The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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zoltan szabo's picture
zoltan szabo

Hello to everyone,

I would like to share with you guys my white loaf I baked the other day.

Notes: Crispy crust even after a few hours, nice soft inside, very good lightly toasted as part of a good bruschetta.



  • 1kg flour

  • 45g fresh yeast

  • 20g salt

  • 40gr pork lard

  • about 700ml luke warm water


 1. Day before mix 400gr flour, all the yeast and 200ml luke warm water together. Cover with a floured cloth and set aside to a warm place until next day.

2. Next day add the rest of the flour, water, salt and soft lard. Mix on KA speed 2 for 3 minute then on speed 4 for 10 minute. The dough should be soft smooth and elastic. Place into a gently floured bowl and dust the top with flour and cover with a cloth. Rest it for 45 minute.

3. Place back to the bowl and mix on speed 2 for 5 minute then on speed 4 for 10 minute.

4. Form a large round loaf and place on a gently reased baking tray.

5. Brush with water. Cover with a cloth and rest for about 45-60 minute.

6. Brush gently with water then make a few cut on top and bake in moderate oven until golden.

7. When ready remove from the oven and place on wire racks, gently brush with water to give a nice gloss.

Happy Baking!


flourwateryeast's picture

Hi everyone, this is my first blog post on this website, although I have been an avid reader for some time now. I have already made many of the wonderful breads that the contributors to TFL have shared, and I thought it was about time for me to contribute something myself.

What better bread to start with than my favourite everyday sourdough, which I made again just this past weekend. The recipe is Susan's Norwich Sourdough from her inspiring website I won't repeat the recipe again here, but if you're interested you can find the formula in the recipe section of Susan's website under the name Norwich Sourdough. I highly recommend that you give it a try!

The weather here in Cape Town (South Africa) has been absolutely scorching hot over the last few weeks, and my sourdough starter was in fine form on the weekend. It definitely seemed to enjoy the hot weather, even if I didn't quite so much... The result was that I spent a lot of time making bread, as you can see below. Sigh, it's such a tough life!

This sourdough is definitely my go to sourdough bread, and the results I get with it are consistently good:


Norwich Sourdough 

Norwich Sourdough



Happy baking everyone.



Yippee's picture

This is a very exciting moment.  Many weeks of research and planning have paid off.  My dream of making elegantly curved, crescent-shaped croissants has finally come to fruition.  Along the research process, I’ve consulted sources from American, Chinese, French and Japanese professionals and reviewed several forum and blog entries at TFL about croissants.  If any of my procedures sounds familiar to you, it is probably inspired by your input and I thank you for sharing your experience with our community.

My procedures are a conglomerate of all the essence from different sources that I found helpful in achieving an effective workflow which produces quality results. This is a primary principle I’ve stood by in my day-to-day practice. There are numerous good croissant formulas out there.  It’s just a matter of settling down on the ones that best suit my needs.  For my first attempt, I was looking for a simple formula that doesn’t take forever to produce. After all, it’s merely a big lump of butter encased by bread dough.  It shouldn’t be that complicated to handle.  Luckily, I’ve been very familiar with the sweet dough used from making many loaves of Asian style breads. Therefore, once I understood the fundamentals of preparing a butter block and making turns, I was ready to tackle this part pastry, part bread challenge. 

I adapted the croissant formula from “Teacher Zhou’s Gourmet Classroom” (周老師的美食教室), a Taiwan based Chinese website dedicated to introducing foolproof recipes of a broad variety of foods. The host of this site is an author of three well-received cooking and pastry books in Chinese.  She currently lectures at a baking institute and is also a high school home economics teacher. The reliable recipes and formulae on her website are a guarantee of quality outcomes and I consider this Classroom the Chinese version of "the America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated". I particularly like her systematic approach of coaching and scientific approach of handling food.  I simply felt that our styles ‘clicked’.  Her croissant formula caught my attention because it was the easiest one I’ve seen and it only takes a few hours to complete.  With this formula, I won't end up having a full freezer of uneaten croissants.  The portion of flours called for is so small that I could even use my semi-retired Zojirushi to handle the job. 

The following is an outline of my formula and procedures:


I am very happy with my first croissants.  They look and taste like the real deal.  Next time, I’ll try the sourdough version.  The following are some pictures and photo credit goes to my husband.  Thank you, honey, for your help.


This post will be submitted to Wild Yeast Yeastspotting!

JessicaT's picture

I started this project two weeks ago out of boredom. It started out somewhat...disastrously. Started with 1 cup of water, 1 cup whole wheat flour a pinch of yeast and a pinch of sugar. Life was hunky dory for a couple days until hooch started to form and I realized that perhaps a super watery consistency was not right. After about four days of this, I fed the starter and stuck it in the fridge regardless and then things went...silent. About a week after the starter was stuck in the fridge, it got pulled out and a new feeding regime has begun! This time things seem to be going much better.


