The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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AnnieT's picture

I took this loaf to supper with the family and their house has much better natural light than mine which helped the picture. The first slices were really holey but the center of the loaf had a tighter crumb. The flavor was excellent and the crust crisp and it did sing, very slightly. Next time I am going to use my more liquid starter for comparison and of course there is always a next time... A.


inlovewbread's picture

I made Anadama Bread from Reinhart's BBA. It turned out great! I will definately be making this bread again.

AnnieT's picture

Here is a picture of my grandaughter Lily with a slice of my first effort, showing off the holey crumb. I used KA bread flour and KA white whole wheat and my newly converted firm starter, and we all liked the flavor. The second try had better oven spring and I imagine the starter is getting stronger, A.


Mel_J's picture

After reading a lot about French flours vs American flours from TFL, I decided to try White Lily's Bread Flour. When I lived in Tennessee, I used to make biscuits with White Lily Self Rising Flour. Its the best (in my opinion) flour to make biscuits. If I'm not mistaken, their flours are made from soft winter wheat, the self rising flour, at least. Since White Lily can only be found in the South, the only way I could get it is by purchasing online. I bought two 5lbs bags of flour, one bread and one self rising (for biscuits). It took a week for it to get here but when I got it, I had to immediately make some biscuits and bread. The biscuits were light and fluffly, the way I like it. As for the bread, I had some issues with my oven, so my first batch of baguette came out very light (crust) but the crumb is wonderful! I decided to try making the baguette again but this time, I bought an oven thermometer to monitor the oven temperature. The crust came out darker than I'd like but the crumb was good. I was soo excited that I had to take a picture of it with my cellphone camera. Its quite blurry, but I hope the picture of the crumb is still somewhat viewable.



I'm not that good of a baker, so hopefully, this will give me motivation to do better.

AnnieT's picture

This is the second version of the challenge loaf, and my recently converted firm starter appears to be getting stronger. The dough had filled the little basket after a night in the fridge and the oven spring was great. I have more pictures of the first effort but can't figure how to post more than one at a time, A.


boathook1's picture

When putting sourdough into the fridge to become more sour SHOULD IT BE RISEN OR DEFLATED ?

Please tell me what happens between the time it comes out of the fridge till it gets baked...

Thanks in advance

dstroy's picture

I just got back from a visit overseas to visit my grandmother. I didn't have a lot of time there, but on one of the days I had the pleasure of being served a lovely tea and cake which got me hankering to make a cake after I got back.


German Marble Cake
1 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar (I think I may have accidentally put in 1 1/4 c. My cake could have used a little more sweetness but the kids didn't mind)
4 eggs
1 c. whole milk
1 tsp. almond extract
3 1/4 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
tiny pinch of salt (I skipped it since I used normal salted butter)
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp. dark rum

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and grease the tube or bundt pan well.

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in the eggs, and then the milk and almond extract.

In a separate bow, mix up the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) and then add that to the wet ingredients, beating into a creamy texture.

Take out about half the batter and add rum and cocoa to the remaining half.

Layer and swirl the batters into the pan, then bake for just over an hour or until the toothpick test comes out clean. Then let it cool before flipping, and add the powdered sugar on top.


I put the white batter in first, then the dark batter on top. I swirled it with a knife a little bit, but I think the chocolate wasn't as heavy as I expected so it didn't sink into the white as much as I hoped. Next time I will poke it into the white batter more to make the pretty pictures inside each slice.

All baked - The trick with these old bundt pans is to really not skimp on the butter when you grease the pan. Otherwise the cake will stick to the pan and you end up with a big mess.

German cakes dont usually have frosting. This is a dense cake, almost like a rum poundcake, and it's best with something simple like powdered sugar on top.


This is a recipe that I think having the really good dutch cocoa truly makes a difference. Its way more expensive than the regular cocoa, but with the rum and almond extract, the really good cocoa packs a chocolate punch that is worth the expense. I'd used a middle-range cocoa but next time I will make sure to get the really yummy Droste powder. 

