The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Syd's picture

This is a super soft, highly enriched, labour intensive, Asian-Style Pain de Mie. It involves the 湯種 (tang zhong or water roux) method and took 3 days from beginning to completion.  The original recipe and instructions can be found here.  The recipe makes 2kg of dough.  It filled one, 1kg pullman pan and two 500g pans.  I baked without the lids on because I prefer the rounded tops and I also like a bit of colour on my loaves.  They always look slightly anemic when they come out of those pullman pans. 

Day 1

Water Roux

milk 70g

butter 30g

sugar 3g

salt 1/8 tsp

bread flour 70g

Heat milk, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan.  Bring to the boil.  Remove from heat.  Dump in flour and stir to a smooth paste.  (A bit like making choux pastry). Cover tightly, allow to cool to room temp and refrigerate for 16 hours.

16 hours later

Tear into small pieces and add:

bread flour 700g

instant yeast 2g

milk 430g

sugar 20g

Knead until it comes together, cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 36 hours but not more than 72 hours.  (I retarded for 48 hours).


Baking Day

Tear it into pieces again and add:


bread flour 300g

Salt 12g

sugar 120g

nstant yeast 5g

milk 100g

whole egg 140g

It will turn into a sloppy mess and if you have a stand mixer it will be better.  I don't, so I just have to make do with slap and fold (a la Bertinet).  It actually comes together pretty quickly. When it has come together add:

butter 100g

Now knead it until your arms cramp up or until you get a windowpane as clear as a gossamer wing (whichever comes first).  Again, a stand mixer would be of great benefit here.  Bench rest 15 - 20 mins.  Shape and place into pans. 

Allow to rise until about 8/10ths full then cover (if you want) and bake.  I baked at 180 C (convection) for 40 mins.  The original author gives temps for an oven that can control both top and bottom thermostats.  My oven isn't that fancy so I just went somewhere in the middle and it worked.  Next time I will bake for 35 mins.  I think my crust was a little on the thick side this time.


Heavenly with marmalade and a cup of Earl Grey.  It tastes good on its own, too.



dstroy's picture

So, it's time for my bi-annual decorated birthday-cake post! Our son turned 9 last weekend and as is our tradition, I made his birthday cake in the theme he selected.

This year, he was super into Greek gods and mythology after having just finished a 5-book series called Percy Jackson and the Olympians. He wanted his cake to have a labyrinth, water and a Trident (because the main character in the series is supposed to be the son of the sea-god Poseidon), the Greek god Pan, a black pegasus, a cyclops, Percy's sword, and a "blue triangle that glows and opens the secret doorway to the labyrinth when pressed by a half-bloods hand. 

Well, that's a tall order! Here then, is the cake that he got:

I used marzepan for the sculptures, some gel icing which I dyed blue for the water, and the rest was the cream cheese icing which we've all become so fond of. The cake was two layer - Devils Food chocolate for the bottom layer, and the top layer was the delicious white cake recipe I used for his sister's rainbow cake with swirls of blue in it because there's stuff in the book series about blue food.

The labyrinth walls were made of fudge icing, and the rocks were chocolate rocks that I found at a cake decorating shop.


The boy was particularly pleased with the detail of skulls and bones scattered in the labyrinth. ;)


I learned that making a horse shape out of Marzepan is really super hard. The flower thingies were there to add stability.


ahahahah... OK I know, I know... Looks like Pan has really been letting himself go lately.

I had no idea how to make a Pan - but doesn't he look pleased with himself?

There ya go - glowing triangle. Age 9 gave us the perfect number of candles to make it happen too.

And there's the birthday boy, with sticky hair, blowing out his candles. (His hair is all funny like that because this year's party was a pie-fight in the back yard. Yes, that's right, a pie fight! Floyd bought 14 pounds of pudding and four super-sized cans of non-dairy whipped cream at the Cash and Carry and the kids made "pies" with the pudding which they ladeled onto kid-hand sized paper plates, adding some whipped cream and sprinkles on top. Then they had fun lobbing them at each other. I think the parents had as much fun watching as the kids did throwing the pies, and then we were blessed with several days of rain afterwards which helped clean up the mess on our lawn - it was a ton of fun!)

dmsnyder's picture

This weekend, I returned to my roots, tweaked a new favorite and baked a new bread.