So what has happened so far is:

Day 1: Starter is started with 1 cup water, 1 cup whole wheat bread flour, a pinch of sugar and a pinch of yeast

Day 2: Starter is fed

Day 3: starter is fed

Day 4: Starter is fed

Day 5: Starter is stuck in the fridge for a week

Day 12: starter is not looking very good. Too much hooch and it is getting way too runny

Day 13 on: Starter gets refed. One jar is gets measured out with 1/4 of the starter mixed with 1/3 whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup of water. The second jar is dumped out with 2/3 left mixed with 1/3 cup of a mix of white and whole wheat flour with 1/4 cup of water. So far so good.

davidg618's picture

Saturday using Rye Sour excess from an earlier baking--3 or 4 days ago--I built more Rye sour, flollowing Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker; I did stage 3 feeding late Saturday evening, and refrigerated the refreshed sour intending an early Sunday morning bake.

Sunday; early AM: I let the sour come to room temperature (it had nearly doubled overnight, and risen more in the 1 hour warmup. I'd measured 25 oz. of Rye Sour into my hand-mixing bowl, and put the remaining cup of sour in the refrigerator, for another day. I'd previously weighed out the dough's First Clear flour, salt, and yeast.  I was about to pour the dough's water addition into the sour when the phone rang. Five minutes later I was out the door, heading for a local carriage driving show; it's organizer had called and asked my assistance. I couldn't say no. I spent five minutes covering the Rye Sour with plastic wrap, and putting it back in the refrigerator. The rest of the mise en place was left where it sat.

I came home late afternoon, sunburned of face, dusty, weary, and pleased with the day's work. However, I was in no mood to bake bread.

Monday (today) I picked up where I left off. Mixed the dough, and baked two loaves.

Minor differences: obviously the extra twenty-four hours retarding the sour; I restored the salt to the original recipe (I'd reduced it slightly when I made it the first time.), and I made the starch glaze with arrowroot starch instead of corn starch. I use arrowroot starch in lieu of corn startch in most cooking recipes. I find its silkier consistency more to my liking.

The first time I baked Jewish Rye, I had a couple of crust blowouts: unwanted blowouts. (see

Unwanted crust cracks and bursts; any ideas why? )

I got some good suggestions from other TFLer's, on how to prevent them. I incorporated all (or most) of their suggestions processsing this dough. I scored deeper, and (my idea; a variant of another's suggestion to make them longitudinal) I angled the slashes slightly from being square with the loaves' long axes; and I final proofed until I was certain any further would be over-proofed.

Here's the results, no Grand Canyon bursts!

I am, of course, delighted with the result. I'm certain the crumb will be consistent with the first bake. Thanks again to all those who helped me avoid unwanted crust bursts with this bake--and, hopefully future ones.

There is only one small doubt in my head: did the unplanned retardation influence the absence of unwanted cracking? D**m, I'll just have to bake this formula again, and eliminate the extra 24 hours. Tough, but somebody's got to do it.

David G


CaperAsh's picture

This will be a regular series of posts documenting some of my learning experiences. I have recently made the decision to

a) learn how to bake bread

b) build a wood-fired oven

c) try to sell it (if good enough) at a local farmer's market where I live in Cape Breton Island, Canada.


I think many might find this amusing - some might even find it irritating - given my lack of experience!

sortachef's picture


We make pizza nearly every week here at Chez Bullhog. When you have an outdoor pizza oven, it's hard not to: pizza has become an obsession. But, even without using the special oven, we've gotten pretty good at turning out a quality pizza. Here are some tips:


For half the flour in the dough, substitute Caputo flour. This flour (tipo 00), made by Antico Molino Caputo in Italy, is formulated to let pizza dough stretch out. Using it in a recipe will keep your shaped dough from springing back from the rim when you flatten it. Available in Seattle at Pacific Food Importers, or through several sites online.

Cut the yeast by 1/3, and let the dough rise longer. Many dough recipes have more yeast than necessary in order to decrease the proofing time. If you're not in a hurry, let your dough rise at 70º (or even cooler) for at least 4 hours. Pizza aficionados let their dough rise in the fridge overnight, and then let it sit at room temperature for a few hours before shaping and baking. See 'Pizza time Pizza with long-rise dough' for details.

Drizzle olive oil onto the blank pizza. Joe Fugere, owner of Tutta Bella in Seattle, told me that when his original restaurant was certified by the Neapolitans, he had to omit this step. I never put olive oil into the dough, but I find that a thin coating of good olive oil enhances the flavor and keeps the crust from getting soggy during baking.

Use vine-ripened tomatoes and make your own sauce. The best and sweetest tomatoes are vine ripened. When our tomatoes are ripe, we don't bother making sauce, we just slice them onto the pizzas. Otherwise, we make a sauce with ripe tomatoes, a bit of onion and garlic, and freeze or can it. Second best is a big can of San Marzano tomatoes turned into sauce. When making sauce from canned tomatoes, use a bit of sugar to brighten its flavor.

Seek out quality toppings. The best toppings make the best pizzas, and in many cases less is better. A little prosciutto, a few good olives, herbed mushrooms dotted here and there. Locally made sausage, some fresh arugula - well, you get the picture.

Try different cheeses. This can make such a difference to your pizza and, again, you don't need massive quantities. Some suggestions: well-drained buffalo mozzarella, truffle-infused pecorino, gruyere, cacciocavallo, or fresh mozzarella. You can top the whole thing with a handful of shredded mozzarella if you like.