It's a heavier dryer cake that is perfectly suited to an afternoon tea.


ericjs's picture

Prior to the one-loaf mystery result of my last post, the openest crumb I've gotten from the BBA pain de champagne recipe was a few weeks ago when I modified the recipe to use a dose of the KA levain du jour (dried levain starter), the mild version. I basically made the sponge from this starter as per the instructions that come with it, but made sure the amounts of eveything in the end would total to the same as BBA recipe using the pate fermentee as usual. A second alteration I made was to put most of the rest of the flour (including the whole wheat) into a soaker. The end result was this:

Because I'd changed two different things at once, I wasn't sure if it was the levain or the soaker or both that produced the opener crumb. So I did another batch a few days later with no levain, but with the soaker. The result was the typical crumb I get from this recipe (which has improved a bit over time, as I've pushed the hydration a little, improved my kneading technique, and switched from my somewhat alkaline tap water to bottled water). Interesting thing about this batch though. It had the slight tart tang to it, just as if I had used the levain! I assume that by chance either my pate fementee or my soaker picked up some good beasties...perhaps there were some floating around left over from the levain. Maybe I should start making a point of not cleaning my kneading board!

davidg618's picture

At the moment we have three Welsh Corgi's, two "found us" cats, and a Haflinger pony. I think we give more thought to the healthiness of what we feed them, than what we consume ourselves.

Here's a very pet-healthy pet snack recipe my wife makes about every three weeks. It originated with our wonderful neighbor, and accomplished horsewomen, Cathy, pretty much as she gave it to us. Both our dogs and Mimi, the pony, love them.

Buck-a-Roo Bites

As far as the cookies go, I usually have some basic ingredients and add whatever I might have.  

4-5 cups dry ingredients:  3 cups rolled oats, 1 cup flax, bran, ground pumpkin seeds, barley, corn meal......or whatever.

1 tablespoon salt - sea salt, mineral salt....

lots of shredded carrots and apples (skins and all)

a little sweetener - molasses, raw honey.  (I don't use much any more, everyone so concerned about insulin resistance but so many folks feed a processed feed that has a binder of molasses anyway.  What I use most now for adding sweetness is applesauce, pumpkin (Calabasa), sweet potato (boiled, baked with the skins)

mix together, make a mess everywhere.  You want the mixture to be like a wet cookie dough, so if it is dry, add oil.

bake at 350 degrees till golden brown or burnt if you forget and then put in dehydrator till very crunchy!!!

[or a 150° - 200°F oven, if you don’t have a dehydrator]


You can vary the recipe for the dogs by adding protein - chicken, steak...


This batch is shredded carrots, oats, flax seed, yellow cornmeal, and apple sauce.


...and, the finished product


David G


davidg618's picture

Yesterday I was baking baguettes. I've usually had to bake them in groups of two, not because my oven can't hold up to four, but because I couldn't find a fool-prove way of getting more than two on the hot baking stone using a peel. (I've dropped them on each other, off the back of the stone onto the rack, and, worst of all, onto the oven door.)

So, I decided to try using a rim-less cookie sheet as a peel. However, I needed a flipping board to place four baguettes on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet. I like Mini's cardboard flipper, but decided I wanted something more permanent. I went out to my shop, and found the remnants of some fiberboard I used to back some bookshelves I recently made. One side is smooth, but the backside has a diamond-like 3-D pattern. Eureka! I reasoned the back would act as a flour "holder" much like the panty-hose covered flipping peels posted in Bread Flipping Boards

I cut a 6" x 18" board from the scraps, and dusted the backside with flour. My baking stone is only 16" wide, so an 18" flipping board is adequate.  It worked perfectly.

Here's the flour dusted side. The insert shows the 3-D pattern magnified, and before dusting.

The opposite side is smooth.

David G


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