When I started baking bread again after a 25 year hiatus, my motive was to make two favorite breads I was unable to obtain locally – Jewish Sour Rye and San Francisco-style Sourdough. My initial achievement of these goals was with the Sour Rye formula from George Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker and with Peter Reinhart's Sourdough Bread from Crust & Crumb. These remain among my favorite breads.

Yesterday, I baked Greenstein's Jewish Sour Rye. The “authentic” NY-style deli bread is made with a white rye sour and first clear flour. As my taste for heartier rye breads developed, I began using whole rye flour rather than white rye and found I preferred it. For this bake, I used KAF Medium Rye though, and found it a very good.

Greenstein's recipes all use volume measurements. Some time back, I converted a couple of my favorites from his book to weights. (See Sour Rye Bread from George Greenstein's “Secrets of a Jewish Baker”) Although I'm a firm believer in weighing ingredients and do so even when feeding my stock sourdough starter, I have to confess I feed my rye sour by feel. The sour I built for this bake must have been firmer than usual or the medium rye thirstier than the BRM dark rye flour I've been using, because the dough ended up drier than usual. The effect was the cuts opened up much more than they usually do. The loaves were also under-proofed, and they had major bursting.

The flavor of this bread is wonderful. When tasted right after cooling, it was intensely sour. It was less sour on the second day. I believe I'll stick with medium rye for this bread for a while.


The miche we baked during the SFBI Artisan II workshop (This miche is a hit!)  is a new favorite. I've made it four times now, I think, each time with a different flour mix. Today, I picked up on brother Glenn's bakes using half Central Milling's “Organic Type 85” flour and half one of CM's baguette flours. I used CM “Organic Tye 85” flour to build the levain and KAF AP flour for the final dough. This results in 13% high-extraction flour and 87% white flour in the total dough. I scaled the miche to 2 kg for this bake.

I was inspired by Breadsong's scoring of her Teff miche (SFBI Teff Miche - 1.5kg) and attempted to do something similar. I bow to her superior artistry, but I'm not unhappy with my result.

SFBI Miche crumb

SFBI Miche crumb

I left the miche wrapped in baker's linen overnight before slicing. The crust remained crunchy. The crumb was moist. The aroma was quite wheaty. The flavor of the crust was dark and sweet. The crumb was moderately sour but with a complex wheaty, sweet flavor. 

Recall that all the high-extraction flour in this bread was pre-fermented. I really like the effect. The higher ash content results in more active fermentation and acid production, both of which I appreciate. The impact of the Type 85 flour on the flavor profile was greater than one might expect from its 13% presence in the total flour. In the original SFBI formula, the whole wheat flour is also in the levain, and constitutes only 3.33% of the total flour. This bread was very good made entirely with high-extraction flour, but, at least at the moment, I believe I like it best using the original formula. It's a hard call, because all the flour mixes I've used have made delicious breads.


The new bread I baked was the “Vienna Bread” with Dutch Crunch from BBA. The TFL members' bakes of this bread (Latest Bake: Dutch Crunch) really inspired me, especially the rolls, since we planned on making hamburgers for dinner.

Vienna Bread with Dutch Crunch Bâtard

Vienna Bread with Dutch Crunch Rolls

Reinhart's Vienna Bread formula makes a lovely dough, and the Dutch Crunch topping is visually striking on both larger loaves and rolls. I really had no idea how thick to apply the topping, so I “laid it on thick.” From the results, I think I got it about right.

Vienna Bread with Dutch Crunch at start of proofing

Vienna Bread with Dutch Crunch at finish of proofing

Vienna Bread crumb

As advertised, the crust is crunch and slightly sweet. The crumb is very light, delicate and tender with a lovely balanced flavor. The flavor is like brioche but much more subtle. Words like "delicate," and "finesse" come to mind. I anticipate that this will make outstanding toast and French toast. Actually, I think I could just sit down right now and eat the whole loaf as is.