Balance salty with savory or sweet. All of the components of pizza already have salt in them, so you can easily overdo it with salty toppings. On the other hand, a fresh Margherita pizza (fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and basil) needs capers or a generous sprinkle of salt to balance it.

Learn to use a peel. There's a reason they use peels (wooden or metal paddles) in pizza places. A wooden peel gets a pizza into the oven safely; a metal one turns it halfway through baking and pulls it out when it's ready. While you can get the pizza out of the oven with a spatula or two, I'd recommend that anyone who wants to bake better pizza invest in a wooden peel. When the peel is topped with bread flour or semolina, your pizza will slide right off it and into the oven!

Make your oven hotter. My outdoor oven is at about 650º when we bake pizzas in it, and will turn out a pizza in 4 minutes. Admittedly, most ovens don't get that hot, but will go to 450º or more. At 450º, a 12-inch pizza bakes in 8 or 9 minutes.

Bake the pizza directly on a pizza stone or quarry tiles. I've saved the best for last. This simple addition to the center rack of your oven, even if you're baking your pizza in a pan, will instantly yield better pizza. Be sure to preheat your oven for a half hour before baking for best results. See 'Baking bread on Quarry Tiles' for more information on using quarry tiles.


One Final Note: Even as recently as last year, I would have included longer kneading on this list. Italians recommend 20 minutes of kneading the dough, which many Americans find excessive. As I play with some aspects of this, the list may evolve to include a 30 minute rest period - after mixing, but before kneading - which I am learning is nearly as critical for gluten development as the kneading itself. Stay tuned!


See original content for this and other bread and pizza recipes (woodfired and conventional methods) at


Copyright © 2010 by Don Hogeland

SylviaH's picture

Stuck indoors with a head cold and raining all day..What would you do?  Surfed on my PC and landed at Steve's Bread Cetera blog.   I thought the 100% White Whole Wheat looked delicious and then I saw his lovely husband and I love pastries and the neighbors get a sample too,  after seeing the wonderful posts on Shiao Pings blog with meat pies in puff pastry and TaxFarmer's  croissants, my sweet tooth took over...last night I made the poolish for both.


                             Just out of the oven and cooling.  Crumb shot tomorrow.  I hope it looks half as nice as Steve's.



                                      ADDED:  The bread is made with King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour using Steve's recipe posted on BreadCetera.

                                                   The Pastries are not made with white whole wheat flour.  I used the recipes posted on BreadCetera for Croissants for the pastries.


                          Perfect for sandwiches.  I can detect the nice honey and butter  just right in the mellow wheat.





                                      I used the Moreno Cherries from Trader Joe's..I think they are the next best thing to the canned Oregon brand sour cherries

                                       I thickened them in their own juice, almond extract with a little corn starch.


                                                                             Cherry-Cream Cheese Danish - 

                                     I added fresh egg yolk, fresh lemon juice, vanilla and bakers sugar in the cream cheese.



                                                                                              Cream Cheese Pockets






ZD's picture


This weekends fun.

Home Bolted High Extration Hard Red Spring Wheat Miche


1050g Flour
578g Water
525g Leaven 100% hydration
26g Salt

Mix ingredients. Stir until there are no more dry spots. Autolyse for 60 minutes.

Fold  wait 30 minutes fold again. Bulk proof until almost double. Shape and proof

until just right. Preheat oven and stone to 500°F. Turn down to 450°F and steam

for 15 minutes. Turn down to 350°F and bake for 45 minutes. Let cool and enjoy.


 edit typo

dmsnyder's picture

This weekend I made a miche with Gérard Rubaud's flour mix for the first time. It's nowhere near as beautiful as the ones with which Shiao-Ping introduced Rubaud's formula to TFL, but it is delicious. The miche does seem to have a more mellow flavor than the other breads I've made with this flour mix, but then I didn't slice and taste it for a good 15 hours after it was baked.

The flour mix and formula I used was ...

Gérard Rubaud Pain au Levain


Baker's %

Total Dough

Flour 1 – AP



Flour 2 – WW



Flour 3 – Spelt



Flour 4 – Rye




Total Dough: 

Baker's %











Conversion factor





Baker's %














Final Dough: 

Baker's %


















I also made a couple 1 lb boules of the San Francisco Sourdough from "Advanced Bread & Pastry" by Michel Suas. It was an extremely extensible dough, made this time with WFM AP Flour (non-organic. They were out of the organic). I retarded the loaves overnight but wanted to give them an early start, so I took them out of the fridge and turned on my oven when I first got to the kitchen this morning.


I trust you correctly inferred this was done before my first cup of coffee. Always risky. 


Well, I did have my baking stone in the oven when I turned it on but not my steaming setup. I discovered this when the loaves were ready to load, of course. I did give the oven a series of spritzes with a spray bottle, but my result was a nice illustration of why we bake with steam. So, for your interest ...


Note the dull crust and the modest bloom and spring.


I haven't cut it yet. I'm sure it's fine eating, but beautiful it ain't.






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