thanks everyone who gave me some earlier advice about my seed culture.  But still, nothing much is happening.

I have one that I started with rye flour and pineapple juice.  After a few days it was accidentally warmed up in the oven.  I tried to revive it by adding more flour and water every couple of days.  But it does not do much.  When I take the seran wrap off it bubbles a tiny bit then stops.  I now keep the wrap loosely covering the glass bowl.

I have another one that I have used only white bread flour and water.  The flour part tends to settle at the bottom and the water floast on top.  No bubbles to speak of.

I stir each once in the morning and once in the evening.  I work all day so I can't feed and stir throughout the day.  Is there still hope for either or both seed cultures?  What to do??




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