So, would "delicate" and "subtle" bread be your choice for a hamburger bun? No?

Caramelized red onion with balsamic vinegar and roasted New Mexico Green Chile hamburger on Vienna Dutch Crunch roll




jombay's picture

Hey all,

Made my first brioche today and I haven't posted in a while so here it goes.


The formula is from Advanced Bread & Pastry by Suas.


Bread Flour                       100.00%

Water                                65.00%

Instant Yeast                       0.10%

Mix and ferment 12-16 hours at RT.


Final Dough:

Bread Flour                        100.00%

Milk                                      7.00%

Eggs                                   72.00%

Osmotolerant Instant Yeast     1.60% *I used instant yeast but added 30% more

Salt                                       2.60%

Sugar                                   22.00%

Butter                                   65.00%

Sponge                                 54.00%

Mix all except butter until well developed. Add butter gradually until fully mixed.

First fermentation 1 hour

Preshape, rest 30 mins in fridge.

Shape, proof 1.5 hours.

Bake 400f ~15mins.

Very light and tender. Think I'll try txfarmer's 100% butter brioche next time.



sam's picture


As a newbie, I've begun paying a lot more attention to my starter + preferment ripeness levels, timings, keeping a log, etc.  Today I baked a big (for me) single loaf of 3lbs (68% overall hydration, 1/3 of the flour pre-fermented, all white KAF Bread Flour).   Yesterday, I caught both my starter and subsequent levain at just their peak of ripeness, mixed the final dough, and bulk fermented at 50F for about 14 hours.  I intentionally under-mixed the dough in my stand mixer (I did appx 770 revolutions of the dough hook, normally would do mid-900 revolutions), because I wanted to see if the extended time spent in the chiller would complete the development by itself.  After the 14 hours in the chiller, the dough was plenty extensible, but not so much elastic.  I did a couple S&Fs, which brought some elasticity (strength?) to the dough, but I think it was still a little under-developed.  I went ahead with it anyway to see what would happen.  I took the entire 3lb dough and shaped it into a large log / roll, let it rest for 15 mins, scored one long slice, then baked it on my oven baking stone, with 8 seconds of steam, vented after 20 mins.  I initially had the oven at 500F but backed off to 460F and further to 425F, about 45 mins total baking time.  Bread temp was 206F after coming out of the oven, maybe a little low.  I've never baked a single loaf this large before.

The entire downstairs of the house filled with a wonderful aroma of baking sourdough bread.  I think I got a pretty good oven spring, but the crumb isn't the most open in the world.  I only cut it once vertically for the picture -- not going to cut it horizontally to check the crumb because I'm keeping this for eating.  It has a nice sourdough flavor, and good chewing texture.  Will make a perfect dinner bread.  :-)








Next time I will mix a little bit longer, my normal ~950 revolutions.


Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I just made the best loaf of bread that I've ever made in my whole life! 

For so long now, I've wanted to be able to make bread, and feel happy with what came out of the oven, and in the past I was easily dissuaded.

This loaf is about the 4th one I've made - and only about the 7th one I've ever made in my life, and it - is - gorgeous!

I made a bit of a mistake - I was busy - and it got a bit overdone - but I took (I think Daisy_A's) advice and brushed it with "butter" (margerine) and covered it whilst it was cooling - I was expecting it to be like a rock, but no, it's got a beautiful dark crust that crisps and melts, and the inside is so beautifully soft, I can't believe it. 


Am I getting too carried away by bread? haha I don't care, I love it!

It was a very simple recipe (if I can remember it - I just make it up, I don't weigh anything);

strong flour


1 egg

small amount of olive oil 

demerera sugar 


dried yeast

small amount of honey


I just mixed some warm milk and oil and honey in a pan, and poured it in to a bowl with the yeast, salt and sugar - I left it to bubble - took a while though.

I then mixed more flour in it, and left it alone again 'cos it didn't seem to be working, but apparently I was being impatient. 

It rose nicely, I then mixed in more flour, until it was possible to knead it.

Kneaded it for about 10 minutes or less - left it alone until it had risen again - the rise didn't seem very big - again apparently I was being impatient.

The oven was on for a long time, and was very hot.

I went away - came back a bit later and thought I'd ruined it - let it cool down with the melted margerine on the top, I sprinkled some flour on the top for good luck, and covered it with the tea towel - came back just now 05:30 - I can't sleep - 


and - it - was - gorgeous!


I put some margerine on and some of the honey - and bloody hell it was nice.

I am so very excited to try again soon - next time I wont keep it in for so long - I also want to try a half and half mix, where I bake one half upon the first rise - and then bake the second one after I've "punched" the air out of it then let it rise again, just to see if letting it rise a 2nd time is worth it - Jamie Oliver said it wasn't, but to be fair the recipe I tried from his book tasted s***e.

I've wanted to be good at making bread for so long, I can't believe that I'm getting good at it now, I'm over the moon :D

I can't tell you how happy I am about it! 


Oh god, I have just imagined eating this bread with my home made chicken soup - which is - a chicken (haha) ginger, garlic, some veg like carrots, potatoes, cabbage, onions, and chilli peppers, salt and pepper............


I need to lye down :)

You know what it is? You all probably make far superior bread to mine, but I can't say how happy I am that I've reached this point - it's encouraging me to keep baking, the more I do it the more I love it.

I wish I could share it with you.

In the near future I'm going to make a video for the beginners so they can be encouraged too.

cranbo's picture

So I've been baking breads for some years now and experimenting with various recipes. 

Today I've been working on these English Muffins as well as my version of Theresa Greenway's Griffin's Bread.

The versions I'm making are 62% and 68% hydrations respectively. 

Most of the time I use a KA mixer with C-hook to knead.

Both doughs clear the sides of the bowl reasonably well, but neither of these totally clear the bottom of the bowl. I ran them both for maybe 1 minute at KA speed 2 to combine, then about 3-4 minutes at speed 3. 

In the case of the muffins (which use about 70% preferment), there was about a 2.5" diameter circle at the bottom, and I added some additional flour (about 10g) and it shrank to about 2". 

In the case of the sourdough (which uses about 82% preferment), it stuck to a large circle at bowl bottom, probably 5-6" around. I had to add probably 30g of flour to make it clear the sides better, leaving about a 2-2.5" diameter circle at the bottom of the bowl. 

My questions are about hydration and mixing to clear the bowl: 


  1. Am I correct to assume that all 62% and above hydration flours will never totally clear the bottom of the bowl? 
  2. What hydration typically will clear the bowl bottom? 
If I was more accurate with my starter maintenance, I'm sure this would be less of an issue (I think my preferment hydration varies anywhere from 60-85%, because I eyeball it). I just want to get a better feel for the behavior of hydration and my mixing machine, so that I can make adjustments as necessary. At least I've learned not to add more flour to sticky ryes, I've ended up with quite a few bricks over the years. 


wtdog55's picture

Does anyone have a good recepe for a power bagel like Einsteins?

nycnaples's picture

I made the ciabatta bread yesterday loved how easy it was the only question that I have is that there was no information on the temperature for the water it just asked that you combine ingredients and mix then rest for 10 minutes then paddle untill the dough climbed the came out great but wonder if it could be better 

sam's picture


So a couple weeks ago, I began and have been maintaining my first sourdough culture, which has fortunately made some good bread so far.  I saved a couple days' worth of discards, chilled at 50F.  I found a few recipes both on this site and others for starter-based pancakes, but the ones I saw, all call for a preferment.  Well, tonight I had a craving for pancakes and didn't want to wait, so I loosely followed the sourdough starter pancake recipe on the KAF web site.  For the bulk of the flour, instead of all-purpose, I used fresh milled buckwheat.  No buttermilk was handy, so I used plain whole milk.  Used the whisk tool in my stand mixer to mix it together.  Initially it was too liquid, so I spooned in some AP flour to thicken it up a bit.   That's it, instant pancakes!   :)

I didn't get much of a sourdough flavor, probably due to the lack of prefermenting, but they still tasted very good.




I like my pancakes with peanut butter and syrup!  Yum!



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